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Should You Be Able to Disinherit Your Child

Now Mr. Hallyday has prompted a new debate about disinheriting children. The French idea of forcibly breaking up estates originated after the French Revolution, among reformers who wanted to weaken the aristocracy and make sure that no single heir became too rich. That principle is now taken so much for granted that many French people were shocked to learn that Americans can simply cut some children off.

“We found this very violent, as if their very existence was being denied,” explained Ms. Pieau, who’s also editor of the French celebrity magazine Closer. The rock star Eddy Mitchell, Mr. Hallyday’s longtime friend, said, “In the U.S., you have the right to disinherit your children in favor of your cat or your dog, but we are not Americans.”
law  français  american  heritage 
11 weeks ago by aries1988
Her Time
while FEN guides were there to help people die, they couldn’t help in the literal sense. Though suicide is legal in every state, the act of helping someone commit the act is illegal. The rule that FEN’s leadership came up with — the rule they hoped would keep the organization free from prosecution — was that exit guides could instruct and advise and sit with but could not touch a client.

According to FEN rules, clients didn’t need to be terminally ill or even dying, in the immediate sense, as long as they were suffering “intolerably” and “unbearably.”

In Brian’s civilian life, he heard people say all the time that if they got dementia, they’d kill themselves or get someone else to kill them — that they were not going there. OK then, he would think, so what is your plan?
It made sense to Brian that the search for an alternative path was happening beyond the official gaze of the courtroom and the hospital ethics committee. People were scared, and they could find nobody to hold their hands and help them find a way out.

“She doesn’t want to lose her selfhood,” Brian said. “She sees it happening.” Brian believes that nobody wants to die, only sometimes they can’t live this way.

David had been an antiques trader before going into construction, and his house was filled with old things. Sometimes, Debra and David imagined that they had known each other in the Victorian era but that their relationship had been cut short for reasons they didn’t know and that God had sent them back to earth to meet again.

It was hard to think about money, though, because it was getting harder to think in straight lines. Debra’s thoughts felt like seeds that never germinated. Her attention was flighty; her stories lost their narrative thread. Sometimes, when she was at her computer, she’d come to suddenly and find that she had typed a page of gibberish. “I call them brain farts, for lack of a better description.”

She thought she probably wouldn’t, that she would have no self-respect left, by then, to offend. But still, she believed that some part of her would continue to hurt from all the small indignities of life in an institution where nobody loved her.

Patients in Oregon are more likely to request aid in dying for existential reasons than for physical ones.

Dutch doctors debate whether these two versions of the patient — the “then-self” before dementia and the “now-self” with dementia — are even the same person. If they are not, then why does the one get to dictate choices for the other?

Later, there was just one strange thing that Lieutenant Horton found hard to shake. It was nice out, but all the curtains were drawn.
aging  suicide  dementia  death  health  law  california  life  couple  house 
april 2019 by aries1988
from:rss  moi  immobilier  china  crisis  management  architecture  modern  law  association 
november 2018 by aries1988
Why Are Americans Still Uncomfortable with Atheism?

Lack of belief in God is still too often taken to mean the absence of any other meaningful moral beliefs, and that has made atheists an easy minority to revile. This is especially true in America, where an insistence on the idea that we are a Christian nation has tied patriotism to religiosity, leading to such strange paroxysms as the one produced by President Trump at last year’s Values Voter Summit: “In America, we don’t worship government—we worship God.”

the national prejudice against them long predates Daniel Seeger and his draft board. It has its roots both in the intellectual history of the country and in a persistent anti-intellectual impulse: the widespread failure to consider what it is that unbelievers actually believe.

From John Locke they inherited the idea that atheists cannot be good citizens and should not be brought into the social contract; in “A Letter Concerning Toleration,” Locke had written, “Those are not at all to be tolerated who deny the being of a God.”

Two centuries after the Founders wrote a godless constitution, the federal government got religion: between 1953 and 1957, a prayer breakfast appeared on the White House calendar, a prayer room opened in the Capitol, “In God We Trust” was added to all currency, and “under God” was inserted into the Pledge of Allegiance.

