Four short links: 12 August 2009

Health Data, Python Term Extraction, Network Neutrality, New Database

  1. Improving Health Care — Adam Bosworth’s speech to the Aspen Health Forum. It starts strong and just gets better: There is a lot of talk about improving health care. And there is a lot to improve. Inadequate Evidence: We don’t know enough about what works. We should require sharing of population statistics across practices and hospitals in order to better determine what works for whom. We should reward practices and hospitals that are delivering the best most cost-effective long-term outcomes and penalize those that deliver the worst.
  2. topia.termextract — Python library for term extraction, so you can get a list of the nouns and noun phrases used in a piece of text. (via Simon Willison)
  3. Key to Understanding Network Neutrality — David Pennock neatly identifies the crucial issue, that service quality and price levels be uniformly applied and not arbitrary based on how much the service provider thinks they can gouge from the customer. The key to understanding this debate is recognizing the difference between anonymity and egalitarianism. A mechanism is anonymous if the outcome does not depend on the identity of the players: two players who bid the same are treated equally. It doesn’t matter what their name, age, or wealth is, what company they represent, or how they plan to use the item — all that matters is what they bid. This is a good property for almost any public marketplace that ensures fair treatment, and one worth fighting for on the Internet.
  4. (the item I linked to releases in a week’s time, I will link again when it’s live–sorry for the inconvenience. In the meantime, please enjoy this video of a monkey washing a cat)
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