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Re: [ba-unrev-talk] Licensing of the unrevii email archives (wasre: Progress on...)

Paul Fernhout wrote:    (01)

> Fundamentally, there is an implicit widespread belief that ideas without
> owners are worthless because no one will invest in their use without a
> monopoly on them (e.g. no one would produce a drug out of patent --
> wonder why you can buy aspirin?), which conflicts with the notion that
> ideas without owners are the most valuable to the world because anyone
> can use them at any time.    (02)

Unfortunately, there is a huge arena in which I must violently disagree
with this assertion.    (03)

There is a need to distinguish cases, here, and I'm not sure I see the
right way to do. So when Paul goes on to point out the nature of
free-for-use government patents for ideas developed in universities,
he has a solid point.    (04)

However, being as well-versed as I am in the potential for nutritional
remedies to a wide variety of chronic ailments, and the even more
significant capacity to prevent such conditions nutritionally, I am
absolutely appalled at which the degree to which ignorance abounds
on the subject.    (05)

There are many cases today in which a nutritional remedy is not only
as effective than a drug, but even *more* effective. (At one point I
started to collect a database of nutritional remedies, but there are
multiple levels of interaction --atomic, chemical, phsiological/cellular,
biological systems, symptom/response -- that I couldn't figure out a
good way to trace all of the effects, take into account what we can
hypothesis vs. what we know, find and eliminate false data and
correlations vs. cause & effect interactions, and adjust query responses
to the level that would be most useful to the inquirer -- hence my
interest in knowledge-management systems.)    (06)

For the purposes of this discussion, lets just assume that nutritional
remedies exist. (Example: anti-inflammatories. You can take a drug.
Or you can take water, salt, MSM, Vitamin C, and/or a variety of
other nutirients which are anti-inflammatory.)    (07)

But what we see instead are millions invested in testing and patenting
new drugs, and millions more invested in promoting them to doctors.
Doctors, then happily prescribe anything which fixes the current
problem, with seemingly no concern whatever for the long range
effects. Their attitude appears to be, "when the next problem appears,
we'll deal with it then". How? With another drug, of course. And the
cycle continues.    (08)

I'm not *totally* down on medicine. It's done a lot of good. But
indoor plumbing, running water, and sanitation has done a thousand
times as much. Medicine just likes to take the credit.    (09)

The real issue here is that, for lack of profit, hugely beneficial
potential remedies go unadvertised, unpromoted, and unrecognized.    (010)

It's not a simple one-for-one proposition, either. So health food
companies, despite their attempts to promote good supplements, can
only go so far.    (011)

For example, there are a huge number of ways to induce a vitamin C
deficiency. You can eliminate it from the food supply, or prevent it
from being ingested. You can restrict the nutrients that reconstitute
it after it has done its job, thereby increasing the need when lesser
amounts would usually suffice. Or you can siphon it off so rapidly that
it takes a lot to "plug the gap" (example: knitting a broken bone).    (012)

As a result, you could have a perceived "vitamin C deficiency" where
the real cause is something else entirely.    (013)

The phenomenal consequence of the complexity that is our bodies is
that we can do a study where we give mass amounts of Vitamin C
to a 100 people with a problem, and then see 10 people get cured,
30 people see some improvement, and 60 people get no result at all.    (014)

How does medicine react to such results? "Not a cure". My bleeding
arse, not a cure. TEN PEOPLE WERE CURED. We should be
designing follow up studies to determine what it was about those 10
people that would have told us Vitamin C was the cure. And we
should be investigating the cases where we saw some improvement,
and be looking for the real underlying causes. The existence of
improvement is a clue that Vitamin C requirements are higher than
normal. If we were to find out why, there is another 30 people or so
we could potentially cure.    (015)

Of the other 60, we should be finding out what's different about their
cases. Were we doing the right kinds of follow up studies to build up
our understanding of the complex biological processes that lead to
health -- instead of looking for one-shot cures -- we could have a
dramatic impact on health.    (016)

The one thing that can produce an "improvement" across the board
is symptom relief. If people are sneezing, we can undoubtedly find
something that stop sneezing in 100% of the people we test. Whether
that substance is any good for anyone is another question. But as
long is it doesn't kill people outright, we let it go.    (017)

Yesterday, I heard that a swedish company isolated a compound in
french fries and potato chips that causes cancer. Yay! Now that
there is a specific compound that can be pointed to, maybe people
will stop eating that crap.    (018)

But the scientific foundation for the harm caused by trans fats has
been published in periodicals accessible to the layman since 1990.
It's been know for much longer, I believe. But I found in the mid
to late 90's, and put the information on http://www.treelight.com/health
in 1998, or thereabouts.    (019)

The effect of trans fats on cellular interactions is devastating. The
science can be applied to explain insulin-resistance, diabetes, allergies,
asthma, arthritis, alzheimers, and multiple sclerosis, to name a few.
Basically, the chemistry of trans fats helps to explain the majority of
degenerative diseases that are endemic to industrial civilization, in
addition to the plague of obesity we see around us.    (020)

BUT...    (021)

How far does this knowledge penetrate? A little at a time. Extremely
slowly. Meanwhile, corporations make billions finding new ways to
put sugar and bad fats into more and more stuff that gets advertised
heavily and swizzled down.    (022)

The billions that get spent on eating crap then turns into obesity and
disease, and we spend billions more for diet books, weight loss pills,
doctor visits, and drugs.    (023)

Diets produce more fat later, while weight loss pills and drugs produce
greater harm down the road. So we go back for more, spending even
more money in the process.    (024)

Basically, the money machine keeps churning, and an unsuspecting
populace is ground up in the gears.    (025)

Chromium picolinate was patented, as was Ester C. Those companies
actually had the wherewithal to advertise and have an impact on
public consciousness. The "pull through" effect of people wanting
what they provided led to licensing deals which got their supplements
into more and more products.    (026)

Those success stories happened in a matter of years. Linus Pauling,
on the other hand, spent decades trying to convince a medical
establishment that had wax in its ears -- and which continues to
keep its head buried in the sand to this very day.    (027)

No. The answer, I'm afraid, is social judo. We *have* to create
profit opportunities for useful discoveries, to hasten their adoption.    (028)

Again, there is value in the government-patent process, too. We need
a taxonomy which would allow us to distinguish the cases. I don't
really see it, at the moment. Perhaps the counter-view described above
will help us to identify it.    (029)