Wednesday, January 01, 2014

What I learned in 2013

The medical industry is more hopelessly screwed up than I thought. The providers do not treat the patient as the customer, and do not give a price schedule or any reasonable expectation of costs. I wonder why anyone pays medical bills, considering that Pres. Obama says that health care is a right, and the patient has not agreed to the fees.

I learned more things that we cannot say, as Paula Deen and others got ostracized for trivial comments. But apparently the Duck Dynasty guys can still say that they prefer to be heterosexual.

Moral philosophy is in a sorry state. I have listened to the leading experts, and I think that 10yo kids have more common sense. Wittgenstein was right about much of philosophy being worthless.

There are some limits to the trend towards pathologizing male behavior -- Asperger syndrome was dropped from the DSM-5.

Modern civilization was made possible by technology, and also advances in science, politics, religion, etc. A book on the invention of Europe tells how family structures and ideologies have played a big part.

The invention of bitcoin, explained here, has proved that non-governmental cryptographic currency is possible.

Southern California has become the world center for sperm donors, egg donors, gestational carriers, test-tube babies, and doctored birth certificates. The brave new world birthing technologies are illegal in most of the world and most American states, but legal in California. In particular, gays can marry and contract to be the legal parents of test-tube babies.

There is a growing atheist movement, but it is hopelessly intertwined with leftist politics and unscientific views like saying humans have no free will. They hate religion but seem mostly concerned with harmless symbolic expressions. There are atheist conferences, but if you google what is discussed, you may find that you would not want anything to do with those on either side of the argument.

Ed Snowden has revealed much more about NSA spying that anyone thought possible, and people do not seem to care much because the spying by others is much more threatening.

A lot of smart people seem to misunderstand concepts like infinity, counterfactuals, randomness, time, and probability. I thought that these were concepts that children understand.

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