Sunday, October 08, 2006

National Health

We are in a bit of a state about health.

As a society we are still happy with our bliss of ignorance. Not for that much longer.

The health systems we have established are dysfunctional. At least they don't function as we intend them to because they have no design. The are no architects of the system and the people who have been appointed to improve things can not articulate the problem from a useful perspective so it can not be 'fixed'.

The dysfunction:

A practitioner of the present system of health will struggle to define health. If you cant define health, you cant be practicing it in any useful way.

This is obviously true by inspection. We have a system that is visibly not working. Over the last 100 years problems like the rate of cancer and more recently diabetes and obesity have continually increased. One of the top five killers of people is the health system itself, with 'medical error'.

So we have built a colossal medical system of 'health' but we cant define it so no wonder it doesn't work, no one can define what 'works' means. There is no way of measuring success.

This is why governments tasked with fixing the issue will keep changing the way we measure success. Its the only way to pretend in the short term that they have improved something. But in reality they have no hope of actually improving 'health' unless it can be defined.

This is where we need to start.

There is only one useful definition of health i can think of and that is how little you need another to be OK. For example if you need a machine and a team of technicians around you 24/7 to survive i would say you are not healthy.

In this respect health is a measure of your independence from external services.

This simply leads to measuring success of a health system by how little one needs it, which is obviously the right answer. If hospitals helped you stay out of hospital and off drugs they would be better hospitals.

In reality we don't get this result because we have setup the system backward. We have setup a national sickness system rather than a national health system.

Here is how, and it all comes from the way we pay the money. In the system we have, the more people are sick, the more we pay the money to the system. The more drugs people take the more money the drug company gets. This naturally leads to companies supplying services that increase revenue which in turn will be the services that require the most dependence.

So its easy to fix.

Just start measuring the level of independence of people from the system and pay the system by how much it promotes this independence.

That could then be called a national health system.

"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease."

~ Thomas Edison

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Why Consumerism Wins

Religions as I defined them (in god and science series) will compete with each other.

The more followers of a religion the more power it has. It is in the interest of a religion to take people from other religions... and convert them. This can often be measured financially as people pay their religion 'donations'.

We now have a new religion that beats other religions. Consumerism. It has the world of religion shaking because Consumerism has a superior viral theology. You see if the goal of a religion is to have followers it is important that the theology is viral. The theology 'sticks' to people and they want to go with it. The better the stickiness the easier it is to convert people to your way.

Now most traditional religions got their stickiness from finding some cool spiritual guy who talked deep sense to base themselves on. Then they could say if you go with this religion you get some of what that guy got, go with us.

Consumerism is way stickier than that. The thing that consumerism has is adaptability. It can constantly revise itself and even compete within itself and that's just fine for consumerism. This works because it utilises a competitive market capitalist model. Traditional religions have no hope.

Consumerism has the ideal and unique edge of super fast adaptability through capitalist competition. If Nike stops being 'sticky' and looses support they get a new add campaign and change, if they don't change fast enough Adidas just gets more of the Nike followers and so on.

So consumerisms first innovation to stickiness is adaptability.

The second innovation comes from the ability to refine and combine its internal dogma. This allows for super targeted focus on specific demographic groups without upsetting the overall theology.

Old style religion is internally rigid; it can’t change a small part of its theology without the whole taking note. For example, look at the issues with women priests, this causes the religion to divide from the top as a decision has to be made at the top about whether this is ‘allowed’ by the overall doctrine.

But consumerism strips away the need for any command and control structure to the overall dogma. Each brand is independent and can target its chosen demographic, these brands can compete with each other to expand their demographics and that just all OK with the overall concept of consumerism.

In consumerism any one follower can stay with multi facets of consumerism and still be OK. That is way beyond traditional religion. You mean you can wear Nike and eat at McDonald’s!

So the second stickiness innovation is the peer based design of consumerism. There is no command structure needed. The overall dogma is massively simplified to just the concept ‘consumerism’ there is no other thing you need to believe in. All that has to be provided for it to work in a society is a legal framework to protect brand IP along with a capitalist commercial model. Both of which the world pretty much holds as god anyway.

All this is revolutionary in design and i don't believe old style religions have any hope against the superior system of social control.

Consumerism will lay waste to all other religions as it takes its course. Look how far it has got in 50 years! and its got a fair way still to run. It will keep adapting to do what it does better and better.

This is great!

We have created a new viral religion that destroys all other religions.

Why is it great?

Because it begins to show people the hole that was always there. Consumerism is stripping away the pseudo security that religions pretended to provide society!

But. There is one thing that consumerism does worse than traditional religion and that is depth. It is even shallower than traditional religion.

So people see their insecurities clearer. There is a positive side to this, it forces people to face healing themselves for real on a deeper level.

This is a bit traumatic for people and society. But its healing none the less.

Hang in there. It’s a ride. The virus is very active today and it’s doing its thing all over the planet.

Once people are secure in themselves you can’t persuade them to go to war.