Dave September 13, 2012, 11:25 am The analogy of a ponzi scheme is a bit fuzzy in this situation. In a Ponzi scheme the issue is that money is finite, unless government is involved. So the Ponzi must grow to work, but growth is inherently limited. In feedback loops, what is measured (probably some organic chemical level or process in the body) can be created and/or destroyed (actually, or by excretion or storage in inert form). And the information about the level of X is fundamentally different than X. Where in a Ponzi scheme, money goes from the 'investor' to the schemer, but then money must go back from the schemer to the 'investor'. Feedback loops have all kinds of problems where X may be measured wrong, or the information about the measurements are wrong, or X cannot be manipulated or changed sufficiently by the thing receiving the information. Thus vicious spirals either upward or downward occur, instead of a nice gentle self-correcting steady state. What you measure matters. My point is that it doesn't matter whether it's human or automated care, if you don't know what you are doing, you measure the wrong thing, or precisely measure and control something that is not connected with health, then things can go wrong. Medicine is not automated because we really cannot measure "health" or "quality" in a comprehensive, objective, and reliable way. Profit is easy to measure (well, unless you try to obfuscate like Enron). That's why banks can automate money transactions. Sure we can turn health care completely into a business. But healthcare is a poor proxy for health. Should profit (where patients give more money) define the production of health? Something in me finds that distasteful, even as we head down that road inch by inch. Perhaps then health is a right, but healthcare is a consumer product. The question then is, which are we trying to maximize?