TaN: It is immoral and should be illegal to patent inventions and innovations that do not come from scratch — i.e., the whole idea or concept is not a result of just combining or adapting or adopting already existing technology or devices, like what Steve Jobs did with Apple products (which were taken from existing technology or products). As some kind of a compromise, if it is impossible (and practical) — because there is so much in the market today that it is practically impossible not to “copy” at least portions or segments of a new invention or innovation — patents can be issued with the “patent period” commensurate to the proportion of original parts versus those already in existence.
Moreover, if I can have my way, there would be neither patents, intellectual property, nor whatever schemes there is today that deprives the public or common good of benefits it is entitled to, especially if it concerns their needs (not wants). Inventions and innovations that are claimed to be for the benefit of the public should not enjoy a (commercial) monopoly but provided (at least) just a little above production cost plus a token amount or honorarium for the efforts of the inventor or innovator.
If there are none, patents, intellectual property, and other forms of restrictive commercial monopolization should be categorized into two main groups: (1) commonly or publicly beneficial and (2) non-essentials. Moreover, the applicant should, at the onset, explicitly and outrightly declare to which of the category the invention, innovation, creation, or whatever its description is shall be classified. Furthermore, during its commercial lifespan, the category — whether essential or non-essential to human flourishing — should clearly and obviously be mentioned or otherwise included in the advertisement or marketing process. [Note: It will be the duty and obligation of the application authority to verify and confirm as to the essentiality of the application because each category has a different set of regulations governing their commercialization or sale in the market.]
It is very wrong to deprive the public of the benefits of a particular commodity (invention or innovation) if the said commodity is truly essential — such as primary or staple food and as medicine and medical devices. Said essentials ought not enjoy a monopoly or, at the very least, a very limited and non-extendable and non-renewable monopoly period precisely because it is vital to the well being of the general population. To restrict access to even just one person, especially due to economic, financial, or profit reasons is not only unfair but completely immoral and devoid of humanity. In fact, such should be considered crimes against humanity.
Moreover, exclusivity or its monopoly may and should be challenged if and when it can be proven — under a set of well-defined and clearly described rules and conditions — that there are substantive and publicly beneficial changes and improvements that can be or has been made by other people to warrant a shortened or complete cancellation of the monopoly period. It is insane to believe that something like a drug that can help many people, especially those who are less fortunate and with less in life and cannot afford it.
Even with the current socialized health care — where the same medicine is sold at a high price but given away for free to the indigent — it does not bode well. If it is going to be made free to the indigent, then it should not be sold in the first place. However, to be fair to the effort and cost to the inventor or innovator or manufacturer, such cases can have the price set universally — i.e., the same price for the wealthy and the poor, since it will be bought by many so the volume of purchase will more than make up for the meager or low price.
In conclusion, one of the root problems in this issue is that most people are not critical thinkers and, without hesitation, entrust important decisions to others. The issue here is we permit the few privileged elite to exercise control and supervision over life’s important matters — matters such as those affecting our health and well being (as in cost of production of drugs) as well as our quality of life (as in spending on things and indulgences that have no redeeming value with respect to our development as people and society, like fashion and gourmet eating). Things that we consume — literally or figuratively — should have some sort of incentive for people to invent, innovate, or create but the profit or financial gain should not occupy top priority otherwise it betrays our true intent, which is to restrict and monopolize profit to the self only.
TaN: “Modern-day” diseases are said, by mainstream or allopathic medicine, as hereditary. This is taken to mean that they have been with us — our ancestors — since the dawn of man otherwise where would the first person to contract it if his/her parents did not have them. How would it have been passed on or inherited (if there was someone in our last who did not have it back then)? This is the flaw in the logic of conventional medicine’s thesis.
However, there can be a grain of truth in the assertion of allopathic medicine regarding this “inherited disease” theory. It would be (partially) true if by “inherited”, it means that it was passed on to the next generation by the previous but not necessarily present in the generation prior to the previous — i.e., the grandparents and earlier.
This theory holds water only if “inherited” diseases are a result of certain segments of the DNA sequence have changed “switch positions” thereby triggering the (lifestyle) disease. The qualifier “lifestyle” implies that it is the cause and therefore the cure is in the reversal of the lifestyle — reversal as in returning to the lifestyle prior to that which caused the disease.
Since “lifestyle” disease means that there is some kind of change in the DNA sequence, this means that it must have been a chemical cause — after all, the DNA is a chemical substance. More and more recent studies and researches have shown that certain chemical compounds can cause certain segments of the DNA sequence to “switch positions”. Ergo, it is simply a matter of determining which part of the DNA sequence has been altered and what chemical can restore it to its former and original position or status.
