Simulated Anesthesia

I happened to see a posting the other day for a series of training sessions on Simulated Anesthesia. At first, I assumed the sessions were intended to teach the uninitiated and the still-interesting how to conduct corporate meetings, since the business world has been practicing simulated anesthesia in such settings long since.

As it turns out, I was wrong. The phrase has been hijacked by the medical community to denote sessions conducted in a Virtual Operating Room (V.O.R.) for anesthesia professionals (A.P.) using computerized patient simulator physiology (C.P.S.P.) to replicate particular states of consciousness (P.S.O.C.) during all manner of surgical procedures (A.M.O.S.P.). Got that (G.T.)?

So Much for Innovation

Considering how in love we are with meaningless words like innovation and disruption, we could be forgiven for thinking medicine, which we have to imagine considers itself innovative and disruptive, would be reduced to stealing terminology from bureaucracies. And it seems unbelievably lame that it would steal a concept that dates back to the Paleo-Indians, who migrated from Siberia to Western Alaska between 10,000 and 6,000 B.C. via Beringia, the area where Sarah Palin stands when she sees Russia from her back yard. But that’s exactly what happened. Here’s the proof:

This excerpt is from the transcript of the meeting in which the concept of simulated anesthesia originated. More specifically, it’s an exchange between Hork, the Chair of the Foraging Committee, and Gork, the Vice Chair, in which they seem to have different perspectives on the consciousness of Dork, a member of the rank and file:

Hork: Him not pay attention.

Gork: No worry, Boss. Him smell what you cook.

Hork: Then why him snore?

Gork: Him not snore. That bad post-nasal drip.

The historical record is unclear as to whether Dork was actually snoring or snorking. But it doesn’t matter. The conceptual die was cast. And the rest, as they say ….

Go Back to Sleep

If you doze off during the next session of simulated anesthesia in the boardroom, don’t worry. Like network television, mainstream media, innovation, disruption, and Oprah, bureaucracies and their meetings are just so much simulated anesthesia. If you have bluetooth earbuds no one will notice — and if you want to stay awake and appear to be interested — watch and listen to this. The title alone is perfect for the occasion.

The more sedated we are, the more docile we’ll be. And that’s the entire point.

Image courtesy of