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Messages - Frenzie

DnD Central / Re: How To Sit
Huh, looks more like an ultra-cheap motel.
Browsers & Technology / Re: E-readers
The screen refresh rate may be too slow for fast typists.
Speaking as a fast typist, it doesn't matter if you're looking at the screen or not. I'm looking outside as I'm typing this right now. ;)
DnD Central / Re: Infrastructure
Won't load for me.
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Clearly, the existing infrastructure is not adequate.
And very important, building more roads will generally just make things more annoying and expensive.
This makes sense too, as this font with wide line spacing is better readable from distance.
Perhaps it would yield a more dependable script length to minutes of film conversion compared to a variable width font. Although I don't find that hypothesis particularly plausible.

Speaking of typewriters, here are some new pictures:
DnD Central / Re: Infrastructure
oh yeah i had moved on from elon musk
but then the richest man on the planet
had to go and invent the underground
traffic jam
Minor sidenote, but I'm in an underground traffic jam pretty much half the time I have to drive through the Kennedytunnel for work.[1] Which luckily is only once every few weeks or less. I spend most of my days happily cycling instead, which is relaxing and good for your body, while driving is the opposite.
Only about half because in many cases I can leave shortly after 9 when the traffic jam has stopped being a traffic jam and is merely traffic going at 30-50 or so instead of 70.
Are screenplays required to look like they were composed on a typewriter?
DnD Central / Re: Infrastructure
Not in my experience. The 380 Beijing-Shanghai trains are smooth. Classic coin test; you put a coin on its end, it shouldn't fall down. I don't think I have traveled 300+ trains in Europe. The trains I have taken in Germany, Spain, Italy were below 300, the Swedish barely 200. Have travelled in France, but not high-speed.
There are just the occasional minor vibrations that would drop your coin. Whatever it is, it's not there in regular (Dutch) trains. It's not bothersome.
DnD Central / Re: Infrastructure
I wish I could experience that speed some day. (Well, I have in airplanes.)
I think in the Benlux top speeds don't exceed 200 km/h, rarely 160 km/h even, and both of those are basically indistinguishable from a more typical 130 km/h in a normal intercity, ignoring for a second the obvious advantage that you might gain half an hour or more.[1] Btw, Dutch Wikipedia says the intercity from Brussels to Ostend used to go at 160 km/h before the war, but that after the war it took another 60 years before it attained such speeds again.

I've only experienced 300 km/h in Germany, where you could notice the train feeling ever so slightly less smooth, indeed in some ways comparable to an airplane. The train to Paris as well as to London also goes at 300 km/h, putting Paris at a mere 2 hours and 5 minutes from here.[2]

Anyway, I can endorse it as being perfectly boring. When we went on vacation to Nuremberg a decade ago we took the ICE. The trip was about 7 hours. Some people have brain damage or something and think that's a long time compared to the 1 hour flight, when it's actually 1 hour to get to the airport 2 hours early, a 1.5 hour flight, and some 1.5 hours to get from the airport to the center of Nuremberg. The total time is close to identical, except with a lot more stress and things to worry about when you could've just been reading or sleeping or something.

There's also the interesting concept of night trains. I've never been on one, but to go to Vienna I can very much imagine it's much more comfortable to board a train at night, sleep while you're barreling towards your destination and to wake up near Austria. The fact that the trip takes 12 hours instead of ~5-6 is then completely irrelevant.
Wikipedia says, "The tunnel was unveiled in mid-April 2021 with regular Tesla Model 3 and Model X cars used for shuttling, running at about 35 miles per hour (56 km/h)" i.e. surface street level top speed - and that must be the top speed, because in the video the traffic looks congested to begin with and is 30 km/h tops (yes, I mean km/h). Also the promised capacity is orders of magnitude "not there yet".
Hah, so my guess was pretty much dead on. It looked pretty fast because the tunnel's so claustrophobic, but it was clearly quite slow.
Of course the rails themselves have to be higher quality, be straighter and such but I mean as a passenger.
But since that works with reservations like airlines, let's add another hour to get to the station, because if you miss it, it's not like a regular train where you'll just catch the next one with no worries of any sort.
DnD Central / Re: Infrastructure
I'll grant that a train traveling at 300 km/h isn't quite as comfortable as one traveling at 130-200 km/h, but I wonder if the thrill ride even went as fast as 50.
DnD Central / Re: Infrastructure
And here's the latest on the idiotic tunnel concept:
DnD Central / Re: Climate Change and You
and you Americans on parking lots
There's also the fairly self-evident point that roofing parking lots with solar panels would also provide very welcome shade that is often lacking. (Although it'd be cheaper and nicer looking to provision some space for trees.)
The list is bad form for rights that everyone should have. The list would be a better form for necessary distinctions to be made, but the point of this law is "don't discriminate", instead of "do differentiate". Normally such laws employ an exception list instead, e.g "everybody is equal, except high state officials have privilege, legal might has superiority and bigger capital has priority." I.e.a negative list, not a positive list.

