business, Current Events, Random, Technology

My Thoughts On A Potential CVS+ Aetna Deal

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Some context….We’ve seen high levels of consolidation in the healthcare industry over the last 4- 5 years….a lot having to do with ACA and inter-industry competition. Yesterday, Amazon won regulatory approval to wholesale pharmaceuticals in 12 states. While it does seem Amazon will enter the pharma sales business, the larger elephant in the room, which I think CVS Health acknowledges with this move, is pharmaceutical benefits management (PBM). PBM has been a major driver of profits and growth for CVS and a key differentiator from the Walmarts of the world. Adding aetna will re-inforce their PBM business by giving them a larger network to play with and helps with diversification to weather an Amazon entrance into the pharmaceutical space. Amazon will start by selling pharmaceutical products but will eventually use Amazon Prime as a PBM which will ultimately drive down the cost of prescriptions for Amazon prime members while they take a cut of course. Interesting time to be a consumer.

Random, Self-Revelation, Technology

Hoarding 2.0

I have a problem. I’m a digital Hoarder. What does even that mean? Let me try and break it down for you.

I have multiple memory sticks, external hard drives, and cloud storage. They are full of pictures, movies, other videos, music, documents, books, and other random files that I don’t feel like deleting.  

I never delete my email anymore. I archive with the hope they’ll someday be useful. I’m one of those zero inbox folks but I feel like I’m cheating by archiving and not deleting.

I bookmark everything. My Chrome browser most likely has bookmarks all the way back from December 2008. If I see something that want to go back to and I want to remember, I’ll automatically save as a bookmark. Just briefly looking through…. I’ve bookmarked craigslist post that no longer exist, reference pages for hobbies, jobs, and personal projects.

I haven’t even gotten to the two most notorious apps for hoarding behavior. Evernote and Pocket allow me to take still shots of the internet (literally and figuratively speaking.). I’ve used the evernote clipping tool extension to capture posts, images, and quotes I’ll most likely never look at again. I use to go pocket crazy. I’d save an article to pocket with the hope of reading it again but pocketing the article made it more likely I wasn’t going to read it.

I archive all my texts. I rarely delete call logs. I could go on and on.

I would understand if I had similar tendencies offline. Far from it. I keep my physical possessions to a minimum. My minimalist mindset doesn’t translate to my online existence.  

How would I even go correcting my behavior? Is it something which needs to be corrected?  

Education, Politics, Random, Uncategorized

The Rise of Pseudo Intellectualism

What is pseudo intellectualism?

Pseudo Intellectualism, as defined by dictionary.com is:

  1. Exhibiting intellectual pretensions that have no basis in sound scholarship.
  2. Pretending an interest in intellectual matters for reasons of status.

There’s no other time in the history of the world we have a limitless amount of knowledge at our fingertips. Traditionally, we’ve depended on institution and life experience to dictate who had access to knowledge but as a result of technological advances, we’ve seen a rapid democratization of knowledge in a way which overloads how we identify who and what is intellectual.

Instead of leaning on academic credentials, intellectual pursuits, and/or age, we’ve become a society focused on stance and position. We focus on a person’s ability to create a stance and answer a question instead of the pursuit of the right question. Ultimately, the pursuit of questions or answers is what differentiates an intellectual from a pseudo intellectual. The answer can be 42 but what is the ultimate question?

What are some examples?

Example of pseudo intellectualism is all around us. My favorite example of pseudo intellectualism are some people that consider themselves “woke”. Woke, for those asking what that even means in this context, is the awareness of systems and messages that facilitate social injustice. Some people will recite to you all the reasons said systems exist and how they are impacted but then enforce the same systems on other people. This shows a puedo understanding of what the systems are and how they impact a group’s existence.

Another example is our election process in the US. You are well informed if you identify key platform positions for each candidate. We regurgitate positions, history, topics of contention, but rarely ask why. Why does this position exist? Why are they on this side of the issue? What are the long term implications of this person’s position? We are hand fed talking points by the news and use them in conversation. As a result, they eventually become a force framework for how we think about the election. It becomes this vs that. The forced dichotomy prevents us from asking bigger questions that challenge the election process.

Is it bad for society?

Yes and no. The traditional role of intellectuals was to move the “pursuit of knowledge” forward so others can partake in its fruits. We’ve gotten to a point where there’s so much information and knowledge openly available, we need people who will curate and provide us with a bite sized understanding with the hope an average of bite sized summaries and positions will get us closer to understanding topics of interest.

To counter, pseudo intellectualism lulls people into a surface understanding of life. We outsource intellectual processing to other parties so we just become consumers of knowledge without knowing what went into making it. What’s in that burger?

How can we do better?

There are three simple ways we can combat pseudo intellectualism.

  1. Call out people who exhibit pseudo intellectual habits.
  2. Always ask why
  3. Be wary of those who point to an absolute truth…. One of my favorite sayings, “Nothing is true, everything is permitted.” is from Assassin’s Creed. “To say ‘Nothing is True’, is to realise that the foundations of society are fragile, and that we must be the shepherds of our own civilisation. To say that ‘Everything is Permitted’, is to understand that we must live with the consequences of our actions whether good or bad.”
Random, Self-Revelation, Why?

Beware The Ides of March

Beware The Ides of March is the original “Winter is coming” of doom and gloom. I knew it was was from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, but I never really understood the Ides part until a quick Google search gave some clarity.

” Months of the Roman Calendar were arranged around three named days – the Kalends, the Nones and the Ides- and these were reference points form which the other unnamed days were calculated

Kalends (1st day of the month)

Nones(the 7th day in March, May, July, and October; the 5th in other months)

Ides (the 15th day in March, May, July, and October; the 13th in the other months)”

Ides =15th of March which makes it even more depressing. Someone tells you the exact time you’re going to be assassinated? That’s rough.

History, Leadership, Random, Self-Revelation

Disrupting History

***Writer’s Note: 🙂 I literally was finished with this essay (2500+ words) and decided to delete it. Hopefully this will be a more concise and focused attempt.

For a majority of human history, we relied on oral delivery to bring the events of our past to life. We’d sit around a campfire and listen to stories of our forefathers adventures, unstoppable monsters, and through those stories, we’d understand a little bit more about where we came from and where we were going.

Fast forward to the present. We have so many mediums and the ability to capture history is just a click away. History went from a singular narrative to a multi layered complexity that will require a new set of research skills to truly get the big picture. Imagine your neighborhood historian developing a machine learning algorithm to sort through a bunch of tweets to use as primary documents for an event? How about developing a program that sorts through pictures on Facebook to evaluate sentiment of an event? The future historian aggregates all experiences and perspectives and tries to draw inferences. Some would say very similar to current historians. Yea sure, but the pools of information are digitally structured and maintained. There’s a whole new set of skill required to analyze that amount of information.

For the common historian ( the rest of us), we have to prepare ourselves to understand historical events have multiple narratives and view points. We should look to past events and understand there’s more to the story, they just couldn’t capture it. There’s a little boys perspective on his dad going to die in the 100 years war. There were women who had a lot to say about their husbands and sons being taken on the coast of West Africa. When we digest history, our first question should be, “whose perspective are we missing?” We should understand that history is exactly that… His story.

I hope by having a more integrated and inclusive understanding of what and who history affects, we can make sure as many people’s narratives are captured as possible. Ultimately, we’ll create a better picture of how history affected people involved, and how we can all learn to be better or different in the future.

 

 

 

#MentalNote, Random, Self-Revelation, Why?

2016 New Years Revelations

A couple of things to note:

  1. These are very random
  2. They are a mix of inference, prophecy, facts, and hunches.
  3. We’re just trying to have fun out here. I welcome other less serious revelations.

 

Kanye West will own 2016

After the birth of his second child, Kanye is grounded and ready to give the world some fire. He was supposed to have a CD in 2015 but that didn’t work out…. Too busy making clothes I guess. He’s going to get back to the music with a vengeance in 2016 and I’m here for it.  I see a game changing album along with great features from Kanye in 2016. He will also establish the ground game for his 2020 presidential campaign.

The Irrational shall inherit the Earth (Just the US)

I watch politics like my brother watches NBA Basketball. I’m not watching to see who wins but the process by which they beat their opponent. The Presidential elections have been more entertaining than season 3 of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. (I personally think that was the best season but I digress) I thought I had a handle on this election but current events created a new set of variables that have the potential to change the outcome of the primary and general election. The electorate have a dangerous level of fear that I haven’t seen since the early cold war. As a result, you can count on citizens to make irrational decisions on who would be best to deal with their fears. Pre San Bernadino, I thought this would be an easy Democratic victory, but now, Republicans are in their element and I see a Republican pathway to the white house.

3D printing will go Mainstream

Based on Product lifecycle (if you believe in that stuff) 3D printing will move from Early Adopters to the early majority. I see a lot of potential especially as the technology goes down in cost.

If you’re African and interested in Business, learn Mandarin next year

On a serious note…. Zimbabwe adopts the Yuan as legal tender and China commits 600 billion to development around Africa? No matter what the west says, China is in Africa to stay. I got to the Enugu Airport in Nigeria, only to see a new terminal being built by Chinese contractors. China may have been around but next year will be something to watch with so much capital, people and other recourses flowing into Africa.

Reemergence of Boy Bands

I just have a gut feeling on this one, Boy Bands are coming back.

I’ll be adding more as I think of them but that’s all for now…. What are some of your new years revelations/ prophecies?

Random

An Inconvenient Truth

While I would love to sit down and write a solid blog post, my schedule is really hectic and I feel the only time I have to write is to and from work. I think I’m going to switch up my strategy and go for more micro blogging and commentary based blog with some lengthy features every now and then.