Book + Product Reviews Archive:
“Irresistible: The Rise Of Addictive Technology And The Business Of Keeping Us Hooked” by Adam Alter
With the recent revelations about the Russian trolling of the 2016 presidential election, during which both Facebook and Twitter were manipulated by a foreign power, we are witnessing the beginning of a national reckoning with social media. A global network that was initially seen as a great gift to humankind is now being reconsidered. Hailed as a great unifier, and a way to connect people—social media was the force behind the Arab Spring and other revolutionary movements—the broader implications of this network have come crashing down on us…
I just returned from a relaxing week-long vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The ocean was beautiful, the sunsets magnificent, and the tequila sweet, strong and flowing. My wife and I stayed at a large resort, supported by lots of local workers: gardeners, maids, cooks, waiters, maintenance people, and many others. As a chiropractor, I could not help but notice that many of the workers were wearing lumbar (lower back) support belts. These are the cloth and Velcro braces that can be wrapped tightly around one’s waist. The reason workers use these is to prevent low back injury, which is the most common work injury.
So, is it a good idea to wear them?
Part of my frustration, as I watch the current health care debate, is realizing that most of those charged with reforming our economy simply do not understand the health care system. This holds true from the House of Representatives up to the Presidency.
The health care sector is one sixth of the US economy. Those making decisions need to be educated about how this behemoth works. What are the cost drivers? Where are the inefficiencies? What are the relationships between interest groups—such as the pharmaceutical, medical device, hospital and insurance lobbies—and legislators in Washington, DC?
Growing up, I remember my parents sitting in front of the television set in their big faux leather Lazy Boy recliners. They would lean back and the foot supports would rise as they sank into their chairs dreamy soft cushiness. Usually, after about twenty minutes, they would be asleep and when they finally trudged off to bed, it would usually be with aching backs. Another chair related “injury!”
“An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back” By Elisabeth Rosenthal
The Republican Congress has been doing its best to bring down the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and replace it with the cruel joke that would be known as “Trumpcare.” Despite the fact that only 17% of the public supports the Republican proposals, the GOP is still trying to burn the ACA to the ground. It is in this environment …
“Crooked: Outwitting the Back Pain Industry and Getting on the Road to Recovery” by Cathryn Jacobson Ramin
I first heard about Crooked: Outwitting the Back Pain Industry and Getting on the Road to Recovery from a patient of mine who was about to undergo his second spinal surgery.
“Wow, she really trashes chiropractic big time,” he let me know. “And I think the book is getting a lot of notice.” …
I’ve just gotten back from my fourth NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) show in Anaheim, CA. NAMM is a yearly gathering of makers and sellers of instruments, amplification systems, headphones, concert lighting, digital interfaces and many more tools for the musician. The show is not open to the public. I attend as a volunteer with MusiCares, the health care arm of the Grammy Foundation. In that role, I spend time in the Musicares booth, advising musicians on health issues–from proper lifting techniques and nutrition to recommendations about stools, straps and other ergonomic equipment.
I just finished reading The End of Illness, a provocative new book by David Agus, MD. Agus is a medical oncologist and a leading cancer researcher. The focus of his research has been the varied mechanisms of cancer development. One of the simple, profound conclusions he reaches, is that we must stop thinking about cancer as a “thing” to be cut out or poisoned, but as a pathological systemic process. Cancer, he believes, should be seen as a verb. We don’t just “have cancer.” Instead, we “cancer”.
Once a year, in the Anaheim Convention Center, the National Association of Music Manufacturers (NAMM) provides space for the creators of musical instruments, amplifiers, recording equipment and every imaginable music accessory to display and demonstrate their newest wares. As a long-time bass player and a bit of a gear head, I was excited to finally be attending this legendary trade show. Those of you who have read my previous “Rock and Roll Ergonomics” columns know that I’ve been on a crusade against the tube amp. Don’t get me wrong; there are certain sounds that can be created only in the mysterious circuitry of Marshall and SVT heads.