Interestingly, Bogdanov founded one of the first blood transfer institute with only volunteering donors. At that time, most blood donations were paid. Later on, thanks to better conservation techniques, less blood was needed, and volunteering became generalized world-wide.
Bogdanov also believed that blood donation could rejuvenate people. His wife said that he looked 7-10 years younger after his experiments. But, in the end, he died, because he received malaria-infected blood.
That is interesting to know that some 2019 issues already existed more than a century ago: blood transfer, paying for blood, rejuvenation, etc..
If you own your body, you own your blood. You should be able to sell or do whatever you please with it.
If some people think they can become younger by bathing in young blood, let them. It's their money and time, and blood too, as long as they buy the blood legitimately.
That would be yet another way to increase inequality.
Do you really want to force people to pay down loans with blood, skin and kidneys? Because that will inevitably happen if allowed.
If you do physical work you already destroy some muscles, and if work is stressful you destroy your kidney trying to get relief by drinking yourself out. The skin on your hands also gets damaged from hard work. Or skin on your body after constant exposure to the sun.
We should strive for a society where we do not have to work ourselves out to pay off the loan, and not focus on preventing people from paying off loans destroying their bodies specifically, no matter if it is blood donation, or herniated disks, or destroyed lungs, or anything in between.
When we have such a society we can reevaluate. But right now we don't, and in the current environment creating more ways for inequality moves us away from such society.
Ok, now this sentiment I don't understand at all.
Here in America (and other countries), we already have *entire "medical" fields" which consist of nothing but claims of unsubstantiated medical benefits. Chiropractic, Homeopathy, Acupuncture, TCM, etc. are all unscientific and make all kinds of claims with no evidence whatsoever, however the FDA allows them to operate with impunity, and even serious hospitals have these practitioners in them as "ACM".
But now they're going give a hard time to a company for doing something similar?
Seriously, I have a much easier time believing that maybe, just maybe there could be some health benefits from getting blood transfused into you from a really healthy person, than I would ever believe that 1) any ailment you have is caused by "subluxations" in your spinal column or that 2) someone can test if your body "needs" some "supplement" by pushing down on your outstretched arm while holding it in front of you or that 3) you can be cured of something by ingesting highly purified water.
I'm telling you with love in my heart, that taking a simplified libertarian view of everything is an intellectual trap and the world is way, way more complicated economically and philosophically than can be managed through libertarianism.
In the same way that gender politics gets disproportionate airtime because 1. it's very feel-good for groups of girls to feel united over and get a thrill of moral superiority from, it works socially 2. it's something for the elites/rich people to focus on that isn't redistribution or reform
Libertarianism gets press because: 1. People love having a single rule for things, because it makes them feel clever and right often without having to do any actual thinking. And it's clever on light inspection and dumb on deeper thinking 2. see gender politics 2.
I understand it's not been proven to have any health benefit. But the safety of the procedure must be extremely well known.
"There is no proven clinical benefit" and "there are risks associated with the use of any [...] product".
> In compliance with the FDA announcement issued February 19, 2019, we have ceased patient treatments.
doesn't quite make sense, because the FDA hasn't publicly asked Ambrosia to stop, and the FDA never did approve transfusions for the purpose of life extension or anti-aging. They're not complying with anything, because that announcement wasn't a 'cease treatments' notice.
So we don't really know why Ambrosia has chosen to stop.
Homeopathy and supplements are classified as food, not medicine. Therefore, they're not required to seek FDA approval. (They still have to meet food safety standards, of course.)
If they could do anything meaningful, they'd be required to reclassify as medicine and undergo approval.
So you get this fun situation where anything useful is locked up and can only make very specific claims about what it can cure. The things that can't cure anything can make weasel-worded claims about anything.
This company here from the outside looks closer to quackery. [and can't imagine them having a good team of scientists behind it].
And hiring "real researchers" to front your fraudulent operation as a way to hide what's going on behind the scenes shouldn't be reason to look the other way. In some ways it's worse than the alternative, since there's not just fraud, but activity intended to take attention away from it.
The thing is, after she got that $200k in branded VC capital from family friend Tim Draper, Holmes went knocking on the doors of all the big silicon valley VC firms and all the big bio-sciences VC firms. They consulted with blood scientist type people who informed them device had zero chance of living up to it's promise. All of them said "Sorry Elizabeth, we must politely decline your invitation to flush our money down the toilet."
