Why a pure market approach to health is not only a bad idea but is simply immoral

There is a blind fight out there between believers in different versions of our health care model. Some are worshiping the mighty market and the others are jumping head on in the communal insurance pool. Who is right? I personally believe both views have huge issues and biases.

It seem that both groups are missing one important fact I’m going to try explain by using a simple graph bellow.

Market based health care model

Let’s put the above graph (the camel graph) in few words. The profit for the health industry, including Drug companies, Hospitals, Doctors and personnel, and to some extent insurance industry makes the biggest bucks out of your health misery!

If you are dead, the industry makes nothing (at least for now…), if you are completely healthy the industry only makes money out of your insurance and your fears. It sells you “maintenance pills” however you have the choice to refuse buying into it.

The insurance though is a totally different matter. To work will, all people should contribute to maximize the common pool and no one or only few should consume out of the pool in order to maximize the profits. One way or another things go down to profits and entitlements. When you have a limit on your insurance people tent to maximize the usage and the health industry pushes for it. That pushes the costs up and lower insurance business profits so they will push down on how may people are insured, how expensive your insurance is and how much you can claim.

Clearly, we want that people which helps us to be healthy, to have a top status reflecting our real top health condition. Unfortunately, when profit is in the middle, things start to get biased towards the dark side.

My solution for this complex problem?

These days, personal automation, will give all individuals a chance to get out of this “rat race” if they choose to understand and believe in it.

There is a bright future waiting for all believers in this solution and will be alive when it will happen. Extends your mind and grab it or else it may grab you instead, if it does it could grab you the wrong way. Sh..t happens in general, but it tend to happen more frequently to the ignorant. Don’t be one.

America is choosing, “Blue Pill” or “Red Pill”, explaining the Trump phenomena

Morpheus: “This is your last chance. After this there is no turning back. You take the blue pill, the story ends you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill , you stay in wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.Remember all I’m offer you is the truth and nothing more…
Morpheus: The pill you took is a part of a trace program is designed to disrupt your input output carrier program so we can pinpoint your location.”
Neo: “What does that mean?”
Cipher:It means buckle your sit belt Dorothy, cause Kansas is going bye-bye!

Blue or Red Pill?the_pill

Buckle your sit belt Dorothy, cause Kansas goes by-bye…cipher

The next day…next

I’m a Canadian. Why should I care about who the US citizens will give the power to? Well, maybe because even though I can’t vote for the most powerful person on earth I will (like most of the people living outside US) will definitely be impacted by this choice.

Let me explain what I felt as I was watching this spectacle. Do you remember the aviation disaster with the Germanwings flight 9525 ? When they listened on the cockpit recording, they could hear the screams of the passengers, which become fully aware they only had minutes before their Kansas went bye-bye. I think many of us, non US citizens, though living close to US may have felt that night. The truth is that we really have no idea if this means we are now flying our 9525 yet. I surely hope we didn’t, but how did we get here in the first place? Here is my take on this It started a long time ago with another German artifact, the Berlin wall …

What does the rise of Mr. Trump has to do with the fall of the eastern socialist block? Well, if you go even more back in time, people like Mr. Trump, in the eastern part of the world, found themselves in their own 9525 sort of speaking, when communism took Russia by storm. As a consequence, the western counterparts got scared, very scared and they suddenly realized they needed a wall. Well, not the Berlin kind, but a human one. A wall they could use to defend themselves, if the same phenomena would happen in their own countries. So they “took it easy” and allowed the middle class to grow and flourish. That proved to be a smart decision. The middle class people are usually floating around the center.  They usually do not shallow any blue or red pills. This makes the middle class a formidable wall against extreme behaviors. That was a good plan, as much as it lasted, until that Berlin wall fell…

Well, its all figurative, but all those events are part of a bigger “flow” of events each linked to each other.  When the communist block fell there was no mental counterbalance for power welding people in the west. Their fear subsided and the regular greed started to prevail in their minds. On top of that, two more new phenomena become more important each day, globalization and automation and they destabilized even more the already fragile balance of power between the social classes (the micro balance of power).

Globalization?

