22 thoughts on “As soon as we cure cancer…

    • Also from the resume:

      https://philip.greenspun.com/personal/resume
      2018-present: Harvard University
      Develop curricular materials for medical students and post-doc researchers learning how to query a 12 TB insurance claims database. Assist student groups with their analytics projects in SQL and R.

      It’s still not clear if he is also a medical student.

    • Philip is the editor. The author/diarist is a student “mole” who was a biomedical engineering undergraduate, then worked for a year as an engineer after graduating before applying to medical school. (Year 1, Week 0 and 1). The mole maintains his anonymity throughout the book (as far as I can tell) and employs pseudonyms to preserve the anonymity of others.

      Their writing styles are similar and I attribute that to both of them being rather smart people from a rigorous engineering background, the necessity of compressing a week’s worth of medical school into each diary entry as a collection of condensed notes, and the fact that Philip edited the book and undoubtedly influenced the style. I am 99 44/100% sure that our good Dr. Greenspun is not, in fact, the med. school student.

  1. Assuming that a majority of medical costs come in the last 6 months of life then the pie chart showing the likely causes of death should be used along with a chart showing how different forms of death have different costs so that research is diverted to the expensive causes of death. For example seat belts have contributed to increased medical costs since they have contributed to the likelihood that we will die from cancer or heart disease.

  2. I need to tell my friend [redacted] that at the age of 65 clocking 20 chin ups one after the other will not save him. Admittedly, he might slap me upside the head and remind me that if you keep your ass off the couch, type 2 diabetes will not happen by magic.

  3. “As soon as we cure cancer…we can all die from diabetes.”

    Or, more likely, alzheimer’s disease or (for men) prostate cancer.

  4. 30-50 years ago we were very good at falling over due to heart attacks and strokes. Often people in their 50s or 60s would die.
    Then new medical advances let people live until the age of cancer.
    Extending most lives into certain diabetes sounds fine to me.

  5. Quite a big dropoff between cancer & diabetes, as far as what doctors can cure. Heart disease is still hanging on, slightly above cancer. Accidents are still right behind cancer. Heart disease of course could be cured by just eliminating all marriage.

  6. … we can all die from over work to pay student loans, child support, ex-wife, etc.

    There, I fixed it for you.

  7. Phil, can you give us a little more detail? From my perspective I’ve seen more books and articles about cancer and heart disease, but very little written of any worthwhile substance on diabetes.

    • Oh come on Phil — every American has the right, in fact the duty, to know what causes cancer. If you were selected to serve on a Roundup or J&J Baby Powder jury you would have to decide if these products caused a specific individual’s cancer. And if the plaintiff had smoked or handled radioactive materials for the better part of his or her life you would have to weigh that fact and decide how much of the cancer had been caused by Roundup or Baby Powder. And if you had any background on the subject, say had passed high school chemistry or statistics you would probably be stricken for cause.

    • Jack: I’m pretty sure that Roundup causes mental mediocrity given what one sees in the U.S. suburbs! (but maybe being unable to think critically is a small price to pay for freedom from invasive weeds)

  8. A quick visit to the new “Pancreas-R-Us” and you can be equipped for the mountain of sugar we now ingest and die from something else.

    • @Alan: When the Pancreas-R-Us stores start opening in all the abandoned malls in America for pennies on the real estate dollar, they’ll be owned by Coca-Cola and Pepsico.

      Sports drinks. Candy sold as health tonic. In high schools everywhere. A couple tenths of a gram of electrolytes, some citric acid (great for tooth enamel!) and a shovel full of sugar. 32 ounces of “lemonade-flavored” Brand P Sports Drink has 56 grams of sugar, almost 2 ounces. A kid who drinks one of those a day (which is “about” 2.5 12 ounce servings according to the label but really it’s “exactly” 2 2/3rd servings) is getting ~ 2x the amount of total dietary sugar they should be consuming from all sources. One 12-ounce bottle and they’re almost there.

      Original formula Gatorade had 10 grams of sugar per 20 ounce serving, and I used to dilute that stuff because it was still too sugary. Happily they’ve gotten with the times and their new drinks have as much or more sugar than Brand P.

      It makes perfect sense that the companies producing the sugarlicious sports drinks should be investing heavily in the future enterprise of replacement pancreases. They’ll have you covered coming and going, offense and defense as it were.

      This is a depressing thread.

    • Note also that a 1lb box of Domino’s Granulated lists its serving size as 1 teaspoon or 4 grams, 113 servings per box. That’s amazing! One 12-ounce serving of 12-ounce Brand P sports drink contains over 400% more sugar than a serving of…sugar!

    • Drink coconut water instead of sports drinks after working out or cardio. Naturally, coconut has under 3grams of sugar per 100 ml. 1 pint of 60% coconut water will restore you without sugar overload.

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