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  June 28, 2012                  
     
me+ME:  Good Things In Life - 2: Linux + mB12 + Chamfort
              

"Peu de personnes peuvent aimer un Philosophe. C'est presque un ennemi public qu'un homme qui, dans les différentes prétentions des hommes, et dans les mesonge des choses, dit à chaque homme et à chaque chose: 'Je ne te prends que pour ce que tu es: et je ne t'apprécie que ce que tu vaux.' Et ce n'est pas une petite entreprise de se fair aimer et estimer avec l'annonce de ce ferme propos."

 -- Chamfort

This continues the Good Things In Life - 1, which was the start of a new series - since there is quite a lot that is good in life... provided you are healthy, and are neither starving, nor in pain nor in
danger: If so, it mostly depends on your own qualities of mind and character, and there is a lot to be enjoyed or to be interested in, for its sake, not your own, also, varying from the other sex (I despise PC language and PC folks!), music and mathematics to art, philosophy and nature, and lots in between, including good conversations, literature an honest, rational and reasonable people, in case you have the rather astounding luck to ever have met one: Don't despair, it may happen! Good things and good human beings are rare!)

Also - lest you are mistaken - I am speaking for myself, and for nobody else, and my judgments are evaluative rather than factual, or more so than not - and I am throwing in a bit of translation and comment of my motto for today, that I have used before.

And there also is a but on my mB12-protocol - look at the entries in the index of Nederlog 2012 for more - because that's on of the presently good things in my life - and there very probably would not have been a new computer nor Linux for me without that protocol: It really helped me the last four months, when I finally got it more or less right. More below.



The reason the sections start at 3 is that I am continuing
the Good Things In Life - 1:

3.
GNU/Linux.Ubuntu

As reported in Nederlog for this year, I got Ubuntu on a stick of May 3:
Computernews: Linux on a stick! and liked it so much that I had switched effectively from Windows to Linux within two weeks.

The story - so far - is mostly in
the index of Nederlog 2012  and also in my On - and from - Ubuntu 12.04. I could say a lot more, but will not do so here and now, where I have only a little more on two (mostly) Linux-related things, namely about why I write 'GNU/Linux. Ubuntu'  and some more about Radio Paradise, mentioned also in Good Things In Life - 1.

GNU/Linux.Ubuntu: I like the ideas of open source and of free source (<- Wikipedia links), for various reasons, that I first explained on line in 1999 (having my website since 1996) in 'Capitalism, Communism, and Computing'.

I suppose that is now rather outdated, but then at the time I wrote this and first put it on line, I did not know much about Richard Stallman, Eric Raymond, and indeed not about  internet, as I had only a slow telephone modem (28 Kb per second, which was in 1996 a decided improval over the 1200 bits per second of the first modem I used) and in fact I relied until 2009 mostly on computer monthlies such as the English PC Plus, printed on paper, usually coming with at least one CD with free programs, because of that sloooow telephone modem, which made surfing the net not easy, and often frustrating.

Then again, my main reasons to be strongly in favour of free and open source are still the same: Programming code is applied mathematics, and should, in principle, be no more  copyrighted than pure mathematics should be copyrighted; copyrighting mathematics or mathematical ideas would enormously slow down development; most great programs, codes and ideas in computing were developed as open source; open source is the only development model that is effective - it works, it gets developed and debugged, some open source programs are a lot better than closed source doing the same, anybody can see what makes it work, as possibly great code - beyond secret corporate source;
open and free source is the civilized way of using and developing computers and software; and all programs that are important for science, education, schools, universities, and indeed a civilized society should be both freely available to all (so as not to discriminate most  people living now, who can't pay the prices for - hidden source - software that Apple, Microsoft and others demand) and open source (so that anyone can understand it, improve on it, or adapt it).

There are also difficulties with free and open source, that have mostly two do with two facts: Programmers need to eat and pay the rent like other people; and CEOs and Boards of Directors of for-profit corporations are in it to make profit for themselves rather than produce more civilization for all - neither of which are necessarily bad motives, while both  lessen the chance for free and open source development.

But I will not discuss this here and now, and only briefly explain why I write "GNU/Linux.Ubuntu":

My main reason is that this names the three main sources of the OS I currently use: It is a Linux, that incorporates parts developed by GNU (the Bash shell, notably) and parts of it are developed or put together by Ubuntu.

And I mention these because it seems to me improbable that there would have been an Ubuntu without either GNU or Linux. I am not taking a position on what is the best policy for developing free and open software. (*)

Radio Paradise: I
mentioned Radio Paradise (<-Wikipedia link) before in Good Things In Life - 1 and said it is well produced, well presented, and that I find it very nice and very well done.

Indeed it is all these things, and it is music radio as it should be done, and in fact it is done, since 1999, by a married couple living in Paradise (California, to be sure, whence the name of their station), called Bill and Rebbeca Goldsmith, who also run a website for Radio Paradise.

