Dear Diatribe; One conference means one Diatribe.

I want you to know

everything, but I don’t want to spend too much time tweaking the vagaries of Diatribe tradition. I will title it at some point,

but that is the only silliness I intent to engage in here. A late awakening had me down for breakfast late. I wanted

to go find some kind of southern hospitality-type diner for my eggs. On the way out the door, a jet-lagged Dr. Malcolm Blythe I tapped him on the shoulder.

passed me without a word.

Welcome to America! Can I take your bag? Startled, he replied “No need son… Peter!” We engaged in a manly form of handshake, where you grab the others bicep. It is almost a hug, but not too faggy.

“I was wondering how the bellman new I was foreign.” In the American South, I am as much an alien. They consider northerners to be snooty and elitist; a lot like the British. I was headed out to get the type of breakfast they are known for here. Can you choke down a Lipton tea? “Not to worry; I’ve brought my own teabags. Englishman; proper as the day is long. and I will join you”. Malcolm, her uncle couldn’t make it, Rajeev is taking his place. “…and she is not here. Drat!” I’m always the

Fetch your lovely bride

Can you spend next weekend in Chicago? “I don’t see where I have a choice”.

I walked him to his room and helped unpack the Earl Grey. He had never had biscuits and saw mill gravy and appreciated the introduction. here. me. I am feeling a lot more confident now that he is

Gerhardstein wouldn’t make it other than a solo act for He needs to keep up his talking point that he has his own

job/organization to run. Helen and Richard Gerhardstein arrived with the offer to take Blythe, Miles and myself to dinner. group assuring payment for her meal. I have begun to join in the palpable excitement throughout the crowd. It was infectious. Perhaps it is the psychological I will put a stop to it if it is; Here I will follow the pied piper I added Angela to the

phenomenon called Groupthink. first thing when we get back.

directly into whatever river is available. It was just getting to feel good. Now there is work to do. I need

I had written out a method for organizational inception. to chair a meeting tomorrow explaining it and getting the processes underway.

That was to be dependant on a meeting of

the acting board of directors this evening. The board consists of heavy hitters. Presidents and

chancellors from the major medical schools make up the lions share of the seats. Angela sent them my proposed plan for They were to forward

defining the organization two weeks ago.

any issues or proposed changes to me through her.

Angie pulled out the comments over some great She Crab Soup at the Swamp Fox Restaurant off the lobby. the face with the praise given. I was flush red in

“I would be happy to have you “After reading this, I see

lecture on how this was assembled”.

no need for recusal of the one who is ensuring fairness”. I will recuse, however. I told them that I desire to

construct a vast and lofty fabric and will think first about the foundations of humility. I, however, did take their applause

without offering mega-dittos to St. Augustine. He wouldn’t have minded. He was a great guy. He was a saint.

It was an early dinner; the board meeting was still set to go on. I could give no attention to my chicken and dumplings.

The notables settling in for the meeting were shaking both of my hands from an hour before dinner, and all the way through it. Most of them I had met electronically, few names and faces could I connect though. I would be sitting out the meeting of course. reason I longed for the piano. For some

A certain self-assuredness I had

lost in the summer of my discontent felt like it was back in full strength. It was like I had found my logos as Victor

Frankl stressed in the tradition of Heraclitus, and I was seeking to conquer those which defined me in the past and passed me by.

Can I play piano? now. Do I?

I will step up and give the answer ‘yes’ I will amend that

The answer was ‘no’ for so long.

to ‘rarely’. Back at the Swamp Fox after some Bud Powell and a bit of Bach, I smartly toddled a diet soda for an evening with the highbrows. Bud Powell had me thinking of a glass of Cabernet or

even a martini, but Johann Sebastian warned me about getting too big for my britches. I sound very sentimental. … Morning has come. before my wakeup call. I am up earlier than I would expect; I came to the lobby and was greeted, but That’s OK

not with the preferable “Hey, Hey, Hey!” by my father in law. Raj had a wide grin on his face. ever seen him. He was far warmer that I have

I had gone to the ATM to get some cash even The remaining balance, I told Raj I “They paid

though everything seems to be paid for.

after the hundred I snagged, was over $42,000. would get back to him. you.

I had to call his daughter.

It was Gerhardstein decision. There is more. I had to go.

The rest is in savings”. I

No need to focus on that.

am glad that I recused myself from the meetings.

I have an ATM

receipt in my breast pocket that screams “Conflict of Interest”. I received permission to go buy a suit before my larger speech tonight. I will give this intro to the organizational

structure at nine, and then get away for an hour or two. is a men’s store not far away. for too long. … My intro speech went off without a hitch. Miles had a slideshow for me.

