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Comment Re: Uh no? (Score 3, Informative) 279

How about: The Disneyland outbreak was in fact localized in the unvaccinated (or those whose status was undocumented.)

"Among the 110 California patients, 49 (45%) were unvaccinated; five (5%) had 1 dose of measles-containing vaccine, seven (6%) had 2 doses, one (1%) had 3 doses, 47 (43%) had unknown or undocumented vaccination status, and one (1%) had immunoglobulin G seropositivity documented, which indicates prior vaccination or measles infection at an undetermined time.

"Twelve of the unvaccinated patients were infants too young to be vaccinated. Among the 37 remaining vaccine-eligible patients, 28 (67%) were intentionally unvaccinated because of personal beliefs, and one was on an alternative plan for vaccination.

"Among the 28 intentionally unvaccinated patients, 18 were children (aged http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/previe...

Comment Re:Warren Buffet dodges taxes (Score 1) 644

I don't think it's hypocritical for someone to say they support paying more taxes for infrastructure, etc, while voluntarily donating money to private organizations working for the public good.

More like walking the talk: "I think it would be good if all my peers paid useful taxes, and I'm willing to give up cash right now to demonstrate my belief."

Comment Re:Controversial? (Score 1) 125

"Moral decisions should be made by individuals, not governments."

By the time any individual is presented with these choices they've already been filtered by many much larger institutions, including in this case government, pharmaceutical corporations, university research labs, various levels of scientists, (and maybe you should include pressure brought by the media/Slashdot), so I wouldn't single out government influence for wrath as if everything else is individual choice.

It isn't a couple in the back of a car who suddenly flip a coin to decide what hair colours they want their kid to have. There's a lot more people already involved, and the decisions already have a lot of outside pressure when it gets to potential individual parents.

Comment Re:Did they spin when they landed? (Score 1) 634

Randomocracy! Your time has come up!

The original "President Bill" was elected by lot and ran the country from a comic in the pages of Washington DC's City Paper in the Eighties. Great strip.

My fave was his environmental preservation policy which started with the question, "When was the environment least polluted?" Staffers then roll out maps of the proposed, "Vast Inland Sea." I still want a t-shirt of that.

http://www.wmlbrown.com/wmlbpb...

Comment Re: Considering some scientists have already... (Score 1) 303

Not one single life will be lost to climate change. Similarly, local weather doesn't accurately reflect change on a global scale. Climate change whenever it happens and for whatever reason seems likely to kill many, many people for many reasons. Drought, disease, war, flooding, heat, cold, hunger, etc. Such things have killed hundreds of millions of people in the past, we may just be speeding on the next example.

When we look back in 100 years we may well be able to map out quite a number of single lives lost, it will take time.

Comment Re:Obligatory reading (Score 1) 419

I think the reason people fear nuclear reactors is because of nuclear weapons. The public has spent more than half a century hearing about various ways to use real weapons of mass distraction to kill millions of people (or maybe almost everyone, depending on the movie). I think if we hadn't had bombs hanging over our heads, a few reactor accidents would be scary, but not mythically terrifying.

The rather creepy history of "atoms for peace" being an excuse for weapons programs doesn't help. The bombs and the toxic disaster-areas left by their manufacture are linked in the public's mind as a problem that threatened them for generations, and they don't see that its been solved.

Real nuclear power for peace may well be a fine idea, but it's saddled with the burden not just of it's own risks and expense, but of the whole Cold War nuclear legacy.

People ignore coal's constant risks (until faced with direct consequences like trains or waste nearby) because they've never been told to be afraid of a coal bomb blowing up the world. (Though one could say that Global Warming is pretty close to that picture.)

I don't know how nuclear promoters can distance themselves from peoples' fears of the weapons as long as the weapons remain an issue. Especially since they're still used for fear mongering. i.e. "I will protect you from the terrorists who want to blow up the reactor down the coast, or use dirty-bombs on our cities, or whatever, and maybe we need a few more of these bombs ourselves, oh, and how 'bout these new friendly reactors?" Tough sell.

Comment Re:We can learn from this (Score 1) 163

Anybody remember "Randomocracy?" Back in the 1980s William Brown's http://www.wmlbrown.com/index.... comic "President Bill" presented a candidate who was elected by random draw from the total voting population. He seemed to do about as good as the guys we pay billions to elect now.

I'm still waiting for his proposed, "Vast Inland Sea" environmental restoration project.

Comment Re:We can learn from this (Score 1) 163

In Communist Canada we have rules about media coverage of elections within certain days of the voting. We don't have "the 1st Amendment," but the elections don't seem less free than the terribly broken examples in the US. (I'm going for duel citizenship so I criticize both.)

There are so many examples from around the world that could improve the American electoral process. If we had a system that reflected the majority in a sane way, we might easily implement some of them. Oh, wait...

Comment Will this apply to google/internet-based research? (Score 1) 227

As someone who's writing a non-fiction history book I wonder if this effects what I'm doing. I use google and the net a lot and find many little nuggets of information tucked away that I would have missed. A very significant thing though is the deeper I get, the more I realize how much information is not online. Vast quantities of historical old paper have not been digitized. Seriously, most of human knowledge is not available to me when I look for it.

If, as this article argues, individuals think they're smarter because they consult the net, I wonder if research (and researchers) and their books and work published using the net may also suffer from this? Are researchers (perhaps including the writers of this article, hmm?) stupider when they rely on google for their writing.

Google gives me a wide but shallow feeling while doing research. It takes a great deal of extra work to pull the tiny nuggets from google and find the actual paper sources that take you to yet new things. The internet is a nice start, but to get anything of quality you have to go deeper. And of course the collating and analysis and arguments don't come from the search-bar, that's still human. But if we look online and stop at what I now think of as just the seed of a topic, we miss the eventual mass of data that isn't there yet.

So, is internet research going to produce dumber research, and dumber researchers? Maybe more information will become available (can I add: damn you extended copyright, jailor of so much monetarily valueless culture.) But if a researcher thinks a quick search makes them more of an expert, should we all doubt their findings even more?

(Dumb/clever closer: "Google that question.")

Comment Re:Technology can NOT eliminate work. (Score 1) 389

Just off the top of my head, I'd guess that rather than specific spending items, a lot of "corporate welfare" consists of tax-free benefits or breaks that real people pay for but corporations get as "incentives." (Insert debate on taxing individual people vs. taxing corporation people here.)

Not in any way non-partisan, but the old-school peace group the War Resister's League (founded back in post-war 1923) likes to point out a variety of expenses that stem from military adventures: https://www.warresisters.org/f... They include past military expenses like servicing payments on the portion of the national debt racked up by borrowing to pay for wars, or medical expenses of veterans (those people we said we supported but often seem to forget about as they need care for the next forty years or so).

If you set aside Social Security, which is supposed to be a savings plan not a tax-funded social program, then the military portion of the discretionary budget is substantial. It should be added that the War Resistors go on to suggest that people simply stop paying for wars. Simple? Maybe not so much.

Comment Re:I love you man (Score 1) 305

If they're shilling for a pharmaceutical company, why are they pushing aspirin, which went out of patent in 1917?

Had to look that up – interesting stuff; German-spy conspiracies and everything! Who knew Edison's record factories competed for raw-materials with pain-releaver production? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H...

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