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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Linkee-poo doesn't need any more, we're all full up on crazy today

An early post, 'cause we have a full slate already.

Jay Lake's link salad is a wonderfully delicious spring mix of goodies today, not all of which I'll repost here. They include some faked science (medicine, again), Amish, some religious context, and some politics. Really, too much to repost here.

Some emergency writing motivation techniques. (Grokked from Elizabeth)

An immense over simplification of Gutenberg's invention and financial ruin to say something about the advent of e-publishing. The real story is much more complicated. And it wasn't Papal Indulgences that made the press profitable (although that's what the people who got Gutenberg's actual press did), it was political tracts which ignited the Reformation (printed by the people who stole Gutenberg's idea) that did it. Gutenberg's downfall was precipitated by his attempt to break a market that wasn't ready for change (he actually tried to sell many Bibles as manuscripts, because "printing" wasn't acceptable for the Holy Book, yes, there was printing before Gutenberg), charging too little for his product (he undersold much of his stock), and his choice of people to whom he became over leveraged and indebted. Add in a fire that destroyed much of his stock and required expensive repairs, and viola. Ruination. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

I am Abe Lincoln of the Borg. Prepare to be tattooed. (pointed to by Dan)

Tobias Buckell muses on the historical nature of corporations regarding colonization and government. Add to your deliberations this NPR report on Bopp, the lawyer who brought Citizens United to the Supreme Court and is currently working to further undermine campaign finance laws (allowing more corporate sponsorship - I still say we do it like NASCAR and have the politicians wear patches on their suits for each one). The curse of history is about to strike again.

On Amish and technology. Yeah. For those of us who actually have lots of contact with the Amish, this isn't news. In Ohio, the community that has the highest installed base of solar power is the Amish in Sugar Creek. I do work for an Amish cabinet maker. When he needs something emailed, it gets emailed. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Charlie Stross on his argument about an imminent Singularity. Grokked from John Scalzi, who has his own thoughts here. I've said it before, I'm a heretic to many SF tropes. One of those is human artificial intelligence. One, a computer is not a brain (or vis a vis). And two, until we recognize the hubris of wanting a human intelligence in the machine, we won't make much progress toward a real AI (which, if and when it happens, won't be human, and probably won't worry about us much if it even notices us). Until then we'll continue to make Punch and Judy simulacrums like Watson and Deep Blue.

On my recurring posts on the limits of science, another researcher is caught cooking the data. Again, medicine, quelle suprise. These people do not help the cause. Also note that even though the paper was withdrawn within 3 months, it caused another researcher to basically blow a year and their doctoral thesis out the window. This is often how bad research is discovered. Someone either bases their research on a previous finding, or someone is working laterally on another issue and doesn't see the same results, not from people trying to actually replicate the initial research. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

The AMA reiterates its support for the ACA (and the individual mandate). It wasn't unanimous, and, as the report states, in the past 2 years since the first vote 12,000 members (5%) quit the AMA (although their motives aren't known). So much for the "but Doctors don't want it either meme. You might remember, a slightly larger than plurality of them wanted either a single-payor system or the "Public Option" (a watered down version). Why? Because they know it'll 1) improve healthcare outcomes, and 2) even doctors are tired of dealing with insurance companies.

Speaking of, this summer is seeing another major battle with an health insurance company (involves a relative) that refuses to pay. I'm not sure how far I want to talk about it here, but let's just say there's a major push by some involved to have the person moved to Medicare (because they'll get paid more, and more frequently) - see earlier link to man robbing a bank to get health care. It really shouldn't be our issue, but it has become ours by default. (We're told the insurance company has finally agreed to pay what they should have done initially, any takers on how long it will be before a check is cut?)

And in other news, Sarah Palin quits her own bus tour halfway through. There's a bunch of speculation, what I haven't heard and I expect is really the case is that reports stopped following and constantly reporting on her. On the Good News™ side of it, if she ever wins a national office, we now know she won't fill out the full term.

Do we all have to learn this again, conservatives? People have video cameras. So when you start spouting idiocy about the whys and were-fores you'll be called on it. This is about comedian Reggie Brown's Obama impersonation at the Republican Leadership Conference.

A critique of the election campaign coverage so far. When reporters outnumber voters at campaign stops (in this case for Huntsman, who IMHO would probably be a good candidate for the right, except that he comes out of the gate hamstrung by being a moderate - which in the old days would have qualified him for "solid right wing"). Your liberal media at work. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

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