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Comment: Re:Too bad your DNA is useless to most MDs (Score 1) 110

by Theovon (#47955797) Attached to: Data Archiving Standards Need To Be Future-Proofed

We seriously considered chronic lyme as a possibility and even got testing. The test came back negative, although there can be false negatives. We ultimately ruled it out on the basis of certain key symptoms being absent. Basically, we considered a LOT of things and did our best to rank the changes of each illness that might explain the symptoms. We were open to the idea of more than one cause but considered it a remote possibility; fortunately we were right.

Anyhow, homozygous MTHFR C677T can be serious, especially if there are other complicating mutations. Compared to some people my wife has a moderate problem. She had chronic fatigue (not to be necessarily confused with CFIDS), brain fog, autoimmune disease, gluten intolerance, weight gain, pale skin, hairloss, and many more symptoms. But she never lost feeling in her limbs; some people do. When you mess up the methylation cycle, all sorts of things can go wrong.

I'm not sure why you (an anonymous coward, so why am I feeding the trolls?) think that this mutation is of "dubious clinical significance." It's one of the more serious mutations, and the appropriate treatments have worked. Taking methylfolate, a few different forms of B12, and several other supplements has caused massive improvement in energy, return of proper skin tone, hair regrowth, appropriate weight loss, and so on. In other words THE TREATMENT WORKED.

This is one of those fortunate cases where a hard-to-find single cause has been identified. It explains ALL of the symptoms (many of which are secondary, caused by a deficiency caused by the underlying problem), and the treatment has worked very well. It's a little hard to get the exact dosages of vitamins right, because as soon as you get enough of one thing, the body will start repairing things, which requires other chemicals, and cause a deficiency in another thing, etc. So the fix isn't an over-night sort of thing but the progress is rapid.

And my biggest complaint is not that the MDs didn't know how to diagnose this. My complaint is that they EXPLICITLY REFUSED to help us when we were trying to track down the cause. Seriously. Most doctors just didn't have a clue and were unwilling to "do a lot of speculative testing," while some out-right said they refused to help us. Even if we came in with a list of tests to do to try to narrow down a range of possibilities (like a decision tree), they wouldn't do it. We had to figure this out completely on our own.

I don't expect MDs to know everything or be super-human. But I do expect them to listen and take patients seriously.

Comment: Too bad your DNA is useless to most MDs (Score 2) 110

by Theovon (#47952929) Attached to: Data Archiving Standards Need To Be Future-Proofed

... or for that matter any of your medical history. MDs do spot-diagnosis in 5 minutes or less based exclusively on what they've memorized or else they do no diagnosis at all.

My wife has a major genetic defect (MTHFR C677T), which causes severe nutritional problems. We haven't yet met an MD who has a clue about nutrition. Moreover, we had to diagnose this problem ourselves through genetic testing, with no doctors involved. We've shown the results to doctors, and they don't entirely disbelieve us, but they also have no clue what to do about it and still are dubious of the symptoms. (Who has symptoms of Beriberi these days? Someone whose general ability to absorb nutrients is severely compromised.)

What makes anyone think that this will change if your doctor has access to your DNA, even with detailed analysis? They won't take the time to actually read any of it. In fact a lot of what we know about genetic defects pertains to problems in generating certain kinds of enzymes, a lot of which participate in nutrient absorption. (So obviously RESEARCHERS know something about nutrition.) These nutritional problems require supplementation that MDs don't know about. Do you think the typical MD knows that Folic Acid is poison to those with C677T? Nope. They don't know the differences between folic acid, folinic acid, and methylfolate and still push folic acid on all pregnant women (they should be pushing methylfolate). They also don't know the differences between the various forms of B12 and always prescribe cyanocobalamin even for people who need the methyl and hydroxy forms.

