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#394140 - 09/08/09 11:55 PM Re: Question. [Re: Hagen von Tronje]
Unknown Offline


Registered: 03/31/05
Posts: 1644
Loc: 611 Calif. St.
Then you have the law offices following up with radio commercials offering a lawsuit against such companies.
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#394154 - 09/09/09 06:08 AM Re: Question. [Re: Quaark]
SINClair Offline


Registered: 10/06/08
Posts: 320
Loc: Europe
While no one is going to be happy with errors, medical error is not going to be an exception, quite far from it; I'm pretty sure everyone is happy to know that they'd have anaesthetic available in the surgery room if they were going to be split opened for whatever given reason.


So is it really medical advance in itself that scares you personally, or is it medical error?

If you decide that it is indeed medical advance in itself that scares you personally, do you propose that medicine has already advanced enough and should therefore stop advancing, or do you propose different forms of research, or... ?
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#394172 - 09/09/09 08:32 AM Re: Question. [Re: SINClair]
Shade Offline
CoS Witch

Registered: 07/08/06
Posts: 6130
Loc: In transit
Originally Posted By: SINClair
So is it really medical advance in itself that scares you personally, or is it medical error?


“We look for medicine to be an orderly field of knowledge and procedure. But it is not. It is an imperfect science, an enterprise of constantly changing information, uncertain information, fallible individuals, and at the same time lives on the line. There is science in what we do, yes, but also habit, intuition, and sometimes plain old guessing. The gap between what we know and what we aim for persists. And this gap complicates everything we do.” ~ Atul Gawande, Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science

I understand human error; nothing in medicine has a 100% ironclad guarantee of safety. Everything has side effects, some more unpredictable than others. Medical advances don't scare me. I'm just suspicious of anyone trying to sell me something. It's tempting to want to see the medical profession as altruistic, as having my best interests in mind, but it's a business like any other. I don't think that's a good thing or bad thing necessarily. Just something I try to keep in mind. Caveat emptor.

The only other cause of concern for me, personally, is privacy. Any time there is a surgical addition of artificial parts I think they come with a bar code, sku number or some other scannable trackable doohickey. Information management and privacy protection would be critical; one's medical history can include clues, hints and explicit details of so many things. I'd rather be off the grid entirely than be lit up like a Christmas tree with a blinking neon roadmap of vulnerabilities for total strangers and potential enemies to see and/or exploit.

I don't mean to sound paranoid. I just think it's important to carefully weigh the pros and cons before doing something that effects my health and safety.

“The best protection against propaganda of any sort is the recognition of it for what it is. Only hidden or undetected oratory is really insidious. What reaches the heart without going through the mind is likely to bounce back and put the mind out of business. Propaganda taken in that way is like a drug you do not know you are swallowing.” ~ Adler and Van Doren, How to Read a Book
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'Tween pavement and stars is the chimney sweep world
When there's 'ardly no day nor 'ardly no night
There's things 'alf in shadow and 'alfway in light" ~ The New Christy Minstrels

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#394173 - 09/09/09 08:35 AM Re: Question. [Re: SINClair]
Quaark Offline

CoS Reverend

Registered: 08/22/03
Posts: 8697
I am not sure who you are addressing; I have never said a thing about being "scared" about anything in this discussion so far.

Be that as it may (no matter really), I do have one word to describe the train wrecks that can happen when capitalism meets science meets quarterly report myopia...

Monsanto. Fuckers. I hate 'em.

Now, Monsanto is not doing human medical research per se, but do serve as a paradigm of how advanced genetic research can be designed only for corporate profit and nothing else, result in catastrophe that affects the biosphere as a whole, and still be clothed in enough corporate happy talk bullshit and have enough political clout to continue unabated, with next to zero chance to put the genie back in the bottle once the public catches on.

It is not difficult to envision similar uncorrectable errors occurring in human genetic research some day.

By the way, I and my partners am involved in creating a multi-national bio-tech start-up, so for me this is not theoretical jawing about.

I am absolutely pro-science and absolutely pro-capitalism, but that does not preclude the possibility of incredibly intractable problems resulting from the confluence of both.
_________________________
Helium II is a superfluid, a quantum mechanical state of matter with strange properties .

The thermal conductivity of helium II is greater than that of any other known substance, a million times that of helium I and hundred of times that of copper. This is because heat conduction occurs via a quantum mechanism.

