01 July 2010

quick hits

Google's street level view zoom is marginally creepy.

Penalties are not enough

Seems kind of strange. Massachusetts does have a built-in restriction that you cannot purchase health insurance and use it immediately (unless the illness wasn't pre-existing), but even so, the fact that there are people gaming the insurance mandates and importantly the guaranteed issue question is not surprising. I still plan to do that when the mandate comes up into play (it is far easier to do so under the federal mandate than Massachusetts'). The fine will be cheaper than the mandated level of "insurance" (which I think of as pre-paid health care coverage rather than insurance).

"I have been advised by my physician that I must undergo a course of chemotherapy on my esophagus. This advice seems persuasive to me." - uh yea, a bit of an understatement there Hitch.

Well this is a good start. Closing a room to get paid to do nothing, and at least force people to work for their salaries. I'd rather be able to straight fire people for incompetence or abuses of authority, but you take what you can get from government reforms sometimes.

Meanwhile, the UK continues its march toward freedom. Thank you Nick Clegg. I've always wanted to start spelling programme the way it's meant to be as it is.

Oh yea, what was the name of that place anyway? No comment can be made really on this one. We're too busy watching oil spills in slow motion to watch a country unravel in slow motion.

In which I digress into discussing monetary policy as economic stimulus
The parallels between now and 1937-8 do seem to be mounting. I'm not liking that one bit.

Conform! No, we're all individuals! I suppose this is true to an extent. I do care what some people think of me. I'm ambiguous about who they are usually of course, but that's a different issue. They do not tend to be within a consensus mainstream about appropriate behavior. Or more precisely, appropriate opinions about appropriate behavior. That is: they put up with my wacky ideas by contemplating them themselves. Normal people, whose interest I have is much diminished, tend not to. Even if they apparently seek approval or interest from me, I do not give it.

More on the ability of institutions to sponsor conformity. I suspect indeed that one measure of appropriate behavior is partly what we do in private should be, as much as possible, measured against what we might do in public (although naturally there are some distinctions, like clothing, sexual habits, etc). In general our private opinions on things can be aired and expressed publicly, and that this process helps us to form new ones if they are found lacking or shameful. The downside risk of having a world where opinions can be disseminated in this way to hungry consumers of them seems to be that we have instead formed a community whereby private opinions are punished and that only approved and sanitized opinions are permitted in public. This leads to a lot of hypocrisy. Maybe that's what we want to hear instead of that people have, thoughts, as it were. And indeed, it may still be true that having unpleasant opinions toward a movement or persons in it might make it difficult to cover as a journalist within one's professional ethics. But it does seem silly that a person WOULD NOT have any private views or biases that desire expression, even in jest, in frustration, or as a matter of differing principles upon which they operate from others. Particularly given the wide dispersion of people who hold radical political views and the difficulty of covering them and their ideas (and their absurdities) fairly, even if only those on a right-wing sector of the country.
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