Martin Borch Jensen Profile picture
May 6, 2020 โ€ข 25 tweets โ€ข 15 min read
#ShelterInPlace #NonFiction #BookRecommendations !

Sharing takeaways and recs from recent reading blocks.

Who would I recommend this to?
๐Ÿ‘‘ Everyone
๐Ÿ† Any interest in topic
๐ŸŽ–๏ธ You often read on this topic
๐Ÿ… Nah

Michelin, not Amazon, style ratings = any non-๐Ÿ… is a good book.
Keynes Hayek by @NWapshott
Topic: ๐ŸŒ๐Ÿ’ฐ
Layperson's history of JM Keynes' inventing #macroeconomics, and opposition by ppl who fear inflation > unemployment.

โ€ข #Stimulus packages are <100y old
โ€ข They seem like magic, but aren't
โ€ข Fiscal policy goes beyond red vs blue Image
The Snowball by @aliceschroeder
Topic ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ“ˆ
Great bio, but #Buffett's life is so consistent most ppl won't need 700 pages of it.

โ€ข "Take a simple idea, and take it very seriously"
โ€ข Learned early he loves making money, never stopped
โ€ข Wife surely made him a better human Image
[See pic] by John Bogle
Topic ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ“ˆ
Bogle invented index funds, tells you why they're great. He's not wrong, but this could have been 1-2 pages.

โ€ข Most people can't beat average returns
โ€ข Mutual funds' fees pull them below the average
โ€ข Embrace the average, at 0.01% fees Image
[See pic] by James Montier
Topic ๐Ÿง ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ“ˆ
Beat your #Evolutionary #Psychology to invest better. Maybe redundant if you know #ValueInvesting and #BehavioralEconomics.

โ€ข Make plans far removed from scenarios they cover
โ€ข Stick to plans!
โ€ข Post-mortem on process, not outcomes Image
Biohazard by Ken Alibek
Topic ๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿ’ฃ
Memoir of running #Soviet #ColdWar #biioweapons programs. Politics, history, and gory details of #pathogens.

โ€ข VERY active programs, despite treaties
โ€ข Paranoid politics ruled everything
โ€ข Viruses/bacteria are engineerable, but not easily Image
Plague Time by Paul Ewald
Topic ๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿฅ
Torn on this one. Message is important, but author's indignant tone is frustrating...

โ€ข Not all #InfectiousDisease is acute.
โ€ข Many ๐Ÿฆ  are linked to #ChronicDisease, eg schizophrenia and cancer.
โ€ข We stopped studying this in the 70s. Image
Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

A special book, to mark the date: Eerily prescient tale of a girl's decision to take control, in a 2025 of ๐ŸŒŽ warming, indifferent ๐Ÿ‘ฎ, racism, lawlessness and societal decline. Shape yourself, to shape Destiny and populate the stars. Image
Written in 1993, it feels like turning on the news today. Heck, the sequel has a white supremacist campaigning for president to "Make America Great Again"...
The writing is exquisite for any genre, and the message in the protagonist's personal religion is profound and important.
The Coming Plague by @Laurie_Garrett
Topic ๐ŸŒ๐Ÿฆ 
A (scholarly and nuanced) beast! 600 pages of deadly epidemics and the scientists who fought them.

โ€ข New microbes appear 'out of nowhere'
โ€ข Environmental and demographic shifts contribute
โ€ข Pandemics spread thru early denial Image
๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿผ @drperszyk for suggesting '๐Ÿ“– blocks' of 3-4 ๐Ÿ“š to better chart a subject.

Main #InfectiousDisease takeaway:
I'm surprised that I'm surprised by the artificial divide between infectious and other disease/biology.

Next ๐Ÿ“— would be on #Microbiome, but field still too nascent.
The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker
Topic ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ’ผ
In a genre of 1-page ideas backed by 199 pages of anecdotes, this one is actually good. Even so, Pareto readers will prefer Drucker's essay summary:โ€ฆ, which I will let substitute for my summary bullets Image
Inner Game of Tennis by @the_innergame
Topic ๐Ÿง˜(๐ŸŽพ)
Bits about #Tennis, but really a treatise on #Consciousness, #Focus and letting go.

โ€ข Conscious self-talk is a barrier to execution
โ€ข Focus quiets consciousness, needs practice
โ€ข Focus in tennis(/xyz), to improve focus Image
Superforecasting by @PTetlock
Topic ๐Ÿ”ฎ
Prediction best practices, backed both by long ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ”ฌ career and @IARPAnews competition wins.

โ€ข Base rates, then unique case
โ€ข "Probably" โžก๏ธ "67%"
โ€ข New info โžก๏ธ Frequent but minor updates
โ€ข Forecasting works mid (6mo) not long (5y) term Image
[...] Leadership Mindtraps by @jgberger
Topic ๐Ÿง ๐Ÿชค
Nice summary of some "True Simple Things". High usefulness/page, several actionable methods.

โ€ข See >1 story describing each situation
โ€ข Dodge need for control by looking to enable
โ€ข Who you "are" now is not permanent Image
Summary of "thought traps" reading block:
โ€ข Biz books ARE full of obvious advice, but SOMETIMES that's needed in the middle of doing hard things
โ€ข As evidenced by... life, putting Simple Truths into practice is hard
โ€ข Bar for quality is very high, quantity is actively harmful
I'm also realizing that I should have chosen different icons for my ratings, since they're about whom I'd recommend to rather than quality.
Some of these books are excellent but quite specific, thus get a๐ŸŽ–๏ธ. Alas, hopefully nobody gets offended.
[See pic] by @PeterKolchinsky
Topic ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿ’ต
Great explanation of dynamics between healthcare costs, biotech, and societal benefit.

โ€ข $$$ drugs later grow our pool of cheap generics
โ€ข Reported prices aren't real, insurance gets big discounts
โ€ข Lower prices can't fix co-pays Image
@PeterKolchinsky ๐Ÿ†
Malignant by @VPrasadMDMPH
Topic ๐Ÿฆ€๐Ÿฅ
Blew my mind re. how cancer drugs get approved. Hint: it's a mess.

โ€ข Surrogate endpoints (eg tumor shrinks) over(ab)used
โ€ข Control arms not always std of care, esp post-protocol
โ€ข Economics = Ph3 after failed Ph2 can have positive๐Ÿ’ฒEV Image
A clarification: the only reason this didn't get a 'recommend to anyone curious about topic' rating is the word count. Quality is unparalleled.
Bottle of Lies by @KatherineEban
Topic ๐Ÿ’Šโ˜ ๏ธ
Hard to believe this is real; Theranos-level fraud for generic drugs we all take.

โ€ข Generics not all equal, or safe
โ€ข FDA often can't inspect non-US suppliers, but we still get their drugs
โ€ข Jugaad = creatively removing obstacles
Drug/#healthcare block lessons:
โ€ข I'd assumed that FDA approval = infallible ground truth on safety and efficacy, but FDA is described as understaffed and sometimes under political pressure at odds with the core mission (even before 2016). Still absolutely crucial organization.
โ€ข A lot of issues in US #Healthcare costs are from conflicts between utilitarian analysis (=don't pay for $$$ drug that's marginally effective) and the emotional narratives ("Senator X wants cancer patients to die!"), from Congress to your family doctor.
โ€ข Advertising works...
โ€ข Does not seem that most #biopharma act on pure greed, maybe slightly less so than other S&P500. But do act to profit within incentive structures they're subject to.
Tension from ppl feeling entitled to drug dev and #healthcare, but it being "responsibility" of private corps.
Two days after I posted this I see the following ad ๐Ÿค”
Even though I work on making non-#generic drugs, they're not a bad thing! As long as they're actually equivalent... Image

โ€ข โ€ข โ€ข

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More from @MartinBJensen

Jan 24
#SciTwitter After a lot of research and asking around, I'm making the lab equipment recommendations ๐Ÿงต I wish I'd had 2 months ago. RT/share with a #newPI or startup ๐Ÿ”ฌโš—๏ธ๐Ÿ›’
Note, much of the equipment hasn't arrived yet, will add comments after actual use.
-80 #freezer
Two clear winners: PHC (@panasonic) and Stirling Ultracold. Both low energy, quiet, reliable. We went with PHC because I know those to last many years, and slightly cheaper.
Thanks @MarcoJost_ @letUbeU @aryelipman #MBCBiolabs
-20 #freezer
Less clear, many viable options. We ended up getting a split of PHC MDF -30 (recommended as quieter) and much cheaper Corepoint Scientific/@VWR, will see which we prefer. Thermo hasn't failed #MBCbiolabs, but $$$ and several people said poor customer support.
Read 14 tweets
Jan 5
Something is changing about how scientific research is funded.

@Jasonmmast @endpts covers a growing set of science funding experiments:โ€ฆ
These include high-throughput grants (e.g. #Fast, #Impetus), new institutes (@ArcadiaScience, @AltosLabs, @arcinstitute... I guess A is for new beginnings?), and new structures like 'nonprofit startups' (@Convergent_FROs) & @newscienceorg.
As with all experiments, I expect that some of these will disappear and that others will be a central part of science in ten years.
But them happening at all is enough to renew a conversation about how science is funded and conducted.
Read 9 tweets
Dec 27, 2021
๐Ÿ’ธ 98 Longevity Impetus Grants were awarded in 2021, thanks to generous donations from @juanbenet @jamesfickel @VitalikButerin @JedMcCaleb @KarlPfleger @FEhrsam and 1 anonymous donor.
I'll summarize outcomes in this thread, awardees listed in prior one:
๐Ÿฆธ๐Ÿฝ While I've been doing most of the tweeting, the Longevity Apprentices @LNuzhna @kush__sharma @edmarferreira & Tara Mei are the real heroes for running the operations.
This has been a great Apprenticeship project, merging action and exposure to research
๐Ÿš… The review + awards process was fairly smooth, thanks in part to @kush__sharma's custom reviewer UI. Several reviewers told us unprompted that it was their best review experience ever; the UI took 2 wks to make, so there's low hanging fruit for other agencies in that area.
Read 13 tweets
Sep 7, 2021
Thrilled to announce the Longevity #Impetus Grants, $21M+ towards basic research that could accelerate our understanding and control of human aging.
We welcome proposals from researchers in- and outside the #Aging field. Please share!

More info: & this ๐Ÿงต
Impetus Grants are $10k-500k (w max 10% overhead). Smaller requests favored, to support more projects. No project period and no strings attached. Scientists at non-profits worldwide can apply with ideas that shift perspectives & capabilities in #Aging research, starting Sep 13th.
Inspiration came from @tylercowen & @patrickc's #COVID19 Fast Grants. Their team made funding decisions in 2 weeks, and the grants have already led to both discoveries and better tools for #testing.
If it's feasible to fund science this way, shouldn't we?โ€ฆ
Read 15 tweets
Jun 23, 2021
Arlan Richardson showing that JAX-housed mice, like humans, have undergone a dramatic improvement in #lifespan this century ... by reducing deaths from pathogens. #MindYourModels
Recommends looking at lifespan data as the best indicator of husbandry quality at different institutions/sources. Mean survival should be at least 27-30 months.
Example: 2003 Igf1r study showing 33% lifespan extension (in het โ™€๏ธs), but mean lifespan of controls was only 19mos. Lifespan effect largely disappeared when replicated in cohorts with longer control lifespan.
This was my go-to question for fly lifespan studies as a postdoc.
Read 7 tweets
Dec 20, 2020
I'm often asked how to learn about #AgingBiology, which I hope this thread can address.

Will first list recommended introductory resources, then contextualize and interpret.
There's exciting progress! But also many fanciful ideas, so you can't take everything at face value.
Will mostly skip the Why/philosophy of #AntiAging, since those asking for resources are likely already bought in.

If interested I wrote a Why/Why not post back in 2016:โ€ฆ, and most of the websites I'll list have a version of this discussion too.
The most comprehensive #Aging primer is @ArtirKel's FAQ:
It does a great job of introducing the field, and distilling the science for non-biologists. Bonus points for contextualizing how biology is different from engineering.
Read 13 tweets

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