For many, this simply means that you loose your well paid job, to create a dozen of stupendously low paid jobs somewhere else on the globe. How is this possible? Because most of the people today have no way to efficiently communicate to other people on the globe. As such “divide and conquer” principles are easy to be used to kill wellness in both places, here and there, all imposed by a “dog eats dog” like market based competition.

On the other hand, if globalization means that all of us are able to freely communicate and exchange information and ideas then globalization would be ideal, yet that is not true so far.

Automation?

When W. Ford started to build his cars he invented the assembly line. He also paid well his employees, well enough that they could afford to buy his cars. This new approach put out of business many of his competitors who still believed in “craftsmanship”. Each car being unique and the soul of the craftsman poured into it, was not enough to compete against highly efficient production process created by Ford. And that lasted for a while. It lasted until the computers and their close relatives robots and automated production lines were invented. And so the Ford’s assembly line looses its humans.

The problem with automation is that every job on earth can be automated.Every single one!.

Don’t lie to yourself hopping it will pass, because it won’t. The fact you can’t imagine how what you do can be done by a machine it does not mean others can’t.

So, if all jobs can be automated, let’s think of the extreme case when indeed all jobs are automated.

This means that no one other than the few very wealthy people will actually have a job and in income, all other will have none.

No job no money, no money no buy. Then why to produce anything in the first place?

More, if no one can buy, money will loose their value, and the wealthy will loose their wealth (monetary) instantly! WTF then? Well simply put, you can’t automate this type of society without killing it.

Now imagine that the business granularity is at the individual level, meaning that you are a business entity and you are SELF SUFFICIENT via computers and automation.

Suddenly the automation turns from a nightmare to a dream!

You have no job, but you don’t care as much time as you can ensure all your wellness by using your own symbiotic machines to live your life anywhere, on Earth on Mars, or in the deep space. More, you are your own master, you are independent you are free! …

So, is Globalization and Automation good or bad?

Well, I’d say they are what we make them to be. But so far in this early stages, we managed to uses them to hurt ourselves…

In one of my previews articles around a year ago I was warning about this phenomena by comparing it to one of the American movies called “The man of the year”. The fresh funny talking showman Mr. Dubbs getting elected president by a fluke of a computer. I don’t think Mr. Trump got elected by a fluke of a computer, but I do believe he got elected by a human fluke.

It was clear to me that the fall of the Easter block plus computers leading to globalization and automation will create the right conditions for more and more people to loose their hope, and when the hope goes all sorts of extremes can creep in.

I think Mr. Trump is a smart and cunning business man who felt that there is an opportunity and he took it.

Mr. Trump said these days “I won” and yes this is what happened fair and square. However my warning, is not to think that this is a regular win. Mr. Trump needs to analyze exactly what this “win” means, as I believe he sits on top of a explosive human situation, which can go off at any moment, endangering many lives in both US and all over the globe.

To summarize:

Mr. Trump got on top of a wave, which probably he and no one else may truly understand. Surfing the wave will be probably be a smarter thing than try to oppose it frontally.

Globalization and Automation can lead to our salvation or our destruction, let’s try to get the right pill this time, and keep in mind that there are many other “pills” of may other colors out there!

I believe in the future, I believe in the human race, I believe in each of us being self sustainable and I believe we can be a better global society.  We only need to stop and ask “why” until asking “why” has no meaning, to be curious to put ourselves in the other people shoes.

Because life is worth living!

Fact, Fiction and BS

How to distinguish between fact and fiction then fight the lies and BS in your life…

If you check out the latest in the world of politics its impossible not to feel a big butterfly flapping its wings in hour belly no matter in what side of the political arena are you at the moment.

We are inundated and practically drawn in information hitting us at the speed of light from all directions and we all have the feeling that most of it is simply BS meant to pull us to one side or another of a conversation which most of the time makes little sense and even more, you have no idea how all this will impact your life in the future. “Most likely in a negative way” you think if you are the “half empty kind of person” positive if not and yes most of us are simply confused most of the time.

