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Comments

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Airbus Patents Windowless Cockpit That Would Increase Pilots' Field of View

shilly Re:split the difference (468 comments)

Gosh, you'd better tell them to give their patent application a new title. You could suggest "Aircraft with a cockpit including a viewing surface for piloting which is at least partially virtual". Oh, wait...

about two weeks ago
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London Regulator Says Uber Is Operating Legally

shilly Re:Backfire (105 comments)

Black cabs can sometimes be cheaper than AddLee, whose fares depend on crossing postcode boundaries. But I agree in general with your hierarchy.

about three weeks ago
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London Regulator Says Uber Is Operating Legally

shilly Re:That's not going to make (105 comments)

Where on *earth* have you been going? Every cab I've been in has had a smartphone / satnav in it, but it's only used for obscure journeys.

about three weeks ago
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London Regulator Says Uber Is Operating Legally

shilly Re:Backfire (105 comments)

On the other hand, cabbies are known to sometimes be complete and utter shits, and there's virtually no comeback.

Failing to stop for fares is a common one.
Spouting off vile opinions.
Driving like a twat.
Driving people the long way round to make extra cash
etc

Uber doesn't eliminate all this, but it certainly does make it much more difficult for a driver to take the piss, given that the journey details are recorded, including passenger and driver details.

Cabbies are their own worst enemy, I'm afraid.

about three weeks ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

shilly Re:Can an "atheist company" refuse too? (1330 comments)

Now you're sounding like an ideologue, in that you prefer to stick to your convictions despite the clear evidence about what constitutes good value care.

There is excellent and comprehensive evidence that routine and chronic care reduces overall costs by cutting the frequency of acute exacerbations. That is why having good primary care has been a cornerstone of good health practice around the world. There are companies whose business model is predicated on the active management of patients with chronic conditions to keep them well and out of hospital - like ChenMed. Easy access to strong primary care has been the saving grace of several national health systems. Honestly, you are dead flat 100% wrong to assert the contrary on this.

Simple maths explains why this is the way it is: a typical visit to a PCP might cost about $100; a diabetic foot amputation costs maybe $40k. So even a weekly PCP visit is worthwhile if it avoids the costs of an amputation. If consumers had to pay 100% out-of-pocket for routine care, there would be a material decrease in the numbers receiving routine care from a PCP for their diabetes, which would lead to an upsurge in more acute exacerbations, which would cost more money as well as causing a lot more harm.

about three weeks ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

shilly Re:Can an "atheist company" refuse too? (1330 comments)

If you make routine and chronic care FFS, then you discourage uptake of preventive treatments and cause more expense further down the line. You also widen health inequalities, as rich folks can afford the co-pay but poor folks struggle and put it off and thus suffer worse health later on. Plus, you stifle innovation by paying for specific activities, which may otherwise have fallen away as new more efficient or effective activities are invented. That's why the UK introduced capitated payments for primary care a couple of decades ago.

Best solutions are probably the kind of episode-bundling and population health payments that Arkansas is experimenting with. They're not perfect, but they introduce value as a concept and align incentives more effectively than many current systems.
See this for more: http://www.mckinsey.com/insigh...

about three weeks ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

shilly Re:We are doomed (1330 comments)

Why would I mention that? I was responding to an OP that said "the resultant expense is always the man's responsibility". What is the relevance of the man's ability to pay to that?

about three weeks ago
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Nathan Myhrvold's Recipe For a Better Oven

shilly Utter drivel (228 comments)

Given that he raises the spectre of salmonella from uneven temperature in sous-vide cooking, it's pretty clear he knows fuck all about cooking. Hey Nathan? Sous vide is done in a precision-controlled water bath, you numpty. Not an oven.

about three weeks ago
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NYC Loses Appeal To Ban Large Sugary Drinks

shilly Re:Let them drink! (532 comments)

Agreed. But it doesn't seem to contradict what I'm saying, it simply suggests some rules about implementation:
- regulating tends to be more effective and less harmful than outright banning
- bans tend to be more effective when aimed at providers rather than consumers
- legislation needs to fit broadly with the trends of the times. If you push too hard against the current, you create terrible problems.