Second sound is a quantum mechanical phenomenon in which heat transfer occurs by wave-like motion, rather than by the usual mechanism of diffusion. Heat takes the place of pressure in normal sound waves. This leads to very high thermal conductivity. It's known as "second sound" because the wave motion of heat is similar to the propagation of sound in air.

Sound waves are fluctuations in the density of molecules in a substance; second sound waves are fluctuations in the density of phonons. Second sound can be observed in any system in which most phonon-phonon collisions conserve momentum. This occurs in superfluids and in dielectric crystals when Umklapp scattering is small.

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#394196 - 09/09/09 11:01 AM Re: Question. [Re: SINClair]
Roho_the_Rooster Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 6996
Loc: Pre-Apocalypolis
If I may jump into the conversation with my 2...or maybe even 1 cent worth...

Any time anyone...or anything...comes across as a savior, chances are they may be behind the problem in the first place.
Science...especially medical science...HAS to be a dialogue between the practitioner and the consumer. Everything comes at a cost; even if it is not immediately apparent. Always do your own research. Chances are, you have as many resources as your physician. And if history has taught us anything, freaking forget about utopia. There ain't no such animal.

Fear? No
Educated caution? Yes.
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#394197 - 09/09/09 11:03 AM Re: Question. [Re: SINClair]
ShadowDragon Offline



Registered: 03/30/07
Posts: 327
Loc: Where I have Always Been
Originally Posted By: SINClair
Quote:
Just to be a nit-picker (and because I'd rather not, as a conscientious consumer, be lumped together with hysterical jesus freaks)... I think there are a lot of reasons why people are wary of medical advances other than the "it's god's territory" fear.



Can you give one example of another reason? Why are you wary of medical advances?


What they said, and plus think about this. It's a business. If the Dr. or the pharmaceuticals that they prescribe you actually cures you, do you think they're going to make nearly as much as they do now?

However, this area in which the video is on does show real promise, and progression towards some very real potential uses. It, however, does not signify a Utopia.

I apologize to anyone disappointed that there never will be a Utopia, but it's simply just how it is. There's always going to be violence, war, peace, crime, etc., etc. with every civilization. It is simply how nature works both in the human animal, and animals in general.

Sort of killing two birds with one stone you could say with this post. grin
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To Light a Candle,is to Cast a Shadow.

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#394200 - 09/09/09 11:51 AM Re: Question. [Re: ShadowDragon]
Roho_the_Rooster Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 6996
Loc: Pre-Apocalypolis
Originally Posted By: ShadowDragon


I apologize to anyone disappointed that there never will be a Utopia,


Can you imagine how friggin' BORING utopia would be?!
Think about it...No more disasters for professional...disaster reliefing people...to make money on.
Assuming a bare minimum of intelligence, far fewer stupid people to fall for your wiles.
And...more alarming than that...no more really good looking dumb chicks to take...I mean...woo.

Messy and imperfect is okay.

Now...if we can have a utopia where the above would not be an issue...
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http://theepicureandilettante.blogspot.com/

"Life is the only race you lose by reaching the end." - M.M.

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#394208 - 09/09/09 12:40 PM Re: Question. [Re: Quaark]
John Prophet Offline

CoS Member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 981
Loc: My suburban lair
Originally Posted By: Daark

By the way, I and my partners am involved in creating a multi-national bio-tech start-up, so for me this is not theoretical jawing about.

I am absolutely pro-science and absolutely pro-capitalism, but that does not preclude the possibility of incredibly intractable problems resulting from the confluence of both.


Daark, although I understand the dangers of mixing medical science and profit, do you think there's really any other way?

I too am very much pro-science and pro-capitalism; and I've always assumed that the problems that can arise from the mixing of the two, were just an inevitability (“cost of doing business”, “a necessary evil”, etc.) Basically, I’ve always assumed that in regards to things like this, money needs to be the primary motivation for anything to get done (or at least to get funded).

I kind of got the impression from your post above, that maybe you had an idea about how to rectify this issue, or that you had better ways in mind for dealing with the two? If you do, I would be very curious to know what your thoughts are; at least in a very basic way (meaning I’m sure that you could give an explanation that would go way over my head).
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#394209 - 09/09/09 12:54 PM Re: Question. [Re: ShadowDragon]
Unknown Offline


Registered: 03/31/05
Posts: 1644
Loc: 611 Calif. St.
Quote:
I apologize to anyone disappointed that there never will be a Utopia, but it's simply just how it is. There's always going to be violence, war, peace, crime, etc., etc. with every civilization.


