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dmc515

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About dmc515

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  1. dmc515

    The Answer is (allegedly) Sex Robots

    I think these are the entirely wrong perspectives. Plenty of sexually active people become porn addicts. Many of them are even attractive. Hell, I know in certain relationships I got bored and preferred porn, it's human nature. Objecting to the current state of internet porn isn't about being "prude," it's about it's omnipresence, accessibility to children, and escalation of appetites. And the beer analogy is useful: look at DC - that city is filled with people that have developed a culture in which when you're not working, you're drinking, and oftentimes both. The result? It has the highest percentage of heavy drinkers in the country.
  2. dmc515

    U.S. Politics; Who Watches the Watchers?

    Yeah teaching at community college really disturbed me, albeit it's fair to clarify this was in Florida. The amount of impromptu lectures I'd have to do was exhausting, and ranged from what was the cause of the Civil War to how to lease a car. In terms of educational attainment, the US is empirically becoming more educated.* However, while a third of the country may have a bachelor's degrees now, that makes me really worried for the other two thirds. Undergrad is a joke, my problem with it was literally because it was easier than the very good high school I was privileged to go to. But, I suspect (hope?) that the correlation between having a bachelor's and knowing the three branches of govt is pretty high. It's just the standards have been lowered - undergrad is now what used to be high school, and K-12 is something else entirely. * That link also reports the racial disparity in obtaining a bachelor's - 56% white, 37% Asian, 23% Black, 16% Hispanic. But, damn that affirmative action!
  3. dmc515

    U.S. Politics; Who Watches the Watchers?

    LOL, well played.
  4. dmc515

    U.S. Politics; Who Watches the Watchers?

    Well, sure, that depends on your standards. I'm fine with looking for the respondents that simply "get the gist of it." You leave it open-ended and people get nervous. Even if they're entirely aware of SCOTUS, there's a tendency for respondents to overthink it and say something like "the president, the House, and the Senate." ETA: @Tywin et al. - I think it'd be interesting to see how many named executive/legislative/judicial as opposed to their official titles as well. And that data is usually there and (good) researchers will even report it. Problem is most publishers don't care about such a distinction, they just wanna see the pie chart.
  5. dmc515

    The Answer is (allegedly) Sex Robots

    This. I've tended to roll my eyes at the apparent effect of internet porn, but it really is a drastic change from magazines or jacking off in the shower. I'm about the perfect age wherein I hit puberty just as the industry became so accessible, but I can't imagine what 12-year-old me would be like if what's available now was then. Something like: It's probably the worst atomistic force of the internet, and my prior would definitely be it causes much more violent behavior from men.
  6. dmc515

    U.S. Politics; Who Watches the Watchers?

    Yeah was just looking at it myself. The item is indeed open-ended, specifically: I still wonder what the researchers qualified as a correct answer. @Yukle may be entirely right that "courts" or "Congress" were deemed incorrect. Dunno what I'd do about "cabinet." That seems, like, half-correct (as would "bureaucracy," or even "president"), which is why you do multiple choice in the first place!
  7. dmc515

    U.S. Politics; Who Watches the Watchers?

    This reminds me of a judicial politics seminar a few years back. We were scrutinizing a study that found a certain (very high) percentage of respondents could not identify who the head of the Supreme Court was. I don't recall exactly the details, but the researcher(s) had imposed a very stringent standard - as in, the answer "Chief Justice of the Supreme Court" was not correct because the official title has been "Chief Justice of the United States" since Salmon Chase in 1866. That's ridiculous - none of us in the seminar knew that beforehand, expecting one's subjects to is clear manipulation of responses. So, anyway, the point of that seminar and this post is yes, irresponsible or otherwise-motivated pollsters can often generate what they're looking for if they act in bad faith. That's why academic researchers prefer survey items that at least give the respondent cues, or aren't open ended. Best way to do that is multiple choice, i.e.: "Who is the current Chief Justice of the United States?" Anthony Kennedy Paul Ryan John Roberts Stephen Breyer
  8. dmc515

    HBO's Westworld VII: Abort?.Retry.Fail

    I think your disappointment is generally well-founded, but this is not what I got from the fourth episode. Rather, I think it's pretty clear Ford at least has "cracked" any issues, and it's entirely possible William has as well and either is withholding it from the Delos-bot or actually regrets it (and that's what he's seeking to destroy in this final "mission").
  9. dmc515

    U.S. Politics; Who Watches the Watchers?

    Well, for one thing, the election hasn't happened yet. Congressionally it doesn't "so often" happen - the party that's won a plurality has also controlled the House all but two times since 1952: 1996 - in which the Dems won by 60,000 votes but only took 207 seats - and 2012, when the Dems won by a more substantial 1.2 percent but only took 201 seats. The individual races still look good, gonna wait for the results before I grab my pickaxe - no matter how hot and bothered Nate Silver's sexily weighted numbers get me.
  10. dmc515

    U.S. Politics; Who Watches the Watchers?

    Yes, that's the point. There has always been at least one party that caters to exacerbating the poor's racial resentment, often in the guise of "individualism." And in the process, capitalizes on the economic implications of "individualism" and perpetuates inequality.
  11. dmc515

    U.S. Politics; Who Watches the Watchers?

    While I agree that America's rather unique individualism plays a role here, I think Tocqueville would have something to say about it only being a recent phenomenon.
  12. I hope not. "Everyone is a host" is approaching "everyone is a Targaryen" levels. I do think the fourth episode heavily suggested there is a host-Ford out there, and I suppose it's entirely possible Arnold gave him that red superball earlier and they're messing with the timelines. But, I think if the explanation for Maeve's new abilities is anything tangible (as opposed to her just being Neo), I'd hope it'd be something like "she unwittingly was able to hack into Ford's code that he used to control hosts and used it through the mesh network." In that case, she'd simply be using the same thing human Ford did to ensure absolute control of his creations.
  13. Yeah my brother yelled the same thing at the TV when this happened - "how can they hear him?!?" This does jive with Ford repeatedly emphasizing the hosts needed to suffer in order to evolve in the first season.
  14. dmc515

    U.S. Politics; Who Watches the Watchers?

    If Clinton had won and the Dems taken the Senate, they would have gotten rid of the filibuster if only because the GOP would have forced them to. They refused to even meet with Garland, obviously they would have filibustered any nominee. No matter how the election shook out, the cloture vote for SCOTUS nominees was a dead-procedural-rule-walking once the GOP refused to vote on Garland. Really, it was inevitable once Reid killed it for lower-court nominees in 2013. As for Dems refusing to play "hardball," I don't think that's necessarily true. Not only was Reid the first one to actually activate the "nuclear option," but barely anybody knew what reconciliation was until the Dems used it to pass part of the ACA. The problem is the Dems tend to wring their hands about playing institutional hardball, and look guilty afterwards because of it.
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