Mike Burr - log

[the regulatory shit show] A CVS adventure.

[Walgreens and other pharmacies are equally fubar. No offense, CVS. Thanks for the short and easy to remember name!]

I have two fun prescriptions that are "class whatever" and therefor have some random, net-harmful rules thrown on top for good measure.

We will call them X (a mild, widely used stimulant; no, not caffeine), Y (a synthetic version of a chemical that's present in your body and mine probably in the gram-plus range, if we could boil you down and refine it, and finally Z, a life saving blood pressure medication that should probably just be put in the water supply.

X, Y, and Z all naughty substances. (You should be ashamed.)

Day 1

It's time top refill X. Call and go through the menu.

[the phone menu]

First it takes several minutes to give you "useful" information that is the same every time and is also useless. You eventually get to the point where you can shout "speak to a pharmacist". The phone robot responds "Ok! Pharmacy! Which would you like..."

Is there anyone left alive on this planet that doesn't already know that robot will now read you a menu of further "automated" services that 1) are on your app 2) are on the web site and 3) are based upon sloppy, inaccurate information... "Your prescription is ready for pickup" (no it's not). "All your 'insurance' information is just fine!" (no it's not.) I know, as an expert user of the CVS phone menu, that "speak to a pharmacist" is a valid option at this point, so I get to shout again: "Speak to a pharmacist."

"Ok, I will connect you to a pharmacist. First, to make things oh so much easier for both of us, please say or enter your birthday... Now you shout out birthday numbers like a moron. You will, without fail, literally every time, be asked for this same information immediately by the human that comes on the phone. I can tell you that, at least with this absurd officially-licensed-pill-counter chain, you will 100% be asked two times. It is known.


And he switches back into rant mode. Don't worry, it's a kind of meditation for me. This is good stuff.

I get tired of this stuff going through my head. Forget about "why don't peepol beleeve me!?" Forget about that. I can't get past the bizzare feeling I get when I see the hive mind of some nation or other do just mind numbingly stupid shit. Shit a 12 year old would know better than to do.

The Hive Mind is fucking stupid. I got that a long time ago. I just get this zombie-movie feeling that literally no one else sees that. People who want to dial back some arms race or other by talking to people about, "yo, bro. you know you might not be 100% right about that thing you voted about." But voting feels good. And being really sure we need to "A" all the "B" right now! It feels good and is wrong but it feels good.

So, slip into zombie mode needlessly. I don't care. You shouldn't even be reading this.

The reason this whole bowl of worms is Kafkaesque, unnecessary nightmare fuel should be glaringly obvious to everyone. I think, maybe it is but the thought that follows that, like a overload safety kicking in and shunting you to the lizard circuit: "but if we don't do all this stuff than the kids will have drugs."

You are making reasoning errors that were discovered and corrected for by people 3000 years ago. You are making very, very old mistakes. You are failing to think in an ever more slightly more nuanced and dispassionate way that doesn't involve killing for your tribe. Relax. And understand that thinking is ok. You will get through it.

"Fuck your feelings", no. Not that. I am not lobbing a poo at you right now. I am asking you (professor bob johnson of bioinformatics at...) to just not be so sure that all the children will die.

I'm going to say something bold here: I think (whatever that is) that the majority of the enthusiasm for regulating every darn thing by gov inc is a widespread, forgivable, human flaw. I'm really not trying to be all that and a bag of chips. I'm not humble-mocking you and sending you a real insulting zinger topped with cool wit. I swear that I believe that you are capable of changing your mind.

Did we always have all this stuff? Why did we not have kids drinking lidocaine in the gutter back in the 20s. It is entirely possible that that could have happened. If people bought more, folks would buy more. The hated market would happily keep up. I wonder, if you did the math, how many dollars-per-gram lidocaine vs fentanyl would be. I'm pretty sure that fentanyl is the HP toner of the drug world. All time champ. Yep, it's stronger, but I'm sure lidocaine was perfectly affordable.

Meanwhile (and funnily at about the same time) there were many places around the world that did have people smoking opium all day long and doing nothing else. Why not lidocaine? I would guess it just wasn't around or it turned out that getting plain old opium and smoking it is most const-effective.

Why the difference? And more importantly, why is your impulse to explain it away "oh that's just ..." with implied "and that's why we need exactly all these drug laws forever."

And speaking of drugs, there was a whoooole lot more than lidocaine on the shelves. It's the kind of place that would get repeatedly robbed these days. But, I don't think there's much in "the literature" about drug stores back in the old days getting robbed for anything other than cash.

Wellbut. Wellbut. ...See, there it is again. Why the bias towards doing exactly the things and only the things forever. Is none of this up for discussion? Let the wise men work on it?


If you have a favorite explanation to leap towards, then

  1. You are assuming your explanation is not full of holes, as you are probably a human, there are lots of things wrong with your ideas. It might not be that way.
  2. You are putting yourself in the camp of "Keep the laws. I'm scared", know that you are defending the enforcement of pretty much arbitrary best-guess "fixes" using guns. Ultimately. Put this in your body without permission, go to jail. It's the American way, yes?

"Oh gee" (human) "We are all out of X. Sorry. It will be available at 4pm tomorrow."

[fast forward to 4pm tomorrow. Call ahead to be sure ;-) Note that this is the next day. You are making another phone call. Just to be sure!! On the off chance...]

Same menu as above. Exactly. It takes at least two grueling minutes of interacting with the friendly soulless robot. It is longer than it sounds. How about this... no big deal? I am a whiner? Oh. Oh. Hey, did you hear about the new law? Beer is no big deal. But we're going to basically mimic all the prescription drugs theater if you need to buy any hard liquor. No big deal! Just call your liquor store, give your date of birth and grandmother's 2nd maiden name...all set! You fucker. Still no big deal. Ok, I forgot to say: Imagine that it actually happens in your gedanken about it, just to humor me. Do we actually have to create a parallel universe where this is the case to convince you of its absurdity. No biggie. I will whip one right up.

Ugh. Quite literally, I am tired of typing about this. You are welcome.

- 1 toast