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 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 hierarchies that routing problems is more important than solving them this yields a new tool for the analysis of organizational responses to problems.
One principle to keep in mind is that organizational structures and patterns of communications will remain unchanged even when individual people are moved around. Accordingly, we will check on the the structure of the organization w.r.t. ME/CFS. At the CDC, we find it under chronic viral diseases in the viral and rickettsial diseases branch under the division of high-consequence pathogens and pathology. This might naively lead to the expectation that it was considered a high-consequence chronic viral disease. A careful study of publications will show a marked absence of viral etiology. The major suggestion to be found is that this must be a psychiatric somatoform disorder.
A parallel examination of NIH organizational structure reveals that ME/CFS research was, in the past, generally in the domain of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases. A move to the Office of Research on Women's Health, attached to the office of the director, disenfranchised the 1/3 of sufferers who happen to be male, and carried essentially no funding for useful research. We might, once again, naively expect it to be classed as an infectious disease, but a paper published by the NIAID expert on this disease was said to show conclusively that such patients had preexisting psychiatric conditions. The Office of Research on Women's Health might be schematically illustrated with the symbol electrical engineers use for a short to ground.
Neither leading organizational expert in this disorder had much training in psychiatry, and the natural action of transferring research to the National Institute of Mental Health did not take place. Both organizations have declared the problem to be "somebody else's problem" without giving up control. Not only have they shown repeatedly that it is not a viral disease, they are fully prepared to go on showing that it is not a viral disease into the indefinite future. If they gave up control, there would be the risk someone else might find a viral disease, as that troublesome National Cancer Institute keeps doing w.r.t. cancer, encroaching on NIAID turf.
The whole operation shows the extraordinary effectiveness of this particular cloaking device. Even an office attached directly to the office of the director becomes effectively invisible, and there is no danger some competing organization will make it visible while the cloaking device remains in operation.
Blog entry posted by anciendaze, Oct 19, 2011.