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Comment: Re:Just damn (Score 1) 328

by fyngyrz (#49151491) Attached to: Leonard Nimoy Dies At 83

When *YOU* take an action *YOU* better be ready for the reaction. Anything less makes you a victim only to yourself.

It is very well documented that the reaction people were told they would have, which was a good one, by those who should have (and did) know otherwise, is not the reaction they actually got, which was deadly.

So while I agree absolutely that we are responsible for the outcomes of choices we make for which we understand the eventual and potential outcome(s), I deny just as absolutely that we are responsible for the outcomes of choices we make when we have been deceived.

I would have no problem whatsoever voting to convict a tobacco company executive of the previous century of premeditated manslaughter by poisoning. However, at this point, we know, or we should know, how utterly stupid smoking tobacco is in the context of our health, and yes, any individual capable of informed consent who is still (or begins) smoking today can't reasonably blame that on anyone other than themselves. And as long as they don't, and don't make non-consenting persons and animals inhale the carcinogenic pollution that results, I'm all for them smoking all they want.

Comment: Re: Oh, please. (Score 1) 589

by fyngyrz (#49150635) Attached to: Republicans Back Down, FCC To Enforce Net Neutrality Rules

I would want a policy that only covers major issues with a high deductible.

I'm interested to learn that you think you can tell the future. However, since I know you can't, I will simply point out that you don't understand the actual reason for insurance, a not uncommon failing among the young who have little relevant experience with disaster. This isn't betting, where you "win" if you can guess your disease. It's not supposed to be like a slot machine. This is about risk amelioration.

...if all the young healthy families did that...

... then there would be a lot of really nasty surprises for those "young and healthy families."

See, insurance isn't about what your condition is now. Insurance is about what your condition may become. So, when kid #2 develops a lymphatic tumor under their arm, instead of "parents tried to cheap out because they had a young and healthy family and now kid #2 can't get medical care", it is "off to a cancer specialist you go, #2, because we cared enough to see to it your risks were addressed."

Comment: Re:Oh, please. (Score 1) 589

by fyngyrz (#49150521) Attached to: Republicans Back Down, FCC To Enforce Net Neutrality Rules

Funny how those who got services/money/product from the ACA legislation are happy about??

Yes, it's really strange that those who needed healthcare are glad they were finally able to get it, isn't it? Weird! Gosh! Huh! How in the world??? (cough)

And the huge fucking mountain of folks that now enjoy $5k deductibles or insurance they did not need or want are not happy about it?

There are various deductibles. You choose the one you want. If you choose a 5k deductible, you're responsible for that choice. As far as insurance that's "not needed" goes, we don't know what we need because we have no way to tell what the future brings. The only way to determine what we probably or may need is via statistics. I trust the actuaries more than I trust my own judgement. Because I'm just that smart.

Are YOU getting other peoples money?

To directly answer your question, no, thus far and at the moment, I have not and am not. I've eroded my deductible a bit, probably won't work my way through it by the end of the year, barring unseen problems. Didn't last year, either. But of course I might very much benefit from "other people's money" at some point in the future.

That said, everyone in any insurance pool anywhere, ever, who makes a claim, is "getting other people's money." That's how insurance works. Similar for taxes. We all pay in, and in the case of the ACA, those who get the subsidies get the advantage of the payout. We do that when the loads are too great and/or too random for individuals to bear: infrastructure, military, healthcare (finally!), fire services, etc.

Why the fucking hell should my doctors have to be in some "POOL" anyway?

Well, for that, you want to look to your insurance company -- not the ACA. You can get plans where the doctor doesn't have to be in a network. The ones where they do use in-network doctors are generally less expensive though, so that may effectively be your answer. But it isn't the ACA that mandates pools. It's the insurance companies, and it's always been the insurance companies.

If you prefer to pay for other peoples medical care, great. Can you help me pay for mine?

If you're in my pool, then yes, I can and do help pay for yours. Again: That's how insurance works. If I'm not paying for you in the pool (different state, or different pool) even so I'm paying for other people's there -- and I have no problem with that. Likewise, in your state, in your pool, other people are paying for you. To the extent that my federal taxes (quite significant) are paying for your subsidy, I'm happy to do that as well. It's sure oodles better than thinking about what I'm paying for WRT various other government programs.

$1400/month with a $1500 yearly deductible for each family member.

The ACA requires that insurance costs are specifically limited for low-income individuals and families and there are tax credits. If you want me on your side here, you'd have to demonstrate that your income was low and your insurance costs were high and that the ACA didn't arrange for a circumstance to reasonably ameliorate your costs. Can you do that? I'd be very interested to learn the details, short of personally identifying data.

So yeah, you are happy about getting my money, and I am an asshole for providing it to you. thanks man.

Insurance is the way that congress decided this was going to operate. Given that, yeah, I'm happy to put the related money into insurance and into taxes as it lets me know that you and yours will be covered if that's needed. I'm sorry you don't feel the same way. I am pleased, however, that your feelings, as you expressed above, do not get to determine if other people get adequate healthcare.

Comment: Re:As a Developer of Heuristic AI ... (Score 1) 499

by khallow (#49149973) Attached to: Machine Intelligence and Religion

Until self awareness happened, human beings did not exist - they were just apes who could walk on two legs. And until an "AI" has self awareness it is just a computer.

Defining something as intelligent when it is not self aware is just meaningless playing with words. A world beating chess computer is no more intelligent than my alarm clock. It's just a machine doing a job.

Funny, you should mention "meaningless playing with words". You redefine three important concepts: "intelligence", "existence", and "self-awareness" in ways that just aren't relevant.

"Existence" is the most broken concept. I'm currently sitting in a chair. By that observation, I can determine that the chair exists. Since it exists, then it must have in your sense enough "self-awareness", which puts a really, really low threshold on the amount of self awareness and intelligence that a thing needs in order to exist. None seems to be the absolute minimum threshold here.

Similarly, intelligence is not the capacity for self-awareness. Instead, it is:

the ability to learn or understand things or to deal with new or difficult situations

If we are to speak of the narrow category of the things having to do with learning or understanding aspects of oneself, then I suggest that wisdom is a closer label than intelligence.

And of course, this brings up the obvious point that if we have a machine that can fulfill the definition of intelligence far better than humans can, even if it has absolutely no self awareness (say due to deliberate programming of that blind spot for safety, efficiency, or ethical reasons), then of course, it is more intelligent than we are.

Comment: Re:Oh, please. (Score 1) 589

by fyngyrz (#49149851) Attached to: Republicans Back Down, FCC To Enforce Net Neutrality Rules

You're assuming that the government is better at deciding what coverage you need than you are.

They didn't do all that badly. Not surprising, as it wasn't "the government", it was a group of medical and insurance professionals using statistics to determine what the needs generally encompass which congress (not Obama) incorporated into the final law. But you keep rolling with those "the government" and "Obama lied!" memes, they still sound good to the information-poor. And of course they fixed some of the other problems, like making care for pre-existing conditions practical, limiting insurance company profits, and seeing to it that family coverage was a bit more about family and a bit less about "how soon can we shuck the kids off the policies." Single payer would, of course, have been much, much better. That's what Obama wanted, btw -- the ACA is wholly a product of congress. The only sense that it is "Obama's" is in that he wanted to see people get medical care, and congress managed to get some care, to some people, and he accepted the compromise rather than walk away with nothing.

When you want to rant about "your decisions", you should really consider the reality, which was the insurance company deciding for you what would be covered. Oh, you had a migrane headache? Then we'll just slap a rider on your policy that we won't cover anything to do with your neurological system or your circulatory system, how's that for "making your own decisions"? You don't want "the government" making decisions for you, but you're perfectly ok with the for-profit insurance company limiting your care. That doesn't make you a smart insurance consumer. That makes you a tin-plated idiot.

The honest way of saying it is that many people couldn't keep their desired coverage because the government decided it wasn't good enough for them.

The honest way of saying it is if you weren't covered to the ACA minimums, your insurance sucked. There's no putting lipstick on that pig, pal. Now, as to why your insurance sucked, that could be any number of reasons -- but it still boils down to one thing: you needed better coverage. You may not admit it, you may want to gamble with your health and the health of others, but that's why we mandate some things, because people often make really bad choices for themselves, and in this case, as your health impacts others, just as your education does, a minimum has been set. Don't like it? Tough. Doesn't mean it's a bad idea. Just means you don't like it. Wanna change it? Go to congress -- the people who are responsible for it.

Uhh, no, if they aren't in the group of providers that your new insurance company accepts, you don't get to see him anymore. Well, you can, but you pay out of pocket full price.

No, it doesn't mean that at all. First of all, your doctor can apply to the insurance company. Second of all, you can determine which doctors are already in which groups two ways: One, by looking on the insurance company lists, two, by simply asking your doctor (or the office staff, more likely.) You can certainly end up in a situation you don't want by failing to approach this in a reasonable manner, but it's almost certainly to be on you, not the system. I ran into this specific problem -- doctor not in the specific insurance pool I wanted to use -- and it took all of two weeks to fix that, something I sussed out and took care of before I committed to the group. You can probably still fix it, for that matter.

Further, even if you did get to keep your doctor, your waiting time to see him is undoubtedly going to be much longer.

Oh, stuff and nonsense. Out of 310 million citizens, there were about 50 million uninsured. The ACA added about 10 million to the 260 million insured, thereby increasing the load on the system by a "whopping" 3.8%. This did not result in a 33% increase in your appointment times. Something else may well have, but it sure as heck wasn't the load presented by the ACA's action. Now, if we talk about the fuckery the republicans have caused by rejecting the medicare expansion, now that has screwed things up so badly that a number of hospitals have had to close, and so the republicans may have been responsible for a big increase, depending on your area (some states didn't let the republicans screw them in this particular manner.)

My doctor doesn't decide what providers are authorized under my insurance, the insurance company does. It takes a lot more than a doctor asking "pretty please make my practice part of your plan" to get it done.

No. It doesn't. It's butt-simple paperwork. I was in the same situation, and I am well aware of what it takes. And of course it's very likely you could have found out what pools your doctor was already in first and gone with one of those. Assuming they were in some pool, which, if you were already using them with some kind of insurance, they were.

to ignore the large number of people who it didn't work out for and claim that the system is working is pretty selfish. To use your personal situation as proof that Obama didn't lie about ACA issues is just ridiculous.

The thing is, that's all straw man nonsense. I've done neither. I've simply pointed out how the system works, and mentioned my experience -- I pointed to the process, not my experience, to assert that the system isn't nearly as dysfunctional as the right wingers want to paint it. You, in turn, have recited a case of failure (one which almost certainly is entirely your own fault.) They said you can keep your doctor. You say you didn't keep your doctor. That does not, in ANY way, prove that you could not have kept your doctor. I faced exactly the same situation as you did: the insurance I wanted did not have my doctor in the pool. I spoke up, prodded her office manager a couple times, and that was all it took on my part -- now she's with the program. Failing that, I could have simply gone with the insurance that already had her listed, which wouldn't have been the end of the world either. Bottom line, you want to keep your doctor, ask them what insurance they take and get on that insurance, or get them to join the specific pool you want. It's not difficult. Anyone who says it is is simply spreading FUD.

Back to the "Obama lied" bullshit meme: Obama wanted single payer. Congress -- basically the republicans -- turned the whole thing into a payday for the insurance companies. Once that was done, things got a lot more complicated. To turn around and say that Obama is responsible for the complications is a load of right wing horseshit -- agitprop and no more than that. He signed what congress presented him with, and he tried hard to be a spokesperson for what resulted. The intent was good, and yeah, actually, the results haven't been too bad, other than the republicans -- not Obama -- hammering those who would have been covered by the medicare expansion.

For the tiny fraction of people who rant about (and for whom you are ranting) who "lost their insurance", the ACA makes it an absolute certainty that they can get NEW insurance, because they cannot (any longer) be denied (as they could have been previously for any number of reasons. And what about those people before the ACA, who couldn't get insurance at all? What about them? Why aren't you ranting on their behalf? They don't matter? That would be you ranting that my lady, who had the AUDACITY to have breast cancer, should just be kicked to the curb and left uninsurable for any future cancer, in fact for just about anything.

Now, the whole "My premium went up (some huge amount) and I'm PLUMB RUINT!" thing: The ACA mandates that your insurance premium cannot exceed a fairly low percentage of your income unless you intentionally opt for a higher than required coverage plan. That's what the subsidies are for. It also makes sure you can get a plan. If you are so ideologically opposed that you can't, or won't, get a plan, then there are tax penalties, which (a) are pretty light, and (b) 90% of the "I don't have a plan" people don't have to pay at all because of the numerous reasonable exemptions, and (c) aren't actually required to be directly paid anyway, instead, they're taken out of future tax refunds, and (d) nothing else happens at all except, as per usual, you can go to the ER and they'll (probably) stabilize you and refer you to a doctor or a clinic, which you, bless your objectionable little heart, will then almost certainly have to pay for.

Fact: The 900+ page ACA is not the product of an executive order: It's a product of congress. If you have problems with the parts where you might have to be proactive and lift your own little finger, call your congressperson, don't rant about Obama. If you are ineligible because your income is low and your state refused the medicare expansion, call out your state representatives. Not Obama, and for that matter, not congress. (You might want to say a few choice words about SCOTUS, though.) If you don't like the minimum limits set for your insurance, again, that was congress, don't point the finger at Obama.

Between not understanding how the ACA works, not understanding how lawmaking works, and a goodly dose of "I hate that Obama guy because black | democrat | funnyname | iamabirther | whatever", it's a 100% safe bet that anyone ranting about Obama in relation to the ACA has no idea what the heck they are talking about.

Is the ACA perfect? Hell no. Did anyone say it was perfect? Hell no! Is the way to make it better to rant about Obama? HELL NO! Aim your vitriol at congress. Even if it's as misinformed as your post, at least you'd have the right target for once: Congress.

Comment: Re:About time... (Score 1) 137

by SuperKendall (#49148713) Attached to: Invented-Here Syndrome

You track it down an fix it which still takes less time that writing the whole complex thing yourself from scratch (where you'd have even more bugs to track down). Then you can submit the fix back to them.

That said, if you start seeing more than a few bugs it's probably better to cut your losses and drop that third party framework. I've done that a few times.

Comment: Re:Are we calling this one Gamma? (Score 1) 89

by ultranova (#49148017) Attached to: Xeroxed Gene May Have Paved the Way For Large Human Brain

Oh, I thought someone just took a shit on my Slashdot today.

Today? Opening threads in new tabs/windows has been broken for a while now - the comment area is clipped to half of screen size, with a huge useless margin on the right.

So... It's going to stay that way, huh?

My guess is it's going to get worse. Someone has decided Beta is a matter of principle/authority/whatever for them, and is slowly sabotaging the real Slashdot to smoke out the users before it'll go down.

I guess the lesson here is to never build community around a centralized resource, like a server, especially one owned by a company. I wonder if a forum or an imageboard could be implemented in a P2P fashion?

Comment: Re:Pinky and the Brain (Score 1) 89

by ultranova (#49147855) Attached to: Xeroxed Gene May Have Paved the Way For Large Human Brain

The size of the brain is much less important than the brain to body mass ratio. Several animals have larger brains than humans (elephants being one), but they all have large bodies as well:

No, not really. What sets a human and elephant apart is not how smart an individual human is compared to an individual elephant, but the ability to communicate. Human language is Turing complete, art is basically communication for the sake of communication, and our perhaps most popular form of entertainment is making up stories and sharing them. That's the draw of this very website, and even now I'm using it to serialize a particular neural network - an idea - which you then can deserialize at your leisure.

Almost all human beings who have ever lived are part of a single millenia-old, planet-spanning superorganism we call "culture". It doesn't matter how much gray matter an elephant might be lugging around, it can't even begin to compare to the ~ 100 billion kg total for human species, even with all the issues with coordinating that mass.

And we're getting better at that coordination, too.

Comment: Re:Oh God No... (Score 5, Insightful) 198

by arth1 (#49147741) Attached to: Harrison Ford To Return In Blade Runner Sequel

Leon puts his hand in freezing liquid without a problem.

Pris puts her hand in boiling water without a problem.

I always thought those were more to show that the replicants had more control over their human++ bodies, being able to bypass feeling pain, or inflict it on themselves voluntarily, like Roy Batty did with the nail.

It would be interesting to see a Blade Runner 2 with Sean Young. What I don't want to see is yet another long overdue sequel where they have kept the male characters but replaced the female characters with younger eye candy. For some reason, women aging appears to be a taboo in Hollywood, and one I thinks needs to die.

Programming

Invented-Here Syndrome 137

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-of-this-has-happened-before-and-all-of-this-will-happen-again dept.
edA-qa writes: Are you afraid to write code? Does the thought linger in your brain that somewhere out there somebody has already done this? Do you find yourself trapped in an analysis cycle where nothing is getting done? Is your product mutating to accommodate third party components? If yes, then perhaps you are suffering from invented-here syndrome.

Most of use are aware of not-invented-here syndrome, but the opposite problem is perhaps equally troublesome. We can get stuck in the mindset that there must be a product, library, or code sample, that already does what we want. Instead of just writing the code we need a lot of effort is spent testing out modules and trying to accommodate our own code. At some point we need to just say, 'stop!', and write the code ourselves.

... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"

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