Radiation Treatment Errors and Bad Design

The New York Times has an excellent investigative report into radiation treatment errors. They tell the story of two patients who died due to errors, and report on the frequency of these events. Sadly the errors usually look preventable in hindsight. And predictably, manufacturers of the machines blame the technicians who operate the machines, when in truth a main cause is bad software design without proper attention to safety and usability practices.

Link: Radiation Offers New Cures, and Ways to do Harm.

The article is the first in a series called The Radiation Boom. This kind of deep reporting is what makes the NYT and organizations like it so valuable.

Wisdom 2.0 Conference

If you're in the bay area you may be interested in the Wisdom 2.0 conference coming up at the end of April at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. It promises to be

"a one-of-a-kind event that brings together
people from a variety of disciplines, including technology leaders, Zen
teachers, neuroscientists, and academics to explore how we can live
with deeper meaning and wisdom in our technology-rich age."

I've written a bit before about Buddhist approaches to technology and I think it can be an interesting area of thought (as it's been explored by philosopher David Loy, for example). On the other hand there's a lot of crap out there in the form of spiritual workshops, etc.

Some of the speakers for this do sound interesting…

It's $200 if you register early.