Sunday, December 20, 2015

Seven Years Old

After seven years, some 157,000 visitors, from 150 countries and over 3 million words, I thought I would try to summarize where we are. Now more than 10% of my life has gone into this idiosyncratic presentation of thoughts. The original intent was to follow the actions by many to the financial collapse of 2008 as well as the new leadership of the country. I was especially motivated by the prognostications of left wing macro-economists who believed all that they espoused. Namely all that was required was a trillion plus in Government money and in months things would be right again. So how did that work out Mrs. Romer?

Overall we have addressed the following issues:

1. Macro Economics: It is clear that these folks oftentimes do not even agree with themselves! What became clear to me is that macroeconomics is really just political theory. I examined Keynes, and then followed these characters for eight years. They all seem to have keen insight into nothing. One of my favorite piques is the Pigou vs Coase controversy. Here we have allegedly Republican macro economists, rare as unicorns, espousing taxes to reduce carbon. They seem totally ignorant of solving the problem technically.

2. Health Care. My timing was good here as well. Yes, the ACA, the most massive attempt by Progressives to “tell” the rest of us how to deal with our health. So what happened? Personally I am paying 5 times more now than in 2008 and still taking no advantage of the system. God has been good so far. But who gets the money. The Millennials without jobs! You can’t make this up! Some morbidly obese 20 year old having no job but collecting for their early stage Type 2 Diabetes! Say what’s with that?

3. Russia and China. After seven years we still see nothing from Russia in Walmart. It is still China. Oil has collapsed so that Russia as an extraction economy may be hurting. China is trying to expand, but it should take a careful dance forward. It still depends on customers.

4. Cancer. We have examined cancer and its progress in understanding and care. In seven years we have seen massive changes. We have ways to deal with advanced melanoma, and even many hematological diseases. However we still have the prostate cancer problems; over 100 target genes. Moreover we have a collection of people without any basis saying to abandon any tests on men. All too frequently these cries are from women, and women who do not even practice or do clinical research in the field.

5. MOOCs. I initially thought MOOCS may have some value. Except for Prof Lander’s course the rest have been marginal at best and some outright useless. What I did examine was the tendency of anonymous participants making the most incendiary remarks on the MOOC’S discussion groups. This seems to be a pandemic characteristic of Millennials. Every opinion is valid yet they do not want to tell anyone who they are.

6. CRISPRS. Eric Lander mentioned these offhandedly in a talk a few months after they came out and I dove into them. I told my grandkids 6th Grade class to follow CRISPRs. These could be the most powerful tool yet. Also they have deadly consequences.

7. The Academy. Here I examined the Academy over seven years. It is becoming a mess. Costs are uncontrolled, student sensitivities rule, political correctness is pandemic, and our Government thinks a degree has value. What a person can “do” has value, not what “everyone gets a prize” degree.

It will be interesting to see what the coming year brings. Thanks for those who visited here. Hope I have not annoyed too many, and feel free to drop a note from time to time.