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Hence key-signing parties. People are still doing those, aren't they?

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prezjordan 1 day ago | link

We did one last semester at my school's cybersecurity club. I don't really know much about cybersecurity, just a hobbyist, but I had a fun time nerding out and giving freshmen a tough time with their drivers licenses.

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stcredzero 1 day ago | link

Someone needs to write fiction about bringing rufies to a key signing party.

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privong 1 day ago | link

xkcd 364 is close: https://xkcd.com/364/

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The mechanism here appears to be the metabolism of compounds in cinnamon into sodium benzoate, which we already knew was helpful with Parkinson's.

The mechanism behind cinnamon's effects on blood glucose, OTOH, seems not to be terribly well-studied, given a few minutes' searching. One paper I found says, "cinnamon enhances glucose uptake by activating the insulin receptor kinase activity, auto-phosphorylation of the insulin receptor, and glycogen synthase activity." [1] Otherwise, the literature seems all to be, "We observed this effect..."

EDIT: Pointers to better sources welcome.

[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3326760/

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rosser 4 days ago | link | parent | on: Potato Salad

True as of now, but the drive still has 25 days to go...

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harryh 3 days ago | link

Indeed the # of backers has doubled since my comment so he's up to 6 hours of continuous talking now with 23 days still to go. He might indeed be screwed!

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Right, so now all of my email can go through some third party's systems. That's exactly what we need in a post-Snowden world.

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deciplex 4 days ago | link

Not only that, but one of the partners here (Dropbox) has, calling the shots on their board, a notorious war criminal and warrantless wiretapping apologist, one Condoleeza Rice.

If you use this service, and if you don't think your mails are winding up in plain text in an NSA datacenter somewhere, you're a damn fool.

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unfunco 5 days ago | link

It's on GitHub, you can self-host it if you wanted to. It's not a service yet.

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x1798DE 5 days ago | link

Self-hosting your e-mail is really not much better, from a security point of view, than letting gmail have your e-mail. Google has some of the best security people in the world, if your mail is safe anywhere, it's safe with Google. The problem, of course, is that Google is definitely going to try to read your mail, use and retain your private data indefinitely.

The problem is that if you host your own e-mail server, you dramatically increase the chances of some unpatched flaw or tiny messed up configuration file causing the Russian mafia to get access to everything on your e-mail server. You probably don't even particularly decrease the risk of the NSA getting your e-mails.

This is a problem that could be fixed by new models for e-mail that utilize encryption so that you inherently don't need to trust third parties in order to make use of their services. Avoiding third parties entirely is very likely impractical and unwise.

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__david__ 4 days ago | link

I've seen this argument before, and, while it's true to some extent, it seems like FUD to me. The same exact argument could be used for every single server you host yourself. But how many people here have an AWS machine running HTTP and SSH?

How many of them have been compromised by the Russian mafia?

People are so scared of email, and I just don't understand it.

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wpietri 4 days ago | link

Depends on the threat. If you host your own email, there is a whole class of legal intrusion (persuasive cops, warrants, national security letters) that you get to hear about if they want your archives or stuff that's encrypted on the wire. The same applies to corrupting employees; I'm going to know if somebody bribes my sysadmin for access, because that's me.

There's also some benefit in avoiding being part of a monoculture. Big mail providers are an enormously interesting target for both spies and criminals. Breaking into random quirky personal servers, though, has a very different cost/benefit ratio.

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x1798DE 4 days ago | link

I heartily agree about avoiding being part of a monoculture, there are definite tradeoffs. The weirder your setup, the less likely you are to be swept up in anything bulk, but the more vulnerable you are to anything targeted. Unfortunately, it's pretty common for some quirky little open-source project to start out relying on obscurity, then become widely adopted, putting you in the absolute worst case scenario, since suddenly you're running high profile software that's never been "battle tested".

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Tepix 4 days ago | link

I disagree. Google has no protection against NSLs.

Check out sovereign on github: https://github.com/al3x/sovereign

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x1798DE 4 days ago | link

Correct that Google has no protection against NSLs, but that's like saying that you should always drive your car because planes are common targets for terrorism. I'm deeply troubled by the activities of the NSA et al, but realistically you are far, far more likely to be targeted for actual harm by malicious hackers than by the NSA. Even if you are targeted by the NSA, there's a better than average chance that they'll be able to get the data you care about anyway - consider how often you send an e-mail to something that doesn't end up on a server that's vulnerable to NSLs - they can compromise you on either end of the conversation, and that's not even considering the fact that governments are out there buying zero day exploits on the open market.

My point is that taking an inherently insecure (at least with respect to data privacy) protocol like the ones we use for e-mail now and putting it on your own server (and thus taking responsibility for patching, avoiding zero days, etc) is not an answer to the problem of data privacy. The way forward in my opinion is the development of communication protocols which by their very nature are trustless. If you're just interested in protecting content, then if you're using end-to-end encryption, you could use LegitimateBankSiteNumberOne.ru as your e-mail provider and it wouldn't matter. The protocols for doing this are already well-known, it's just a matter of adopting them.

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nightski 5 days ago | link

I believe he was looking from the view point of an end user, not the developer integrating with Inbox. To be honest his reaction was exactly the same as mine - I wouldn't really want to use any service that uses Inbox, because now all my email has been synchronized to some other third-party service.

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rosser 5 days ago | link

Because self-hosting a mail service is totally something my mom can do...

(As the sibling comment notes, I'm talking from the perspective of the end user, not that of a technologist. We need to remember who we're ultimately building these things for...)

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dublinben 5 days ago | link

So your theoretical (straw man) user cares enough to not want their email in the hands of a third party service provider, but is unwilling to run their own service? Maybe this user should deliver their messages by hand directly to the recipient, because their demands are unrealistic.

Self-hosted services are a significant step forward from the corporate trap of the 2000s. Offering paid hosting plans is the most logical, sustainable revenue source for the companies writing this software.

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jiggy2011 5 days ago | link

You consider both third party hosting and self hosting to unacceptable?

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rosser 5 days ago | link

No, I consider anything where step N involves "go to Github..." a non-starter for anyone who's not already a technologist. Self-hosted is great — in the world Snowden has demonstrated we live in, it's probably the best solution — but it needs to be turn-key, "plug it in and enter a username/password and you're done" level of effort, or it will never become widely used.

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jiggy2011 5 days ago | link

It's open source, so someone could easily build a simple installer.

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PM_Tech 4 days ago | link

I imagine statements like yours are why Google has the user base it does.

[Sscene. PM_Tech has phoned his truck driver father]

"*Yes Dad; just build a simple installer to get an email address. An email address...it's like a phone number but letters instead. You know...so the cable company can message you. Well I suppose you could just call them...I don't know, it might take a while to build. You will have to learn programming for a start. I know you are 56. Yes, it will cut into your time for watching sports. I know I am "good" at that "computer stuff" but some guy on HN said this is how you should get an email because he knows how to do it...OK. I will be round for the game. Love to mum."

FYI Any service I have to use that starts with going to GitHUb will be ignored unless

[a] I am trying to learn something from it [b] It is 2048.

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jarin 5 days ago | link

I guess the only other option is second-party hosting.

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unfunco 5 days ago | link

Your mum likely doesn't have the need to connect multiple email endpoints through a single API either , your mum is not the intended audience of this product as it stands.

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PM_Tech 4 days ago | link

Excuse my ignorance - how is your email not going through a third party system the minute you email someone?

Are you emailing yourself on a self hosted, air-gapped system?

If you email me for instance, Google has your email shrug.

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It's called Epistemic Asymmetry, and it's a fundamental part of the so-called "Hard Problem of Consciousness".

