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Showing posts from September, 2018

Kavanaugh versus Ford: Who Really Lost?

The nation was transfixed this past Thursday with the sequential testimonies of Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh.   It is rare that a judicial or quasi-judicial proceeding generates this stratospheric level of intensity and interest.   In my recollection, the O.J. Simpson murder trial and the Anita Hill hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee both reached this level. I watched a good deal of the hearings and read about what I was unable to watch. Personally, I don’t think that minds were changed.     Nearly every U.S. senator’s mind was firmly decided at the moment that the judge was nominated months ago.   Many offered up their strident support or opposition within 24 hours of the announcement of the nomination, if not sooner.    I will let readers decide if such a response is the diligent and fair reaction that a nominee and the country deserve.   To me, it seems that this massive pre-judgement was offered up without necessary fact finding or standard due dil

When Should Your Doctor Say 'I'm Sorry'?

For many people throughout the world, this past week provided an opportunity to reflect on one’s life and to invest in one’s soul.    While self-examination should be an ongoing task,   the Day of Atonement is a singular opportunity to meditate deeply on this process.   While this day culminates a 10 day period of intense reflection – or so it should – once again, this does not relieve us of our obligation to pursue this task on all other days. Atonement is a tough business and I admit that I am no expert.   Consider how challenging this process is. Personal reflection. Acknowledging personal flaws and transgressions. Approaching those whom we have wronged to make it right. Forgiving those who seek our pardon with grace. Committing not to repeat our offenses if placed in the same circumstance again. Sounds easy?    Hardly.   Changing our traits and actions are very difficult.   Why do you think so many of us have the same list of New Year’s resolutions every year?  

Artificial Intelligence and Medicine - Is Your Doctor Obsolete?

I read about artificial intelligence software that can rival high school juniors armed with #2 pencils.  The program attacked SAT math questions and performed at the level of a typical 11 th grader.  The study was too complex for me to grasp. I guess I should ask an 11th grader for assistance.  Artificial intelligence is well beyond conventional computational exercises. It can ‘think’. Man vs Machine Increasingly, we see functions executed by machines that were formerly performed by living breathing human beings.  Examples range from the mundane to the preternatural.  Order food and drink from an iPad.  No server needed. Driverless auto travel.   This may lead to a resurgence in prayer. Pilotless air travel.  Hard times ahead for the Airline Pilots Association.  Making precision tools – from 3D printers. Gourmet meals created with a voice activated command. Theater and film productions starring faux actors created on keyboards. Will artificial intelligence i

Breaking News! A Cure for Baldness!

I have satellite radio in my car.  I listen to 2 or 3 stations.  I have a deluxe version of cable TV, giving me access to hundreds of channels.  I watch a handful of them.   There is no way, of course, that I could simply pay for the 7 stations I watch.   For example, if I want HBO so I can watch John Oliver’s uproarious Last Week Tonight on Sunday, I have to purchase some package of useless channels to secure my HBO spot. I listen to CNN often in the car.  This network blares out ‘Breaking News’ every 5 minutes or so.  I wrote to them demanding an explanation for these idiotic announcements, but they couldn’t break away from the avalanche of breaking news to respond to me.  In times past, ‘Breaking News’ meant that the Germans surrendered, Truman beat Dewey or that Neil Armstrong planted his feet firmly on the lunar landscape.  I also wrote twice to CNN asking how many minutes of commercials occupy Wolf Blitzer’s hour long ‘news’ show.   I got the same non-response as referen

Thoughts on Labor Day 2018

All work is honorable.     Sometimes, when I ask a patient what his occupation is, the response begins with, ‘I’m just a…”.   I’ll have none of it.   There is no ‘just’.    Most of the people who keep this country afloat are anonymous folks who put in an honest and decent day’s work.   Some use a keyboard and others use a hammer.   Some use a shovel and others use a colonoscope.   Some arise when we are still asleep and others start work after we have retired.   Some use their hands with skill and precision and others offer professional advice.    Some design a building and others build it.    Some create and others consume. But, why should these words matter here?   After all, I am just a blogger.