Another way in which MDs are useless is caused by their training. Bascally, they're trained to be skeptical and dismissive. Many nutritional and autoimmune disorders manifest with a constellation of symptoms, along with severe brainfog. Someone with one of these problems will generally want to write down the symptoms when talking to a doctor, because they can't think clearly. The thing is, in med school, doctors are specifically trained to look out for patients with constellations of symptoms and written lists, and they are told to recognize this as a condition that is entirely within the mind of the patient. Of course, a lot of doctors, even if not trained to dsmiss things as "all in their head" are terrible at diagnosis anyway. They'll have no clue where to start and won't have the patience to do extensive testing. It's too INCONVENIENT and time-consuming. They won't make enough money off patients like this, so they get patients like this out the door as fast as possible.

I've had some good experiences with surgeons. But for any other kind of medical treatment, MDs have been mostly useless to me and my family. In general, if we go to one NOW, we've already disgnosed the problem (correctly) and possibly need advice on exactly which medicine is required, although when it comes to antibiotics, it's easy enough to find out which ones to use. (Medical diagnosis based on stuff you look up on the internet is really hard and requires a very well-trained bullshit filter, and you also have to know how to use the more authoritative sources properly. However, it's not impossible for people with training in things like law, information science, and biology. It just requires really good critical thinking skills. BTW, most MDs don't have that.)

MDs are technicians. Most of them are like those B-average CS grads from low-ranked schools who can barely manage to write Java applications. If you know how to deal with a low-level technician, guide them properly, and stroke their ego in the right way, you can deal with an MD.

Comment: Re:The over-65's swung it for No (Score 2) 456

by IamTheRealMike (#47948465) Attached to: Scotland Votes No To Independence

Ouch. I've seen quite a few family breakup analogies, but this is the first time I saw Scotland be the child instead of the spouse.

If we're going analogise a country to a person, actually I'd say it's pretty natural to seek out unions even though they involve giving up some independence. That's why people get married. That's why the EU keeps growing. Even the most perfect couples don't always agree all the time, but they find ways to figure it out because it's better together than apart. Divorces are universally considered a tragedy in our culture exactly because we recognise that unions bring strength: when one partner stumbles, the other is there to help.

Salmond's behaviour with Scotland has been like going to a wife in a working marriage where decisions are taken together and telling her constantly, repeatedly, that she's too good for the man she's with. That her husband treats her unfairly. That she's oppressed by him. That everything wrong in her life is her husbands fault. She didn't get the promotion she wanted? Husband's fault. She doesn't get enough attention? Husband's fault. She can't afford the clothes she wants? Husband's fault. He's just so unfair. How could she not be better off without him? She's strong and pure and good and she needs to break up with this loser.

Oh, the husband objects? He doesn't want a divorce? That's just bullying. He's promising to give her more say? It's just lies. He's asking how she'll pay the rent without him? Scaremongering. Of course you can pay the rent. Sure you may not earn enough to pay all the bills each month and you've both been relying on the credit card, but selling off the family silver will take care of that.

I could go on but you get the idea. The ultimate legacy of Salmond's failed campaign is that a significant chunk of the Scottish population has bought into the idea that they're somehow superior or morally better than the emotionally deformed English, whereas such feelings were not previously widespread. This is a toxic legacy that could take generations to resolve. It will certainly not make anything easier in future.

Comment: Re:Free Willy! (Score 2, Interesting) 456

by IamTheRealMike (#47947199) Attached to: Scotland Votes No To Independence

Most importantly the Parliament Act allows the Commons to force a bill through Lords if it's been sent back twice already, regardless of what the Lords want. Therefore the most the HoL can do is slow things down.

Given this fact it's probably not surprising that nobody cares much about reforming it. It's another check/balance and all it can ultimately do is throw sand in the wheels, it has no real power.

Comment: Re:The over-65's swung it for No (Score 5, Insightful) 456

by IamTheRealMike (#47946305) Attached to: Scotland Votes No To Independence

it's sad that the concept of independence and sovereignty boils down to mere money for some (or most) people.

Why? Scotland is not oppressed, it does not have severe racial/religious/ethnic divides with the rest of the UK. It was not conquered by England. Nobody has family members that have died because of the Union. In fact the Union has been ruled by Scottish PM's twice in recent history.

