Past Posts...


Sex and Stats

What two things do sex and statistics have in common – apart, that is, from both starting with the letter S? The answer, of course, is firstly that in both, bigger is usually butt (sic) not always better, and secondly that both can be massaged to make things, err, stand out more.

The Survival of the Conformist

"When the government is powerful, the people become weak."

—Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

The Shit Hits the Farm

Lady Bracknell would have known exactly what to say. “To lose one case, Mr McCracken, may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose two looks like carelessness.”

The Instant Obscurity Panel

“Someone must have been telling lies about Joseph K, for without having done anything wrong he was arrested one fine morning.”

—Franz Kafka, The Trial

We Are All Villains Now

The routinely apoplectic Mr John “you can not be serious” Humphrys – may God preserve his blood pressure, for it must surely be too high – this morning reached new heights of indignation on Radio Four’s Today programme.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

“Who shall guard the guards?” —Juvenal, Satires

The Witch Doctor, in her excellent blog, often refers to the concept of “creep” – a form of social engineering by stealth.

The Eichmann Cometh

The German SS called it the Final Solution. The UK medical version of the SS, the General Medical Council, calls it Revalidation. Despite their very different contexts, the processes are remarkably similar.

Number Soup

We are drowning in number soup again.

The UK medical blogosphere is getting worked up about some numbers released last week by the Patients Association. The consensus seems to be that the numbers are a classic example of foul play by statistics. But perhaps they are not.

Revalidation Pilot Launched

Dr Maurice Colon, National Lead on Revalidating Doctors reports: ~ Well, I can tell you, we are all having a spiffing time down here at Revalidation Central.

The Collapse of the Probability Function

One of the more striking changes in medicine in recent years has been the increasing use of - and reliance on - numbers. Now, cosying up to numbers is all very well, as long as you understand them. Most doctors do not.