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Everything posted by Dak

  1. part of me wants to say 'doesn't that basically boil down to "we've descided to ignore the constitution, so there :-p" ', whereas the other part of me thinks that mahaps this is just some common sense that allows targeting high-risk groups. """The plan “might permit an innocent American to be subjected to such intrusive surveillance based in part on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or on protected First Amendment activities""" so, iow(?), if you're the same race as most terrorists, the same ethnicity as most terrorists, the same nationality as most terrorists, a muslim, and you publically say 'America should burn for its transgretions against islam', then you might be investigated'?
  2. I guess, at the end of the day, we, collectively, are going to have to descide what is, and what is not, acceptable. if we do this through govournment and legislature then we can at least assume we're going to get some semblance of consistancy with our codified principles. if we each choose individually then we'll end up living in a society where we've agreed that discrimination is wrong, but do it anyway, which is just dumb (at least, that's what we had in the UK before anti-discrimination laws). granted, we could allways end up being legislated to do something that genuinely is immoral, but that's a fair risk imo (and there's more risk in the 'fiercely individualistic' way), and the sacrifice of 'free choice' is a neccesary one to prevent harm, as it is in many other cases.
  3. depends. philisophically, you could argue that failure to act is an act. also, is desciding to descriminate by witholding service a positive act (i.e., commiting the act of discrimination) or a negative act (not commiting the act of providing a service)? either way, most legal systems have at least a smattering of positive laws (i.e., laws that oblige you to do something, rather than to not do something): duty of care (for teachers, parent, doctor, etc), the laws that obligate you to pay taxes, and certain human rights laws. (not ignoring you ParanoiA, will think further on what you've said)
  4. otoh, scientists will generally know scientific english. If English isn't your first language, and given that you're a scientist, I'd actually assume that you'd be more likely to understand 'amorphic mass' than 'goo', 'protrusion' than 'sticky out bit' and even 'gelatinous' over 'jelly-like' (you'd've learnt 'gelatinous' in the lab, but unless you talk about food in english... anyhow, jelly is wobbly stuff in UK, and jam in US, so would be less clearer). Which is probably a reason that science uses clear, unambiguous and non-colloquial (and thus somewhat jargony) terminology. Yes, if it was for an international audience. when you speak English to an international community, you're not speaking UK english or US english, you're speaking international English. Given that several other people have gone to the effort of learning an entirely different language so that they can speak with each other (and you), imo you should be expected to slightly modify your mother toungue to make it easyer for them.
  5. But, e.g., the entire point of a constitution is in recognition that a bigoted majority may try to suppress a minority. Surely, in at least some matters, you need to legislate to enforse the constitution (or, iow, in order to enforce whatever it is that you've descided that a bigoted majority shouldn't be allowed to do to a minority)? But sometimes a freedom needs to be sacraficed in order to preserve another freedom (i.e. freedom of prejudice vs. freedom from suppression). The legislature is designed to prevent people from using social/business set-ups in order to engineer a society they want (i.e., sans pooftahs). And, while i agree that a country should only legislate on things that are direclty harmful, i wasn't aware that this was a particularly well-established modus operandi of the american govournment? Not entirely sure about discrimination being subjective... I kinda agree, and admit that it would have worsened the case if there had been legislature preventing people from discriminating against slave-owners by witholding buisness... hmm... otoh, i kinda have a problem with the idea that 'gay people shouldn't be suppressed by society' is 'subjective'... hmmmmm....
  6. mayhaps we should mirror ~/forums/ onto something else like ~/imreallyworking ? although, if it's just a regex match for 'forums' i suppose the fact we're called scienceforums would get us blocked?
  7. Whilst I agree with the sentiments, the problem with allowing people to discriminate is that they will. What if too many people decide that they want to refuse treatment to a group such that that group has difficulty in finding treatment? otoh, I suppose there'd be nothing wrong with oblijing a doctor to provide, but not neccesarily perform, the treatment, thus allowing him to reffer if possible but obligating him to perform if no-one else is available to do it? in fact, i don't see how you could even prevent that from happening (as swansont said, the doctor should have kept his motives quiet). ParanoiA: wasn't discrimination like that allowed in 1920's america? and didn't black people actually not benifit that much from it?
  8. Dak


    umm... A,B,C = elements a,b,c = mass of said elements x,y,z = number of atoms M = mass of molecule so, a molecule consisting of elements A and B will have a mass of xa + yb. H2O weighs 2 * mass of H + 1 * mass of O i think is what he's saying...
  9. but there are possible extreme outcomes of GW, and we should bear them in mind (whilst also bearing their unlikelyhood in mind). every single genuinely scientific resource i've heard has always highlighted these as an extreme (and unlikely) worst-case scenario, so i don't see the problem tbh.