That makes splitting it out into a new country a largely technical matter of economics and future government policy. It's quite dry stuff. The Yes campaign chose to ignore this and attempted to whip up a notion of Scottish exceptionalism through the constant "fairer better society" rhetoric, but ultimately they lost because when people asked questions about the technical details of why Scotland would be better and whether it'd be worth the cost, they had no answers. Given that the primary impact of independence would be economic, this lack of planning proved fatal.

Comment: Re:The over-65's swung it for No (Score 1) 456

by IamTheRealMike (#47946241) Attached to: Scotland Votes No To Independence

How would that split have worked out in the end? The UK would swing wildly right... Quickly get involved in lots of wars, crack down on "terrorists" etc... Scotland would have swung wildly left, and quickly bankrupted themselves with social programs. Balance is a good thing, even if you're currently getting the short end of the stick.

Just because historically politics has been dominated by two bundled sets of largely unrelated policies doesn't mean it has to be that way.

In a post-independence UK, the rUK would have been temporarily dominated by the Tories until Labour, freed from the need to constantly try and drag their Scottish MPs away from hard-socialist economics, found a new voice for themselves that didn't easily pigeonhole into left vs right. For example they could have campaigned on a platform of fiscal responsibility combined with pacifist policies, pro EU integration and raising taxes specifically for the NHS. That would likely have been an appealing combination even to many existing Tory voters. It'd be difficult for them to take up such policies with credibility because in fact the UK was taken into the Iraq war by Tony Blair, a Scottish Labour PM. And Cameron's similar attempt to go to war in Syria was rejected by a coalition Parliament. But staking out pacifism as a policy seems like such an easy win it's surely only a matter of time until Labour gets a leader with vision again and they try something like this.

With respect to Scotland, I suspect they would have ended up following economic policies closely aligned with that of rUK despite all the rhetoric about building a "fairer society" (means taxing the rich more up there). For one, they already have the power to raise income taxes even without full independence and they haven't actually used it. Actually the SNP's only post-independence tax policy they formally adopted was lowering corporation tax to try and grab businesses from the rUK. There are no socialist parties in Scotland with any real heft, so after the post-independence street parties died down the Scots who all voted to build a "fairer society" would have discovered that the neoliberal consensus is called a consensus because it turns out a lot of people agree with it.

Comment: Re:25%?!? (Score 1) 456

by IamTheRealMike (#47946137) Attached to: Scotland Votes No To Independence

Anybody who wants secession is just bad at economics.

Maybe. But I read that Congress has a lower approval rating than cockroaches. I doubt economics is the only thing they're thinking about. Much like the Scottish case, this 25% is being driven by disdain with Washington politics. And remember, when Salmond got started support for independence was only about 20-25% in Scotland too (maybe a bit higher, I forgot, but it definitely wasn't 50%). So watch out!

Comment: Re:The over-65's swung it for No (Score 4, Insightful) 456

by IamTheRealMike (#47946003) Attached to: Scotland Votes No To Independence

This reminds me the well known Americanism, "reality has a liberal bias".

I followed the BBC's coverage quite carefully and did not see any bias. What I did see is a lot of ardent highly emotional yes supporters interpret the stream of stories about the campaign as being against yes and therefore the authors must be biased. So let's take a look at your link about this "academic study" that claims to scientifically assess the bias of the BBC:

The study found that, overall, there was a greater total number of ‘No statements’ compared to Yes; a tendency for expert advice against independence to be more common; a tendency for reports to begin and end with statements favouring the No campaign; and a very strong pattern of associating the Yes campaign arguments and evidence with the personal wishes of Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond. Taken together, the coverage was considered to be more favourable for the No campaign.

Well fuck me. The evidence of this bias is that "expert advice against independence was more common"? Seriously? Did this guy even think before writing this so-called academic study? Here's another explanation: maybe expert opinion was against independence because it didn't make much sense?

What about "associating the Yes campaign arguments and evidence with the personal wishes of Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond"? The entire independence campaign can be summed up as the personal wish of Alex Salmond. He devoted his entire career to Scottish independence. He led the party that called for it. It has been his project since day one. No surprise that disentangling the arguments and evidence from his personal wishes is so hard, especially because the yes campaign was so lacking in detail and substance.

Last reason to see the BBC as biased, "a greater total number of ‘No statements’ compared to Yes". Well, that doesn't surprise me in the slightest. The entire yes campaign can be summed up as repeating over and over that everything will be better post-yes because Salmond says so and anyone who disagrees is a scaremonger. That was the entire argument for independence. If you're a journalist there's only so many times you can publish this viewpoint as a story before it stops being news. The arguments against independence on the other hand were complex and multi-faceted. There was the currency union issue of course, but also the question of how the EU would react, whether there'd be border controls, how assets would be split up, whether the oil projections were really accurate and then the steady stream of people either with expertise or in highly placed positions coming out against yes. There was lots to write about, new stories every day.

Given that state of affairs, I don't see how the media could possibly have published more articles that were pro-yes than pro-no simply because the yes side had nothing to say.

Also, the over-65's have the shortest time stake in this. plus have had the trappings of gold plated pensions that the generation behind them cannot look forward to. It's a disgusting state of affairs and as a Scot I am embarrassed for my country.

I'm embarrassed for your country too, partly because of absurd arguments like the ones you just deployed - essentially saying that old people can't use the internet and therefore must be stupid and uninformed. Perhaps you should take the next logical step and argue for their disenfranchisement too.

Comment: What is really happening here? (Score 1) 950

by Bruce Perens (#47930483) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children
We are in a War on Faith, because Faith justifies anything and ISIS takes it to extremes. But in the end they are just a bigger version of Christian-dominated school boards that mess with the teaching of Evolution, or Mormon sponsors of anti-gay-marriage measures, or my Hebrew school teacher, an adult who slapped me as a 12-year-old for some unremembered offense against his faith.

Comment: Re:Anti-math and anti-science ... (Score 1) 950

by Bruce Perens (#47930331) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

Hm. The covenant of Noah is about two paragraphs before this part (King James Version) which is used for various justifications of slavery and discrimination against all sorts of people because they are said to bear the Curse of Ham. If folks wanted to use the Bible to justify anything ISIS says is justified by God's words in the Koran, they could easily do so.

18 And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.
19 These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.
20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:
21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness.
24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
26 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

Comment: Re:This isn't scaremongering. (Score 1) 489

by IamTheRealMike (#47929195) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

Not really. Less than 20% Texans are polled to be in support of secession. That falls in line with the national average of all US citizens who want their states to cede

Well yes but watch out for that. When the independence campaign began in Scotland support for a Yes vote was sitting around 20% (I think?). After many months of campaigning it's reached about 50%.

So don't assume that the status quo in the USA will remain. The big difference is that when independence is not actually on offer, there's no real point to answering yes in the polls. Once it becomes possible and people start legitimately campaigning for it, opinions can change pretty fast.

Comment: Re:Not going to be as rosy as the YES! campaign sa (Score 1) 489

by IamTheRealMike (#47928915) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

Imagine how the Scottish feel having to accept crippling austerity to prop up reckless English banks. Yes, obviously RBS is Scottish

Just going to quote this here so readers can ponder this contradiction. RBS was bailed out at huge expense. It is indeed based in Edinburgh and the S in RBS stands for Scotland. So this is a very strange argument to make.

but it's losses were all made in London under weak UK regulation from the Thatcher era.

Ye gods, here we go blaming Thatcher again. You realise she's died of old age, don't you? Labour was voted in on the back of Labour voting Scots multiple times since 1991 and any of them could have changed banking regulations. None of them did. What about "true Scotsmen" like Salmond? Well he strongly supported the disastrous takeover of ABN AMRO that was largely responsible for crippling the bank and directly contributed to tanking the UK economy. In fact not only did he support RBS politically, he actually worked for them for a good chunk of his career.

In short: blaming Thatcher, a dead woman who was not in power for the last 23 years, for the failure of a Scottish bank due to a deal strongly supported by the erstwhile future leader of Scotland, typifies the kind of thinking that is making the Yes campaign seem more and more unreal.

"Our vision is to speed up time, eventually eliminating it." -- Alex Schure