Curiosity Over Pride (FYI: To comment, send an e-mail to

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Willingness To Harm Others

Yesterday in Puget Sound a person with a long criminal history ambushed and killed four police officers in a coffee shop. Had I posted yesterday there would have been wild-eyed ranting about martial law and a truly excessive use of profanity. But the initial biochemical tidal wave has run its course so I feel safer in typing.

Violence is bad (I recognize that I'm not the first to notice this). On one level its bad because making people suffer isn't nice. On another level its bad because the population can't function to its potential.

Like the whole credit fiasco with debt creation where any reasonable person realizes it will never actually be repaid, society has been using temporary measures to stall having to deal with violent crazies. Like the whole credit fiasco, it seems the buffers are just about saturated.

Soooo...double jeopardy? Resentence the already incarcerated using a new legal standard? One metric: have you shown a willingness to harm others? If so, you either need to be kept away from others for the duration of your existance or incapacitated.

I recognize that some defining of "harm" and "incapacitate" is needed, but I think the sentiment is clear.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cooperation on my loony forum

This morning I am totally cheating. On my last comment below, I said it was the last time I would comment, so... in order to avoid cheating I am writing a post, lol...
In December we will celebrate the second year of our loony forum.
It has about 20 members in it, some of whom come and go, is private, and accessible on invitation only.
Participation is variable, but at this time, it is really stunning, as almost everybody is at least connecting once a day to say how they're doing, and what they're up to.
Why am I talking to you about this ?
Because... my loony forum is an EXCELLENT example of sheer democratic cooperation at work, and what "tissu social" is. There is no really good translation of "tissu social" in English, but you might say "social network". I personally DO NOT LIKE social network, because it privileges a.. computer, mechanistic metaphor, whereas "tissu social" uses a... textile metaphor.
For me a textile metaphor (a piece of fabric is made by interweaving, sometimes in an exceptionally complicated fashion, separate threads to make a... collective work that is THEN used to create something else) is a LIVING, vital metaphor, whereas a machine metaphor, well, that is .. DEAD. That's my prejudice, I suppose.
My loony forum is NOT facebook, for example, and many people on it have their own facebook pages.
WE created this forum TOGETHER, and it has several, separate areas where any member can write a post : some chapters : psychological subjects, spirituality, I'm mad and I spout off, I'm not doing so well, and here's why, good morning, astrology, social themes, animals,etc. (There are others, but you get the idea.) Anybody can post anywhere.
There were about half as many chapters when we started up, but YOURS TRULY suggested that we create others as our needs evolved, and that's how... spirituality got added, for example (yours truly again).
Although there are two administrators who oversee the forum's technical functioning, and sometimes issue invitations for new members, I insisted, and continue to exist that... NOBODY BE EXCLUDED, and that the forum function in TRULY DEMOCRATIC FASHION.
Which it has done... since the beginning.
I think that the founding fathers would have been REALLY proud, you know.
Getting 20+ people who are extremely marginal, most of whom are not working, and surviving with handicap allowances to... cooperate, and give mutual support, is a BIG CHALLENGE.
And.. after two years of continuous BELIEF, and encouragment from yours truly, this challenge is panning out, and I can safely say that the anima, the spirit of the forum is exceptional in the way that it is supporting people to take risks, to dare to develop their underrated talents.
The forum is ONE of the most important factors helping them to emerge from a sense of despair, and feel that, although marginal, THEY have something to contribute to society.
And... this from people who have, for the most part, received psychiatric diagnoses (with which I am not necessarily in agreement, moreover...).
Now.. they are not running out to "contribute" to society by smoothly transitioning into "productive" 9-5 jobs, but then... maybe society needs other ways to occupy its members than those proverbial 9-5 jobs at this point ?? Maybe society can benefit from OTHER OCCUPATIONS than SALARIED work ? It takes all kinds to make up a world, right ?
By the way... I forgot to mention possibly THE MOST IMPORTANT function of the forum at this time : it is a place of continuing POPULAR education, as everybody contributes by posting his/her knowledge/expertise.
Continuing, popular education. This is the BIGGEST challenge that our societies are facing at this time, and WILL face in the future.
And... last but not least : FOR FREE

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


This little post is going to allow me to indulge some of my Bushie tendencies... Get ready...

The editorial on France Musiques this morning, presented by an excellent journalist, Thomas Cluzell, exposed the case of Rom Huben, who y'all must have heard about by now.

Rom only recently was discovered to be in full possession of his mental faculties although totally paralzyed following a car accident. For 28 years or so (or is this my confabulation ? my marriage has lasted this long, so I could be inventing...), Rom was considered to be in a vegetative coma, while he was hearing, and understanding EVERYTHING around him without being able to express himself.

Things are looking better for Rom these days since some white coat had the bright idea of checking out his mental state, and discovered that his brain was... totally normal. He has learned how to express himself in such a way as to be able to write a letter to his Dad who died while everyone thought he was a veggie (and he can't even cry... tough).
Rom is really an amazing person, the kind who can convince you that miracles really DO exist because... even though he STILL is totally paralyzed, he can express himself and enter into contact with his loved ones, and with the larger human world.
And JUST this, in a sense, is ALREADY a miracle, and a tribute to the human... soul ? spirit ?

This morning Thomas went on to NOT CASUALLY AT ALL mention the fact that diagnosing vegetative coma is definitely NOT the piece of cake that... all of the people living in liberalland who jumped on Georgie's case a few years ago would definitely LOVE TO BELIEVE...
It appears that there is up to 40% error in this kind of diagnosis, at this time.

I don't know about you, but those figures look REALLY alarming to me, in the face of Rom's experience. Here I ask you to use your imagination a little bit...
Imagine... the white coats sententiously getting ready to unhook life support for somebody who is TOTALLY CONSCIOUS of what is going on, and cannot express himself ?
Let's up the ante a little bit..
And if that person were.. YOU ?

Since I like to get on your case sometimes, Thai, and I can be a rather agressive kitty, I realize that all that medical care, the life support, etc etc, is REALLY EXPENSIVE...
But... how would YOU feel, being the person who pulls the plug in these circumstances, and in the light of Rom's experience ??

(Next post is NOT going to be about medecine. Next post is NOT going to be about medecine. Next post...)

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Problem of Bias...

I am sure you have all been reading about the following:

By the way, I am not saying that the global warming scientists have been exposed as frauds. I am saying that emotion/morality filters everything and imparts a bias on all information. This is (usually) not a problem when we are make decisions for ourselves (I will avoid the obvious problem with this statement), but it is most certainly a problem when we make decisions for everyone else- particularly where others may not share our values.

Anyway, the only reason I bring this up here is that it mirrors what I said in my latest post concerning the US health care system... Ok, ok, along with fractals, I'll also admit my obsession with health care is also beyond redemption.

Read for yourself if you are interested.

What most struck me was the following passage:

"Ms. Sebelius’ own culpability in issuing this grossly erroneous statement can be interpreted in three ways. Perhaps she’s just lying. Perhaps she’s ignorant of the role her own panel has already begun playing in determining which medical services are to be covered and not covered. Or, perhaps she’s displaying a Clintonian facility with the English language (here, as it happens, employing a variation on the classic “depends on what the meaning of is, is”), and accordingly she’s reporting the currently truthful statement that the USPSTF’s “recommendations” have no effect on present policy, while simply neglecting to mention that those selfsame “recommendations” are indeed going to become policy very soon, the moment healthcare reform is passed."

Issues of aspect, or viewpoint simply never go away ;-)

Trust and faith are tough

Dink, please post away.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Rose by Any Other Name...

I am not sure how much you have followed the latest solution du jour to fix our health care woes- reforming physician compensation models.

My punch line- "there are lots of way to compensate physicians and they are all bad".

So what stuns me most about the level of dialogue in this debate is the notion that the people who work in the trenches are really that stupid. Economists are an odd lot.

I think all of you know my position on rationing so I needn't discuss it again, but I want to take you for a walk for a moment down memory lane...

In the 1990's, HMOs, trying to keep costs down, actually paid some physicians more to do less testing, etc... this saved the HMOs, and therefore their members, lots of money.

Sadly a few instances arose- I am not sure how frequent these were and in truth I suspect they were rare- where it was found that the financial incentive to not perform testing negatively influenced patient care. Again, I suspect this was probably rare (though I don't know for sure) but the instances made headlines and juries reacted with massive economic damage judgements against the providers. In short order these compensation models vanished (at least as far as I know).

Fast forward to November 2009. This is the state of where we are today.

I want to highlight a small passage for your consideration:

The Finance Bill proposed automatic reimbursement reductions for doctors who order up the most care for Medicare recipients with similar medical and demographic characteristics. That was meant to respond to the research showing big disparities in spending on medical services for similarly-situated patients in different communities. But, Democratic sources say, that proposal ran into charges that it would promote rationing-and even function as "a death panel by proxy"-by compelling doctors to arbitrarily reduce care. So the final bill takes a less direct route toward a similar end. It requires Medicare to begin studying the utilization patterns of doctors participating in the program. And then it establishes a "values based payment modifier" that would, in a budget-neutral manner, increase reimbursements for physicians found to deliver high-quality care at lower cost, and reduce them for physicians at the other end of that spectrum. "It will, we believe, have the same net effect [as the original proposal]," said the Democratic aide. "It should change behavior around that threshold."

Does a rose by any other name smell as sweet?

As I have said many times before and will probably say again, the most expensive thing of all is the loss of trust. What does this do for your trust when eventually learn about it and realize that physicians are now paid by the government to do less testing when they see you?

Forgetting the obvious truth that HMOs are out to kill you but the federal government is here for your protection (as long as your protection is not less important than some other person/agenda that faction of the government is also trying to protect), do they really think physicians/attorneys/nurses, etc... are really that stupid?

Again, I am not necessarily opposed to this- though if I were czar I would do it differently- as I do understand the predicament we are in (at least I think I do).

But my point is that it was always trust in the system that was always the most important issue in the first place. Do you think most Americans understand this issue? When they do, will it help them feel more secure? If you are a conservative suspicious of government involvement to begin with, what will you think?

What has happened to this collective? We will send our children off to die to protect us (may or may not be a good idea) but we cannot accept small levels of personal insecurity so that we all personally benefit?

Like the issue we are seeing with vaccinations, where heroes of mine have created the following blog, this issue is clearly a mirror of things like the credit crisis, etc...

The most expensive thing of all is the loss of trust and all when a rose by any other name...

FYI- here is an article dated 2000 which basically discusses the same thing.

Forgive me if I have to let it slip once again: the more things change, the more they stay the same... ;-)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The problem with strep throat

I read the following opinion in the WSJ today and was reminded of a rather simple issue I see every day which is a kind of "fractaloid" mirror for the issues this post raises.

As you might imagine, I treat a lot of sore throat. I mean a lot. You might think illnesses like sore throat are simple, that all the issues around them are known, that something as trivial as sore throat should not raise any eyebrows. And as long as you cover over most of the details of the issues, you would be correct. But of course, the devil is always in the details. Further every detail can be approached from almost any viewpoint, and we all know this makes all the difference.
What is true for information as a whole, is just as true for the rabbit hole which is sore throat.
So let me jump to the answer for a moment: I do not think strep throat should be treated. While I would not say "ever", I would certainly say "most of the time". But let me also add that I always treat strep throat. In other words, knowing what I know, I continue to practice in a manner contrary to what I believe best. It is a most frustrating catch 22 for which I have no answer.

Let me explain by first stating a few "facts" everyone agrees on:

1. 90-95% of pharyngitis is viral
2. Except for a very few viruses, there are no specific anti-viral medications for viral pharyngitis
3. The sensitivity of rapid strep testing is about 80% (meaning 1 in 5 people with strep throat will have a falsely negative test even when they have strep pharyngitis)
4. Throat cultures are very sensitive (>90%) and considered a gold standard in diagnosing strep throat.
5. Throat culture results can take 3 days
6. If someone has strep pharyngitis, they can (should?) be treated with antibiotics
7. The antibiotic we use should usually be a penicillin derivative like amoxacillin (unless the patient is allergic).

