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10/01/2011 - 6:48am

This is the foresight paradox: you can be completely accurate, or you can be completely engaging, but you can’t be both.

In every foresight or forecasting exercise, there are two overarching tensions:...

09/30/2011 - 3:00pm
Sloan Churman’s husband captured her reaction the first time her new hearing device, Envoy Medical’s Esteem Implant, was turned on. On her Youtube page she says “I had an implant put in 8 weeks ago called The Esteem Implant by Envoy Medical. I was born deaf and have worn hearing aids from the age of 2, but hearing aids only help so much. I have gotten by this long in life by reading lips. This was taken as they were activating the implant.”
09/30/2011 - 2:58pm
This week, all the materials on the application for leave to appeal in Cuthbertson v. Rasouli have been submitted to the judges of the Supreme Court of Canada.  I hope they take this case. 
09/30/2011 - 11:46am

This morning, I made a presentation on advance directives and MOLST with these slides at the Delaware VA Medical Center.  I hope that I raised awareness and introduced providers to the rationale, benefits, and operation of MOLST.  

09/30/2011 - 9:26am

There are two ways to think about corporations. One is as a mechanism for letting a bunch of individual people interact. Seen this way, General Motors is just a mechanism for letting employees, customers, shareholders, suppliers, and managers interact in mutually-beneficial ways. The other way is to think of the corporation as an entity in its own right. Seen this way, GM is an entity that owns property, hires employees, is a party to contracts, and has obligations (e.g., via warrantees) to millions of customers. The people involved come and go, but the 103-year-old institution remains. These two views aren’t incompatible. Each illuminates one important characteristic while obscuring another. We need to be able to see corporations both ways, depending on the circumstance.

Here’s an important case of that confusion. As was widely reported at the time, US presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said, in a speaking engagement, that “corporations are people.” (You can see it for yourself on YouTube: Mitt Romney- Corporations Are People!) This happened over six weeks ago, but it is still causing confusion, and muddying the waters of the debate over the role of corporations in modern society....

09/30/2011 - 7:46am

A few days ago, I blogged about the notion of “ethical oil”. That’s the label one advocacy group is applying to oil from Canada’s oilsands, to distinguish it from oil from Saudi Arabia, a country with a less-than-admirable human rights record. That, of course, is a gross oversimplification.

In principle, we could look at this as a matter of “choose your poison.” Do you want the oil that’s associated with human rights violations, or the oil that’s associated with environmental destruction?...

09/29/2011 - 7:37pm

Earlier this week, I posted some video news reports on the Phoenix, Arizona case of Jesus Cornelio.  As the case is not in litigation and neither the family nor the hospital has released detailed facts, it is difficult to make informed comments.  It is unclear if this is a medical futility case, a medical deportation case, or what.  According the ABC News and other independent news sources, at least the following facts appear to be true:

The patient is not a U.S. citizen....

09/29/2011 - 4:35pm
Dr. J. chats with Ted Chiang about his Hugo award winning novella “The Lifecycle of Software Objects,” the ethics of creating intelligent machine minds, and the state of science fiction. (Part 1 of 2)
09/29/2011 - 1:39pm

An interview with party political director Marina Weisband.

Last week, the Pirate Party of Berlin, Germany, garnered a shocking 8.9% of the votes in the city-state’s election to place 15 representatives in Berlin’s parliament. In a story on the result, the New York Times described Pirate Party leaders as “disarmingly honest… in their 20s and 30s… with no lack of confidence.”...

09/28/2011 - 2:17pm

The CBC reports:  "Joseph Maraachli, the terminally ill baby at the centre of a legal and ethical battle, has died at his Windsor, Ont., home.  Baby Joseph, as he affectionately became known, suffered from a degenerative brain disease. He was 20 months old when he died late Tuesday afternoon."