Sunday, March 18, 2018

An Interesting Report

In a HealthLeaders report they note a CONVERYS report on misdiagnosis which states:

The report from the medical liability insurer analyzed more than 10,500 closed medical liability claims from 2013-2017 and found that:
  • Diagnosis-related events are the single-largest root cause of liability claims. The 3,466 closed claims with diagnosis-related allegations from 2013-2017 account for 33% of all claims and 47% of indemnity payments.
  • 35% of diagnostic errors occur in non-emergency department outpatient settings, such as physicians’ offices.
  • 33% of diagnosis-related claims allege the decision-making breakdown happened as a result of a failure during the patient evaluation.
  • The four phases of testing -- ordering, performance, receipt/transmittal, and interpretation―account for 52% of diagnosis-related claims.
  • Among diagnostic failure claims, the largest number of cases involve a missed or delayed diagnosis of cancer, especially breast, lung, colorectal and prostate cancers.
  • Of the claims that cited an EHR issue, 58% had an injury severity considered high―a category that includes death.
 I find the issue of cancer misdiagnosis as a concern. PSA testing has been down played and even breast testing has been somewhat lowered.

Social Media

Back in the 60s and 70s, especially when I was working on Treaty negotiations and meetings one would have access to profiles of the parties on the other side of the table. My view was that these profiles were poor at best and confusing and counter-productive at worst. The Intel agencies had managed to assemble these from snippets of information gathered from a variety of sources. Most of them poor.

In today's world people, like me in this blog, freely provide information which can result in improved profiles, personal and psychological. I suspect an adversary could get a pretty good profile from what is written herein. However, and this is critical, I separately seek out my own information from the NY Times to RT and Sputnik, to The Guardian, and the Jerusalem Post, Arab News and so forth. I am aware that each has a position to push. Some are subtle and some are blatant. The NY Times in my opinion is the worst, the really dislike the current President. But welcome to American media.

Now as to the Social Media efforts. This is unlike what we do herein. I do not attach any news stories, I may quote from them and then give an opinion, but it is my opinion, and the mast head says so. But the social media in question monetizes their pages by first attaching "news" and then by selling the users interactions with the news and others. In effect social media can actively psychoanalyze the users. Not so much the case here since I take no comments nor do I have ads for anything. Just my comments and so far I have managed to attract a small cadres from time to time.

The power is in the profiling of the users from interactive stimulants and their actions related thereto, and then to actively troll them to change or mold their opinions. That is the power of social media as propaganda. A century ago propaganda worked by more gross techniques. Namely a fishing magazine knew its readers liked to fish and then the ads were focused to that segment.

The power of social media is nano-segmenting and then targeted opinion crafting. Now is this something the Russians mastered? Doubtful that only they saw this. Silicon Valley aggressively attacked this opportunity for their financial advantage and in a country protected by free speech and having adults using social media as if it were harmless, you had a perfect storm of adverse use and unprepared users.

For example, if an entity wanted to promote certain issues, then by using the profiling capabilities on the individual level one  could profile what motivates each separate person and each segment of the related issues. Then one could test that hypothesis on that person with certain "ads" and determine their response. Then one could provide a specific and targeted set of "ads" that would promote the issue in question. For example, sophisticated neural network systems allow for this very effectively. It is a process of; pre-targeting, target affirmation, target enhancement, and target persuasion and promotion. The entity facilitating the targeting mechanism does not even have to participate, the very nature of an open Internet facilitates that all by itself. Moreover this is not limited to Social Media, it can be done even with new feeds! Simply I one knows what a target has interest in, and then feeds that target controlled elements based upon those interests, thus in a subtle manner crafting information with a strong element of propaganda! The irony is that the intended targets are actively participating in this process.

The solution to this should be simple; education and informing them of the issue. Yet the very system being bastardized in this manner cane be turned against any rational approach to remediate. Government is not the answer. It must be an educated user class. Yet our core educational systems lack this basic tool set. The very constructs of "microaggression" embody in people's mind that very barriers to a broad understanding of this threat to democracy. So what is the answer? Stay tuned.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy Saint Pats!

I bear orders from the captain get you ready quick and soon for the pikes must be togetlier at the rising of tlie moon. "Oh then, tell me Sean O’Farrell, where the gath'rin is to be?

In the old spot by the river well known to you and me
One word more for signal token, whistle up the marchin' tune.
With your pike upon your shoulder, by the risin' of the moon”.

