Category Archives: Miscellany

On Wisdom

Tweet The quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment Before diving into a topic that usually defies accurate analysis, a few preliminaries. The third person singular pronoun is a good marker of the unwise. The degree to which it bothers you is directly correlated with your degree of unwisdom. My rule is as follows….


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Penguins

www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7tWNwhSocE”

Tweet The penguin is a noble bird, always dressed in formal attire. Most belong to the subfamily Spheniscinae, but some play hockey in western Pennsylvania. And still others belong to a prestigious but mostly obscure medical organization – The American Association of Physicians. The group was founded by William Osler and a few other physicians…


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My Smart TV Has a Stupid DVR

Tweet The march of technology is like a drunken sailor on his way to the next bar. He more or less knows where it is, but his pickled neurons send him on an erratic path. Thus we get driverless cars that run over a pedestrian in the dark because the car forgot to turn its…


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Quotations of the Day

Tweet There’s nothing as stupid as an educated man if you get him off the thing he was educated in. Will Rogers One of the first duties of the physician is to educate the masses not to take medicine. Sir William Osler


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Moon Meditations

www.youtube.com/watch?v=tARtQkWdZSM

Tweet There’s more to the moon than that round object in the sky. You can hang it if you see someone doing something superlative. Of course, if someone does something the opposite you can moon him or them if your object of scorn is plural. You can give it to your object of intense desire…


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Montaigne on Impotence

Tweet Michel de Montaigne (1533-92) is the father of the literary essay. His three books of essays, all but one of these essays are relatively short, cover just about anything you can think of. His influence on writers and thinkers who came after him is immense. These sophisticated and learned musings are ideal bedtime reading,…


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Genesis 25 – Predictions of Things to come

Tweet I happened to be leafing through Chapter 25 of Genesis when I was struck by its relevance to many of today’s most pressing issues. At some indeterminate time, I may get around to how the first chapter of this book seems to conform to modern cosmology’s explanation of the origin of the universe came…


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More on Gender Inequality

Tweet The New York Times published an article, As Women Take Over a Male-Dominated Field, the Pay Drops. The title conveys its message. That women are paid less than men for the same work is true. But is it as the article strains to imply that it is due to a gender bias? Buried deep…


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Experts – Just a Few Thoughts

Tweet A foolish faith in authority is the greatest enemy of truth. Albert Einstein Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts. Richard Feynman The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool. Richard Feynman Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge. Charles…


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Mortality and Ethnicity in the US

Tweet The overall mortality rate in the US is the highest in the developed world. But when you dig into the data the breakdown of the various American ethnic groups is very surprising. Last fall Anne Case and Angus Deaton published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shortly before Deaton was…


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