HIV/AIDS Skepticism

Pointing to evidence that HIV is not the necessary and sufficient cause of AIDS

Ignoramuses at Elsevier and their Ignorant Advisers

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2010/04/10

Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens
(Even the gods are helpless in the face of stupidity)
—– Friedrich Schiller

Laughter would be as fitting as tears over Elsevier’s contortions in setting out to destroy the raison d’être of Medical Hypotheses without admitting to it. These people who control much scientific publishing have not the slightest understanding of the nature of science and how it progresses or regresses. What they do understand is that their profits depend on a cozy relationship with the powers that be, hence they act as shills for drug companies by publishing fake “medical” journals [“Elsevier published 6 fake journals”].  But publishing anything that questions the prevailing orthodoxy is taboo when it offends mainstream Pooh-Bahs.

Why did David Horrobin found the journal Medical Hypotheses? Why has its value been attested by innumerable people — many established scientists who could not have their best ideas published elsewhere, bystanders sending comments on stories about Elsevier-Gate, members of the Editorial Board, and others?

Anyone with even the most superficial acquaintance with the history of science and the work of philosophers and sociologists of science recognizes as axiomatic that peer review is inevitably informed by the prevailing paradigm. In other words, research proposals and manuscripts for publication are judged for their plausibility on the basis of what is already supposed to be known. Anything that doesn’t question the contemporary consensus sails through the process, even as it may never be found worthy of citation by others (most published scientific articles are never cited, except by their own authors). Anything that contradicts what the prevailing consensus imagines to be true is likely to be rejected.

In hindsight, but only in hindsight, universally lauded are the ideas that overturned a prevailing consensus.

**************

Human knowledge and human lack of knowledge have been nicely described as
1.  the known (= thought to be known);
2.  the known unknown:  Gaps in what’s thought to be known, and presumed to exist — so long as what’s thought to be known really is known;
3.  the unknown unknown, from which serendipity occasionally releases intellectual lightning strikes of immense significance for the expansion of human understanding.

Peer review serves to guard against the publication of such intellectual lighting strikes, embryonic scientific revolutions.

In that light, consider the absurdity of Elsevier’s attempted justification for its intended changes for Medical Hypotheses:

The proposed new arrangement should ensure “that potentially controversial articles receive especially careful review”! . . .  “reviewers would only judge the ‘premise, originality, and plausibility’ of hypotheses submitted”! (“May deadline set for controversial journal’s Editor”, Martin Enserink, 1 April 2010)

Perhaps it was a subtle message, that the reporting these idiocies emanating from Elsevier occurred on April Fool’s Day. Peer review finds objectionable precisely anything that questions the status quo because it judged such hypotheses not only implausible but beyond the pale, wrong.

********************************

Serendipity brings things to hand not only out of the unknown unknown. A long-delayed culling of my file cabinets turned up this just as I was composing this blog post:

“Disbelief greeted classics in top U.K. medical journals” [Bernard Dixon, The Scientist, 17 April 1989].
“Truly innovative science is often — perhaps usually — accompanied by skepticism, dismissal, and/or disdain from the ranks of established expertise. That proposition receives surprisingly strong support from a study of the top-ranking papers from Britain’s premier medical journals. . . . No less than four of the six papers most cited from The Lancet and the British Medical Journal during the years 1955-1988 record ideas that were initially rejected or disbelieved.”
The examples include:
— Marina Seabright’s discovery of stripes or bands in certain chromosome preparations, dismissed for four years; but then it became the most referenced report in The Lancet between 1955 and 1988 (2,643 citations).
— George Miller’s finding of an association between high-density lipoprotein and atherosclerosis.
— Martin Skirrow’s recognition of Campylobacter as responsible for more cases of food poisoning than Salmonella.
— Alice Stewart’s study of lymphatic leukemia leading to discoveries of the fetal origins of all childhood cancers and an understanding of the role of cancers of the immune system in other diseases.

Perhaps worth noting as well is that 50% of these wrongly rejected breakthroughs were made by women. Given that women have been historically greatly underrepresented in the ranks of scientists, this adds at least anecdotal evidence for Bernard Barber’s generalization that low status of the proponents is among the reasons why the Establishment pooh-poohs a given novelty.

33 Responses to “Ignoramuses at Elsevier and their Ignorant Advisers”

  1. I’d just question your use of the ignoramus word in your title. They almost certainly don’t care about scientific truth; they “know one big thing that matters”, namely about profitmaking truth.

