Even a 3rd Grader…


Leonard Zwelling

            When I was first shopping for an iPhone some years ago, I went to the AT
and T store and was asked what I wanted to do with my new phone.

            “Talk and listen, you know, it’s a telephone”, I
foolishly said.

            Any 3rd grader asked the same question would
have listed the apps he or she needed and the functionalities (don’t you love
that word) required of their new “device”. When it came to a new smart phone, I
wasn’t very smart. Any 3rd grader was far smarter.

            Flash forward to the web site upon which the entire
centerpiece of an 8-year presidency is resting, the one on which Americans can
buy health insurance. It took me five tries just to register and I believe that
I have acquired the computer skills of a 3rd grader from 5 years ago
by now. It wasn’t that I was too dense to use it. It just didn’t work.

            The easiest explanation for why the health care web site
didn’t work is that it was poorly designed. I suspect that is because it was
designed by adults who were very good at filling out the 1800 pages of forms
needed to acquire a government contract but not so good at designing web sites.
For that, the Obama Administration probably should have hired 10 3rd
graders for they surely could have done better than the knuckleheads that
designed this current one.

            Now we are being told it will be fine by the end of
November giving the American people a few weeks between Thanksgiving and
Christmas to worry about health insurance. Now THAT’S the holiday spirit!  Ho-ho-humbug!

doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the first thing anyone going on the
web site would want to do was to compare the products available to them with
their current insurance and with all new options and the prices thereof. This
process is widely known as shopping. It can be done on amazon.com any day and
night. You don’t even need to register on amazon unless you want to buy
something. Did the government understand this? Obviously not.

like to kick the tires and go for a test drive before they lay down their
hard-earned cash. Why would anyone think anything else when designing a web
site that might have to service as many as 30 million people?

President says he knew nothing about these problems and nothing about his
government spying on the head of the German government either. Jackie Mason
often joked about Ronald Reagan that he never let politics get in his way.
Politics wasn’t his business. I guess Obama is the same way. Why let the
presidency get in the way of being the head of the American government? And he
criticizes the Tea Party for lunacy!

the subject of lunacy, we also have the MD Anderson Moon Shot programs that
look for all the world like the research MD Anderson would be doing anyway only
repackaged for glossy video consumption.


we learn the Moon Shots have a computer program that even a 3rd
grader could not understand, Watson. We just don’t know what the heck Watson is
supposed to do beyond grinding previously acquired data to the size of iron
filings and then figuring out what type of car the filings were (as my buddy

are cool. We would be less without them for they have enabled a degree of
communication and efficiency of work heretofore unimagined. (E-mails are a
great substitute for memos. They are less of a substitute for face-to-face
talking and LISTENING). But like any mechanical tool, computers need to be
harnessed for good by people who understand them and the job they are trying to
get done.

the case of the health care exchanges, the job was clear. It was a shopping web
site. There have to be thousands of shopping web sites out there any one of
which works better than the one the Obama guys threw at us. Since we know from
Argo that even Hollywood folks will sign up to serve their country for nothing,
how about getting Jeff Bezos to fix the government’s web site? 

for the MD Anderson data crunching project, I still can’t figure out what the
heck that is supposed to do. As I have said before, they got the wrong Watson.
Both Jim and Sherlock’s would appear to be better candidates for the pursuit of
unlocking the nature of cancer than the one from IBM.

I am really not sure, why not ask a 3rd grader? How much worse can
he or she do than the Obama Administration or the DePinho Administration?

Leonard Zwelling