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SELLING THE FUTURE

JAMA. 1966;196(1):97. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100140151048.
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ABSTRACT

Man naturally looks forward to the future. When, for example, cold weather numbs the marrow and congeals the outer layers of the cerebral cortex, the florist will display spring flowers, the specialty shop spring fashions. And in the autumn the automobile manufacturers bring out their new models. But man's competitive nature can raise difficulties. If one dealer brings out a "next year's model" in December, his competitor may bring out his model in November, and then both find themselves scooped in October—or September. Theoretically this can go on indefinitely. If, having admired the concept, "As modern as tomorrow," we want tomorrow now, then someone will insist that the day-after-tomorrow is still better and will offer it for sale.

These concepts of the marketplace, unfortunately, are finding their way into medicine. Medical publishing, for example, naturally wants to keep abreast of the times. We commonly believe—rightly or wrongly—that medical research progresses

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