Tuesday, November 19, 2013

ObamaCare: Good Foreign Policy - 2

Software Dinosaurs Aplenty
There is some good news on the home front.

Daily Kos Blog has collected some information which indicates that the HealthCare . gov website is on the mend, and so are applications around the nation.

I know that a lot of neoCons are illiterate when it comes to The Inner Tubes and The Google, so they may not remember Windows 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, and on and on.

It was common wisdom in the early days of personal computers (PC's) that "you don't buy" version 2.0 or x.0 (ex dot oh) of any software package.

Those were the hoarse and buggy dayz when managers of software development teams were heavily driven by the myth of the mythical man-month, impaired by computer operating system bugs, and flabbergasted by new and regularly released better software development languages (e.g. COBOL, BASIC, PASCAL, C, HTML, C++, JAVA):
The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering is a book on software engineering and project management by Fred Brooks, whose central theme is that "adding manpower to a late software project makes it later". This idea is known as Brooks' law, and is presented along with the second-system effect and advocacy of prototyping.

Brooks' observations are based on his experiences at IBM while managing the development of OS/360. He had added more programmers to a project falling behind schedule, a decision that he would later conclude had, counter-intuitively, delayed the project even further. He also made the mistake of asserting that one project — writing an ALGOL compiler — would require six months, regardless of the number of workers involved (it required longer). The tendency for managers to repeat such errors in project development led Brooks to quip that his book is called "The Bible of Software Engineering", because "everybody quotes it, some people read it, and a few people go by it."[1] The book is widely regarded as a classic on the human elements of software engineering.[2]
(Wikipedia, "The Mythical Man-Month"). What, there was a time when even the great IBM was fallible with software engineering projects?

Yes, and there was also a time, according to government Republicans in charge of The Mythical Inner Tubes, when that software had to run impaired by a series of tubes:
"A Series of tubes" is a phrase coined originally as an analogy by then-United States Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) to describe the Internet in the context of opposing network neutrality.[1] On June 28, 2006, he used this metaphor to criticize a proposed amendment to a committee bill. The amendment would have prohibited Internet Access providers such as AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon Communications from charging fees to give some companies' data a higher priority in relation to other traffic. This metaphor has been widely ridiculed, despite the fact that he was in charge of regulating the internet.
Ten movies streaming across that, that Internet, and what happens to your own personal Internet? I just the other day got… an Internet [that was] sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday. I got it yesterday [Tuesday]. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the Internet commercially.
They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the Internet.

And again, the Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes. And if you don't understand, those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it's going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.[5]
On June 28, 2006, Public Knowledge government affairs manager Alex Curtis wrote a brief blog entry introducing the senator's speech and posted an MP3 recording.[1] The next day, the Wired magazine blog 27B Stroke 6 featured a much longer post[5] by Ryan Singel, which included Singel's transcriptions of some parts of Stevens's speech considered the most humorous. Within days, thousands of other blogs and message boards posted the story
(Wikipedia, "Series of Tubes"). So, it is clear that Time Is Odd, because "June 28, 2006" does not seem like that long ago until we remember:
Moore's law is the observation that, over the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years. The law is named after Intel co-founder Gordon E. Moore, who described the trend in his 1965 paper.[1][2][3] His prediction has proven to be accurate, in part because the law is now used in the semiconductor industry to guide long-term planning and to set targets for research and development.[4]
(Wikipedia, "Moore's Law"). Remember that the Internet description "a series of tubes", in 2006, was 5.3 Moore's Law cycles ago, that is, 5.3 transistor time-cycles-of-doubling ago (~8 years ago).

So probably we have been reliving that technological-new-age past recently with the Health Care For All 1.0 website, but it may be that the eureka version 1.1 is here or near:
This should be the day's leading Obamacare news: enrollements across the country are surging, coming in ahead of projections in states across the country.
"What we are seeing is incredible momentum," said Peter Lee, director of Covered California, the nation's largest state insurance marketplace, which accounted for a third of all enrollments nationally in October. California—which enrolled about 31,000 people in health plans last month—nearly doubled that in the first two weeks of this month.

Several other states, including Connecticut and Kentucky, are outpacing their enrollment estimates, even as states that depend on the federal website lag far behind. In Minnesota, enrollment in the second half of October ran at triple the rate of the first half, officials said. Washington state is also on track to easily exceed its October enrollment figure, officials said.
Enrollments are moving at a faster clip than during October in these, despite the fact that some people are confused by the problems the federal site has had, not sure if the sites in their own states are working. Covered California's director said that the state has had to change its marketing to remind people that the state site wasn't the same as the federal site, and was working just fine.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services updated reporters Monday with the news that the site was functioning better, and that it had sent out 275,000 emails to people who had started to create accounts, but couldn't get through the process. CMS says that 90 percent of those people who tried again got all the way through the process. So far in November, 50,000 people have selected a plan in the federal site, up from 27,000 for the entire month of October.
(Daily Kos, "Obamacare enrollments surging, HealthCare . gov working better"). I have been in on a lot of these computer and software revolutions.

So, while the abundance of Climate Change Deniers now In Government is perplexing to me, why they are also Luddites in our modern nation is a bit more perplexing:
The Luddites were 19th-century English textile artisans who protested against newly developed labour-saving machinery from 1811 to 1817. The stocking frames, spinning frames and power looms introduced during the Industrial Revolution threatened to replace the artisans with less-skilled, low-wage labourers, leaving them without work.

Although the origin of the name Luddite ... is uncertain, a popular theory is that the movement was named after Ned Ludd, a youth who allegedly smashed two stocking frames in 1779, and whose name had become emblematic of machine destroyers.[1][2][3] The name evolved into the imaginary General Ludd or King Ludd, a figure who, like Robin Hood, was reputed to live in Sherwood Forest.[4][a]
(Wikipedia, "Luddites"). The ancient order of Luddites or "machine destroyers" have become our modern day health care destroyers.

Regular readers know that the original source of these Luddites is the "health care is our number one enemy" movement within the military:
The U.S. military keeps searching the horizon for a peer competitor, the challenger that must be taken seriously. Is it China? What about an oil rich and resurgent Russia?

But the threat that is most likely to hobble U.S. military capabilities is not a peer competitor, rather it is health care.
(Your Health Is Their Number 1 Enemy?! - 2). So, the world of mature nations think that health care for its citizens is good, while our military does not.

But the main issue and question for today's post is: "Did they happen to get to you this time?"

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

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