Adonis Diaries

Steve Jobs Keynotes addresses

April 19, 2015

A Steve Jobs keynote was a tightly choreographed and relentlessly prepared presentation, according to the new book Becoming Steve Jobs, by Brent Schlender.

Jobs turned the product launch into an art form.

He leaves a legacy by which entrepreneurs can learn to dazzle their audiences. The following five keynotes will help anyone give the presentation of a lifetime.

1. The Mac launch

Every Steve Jobs presentation had one moment that people would be talking about the next day. These “moments” were tightly scripted and relentlessly rehearsed. Remarkably, Jobs’ flair for the dramatic started before PowerPoint or Apple Keynote were available as slide design tools, which proves you don’t need slides to leave your audience breathless.

Related: Former Apple CEO John Sculley: This Is What Made Steve Jobs a Genius

On Jan. 24, 1984, Steve Jobs introduced the first Macintosh with a magician’s flair for the big reveal. He showed a series of images and said, “Everything you just saw was created by what’s in that bag.” And with that Jobs walked to the center of a darkened stage that had a table and a canvas bag sitting on top it. He slowly pulled the Mac from the bag, inserted a floppy disk, and walked away as the theme from Chariots of Fire began to play as images filled the screen.

The lesson: A presentation doesn’t always need slides to wow an audience.

2. The iPhone

The rule of three is one of most powerful concepts in writing. The human mind can only retain three or four “chunks” of information. Jobs was well aware of this principle and divided much of his presentations into three parts. Sometimes he even had fun with it.

For example, on Feb. 16, 2007, Jobs told the audience to expect three new products: a new iPod, a phone and an “Internet communication device.” After repeating the three products several times, he made the big reveal — all three products were wrapped in one new device, the iPhone.

The lesson: Introduce three benefits or features of a product, not 23.

3. The first MacBook Air

When Jobs introduced the “world’s thinnest notebook,” the MacBook Air, he walked to the side of the stage, pulled out a manila envelope hiding behind the podium and said, “It’s so thin it even fits inside one of those envelopes you see floating around the office.” With a beaming smile, he slowly pulled it out of the envelope for all to see.

Most presenters would have shown photographs of the product. Jobs took it one step further. He knew what would grab people’s attention. This did. Most of the blogs, magazines and newspapers that covered the launch ran a photograph of Steve Jobs pulling the computer out of the envelope.

The lesson: Don’t just tell us about a product, show it to us, and do it with pizzazz.

Related: 5 Things I Learned About Successful Startups From Steve Jobs

4. The iTunes Store

Every great drama has a hero and a villain. Steve Jobs was a master at introducing both heroes and villains in the same presentation. On April 28, 2003, Jobs convinced consumers to pay 99 cents for songs. Jobs began with a brief discussion of Napster and Kazaa, sites that offered “near instant gratification” and, from the user’s perspective, free downloads. On the next slide he listed the “dark side.” They were:

  • Unreliable downloads
  • Unreliable quality (“a lot of these songs are encoded by 7-year-olds and they don’t do a great job.”)
  • No previews
  • No album cover art
  • It’s stealing (“It’s best not to mess with karma.”)

In the next section of the presentation Jobs replaced each of the drawbacks with the benefits of paying for music.

  • Fast, reliable downloads
  • Pristine encoding
  • Previews of every song
  • Album cover art
  • Good Karma

The lesson: Great presentations have an antagonist — a problem — followed by a hero — the solution.

5. The genius in their craziness

In 1997, Jobs returned to Apple after a 12-year absence. Apple was close to bankruptcy at the time and was quickly running out of cash.

Near the end of Jobs’ keynote at Macworld in August 1997, he slowed the pace, lowered his voice, and said: “I think you always had to be a little different to buy an Apple computer. I think the people who do buy them are the creative spirits in the world. They are the people who are not out just to get a job done, they’re out to change the world.

We make tools for those kind of people. A lot of times, people think they’re crazy. But in that craziness, we see genius. And those are the people we’re making tools for.”

The lesson: Don’t forget to motivate your internal audience — your team, employees and partners. Give them a purpose to rally around.

When I wrote The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, I argued that Jobs was the world’s greatest brand storyteller. When I watch these presentations over again, I’m convinced he’s still the best role model for entrepreneurs who will pitch the next generation of ideas that will change the world.

Related: Top 10 Ways to Make Your Presentations More Memorable

Self-Publishing Companies, Through a Legal Lens

In my last post, Five Legal Terms Every Author Should Know, I explained that the worst mistake indie authors make is losing control of their work.

After all, the key benefit of self-publishing is controlling the quality and marketing of our books, in other words, wearing the publisher hat.  [Read More]

 

Which Dystopian Novel Got It Right:

Orwell’s ‘1984’ or Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’?

In Bookends, two writers take on questions about the world of books. This week, Charles McGrath and Siddhartha Deb debate which classic dystopian vision rings truest at the beginning of 2017: George Orwell’s “1984” or Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World.”

By Charles McGrath

Was Orwell right after all? Not yet. Trump would be much more comfortable in Huxley’s world.

Photo

Charles McGrath Credit Illustration by R. Kikuo Johnson

A month ago I would have said that not only is “Brave New World” a livelier, more entertaining book than “1984,” it’s also a more prescient one.

Orwell didn’t really have much feel for the future, which to his mind was just another version of the present. His imagined London is merely a drabber, more joyless version of the city, still recovering from the Blitz, where he was living in the mid-1940s, just before beginning the novel. The main technological advancement there is the two-way telescreen, essentially an electronic peephole.

Huxley, on the other hand, writing almost two decades earlier than Orwell (his former Eton pupil, as it happened), foresaw a world that included space travel; private helicopters; genetically engineered test tube babies; enhanced birth control; an immensely popular drug that appears to combine the best features of Valium and Ecstasy; hormone-laced chewing gum that seems to work the way Viagra does; a full sensory entertainment system that outdoes IMAX; and maybe even breast implants. (The book is a little unclear on this point, but in “Brave New World” the highest compliment you can pay a woman is to call her “pneumatic.”)

Huxley was not entirely serious about this. He began “Brave New World” as a parody of H.G. Wells, whose writing he detested, and it remained a book that means to be as playful as it is prophetic.

And yet his novel much more accurately evokes the country we live in now, especially in its depiction of a culture preoccupied with sex and mindless pop entertainment, than does Orwell’s more ominous book, which seems to be imagining someplace like North Korea.

So was Orwell right after all? Well, not yet.

For one thing, the political system of “1984” is an exaggerated version of anticapitalist, Stalin-era Communism, and Trump’s philosophy is anything but that. He would be much more comfortable in Huxley’s world, which is based on rampant consumerism and where hordes of genetically modified losers happily tend to the needs of the winners.

Huxley believed that his version of dystopia was the more plausible one.

In a 1949 letter, thanking Orwell for sending him a copy of “1984,” he wrote that he really didn’t think all that torture and jackbooting was necessary to subdue a population, and that he believed his own book offered a better solution. All you need to do, he said, is teach people to love their servitude.

The totalitarian rulers in Huxley’s book do this not by oppressing their citizens but by giving them exactly what they want, or what they think they want — which is basically sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll — and lulling them into complacency. (That’s exactly what the US has been offering its citizens in the last 50 years)

The system entails a certain Trump-like suspicion of science and dismissal of history, but that’s a price the inhabitants of Huxley’s world happily pay. They don’t mourn their lost liberty, the way Orwell’s Winston Smith does; they don’t even know it’s gone.

Charles McGrath was the editor of the Book Review from 1995 to 2004, and is now a contributing writer for The Times. Earlier he was the deputy editor and the head of the fiction department of The New Yorker. Besides The Times, he has written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New Republic and Outside. He is the editor of two golf books — “The Ultimate Golf Book” and “Golf Stories” — and is currently working on an edition of John O’Hara’s stories for the Library of America.