Out from many a mud wall cabin eyes were watching through that night
Many a manly heart was throbbing for the blessed warning liglrt
Murmurs passed along the valleys, like the banshee's lonely croon
And a thousand blades were flashing at the risin' of the moon.

There beside the singing river, that dark mass of men were seen
Far above the shining weapons hung their own beloved green
 “Death to every foe and traitor! Forward! strike the marching tune
And hurrah, my boys, for freedom, 'tis the risin' of the moon”.

Well they fought for poor old Ireland, and full bitter was their fate
(o, what glorious pride and sorrow fills the name of Ninety-Eight!)
Yet, thank God, e'en still ard beating hearts in manhood’s burning noon.
Who would follow in their footsteps at the risin' of the moon!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Ides of March

CAESAR Ha! who calls?

CASCA Bid every noise be still: peace yet again!

CAESAR Who is it in the press that calls on me? I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music, Cry 'Caesar!' Speak; Caesar is turn'd to hear.

Soothsayer Beware the ides of March.

CAESAR What man is that?

BRUTUS A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Economics 101?

I always have had a problem with economics. It inherently assumes some basis rules that humans will follow when producing and selling. Having spent time across a wide base of businesses there is only one thing I know; competitors can do really strange things.

Now in a piece in Cafe Hayek the author notes:

In one of the most astonishingly fallacious assertions in an essay teeming with astonishingly fallacious assertions, ..... writes “Critics claim tariffs will raise steel prices.  That’s questionable.  The opposite is more likely to happen, industry experts suggest.  Tariffs will shift demand to domestic steel, enabling plants here to operate closer to capacity.  That will bring down the unit price of American-made steel – not raise it.  That’s Economics 101” ... Here are relevant lessons that are really taught in Economics 101 ... First, shielding producers from competition makes the outputs they produce more scarce, thus raising prices.  Second, if it is true ..... that untapped economies of scale are available by expanding outputs, and that such expansions will lower prices and enable (in this case) American steel and aluminum producers to profitably charge lower prices than they now charge, then American steel and aluminum producers will so expand their outputs without any government prodding.  So why have they not yet done so? That is.... the current existence of untapped economies of scale is true, then the men and women who currently run American steel- and aluminum-producing firms should not be rewarded with protection from competition but, instead, fired for gross incompetence.

 First, I guess if you make more perhaps the price would go down. But that depends on how rational the manufacturer is. They often do not do what one would expect. How do they set a price? Tariffs are just a plain tax on one segment of suppliers. If that supplier can deliver at a lower price then the tax brings the effective price higher. Got that, I think. But is the price related to the cost? Is the supplier subsidized?

The second argument is that there are scale economies and if so then the domestic manufacturer could use them to compete with an import. This again assumes that the management is willing to risk this because the competitor could drop their prices and it becomes a price death spiral. No logic, just price competition. Then the customers may start to hedge on futures against price changes and so forth.

The problem with economics is that managers are not as rational as the economists think they should be. The often do "stupid" things, which leads to results which are against "theory" and then the other side does similar things.

The true argument is not looking at this dispassionately as an economist but trying to understand the management and their motivation, as well as the customer, as well as the financial markets. It is truly messy! That is why I find economics too neat for a messy world.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Are You Out of Your Mind?

The issue is Qualcomm. The NY Times states:

The extraordinary decision by the president underscored the increasingly protectionist stance his administration has taken in recent weeks to shelter American companies and ward off foreign investment in the United States.

The above are the original Qualcomm chips made for CDMA back in 1992. They were given to me when I was COO of Wireless.

Before commenting let me present some bona fides. The founder of Qualcomm was my advisor at MIT decades ago. At NYNEX I ran the venture investment fund and we along with two other Telcos invested a total of $15 million in the company. It also was one of the best if not the best investment made by the company.

Then as COO of the wireless company, now Verizon Wireless I circled the world convincing many manufacturers and carriers of the benefits of CDMA and thus fully monetizing the company. Thus I have some knowledge to say the least. Second the proposed buyer is alleged to have close ties with various Mainland Chinese entities who in turn are close to the PLA, the Communist Chinese Army!

Now does it make sense to have a potential adversary own and run a company whose products are used in strategic US systems? Hopefully any moron would know the answer to that. Thus Trump's decision is hardly protectionist, it is the only decision he could ever make as the President of the United States! Next we could have seen the chips in North Korean Ballistic Missiles on their way to San Diego or elsewhere.

Thus one wonders who writes these absurd pieces for the NY Times. Fake News, no, Dumb News, yes!