from the world's big
Scott Adkins Offers a Radical Prescription for Healthcare
Question: What are your views on healthcare for freelance writers?
Scott Adkins: I have huge issues with health insurance. Ah, I don’t actually believe in it. I think we should abolish it completely. It’s actually a form of nationalized health care that doesn’t work because it’s only available to a few, and not to everybody. And it seems like we already have mechanisms in place like Medicare and Medicaid to take care of catastrophic situations. So if you can divert health insurance money into a larger pool to handle catastrophic situations then you don’t need health insurance. What that would do to the overall economy, I don’t know, and I’m sure there are plenty of economists who would disagree with getting rid of health insurance because of the jobs that it creates.
But personally I just feel that a 20 to 28 percent profit margin on the individual’s health is immoral and unnecessary. And then once catastrophic is guaranteed and paid for by the government, we don’t have to worry about it. And you move into a competitive market, and you make your preventative care, paid for on an as needed basis which sort of changes the entire model of how to take care of yourself. So you make sure you go to the doctor once a year, you exercise more, you eat better because if you take care of yourself, it will cost you less money, then the services become competitive, so you can actually shop around. You’re not restricted to an in-network type of doctor or that sort of situation, and I think you will see a drop in the expenses of how much health care is and everyone will be able to afford it and will go to the doctor. Why we expect a preventative care health to be paid for by anybody is sort of a strange phenomena and it also causes a lopsided service within the economy and for the general population.
Question: What do you think of the Freelancers Union healthcare policy?
Scott Adkins: The model that the freelancers’ union has is actually probably a step in the right direction because they’ve taken it on their own, providing their own service of health insurance, reducing the profit margin, eliminating it, giving the power of group to negotiate rates downs. You still have the fundamental issue of in-network and lack of choice but it does create a model that’s more affordable for freelancers. So it’s a necessary stop gap I think to probably the ultimate goal which is to abolish health insurance by and large.If you look at the differences between how much health insurance cost in New York state versus how much health insurance cost in Iowa, say, it’s a dramatic difference, and that just shouldn’t exist. Why does health insurance costs more in certain places and in certain places not? It just shouldn’t exist.
Question: Do you like any overseas healthcare models?
Scott Adkins: I look at them as mostly unattractive just because of the nightmares that they project. If you look at the National Health Service in England, I know people who think of that as like how not to provide health care which is why the concept of a competitive healthcare market becomes much more attractive than a completely nationalized one. What you want to do is create an environment where people are seeking services for what they need, and not unnecessarily. Health insurance actually makes you seek services unnecessarily because you want to get more bang for your buck. Just because a corporation or a company provides your healthcare, doesn’t mean that it’s not being paid for and it’s an unnecessary weight on corporations to have to pay a thousand dollars a month per employee to be competitive in a market. Health insurance is just a lot of money that is going into other people’s pocket unnecessarily.
Question: Are retirement savings plans practical for freelance writers?
Scott Adkins: It sounds like Sarah Horowitz and the Freelancer’s Union is actually making strides and helping the independent worker. But I really can’t speak too much on it because I’m not that familiar with it.
I can give you my personal take on retirement savings which is just my own personal confusion as to how the stock market actually works in our current time as a contemporary stock market versus its previous inception which was to help companies expand and give them money to do their work. It seems like we’re moving towards the decorporatization of the country because corporations actually fundamentally are flawed for some reason so in that sense it feels like “Why are we pouring more money into the stock market? Do we really understand where we put money in to the stock market, how it’s being used?” We’re trusting funds to be managed by very few people in the country, and to invest it wisely and we’re looking at bottom line returns and the expectation is to get a return on that versus thinking of it in terms of “I would like to invest in this company because it’s a green company and I believe in it and I’m not going to worry about the return. I’m actually putting my money in there because I want that company to do well.” So the model of retirement savings is a broken in a way because the expectation is you need a seven to eleven percent return annually over the life of your investments over thirty years so you can have enough money to retire with.
Retirement is a strange concept to me as well as a freelancer because I don’t believe I’ll ever retire. And so I sort of have, I have very mixed feelings about putting money into a retirement plant right now. My only investment plan is I put a hundred dollars a month into Intel, into a dividend reinvestment plan because I believe in technology, I love technology, I’m an addicted technolophobe or whatever and so I give Intel a hundred dollars a month. I just give it to them. I don’t expect anything. I hope it does well. The dream would be to have the stock growing and double and do all those sorts of things but those are pipe dreams in the end. You can’t bank on that, you can’t rely on that. So I have no current plan in my retirement savings because I don’t have enough money to do that. I wish I did.
Recorded on: April 24, 2009
Abolish ordinary health insurance and expand catastrophic coverage.
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>