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Author Topic: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America  (Read 94731 times)

Rob C

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #280 on: September 25, 2015, 04:49:58 am »

Ray, there are several points you make that I'm "missing"!

It strikes me that you both agree with, and disagree with the concept of the reality of global warming, all at the same time! That is truly cool, only to be expected from a gentleman who is photographed sitting beside tigers.

Such a datum line for discussion leaves me lost, perplexed and totally wordless in battle: perhaps you have won? ;-)

Do you have shares in VW by the way? I never have had, but if I had bought one of the cars I wouldn't be unhappy and about to sue: I'd be delighted that so many others could now be in a position to buy such a machine at far better price! Including myself, were I a VW owner, next time around! In the end, whatever official emission figures claim, I don't for a moment think anyone seriously gave them a toss: it was image and perceived quality that made folks buy. Roping Lambo into the public debate, as tv has, is a further example of media bullshit: who in their right mind thinks such buyers are concerned about either economy or ecology! Anyway, the only Lambos to have diesels, AFAIK, are their tractors. Maybe farmers will sue instead.

Oh well, off for a shower and some shopping for veggies and fruit!

Ciao,

Rob

Ray

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #281 on: September 25, 2015, 05:53:23 am »

Totally OT, but anyway: the use and importance solar energy is certainly rising as the panels get more efficient, but the big problem still is that there is no cheap and efficient way to store electricity. In countries like Finland we need most of the electricity in winter, when it is dark 20 hours a day and solar panels are next to useless. On coldest days also windmills stand still. So we fire up the coal power plants, which also means double investment for power generation. The only way to store power in practice are water reservoirs, which in turn are opposed by the greens...

Would a solar energy source a couple of thousand km south of Finland be useful during those dark winters?  ;)

HVDC transmission lines are continuing to get better and more efficient with lower transmission losses (about 3.5% per 1,000 km). It seems we're now into Ultra-High-Voltage Direct-Current transmission.
The following site provides some details of the longest HVDC and UHVDC transmission lines currently in operation.
http://www.power-technology.com/features/featurethe-worlds-longest-power-transmission-lines-4167964/

This is not entirely off topic. The total wealth of everyone is directly related to the true cost of energy, including setting a price on externalities such as environmental damage and health consequences of noxious gases.

Cheap, sustainable energy supplies can translate to more affordable health care for everyone, even in America.  ;)
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Ray

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #282 on: September 25, 2015, 09:19:53 am »

Ray, there are several points you make that I'm "missing"!

It strikes me that you both agree with, and disagree with the concept of the reality of global warming, all at the same time! That is truly cool, only to be expected from a gentleman who is photographed sitting beside tigers.


Rob.
The explanation lies in the ethical dilemma, 'when is a lie justified?' This is similar to the ethical dilemma of photographic manipulation. If the intention and purpose of the photograph is to accurately record  a scene for journalistic or forensic uses, then manipulation of the original photographic recording, which is equivalent to lying, is obviously unethical.

Likewise, if the purpose of climate-change research is simply to understand the climate change processes at a theoretical and unbiased level, then exaggeration of the degree of certainty about the processes is unethical, unless such exaggeration (lies) can be justified in relation to another issue.

In the case of photography, manipulation can be justified for 'fine art' purposes, which might attempt to entertain, inspire, tell a story, create an enigma, express the photographer's personal feelings, etc.

In the case of climate science, any certainty about the disastrous consequences of rising CO2 levels is a lie from a purely scientific perspective. However, from a broader perspective of the survival of future generations who might be confronted with a disastrous depletion of fossil fuel resources, any lies which motivate us to prepare in advance for such 'over-exploitation' of resources, might be justified.

One of the possible negative effects of being motivated to do the right thing through incorrect or biased information, is the inefficiency of the process. It would be better if people were able to respond to rational and sensible advice and objectives. However, the reality seems to be that most people are not sufficiently motivated by merely sensible and rational arguments. They need religious zeal. They need 'carrot and stick' inducements. They seem to need the fear of eternal damnation in Hell to get them to behave properly. Hope that's all clear?  ;)
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Alan Klein

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #283 on: September 25, 2015, 10:22:30 am »

Lying is a slippery slope. You're better than that.    You have to convince people with the truth.

Rob C

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #284 on: September 25, 2015, 10:43:14 am »

Lying is a slippery slope. You're better than that.    You have to convince people with the truth.

Lying on a slippery slope, clearly my own fault, was one of the principal reasons that I gave up skiing.

And trust me, that's the truth, creative fiction notwithstanding.

Rob C

tom b

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #285 on: September 25, 2015, 04:00:03 pm »

 I've just watched Viola Davis on The Ellen DeGeneres Show talking about her Golden Globe success.

She also talked about her charity connection.

"Ambassador Viola Davis, and (sic) raised more than $4.6 million from shoppers throughout 1,300 Safeway family of stores, as well as through online contributions, to support eradicating childhood hunger in the United States."

She supports the Feeding America charity, http://www.feedingamerica.org

There seems to be a disconnect between "America the world's leading economy" and bankrupting medical patients and needing charities to raise funds for hungry children.

Cheers,

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Tom Brown

Isaac

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #286 on: September 25, 2015, 05:35:26 pm »

There seems to be a disconnect between…

There's more than one way to organize a society.

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tom b

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #287 on: September 25, 2015, 06:33:44 pm »

There's more than one way to organize a society.

As I said in an earlier post, it is a question of what is working? In Australia you don't have to worry about going broke paying for your medical bills, there is no need for food banks. Yes, there are dysfunctional families that need support, but that is another question.

Why can't Americans see that their system is broken? Has ideology taken over!

Cheers,
« Last Edit: September 26, 2015, 01:17:11 am by tom b »
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Tom Brown

jjj

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #288 on: September 25, 2015, 06:35:04 pm »

Too bad they don't work (which doesn't means they don't produce electricity).
Would you claim any new tech still being developed as useless?
Solar panels most certainly do work and can generate more than enough electricity for our needs, that's not the issue. Making them usable as a road surface for this particular solution is the tricky bit and taking into account other factors like access to other services, such as gas/sewage are the obstacle to overcome.
The major problem is the [very rich] people who have a lot to lose by this new way of sourcing power and those who like to sneer, rather than contribute.
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jjj

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #289 on: September 25, 2015, 06:46:29 pm »

The problem with Sahara solar power (and solar roadways, for that matter) is that is uneconomical because of the huge maintenance costs of the structures and the costs of transporting the energy to the users.
Sigh! Why are people taking this example so literally?
The Shara figure  is simply to show how much energy is out there for the taking. It's not to suggest that's how you organise the collection of power. You simply use smaller arrays more locally.
Solar roadways are simply a way of distributing the collection and solving the distribution problem in one go.
There are other options, use motorway real estate for collecting with arrays above or next to them such as this Korean example. Though the idea of cyclists being in centre of highway seems a bit dumb from an access/egress point of view.

Quote
Just think of the copper wiring costs.
Do you think power gets from current power stations to homes and businesses all over the country without power cables?
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jjj

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #290 on: September 25, 2015, 07:00:32 pm »

Totally OT, but anyway: the use and importance solar energy is certainly rising as the panels get more efficient, but the big problem still is that there is no cheap and efficient way to store electricity. In countries like Finland we need most of the electricity in winter, when it is dark 20 hours a day and solar panels are next to useless. On coldest days also windmills stand still. So we fire up the coal power plants, which also means double investment for power generation. The only way to store power in practice are water reservoirs, which in turn are opposed by the greens...
Tesla's UPS/battery is a start of a solution to that problem. I have to say I am tempted by that as not only is about the same price as a high end UPS for your computer system, but is a UPS for your entire house.
This problem, like many other problems is one that gets little attention with when there is already a current solution, i.e. coal/gas fired power stations.
If or when these become less feasible for whatever reason, suddenly people will be trying to solve that problem. Or there could be a dramatic tipping point when a new tech is invented and old tech is very quickly replaced by a very new way of working. Digital photography and film being the obvious example for users of this forum.  :D
A new kind of battery could change everything for example. There is a lot of interest in that from other areas, laptop and phone manufacturers for example, Apple's hydrogen cell..
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jjj

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #291 on: September 25, 2015, 07:02:18 pm »

Lying on a slippery slope, clearly my own fault, was one of the principal reasons that I gave up skiing.
;D ;D
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jjj

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #292 on: September 25, 2015, 07:09:33 pm »

The explanation lies in the ethical dilemma, 'when is a lie justified?'

