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Comment: Re:Anti-opiate forces actually "pro pain"? (Score 1) 204

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) 204

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 1) 248

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:"Moderation?" Don't you mean "Censorship?" (Score 1) 75

by Bob9113 (#47801299) Attached to: Study: Social Networks Have Negative Effect On Individual Welfare

Censorship is the suppression of speech. For example: "You can't talk about Oranges, they are evil!"
Moderation is the regulation of speech: "You can talk about Oranges, just not here. Go over there to talk about Oranges."

A related problem is the "Free Speech Zones" outside political party rallies. They do not censor speech, but they do prevent you from speaking in some portion of the public square. To the extent that Facebook has become the public square, the cost to society of speech prohibition in that forum is the same. To the extent that "Free Speech Zones" are an infringement of free speech, and Facebook has become the public square, Facebook presents the same risks to society.

This is not merely a question of how you dice the legal technicalities, it is a question of the purpose and means of free speech. Free speech is more important to our society in the long run than any other right; it is the basis of having a strong GDP upon which Facebook can build its business. If Facebook becomes destructive of the system, it is our rationally self-interested duty as a society to stop it, even if the particular existing legal terms can be parsed in a way that says it is legal.

Comment: Re:What will it take? (Score 1) 95

by ArcherB (#47800725) Attached to: Study: Antarctic Sea-Level Rising Faster Than Global Rate

So much freshwater from melting glaciers that sea level isn't even level anymore, and some people still don't want to believe there might be a climate problem.

(I don't mean the people who question how to address the problem - that's still legitimately an open question - or the severity of the problem, I mean the people still in denial that there's a problem at all.)

So if there's less ice, it's because of global warming. But if there's more ice, it's because of global warming.

Just curious, if global warming were not a thing, what would the ice caps be doing?

Comment: But not a binding precedent (Score 1) 248

And the precedent is that distracted driving laws are not valid and can be ignored.

I don't see how that's true, for three reasons. First, the featured article states that the vehicle was stopped while the phone was in use. Second, a DA's decision not to prosecute isn't exactly a "precedent" in the common law sense. Third, even if the officer had been found not guilty in a court of law, another judge could apply the narrower precedent that police are above the distracted driving law but not necessarily above other laws.

Comment: Re:I can't believe we're afraid of these assholes (Score 1) 406

I know you mean the US, but the difference is that the US has left the 8th century.

Actually, the US was never in the 8th century.

Pre-Colombian America (the part the US sits on now) was definitely pre-8th century (pre-8th century BC, even).

Then we jumped straight into the 17th century (or arguably 16th - depends on how you want to count those earliest Spaniards who may or may not have actually reached CONUS), and proceeded from there.

Comment: Re:Simple (Score 1) 610

by hairyfeet (#47798713) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?
So let me get this straight...I can spend $200+ on thumbsticks that I will most likely never see again, or buy a 50 pack of blank DVDs off of Newegg for $6...hmmm....sorry, not really a hard choice pal. Not to mention how the hell am I gonna reproduce 20 thumbsticks when I need to hand out Windows updates to customers whose net is dodgy or who have shitty captastic cellular net? With DVD I simply push the "make another copy" button and tell it how many I want, then I can just slap in another disc when the drawer opens and not even pay attention to am I supposed to do that with thumbsticks?

Comment: Re:Uh (Score 1) 124

by hairyfeet (#47798689) Attached to: Microsoft Shutting Down MSN Messenger After 15 Years of Service

Yeah and believe me a lot of people were PISSED, as Skype really is a piss poor replacement. On a positive note many of those left for other services, thus showing what I've said all along that Steve Ballmer was a cancer upon MSFT and brought nothing but dwindling numbers and failure with him. Hell if the rumors are true the only reason they were able to get Win 7 out the door without him shitting all over it was he was busy squirting the zune on all the talk circuits (boy THAT worked well) and couldn't be arsed with the flagship product.

So here's hoping that the new guy has a brain, a market with only Apple and Google doesn't sound very nice to me as it would probably be locked down and online only and at least with MSFT you can skip versions you don't like.

Prototype designs always work. -- Don Vonada