How I first heard the News that Theranos bottomed-up?

Posted 19 Oct 2016 at 14:40 UTC (updated 19 Oct 2016 at 15:50 UTC) by sye Share This

It was from This post on Chinese site

Then I read two reports by Nick Bilton of Vanity Fair: " HOW I GOT TO THE BOTTOM OF THE THERANOS MESS: - What I learned while reporting on Elizabeth Holmes and her company."
BY NICK BILTON SEPTEMBER 20, 2016. and this other exclusive report.

In 'what I learned while reporting on Elizabeth Holmes':

When Keller was done, I asked him, “What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a reporter over the past couple of decades?” He didn’t skip a beat: “I wish that journalists were not allowed to write about other people until they have been written about themselves.”

And here is the open letter from Elizabeth Holmes to employees at this company she founded.

Also company appealed to CMS sanctions :
Theranos’ mission is to make actionable information accessible to everyone at the time it matters most.

From that 'exclusive' report:

When she first came up with the precursor to the idea of Theranos, which eventually aimed to reap vast amounts of data from a few droplets of blood derived from the tip of a finger, she approached several of her professors at Stanford, according to someone who knew Holmes back then. But most explained to the chemical-engineering major that it was virtually impossible to do so with any real efficacy. “I told her, I don’t think your idea is going to work,” Phyllis Gardner, a professor of medicine at Stanford, said to me, about Holmes’s seminal pitch for Theranos. As Gardner explained, it is impossible to get a precise result from the tip of a finger for most of the tests that Theranos would claim to conduct accurately. When a finger is pricked, the probe breaks up cells, allowing debris, among other things, to escape into the interstitial fluid. While it is feasible to test for pathogens this way, a pinprick is too unreliable for obtaining more nuanced readings. Furthermore, there isn’t that much reliable data that you can reap from such a small amount of blood. But Holmes was nothing if not determined. Rather than drop her idea, she tried to persuade Channing Robertson, her adviser at Stanford, to back her in her quest. He did. (“It would not be unusual for finger-stick testing to be met with skepticism,” says a spokesman for Theranos. “Patents from that period explain Elizabeth’s ideas and were foundational for the company’s current technologies.”)

How can Stanford professors allow that cancerous superstitious idealism cheated billions of dollars from private donors/backers like former State secretary Henry Kissinger among others ? And on top that pile of lifeless and meaningless dollars lies the sadly shortened life of late scientist Ian Gibbons who stated to his wife that company's current technology isn't good enough for consumer-grade product. At his own failure of not being able to make it work, he committed suicide...

What is going on here? If there is a redemptive path to secure any or just one dreamer of making the world a better place, how Stanford Univ. and its professors must step up and out of their scientific cloaks to ensure our future American dreamers while pursuing their equal chance for inventing or discovering novel cure/testing, not to fabricate a loving machine turned instead as a killer machine, only cheaper and more widespread ?

My reaction at reading those negative report is immediate. But other's without this devasting negativity on their minds may offer a more rational advice. Below is an excerpt from a reader's reply to the discussion 'Rule of Law' on

Karl Burmeister · University of New Mexico
Dear H.G.

My sense of "Rule of Law" is that it is a cultural activity, more than a forensic or a deliberative/discursive process. The truly societal requirements occur over decades even centuries of socialization of new members of the social order. With our offspring we impose our habits and ethics on our descendants.

Rather than being a specific set of tortes or collection of legislation, Rule of Law as I understand it is the historical development of socially enforced mores. It is basically a cultural artifact by which ‘good’ people regulate their presence among others. Legislated legal punishment is merely a consequence one can expect if one violates the original socially forbidden behaviour.

As a young person, the idea of killing another human was abhorent to me. The very thought of such a thing nearly made me ill. Later I came to absorb the idea of self-defense, ultimately a source of moral confusion and as consequence understood that I could commit this act in self defense: I might not feel very good about it but at least I would be the conflict’s survivor.

When called by my draft board in 66 & 67 I opted for a strategy that did not involve a declaration of pacifism. I managed just barely to escape becoming cannon fodder in Vietnam.

In this country’s jurisprudence, legislated consequences are not evenly applied. Money and political influence trump the actual “rule of law”. The end result will be the collapse of the real rule of law in a climate that becomes more anarchic by the day.

And so, I keep hearing in response to not just this question but in nearly everything else besides:

"Life is not a zero sum game."

So much of the relentless assault on our psyches by modern globalised media ("we decide so you don't have to." from facebook) is devoted to winning and losing. One is taught to be afraid of losing even the least encounter.

If instead one works for the well-being of others, one finds every extension of ones compassion that the warmth of life is returned a hundred-fold.

And yet too many would impose their morality on others, each moral imposition being a win for my side and a loss for theirs. Is this nonsense really sustainable? Is this not the key element in everyone’s seeming need to be more important than others? This ultimately leads to rampant material gain on the part of a very few as proof that they have indeed won the game against the rest of us less materially endowed.

Ones banking institutions are keeping score. Will you be the winner?

Lovely opportunity to vent, nit War?

regards, Karl

"Raised to be a leader, failure is not an option..." , posted 19 Oct 2016 at 14:55 UTC by sye » (Journeyer)


Raised to Succeed

Elizabeth Holmes was raised in a family where failure was not an option.

The family’s wealth, power and political connections date to the 1890s, when Christian Rasmus Holmes, a Danish immigrant and physician, married Bettie Fleischmann, heiress to the namesake yeast fortune and a Cincinnati socialite with a fondness for Chinese bronzes.

Elizabeth’s father, Christian IV, grew up in California, raised by his mother, a former Powers model, whose second husband was a prominent San Francisco businessman. The family moved in powerful circles. Mr. Holmes took a Hearst daughter to a debutante cotillion in 1967.

Mr. Holmes had a distinguished career in public service, holding a number of senior government positions in Washington. He took on important roles in international trade and disaster relief, and his daughter recalls a home filled with photos of her father in conflict- and disaster-ridden areas around the world.

Her mother had connections, too. Noel Anne Daoust worked as a congressional aide to Representative Charlie Wilson, among others, although she took a dozen years off to raise her two children.

In the early 1990s, Mr. Holmes moved the family to Texas where he worked for energy companies, including Tenneco and Enron. (Mr. Holmes has since returned to public service and now works at the United States Agency for International Development.)

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