social, health, political imagery through the lens of G J Huba PhD © 2012-2021

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I get a lot of messages weekly from folks on Twitter who are forced to use less expensive (and they claim less effective) drugs because they “just” make average salaries. I have no doubt it happens frequently.

Let’s face it, Big Pharma makes an obscene amount of money.

And this from a capitalist and entrepreneur. But I hate the investor class that just makes money off money and the creativity and hard work of others. Shareholders in Big Pharma are primarily from the investor class. You have problems, my peers develop effective treatments, and then some  bozo who inherited $100M from his hard-working grandparents makes a ton of money by keeping the prices indefensibly high.

How do I reconcile my capitalism with the fact that Big Pharma needs to be castrated.

I’m fine with letting Big Pharma charge whatever it wants.


  • The product developed is in no way dependent upon research funded by a government or a foundation for that drug or a precursor.
  • The costs of developing the drug or its precursors have not been recorded as tax deductible expenses.

If either of the above two conditions are true (the taxpayers paid for the research, the taxpayers paid more taxes because Big Pharma did not really assume 100% of the financial risk in drug development), then I propose that 75% of the profits from Big Pharma should be returned to the governments who “paid for the R&D” and that those monies should be distributed to those who cannot afford the best possible drug treatments.

My guess is that Big Pharma should be splitting the profits on just about all (maybe there is one that wasn’t dependent upon taxpayer support) of its modern products.

The current system of governments (primarily the US and EU) subsidizing Big Pharma with basic research grants and tax deductible expenses for turning the basic research paid for by government into cash cows for the investor class is extremely unfair. This is another case where the “regular folks” are subsidizing the investor class directly and that is just plain obscene.

Get out the shears.


[The Big Pharma model of using government supported basic research to magically create huge amounts of wealth is such a pervasive one that now most of the most prestigious universities want their medical schools to use the same model. I would rather see “excessive profits” go to support educational institutions than under-taxed individuals so I would reluctantly support the Medical School model if there is insufficient will within the US Congress to fix the situation. Disclosure: At various times I have owned shares in many of the Big Pharma companies.]


If you are becoming cognitively impaired or transitioning into full blown dementia, mind maps MIGHT be useful for you to communicate, think, and remember.

Many different sources can help you prepare maps and use them to communicate with you. Or, you can make them for yourself and to inform others. For instance, I usually take a mind map along when I have a routine medical appointment. All of the doctors I have used them with has commented that the maps are a very easy and thorough way to understand what has been going over 3-, 6-, or 12-months. Probably quite useful for those with cognitive impairment/demential or those visiting a doctor for an infection, skin examination, or just a regular physical exam.

Click image to expand.



Twitter has almost totally leveled the influence of news and information web sites (and blogs).


I get bombarded all day on Twitter with links to information that looks interesting and valuable in the context of 140 characters. I click on a bunch of these links every day.

I often end up on small web sites with very valuable information about healthcare or glaciers or dogs or social data or food recipes or why I should ditch my diet and receive all of my nutrients from kale. Depending on the day of the week I am assailed with information about a Kardashian or three, the student at Duke paying her tuition by appearing in porn, or the obscenity of Putin’s tanks.

Without the constant bombardment of links I never would have discovered my favorite bloggers (@DrJenGunter, @hansbuskes) or many of the thought provoking liberal “get them GOP idiots” cartoon sites or many of the conservative “get them liberal Dem idiiots” cartoon sites. Without Twitter I would not have paid attention to the consistently great information on the web sites of  Scientific American or Discover or Al Jazeera or the BBC or the Association for Psychological Science or the Mayo Clinic or many small regional news outlets including those of more than 100 countries. Without Twitter I would be actively selecting the very few giant media web sites from which I would get my information — the New Yawk elitist times, the la-la optimist times, CNN (the original chicken noodle network), Fox (the we eat chickens network), NBC and ABC and CBS (and the other three and four letter news oligarchies). Without all of the constant links I would not learn about all of the human rights violations worldwide or the most recent breakthroughs in dozens of professional fields (healthcare, medicine, astronomy, physics, nano technology, image processing).

Without  Twitter I would probably spend little or no time on the web sites of news organizations based outside the USA or know about Indie films or see great pictures from outer space.

