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Dr. Jason Fung: Financial Conflicts of Interests and the End of Evidence Based Medicine

If you have time, watch the whole thing. Every minute is worth it.


Key Takeaways

  • I’ve never heard a better description/summary of how badly drug companies are affecting the practice of medicine, and this is a topic on which I’ve done a lot of research.
  • Big Pharma is financially influencing university professors, top doctors, and journals editors.
  • The New England Journal of Medicine, widely regarded as one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world, is also one of the most highly targeted by drug companies.
  • “Evidence based medicine” isn’t going to do us all much good if the evidence is inaccurate or misleading.
  • Pharma companies can choose not to publish studies that would suggest their drug is ineffective, creating an incredibly biased perception of its usefulness.


Recommended Reading 

Portugal’s radical drugs policy is working. Why hasn’t the world copied it?

  • I’m such a non-believer in using substances to alter one’s consciousness on a consistent basis that I don’t even drink coffee or beer.
  • That said, I’m also in favor of decriminalizing all drugs, this article explains why.
  • “In 2001, nearly two decades into Pereira’s accidental specialisation in addiction, Portugal became the first country to decriminalise the possession and consumption of all illicit substances. Rather than being arrested, those caught with a personal supply might be given a warning, a small fine, or told to appear before a local commission – a doctor, a lawyer and a social worker – about treatment, harm reduction, and the support services that were available to them.The opioid crisis soon stabilised, and the ensuing years saw dramatic drops in problematic drug use, HIV and hepatitis infection rates, overdose deaths, drug-related crime and incarceration rates. HIV infection plummeted from an all-time high in 2000 of 104.2 new cases per million to 4.2 cases per million in 2015.”
  • The author goes on to say that the change in the law wasn’t the only reason for the massive shift in usage rates, but to me it clearly seems to have been the largest factor.

When do Flight Prices Drop? Flight Price Trends for 2019


  • “It seems most airlines launch their discounts on Monday nights, so you can pick up the best prices on Tuesday mornings. Typically, you’ll save somewhere between 15 and 25 percent.”
  • “What are the cheapest days of the week to fly? According to our data: midweek. Flights that take off and land on weekends, Mondays and Fridays generally cost more.”

Green spaces in cities can help people live longer

  • “…the most comprehensive review to date has analyzed nine longitudinal studies spanning seven countries, 8 million people, and several years of follow-up.”
  • “The researchers found that for every 0.1 increment in vegetative score within 500 meters of a person’s home, there was a 4% reduction in premature mortality. These results show just how important green space is when strategizing public health.”


I’m fascinated by human beliefs and behaviors, particularly those that are somewhat absurd. One of the best ways I’ve found of indulging this fascination is by reading the “Personal Life” section of famous/influential peoples’ wikipedia pages. Here are a few of my favorites: 

From the page of Adam Neumann, co-founder of WeWork:

“The Wall Street Journal reported that Neumann had aspirations such as living forever, becoming the world’s first trillionaire, expanding WeWork to the planet Mars, becoming Israel’s prime minister, and becoming “president of the world”.”

From the page of Bill Gates:

“Gates purchased the Codex Leicester, a collection of scientific writings by Leonardo da Vinci, for US$30.8 million at an auction in 1994.[162] Gates is an avid reader, and the ceiling of his large home library is engraved with a quotation from The Great Gatsby.”

  • The quote is: “He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it.”

“In a BBC interview, Gates claimed, “I’ve paid more tax than any individual ever, and gladly so … I’ve paid over $6 billion in taxes.”[178] He is a proponent of higher taxes, particularly for the rich.[179] Gates’ days are planned for him on a minute-by-minute basis, similar to the U.S. President‘s schedule.[180]

From the page of Vladimir Putin:

“Putin cultivates an outdoor, sporty, tough guy public image, demonstrating his physical prowess and taking part in unusual or dangerous acts, such as extreme sports and interaction with wild animals,[421] part of a public relations approach that, according to Wired, “deliberately cultivates the macho, take-charge superhero image…

…Notable examples of Putin’s adventures include:[432] flying military jets, demonstrating martial arts, riding horses, rafting, and fishing and swimming in a cold Siberian river, many of which he did bare chested.[423] Other examples are descending in a deepwater submersible, tranquilizing tigers and polar bears,[423][433][434] riding a motorbike,[435] co-piloting a firefighting plane to dump water on a raging fire,[422] shooting darts at whales from a crossbow for eco-tracking,[436] driving a race car,[432][437] scuba diving at an archaeological site,[424][438] attempting to lead endangered cranes in a motorized hang glider,[439] and catching large fish.[440][441]

From the page of Warren Buffet:

“In 1949, Buffett was infatuated with a young woman whose boyfriend had a ukulele. In an attempt to compete, he bought one of the diminutive instruments and has been playing it ever since. …Buffett often plays the instrument at stock holder meetings and other opportunities.”

“Buffett is an avid bridge player, which he plays with fellow fan Gates[114]—he allegedly spends 12 hours a week playing the game.[115]”

Buffet’s thoughts on Bridge: “Bridge is such a sensational game that I wouldn’t mind being in jail if I had three cellmates who were decent players and who were willing to keep the game going twenty-four hours a day.”



The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.

– Joseph Campbell


Drone Photo