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Prospecting Document: Molybdenum Adjunct to Thiamine Therapy in Relation to Alcohol Use

This is a prospecting document examining what is known about thiamine (vitamin B1) in the light of a proposed adjunct therapy of molybdenum to improve its efficacy in alcohol use disorder.  Lots is understood about thiamine and the vital role it plays in metabolising ethanol and carbohydrates.  The document was drawn up to open discussion in the field of addiction and recovery exploring a multifactoral approach to optimise the effectiveness of a known and tested treatment.

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Bronchial Asthma and Atopy: A Concorded Hypothesis by Alex Dunedin

This is a thesis examining bronchial asthma and allergic conditions (Type 1 Hypersensitivity) postulating them as a result of a deficiency of the enzyme lipoprotein lipase and glucuronidation which functions in phase II detoxification processes. Structured and laid out as an example of a concorded hypothesis for the purposes of examining methodologies in the the sciences and knowledge production, the document is designed to provoke and facilitate discussion on the formation of hypotheses. Read more

Multiple Sclerosis: Complete Literature Review and Appended Hypothesis by Alex Dunedin

This is a complete manuscript created over several years investigating the medicine and science of Multiple Sclerosis.  It forms a literature review which has been arranged and where a particular line of thought has been drawn out to form a hypothesis.  Trying to answer the questions of just what ‘Multiple Sclerosis’ is and what causes it led me to seeing a pattern of events which seemed to make sense in context with all the information which I had read.  Read more

A Study of Multiple Sclerosis: A Bibliography by Alex Dunedin

This is the bibliography to the complete study of multiple sclerosis which is being published on the Ragged University website over time.

The information resources listed below have been used to create the study and should be consulted in their original texts and compared to get a deeper perspective of the medicine. This bibliography is for reference and where possible digital links have been made out to the source texts to make the forensic task easier. You can find the full written thesis here: Multiple Sclerosis A Hypothesis

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The Common Instruments of Knowledge

Francis Bacon insisted we must question everything and arrive at our knowledge through our grappling with first principles built on experience and engagement of the ‘thing itself’ – a commons which we all draw upon.

Observation and direct involvement with the thing in itself is our only universal anchor point on knowledge; a discussion of Russell’s paradox would be useful here. In his work – Novum Organon – the New Instrument, that he lays out his thinking of how we arrive at knowledge; gnosis; siens (words I use to broaden the sense of what we are working with).

It is in the opening to this book that he sparks a tinder to at once acknowledge the ancient thinkers and to build from them: Read more

Common Sense: A Theory of Inherent Knowledge

‘What can I come to know ?’. As a starting point I have chosen ‘to look to the teacher of the thinker you admire’ as a place to evolve new perspectives and utilise convenient frameworks to create scaffoldings in my attempt to formulate this thesis of common sense. Admiring the stories written about Socrates, I thought it would be interesting to take the peers and teachers of Socrates as pivot points to generate thinking.

This is an exploration of common sense so my starting point is knowledge. I contend that we can come to know things; that we regularly use common instruments – tools available to us all – to access knowledge, and that gaining knowledge is a communitive process. Implicit in this is a sense of community, other, communication, also of language. Through observation and communication, it is possible to arrive at common sense of things. Read more

Scholarly Politics and Human Foibles

In addition to fanatical perseverance and devotion to detail and wide linguistic and cultural knowledge, the successful archaeological decipher has required a high order of intellectual power of analysis, the courage to follow his or her intuition rather than the conventional wisdom, and the luck to come along at the right moment, which generally was when sufficient examples of the script to be deciphered had become available and accessible.

Champillion and Ventris had these advantages in abundance and to a lesser degree perhaps, did Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson, the decipherer of Babylonian cuneiform, and Yuri Knorozov, the Russian pioneer of the Maya decipherment in the 1950’s. Rawlinson never explained his decipherment properly, and now it is plain from study of his notebooks that he borrowed without attribution from the work of a humble scholar, Irish clergyman Edward Hincks. Read more

Peer Review

Scientific journals use a process of peer review, in which scientists’ manuscripts are submitted by editors of scientific journals to (usually one to three) fellow (usually anonymous) scientists familiar with the field for evaluation. The referees may or may not recommend publication, publication with suggested modifications, or, sometimes, publication in another journal.

This is an attempt to keep the scientific literature free of unscientific or crackpot work, it helps to cut down on obvious errors, and it generally improves the quality of the scientific literature. Work announced in the popular press before going through this process is generally frowned upon.

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Error and Scepticism

The Greek word ‘skepsis’, meaning ‘seeking’ and ‘skeptic’ is thus contrasted with dogmatic and in relation to some particular branch of science has reference to doubt as the truth of some assertation or supposed fact. The classic arguments for scepticism are that our senses are unreliable and that experts contradict each other.

Scepticism as a line of thought be be dated to Pyrrhon (365 – 275 BCE) and his school, although earlier roots might be inferred in the Sophists. Pyrrhon’s scepticism was essentially practically minded and aimed to imperturbability of mind. Scepticism was introdued into the Academy by Arcesilaus of Pitane (316 – 242 BCE) and formed the basis of Academic teaching until the headship of Antiochus (78 BCE). Read more

Objectivity

The state of being objective is to correctly represent reality. The term “reality” however can lack clarity. Science is a methodological attempt to resolve truths from ambiguity.

Empirical evidence based upon observations and experimentation in the physical world is conducive to the verification of scientific judgments. Adherence to the rules of deduction and the process of inductive reasoning implements the validity and soundness of scientific arguments and conclusions. Read more