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Seven years…

Seeing Martin’s mention that he’s hit the sixth anniversary of his entry into the awoke a vague sense of unease in me. It was that sort of unease that one gets when one realizes that he’s forgotten something but can’t quite remember what it is that he’s forgotten.

Then it came to me.

Somehow, some way, I had missed my very own seventh anniversary of starting this blog, which was last Saturday. Yes, seven years ago, on a gray and dismal Saturday in December, something possessed me to start a Blogspot blog (these days, if I were to start a new blog, it would be WordPress) and then to generate my first post, a manifesto of sorts. Strangely enough, seven-plus years later, I’m amazed at how true I’ve more or less stayed to the original manifesto. True, over the years I’ve come to “specialize” in that medical topics dominate my blog subject matter, but I haven’t abandoned general skepticism here and I do from time to time branch out.

Back when I started this blog, it was basically a whim, a flight of fancy, the thought being, “Well, I’m tired of sparring on Usenet. Why not see if blogging’s more satisfying.”

Given that seven years later I’m still at it, obviously it was. As I enter my eighth year, thanks for reading.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

61 replies on “Seven years…”

Congratulations, Orac~
Here’s to….well, actually, it would be a much nicer anniversary gift if all the cranks just up and disappeared, but since that seems pretty unlikely, here’s to seven more years of snark!

Cheers Oraac. This is the 2nd or 3rd anniversary I’ve seen you celebrate. Enjoyed the education from you and the other remarkable commenters.

To celebrate, and because I know you have nitpicking, I wont mention Bloagspot.

Seven more years please:)

Well, I’ve always believed that you can judge the quality of a man.. or a box of blinking lights.. by the enemies he ( it) makes, so let’s see:
those who make a handsome living bilking cancer patients,
those who commit scientific fraud that results in a decrease in vaccination rates and an increase in disease,
those who chemically castrate children for no reason,
those who seek to integrate spurious nonsense into medical curricula,
those who sell supplements as cures for everything,
those who spread mis-information through the television or internet,
-snip-
and last and certainly not least, those who are not fans of David Bowie (shame on them.)

Orac, you are as perspicaious as you are perspicuous, truly the bane of woo-meisters far and wide, and you have that whole writer-ish-ness thing going for you ( replete with all the benefits and risks thereof- and you know perfectly well what I’m talking about so you watchit there Mister Doctor!)…
Best Wishes!
DW

I’d congratulate you, but first, where the ¤”¤&#”¤”&& is my monthly pharma shill paycheck?!?

Congratulations Orac! Just keep serving your heavy doses of Respectful Insolence for your minions to enjoy.

@missmayinga…but, we have so much fun with the cranks, trolls and loons.

What is scary is that I made sure to read comments on the misc.health.alternative newsgroup by Orac many years ago on Usenet!

Thank you, Orac, for a regular dose of sanity in an insane world. One of my commitments to myself is to learn something new every day, and your writing has helped me meet that goal.

Here’s to many, many more!

Many thanks, Orac, for all of the enlightening and entertaining columns.

My only question; when exactly do you sleep?

Congratulations with your blog. I love to read it. Now if I only could get rid of those nasty Action Script failure messages.

Thanks for all the hard work; hope to read many more critiques of irrational thinking and quackery. Keep blinking, you cranky old computer.

“Well, I’m tired of sparring on Usenet. Why not see if blogging’s more satisfying.”

I remember your contributions to refuting holocaust denier trolls on alt. revisionism. They were great. I remember getting deep in the chemistry of iron cyanides in discussions to refute the holocaust deniers.

But after David Irving got his clock cleaned in court, holocaust deniers on alt.revision devolved from being wilfully ignorant morons unable to rationally debate to just cut’n’paste merchants who didn’t even pretend to debate, just hit-and-running in threads.

Congrats, Orac!

I’m a Geneticist who’s lurked here daily for going on 5 years now. Your writing has inspired me to be active in taking on the claims of many local woo-peddlers…out here in Seattle there’s quite a woo pandemic. Keep up the amazing work, here’s to the next 7 years and beyond!

Read Orac, is a consequence of the Russian vaccine seatbelt analogy. Orac is a soft-bristle toothbrush and scrub them to see.

With the exception of the ordering of those topics, that post could pretty much just as easily be written today.