    The list of un/knowns has been argued to properly contain a fourth category, the “unknown knowns” (more precisely “under-known knowns”). Included in this would be of course the unsoundness of hiv>>aids. Plus that the “religion of peace” was founded by a terrorist. Plus the numerous discoveries yet to be recognised as per your list (to which I’d of course add my own ones).

    • Henry Bauer said

      Robin P Clarke:
      What’s wrong with “ignoramus” (= ignorant person”)?)
      Yes, 4th category is a good comment. Larry Beinhart (in “The Librarian”, 2008) introduced the phrase “Fog Facts” for things that are known and yet not known. Your “under-known” is a worthy addition to this vocabulary!

  2. “Ignoramus” / “ignorant person” appears to imply that they would like to know some important-to-them fact / what sound science is, but have not been told. Whereas as I see it, these authoritarian censoring types actually do not care what is true, other than the truths of power and personal advantage (with which authoritarians are obsessed). They’re probably earning/controlling a lot more than both of us combined, and invited to more flashy events, both proof that in their own terms they are the successful ones.
    Something that is constantly overlooked by otherwise sensible people is that different people can have radically different criteria of success/failure. E.g., in hetero terms the social life of a non-heterosexual is by definition an utter failure and yet they clearly do not see it that way. Likewise I’m not sure I would think myself a great success if I managed to fool gullible people that some second-rate science of mine was first rate; and yet many people would consider that a great success. Bernard Rimland said I should be celebrating that my work was being ignored. Success?

    • Henry Bauer said

      Robin P Clarke:
      I think they’re ignorant of being ignorant. I infer that their view of “science” is that there are experts (defined, I agree with you, as those in prominent powerful positions), and that those experts are always right because science is an activity certified as impersonal, objective, reliable, because it commands the impersonal, objective, reliably truth-finding scientific method. They don’t know that the experts about science, the historians and philosophers and sociologists of science, have written for many decades about the actual nature of scientific activity: just as prone to human fallibilities as any other, just as liable to go wrong when fads and cliques gain control who disdain any testing of ideas against reality. There was an awakening a decade or two ago in medicine, leading to the notion that it should be “evidence-based”, which is of course a considerable indictment of earlier, apparently NOT evidence-based, medical practices. It may be time to campaign for evidence-based science!

      • I’d adjust your second sentence, as follows.
        The authoritarians’ worldview of everything is that: (1) people are usefully ranked by authoritarian status indicators (qualifications, Nobels, money, fame-ratings, etc); (2) personal advantage (which authoritarians are obsessed with) comes from siding with the highest-ranked authority; (3) “always right” has no meaning in the authoritarian’s world; they have no sense of true/false, right/wrong, only dominant/underdog; (4) “science” is merely one of the branches of human activity, not some unique route to “truth” (a concept the authorit does not recognise anyway); (5) “scientists” just like everyone else have their ideological spin, in this case about superior objectivity and method but one doesn’t really believe that c–p does one?.
        Experts about science? I’d say I’m a more advanced one than the P-C relativists you quote. Competent scientists (in extrem. geniuses) are substantially less compromised by authoritarianism and wishful-thinking. The scientific establishment meanwhile rejects those geniuses and is largely dominated by authoritarians such as Lysenko and [you can fill in some other names here yourself!].
        Recent awakening of evidence-based med? You’re joking. Ancient chinese discovered ginseng for f—- sake. Ancient Greeks knew the value of whey and the danger of mercury. Semmelweiss’s evidence got him dismissed. Competent evidence-based and authoritarian charlatans have been in deathly struggle throughout history, it is the biggest struggle of all. More about authorit in this book: http://www.lulu.com/content/140930 (reading from p32, or more narrowly p 40 onwards).

      • Henry Bauer said

        Martin, Robin:
        I think you discount too much the sheer incompetence of much of “mainstream science”. I personally tend to ascribe very little to conscious malfeasance. I even think that the ad hominem attacks by such as Moore, Wainberg, Kalichman, etc., come from people who are deluded that they have the truth and are fighting for a greater good, with the end of course justifying the means, just like the Inquisitors who tortured bodies to save their souls, or the medieval Crusaders, or the modern misinterpreters of jihadism, or the killers of abortion providers — fundamentalist believers everywhere. One of my favorite aphorisms, which I think I gleaned originally from a Murphy’s Law collection, is:
        NEVER ATTRIBUTE TO MALICE WHAT CAN BE EXPLAINED BY INCOMPETENCE,
        because incompetence is so very common.

