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Comment Re:Supportive (Score 1) 170

We will always have death panels, there will always be a fabulously expensive treatment for a barely curable disease, and as long as some people have 1000x the resources of others, those with the resources will get those treatments while others don't.

The development that worries me the most is the consolidation of insurance companies and health care providers, where the insurer pays these insane rates to the provider because it's just shuffling money from one pocket to the other. I keep hoping that it will all crash down some day like the Tokyo real-estate market, but a funny thing happens to the value of money when you are on death's door, and the U.S. healthcare industry is getting better and better at arbitrage in that market.

Comment Re:sigh (Score 1) 95

Some Sci-Fi author picked up on it after the global warming scare just started to hit - he wrote about how we suppressed our CO2 output and wham: ice down to I-80.

I've got some of that "old" property on a river in Florida - 18 to 30' above sea level, but nobody seems interested in it, they're still all waving their dollars at the beachfront.

Comment Re:sigh (Score 1) 95

Oh, I've seen Al Gore's film - before he invented the internet, he noticed runaway CO2 buildup in the atmosphere, when he was in college.

Most (read >51%) of the college profs I had in the 1980s were average people, no brighter or better informed than anyone else - some were super sharp, but they were exceptions rather than the rule.

Many of these profs liked to throw out thought provoking concepts, whether they had real basis in fact or not. There's solid evidence of the ice ages, and there's a real possibility that one will return - in the 1970s, we weren't as sure of our climate (or any other) science as we seem to be today, not surprising if some of them grabbed onto the concept of "what if the ice sheets cover Canada again?" Something to think about, hmmm??? Most of these guys would have had a harder time wrapping their head around the concept of rising sea levels, cooling in Europe due to shutdown of the North Atlantic conveyor, etc. Easier to point at frozen Mastodons and glacial scree. In fact, any Ice Age talk I've ever heard more or less neglected the whole topic of sea level drop.... that would be an interesting twist: lots of new beachfront property.

Comment Re:sigh (Score 1) 95

I thought the claim was that a handful of bonehead college profs were all in a titty twist about how the ice age was coming back, they read it in Time Magazine, it must be true, and said profs spewed this tepid cup of disinformation to literally thousands of undergrads in the 1970s, one of which just spouted it back at you 50 years later.

Sounds more like a Zeitgeist problem to me than anything to do with "real" peer reviewed science.

Comment Re:sigh (Score 1) 95

Time Magazine article quoting a fucking law professor somehow constitutes an expansive statement on the view of climatologists in 1970?

No, but _any_ Time Magazine article from 1970 is a valid representation of the Zeitgeist... there weren't many media outlets in 1970, if you got past the editors at a major publication like Time in 1970, you were being allowed to form the opinions of the audience.

Comment Re:Supportive (Score 1) 170

Oh, don't get me started - our latest round of blood tests: billed to insurance: $1365, negotiated down to $90, patient responsibility $60, insurance pays $30. My wife went self-insured (aka no insurance) when her then individual (not member of a large group) policy got "rated" up $1000 per month the month after insurance paid $30K for a birth related hospital stay. Thank you, we'll put the $1400 per month in the bank and pay our own bills. But, as you say, they've got you there: we did pay for one simple procedure: $7K, and the office "generously" reduced the cost since we were self-pay to $6,300. BxBs rate for the same procedure was under $1000. Still cheaper than paying the uprated premiums. That was almost 20 years ago and it's only gotten worse.

We need transparency, we need the god-damned rates published where everyone sees what everyone pays for everything, and there needs to be some semblence of "fair" in the system. I know that fair is a fairy tale for children, but these grown up medical billing practices are worse than the fairy tale dragons. If there were a simple 2x cap - the highest paying patient pays no more than 2x the amount for the same procedure as the lowest paying patient, that would go a long long way toward bringing the system back to earth - it's in some kind of twisted fantasyland right now.

Comment Re:Supportive (Score 1) 170

Group bargaining, or government mandated prices (two face of the same beast, really) is great, IMO. It has nothing to do with "insurance" - other than the fact that insurers are big enough to wield some power at the negotiating table. Ultimately, government (by the people) has more control than insurers, but letting government fix prices is evil Communism, or something.

Comment Re:Since the 1980's Work Rampage (Score 1) 147

I think a lot of it has to do with company size. In big companies you can choose to work hard, but to an extent, you can take the Wally (from Dilbert) approach, too. In small companies, Wally just doesn't cut it because the small companies are literally fighting for their lives too much of the time.

Comment Re:Quantity vs Quality (Score 1) 147

I'm the opposite. Coding is easy and I can just keep cracking on for 12-14 hours before realising it's dark and cold.

Talking to people? That takes effort.

There are many kinds of meetings - one on one can be easy or hard, depending on how seriously you are taking it. The many people in the room meeting is an opportunity to focus on the speaker, get a sense of them, gauge other people in the room's reaction, and then when you've "got the picture" there's plenty of time to 70% zone out, contemplate and organize your own thoughts, mentally rehearse your 30 seconds for when it's your turn, and then... I generally make paperclip art. If you're going to do this, or doodle, or whatever is your meeting table pass time, do be sure not to become so engrossed in the distraction that you lose the thread of what's being said - that's terribly disrespectful.

If it's really hard to talk to people, you can usually improve that situation with non-threatening practice. The more you do it, and the more relaxed you are while doing it, the easier it gets. Kind of like coding.

Comment Re: Fake News (Score 1) 276

So, the DeBeers marketing schtick since artificial diamonds reached price parity is something to the effect of: "the amount you sacrifice to this token signifies the depth of your commitment, at DeBeers we suggest 2 months' salary." Yeah, I gave them 2 weeks. My wife doesn't like big and flashy, if she did, I would have gotten a CZ at the time. I guess artificial diamond has dropped in price since then.

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