from the world's big
How to Die Well
Patricia Bloom: What has been true to too a \r\ngreat extent to conventional medicine—in this country, and I think in a \r\nlot of places—is that death is seen as the ultimate failure against \r\nwhich you fight with big guns all the way to the end. And we see that \r\nfor a lot of people that’s not appropriate. I don't know what the \r\nexperience was with the author's friend, but for many people, it becomes\r\n appropriate at a certain point that is most appropriately determined by\r\n that person themselves, or in conjunction with their loved ones and \r\nunder the advisement of the medical profession when to make the \r\ntransition away from the aggressive interventions and go more for \r\nquality of life, dignity, having a peaceful death.
But I think a\r\n really important point is that that line is different for every person.\r\n There was just an article on the front page of The New York Times the \r\nother day about a patient who was at Mt. Sinai and was one of the \r\npatients of one of our palliative medicine doctors, and the patient \r\nherself was a palliative medicine doctor. That is what was so \r\ninteresting. And she herself, although she had been involved in the \r\nfield of helping people make that transition... she herself found that \r\nshe had to fight, to keep fighting for herself. She continued to pursue \r\naggressive therapy up pretty close to the end, and so the important \r\npoint was that that was her individual decision.
And so what \r\nsome people might have taken away from the article was, "Well here was a\r\n palliative medicine doctor who wasn’t doing what she preached." That \r\nreally wasn’t the message. It was the message that for every person, \r\nthey should be empowered to make the right choices based on their \r\npersonal preferences. But they should... I think it’s the role of people\r\n who are interested in seeing the experience of dying changed to a much,\r\n you know, better death. That’s a question: "Is there such a good thing \r\nas a good death?" And I think, yes, I have seen good deaths, and I think\r\n there can be much better deaths for a lot of people. So we have a long \r\nway to go, even relieving pain and suffering. We don’t do a good job of \r\nthat. So, this woman’s friend, she may not have had adequate treatment \r\nof her pain. As the medical profession, we frequently fail in that \r\nregard. So, we really need to improve on people’s knowledge about and \r\nability to relieve pain and that would change the face of dying as well.\r\n I think a lot of patients—and there’s great interest in assisted \r\nsuicide, and that’s a whole big area of discussion. But it would \r\nprobably be true that for a lot of patients who were interested in \r\nassisted suicide, maybe the point of that decision would change if they \r\nhad better treatment. If they were more comfortable with the process \r\nthat they were going through.
If terminal patients were made more comfortable with the process they're going through, perhaps fewer would be interested in assisted suicide.
Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?
- From secret societies to faked moon landings, one thing that humanity seems to have an endless supply of is conspiracy theories. In this compilation, physicist Michio Kaku, science communicator Bill Nye, psychologist Sarah Rose Cavanagh, skeptic Michael Shermer, and actor and playwright John Cameron Mitchell consider the nature of truth and why some groups believe the things they do.
- "I think there's a gene for superstition, a gene for hearsay, a gene for magic, a gene for magical thinking," argues Kaku. The theoretical physicist says that science goes against "natural thinking," and that the superstition gene persists because, one out of ten times, it actually worked and saved us.
- Other theories shared include the idea of cognitive dissonance, the dangerous power of fear to inhibit critical thinking, and Hollywood's romanticization of conspiracies. Because conspiracy theories are so diverse and multifaceted, combating them has not been an easy task for science.
A growing body of research suggests COVID-19 can cause serious neurological problems.
- The new study seeks to track the health of 50,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
- The study aims to explore whether the disease causes cognitive impairment and other conditions.
- Recent research suggests that COVID-19 can, directly or indirectly, cause brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage and other neurological problems.
Brain images of a patient with acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis.
COVID-19 and the brain<p>A growing body of research reveals alarming neurological complications among COVID-19 patients. On Wednesday, for example, researchers from University College London published a <a href="https://academic.oup.com/brain/article/doi/10.1093/brain/awaa240/5868408" target="_blank">study</a> in the journal Brain that describes how some patients have suffered temporary brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage, and other neurological problems concurrent with COVID-19.</p><p>Some patients suffered brain inflammation as a result of a rare disease called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, which can cause numbness, seizures, and confusion. One patient in the study even hallucinated monkeys and lions in her home.</p>
Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images<p>A separate study published in the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7198407/" target="_blank">Journal of Clinical Neuroscience</a> notes that some COVID-19 patients have also suffered neurological complications like impaired consciousness and acute cerebrovascular disease. The study notes that past viruses like MERS and SARS also seemed to cause neurological problems.</p><p>A troubling finding among this growing body of research is that some patients seem to suffer neurological damage even when respiratory symptoms aren't obvious. Additionally, scientists aren't sure whether damage from the disease will be permanent.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Given that the disease has only been around for a matter of months, we might not yet know what long-term damage COVID-19 can cause," Dr. Ross Paterson, joint first author of the University College London study, said in a <a href="https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-07/ucl-iid070620.php" target="_blank">press release</a>. "Doctors needs to be aware of possible neurological effects, as early diagnosis can improve patient outcomes."</p><p>If you've been diagnosed with COVID-19 and want to enroll in the study, visit <a href="https://www.cambridgebrainsciences.com/studies/covid-brain-study" target="_blank">cambridgebrainsciences.com/studies/covid-brain-study</a>.</p>
Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Coronavirus layoffs are a glimpse into our automated future. We need to build better education opportunities now so Americans can find work in the economy of tomorrow.
- Outplacement is an underperforming $5 billion dollar industry. A new non-profit coalition by SkillUp intends to disrupt it.
- More and more Americans will be laid off in years to come due to automation. Those people need to reorient their career paths and reskill in a way that protects their long-term livelihood.
- SkillUp brings together technology and service providers, education and training providers, hiring employers, worker outreach, and philanthropies to help people land in-demand jobs in high-growth industries.
Source: McKinsey Global Institute analysis [PDF]<p>Work in understanding the skills at the heart of the new digital economy is leading to novel assessments that allow individuals to prove mastery to faithfully represent their abilities—but also to give weight and stackability to the emerging ecosystem of micro-credentials that make education more seamless across time and education providers. And we are seeing the beginnings of a renewal in the liberal arts, focused on building human skills in affordable ways that are accessible to many more individuals and far more effective.</p><p>Amidst these dark times, there is much opportunity to refresh the nation's education and training solutions to support the success of individuals and society writ large.</p>