There

I hope it doesn’t keep me away

No notes needed.

The text on the screen is far

more than I would have scribbled for notes. My suit is exotic. It is black. I am crazy like that. It

won’t be ready until three. That is very nice.

It will be brought to the hotel.

I added on the shirt, tie and cufflinks to My mother has worked at Florsheim I have too many shoes. I said that

make the saleslady’s day. Shoes in Chicago for years. to an ex-girlfriend once.

She did not understand the concept.

I mean I have more shoes than I want or need to have. SHOES TOO MANY No response. When people return shoes they have worn once, mom can have them for $20. … Welcome all of you to our inaugural conference. In the last hour or so I have greeted some friends I’ve made in my recent travels to the United Kingdom, India, the European Mainland, and across my own country. In the same time period I met a very nice woman from a Medical School in Perth Australia. Before I came up, a group of young men from Santiago, Chile came to introduce themselves. Over here is Dr. Yoon is a professor of Microbiology at Yonsei University in Wonju, Korea. Our biochemistry

professors include Dr Cynthia Sikakana from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. We are sorely missing a delegation from Antarctica. Our project being open, they too will still benefit from any results. However, we will not deliver to them. (Note: Not a lie told; all of it is true.)

This hardly seemed possible just a few months ago. I began writing as a devil’s advocate with myself on this topic almost four years ago. As I am sure has been discussed, I have plied my trade as a technologist in Open Source. I have some experience in Medicine and Education, but it has been in providing technologies. Technology is a natural place for Open Source to flourish. It has really been the only field where Open Source has become a significant component. I have long wondered why it has not spread further. I not only think it’s a good idea, I think it is natural. There is no knowledge which we cannot attribute to someone else’s previous ideas. On the shoulders of genius; this is how we thrive. Computer Technology led the way because they introduced means of thought coagulation. I see the commitment which computer geeks present for the Open Source paradigm and I am moved to ask, “all that, just for computer software?” Their passion resembles what you would expect from someone in an actual “life and death” profession, like the ones many of you labor in. I came into technology after an education that focused on music. The idea of constant sharing and building through others riffs was not new to me. I studied classically and enjoyed playing with a jazz ethic. The momentum with which new things

are developed becomes absolutely moving. Pharmaceutical development on a jazz ethic needs to be one of your ideas. That is part of what I challenge you with this week. I am not one to say that any idea is mine. They can be my own conclusion from others that I have been exposed to. My own thoughts are merely the tip of the iceberg. I will not dedicate too much time re-describing something that, I would assume, brought you here. As I mentioned, many of you are from very far away. I came to this from a different angle than most of you. I was engaged in work with Open Source computer systems. There are many, but Linux is the one that get’s the most attention. I was assigned a project to build a Linux system. This was a special circumstance that the assigning executive had been looking for since first hearing of the technology. It was something that could use it, but was most definitely not mission critical. How on earth could you count on something with no corporate backing? There was no phone number to call if there was a problem. Throughout the industry those views were standard. I began finding that the paradigm this came from had many elements that made it actually better. Even companies like IBM and Microsoft were limited to the assistance of those they could afford on their payroll. That payroll is large, but far smaller than the group known as “anyone” or “everyone”. Open Source support has no such limits. It was a few years ago, while walking out of a pharmacy and studying my reciept, that the thought came to my head; “What if pharmaceuticals were developed Open Source?” I took these ideas to a local pub and passed it around amongst my friends. I was not able to get the devil’s advocacy that I sought. I got straight dismissal. “It couldn’t work”. “No way; that’s a different world”.

I realized that I deserved the reaction. I was not presenting a developed proposal. I was constantly having thoughts about different aspects that could work. I am a crazy diarist. Many of you have seen my electronic journal. It is in my hand more often than my wife would like. I wrote thousands of pages to produce a proposal that I had no one to propose to. This was a philosophical project. There was an idea that, as detailed as it was, it could become a Masters Thesis. Moving forward with the practical life of the test was something that would remain on a to-do list. I never did move on that task. My wife always has complete access to what I write in here. She took interest in the Open Source pharmaceutical concept. She told me that she had an idea that it was impressive. How do you check out an idea so complex? How do you confirm that it is not mad ranting? For my wife, for many in this room, and for so many in the Natural Sciences, there is a sounding board for such a question. The father of Open Source pharmaceuticals is Dr. Malcolm Blythe. Malcolm becomes a mentor to nearly everyone he meets. He supported this plan out of documents I wrote into a diary. He is indubitably our muse, an inspiration to press forward with this dream. He took a special liking to the precocious luminosity of the little Indian girl who I later married. Why did Dr. Blythe become so enthralled and affected by my scribbling? I will allow him to answer those questions for you this week. I would like to bring Dr. Blythe to the stage. He tends to legitimize my presence wherever I go.

