How did this happen?
I took a long, deep dive into grassroots political activism In 2003 and didn't come fully out the other side for over five years. It was by far the most educational experience of my overeducated life.
One I learned was that, if you are going to be an activist, forget that nonsense about an "informed electorate." Pick what you know and let the rest go. What I know is medical devices and the regulation of medical devices.
Why why why?
Mostly because I can, and I like to. No martyr me. There is also a bit of an underlying revenge motif, for all the bullshit. Beyond that, I am following the wisdom of Yoda. I am not trying to do anything. I am doing what I am doing, period.
I've always liked the sound of "speaking truth to power," but I'm of the firm opinion that the truth is unknowable, so that doesn't fit. Speaking sincerity to bullshit, that works better for me.
I also like the sound of "Our lives begin to end the day we stop speaking out about the things that matter," but I think it's more on point to say that people speak out about the things that matter to them. Medical devices and their regulation matter to me, go figure. So I'm speaking out. And I'm getting old, so there's a bit of "If not now, then when?" to it, as well.
Finally, often as it is repeated, I must say, I think Gandhi pretty much nailed it with "Be the change you want to see in the world." This is me holding up my little end of this democracy...no more, no less. I would love to see that change in the world.
Hey, whose side are you on anyway?
When I first started telling colleagues about my plans for the Regulatory Watchcat, their first question was always, "Who's side will you be on?" So I started finishing with "...and if I do a proper job of it, in the end, everyone will hate me." When it comes to regulators and regulated, I'm not on anybody's side. I'm not even on the side of patients. No bigger waste of time than trying to save people from themselves. They would do best to be on their own side, and save their ownselves.
Who is your target?
On the one hand, it doesn't matter, because I'm not trying to do anything, I'm just doing something, and I don't need a target for that. On the other hand, I am a communicator who is going to be communicating. For that, it is helpful to have a target audience in mind. In terms of individuals, the head of CDRH is an obvious choice. But on the whole, my target audience is the collective unconscious of the medical device industry, especially the regulatory professionals. Should some regulators read any of this, them too.
There is another type of target, besides an audience. For that, I'm happy to target the purveyors of bullshit, as I find them.