Really? Because I'm pretty sure the standard conservative argument is that if you create an obstacle, people will always "find a way", and in fact you should purposefully do so. Don't give them food or shelter, and they'll magically educate and empower themselves.
Yes, it's really amazing we haven't yet declared ourselves mentally ill, for putting people first. I mean, really -- minimum wages? Food and shelter? Safety regulations? Non-discrimination in the workplace? Civil rights? Healthcare? Are we nuts?!?
I have no problem with the idea of the ACA being a first step in a long series toward single-payer healthcare. I doubt it'll happen, because it's too controversial and it wouldn't make sense to risk everything when we've gotten this far. But hey, maybe. And I don't mind, either. There's nothing scary about it.
But I do have a problem with the idea that making a non-functioning healthcare.gov was all part of a master-plan. I do love how we can have two narratives: that the administration is so incompetent they would allow something like this to happen, OR, it's all part of their super-genius plan to take us to medicare-for-all but LOOK like bumbling idiots along the way. That anyone should pick the latter concerns me greatly.
So, to put a timeline to your prediction: how long should we wait to see if the healthcare.gov failure was really just a front to take us to single-payer "as the fix"? 6 months? Because any longer than that, and they wouldn't be able to keep the supposed charade up, they'd have to fix the site or implement single-payer. If your answer is on the order of 10 years, then you're talking about an entirely different political game, not about healthcare.gov.
What's more, UnitedHealth Group is one of the largest health-insurance companies in the country and spent millions lobbying for ObamaCare.
The insurance giant's purchase of QSSI in 2012 raised eyebrows on Capitol Hill, but the tech firm nevertheless kept the job of building the data hub for the ObamaCare Web site where consumers buy the new mandatory health-insurance plans.
Yes, we're talking about huge players and huge deals. This is no different from Raytheon, Boeing, etc. Big players spend big bucks, and big players get picked for big projects -- and very often there's little or no competition at the scale they're operating at. It is not necessary to assume bribery or corruption, to see how this would happen.
But I'll take your bet that this is all a conspiracy to bring about single-payer healthcare. You've made a prediction, now we'll sit back and observe you being wrong.
That was childish, petty, mean-spirited and entirely out of line.
For those wondering about the link between MUMPS and government healthcare, my vague recollections from years ago when I worked as a developer for health + insurance software: the old MUMPS language included its own looks-like-all-in-memory database system (essentially just a recursive map of string to object, either a value or another map -- the JSON comparison is fair) which made serialization simple. The language got used to build some early health IT systems, including the one for the VA (VistA) and its IHS derivative (RPMS). That stuff's available for free, by the way, through FOIA. The projects have sufficient inertia that they still use the same data-store (at least at the API level). InterSystems Caché, for example, is a MUMPS-compatible database with some relational features (and SQL parsing) thrown on top. They bill themselves as post-relational, but yeah, it's a network database pretending to be a relational database.
It kind of makes sense to continue using network databases for health data -- in a privacy-conscious world, it's not insane to isolate patient data into a document-oriented storage system, because you're not planning to relate data willy-nilly. We were somewhat frustrated that the HL7 interchange format tended to assume things were hierarchical, where we had seen potential graphs and coded for them -- but nobody wanted our better-related data. They prefer to re-enter the data in each place, and prevent things from being synchronized -- it protects the data from unexpected changes. So if all the systems and agencies you're integrating with have this attitude anyway, and you're constantly worried about data-interchange, I can see how you might come to the conclusion that a document-oriented, XML-backed storage engine would be a good idea.
Meanwhile Dawkins is so confident of the *truth* of his extrapolatory creation myth that he feels the need to call believers of any other extrapolatory creation myth "deluded"
Yes. And it's justified.
(a) just because two things are extrapolatory doesn't mean they are supported by equivalent qualities of models nor quantities of data.
(b) the Bible is not extrapolatory. it just states.
(c) the details of Big Bang and Evolution may get rewritten constantly, but:
(1) it's just the details
(2) even if it were rewritten wholesale, because of new discoveries, at least it would be based on observation, modeling, hypothesis, peer review, and all the other trappings of actual science and search for truth, not mere attachment to passed-down mythology
(d) if you think creation myths don't get rewritten, please think again. see the catholic church, for example, for how religion will eventually change its tune when overwhelmed with facts and logic. it takes a lot, sure, but eventually they'll give way. baptists? they invent whole new myths (around the Flood, for example) to explain anything and everything -- but they're still having to change their story, too, to survive.
Yes, I know, don't feed the trolls
I'm so sorry that, at some point (Reagan,) we made the decision that humans should be taken care of, no matter what. We're not animals, after all. It's a dog-eat-dog world, but for %^@* sake, let's compete for wealth and such, not for basic survival. We mandated that hospitals treat any and all, and then they spread the costs around.
When we did so, and discovered that people in fact aren't all self-reliant future-predicting money-saving accident-preventing weather-controlling disease-resistant beings, and that we were having to cover costs at a later stage and greater expense than really necessary, yeah. We decided to push back a little, and ask people to contribute up-front to their statistically likely healthcare costs, for which we're all (one way or another) on the hook for.