It’s pretty remarkable when a blog survives for more than a year. I’ve seen plenty of other great ones die on the vine or go idle and drop to the occasional post a month or quarter. To maintain the volume and quality level you have is admirable indeed.

I’ve never managed to do half of what I originally intended to do with my insignificant little blog. When Fringe finally goes off the air, my blog may wither away unless a new show can provide just the right balance of science and woo (with an enjoyable show)to make regularly Deconstructing it worthwhile. It’s hard to be disciplined enough to make time to blog if there’s no deadline/ time line driving you.

Here’s to you and all that you do!

Congrats on another blogiversary, Orac! This was one of the first handful of blogs I found, and I’m still a faithful reader because I love the “no baloney” stance that underlies so many of the posts. This blog might be “old” by internet standards, but there’s always something interesting to come back for. Keep up the good fight against the craziness, Orac!

Orac, Thank you for your stick-to-it-ness. I have only been a reader for a short time but have caught up on most of your blogs. I found your blog when I was researching Robert O Young as a breast cancer patient. Someone told me he had the cure and I needed to find out who this miracle “doctor” was and your blog was number four in my google search. Boy did I learn about Robert O Young after reading your blog. I have learned so much about real science and quackery from your blogs. You have no supplements to sell and you are not plugging any books or tapes. How unusual. You just seem to care about sick and innocent people being scammed. That’s your only motive. You are a remarkable man and this world would be a better place if we had more oracs.

Orac, you have also sent me on a quest to help others that are victims or quakery and prosecute quakes.

A women that I barely knew that lived one mile away from me was a victim of quakery. I saw her last year and she asked me why I chose conventional treatment and my simple reply was that I wanted to live. She got visably upset and adruptly said goodbye. I did not know why she was so upset but now I do. She worst victim of quakery that I have seen. Everyone around her took advantage of her. It’s sickening. Her understanding of medicince is so poor, it’s hard for me to know how viable she was at her first diagnosis. This is her caring bridge blog:

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/indigocrone/mystory

One thing that really sticks out is that MD quack that she paid the wife $360.00 for a one hour consultation is on Steven Barrets quackwatch site.

I have done some investigating on him and his wife Terri Su and it seems that they not only frequent altie hangouts, they go to cancer support groups. The people that I have talked to say that they request 15 thousand dollars to cure cancer and there are people that have paid them that much and more.

Orac, you have also sent me on a quest to help others that are victims or quakery and prosecute quakes.

A women that I barely knew that lived one mile away from me was a victim of quakery. I saw her last year and she asked me why I chose conventional treatment and my simple reply was that I wanted to live. She got visably upset and adruptly said goodbye. I did not know why she was so upset but now I do. She worst victim of quakery that I have seen. Everyone around her took advantage of her. It’s sickening. Her understanding of medicince is so poor, it’s hard for me to know how viable she was at her first diagnosis. This is her caring bridge blog:

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/indigocrone/mystory

One thing that really sticks out is that MD quack that she paid the wife $360.00 for a one hour consultation is on Steven Barrets quackwatch site.

I have done some investigating on him and his wife Terri Su and it seems that they not only frequent altie hangouts, they go to cancer support groups. The people that I have talked to say that they request 15 thousand dollars to cure cancer and there are people that have paid them that much and more.

I’m sorry to break this up but it’s long and my long comments get cut off.

One of the quacks that treated this woman was Robert Rowen who was prosecuted for tax fraud in Alaska.

This is from Steven Barrets casewatch on Robert Rowen:

http://www.casewatch.org/board/med/rowen.shtml

Sorry for the double posts. They were not intended

He met and married Terri Su, after this prosecution. They don’t have an office, but set up 1-800 phone centers on everything from addiction to autism.

Ah, thank you oh brave maverick plastic box with lights in it! You have (quelle horreur) brought science-based sense into the land of the senseless, de-theramined woo-woos, and un-quacked quacks. Thanks to you for all that.

@ Black-cat: I read “Indigo’s” entire 2.5 year diary and it is a sad story of delusion about cancer treatment.

If Indigo related the story correctly, it did not appear to be a cancer that would have been too difficult to treat. According to the early MRI results it was limited to her cervix and (perhaps) her uterus…with no evidence of a metastases to other nearby abdominal structure.

