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Kelvin Mace

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Gender: Male
Home country: USA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 17,469

Journal Archives

Ayn Rand was one sick puppy

The dialogue between two of her "protagonists".

She thought of the evening last winter when he came in, took a small package from his pocket and held it out to her, saying, “I want you to have it.” She opened it and stared in incredulous bewilderment at a pendant made of a single pear-shaped ruby that spurted a violent fire on the white satin of the jeweler’s box….

He led her to the bedroom, he took off her clothes, without a word, in the manner of an owner undressing a person whose consent is not required. He clasped the pendant on her shoulders. She stood naked, the stone between her breasts, like a sparkling drop of blood.

…”Do you think a man should give jewelry to his mistress for any purpose but his own pleasure?” he asked. “This is the way I want you to wear it. Only for me. I like to look at it. It’s beautiful.”


“I like giving things to you,” he said, “because you don’t need them.”

“No?”

“And it’s not that I want you to have them. I want you to have them from me.”

“That is the way I do need them, Hank. From you.”

“Do you understand that it’s nothing but vicious self-indulgence on my part? I’m not doing it for your pleasure, but for mine.”

“Hank!” The cry was involuntary; it held amusement, despair, indignation and pity. “If you’d given me those things just for my pleasure, not yours, I would have thrown them in your face.”

“Yes… Yes, then you would – and should.”


I guess I can understand why the Cons love her, aside from her abject worship of money and the wealthy, she really has ZERO respect for women.

This reads like satire.

Curbing Online Abuse Isn’t Impossible. Here’s Where We Start

from Wired!

http://www.wired.com/2014/05/fighting-online-harassment/

“Fucking dumb bitch,” the message began, then went on to detail the manner in which Jenny Haniver should be sexually assaulted and murdered. Haniver (her gaming name, not her real one) found it in the voicemail of her Xbox account, left by a male competitor in the online combat game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. For Haniver, this was far from an isolated incident. In another match, after an opponent asked if she was menstruating and opined that “girls” played videogames only for attention, he left Haniver a voicemail that said, “I’m gonna impregnate you with triplets and then make you have a very late-term abortion.” For three and a half years, Haniver has kept track of the invective heaped on her in multiplayer games, posting some 200 incidents on her blog so far.

Haniver, of course, is not alone—harassment on the Internet is ubiquitous, particularly for women. In a 2013 Pew Research survey, 23 percent of people ages 18 to 29 reported being stalked or harassed online; advocacy groups report that around 70 percent of the cases they deal with involve female victims, and one study of online gaming found players with female voices received three times as many negative responses as men.

Boasting more than 67 million active players each month, the battle-arena game League of Legends is perhaps the most popular videogame in the world. But two years ago its publisher, Riot Games, noticed that a significant number of players had quit the game and cited noxious behavior as the reason. In response, the company assembled a “player behavior team,” bringing together staff members with PhDs in psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience to study the issue of harassment by building and analyzing behavioral profiles for tens of millions of users.

This process led them to a surprising insight—one that “shaped our entire approach to this problem,” says Jeffrey Lin, Riot’s lead designer of social systems, who spoke about the process at last year’s Game Developers Conference. “If we remove all toxic players from the game, do we solve the player behavior problem? We don’t.” That is, if you think most online abuse is hurled by a small group of maladapted trolls, you’re wrong. Riot found that persistently negative players were only responsible for roughly 13 percent of the game’s bad behavior. The other 87 percent was coming from players whose presence, most of the time, seemed to be generally inoffensive or even positive. These gamers were lashing out only occasionally, in isolated incidents—but their outbursts often snowballed through the community. Banning the worst trolls wouldn’t be enough to clean up League of Legends, Riot’s player behavior team realized. Nothing less than community-wide reforms could succeed.

Some of the reforms Riot came up with were small but remarkably effective. Originally, for example, it was a default in the game that opposing teams could chat with each other during play, but this often spiraled into abusive taunting. So in one of its earliest experiments, Riot turned off that chat function but allowed players to turn it on if they wanted. The impact was immediate. A week before the change, players reported that more than 80 percent of chat between opponents was negative. But a week after switching the default, negative chat had decreased by more than 30 percent while positive chat increased nearly 35 percent. The takeaway? Creating a simple hurdle to abusive behavior makes it much less prevalent.

The article is very interesting and it is encouraging to see a company take the issue seriously and assign a team of folk with good credentials to examine the problem and devise solutions. Perhaps some of what they are talking about could be applicable here?

