Patchwork of care in Canada

Some healthcare experts argue that not all provinces have the fiscal capacity to offer the same services as some of their counterparts, and should not even try, reports The Globe and Mail Dec. 4. “We have variations across the country because the provinces are allowed to adapt to local needs and local values,” said sociology Prof. Pat Armstrong, Faculty of Arts. “It would be dumb, for example, for PEI to do heart transplants.”

Marketers use MRIs to “pick” buyers’ brains

On CBC’s “Marketplace” Dec. 3, marketing Prof. Alan Middleton, Schulich School of Business, commented on how marketers are tapping into our brainwaves using MRI scans to find out what makes us buy. “Theoretically, if you could possibly not only understand how people respond in a laboratory situation to a buying stimulus, so much so they go out and buy the product, then it will certainly help marketers forecast behaviour. Well, if it works you get to 1984 and, more importantly, [to] Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World…. Some of these techniques are controversial because they are trying to get at people’s less than totally-conscious and less than totally-rational response. And in a way, in a lot of people’s minds, that sends up signals of subliminal communications and manipulation…. Unlike the 1950s and the 1960s, we know that marketers are trying to manipulate us. That is no surprise to anybody any longer. The younger you get in the population, the more they totally understand that [and] the more people kind of accept it…because they know, ultimately, they are still in control.”