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Monday, November 23, 2009

The Problem of Bias...

I am sure you have all been reading about the following:

By the way, I am not saying that the global warming scientists have been exposed as frauds. I am saying that emotion/morality filters everything and imparts a bias on all information. This is (usually) not a problem when we are make decisions for ourselves (I will avoid the obvious problem with this statement), but it is most certainly a problem when we make decisions for everyone else- particularly where others may not share our values.

Anyway, the only reason I bring this up here is that it mirrors what I said in my latest post concerning the US health care system... Ok, ok, along with fractals, I'll also admit my obsession with health care is also beyond redemption.

Read for yourself if you are interested.

What most struck me was the following passage:

"Ms. Sebelius’ own culpability in issuing this grossly erroneous statement can be interpreted in three ways. Perhaps she’s just lying. Perhaps she’s ignorant of the role her own panel has already begun playing in determining which medical services are to be covered and not covered. Or, perhaps she’s displaying a Clintonian facility with the English language (here, as it happens, employing a variation on the classic “depends on what the meaning of is, is”), and accordingly she’s reporting the currently truthful statement that the USPSTF’s “recommendations” have no effect on present policy, while simply neglecting to mention that those selfsame “recommendations” are indeed going to become policy very soon, the moment healthcare reform is passed."

Issues of aspect, or viewpoint simply never go away ;-)

Trust and faith are tough

Dink, please post away.


Thai said...

For comments

Debra said...

One of the scariest parts of this little video, Thai, is the fact that...while there may have been, probably, certainly,was, obfuscation involved in data collection, publication, etc etc (I'm not going to give any more time of day to what the video exposes....), the polar icecap has almost completely melted.
If you take a thirty mile drive from my house, you can see what the Oisans glacier cap has dwindled to since I first saw it some twenty five years ago. A trip to Chamonix will show you exactly the same thing.
Are we responsible for this, collectively, or not ?
What the fuck, Thai.. does it really matter ?
Is finger pointing what we get our rocks off on ?
(Finger pointing, alias... WANKING in my book is an all time favorite human activity that... religion at its best manages to keep a wrap on, but... no religion basically lets finger pointing get totally out of hand...)
So.... what are we going to do about it, IF we stop getting our rocks off on finger pointing long enough to do something about it ?
That's what I'M interested in, Thai.
And... this video is going to send a lot of dubious people into orbit.
That makes me.. mad, Thai.

Dink said...

Iceholes. So the actual problem wasn't exciting enough so this group conspires to add some drama. Then their bluff is called, but people think the whole thing was a bluff instead of just the drama. Sigh.

So we're flipping through channels yesterday and come across 60 Minutes (which I haven't seen since I lived with my parents over 20 years ago). The title is "The Cost Of Dying". It was a nice little summation of some stuff you've mentioned, Thai. An ICU doc brought up that extending life is not often merciful. David Walker (former GAO comptroller and fiscal rock star) brought up the point that not rationing will bankrupt the US and that every country that has healthcare acknowledges this. Another guy brought up the point that costs never would have gotten so high if individuals paid the costs instead of "someone else" (gov, insurance).

To tangent off this last comment, it really points out that energy (stolen or organic) is the lifeforce driving, um, "iterations" or "complexity". I get frothed up about overpopulation and environmental decline, but would I even exist without either? I want to say "Look, we have the internet/solar tech/medicine that I deem acceptable so we need to ramp down on the other stuff. We'll have the best of both worlds (by cheating!); sustainable population of druid commie organic farmers who happen to spend their evenings with solar powered tech (which will hopefully lead to a way in which we can live like Roman gods again but sustainably).

Yikes, what rambling. Monday...

Thai said...

re: "would I even exist without either?"

You can guess I would argue "not likely".

Dink said...

(Kind of funny..)

So my mind gets wandering about bacterial mutations; it takes a whole bunch to find one that happens to be uniquely fitted to fight an environmental stressor (i.e. antibiotic, scarcity, etc.). And how there are now 6B+ humans now with different personalities. So personalities are mutatations, really. You can group personalities by certain characteristics and certain political or geographic situations can be the growth medium.

And then I think, cripes, I almost said this out loud! Must remember to filter saloon-only topics when in public ;)

Debra said...

Geez, dinky I really HATE illness paradigms....

Thai said...

God I do love a good Hollywood flick! Just returned from The Blind Side with the kids. I highly recommend it- don't think I have cried that much in a movie in a long long time.

Debra said...

Hey, Thai, I like the looks of that link.
That lady.. COULD be me (I have housed a homeless person before for a few months...).
I'll go see that movie, and drag my kids, if it makes it to France...
Sometimes we only get the Hollywood crap, though.

The Most Fabulous Objects In The World

  • Hitchhiker's Guide To The Universe trilogy
  • Lord of the Rings trilogy
  • Flight of the Conchords
  • Time Bandits