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This topic contains 107 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  TheEncogitationer 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

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    Is Sam Harris losing it?

    He actually says at one point that he regrets Covid wasn’t much worse that it was.



    Sam is good. Same is fine. He and i? Our views align. Usually.

    That Dore is manic! This is a perfect illustration of how misleading it is to take a line or two and go off. Twas Out of context. But he straw dogged the bejesus out of Sam.




    I just now realized this, but I have to give you a B+ for making my point for me on Section 8 housing.

    To get an A+, remember this: Good Veterans continue to live by their Oath of Service even when their stint in the Armed Forces has expired.

    This means that they are loyal to The Constitution and The Bill of Rights and respect the Individual Rights of fellow Citizens recognized by those documents and will defend them against all enemies, foreign and domestic. They do not use weapons threatening life and limb to get what they want. This act gets into the classification of “Too Mean for the Peoples.” Better friends are highly recommended.




    You’ll find all you want in the Straw-Bailer, right next to all the wire hangers twisted in the shaft and gears.

    Oh, and I don’t pound desks and hit walls with bare appendages even when they’re healthy. Quality clients you got there.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by  TheEncogitationer. Reason: Addendum



    The fact that the author in the Forbes article cannot conceive of a Free-Market in health care without either third-party government financing or third-party insurance financing does not mean it is impossible or even improbable. Argument From Ignorance Fallacy.

    And the author even conceded that a nearly-private health care system was one alternative to the system we have now.

    For the time being, there is a free app called ZocDoc that matches Doctors to patients by location, specialty, and insurance company accepted. This could help patients to select specialists in advance to known possible future medical needs. It’s not all paying the insurer while the house is on fire like the Romans did.




    While Sam Harris was at his best in his Four Horsemen of Atheism days, he has gone completely deranged on other topics. He certainly sounds like the religious zealots he so rightly condemned in previous work:



    Ok Enco. You have nothing substantive. The free market is a distant chimera of abstract deliciousness. In its actual applicaton it is not something we can tolerate. And you are equivalent in your apotheosis of your ideology to a theist. So no sense challenging your views.

    Lets not limit ourselves to the free market of traditional american slavery. There is a thriving underground market in women who are kidnapped and exploited as sex slaves. If we eliminate government interference we can allow market forces to drive the price down. Oh and we can allow purveyors of biological and chemical weapons to do their thing also. Go free market!




    Is there an app that matches indigent patients without insurance to doctors willing to take them on, eating whatever expenses are incurred? In most countries in Europe health needs are simply handled albeit, perhaps, with the most urgent ones at the front of the line, which makes sense. “How are you going to pay for it?” doesn’t come up.

    You are all pie-in-the-sky

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by  Unseen.



    There are Web Sites that promote mobile free health clinics in communities all over the nation where the poor get tests, check-ups, vaccinations, triage care, free samples of OTC medications, even things like free dental care. There were a few such clinics that had events in my area.

    But, as always, with anything that’s free to the end user, expect a line, and as with anything in life, it is never without cost paid for by someone. Supply and Demand and TANSTAAFL (There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.) No Web Site or App can defy the Laws of Economics.

    This is abundantly clear with stories like these:

    Expenses At Hospitals Are Unsustainable, AHA Says

    Arizona hospital on brink of collapse after spending $20 million on migrant care: ‘Nobody has a solution’
    Dr. Robert Treschel said the $20 million care cost does not include infrastructure expenses

    And, of course, non-paying Citizens are a big chunk of that problem too, so this is not Xenophobia to point this out.

    No, Unseen, demanding “Free Stuff” is “Pie-In-The-Sky.”. Demanding personal, political, and economic individual freedom to come up with innovative solutions to medical problems is very real and really is our only shot at better health care.



    Enco, your radical free market libertarianism is as untenable as communism is. Just because the free market works in most markets doesn’t mean it makes sense everywhere. Just as “socialising” things like paving streets and criminal policing working doesn’t mean we should socialise everything (such as say, toy factories and supermarkets).

    It is utterly deranged to fully privatise the medical sector, and it make total sense to have a minimal amount of social programs. The benefit being people aren’t pointlessly rotting in the gutter alleviating society (or diminishing) from social dysfunction such as: misery, neglect, starvation, crime, inequality, underutilised labour, unequal markets and all of the expenses to the state that come along with it (policing, prisons, tax loss on underemployment and underdevelopment etc). Mostly privatising certain sectors is destructive in many countries. Railway privatisation has stunted growth and development in the UK (it has become less efficient and unaffordable), in the electricity and gas sector (has led to unthinkably exploitative and cruel practices, unaffordable prices and the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few).

    The same goes with the libertarian orthodoxly of radical deregulation. It leads to severely polluted waterways and air (literally killing people and making places unliveable), super destructive financial/banking bubbles, unsafe transportation, dangerous risks in the food sector and so on.

    I cannot take anyone seriously when they take an ideology to such extremes that they start suggesting free market organ selling (why not sell both kidneys and live your last week in luxury in a Caribbean resort?) any more than I can take people who still think communism is possible when done right.

