October 10, 2012
A stupid NYTimes article (part 1)
Okay I'm going to read the stupid thing.
Nope I had to stop when I hit this:
"He reached into a deep pocket of his white coat and produced not a well-thumbed handbook but his iPhone. With a tap on an app called MedCalc, he had enough answers within a minute to start the saline at precisely the right rate."
The thesis here is that since doctors can look up dosages and test values using a small computer instead of a book or notecard we all now live in a new age of medicine. That is absurd. Lookup tables are lookup tables. Perhaps the invention of the spiral notebook made similar waves in the health industry?
Plus: iPhone and MedCalc are trademarks which makes this article very ad-like. Also the doctor had the answer "[w]ithin a minute..."? I bet the "well-thumbed handbook" would have easily beaten that time. But at least MedCalc for iPhone provided "precisely" the correct answer.
(This is minor but I can't let the "[w]ith a tap on an app" crap slide. It's delightfully Seussian and that's fine. But 1) "app" is not really a word and 2) if it took only one tap I'll eat my cap. This writing is pap.)
My point is this: the passage overstates the innovation of a computerized look-up table over a paper one, it exaggerates the accuracy and ease of use of such things, and it slyly advertises for particular products while it does it.
God I loathe the New York Times. I'll try to get further through this article later, though. It's the paper of record, after all.
Posted by rbrent at October 10, 2012 10:22 AM