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Comment Re:If you want to get an appreciation for this (Score 1) 326

You have to get senior database and programming and UI architects in some of these decisions to reintroduce some sanity and control over the complexity of the solutions.

And when I say "senior", I mean SENIOR. Like 15 to 20 years of experience working with databases with lots of tables and millions of rows. Someone who's actually been around the block and understands how things work and don't work. At a minimum, that's the database person necessary. Also having true senior programmers and UI types would be very useful it seems to me.

Comment If you want to get an appreciation for this (Score 3, Interesting) 326

If you want to get a visceral appreciation for the complexity of medical billing today, check out the Medicare Claims Processing Manual.

It almost seems like you can't merely get an administrative assistant, but you need someone with an A.A. in medical billing.

The thing that really left me aghast was the move from ICD 9 to ICD 10 (diagnosis codes and descriptions). Those #$&!!?! policy geniuses completely abandoned the ICD 9 codes and instituted all new ICD 10 codes. There was a big infrastructure around ICD 9. There is plenty of overlap in the codes, so it's a recipe for mass confusion. It's stunning that there was not even any attempt to have even a scintilla of backward compatibility.

It is almost like there are no senior database or programming architects involved in any of these decisions regarding medical IT. From what I've seen, it seems to me that it's purely non-technical policy staff driving this stuff. You have to get senior database and programming and UI architects in some of these decisions to reintroduce some sanity and control over the complexity of the solutions.

Comment How well does it scale? (Score 3, Interesting) 62

So you've got this encrypted system that's kind of like a Usenet for transactions. I make a change locally, eventually it propagates across the world. The databases are on everyone's computers versus on several hundred servers like Usenet.

The "distributed ledger" is supposed to be the Next Big Thing. And I don't mean that with any sarcasm or negativity. But how well will it scale really, if the ledgers/databases are on people's computers instead of a network of several powerful servers connected by a fast backbone?

I'm a total tyro when it comes to the distributed ledger. I've never used Bitcoin. But it - the distributed ledger - seems hackable, with no recourse if you lose your stash. And its scalability seems limited.

Comment Re:Sorry but at this point its self inflicted (Score 3, Informative) 115

In the past, Microsoft used to piss off other businesses by crushing them, ruthlessly.

Now, they are gratuitously fucking with their non-captive PAID UP customer base. That's just bizarre. Incomprehensible. Smells like poor management.

If you think your customer is captive, sure, you can squeeze them, if they have limited other choices, as the typical person does with an operating system. But with non-captive customers? Smells like poor management. It seems like a management philosophy that permeates the Windows and Office divisions is spreading to the non-captive-customer divisions.

Comment Interesting thing about Snowden (Score 5, Insightful) 383

People say he did it out of conviction or stayed true to his principles. Well, so does a suicide bomber.

But here's the difference: The suicide bomber is expecting a reward - 72 virgins or some other heavenly reward. Snowden knew he would throw away his life but he didn't do it for a personal reward. He did it for others, for his country.

I haven't made up my mind whether Snowden was misguided, stupid or justified. But I have concluded that the man is principled and a selfless patriot. He might be stupid and misguided, but he felt he did the right thing, at great personal cost to himself, for no personal reward.

Comment Life cares about the herd not the individual (Score 1) 62

Though the individual dies, the life "virus" (DNA, genetic material) leaps from host to host. From what I've seen and read, it seems that the individual's behavior and its life and death itself are designed, by the "virus", to maximize the health and size of the herd. In that context, it could well be mechanisms are then activated to quickly break down the individual body back into its components for re-use, which maximizes herd health in some way.

However, that could be driven to maximize not merely the population of the individual's species but the overall presence of life itself, from its most minute forms and larger. Again driven by the desire of the underlying "life virus" to maximize the incidence of lifeforms, for whatever reason.

Comment Re: One Million is nothing (Score 2) 50

Money is a measure of effort required to get a unit of it. It is also like a claim on goods and services. It is a logical construct, but it is not meaningless. The construct has persisted for millennia as a result of the benefits it provides to individuals.

To a central bank which can have it printed, it can seem meaningless. And the effort required to obtain a unit of it by an agricultural field hand versus the CEO of a financial services company are obviously very different. Central banks can distribute it to desired companies via bond purchases and other enticements.

Comment Probably not a bad thing (Score 1) 159

An extra 1500 years before catching the attention of aliens is probably not a bad thing. That's more time to prepare defenses. It's hard to guess the nature of the extremophiles which live in space, or the space-faring races which navigate it.

We shockingly might not be perceived as peers or equals by space-faring races, but as an inferior species. And the history of superior species meeting inferior ones is not all rainbows and unicorns.

Comment Re:This sort of thing is why people like Trump (Score 2) 420

Trump is a vote for "something different" versus "more of the same." Recall Deez Nuts getting 9% of the vote in the August 19th, 2015 North Carolina presidential poll.

Now... if The Bern runs on the Green Party ticket with Jill Stein, in a 3-way race, he could actually become president. At a minimum, he could accuse Hillary of siphoning votes from him instead of vice versa, if he gets a larger percentage of national votes.

Comment Re:Oh boy! Look at the media again... (Score 1) 396

Because the only real "Black" family is completely dysfunctional and nobody in the Black Community actually wants to solve that problem because the problem itself doesn't reflect well on the black community as a whole.

Platitudes get more votes than hard, accusatory solutions.

Platitudes make the speaker and listener feel good in the moment.

So, platitudes is what they (we) are going to get.

Comment Re:Wow, a page from the Valery Fabrikant (Score 2) 396

I'll tell you the primary power difference between Christianity and Islam:

1) Jesus said, "Render to Caesar what is Caesar and to God what is God's". This cleaves the core religion from government. Jesus was a single, poor itinerant preacher who was crucified between thieves. One can be a good Christian and accept a separation of church and state.

2) Muhammad was a political and military leader who created a religion which also was a system of government. There can be no separation of church and state in Islam. One cannot be a good Muslim and accept a separation of mosque and state.

Henry VIII was sick of being pushed around by the Catholic Church, a competing power center to his own. So he formed the Anglican church and set himself as the head of it.

The Founders said, in the First Amendment, that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". They too understood organized religion as a competing power center and knew not to allow one to spread its roots to take hold of the government. Such a dichotomy is nonsensical in Islam.

Comment An obligation to be unbiased? (Score 3, Insightful) 157

It is quite amusing that Facebook is trying to pretend to be a source of unbiased news. I heard this story and thought, what kind of halfwit would expect even the pretense of unbiased news from Facebook? This sounds like a planted story where Facebook plants the expectation of being a neutral, unbiased source of news, and there's great rending of garments and theater when discovered this may not be the case.

Facebook is a profit-making entity devoted to increasing the fortunes of its top executives and itself. This story is an attempt to create the expectation that Facebook is some kind of source of unbiased news. It certainly can be a news outlet, like any other media outlet, but to suggest it's unbiased is like suggesting Fox or MSNBC is unbiased or any other person or groups of person are unbiased in their reporting.

However, pretending to be unbiased, and then reporting biased stories as unbiased gives one a tremendous amount of political power. Heck, simply being a source of information to people gives the disseminator a great deal of power.

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