Digital Exhaust #173
Silicon Valley's crisis of nonsense and broadband nutrition labels
I hope everyone who celebrates had a restful Thanksgiving. For the newbies, glad you’re here. Digital Exhaust is my collection of interesting stuff found over the week. I put it together to be skimmed over — hopefully you find something interesting.
The WSJ timeline leading to the Theranos
As you probably know, Elizabeth Holmes was sentenced to 11 years in prison for fraud. This is a (paywalled) chronological list of the Wall Street Journal articles that lead to the implosion of her company, Theranos. It’s a bit of modern tech history.
While John Carreyrou with The Journal did his duty to expose the truth, the rest of the media can be credited with both creating Holmes and profiting from her charade. I recommend Bad Blood — Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, Carreyrou’s fascinating story of Theranos. Reads like a thriller.
Meta’s move to manage the clock
Meta announced that they are deploying Precision Time Protocol (PTP) into their data center networks. PTP was introduced in 2002 and is a protocol for synchronizing computer clocks. We believe PTP will become the standard for keeping time in computer networks and will be a foundational component of the technologies that will drive the metaverse. This clock grab will no doubt compete with Google’s TruTime.
Keep in mind what Kate Crawford wrote in Atlas of AI:
From the fine modulations of time within factories to the big modulations of time at the scale of planetary networks, defining time is an established strategy for centralizing power.
How Peter Drucker’s advice hasn’t aged well
This quick hit was posted to my site before I re-launched Digital Exhaust. I thought I would share it here. Would love your thoughts.
Peter Drucker, the father of modern day management, inspired a generation of leaders with his quote, “One cannot manage change. One can only be ahead of it.”
I think this needs to be reconsidered. Because there’s the fantasy of staying ahead of change and then there’s the modern reality. Early in this century progress exceeded our system’s ability to keep up. So staying ahead of change is no longer possible. You can create change. You can nimbly respond to change. You can move in synch with change. But our systems and structures were not designed to manage change at this scale.
Drucker lead in a world of local and linear. But this isn’t 1965 General Motors. These are exponential, non-linear times. What worked then won’t work now.
Choose good quests:
Today, Silicon Valley faces a crisis of nonsense. With no shortage of problems, and no shortage of both young technologists and well-capitalized former founders capable of solving them, our best and brightest have largely lost themselves to easy money, the attention grind, and early retirement. In tech especially, for all of the industry’s rare potential, such abdication of responsibility does not only constitute a failure of progress, but a moral failure.
Real healthcare workers
From Ian Williams, one of the godfathers of graphic medicine, via Wellcome Collection. I had the pleasure of meeting him at dotMD in Galway. I love physician creatives.
Displaying the dead
When Paris’ infamous museum of anatomical pathology shuttered in 2016, a controversial collection disappeared from view. During the nineteenth century, when a trip to the Paris Morgue represented a fun day out for the family, the museum pulled in large crowds with an appetite for the gruesome and the grotesque. This Public Domain Review article tells the strange history of the Musée Dupuytren, and unpacks the ethics of human misfortune for display.
How digital and information officers are shaking up health systems
Healthcare Dive caught up with Providence’s Sara Vaezy and Intermountain’s Craig Richardville to discuss the challenges and opportunities ahead. Some interesting pearls here. Remarkable how these roles are being redefined year over year.
Overheard on Twitter
“The fastest way to lose trust (in the clinic) is to be overly certain in the face of obvious uncertainty then double down and appeal to authority in the face of reasonable questions.” | Dr. John Mandrola
John writes on the excellent substack-- check out their stuff.
This year’s surprise holiday gift category: Hearing aids.
Nutrition labels for broadband internet are almost here.
Microsoft Teams is getting a sign language view.
Does disease come from outer space?
Opera singers can control the spread of disease with how they sing.
Ooh.directory is an old fashioned directory like from the old days of Yahoo!.