Author Topic: Episode #647  (Read 5120 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online daniel1948

  • Happy Man in a Boat
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 9580
  • I'd rather be paddling
Re: Episode #647
« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2017, 09:19:02 AM »
... The government needs to be defeated, removed, improved, whatever, to put in place government regulations that serve the people rather than the corporations.

Governments have never served the people. We've had Democrats in power and we've had Republicans in power and now we have a baboon in power, and none of them have ever served the people. A government that serves the people is an excellent utopian dream. I hope you can achieve it. My sights are much lower: A government not made up of delusional psychopaths.
Daniel
----------------
"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline Mr. Beagle

  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 4496
    • When God Plays DIce
Re: Episode #647
« Reply #31 on: December 05, 2017, 09:29:33 AM »
The pharm rep dilemma is similar to the selling model that exists in academic publishing, although that business is changing. Sales reps (who often go back and forth to pharm because the sales model is so similar) develop relationships with professors and administrators who control large adoptions of, say, Principles of Economics at a large community college. This can be 1000 books every year, and $200 per book is probably on the low end these days.

There are various rules in place in the colleges and universities, but lunch is usually okay, as is the solicitation of a paid review as the book goes into revision. On the positive side, good reviews lead to better, more student-focused products. On the bad side, the reviews are tossed in the trash, but the prof gets a mention in the preface of the book for his "contribution." On one accounting series I managed, there were at least one-hundred "contributors" with every edition.

I accompanied a sales rep once to have lunch with his biggest customer, a good-old-boy loyal administrator in East Texas who controlled multiple disicplines. The rep told him to take us to his favorite place in town, which in other places would have been a very expensive tab. This guy took us to a hole-in-the-wall Chinese place and I paid $15 for the three of us for their daily special. And it wasn't half-bad, and we got very useful feedback in return.

Likewise, the pharm rep is both trying to get real feedback on efficacy of their drugs, and at the same time soliciting some customer loyalty to ensure steady sales.

Mister Beagle
The real world is tri-color
now blogging at http://godplaysdice.com

Offline Fast Eddie B

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 3364
Re: Episode #647
« Reply #32 on: December 05, 2017, 09:32:37 AM »

Since there is water everywhere, if you dig deep enough, I'd say, no, the dowser is not doing anything "subconsciously" to "find" water. Other than standing on the surface of the Earth. And I think it highly unlikely that "roads and terrain" provide any useful indications of where water will be found. Except, of course, that they, too, are on the surface of the Earth, and therefore have water underneath them.

One could, of course, make the far funnier suggestion that dowsing does not work, but the dowser is telepathic and the ideomotor effect is responding to the telepathic abilities that he was not aware of. ;D

I watched somebody dowse for the location of a septic tank. He used pliers. He was successful. He had me take the pliers to "feel" the pull of the tank - I couldn't.

I mentioned The Randi Challenge and the $1,000,000 if he could demonstrate his ability under controlled circumstances. Doubt he ever did.

Anyway, my working theory is that dowsers use subconscious knowledge which manifests itself through the idiomotor effect. In my case, logic to determine where a septic tank would make sense, plus maybe subtle clues from vegetation, lay of the land, etc.

But nothing involving woo or some hidden "pull" on the "dowsing rods".


Offline Mr. Beagle

  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 4496
    • When God Plays DIce
Re: Episode #647
« Reply #33 on: December 05, 2017, 09:34:20 AM »
... The government needs to be defeated, removed, improved, whatever, to put in place government regulations that serve the people rather than the corporations.

Governments have never served the people. We've had Democrats in power and we've had Republicans in power and now we have a baboon in power, and none of them have ever served the people. A government that serves the people is an excellent utopian dream. I hope you can achieve it. My sights are much lower: A government not made up of delusional psychopaths.

