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(Seattle Times)   Remember a time when facts settled arguments? Those were the good old days, before the dark times ... before people became estranged from critical thinking, divorced from logic, alienated from even objective truth   (seattletimes.nwsource.com) divider line 691
    More: Sad, objective truth, Arlington National Cemetery, Mr. Thompson, Jim Crow, Harry Truman, editorial pages, Miami Herald, logic  
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32420 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 Feb 2010 at 9:35 AM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-02-23 12:49:13 PM  
kicksmile: Once the whole community of scientists has run the numbers and confirmed them to be true they are assumed to be facts for some reason. This is not the case.

Maybe they're assumed to be facts because they're confirmed as true? I don't think I understand what you're meaning.
 
2010-02-23 12:49:50 PM  
palestephie: drunkenmidnight: equilibrium: drunkenmidnight:
Funny you mention that. I was chatting with a friend of mine the other day over the new forms of energy we are finding. There is apparently (and I am no expert or even really educated on this subject) some sort of mineral or natural resource that the moon has an abundance on, and can be used in some form of energy fusion. She is going to school for some sort of astro physics or something to that effect. She paralleled this resource to the Spice in Dune. She said whoever controlled it would control the energy, and she doesn't like Obama cutting the space program funding because of this.
She is worried that China will beat the rest of the world to it, and then control the "Spice," so to speak.
I don't know that much about this resource, nor the logistics of mining on from the moon and bringing it down to Earth.

This is very interesting, but really now, [citation needed]. Do you think the moon is made up of new and crazy compounds? I mean, it seems that it should only be in abundance of naturally occurring elements... it wouldn't even have more complex molecules that result from organic life... Wiki says it's got a lot of magnesium.. which can be fairly explosive...??


I vaguely remember this material from the sun is deposited by solar winds on the moon Link

Over all though I think the cost outweighs the benefits.

Also the whole "good ol'days" is kinda like the grass is always greener on the other side mentality. They were never really like that.
 
2010-02-23 12:50:06 PM  
optional: Even before the printing press, there was inaccurate word-of-mouth.

There was, absolutely, but the problem today is that it's so much faster and easier to disseminate information that many people get the initial message and never any sort of discussion or rebuttal to it before the next news cycle.

Politics is a perfect example, despite what some people seem to be indicating in this thread. The Swift Boat scandal from the 2004 elections is a prime example of how this works and how it's being intentionally used to deceive and alter public views on political subjects; I doubt the majority of people even now know what the real truth of that entire story was rather than the false information that was put forth.

There are other examples outside of politics, like Richard Jewell's case, but in the grand scheme of things those problems are a bit of white noise. Politically, the use of deliberate misinformation with modern technology means that a sound bite is more important than the substance of what's being addressed... we're in a perpetual election state to the detriment of our entire society, and the inability to properly filter the information we get for facts erodes our ability to fix it.
 
2010-02-23 12:51:30 PM  
"The inferior man's reasons for hating knowledge are not hard to discern. He hates it because it is complex--because it puts an unbearable burden upon his meager capacity for taking in ideas. Thus his search is for shortcuts. Their aim is to make the unintelligible simple, and even obvious."

HL Menken
 
2010-02-23 12:52:23 PM  
tombotia: Want to convince me? Have Al Gore [and his ilk] forfeit all controlling assets in their respective exchanges and STILL continue on the message. They wouldn't in a million years.

You know how I can tell you're not actually interested in facts?

tombotia: I've seen graphs that say the opposite. So it's hard to know what is really happening I guess

You know how I can tell you're not really interested in facts?

Ctrl-Alt-Del: the top 11 warmest years on record have been in the past 13 years. This is a simple, well documented fact
tombotia: You can say "it's getting warmer" all you want, but when it's seasonally cooler from one year to the next that is NOT a trend.

You know how I can tell you're not really interested in facts?
 
2010-02-23 12:53:43 PM  
FTA - "To listen to talk radio, to watch TV pundits, to read a newspaper's online message board, is to realize that increasingly, we are a people estranged from critical thinking, divorced from logic, alienated from even objective truth. We admit no ideas that do not confirm us, hear no voices that do not echo us, sift out all information that does not validate what we wish to believe."

And this is news?

Oh... I forgot, this is FARK - land of the not news.

100 years ago - very scientific, factual scientists were spouting that it was a 'fact' that the atom could not be split.

The point is - be very careful what you call a 'fact.' Facts have a tricky way of changing, as time marches on.

/ insert 'the more you know' pic
 
2010-02-23 12:54:12 PM  
Really? I'm supposed to believe something from the OP ED page of a pinko commie rag out of Seattle?

/pay attention to your news sources, people!
 
2010-02-23 12:55:21 PM  
My mother's buried in Arlington Cemetery. There's a cross carved on her tombstone (administrative error). However, she was a dedicated atheist. She had no compunction about telling her toddler children that religion is "all lies", that there is no afterlife, and that churches are evil and corrupt organizations.

Unless I get around to going through the monumental amount of paperwork required to get Arlington to change her tombstone, her future descendants will probably believe that she was a pious woman.
 
