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Comment: Re:Boo hoo... (Score 1) 815 815

The Dutch were under a lot of pressure from the British to abolish slavery, both for moral and economic reasons (unfair competition). They were also the last ones to abolish it in the colonies. And even then, they richly compensated the slave owners - not the slaves.

Let's give credit were credit is due: the British were very ardent about ending slavery. And while the British Empire has not exactly been a shining beacon of human rights in all of its history, in this case they set an example that still shines through the ages. And I say this as a Dutch citizen.

Comment: Re:Those evil enemy oppressors (Score 1) 815 815

My take on it: The North needed more labourers. The South had plenty that wanted to go North, but didn't allow them to leave because they were property. This directly messed up the ability of the manufacturing in the Northern states to expand.

If we assume that the root of the problem is a conflict between different sets of capitalists over how best to exploit their labourers, everything that happened afterwards follows quite naturally from that assumption.

Comment: Re:Who buys them? (Score 1) 666 666

I suspect a sizable number of people go in to pharmacies desperate for anything that will relieve their 2 year old's stomach/congestion/whatever and ended up leaving with homoeopathic crap

I think the same. And I suspect it saves a lot of lives otherwise lost due to overmedication, or giving potent medication with harmful side effects, where nothing was actually needed.

Besides, sometimes babies just cry because their parents are nervous. If they can give the baby something that will "cure" the baby, they calm down, so does the baby, and everyone's happy. If there is something wrong for real, the baby will continue to be sick and smart parents will go to a real doctor. The rest just helps evolution do its work.

Comment: Re:Does it matter? (Score 0) 666 666

On the other hand, over here you need to have it prescribed by an actual doctor to get the treatment paid for by your insurance. And they don't do stupid stuff like giving homeopathic treatment for actual acute disorders.

However, they do prescribe it where it might do some good: for hard to explain, vague issues that are possible more psychological than physiological in nature. And that's a good thing, because doctors won't prescribe a placebo nowadays, but *can* prescribe a homeopathic medicine that's pretty sure to be harmless.

And I've seen some pretty weird results with eczema in little children. Even heavy eczema, treated by hormone salves, cured overnight. Including in my own son, because "what the hell, nothing else works so let's try it." - and it cured him of it in two weeks time, taking 6 little sugar pills, for two years, and only very minor symptoms for the past decade.

So while I'm willing to accept that there is literally nothing in the placebo, the placebo by itself works miracles. And we also know that placebos work better if you believe in them more, and when they are more expensive.

That is why I'm advocating for allowing homeopathic medication, because why give up a random chance of 1 in 3 to get cured, for almost no side effects?

Comment: Re:WindowsME 2.0 (Score 0) 277 277

Thanks for the heads up, it more or less confirms the plan I already had:

- Install Windows 10 as required, and activate it.
- Install a clean Windows 7 again.
- Wait until the bugs are fixed
- Carefully try it at someone else's PC if everyone says it's okay
- Install Windows 10 if it provides any benefit.

Comment: Re:Time to recompile humanity (Score 1) 62 62

However, nature was optimizing for survival until somewhere around the age of 16. Any time after that was just an unintentional, beneficial side effect. I do agree with the GP that we can probably enhance ourselves quite a bit to optimize for survival to, say, 200 years of age.

It probably wouldn't even take all that much. What about a second heart? Take up cancer resistance genes that give more heart issues, but offset that with a smaller backup heart tucked away somewhere. Most americans have got plenty of space for a full RAID-5 set of them :)

Optimize the lay-out of our spine. It sucks. We can develop much stronger, lighter spines nowadays, without touching the original purpose.

Optimize our air intake channels: our lungs were developed when the air intake was at the front instead of the top, and stuff that came in was pulled out by gravity eventually.

Remove killer mutations before birth. A personal one - I've several acquaintances with dead babies due to genetic defects. Horrible, painful, lingering deaths in both cases. Both rare enough that the standard screening didn't get it. Once we can cure the carriers this won't happen as much as it does now.


Nature doesn't optimize. The first working solution is the one that has the advantage and thus gets adopted. We can do better with a little thought and foresight, once we understand genetics - but we're not so near that point as some people like to believe, I fear.

Comment: Re:Pronoun Game Anyone? (Score 2) 122 122

I just bought one of those boxes for my wife. The Minix Neo X8. Lovely little thingy. It came pre-installed with all standard addons for normal TV and movies but I didn't have to pay extra. It was provided as a service, free of charge, by the vendor. So yes, people do expect those addons to be there apparently, because the vendors don't do it just because they can. Anyone not pre-installing them is liable to get the box returned as "not working".

I love that little box btw. I actually started watching TV again, after discovering Agents of Shield - and I haven't watched *any* TV for years.

Comment: Re:The mafia state (Score 2) 219 219

The minister who ordered the murder must have felt totally untouchable.

I think he felt totally Brahmin, actually.

But let's just say it's not a complete surprise that Uttar Pradesh has a very lively Maoist rebellion going on. I'd probably join them, if I was a peasant living there.

Comment: Re:same as maanaging any other productive group (Score 2) 146 146

Amen to that. I once had someone removed from a project I worked on, because even after a week of explaining WHAT I wanted, it wasn't getting anywhere. I later worked on another project where they brought in a new programmer - lo and behold, the person I managed to get fired walked in. As it turned out, when given explicit instructions and a template, we got passable code. It just took a bit of time to set things up at first.

Personally, I'd not have hired that person in the first place, but when you lead a team that's been selected for you, you have to play the hand you're dealt.

A commune is where people join together to share their lack of wealth. -- R. Stallman