Treating customers like cavepeople

caveman.gifThe state of health coverage in the U.S. is absolutely appalling. Consider the recent incident involving Blue Cross/Blue Sheild that my friend at Interprete has had to endure, at great expense of her time and patience – Blue Cross, Blue Shield Chronicles. The notion that a latent condition is a preexisting one is preposterous – it’s like saying you were fated to have this condition, so it was pre-existing.

The citizen journalism angle to this story is interesting too. It is quite remarkable how powerful google alerts can be in the hands of a PR rep or an investigative journalist, and how a mouse can roar in a way that demands a response (let’s hope that we can help insure a positive one).

Subversive tactics which emply tools like Google alerts and ad-words style targeted advertising potentially refute Sunstein’s argument in republic.com about disjoint sets of users in cyberspace. His argument basically discounts the ability to spam for your cause and the value in tracking all communications around a particular issue or theme and confronting opposing viewpoints where they occur.

We are all dying, sick, and crazy

looney_tunes.jpgMy visits to the Informedia lab have consistently generated futuristic ideas (and corresponding posts), and my trip this spring was no exception.

This time I was thinking alot about what kinds of schemas will be employed after their prototype moves beyond watching grandma? When this kind of a system is inevitably rigged up to a school or a prison, or fed raw streams from live surveillance cameras?

My money is on the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, an instrument that is arguably becoming the de-facto catalog for the full range of human behavior and experience.

In some respects, this progression parallels the notion that nobody dies of old age anymore – they die of heart failure, cancer, or other diseases. And, as the title of this post cheerily states, we are all dying, we are all sick, and we are all crazy.

As crazy as it sounds, the DSM is poised to become the lens through which we interpret all of human behavior. Given its breadth of coverage, I challenge anyone to find me a normal, healthy individual. It’s ambition reminds me of William James’ Varieties of Religious Experience, except in our generation, the full range of human experience has been radically pathologized.

BTW – the folks who brought us Sexual Orientation Disorder are hard at work on V 5.0 of this catalog – and there is a call out for diagnosis suggestions.

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