2010-02-23 12:55:36 PM  
A Fark Handle: Emrick: I think the author's point is that 25 years ago people would have been embarrassed to accuse Arlington National Cemetery of lying. Today, not so much.

wait, that sounds too reasonable here. needs more sheeple, FOX News, or Kenyan birth certificate.

/teach the controversy.
//gravity is just a theory


Fifty-five years ago, (most) people would have been embarrassed to accuse the president or the Department of Defense of lying. Then came Vietnam and Watergate. Declining trust in government =! disbelief in all facts.

/No, of course the cemetery is not lying in this case.
 
2010-02-23 12:57:29 PM  
Ctrl-Alt-Del: Fluff Girl: They think it is possible for someone to be simultaneously a Nazi, a socialist, and and communist, since they've been told Obama is all three. They want the current president impeached, although they are a little fuzzy as to what "impeached" means.

meofcourse77: 3)Clinton was "impeached", which is done by the House of Rep. It is up to the Senate to "sentence" him, which in Clinton's case, was a slap on the wrist.

So, in response to criticism saying that "they" (i.e., YOU) don't really even understand what impeachment is, you respond with a condescending explanation of impeachment that is totally farking wrong?!

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

It is not the job of the Senate to punish- the only punishment is removal from office. The role of the Senate is to TRY him. In the case of Bill Clinton, the verdict was "Not Guilty"

Go back to listening to Limbaugh, he's on now


IE of facts being ignored. He was guilty of lying, fact.
 
2010-02-23 12:58:53 PM  
Not sure whether I would have liked to have been here for this thread or not. I definitely agree with the author's premise. People will tenaciously protect falsehood as a sacred 'opinion' and desperately deflect facts by calling any source of them biased. How one's bias changes whether 2+2=4 I'm yet to determine.

Welcome to 1984.

/and Obama's Amurrica, etc.
 
2010-02-23 01:00:43 PM  
This is a well-written article.
 
2010-02-23 01:01:04 PM  
Urinal Gum: Really? I'm supposed to believe something from the OP ED page of a pinko commie rag out of Seattle?

/pay attention to your news sources, people!


actually he's out of Miami. the rag I read carries his column.

/Yes its a pink liberal California rag.
 
2010-02-23 01:01:21 PM  
suggestive_eye_movement: Once you stray from click on Fark and to or any forum on the internets, you will find dozens of Ken Thompsons and no, they're not trolling.

Fix'd.
 
2010-02-23 01:01:24 PM  
RockIsDead: Start with 'facts' and immediately swing into conjecture.

Typical propagandist techniques.

Works reliably in the gullible though.


It isn't just propaganda. I mean, for what it's worth, it is just the formulation of things... if you're starting an argument, you start with fact, then move into the subjective area of how best to respond to those facts.
 
2010-02-23 01:01:32 PM  
webjam-upload.s3.amazonaws.com
 
2010-02-23 01:03:35 PM  
Urinal Gum: Really? I'm supposed to believe something from the OP ED page of a pinko commie rag out of Seattle?

/pay attention to your news sources, people!


wut?
 
2010-02-23 01:04:53 PM  
Where are all the stupid people from?
And how'd they get to be so dumb?
Bred on purple mountain range
Feed amber waves of grains
To lesser human beings, zero feelings


Add the Bill of Rights, subtract the wrongs
There's no answers
Memorize and sing star spangled songs
When the questions
Aren't ever asked
Is anybody learning from the past?
We're living in united stagnation


The story book's been read
And every line believed
Curriculum's been set
Logic is a threat
Reason searched and seized


The television's put a thought inside your head
Llike a Barry Manilow, jingle
I'd like, to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
A symphonic blank stare, yeah
It doesn't make you care (make you care)
Not designed to make you care (make you care)
They're betting you won't care (you won't...)

We are the whore
Intellectually spayed
We are the queer
Dysfunctionally raised

One more pill to kill the pain
One more pill to kill the pain
One more pill to kill the pain
Living through conformity

One more prayer to keep me safe
One more prayer to keep us warm
One more prayer to keep us safe
There's gonna be a better place

Lost the battle, lost the war
Lost the things worth living for
Lost the will to win the fight
One more pill to kill the pain


The going get tough, the tough get debt
Don't pay attention, pay the rent
Next of kins pay for your sins
A little faith should keep us safe

Save us
The human, existence
Is failing, resistance
Essential, the future
Written off, the odds are
Astronomically against us
Only moron and genius
Would fight a losing battle
Against the super ego
When giving in is so damn comforting

And so we go, on with our lives
We know the truth, but prefer lies
Lies are simple, simple is bliss
Why go against tradition when we can
Admit defeat, live in decline
Be the victim of our own design
The status quo, built on suspect
Why would anyone stick out their neck?

Fellow members
Club "We've Got Ours"
I'd like to introduce you to our host
He's got his, and I've got mine
Meet the decline

We are the queer
We are the whore
Ammunition
In the class war
We are worker
We love our queen
We sacrifice
We're soilent green

We are the queer
We are the whore
Ammunition
In the class war




Ok so I took out a few verses because it's an 18 minute song but the authors reference to our decline caused me to think of this song...great album/song..
 
2010-02-23 01:05:07 PM  
mrexcess: Dead-Guy
Sometimes, folks know more, and have access to more information than you do

There's a not-so-fine line between citing expert analysis and "argument to authority", and that separator is fact. Experts have more facts, and can thus theoretically build better informed, more detailed arguments. When they do that, we should listen and pay attention, although still be prepared to accept contradictory fact-based arguments from any source. When they don't, we should take their opinion with more or less the same grain of salt that we take the opinions of anyone else.

We have to be able to analyze the content of arguments better than we've been doing; media, politicians, and citizens all fall into the trap regularly of substituting unsupported statements by authorities with facts.

/pitts is insightful here, as usual


The problem is the assumption that facts tell every iundividual the complete story, and the SAME story, and that's not even nearly the case.

A professional in a specific field not only has the facts, he has a knowledge of how they intereact, and or how different things will affect them.

If you have a deadbody crushed under the tire of an undamaged car on the crosswalk of an intersection with no skid mark apparent. Someone "just walking onto the scene" will say "Hey look, that guy was hit and killed by a car while he tried to cross the road because the facts availible bear out that opinion. Eyewitnesses back that up."

However, a forensic investigator, with the same array of facts would say, "but with no other damage to the vehicle, the car must have been going slow, or the guy must have been laying there when it came along.. Possibly he was dead before it happened. It's difficult to stop ON a body without skidding on it, we have to look for more facts here. Eyewitness testimony is not reliable."

It's not a great example, because the basic physics of a car accident are easily discussed. However, when you're talking about subjects that are "deeper" into a field which requires proficient knowledge of an area, as given by proper schooling on the subject, the information is not readily understood by non-professionals. This is why there IS schooling for these things and why some folks are professionals in those fields, and some aren't.

The ability to put everything into layman terms is not always an easy task, and leads to people latching onto small things that are understood, and tend to take things out of context.

Hence again.. the reason for these people being professionals in the first place.
 
2010-02-23 01:05:58 PM  
img.photobucket.com

/oblig
//"You can tell that yelling louder makes you make more sense because the people who are arguing with you stop." -- Jeffrey Rowland
 
2010-02-23 01:07:25 PM  
Done in one with the proof after.
 
2010-02-23 01:09:05 PM  
syberpud: Giblet:
Go have a beer. Turn off Beck. Trust that your government has only the special interest groups in mind. Peaceful, isn't it?

Every time I hear someone rant about "special interest groups" I want to ask if they work for a corporation or union or have ever given money to a cause, religious group or charity. Because they all hire lobbyists. One man's cause is another man's "special interest".



Precisely. And as a result the government, which (arguably) used to work for the people, now works for those "causes" instead, prioritized by size of campaign contributions, biggest to smallest.

Can your "save the topsoil" group out-lobby Cargill? No way, and legislation reflects that funding disparity. Your topsoil washes away. So, it's just dirt.

Causes. Special interests. Semantics.

The end result is that we all pay taxes ONLY to serve the interests of oil, factory foods, chemical and pharmaceutical companies, uncompetitive unionized labor, and war. Look at where we spend our mounting debt and you can see exactly who controls what. Don't worry: you'll continue to get just enough scraps to keep you on the debt-serf roster.

That said, good luck with your cause. I'm sure it's worth every cent or renmimbi of deficit spending it represents.

I'll just sit here and burn a fat one, eating delicious organic pork and producing only enough to pay property taxes, while you 'cause' yourselves right out of existence.
 
2010-02-23 01:13:30 PM  
drunkenmidnight: equilibrium: drunkenmidnight: "He who controls the present controls the past, he who controls the past controls the future."

--George Orwell

"He who controls the spice, controls the universe."

--Baron Vladimir Harkonnen

Funny you mention that. I was chatting with a friend of mine the other day over the new forms of energy we are finding. There is apparently (and I am no expert or even really educated on this subject) some sort of mineral or natural resource that the moon has an abundance on, and can be used in some form of energy fusion.


Water?
 
2010-02-23 01:14:47 PM  
firefly212: Obviously, we should include risk aversion in the group of people who buy insurance... the question still exists though, do they actually reduce their risk, or are they just paying for a tool that ultimately still fails them if they actually encounter the risk? I mean of healthcare bankruptcies, more than 78% of people filing had health insurance. (new window)

The problem here is one of measurement I suppose, If I paid several thousand into a plan and then it paid of several tens of thousands of medical bills for me, did I lose? Even if in the end I went broke... did I lose?



I mean, if we're to believe that it's a no-win situation for the insurance companies, where enrollees are nearly certain to cost them money, it's hard to imagine that they would even have a tenable business model, and even harder to explain the fantastic profitability of health insurers.



in the case of individuals outside of large pools seeking insurance, yes it's very risky for the insurer. While antidotes are not data, I do know that the only people I have had complain to me about finding insurance were those that needed it.



