…the biggest threat to innovation is the lack of single payer health…

“Rob (@mtnspring) is onto something here”:https://twitter.com/#!/mtnspring/status/173485019560558592. Health insurance is a huge lock-in for corporations. If an employee has a family, and/or ongoing health concerns, it is very hard for them to walk away into the morass of COBRA, pre-existing conditions, etc. I have to believe that people would be far more willing to take startup risk if they knew it would have no impact on health care for themselves or their family.

Preventing Football Head Injuries

It’s increasingly obvious that powers-that-be in football at all levels have to make some changes to protect players from head trauma.

MEMS-based accelerometers are obviously super cheap now; why aren’t these in every football helmet made, along with necessary processing and memory to cache results both instantaneous and cumulative. And with results available to a trainer on the sidelines via wireless or some other means.

And if a player’s helmet records a certain level of instantaneous or cumulative impact, then that player is out of the game or practice until evaluated by a doctor.

Additionally this data is tracked over a player’s lifetime and if certain cumulative levels are reached, then the player is pulled for medical evaluation.

This is not some crazy new idea. VT trialed a system in 2007 based on Simbex technology. Riddell had a helmet design in 2007 with some of this. At that time the cost was quoted as $1k per helmet but with Wii controllers retailing at $20-40 MSRP, there is no reason why a lower cost system can’t be devised. Perhaps it won’t have the same level of accuracy and responsiveness as the $1K system but there must be a reasonable low cost version 1.0 compromise.

The game has to change. Measurement is a start. Rule and equipment changes must follow.

Every hour the NCAA spends chasing after athlete eligibility issues instead of chasing after helmet safety issues is an hour misspent, almost criminally so. Yes eligibility issues are important and the NCAA has to address the economics of college football, but the health of the players involved is much more important.

I need to get smarter about the healthcare debate

Having spent way too much time with healthcare providers, insurance companies, etc, in the last 4 years, I certainly support change. Almost any change, change for change’s sake, is worth trying, because the system is not very satisfying right now. We should clearly try to do something. So I am inclined towards supporting the new proposals in Congress. I need to get smarter about the details.

In general, shifting power away from the monied interests — insurance companies, pharma companies, large healthcare organizations — and towards the individuals — patients and doctors — is the right thing to do. Do the proposals achieve this? I don’t know. Certainly some insurance companies are pissed off which is probably a good sign, tho other pharma and insurance companies are funding support ads which is concerning — if they are so excited about the proposals, it probably means money in their pockets, and that money is coming from someone.

I kind of hate the fact that all these large organizations — pharma, insurance cos, the various NGOs — are even participating in the discussion. My view is that only voters/citizens should participate, it should be illegal for all these other entities to fund ads and lobbying efforts.

The big picture — VC Math, Life Threats, Rhythms

Random posts that have caught my eye recently:

* The VC Math Problem — excellent discussion of the “macroeconomics” of the VC asset class.
* What to fear. The truth about what is going to kill you. The sensationalist news stories every night on random acts of violence and tragedy are scary, but they aren’t the threat.
* The Rhythms of My Life. One guy’s methodology for examining his life and how he lives it. Not the right methodology for everyone, but everyone probably needs some methodology.

The Enzyme Factor, One False Move, and other recent books

* “Plato and a Platypus walk into a bar”:amazon by Cathcart and Klein. Philosophy lite. A diverting bathroom book, no more.
* “The Alchemist”:amazon by Paulo Coelho. A parable about being true to your dreams. Simplistic. And so kind of appealing but kind of ridiculous. A week later, hasn’t stuck with me.
* “Crash Course: Gastrointestinal System”:amazon by Seidel and Long. A western medicine reference to the gastrointestinal system. adequate overview. all trees, no forest tho.
* “The Enzyme Factor”:amazon by Hiromi Shinya. Excellent sensible book on health and diet. Based on his long long experience. Contrast with the prior text, very much a forest view. Some very sensible conclusions about diet and lifestyle. Some of the details may not be fully justified (coffee enemas on a regular basis, really??) but the overall discussion is very useful.
* “One False Move”:amazon by Harlan Coben. Another myron bolitar tale. Snappy as always. Can’t go wrong with one of these on the beach or the plane.
* “Devil May Care”:amazon by Sebastian Faulks. Eh. Pretty rote Bond story with a telegraphed twist. A fine screenplay but pretty tired as a story. Don’t understand the rave reviews this has gotten, there are like thousands of suspense and mystery books that are more interesting

Grabbag of software links

* Switch Between Your Gmail Accounts — hmm this has been an impediment to spawning more accounts
* Paypal toolbar gens one-off credit card numbers — always liked the one-off credit card idea; at one point some ecommerce sites didn’t deal well with
* Generate blogrolls from google reader — need to reinstate my blogroll someday
* See if your windows box has stealth connections to the net — i’m clean
* Use Colr.org to plan out a color scheme — love color scheme tools
* AnyTV player — tried this one, actually seems to kind of work
* Visual exploration of medical terms — didn’t learn anything new but maybe useful
* Photomatix for HDR photography

Grabbag of links

* The blockbuster bestseller is dying. “…the evidence shows we are moving away from a winner-take-all society, not toward it”
* Solar powered flickering candles. Ordered for Halloween
* Great lens guidance from bob and rich. I now know infinitely more.
* Netgear launches powerline 200. Exactly what I need for connecting up the Tivo to the net.
* Quikmaps via iunknown — easy way to markup maps. Nice.
* podcast of ted videos. Subscribed.
* Cellfire mobile coupons via techcrunch. Tried to sign up but doesn’t support the blackberry, darn.
* Some Aspects of aging are out of our control.

Living Forever

Eric recommend “Fantastic Voyage : Live Long Enough to Live Forever”:amazon by Kurweil and Grossman. Interesting read. The high level recos make a lot of sense and are not particularly new — eliminate sugars and processed carbs from the diet, exercise, etc. And these guys give good science behind these recos.

The crazy stuff is the extreme supplement plan — one of the authors takes 250 oral supplements daily and also has direct transfusions weekly. I am unconvinced of the science behind this — I am not convinced that flooding the body with a bunch of chemical constituents of intermediate reactions is a good thing, nor that we understand the impact on the entire sustem. But still interesting and a worthy read.