Monday, 29 October 2012

An Election Year



I was thinking about how best to get things done today and although I came up with some really good solutions to the problems of the world, it is all for naught. It turns out that nobody that can make changes actually listens to me.

I read a book by Michael J. Fox about his struggle with Parkinson’s disease among other things. One of the points that he made is that Parkinson’s more or less affects older people and they have little or no political or economic clout. This is one reason why research was so sporadic and has failed to make any real inroads into a cure for the disease. Aids on the other hand afflicts younger, politically active not to mention well off individuals. They were able to organize and in the decades that followed, Aids has ceased to become a death sentence and from what I understand is more manageable. Neither of these diseases should be taken lightly, and I just mention them to point out that when scientists have support and share their findings, great things can be achieved.

Whenever there is a war, everyone pulls together for the greater good and scientific leaps and bounds are achieved. Hopefully, for the side that you consider to be good, but science is science. I worry that the scientists are more concerned with getting the funding and if they are lucky, they can be the one that discovers the “silver bullet” and cures cancer, malaria or the flu. Interestingly, I just Googled the top ten diseases and Aids came out as number one. I recall reading that Bill Gates offered to match the grant funding that scientists receive if they only share their research. Some took advantage, but most seem to want the glory.

A couple of years ago Louise answered the phone and it was the Children’s Kidney Foundation asking for her to donate. Louise told them that she had just sent a cheque three weeks previously, but the person on the end of the line told her that they had not received any funding from her in over a year. She went and got the cheque book and there was a notation for her donation to the Kidney Foundation. The guy on the line said that they were the “Children’s Kidney Foundation” and aren’t affiliated with the Kidney Foundation. Louise asked if kidney disease wasn’t the same in kids and adults and was told there are similarities for sure. She was polite and told them that we had reached our donation goal for the year and wished them luck in the fund raising.

I suppose that my problem is that I just don’t know enough about the inner workings of charities. I tend to be sceptical and suspicious which is probably the wrong way to think. I would like to see all research shared and for the scientists to work together for the greater good. Maybe if we just declare war, things will advance by leaps and bounds. Maybe…


I just want to send good thoughts to all of those in the midst of hurricane Sandy. Hopefully the officials prepared to deal with the aftermath and a very few people suffer. I suspect that the federal government are not going to drag their feet like Bush did during Katrina in New Orleans. It is after all an election year and there are sixty million voters being affected.

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