Wandering Eye: Medicine's gender bias, critiquing technology, and more

Josh Leopold and Helen Ho's analysis for the Urban Institute of the 100,000 Homes Campaign, an effort to get more homeless Americans into permanent housing, has some interesting findings. The key to its success—the campaign boosted the median housing-placement rate to 4.7, a 262-percent increase in four years—was knowing the "names and faces" of those without homes, "along with the severity of their needs," so that the "urgency of the problem" could be used to rally resources. Also important were "setting goals and regularly reporting on performance measures." Leopold and Lionel Foster succinctly sum up the findings on the Urban Institute's blog, Metrotrends. (Van Smith)

 

Is a radical critique of technology even possible today? Writing in The Baffler (among our most critical little mags), the radical tech critic Evengy Morozov says nope. In "The Taming of Tech Criticism," ostensibly a review of Nicholas Carr's new book, "The Glass Cage," Morozov overshoots the goal line, blasts through the stadium walls, and comes to rest, seemingly exhausted, on his own rock of existential despair. "Thus, I must acknowledge defeat as well: contemporary technology criticism in America is an empty, vain, and inevitably conservative undertaking. At best, we are just making careers; at worst, we are just useful idiots. Since truly radical technology criticism is a no-go zone for anyone seeking a popular audience, all we are left with is debilitating faux radicalism." If that sounds good to you, you probably already subscribe. If it doesn't, have a look anyway. Morozov specializes in limning the boundaries other writers work within. It's too easy to forget they're there. (Edward Ericson Jr.)

 

"Is Medicine's Gender Bias Killing Young Women?" the headline of a recent Pacific Standard article asks. In a defiance of Betteridge's law of headlines, Maya Dusenbery argues that the answer is yes. "More women than men have died each year from cardiovascular-related causes since 1984," she writes, and 15 percent of women died from a heart attack while in a hospital, compared to 10 percent of men. It's in part because women are more likely to have "atypical" symptoms, such as upper back pain or fatigue instead of the stereotypical chest pain and shooting left arm pain that we consider the textbook definition of a heart attack. "Of course, the fact that women's heart attacks are less likely to adhere to the 'textbook' model is not exactly an accident, since the textbook was, quite literally, written based on what men's heart attacks look like," she writes. "Though there's been slight improvement since the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act mandated proportional representation of women and minorities in clinical trials in 1993, recommendations for preventing, diagnosing, and treating heart disease continue to be largely extrapolated from research conducted on white, middle-age men." But even when women do experience typical heart attack symptoms, studies have shown that doctors still don't take women's symptoms as seriously. Why? Because—surprise—sexism: "women's physical symptoms were reinterpreted as psychological, while 'men's symptoms were perceived as organic whether or not stressors were present.'" Because ladies just get so hysterical over the smallest symptoms, am I right? (Anna Walsh)

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