WOW. There are zillions of great information producing web sites out there, many with such small budgets that they could not even afford a print ad in the New York Times.

Along with the testimonials to “a grapefruit saved my life,” the latest zit removal miracle, and unapproved medical therapies, there are diamonds out there that can expand your views greatly. At times there is TOO MUCH INFORMATION but you can’t find the jewels without going into the mine.

Democratization of the world’s information is a great thing.


Health and other research does NOT PROVE or SHOW anything.

In a world of “statistically-based confirmation” of research hypotheses, a “significant” result that shows or proves something does not exist. A study — absent from methodological flaws, the wrong statistical tests, a small sample, and poor validity and reliability measurement — can SUGGEST or moderately suggest or weakly suggest that a preliminary theory MAY be supported.

Write or report on TV that a study “suggests” or “mildly suggests” a finding of interest to the public and you will be doing the public and science a huge favor, make your reporting more accurate, and help avoid false expectations or a skepticism that researchers have “proven” the obvious.

I know that you probably did not hear this in a statistics class in such a straight forward way. Scientists rarely do either.

Change one word and the public is better informed. SUGGESTS, not proves or shows.

Change that one word to “suggests it may be possible that” and you will be even more correct.

Rare diseases  are often overlooked in the public’s collective mind and the priorities of elected officials, at least in part because many do not know about the diseases and the lack of effective treatment for most.

Spread the knowledge. Click the image for more information.


Hans Buskes and Philippe Packu in their recent book on mind mapping raise the issue of the best fonts to use in mind maps for clarity and usefulness.

I tend to agree with their suggestions BUT ONLY when the mind map is developed for general communication to large groups of people with whom the mind map developer probably has little direct connection. This is the typical situation for mind maps shown in books written by “mind mapping experts” for general groups of readers. It is the typical situation in management consulting and professional presentations.


  • my notes are for me; your notes are for you
  • my to do list is for me; your to do list is for you
  • my personal feelings are for me
  • my life history is for me and my family
  • my social history is for me and my friends
  • my creative work is best done with small groups of peers, friends, and colleagues who communicate with one another in a relaxed and informal way

Makes you wonder whether developing mind maps with “standard business” fonts such as Georgia or Tahoma or Arial or Times Roman is an especially effective way to make maps primarily for your own use, especially if you have any types of cognitive impairment or special cognitive needs.

I am much more motivated to work on maps and refer to them and plan from them and keep my schedule in a mind map if the fonts in the mind maps do not look like I have urgent BUSINESS PRESENTATIONS to make.

I like to kick back and use a large number of different professionally developed “hand-printed” fonts which I often match to the topics/content of the map and whatever gets the creative juices going.

You can see lots of examples of using fonts to inspire creativity in the variations among the mind maps presented in the posts in this blog.

Now, let’s generalize these concerns to people with various kinds of cognitive and perceptual impairments (mild cognitive impairment or MCI, early-stage dementia, later stages of dementia, typical aging, learning disabilities, and illness).

Someone with mild cognitive impairment developing a mind map to help in planning an event or making a decision or scheduling may find it much easier, productive, and creative to work with mind maps in various unique fonts appropriate for the topic, the individual’s preferences, or for novelty rather the usual “readable” business fonts. Many no longer work or ever had the opportunity to work among those who develop “management” presentations. “Personal” fonts in mind maps and other visual thinking methods may make them more effective as planning, thinking, and memory tools, especially for those with cognitive impairment.

Of course this is my conjecture based on my own preferences and knowledge of some of the relevant literature on neurodegenerative diseases. To the best of my knowledge no studies have ever proven what the best fonts are for mind maps for different types of people with different types of uses for maps on different days of the week in the winter or summer or even when the moon is full.

To push my creativity, I want my maps to look hand-printed and personal and not like a business presentation or a doctoral dissertation.

Now at the extreme you could always use one of the free services on the Internet for developing your own personal font(s) based on your own printing or cursive writing! I tried. The results are below.

I personally intend to stay with commercially developed hand-printed fonts by pros and try to pass those off as “my own” handwriting. I am sure that I can read their “handwriting” a lot better than my own.


Click on image to expand.

My  Printing

I’ve been waiting months to be able to purchase the new book “A Practical Mind Map Tester” by Hans Buskes and Philippe Packu.


