What I'm Reading (Feb. 2)

By Chuck Dinerstein, MD, MBA — Feb 02, 2023
Lessons from the immune system The silent Award Season is upon us How music touches us For Thom, saving coffee from warming, global warming
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

I believe that we can learn much from nature; after all, it has had millions of years to perfect its ways; even if they are not perfect, they work very well in our current world.

“Defense is simply hard, whether it is devising public health responses to a pandemic, protecting a business against ransomware cyberattacks, or securing a border against hostile incursions.”

This article from Nautil.us considers what we might learn from the best defensive system I know of, our immune system. Mother Nature’s 7 Lessons for a Safer World


There is, of course, the award season now underway, the Globes, Emmys, and the Academy Awards. But throughout the year, other lesser know award ceremonies are taking place.

“For multiple years now, the Information Technology Industry Council - which is a lobbying group for major software companies - has given out a bunch of shiny trophies to federal government officials at annual ceremonies. Award events like these pull on a very basic human impulse - ego - which is in some ways more powerful than other basic human motivators, like greed or love. Little kids love trophies. But awards also fill a social purpose. They are designed to help people in industries understand who has prestige. Take, for instance, the Oscars. Sure the show has financial implications, but it is really about a social ecosystem, who is up and who is down in Hollywood.”

Matt Stoller, who writes on monopolies, brings us The Deep State Awards. There is no red carpet, but there is still a great deal of ego promotion.


“Music,” the trailblazing composer Julia Perry wrote, “has a unifying effect on the peoples of the world, because they all understand and love it… And when they find themselves enjoying and loving the same music, they find themselves loving one another.” But there is something beyond humanistic ideology in this elemental truth — something woven into the very structure and sensorium of our bodies; as the great neurologist Oliver Sacks observed, “music can pierce the heart directly; it needs no mediation.”

From The Marginalian, The Neurophysiology of Enchantment: How Music Casts Its Spell on Us


Any of you following ACSH on Facebook are aware of our president’s obsession with his coffee.

“Having more coffee species to choose from isn’t just nice to have—it might end up being a vital way to preserve the livelihoods of people who grow coffee for a living. For example, coffee makes up a quarter of Ethiopia’s total exports, and between 39 to 59 percent of its current growing area could become unsuitable for coffee farming as the climate warms. As other coffee-growing regions get hotter, the need for a plant that’s more resilient to higher temperatures will become even more pressing.”

This one’s for you, Thom, you secret hipster. From Wired, This Seriously Hipster Bean Is Coffee’s Best Hope for Survival

Chuck Dinerstein, MD, MBA

Director of Medicine

Dr. Charles Dinerstein, M.D., MBA, FACS is Director of Medicine at the American Council on Science and Health. He has over 25 years of experience as a vascular surgeon.

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