March 2008 Monthly Archive

March 29, 2008

Friday Diversion: Jonathan Coulton



Not his best song (that'd be The Future Soon or maybe Code Monkey) but reminds me of psychiatry. The other songs are so-- accurate. If you don't get them, then you weren't there.

The guy is a awesome. I am so learning the guitar.


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March 25, 2008

Eliot Spitzer and Alexandra Dupre: Don't Choose The Red Pill


What color bikini does Alexandra Dupre have?  That's right, you're a pawn. 


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March 23, 2008

Elizabeth Smart: Hey, You Brought It Up


A post sure to offend everyone, conservatives and liberals, parents and pedophiles.






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March 13, 2008

Economy: Where We Go From Here



It's not good.


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March 12, 2008

Accounting For Inflation It's Closer to 40, But True Anyway

After thirty a man wakes up sad every morning, excepting perhaps five or six, until the day of his death.  -- Ralph Waldo Emerson


(and this.)


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March 11, 2008

Suicidal Patients' Access To Their Psychiatrist

In the tradition of Robert Kagan and the folks at Policy Review, Robert Simon, MD defines foreign policy for the next century.


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March 9, 2008

In My Language






I don't know. As per Wired Magazine, this is real.

I look at this, and ask, would I have thought she was capable of this if I met her in passing? Would I have known it if I performed a psychiatric exam, but without tests?

Would I have misperceived some of the humming as psychosis? Which medications would I have started?

Everything I would have done-- wrong.


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March 5, 2008

Pricing of Placebo Affects Efficacy

An article from JAMA, saying that patients believed $2.50 placebos were more effective than $0.10 ones.

The question isn't why does this happen.  The question is, why, in a free market, does the placebo have two different prices?


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March 5, 2008

USAToday Says Drug Ads Are Smarter Than Doctors

There's an article in USA Today which says, essentially, that drug ads cause patients to ask for medications which they don't need, which are then given to them by their doctors. The key is that the doctors would not have given them these or any medications had the patient not asked.


The first question that can be asked is, ok, sure-- ads make patients ask for these medications. Why are the doctors succumbing to this pressure? It's a loaded concept, and I'm confident USA TODAY hasn't thought it through: are you suggesting that the doctors are prescribing a medication which is not indicated for the problem the patient describes? Or are you saying the doctor is a moron and doesn't think to recommend it in the first place? Or, are you saying the medicine isn't really needed, but the doctor is pressured to give it anyway?


Which brings us to our semiotics lesson for today: what do we mean be "need?"



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March 4, 2008

An Observation About The Current Election


I can't believe that with all the anger most Democrats have against George Bush, they are this-- apathetic.  Four years the Democrats had, to find and build the perfect candidate.  To organize as a party and say, "never again!" and build a careful platform, encourage cohesion, work to bring in disgruntled Republicans...

Instead, they defaulted to Clinton, barely half-heartedly, leaving plenty of room for Obama to try.  A young, never tested Senator-- there should have been no way he could have entered the race, let alone won.  Not because he's not good-- but because, by now, the Democrats should have already decided who they wanted.

It's a lack of organization and commitment which will, unfortunately, lead to a loss in 2008.

I'd tell you this applies equally to Republicans-- it does.  The difference is that this election, since at least 2006, was going to go to the Democrats.  Republicans should have been preparing for 2012, or the Senate.  But now...

Don't flame me.  I'm not making a comment on the candidates' abilities, just on how the system should have worked, but failed.  And the reason it failed is the same reason we're in a recession: lack of organization, and lack of commitment.





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