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Openness to Creative DestructionSustaining Innovative Dynamism$
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Arthur M., Jr. Diamond

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190263669

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190263669.001.0001

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Hope for a Better Future

Hope for a Better Future

(p.181) 13 Hope for a Better Future
Openness to Creative Destruction

Arthur M. Diamond Jr.

Oxford University Press

Pessimists predict the end of technological progress, but secular (long-term) stagnation is due to bad policies, not to having picked the low-hanging fruit, as illustrated by innovative medical entrepreneurs who have been constrained from bringing us quicker and better cures for cancer. Funded researchers must stick to their original protocols even in the face of promising serendipitous discoveries. Medical incumbents protect their turf by mandating costly double-blind studies for innovations, and then refusing to enroll their patients in the studies. Trial-and-error experimental tinkering allowed Emil Freireich and his Society of Jabbering Idiots to develop the chemotherapy cocktail that allowed many to be cured of childhood leukemia, and allowed Vincent DeVita to develop the chemotherapy cocktail that allowed many to be cured of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Yet FDA protocols restrict trial-and-error experimentation, resulting in many needless deaths. In medicine, as elsewhere, our future will be better if we unbind the innovative entrepreneur.

Keywords:   secular stagnation, low-hanging fruit, trial and error, Emil Freireich, Jabbering Idiots, chemotherapy cocktail, childhood leukemia cures, Vincent DeVita, Hodgkin’s lymphoma cures, FDA protocols

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