Tag Archives: Steve Jobs

Fifty Ways to Love Your Liver

David CrosbyNovember 20, 1994, rock singer/songwriter David Crosby went under the knife for a seven-hour surgery at L.A.’s UCLA Medical Center. The procedure? Replace his failing liver.

Now I’m all for the business of saving lives. Heal the sick and feed the hungry should be the mantra for us all. Getting a liver in 1994 was much like getting a liver today. You have to meet certain standards. You have to be clean and sober for awhile. And you can’t have a cancerous liver.

Supposedly, Crosby met all the standards and got his liver. The question many people asked at the time was how did the rock star/ex-con go from a new name on the list to a transplant recipient virtually overnight?

I think the answer is simple. Celebrity status and a “For-Profit” health care system. That was true then and apparently the status quo still applies. Your status and pocketbook can (and does) improve your slot on the list.

Steve Jobs was 48 years-old when he was diagnosed with a rare pancreatic cancer in 2003.

According to data from the United Network for Organ Sharing, the agency responsible for distributing donated organs to those on waiting lists around the nation, there were roughly 16,000 people on the national liver waiting list when Jobs got his transplant. He was one of 1,581 people who got livers in the United States in the first quarter of 2009. Almost none of those people had any form of cancer.

In fact, if Jobs’ tumor spread from his pancreas into his liver, as is likely, most transplant surgeons say that they would not recommend a liver transplant because there is no data that shows a transplant will stop or even slow the spread of the cancer. So the question is: Was this the best use of a liver?

I know a guy that will likely be dead soon. He’s been told by doctors he has to be clean and sober for a year before they will add his name to the transplant list. Twelve months added to the time before his transplant number would even start inching it’s way up the stack of names hoping to live long enough to make their way to the top. It’s a crap shoot at best.

This friend is basically unemployable and hardly a candidate for a big donation to a hospital charity. It’s a raw deal but it’s the hand he’s been dealt. It’s a symptom of the class inequity in health care. The World Health Care organization ranks the U.S. 37th on the system ranking list, hardly world-class.

From the middle class on down people are struggling and dying every day for one reason only. They can’t afford health care. In a country where health care system should be second to none, access is limited to those who can afford it.

If your name isn’t Jobs, Crosby, or Mickey Mantle, pray that you don’t need a transplant someday. Mantle may well be the worst case of blatant celebrity transplant list abuse of all time. The former Yankee was on the list for all of one day. Dispute receiving a healthy liver, Mickey Mantle died two months later of liver cancer anyway.

Battleground: iPhone/Android

Android vs AppleI suppose in this great technological battle between Apple (all alone in one corner) and Android (looking more like a platoon than a solitary soldier) I chose my side when I dumped the old Blackberry for the Droid Bionic. It was like moving up to to a Porsche from a Buick, albeit a rather nice Buick. Bye-bye Blackberry.

Justin Long - "Mac"I have noticed something about the cell-phone wars; iPhone users tend to be pretty militant about their cell phones, which comes in real handy in war. The Android people are just kinda laid back in a Timothy Leary/Haight Ashbury kind of way.

It seems funny that long time Apple AD campaign actor, Justin Long, portraying “Mac” in the PC vs. Mac commercials, looks oddly like an Android guy. It was easy for Apple to go after Microsoft. Everyone loves a good David and Goliath story.

These days Apple is starting to come off as Goliath. I looked at the iPhone for about two milliseconds when thinking about upgrading my phone. So why did I select Android over Apple? It’s pretty simple really.

In the case of Verizon, my long time carrier, I could get 4G connection speeds. The iPhone in all it’s simplistic glory, for at least the foreseeable future, is shackled to a 3G connection. Liken it to driving that Porsche on a dirt road. It’s unknown when 4G is coming to Apple.

The other reason was related to the iPhone 4 antenna debacle of 2010. The right thing to do would’ve been to recall the phone and fix it. But no – the boys at Cupertino decided they’d rather send their users rubber baby buggy bumpers.

If I honestly look at what Apple is doing with the iPhone versus what the Android market is doing, Android is looking a lot like Apple of old — innovative. I can even use flash based content on the Android. 🙂

In the Apple/Android battle the real winner is the user. There is an abundance of great smart-phones out there for a great price with a wide selection to chose from, at least on the Android side. On the Apple side you get to chose between black and white.

According to extracts of Mr Isaacson’s forthcoming Job’s biography, Steve Jobs is quoted: “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

He is also quoted as saying: “I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion [£25bn] in the bank, to right this wrong.”