Posts Tagged ‘x57s’

The Heroism of Incremental Care

February 18, 2017

The Heroism of Incremental Care, by @Atul_Gawande
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/01/23/the-heroism-of-incremental-care Positively compares GPs-v-surgeons to bridge inspectors v rescuers

QT:{{”
“For a long time, this would have seemed as foolish as giving your money to a palmist. What will happen to a bridge—or to your body—fifty years from now? We had no more than a vague idea. But the
investigation of the 1967 Silver Bridge collapse marked an advance in our ability to shift from reacting to bridge catastrophes to anticipating and averting them.

Around the same time, something similar was happening in medicine. Scientists were discovering the long-term health significance of high blood pressure, diabetes, and other conditions. We’d begun collecting the data, developing the computational capacity to decode the patterns, and discovering the treatments that could change them. Seemingly random events were becoming open to prediction and alteration. Our frame of medical consideration could widen to encompass our entire life spans.


Our ability to use information to understand and reshape the future is accelerating in multiple ways. We have at least four kinds of information that matter to your health and well-being over time: information about the state of your internal systems (from your imaging and lab-test results, your genome sequencing); the state of your living conditions (your housing, community, economic, and environmental circumstances); the state of the care you receive (what your practitioners have done and how well they did it, what
medications and other treatments they have provided); and the state of your behaviors (your patterns of sleep, exercise, stress, eating, sexual activity, adherence to treatments). The potential of this information is so enormous it is almost scary.

Instead of once-a-year checkups, in which people are like bridges undergoing annual inspection, we will increasingly be able to use smartphones and wearables to continuously monitor our heart rhythm, breathing, sleep, and activity, registering signs of illness as well as the effectiveness and the side effects of treatments. Engineers have proposed bathtub scanners that could track your internal organs for minute changes over time. We can decode our entire genome for less than the cost of an iPad and, increasingly, tune our care to the exact makeup we were born with.

Our health-care system is not designed for this future—or, indeed, for this present. We built it at a time when such capabilities were virtually nonexistent. When illness was experienced as a random catastrophe, and medical discoveries focussed on rescue, insurance for unanticipated, episodic needs was what we needed. Hospitals and heroic interventions got the large investments; incrementalists were scanted. After all, in the nineteen-fifties and sixties, they had little to offer that made a major difference in people’s lives. But the more capacity we develop to monitor the body and the brain for signs of future breakdown and to correct course along the way—to deliver “precision medicine,” as the lingo goes—the greater the difference health care can make in people’s lives, as well as in reducing future costs.”
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Software or softwear?

February 18, 2017

#Software or softwear?
https://www.1843magazine.com/style/software-or-softwear Appears fashions change faster for computers than clothes. Cf
http://www.SFChronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/Going-beyond-geek-chic-CeBIT-6883249.php?t=a28a0bfcd600af33be&cmpid=twitter-premium

QT:{{”
For years now I’ve written about fancy-schmancy clothes, shoes and bags. I’ve visited factories and ateliers across Europe to observe artisans make Hermès bags, Kiton suits, Berluti jeans, Tod’s loafers, Mulberry luggage, Private White VC jackets, John Lobb Oxfords, Brunello Cucinelli sweaters – and much more besides. I love watching skilled craftsmen going about their business, then trying to explain the process in print without resorting to hype.

But buying the stuff? Despite my privileged access and my love of beautiful things, whenever push comes to shoving my hand into my pocket and slapping down the moolah, I tend to cringe: £600 ($750) for a pair of shoes? A £900 coat? A £3,000 watch? Uh-uh.

I tell myself that my hesitation is based on prudence. I’ve got kids to feed, after all, and the closest I’ve come to planning for the future is booking a hotel in Paris. Yet when it comes to another retail category that dominates this golden age of consumer capitalism – personal technology – it’s another story.

Ever since my childish paws first caressed the orange plastic contours of my beloved Texas Instruments Speak & Spell, I’ve been a sucker for a screen, a shutter-click or a bleep. From my first computer (an Amstrad CPC464), first camera (a Pentax me Super) and first mobile phone (a Sony Ericsson whose model number eludes me – maybe it fried the relevant synapse), I can chart each period in my life according to the hardware I was using. And I’ve never felt anything but virtuous about forking out when the cash was, briefly, in hand. Why? Because personal tech is the toolbox of 21st-century life. It empowers. It frees. It improves.

But last month I had an epiphany. It happened as I sat in the Genius Bar of an Apple store feeling stupid, paying £300 to repair the suddenly blank screen of a laptop purchased not much more than a year earlier. The cheery Genius at hand had told me that in my position, he’d probably just buy a new computer: “but that’s just me”, he said, “I always want the latest model.”

Briefly, that technophile, Pavlovian response kicked in: woof! Lead me to the newest, most expensive version! But it was swiftly replaced by a howl of inner fury.

More and more, I observe technology companies adopting the marketing strategies of luxury-goods firms. Sure, their narrative focuses not on heritage or trends, but on incremental upgrades in processing speeds, peripheral capabilities and software compatibility. Yet many companies talk just as enthusiastically about design as functionality, and propose that owning their products is a declaration of personal identity. Each new launch inevitably presents whatever product is being pitched as the ne plus ultra of its type – a big fat lie that becomes ever more glaring as the cycle of enforced obsolescence spins faster and faster.

I’ve spent the last week or so sifting through my personal archive of the obsolete: à la recherche du tech perdu. From tangles of cable and brick-like batteries I’ve excavated minidisc players (Sanyo!), BlackBerrys, Nokias, ThinkPads, iMacs, a Google Glass, Coolpix and more. None, of course, is fit for purpose now, unless you’re going to a “Back to the Future” party.”
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The Troll of Internet Art

February 16, 2017

The Troll of Internet Art
http://www.NewYorker.com/magazine/2017/01/30/brad-troemel-the-troll-of-internet-art When #virality is the goal, how to separate art & commerce? Cf http://TheJogging.Tumblr.com/

Timeline | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

February 5, 2017

http://thebulletin.org/timeline

currently 2.5′ to midnight

Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich – The New Yorker

February 4, 2017

Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich
http://www.NewYorker.com/magazine/2017/01/30/doomsday-prep-for-the-super-rich Holing up in New Zealand & the survival condo; a bit validating for normal worriers

QT:{{”
“The tech preppers do not necessarily think a collapse is likely. They consider it a remote event, but one with a very severe downside, so, given how much money they have, spending a fraction of their net worth to hedge against this . . . is a logical thing to do.”

You’re basically seeing that the people who’ve been the best at reading the tea leaves—the ones with the most resources, because that’s how they made their money—are now the ones most preparing to pull the rip cord and jump out of the plane.”

Every year since 1947, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a magazine founded by members of the Manhattan Project, has gathered a group of Nobel laureates and other luminaries to update the Doomsday Clock, a symbolic gauge of our risk of wrecking civilization. In 1991, as the Cold War was ending, the scientists set the clock to its safest point ever—seventeen minutes to “midnight.”
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Building a Brain in the Lab – Scientific American

January 30, 2017

Building a Brain in the Lab
https://www.ScientificAmerican.com/article/building-a-brain-in-the-lab/ Nice summary of the development of organoids & their promise for personalized treatments

The Demon Voice That Can Control Your Smartphone

January 30, 2017

The Demon Voice That Can Control Your…phone
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/01/the-demon-voice-that-can-talk-to-your-smartphone/513743 Verbal malware: Yell into a crowd, “Hey #Siri, text mom, I’m pregnant”

QT:{{”

“Here’s a fun experiment: Next time you’re on a crowded bus, loudly announce, “Hey Siri! Text mom, ‘I’m pregnant.’” Chances are you’ll get some horrified looks as your voice awakens iPhones in nearby commuters’ pockets and bags. They’ll dive for their phones to cancel your command.

But what if there was a way to talk to phones with sounds other than words? Unless the phones’ owners were prompted for confirmation—and realized what was going on in time to intervene—they’d have no idea that”
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A Bigger Problem Than ISIS? – The New Yorker

January 30, 2017

A Bigger Problem Than ISIS?
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/01/02/a-bigger-problem-than-isis The #MosulDam is failing. A breach would cause a wave killing >1M. Infrastructure woes

The Billion Dollar Pharma Startup that Silicon Valley Has Totally Missed

January 21, 2017

The…Pharma Startup…Silicon Valley Has Totally Missed
http://social.techcrunch.com/2017/01/06/this-millennial-wants-to-build-the-berkshire-hathaway-of-biopharmaceutical-companies-can-he-pull-it-off/ Run by QVT alum; focuses on better incentivizing scientists

America’s Top Spy James Clapper and the Future of Cyberwar and Surveillance | WIRED

December 28, 2016

America’s Top Spy James Clapper
https://www.wired.com/2016/11/james-clapper-us-intelligence/ He drives around DC in a black, armored SUV w/ its own satellite dish. Wow!

QT:{{”
Clapper’s life is a whirl of video teleconferences and non­descript spaces—subterranean briefing rooms, flatscreen-lined command centers, and eavesdropping-proof chambers called sensitive compartmented informa­tion facilities, or SCIFs (pronounced “skiffs” in spookspeak). His armored, antenna-topped black SUV—more tank than car—even has a satellite dish to keep Clapper in secure contact wherever he’s driving around DC. When he travels, a special team converts a hotel room into a secure communi­cations suite. His digital hearing aids are regularly checked by security to ensure that no foreign adversary is listening, and his counterintelligence team dumbs down the iPads he uses to brief the president in the Oval Office so that they can’t transmit or eavesdrop.
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