March 21st, 2014


Why you shouldn't trust the experts

The other day, a lawyer friend of mine was complaining about the awful people she was having to deal with, and how terrible society seemed to be. A few of us pointed out that she was paid to deal with people who were having problems with the law, and thus would automatically tend to encounter a much more badly behaved slice of the population than the average.

The same is true of doctors. By and large they see sick people, they focus on sick people, and all of their thoughts are about how terribly sick everyone is, and what should be done to make them less sick. It's not surprising, therefore, if they get a slanted view of how society really is.

Which is why it doesn't surprise me that the head of the Medical Research Council thinks that we should all share our medical records - what he cares about, a great deal, is improving medical research, and anything that gets in the way of that is just an obstacle to be overcome. It's not surprising that to him, people who object are consent fetishists.

This is why it never surprises me when security chiefs push for more security laws, or doctors for banning of things that cause health issues. That's their job.

It's our job (and that of our political representatives) to weigh that up against other important things in life. Like self-determination, and the issues caused by the other effects of highly priced alcohol, invasive surveillance, or handing out individual NHS records to medical research companies. Because the experts aren't going to - they're far too close to the subject.

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Interesting Links for 21-03-2014


Can someone explain something to be about the student loans?

There have been a few stories in the newspapers today, centered around the new Student Loans system not bringing in as much money as they hoped, because people aren't paying them back.

But those new student loans would only have been taken out starting in 2011, which means that the first people to have taken them out wouldn't actually have graduated yet, and the chances of many of them earning more than £21k (the lower limit to start paying them back) is extremely low.

So I can't see how the non-repayment issue can have anything to do with the changes.

What am I missing?

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