Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for November 21st, 2019

Intriguing interview of Daniel Hoffman: The Case Against Reality

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A very interesting interview (and he has a book: The Case Against Reality: Why Evolution Hid the Truth from Our Eyes.

And there’s also a debate video (45 minutes).


The natural inclination is to shrug off these fancy-shmancy theories and say that we do see reality as it is, because look! there it is. That flower, for example, the real flower that we see. We didn’t make it up by looking at it.

Kant talked about the “thing in itself,” which seems to be related to what Hoffman is talking about, and the “thing in itself” is locked away from use because we are trapped within our sense. That flower, for example, does look the same at all to a bee or butterly:

So is the flower we see the “true” flower? or is the flower the bee sees the “true” flower?

And the bee not only sees the flower, the bee perceives it through its electromagnetic field, to which we are oblivious (because for us that has no survival advantage, so evolution shut off that perception, just as Hoffman says).

Written by LeisureGuy

21 November 2019 at 9:25 pm

Best food to lower cholesterol

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I found this interesting:

The follow-up video:

Amazon sells amla powder, and it’s pretty cheap — and it’s not just powdered extract.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 November 2019 at 8:36 pm

Tempeh batch 8: Soybeans (at last)

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Soybeans are the traditional tempeh base, and I’m finally getting around to trying that. This went into the incubator at 12:45pm today.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 November 2019 at 12:52 pm

Posted in Food, Plant-only diet

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Why Canada Doesn’t Allow Private Healthcare

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Tristan Hopper writes in The Capital:

A B.C. court could soon change the course of Canadian healthcare forever. For 10 years, Vancouver physician Brian Day, a former president of the Canadian Medical Association has been leading a legal crusade to argue that private healthcare should be allowed to operate alongside Canada’s public funded medicare system.

Canadians are allowed to pay for schools, libraries and even highways that exist outside of public systems, but all bets are off when it comes to medically necessary procedures like an MRI or heart surgery. Private clinics can sell cosmetic procedures and dental surgery all they want, but if a B.C. doctor is caught selling a service that is covered by medicare, they could be fined $10,000 for a first offence if caught.

So, as the closing arguments in Day’s case wrap up this week, we decided to answer why Canada forbids private healthcare in the first place.

The Canadian system is strange even by the standards of other countries with socialized healthcare. France, Germany, the U.K. and Australia, among others, all take great national pride in ensuring medical coverage for every citizen, but you can still cut a cheque for a boutique appendectomy if you feel like it.

“The (Canadian) system is unique in the world in that it bans coverage of … core services by private insurance companies, allowing supplemental insurance only for perquisites such as private hospital rooms,” reads a 2003 analysis in the New England Journal of Medicine.

It wasn’t too long ago that virtually all Canadian medical care existed in the public sphere. In the years leading up to the Second World War, Canadian healthcare resembled the current American system in that anybody who checked into a hospital without insurance would be handed a bill upon discharge.

Socialized medicine replaced this system gradually, starting with Saskatchewan’s introduction of a universal hospital care plan in 1947. But it was only with the 1984 passage of the Canada Health Act, drafted in the final months of Pierre Trudeau’s premiership, that Canada codified its de facto ban on private healthcare.

The reason was a wave of “extra billing” that had swept Canadian healthcare in the 1970s. Canadian patients were increasingly being hit with user fees and copays that were gradually chipping away at the supposed universality of Canadian healthcare.

landmark 1980 report condemned these new fees for undermining medicare. Canadians, wrote report author Emmett Hall, were people who had long ago agreed that health services should never “be bought off the shelf and paid for at the checkout stand.”

The Canadian Health Act which sprung from Hall’s recommendations explicitly forbade “extra billing,” and prescribed clawbacks in funding to any province found tolerating it. Notably, it’s one of the few major pieces of legislation in Canadian history that passed with virtual unanimous support by the House of Commons.

Still, there is technically no blanket federal ban on private healthcare in Canada. Any physician can decide to go private, provided that they completely opt out of working for the public system. A doctor can’t simultaneously bill the province while also billing patients directly; they have to pick one or the other.

