Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Reliance on Experts and the Theranos Debacle

Very interesting article on how we rely on experts in a fake meritocracy.
Thus we arrive at Holmes. We must not view her as a mistake; she is exactly what this system is designed to create. Theranos’ blood-testing machine was not a failure at all. A fake meritocracy produces a fake resume with a fake Steve Jobs presenting a fake device doing a fake job. Expecting otherwise is like complaining the actor playing Hamlet doesn’t really stab the actor playing Polonius: what do you expect? We built the set ourselves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Did this apple really fall far from the tree?
Plus this is all part of the "Scary World" Doctrine. The idea behind Theranos was that a single drop of blood can screen you for 100s of "very bad things" using some magic machine. The idea that you actually need to be screened was a result of this "Scary World" Doctrine. So what if you have a 30% chance of having such- and-such genetic disease? I'm sure some pharama company will make lots of money trying to mitigate that risk maybe if you take their drug for 30 years.

My favorite "SWD" was a commercial from some drug company that had a bunch of kids spouting scare statistics like "I am 30% likely to develop clinical depression" etc. It was such a manipulative ad. Using kids to scare people into the "mommy-bear" response has to be the height of dirty tricks. That all falls into this idea that people rely on experts to save us from this "Scary World."

No comments: