Generalizing the 5/10/15 Rule for U.S. Drug Development, Or The Cycle of the New

“U.S. drug development cycle, which he says “always follows the 5/10/15 rule. For the first 5 years, companies hype new drugs; next 5 years all hidden side effects are exposed, leading to black-box warnings and class action lawsuits; in [the] last 5 years, the companies start dissing their own old drug as the patent runs out to begin the hype cycle for their next new drug.” 

-Jane Metclafe, “2023 Predictions-The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.” neo.life. January 2023

This article on 2023 predictions is worth reading in full. However, I particularly found this piece interesting. Ultimately, this is about how incentives drive behavior. So, we might generalize this rule to something like: “Any novel thing goes through a period that focuses on benefits, another period on the risks, then finally becomes the status quo that will be replaced by some other, new thing.”

Zuihitsu, 2022-12

Technically, zuihitsu are longer reflections than what I tend to collect. But, the general idea is right. Here’s this month’s installment. If you want the complete set, please download the fortune file.

  • The first rule of life: don’t be a dickhead.
  • Men only have money the first month of dating, that’s recruitment budget. Never confuse it with operational budget.
  • Travel is a meat thing. Best for those whose meat is still fresh.
  • Emotional abuse: threats, using relationship history or traditiobal roles to avoid responsibility, pressure, ignoring boundaries, guilting, shaming, and getting other people to manipulate on your behalf.
  • Don’t believe the hype!—Public Enemy
  • Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.—Mark Twain
  • …there is no such thing as information-overload; there is just filter failure.—Clay Shirky
  • How might this experience bring out the best in me and help me grow?
  • Life is self-directed.
  • The planning fallacy, is the tendency to underestimate the amount of time needed to complete a future task, due in part to the reliance on overly optimistic performance scenarios.
  • Stop carrying the world on your shoulders. You ain’t got the build for it.
  • People rarely want advice. Most want to be heard. Learn to listen. Don’t try to fix it, change it, or project your own emotions onto it.
  • A question for wants: if I already had it, would I be glad?
  • Everything is possible. But not everything fits budget and timeline.
  • There’s always a tell, the canary in the coal mine, that announces the change. The hard part is recognizing it.
  • Adjudicating hacks allows systems to evolve.
  • …everybody is going to hurt you. You just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.—Bob Marley
  • Do things for love. Love is not earned. Love is either freely given, or it is not love at all.
  • Art is never finished, only abandoned.—Leonardo Da Vinci
  • The more comfortable you become in your own skin, the less you need to manufacture the world around you for comfort.
  • Get smart in secret and get stupid in public.
  • Do the easy bit first.
  • Looking to the past or present is a great way to miss the future.
  • Authentic love is about freedom, not possession.
  • Be the reason someone feels seen, heard, understood, appreciated, supported, and loved.
  • Choose grow over comfort, discipline over procrastination, improving over impressing, and progress over perfection.
  • Thinking stops at certainty.
  • Without nuance, ideas become more simple and more wrong.
  • It is enough for lazy wits to have the appearance of knowing.
  • Face, accept, float, let time pass.
  • Engage in a conspiracy of love with the whole world.
  • Self-directed learning is never boring.
  • The grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and, for children, it’s tiresome always giving them explanations.—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
  • Most beliefs put ideology above evidence.
  • Wisdom is knowing the right thing to do at the right time.
  • Crickets are the orchestra of the stars.
  • Struggle leads to transformation.
  • We are all living off the fat of a dream gone bad.
  • Launch determines orbit.
  • You are not your thoughts or opinions.
  • When I shit job needs to be done, cover all the angles and try not to get shat upon.
  • To own an idea, you have to spend the cognitive time buying it.
  • Stay cautious, stay alive.
  • The overall aim of most thought is tranquillity, not truth.
  • Bees and flies eat different food. No fly can convince a bee to start eating shit.
  • The problem with stereotypes is people never live up to them.
  • Say, or learn to say: I’m sorry. I don’t know. I was wrong. I need help.
  • Lotteries distract from discontent with irrational hope.
  • Day wise, decade foolish.
  • Without agency, every problem is a catastrophe.
  • Speaking without thought is not the same as speaking the truth.
  • Philosophy is question fandom.
  • The path to self-realization is strewn with embracing uncomfortable truths.
  • Addiction is often an expression of anger.
  • Respect leaves room for questions and challenges.
  • Through play, we re-learn how to trust our own eyes and ears and resist those who would command us.
  • It is enough that it is engaging until we are ready to walk away.