Even if I take the word of a health insurer (new window) There have been only three years out of the last 20 in which wage inflation was greater than healthcare premium inflation, in each of those years, it was less than a 2% difference, yet in 12 of the last 20 years, healthcare premium inflation has exceeded wage inflation has been more than double that of wage inflation (fig 3). All this is despite the fact that they attribute nearly half of premium inflation to "general inflation" that is neither reflected in in wage inflation rates nor GDP changes reported by them (fig 4, ref fig 3, fig 2).


Why would premiums be tied to wage inflation and not to medical cost inflation?




Even if we move on and start to actually believe them, the insurer itself is making the point that nearly 15% of provider costs are just shifting from underpayments and the uninsured to those who do have insurance. I mean, it's a prima fascia case *for* universal coverage bringing down healthcare costs for users who are already paying."During a similar period, (from 2002 to 2007), the ranks of the uninsured swelled from 16.6 percent of the population to 18.3 percent of the population. Together, these factors shift non-reimbursed costs onto self-insured employers and private health insurance plans."


You assume that I am against universal health care, or mandatory insurance or single payer of any of the other good ideas being floated. I am not. My argument is that the purpose of insurance is not to LOWER costs, it is to SPREAD costs (risk).



Now let's take a look at the talking points compared with reality:

Big talking point: Defensive medicine is a huge driver of health insurance costs, doctors are so afraid of being sued that they're ordering every test known to man.

According to actual insurers:Intensive diagnostic testing and defensive medicine: Intensive diagnostic testing contributed only 0.2 percent to the increase in health care costs in 2007 as compared to 0.8 percent in 2005. This change is attributed to a slowdown in outpatient spending.

Big talking point: People are getting rich off of malpractice suits and bankrupting our system in the process, the doctors are spending a ton on malpractice insurance, they pass that cost on to your health insurance.

According to the actual insurers:Medical malpractice is not a major driver of spending trends. Premiums for liability coverage and defensive medicine contribute to health spending at any moment in time but are not considered a recent significant factor in the overall growth of health care spending.


That tells us is what is not driving costs...

Insurance itself isn't a big driver of costs either, they make around 3.3%. Now you may argue that that is too much, and I might agree with you, But if that margin has remained steady over time, which I believe it has, you can not claim that they are the only ones making things more expensive.

It's more than likely the medical professionals themselves, the equipment makers, and the big one... the drug companies.
 
2010-02-23 01:17:01 PM  
lol.i.trollyou.com
/hot
 
2010-02-23 01:17:10 PM  
FraggleStickCar: too bad he didn't have any facts to back up all that whining.

Which one?
 
2010-02-23 01:19:13 PM  
Ivan Dobski: facts are scary

/now, someone will use the word "truther" as an insult
//or to insinuate that pursuing truth is "crazy"
///the chocolate ration has been increased to 25 grams



The problem with Truther Theory is that after nine years and a mountain of circumstantial 'evidence', it doesn't have anyone in particular actually doing anything to the WTC on 911. That's a fact.
 
2010-02-23 01:21:19 PM  
Wulfman: Keep reading your link and others--he was under French command, which does not speak to the US Army permitting black troops in combat, even when they were trained for infantry or cavalry. When under US command, black troops were kept out of combat--used as laborers so they wouldn't have to be trusted with good weapons. That was the practice throughout WWI and WWII, with few exceptions.

The division was under French command, but the regiment's officers were as American as you and me.

The policy of keeping black troops out of combat certainly didn't apply during the Mexican Intervention, which immediately preceded our entry into WWI. I'm not aware of a well-sourced explanation for the AEF's policy, which may have been intended to mollify white draftees and volunteers at a time when racism was common throughout American society.

As for WWII, the 92nd Infantry Division and its two recipients of the Medal of Honor make for a pretty significant exception to that policy. They could have accomplished even more if their commanding general had been competent.
 
2010-02-23 01:22:13 PM  
GungFu Quote 2010-02-23 10:00:54 AM
Black people fought for America? That's hilarious!
Do people actually believe that?

Hell, blacks weren't even allowed on buses until Rosey Parker got on one and beat up a 67 bearded white man who asked her to shine his shoes, and to bring Amber Lamps.

Why would a black person ever fight for a country that called them the n word? Hitler didn't have no quarrel with them n word people either.


I think you're paraphrasing Muhammad Ali who said "No Viet Cong ever called me a n*****."
 
2010-02-23 01:23:41 PM  
TigerStar: Critically Evaluating the Logic and Validity of Information

http://academic.cuesta.edu/acasupp/as/403.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logic

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies


BTW I approve of your letterhead.

Just a comment on the list of fallacies. The list itself is a fallacy or is at least misleading.

For many of those "false arguments" you could probably come up with example of when it is appropriate to use that argument.

ad hominem: if you are arguing whether or not someone should be able to drive home and you tell them that they are drunk

appeal to probability: always handy when your buddy wants to play Russian roulette.

appeal to law: see above two examples.
 
2010-02-23 01:24:58 PM  
Facts? Objective reality? Truth?

You're FIRED ...
 
2010-02-23 01:25:39 PM  
jaytkay:
Some people are comforted when "news" fits their prejudices and assures them bigotry and ignorance are virtues.

Those people flock to AM radio and FOX.

