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Comment Re:Doctors: Whiny bitches, all of 'em. (Score 1) 111

We're talking about people who were doing nicely pre-EHR.

Unless you asked them questions that go across their patient population such as, "How many of your patients are overdue for their mammogram?" or "What percentage of your diabetes patients are successfully managing their A1C levels?" or even, "How many of your patients had a wellness appointment last year?"

Without an EHR you basically can't answer those questions. The benefit of an EHR isn't at the bedside.
Having said that, the problems with EHR interfaces certainly exists and hopefully will be improved over the next ten years.

Comment Re: Great event! (Score 1) 420

The magnetic disc doesn't store your email, it stores magnetic fields that an algorithm converts into your email. (As an aside, if you wanted to "see" that you would use a magnetic force microscope.) If you are allowing an algorithm to count as "containing", then the library of babel contains the book pages in the same manner.

The metaphysical argument is exactly as you express, does something exist if it is the product of an algorithm or does it only exist after the algorithm has been executed. If I compress a document does the document cease to exist until I decompress it, or does it exist as a combination of the algorithm and the compressed data.

Comment Re: Great event! (Score 1) 420

It seems to me that if a computer contains an algorithm that allows it to display any referenced page of any referenced book then the computer could be said to contain that book.

This is basically just a semantic argument, however; what does it mean for a computer to contain something? By the standard you seem to propose a computer contains nothing except perhaps the boot loader algorithm and maybe the kernel executable. Everything else is generated by those algorithms. You'll never find your last email with a microscope looking inside the computer.

Alternatively, this is a metaphysical argument; what does it mean for something to exist in a computer?

Comment Re:Cars (Score 1) 496

I can't reproduce you're numbers at all from the links you gave.

For 2013, I see a total of 4,991,993 Million passenger miles of which 4,306,717 Million miles are categorized as highway, leaving 685,276 for All Other. Almost all of the Other category is Air, so I split those out

There are 32719 Highway Fatalities with 429 Air Fatalities and 1361 Other Fatalities. Of those other fatalities 560 are recreational boating so I removed those:
  • Category --- Passenger Miles --- Fatalities --- Rate
  • Highway --- 4,306,717 --- 32719 --- 0.007597
  • Air --- 589,692 --- 429 --- 0.000727
  • Other --- 95,584 --- 801 --- 0.00838

So, on a passenger-mile basis, Other is slightly more dangerous than Highway. I don't know how you calculated your numbers, but this is what I came up with after a quick look. In particular that 76 multiplier doesn't seem reasonable at all.

PS. Sorry about the formatting, I couldn't get an html table to work.

Comment Re:Its always someone else's problem (Score 1) 303

So the locals elect a government, that decides to cheap out and not pay Detroit for safe treated water. They further device to cheap out and not treat the river water, known to be polluted, and screw up their infrastructure in the process.

Not quite. The Locals elected a government, then the State Governor removed that government and appointed an Emergency Manager who made the decisions about switching water supply and not updating infrastructure. And hey, the Emergency Manager didn't have to drink the water, he didn't live in Flint.

Comment Re:Roger & Me (Score 1) 303

Actually, this particular problem was caused by the State appointed Emergency Manager attempting to save money without regard for the lives of the people who live there. There is some dispute about this reported in a Detroit Free Press article. But it seems pretty clear that local representation would have had incentive to avoid this problem.

Comment Re:Says you! (Score 1) 147

I once went to a "private" blues club, it required paying a "membership fee" and filling out "application form". The club was private so that it didn't need a liquor license. The membership fee was the equivalent of a cover charge and the membership period was for 1 day. So, the only difference was the membership form which was essentially a mailing list.

I think the membership fee and the signup sheet were required to maintain the fiction of it being private. I don't know if they had memberships that were longer than 1 day.

Comment Re:What's next, Amazon? (Score 1) 165

I understand, it's easy to miss right there at the beginning.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.[emphasis added]


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