Pope crackdown on nuns in US continues. Why?

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Latest-News-Wires/2014/0505/Pope-crackdown-on-nuns-in-US-continues.-Why

The Vatican official overseeing the crackdown on the largest umbrella group for U.S. nuns is pressing forward with the overhaul under Pope Francis.

Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, the Vatican orthodoxy watchdog, reprimanded officers of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious for planning to honor a theologian who had been criticized by U.S. bishops and said the sisters must show more willingness to cooperate.

Mueller made the remarks in a meeting last Wednesday with the group's leaders in Rome. He apologized repeatedly for speaking so bluntly, while reminding the sisters their organization held its status within the church only through Vatican approval.

The reform order was issued in 2012 under now-retired Pope Benedict XVI, after an investigation concluded the nuns' group had taken positions that undermined Roman Catholic teaching on the priesthood and homosexuality while promoting "radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith." Investigators praised the nuns' humanitarian work, but accused them of focusing too much on social justice and ignoring critical issues, such as fighting abortion.

The nuns' group rejected the Vatican findings as "flawed" and based on "unsubstantiated accusations." Some sisters had hoped for a new approach under Pope Francis, a Jesuit who has stressed mercy over morals and has made social justice issues his top priority.

In last week's meeting, Mueller, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said he supported the conclusions of the Vatican review.

Please note that the "Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith" is the more Orwellian name for the Inquisition, or more accurately, the "Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition".

It would seem that despite the rhetoric, little is really changing in the RCC.

Three questions no reporter asked Cliven Bundy

Given that you do not believe in the U.S. government:

1) Do you receive social security?

2) Are you on Medicare?

3) How do you pay for your living expenses without resorting to federal banknotes?

5 Terrifying Ways Police Can Legally Screw You Over

Once again, a humor site proves much more informative than 99% of our "news" outlets.

This article also proves my oft repeated point: We live in a de facto police state.

http://www.cracked.com/article_21123_5-terrifying-ways-police-can-legally-screw-you-over.html

Andrea Dworkin NEVER said "all sex is rape"

Neither did Catharine MacKinnon.

http://www.snopes.com/quotes/mackinnon.asp

Do We Really Know That Cats Kill By The Billions? Not So Fast

http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2013/02/03/170851048/do-we-really-know-that-cats-kill-by-the-billions-not-so-fast

On NBC Nightly News on Thursday evening, Brian Williams there's a backlash underway to all the of this past week.

Cats are hunters and other creatures do fall prey to them in significant numbers.

And yet there are serious reasons to suspect the reliability of the new, extreme cat-killer statistics.

The study at issue is a meta-analysis, an overarching review that aggregates data from previously published sources. The accuracy of meta-studies in health and medicine raises some , and it's easy to see why: for a meta-analysis to be solid, wise choices must be made among the available sources of information, and results that may vary wildly must be weighed fairly.

In the Nature Communications study, authors Scott R. Loss, Tom Will, and Peter P. Marra needed to incorporate into their model the number of "un-owned cats" (such as stray, feral, and barn cats) in the U.S. As they note in to the article, "no empirically driven estimate of un-owned cat abundance exists for the contiguous U.S." Estimates that are available range from 20-120 million, with 60-100 million being the most commonly cited. In response to this huge uncertainty in the numbers, they performed mathematical calculations using what they feel to be a conservative figure (specifically, they "defined a uniform distribution with minimum and maximum of 30 and 80 million, respectively."

At this juncture, the authors note that local analyses of cat numbers are "often conducted in areas with above average density." That is an obvious problem, yet when they estimated the proportion of owned cats with access to the outdoors (and thus to hunting), of eight sources of information, "three [were] based on nationwide pet-owner surveys and five based on research in individual study areas." Are the local studies representative of the national situation? For that matter, are the different owner surveys administered in a consistent enough manner to allow them to be aggregated?

Of course, the authors make statistical perturbations designed to increase the reliability of their conclusions, but it seems to me there's an unsettling degree of uncertainty in the study's key numbers.

Demonizing cats with shaky statistics, however, won't help us build the pillar of understanding required to strike a satisfying balance between the needs of cats and their supporters with the needs of wildlife facing a feline threat.


