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Everything posted by Dak

  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. 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.
  6. ^^ 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.
  7. 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"?
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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)
  12. what's obscenity? sex-stuff? And, why isn't it protected?
  13. 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.
  14. What's the justification for criminalizing homosexual incest?
  15. I don't think you can actually get addicted first time (possibly barring if you have some underlying psychiatric condition that the drug 'fixes'...).
  16. I thought the constitution applied to the federal and state governments? So each state was bound by their own and the constitution? iow, I wouldn't have thought that the federal government couldn't mandate auto-insurance, but every single state could. Is it the case that states can outlaw guns? Or do some parts of the constitution apply to state, and some to federal, government?
  17. ! Moderator Note kumarevo: Please keep all these posts on... lines and stuff... in one thread please. Also, your last post made little-to-no sense.
  18. How would you see that tho, if it's censored? here's the real catch-22: lets assume nothing WL has released shows anything significantly bad. so, you can say WL was unjustified in leaking, right? Now lets assume they'd never leaked in the first place. You'd not know. And, you'd not know whether you weren't seeing any leaks 'cos there aren't any majour ones, or because the censorship is really effective. What could you say there? To be sure it's not being misused it has to be breached; if it's not breached, you won't know. And if you don't know, you're left maybe thinking it'd be nice if someone leaked, just to be sure? Tbh, i think the issue is what could be done, rather than what is. Like GWB in the election: did he cheat? who knows. Would the way in which he was accused of cheating have worked? Yup. better fix your democracy then. Is the government currently misusing censorship to get away with being bad and still getting elected 'cos you aren't allowed to find out, and the 'good guy' you put in place to check is actually a baddie? Maybe, maybe not. Could they? Yup (imo). better fix that part of your democracy then (possibly by enforcing the First Amendment). Or are you assuming that if anything majour is there to be leaked, then it'll be leaked and the americans will be more receptive to the leak? Just briefly: by redacting certain elements of the leaks, WikiLeaks also doesn't think the american population has a right to know everything, and is taking efforts to minimize certain types of harm that could befall the country due to the dumps.
  19. No, that's it's cost in pounds (say). It's value is it's worth. If a pint cost £3, and 20 fags costs £6, then the value of 20 fags is two pints, or £6, or half a pint and £4.50. it's cost in pounds is £6 Nooo... money can be, and is, created Yes. Although people do get payed more. you put £3 in the bank, you've given them a pint (or 10 fags) worth of value. they buy a pint. they create more money, lowering it's value. now a pint is worth 10 fags is worth £6. You withdraw your money. they sell the pint for £6, and give you your £3 back. in money: you give them £3, they give you £3 back. in value: you give them a pint, they give you half a pint back. you'd have to limit the amount of money they can create, either via regulation or by going non-fiat again (say, using silver coinage who's value == the value of the silver it was made out of). I'm not sure there's no sneaky way of inflating silver-based money that the banks could use to rob us (hedging?).
  20. Well, sorry if i missed the answers. I just want to understand where you're coming from is all. Not me Yes you did. you said the overall organization enforces objectivity. I think this is what our argument boils down to: I think that we'd both agree that, ideally, the government would: 1/ withold some information, e.g. to protect them whilst they're doing what we want them to do. 2/ actually prevent this information from leaking (to wikileaks, the Russians, whatever) 3/ withold only what's necessary, thus giving us enough information to make an informed decision as to whether to keep them or not, to check they're actually doing what we want, etc. You know, a sane balance between the gov's need for secrecy and our need to check what the gov is doing. I think we also agree that the above isn't entirely the case; as several of the leaks have already indicated, the gov' is also censoring unnecessarily, soley because certain things make them look bad? I'd guess that we'd both also want this situation to ultimately resolve by the government opening up as much as it can, and WL shutting down as no-longer necessary? We seem to differ because, given that the US, UK et.al. gov's are misusing their censorship powers (imo), I'm perfectly happy to see their ability to censor taken away from them. If they want the ability to keep necessary things secret, then they'll have to agree to be more responsible with the power we grant them in future: as long as they're refusing, they will be denied censorship powers. You seem to think that... what? they should be able to keep their powers dispite misusing them? Or perhaps that this should be democratically resolved rather than anarchically? That the issue is less important than national security, so how/whether it gets sorted out is less important than maintaining the (legit) gov' secrets? I suspect our disagreement is more over our models of the relationship between governed and governors, rather than over activist groups (or whatever WL is).
  21. without transparency, we don't know what they're doing, and therefore can't make an informed decision, thus spoiling the point of democracy. So... yes, we need a lot more. Not 100%, but a lot more than we have now.
  22. They're not going to leak pro-war dox, because pro-war dox aren't censored. This'll force them to focus on anti-war stuff (which is censored), which'll naturally make them appear anti-war but it's a false impression imo. It's intended to be viewed parrellel to the pro-war arguments/evidence we're already exposed to. Oh, slight exception for the Iraq war logs: the majority of that stuff is as benign as war can be. But, obviously, the worst aspects are specifically focused on because they're the more interesting. Don't tell me you'd listen if they focused on entirely legitimate no-contact patrols (which, btw, we already new occoured alot). where's anti-free-trade come from? Who're the radical left? Hey, that's kinda begging the question, don't you think We're discussing whether those laws do and/or should exist in the first place. What practical value do they have? when you say society will have to take direct action, do you mean society, or the government? I admit this is an issue, but not as big-a one as you'd think. Anyone who's competent enough to be a threat can find any information that WL can without their help. I'd even argue that anything WL can get is defacto not a secret anymore, and the classification level demonstrably doesn't reflect reality. Also, note that i'm not arguing for 100% transparency, and that transparency != lack of censorship. non-transparent is not telling us themselves, censorship is forcing others not to tell us either. Transparency is good, but were i talking about transparency i'd not argue for 100% transparency. I'm not saying we should know everything, for the reasons you're giving. What i'm saying is that if the gov' decide not to tell us something (not being 100% transparent, ok), and then it gets leaked because someone feels it's in our best interests to know, at that point the government shouldn't try to censor it. That won't stop the KGB getting it, but it will stop us from getting it. So... don't let anyone find out in the first place if it's that important, but if they do don't censor it: admit that data's out and that all 'the baddies' have it now, and allow us access to it to review your actions. After all, one of your own felt that we should. As for names of informants, yeah i'd put that under exact specifics that we don't need to know. However, WL were in a position whereby they could release unredacted due to lack of resources, or not leak. The US gov' were asked for assistance, putting them in a position whereby they could see some information + informants' names leak, or just some information leak, and, by their refusal to mitigate the damage, the outcome was some information + informants' names leaked. so I suppose we could blame WL, the US gov, or both. Why blame WL? I don't agree at all that the media's objective. I also don't agree that they can be objective if they're censored on reporting certain actions of the government. However, it does raise an interesting point: what's your (or americans') view of the NYTimes involvement with wikileaks, and any of your newspapers that run stories based on the leaks (like the ones linked-to in this thread)? That road leads to ruin. In my opinion. How so? And, if the variety of biases/oppinions we have access to are controlled by censorship, is that not clearly perception management?
  23. Well... that, and to highlight when the government isn't being responsible. Ya, agree with you there. for all their focus on animal-abuse PETA also want to force us all to be vegitarians, for example. as you say, we can use their arguments, but probably not just their arguments, and it'd help if we knew their biases. So: what do you consider to be WL's 'vested interest', or hidden agenda? What power? are we talking about espoinage and/or uncensored media presence? Uncircumventable censorship is too much power for the government to have. Who then? Not the government, surely? Wouldn't a 4th Estate by necessity be a special interest group? Anyway, objectivity can be obtained overall by having multiple, conflicting special interest groups. The government want to project a squeeky-clean goody-two-shoes image. If you're gripe is that Wikileaks is focusing on the bad, then this could give an accurate, objective view when taken together, for example?
  24. My apologies: censorship's kinda a 'button' for me, i have a tenancy to rant let me try again; it's pyramid-written, so just stop reading when you get bored. you've got propaganda, and you've got censorship. the idea behind propaganda is to increase the number of people accepting belief X; one point of censorship can be to decrease the number of people accepting belief Y by decreasing exposure to it (like anti-advertizing). taken together, the idea would be to move people as a whole away from belief Y towards belief X, irreguardless of how justified those beliefs are. A pre-requisite of democracy is that people can make informed decisions about their political situation. By interfering with how we form beliefs, censorship can manipule us into accepting things that we wouldn't otherwize accept, thus crippling our ability to check and influence our government, foiling the main point of democracy; paying more attention wouldn't necessarily fix this, and it shouldn't be made harder for us in the first place. An example: In the Troubles, the UK government tried hard to only expose us brits to the bad aspects of the IRA, whilst only exposing us to the good aspects of the UK government. The IRA blew us up, for sure, but the whole movement also had more peaceful, 'legitimate' political aspects; and the UK government assasinated Irish civillians themselves, and what really is the difference between that and terrorism?. The UK government granted free elections in Northern Ireland, but the republicans claim were gerrymandered to the point where they were meaningless. The Uk granted a referendum, and the Republicans boycotted the it because they believed it was unfair, which is why the result of the Northern Irish referendum was to remain part of the UK. and it's not asif they're blowing us up for no reason; maybe there's a peaceful resolution to the situation that we could reasonably expect our government to take (NOTE: turned out there was, and a peaceful resoultion was eventually agreed upon, after the IRA made it clear that was the only thing that'd work). The strikethroughs represent government censorship of the media at the time. Nowadays (the censorship's been lifted btw), most brits will at least think both sides acted dodgy, but at the time? I'm sure that the Troubles would have gone at least slightly differently if we (brits) knew what was actually going on. For us to have known that, we would have required an uncensored media. That's what i meant when i said that if you want to have a meaningful national discussion about this, you'll need the government to fail in their attempts to censor these leaks. Otherwize you'll have it justified to you in terms of national security, and you won't know whether that's true, and you won't know how much other stuff is censored, and you won't know just how bad your government is, so you won't be equipped to make an informed decision. What's to stop you being fed crap about 'national security' which isn't even true, if you can't be presented with the other side of the argument or any evidence that supports that side of the argument? I'm pretty sure that's what your first amendment is to guard you against. avoiding this exact situation whereby the government prevents you from being informed about the government is one of the safeguards of your country, but it's your responsibility to enforce that safeguard, and so the fact that you're even considering tolerating it is weird imo.
  25. Usually, I guess i'd be saying 'how do you know censorship isn't arbitrarily applied?'. Due to the wikileaks breach in security, i can instead say 'you can see that it is being arbitrarily used to censor non-security stuff'... at least for now. That's what i meant by needing wikileaks to 'win' if you want a meaningful national discussion about this. I'm happy differentiating between 'censorship' and 'redaction', where i'd define supressing 'we used informants' as censorship, and 'his name was john smith' as redaction -- ways and means are ok to suppress. Also, 'not censoring everything' != transparency: if it's necessary to keep the fact you used informants secret, just don't tell anyone. But if anyone finds out, i guess "don't censor them" is what i'm saying. Anyway, i think most the security arguments are red herrings. You think Russia couldn't access this data before? If the info was important to someone from a security pov, they'd already have it if we managed to get it. They'd especially have it now, so taking WL down is clearly an attempt to censor information from US, not THEM. Yeah, that's my point. you're being forced to trust people to make your decisions on your behalf, and judging their worthiness (and whether they're doing an ok job) based on censored information. That's why free speech is part of your constitution. why isn't your pres' impeached for breaking the 1st amendment? ---- perhaps this is a cultural thing? Having seen the portrail by the british media of the IRA during the Troubles and then after... we went from 'irish people blow shit up for no reason' to 'oh, that's why they did it'; from 'nothing to see here' to 'oh, the british didn't behave perfectly in ireland'. from blind support of 'our side' to thinking maybe it'd only have been fare if we had gone on strike to try to control 'our' own government. Maybe, had we known, the stance on the Troubles would have been a bigger election issue within the UK? note: i'm not saying the IRA were perfect. just that the good aspects of the IRA (sinn fein persuing peace, for example) were hidden from us, whilst the bad aspects of our side (extralegal executions, for example) were hidden from us. Obviously we couldn't see this being done at the time. So... perhaps i'm more inclined than you to believe censorship would actually be abused by a 'civilized' western 'democracy' to manipulate public opinion, so they can get away with being the Baddies. I believe you're currently engaged in a terrorist war yourself. Is it the case that they blow shit up for no good reason, whilst you do nothing bad to them?
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