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goldenkey 6 days ago | link

Thank you, I did not know the exact terminology. The closest I've read was the 'brain in a vat' and evil daemon from Descartes' Meditations.

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eli_gottlieb 6 days ago | link

It's bloody-stupid is what it is. If you understood how your own consciousness works on a scientific level, you would know exactly what evidence to check for in other people to know whether they're conscious or not. You could perform a simple medical test to find out if someone's a p-zombie (hint: they definitely aren't).

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goldenkey 6 days ago | link

You clearly aren't very introspective, too bad. That doesn't warrant the idea as bloody stupid. You cannot verify consciousness, only reactiveness. Maybe you are confused by medical consciousness versus consciousness in a real sense. Medical consciousness only means reactiveness, it's a misnomer

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eli_gottlieb 5 days ago | link

I'm extremely introspective. I'm also made of meat. The fact that you think these two things conflict is your problem.

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goldenkey 5 days ago | link

It appears you are made of meat. Far different than fact.

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brudgers 5 days ago | link

To whom does it appear to be the case?

'It's only appearances' skepticism always includes "to me". It only works by induction on the skeptic's solipsism. The difficulty of your position is compounded by HN's interface - even the claim "it appears to me that you are made of meat" is implausible.

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goldenkey 4 days ago | link

Even with solipsism you can easily say that I'm made of meat. On the other hand, saying your consciousness is entirely meat-based is hugely addumptive. You will not know until you are dead, if there's something more.

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vidarh 6 days ago | link

Conscious in a medical sense, where the brain acts as if it has separate consciousness, yes. But that's not what this problem is about.

Rather it is about consciousness in the philosophical sense, that starts with the question of whether or not anything outside of your own consciousness even exists, and if we posit the existence of a real world, whether or not other seemingly thinking, self-aware, conscious entities exists that are able to experience consciousness.

Since we don't know what gives rise to this form of consciousness, it is not evident whether or not there will ever be any evidence to determine whether they are conscious or not in that sense.

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philh 6 days ago | link

I believe Eli is coming from a position of: reality is made up of things that can be studied, and rules that are universal, and those things and rules are what gives rise to consciousness in me. If I understand the process that gives rise to consciousness in me, I can look at other people's brains and see whether the process would apply in them as well.

"Consciousness in the philosophical sense", to the extent that it's a meaningful thing to talk about, is part of reality.

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goldenkey 5 days ago | link

This is under the assumption that physical beings have a consciousness like your own. Nothing physical indicates this though except emotion.

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eli_gottlieb 5 days ago | link

>"Consciousness in the philosophical sense", to the extent that it's a meaningful thing to talk about, is part of reality.

Stronger statement: "consciousness in the philosophical sense" is either part of reality, or a meaningless construct invented by philosophers to justify metaphysical speculations, thus obtaining job security by having a permanent claim that some phenomenon actually exists that can never be reduced to science.

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brudgers 6 days ago | link

If you understood how your own consciousness works on a scientific level, you would know exactly what evidence to check for in other people

Leaving aside the difficulties in unpacking the idea of scientific introspection under the classical rubric of experiment as observation, once one decomposes consciousness to where a scientific level can be extracted, there's a corpse on the table not a patient. The whole gist of consciousness is that it's unified and once we admit a distinct 'scientific level' we ought to own up to what we have done and say "by consciousness I don't mean what is ordinarily meant, but instead I mean exactly 'x,y,z' and therefore my claims are not about consciousness in general but about this special definition."

And there's nothing wrong with that, and it might be useful.

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Locke1689 5 days ago | link

To continue with the above thread, wouldn't Wittgenstein's response to this be something along the lines of: if scientifically dissecting consciousness results in a corpse, is it correct to say there was a body in the first place? Think of the question, "How does Helios pull the Sun across the sky?" After dissection, we resolve to question the question, not answer it.

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eli_gottlieb 5 days ago | link

Why the hell would you try to understand consciousness by introspection? You understand it by understanding the brain. Don't be silly.

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TuringTest 5 days ago | link

See the "Mary's room" thought experiment. Thinking and reasoning about all the measurable properties of a phenomenon is way different than experiencing them. This doesn't necessarily mean that subjective perceptions have an immaterial existence, but it provides an approach to analyzing the mind that can't be achieved by physical measurement alone.

A better question would be "how can you try to understand consciousness without instrospection?" Studying consciousness merely by performing brain scans and electroencephalograms, without asking the subject what she's experiencing, would surely provide a poor and incomplete perspective.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_argument

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See also: "The Power Of Poop: A Whale Story"

http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2014/04/03/298778615/the-p...

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Opening that door must do abysmal things to the plane's drag coefficient.

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goodcanadian 8 days ago | link

As I understand it, opening the door has negligible effect on the performance of the aircraft. The shape of the fuselage is modified to send airflow past the aperture.

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From TFA, emphasis added: "The company purchases the data from brokers who cull public records, store loyalty program transactions, and credit card purchases."

Store loyalty programs do track SKU-level purchases. There was a case years ago where a patron tripped and fell at a store, and filed a personal injury suit. The store pulled up that person's loyalty program records, noted that they'd been purchasing a larger than average amount of alcoholic beverages, and insinuated at trial that the patron might have been drunk.

Guess who won that case.

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eru 8 days ago | link

Who won that case?

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They aren't just mining your credit cards. TFA specifically also mentions store loyalty programs, which do track itemized purchases.

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The next step is "health insurance" (as we call it in the US, though it's in actuality no such thing) carriers mining your credit card and loyalty program data and hiking your rates if their model predicts you're going to need more or more expensive care.

The problem is that unhealthy lifestyles (drinking, smoking, fast food, &c) are disproportionately found among the lower socioeconomic strata, creating yet another penalty for being poor.

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Scoundreller 8 days ago | link

The funny thing is that the insurance industry is obsoleting itself.

If they perfectly assess risk, your annual premium will just be your annual cost plus all of the administrative costs of insurance, so just self-insure. We're getting closer and closer to that, further eliminating any value that anyone gets from insurance.

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CaptainZapp 8 days ago | link

  If they perfectly assess risk, your annual premium will just be your annual cost plus all of the administrative costs of insurance
Uhh, no. That's not how insurance works.

The idea of insurance is pooling risk. So if you're perfectly healthy you are in essence paying for other people's treatment.

However, if you happen to run into very expensive health issues it's you that profits from the premiums of other people.

If insurance works as you describe it it wouldn't make sense at all and everybody would individually be responsible for her entire medical cost. With partially ruinous consequences for the individual.

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RobAley 8 days ago | link

> If insurance works as you describe it it wouldn't make sense at all and everybody would individually be responsible for her entire medical cost. With partially ruinous consequences for the individual.

I think that's his point.

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readme 7 days ago | link

The exact costs will never be calculable in advance.

We are never going to reach a point where we can accurately predict whether someone will be hit by a bus or shot.

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Scoundreller 7 days ago | link

But we're getting better and better at it.

And better at real-time charging and paying for insurance in micro-increments. Predicting over the course of a year is hard, over the next microsecond, not so much.

Going to the gun range? Your insurance premium just went up by $6/hour. Speed in your car? Slam on your brakes suddenly? Driving quickly in heavy traffic? Drive at 3AM on Saturdays?

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chenelson 8 days ago | link

Insurance is a mode of risk management. If we all have mandated coverage, then all risk is assumed, and the term "insurance" is meaningless.

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omal 8 days ago | link

Actually, mandated insurance is perfectly in-line with what insurance is for. For n people, you now own a 1/n share of n risks that are not perfectly correlated with each other. Since people are assumed to be risk-averse and due to Jensen's inequality, your expected utility from paying your 1/n share is higher than your expected utility from taking a chance and either 1) paying nothing if you don't experience the adverse event, or 2) incurring the full cost of the adverse event.

I think what you're trying to say is that the aggregate risk remains the same under mandatory coverage, put that's going to be true no matter what and the effects of this risk can be optimally spread through insurance.

As an example, say $180 billion dollars worth of damage is done to 1 million homes in the US through natural disasters every year. With 300 million people in the US, mandated insurance would have everyone pay $600 a year to cover these damages. No insurance would mean you paid nothing unless your house was affected, at which point you lost on average $180,000. Insurance exists to pool the risks of these life-destroying events.

Insurance definitely isn't going away, in fact our capability to insure against a wide variety of events is in its infancy. The insurance market will only get more and more sophisticated. Hank Greenberg has some interesting thoughts on the direction of the industry.

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chenelson 8 days ago | link

Perfectly. Wow. You've confused a single-payer system with mandated-coverage for-profit insurance companies...that will somehow be forced by regulation to "optimize"...cost? Yeah. What's the CEO of UnitedHealthcare's nut, again?

Let's talk outcomes and efficiency, and not pretend charging doctors $39 to file "insurance" paperwork is anywhere close to optimal.

And, yes, aggregate risk for people will not change, as we, unlike our tools (e.g. a house), are only at equilibrium when we are dead.

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mikeash 8 days ago | link

It's a fundamental paradox with insurance.

Insurance companies that can better predict customer risk outcompete those that don't. They can charge less for lower-risk customers and still make a profit, thus drawing them away from their competitors and leaving their competitors with higher risk people who pay too little.

Yet, the end game is that everyone can predict risk so thoroughly that insurance is pointless.

It's ultimately a weird, backwards Tragedy of the Commons, and various non-discrimination laws are sort of the regulatory response to it.

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eru 8 days ago | link

> It's ultimately a weird, backwards Tragedy of the Commons, and various non-discrimination laws are sort of the regulatory response to it.

Only, those don't help, if people know how high their own risks are and if they can still decide whether to sign on.

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mikeash 7 days ago | link

Indeed, thus the recent regulatory push to require people to buy health insurance whether they want it or not.

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sliverstorm 8 days ago | link

Yet, the end game is that everyone can predict risk so thoroughly that insurance is pointless.

Not true. Suppose you have a 0.01% chance of needing a $10M treatment in your lifetime. First of all you can't say, "Oh I'll just self insure" because few people have $10M. Second, you may decide that paying $10,000 over the course of your lifetime is preferable to risking a payment of $10M.

Removing uncertainty doesn't eliminate the need for insurance, it just reduces the opportunity for risky subscribers to socialize their risk, and for insurance companies to reap gross profit.

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Scoundreller 8 days ago | link

Um, in both of those cases, removing the uncertainty would eliminate the need for insurance:

In the first, the insurance company would know, with certainty, who falls into that 0.01% category, and charge them $10m for insurance in their lifetime.

In the second, the insurance company, with certainty, would know what year the treatment is needed, and charge a $10m premium for that year only.

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lilsunnybee 8 days ago | link

As of January 2014, the ACA made it illegal to base premiums on current or past health status. So at least in the US pricing like this no longer occurs.

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Scoundreller 7 days ago | link

Which means that if your current and past health status are poor, you're probably aware of this, and should sign up for the best insurance you can, since you're far more likely to reap the benefits. You should overinsure yourself, and buy some investments in the hospitals that you're going to be visiting.

Those with above average current and past health status should enrol into the very least amount of insurance they can get away with.

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mikeash 7 days ago | link

This is, of course, why the law against changing premiums based on a person's health status was combined with a law requiring everybody to buy fairly comprehensive insurance whether or not they want it.

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sliverstorm 8 days ago | link

Ok, I guess what I mean is eliminating uncertainty in risk profiles. IMO we are headed towards a world with good risk profiling- but I doubt we are anywhere close to predicting the future with certainty.

