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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Logarithms and the Hippocratic Oath

I just finished reading The Oath, a novel by John Lescroart. A hospital is suffering from deep financial woes. One character says:
Every day the hospital’s troubles are increasing logarithmically!
I guess there isn’t much that they have to worry about, is there?

The book’s title, by the way, refers to the Hippocratic Oath; a character cites the oft-quoted line, “First, do no harm.” The only problem is that that line does not come from the Hippocratic Oath, contrary to popular understanding. (The Oath does forbid charging tuition to Medical School students, but that’s another story. It also forbids practicing surgery, but that’s also another story.)

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