Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:wildfires? (Score 3, Insightful) 304

by Magius_AR (#49432965) Attached to: Obama Says Climate Change Is Harming Americans' Health

The difference is that there is well-documented evidence of climate change and its damage, and not of your made-up example.

Not true. None of the claimed very expensive fallouts of climate change have come to fruition. So they remain mere speculation. Even if you can prove global warming is occurring, you can't prove the damage. For all you know, the beneficial outcomes could outweigh the negatives. It's all speculation.

Comment: Re:Yeah good luck with that... (Score 1) 587

by Magius_AR (#49419471) Attached to: Hugo Awards Turn (Even More) Political

The thing is, people rarely identify themselves as SJWs. As a rule, it's a term used to define others as a way to shut down debate. You see this on ./ all the time - someone takes offence at some group of other that's trying to change the status quo, so they label them a SJW, implying negative connotations, and effectively shutting down debate. It's a shitty tactic.

Stop being a denialist. We have a consensus about SJWs already.

Comment: Re:eliminate extra sugar (Score 1) 496

by Magius_AR (#49331249) Attached to: Hacking Weight Loss: What I Learned Losing 30 Pounds

This means that your "nutritious" smoothie has the equivalent of 4 teaspoons of sugar, so I am not sure that you have a full grasp on the nutrition aspect.

To be fair, that smoothie is loaded with fiber, particularly from the banana. Sugar aside, having a stomach full of fiber goes a long way towards staving off hunger and ultimately cutting calories.

Comment: Re:Is this his first veto? (Score 1) 437

by Magius_AR (#49123571) Attached to: Obama Vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

Eh, that's stretching it a bit, at least in the Senate. It's bipartisan in the sense that it got more than 0% of the Democrats to vote for it, but not much more: 20% of the D caucus voted for it, 80% against.

These days, 20% is incredibly bipartisan, if you go by typical voting percentages over the past decade or so (in our hyperpartisan era).

Comment: Re:Can't eat what you don't grow (Score 1) 690

by Magius_AR (#49023519) Attached to: Free-As-In-Beer Electricity In Greece?

Nope. Capitalism and socialism are both incomplete. Calling one more important than the other is like suggesting that your car's axle is more important than its pistons -- both are needed for the car to work.

No, it's like comparing brake fluid and washer fluid. Without one, you're doomed to disaster. Without the other, you'll probably eventually get into trouble at some point when your windshield clouds up and you collide with some obstacle. In short, the unfettered version of socialism is by far way worse than the unfettered version of capitalism. And it's not even close.

But you are correct that some amount of both is the ideal.

Comment: Re:"Support" != actually sacrifice for (Score 1) 458

by Magius_AR (#48986497) Attached to: Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change

No, your definition is not correct. Capital is only stuff that either *is* money or can be converted into money on a very short term basis.

I'm sorry, but no. His/Her definition is correct. ArmoredDragon specifically stated he was referring to economic capital, defined here, which is very different from what you're referring to. That's financial capital, defined here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F...

And the program he's referring to is "Cash for Clunkers"...it's in the original post you yourself responded to. It was a highly touted "green" incentive launched in the US during the recession to both grow the economy and help the environment. When in reality it likely did neither. The program quite literally spent taxpayer dollars to incentivize people to destroy their perfectly functional older vehicle and replace it with a newer one. There is no better example of the broken window fallacy than that program.

In short, you're arguing semantics, mainly because I suspect you lack an economics background.

Comment: Re:Scientific question (Score 1) 667

by Magius_AR (#48890565) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

The question is not who or what caused it. The question is whether it has some negative impact and if so, what we can do to counteract it.

Except that the people claiming that they know what caused it (CO2) have already assumed a substantial negative impact and have already announced a course of action (drastically reduce CO2 at any economic cost). That makes it hard to discuss any of those topics.

Comment: Re:Love how he had all these great ideas (Score 1) 417

by Magius_AR (#48890461) Attached to: Obama Unveils Plan To Bring About Faster Internet In the US

We are not yet in a single-payer system, which means the market remains in the driver's seat.

No. For the same reason the market isn't in the driver's seat when I mandate lightbulbs with technologically unreachable efficiency levels or coal scrubbers that jack the cost of energy by 20-30%. Don't claim a free market where a free market does not exist. It's like me tying one of your arms behind your back, bashing your knees, then handing you a sword and having you defend yourself against a trained swordsmen -- fate is entirely in your hands, right? Until the consumers of healthcare (aka the people getting the care) can see transparent prices PRIOR to the actual care given and can competitively bargain shop for doctors/hospitals/procedures, there is no market. Ask yourself how this kind of thing can happen and you'll very quickly understand why it's not a market: http://www.washingtonpost.com/... Note that in a free market, the consumers would flock to the cheaper option, with the "invisible hand" forcing the higher prices down through basic supply/demand. It doesn't happen in reality because healthcare is a shell game between a bunch of "price negotiators".

The market's treatment of pre-existing conditions is a known black mark against those that argue that free market forces will fix everything.

