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  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    BTW, to pretty much everyone posting here: does the phrase "self-fulfilling prophecy" ring a bell? Fear isn't the only thing that will make you stupid; depression does just as well....
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    Or as Iain Banks put it: "[We] live in a society that substitutes sentimentality for compassion." But I wouldn't be so quick to call it sentimental and foolish if it makes people's lives a bit more liveable. No, it won't...
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    On a tangentially related note, I wonder if this is why people are so cynical about space travel right now. What's the point of colonizing Mars if 80% of people will still be living in slums?...
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    Thanks for capping an otherwise decent day with a nice dose of depressing realism... ;) But yes. The system we live under - well, the one I live under in the 'States anyway - is thoroughly corrupt and self-serving, and...
  • Commented on I get books
    Ha, I thought my cat was the only one who liked chewing on books. (Well, magazines too... anything paper... And cardboard. She cannot be gotten away from cardboard boxes.) Also, D'AWWWW KITTY MEW MEW...
  • Commented on The latest Hugo awards storm
    Do I smell rationalization? A big part of the problem IMO is that evolutionary psychology nutters are halfway correct; just not in the way they think. Human evolution has favored behavior on part of normal males that is objectifying, antisocial,...
  • Commented on The latest Hugo awards storm
    I would like to see some real statistics on that. IIRC at least one woman out of every eight has been sexually assaulted at some point in her life; some estimates are more like one in three... And remember that,...
  • Commented on The latest Hugo awards storm
    Problem is that a woman can attract predators just by being a woman, and in the wrong place at the wrong time. Not being in the wrong place at the wrong time is impossible unless you want to lead a...
  • Commented on The latest Hugo awards storm
    Agreed, understood... And excellent quote. I'll have to remember that one. I've just noticed some cases where words like "vile," "disgusting," and "odious" are slung at others with what seems like little thought. I realize people are angry - rightfully...
  • Commented on The latest Hugo awards storm
    I've noticed a thread here (and elsewhere) that kind of bothers me. On the one hand: "Privilege blinds you to your own wrongdoings." On the other: "If you do wrong in privilege, you're an awful person." Seems to me that...
  • Commented on The Singularity Is Further Than It Appears
    BTW I just finished skimming through R. Scott Bakker's Neuropath. (Will actually read the whole thing some other time, right now I need to remain somewhat functional.) Anyway it strikes me that it's much easier to alter the way we...
  • Commented on The Singularity Is Further Than It Appears
    @Sean Eric Fagan: I was under the impression that a Turing machine was an "algorithmically consistent symbolic logic processor"? In which case it would not be sufficient to run a human brain simulation... I guess. @Oren: I've always figured that...
  • Commented on The Singularity Is Further Than It Appears
    Okay, I am a layperson, but... wait a minute, please. a) You wrote: One proof of Godel's Second Incompleteness Theorem involves the construction of a logical proposition that is self-evidently true, yet cannot be constructed by any algorithmically consistent symbolic...
  • Commented on Commercial interlude
    Reading the Laundry novels and short stories, I tend to feel like they're set in different universes. The Jennifer Morgue, Pimpf, and now Equoid feel a lot more tongue-in-cheek than the others, despite the often very dark content. I know...
  • Commented on PSA: Ignore the news
    Ah, I was wondering why one of my posts didn't appear. Tiptoeing on eggshells it shall be. (And my apologies to Charlie.) I do wonder what it is lately with all the apparently peaceable guys snapping violently....
  • Commented on PSA: Ignore the news
    They may be homebrew nutjobs after all; one was a university student, and they'd been here ~10 years last I heard....
  • Commented on PSA: Ignore the news
    Umm... I live in the area. Haven't heard anything about people on the street being treated as criminals. The door to door stuff is to talk with potential witnesses, I don't think they're acting like people might be sheltering the...
  • Commented on PSA: Ignore the news
    Oh, you meant the shooters, not the named men. Sorry. Duh....
  • Commented on PSA: Ignore the news
    Umm, where? I am seeing the names named only on viciously right-wing sites. There is literally nothing anywhere else....
  • Commented on PSA: Ignore the news
    Various rightie websites have been spreading rumors as to the identities of the two bombing suspects, with much associated political baggage. I will not repeat the names they're using here. Just be aware that any names bandied about right now...
  • Commented on Off the Map: Women in Science and Science Fiction
    Privileged != part of the problem. And you know how you can't trust your instincts when dealing with e.g. special relativity? Same can apply to sociology. People have blind spots, sometimes you have to compensate by listening to the evidence...
  • Commented on Off the Map: Women in Science and Science Fiction
    If we can all see this as an essential part of our thinking, to reveal our own biases on sex and/or race, and account for them, like a correction factor. It helps if we can think of it in a...
  • Commented on Off the Map: Women in Science and Science Fiction
    And speaking of mansplaining, what I described in the first post is exactly what the authors did above. Go me....
  • Commented on Off the Map: Women in Science and Science Fiction
    Speaking of bad responses to the ugly truth, I've noticed that articles like this: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/white-men-have-much-to-discuss-about-mass-shootings/2013/03/29/7b001d02-97f3-11e2-814b-063623d80a60_story.html tend to raise a surprising amount of bad sentiment, despite (IMO) making a good point. The "black community" and gang violence sure, but the "white...
  • Commented on Off the Map: Women in Science and Science Fiction
    I would say education, first and foremost. Expose people to the idea that they have ingrained biases, and prove it to them via tests like the above. If they display irritation, indicate that that might be further evidence of their...
  • Commented on Unbreakable (part 1)
    Never saw Sucker Punch. However, re fantasy, I think it's important to recognize that it can have a useful role if you keep it in a straight-jacket. Case in point, science fiction. You could IMO make the point that science...
  • Commented on Unbreakable (part 1)
    In response to the original post: This. Absolutely. Especially the engineering analogies. One of my problems with a good number of SF novels is characters who are supposed to be decent people, but don't show an emotional response to violence....
  • Commented on Understanding Reader Reviews
    Re Iain M. Banks, the last novel of his that I read, Surface Detail, really bothered me - it seemed rather shallow, and even had a cartoonish villainy type. I kept expecting the book to throw me a curveball, and...
  • Commented on Understanding Reader Reviews
    This discussion reminds me of reading Dawn when I was a teenager, and being disgusted with the aliens' views on men. I obviously would have given the book a bad review, had I thought it worth reviewing. (These days I...
  • Commented on Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!
    Uh yeah, that was page 277-278 of the paperback. It's implied (but not stated definitely) as part of Fiore-Reeve's revenge on Mick. (Who is himself a rapist, abuser, and generally disgusting character, but still.) Gods, I'd forgotten how hard to...
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