Friday, May 8, 2015

The Wrong Kind of Healthcare and Advice We Can All Use (May 8, 2015)

I've finally pushed past a stumbling block in writing Clarity #4. It feels good to be excited to write. Here are some intriguing things I've read in the last week:

  • Atul Gawande looks back at a story he wrote 5 years ago on the screwed up healthcare system. He can see where things are getting better -- and people are getting the right kind of care (New Yorker)
  • An amusing "masterplot" for a ripping good story (i09)
  • This advice for new college graduates applies to us all (Motley Fool)
  • Wasteful megacities, with NYC as first among equals (Vice)
  • The simple solution for chronic homelessness (Washington Post)
  • Learning a new language (Business Insider)
  • We don't vote for the political party we like; we vote against the party we fear (Vox)
  • The gerrymander explained, with pictures (Washington Post)
  • A new way to think of placebos (Here and Now)
  • An interesting look at how nations can hide huge secrets when they need to (Politico)
  • Stephen King reminds us why it's useful to read widely (Farnam Street)
Note: I embarked on an experiment to see if I like to read Terry Pratchett -- and discovered that humor really is subjective. Maybe it was the timing...maybe it was the books I chose...but I am not yet a converted fan. I will try again in the future.

Note #2: I think it's curious that I enjoy reading Tom Clancy novels when I don't agree with his politics -- and end up skimming through the dense military-tech sections.

Why do I read him? He knows how to construct a plot.

Why do I feel guilty? Let me count the ways...

On my most recent dip into his alternate world, I discovered another strike against his style. Beyond the length of his stories and the major plot threads that lead nowhere, his endings are always crisp and far too unmessy. As if a large war executed by him wouldn't leave behind mess after mess. His is a fantasy world as disturbing as George R.R. Martin's where the violence makes the world more sane, not less. Still, I read him because it's reassuring...which explains the U.S. in the 1980s and maybe a few other countries worldwide right now.

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