As a matter of principle, there is a difference between:
- you need expertise in order to be able to safely do X: take these exams and you're certified
- the state sells a limited number of licenses in order to create artificial shortage, usually combined with guaranteed profits, like the 35% profit in the link. The certification is just a piece of paper and only loosely related to a set of exams.
I don't think Iceland's government defaulted. AFAIK, they simply let their own banks fail and made no move to support them. UK was pretty pissed off because their citizens lost cash in those banks, and they expected Iceland's citizens to cover for them.
Greece is in a completely different pot of hot water. Their incomes (taxes) keep being lower than expenditures, aka salaries, pensions etc. Not getting any more EU help means they will start paying their doctors and firefighters with monopoly money.
Iceland is and was in the EFTA and hence in the EEA where the single-passport rules apply -- and applied back then as well, otherwise the Iceland banks operating in the UK and the Netherlands would have been under UK/NL supervision instead of IS supervision. UK/NL were not ALLOWED under those rules to meaningfully supervise IS banks operating in their countries. As long as they operated under IS law and IS supervision, they operated under IS insurance rules with the usual EU (EEA) 100k€ limit. Iceland blatantly broke the rules.
Later, after the shit hit the fan, Iceland did apply for EU membership and negotiations begun. Iceland later withdrew their application.
Still doesn't make it wrong. I didn't read the whole thing, but the bias was there. His aunt moved from a "black" neighborhood because it was worse - and yes, there is a correlation between bad neighborhoods and black ones. But this doesn't makes his aunt racist, it just means she doesn't want to live in a shitty place.
I'm not american so I don't give a damn about racism, so I can say things which can't be said in public: black culture is inferior (muhaha... I trample on your cultural relativism) and has many toxic elements. It's stupid to blame race, but it's still fact that culture makes a hellof a lot of difference by itself, including more likely to have shitty neighborhoods and white aunts moving out of them.
So yes, you could call overly "reverse-racist" a point of view which willfully assigns to racism what can be explained otherwise.
I think it's on purpose. LessWrong does not aim to be an academic discussion forum, but a practical real life provider of thinking tools. Using real-life, emotionally charged examples is probably part of the training.
Imagine a perfect world. Not a world in which everybody is perfect, that would be boring, but a world in which institutions really function. In such a world you'd expect to find this kind of forums, find them anonymously and relatively easy. They'd be up and running for years. And they'd be fully staffed by people well-versed in finding and helping pedophiles (cops, psychiatrists etc).
You can't check people at birth and see if they have criminal tendencies. It's unethical (and impractical) to watch everybody all the time. What you can do is make sure there are places where they'll gravitate naturally towards, and control them for your benefit.
The right way to dismantle a pedophile network is to arrest everybody, steal their online identities and keep on posting the materials they already have. Otherwise you're just playing whack-a-mole.
You really have to put things in context, otherwise you get into the "think of the children" fallacy, where everything is worth the effort if it saves one life.
We die of three causes: cancer, heart problems and strokes. Well over 30% die of cancer. So this means some of those 200 will die of cancer before they die of something else (some of them will recover and live to die from heart attack later). This makes the new deaths a really tiny percentage, which means policy-wise it's hardly worth discussing.
I'm certainly not trying to imply any policy prescriptions. I'm strongly in favor of nuclear power. But if there's risk we should know what it is so it can be distributed/compensated for.
I'm not saying it's not worth the cost (or even trying to discuss things in those terms), but I'm not convinced this outcome is insignificant. If this article is right, many of these people will die N years sooner than they would have otherwise. How high does N have to be before it gets worth discussing?
> Looking back more than a year after the event, it is clear that the Fukushima reactor complex, though nowhere close to state-of-the-art, was adequately designed to contain radiation. New reactors can be made even safer, of course, but the bottom line is that Fukushima passed the test.
He made a good argument that new cancer cases are statistically few, but I can't see what test Fukushima passed. As far as I know there were multiple meltdowns and dumping radioactive water into the ocean. From an engineering point of view, it was a clear-cut failure. If not of implementation, then at least of specifications and margins.
I think the idea was that even if it was an engineering failure, it turned out not to be so dangerous. In a sense, it passed the tests of "What if things go wrong? What if the engineering wasn't so good? What if there's human error? What if events happen that weren't initially predicted?"
They were not designed to be able to resist an earthquake of that magnitude so I fail to see how it can be an failure from an engineering perspective (the fact that most plants handled it fine should if anything suggest that, from an engineering perspective, it was a success).
They had a disaster much bigger than was planned for, multiple failures, both human and machine and even so nobody died from it. At worst, some might eventually succumb to cancer someday.
But it's radiation, so people are still more scared of it than the tsunami that killed everyone. I mean, nobody is talking about how to make sure that we're better prepared for the tsuanmis that kill thousands of people and utterly devastate so much land.
The damage that actually occurred is not that serious. The oceans are large, and eventually the authorities will pick out what's left of the fuel rods and store it safely. This is what was done at Three Mile Island.
But the reality is they only very narrowly avoided a catastrophe that would have been orders of magnitude worse, since they were only able to regain control of the site by putting people there to add water. That was mostly luck.
The Chernobyl reactor also had no containment vessel, so the initial core failure blew a cloud of radioactive fire into the air. The Fukushima containment vessel kept most of the crap in one place until it could melt into a cohesive mass.
You wouldn't get the graphite fly ash that turned Chernobyl from a localized problem into an international headache, so no, it wouldn't have been as bad as Chernobyl. But it could have been much worse than it was.