Creative Diagnoses in Dentistry

Reading stuff like this I wonder how much oil changes would cost if they were covered by your car insurance.

“In recent years, I have been seeing more and more creative diagnosis,” Camm told me when I called him at his practice in Washington state. A dentist, he said, might think, “‘Well, the insurance covers this crown, so I’m not hurting this patient, so why don’t I just do it?’ That’s the absolutely wrong approach.”

“How U2 Blew It”

Bob Lefsetz:

This looked like nothing so much as what it was, old farts using their connections to shove material down the throats of those who don’t want it. It’s what we hate so much about today’s environment, rich people who think they know better and our entitled to their behavior.

For a moment I thought I’d have to explain to my mom and dad why there’s a U2 album that came out of nowhere on their iDevices – then I remembered that they don’t even touch the Music app.

“Don’t shove your music into people’s homes”

Sasha Frere-Jones:

What Cook and U2 probably wanted to duplicate yesterday was the organic delight when Beyoncé released an entire album out of the blue last December on iTunes. Instead, U2 stuffed a locksmith card in your doorframe, which you’ve probably already tossed.

…imagine what it would have been like if, instead of a free U2 album, Apple gave away a brand new Dr. Dre album.

“House, car, education. Take care of those three and you can drink all the coffee you want.”

I heard something on the radio this morning that got me fired up. It was a segment about tips on how to save more money. What came was a predictable list of “brew your own coffee,” “buy generic products,” and “bring your lunch to work!”

I can’t stand these lists. I think they’re dangerous, because the average American’s dismal financial state has little to do with coffee, name brands, or lunch. The people writing these articles mean well. But they’re the equivalent of telling a drowning man how to dry his clothes — advice that seems helpful but misses the bigger problem.

Email Is Dead According To People Who Have A Financial Interest In Email’s Death

Getting an email address was once a nerdy right of passage for Gen-Xers arriving on college campuses. Now, the kids are waging a war of indifference on poor old email, culling the weak and infirm old-people technology. One American professor maintained that, to his students, “e-mail was as antiquated as the spellings ‘chuse’ and ‘musick’ in the works by Cotton Mather and Jonathan Edwards.” The vice-chancellor of Exeter University claimed, “There is no point in emailing students any more.” The youth appear to think there are better, faster, more exciting ways to communicate than stupid email.

Yet, despite all the prognosticators predicting it will—choose the violence level of your metaphor—go out of style, be put out to pasture, or taken out back and shot, email grinds on.

“This Isn’t Disco”

On the electronic dance music boom.

For older Americans, or those with an interest in music history, the rise of EDM might seem eerily familiar. Disco took the country by storm in the late 1970s, only to flame out spectacularly amid a fierce backlash from rock music enthusiasts. Proponents of the genre obviously don’t think history will repeat itself. “This isn’t disco,”John Boyle, the CFO of Insomniac, an EDM tour promoter, said in comments reported by The Verge. “This is hip hop with a lot more legs.”

How is it hip hop?

“What I think about when I think about running”

Richard Anderson on running:

In April, I started the Couch to 5K training program. As I write this, I’m in week 7, having missed some time due to travel, injury, and other issues. I run because I want to be in better shape. I want to lose weight, and stave off an early death from a life spent sitting. I do not run because I like it. In fact, I hate running.

I run twice a week. I use the Nike Plus app. When I rate the run I never ever ever use anything above the middle face with the flat mouth. I don’t smile. I convinced myself I do this for fresh air and so I can sleep better.

This and the “look better naked” mantra is the only reason I exercise. There is no mindfulness. There is no zen moment. There’s only a feeling that this sucks and that I’m doing this for the right reasons.

“Generation Wuss”

I’m on a Bret Easton Ellis kick after subscribing to his podcast a few weeks ago , so I missed this February 2014 interview in Vice with the author about millennials:

When I hear millennials getting hurt by “cyber bullying,” or it being a gateway to suicide, it’s difficult for me to process…It’s very difficult for them to take criticism, and because of that a lot of the content produced is kind of shitty. And when someone is criticized for their content, they seem to collapse, or the person criticizing them is called a hater, a contrarian, a troll.