In addition, since most provinces (including B.C.) ban private health insurance, there’s only so much business a private sector doctor can expect to find. Some provinces tighten the screws even further by restricting private doctors from charging more than the prescribed amounts under the provincial healthcare plan.

“In Canada, the absence of a private system is not due to the illegality of private health care per se,” reads a 2001 analysis in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. “Rather, the lack of a flourishing private sector in Canada is most likely attributable to prohibitions on subsidization of private practice from the public plan.”

Still, a very small private sector for medically necessary healthcare manages to cling to life in Canada. By some estimates, roughly 1% of critical medical care in Canada is done outside the public system.

Brian Day, the physician leading the challenge against the public health monopoly, is one of Canada’s rare examples of a private sector doctor. Day runs Cambie Surgery Centre in Vancouver, which touts itself as the “only free standing private hospital of its type in Canada.” However, the average British Columbian can’t just walk in and order a round of back surgery. Under B.C.’s Medicare Protection Act, the clinic cannot sell a medical procedure to a British Columbian if that procedure is offered by the B.C. Medical Services Plan.

As a result, Cambie Surgery Centre can only serve a small demographic of patients who are explicitly exempt from MSP provisions, including prisoners, members of the armed forces and injured workers covered by WorkSafeBC.

Defenders of Canada’s “single-tier” system typically argue that if Canada opens the door to private clinics, it will siphon talent and resources away from the country’s already overstretched public health system. “Doctors will be in a position to take patients who are in pain and who are vulnerable and say things to them like, ‘I can operate on you in nine months in the public system, but if you come to me in my private clinic, it’ll be two weeks or one month,’” said Michael Klein, a board member of Canadian Doctors for Medicare, in a 2016 warning of what could happen if Cambie Surgery Centre’s case was successful.

Those in Brian Day’s camp, meanwhile, contend that by allowing patients the option of ponying up for their own medical care, it frees up space in the public system for everyone else.

Private healthcare in Europe has definitely not eliminated wait times or the other pitfalls of rationed public health care, but it has proved able to co-exist alongside a public system without precipitating the collapse of a country’s system of socialized medicine.

“European countries have shown that it is possible to open their healthcare systems to private medicine without violating the basic commitment to equity that they share with Canada,” wrote the C.D. Howe Institute in a 2015 commentary.

That same paper also noted the curious dissonance of provinces rigorously cracking down on private hospital care while simultaneously leaving the likes of dental care or pharmacare almost entirely in the hands of for-profit actors.

“In other countries, the public-private financing mix is typically more balanced, with government plans paying for a larger share of drugs, dental and continuing care, but with more private financing for hospital and physician services,” it wrote.

Among the Canadian medical establishment, discussions of private healthcare can quickly get ugly. Day has often been accused of working to sabotage Canadian medicare in the service of pro-profit multinationals. The Cambie Surgery Centre founder, meanwhile, contends he is . . .

Continue reading.

The danger of a two-tier system — a public system (poorly funded and struggling) and a private system (wealthy and serving the wealthy) — seems real.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 November 2019 at 11:01 am

Vie-Long ambiguous brush with Dapper Doc CK-6 and the OneBlade

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I’ve never been able to decide whether this Vie-Long brush is horsehair or a fine variety of boar bristles. The hairs seem too fine for boar, but about right for horse, but it was sold at the time as boar. In any event, it’s a fine little brush with an octagonal handle I like a lot. And it made a terrific lather from Dapper Doc’s Lilac & Fig shaving soap in the CK-6 formulation.

The OneBlade did an okay job, but I had to work a bit to get an okay shave. Perhaps this is the second shave on the blade. I removed the blade from the razor so that I will know next time the blade is new (because I will load the razor immediately before the shave). On the whole, I still prefer a good DE razor.

Three passes, and then a splash of Dapper Doc aftershave.

This shave finishes the natural brushes in the first rack. Tomorrow I begin the second (and final) rack.



Written by LeisureGuy

21 November 2019 at 8:37 am

Posted in Shaving

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