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The Surgisphere debacle

I got it wrong about something. It turns out that recent Lancet hydroxychloroquine study was likely fraudulent, thanks to a small, very dodgy company called Surgisphere. Here, I admit and explain my error and try to set things right.

Looking at the science versus the hype, I’ve been predicting for at least a couple of months now that hydroxychloroquine, a drug commonly used to treat malaria that also has immunomodulatory properties that make it useful for treating autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, will probably turn out to be ineffective against COVID-19, all the hype notwithstanding. I’ve often pointed out that the prior probability of hydroxychloroquine being effective based on what we’ve known is quite low given that its antiviral activity in cell culture has never successfully translated to antiviral activity in humans and that the claims for “miracle cures” of COVID-19 victims such as Rio Giardinieri, Jim Santilli, and Karen Whitsett, due to the drug just don’t stand up to scrutiny. In any case, my position has always been that the hype over hydroxychloroquine far outweighs any promise that it might have and that its effectiveness is likely to be very low or zero (more likely zero). Nonetheless, a “brave maverick” French scientist named Didier Raoult, grifting doctors (including Dr. Mehmet Oz), and Donald Trump with his sycophants, toadies, and lackeys have hyped the drug relentlessly and, as observational study after observational study has been published failing to find even a hint of a signal of benefit, also attacking the studies.

So it was with a study in The Lancet that was published two weeks ago that I wrote about that’s now been retracted. The study used data from a company called Surgisphere, and issues with data transparency after questions were raised about the study led to its retraction. Interestingly, as the Lancet paper was retracted, the New England Journal of Medicine published the first randomized controlled clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine for prophylaxis against COVID-19, which turned out to be, unsurprisingly, entirely negative.

Surgisphere: A company with no history of huge projects

The Lancet study using Surgisphere data caused a big splash two weeks ago (which, as with all things during this pandemic, seems like ancient history now) because it was the largest observational study yet published and found that there was not only no benefit from hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin (Didier Raoult’s favored combination) in COVID-19 patients but higher mortality and a lot more dangerous cardiac arrhythmias. At this point, I have to express a mea culpa. At the time, I thought the study was pretty solid. It might still be pretty solid, or it might be fraudulent. We can’t tell, for reasons I’ll get into in a moment. (An addendum with a link to this post will be added to my original post.) I wasn’t alone, either. A clinical trialist far more experienced and eminent than I also thought the Surgisphere study was well done, to the point where he suggested that doing randomized clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 might now be unethical because there was no longer clinical equipoise (genuine uncertainty over whether the treatment was better than placebo):

As a result of concerns raised by this study, the World Health Organization suspended its hydroxychloroquine study to analyze safety data, although the suspension was brief and the study was resumed earlier this week. To say that the study caused quite a stir, with hydroxychloroquine believers attacking it nonstop, is an understatement. It also turns out that the Lancet paper wasn’t the only paper using Surgisphere data that was retracted. The New England Journal of Medicine also retracted a Surgisphere paper that had reported no correlation between the use of angiotensin-converting–enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs) and increased risk of death.

So where did Dr. Topol, others, and myself go wrong? Basically, we took the description of Surgisphere’s dataset, which is massive and reported observations on over 96,000 patients, at face value. As questions were raised about the dataset, Surgisphere was—shall we say?—less than transparent about its data. This led to the editor of The Lancet saying:

The main criticisms of the study are summarized in this article by Dr. James Todaro. Before I continue, I feel obligated to mention that, based on his Twitter feed and other writings, I do know that Dr. Todaro definitely has a quacky vibe about him and is definitely a hydroxychloroquine believer. (He’s also a managing partner of a cryptocurrency company.) Indeed, this New York Times article notes that he has a connection to Didier Raoult, who allowed him to post one of his original studies on Twitter two days before it went live on a preprint server. Todaro’s Twitter feed also mentions that he’s co-authored a pro-hydroxychloroquine piece entitled An Effective Treatment for Coronavirus.

So why am I citing him, given that he’s clearly very invested in proving that hydroxychloroquine is effective against COVID-19? Because on this one issue, his was the most detailed deconstruction of what’s wrong with Surgisphere and the Lancet study. That’s the difference between the cultists and me. I’ll change my mind if they present new information that checks out when I dig into it. It’s also a lesson that a believer’s skepticism when examining something he disagrees with will always be far more rigorous than when looking at a study that goes against what he currently believes. Think of it as a somewhat embarrassing reminder to myself (coupled, perhaps, with a bit of self-flagellation) to remain humble in the future and not to be too fast to dismiss criticisms coming from even the cultists. If Dr. Todaro sees this, may message to him would be to urge him to start applying the same level of skepticism to hydroxychloroquine as he did to Surgisphere and The Lancet paper.

First, Dr. Todaro notes that Surgisphere is a dodgy organization:

Based on the Lancet study, it [Surgisphere] must be a very large, sophisticated network indeed to have partnered with hundreds of hospitals worldwide with the capability of retrieving detailed patient data in real-time.

One would expect a multinational database such as this to be a treasure trove coveted by researchers. Strangely, this is not so. Surgisphere has a razor thin folder of contributions to past publications. Besides the Lancet publication, Surgisphere’s only other peer-reviewed publication is one entitled Cardiovascular, Drug Therapy, and Mortality in Covid-19 that was published on May 1, 2020 in The New England Journal of Medicine.

The Research section of Surgisphere’s website features twenty-three “Case Studies from Around the World” as evidence of their prior work and product features. The vast majority of these “case studies” lack scientific substance and actually consist of short letters, press releases or potential use-cases for its database.

Dr. Todaro also noted that Surgisphere has only five employees, only one of whom, Dr. Sapan Desai, has a medical degree, while the remaining four are mainly business and marketing people, three of whom had joined the company only two months prior to publication of the Lancet paper. Also highly suspicious is the fact that Surgisphere blocked its website from the Wayback Machine at Archive.org, so that no one could check what the website looked like in the past. As Dr. Todaro points out:

There are primarily two ways for companies to hide internet histories. First, they can insert special codes into their websites to hide from the Wayback Machine’s automated crawlers. Secondly, companies can request the removal of their historical snapshots, but there’s no guarantee the Internet Archive will honor these requests. Both of these practices are highly unusual and almost exclusively used for obscuring nefarious activities.

Another story states that Surgisphere has eleven employees. The discrepancy likely derives from Dr. Todaro’s reliance mainly on LinkedIn profiles to find Surgisphere employees. Whichever number is correct, though, Surgisphere is clearly a small company, way too small and lacking in the necessary expertise to have built a database like the one it describes. It also started out primarily as a medical textbook company and has a history of submitting fake reviews to Amazon.com:

Reviews of the company’s products on Amazon are polarized, and a handful of positive reviews that appeared to impersonate actual physicians were removed when those doctors complained to Amazon. Kimberli S. Cox, a breast surgical oncologist based in Arizona, tells The Scientist that she was one of several practicing physicians who in 2008 discovered five-star reviews next to names that were identical or very similar to their own, that they had not written. She and her colleagues successfully persuaded Amazon to take the reviews down.

In the same story, Dr. Desai promises that there will be an independent third party audit of Surgisphere’s data. (Spoiler: There hasn’t been and won’t be.)

Todaro also notes that there are a number of Surgisphere subsidiaries that appear to have little or no substance:

A deeper dive into Surgisphere reveals three subsidiary companies: Surgical Outcomes Collaborative, Vascular Outcomes and Quartz Clinical. On each of the homepages of these three websites, the Surgisphere copyright is publicly visible near the bottom of the page.

Surgical Outcomes Collaborative has almost no internet history and the page does not appear in the Internet Archive until 2019, in which it just redirects to the webpage for Vascular Outcomes.

A search of https://vascularoutcomes.com in the Internet Archive returns one snapshot from December 2019. The snapshot shows a webpage that is largely similar to that of Surgical Outcomes Collaborative and does not include any details about a team or published research.

Similarly, Quartz Clinical, another healthcare data analytics branch of Surgisphere, also appears to be devoid of published research and without a publicly visible team.

Each of the company webpages above provide a LinkedIn link. Instead of showing company profiles with track records, however, the links all direct to the profile of just one person, Dr. Sapan Desai. ​

As Dr. Todaro points out, forming partnerships with dozens of hospitals, setting up a system to format, extract, and analyze data from electronic medical records that use many different EMR platforms and many different languages would be an incredibly difficult, if not insurmountable, task for a large multidisciplinary team with statisticians, computer programmers, etc. over many months, never mind the claim by Surgisphere that it is using machine learning and artificial intelligence. Even more oddly, the “get in touch with us” link redirected to strange WordPress template for cryptocurrency, at least before the company changed the link. Meanwhile, Dr. Desai has 39 publications over the last five years (which is quite good, almost eight publications a year), but none of them other than the COVID-19 papers used Surgisphere data, while Surgisphere itself won’t even specify which hospitals or countries contribute to its database; only continents are specified.

Data inconsistencies and implausibility

There are also oddities and inconsistencies in the dataset reported. The first of these was discovered in Australia, because Australia is unique in that it is both a continent and a country:

Australia is unique because it is both a country and continent, which makes data obfuscation more challenging. Thus, it is no surprise that false data was first discovered in Australia. The Guardian reported yesterday that the number of COVID-19 deaths included in the Lancet study for Australia exceeded the total nationally recorded number of COVID-19 deaths. The Lancet study reported 73 deaths from the continent of Australia, but records show that Australia had only a total of 67 COVID-19 deaths by April 21. When confronted with this inconsistency, the lead author of the study, Dr. Mandeep Mehra, admitted the error but dismissed it as simply a single hospital that was accidentally designated to the wrong continent.

The data from North America are also suspect, noting that Surgisphere reported on 63,315 COVID-19 cases out of the estimated 66,000 cases that had been recorded up to the concluding date of the study, a percentage that defies imagination and would require the company to have relationships with nearly every hospital in North America, asking:

Are we to believe that Surgisphere truly had relationships and data exchange agreements with 559 hospitals in the USA, Canada and Mexico that captured detailed patient records for 63,315 COVID-19 patients out of a total of 66,000 patients? These figures do not even include the 2,230 patients with COVID-19 who did not meet the inclusion criteria, meaning that Surgisphere is claiming they have patient data on even a greater number than 63,315 patients.

Another story on the controversy notes:

The Scientist has reached out to some of the largest health systems in the states hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic to inquire whether they participated, but could not find any that did.

Instead, a number of hospitals confirmed that they did not contribute data, namely, New Jersey health systems RJWBarnabas Health, Cooper Health, and Atlantic Health System; NYC Health + Hospitals and NYU Langone in New York; and Illinois-based health systems Rush and Advocate Health Care.

When I read that, I started thinking that Surgisphere sounds scammier and scammier with every bit of new information I learn about it. I should have sensed it when I read the paper (yet another mea culpa). Indeed, in this story, someone actually comes right out and says it:

Peter Ellis, the chief data scientist of Nous Group, an international management consultancy that does data integration projects for government departments, expressed concern that Surgisphere database was “almost certainly a scam”.

“It is not something that any hospital could realistically do,” he said. “De-identifying is not just a matter of knocking off the patients’ names, it is a big and difficult process. I doubt hospitals even have capability to do it appropriately. It is the sort of thing national statistics agencies have whole teams working on, for years.”

Indeed, Surgisphere’s response to the criticisms of its studies seems fantastical for company with only at most 11 employees:

Making disparate EHR systems talk to one another is a well-known industry challenge. Surgisphere’s QuartzClinical data analytics platform serves, for us, as a template for aggregating and consolidating disparate data into our queryable registry. Our customers export deidentified data from their EHRs in a format Surgisphere defines. This becomes our data dictionary, and it ensures our registry information can be compared apples to apples across our 1,200 customers. Surgisphere does not reconcile languages or coding systems.

We take data security very seriously. Surgisphere is ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 27001:2013 certified. ISO 27001:2013 is a strict data security and data integrity validation. Mandatory audits happen at least four times a year, and everything from data acquisition to data reporting is independently reviewed by an external third-party auditor. Surgisphere has passed all of its prior audits with no major or minor nonconformities.

We also take data privacy very seriously. Our registry is an aggregation of customers who use our QuartzClinical data platform. Our strong privacy standards are a major reason that hospitals trust Surgisphere and we have been able to collect data from over 1,200 institutions across 46 countries. While our data use agreements with these institutions prevents us from sharing patient level data or customer names, we are able to complete appropriate analyses and share aggregate findings to the wider scientific community.

We’re apparently supposed to believe that a tiny company with little evidence of having employees with the expertise to undertake such a massive project can do all this, and we’re just supposed to trust it because, conveniently, its claimed data use agreements don’t let it allow third parties to see the raw data in the database, all while no one can seem to find a single hospital that admits to contributing to Surgisphere’s database.

Finally, data reported from Africa that would have required sophisticated patient monitoring technology and electronic medical records. Specifically, obtaining data on the incidence of ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation on that scale is highly implausible, as scientists signing an open letter pointed out. (As an aside, I must admit that I was too dismissive of that letter at first, another mea culpa that I must mention.)

From “expressions of concern” to retractions

The issues and questions described above ultimately led The Lancet and NEJM to publish “expressions of concern” over the Surgisphere papers earlier this week.

The NEJM wrote, for instance:

This retrospective study used data drawn from an international database that included electronic health records from 169 hospitals on three continents. Recently, substantive concerns have been raised about the quality of the information in that database. We have asked the authors to provide evidence that the data are reliable. In the interim and for the benefit of our readers, we are publishing this Expression of Concern about the reliability of their conclusions.

The Lancet’s expression of concern was very similar:

Important scientific questions have been raised about data reported in the paper by Mandeep Mehra et al—Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis1—published in The Lancet on May 22, 2020. Although an independent audit of the provenance and validity of the data has been commissioned by the authors not affiliated with Surgisphere and is ongoing, with results expected very shortly, we are issuing an Expression of Concern to alert readers to the fact that serious scientific questions have been brought to our attention. We will update this notice as soon as we have further information.

Two days later, both papers were retracted at the request of the majority of authors. The NEJM explanation read:

Because all the authors were not granted access to the raw data and the raw data could not be made available to a third-party auditor, we are unable to validate the primary data sources underlying our article, “Cardiovascular Disease, Drug Therapy, and Mortality in Covid-19.”1 We therefore request that the article be retracted.

And The Lancet provides more detail:

After publication of our Lancet Article,1 several concerns were raised with respect to the veracity of the data and analyses conducted by Surgisphere Corporation and its founder and our co-author, Sapan Desai, in our publication. We launched an independent third-party peer review of Surgisphere with the consent of Sapan Desai to evaluate the origination of the database elements, to confirm the completeness of the database, and to replicate the analyses presented in the paper.

Our independent peer reviewers informed us that Surgisphere would not transfer the full dataset, client contracts, and the full ISO audit report to their servers for analysis as such transfer would violate client agreements and confidentiality requirements. As such, our reviewers were not able to conduct an independent and private peer review and therefore notified us of their withdrawal from the peer-review process.

We always aspire to perform our research in accordance with the highest ethical and professional guidelines. We can never forget the responsibility we have as researchers to scrupulously ensure that we rely on data sources that adhere to our high standards. Based on this development, we can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources. Due to this unfortunate development, the authors request that the paper be retracted.

Interestingly, three of the four authors signed this statement. The author hwho didn’t? Surprise! Surprise! It was Dr. Desai, founder of Surgisphere. Oddly enough, though, Dr. Desai did sign the statement asking NEJM to retract.

Lessons from the Surgisphere debacle

I’m furious over this debacle. First, I’m furious at myself (and more than a bit ashamed) for not having sniffed out how dubious Surgisphere was right from the start. I even recall having nagging misgivings as I perused the Surgisphere website, thinking that the website didn’t really provide much information or evidence for how its database was used and that it all seemed a bit…off. (I ignored them.)

Equally, I’m furious at the authors of these papers, the academics who collaborated with Dr. Desai and Surgisphere. To put a paper like this together with such a collaborator would require one of two things. Either they were so hands-off the data analysis as to have been totally irresponsible, or, if they weren’t, they should have gleaned from interacting with Dr. Desai that Surgisphere’s database was too good to be true and that Dr. Desai has no background that would suggest he could so such a sophisticated analysis.

Here’s how they describe the relative contributions of each author in the retracted manuscript:

The study was conceived and designed by MRM and ANP. Acquisition of data and statistical analysis of the data were supervised and performed by SSD. MRM drafted the manuscript and all authors participated in critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content. MRM and ANP supervised the study. All authors approved the final manuscript and were responsible for the decision to submit for publication.

[MRM = Mandeep R. Mehra, Brigham and Women’s Hospital Heart and Vascular Center and Harvard Medical School; ANP = Amit N. Patel, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Utah and HCA Research Institute, Nashville; SSD = Sapan S. Desai.]

Here’s another place where I went wrong. I should have sussed out that the number of authors was too small for an undertaking of this magnitude. Where are the statisticians, for instance? Drs. Mehra and Frank Ruschitzka (the latter of whom isn’t even mentioned above, making me wonder why he was included as an author of the manuscript) are a cardiologists. Dr. Amit Patel is a cardiothoracic surgeon who studies stem cell therapy for congestive heart failure. (Damn, why didn’t I look into their backgrounds more?) In any event, another red flag is the bit about the statistical analysis of the data being “supervised” by Dr. Desai? There really should have been a named statistician as co-author of this paper. If a statistician (or team of statisticians) did such a huge statistical analysis and remain unnamed as authors, that’s just academic malpractice. Everything about this paper smells like fraud now. Unfortunately, because Surgisphere refuses to let an independent third party take even a private look at the raw data, we’ll probably never know for sure if it’s fraudulent.

Finally, I’m furious at the authors of these papers and Surgisphere—not to mention the editors of The Lancet and NEJM—because they just handed an incident to the COVID-19 deniers and hydroxychloroquine cultists that they are using (and will continue to use) to cast doubt on all the other studies that failed to find any benefit in using the drug to treat—and handed it to them on a silver platter. This whole kerfuffle also overshadowed the publication Wednesday night of the first randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study of hydroxychloroquine for prophylaxis among adults who had household or occupational exposure to someone with confirmed COVID-19. Guess what? It was negative. There was no difference between the hydroxychloroquine and placebo control groups in incidence of new illness compatible with COVID-19. The study had significant weaknesses, specifically that not all cases of COVID-19 were confirmed by PCR, but it’s still better evidence that hydroxychloroquine doesn’t prevent COVID-19 after exposure than anything else yet published and better evidence than anything Didier Raoult has ever published.

An accompanying editorial notes that there are 203 COVID-19 trials with hydroxychloroquine, 60 of which were focused on prophylaxis. This is utter madness and far more research attention than warranted based on any decent science suggesting that hydroxychloroquine is an effective treatment for COVID-19. As I’ve pointed out multiple times before, there were already a number of observational studies before the Surgisphere study that failed to find a benefit from hydroxychloroquine, leading me to predict again and again that (most likely) hydroxychloroquine doesn’t work or that whatever effect it might have will be very modest at best. Either way, there was no scientific or ethical justification for making the drug the de facto standard of care for COVID-19 patients for so long, nor is there any scientific justification for so many open clinical trials of the drug. Those are resources that would be better used to study other therapies or to put into vaccine development.

Whether the authors who collaborated with Surgisphere and Dr. Desai were dupes or complicit, they’ve done enormous damage to public health through their negligence and Surgisphere’s likely fraud. Already the hydroxychloroquine cultists are rejoicing and using the retraction to cast doubt on all negative studies of the drug. (It’s also painful to note that, on this matter, Didier Raoult was correct, as a stopped clock is twice a day.) If there is any justice in the world, Surgisphere will go out of business, and all the authors of these papers will suffer a blight on their reputations that will be very difficult to erase. (One hopes that they learn something from this.) Perhaps this scandal will also teach journal editors that too-rapid peer review can mean sloppier peer review than normal and that, when the results can have such an impact, journals should slow down and require the same information for observational studies that they require for clinical trials.