I see the blame mainly in the majority of the American populace itself, that is so suspicious of government that it can't competently manage itself. I was so frustrated in trying to get local politicians in my small Iowa town to take a look at similar-sized towns that were doing well, and try to emulate their best practices. But this meant raising some taxes for things like better schools, removing and rehabbing run-down properties, cleaning up the downtown, etc. They can't make that leap.
Mister Beagle
The real world is tri-color
now blogging at http://godplaysdice.com

Offline 2397

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 3105
Re: Episode #647
« Reply #34 on: December 05, 2017, 11:25:21 AM »
The SGU guys really went off the rails on their one-sided diatribe regarding net neutrality.  For a more nuanced look at the situation, I suggest this:

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-11-21/the-internet-had-already-lost-its-neutrality

"....our experience of the internet is increasingly controlled by a handful of firms, most especially Google and Facebook.  The argument for regulating these companies as public utilities is arguably at least as strong as the argument for thus regulating ISPs, and very possibly much stronger; while cable monopolies may have local dominance, none of them has the ability that Google and Facebook have to unilaterally shape what Americans see, hear, and read."

"The fact that these firms were able to cement their power at the moment when regulators were most focused on keeping the internet open tells you just how difficult it is to get that sort of regulation right; while you are looking hard at one danger, an equally large one may be creeping up just outside the range of your peripheral vision."

I wouldn't be opposed to going all out and banning commercial advertisements by law.

I can see alternatives to make up for what benefits they give society.

Online Swagomatic

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 2755
Re: Episode #647
« Reply #35 on: December 05, 2017, 12:39:18 PM »
I never even remotely thought I’d ever find myself defending dowsing, but...

Might the ideomotor effect unleash what would otherwise be subconscious abilities of the dowser to find water?

In other words, they may possess the ability to “read” terrain and roads for the likely location of underground water and/or pipes but be unable to consciously access said ability.

Maybe?

I live out in the desert NW of Phoenix, in a pretty rural area.  I am on a well, but some of my neighbors, closer to the main road, are served by a private water company.  They have a guy who dowses for leaks in their water lines.  I see him out there occasionally with his y-shaped dowsing rod.  I kind of want to stop and quiz the guy about it, but I just haven't wanted to get into a weird convo with some crazy dude.  Anyway, I think I could go out there and get pretty close to where the leak is, just by seeing where the water is showing up, etc.
Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.
---George Bernard Shaw

Online daniel1948

  • Happy Man in a Boat
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 9580
  • I'd rather be paddling
Re: Episode #647
« Reply #36 on: December 05, 2017, 01:24:30 PM »

Since there is water everywhere, if you dig deep enough, I'd say, no, the dowser is not doing anything "subconsciously" to "find" water. Other than standing on the surface of the Earth. And I think it highly unlikely that "roads and terrain" provide any useful indications of where water will be found. Except, of course, that they, too, are on the surface of the Earth, and therefore have water underneath them.

One could, of course, make the far funnier suggestion that dowsing does not work, but the dowser is telepathic and the ideomotor effect is responding to the telepathic abilities that he was not aware of. ;D

I watched somebody dowse for the location of a septic tank. He used pliers. He was successful. He had me take the pliers to "feel" the pull of the tank - I couldn't.

I mentioned The Randi Challenge and the $1,000,000 if he could demonstrate his ability under controlled circumstances. Doubt he ever did.

Anyway, my working theory is that dowsers use subconscious knowledge which manifests itself through the idiomotor effect. In my case, logic to determine where a septic tank would make sense, plus maybe subtle clues from vegetation, lay of the land, etc.

But nothing involving woo or some hidden "pull" on the "dowsing rods".

Don't discount the possibility of fraud: He looked at the plans before going out. The lesson that Randi and other stage magicians taught us is that scientists are often too gullible, taking the woo-peddlers at their word. Magicians look for the misdirection, the lies, because they use lies and misdirection in their work, and woo-peddlers often use the tools of the stage magician. Randi even called his book "An Honest Liar."

Sometimes there are natural explanations for something someone misunderstood or lacked the knowledge to analyze correctly. Sometimes it's just out-and-out lies and fraud.
Daniel
----------------
"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline The Latinist

  • Cyber Greasemonkey
  • Technical Administrator
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *****
  • Posts: 8207
Re: Episode #647
« Reply #37 on: December 05, 2017, 02:01:52 PM »
There is often a single likely location for a septic tank in relation to a house, and someone experienced at installing septic tanks is very likely to be able to guess it in one go: they simply dig where they'd put the tank.

