Nederlog

 

 October 24, 2010

 

ME + me: Three documents P.S. + XMRV in Norway + scientists' personalities

 

    "There is something fascinating  about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjectures out of such a trifling investment of fact."
    --  Mark Twain
 

I continue being not well, and otherwise also as before, so I cannot do much. I have meanwhile gone through the translation of My father tells about concentration camps, also with the help of a native English speaker, and it should be more or less as it will correct by now, and ready for my end, which indeed is doing a Godwin on my Amsterdam eager narco-fascist terrorist torturors (*)  

But those are joys and passtimes for later. For today, my title sums up adequately

1. Three documents P.S.
2. XMRV in Norway
3. Scientists' personalities

1. Three documents P.S.

I am quite serious about what I wrote above: I do believe in the existence of human beasts, and in there prominence in modern Dutch Amsterdam and modern Dutch politics.

Meanwhile, the Three Documents should be mostly correct, although there may be a little more finicking later. The last corrections were made today, at 12.50 local time.

2. XMRV in Norway

I have lived for some years in Norway and was sent the following about Norwegian research:


 

ESME IVWZ

KBO: 0817.905.582
 

Dr. Mette Johnsgaard of The Lillestrom Health Clinic tested 24 patients and 3 healthy controls for XMRV using the culture test and found that 14 were positive.

Of the negative tests, 11 were then retested with serology tests and 5 more positive results were found, bringing the total to 19 of 27. One of the positive serology samples was from a healthy control.

The Lillestrom Health Clinic has now tested 80 patients and 50 are positive by either culture or serology test a total of 62%. This is very close to the 67% of positive patient results reported by Mikovits, Lombardi, et al., in Science in Oct. 2009.

The tests were done in cooperation with VIPdx labs in the USA.

More information about these results will be given on the 28th of November in Oslo at the XMRV/MLV seminar with Dr. Judy Mikovits. Details of the seminar can been seen here: http://esme-eu.com/xmrv-mlv-seminar-oslo/category203.html  Register by writing to: post@esme-eu.com

The Lillestrom Health Clinic is currently cooperating with many international ME experts in order to share knowledge about testing, treatment and research. Dr. Johnsgaard is also cooperating with international experts who specialize in infectious diseases (Borna virus), retrovirology and biotoxic illnesses (Shoemaker), a probable secondary phenomenon in ME.

In November 2010, the clinic will launch a large international research project on Human Gammaretrovirus and ME.

In Aug. 2010, Dr. Johnsgaard was interviewed by NRK (Norwegian National Broadcasting) where she confirmed the two first positive XMRV patients in Norway. With that interview Dr. Johnsgaard opened the public debate about ME and XMRV in the Norwegian medical and political environment. The same day, Norwegian politicians and doctors reacted positively in a follow-up interview on NRK (see links below)

Virusfunn gir nytt hp for ME-pasienter: http://www.nrk.no/nyheter/norge/1.7257026

Another link with health minister Laila Dvy - Regjeringen br gjre mer for ME-pasienter :  http://www.nrk.no/nyheter/norge/1.7259180

Lillestrom Helseklinikken is situated just outside of Oslo, Norway and specializes in the treatment of ME and other chronic diseases. They have recently begun treating patients from outside of Scandinavia. 

Kind regards,

ESME Team 

The European Society for ME is a non-profit group, operated entirely by volunteers. You can support ESME with a donation by visiting: http://esme-eu.com/home/donate-article427-6.html 

 

Your donation will go directly to our goals of educating doctors and helping scientists to solve the puzzle of ME/CFS: www.esme-eu.com.
 


I have also looked at the Norwegian links provided, but they do not contribute much, that is: unless you are well informed about Norway and Norwegian politics. But I will translate the Norwegian in the above:

Virusfunn gir nytt hp for ME = The finding of a virus gives new hope for ME
Regjeringen br gjre mer for ME-pasienter = The goverment should do more for patients with ME.

Also, indeed "Lillestrom Helseklinikken" = "The Lillestrom Health Clinic", and personally I am quite interested to learn that "They have recently begun treating patients from outside of Scandinavia".

3. Scientists' personalities

There is an ongoing debate, at least on the Phoenix-Rising Forums, about XMRV etc. One problem is that most anonymous contributors at least write as if they know little or nothing about real science, which is OK with me, although I fail to see why those who freely admit, anonymously, they don't know science, write so much about it, also as if they do know.

