Why most doctors are nearly useless

As a rule, doctors misunderstand medical conditions (reversible) diseases (irreversible), following Koch, as univariate, i.e. causal, and not surprisingly, they realize that most diseases are idiopathic, without a known cause. As a rule, medical conditions and diseases are idiopathic – they are multivariate, a-causal. It is not our ignorance of causes; it is the lack of utility of univariate models that is the problem.

With few if any exceptions, both medical conditions and diseases are multivariate and a-causal, and we – our weaknesses – are mostly to blame for both sets of maladies. Agents of disease, so-called causes, are nothing more than challenges, selective pressures of varying strengths, with Salmonella being an example of a weak selective pressure, and smallpox and Ebola being stiff challenges to our defenses.

Our weaknesses are most responsible when we succumb to most diseases.

As a rule, specialists are worse offenders -and insufferably arrogant about it- than general practitioners.

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There is no cause of sickle cell anemia

By definition, the cause of an effect is completely responsible for it. Thus, there cannot be two or more causes. The phrase “a cause” is a contradiction in terms. Removal of the cause of a malady cures ALL people of ALL aspects of the condition.

By definition, the driver of an effect is predominately responsible for it. Thus, there cannot possibly be two drivers of an effect, although when apparent drivers interact, and when each is studied independently, each can appear to be predominately responsible for the effect. In reality, both apparent drivers are contributors. With the exception of interacting “drivers”, the phrase “a driver” is a contradiction in terms. Removal of the driver of a medical condition approaches a cure of the condition.

By definition, a contributor to some effect is partly responsible for it. Removal of a contributor alleviates the condition.

There can be only one cause and only one driver. If there is a driver, there must also be at least one contributor. There can be any number of contributors along with one driver, and there must be two or more contributors when there is no driver and no cause.

Statistics and common sense tell us that in nature there are many more correlates than contributors and many more contributors than drivers, and many more drivers than causes.

The genetic mutation in the Beta globin gene is the driver of sickle cell anemia, not the cause of sickle cell anemia.

The mere existence of a wide range of phenotypes of those who suffer from the disease says that there is more to this disease than this genetic mutation, this driver, this common denominator, this defining characteristic, this challenge, the mutation being the challenging problem that sets up a whole lot of other problems.

The fact that there are mild cases of sickle cell anemia says either that the genetic lesion itself -the driver- is not so bad as imagined or that other things can ameliorate the condition.

If those suffering the worst cases of the disease were cured of the driver, they would not be restored to ordinary levels of health. They have other maladies that make their disease so much worse than average.

“The cause of sickle cell anemia” is a phrase that approaches reality only in those with the mildest forms of the disease. If this one malady were reversed, their health would be much, much better, though never perfect. Perfect health does not exist.

Fit only for treasons

A man without music (or more generally arts and humanities) in his soul – according to the Bard.

Who was the driver behind the American Revolution? Driver = the person predominately responsible for – John Adams, a man who admitted he had no music in his soul.

Coincidence? I doubt it. The Bard was right again.

Want to be a rebel – eschew music, art, humanities. Eschew music and you are more likely to be a rebel at heart if not in deed.

A contributor to poorer quality sleep?

Eating too often. Not too much (which is also a problem, and may be as relevant to sleep quality, especially in the extremely obese via sleep apnea).

Eating too often. The point is that one can eat the right amount of food, but eating too often will still lead to unexpected problems.

Many Americans eat 3 meals a day and some eat 3 meals plus snacks.

This is too often – it does not allow time for important repair processes, particularly those dependent on autophagy, which is stimulated by glucagon, and inhibited by insulin (and hence by every episode of feeding).

My guess is 1-2 meals per day is optimal for overall health and for optimal repair processing.

There are other problems that arise from eating too often. For example, because those who eat 3 meals plus snacks suffer the inevitable post-prandial slump, they consume more caffeinated beverages than they would if they ate just once per day, and this has the effect of reducing overall quantity and quality of sleep.

The Fast-5 diet format recommended by Dr. Bert Herring suggests having one meal a day of about 5 hour duration just before bedtime, followed by a 19 hour fast. As long as there is no reflux, this seems to me to be the best time for the single meal (and I am trying it out now). Because no caffeinated beverages need be consumed to combat the slump just before retiring, less caffeine is needed during the productive waking hours (I’m trying 100 mg every few hours in the AM – 400 mg MAX), meaning that all other things being equal, sleep will tend to be of better quality and longer in duration.

I wonder if there are data to support this. Probably very little, since the Fast-5 is not a particularly popular diet format – and who would study such a topic? I would – if only I could.

Are all consequences of global warming necessarily bad?

Ignoring the question of whether this whole crisis is made up:

Those with a clear political agenda aver it.

‘Necessarily’ and ‘all’ are unempirical words, so I’m a naysayer – unlikely that all consequences are necessarily bad. Nature would not be workable if it were so simple, so black and white, as simple-minded people with narrow political agendas will themselves to be.

Among other good things: world population demands may just require areas normally covered by snow for much of the year to become good summer farmland.

Harvey-Weinberg

There are at least seven assumptions in this idealized model. The one that most concerns me is that the gene being studied is not under selective pressure.

You are studying a gene not under selective pressure. Why? Of what great importance is that? Important, possibly; of great importance, no.

The most important genes cannot be in Harvey-Weinberg equilibrium for long.