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Comment Re: Looking more and more likely all the time... (Score 2) 473 473

> Because they predict things up to the level of accuracy that we can currently measure, within the very limited energy and size domains we have access to. That's all there is to it.

Fixed that for you.

When you can predict particle behavior inside a black hole with planck-length precision, or you can model gravity at the galactic scale without relying on unobserved "dark matter", I might be as confident as you that our current understanding is rock solid.

Comment Re: Looking more and more likely all the time... (Score 2) 473 473

> Modern physics is never incorrect.

And you, sir, have just turned science into religion.

The whole reason science is superior to religion is that it openly admits that it may be incorrect, and allows for itself to be corrected. It is, as you correctly outline, an iterative process that approaches truth over time. But part of that process is accepting that any truth may be overturned by new evidence. And while Einstein didn't "disprove" Newton, he did show flaws in the theory which meant that it was, in a very small way, wrong. And that's fine. Claiming it was "extended" and not "wrong" is playing semantics and makes you sound like a religious apologist.

The more comfortable we are with being wrong, and the process of refinement, the better scientists we are. The more we claim that some aspect of science is "never incorrect", the more dogmatic we are and the science suffers.

The predictions of modern physics are phenomenally accurate in many domains. But we haven't run tests in nearly enough domains to claim perfection yet. And we've no need to be defensive about it. Science is the only way to the next truth, and that's good enough for me.

Comment Re: Oh for fucks sake (Score 4, Insightful) 615 615

You've never actually had to live in such an environment, have you?

I'm posting from behind a two meter spiked fence at the moment. Outside the fence are people living in shit conditions, suffering, and generally making the world an uglier place for me. And we still get robbed. All the money I have can't fix the side effects of living in an impoverished city. Having actually spent significant time in both situations, I've come to realize that the people who don't see the advantages of a reasonable degree of socialism are the people whose worlds have benefitted from it so thoroughly they take it for granted.

Comment Re:I will never understand (Score 1) 104 104

The right way to level things (in all court dealings) would be to have both parties pay into a legal fund that compensates the lawyers for both sides. One side having more money should not entitle them to more power in court. If either side wants to contribute more so that the lawyers on both sides are better, that's great - go ahead. But the practice of buying a verdict by outspending your opponent on lawyer power should not be allowed.

Comment Re:Forensic evidence should not be subjective (Score 4, Interesting) 173 173

It's happened with arson experts too. I remember reading a horrible story of a guy convicted of burning his family to death because all the experts described these "pour patterns" in the burnt floor, signifying liquid accelerant. After he was put to death, they figured out it was just carpet glue patterns.

Between the way police feel free to shoot fleeing non-dangerous subjects these days, planting evidence in full view of other officers, lying on the stand to get convictions, and the labs and experts from every field falsifying results, I'd say our legal system is a disaster.

Comment Re:I do not understand (Score 1) 538 538

And why isn't being obligated to serve on a jury silly? It's actually very much like voting - you are required to offer your opinion for the benefit of society, whether you feel like it or not.

From a practical perspective, required voting takes some of impact of emotions out of elections, which is good thing. It also overcomes the various ways that people are obstructed from voting. These things outweigh the unavoidable issue of people casting random (i.e. self-cancelling) votes or other shenanigans.

Comment Re:I do not understand (Score 1) 538 538

I guess you haven't read "The Wisdom of Crowds".

One of the things they talk about in there is how the random noise of idiocy tends to cancel out allowing for a good result - but only if the sampling is done correctly. Required voting is one means to achieve that. Letting people decide if they want to vote or not skews things toward the irrational emotional, which is fairly obviously what has happened in the US.

Comment Re:The future is now. (Score 1) 155 155

I've been on reddit so long it took me a minute to realize I can't upvote you. Maybe not a lot of people here will agree with you, but you've nailed it. I work IT in environments with lots of regular folk and the power and flexibility I crave is a) useless to them and b) the source of the vast majority of their problems.

Comment Re:Nightmare (Score 3, Interesting) 250 250

So here's a serious question... why can so many other countries do it well? They combine healthcare and government and it's fine. So is the US functionally retarded? I don't think we are, but if this is really the undoable task that half this thread implies, what's wrong with us?

Comment Re:Somewhere 10,000 contractors get a call (Score 1) 250 250

> > "Everyone knew what was in it"
> Prove it.

Prove they didn't.

Oh, is that a stupid reply? Yes it is. You can't prove either thing in a meaningful way but you can look at the situation and draw a reasonably solid conclusion.

1. The basic structure of the law was fleshed out a more than a decade earlier by the Heritage Foundation. It was a well known idea.

2. The basic model was put into effect in Massachusetts years earlier. People knew how it worked in practice.

3. The ACA was discussed for months in congress and even hours on live TV, with all the key players on both sides of the aisle in attendance.

4. For the public there was a easy to comprehend, footnoted summary PDF provided by congress online many months in advance, as well as a nationwide town-hall campaign that completely backfired because of loud-mouthed reactionaries.

5. The people who claim that nobody knows what's in it apparently know more than enough to criticize it.

There was more open public discussion and understanding of the ACA than any other law I can think of in my whole life, and I ain't young. If you want to make the case that some people were willfully ignorant of the contents (i.e. death panels), I'll agree. But that is not the fault of the ACA.

If you think the system is working, ask someone who's waiting for a prompt.