My objection was to the blanket statement. I wasn't claiming a blanket statement in the other direction, nor suggesting it was easy to get things right.

about three weeks ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

shilly Re:Companies don't pay for healthcare, workers do (1330 comments)

But you seemed to be arguing with several of your questions that the employer should have some say in what the insurance covers because they've gone to some time and trouble to set it up. And my counterpoint was, maybe they should have some say, but (1) they shouldn't have unlimited say and (2) it doesn't seem to me that they should get the say because they write the checks, and that the time and effort it takes them is not a sufficient reason. Then the questions become, what is the distinction between "some say" and "unlimited say", and "on which side of the line would these contraceptives fall?"

I agree with you that "no say" is an untenable argument. I also agree with those who say "all this demonstrates that employers ought to be incentivised to move away from offering this benefit".

about three weeks ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

shilly Re:Gee Catholic judges (1330 comments)

You don't have control over the absurdity of the entire debate, but you do have control over the absurdity of your contributions. I think the debate at hand ought not to be about "should governments override religious beliefs to deliver contraception" but instead "what obligations should an employer be required to assume by virtue of being an employer, and how does this balance against their rights?"

 

about three weeks ago
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NYC Loses Appeal To Ban Large Sugary Drinks

shilly Re:Let them drink! (532 comments)

By partisan, I mean arguing in favour of a cause.

"Using laws to change social norms is stupid, because it doesn't work without having serious negative consequences which outweigh any possible good results."

The cause you are arguing for here is some version of libertarianism. You are saying that government ought not to legislate to change social norms. You advance an argument that to do so is ineffective in all circumstances. Because you do not allow for any circumstances in which such legislation could work, your statement can reasonably be characterised as partisan and non-pragmatic. You can choose to take issue with some of that if you wish, but it does seem like a perfectly reasonable interpretation of what you wrote, even if it goes against the way you like to think of yourself, as some uber-rational and even-handed individual.

Your response to my mentioning DUIs shows that *you* have missed the point. At the time DUI laws were introduced, there was a social norm that said "it's perfectly fine to drive home after having had a beer or two". Such attitudes still exist in some places, such as parts of the British countryside. The laws were introduced to shift social attitudes. The reason legislators wanted those attitudes to shift was, as you say, because drinking causes a clear and present danger. But to be blind to the fact that the laws were introduced in the teeth of opposition claiming this was Nanny Statism and saying that attempts to shift social norms should be resisted is, well, silly. (On clear and present danger, smoking laws are contested precisely because this isn't the case, but they remain attempts to legislate to change social norms" and they have been pretty successful and the benefits in my view clearly outweigh the harms.)

I say again: it is perfectly reasonable for a government to introduce a law to shift a social norm, and it is possible to do so in a way that results in more benefit than harm. There are many examples of where this has happened.

about three weeks ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

shilly Re:Companies don't pay for healthcare, workers do (1330 comments)

I'm not sure why any of your questions really matter. Employers provide buildings in which their employees work, as well. The fact that they provide those buildings, sign leases, negotiate rentals, install aircon, and undertake a huge range of other tasks, some quite onerous, in order to provide the workplace does not give them a free pass over all aspects of those buildings. Instead, the government requires the buildings to be safe and healthy workplace environments and has laws in place to make that happen.

about three weeks ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

shilly Re:We are doomed (1330 comments)

How can this be modded informative?

