Monday, November 18, 2013

Don't be a Martin in FL

A lot of people have the Trayvon Martin story all wrong.

The focus has been on race. Travyon was black. George Zimmerman was not. That is why Travyon was killed.

But white people get killed by assholes in FL too. In fact, the most famous "stand your ground" case, one where the law actually applied, featured a black man who killed a white man in front of the white man's pre-school age daughter.

Now the sports world is abuzz about the racist treatment of Jonathan Martin at the hands of his fellow offensive lineman Richie Incognito. But does anyone doubt that white rookies get hazed in the NFL too, inside FL and outside?

The real common denominator in these cases is not race, it's the last name Martin.

If you're last name is Martin get the fuck out of FL ASAP for your safety and wellbeing.

Black people get murdered and harassed in every state, leaving FL is no escape. But Martin's seem to be singled out in the sunshine state.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Medicine isn't a Science

We've all heard a lot about how economics isn't a science like physics, medicine, and chemistry.

Economists didn't predict the financial crisis. Didn't you hear?

That got me thinking.

Susumu Tonegawa who won the Nobel prize in Medicine in 1987, is a professor at MIT. His son also went to MIT.

I say "went" not because he graduated but because he committed suicide during his freshmen year, right in his dorm room.

If medicine were a science, Tonewaga would have been able to predict his son's death. But he couldn't. You draw the conclusion.

But it isn't just Tonegawa who gets this stuff wrong. My wife is reading How Doctors Think so I read through a few chapters and it seems like every doctor has misdiagnosed a patient. In fact, even the good ones he singled out recount many misdiagnoses, sometimes even fatal ones.

You almost get impression from reading the book that doctors don't really understand the human body well enough to predict when people will get sick or prevent people from dying. But medicine is a science so I guess that is a wrong impression.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

2016: Christie vs Crist

Here's my prediction for the 2016 presidential election.

Charlie Crist (D-FL) goes to war with Chris Christie (R-NJ) as both parties double down on "electability" after only allowing independents to vote in their primaries.

The suicide rate for journalists goes through the roof as they struggle to get the names straight.

The average voter refers to them as "the fat one" and "you mean that closest homo?"

The election ultimately comes down to Charlie's home state, FL, where half the voters are senior citizens who can't distinguish the names on the ballot.

Luckily for Charlie he's the governor of FL and has pulled a "Jeb," rigging the election in his favor.

Chris Christie petitions the Supreme Court to overturn the result and they think they did, but an 80-year old Scalia is charged with writing the opinion. The senile old man, entering his 25th year of suffering from Alzheimer's, writes "Charlie Crist" when he meant "Chris Christie" ensuring Charlie becomes the first gay president of the U.S.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

I think I'm starting to understand Medicine

I've always been puzzled at how much "health research" money goes into developing drugs and understanding the biochemistry of the body. Shouldn't we spend more money thinking about how to get people to actually take up our current medical knowledge to use--getting people to exercise more, actually take their pills, eat healthier, and practice mindfulness and other good psychological practices.

This letter to the editor to the NYTimes helped me understand why we don't:

Re “Yes, Economics Is a Science” (Op-Ed, Oct. 21): ...
It is good to hear that economics is entering a phase when rigorous analysis and empirical testing will become the norm. . . . Scholars of physics, chemistry and medicine can study the movement of atomic particles or lab mice without any concern that the particles and the mice are interested in the results. . . .
New York, Oct. 21, 2013
The writer is a lawyer.

Medical research isn't about understanding how to make people healthy, it is about understanding mice!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Abortion Rights back in the spotlight

The Supreme Court ruled today that people have a right to abortions, invalidating centuries of precedent that people have to pay for services like surgery and tax preparation.

In the case, Fluke vs Holder, argued pro se by Georgetown law graduate and “slut” Sandra Fluke, the plaintiff argued that she has “abortion rights” as established in Row v. Wade. Since she had to drive a long distance and pay more than she wanted to get the abortion, her rights were being unconstitutionally trampled on by the market.

In a reversal of precedent the court agreed with Ms. Fluke, rejected the Obama administration’s argument that people had to pay for goods and service like food, tablet computers and prime real estate and abortion did not have a special place in U.S. law.

Well, it does now.

Next week the court will hear Cook vs. Fanboys Limited, a case where Apple fanboys claim they have a right to upgrade their tablets for free, at Apple’s expense, due to their “medically documented obsession with Apple products,” a DSM-VI certified psychological disorder. Pundits predict the court will be confused about what it is exactly that a “tablet” does.