Styles of 5GW

Over at Dreaming 5GW, Purpleslog imagines a staccato 5GW:

Where it different from the fictional portrayals, is that I think they will want to make many small actions instead of a big attention generating move. This will allow a bit of a feedback on the techniques used. Also, small actions will get noticed less and are easier to conceal.<

I like the post a lot, and woudl commet if D5GW‘s spam filtering system would allow me to. So instead I’ll give props from this blog, and note with pleasure how this is a true variation on a concept originally written about at tdaxp (see Section VI: A Dream of 5GW.

The blogosphere has been incredibly kind to 5GW theory — perhaps the greatest burst of work on the “generations of warfare” framework since 4GW theory was introduced more than a decade ago.


Mark C Chu-Carroll, a doctor of computer science, a Google engineer, and a blogger, lost his father this weekend:

My father died on sunday.

To some degree, I’m still in shock. Even though we knew it was coming, when something like this happens, no amount of preparation really helps. He’d been sick with an antibiotic resistant infection since November, and on thursday, refused to let them give him a feeding tube. So we really knew, almost to the day, when he was going to die. And yet, when it finally happened, it was still a shock.

We buried him yesterday. I didn’t speak at the funeral, because I couldn’t. Every time I try to talk about him, my voice just shuts down. But my fingers don’t. So if you’ll bear with me, I want to say a little bit about my father.

He died of an antibiotic resistant infection. As long as I live, I’ll never be able to forgive the Doctors who took care of him. The illness that killed him started with an infection in his little toe. Due to a spectacularly stupid series of errors – where basically repeated infections with antibiotic resistant bacteria were not treated properly – he developed antibiotic resistant pneumonia, which is what ended up killing him.

He was 80 years old. He was an amazing person. And he will be missed.

My prayers go to Mark and his family.

Canton, in the City of the Pearl Ocean

Our last full day in Canton.

Zhuhai (Pearl Ocean — the meeting point between the Pearl River Delta and the South China Sea) is gorgeous. Our hotel spot was gorgeous. A trip back would be gorgeous.

The beach:

But wait until you check the view from the room…

Looking Left

Looking right

We — I should say I — found out to my peril that low tide is in the afternoon and high tide is in the morning. My initial swim went badly — I actually cut myself on a submerged walk — and until I re-swam the next morning I was left confused about what was going on. Heh. So fairs the South Dakotan in the Pacific.

We went for an amazing jetski ride, which is beyond words and far too dangerous for photos. But trust me, it was fun.

I also had Macau Beer for the first time, which was quite good and (like virtually everything else) better than Tsingtao.

Hands off my Macau!

Then as late afternoon came around, we retreated for tea time. Or quite sophisicated espresso-and-South-China-Morning-Post time…


… which was all the more pleasurable because virtually every other guest at the hotel was there for “FourthShift Exchange Asia,” some HR software convention, and where much too busy learning about SQL and business rules to be at tea. So it was us alone! On the top floor! Fun!

Slowly the perfect day ended. After the sun went down we went out to the beach again (a brave experience because it’s across a busy highway). Some final photos:

Canton, a tdaxp travelogue
1. Peking to Chungshan
2. Yatsen City
3. Chunshan to Chuhai
4. Pearl Ocean
5. Chuhai to Peking

A "Large" to "Very Large" Effect Size

Those who have been reading tdaxp over the past few months will know why this story is personal.

My first reaction is that the 43% higher risk of heart attacks

Pooled results of dozens of studies on nearly 28,000 people revealed a 43 percent higher risk of heart attack for those taking Avandia compared to people taking other diabetes drugs or no diabetes medication, according to the analysis published online Monday. The study, published by the New England Journal of Medicine, also found a trend toward more heart-related deaths.

Presumably means that .30 of the variation in heart attacks is explained by taking Avandia. This is a “large effect size.” It should show up in smaller sized studies. Unless the most recent study is an outlier, it’s strange that the effect has not been seen before.

Among worst cases, the increased risk is 64% (presumably, .38 of the variation is explained by taking Avandia). And indeed, apparently the FDA has known about this since 2002:

In 2002, U.S. Food and Drug Administration staff scientists called for reports of congestive heart failure to be included on the label of Avandia as well as Actos, made by Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., the group said, citing an internal FDA document.

The group released the memo one day after researchers reported Avandia, or rosiglitazone, raises the risk of cardiovascular-related death by 64 percent and the risk of heart attack by 43 percent.

To me, though, blaming the FDA is like blaming the traffic police for a hit-and-run.

Glaxo strongly objected to the results and defended use of the drug, which treats type 2 diabetes.

I imagine I’ll be following this for a while.