Like saying “God bless you” when someone sneezes, the courts concluded, these “under God”s and “In God We Trust”s are innocuous; they belong to the realm of patriotism, not prayer.

Much of the animosity and opprobrium directed at nonbelievers in America comes from the suspicion that those who do not believe in God could not possibly believe in anything else, moral or otherwise.

Unlike the linguist—and new atheist—Steven Pinker, Gray regards the idea that the world is getting better as self-evidently silly. “The cumulative increase of knowledge in science has no parallel in ethics or politics,” he points out. Religions are still thriving, as are wars between them, and secular regimes have wrought as much, if not more, havoc under the auspices of Jacobinism, Bolshevism, Nazism, and Maoism.
religion  law  usa  american  mentality  politics  atheism 
october 2018 by aries1988
How Do You Take a Picture of a Black Hole? With a Telescope as Big as the Earth - The New York Times
near the core, that fog forms a great glowing Frisbee that rotates around a vast dark sphere. This is the supermassive black hole at the core of the Milky Way, the still point of our slowly rotating galaxy. We call it Sagittarius A*, that last bit pronounced “A-star.” The black hole itself is invisible, but it leaves a violent imprint on its environment, pulling surrounding objects into unlikely orbits and annihilating stars and clouds of gas that stray too close.

the inaugural run of the Event Horizon Telescope (E.H.T.), a virtual Earth-size observatory designed to take the first picture of a black hole. The E.H.T. uses a technique known as very long baseline interferometry (V.L.B.I.), in which astronomers at observatories on different continents simultaneously observe the same object, then combine the collected data on a supercomputer. The E.H.T.’s director, Shep Doeleman, a radio astronomer with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, likes to call the E.H.T. “the biggest telescope in the history of humanity.” It has the highest resolution of any astronomical instrument ever assembled. It’s sharp enough to read the date on a nickel in Los Angeles from New York, to spot a doughnut on the moon and, more to the point, to take a picture of the black hole at the center of our galaxy — or, at least, its shadow.

The effort to get that picture speaks well of our species: a bunch of people around the world defying international discord and general ascendant stupidity in unified pursuit of a gloriously esoteric goal. And in these dark days, it’s only fitting that the object of this pursuit is the darkest thing imaginable.

The physicist Werner Israel put it better when he described a black hole as “an elemental, self-sustaining gravitational field which has severed all causal connection with the material source that created it, and settled, like a soap bubble, into the simplest configuration consistent with the external constraints.”

what a black hole would look like if illuminated by the glow from the superheated matter swirling around it. He did his calculations by feeding punch cards into a primitive computer. He drew the results by hand. His black-and-white images looked like twisted depictions of a black Saturn, with a ringlike accretion disk warped like taffy.

That this shadow might be visible from Earth depended on an astonishing set of circumstances. Earth’s atmosphere happens to be transparent to the electromagnetic radiation — in this case, certain microwaves — shining from the edge of the black hole, even though it blocks radiation of slightly longer and shorter wavelengths. The interstellar gunk lying between Earth and the galactic center also becomes transparent at those frequencies, as do the clouds of superheated matter just outside the black hole, blocking a view of the event horizon. Later in life, Fulvio Melia compared this alignment to the cosmic accidents that give us total solar eclipses. The moon is just the right size, in just the right orbit, at just the right distance from Earth that now and then it blocks the sun entirely. Fulvio wasn’t religious, but these coincidences were so unlikely that he couldn’t help but feel that the black-hole shadow was meant to be seen. The universe had arranged for humans to see to the nearest exit.

it’s hard to reconcile two conflicting theories if you can’t find something wrong with either one, and quantum theory, like general relativity, has passed every test. As a result, scientists have been looking for ever-more-extreme situations in which to test these theories. That led them to black holes.

