Thoughts on economics and liberty

Tag: Critical thinking

Eye problem chapter now closed – DESPITE the plethora of incompetent doctors

A couple of days after I had mentioned my discovery of the relationship between tight neck muscles, attributable to bad posture, and compression of the nerves that control eyeball muscles, I worked out an amazingly complex set of eye exercises that dramatically reduced inner eyeball muscle tension or spasms.

These eye exercises are very difficult to describe, and even the video that I have made, doesn't really show how these are actually done, and what one actually experiences while doing them. But I've got to move on now. There will be enough time to explain and teach these things later. In the meanwhile I've uploaded the detailed solution here:

As a result of the two discoveries made over the past few days, I am now able to sleep without pain. I used to put all sorts of things into my eyes to try to relieve at least some pain before going to sleep. Often I masked it by applying heaps of balm and other things. That is no longer necessary. I do not even put ordinary eyedrops before going to sleep. Getting very close to normalcy, although I do get up with some residual soreness. While there remains some tightness and burning, this is at an extremely mild level compared to what it was just about 8 days ago.

It is clear by now that I do not have dry eyes. I do not have any inflammation of the cornea. I do not have any allergic problem. I do not have bacterial problems.

Doctors I have seen were merely making up these alleged problems since they had no capacity to think more carefully. I suspect there is no mention of this kind of problem in their textbooks, so to that extent I can't perhaps blame them. But I'd have expected them to show SOME curiosity. That's expecting too much from HIGHLY PAID doctors whose only focus is on their pocket.

Nevertheless, despite the presence of this hugely incompetent medical profession, and despite the absence of any medical science that deals with this particular kind of horrid pain, I have survived this torture, and hope to return to full normalcy in the coming weeks and months.

From my experience of RSI, such things can take weeks if not months to resolve, after the cause has been determined. Main thing for me is to continue to discover NEW eye exercises (never invented yet by man) to deal with muscles that are located BEHIND the eye and can't be massaged manually.

The $600 worth of Restasis is lying in my fridge. I’m going to have to destroy the packets, since no one will probably take these back (these have come all the way from USA under a special permission accorded by TDA of Australia).

Anyway I get to fight again.

One more time. 

Against FALSE ideas – of economic "science", climate "science", and medical "science".

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The nature of human knowledge

I'm currently reading a critique of Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding (haven't read the original essay yet, just reading its critque by Aaron, a book – freely available online – which I heartily recommend).

Locke's essay was pathbreaking in many fields including cognitive psychology, linguistics and epistemology. His essay, along with others like Francis Bacon's Novum Organum (and even Descartes's s Discourse on the Method), contributed to  establishment of the institution of critical thinking, of which the scientific method is one component. I have TWO separate chapters on critical thinking in DOF – work in progress, though.

Without being able to think independently, and without knowing how to think, the West would never have broken free from the heavy chains of its bondage to the Church – which was (often) more intolerant and more violent than even the most fanatic elements of Islam today (I need not remind readers, for instance, of the total eradication – through massacre and deportation – of the Moors in Spain, for instance).

It is the process of understanding (a) how we acquire knowledge, and (b) how we should think in order to maximise knowledge, that marks the birth of the modern era.

Locke was a major contributor to the modern era from all angles. In particular, he denied the value of pure reason that is untested on the touchstone of experience and observation. 

Note that similar thoughts had been expressed in ancient India by Charvaka, but unfortunately these thoughts soon disappeared in the sands of time. To Locke, therefore, all of us owe the origin of the modern society.

I cited an excellent article on the subject of knowledge (here) on FB recently, and wrote a comment in response to a discussion. Harsh Vora believes that my comment deserves its separate post. I have no objection to doing so, given FB's ordinary search feature. Also, what one writes on FB is lost forever. On the other hand, a good blog is likely to remain behind, and engage the wandering passerby in discussion well after one is dead and gone.

And so, for whatever it is worth here's the relevant extract of my very ordinary and routine comment on FB:

Sanjeev Sabhlok (linking to this article:

In science "nothing is gained by going to the older sources. Science advances and the older writings lose their pedagogical value. This is because in science, the ultimate authority is not a person, but observation."

Sudeep Shetty Pretty Interesting … If older source (science) are true we can pickup the basic from old source and always make it better and stronger …

Sanjeev Sabhlok Sudeep, in every science, the basics are automatically adopted into basic education. Aryabhata's work (zero) is taught in class 1, Newton's work in class 12 or first year BSc, Einstein's work in third year BSc (or earlier), and so on. By the time a person has finished graduation, he is now just about 30 years away from the frontier of knowledge. By the time post graduation is completed, he is 10 years from the fronter, and by the time PhD is completed, he is AT or beyond the frontier. 

Therefore, except for the student who wants to learn the history of science, there is no value in going back to Aryabhata or Newton.

Only religion goes back to what was said thousands of years ago. That is because it ASSUMES that what was said is true. There is NO verification at any stage of the content of religious scriptures.

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Ganesh vs. the Third Reich #7 – I “do not believe in modern medicine or medical profession” (?)

A number of issues have emerged among the comments made on this Facebook group in relation to the Ganesha play, but before I discuss matters related to freedom of speech, let me address one of the side issues related to the medical profession and medical science.

In response to a hyped up/ exaggerated comment I made about x-rays of the head, Dr Yadu Singh was reminded about my comments re: doctors in a recent blog post. He therefore wrote:
Sorry, I forgot, you do not believe in modern medicine or medical profession. You yourself have called names for medical profession, without you having any background in medicine or medical training. You are wrong there too. Your anecdotal experience does not prove a thing. Modern medicine saves lives and a few bad apples in medical profession do not render the whole profession useless or bad. Your Blog used hyperbole and gave an imbalanced view of the profession. This blog of yours does not prove a point, just because you had the misfortune to meet a specialist who was not good enough. Exceptions do not become rules. [Source]
I know Dr Singh has not taken this personally, but it does indicate a misunderstanding about my position, so let me address this issue first. Other issues I'll address separately, later.
Let me first note that I have suffered some of the most agonising pain of my life during the last year (pain and I have been friends for long – each time due to poor diagnosis by doctors, not failure of medical science). Let me assure Dr Singh that no matter what emotional pain he (or other Hindus) might have experienced as a result of the Ganesha play, I have been suffering serious (really really serious – enough to demoralise me completely) PHYSICAL pain. 
After the failure of three doctors to diagnose the problem, I was forced to vigorously extend my initial attempts at self-diagnosis and self-treatment – else I was going basically into a psychological black hole.
Whatever little relief I have achieved by now is ENTIRELY due to my own efforts to diligently study the issue and to apply all kinds of remedies I could read about (or imagine). 
It is not my "misfortune" to have visited a series of incompetent doctors. That is precisely what the average standard of the medical profession is. Even the fourth doctor I recently met turned out to be EXACTLY THE SAME – a waste of time (and money).
Despite my requests, two eye specialists in Melbourne so far have refused to conduct tests (one didn't even know about one of the tests – meibography – which is commonly discussed in medical articles) but charged $150 each, and prescribed medicines that have no relationship with the cause. I can name these specialists publicly if you wish. 
My experience is not an "exception". I can give TENS of examples of doctors I've met in my life who have FAILED MISERABLY in basic diagnositic skills – and one virtually killed me as a result (caused DVT). There is SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE that I cited recently about more than half the doctors in India making their patients worse. There are innumerable studies about hospitals in which doctors are found to be the greatest source of disease – by not following basic hygiene. And so on. 
Instead of defending a seriously broken down medical profession, I would be most grateful if Dr. Yadu Singh can do me a MAJOR favour: I am still not fully cured and need proper tests to properly identify the cause of my pain and related symptoms – and possibly a long dose of low-intensity antibiotics and possible surgical probing of meibomian glands.
If Dr Singh can refer me to a competent eye specialist in Melbourne – someone who knows about the latest tests and is willing to undertake the tests before coming to a conclusion about my eye problem, I'd be extremely grateful. 
Please do not treat my SERIOUS physical pain lightly, or brush it aside.
I understand your emotional pain re: Ganesha's torture in a play, but would appreciate some genuine interest in my real pain. Ganesha doesn't suffer ANY pain – no matter how he is "tortured" in a play (it is like a play of dolls and children – just fiction). Real people, however, do suffer real pain.  
And I like stick to the truth regardless of how unpleasant it may be. The truth is that the medical profession is BADLY BROKEN. Let's not hide from this basic truth.
I don't know how to fix it – a job too big for me to undertake. But I'd appreciate if you can find a competent doctor who can actually identify my problem and cure me. That won't fix the profession, but it will fix me.
Medical science
Let me make it very clear that I am firmly committed to the scientific method and critical thinking. Virtually everything I say or do is derived from this underlying way of thinking.
When I had RSI which many super-specialists in Los Angeles, Guwahati and Melbourne, totally failed to understand or treat, I then began one of the most extensive studies of this topic that perhaps anyone has so far undertaken. I devoured almost every book and (medical) journal article on RSI, and personally paid for an investigated almost every possible treatment under the sun.
The result: I not only managed to understand my problem and bring my RSI under control (from levels of pain at 9 out of 10, to less than 1 out of 10), but my remedy has helped hundreds of people across the world in curing themselves. Today, I can explain the entire logic (cause, mechanics) of RSI and what, therefore, is its cure. I don't have time to write a book on this topic, but I have enough knowledge to write a high quality book on RSI – including all relevant medical references.
My findings are purely scientific, in the HIGHEST tradition of medical science. 
While the medical profession has REPEATEDLY failed me, medical science, or more generally – the scientific method – has ALWAYS saved me.
Similarly, in the case of the eye problem that I have been experiencing, the medical profession has BITTERLY failed me.
Whatever relief I have found so far (so as to make my life livable) has been entirely through my own efforts. My studies have ranged widely across the entire spectrum of human knowledge, including experimentation that no one has yet tried. I have read a significant number of (medical) journal articles and extracts from specialist medical books. It would not be out of place to suggest that my knowledge of dry eyes is at this point pretty close to what some of the top researchers in the world today may have. It is real scientific knowledge, not speculative.
So while the medical profession gets a VERY POOR score for shoddy performance and incompetence (the few good doctors are the exception, not the rule), medical science gets a VERY HIGH SCORE.
Medical science admits it hasn't got all the answers, but it has advanced VERY FAR on this topic. Unfortunately, the average eye specialist seems to be stuck at a knowledge level at least 10 to 15 years old. 
I'd welcome the opportunity to be proved wrong. 
I'd therefore be extremely grateful if Dr. Singh or anyone else can recommend me a competent eye specialist in Melbourne – someone willing to undertake the appropriate tests to investigate the problem thoroughly, someone willing to apply medical science and not whimsical guesswork: someone who understands critical thinking and the scientific method.
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Second eye “specialist” proves equally disappointing