  10. from what i remember, niquotine is addictive because it's an analogue to a neuro-regulator. pioneer, what indicates a selective benifit to tobacco addiction? the 50% allele frequency of these factors that contribute to tobacco addiction?
  11. is there any evidence that latex intolerance (or intolerance to the pill, etc) is on the increase? I'm thinking that if there's a genetic basis, there should be some kind of reproductive benifit to having a harder time using contraception, but i can't find any papers on it.
  12. unless people generally die of lung cancer after they've bred, in which case it would be relatively neutral, or it's mass smoking is simply too recent a phenomena to have had a noticeable effect yet.
  13. lol. i drew, but mine wasn't quite as simple (took ages to find the right positioning): http://FantasticContraption.com/?designId=266503 beatcha http://FantasticContraption.com/?designId=266848
  14. umm... that's still a bit more complicated than neccesary: http://FantasticContraption.com/?designId=266644 I can do a couple in 2 pieces (including the red piece), and most the early ones in 3 or 4 (couldn't sleep last night).
  15. if the earth and moon were increasing in size (mass? cant be arsed to watch all the videos tbh) wouldn't that slow down their spin, preventing them from becoming tidally locked?
  16. is it something to do with light 'blurring' (diffusing?) as it passes through the atmosphere at an angle?
  17. Motor Daddy has been perma-banned, for pretty much the same reasons as above. Unless it was one of the mods who changed his avitar to a picture of a troll, we probably should have banned him earlier tbh
  18. it's only being suggested for the crackpot loonies and trolls
  19. mine doesn't... I can tell that the first one's a '1', but the other two look the same.
  20. heh, i nearly did a sentance like that as an example, but it just annoyed me too much so i deleted it. only thing i'd disagree with is the capitals: they're usually redundant. following a full-stop, or being a proper noun, is usually enough imo.
  21. couple ideas: would take a bit of moderator work, but how about a second thread where only the relevent stuff goes, which is locked and manually has posts copied over from the main (crap) thread? to use mooey's example: MotorDaddy asks a vaguely strawmanish question. COPIED TO THREAD 2 SFNers answer. COPIED TO THREAD 2 MotorDaddy straw-mans the answer to fit his imaginative view of physics. SFNers correct him and point out the strawman. MotorDaddy claims his first question wasn't answered. SFNers take more time and effort to bring forth multiple accounts of citations. COPIED TO THREAD 2 MotorDaddy claims everything is wrong, all publications, all scientists, all methods of science, all methods of physics -- other than his own, uncited, imaginative version of physics. SFNers argue he is wrong and supply the answer. MotorDaddy ignores the answer and asks the same first question under a different phrasing, pretending it was never addressed. And the cycle continues, more or less the same, for 58 posts. (ANY THAT CONTAIN UNIQUE POINTS COPIED TO THREAD 2) so, thread 2 should consist of, say: MotorDaddy asks a vaguely strawmanish question. SFNers answer. SFNers take more time and effort to bring forth multiple accounts of citations. thus forcing MD to actually use unique, non-repetitive and valid points in order to get them included in the 'main' post. then the original thread gets put into a forum called 'crap' or simply deleted? maybe? idea 2: declare a 'high-mod' mode, where a thread gets mercilessly moderated and any and all repetition, logical fallicies, etc get stripped out, along with any replies to said repetition/etc, thus keeping the amount of crap down? just to be used for the percistant crackpots? btw, we could totally do with something like this for certain discussions on GW, if someone wants a 'follow-the-rules' conversation.
  22. the fact that it comes on the end of a paragraph kinda implies that it's the end of the sentance, thus removing the need for a full-stop stuff like that doesn't bother me, because it doesn't really detract from the understandableness. the rules of the 'inglish langwij' are dumb, and i don't blame anyone who can't get them down to pat (espescially as they may well be foreighn, english being the linga franca and all), and, anyway, the only hope we'll have of fixing our spelling system is if people rebel against the dumbest aspects of it. otoh, if someone, say, just can't be arsed with commas then that's pretty damn annoying.
  23. hmm... doesn't that mean mr/mrs (san), lord (sama), and young female kid (chan)?
  24. In british english, you'd tend to generally put any kind of wierd emphasis on the sentance, along with randomly altering the pronunciation of words. 'is the ground wet' (when it's raining): well, ob-vee-arse-lee no, what-with-it-not-rai-ning-right-now, and rain-not-being-made-out-of-wa-tar-which-def-in-aet-lee-isn't-wet. or as in american, but possibly with elongation more likely than emphasis ('no, he neeeeeeeever gets angry'), or completley dead-pan. at least, that's what i'm used to.
  25. just out of interest, how does diliberately posting porn violate our hazmat rules? was it tubgirl?
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