Missed conceptions and bad taste.

What's happening in our readers' forum.
Sept. 3 2008 11:13 AM

Palin-tology

Missed conceptions and bad taste.

(Continued from Page 3)

Of course, one can always find some reason to cling to technology of the past. "Why Don't I Own a Horse and Buggy?" chidesFaxMeBeer, "I mean, I suppose we could all have continued to use our horses to take us on short trips to the store."

Before we grow too dismissive of land-line users, let us acknowledge that the beauty of the Fray lies in its ability to inspire volumes to be collectively written on some of the least likely topics such as this.

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In general, reader proclivities have been tending toward the quirky this week, such as Jody Rosen's exposure of a serial plagiarist and a "Culturebox" piece about the 10 oddest travel guides ever written.  Be sure to check them all out. AC1:08 p.m. PDT

Saturday, July 30,  2008

A very welcome development this week, after the article in "Medical Examiner" on hospitals' E.R. problems produced a monster response from readers—more than 400 top-posts. The Fray team's job is to read as many of these as possible and then try to summarize the reactions as helpfully as possible for other readers. But in this case, one of the authors of the piece—Jesse M. Pines, who co-wrote with Zachary F. Meisel—bravely read a very high number of the posts and wrote in the Fray about them for us. He identified five different sets of responses, including:

1) Complaints from angry health care providers who felt they'd been insulted. Answer—no such criticism intended.

2) Patients giving experiences of the system, good and bad.

3) Congratulatory messages from those who agreed with the article.

4) Posts from nurses who commented on the "bed-hiding" issue. Answer: "The point was not to say that anyone is lazy—you are just as overloaded as we are in the ER."

The fifth group was from providers who talked about other problems in the health care system that contribute to crowding, and our author had this to say: