I believe in Santa Claus

My wife and i had this debate a little before christmas so i’ll share my point of view.

The retail industry has made a mockery out of christmas and trumped up santa to the point where many people are stressed out, frustrated, and sick of christmas. Many Christian groups are calling for devout followers to give up the tradition entirely; i disagree.

Santa claus is a great metaphor for what Christmas is all about. Santa claus is God and the metaphor flows easily from there. All those tales about the naughty list and gifts of coal never pan out in the end. Santa brings gifts and glad tidings to all. Likewise, we christians believe that God gave his son to all, sinner and saint, that we may achieve salvation through him.

With this understanding, santa claus is a great tradition. It is unfortunate how often this goes overlooked and unless we teach our children this metaphor, santa will continue to be seen as just another part of the modern decadence.

Remember, all things in moderation.

Glimpses of the future of personal healthcare

I just wanted to mention a couple of websites that are doing positive things in the area of consumer health.

QuickenHealth, http://healthcare.intuit.com, is making it easy for consumers with a certain group of insuresrs, to track and manage their expenses. It helps clarify what, why, and when the insurer made or didn’t make payments on your behalf.

Patients Like Me, http://patientslikeme.com, makes it easy for people with some of the more acute conditions to collaborate with other patients like themselves online. For me, the ALS group would have been nice back when my family was going through a grandparent having the disaease.

Keas, http://keas.com, named after a strange bird, lets you integrate data from one of the major PHR’s and then manage your own health by selecting from a variety of care plans.

While none of these sites is completely solving the problem of health care, they are all forward thinking and are specific examples that could be cited for how health care is going to shift more and more to the responsibility of the patient. We will show up for our appointments more educated than ever before.

Django Web Framework

So i slammed my old XP machine with Ubuntu this weekend and set to go through the django tutorial.

I’d already had a little experience with django, but hadn’t gone through the basics as another team member had set up our project.

After going through the tutorial, http://docs.djangoproject.com/en/dev/intro/tutorial01, i am confident that the way django encompasses the business model in its use of models.py, maps urls in urls.py, and provides a free admin tool makes it the best “framework” for creating web sites quick and easy. Pair this framework with what is already known to be an easy language, python, and you’ve got a winner.

I’ve yet to use django/python on anything over a month project, so i can’t really comment on whether or not Cal Henderson’s, www.iamcal.com, statement that if you need to build a “serious” website than the advantages of using a framework like django will at some point come crashing down by the need to modify and adapt the framework for your specific usages.

Health Care Reform: Are there any lessons from the past?

Can we learn anything from the past about technology and the disruption it can cause to an industry?

Think about a few examples…

  • The record and video stores are being replaced by online and/or mechanical counterparts. See netflix, itunes, redbox, etc…)
  • Power generation went from individually owned windmill’s and watermills to centralized power plants
  • Email has supplanted traditional mail in popularity and usage

Given that the health care delivery system is just now approaching the “tipping point” for being completly digitized, is government legislature really necessary when the past shows that innovation will inevitably come and reduce the cost, remove the friction, and improve our delivery system?

It’s the spirit of the free market system that has lead to countless examples of this in our short history as a nation and i hope that we don’t rush to judgement instead of letting the entrepreneurs duke it out. Let the most valuable solution win!

Death to PPOs HMOs and all the other insurance plans that don’t involve the consumer!