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Comment: The Plural of Anecdote is Not Anecdata (Score 2) 537

by meehawl (#47652803) Attached to: Geneticists Decry Book On Race and Evolution
I remember an account of one case where as adults, both men had (among other similarities) chosen identical belt buckles Show a study of at least several hundred monozygotic twins where similar choices in fashion were dictated by twin genetics and we can talk. Until then, you're just repeating freak stories. Look hard enough and you will find two twins with this sort of thing, but your confirmation bias is preventing you from registering all the twins without the genetic fashion imperative.

Comment: Re:The DHS Is On The Case (Score 1) 207

No the process should be augmented by the district attorney's office who has the resources to protect the public.

Or, alternately, the resources to railroad members of the public into prison cells at the behest of politically connected corporate leaders.

No, The appropriate response is if for the government to appoint a lawyer to advocate for the parent in court. Just the same way the district attorney advocates for victims of crime.

The district attorney doesn't advocate for victims of crime. The district attorney is an advocate for the state prosecuting people accused of committing crimes. That's a critical distinction when you consider that the victims often have little or no say in whether or how the accused is charged and tried.

Comment: Re: The Double Standard (Score 1) 207

Nobody stole the movie. The studio still has it. What someone did was copy the movie without the permission of the copyright holder, thereby committing copyright infringement, which is a civil matter. Or at least it would be if our government weren't the enforcement wing of its benevolent corporate benefactors.

Comment: Re:so, I'm in the more than 8 yrs ago camp (Score 1) 391

by ackthpt (#47608167) Attached to: How long ago did you last assemble a computer?

I generally will upgrade some component(s) over that time frame. I built my first desktop back about 2000, using a Lian-Li case, which I still use (modular aluminum) the PSU has been upgraded 3 times, mobo 3 times, CPU 4 times, memory several times, video several times, storage several times and the OS twice.

Originally a 32 bit system with 256MB RAM and 1 80 GB HDD, it's now 64 bit, 6 cores, 32GB RAM, 256 GB SSD boot drive and 6TB RAID 5. Still screwing around with cheap video cards as I can do everything I need with a $49 card.

Comment: Re:ADA?? (Score 1) 61

by Loki_1929 (#47598719) Attached to: San Francisco Airport Testing Beacon System For Blind Travelers

Yes, as I stated, if you have enough money, you can escape the NHS. I would argue that more people would get better care if they weren't being taxed so heavily to pay for the NHS, particularly if they aren't using it ("double payers"). The existence of a private system pinpoints a painful but obvious truth: that the NHS and systems like it are not the panacea of healthcare they're often hailed as being. For those who would otherwise have nothing available, systems like the NHS provide a safety net that ensures they get at least some level of care, eventually. For everyone else, it can mean long lines, denied care, and other challenges.

US health outcome numbers are skewed by a variety of factors such as gang violence, drug problems, a high rate of imprisonment, a higher percentage of rural communities where access to the latest and greatest healthcare tools isn't readily available, the fact that many low income individuals under 65 don't have regular access to medical care, overuse of defensive medicine, and a number of other things. It's the same sort of challenges you find when comparing any stats between very different countries. If you control for those differences, you'll find that some of the best care on Earth is available in the US, but it's an imperfect system.

Our system leaves some people without access to much care. The NHS leaves some people on a waiting list for years on end and drives others to head to other parts of Europe, India, Malaysia, and even the US for care. Each system has its issues; nobody has completely figured out healthcare just yet. The only way to realistically do so is to so cold and uncaring that even an economist might feel a twinge of moral concern. Nobody wants to pull the plug on grandma, and that's just step one to making a system that can provide a reasonable level of care to all. Step two is kids.

Comment: Re:CLEAN, SAFE, (Score 1) 343

The UK has immense areas available for offshore wind.

Except they keep shutting them down because they're always finding some bird (red-throated diver being the latest) or other wildlife that might be affected by them. The ones that actually do manage to get built are often shut down temporarily due to storm activity.

Comment: Non-technical solutions (Score 1) 61

by Loki_1929 (#47597775) Attached to: San Francisco Airport Testing Beacon System For Blind Travelers

This really seems like an over-hyped, massively expensive technical solution to a problem that could easily be fixed with some volunteer organizations providing guides on an as-needed basis. Here's a thought: require all public high school students to provide X number of hours (start with 200) of public service as a requirement for graduation. Do something similar with college students receiving Federal student aid. Oh look, suddenly volunteers everywhere! And these volunteers can actually adapt to the needs of individuals and don't cost a fortune to implement, update, and maintain!

Comment: Re:ADA?? (Score 0) 61

by Loki_1929 (#47597761) Attached to: San Francisco Airport Testing Beacon System For Blind Travelers

In light of this understanding, it does make me wonder why your country doesn't have a National Health Service favoured by many civilized countries.

My guess is because we don't like paying vastly higher taxes, waiting in seemingly endless (up to two years for an operation during certain periods) lines for care (well, unless you're rich of course, in which case you don't bother with the public system in countries like the UK or Canada), being denied newer and better treatments because a committee decided against it (here coverage is determined by the insurance company and you can choose your insurance provider and plan based on your specific needs, such as necessary coverage for specific medications), facing a "post code lottery" where your quality of care depends on what side of an imaginary line you live on, higher heart disease mortality (36% higher in the UK over the US, which is bad considering how much we abuse our hearts over here), not being able to find a doctor or dentist at all (70% of dentists in Quebec opt out of the public system), and on and on and on.

The system we have is imperfect, but it has clear benefits over the ones in Canada and the UK. I've never waited more than a week to have anything treated and I almost always get treatment the same day or the next day for any issue I have. Of the two operations I've had, one was scheduled on my schedule - I picked the date and time to fit well with my work schedule about a week after it was determined to be necessary - and the other was on an emergency basis where my doctor met me at the hospital and had me on the operating table within about 30 minutes. Any testing I need can be done same-day. A quick glance at my doctor's availability (that office has a mobile app for scheduling appointments) shows I could have a 15 or 30 minute appointment with her tomorrow or up to 45 minutes the day after.

I'm not rich; I work for a living. Yet I don't wait for anything. I don't wait to be seen by a doctor. I don't wait to get any testing I need. I don't wait to get any procedures I need. I don't wait for medications. It all happens on my schedule and as quickly as I'd like it. I pay $15 to see the doctor and $50 if I end up in the hospital for something serious. Anything paid out of pocket gets taken care of with untaxed money, meaning it's at a huge discount to me. And it isn't just me (nor is it just about me); everyone I know who has a job has great healthcare coverage. Is it a perfect system? No. Does every single person have perfect access to outstanding care? No. But we're improving all the time and it isn't (at least as of yet) coming at everyone else's expense.

To me, it's an argument of most people getting great care versus everyone getting mediocre to poor care (see also: the VA medical system). Quite similar to the classic market system argument of capitalism versus socialism. You can either give everyone the chance to get rich (with some ending up poor and most somewhere in the middle) or ensure everyone is equally poor. If the people in the UK, Canada, France, etc are happy with their system, great! I don't begrudge their happiness. However, I don't think the benefits of moving to such systems outweigh the drawbacks in the minds of most Americans. Rather than pretend either system is perfect, I think it best to recognize that each has its pros and cons and that the priorities and sensibilities of the people in a given country drive their decisions on how to achieve the greatest good.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. -- H. L. Mencken