Most of the confusion comes straight out of our inability to discern between fact and fiction and yes we can smell it but can’t really put our finger on it, the regular BS, the one you smell, when let’s say some sales person picture the products they try to shove your throat and  take your hard earned money then vanish beyond your ability to ever meet them again. At least with sales you know (and possible respect) that most of them must make a living, as you do, put food on their table and they are pushed by their businesses to make more profit ant any human cost. Of course we all have a job and probably there is a sales person (if you are not one of them) which you need to thank that you can take your hard earned money home twice a month if you work for an organization bigger than your own basement.

But then there is the big BS, the one which is simply there to damage you, your reputation your life, used as a weapon against you and the entire society by some few BS experts (some people call these artists but I think it is wrong, artists create fiction not BS).

It is hard to exactly tell how much damage the confusion generated by BS creates at the social level, but I feel its impact is huge. If so, can we do something about it? I’ve studied this issue for some time now and found that before the age of computers, (the things we now can have and tuck in our pocket) there was no real solution, however now we do have a chance to fight against BS and give ourselves the gift of being able to distinguish between fact and fiction and reduce if not eliminate the BS from the world.

So, well, how do we do this?

First we need to be able to distinguish between fact and fiction. To be able to do so we need to clearly understand what fact and fiction are. You may believe you know, but please stay with me for a while and I may change your understanding of what they actually are (at least in the context of this article).

The definition of facts.

A fact is any piece of information created by a sensor of any kind measuring one or more parameters, from a well defined position in space-time and whose content can be undoubtedly be authenticated by a quorum of “witnesses”  at any moment in time and space after the measurement point (space-time) upon request.

Once the definition of fact is clear the notion of fiction is simply created by exclusion.

Any information which is not fact is fiction!

OK, good, but then what is BS? In this context BS is linked how the fictional information is used to influence human minds.

BS is fiction disguised as fact and used to manipulate human minds mostly to engage in what I define “destructive competition“.

Yeah, I know that is darn mouth full and probably may have confused the heck out of yo, yet it contains all the “requirements” for distinguishing the fact from fiction and allow for required devices to be built in order to actually make it reality. Let’s try bring that awful definition down to our world.

I believe that both factual and fictional information is valuable.

I love fiction and I trust facts.

Fiction is an essential process by which our minds “test” the future (in a wilder version creates it) in order to define the present. Without it we would not be able to exists, we must always “guess the future” by using intuition (which is a form of fiction) to be able to do even the simplest tasks. In technical terms this is called “feed-before” as opposed to “feedback” which is reacting to events. Just to make my point imagine you are a boxer and you can only “react” to the punches of the adversary, it would be for sure a short fight…

Only when certain minds try to disguise the fiction as fact, the fiction tuns in BS as a would be reverse alchemy process turns gold to shit, sorry for the expression but is an excellent analogy generating a mental image of what BS is.

Unfortunately the reverse alchemy of BS is sometimes, or maybe too many times a unconscious process. Without fighting hard against BS we can all generate too much of it and in time risk drown into it. This is even more obvious these days when we can generate more information than ever, yet the average person is basically unable to process almost any of it. On top of that, the digital information is notorious for how easy is it to be changed without living a trace. And this is a heaven for BS.

These days you can easily find on the internet pictures or movies which are almost impossible to tell if they were actually the originals the video sensor captured from the reality or were tinkered with. Some changes are subtle and technical in nature as changing the contrast luminosity of the picture, other are more insidious but kind of benign, like erasing pimples from your face, eliminating the “red eye flash” or even “thinning” your middle a bit to make you look better (at least to today’s standards). But then there are those changes which if used in justice may incriminate you without a cause like adding your face in a porn scene or depicting you smocking crack. The image editing tools are getting better and better and already is just a matter of time to create a perfect “fake”.

When it comes to justice (or injustice via the justice system) some ill minds can use the system in their advantage in order to damage you, your life and the life of your beloved ones. By using BS in computers any of us are exposed to the digital bulling via skewed justice systems.

Why are facts defined as only the information we capture via sensors, and what is a sensor anyway?

