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Comment Re:No (Score 1) 537

> (Items of limited supply aren't really addressed by the show, like how do they decide who gets to live in the prime waterfront apartment in San Francisco?)

Captain Kirk owned a private cabin on public lands in Yosemite, grandfathered in from before it was a national park, that he inherited.

With no money to exchange items, the system would simply freeze the status quo in place for centuries. It's not good.

Comment Re:Burden of proof. (Score 2) 73

>(I'm betting that it's Very Few, since "alt med" that is proven successful isn't "alt med" anymore.)

While I acknowledge the meme, alt med is actually defined by every major medical organization in the world as something that is not used as part of mainstream medicine. It's not an assessment of effectiveness.

Quite a bit of the drugs in the alt med bible were wholly ineffective, and quite a few more had weak or modest medicinal purposes (tea alone had hundreds of studies showing its mild effectiveness in many different areas), and a fair number had significant medical effects.

Alt med is (or was, I haven't checked recently) a mandatory class at UCSF Pharmacy School, since even if the future pharmacists aren't going to be doing traditional medicine, there are a number of significant drug/drug interactions with alt meds.

Comment Re:Burden of proof. (Score 1) 73

>Exactly. A 99.95% failure rate is -- to say the least -- Bad.

1) When Western pharmaceutical companies are doing a screen, how many of those chemicals turn out not to work on malaria?

2) Where do pharmaceutical companies look when they're screening new chemicals?

3) How many of the TCM drugs were effective against malaria, just not "wonder drug" effective?

4) How many of the TCM drugs screened were effective at other diseases?

Until you can answer those questions, you cannot make that conclusion.

I've done contract work for P&G before investigating new drugs for treating ischemic heart disease, and have read through UCSF's "alt med bible" detailing all the thousands of studies on the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of various alt med drugs.

Comment Re:Public Healthcare / Mental Healthcare (Score 1) 1164

>Correction... quite a few of the shooters have been on drugs...

Also true. But in the case of the Santa Barbara shooter, he received all the mental health care he asked for, and still killed a bunch of people.

I agree that it's a good idea to give free mental health care to the dangerously ill (and we do in most cases), but a lot of people do receive treatment and it doesn't help.

Comment Re:Have an awareness raising conversation (Score 3, Interesting) 278

>If you are confused, or your attention is diverted, SLOW DOWN. I say this as a non-commercial driver who has logged $WAY_TOO_GODDAMN_MANY miles behind the wheel.

Driving too fast isn't really a problem in traffic in downtown SF. You're not going to break the speed limit because there's CARS EVERYWHERE.

What the problem is (having lived there for four years) is the hideously bad road signage. You're expected to be able to read two paragraphs of text on a sign within two seconds, to try to figure the fuck out if you're even allowed to be where you are, since the rules change as often as Calvinball. "No left turns except on Mondays through Fridays 7AM to 9AM and 4PM to 6PM". Sign below that: "Except on holidays." Sign below that: "Except MUNI and busses" Sign below that: "Except taxis" is an example of the kind of idiotic sign they expect drivers to be able to read and process while still avoiding pedestrians sporadically jumping into the street.

You also sometimes end up on a Muni line, and you don't know if you're supposed to be there. The answer? Sometimes. Sometimes not.

Then you have the irrational geometry of the city streets themselves, leading to super awesome signs like this:

I once got a ticket from a sign that had six negative modifiers on it, and got it overturned because the bloody cop didn't work through the logic on it correctly and I did.

Comment Re:I Already Do This, But Probably Less Intense (Score 1) 146

I teach computer science, and I occasionally get students asking how they could work for a living and still be able to travel, go outdoors, etc. and not be stuck in a cubicle. Do you have any advice for them, such as how to find jobs or clients to work on? How did you get where you were today?

Comment Re:Worst. Summary. Ever. And a lie to boot. (Score 1) 1044

> The fans said no. The choices we're stuck with suck. We'd rather not vote for anyone.

I don't think you can equate the people who voted in these Hugos with the fan population in general. Maybe they match up, maybe they don't. But you can't just say they're the fans speaking, when it's very clear the 40% uptick in voting at the Hugos this year was due to the controversy. Both camps attracted additional people for political reasons, and more anti-puppies signed up than pro-puppies.

Just because they voted the way you wanted them to doesn't mean you get to use bad statistics and say they're "the fans" or representative of "the fans".

Comment Re:So using a 20 year old subset of the instructio (Score 1) 57

>If you really want to prove that the benchmark is crap, then by all means make meaningful suggestions to _any_ of the existing machine benchmarks.

That's a bit facetious. If you've been around the benchmarking world as long as you say you have, you'll know that the compiler settings are *always* a cause of controversy.

Nobody is happy when compiler settings are made that don't favor their side (whatever it is).

Comment Re:$68 Billion for high speed trains (Score 1) 599

>Instead of spending $68 Billion on a single high speed rail line between 2 cities that are already linked by several adequate transportation options, maybe we should use a fraction of that money for water projects?

We passed a $45B water bond last year, but about 90% of it is going to be wasted, it seems.

Comment Re:outrageous (Score 1, Informative) 363

>Since the decriminalisation in 2001 drug usage has actually dropped in Portugal.

For some values of "dropped".

From Wikipedia, since decriminalization: "Reported lifetime use of "all illicit drugs" increased from 7.8% to 12%, lifetime use of cannabis increased from 7.6% to 11.7%, cocaine use more than doubled, from 0.9% to 1.9%, ecstasy nearly doubled from 0.7% to 1.3%, and heroin increased from 0.7% to 1.1%"

"I never let my schooling get in the way of my education." -- Mark Twain