Using these simple facts, which the medical profession unanimously agrees on, we of the medical cloth have developed decision/treatment algorithms any emergency physician/mid-level provider worth their salt knows backwards and forwardsfor. These algorithms represent a so called "standard of care"/"best practices"/"evidence based medicine" approach to care we should all follow accordingly. Hence I still treat strep throat. ;-)

So far I hope I have said nothing controversial.

The problem of course is that there is a problem. Lots of details were ignored by the people who made these recommendations- I do not suggest mean to imply this was done for nefarious reasons, they had to do it. And of course if you think about it much, points 6 and 7 are not really facts act all.

So if you look at points 1-7, a couple of thoughts should come to mind:
A. From whose viewpoint were these algorithms developed?
B. What were the assumptions that went into the observation/analysis/recommendations?
C. Why should we treat strep throat with antibiotics anyway?

This is a rabbit hole and the post would get very long if I dealt with even a few of these details/issues. As we are all busy, I will simply focus on points 6 and 7 the following way:.

Assume you have strep throat, a test has confirmed this and we believe the test results. Should you be treated with antibiotics?

My bottom line is "no".


It is VERY clear from data that the risk/harm of treating someone with antibiotics is one (maybe two) orders of magnitude greater than doing nothing at all. And yet the medical profession still treats strep throat. Indeed I still treat it stating what I believe to be true.


The Rise and Fall of Empires

Hat tip Paul Kedrosky of Infectious Greed...

Visualizing empires decline from Pedro M Cruz on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bad Analogy or "The Time of the Fractal" (thoughts on symmetry)

First I want to say thanks to Street Dog for helping direct me to the following wiki: renormalization. I must say I am having a hard time following most of it, and am hopeful he will give us a simple translation, but it is where my latest inquiry in understanding fractals has arrived. It has generated the following thoughts on the drive home from work this morning.


Fractals are formed when chaos is broken and symmetry (or cooperation) is created (and/or vice versa)- hat tip SD. Further, this time or moment or space (or whatever you want to call it) of fractal formation- what I will hence forth refer to as "the time of the fractal"- is a very special time/moment/space/event/period/epoc/region/etc...

For if you think about it, this time of the fractal has been called many things by many people in many languages from many viewpoints since language and thought was first introduced.

If you are not following me, a few examples may jog your neurons: phase transition(s), boundary condition(s), time of change(s), moment of transformation(s), point of conversion(s), etc...

Are you getting the idea?

Anyway, as additional background, we know the conservation of energy implies that in a closed system, everything is connected to everything else. For discussion purposes on this post, we will pretend the universe is a closed system... Yes, yes, I can already hear some of you complaining, especially with the universe expanding at an accelerated rate and all. I want you to know I hear your concerns (these are simply thoughts after all), but we need to create some boundary conditions to the discussion in order to even have a discussion so let's keep it to a static universe just to make it simple.

Further, if you think about it, everything connected to everything else also implies a kind of infinite network between everything and everything else. Of course the links in this (infinite?) network are hard for most of us to see...

So anyway, we have an infinite network in a closed system, and we further have smaller boundary conditions within this network, and then a change happens from at least one viewpoint- voila! We have fractals!

And this is where we get back to the theory of renormalization.

For if something changes in a closed system- e.g. symmetry is either broken or created (really can be either and probably the creation of one means the creation of the other), a break in symmetry must be felt everywhere else.

Really another viewpoint on zero-sum so nothing special here, but here is where I am going:

Does this mean the newest element in the periodic table, humanium, is subject to the same laws as every other element in the periodic table?

When humanium moves from one boundary condition (or phase transition) to another, will it display the same wave-particule duality we see with every other element in the periodic table?

Does humanium display quanta properties? e.g. individual properties?

Does humanium display wave like properties? e.g- collective/cooperative properties?

Neuroanatomist Jill Taylor suggests it does

Thoughts appreciated

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Some (insane ?) ramblings on the city

No, I am NOT talking about that hyper chic ghetto in London where the bankrats are glued in front of their screens getting instant gratification in the form of $$$$$££££€€€€€ SIGNS (he he) while mindlessly pressing buttons in Pavlovian fashion, I am talking about the... city.
The place where lots of people live (together), more or less peacefully.
Goody, now I get to don my rabbi's hat. (I am no less contradictory than anyone else here... Judaïsm taught me how to think. The rabbis have always been the world's greatest thinkers. And Jewish rabbis' thought is on a parr with Greek philosophy, although in an entirely different direction. (And by the way.... Herbert was steeped in monotheistic religious tradition. His books are like... textbooks in monotheism. I hope that he knew this, as he was a really smart cookie, smarter than us street rats, I think.)
So, on to the cities.
And back to Genesis (where it all started for us, by the way).
The first mention of cities in the Bible is right after... the first murder. Cain kills Abel, God says to Cain : because you have spilled your brother's blood into the earth, the earth will no longer.... COOPERATE with your efforts to cultivate it, so... In other words, we could say, Cain was just no longer cut out for farming, and he was going to have to find ANOTHER form of subsistance. (By the way, simplistic thinking likes to intimate that God... PUNISHED Cain for the first murder, but this is not true. God didn't NEED to punish Cain for the first murder because.... he knew that Cain would do the job just fine for him. We could say that Cain's restless wandering/nomadism on the earth is an attempt to flee what we moderns call his.. conscience. Abel is gone. Nothing will bring him back again. I think that Thai will appreciate that the temptation to turn what IS into what SHOULD BE is sometimes overwhelming. Because we are just itching for God to punish Cain, we attribute our own desire to God. Not good. )
So. It is in THIS context that the descendants of Cain start to huddle together in places called... cities. The first cities were inhabited by descendants of Cain.
So. I will interpret that the Genesis author thought that men who inhabited cities were estranged from agriculture, and the earth to a certain extent. (Careful, I too am not saying that this is good or bad, I am observing.) And it seems obvious to me that at least the way that our cities are currently organized, this estrangement is quite evident. (We could diminish it by creating... tracts of land FOR farms right in the center of our cities, by the way... This would be a good idea, I think.) The Genesis author also posited that people living in cities felt a certain... rootlessness, too.
Lots of people now living in liberalland would just LOVE to pretend that since they don't believe in God... the Bible has no importance whatsoever to them in their daily lives.
This attitude, in my book, is extremely.... STUPID. It is a little bit like being in a car, driving along in it, and when being questioned, saying "Car, what car ? I'm moving, aren't I ?"
We are STILL products of our ancestor's beliefs, so, in my book we are better off learning about these beliefs in order to be able to more or less "choose" in an informed manner.
Fast forward.
When he was fourteen years old, Adolf Hitler's poor father left home (a small town or village) with a bundle on his back and headed for Vienna in hopes of finding work. Vienna then was an extremely cosmopolitan BIG CITY, and the young man after several hardships managed to get a job with the government bureaucracy as a customs official, and headed back to his home (border) town, proud of having made something of himself. When he got "home", nobody remembered him. Trauma. Major trauma.
When Adolf set off for Vienna about 40 years later, the city had changed a lot, and the worst of industrialized evils had created the massive unemployment which is looming before us even now. On the streets in Vienna, the young Adolf saw what the young Debra saw on the Champs Elysées thirty years ago : throngs of anonymous faces of every color, people of every shape and size, speaking every language imaginable. Where Debra was fascinated and impressed with cosmopolitanism at 25, Adolf was overwhelmed with estrangement at 14 (admit it, he was a little young to be all on his own...). (And it was not a piece of cake, this rootlessness for Debra at 25 either...) And Adolf could NOT manage to make something of himself like his Daddy had. Because of what/who HE was. But also because of what Vienna had become. And... this rootlessness is a major factor in what happened after...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tragedy of the Commons (part 3)

