20 October 2015

Free market consumer driven healthcare

“Consumer driven healthcare” plans were introduced in the USA in 2001. The idea was simple enough. Here’s how Republican Presidential hopeful Ben Carson described it: In order to right the ship, we need to return the responsibility for good health care to the patient and the health care provider. One of the best ways to do this is through health savings accounts, which patients can control. Republicans see this principle of patient responsibility as particularly important, because they mostly believe in an economic theory called moral hazard. ... Read more

13 October 2015

Theory vs reality: Hitler and guns

The theory: Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson suggests the Holocaust would have been “greatly diminished” if German Jews had been armed with guns. […] The retired neurosurgeon says “the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed.” The candidate says “there is a reason that these dictatorial people take the guns first.” The reality: Weimar Germany had tough gun laws banning private ownership of firearms, and the government engaged in confiscation. ... Read more

11 October 2015

Buying an Android phone

Back in February of this year, Motorola said: And while other smartphones in this category don’t always support upgrades, we won’t forget about you, and we’ll make sure your Moto E stays up to date after you buy it. If you think that means you’ll be getting an up-to-date Android 6 release, well, think again. Just 219 days later, Motorola have stopped providing updates. Did you buy Motorola’s high end Moto X to use on Verizon or AT&T last year? ... Read more

7 October 2015

The purpose of education

I’m not generally a big fan of Daily Mail style “why oh why” pieces about the decline of civilization, but Harper’s magazine has one I find to be remarkably insightful for the genre. If you want to burn your free paywall passage for the month you can go read the whole thing, it’s titled The Neoliberal Arts. You can also get a subscription for $18 a year. Anyway, within said article William Deresiewicz discusses how college (university) education has abandoned its most important goals to slavishly follow neoliberal market doctrine. ... Read more

7 October 2015

Places I should be traveling to

NASA posted high resolution scans of all the Apollo photos, so obviously I had to browse through them. A few thoughts: When you see the Apollo Lunar Excursion Module at high resolution, or in real life, it looks really crap. It’s like something welded together out of dented leftover sheet metal and wrapped in aluminium foil. Obviously part of the design problem was making it as lightweight as possible, but it’s hard to believe that something so flimsy looking landed on the moon and took off again. ... Read more

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