Open Source Health

So Microsoft have released Virtual Observatory. Google has “Sky”. I think it’s great that this space imagery is available in this form. But why is it only available in proprietary applications ? NASA Worldwind seems to be being sidelined by the organisation that spawned it. By the time the Java version is ready things would have moved on.

When my hiatus from my Space Data Wiki project is over I’m going to start putting together an open source application using Open Layers that will allow comments to be put on Mars images (MRO HiRise).

I regard my work as an important part if what is going on in our world at the moment. There is a profound Paradigm Shift going on that is hidden only to those who are hiding in a cave not participating in the Wiki revolution, or the Linux community (Ubuntu?). There are reflective changes going on in society. This is the predicted “shift” of the Mayan 2012 date. Far from being a destructive act, it is a new beginning. A coming to fruition of very old fights. This is no “New Age” airy fairy thing going on here. The Mayans and other “Mystics” throughout the ages were sensitive enough to see the trends and where they might lead.

So do I see some last dinosaur gasps of some very aged Tyrannosaurus Rex ? Why IS Microsoft tying up public domain space imagery in another of their applications ? Their faux “hey kids look how cutting edge we are” approach does not fool me.

Why does Bill Gates, the “genius”, finance Aids research (look here if you dare) when Dr Rath has discovered that the use of Vitamins can recover someone with “Aids” ? This is no “Quack” claim as the Dinosaurs would like you to believe. Dr Rath was a pupil of Linus Pauling who discovered the crucial importance of Vitamin C. Who doesn’t worry these days occasionally … “Am I getting my Vitamin C ?”.

Could it be because people like Bill Gates represent a dying age ? (sorry Bill, I’d have a friendly chat if we ever meet). They are not as clever as they think they are, or as philanthropic. If Gates wants to help Aids victims he would finance Rath. But he’s too tied up in knots … in the old paradigm.

Take our current model of health (well the “official” one anyway). You get sick. You go to the doctor. He gives you something.

This is stupid. It’s reductionist. Linear. It is based purely in empirical evidence. It atomises problems into “patients” and “pills”.

So what to do ? Well how about an “open source” health system, with the ethos of Ubuntu ? Why not expose the process of how someone becomes sick ? The state of the society they live in ? The pesticides used on the farms near them ? Or the ways of living and socialising that keep them healthy ? The classic “Health System” is an epitomy of the “Cathedral Model”. It runs a kind of sham. The “Bazaare Model” is allowed to run but it is crippled. Health food shops stay open. Alternative treatments are available, but to say they can cure Aids, or Cancer is heresy.

Of course if you’re clever and have your wits about you then that diagnosis of Cancer can be turned into an approach that avoids nasty Chemotherapy and can recover your health.

But not everyone is that clever, or has those wits. What about people with family problems ? The Disabled ? People slogging away at some job just to keep their family going who neither has the time or the energy to cut through the thick wad of lies, propaganda and downright predatory behaviour that inhabits our “Health” system these days ?

So lets open it up. Expose the internal workings of your local surgery. Why isn’t the community involved in their own treatment ? Why has the medical profession been going on about a “Cure for Cancer” for the last 60 years, if not a lot longer, when we already know that healthy cells rely on nutrition, even in advanced cases ?

Don’t give up. Beware The Shift. The sands are shifting.

DJ Barney

Addenum: Thanks to the auto generated links by WordPress I just read this little gem … “Bill Gates on Pharmaceuticals: The System Isn’t Working“.

Well you said it Bill …

One thing Gates won’t be leaving behind in retirement is his distaste for open source software. After one scientist asked if Gates would consider open source uses in health research, the man who built his $280 billion company on the power of intellectual property bristled.

“There’s free software and then there’s open source,” he suggested, noting that Microsoft gives away its software in developing countries. With open source software, on the other hand, “there is this thing called the GPL, which we disagree with.”

Open source, he said, creates a license “so that nobody can ever improve the software,” he claimed, bemoaning the squandered opportunity for jobs and business. (Yes, Linux fans, we’re aware of how distorted this definition is.) He went back to the analogy of pharmaceuticals: “I think if you invent drugs, you should be able to charge for them,” he said, adding with a shrug: “That may seem radical.”

Crucially he has misunderstood the GPL license ! A license that actually gives you the right to charge for something that you give away free. I know it sounds counterintuitive but just read it. In the area of Pharmaceuticals this would work by publishing the details of a treatment and insuring others can duplicate it for free. That would include the entire chemical makeup. All trials, the lot. The company would then charge for support services basically. With an “open source” drug the company would be less likely to be hit with expensive lawsuits because the way the drug works would be exposed to scutiny … just like the code of an open source application. Now, this might lead to the dumping of faulty medications, but medications that actually work safely would eventually be produced. No more “side effects”. No more horror stories. Patients who can trust the treatments and companies who can make profits without the guilt of having damaged patients. This could also work with Vitamin treatments. The Vitamins are by definition free, you cannot charge for them. Basically they are in food ! But specific formulas can be made. One would charge for the service of bringing you that formulae, but it’s make-up would be open.

Mr. Gates. Do you really want to help ?


3 thoughts on “Open Source Health

  1. I received the above comment from what is something that has NOTHING to do with open source. It is another cynical Pharma operation. Crowd Sourcing in this case. Astroturfing (look it up) would also cover it. What a shocking misuse of the term open source ! It’s just another excuse to expose “empowered patients” to dangerous “treatments” that no one understands … especially not the doctors.

    Check out some old pages from the company who set it up …

    The same old suspects I’m afraid.

    Here is my reply …


    Mrs Alexandra Carmichael,

    You obviously didn’t stare at the penguin image at the top of my post for long enough. The one on the right is despairing that you have not got it. Sadly you probably don’t even know what they represent. Don’t you know that the internet is full of people with a genuine concern for one another who develop genuine communities ? The net is not just one big mall for you to advertise your products in.

    Your company aims to find patterns in data provided by users. That means more surveys and studies. This has NOTHING to do with “open source” and is just another cynical ploy to push more expensive and dangerous “treatments” on poor patients suffering from AIDS or cancer while there are safe, proven NATURAL treatments that are available.

    I challenge you to search any comprehensive medical research database for herbal and vitamin treatments. You will find them there. They DO exist and they DO work. People even make money out of them.


    DJ Barney

  2. Pingback: Building a Real Health System – Open Source Health « DJ’ing, Music, Humour, Life

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