Category Archive: health

Nov 23 2011

A rare, happy moment

I spend a lot of time bashing our political system. It’s a formula that has yielded a fairly consistent source of not only blog fodder, but commenter agreement as well. After all, who doesn’t love complaining about politics? It gives us an opportunity to appear erudite and superior to those who would try to represent …

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Nov 03 2011

Why are you hitting yourself? Part 5: this post is entitled

This is part 5 of an ongoing discussion of a paper by Jost, Banaji and Nosek discussing System Justification Theory. Read Part 1. Read Part 2. Read Part 3. Read Part 4. We left off last week discussing the relationship between where one stands in the power dynamic, and how we see those at the top. If we …

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Oct 05 2011

Anti-abortion or anti-contraception: pick one

One of my favourite bits of trivia about Christianity specifically is that the teachings attributed to Jesus say far more against hypocrisy than they do about sex. This, of course, does not seem to faze his ‘followers’ whose anti-sex crusade seems to be taking notes directly from Orwell (who are we kidding? They’ve never read …

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Oct 04 2011

Another victory of evidence over ‘common sense’ in Canada

There are few terms so intellectually offensive to me as ‘common sense‘. Every time someone invokes ‘common sense’ in an argument, I immediately stop listening to them. What they invariably mean is “I have no evidence to support my position, so I will substitute what I think is obvious”. The problem is that there is …

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Oct 04 2011

Rationing, policy, and woo

I am a passionate believer in publicly-provided health care. Despite the narrative that seems to be fairly widespread among the Americans I speak to, public health care delivery is a much better model than for-profit care. Like any human system, it has its flaws that should be examined and improved upon. However, as both a method …

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Sep 29 2011

News blast: police edition

Once again, because of time constraints and my lack of willingness to let things simply slip through the cracks and into my delete bin, I am giving you abstracted versions of news items that I think should have been developed into full-length blog posts, but for the lack of time. Sometimes my trouble as a …

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Sep 08 2011

Ageing, health care, and sustainability – memes vs. evidence

One of the frequently-raised buzzwords in discussions of the Canadian health care system is the idea of ‘sustainability’. It is a bogeyman argument that crops up every now and then, particularly as a way of softening the rhetorical ground for increased private-sector involvement in health care. The argument often invokes the spectre of a meme …

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Sep 01 2011

Behind the 8 ball

This morning I went on a bit of a tear about the ludicrous idea of a ‘culture of poverty’. I suppose calling it ludicrous is not fair, since on the surface, if you’re ignorant of a lot of facts, the idea at least has some superficial credibility. What I didn’t get around to is the …

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Aug 30 2011

Fighting fire with gasoline

Sometimes the road to hell is paved with the best of intentions. Oftentimes things that seem like good ideas completely fail to improve the situation. In some cases, because we are fallible human creatures with flawed brains, we often devise solutions to problems that actually make those problems worse. Our politicians, in theory, should be less prone …

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Aug 10 2011

Exploring the alternative

I live in Vancouver. Vancouver is home to quite a bit of what is wildly-inaccurately called “alternative medicine”. What people think they mean by this term is medical treatments that fall outside of the conventional combination of surgery, pharmaceuticals, and other forms of medicine that one expects to find in a hospital. Some even fancy these …

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