The Dutch constitution phrases it as follows in article 1:
All persons in the Netherlands shall be treated equally in equal circumstances. Discrimination on the
grounds of religion, belief, political opinion, race or sex or on any other grounds whatsoever shall not be
Except when limited by law, if there is a proper justification for restricting it, as tested by the court. Ultimately that's the High Council if it makes it that far, or in arguably better English the Supreme Court.

I reject the contention of obscurity in language usage that makes personal interpretation the standard: that's no standard at all.
There is no obscurity. There is just thinking it through logically. Why are you discriminating against a crossdresser? Because they're wearing a dress or short hair. Would you discriminate against a woman wearing a dress? No? Then you're discriminating against the man wearing the dress based on their sex. You can't fit a pin between it. There is no question regarding the definition of sex here. There would be no discrimination but for sex. If you don't like it, blame the text of the law. It could've easily said something else, as I just quoted Gorsuch clearly explaining above.

But as ersi points out,
There would be no reason to be opposed to pedophilia if children could act as consenting adults. But that's neither here nor there. Legally speaking I doubt you could generally discriminate against someone just for having a sexual preference for children. Plainly put, if you see an attractive woman, do you proceed to rape her or do you just think to yourself it's an attractive woman? Unless the word pedophile here is intended to mean something like rapist or (child) abuser it is in fact more or less a sexual orientation, although I think handicap would be a better word than sexual orientation, particularly legally speaking. I.e., for a forklift driver the handicap of being a pedophile doesn't matter but for an elementary school teacher one imagines it does.

What privileges your interpretation?
Surely you have no less a problem rejecting my interpretation than I have rejecting yours. :) But I am dismayed that someone of your intelligence can read what Gorsuch wrote as well as what Alito wrote and not see that Alito is at best pretending Gorsuch didn't already more than disprove all his arguments with ample examples and precedents. There are no "word games" here, only proper applied philosophy based on the plain meaning of words.

A convincing objection to a proper principled textualist interpretation as per Gorsuch would be how @ersi once showed that I took Scalia too much at his word regarding the texts from the 18th century with regard to the Second Amendment. (I.e., that a well-regulated militia only ever meant something like the National Guard and that pretty much all 20th century SCOTUS decisions are a muddled mess.)

When the statute in question uses language easily understood on the basis of documented common usage and supported by contemporaneous reference works, what justifies the "new" interpretation?
This is the entire point. Gorsuch uses the ordinary meaning of sex and establishes how the ordinary meaning of sex entails discrimination based on sexual interest and outward appearance ("gender"). That is because but for sex, those behaviors aren't being targeted. A man interested in having sex with a woman isn't being targeted. A woman interested in having sex with a woman is. A woman wearing a dress isn't being targeted, but a man wearing a dress is. The behavior is identical, but for sex.

It's telling that you'd rehash your example of the law against kidnapping from the 1600s to the 1900s:
How do you justify making the means of transport a "but-for"  element of the crime? (Remind me, please...)
The point is that it doesn't matter whether anyone envisioned that men might want to wear dresses just the same as it doesn't matter whether anyone envisioned that people might be kidnapped in dirigibles. You can't point at an analogy and say that, aha, it doesn't apply outside of its constraints.

