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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Lisa Suennen at NCQA

Lisa rocks.

I've covered her at various health tech conferences (see here as well). She's one smart, perceptive, and funny woman. Put her onstage with Alexandra Drane and they're as good as any pro standup comics.

"NCQA?" "Disruption?"


Finished her book. Among other virtues, as fine a smackdown of "scientism" as anything I've encountered.
...The prestige of science derives from the assumption that it deals in truth, fact. This is its purpose and tendency, but at no point is the purpose assumed to be fully and finally achieved. Science is, after all, a strategy, a method, not a doctrine. This is the secret of its brilliance, its rigor, its general reliability. But reason is not strictly reason when it is leveraged against a faulty inference—that is, a bad guess. The list I made earlier of the various schools of thought, considered scientific in their time, that undertook to empty the heavens and enlighten humankind by, oddly enough, demonstrating to them that they had neither self nor soul, were a series of bad guesses, not one of them the foundation upon which truly rational or scientific thinking could be based. Some of them, notably racial science and eugenics, played out in atrocities. The question of the existence of God and all the rest is not affected in any way by the ineptitude of the case made against it. The prestige of science should not be affected by the fact that it is vulnerable to misuse. But certainly historical perspective permits us to say that neither science nor reason, properly so called, was implicated in these earlier campaigns against religion. And again, a largely consistent position was maintained through all these shifts in rationalization—no God, no self. Religion could make the humanist case if its defenders were humanists. It could also make a rational and scientific case against scientism, if it were not daunted by the old habit of deference, prejudice turned against itself. The selfish gene should have been laughed off the stage years ago, and it isn’t gone yet... [pp 62-63]

More to come...

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