Thirty-six months, predicts Terminator director McG: By then, any content you want will be available on your choice of screens, from the one in your pocket to the 100-foot-long version at your local multiplex. That was one message our May cover subject delivered to an audience of media insiders and Fast Company readers (invited via our tweet-stream, @fastcompany). See video of McG's remarks — plus photos on the making of Terminator Salvation — and add your comments at FastCompany.com.
The Doctor Is Online
Chuck Salter's article, "The Doctor of the Future" (May), had more information about the medical system and the potential improvements that are available than any other discussion I've seen recently.
It mentions the practical economic issues that prevent some of these excellent ideas from being adopted. To over-simplify into one sentence, the solution is to have people who want medical care sign up with some group that would be responsible for all their medical care, like the VA or Kaiser Permanente. I get treated by the VA and have found that I cannot get treatment as good privately as I do there. I understand there are committees in Congress that are working on Obama's program to "improve" medical delivery in the United States. I know that lobbyists are overloading them with pressure. At 88 years old, I'm not skilled with the Web. I wonder whether sending a copy of this article to my representatives might not be very effective.
I have been doing e-medicine now for 10 years but remain skeptical about long-term success. The problems are both massive (the presumption that care should be free and universal) and minute (protectionist laws about e-health practices). I worry that these models become virtual urgent-care clinics without support or vision for prevention.
Dr. Steven Tucker
Great article about the "doctor of the future." I am a young orthopedic surgeon in suburban Chicago, and over the past year, I have dedicated my spare time to running a Web-based business that allows medical students and residents to post their properties for sale or lease, free of charge. Two ingredients form the foun-dation of this business: one is the predictable turnover of medical students and residents; the other is their interest in helping out a fellow doctor-in-training.
Dr. Rahul R. Gokhale
The proprietary-business-model-dominated market is creating a digital divide in the ability to leverage electronic health records for quality improvement and cost reduction ("$19 Billion for What?"). The root cause is high cost and a poor track record for inno-vation, user acceptance, and interoperability of prod-ucts of the legacy-software business model in health care. What is needed is an open, collaborative approach driven by clinical and finan-cial evidence. We at World-VistA have been promoting this paradigm shift for eight years.
Joseph Dal Molin
Vice President, WorldVistA
Full Tilt Poker ("The 100 Most Creative People in Business," June) is a virtual poker card-room service that is not engaged in the business of betting and wagering. The company is licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, and in the United Kingdom by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission. Players can download the software and play for fun or real money where online games of skill are permitted by law.
(on behalf of Full Tilt poker)
Editor's note: We did not intend to imply or suggest that either Chris Ferguson or Full Tilt Poker was engaging in unlawful activity.
Not That Fast
With regard to Garth Stein's assessment of Seattle as a center of technology ("Fast Cities: Seattle Grace," May): While Bill Gates and Paul Allen may lay claim to a lot of things, they can't lay claim to have written the first BASIC programming language for a computer. That was written by John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz at Dartmouth College to allow nonscience students access to a computer. Allen and Gates did write a BASIC Compiler for the MTS Altair 8800, which was widely recognized as the spark that led to the PC revolution.
Flemington, New Jersey
As the former chair of the Montana Interagency Coordinating Council on Prevention and chairman of the Montana Children's Trust Fund, I was troubled that Tom Siebel blew into the state and decided on a course of action without contacting or coordinating with any of the broad-based prevention efforts already under way ("What Meth Made This Billionaire Do," May). The current public adulation of the Montana Meth Project has caused us to lose sight of some basic facts: Average age of first use for alcohol is 16; average age of first use of marijuana is 16; average age of first use of meth is 22. Meth is not a common gateway drug for kids. Self-reported meth use among high-school students in Montana dropped from 12.6% in 2001 to 8.3% in 2005. That's nearly a 35% decline before the Montana Meth Project even began thinking about airing scary ads. Trends in the state show that kids are now gravitating to cocaine. If we are truly concerned about them and their future, we should be investing in proven strategies that reduce risks, bolster protective factors, and engage all sectors of the community — after-school programs, parent education, enrichment alternatives, safe places, mentoring, and summer job opportunities.
Kirk A. Astroth
The Heat Is On
Please don't add to the misunderstandings of an already confused populace (Numerology: "The Business of Barbecue," May). Barbecue is the process of slow-roasting meat over long periods of time with smoke and indirect heat. Grilling is searing meat quickly over direct heat from charcoal or another intense heat source. To understand the difference, I suggest a trip to Kansas City.
Overland Park, Kansas
We Can Live Without It
The editor's letter always gives me a snapshot of what's hot ("What We Can't Live Without," May). Before I leap into the issue, I need to get something off my chest. Our children are evolving with different behavioral and attitudinal personalities as innovations capture their attention and suck them into a must-have culture. But it saddens me when I see them glued to screens of one sort and size or another, or jabbering away on mobile devices. Why are they doing this? Because they can. Creating demand out of thin air is not always a good thing. On the upside, I watched futurepersons surfing in new tech-insulation wet suits on boards made from 100% recycled materials. Dude, you can't live without that.
Lostwithiel, Cornwall, U.K.
In "The Green Lantern" (May), the class at UC Davis's Energy Efficiency Center in which students explore atmospheric LED lighting is being sponsored this year by OSRAM Opto Semiconductors. Also, the correct name of Chevron's chief technology officer is John McDonald.
There were several errors in June's "The 100 Most Creative People in Business" feature. Dan Barber was nominated for — and won — the 2009 James Beard Out-standing Chef Award. Also, the Stone Barns Center was founded by David Rockefeller. Stephen Chau of Google Street View worked on Google's IPO when he was at Goldman Sachs.
We regret the errors.
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A version of this article appeared in the July/August 2009 issue of Fast Company magazine.