She immediately switched to a vegan raw food diet…sort of magical thinking that it would cure her cancer, because she dreaded surgery and radiation.

She also, searched the internet and sought the “advice” of friends who had some weird suggestions about ozone machines and then paid some alt “practitioners” to provide care…while still “running through” every oncologist that was on staff at the Kaiser Medical Group.

The descriptions of extensive daily vaginal hemorrhages and what she assumed was the tumor “breaking apart” are proof positive that she was heavily into diagnosing and misdiagnosing herself about the cancer progression. She also encouraged people to pray for her recovery at very specific times of the day.

The last year of her life was miserable with the oozing, enlarged tumor constantly bleeding that required frequent blood transfusions and it was protruding and hanging out of her vaginal. Now the cancer was incurable and she finally sought the services of hospice care and relief from the excruciating pain she must have been experiencing…with large doses of opiates.

It was a needless painful death…so sad.

I agree with those who have pointed at Orac’s ability to write, night after night. I’m impressed he manages to keep it up. I’ve a general idea what it takes as for a year I made an effort to write a post a night—considerably shorter posts that his typical efforts, mind you 🙂 I hope to get back to something more regular, but have no illusions about trying to match Orac’s output, there’s just no way I could do it!

Seven years. Very Coool. I don’t think I’ve even gone seven months yet, but my blog is most definitely growing! Less on the topics of medicine and more , I suppose, of a seductive nature I suppose… 😉

Cheers to your success!

Happy blogversary, Orac! Over the 7 years, I have read, agreed/disagreed with, learned from and enjoyed RI. Long may you blog!

Thank you Orac, for what is quite a selfless undertaking for the safeguarding of real science. I’ve learned so much, and my hubby, who is a scientist, is also very appreciative that bloggers like you are doing what you do for medicine. He knew quackery was out there, but had no idea how extensive until we came across RI a while ago. He considers your efforts a huge contribution.

I’ve learned so much about critical thinking, and its by-product humility, which unfortunately gets lost to some. For my husband, critical thinking “just is”, but I had never had such training. This election cycle is quite different for me thanks to you and the people at RI. I hope you can keep up this part of your life for a long, long time.

MESSAGE BEGINS———————–

I raise my battleclaw to you o tireless, translucent terror!

I can truly say I wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for you. Our deepest respect and admiration from all of us up here at Glaxxon PharmaCOM Orbital, Lady Astra, Miss Flinders, the ladies on level 7 and all 227 of the hatchlings (Loraza and Vicodia hold you in such high esteem).

Yours in Pure Reptilian PharmaEvil™ . . .

Lord Draconis Zeneca, VC, iH7L
Forward Mavoon of the Great Fleet, Suzerain of V’tar and Pharmaca Magna of Terra, Booster of Blathery, Blinky Boxes

PharmaCOM Orbital HQ
0010101101001
—————————————— MESSAGE ENDS

Mr. Thorsen, it is difficult to deal with due to the unrelenting spam. My ISP actually dropped USENET service, and I found that it was not worth dealing with anymore.

It is time to move on.

I am a (relative) newbie reader of Orac’s blogs. I was so impressed with the amount and quality of his articles and I thought (truly I did), that Orac had some sort of voice-recognition dictating software. I later found out, when he referenced balancing his laptop on planes and typing at ungodly hours, that he is a great typist/keyboarder with an extraordinary knowledge base in medicine and in woo.

I don’t know how he does it…but he does…and we are all the beneficiaries of his prolific blogs.

@ Black-cat: You are welcome. It was “difficult” to read her diary and we only have her impressions of what is happening to her as her disease progressed.

Congratulations, and thank you for all you do. You helped to remove my last vestiges of wooery and I am very grateful that you did. I consider it a fortunate day when I followed a link from Pharyngula and discovered this blog.

I feel I should celebrate the anniversary by making an irritating nitpicking correction about spelling or punctuation.

Congratulations!

And many thanks as well for the indefatigable commenters who make life here so interesting. But without you as host, there would be no gathering.

(Just exactly when do these cheques start rolling in. Is there some probationary period I’ve not been told about?)

As I enter my eighth year, thanks for reading.

Thank you for writing.
As long as you keep writing, I’ll continue reading. And thinking.

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