Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Links for Today

  • No more gifts for Czech doctors, an interesting post on Certain ideas of Europe. It speaks about a recent measure adopted by the Czech government which consists of charging patients with a small sum, roughly 1 euro, for visits to publicly funded doctors. This is aimed at discouraging people from "bothering the GP" with every tiny health problem they may encounter, which might be easily solved with a quick visit to the local drugstore. Ultimately this leads to lower costs for the national health care system. But it is the final part of the comment that made me relate to the current situation in the health care system in Romania, where small gifts to doctors are still a current practice for assuring the quality of the treatment. Interesting thoughts.
"One unexpected effect has been a sudden collapse in the tradition of bringing a small gift —some food or drink, often—to the doctor, as a sort of unspoken micro-bribe to ensure good care. Now, it seems, patients feel that as they are paying a fee, service should be included, as it were."
"Now notice the final two. 'Governments are stupid' and 'governments aren't that stupid' follow immediately from principle 5 and it's translation, 'trade can make everyone better off, why the heck do we need government for?'. But if 'trade can make everyone worse off' we'd better have a government to stop people from trading."
  • A short but comprehensive review of French football manager Arsene Wenger's 10 years at Arsenal F.C. published in 2006 by BBC Sport. One thing strikes me as obvious, unlike Italy (Carlo Ancelotti, Fabio Capello, Marcelo Lippi) , France (Arsene Wenger, Raymond Domenech, Aimé Jacquet) or Germany (Franz Beckenbauer, Otto Rehhagel, Ottmar Hitzfeld), England doesn't have world class football managers, even though it has world class players - of which my favorite is Liverpool FC captain Steven Gerrard. One should try to correlate this with the poor performances of the English national soccer team, I think I'm not that far from the answer. Lately even Portugal did much better than England in the international competitions and they have the infamous Jose Murinho on their record:)
  • I found a wallpaper for my Windows desktop at work. I don't really like having a beautiful and worthy to watch wallpaper because after I put it on, it's only a matter of hours until my desktop becomes overcrowded with very important and urgent to handle files, folders, shortcuts, stickies and anything else you can imagine, so you can't see shit. But this time I found THE wallpaper which will keep my desktop clean, Chuck Schuldiner's superbly crafted guitar from the very nice Chuck Schuldiner tribute website by B. C. Rich. RIP Chuck and take care of my desktop:)