In my hometown, the local excavator would dowse for locations for a dug well.  He uses a freshly-cut y-shaped stick (apple worked best, he claimed).  He witched for my parents' well before he dug it, and (surprise!) found water.  Of course, the location he placed the well was perennially wet from water seeping out of the ground, so that might have helped....
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline Sawyer

  • Well Established
  • *****
  • Posts: 1585
Re: Episode #647
« Reply #38 on: December 05, 2017, 02:09:47 PM »
The SGU guys really went off the rails on their one-sided diatribe regarding net neutrality.  For a more nuanced look at the situation, I suggest this:

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-11-21/the-internet-had-already-lost-its-neutrality

"....our experience of the internet is increasingly controlled by a handful of firms, most especially Google and Facebook.  The argument for regulating these companies as public utilities is arguably at least as strong as the argument for thus regulating ISPs, and very possibly much stronger; while cable monopolies may have local dominance, none of them has the ability that Google and Facebook have to unilaterally shape what Americans see, hear, and read."

"The fact that these firms were able to cement their power at the moment when regulators were most focused on keeping the internet open tells you just how difficult it is to get that sort of regulation right; while you are looking hard at one danger, an equally large one may be creeping up just outside the range of your peripheral vision."

The central thesis here is that not just ISPs themselves, but social media and search engines now constitute a public good, and are therefore subject to government regulation.  This idea has been tossed around a lot over the past few years, and it's not really refutation of the concept of Net Neutrality.  You can take the free-market fundamentalist position that unregulated ISPs will magically give consumers a workable set of choices, or you can argue for a broader definition of who merits regulation, but you can't take both positions at the same time.  I don't think Ajit Pai is exactly gunning for that second interpretation*.

*Although I'll concede many in the Trump cabinet would jump at an opportunity to regulate Google and any other tech giant with liberal political leanings.

Offline Jeremy's Sea

  • Kintsukuroi, baby.
  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 4951
  • 667 - Neighbor of the beast.
Re: Episode #647
« Reply #39 on: December 05, 2017, 04:23:15 PM »
Quote
According to the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, pharmaceutical companies spent $900 million on lobbying between 1998 and 2005, more than any other industry.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharmaceutical_lobby
This does nothing to support your claim that doctors make significant income from pharmaceuticals. The companies spend a lot of money on advertising, marketing, political lobbying, and "education," but it doesn't seem like much of that goes into the pockets of doctors. And the reality is, as much as we may hate it sometimes, marketing really is education. If you have an effective drug how in the hell is a small town doctor going to know about it? Even hear about it? I know the slippery slope and how this gets abused, but you're just flaunting your distrust and looking for a target with vague and sinister seeming facts and figures, again.
Knowledge is power. France is bacon.

Offline Sawyer

  • Well Established
  • *****
  • Posts: 1585
Re: Episode #647
« Reply #40 on: December 05, 2017, 04:49:42 PM »
Quote
According to the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, pharmaceutical companies spent $900 million on lobbying between 1998 and 2005, more than any other industry.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharmaceutical_lobby
This does nothing to support your claim that doctors make significant income from pharmaceuticals. The companies spend a lot of money on advertising, marketing, political lobbying, and "education," but it doesn't seem like much of that goes into the pockets of doctors. And the reality is, as much as we may hate it sometimes, marketing really is education. If you have an effective drug how in the hell is a small town doctor going to know about it? Even hear about it? I know the slippery slope and how this gets abused, but you're just flaunting your distrust and looking for a target with vague and sinister seeming facts and figures, again.

I think research has shown that the net impact of letting drug reps give regular talks to doctors does not lead to consistent improvements in the health and happiness of patients.  The onus is on hospitals and medical schools to set up continuing education initiatives and independent research reviewers to inform doctors of new and effective products.

I point this out not to feed Moa's absurd narrative about doctors being whores for pharma, but to acknowledge that the world of mainstream medicine knows exactly what can be done to improve science-based standards.  They just need public pressure and political support to do so.  The mere fact we know about unsuccessful drugs and treatments from the past is because of the huge numbers of doctors and scientists that acknowledge when they don't work.  There is not even a hypothetical framework for these kinds of improvements in the world of naturopathic medicine.  Using flaws in naturopathy as a launchpad to whine about conventional medicine is absurd  because neither the causes nor solutions to these issues are remotely the same.  I will continue my default strategy of ridicule every time the two are conflated on a skeptical forum.

