Recent posts by vikaTae on Kongregate

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Topic: Serious Discussion / United States laws "Utah Shame" Edition

Originally posted by donseptico:

The point of a minimum sentence (whatever that might be… incarceration, probation, community service, fines, etc) is that it’s the starting point treating every offender the same for the same offence… obviously the level at which the minimum sentence is set should be appropriate to the offence in question.

Exactly. It’s a guide for the judge. It’s there to ensure that those who commit a similar crime, no matter who they are, or where they are, or who is judging them, get a similar sentence. It’s a starting point for the base crime itself. Other elements that make the crime worse or compound it somehow are then added on top – up to a maximum sentence length that cannot be exceeded.

There are other potential uses which could be interesting, such as mandating a particular minimum amount of therapy or rehabilitation for the prisoner after committing a given redeemable crime. It would ensure everyone got at least the same minimum chance to better themselves and to overcome whatever fault led to the crime in the first place.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / United States laws "Utah Shame" Edition

Yes, I did. It wasn’t relevant to what you were claiming he was stating, so I didn’t bother including it in the quote. I actually agree with what he’s saying, in that mandatory minimums are there as exactly what they say – a minimum sentence you can get for a given type of crime. They’re a benchmark for the judge. The judge can offer sentencing no lower, but they can go higher if they wish to.

What don was saying, is that there is doubt that the minimum sentence for this particular crime was fair. It could well be lower. That would also give the court more room to decide what sentence on top of that the defendent should serve. In this case he got extra time due in part, to his decision to bring a firearm along whilst engaged in business he absolutely knew to be criminal.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Pay2Win: Great business model or immoral exploitation of the easily addicted and children?

Technically Pay2Win is a great business model. It is so precisely because it exploits those with a penchant for addiction and guarantees a sizable return on investment for not a lot of work. Business is impartial, business is unemotional. ‘Good business’ operates regardless of the effects it has on the customer, so long as that customer keeps right on paying.

Yes, this also means from a business point of view, selling dope also counts as good business. The profits far outweigh the costs, though there are some risks involved. Once hooked, you have guaranteed return business, and once they are good and addicted, you can provide a lower and lower quality product, but still charge the same price – and your customers will keep right on paying.

In many ways the two business models are very similar.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / United States laws "Utah Shame" Edition

Originally posted by urine420:

I don’t want to be accused of mod sass, but donseptico seems to have a real case of just world fallacy. The idea that the legal system is infallible and doesn’t disproportionately victimise certain classes of people, or that government (especially in america lol) doesn’t do its hardest to marginalise the views of large portions of society…

It helps if you actually read what don said, and don’t overlay your own agendas on top of that before processing it.

Originally posted by donseptico:

I don’t really have a problem with the concept of mandatory minimum sentences (nor maximum terms)… whether or not said sentence is proportionate to the crime is another matter.

Assuming the sentences are to be served consecutively (hence 55years) that does seem a little excessive

He agrees that it is excessive, and by it being excessive, he is actually pointing out a problem with the system that automatically destroys your claim that he feels it is infalible.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Greek Elections Jan 2015

Not unless outside force intervenes, no.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Greek Elections Jan 2015

Reading that link, it seems to be based round the Greeks closing down their version of the BBC and firing everybody involved, so they could save money. I’m not sure where the occupation angle comes in?

There was a lot of slippery slope hyperbole about Greece being the ‘testing ground’ for a jackboot invasion that would sweep across Europe, but I’m not seeing the connection between the two?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Human Stupidity

Intelligence is basically problem solving ability. The ability to take disparate pieces of a puzzle or situation, recognise the pattern they fit into and extrapolate what to do next from that pattern. It may draw on memory, and on sensory data, but it’s not the memory or sensory data itself.

