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"Weight is sign of reliability"

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  • "Weight is sign of reliability"

    I love that line from Snatch. As we recall, Boris reassures a naive Tommy that the pistol for sale will work because it is heavy. :row__573::row__573: Of course, as it turns out, "That gun would do more damage if ya threw it at him."

    So are heavy things actually more reliable? Or does weight simply provide an illusion of reliability? Is weight inherently less reliable?

    From the Washington Post, with the story echoed in all major dailies:
    The latest estimates, due to be released publicly Tuesday, put the number of annual new HIV infections at 2.5 million, a cut of more than 40 percent from last year's estimate, documents show...

    Having millions fewer people with a lethal contagious disease is good news. Some researchers, however, contend that persistent overestimates in the widely quoted U.N. reports have long skewed funding decisions and obscured potential lessons about how to slow the spread of HIV. Critics have also said that U.N. officials overstated the extent of the epidemic to help gather political and financial support for combating AIDS.

    "There was a tendency toward alarmism, and that fit perhaps a certain fundraising agenda," said Helen Epstein, author of "The Invisible Cure: Africa, the West, and the Fight Against AIDS." "I hope these new numbers will help refocus the response in a more pragmatic way."
    Emily Oster outlined problems with the UN data several months ago, as have others for some time now.
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  • #2
    Re: "Weight is sign of reliability"

    Giving something "weight" is often associated with stability or reliability. Actual physical weight when it comes to weapons, particularly of the personally operated kind is more often a liability.

    As an amusing aside, I just watched Snatch last night. Great movie.
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    • #3
      Re: "Weight is sign of reliability"

      I think it depends on what its for. Weight is one of those very subjective things.

      For example: Nobody wants a "light" sledgehammer cause its not going to get the job done.

      On the other hand, I can tell you that every "heavy" nurse that comes in to work at my hospital gets fired because they're lazy and cant move fast when they need to. In comparison, I'm 135 lbs of skinny irishman, I probably cant lift as much as someone twice my weight could, but I can run up 12 flights of stairs if I need to and still have the breath to carry on doing what I need to do.


      • #4
        Re: "Weight is sign of reliability"

        Why isn't this in the global warming thread? I think the idea that UN scientists skewed data in the interest of an alarmist agenda and potentially masked the effects of efforts to counter the problem in order to raise funds seems totally relevant there.
        Sources say the Dow Jones' decline is directly related to Dethklok front-man Nathan Explosion's constant deleting of potential new albums.


        • #5
          Re: "Weight is sign of reliability"

          I don't think the UN is relevant ANYWHERE.
          The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. ~
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          • #6
            Re: "Weight is sign of reliability"

            If they chose the low end estimate would they be blamed for something else? What "estimate" do you choose?

            Outside that difficulty you also have the very real problem of motivating nations. You can argue that it is not the U.N.'s job to motivate and there is a good chance of being correct.

            But I can appreciate the countries most affected by things such as global warming and HIV/AIDS. Please understand that I am not talking about the governments of the countries most affected. It is pretty clear that the most impoverished countries are the ones most racked by incompetence and greed in the rulers.

            Regardless, there are people in those countries that see and understand the plight of the people. There are even people in the more fortunate countries that also see the problems that may happen. So they use one of the tools available to them. A tool that has the attention of the world.

            And the UN is a tool. It was envisioned as a tool from the very beginning. And it does seem to at least get some attention paid to the problems of the developing world.

            My question to those that ridicule the UN and those that use it is what is the alternative? How do you get very self centered countries such as the US and many European countries to pay attention to problems in poor "non-western" countries?

            This is also a question about using the high range of the numbers about any issue. Everybody does it. The glorious republicans as well as the pious democrats. Ultimately I think it is detrimental to any argument. But if you are fighting against a distracted public that spends more time following Britney's problems than the problems of oil dependency or a pandemic what is to be done?

            The cynic in me thinks "just let the a-holes suffer". But there is a part of me that believes things can change for the better. And I also know that it is the poorest of the human race that will suffer the most.

            So in the end I am torn. I don't like when problems are exaggerated. But I also understand how difficult it is to get the public to act on a situation if it doesn't immediately affect them. Especially if you are a single person or small group without the backing of a media machine.

            These issues just seem very difficult and summarizing in a way that expresses the human cost is always going to be difficult.
            Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
            - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
            - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
            - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
            - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
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            • #7
              Re: "Weight is sign of reliability"

              "Self-centered" countries feel no need to give at home because their govenment forced them to give at the office, through taxes. Yet even with the rise of the income tax and withholding, the US remains one of the most giving countries. (I'm speaking of private charity, not the pseudo-charity of Congress reaching into our pockets to make themselves look good.)

              IIRC, the UN was supposed to be a way to keep another WW from happening, not to be the world's charity coordinator and general meddler in the internal affairs of small countries.
              Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

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              • #8
                Re: "Weight is sign of reliability"

                Originally posted by ScratchMonkey View Post
                the US remains one of the most giving countries. (I'm speaking of private charity, not the pseudo-charity of Congress reaching into our pockets to make themselves look good.)
                Actually, I think the US leads the world in gov't and private aid.
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