      • Henry, I didn’t mean that the authoritarians are consciously malfeasing. The concept of sincerity is irrelevant in dealing with these people just as is the sincerity of the tiger that’s biting your leg off. The saddest thing about Muslim terrorists is that they are actually sincerely trying to do what is right in carrying out their suicide missions; this is reflected in their prior biographies as conscientious persons rather than psychopaths.
        In place of ‘sincerity’, the correct consideration is whether or not the falsehoods are regularly self-serving (as so persistently they are, hiv>aids>big grants, weapons of mass destruction >> arms-trade-profits, etc).
        I’d also be wary of over-interpreting the “incompetence” word. Authoritarian mental tendencies have evolved to give great competence in advantaging the individual’s career at cost of their intellectual excellence. That’s why “aids denialists” don’t exactly rule the world at present!

      • Henry Bauer said

        Robin:
        I think we’re in agreement on how dire are the consequences of authoritarian malfeasance. We probably need to define better whether we want to talk about that, or about where the responsibility rests, or whether those responsibilities were incurred wittingly; and those latter are relevant to whether and how anything corrective might be done.
        I find myself in the same situation over many matters of sociopolitics. I see responsibilities as widely distributed, because the desirable freedom in our democratic societies also permits authoritarian entities to form in professional associations. (Recall George Bernard Shaw: All professions are a conspiracy against the laity.)
        So I can never really see quick or easy solutions to such pervasive problems.

  3. Martin said

    Hi Dr. Bauer, I’m not convinced any of the scientific poohbahs are ignorant — they certainly know a lot more than me about the science of viruses etc. That is why they are criminals and should be appropriately punished. If these so-called scientists were honest and really interested in getting to the bottom of this, it would have ended a long time ago. They are milking the cow which still seems to have a seemingly unlimited supply of milk.

  4. Perhaps we should examine the corporate interests related to Elsevier. They also suppressed recently an important study about vaccines that “had passed peer review at a prestigious journal, received the editor’s approval for publication, been disseminated in electronic publication format (a common practice to ensure timely dissemination of new scientific information), and received the designation “in press” as it stood in line awaiting future publication in a print version of the journal.”

    From http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/03/joan-cranmers-fateful-decisions-and-the-suppression-of-autism-science.html :

    Elsevier is a division of publishing giant Reed Elsevier, a multi-billion dollar corporation. Elsevier publishes close to 2400 scientific journals and also distributes millions of scientific articles through its online site ScienceDirect. According to Reed Elsevier’s 2008 Annual Report, “ScienceDirect from Elsevier contains over 25% of the world’s science, technological and medical information.” […]

    Suspicions over the editorial independence of Reed Elsevier […] draw support from evidence of board-level conflicts of interest involving Reed Elsevier’s CEO, Sir Crispin Davis. Davis, who retired in 2009 as CEO of Reed Elsevier, has served since July 2003 on the board of directors of GlaxoSmithKline

    • Henry Bauer said

      Gilles:
      Certainly. Basically there’s always a fundamental conflict of interest between science and commercial publishing. The better way to go is to have professional societies do the publishing, but costs have increasingly driven towards commercial publishing. Also, since academics need publications to fill their CVs and to get grants and promotions and prizes, commercial publishers are continually being asked to found new journals, so that the academic cliques that found them can then publish to their hearts’ contents.
      On a blog, one of the mainstream’s defenders asserted that publication in an Elsevier journal brings a certain prestige. It’s quite the contrary. Nowadays one needs to ask whether any given article was published in order to disseminate potentially useful information or whether it was published for self-serving purposes. For the authors, even when they genuinely believe others can benefit from what they are saying, it’s always in some part self-serving as well. For commercial publishers, it is always entirely self-serving.

      • Besides professional societies, there is the the Public Library of Science, a nonprofit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world’s scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. They have 7 online peer-reviewed scientific and medical journals so far. http://www.plos.org/

        Could they publish an equivalent to Medical Hypothesis?

      • Henry Bauer said

        Gilles:
        I wish! Have a look at http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040256
        They refused to publish my response.
        The aim is to make MAINSTREAM views a freely available public resource…

      • A hole in one there Henry! I was looking into a possible new journal with a new name but I won’t mention it here as the forces of darkness might try to sabotage. So off-web only. Peter Duesberg got an acquaintance to contact me with offer of finance but I’ve not followed up: I’m invalid and I’ve been distracted, and key point is getting personnel onboard as much as money.

