Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

December 26, 2004


Filed under: — Different River @ 5:48 pm

“You could not step into the same river twice; for other waters are ever flowing on to you.”

Heraclitus, On the Universe
Greek philosopher (540 BC – 480 BC)

If you put your foot in a river, then take it out and put it back in, by the time you put it back the water your stepped in before has flowed downstream, and you are stepping in different water than you did before. If the water is what makes the river, you have stepped in a different river. Even more so, you are the product of your experiences, so by the time you put your foot back in the second time, you have experienced it before, so you are not the same person you were the first time.

So it is with life — things are always changing. Some things, of course, almost stay the same, because they change very slowly — like the course of the river — and a few things really are immutable. But only a few — and the Internet is not one of them. Certainly you can’t look a the same blog more than once or twice in a row, because the blogger often adds new material, and on many blogs, readers often comment on that material. In a certain way, blogs are the rivers of the Internet.

There are basically two kinds of blogs. The first is the “Personal Blog,” an online diary of one’s own life, visible to the whole world. The second is the “Commentary Blog,” in which people comment on events of interest to the some segment(s) of the general public — news, politics, technology, movies, medicine, sports, whatever. Both types are interesting to read and interesting as phenomena. This is going to be the second type of blog — partly because I don’t think my personal life is all that interesting to that many people, but mostly because I have a lot more to say about other things that I think might be interesting. Of course, it might be that what I have to say about the world is also not all that interesting to that many people either, but the only way I have to find out is to write it, post it, and then check the server access logs. ;-)

Who am I? I currently live on the east coast of the USA, near Washington, DC, but I grew up on the west coast and went to graduate school in the middle. I have a Ph.D. in economics, but I’m one of the seemingly few economists in the Washington, DC area who is not employed by the federal government. I am male, married to a wonderful lady, and have children who I hope will turn out to be as wonderful. That’s all I’m going to say about myself right now; I’d rather you judge my writings based on what I say, rather than who I am.

For the moment, I’m going to keep this blog anonymous, in the unlikely event my employer has any objection to my expressing opinions in public. I may change this in the future, but in the meantime, if you know or figure out who I am, keep in mind that opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of my employer, my friends, my family, or even (if I am being sarcastic), me. In fact, they might not even be opinions!

What is this blog about? Well, I should probably just wait and find out like the rest of you. But, I am interested in, in no particular order: economics, politics, history, law, science, medicine, technology, religion, mathematics, and some other things. My professional expertise is in health economics, the economics of new technology, and the effects of government regulation.

However, I don’t really know all that much about rivers. They are usually pretty, usually wet, and if a river is small enough, you can put your foot in it. Once. ;-)

8 Responses to “Introduction”

  1. Lauren Says:

    Hi! I love this quote by Heraclitus, and actually used it in a speech that I wrote for my client in Oct. However, I understood it as “No man steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river, and he’s not the same man.” Are these different translations from the same source?

    It is quote that is perfectly suited for our time, and cannot be repeated too often – these are new times that we live in, requiring new approaches.

    Great blog!

  2. revere Says:

    I believe some one once commented (Bertrand Russell?) that of course you can’t even step in the same river once. Since all things are change, I guess that changed too.

  3. Violetta Priestley Says:

    Hi…I’m in your Personal Blog roll…and I’m just beginning blogging, warming up really, so imagine my surprise that you have found me. How did you do that? It’s a silly thing, but I am thrilled. Thank you. A little encouragement goes a long way. Violetta.

  4. Cameron Kitko Says:

    Hi. Noted with interest T. Kennedy’s suggestion that Medicare should be expanded for
    everyone. I would just like to express my views on one Medicare service, (amongst many), which
    are fraudulent. Home oxygen is prescribed by a physician. The patient, trusting their
    doctor, almost always let the MD referr their oxygen service. The Physician in MANY cases,
    uses an HME company for such referrals. The patient is often referred without any
    education, to that HME company, or the different modes of oxygen therapy. The patient
    is then set up with heavy cylinders, and electricity gobbling oxygen concentrators. Many
    patients, if given the option, would instead choose liquid oxygen. Liquid oxygen does not
    cost the user hundreds of dollars/yr. in electricity. It also makes possible MUCH lighter
    and longer lasting portable oxygen. The drawback is, that liquid oxygen, and the hardware
    are much more expensive for the HME company to provide. That does not mean that it
    cannot be provided for a recipient on Medicare, but it leaves a much slimmer profit
    margin for the HME company. What I see happening—AND IT’S HUGE!!, is that physicians, and
    other oxygen referral sources, refer to a particular company for which the patient is
    not offered choices, and recieves the much less expensive oxygen service. Companies like
    the one which I work, which plays by the book, and offers the premium liquid oxygen service,
    is locked out. The patient, thinking their physician would do only the best for them, gets
    There are two things happening here. 1) the patient recieves a lesser service, and
    2) The referral source recieves a kickback (probably in cash).
    There are laws which are never enforced—It is impossible to prove, and when improprieties
    are brought to light, the congressman and senator is also greased.
    Trust me, there is a lot of money in Medicare oxygen which allows this to happen. And Ted
    Kennedy thinks Medicare should be expanded? The whole Medicare/physician/HME system is
    absolutely discusting!! And to wonder how your physician “referrs” other items such as
    medication, or hip replacements, ect… It brings into question the whole Medicare
    system. There is certainly enough $ which could be cut, though.
    Thanks for listening. I’m on a forum site for emphysema patients. You should see the
    feathers I’m ruffeling when commenting to patients thrown the “inferior” oxygen service.
    There are also owners and physicians who are pretty pissed that SOMEONE NOTICES WHAT IS
    discusts me

  5. James Michael Meetze Says:

    Accidentally stumbled across your web site while printng out a definition of the word different for my Business English class. Nice, will browse…thanks…jim

  6. Jason Says:

    I am a new blogger looking for conservative bloggers who may be interested in reciprocal links.

    Please consider


    Thank you,

  7. ollie Says:

    I tried to comment on your bullet article but the comment wouldn’t take.
    If you haven’t seen this you might enjoy it:
    It is about your favorite professor, Ward Churchill

  8. cazzi mia Says:

    hehe…have a nice 4 (maybe 8) years with Democratic administration…hope you all will enjoy it.
    Ah, please check your right-wing comments grammar. Seems public school in USA isn’t all that good, eh?

    PS: let’s make a change. We’ll give you Berlusconi and you give us Barack.

    Greets from an anti-fascist Italian.

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