In the real world, women are much more likely than men to have custody, and because they have custody, they pay the expenses. A significant minority of men then fail to contribute to those expenses.

about three weeks ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

shilly Re:Gee Catholic judges (1330 comments)

But is there a definitional requirement for adherents to believe in all parts of the approved doctrine, or else not be able to call themselves Catholic? I'm not a Catholic, so I don't know.

about three weeks ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

shilly Re:Gee Catholic judges (1330 comments)

Your three examples are beyond absurd. They fail very badly as analogies.
Taking each in turn:
1. No-one has a need for a particular foodstuff, such as bacon, whereas people do have a real need for contraception. A closer analogy would be an employer providing only bacon sandwiches for employees, without offering alternatives. There, the analogy would hold more closely because people do need to eat something, and while an observant Muslim employee could go and get their own lunch, they would miss out on a benefit offered to their colleagues. I'd certainly find that problematic, and see a need for intervention.
2. Forcing a Jewish-owned business to open on Shabbat would be government intervention on behalf of customers, not employees, an important distinction. And while I wouldn't want a Jewish-owned business to have to open on Shabbat, I would not want a hotel to be able to turn away a guest couple because they're gay and that offends the proprietor's religious sensibilities.
3. Your next analogy fails in exactly the same way as #2.

about three weeks ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

shilly Re:Gee Catholic judges (1330 comments)

Excellent! Tax the poor more. That's not at all evil.

about three weeks ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

shilly Re:Gee Catholic judges (1330 comments)

The only way you get a 9% per annum failure rate for oral contraceptives is if you don't take them. If taken correctly, they are more than 99% effective over a year.

Brilliant insight. You do realise that adherence and real-world evidence are among the hottest of topics in the pharma industry right now, precisely *because* fallible humans do not reliably take pills, especially not for long term needs such as contraception?

There is very little value in knowing the lab reliability of a contraceptive. What matters is the actual effectiveness of the solution out in the world.

Bleating on about individual moral responsibility is a waste of breath. It won't shift the non-adherence rate an iota. You can look at behavioural nudges and signals, as pharma companies already do with things like printing weekdays on packaging to help people keep track; or you can engineer out the failure mode by using another method such as an implant. The latter is much *much* more successful than the former.

about three weeks ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

shilly Re:Can an "atheist company" refuse too? (1330 comments)

You are right about the rationale behind employer health insurance.

However, there is an obvious problem with FFS funding for medicine, which is that health costs can be catastrophically - unaffordably - high. In earlier eras, this wasn't a problem, because expensive interventions didn't exist. Now they do. And we all want them if we have a car accident or a stroke or a complex birth, etc.

No country has fully solved how to fund healthcare, and there are problems with every funding model. FFS is more broken than most, not least because there is a natural inflationary component (the more interventions I carry out, the more money I make as a doctor) and individuals frequently can't afford the care. That's why countries around the world are now experimenting with payment-for-outcomes instead. But it's a hard problem to solve.

about three weeks ago
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NYC Loses Appeal To Ban Large Sugary Drinks

shilly Re:Let them drink! (532 comments)

Eh? This law was doing precisely what you implied should be done, i.e., placing a restriction on junk food companies who are, as you say, in bed with the government. It was not banning people from buying as much soda as they wanted, in the form of smaller amounts.

That said, I fundamentally disagree with this statement of yours, precisely because it is partisan and non-pragmatic: "Using laws to change social norms is stupid, because it doesn't work without having serious negative consequences which outweigh any possible good results." That's partisan and non-pragmatic because it ignores the many instances in which laws have been introduced that aimed at changing social norms where the benefits clearly outweigh the harms:
- seatbelt laws
- DUI laws
- domestic abuse laws
- laws restricting smoking
There used to be a social norm that it was OK to smoke on the London Underground. The Kings Cross fire of 1987 led to a ban on smoking on the Underground. I'm hard-pressed to think of *any* negative consequences of that ban, much less consequences that outweigh the obvious huge benefits of the removal of a significant fire risk and the improvement to people's health.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Apple's European partners for iPhone

shilly shilly writes  |  about 7 years ago

shilly (142940) writes "The Grauniad is reporting that Apple in on the verge of choosing its European partners. It looks like O2 / Telefonica for the UK and Spain, T-Mobile for Germany, and Orange / France Telecome for the French. Retailers apparently lost out to the operators in their bid for direct sales."

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