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Paul Hsieh

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About Paul Hsieh

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    Paul Hsieh
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  1. NoodleCast: Please Rate and Review: If you’re a fan of my podcasts, please help spread the word by rating and reviewing them in iTunes! Please do so for both the enhanced M4A feed and standard MP3 feed. (The content is the same: the only difference is the file type.) That’s much appreciated! View the full article
  2. North Carolina’s Despicable Amendment: David Deerson writes an excellent blog post on North Carolina’s Despicable Amendment — a.k.a. Amendment 1. The amendment — up for a vote today (May 8th) — would declare that “marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.” David writes: The amendment isn’t only a strike against gay marriage but also civil unions, regardless of the gender composition of the partners. Depending on the courts interpretation of the language of the amendment, it could: invalidate domestic violence pro
  3. As part of Diana's September 11th Rationally Selfish webcast (NoodleCast #96), she covered the following question: Is it dumb to return a valuable home run baseball to the team? When NY Yankees star Derek Jeter hit a home run for his 3000th hit, the fan in the stands Christian Lopez who caught the ball returned it to the Yankees, even though he was legally entitled to keep it. Some experts estimate it could have been sold on eBay for up to $250,000. The Yankees did give him some season tickets and team memorabilia but nowhere near as valuable. (In fact, he may have to pay thousands of dollar
  4. Dear Apple: I've been a happy iPad2 owner since March 2011, but I never fully appreciated its value until I recently broke my hip in a bad fall and required subsequent hospitalization. I am a physician, so I had already been using my iPad for my work, reading PDFs of medical articles, communicating with my colleagues via e-mail, etc. But when I broke my hip in an accident a few days ago, the iPad became my lifeline to the outside world: Because I had my iPad with me at the time of the accident, I was able to immediately notify my friends and family of what had happened once I arrived in th
  5. In Diana's July 3rd webcast, one of the topics she covered was self-defense and one of the points she made was that victims of violent attack in Great Britain could be prosecuted for fighting back in self-defense. A listener who was a former UK resident (now living in Hong Kong) wrote back to let her know that UK law did allow "reasonable force" in resisting a violent attack and wanted to correct any potentially erroneous negative impressions of British laws. One of the references he cited was this 6/29/2011 BBC news story, "Right to self-defence in homes to be 'much clearer'". However,
  6. The 8/10/2011 PajamasMedia has just published my latest OpEd, "Don't Shoot the Downgrade Messenger". My theme is that attacking S&P for the U.S. credit downgrade is like criticizing your doctor for diagnosing your cancer. Here is the opening: Suppose you saw your doctor for a persistent headache. After performing a full battery of tests, he told you that your MRI scan showed a malignant brain tumor. Would you (1) work with him on a plan to treat your cancer, or (2) threaten the MRI manufacturer with a government investigation? Although most normal people would choose option 1, our go
  7. At FuturePundit, Randall Parker described how "Crowd Sourcing Identifies 2 Parkinsons Disease Genes". Here's an extended excerpt from his post: The folks at personal genetic testing company 23andme.com recruited Parkinson's Disease (PD) patients from mailing lists and other means and compared their genetic variants with a group of 23andMe customers who also got their genetic variants tested by 23andMe. They used the resulting data to discover 2 more genetic variants associated with Parkinson's Disease. The results demonstrate the speed, low cost, and power of web-based recruiting to do gene
  8. The June 2, 2011 edition of the Christian Science Monitor has published my latest OpEd, "Here comes Obamacare's Big Brother: Accountable Care Organizations". My theme is that the federal government's proposed new model of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) is dangerous because it will corrupt the doctor-patient relationship and stifle genuine health delivery innovations. Here is the opening: Suppose President Obama declared he would tackle rising food prices by forcing everyone to eat at government-supervised restaurant chains. Small restaurants would be nudged to merge with national on
  9. The May 16th Investor's Business Daily quoted me in their article, "Will Congress Kill 'Death Panel 2.0'?" Here's the relevent excerpt: While IPAB defenders say the law specifically bars rationing, critics argue that cutting provider payments would have that effect. They say IPAB-imposed payment cuts could accelerate doctors' exodus from Medicare, restricting seniors' access to care. In 2009, 13% of family doctors said they didn't participate in Medicare, up from 6% in 2004, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. "Its power to set payments to doctors and hospitals would giv
  10. Sorry about the short notice, but I just learned about this myself. Submission deadline for comments is today(!) The FDA is giving the general public one last opportunity for comment on whether it should clamp down on consumer genetic testing. These are tests where patients can have their own DNA analyzed to see if they might be at risk of developing certain diseases in the future, sold by companies such as 23andMe.com. Here's the Wired story on the proposed regulations (and public comment period): "Last chance: let the FDA know why you want direct access to your own genome", Wired, 4/29/2
  11. Here's a funny real-life story of street justice, "How I got an uncooperative eBay buyer to pay for her purchase". Here's the setup: I had tickets to a sporting event and couldn't attend. I made a 1-day listing and clearly stated that the tickets must be picked up in person within 24 hours (the game was the evening after the auction ended, so there wasn't any time to ship the tickets). A woman won the auction for about $600. The auction had ended at 10:00am and by 5:00pm she still hadn't responded to my emails trying to organize the exchange. Finally, at 9:30pm, I got a one-liner email:
  12. I recently read a fascinating article entitled, Why Caltech Is in a Class by Itself". Here is an excerpt: Of the top two dozen or so elite universities in America only one has managed both to avoid the craziness of the post-60s intellectual fads, and to establish something pretty close to a pure meritocracy -- California Institute of Technology, which has not received the general recognition among academics that it clearly deserves... If you can't meet the stellar performance requirements and show an intense love for science and mathematics, Caltech isn't interested in you and will not lower
  13. As a followup to Diana's recent post on parenting styles ("Compare and Contrast"), some readers may recall the sad story of Todd Marinovich. Todd Marinovich was groomed (and pushed) from birth by his father Marvin to be an NFL quarterback. And he ended up crashing and burning in the national spotlight. Two interesting stories about Marinovich illustrate the consequences of the senior Marinovich's nightmare parenting style. The first story ("Bred To Be A Superstar") was written in 1988, when Marinovich was a high school football superstar trying to decide with big name college to attend.
  14. This was a fascinating article entitled, Why Caltech Is in a Class by Itself". Here is an excerpt: Of the top two dozen or so elite universities in America only one has managed both to avoid the craziness of the post-60s intellectual fads, and to establish something pretty close to a pure meritocracy -- California Institute of Technology, which has not received the general recognition among academics that it clearly deserves... If you can't meet the stellar performance requirements and show an intense love for science and mathematics, Caltech isn't interested in you and will not lower its st
  15. The January 6, 2011 Washington Times published my latest OpEd, "Best Health Care Political Pull Can Buy". My theme is that unless ObamaCare is repealed, it will foster the wrong kind of health care competition. Here's an excerpt: When President Obama signed his health care plan into law, he promised it would foster "choice and competition." Nine months later, Americans can count this as another Big Lie. Obamacare has instead reduced competition in the marketplace for health services... Yet while Obamacare is suppressing genuine marketplace competition for medical services, it is also spurri
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