Here’s a question for the cost-benefit analysts among you: if the annual flu vaccine contains three inactivated virus types, and I’ve already been through my second round of the flu in the last two months, is there any sense in getting a flu shot, now? Feel free to share thoughts and suggestions.
A couple of quick hits before I shuttle back to the other room.
On Saturday I visited one of Shanghai’s most respected medical institutions in hope of receiving confirmation of my self-diagnosis, and some medication to relieve the symptoms. Instead, the doctors insisted that I needed a CAT scan. In retrospect, the CAT scan would have been nearly as helpful as what was prescribed to me (that is, not at all), and I probably should have stayed at home to begin with. Still, all credit to this Shanghai medical institution: their prices are far lower than what I would pay for similar services in the US (including the refused CAT scan), and I suppose they need to make up those margins from someone. Why not me?
Matthew Welch has written Bailing Out One of the Twentieth Century’s Best Industries (h/t Andrew Sullivan), a concise and devastating critique of those who believe that the decline of the traditional newspaper is a) the fault of readers who don’t want to pay for news, and b) a tragedy for democracy. A favored passage:
At the risk of alienating what few old newspaper pals of mine still have jobs, the industry they (and I!) so cherish, which has suffered mind-blowing valuation losses and several dozen rounds of downsizing both in personnel and column inches, is still bloated after all these years, with costs that no publisher would dream of incurring if he was starting a newspaper from scratch in 2009.