and my recommendation:
Have a good summer!
Critical comments on health economics and policy
“Our profession has on the whole taken not too harsh but rather too benign a view of the human enterprise. Recognizing the force of self-interest, the mainline Marshallian tradition has nevertheless almost entirely overlooked what I will call the dark side of the force—to wit, crime, war, and politics."
“cooperation, with a few obvious exceptions, occurs only in the shadow of conflict.” “when people cooperate, it is generally a conspiracy for aggression against others (or, at least, is a response to such aggression).”
"Pareto is saying, sure, you can produce goods for the purpose of mutually beneficial exchange with other parties—OK, that's Marshall's "ordinary business." But there's another way to get rich: you can grab goods that someone else has produced. Appropriating, grabbing, confiscating what you want— and, on the flip side, defending, protecting, sequestering what you already have—that's economic activity too. Take television. Cops chase robbers, victims are stalked by hitmen (or should I say hitpersons?), posses cut off rustlers at the pass, plaintiffs sue defendants, exorcists cast spells against vampires. What is all this but muscular economics? Robbers, rustlers, hitpersons, litigants—they're all trying to make a living. Even vampires are making economic choices: sucking blood is presumably the cost-effective way of meeting their unusual nutritional needs.”
“This is Machiavelli's version of the golden rule: he who gets to rule, will get the gold. Human history is a record of the tension between the way of Niccolo Machiavelli and what might be called the way of Ronald Coase. According to Coase's Theorem, people will never pass up an opportunity to cooperate by means of mutually advantageous exchange. What might be called Machiavelli’s Theorem states that no one will ever pass up an opportunity to gain a one-sided advantage by exploiting another party.
Machiavelli's Theorem standing alone is only a partial truth, but so is Coase's Theorem standing alone. Our textbooks need to deal with both modes of economic activity. They should be saying that decision-makers will strike an optimal balance between the way of Coase and the way of Machiavelli—between the way of production combined with mutually advantageous exchange, and the dark-side way of confiscation, exploitation, and conflict.”
"Thus, in recognizing the role of conflict we must not go overboard in the other direction. All aspects of human life are responses not to conflict alone, but to the interaction of the two great life-strategy options: on the one hand production and exchange, on the other hand appropriation and defense against appropriation. Economics has done a great job in dealing with the way of Ronald Coase; what we need now is an equally subtle and structured analysis of the dark side: the way of Niccolo Machiavelli.”
The balance between these modes of economic activity--the one leading to greater aggregate wealth, and the other to conflict over who gets the wealth--provides the main story line of human history.This speech and several articles on conflict were published in a book "The Dark Side of the Force: Economic Foundations of Conflict Theory".
Genome-wide mapping and analysis of DNA methylation has become feasible for patient cohorts with thousands of samples, and epigenome-wide association studies have been conducted for numerous biomedically relevant phenotypes. To translate relevant epigenome associations into clinically useful biomarkers, it is necessary to select a manageable set of highly informative genomic regions, to target these loci with DNA methylation assays that are sufficiently fast, cheap, robust and widely available to be useful for routine clinical diagnostics, and to confirm their predictive value in large validation cohorts.Among its conclusions I would like to highlight three of them:
(i) Absolute DNA methylation assays are the method of choice when validating DNA methylation differences in large cohorts, and they are also an excellent technology for developing epigenetic biomarkers.
(ii) Relative DNA methylation assays are not a good replacement for absolute assays. However, experiences of scientists in the contributing laboratories suggest that carefully selected, designed and validated relative assays can cost-effectively detect minimal races of methylated DNA against an excess of unmethylated DNA.
(iii) Global DNA methylation assays suffer from noisy data and divergent results between technologies. Locus-specific assays (possibly combined with prediction) provide a more robust alternativeThat's it. Very soon will see the epigenetic biomarkers in routine clinical use. And afterwards, epigenetic drugs and treatments. Then, we'll confirm that the promise of precision medicine is a reality. The implications for medicine as a scientific discipline and clinical decision making are huge, and specifically, healthcare organizations will need to adapt to new knowledge and technologies.
A generic approach, involving the provision of vast amounts of information to the general public, stands a real risk of leading to information overload, bewilderment and lack of interest among mainstream consumers. A more effective approach to change consumer food buying and consumption behaviour, is to focus on segmenting the population according to their information needs, and developing information with high levels of personal relevance to specific groups of respondents who may be at greater risk than the rest of the population. Such information is more likely to create attitudinal change and subsequent behavioural change as the perceived personal relevance is high.Is the government already prepared for the task?
Despite remarkable health gains, past health fnancing trends and relationships suggest that many low-income and lower-middle-income countries will not meet internationally set health spending targets and that spending gaps between low-income and high-income countries are unlikely to narrow unless substantive policy interventions occur. Although gains in health system efficiency can be used to make progress, current trends suggest that meaningful increases in health system resources will require concerted action.Is there anybody that can tell me what "internationally set health spending targets" are?. Who sets them?. If anybody wants to check what I'm saying, have a look at the cutbacks from the great recession and the estimates by OECD or EU. Everybody was saying that technology innovation and aging would boost health expenditures forever, and now we know that this is not true. Forget the article. Distrust the fortune-tellers.
Some key concepts from the book:Promising contributions to healthcare:
- How to think holistically about the blockchain as a meta technology, a business model disruptor, and legal/regulatory policies challenger.
- The 10 properties exhibited by the blockchain (beyond its most popular one, as a distributed ledger)
- Blockchains as a new Internet layer, comprised of the new breed of decentralized applications.
- The unbundling of trust and how a new form of trust inserts itself between peer-to-peer relationships, and brings a new level of transparency, trust and truth.
- The rise of New Intermediaries. Just as the Internet replaced some intermediaries, now the blockchain is replacing other intermediaries, while simultaneously creating new ones.
- Industry cases in healthcare, energy and government, including an in-depth review of financial services.
- Practical recommendations for implementing the blockchain within the enterprise.
- The blockchain as the operating system that enables decentralization, and its technological, political and societal implications.
- The birth of a crypto economy that creates its own wealth via new business models, and peer-to-peer transactional relationships between producers and consumers.
- A new flow of value, with the blockchain acting as the digital leveler that moves value across a new variety of markets.
- 47 blockchain predictions about a not-so-distant future, when blockchain technology permeates our world and creates new companies and new services.