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Guest Post - Medical Kidnapping

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.17.18

Minivet writes: CNN part 1. CNN part 2. Mayo statement. CNN rebuttal on reporting process.

The story definitely has some elements of sensationalism, and I noticed throughout that there was little coming directly from the patient's perspective, presumably related to the TBI, but it seems telling that another hospital and law enforcement both agreed she was capable of making decisions for herself, and the doctors CNN consulted also said the summaries of the care from Mayo they read raised similar issues.

It feels like something we don't have a good enough narrative framework for, when a big organization runs amok, not due to profit motive, but out of inertia and insistence on its own authority and rectitude. Also I wonder how much the rurality of the family made a difference in this case.

Of a piece with this, yes, to an unacceptably systemic level, doctors don't listen to women and POC, we probably don't need more shocking anecdata to bolster this.

Heebie's take: Okay, so the story roughly is that an 18 year old senior in high school has an aneurysm on Christmas morning. Several surgeries later, she's in the rehab part of the Mayo clinic. The first two links are from the family's POV. Early on they have some legitimate complaints about the quality of the medical care - pain not being adequately managed, breathing tube the wrong way. After that, the nature of the complaints gets very vague - they want various staff members removed, they want to change doctors and hospitals - and the mom gets formally kicked out of the hospital mid-February. This all makes it read like the family is a major PITA. Or maybe the family is a major PITA, and also the Mayo clinic staff were being shitheads. There's weird stuff about the hospital trying to take over custody or something - they definitely think the mom is bonkers, but they are not following proper procedure for such cases.

Finally the dad creates a pretext to the nurse on duty to get the daughter out of the wing and into the lobby, and then they drive off with her, and the hospital is upset and brings in the police.

The fourth link, the CNN rebuttal, does provide some evidence that Mayo is being sketchy. They're inconsistent about major facts. They don't seem forthcoming.

Superficially, the family evokes a stereotype of hardcore rural libertarians with daddy issues. In terms of cognitive dissonance, it's easier to dismiss the family than accept the full implications of believing what they're saying. It's easy to believe that every time a doctor or staff member told them to do something, they got up in arms. It's easy, but it's not fair. Maybe they're entirely correct and the Mayo clinic did all this crazy shit.

Finally: all the CNN links have autoplay video but also text news stories.



 

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Double Penetration

Posted by Ogged
on 08.16.18

Sayeth this dude.


During "coding" "bootcamp" one bit of wisdom from our elders (people who had just gone through the program and stuck around to help the next cohort) was that we'd gain valuable minutes by watching all the lecture videos at double speed. It takes some getting used to, but as someone who much prefers text to video or audio as a method of information delivery, I found it very helpful. And once you get used to 2x, all 1x videos sound like drunk people. So I'm still somewhere between a 1.5x and 2x man (ldz), depending on the speaker's base rate. I, however, never went "all the way," as some did, to become a 2x watcher of movies and TV shows. But they're out there. Among you. Now.



 

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Free Stuff That You Already Paid For

Posted by Ogged
on 08.16.18

Well, this is a big deal.

The New York University School of Medicine announced on Thursday that it would cover the tuition of all its students, regardless of merit or need

To focus on the negative, it's kind of astounding how much wealth has been captured by higher education in this country.

On the positive side, now we can all go to med school together. It'll be great.



 

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Heist

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.15.18

This sounds like fun!

The FBI is warning banks that a large cyberattack is coming, and criminals are expected to exploit a vulnerability in ATMs to steal millions or billions of dollars over the next few days. According to the FBI, this attack is expected to be global in scale and could target any of a number of different banks.
"The FBI has obtained unspecified reporting indicating cyber criminals are planning to conduct a global Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cash-out scheme in the coming days," reads the FBI alert.

Sounds like it'll make a good movie! Plucky female FBI agent has advance knowledge due to her double-secret hacking skills and is put on the case. She fails to prevent it and has to recoup her good name. The boyishly handsome villain ends up setting up his more violent co-conspirators to take the fall, and then the last scene shows him reclining on a tropical island, and then the camera pans to two drinks on the cabana table, and then follows the other hand up to reveal...the plucky FBI agent.



 

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Retention of Wealth

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.14.18

A variation on the immorality of being grotesquely wealthy:

What I am arguing about is not the question of how much people should be given, but the morality of their retaining it after it is given to them.
Many times, defenses of the accumulation of great wealth depend on justifications for the initial acquisition of that wealth...People on the right often defend wealth along these lines. I earned it, therefore it's not unfair for me to have it.

But there is a separate question that this defense ignores: regardless of whether you have earned it, to what degree are you morally permitted to retain it? The question of getting and the question of keeping are distinct.

... If we find it appalling that there are so many rich people in a time of need, we are asked to consider questions of acquisition rather than questions of retention. The retention question, after all, is much harder for a wealthy person to answer. It's one thing to argue that you got rich legitimately. It's another to explain why you feel justified in spending your wealth upon houses and sculptures rather than helping some struggling people pay their rent or paying off a bunch of student loans or saving thousands of people from dying of malaria. There may be nothing unseemly about the process by which a basketball player earns his millions (we can debate this). But there's certainly something unseemly about having those millions.

The essay has some problems (italics in original):


Because every dollar you have is a dollar you're not giving to somebody else, the decision to retain wealth is a decision to deprive others.

I don't think that's exactly how economics works? Someone told me once that economics is a stream, not a pool, and that what you care about is how quickly it churns, not how it's divided up. I don't entirely agree - there are some aspects of a group where it's more like a pool than a stream - but anyway.

The point is whether or not we ought to have a nearly completely confiscatory tax at some fairly grotesque ceiling. (If there were one, I think it'd be reasonable for it to be pegged regionally, so let's not get into discussions of how the 99% in podunk is only the 90% in the Bay Area.)

I'm throwing this up really quickly without proofreading or reviewing the article! Via the other place! Aaaugh here come the kids!



 

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x/0 = 0

Posted by Ben
on 08.13.18

I thought this was a neat little essay about division by zero.



 

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Various Monday

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.13.18

1. The Jade Helm conspiracy sounds like it was a test run by the Russians to see how easily they could gin up hysteria. I'll have you remember that our shit-for-brains-Governor Abbot called the State Guard on the US military in response.

2. I really wish Ted Cruz himself had said this, but it was a spokesperson for his campaign:

"Unlike the spicy ketchup, when Texans unwrap the O'Rourke packaging, they are definitely not going to like what they see underneath. He's like a Triple Meat Whataburger liberal who is out of touch with Texas values."

(Whataburger is sincere high praise in Texas, not an insult like Taco Smell or something.)

3. I've diagnosed myself with Cubital Tunnel Syndrome. Anyone who's been there, words of advice?

4. We've started buying Striped Pangasius fish from the grocery store. It's cheap and really delicious. It's also controversial, I gather, for the usual reasons - how much mercury and toxins are in it? how bad is the farming for the environment? (Potentially very bad.) The main thing it seems to have going for it is that you can eat it without worrying that you're contributing to the collapse of ocean fish populations, because it thrives in farm-raised situations. The other thing it has going for it is that five out of six Geebies think it's really delicious.



 

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