The DNC is in full swing, and for the first time I find myself actually getting caught up in it. I guess I never before felt the sense of urgency I do now. Barack Obama rules. Kerry’s speech tonight was better than I thought it would be.
I’ve been wondering about something related for a while now, actually. When Reagan died, a huge number of people grieved publicly, honoring him in their hometowns and in the capital. I was amazed (as I was with the Princess Di affair) that so many people cared enough to do such things. Did they really miss Reagan that much? Were they just caught up in the publicity? I couldn’t imagine myself doing that for any president. Then I realized that I couldn’t even think of any public figure at all whose death I’d honor in that way. Am I just apathetic? Or do we not have any great leaders at the moment? (I could see myself hitting the streets for Lincoln or Gandhi or King. Or maybe I’m just flattering myself.) I love music, but no musician I can think of would get me out of the house either.
This phenomenon has always been mysterious to me. I feel like I’m missing a big part of the human experience here — or maybe all these people are just insane. Whose public funeral would you attend?
Here’s something I want to fix. Say I need to get LASIK surgery, or you need to get your wisdom teeth out, or need some kind of more serious surgery. Where do you go? Traditionally you’d talk to your doctor or a friend who’s had the procedure done before to get a referral. (“Yeah, Dr. Bongo did a great job with my eyes!”) For a health issue of significant magnitude, this approach is seriously flawed: you know there’s some amount of cronyism going on with the doctor-doctor referral, and your friend has a sample size of one in his or her experience with the procedure, and thus has no way to evaluate the quality of the job. (That “it worked” might be good, but I’d rather get the best than just good enough.)
The cost of a referral gone wrong could be a serious health defect. Who wants to risk that? So here’s my plan. I’m amazed that on eBay, even the pettiest of sellers hawking trinkets has an extensive feedback registry while doctors pulling in six figures and affecting your quality of life in a big way have none. Someone should start a site, say ratemd.com, that lets people rank doctors. Then when there’s enough data, you could make a more informed decision about who’s going to skewer your eyes.
Holy crap. I just checked ratemd.com and guess what — it exists, and does exactly what I said. Drat! There go my millions. Also there goes, in theory, the second half of this entry. But I’m going to keep this here since I spent the time to type it up and at least I thought it was original!
Grr. I even though I had a good domain name for it. Too good, I guess.
We saw Bela Fleck and the Flecktones last night. It was a pretty cool show. We were too far back to really appreciate the first set, but then Manu and I moved up during the intermission, and the second set was much better. Bela was good, but I was really enjoying Victor Wooten, Bela’s absolutely insane bass player. I’ve been worshipping him since I got their live CD in college like six or seven years ago. He was just as incredible live, and the band had some good jams. After the Indigo Girls two weeks ago, this looks to be my last concert of the summer — next up is the Pixies and then Richard Shindell, both in September.