Happily, also on PR-F, there are some who do know quite a lot of science (so far as I can judge, but I do think I can), notably Mithriel and Anciendaze.

Here is a quote from Anciendaze:

Originally Posted by Sean

While in no way downplaying or being ungrateful for what Mikovits has achieved so far (quite the contrary), I still have to agree with LJS that Mikovits could have played a smarter political game.

My suspicion is that there is far more to the politics than we are every likely to know. From completely unrelated experience, I would characterize the politics of government-funded research as resembling the politics of feudal fiefdoms. The main differences are that scientific dynasties are seldom biological dynasties and bloodshed is replaced with spilled ink. Silverman, Klein, the Ruscettis, Alter and Lo all have their own fiefs. Mikovits has created a cadet branch of the Ruscetti dynasty as an end run on an institutional log jam. It is not safe to attack a major fief holder directly, but a cadet branch not under direct control is fair game. She is taking the risks well-established researchers, even well-intentioned ones, dare not. Some tactics will not work out, that is the nature of this approach. It is designed to keep the opposition on the defensive against sorties while sappers and siege engines are moved into position against hardened positions.

Naturally, this idiosyncratic interpretation is my own. However, any reader in medieval history should be able to supply illustrative examples.

Indeed, that is quite true, at least (1) according to me, from my extensive experiences in the UvA and (2) according to Michael J. Mahoney's "Scientist as Subject: The Psychological Imperative" and also (3) according to those who did investigate the politics of science.

In fact this is also why I hardly ever look at psychological research reports or climate research reports: Most of it stinks methodologically speaking. Usually, the reason for the stench is more or less the same: All the data the studies are supposedly based on have been gathered in completely unclear ways. (Thus, nearly all psychological experiments are done, as a matter of fact, on first year students of psychology, who can't refuse participating and who don't know yet enough of psychology to see through tricks. This is rarely mentioned in research reports, but it is quite relevant for questions of generalizability.) (**)

It is the same with the psychiatric and psychotherapeutical ME-studies, for the most part: It is usually totally unclear, and usually seems to have been kept intentionally completely unclear, precisely how the data (patients, diagnoses, measurements) have been gathered: Instead, one must trust the "scientists" who wrote the "scientific study" that indeed those patients were properly investigated by a well-qualified medical doctor; that they did get a diagnosis of ME/CFS; and that the measurements and data reported have been gathered in a methodologically correct way.

In all the published "scientific studies" by psychiatrists and psychotherapists about ME/CFS that I am aware of, and indeed also in many nominally medical studies, there is no guarantee whatsoever, other than faith in the personalities or titles of the researchers.

This I have none of, where psychiatrists and psychotherapists, and indeed psychologists, sociologists, pedagogy and other soft and pseudoscience is involved, for I know rather well how this research gets organized and reported: shoddily, pretentiously, incompletely, and often falsely also, and not only where ME is involved.

For this there is much reliable evidence to be found on the internet, and here are two links:

The last quoted paper starts thus, surely also interesting in view of what happened to Dr. Myhill:

Doctors are fabricating research results to win grants and advance their careers but the medical establishment is failing to protect the public from the menace of these scientific frauds, a committee of medical editors said yesterday

Eighty cases of fraudulent research have been detected in the past four years, and 30 have been investigated in the past year. Many individuals and institutions are driven by the need for recognition.

In some cases, institutions have covered up wrongdoing to protect reputations but it is patients and, ultimately, science itself that will be the losers if public trust in research is undermined, the Committee on Publication Ethics (Cope) said.

In a coruscating editorial to be published in the British Medical Journal this week, the committee, set up to monitor scientific fraud in 1997, accuses the General Medical Council (GMC), the Royal Medical Colleges and academic institutions of reneging on promises made a year ago to improve the investigation and detection of fraud, and to toughen penalties.

Nothing ever came from that, I fear, but the problem is very real and very important, precisely because the scientific frauds, like Wessely, White, Chalder, Crawley, Gerada etcetera, count upon the fact that very few will have both the scientific knowledge and the moral courage to say they are frauds and cheats, for indeed they do have the power to finish almost anyone in England who wants to make a career in medical or psychological science.

I mentioned Mahoney's "Scientist as Subject: The Psychological Imperative", which is a quite interesting book from 1976 by a psychologist then at a prominent American university, namely Pennsylvania State University. My opening quote by Mark Twain is its opening quote, and here is a nice bit from page 6:

Committed to truth, unbiased by emotion, open to new ideas, professionally and personally unselfish - the scientist thus described deserves sainthood! It is little wonder we have built a shrine to science and canonized its clergy. If the foregoing attributes are actually displayed by scientists, we have good reason to place them on a pedestal. Judging from their own reports, these virtuous accolades are not seen as science fiction. Interviews with members of a variety of disciplines suggest that this sacrosanct image is a frequent one among scientists. Although self-awareness of some fallibility may be increasing, it seems safe to say that the storybook image is alive and well (and it is certainly not hiding). Scientists continue to "keep the faith" by nourishing a public and self-image of human transcendance.

As I have already noted, the basic goal of this book is to critically examine and hopefully refine this prevalent image. By way of contrast to the previous list of scientific virtues, I should perhaps preview some of the things we will find:

  1. Superior intelligence is neither a prerequisite nor a correlate of scientific contribution;

  2. The scientists is often saliently illogical in his work, particularly when he is defending a preferred view or attacking a rival one;

  3. In his experimental research, he is often selective, expedient, and not immune to distorting the data;

  4. The scientist is probably the most passionate of professionals; his theoretical and professional biases often color his alleged "openness" to the data;

  5. He is often dogmatically tenacious in his opinions, even when the contrary evidence is overwhelming;

  6. He is not the paragon of humility or disinterest but is, instead, often a selfish, ambitious, and petulant defender of personal recognition and territoriality;

  7. The scientist often behaves in ways which are diametrically opposite to communal sharing of knowledge - he is frequently secretive and occasionally suppreses data for personal reasons; and

  8. Far from being a "suspender of judgment," the scientist is often an impetuous truth spinner who rushes to hypotheses and theories long before the data would warrant. (op.cit. p. 6)

Indeed, but with one addition by me:

  • All of this is so for all of science, but it is far more prevalent in the soft, social, psychological and psychiatric "sciences", precisely because there often either are no hard data whatsoever that one can use to reliably test another's assertions (***) and also because the soft, social, psychological and psychiatric "sciences" are these days much interweaved with government policies (whence also the funding comes, that rarely goes to scientists with ideas the government is displeased with).

This is also part of the reason that I am much more interested in the hard sciences: While I do not believe the personalities there are necessarily more noble than among - say - clinical psychologists (a group I have learned to detest and distrust since long, not because they are necessarily mistaken but because they so very easily lie and deceive and pretend knowledge they do not and cannot have at all), I do believe it is much more difficult to falsify a physical or chemical experiment and get away with it, than to falsify some psychiatric or psychological research and get away with that, and also because I am quite convinced, on the basis of much relevant experience and reading, that the average physicist or mathematician is far more intelligent than the average psychologist or psychiatrist.



P.S.
It is not unlikely I will quote more
Mahoney later, since the book has rather a lot of quotable text. Meanwhile, as you may find via the last link and the following link, I found Mahoney lived from 1946-2006, and that the edition of "Scientist as Subject: The Psychological Imperative" I quote from was followed by a new edition in 2004, that I have never seen. Also, it is probably fair to remark that while there is much quotable text in the first edition, I do not agree with all the tenets of Mahoney in the first edition. (Indeed, one of my qualifications I have mentioned above: Compared with psychology and psychiatry, physics has real data, while the former two sciences often only have vague constructs very indirectly connected, and that often by unfounded statistics, to some sort of "empirical research". This is also no fault of the psychologist or psychiatrist, as a human brain is many orders of magnitude more complicated than an atom of Helium, but it becomes an immoral fault if the psychologist or psychiatrist pretends his data are sufficient for his main conclusions and theories, for they only are in the case of very trivial theories, of the Pavlovian kind: 'hungry dogs tend to drool if they smell meat' or - at its most sophisticated and scientific best, in psychology - 'those with high IQs are more likely to understand physics than those with low IQs'.

And what one's personal self, character, abilities to speak and reason, one's complex feelings and values, one's artistic or scientific talents, and indeed almost everything that makes one a human being are really based on, no psychologist or psychiatrist really knows, and all who say they do are liars, deceivers and cheats who are trying to defraud and con a public of laymen bt pretending knowledge they do not and cannot have at all, in the present state of ignorance how the brain manufactures nearly all its marvels.

P.P.S. It may be I have to stop Nederlog for a while. The reason is that I am physically not well at all. I don't know yet, but if there is no Nederlog, now you know the reason.

 

As to ME/CFS (that I prefer to call ME):

1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS (pdf)

2. Malcolm Hooper THE MENTAL HEALTH MOVEMENT:  
PERSECUTION OF PATIENTS?
3. Hillary Johnson

The Why

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf)
5. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

6. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
7. Paul Lutus

Is Psychology a Science?

8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)

Short descriptions:

1. Ten reasons why ME/CFS is a real disease by a professor of medicine of Harvard.
2. Long essay by a professor emeritus of medical chemistry about maltreatment of ME.
3. Explanation of what's happening around ME by an investigative journalist.
4. Report to Canadian Government on ME, by many medical experts.
5. Advice to psychiatrist by a psychiatrist who understands ME is an organic disease
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter of one's beliefs:
   "it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon
     insufficient evidence
".
7. A space- and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
8. Malcolm Hooper puts things together status 2010.
 


    "Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!

No change, no pause, no hope! Yet I endure.
I ask the Earth, have not the mountains felt?
I ask yon Heaven, the all-beholding Sun,
Has it not seen? The Sea, in storm or calm,
Heaven's ever-changing Shadow, spread below,
Have its deaf waves not heard my agony?
Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!
"
     - (Shelley, "Prometheus Unbound") 


    "It was from this time that I developed my way of judging the Chinese by dividing them into two kinds: one humane and one not. "
     - (Jung Chang)

 


See also: ME -Documentation and ME - Resources


(*) Dutch for Dutchies: "Mijn grage narko-fascistische terroristische beulen, de verdierlijkte beestmensen van en voor de Amsterdamse mafia, t.w. ...." - after which will follow a list of names and photoshopped pictures to name and shame the specific human beasts - in my estimate, and I know a lot about human beastliness from my readings about concentration camps - who left me, as an invalid also, for almost 4 years to be gassed and terrorized by the Amsterdam drugsmafia. (And yes: To me that seems to be my moral civic duty, though I am much afraid this will cost me my life, quite possibly in a very painful way, namely to show to Dutchmen what happens to one who dare oppose drugcorrupt rulers and unutterably degenerate and beastly bureaucrats.)

If there is one thing I have learned from 32 years of pain and suffering it is that the type of "human beings" that tends to become and desires to be politicians or bureacrats are precisely the type of human beasts, human degenerates, without morals, namely of the stalino-fascist degenerate kinds that ruled Russia, China, the GDR and Amsterdam, always In The Name Of The Highest Human Ideals and always absolutely perfect liars and very carefully cultivated - 'media trained' - utterly degenerate hypocrites.

As Diderot had it (with my modernized insertions):

Je voudrais, et ce sera le dernier et le plus ardent de mes souhaits, je voudrais que le dernier des rois [politiciens] ft trangl avec les boyaux du dernier prtre [bureaucrat].
                                                =
"I would like, and this will be the last and most ardent of my wishes, I would like that the last of the kings [politicians] are strangled with the entrails of the last priest [bureaucrat]."

For more, e.g. about my motives and a further solution, if there is sufficient time left to save true humanity from its own degenerate bastards and morons, see my On a fundamental problem in ethics and morals.

(**)  Besides this, there is also the fact that much of the statistics that is used in the "social and psychological and psychiatric sciences" is not implemented by researchers with much knowledge or feeling for mathematical statistics (the refrain I learned from psychological researchers as to what they were going to do with their data once they had them was "we throw a chi-square over it" - a particular kind of test that often shows something to be "statistically significant", which indeed was usually what happened) but is normally used "in a cookbook fashion", while moreover many statistical tests are based on assumptions (of independence, often) that simply cannot hold in general fact for the populations tested. However... these are matters one can only discuss sensibly with people with a good education in mathematical statistics, which is to say, precisely not with those who (ab)use it in the mentioned "sciences". And see Lutus: Is Psychology a Science?

(***) All of the unutterable crap of Wessely and co. about "dysfunctional belief systems" fits here: This is in real factual empirically tenable terms no more and nothing else than "politically incorrect beliefs", that are very inconvenient for the government or the insurance-companies, in view of the money it would cost if these beliefs are true.

Anyone who really believes something like 17 million people with ME/CFS do not have pain and are not ill but only believe they are in pain and feel ill because of their "belief systems" is either a very dumb but honest Maoist sadist or a totally dishonest conman and crap salesman that very probably is an even grosser sadist and human creep.

Maarten Maartensz

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