Monday, August 19, 2013

One of the saddest things in history, Ignaz Semmelweis

Semmelweis was outraged by the indifference of the medical profession and began writing open and increasingly angry letters to prominent European obstetricians, at times denouncing them as irresponsible murderers. His contemporaries, including his wife, believed he was losing his mind, and in 1865 he was committed to an asylum. In an ironic twist of fate, he died there of septicaemia only 14 days later, possibly as the result of being severely beaten by guards.
He effectively figured out germ theory and how to combat it. And was so angry at the medical community for not accepting his conclusions that he wrote enough irate letters attacking them that they locked him up, beat him, and he died of an infection. He basically was the guy who put medicine in the black. It was the case prior to him, that alternative medicine practitioners did better than traditional medicine because alternative medicine kept you away from traditional medicine which killed you. That you could bleed on a battlefield of a wound and stand a better chance of surviving than if you were taken to a clinic. Women would have children in the street rather than go to the clinic staffed with doctors and would beg to go to the midwife clinic. Prior to the 19th century, medicine was worse than voodoo because for as weird and nonsensical as voodoo is, they didn't kill you unlike medicine. Today we are very cognisant of this. The reason for the reliance on outpatient surgery is not high turn over and getting patients out as quick as possible for the sake of money, but because hospitals are not safe places to stay for long periods and the sooner they can boot you out the better your rates of avoiding post-op infections.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

College Education as a Poll Tax.

I was reading Wikipedia and came to this paragraph in the article on Economic mobility:

It is a widespread belief that there is a strong correlation between obtaining an education and increasing one’s economic mobility. The education system in the United States has always been considered the most effective and equal process for all individuals to improve one’s economic standing. Despite the increasing availability to education for all, family background continues to play a huge role in determining economic success. To individuals who do not have or cannot obtain an education, the greater overall levels of education can act as a barrier, increasing their chance of being left behind at the bottom of the economic or income ladder.

Since you basically need a Bachelor's to get an entry level job, only those families well off enough to send their kids to college can do so and then those who can't get left behind. It's a bit like charging everybody for the right to vote and the rich don't mind much because it's not much money to them. But, it prevents the poor from moving forward or looking after their interests.