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Comment Re:BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA!!! (Score 1) 259

OK, you're thinking of recent generations. Like also my grandfather who dropped dead of a heart attack, after working at the shipping docks in Glasgow.
I was thinking older, hunter gatherers. For example, albeit a random google: hunder gatherers living to their 70s:
https://condensedscience.wordpress.com/2011/06/28/life-expectancy-in-hunter-gatherers-and-other-groups/

But just going back the the book I mentioned, what you were saying about cancer being a whole bunch of different things, and so successes being slow and gradual, and it being somewhat just part of the ageing process, well see that's exactly the conclusion which that book questions. It asks, have we come to that conclusion scientifically just because the science went down the wrong path early on, albeit the best path at the time?

If I recall, the book talks about "shocking" new experiments. They take the nucleus from a cancer cell, put it into healthy cells (replacing their nucleus) and find that none of the mice developed a tumour. Then they took the mitochondria from cancer cells, put them into healthy cells, and 97% of them develop tumours. So it looks like cancer is about damaged mitochondria and metabolism, not about genetic damage. And the reason we see so much genetic damage anyway is because the mitochondria, which is in constant communication with the nucleus, is causing that damage, ie. it is a side effect. And so that side effect damage to the nucleus is pretty random and so cancer looks like a whole bunch of different conditions, if you assume cancer is genetic. It is like firing a shotgun at a wall, seeing lots of damage all over the place, and concluding it must have been caused by lots of different pistols.

Anyway, I'm sure researchers just have to keep doing what they are doing, following the paths they have funding for, and so on. So one book won't change anything, and being just one book, hey should be discounted off the bat. But that doesn't preclude that "shocking" experiments have been done, as this book describes. I think that's just that scientists have a day job which requires them to focus on their specific research goals, and highly unusual findings are not going to change those goals in the near term.

My interest is just as a member of the public, and where the oncogenes stuff suggests hey, old age will screw me one way or the other, if it turns out that the science did take a wrong turn and ended up pursuing a side effect, whilst some of the science suggests that diet and energy and mitochondria are the real culprits, at least that's something I can work into my lifestyle anyway. And part of that is revisiting this question, do humans really just drop dead at 35 if they are on the Savannah hunting and gathering? Too often we accept what we hear because "it makes sense", not because we're tried to ask how that conclusion was actually arrived at, and what other conclusions could also have been arrived at but were overlooked.

Tripping Over the Truth: The Return of the Metabolic Theory of Cancer Illuminates a New and Hopeful Path to a Cure
https://www.amazon.com/Tripping-Over-Truth-Metabolic-Illuminates/dp/1500600318

Comment Re:Wouldn't need subsidies (Score 1) 248

I guess a problem is that we have democracy which distributes power amongst people, interest groups, NGOs etc, but we haven't managed to distribute knowledge, so we get a lot of passion mixed with simplistic views. Take for example an environmental who worked advising on carbon trading, whom I asked, what if other problems like pollution are worse than climate change? And she replied, "it doesn't matter if CO2 isn't a problem, because by forcing people to cut CO2, you are forcing them to cut production and cut consumption; it's about reducing GREED".

Comment Re:BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA!!! (Score 1) 259

You might be thinking of average lifespan, which is misleading. Ancient people often died in childhood, dragging the average down. If they made it though childhood, they'd live to old age.

The reason we haven't cured cancer, if you lookup the book I mentioned, could simply be we've been pursuing it as a bunch of issues caused by genes, when actually the gene side of things is a side effect, and it is actually caused by problems in metabolism, and damage to mitochondria. If you read the book, you might see why some think that's the case.

If they are right, then the talk about lots of small victories is moot -- it'll remain small victories and in general it won't be preventable or curable because the real causes aren't being addressed.

Comment Re:Tech Company arrogance. (Score 1) 161

The word "science" is often used as if it is the pinnacle of perfection of knowledge and trustworthiness. Your list makes clear that there are many ways to do science and some ways and findings are very well understood whilst some things remain very hard to investigate. So I wish more people would, when they hear "it is science!", would simply ask, "and what did they do to find that out?" Nutrition for example -- if Gary Taubes is right -- is gradually starting to show signs of reversing a huge misstep which happened after WWII. And why is it so hard to understand what foods actually make us fat? Because you can't just experiment on people, as you say in your points, like you do on a lump of new concrete mix, by crushing it. I'm all for science and researchers getting lots of funding -- if anything we need more people but also incentivised to check and re-test findings, not just compete for new funding on a weird mixture of novelty and not upsetting the boat.

Comment Re:BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA!!! (Score 1) 259

Hey I'm no oncologist but you make it sound like magic. Eradicate is the wrong word, as in , "destroy completely". What we have is an epidemic of cancer, and if we can figure out why that is, in the complex biochemistry, we'll go a long way to stopping that epidemic. As for why Microsoft would be any better at this than anyone else is beyond me. The answer may already be known, just unrecognised. Anyone read, "Tripping Over the Truth" by Christofferson ?

Comment Re:not complete sham (Score 1) 166

Humans can be awful yet also very trusting of what our community tells us, ie. we accept the mantra to recycle without asking how that actually works. So many problems would change if we realised how much of it is down to groupthink. Buddhists are always complaining that we are too individualistic, yet it seems we need to become more individualistic, more free thinking, because that's smarter, and as people become smarter, they tend to also become less selfish.

Comment Re:But climate change is a myth!!! YODA GREASE (Score 1, Insightful) 206

Screwed? Well, if AGW turned out to be wrong, it wouldn't be the first consensus science conclusion that turned out to be wrong on account of some subtle but wide cockup and corruption of the scientific process. Good science works, bad science doesn't. And it takes several decades to figure out if something went wrong. And if anyone wants to deny this point, please present your crystal ball.

Comment Re: Wealth concentration (Score 1) 65

A lot of things can be said to be "quite likely" yet only exist in people's imaginations.

I'm sure you have a lot of reasons for saying what you say, but much of what circulates in culture is just stories with little basis in evidence. And that's why politicians are masters of spin, because if people really did have a good grasp of what's really real, there would be no spin, they would all have to just talk about evidence. But people operate with beliefs and stories and ideas and we have very powerful imaginations, and the imagination is a great tool, but don't mistake a scenario for reality.

For example, is this true of false: if you are living in a developed country, on an average or slightly above average income, then you are, compared to the planet, part of the one percent.

Comment Re:Turkey is due for some DEMOCRACY (Score 5, Insightful) 103

I've hear that the Soviet Union went to great lengths to divide territory along cultural lines, and failed. Point is, it doesn't matter what identity you have, it matters whether you identify with it. There's a stage in psychological development that's authoritarian, and then after that... a loong time after that, comes the individual, with individual rights and freedoms.

Jesus, oddly, managed to implant the seed of that into the authoritarian systems of his time, which took a thousand years or more to develop. Or maybe it was the Greeks.

Anyway, point is, things like the French Revolution, Western democracy, the individual who can think for him or herself, and is given rights, all born equal, is a massive cultural change, and without it, elections don't really work. Tribes will vote for their authoritarian leaders and so on, religion remains a control freak which keeps grabbing more and more power, and individual freedom of expression is crushed, along with original thinking and invention.

So if you are X and identify as X and are part of group X and are under the control of X's authoritarian power, well you're not modern. It makes no difference whether next door there's another group that's Y and slightly different yet also authoritarian. You're all as "bad" as each other (from a modern viewpoint).

The fact that the two groups are not having their own lands strictly in an, you know, segregated way, is besides the point really. Lots of segregated authoritarian groups living next to each other, trying not to step on each others' toes, can only last so long. Arguably that's what happened to Lebanon.

What makes a person modern is that they can think for themselves outside of their group, and know why individual rights matter. Which is a whole different thing to the Life of Bryan and the famous scene where the crowd blindly repeat everything the Messiah says.

So point is, dividing up territory is meaningless if the people themselves don't identify with their group and are blindly moved by that group. A modern nation contains many many groups, yet they don't fragment along sectarian lines at the first bit of friction, because they are not "white" or "black" or "muslim" or "christian" or "buddhist" or "atheist"... they are citizens first, and the other stuff is secondary.

Until the culture of the middle east moves to modern values and modern minds, they can't be citizens and their lands can't be modern nations in a democratic way.

Thing is, that's true for everyone and it is a historical accident that modernity appeared in some parts of the world first. And the authoritarian way worked ok more or less for thousands of years, so it isn't bad as such. Just, modernity makes certain things possible. But people have to grow to get there.

And the EU telling people to be democratic is, well, just doesn't realise what a huge change that is. If you take the Magna Carta, that started a gradual change over 800 years ago. How many countries today call themselves democratic when they obviously have fairly fascistic dictators? (Not counting the USA :-P )

Comment Re:Driving yes, but charging? (Score 2) 990

Just goes to show the world's many stages of development. I look one direction, there's children starving in war zones. I look in the other direction, there's people charging their electric car. Me, I don't have a car, or a garage, or a street wide enough to allow parking; I'm looking forward to the nuclear powered bus.

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