…What we have is a generation who are super-confident and super-positive about things, but when the least bit of darkness enters their lives, they’re paralyzed.

Chris Ruen – “How a generation’s freeloading has starved creativity”

What’s very damning are the sites people go to for free stuff that benefit by selling advertising space.

A report by the Digital Citizens Alliance released earlier this year found that pirate sites took in nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in revenues in 2013, with the largest 30 sites averaging $4.4 million in ad revenues and even the smallest sites pulling in $100,000 annually, all on the backs of uncompensated artists. As these sites need not bother with licensing fees, their profit margins are estimated to range between 80 and 94 per cent.

It’s more lucrative to leach than it is to create.

You Got The Touch

On Stan Bush’s “The Touch” in Boogie Nights:

I had no idea that Dirk Diggler and Reed Rothchild (Mark Wahlberg and John C. Reilly) were even doing a cover; I thought that Anderson simply wrote exactly the kind of song these two dummies would if they existed in the real world.

The sound track to Transformers: The Movie is on Spotify – featuring “The Touch”

4 Reasons Why Music Careers Are Getting Trounced By Tech

Bobby Owsinski:

It used to be that if our best and brightest had any affinity for music at all, they would go to great ends to enter the business, with a long-term vision in mind. Not so today, as music careers are getting trounced by the tech industry when it comes to job choice and availability, and there’s no end to this movement in sight.

Where music was once seen by many as one of the highest callings possible, that perception seemed to die with the 90’s even as the music business hit its peak. It’s been all downhill since as the brain drain and lack of incoming talent has only helped to accelerate the industry’s fall to where it is today at about half its all-time high revenue.

Reading this I feel like I was caught in the middle of a transition. I was too late on the music as a career option, but too early to get in on the App gold rush (which has already peaked).

Adam Carolla won’t let it drop

If you’ve listened to any podcasts recently you may have heard the appeal from Adam Carolla asking for donations to defend against patent trolls. Ars Technica reports that Personal Audio, the company with the patents, has been trying to get out of the lawsuit:

According to Personal Audio, they’ve lost interest in suing podcasters because the podcasters—even one of Adam Carolla’s size—just don’t make enough money for it to care.

“[Personal Audio] was under the impression that Carolla, the self-proclaimed largest podcaster in the world, as well as certain other podcasters, were making significant money from infringing Personal Audio’s patents,” stated the company. “After the parties completed discovery, however, it became clear this was not the case.”

Then later:

The patent company is charging ahead with its patent case against the big three television networks, CBS, NBC, and ABC. Personal Audio is trying to wring a royalty from those companies for releasing video “episodic content” over the Internet.

Don’t worry, little guys. They only want money – and you don’t have any. Doesn’t that make you feel better?

Ikea’s Minimum Wage

Ikea is raising its minimum wage for workers to $10.76 an hour.

“By taking better care of our coworkers,” says Rob Olson, the acting president of Ikea U.S., “they will take better care of our customers, who will take better care of Ikea. We see it as a win-win-win opportunity.”

In other words: Ikea Won’t Employ Anybody Worth Less Than $10.76 an Hour.

Muscles Scare Away Middle-Upper Class

…Carl Stempel, for example, writing in the International Review for the Sociology of Sport, argues that upper middle class Americans avoid “excessive displays of strength,” viewing the bodybuilder look as vulgar overcompensation for wounded manhood. The so-called dominant classes, Stempel writes—especially those like my friends and myself, richer in fancy degrees than in actual dollars—tend to express dominance through strenuous aerobic sports that display moral character, self-control, and self-development, rather than physical dominance. By chasing pure strength, in other words, packing on all that muscle, I had violated the unspoken prejudices—and dearly held self-definitions—of my social group.

I question the overcompensation angle, but then I thought of Planet Fitness’s “Lunk Alarm.” I wouldn’t be surprised if the upper class rejection of strength training is part overcompensation and part fear.