Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn
dachte

Seven Habits of Highly Defective People

Yes, it's time to gripe about stupid lawsuits again.A family in Lousiana, the Martins, is suing Nintendo becausetheir epileptic kid had a seizure playing video games. I may be misremembering,but all video games since the N16 (SuperNintendo), and maybe even including theold NES8, have had warnings, suggesting parents keep epileptic kids awayfrom the games. Apparently, this family can't read, and also lack the commonsense to keep their kid away from that kind of stimuli (should be obvious).Of course, the idiot family smells money, and also wants Nintendo to do somestupid things like having all video games warn about risks of seizurecontinually while the game is in use. I'm sorry, but if you happen to beunfortunate enough to have the mental defect, you can deal with the hassle.Not Nintendo's problem. Hell, what if there were some people who, because ofsome horrible torture, on seeing a violin would enter a homicidal rage? Perhapswe'd expect "Warning, Violins" on any TV show or product that might depect aviolin. So, Eric and Michael Martin, sod off.

From the other side, apparently in Texas, good old-fashioned blacklists havefound a new use -- doctors are using them to fight malpractice lawsuits.The basic idea is, if you sue, doctors can look you up, and presumbly willrefuse to treat you. Is this a good thing? A bad thing? It's pretty complex.One argument for is that the lawsuits have become a carnival of greed forpeople who suffer from slipups from people trying to help them. The settlements,facilitated by insurance, have often become much larger than the injured party'searning power for the rest of their life (millions). An argument against isthat the existence of such blacklists does cut off a class of people frommedical care, and encourages doctors in a sad practice -- the systematicgrouping of people into those they will treat versus those they won't.. (pleasedon't start on how money already creates such a divide -- different discussionfor some other day). Is it free association? Should it be? For some resourcesin society, free association isn't so hot an idea -- utilities, and otheressential services when these services are sufficiently sparse or controlledas to be inaccessible for excluded groups. Imagine, for example, if the localgrocery store were to refuse to sell to asians, or your local electriccompany refuse to provide power to muslims. Such a control over an essentialresource threatens to unbalance society by allowing some to inconvenienceothers to the extent that living is difficult in affected areas, and encouragesfactionalism that introduces a harmful competition reminiscent of people fromdifferent nations. Any thoughts on the blacklist versus malpractice lawsuitissue?

I'm still chewing on the Gibson film's possible antisemiticism... will write more later.

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