commented on Ron Paul Think Tank Executive Director Is a Crimea Truther
I'm amazed there are people who actually believe that the majority of Crimeans didn't want to join Russia. I think the Crimean secession is fucking idiotic, but I don't think that popular support for it has been manufactured. After all, a good majority of Crimeans have always supported strongly pro-Russian candidates for the Ukrainian parliament. And, if I recall correctly, Crimeans MPs were advocating for Ukraine to join a new federation with Russia, Belarus, and some other states a few years back.
commented on Fifteen Years Left Before Machines Outsmart You
Wow, such a stupid fucking argument in this thread. There is a marked difference between colonies on the moon and flying cars, on the one hand, and computers with greater processing capacity than the human brain, on the other. The former concerns not just technological capacity (which, by the way, we probably have the technology) but also overarching logistical issues. The latter, and the subject of Kurzweil's prognostication, represents nothing more than the likely march of technological advancement. We already have early quantum computers that are capable of delivering incredible processing power, likely well beyond the capabilities of the human brain. While these are currently somewhat theoretical at worst and fairly rudimentary at best, the clear trend line and likely development is toward exactly what Kurzweil is predicting here. This isn't a half baked article by some geeky 30 year old in a 1950s issue of Popular Science. This is one of the leading voices in technology, and he's talking about something that isn't all that novel. We all know this development is coming. The tough part is knowing when and 15 years sounds pretty reasonable from where I'm sitting.
Nov 25, 2013
commented on Morning After Pill Deemed Ineffective for Average-Sized Women
This is going to be a fairly controversial post, and I want to make sure that I lead off by saying that I want nothing to do with body-shaming, so please try to put this post in the proper context instead of becoming needlessly defensive.
I cannot read a post like this and not see apologism for personally and socially destructive behavior. According to research on diabetes, heart disease, and other weight-related illnesses, a healthy weight for a woman who is 5'4" (average female height in the US) is 110-144 pounds. If a woman of average height weighs 165 pounds, she is not a healthy weight, even if she is of "average" weight in America. According to the AMA, "average" weight American women are actually overweight and, as @5 noted, on the verge of obesity. Unless they have a physical condition that causes weight gain, such as a thyroid malfunction, an "average" woman is not only hurting herself, but she is also likely contributing to harmful environmental conditions. I mean, how many times has this Blog called America out for being a resource hog? Personal consumption, particularly of unhealthy foods, is one of the most significant aspects of America's significant overuse of resources. As a society we should figure out how to give positive encouragement for women (and all people, for that matter) to achieve a healthy weight.
To put my message in relief: This Blog, and the left-leaning community as a whole (of which I consider myself a part) has no problem encouraging modification of "average" behavior, such as shopping at Amazon or Walmart, to take an example off of the front page of this blog. I mean, people who shop at Amazon and Walmart are taking advantage of cheaper prices and convenient shopping opportunities, they are not putting in the extra effort to support their own best interest and the community around them. This, to me, is no different than a person who eats poorly. And while I hardly think it helpful to shame people who struggle with their weight, I cannot endorse a position that those who are an "average"--and unhealthy--weight should get positive reinforcement for their bad decisions, whereas those who choose to shop at Amazon or Walmart should not.