Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:I'm a liberal, and I hope for a loss (Score 1) 1019

by avoiceinthewildernes (#37548954) Attached to: Healthcare Law Appealed To Supreme Court
The bill has no severability clause. If the mandate is struck down, the whole thing dies (almost certainly--the court could strike down just the mandate, but they won't, for just the reasons you've identified).

I'm actually in favor of an individual mandate, but not this steaming pile of a "pass it to know what's in it" power grab by federal bureaucrats that will politicize every medical decision into the foreseeable future. Don't believe that? Think back to how politicized the mammogram report became when this bill was under discussion. (A taste of that.) We had Congress Critters lining up to denounce the science on both sides of the aisle. That's a preview of what will happen on every medical decision if this law stands as it is. A mandate to carry a high-deductible catastrophic plan makes sense; having the government micromanage healthcare is stupid when there are other options that don't assume godlike knowledge on the part of bureaucrats and politicians. At least, that my judgment now; I'm willing to put it to an experimental test.

Let's experiment with 50 systems and see what all the unintended and unexpected consequences are. Then, if you want to expand the power of the feds to impose such a mandate, there is a procedure for that: constitutional amendment. If the idea is so great, why not put it to the test in a few states before imposing it on everyone? That's how we actually learn something.

To a related point: Wasn't it Barry who said we can't expect to pass something as huge as healthcare reform with 51%?

Comment: Re:What is Dodd guilty of? (Score 1) 181

by avoiceinthewildernes (#35279098) Attached to: Former Senator Chris Dodd Set To Head MPAA
There was no real "deregulation" of the derivatives market. It emerged without real regulation in the 90s. And the lack of regulation in derivatives would have had relatively little impact were it not for the longstanding incentives of cheap money and pushing mortgages with the implicit incentive of a bailout to Fanny and Freddie. People have to stop looking for simple "it was their fault" answers to these extremely complicated matters. There is plenty of blame to go around for the financial crisis, and the correct lesson is this: No one is smart enough to manage and plan an economy; everything they (and it doesn't matter who "they" are) touch is therefore liable to go to hell. That doesn't mean no regulation; it means regulation has to set clear, enforceable rules that cannot be easily gamed or interpreted away and stop trying to pick winners.

Comment: Re:Hayek (Score 1) 421

by avoiceinthewildernes (#30042690) Attached to: What Computer Science Can Teach Economics
You're profoundly confused. There's no magic here; Mises and others of the Austrian school simply understood a few things about chaotic systems better than anyone else, especially in economics, long before it was cool. Hayek was predicting the collapse of the Soviet Union while others, e.g., Galbraith, were predicting their victory over capitalism based on their great efficiency. Hayek also predicted the Great Depression. This is not magic; it's just a matter of actually understanding economics instead of imagining we've understood it when we model a toy world.

Comment: Re:That laptop in the infomercial... (Score 1) 659

by avoiceinthewildernes (#26617761) Attached to: Bill Gates' Plan To Destroy Music, Note By Note
Huh? Why wouldn't something work "under bootcamp"?? Bootcamp is not emulation or anything. It's just Windows running on Apple branded PC hardware. Is there a conflict with the drivers or something? That's the only angle that could make any sense, and even there, it seems like there would be a workaround (e.g., most of the Mac hardware is off-the-shelf, and you could install alternative drivers?) I don't get your claim.

Comment: Re:I just have one question. (Score 1) 663

by avoiceinthewildernes (#26513003) Attached to: Dvorak Layout Claimed Not Superior To QWERTY

Those who invest all that time in something inevitably justify it to themselves. The fact that everyone who tries it claims to be better off for it is no proof at all.

In contrast, the folks who care about the objective facts (e.g., those who could pay to train typists on an alternative and thereby stand to gain/lose based on the truth) have not judged there to be any benefit to alternatives, based on evaluations of actual performance. If they were all wrong, then the first company to get it right would enjoy a competitive advantage and eat their lunch. In the market, you can't just go by your (often distorted) gut feeling on these things, because the truth will be found out and you will literally pay for it!

Comment: Re:You are totally mistaken (Score 1) 575

by avoiceinthewildernes (#26479081) Attached to: Wiretapping Program Ruled Legal

The preamble asserts, "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union. . . " As should be obvious, the Constitution is a legal document that applies to those who are part of the compact and as such (of course) only applies to citizens. The Declaration states basic natural rights, but detention and judgment against enemy combatants (even lawful ones) in no way abridges their natural rights. (Of course, if there are innocents incarcerated, their rights are violated, but that's another matter entirely.) Your point that the Constitution applies to all humans no matter what is just wrong--silly wrong, in fact.

