Doctor on the screen

You know the drill. You go to your primary care doctor and indirectly talk into an Electronic Health Record system. The doctor gives some bare attention as the nurse or assistant records the essentials. The doctor’s time is spent on paperwork and not on his/her judgment and diagnostic feeling; the patient just data. Worse yet, you may have a phone or video appointment (sometimes from silly vaccine mandates). The human is taken out.

As the late Charles Krauthammer wrote, EHR government mandates present you with just billing, legal documents, and degraded medicine. He pointed out that (in 2015) the supposed savings for the government with the move to EHR–$27 billion–was gone already. Unfortunately, EHR also made it easier for fraud with Medicare. Ease of use for the EHR system allowed cutting and pasting of data into data fields. Billing could be inflated.

At XiFin, I supported the company in the marketing department. Along with HIPAA compliance, we enabled form-fill features. Billing was simplified and waste rooted out. Still, there is still some waste, impersonal service, and the reflex to drug prescription.

As Krauthammer suggested, some tort reforms could improve the industry: No limits on a plaintiff’s lost earnings, a reasonable cap on pain and suffering ($250K), a similar cap on punitive damages, and serious penalties for frivolous lawsuits. These are tall orders, but he had the right idea.

He summed up with these suggested avenues for improvement: changes in public policy, malpractice reform in which loser pays all, separating routine treatments from major ones, and “allowing old age to take place.” (I don’t completely get this last one.)

Beyond the lack of personal care due to legal requirements, there is also the specter of Big Pharma. (Psychiatrists are one of the specialties in the prescription racket.) My views on healthcare have changed much from 30 years ago fresh out of college. I used to think that research and development were responsible for escalating drug costs, but the apparent collaboration in selling and prescribing is eye-opening.

In the U.K., my nan, uncle and aunt, sister and brother all of course get national healthcare. While I know my grandmother and stepgrandfather had various problems with scheduling visits and surgeries(!), I think my uncle, aunt, and siblings have had good services. My brother’s recent birth of his son was completely covered, my sister-in-law had in-home visits from maternity, and my uncle had successful hip work. I know the British are proud of their healthcare (they had dancing medical professionals in Olympic ceremonies), but I do wonder about more critical health needs. Some Europeans come to the top American clinics for advanced cancer care among other fields.

While I appreciate the advances here, I do feel a certain disconnect from a doctor looking down at a screen during an appointment that I had set up three months in advance. I think a redo is needed.

Civilizing AI Overlords

The route to civilizing big data will help us to gain more instead of only lose. I think we must bring old methods of interacting with the data overlords of past times (banks, credit) to bear on the new ones. Make a human connection. Like when you make physical trips to your account holders, hold them accountable. Visit their sites, talk to their reps, READ their privacy and legal statements.

Similarly, we make unspoken agreements with media and advertising. We give them our data, and just like we can’t function without a bank account, we can’t interact without one of the media monoliths. It comes down to which monolith you want to pay (serve). That’s obvious and depressing.

I am afraid though of what kind of subserviency will be prevalent later this decade. I understand the handwringing; without AGI, we can’t reason with AI. AGI will be the pivotal step to the singularity. Don’t be distracted when people say here is AI, and there is AI–but the time is not yet.


The Omissions

There’s much to be said about what we have not done. Isn’t it that we repent every day and need grace to repent again. Day after day we realize how much we have not done. Aren’t we just hypocrites who must see more clearly our iniquities before we attain heaven?

Guilt is a heavy burden. Only what we do not see can help us with what we do not remember. We need to realize the farthest is East from West. Self is a killer.

The enemy reminds us only of what we have done and only what we were. That is all he has.

Reflection of Heaven in Revelation

Luke 11:20 “But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.”

It’s already here with us. Of all the books in the New Testament, Revelation is dense and metaphorical. As a kid, I knew Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth. It was on my grandparents’ shelf.

Reinterpreting the scripture is every generation’s, but the idea of the Kingdom of Heaven (and if I will conflate the two, the Kingdom of God) is a steady constant. We are destined for perfection in a perfect place of splendor and love.

Each preacher, pastor, evangelist may interpret–and spin–differently. Their individual ideas can provoke thought of differing types and degrees. We must keep our eyes on the prize.

This is not to say that every relater of the Revelation should be listened to. We must test the spirits.

But we should not fear. That is my struggle.

The pleasant streets we will walk on.
The pains of ours are gone.
The light will shine on and in.
The farthest from us is sin.
Here and there as one,
We are walking in the Son.

Worship and Conduct

Prager says God is worshipped through moral conduct. Christians say by belief.
Prager says God brings people to his moral law. Christians say to Christ, who is the Law and the Prophets.
“Those who come to Him must believe He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

Prager often says this. How does he know when he is approved is what I wanted to ask.

Breakfast and Confidence

Went out with four of my prayer buddies today and an Indian man came in and started to debate incessantly. I was asking him questions to see where he was, but the guys cut it short. Turns out this was the same man who sat next to my mother once in church and just kept bringing up objections.

I later realized that my questions were pretty much pointless in this case.

Spiritual discernment can be difficult. Your worldview affects (mental illness affects even more). But the spiritual things are foolishness to the world. Questioning can add nothing if the hearer does not want faith.

Still thought I could have some positive effect. Am I being too much in the flesh?

You can also speak with knowledge, but be ignored if you don’t have confidence. Outer strength shows inner strength to the listener. Fake it til you make it.

Respect comes to the confident. Recognition to respect.

How many great minds and hearts are unrecognized because they doubt themselves? Perhaps in writing one can show confidence and be read. If you meet the author, sublime text can be lost on you.

OK, so the world can be unkind. So with my other thoughts on spirit versus flesh, the spirit can give you that confidence that you lack. You will have listeners, at least some. You can know when it’s pointless to argue (pearls to swine).


There are some Brits I know that don’t see a modern purpose for the monarchy. I just think it’s a wonderful thing. The faith aspects are tremendously uplifting. They couldn’t get away with not having other sects participating, but the Christian elements are marvelous.

Here’s to the fam and friends. Some fond memories here.

Jobs that ChatGPT cannot replace (yet)

Beyond physical-dependent jobs, ChatGPT/LLMs cannot now replace:

Teachers – in-person or Zoom understandably. While virtual learning by an AI can be impressive, that produced by a human excels IMHO.

Writers and Editors – human writers like a journalist or author can give a human touch and verify facts, i.e. these positions can fact-check where ChatGPT is in error.

Lawyers – though legal information has always been online, a real lawyer cannot currently be replaced.

Social Workers, Therapists and Other Medical professionals – as above, a doctor or nurse needs to see a patient at some point. I have had appointments with a doctor. It usually requires a physical followup and I *want* to see a real person for questions and feedback.

Management professionals – an AI C-suite professional cannot replace a real one yet.

These all come down to the need for a real human that can verify information and attend to a patient, business, or customer in person.

Prehistoric v. Fallen

As Lewis points out, prehistoric man is only known to us by his gathering and hunting. But to him, the first civilizations that made artifacts seem superior. Our society, in turn, would look superior to the first civilizations because of the things we make. Lewis calls this the “idolatry of artifacts.”

But what we consider virtue becomes only what science terms the “herd instinct” of man, wherein we watch after our brother. Prehistoric man sins only against society. But the traditional concept of sin became that which is only against God.

God gave man a new consciousness wherein we became rational and aware of things like time passing and were first like Christ. But man became proud when he set himself as separate, falling when he turned from God to man and became a “spoiled species.” Today the fact we are “vermin” (Lewis) is legal fiction.

It’s easy to place our time as above the past, but sin in its essence has not changed since man gained consciousness. All the agendas in error today look on the past as inferior. This in itself is sin. We try to set ourselves apart as something more pure. Pride changes in its details, but not in its essence.

The problem is how to express adherence to the goodness of God in spite of our prideful rebellion.

Job deposit check scam

Just wanted to touch on one scam that is making the rounds. Many users know the scams to do with sending money to anyone over the internet. But what if you are given a check from a potential employer, such as to buy equipment or work tools, to deposit? What could happen? I interviewed a Chase representative, who told me that he has had recent cases where someone would deposit the check and then the scammer would tell the victim to send on part of the money, or buy gift cards with it. Similarly, “reshipping scams” will ask you to send on a package or funds to another address.

Another such scam can make use of your bank tracking number.

From the FTC’s Consumer Advice:

“The check will bounce, and the bank will want you to repay the amount of the fake check.”

Another warning here is a request to send ID such as a driver’s license as part of pre-employment requirements.

It all goes to the age-old maxim “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.”

New Babel?

There are international, human values that can enable a tower of Babel today. But a new language of science wants to unite under its banner without the core values.

One’s philosophies and beliefs manifest the trajectory of one’s life, and human language is a necessity. If our previous, foundational values varied too broadly, a new language would not be possible.

Focus should be on base communication, in my opinion. A lack of proper education has created individuals more separate from core critical skills. We do not need more skilled professionals who cannot function separately from technology.

A new Babel would only successfully build on core skills.


Creepy tech

A few things are converging for me:

1. Social media is creepy.
2. ChatGPT is disturbing.
3. Boston Dynamics robots are uncanny.

With SM we have levels of interaction and of data trust. Filtering for us with giant mind bubbles. (Is filtering worse than fake news?)

ChatGPT is swallowing search now.

BD robots are moving from unsettling to accepted as human.

Like writing on a church wall, signs and symbols of tech are requiring a reckoning. These things are coalescing around Kurzweil’s singularity. Maybe not a correct timeline, but the merging is happening organically and is palpable. Can you feel it?

Family in the West

Why on Earth is the family reviled by those on the Left? Most of us did have a mother or father or both. And isn’t having both parents the ideal?

It’s a peculiar self-hatred. I am not consciously repeating what any pundit has said, just natural questions. I would like to have a present father. I adore my mother. So divorcing the self from nature seems to be un-human.



Digital imagination. An oxymoronic relationship.
Our foundational 1s and 0s are substrate for analog.
I’ve found this an intriguing fact.
Digital machines can only give pseudo-random numbers.
The digital is machine, the analog is human.
We rely on the machine to support our imagination.


Human future, machine’s backward march

I’ve been wondering how transexual can lead to transhuman. It would seem that a person must lose connection with his sense of self. There is some evidence that the first happens as a social contagion, but transhuman is the complete dissociation from self.

With this, does the scripture “they know not what they do” apply to dissociation?

As the self dissolves further into mechanism, the human dissolves. At what point does life become extinguished? When does soul disappear and sin not imparted? Does the human still live?

Transhumanism is not a hopeful sign of man’s progress, despite its adherents and champions. The questions and unknowable answers are greater than genuine progress.

More infectious enthusiasm from Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Tyson says we are part of this universe, we are one with it, but that more important than either of those two statements is his belief that the universe is in us.

I won’t say this is New Age, but it is interesting that a lauded scientist makes an almost spiritual statement about a material universe. He does say that though he doesn’t like labels, he would be most close to an agnostic.

In his two short books “Letters from an Astrophysicist” and “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” he contends that we have a duty to our fellow man. As good as that sounds, I don’t know from where he draws that idea. But it sounds religious to me.

Tyson is a darling of secularists and in some ways, rightly so. He’s bright, seems personable, and brings a lightheartedness to a dense topic. I’d love to have a couple of beers with him and learn.

Protecting your PC using Malwarebytes

It used to be that antivirus tools focused on Trojans, worms, and viruses. This AV software relied on strong signature-based detection and regularly-updated signatures. Newer AV software has added behavior-based protection against unknown threats.

Antimalware software now also focuses on exploit tools and off-the-cyber-shelf software used by malicious long-term threat actors (Advanced Persistent Threats) to maintain access over time and continue their exploit.

Continue reading “Protecting your PC using Malwarebytes”