        So long as we are in a decadent society (i.e. not all times in history), the forces of darkness (power-obsessed authoritarians) have the upper hand over the truth-obsessed scientives. There’s little point in upping the ante by trying to make them out as ill-motivated deceivers who should be punished. Just charitably exposing their falsehoods is as much as we can and should do. A key ‘truth’ of the Gospels is that even though it looks like honest people are everywhere being exterminated, yet they forever keep resurrecting again throughout history. Why? See how at every dating site that one of the highest concerns is honesty.

        “They refused to publish my response.”

        As in this page here?
        Which of course proves you’re a liar hah! (Ok, they did delay it for 18 months.)

      • Henry Bauer said

        Robin:
        Thanks! I didn’t know!
        I should have said they refused to publish an article I submitted that was a detailed response to the Novella piece.

      • Henry, have you heard about “Logical Biology”? Not included in the Scopus database of peer-reviewed literature and quality web sources, where we can find the Journal of Scientific Exploration (EdgeScience is not included yet).

        From http://logibio.com :

        A web-based International Scientific Journal For Biological and Medical Studies
        with Logical Sense

        Aim
        Our aim is to provide an easy and effective publication and communication platform and to create an encouraging and fair environment for scientists involved in studying life and enhancing health to rapidly report their research findings, hypotheses, and logical reasonings.
        We especially welcome contributions which are logically sound yet scientifically controversial not due to the inappropriateness of their approach and methodology but due to the inconsistency of their conclusions or predictions with current wisdom or mainstream thinking. We believe that ground-breaking and paradigm-shifting progress in science may appear in radical and strange forms, especially at the beginning when people do not understand them. We have also observed that many great discoveries and innovations were initially ignored or rejected by the mainstream and, especially, by the peers. To avoid such tragedy, we established this journal for providing an opportunity to present observations and ideas that are logically sound but different from conventional wisdom.

        Scope
        We accept contributions from all fields and specialties of biological studies and medicine.
        The contributions can be experimental observations, field investigations, population surveys, theoretical analyses, or logical reasonings.
        Literature review and history examination of scientific progress are also welcomed by this journal, especially when they are done with serious logical detective work.

      • Henry Bauer said

        Gilles:
        I came across Logical Biology some time ago, was disappointed that it seems to be a one-person venture.

      • [Henry:] was disappointed that it seems to be a one-person venture.

        …so you joined in to make it a two-person venture? Or like the contemporaries of Mendel, Wegener, Semmelweiss, etc, you left the one to his oneness?

      • Henry Bauer said

        Robin:
        There are one-person ventures and one-person ventures. Not every contrarian or dissenter is a potential Galileo.

  5. Gorky said

    Yes Prof Bauer I am in 100% agreement with you there, that it is incompetence and plain obtuseness, not so much malice that explains a lot, not only in the contemporary nightmare of medical so-called science but also much about our society at large.

    In fact among a fair number of AIDS dissidents, there is a lack of deeper awareness of the cultural dynamics driving the AIDS blunder (which includes simple obtuseness and so much else besides, none of it good naturally), and a singular focus on profiteering by BigPharma (which is of course a major factor, but not the only one by a long shot). It’s as if the goons at the NIH and FDA and their equivalents around the world really do want to kill and maim people and infants too, and are desperate to cover up their crimes here through wilful malice. Nothing could be further from the truth, they really think they are the good guys with the science on their side and that we are just a bunch of crazies ensnared by pseudo-science and our obstinance is harming and killing people across the world in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions. Naturally all this is projection by them, but projection is only possible if one does not know what one does, i.e. if obtuseness and lack of awareness are at the forefront. Wilful malice and deception cannot account for projection and the other destructive psychological factors at work with the AIDS “experts” that are not.

    It was the same with the Inquisition and the witch-hunts in Europe, England and New England which we constantly reference as the precedent for the AIDS blunder and insanity. Namely the Inquisitors and witch-finders really thought they were the good guys saving the world from human devils, they did not know what they were doing, they really believed they were doing God’s work on Earth. A fanatic when he is motivated by “religious” or ideological zeal does more damage than a cynic motivated by material profit, a bribe, etc., because the former really believes that what he does is in service of the highest truth and so is very passionate and determined and will not listen to reason, whereas the latter is only half-hearted and lacks the passion to really do as much damage as the former, for it is only money or prestige or status that motivates him, not service to the “Truth”. That’s why the AIDS orthodoxy is so frightening for they belong in the main to the former, not the latter. And with the former everything is inverted, truths are lies and lies are truths, maiming and killing is saving lives and vice versa.

    Hence one cannot appeal to their reason or view their actions and behaviour through the “filter” of reason and rationality, for they have none.

  6. Theodore M. Van Oosbree said

    The late Dr. Bernard Rimland remarked that science is not like a brick wall with layers of certainty laid like bricks on top of other layers of certainty. It is more like a gigantic crossword puzzle that needs erasure and revision based on new knowledge or new interpretations of phenomena. This seems to be a difficult concept for many scientists to swallow. They see themselves as high priests of bricklaying rather than revisers of crossword puzzles. They need a dose of humility and they need to understand that working crossword puzzles is more fun than bricklaying anyway.

    • Henry Bauer said

      Theodore M. van O.:
      Yes indeed. Others, including Michael Polanyi, have used the analogy of a jigsaw puzzle — I adopted that in my Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method. Susan Haack among others prefers the crossword analogy, which permits erasures of mistakes rather than changing the locations of jigsaw pieces.

      • All three of those analogies are rather dumb. In reality there are huge individual differences in this field. The vast majority of (would-be) theories are sandcastles produced by non-geniuses and a hundred of these rubbishes come free with each thing needing a theory. Try for instance autism, schizophrenia, dinosaurs. By contrast there is the work of geniuses which is far more akin to the laying of bricks once the errors of the non-geniuses have first been removed. The sandcastles can get very big, e.g. Lysenko and something more recently obvious. Rimland had the perspective of having demolished Bettleheim’s sandcastle. By contrast the supposedly absolutely amazing expert Prof Simon Baron-Cohen religiously avoids any reference to my own theory for the simple reason that no one can find any real fault in it after all these years (and he can’t find any answer to the faults I show in his own would-be substitute). Ditto my theories of bipolar and dementia too (not to mention those I’ve not got round to publishing).

      • Henry Bauer said

        Robin:
        With all genuine and due respect, none of us can be the best judge of how our own work gets treated 😉

      • I’m not bothered about the expression of genuine and due respect or lack thereof, — more to the point, what evidence to substantiate that notion? Few if any people believe their own beliefs to be incorrect; they can’t all be correct in such confidence, but it doesn’t follow that none are correct. Someone (Terman, Galton?) found that the most competent originators were characterised by an accurate perception of their high competence. Clearly their perception was not shared by their deriders as per e.g. Wegener, Boltzmann, etc. People who lack all self-doubt indeed tend to lack competence, but it doesn’t follow that confidence in one or two of one’s ideas proves or even evidences incompetence. I agree with Eysenck’s 1992 words that “they have no peers”, and the equivalent anon “it takes one to know one”.
        Or am I wrong? (rhetorical question?)

      • Henry Bauer said

        Robin:
        My “us” includes me, of course; and I didn’t say or mean to imply that “none are correct”, it’s just that we’re not the best judges of whether they are.

      • Hah. You still haven’t produced any evidence for that notion. And meanwhile I would reckon that it is true by definition that no-one is a more objective judge of the most objective person’s objectivity than themself. Just you may be caught up in the tired old relativism of no-one being far more perceptive/enlightened than anyone else? The evidence of history says otherwise to me.

    • Tony Lance said

      Theodore,

      Your line— “…they need to understand that working crossword puzzles is more fun than bricklaying anyway”—gave me a much-needed chuckle this morning. And I really like the analogy too.

  7. Martin said

    Hi Dr. Bauer, Wow! I never expected your great blog to “devolve” into philosophical nit-picking.

    It’s fun to read.

    [LATER]
    I meant my comment about philosophical nit-picking to follow Robin Clarke’s comment at 2010/04/16 at 10:16pm.

    Also I meant to add: Of course I could be accused of that myself.

    Thanks

    Martin

    • Hey Martin, what “philosophical nit-picking”? Henry put forward a Mosiac Revelation of considerable practical import (“none of us can be the best judge of how our own work gets treated”), then on being asked for evidence to substantiate it, and indeed challenged with counter-evidence against it, instead just did it again (“it’s just that we’re not the best judges of whether they are”), and still hasn’t produced any evidence. I wouldn’t accuse you of nit-picking, but rather of falsely finding fault with my own effort (probably because you too are content to leave H’s premises unexamined).

