What I'm Reading (Nov. 2)

By Chuck Dinerstein, MD, MBA — Nov 02, 2023
VUCA? Race in science Pass the ammo Sushi and lateral transmission
Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay



“VUCA stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity.

The VUCA framework is a reminder to consider how to lead and adapt to the challenges of living in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world.”

From Sketchplanations, VUCA


Discussing race has become increasingly problematic, especially in the biological sciences. While it is true that some aspects of race are social constructs, other aspects of how we might differentiate ourselves have a biological basis. Although we are 99.9% genetically identical, the additional 0.1% allows us to create and identify patterns. Persisting in referring to these patterns as race is, to my way of thinking, inaccurate, but that doesn’t mean these genetic differences do not exist and play biological roles.

“Classical “races” were assumed to be absolutely demarcated geographically and morphologically, and to be separated by substantial genetic differences.  We know now that this conception of “race” isn’t true. There are no absolutely clear-cut categories into which everyone fits, genetic differences between even the “classical” races are not large, and there are “races within races”: populations that can be distinguished genetically from other populations often put into the same classical race.”

From the website Why is Evolution True, the thoughts of Dr. Jerry Coyne as he attempts to thread the needle on the role of “race” in our biology.


One of the quiet changes wrought by the war in Ukraine and now the increasing conflict in the Middle East is that the US had again become the arsenal of democracy. Of course, FDR would barely recognize the arsenal today.

“One of the more important side stories to the recent wars in Ukraine and Israel, and competition with China over Taiwan, is that the US defense industrial base, composed of 200k plus corporations, is being forced to actually build weapons again. Defense is big business, and since the end of the Cold War, the government has allowed Wall Street to determine who owns, builds, and profits from defense spending.

The consequence, as with much of our economic machinery, are predictable. Higher prices, worse quality, lower output.”

From Matt Stoller’s Big, Why America Is Out of Ammunition


“Today, many consumers seek out raw foods, unaltered by chemicals or cooking—in part because they believe raw “natural” food is better for one’s health, a message that has drawn significant media attention but is not so far supported by scientific evidence.”

Having said that, raw food, in this case sushi, does come with an additional risk, and I am not talking about the sushi found at the all-you-can-eat buffet. The risk comes from a biological feature of those microbes hitching a ride on raw fish, lateral transmission. From Nautil.us, Is Sushi a Health Hazard