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Comment Better government (Score 1) 171

Plenty of countries use, or have used, these alternatives to plurality voting. There is little evidence that they lead to better government. In fact, there is little evidence that better reflection of the will of the people leads to better government.

There's no evidence that it doesn't.

I'd be willing to bet that plurality countries have higher corruption scores compared with any other electoral system. It's pretty obvious that when only 2 parties can win, they will have both have tinkered with the system to benefit themselves, leaving one which benefits both.

You also get a more divided country, which makes people less open-minded. Democracy suffers again.

Rather than a senator representing the people of California, it would be better to have one senator representing all the nerds, another representing all the construction workers, and yet another representing all the medicare recipients, etc.

Size of the ballot paper would be huge and would be asking too much of voters too.

Comment Re:Government should enforce more standards (Score 1) 401

If that were the case, it would be called a "low barrier to entry market".

You mean like how football is called "pass and run ball"?

But it is called a "free market" because its participants are "free" to engage in economic transactions as they choose. You don't get to redefine that.

I get to think through the logical conclusions of the primary criterion and laugh at those who don't. You cannot have a free market if there is a high barrier to entry.

Comment Direct vs liquid democracy. And blockchains. (Score 1) 490

Firstly, online voting isn't trustworthy. If it didn't use blockchain technology, it's extremely prone to hacking. No blockchain-based system has been built yet. It would have to be open source and verified by experts. Even then, vulnerabilities are discovered in code all the time.

What you're talking about is either direct democracy or liquid democracy. The former exists and works extremely well in Switzerland. Contrary to myth, the Swiss system is a mix of representative and direct. Govts make ~95% of laws. The electorate can overrule them within a couple of months. The other ~5% are made by the judiciary (I believe) by interpreting citizen-initiated referendums.

Basically, the Swiss are in control of their govt rather than the other way around. They have a mature electorate -- obviously the US and frankly most countries would pass some horrific laws under direct democracy. It would need to be introduced gradually.

Liquid democracy is where you can vote for any issue you want. If you choose not to, your delegate ie representative will vote on your behalf. It's never been tried and may leave govts with too much power.

Comment There was more than that wrong with the films (Score 1) 175

Yours is the most accurate critique. Jackson attempted a completely different way of telling the story and it failed utterly. How was the audience supposed to perceive the films? I mean, how could we have found them anything but boring?

Perhaps the biggest failing of the films was not making us care. Most of the dwarves were rubbish and this is possibly due to Jackson's energy being elsewhere. But every director should know that you cannot make an audience care about more than 3-4 characters. That's basically Gandalf, Thorin and Bilbo... and we already liked Gandalf.

Now Bilbo didn't like Thorin and that's a problem if you're telling the story from his perspective. If the rest of the film had been good enough, Jackson would have got away with it. The book I recall shows the other dwarves paying immense respect to Thorin and that's another way Jackson could have got us to care.

Jackson should have learned by now that every time you deviate significantly from the script, you alienate your core audience. The female elf love plot wasn't the worst thing in the films by any means but didn't fit in with Bilbo's story.

LotR spent a good portion of time showing us beautiful vistas of the world. The Hobbit looked like it was filmed in the world's smallest studio with extremely dodgy lighting. This made the dwarves and the goblins look ridiculous.

I truly wonder how much of this could be fixed by a fan edit. Obviously you can't change it to Bilbo's perspective but you can remove anything that doesn't make the audience care. Use some filter or even blurring on the overlit scenes. Make the barrel and Goblintown escapes look less stupid.

Much of the third film was excellent -- if you like battles.

Comment It's not just refusal to research innovative drugs (Score 1) 345

Big Pharma...

1. Buries studies showing dangerous side effects or negative efficacy
2. Refuses to use active placebos or otherwise allows the blind to be broken and improve results for their drug
3. Pays ghostwriters to hide their own authorship of papers
4. Spends a fortune on brainwashing doctors including getting them to prescribe drugs for uses even the FDA won't approve
5. Encourages massive overprescription
6. Crowds out non-pharmaceutical treatment eg in mental health.

What else... the pharmaceutical industry is built around monopolies on drugs which sometimes mean the difference between life and death.

I'm no socialist but if ever there was a case for a state-run industry, it's pharmaceuticals.

Comment Re:They say you get the government you deserve... (Score 1) 115

This bill is supported by both Labour and Conservative. So that means at least 44% of voters voted for the "asshats". And a further 33.9% didn't care either way so I don't see why their opinion matters.

Alan Johnson didn't even know what it says. Watch from 11 mins: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/e...

If we switched to proportional representation, then we'd have a Conservative/UKIP coalition. Is that what you'd prefer?

Only if people voted exactly the same way (which they wouldn't) and we didn't use an electoral system that asks the voters about their opinions on all the candidates eg STV.

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