Blythe walked up on the stage and was given a microphone on his way. “If I am to understand your presentation, I believe

you are advocating some sort of “Jazz” Pharmacology. Would that be a good or bad thing with this crowd? “As scientists, we have many multisyllabic names for the sciences and sub-sciences we toil in. Jazz is far cooler

nomenclature than we ever come in contact with.” This was not planned. I had a riff to go on. I had It is the

requested the piano be put on the stage as scenery. place that I can riff from. I believe I shared this with you in Cambridge.

I walked over to the piano and gave it a shove towards center stage. It was on wheels, as was the bench. Angela had

adorned it with a deep blue banner.

It had that cup or whatever

thing with RX on it; the one that is a pharmaceutical symbol. My mother insisted on piano lessons for me from age five. My father played his jazz albums in the house. He hoped that they might inspire something in my playing. When I was seven or eight years old he still preferred his favorite disks to any notes I had put together. I felt challenged to move into the group of luminaries he preferred. I did not do that in his lifetime. One day at that age, he put the needle on Dave Brubeck’s “Time Out” album to drown out the sour tones of my practicing. I had been working specifically on the piano part to the famous “Take Five”. I waited through the first four songs to jump in. In Charleston, I began playing the “Take Five” backing part.

I was accurate enough to make my fathers eyes tear. He came in the room to hug and kiss me, but waited to let me play out the tune. Dr. Blythe moved over toward me. him to take a seat with me. I patted the bench for

Dr. Stoller, who I had yet to see She was

in Carolina, rushed down to the foot of the stage.

directing five photographers to move in front of the first row of spectators. One of them was really one of Angela’s friends, so it was four photographers. speech is over. did say. “There are refreshments at the rear table. The press would She then stepped up to the stage. My

Do my notes say that?

I will share what they

like to get some photos and jump ahead of you on the 1st questions. program”. I waved at the guy I met last night. on top of the piano. The others crawled up We will reconvene shortly to close the night’s

They were directing the two of us to try

to get the shots they required. I prefer to allow a sultry girl-singer to lye atop the piano. “Could you at least let us know what publications have brought you?” our own event. 1. 2. Scientific American Time Malcolm tried to inject some leadership back into

3.

Formulary (He said that is a drug magazine) The forth one we did not get. That guy rolled off and The known commodity

began shooting from further away. yelled out “Angela Downey!”

Stoller: “You need to take some questions, we have reporters” We have four days of conference for questions. Stoller: (whispers) I told you I would help you. Just take a couple. I read a divorce of How will you keep Some of

them are only here for tonight.

Mallory Someone (Dallas Morning News): pharmaceuticals from any financial reward. that up? I’ve written much of this and read no such thing. Mallory:

Beyond Dr. Blythe here, how do you expect those

with life-saving innovations to forgo payment for their intellect. We will need to make sure you get some more detailed documentation to you. It was distributed to the attendees. I am not sure there was a full press distribution. Mallory: Can you suffer my ignorance with an answer?

I can. The cat has truly exited the bag on this one. The riches available for good medicine have been known for too long. It has been the goal of any pharmaceutical company to anticipate what is wanted or needed and what of that they can develop; or

buy from those who develop it. SO/Med has a different approach. We will ask; just ask. “What do you need and how much will you pay?”. We know that our methods reward participants in a different way. We will be very satisfied with far less. We will develop and relinquish our patent exclusivity. Groups of people, most likely countries, will make offers for medicines they need. We will present our more promising projects; the same groups can make offers for reward on the completion of those projects. The planning for this is very detailed. It is the subject of a panel discussion and a presentation tomorrow. You should stay for those. Mallory: Thank you. Blythe fielded whatever the next question I don’t remember

She walked away. was.

He could see I was ready to blow me top.

what the rest of the questions were. bit.

I needed to get out for a I

We did not want to pimp out press for this conference. I didn’t

thought we would wait until they became interested. want to bring them in. I headed into the crowd that was having a nosh. they would be a good vibe for me. lining up to shake my hand. World” crowd we have. I was right.

I thought

People were

I love the “Disney’s It’s a Small

Two or three handshakes in and a familiar

Indian accent hits my ear. “That was excellent, Peter”. Dr. Patel, I heard that you would be here. Nice to see you… Good Night, Tribe

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful