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1  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Good Post Gallery II on: Today at 04:10:17 pm
Bacon King is KILLING IT w/r/t the tempest du jour.  Basically all his posts belong here.

The more I read this thread the happier I am that this law is a thing and I hope it becomes widespread nationwide. The only practical difference between affirmative consent and existing law/policy is that under the former it's not a valid defense for the guy to say "she never said no" while she was being raped.

This is necessary because sexual assault often happens in situations where the woman is too scared or intimidated to say no or to otherwise explicitly refuse the man's advances. Men who are very assertive or sexually aggressive with women are often perceived to be dangerous (justifiably so in many cases), so a lot of time rape happens because a man attempts to initiate sex and the woman acquiesces because she fears that spurning his advances will cause a violent reaction.

Men can even do this unintentionally by ignoring signals of non-consent because they assume consent had already implicitly been granted (like inviting her up for a drink in a situation with sexual overtones) and assume that if she changed her mind after that point she would explicitly say so.

tl;dr don't be like "I kno u wan it" because blurred lines lead to misunderstandings that cause rape, instead just be sure she actually does want it

Okay, organizations with independent executive authority like marching band can basically determine their own membership standards as much as they want, right? I see no problem for them to exclude a person based on the fact that other members of the organization don't feel comfortable around him due to allegations made against him. It's their own call.



In my fraternity days I was faced with a very troublesome dilemma that reminds me of this. Not to go into needless details but someone accused one of our brothers of rape. The guy was my "big brother" who was my mentor when I joined the frat who would always have my back through everything. The girl was my ex, who I dated for a semester before amicably breaking up while remaining close friends. There was no evidence of anything, just the completely contradictory stories of how everything went down. No evidence came to light except for a security camera footage showing that she held the door open for him to enter her dorm building. The police and the school both dropped their investigations.

In the fraternity, we were very uncertain about how to deal with it. Nobody knew who was lying so a lot of people turned to me since I knew both of them better than anyone else in the room. I still don't know which version of the story was true but ultimately I decided against my big brother because he had a far greater incentive to be lying, and because the frat house's female regulars were frightened at the possibility of him being there.

So everyone followed my lead, and we removed him from the chapter. Expelled him because of an accusation he fervently denied, while both the administrative hearing and the criminal investigation had been unable to pass any judgement against him.

For smaller groups dealing with these problems internally, fairness isn't really so relevant. It's about the reputation and integrity of the organization, and allowing the people who attend the group's functions to feel safe and secure. That's why we did what we did, and I completely understand the marching band's policy here because it is effectively doing the same thing
2  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: "Tetris: The Movie" in the works on: Today at 01:02:21 pm
Quote
“We certainly have the canvas for location-based entertainment based on the epicness.”

wat
3  General Politics / Economics / Re: which should be the primary strategy for tackling sovereign debt? on: September 30, 2014, 11:09:28 pm
Taxation and inflation are ways of implementing austerity; that word should not be used solely to mean "spending cuts" and those that use it in such a way (either with an agenda to implementing said spending cuts, or arguing against doing anything) are doing the public a grave disservice.

Obviously a nuanced, intelligent approach similar to bedstuy's would be for the best, but if we are to choose only among the three stated options (and/or if said approach proves insufficient), I stand with inflation.  Not that it is always the best option in all circumstances, and not that it is painless.  But given the way the world is today, the pendulum has swung far too far in the direction of creditor-friendly "tight money" policies, and it is time to do something debtor-friendly (and relatively even-handed in its effects) instead.
4  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Good Post Gallery II on: September 30, 2014, 03:44:23 pm
This is a great step in the right direction to prevent campus rape.

I don't understand why "affirmative consent" is in any way controversial - it's something that personally I've done for years to ensure I wasn't being too forward or misinterpreting anything. It's simple, makes both partners more comfortable, and if you do it smoothly you can seamlessly even include it in the verbal foreplay.

