Lectures

Writing Life No. 19: An Interview with Jason Pine

This article is part of the series:
Figure 1 (Jason): Writing is painful for me. I do TRX Suspension Training with an amazing online and affordable personal trainer/physical therapist (email me and I’ll give you his number) to correct my posture. I rest the nape of my neck on my orange wedge called a Davinci (try it), to release tension. I use Tizanidine (feels great), and sometimes
Features

The fool with the watering can, or asynchronous time travelling

One of the most bewildering and fascinating things about spending time with people with dementia is that they can rapidly travel through time. This was most clear with Mrs B., a daydreaming woman of 86. Her skin was deeply wrinkled and in the nursing home she kept pretty much to herself. One day, I had a long, stretched out conversation …

Features

The Impossibility of the Inert: Placebo and the Essence of Healing

The concept of placebo is predicated on the opposition between active and inert, deploying this opposition to assert that an action or substance with no inherent active principle can have a paradoxical effect “as if” it were active.1 My thesis is that there is no such thing as the inert in human affairs, relationships, or experience. Think of the …

Features

Musings on the Materiality of Health Care

In October of 2014, Romanian mass-media featured the local story of a few dozen citizens—most of them Orthodox nuns—refusing their newly issued state health insurance cards, on the grounds that the term card imprinted on the card would spell, when read backwards, drac—the Romanian word for “devil.” It seemed that the nuns, along with a few Orthodox priests and …

Features

Rethinking Infrastructures for Global Health: A View from West Africa and Papua New Guinea

This article is part of the series:

 

Medicines“Without staff, stuff, space and systems, nothing can be done”. Paul Farmer’s reflections on his recent trip to Liberia in The London Review of Books reiterated in stark terms what health experts have been saying for months. There is by now a fairly clear consensus in the global health community that the uncontrolled spread of Ebola in West Africa …

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