Notes for Monday, October 11, 2021

As my contribution to the rebirth of blogging, here’s a few quick thoughts in no particular order:

A note of thanks to Dave Rogers for his appreciation of my intermittent efforts here. Dave’s writing is always both personal and insightful and example of what a public personal journal can aspire to be. I also think of Dave as a model of my ideal reader, curious and educated, but no expert in the many esoteric areas I write about here.

I’m troubled by our inability to fix pharmaceutical pricing in the US. Even though I know that money controls much of our governments policies, this is one of those popular, reasonable and necessary changes that can’t get done becuae of how our politics is controlled by influence rather than public good. And I’ve spent the last 30 years in Drug Development so I know how pricing, reimbursement and rebates obscure the real prices paid and passed to patients.

We’re getting more and more detail on how our expectations shape our perception even at the lowest level of sensory processing. The subjective impression that we’re looking at “what is” is so powerful! In truth, that experience is a construction patched together from fragmentary input that creates a model of where and who we are in the world. All mechanims that can be revealed in experiments, but that we have no access to and can’t examine in any way.

Another illusion is that decisions are rational because we have subjective access to the process when we are aware of choosing. But the options we imagine are generated subjectively and limited to what we can imagine, the values of different outcome are pure subjective feelings about what we want and the chances of success are subjective guesses. Where’s the rationality in imagination, feelings and guesses?

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