If you pull your smart phone out of your pocket and take a look at what “sensors” are available you’ll probably find the following:

  • Sound sensor (the mike of your phone)
    Those sensors measure the movements of a thin membrane which is moved back and fourth by the air around the phone. When we speak, or there is sound around the phone, vibrations of the air are creating variation in pressure on the mike’s membrane sides. The membrane then moves with the sound and transmits that movement to an electronic subsystem converting the movement in electric currents. The amplitude of the membrane movement is converted proportionally in voltage or current. Next a digital subsystem measure this electric value (voltage or current) and generates a series of numbers at equal time intervals. Each number is represented by using a number of bits, and the more bits per number the best the “quality” of the sound. In a regular phone 12 to 16 bits are used. A bit is simply the basic unit of digital information is a ‘0’ or ‘1’ or maybe ‘true’ or ‘false’ or ‘exists’ or ‘not exists’ kind of thing. These bits have no “smell” no weight, you can’t see them directly they are just darn simple numbers! And numbers can be changed without living a trace unless we can do something about that! (see further down this article).
  • Video sensor (your camera)
    The video sensor works in principle in the same way (from fact/fiction perspective). The light is sampled by an array of microscopic sensors each sensor generating a number representing the intensity of the light it measured at a moment in time. For the same location (x,y) (top,down) on the array there are three sensors “specialized” for Red, Green and Blue spectral domains. The sensor generates an image which from digital perspective is the same kind of string of “bits” as in the case of the sound sensor, the difference is that the image sensors generate way more data in the same time interval and how we interpret the bit string is different. Yet again those bits can be changes without living a trace!
  • The GPS
    The GPS measures your position on the surface of the earth and gives you a stream of three coupled numbers (longitude, latitude, height from sea level)
  • Accelerometer
    Generates measures and provides a stream of three numbers representing the acceleration your phone has as you handle it on three directions (x,y,z). As with the other sensors same digital bit representation same fake-ability issue.
  • Magnetic sensor
    Also a tri-axial (x,y,z) stream of numbers measuring he magnetic field strength around your phone. Same digital issues as with all other sensors.

So, all the sensors you have in any device around you (smart phone, tablet, computer, watch etc) all have the same problem. They generate bit streams which are fake-able once they exit the sensor chip. Even worse, once the information is stored in your phone’s memory it can be “attacked” by malicious software executing on your phone or when you publish pictures or video via public sites that information is stored in those server memories (disk, etc) and are accessible to be changed by few but not zero amount of people.

This means that ALL the information currently generated by the any of our digital sensors can be subject of modification by ourselves or other people for various reasons. Clearly some information may be more valuable than other and its value can change in time. To get a sense of that just look at the 2016 US election drama and see how information was used to attack the each opponent. Also see how video from cell phones was used in various police shootings. Things are getting serious, away is the time of innocence when only cute pets were the subject of attention.

More, these days you start to hear buzz words like “big data”, “cloud”, “machine learning”, “artificial intelligence”, etc. All those new technologies are wonders and can help everyone if used right or lead to something I coined as “Informageddon” if not. The key for all those systems is the ability of the system to differentiate between fact and fiction and maybe later weed out the BS. At this moment in time, they can’t and that can lead to miss use and abuse.

“Enhance”!

By now you must have seen already a bunch of sequences in movies where low resolution images are first shown only to give the lead character in the movie the chance to say “enhance”. An so, we are brainwashed to think that we can create information out of nothing! Yes that is exactly what “enhance” is. Let’s make it clear, if a sensor measures some parameter with a given precision then there is no way you can retrieve the missing information other than by using interpolation, which is a mathematical way to guess. But guessing is guessing and when you “enhance” you must be aware that you are mixing fiction (the interpolated info) with facts (the actual data). The resulting info is not factual any more! The same issue is when the sensor measurements overflows or measuring overlapped output of multiple activities.

What can we do about it?

The same technology which generates the issue, can if used fix it and backed by the existing digital cryptography technology and the force multiple devices on public networks can help differentiate the fact from fiction.

Why to do all this anyway? What is so bad what can happen to me?

Imagine the scenario where someone posts a picture or movie of you taking part of a criminal activity. Without a way to verify the authenticity of the information the authorities will at least need to contact you and you’ll have to spend some time explaining and trying to defend yourself. Even if you can prove the picture was “doctored” or edited by other means you still had to waste some of your time (and lots of money) as well as the officers who were mislead in the first place. This scenario is more and more plausible and if you are a public figure part of an election process or in a position of power then it is more probable you may experience this type of issue. However, all of us can be impacted sooner or later and that should be enough to worry you.

