Dan Paluska


a trip to the emergency room in massachusetts
April 13, 2011, 9:18 pm
Filed under: information | Tags: , , , , ,

For most of the last 5 years, I have had no insurance or catastrophic coverage only ($10,000 deductible) so I haven’t been to the hospital in a while. In November, I started getting real insurance from my part time employment with HStar Technologies.

Woke up with a wicked fever about 4 in the morning sometime last December and decided to give the hospital a try. Took a cab (Thanks e.w.) to the nearby Mt. Auburn Hospital. The staff was really nice. Got an IV of some fluids, some ibuprofen and nice words. They ran some tests, nothing major. Sent me home. On my way out I asked the desk person how much it would be. They had no idea what the cost was and told me I would get a bill. I was required to pay the $100 copay before I left.

A series of documents began to arrive over the next month or so. Multiple non-bills and multiple bills. All said and done, the trip cost ~$1400, of which I paid ~$460.
My monthly insurance premium is about $350 (of which I pay half being a part time employee.)
I’ll leave the rest of the math to you. Insurance in Massachusetts is required by law.

You can click on any of the documents to get a higher res version through the flickr page.

The documents:
mt-auburn-bill-1
: Continue reading

Advertisements


do i play the lottery?
December 20, 2009, 6:35 pm
Filed under: randomness | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

is my plan for success based in a hit? or based in the increment?

question scalable rewards?

everybody is searching for scalable rewards. you know, the kind of reward that keeps on giving. the big one.
let me tell you something friend, if you invest in this thing here, you will be set for life. this is the deal of a lifetime. if you can find your way into this one situation, then you will be fine. how about that movie where the old timers get together for one last heist? the one that will allow them to never work again? did it go smoothly?

do you look at people who play the lottery or scratch-off tickets as being deficient in mathematical understanding? how about musicians who play gig after gig for next to nothing, hoping to one day get the record contract that will pay them big bucks? or the author who is starving until they get a book deal? or the post-doc trying to get the nature paper? or the artist who wants to get a piece into the collection at the MOMA? how about the guy who takes a lot of timelapse movies and posts them to youtube, what lotto is he hoping to win? or grant applications? what are the lotteries i’m planning to win? how can i replace those plans with something more incremental?

so… back to the question. are scalable rewards inherently unsustainable? they are fractal or chaotic or unpredictable. should we working to design any new system or community to be without scalable rewards? or at least we should minimize them? the less scalable the rewards, the more long term sustainable the system will be? more leverage is more scalable is less sustainable?
this is also related to the everyone-is-a-chef idea.

that said, it’s clear that in the near term, scalable rewards do exist and people will continue to hit is rich with them for a while, but maybe we should be working to highlight the slow paths… so if you think you’re placing too much emphasis on a lottery style payback, what is something small you can do to correct your path?

where are you going?



Intellectual property and evolution

we believe in evolution. evolution is survival. there is no “good”, “bad”, “true” or “false” only replication and mutation. success is simply a matter of what replicates and for one reason or another, mutations happen along the way. some mutations are beneficial, some not. in changing environments, mutations are essential to survival. Although some things can make it a really long time… (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coelacanth, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYOf2wIoxgo)

So what does this mean to us, living now, trying to figure it out?
No more smart/stupid value judgments. No more judging of pop culture, the american dream, gm, big banks, neocons, religious leaders or anything else? We are here to observe the replicators. We are here to work on mutations that might displace the current crop at the top. There is no good or bad. There is no ownership of ideas to impede either replication or mutation. We don’t know the answers. We are experimenting. We are mutating. We must work to reward the systems with the proper incentives. We just need to keep repeating ourselves in the business of making repeaters. We need to keep repeating each other.*

No limits on either replication or mutation? No intellectual property? No haggling over information of any sort? No scalable rewards? Everyone is a service employee?

is this our generation’s religion? the religion of letting go? the zen of informational openness? the power of true unconstrained parallel processing? worship of the process and the cloud of culture and information that hangs above and all around us? the democratization of publishing so individuals can broadcast as loud as corporations? easy, fast, and massive collaboration? loose networks of local and small? the disappearance of the term “theft” in regards to information? no more making money off of copies of things that are copied for free? informational commons? everything seen by many eyes and viewpoints to keep ourselves in check? all of us as teachers. all of us as students. learning models replace knowing models. sustainable business. true value added services. less debt. less leverage. less dependance on jackpots and lottery winnings. acceptance of randomness.
this is a kool-aid(tm) that we are drinking. are we fools?

information, formation, fabrications, for vacations, evacuation, e-vocation, evolution

(*) with slight modification of course.