I Like the Sound of This

I came across this phrase while reading a post about zinc as a life-saving cure for childhood pneumonia*:

double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial.

As I read it, I heard a cadence:



Placebo-controlled Trial

I don’t know what to call this style of poem. It might not be a poem at all. The reader needs to fudge the rhythm to make it work. Controlled barely fits between its bookends. (Would Placebo-‘trolled work?) But I like the sound of double-blind as it hands off to randomized.

I especially like the sound of the poem in the final line — a recognition that the experience of one should never be taken for the experience of many. Science is a challenge to anecdote. It recognizes that your cure might be my disappointment.

Today I started Vyvance. I’m not part of a double-blind study (though I can’t rule out that I’m part of a triple-blind study, completely in the dark), and I’m pretty sure I didn’t pay $50 for a placebo (though it’s not impossible.)

Either way, it will work or it won’t, and I’ll offer my anecdotal evidence once I have it.

*keeping in mind that it’s been at least five minutes since I read that post and I honestly can’t remember if pneumonia was the illness. But it was definitely about zinc, and sick kids, and a solicitous arrangement.


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