Classifying Accidents

January 25th, 2017 § 1 comment § permalink

American doctors need to be very careful to classify each treatment they give, to ensure they can claim payment from insurance companies. Looking at the list of possible treatments, though, makes you wonder if they are being slightly more specific than needed. For example:

  • X35XXXD Volcanic eruption, subsequent encounter
  • W5629XA Other contact with orca, initial encounter
  • W2202XA Walked into lamppost, initial encounter
  • X962XXA Assault by letter bomb, initial encounter
  • Z62891 Sibling rivalry
  • X05XXXA Exposure to ignition or melting of nightwear, initial encounter

[props to Hacker News for locating most of these]

Pitman, Esperanto, FLOSS

January 16th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

This LRB comment on the history of shorthand picks up on the slightly unnerving first wave of enthusiasm around Pitman’s shorthand. It appealed to the same kind of geeky idealists who in other generations would speak Esperanto or write open-source software: men who believed that the road to brotherly love was through mastery of a new, better means of communication:

You can still read every syllable from the first International Shorthand Congress and Jubilee of Phonography, thanks to transcripts produced by ‘an army of phonographers . . . not at all concerned with the economic rewards of shorthand, important as these are, but only with the service – personal, social – even professional – which one Pitmanite can render another in any part of the world.’ One delegate described shorthand as a ‘bond of brotherhood’. Like the open-source movement a century and a half later, Pitmanism was idealistic, distributed and male.

January 15th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

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