Thanks David — I’ve enjoyed it too.
Geoff Kieley

Thank you. This past election season, with its often revolting rhetoric, revealed a side of America I wasn’t really aware of… I didn’t like what I saw, but it made me re-evaluate my beliefs and the way I talk to people. (Edit: for example, I wrote this.) (On the other hand, I think when I started talking to you I was a bit .. cavalier. Sorry.) Perhaps for some, Trump’s victory normalizes bad behavior, but for me it stresses how important it is that we improve ourselves. We are really no better than the savages of 1000 years ago, except insomuch as our culture and technology have improved. We can take technology for granted, but good culture — good behavior, and intellectual discourse — requires constant struggle.

Sadly, it is not common that someone seriously tries to show me that I’m mistaken instead of just being dismissive or, more often, refusing to engage in conversation beyond an initial attack (or … other dubious tactics.). Medium is better than most places, but even here the political talk is often nasty. Always nice to get away from that! Can you believe there is such a thing as ‘trolls’? Why do people do that? So I’m always thankful to be talking to reasonable people, which you are. :)

I suppose you forgot to address a hypothesis that was central to my argument though:

in some cases there may be different ways to tackle an illness, different avenues of research. A company will try to evaluate the probability of finding a cure or treatment down each research path. Sometimes a research path can lead to both treatment and cure but sometimes the path leads to just one thing. My thinking is that in cases where one path is thought to lead to a cure and another path is thought to lead to a treatment (or vaccine, assuming that’s profitable), they will prefer the latter, with the expectation that their competitors will do the same and no one will research the “cure” path except some university guys and their government grants.

I’m guessing the most likely rebuttal is that forks in the road of this type are rare?

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