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Comment: Re:health insurance is like auto insurance now (Score 1) 2424

by philosiphus (#31593700) Attached to: House Passes Massive Medical Insurance Bill, 219-212

You are using a classic separation of the clauses in the Second Amendment but after District of Columbia v. Heller it has been interpreted as a single statement, with the first clause supporting the second. If you read it using the common meaning of terms at the time it was written, "militia" means a group of citizen-soldiers raised by a call to arms -- before we get to the second clause, this could mean the arms are owned by the State and given to them or they are owned by the citizenry. The second clause states:

the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

This answers the question left, of who owns the arms -- the people who keep them. This should make sense. The United States would not exist as it is unless the Revolutionary War militia had not themselves owned guns and been able to respond to a call to arms. It is also one reason that any invader of the United States today would be stupid to try and why the Swiss all keep arms in their homes. Sure, military technology far outstrips what a simple gun owner could do but as Iraq and Afganistan have shown people armed can put up quite a fight.

Comment: Re:health insurance is like auto insurance now (Score 1) 2424

by philosiphus (#31593624) Attached to: House Passes Massive Medical Insurance Bill, 219-212

A perhaps too little publicized fact: people on welfare in the U.S., without children, can "make" over $42,000/year. That is right: these welfare recipients know how to game the system enough that they can get free housing and make more than teachers or entry level engineers; certainly more than public-defense lawyers (who can make $15/hr or $24/hr in court time).

Comment: Re:Health insurance is a tax now (Score 1) 2424

by philosiphus (#31593592) Attached to: House Passes Massive Medical Insurance Bill, 219-212

My response to Australia is the same as my older response to Canada - before they developed an underclass (even then the waiting lines for the doctors and things like transplants were very long). America is different: there is a much larger body of people who are not working and paying into the system so it falls apart. The state of Massachusetts started a health reform system that this bill is partly modeled on (known perjoratively as RomneyCare) and their system is going bankrupt already. I hate to say this but you Aussies are just better.

Comment: Re:Health insurance is a tax now (Score 1) 2424

by philosiphus (#31593508) Attached to: House Passes Massive Medical Insurance Bill, 219-212

You're right: it is 2010 but what has changed since the mid 1980's, when predictions were the world would be over by now or we would be riding around in flying cars with clean cheap energy. I'm not mocking you at all; what I mean is we don't have clean cheap energy because instead of working on science and engineering people found it was much easier (and facilitated virtually instant gratification) to be powerful by playing finance or politics. Grand ideas are nothing without a lot of sweat to make them more than dreams but instead of objectivity most students I talk to see subjectivity -- everything is opinon. We could have had a good enough system that all people would be able to receive good health care but we wasted it on talk and sound bites and greed.

I disagree that we have the technology -- we won't until we bite another bullet and focus on clean cheap energy and automated production (so fewer people have to work). Now the "solution" is to give what little some people have to those who have less as if the country is prosperous, never mind that will only make it harder to achieve the ultimate goal of actually having the world of tomorrow.

Comment: Re:health insurance is like auto insurance now (Score 1) 2424

by philosiphus (#31593370) Attached to: House Passes Massive Medical Insurance Bill, 219-212

I don't think there will be a "next generation" -- at least not the same way as before. It is laudable to extend insurance but this bill increases demand without increasing supply. This thing is a financial wreck and it hits America at a time when it can ill afford to pay for it. Look at the numbers: it is $940bn by the best estimate (balanced only insofar as new taxes and cuts to Medicare and such cover the new cost), for 6 years (2014-2020). The way to help everyone might have been to work full tilt toward making America prosperous enough to spread the wealth around without making it hurt so much. They only did it now because they feared the chance wouldn't come around again.

I agree that the chances of this being repealed are very low; I also believe that is why the system was phased in with the real pain starting in 2014 when earning $200k a year won't seem like so much but it will be taxed as if it worth the same now.