To avoid poisoning one another’s minds — so that no one could accidentally nudge another group into seeing a black-hole shadow that wasn’t really there — these groups worked in isolation, making images using different algorithms and techniques, trying hard to discredit anything that looked too sharp, too clean, too likely to be the product of wishful thinking.
telescope  astronomy  scientist  world  project  Physics  law  research  relativity  quantum 
october 2018 by aries1988
就士游 | 陈浩武:从启蒙运动到大革命——法国旅行手记(中续)

law  français  loire 
october 2018 by aries1988
邢福增:下一代靈魂之爭──中國未成年人還可否信教?|端傳媒 Initium Media
religion  china  policy  law  children  catholicism 
february 2018 by aries1988
Emprunts : mensualités, intérêt, taux, TEG, risque de taux - Images des mathématiques - CNRS
Ou comment impressionner son banquier

Comprenons le principe d’un tel prêt. Chaque mois vous versez une mensualité constante que l’on va chercher à déterminer, on la considère pour le moment comme une inconnue. Cette mensualité sert d’abord à vous « mettre à jour » avec la banque en lui versant la rétribution due ce mois-là pour la somme que vous restiez lui devoir depuis le mois précédent. Une fois « quitte » avec la rétribution de la banque, le reste de la mensualité sert à rembourser une partie du capital prêté (qui diminue ainsi progressivement, on parle de prêt à amortissement progressif). Tout cela est calculé pour que vous ayez remboursé la totalité à la mensualité N.

On est parfois surpris de constater, en recevant son « tableau d’amortissement », que l’on rembourse au début beaucoup d’intérêt et peu de principal. Vu le principe de ces prêts, c’est normal, puisque chaque mois, on paye l’intérêt sur la somme que l’on devait encore le mois précédent, très forte au début et faible à la fin.

Ceci explique sans doute que les prêts sur des durées supérieures à 20 ans, jusqu’à 30, ne soient vraiment apparus que ces 10 dernières années, avec la chute des taux de prêt.

Cette information doit être utilisée avec précaution et ne permet pas de comparer deux prêts s’ils ont des durées différentes. En effet cette information dit certes combien on va donner à la banque, mais pas à quel moment ! Or un banquier sait bien (c’est son cœur de métier) qu’à cause de l’inflation et des placements sûrs, une même somme en euros n’a pas vraiment la même valeur selon la date à laquelle on la reçoit.

les intérêts sont versés chaque année et portent à leur tour intérêt : ce sont les fameux intérêts composés

Donc attention, la donnée qui traduit vraiment l’effort de la banque, c’est le taux d’intérêt. C’est pour cela que c’est ce que l’on négocie âprement avec son banquier, ou que les informations données dans les sites Internet sur les prêts sont exprimées en taux.

Savez-vous que lorsqu’un commerçant vous propose un crédit gratuit supérieur à 3 mois, ceux qui payent comptant doivent se voir proposer un escompte ?

Comment comparer ces deux prêts de durée différente ? En calculant un taux d’intérêt assurance comprise, bien sûr.

Comment faire ? Pour chaque prêt vous calculez la mensualité à l’aide de 2, puis vous ajoutez le montant de l’assurance, et vous calculez comme on l’a vu plus haut le taux correspondant au total prêt + assurance.
learn  maths  home  finance  money  budget  immobilier  explained  law  moi 
september 2017 by aries1988
Why Drivers in China Intentionally Kill the Pedestrians They Hit

In China the compensation for killing a victim in a traffic accident is relatively small—amounts typically range from $30,000 to $50,000—and once payment is made, the matter is over. By contrast, paying for lifetime care for a disabled survivor can run into the millions

These drivers are willing to kill not only because it is cheaper, but also because they expect to escape murder charges. In the days before video cameras became widespread, it was rare to have evidence that a driver hit the victim twice. Even in today’s age of cellphone cameras, drivers seem confident that they can either bribe local officials or hire a lawyer to evade murder charges.
reportage  china  today  driving  killing  life  society  money  security  crime  law 
august 2016 by aries1988
Hazard lines
Exposure to any potential hazard involves a certain risk. It’s where we draw the line between high risk and low risk that defines what is safe and what is not. This gives rise to an interesting set of questions. Would everyone draw that line in the same place? Would we draw the same line for ourselves as we would for others? And, would we allow others to draw the line for us?

it’s well-documented that people have difficulty conceptualising ratios and fractions because they focus on numerators to the detriment of denominators, there’s been little movement away from using ratio metrics when presenting risk to the public.
nuclear  safety  science  people  perception  history  regulation  law  future  self 
june 2016 by aries1988
Way, José | The Economist
BRAZILIANS delight in Portuguese words that seem to have no equivalent in other languages. Saudade is yearning for an absent person or a place left behind. Cafuné is the act of running one’s fingers through a lover’s hair. More newsworthy is jeitinho, a diminutive of jeito (“way”). It is a way around something, often a law or rule.

Some scholars think that Catholics, tempted to regard confession as an alternative to compliance, are especially prone to jeitinho-like behaviour. Others suggest that mestiço (mixed-race) societies like Brazil’s are liable to be flexible, about the law as much as ethnicity. Perhaps inequality plays a role: the rich and powerful flout the law, so why shouldn’t ordinary folk?
language  brazil  portugal  story  comparison  nation  crisis  today  law  explained 
may 2016 by aries1988
Head count: executions by country
Many countries have given up capital punishment: 101 had abolished it by July, says Amnesty International, up from 59 in 1995. Some may be getting less keen: in America—the only rich country other than Japan still practising the death penalty—28 prisoners have been executed this year, the fewest since 1991. Yet plenty of enthusiasts remain. The global toll is unknown, because thousands are believed to be executed annually in China, where official figures are a state secret and there are 55 capital crimes, including corruption and drug offences. The war on drugs is eagerly waged elsewhere too, accounting for half the executions in Iran and Saudi Arabia; Indonesia reinstated the death penalty for drug crimes in 2015. Pakistan reversed a moratorium on executions last December, after the massacre of 149 people, including 132 children, at a school. Since then over 300 prisoners have been put to death, by no means all for terrorist crimes.
death  government  law  human 
december 2015 by aries1988
Chinese Security Laws Elevate the Party and Stifle Dissent. Mao Would Approve.
“National security education will be included in the national education system and the public-servant training system to strengthen awareness among the entire populace,” the law says. “April 15 of each year will be set aside as national security education day.”

“I think the frame of the national security law fits the current needs of the nation, since national security as a concept has expanded to more areas,” said Tong Zhiwei, a professor at the East China University of Political Science and Law. “But I don’t agree with some of the wordings in the draft — for example the phrases ‘ideological security’ and ‘cultural security.’ ”

Ideology and culture are not threats to national security, Mr. Tong added.
2015  china  policy  education  law 
may 2015 by aries1988
Is Every Speed Limit Too Low?
Every year, traffic engineers review the speed limit on thousands of stretches of road and highway. Most are reviewed by a member of the state’s Department of Transportation, often along with a member of the state police, as is the case in Michigan. In each case, the “survey team” has a clear approach: they want to set the speed limit so that 15% of drivers exceed it and 85% of drivers drive at or below the speed limit. In its 1992 report, the U.S. Department of Transportation cautioned, “Arbitrary, unrealistic and nonuniform speed limits have created a socially acceptable disregard for speed limits.” Lt. Megge has worked on roads with a compliance rate of nearly zero percent, and a common complaint among those given traffic citations is that they were speeding no more than anyone else. With higher speed limits, Megge says, police officers could focus their resources on what really matters: drunk drivers, people who don’t wear seat belts, drivers who run red lights, and, most importantly, the smaller number of drivers who actually speed at an unreasonable rate.
people  behavior  traffic  opinion  driving  law  science 
august 2014 by aries1988
法广:劳教制度:搬动桌子的代价 | 每日译者
googlereader  china  opinion  law 
august 2012 by aries1988

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