Again, no. You're conflating health insurance and healthcare, which are two entirely different things that this country insanely links. The _insurance companies_ are the ones who abuse pre-existing conditions. And that can be readily handled with legislation. You don't see life insurance companies dropping people when they get sick or old, do you? There's a reason it doesn't happen: because it's fraud.

Free market sees the uninsured being denied access to emergency rooms

EMTALA guarantees everyone access to emergency rooms. No one is denied.

You're going to need to explain the FU bit about cost controllers. It forced an administrative/medical care ratio on insurance companies. That means that insurance companies can't pile on administrative costs forever.

You seem to think that administrative costs are the primary drivers of rising healthcare costs. I suggest further research. And that clause is also irrelevant as it could just as easily exacerbate costs by having insurance companies push for useless tests to drive up the ratio.

It also increased the minimum requirements of insurance so that what "insruance" is isn't $25 a month feel-good, get-sick-and-die policy.

You think this is a cost control??? It's in fact the exact opposite. And that red herring of "insurance that isn't real insurance" is bullshit. Tons of people with perfectly valid non-garbage HDHP HSAs (myself included) had their costs skyrocket when all sorts of minimum standards they didn't want or require (ever) were forced into their plan (such as childless families and/or men in general paying for maternity care in their insurance costs)

We don't necessarily need more doctors (just allow nurses to practice within the scope of their training, that's one of several quick fixes) or more hospitals. Just because you cannot see or understand the difference doesn't mean the difference isn't there.

You are the one who doesn't understand the difference. And this should be dead obvious to you considering the fact costs (including premiums) are still rising even against the backdrop of this bill. Total healthcare costs haven't changed and the only reason health insurance _looks_ cheaper for poor people is because it's subsidized by the more wealthy who are now paying much more (both out of pocket and in premium hikes). I suggest you stop focusing on health insurance and look at what healthcare actually costs. What's the bill do to lower that cost? (you know, the one that matters...?)

The President and the Democrats and a couple Republicans actually -did- something. If its a buck passed, then its a buck that no one else has bothered or managed to pass in the history of the US.

Again, wrong. Medicare passed the buck from the elderly to everyone else. Medicaid passed the buck from poor people to everyone else. ACA further passed the buck from poor people to everyone else. NONE of these things addressed healthcare costs, which are exorbitantly high. All they did was make it somebody else's financial problem. Hell, if the government did nothing more than spend a trillion dollars a year building new hospitals, purchasing new MRI machines, and training more doctors, we'd probably be way better off than where the money has gone to date. And the healthcare per capita spending here (in the light of three massive government healthcare programs) should make that obvious.

This is part of being a community, and paying taxes sucks, but this is the least horrible option available that the government was actually able to pass.

Not even marginally true. There are a _zillion_ things that could have passed, many with bipartisan support. And those would have all been better than what did pass. What did pass solved one big problem (pre-existing conditions) in a very poor fashion (mandated health care) and solved some small problems (~5-10% of the populace without insurance) in a very expensive and reckless fashion (destroying the HDHP concept, cementing the existing system while redistributing costs, tacking on another mammoth unsustainable Mandatory budget item, etc).

Comment: Re:Love how he had all these great ideas (Score 1) 417

by Magius_AR (#48815987) Attached to: Obama Unveils Plan To Bring About Faster Internet In the US

If nothing else, it gave the market, which has long proported to be capable of self-management (an earnest lie, health is an infinite good and doctor/nurse shortages are a realistic concern) a last chance to prove it. And it was a step forward, and the only step forward that was available at the time. More specifically, it granted the federal Medicaid authority methods for managing costs in experimental programs, promulgated a form of health entity exempt from kickback and stark for purposes of experimentation, unified risk pools, and at least put the mechanism in place to incentivize large employer insurance -- even if the current fine attached to non-providing is generally less than the cost of providing (because it wasn't properly matched to an index). The Medicaid Expansion SCOTUS opinion (which is incoherent, given Medicaid's history) also complicated things, and the current SCOTUS challenge related to poor drafting also didn't help. It also closed the authorization window for Medicare that people were using to defraud the government.

You do realize that the rest of your post flatly contradicts your leading sentence? The market is not in the driver's seat when the federal government is managing costs, forcing medicaid/medicare into the system, incentivizing certain forms of insurance while forcing companies to cancel others, etc

ACA was a huge gift to government control of healthcare and to insurance company revenue streams, and a big FU to cost controls and to middle and upper-middle class American taxpayers (who are now paying exorbitant healthcare prices for their own healthcare + for poor people's healthcare which is now effectively massively subsidized). Costs haven't changed. No new doctors have been hired or hospitals built. The buck has merely been passed, as most left-leaning programs seem to tend to do.

Comment: Re:Established science CANNOT BE QUESTIONED! (Score 1) 719

by Magius_AR (#48663983) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

Another denier argument. All models are far from infallible. They're models; an imperfect representation and they always will be since, at least in this universe, since it is impossible to obtain perfect information about a system. The aerodynamic models for jet aircraft are wrong. The models for bridge and building stability are wrong. Every single one of them are wrong. However, just because a model is wrong doesn't mean it isn't useful. All models have errors, and by accounting for those errors a model will still yield predictive skill. Error analysis is very important in modeling and is used constantly to establish everything from structural integrity limits to likelihoods of future droughts. It's a fundamental component of numerical analysis.

That's not a denier argument. It's perfectly valid to question the models. Just because our "best available evidence" leans one way doesn't make it 100% infallible proof. Not too long ago, scientists figured out they were vastly overstating temperatures over time because they didn't fully understand the heat sinking capability of the oceans (the whole "where's the missing heat?" debate). That variable alone completely rewrote the book on future projections of climate based on current CO2 numbers. Denying global warming may be dumb, but questioning the suppositions and conclusions drawn from the current level of "100% faith in the models" is another. I give different levels of credence to "string theory" and "quantum physics" and "gravity" and "evolution" for very good reasons. Some are rock solid with hoards of reproducible evidence and sustainable models. Others are borderline guesses with models changing annually. Stop pretending that the current "best guess" of scientists is infallible proof.

Comment: Re:"Could", (Score 1) 401

by Magius_AR (#48630175) Attached to: The Shale Boom Won't Stop Climate Change; It Could Make It Worse

There where no dire predictions made decades ago about present time.

I beg to differ. This is Hansen alone: http://themigrantmind.blogspot...

There have been tons of dire predictions, from "+2 degree global temperature" to "sea level rising by a foot" to "the polar ice caps melting by 2013" (to be fair, that one was Gore). Global warming advocates have been overpredicting for years: http://images.dailytech.com/ni...

Comment: Re:"Could", (Score 1) 401

by Magius_AR (#48613857) Attached to: The Shale Boom Won't Stop Climate Change; It Could Make It Worse

none of the dire predictions has materialized. The predictions are that in FUTURE we have trouble. OFC they have not materialized that. What is your STUPID point? You had several opportunities to offer the requested counter-examples, but failed. Neither did I fail nor had I the chance. WE are at 2014 right now, not at 2050. IDIOT!

Are you not familiar with the term "moving the goalposts"? Dire predictions were made decades ago about present time that have not occurred. Why would we have any faith that the current dire predictions would then occur? They've been claiming the sky is failing as long as I can remember. And when it doesn't happen, they simply spurt out "well, wait longer...it's coming...eventually" You don't see the problem with that line of reasoning?

Comment: Re:What a partisan, biased summary (Score 1) 739

by Magius_AR (#48328959) Attached to: Statisticians Study Who Was Helped Most By Obamacare

Just because you and your friends live in a consumer-friendly state where your insurance commission would never allow such plans, does not mean they did not exist.

And your examples of widespread cases of the contrary? I'd honestly like to see them. Because if we spent hundreds of billions of dollars and screwed over the healthcare plans of a majority of America to solve something that was happening on some limited scale, I'd say it at a minimum did more harm than good.

Comment: Re:What a partisan, biased summary (Score 1) 739

by Magius_AR (#48314133) Attached to: Statisticians Study Who Was Helped Most By Obamacare

You misunderstand (sorry I wasn't more clear), when we talk about junk plans being "capped at $10,000/year", we're talking about plans where the $10k cap was on what the insurance company would pay, not what you would pay. That's right, there were plans which would pay $0 after the first $10k in a year, leaving you on the hook for every single penny above $10k. (Although $20k was actually much more common; but the $10k plans did exist.)

I hear talk of these claimed "junk plans", but haven't heard a single case of a person who actually had one, yet alone in any degree of widespread use. My plan stated in writing what my out of pocket max was (as did every insurance plan I was aware of), and it wasn't "whatever was left after the insurance company cap hit". Perhaps it's possible the hospitals were left holding the bag, but it was not the individual. Again, if you can point to widespread examples to the contrary, please do. But I certainly neither experienced nor knew of a single person who had such a plan.

Comment: Re:The more things changes... (Score 1) 401

by Magius_AR (#48306123) Attached to: US Midterm Elections Discussion

The 2013 shutdown came about because the House Republicans refused to do their job by producing a budget, sending negotiators to the joint House-Senate conference, and voting for the COMPROMISED budget.

You only believe that budget was a compromise because you lean left. Mandatory spending was almost entirely untouched and the ratio of tax hikes to spending cuts was nowhere _near_ what Republicans wanted. Look at today: tax revenue is higher than ever and mandatory spending is higher than ever. The Republicans got nothing of what they wanted because Dems wouldn't truly compromise. "Compromise" to them means cutting $500 and raising a billion through taxes. And somehow the Republicans still shoulder the blame for that shutdown. If Dems wanted to fund ACA so bad, they should have found a _dollar for dollar_ substitute in cost cutting. It's bullshit to add hundreds of billions of dollars in new spending onto the books and then claim you're "cutting expenses" when you trim 50 billion somewhere else.

System going down at 1:45 this afternoon for disk crashing.