HA !!
I bet Thai never thought that I would invade the territory of his game, but I am doing it NOW.
In my own fashion, with my own method, and observations, but I am doing it. (And... when will Thai invade MY territory, lol... ?)
As always with me, let's start with the... clinical examination.
Yesterday I headed off on my bicycle to do my bi-weekly shopping at the farmer's market (there is a post here on the farmer's market, my first, for Street Dog, if he is interested. End of ad.). I have enormous bags fixed to my bike so that I can haul up to 30-40 kilos at any stretch, so it works well for not using that... polluting four wheeled vehicle.
Three quarters of the way down the little semi dirt track that the local town hall installed for the Dubai folk in our commune (off limits to through traffic, only the OWNERS have access, you call that democracy ???), a man was rapidly approaching on foot the barrier that blocks car traffic, and that I had to get through in order to continue.
He was.... walking in the middle of the road, just... RIGHT to block my passage.
So I cheerfully called out "beep beep" (I no longer have an official "bell", I don't like them, and think it's kind of fun to produce my own sound effects...), and he moved over, grudgingly, and telling me off, even though (I think...) I thanked him for doing so.
Comment :
Why do people walk in the middle of the road ?
They do so, because WHEN THERE IS NO-ONE ELSE THERE they move out to occupy all the space (or territory...). Why... cramp yourself in when you can spread yourself out ?
But when an incident happens like the one above, all of a sudden, territory gets.... redistributed.
If the situation had permitted it, I would have taken several deep bows, said "excuse me excuse me, I would like to get around you in order to continue moving on my bike", but... you can guess that the situation DID NOT permit that kind of social sniffing.
So he was peeved. He felt that my "beep beep" was an offensive INVASION of his (drum roll, here comes the BIG word) INDIVIDUAL RIGHT to occupy the whole road the way he wanted to.
He was incapable of seeing that my "beep beep" was intended to help BOTH OF US find a suitable compromise that would permit BOTH OF US (individuals) to continue moving without sacrifice on either part, within the PUBLIC realm of the commons.
This incident is, of course, symptomatic of what is going on at all levels in our society these days.
Tragedy of the Commons is the tragedy that Rousseau got the best grasp on (sorry Thai, don't scream...).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It's all in your head (stupid)

Dring... the experiment is beginning.
After at least two years on my loony forum of desperately trying to break through to my loonies, in missionary fashion, as to WHY their ideas about the mind/body relationship are tainted by the eternal prejudices of our time, I have decided to see if... YOU GUYS, the cream of the crop, the medical elite, the A+ students of top American colleges will... GET it better than "my" loonies do.
Here goes :
A little background. A week ago I got pounded into the ground following a news post about a chiantific experiment highlighting the... nocebo effect. You know, the... nocebo, which has the opposite effect of a placebo.
I found that.... really really interesting, and proceeded to tie this reaction in to my all favorite anecdote about the power of.... NEGATIVE thinking, to be found in Dale Carnegie's little treasure, "The Power of Positive Thinking", book number one in the endless series of management books that has since hit the racks.
You know, the story about the guy who gets locked into a refrigerator wagon, and, after scribbling on the wall that he is expiring from the cold, promptly proceeds to freeze to death in a... disconnected wagon.
I presume that my readership here is already acquainted with this rather... remarkable incident which has no... RATIONAL explanation.
Freezing to death in a disconnected refrigerator wagon throws a loop in our carefully constructed prejudices about just HOW our thoughts manage to translate themselves into our bodies.
When Freud began opening his mouth about psychoanalysis, he had been working with hysterical patients. Mostly women. And along with Charcot, he had made some rather interesting observations.
Observation one : (this one is for the ophthalmo...) Hysterical blindness exists.
Hysterical blindness is blindness for which the doc can find no LESION. (Not finding lesions didn't stop Freud from finding other things. He found : thoughts, memories which the person had translated into corporeal language.)
Blindness exists also which is the result of organic lesions.
Now we get to the clincher...
If YOU'RE BLIND, and there is no lesion, YOU CAN'T SEE.
someone who has an organic lesion can't see.
So... if BOTH people can't see, then.... why the fuss about the lesion ?
Could it possibly be because... if there is NO LESION, then we say... "it's all in your head (stupid) ? (We also say this when we can find no EXPLANATION for a phenomenon.)
Freud and Charcot both discovered that people suffering from hysterical complaints had their suffering discredited/ignored/belittled by the medical caste. And they discovered this at a time when docs were doing autopsies at record paces in the attempt to LOCALIZE psychic disease in the body and brain. And... when the docs did those little autopsies on their hysterical patients.... AW SHUCKS, they just couldn't manage to find them littl' ole lesions. (Some people are still looking, by the way, or they are trying to localize in other manners...)
As it turns out, as I mentioned over here a while ago, the current DSM has totally bottomed out the diagnosis of hysteria, which is really not surprising, considering that... the epistemological position of the people who came up with the DSM leaves them with a MAJOR blind spot (hé hé...) concerning hysteria, since the PURPOSE of hysteria is to... challenge an all-knowing, all-powerful (generally masculine) MASTER, and... this is precisely the position of the DSM.
So... since there is NO lesion in your body that means that... it's all in your head (stupid).
You might think that since we came to the realization that the brain was commanding most of what is going on in our bodies, we could admit that, to a certain extent EVERYTHING is in your head, but...
This would be too easy. The logic behind this illogic goes like this : if you have a lesion which can be localized, then, you are on the side of truth. But, if you don't have a lesion you are telling a lie, you're a fake, you're a simulator, etc etc.
(And docs know just how exasperating hysterical patients can be, they are just not GOOD, REWARDING patients that you can tinker with in erector set fashion, do a little bit of manual fiddling, chop off a this, extract a that, and illico presto, magic, the person is CURED !! Good doc, good boy, you've done your job, thank you, a million thanks)

