Page 12 of 12 FirstFirst ... 2101112
Results 221 to 237 of 237
  1. #221
    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    The second was a disaster of epic proportions because the demand from on high was to let laissez faire capitalism take its course, and to actively stop charitable enterprises due to their interference in the natural process of the economy. Furthermore, even of aid workers, pay was docked to about half that of bare living capacity because those from on high were concerned of such laborers turning into wards of the state and therefore un- and under-productive due to lack of incentive. Unfortunately, the natural process of the economy results in mass starvation.

    I think it's patently obvious that altruism - in however idealistic or cynical a form you wish to apply it - is clearly necessary for the successful continuation of the system, because without it, this kind of stuff happens. And in reference to Sir Temple, the latter happened because of the admonishment the government gave his relief efforts for the former.
    We don't disagree. My point wasn't about how necessary or useful altruism is. It was that, predominantly, a person's will to act is driven by some sort of personal incentive. Altruism and charity seem to run counter to this principle. But in truth, examples of altruism and charity do not undermine the argument, since the argument is about 1) our natural, unconscious pre-disposition, rather than our "humanity" (if you like) and 2) the majority of our behaviour rather than all of it. My point about the two articles was that Temple would presumably have no problem accepting this view, since he suffered because of it - and by extension, so did millions of others.

    In truth, my own view is somewhat different to this oft-deployed anti-communism/socialism argument. I believe we are predisposed, naturally, to be altruistic and charitable to a degree. I believe these traits were selected for by the environment for millions of years, so i believe they have a natural origin. I believe they are, as you say, beneficial to society and therefore useful - necessary. There is a limit to our natural predisposition to be charitable though. Most people who give money to charities helping starving kids, for example, don't do so at the expense of their own kids comfortable westernised life-style. They give what they can "afford", where "afford" is defined to be "what's left after we've eaten as much as we want, clothed ourselves, paid for a (comparatively) luxurious roof over our head, heat/light, smartphones" etc. People don't generally give so much of what they own away as to normalise their own lifestyle with the people they're helping, and by extension save as many starving African kids as possible. It's more important to them that their own kids are comfortable and healthy, than it is that as many nameless African kids as possible don't die. None of that is a conscious calculation, it is just our natural behaviour.

    There is another unfortunate implication of this belief though, and that's that charity is not really altruistic. I believe you hint at this when you talk of "cynical" forms of it above. The truth is, most of us are charitable for the same reasons we eat and f*ck: it feels good. We get an emotional reward, which means that, to some extent, it's still an example of incentive-driven behaviour.

  2. #222
    Quote Originally Posted by b0rsuk View Post
    Profit-driven healthcare has serious issues. Big pharma doesn't care about healing people as long as current drugs are profitable. Pharmaceutical industry doesn't put much effort into researching cancer cures. People with diabetes need their daily insulin fix, why develop something that cures diabetes ? You think this is too cynical to be true ? About 40% of money from government grants (in the US) is used on research.

    The old Chinese approach to medicine is: the doctor gets money as long as the patient remains in good health. Maybe that would be better? Maybe they should be rewarded for keeping people healthy, not for treating them? (a short science fiction story by Lino Aldani claims it wouldn't.)
    Drug discovery research and consequent development is extraordinarily expensive and ends in failure the majority of the time. This has already been elucidated in detail by Soldant so i won't repeat it.

    Your "insulin" argument is one I've heard often and does have elements of truth to it (drug companies prefer palliatives to cures). However, to say they have no interest in cures is to ignore one of the central mechanisms in any profit-driven system - competition. The fear that one of their competitors might do it first is what drives drug companies to search for cures for things like diabetes. They might lose long term revenue if they succeed, but at least they make some of it back with the cure. If someone else does it, there is no upside for them.
    Last edited by RandomTangent; 09-05-2013 at 10:11 AM.

  3. #223
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Terra Australis Incognita
    Posts
    4,365
    Quote Originally Posted by RandomTangent View Post
    Your "insulin" argument is one I've heard often and does have elements of truth to it (drug companies prefer palliatives to cures).
    Sometimes palliative or continuous therapy is the only real option though - we can't cure diabetes yet, just like we can't really cure hypertension. In a lot of these types of chronic conditions the choice is to control it or die.
    Nalano's Law - As an online gaming discussion regarding restrictions grows longer, the probability of a post likening the topic to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea approaches one.

  4. #224
    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Sometimes palliative or continuous therapy is the only real option though - we can't cure diabetes yet, just like we can't really cure hypertension. In a lot of these types of chronic conditions the choice is to control it or die.
    Sure. And to be honest, because I live in a country with a healthcare system which is free at the point of access - a socialist policy which I advocate wholeheartedly - I don't have a problem with living with a condition provided the symptoms can be relieved and the side effects of the treatment aren't too severe. Better that than die.
    Last edited by RandomTangent; 09-05-2013 at 02:18 PM.

  5. #225
    Network Hub SirDavies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Spain
    Posts
    485
    Quote Originally Posted by Zaboomafoozarg View Post
    But capitalism creates the greatest incentive for giving people what they want, does it not? The more they want your goods or services, the more you sell and the better off you are.
    Most of the time, what capitalism does is creating false needs through marketing and media/culture conditioning and it produces the products to fulfill them. It promotes an endless spiral of unnecessary consumerism that is destroying our planet while taking advantage of countries and people who do not have the most basic of their needs fulfilled. It promotes the idea that as long as a few rich people keep consuming everyone else can live in pure misery and it's all good.

  6. #226
    Quote Originally Posted by SirDavies View Post
    Most of the time, what capitalism does is creating false needs through marketing and media/culture conditioning and it produces the products to fulfill them. It promotes an endless spiral of unnecessary consumerism that is destroying our planet while taking advantage of countries and people who do not have the most basic of their needs fulfilled. It promotes the idea that as long as a few rich people keep consuming everyone else can live in pure misery and it's all good.
    One could argue almost the entirety of modern consumer electronics is completely unnecessary if you're restricting the discussion to our basic survival requirements. And yet, you're making this post on a video game community website, so you presumably don't believe that "pointless" entertainment-value-only consumer products are entirely without merit.

  7. #227
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Terra Australis Incognita
    Posts
    4,365
    Quote Originally Posted by SirDavies View Post
    It promotes the idea that as long as a few rich people keep consuming everyone else can live in pure misery and it's all good.
    That's about as accurate as suggesting that communism is all about wearing neat uniforms and waving hammer and sickle banners.
    Nalano's Law - As an online gaming discussion regarding restrictions grows longer, the probability of a post likening the topic to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea approaches one.

  8. #228
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    NY f'n C
    Posts
    9,917
    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Do you honestly have any idea how much it actually costs to research medications, let alone then actually develop them into a stage where they're probably safe for general use, and then maintaining pharmacovigilance afterwards, let alone the potential lawsuit if, despite all of the clinical trials and testing, it turns out they're actually harmful? If you did, you wouldn't put forward such a load of utter rubbish.
    High start-up costs don't equate anything but a lack of competitors. He's stating that their motives are profit-based: They are not a public service, but a private enterprise. Indeed, the shambles of the American medical system is based solely on the fact that the insurance and pharmaceutical portions are privatized.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
    Director of the Friends of Nalano PAC
    Attorney at Lawl
    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  9. #229
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Terra Australis Incognita
    Posts
    4,365
    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    High start-up costs don't equate anything but a lack of competitors. He's stating that their motives are profit-based: They are not a public service, but a private enterprise. Indeed, the shambles of the American medical system is based solely on the fact that the insurance and pharmaceutical portions are privatized.
    None of that supports the idea that they're out to keep everyone sick. That's a conspiracy theory to rival the nutjob 9/11 conspiracies. It only sounds valid if you don't bother to actually read more than 5 minutes. The fact that they're private doesn't change the fact that a wonder cure could still be sold for a fortune.