The money she did get after that seed funding was from fly-by night wannabe VCs, and the bandwagon effect took off from there. Who did their due diligence? Nobody. I'm not shedding any tears for Rupert Murdoch, but there were hedge fund managers in charge of people's pensions who gave Theranos 100s of millions of dollars without looking into what it was they were spending other people's money on. It baffles me that anyone that stupid can get to be in charge of that much money in the first place.
Which is true! But also, very beside-the-point.
The point is, that some people really are impostors. Some people really don’t know what they’re doing, in a much deeper sense than the usual “oh I struggled over a judgment call yesterday while doing 90% of my job the routine way”.
From the inside, it’s hard to know whether you have excessive self doubt, or you’re an Elizabeth Holmes. And it’s a pretty freaking important distinction to make.
The HN/SV mentality I’m criticizing is the one that jumps straight to “oh that’s impostor syndrome” rather than giving concrete tests for whether the self-doubt is justified. Who swears that every expert engineer, manager, and businessperson occupies the same epistemic state that Holmes felt, who equates the occasional judgment call with knowing nothing about the core problems of the domain you’ve entered.
So yeah, you called Theranos early on. Good for you!
Now, for your victory lap, stop telling the next 100 Holmeses to double down on their “faking it” on the way to the inevitable “making it”. Help them determine whether they’re a Holmes or just worrying too much.
Impostor syndrome is caused because you believe you aren't good enough, but how can you know that when you are still new in a domain? Why would someone that better in that domain would pay you to works on that? Because he has evidences that suggest that you can do what's required in that job.
Now if experts tell you that your idea already exist and doesn't works for X, Y, Z, it's no longer self doubt.... it's actively ignoring evidences.
> So yeah, you called Theranos early on. Good for you!
Which make it no longer a self-doubt.
Faking until you make it was never about faking results or evidences, it's about faking confidence. Confidence is a great motivator, it's a great way to push beyond, but it doesn't replace real evidence.
The real issue here is that theses VC didn't require more than confidence to invest that much money. The fact that plenty of expert called out that scam early on show how an easy due diligence weren't done correctly.
Imposter syndrome is a real phenomenon and successful people are mere mortals who should not be put on pedestals. But it's possible to attribute too much to these factors. And dishonesty (faking it) should not be where you turn.
Regardless faking state-funded health experiments in a heavily regulated industry has nothing to do with fail fast mentality of the software world either (just like how everyone here criticized that personal banking startup who tried that in the heavily regulated finance industry). We have nothing to defend here.
What most successful founders are good at is running a business. However, I'll be really clear on this: there are 2 necessary things without which you will fail. First you need someone on staff that does know what they are doing. If you are good at recognising that person, then you've got some potential to be a good founder. Second you need to be flexible in your vision. Because, as founder, you probably don't know what you are doing.
One of the best companies, in that regard, that I worked at was Corel. Michael Cowpland was an engineer, but I've talked with him a few times and I'll just say that I've never been that impressed with his technical grasp of the situation. However Corel's first product was a SCSI card. It failed. Then they built a graphics card. To go with the graphics card they made a graphics demo. That demo became Corel Draw. Cowpland had a great ability to know when the spaghetti was sticking to the wall (and he threw great gobs of the stuff against the wall, let me tell you!). They just dropped everything and poured everything into Draw. Great move.
The "fake it till you make it", in successful circles, means to stall long enough for your development team to actually build something you can sell. Now, I will say that committing fraud as a way to stall is a stupid, stupid move, but not something I haven't seen before. One place I worked at we were late to demo our product at a show, so we bought the competitor's product, stuck it under the pedestal and then wired it up through an empty box which was supposed to be our hardware. People were astounded at how quickly we had caught up to the competition! BS stuff like that happens all the time and especially if you are young, it would be easy to think "Oh, everybody is doing it. It will be alright. We'll succeed before anyone notices".
I don't know enough about Theranos or Holmes to say anything intelligent, but being a founder is a very different job than being a developer. What I lovingly refer to as "blowing sunshine up everyone's ass" is a big part of the job. Your core competencies are really different and have to be geared more towards evaluating people rather than evaluating things. At the same time you have to be an anchor of calm in the middle of chaos, because if you start to freak out, then everybody else will to. A lot of the advice given to founders can easily be misinterpreted when seen in a different context and I think that may be what's frustrating you. Having said that, being an entrepreneur is a career that attracts more than it's fair share of people who are not suited for that career...
Okay, but the biggest reason for that is because Holmes and Balwani are sociopaths. I wanted to point this out because I feel like your comment is defending her somehow by way of naiveté. Their actions are indefensible on so many levels, from very early in the company's history.
