Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The State of Health

The availability of health care or health insurance is not an indication of “health” in a society -- except for the financial health of the insurers and health care providers; that is the biggest misconception.

The greatest indicator of health is the actual robustness and vitality of those we see around us and encounter daily -- and their self-perception. While the “average” level of activity is high in Hawaii, that is because a few people get a lot of activity, while many other people’s major exercise is putting on and taking off their seat belts each day -- and struggling mightily to do so.

I’d say we have more than our fair share of overweight people -- and the disturbing thing is that they regard it as a symbol of high status and achievement, rather than the health risk it is. So that misunderstanding is troubling -- as part of the health/fitness equation. Another distinctive feature in the appearance of the people is a preponderance of a bloated look -- seen even in medium weight people that swells their features -- particularly in the face, hands and feet, so that wearing regular shoes is impossible for many, or regular clothes for that matter.

When one goes to the neighbor islands, one is struck by the fact that almost nobody walks anywhere -- and for that reason, they don’t even build sidewalks to get from one place to another. If one asks, “How does one get there walking?,” people seem perplexed, as though one must be out of their minds to even ask such a question.

As for the tax burden, Hawaii is the only state I’m familiar with where the income tax liability begins substantially lower than the federal levels because of the refusal to raise the standard deduction and personal exemptions to at least the federal levels -- like most other states define the poverty levels.

Why our legislators think that we can afford to buy them several plate lunches each day on that level of income can’t be shifted onto visiting tourists.

Healthy people generally don’t see doctors.


At June 20, 2007 12:20 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

The preceding post was actually a comment on the Honolulu Advertiser's blogs --


-- but it is my own comment, as the original content provider that I've retitled as a blog entry that can pretty much stand alone.

I frequently do that with my own comments (addendums) to my own blog entries -- make them stand-alone blog entries (essays). Not everyone can do that because not every statement can stand alone by providing its own context, which is also its reason for being. That's usually provided by the title -- but even then, much writing does not live up to that ambition.

That is the great disappointment of much writing -- that promises in the title (headline) but fails to deliver any content justifying any claims the title makes, or fulfilling the promise. That is particularly true of much "professional" writing -- that looks for a reason for being, meaning and purpose.

That is most characteristically seen in the bureaucratic, journalistic and academic writings of these times -- loaded with jargon and generalizations, with virtually no actual experience and insight by the author.

Everything the writer communicates, is what somebody else said before, and their article is merely a paraphrase, if not outright plagiarism of what others have said -- and that's all they know what to do. So when a person comes along with actually original thought, the mainstream institutions don't know how to handle it, don't know what to make of it because it is not what everybody else is saying or already said, which is their standard for the truth -- that the familiar, the repetitious, the so-called convention wisdom, is what is true -- because that is what they've heard before, and the unfamiliar they think reflexively, is false because they've never heard it before, and have no way of processing that information for themselves as to the truth and validity of it. They have to have somebody else tell them it is either true or false -- and those others they are used to relying on for those assessments also fail because they cannot handle the truly original.

That is the familiar failing of contemporary (traditional) education, which was mostly about conveying the familiar knowledge rather than that which is true and valid but unfamiliar. And the unfamiliar, is what a person truly wishes to know -- and not just that which confirms what he already knows.

So culturally, institutionally, this is one of the great problems and challenges of these times that many will fail to rise to and therefore will ultimately have outlived their original purposes, which is to make those who avail themselves of that agency, to be more fit and capable of responding to the present challenges of these times.

At June 26, 2007 9:30 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

The best predictor of future success is present success.

Things that haven't worked, aren't working, and have no basis in reality for working in the future, don't all of a sudden start working just because we extend the time frame to infinity -- so that anything becomes possible.

It's a lot like that question they ask about where somebody sees themselves 10-20 years from now. Those who can tell you exactly where they want to be, aren't going very far, while those totally focused on the present challenge in front of them, end up where they could never have imagined being 10-20 years ago.

Planning for success sometime in the future, is an admission that they have no idea of what is required for success in the present reality -- and that creates the future.

At June 27, 2007 2:01 PM, Blogger kl said...

this one was excellent, thanks

At June 27, 2007 5:39 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Some people think that because one is fully-focused on the present challenge, that they have no regard for future consequences and repercussions.

The present solution, implies the future solution also -- because one cannot not solve the problem in the present but think that his solution will reverse itself in time (the future).

That's not how reality works. People who work in reality know that often, they have to find a (present) solution through trial-and-error rather than the ideal solution that "should" work but doesn't.

People whose lives have been entirely in the academic setting, think that is the entirety of the world -- rather than a very small glimpse of it -- often provided by those who have never dealt with that real world either, and so think that their knowledge of something is the same as the thing itself.

This misunderstanding is a great source of mental illness called "cognitive dissonance in which one believes other than what his actual experience and senses are telling him is true -- and he chooses to retain his thought over the information of the actual experience. This is particularly disastrous in human relationships and affairs, when one is susceptible to the many con-artists in the world because they demand that you "trust them."


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