Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

One-third of the way

An argument on Kevin Drum gives me a change to try some of the argument I had with Jo over lunch the other day.
"There are two points that emerge from a decade-long involvement in health promotion that are relevant to this debate.
1) Absolutely the only figure that counts in public health is the all-causes death rate. It's the only figure that takes all factors, plus or minus, into account (and it's the only figure that can't be gamed).
2) In Australia, at least - yanks are a much less good example - average life expectancy has for the last several decades been going up by four months a year. That's not bad; for one thing, it's one-third of the way to living for ever.
There are several further points that would seem to follow from this.
a) The "epidemic of obesity" can't be that bad for us, or it would be significantly cutting in to that rise.
b) A much smaller proportion of what matters for our health is under our own control than we think. Most of what counts is secular trends in our society."

Friday, September 07, 2007

Several bridges too far

With two in a week, a trend is emerging. First there was the football coach saying on the ABC that "Well, we want to come to an agreement, but there's a lot of water to go under the bridge yet" - and then, a few days later,
Kaye Grogan
September 4, 2007

What we desperately need in our leaders are "godly" men. Not just in name only, but in actions. Every time you turn around, another scandal rocks Washington, sending the country into a vertigo type of condition with so many twists and turns. The latest scandal involving Senator Larry Craig of Idaho produced another "I didn't do anything wrong" abrupt press conference.

Since Senator Craig pleaded guilty to the charge — it seems a little odd that he held a short news conference stating that he hadn't done anything wrong, and vehemently denied he was a homosexual. Boy, talk about trying to get the water back over the bridge, and the dam patched up after it bursts, I would say this is a perfect example of the horse already out of the barn.


What other variants are foreseeable?

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