Ballooning Bureaucracy

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Via email comes the latest paternalistic government ban that shouldn't amaze, but does; and that would be too over-the-top to be usable in a work of political satire, but is making real news:

[B]alloons must not be blown up by unsupervised children under the age of eight, in case they accidentally swallow them and choke.


Whistle blowers, that scroll out into a a long coloured paper tongue when sounded -- a party favourite at family Christmas meals -- are now classed as unsafe for all children under 14.
The story has no word on how humanity managed to perpetuate for so long without such detailed instructions or, on a more serious note, whether anyone was becoming concerned that a government far-reaching and powerful enough to concern itself with such harmless activities might pose a far greater danger to life and limb.

-- CAV

--- In Other News ---

Note to self: Try ifttt already.

Heh. I guess Netflix has decided against "disrupting" itself, if it was even being that smart by splitting itself in half.

David Veksler has written a very intelligent post on "The Case for Evidence-Based Medicine", over at Truth, Justice, and the American Way (via Objectivism Online). I particularly like this quote:
[I]t is difficult to make firm conclusions in medicine. But when valid scientific principles are not followed, it is easy to conclude that no valid conclusion can be reached. In other words, you can't always be sure what's good for you, but you can be sure when someone is talking nonsense.

When someone makes irrational health claims, it does not mean that those claims are false. It just means those claims were not derived by rational (scientific) principles, and so we cannot [say] anything about their truth -- we can only ignore them as arbitrary. It is as if someone claimed [an] invisible, undetectable pink unicorn in the sky -- that which cannot be proven or disproved can only be dismissed. [minor format edits, hyperlink added]
Towards the end of his post, Veksler links to a good TED video by Ben Goldacre that has other good things to say against medical quackery.


seven2521 said...

Southpark has also something good to say against medical quackery.

kelleyn said...

"British toy manufacturers are concerned that the new rules, which include defining colouring books and anything played with by under-14s, could drive up the price of Christmas presents because of the cost of safety tests."

...Which is exactly what happened here three years ago with the passage of the CPSIA. Thousands of small and hobby businesses went under, because the cost of the absurd level of testing that was required ate up nearly all those businesses' revenue. Perhaps millions of classic children's books were swept into the dumpster, because of the chilling effect that the possibility of a lawsuit had on thrift stores. And so forth. It was everything that should be expected from paternalism.

Gus Van Horn said...


I like the character name, "Miss Information", in that one.


Thanks for reminding me of that. I believe I posted on the effective ban on children's books some time ago, but I'm failing to come up with search terms that can yield the post.


HeroicLife said...

Oops, thanks for picking up on my typos.