Fail, fail, fail, fail, succeed

Monthly Archives: October 2022

Deciphering Criticism

What’s useful and what isn’t? Discerning the difference between legitimate and worthless critique can sometimes be challenging. For example, useless criticism may be mixed with legitimate observations — even though they came from the same source. Assuming you’ve already vetted this person as someone worth listening to, how do you tell the difference?

If the criticism comes from an emotional, viscerally negative response, it’s probably worthless. If it’s specific and observational, maybe you should listen and weigh it carefully. Figuring out how to tell the difference is part of getting better at whatever it is you’re trying to do.

The thing is, we all need criticism to improve.

After all, if we knew what we were doing wrong, we’d fix it ourselves. Good criticism helps us see what we are unable to discern on our own.

Discard it at your own peril.

ER Nurse Report

“Can you cover me for dinner?”

“Sure, whatta you got?”

“2/3’s an SI on 1:1, going to CPEP. No plan, nice guy. Wants to hire someone to kill him. Said that way it wouldn’t be a sin. Bed 9 was a r/o stroke, neuro thinks he’s post-ictal. Got 2 of Ativan, loaded him with Keppra, waiting for MRI. Checklist done and sent. 5’s the sick one. BS 860, trop over a thousand, Hgb 7.2. Waiting for type and screen results. I’ll transfuse him when i get back.”

“Anything else?”

“Yeah, waiting to hear from surgery on bed 11. Intox vs table saw. If they call I’ve got his ear on ice in front of my computer.”


So, You’re Walking Down the Street and You See a Robot Put on a Cowboy Hat

What do you think? Of course, the first question to pop in your head would be, “Why is a robot putting on a cowboy hat?” but that quickly leads to a whole stream of other questions.

Like, was he designed to put on a cowboy hat? If so, to what purpose? Is it a fashion statement? Can robots have a sense of fashion? If so, why design them that way? Or has this particular robot achieved sentience and is now thinking on its own? If that’s the case, what might he think of next?

Holy shit, could I control this robot if he decides I’m a threat? And why am I referring to it as a “he”? Do robots even have a gender?

And if he or she has the agency to choose to put on a hat, what else do they have the agency to do?

Hmmm, maybe he’s the threat? Just to be safe, I better treat him with caution, even suspicion. He could be dangerous.

Come to think of it, why would a human put on a cowboy hat? I mean, unless they’re a cowboy? As a fashion statement, I guess.

He does look jaunty, even kind of handsome. Looks like he takes care of himself. I think he likes himself in a cowboy hat.

He knows he looks good in it.

It might be fun to have a beer with him.

Do robots drink beer?

For the Love of God, Somebody Throw That Man a Life Raft

Finishing up five twelve-and-a-half-hour shifts in seven days in a desperately overwhelmed and understaffed NYC ER.

Been trying to call for help, but it sounds like God left the phone off the hook.

Not getting any younger here, folks, but this dog’s still got some gas in the tank.

Let’s go do this.

Flux (Part 1)

A state of continuous change.

An organism’s success depends on its ability to adapt to a continuously changing environment. To lose that ability is to begin the descent into entropy.

Let’s not hasten the process.

Hated It!

Ok, let’s stop and think about this for a minute. Don’t get your panties in a twist yet.

So you wrote something and thought it was pretty great. Spent a year working on it. Something that captured a moment in time, something that was real. Maybe not perfect; nothing ever is. But it’s good, at least for you. And that’s not nothing.

But then you show it to a professional, and you’re stunned.

They hate it. Everything about it. HATE IT. Clearly think it’s shite, like they resented every moment of their life they had to waste reading this delusional trash.

There are a few obvious takeaways here, but for the moment, let’s focus on one. Case in point: There are only three reactions one can have to art. Best case scenario: the observer loves it, it’s fucking genius, maybe even changes their life.

Worst case scenario: meh. The observer doesn’t really care one way or another, it’s just wallpaper, background noise. This is definitely not what you want.

Second best scenario: the observer fucking hates it. It actually pisses them off that it even exists. They can’t stop thinking about how much it bothers them. So how is this better than meh?

Cuz you made somebody feel something. You elicited an emotional response, albeit not the one you wanted.

But it’s still the second-best reaction, so let’s focus on that.

What Do ER Nurses Do?

It’s 11pm, the end of my shift, and I remember a patient I put an US IV in 12 hours ago who had a service dog. I go back to see if he’s still here, and of course, he is. Dog’s curled up in the stretcher next to him.

I ask if the dog’s been out. That’s a negative. So I grab an umbrella bag (for poop) and set a pitcher of water in the ambulance bay. Go back to the room and proceed to take a very large (100+ lb) female bully out for a stroll through the ER and into a beautiful fall night in the Heights.

She seems happy.

I get her back in bed just as my shift ends.

All in a days work.