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An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2011-06-02 05:31
Subject: [links] Link salad is patently pleased
Security: Public
Tags:books, cancer, conventions, cool, culture, ebooks, health, healthcare, links, mainspring, nature, personal, politics, process, race, religion, reviews, science, tech, writing
A reader reacts to Mainspring — They liked it.

I have a reading in Seattle the evening of June 6th

In which I am awarded a patent — Pretty cool, huh?

Viewpoint Selectivity — James Alan Gardner being smart. (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)

ConquiltConquilt is a record of nearly one hundred of the attending authors, editors, publishers and illustrators to Aussiecon 4, the 68th World Science Fiction Convention held in Melbourne Australia in September 2010. Including yours truly. They will be auctioning this off for benefit soon. Check it out!

The Kindle Tablet's Bookish Legacy The leap from iPhone to iPad made sense. The leap from Kindle to Kindle Tablet is less linear. What does it mean for Amazon? Ah, Amazon. One of my least favorite companies, given the way that they treat authors.

Anonymous Doc on bone marrow transplants — Once I would have found this funny, in a bleak way. Given my health history, I now read this as tragic.

Don't Let Oncologists Make All the DecisionsOncologists just aren’t trained to break the brutal fact that the chances of cure are always near zero for patients with metastatic solid tumors. Um, that would be me, with my second metastatic solid tumor right now. Still here, still working for a reasonable chance of full cure. And wow, do I find this piece personally offensive. What's my life worth to me, after all?

Help A Friend or Relative: Give Blood — Dave Reynolds banks blood in my name, and urges you to do something similar to support the ailing people in your life. Thank you, sir.

Penguin huddle secrets revealed with time lapse footage — Penguins!

Deep-Earth devil wormssA newly identified species of nematode lives miles deep in the tight, hot crevices of the Earth's crust.

Starship Fuel from the Outer System — This is frakking cool.

Federal Adult SchoolsVintagraph with a 1937 retraining poster. I find the orientation of the hemispheric map quite interesting. It's rather unusual for USAnian artwork or cartography.

The Canon of White Supremacy — Ta-Nehisi Coates with a powerful essay on slavery, race and the distortions they bring.

The Mask of Concern Slips from the Anti-Choicers Face — Unlike many conservative positions which seem to be based either on bigotry or wishful thinking, I can actually see and respect a principled opposition to abortion, regardless of how deeply I may disagree with that position. However, most people in the forced pregnancy movement don't strike me as very principled at all, not when judginging them based on their words, deeds and ambitions.

The GOP's dueling delusional campaign adsThe ad accuses Huntsman of (1) worrying about excessive partisanship; (2) wanting to put a price on carbon emissions; (3) describing health care as a "right"; (4) promising to "put people first"; (5) supporting John McCain for president; and (6) drawing political support from Democrats and independents. No, seriously, that's what it says. And in case you are wondering, yes, those points are all meant as derogatory accusations. [...] In a normal universe, being for cooperation, against pollution, for health care, for people, for your party’s presidential nominee, and winning lots of votes would be admirable positives, not critical deficiencies.

Huckabee, Bachmann: God's candidates? Not likely — Yep.

?otD: Have you ever tried to mail letters of marque and reprisal?

Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hours (revised non-fiction project, 900 words on a new short fiction project)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 6.75 hours (solid)
Weight: 230.2
Currently (re)reading: A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin

Post A Comment | 7 Comments | | Flag | Link

User: fjm
Date: 2011-06-02 13:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I am not clear what it is about the report on oncology you are objecting to.

From the tone of your comment you seem to be saying that the author is costing your life, but the article is actually very clear in attacking the profit made on drugs used beyond the point where they are achieving anything when set against the better quality and sometimes longer length of life achieved by hospice care.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2011-06-02 13:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm objecting to the throwaway comment about survival rates of solid metastatic tumors, with the clear implication that such treatment is wasted, along with the notion that oncologists are being deceptive about the odds. In my case, treatment of solid metastatic tumors has already bought me 2+ years of life, and still has the distinct if narrowing possibility of long-term survival.
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User: fjm
Date: 2011-06-02 13:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The article felt very clear to me that it was talking about end stage.
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User: autopope
Date: 2011-06-02 13:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Looking at the Kindle tablet thing ...

I reckon Amazon subsidize the e-ink kindles as a loss-leader for follow-on sales.

Given the cheap rival from B&N, I expect them to do similar with their tablet kindles, which will almost certainly run Android (given that Amazon opened an Android app store earlier this year).

I want a 7" tablet for my own geekish reasons, and Apple won't give me one. But I'll happily allow Jeff Bezos to subsidize my next toy. The out-of-the-box experience on the Kindle 3 is second only to the iPad -- Bezos has learned a hell of a lot by emulating Apple on the hardware experience side of things, and I expect an Amazon-branded tablet to be very nice indeed compared to the usual rubbish from the CE industry.

(I'm with you 100% on hating Amazon for their horrifically unfriendly supplier relations but unfortunately they offer a very nice customer-side experience and that ain't going to go away in the near future.)
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That Which Fights Entropy: eye
User: amberite
Date: 2011-06-04 08:23 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I bought a Kindle recently as a mobility appliance (really: I have a bad back and carrying books messes it up) and, rather than using Amazon's ebook service, commit "sustainable piracy" on it. (My rules are pretty simple: I only download (a) the freely given, (b) books I own or will shortly own in paper, (c) works that are unavailable in buyable ebook formats - such as many of the textbooks I cannot safely carry in physical copies, and (d) works of authors who could buy my house without missing the money.) I continue to actually buy books from Powell's, mostly, when I have the money for new ones, and used bookstores when I don't.

Though Powell's offers ebooks through Google, if it's the same twelve dollars I feel I'd rather spend it on the "real thing" and have another pretty book spine staring out of my shelf.

I still wind up having to buy some things from Amazon just because of their price points, but my book money goes where I can make it mean something, whenever I have a say in it.
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2011-06-02 16:23 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think we need to ask Dave Reynolds that question...
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That Which Fights Entropy: future life
User: amberite
Date: 2011-06-04 08:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:future life
I took a biomedical ethics class over the course of the academic year before this one; among other things, we saw the film "Wit", which I recommend you *don't* see, if you haven't, because I can imagine it would be intensely triggering. (The summary is something on the order of - a highly literate woman is diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer and given tons of medication but very little compassion, and it is implied that she is somewhat bullied into her course of treatment.)

I also read "The Anatomy of Hope", by Jerome Groopman - a book I highly recommend; he writes very well on the subject of clinical decision-making, and one of the stories he tells is that of an oncologist who develops a cancer with minuscule survival odds (we're talking on the order of 1%.) This man immediately arranges an extreme, and extremely brutal, treatment regimen for himself. Other doctors in the hospital find it questionable behavior and think he's in denial. Except he isn't coming from a place of self-delusion: rather, from a place of personal choice. He understands perfectly well what the consequences could be, of fighting or not fighting; he knows the chances are poor, and he's determined to give it the best he's got.

In the end, the oncologist survives. The author describes talking to him something like ten years later.

In these narratives, juxtaposed, the thing that shines through is the importance of choice. I firmly believe that a great part of the job of a doctor is like the job of a teacher - telling patients the truth in a way so that they can hear it and make decisions correctly for themselves. (The latter part of that sentence could be a whole discussion in itself: people often talk past each other and physicians are no exception.) I'm glad you seem to have good doctors who've been giving you this kind of information and communication. The NYT piece is far too glib about something which, IMO, makes up one of the central issues of medicine.
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my journal
January 2014
2012 appearances