I will follow this advice

Sep. 18th, 2017 12:19 pm
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
According to my brother, one should not bounce a chainsaw off one's knee as it is very hard on denim.
dpolicar: (Default)
[personal profile] dpolicar
(A comment from another discussion)

I acknowledge, of course, that we are all imperfect humans, and what an individual officer does in a specfic situation is always the result of a million variables that are impossible to predict and often impossible to determine after the fact.

That's why I tend to focus more on training and evaluation protocols than on specific events. It's unjust to expect officers to do X in a sitution if they've been trained to do Y, but it's perfectly reasonable to expect officers to be trained to do X if we prefer that they do X in a situation.

I would prefer that police be trained and evaluated as peacekeepers rather than killers. So I would prefer, for example, they be trained and expected to identify situations that don't require a death, and to act so as to not create a death where none is required.

That said, how police are trained and evaluated is a collective decision, and if we collectively prefer police to choose deaths that aren't required -- for example, if we prefer to train and equip police as military officers who happen to deploy among civilian populations -- then that's how we should train and evaluate them, regardless of my preferences. That's part of the price I pay for living in a collective.

If police _are_ trained to choose unnecessary deaths, we should (individually and collectively) treat calling the police, permitting them into our homes, and otherwise making use of their services as a use of deadly force. Consequently, if we don't individually endorse the use of deadly force in those situations, we should not call the police, any more than we would fire a gun.

Those are individual decisions, not collective ones, and it's perfectly reasonable to hold one another as individuals accountable for them.

I acknowledge that this means that individuals who eschew deadly force in a situation may find themselves in conflict with any police who may arrive. I don't like this, and I don't endorse it, but I acknowledge it.
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[personal profile] mem_winterhill posting in [community profile] davis_square
Friends just pointed me to this nerd comedy event coming up at the Armory. I am a fan of new ways to reach out on science topics in fun ways, and this sounds good to me. 

Saturday, September 30 at 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM EDT. Ticketing info over at facebook. 

https://www.facebook.com/events/116424495686654/

Come hang out with Boston Skeptics and enjoy a night of comedy between science friends.

"You know how Larry the Cable Guy's act pretty much consists of him yelling "Git 'er done!" every five minutes or so? Scientist-turned-comic Tim Lee's material is the diametric opposite. Lee, who got his PhD before realizing where his true talents lay, blends science talk (complete with PowerPoint presentations) with comedy. The hilarious result is like what would happen if you crossed your high-school chem teacher with George Carlin"
- The Boston Phoenix

Anniversary Dinner at O Ya

Sep. 16th, 2017 09:19 pm
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[personal profile] lillibet
Today was the twentieth anniversary of our first date and our seventeenth wedding anniversary, so Jason booked us an early dinner at O Ya. We've been there twice before. The first time we had the omakase (chef's whim) of seventeen courses, just to see what they were about. The second time we sort of wanted to order a la carte, but their menu is extensive and the portions are small and trying to figure out a dozen or more courses on the fly seemed overwhelming. So this time I sat down with their online menu several days in advance and made notes on what we wanted, not really a solid plan, but enough so that we were able to come up with an order on the fly. Here's what we ended up with:

KUMAMOTO OYSTER watermelon pearls, cucumber mignonette

ORA KING SALMON Vietnamese dashi caramel, spicy rau ram salsa

BLUEFIN MAGURO Republic of Georgia herb sauce

SANTA BARBARA UNI TOAST "NIGIRI" smoked trout roe, truffle honey

HAMACHI TARTARE ginger verjus sauce, spiced chile oil

WARM EEL Thai basil, kabayaki, fresh kyoto sansh

BLUEFIN TORO TARTARE ginger kimchee jus

LOCAL SHRIMP TEMPURA bacon truffle emulsion, scallion ginger oil

MARTHA'S VINEYARD SMOKED BLUEFISH rainbow trout roe, wasabi vinaigrette, micro celery

AVOCADO TEMPURA kabayaki, truffle salt, yuzu zest

CHICKEN BROTH foie gras shumai, Tokyo leek, shitake

WAGYU TSUKUNE 2 oz., confit egg yolk, green onion, dried mushroom

CRISPY PORK BELLY Akashi glaze, celery root purée

We declined to order dessert, but they decided that our anniversary merited something sweet, so they gave us coconut tapioca with lime granita and yuzu sesame dice and moshi donuts with jasmine caramel dipping sauce.

We decided that the next time we go--in another few years--we will concentrate more on the nigiri portion of the menu, because those were our favorites, but everything was delicious and fascinating and special.

Work understands me :D

Sep. 16th, 2017 12:53 pm
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Came in for a morning shift, found this:

Read more... )

because I care

Sep. 16th, 2017 09:01 am
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Project Lucifer: Will Cassini Turn Saturn into a Second Sun?

This is from a few years ago. I wonder what the people who thought it was plausible are doing now? Aside from presumably supporting Trump.
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[personal profile] bettyw posting in [community profile] davis_square
 There will be fireworks at Spy Pond at dusk (around 8pm) for Town Night/Day.

Cake or Death?

Sep. 15th, 2017 03:58 am
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[personal profile] earthling177
Garry Kasparov / The Resistance said:

"The American democratic awakening spurred by resistance to Trump will be short-lived and ineffective if more people don't vote.

Nearly 100 million Americans didn't vote for president in 2016. Trump won with just 26% of the eligible vote. That is a crisis level.

Apathy is self-censorship and it concedes power. Treat your democratic rights like duties. They will weaken and be lost if you do not."

Ailsa Cunningham Ek said:

"Problem is, we need greater citizen input into the primaries first. Closed primaries are undemocratic. Superdelegates are super undemocratic. The election shouldn't be a choice between two incredibly unpalatable individuals selected by someone else, or if they want to be able to pick them for us, we need a "None of the above" option.

Come downtown to stand in line for hours to choose between being kicked in the balls or shot in the head. Bugger that, I'm not going to *ask* to be kicked in the balls. If so few people volunteer to be kicked in the balls that we all end up shot in the head instead, among other things it says something about people's desire to be kicked in the balls, and maybe, just maybe, if we had listened to everyone's opinions on the matter, we might have had different options."

To which David Policar responded:

"Given a choice between being shot in the head and not shot in the head, I choose not being shot in the head.

Sure, I'd rather choose not being shot in the head and eating cherry pie than not being shot in the head and being kicked in the balls. Absolutely. No question.

But either way I choose not being shot in the head."

Well, I guess the ones who know me probably can predict what's coming, but for the benefit of folks who do not know me very well, here it goes...

I would like not only to agree with David Policar, but add to it: the results of the last election basically convinced me that for now, the *best* thing we can do is to close the primaries: if you want to vote in the primary, register for the party you want to win; I think that many people did in this election what they've done in many many many previous elections -- they wanted party A to win, so they gave up voting in their own primary and went across the isle to vote in party B's primary for a candidate so unpopular that they thought *no one* would vote for them and then stay home.

What they forgot is that Liberals fall in love, and if their favorite candidate did not win the primary, they do everything (fail to vote, vote 3rd party, write-in their favorite etc) but vote for the one who won the primary. Meanwhile, Conservatives fall in line, they hem and haw about how awful so-and-so is, but you will notice they vote for so-and-so *anyway*.

That's how we got Bush I, Bush II and now Trump.

Do you remember when a candidate could lose just for flip-flopping? Or for lying about something? Or refused to serve in times or war? Or for being perceived as nasty to women, or having an affair, or for even showing sympathies for Russia?

Can you honestly show me *one*, just one wrong thing from the immense list of "candidates that did this do not win" that Trump has not checked? I am under the impression that he personally went and "checked" every single box in the "this is not a good candidate if..." list and he *won* *anyway*, because for decades now, there are about 30% of registered Republicans, and they *all* vote, so they win even if there are over 50% registered democrats.

Please tell us honestly: if this were any kind of game (D&D, videogame, *any* game), do you think Republicans with such bad candidates would have won so very often if it depended on random chance? Worse yet, if over 50% of the players were D and barely 30% of the players were R, wouldn't you expect D to win almost all the time if it depended on simple voting?

People say they didn't vote this time because the Clinton wasn't leftist enough, or progressive enough, or because they wanted to "teach the Democratic Party to select better candidates". Among other things.

Well, guess what, you can't teach an organization to select a "better candidate" unless *you* vote for the better candidate, otherwise, the only data that the Democratic Party will add to their already large amounts of data is that "the American public likes extreme-right candidates, in the future, if we want to win, we need to offer someone more like Trump than more like Sanders, Clinton or Warren". *That's* what they learn, and that's why over the last 50 years the politics in America has moved so far to the right that Clinton and Obama are considered "centrists" and Sanders is consider "left wing" -- I want you to appreciate that by all we know, Sanders is a right wing guy compared to Nixon, who, despite being the extreme right of his time, would appear to be completely pinko-communist today; if you are not aware, Nixon tried to have this country pass laws for affordable college, universal health care *and* Universal Basic Income. In fact, Nixon tried for Universal Basic Income *twice* and it nearly passed, but Republicans and Democrats couldn't agree on the yearly *salary*.

Meanwhile, I'd describe the situation that you described as "shot in the head or kicked in the balls" a bit differently.

I'd say Bernie's and Hillary's platforms/agendas were so *close* that we couldn't insert a vacuum cleaner crevice attachment in between them. I remember many years ago, I got my rental car in the airport in Omaha NE, this was before simple people like me could have GPS, and I made one wrong turn and ended up across the river in Iowa, luckily all I had to do was turn around and I was where I needed to be again.

So anyway, I felt like we were in Chicago and Bernie offered us to go to Iowa and Hillary offered us to go to Nebraska, or vice-versa. But, they both said, "eventually our goal is to end up in San Francisco". Instead, people kept bitching about how the destination couldn't possibly be Nebraska or Iowa, even if just for 4 years, because the *only* good places are on the West Coast, and "if they can't pick California, we won't go, just to teach them a lesson!"

Well, now we are lost halfway in the Atlantic Ocean, because, despite the fact it was *obvious* that Sander's and Clinton's platform were a millimeter apart and their platforms were 10 miles to the left of Trump's, people thought they "could walk back" the 10 miles after 4 years. To teach the Democrats a lesson. Now you are, with the rest of us, over 1,000 miles *off* course, because the idiotic president currently there doesn't even know how to serve food at the soup kitchens he visited for hurricane relief.

And no, I am not blaming you personally. I'm super pissed off at my own people who think they'd keep their souls pure and their hands clean if they didn't vote for Clinton.

Well, if you ask the rest of the world, they do not make this differentiation -- they think *all* Americans are to blame for Trump. Any crap that he starts internationally *will* be a stain on our personal and collective souls.

With all that in mind, I humbly ask you to please stop repeating Soviet Russia Propaganda designed to divide the progressives. About 2 centuries ago there were not even "primaries" -- the parties put out their candidates and you voted in the general election. *All* coalition building currently happens at the primaries in US and, if you want to influence the candidates for the general, vote in the primary. All this "closed primaries are not democratic" and "super delegates are not democratic" are *all* propaganda straight from Putin's hands. The Republicans *wished* they had super delegates, they could have gotten rid of Trump no problem that way. Notice that the Republican Party per se could have just voted for completely new rules and just said "we don't like Trump, the second winner is the candidate *this* time around", which is even less democratic than well, the Democratic super delegates.

My point, and I do have one, is that *anyone* and *anything* the Democrats could have offered this time was better than Trump and we *knew* it: Bernie, Clinton, a prairie dog or a baked potato. It doesn't take a genius IQ to get to that conclusion, but we, collectively, decided it was better to bet the country on the guy who got us lost in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and about to start a nuclear war, because we didn't want to be the ones to be blamed for a brief stop over in Iowa or Nebraska on our way to California.

If we can't recognize that we were not being invited to sleep with Clinton or Bernie or even just have dinner with them, we did not have to *like* them at all, they are just the president that was going to be *much* better than Trump even if not ideal, do we even deserve a chance to get better as a country?

If we can't recognize that Clinton was *right* about all that she warned us about Trump, and that he's been doing everything she told us about -- if we can't recognize that she *knew* more than we did -- do we really deserve to get better and do we really have a leg to stand on asking other countries not to laugh at us?

I hope most agree with me those are much more serious things to think about than "shot in the head" vs "kick in the balls".

Also, despite some thinking that Clinton was unpalatable, I say I've heard that lots of dishes are an acquired taste. But Trump is a metric ton of manure, and I've never heard anyone claim they like or even tolerate eating manure.

Peace,
   -- Paulo.
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll

Simplicity surrounds us at Cambridge's Genesis Latin American Restaurant, but the food — tried and true recipes that mix flavours, colours, and textures — is anything but simple.
More here.

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