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  • Interests
    Computing, + some actually fun stuff
  • College Major/Degree
    BSc(hons.) forensic biology
  • Favorite Area of Science
    Molecular genetics


  • Wearing a hat since '06

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Dak's Achievements


Scientist (10/13)



  1. Basket ball players are information workers, as they produce TV shows. Just like other information workers (actors, authors, computer-game designers, strategic planners, etc), as their product can be sold again and again and again, even a fraction of a penny/view will add up to a ridiculous wage. So, that $200000/a represents about 0.01c/view, so it's not really that bad. Not gonna defend politicians. Are doctors reasonably unique in that the fruit of their labour isn't information, yet they still get payed that high?
  2. Well, at the start of this thread you said: If there's a shortage of doctors and staff, it makes sense to raise their wages to try to encourage more people to become doctors and health-care-staff. You can't have it both ways: you can't drop their wages and expect more people to become doctors etc. Unless you're arguing that there's not enough money to hire enough because they are too individually expensive?
  3. Just our ability to cure more: in ye olde days, cancer would've been treated pallitatively with a bromton cocktail; nowadays it involves actually curing the patient. Actually curing the patient is both better and more expensive. Iow, the more we can fix, the more money we need to fix things; and we keep figuring out how to fix more things. This is inconsistant with the OP's claim that there's a staff shortage. If that's true, then increased wages could incentivize more people to staff the NHS. Probably a drop in the ocean. Hopefully, they're being payed as a percentage of the money they save by increasing efficiency. More problematic is that pharmacology was jumped on as a panacea: work out the pharmacutical to cure a problem, then it can be mass-produced for (relatively) little, leaving you with 'only' the cost of diagnosing the condition and monitoring the treatment. However, patent laws inflate the cost of drugs (don't know too much about this, but i've heard it repeatedly suggested that the patent be shorter, allowing those $1,000/treatment drugs to drop to a price more comparable with paracetomol). Also, there's limits to what pharmacology can achieve, and not only that but pharma' keeps figuring out how to fix new things (like cancer) -- increasing the amount of things that we have to pay to fix -- whilst leaving the older things (like broken limbs) alone (i.e., still as expensive). Addressing the patent issue to drive down the cost of pharmaceuticals might help. Also, genetic engineering could offer similar benifits whilst being more flexible than pharm's -- work out how to genetically engineer something to target cancer, to cure such-and-such a disease, etc, and then the costs drop down to 'merely' factory-producing the treatment, and the cost of diagnosing and monitoring the treatment: no expensive surgery, long-term care, etc. Possibly advances in robotics could help drive down the cost of surgery, bone-setting, etc. I suspect this healthcare problem is why certain governments are being dicks and trying to nanny us into living healthyer (giving up smoking, consuming less salt, etc), in order to try to manage the pressure on the national- and private- health-systems.
  4. Dak

    abortion insurance

    Seems pretty clear-cut to me: Swansont's saying: 'it is already the case that public funding of abortion is disallowed; plus, is it not already the case that private insurance for abortions exists?'. If so, then there's no need to speculate, as what you're proposing would already be the case. Instead, if anyone happens to know how private abortion-insurance works? Just like other medical insurance? Guess: it probably costs more if you're not on the pill to represent the increased risk of needing an abortion, and I dunno how it'd work for men? presumably, if public funding of abortions is disallowed, the poor don't currently have federal (state?) subsidized abortions. But I dunno.
  5. deascdcrtercer

  6. apart from possibly discouraging people from getting screened, there's also the problem that, by obliging patients to hand over both their real id and a blood sample, that a DNA database could be formed. No doubt there'd be a lot of non-compliance. Also, i'm not sure the risk of a fine will put off people who've managed to get STD's, who i'm assuming are predominantly risk-takers.
  7. ^^ I agree with the general gist of your point, but there's a few ways in which our consent isn't neccesary. Take tax, for example: to simply refuse to pay it would require that you don't use the banking system (otherwize they'll just have the banks take tax directly from your account). For the majority, it'd be quite difficult to get a job without a bank account for your wages to be payed into. Oh, and my understanding is that if we all refused to use the banks then there'd automatically be some kind of banking crisis that'd collapse the economy.
  8. looking at the ze rules, the only one that could be contrary to your FoS would be rule 3: If it is a legal requirement of us (and all other webforums) to censor these things, then there's no public forum where you can discuss them, and your FoS has been curtailed. iow, if it's illegal to say on a website 'I smoke crack', then you can't say that anywhere online (which seems counter to the right to free speech); if it's merely a local rule, then you just can't say it here, which is fine (just go somewhere else to say it). btw, me and cap'n broke S2:3a(iii) a while back, and it's not as if we actually enforce a ban on discussing tor (etc), so maybe we should remove that bit (or change it to "at a sub-ISP level"?
  9. There's more than two choices here: a user's ability to delete their posts could time out, for example. So: what, exactly, do you want to be able to delete your own posts for? If it's just the occasional double-post, then don't worry about it. If it's something else, tell us and maybe we'll be able to figure out a compromize.
  10. How's the law worded? If it's "you can't read another's email without their permission" then I guess presumption of innocence would be on your side: she'd have to prove both readage and a lack of permission(?); no idea how burden of proof to prove a negative works... otoh, if it's "you can't read another's email", and it's been established that you did, and you're trying to use permission as a defence, then I think the burden of proof would be on the defendant, in which case they're shafted(?) IANAL, so I really don't know. --- for a minor crime like this, i'd be inclined to ignore it if they don't get divorced (if she doesn't care, why should we?), and ignore it if they do get divorsed (to minor, to 'your word vs. mine'). Leave the post-divorce punishment for stuff like rape.
  11. The second (psychological tinkering). It makes it clear that what we think is only relevant because if we don't think what they think, then that's a problem that has to be fixed by altering what we think by any means possible.
  12. So, from his stated reasons it looks like he could argue his work had 'serious political value' IMO, there's no reason free speech should protect pervyness, tho 'free speech (except obscenity)' is too close to 'free speech (unless it really offends us)' for my liking. (your (B) and © were doing that btw, if you wonder why I edited your post)
  13. what's obscenity? sex-stuff? And, why isn't it protected?
  14. Well, my point is that if you do heroin once you won't exactly be clucking the next day. Do heroin every day, even for a week, and you start to get withdraw signs after stopping. And, some people will do heroin once and feel REAL incentives to do it again, and again, and again. But no one starts clucking after their first time. Similar with every addictive drug. Anyway, this thread's about ganj, and i'm pretty sure we'd all agree that ganj isn't adictive, so I guess it's moot.
  15. What's the justification for criminalizing homosexual incest?
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