But that's just a generic remark. For kidnapping, it doesn't matter what you do but for transporting someone against their will. It doesn't matter if you're taking them in a suitcase where they can barely breathe or if you're kidnapping them in a dirigible of utmost luxury. Taking someone in a dirigible would be awesome but for the fact that you're doing it against their will. That's what makes it kidnapping, not the fact that you're being confined in uncomfortable circumstances.

Oakdale, the problem is far beyond the interpretation of the word "sex". Luckily for Title VII, it specifies "in the workplace", so everything outside the workplace should be a non-issue.
Only a limited number of workplaces too (i.e., certain industries, companies with more than 15 employees, and so on).

The law is messed up on this point, not on the word level, but on the section level or even on the principle level. Those whose job is to apply/interpret the law as written are f'd, fairly literally. Some judges try their best to not be ridiculous. The majority try their usual veiling of ulterior motives. None of them will admit the law is letting them down.
(The only workplace where sexual orientation would matter is probably porn industry, so regulate that, lawgivers.)
The law already says you're perfectly within your right to discriminate on the basis of sex in soccer teams and similar matters like porn, in America as well as here.

As to "interpreting" that Oakdale has an issue with, it so happens that whenever you read a text, you are interpreting it. Inevitably. It is impossible to not interpret.
It's quite literally the job of the courts to interpret the law. That's what they're there for. Otherwise they'd serve no purpose.

At this stage, the problem is not how to interpret the word "sex" but that lawgivers yielded to feminist pressures in a manner that gave rise to a slippery slope of problems that keep growing like a snowball.
And yet the very definition of feminism is "Shouldn't the law be against any and all disadvantaging, not solely on the basis of a limited list like race, sex etc?" Anything else is straw feminism.
I'd have to add a question: Did Gorsuch contend that our courts and congresses -up until his interpretation[1]- mis-understood the plain application of the law's terms?
We already went over all of this previously.

Perhaps it's easier to see the logic of the argument if we rephrase it slightly. Imagine a kidnapping law from 1600. The framers can only reasonably be said to have envisioned kidnapping by walking, horses, carts and ships. But now it's 1900, and someone was abducted by dirigible. The framers didn't foresee dirigibles, and there's no legal precedent with regard to dirigibles. It's not kidnapping, argues the defense. There's never been a kidnapping case in which dirigibles were considered a viable means of abduction, and just imagining the sheer wonder of being on a dirigible looking down at the world from far above should be enough to convince you that it's actually a wondrous opportunity. Quite the opposite of a kidnapping.

When they wrote sex back in the '60s, most of them were presumably only thinking of the visible sex, what we now suddenly call "gender expression." Many would've likely thought an "incorrect" gender expression to be an aberration, occurring only among a few deviants and non-Western cultures. But that's not the point. As Gorsuch writes, what matters is that the discriminators would not make this decision but for sex. That's what's in the text of the law. There's a pretense by Alito and Thomas that Gorsuch changed the meaning of sex, which he clearly did not, and that you can discriminate on gender without targeting sex, which doesn't make a lick of sense.

Another point to keep in mind is that discriminating on multiple grounds doesn't exempt you from Title VII. I mention this explicitly because that kind of thing would be morally outrageous, but it can sometimes happen legally. As an aside, the provision on sex might not even have made it in there if a racist hadn't been concerned that white women might have fewer rights than black men and women. Then perhaps it would've been fully legal to discriminate based on sex in the United States. And a proper textualist like Gorsuch would've gone the other way.
When an employer fires an employee because she is homo-
sexual or transgender, two causal factors may be in play--
both  the  individual's  sex  and  something  else
  (the  sex  to
which the individual is attracted or with which the individ-
ual identifies).  But Title VII doesn't care.  If an employer
would not have discharged an employee but for that in-
dividual's  sex,  the  statute's  causation  standard  is  met, 
and liability may attach.