      Actually I think Henry’s “revelation” (or would-be self-evident truth if you will) here reflects the fact of his being an emeritus prof (albeit a “bad” one!). The core of the ideology of acadimmia is that validation comes from others in the form of qualifications, peer-review etc. But on turning to the real world, there’s no reason to believe that there are not some individuals who have much sounder, objectiver, judgement (in science of truth, in art of beauty etc) than average. By definition that judgement would include the accurate judgement of one’s own judgement.
      Such people would correctly be labelled as geniuses. But the authoritarian academic system spectacularly fails to recognise such people, preferring instead to worship the likes of Lysenko and Ollag, and consequently its pseudic “elite” has to constantly put forth nasty lies to deny any possible existence of the real elite. This is VERY far from some mere philosophical matter.

      • Robin, I think you have said many accurate things here, but the implications are broad and often subtle. And some of them seem quite wrong to me, such as your evaluation of Herr Bauer. Even geniuses are wrong sometimes. Even I was wrong once; I thought I had made a mistake.

        Geniuses often give their opposition too much credit, in part because they are so clear about their own limitations. When I first heard that claim, I was able to see its truth immediately in the inventor of the Macintosh. And yet, it remains quite difficult for any human to tell who is right in the heat of the moment. This is one reason that historians often tell us to return to such questions after thirty or a hundred years.

        Opinions change over time, as they must and should. That we should, in principle, retain some uncertainty of our conclusions at all times is both true and a serious handicap in the occasional extreme circumstances.

        My point in this comment is to deny the apparent implication that the existence of a “true” elite provides us any clue as to which claimant is accurate. My best guess as to where to find a reliable clue is to look for the choice of methods of argumentation on the various sides of an issue. To me, at least, those who gravitate to faulty logic such as ad hominem argument and ridicule should have their claims be discounted more than those who tend away from that course.

        However, a rudimentary examination of Newton versus Leibnitz points up the difficulty of rational application of even such a sensible rule of thumb. See, for example, the claimed origin of the “rule of thumb” which I am told refers to how one should limit the thickness of the stick one should use to beat one’s wife. While the current crop of academics may tend to choose the wrong objects of worship, this could be due in large part to our lowered standards and increased total populations which provide us with a much larger crop of them than have ever before appeared on this planet.

        So back off a bit, good buddy. We’ll have more fun if we can be a bit gentler in our social interactions. Let’s choose to emulate bonobos more than chimpanzees, they are both genetically similar to us despite how much they differ from each other in social settings.

      • @Richard: “And some of them seem quite wrong to me, such as your evaluation of Herr Bauer.”
        I thought my only evaluation of Herr Bauer was my jibe of his being a “bad” emeritus prof, meaning no more than the popular/establishment perception of any “AIDS denialist”.
        As for divining who is the closer to truth, I have previously written about this. Signs are ability to make things that work and predictions that come right. A preoccupation with others’ qualifications is a negative sign, as is avoidance of discussing with other viewpoints, and ignoring counter-evidence or demonstrations of illogicality. It is for such reasons that I find hiv>aids to be pseudoscience alongside homeopathy. How you can tell great theories from the rubbish alternatives is that they address all the facts, especially the more “puzzling” facts, are harmoniously logical, and have not been shown to have any damning errors. But of course many people lack the ability to see these signs even if they wanted to.

  8. Last night I listened, finally, to the entire hour of “This American Life” about the NUMMI plant just closed in Fremont, California. It was the site of a most remarkable venture where GM and Toyota proved that the worst GM plant in the world could become the best and yet fail to save GM from bankruptcy even with decades to deploy the learnings developed there.

    Perhaps the experience they had will help us understand the difficulties we face in reforming our understanding of and reaction to the multiple syndromes known as AIDS.

    California is about to undertake to select a new chief executive for one of the top ten economies in the world. Its board of directors are systemically dedicated to vicious combat under rules which enhance the ability of minorities to disrupt any decision process. I would wish for us also to take heed of the NUMMI experiment.

    Is it our predetermined fate to face these problems at every level of social organization, from the nuclear family to multinational business and world government or do we create them on purpose? Perhaps, to retain some glimmers of hope, I don’t really want to know.

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