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Comment Re:Profits are important to allocate resources (Score 1) 93 93

The market is very good at sorting these things out. Plenty of people buy snake oil. Look at the vitamin/supplement market. Most of that is unproven but people take it anyway. If you have a new drug the reason you will still do trials is because of marketing. Companies send their stuff to UL for testing so they can get the UL Label. You can still have the FDA running trails but instead of banning sales of drugs they just give their seal of approval.

If you are risk adverse you may just stay will older more well proven drugs. If you accept risk or are desperate enough you may try more unproven ones.

Comment Re:Profits are important to allocate resources (Score 1) 93 93

I was talking about a free market where drug developers and patients were free to deal with each other without regulation. In such a case if patients would normally try more established drugs first and if they did not get results they would work through newer and potentially more risky drugs as they determined by their own risk tolerance. No reason someone couldn't pay for drugs undergoing early development.

Also the effect of drugs is very individual. If you tried to get peanut butter through clinical trials you would most likely not notice some people are deathly allergic until larger late trials.

Comment It's called the free market (Score 1) 245 245

Central Planners will never learn. There is no way to objectively measure these things because everyone's standards are different. I know people that are perfectly happy (and surprisingly healthy) visiting all sorts of quacks like chiropractors and acupuncturists.

People have different values for every aspect of these things which is why you just need a free market in medicine.

Comment Profits are important to allocate resources (Score 3, Informative) 93 93

I don't have a problem with the Pharmaceutical companies trying to maximize profits. Profits are necessary to help the market determine how to allocate resources. When a company makes "obscene" profits that is a signal to everyone else that resources should be taken from those enterprises incurring loses and invested in the more profitable ventures.

But patents have nothing to do with a free market. They are a state granted monopoly that need to be eliminated. Get rid of patents and you will have quicker and smaller innovations as companies try to stay ahead in their market.

Comment Re:Transparency (Score 1) 220 220

That is why you use Statistical Process Control. I used to build assembly equipment and many tolerances were controlled by statistics. For eample say you had a certain diameter on a part that needed to be within tolerances. The first thing you do is take data on random parts to make sure all you have are random variations. If there is anything non-random you need to fix it. Then you set your control limits such that your process with your required degree of certainty is within it. So if you need the part to be from .998 to 1.001 you make sure your 3 sigma values are from .999 to 1.000. That way you can take random samples and make sure your process is in control in the limits. If your process degrades over time and you fall outside of those limits you are still making good parts you just know you need to replace tooling or perform maintainence to get the process back in control

Comment This is a direct consequence of Afirmative Action (Score 3, Insightful) 398 398

If you set up a system where you can be sued for firing people if they belong to a certain group why be surprised when they are not hired in the first place? Let's say women from a particular college were likely to accuse you of rape if you broke up. How many dates would they get?

The same thing here. You need to be 100% sure you are picking the perfect protected employee because it will cost you plenty to fire them. Nobody is going to give someone a chance to prove themselves because it's too risky.

Get rid of these stupid laws and you could easily hire 100 kids out of less well known schools and keep the 5 or 10 best.

Comment Re:About the latter news story... (Score 1) 267 267

It was also used many times in the North when people were accused of harboring or helping fugitive slaves. The juries would refuse to convict.

Since we now have several million non-violent people rotting in prison maybe we should start using it again?

I think the real reason is the prison industrial complex doesn't like to be questioned. There is a lot of money at stake keeping those millions locked up.

Comment Re:About the latter news story... (Score 1) 267 267

I'm not sure about the UK but in the U.S. juries are kept mostly in the dark by the judge.

I was on a jury where the judge was the same one on the Zimmerman trial. In this case it wasn't clear what happened because every witness contradicted each other. The defendant seemed to claim self defense as in she said the other woman tried to hit her so she punched her in the face which left a bruise. The other woman claimed out of the blue the other woman hit her with an 18 in wrench. The defense attorney never made the self defense case which led me to believe the judge prevented him from doing so.

Being a troll in general when we were in deliberation I sent a note to the judge asking for a copy of Florida's law in self defense.(that was Zimmerman's claim). She called us back in and read the same exact jury instructions she read before.

It took me a while to talk the other jurors out of Assault with a weapon (since no weapon was ever found). I could not get them to understand there was reasonable doubt that the defendant was using self defense since the lawyer never argued it. They kept saying the judge told us to follow these instructions.

Comment Re:Feels weird agreeing with scientologists (Score 1) 265 265

You missed the important part. Detain for 4 hours " allowing law enforcement to arrive and evaluate the situation."

Whenever you use force you need to look at the unintended consequences. With a law like this people that might need help could stay away for fear of being detained while the doctors call the police.

Comment The Solution is Subsidiarity (Score 2) 165 165

If you are going to have democracy then you need to push things to the lowest level possible. Instead of 50% + 1 winning it needs to be more like 2 sigma or 95%. If you want to delegate a function to the national government then 95%+ of the people should agree. Same for the state, county, town, neighborhood, family, or individual. The system we have now insures conflict because you can force a slight majority to your will.

Comment Re:another win for the 1% (Score 1) 432 432

The problem is as follows. Employees like every producer want to have very few competitors, be able to charge a high price, and have steady predicable income. But as consumers we want the opposite. We want lots of choices, low prices, and be able to change the provider of our goods and services at whim. These are directly opposed.

If your policies favor the former you will get a market with a few, expensive, and slow changing products and services. If you favor the latter you will have a market with plenty of cheap and ever evolving products to meet consumers demands.

The goal of all lobbyists is to favor the former for their particular company or industry while favoring the latter for the rest of the economy.

Comment How times have changed. (Score 4, Interesting) 431 431

when I was about 12 in the mid 80's I rode my bike 10 miles to Radio Shack and bought all of the Mercury Switches they had (4?) for about $1.50 each. I built people detectors which consisted of a copper tube with batteries, Mercury switch, on/off push button, and siren. When we played hide and seek or paintball I could arm one and put a string across a path. If someone hit the string the siren would go off.

I lost one or so I thought. A kid found one and took it home. His Mom called the cops because she thought it was a bomb. The kid ratted me out as the builder. The cop showed up at my house and asked me to come look at something. I followed him and one of these devices was in the street. I told the cop what it was and he laughed and told me to pick it up and take it home.

I can't imagine what would happen today.

Comment Re:Missing something (Score 2) 148 148

I've designed many gear trains for various devices. The reason this is useless is because you can't drive anything with it.

Harmonic Drives have been around a long time.

The problem when you couple them together is you get more torque then the teeth can handle.

The reason most gear trains are larger is because you are typically trying to do something useful like taking a small high speed motor and using the gears for a high torque low speed application. This requires large gear teeth to handle the stresses.

This is like a kid building a bridge with Popsicle sticks. Cool but completely useless.

Real programs don't eat cache.