To the grandparent's point, there were people working there in earnest on research. They often did not last long, or, in the case of Ian Gibbons, was driven to suicide by the stress of potentially revealing Theranos's faulty technology in a court case, or lying and hurting patients .
Be sure to read "Bad Blood". It was a very good read about this company and Holmes.
 - Yes, this label is overused, but not in this particular case.
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Gibbons_(biochemist)
In any event, research labs have many lines of inquiry and separate teams working on their specialty. I don't know if they produced good IP, just that they had good scientists working for them, and have moved on to other reputable companies since.
This outfit singled out by the FDA though, it looks like complete fraud.
I should be free to decide for myself what to do with my own body, and which authorities to trust on matters beyond my domain of expertise. If you have a good argument for why this is a waste of resources then make the argument, don’t legistlatively prohibit me from thinking for myself.
Another example of this process is vaccines. If herd immunity is too low, then vaccination cannot work, although it is a perfectly good solution if everyone is on board.
A second point is that you probably are no expert on the topic of human plasma. This could motivate the enforcement of rules under certain circumstances, given that you are unable to personally judge if the use of such precious material is a waste or not.
I personally, think that your opinion is the epitome of selfishness.
If that is your point of contention, you could replace "cannot work" by "may do more harm than good at a social level".
For instance if I say, as I have tried to enunciate above, "if herd immunity is too low, vaccines may do more harm than good at a social/epidemiologic level", does that still seem very very wrong to you?
To be clear, your above comment gave the impression that you thought that a low herd immunity could not increase deaths due to disease compared to no herd immunity at all, which is wrong and was probably the reason why you were downvoted.
Not quite zero. There is at least some evidence that it might treat Alzheimer's disease. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5950663/
If people find commercially viable uses for blood, it might result in the available supply being boosted greatly.
The amount of blood which could be donated is finite, yes. But it is also far, far greater than the amount which is donated.
Also, it is possible, if unproven, that the benefit to seniors is great, while it is known that the cost in health of donating blood is minimal, and may be beneficial. That, too, would be positive sum.
You want to call it creepy and vampiric? I admit, that’s how it strikes me as well.
But you didn’t say that, you said it was zero-sum. Not so.
You can look at it every way you want, maintaining the elderly population is certainly not a logically positive thing in a ressource-constrained environment. And by ressource, I don't mean blood. That we have morals (which is good) does not make it good from a general logical point of view disregarding social ties.
Or are you just saying that there are too many people, and think we should have fewer?
What if the gov puts in place a simple regulation, like “X% of all harvested blood must be donated to local blood banks”. Now you have a market for rejuvenating blood, AND more blood available to hospitals. Only downside is an increase in price for Peter Thiel.
I’ve noticed taking such a moral stance tends to limit creative thinking around such topics (why spend time thinking about it when you’ve already dismissed it as immoral?). A bit of creative problem solving can sometimes turn a potentially problematic situation into a net positive for everyone.
Ok, now I see what you mean. I do not agree with you, although it is a matter of opinion. My opinion is that there are more important social priorities than making rich old geezers live longer and that your plan depends on numbers that could go one way or the other. You could easily build a scenario where your plan decreases hospital blood availability, and this seems likely to me given the financial incentive.
If on the other hand, that is just an excuse because you're morally opposed to old rich people living longer... ?
Right now, we don't have enough just for the people in the ER. Not saying it can't work, but it seems to me that the potential for catastrophic failure on a social level is quite high.
Your thinking on this is a bit short-sighted. Right now, this might only be available to “rich” old geezers. With test-tube burgers already under development, it seems likely that test-tube blood isn’t much further off. By the time you are an old geezer, blood will be a cheap commodity. But only if we get started on the problem now, instead of shooing people away with moral scare-mongering.
Relying on a partially captured government to set the right price is dangerous in this case.
So I prefer to rely on verifiable present-day fact to decide on socially critical issues.
From the Vanity Fair article that the above linked to, it seemed it was run by Jesse Karmazin, with Peter Thiel either as a booster, or maybe providing funding? The article isn't clear on that, although he's mentioned (and quoted) multiple times.
Nicotine addicts like taking nicotine irrespective of the 101 toxic chemicals in smoke they get along side it. I'd rather the Surgeon General didn't say "oh well, let them do what they want"
I also have views around paid blood and organ donation in general. I think its a bad idea.
Why are we pretending this is anything but horrifying? We have multiple works of dystopia and horror fiction about this very premise: The Golden Compass, The Waterworks, Get Out, The Supernaturalist, Unwind...
Blood is renewable. You aren't losing blood you donate (or sell).