Chapter 12 takes me right back to one of the things I noticed in the intro – the document writer still doesn’t know what a syndrome is.
The basic argument this one starts off with is semantics – the difference between a syndrome and a disease. This is of course, idiotic.
Consider this – before we find out what a disease actually is, before we know whether it is bacterial, fungal or viral we are going to see the symptoms. Symptoms are why we look for a given disease in the first place.
In order to class AIDS as a group of diseases it would require psychic powers on the part of the people who discovered it. They didn’t at that point know what caused these symptoms.
Later research narrowed the culprit down to HIV 1 and 2.
The second issue is the whole conspiracy theory about how the “omnipotent apparatus” is out to get the poor. I will get to this one, don’t worry.
Finally we get to the whole opposition to expertise in which the writer rants about how we shouldn’t leave professional fields to the professions dealing with them.
It gives a great insight into why our education system is a shambles, our health sector is sick, our military ended up storming government buildings once over pay, why we are facing an environmental crisis with acid mine water drainage, why our economy has a long history of being mostly stagnant, why our politicians think it is a good idea to talk about oversupplies of certain population groups etc…
In other words it dismisses the additional weight we give to people who thanks to professional training and the standards of their fields actually know what they are talking about. Sure you can ask scientific questions as a non-scientist – but chances are you do not have the depth of knowledge that someone who specialises in the given field you are asking about has so be prepared to listen to the answers.
And recognise scientist is a broad term – if you want to know about geology you do not ask an embryologist.
This document does not ask real questions. It constantly tries to slime anybody in a position to answer those questions as being the “omnipotent apparatus”, an untrustworthy bunch of liars and cheats, because it knows that any answers it is going to get are going to go against its central thesis.
Its use of that phrase is a mark of deep dishonesty on the part of the author.
Hi Mr Gorton
In all this analysis you have just given, can you please admonish me on the difference between a syndrome and a disease so that I can understand the basis of your arguments in chapter 12.
A syndrome is a collection of symptoms which tend to occur together.
This allows a doctor to narrow down what given disease you have.
Multiple diseases can cause similar symptoms – or if you get the case of HIV, one disease with a fairly characteristic set of symptoms once it reaches a given stage.
The confusion the document holds right from the preface is it thinks a syndrome is a collection of diseases.
Siviwe, the short answer is that “syndrome” and “disease” are different words used in subtly different ways to refer to the same thing.
The author of CH (like many people) wrongly assumes that “diseases” and “syndromes” refer to mutually exclusive categories. They don’t.
Whether you talk about “Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome” or “Late stage HIV disease” you are talking about exactly the same thing.
All individual diseases have their characteristic syndrome (phenomena that occur together such as symptoms and signs which indicate that disease), and conversely each phenomenon within a syndrome is assumed to have a common ultimate aetiology – the disease process itself.
The confusion arises in part because many of the indicators of AIDS (which is a single disease of the immune system) are themselves diseases in their own right – of the lungs, or the brain, or the gut or whatever.
In this sense they are signifiers of the underlying disease (which is an immune system disease), in the same way that the syndrome of cough, breathlessness, fever, certain Xray changes and other symptoms and signs indicate the underlying respiratory system disease pneumonia.
Despite having the word “syndrome” within its acronym, AIDS is a single disease of the immune system, characterised by a distinctive and progressive derangement of certain immune functions. It is caused by a virus called HIV1 (or occasionally by another related virus called HIV2).