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« Liberal Outrage: February 2014 | Main | Liberal Outrage: April 2014 »

Liberal Outrage

It's ok as long as you ask

Even if they say no.

By fnord12 | March 27, 2014, 11:37 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Why we need single-payer

This is just nuts.

By fnord12 | March 27, 2014, 11:05 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

System Administrators: The NSA is Hacking Your Shit


Across the world, people who work as system administrators keep computer networks in order - and this has turned them into unwitting targets of the National Security Agency for simply doing their jobs. According to a secret document provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the agency tracks down the private email and Facebook accounts of system administrators (or sys admins, as they are often called), before hacking their computers to gain access to the networks they control.
Hacking into the computers of sys admins is particularly controversial because unlike conventional targets - people who are regarded as threats - sys admins are not suspected of any wrongdoing.
Once the agency believes it has identified a sys admin's personal accounts, according to the posts, it can target them with its so-called QUANTUM hacking techniques. The Snowden files reveal that the QUANTUM methods have been used to secretly inject surveillance malware into a Facebook page by sending malicious NSA data packets that appear to originate from a genuine Facebook server. This method tricks a target's computer into accepting the malicious packets, allowing the NSA to infect the targeted computer with a malware "implant" and gain unfettered access to the data stored on its hard drive.

"Just pull those selectors, queue them up for QUANTUM, and proceed with the pwnage," the author of the posts writes. ("Pwnage," short for "pure ownage," is gamer-speak for defeating opponents.) The author adds, triumphantly, "Yay! /throws confetti in the air."

By min | March 25, 2014, 12:35 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Possibly my brain never grew out of its teenage years

It also prefers late to bed, late to rise.

By fnord12 | March 13, 2014, 6:54 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link

Dear Dianne Feinstein

Welcome to the rest of us. Guess what? We don't like to be spied on any more than you do.

By fnord12 | March 12, 2014, 11:16 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Appeal to the working class by appealing to the working class

Kevin Drum says it's not hard.

By fnord12 | March 10, 2014, 12:42 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Alcohol and Sexual Aggression

You've had a few to drink. You're not exactly in any condition to make good decisions. So, it's totally not your fault you grabbed that chick's boob. Your thinking was impaired. You are totally a great guy when sober. Rilly.


In a study of sexual aggression in bars researchers have found that the invasiveness and persistence of unwanted come-ons is not correlated with how much the perpetrator has had to drink, but is instead related to how drunk the person on the receiving end seems to be. The paper, aptly titled "Blurred Lines? Sexual Aggression and Barroom Culture," after the summer hit by Robin Thicke, was published earlier this week in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. "Its not a blurred line, its a pretty easy line," says Kathryn Graham, senior scientist at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto and co-author of the paper. "The whole culture that thinks blurred lines is some kind of truth or inevitability, from our data, is a little bit astray."
William H. George, a psychologist at the University of Washington who studies how alcohol influences sexual health and behavior, says that consuming alcohol often turns sexual aggression into a self-fulfilling prophecy if the perpetrator enters the situation with the widely held cultural belief that drinking makes people more sexually uninhibited.

Tina Zawacki, a psychology professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio, agrees with that assessment. "It could be that drinkers use intoxication as an excuse to engage in a number of socially unacceptable behaviors, including sexual harassment and sexual assault."


Graham and her colleagues note that the men in the study appeared to harass women for the amusement of their friends, who in many cases would egg them on. For this reason, the authors endorse the adoption of preventative strategies that encourage bystanders to intervene, rather than trying to unfairly limit women's behavior. They cite their own "Safer Bars" program adopted by more than 300 bars and clubs in the Toronto area, which trains bar managers and bouncers to step in when they see troubling behavior in their establishment, as an example of an intervention that has shown promise in reducing sexual aggression.

Yes, let's please stop putting the onus on the victim. Ofc people should always take some precautions to ensure their safety in every aspect of life. Look before stepping into a street. Don't talk to strangers. Drink responsibly. I got it. But we don't go around saying "Well, you shouldn't have gone and gotten yourself stabbed.". So why is it ok to say "Well, you shouldn't have gone and gotten raped."?

While i'm being cautious and whatnot, shouldn't there be more focus on everybody doing what they can to prevent sexual aggression? The message shouldn't be "Hey, ladies, don't get drunk and end up raped.". It should be "Hey, everybody, acting like this is wrong. Don't do it. Don't let your friends do it.". As the article states, there's a cultural shift that needs to be made. We're not there yet.

By min | March 7, 2014, 10:51 AM | Liberal Outrage & Science | Comments (1)| Link

Rush Holt Interview - Congress and Science

I really wish he wasn't retiring, but i have hopes he's not going away entirely.


There is, you know, the "Proxmire Effect" -- referring back to Sen. Proxmire, who used to ridicule serious research that had funny-sounding titles. And you know, he was wrong much more often than he was right. It's true that some research is unproductive. Some of it is even ultimately misleading. But the very idea of peer-reviewed research, you know, research that is guided by the conventions and the practices of the discipline -- and I emphasize the word "discipline" -- and that is chosen and supported by peer review, is very important to our success as a nation ...

Certainly when you have elected representatives ... inventing ideas about a woman's biology ... it's not just that they didn't take sex education classes in school. It's that they're just not grounded in evidence ...

I am not saying that scientists are smarter or wiser than other folks. But there are habits of mind: you know, a deep appreciation of evidence; an ability to deal with probability and statistics, to be alert to cognitive biases and tricks that our minds play on ourselves; ... a willingness to accept tentative conclusions and accept ... the uncertainty of these scientific conclusions -- not as reason for inaction, but a way of finding the best path forward ...

After the electoral errors of 2000 ... Congress passed an election reform bill and pushed ... the voting districts in America toward unverifiable electronic machines ... They were sold a bill of goods, essentially, by the voting machine manufacturers ... No one involved in writing the legislation had bothered to ask ..."What are the results? How do we know that your machine records the results that the people think they're casting?" And it turns out there is no way to audit the machines ...

Just some critical thinking; you wouldn't have to know anything about the software, or about the electronics of the machine, to be able to ask the kinds of questions that any scientist would ask ...

By min | March 6, 2014, 11:48 AM | Liberal Outrage & Science | Link

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