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…politics as usual…

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…it all just keeps getting worserer and worserer…


Non Sequitir
Wiley Miller

With gun regulation failing yet again, the US healthcare industry begins preparing for the continued fallout from mass shootings with automatic weaponry:

Across the nation, and the world, the realization that mass killings are the new normal has been gradually sinking in. On Friday, the National Academy of Medicine in Washington published a discussion paper — titled “Health and Medical Response to Active Shooter and Bombing Events” — that details best practices to help communities become better prepared. It warns that many are ill equipped for a “surge in major trauma cases.”

Dr. Havron (trauma surgeon in Orlando) and five other trauma surgeons at the hospital performed 28 operations that night. Of the 44 patients brought to the trauma center, eight died in the emergency room within minutes of their arrival, another died on the way to the operating room and 35 were admitted. As of Sunday, four remained in critical condition.

“Everybody that made it to the operating room is still alive,” Dr. Havron said.

But Dr. Jay Falk, the academic chairman of emergency medicine at the trauma center, warned that if there had been twice as many casualties, they might have overwhelmed the system.

This is a problem the hospital will have to address, he said, adding, “We have to rethink that.”

The dead were brought to the Orange County morgue, which upgraded its capacity in 2010 to store as many as 150 bodies, with a plane crash or a tornado in mind. Dr. Joshua D. Stephany, the county medical examiner, supervised the autopsies and performed some himself.

At the Orlando Fire Department, Chief Roderick S. Williams, who supervised many of the paramedics first on the scene, is planning to “tell others our lessons learned.” Fire chiefs from New York; Aurora, Colo.; and Boston — cities that have also confronted traumas — have already reached out to share their information.

“As the next city to experience a horrific event like this,” Chief Williams said, “we have to pay it forward.

 – excerpted from How Can Communities Prepare for Mass Shootings? Orlando Offers Lessons, NY Times, 6/20/2016

Managing the results and not the source.

orlando erHospital personnel waiting with stretchers on June 12 at the emergency entrance to Orlando Regional Medical Center after the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub. Credit Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

existentialismvia Wrong Hands
© John Atkinson

good thing about scienceFound at Sign of the Times in Nyack, NY

As the political and physical landscapes heat up, Noam Chomsky offers a prescient observation:

…there are some pretty stable elements of (Trump’s) ideology….One of them is: “Climate change is not taking place.” As he puts it: “Forget it.” And that’s almost a death knell for the species – not tomorrow, but the decisions we take now are going to affect things in a couple of decades, and in a couple of generations it could be catastrophic.

So goes politics…so goes the planet…

After listening to the caucusing coverage, the candidates, the audience reactions, the prognosticators and pundits, and the man-and-woman on-the-street interviews, I stumbled across this paragraph in Why We Work, by Barry Schwartz:

Ideas or theories about human nature have a unique place in the sciences. We don’t have to worry that the cosmos will be changed by our theories about the cosmos. The planets really don’t care what we think or how we theorize about them. But we do have to worry that human nature will be changed by our theories of human nature. Forty years ago, the distinguished anthropologist Clifford Geertz said that human beings are “unfinished animals.” What he meant is that it is human nature to have a human nature that is very much the product of the society that surrounds us. That human nature is more created than discovered. We “design” human nature, by designing the institutions within which people live. So we must ask ourselves, just what kind of a human nature we want to help design.

This book is not about politics. Yet dealing and working with human nature is about politics. We live, work, eat, read, listen to and watch the institutions we all work and live in. We choose who to believe and what to believe.

I worry that we’re losing ground…

Vladimir Makovsky. 1883


The NY Times tells us how we can turn off our technology…by wearing our technology:

In a recent survey of smartphone use by Bank of America, about a third of respondents said they were “constantly” checking their smartphones, and a little more than two-thirds said that they went to bed with a smartphone by their side…Those habits have prompted enough soul searching that a slew of new companies see a business opportunity in helping people cut back.

“Technology has evolved so quickly that we have spiraled out of control and nobody has stopped to think about how this is going to impact our lives,” said Kate Unsworth, the founder of a British company, Kovert, that also makes high-tech jewelry to filter out everything but the most urgent stuff.

Many of these distraction-reducing products fall into the growing “wearable technology” niche. Smartwatches like the Apple Watch are designed to encourage more glancing and less phone checking. Last month Google and Levi’s announced plans for a line of high-tech clothes that will allow people to do things like turn off a ringing phone by swiping their jacket cuff.

“If there is a chance to enable the clothes that we already love to help us facilitate access to the best and most necessary of this digital world while maintaining eye contact with the person we’re eating dinner with, this is a real value,” said Paul Dillinger, Levi’s head of global product innovation.

Nothing up my sleeve…wait…wrong shirt…

We’re doomed.

cone head
(Image: Liam Walsh for The New Yorker]

The power of power:

Theater etiquette rules are fairly straightforward: don’t be late, keep quiet during the show and if you are not a cast or crew member, stay off the stage.

These rules didn’t seem to trouble one audience member at Thursday’s performance of Hand to God, who startled crew and fellow theater-goers by climbing on to the stage of the Booth Theatre before the show started.

Once on stage, he tried to plug a cellphone charger into a power point on the show’s set which, it turns out, was fake.

Hand to God actor Sarah Stiles questioned whether the audience member was reacting to a full moon or if he was just an idiot:


I’d vote #idiot.

Wait…did I do that right?


…just follow the signs…

new rules

…Bruce Feiler follows the trend in this past Sunday’s NY Times:

A few years ago, I was having drinks one night with Clifford Nass, a restlessly creative communication professor at Stanford University who had a reputation for out-of-the box thinking. Dr. Nass told me about research he was doing that suggested young people were spending so much time looking into screens that they were losing the ability to read nonverbal communications and learn other skills necessary for one-on-one interactions.

The data about technology use…is staggering. The Kaiser Family Foundation puts media use among 8- to 18-year-olds at more than 7.5 hours a day. A study released this month by the Pew Research Center showed that a quarter of teenagers are online “almost constantly.” Among 12- to 17-year-olds, texting has become the primary means of communication, outstripping direct human contact. Common Sense Media found that 72 percent of children age 8 and under had used a mobile device. These figures include a third of children under age 2.

Patricia M. Greenfield, distinguished professor of psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the director of the Children’s Digital Media Center, Los Angeles…told me that … in the more than four decades she has been examining young people and technology, she has seen a rapid escalation in disturbing habits. “It used to be we went into communities every 20 years looking for change,” she said. “Now, I can see changes even between my 14-year-old grandson and my 8-year-old grandson.”

– excerpted from Hey, Kids, Look At Me When We’re Talking, by Bruce Feiler


You can Google it…or maybe not…

[h/t to this isn’t happiness for the lead in and illustrator Trevor Spaulding for the New Yorker cartoon…]

© Bill Israel

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