Bathroom objections to transgender rights are bullshit

Thinking about the bathroom access objections to transgender rights- the idea that men would suddenly dress as women to access womens bathrooms and commit sexual assault.

One, there’s precious little evidence this happens often. I wouldn’t be shocked if it has, somewhere, but it’s clearly not remotely common.  If it was, I’d expect long lists of incidents to at least occasionally accompany said complaints.  It would be the most obvious piece of supporting evidence ever, but where is it?  No idea.

Two- If a man is such a crappy person that they would impersonate a woman for the purposes of sexual assault of actual women*… Would “You’re not allowed to use this bathroom” really stop them?  Maybe they’d spend a few more minutes on their makeup so they pass more easily, but that’s about it.  You cost them a couple bucks and five minutes of time but don’t actually protect women.  And, oh, you encourage them to work harder on passing, and I really fail to see how making rapists harder to spot could ever possibly help in stopping them**.

If the time and money you cost them is that big a deal, why don’t you, oh, I don’t know, actually prosecute rapists and send them to prison for a decent amount of time?  That actually stands a chance of helping.

Making this argument insincerely makes you a bigot.  Making it sincerely makes you a moron(and probably a bigot too).


*- “Actual women” should be read as inclusive of transwomen.
**- This does sound iffy to me on reading it back, that I’m sort of throwing transwomen under the bus with the hypothetical asshole impersonating a woman, that they should make it easy for others to identify them.  This is not my intent, my intent is to show the fractal wrongness of the bathroom argument by countering it from somewhat different angles, even some that start from a problematic spot.  I hope the surrounding context actually renders this footnote unnecessary, if not, I apologize.

I Am a Writer

This post is an assignment for English Composition I: Achieving Expertise, a writing MOOC at Coursera.

Read more of this post

Fox Panelist fails to apologize.

Fox Panelist Apologizes for Comments About Japanese Internment | Mediaite.

At most, he successfully made the point that profiling doesn’t automatically mean we lose a war.

I’m also wondering how he draws a parallel between what someone looks like, and an ideology. The example is horribly flawed, even if all he was trying to show that profiling isn’t a guaranteed war loss. Well, racism would make it work I suppose.

Not liking the apology. I’d have hoped for some explanation of how he came to select that particular example. If he’s not self aware enough to know where he went wrong, how can anyone trust that he won’t screw up like this again? To be fair, though, he did unambiguously state that the internment was wrong.

NCIS and Computers

Apparently, you can write a virus that can go through the power cord on a laptop- not a power line networking device, but the actual power cord- to infect other systems.  This was actually how it was said to have accessed the NCIS network.

To give them more credit than they deserve, the operating state of an electrical device can generate some current fluctuation in its power cord, and in severe cases, even in other devices on the same circuit. If the circuit is anywhere near competently designed and constructed, this will be a very small fluctuation, but to be fair it would exist.

But to exploit it to the effects seen in tonights episode, the only way this is even in the same multiverse as plausible would require specific targeting of the network being attacked and the vector being used. You’d need to know exactly how your vector performs under varying operating conditions to reliably generate a signal, you’d need to know exactly how the circuit it’s attached to is designed and implemented, you’d need to know how other devices attached to it will affect things- someone plugging in a coffee machine you didn’t expect could throw the whole thing off by changing how the circuit reacts to what you do to it.  An electrician using an extra inch of wire could throw it all off. Microamps of current draw could throw it off.

I really wouldn’t be surprised if this would require such precise control of the currents you induce in the power cord that quantum mechanics makes it more random luck than the virus actually doing anything, unless the virus writer is waiting to hear back on his Nobel Prize in EVERYTHING FOREVER for coming up with a reliable means to predict quantum effects with absolute precision.

This isn’t even getting to the issues of how to jump from one circuit to another, or how the outbreak was restricted to just the NCIS network when it somehow could propogate over power lines without actual power line networking fast enough to take out their entire network in a second or two.


Sony: 2K smartphone screens are not worth the battery compromise – News – Trusted Reviews

Sony: 2K smartphone screens are not worth the battery compromise – News – Trusted Reviews.

I’m with Sony on this.  There’s really no need- few people have eyes good enough to notice the improved resolution.  And there is not much content for resolutions that high, so you just display the same old stuff only with more pixels.

I just don’t see a good argument at present for phones going past 1080.  Maybe when we have more 2k content available, but for now, just stay at 1080.  It’s plenty for any mass market user.  Optimize things like refresh rate, color accuracy, contrast, and so on.  There’s a lot more room to make noticeable improvements on a screen this size than there is with higher resolutions.

That being said, companies should research and optimize the tech to go into the 2k range on a phone- the content is likely to come eventually(and being able to just display it at the resolution it is recorded at will be helpful for image quality and performance), and there are probably specialized use cases where it’s useful now.  But putting it into a mass market phone is just silly.

No, this study does not say that.

Unless You Have Celiac Disease, Gluten Sensitivity is in Your Head — NOVA Next | PBS.

The headline is pretty much total crap.

While the research does suggest that non-celiac gluten sensitivity doesn’t exist, it is not at all enough to say it’s all in your head.  The article does mention a hypothesis about FODMAPs being the actual cause, further research is needed to look into that.

Also, some replication of these results is called for.  This study may well simply be wrong.  It looks to be reasonably well done, so that seems unlikely, but until we see some replication, we really can’t rule it out.

And while the study participants may well not have a physical reaction to gluten, the study is small enough that it could plausibly miss rare conditions, other than celiac, that cause gluten sensitivity.  Non-celiac gluten sensitivity may exist, but be much more rare than popularly believed.  Further studies might be able to help here.

There’s just not enough in the study to remotely justify the headline used.  The study doesn’t say that.  The study says it’s something other than gluten.  IT does not say it’s all in peoples heads.

PBS, please do better next time or I might feel forced to join with Republicans in calling for your funding to be cut.  Not that I hate public broadcasting, but if we’re going to have it, I don’t want this sort of bullshit spreading paid for with my tax dollars.

Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution -Thoughts on further reading

Reading Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution by Shiri Eisner. I’m still early in the book, and trying to withhold final judgement, but there have been a few points where I’m thinking “Fuck you, I’m not a weapon in your silly revolution”. Some of this may be more writing style than a criticism on the merits of her arguments, hence, the attempt to withhold final judgement until she’s had the whole book to make her case.

A more practical criticism is I’m not sure existing power structures are so far beyond hope that the solution is to get rid of them. Some, at least, I believe can be reformed while being left largely intact. Some need to go, yes, but the nuke it from orbit solution Eisner seems to advocate- I don’t think we’re at that point. Not yet at least. I haven’t seen any suggestion that she’s advocating violent revolution, which is good.

The criticism of some assimilationist trends in LGBT culture I don’t like. Should LGBT people be expected to fully assimilate into heterosexual society? Of course not. But while she doesn’t outright say so, some of her criticisms of this sound like an accusation that such LGBT people who do wish to take a more assimilationist stance are effectively traitors. Again, as with my first paragraph, some of this might be writing style or not having seen her full arguments being so early in the book, but I’m not too happy with how she’s been dismissing the desires of such people.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 111 other followers