Likewise, if the purpose of climate-change research is simply to understand the climate change processes at a theoretical and unbiased level, then exaggeration of the degree of certainty about the processes is unethical, unless such exaggeration (lies) can be justified in relation to another issue.
Lying is a slippery slope. You're better than that.    You have to convince people with the truth.

When people say that trying to do something about man-made climate change is a waste of time because it doesn't exist, I just think that it doesn't actually matter in one sense. Why? Simple, there is no downside to making the world less polluted and more pleasant place to live.


« Last Edit: September 25, 2015, 07:13:12 pm by jjj »
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Isaac

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #293 on: September 25, 2015, 10:12:33 pm »

As I said in an earlier post, it is a question of what is working? In Australia you don't have to worry about going broke paying for your medical bills, there is no need for food banks. Yes, the are dysfunctional families that need support, but that is another question.

Why can't Americans see that their system is broken? Has ideology taken over!

There's more than one way to organize a society.

You're assuming that the balance of outcomes you find acceptable is the only balance of outcomes anyone should find acceptable.
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Isaac

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #294 on: September 25, 2015, 10:23:19 pm »

Simple, there is no downside to making the world less polluted and more pleasant place to live.

Nonsense. There would be costs; and the diverted resources may have been used in other ways to benefit more people. Decision making with imperfect knowledge is … imperfect.
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jjj

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #295 on: September 27, 2015, 04:55:21 pm »

Nonsense. There would be costs; and the diverted resources may have been used in other ways to benefit more people. Decision making with imperfect knowledge is … imperfect.
There is no downside to making the world more pleasant, as by definition the planet is better than it was before. The fact that a very small minority of people may make less money that before isn't necessarily a bad thing either.


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Isaac

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #296 on: September 27, 2015, 07:17:48 pm »

There is no downside to making the world more pleasant, as by definition the planet is better than it was before.

More pleasant for whom? At what cost to others?

(As before: there would be costs and the diverted resources may have been used in other ways to benefit more people.)
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Ray

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #297 on: September 28, 2015, 04:52:15 am »

...... there is no downside to making the world less polluted and more pleasant place to live.

More pleasant for whom? At what cost to others?
(As before: there would be costs and the diverted resources may have been used in other ways to benefit more people.)

Isaac has a point. Any increase in energy costs has to be paid for. There's no free lunch, as Russ would say. If we push through measures as a result of alarm and panic, to build expensive new power plants, whilst making redundant the existing coal-fired plants that could still be functional for many years into the future, then we are wasting resources, unless the new energy sources are in reality more efficient and the electricity cheaper than that produced by the older coal-fired plants.

A fundamental principle of economics is that one can't spend the same energy twice, just as one can't spend the same money twice. One always has to prioritize. The money spent on a new solar farm could instead have been spent on alleviating poverty in 3rd world countries, or even on alleviating poverty in America.  ;)
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Rob C

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #298 on: September 28, 2015, 08:41:35 am »

Nope; better fix the problems now, if it's not already too late, than pay lip service to the environment but continue to rape it instead.

London and Glasgow were dying under smog back in the 40s and 50s; when coal was replaced for many uses the smogs vanished. Look at Paris today, China, what more does it take to open eyes?

Rob C
« Last Edit: September 28, 2015, 02:46:31 pm by Rob C »
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jjj

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Re: The Tyranny of Medical Bills in America
« Reply #299 on: September 28, 2015, 02:35:31 pm »

More pleasant for whom? At what cost to others?

(As before: there would be costs and the diverted resources may have been used in other ways to benefit more people.)
EVERYONE benefits from a less polluted and poisoned world.
EVERYONE benefits from sea levels not rising.
EVERYONE benefits from the competition for limited energy being got rid of.
In fact I cannot think of a way of making life better for the most number of people than to have clean local [and therefore very cheap] energy production everywhere. This would also have a knock on effect of solving many other issues, not to mention that limited resources are the main reason for most conflict.
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