    As for lack of competition - there is plenty of competition in R&D, though competition on its own doesn't have much to do with the fact that research and clinical trials, not to mention legal liability coverage, are incredibly expensive. And after that another company comes along, makes a generic brand without any of the hard work in clinical trials, and you're screwed.
    Nalano's Law - As an online gaming discussion regarding restrictions grows longer, the probability of a post likening the topic to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea approaches one.

  10. #230
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    NY f'n C
    Posts
    9,917
    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    None of that supports the idea that they're out to keep everyone sick.
    The demonstrated overuse of expensive technology during diagnosis is hardly a disputed phenomenon, nor is the surge of direct-to-consumer advertising for prescription medicine. If those don't support the idea that sick people are, in the eyes of these companies, there to be preyed upon, nothing will.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
    Director of the Friends of Nalano PAC
    Attorney at Lawl
    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  11. #231
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    975
    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    You have zero idea what you're on about. "Big Pharma" spends a fortune in researching and trialing drugs that never go anywhere because they're failures. Manufacturing any treatment, whether it's a medication, a new surgical technique, or even a plastic ballsack, isn't as simple as tossing shit into a bucket and going "Yep, that's a fix!" You don't seem to understand that if it was just as easy as "Let's make a cure! Oh awesome, we made one!" that Big Pharma could charge an absolute fortune to distribute the drug and everyone would pay if they were able. But I guess that whole "eradicating smallpox" thing (well, for the most part) is just a symptom of Big Pharma being greedy, right? Not to mention that curing this diseases would also reduce overall economic costs significantly. What, you think the only cost is in pushing drugs down someone's throat? You think people will never get sick again? Healthcare isn't going away, Big Pharma has nothing to fear from 'curing' patients.
    You do know that getting rid of smallpox had not one fucking thing to do with big pharma right? We've been able to vaccinate for smallpox for almost a thousand years.

    Disliking Big Pharma is not ignorant. I know perfectly well how medical research works. Big Pharma is still full of scumbags. Not unlike all corporations, not to pick on pharmaceuticals.

  12. #232
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Terra Australis Incognita
    Posts
    4,365
    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    The demonstrated overuse of expensive technology during diagnosis is hardly a disputed phenomenon, nor is the surge of direct-to-consumer advertising for prescription medicine. If those don't support the idea that sick people are, in the eyes of these companies, there to be preyed upon, nothing will.
    I can't speak for the US system but over here at least (where we incidentally do not have controlled or restricted meds advertising) it hasn't resulted in any major loss for Big Pharma. But okay, keep playing that tired old fiddle, hate your state, whatever. Doesn't change the reality of how much Big Pharma still has to spend in research and development going towards drugs that end up in a bin versus how many eventually end up with some demonstrated therapeutic benefit.


    Quote Originally Posted by MoLAoS View Post
    You do know that getting rid of smallpox had not one fucking thing to do with big pharma right? We've been able to vaccinate for smallpox for almost a thousand years.
    Which is why smallpox was killing thousands of Europeans in the middle of the 18th century, right? It didn't start to be controlled until the 19th century, and was only 'eradicated' in the 1900s (1950s onwards IIRC). My point with smallpox was that the entire "it's all about money!" bullshit is just that - bullshit. Wouldn't the argument be to let smallpox run rampant to keep treating it symptomatically? I mean Pfizer has been around since the mid 1800s, why didn't they stop it? Maybe because there's more to be gained collectively by removing such a significant drain? I guess Pfizer giving out free or heavily discounted fluconazole is just Big Pharma keeping AIDS in check, right?

    EDIT: To clarify this point some more, it's only through massive research undertakings the likes of which require significant investment that you're going to get 'cures'. Your historical example of variolation (not vaccination) is somewhat misleading - that's not a vaccine and a vaccine is safer and easier to deploy. Big Pharma have the capital to undertake this research, to perform the clinical trials, and to pay out if it turns out to have significant adverse reactions. This is why it's bullshit to suggest that it's purely greed motivated - why make vaccines at all?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoLAoS View Post
    Disliking Big Pharma is not ignorant. I know perfectly well how medical research works.
    Clearly not, otherwise you wouldn't pretend that medical research is trivial or that cures would never make money. We should totally go back to the days when you'd claim something would work and then just try it until it kills somebody, right? I mean that'd be cheap and fast...
    Last edited by soldant; 10-05-2013 at 05:01 AM.
    Nalano's Law - As an online gaming discussion regarding restrictions grows longer, the probability of a post likening the topic to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea approaches one.

  13. #233
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1,308
    Quote Originally Posted by Xercies View Post
    Wait, there's more !
    $800 heart surgery in India
    http://www.businessinsider.com/insid...ust-800-2013-4

    21 graphs that show America’s health-care prices are ludicrous
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...are-ludicrous/

    And I'll even break the Godwin's Law for you:
    During the Holocaust, a German company called IG Farben manufactured the Zyklon B gas used in the Nazi gas chambers. They also funded and helped with Josef Mengele's "experiments" on concentration camp prisoners.

    IG Farben is the company that turned the single largest profit from work with the Nazis. After the War, the company was broken up. Bayer was one of its divisions, and went on to become its own company.

    Oh... and aspirin was founded by a Bayer employee, Arthur Eichengrun. But Eichengrun was Jewish, and Bayer didn't want to admit that a Jewish guy created the one product that keeps their company in business. So, to this day, Bayer officially gives credit to Felix Hoffman, a nice Aryan man, for inventing aspirin.
    By the way, do you know what "evergreening" is ?
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/201...-patents.shtml

    Pharmaceutical industry is extremely greedy.
    pass

  14. #234
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    781
    Look it's just like the videogame industry. It costs a gargantuan amount of money to come up with the contents of a game but only cents to replicate and upload the data and/or produce the physical disk - which is what commercial pirates do.

    But the point about aligning the interests of pharmas and public interest is worth discussing. Imagine if governments incentivized the development of certain drugs in problem areas by offering say, a tax break/subsidy on a sliding scale on successful production. This would be a nice middle ground between nationalizing and privatizing medical research.

  15. #235
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    781
    Quote Originally Posted by b0rsuk View Post
    Wait, there's more !
    $800 heart surgery in India
    http://www.businessinsider.com/insid...ust-800-2013-4
    In that very link: "Public spending on health in India amounts to just four percent of GDP, less than Afghanistan, according to the World Health Organization.
    A lack of private insurance and a public system that has "collapsed" according to the country's rural development minister means an estimated 70 percent of healthcare spending is borne by Indians out of their own pockets."

    So the whole compulsory licensing regime they have in India screwing over pharmas is NOT because they're being humane but solely because the government can't be arsed to spend the money and instead offload the costs to private, foreign institutions (US pharmas).



  16. #236
    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post
    Look it's just like the videogame industry. It costs a gargantuan amount of money to come up with the contents of a game but only cents to replicate and upload the data and/or produce the physical disk - which is what commercial pirates do.

    But the point about aligning the interests of pharmas and public interest is worth discussing. Imagine if governments incentivized the development of certain drugs in problem areas by offering say, a tax break/subsidy on a sliding scale on successful production. This would be a nice middle ground between nationalizing and privatizing medical research.
    Agreed. I also think having a healthcare delivery service which is nationalised and free at the point of delivery, as in the NHS, is a good way to temper the effects of profiteering and to ensure shady business practices are kept to a minimum. For example, I have no idea at all which companies were responsible for manufacturing any of the medicines I have ever been prescribed. A national health service should select drugs entirely based on efficacy and price. It should be immune to corruption, because it breaks the profit connection between the consumers of healthcare, and the producers of drugs.

  17. #237
    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post
    Look it's just like the videogame industry. It costs a gargantuan amount of money to come up with the contents of a game but only cents to replicate and upload the data and/or produce the physical disk - which is what commercial pirates do.
    You know what we must do?

    We must nationalize video game development!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •