[ExI] internet as the biggest advance in medicine ever

Tomasz Rola rtomek at ceti.pl
Mon Jul 12 03:34:43 UTC 2010

On Sun, 11 Jul 2010, spike wrote:

> A couple weeks ago I made some comments about medical marijuana.  My
> interest is not in that particular medication, but rather in the structure
> of law in its interaction with the medical world.  Grass is illegal, but
> Taxifornia is challenging that.  So why not other medications as well?  We
> have a tool where thousands of patients with any oddball disease can just
> try stuff, and post to some central buletin board on how it is going,
> something like this:
> http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=control-group-patients-ta
> If one has some orphan disease that can kill, learning about that disease is
> an overwhelming interest.  The patient soon knows more than the doctor.  I
> can imagine that is happening more and more all the time.  Medics, is it?

This is rather doubtful, at least for me (even though I am far from 
being/becoming/considering a medic). Would you trust opinions on your 
profesional subjects from someone who did not have one or two years of 
calculus? He could read a lot and with no calculus he would still sit in 
the middle of the woods. He could be great practitioner, but without big
enough knowledge equivalent he would not even be able to understand why 
this worked in his case and why it may or may not work in some other 

Just my 8gr (2 cents is about 0.08 Polish zloty which is 8 grosz - grosz 
is singular, plural is grosze, but, well, we don't have to be that 

Of course, since a library is few moves of a hand away, more people are 
actually trying to learn something (whatever they need at the moment). 
Sometimes they are lucky to find a treatment that is hard to be screwed up 
and cheap enough to be performed in a self-help manner. And this is very 
positive thing.

> If one had a database of what patients were trying, coming from all over the
> world, it looks to me like useful signals could eventually be extracted from
> the noise.

I was imagining that this takes place in a form of medical journals?

Or do you mean "milion sick monkeys in a drugstore"?

Not attacking you, but I think this experiment would do a lot of real 
damage and could have, maybe, just maybe, some positive effects. Depending 
on whom you would pay attention to, you will be either excited or 

Right now, there are pioneers and excitement. Pioneers are cool, they 
think and quite often are above the average. Come back two years later and 
you will find "patient 5.0 institutions" on the internet, selling tap 
water. Water is optimistic case. Some hundred years ago they were selling 
uranium enriched "energy drinks" (well, sure, there were people swearing 
to feel the boost and I doubt all of them were being paid for this).

Personally, I am expecting a come back of shamans. While old shamans could 
be nice people, the new ones will just be cheap. Maybe "cheap" is the 
right keyword here.

As usually, problem of rare diseases could be solved IMHO by making an 
effort into organism modelling based on its DNA (and whatever else is a
worthy parameter). This would give some realistic and cheap (in the longer 
run at least) possibility. But, "just cheap" is easier than "realistic and 
cheap". Two ways of being cheap. Monkeys don't understand. ;-/

Tomasz Rola

** A C programmer asked whether computer had Buddha's nature.      **
** As the answer, master did "rm -rif" on the programmer's home    **
** directory. And then the C programmer became enlightened...      **
**                                                                 **
** Tomasz Rola          mailto:tomasz_rola at bigfoot.com             **

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