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Comment Re: This legislation brought to you by.. (Score 5, Insightful) 446

No ... over the last hundred years, with improvements in public hygiene, water supplies, and vaccines, we have essentially conquered lethal childhood disease. We have effectively conquered food-borne illness. We have found effective anaesthetics and antibiotics and discovered effective methods of surgery so that essentially no one dies of minor trauma. The same techniques mean that most birth defects are now survivable.

Heart attack, cancer, etc haven't skyrocketed as causes of death because of our diet ... they've skyrocketed because we now live long enough for these to be the primary things that take us out, because we've beat all the other stuff! All these diseases have (obviously) existed for millions of years, but essentially no one ever succumbed to them because they didn't live long enough!

Can most of us eat better and exercise more and eek out a few more years? Sure. But I'd much rather our situation today than that of our forbears of even a hundred years ago.

Comment Re:For those who can read... (Score 1) 237

I would go so far as to say they would have required the companies that recorded the data for billing purposes to remove it when the bill was paid without dispute instead of hanging on to it at all.

That's a patently silly claim. There were certainly business records in the 1790s; if they were going to outlaw keeping records after billing was concluded, don't you think they would have done that in, say, the 1790s? They pretty clearly didn't do that...

Comment Re:Dithering? I don't think so (Score 1) 85

I don't think the UAS community is complaining about the existence of regulations, or even the need for regulations, per se. The main complaint to the FAA is that they are ready for regulations, ANY regulations, just get on with promulgating them. I'm not a drone guy, but even I recognize that the potential of UAVs is huge for fundamental changes in many fields, but the FAA has been (intentionally?) dragging its feet for _so long_ that the technical initiative is bleeding out of the US into other countries that haven't been moving slower than molasses in winter.

Comment Re: Just let me do brain surgery! (Score 4, Insightful) 372

Of course brain surgeons don't "just do" brain surgery .... in any surgery, there's a ton of pre-operative work, investigation, preparation, paperwork, practice, etc. No one just dives in and cuts open your head.... and just as no one administrator hovers over the scalpel's every move, no manager hovers over every keystroke, either.

Comment Re:$18.7 billion?! (Score 4, Insightful) 208

Endowments return significant operating funds in up years, and sales from the endowment assets smooth out what would otherwise be significant operating losses in the down years; they decouple university operating finances from the business cycle and local politics. They _stabilize_ finances. They can also used as collateral allow for much larger debt funded initiatives to be floated. I dearly wish my university employer had a large endowment....

Put another way: you don't eat your seed corn. The endowment is the seed corn. Selling off an endowment for short term, short sighted "it seems wrong to have so much money!" would be criminal

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