Dumbest anti-Walmart nonsense ever

Walmart: Tracy Morgan Should’ve Worn Seatbelt When Our Truck Hit Him – http://huff.to/YDS8ra

Well, if you or I get in an at fault accident our insurers will be pleading contributory negligence.

If Walmart has an outside insurer that insurer has conduct of the case, not Walmart.

It’s not at all clear from the story that the driver let Walmart know that he hadn’t bothered to sleep in the over ten hours before reporting to duty.

It is unclear from the story whether the driver had gone over the state limit for time behind the wheel.  Given the multiplicity of states in a small area, if there are inconsistent laws they may be hard to keep track of.

In any event, the threshold for negligence is really a binary issue at the outset.  The type does not itself result in greater compensation if there is no punitive aspect.

If there is negligence, then you get into issues like contributory negligence, failure to mitigate, and in most cases where the only real contribution is failure to wear a seatbelt, there’s no logical correlation between the type of negligence and the apportionment, as the responsibility for the crash itself would still be 100 % in this case.

The insurer’s lawyer has a duty to plead the contributory negligence, especially when it is clearly there on the evidence, and if he doesn’t do it he himself is negligent.

Walmart again doesn’t get a say if they want to stay insured.

Plaintiff’s counsel knows that of course.

There’s lots of reasons to not like Walmart but that they exercise absolutely routine legal rights isn’t one of them.  It’s dangerous to think like that.  These are rights that protect you and I as well.

Plaintiff’s counsel would be well advised to use caution if he’s going to have trial by media.  

If the fractures healed well and the plaintiff is well insured himself, as he can certainly afford to be, his medical insurer probably has a subrogated claim to be paid out first.

So, after deduction of say 25 % for contributory negligence, his insurer gets paid out first and the contingency fees for the lawyer plus disbursements, he might not be netting much for a guy who is used to getting paid a lot.  A year’s salary for us might be a one night show for him.

Probably his own insurer has been covering lost wages etc and is going to claw it back through subrogation.

So how does he make Walmart pay?

Wrong thought process.

Court is not for validation or vindication.  If you think that way you will likely be disappointed even if you win. 

And, from a moral point of view, I don’t agree that the pain and suffering of the rich is greater, for the same injuries.  If anything, less.  It’s hard to get full value for unknown future contingencies.  If somebody poor or middle class has to retire 5 years early due to ongoing nagging effects of an injury or more rapid degeneration of the spine, that may mean living in abject poverty in retirement for decades.  It may mean working through pain for years before that.

Whereas a rich person is in a better position to avoid compounding their suffering with other resulting misery.


Hong Kong protesters screw up

All Eyes On China’s Leadership As Hong Kong Erupts – http://huff.to/YDiHge

Big mistake.

Russia and China diverged with Tian. Square. 

China went on to prosperity and Russia went on to years of stagnation and anarchy.

Push too hard and you set back rights 20 years.

The progress to date was unimaginable 40 years ago.  Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

If the Chinese are left to chose between imposing order and tolerating anarchy it’s going to be a really simple decision.

The western provocateurs deliberately destabilizing China as they have done elsewhere are just going to get people killed and get the goverment to clamp down instead of open up.

Keep things open and in time they will relax controls.

It’s not like we really have political choice in the west, corporate sellout A vs corporate sellout B.  Any politician on either side that doesn’t agree to sell out is destroyed by the corporate media.  Imagine if Hart, Dean and Christie got elected president, what a better world we’d probably be in.

We aren’t free, if the same multinationals take over in China they won’t be liberators, they’ll just rob the place like they’ve done everywhere else. 



I have to wonder if this is some form of shakedown in the form of an implied threat…
If one deranged person could get there without assistance, which might be question begging, imagine what a small team of pros could do.

More likely though it is just a symptom of terrorismitis, where defences and expenditures are inversely proportionate to the potential threat.

You just can’t milk white house security for billions in corporate profits every year so there’s no interest, because the object is looting the country, not protecting it.

The schizo approach to the white house plays a role.  Openness and access are inimical to security.  Secret Service aren’t superman.  They also can’t cut a guy down with a machine gun in the middle of the city.

If you want to keep it like a museam with tours and open grounds, have the president somewhere else where there is no line of sight from any road or building.

If you want the president there, put up six foot thick walls in at least two rings high enough to block all line of sight and nobody gets in or out except on government business.

I’m With Stupid: Undead Cats and Other Stuff I Don’t Get

I’m With Stupid: Undead Cats and Other Stuff I Don’t Get – http://huff.to/YlWxiv

Schroedinger’s cat is a bit of a reductio ad absurdum of the whole Heisenberg uncertainty idea.

