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Comment Re:No true Scotsman, eh? (Score 1) 502

> When an actual climate scientist says ...

Some of the well known climate scientists (apparently not "actual climate scientists") told us that San Francisco would be underwater by now.

If I wanted to use this information in a discussion, could you provide me with a reference so I am not accused of talking out of my ass?

Comment Re:US Already Has it (Score 1) 441

The US has already been giving a subset of citizens BI for years - and the result is horrific. American Indians receive basic income, free health care, free housing, and free education if they choose it - the result is the most impoverished areas in the United States.

I don't think you are properly characterizing the reality of life as a member of a native american tribe. Yes, some do have significant benifits for being a member of the clan, but some of those clans are pretty poor. Similarly, if you are a part of the "Gates" or "Buffet" clan you could well be better off than someone from the "Jones" or "Smith" clan. Yes, tribes recieve federal dollars for various things with wide variation between different tribes, not unlike states recieve different amounts of federal monies. The "free healthcare" has at times included sterilizing women without their consent, so I don't know that it is something one need look upon with envy. I can't find any info on "free education" beyond k-12 and the types of grants and scholarships widely available to other communities - some scholarships are available for specific tribes, but I don't think that counts as "free education if they choose it ". Poverty rates on reservations seem to be about double the national average - not such a good "basic income" system in my mind.

So, without looking at things more closely, I don't think one can really draw conclusions about UBI ideas based on the experiences of Native Americans as a whole. While some (even "many") native communities might be "the most impoverished areas in the United States", some are not. Native Americans (like all Americans) are elligable for a huge variety of social programs the are different in different places, few of which are very much like a UBI.

That's not to say that looking at specific programs in specific regions might not be illuminating. And not only Native American programs. Looking at payments from the Alaska Permanent Fund as well as per-capita tribal payments from different places might give some insight on what types of payments are "effective" by various measures.

Comment Re:Incomplete economic experiment (Score 1) 441

Wait, what? Do you really think those 39,000 people would all pay for housing if they had money? Sadly, many of them would not have the ability to even register for the UBI program.

The fact that homelessness rates have seen pretty large swings over the past 30 + years would tent to indicated that while it is possible that some of this people have much bigger challenges than lack of coin, at least some of them would have to ability to function if they were able to get the correct support. Potentially a UBI could be that type of support.

Heck, just supplying housing can be an effective system:

Comment Re:As usual (Score 1) 188

with none ever observed violations

This is incorrect. The experimentally observed neutrino oscillations imply that neutrinos do have a mass which directly contradicts the Standard Model which assumes neutrinos to be massless particles.

The Standard Model is not QM. QM says nothing about the mass of the neutrino.

Comment Re: Fake news? (Score 1) 416

It's a nice little fiction that Canada is single payer, but the reality is quite a bit more complicated.

Although it is technically illegal for private health clinics to charge for services that are covered by the Canada Health Act, they often do indirectly and that is rarely enforced. Although it isn't too common yet, people sometimes go to employer or union sponsored clinics which were set up to avoid queuing at traditional clinics. Also, you or your employer can purchase private health insurance to cover the fees charged by these private clinics which means of course a secondary insurance market exists as well. It isn't a big thing yet throughout Canada, but a two-tier system is looming there...

That's not to say the Canadian two-tier system isn't light-years more efficient than the two-tier system in the US (which is basically private insurance or medicaid/emergency-room-care).

I can't find any references to the number of such "private health clinics" that charge for Health Act covered services. Nobody I know of has ever used such a thing, though I suppose it is possible. I know of none in the regions I have lived.

Oh, here is a bit more - - it looks like Ontario has none, BC and Alberta have around 60 each and Quebec has around 200 - http://www.findprivateclinics.... Certainly there is always the option for those who can afford it of leaving the country. In any case, it doesn't look like the system is yet at in the "looming" stage.

Comment Re:Inconvenience? (Score 1) 192

We do not want to make it impossible to contact family, first responders or medical professionals in an emergency situation.

But if your phone explodes when you are trying to make an emergency call, you may permanently lose contact with your family.

That was my thought too.

Comment Re:DVR-proof? (Score 1) 137

The "DVR-proof" argument seems backwards to me. The biggest value in seeing the game live is that the window for watching it after the fact is severely limited at best, if it exists at all. Nobody plays World Series reruns. If I'm busy during the game and I don't DVR it, I can't watch it. Outside of network news coverage, it is the only thing on TV that I can't eventually catch later. It's like "Sports are best viewed live" is a command, not an observation.

