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Comment Re:My PCP has a "scribe!" (Score 1) 325

It kills me because it seems like the specialists have figured this out, just not Primary Care. My eye doctor always has some sort of assistant present to help out with the mechanics of dealing with the electronic charts. Been that way for years and years. Why the hell have the highest paid guy in the room be spending time that doesn't require his skillset when that can be offloaded by someone cheaper? Seems like a no-brainer to me.

It's simple. It's because of reimbursement rates. For some reason primary care physicians have lower reimbursement rates, so they can't as easily justify a scribe. It's possible it's because as a whole they don't negotiate as effectively with insurance companies. Generally PCPs choose primary care over more lucrative specialties because they want to help patients more than they just want to make a few more bucks. That seems to self select for less successful businesspeople.

Comment Re:Yes. (Score 2) 143

On the other side of that coin is what happened to tables of integrals when computer algebra software came out. The tables of integrals in the back of calculus books were considered tablets passed down from on high. Ok exaggerating, but they were considered generally accurate except for typos. When computer algebra software became powerful enough to check them, they were found to be riddled with errors. When checked by hand the computer algebra software was found to correct.

So what's the difference? In the case of tables of integrals, the problem is probably unusually well suited to solving with computer algebra software. Lots of difficult algebra to solve by hand, but relatively few rules to program that, when correct, can be repeated as needed. In large computer generated proofs, there is no easy way to check them to the point that some are basically unverifiable. The only solution I can think of is going back to formal mathematical proof specifications and crunching away until its verified.

Comment Re:Flywheel viability (Score 1) 324

And since they went bankrupt 3-4 months after the article you linked to, then the statement is true. No one "has found an economically viable way to make this miraculous device and deploy it at industrial scale." Read the sentence and the facts again and you'll see it's true. Even before the bankruptcy it was only a 20MW plant, not industrial scale.

Comment Re:20 years before they are legal (Score 1) 381

We'll have single payer healthcare before we have "driverless cars", because the insurance industry lobby will prevent it. If everyone had a perfectly-run, accident free, computer controlled vehicle that obeys every law and will always avoid an accident, they'd have to lower rates. And you *know* they aren't going to do that.

They may have to lower rates, but that doesn't mean it will lower profits. As long as their costs (payouts and administration) go down faster than they're premiums their profit could actually increase while lowering rates. Insurance companies don't like paying claims, so you can bet as soon as autonomous cars get safer than human drivers, the rates for human driving will go up and will go down for autonomous cars. The faster autonomous cars get safer, the faster the rate differential will create the incentive to move to autonomous cars.

So while some claim that it will be even more than 20 years because current cars will stay on the road, instead it is possible the insurance and liability incentives will cause human driven cars to be so expensive that the transition will happen faster. Of course, those people could be right because it's hard to predict the future.

I also think that it's possible vehicle to vehicle communication will have a bigger impact faster than fully autonomous cars. If cars can relay information about hazards and make new maps, then cars don't have to be fully autonomous to make them radically safer. On the other hand that will take good communications standards and there's a good chance commercial pressures will cause the possible gains to not be realized, similar to the possible gains of electronic medial records not being realized because of the failure to ensure different systems cooperate efficiently.

Comment Re:Is there a list of specific oil/gas subsidies? (Score 1) 530

The answer is "no". The "subsidies" that the looney left yell about all the time are standard tax breaks available to manufacturers in the US.

Incorrect. Do a quick internet search for "oil tax credit" and learn something new. If you're too lazy for that, try this article: http://www.investopedia.com/ar... If you're too lazy for that, understand that you're incorrect, and there are specific tax benefits that are given to oil investments.

Comment Re:What about (Score 4, Informative) 530

By "subsidies", you apparently mean normal business expense deductions that ALL businesses get.

No. Do a quick internet search for "oil tax credit" and learn something new. If you're too lazy for that, try this article: http://www.investopedia.com/ar... If you're too lazy for that, understand that you're incorrect, and there are specific tax benefits that are given to oil investments.

Comment Just solve the problem already (Score 4, Insightful) 111

EHR systems are a horrible burden on healthcare providers and as they are currently implemented they offer very little of the benefits to the patient that they could. The UI of the EHR system is implemented essentially only for back office use and the provider interface is bolted on as an after thought. It's extremely clear from even a cursory look at the EHR systems that there was little if any thought given to optimize the workflow for the provider. In a given patient appointment, the provider has to click through various functions each of which requires descending 8 levels of menus to click, then wait for the several second delay and back out 8 levels and decent 5 or more levels for the next round. Patient report not being happy that their doctors are staring at a screen the whole appointment, but with the inefficiencies built into the UI it's literally impossible not to. In addition one of the main theoretical benefits of EHR systems that providers can pull up your health history and make decisions based on all of the information doesn't work because the different systems don't really interoperate as they were supposedly required to do. If you see a specialist that's on a different EHR system you either can't actually access the information without sending IT a request for that information and waiting for it to be made available or it will be in some even more horribly inaccessible format such as an image. Instead of wasting time on apps and analytic tools there should be some real teeth implemented into the interoperability requirement. Instead of being paid Billions of dollars to make systems that have only fake compatibility, they should be required to come up with systems that interoperate seamlessly. I'm going to take a bet that if there were some real, serious teeth implemented such as no government payments to the EHR providers anymore, the interoperability problem will suddenly vanish. I'm not a fan of heavy regulation in general, but when the companies have taken Billions to meet a requirement and they have managed to implement it in name only, then it's time to pull out the big guns. Don't get involved in the details of fixing the interoperability unless they fail again after being faced with serious consequences. Thing is they probably won't, the problem isn't really that hard to solve given the amounts of money spent. The companies currently don't want there to be interoperability because the current lock in benefits them. When that benefit is eliminated they'll fix the problem quickly.

Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 2) 904

Doing the analysis though shows that the rent vs buy decision is usually fairly close when you consider all the transaction costs, repair costs, opportunity costs, etc. It's tilted a little in the favor of owning in most cases, but it's not as big a difference as most people make it out to be. The average time you need to stay in a home is fairly long in order to make owning come out ahead.

Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 4, Insightful) 904

People are sick and tired of car payments and insurance payments.

I'm sure that's partly true, but I would bet it's more due to the fact that cars last longer than they used to. It used to be relatively rare for a car to drive 100,000 miles, but now for many cars that's their first scheduled tune-up. If cars weren't lasting longer it wouldn't matter if people were sick of car payments, they'd still have to buy another one when their current car broke down. Yes and there does seem to be some evidence of particularly younger people choosing to live closer to work where they can bike and walk to work, but it's certainly not as big a factor (yet) as cars lasting longer.

The future will be driverless cars, mass transit and bicycles in urban/suburban areas.

That's probably true. Though bicycles may never catch on in the US the way they have in Europe and elsewhere. The car lobby and car culture in the US has been successful at limiting the options for biking.

Comment Re:No argument other than medical necessity (Score 1) 545

You "full stop"ped at the wrong spot. After where you stopped listening was where the argument was about religious freedom not being more important than keeping people from harm. The poster you replied to said nothing about not believing in ANY religious freedom, only that religious freedom doesn't give you the right to harm others. There's plenty of room for religious freedom within that constraint. Your post after the full stop was a complete non sequitur.

Comment Re:What an Embarrassingly Vapid Article (Score 1) 477

Agree too, but you've missed a couple factors that should be considered.

1. All the "You can have my steering wheel when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers!" people.

This problem will almost entirely be solved by the pricing of insurance and cars. If that doesn't resolve any problems then drivers licenses and regulations will solve the rest. Consider that once the percentage of cars that operate autonomously hits a tipping point then the drivers that are not represent a hazard and remove the possibility of many of the benefits of driverless cars. Costs of insuring a car to drive it by oneself will go through the roof due to the much higher accident rate and most people will not be willing or able to pay that. That higher insurance cost alone will greatly reduce the number of people driving their own cars. Then if people driving their own cars is still a problem licenses can either no longer be issued or driving simply not be allowed.

I was once like you I loved the freedom of driving, but I've become more flexible and realized that as long as I can get where I want to it doesn't matter how I get there. In fact I'd rather save the time driving for something more enjoyable. I get the same sense of freedom by taking a long distance bike journey.

But I think you're spot on with a lot of the potential risks of trusting the driverless cars. The extent to which those are managed well will determine whether driverless cars represent a benefit or harm to society.

Comment Re: 3D prints (Score 1) 230

I guess if you want to call expensive industrial laser sintering "3D printing."

But that is the standard now. Language evolves and that is now the standard usage. Wikipedia is no authority, but it does tend toward standard usage and in this case it does align with common sources. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3...

I think most people, me included, see "3D printing", as opposed to "additive manufacturing techniques we've been using for thirty years", as something you might want to do in your home.

Yes, as 3D printers improve they will find some uses. Currently I don't think there are any good ones. There ARE interesting things being done to develop 3D printing into a useful tool, but we keep getting hype-filled stories like this one instead.

Ok, see your point, but you should've specified the 3D printing methods you referred to earlier.

Comment Re: 3D prints (Score 1) 230

Problem is, there aren't any of those. The nearest anybody seems to have found is printing gun parts, and that's only because the parts in question are weirdly regulated by the US government.

No, it seems there are at least a few good applications of 3D printing like the GP talked about such as 3D printed body part replacements like titanium jawbones. They are apparently cheaper than the alternatives, can be custom shaped to the patient, and be made faster than the alternatives. As materials improve the integration into the body is expected to improve as well. I agree though the summary of this one was bad. This was a good learning exercise and it was improperly changed to "Working" making it into something it wasn't. There's nothing wrong with learning something new, but making it out to be something it isn't is not so good.

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