And on the actual language used:
At first glance, another interpretation might seem possi-
ble. Discrimination sometimes involves "the act, practice,
or  an  instance  of  discriminating  categorically  rather  than
individually." Webster's  New  Collegiate  Dictionary  326
(1975); see also post, at 27-28, n. 22 (ALITO, J., dissenting).
On that understanding, the statute would require us to con-
sider the employer's treatment of groups rather than indi-
viduals, to see how a policy affects one sex as a whole versus
the other as a whole.  That idea holds some intuitive appeal
too. Maybe  the  law  concerns  itself  simply  with  ensuring 
that employers don't treat women generally less favorably
than they do men.  So how can we tell which sense, individ-
ual or group, "discriminate" carries in Title VII?
The  statute  answers  that  question  directly.   It  tells  us 
three  times--including  immediately  after  the  words  "dis-
criminate  against"--that  our  focus  should  be  on  individu-
als, not groups: Employers may not "fail or refuse to hire
or . . . discharge any individual, or otherwise . . . discrimi-
nate against any individual with respect to his compensa-
tion,  terms,  conditions,  or  privileges  of  employment,  be-
cause of such individual's . . . sex." §2000e-2(a)(1)
(emphasis added).  And the meaning of "individual" was as
uncontroversial in 1964 as it is today: "A particular being
as distinguished from a class, species, or collection."  Web-
ster's New International Dictionary, at 1267.  Here, again,
Congress could have written the law differently. It might
have said that "it shall be an unlawful employment practice
to prefer one sex to the other in hiring, firing, or the terms
or conditions of employment."  It might have said that there
should be no "sex discrimination," perhaps implying a focus
on differential treatment between the two sexes as groups.
More narrowly still, it could have forbidden only "sexist pol-
icies" against women as a class.  But, once again, that is not
the law we have.
DnD Central / Re: Infrastructure
America finally has a good railway: Brightline in Miami (I tend to trust this guy)
I noticed priority boarding for premium passengers 15 minutes before departure. That's giving me a lot of bad airplane vibes. Anyway, looks decent.
Are you implying that Oakdale is goldfish?
Implicitly accusing of acting like a goldfish, yes.

The goldfish thing came out of my annoyance after looking at the original text to refresh my memory. I had assumed it was quite plausible that the introduction glossed over a thing or two a bit too summarily. Only to find that the quoted phrase doesn't just exist in the broader context of the actual substance of the argument on the following pages, but that the supposed omission is quite literally right there in the preceding and the following sentences! It's impossible to read it the proposed way unless you pretend the sentence exists in some kind of vacuum.

My initial reaction before my sudden onset of annoyance was that dismissing the actual reasoning based on what might implausibly but possibly[1] be construed as a minor oversight in the first few summarizing sentences, is something we should guard for in critical thinking in several ways. The two main ones here being:

  • Just because you've dismissed the weakest argument doesn't mean anything if nothing depends on it. This is a psychological defect in us humans that we have to take great effort to correct for, and even if we're aware of it we don't always succeed. The above superficially looks like an example of that. Gorsuch's argument hinges on what discrimination based on sex means according to Title VII, not on whether the court has the ability to create laws out of thin air.

    Of course I would be remiss if I pretended even for a second that those three aren't just trying to throw sand in your eyes. Kavanaugh rather hilariously writes that "Under the Constitution's separation of powers, our role as judges is to interpret and follow the law as written, regardless of whether we like the result." That's. Gorsuch's. point! To interpret the law as written, as the courts are supposed to do. That Alito character turns out to be a despicable lying liar when he says interpreting the law is legislating. The court has a constitutional obligation to interpret the law as written, not to make up some contrived claptrap about what people in the '60s may or may not have thought. That would be, gee, what's the word... oh, right, legislating.
  • Given everything that follows, this cannot be what Gorsuch meant. You can't just pretend the context isn't there.

    Gorsuch's argument is quite plainly that in interpretation of the law it would be a bit silly to say that just because some specific kind of discrimination based on sex may not have been envisioned by the original framers who explicitly phrased it as wide as possible, therefore it shouldn't be included. The court doesn't deal with temporal telepathy, but with the text of the law. If they meant something else, they would've or should've written something else.
His formulation contains a hidden ellipsis: "whether [it is right or just that] an employer can"...

