Medicine and Society: It’s A Complicated Relationship

Reflections on Modern Medicine, Social Norms, and Unintended Consequences

There May Be a Wonderful New Medicine Out There That Could Save Your Life. You Likely Would Not See it in Time.

The opioid crisis in this country is major. We are overrun by this. It makes most other drug epidemics seem like child’s play. I read last week that a Wake Forest University research team may have developed an opioid substitute. It could be as much as 100 times (!) more effective than opioids and has zero addiction risk. This is big news.

Did We Learn the Right Lessons from The Primaries?

A Lot of Lessons Were in the Offing. Are We Adapting the Right Ones?

Happy Labor Day, America. Labor does not have much to celebrate at the moment, but hope springs eternal. Which takes us to today’s topic, lessons learned in the primary season.

It has been a remarkable primary season in many ways. Not that it is quite over. There are still a few stragglers out there, including the one for NY governor. But for the most part, the party is over. It is time to assess what to carry forward from the primaries into November and beyond.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner!

Let’s Imagine You Have a Dinner Date — with History

For our weekend rumination, we are going to draw upon two what-if games that I have enjoyed over the years.

The first of these was a TV show created by the great Steve Allen (a true genius and talent). The show was Meeting of the Minds. The scenario was that Allen had the ability to reach back in time. He could invite any historical figure he chose to sit with other notables Allen had invited. Attendees would share their vision and goals,

The Robots are Coming! Good News or Bad News?

A Whole New World of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence is Coming. Interesting Times are Ahead – Soon.

I, like many of you, have long been fascinated by the increasingly sophisticated development of robots and the parallel acceleration of artificial intelligence, or AI. We are now at a time wherein these two technologies are merging in some fascinating ways. As usual with technological advances, we should expect good news and bad news.

Just in the last month, three fascinating articles have been published in the general media about this phenomenon. Articles in Wired and in the Washington Post discussed new studies.

The Joy of Flying

Life is More Three Dimensional Than We Acknowledge. Here is a Way to Regain That Perspective.

By the time you read this, I will have finished a couple of days of commercial flying with one of the three remaining large airlines in this country. Rest assured, this blog post is not being published to sing the praises of commercial flight as we know it today.

We could talk about that, but why do that to our blood pressure?

No, today I want to encourage you to listen to the siren song of flight on a small scale.

What Invisible, Unfair Taxes Are You Paying?

Everyone Complains About Taxes – There Are Some You Might Even Know You Are Paying

First, a word about taxes in general.

The political discourse in this country about taxes is generally a waste of words. Sure, everyone would like to pay less in taxes, but that is only half the question. The other half, what would we want to give up in return for lower taxes, is seldom addressed.

We saw this mindless approach to taxes carried out full scale in Kansas. Governor Sam Brownback came into office on a Trickle Down,

Mr. Trump Hits the Trifecta

It Was a Challenge to Squeeze This Much Bad Judgement and Childish Behavior into One Week – But He Did It

Donald Trump went out of his way last week to show once again why he is hopeless as a President. This was a record week of making bad situations worse and debasing the office he holds for the moment. Let’s take a look at three examples from the week:

John McCain: Let us start with the simplest, and in so many ways, the most egregious. Mr. Trump presided over the signing of the Defense Authorization Bill.

Why Is the Connection between People and Dogs So Strong?

And What Does That Mean About Our Relationships with Other Animals?

A lot of people, most people I expect, like animals a lot. I know I do. Over the years I have enjoyed the company of dogs, cats, fish, and other assorted critters. My devotion to and affection for them all was genuine. But the dogs were, and are, in a category by themselves. I know a lot of us feel the same.

Time magazine has recently published a special edition about this very question. In it, Jeffrey Kluger laid out the framework nicely:

… about the bond that humans and dogs share.

Can Your Watch Save Your Life?

We Might Want to Pay Attention to That Question

In the last few weeks I have seen 3 more stories of people’s lives being saved by their Apple watches. The impressively accurate watch detects heart beat irregularities and pressure changes. It even measures some effects of blood clots.

In each of these cases, as in others, the individual would not have known there was a problem without the watch. In each case, they trusted the watch, sought medical care, and lived to tell the tale,

Kudos for Apple. No doubt others could offer such technology,

What do Alex Jones, Laura Ingraham – and YOU – have in Common?

You have at least one important thing in common.

Relax, I am not about to compare you to Alex Jones, Laura Ingraham, or their fellow travelers. If you like those folks, you likely are not a reader of this blog. But if you do happen to find them agreeable, you are still welcome to stick around and see what we have to say today.

The last few days have been banner days for showing the ugly side of our species, and some hopeful signs as well.

  • Alex Jones finally is purged from most social media.