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Comment: Re:Anti-opiate forces actually "pro pain"? (Score 1) 207

by bill_mcgonigle (#47801571) Attached to: States Allowing Medical Marijuana Have Fewer Painkiller Deaths

They're against addiction, and they're against recreational drug use. Agree or disagree, why not take them at their word?

Because the evidence is all to the contrary.

Portugal ran the biggest experiment - 8 million people - and upon legalization, their drug use fell in half. The UK experienced the same thing in the reverse direction upon criminalization of e.g. heroin. The result is consistent with rational views of human incentives as well, so no logical surprises.

People who are pro- drug criminalization are for increased addiction rates. That's what reason predicts and that's what the empirical results are.

Whether or not these people are rational is immaterial to the consequences of their actions. We shall not give them a "pass" on "good intentions" if they lead us down the Road to Hell. The JAMA research suggests they're responsible for a minimum of one 9/11-scale effect every year.

Comment: Re:Anti-opiate forces actually "pro pain"? (Score 1) 207

by bill_mcgonigle (#47801537) Attached to: States Allowing Medical Marijuana Have Fewer Painkiller Deaths

It's like there's some kind of morality subtext that's really "pro pain" and opposed to feeling better

Yes, that's exactly right - Puritanism is a terribly destructive mindframe and thoroughly-ingrained in American culture.

Three things:
1) there a slight chance that these patients could have some fun or pleasure on these drugs. That's reason enough to put a foot down on society.
2) suffering is a virtue. God will lessen the suffering of those who are themselves virtuous, but for the same reason people whip and crucify themselves "for God", those suffering horribly from disease should not be brought from that blessing.
3) people with these afflictions may deserve them.

and those who profit handsomely from such ugly undercurrents in society are all too happy to exploit them for wealth and power.

c.f. A Renegade History of the United States for more on this. The author was fired from a university professorship for publishing such "radical" views on the failures of Puritanism.

Comment: Re: The Double Standard keeps growing (Score 2) 329

people need to get out and start protesting and getting people on ballots to oust the cronies.

sorry, but that's the strategy which has been employed for the past two hundred years. The very best that could be said for it is that it has slowed the decline into totalitarianism. Even that is hard to prove.

I suggest a new strategy, Artoo.

Comment: Re:YUI vs. Node.js ? (Score 1) 76

by dave420 (#47800089) Attached to: Yahoo Stops New Development On YUI
If they are doing anything with any level of complexity, they are very arguably using one wrongly. There are a reason lots of libraries exist for JS - implementations vary across browsers, and the base language is lacking some rather useful low-level features. If they are writing "pure JavaScript" and doing anything remotely complex, then they either bridged the gap themselves (by recreating the wheel, most likely incompletely), or are simply not using them (limiting compatibility).

Comment: Re:Me too (Score 1) 610

by smellsofbikes (#47792563) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

Out of curiosity, what model of Opel? I always wanted an Opel GT...

I've gone through three of those plastic box fans over the last ten years, and whenever one dies I drag out the big heavy steel box fan my parents had in the 1950's. Man does that thing move air, all day long, fairly quietly. It's just terrifying because if it fell out of the window it could kill someone, but whereas the plastic ones jump to their doom every couple of months I think it would take a volcanic eruption to shift the old fan.

Comment: Re:5820K is an extremely nice part (Score 2) 171

I was just looking at that one a few hours ago (need to replace my desktop ... Mozilla apps are pigs with high core-affinity).

I decided against it because it has many fewer of the new instructions than the 4790K, slower clock, and almost double the TDP (and I prefer quiet/low power).

Obviously for highly parallel tasks that can fit nicely in the 5820K's bigger cache, it will win handily. I'd love to see an ffmpeg coding shoot-out, but I'm concerned that the 5820K's disabled PCIe lanes might hamper other system performance (vs. e.g. the 5830K).

If anybody here has an ASRock Z97 mobo that they love, I'd like to hear about it.

Comment: Risk Management (Score 3, Insightful) 88

Look, I'm all for getting as much Zmapp to patients as is possible. I think a lot of people are agreement on this.

But we also need to do something about the effed up process of the approval of drugs and vaccines for these deadly diseases.

I'm thinking specifically about the malaria vaccine that has been known to be effective since '96/'97, but which has been held up for extended testing trials by (IIRC) the British drug regulators, who again put a hold on it this spring because it might not be entirely effective in newborn infants.

Meanwhile two million children are dying every year from malaria. This is a really, really, really, screwed up situation, and we have an ethical obligation to do what we can to put an end to these processes.

Even if the latest delay is "only" three months, that's a half million kids or so. It's unconscionable how poor the risk management analysis is - the perfect can be the very, very deadly enemy of the good. And so can drug-agency bureaucrats.

Comment: Just about everything I own (Score 2) 610

by smellsofbikes (#47787907) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

Pushbutton hard-wired phones, world war two vintage drillpress, metal lathe, wood lathe, tablesaw, 1970 Triumph as my not-snowing car, 1990 bicycle for my non-race bike, MOO/MUD's that I've been hanging out on since 1992, Commordore Amiga 2000 (okay, I only fire that up about once every two months.) A lot of my wood chisels are from the 1890's. They all work just fine. My race bike is a brand-new marvel of carbon fiber and magnesium, but I bet it won't last another two seasons, whereas the old bike has over 150,000 kilometers on it. I do now design using switching power supplies, rather than LDO's, and I've moved from PIC to AVR, (and I've always programmed in C rather than assembly) but generally, there has to be a really clear advantage for me to change piles of experience and knowledge for something new.

Comment: Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (Score 2) 130

by bill_mcgonigle (#47785833) Attached to: Coffee Naps Better For Alertness Than Coffee Or Naps Alone

I personally got in it because I like the idea of solving problems, rather than taking care of them for a short while.

Just don't mistake any of the trades for not being problem-solving professions. Laying out a plumbing stack, electrical plan, etc. and making it work seamlessly (err... perfectly), or welding together a skyscraper are very valid and worthy problem solving engagements. Same with shoeing a horse from rods of iron. You just get to move more in these jobs.

I'd love to hear from somebody who feels that writing a finance report module is more worthy an endeavour than building a house for a family. I'm not even confident that it could be proven to be a better productivity enhancer on a macro level as your report module will be thrown away in a few years, but that house will be there for a century.

Comment: Re:Even Better idea... (Score 1) 245

End every punishment doled out by the government without a trial by jury.

Hey, but 93% of prosecutions end in plea bargains; we could not have nearly so many codified crimes and extensive prison systems if every person received a trial by a jury of his peers!

You monster - those prison guards have families to feed!

Comment: Re:This Just In! (Score 1) 108

by bill_mcgonigle (#47785587) Attached to: How Big Telecom Smothers Municipal Broadband

Because you can't have the government competing with them in an area that they might, someday, begin to consider serving.

Yeah, so ... don't let them hear this too loudly ... one way to get Comcast into a town (where that's the only neighboring monopoly) is to lay out plans on paper to have a market competitor build out a WISP to serve the town. It doesn't even have to be a great-coverage plan and you don't have to have affordable backhaul, but have some public hearings and make sure the papers cover it thoroughly - Comcast will be along shortly to talk to the town administrators about pulling cable, on their dime.

I've even seen this happen in sequence, from town to town.

The one day you'd sell your soul for something, souls are a glut.

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