When a State of War obtains, bad sh*t happens. That's why we should prefer to operate within civil society. But this nonsense about the civil laws and courts as the natural due of those who stand with respect to us as in a State of Nature and even in a State of War just has to stop.

More generally, people need to get ahold of their rational faculty and think about these matters more clearly. I think an irrational hatred of a specific administration is clouding judgment here. If Obama releases these folks and one of them commits an act of terror, the folks clamoring for these silly notions (e.g., that the same rules of evidence that should apply within the context of a civil authority should also apply to enemy combatants) will have done their own cause (which I assume--hope?--is Justice) a grave disservice.

Comment: Re:Cairo (Score 1) 575

by avoiceinthewildernes (#26479019) Attached to: Wiretapping Program Ruled Legal

From the preamble:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Preamble?? Huh? You seem to have gotten your Declaration of Independence mixed in with your Constitution there, son. If you're going to be a jackass about the text, at least get it right!

The preamble asserts, "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union. . . " As should be obvious, the Constitution is a legal document and as such (of course) only applies to citizens.

As to the substance of your point, the ideals expressed in the Declaration are in no way abridged by treating those who stand outside the law as with respect to us, operating in a declared State of War, in a summary fashion. Civil courts exist when we have mutually accepted their role in civil society. Plainly, lawful combatants do not fit that description. Take a gander at Locke's Second Treatise to get some semblance of a clue on this:

"The state of war is a state of enmity and destruction; and therefore declaring by word or action, not a passionate and hasty, but sedate, settled design upon another man's life puts him in a state of war with him against whom he has declared such an intention, and so has exposed his life to the other's power to be taken away by him, or any one that joins with him in his defence, and espouses his quarrel; it being reasonable and just I should have a right to destroy that which threatens me with destruction; for by the fundamental law of Nature, man being to be preserved as much as possible, when all cannot be preserved, the safety of the innocent is to be preferred, and one may destroy a man who makes war upon him, or has discovered an enmity to his being, for the same reason that he may kill a wolf or a lion, because they are not under the ties of the common law of reason, have no other rule but that of force and violence, and so may be treated as a beast of prey, those dangerous and noxious creatures that will be sure to destroy him whenever he falls into their power." -- John Locke

Comment: Re:I just had to point out a couple things, sorry (Score 2, Informative) 126

by avoiceinthewildernes (#26317983) Attached to: Four Threats For '09 You Haven't Heard of
Ever heard of Karl Popper? I didn't think so.

In short, you CANNOT "prove" a scientific theory. There is a fundamental logical problem with the very idea: We make predictions, and sometimes the predictions come true. But 'If H, then P ; P; Therefore, H' is just plain invalid. However, if a prediction fails to come true, we have: 'If H, then P; not-P; Therefore, not-H.' So, hypothesis testing CANNOT prove that a theory is true, but we can submit a theory to testing and prove that it's false, and that's enough to give us confidence in the truth of hypotheses that we haven't been able to falsify. This, in highly abbreviated form, indicates why Popper's view that scientific claims are never proved but must be susceptible of falsification has been so very influential. It's not the last word in philosophy of science, but it's an important point, and one that you should at least understand and take seriously.

As far as I can tell, neither you nor GP knows what counts as "real science."
Announcements

+ - Apple Releases Mac OS X 10.4.9

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Today Apple released the finel major update to Mac OS X 10.4. According to Apple, the 10.4.9 Update is recommended for PowerPC and Intel-based Mac computers currently running Mac OS X Tiger version 10.4.8 and includes general operating system fixes, as well as specific fixes or compatibility updates for the following applications and technologies:

RAW camera support
Handling of large or malformed images that could cause crashes
Image capture performance
Mouse scrolling and keyboard shortcuts
Font handling
Playback quality, and bookmarks in DVD Player
USB video conferencing cameras for use with iChat
Bluetooth devices
Browsing AFP servers
Apple USB Modem
Windows-created digital certificates
Open and Print dialogs in applications that use Rosetta on Intel-based Macs
Time zone and daylight saving for 2006 and 2007

Security updates
Mac OS X 10.4.9 Update (PPC) SHA1 Digest: MacOSXUpd10.4.9PPC.dmg= 380b0db5c8978a025cfc9b19e46845a51608d5be

For explanation of what a SHA1 digest is, please visit this website: http://www.info.apple.com/kbnum/n75510

For detailed information on this Update, please visit this website: http://www.info.apple.com/kbnum/n304821

For detailed information on Security Updates, please visit this website: http://www.info.apple.com/kbnum/n61798"

Overdrawn? But I still have checks left!

Working...