    Ultimately if just about everything should be privatised/deregulated where those who are without can fuck off and die, then I do not see why having community policing and shared roads is a must. Why? Why should that be allowed but not Medicare? Because you cannot function without police or streets? Well they do on some Islands. People in most developed countries would argue they cannot function without minimal social programs, regulations and Medicare. Libertarians go along with this radical ideology, for the most part, because they believe they can prosper under such a system, fuck everyone else who cannot. Luckily, most people won’t vote in a government that would allow society to decay under this. Unfortunately, in some countries, such as those with two party systems, their governments seem to keep implementing this to an extent (such as in America) despite the people clearly not wanting it.




    Yes, even under democratic socialism things need to be paid for, but there it’s by the public because the public has an interest in a healthy and well cared for public. And while, obviously, under any system some people get more service than others, something like healthcare needs to be operated under a “there but for fortune go you or I” principle.

    In America, the free market actually distorts the distribution of health care services, delivering them with more regard to ability to pay rather than with regard to where services would achieve the most good.

    Your “If you’re not wealthy you don’t deserve to be healthy” approach is not one many people will agree to if they just take about five seconds to think about it.



    Hmmm… yes, some group seems to be feeding the YouTube algorithm to make this nitwit show up in a lot of feeds.  I found it largely incoherent.

    There is something to be said for criticizing the left for not really understanding the science and focusing on stupid stuff like cow farts or grocery bags when discussing the climate emergency.   The major consumption of fossilized carbon lies elsewhere.

    Here in the U.S., it’s:

    • 33% Transportation (mostly automotive, but includes shipping, rail, and air).  96% of this is petroleum.
    • 28% Electricity generation.  45% of this is coal; the rest natural gas.
    • 18% Industry
    • 13% Residential and Commercial heating/cooking/etc. 82% of this is natural gas
    • 8% Industrial, non-fuel (chemical industry, lubricants, etc.)

    So if we want to genuinely address the problem, those are the areas (and rough priority) that need to be tackled in the most time- and cost- efficient ways possible.  Electrifying vehicles is therefore a big, high priority, along with eliminating coal-fired power plants and decarbonizing the rest of electricity generation.   Those things are largely do-able with existing and rapidly developing technologies, and cut emissions by half.   If you care about climate and you’re not laser-focused right now on these things, then you’re doing it wrong.

    I appreciate the issues with the developing world, but honestly if the developed world builds and deploys solutions the developing world will come along.  They don’t have loads of capital already invested in carbon infrastructure and businesses, and will leapfrog into the newer technology in the same way they have with cell phones.  It’s the developed world that has the legacy infrastructure and special interests that oppose decarbonization.



    Good heavens.  I seem to have replied to Page 1 and missed this was on Page 7 (and now seems to be a debate about economic systems).  My apologies.



    There is something to be said for criticizing the left for not really understanding the science and focusing on stupid stuff like cow farts or grocery bags when discussing the climate emergency. The major consumption of fossilized carbon lies elsewhere. Here in the U.S., it’s:

    Agriculture in the US is a major contributor of greenhouse gasses. In particular, it’s the largest source of methane generated by human activity, and methane is quite a bit more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas. While agriculture still likely pales next to energy as a sector for concern, it’s not mutually exclusive to care about both. Seeing as we have to produce food, it makes sense to consider how we go about it to avoid dramatic overproduction, especially with crops and livestock that have the biggest environmental impact.

    The issue with single-use plastics is, probably, often misunderstood. The carbon footprint doesn’t clock in where many people think it will compared to paper or reusable* cotton bags. Sourcing and production methods matter as well. But it is primarily an issue of waste diversion.

    *Obviously reusable bags can be made from other materials, and total carbon footprint will depend on how many uses one gets out of the bag, but with many cotton bags the number of uses necessary to offset single use plastic is considerable.




    You pack a lot into your last post, but I will address a couple of points right off the bat.

    Right now, in the United States, there is actually a movement for “Fat Pride” or “Fat Acceptance.”

    And statistics prove time and again that in wealthy nations, obesity is a bigger problem among the poor than it is among the wealthy.

    The overweight and obesity transition from the wealthy to the poor in low- and middle-income countries: A survey of household data from 103 countries

    And in the middle of the grocery store where I work–which is in a poor section of town and isn’t quite as good as other stores on the other side–there are millions of units of hundreds of thousands of both edible and inedible products and millions more available for pick-up or delivery via the Internet…and one of those products is an impulse-buy magazine at check-out on Intermittent Fasting! *

    Of all the problems our nation has, starvation is simply not one of them.

    * (Yes, people actually have to be carefully taught how to not eat! By the way, Intermittent Fasting is a redundancy, since all fasting takes place between two points in time, which, of necessity, never exceeds much more than 30 days. And Intermittent Fasting only ends in one of two ways: You eat or you die. 😉😁)

    Also, it helps to know that, to the extent a society is socially, politically, and economically free, poverty does not mean total privation, nor is it a permanent way of life.

    Here is what it means to be poor in the United States of America:

    The Poorest 20% of Americans Are Richer on Average Than Most European Nations
    The privilege of living in the US affords poor people more material resources than the averages for most of the world’s richest nations.
    Friday, August 30, 2019

    Economist and Sociologist Thomas Sowell also as always has sage words on this subject.

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