The New USPSTF Mammography Recommendations — A Dissenting View

“Recently, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) changed its recommendation for the starting age for mammography screening from 50 to 40 years. Previously, the Task Force deemed screening in 40-to-50-year-old women a personal choice. Because USPSTF recommendations are so influential, mammography screening for women in their 40s will probably become a health care performance measure; if so, it will effectively become a public health imperative with which primary care practitioners must comply. Such a change will affect more than 20 million U.S. women, and it raises some important questions. First, is there new evidence that mortality from breast cancer … Read More

Daniel Ellsberg Never Ran Out of Secrets

“Mr. Ellsberg, who died on Friday at 92, copied the military’s secret 7,000-page history of the Vietnam War and gave it to The New York Times and The Washington Post in 1971. The government sued to stop publication, but the Supreme Court defended the First Amendment right of a free press against prior restraint. [..] [New York Times] The number of people with the security clearances to view classified material has expanded, perhaps exponentially, since the leak of the Pentagon Papers, and I wonder, aside from a few people like Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning, why haven’t there been more … Read More

I Studied Five Countries’ Health Care Systems. We Need to Get More Creative With Ours.

“Discussions of [health care system] reform here in the United States seem to focus on two options: Either we maintain the status quo of what we consider a “private” system, or we move toward a single-payer system like Canada’s. That’s always been an odd choice to me because true single-payer systems like that one are relatively rare in the world, and Canada performs almost as poorly as we do in many international rankings. [..] Universal coverage matters, not how we get there. [..] We have spent the last several decades fighting about health insurance coverage. [..] The only thing we … Read More

At Work, Expertise Is Falling Out of Favor

“Minimal manning—and with it, the replacement of specialized workers with problem-solving generalists—isn’t a particularly nautical concept. Indeed, it will sound familiar to anyone in an organization who’s been asked to “do more with less”—which, these days, seems to be just about everyone. Ten years from now, the Deloitte consultant Erica Volini projects, 70 to 90 percent of workers will be in so-called hybrid jobs or superjobs—that is, positions combining tasks once performed by people in two or more traditional roles. Visit SkyWest Airlines’ careers site, and you’ll see that the company is looking for “cross utilized agents” capable of ticketing, … Read More

Why Frenemies May Be Hazardous to Your Health

Excerpt – We often think about relationships on a spectrum from positive to negative. We gravitate toward loving family members, caring classmates and supportive mentors. We do our best to avoid the cruel uncle, the playground bully and the jerk boss. But the most toxic relationships aren’t the purely negative ones. They’re the ones that are a mix of positive and negative. We often call them frenemies, supposed friends who sometimes help you and sometimes hurt you. But it’s not just friends. It’s the in-laws who volunteer to watch your kids but belittle your parenting. The roommate who gets you … Read More

“The Perfection Trap” decries what it calls a “hidden epidemic”

Thomas Curran finds some unusual culprits for the scourge of perfectionism “Mr [social psychologist at the London School of Economics Thomas] Curran distinguishes between three sorts of perfectionism. The first, which looks inward, is the relentless self-scolding of the workaholic or punctilious student. A second version, directed towards others, is commonly found in bosses who have unrealistic expectations of their staff and decry their supposed failings (he cites Steve Jobs as an example). The third and most troublesome kind is the form imputed to society: “an all-encompassing belief that everybody, at all times, expects us to be perfect”. Its victims … Read More

How to Find a Missing Person with Dementia

Excerpt – On the day she disappeared into Los Angeles, Paulikas was one of nearly five and a half million people in the U.S. with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia. (Today, that number is more than six million.) In becoming lost, she experienced one of the disease’s most common symptoms: the unravelling of the brain’s navigational systems. According to some estimates, more than sixty per cent of people with Alzheimer’s disease will wander away from home or a caregiver, or become lost when an abrupt bout of confusion propels them from an otherwise familiar setting. Such episodes … Read More

Our Obsession With Wellness Is Hurting Teens — and Adults

The clinical psychologist Lisa Damour offers an on-the-ground look at the mental health crisis teenagers are facing. “[New York Times’ Ezra Klein] [..] What has always been difficult about being a teenager? [Clinical psychologist and author of “The Emotional Lives of Teenagers” and “Under Pressure” Lisa Damour] Well, we have a few cardinal rules in psychology, and one is that change equals stress. And if you look at an 11-year-old, which is typically when we mark the beginning of adolescence, and you look at a, say, 17 or 18-year-old, so someone who’s pretty far down the line of being a … Read More

What If Instead of Trying to Manage Your Time, You Set It Free?

“In her newest book, “Saving Time,” Jenny Odell, a visual artist and the author of the best-selling “How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy,” argues that standard ways of thinking about time — particularly regarding work and what time is owed and to whom — can obscure potentially more humane and expansive, less self-centered notions of time, views that go beyond restrictive notions of efficiency or work-life balance. “I’m really trying to work against an instrumental view of time,” says Odell, who is 37, “where it’s either something that is going to help you or hurt you.” [..] [Marchese] … Read More

AI’s Education Revolution

Khan Academy is using ChatGPT to bring one-on-one teaching to scale. “Millions of students use Khan Academy’s online videos and problem sets to supplement their schoolwork. Three years ago, Sal Khan and I spoke about developing a tool like the Illustrated Primer from Neal Stephenson’s 1995 novel “The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer.” It’s an education tablet, in the author’s words, in which “the pictures moved, and you could ask them questions and get answers.” Adaptive, intuitive, personalized, self-paced—nothing like today’s education. But it’s science-fiction. Last week I spoke with Mr. Khan, who told me, “Now I think a Primer is within … Read More