Now... since I KNOW that every advantage has its disadvantage, and every disadvantage has its advantage, I cannot say in honesty that I think that it is MAJOR PROGRESS that we have now decided that for every corporal problem there has to be an EXPLANATION of the lesion type. No. I don't think that minutely scrutinizing everybody in hopes of finding the elusive (illusive ?) lesion (or the "faulty" genome, while we're at it...) is necessarily the answer to our problems.
Can you believe it ? In the good old days, before we had all this modern medicine, Freud was such a savvy clinician that he could do an excellent clinical exam and determine whether the patient was suffering from a hysterical complaint, or not.
Don't you wish we had clinicians like that these days ? I sure do... It would save us all a lot of filthy lucre.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Thought of the day

Being angry at a central bank is like being angry at your spinal cord while you cliff dive.

"How dare you be so presumptuous as to allow me freedom of motion" laments the diver as (s)he hurtles towards the rocks below.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Free for all

HA !!!
It was not initially my intention to use this expression, but the "free" in free for all is very appropriate to my observations about the pressing social need for gratuity in our filthy lucre obsessed society. But, I'm not going into that now ; that will be the subject of another post that I MAY or may not eventually get around to doing.
As promised to Street Dog, my latest poem (sorry you guys, you're going to have to do a crash course in French, as I hate translating myself...)


Etranger !
Reste où tu es
Ne bouge pas
Laisse-moi approcher
De toi
Whoah, n'aies pas peur mais
Tiens-toi bien en laisse
Ne bouge toujours pas
Je dois te flairer
Renifler ton être.

Si tu es bon
Je tendrai ma langue
Je romprai ton pain
Avec mes dents délicates
Essaie de pas bouger
Et ta douleur te sera

Quand j'aurai mangé ton pain
Viens me flairer et
Manger le mien et
Nous pourrons parler ensemble.

I am very happy with this poem. It is very very audacious...
Thai, while I applaud your extreme self restraint in refraining from giving in to Marcus's provocations, I definitely enjoy unsheathing my claws from time to time in an agreeably mindless fashion. Call it my... man eating tiger act (although I personally think that my provocations are rather sophisticated next to the trolling that I have seen in cyberspace for several years now). Man-eating tigers treat their human prey the way that unman-eating tigers treat their prey, and the way that Tabby, your cat, treats HER prey too, if you have ever bothered to watch...

And NOW, it's free for all (as if anybody on this blog ever needed reminding that the comments are.. free for all...)

The Most Fabulous Objects In The World

  • Hitchhiker's Guide To The Universe trilogy
  • Lord of the Rings trilogy
  • Flight of the Conchords
  • Time Bandits