Comment: Re:Good job (Score 1) 426

by philosiphus (#31531720) Attached to: High-Tech Research Moving From US To China

Whenever I hear complaints about the lack of (cheap) skilled engineering there are 4 things that spring to mind:

  • cost of education in the U.S. -- to get a PhD costs $150-200k or more.
  • emphasis on "diversity" over skill and working hard such that those who could become good engineers (out of desire) are pushed out, discouraged or taught wrongly because they are the wrong ethnicity or gender. This means some people are being encouraged to become engineers because they are an underrepresented demographic. I'm not talking about natural abilities; I believe once you get above a real (including nonverbal) IQ of 110 or so proclivity and willingness to work makes a larger difference. For "taught wrongly" I mean this whole thing about revamping the math curriculum to get female scores up is complete bullshit because females don't learn math that differently from males (according to the famous female mathematicians) -- there just isn't that high a level of interest.
  • laziness: engineering and science are hard and it is too easy to make more with less work going into management.
  • lack of jobs: sure they say there is "demand" for skilled engineers in the U.S. but try being a recent graduate - particularly one of the overrepresented demographic - looking for a job. When all the jobs have gone overseas, why become an engineer? (Related gripe: lack of knowledge transfer in the U.S.)

For the cost of having a worker, count in the cost of taxes on that worker as part of the cost of living when the taxes aren't returned. That is, redistributive and wasteful taxation schemes in the U.S. are part of the problem for worker cost. If you lose 40% of your income in Denmark but get that 40% back in social services direct to you that's fine but if you pay 35% of your income toward taxes and don't see it again the cost goes up, doesn't it?

Comment: Re:Religious Neanderthals (Score 1) 337

by philosiphus (#31336584) Attached to: The Role of Human Culture In Natural Selection

Catholic Charities -- conservative in a religious and social sense (not necessarily economically conservative) is extremely generous and funded by donations. EWTN is a conservative radio station (religiously, socially and for many shows economically) and is largely funded by donations. There is some division when it comes to Catholics, though: some seem economically conservative and others seem almost socialistic but none have advocated socialism as a governmental system or socialist policies for government because all governments that tend toward communism or socialism are anti-religious (Russia, China, Venezuela, Cuba...).

The US Chamber of Commerce is partly funded by donations and fiscally conservative.

I would say that I am conservative in all three distinct ways given by AdamThor, above, and I tend to give a relatively large percentage of my income to charity; I know many others like me who give both time and money.

Comment: Re:Very simple consideration (Score 1) 307

by philosiphus (#31031256) Attached to: Keep SSH Sessions Active, Or Reconnect?

That is a good point: timothy did not specify whether his authentication was based on password or key. Password-based authentication is more susceptible to brute-force attacks on weak passwords.

Timothy, if you are you are using password (keyboard-based) authentication you should stop, now. The number of times you log in should not matter nearly as much as your authentication method and OpenSSH version. If you are using key-based authentication with OpenSSH > 2.3 (hmac-md5 instead of hmac-sha1) you should be o.k..

Comment: Re:will be interesting to see if they use it (Score 1) 191

by philosiphus (#30824698) Attached to: USPTO Grants Google a Patent On MapReduce

Before Google there was MPI -- parts of the standard are Reduce, ALLReduce and Reduce_scatter, to name a few. The MPI 1.1 standard (1995) precedes the Google paper (1994). What Google patented was a complete system based on this principle so at best what they patented was a particular implementation. So in the end the best enforcing this would be like enforcing the "Multiple Desktop" implementation.

Comment: Re:Statistics is HARD (Score 1) 572

by philosiphus (#30714898) Attached to: Why Programmers Need To Learn Statistics

Zed does not distinguish between probability and statistical inference. He describes measurements that have been taken -- making inferences from data. He only mentions statistics in the context of inferring what happened rather than model the probability of an event happening in the future. That is only part of the problem in programming where, ideally, you should have 100% certainty, in the absence of exceptional situations (machine loses power, runs out of memory), that given the same inputs your program will produce the same outputs.

I agree with an implicit part of his rant: too many people (men and women) tend to rationalize intellectual laziness. Based on my own experience with people holding doctoral degrees in physics and mathematics, I have to say Zed sounds like he is in an "enterprise" situation where people can be lazy. Perhaps he would be happier in another workplace. Some of those mathematicians have been sloppy programmers and would even take offense if you (as a programmer) try to show them how to correct their program so it does not destroy your system. That does not mean all mathematicans are bad programmers and I have met many who wrote programs I would be proud of.

Which brings me to his comment on women. If some women in the population of people around Zed listen to him it does not mean all women will. In fact, the population of a single workplace (Zed's) does not provide enough data to support Zed's proposition that most women would listen to him. I have met (and enjoyed working with) many men who conscientiously try to do the best job they can and are more interested in mastering the intellectual problems at hand than proving that they are the best or most knowledgeable. So fuck you, Zed, you sexist bastard. Thanks for giving the feminists and leftists one more argument to rationalize their sexual discrimination and force men to be contractors, expendable and generally unemployed, while all the women get to keep the full-time employment.

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