This is, if anything, more of a personal-responsibility push than before, which I would have expected conservatives to favor. We have a safety net (you'll get healthcare no matter what) but by golly, we're tired of moochers. If you can pay, then pay. There are some things you can control about your health -- but there are an awful lot you can't, and for you to claim you know you won't need certain care is fairly ridiculous. Cancer? Car accident? Plague outbreak? You don't have enough data, nor enough of an immediate feedback loop, to plan properly for those eventualities. And unless you're willing to be left to rot and die on the side of the road, I don't accept your claim of self-reliance. It's all fine and good until bad shit happens.
Sure, your policy covers some gender-based services you clearly won't use, for the sake of simplicity, so we can compare plans and make informed decisions. The actual cost to you of having insurance coverage for services you know you won't need is really quite low, because it's spread across everyone, and you're getting benefits that others won't use. This isn't a savings plan, you're not paying into a silo, it's insurance. Same thing with paying taxes to pay, in general, for care for the poor. It's not a silo, it's an insurance plan for all citizens, even you, in the eventuality that your best-laid-plans fail and you wind up on the street.
You're not paying for services you won't need, you're paying to be part of an insurance pool with thousands of other people who will all have different issues, and you're all sharing the cost. It's different.
No, blame falls entirely on the bad behavior of the Australian Signals Directorate and their lack of trustworthyness.
I don't think we should blame the intelligence agencies for this. You don't install sophisticated interception equipment hidden in architectural features of embassies all over the region, and operate them possibly for decades, without a fair amount of cooperation between branches of the government. The intelligence services did what they were told to do, and in that respect, were plenty trustworthy.
Back home, we can't really argue that the NSA was out-of-bounds. We elected officials, they passed laws, they appointed secret judges, they signed secret executive orders, and the agencies did everything within their power to gather intelligence that would help us or protect us. Citizens allowed this to happen (in theory -- assumes civilians are in-the-know), and I see the logic that would lead someone to try to get civilian attention with vandalism on charities and whatnot.
As a local in Oklahoma, which has also seen its share of quakes recently (and some studies have pointed to their statistical relationship to injection wells,) yes, some of us are concerned. Not all such sites are in the middle of nowhere and easily ignored -- there's a lot of oil & gas activity in and around cities, right in the middle of parking lots, behind neighborhoods, really anywhere it's profitable. Midwestern communities may not be as dense as what you east and west coasters consider "civilization", but it's still home to a lot of people who don't appreciate someone else's potential irresponsibility affecting their life, limb, or property.
It's not a fair deal to expect silence from the locals about safety just because oil & gas brought jobs to the area, while refusing to acknowledge the possibility of causation. That's not even a proper bribe.
And if we don't tease out the underlying mechanisms, there will be no guarantee against unsafe practices in and around cities. That only farmland and small towns have been affected, so far, could be dumb luck.
To the argument that these quakes would happen eventually anyway: yeah, maybe. Maybe not for thousands of years. Having them all happen now, while it might "get it out of the Earth's system", is no consolation to those affected in the here and now.
Fact-check: the "star trek set thing" concerned Keith Alexander's time at the Army's Intelligence and Security Command. Alexander is now head of the NSA, yes. And it was intelligence-related. It was not, however, the NSA.
TOR development was partially funded by the US Navy, not the NSA (at least officially.)
The fact that it's a peer-to-peer LEGO marketplace didn't seem particularly important to point out, except this:
The product (almost entirely new and used LEGO bricks) is well known to both buyers and sellers, and the reviews are therefore only about the service provided (accuracy of parts, quality of shipping, timeliness, correct representation of the state of the product). There's little risk of someone posting a review about a seller complaining that a given piece is, in a generic sense, good or bad. Keeps the reviews on-topic.
For a system like Amazon, especially with their affiliated sellers, there's more risk of confusing cross-talk between the service & product reviews.
We should be careful in building review systems, particularly "find stuff I will like" pages, to:
- give low or zero-review items a chance, until it's fairly certain they are unwanted (wide margin of error, benefit of the doubt)
- give irrelevant items a chance, purposefully breaking the relevant-items algorithm
People may have selected categories they like (or we may have determined them automatically) but as Daniel Tiger says, "you gotta try new foods, they might taste good!". It's far too easy to lock customers into buying more stuff like they've already bought, rather than helping them sample the offerings. A low but significant error-rate in the suggestions could boost overall sales, to everyone's benefit.
I'm subjected to a bit of this through that "facebook" thing. Suggested posts based on friends or friends-of-friends liking it? I've yet to see that return relevant stuff. That could be because I have too few friends (!), or because each person only "likes" a small fraction of what they actually find interesting, or because there's so much out there, that there's no reason to expect even two close friends, with similar interests, to both like the item (especially close in time to each other.) For something like Amazon reviews, where the count of possible products is so high, I would expect similar issues.
And besides, just because I'm friends with someone, doesn't mean we have similar tastes. Seems better to do something like Netflix does, essentially pigeon-holing individuals and products, and then grouping them up in the background to offer tailored results. Rather than "your friends like this", it's "people who usually like the same kinds of movies you do, found this one better than average". Implicit rather than explicit relationships between reviewers.