Parrots

The differences between American media and the BBC World Service in treatment of the financial situation with the automotive industry, or anything really, are just striking. I’ve been listening to WNYC on my drive to the office, so hear NPR‘s Morning Edition, followed by Marketplace Morning Report and then the BBC World Service Newshour. I noticed earlier in the year — after NPR had a short discussion with Barney Frank where they asked him no questions, and he told them no lies — that the interviews on the BBC had more of the nature of a debate. Two guests of presumed opposing viewpoints are invited to discuss the issue of the day, and the host engages with them in a somewhat antagonistic fashion. If a claim is made, he asks for support of the claim.

This tool of the British government is less like a brain-dead parrot than our ostensibly independent media. What purpose does it serve for the media to regurgitate the latest press release?

Electronic Medical Records

On Marketplace this morning, they mentioned that Obama wants electronic medical records.

  1. Why is it any of Obama’s damn business?
  2. I haven’t noticed a reduction in paperwork as a result of computing.
  3. There are normal computing issues magnified by the sensitivity of the data.

Earlier some doctor interviewed on another NPR program said he would love medical records, and that they would save him money — and that the government should pay for them because the tools are too expensive.

Excuse me?

If they are too expensive for you to buy in order to reduce your costs then they are not saving you money. The only way the cost-benefit analysis comes out in your favor is if you don’t have to pay for it.

And so I view this, like many other things, as simply yet another power grab.