Mr Epidemiology

No, I'm not a skin doctor


May 2017

Mark Zuckerberg supports universal basic income

Last week, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg received an honorary degree from Harvard University. At the commencement, he promoted the idea of a basic income guarantee, joining several other tech leaders in advocating for this idea. Tech leaders can see a world where robots and AI are doing a lot of work currently performed by humans, and so are already considering how those who lose their jobs will be retrained for the new economy that emerges. While some are focused on rearranging deckchairs, they are focused on how this workforce can be retrained and deployed in the new industries that will emerge, and most importantly, what will resonate with them.

“Purpose is that sense that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, that we are needed, that we have something better ahead to work for. Purpose is what creates true happiness.

You’re graduating at a time when this is especially important. When our parents graduated, purpose reliably came from your job, your church, your community. But today, technology and automation are eliminating many jobs. Membership in communities is declining. Many people feel disconnected and depressed, and are trying to fill a void.”

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Jimmy Kimmel’s emotional monologue about his newborn son’s heart surgery

“I have a story to tell about something that happened to our family last week.”

With those words, Jimmy Kimmel opened his show. Using a combination of vulnerability and humour, he told us about the last two weeks in the Kimmel household, starting with the birth of his son: William “Billy” Kimmel. A few hours after the birth, a nurse noticed that the baby had a faint heart murmur, and was slightly blue. The baby was taken to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where doctors performed an operation to repair his heart (the first of several such surgeries Billy will need over his life). Thankfully, the surgery was a success, and Billy is now at home with his family, where both mother and baby are recovering.

Kimmel used this moment to express his gratitude for the healthcare workers who helped him and his family, thanking the nurse who first noticed the issue multiple times by name (Nanush Shakernia – “if it was a girl, we would have named her Nanush, we really would have.”), as well as the physicians, nurses, and healthcare professionals involved in his care.

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