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Posts posted by DJBruce

  1. Sure, political opinions vary, and its hard to distinguish between a reasonable opinion and an inane one. I wouldn't suggest the moderators should engage in viewpoint discrimination. I would, however, suggest that the politics forum is rife with problems that go well beyond differences in opinion. These include bald assertions used as argument, factual claims that are flat-out wrong, arguments based on well known logical fallacies, arguments with no distinguishable logic to them at all, and versions of events that could generously be categorized as "alternate" history. I'm not sure if its appropriate to post examples here because the posters in question could be reading, but if prodded I could produce them.



    I agree completely when people break the rules by committing any of the things you say they should be punished in some way, and maybe slightly tighter moderation would help with stoping these things. Just out of curiosity is there currently any moderators specifically designated to work in the politics sections? I know Pangloss was very actively moderating the politics section, but I have not seen him around lately.


    My suggestion would be that the ability to open new threads in the politics forum be restricted to those who have demonstrated the ability for reasoned discourse.


    I like this suggestion a lot, however, I wonder if it would just result in post political threads in other forums like the Lounge or something else.

  2. I believe the issue with politics in general is unlike most topics in other areas politics can be, and very often is based on personal beliefs, and however much we may disagree with these often they are just as valid is our own opinions. This means that the area of politics is very difficult to moderate and will often contain discussions that include things that most people consider to be fairly radical and idiotic. So I guess in my opinion the best we can do is moderate the best we can, and except that some of the opinions and ideas said might to us be crazy.

  3. Sexual violence has nothing to do with sexual urges. Rape and molestation and driven by the desire to cause harm -- not act on sex drive.


    I think you are being to black and white here. Yes, many rapes are driven by the desire to cause harm, and are not necessarily because of the rapists sex drive. However, I would contend there is a large number of rapes that are driven by the sexual urges of the rapist. The prime examples that come to my mind are the numerous rapes that occur on college campuses at bars, parties and frat houses where a man purposely intoxicates the women he wants to have sex with so that he knows he can "score" easier. I doubt that most of the frat stars and other students who do this are thinking I am going to get this girl drunk so that I can rape her to cause her harm. It would be much more likely that the man wants to have sex with the women, and wants to improve his chances.

  4. World War I and World War II were incredibly beneficial for the United States in the sense that WWI turned the United States from a nation in debt to the nation people were in debt to, which dramatically shifted the USA's economic standing. WWII basically destroyed the manufacturing capacity of most of those countries in a position to compete with the United States, and so while most of Europe and Asia had to focus on rebuilding American could maintain economic dominance.


    Outside of the obvious benefits to US WWII certainly help accelerate the pass of most fields of science. Furthermore I would suggest that had WWII not happened Hitler may have been able to continue his horrible plans to completion.

  5. Those are the first reasons that come to my mind as well John, however, I would also guess that it does have something with how our society looks at sex and gender roles in general. I would guess that the fact that our culture teaches men from a young age that sex is something that they should want, seek, and that they need to be the ones to initiate things in a relationship certainly plays some role in the mind set of rapists.

  6. ajb, this may be too late to be of help, and it may not provide any help, but I find that I tend to fall into that category right now of knowing enough math to be bored and frustrated by main stream popularizations, but then not advanced enough to jump into the full details of a subject. My advice to you would be to try and give ample motivation behind things you do. Also to some extent I think theorems, proofs, or at least basic sketches of proofs are nice when they are communicated effectively. The only other tip I would recommend is be sure to explain any notation you are using. Its unbelievable frustrating to not understand what a certain thing is because there is very little way to look up symbols effectively, but if you tell your audience what you are doing they can then do some reading on what that operator, variable, or other thing is.


    As for writers I think do a good job with semi-technical writing I think of Spivak -although writing a textbook is different from writing an article, but he does a lovely job building upon things, giving counter-examples, and being fairly funny. I also think Keith Ball does a very job in his "An Introduction to Modern Convex Geometry".

  7. The Federal Appeals court found the proposition violated the States Constitution, which can be corrected with another vote....


    I believe not. The court found Proposition 2 in conflict with the equal protection clause of the US Constitution.


    Our task

    is to determine whether Proposal 2 is constitutional under the Equal Protection Clause

    of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Fortunately, the slate

    is not blank. The Supreme Court has twice held that equal protection does not permit

    the kind of political restructuring that Proposal 2 effected. See Washington v. Seattle

    Sch. Dist. No. 1, 458 U.S. 457 (1982); Hunter v. Erickson, 393 U.S. 385 (1969).

    Applying Hunter and Seattle, we find that Proposal 2 unconstitutionally alters

    Michigan’s political structure by impermissibly burdening racial minorities.



    Here is the court's opinion.

  8. So five years ago Michigan passed Proposition 2, 58% to 42%, which was an iniative that amended Michigan's constitution to include among other things,


    • The University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, and any other public college or university, community college, or school district shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.
    • The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.




    Recently, however, a federal appeals court found Proposition 2 unconstitutional believing that it violated the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment.


    The court took issue with the manner in which the ban was enacted. Because the law amended the state's constitution, only another statewide vote could change it. This created a significant obstacle for minorities who objected to the law to overcome, ruled Judges R. Guy Cole Jr. and Martha Craig Daughtrey."Proposal 2 reorders the political process in Michigan to place special burdens on minority interests," they said.


    The lone dissenting judge, Julia Smith Gibbons, said that Michigan's university system was not structured as part of the "political process" and that faculty members were insulated from political influence.


    "The Michigan voters have therefore not restructured the political process in their state by amending their state constitution; they have merely employed it," Gibbons wrote in her partial dissent.




    So this raises two questions in my mind:


    Should race, gender, ethnicity, etc be used in college admissions?

    Is Proposition 2 constitutional, and should a state be able to outlaw "affirmative action" policies?

  9. I doubt that repealing the 17th amendment to the Constitution will greatly change how senators today act. Just as the electoral college really has fairly little effect on how the president acts. If senators were to be elected by state legislators it would come down to party lines like everything does now days, and so the parties and senators would just turn their campaigning to making sure their guys won the state senate.


    On a different note I kind of feel like you are a little rosy in your analysis of past senates. Don't get me wrong I do not think that our senate is anything special, but in 100 years I bet the outlook will be very different, and probably more positive. For example, you the statesmen you point to were very similar to current senators in that they often looked to patch problems with temporary solutions instead of looking for real solutions to the problems.

  10. There's another reason why this archaeologist/doctor comparison is fallacious: you're leaving out residency, which you've already acknowledged is stressful as hell. Even if we accept your premise that archaeologists spend 4 years in undergrad and 6-7 in graduate school (even though a PhD can be completed in 5), doctors still spend more time in training. A neurosurgery spends 4 years in college, 4 years in medical school, 1 year as a surgical intern, 5 to 6 years as a resident, and often 1-3 years as a fellow in some sub-specialty like pediatric neurosurgery or neurovascular surgery . Even the lowly family physician spends 4 years in college, 4 in medical school and 3 more in residency. That equals even the worst case scenario for training to be an archaeologist and every specialty trains for some amount of time between the 18 years spent preparing to be a nurovascular and the 11 years spent preparing to be a GP.


    I think you are being slightly unfair here in that you are basically comparing the amount of time it will take a doctor to reach roughly their final career position to the amount of time it takes a academic to reach the beginning of their career. If you want a fair comparison I would say that you should compare the time it takes a doctor to finish his fellowship to the amount of time it takes a academic to reach a full tenured professorship. In which case the time commitment would be very similar.

  11. Well, I recently finished my first year of university, and this summer I am:



    -Working to pay for tuition.

    -Attending leadership conferences.

    -Taking a spring course.

    -Doing research through an REU grant.

  12. I'm not familiar with US state laws... but would it make a difference if you carry the knife in the back of the car, or in your pocket (or somewhere else on yourself)?


    I believe so. Although there may not be a specific law for carrying knives, but I know with firearms that are not CCW they are supposed to be in a case in the back of the car, and I would assume similar logic comes into play with a larger knife. Regardless if there is a law or not I would recommend not carrying large knives on you when driving since my bet is that a cop would feel much more comfortable and be much less likely to ticket you if you knife was safely stored in the back in a place where you could not pull it on him.

  13. thank you btw i forgot to say that i am 15 so is it still legal to have it if i am with an adult?


