This is the semimonthly open thread. Post about anything you want, ask random questions, whatever. Also:
1. Some argument around the vegetarianism article. Some people say we can’t be sure cows aren’t an order of magnitude or two more “intelligent” or “conscious” than chickens. Other people point out that cows emit methane which increases global warming. At first I figured a tiny increase in global warming was far less an evil than the amount of animal suffering that chicken farming produces, but when I calculated it out the amount of money it takes to reverse one cow worth of global warming via carbon offsets is more than the amount it takes to reverse forty chickens’ worth of suffering via animal charities. I’m not sure how to deal with that morally except to say that I am much more confident that charitable offsets are an important moral good than I am that eating cows instead of chickens is.
2. My post on Daraprim got linked on Overlawyered, which corrected my underestimates on how hard it is to get a new generic approved – according to him (with Wall Street Journal as source) it can take as much as $20 million and four years. And Alex Tabarrok suggests an elegant partial solution – have pharmaceutical reciprocity with trusted European countries, so that anything that’s okay there is automatically okay here.
3. Steve Johnson is banned for reasons of total personal caprice. Let it be known that he has not broken any rules and the ban is not his fault. Also, this is the beginning of a Reign of Terror. Govern yourselves accordingly.