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Today on Context Florida: Politics of make-believe, psychological slack, collective autism and a public safety crisis

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Today on Context Florida:

In the eyes of Daniel Tilson, this week’s “Economic Growth Summit” hosted by Florida Gov. Rick Scott is all about the politics of make-believe, so anything goes. If life was fair, Scott’s summit would feature explanations and apologies to middle-class Floridians who’ve remained loyal to his hardcore conservative economic policies for years now. But life is often as tricky and unfair as…well, as hardcore conservative economic policies.

Dale Brill says those of us with the financial resources can buy “psychological slack” necessary to handle the daily stress of everyday living. Dining out takes care of cooking time. Maid service cleans the house. Yard service keeps the lawn looking nice. What happens to those who can’t buy slack? Thinking about that question is the societal challenge of a generation, particularly for those of us who are tempted to write off the 45 percent of Floridians the United Way of Florida tells us are struggling to make ends meet.

Marc Yacht points out that we have become a nation of multitasking “walk-talkers.” It common to see someone with a touch screen, iPod, or Android in hand chatting, searching their mail, checking the news or looking at financial portfolios. Cell phones have interfered with personal face-to-face communication and led us to collective autism. Head-to-head discussions are becoming passé. Future human interactions will be through ear pieces and mini-microphones. Humans may become unseen, unrecognized and reduced to broadband frequencies.

Put aside the politics of Florida’s healthcare reform debate for a minute, and Robert Asencio says you’ll recognize our uninsured crisis is as much a public safety problem as it is a public policy challenge. It isn’t just the uninsured who are in danger. It’s also all the other people they come into contact with every day. Left without the means to see a doctor and effectively prevent or diagnose illness, the uninsured are more prone to get sick and less likely to get treatment. That puts their families, friends, neighbors and strangers who come into contact with them each day at risk of contracting undiagnosed, untreated, contagious illnesses.

Visit Context Florida to dig in.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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