Insurance companies are identifying things like "Driving at night increases risk of accident". They are nowhere close to, "A blue corvette driven by a 43 year old male will rear-end a ford pinto today"

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mikeash 8 days ago | link

A 0.01% chance means uncertainty. Eliminating uncertainty would mean that you know your risk is either 1 or 0. If it's 0, you wouldn't buy insurance, and if it's 1, they wouldn't sell it.

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blahedo 8 days ago | link

Happily, Obamacare limits the extent to which they can do that.

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ISL 8 days ago | link

For now. The mandated electronic medical records from the ARRA and ACA will make it easier for entities, government or private, to do so in the future.

A single-payer system would have similar incentives (in the form of cost reduction) to do the same.

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Shivetya 8 days ago | link

there should be no limits on smokers. There is no possible health benefit with smoking and as such penalizing them might get them quit. Many self insured companies already charge extra, 600 a year where I am. However for the money most make that isn't diddly, at least they don't think so

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chenelson 8 days ago | link

Well, margin is a difficult concept to grep.

Vanderbilt University economist Kip Viscusi claims a net cost savings of 32 cents per pack sold [1]. It seems we're all going to die, and Alzheimer's isn't part of the quick and easy way out of healthcare cost. And at the ripe age of 125 or so, 100% suffer cancer.

1. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-04-08-fda-to...

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mikeash 8 days ago | link

Smoking could save money for society but it probably doesn't save money for individual insurers, who are much more worried about the shorter term. The private insurance you have when you're 30 isn't going to be paying for your nursing-home care when you're 90, but they are likely to end up paying for various smoking-related illnesses that kill you sooner.

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chenelson 8 days ago | link

We don't really have Health Insurance companies. Insurance is about risk management, and we have mandated health coverage. But, to your point, this is why real insurance companies manage their portfolios, aggregate. If they're losing money, it's not the responsibility of society to save them.

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ridgeguy 8 days ago | link

"no possible health benefit with smoking"...as usual, it's more complicated.

See, for example, http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/155/8/732.full

for the negative correlation between smoking and Parkinson's disease, and

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/87/4/801.full

for some insights into the negative correlation between smoking and obesity.

Not to say that smoking is a good idea, it's not (actuarial data are clear on that), but your view of its consequences is inaccurate.

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rosser 8 days ago | link

You're not wrong that there's a negative correlation between smoking and obesity or Parkinson's, but that is not a reason to take up smoking. You're far more likely to die of cancer or heart disease as a smoker than you are not to die from Parkinson's because you smoked.

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lilsunnybee 8 days ago | link

Americans are pretty likely to die from heart disease anyways, smoker or non-.

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throwaway2048 8 days ago | link

moralizers like yourself are why people should be very very afraid of data collection like this.

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CamperBob2 8 days ago | link

Right, the only question is who gets to pay that penalty. Why not the people responsible for incurring it?

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rosser 8 days ago | link

In the case of poor diets, it's often enough a matter of what they can afford. So, yes. Let's impose a financial penalty on people who are eating poorly because they can't afford to eat well. That makes perfect sense.

That said, I'm not opposed to smokers paying higher premiums — but that practice already exists, based on policyholder disclosure, or rescission in the event of fraud. (I say that as a former smoker, who did disclose my habit, and paid a substantially higher premium because of it.) We don't need carriers trolling through peoples' transaction history to dredge up every possible excuse for hiking premiums, because that's exactly what they'll do.

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eru 8 days ago | link

You can eat well for cheap. But it requires discipline. And that's what lot of poor people lack. (It's a survivorship bias: discipline helps your chances of getting out of poverty.)

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mreiland 8 days ago | link

You cannot consistently eat well for cheap.

Yes, it's true that sometimes you can find healthy stuff for relatively cheap. It's also true that you cannot do it consistently, in order to "eat cheap" in a consistent manner, it means constantly hunting for those deals, which implies trading your time for money. This is something the poor do a lot of, sitting at a laundromat instead of just throwing clothes in a washer, for example.

And I don't want to hear about eating some form of beans 5 days/week, eating healthy implies variety.

It can occassionally be done as cheaply as eating unhealthily, but not consistently over time. Your food bill will go up.

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eru 5 days ago | link

No need for deals. Just stick to the basics, and avoid sugar and other crap.

> And I don't want to hear about eating some form of beans 5 days/week, eating healthy implies variety.

Vegetables can be pretty cheap, if you stick to what's in season. Beans are a good start, add lentils, potatoes, carrots, etc. Offal makes for cheap protein (but is not to everyone's taste).

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mreiland 16 hours ago | link

I suppose it depends on your definition of cheap.

As cheap as eating unhealthily? no.

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lilsunnybee 8 days ago | link

When the wealthy de-stress it's because they earned it. When the poor de-stress it's due to lack of discipline.

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eru 4 days ago | link

Yes, the wealthy have it easier. It requires less discipline to stay wealthy, than to become wealthy.

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CamperBob2 8 days ago | link

It has to do with where the stress came from in the first place.

Stress is usually self-inflicted. There are good reasons to subject yourself to stress, and there are bad reasons.

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Houshalter 8 days ago | link

On the other hand you could get cheaper insurance by paying in cash or being healthier. This is the point of insurance, to estimate your risk as accurately as possible and charge based on that.

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rosser 8 days ago | link

Again, we don't have health "insurance". Actual insurance, as the term is used everywhere but in the American health care system wouldn't cover routine care like visits to your kid's pediatrician, but would cover major care such as surgeries — just like your car insurance doesn't cover oil changes, but does cover fender benders.

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arrrg 8 days ago | link

Huh? My (mandatory and public) health insurance in Germany does pay for that. For some short time there was a €10 co-pay for routine checks (obviously not covering the actual cost of the visit) but even that was abolished some time ago.

I mean, insurance doesn’t cover everything, obviously, but that mostly applies to nice to have things or aesthetic things that aren’t really necessary (e.g. root canal treatment for wisdom teeth is not covered – pulling wisdom teeth if the caries is causing problems that can’t be solved with fillings anymore is, glasses are not covered, etc.).

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judk 8 days ago | link

Auto and home insurers in fact do pay customers for risk-mitigation actions like driver training and alarm systems, just as health insurers pay for preventive medicine.

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rosser 8 days ago | link

They don't pay you for those things, and nor do they pay for them. They reduce your premiums if you have them. That's perhaps a subtle distinction, but it's a critical one.

If you're suggesting that an annual physical exam is the risk mitigation equivalent of a car alarm, then GEICO should have eaten the extra cost for purchasing a car with one installed instead of charging a lower premium because you have one.

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Houshalter 8 days ago | link

Well you could argue that those things might prevent larger expenses. Or people are just willing to pay for them.

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lilsunnybee 8 days ago | link

This is no longer true, at least in the US post-ACA 2014 requirements.

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hellodevnull 8 days ago | link

The penalty is for being unhealthy, not poor. There are poor people that are healthy, just because a lot aren't, do you expect insurance companies to give them special treatment?

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TazeTSchnitzel 8 days ago | link

So? It still disproportionately affects the poor.

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hellodevnull 8 days ago | link

So? Should we give criminals an easier time because the majority are from poor backgrounds? There will always be poor people and there are always things you can do to make their lives better, complaining about insurance companies isn't one of them.

This is coming from somebody who was raised in a very poor family so it's got nothing to do with not caring about poverty. It's just these sort of liberal ideas you could hear at an occupy protest show zero understanding of economics and are basically just bitching about companies.

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TazeTSchnitzel 8 days ago | link

Are they "bitching about companies"?

Nobody ever said it was their fault.

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