Thursday, January 8, 2009

Obama's speech

I caught the first two thirds of the president-elects speech to day. A few things popped out to me. Early in the speech he said "If nothing is done, this recession could linger for years.", later in the speech he said "It will take time — perhaps many years — but we can rebuild that lost trust and confidence. We can restore opportunity and prosperity."

This strikes me as going to the doctor and being told, "You have a cold. If nothing is done, it could last a week. Spend $1000.00 dollars on this medication and you will get well. It mayt take some time, perhaps a week."

I also like the scare tactict "The unemployment rate could reach double digits. Our economy could fall $1 trillion short of its full capacity, which translates into more than $12,000 in lost income for a family of four." Well, yeah it might average out to 12K per family, but the way it will actually happen is that the 80-90+% of the workers that don't loose their jobs will have no lost income, while those that do will loose much more income. The average is meaningless, but he makes it sound like everyone listening is going to loose thousands of dollars.

Later we get "It (digitizing medical records)will save lives by reducing the deadly but preventable medical errors that pervade our health care system." I'm deeply skeptical about the benefits of digitizing medical records. I've seen nurses struggle for too long trying to extract information from poorly designed systems to give the idea much credit. I also have very real doubts about the ability of digital records to prevent medical errors. For example, I fail to see how having a digital record will prevent a nurse from picking up a sound alike or look alike medication bottle, which is one of the common caused of medical errors. But what do I know, I just hand things to doctors. I wont't even get into the word "pervades".

About this point in the speech, I felt the strong call of classic rock on another station.

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