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Welcome to Remnant MD.
Remnant MD is a newsletter & podcast that explores unorthodox perspectives in medicine, healthcare, and education.
Why ‘Remnant’ ?
The term Remnant will likely be obvious to a few people. Chief amongst whom are Theologists or those keen on Biblical studies. More recently, this term has garnered niche usage within the Bitcoin maximalist community. Bitcoin maxi’s (as they are known) hold the belief that Bitcoin is the solution to the centralized monetary system that ultimately, and cyclically, steals wealth & energy from the masses.
The recent circulation of the term may in part be due to the re-emergence of an essay which was initially published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1936, entitled Isaiah’s Job by Albert Jay Nock. The essay begins by recollecting a discussion with a colleague who brought up the Book of Isaiah.
A brief excerpt from the essay should help set the tone here:
It occurred to me then that this story is much worth recalling just now when so many wise men and soothsayers appear to be burdened with a message to the masses. Dr. Townsend has a message, Father Coughlin has one… the list is endless. I cannot remember a time when so many energumens were so variously proclaiming the Word to the multitude and telling them what they must do to be saved…
In the year of Uzziah's death, the Lord commissioned the prophet to go out and warn the people of the wrath to come. "Tell them what a worthless lot they are." He said, "Tell them what is wrong, and why and what is going to happen unless they have a change of heart and straighten up. Don't mince matters. Make it clear that they are positively down to their last chance. Give it to them good and strong and keep on giving it to them. I suppose perhaps I ought to tell you," He added, "that it won't do any good. The official class and their intelligentsia will turn up their noses at you and the masses will not even listen. They will all keep on in their own ways until they carry everything down to destruction, and you will probably be lucky if you get out with your life."
Isaiah had been very willing to take on the job — in fact, he had asked for it — but the prospect put a new face on the situation. It raised the obvious question: Why, if all that were so — if the enterprise were to be a failure from the start — was there any sense in starting it? "Ah," the Lord said, "you do not get the point. There is a Remnant there that you know nothing about. They are obscure, unorganized, inarticulate, each one rubbing along as best he can. They need to be encouraged and braced up because when everything has gone completely to the dogs, they are the ones who will come back and build up a new society; and meanwhile, your preaching will reassure them and keep them hanging on. Your job is to take care of the Remnant, so be off now and set about it."
— the only element in Judean society that was particularly worth bothering about was the Remnant. Isaiah seems finally to have got it through his head that this was the case; that nothing was to be expected from the masses, but that if anything substantial were ever to be done in Judea, the Remnant would have to do it
Nock goes on to explore the differences between the Remnant and the Masses, but I would like to linger on the imagery above.
Picture a town center, busy morning. Several people are having discussions, arguments, and some are orating to a group. Some passerby will stop and listen. Most will continue along their way. Those who stop, are the Remnant. It really doesn't even matter why, or how many. That there is a minority who stop, and the majority do not, is what matters.
It matters because that minority may have been witness to something that may be useful to society. But most won’t know any better. Most will not stop to hear the information that they are not even aware they need to hear.
Which leads me to another complaint I often hear, which is some variation on
I cannot believe how stupid people are these days.
Despite all that is going on, I do not think that there are as many dumb people as there appear to be. Certainly, there are many mistaken or stupid people. But, what is happening today is not the result of the behavior or complicity of only the dumb people.
We know this intuitively, because we already refer to the ‘ignorant’ as the 'masses.' The masses, as Nock portrays, are not just dumb. Nor are they somehow inferior people. They simply did not have the same spark, or inspiration, or impulse that the Remnant did - who stopped to listen. There isn’t anything special about the Remnant in Nock’s story - nor mine.
Everyone is a Remnant about something.
Dear reader, you may be a Remnant regarding economics, politics, eSports, or whatever the fuck tickles your fancy.
But whatever it is we are a Remnant about, it is our duty to spread the information we learn. Because it may end up helping those who are blissfully unaware.
That's what RemnantMD is. Just one doctor who has observed things over the years, and shares his experience & thoughts.
With that said, I humbly suggest this Substack if you would like to learn about the issues which plague Medicine, Education and Academia.
I look forward to your questions and feedback, so we can start making sense of this world more effectively.
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