But I have to say, I don’t think it looks so bad. (Stop the presses: Wronging Rights is being less snarky than the rest of the internet about something!)
I only know what I’ve seen in the clip above, and read in Gentleman’s article, but as far as I can tell, Lohan behaved as any interested, kind, and previously-uninformed person would have in that situation. Reading between the lines of Gentleman’s eyebrow-wiggling and mascara-smearing prose, it sounds like Lohan, upon hearing the small child on her lap describe a life of exploitation and suffering, began to cry. And we’re supposed to think this is a sign of what, exactly? Weakness of character? Crying when faced with tragedy is hardly a reaction limited to hard-partying starlets.
Likewise, I’m not inclined to pounce on Lohan for stumbling over her words a bit in the confrontation with the trafficker that’s shown in the clip. Yes, it’s hardly the case that only “the attractive ones” need to worry about being sexually abused, or forced into prostitution. But Lindsey Lohan isn’t an expert in human trafficking, or women’s rights. If she’d parroted the talking points perfectly, then we’d know that she’d been well coached. But as it was, she had an awkward, slightly weird, somewhat inaccurate conversation with a woman who admitted to selling children. At worst, that’s an interesting thing to watch. And at best, it offers the similarly-uninformed viewer someone to identify with. (Hell, the informed viewer, too. There but for the grace of not being followed around by a video camera during my intern years go I.)
In other words, Lindsay Lohan is kind of a weirdo, and a layperson when it comes to trafficking in children, and acted accordingly. I fail to see the problem with that. It seems far, far preferable to the alternative mode of celebrity causemongering, in which stars opine on substantive policy matters, and are treated like the experts they are not.
Estimating the chances of something that hasn’t happened yet
by John on March 30, 2010
Suppose you’re proofreading a book. If you’ve read 20 pages and found 7 typos, you might reasonably estimate that the chances of a page having a typo are 7/20. But what if you’ve read 20 pages and found no typos. Are you willing to conclude that the chances of a page having a typo are 0/20, i.e. the book has absolutely no typos?
To take another example, suppose you are testing children for perfect pitch. You’ve tested 100 children so far and haven’t found any with perfect pitch. Do you conclude that children don’t have perfect pitch? You know that some do because you’ve heard of instances before. But your data suggest perfect pitch in children is at least rare. But how rare?
The rule of three gives a quick and dirty way to estimate these kinds of probabilities. It says that if you’ve tested N cases and haven’t found what you’re looking for, a reasonable estimate is that the probability is less than 3/N. So in our proofreading example, if you haven’t found any typos in 20 pages, you could estimate that the probability of a page having a typo is less than 15%. In the perfect pitch example, you could conclude that fewer than 3% of children have perfect pitch.
How I’d Hack Your Weak Passwords
Posted on Mar 26, 2007 – 2:17am by John P. in Computing, Security
User LoginIf you invited me to try and crack your password, you know the one that you use over and over for like every web page you visit, how many guesses would it take before I got it?
Let’s see… here is my top 10 list. I can obtain most of this information much easier than you think, then I might just be able to get into your e-mail, computer, or online banking. After all, if I get into one I’ll probably get into all of them.
If this is true, I have a feeling diabetes will be cured within 10 years.
“For every person in the world with HIV there are three people in China with diabetes,” said David Whiting, an epidemiologist with the International Diabetes Federation, who was not involved in the research.
I envisioned this cartoon as something somebody would want to put up on their office wall, the same day that they leave their nine-to-five job, in order to start their own business.
The day you do this is one of the the greatest days you’ll ever have in your life. Of course it’s scary. Of course it’s risky.
The next earth hour should include no tweets and fb updates, use of cellphones and other mobile devices!!!
What that means is that, as the Greenpeace report makes clear, both the economic and the political stakes involved in mitigating the environmental impact of the cloud will increase. Greenpeace argues that what’s important is not only the efficiency of data centers but the sources of the power they use. The heavenly cloud, it turns out, runs largely on earthbound coal. In this regard, it singles out Facebook for criticism:
Facebook’s decision to build its own highly-efficient data centre in Oregon that will be substantially powered by coal-fired electricity clearly underscores the relative priority for many cloud companies. Increasing the energy efficiency of its servers and reducing the energy footprint of the infrastructure of data centres are clearly to be commended, but efficiency by itself is not green if you are simply working to maximise output from the cheapest and dirtiest energy source available.
Greenpeace also links Apple’s decision to locate a huge cloud data center in North Carolina to that state’s cheap electricity supplies, which come mainly from coal-fired plants. Other companies, including Google, also run big data center operations in the Carolinas. Noting that the IT industry “holds many of the keys to reaching our climate goals,” Greenpeace says that it is pursuing a “Cool IT Campaign” that is intended to pressure the industry to “put forward solutions to achieve economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions reductions and to be strong advocates for policies that combat climate change and increase the use of renewable energy.”
via Rough Type: Nicholas Carr’s Blog: Greenpeace raids the cloud.
I propose work-life compartmentalization as a case study. “Work-life balance” is how we rationalize that separation. It’s OK, we think, to put up with some unpleasantness from 9 to 5, as long as we can look forward to getting home, kicking our shoes off and relaxing, alone or among family or friends. And perhaps that’s reasonable enough.
But this logic leads many people to tolerate: stress, taking orders, doing work that we think is meaningless, filling out paperwork that will never actually be read, pouring our energy into projects we’re certain are failure-bound but never speaking up about that to avoid being branded “not a team player”, being bored in endless meetings which are thinly disguised status games, feeling unproductive and stupid but grinding on anyway because it’s “office hours” and that’s when we are supposed to work, and so on.
And those are only the milder symptoms. Workplace bullying, crunch mode, dodgy workplace ethics are worryingly prevalent. (There are large variations in this type of workplace toxicity; some of us are lucky enough to never catch but a whiff of it, some of us unfortunately are exposed to a high degree. That these are real and widespread phenomena is evidenced by the success of TV shows showing office life as its darkest; humor is a defense mechanism.)
Things snapped into focus for me one day when a manager asked me to lie to a client about my education record in order to get a contract. I refused, expecting to be fired; that didn’t happen. Had I really been at risk? The incident anyway fueled a resolve to try and apply at work the same standards that I do in life – when I think rationally.