On the basis of your quote one might be inclined to think so. Put it back in context, however:

Sometimes small gestures can have unexpected conse -
quences. Major initiatives practically guarantee them. In
our time, few pieces of federal legislation rank in signifi-
cance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. There, in Title VII,
Congress outlawed discrimination in the workplace on the
basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
simply for being homosexual or transgender. The answer
is clear. An employer who fires an individual for being ho-
mosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or ac-
tions it would not have questioned in members of a different
sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the
decision, exactly what Title VII forbids
The Lounge / Re: Happy New Zealand!
Happy 2022 everyone!
There's no such thing as a shortage, with perhaps a minor exception for the UK, but even that is effectively the same thing as any other "shortage." A work permit for a few months or a year that may not be renewed is comparable to a job with that lack of certainty, except it's quite a lot worse as a proposition.
Well, I'm glad you so thoroughly renounce your earlier position that the law should be interpreted ad hoc according to the current winds. ;)
Happy 27th of December! :D
Second, employers of fewer than 100 employees face no mandate from OSHA. (Because...OSHA doesn't care about them? Nonsense. It's because there's no precedent for such a rule? Or because the costs of compliance/non-compliance would be too much for "small" businesses? You tell me...)
Or maybe because these are basically the exact same guidelines as for small and large gatherings based on risk evaluation? We happen to use the number 50 for inside and 100 for outside, and it makes perfect sense that an inside office setting is somewhat comparable to an outside gathering. The rationale is simply that it won't immediately spiral out of control if all 100 people got sick and infected a few friends and family. There are complex, highly accurate mathematical models that predict the infection and IC results if you put in this and that number, presented as advice to the governments of this world by the Faucis of this world.[1]

To be clear, I definitely agree that there's something odd and disturbing about enforcing invasive drug tests and I guess soon COVID-19 tests as is done in America. But it doesn't strike me as inconsistent with American precedent.

Instead of requiring vaccination, here in Europe we're requiring mostly teleworking. Everyone back to the office every day of the week just seems like a bad goal, pandemic or no. Make no mistake, the entire thing feels like bad mojo to me. It just doesn't come across as haphazard or inconsistent.
It does seem a bit weird that the White House press release doesn't bother to explain the rationale that clearly must be there, but then again the past four years the press releases were rather significantly lower quality still.
But I -personally- still oppose mandated vaccination.
In Belgium there's one obligatory vaccine: polio. In the Netherlands there are none. It's extremely unlikely that COVID-19 would be added to that list.[1]

I suppose what you're talking about is the professional requirement to be vaccinated against COVID-19 iff[2] you want to work in health care. In that specific circumstance COVID-19 will almost certainly be added to the list everywhere. Keep in mind we already require hepatitis B, tetanus and a tuberculosis test in those circumstances, details may differ a bit from country to country but the general principle is the same. Additional requirements can be be added by the organization in question. For example, while I don't know if it is the case, one can easily imagine that the Tropical Health Institute requires vaccinations against various exotic diseases from its workers that a regular hospital would not. All of this is intended to protect employees against infection and to prevent vulnerable hospitalized patients from catching something new.

Now I'm not saying we should act as if the decisions we took back in the '90s are set in stone, but they weren't implemented willy-nilly without considering the rights of the individual.

Art VII 1-5 to 1-8 : "The employer shall carry out the risk assessment in collaboration with the prevention advisor occupational physician, determine the preventive measures and ensure the information of exposed workers and the monitoring of their health. This assessment must be repeated on a regular basis and in any event each time there is a change in working conditions or if a worker is found to be suffering from an infection or illness as a result of such exposure. The elements that contributed to the evaluation, the results of the evaluation and the general measures to be taken shall be collected in a written document, which shall be submitted to the opinion of the Committee for Prevention and Protection at Work (CPBW)."

Art VII 1-51 to 1-58 : "If the risk assessment shows that workers are or may be exposed to biological agents, the employer must offer workers who are not sufficiently immunized the opportunity to be vaccinated if it concerns a biological agent for which an effective vaccine is available and must vaccinate them if it concerns a mandatory vaccine (hepatitis B, tetanus, tuberculin test). The vaccinations are carried out by the prevention advisor-company physician or, if the employee so wishes, by a physician of his choice.

Translated with (free version)
Although apparently the US requires vaccination to attend school, except then you can opt out from that requirement? Sounds backwards, particularly since the end result is more or less identical (i.e., everybody gets vaccinated except those who don't want to).
As in if and only if, not a mistake.