27 July 2009

At least you'll know

Secrets by Avery Edison
So here's a difficult decision for a rationalist, philanthropic, scientifically-minded cycnic: I have been invited to share all my medical records with strangers, at the BIOBANK.

To help science.

On the one hand: the scientist in me whole-heartedly approves of long-term longitudinal studies, and applauds the sheer scale and ambition of this one.

But on the other hand I am of a school that says: be wary of divulging to the government any information you are not absolutely required to.

I wondered what was in it for me. "Well", said Mrs Botogol, "think about it: if they do notice something wrong with you - something else I mean - then they'll tell you, and then at least you'll know"

Oddly enough, when I found out that actually they wouldn't tell me,  I was reassured.


M4GD said...

Ah the dilemma of ‘rational choices’…’strategic thinking’…and wondering “what was in it for me.” I think if they are to share some results with you they may say: Economics is way deeply embedded in your genes Mr. Botogol. There is a need to balance it. Avoid eating “Game Theory” for breakfast:-) and start incorporating ‘Snake Oil Milk’ in your diet!

I think you’ve done well. I’m for helping science too but with some guarded limitation. In 2006, I gave the Genographic Project a try
It was a great deal of fun. However, I chose to stop at the stage where you actually go and actively / physically find one of your respective clan wherever. I liked this project so much that for the past three years I’ve been giving the Kit as a Christmas gift This year I’ll stop this practice as I noticed not everyone is as excited about it as I was and am!
(please note this is not a promo for the Kit’s sale and I’m not associated with National Geographic whatsoever. It’s mentiond here purely in the name of Science)

On another note, I had my first ever acupuncture session and I’m very pleased with the results!;-)

Botogol said...

that's an interesting project M4GD, perhaps I'll do that as well (in the end I did sign up for biobank).

Acupuncture? hmmm. Interestingly in the last few years there has been increased interest in forms of acupuncture that don't involve piercing the skin with a needle (magnetic acupuncture, electric-charges, tiny vibrations and so on). These started when they were used as the controls in acupuncture studies (ie the placebos) and not surprisingly studies showed that they work just as well as the 'real' thing. Some people call it sham acupuncture, but that's being rude.

But that's what I wd recommend: just as effective, with the slight risk that comes with spiking.

M4GD said...

Thanks for this new info. I had no idea. I tried it with no terms of reference.
I guess judging by your description, the practitioner administered the classic style i.e. no magnets. Although after I was spiked with needles from the end of my neck all the way towards the end of my spine, he said now we need to heat the needles. I started shaking a bit. Then he said: calm down no need to worry - to do this, normally, we use smoke from burning special herbs but we can not do this anymore as it will trigger the smoke alarm and sprinkler system so we use infrared for heating instead! And so he did!
I’m not exaggerating here I was truly flabbergasted by the good results of only one session. So, we shall see what the remaining sessions may bring! Do you think the infrared will turn me
greenish red?:-)