Failure to restore the DNA sequence means that when the time comes to produce the gametes, the “switched” flaw will have been included and will eventually be passed on to the offspring/s. But this does not mean that all succeeding generations shall have their DNA sequence eternally set to the “altered” status nor does it imply that there will not be siblings who will not have or inherit the altered DNA sequence because the parents may have accidentally restored the original DNA sequence status and bear children who will not have the “lifestyle” disease or may have different “lifestyle” diseases.
In any case, this is not the true meaning of inherited disease. “Inherited” (when it comes to diseases) means whatever is to be passed down the generations is or has been a “natural”; it has been present and manifesting all the time, all through the ages, ever since. It transcends generations.
It is mere technicality to say that a (lifestyle) disease is “inherited” because it was passed down to the next generation. However, it is not truly inherited because the lifestyle disease can still manifest and appear in the next generation even though it was not passed on. It is in this sense that lifestyle diseases cannot correctly be said to have been inherited or passed on.
Finally, it is but common sense to argue that because a disease is labeled as a lifestyle disease its (root) cause is lifestyle. And this is the clue to its cure — more appropriately referred to as “reversal” since it is not really a disease but rather an anomaly. Lifestyle disease cannot be cured but can be reversed — by attacking the issue at the source, which is the lifestyle.
The key is to change or (better) restore the correct lifestyle. And this is not complicated because we have common sense as a tool and nature as our guide. Nature provides valuable clues to the correct lifestyle — not Big Pharma and its greed-inspired, profit-driven scheme.
TaN: When we say that God knows everything, it is not really literal in the sense that there is one thing He does not know — which or how we decide. This is due to His gift of free will. He may know all the infinite possibilities and probabilities and consequences of our actions but He is “clueless” as to which of the possibilities or alternative choices we will eventually and actually make or choose. This is why He has to wait until we die in order to make or pass His judgment.
There is a difference between knowing everything (that can happen) and knowing which of those possibilities will actually happen or come to pass. With free will, it cannot or will not be possible to predict (with absolute certainty) that a particular possibility will transpire and not another. It is totally dependent on the “whims” of whoever is concerned to choose precisely which of the myriad of possibilities s/he would prefer. It is in this light that it is said God may know everything but as to exactly which possibility will eventually become reality cannot be determined. However, this does not mean that God will wait forever for all people to make their decisions — which will determine their ultimate “reward or punishment”.
It is said that at the moment of birth we begin to die. This is because our date of death has already been pre-determined at birth. Just like any product, the expiry date has been pre-determined upon manufacturing. But although we have no control, no say on the matter of our date and time of our death, we do, however, have control or can choose as to the manner. In other words, we determine how we will wait for our eventual demise — whether we are healthy and busy doing what we ought to be doing while in this temporal reality or we can be sickly or just squander away our precious time and opportunity as we await our date with destiny.
We all will have to meet our end; it is just how we choose to do so that is the question. And when that moment arrives, our choices (in the endless array of possibilities) will have been chosen for us and the door of opportunity will be lost or close to us forever. It is then and only then that we are judged.
TaN: Today’s (February 9) The Philippine STAR banner article — “Anti-death penalty lawmakers can leave coalition” by Delon Porcalla — coupled with the governing style of Mr Duterte shows that the current dispensation does not tolerate any opinions and arguments that run counter to their way of thinking. It is especially negative against its critics and any one who openly and publicly points out flaws and mistakes and anything contradictory to whatever stand or position or policy made. This is, for all practical intents and purposes, a dictatorship. There is actually no need for the declaration of martial law. Martial law will just be a redundancy and a confirmation and formalization of what the Duterte administration is already doing.
Intolerance — especially of opinions, views, and beliefs — are the hallmarks of authoritarianism. They are likewise distinctive and obvious characteristics of small and extremely narrow minds. It is said that the mark or distinctive sign of (superior) intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in the mind simultaneously.
We are supposed to be in the — i.e., according to the Mayan calendar which ended sometime last December 21, 2012 and marked the dawning of the new — Age of Enlightenment. Unfortunately, it would appear that Mr Duterte and his gang and cronies and cabal missed out on it. According to discussions and arguments, this Age of Enlightenment is supposed to be characterized with the polarization of the light and the darkness, of good and evil, of right and wrong, of truth and lies.
As I digress, the release of that statement only shows how or what the future holds for the Philippines under Mr Duterte’s Marcosian rule. Looks like dark days are still ahead of and for the Phililppines.
In conclusion, people will argue that there are plenty of good that Mr Duterte is doing and continues to do. Unfortunately (again), it is a clever tactic to mix good along with the bad to make the latter more palatable, more credible, more acceptable, and more readily defensible. By doing some good deeds, this guarantees that there will be “disinterested but easily swayed trusting” people who will come to the defense of Mr Duterte and his crew when their wrongful acts come under attack. As the saying goes, Half a brick can be thrown farther than a whole brick.