Dr Buskes and Mr Packu are, in my opinion, two of the “top 100” most creative and influential mind mappers currently working anywhere in the world. The new book does not disappoint as the authors address the difficult question of “what makes a mind map a good mind map?” with an unique approach and much new thinking on the topic.

I will be posting a very detailed review of the book later as I have a lot of interest in this topic. But don’t wait for my review; the books is currently available on the Apple iBooks Store and is a must-read for mind mappers and those who would like to use mind maps effectively.

I wrote the blog post below in 2014. In 2017, the USA has an even greater need to remember the ideals and teachings of Dr. King and the many actions he took to build a better America free of racism and other forms of discrimination. To this day, a mention of Dr. King’s name brings back a memory for me (and probably at least a 100,000,000 other Americans) of the time when a great man made the world aware that all people should receive all universal human rights and that discrimination cannot be tolerated in any way.

Sadly, this year we will celebrate the US National Holiday in honor of Dr. King the same week about half of the American voters celebrate the inauguration of a new American presidential administration that will try to deny many of the rights of many based on their religion, national origin, current residence, gender orientation, gender, income, education, and many other characteristics.

America has taken a giant step backwards. I trust the ideals of Dr. King can once again bring us forward from the darkness of discrimination, denigration, denial of rights, and despair.

Addition in 2021.

Much as I predicted four years ago, Donald Trump totally screwed up the USA. He has run an American government that is racist, unfair to everyone except the billionaire class, a destroyer of our alliances and friendships of many decades with other nations. Trump’s government has ended many of our charitable contributions to poor nations and those with the need of medical supplies and skills. He contends the truth is fake news if he does not want to hear the truth if it is critical of him. And he has violated all of the positive beliefs and policies and caring and empathy steps that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., taught us all 50 years ago.

In two days, Joe Biden will be sworn in as the US President. All of the indications at this time are that he will lead our country in the way Dr. King taught us was for the betterment of all global citizens. Biden is going to have an incredibly difficult job dealing with COVID-19, civil unrest, individual and systemic racism, unheard of unemployment rates, the children of the world not receiving in-class instruction, and poverty at levels unbelievable 12 month ago.

May we learn from the words and examples of Dr. King.


I too have a dream …


Of all the Americans who lived during my lifetime, none has been more deserving of respect for his vision, ideals, and actions than Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I pray that his ideals will once represent the direction of the world’s peoples and governments.

Very simplified alternative to #Scapple. In most cases I would go with Scapple. The advantage here is that it is very easy to incorporate status and importance information into the diagram (by color and thickness of the box borders). This is an easy way to document the activities of the day. But then again, Scapple is also, and is far more flexible albeit more expensive.

Recommended but a stability improvement (bug fix) is needed.

Click image to expand.


#PorscheByDesign exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh. 28 cars. Many prototypes and concept cars and Janis Joplin‘s psychedelic auto.

Obscene to own but gorgeous examples of industrial and engineering design, the style of these toys is echoed in many of the items much of the world uses daily.

[Note: Non-commercial photography of the exhibit is encouraged as is posting in social media.]

PorscheByDesign 1 PorscheByDesign 2 PorscheByDesign 3 PorscheByDesign 4 PorscheByDesign 5 PorscheByDesign 6 PorscheByDesign 7 PorscheByDesign 8 PorscheByDesign 9 PorscheByDesign 10 PorscheByDesign 11 PorscheByDesign 12 PorscheByDesign 13 PorscheByDesign 14 PorscheByDesign 15 PorscheByDesign 16 PorscheByDesign 17 PorscheByDesign 18 PorscheByDesign 19 PorscheByDesign 20 PorscheByDesign 21 PorscheByDesign 22 PorscheByDesign 23 PorscheByDesign 24 PorscheByDesign 25 PorscheByDesign 26 PorscheByDesign 27 PorscheByDesign 28 PorscheByDesign 29 PorscheByDesign 30 PorscheByDesign 31 PorscheByDesign 32 PorscheByDesign 33 PorscheByDesign 34 PorscheByDesign 35 PorscheByDesign 36 PorscheByDesign 37 PorscheByDesign 38 PorscheByDesign 39 PorscheByDesign 40 PorscheByDesign 41 PorscheByDesign 42 PorscheByDesign 43 PorscheByDesign 44 PorscheByDesign 45 PorscheByDesign 46 PorscheByDesign 47 PorscheByDesign 48 PorscheByDesign 49 PorscheByDesign 50 PorscheByDesign 51 PorscheByDesign 52 PorscheByDesign 53 PorscheByDesign 54


Here are links to some earlier posts about events, people, reactions, and other information you might wish to document as you age so that you (or a caregiver or younger family member) will have the information later. Each of these posts illustrates combining text and images. These examples are ones that can be done by you before you have any cognitive problems as a self history as well as with a caregiver after problems occur. Any whether you ever need to use to help you if there is a cognitive decline, these are great ways of passing down information from generation. I wish I knew much of this information about my parents and other family members. Click on links to see examples.

Beliefs and Values


Traditional Timeline

Symbolic Timeline



Data Visualizations

Career in Perspective

Social Media


Some Things to Document as You Age

03[Guess you didn’t learn to spell before forming an opinion on Obamacare. See picture at bottom.]










bush c cheney






[What about Darth Sebelius?]


[Weirdest thing Miley Cyrus has done this year to date. Or is the Speaker trying to be Miley?]









[Yup. Giving the masks away for free, too.]


[I get to keep the Butterfingers.]


[Make sure to only give the candy to people with teeth.]


[Nice Abe, even shorter than the original.]

pelosi1 pelosi3

[Boehner as Miley Cyrus is worse.]


[I see they have a culturally appropriate version for the guy with the trucker’s hat at the beginning of this post.]

To summarize …


[Hard to believe you are sicker than our healthcare system has become during your time running DHHS and Boehner’s tenure as Speaker of the House. The two of you are dancing a very weird tango.]

Recently I discussed fighting backing against cognitive aging with mind mapping, a cognitive-behavioral technique.

Lets take a look at the how and why.

  1. Most neurodegenerative diseases that cause dementia have no cure nor particularly effective way of controlling the symptoms of the disease.
  2. Most individuals use notes and checklists and reminders and calendars — fancy or simple — to help deal with loss of memory or the ability to make decisions or prioritize tasks and remember people.
  3. There are better ways to take notes and manage calendars and enhance-stimulate memory and other cognitive functions. I think mind mapping (Buzan-style) is the best way to perform these tasks.
  4. Although better note-taking will not cure brain degeneration, it may increase quality of life and the ability to remain independent or mildly dependent for a longer time. Even a few better days in a month is a huge improvement for individuals with neurodegenerative diseases and something to be treasured.

Click on image to expand.

Cognitive-Behavioral Tools for Fighting Cognitive Decline

Well not really ….. unless you think that all there is to life is using your Mac Book or Air.

Two months ago, Apple replaced ny 17 inch 2011 MacBook Pro (without cost) with a new 15 inch MacBook Pro with a retine screen. They had tried three logic boards (essentially new computers) in the aluminum unibody case to try to fix the Thunderbolt port. Apple was nice enough about this although I had to be firm with them that if Thunderbolt would not work on the four separate logic boards (original + 3 replacements) then there was a flaw in their overall logic board design. (I do note that absolutely no screaming was necessary; they are cool — negotiate in good faith and let them suggest solutions and do not necessarily take the first one offered.)

I brought the new machine home, turned on the power, and selected my Time Capsule as containing the most recent back-up of the prior computer. 15 hours later my new machine was my old machine complete with passwords, app settings, preferences, datasets, and everything else. The restoration was NOT for just the Apple apps but all apps on the original machine.

If you go to school or work with your Mac or store photos and documents and email on the Mac, get off your ass and get the get the free (included) Mac app Time Machine running and backing up the Mac automatically. You can use Apple’s Time Capsule hardware or any other external hard drive on your computer attached with a wire or logged on to the same wireless network as the external hard drive. Installation is a semi-complex thing, but if you cannot get automatic backups running within 15 minutes, consult a sixth grader.

My intellectual property is worth many thousands of times the relatively inexpensive cost of adequate automatic backup hourly. And secondary periodic backups of the primary backup drive to another external drive.

How much do you value your intellectual property? Your upcoming college degree? Your work products? Your family’s pictures?

More than $300?