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Comment: Re:Yay Canada! (Score 1) 231

by dala1 (#49016095) Attached to: Canadian Supreme Court Rules Ban On Assisted Suicide Unconstitutional

The courts don't write laws (at least not in Canada), and this case is no exception. When the courts strike down laws, they give legislatures a set amount of time to re-write the law such that it complies with the Constitution. In the meantime, the old law stands for up to one year. So no, you can't just randomly walk into a doctors office and demand that they put you down as you suggested.

Comment: Re:Simpson's did it!!! (Score 2) 163

by dala1 (#48882271) Attached to: Researchers Moot "Teleportation" Via Destructive 3D Printing

What exactly is it that you think atheists believe? Atheism is when you lack a belief in God, nothing to do with souls or consciousness or personal identity. And none of these things have anything to do with this crude take on 'teleportation'.

Regardless of what happens on the other end of the machine, if you physically destroy the body of a living thing then it will die. It will experience exactly the same things that it would if you killed it and then did not make a copy.

Comment: Re:Holy Carp! (Score 2) 136

by dala1 (#48852949) Attached to: Drug Company CEO Blames Drug Industry For Increased Drug Resistance

It's a prisoner's dilemma. Every player in the market has the choice to either improve waste disposal (cooperate) or not (defect). If everyone cooperates, then society as a whole wins, but the price of antibiotics go up across the board. However, if anyone defects, then they drive all those cooperating out of the market with lower prices. This is a perfect example of how government regulation (forced cooperation) can solve this type of dilemma.

Comment: Re:Robot factories (Score 1) 331

by dala1 (#48286117) Attached to: Colleges Face New 'Gainful Employment' Regulations For Student Loans

You don't get below market wages in pure capitalism, but that's not what the system is. When you add things like government subsidies, it distorts the market. People who work minimum wage jobs can 'afford' to do so because they are subsidized by things like food stamps and housing assistance. Take those things away, and workers would have to either demand higher wages or starve/live on the streets.

Comment: why? (Score 1) 208

by dala1 (#47277753) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Bequeath Sensitive Information?

This honestly seems over complicated. Why should anyone have this information before you die, especially financial information? The simple thing to do is put a hard copy (sealed, of course) of the information in a safety deposit box with a copy of your will. As long as your executor knows about the box, they can access it after you die and distribute the information per your instructions.

Comment: Re:So there's 100 or so unimmunized? (Score 1) 387

by dala1 (#47243453) Attached to: California Whooping Cough Cases "an Epidemic"

According to the WHO, there were 2.6 million measles deaths every year before there were vaccinations. Per the CDC, 'about one out of 10 children with measles also gets an ear infection, and up to one out of 20 gets pneumonia. About one out of 1,000 gets encephalitis, and one or two out of 1,000 die.' Not the highest mortality rate, but still a significant number when you consider just how common it was.

Comment: Re:War of government against people? (Score 2) 875

by dala1 (#47199981) Attached to: America 'Has Become a War Zone'

Let's try a simpler example.

Students in a chemistry class study an average of 6 hours for a test and get a C for their class average. The next week, the same student study an average of 1 hour for their Interpretive Dance class and average an A..

Despite the negative correlation, this doesn't disprove the idea that studying improves grades. Most likely, grades are positively correlated to studying but negatively correlated to class difficulty.

Comment: Re:War of government against people? (Score 5, Insightful) 875

by dala1 (#47199489) Attached to: America 'Has Become a War Zone'

A negative correlation does not disprove causation any more than a positive one proves it. To see why, consider a simpler example: Town A has 5 police per thousand people, and 3 crimes reported per thousand people every day. The next year, they increase the number of police to 7 per thousand people, but crime rates go up to 5 crimes reported per day.

Despite the negative correlation, this doesn't disprove the idea that having a greater police presence reduces crime. It could be that poverty rates went up due to recession, resulting in more crime and prompting politicians to increase police funding. It could be that the police are corrupt or inept, or that legislation changed such that committing crime is more profitable or less risky. There could be any number of explanations for that data that don't require causation.

Comment: this again... (Score 5, Insightful) 292

by dala1 (#46720471) Attached to: Nat Geo Writer: Science Is Running Out of "Great" Things To Discover

How many times has this been said before, and proven wrong?

"The more important fundamental laws and facts of physical science have all been discovered, and these are now so firmly established that the possibility of their ever being supplanted in consequence of new discoveries is exceedingly remote.... Our future discoveries must be looked for in the sixth place of decimals."
- Albert Michelson,1894

Comment: Re:He's winning b/c he gets the right answers (Score 1) 412

by dala1 (#46159715) Attached to: Audience Jeers Contestant Who Uses Game Theory To Win At 'Jeopardy'

Actually, in a prisoner's dilemma the dominant strategy is to be a rat. It goes like this:

If A and B both betray the other, each of them serves 2 years in prison
If A betrays B but B remains silent, A will be set free and B will serve 3 years in prison (and vice versa)
If A and B both remain silent, both of them will only serve 1 year in prison (on the lesser charge)

So, you serve either 1 or 3 years in jail if you don't talk, and 0 or 2 years in jail if you do. No matter what the other guy does, you're better off ratting.

Have you ever noticed that the people who are always trying to tell you `there's a time for work and a time for play' never find the time for play?