Disturbing news indeed.
Wow. Warning: That link is -very- NSFW unless you work for the Klan. Had to clear my cache and history after viewing that one.
It's Encyclopaedia fucking Dramatica. You must be new around here. As far as links to never click at work go, that ranks somewhere between kiddie porn and goatse.
Well, given the subject of the article:
YANI: Being punished increases chances of successfully reading a spellbook.
Well, in a mathematical sense, emacs is strictly superior to vi--you can implement vi in emacs, but not the other way around!
Although the way NICE works in specific instances has led to a lot of very justified criticism, there seems to be no realistic alternative to something like this if you have a tax-financed system that the sick don't pay for directly. There just isn't enough money to do everything possible for every patient.
Who says it has to be tax-financed?
In the USA, much health care is funded by insurance companies that essentially serve the function of averaging medical expenditure among a group of people. The net result of this is that an individual with insurance has every incentive to spend as much as the insurance while let them, because the costs will distribute to all policy holders. When everyone does this, insurance policy costs keep going up. The insurance companies, trying to get costs back down, have incentive only to pay as little as possible, not prioritize approved treatments by QALYs or any other similar metric.
Then, due to all that, you end up with people who are uninsured or otherwise unable to afford health care ending up with emergency conditions, receiving expensive treatment, and being forced into bankruptcy. This also drives up cost (as the hospitals are forced to absorb the cost of treatment) and harms society (a financially ruined citizen accomplishes less and pays less tax).
And thus, we come to this, the worst of all possible worlds.
It's well-established that Americans as a whole pay far too much for health for far too little benefit, compared to other first-world nations.
Can some of this discrepancy be explained by high availability of essentially useless or even harmful "treatments"?
Medicine is more like some unknown mixture of actual science and cargo-cult pseudoscience, both using the same tools and terminologies.
Separating the two is a nontrivial problem.
Rather an extension of Stanly Milgram's Obedience to Authority experiments. If an authority figure orders you to assist in molesting a 13 year old girl, how many would molest her? We know of two. How many would refuse? Thats the real question. If people refuse to assist much evil just evaporates: *poof*.
You may be interested to read about this case: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strip_search_prank_call_scam
No 13 year olds were involved but I think the events are rather telling, regardless.
Who are you to decide the value of life, and of those whom you're so willing to sacrifice?
It's noble to sacrifice *your own* life so others can live. It's NOT noble to sacrifice *someone else's* life. If you want to be so noble, march on down to the hospital and give up your heart to someone waiting for a transplant.
The value proposition changes a little when it's your own skin, doesn't it?
I'm not deciding the value of life. I'm pointing out that, all else equal, two lives are worth more than one. Anything else is incoherent at best.
If you choose letting a hundred people die through inaction over killing one person directly, your lack of action is not noble--the blood of those hundred people is no less on your hands than if you'd killed them directly.
None of which is even considering that a blob of embryo cells isn't even remotely of the same value as a living, thinking human.
No, the point is that all of your shouting about stem cell research is about ideology and not science. You just hide behind miracle cures to get money. Well then, if you can deliver these cures, that's great. But let's have a date. Give us a date. If we publicly fund stem cells, we will have these results, on some date. What's the date?
You seem a little unclear about how scientific research works; there are no fixed time-tables--that's why I'm not the one making the claim that something definitely will or will not happen. I'd put maybe even odds on a previously-untreatable medical condition being rendered tractable via methods dervied from stem cell research within my lifetime, say the next 70 years.
No, that's not a very strong claim, but given that the only arguments against stem cell research are from people with absurdly skewed moral priorities or delusional ideas about economics, it sounds like a pretty clear-cut case of something worth funding for long enough to see how it pans out.
No, this is why there is a patent system. I know, much reviled here, but that's what it's for.
So government paying for things directly is bad, but the government meddling in the market by granting monopolies on ideas is fine?
What's the difference, here?
Embryonic stem cell research isn't necessarily about actually using them. Aside from the cancer thing, they'd also have the same rejection problems that organ transplants have.
The purpose of the research is to learn more about how to work with stem cells so that we can eventually culture and work with adult stem cells from individuals who need treatment. As it stands, adult stem cell research is still mostly in the state of "how do we even make these things", and would have continued in parallel with embryonic research regardless.
I bet that there are NO cures for cancer, NO blind man seeing, and NO crippled people walking due to stem cell research, in our lifetimes. All of this talk about the immediate need to fund stem cell research is just so much hype.
Do you, now? Precisely how much are you willing to bet? Put your money where your mouth is.
But I expect you won't, because you know there's far too great a chance you'd lose. Your shouting is about ideology, not science, and you know full well that reality only cares about the latter.
I think that the one potential life the embryo could have been (if the embryo was even viable) is a relatively cheap price for curing some of the greatest physical ills of our modern society.
One of the most frightening and chilling statements ever uttered on Slashdot. This is exactly the sort of moral relativism that this issue promotes. If it's already gone this far, give it 50 years.
Oh, for crying out loud. The concept of sacrificing one life to save countless others is "chilling" "moral relativism"?
I'm sorry to say it, but if you prefer letting many living, thinking people suffer and die rather than accept the death of a few lives that weren't even concious thinking beings in the first place, you are morally bankrupt beyond all belief.
Wasn't there something about a PASCAL programmer knowing the value of everything and the Wirth of nothing?