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Blog entries from anciendaze

anciendaze has a total of 70 entries.

  1. anciendaze
    One principle I picked up over several careers was that if a group of intelligent and reasonably hard-working people have failed to solve a problem, after a sustained effort at finding a solution over a considerable length of time, finding a solution might very well require systematically violating various rules and shibboleths governing group behavior. While this has regularly been taken as...
    anciendaze, Oct 21, 2011
  2. anciendaze
    I am indebted to the late Douglas Adams for the idea that a device which radiates emissions causing people to perceive "somebody else's problem" would enable one [media] Increasing medical and scientific specialization has expanded the scope of this technique astoundingly. I'm sure many readers will have felt such emanations coming from physicians. Coupled with my own discovery in the study of...
    anciendaze, Oct 19, 2011
  3. anciendaze
    The title word may not be familiar. Indeed, for those speaking languages other than English, it is difficult to translate. It can be traced to a Persian tale, "The Three Princes of Serendip", and was coined in English by Horace Walpole. The princes in the story have a series of adventures which might fit the Arabian Nights, since there are stories nested within stories. In the process, they...
    anciendaze, Oct 13, 2011
  4. anciendaze
    This post is not tagged as humor, however dark. It is intended to be a serious discussion of how people deal with ignorance and uncertainty. The title is taken from inscriptions added to make blank areas of old maps somewhat less naked. Those dragons would naturally explain an absence of information from the region. Obviously, explorers who ventured there failed to return. This might...
    anciendaze, Oct 12, 2011
  5. anciendaze
    At this time of crisis I want to make it clear I do not support some extreme criticisms of the CDC. Should the shocking charges against one administrator be proved in court, which remains to be decided, I think all reasonable people will agree she violated CDC policy in several serious ways. First, it is alleged she became emotionally involved with a victim, losing clinical detachment....
    anciendaze, Oct 11, 2011
  6. anciendaze
    Hierarchiology, the study of hierarchies, is essential to modern science, in which hierarchies play a dominant role. Let me discuss a few fundamental principles of this subject. First, the purpose of any hierarchy is to separate authority from responsibility. This, for example, allows political leaders who start wars and generals who direct them to survive while thousands of foot soldiers...
    anciendaze, Oct 10, 2011
  7. anciendaze
    This is a departure from my recent biological posts and a temporary return to topical economic issues. Two things have prompted this: 1) news of further problems with European debt; 2) a recent announcement by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The news of a downgrade in Spanish and Italian credit ratings, the second this week for Italy, is hardly surprising. It is part of a...
    anciendaze, Oct 7, 2011
  8. anciendaze
    [ATTACH] Public health officials live a life of short-term excitements, bouncing from one crisis of confidence to another, constantly reassuring the public that everything will be under control so long as doctors and patients follow instructions, and the public keeps funding flowing. Historical perspective is a luxury they are denied. This leads to some questionable strategic decisions....
    anciendaze, Oct 5, 2011
  9. anciendaze
    So far, I've covered several stages in the life cycle of a retrovirus infecting mammals. Transmission via body fluids, blood, saliva, semen in horizontal transmission, milk in vertical transmission are typical. This could apply to a beta or gamma retrovirus. As it happens, both groups are well represented as human endogenous retroviruses (HERV). The "junk DNA" left by HERVs over periods of up...
    anciendaze, Oct 3, 2011
  10. anciendaze
    While I started out to write a topical piece on current controversies, biomedical or economic, I decided others were doing a more than adequate job of venting hot air without me. Instead, one fallacy which consumes a great deal of scientific effort stands out as in need of explanation. It is at least as old as the idea of finding a "missing link" in evolution, if not the "great chain of being"...
    anciendaze, Oct 2, 2011
  11. anciendaze
    This is hardly a unique event. For perspective on the current controversy over retroviruses in ME/CFS, which continues to generate more heat than light, I want to describe research on human breast cancer in relation to mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV). You can find surveys of the possible role of mammary tumor virus in breast cancer over 40 years old. Not only does breast cancer remain a...
    anciendaze, Oct 1, 2011
  12. anciendaze
    Just in case anyone is confused by this perspective, I want to emphasize that a virus is unlikely to have mental processes of any kind. We don't normally even call things living if they can be crystallized and stored like salt. My approach is a literary device to help us view the problem from a new angle. That said, what happens to a virus, adapted as described, when it reaches the...
    anciendaze, Sep 18, 2011
  13. anciendaze
    What kind of virus should we expect to cause chronic infectious diseases? Will it resemble the virus that causes measles? If not, how will it differ? Perhaps we can get a better idea by viewing things from the perspective of a virus. While we often believe pathogens are out to kill us, the truth is that the death of the host may often mean not only the death of the pathogen, but the end of...
    anciendaze, Sep 18, 2011
  14. anciendaze
    With a new-found reputation for financial expertise, I thought it appropriate to offer my distilled wisdom to those innocents looking to invest. There are three laws, paralleling the laws of thermodynamics: 1. You can't win. 2. You can't break even. 3. You can't get out of the game. This would seem to wrap things up, for those without analytical minds. More careful consideration...
    anciendaze, Sep 13, 2011
  15. anciendaze
    Humans are the only known species which will not simply guard members who are injured or sick, but actively feed and care for them. Likewise, we have an apparently unique ability to subordinate individual differences during struggles with forces of nature which endanger all. We forget these are not natural laws, but social norms. When events like recent ones in Tripoli, Libya or Monterrey,...
    anciendaze, Aug 29, 2011