Patrick Cox's Tech Digest

Repeal and Reform Don’t Really Matter

July 31, 2017

A lot of people are disappointed that Congress failed to repeal or replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Others are angry they even tried. My advice is not to worry too much about this particular fight. We’ve got much bigger problems.

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Coffee, Sunshine, and the Elite Healthcare Mandarins

July 24, 2017

It’s summer here in South Florida. Nearly every day, thunderstorms roll in around noon. Power surges and temporary outages caused by lightning are so frequent, I’ve stopped resetting the clock on the microwave.

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A Short Non-Update on the TAME Trial

July 17, 2017

Quite a few people have asked for an update on the Targeting Aging with Metformin (TAME) trial. If you’ve been reading my digest, you know that TAME is the effort to get metformin (the common diabetes drug) approved by the FDA as an anti-aging drug.

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Preventing Alzheimer’s by Treating Obesity

July 3, 2017

In the words of the virtuoso bluesman Henry Saint Clair Fredericks, “If you ain’t scared, you ain’t right.” We recognize that people who fear imaginary threats are irrational. On the other hand, it’s equally true that a complete lack of fear is irrational.

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Illinois’ Budget Problems Are America’s Budget Problems

June 26, 2017

It looks like Illinois may soon be the first state to have its credit rating downgraded to “junk” status. If you don’t know what that means, it’s beyond “broke.” The Illinois state government is already borrowing to pay its bills. Now, the cost of borrowing will become even more expensive. At some point, big lenders may simply cancel the state’s credit cards.

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Cannabis Drug Companies May Profit from Opioid Crisis

June 21, 2017

I knew that opioid abuse had attained official crisis status when the 21st Century Cures Act was passed. Intended to accelerate drug development, the act included $1 billion to treat and prevent opioid addiction.

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The Financial Impacts of Immortality

June 12, 2017

The word “immortal” usually implies a theological or mythological context. Biologists, though, use the word to describe cells and organisms that don’t age. That means they don’t die of old age.

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Will We Begin to TAME the Age Monster in Two Weeks?

June 5, 2017

As things stand right now, most people won’t get the retirements they’ve been promised. Unless there are huge changes, Social Security, Medicare, and pension systems will be severely cut back. This will cause economic impacts worse than the Great Depression. But in two weeks, we should find out if we have a chance to solve the problem before it becomes a catastrophe.

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Academic Vs. Capitalist Science

May 30, 2017

Until this year, April 22 was celebrated by many as Earth Day. The focus of Earth Day events was support for environmental protection, particularly climate accords. The image of Earth Day has been compared to a renaissance fair, complete with references to Gaia and other quasi-mystical earth-mother notions.

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Future Shock, Medical Foods, and Aging

May 15, 2017

In 1970, Alvin Toffler discussed the concept of “future shock” in his book by that name. It’s a simple notion. By the time some new thing is fully understood, it’s obsolete. And if enough technological progress occurs in a short time, it can be overwhelming and induce a kind of societal paralysis.

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