Offline Harry Black

  • International Man of Mystery
  • Global Moderator
  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • *****
  • Posts: 16977
Re: Episode #647
« Reply #41 on: December 05, 2017, 06:38:19 PM »

Since there is water everywhere, if you dig deep enough, I'd say, no, the dowser is not doing anything "subconsciously" to "find" water. Other than standing on the surface of the Earth. And I think it highly unlikely that "roads and terrain" provide any useful indications of where water will be found. Except, of course, that they, too, are on the surface of the Earth, and therefore have water underneath them.

One could, of course, make the far funnier suggestion that dowsing does not work, but the dowser is telepathic and the ideomotor effect is responding to the telepathic abilities that he was not aware of. ;D

I watched somebody dowse for the location of a septic tank. He used pliers. He was successful. He had me take the pliers to "feel" the pull of the tank - I couldn't.

I mentioned The Randi Challenge and the $1,000,000 if he could demonstrate his ability under controlled circumstances. Doubt he ever did.

Anyway, my working theory is that dowsers use subconscious knowledge which manifests itself through the idiomotor effect. In my case, logic to determine where a septic tank would make sense, plus maybe subtle clues from vegetation, lay of the land, etc.

But nothing involving woo or some hidden "pull" on the "dowsing rods".
Richard Saunders has offered a prize to dowsers in Oz (where its big apparently) for years. Not one has ever claimed it. When he came to Dublin Skeptics in the Pub he did a fantastic double blind test to show how it fools us into thinking we can actually sense water.
So yeah. Its absolute bunk unfortunately.


As for pharma/physician relations- It also depends what country you are in and what the regulations are. The industry exerts the influence it can, where it can but its not a fulltime living for many doctors here it seems.
Sure, they might be more likely to prescribe a drug or a brand of drug if they get free stationary (I believe thats been proven?) but to use that as a wedge to justify ones preferred cranks or lifestyle is either dishonest or moronic.

Offline Jeremy's Sea

  • Kintsukuroi, baby.
  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 4951
  • 667 - Neighbor of the beast.
Re: Episode #647
« Reply #42 on: December 05, 2017, 07:03:24 PM »
I think research has shown that the net impact of letting drug reps give regular talks to doctors does not lead to consistent improvements in the health and happiness of patients.  The onus is on hospitals and medical schools to set up continuing education initiatives and independent research reviewers to inform doctors of new and effective products.
Sure, I'd be open to that. Maybe giving talks to doctors doesn't translate the same way, but if there was literally no marketing how would we learn about any products? I was merely trying to point out that engaging in marketing isn't a sign of evil. Of course as aggressive as US pharma marketing can be it does often seem evil.
Knowledge is power. France is bacon.

Offline Isranner

  • Off to a Start
  • *
  • Posts: 43
Re: Episode #647
« Reply #43 on: December 05, 2017, 11:40:55 PM »
... The government needs to be defeated, removed, improved, whatever, to put in place government regulations that serve the people rather than the corporations.

Governments have never served the people. We've had Democrats in power and we've had Republicans in power and now we have a baboon in power, and none of them have ever served the people. A government that serves the people is an excellent utopian dream. I hope you can achieve it. My sights are much lower: A government not made up of delusional psychopaths.

«When I am discussing the State with my colleagues at Duke, it's not long before I realize that, for them, almost without exception, the State is a unicorn. I come from the Public Choice tradition, which tends to emphasize consequentialist arguments more than natural rights, and so the distinction is particularly important for me. My friends generally dislike politicians, find democracy messy and distasteful, and object to the brutality and coercive excesses of foreign wars, the war on drugs, and the spying of the NSA.

But their solution is, without exception, to expand the power of "the State." That seems literally insane to me—a non sequitur of such monstrous proportions that I had trouble taking it seriously.

Then I realized that they want a kind of unicorn, a State that has the properties, motivations, knowledge, and abilities that they can imagine for it. When I finally realized that we were talking past each other, I felt kind of dumb. Because essentially this very realization—that people who favor expansion of government imagine a State different from the one possible in the physical world—has been a core part of the argument made by classical liberals for at least 300 years.

[…]
In debates, I have found that it is useful to describe this problem as the "unicorn problem," precisely because it exposes a fatal weakness in the argument for statism. If you want to advocate the use of unicorns as motors for public transit, it is important that unicorns actually exist, rather than only existing in your imagination. People immediately understand why relying on imaginary creatures would be a problem in practical mass transit.

But they may not immediately see why "the State" that they can imagine is a unicorn. So, to help them, I propose what I (immodestly) call "the Munger test." 

1. Go ahead, make your argument for what you want the State to do, and what you want the State to be in charge of.
2. Then, go back and look at your statement. Everywhere you said "the State," delete that phrase and replace it with "politicians I actually know, running in electoral systems with voters and interest groups that actually exist."
3. If you still believe your statement, then we have something to talk about.

[…]
In my experience, we spend too much time fighting with our opponents about their unicorns. That is, we claim that the unicorn/State itself is evil, and cannot be tamed in a way that's consistent with liberty. The very mental existence of the unicorn is the target of our arguments.

The problem, of course, is that the unicorn they imagine is wise, benevolent, and omnipotent. To tell them that their imaginations are wrong is useless. So long as we insist that our opponents are mistaken about the properties of "the State"—which doesn't exist in the first place, at least not in the way that statists imagine—then we will lose the attention of many sympathetic people who are primarily interested in consequences.

To paraphrase Hayek, then, the curious task of the liberty movement is to persuade citizens that our opponents are the idealistic ones, because they believe in unicorns. They understand very little about the State that they imagine they can design.»


— Michael Munger. "Unicorn Governance." Foundation for Economic Education (August 11, 2014)
https://fee.org/articles/unicorn-governance

• Thomas E Woods Jr. "Four Things the State is Not." Mises University lecture, Mises Institute (Auburn AL, July 24, 2014) [60 min]
https://mises.org/library/four-things-state-not

«Yeah… sooner or later the people in this country gotta realize the government does not give a fuck about them. The government doesn’t care about you, or your children, or your rights, or your welfare, or your safety, it certainly doesn’t give a fuck about you. It’s interested in its own power, that’s the only thing, keeping it and expanding it wherever possible.»

— George Carlin. "It's Bad for Ya." HBO Special (Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, Santa Rosa CA; March 1, 2008)
http://scrapsfromtheloft.com/2016/11/10/george-carlin-its-bad-for-ya
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It's_Bad_for_Ya

PS: "Compared to what?" When assessing the effect of government policies and regulatory framework, what do you use as control group? A previous situation? Perhaps a different set of policies and regulations in place in some other country?
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 12:37:46 AM by Isranner »

Online daniel1948

  • Happy Man in a Boat
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 9580
  • I'd rather be paddling
Re: Episode #647
« Reply #44 on: December 06, 2017, 09:06:35 AM »
«When I am discussing the State [...snip...]

Government actually does some things very well. And it does some other things less well, but still better than having no government. Politicians act in their own interest, and the interest of their owners. They don't give a fuck about us, but sometimes, on some issues, they can be persuaded to do something that benefits us.

Where I live, government sees to it that the garbage is collected, snow is cleared from the roads, air traffic is managed in a way that makes commercial flying the safest mode of transportation, and prescription drugs contain the ingredients listed on the label, in the dosages listed, and have passed rigorous testing for safety and efficacy. Government has completely failed to provide medical care for the working poor, or to regulate the fake medicines of the "naturopaths" and other health scammers, and it squanders half its budget waging wars that in the end make us less secure than we would have been otherwise.

Government that truly acts in the interest of the people is indeed a unicorn. But government that provides certain services and acts to limit some of the worst excesses of business is a real thing. And since realistically we're never going to get rid of government entirely, we must continually apply pressure for it to move in the right direction. Or to slow its slide in the wrong direction. As a pessimist I see us going to hell in a hand basket, but if we stop trying we'll get there sooner.
Daniel
----------------
"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck