Though many on the left suspected that things had gone seriously awry, drug policy under Reagan and Bush was largely conducted in a fog of ignorance. The kinds of long-term studies that policy-makers needed — those that would show what measures would actually reduce drug use and dampen its consequences — did not yet exist. When it came to research, there was “absolutely nothing” that examined “how each program was or wasn’t working,” says Peter Reuter, a drug scholar who founded the Drug Policy Research Center at the RAND Corp.
But after Escobar was killed in 1993 — and after U.S. drug agents began systematically busting up the Colombian cartels — doubt was replaced with hard data. Thanks to new research, U.S. policy-makers knew with increasing certainty what would work and what wouldn’t. The tragedy of the War on Drugs is that this knowledge hasn’t been heeded. We continue to treat marijuana as a major threat to public health, even though we know it isn’t. We continue to lock up generations of teenage drug dealers, even though we know imprisonment does little to reduce the amount of drugs sold on the street. And we continue to spend billions to fight drugs abroad, even though we know that military efforts are an ineffective way to cut the supply of narcotics in America or raise the price.
All told, the United States has spent an estimated $500 billion to fight drugs — with very little to show for it. Cocaine is now as cheap as it was when Escobar died and more heavily used. Methamphetamine, barely a presence in 1993, is now used by 1.5 million Americans and may be more addictive than crack. We have nearly 500,000 people behind bars for drug crimes — a twelvefold increase since 1980 — with no discernible effect on the drug traffic. Virtually the only success the government can claim is the decline in the number of Americans who smoke marijuana — and even on that count, it is not clear that federal prevention programs are responsible. In the course of fighting this war, we have allowed our military to become pawns in a civil war in Colombia and our drug agents to be used by the cartels for their own ends. Those we are paying to wage the drug war have been accused of human-rights abuses in Peru, Bolivia and Colombia. In Mexico, we are now repeating many of the same mistakes we have made in the Andes.
Would they rather spend $10 million to save 10,000 lives from a disease that caused 15,000 deaths a year, or save 20,000 lives from a disease that killed 290,000 people a year? Overwhelmingly, volunteers preferred to spend money saving the 10,000 lives rather than the 20,000 lives. …
Slovic once told volunteers about a 7-year-old girl in Mali who was starving and in need of help. They were given a certain amount of money and asked how much they were willing to spend to help her. On average, people gave half their money to help the girl. … One group of volunteers was asked whether they would give money to the little girl; another was asked whether they would donate money to the little boy. A third group of volunteers was told about both the boy and the girl and asked how much they were willing to give. People gave the same amount of money when told about either the boy or the girl. But when the children were presented together, the volunteers gave less.
More here. If you want to care more about distant victims, set aside your mental image of a large tragedy, focus your mind on one particular victim, and open your heart. If you want to care less, instead of thinking about any one victim, try to visualize a much larger group of similar victims. Now here’s the key question: do you want to care more or less? Not sure? See which image you put in your mind, long enough to act on it.
This puzzles me a bit re near-far analysis. It suggests we help distant victims more in near mode, even though far mode is where we more express abstract ideals we want others to see. Do we not actually want others to think we help distant victims?
There are 50 lessons in this post read the whole thing in the linked post!!!
Lessons About Life.
1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch!
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
You say the things you don’t need to say.
Because it hurts when you don’t say them.
Abigail Garner, 37, whose blog, Families Like Mine and 2004 book of the same title addressed the voices of children from same-sex families, is also wary. “If we are seeing marriage as a way to access health care, where does that leave people who are currently unemployed or who are single?” she asked. “We need to look at things marriage gives people and ask why that is conditional on being a couple.”
LAST month, advocates and opponents of same-sex marriage packed the New Jersey State House in Trenton, supporters in blue, opponents in red. Near the end of the day, Kasey Nicholson-McFadden took the microphone. “It doesn’t bother me to tell kids my parents are gay,” he said in a clear voice. “It does bother me to say they aren’t married. It makes me feel that our family is less than their family.”
In a way that is what same-sex marriage is about. Acknowledging that people have the right to choose their partners. That people are equal under the law. Of course this doesn’t remove the right of any religious organization to expel/excommunicate them, but what we are talking about is legal, and I believe this prohibition is archaic and should be revised.
I need you to understand something. I wrote this for you. I wrote this for you and only you. Everyone else who reads it, doesn’t get it. They may think they get it, but they don’t. This is the sign you’ve been looking for. You were meant to read these words.
via I Wrote This For You.
The above is the tag line of a blog I discovered while trying to read through mail I sent myself.
I found this :
All persons entering a heart do so at their own risk. Management can and will be held responsible for any loss, love, theft, ambition or personal injury. Please take care of your belongings. Please take care of the way you look at me. No roller skating, kissing, smoking, fingers through hair, 3am phone calls, stained letters, littering, unfeeling feelings, a smell left on a pillow, doors slammed, lyrics whispered, or loitering. Thank you.
also from the same blog here:
India, Mexico and China I can Understand but Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, our country is doing something wrong , or is not doing enough of the right things.
Here is a list of the top 10 Outsource Providing countries in 2009, and their PDI scores.
1. India (77)
2. Thailand (64)
3. Mexico (81)
4. China (80)
5. Indonesia (78)
6. Malaysia (104)
7. Philippines (94)
8. Jordan (no data)
9. Egypt (80)
10. Bulgaria (no data)
The Real Issue with Outsourcing is Power Difference
If you have a buyer from a lower PDI country and a provider from a higher PDI country, there are already implicit consequences to your interaction that neither party will know about without prior outsourcing experience or natural cultural awareness(1). And even with that experience, it’s not a given that they will understand the reasons behind the challenges of outsourcing. Let me create an example from my own personal experience:
Suppose you had an American company (Buyer) and an Indian company (Provider). The American company contracts with the Indian one to provide offshore outsourced software development at a fixed price per developer. Certain key performance indicators are agreed upon by both parties and the game is afoot. Let’s also assume the Indians agree to a six month project to write a content management system for the Americans.
A typical scenario of engagement might follow like this:(2)
* The first month, everyone hammers out the requirements documents and in a great ball of fury, declares them sound and ready for implementation. The American company at this point would typically reduce the daily oversight on the project to something more reasonable, like weekly updates.
* The second, third and maybe even fourth months pass with little fanfare. The Indian developers are quietly building the specified software and the Americans are receiving updates about it that are all positive and sound great.
* At some point, the American company asks for a demo of the progress to date. The Indians put together something after a bit of negotiation (since the Americans neglected to mention the demo as a deliverable before the end). The Americans see the actual software and fly off the handle. Performance is awful, the screens don’t look anything like what they want, and the software appears to be behind schedule.
* Further code reviews by American developers indicate that the code quality is fairly poor, lacking in comments, unit tests, and filled with copy-paste blocks of duplicate code. The Americans immediately demand the project be put under different management.
* The project falls off of the rails somewhere after this. It will either be canceled, brought back in house, or will be delivered extremely late after extensive modification to the original requirements.
There’s lots to pick on here on both sides of the table. I would like to point out that the fact that I picked on Americans and Indians is actually irrelevant here. You could easily substitute “British” for Americans (3), and “Filipinos” for Indians with the same results. But why are they so interchangeable in this fashion? It’s because of PDI and the inherent cultural communication issues that come with it.
Based on working as a software developer for the past almost 2 years communication seems to be the number one problem. The second would be that we Filipinos or at least the people I work with (including me) have a tendency to as the article said act as high PDI countries act. Nice article, don’t agree with a lot of what he wrote but it’s still worth reading.
Pirate Bay’s Ipredator VPN Opens To The PublicWritten by Ernesto on January 20, 2010 After months of waiting, the Ipredator anonymity service from the founders of The Pirate Bay has finally opened its doors to the public. For 5 euros a month users can now hide all their Internet traffic, including torrent downloads, from third party outfits who might want to spy on their downloading habits.ipredatorIn the last year, pressure from the entertainment industries on ISPs and governments to crack down on copyright infringers has steadily increased, resulting in ISPs sending out mass copyright warnings. This, of course, is coupled with the looming specter of three-strikes legislation aimed at disconnecting copyright infringers.
If they have UK IP addresses I’d probably get this service for BBC stuff.