Posts Tagged ‘Open source’

Medical studies are almost always bogus

May 8, 2017

…And the headlines promise more than they deliver, according to an article at the New York Post.

The article refers to the results of research published in the book by Richard Harris:

(Begin excerpt)

“…For any study to have legitimacy, it must be replicated, yet only half of medical studies celebrated in newspapers hold water under serious follow-up scrutiny — and about two-thirds of the “sexiest” cutting-edge reports, including the discovery of new genes linked to obesity or mental illness, are later “disconfirmed.”

Though erring is a key part of the scientific process, this level of failure slows scientific progress, wastes time and resources and costs taxpayers excesses of $28 billion a year, writes NPR science correspondent Richard Harris in his book “Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope, and Wastes Billions” (Basic Books).

“When you read something, take it with a grain of salt,” Harris tells The Post. “Even the best science can be misleading, and often what you’re reading is not the best science.”

(End excerpt)

It’s not just medicine. All of science research is suffering from the same effect.

The writer does not deny the tendency is always there in the hot competition, and recognizes the shrinking budgets of taxpayer money to dole out for medical studies makes for the present crisis in which “half” of these taxpayer-funded studies (paid for by taxpayer extortion) are not reproducible.

The article describes what is happening, the symptom, but without acknowledging the “disease”. Integrity in medical research has died at the hand of the “administrative state”, unelected fiefdoms of government, less obvious because they are restricted parts of the whole, and because of the cover of mandates by laws outsourcing legislative duties to them.

If the research funds come from the organization with a monopoly of force, there is no constraint on the decisions made by the ones who disperse the funds.

In a free market, the funds would come from parties with an interest in getting results. In government the interests are politically driven careers, and personal pet projects with no personal cost.

This article makes no mention of any comparison between research funded by the private sector with no taint of government priorities, versus government funding.

But besides the difference being intuitively obvious, we have at least one example in the area of stem cell research. The media widely reported on the debate leading up to the decision by George W. Bush on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.  He eventually decided to allow continuing research with the existing embryonic cell lines that had been funded, but restrict the use of federal funding for any new cell lines. Using new embryonic cell lines means the destruction of an embryo. An embryo is a new human life, a baby.

What was not reported in “Official Media” was that this research into EMBRYONIC stem cell research had already been at full speed for decades, with at the time NOT ONE medical application.

Also not reported at the time was that there were already 72 –seventy-two– medical applications resulting from ADULT stem cell research, already widely in use, funded by PRIVATE money. A few years later there were 150, and finally one study determined that adult stem cell research couple serve for any purported application of the embryonic studies.

Meaning, when you hear that they got some good thing or another from the embryonic stem cell research, remember it easier needless anyway,  sending bad money after bad, besides the other.

But the outrageous truth is that so many new lives were needlessly snuffed out while in the first stages of growth, in the name of stuffing them out, and with the bogus cover story of interest in medical advancement and the cure, for which using ADULT cells were already proven to serve much better.

And what a colossal waste of taxpayer-extorted money, including the one BILLION dollars that California’s tax victims had to dish out for it.


This is an argument against trademark law – Part 2

October 27, 2013
Tim Berners-Lee speaking at the launch of the ...

Tim Berners-Lee speaking at the launch of the World Wide Web Foundation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently posted this:

Somebody asked me:

What is the difference between my owning land and owning unique knowledge?

I’ll try to explain the main differences. Starting with the one that I think is most significant.

For Smith to acquire any land that belongs to Jones, Smith has to harm Jones in some way to de-facto “possess’ it, and Jones loses his own property to theft.

But if Jones “owns” a piece of “unique knowledge”, Jones loses absolutely nothing of what he already has if Smith acquires the same piece of “unique knowledge”.

If we apply the principles that support free trade among nations –they do– consider that the free trade means for sugar that we get net positive effect on the average. End the tarriff on them, domestic producers lose but everybody else gains a LOT more.

Ending the “intellectual property” monopolies might mean a loss for the former patent and copyright and trademark holders, but it means great benefit for the rest of us. Not only in that the monopoly royalties hit us all and drain resources from other productive areas, but it means an end to a completely artificial industry in legal services that support such monopolies as a specialization, supplemented in turn by all the bogus “defensive” patent filings. Defensive patents are taken out on ideas that are so obvious anybody and even everybody knows them, but if somebody is awarded by these clueless patent officials then suddenly they have to pay royalties for the obvious.

An example of this waste is a patent Microsoft was actually awarded for an algorithm that recognizes what country corresponds to a high-level domain suffix in the DNS string!!

Information doesn’t want to be free, it just exists, but punishing people for knowing something or telling it gives too much power to government cronies that have a “For rent” shingle hung in front of their office.

Besides, consider Courtney Love‘s rant that the big corporate monsters of Hollywood control the market and pay pittance to the real true originators of ideas, the original writers, the originators of the “intellectual” product.

Consider also that we have recent outstanding examples that disprove the premise in the US Constitution and in the laws of most countries. The idea was stated as to provide incentives for innovation in science and the arts.

Consider also that a lot of new good ideas come from government-subsidized research. Hey, even IBM got its start with the government employee Hollerith who was told to design a system to count the census faster in the late 1800s. He did, and then went private to produce the punched card machines. I don’t know who got the patent for it, but if he did, is it “fair”? We paid for that research. The government couldn’t do it without robbing us first.

(Before the people who love to be told what to do and say and spend on what react, let us point out that the gigantic advances in calculating and computing have been from the private sector).

But now we have the World Wide Web, using a protocol and algorithms that Tim Berners-Lee gave to the world. Open source is taking over! In the words of one Red Hat developer I recently met, “We won!” (meaning Open Source). Android has more devices running it than Apple has sold, Linux took over the Internet server space lightning fast, open source browsers are crowding out the Microsoft browser on Microsoft machines running Windows.

Open source inspired open document, the commons license, wikipedia (in part), wikis in general. An open source office suite. There is open source bios!

Google Facebook. Yahoo. The most important Internet companies run open source. Brokerage companies on Wall Street that gain and lose millions sometimes in seconds, prefer Linux applications.

And the most creative research in computing is in open source code.

// <![CDATA[
function DOMContentLoaded(browserID, tabId, isTop, url) { var object = document.getElementById(“cosymantecnisbfw“); if(null != object) { object.DOMContentLoaded(browserID, tabId, isTop, url);} };
function Nav(BrowserID, TabID, isTop, isBool, url) { var object = document.getElementById(“cosymantecnisbfw“); if(null != object) object.Nav(BrowserID, TabID, isTop, isBool, url); };
function NavigateComplete(BrowserID, TabID, isTop, url) { var object = document.getElementById(“cosymantecnisbfw“); if(null != object) object.NavigateComplete(BrowserID, TabID, isTop, url); }
function Submit(browserID, tabID, target, url) { var object = document.getElementById(“cosymantecnisbfw“); if(null != object) object.Submit(browserID, tabID, target, url); };

// ]]>

Phil Zimmerman is in the news again… Get encryption

June 24, 2013

Phil Zimmerman has long been a hero to people who respect the right as recognized in the Fourth Amendment of the United States. He’s the one who open-sourced PGP (“Pretty Good Privacy“) that can protect your communications from private spying by others, but also apparently protects it from government.

Privacy services companies stand up against Big Brother — RT News:

Got nothing to hide? It seems like it’s the government that has plenty to hide –from US THE PEOPLE!

Matthew 10:26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be