I would rather live in a society that postulates strength. A utopia would be set for the weak and allow the myth of equality to no longer be a myth. Judging the history books this would prove impossible.

I also think science is indeed important for stratification in the world at large. Just look at the third world countries.
_________________________
www.churchofsatan.com

Satanism Demands study and not worship!
http://compleatwitch.blogspot.com/

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/logic-classical/

Avatar used with special permission from Reverend CoffinRust. www.coffinrust.com









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#394211 - 09/09/09 12:59 PM Re: Question. [Re: Quaark]
Unknown Offline


Registered: 03/31/05
Posts: 1644
Loc: 611 Calif. St.
Quote:
It is not difficult to envision similar uncorrectable errors occurring in human genetic research some day.


No it's not. I think errors will always be made so long as humans (the king of the fuck ups) exists. But it is what happens once all the errors and kinks are worked out that really matters.
_________________________
www.churchofsatan.com

Satanism Demands study and not worship!
http://compleatwitch.blogspot.com/

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/logic-classical/

Avatar used with special permission from Reverend CoffinRust. www.coffinrust.com









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#394212 - 09/09/09 01:01 PM Re: Question. [Re: John Prophet]
Hagen von Tronje Offline

CoS Priest

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 10098
Not to speak for Reverend Daark, but from my perspective there are a lot of issues that arise from any meeting of business-for-profit with matters of considerable human interest, such as medicine, food, etc - but I do not propose a better way. I recognize a necessary evil and simply advise that you watch your own ass and trust no one. Similarly I suggested that technology in general is hardly our savior, though clearly enough it has advanced our quality of life. At least, advanced our quality of life in the context of having exceeded earth's natural capacity to bear us quite some time ago.
_________________________
"The devil I'll bring you," answered Hagen. "I have enough to carry with my shield and breastplate; my helm is bright, the sword is in my hand, therefore I bring you naught."

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#394215 - 09/09/09 01:08 PM Re: Question. [Re: John Prophet]
Quaark Offline

CoS Reverend

Registered: 08/22/03
Posts: 8697
Originally Posted By: John Prophet


Daark, although I understand the dangers of mixing medical science and profit, do you think there's really any other way?

Stalin and Hitler both managed to motivate their scientists in a variety of ways; however, neither proved sustainable, and from the point of view of the scientists, were unpleasant to say the least. So I'd say a combination of money and ego-recognition remains the most effective and efficient motivator of innovation.

I too am very much pro-science and pro-capitalism; and I've always assumed that the problems that can arise from the mixing of the two, were just an inevitability (“cost of doing business”, “a necessary evil”, etc.) Basically, I’ve always assumed that in regards to things like this, money needs to be the primary motivation for anything to get done (or at least to get funded).

The single critical word in the above paragraph is in bold. Anything. The issue is not whether or not profit (and ego) are the right motivators - we will both just agree that it is.

The issue is the "what" that is being done in the first place. Is that "what" a desirable "what" from the point of view of everyone NOT involved in sharing profits from it?

Monsanto developed something called a "terminator gene" for their agricultural products. This would have prevented any of the plants from ever being able to reproduce - ever. No seeds. Each generation would be sterile. This would prevent farmers from being able to save the previous crops seeds to replant for the next season (as has been done for thousands of years) and force farmers using Monsanto seeds to repurchase Terminator seeds yearly.

Let's set aside for now the ethics of that, OK? Just ignore that this would have vast implications for the economics of farming and transfer vast wealth from farmers to Monsanto in perpetuity. Again, this is not for now my point.

The point, the really really important one, is that Monsanto did zero research, and had no intention of doing any research, ever, into the potential for the terminator gene to cross over into other plants in the wild.

The CEO of Monsanto said point blank in hearings that Monsanto did not consider that possibility any of their responsibility - their only responsibility was to provide healthy dividends to their stockholders. And technically, he was quite correct.

The problem is when a new technology has the potential to wreak havoc on the biosphere itself, irreversibly. To date, no scientific evidence of any kind has been put forth to suggest that the genetic sterilization of all plants globally due to the dissemination of the Terminator gene is impossible.

Eco-freaks and anti-globalists (and I belong to neither group thank you) were the only actors who got involved enough to have the Terminator gene plans scrapped, in 1999.

Do you begin to see the issue? It is the power of new techs and the reach of transnationals combined with the buying off of the governmental regulators that has created new possibilities for fuck-ups of a global nature.


I kind of got the impression from your post above, that maybe you had an idea about how to rectify this issue, or that you had better ways in mind for dealing with the two? If you do, I would be very curious to know what your thoughts are; at least in a very basic way (meaning I’m sure that you could give an explanation that would go way over my head).

One of my favorite axioms is that reality is self correcting. If regulatory mechanisms are NOT put into place to prevent profit driven science from REALLY REALLY fucking up, then we will all get to savor the consequences - which might involve the collapse of a civilization capable of developing further fuck-ups.

wink
_________________________
Helium II is a superfluid, a quantum mechanical state of matter with strange properties .

The thermal conductivity of helium II is greater than that of any other known substance, a million times that of helium I and hundred of times that of copper. This is because heat conduction occurs via a quantum mechanism.

Second sound is a quantum mechanical phenomenon in which heat transfer occurs by wave-like motion, rather than by the usual mechanism of diffusion. Heat takes the place of pressure in normal sound waves. This leads to very high thermal conductivity. It's known as "second sound" because the wave motion of heat is similar to the propagation of sound in air.

Sound waves are fluctuations in the density of molecules in a substance; second sound waves are fluctuations in the density of phonons. Second sound can be observed in any system in which most phonon-phonon collisions conserve momentum. This occurs in superfluids and in dielectric crystals when Umklapp scattering is small.

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#394217 - 09/09/09 01:27 PM Re: Question. [Re: Quaark]
Hagen von Tronje Offline

CoS Priest

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 10098
I wondered if you were referring to the Terminator plants. Those were never made commercially available, but the very concept of it is just fucking appalling. Even ignoring the (admittedly slim) chance of global catastrophe from it (caveat: I think the odds of it having SOME possibility of widespread damage is not so slim - might be limited to "only" a wipeout of corn crops, or somesuch, but still not something we want to try out), the very concept of forcing agriculture to enslave itself to a fucking corporation is disgusting. Isn't the whole point of farming the fact that it is independently sustainable? Isn't the whole idea here a more or less guaranteed food source, weather permitting?

Was only curious because there are quite a few reasons not to much like Monsanto. Just look at how many superfund sites they've left laying around.
_________________________
"The devil I'll bring you," answered Hagen. "I have enough to carry with my shield and breastplate; my helm is bright, the sword is in my hand, therefore I bring you naught."

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#394219 - 09/09/09 01:39 PM Re: Question. [Re: Hagen von Tronje]
Quaark Offline

CoS Reverend

Registered: 08/22/03
Posts: 8697
Yep, that one.

The most aggressive arms dealer to the Third World is deserving of a humanitarian award compared to Monsanto. Their list of cynical nastiness goes on for pages.

>>>
EDITED FOR LEGAL REASONS
>>>

Hey... just think of Monsanto as the Scientology of Science, and you've got the picture!


Edited by Daark (09/09/09 04:39 PM)
Edit Reason: Bein smart
_________________________
Helium II is a superfluid, a quantum mechanical state of matter with strange properties .

The thermal conductivity of helium II is greater than that of any other known substance, a million times that of helium I and hundred of times that of copper. This is because heat conduction occurs via a quantum mechanism.

Second sound is a quantum mechanical phenomenon in which heat transfer occurs by wave-like motion, rather than by the usual mechanism of diffusion. Heat takes the place of pressure in normal sound waves. This leads to very high thermal conductivity. It's known as "second sound" because the wave motion of heat is similar to the propagation of sound in air.

Sound waves are fluctuations in the density of molecules in a substance; second sound waves are fluctuations in the density of phonons. Second sound can be observed in any system in which most phonon-phonon collisions conserve momentum. This occurs in superfluids and in dielectric crystals when Umklapp scattering is small.

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#394221 - 09/09/09 01:46 PM Re: Question. [Re: Quaark]
Hagen von Tronje Offline

CoS Priest

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 10098
I found irony in the fact that Terminator plants share a name with a movie series focussed on the hazards of technology run amok and destroying mankind.

Maybe I'd find more irony in it if it weren't for the fact that crop failure is a much more real and likely danger than being overrun by kickass cyborgs. I think I'd rather go to war with robots than starve because some greedy douchebag businessman wanted to patent and monopolize food.
_________________________
"The devil I'll bring you," answered Hagen. "I have enough to carry with my shield and breastplate; my helm is bright, the sword is in my hand, therefore I bring you naught."

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