First and foremost, I think it's important to note that it is not someone's right to post anything to Hubski. The first Amendment does not apply to a private network. That said, I started this site to give people a place to share ideas and opinions, and to discuss a breadth of topics.
There are types of content that I do not want to host. Early on we had some posts from /r/beatingwomen, and I informed the author that I wasn't keen on hosting that content. They were cool about it.
One of the reasons why this topic is so charged is because it is not possible to make a statement about what will not be permitted which will be universally understood, much less agreed upon. There will be grey area when it comes to blocking content.
The primary goal of Hubski is to provide a place for thoughtful exchanges. I feel comfortable blocking images of beating women, because I did not set out to create a place for them. Perhaps if I felt this type of speech was important and threatened, I might spend my time building a place for it. I don't fault anyone for doing it, and I strongly support their right to do so.
At this point in Hubski's development, I don't think it is necessary or very useful for me to attempt to create a laundry list of what is acceptable and what is not. Currently, if there is content that we have an issue with, we will deal with it, and perhaps use the experience to better define that grey area for everyone.
I can tell you that most people consider me a very open-minded person. I am not easily offended, and I don't think that 'offensiveness' is necessarily equivalent to 'unwanted'. It is not my goal to ensure that any particular user is not offended. Hubski will contain a certain amount of material that might be found offensive. My very basic litmus test is whether or not a reasonable person can find the content thought-provoking. If I would have a very hard time finding a person that would find the content thought-provoking, I won't have much qualm about removing it if is problematic.
Regarding the tone of comments, we are working on some functionality that addresses it. It is still a work in progress, and I'll save the discussion on that for when we roll it out.
It is secular law that mediates our interactions. Consider this, which of these (if any) are ok due to religious considerations?
A public bus driver denies a gay rider. A public teacher will not teach a gay student. A police officer does not respond to a gay victim. A heart surgeon does not perform surgery on a gay patient. A public defense attorney does not defend a gay client.
Or, if religious considerations are justification over secular law, which ones?
Should a Mormon be able to have multiple wives? Should a man be able to take a child bride? Should a religion that embraces gays be able to marry them? Should a raped woman be stoned as in sharia law? Should an adulterous wife be killed as the Old Testament suggests? Should a muslim woman be able to remain veiled in a photo ID?
Where do our 'secular sensibilities' override our religious ones, and why?
I do personally believe that secular law should override religious law (and belief), when it regards the rights and welfare of others, our civil interactions. In that sense, yes, I think the secular mindset takes precedence. Not necessarily because it is right, but because it is the one that remains when specific religious beliefs, and secular ethics, are generalized into a Golden Rule type of civil society. It's the best place to agree to disagree.
Of course, I do not think it is always easy to separate the two, but I am not afraid of a slippery slope here.
My wife is Chinese, and we go to China every year or so. I'm not an expert on China, but I have family there, and I have been there several times, and have visited a number of places. We visit there every year or so. Several of our friends are from China.
China has real problems. Had Daisey visited coal mines, especially illegal ones, he probably wouldn't have had to embellish much to pull at American's heartstrings. However, he didn't do that. He visited Foxconn, and said that it was much worse than it was. I haven't been to Foxconn. However, my impression is that it is far from the worst example of working conditions in China. In fact, given what the workers are paid, and the scrutiny they have come under, I am willing to guess that Foxconn represents a general improvement in the manufacturing sector.
Having familiarity with China, I am aware of how the US media embraces anti-China bias. Some of the bias is deserved, however, much is not, and some is just plain wrong. My wife has had more than one person say to her (paraphrasing): "You must be so happy that you were able to come to the US". That ignorance is sickening for us. No one could say that if they visited a major Chinese city. In some ways, it is painfully obvious that China is ahead of the US in development. Not in all ways, but in some. China is a great place to be, and the country is rapidly moving to a better place. It has real problems, but they aren't always what we think they are.
What really bothers me about Daisey's piece, is that it plays into American's conceptions about China by telling lies. Some of these conceptions are close to truth, yet many are not. IMHO the real damage is creating a simplified caricature of a country that is far more complex than most Americans understand.
If Daisey did any good here, maybe his getting caught created a conversation that will make Americans more skeptical of what they are told about China.
Do ya' mean t'go post-haste t'de devil, gentlemen, by proposin' dat ah' should scribble such some sonata? Durin' de revolushunary fever, some din' uh de kind might gots been appropriate, but now, when everydin' be fallin' again into de whup'en track, and Bonaparte gots concluded some Conco'dat wid de Wiz'--such some sonata as dis? If it wuz some missa pro Sancta Maria à tre voci, o' some vespuh', &c. Co' got d' beat!, den ah' would at once snatch down mah' pen and scribble some Credo in unum, in gigantic semibreves. But, baaaad heavens! Right on! such some sonata, in dis fresh dawnin' Christian epoch. Lop some boogie. No, no! Right on!--it won't do, and ah' gots'ta none uh it. Man! Now fo' mah' answa' in quickest tempo. 'S coo', bro. De lady kin gots some sonata fum me, and ah' am willin' t'adopt da damn general outlines uh ha' plan in an aesdetical point uh view, widout adherin' t'de keys dojiggerd. De price t'be five ducats; fo' dis sum she kin keep de wo'k some year fo' ha' own amusement, widout eida' of us bein' entitled t'publish it. Man! Afta' de lapse uh a year, de sonata t'revert t'me--dat is, ah' can and gots'ta den publish it, when, if she considers it any distincshun, she may request me t'dedicate it t'her. Ah be baaad... I now, gentlemen, commend ya' t'de grace uh God. Mah' Sonata [Op. Jes hang loose, brud. 22] be well engraved, but ya' gots been some fine time about it! Right on! ah' hope ya' gots'ta usha' my Septet into de wo'ld some little quicker, as de P---- be waitin' fo' it, and ya' know de Empress gots it; and when dere is in dis impuh'ial city sucka's likes ----, ah' cannot be answerable fo' de result; so's lose no time! Right on! Herr ---- [Mollo?] gots lately published mah' Quartets [Op. Jes hang loose, brud. 18] full uh faults and errata, bod large and small, which swarm in dem likes fish in de sea; dat is, dey is innumerable. Questo è un piacere puh' un auto'e--dis be whut ah' call engravin' [stechen, stin'in'] wid some vengeance. In trud, mah' skin be a mass uh punctures and scratches fum dis fine edishun uh my Quartets! Right on! Now farewell, and dink uh me as ah' do uh ya'. Till dead, yo' faidful
As a kid, I liked science and I liked to draw. In 7th grade I was in the smart kid math class. However, at some point early on in high school, I determined that I was going to be an 'artist'. By 11th grade I was in the slow kid math class. I did poorly, and in 12th grade I didn't take a math course at all.