The fact that you attribute the willful denial of reality to only conservative thinking makes YOU one of the perpetrators, you know... In point of fact, much of the justification of leftist thinking from decades ago was the first organized and doctrinaire ignorance in American history.

By way of example, While the ultimate bete noir of the left, Joseph McCarthy, used decidedly overbearing tactics, KGB documents captured when the USSR fell prove that he was actually correct -- the Soviet Union WAS using leftist media in the U.S. in their attempt to destabilize the U.S. The left supported "Uncle Joe" Stalin, despite the fact that it was known that he was executing tens of millions of his people. In fact, if you look at the press of the time, you will find that the leftist press has consistently grotesquely underestimated the plain nastiness of every communist and socialist dictatorship. Press estimates were that a few hundred would die at the hands of the North Vietnamese and their proxies when the U.S. abandoned the fight there. The total was closer to 25 million.

To move to the present, while is is stupid to claim that the earth isn't warming, as some have done, it is equally stupid to claim that this is not, historically, the coldest period on Earth in a very long time -- since animal life became prevalent, as a matter of fact. And, since the AGW models have consistently failed to predict even the broadest trends of climate, the pro-AGW leftists are, again, consistently ignoring reality, which is screaming at them that their basic premises are incorrect.

And, also, please note that it is almost always the left that goes back and alters the facts, and changes history and current data to back their case when actual history and data will not. From the Soviets airbrushing Trotsky out of historical pictures to attempting to remove evidence of the Medieval Warm Period, to stacking the peer review process in climatology, the practice continues.

But, by all means, keep spouting that only the right ever embraces unreality. The author of TFA appreciates your support. Perhaps he is lazy, rather than ignrant himself; he may have counted on people providing the evidence he failed to provide.
 
2010-02-23 01:26:37 PM  
Julie Cochrane Quote 2010-02-23 11:38:32 AM
Ayn Rand covered this issue in Atlas Shrugged in a scene where a train full of people died because the train went through a tunnel at a speed below spec, causing them to run out of O2.

Thomas Kuhn covered it in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions when he pointed out that with each major paradigm shift what had to happen was not just an accumulation of sufficient supporting evidence but also the old guard in the field dying off.

Just read some of what H.L. Mencken, Benjamin Franklin, and Mark Twain had to say about most people's thinking skills.

When the biblical scholars debated based on the scriptures how many teeth were in a horse's mouth, the man who suggested looking in and counting them was considered a heretic. I am not personally sure if that specific incident actually happened, but its social resonance illustrates that people were aware of the phenomenon at the time.

Socrates demonstrated concretely the hazards of critical thinking all the way back in ancient Greece.

There's a famous quote from way back about the decline of modern youth that gives examples such as their tendency to recklessly race chariots through the streets. That is not directly relevant to critical thinking or the acceptance of fact. It does, however, demonstrate that the perceptual biases from age have been around for a long time.

Ecclesiastes says, "There is nothing new under the Sun."

The editorial author's observation that "the good old days" were better is not evidence that "the good old days" were better. Just because he has "decades of experience" doesn't mean his observations are accurate rather than a product of nostalgia.

Let's apply some critical thinking. Nostalgia of this kind is a well-documented human bias. The existence of that bias does not prove the editorialist is wrong. It does demonstrate that his observations from personal experience are, in this case, not reliable as evidence.


The Socrates line is a reference to Sophistry? Critical thinking is dangerous when the person applying critical thinking uses those tools to distort or misrepresent the truth. It makes me think of the recent "Daily Show" episode with Newt Gingrich.
 
2010-02-23 01:26:57 PM  
AshHousewares18: FishingWithFredo: mrexcess: FishingWithFredo
They also want you to buy that adding millions of people as patients, with no proportionate increase in doctors and medical staff, AND cutting Medicare (you know, the patients many doctors don't want to take now because they don't reimburse them enough?) won't lead to rationed care.

Can you explain, in a fact-based manner, why "rationed care" doesn't also apply to our current health care system? It's not like health care is falling from the heavens now or anything, just that the ration cards we've distributed are dollars, so the ones going without are the poor.

Health care to an extent is rationed now. Fewer doctors want to deal with the ridiculous reimbursements of Medicare and Medicaid, so those folks with that have to go to the fewer doctors who will and wait in line.

So the solution is to make it that bad for everybody? To "transform" health care when eight out of 10 people say they like their care and their insurance?

If ever an issue called for incremental changes, to work on cost control and provide a better safety net, it's this one.

P.S. Guess what doctors say they'll do if ObamaCare becomes reality? Link

The irony is too sweet here.




Me providing facts and data and you providing nothing?

A Web site full of liberals acting smart and condescending while systematically ignoring inconvenient facts for partisan political reasons and supporting utterly illogical policy?

Irony for sure, but I don't find it too sweet.
 
2010-02-23 01:27:55 PM  
Sticky Hands: firefly212: Obviously, we should include risk aversion in the group of people who buy insurance... the question still exists though, do they actually reduce their risk, or are they just paying for a tool that ultimately still fails them if they actually encounter the risk? I mean of healthcare bankruptcies, more than 78% of people filing had health insurance. (new window)

The problem here is one of measurement I suppose, If I paid several thousand into a plan and then it paid of several tens of thousands of medical bills for me, did I lose? Even if in the end I went broke... did I lose?



