Thursday, May 29, 2008

Save Ten Dollars on Blogging Heroes!

If you click here you can buy a copy of my book, Blogging Heroes, for $14.10. If you've been thinking about picking up the book, now's the time; I don't know how long this Chinese auction will run.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Sell a Kidney?

An Australian M.D. recently proposed that individuals be paid by the government to donate a kidney. The idea is to alleviate the chronic shortage, and the example price given in the news story about this is the equivalent of US$47,000. Possible objections are that this might open the door to organleggers and/or private trade in organs (the poor selling a kidney to the rich).

Maybe I could live with this: If I sell you a healthy kidney, I get a $2 million credit for health care, plus a cash fee. The government would have to organize and administer this, of course. I don’t know where the money would come from. (And maybe a couple million isn’t enough.) I would have to be in very dire straits to consider it.

An alternate proposal is one advanced by my late friend, Dr. Charles Barrett. Doc’s idea was that people facing long prison terms for certain non-violent felonies be given the option of donating a kidney in lieu of serving the term. Assuming they're healthy.

All of which implies another question: should there be financial remuneration for the survivors of organ donors? It would be nice if organ donors could designate a posthumous award to go to a family member or a charity.

What's Wrong With This Quote?

“Eleven years ago, the Internet was just an intangible dream that Prodigy brought to life. Now it is a force to be reckoned with.”
--Bill Kirkner, Prodigy Communications’ Chief Technology Officer, September 30, 1999

This is from my next book, On the Way to the Web: The Secret History of the Internet and Its Founders. What hubris--the mind boggles!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Self-Refererential Writing

I am accustomed to going to some of my early books from the 1980s to check facts (and confirm my memory). Yesterday, however, I took self-reference to the next level.

I was doing a keyword search in a ProQuest article database, on an Internet topic. A title caught my eye, so I selected the article and began reading it. It had exactly the information I needed. "This is pretty good," I said to myself.

Then it began to look familiar. I zipped up to the top of the article and, sure enough, it was something I'd written years ago!--Mike
Copyright © 2008, Michael A. Banks