I don't think it's a bad idea for universities to handle this sort of thing as a first resort- a lot of campus rape happens when a guy takes advantage of a girl that got too drunk. In that situation, our societal norms place a lot of blame on the girl for allowing herself to become that inebriated (while the guy's predatory behavior is dismissively downplayed). That guilt prevents many women from going to the police. Often when one girl accuses a guy of rape, it causes several other victims to come forward with allegations against the guy - that's because only then can they see, "No, it wasn't because I was irresponsible, he didn't just do it to me, he's a rapist so he needs to be stopped". If done right, a familiar campus atmosphere can allow a more welcoming atmosphere for a rape victim to report what happened.

Also there's nothing wrong with the fact that school expulsion has a lower threshold of proof than a genuine criminal case. If school officials are deciding if their campus would be safer without someone present, if the majority of the evidence indicates he's a rapist it would be ridiculous to do anything other than expel him.

Also false accusations of rape almost never happen, and on the rare occasions where they do happen it's very rare for the guy to get punished for it since the fraud usually gets discovered and even if for some reason investigators don't discover it's a fraud the guy still goes free because entire thing is fake and therefore has no evidence. The only reason "false accusations" are seemingly so prevalent is because it's basically the only defense a rapist can logically make when they get accused of their crimes. Just because like literally every guy accused of sexual assault claims they're being wrongfully accused, it doesn't make it true or even imply the guy has any actual evidence to support his claim
5  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: The Politics of Urbanism and Transit on: September 30, 2014, 03:33:37 pm
My position on this issue should be obvious to everyone here.
6  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: NFL Pick a Winner Week #5 on: September 30, 2014, 03:16:40 pm
Pittsburgh
7  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: California Adopts 'Yes Means Yes' Sexual Assault Rule on: September 30, 2014, 03:09:58 pm
Obviously this is a good rule.

About that whole disgusting "he said, she said" canard:

1) You do realize that false accusations are really really rare, and that unreported assaults are orders of magnitude more common, no?
2) Eyewitness testimony is admissible in a court of law, why do we seem to be so uniquely skeptical of it when it comes from rape/assault victims?
8  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Should texting while driving be banned? on: September 29, 2014, 03:37:35 pm
9  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Oxford School of Absurdity, Ignorance, and Bad Posts IV on: September 27, 2014, 11:22:27 pm
What do you mean by "beneath you?" If it were a matter of survival, I'd take most jobs (other than inherently immoral professions like assassin, slave merchant, IRS employee, etc). But, if I had the option of leaching off friends/family, I'd definitely go for that over being, say, a prostitute.
What is absurd about that post?

I assume the part about how being an IRS employee is "inherently immoral".
10  Forum Community / Forum Community Election Match-ups / AggregateDemand vs. Upworthy on: September 27, 2014, 10:10:41 pm
Two intellectual titans. A battle for the heart and soul of the Economics board.  Who ya got?
11  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Draw the Congressional Districts of the Alternate States! on: September 27, 2014, 08:02:23 pm
We already knew that Allegheny would be 6-1 Pub, but here's one pretty clean example of that.





With the RL Pennsylvania gerrymander ceding the Pittsburgh district to the Dems, and the historic Dem strength in Western PA (as well as the fact that McCain's win was not that gaudy), the Pittsburgh sink seems like an obvious play-it-safe survivor. Here it is made (and all the other Dem areas sunk) with no town splits, and very few county splits besides.  1/2, 3/4, and 6/7/8 are all whole-county groups.

District 1: Obama 42.6%.  State College is overwhelmed by south-central Pubs around Chambersburg, Gettysburg, Carlisle, etc. Safe R.
District 2: Obama 43.1%.  Johnstown, Altoona, lots of rural.  Safe R.
District 3: Obama 45.4%.  Sinking Erie properly did take some effort, especially with so few county splits.  This Northern Tier-esque monstrosity goes all the way to Williamsburg and the Alleghenies to its south.  Safe R.
District 4: Obama 44.6%.  There's some Dem towns here- Erie burbs, New Castle, Sharon, etc.  And there's also all of Butler County.  Safe R.
District 5: Obama 42.9%.  Westmoreland and north of Pittsburgh.  Safe R.
District 6: Obama 66.9%.  21% black.  The Burgh, and as many nearby Dems as can fit while keeping the lines nice.  Safe D.
District 7: Obama 43.9%.  And the Mon Valley Dems are swamped by Pubs in the South Hills and places east such as Somerset County. Safe R.
12  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Science Megathread on: September 27, 2014, 12:28:57 am
Researcher shows that black holes do not exist
Quote
<snip>

By merging two seemingly conflicting theories, Laura Mersini-Houghton, a physics professor at UNC-Chapel Hill in the College of Arts and Sciences, has proven, mathematically, that black holes can never come into being in the first place. The work not only forces scientists to reimagine the fabric of space-time, but also rethink the origins of the universe.

"I'm still not over the shock," said Mersini-Houghton. "We've been studying this problem for a more than 50 years and this solution gives us a lot to think about."

<snip>

In 1974, Stephen Hawking used quantum mechanics to show that black holes emit radiation. Since then, scientists have detected fingerprints in the cosmos that are consistent with this radiation, identifying an ever-increasing list of the universe's black holes.

But now Mersini-Houghton describes an entirely new scenario. She and Hawking both agree that as a star collapses under its own gravity, it produces Hawking radiation. However, in her new work, Mersini-Houghton shows that by giving off this radiation, the star also sheds mass. So much so that as it shrinks it no longer has the density to become a black hole.

Before a black hole can form, the dying star swells one last time and then explodes. A singularity never forms and neither does an event horizon. The take home message of her work is clear: there is no such thing as a black hole.

<snip>
Say what now?  Muon?

Hmm, intriguing.

Quote
"Physicists have been trying to merge these two theories – Einstein's theory of gravity and quantum mechanics – for decades, but this scenario brings these two theories together, into harmony," said Mersini-Houghton. "And that's a big deal."

Ooh, that's like the Holy Grail of physics right there.  Very grandiose.  Such proof.  Wow.  Where was this groundbreaking discovery published?  Presumably ALL THE JOURNALS would be clamoring for it!

Let's see...

Quote
The paper, which was recently submitted to ArXiv, an online repository of physics papers that is not peer-reviewed

Quote
that is not peer-reviewed

Oh.  Never mind.
13  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Who do you have a more favorable opinion of? on: September 26, 2014, 10:04:01 pm
Write-in: Vladimir Ashkenazy.
14  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What is your current ignore list? on: September 26, 2014, 10:02:17 pm
I actually see some value in these threads. It's a chance for posters (A) to see whether they have irritated someone enough to end up on his or her ignore list and (B) to get feedback on whether anyone on their ignore list is worth reading or has become worth reading.

Why is that so problematic? I understand the concerns that some of you have, but do they really outweigh the value of never accidentally reading a post from Aggregate Demand or Pbrower?

Even bad posters can have flashes of insight, or at least spur interesting conversation from time to time.  And it's not that hard to just scroll past.  The "value" you speak of is of negative value to me.

Most of your ignore list is at least tolerable, and there's probably about a half-dozen folks on there who are legitimately high-quality posters whose banishment to your Outer Wastes utterly boggles my mind.

On one hand, I'd list folks... on the other hand, what the hell is the point?  If someone is as ignore-happy as you seem to be, it's clear we have a fundamental disagreement as to what it means to be a forum member, and I'm not sure there's any way to bridge that divide.

It's disappointing, especially coming from someone like you that I generally respect(ed).

I think you take this more seriously than I do. That might sound like an insult, but it's not meant as one. For me, the forum is a place of entertainment first and one of education second. I learn here, but the Atlas Forum is not where I go to learn. I'm not running a blue-ribbon panel. If someone irritates me, I am under no obligation to engage with them.

Maybe I'm missing an occasional insight from the dozen or so active posters on my ignore list, but using a filter saves me time. If someone I ignore makes an interesting point, it usually prompts further discussion. Yes, I could skim past those posts, but I find it easier to dispense with them altogether. Between books, blogs, and journal articles, I don't have enough time to read everything that I want to read, so I prioritize.

Furthermore - and probably more importantly - I don't want to waste my time on pointless arguments with willfully ignorant posters. If I don't even see their posts, I'm not tempted to respond. Even if I read their posts anyway, the "show post" button functions like a big flashing sign reminding me not to get worked up.

If I'm missing quality posts, by all means, let me know. Except for Storebought, I'm skeptical.

I don't really think of Atlas as "educational", TBF- while I do think it's edifying to interact with folks who have wildly divergent views, priors, and/or attitudes (and I guess I do take that seriously as a general principle), I'd actually agree with classifying this place as "entertainment" more than anything else, and I do get my serious news elsewhere for the most part.  Perhaps I actually take certain forms of ignorance and irritation less seriously, insofar as just for example I don't really find it any burden to just scroll past, say just for example, Messrs. Arrogant and Catdrugs without there being much of a threat of getting worked up.

Anyway, I see you unignored Clarko, and that's good because he was probably the single most baffling entry on your list- I can't for the life of me imagine why anyone would feel the need to ignore him.  I'd also give Storebought, IceSpear, IndyTexas, and ChairmanSanchez another chance.  I've never seen anything egregiously bad from Storebought, and the other three have said some dumb things in the past but are on balance certainly worthwhile these days.  There are other folks you have on ignore who are pretty damn anodyne but those probably have the highest signal/noise ratio.
15  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Draw the Congressional Districts of the Alternate States! on: September 26, 2014, 08:01:10 pm
Alternate Long Island.  Towns and villages are shredded to spaghetti... well, some of them.



District 1: Obama 56.1%, Dem 58.0%.  65W/22H.  Up to Likely D for Bishop now.
District 2: Obama 44.4%, Dem 47.9%.  Congrats, Peter King.  We can't dislodge you.  Safe R.
District 3: Obama 56.7%, Dem 58.4%.  65W/14H/13A.  Except for the finger down into Babylon, this is still actually a pretty clean and sensible North Shore district.  It just, well, goes into Babylon and Jericho rather than Smithtown.  Likely D.
District 4: Obama 57.2%, Dem 58.4%.  58W/17B/18H.  Not much change.  I toyed with the idea of cutting out hyper-Pub Garden City and nearby areas, but it's not actually worth it, especially if you want to keep the fig leaf of the North Hempstead-Hempstead town line unbroken.  Likely D.
16  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Draw the Congressional Districts of the Alternate States! on: September 26, 2014, 07:00:45 pm
So a solid 18-0 is, as I thought, quite impossible in New York.  It’s easy to sink Staten Island and Southern Brooklyn, and you can give the three northern districts all D+something PVIs (if not totally safe) with not too much effort, only moderate ugliness, and no split towns.  (Split towns are a necessity on LI no matter what.)  But Long Island is huge, and is too 50/50, and if you’re gonna stick to the VRA and keep a black district in Queens, you’re just gonna have to live with Peter King.

I’m gonna present two options here.  The first one keeps LI swingy and gives the Dems a shot at all of the districts, but at least two of them remain in easy reach of the Pubs as well.  This Long Island is also pretty similar to the actual court map and as such is pretty “good government”, modulo carving Islip in such a way as to shore up Tim Bishop as much as possible.  The second one will cede a crazy gerrymander to King in an effort to make the other three LI districts as secure for Dems as possible, and will go up hopefully tonight?







Note that the lines in NYC are as ugly as they are for legacy and VRA purposes more than partisanship.  I’m assuming you need to keep three BVAP-majority districts, one in Queens and two in Brooklyn, and that requires stretching things to the limit especially in Queens, which goes into East New York rather than Valley Stream for obvious partisan purposes.  Then you’ve got the Asian-plurality Queens district, and Nydia Velasquez’s Bushwick-LES-Sunset Park monstrosity, made even more monstrous by the fact that Southern Brooklyn needs to be properly gerrymandered by sticking it with Park Slope and Williamsburg.  If it was really a tabula rasa she’d get a Bushwick-Jackson Heights district instead and Sunset Park would be with the rest of South Brooklyn (which could be made Dem without too much effort).  But we’re supposed to hold everything else the same, and that means crazy dumb Brooklyn lines.  I might also present a counterfactual NYC that makes more sense and keeps everything Dem, if my computer doesn’t keep choking on NY.

Obviously I am mashing Staten Island together with Lower Manhattan.  I mean, duh. The ferry connection totally counts!

District 1: Obama 53.0%, Dem 55.6%. 74W/15H. Taking some of the more Dem-heavy parts of Islip instead of Smithtown helps shore up Tim Bishop a point or so.  But there’s not that much you can do.  Tilt D.
District 2: Obama 51.6%, Dem 53.9%. 67W/19H. Pretty much a pure tossup if it was an open seat, but the power of King’s incumbency probably keeps this Tilt R for now.  Only so much you can do.
District 3: Obama 52.3%, Dem 54.6%. 72W/10H/10A. And, likewise, the power of incumbency keeps the North Shore Tilt D.
District 4: Obama 56.5%, Dem 57.8%. 59W/17B/18H.  Entirely within Hempstead and Long Beach.  Likely D.
District 5: Obama 86.4%, Dem 87.6%. 14W/50B/18H/11A.  Has to leave Queens to break 50%, which it does just barely.  God, I wish plurality was good enough here.  It’ll have to be next time.  Safe D.
District 6: Obama 65.1%, Dem 69.0%. 31W/21H/42A.  Asian-plurality. Safe D.
District 7: Obama 76.3%, Dem 78.3%. 28W/41H/22A.  Hispanic-plurality.  God I hate this district, but I think the rules suggest it should continue to exist. Will totally blow it up in my next alternative. Safe D.
District 8: Obama 85.2%, Dem 86.3%. 21W/51B/21H.  I more-or-less preserve the boundary between the two RL black Brooklyn districts, which IIRC is mainly for the purpose of unifying the Caribbean immigrant community in 9. Safe D.
District 9: Obama 84.7%, Dem 86.2%. 29W/50B/12H.  My home district is… changed a lot less than many others here. Splits the hyper-Pub Orthodox areas with 10. Safe D.
District 10: Obama 64.0%, Dem 69.0%. 67W/14H/16A.  And here’s the Hipster vs. Hasid district (plus all the forgotten areas of Southern Brooklyn that are going to probably be majority-Asian in a decade or two).  Whee. Safe D.
District 11: Obama 62.6%, Dem 62.7%. 66W/15H.  All of Staten Island in a Safe D district!
District 12: Obama 78.1%, Dem 74.7%. 67W/14H/12A.  Pretty similar to the current West Side-Astoria district, except of course for that tendril to get Middle Village whites out of the way of 6 and 7.  Probably unnecesssary but whatever. Safe D.
District 13: Obama 91.1%, Dem 90.2%. 27W/24B/43H. Hispanic-plurality.  Didn’t even try to up the black percentage here TBH; possibly could have gotten ugly between this and 14 for a couple points, but not worth it. Safe D.
District 14: Obama 93.6%, Dem 94.5%. 28B/64H. The South Bronx, Hispanic-majority as always.  Safe D.
District 15: Obama 81.7%, Dem 82.9%. 16W/20B/54H.  Another Hispanic-majority Bronx district, this one with some parts of Queens too (most importantly Jackson Heights/Corona). Safe D.
District 16: Obama 61.3%, Dem 60.8%. 60W/16B/19H.  Co-Op City to southern Duchess! No split towns, but split counties galore as we sink the Republican band centered around Putnam County in a mostly-Westchester Safe D district.
District 17: Obama 59.5%, Dem 62.4%. 57W/17B/19H. Similar to Eliot Engel’s old district, except with no split towns, less Bronx, and going further up into Orange. Safe D one would hope.
District 18: Obama 56.3%, Dem 57.2%. 66W/10B/17H. And the northern district grabs what it can along the Hudson to goose the Dem percentage as much as possible. Without extraneous county splits you can get an roughly even PVI district, enough for a Dem to win right now but not forever.  Still not quite safe, but Lean D, bordering on likely?
17  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Simple Truths Silver Mine on: September 26, 2014, 04:03:11 pm
I don't put people ignore. That sort of goes against the point of this forum.
18  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What is your current ignore list? on: September 26, 2014, 03:49:52 pm
I actually see some value in these threads. It's a chance for posters (A) to see whether they have irritated someone enough to end up on his or her ignore list and (B) to get feedback on whether anyone on their ignore list is worth reading or has become worth reading.

Why is that so problematic? I understand the concerns that some of you have, but do they really outweigh the value of never accidentally reading a post from Aggregate Demand or Pbrower?

Even bad posters can have flashes of insight, or at least spur interesting conversation from time to time.  And it's not that hard to just scroll past.  The "value" you speak of is of negative value to me.

Most of your ignore list is at least tolerable, and there's probably about a half-dozen folks on there who are legitimately high-quality posters whose banishment to your Outer Wastes utterly boggles my mind.

On one hand, I'd list folks... on the other hand, what the hell is the point?  If someone is as ignore-happy as you seem to be, it's clear we have a fundamental disagreement as to what it means to be a forum member, and I'm not sure there's any way to bridge that divide.

It's disappointing, especially coming from someone like you that I generally respect(ed).
19  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reaches Record Levels, Scientists Say on: September 26, 2014, 10:31:14 am

Why is Albania so vulnerable in mostly-green Europe? Something unique about the landscape/local climate?

Not entirely sure?  Presumably it's some combination of geography and poverty (as poorer countries are gonna have a harder time spending money to adapt).  I was a little surprised to see Netherlands at merely yellow, seeing as their lands are, well, nether, but I guess they're rich enough that it softens the blow.
20  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Simple Truths Silver Mine on: September 26, 2014, 10:24:53 am
Everyone wants a different third party, though.
21  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What is your current ignore list? on: September 25, 2014, 10:57:04 pm
This thread is, as always, an abortion.

The only thing worse than long ignore lists is advertising your long ignore list.  Even if it's 90% trolls, there's inevitably some number of quality posters that get on there due to petty feuds or epistemic closure or whatever, and it just makes ya look small, y'know?
22  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Are you a registered member of a political party? on: September 25, 2014, 10:54:44 pm
NY has closed primaries, so yes.
23  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone II - Less Boring, More Whoring on: September 25, 2014, 09:24:07 pm
Watching the Giants-R******s game, aka Thursday Night Football, aka TNF, and I can't keep seeing that acronym without thinking about Atlas anymore.  What the hell is wrong with me.  Tongue
Censoring the term "Redskin" is certainly fairly wrong, like the name or not.

They're a division rival.  I'd want to censor their name even if it wasn't a blatant ethnic slur. Tongue
24  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of the previous poster's display name on: September 25, 2014, 09:22:12 pm
My dad volunteered for ol' Barry in his youth, and more recently voted for a very different Barry twice.

May you experience the same evolution. Tongue
25  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone II - Less Boring, More Whoring on: September 25, 2014, 09:15:49 pm
Watching the Giants-R******s game, aka Thursday Night Football, aka TNF, and I can't keep seeing that acronym without thinking about Atlas anymore.  What the hell is wrong with me.  Tongue
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