Spielen Macht Frei (Play Sets You Free)

“The Prussian model seeks to create a population for whom work, no matter how mind-numbing or back-breaking, is the only hope. That’s why they try to inspire us with the promise of a freedom that will never come. When we keep play alive in our own lives, in the lives of our children, even if it is just in the nooks and crannies, we are creating real hope for freedom. If you are reading this, you are probably one of those people keeping play alive. In this world, play is the one thing that can give us genuine hope. It is the only path to freedom. And that is why play is the greatest threat to the status quo.It’s play, not work, that will set us free.”

Teacher Tom, “Play Is The Greatest Threat To The Status Quo.””. teachertomsblog.blogspot.com. December 22, 2022

This morning, I was reading someone talk about how consistency is the key to great work. Before joining family and friends for Christmas Eve or Christmas, one should get a little work done. When I read it, it sounded convincing.

Shortly after, I read this piece from Teacher Tom. Its an interesting contrast. In our culture, value is a function of work. How do we contribute to society? And, our contribution is, for most, determined materially. In crass terms, it’s the hourly rate where we exchange our time for money. That’s our value.

But, it is useful to be reminded that there are other values. As one section describes it:

Yunkaporta points out that the word “work” does not even exist in many Indigenous languages. Indeed, the “work” his people did do prior to colonization was confined to a couple hours a day and was comprised of things many of us now do as a break from work like gardening, cooking, hunting, hiking, camping, tinkering, and fishing. They spent the rest of their time building relationships, making art, dancing, playing games (almost always cooperative), telling stories, and making music. Indeed, they spent their time doing the very things that our youngest children do when left alone to be whatever they want to be — not when they grow up, but right now. Play, not work, sets us free.”

-ibid.

Indigenous people, or even people not part of our post-capitalist society or that live on its margins, viewed value through the lens of being someone who was enjoyable to spend time around. What would our lives be like if this were the organizing principle of society?

On one level, this seems like it would make our focus on extrovertism even more pronounced. It would amp up the performance aspect of society. But, it also makes me think that extrovertism and introvertism might be a kind of filter failure, where our society and the people who were are acquainted with has grown so large that it passes a certain threshold where people stop trying to participate in that society.

If you lived in a society or 100 people or less, where people knew and cared for one another on some fundamental level. Wouldn’t this change our society, where we knew that there was this base layer of caring and knowing that serves as a kind of bedrock on which play rests? Doesn’t it require a certain level of negotiation to move to the kind of intimacy that play requires with complete strangers, particularly in a world where all but the smallest children have been wounded by others?

What would it take to live in a world where play was of primary value? I’ve suggested smaller group sizes. But, what can we do, right where we are, to make this a more important value?

Critical Ignoring as a Core Competence for Digital Citizens

Abstract

Low-quality and misleading information online can hijack people’s attention, often by evoking curiosity, outrage, or anger. Resisting certain types of information and actors online requires people to adopt new mental habits that help them avoid being tempted by attention-grabbing and potentially harmful content. We argue that digital information literacy must include the competence of critical ignoring—choosing what to ignore and where to invest one’s limited attentional capacities. We review three types of cognitive strategies for implementing critical ignoring: self-nudging, in which one ignores temptations by removing them from one’s digital environments; lateral reading, in which one vets information by leaving the source and verifying its credibility elsewhere online; and the do-not-feed-the-trolls heuristic, which advises one to not reward malicious actors with attention. We argue that these strategies implementing critical ignoring should be part of school curricula on digital information literacy. Teaching the competence of critical ignoring requires a paradigm shift in educators’ thinking, from a sole focus on the power and promise of paying close attention to an additional emphasis on the power of ignoring. Encouraging students and other online users to embrace critical ignoring can empower them to shield themselves from the excesses, traps, and information disorders of today’s attention economy.”

Anastasia Kozyreva, et al. “Critical Ignoring as a Core Competence for Digital Citizens.”
Current Directions in Psychological Science 0 10.1177/09637214221121570-

After some reflection, this is obviously true. Just as obviously, it lends itself to the Dunning-Kruger effect, where people with low ability to critically ignore, do the exact opposite, where they focus on “attention-grabbing and potentially harmful content” and choose to critically ignore content that would help with changing one’s worldview to something that is more adaptive.

