Blog entries from anciendaze

anciendaze has a total of 77 entries.

  1. anciendaze
    A long list of people who have tried to analyze wars from an economic standpoint have ended up with contradictory conclusions. In "Vom Kreige", Clausewitz couldn't find any separate purpose for war. "War is the extension of politics by other means." (Possibly true, but this begs another question. Two very different books to tackle the subject seriously are "The Statistics of Deadly Quarrels",...
    anciendaze, Aug 5, 2011
  2. anciendaze
    During the Great Depression there was a recurrent theme of "Where did all the money go?" It has been a constant surprise to me that scarcely anyone asks where the money which had fueled the roaring twenties came from. My answer is that the U.S. enjoyed prosperity because all parties in the European war now called World War I used deficit spending to finance the war, and the U.S. was late to...
    anciendaze, Aug 4, 2011
  3. anciendaze
    Today's news tells me the U.S. will not go out of business just yet. (This will prevent me from buying some choice items at the going-out-of-business sale.) Further down the page I find reports allowing me to add two more financial institutions to the list of those still figuring out what hit them in the past. The question of what to do about the present situation remains. (In the context...
    anciendaze, Aug 2, 2011
  4. anciendaze
    While I don't pretend to understand the current budget deal, I will hazard some observations about things noticed in the previous week. We had a House plan from Republicans, a Senate plan from Democrats, and a proposal from the Tea party for a balanced budget amendment, plus an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The bottom line is simple, rounded to the nearest trillion, the...
    anciendaze, Aug 1, 2011
  5. anciendaze
    I have previously suggested the problem with research on ME/CFS centers on a lack of funding for meaningful research with some chance of changing a dismal situation. I have also traced some current controversies to what I believe were scientific errors made decades ago, even before the label CFS had been invented. As a parallel example of the persistence of error and dysfunctional organization,...
    anciendaze, Jul 30, 2011
  6. anciendaze
    One aspect of the Lipkin talk at WPI was surreal, his appeal for someone to write a check for one million dollars to research CFS, MS, Parkinson's or diabetes. This at an institute which has been effectively blacklisted ever since they had the temerity to claim a new retrovirus was loose in the general population and blood supply. He had earlier covered how pyrosequencing could provide...
    anciendaze, Jul 22, 2011
  7. anciendaze
    The last landing of a Space Shuttle provided a poignant moment for those interested in space exploration. For the foreseeable future U.S. astronauts will be riding expendable Russian rockets into space at some $60,000,000 a pop. That this represents a considerable savings reveals quite a story of innovation gone awry. The Space Transportation System (STS) was intended to make frequent access...
    anciendaze, Jul 22, 2011
  8. anciendaze
    In 2009 there was a study using pyrosequencing to compare the viral communities in sputum from the lungs of people with cystic fibrosis (CF) to viral communities in sputum of healthy individuals. Pyrosequencing (and 454 sequencing) is one of several competing methods generally referred to as deep sequencing. Details of the distinctions between them would take us far afield. The important...
    anciendaze, Jul 18, 2011
  9. anciendaze
    While researchers dealing with biochemistry of the central nervous system were plagued by doubts, uncertainty and confusion, medical practitioners exhibited far more confidence. The distance between "this just might make you feel better" and "this will fix what ails you" is short enough to fit on a prescription pad. Prescriptions which don't actually cure anything have the advantage of...
    anciendaze, Jul 16, 2011
  10. anciendaze
    In the beginning, there were no neurotransmitters, and the brain was without form, and void of activity. (Well, O.K., maybe it had the appearance and structure of a mushroom in the morel family, or some corals, and maybe it had some kind of activity as indicated by galvanic responses and "animal magnetism".) Then, there was a flash of insight! Scientists said, "let there be lightning" in the...
    anciendaze, Jul 15, 2011
  11. anciendaze
    During the American Civil War, in 1863, Confederate General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson was shot by accident by his own sentries as his party was returning from a reconnaissance. He was hit twice in one arm, and once in one hand. Though his wounds were not immediately life-threatening, he slipped into shock. Days later, after the arm had been amputated, he died of pneumonia. This...
    anciendaze, Jul 14, 2011
  12. anciendaze
    Lets consider a great triumph of medicine, vaccination to prevent smallpox. This innovation is credited to Dr. Edward Jenner, who certainly deserves praise for his work. How did this come to be standard practice? The observation that people who survived one bout with smallpox were immune to later epidemics of the same type is as old as the disease. In Turkey this led to variolation,...
    anciendaze, Jul 12, 2011
  13. anciendaze
    In order to arrive at what you do not know you must go by a way which is the way of ignorance. T.S. Eliot Science was originally nothing more than a Latinate synonym for knowledge. Its specific use to designate the activity of scientists can be traced back only to the 19th century. My topic today is the essential counterpart of new science, ignorance. This is a large subject, so I'll...
    anciendaze, Jul 12, 2011
  14. anciendaze
    This post is different from previous ones I've made. I'm going to try to put current problems and controversies into a broader biological perspective. This will not appeal to everyone. The problem I'm grappling with is a fundamental one with implications far beyond the moment. Abstractions mentioned are likely to be unfamiliar. This does not mean they are vague, sloppy or inapplicable, only...
    anciendaze, Jun 28, 2011
  15. anciendaze
    Gerwyn (he who must not be named) has turned up an early paper on virus which appeared when tissue samples were 'passaged' through nude mice. Type C virions include retroviruses; some sizes can hardly be anything else. I've selected some sentences from the abstract which practically jumped off the page at me. > In another instance type C virus particles were seen replicating in the...
    anciendaze, Jun 25, 2011