Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

AIDS and tuberculosis are no big killers anymore

Then what about the statistics that say otherwise?

My late father was a tuberculosis specialist. With the arrival of proper antibiotic treatment protocols, TB was disappearing. He was worried that young doctors would be so unfamiliar that they wouldn’t recognize it.

The rule I learned as a medical student is that everyone with an ongoing, mild, unexplained fever has tuberculosis until it’s proven s/he hasn’t.

That’s why I think a computer cannot diagnose TB. It doesn’t have a place in the back of its head always considering it could be TB. A computer that says in so many cases it could be TB makes you overlook the warning.

Every physician makes mistakes. No one is perfect. But it’s most important not to make mistakes that cost people their lives. To overlook certain incurable cancers Is unfortunate, but the s/he’d die shortly anyway. To overlook a cold is not nice, but almost everyone heals from it unaided anyway. But to miss TB means not treating a deadly but curable disease. Even people with (AIDS and) drug-resistant tuberculosis can be treated.

AIDS gave TB an unfortunate chance to come back from the brink.

But AIDS too became a treatable and even preventable disease.

If AIDS or tuberculosis aren’t deadly anymore, how do they kill en masse? Because countries exclude the poorest from proper healthcare! The killer is the greed to reserve healing for the rich, while the new antibiotics were often tested on the African poor. Greed is an illness the hardest to kill.


Confusing Cause and Effect

In unrelated pseudo-scientific nonsense, we get to read “Frequently watching YouTube can increase the feeling of loneliness, anxiety and depression,” sold to us as serious science. It’s all nonsense.

When we do science, we don’t draw complicated, unsupported statistical conclusions when logical and straightforward deductions are possible!

Of course, following vloggers doesn’t make us depressed or lonely. I speak from experience when I say: the opposite. When you feel lonely, following vloggers can break some of that. Not to the extent that you could forgo meeting real friends out there, but surely, it can help somewhat. So, there are more lonely people following vloggers. That protects, not harms us.

The same error was widely made by physicians some 60 years ago. They found that over-active people had a greater chance of dying from a heart attack. The opposite was true. People with a greater chance to get a heart attack worked harder, which protected them in case of a stroke by having grown more coronary vessels. And since they survived more, they were found in after-the-fact statistical analysis—another statistical blunder.

A similar piece of nonsense recently proclaimed that older people, trying to lose weight, die earlier. Of course, it’s the opposite. Older people at risk of dying will try to diet. And it won’t always work.

(Obviously, losing weight cannot be based only on dieting. You must find ways to deal with the emotions that ‘eat you,’ sleep enough, preferably exercise, plan for the long run, eat healthily (but less), eat stuff that fills (fat, fiber, chewing) instead making us want more (sugar), not eat after 8 PM, find solutions for events requiring us to eat (Shabbat, Festivals), etc.)

We don’t need to fall victim to this nonsense if we just use common sense.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, previously a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. He's proud that his analytical short comments are removed both from left-wing and right-wing news sites. None of his content is generated by the new bore on the block, AI. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. Or not at all because he doesn't claim G^d talks to him. He gives him good ideas—that's all. MM doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and educations contribute to his visions. * This year, he will prioritize getting his unpublished books published rather than just blog posts. Next year, he hopes to focus on activism against human extinction. To find less-recent posts on a subject XXX among his over 2000 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe too, here: or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. However, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people when don't deserve that. (Yet, we all make honest mistakes, which is just fine and does not justify losing support.) He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight reality), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. * Chronologically, his most influential teachers are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. This short list doesn't mean to disrespect others who taught him a lot or a little. One of his rabbis calls him Mr. Innovation [Ish haChidushim]. Yet, his originalities seem to root deeply in traditional Judaism, though they may grow in unexpected directions. In fact, he claims he's modernizing nothing. Rather, mainly basing himself on the basic Hebrew Torah text, he tries to rediscover classical Jewish thought almost lost in thousands of years of stifling Gentile domination and Jewish assimilation. (He pleads for a close reading of the Torah instead of going by rough assumptions of what it would probably mean and before fleeing to Commentaries.) This, in all aspects of life, but prominently in the areas of Free Will, Activism, Homosexuality for men, and Redemption. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. When he can, he loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. Read his blog on how he attempts to bridge any tensions between those ideas or fields. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to his parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too, and decades more to admit to being a genius. But his humility was his to keep. And so was his honesty. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. He hopes to bring new things and not just preach to the choir. * He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, powerful therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. * His newest books you may find here:
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