What killed Adrian Lamo?

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/09/20/what-killed-adrian-lamo.html

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Woof. This is why supplements and herbal medicines drive doctors nuts.


Lamo died from a particularly egomaniacal form of Engineer’s Disease. Outside of a narrow band of hacking skills, he was never the world-changing universal genius he thought those skills made him. He also didn’t have whatever it took for someone like Assange to transform his crappy behaviour into a personal brand that attracts fanbois.

When he realised these hard truths after he ratted out Manning and was openly despised, he turned to “body hacking” as a form of self-medication he could justify to himself. That latest attempt to prove his wide-ranging genius turned out to be fatal.


I used to send that snitch the youtube video for G-Code by the Geto Boys every time Chelsea Manning was in the news.


I feel for Adrian for what seems to be some genuine mental and emotional problems that drove him to his death, but what he did to Chelsea is unforgivable. Good fucking riddance, you smug piece of shit.


My MD parent has several stories of patients drinking “cleansing teas” which are in fact extremely hepatotoxic and ended up causing organ failure.

There nothing wrong with herbal medicine in principle. In practice: no science is done, strengths are widely inconsistent, and its all produced and marketed by wack-jobs.


Thanks for this so much it articulates some things I’ve had in my head a while but in a much more cohesive way.

Adrian was also an informant, at one point I felt like he was trying to sidle up to me and get me to admit to crimes. Shortly after that manning situation broke. I think he was sidling up to lots of tech savvy at risk youth, and not to be their friend.

For the record I don’t do crimes, and I take offense that just because someone is a privacy advocate they may be a criminal. If anything I think I’m quite boring, but it’s no one’s business what I say with my nyms.

This nym is not anonymous - I gave up since Netflix forces me to drop a VPN and so many sites freak out if you register via Tor (+ I would have had to start over socially, and while I’ve had some bumps when I was depressed I like you all and want to stick around long term.)

And because this nym is not truly anonymous, sometimes I don’t comment on things. I hate that chilled feeling where I think hmm maybe I shouldn’t say “FUck The NSA” in big all caps.

What is freedom of speech, after all, if you can’t say down with big brother abolish ice?


He was murdered by his “friend” Hugh Briss.


So the best cleansing tea of all is just Earl Grey with a little milk.

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I’m a medical professional and I’ve been advocating for kratom for ten years. I hate to disappoint anyone here, but Kratom does not kill and it’s got a much higher safety profile than a lot of OTC meds. It’s safer than other common herbs also. There is, of course, someone somewhere who might have an anafalactic reaction to it and die. It’s the same with peanut allergies, shellfish, bees, etc. But there is not a single death via Kratom anywhere to be found in it’s home country. The people of Southeast Asia have been taking kratom for centuries, long before this country even existed. The LD50 for an ethanolic extracted kratom is 4900mg/kg. Again, look it up if you don’t believe me. This means a man weighing 200 lb would have to ingest an entire pound of Kratom extract in order to have a 50% chance of fatally overdosing from it. It’s very hard to consume because of the bitter swampy sludge that it is. Some folks just make a team The benzos and other pain meds he was taking are known to be lethal. When someone overdoses from pain medication, their breathing slows down until it can sometimes stop. Without air we don’t stay alive. Add some benzos to the mix and you’ve got a higher chance of decreasing respirations down to death rate. Kratom doesn’t recruit the protein which is responsible for this lethal respiratory depression. The protein I’m referring to is beta-arrestin-2. If you want to verify this into, I recommend Google Scholar or any credible research site (Researchgate dot net)

It’s a hoax, just like the assinign yet shady way they’ve banned nicotine flavors in at least 2 states now. Did the illnesses have anything to do with nicotine eliquid? Nope. But they don’t care. It’s the perfect opportunity to close them down and make sure big tobacco gets to stay in business little while longer. Important to note, is that Kratom is a plant and l plants cannot be patented under United States law. Without a patent, there is no money to be made. How do you think this makes big pharma feel? A simple Google search titled Kratom testimonials will give you thousands and thousands of stories from people who are able to quit taking multiple harmful pharmaceutical drugs and most people even say Kratom save their life.

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A quick pubmed search seems to support the assertion that Kratom is extremely dangerous. Can you give more detail on what you mean when you say you are “medical professional”?

Oh, and welcome to Boing Boing.


Wow, thanks, somehow I had never come across the “Engineer’s Disease” thesis before and, as an engineer, it’s an eye opener into my own weakness!


Snitches get stitches.


Really, it can be applied to a lot of STEM fields. It’s not limited to engineering, but other professions where someone has to master a broad, complex and non-intuitive system with lots of constraints. “Engineer’s Disease” is what I’ve seen it called most often, but these days I most often notice it with software programmers (or, as some of them style themselves, “code engineers”).


And, as mentioned in the article, mixing it with benzodiazepines is a Bad Idea - and Lamo had plenty of those in his system. Given that kratom acts on the opioid receptors, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if combining it with alcohol would also be a Bad Idea.

It’s a horrible way for him to go, but that’s the only sympathy I have for him.


I am one and run a team of 20. Helps explain some of their views on Brexit! :wink:


I think a doctor would know how to spell anaphylactic.


Especially since the medical field has a lot of terms based on latin that are very close to each other and so spelling is insanely important. On a quick google search, this happens a LOT with medicines

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I’ll bite. What licensure do you have?