By Siddhartha Deb

Why stop at one of two books, as if the literary realm must mimic the denuded, lesser-of-two evils choices of electoral politics?

Photo

Siddhartha Deb Credit Illustration by R. Kikuo Johnson

There exists a comfortably predictable and, to my mind, uninspired approach to the dystopic novel and its powers of prognosis, a Pavlovian response that involves reaching for a copy of George Orwell’s “1984” or Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” whenever extreme turbulence hits the West.

Together they make up a short reading list, if a rather familiar one, redolent of high school literature classes and expanding, if forced, to Yevgeny Zamyatin’s “We” and Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451.”

That’s it, we’re done — a brief tour in four books to dystopias where the individual’s sense of freedom is always under threat from the totalitarian state.

The last few months have been hard, no doubt, the news more distressing by the hour, but there is still something perversely groupthinkish in the fact that the impulse of resistance has homed in on the same book, and that a measure of opposition to the horrors of the Trump administration is the climb of “1984” to No. 1 on Amazon.

There is much in Orwell’s novel, in fact, that translates poorly into the contemporary moment. From its texture of material deprivation, the loosely packed cigarettes and boiled cabbages recalling wartime rationing in Britain, to its portrayal of Ingsoc, Big Brother and various Ministries (Truth, Peace, Love, Plenty), all of which assume control by a heavily centralized State, it is a work very much of the ’40s as experienced by an English intellectual.

In “Amusing Ourselves to Death,” the American media critic Neil Postman in fact argued that Huxley’s novel was far more relevant than Orwell’s when it came to the United States, where the dominant mode of control over people was through entertainment, distraction, and superficial pleasure rather than through overt modes of policing and strict control over food supplies, at least when it came to managing the middle classes.

Three decades after Postman’s account, when we can add reality television, the internet and social media to the deadly amusements available, “Brave New World” can still seem strikingly relevant in its depiction of the relentless pursuit of pleasure.

From the use of soma as a kind of happiness drug to the erasure of the past not so much as a threat to government, as is the case in Orwell’s dystopia, but as simply irrelevant (“History is bunk”), Huxley marked out amusement and superficiality as the buttons that control

His relentless focus on the body, too, seems inspired, his understanding of what Michel Foucault identified as “biopolitics,” extending to the individual body as well as to entire populations and, in “Brave New World,” playing out as a eugenic system based on caste, class, race, looks and size.

As for his depiction of the “savage reservation” in New Mexico, this seems to foreshadow the fetishization of the natural on the part of one of the most artifice-ridden populations in the history of the world.

A great deal funnier, subtler and darker than Orwell’s book, Huxley’s satire nevertheless has its limitations.

A World State? Games of escalator squash? In any case, why stop at one of two books, as if the literary realm must mimic the denuded, lesser-of-two-evils choices of electoral politics?

There are other powerful fictional dystopias that speak to the United States of today, including a significant portion of the oeuvre of Philip K. Dick and Octavia E. Butler.

There is J.G. Ballard’s hallucinatory Reagan-era “Hello America,” with a future United States that has many contending presidents, including President Manson, who plays nuclear roulette in Las Vegas.

Why not read Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” and Sandra Newman’s “The Country of Ice Cream Star” and Anna North’s “America Pacifica” and Emily St. John Mandel’s “Station Eleven” and Claire Vaye Watkins’s “Gold Fame Citrus” and Vanessa Veselka’s “Zazen” and Paolo Bacigalupi’s “The Water Knife”?

If the world is going dark, we may as well read as much as possible before someone turns off the light.

 

Carson McCullers at 100: a century of American suffering

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, her debut novel of desolate southern lives, made McCullers an instant star – something she never fully recovered from

“She found me a cheap boarding house somewhere on the west side, where there, cut off and lonely, I passed the day my first book was published,” wrote Carson McCullers in her memoir Illumination and Night Glare, describing the day her classic novel The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter was published.

Then 23, McCullers and her husband Reeves McCullers were penniless, awaiting the last portion of the advance on the book so that they, both aspiring writers, could move to New York City. Reeves had gone off to work on a boat on Nantucket island and McCullers had little premonition of the literary sensation the book would become – or how completely it would transform her life.

American author and playwright Carson McCullers, pictured around 1955.

‘Cut off and lonely’ Carson McCullers, pictured around 1955. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

Turmoil was in the air that fervid summer in 1940.

Despite Roosevelt’s New Deal, the depredations of the Great Depression had sucked hope from America’s bones, birthed a generation that had only known want and that was sceptical of the possibility of change.

In small crowds around newsstands on city corners, uncertain Americans read about the war raging in Europe, but remained unsure as to whether it was “their” problem. Everyone, it seemed, wanted change and no one seemed to know how to hasten it, direct it or evaluate it. In this last sense, and possibly many more, America then was not so different from America now.

Where truth fails, fiction flourishes. In The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers, who would have turned 100 years old on Sunday, distilled all of these consternations, enabling in literature the self-reckoning that had been avoided in reality. Set in a southern mill town much like her own Columbus, Georgia, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter traces the hapless lives of five townspeople, all of whom are inexplicably drawn to a deaf-mute named John Singer.

There is the young Mick Kelly, a teenage girl who dreams of making it big; Biff Bannon, the middle-class owner of a local cafe; Jake Blount, the most overtly political character and Dr Benedict Copeland, the town’s African American doctor who rails against the inequities of a racist society, but is helpless against them. As they all interact with Singer, they fail to notice his pain or that he is mourning a loss of his own: the banishment of his friend Spiros Antonapoulos to an insane asylum.

It is a mad mix, but also an ingenious one. Some, like critic Nancy Rich, writing a decade after McCullers’s death in 1967, have declared it a political parable. Singer represents government and its ineffectuality, the vague dimensions of his character permitting the projections of all the rest. It’s a sad little bunch, each an iteration of the insoluble problems of that time: race, inequality, gutless conformity and the apathy of a silent and self-centred majority.

Can all of this come together to make up a country, a polity? The answer seemed elusive then, as it is in the US’s riven present, but The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter posed the questions, presented the problem.

McCullers was rewarded for her ingenuity. The glamour of becoming an overnight literary phenomenon brought with it new and famous friends – among them a Swiss heiress whose face, McCullers declared, “would haunt her for the rest of her life”. Not long after the book’s publication, McCullers moved in to the famous February House: a Brooklyn brownstone that became a salon and refuge for a gaggle of literary celebrities.

Parking her husband elsewhere – he had blossomed into an alcoholic – McCullers became housemates with the likes of WH Auden, Salvador Dali, Harper’s Bazaar editor George Davis and burlesque performer and author Gypsy Rose Lee.

The war had not yet begun, but McCullers had arrived. Everyone wanted to know her, to talk to her, to live with her. All the magazines – Harper’s, the New Yorker, Story and scores of others who had once rejected her work – now clamoured to see what she would produce next.

Great success births great expectations and it may well have been this burden that shattered McCullers. She kept writing, but none of her ensuing works would parallel the acclaim of The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. Some would be painful disappointments. Her second novel, Reflections in a Golden Eye, was set in a military base in peacetime and toyed with voyeurism and implied homosexuality.

While eagerly awaited, it met the fate of many second novels and was deemed an unworthy successor of a brilliant first. McCullers’ health also failed; the afflictions of her youth, among them misdiagnosed rheumatic fever, left her susceptible to strokes that eventually paralysed her. The writer could write no more but she persevered, dictating her autobiography until, in August 1967, the last stroke killed her. She was only 50 years old.

The glib and ruthless pronouncements of her lost literary genius were likely not an easy burden to bear. The pages of McCullers’ unfinished memoir are laden with accounts of her associations with celebrities (including Marilyn Monroe) – a small antidote, perhaps, to the torment of being labelled a one-hit wonder.

The sharp girl who had cast such an unforgiving eye on the world around her became a woman imprisoned by her own initial success and her inability to replicate it. The transformation from an outsider who cast her acid gaze on ordinary America and squeezed from it caustic truths, to a member of New York’s literati, came at too dear a price.

McCullers, who had so adeptly captured the desolation of her moment and constructed from a grim reality a distinctly American political parable, was left a famous author but a lesser writer.

 

The 63 differences between British and American English

Posted 3 days ago by Jessica Brown

America and Britain have a lot more in common than their special relationship. Remember when our leaders held hands that one time?

One thing that’s vastly different though, is how we implement the English language.

It was perhaps best summed up by the comedy god Eddie Izzard:

 

Here’s the infographic, put together by Grammar Check.

3d326a5100000578-4226540-image-a-17-1487155280247.jpg

Picture: Grammar Check

 

Some are obvious, like autumn and fall, but others are a lesser known – such as cooker and stove, lorry and truck and queue and line.

 

3d326a5100000578-4226540-image-a-16-1487155271152.jpg

Picture: Grammar Check

 

Memorise (or memorize) these before any holidays to one country or the other in order to avoid any confusion – because there’s a lot of potential for that to happen.

Then you can sit and enjoy your biscuits/cookies in the privacy of your rented flat/apartment after you’ve hit the pavements/sidewalks and visited the shops/stores.

 

3d326a5100000578-4226540-image-a-15-1487155232392.jpg

Picture: Grammar Check

 


More: The difference between the US and UK – in 20 photos

 

Chronic fatigue syndrome? Disease doctors can’t diagnose?

Five years ago, TED Fellow Jennifer Brea became progressively ill with myalgic encephalomyelitis, commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome, a debilitating illness that severely impairs normal activities and on bad days makes even the rustling of bed sheets unbearable.

Brea describes the obstacles she’s encountered in seeking treatment for her condition, whose root causes and physical effects we don’t fully understand, as well as her mission to document through film the lives of patients that medicine struggles to treat.

Jennifer Brea. Filmmaker. PhD student at Harvard when, one night, she found she couldn’t write her own name. Full bio

 [Jennifer Brea is sound-sensitive. The live audience was asked to applaud ASL-style, in silence.]

0:24 Five years ago, this was me. I was a PhD student at Harvard, and I loved to travel. I had just gotten engaged to marry the love of my life. I was 28, and like so many of us when we are in good health, I felt invincible.

Then one day I had a fever of 104.7 degrees. I probably should have gone to the doctor, but I’d never really been sick in my life, and I knew that usually, if you have a virus, you stay home and you make some chicken soup, and in a few days, everything will be fine.

But this time it wasn’t fine. After the fever broke, for three weeks I was so dizzy, I couldn’t leave my house. I would walk straight into door frames. I had to hug the walls just to make it to the bathroom.

That spring I got infection after infection, and every time I went to the doctor, he said there was absolutely nothing wrong. He had his laboratory tests, which always came back normal.

All I had were my symptoms, which I could describe, but no one else can see. I know it sounds silly, but you have to find a way to explain things like this to yourself, and so I thought maybe I was just aging. Maybe this is what it’s like to be on the other side of 25.

 The neurological symptoms started. Sometimes I would find that I couldn’t draw the right side of a circle. Other times I wouldn’t be able to speak or move at all.

I saw every kind of specialist: infectious disease doctors, dermatologists, endocrinologists, cardiologists. I even saw a psychiatrist. My psychiatrist said, “It’s clear you’re really sick, but not with anything psychiatric. I hope they can find out what’s wrong with you.”

Patsy Z shared this link· 23 hrs ·
ted.com|By Jennifer Brea

The next day, my neurologist diagnosed me with conversion disorder. He told me that everything — the fevers, the sore throats, the sinus infection, all of the gastrointestinal, neurological and cardiac symptoms — were being caused by some distant emotional trauma that I could not remember. The symptoms were real, he said, but they had no biological cause.

I was training to be a social scientist. I had studied statistics, probability theory, mathematical modeling, experimental design.

I felt like I couldn’t just reject my neurologist’s diagnosis. It didn’t feel true, but I knew from my training that the truth is often counterintuitive, so easily obscured by what we want to believe. So I had to consider the possibility that he was right.

That day, I ran a small experiment. I walked back the two miles from my neurologist’s office to my house, my legs wrapped in this strange, almost electric kind of pain. I meditated on that pain, contemplating how my mind could have possibly generated all this.

As soon as I walked through the door, I collapsed. My brain and my spinal cord were burning. My neck was so stiff I couldn’t touch my chin to my chest, and the slightest sound — the rustling of the sheets, my husband walking barefoot in the next room — could cause excruciating pain. I would spend most of the next two years in bed.

How could my doctor have gotten it so wrong? I thought I had a rare disease, something doctors had never seen.

And then I went online and found thousands of people all over the world living with the same symptoms, similarly isolated, similarly disbelieved.

Some could still work, but had to spend their evenings and weekends in bed, just so they could show up the next Monday. On the other end of the spectrum, some were so sick they had to live in complete darkness, unable to tolerate the sound of a human voice or the touch of a loved one.

 I was diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis. You’ve probably heard it called “chronic fatigue syndrome.” For decades, that’s a name that’s meant that this has been the dominant image of a disease that can be as serious as this.

The key symptom we all share is that whenever we exert ourselves — physically, mentally — we pay and we pay hard. If my husband goes for a run, he might be sore for a couple of days. If I try to walk half a block, I might be bedridden for a week.

It is a perfect custom prison. I know ballet dancers who can’t dance, accountants who can’t add, medical students who never became doctors. It doesn’t matter what you once were; you can’t do it anymore. It’s been four years, and I’ve still never been as well as I was the minute before I walked home from my neurologist’s office.

It’s estimated that about 15 to 30 million people around the world have this disease. In the US, where I’m from, it’s about one million people. That makes it roughly twice as common as multiple sclerosis.

Patients can live for decades with the physical function of someone with congestive heart failure. Twenty-five percent of us are homebound or bedridden, and 75 to 85 percent of us can’t even work part-time. Yet doctors do not treat us and science does not study us. How could a disease this common and this devastating have been forgotten by medicine?

When my doctor diagnosed me with conversion disorder, he was invoking a lineage of ideas about women’s bodies that are over 2,500 years old. The Roman physician Galen thought that hysteria was caused by sexual deprivation in particularly passionate women.

The Greeks thought the uterus would literally dry up and wander around the body in search of moisture, pressing on internal organs — yes — causing symptoms from extreme emotions to dizziness and paralysis. The cure was marriage and motherhood.

These ideas went largely unchanged for several millennia until the 1880s, when neurologists tried to modernize the theory of hysteria. Sigmund Freud developed a theory that the unconscious mind could produce physical symptoms when dealing with memories or emotions too painful for the conscious mind to handle. It converted these emotions into physical symptoms. This meant that men could now get hysteria, but of course women were still the most susceptible.

When I began investigating the history of my own disease, I was amazed to find how deep these ideas still run. In 1934, 198 doctors, nurses and staff at the Los Angeles County General Hospital became seriously ill.

They had muscle weakness, stiffness in the neck and back, fevers — all of the same symptoms I had when I first got diagnosed. Doctors thought it was a new form of polio. Since then, there have been more than 70 outbreaks documented around the world, of a strikingly similar post-infectious disease. All of these outbreaks have tended to disproportionately affect women, and in time, when doctors failed to find the one cause of the disease, they thought that these outbreaks were mass hysteria.

Why has this idea had such staying power? I do think it has to do with sexism, but I also think that fundamentally, doctors want to help.

They want to know the answer, and this category allows doctors to treat what would otherwise be untreatable, to explain illnesses that have no explanation. The problem is that this can cause real harm.

In the 1950s, a psychiatrist named Eliot Slater studied a cohort of 85 patients who had been diagnosed with hysteria. Nine years later, 12 of them were dead and 30 had become disabled. Many had undiagnosed conditions like multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, brain tumors.

In 1980, hysteria was officially renamed “conversion disorder.” When my neurologist gave me that diagnosis in 2012, he was echoing Freud’s words verbatim, and even today, women are 2 to 10 times more likely to receive that diagnosis.

The problem with the theory of hysteria or psychogenic illness is that it can never be proven.

It is by definition the absence of evidence, and in the case of ME, psychological explanations have held back biological research.

All around the world, ME is one of the least funded diseases. In the US, we spend each year roughly 2,500 dollars per AIDS patient, 250 dollars per MS patient and just 5 dollars per year per ME patient. This was not just lightning. I was not just unlucky. The ignorance surrounding my disease has been a choice, a choice made by the institutions that were supposed to protect us.

We don’t know why ME sometimes runs in families, why you can get it after almost any infection, from enteroviruses to Epstein-Barr virus to Q fever, or why it affects women at two to three times the rate of men.

This issue is much bigger than just my disease. When I first got sick, old friends were reaching out to me. I soon found myself a part of a cohort of women in their late 20s whose bodies were falling apart. What was striking was just how much trouble we were having being taken seriously.

I learned of one woman with scleroderma, an autoimmune connective tissue disease, who was told for years that it was all in her head. Between the time of onset and diagnosis, her esophagus was so thoroughly damaged, she will never be able to eat again. Another woman with ovarian cancer, who for years was told that it was just early menopause. A friend from college, whose brain tumor was misdiagnosed for years as anxiety.

 Here’s why this worries me: since the 1950s, rates of many autoimmune diseases have doubled to tripled.

Forty-five percent of patients who are eventually diagnosed with a recognized autoimmune disease are initially told they’re hypochondriacs. Like the hysteria of old, this has everything to do with gender and with whose stories we believe.

Seventy-five percent of autoimmune disease patients are women, and in some diseases, it’s as high as 90 percent.

Even though these diseases disproportionately affect women, they are not women’s diseases. ME affects children and ME affects millions of men.

And as one patient told me, we get it coming and going — if you’re a woman, you’re told you’re exaggerating your symptoms, but if you’re a guy, you’re told to be strong, to buck up. And men may even have a more difficult time getting diagnosed.

 My brain is not what it used to be.

Here’s the good part: despite everything, I still have hope. So many diseases were once thought of as psychological until science uncovered their biological mechanisms.

Patients with epilepsy could be forcibly institutionalized until the EEG was able to measure abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Multiple sclerosis could be misdiagnosed as hysterical paralysis until the CAT scan and the MRI discovered brain lesions. And recently, we used to think that stomach ulcers were just caused by stress, until we discovered that H. pylori was the culprit.

ME has never benefited from the kind of science that other diseases have had, but that’s starting to change. In Germany, scientists are starting to find evidence of autoimmunity, and in Japan, of brain inflammation. In the US, scientists at Stanford are finding abnormalities in energy metabolism that are 16 standard deviations away from normal. And in Norway, researchers are running a phase-3 clinical trial on a cancer drug that in some patients causes complete remission.

What also gives me hope is the resilience of patients. Online we came together, and we shared our stories. We devoured what research there was. We experimented on ourselves. We became our own scientists and our own doctors because we had to be.

And slowly I added five percent here, five percent there, until eventually, on a good day, I was able to leave my home. I still had to make ridiculous choices: Will I sit in the garden for 15 minutes, or will I wash my hair today? But it gave me hope that I could be treated. I had a sick body; that was all. And with the right kind of help, maybe one day I could get better.