After graduating, I learned that my parents wouldn't pay for art school. So, I squeezed into Michigan State University, and thought I was going into zoology. The one math class I had, pre-calculus, I began to fail, and I dropped it. I left MSU after one semester of drinking and gambling.
I then went to Oakland University (also in Michigan), and avoided math classes. I took general ed classes, lots of art classes, but left after 2 years and went to Boston. For 2 years I worked in a hardware store and had a lot of fun. Much of this fun wasn't conducive to learning.
After that, I returned to Oakland University and decided that I would go into astronomy. There is no undergrad in astronomy, so I figured that physics would be the place to start.
I started delivering pizzas for money. At this time, I could not remember an address more than 1 minute, if that. I had to constantly check and recheck them.
I wanted to start taking physics classes right away. But, you needed to pass Calculus I before you could. Since it was the winter, my plan was: Take precalculus in the spring, Calc I at the community college in the summer, and begin physics classes (and Calc II) in the fall.
I took precalculus that spring and got a 2.0. -I barely passed. So, I decided that I would take precalculus again in the summer, and take Calc I at the same time at the community college. That summer, I got a 2.7 in precalculus, and failed Calc I. I lied to my school and told them I passed Calc I. I signed up for some physics courses and Calc II. I listened to nothing but classical music at this time. I did not go out and have fun. The only reading I did was physics related. I got a 2.0 in Calc II. My physics courses were a mix but I passed them. That winter I got a 2.9 in Calc III. The next winter, I took 18 credits of physics: (Quantum Mechanics, Modern Physics, Vibrations and Waves, Thermodynamics, Modern Physics Lab, plus grading papers, plus undergrad reseach that got published (while learning to code in FORTRAN for that), plus I delivered pizzas. I got a 3.6 that semeseter.
Eventually, I got my PhD in medical physics. My math skills have since atrophied, but at one point, there were few physics problems that I couldn't tackle given enough time.
Math can be fucking hard, but it's beautiful stuff. When you really get into it, it's like poetry. The secrets to the universe are in it. More interestingly, it uses your brain in a way that nothing else does. You learn about yourself when you do crazy math. I do not have a natural talent at math. I didn't lay a solid foundation in math early on. But, through sheer force of will I gained compentency enough that I could find eigenvalues for a wave function like a pro.
Like kleinbl00, I've always sucked hard at arithmetic.
If you are not good at math, you aren't doing enough of it.
the best way to learn math is to find the limit of your problem solving abilities, and solve lots of those problems, -like hundreds of them. When you are really confident with those, move to the next chapter. Solve crazy amounts of those problems, repeat. I used to get every book I could at the library that had the type of problems I needed to learn to solve. I just kept doing them.
I think what many people misunderstand about math, is that it isn't something that you look at. or are told about, and 'get'. You only 'get' math by doing a lot of it. It takes exercise. No one can tell you how to pole vault, where you just 'get' it. Youve got to try and try and try...
Here's an example: Say you want to know if traffic down your street is different for different days of the week. So, as an experiment, you count the cars that come down a street on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for 6 weeks.
Here are your counts for weeks 1-6:
Monday: 66, 56, 72, 70, 71, 59
Tuesday: 54, 44, 56, 49, 64, 39
Wednesday: 45, 44, 43, 40, 50, 56
And here are your averages:
Monday: 65.7 cars
Tuesday: 51 cars
Wednesday: 46.3 cars
What we are really asking here is whether or not the average number of cars that goes by each day is different from the others. In short, are the averages different? Well, the more weeks we counted, the more sure we could be of our averages. That is, if we counted 2 weeks, our estimate wouldn't be as good as if we counted for 8 weeks.
With these data from 6 weeks of counting, we can say that their is a 99.1% chance that the average number of cars on Tuesday is less than Monday. (I did a stats test) In turn, there is a 0.9% chance that our experiment is wrong. If we are wrong, then if you kept counting for more weeks, you would find that there is either no difference between Monday and Tuesday traffic, or that Tuesday actually has more traffic than Monday on average.
Now, comparing Monday and Wednesday, we can even be more sure (a 99.97% chance) that Wednesday's traffic is less than Monday. But, comparing Tuesday and Wednesday, we can only be 69.4% sure that Wednesday's traffic is less than Tuesday's. -that's not too much better than chance.
So we can be pretty sure that Monday and Tuesday's traffic is different, and that Monday and Wednesday's traffic is different, but we can't be so sure that Tuesday and Wednesday's traffic is different.
When setting up an experiment, we might say if our experiment predicts a difference with a 95% chance of being right, we'll accept that as a real difference. So we will call any chance of 95% or more that we find to be "statistically significant".