Once you start thinking about it, and looking for these kinds of behaviors, it becomes a new lens to which to look at a lot of the features of our society. The preoccupation with sports, for instance, is focusing on attention grabbing content with little value. It’s true of conspiracy theories, fundamentalism and the beliefs of fanatics everywhere. Moreover, if we look to our own behavior, there are many areas where we do this ourselves. Is a preoccupation with storytelling in “cinema” really different than a preoccupation with sport? What, then, is of real value?

The inescapable conclusion is that vast majority of our activity and attention is spent on things we should be critically ignoring. The hard question: what should we be paying attention to?

Creating Safe Spaces for Emotions

“This is my job. I’m not here to make things better, to end the crying, or to distract them from missing their mommies. I’m not even there to soothe them any more than I’m there to ‘good job’ them: that is not my job. Becoming soothed is their job. Cheering for their own accomplishments is their job. My job is to be with them when they’re crying and when they’re cheering, speaking truth, and creating space for them to feel exactly how they feel for as long as they need to feel it. It ‘works’ every time.”

—Teacher Tom, “The Thing That ‘Works’ Every Time.” teachertomsblog.blogspot.com. December 12, 2022.

This is probably the biggest mistake we make with one another. When confronted with strong emotion, many of us, especially men, try to ‘fix’ the problem rather than being present, making room for the feeling to be felt.

Feelings cannot be fixed. They can only be felt.

P.S. Also reminded of this little chestnut.

Filter Failure & Critical Ignoring

“As important as the ability to think critically continues to be, we argue that it is insufficient to borrow the tools developed for offline environments and apply them to the digital world. When the world comes to people filtered through digital devices, there is no longer a need to decide what information to seek. Instead, the relentless stream of information has turned human attention into a scarce resource to be seized and exploited by advertisers and content providers. Investing effortful and conscious critical thinking in sources that should have been ignored in the first place means that one’s attention has already been expropriated (Caulfield, 2018). Digital literacy and critical thinking should therefore include a focus on the competence of critical ignoring: choosing what to ignore, learning how to resist low-quality and misleading but cognitively attractive information, and deciding where to invest one’s limited attentional capacities.”

-Anastasia Kozyreva, et al. “Critical Ignoring as a Core Competence for Digital Citizens.” Current Directions in Psychological Science. Volume 0. 10.1177/09637214221121570

One of the red flags of conversation is that you have to give “both sides” consideration. Or, the person you are talking with suggests that you need to do more research in the topic, particularly if it is along the lines of their argument.

Here’s a radical idea. Arguments have to earn their place at the table. All opinions are not equally valuable, and if you want consideration, you have to do the work and not tell the people you are trying to convince to do the work for you. If your perspective is anti-vaccination, Earth is flat, etc., don’t be surprised when you are ignored.

I don’t have to care about your pet issue, particularly when it is objectively wrong. Even if you are right, about your religion, politics or conspiracy theory de jure, you aren’t entitled to anyone’s attention. You earn attention by caring about people, not ideas.

Or, to make an analogy, you are not entitled to sex with someone, just because you are lonely. What is true of the body is also true of the mind. Congress is based on consensus.

The Good Life Closes Out Bad Possibilities

Far from having a “bucket list”, I now understand that the proper conduct of the second half of life is to approach something like what the Tibetan Buddhists call tukdam, to do less and less, but only to sit and meditate, and to breathe once every century or so, so that by the time you actually die there will be scarcely any change to register. I can picture a future not so far from now when, to the question, “Is he alive or dead?”, the only fitting response will be: “Who can say?” …

…Alcohol is surprisingly similar to salt in this regard: it is easy to see how it can help to keep us alive, when times are hard, even if it helps to kill us when times are easy (or hard, but in another way)…

…You keep pushing nature to give you more of what it has, in higher doses, and eventually it breaks, and gives you something with a causal history rooted in the thing you started with and the thing you wanted more of, but with an opposite and hostile nature….

…To put this another way, I no longer see the world as frothing with possibility, as “open”. That’s what it is, I think, to survive past midlife: your life is not done, yet it is, as we say, “a done deal”.

Can it still, under such circumstances, hold out the hope of being “good”? Hell yes, life is good. It’s a gift, it’s a miracle, &c. And it is surely a blessing to live long enough to learn to stop searching in vain for sources of transcendence in the common substances of this world, however rarefied they are made, however spirit-like, by the long art of men.”

-Justin E. H. Sith , “Gone Bad, Come to Life: On Fermentation, Distillation, and Sobriety.” justinehsmith.substack.com. November 27, 2022.

Excellent throughout.

Some Reflections on Twitter & WordPress: 2022

You may have noticed that I have been posting to cafebedouin less lately. It is partially because I have been more involved in using Twitter. Why?

One thing I like about Twitter is that it is a larger, socially constructed version of the kind of thoughts that we have moment to moment. Reading the timeline is like dipping into this stream. Tweeting is adding to it, and opening yourself up for a feedback loop, where your thoughts bring up thoughts in others. There’s an interesting interplay that happens, which I think is what makes the platform appealing.

But, it is also hard not to notice that it also features a lot of outlier perspectives. Perhaps it is a function of who I follow on Twitter, but there seems to be a lot of trans folks on Twitter. On one level, this must be great as a trans person. You can interact with people that are struggling with similar issues. You can feel seen, or at least not alone when you may be the only trans person in your real life social circles.

And what is true of the trans community is also true of others. Twitter is one of the places I engage with other people that use cryptocurrencies. I don’t know anyone that thinks about cryptocurrencies in my day-to-day life. It’s either not there, or invisible to the degree that it might as well not be there.

WordPress, and blogging generally, is a fundamentally different medium. It is a way to think more formally, or at least note, ideas. Maybe flesh them out into something fuller. It is a kind of workshop or garage, where you experiment and see what is right for you. How do you view the world? What do you care about? WordPress is the essay you write, whereas Twitter is more of a conversation.

Conversation and writing can both transform our lives. But, they are really different activities and modes. Conversation is thinking, in the moment, with others. Writing is more, thinking in the moment, with ourselves. But, when you extend the time frame, conversations feed into writing. Writing can feed conversations, and in some versions, writing can also be a formal conversation, where colleagues discuss a problem in their field and raise different, relevant points with the hope of achieving some larger understanding. But, the difficulty and the amount of work that goes into that kind of conversation, to explore ideas that, hopefully, have lasting value is not how many of us spend much of our time.

But, I think the real value of these kinds of conversations is that it widens our experience and helps us to retain what is good and valuable. Much of what we think is neither good nor valuable.

I’d argue that much of the conversation that is happening on Twitter, even after acknowledging it has value in expanding our experiences and perception, is wounding. Maybe this makes us stronger. Assuming that we can recover and not too much damage has been done. But, I’m not so sure that’s the case. I think people talking about their struggles with mental health, chronic illness, unpleasant interactions, and the usual suspects of various X-isms maybe causing a kind of death by a thousand cuts, where we expand our concerns so wide that they don’t have any depth. Is it any wonder that if you try to wrestle with the demons of the whole world, that you run the risk of being overwhelmed?

I haven’t come to any conclusions yet. I’ve grown to like Twitter. I particularly like that it offers a window into different experiences, such as the problems women, people of color, or other groups face that I might not have any experience with.

But, there’s also limits. You can kind of listen in on the experience of a mother, a computer security specialist or whomever. However, it is an experience, removed. You might argue that it is no experience at all, no better than what you knew before Twitter. I don’t think that is right, but I do think it is not an unqualified good. In fact, the overall effect might be a net negative. It may not even be possible to bring it to a net positive, and if it is, it probably requires approaching Twitter with discipline, knowing what you want to get out of it, which is kind of antithetical to the medium.

All of this is a long way to say that I took a bit of a dive, and I think I’m good for now. I’m going to spend a little less time on Twitter. It has a place, but it should probably be a small one. I might take a deeper look at Mastodon sometime soon, just to see how it is qualitatively different, as some articles suggest.

Zuihitsu, 2022-11

Technically, zuihitsu are longer reflections than what I tend to collect. But, the general idea is right. Here’s this month’s installment. If you want the complete set, please download the fortune file.

