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Comment: Re:Interesting... (Score 1) 584

by xcut (#32637928) Attached to: What US Health Care Needs
Shall we take the data from here and here then, on the 65+ year olds? That's 16.81% in Europe vs 12.6% in the US. You're probably joking about the "much less active" bit, so I'll let it slide.

Most importantly: you are of course entitled to the "do everything possible to save me" mentality, that is a cultural difference. Note, though, that with spending at 16% of GDP, that's a dangerous game. The US does not have the ability to raise infinite debt.

Comment: Re:Navel gazing (Score 1) 584

by xcut (#32637774) Attached to: What US Health Care Needs
Alright - I guess I won't quote you on any relevant statistics then. I am not sure whether you are happy or unhappy with the state of affairs, since you conclude with "we just pay a shitload more". That shitload is more than 16% of your GDP, which is insane.

Expected lifespans are important, even if you put your head in the sand. It is irrelevant how good your health care is for the top 10% of the population, you will never manage to establish this sort of care across the board. And yes, obesity is a health problem, not a "cultural" one, because it is the health care system that pays the price in the end. Persistent failure to tackle the problem as a health issue does not mean you just get to redefine it.

Comment: Re:Interesting... (Score 3, Informative) 584

by xcut (#32637720) Attached to: What US Health Care Needs
It is true. Here's an article in the economist, which has good coverage of this: article.

Note: The proportion of GDP devoted to health care has grown from 5% in 1962 to 16% today. Rising health-care costs appear to have suppressed wages, as firms seek to make up for the expense. America spends 53% more per head than the next most profligate country and almost two-and-a-half times the rich-country average..

There is a systemic problem in the US that is well document: that of wrong incentives in the system (over-testing by doctors because of bad payment models, lack of litigation protection, etc). Not easy to fix.

Comment: Navel gazing (Score 1) 584

by xcut (#32637696) Attached to: What US Health Care Needs
This will take science. It will take art. It will take innovation. It will take ambition. And it will take humility. But the fantastic thing is: This is what you get to do...

This is just lovely. Go on, start innovating, spend lots of money. By no means must you look at other countries to find out why your healthcare expenditure is so high, you can look forward to your "not invented here" syndrome to keep costing you a fortune.

Comment: Oldest protectionist trick in the book (Score 1) 206

by xcut (#31061454) Attached to: Push To End Online Gambling Ban Gains Steam
So, let's see. The US wiped billions of the share price of Partygaming (registered in Gibraltar), the most successful online poker company, almost overnight when it, effectively, outlawed credit card payments for internet gambling.

What are the chances that the law is now repealed, and "carefully regulated US companies" will be able to provide internet gambling? It's nothing but good old protectionism at work, we shall see..

Comment: why? (Score 2, Insightful) 404

by xcut (#30798170) Attached to: James Cameron On How <em>Avatar</em> Technology Could Keep Actors Young
Why would anybody be interested in seeing Sean Connery act in James Bond the same way he did back then? Why would you not just watch the old movie? Does anybody really give a damn if the explosions look slightly more up to date? If you want to use fancy toys, use them to innovate, and find the icons of the next generation.

Comment: Local optima (Score 1) 148

by xcut (#30797342) Attached to: CMU Web-Scraping Learns English, One Word At a Time
And how will they determine if this gets stuck in some local optimum for certain concepts, and thus stops to learn anything relevant at all about any one given concept or topic? The report is low on details and high on hype. There are no current algorithms that don't require heavy parameter tuning and constant monitoring to get right. Switching one on for a few years and hoping does not strike me as an exciting story.

Comment: data protection (Score 1) 505

by xcut (#29065025) Attached to: How To Stop Businesses Storing SSNs Indefinitely?
Is there no data protection legislation in the US? In most countries in Europe, businesses are not allowed to retain data unless they can demonstrate a purpose for them. And if you have discontinued business with them, they certainly have no purpose for it (ulterior purposes not to do with the provision of services to you do not count).

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