Philosophers long ago dismissed such schools of thought as instrumentalism and phenomenalism as rubbish based on simple fallacies but around 2/3 of physicists are instrumentalists.

What’s frustrating from a scientific point of view is that if you say there is no truth of the matter on an issue, you won’t look for an answer.

Heisenberg’s uncertainty for instance shows the limitation of one method of measurement.  There may be ways to do an end run.

There may also be ways to get an answer by changing the question.

Just because something behaves like a particle doesn’t necessarily mean it is a particle.

The classic example with people is with high jump or pole vault.

With good technique the center of gravity can pass under the bar while the body passes over it. 

Because this is macroscopic there’s nothing mysterious about it. 

If it were a wall instead of a bar the comparison becomes more clear.  The same center of gravity trajectory would be consistent with going over the wall or going thud, depending on technique.

Just because there could be different results it does not follow that the outcome is purely random or the reasons for it cannot be better understood.

If one regarded a person as a particle it might seem quite mysterious, as if you view the center of gravity as a particle with the entire mass at a point, it looks like it is passing through the wall.  But all that shows is that if you treat something that isn’t a particle like a particle, you may get results that look odd.

It also doesn’t follow that because you may treat a person like a particle in some circumstances that a person is somehow both a person and a particle.  A person moving through space without wind drag may behave exactly like a particle of the same mass at the center of gravity in terms of motion but it doesn’t make him a particle.

Also randomness in distribution doesn’t imply randomness in any pure indeterministic sense.

Toss a coin or throw dice and over time the results will even out to a random distribution.

But for each throw, the results are set at the time of release.  The randomness reflects lack of control, not something metaphysical.

Likewise with say the bell curve for a class of 300 students.

It will probably reflect a random distribution, but that doesn’t mean that the results are actually random for each student.

It just doesn’t follow from a random distribution of results that the reason for each result can never be known or predicted. 

Cosmic Inflation: How Progress in Science Is Achieved

Cosmic Inflation: How Progress in Science Is Achieved – http://huff.to/1unAEgw

Looks like a combination of good science in the refutation and weak science in the theory.

It is also a good illustration of one of the more common fallacies in science, in the form “if A then B, B therefore A”.  You find something predicted by a theory and assume it is a confirmation when as in this case the data can actually be explained in many ways.

Still more interesting is that with the apparent direct proof that the radiation polarization in question comes from another source, that this is not counted as highly damaging to this instant inflation theory.

As Karl Popper said, a test of a theory must risk refuting it.  If a theory can explain away any conceivable evidence that’s not a sign of a good theory, it’s a sign of a bad one.  That shows the character of a religious dogma.

Of course anybody following that principle would never accept the instant inflation theory at all, because itself it’s an ad hoc saving hypothesis.  It is something inconsistent with all the physics we know, with no evidence for it, posited to fix holes in other theories so the math works.

The test in the article is a standard kind of approach to such weak theories.  A consistent result is taken as confirmation, but a negative result is not taken as a refutation. 
Popper’s favorite example of a good theory and good test is Einstein’s theory of relativity resulted in a prediction of how light would bend during a certain astronomical event.  It was a good test because it risked refutation.

Today astrophysics revolves around protecting a secular creation myth from refutation, with increasingly convoluted and improbable saving hypotheses employed to that end. 

Yet even with decades of seeking confirmations, instant inflation, dark energy and dark matter remain ad hoc saving hypotheses contrived to save other theories from refutation.  The only evidence they are true, if it could be called evidence, is that if they aren’t true, then other cherished theories are false.

At what point do we abandon that approach as unscientific folly.

Rescue Effort On For Injured Scientist Trapped In Cave

Rescue Effort On For Injured Scientist Trapped In Cave – http://huff.to/YlS3Iz

Somebody needs to develop a portable x-ray for this kind of thing.

If somebody’s back is hurt bad you don’t want to move him in case it is unstable, and a shift might lead to paralysis.

It would be better to settle that quick so if it is stable more motion can be risked.

WaPo: Secret Service Blundered After Bullets Hit White House In 2011

WaPo: Secret Service Blundered After Bullets Hit White House In 2011 – http://huff.to/1rBhEJp

There is a certain irony that the information leaks that should never happen seem to keep coming while leaks that ought to happen to increase security, like Snowden’s, don’t happen much at all.

This is in the first category.  Security problems really ought to be dealt with internally rather than laying everything out with boxes and arrows for the next guy, including the specific locations of agents’ posts.