 I came together with patients around the world, and we started to fight. We have filled the void with something wonderful, but it is not enough. I still don’t know if I will ever be able to run again, or walk at any distance, or do any of those kinetic things that I now only get to do in my dreams. But I am so grateful for how far I have come. Progress is slow, and it is up and it is down, but I am getting a little better each day.

I remember what it was like when I was stuck in that bedroom, when it had been months since I had seen the sun. I thought that I would die there. But here I am today, with you, and that is a miracle.

 I don’t know what would have happened had I not been one of the lucky ones, had I gotten sick before the internet, had I not found my community. I probably would have already taken my own life, as so many others have done. How many lives could we have saved, decades ago, if we had asked the right questions? How many lives could we save today if we decide to make a real start?

15:56 Even once the true cause of my disease is discovered, if we don’t change our institutions and our culture, we will do this again to another disease.

Living with this illness has taught me that science and medicine are profoundly human endeavors. Doctors, scientists and policy makers are not immune to the same biases that affect all of us.

16:22 We need to think in more nuanced ways about women’s health. Our immune systems are just as much a battleground for equality as the rest of our bodies. We need to listen to patients’ stories, and we need to be willing to say, “I don’t know.” “I don’t know” is a beautiful thing.

“I don’t know” is where discovery starts. And if we can do that, if we can approach the great vastness of all that we do not know, and then, rather than fear uncertainty, maybe we can greet it with a sense of wonder

Architects make great lovers: Rumors can be a hit, occasionally

Valentine’s Day brings with it mixed emotions for architects. Love is supposedly in the air, but with all those projects on the go, who has the time to date in the design world?

It’s hard enough finding time to sleep, let alone to find romance.

Hope persists in the shape of some very creative couples that managed to build not only architectural masterpieces, but also a great relationship together. From Charles and Ray Eames, to Billie Tsien and Tod Williams, there are plenty out there who have transcended the trials of architecture and made it work.

As it turns out, your architect friend might just make for the perfect partner — or a great date for Valentine’s Day, at the very least.

Here are just a few reasons an architect could be the perfect match for you, and we’re sure there are many more besides …

Architects, let us know your most attractive qualities in the comments below!

1. Their attention to detail means date night will be perfectly planned every time.

2. They have the patience of a saint (except when the plotter breaks down).

3. They will make you the best gifts ever using the laser cutter and the 3D printer in the office.

4. They’re good with their hands … and their minds

5. They love to travel — they’ll show you the world!

6. They have GREAT commitment (they got through architecture school, after all).

7. They’re great at conflict resolution (with the help of lawyers).

8. They know all the best honeymoon spots (the architectural ones, at least).

9. They know how to make the best coffee.

10. They have the best taste in music.

11. They have the best taste in holiday gifts.

12. They have amazing dress sense.

13. They will enjoy playing awesome video games and movies with you.

14. They know culture like no one else.

15. They won’t fall asleep on you.

16. If they do fall asleep on you, it’s for very good reason

17. They have a great sense of humor (although you might not understand all their jokes).

18. They will never clash with you because they always wear black.

19. They know all about Romanticism.

20. They understand the importance of stability — emotional and structural!

21. They are great listeners (to professors, clients, contractors and you … ).

22. They know that form is nothing without function.

23. They are passionate about what they do.

24. They can make good conversation — about politics, about economics, about pop culture … and about architecture, of course.

25. They are considerate of the needs of others (clients, contractors, professors and engineers … sometimes!).

26. They value honesty and integrity (in building materials, and in life).

27. They know how to have a good time (once the project deadline has passed).

28. If everything works out, they’ll design a dream home for you and your future architect children.

29. If it doesn’t, refer back to No. 7.

 Architects make great lovers
architizer.com

adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

February 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jan    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728  

Blog Stats

  • 904,212 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.adonisbouh@gmail.com

Join 458 other followers

%d bloggers like this: