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About adcott

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  1. adcott

    Busting Big Pharma & Monsanto

    I know you folks prefer sensationalist blog pages to actual science, but in a useless attempt to cut through the sea of bullshit here's a huge cohort study into the cancer rates of people who work with pesticides. http://www.hse.gov.u...rrpdf/rr958.pdf (warning: sizeable PDF) It's often claimed that such things when used in agriculture increase the chance of cancer - if that's the case it would follow that those most exposed to it would have a higher cancer rate. This is not shown in the data though. The data shows that the cancer rates amongst people who work with pesticides to be no higher than the general population (in fact, slightly lower) blah blah conspiracy blah NWO blah shill!! blah...
  2. I disagree. I think it's a beautiful idea. I don't believe in souls and auras and essences and all that jazz. I don't buy into substance dualism . From what I can tell, everything that makes someone who they are is in their brain - if we take that to be true, and if it were possible to accurately and non-destructively scan every neuron and every connection it made for the whole of someone's brain, and have the ability to accurately simulate each neuron's electrochemical function, one should be able to recreate their brain and all their thoughts and memories and emotions artificially. And if that was possible one could run the "brain" program an order of magnitude faster than its organic counterpart; you could stop the brain from tiring or decaying, or increase plasticity for faster learning; you could connect it to traditional storage so instead of relying on fallible memory you'd just know all of wikipedia; you could simulate a flood of serotonin (like what you get from taking a drug like ecstasy/MDMA) and experience a deeper love and joy than you can possibly imagine... your brain would be transmittable - you could travel between points at the speed of light! The possibilities would be endless. It would be fucking wonderful! It would be true enlightenment. It would be nirvana. You'd be an immortal, joyous being who knows everything there is to know with an infinite capacity for learning more, plus an innate interconnectivity with every other immortal being in the same system. It's well beyond the capabilities of science at the moment, but who's to say it wont be possible in the future? There's nothing inherently impossible about any of it. I hope it happens in my lifetime - I'd be first in line to get my brain scanned.
  3. Semmelweis was one of the forerunners of the move away from the quackery you apparently advocate. He acted empirically - something not often done in those times it seems - and is the father of antiseptics. Until not too long ago (maybe 100 or so years) everything was "alternative medicine" by modern definition - people were thinking they could cure stuff with salts and potions and juices (pretty much the exactly same stuff being stupidly advocated here) with a very poor evidence base, usually relying only on hypotheses and testimonial... but then the scientific revolution caught up, humanity learned how to properly test things and the stuff that worked became actual "medicine".
  4. Yay! more rubbish! It certainly seems as though anyone who insists on prefixing their name with 'Dr' is usually peddling some sort of bullshit and a lot of the time aren't actually doctors at all. This guy is doing both as checking reveals he's not a doctor in any way. He's apparently just decided to call himself a doctor, put on the compulsory white coat and started telling people (at a rate of $250/hr!) how to treat their loved ones' cancer with salts and baking powder... If he wasn't such a contemptable human being I'd admire his gall. The process appears to be to stimulate undue fear, uncertainty and doubt about provably effective treatments then swoop in with their own quack miracle solution instead. It's profiteering on the desperation of others, it's negatively affecting their health and it's utterly despicable.
  5. LOL I LOVE how you can criticise the profiteering of one industry in one post then post a clear advert for another in another. It even has a link to buy the shit in the text! Only $120 for 4 15ml bottles of ground up rock in water... but don't worry, if that's a bit much they're also selling 2 bottles of fruit juice for the low low price of only $50!
  6. It's impossible to know what Steve Jobs' outcome would have been if he hadn't opted for alternative therapies for so long. However time is a factor in cancer treatment and apparently by the time he was operated upon the cancer had spread from his pancreas. There's a good chance that had not happened at the point he chose to go the alternative therapy route. This isn't just the opinion of his biographer, his health issues are quite well documented. Virtually no "mainstream" health practitioner would claim that modern medicine can cure all. I've only ever seen alternative medicine advocates make such claims for their Snake Oil du jour... in the real world even the most successful treatments fail from time to time. What modern medicine does though, provably, without any shadow of a doubt, is increase the probability that something can be cured. Some cancer treatments only increase the probability slightly, some treatments for other conditions near 100% effectiveness. Alternative medicine, by contrast, has either not been proved to work or been proved not to work. It seems that in your opposition to the pharmaceutical industry is tainting your view of modern medicine in general. I actually agree with you on some of the pill stuff and that a lot of Big Pharma is really bad and unscrupulus. Pills are no doubt over-prescribed in some places. But remember just because you don't like this does not mean that any credence should be given to scientifically unsupported alternatives. Also remember that criticism of the appalling, dangerous rubbish in the realm of alternative medicine is not a blanket approval of the entirety of the pharmaceutical industry. A book you might actually enjoy (and something we might enjoy some common ground on) is Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients -- the author's previous book Bad Science is one of my favourites.
  7. It's really exasperating that the act of speaking against clearly bullshit treatments (seriously, "lemons cure cancer" - say that out loud) is conflated with fully supporting Big Pharma or whatever. I genuinely don't understand how anyone can look at a dichotomy like this and come out on the side of option 2: A company I don't like has produced a treatment. They can show how it works and that it works and their results can be and have been independently verified multiple times. Some guy says lemons fix it.
  8. An overdose (taking more than the prescribed amount of something) is different to a side-effect (an additional consequence of taking the prescribed amount of something)
  9. Showing effects is easy, showing causes is very difficult. Comparing one distinct population to another is especially difficult because there are many different factors affecting things. It's very difficult to pin one single effect to one single cause. It's probably the combination a variety of factors (in the case of life expectancy in HK vs USA, diet is probably a large one)
  10. There is such a thing as spontaneous remission and this will happen to a subset of the people that go untreated. An untreated person may have been necking lemons during that time and falsely attributed the remission to the lemons. This is why control groups are used in science. Broadly speaking, all other factors being identical, if a treated group gets more better on the whole than an untreated one, the treatment is deemed to be effective. This is how we know that modern medicine works - centuries of testing and retesting like this. "Chemotherapy" and "radiology" definitely work better than not doing it. We know this because we can test it and have tested it lots. The same does not apply to "lemons" or "homeopathy" or "crystals" or whatever. Either they've not yet been proved to work or been proved not to work. "Alternative medicine" that has been proved to work is called "medicine"
  11. Furthermore, this is your health we're talking about. DrBubb has criticised me in the past for not being "open minded" enough by being too stringent in my demands for evidence. Do you not think that healthcare is - at a bare minimum - the one area you might want to be equally stringent? "lemons cure cancer? Empirically prove it!" Watching videos featuring personal testimony and believing anything that you read that sounds sciencey does not make you more informed. Sure, you may pick up some correct things but without a sufficient evidence filter you wont be able to distinguish true claims from false ones and could end up choosing ineffective treatment over effective ones as a result. Lack of scepticism could literally kill you.
  12. Let's dissect this: Wrong. Total bullshit. This is basic biology taught to schoolchildren for fuck's sake. Correct but completely irrelevant. Alarm bells should be going off right here. This is literally the opposite of correct. Acids are proton donors, making them effectively positively charged or "cationic". Complete non-sequitur. This has no relevance to ionic charge whatsoever. Besides that, it's uncited statement after uncited statement. "Lemon helps oxygenate the body"? What? As opposed to breathing? Main point is that this is complete pseudo-science. The using of big words to give the veneer of knowing what they're talking about... I don't blame you for believing this shit if you don't have a scientific background. It certainly sounds "sciencey" and some of the stuff has grains of truth, but that doesn't change the fact that it's utter bollocks.
  13. I don't know how many times I've asked this now, but how does your internal bullshit detector not go off when you read something like this? It's so absurd that it would be hilarious if it wasn't so dangerous. Humanity is fortunate that not too many people believe this level of witchdoctory any more, but every person that still does ends up putting their lives and the lives of those they care for in significant risk. I'm not exaggerating, people who buy into this sort of thing end up avoiding conventional medicine as a result and it can cost them dearly - e.g. Steve Jobs, Andy Kaufman I like lemons. They're nice. Eat them, grate them into your noodles or whatever it says in this article - that's not going to do you any harm. For goodness sake don't start thinking you can ward off cancer with them. When it comes to your health demand treatments that have valid and indisputable proof that they work (i.e. not just "some guy says so and I believe him").
  14. In the early days of bitcoin it was very easy to mine them and they were literally being given away to generate interest in using the currency - I think this is where I got most of it. Nowadays you need clusters of dedicated graphics cards to stand a chance of mining anything... Frankly, I can't be bothered selling them at this stage. In order to get usable currency it means signing up for an exchange and handing over personal details. It's not worth it for the price of a dinner.