Tuesday, October 30, 2007

John Maeda @ TED

Amazing John Maeda video from the TED conference. I've been pro-simplicity for a while, but I've been overly simplistic in my advocation.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Poverty is a relatively minor problem in the USA

While most sensible people agree that poverty is a matter of relativity- how well off you are compared to others, this brings it into high contrast. The number of the impoverished in India is something that sticks in my mind... This isn't to say that we shouldn't strive to make the lives of all people better, even ones that have TVs, but rather that the measure of success should not be equality. That said I took real a $10 flight in Pakistan (included one cup of imitation Kool-Aid!), this seems expensive!

via Marginal Revolution

An Indian entrepreneur has given a new twist to the concept of low-cost airlines. The passengers boarding his Airbus 300 in Delhi do not expect to go anywhere because it never takes off.

All they want is the chance to know what it is like to sit on a plane, listen to announcements and be waited on by stewardesses bustling up and down the aisle.

In a country where 99% of the population have never experienced air travel, the “virtual journeys” of Bahadur Chand Gupta, a retired Indian Airlines engineer, have proved a roaring success.

Friday, October 05, 2007

If Texas can...

How to drive down health care costs, the Texas way (courtesy NY Times):
Four years after Texas voters approved a constitutional amendment limiting awards in medical malpractice lawsuits, doctors are responding as supporters predicted, arriving from all parts of the country to swell the ranks of specialists at Texas hospitals and bring professional health care to some long-underserved rural areas.

The influx, raising the state’s abysmally low ranking in physicians per capita, has flooded the medical board’s offices in Austin with applications for licenses, close to 2,500 at last count.

Now, have the applications for the bar decreased? :-)

Why does this drive down costs? 1. Supply and Demand: More doctors = More supply, demand is somewhat inelastic (doesn't increase too much as a result of cost) 2. Lower costs (malpractice insurance) for doctors passed on to customers via market competition.

Now how do we get more doctors in total? How do we increase supply? Maybe if there is less money to be made in the lawsuit industry there are some smart people that will want to be doctors....

Now, if we combine this with lower drug costs via negotiation and a reduction in prescriptions- maybe there is enough money to start extending health care to more people across the world.