  • All great change comes from community and from individuals learning what  is within their individual and collective power.
  • Choose in your best interest. Forgive yourself for the past. Everyday, create your future self and some moments of peace.
  • Wear your Halloween costume on a different day.
  • Prediction is less important than adaptability.
  • The most important question: what can I learn from this?
  • In the sublime war of man against Reality man has but one weapon, the imagination. 
  • A beautiful thing is never perfect.
  • You can’t fight ideas with bullets.
  • Ignorance of some topics is wisdom.
  • Conflict can help people connect, but many people engage in: score keeping, deflection, gaslighting, or defensiveness.
  • Understand and express what you want.
  • Conflict is made worse when we fight (attack), flight (leave), freeze (play dead), or fawn (appease/people people) because information cannot be processed. Pause the discussion if any of these are happening.
  • Always three options: accept, reframe or reject.
  • Monetize your problems.
  • Complacency breeds crisis. Hustle breeds abundance.
  • The normal consists of a null set which nobody and nothing really fits.
  • Don’t yuck the yums of others.
  • The ear catches what the eye misses.
  • If your life is a mess, your work is a mess.
  • Debts to be paid: once for a simple trade, twice for free-given aid, and thrice for the insult made.
  • Risk cannot be destroyed, it can only be shifted through time and redistributed in form.—Christopher Cole
  • I would rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned.—Feynman
  • Vanity is the quicksand of reason.—George Sand
  • Sometimes you can be done even if you’re not finished.
  • The purpose of thinking is so our though to die instead of us.—Alfred North Whitehead
  • There is always something that can’t be fixed.
  • Better to live with the devil than with an angry woman.
  • Frustration often precedes desire.
  • Coopted language is a tool of oppression.
  • You are not responsible for the emotions of others.
  • The secret of power is the knowledge that others are more cowardly than you are.—Ludwig Borne
  • Talking often runs way ahead of the doing.
  • In life, and in the circus, you need to gasp.
  • Celebrate other people’s wins.
  • A tragedy rarely ends with the principals.
  • If it’s your decision, it’s design; if not, it’s a requirement.—Alistair Cockburn
  • A rule of thumb: one needs to wait a minimum of 12 to 15 seconds for young children to respond to a question or a command.
  • If you’re playing defense, you’re losing.
  • …everything that lives, not vegetative life alone, emerges from darkness and, however strong its natural tendency to thrust itself into the light, it nevertheless needs the security of darkness to grow at all.—Hannah Arendt
  • Speak less, to fewer people and less often.
  • Lend freely, against good collateral, at a penalty rate.
  • A smart person learns from their mistakes, and a wise person learns from other people’s mistakes.
  • Never sleep with anybody who has more problems than you.—Robert McKee.
  • Being vulnerable is hard, but it’s the only way for us to more fully understand what we need to explain.
  • Speak your truth and live with the consequences.
  • All is fair if you predeclare.
  • Poor man wanna be rich, rich man wanna be king. And a king ain’t satisfied till he rules everything.—Bruce Springstein
  • Who you are is not your fault, but it is your responsibility.
  • What we hate most in others is usually what we hate most in ourselves.
  • Real confidence looks like humility. You no longer need to advertise your value because it comes from a place that does not require the validation of others.
  • True adventure rarely comes freshly scrubbed. Sometimes, you gotta get your hands dirty.
  • Personal growth implies outgrowing some relationships too.
  • Fortune favors the prepared mind.—Louis Pasteur
  • Don’t water dead plants.
  • Honor your needs and limits.
  • When someone says they don’t fit in, they’re probably looking to fit in, somewhere.
  • The personal is more important than the perfect.
  • You can not calm the storm. You can only calm yourself until the storm has passed.
  • Bow down before the one you serve, you’re going to get what you deserve.—Trent Reznor
  • The world is full of lonely people waiting to make the first move.
  • Everything you feed grows.
  • Wait until the outcome is clear, and then wait some more. 

Cranberry Chutney

My wife’s cranberry chutney recipe that she makes for Thanksgiving. I’ll add a picture after she makes it.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of fresh cranberries, picked over and washed
  • 2 cups of sugar (or to taste)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 large navel orange
  • 1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger

Preparation

  1. Combine cranberries, sugar, water in a medium saucepan and turn the heat to medium-low.
  2. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries are broken. Roughly 20-30 minutes.
  3. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the entire zest (of skin) of the orange.
  4. Cut the orange zest into small pieces and set aside.
  5. Remove the white pith from the outside of the orange.
  6. Separate the orange into sections.
  7. Remove pithy parts from the inside of the orange.
  8. Combine the orange sections, zest and grated ginger in a blender or food processor.
  9. Blend on medium-high for about 1-2 minutes.
  10. Combine the blended mixture from food processor into saucepan with cranberries.
  11. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 15-20 minutes.
  12. Transfer cranberries to a bowl, cool, then chill until ready to serve.