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Comment Re: Hey Miss Mash... (Score 5, Informative) 177

Why can there be no year zero?

Because the "AD/BC" numbering system was established in the sixth century, when Europe still used Roman numbers. Although Latin has a word ("nulla") for nothing, it wasn't a mathematical concept, nor were negative numbers. So the "AD" years and "BC" years were both given positive sequences with no "year zero" in between.

Arabic numbers and mathematical zeros were not commonly used until the 1200s. They were popularized by Fibonacci, who is more famous for his sequences.

Comment Re:Don't let your kids be doctors (Score 1) 40

Quite a few branches on the flowchart end with "Refer to a doctor", so no one is expecting the nurse to handle everything.

But for some problems, the nurse is more often correct than the doctor. Nurses are more likely to make a diagnosis that is mundane and ordinary, while a doctor is biased toward looking for an esoteric ailment that he learned about in medical school. As they say "When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses not zebras."

In the Checklist Manifesto, the author (a medical doctor) describes how the most experienced and senior doctors were found to have the highest rates of minsdiagnosises because, although they required their staffs to use checklists, they often skipped them themselves and just trusted their expertise and instincts.

Comment Re:So auctions are banned then? (Score 1) 90

I can buy an item no-one wants at an action, and have it turn out to be valuable.

If an activity can be systematically profitable to someone with skill and knowledge, then it is not "gambling" even if most participants lose money.

Plenty of people earn a living buying stuff at auctions and garage sales, and then reselling on eBay.

In some jurisdictions poker is not considered gambling, because professional players can systematically win over the less skilled.

Comment Re:Plausible deniability (Score 2) 96

you have plausible deniability when your actual videos *do* leak.

I am not sure denying it is the best strategy. Paris Hilton was a near-nobody before her "leaked" sex video thrust her into a life of reality TV stardom. She inherited a few million, but has earned more than $100M on her own with TV shows, fragrances, fashion lines, etc.

Vanessa Hudgens was a fading child star when her "leaked" nude photos led to some mature movie and TV roles.

Comment Re:Meanwhile, back in the UK... (Score 1) 146

A super politically incorrect fact is that fathers are almost twice as likely to be no longer in their teens.

Fathers are, on average, older than mothers in every nation and society on earth. There is nothing "political" about it.

The average difference, at 2-3 years, is smallest in Europe and North America, and largest in polygamous societies of Africa.

The reasons for this are obvious. Men have a biological imperative to prefer fertile women with more years available for child-bearing. Women have a biological imperative to prefer men with social status and resources, which generally increase with age.

Comment Re:Depends (Score 1) 389

Everyone knew Bush was an idiot and very unpopular.

Jeb Bush was leading all the polls before Trump entered the race.

The problem with Jeb is that is was pro-trade and moderate on immigration at a time when the Republican primary electorate was increasingly turning protectionist and nativist. His views pleased his corporate donors. Donald's views pleased the voters. The voters won (at least in the primary).

Comment Re:Don't let your kids be doctors (Score 3, Interesting) 40

the stark worldwide need for physicians

Actually, it is mostly an American problem. In Europe and Asia, nurses and pharmacists are much more empowered, and doctors are considered normal mortals rather than infallible demigods like they are in America.

I once got sick while attending the Hannover Messe in Germany, and went to a clinic. I walked in the door, was greeted by a nurse, who measured my temperature, took a look at my throat, asked me a few questions, handed me a bottle of medicated syrup, and sent me back to my hotel. Total elapsed time: 5 minutes. Total out-of-pocket cost: $0. That would be unimaginable in America, and is why America's healthcare costs are so high.

They system in China is similar. Every hospital or clinic has a screening/triage nurse at a desk by the front door. Most routine cases are handled there, and never even make it to the admissions desk. I once took my daughter to a clinic for an impacted tooth (dentistry and medicine are not separated in China like they are in America). Her baby tooth had not come out, and the adult tooth was erupting through the side of her gum. The screening nurse took a quick look, pulled some pliers out of a drawer and yanked out the baby tooth. She then gave my daughter some gauze to bite down on, and gave me a quick lecture about not letting her drink so much milk, which in her opinion caused my daughter's teeth to grow too quickly. The problem was solved. Total cost: $0.

... and yes, lawyers.

This is a mostly American problem as well.

Comment Re:Seems like bullshit to say players cannot trade (Score 3, Interesting) 90

specifically those that you can buy in the game's cash shop for real-world money

That is only half of the problem. The other half is that if you "win" a rare or valuable item, you can turn around and SELL it for real-world money.

You can buy a loot box with $s and have a chance to win $$$s. That is gambling.

Comment Re:Seems like bullshit to say players cannot trade (Score 1) 90

Don't like it? Don't play super-apologist Kendoll.

This argument applies to all gambling. "Don't like it? Don't do it." is the libertarian viewpoint. While I generally agree, it is not so simple. What happens when a parent gambles away their paycheck and can't feed their kids? No democratic society is going to let the kids starve, so the cost of the gambling gets pushed onto taxpayers.

Comment Re:Don't let your kids be doctors (Score 1) 40

honestly, much of what doctors do can be automated with machine learning.

Much of what doctors do can be automated with a sheet of paper. A nurse with a printed checklist or flowchart can diagnose patients about as accurately as a doctor.

Does the patient have a fever? -> Yes. -> Does the patient have a runny nose? -> Yes. -> Is the nasal mucus clear? -> Yes. -> Is the flu going around? -> Yes. -> The patient has influenza. Run a RIDT to be sure.

You don't need a doctorate for that.

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