Friday, February 26, 2010

Wall of Idiots

(Picture from here.)

Usually, I let the Wall of Idiots speak for themselves. But it's been a while, I'm bored and there are a lot of them.

First, let's not forget state lawmakers as they attack evolution and climate change. As always, Texas school board also has its spirit deep in the heart of denial. To put another nail in the coffin of those in denial, here is an analysis of Darwin's Dilemma, the latest anti-evolution screed.

Judge Cherie Blair, wife of Tony Blair, decided that it was okay to put a Muslim man on probation after he broke another man's jaw because he was religiously devout.

Tea baggers supporting Scott Brown are a bit disappointed that since he campaigned as an independent thinker he might, actually be independent.

The Arizona legislature has decided Obama needs to produce his birth certificate. The fact that he has does not sway them. None of them appear to have volunteered their own.

Kudos to Northwestern University for inviting Blagovitch to a panel on ethics in government.

More kudos to Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) for voting for the passage of the same jobs bill he had not voted to end cloture on.

The American electorate gets their own little award for voting in people to solve the problem by magic.

Deregulated airlines also get their own since they sure can't get an award for quality.

Finally, here's a fact check on the pre-hype of the health care summit: Here. Here.

The health care debate is so steeped a battle of sound bites that it's hard to discuss without exploding.

However, people rarely actually talk about what insurance actually is. They talk about government take over, death panels, and a lot of other lies.

Insurance is a hedge against catastrophe. It works on a pool. Everybody puts in a bit of money when they are in a position to against the time when they can't. Life insurance works this way. Automobile insurance works this way. Social security works this way to some degree. And, believe it or not, health insurance works this way, too. If you have a hundred people, the chances are that some of them are going to get sick. Everybody pays in and the money goes to the sick ones.

So, if you always stay healthy, you don't need insurance, right? That would be correct if you had any idea of your chances. The fact of the matter is that such things are random-- and therefore cannot be individually predicted. You can smoke and drink and live to 100 but the chances are against it. You can avoid smoking and drinking and die next week. Insurance is a hedge against randomness. Health insurance is a hedge against the random elements of being sick.

The next thing is that the larger the pool, the greater the probability of a majority of healthy people. This means that the premiums, shared against the entire pool, will be less. If you have a lot of sick people in your pool, which happens if the pool gets drained of healthy people, the premiums go up. Solution? Get as big a pool as possible and keep people in it.

That's called national health insurance and it works fine everywhere in the world where it is used.

Somewhere along the line this basic understanding of what insurance actually is has been dropped from the debate.
Links of Interest
50 weird animals
New space engines
Storage of carbon using hydrogen
Simulations of a black hole
People of Wal Mart
Fail blog
V: Paper wars

Floor planner software
Liberty Tool Company
Snow Nash
Child dome tent

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