i. “Culture hides more than it reveals, and strangely enough what it hides, it hides most effectively from its own participants.” (Edward T. Hall)

ii. “A new idea becomes believable when it predicts something that has not yet been measured or explained, especially when the idea is really trying to explain other facts.” (Peter Molnar, Plate Tectonics: A Short Introduction)

iii. “…when something seems complicated, we do not understand it, but when we do understand something, it has become simple.” (-ll-)

iv. “Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation.” (Henry Kissinger)

v. “There are many examples of old, incorrect theories that stubbornly persisted, sustained only by the prestige of foolish but well-connected scientists. … Many of these theories have been killed off only when some decisive experiment exposed their incorrectness. […] the yeoman work in any science, and especially physics, is done by the experimentalist, who must keep the theoreticians honest.” (Michio Kaku)

vi. “The relation between experimentalists and theorists is often one of healthy competition for truth and less healthy competition for fame.” (Alvaro De Rujula)

vii. “Divided minds, getting lost on different paths, are losing the huge advantage that would result from their combined forces.” (Jean-Baptiste Biot)

viii. “If we are honest — and scientists have to be — we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination. It is quite understandable why primitive people, who were so much more exposed to the overpowering forces of nature than we are today, should have personified these forces in fear and trembling. But nowadays, when we understand so many natural processes, we have no need for such solutions. I can’t for the life of me see how the postulate of an Almighty God helps us in any way.” (Paul Dirac)

ix. “On your way towards becoming a bad theoretician, take your own immature theory, stop checking it for mistakes, don’t listen to colleagues who do spot weaknesses, and start admiring your own infallible intelligence.” (Gerardus ‘t Hooft, How to become a bad theoretical physicist)

x. “In practice, quantum mechanics merely gives predictions with probabilities attached. This should be considered as a normal and quite acceptable feature of predictions made by science: different possible outcomes with different probabilities. In the world that is familiar to us, we always have such a situation when we make predictions. Thus the question remains: What is the reality described by quantum theories? I claim that we can attribute the fact that our predictions come with probability distributions to the fact that not all relevant data for the predictions are known to us, in particular important features of the initial state.” (Gerardus ‘t Hooft)

xi. “Ask anyone today working on foundational questions in quantum theory and you are likely to hear that there is still no consensus on many of these questions—all the while, of course, everybody seems to be in perfect agreement on how to apply the quantum formalism when it comes to making experimental predictions.” (Maximilian Schlosshauer)

xii. “The last bastions of resistance to evolutionary theory are organized religion and cultural anthropology.” (Napoleon Chagnon)

xiii. “There are always alternative interpretations of the same data. It is often the case, however, that the alternatives that are rejected are treated as if they don’t exist. But they do. And we should be aware not only of their existence and potential viability, but of the possibility that the hypotheses that we might embrace so strongly today may very well be the rejects of tomorrow.” (Jeffrey H. Schwartz)

xiv. “Roughly, religion is a community’s costly and hard-to-fake commitment to a counterfactual and counterintuitive world of supernatural agents who master people’s existential anxieties, such as death and deception. […] The more one accepts what is materially false to be really true, and the more one spends material resources in displays of such acceptance, the more others consider one’s faith deep and one’s commitment sincere.”  (Scott Atran)

xv. “Cultures and religions do not exist apart from the individual minds that constitute them and the environments that constrain them, any more than biological species and varieties exist independently of the individual organisms that compose them and the environments that conform them. They are not well-bounded systems or definite clusters of beliefs, practices, and artifacts, but more or less regular distributions of causally connected thoughts, behaviors, material products, and environmental objects. To naturalistically understand what “cultures” are is to describe and explain the material causes responsible for reliable differences in these distributions.” (-ll-)

xvi. “If making money is a slow process, losing it is quickly done.” (Ihara Saikaku)

xvii. “Mankind has always made too much of its saints and heroes, and how the latter handle the fuss might be called their final test.” (Wilfrid Sheed)

xviii. “The bad debater never knows that one explanation is better than five.” (-ll-)

xix. “They say the first sentence in any speech is always the hardest. Well, that one’s behind me, anyway.” (Wisława Szymborska, Nobel lecture)

xx. “If you are a hard drinking man with lots of swastikas tattooed all over your torso you may want to consider that you are at risk for perforating your ulcer and that the good Dr. Rosenberg will be called in to save your life resulting in an awkward situation for everyone.” (‘docB’, things I learn from my patients)

December 22, 2017 Posted by | Books, Quotes/aphorisms | Leave a comment

Analgesia and Procedural Sedation

I didn’t actually like this lecture all that much, in part because I obviously disagree to some extent with the ideas expressed, but I try to remember to blog lectures I watch these days even if I don’t think they’re all that great. It’s a short lecture, but why not at least add a comment about urine drug screening and monitoring or patient selection/segmentation when you’re talking about patients whom you’re considering discharging with an opioid prescription? Recommending acupuncture in a pain management context? Etc.

Anyway, below a few links to stuff related to the coverage:

Pain Management in the Emergency Department.
WHO analgesic ladder.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug.
Fentanyl (“This medication should not be used to treat pain other than chronic cancer pain, especially short-term pain such as migraines or other headaches, pain from an injury, or pain after a medical or dental procedure.” …to put it mildly, that’s not the impression you get from watching this lecture…)
Parenteral opioids in emergency medicine – A systematic review of efficacy and safety.
Procedural Sedation (medscape).

December 22, 2017 Posted by | Lectures, Medicine, Pharmacology | Leave a comment