It has - for my tastes - a very good selection of music, mostly but not only classic and modern rock, but also some electronic, classic and jazz, and it is free from commercials, and depends on support and contributions from its listeners.

Well... this and the BBC World Service are about the only radio stations - one for excellent music radio; one for excellent talk radio - I would be willing to pay for to keep them available, but as is - having been hacked in 2009 - I just do not do any payments through internet.

But then I can write about the station, and indeed I also found out a bit more about it than I knew: Bill Goldsmith is an open source guy, and seems to run his stations (he has several) mainly on Linux. Here is a fine interview with him from 10 years ago, in Linux Journal:

       Open Source Radio

It is a nice and interesting interview. If you like really good music radio, give Radio Paradise a try, and see whether you like it.


4. MB12+Potassium+Methylfolate

It is precisely a year ago today that I first mentioned the methyl-B12-protocol (at the end of the linked file), that I had then embarkened on briefly before, indeed after experimenting half a year with hB12, that had convinced me B12 does something for me, but at the time I did not know that further supplements are highly advicable if you (may) have M.E. and want to see whether B12 makes a positive difference for you.

Here are three references for the theoretical backgrounds of the protocol, that comes in two forms: One as drawm up by Fred Davis aka Freddd, that is centered around mB12 (that I agree with, also on the basis of my own experiences and experiments) and recommends trying to push through start-up difficulties (that I disagree with, at least because I just cannot afford to get more miserable than I know I usually am without any protocol, and also because it seems to me advisable to do things carefully); and one as drawn up by Rick van Konynenburg Ph.D. that is centered around hB12 (that I found less effective than mB12, but may be advisable for some) and recommends not trying to push through start-up difficulties:

    1.
B 12 - The hidden story: A very long thread about the whole subject of
       supplementing B12 in some form to counteract the symptoms of ME, started in
       July 2009. This is a very long thread, with much repetition but also with
       interesting ideas and findings. Most of the basic stuff as regards Freddds
       protocol is within the first 100 or 150 posts in the thread, but there is a later
       version of the protocol:
    2.
Active B12 Protocol Basics: This is the latest version of Freddd's protocol.
       It is most like the one I use, except for amounts and proportions, both of which
       are important for the best effects, and differ with different persons.
    3. Documents by Rich van Konynenburg: Parts 1 - 7: This is a html-version
       of Rich van Konynenburg's protocol, that is centered around hydroxy-B12. This
       has a biochemical theory, that dr. Van Konynenburg explained in person in
       Sweden in a lecture that was put on video. The details are here, lifted from a
       Nederlog from April 10 of this year:

First, here is the link for the three videos that together comprise dr. Van Konynenburg's lecture:

ME 1 Richard van Konynenburg

and here are seperate links to the three lectures, that on my computer turned out to be linked: The end of one starts the next if this applies:

Lecture 1   1 hour 21 minutes
Lecture 2   45 minues
Lecture 3   1 hour 22 minutes  

There are two pdf-files that can be downloaded from the first link or from these:

IAOMT_talks_Rich_Van_K._2011__Part_1R.pdf   1135 Kb
IAOMT_talks_Rich_Van_K._2011__Part_2.pdf
     208 Kb 

And here is a link to a clear written exposition by dr. Van Konynenburg on Phoenix Rising:

Documents by Rich Van Konynenburg: Parts 1-7

My reason to name and link the last three items is that they are really helpful.

So... here is my present protocol, with links to relevant Wikipedia-lemmas for all that I presently take with the mB12-protocol, also with prices and daily costs listed, in Euros, as these are in Amsterdam, Holland. (It is probably less expensive in the US, or when ordered from the US.)

Supplement
 
Supplier
 
Contents p/p Totals
 
Pills p/d
Price p/p
Cost
p/d
Unit price
Nr
 
methylcobalamin
aka mB12
Jarrow
 
mB12 5 mg (5000 mcg)
5000 mcg    1
 
 0,60
 
 0,60
 35,00
 
 60
 
Dibencozide
aka aB12
Country
Life 
aB12 3000 mcg
 
3000 mcg    1
 
 0,30
 
 0,30
 
 24,00
 
 60
 

 

 
folic acid 500 mcg 500 mcg
 

 

 

 

 
metafolin
aka folate
Solgar 800 mcg 2400 mcg
 
   3
 0,28  0,84  28,00  100
Potassium
aka Kalium
AOV
(Dutch) 
200 mg
 
1200 mg
 
   5
 
 0,16
 
 0,80
 
 16,00
 
 100
 
Omega 3 Fish oils Toppharm
(Dutch)
Fish oils 1000 mg
 
3000 mg
 
   3   0,10
 0,30
 15,00   180 
VM 75
Solgar
Multivitamin with many ingredients
including zinc,
magnesium, vit D, folic acid


   1  0,40
 0,40
 36,00
 90
TOTAL PER DAY            3,24
   

I have been using this for four months now, in which I could buy and install a new computer and install Linux, neither of which I could do the four years before that, at least, and besides did a number of other things I just couldn't do before as well.

Also - being strongly inclined to Bayesian reasoning - it was nice to find that quite a few of the things Freddd and Rick said did hold in my experience:

Yes, one may get start-up problems rather soon, and they are not pleasant (and I opted for not trying to move through them, but I radically lessened doses, as I normally do with supplements that may cause problems, to find any noticeable difference), and yes they went away with more potassium (also a safe supplement, like B12, if not as cyano-B12 in large doses), and yes, like others I found I hardly slept with 10 mg of mB12 (and 3 of aB12), and yes that rapidly went away when returning to 5 mg, and yes: adding Metafolate makes a difference in energy, and indeed sofar proportional - roughly, on average - to the amount I take.

The main problem with the protocol seems to be that one must take care to take sufficient
Potassium, and be aware how one recognizes one does not have enough of this. Apart from that none of the supplements is dangerous or toxic, and it seems one can safely take  rather a lot more of B12, Metafolate and Potassium - which are the three key supplements in the protocol - than I do take presently. (**)

Since the above has worked quite well for me the last four months, and since I found that more methylfolate helps more, I will probably the coming month step by step doubling the methylfolate to see what happens, meanwhile having found methylfolate is prescribed against depression in far larger amounts (up to 15 mg) than I plan to test the coming month.

    -- Added June 29: There is a qualification I spelled out June 29.

5. Chamfort

Reading
Chamfort is one of the good things in life: An extremely intelligent man, who has seen through many human hypocrisies, dishonesties, postures, pretenses, and stupidities, and who had a gift for distilling his insights in aphorisms, must be of considerable interest to anyone with a good mind - and indeed, very intelligent men, as diverse as John Stuart Mill and Friedrich Nietzsche, have praised and admired Chamfort's Maximes et Pensées, that also is on my site in French, and in partial English translation, with my comments on the parts I translated.

The last link will probably also explain why Chamfort's aphorism with which I opened this Nederlog also applies to me - both with and without M.E. - who indeed has not found much social approval (but then I live in a country where stupidity and dishonesty are social assets rather than difficulties or embarrasments). Here is my translation of Chamfort's idea:

"Few persons can admire a Philosopher. He is almost a public enemy who, faced by the different pretensions of mankind and by their many falsehoods, says to each man and to each falsehood: "I do not take you as other than you are, and I do not appreciate you for anything other than you want." It is not easy to make oneself loved or esteemed on the basis of such firm stance."

-- Chamfort

Here are some I rolled myself, in reply to some of his:

Almost all men are moral failures and frauds by their very own moral norms.

Almost all ordinary social behavior is fraudulent: People would not act socially as they do, if they did not fear punishment or disapproval for not doing it, or if they did not expect advantanges or praise from doing it.

Rationally speaking, it is useless to consider morals without realizing that the greatest part of all moral speaking and acting is posturing or hypocrisy.

Very few people - in modern western societies - act morally and fairly to others, if this does not conform to their own interests, and they do not fear being found out and punished.

The great handicap of the small minority of the fair, the honest, the reasonable and the rational, is that the great majority is neither fair, nor honest, nor reasonable, nor rational, and especially not to those who are not members of their own group.

If you thought that makes sense, there is a lot more in these two Nederlogs:

       
Why I like Chamfort - 1
        Why I like Chamfort - 2
      


        (*) I have meanwhile seen that there are quite a number of different positions in
             what I shall call the Linux world - meaning: whatever runs in the end on a
             Linux-kernel - as to what is and should be free and open source software and
             how to produce it sensibly. In this I take no position, for lack of relevant
             knowledge.
        (**) This seems to be true in any case, apart from pre-existing other medical
             problems (I do suppose your heart, liver and kidneys are mostly OK, as are
             mine), for
none of the supplements is dangerous or toxic, but one should keep in
             mind that (1) what works best for one seems to be individual and needs some
             experimenting to find out, and (2) I am a tall male - 1.95 m - of 62.




                                    
                                    P.S.    
Corrections, if any are necessary, have to be made later.
                             -- Jun 29, 2012: Added
a qualification.

 

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 of 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)
9.
 Maarten Maartensz
ME in Amsterdam - surviving in Amsterdam with ME (Dutch)
10.
 Maarten Maartensz Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Short descriptions of the above:                

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 understa, but nds ME is an organic disease
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter of one's beliefs:

7. A  space- and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
8. Malcolm Hooper puts things together status 2010.
9. I tell my story of surviving (so far) in Amsterdam/ with ME.
10. The directory on my site about ME.



See also: ME -Documentation and ME - Resources
The last has many files, all on my site to keep them accessible.

 


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