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Comment: Re:Homeland Security? Everyone is a terrorist (Score 1) 126

by sound+vision (#48888181) Attached to: Silk Road 2.0 Deputy Arrested
It's really shocking how much money these pain clinics are making now - they are making more money than the dope dealers. People will literally start lining up at 4 am waiting for the clinic to open to make sure they get a spot. No appointments, they just process as many customers a day as they can. The customers pay in cash, something like $250 per visit. Due to the laws, lots of "mainstream" pharmacies won't process prescriptions from pain clinics, so the clinics often partner up with a specific pharmacy, where you pay another $100 for the pills themselves. Again cash, of course.

In this area, I've never seen heroin but I've certainly seen boatloads of pills. The program to push opiate users off heroin and on to pharmaceuticals was a success.

Comment: Re:Homeland Security? Everyone is a terrorist (Score 1) 126

by sound+vision (#48888019) Attached to: Silk Road 2.0 Deputy Arrested
Hello, former opiate addict here. I wasn't using heroin in particular, but the year or so that I used opiates daily was the most economically productive period of my life. Every day I would be high by the time I came in to work, which involved maintaining Linux servers. I would get my job done without issue. Unless you get to near-overdose levels, opiates don't effect your coordination or higher level thinking to the degree of alcohol or even cannabis. Indeed the biggest negative effects were prohibition-related. The price was heavily increased price due to enforcement measures (3x to 4x increase over as many years) and I had to associate with certain shady people to get it.

It's worth noting that the medically accepted treatments for opiate addiction, like methadone maintenance treatment, simply substitute illegal opiates for legal ones. You're still under the influence of opiates daily, but instead of going by the dope house every morning and shelling out $100 for the illegal pills, you go by the clinic and pay maybe $10 and get legal ones. And that's an improvement. These programs have been in place for decades and their positive effects are well studied.

Comment: Re:We can only hope... (Score 1) 227

by sound+vision (#48854149) Attached to: Sid Meier's New Game Is About Starships
The weird thing is, Beyond Earth runs much more smoothly for me than plain Civ 5. Civ 5 is choppy as hell, and it's not due to the graphics. Specs:
AMD Phenom X4 9850 (ca. 2008)
nForce 4 based motherboard (ca. 2007)
GeForce 275 GTX (ca. a while back)
4 GB ddr2-800 main memory

Starting to get dated now, but Beyond Earth runs very smoothly on it.

Comment: Re:So they are doing what? (Score 1) 509

by sound+vision (#48785257) Attached to: Anonymous Declares War Over Charlie Hebdo Attack
Quite a few US states have outlawed the death penalty. Of those that do allow it, most execute single-digit numbers of prisoners annually. Some don't even tally 1 execution per year. TBH, if the choice is between life in the prison system (30 years? 50, 60?) or a painless death, I'd take door #2. Unfortunately anti-death-penalty advocates have been taking away the "painless" part. It's similar to how the "war on drugs" has actually exacerbated drug-related problems.
Recently, states have had to experiment with untested, and not wholly effective, lethal injection drugs due to the suppliers worrying about death penalty-related PR. That's caused several needlessly painful executions. Perhaps the most completely painless option is nitrogen asphyxiation under heavy sedation - but whenever that gets suggested people come out with "OMG they want to gas prisoners like Nazis!" Never mind the fact Nazis used a completely different gas (Zyklon B) that kills by a very painful mode of action...

"Don't think; let the machine do it for you!" -- E. C. Berkeley