Having failed to find sensible information or analysis from the previous eye specialist I had been to, I decided to try one more. My aim was to get certain tests conducted – tests that, based on my research, are pivotal to the identification and hence resolution of the dry eye problem I developed last October.

I prepared thoroughly for the visit, having read about 10-15 journal articles, including skimming through key findings of the 170 page report on the world's latest academic workshop on this topic (linked here – 15MB). In other words, I was thoroughly prepared (my 2 page Word document for the visit attached).

The doctor started off by asking me whether I drink enough water each day.

What an IDIOT!

I tersely responded that there had been NO CHANGE to my water consumption in October 2010 when this problem started.

Then he said something inane about keeping the eyes away from airconditioning. I'm sorry, Mr. Doctor, but normal eyes (with good tear glands) are happily able to cope with airconditioning. This was some kind of quack, it seemed at first glance. 

He then seemed to be interested in studying the BACK of my eye – but the back of my eyes is perfectly fine.

Politely I had to direct him to study my mebomian glands (MG) carefully which he did for a minute and declared them normal.

Not at all satisfied, I asked whether he could get a meibography and other tests conducted to determine the health of these glands. He said he was not familiar with the test. I showed him the extract from the world's latest workshop on the topic (I had taken the 170 page printout with me) but he seemed completely disinterested.

Instead, he showed me a visual image on his computer screen of the slit image (magnified photo) of my MG – which seemed normal at first glance, even to me. However, without detailed meibography it is impossible to confirm whether the MG have been permanently affected in any way.

More problematically, when I tried to explain the  history of my case and what has worked and what has not, he kept interrupting.

In particular I've been applying antibiotics recently. That has significantly eased the possible bacterial load in the glands. In addition to applying Neosporin ointment (the tube in my possession is by now 15 years old), I had managed to get a prescription for a particular antibiotic (doxycycline 100mg) for a week from another doctor. But that (in my view – based on considerable review of the medical literature) is simply not enough to destroy all bacteria.

I asked this specialist, therefore, to prescribe low intensity antibiotics (doxycycline 20mg) for three months. He declined.

He finally gave me anti-inflammatory eyedrops and some diet supplements.

Very disappointing. $150 spent once again, to no avail. No test conducted. No antibiotic tried. Just more of the same (anti-inflammatory) which DOESN'T work in this case.

After visiting 4 doctors (including 2 specialists), 3 optometrists, and consulting with one Indian eye specialist over email, I'm BACK TO MY OWN RESOURCES – back to Dr. Google and electronic medical journal databases.

When talking to medical "specialists" I get the sense I'm talking to people who have CLOSED THEIR MINDS.

They are simply NOT interested in conducting appropriate tests. They make up their mind WITHOUT analysis. They don't even listen to the patient properly – despite the patient having studied this issue carefully for nearly one year.

I'm getting really upset at the monopoly of the medical profession.

The more I see of doctors, the less I respect the medical profession.

If only we could unbundle the servlces provided by this profession, things might get better – at least for INTELLIGENT patients capable of critical thinking. Tests should be readily available in the open market on payment. That way I wouldn't have to waste hundreds of dollars on stupid doctors but get myself tested fully – for half the time and money I'm spending on stupid doctors.

Medicines should also be supplied in the open market – WITHOUT REGULATION. At least then I could get the antibiotics I need. 

(Of course, Australia is the backwater of the world where perhaps the tests which are widely available in USA are not even available. Open competition and trade would fix that.) 

Looking forward to a trip to India to accumulate antibiotics

By now I'm almost 98% normal after having self-diagnosed and self-treated myself. But one thing I'll do is to get myself FULLY TESTED when I'm in India in February, and stock up on a lot of antibiotics.

Thank god for the relatively unregulated and chaotic Indian market where all medicines are readily available WITHOUT prescription. Of course I'll need to get some prescription made so that Australian customs won't make a fuss on my return.

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