Near the end of last season while visiting my father we watched some "Jays in 30" episodes on one of the sports chanels (Sportsnet?) he gets in Vancouver. They do a condensed commentary of the entire games - "Catch all the action in 30 minutes." Pretty enjoyable. Looks like it is available "on demand" from a few places:

Comment Re: Top down decision (Score 1) 258

Thanks, I've thought so too, but the Anonymous Coward claimed that stores would let him pay 3% less if he paid with cash.

I suspect that many business owners do not properly understand the costs associated with dealing in cash, and it is quite possible that some could give such a discount.

From a business point of view, offering such a discount could generate increased sales that might offset higher costs, so it isn't necessarily a bad move on the retailer's part even if it the discount is greater than the actual decrease in costs.

Comment Re: Top down decision (Score 1) 258

Can you give examples of specific stores that agree?

would they then at least take a check? 3% is probably enough, but I still think it is a pain to have to carry/deal with that kind of cash.

Generally, dealing with cash is NOT 3% less expensive than dealing in credit card payments for the merchant. There are issues of dealing in cash (some of it occasionally gets lost or stolen, someone needs to be paid for counting it and bringing it to the bank and properly entering it into the books, etc.) While it is PROBABLY cheaper for the merchant to take cash, dealing in cash is NOT free of expenses.

Comment Re:uhm... (Score 1) 284

one should perhaps consider that those reports are likely reflections of the underlying reality.

The fact that "consensus" claim cannot be valid has already been shown in this thread. A small minority within any community can always hijack a political conversation to create a perception of universal "consensus" through intimidation of skeptics and control of resources (thereby starving any voices of disagreement). The tone in which the AGW hypothesis is being defended suggests that critical voices are being stifled and their research is being excluded from the funding considerations. Fear and intimidation will get you consensus on just about any issue. The fact that a political organization is, once again, joining the chorus of politically-tainted claims puts in question the integrity of research. It does not mean that the facts claimed by the research are wrong. But it does mean that the research is not scientifically validated.

While the tone of the AGW hypothesis discussion in the political space does suggest the issues of potential fear and intimidation and the like, there is little evidence that the same holds true in the worldwide accademic research community. Despite a lot of searching for evidence of that type of "cherry picking" of funding or lines of inquiry, there is very little of it that I am aware of - and the claims of this type of biases are fairly weak upon further investigation. While it MIGHT be true that the evil overlords are suppressing the true and honest scientists while the lackey sheep scientists are putting their fingers on the scales in all their research, thus resusting in a paupacy of anti-AGW evidence and an overwhelming pile of pro-AGW evidence, a more likely reason for such a divide is that the AGW hypothesis is a more accurate model of the behaviour of the climate. Sometimes the reason all the results turn out in one way is because reality is in fact that one way (and by "sometimes" I mean "usually").

Similar to the idea that bacterium Helicobacter pylori is the primary cause of stomach ulcers, the initial idea was strongly questioned, but since the idea held up to a number of further studies, it was "quickly" accepted as the best model, and within 10 years from the initial idea, antibiotic therapy became the recommended standard treatment for ulcers. Even against the ecconomic and political pressures of estabilished interests, the science settled pretty quickly. I do not see a whole lot of difference in the global climate science community.

What to do about public policy is clearly not settled, but the science questions have clearly moved beyond the "Is AGW the most accurate current model?" question and more towards the "What are the finer details of particular changes that can be made to the model and/or the imputs, and how do they effect the outcomes?"

Comment Re:uhm... (Score 1) 284

- I think that there are so many incentives and systems in place to combat those biases that it is possible to draw some fairly confident conclusions in most cases.

There are. But in some inquiries there more incentives for bias while in others there is more incentives against bias. And a purely political organization has more incentive for bias.

But all of the scientists who are actually making the reports have different incentives. Again, just because a bias might exist, does not mean that the results are invalid. Tossing out a report because it might be biased is not necessarily a bad idea, but if that report agrees with virtually every other report and study in broad terms, one should perhaps consider that those reports are likely reflections of the underlying reality.

Comment Re:If confirmed, does this make it realistic? (Score 1) 477

Yep, because we don't have any forces exerting mysterious action at a distance. Gravity, EM fields, etc. only operate through physical contact...

I'm not sure if you are being sarcastic here or not.

Most ways of thinking about quantum field theory (encompassing strong, weak, and EM forces) formalize the interactions between particles by the exchange of photons, gluons, and w/z bozons. The idea of "fields" ends up getting tied up in these exchange of the "field carriers", which travel between the particles experiencing the forces.

Thus, we don't have any "mysterious action at a distance".

OK, a quantum theory of gravity isn't really ready for prime time yet....

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