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January 13, 2022

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Jan Wiklund

The Egyptian-Swedish con- and businessman Refaat El-Sayed, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refaat_El-Sayed, had some of these qualities. He was, however, definitely not glamourous, and that was one of his charms: he was "one like us", even a man from the backyards, that had succeeded but still lived like the rest of us.

rsm

May we conclude that those who agree with Adam Smith get the government they deserve?

Jim

I don't know what was in Ms Holmes's mind, perhaps she thought it would work out and pushed her spiel a bit too far.

Having worked in product development and consultancy I can only think 'there but for the Grace of God'. Because I suspect a lot of startups and new products don't really work out. Theranos looked fairly believable - the sort of thing that ought to work - with a bit of luck. Just a bit more cash, just one more test tube.

CEOs and sales managers of new startups tend in my experience to be very optimistic and positive - on the surface at least. Their role is to act like everything is all A OK. When things get rocky it's time to kick the techies a bit harder and burn some late night oil. That usually works but sometimes doesn't. Best for a company to have more than one string to its bow.

That's the honest ones. Just a little further toward the Mayfair end of town sit the bunko artists. Good resonant voices, strong presentations and absolute certainty and a certain sexual magnetism. When you come across this combination you must count your silver and show them the door. There is a lot of something very very close to fraud about.

The difficulty for Boris et al is that nothing is going to work out. There is no strategy nor changing a few faces is going to help. The politicians are telling us 2+2=7 when they know it doesn't. No late night oil will help, but the s^&t will hit the fan very slowly and no one will go to prison. We will shuffle the cards and continue the game. Hang on to your shirt.

LJC

The sad thing about Theranos, is that is really is possible to do all these tests with a single drop of blood, but no-one has ever succeeded in engineering the equipment to measure it. Way back in the early 1990s, I got to know Roger Ekins at Middlesex Hospital, who pioneered the technique he called ambient immunoassay (or multi-analyte immunoassay).

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2488616/

At the time a German company (Boehringer-Mannheim) bought the rights to his work and they commissioned the company I worked for to build a scientific instrument to measure the very small signals. We succeeded but they ran into problems making the substrates needed for the process and the project was dropped.

ltr

The sad thing about Theranos, is that is really is possible to do all these tests with a single drop of blood, but no-one has ever succeeded in engineering the equipment to measure it....

[ This is incorrect, since so small a blood sample will always be cell-damaged in any drawing. The concept was impossible. ]

ltr

January 14, 2022

Coronavirus

United Kingdom

Cases ( 15,066,395)
Deaths ( 151,612)

Deaths per million ( 2,215)

China

Cases ( 104,580)
Deaths ( 4,636)

Deaths per million ( 3)

LJC

@ltr

Your comment demonstrates your ignorance. The molecules to be detected are all in the blood plasma, not cells. It have no doubt your other comments are from a position of ignorance too.

ltr

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/21/books/review/bad-blood-john-carreyrou.html

May 21, 2018

How One Company Scammed Silicon Valley. And How It Got Caught.
By Roger Lowenstein

BAD BLOOD
Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup
By John Carreyrou

The premise was scientifically dubious...

ltr

https://www.businessinsider.com/science-of-elizabeth-holmes-theranos-2015-4

April 25, 2015

Scientists are skeptical about the secret blood test that has made Elizabeth Holmes a billionaire
By Kevin Loria

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/30/business/the-narrative-frays-for-theranos-and-elizabeth-holmes.html

October 30, 2021

The Narrative Frays for Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes
By James B. Stewart

Eleftherios Diamandis, the head of clinical biochemistry at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, raised numerous issues in a June medical journal article....

Blissex

«The difficulty for Boris et al is that nothing is going to work out. There is no strategy nor changing a few faces is going to help.»

And here we have the usual hallucination by leftoids: that the 14 million votes the Conservatives got and are mostly keeping are entirely from morons who voted for Johnson despite him being wholly incompetent and cravenly unreliable.

But from the point of his voters his achievements (booming house prices, hard brexit got done, rejection of "collectivist" zero-COVID strategy, early mass vaccination on the double, quick lifting of COVID restrictions, protecting England from the "bullying" of the ECJ, and from "aggression" by Russia and China) are those of a competent, reliable leader.

ltr

https://www.healthnewsreview.org/2018/06/pathologists-predicted-the-theranos-debacle-but-their-voices-were-missing-from-most-news-coverage/

June 11, 2018

Pathologists predicted the Theranos debacle, but their voices were missing from most news coverage

Blissex

«there is no strategy»

The overall core strategy has been the same for the past 40 years: rapid inflation of housing costs buys the votes that support policies that benefit property and finance vested interests, mostly about increasing debt levels and relatedly housing costs; thatcherism in other words.

It is a declinist strategy that has worked well for 40 years (but for a few years in the 1990s and in the 2000s), and on which Conservatives, New Labour and LibDems are all agreed, and indeed Starmer and even Davey also support Johnson as to that core strategy.

What has changed with Johnson is that globalist thatcherism has been replaced by nationalist thatcherism, so the vested interests that are dominant within the Conservatives have changed. The current "two minutes of hate" campaign against him is based on fairly trivial bad behaviour that until recently was ignored, and it is obviously pushed by the globalist thatcherite faction.

That is just an opportunistic tactic, his enemies have no new strategy, and neither have Starmer or Davey, they are all agreed on "thatcherism forever", even with slightly different details, as between Thatcher, Major and Blair, or Blair, Cameron and May.

LJC

@ltr

You seem to be suffering from the delusion that journalists understand science well enough to be able to write accurately about it. From my own experience, even academic scientists who are not experts in the exact field often do not appreciate the subtleties involved. In the case of Roger Ekins, I was there and I do not believe for a moment that the German diagnostics company was conned. It was a technology that worked in the research laboratory; the problem came in trying to make a diagnostic instrument that could go into clinics.

rsm

《China

Cases ( 104,580)
Deaths ( 4,636)

Deaths per million ( 3)》

Why should anyone believe a government that lies about the Tiananmen Square incident?

《China’s True COVID-19 Death Toll 366 Times Higher Than Official Figure, Analyst Says, By Eva Fu and David Zhang, January 13, 2022》

Jim

Well Blissex, my reference to no strategy is of course strategies that are helpful to us hoi polloi. As you say Boris et al can continue to play the music albeit with a slowly diminishing music budget and a slowly diminishing audience.

The big problem is what to do with a very mature 'democracy' in a service economy. Such a setup will have a tin tack pay structure. Low wages for most with a steep spike for some. Ally this with a high housing cost that you dare not meddle with, the prospect of high energy costs and the impossibility? of greening our energy consumption and there may be trouble ahead. The many must be shackled to the mortgage wheel for this system to work and a carrot dangling in front is part of the shackle.

The tricky problem is making capitalism work more fairly. Making the pie bigger is not so easy and vested interests want to keep their share. Finding some alternative to capitalism maybe - not seen any credible answers to that one. Worse still, our very mature democracy has accumulated an awful lot of parasites and barnacles. One has recently been relieved of some fancy dress but a long long way to go yet.

So poor old Boris must continue to play the flute and hope the rats follow, otherwise they will eat him. Bless.

ltr

From my own experience, even academic scientists who are not experts in the exact field often do not appreciate the subtleties involved. In the case of Roger Ekins, I was there and I do not believe for a moment that the German diagnostics company was conned. It was a technology that worked in the research laboratory; the problem came in trying to make a diagnostic instrument that could go into clinics.

[ Thank you for the argument. I was convinced in readings, primarily from the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, that the pin-prick-drop concept as such was impossible for many important tests. The argued-supposed impossibility impressed me.

I can take the German development attempt as refuting what I gained in reading. Company technicians would have been convinced the concept was workable.

I argued incorrectly and am grateful for the explanation. ]

ltr

Blissex:

The overall core strategy has been the same for the past 40 years: rapid inflation of housing costs buys the votes that support policies that benefit property and finance vested interests...

Yes, this makes sense:

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=HPQw

January 15, 2018

Real Residential Property Prices for United States and United Kingdom, 1980-2018

(Indexed to 1980)

ltr

January 15, 2022

Coronavirus

United States

Cases ( 66,664,283)
Deaths ( 873,149)

Deaths per million ( 2,614)

China

Cases ( 104,745)
Deaths ( 4,636)

Deaths per million ( 3)

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