October 21st, 2011

mathman

The Decision Tree review

The Decision Tree: Taking Control of Your Health in the New Era of Personalized MedicineThe Decision Tree: Taking Control of Your Health in the New Era of Personalized Medicine by Thomas Goetz


This book was...OK. It covered a few topics: we need to take more control of our health and have more access to our medical records/data (including our DNA) so we can make our own decisions, it's better to catch diseases early but the health care system in the US isn't correctly incentivized to encourage that, we need to change the pharmaceutical industry so they don't have to focus on blockbuster drugs. All was mildly interesting, but mostly stuff I had heard before, and tying all of this to a "decision tree" seemed shoehorned.

They did mention Quantified Self, which I appreciated, and there was an example of a Drug Facts box for prescription drugs that is much clearer than what we have today (a PDF example). I also learned about PatientsLikeMe, a website good for people with chronic illnesses to share what treatments work for them.


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mathman

mostly politics/economics links

Politics/economics: (more economics towards the top, more politics towards the bottom)

Back in 2000 (i.e. when we had a surplus, before the Bush tax cuts), the government wrote a report on why getting to 0 debt isn't a great idea.

Why Greece, Spain, and Ireland Aren’t to Blame for Europe’s Woes - they were invited into the eurozone so they could provide a good return on investment to the more developed countries. Then when the financial crisis hit, other countries cut back on foreign investment., meaning giant deficits. (although this wasn't the only thing going on, but it was a big factor)

Howard Schultz (CEO of Starbucks) has a plan to let Starbucks customers lend money to small businesses through Community Development Financial Institutions. Kinda crazy but I'm interested to see how it turns out!

Robert Reich's seven biggest economics lies - trickle-down economics doesn't work! and so on. And as a reminder, just because 47% of Americans don't pay any federal income tax doesn't mean they don't pay other taxes like payroll taxes, which are somewhat regressive.

Biden Takes Senate Republicans To School On Tiny Millionaire’s Surtax - or, this is how marginal tax rates work!

Lemony Snicket on Occupy Wall Street

The Untold Story Of The Actual Obama Record - hopefully Obama's campaign brings these points up close to next November...

Non(politics/economics):

Michael Winslow does a pretty convincing electric guitar!

The coffeeshop fallacy for startups - just because you like hanging out at coffeeshops doesn't mean you'd like running one.

Adobe's deblur plugin which doesn't ship yet (and there are still big technical challenges), but nice!

Rick Santorum is still really really really anti-gay marriage. (I think when he said "he'd die on that hill" fighting for a federal same-sex marriage ban, he didn't mean it literally, but still...)