    ASFAIK there is no age restriction on knives. Also to be honest as long as you are being safe and respectful with your knife, and are respectful to the cops they will probably have no problem with you having them when you are fishing. Michigan is quite big into outdoor actives, and cops understand this.

  14. So my dad gave me this bayonet right. and i was wondering if it was illegal to take it with me when i go fishing in the summer (i live in Georgia but fish in Michigan (family live there)).


    all in all

    -is it legal to carry in public


    -can i have it in a car if i drive to Michigan


    Depends. The laws for caring knives in Michigan has to do with the purpose of which you are carrying the knife. For example, if you are caring it for fishing or hunting then you are ok, however, if you are caring it for "protection" or most other reasons then no its illegal. This actually goes for anything that can be classified as a "deadly weapon". For example, I know of people being pulled over and having a baseball bat in their car, and when questioned by the cop they say "they have it for protection", and then the cop gave them a ticket. However, if you keep it in the case and keep it in the back of your car in your fishing bag you should be fine. Just make sure to inform the police that you have the knife if you are pulled over by the police.


    750.227 Concealed weapons; carrying; penalty.


    Sec. 227.


    (1) A person shall not carry a dagger, dirk, stiletto, a double-edged nonfolding stabbing instrument of any length, or any other dangerous weapon, except a hunting knife adapted and carried as such, concealed on or about his or her person, or whether concealed or otherwise in any vehicle operated or occupied by the person, except in his or her dwelling house, place of business or on other land possessed by the person.



    750.226 Firearm or dangerous weapon; carrying with unlawful intent.


    Sec. 226.


    Carrying firearm or dangerous weapon with unlawful intent—Any person who, with intent to use the same unlawfully against the person of another, goes armed with a pistol or other firearm or dagger, dirk, razor, stiletto, or knife having a blade over 3 inches in length, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument, shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years or by a fine of not more than 2,500 dollars.



  15. So for those of you who have identified a specialty how did you come to find that specialty? Did you find an interesting problem that then lead you to that field? Did you notice that your skills were more applicable to a certain area? Or did you just take a course that really interested you?

  16. What can governments do to help stop it? Are they doing enough to stop it?


    Besides not condoning it there is nothing a government can or should do. A government cannot dictate the emotions of people, and so all they should do is not condone the behavior.



    Will Islamophobia ever stop?

    The more general question is will xenophobia always exist? In my opinion probably not.


  17. But wouldn't that be like saying that from any vantage point, the distance to redshift-disappearance was closer or further relative to other moments? I mean, you could say that the universe is presently inflating/expanding at faster than the speed of light at a scale beyond observable redshift-horizon, couldn't you? In that case, distance would always spread faster than light at some scale or other.

    Not really sure about the exact sure this, I just know that the phrase 36grit used is a common explanation in popular science books and shows.


    Are you referring to the OP with "you?" or something I wrote in another thread?

    Completely at the OP. By no means meant you lemur; sorry that I was unclear there.

  18. I personally think the easiest way to think about this is by looking at the math. So by Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation for a two bodies of mass [math]m_{1}[/math] and [math]m_{2}[/math] the force between the two bodies is:


    So if you consider want to see how fast a body would fall you would say:

    [math]v_{1}=v_{0}+at=v_{0}+\frac{F}{m_{1}}t=v_{0}+\frac{\frac{Gm_{1}m_{2}}{r^{2}}}{m_{1}}=\frac{Gm_{2}}{r^{2}}t+v_{0}[/math] so we see that regardless of the mass of the object falling the acceleration is independent of the mass of the falling body. This is because although a large body, like the sun has a much larger force acting on it because of its large mass it needs a bigger force to move it.


    Also it is key to note that Newton's Law is reciprocal in that it states the force of gravity is equal in magnitude for both objects. Think Newtons third law ie: equal and opposite forces. So this means that the force of gravity exerted by the sun on the Earth is the same as the force exerted by the Earth on the Sun.


    Hope this helps.

  19. This could be a stupid idea, but has a journal ever consider installing a rating system? I was thinking of something all the lines of having groups of registered users that consists of people with some level of credibility, and these users could use a simple rating system- like a 5 star system- to rate a paper they have read. I know this would by no means be a great system, but it might provide administrators with a better understanding of what your peers think of your work. This would subvert the current method of using citations as a level of quality.

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