IQ is essentially logical problem solving ability. A person with a high IQ will be able to identify the pattern much more quickly than a person with a low IQ. The low IQ may get there in the end, but it will take more time and they are more likely that the high IQ to not realise that some data is actually part of the puzzle. It doesn’t really get any murkier when a puzzle requires elements of knowledge to solve, because the IQ is still the bit taking all known data and looking for the connections. A test that focusses on specific knowledge may register the IQ as lower, but a test that does not rely such, soon solves this.

EQ is essentially emotional mangement and people skills. The ability to read people, and puzzle out how to interact with them for the best results. It’s very different from IQ, and involves different brain areas. It’s a knack for feeling out emotions and emotion-driven arguments rather than logical thinking, and how to best utilise them in oneself and in other people.

The two styles of intelligence are radically different, and they don’t think alike at all. They even draw from different areas of the brain; when viewed under a fMRI scan which is able to track activation of brain areas by the increase (or decrease) in oxygen they draw from the blood, a person with a mostly IQ-based intelligence has their prefrontal cortex light up like a christmas tree, whilst their medial temporal lobe stays mostly silent, when they are scanned whilst thinking hard.

A person with a high EQ but low IQ is the opposite. Whilst they are thinking hard, even on the same subject as the first person, their medial temporal lobe is aglow, whilst the prefrontal cortex is only nominally active. These two brain regions do not abut one another, and the person is literally using different hardware in their brain when they work things out.

A person with an actual kinesthetic intelligence would have to have their parietal lobe light up like a christmas tree whenever they are thinking hard, trying to solve a problem. That’s the area of the cortex where muscular control and proprioception is dealt with. They’d literally have to be using their muscles to think, and I frankly cannot see how that would work.

I can see what you’re saying as kinesthetic learning, but learning how to move the body is a different thing to working out how to solve a problem. Surely even when they’re looking at a new trick, they’re thinking spatially, and trying to logically reason out how they would move their body.

Surely that would come under IQ rather than being a separate type?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Human Stupidity

Karma:

Pardon me for trying to set up a discussion with you, Karma. I didn’t need the google link, I wished for your definition, and was trying to bring your socioeconomic argument back into the main topic.


Pete:

Originally posted by petesahooligan:

The typology of intelligence, according to this theory, includes:

1. Visual-Spatial
2. Rhythm-Harmony
3. Verbal-Linguistic
4. Mathematical
5. Kinesthetic
6. Interpersonal (emotional intelligence)
7. Intrapersonal (self-awareness)
8. Naturalistic (environmental interpretation)
9. Existential (spiritual sensitivity)

I can agree with parts of this. For example, emotional intelligence or EQ is already widely accepted as a type of intelligence.

How would you have a kinesthetic intelligence though? It’s a type of learning in context.
There are three main learning styles:

Auditory
Spatial
Kinesthetic

There are also four sub-styles, which I won’t address here unless you think it necessary.

Everyone has a mix of all three, but usually specialise to a far higher degree in one or two of them. However, they’re a measurement of how you best draw information into your mind, as an individual. I don’t think it’s possible to have a touch-based intelligence?

Likewise I don’t think you could categorise natural or existential as a type of intelligence. A mode of thought certainly, but are they really a discrete type of thinking, completely different from the other types?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Greek Elections Jan 2015

Originally posted by cromagin2:

How long will the Germans and the Japanese pay for their ancestors mistakes during WW2? The people alive now in those countries did not commit the crimes.

Some did, and we’re still only 1-2 generations removed from those who fought, on all sides. Meaning many of those in their adulthood now have heard war stories from the direct participants. Perhaps more importantly, many of the current adults in Greece will have heard those stories second, or even firsthand. It takes much longer than 70 years for an event to fade completely from living memory, and if the Germans do have to repossess Greece’s physical assets, they’ll be doing so in that light.

I can see opposition forming for no other reason than the (probably unfounded) belief the Germans are looking to expand their empire again. Enough belief like that is circulating among the populations of the UK certainly, that should the Germans go in to basically asset-sieze, the reaction could be profoundly negative from all countries, not just Greece.

Any such asset-seizure thus would I believe have to be done by a pan-European force, just to make it clear that it’s not the Germans ‘acting out’ once again, but something in the interest of all EU member states.

One thing I do wonder, based on Beauval’s earlier assessment, is what the long-term solution could be. Would a friendly ‘occupation’ actually be necessary? Using foreign (to Greece) politicians and civil servants imposed upon them by the EU, to weed out the worst of the corruption and get things flowing smoothly, possibly for the first time. That would not go down well, displacing an elected government to install another in its place. But it may be the only realistic solution to bring Greece out of the endemic political and beaurocratic corruption that caused the problem in the first place.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Human Stupidity

What is the “average joe” whilst we’re on that topic? It applies equally as well to intelligence as it does socioeconomic ability which you’re talking about, Karma.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Human Stupidity

That’s not stupidy though; it’s opportunistic activity meant to benefit the person, combined with a moral code that considers it ok to do such, or in some cases sheer desperation. If anything, it requires considerable mental agility and problem solving skills to be able to react on the fly to such situations; not lose your nerve and not get caught.

They are issues to be addressed, but they’re not directly related to a person’s intellgence.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / United States laws "Utah Shame" Edition

Originally posted by RollerCROWster:

Also, there is literally no difference between having a weapon for self defense and intending to go on a shooting spree!!!!

The difference was he took the firearm with him whilst knowingly committing a crime. The firearm was there to back up his criminal activities, rather than as normal self-defence. It makes a world of difference.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Anyone got experience with wills and probate (uk law)?

Originally posted by cromagin2:

Why not ask on a forum based in the UK, instead of one based in the United States? You might get more advice and better advice.

You state you don’t live in the US either, cro. So by your own argument, what are you doing here?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Sleep apnea

I certainly was not aware of any such effort, and would not support such. Mental illnesses run the gamut from the easily curable, and easily treatable, right up to full blown psychosis and instability – covering everything in-between.

Not being able to own a gun after having any sort of mental illness is directly akin to no-longer being allowed to drive a car, because you once caught a cold. It’s complete nonsense. Unless the mental condition is going to directly affect your ability to use a firearm, then I cannot ever see it passing.

Sometimes yes, there is a link that can be made; like how with sleep apnea you’d often find your right to drive being taken away if the apnea was quite severe, as you become less able to concentrate, and that translates directly into you being a danger when operating a vehicle or complex machinery. But if there’s no link to be made, then there’s no justification for the ban.

Besides, in this case it is Jhco’s wife, not Jhco himself who would be affected, if it was even relevant. It’s up to him to weigh in on whether or not this is factoring into his decision, but I see no reason why it should.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Creating Change in Your Community

Meh, very likely. But it still lacks that visual ‘punch’ or mainstream ‘cool’ factor that Pete’s has. Don’t take me wrong, I’d rather stick with what I do than have his job, but I do envy his vocation’s ability to whip up public support so easily.

With my stuff, it has to be a sizable improvement on the last model to gain public interest, and will have to be very close to the technical capabilities of the original to get that real public ‘wowza’ factor, but with his work all the change is social rather than technical, so every job he does adds to the wave of public support in ways nobody in my sort of work could ever hope to match.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Creating Change in Your Community

Originally posted by petesahooligan:

There are all kinds of change-makers working across the world. Here’s a video one of my colleagues just sent me a few minutes ago that I think represents the vitality, creativity, and spirit of skatepark advocacy.

Certainly beats sitting in a workshop, with a pair of osciloscopes, a copy of the patient’s scan data and a CAD/CAM program running in front of you, in terms of ‘exciting change’ :P

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / The school lunch problem in the USA.

Amusingly cro, Jhco’s often said that if you don’t support American values, you are Anti-American. One primary American value is freedom, and that freedom is defended by our military. Much of the reason this act was put into place was that our military’s top brass was growing concerned about the problem of 1 in 4 Americans being too obese to serve in the military.

So, if I was being snarky, I could say that by Jhco not supporting an act to try and slim Americans down so that more can defend American freedom and values, Jhco himself is being Anti-American. If I was being snarky, I could indeed say that. Yes indeedy…

Source for the military concern

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Sleep apnea

It’s the same on both sides of the Atlantic, cro. It is however slowly improving on this side, as more high-profile individuals admit they need treatment of one kind or another. Still, as with any illness, when you’re aware something is wrong, why not try to get it rectified?

After all, nobody who isn’t a health professional even has to know, and the benefits to your health are clear.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Sleep apnea

If she suffers from chronic anxiety and depression, why not arrange a visit with the doc? That can be assessed and treated to manage the depression, you know. She’s comfort eating, and other solutions including therapy and antidepressants can help break that cycle.

Much as I loathe it, it sounds like CBT might actually help in her case.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / The school lunch problem in the USA.

Originally posted by jhco50:

And you know this how Vika?

I actually read the law. I posted a link so you can read it too.

Schools were pressured to accept these programs with tax money, subsidies.

Which can only be spent on the program itself, no other aspect of the school may benefit from the money. That’s also codified into the law. The subsidy is only to be used for the food, so that more expensive, healthier food can be purchased without the school taking a loss.

They were to make up any shortfall with money they got from students.

That would be illegal. If they break the law they can expect to be punished.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / The school lunch problem in the USA.

Originally posted by cromagin2:

I said it in a spooky voice to myself right now and it did not sound scary.

Jhco equates socialism with communism. He always has, despite the difference having been pointed out to him dozens of times over the years. He then further equates communism with the USSR and the red menace, something to be feared and to be fought against.

So he's against socialism, because he sees it as a menace to the American way of life. It has been pointed out to him that yes, a good many components of the American way of life are socialist in nature, but he never listens. In his mind, socialism = evil Russian menace, and I doubt that will ever change.


Originally posted by jhco50:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/11/24/students-are-blaming-michelle-obama-for-their-gross-school-lunches/

The meals provided are up to the schools themselves. Nobody forced them to participate. They chose to participate and they chose their own meals. Ironically the act provides additional finances for the school, specifically to increase the quality of the meals. That money is not supposed to be spent anywhere else but on the meals. Looks like a few schools are pocketing the extra money and using it elsewhere - against federal law. The problem then lies with those school administrations, not with the act.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/11/22/thanksmichelleobama-school-lunches-pictures-twitter/19415567/

Exactly the same story as the one above. Exactly the same pictures, exactly the same problem. Looks like the exact same individual schools were involved - what a surprise.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelzarrell/teens-are-sarcastically-tweeting-thanksmichelleobama-with-th#.rmJrJAvRl

Same story, with an update:

The USDA defended their guidelines in a statement to BuzzFeed News, claiming the students’ photos “do not fully reflect the full range of choices students are provided.”

This is perfectly true. The meal provision is down to the individual school. If they sign up for the scheme, they get additional funds which are explicitly to only be used on increasing the quality of the food. All participant schools get these additional funds. The ones that aren't using those funds to actually increase the quality of their meals are the problem, not the scheme itself.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/mar/6/1m-kids-stop-school-lunch-due-michelle-obamas-stan/?page=all

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a wide-ranging audit of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act nutrition standards last week, finding 48 out of 50 states faced challenges complying with Mrs. Obama’s Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act.

What a pity it's a CHOICE and there is NO FORCED PARTICIPATION, eh? Kinda makes that whole sensationalist article completely worthless. If a school doesn't wish to comply with the scheme They. Don't. Have. To. Nobody is forcing them to comply. It's opt-in only.

Just to drive the point home, here is a link to the actual law which I'm certain you Jhco, have never even looked at. (PDF)

Note: The section regarding obestity starts on page 32, to avoid having to wade through paragraphs on free meal provision, nutritional suppliments, and child hunger.

In particular, as it's a long document:

‘‘(II) DATE OF REQUIRED COMPLIANCE .—The Secretary shall establish in the interim or final regulations a date by which all school food authorities participating in the school lunch program authorized under this Act and the school breakfast program established by section 4 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1773) are required to comply with the meal pattern and nutrition standards established in the interim or final regulations.

‘(D) ELIGIBLE SCHOOL FOOD AUTHORITY
.—To be eligible to receive an additional reimbursement described in this paragraph, a school food authority shall be certified by the State to be in compliance with the interim or final regulations described in subparagraph (A)(ii).

‘‘(E) FAILURE TO COMPLY
.—Beginning on the later of the date described in subparagraph (A)(ii)(II), the date of enactment of this paragraph, or October 1, 2012, school food authorities found to be out of compliance with the meal patterns or nutrition standards established by the implementing regulations shall not receive the additional reimbursement for each lunch served described in this paragraph.


That's it. Don't comply with the standards set forth - and those pictures don't - and you won't qualify for the additional $10,000 grant to cover food costs above and beyond your normal costs. Don't wish to comply with the standards? Then you're free not to. Nobody's forcing compliance. It's not a mandate but a recommendation.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Creating Change in Your Community

Originally posted by petesahooligan:

This is both good and bad. It makes for a passionate spokesperson but too much passion and the person can become volatile or hostile to opposing viewpoints.

Yes, that’s a problem I definitely suffer from myself. I’ve had to learn not to rise to the challenge when something cuts close to my core beliefs. I can’t say I’ve fully mastered the art of turning the other cheek and walking away as yet, but it is a work in progress, and tends to be better conductive to discussion than charging in, all weapons firing, the world turning red at the edges.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Greek Elections Jan 2015

So why not go with your earlier suggestion don? Asset forfeiture of the Greek merchant fleet until the debt is cleared. After all, if as beauval indicates, the owners haven’t been paying taxes, then they’re assets used for criminal activity anyway.

Sell them on at auction to anyone who can afford them. It doesn’t matter if they sell at a loss, and since bidding on one would be cheaper than building their own vessels, quite a few up-and-coming countries are bound to be interested.


But at least the Germans are rattling their sabres at the moment

The one problem is, most people remember what happened the last time the Germans invaded another country on hostile grounds, and the fallout from them doing so again would set teeth on edge far beyond the borders of the EU. The Germans would have to be VERY careful to do everything by the book and on the up and up.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Anyone got experience with wills and probate (uk law)?

Originally posted by cromagin2:

Landlords usually forbid tenants from making ‘improvements’ as the rentee does not own the property.

That’ll be an example of a legal difference between your country of residence and the UK, cro. Big things such as permanent extensions are likely still not allowed (along with anything else that requires planning permission), but smaller things (such as ripping out a kitchen, replacing a bathroom with a wetroom, replacing doors, permanently fixing rot or infestation problems, landscaping the garden, redecorating the whole place etc) are well within the rights of the rentee to carry out. Even though the landlord should be doing some of them, if the landlord isn’t, the tenant can go right ahead and do them themselves with a minimum of fuss.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Creating Change in Your Community

An interesting (read hilarious) case of that came up on BBC Radio 4 recently, Pete. I’ve found a website that references the same occorance as the radio station discussed.

We had an interesting incident near Humboldt State University. A new cell tower went up and the local newspaper asked a number of people what they thought of it. Some said they noticed their cell phone reception was better. Some said they noticed the tower was affecting their health. To paraphrase the bottom line: “think about how much more pronounced these effects will be once the tower is actually operational.”

Source

Not only was it not yet operational, the tower in question hadn’t even been connected to the power grid at the time all these ‘symptoms’ were made manifest!

The whole article details quite a few other examples, albeit all related to the ‘health effects’ of EF radiation when subjected to actual scientific study.