I mean, if we're to believe that it's a no-win situation for the insurance companies, where enrollees are nearly certain to cost them money, it's hard to imagine that they would even have a tenable business model, and even harder to explain the fantastic profitability of health insurers.


in the case of individuals outside of large pools seeking insurance, yes it's very risky for the insurer. While antidotes are not data, I do know that the only people I have had complain to me about finding insurance were those that needed it.



Even if I take the word of a health insurer (new window) There have been only three years out of the last 20 in which wage inflation was greater than healthcare premium inflation, in each of those years, it was less than a 2% difference, yet in 12 of the last 20 years, healthcare premium inflation has exceeded wage inflation has been more than double that of wage inflation (fig 3). All this is despite the fact that they attribute nearly half of premium inflation to "general inflation" that is neither reflected in in wage inflation rates nor GDP changes reported by them (fig 4, ref fig 3, fig 2).

Why would premiums be tied to wage inflation and not to medical cost inflation?

Even if we move on and start to actually believe them, the insurer itself is making the point that nearly 15% of provider costs are just shifting from underpayments and the uninsured to those who do have insurance. I mean, it's a prima fascia case *for* universal coverage bringing down healthcare costs for users who are already paying."During a similar period, (from 2002 to 2007), the ranks of the uninsured swelled from 16.6 percent of the population to 18.3 percent of the population. Together, these factors shift non-reimbursed costs onto self-insured employers and private health insurance plans."

You assume that I am against universal health care, or mandatory insurance or single payer of any of the other good ideas being floated. I am not. My argument is that the purpose of insurance is not to LOWER costs, it is to SPREAD costs (risk).



Now let's take a look at the talking points compared with reality:

Big talking point: Defensive medicine is a huge driver of health insurance costs, doctors are so afraid of being sued that they're ordering every test known to man.

According to actual insurers:Intensive diagnostic testing and defensive medicine: Intensive diagnostic testing contributed only 0.2 percent to the increase in health care costs in 2007 as compared to 0.8 percent in 2005. This change is attributed to a slowdown in outpatient spending.

Big talking point: People are getting rich off of malpractice suits and bankrupting our system in the process, the doctors are spending a ton on malpractice insurance, they pass that cost on to your health insurance.

According to the actual insurers:Medical malpractice is not a major driver of spending trends. Premiums for liability coverage and defensive medicine contribute to health spending at any moment in time but are not considered a recent significant factor in the overall growth of health care spending.

That tells us is what is not driving costs...

Insurance itself isn't a big driver of costs either, they make around 3.3%. Now you may argue that that is too much, and I might agree with you, But if that margin has remained steady over time, which I believe it has, you can not claim that they are the only ones making things more expensive.

It's more than likely the medical ...


Needed it, or were looking for it? It seems to be a tautology that the only people who would complain about difficulty finding something would be people looking for it.

The jist of the math for the tie-ins (with wage inflation) is that premiums go up more than wages, subsequently there are more uninsured people, subsequent to that, more costs are shifted to the insured... subsequent to that, premiums go up.

We should also address the other side of the problem though, the strength of groups, aside from the risk mitigation sides, we punish the poor for being poor. My MS drugs cost my insurer about 400 dollars a month, when I was uninsured, the cheapest I could get them for was 1200 a month. I mean, for all of our flapjaw about efficiency and driving down costs, why is it that we are so exploitative of the poorest segment simply because they lack the money (or are just working several part time jobs and not a full time) to join a group? I mean, if we charged the poor a more fair rate for care, would their propensity to pay go up, would we still need to shift so much cost to the insured?

I'm not in love with their 3.3 number (that's why I didn't bring it into play) because they include executive bonuses and dividend payments as an administrative cost. I'm not gonna rag them too hard on that number, but it's kind of like the income number in a child support hearing, if we're to believe the parties involved, nobody is making any money anywhere and everyone is just barely scraping by.
 
2010-02-23 01:28:24 PM  
Dead-Guy: The problem is the assumption that facts tell every iundividual the complete story, and the SAME story, and that's not even nearly the case.

A professional in a specific field not only has the facts, he has a knowledge of how they intereact, and or how different things will affect them.

If you have a deadbody crushed under the tire of an undamaged car on the crosswalk of an intersection with no skid mark apparent. Someone "just walking onto the scene" will say "Hey look, that guy was hit and killed by a car while he tried to cross the road because the facts availible bear out that opinion. Eyewitnesses back that up."


That's an interesting example. In law school, I took a seminar on forensic evidence. One of the guest lecturers was a crime scene investigator, and he brought a slideshow with him. One of the slides showed a dead woman, lying in her yard, with her skirt pulled up over her head and her panties around her ankles. What, the lecturer asked, did we suppose had happened here? Everyone came to the same conclusion - that the woman had been raped and murdered (perhaps strangled, since there was no obvious trauma). A logical conclusion, the lecturer agreed, and one which the local authorities reached immediately, leading them to arrest a local sex offender with some connection to the dead woman and no good alibi.

Turns out, however, that the qualified investigators who examined the scene found no trace of strangulation or other evident cause of death. Furthermore, there was no semen or other evidence of sexual assault. Based on these inconsistencies, the medical examiners performed a much more thorough autopsy than would be typical, and discovered cerebral defects consistent with an undiagnosed seizure disorder. Other forensic evidence was re-examined in light of this new insight, and it was finally determined that the woman died of asphyxiation in the course of a severe seizure, and had actually partially removed her own clothing just before her death. The arrested man was released.
 
2010-02-23 01:29:02 PM  
mystarbucks.files.wordpress.com
 
2010-02-23 01:31:08 PM  
yourargumentisinvalid.com
 
2010-02-23 01:32:31 PM  
Hey we have a government telling us the way to fix high health care costs is to spend another trillion on it.....just for starters.

So much for logic and objective reality.
 
2010-02-23 01:34:26 PM  
FishingWithFredo: mrexcess: FishingWithFredo
They also want you to buy that adding millions of people as patients, with no proportionate increase in doctors and medical staff, AND cutting Medicare (you know, the patients many doctors don't want to take now because they don't reimburse them enough?) won't lead to rationed care.

Can you explain, in a fact-based manner, why "rationed care" doesn't also apply to our current health care system? It's not like health care is falling from the heavens now or anything, just that the ration cards we've distributed are dollars, so the ones going without are the poor.

Health care to an extent is rationed now. Fewer doctors want to deal with the ridiculous reimbursements of Medicare and Medicaid, so those folks with that have to go to the fewer doctors who will and wait in line.

So the solution is to make it that bad for everybody? To "transform" health care when eight out of 10 people say they like their care and their insurance?

If ever an issue called for incremental changes, to work on cost control and provide a better safety net, it's this one.

P.S. Guess what doctors say they'll do if ObamaCare becomes reality? Link


If that's a random sample (the IBD/Tipp poll), then I'm a manatee with thumbs. I'm thinking it's a random sample of IBD subscribers who are physicians or people on their mailing list.
 
2010-02-23 01:36:46 PM  
Karma Curmudgeon: Croix de guerre? Moar liek Croix de Ni-guerre, amirite?!

/hey look! A basket! I wonder where it's going.


Getting a medal from the French, what does that take? Not dropping your rifle and shiatting your pants when a mouse farts?
 
2010-02-23 01:37:42 PM  
I believe in facts. But the guy in the article who rejected the claims made by Arlington National Cemetary was right. ANC is part of the liberal Washington elite establishment, and therefore not to be trusted. All the other sources he cites are equally biased: sources like some "Dictionary of American Negro Biography," a source with an obvious agenda just from its title.

Why should anyone trust these as reliable sources? Has any source which is actually credible ever recounted the Henry Johson story? Answer: no. Conclusion: it is made up liberal claptrap to justify a far left, PC agenda.
 
2010-02-23 01:37:49 PM  
500+ posts, several mentions of "talking heads" and still no David Byrne love? For shame, Fark. Crosseyed and painless indeed...

www.designbrooklyn.com

Lost my shape, trying to act casual
Can't stop, I might end up in the hospital
I'm changing my shape, I feel like an accident
They're back to explain their experience
Isn't it weird, sounds too absurd to me
Wasting away and that was their policy
I'm ready to leave, I push the fact in front of me
Facts lost, facts are never what they seem to be
Nothing there, no information left of any kind
I'm lifting my head, looking for danger signs
There was a line, there was a formula
Sharp as a knife, facts cut a hole in us
There was a line, there was a formula
Sharp as a knife, facts cut a hole in us

I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting
The feeling returns whenever we close out eyes
Lifting my head, looking around inside
The island of doubt, it's like the taste of medicine
Working by hindsight, got the message from the oxygen
I'm making a list, find the cost of opportunity
Doing it right (Right), right, facts are useless in emergencies
The feeling returns, whenever we close our eyes
Lifting my head, looking around inside
Facts are simple and facts are straight
Facts are lazy and facts are late
Facts all come with points of view
Facts don't do what I want them to
Facts just twist the truth around
Facts are living turned inside out
Facts are getting the best of them

I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting
I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting
I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting
I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting, (Thank you) I'm still waiting, (We like to thank our crew) I'm still waiting
 
2010-02-23 01:38:07 PM  
Fluff Girl: I may be myopic here, but I blame talk radio and Fox News. There are no consequences for lying outright any more. And some wharrgarbl spouted by Rush Limbaugh in the morning is plastered all over facebook and free republic in the afternoon, parroted by people who smugly present the "facts" that support their worldview.

They think it is possible for someone to be simultaneously a Nazi, a socialist, and and communist, since they've been told Obama is all three. They want the current president impeached, although they are a little fuzzy as to what "impeached" means. But they know if it would somehow remove the Nazi, socialist, communist negro, they are all for it. They have turned into lolcats, and the talking heads are getting rich by ginning up the fear and loathing.

I don't begrudge the free speech issue, but we should at least be able to identify bullshiat for what it is. And that distinction is slipping away.


Very true. I remember some years back there was a Simpsons episode where the family was watching a cheesy action movie. The hero was under attack by "Commie-Nazi's." The implicit joke was "Aren't people silly and ignorant, because we merged two radically different sets of bad guys yet no one notices."
That was then. Today the frothing Obama haters have made themselves a living Simpsons joke.

/Life imitating Art, I suppose...
 
2010-02-23 01:38:35 PM  
cchris_39: Hey we have a government telling us the way to fix high health care costs is to spend another trillion on it.....just for starters.

So much for logic and objective reality.


Dont forget the message that if you are in debt the best thing to do is get more debt, and thats from a Harvard grad. even so it must be true.
 
2010-02-23 01:41:07 PM  
Ctrl-Alt-Del: Fluff Girl: They think it is possible for someone to be simultaneously a Nazi, a socialist, and and communist, since they've been told Obama is all three. They want the current president impeached, although they are a little fuzzy as to what "impeached" means.

meofcourse77: 3)Clinton was "impeached", which is done by the House of Rep. It is up to the Senate to "sentence" him, which in Clinton's case, was a slap on the wrist.

So, in response to criticism saying that "they" (i.e., YOU) don't really even understand what impeachment is, you respond with a condescending explanation of impeachment that is totally farking wrong?!

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

It is not the job of the Senate to punish- the only punishment is removal from office. The role of the Senate is to TRY him. In the case of Bill Clinton, the verdict was "Not Guilty"

Go back to listening to Limbaugh, he's on now


Sooo, they "try" him and if found guilty...punish him by removal from office...or "sentence" him...you stand corrected.

And I have a job, so I don't listen to Limbaugh all that much.
 
2010-02-23 01:43:46 PM  
FishingWithFredo: P.S. Guess what doctors say they'll do if ObamaCare becomes reality? Link

P.P.S. I remember the name Investor's Business Daily from the time they claimed Stephen Hawking would be dead under the care of a system like the NHS. You will need a better source.
 
2010-02-23 01:45:02 PM  
FishingWithFredo: mrexcess: FishingWithFredo
They also want you to buy that adding millions of people as patients, with no proportionate increase in doctors and medical staff, AND cutting Medicare (you know, the patients many doctors don't want to take now because they don't reimburse them enough?) won't lead to rationed care.

Can you explain, in a fact-based manner, why "rationed care" doesn't also apply to our current health care system? It's not like health care is falling from the heavens now or anything, just that the ration cards we've distributed are dollars, so the ones going without are the poor.

Health care to an extent is rationed now. Fewer doctors want to deal with the ridiculous reimbursements of Medicare and Medicaid, so those folks with that have to go to the fewer doctors who will and wait in line.

So the solution is to make it that bad for everybody? To "transform" health care when eight out of 10 people say they like their care and their insurance?

If ever an issue called for incremental changes, to work on cost control and provide a better safety net, it's this one.

P.S. Guess what doctors say they'll do if ObamaCare becomes reality? Link


I'd call their bluff which is all it is. Only an idiot would not see it as a bluff.
 
2010-02-23 01:46:03 PM  
firefly212: Needed it, or were looking for it? It seems to be a tautology that the only people who would complain about difficulty finding something would be people looking for it.

The jist of the math for the tie-ins (with wage inflation) is that premiums go up more than wages, subsequently there are more uninsured people, subsequent to that, more costs are shifted to the insured... subsequent to that, premiums go up.


And how would the insurers be able to do anything at all about that? They be out of business in a year if they even tried. People losing insurance isn't the big driver, it's the providers charging more. The end cost is rising.

If my product is A and the cost of A goes up 5% I either have to raise my prices by 5% or reduce profit. But if my profit is only 4% then what can I do? I have to raise prices.



We should also address the other side of the problem though, the strength of groups, aside from the risk mitigation sides, we punish the poor for being poor. My MS drugs cost my insurer about 400 dollars a month, when I was uninsured, the cheapest I could get them for was 1200 a month. I mean, for all of our flapjaw about efficiency and driving down costs, why is it that we are so exploitative of the poorest segment simply because they lack the money (or are just working several part time jobs and not a full time) to join a group? I mean, if we charged the poor a more fair rate for care, would their propensity to pay go up, would we still need to shift so much cost to the insured?


I agree with you here, but this is the providers doing this not the insurance companies. And as for driving down costs... well until a medical Wal*Mart gets involved, I don't expect we will see much driving down of costs.



I'm not in love with their 3.3 number (that's why I didn't bring it into play) because they include executive bonuses and dividend payments as an administrative cost. I'm not gonna rag them too hard on that number, but it's kind of like the income number in a child support hearing, if we're to believe the parties involved, nobody is making any money anywhere and everyone is just barely scraping by.

Yeah, I wanted to include the executive pay number but I could find an industry wide figure, also it would be hard to quantify how much it contributes to costs since they likely pay the majority of it in stock and options.

Dividends are paid from profits. So those would have no effect on that number.
 
2010-02-23 01:46:48 PM  
jehovahs witness protection: My cat doesn't believe in Dog.

kitteh may be in for a rude awakening
www.future-of-vaccination.co.uk
 
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