After many years of blogging, and consistent with my desire to move toward retirement, we have ended the Insights blog. Thanks to Doug Bedell for his years of blog support.

Freakonomics: Insights For Our Times

Posted on November 23, 2011
Filed Under Communication | Leave a Comment

Encore’s Dennis Owen is a fan of Freakonomics podcasts, web broadcasts of insights from Stephen J. Dubner and Stephen D. Levitt, the authors of the best-selling book of the same name. “I like the range of things they address and the human behavior aspects of their programs/topics,” he explains.

That’s like Dennis. He has a wide-ranging curiosity and enthusiasm for engaging quirkiness and offbeat creativity, the kind of insights you find in abundance on the Dubner/Levitt Freakonomics blog. For example, they use the vagaries of football to examine the question, “Is Momentum a Myth?” On the Freakomics site, they have a podcast video devoted to the subject that concludes: “The truth is that you’re bound to get a wild 32-point-comeback once in a while, just as you’re bound to get a streak of 10 or 12 heads too. But just as the physical world cannot escape gravity, the statistical world cannot escape what’s called ‘regression to the mean.’ Those wild streaks, as fun as they were, have very little bearing on what happens next.”
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Hearing and Experiencing

Posted on November 11, 2011
Filed Under Technology | Leave a Comment

Two people I’m close to, my wife and Dennis Owen, my colleague here at Encore, now have hearing aids and today’s high-tech models, though expensive, seem capable of rendering sounds pretty well.

Like any serious technology, though, hearing aids aren’t to be trifled with. Possibly for that reason, the Best Buy stores recently removed a “hearing amplification device” (it looks like an earpiece hearing aid) from their website after only a month of sales and unhappy feedback from the audiology community. (Best Buy isn’t saying what prompted its move, the American Academy of Audiology advises.)

In any event, in surfing for information on hearing challenges and aids, I’ve come upon “Emma’s Story,” a page on a UK website on labyrinthitis, an inner ear infection. The writer describes it as an illness “where you ‘look fine,'” when you aren’t fine.
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