See also:

http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/wildlife/4-reasons-cats-bird-kills-dont-excuse-wind-turbine-bird-kills.html
http://www.rspb.org.uk/advice/gardening/unwantedvisitors/cats/birddeclines.aspx
http://www.chicagonow.com/steve-dales-pet-world/2013/05/without-cats-birds-would-suffer-so-would-we/
http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/pets/Cat-defenders-protest-Smithsonian-backing-of-controversial-study.html

Call me when the cat killer study is peer-reviewed. A meta-analysis can be easily skewed based on what studies you decide to include.

Yes, I own a cat, and dogs, and have rescued other injured creatures such as rabbits, possums, and geese for rehabilitation and release. My cats have always been kept indoors which is why I have had a number of cats who lived 20+ years.

Why isn't the NSA after these assclowns?

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/03/report-irs-phone-scam-sweeping-nation-104876.html#.UywX_waQIVI.twitter

Report: IRS phone scam sweeping nation

Halah Touryalai, a Forbes staff writer, got a call and a threat from what she thought was an Internal Revenue Service agent: You owe $5,000. Pay up now, or we’ll arrest you.

She froze.

“For the next five or so minutes, I listened in absolute panic,” Touryalai wrote in an op-ed describing the incident.

The largest-ever IRS tax scam is pulsing through the nation in the middle of tax season, an IRS watchdog investigating the matter said on Thursday. IRS impersonators are calling taxpayers, demanding hundreds and thousands of dollars in alleged unpaid taxes.

“This is the largest scam of its kind that we have ever seen,” said J. Russell George, the Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration. “Do not become a victim.”

Touryalai’s caller knew the last four digits of her Social Security number and where she worked. Accusing her of tax dodging, he warned that the government was about to seize her property, freeze her bank accounts, and suspend her driver’s license and passport until she paid up.

He even threatened jail time and to “blacklist” her name.

Eventually she caught on — the man was a phony, one of many who have cheated thousands of Americans in just about every state in recent weeks.

I get these calls occasionally and I string them along to waste their time. I try to work them up into a lather by giving them fake CC numbers.

The sad part is that this is the kind of shit the NSA SHOULD be spying on. They could run these bastards down in sixty seconds and actually DO something useful.

Most rational hypothesis on missing Malaysian 777 so far

http://www.wired.com/autopia/2014/03/mh370-electrical-fire/

There has been a lot of speculation about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Terrorism, hijacking, meteors. I cannot believe the analysis on CNN; it’s almost disturbing. I tend to look for a simpler explanation, and I find it with the 13,000-foot runway at Pulau Langkawi.

The left turn is the key here. Zaharie Ahmad Shah1 was a very experienced senior captain with 18,000 hours of flight time. We old pilots were drilled to know what is the closest airport of safe harbor while in cruise. Airports behind us, airports abeam us, and airports ahead of us. They’re always in our head. Always. If something happens, you don’t want to be thinking about what are you going to do–you already know what you are going to do. When I saw that left turn with a direct heading, I instinctively knew he was heading for an airport. He was taking a direct route to Palau Langkawi, a 13,000-foot airstrip with an approach over water and no obstacles. The captain did not turn back to Kuala Lampur because he knew he had 8,000-foot ridges to cross. He knew the terrain was friendlier toward Langkawi, which also was closer.

For me, the loss of transponders and communications makes perfect sense in a fire. And there most likely was an electrical fire. In the case of a fire, the first response is to pull the main busses and restore circuits one by one until you have isolated the bad one. If they pulled the busses, the plane would go silent. It probably was a serious event and the flight crew was occupied with controlling the plane and trying to fight the fire. Aviate, navigate, and lastly, communicate is the mantra in such situations.

There are two types of fires. An electrical fire might not be as fast and furious, and there may or may not be incapacitating smoke. However there is the possibility, given the timeline, that there was an overheat on one of the front landing gear tires, it blew on takeoff and started slowly burning. Yes, this happens with underinflated tires. Remember: Heavy plane, hot night, sea level, long-run takeoff. There was a well known accident in Nigeria of a DC8 that had a landing gear fire on takeoff. Once going, a tire fire would produce horrific, incapacitating smoke. Yes, pilots have access to oxygen masks, but this is a no-no with fire. Most have access to a smoke hood with a filter, but this will last only a few minutes depending on the smoke level. (I used to carry one in my flight bag, and I still carry one in my briefcase when I fly.)

World War One Explained as a Bar Fight

Of course, many people under 30 are exclaiming "Oooooh, that's why they call it World War TWO!"

http://vixyish.tumblr.com/post/79329328276/ficklefandoms-this-does-a-good-job-at-showing



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