When we say â€œI canâ€™t come up with anything,â€ the truth is thatâ€™s not really accurate. What we mean to say is, â€œI canâ€™t come up with anything good.â€ And thatâ€™s the problem right there. Because weâ€™re designers who want to do amazing work, and because we perceive ourselves as professionals, weâ€™re already busy filtering our own ideas and deciding theyâ€™re bad in advance.
Thatâ€™s how we get stuck.
If, on the other hand, we would say to ourselves: â€œletâ€™s do something crappy,â€ our lives would be that much easier. Anyone can do a shit job. Want a bad logo? Give me two minutes. Want a bad name for your brand? 20 seconds will suffice.
When we do crappyÂ work, two great things happen:
- We already have something to build on. Worst case scenario â€“ we canâ€™t find anything good â€“ at least we can bring something bad to the table, which is a thousand times better than bringing nothing.
- Once we pencil down the idea, we can start analyzing why itâ€™s no good. As soon as we explain to ourselves and even make notes of why the current idea is bad, we can pick one problem at a time and try and solve it. That, in turn, will bring up a slightly less awful idea, which we can then analyze too, and so on until we get a good one.
Itâ€™s only a stupid myth that all these geniuses we keep reading about came up with their brilliant ideas on their first try. The truth is they came up with them after a handful of crappyÂ ideas â€“ we just didnâ€™t get to see those.
The emerging popularity of testosterone has opened up whole new business models for entrepreneurial doctors. Chains of shops that provide the hormone have exploded all over the United States, especially across the South. How many millions more men might be willing to try testosterone if it was easy to acquire, and a clinic happened to implant itself in an adjacent office building or a local strip mall, next to an abandoned video store and the Starbucks?
We donâ€™t need to look ahead at human genetic engineering, brain implants, or crazy designer drugs to see the real future of our relationship with our bodies. The rise of testosterone use isnâ€™t a drill for future body hackingâ€”it is body hacking playing out right now across the American heartland, with a substance that was first synthesized in 1935. And in the coming years, the battles over Tâ€™s use are going to be repeated for future drugs that give peopleâ€”anyone with money, at leastâ€”the power to transform the body beyond its innate abilities and configurations.
The crux of the medical ethics issue is this: are people taking testosterone to cure a disease, or are they taking it to transcend the limitations normally imposed on an aging human body?
These are not merely abstract, philosophical questions. Whatâ€™s at stake is not only the ethical future of the medical community, but the boundaries of a human life.
3.Â How Schools Are Dealing With Anti-Vaccine Parents
What’s interesting to me is that a lack of comprehension about basic science has becomeÂ passableÂ as legitimate skepticism. Just because you don’t understand how something works does not exempt you or your loved ones from its consequences.
By revising its admissions policy and refusing to accept new students whose parents opt them out for personal beliefs, The Childrenâ€™s House illustrates how schools are becoming ground zero for the anti-vaccine dispute. It also serves as an example of how educatorsâ€”not state legislators or health officialsâ€”may be the ones who ultimately resolve the public controversy over immunization requirements.
“When enough people are vaccinated, viruses have trouble moving from host to host and cease to spread, sparing both the unvaccinated and those in whom the vaccination has not produced immunity.”
Vaccines only work if enough people in a community are vaccinatedâ€”what Vollbrecht referred to as herd immunity. As Biss writes in her book, vaccines are a kind of immunity banking, something an individual may need at a future point in their life: “When enough people are vaccinated, viruses have trouble moving from host to host and cease to spread, sparing both the unvaccinated and those in whom the vaccination has not produced immunity.” Researchers have found that, for vaccines to work, 92 percent or more of a population must be immunized against the disease. For highly contagious viruses, it takesÂ 95 percent to protect the entire community.
By either measure, both Grand Traverse County and The Childrenâ€™s House appeared to have dangerously high exemption rates. At the school in particular, the risk of losing herd immunity was disconcerting because it enrolls babies as young as 3 months oldâ€”infants who still arenâ€™t fully vaccinated and rely on the rest of the school to shield them from outbreaks that can be life threatening for young children. In fact, earlier this week, theÂ Los Angeles Times reported that a months-old baby who was too young for vaccinations contracted measles at daycare, forcing the subsequent quarantine of 14 infants enrolled at the same center, which is located on Santa Monica High Schoolâ€™s campus.
The problem for Facebook is that user metrics have become a feedback loop for useless diversions. Though Facebook has gotten very good at the gold standard of storiesâ€Šâ€”â€Šdelivering important news about marriage, childbirth and exotic vacations of close friendsâ€Šâ€”â€Špeopleâ€™s news feeds (well, mine) have been overpopulated with listicles (50 Most Bizarre Prom Pictures!), animal videos (I Put A Go-Pro On My Dog And Left the House!), and political red-or-blue meat (Sarah Palin, Sarah Palin, Sarah Palin).
You could call this the Dozen Doughnuts problem. Many people conscious of their weight know itâ€™s not a good idea to eat a doughnut every day, and if given a choice would not prefer that someone come into the workplace every morning with twelve Krispy Kremes. But if a misguidedly generous worker did just that, the temptation to pluck one of those jelly-filled delights might overrule discretion. Itâ€™s not that you want the doughnutâ€”you arenâ€™t clamoring for one, and you wonâ€™t miss that sugar bomb if itâ€™s not in front of your face. But once that delicacy is in front of youâ€¦oh, what the hell!
For lots of us, the Facebook News Feed is a never ending delivery of info-doughnutsâ€Šâ€”â€Šempty calories of celebrity misdeeds, snuggling animals of different species, and quizzes that guess where youâ€™re from (what, you donâ€™t know? But we take the tests!). And when we do click on them, we send a strong signal to Facebookâ€™s algorithms that we want to see those things. We clicked, didnâ€™t we? And, as Facebookâ€™s engineers and managers constantly explain, the company is nonjudgmental about whatâ€™s in anyoneâ€™s News Feedâ€Šâ€”â€Šas long as it makes the user happy.
“By denying scientific principals, one may maintain any paradox” – Galileo Galilei
I hope that you’ll readÂ these articles if they catch your eye and that you’ll learn as much as I did. PleaseÂ email me questions, feedback or raise issues for discussion. Better yet, if you know of something on aÂ related topic, or of interest, please pass it along. And as always, if one of these links comes to mean something to you, recommend it to someone else.