You may say, well its simple I don’t need special apps I can simply choose to live offline to stop using those dreadful devices and it will all go away. Unfortunately this will not work unless you’ll start living under a rock, literally. If you stop using the technology the others around you will most likely not and you can be a target without even knowing it! How is that going to save you? The only solution is to understand the dangers posed by technology,use it correctly and in your advantage.

The solution or… How can it be done.

The bits and pieces required to solve this issue already exists. The cryptographic technologies notable, the so called “public key cryptography”, the existing armada of smart phones and the newly emerging cloud solutions are the very components we can use to finally give ourselves the gift of distinguishing fact from fiction.

Of course, things are slightly more complex (as usual) but there is no “show stopper” here. We just need to get down to business and create the actual systems. How would this “look and feel” for the regular (non IT literate person). As with any other case you’ll need to download an app into your phone for regular usage or buy some small box you plug it in your phone or your home network for a “rock solid” secure case. Then you enable and keep all your phone sensors working, or have a more “power smart” way to select what sensors are used when. The phone will record and keep the sensor info secure (encryption) “distillate” chunks of it based on well defined time intervals and “share” the distilled information with other phones which so will “witness” it (your data/facts). The cloud can “save” all this info for later use all under your “key” to keep the privacy strong.

Then when someone will claim you were in a bad place or a bad company, or you simply wish to send some pictures or movies to a group of friends or the media they can now verify if the info you sent is fact or fiction (you changed it, or someone else did without your consent).

Since you save the information in the cloud and keep it there forever. You can come back to it and prove your innocence even after you are no more! However this info can be used by yourself for many other proposes than avoid prosecution.

The experimentalists scientists will now have a tool which can be used to validate experimental data as it too can be subject of “doctoring”.

What if someone gets a hold on your stuff from the cloud? How secure is this?

By using strong encryption and strong encryption key management you will always be in control of who can access your information. By using this technology in fact you are safer than if you don’t use it as unprotected information can be changed and you can’t prove it.

Unreliable media!

Hmm… Media, we really have no clue what to believe these days. One thing is clear, media is a business and for any business the first pillar is to maximize its profit. If you think otherwise you should take a hard look at your thinking cause is, well… flawed. So, any business, in order to survive and even more to thrive must truly understand its market its customers. With media, that is, what you are looking to hear or see. Unfortunately most of us are biased towards bad, hype, buzz, abuse, and yes fear. We simply choose to be “informed” more about what can hurt us than what can help us, we tend to watch the half empty than the half full and yes media MUST give you what you are most likely to consume. Are you still surprised that WE ALL ARE THE REASON all this crap hits us everyday?

When people are asked want they wish from media almost all of us say we want FACTS! Unfortunately, there was no reliable way to distinguish between fact fiction and BS, until now…

The future of the media is clearly split in two main roles, first as an information of any kind collector second as processor and distributor. Nothing new you’ll say they already do that. Yes they did but the way the information is acquired has changed. The media can’t control (good thing) the collection or production of information. These days you can “Google” or use other search engines (smart thing to do) to find almost anything. The media these days has the problem of information overload and and on top of that our ability to distinguish between fact fiction and BS is on a historical low.

So, the solution I’m proposing will give you the solid foundation for finding and proving facts. This is a fundamental ability which media can use to build its analysis on and generate predictions based on simulations of the potential future paths for all of us. When this happens we will at least be able to separate the fact from fiction and eventually decide when that fiction gets to close to the stink of BS and discard it.

Even more important our abilities to process vast amount of information will improve by starting to use the “Cloud” and “Big Data” abilities which all big information technology players in the market are starting to make it available for use.

Many-to-Many!

The future is bright!

If we will be able to distinguish fact from fiction, we can accomplish a lot and make big steps towards a global democracy. The issue is that the democracy only works when we all are able to listen, understand and appreciate each others distinct abilities, when we all nourish our differences as global strengths and not as weakness.

In order to do so we need to master the “many-to-many” type of communication. If you think of a scheme which classifies communication based on volume we can identify four classes of communication “one-to-one“, “one-to-many“, “many-to-one” and “many-to-many“. We think we mastered the “one-to-one” kind yet when we look at the aftermath of many of ours one-to-one discussions we realize we are at best mediocre in how much information are we able to receive and understand or verbalize and transmit. We toy around with “one-to-many” in media and I say “toy” as we now know that most of us do not trust media any more. That is a monumental failure of our ability to handle the  “one-to-many” type of communication. The “many-to-one” is even more questionable as the main use of this pattern is elections, pooling and “en mass” espionage. When it comes to “many-to-many” we are really loosing it for good. There is not even “a thing” in most minds let aside to try tackle it. Yet this is the only way we can become “something rather than nothing” at the cosmic and universal scale. You may think this is not important but somehow down there in your soul you know it is the most important thing you’ll ever be part of.

The future is bright!

… only if you stop chasing BS and give facts and fiction their right places in your mind…

Just For Fun!

John Oliver: Last Week Tonight on Scientific studies..

Real Time with Bill Maher: New Rule – Lies Are the New Truth (HBO)…

BS definition from Wikipedia

Article as a pdf document signed on http://digistamp.com : PDF  TIMESTAMP VERIFY

The original post had the mistaken title “Fake, Fiction and BS”, the browser editor “auto correct function” and my temporary stupid state made it possible. I fixed the title, though the signed version still has the original mistake, as it is a fact now! 🙂 …

Paris I stand with you

Have no Fear!, Fear leads to hate and hate leads to suffering”. My hart goes out for all people hurting now in Paris and all over the world.

We can’t change the past or even the present but we can change the future. Fear is born from lack of quality information and quality information is only born from deep listening and understanding of our peers. Ignorance is not bliss is death. We can’t afford ignorance no more.

candlelight

Pope Francis

Pope Francis. I pray for for him from all my hart to succeed in convincing people that love and inclusiveness “Is The Way”.

Even though, I don’t side with the organized religion for the same reasons I don’t side with any political parties, I’m impressed on the effort Pope Francis makes to straight our twisted current ways, all focussed on short term and small group gains. He does need all the help from God and us all to succeed, because what he fights is almost impossible to fight, to convince people to balance their focus to include more of the long term impact of their actions and and full societal (Earth level) wealth. In this case I see wealth as more (way more) than just money…

pope_francis

Just finished reading “The Narcissist Next Door” by Jeffrey Kluger

I’ve started reading the book before the US elections started. Now after I’ve finished it I seem to get a better understanding of the current dynamics of the campaign as I’m looking at it from a new perspective. If you wonder what’s going on just read the first few pages on amazon.com (those are free) and yes I recommend you buy it and read it if you are a US citizen. I think it will pay off.

I have the feeling that “Mr. Dobbs” will once again get very close to the high office and for the same reason… 🙂

Baltimore Burning, Why kids burn down their own community assets?

I’m amazed how some of us are “dazzled” on the burning just happening right now in Baltimore and happened some time ago elsewhere in US.
There are cases when people are willing to burn their own property, but I bet this is not it. This is different, this is deeper, this is something that if it is not well understood by as many of us, will only amplify over time. My guts are telling me that, these kids are burning down what they feel and regard as not being theirs. A society built on “dog eats dog” philosophy emerged from throat cutting business competition can easily breed these types of mentalities (this is not limited to US at all, is universal). At their age (as the video footages shown mostly youths) they are pressed by the crowd effect, to do “special” things and at the moment the “community” is only a far echo in their minds.

BaltimoreBurnig

Interesting enough way back in time on the time of the socialist Romania people used to say “What is everyone’s is no-one’s” and that society was supposed to be all about “community” and “sharing” and it did not work. Lesson learned? Seem not.

Lead by example they say. What example I say?

Let’s Think, or even better, let’s Think different…

Again I believe we have to start asking “why?” and continue the “why?” after each answer it comes in our minds, not stopping before we do this exercise at least 4 levels down. You’ll be surprised what you’ll discover.