Well, it isn’t me, let’s get that out of the way. ‘Women and children first’ may not be that good an idea either. And before you write to my mum and complain, let me elaborate: this is how they choose whether you get a hospital bed or ventilator.
Now, at the moment we have a pandemic yadda yadda, I know, you’re bored of it. Yet, when anyone gets really sick, hospitals have to consider a multitude of factors. How intelligent, good-looking and humble I am doesn’t matter, thank god! And if you’re thinking that sick people should get saved based on a first-come, first-served basis, then you’re a bucktoothed knuckle-dragging baboon. And you’re also me. In fact, the first-come, first-served strategy is probably the worst, according to those wonderful Freakonomics people speaking to professionals in the industry. So how do we prioritise? Well . . . the short of it is that I’m of no value whatsoever, very much first against the wall. I’d be hugging the anchor of the titanic for comfort, basically, my tears coalescing into heavy icicles, the weight of which won’t help my situation. The longer version is thus:
We currently hear a great deal about reciprocity: those that heal the sick are the first to be treated. In our current lives, an essential worker. So, take a doctor for example vs some slack-jawed twat of a human being. I don’t know, name a politician, basically. The doctor gets chosen, or bloody should do. So far, so easy. Then there is the theory of ‘quality-adjusted life years’ to consider i.e. the number of years left at full-health. Let’s consider two people get sick and there is only one hospital bed. If one of them is much older, the youth gets preference. Now let’s re-frame: two people of the same age are sick, but one of them additionally has the misfortune to have an auto-immune disease or is hideously stupid (take the British Prime Minster, for example). Their quality of life score will be lower despite being of the same age, and therefore they don’t get the hospital bed.
Other considerations are instrumental and intrinsic value for example, explained here, yet I like to think of this as social utility i.e. your contribution to the betterment of society. A doctor, a teacher, a policeman, you know, jobs of value, are important. I had a conversation along the same lines many years ago with a lovely human being, Shaun, that subsequently jacked in his salesman life for a job in the police force. He’s never looked back, even when arresting innocents. That’s a joke! He’s never looked back. As I said, I’ll be first against the wall. Where do you think you sit? Apart from ‘uncomfortably’ . . .
This week’s listening: Tim Ferriss’ podcast with the Grandad Jim Demther on life and love. Am a huge fan of Tim, but you can sense he’s feeling the feels on this one, a terrific listen.
This week’s reading: I finished Dumas' classic The Man in the Iron Mask last night - sooooo wildly different to the film! The book is available for free on the Gutenberg press, and I picked up Jem Demther’s 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership for this week thanks to Tim's podcast.
Take care of yourselves,
Writing and writing...