July 14, 2021

I have not had great confidence in the FDA and WHO when it comes to getting the science of COVID right in the short term. They both frequently advise too much caution in the face of low amounts of data, and too frequently the early available signals turn out to be correct. When weighing the risks and costs, acting on some data has almost always been the better choice than waiting on a more complete story. So when it comes to boosters, I’m inclined to believe Pfizer’s early evidence that they provide a significant increase in protection, especially for the elderly. And I’m inclined to believe that this protection is necessary for vaccinated individuals to have less restrictive lives given the rampant spread of COVID-19 and development of new, more contagious variants. The FDA, WHO, and other health officials playing “skeptical bad cop” will most likely have an outcome of dissuading complacent Americans from getting a third booster shot, even if better evidence shows we need them.

On the other hand, I do fully understand the moral imperative to get the whole world vaccinated. Not with standing the deaths, pain, and suffering COVID is causing as it continues to spread in lower income countries that were not able to secure vaccines due to international failure, the rise of new variants is dependent on the continuation of global pandemic conditions. Wealthy countries cannot defeat COVID only acting within their borders.

But the truth is, I don’t see anything to suggest that Americans who are willing to be vaccinated getting a third booster shot will meaningfully change the utter failure of the global community to distribute vaccines. And with large portions of the US population refusing to get vaccinated (and their governments supporting and enabling this choice), my family and I will see our risk of contracting continue to increase.

If offered, I am going to take my third shot, even if I hope the global health community gets its shit together and figures out how to vaccinate the world. We really need to see these vaccines get full approval instead of emergency-use authorization as well, since this has becoming the rallying cry of the vaccine hesitant, especially those who seem persuadable within the US.

In reply to: Health officials rail against Pfizer’s push for COVID boosters—for many reasons

Being in tune with someone means there’s a >50% chance when you send them a link they were already considering sending you the same link.


July 13, 2021


July 12, 2021

My friend, Pik-Shuen’s, debut book is getting rave reviews, including this nice, short write up in the NYTimes! Go check it out if it sounds like your thing. Or even if not.

Am I working? Yes. Am I working on what I was supposed to work on? No. Is it true that I’m most productive when avoiding other important work? Sadly, yes.

“Really, I’m on song 2 in this playlist?” he thought, right before realizing the first song was 23 minutes long and the second one over nine minutes long.


July 11, 2021

I’m really enjoying To Sleep in a Sea of Stars. There’s something about a fast-paced adventure space opera that just absorbs my attention.

The D’Addario EXPs strike me as a little darker than I’d like, though not as dark as I remember Elixir’s being. Too bad my skin chemistry is so corrosive to strings I basically have to use the extended life stuff. Maybe I’ll like them more as they break in.


July 10, 2021

I just realized how all those orgo courses on synthesis and mechanisms prepared me to do data analysis— all about taking simple parts, known transformations, and stepwise building a complex product. 🤯

I am so angry that the US is not fully vaccinated right now. I’m so angry at the misinformation ecosystem we’ve let take over the minds of so much of this country. It’s terrifying and cataclysmic.


July 9, 2021

There is a lot of quality writing happening in newsletters right now, but it’s still surprising to me it’s become such a business. The only feeling I’ve ever had unsubscribing from a newsletter is, “I really wish I had done this a long time ago.”


July 8, 2021

Ok I think ~11 hrs over 12 is enough work for the day back from vacation.

Feels good to be back in the saddle though.


July 7, 2021

I know this is small compared to everyone’s complaints about Safari’s baffling redesign, but I don’t understand how Apple didn’t add support for emoji reactions to Tapback.

For my bus ride back to the Cancun airport at 9am, Ado has chosen, for some unexplainable reason, to show the first episode of Chernobyl.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that my day back to work after vacation is packed with meetings, but it’s no less frustrating. I have work to crush.


July 6, 2021

Traveling home tomorrow from 9am to 4pm and I’m actually excited because I can catch up on all my podcasts or just read a whole book.