Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Deal of the Day - Pay What You Want for the Learn to Code Bundle, includes AngularJS, Python, HTML5, Ruby, and more. ×

Comment Re:They believe it because it's true (Score 1) 928

You misunderstood my argument on several points.

I didn't say that most women failed to reproduce. I said most women died before 30. I overstated a bit, but the point remains the same. Wikipedia puts the historical count at 1 in 100 births, which works out to about 10%, assuming the average woman had 10 pregnancies. In many cases it was likely as high as 30% of women dying in childbirth.

On the case of oppression, I said nothing about oppression. This is a division of labor issue. On the male side, as I said, there are a lot of high-risk jobs. But if you educate a man, you don't want to risk him in such an occupation, and it's fairly easy to keep him safe, and he can still procreate.

On the womens' side, you've got around a 10-30% chance that the woman will die shortly after finishing her education if you want her to procreate and serve in some serious administrative capacity. So it makes sense to train men in these roles, and keep them out of harm's way. Prior to the 20th century, however, you could not so easily mitigate the survivability challenges of women.

Comment Re:Woah? What?!? (Score 1) 407

wait, what? who said anything about saving us anything on health care? I though the goal was just to get everyone health care

My recollection was that Obama talked extensively (and correctly!) about the need to reduce the cost of health care. After all, that's the root cause of so many people not having insurance. (He won points in the debate against Hillary when he said he thought people lacked insurance because they couldn't afford it, not because they didn't want it). Reducing the costs over the long run is key to being able to sustainably provide universal coverage.

If we limit ourselves to the (worthy but insufficient) goal of ensuring coverage to those without means (via government subsidy or government insurance), without "bending the cost curve", then we've committed ourselves to a death spiral. Double-digit percentage yearly increases in costs of care will require more and more people over time to receive government subsidies. Eventually everyone will require subsidies if we don't do something (and even then costs won't be controlled).

We may be spreading the pain more evenly, but the pain is still getting worse for everyone. That's why Obama spoke so eloquently about addressing costs, and why it's so regrettable that Congress has been busy watering down the parts of the health reform bill that have actual potential to lower costs significantly.

Comment Re:How is this ethical? (Score 1) 168

"Either you've done the research and are making it publicly available to all of mankind - or you are keeping it for yourself and only offering the benefits of the research to the select individuals who can afford it."

By patenting the invention, you are (1) motiviating a company to fund the research, (2) publishing the designs for your inventino, and (3) ensuring that after about 20 years anyone will be free to follow those designs with or without your approval or profit.

That may not do as much for mankind as you would like to think we would get were everyone an altruist, but in the real world the alternative is that the invention waits uninvented. (You are not going to create a bioengineered cancer drug without expensive equipment - i.e. without deep pockets funding you.)

Now specifically talking about medical research in the U.S., I do firmly believe the system is broken - but that would be the healthcare system, not the patent system. The wide disparity between brand and generic pricing for drugs is a symptom of a broader problem, and trying to skip the brand phase for new medicines will only change symptoms without addressing the root cause.

(And no, I'm not suggesting that a so-called public option solves it either... but I digress.)

The Nobel Prize should recognize and honor the acheivement, end of story. The acheivement will further mankind in due course.

Comment Re:After reciving an e-mail that appeared... (Score 1) 360

I'd agree, it demonstrates a classic misunderstanding of the problem by one of the leading law enforcement agents in the country.

"Online banking" is here to stay whether you personally go on the internet or not. If you write a paper check at a department store, it's electronically presented via ACH while you are in line. If you have Direct Deposit the transactions to pay you go online from your employer and they can be "broken" to take money "back" quite easily. IF you use a credit card for anything but the old stamped paper, it's transmitted over the internet by people you don't know from adam. Sure these are encrypted to various degrees, but things like ACH don't know Walmart from a 419 scammer with your checkbook.

You're already out there, "not using the internet" in no way means you're not at risk.. you're just ignoring the risk. Unless you use cash-only at which point you're automatically suspect (cash=criminal according to the FBI because you're hiding something from them)

I suppose you could use only cash + money orders/Cashier's checks for large/mail purchases but you're paying a premium and many places won't accept those payments from "customers".

Comment Re:Why do corporations have to be people? (Score 1) 371

Sigh. There are rights and rights. There is nothing that says the rights that are entailed by being human and those that are entailed by being a citizen are identical.

For example, the declaration of independence says:

"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."

This document however says nothing about a right to privacy.

Where as the Constitution which enumerates our rights only applies to citizens and does talk about something that could interpreted as a right to privacy.

Do not underestimate the value of print statements for debugging.