As Anders Perner put it:

As for myself, I will in the future try very hard not to ignore that little nagging voice in my head when it makes itself known, particularly if I’m analyzing a study whose conclusions agree with what I already believe. I should have looked at the background of the authors more carefully. I should have investigated Surgisphere more carefully. I should have taken the open letter more seriously when it was released. I can’t guarantee that something like this will never happen again, but hopefully it will be a long time before I let my guard down that much again.

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]

371 replies on “The Surgisphere debacle”

It is painfully clear that a large amount of information published about COVID-19 and and inefficacy of hydroxychloroquine is turning out to be rubbish. How many poor quality papers need to be pushed by sites such as this claiming scientific expertise? How many poor quality papers need to be rejected before an objective analysis is done? The basic science supporting hydroxychloroquine as an anti-viral is solid. The clinical evidence that HCQ is safe is overwhelming. Setting up a clinical trial to test the hypothesis that HCQ w/znc/w azithromycin stops the progression of the disease as it transitions from a common viral syndrome to an overwhelming cytokine storm. The transition period is day 7 to 9. The vulnerable populations are known. The immense resources of the Federal Government could have answered this question in a month. The refusal to even consider the possibility raises all sorts of hackles.

Actually, the basic science evidence supporting HCQ as an antiviral is far from solid. It only ever works in cell culture; its cell culture antiviral activity has never been successfully translated to humans, and it’s not for lack of trying. In writing a review article, my coauthor went over the evidence for HCQ as an antiviral, and it’s true. Lots of in vitro data, lots of negative clinical trials. Nor is the clinical evidence that HCQ is safe “overwhelming.” There are lots of signals suggesting that in some patients it can cause life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias.🙄

A huge amount of effort has gone into the quest for antiviral drugs over the past few decades. HCQ is inexpensive, widely available and has a pretty well known (if not exactly stellar) safety profile. Common viral disease rack up huge monetary losses across the spectrum from individuals to nations. If HCQ really had utility as an antiviral I would have thought that if would be in very widespread use therefor. It isn’t, which would seem to strongly imply that it isn’t of any real value.

There are no placebo double blind studies that have tested HCQ as an anti-viral. However there are huge numbers of physicians with clinical experience that it works. Science begins with an observation or an association. Neither are enough to prove a hypothesis. Association is not causation but it is a good place to look. The next step is to find whether there is a known or plausible biological mechanism to support the association. There is. HCQ alters AEC2 glycosylation as well as interfering with expression of the TMPRSS2 protein. Both are needed for entry of the virus into the cell. It’s not clear if the alteration of cellular pH can be achieved at pharmacological doses. A reasonable clinical study could easily be constructed in which high risk patients, who have not yet been hospitalized, are lower level of hospitalization, then untreated patients. A study like this could be done in a month. Certainly the Federal government has sufficient resources to fund such a test. The fact that they have not is strange.

The disease progresses from a viral like syndrome (prior to day 7) to a transition phase (between day 7 and 9) which is characterized by onset of shortness of breath and tightness in the lungs, with or without evidence of coagulopathy to requiring oxygen supplementation to ventilation support. Clearly , the goal is to prevent the transition phase to more advanced disease.

The disease has two distinct phases: a viral like syndrome and a increasing immunological dys-regulation phase (or cytokine storm). Each phase requires different therapy. The viral syndrome requires an anti-viral. The immunological dysfunction requires immuno-suppression, along with treatment for sepsis and coaguloopathy. No one ever said HCQ would be effective at this stage.

Rather the hypothesis is that HCQ will prevent progression of the disease to the later immunological dysfunction.

Here are the facts: Zinc has anti-viral capability. The trick has been to get enough zinc to the cell without inducing toxicity. This can be done with a ionophore such as quinine. (Quinine is not a true ionophore but has the same effect).

HCQ has specific anti-corona virus effect due to the fact that it alters the expression of TMRPSS2 and AEC2. TMPRSS2 is a fusion protein, expressed by the AEC2 receptor, and required by the virus for its activation and for entry of the virus into the cell. HCQ also alters the pH of the cell and this should also interfere with viral replication.

Giving both early in the disease should act as a prophylactic (blocking entry of the virus into the cell and helping to stop viral replication). Once the virus is in the cell, blocking the entry of the virus into the cell is “too little, too late”. SARS2 inhibits production of interferon i (the main anti-viral defense).

If the disease progresses, or treatment is started later when the patient progresses a broad spectrum antibiotic needs to be added. This is because the transition to immune dysfunction requires the addition of endotoxemia. Endotoxemia is due to a superimposed bacterial infection.

A properly constructed study would concentrate on at risk patients who are symptomatic and determine whether there is a decrease in hospitalization.

It is mind boggling to me all anti-HCQ papers fail to differentiate the phases of the disease, the different treatment required at each phase, and that such a simple study has not been constructed.

However there are huge numbers of physicians with clinical experience that it works.

How huge would that be? Please show your work.

@Pathcoin1

What is your take on vitamin D status and Sars-Cov-2/covid-19?

Worse outcomes seem to follow low vitamin D; It has been noted that the northern countries thus far have faired better than the UK, Spain, and Italy. This would seem to be a paradox as UK, Spain, and Italy have greater sun/uv.

But, they were forced into lockdown and ‘stay inside’ just as coming out of winter. Furthermore, these countries do not fortify their food with D3 as the north does. Furthermore, I think D3 is by prescription only in those parts.

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.08.20058578v4

Low vitamin D3 has been shown to be associated with much worse outcomes.
But that is woo.

Low vitamin D3 has been shown to be associated with much worse outcomes.
But that is woo.

Clinically low levels of vitamin D are associated with worse outcomes, at least in the frail elderly.

Vitamin D (and it probably doesn’t matter whether its D2 or D3) is a vastly misunderstood vitamin. It’s actually a hormone and not a vitamin. Besides its effect on bone and calcium metabolism it is required for optimal functioning of the immune system. It calms the immune system and helps protect against autoimmune disease. It does this by keeping the dendritic cell in an immature, tolerant state, it shifts the TH17/TH1 inflammatory response to a TH2 response. It shifts the M1 pro inflammatory macrophage to the M2 anti-inflammatory macrophage.

It is important to understand that it is not the virus that kills. it the resultant immune dysfunction called a cytokine storm. What is a cytokine storm? If one equates an autoimmune reaction to a thunder storm, the cytokine storm is like a CAT5 Hurricane.

The frail elderly have multiple immune dysfunctions as a natural state. They are more likely to be diabetic type 2, obese, vitamin D deficient, and have a weakened immune system with T cell dysfunction. It is unlikely that vitamin D alone is a decisive factor but it may be a tipping point, a culmination of the following effects:

diabetes type 2: insulin resistance; we know insulin protective.
diabetes type 2: hyperglycemia; Hyperglycemia inactivates IRF5. IRF5 is necessary to prevent autoimmune disease.
diabetes type 2 have an altered immune response with a blunted acute phase and an exacerbated chronic phase, characterized by elevation of TH17/TH1. TH17/TH1 elevation predisposes one to autoimmunity.
diabetes type 2 are obese.
Obesity induces a chronic inflammatory state with excess production of interferon type 1. Interferon type 1 is a prime trigger for the immune system.
The elderly have T cell exhaustion. T cells are necessary for an effective immune response. SAR2 induces T cell exhaustion, superimposed upon an already weakened T cell arm of the immune system.
Low vitamin D levels are associated with low levels of exposure to natural sunlight. Sunlight effects the immune system via circadian rhythm and melatonin production. In addition, sunlight may directly activate cytotoxic T cells, necessary to kill viral infected cells. Sunlight also directly inactivates the virus and reduces the viral load.
Adipocytes have photoreceptors. There may be a direct effect on the immune function of adipocytes.
No one factor is likely to be determinant. Hyperglycemia is likely the most important.
Note: even if one is not diabetic, one may be hyperglycemic as a chronic state. This is called pre-diabetes. One may have transient hyperglycemia due to eating heavily sugared snacks. Most snacks are sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. Fructose is even a more potent inactivator of IRF5 than glucose.

As a bottom line: it is not clear if vitamin D deficiency is the cause and a marker for the above. Vitamin D supplementation does not hurt, as long as one doesn’t take huge amounts.

There are multiple physician groups using HCQ and compiling data. Two well publicized studies on large numbers of patients that come to mind are Fred Smith Infectious Disease clinic in New Jersy, and another in Kyrias Joel in New York, in addition to the French study.

We also have a large intrinsic population of patients on HCQ for other diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and other autoimmune disorders). It should be easy to see if, as a group, these patients are protected against hospitalization with COVID-19. Personally I know of two patients who had what appeared to be COVID-19 (testing was not done) with onset of shortness of breath, who cleared within 6 hrs after taking the medication.

We have at least a theoretical mechanisms as to why and how HCQ works early in the disease stage; why it requires zinc and sometimes azithromycin. And most importantly, why there is a certain population at risk. And just as important, why, in the later stages of the disease requiring ventilation, it may be harmful.

Setting up a correct study, given the enormous resources of the NIH and NIAD, should be relatively simple. The troubling thing is the resistance bordering on hostility at even looking at the possibility that HCQ may be useful to prevent progression of the disease. I think it falls into the category of “the lady doth protest too much”. Such resistance by the scientists of the NIAD raises a lot of questions.

If HCQ is a “proven anti-viral” medicine, then why isn’t it already in use for the treatment of other viruses? Like HIV. Or herpes. Or any of the hepatitis viruses. Or viral meningitis.

Not all viruses are the same. Broadly speaking there are single stranded RNA viruses and DNA viruses. HCQ works by altering the AEC2 receptor and expression of TMPRSS2 fusion protein. If the virus doesn’t use this pathway, HCQ is likely to be ineffective.

HCQ does not work with DNA viruses.

HIV and SARS2/COVID are in the same class of virus. HIV is different. It has a complete glycoprotein armor coat that prevents meaningful immunological response (and is the reason there is no HIV vaccine). HIV requires a fusion protein for entrance into the cell but I don’t know if it is TMPRSS2. The HAART medications are so effective in suppressing HIV that they have pre-empted all other treatments.

@ Pathcoin1

HCQ works by altering the AEC2 receptor and expression of TMPRSS2 fusion protein.

Sources for your arguments or shut your hole.
That’s at least the fifth “mechanism of action” I read about HCQ in four months.
I’m dead tired of pretend physicians play-acting as scientists.

I’m dead tired of pretend physicians play-acting as scientists.

Hey, it’s a pathologist. Then again, something tells me that this is not the first misspelling of ‘ACE2’ that’s been delivered.

Broadly speaking there are single stranded RNA viruses and DNA viruses.

Broadly speaking, it’s considered bad form to barge into places and start insulting the intelligence of the commentariat.

The HAART medications are so effective in suppressing HIV that they have pre-empted all other treatments.

I don’t know where you were in the 80’s, but I strongly remember how there were no effective treatments, or treatments which keep losing efficiency due to emerging virus resistance, for a long time.
HAART came later, and CQ/HCQ were already around.
So I question your “pre-empted”.

Pathcoin1: “The HAART medications are so effective in suppressing HIV that they have pre-empted all other treatments.”

How about we look at the natural experiment relevant to HIV and HCQ?
HCQ is used to treat malaria. Why don’t you look at rates of HIV infection in areas that still use HCQ for malaria treatment? If your idea is correct, shouldn’t the rate of HIV infection be lower than in areas that use a different malaria treatment?

Seriously, this drug has been around for decades. There should be more than enough data for you to work with.

How many poor quality papers need to be pushed by sites such as this claiming scientific expertise? How many poor quality papers need to be rejected before an objective analysis is done?

Perhaps a good paper–an objective analysis such as, say, a large, randomized and blinded study–would help.

https://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/archives/2020/06/05/the-recovery-trial-reports-on-hydroxychloroquine

“A total of 1542 patients were randomized to hydroxychloroquine and compared with 3132 patients randomized to usual care alone. There was no significant difference in the primary endpoint of 28-day mortality. . . [or] evidence of beneficial effects on hospital stay duration or other outcomes.”

Martin Landray of Oxford, a leader of the trial, told Reuters “This is not a treatment for COVID-19. It doesn’t work”

The problem is the structure of the study. The disease progresses from a viral like syndrome (prior to day 7) to a transition phase (between day 7 and 9) which is characterized by onset of shortness of breath and tightness in the lungs, with or without evidence of coagulopathy (blood clots in toes and fingers) to requiring oxygen supplementation to ventilation support. The goal is to prevent the transition phase to the oxygen supplementation/ventilation phase.

The disease has two distinct phases: a viral like syndrome and a increasing immunological dys-regulation phase (or cytokine storm). Each phase requires different therapy. The viral syndrome requires an anti-viral. The immunological dysfunction requires immuno-suppression, along with treatment for sepsis and coaguloopathy. No one ever said HCQ would be effective at this stage. And this i the what the study you mentioned is looking at.

Rather the hypothesis is that HCQ will prevent progression of the disease to the later immunological dysfunction.
Here are the facts: Zinc has anti-viral capability. The trick has been to get enough zinc to the cell without inducing toxicity. This can be done with a ionophore such as quinine. (Quinine is not a true ionophore but has the same effect).

HCQ has specific anti-corona virus effect due to the fact that it alters the expression of TMRPSS2. TMPRSS2 is a fusion protein, expressed by the AEC2 receptor, and required by the virus for its activation and for entry of the virus into the cell. HCQ also alters the pH of the cell and this should also interfere with viral replication.

Giving both early in the disease should act as a prophylactic (blocking entry of the virus into the cell and helping to stop viral replication).

If the disease progresses, or treatment is started later when the patient progresses a broad spectrum antibiotic needs to be added. This is because the transition to immune dysfunction requires the addition of endotoxemia. Endotoxemia is due to a superimposed bacterial infection.

A properly constructed study would concentrate on at risk patients who are symptomatic and determine whether there is a decrease in hospitalization.

Thank you Pathcoin.
Have you followed at all what happened in France? I read that HCQ was banned from over the counter use Jan. 13 (had been in the works since Oct.).
“ The surprising inscription of HCQ on the list of poisonous substances, only dispensable with a prescription. only weeks before the coronavirus was identified as having entered into France, led many to wonder whether the move had been deliberate in this context. 
It was underscored in particular that Buzyn’s husband, Yves Lévy,  until recently head of the INSERM (National Institute for health and medical research) was a member of the French delegation present at the opening of the Wuhan P4 “high security” laboratory that conducts research on dangerous viruses, and that he also had a personal axe to grind against Didier Raoult who was one of the first to complain about a conflict of interests when Buzyn was named Health Minister and became supervisor of the INSERM – and of her own husband. These accusations were brushed aside by the mainstream press.”

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/the-strange-astounding-fight-by-world-leading-infectious-disease-doctor-and-others-to-continue-spectacular-results-saving-covid-infected-lives-using-common-cheap-safe-medication

Hypothesis: Kook apocalypse.

A sufficient quantity and density of kooks will go critical, detonate and obliterate themselves. Almost all the reaction mass is in the form of neutrinos so no else will be harmed.

@ Sheila

Puh-lease… I also have an axe to grind against Lévy, very much less so against Buzyn. Many people have an axe to grind against Lévy. Heck, many people have an axe to grind against many people, and there is no surprise at all that someone heading an institution, such as The Druid currently does, could have an axe to grind against someone heading another institution such as the INSERM.

If it were not the case, the Care Bears would be Ruling the World.

If you want to pick a fight in favour of hydroxychloroquine, do so with studies and data. We can talk about personalities, their grudges and their sexual life, if you so wish, the moment you start learning how to compartimentalise appropriately your arguments so that everything doesn’t get mixed up and messed up in your head… That’s called growing up.

What is your take on the NEJM cited above. HCQ given before transition. Any RCTs stronger than that reporting positive effect?

Thanks for your honesty Orac. Don’t be too hard on yourself though. I, as someone with little medical knowledge, have huge problems trying to work out who/what to believe about everything that’s going on lately, so need to rely on people who do have the experience/knowledge. I do appreciate it when someone can and does admit they were wrong and why as it helps to determine who you can rely on. Maybe you will have some understanding now of how it feels for people like me!

On another note, after seeing all the images of the lack of physical distancing in the protests in the US, I will be watching to see what happens with the number of new covid-19 cases. I will be very confused (but happy for the people) if there isn’t a big increase in numbers in the next few weeks.

I’m worried about that, too, although outdoor activities do appear to be lower risk than indoor. I worry way more about mass gatherings in theaters and arenas than outdoors. Still, I fear that even outdoor activities will result in spikes in COVID-19 cases in 2-4 weeks.

I’ve been watching for a coming ‘spike’ event I witnessed last month. It did not pan out. I live nere a Multi-modal International Cargo Hub ((they take shipping containers from planes and put them behind trucks and on trains) where it is not just passengers, but products from all over, including #fuckChina.

I really think it might be the vitamin D status. Of course, Trump’s “in April, it will magically go away” is just ‘tarded. I do think it is attenuated now somehow, for whatever reason (not mutation), but that was just exactly what happened in 1918, is it not?

I do think it is attenuated now somehow, for whatever reason (not mutation), but that was just exactly what happened in 1918, is it not?

IIRC, it worked in the other direction, with the first wave having the lowest CFR.

I also applaud your humility.
It shall be very interesting to see what happens after the riots. If the Ozarks are any indication, not much.
Could that really be just because it’s outdoors? Or is there something else going on here?

@Narad

That is my point. Kinda. The ‘first wave’ was in the sunny months. Our ‘first wave’ was during down right nasty weather and on into coming off the winter months.

The first wave of the flu lasted from spring-summer 1918 and was relatively mild. Mortality rates were not appreciably above normal

…By August, when the second wave began in France, Sierra Leone, and the United States, the virus had mutated** to a much more deadly form. October 1918 was the month with the highest fatality rate of the whole pandemic.

This increased severity has been attributed to the circumstances of the First World War. In civilian life, natural selection favors a mild strain. Those who get very ill stay home, and those mildly ill continue with their lives, preferentially spreading the mild strain. In the trenches, natural selection was reversed. Soldiers with a mild strain stayed where they were, while the severely ill were sent on crowded trains to crowded field hospitals, spreading the deadlier virus. The second wave began, and the flu quickly spread around the world again..

The fact that most of those who recovered from first-wave infections had become immune showed that it must have been the same strain of flu.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1918_flu_pandemic#History

**How was this determined? I don’t think polymerase chain reaction equipment was all the rage back in the day.

It is not the virus that kills, it is the overwhelming immunological response. The infection rate is only meaningful when used as the denominator to determine the infection fatality rate and thus get a sense of the true virulence of the organism. Viruses and pathogens are ubiquitous in the environment. They are unavoidable. Fortunately we have an incredibly powerful immune system that handles these pathogens, except in the most extreme cases.

We want a lot people to be exposed and thus infected. This will induce herd immunity.

We know the population at risk and enough knowledge to speculate why they are at risk:

The obese: obesity alters the immune response and puts the patient in a state of chronic inflammation, with increased interferon 1 and increased activation of the innate immune sysem.

Diabetes type 2: Insulin is protective. These patients are insulin resistant.
These patients have HYPERGLYCEMIA. Hyperglycemia inactivates IRF5. Loss of IRF5 results in autoimmunity. These patients have alteration of their immune system, with a blunted acute phase and an exaggerated chronic phase, characterized by elevation of TH17/TH1. Elevation of TH17/TH1 results in autoimmunity. They are also likely to be obese.

Hyperglycemia deserves special emphasis. It is widespread in the population in a pre-diabetic state, as well as transiently due to use of heavily sugared snacks. Many of these snacks are sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. Fructose is even a better inactivator of IRF5 than glucose.

Low vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is necessary for optimal performance of the immune system and prevent autoimmunity. it keeps the dendritic cell in an immature and thus immuno-tolerant state. It shifts the TH17/TH1 response to a TH2 response. It shifts the M1 pro inflammatory macrophage to the M2 anti-inflammatory macrophage. It is also associated with less sunshine. Sunlight is necessary for proper functioning of the immune system through its effect on circadian rhythm and melatonin levels. There is also evidence it increases the activity of the cytotoxic T cell. Adipocytes also have photoreceptors. As we now know that adipocytes are part of the immune system, there may be another benefit.

Male vs female: Middle aged males are slightly more prone to severe disease. We know that testosterone increases TMPRSS2 and that TMPRSS2 is required for activation and entry of the virus into the cells.. Middle aged males are more likely to be on testosterone supplementation than any other age group. Progesterone is an anti-inflammatant and is protective. Pregnant females, who are in high progesterone states, are somewhat resistant. Estrogen is protective as it shifts the M1 macrophage to an M2 state. Both PR and ER wane as we age.

The elderly have a generalized immune dysfunction in which T cells have higher metabolism but are less effective. COVID-19 induces a T cell exhaustion in those who succumb to ARDS. This may be worse in diabetes type 2 who are on oral hypoglycemic agents that interfere with energy production (such as metformin). Not all oral hyperglycemics utilize this mechnism.

10% of the general population has diabetes type 2 but 28% of the population over 65.

Healthcare workers: This is likely a combination of exposure level to the pathogen. We know from all other pathogens that the inoculum state is important as to whether one develops disease. Healthcare workers are under stress (which also weakends the immune system). Obesity is fairly common among many healthcare workers. During stressful shifts there is a tendency to substitute heavily sugared snacks for nutritious meals. Healthcare workers are often sleep deprived and as likely as the general population to be sunlight deficient.

There may a small portion of the population that cannot handle the virus due to anyone of an number of factors, from the amount of AEC2, TMPRSS2 they produce to a specific defect in the immune system (somewhat analogous to the problem with Tinea versicolor).

The failure of key opinion makers in the medical community to acknowledge that the entire population is not at risk for severe disease, but only a well defined minority, is problematic, as the one size fits all solution is not without significant cost. Whatever happend to “at first, do no harm”.

We [sic] want a lot people to be exposed and thus infected. This will induce herd immunity.

You and yo mama first.

First, nobody’s perfect. And I really mean that.

People in general may take it as a sign of weakness, but I disagree. This is one thing that separates us from the cranks. Being able to admit you’re wrong and do a course correction is a scientific superpower. That’s why peer review and replication are necessary!

@ Orac

Well, at least you learn from your mistakes. That puts you well above the crowd…

“A clinical trialist far more experienced and eminent than I also thought the Surgisphere study was well done, to the point where he suggested that doing randomized clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 might now be unethical because there was no longer clinical equipoise (genuine uncertainty over whether the treatment was better than placebo).”

And that, to me, seems a genuine issue with the concept of equipoise. It’s a very necessary concept, but it also can and should be criticised and not made an absolute criterion. A necessary criterion, but not an absolute one.

“Because Surgisphere refuses to let a third party look at the raw data, we’ll probably never know for sure if it’s fraudulent.”

But we know that we cannot trust it, fraudulent or not. It’s not like we know nothing: we’re not Jon Snow. And it’s also an important warning shot: data transparency should be improved across the board. We’re not in the 19th century anymore.

“Finally, I’m furious at the authors of these papers and Surgisphere—not to mention the editors of The Lancet and NEJM”

You shouldn’t. Things like this are bound to happen. And please do not indulge in self-mortification like in the last paragraph: reminds me too much of a relative of mine with a history in the Opus Dei.

A little self-flagellation over a mistake is good for the soul and helps one improve. But just a little self-flagellation. I’m not going to beat myself up over it other than in this post.😉

This is my first visit – and a wonderful read! If more people had this level of humility and honesty, the world would be a much better place! You only briefly mention the elephant in the room – and that is everything, including science, is now fully politicized. I used to be shocked that for many MAGA enthusiasts, their truth was no longer defined by facts, but by Trump himself. This HCQ study, the reaction and fall-out indicate that the converse is sadly true as well, for many (otherwise smart, honest, etc) folks, LACK of truth is also defined by Trump, in that nothing Trump says can possibly be true. Thus they are overly lax in the pure assumption that anything that comes out of his mouth must be a lie – while it is more likely a broken clock scenario – he is right, by pure chance, every so often. This is not to vouch for the effectiveness of HCQ, but only to say this phenomena harms our collective defenses/cynicism and our otherwise strong defense mechanisms to underwrite the truth, regardless of the source. It is truly a sad state of affairs, but here we are. I hope your leadership here an inspiration to others and regardless of politics we return to a science based approach without bias of who may be “for” or “against” any conclusion.

What is science? Science is a philosophy that postulates there is an objective truth. This objective truth can be understood by models. Good models are both explanatory and predictive. Better models use lesser assumptions and are simpler. Excellent models reconcile paradox and give deeper insight into this objective truth or reality.

Science is always antagonistic to the received knowledge of the elder, requiring challenge of such received wisdom, and substituting a deeper understanding of reality with a more superficial understanding. The history of science is that it is often the minority or the opinion of one that ultimately proves to be valid and not the consensus.

Science begins with observation or anecdotes From many anecdotes, a hypothesis is proposed. This is not a static step. As more information is gained, the hypothesis may be modified or it may be abandoned.

What is the truth of HCQ and its effectiveness against SARS2? We don’t know because there has been no clinical study to test the hypothesis that HCQ is useful to prevent the progression of the disease to the severe state known as ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome).

The publicized studies to date look at the effectiveness of HCQ AFTER he onset of ARDS. Some show a detrimental effect; some show a neutral effect The studies are not well structured and rarely account for severity of the disease. There is some reason to believe that HCQ given in the late stages of the disease may be slightly detrimental due to their effect on glucose availability and already compromised T cell function. The question of QT prolongation in the non-hospitalized population is not a problem. It may have some minimal significance in the hospitalized population who are already in a severe state of extremis. But then, what doesn’t?

So, is science politicized? it appears to be so as the actual hypothesis, HCQ+Zinc+azithromycin (if the patient transitions to the shortness of breath stage) has not only NOT been tested, it has been actively ignored. And the clinical study is simple: do patients treated the HCQ regimen have a lower level of hospitalization then non-patients? A simple clinical test and easily constructed.

And then we have the virulence of the virus. To determine the virulence we need to now the infection rate in the general population, the case rate (the number who become symptomatic and not those who just seek medical care), and the death rate. We need to acknowledge that there is a background death rate that increases with age. The background population death rate is less than 1% but for the elderly, the most likely to succumb, it is 12.5X as high. Normalization of the death rate with the background death rate gives a true sense o fthe virulence and distinguishes those who die with the virus (such as a homicide) from those who die with the virus. The failure to do this and the official position to conflate the stats, also speaks to politicalization.

What is science? Science is a philosophy that postulates there is an objective truth.

Nope. Totally compatible with the outright rejection of ontology.

Science is always antagonistic to the received knowledge of the elder, requiring challenge of such received wisdom, and substituting a deeper understanding of reality with a more superficial understanding.

“The elder”? Whatever. Show that gravity needs</> to be quantized for any reason other than “naturalness.”

The history of science is that it is often the minority or the opinion of one that ultimately proves to be valid and not the consensus.

How did that work out for Andrew Wiles? Kolmogorov? George Smoot? Go ahead, dig up your list of brave maverick Nobel laureates in Physics. I don’t think you even get Feynman.

Generative Pretrained Transformer 2, commonly known by its abbreviated form GPT-2, is an unsupervised Transformer language model, a generative model of language. GPT-2 was first announced in February 2019, with only limited demonstrative versions initially released to the public. The full version of GPT-2 was not immediately released out of concern over potential misuse, including applications for writing fake news.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GPT-2#GPT-2

If that were indeed what is going on here then I think it is doing a damn fine job. Pathcoin1, despite the occasional homicidal tendancy, seems, indeed, to be a competent pathologist.

What precisely is hilarious? I have a lot of tolerance for humor of very very very bad taste, so you needn’t shy explaining. I mean, I too can make fun of science:

@F – I have to laugh at some of the insanity going on right now. George Carlin spoke A LOT of truth. Miss him. Thanks for the link.

Have you heard of Killing Joke? If I recall correctly, you are a fan of post punk. These guys have been around since the ’80s. This song was released in 2015. If not for the subject material, too industrial/goth for my casual listening taste but good for a workout. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4wdbibV3IM

@ Tim:

Pop tart cat is a much better use of video than most of the altie BS I survey. We could even dance to it: you can’t dance to Del Bigtree.or Gary Null.

-btw-
I was able to acquire Microsoft Edge BY MYSELF and can still read twitter, see language and physiotherapy videos. The final result is clumsier than what I had but
it will suffice..

I was able to acquire Microsoft Edge BY MYSELF…The final result is clumsier than what I had but it will suffice..

👍🏽

The interface?? Some of the ‘clumsiness’ may be all the wonderful new “features” that your old browser did not support. Edge. 😿

Rush, The Trees — Hemispheres, 1978

But, for me, this whole thing is about police violence and freewheeling murdering, in general:

Interesting report, but alas, many mistakes. In fact, there was no “large study” retracted, because there was no large study done. There was a report in The Lancet, ( and now NEJM) that was retracted. Since the entire data bank is fraudulent, there was not a large number of patients, there were no patients. Since the numbers reported made no sense, there clearly was no “study” done. What happened was a single person, Dr. Desai of Surgisphere, made up a lot of numbers and submitted them to a gullible academic cardiologist who got them printed in a leading medical journal. It took me three hours to confirm this yesterday. First, I called the company, which claims to have the largest medical databank in the world, with “petabytes of data”. I got an off-site, receptionist who works for a phone answering service, not Surgisphere. I then had a friend in Chicago check out the corporate office, listed as the Hancock Center on Michigan Avenue. Agai, . this was a front, used by many small companies who pay a fee to have their mail delivered to an impressive location. I then called Epic Corporation, one of the largest providers of electronic medical records in the world. The only way Surgisphere could possibly quickly collect data on 90,000 patients in a thousand hospitals on all six continents in less than 5 weeks is by piggy-backing on existing electronic medical records. Epic assured me that they have no relationship with Surgisphere and never shares data this way. So, Dr. Desai basically claims that he has detailed, complex medical-legal contracts with a thousand hospitals on six continents that allow him access to all patient data on a real-time basis, when in reality, his company doesn’t even have an office or a phone number of their own, and he was a part-time employee of Surgisphere until a couple of weeks before the study began.

To summarize:

There were no patients studied.

There was no data collected.

There was no study of of the “data” ( until reviewed by outsiders who immediately noted that it was not true)

In reality, a fraudulent paper (papers now) was retracted when the submitters were caught.

with thanks to Bill “Hoop” Russell who did the Chicago legwork

Interesting report, but alas, many mistakes. In fact, there was no “large study” retracted

Did you miss the part where you’re the only person to have used this phrase?

And your point is? Was there an actual large study that was designed and executed? Please send me a copy of all the data they collected from actual patients.

There was a large fraud perpetrated, but there was no actual study. No actual medical data company. No actual headquarters or office of said company.

My point is that multiple academic physicians signed an author statement hat they participated in the design and execution of a study. But when questions were immediately raised, there were unable to provide the data that the study reportedly was based on. The reason they were not able to do that is because the data never existed in the first place. I know this to be true because the company, Surgisphere, barely exists. No actual office, a phone number that connects to a answering service and essentially no employees.

if only scoffers/ anti-vaxxers could learn from their mistakes when more information comes in!
But then ,unlike Orac, they make lots of mistakes, all of the time and have multiple opportunities to learn and THEY STILL DON’T!

Does this mean our esteemed host feels he must invoke his inner Jake Six-Degrees-of-Separation more often? Or, as my father used to say: “even Homer nods.”

Oh jeez, I’d forgotten all about Young Master Crosby. Does anybody have any updates?

I’m too tired to see whether there’s a chat board for Jacksonville call girls.

Mike S: “You only briefly mention the elephant in the room – and that is everything, including science, is now fully politicized.”

“Everything”? “Fully politicized”? I suppose we should then disregard your post as mere political posturing. 🙂

Pretending that all of science is contaminated by politics, money or whatever one’s fantasy evils happen to be is not only a grotesque exaggeration, it’s an excuse to believe nonsense, and an invitation to disaster.

Pretending that all of science is contaminated by politics, money or whatever one’s fantasy evils happen to be.. [snip] (wrong)<<

Unfortunately we’re all in a situation where Mike is correct and contamination is the default position; the name of science is often wielded like a cudgel. I’m merely a computer “scientist” (not a real scientist at all) so I’ll speak as a layman observer.

It’s increasingly difficult to not notice political affiliations. It’s clear that most of the most rabid global warming alarmists are highly anti-corporate, if not anti-capitalist, and advocate the transformation of society. And which political party is anti-corporate? Hint: not the MAGA hat crowd. Not only is it clear, it is understood: a given.

This is also bleeding into the health related arena, where veganism and other nutritional studies posing as science are rife with nonsense. If eating/consuming “X” is said to be bad and it’s held that “X” is in any way related to corporate farming, it’s highly unlikely the author is a flag waving, apple pie munching red stater, and the mere mention of the phrase corporate farming is unlikely to be complimentary. If a pop-science article involves pesticides, what are the chances said article a) finds them benign, and b) is written by a completely neutral, apolitical observer? We all know the answer. Don’t pretend otherwise. The political affiliation portends a biased study or report, one that is aligned with the affiliation.

So when someone makes a pronouncement of any sort, first thing we do is look at the politics to see what the angle is. And in my case, when I detect even a whiff of anti MAGA or anti-Trump, I discount this as probable rubbish on the spot. And why? I’m no Trump voter. It’s because when the author needs to make sure I see his/her position, s/he’s trying to sell something, not engage in dispassionate discussion. It’s unlikely to be actual science.

Most of us in the 96% of humanity that isn’t American don’t give a rat’s ass about American politics (we have our own, thanks for asking), and while it can affect international agreements on difficult topics the science is largely untainted by your politicians. Apart from the opportunity for us to engage in derisive humor your voting habits are…illuminating.

@ Randomengineer de Leather

You write: “It’s increasingly difficult to not notice political affiliations. It’s clear that most of the most rabid global warming alarmists are highly anti-corporate, if not anti-capitalist, and advocate the transformation of society. And which political party is anti-corporate? Hint: not the MAGA hat crowd. Not only is it clear, it is understood: a given.”

Really, the fact that over 95% of climate scientists all over the world agree that global warming is real is simply “anti-corporate” and “anti-capitalists?” Besides the OVERWHELMING evidence of global warming, capitalists are making money on wind turbines, solar panels, solar arrays, batterie driven cars, and eventually, what I consider a much better alternative, hydrogen-fuel cars. And on and on it goes. Yep, it does challenge some current industries; but so what? Despite strong science industry added lead to cars in the 1920s and it took 70 years to ban it. Overwhelming evidence links it with lower IQs, behavior problems in kids, etc. So, do you believe that industries should be allowed to market any and all products without any checks on them?

As for veganism, there are no studies that find it less healthy and a number that it is healthier. Moderate eating of meat and dairy is probably OK; but we have increased average intake of meat exponentially since 1950s and there is OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE THAT VEGAN DIETS OFTEN HAVE LOWER RATES OF CANCER AND CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE. Of course, a vegan has to make sure they get the essentials, one, in particular, vitamin B12 can’t be had from a vegan diet; but one low level tablet per day is all that is necessary. And, perhaps, vitamin D3, and iron supplements. And if you think that proves vegan diets not healthy, I should remind you that dairy products in U.S.have added vitamin D3, many foods have added folic acid, breakfast cereals are often fortified, etc.

And corporate farming is both cruel and unhealthy. As a kid we went to a local market, the butcher showed my mother a piece of ground round, then ground it for hamburger meat. Came from local farms. Now we have huge factory farms where they mix meats from numerous animals, result e-coli. In addition, range fed beef has much higher levels of Omega 3s. As for the cruelty, it is beyond belief.

As for pesticides, they do work in short run; but in long run are counter-productive. Take DDT it did kill insects for a few years; but the insects mutated and came back with a vengeance; but it also killed other insects and birds that kept crop destroying insects levels down. So, on to the next pesticide. But DDT has a long half life and remains in the soil for years. In addition, they have found allergic reactions to a number of pesticides and some linked to cancer. In Europe they require the precautionary principle, first research that show pesticide doesn’t do harm, the use; but in U.S. we allow, then once used force off market; but half-lives remain. Also, some research shows DDT associated with some cancers and on court discovery that manufacturer targeted researchers to discredit them. Finally, as early as late 1940s found DDT wasn’t working, so at first they just increased amounts exponentially, saturating everything. Finally, discovered works best if just impregnant bed nets and walls in huts. I have several books on history of malaria. And there are better methods to control insects, e.g., crop rotation, etc.

You write: “The political affiliation portends a biased study or report, one that is aligned with the affiliation. So when someone makes a pronouncement of any sort, first thing we do is look at the politics to see what the angle is. And in my case, when I detect even a whiff of anti MAGA or anti-Trump, I discount this as probable rubbish on the spot.”

As opposed to the likes of you, I actually look at the study, its methodology, etc. Then look to see if other evidence to support. Doesn’t matter to me the political affiliation. However, Trump is in a league of his own. Numerous studies conclude that if he had acted earlier, at least 1/2 to 2/3 of American deaths from COVID-19 could have been prevented. Instead, he got rid of White House pandemic committee, cut early on funding to CDC, and even sold abroad Personal Protective Equipment. And when he banned travelers from China, only Chinese, not Americans returning, who should have been quarantined, etc. Trump has made it clear he doesn’t need science advisors, he considers himself an intuitive genius. Rather than study issues, he devotes time and energy in tweeting insults. And he is first president in my life-time to actually polarize our nation. Even dispersing a peaceful demonstrations with tear-gas so he could do a photo-op at a church. Whether you voted for him or not, you certainly have the mentality of those who did.

Hi Dr Harrison,

You’re making my point, thanks. I was careful to note the reading of pop-sci (layman) articles, not studies. Laymen tend to not read studies, so any observation of laity opinion necessarily derives thusly.

In direct answer, I’ll focus on one minor subject. There’s a vast difference between understanding the reality of global warming and alarmism. One can observe rising temps and impute human activity contributing. This is not alarmism, where we see breathless claims of imminent disaster. For example I’m still waiting for the Maldives to sink and the 50-100 million climate refugees forecast to cause global mayhem as they are driven from their homes. Both of these things were supposed to be an emergency by 2012 if you listened to alarmists. The majority of scientists are not alarmists, but the few who are seem to be over-represented in articles intended for the laity.

Instead of grasping the notion that politics infests science articles and is easily detected as per Mike S’s original comment, you responded to me with rather ugly derision and assumption of both ignorance and political inclinations based solely on my observation of how politics manifests in articles. You assume anyone who makes this observation to be the worst of the worst, a global warming denier (akin to being a Yale man to Thurston Howell III.) It was a politically driven tirade you delivered, which is the point. Quelle surprise.

Regards

RE

@ Randomengineer de Leather

If you want to make the point that activists on climate change tend to be lefties, yes, I’d agree. Should this be a surprise? No. Are they always making the most sensible of points? No. Are they sometimes using climate change to bolster their own left-wing agenda? Yes. Do they sometimes do emotional blackmail on the topic? Yes, sometimes. Are all persons concerned by climate change lefties? No. Are righties less concerned by climate change? Yes. Is climate change a hoax? No. Am I a leftie? Not in most conceivable senses of the word. Does climate science make sense? Yes. Should we do something about it? Clearly yes. Should we do clearly more than we are doing now? Clearly yes. Should we blow up capitalism? Not to my sense. Should we curtail maritime trade when nonsensical? To my sense, yes. Are there more urgent matters than climate change? I do see some. Is climate change not an urgent matter? Obviously not. Is Greta Thurnberg under the influence of ultra-left groups? Some elements point to that, and, so what? Is Greta Thurnberg illegitimate to do what she does because she’s an autistic kid? Of course not. Have attacks on here been undecent? Pretty much so. Is she right to tell politicians to listen to science? How could she be wrong about that, either in the abstract, or in the concrete? May I ask… Am I annoyed by people using climate change as a political tool? Very much so. So much so that I even refuse to discuss the topic whenever some self-righteous jerk tries to make irrelevant points on the topic and engages in emotional blackmail. So much that I believe this kind of behaviour should be prosecuted at some point when critical thresholds of bad faith are reached. I’m fine being a “despicable human being” and a “climate change denier” in their eyes. In fact, it’s my comfort zone in the current climate.

Now that I have stated what seems to me to be the obvious, what was your point precisely? That science is politicised? Not that much, honestly. People are… And what you call alarmism does exist. It’s self-righteous and annoying, and even when self-righteous jerks believes that it’s a white lie (most such people do not even think it’s a white lie and engage in cherry-picking much like their opponents do because they have the same level of maturity), the efficiency of the white lie is very much debatable as it feeds into the denialism cycle.

Doesn’t change the fact that climate change is a real issue.

Again, what was your point precisely? Politicisation? Sigh… read the studies if you’re annoyed of TV. And avoid cherry-picking.

There you go.

Oh! And beware: I’m so much of a leftie that I defend (some) tax havens.

Reading all EMRs of the world would be a much more complex project.

Duh? That is what the machine learning is for. All the hospitals probably caught a RAT (remote access trojan) when visiting Surgisphere cryptocurrency webpage to see if they were interested in partnering up.

How is Johns Hopkins getting their stats?

As I said, they could sell their superduper machine learning program. If things were this simple, why did Project Cobalt I mentioned cost 117 million and still failed ? Just little machine learning should obviously have done the thing.

If things were this simple, why did Project Cobalt I mentioned cost 117 million and still failed ?

Because it was being fed crap data? Insurance is a scam. If they will no longer insure me against ‘bad behavior by my clone’ in this day and age, fuck those guys.

Complex but not impossible. There multiple vendors that can interpret non-structured data. Fortunately for this type of study the data is likely structured as all that is needed is demographics, diagnostic codes, laboratory results and medications. If we can’t do this, then the billions spent on EMR’s were truly wasted. This does not include the hours wasted by putting in useless data required for payment of services.

Now that’s a bit unfair. Not every HCQ advocate is a loon who’d drink Flavr-Aide if Trump said so. Some of them independently came up with the idea that HCQ is cure-all; just because they are engaged in desperate wishful thinking doesn’t mean that they suffer from TDS.

True.

But it’s also true that some right wingers have a problem of this kind, and this feeds into politics. Such as rants against Lévy and Buzyn.

Based on the way the author subjectively pre-judges and characterizes people on both sides I expect he will commit this error again and again for some time to come

While your acknowledgment here is refreshing, the politicization of this whole issue is troubling. A politician has a favorable (if without a strong scientific basis) opinion of a drug, and his political opponents go absolutely batshit crazy trying to prove him wrong. As did the general “scientific” community, who opposed an enthusiastic lay-person weighing in. It seems to have become a mission of many to prove Trump wrong. That is a dangerous approach to science, but not unprecedented. Witness the overwhelming effort to prove anthropomorphic global warming. Any time the search for the truth becomes a mission to prove an a priori belief, science itself is endangered, as the standards for evidence are lowered and contradictory evidence or viewpoints are hidden or silenced. The sin here wasn’t falling for a faulty study, it was allowing science to take a back seat to a rooting interest in a particular outcome.

As I understand it, the root of the interest in HCQ is an observation by several physicians who prescribe it, that patients on it, anecdotally, seem to not show up on the rolls of COVID-19 patients. That suggests, perhaps, a prophylactic effect of some sort, and there is some scientific basis, in vitro, to suggest that there may be an effect. Great. Let’s test it. Minnesota was the best of a collection of incredibly poorly designed attempts to apply science (or what passes for science) to this question. It was underpowered and not really designed to find a moderate prophylactic effect, which is in fact suggested by the data. And 80% of the participants weren’t actually tested for COVID-19. So, it doesn’t tell us much. One option seems unexplored: the data exists within large insurance datasets for an observational study that would tell us more. What is the rate of COVID-19, corrected for known confounding diagnoses and geographic location, among those taking/not taking HCQ? Pretty simple for those with access to the data. Not quite an RCT, but far better than anything yet on offer.

My background is in the social sciences, where long ago, certain questions were deemed un-askable and certain outcomes un-publishable, due to political sensitivities. In truth, the social sciences never amounted to much anyway. Too many independent variables. Too hard to control for them. Too situational. Too easy to manipulate the data for an audience that was too wedded to a specific outcome. So, the fact that science is only pretended at in the social sciences does little harm. It was never actually taken very seriously. The bleed-over of that rooting interest in a specific outcome into the hard sciences, though, is very troubling. Without some serious soul-searching, the credibility of science itself is at-risk.

@ Tom

“It seems to have become a mission of many to prove Trump wrong.”

Well, we merely have to lay back and watch: he’s doing the job of proving himself wrong all by himself most of the time…

“Witness the overwhelming effort to prove anthropomorphic global warming. Any time the search for the truth becomes a mission to prove an a priori belief, science itself is endangered, as the standards for evidence are lowered and contradictory evidence or viewpoints are hidden or silenced.”

It’s not exactly how things have worked out on this topic. The biggest problem with climate change deniers has been that, basically, they do not want to acknowledge anything on the topic: the first question one should ask them is “what would you do if that were true?”. Then they’ll start jumping around saying “But it isn’t!”. I know the feeling: when I was a kid learning maths, my father once explained to me reductio ab absurdo this way: “Suppose that hypothesis A is true, then…”. I’d then kept interrupting him yelling “But it isn’t!”. Took me a while to understand that you could reason in a hypothetical fashion this way… Now, it’s firmly understood. Climate change deniers are still stuck where I was: they do not want to consider a hypothesis that contradicts their worldview. Because if they did, they would have to consider the following question: “What should we do if climate change is “anthropogenic”?” as you put it. Once you manage to break through this bit, things start to get a bit more sensible…

And yes, there is a level of taboo in scientific institutions when you start considering the same question “what if climate change is not anthropogenic”? Witnessed it at my local university, where I fancied playing the prick. Allowed me to pinpoint that the taboo seems to be mostly tied to funding issues on competing scientific priorities, where some grudges on the sacralisation of climate change issues seems to have grown over time. And also, yes, when stakes are high, people do not tend to look kindly on climate change deniers and behave less than kindly towards people, even scientists, voicing their doubts too loudly.

“The sin here wasn’t falling for a faulty study, it was allowing science to take a back seat to a rooting interest in a particular outcome.”

It was mostly a faulty (i.e. a fraudulent study and a faulty system) study. Other people like Raoult took a rooted interested in a particular outcome, because hydroxychloroquine, like most medications, is likely not a panacea, all the more when evidence is “flimsy”. And to make the point that one should not do science the Raoult way, yes, scientists did themselves go overboard with a “told you so!” mentality. Does that surprise you? Is it really rooting in “against” hydroxychloroquine? A bit weird to see so many people complaining about overmedication and overprescription, and, at the same time, wanting coronavirus patients to be overmedicated… So, in a nutshell, when you’re healthy, overmedication is bad; and when you’re sick, overmedication can only be good and anything flies? Really? Isn’t the concept of overmedication and overprescription supposed to be applied to the situation of sick people in the first place? What use would that concept be if that were not the case? Merely bashing Big Pharma? Does the public want to settle scores with Big Pharma on the back of patients? Seems like it, in some twisted ways.

“As I understand it, the root of the interest in HCQ is an observation by several physicians who prescribe it, that patients on it, anecdotally, seem to not show up on the rolls of COVID-19 patients.”

Might very well be motivated reasoning. That’s precisely one of the root causes of overmedication and overprescription in the first place.

“That suggests, perhaps, a prophylactic effect of some sort, and there is some scientific basis, in vitro, to suggest that there may be an effect.”

Not “suggests”, but “raises the question”. And yes, “in vitro”. Have you heard of translational medicine?

“Great. Let’s test it.”

Are you claiming that this is not currently the case? That it’s not being tested?

“Minnesota was the best of a collection of incredibly poorly designed attempts to apply science (or what passes for science) to this question.”

A link would be appreciated. I do not fancy crawling the Internet for the sheer pleasure of it.

“My background is in the social sciences, where long ago, certain questions were deemed un-askable and certain outcomes un-publishable, due to political sensitivities.”

Still is today, if you ask me.

“In truth, the social sciences never amounted to much anyway. Too many independent variables. Too hard to control for them. Too situational. Too easy to manipulate the data for an audience that was too wedded to a specific outcome.”

All true. Doesn’t change the fact that we need social sciences more than ever, because, precisely, as you put, the “audience” is “too wedded to a specific outcome.” A perfect point to justify their existence and the pressure on them to become more scientific. And to some extent, medicine is not only biology, but also has a social science aspect that you cannot honestly evade. One more point to justify their existence and the pressure on them to become more scientific.

“So, the fact that science is only pretended at in the social sciences does little harm. It was never actually taken very seriously.”

On the contrary. It is taken seriously. Even anthropology is taken “seriously” in the way it influences political ideologies, and some ideologies in the area of psychology on which some medical practices, i.e. real world stuff, draw their legitimacy.

“The bleed-over of that rooting interest in a specific outcome into the hard sciences, though, is very troubling. Without some serious soul-searching, the credibility of science itself is at-risk.”

It’s not the case. Many people, though, are bent on instrumentalising science and have rooted interests. That’s not new. It’s even the job of science and scientific experimentation to draw the line. Remember the Edison-Tesla feud over the safety of alternating current? Deep vested interests for the electrification of New York. Science did, by experimentation, draw the line: Tesla’s experiment was to show that he could safely electrify himself in some kind of Palpatine cosplay.

Edison’s experiment was to invent the electric chair.

I do not see what soul searching you’re talking about…

The biggest problem in science vs. politics is that all sides are twisting the narratives. Yes, industries do twist narratives. Bigots also do, trying to pigeonhole all their fantasies in scientific terms. Are you 100% certain you are focusing on all the persons twisting narratives? Or only on one side? And are 100% certain that you are not attacking the people that attempt to avoid instrumentalisation of science on the basis of that retraction?

Retractions happen rather often, and when it does happen, we should all open a bottle of champagne and get wasted. Now more than ever.

Gotta love the “denier” label with respect to climate. But, I prefer skeptic. It strikes me as odd that most conversations with believers start with a presumption of proof. Isn’t the assessment of that “proof” what skeptical inquiry is about? You know, science. I ask this all the time of believers: show me a scientific theory and predictive model that accommodates the large number of known historic large and small cycles, and sometimes rapid and unexplained changes, of temperature and atmospheric carbon. In fact, at nearly every point in the planet’s history, temperature was either rising or falling, atmospheric carbon was either rising or falling – both sometimes above current levels. Maybe limit the analysis to the last 400 million years. Not 1890, please. Usually, they storm off and call me an idiot, but they prove my point in doing so. A scientist would instead educate me past my skepticism, “read…it shows…”

Typically, the believers have no idea. They can’t point to any such study and have no actual knowledge. They just know that in polite company, you must believe. I’m waiting. I’m not a denier. I’m not saying that it isn’t happening. I’m saying that I haven’t seen convincing evidence, but I’d be open to it. What would I do if it were true? I’d petition to prosecute all carbon-based travel, especially private jet/yacht travel, by believers, for starters. It’s one thing to be a dumb, uninformed skeptic and kick up a bunch of carbon, but to do so knowingly would be a premeditated crime against humanity. Al Gore. Mike Bloomberg. Nancy Pelosi. Hollywood elites. Academics jaunting to far off climate change conferences. All shameful hypocritical criminals if what they believe is really true. As a believer, what are you doing about it?

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blockquote>Gotta love the “denier” label with respect to climate. But, I prefer skeptic.

Nope. Climate science deniers are not “skeptics.” They like to try to call themselves “skeptics,” but their behavior is very un-skeptical. They cherry pick studies and ignore the mass of data that don’t support them. They Gish gallop. They use arguments rife with logical fallacies. No, climate science deniers are most definitely not skeptics.

@ Tom

“Gotta love the “denier” label with respect to climate.”

In fact, I honestly do not care either about the label nor about the deniers.

“But, I prefer skeptic.”

Suit yourself. Orac explained to you why it is not appropriate, but hey, call yourself what you want. For all I care…

“It strikes me as odd that most conversations with believers start with a presumption of proof. Isn’t the assessment of that “proof” what skeptical inquiry is about? You know, science.”

Are you claiming that you can find no scientific paper claiming that there is a climate change? None at all?

“I ask this all the time of believers: show me a scientific theory and predictive model that accommodates the large number of known historic large and small cycles, and sometimes rapid and unexplained changes, of temperature and atmospheric carbon.”

In medicine, you do not need any hypothesis concerning the mechanism of action of a drug to show that it has or does not have an effect. Even people who advocate for homeopathy seem to understand that at times. Once you have recognised that, we may move on to a few preliminaries on time series analysis, because that’s a huge part of the discussion on climate change. The basic concept of time series analysis is that you get data, and you let the data speak in order to perform what is called model selection. That’s your “model”. Your “predictive” “model”. You’re strong on time series analysis? It can be a tricky topic…

“In fact, at nearly every point in the planet’s history, temperature was either rising or falling, atmospheric carbon was either rising or falling – both sometimes above current levels.”

And?

“Maybe limit the analysis to the last 400 million years. Not 1890, please. Usually, they storm off and call me an idiot, but they prove my point in doing so.”

Because when you say you have a black buddy and people call you a racist for the sole reason that you claimed that you have a black buddy, they were indeed legitimate in deriving that appreciation on the basis that you had a black buddy? Gimme a break with these mind-fuck double-standards…

“A scientist would instead educate me past my skepticism, “read…it shows…””

A scientist is generally too busy for that kind of thing. They do not have enough time to educate themselves among themselves… That’s why they write… papers! Yep! What you need to know is in what’s called “papers”. And they can be a bitch to read, I acknowledge that. More seriously, you can always start here.

“Typically, the believers have no idea.”

Right. And you’re both a telepath and a psychiatrist. I’m dying to know you.

“They can’t point to any such study and have no actual knowledge.”

Yawn. So indeed, you are claiming that no studies have ever been done on climate change… I’m beginning to loose my complacency and feel I’m less and less bound by the principle of charity towards you.

“They just know that in polite company, you must believe.”

Oh yeah? What polite company do the “believer” that I am has? With my homicidal temper, I try to avoid any company. Can’t say the lockdown bothered me in any way…

“I’m waiting. I’m not a denier.”

You’re denying that you’re a denier. How sweet. But you do deny that there ever has been any study performed on the topic of climate change, as far as I’ve understood. So, technically you’re a denier of the existence of the studies themselves…

“I’m not saying that it isn’t happening.”

And I do not care that it’s happening. Are we starting to bond?

“I’m saying that I haven’t seen convincing evidence, but I’d be open to it.”

Did you have a look at the… what’s it called again…ah!… the “papers”? The one you’re denying the very existence of?

“What would I do if it were true? I’d petition to prosecute all carbon-based travel, especially private jet/yacht travel, by believers, for starters.”

OK. So you see science as a way to get at people you do not like. Who cares about the jet-set and the yachts? Are they the problem? Likely not. Start looking at figures of carbon emissions, make a list of biggest polluters, do not pick and chose as your fantasies see fit, and you’ll get a bit closer to the right answer. Hey! I’m not even giving names, or targeting companies. I’m simply telling you: the right answer cannot be obtained simply by exhibiting your grudges. But by looking at the data by yourself, and start coming to conclusions by yourself. Because if you’re sick of people telling you what to believe, it’s your responsibility to do that effort yourself: pick a methodology before looking at the data, stick to it, and come to your conclusions irrespective of your prejudice. That’s how one proceeds scientifically.

“It’s one thing to be a dumb, uninformed skeptic and kick up a bunch of carbon, but to do so knowingly would be a premeditated crime against humanity. Al Gore. Mike Bloomberg. Nancy Pelosi. Hollywood elites.”

You left out satanic pedophiles…

“Academics jaunting to far off climate change conferences. All shameful hypocritical criminals if what they believe is really true. As a believer, what are you doing about it?”

For the moment, given my personal history, I’m rather busy engaging in pathological self-soothing of my homicidal impulses and fantasies. It’s been getting a bit better recently. Keeps me busy, but I can’t say you’re helping me restore my faith in humanity… Any other smart question?

The notion that the scientific community around the world set out on evaluations of hydroxychloroquine with the objective of proving Trump wrong is utterly preposterous and nearly indistinguishable from the argument that anything that Big Pharma can’t make a fast buck on will be suppressed. There were plenty of established antiviral drugs that needed to be evaluated and wasting time trying to prove one didn’t work instead of seeking one that would work (and thus winning world-wide acclaim) would be perverse indeed. There is neither fame nor fortune for anyone who adds to the mountain range of evidence that Trump is stupid and ignorant.

Many, many studies of HCQ got underway precisely because a multitude of physicians and scientists all over the planet would be absolutely thrilled to find a common inexpensive drug would have significant value in coping with this new and exceedingly disruptive disease. Trump did nothing but lower the (public) signal to noise ratio.

the root of the interest in HCQ is an observation by several physicians who prescribe it, that patients on it, anecdotally, seem to not show up on the rolls of COVID-19 patients.

People with Lupus tend to naturally self-isolate. Same with those suffering debilitating arthritis — So, there is booming employment for others mowing their grass and getting/delivering their groceries.

Only to be told to get off their lawn 5 seconds later. /s /for real

@ Pathcoin1

First, it isn’t just an immune response that kills, in some cases the virus does direct damage to cells. Second, half of the American population has at least one comorbidity and some just have a genetic predisposition. Despite everything, 20% were below 64. Third, asymptomatic individuals can still infect others. Fourth, they have found that some individuals are superspreaders, e.g., higher level of viruses, etc. Fourth, even if the chances are small, wearing a mask and keeping a minimal physical distances are minor inconveniences. It’s called the precautionary principle. Fifth, those who survive often have long-term, perhaps, permanent problems. Sixth, herd immunity will significantly reduce the number of new cases; but at the expense of many dying who wouldn’t, many being hospitalized, often developing long-term problems, who wouldn’t. Who among your friends and loved ones are expendable? And, even more will die while building herd immunity because hospitals will be overwhelmed if we didn’t flatten the curve.

So, maybe you have a genetic predisposition, maybe not; but your self-centered callous disregard for others is DESPICABLE. I repeat, it is a minor inconvenience to wear a mask and maintain physical distancing.

No one said the virus was not dangerous and that contacting the virus will not make one sick. The virus has increased virulence, definitely greater than the standard seasonal flu, and perhaps on the order a bad seasonal flu due to a new flu strain as is what happened with H1/N1.

We have a methodology problem. To know the virulence of the virus we need to know the infection rate, the case rate, and the fatality rate. The infection rate is equaI to the viral positive rate plus the antibody positive rate. The antibody positive rate assumes everyone who had the virus and is now viral negative, developed an antibody response. Until recently we have not had antibody tests available and there are still problems. But it is clear that the virus is relatively widespread in the population. Reporting out the number of cases, without reference to the total number of tests and the number of symptomatic patients is misleading.

In order to control a pathogen in the population herd immunity is needed. Experience suggests that 50% to 80% of the population needs to be immune to obtain herd immunity. Experience also shows that as the viral season progresses, the severity of disease decreases. This is usually called attenuation but we will don’t know why this happens. The virus may mutate into a less pathogenic/virulent state. Developing herd immunity may mitigate symptoms.

Lock downs are not without significant costs: economic, health and emotional. Many people die from economic distress for a number of reasons. Two well researched are increased suicide and failure to obtain medical care for other conditions.

We do know some things about its virulence: obesity, diabetes type 2, and age makes it worse. Hyperglycemia makes it worse. Paradoxically, fructose doesn’t call hyperglycemia but is better at inactivating IRF5 (and predisposing to autoimmune disease/cytokine storm). Testosterone makes it worse. Estrogen and progesterone are protective. Low vitamin tD is associated with a worse outcome, likely due to the need for vitamin D for optimal immune response. Sunlight makes it be better due to the fact that strong sunlight kills the virus and affects the immune system.

So a rational response is:
Go outside; get sufficient sunlight (about 20 minutes per day, fair skinned, late morning or early afternoon); take vitamin D supplementation; avoid heavily sugared snacks, especially those that contain high fructose corn syrup. Practice enhanced hygiene with hand washing and use of a mask. (Epidemiology studies from Asia where mask wearing if sick from an upper respiratory infection do help).

Encourage some social interaction to promote herd immunity.

If you are high risk with diabetes, obesity, or hyperglycemia be more vigilant and consider sheltering in place.

If you are a male on testosterone supplementation, stop it for awhile.

Go on with your life.

@ Pathcoin1

You write: “In order to control a pathogen in the population herd immunity is needed. Experience suggests that 50% to 80% of the population needs to be immune to obtain herd immunity. Experience also shows that as the viral season progresses, the severity of disease decreases. This is usually called attenuation but we will don’t know why this happens. The virus may mutate into a less pathogenic/virulent state. Developing herd immunity may mitigate symptoms.”

Yep, herd immunity would be great; but, first, we don’t know even how long immunity will persist; but, more importantly, to reach herd immunity we will expose many who will end up extremely sick and even die. Flattening the curve ensures that hospitals will be able to accept all patients. Without this, there will be more deaths than from flattening the curve. Flattening the curve also allows time to test and develop treatments and a vaccine. So, yep, if we only want herd immunity, let’s accept higher death rates, higher rates of suffering, and higher rates of long term disabilities, perhaps permanent. And, again, we don’t know how long immunity will even last, so herd immunity may not be as good for COVID-19 as other airborne infectious diseases.

As for economic costs. First, if you are wrong, the costs will be much much higher as our healthcare system is overwhelmed, many on long term convalescence, etc. Second, if our nation was not devoting so much money to the Congressional-Military-Industrial complex, not to defend us, mostly lies; but to further the interests of corporations, e.g., either selling weapons or gaining control of resources, e.g., oil, we would have far more funds available to help in situations like this. Third, if we haven’t had continuous Republican Presidents engineer ever lower taxes on already wealthy corporations and individuals, again we would have more funds available. And even now much of the “rescue” funds are going to companies who were on the verge of bankruptcy prior to the pandemic and to companies doing quite well. Most of our current national debt is monies wasted on military and tax reductions to the wealthy and corporations who did quite well prior to these reductions.

As for suicides, not as high as a few studies found, other studies didn’t find. And data on those not seeking health care suffering does exist; but if we weren’t flattening the curve, the numbers would be much much higher. And, despite everything, their numbers don’t come close to the deaths and suffering from COVID-19.

As for vitamin D, NOPE. Only if low levels. It is a fat soluble vitamin and our cells can only use so much at a time. Since it is in daily products, etc. it would only be slightly helpful for those with low amounts in their bodies; but studies show not all that helpful for most. And only wearing a mask if you are sick means those asymptomatically will be free to infect others. The evidence isn’t clear; but I prefer to err on the side of caution. I don’t want to get sick and I certainly do NOT want to endanger others; but, then again, I was raised to believe I’m part of a community.

I could go on and one; but obviously you have made it clear that you are against the lockdown and callous towards the lives of others. And it would be virtually impossible to protect all those, both with known comorbidities and unknown genetic predispositions. However, had Trump acted a couple of weeks earlier, we could have nipped it in the bud and use less drastic approaches. So, if you are wrong, stating “go on with your life” could mean more deaths. And having studied for over 40 years infectious diseases and their histories, we could be in for something far worse. Yep, it could mutate to a less virulent form; but, then again, maybe not. Whose lives are you willing to risk, to sacrifice???

You spout information; but I doubt you have the background and devoted time and effort into studying it. You cherry pick what suits your callous disregard for the risks.

@Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

As for vitamin D, NOPE. Only if low levels. It is a fat soluble vitamin and our cells can only use so much at a time. Since it is in daily products, etc.

I think you meant ‘dairy’ and I don’t think that is true for all of the world that it is supplemented.

He is not saying only wear a mask when sick (Or is he?? that would indeed be… awkward; “Encourage some social interaction to promote herd immunity**.”).

Practice enhanced hygiene with hand washing and use of a mask. (Eidemiology studies from Asia where mask wearing if sick from an upper respiratory infection do help).

Another good reason for all to wear a mask is so that those who are sick are not stigmatised so that they might shun putting it on.

**I get that plauge parties can be all the rage amongst the low risk groups, and help to achieve that ‘herd’ thing. But, more and more, it looks like this pathogen takes ten years off one’s lifespan regardless of age.

Experience also shows that as the viral season progresses, the severity of disease decreases.

I assume this assertion is again due to “many doctors.”

@ Pathcoin 1

You write: “Normalization of the death rate with the background death rate gives a true sense o fthe virulence and distinguishes those who die with the virus (such as a homicide) from those who die with the virus. The failure to do this and the official position to conflate the stats, also speaks to politicalization.”

We have what is called the seasonal baseline rates for deaths and hospitalizations. The seasonal baseline rate takes the five previous seasons, computes an average. What we know and I won’t bother giving the references, though I have them, is that the months that COVID-19 have become epidemic in the U.S have resulted in between 30% and twice the seasonal baseline rates.

As for dying from or with, if someone is, say, 70 years of age with mild congestive heart failure or diabetes or . . . they might live easily another 5 – 10 years if they watch their diet, don’t smoke, and mild exercise. They may have grandchildren who loved them, kids, siblings, etc. The virus does kill them unless one can make a case that they had a very very short time to live. But, of course, you and others like you think people are expendable.

As for hydroxychloroquine, we now have numerous studies of various strengths. In addition, all we had before was some in vitro studies and one that was fraudulent. There is actually a fascinating book on medical interventions adopted out of desperation that in almost ALL cases did more harm than good.

Statistics apply to a population; they do not apply to an individual. At this point in science, we have no way of determining the outcome of an individual with a complex adaptable system. We know that the background death rate is about 800/100,000, all ages, all disease. For those over 85, the background death rate is about 12,500/100,000. It is a fact of life as we age, we get more diseases and we die. It is not clear to me that there is any evidence that a mild comorbidity is associated with increased death. It is clear to me that only headline numbers are reported. And the occasional health person who has no comorbidity who dies. But this is true of all infections. We don’t know why; it is a tragedy but it is unavoidable. Perhaps they have a genetic pleomorphism that increases susceptibility to the virus.

The real question is whether the current lock down policy has truly reduced the death rate or only time shifted it to the future. People die from the flu. Society does not go hysterical. People die from car accidents. Society does not go hysterical. People die from cancer. Society does not go hysterical. So why the reaction to COVID-19?

Plus many COVID-19 deaths were due to governmental policy that forced nursing homes take COVID-19 posiitve patients. This exaggerated the death rate. Good for headlines and news agencies. Bad for understanding what is going on.

@ Pathcoin1

Yes, the lockdown has reduced deaths because it allowed hospitals to not be overburdened. Without the lockdown, many who get care would not and no, the numbers who are avoiding care don’t come close. And it gives time to develop treatments and, perhaps, a vaccine.

Yep, people die from cancer, car accidents, etc. By the way, does that mean we shouldn’t have laws against drunken driving, after all if not killed by a drunken driver you’ll die of something. And, yep, people die from the flu; but the flu vaccine exists, though it doesn’t always completely protect people, it often reduces severity, hospitalizations, and death, and flu is often treatable, seldom requires ventilation. And the COVID-19 does far more damage to body for even those recuperating than flu. And the numbers who have died is far in excess of the typical flu season, average 30,000, already more than thrice.

You are correct that forcing nursing homes was WRONG: but even if one discounts their deaths, still far in excess of flu. And studies find we are actually undercounting deaths. If someone dies at home, we often don’t do labs.

Why the reaction to COVID-19? Simple, higher death rates, including nursing homes, more damage to bodies of those suffering, potential compared to flu unknown, e.g., if mutated to SARS 1 we could see literally millions die. Not hysterical; but practicing the precautionary principle.

I realize that your goal has nothing to do with saving lives and reducing suffering; but it is NOT for headlines, it is to err on the side of caution.

I wonder how you would react if it acts up with a vengeance and the number dying becomes exponential. Will you feel any regret? On the other hand, if it mutates to a milder form, I will have erred on the side of caution; but be overjoyed.

@ Tom

You write: “Without some serious soul-searching, the credibility of science itself is at-risk.”

WRONG! ! ! Science has an accepted methodology. Some deviate from it; but if they publish then others catch them. And science requires replication. If different researchers with different populations and various accepted methodologies find the same results, then, science consensus accepts this. And one can’t prove the Null Hypothesis, so scientifically impossible to “prove” there is no association even if dozens of well done studies didn’t find one.

And this includes the social sciences. It isn’t the subject matter; but the methodology, peer-review, etc. Science isn’t infallible; but the “cure” for problems in science is more science, not people like you who apparently either didn’t actually learn much and/or had poor instructors.

For instance, get a used copy of Merwyn Susser’s “Causal Thinking in the Health Sciences.” Read it very carefully. The absolute best book I’ve ever read and I’ve had THREE graduate courses just in the Philosophy of Sciences, that is, how science decides.

Thank you. i will check it out. The null hypothesis can be proved. If the hypothesis is “HCQ prevents hospitalization (because it prevents the progression of the disease) “, then the the null hypothesis is the “HCQ does not prevent hospitalization (and the number of patients progressing is not reduced”.

Measure the number of hospitalizations of patients on HCQ vs those who are not on HCQ. If the number of hospitalization is not less, then the null hypothesis is proved and the hypothesis is rejected.

Its a simple clinical trial.Of course, if it can be randomized, double blinded, and with a placebo, it would be the best. I would think that the immense resources of the NIAD and CDC could find the money to fund such a study. The hostility even to testing it strikes me as problematic.

@ Pathcoin1

You write: “The null hypothesis can be proved. If the hypothesis is “HCQ prevents hospitalization (because it prevents the progression of the disease) “, then the the null hypothesis is the “HCQ does not prevent hospitalization (and the number of patients progressing is not reduced”.”

NO NO NO. First, we don’t “prove” things in science. Proof is a logical construct, not a scientific. We confirm an hypothesis. Proofs are absolute. Confirming an hypothesis is probability. Simply if, for instance, we say p = 0.05, we are stating that the probability that some unknown uncontrolled variable contributed to the result is 5%. If numerous different studies with different designs find the same result, then the probability gets much lower; but NEVER 0. So, at that point the scientific consensus is to accept the findings, not as absolute; but as confirmed numerous times. Where does the probability come from? From known distributions of different types of variables. For instance, the binomial allows us to know how many times by chance a balanced coin will give 10 heads in a row. If someone gets 10 heads in a row then we have to decide if luck or cheating.

The Null Hypothesis would NOT be the opposite of the studies hypothesis because so many other factors are at play.

It would take a monograph to explain; but I’ll give one simple example, I’m sure you are aware of the law of gravity. Can you “prove” that the law of gravity applies to every single spot on the planet Earth? Is it possible that some confluence of cosmic forces, those known and some yet to be discovered, could nullify the law of gravity?

In Carl Sagan’s book “The Demon Haunted World: Science As A Candle in the Dark” he begins with someone claiming there is a dragon in his garage. A team from a local university comes with cameras, infrared, etc. and finds no dragon, The man says it doesn’t show up on a regular basis. And on it goes. NO, ONE CAN NOT “PROVE” THE NULL HYPOTHESIS; but thank you for proving you don’t understand even the basics of science which should have been taught in any research course or philosophy of science course. “Proof” you don’t know what you are talking about.

I suggest you do a Google search of the “Dunning-Kruger Effect”

The null hypothesis can be proved. If the hypothesis is “HCQ prevents hospitalization (because it prevents the progression of the disease) “, then the the null hypothesis is the “HCQ does not prevent hospitalization (and the number of patients progressing is not reduced”.

Dear L-rd. Get back to everyone with the power analysis.

@ Pathcoin1

“If the number of hospitalization is not less, then the null hypothesis is proved and the hypothesis is rejected.”

No. Absolutely not.

The null hypothesis is an hypothesis that current science or belief system holds to be true. Under this hypothesis, that what we hold to be true is indeed true, and thus one models reality and extracts logical consequences of this modeling. Only then is an experiment run, and if it does not match the expected predictions, then the null hypothesis is rejected.

Rejected because the experimental data contradicts the belief system.

All the statistical machinery is nested in the “does not match” expression.

That’s the basics of statistical testing.

Of course, one can do things a bit differently. Many systems have been devised to extend and to some extent replace that framework. But this one at least has the pedagogical virtue of matching the concept of science as a framework where you falsify beliefs that you previously held to be true. I’m more in favor of a conceptualisation of statistics as a notion of critical preferences, but what has been written above is something that must be understood properly: One does not prove a null hypothesis; one only attempts to falsify it up to a given level of confidence. If we falsify it, we reject the hypothesis. If we do not falsify, we keep the null hypothesis; but we absolutely do not consider it “proven” in any way. Merely not falsified. And thus not an hypothesis one that would be illegitimate to believe in.

Congrats on completing the THREE courses. That’s awesome, indeed! “People like me” point out what people like you didn’t learn in those three courses. Namely, that if people in general approach science with an agenda in mind, a case to make, that they are then vulnerable to confirmation bias. Peer review isn’t helpful when group think narrows the discussion to acceptable perspectives from peer-reviewers chosen solely from among those with acceptable opinions.That’s commonplace in the social sciences and gaining traction in the real sciences. It is a valid concern. Your defense of the status quo makes my case.

The discussion around HCQ is a case in point, but I’d also love to see you attempt your “more science” approach to job performance, race, gender, age, etc. in the social sciences with controversial questions that may, or may not, have scientific outcomes that fall outside of acceptable inquiry in polite company. Or, try it in an MPH forum with respect to causes of health disparities, infant mortality, etc., with an eye on personal responsibility, for that matter. In the social sciences, hard questions can no longer be asked. Or, ask a climatologist to explain away the many prior long and short climate cycles and prior sudden shifts in temperature or atmospheric carbon. Or, to defend changing actual real-time historic temperature measurements in favor or estimates that better fit an author’s predictive model. “Deniers,” AKA skeptics, AKA believers in actual science are figuratively burned at the stake simply for asking hard questions. If you don’t think that science has a problem, either you haven’t been paying attention, or a fourth course is in order.

With respect to HCQ, my point wasn’t that the null hypothesis hasn’t been proven. It was that the null hypothesis hasn’t been competently tested. Poorly designed studies on both sides of the “debate” about HCQ have offered almost nothing in terms of scientific knowledge. In case you missed it in my earlier post, I called for more science, and laid out a plan design that would get us closer to the objective facts. I don’t have an emotional attachment either way to whether or not HCQ is a viable treatment for COVID-19. I’m not rooting one way or the other. Dispassionate inquiry is the basis for scientific discovery. See if they mention that in your book.

“Or, try it in an MPH forum with respect to causes of health disparities, infant mortality, etc., with an eye on personal responsibility, ”

And straight to racism. Wow. Even though most of the discussion of health disparities is based on … data. That the idea that health disparities could even exist is based on … data.

(Tom is attempting to push the idea that people who belong to minorities have worse health outcomes that their majority peers not because they’re socially forced to live in areas with higher pollution due to decades of red-lining, but because those minorities want to have asthma.)

Good to know where you stand.

Another casualty of the Surgisphere mess (not sure how this one qualifies as “politicization”).

https://retractionwatch.com/2020/06/06/group-withdraws-covid-19-scoring-tool-based-on-surgisphere-data-following-nejm-lancet-retractions/?fbclid=IwAR1FVw123Usvo2L3lnG52wFn2d33KqECrEEt7s2z7_BjEfrUMaAdc3FE0TU

I empathize with much of Joel’s angst regarding certain posters and memes. However, at times he seems to be morphing into a Looney Tunes character.

@ Dangerous Bacon

Sometimes you contribute to the discussion, even offering excellent ideas; but sometimes you are just an a-hole. Yep, I use the word despicable and it applies to people who, despite a lack of understanding, are willing to risk other people’s lives and health. People who refuse to admit they may be wrong even when overwhelming logic and science is given. Just look at Trump supporters. Despite OVERWHELMING evidence that his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic clearly contributed to far more deaths than had he not focused on how it would affect his election, had he listened to his science advisors, had he not eliminated the White House Pandemic team, had he not cut funding to the CDC, etc.; yet his followers think he is doing a great job. You should see some of the letters to the editor of my local paper. Sometimes I think these people live in an alternative reality.

Now please find a cartoon of someone using “a-hole”

@ Joel

“Yep, I use the word despicable and it applies to people who, despite a lack of understanding, are willing to risk other people’s lives and health.”

Count me in. Honestly, I believe there are sometimes criteria that are superior to people’s lives and health. And even then, I have a hard time believing that I am morally obliged to care for a huge portion of humanity. If I were in Kim Jong-Un’s shoes, I believe the only thing stopping me from pressing that red button would be the fact that we have not yet discovered intelligent alien life. The day we will discover intelligent alien life, I would have little qualms pressing that red button.

So definitely count me in as despicable. I’m fine with the epithet.

“People who refuse to admit they may be wrong even when overwhelming logic and science is given.”

It’s a bit more complicated than that, Joel. Yesterday, I just had a conversation with a friend that believes that, no matter what, we should have a right to oppose vaccinations and lockdowns because he knows that you can make anyone do anything as long as you use the “health” argument in a debate. He and me, for different reasons, absolutely do not like people using “health” as an argument to shut down conversations; and he, as a good swiss, also believes that science must absolutely be subservient to the fact that democracy should have the final word. No matter what. Period. And this not only a theoretical question: it impacts issues such as assisted suicide on which there is to some extent some genuine opposition between medical perspectives and the perspective of voters, with politicians stuck in the middle having to deal with the less pleasant (to them) aspects of (semi)-direct democracy.

“Just look at Trump supporters. Despite OVERWHELMING evidence that his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic clearly contributed to far more deaths than had he not focused on how it would affect his election, had he listened to his science advisors, had he not eliminated the White House Pandemic team, had he not cut funding to the CDC, etc.; yet his followers think he is doing a great job.”

Give me another reason not to press that red button, Joel. Another one, please…

“You should see some of the letters to the editor of my local paper. Sometimes I think these people live in an alternative reality.”

I hate to break it to you: they do. They turned me into a WR-104 worshipper over time.

Just to make clear. Orac’s admitting based on new information that he was wrong about one study is what science is all about. However, he also made it quite clear that it wasn’t one study that he based his position on hydroxychloroquine. And that is also science, we usually don’t base decisions on one study. And just since he posted this piece, more studies are coming forward that hydroxychloroquine doesn’t work.

A few select points:
Anyone counting on herd immunity to protect us in future from COVID-19 should read this: https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/04/27/1000569/how-long-are-people-immune-to-covid-19/. There is no evidence either way as to whether this coronavirus will confer lasting immunity. Experience with other coronaviruses is mixed, and the reasons are not clear..
Vitamin B12 is produced commercially by several different microorganisms. Vegans need not compromise to get it.
Vegans can certainly be healthy. My daughter is a vegan. Since starting, she has been able to cut back on the number of prescription medicines that she takes, and she is as healthy as the proverbial horse. As side effects she has become knowledgeable about nutrition and she has to everyone’s surprise learned to cook.
Many pesticides, perhaps most, are harmful to human beings. Another anecdote, I know, but my cousin, a DO in Florida, has provided care for many agricultural workers, and he can testify, and has, to the harm they can cause. Not really anecdotal, because he is far from alone.
Donald J. Trump is a walking DSM, and if he said the sun was shining, I would go to the window. The only relation of Trump to truth is that they both start with “tru”.There is extensive documentation of his lies and what we so kindly call his mistakes. He jumped on hydroxychloroquine before there was anything like evidence. He says that he took it, but we have no way to verify that. He might be lying about it to save face while avoiding actual risk. We are not in an unprecedented situation but we are in an un-Presidented one. To paraphrase Kathleen Edwards, “He wouldn’t even be himself if he wasn’t telling a lie”.
Anthropogenic global warming was predicted by some scientists as far back as fifty years ago, and Exxon’s own scientists predicted it in 1982. The insulating effect of CO2 is beyond dispute and so is the rise in atmospheric CO2. While Trump was making light of it because the Northeast was having a particularly cold winter, Alaska was experiencing record winter warmth and the Iditarod dogsled race was only saved by trucking in snow. The warming is happening, and on the off chance that it wasn’t due to us, we would still be wise not to make it worse.

@ Old Rockin’ Dave:

DJT ” is a walking DSM” Ha ha. It’s true.

Over the past 3 years he has hobnobbed with dictators, slandered presidents, helped a virus replicate, managed an economic crash in a manner that puts corporations over small business and individuals and lied his fat ass off
Can we blame it on his diagnoses ( and there are a few)?
Some people act horribly because of mental illness, past abuse or other problems but others may just be CRAPPY people to begin with. He can be all of these possibilities.

The main reason you messed up is not carelessness; it’s loss of objectivity and closed-mindedness. You’ve concluded HCQ doesn’t work against Covid-19 in any circumstances, and it’s become a sacred core belief. You have the Lancet editor and many others for company.

Look at the language you use – people who disagree with you are ‘cultists’ – this is not the voice of a dispassionate scientist pursuing the truth or willing to engage in a logical debate.

There’s lots of weak evidence (3,000+ patients) suggesting HCQ + AZT +/- Zn in high risk patients used within 4 days of symptom onset slashes admission rates and mortality.
Do you know of any evidence to the contrary?

If not, how can you say HCQ is ineffective (early, for high risk patients, with AZT +/- Zn)) and not worthy of investigation? You’re reduced to name-calling, unsupported assertions about the quality of ‘their’ papers vs ‘yours’, and other feats of illogic to defend your sacred belief. You might be right, but the question is open.

You’ve taken a critical but superficial look at yourself; now look a little harder; then go look at the excellent (in terms of scientific integrity) Boulware study again – look at the results, the age of the participants, and the dose and duration of HCQ used.

Good luck.

@ Grant Mirren

First, even considering hydroxychloroquine was based on an in vitro study and one fraudulent study. Second, there are now a number of studies that have NOT found it beneficial. Third, some have even found it harmful.

It is obvious that you want to believe it works; but nothing more than that.

I suggest you go to PubMed at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Type in search box: covid-19 AND hydroxychloroquine
483 results
Note, not all original research; but quite a few, others reviews, and some just opinion pieces.

Then go to Google Scholar at: https://scholar.google.com
Type in search box: covid-19 AND hydroxychloroquine
on left click on since 2020
About 1,300 results (0.07 sec)

Keep also in mind that a major scientific problems has developed during the current pandemic, namely, posting pre-publication copies of articles before they have undergone peer-review, newspapers and politicians jumping on them. Read, for instance:

Paul P Glasziou (2020 May 12). Waste in covid-19 research: A deluge of poor quality research is sabotaging an effective evidence based response. BMJ. Available at: https://www.bmj.com/content/bmj/369/bmj.m1847.full.pdf

Alex John London and Jonathan Kimmelman (2020 May 1). Against pandemic research
exceptionalism: Crises are no excuse for lowering scientific standards. Science Magazine. Available at: https://science.sciencemag.org/content/368/6490/476.full

Do you even have a science background? I suggest Googling the “Dunning-Kruger Effect”

@ F68.10

You write: “It’s a bit more complicated than that, Joel. Yesterday, I just had a conversation with a friend that believes that, no matter what, we should have a right to oppose vaccinations and lockdowns because he knows that you can make anyone do anything as long as you use the “health” argument in a debate. He and me, for different reasons, absolutely do not like people using “health” as an argument to shut down conversations; and he, as a good swiss, also believes that science must absolutely be subservient to the fact that democracy should have the final word. No matter what. Period. And this not only a theoretical question: it impacts issues such as assisted suicide on which there is to some extent some genuine opposition between medical perspectives and the perspective of voters, with politicians stuck in the middle having to deal with the less pleasant (to them) aspects of (semi)-direct democracy.”

First I guess your friend would be against laws about drunken driving. After all, they are about “health”, that is, the health of others who may be injured or die by a drunken driver. And, yep, people do die in car crashes that don’t involve drinking and driving; but the probability goes way up and that is all science can do is look at probabilities. So, opposing lockdowns or vaccines do focus on health, someone else’s. We don’t live in a vacuum, we live in communities and we have both rights and responsibilities.

As for assisted suicide, there is a third angle, namely, the individual’s right to determine their own future. One can argue that, in some cases, pressures are put on the individual, e.g., to save extended health care costs; but, though never perfect, one can minimize this and other pressures. As for voting, in the U.S. many are against it because of their religious beliefs. So, despite we have a 1st Amendment that separates church and state, in reality, it doesn’t always. Bottom line, your example of assisted suicide gives only two sides and not the person involved. Arguments often have more than two sides.

If the time comes and I can afford it, a flight to Switzerland to end unnecessary suffering would be my choice, not some stranger based on their religion and not some scientific argument. There are subjects that fall outside the realm of science and democracy And if I don’t like wearing masks and physical distancing and could afford it, I could simply rent a cabin in the mountains, by a ton of food, and wait out the pandemic..

As for democracy having the final word, perhaps if democracy were truly the informed consent of the governed; but it often is not, instead based on incomplete understanding, emotions, etc. While some antivaccinationists claim they aren’t against vaccines, just against compulsion, they really can’t explain the risks to others in a logical scientific way. And they also ignore that rights are balanced with responsibility. Especially in the U.S. people can talk about their rights; but often not their responsibilities. I have the right to walk on the sidewalk but not talk on my cell phone not paying attention to where I’m walking and walk into a blind person knocking them down. A poor example; but it makes the point.

I completely agree on you with respect to the externalities imposed by anti-vaxxers and drunk drivers. To expand on your point about personal responsibility, I’m sure that you are in favor of holding mothers who smoke or use drugs that are dangerous to their fetus to account. And, presumably holding AIDS patients to account for the damage done by their knowing exposure of their infection to others. Or, the costs imposed on others by the pointless overuse of emergency rooms by “frequent flyers,” who have an absolute EMTLA right to unnecessary attention at absolutely no price, On a daily basis, if that’s their preference. And, a right to sue (along with a $50,000 fine) any on-call doctor who has the temerity not to show up within 30 minutes (a time commitment that even Dominos Pizza has relaxed). Beyond those for whom you have an obvious political difference, please share your thoughts on personal responsibility and accountability. How would you hold those individual accountable?

And, presumably holding AIDS [sic] patients to account for the damage done by their knowing exposure of their infection to others.

<a href=”http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K12-5.01>Inexcusably dumb laziness, what a surprise.

@ Tom

Well, again, someone who sees the world in extremes of black and white. If a person knowingly with AIDS has unprotected sex with someone, yep, they should be held accountable. As for mothers smoking, problematic. Personally, I used to walk up to pregnant women I saw smoking and politely suggest they were endangering their future baby, until a boyfriend threatened to beat the shit out of me. However, in this case we are dealing with probabilities. My mother smoked and I have a PhD, prestigious 3 year NIH post-doctoral fellowship, etc. In addition, we are dealing with two bodies. She stopped smoking when pregnant with my brother and experienced an infection during 1st trimester and he was born with brain damage. So, I would offer counseling and free clinics to stop smoking; but I doubt a fine would do any good, that is, unless you want to add no knock warrants to homes of suspected smoking mothers. However, despite all we know about smoking, we see young kids getting cigarettes and advertising often targeting them. The tobacco industry should, act least, be regulated as any other “legal” drug. As for an on-call doctor not showing up in a specified time, are you nuts? Traffic, several calls, etc.

Overwhelming evidence, both from numerous studies and historical knowledge of vaccine-preventable diseases, make vaccines a public health issue. And historical and current studies make wearing face masks and physical distancing also a public health issue. As for drunken drivers, there is one more variable not discussed. Driving is a privilege NOT a right. If you own a ranch and want to drive drunk without a license, so be it; but the roads are paid for by the public and a drivers license is a contract that you will be allowed to drive if you obey the laws. Simple.

So, I’ve share my thoughts. Thanks for proving you are someone who can’t accept that we live in the real world where compromises sometimes are necessary, where not everything fits into a neat black and white pattern. Yep, if one followed your approach we would either have laws for every possible variation of behaviors and responsibilities or none at all.

@ Joel

“First I guess your friend would be against laws about drunken driving.”

In Switzerland, you may not agree with the law, but you abide by it because you just voted for whatever crap 15 days ago. And if you’re not happy with it, you talk it out with your neighbour, because he’s voting next week for whatever crap. You do not go rogue against the State, because Your Neighbour is The State. Makes a difference.

As to drunken driving, I think they’ve got much more to do with the massive shitload of radars they have on their roads. And the laws against driving too fast are so draconian that you should start worrying about these before driving drunk…

“After all, they are about “health”, that is, the health of others who may be injured or die by a drunken driver.”

Well, yes and no. They are also very much about courtesy and respect. You may not believe that driving drunk is bad. You may be a drunken-driving-denier. Doesn’t change the fact whatever you may think about it, your neighbour may be of a different opinion. So you respect the fact that there are differing views on the topic, and by courtesy, you do not drive drunk. After all, people just voted on that or whatever topic not so long ago… It’s therefore fine not respecting that notion of health and not respecting other’s opinion on the matter. But not respecting the outcome of the vote? In Switzerland? Come. on… Your Neighbour Is The State.

“We don’t live in a vacuum, we live in communities and we have both rights and responsibilities.”

Of course. As long as they are decided by a vote. Not by any other means…

“As for assisted suicide, there is a third angle, namely, the individual’s right to determine their own future. One can argue that, in some cases, pressures are put on the individual, e.g., to save extended health care costs”

Well, yes, there are different perspectives to the question. In Canada, I believe they did take a worrying and somewhat irrational course.

“As for voting, in the U.S. many are against it because of their religious beliefs. So, despite we have a 1st Amendment that separates church and state, in reality, it doesn’t always.”

Yep. Makes me think: when did women finally get the right to vote all across Switzerland?… 1991.

“Bottom line, your example of assisted suicide gives only two sides and not the person involved. Arguments often have more than two sides.”

Well, I do not believe you understand french, but being able to democratically force the question onto authorities by a petition triggering a vote allows to force doctors to explain black on white their perspectives; i.e. their opposition to assisted suicide, and their conceptualisation of “informed” (cough… cough… cough…) “consent” (cough… cough… cough…). Very important to be able to force discussion with the threat of a popular vote. And no, when the discussion is indeed rolling, people are interested in the perspective of the people concerned. In fact they talk almost exclusively about this. If they didn’t, they’d lose the vote… Also very interesting to note that Kiefer, the main opponent to assisted suicide, and The Voice of Doctors, editor of the Revue Médicale Suisse, is a medical doctor and a theologian. That kind of fact makes me very confident that we are dealing with matters where there are no predetermined conclusions on the side of doctors. None at all.

“If the time comes and I can afford it, a flight to Switzerland to end unnecessary suffering would be my choice, not some stranger based on their religion and not some scientific argument.”

I understand that point fo view. Nonetheless, it is to be observed that the question of the ability to give informed consent is deemed to be a scientific question by medical authorities. So it feels a bit like people are chasing their tails on this topic.

“There are subjects that fall outside the realm of science and democracy.”

I beg to differ. There have been studies in social work on the topic. And the alternative of that topic not being a democratic matter is not that it be a personal matter: it’s leaving the matter up to medical authorities, who will claim that it is a “scientific” one, in the sense that, in the end, they are the one to choose. Not saying there are perfect black and white answers there, but it’s also not like we knew nothing on the topic, and not like no one will ever be in charge of making decisions…

“As for democracy having the final word, perhaps if democracy were truly the informed consent of the governed; but it often is not, instead based on incomplete understanding, emotions, etc.”

Of course it is not “informed consent of governed”. That’s a trope. But it can be “government of the percolation of some citizens with respect to civic responsibility, with a veto of popular and not institutional origin, and with input, not dominance, of scientifically minded people”.

“While some antivaccinationists claim they aren’t against vaccines, just against compulsion, they really can’t explain the risks to others in a logical scientific way.”

True. But is it they who have to convince others or others who have to convince them? A little bit of both here, in my opinion: it’s not a one way street only. Note that we are not talking about people with the views of Christine Kincaid, here, but about other peoples. In fact, I did just this recently with my swiss friend. Seems he fell recently for some antivaxx documentary (and he doesn’t, in the abstract, give two tugs on a dingo’s dick about vaccines) and it took me quite some time to make him realise that he had no clue what he was spouting. Seems like he won’t be friendly in the future towards vaccines or lockdown or public health in general, but, at least, he now knows his opinions derives from his hatred of compulsion rather than informed opinion. It’s way better that he’s now clear on that specific point rather than him kidding himself on topics he doesn’t understand because of antivaxx propaganda. In your terminology, I’ve convinced him to be proud to be a despicable human being rather than an antivaxx loon kidding himself into believing he’s the only electron in a hydrogen atom.

“And they also ignore that rights are balanced with responsibility.”

He doesn’t. He believes that it’s his democratic right to believe and argue that he has more rights than responsibilities, but not his democratic right to be discourteous towards others by not abiding by a democratic decision. And I do not fully disagree with him.

“Especially in the U.S. people can talk about their rights; but often not their responsibilities. I have the right to walk on the sidewalk but not talk on my cell phone not paying attention to where I’m walking and walk into a blind person knocking them down. A poor example; but it makes the point.”

Parachute that dude to Switzerland. He’ll have a “fun” time walking into blind people and knocking them down… might get a bit rough for him, though…

@ F68.10

I won’t bother responding to your wandering illogical diatribe.

@ Joel

Suit yourself. Just can’t hide the fact that there are conflicts of values, not merely of scientific facts. Whether or not these conflicts of values are addressed is up to people concerned by them.

I rest my case.

“government of the percolation of some citizens with respect to civic responsibility, with a veto of popular and not institutional origin, and with input, not dominance, of scientifically minded people”. I love that description! Thanks.

I think it’s crucial to acknowledge the conflicts of values, as you have with your friend, in order to arrive at compromises both sides kind live with. Thanks for expressing a POV I share but don’t manage to communicate very well.

I remembered the name Dr. Amir Patel from a promising study on ivermectin.

Looks like that ivermectin study was also based on Surgisphere data.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/06/mysterious-company-s-coronavirus-papers-top-medical-journals-may-be-unraveling

“Oddities also appear in the ivermectin study, says Carlos Chaccour of the Institute for Global Health in Barcelona, who knows the drug well because he’s studying its potential role in mosquito control. There’s evidence that ivermectin has antiviral properties, and a study from an Australian team published in Antiviral Research on 3 April showed that it inhibits SARS-CoV-2 in a test tube. A 6 April preprint co-authored by Patel, Desai, and Mehra, along with David Grainger of the University of Utah, used Surgisphere data reportedly collected at 169 hospitals around the world between 1 January and 1 March. It included three patients in Africa who received ivermectin—despite the fact that only two COVID-19 cases had been reported in all of Africa by 1 March, Chaccour and two colleagues note in a recent blog post.”

The last paragraph in Orac’s post contains seven (7) placements of “I.”

MJD says,

Wonderful!

@ Orac,

You do an outstanding job of closing out a post. In respectful insolence, the last paragraph in this post should be the first paragraph in the post. Narad and Denice Walter would agree when I say that “less than about 3% of your readers make it to the final paragraph.”

Narad and Denice Walter would agree when I say that “less than about 3% of your readers make it to the final paragraph.”

Don’t put words in my mouth, slapdick.

My semi-feral black cat understands my position on diverse issues orders of magnitude better than MJD would.
I would prefer to read the former’s articles in low grade journals over the latter’s. ANY DAY.

@ F68.10

You write: “The null hypothesis is an hypothesis that current science or belief system holds to be true. Under this hypothesis, that what we hold to be true is indeed true, and thus one models reality and extracts logical consequences of this modeling. Only then is an experiment run, and if it does not match the expected predictions, then the null hypothesis is rejected.”

WRONG WRONG WRONG.

Has nothing to do with current hypothesis or belief system.

From John M. Last(Ed.). “A Dictionary of Epidemiology Third Edition”:

“The statistical hypothesis that one variable has no association with another variable or set of variables, or that two or more population distributions do not differ from one another. In simplest terms, the null hypothesis states that the results observed in a study, experiment, or test are no different from what might have occurred as a result of the operation by chance alone.”

Note “the statistical hypothesis”. If a study finds a difference based on probability, e.g., p = 0.05, then one rejects the null hypothesis of no difference. The null hypothesis is simply how one sets up a statistical analysis based on probability. It does NOT mean it is a current science or belief system that is held to be true. Obviously you really don’t understand the basics of research. And if one can’t reject the null hypothesis because it didn’t reach some decided level of significance, e.g. 0.05, 0.01 doesn’t mean it is true. Maybe a confounding variable. Maybe just sample size not large enough. Maybe there isn’t a clear difference. Science doesn’t deal with truths or proofs; but with probabilities which is the problem in dealing with non-scientists who want simple black and white answers.

Let me give a poor analogy, a criminal trial. A jury finds someone guilty. Does this mean he is guilty. Nope. If the jury is really conscientious, doesn’t allow biases to sway them, they decide based on the evidence presented if it is beyond a reasonable doubt. Not not beyond any doubt. The person could be factually innocent and we have imprisoned and even executed factually innocent people. If jury finds not guilty does that mean the person is factually not guilty. Again no. Could be guilty but the prosecution didn’t present a strong enough case. Well, science is similar, EXCEPT THE EVIDENCE IS MUCH MORE OBJECTIVE AND NOT DECIDED ONCE AND FOR ALL AND SUBJECT TO PEER REVIEW AND RESULT OF MORE RESEARCH. However, some findings, as I discussed above are replicated by different researchers on different subject pools, etc. that consensus accepts the findings. We live in the real world and decisions have to be made, to be acted on.

But thank you for “proving” you really don’t know what you are talking about

@ Joel

“In simplest terms, the null hypothesis states that the results observed in a study, experiment, or test are no different from what might have occurred as a result of the operation by chance alone.”

That’s precisely the same statement: H0 is an hypothesis and what you call “occurred as a result of the operation by chance alone” are precisely what operation by chance means under the hypothesis of a given model. Precisely the same point I made. Just phrased it a bit differently.

“The null hypothesis is simply how one sets up a statistical analysis based on probability.”

Yes.

“It does NOT mean it is a current science or belief system that is held to be true.”

Sorry, that is how it works: typical H0 statistical testing derives its epistemological legitimacy from a situation where you test a belief system and seek to falsify it.

I make that point specifically because other approaches, like model selection based for instance on the Akaike criterion, have different epistemological underpinnings to their legitimacy. Much closer to a notion of critical preference.

“Obviously you really don’t understand the basics of research.”

Hmmhhh… Then what are all this credentials I have in maths and statistics? A figment of my imagination? Sorry: that’s how stats work. The way you implement stats concretely in a research program is of course always a bit more tricky. Never denied it. But, the epistemological foundation of H0 hypothesis testing, it’s what I’ve exposed.

“And if one can’t reject the null hypothesis because it didn’t reach some decided level of significance, e.g. 0.05, 0.01 doesn’t mean it is true.”

Never claimed that. In fact, precisely the opposite, but never mind…

“Science doesn’t deal with truths or proofs; but with probabilities which is the problem in dealing with non-scientists who want simple black and white answers.”

We can go in a long-winded discussion on that, but yes, you’re essentially correct.

I do not see anything I disagree with in the second paragraph. As to the third, well, it’s your opinion, man…

@ F68.10

WRONG WRONG WRONG. Null Hypothesis not based on a belief system, though in some cases researchers do have an a priori belief. One can set up research with no preconceived beliefs either way. For instance, testing if hydroxychloroquine reduces deaths or hospitalizations or . . . One can do the research without having a belief that it doesn’t work, the null hypothesis. In fact, since COVID-19 masses of research has been carried out testing just about anything and everything without having any idea if they will work or not, just simple desperation.

Basically, it seems that you are more interested in splitting hairs than actually contributing to the dialogue. I began discussing the null hypothesis because Tom claimed it was an either or, black and white and that is NOT how science works. So, instead of supporting me, you started splitting hairs.

Well, if that’s how you get your jollies, feel free to waste my time and that of others following this blog.

@ Joel

This is getting ridiculous. Please continue if you want a statistical spanking.

Check out the tea + milk experiment of Ronald Fisher.

The belief system that needed to be falsified was Fisher’s belief that his pal couldn’t detect the way milk was poured. Under this null hypothesis, he modeled what would happen if chance was the only factor that could affect outcome. That’s how he built his ANOVA test; and thus showed that his belief that outcomes were only due to chance could be falsified with a given degree of confidence.

It’s indeed a belief system that gets refuted. And that then can not legitimately be held. And it follows the same logic as reductio ab absurdo: when you make an hypothesis and conclude (experimentally) that it’s absurd, you conclude (probabilistically) that it’s false. That’s what happens when experiment fails, and H0 gets rejected. If experiment succeeds, then the reductio ab absurdo falls flat, and nothing can be said about H0 either way. Because the truth table of the “imply” logical connective does not allow you to conclude anything in that case.

That’s the way it works. I stick to my guns. And I also stick to my guns in that I’m in favor of more sophisticated approaches to statistics such as the Akaike criterion. And I’d appreciate if I did not have to repeatedly make that specific point. Because it indeed gets into the territory of pedantry.

“One can set up research with no preconceived beliefs either way.”

One can do many things. But puh-lease, at least get this right.

“Basically, it seems that you are more interested in splitting hairs than actually contributing to the dialogue.”

I have my own “ethical” goals, and I feel no obligation to disclose them. Fair and square.

“I began discussing the null hypothesis because Tom claimed it was an either or, black and white and that is NOT how science works. So, instead of supporting me, you started splitting hairs.”

I feel no obligation to support anyone. What I noticed is indeed that Tom did not get that bit right. So yeah, I felt that it’s fair to point it out. No point in going in comments on power analysis like Narad did IMPO if Tom does not get this right in the first place. When I see that someone is wrong, I try to find understandable language to get my point across.

In fact, as someone that to some extent is currently trying to merge model theory and statistics, this kind of logico-statistical hair splitting is something I’ve been doing more or less sporadically in my free time in the context of a wider personal project. I’m indeed very much bullish on the usefulness of centipede mathematics. Remember the guy that invented the 0? Good job, isn’t it?

“Well, if that’s how you get your jollies, feel free to waste my time and that of others following this blog.”

Thanks for letting me free to have my appreciation of how I should waste my time. Very much appreciated.

@Joel Harrison F68.10 is correct about the assumption of the null hypothesis being true. It’s the basic assumption that lies underneath all statistical tests. That doesn’t mean it’s “based on a belief system”, but one’s belief system – i.e. what question do you want answered – impacts what null hypothesis is selected and how the parameters are set. Whenever a statistical test is run, the null hypothesis is set up to by assuming that the specified parameter values are true.

@ Beth

NO NO NO

I already gave one quote, here’s two more:

“A null hypothesis is a precise statement about a population that we try to reject with sample data. We don’t usually believe our null hypothesis (or H0) to be true. However, we need some exact statement as a starting point for statistical significance testing.” (Ruben Geert van den Berg. Null Hypothesis – Simple Introduction. SPSS Tutorials. Available at: https://www.spss-tutorials.com/null-hypothesis/ )

“The null hypothesis is a statement that you want to test. In general, the null hypothesis is that things are the same as each other, or the same as a theoretical expectation. . . It is important to distinguish between biological null and alternative hypotheses and statistical null and alternative hypotheses. (McDonald (2015). Basic concepts of hypothesis testing. Handbook of Biological Statistics. Available at: http://www.biostathandbook.com/hypothesistesting.html )

To be honest several of my books do use the word true, meaning that one couldn’t reject the null hypothesis; but “true” in a statistical sense. And not only does it depend on the research design; but the school of science ones comes from, e.g., in psychology, logical positivism, phenomenology, Kantian categories, or hermeneutics. Each limits type of questions asked.

In any case, this is boring. Believe what you want. As I’ve written before, I’ve had THREE graduate courses in Philosophy of Science (how one discusses causation, etc.), numerous research methods course, including Social Psychology, Educational Psychology, and, of course, Epidemilogical Methods and include an MS in biostatistics. If it makes you happy to something “true” go for it; but if research finds, for instance, a p=0.06, does that really mean the null is “true”. Or, perhaps, if the null is, for instance, no difference between groups; but the difference is less than the alternative hypothesis, then what. As I gave an example, finding that law of gravity doesn’t apply to every single square foot of planet Earth, maybe not the best example; but also Carl Sagan’s of the dragon in someone garage. Researchers can write up found no evidence of dragon in garage; but can’t rule out that, perhaps, he appears at random moments or won’t appear when anyone but house owner present.

Enjoy.

@ Beth

“That doesn’t mean it’s “based on a belief system”, but one’s belief system – i.e. what question do you want answered – impacts what null hypothesis is selected and how the parameters are set.”

Well, in practice, it goes a bit deeper than that, so while the terminology “belief system” is indeed a bit rough, though I maintain not inexact, the way science operates at large has historically been one where “belief systems” get refuted. Not one in which competing hypothesis are critically discriminated. That view is indeed rather explicit in Descartes’ Discours de la Méthode: Galileo had been indeed busy refuting a “belief system”. Didn’t matter that since Antiquity, the hypothesis of a heliocentric point of view had been laid out explicitly by Aristarchus of Samos… There already were competing hypothesis, and if people only could hold competing ideas in their mind, we wouldn’t have had to put all our eggs in the same basket and wait for Galileo to refute a “belief system”. We would have been honest and claimed that nothing could distinguish between geocentrism and heliocentrism and hence that we could not uphold critical preferences towards one or another hypothesis based on empirical data. The shift to heliocentrism would have been much smoother and would not have needed much more evidence than the Jovian moons to tip the balance in favour of heliocentrism. I feel overall that medicine is very much stuck in a mentality where it is taboo to hold two ideas in one’s head at the same time… and that’s not good.

Which doesn’t mean that Reiki has any chance of working…

@ Joel

“I already gave one quote, here’s two more:”

OK. I’m going into quote dissection mode.

“A null hypothesis is a precise statement about a population that we try to reject with sample data.”

True.

“We don’t usually believe our null hypothesis (or H0) to be true.”

As pointed out, this is historically untrue. It is also untrue when it comes to how one proves (mathematically) that a given test statistic does indeed reject a null hypothesis. To construct a test statistic, one indeed assumes the null hypothesis to be true. And under this hypothesis, one studies how randomness compounds to yield so-called test statistics. These test statistics then provide, up to a given level of confidence, domains where data should end up assuming the null hypothesis to be true. If this is not the case, it yields information that the null hypothesis is not a satisfactory model of the phenomena. And hence is rejected. These tests are there indeed constructed under the assumption that the null hypothesis is true.

It is nonetheless true that you do not have to believe in your null hypothesis if you want to construct a test of the null hypothesis in which your epistemological opponent believes in. Such tests are indeed designed to refute various parametrisation or modelling that you propose for the data that you plan to get in the future. (Planning is supposed to avoid overfitting, and the parametrisation can also be a point in an information manifold if you want modern mathematical frameworks, but that’s a bit besides the point).

So you do not necessarily believe in your null hypothesis, but you should always keep in mind that the statistical test is designed under the assumption that the null hypothesis is true. That’s precisely this design modality that allows it to function as a refutation machine.

“However, we need some exact statement as a starting point for statistical significance testing.”

Mildly disagree. But that’s to be expected from a model theorist…

“The null hypothesis is a statement that you want to test.”

True.

“In general, the null hypothesis is that things are the same as each other, or the same as a theoretical expectation. . .”

Simplistic, but OK, I’m a charitable person.

“It is important to distinguish between biological null and alternative hypotheses and statistical null and alternative hypotheses.”

I’m only concerned with statistics here, so “biological null” likely has some specific sense in the context of this book, but not one I’m able to discuss here on the spot.

“To be honest several of my books do use the word true, meaning that one couldn’t reject the null hypothesis;”

Again, I never claimed that one can “prove” a null hypothesis. Such statistical tests are indeed designed only to stack up evidence against the null hypothesis.

“But “true” in a statistical sense. And not only does it depend on the research design; but the school of science ones comes from, e.g., in psychology, logical positivism, phenomenology, Kantian categories, or hermeneutics. Each limits type of questions asked.”

I’m pretty sure there a context specific twists and turn, but I do not see too much the relevance to the point we raised.

“In any case, this is boring.”

Indeed.

“Believe what you want.”

Oh no! I do not “believe” what I “want” in the domain of statistics.

“As I’ve written before, I’ve had THREE graduate courses in Philosophy of Science (how one discusses causation, etc.), numerous research methods course, including Social Psychology, Educational Psychology, and, of course, Epidemilogical Methods and include an MS in biostatistics.”

Do not deny that. But I’m a Normalien and went through Polytechnique. With these credentials, I should expect people to grovel before me in my country given the irrational cult of which people like me are the center. What’s a PhD compared to a Normalien? Horseshit. (Kidding, Athaic, but you obviously know what I mean…) How many Field medalists and Abel prizes among us? 12. Nobel prizes? 14.Please do not play the credentials game with me as I really do hate playing it. The fact that I’ve been medically locked up more times than I can count and accused of an insane amount of shit should, by itself, speak volumes to my right to criticise medicine and science. I do not need to rely on the fact that I am “sorti de la cuisse de Jupiter” to be able to voice basic statements on statistics.

“If it makes you happy to something “true” go for it; but if research finds, for instance, a p=0.06, does that really mean the null is “true”.”

Well, that’s not what I’ve been writing.

“Or, perhaps, if the null is, for instance, no difference between groups; but the difference is less than the alternative hypothesis, then what. As I gave an example, finding that law of gravity doesn’t apply to every single square foot of planet Earth, maybe not the best example; but also Carl Sagan’s of the dragon in someone garage. Researchers can write up found no evidence of dragon in garage; but can’t rule out that, perhaps, he appears at random moments or won’t appear when anyone but house owner present.”

The point I’ve been making is precisely that of Sagan’s dragon in a somewhat more formal setting.

This is largely owed to two things:

Neither editors nor reviewers look at data. They never do, even if its there, and even if they explicitly asked to deliver raw data. There is lot of bona fidae in the business.
Journals are competing for the fanciest c19 stuff, versus other journals and versus preprint servers. Many scientists now seem to try to bypass peer review by putting out preprints, very often very prematurely, and rely on open/public review. This is sold as “cooperative data sharing in times of crisis” but is often pure lazi- and sluggishness.

Science is overall doing a poor job re: c19, although it will ultimately prevail. However, the road to victory is really tough this time.

I don’t know if HCQ, vitamin D, or just putting your body parts in a vise and cranking the handle is effective treatment or not the effective treatment Covid. There is way too much government dollars to be had by the research community right now, I think there is over 19,000 research papers either printed or to be published and will take years to sort out .
Orac don’t be too hard on your self, The reason you believed the research is because you WANTED the research to be true, your hatred of Trump was such that it clouded your thinking, ‘conformational bias’, these are your words.
“Donald Trump with his sycophants, toadies, and lackeys have hyped the drug relentlessly”.
You let Donald Trump guide your thinking.
I find it ironic that the same publication that started the anti-vaxing push (that one took about 6 years I think to fully retract) Lancet/Wakefield is the same publication that started this issue about HQC.

your hatred of Trump was such that it clouded your thinking, ‘conformational bias’, these are your words. “Donald Trump with his sycophants, toadies, and lackeys have hyped the drug relentlessly”.

You never know. He may come around to love DJT. People do. This guy did:

MmmHmm. That guy is so far in the closet that he is sucking dicks in Narnia; But he sure changed his tune after tRump was handed his folder by the much maligned Deep State.

I always find that liberals are the most anti-LGBT, racist, sexist, bigoted persons.
All I did was point out was that Orac had been blinded by his intense dislike for Trump and that it had clouded his thinking. In his writing he gave all the reasons for his mistake but that over riding one. I do appreciate that he acknowledge his mistake, and what he did not do in fact checking etc. which is to be commended. But if you can not even admit to the REAL reason for your mistake you will repeat making that mistake, it is one thing they teach you in any rehab program.
That was the whole point of my post.
The irony was that Orac started this post to a certain extent to combat the anti-vaxers, a movement that was started to a large part due to Lancet/Wakefield paper and it was the same distinguish publication, that resulted in a huge embarrassment for the Doctor

I always find that liberals are the most anti-LGBT, racist, sexist, bigoted persons.

You forgot to call them Nazis. My D-K, alt-right host never forgets that.

Hey, Tim, lay off the homophobia.

Graham’s hypocrisy can sink him (hopefully soon), but let’s leave it there, eh?

“I always find that liberals are the most anti-LGBT, racist, sexist, bigoted persons.”
Liberals are far more likely to be LGBTQ people, of diverse races, of both sexes, and trying to recognize and overcome their own biases than the majority of right wingers.
I have not banned transgender people from military service or women’s sports. I am bisexual.
I have not advocated that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” or called all Mexicans rapists or denied housing to black and Latino people or called Nazis “very fine people.” I never responded to the immolation of a Mexican man by referring to their enthusiasm for my candidacy. I am in an interracial marriage and have biracial children.
I never speculated on how big my infant daughter’s breasts would be. I never raped anyone in a department store changing room (or anywhere else). I never palled around with a pedophiliac sex trafficker and joked about his predilection for young, very young girls. I have never judged a political candidate on her, or his, looks. I have never paid off a porn star or a Playboy centerfold model. I have always striven to treat the women in my life and in the world around me equally and with the same respect I expect from others, male, female, or other. I will admit to having been and possibly still being obtuse, but that is a product of the milieu in which I was raised. At least I make the effort.
I have respect for people who were captured and who resisted torture for five years. I don’t cater to religious beliefs I don’t share to win approval. I have never operated a phony charity or a phony university, or charged my son to use facilities I own for a charity fundraiser. Having disabilities myself, I have never mocked or imitated disabled people.
I have never accused my opponents of McCarthyite tactics while asking for “my Roy Cohn.”
Like the craven image you worship, I think you project your worst qualities onto anyone who dares to oppose or criticize you.
Got any more stupidity and hypocrisy you’d like to treat us to?

Is that homophobia? I mean, if I want to suck a sack of dicks, and I’m not saying that I don’t, That is my buisness, is it not?

I was only pointing out his likely status (my gaydar went ‘ping’ and the DBz and duel polarimetric parameters highly suggested that I stay away from his ugly mug when in my usual state of drunkeness and underfundedness and attending state dinners or buying ‘stuff’ ’round the back) as remote sensors recorded it and commenting on the blatent hypocracy given some of his legislation. It is a very wide stance, it is hard to take it all in.

Sorry, {snarky, ugly, i’ll be more careful to tell…. in the future} REDACTED.

What a complete load of bullshit! Our host is a physician and a scientist. He has spent his professional life helping people and seeking new and improved ways of helping them. Are you such a complete fool that you think he would want HCQ to be found to be useless because Trump, a nasty malicious ignorant fool, promoted it? You have to be profoundly stupid to believe such a thing.

‘conformational bias’, these are your words

∗splorf∗ I’m sure you’ll be able to cough up the direct quote (hint: you are the only one who has used the word ‘bias’ in this entire page, apparently an esoteric talent of yours) in a jiffy.

Narad, Doug & Tim

I used the term ‘conformational bias’ to describe what Orac had done. It is the same thing that Diederik Stapel labored under. In an interview with Der Spiegel. Stapel said “I knew my theory were correct, I just had to prove them.”

And had you all just read the next paragraph I quoted from this article ‘the Surgisphere debacle’ The Orac own words from this article:

“Donald Trump with his sycophants, toadies, and lackeys have hyped the drug relentlessly”.

That statement/quote from this article is an example of conformational bias, he wanted this study to be true, so he ignored all the red flags that were thrown up.

I used the term ‘conformational bias’ to describe what Orac had done.

Gee, I missed the part of the post about organic synthesis. G—le Books lists three books, apparently of the self-help variety, that can’t figure out that what they mean is “confirmation bias.”

It is the same thing that Diederik Stapel labored under. In an interview with Der Spiegel. Stapel said “I knew my theory were correct, I just had to prove them.”

Der Spiegel never interviewed Stapel. There is no record of Stapel using those words anywhere else either.

@ F68.10 and Beth

One last try. Imagine a study looking to find if women have five times the rate of multiple sclerosis as men, the alternative hypothesis. What if the study doesn’t find a statistically significant difference? Could be too small sample size; but could also mean that the difference still existed; but was only four times or three times or two times. . . So, not finding statistical significance doesn’t mean the Null Hypothesis of no difference is true. As I said numerous times, one can’t prove a negative, in this case the null hypothesis; but that’s science. If someone doing the research personally believes the null hypothesis true, that is their right; but this lies outside of the actual scientific methodology.

F68.10. You write: ” Then what are all this credentials I have in maths and statistics? A figment of my imagination? Sorry: that’s how stats work. The way you implement stats concretely in a research program is of course always a bit more tricky. Never denied it. But, the epistemological foundation of H0 hypothesis testing, it’s what I’ve exposed.”

Well, maybe that is how math courses and math stat courses teach; but I took courses in actual research, e.g., social psychology, educational psychology, epidemiology, and, though one course in mathematical statistics, the rest were applied statistics, including structural equations/Lisrel, ANOVA, Logistic Regression, Non-Parametrics. Psychometrics, Sampling Theory, etc.

In any case, I accept that you are certain you are right, so why don’t we give it a rest and agree to disagree.

@ Joel

“One last try. Imagine a study looking to find if women have five times the rate of multiple sclerosis as men, the alternative hypothesis. What if the study doesn’t find a statistically significant difference? Could be too small sample size; but could also mean that the difference still existed; but was only four times or three times or two times. . . So, not finding statistical significance doesn’t mean the Null Hypothesis of no difference is true.”

I never claimed that one could derive any validity to the null hypothesis using such tests. In fact, precisely the opposite. Again, it seems you’ve been misreading from the start.

“As I said numerous times, one can’t prove a negative, in this case the null hypothesis;”

Idem as above.

“But that’s science. If someone doing the research personally believes the null hypothesis true, that is their right; but this lies outside of the actual scientific methodology.”

No. It’s more complicated than that. You have some information or a belief system or a contentious issue with, say, antivaxxers (assuming them to be rational, which we know is not precisely the case…). You calibrate your null hypothesis to that specific point, because it is the most contentious issue at stake: it is where tests based on the null hypothesis can stack up evidence against the null hypothesis, i.e. the contentious issue. It is in this way that belief systems influence the a priori choice of the null hypothesis, as Beth remarked.

“Well, maybe that is how math courses and math stat courses teach; but I took courses in actual research, e.g., social psychology, educational psychology, epidemiology, and, though one course in mathematical statistics, the rest were applied statistics, including structural equations/Lisrel, ANOVA, Logistic Regression, Non-Parametrics. Psychometrics, Sampling Theory, etc.”

They’re all based essentially on the same corpus of core ideas. Of course, real world statistics have tons of caveats that make them much more technico-practical. But the core workhorse of frequentist stats is essentially this usage of the null hypothesis to stack up evidence against it. It is why we assume it is true in order to construct tests, and when experiments fails, we can manage to backpropagate the statistical evidence and thus show that the null hypothesis was wrong. Conversely, a test that matches predictions gives us zero information of the null hypothesis. Zero. None. Zilch. Such tests cannot give any credence to the null hypothesis. At all. They only do not forbid us to continue working with the null hypothesis on further area of the domain under investigation.

“In any case, I accept that you are certain you are right, so why don’t we give it a rest and agree to disagree.”

For one, because I disagree that we disagree. I have other reasons, but I’d suspect you could (mis?)interpret them to be some kind of twisted form of retribution against doctors. So I’ll stick with the first one: I claim that we do agree, but that you did not perceive it because of what I perceive as some form of rather justified emotional load associated to the juxtaposition of “null hypothesis” and “true”. That latter statement is the less confrontational way to express what I believe epistemologically underlies the discussion we had.

@ORAC You followed in the path of so many others. “Denier! Witch!” My post was a simple request for scientific theory/testable model proving AGW (or climate change as the bet-hedgers now call it) in the context of a long history of planetary temperature and carbon cycles. Skeptical until I see it. I’ve made that request of true believers hundreds of times with literally no scientific response. Given the claims of overwhelming evidence, that seems like a simple request. It should be easy to embarrass me. “Look at XYZ by ABC PHD – Idiot!.” Or whatever. The only response that I ever get is either yours, “Denier!” I picture Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments. Or “95% of experts believe…” as if that’s how science is proven in the modern era – the same way toothpaste gets marketed on TV – 95% of dentists agree, Crest White Smile… Maybe there’s good evidence out there. I haven’t seen it. Mostly what I have seen is correlation as presumed causation. I’ve seen models that start around 1890. so 130 years of the planet’s existence. Covering 130/4,600,000,000 of the earth’s existence – oh, just ignore those early years. Nothing to see there. Ignore the evidence of wide variations and short, quick cycles nestled in long cycles https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2148-5 to “cherry-pick” but one example when the earth was much warmer and carbon was much higher than today. Do you have a model that can square that scientific finding with AGW? All those 8 cylinder cars 140 million years ago? Deniers, anyone? Ignore the fact that if we pick virtually any span in earth’s existence, the climate will be in the midst of changing, temperature and/or carbon, up or down. If I see real evidence and choose to deny it, I’d be a Denier! If I simply haven’t been exposed to the overwhelming evidence that is alleged to exist in a form so overwhelming as to be unquestionable, please point me in the right direction. Until then it looks like a “faith-based” belief to me.

I’m so sorry for diverting your attention. You can go back to attacking Trump again. I guess that was the topic at hand, based on your posts.

I am so sorry if I kept you from a riot or something last night. I’m sure that it can be frustrating if the bricks are all gone when you get there.

@ Tom

Climate scientists have retrieved cores of ice in Antarctica going back 100,000 years. There are different isotopes of oxygen, etc. and by these they can figure out how much CO2 was in the atmosphere. They also can look at tree rings going back 2,000 years and see how thick they are. They can look at sediment in rock. And what they discovered is that the Earth for the lifetime of man has NEVER gone above 300 parts of CO2. In addition, they can sample CO2 higher up, again isotopes that determine NOT from plant life and we have recorded temperatures going back at least 150 years and one can correlate increases in emissions of CO2 from burning of fossil fuels and temperature and the isotope of CO2 in the layer above Earth. As for Earth has been hotter millions of years ago, so what? Life as we know it didn’t exist. Just in my lifetime the Earth’s temperature has climbed faster than scientists predicted.

But, you already proved by other comments that you really don’t understand science; e.g., your claim that the null hypothesis hasn’t been proved and your equating vaccinations and social distancing with pregnant women smoking, etc. You are a typical type that sees the world in black and white, who thinks he knows what he is talking about, a perfect example of the Dunning-Kruger effect, that is, the less one knows/understands.

So keep believing one can prove the null hypothesis. Keep believing that if society chooses to regulate some behaviors relating to public health, then they should regulate all behaviors. All of none, black and white. And ignore the overwhelming data that, both from geological data, and data accumulated over the past 150 years, that man is causing global warming. Keep in mind that the first to notice it was in the late nineteenth century. And ignore that the North Pole has basically melted and that the Antarctic ice and Greenland are melting at ever accelerating rates, are moving towards the sea, and when they enter the oceans will rise, flooding low lying areas, not just islands, but much of Florida, etc. And the rate they are melting correlates strongly with the emissions of greenhouse gases. Ignorance is bliss, unless you care about future generations. Perhaps you don’t have children and could care less.

You Tube has a series called “Years of Living Dangerously” Watch it.

Thanks, Joel. You made my point again. The earth is 4.6 billion years old. The climate has fluctuated greatly during that time. Humanity has been here but a short time. There’s a chance that we haven’t seen everything that’s important. Science would be interested in prior cycles. You note that the temperature has risen faster than the scientists predicted, just in your lifetime. That’s a good point. I remember the dire warnings by scientists about global cooling. Due to fossil fuels. Some of the same scientists. Same predicted cause. Wildly different predicted effect. Trust them now based on a correlation that they found? Maybe you have something beyond the correlations that you offered, as proof. Holding it back for the grand finale, maybe? The big reveal! I’m waiting.

In any case, I have a pretty small carbon footprint. China and India are the big emitters. They’ll determine how much carbon goes up. I absolutely agree with you regarding particulate emissions. They are a public health risk and should be addressed. Which would also lower CO2. It always strikes me as odd that advocates choose CO2 as their target, given its history and the complexity/uncertainty of the modeling. Particulate matter is a far better target. The science on that is pretty straightforward.

My earlier point about public health interventions was that there are great number that deserve attention. You seem only interested in the ones that serve your worldview. It’s not black and white. It’s picking and choosing. Your priorities are white. The priorities of other people are black, especially with regard to how personally-responsible people should be for them.

@Tom

It does vary like that all throughout Earth’s geologic history. And there have been some one-off quick disruptions in our recent history by volcanoes such as Krakatoa or Mt. Penatubo.

It is even suggested that we are at the lower limits of CO2 for plants today. The concern is the rate of this change. In the past, these were millions of years in the changing. Today, with rapid change over a couple hundred years, not so much can be inferred.

I get it. I hold that carbon has been good for mankind (except for the whole petro dollar and wars thing). But, since it is now more economically viable for ‘going libby green’, should we not do that? That is lots of jobs developing, manufacturing, transporting, installing, monitoring and maintaining the new infrastructure.

I have no beef with investing in renewables. I’m seriously thinking about solar on my roof at this very moment. And energy-efficiency is important too. I don’t have any great attachment to fossil fuels, and do believe that they cause some harm, in form of particulate matter. All of that, though, is different from seeing convincing evidence on a causal link between CO2 and warming. All that I said was that I haven’t seen the scientific proof. Based solely on that, I’m accused of wanting to submerge Florida, etc. Based on noting that the HCQ has been the subject of some pretty defective science, I’m accused, incorrectly it turns out, of being a Trump fan.

Based solely on that, I’m accused of wanting to submerge Florida, etc.

I mean; Would you miss it? Asking for a friend.

Venice, Denmark, Sweden, The Netherands, and N’Olreans ‘adapted’. And it is not like a hurricane raising the sea level 20 feet in a day…

I’m going to hand you this, Tom:

“Don’t demonize energy, because without energy, life is brutal and short”. Dr. Christy writes this from his firsthand experiences in Africa, where he watched the native people just trying to survive and where wood carried for miles was the energy source for their society. I thought those were good words to consider, especially since we have activist maniacs like weepy Bill McKibben out to demonize energy on a daily basis. McKibben and his followers, not possessing the intelligence to fully understand what they are doing, think “they won“.

<

blockquote>I’ve had a lot of fun recently with my tiny (and unofficial) slice of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). But, though I was one of thousands of IPCC participants, I don’t think I will add “0.0001 Nobel Laureate” to my resume.

…I’m sure the majority (but not all) of my IPCC colleagues cringe when I say this, but I see neither the developing catastrophe nor the smoking gun proving that human activity is to blame for most of the warming we see. Rather, I see a reliance on climate models (useful but never “proof”) and the coincidence that changes in carbon dioxide and global temperatures have loose similarity over time.

There are some of us who remain so humbled by the task of measuring and understanding the extraordinarily complex climate system that we are skeptical of our ability to know what it is doing and why. As we build climate data sets from scratch and look into the guts…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Christy#Views

@Tom Yes, climate has been warmer in the past, without any polar ice caps. An sea level has been higher when this has happened. Do you want 100 meter higher sea level ? This would flood any number of cities.

Aarno. My point was simply that I haven’t seen proof of a causal link between man-made CO2 and warming. And, no. I don’t want sea level 100 meters higher. Is there evidence that man-made CO2 will do that? Or has hysteria substituted for science?

@Tom There is two numbers the energy the Earth receives from Sun and the energy it radiates back. What will happen when the latter one is rediced ?

@Tom, what to you would be proof of a causal link between man-made CO2 and warming? There is plenty of evidence that the World is heating up, that excess CO₂ is the cause of the heating, and that human activities are pumping huge amounts of CO₂ into the atmosphere.

@ Tom

“My post was a simple request for scientific theory/testable model.”

No. It was not.

“Skeptical until I see it.”

Denying that literature has been written.

“I’ve made that request of true believers hundreds of times with literally no scientific response.”

And I want a pony and a blowjob. I’ve made that request hundreds of time with literally no empathic response.

“Given the claims of overwhelming evidence, that seems like a simple request.”

It is. I’ve given you a link. Should I give it to you again?

“It should be easy to embarrass me.”

And in fact, I’m feeling embarrassed for you.

“The only response that I ever get is either yours, “Denier!””

OK. Here’s another: At least David Irving looks at documents and data. Not you. I hate to pull this one out, but spare me the opportunity next time by stopping to complain over syntax.

“I picture Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments. Or “95% of experts believe…” as if that’s how science is proven in the modern era”

You full well know that it’s not. It’s now how it is proven. For that, you’d have to refer to the “papers”. That’s where you should go. Scientific consensus or lack thereof is a manifestation of prior work. Scientific consensus is not an election; it’s not a beauty contest and people are not running for prom queen.

You, on the other hand, use appeal to emotion to undermine arguments by authority. Get a life.

” – the same way toothpaste gets marketed on TV – 95% of dentists agree,”

Do you want me to explain to you why I do not watch TV?

“Maybe there’s good evidence out there. I haven’t seen it.”

“Mostly what I have seen is correlation as presumed causation. I’ve seen models that start around 1890. so 130 years of the planet’s existence. Covering 130/4,600,000,000 of the earth’s existence – oh, just ignore those early years. Nothing to see there. Ignore the evidence of wide variations and short, quick cycles nestled in long cycles https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2148-5 to “cherry-pick” but one example when the earth was much warmer and carbon was much higher than today. Do you have a model that can square that scientific finding with AGW?”

Again: do you understand what time series analysis and model selection is?

Second time I asked that question. Maybe I should ask you if you understand what a question is…

“All those 8 cylinder cars 140 million years ago? Deniers, anyone?”

Hmmmh… And dinosaurs went extinct because they became gay?

See: I too can make shit up.

“Ignore the fact that if we pick virtually any span in earth’s existence, the climate will be in the midst of changing, temperature and/or carbon, up or down.”

I can roughly say the same thing of my penis when I’m wanking. Again: what’s your point?

“If I see real evidence and choose to deny it, I’d be a Denier!”

Gave you a link. You should start checking it out instead of making a fool of yourself. It is embarrassing. Not for you. For me.

“If I simply haven’t been exposed to the overwhelming evidence that is alleged to exist in a form so overwhelming as to be unquestionable”

First point: you shouldn’t make up your mind of “overwhelming” evidence but on “existing” evidence. That kind of rhetoric does make you a denier. Oh! Sorry! A skeptic.

“Please point me in the right direction.”

Did so in my last post. You chose to ignore it.

“Until then it looks like a “faith-based” belief to me.”

Look, big boy: you do not have to believe anything. Just stop spouting random shit and handing us sticks to get yourself beaten down.

Sorry, the only link that I saw you offer had something to do with a blow job and a pony. Not really my thing, so I skipped it. I’m not judging, though. Consenting pony over the age of consent for a pony? Knock yourself out.

Here’s <a href=”https://skepticalscience.com/argument.php>another for good measure. It should at least keep him busy.

Got it. Thanks. If it’s on an unfiltered wiki website, it must be true.

“Global warming, also known as anthropogenic (or human-caused) global warming, is the rising average temperature of Earth’s atmosphere and oceans and its related effects, sometimes popularly summarized as climate change. Global-warming denialism refers to claims – funded by the fossil-fuel industry – that global warming:

A) is not happening
B) is not caused by humans
C) is not significant enough to be a threat
D) is not important
E) is beneficial – highlight positive effects (e.g., crops grow faster and could grow crops in the Arctic) while ignoring strong evidence for negative effects (e.g., crops will have lower nutrient levels)”

I’m not funded by the fossil-fuel industry. I’m certainly open to it. Maybe just enough to pay for a rooftop solar array. Would that make me a good guy or a bad guy?

I’ve never made claims A – E. So I guess I can’t be burned at the stake.

Way down past the 18 challenges to AGW (which go unanswered, incidentally), there is a link for “evidence.” I clicked that link. Finally, the scientific papers that I’ve been looking for? No. Just explanations of those papers. One was by RAND. I clicked on that. I’m familiar with RAND from their predictions 20 years ago that specialty physicians would be in over-supply right about now. Their predictions led to reductions in physician training programs, and eventually to the current massive shortage of physicians. I figured that couldn’t be that wrong again and still stay in business. RAND explained, without offering a single original source, that the science is incontrovertible.

I then clicked on the NOAA link. The feds wouldn’t lie to us. I found this:

ERROR 404
We apologize, but the page or resource for which you are looking could not be located.

Please try one of the following:

Check the URL for spelling/typing errors
Make sure that any bookmarks you may have used are recent
Try using the site search
If you continue to have issues locating the file or resource you need, please contact the webmaster for assistance.

Thank you…

Next, I tried the National Academy of Sciences. Surely, they’d have the smoking gun study on full display for me. But, no.

Below the link on understanding my cat’s nutritional needs was a link on climate change. I clicked on that, and was reassured that

“The evidence is clear and compelling. Earth’s atmosphere and oceans are warming, the magnitude and frequency of extreme climate and weather events are increasing, and sea level is rising along our coasts.” Again, no specific sources for that assertion were offered.

Sadly, I had to go to work, so that I can fund NOAA and the rest. I remain skeptical. Unpaid by the cheap bastards in the fossil industry, so I don’t even qualify as a denier.

@ Tom

“Got it. Thanks. If it’s on an unfiltered wiki website, it must be true.”

Never believe anything merely because it’s on a website. Always dig deeper. Because when you believe a lie for too long, the truth doesn’t set you free. It tears you apart.

“I’m not funded by the fossil-fuel industry.”

As if I gave a fuck. I’m very much friendly towards Big Business.

“I’m certainly open to it. Maybe just enough to pay for a rooftop solar array. Would that make me a good guy or a bad guy?”

It would make you an irrelevant rhetorical nuisance. And essentially, you’re much more a dick than a bad guy. I’ve got nothing against bad men. The world needs bad men.

“I’ve never made claims A – E. So I guess I can’t be burned at the stake.”

I do not burn people at the stake. I’m in favour of some mild form of euthanasia. It’s my little nazi twist on reality. Now, will you please stop playing the victim card and lamenting being called “bad”? If you want me to start shedding a tear, at least tell me something a bit more moving. Like “my grandma was lynched”. Or “my pet rabbit died yesterday”. But quit the victimisation BS.

“Way down past the 18 challenges to AGW (which go unanswered, incidentally)”

Playing the dick, are we?

“there is a link for “evidence.” I clicked that link.”

Well, you could have shared the link here. I’m not going to crawl the internet trying to reverse engineer your thoughts from the flimsy descriptions of your web search. Not gonna do it. Now get real and engage in serious discussion: dump the link here.

“Finally, the scientific papers that I’ve been looking for? No. Just explanations of those papers.”

I’m amazed! Between 12:44 pm and 1:39 pm, you managed to click on the 149 links referenced on that page, absorb it all, and come back saying that nothing matches anything you’re searching for.

You’re a dick.

“One was by RAND. I clicked on that. I’m familiar with RAND from their predictions 20 years ago that specialty physicians would be in over-supply right about now. Their predictions led to reductions in physician training programs, and eventually to the current massive shortage of physicians.”

Very happy about any shortage of physicians. I guess you haven’t been around long enough on this blog to know that playing the doctor card with me is likely to backfire. Anything else to belittle RAND that I should know of?

“I figured that couldn’t be that wrong again and still stay in business. RAND explained, without offering a single original source, that the science is incontrovertible.”

Maybe you can give us the source where RAND made that claim without any sources. So that we all can have a look at it. But I thought we were talking climate change, weren’t we? Aren’t you moving topics around in order to deflect our attention?

“I then clicked on the NOAA link.”

Dump the link please.

“The feds wouldn’t lie to us.”

Oh! Another one that expects to live in a Care Bear Dictatorship where everything in the world is colored pink. Try blue instead:

“ERROR 404 We apologize, but the page or resource for which you are looking could not be located.”

Playing the dick again, are we?

“Next, I tried the National Academy of Sciences. Surely, they’d have the smoking gun study on full display for me. But, no. Below the link on understanding my cat’s nutritional needs was a link on climate change. I clicked on that, and was reassured that “The evidence is clear and compelling. Earth’s atmosphere and oceans are warming, the magnitude and frequency of extreme climate and weather events are increasing, and sea level is rising along our coasts.” Again, no specific sources for that assertion were offered.”

OK. Please endorse proudly the denier label: I have no problem with deniers; but I do have a problem with dickheads.

“Sadly, I had to go to work, so that I can fund NOAA and the rest.”

Be happy to pay as much taxes as possible. It shows that you’re higher up the social ladder than many other people. Never been so happy than when I was the most heavily taxed. I just hope that you enjoy it as much as I did when I was filthy rich.

“I remain skeptical.”

Skeptical and a dick.

“Unpaid by the cheap bastards in the fossil industry, so I don’t even qualify as a denier.”

Well, please find a job in the fossil fuel industry. You’ll perhaps get a clearer view of things. Being curious is a good thing.

“I then clicked on the NOAA link. The feds wouldn’t lie to us.”
You are of course referring to the federal government that is being run by and for the fossil fuel industries and their financial beneficiaries.
By following links from the National Academy of Science homepage, I came to this one, https://www.nap.edu/catalog/25733/climate-change-evidence-and-causes-update-2020, which led me to five free PDFs on the topic. I have not read them yet, but if you are so certain that NAS has nothing to offer you, you might exert the slightest effort to find out. There was also this page with links to more information: https://sites.nationalacademies.org/sites/climate/SITES_190724
Next time do your homework.

If it’s on an unfiltered wiki website, it must be true.

There’s another irony meter blown apart. I take it that your semiliterate screeds are 100% ab initio.

I picture Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments.

I was away visiting a friend the past couple of days, and i still can’t figure out this one.

Sheila might be a millipede. It’ll take a lot of foot shooting before she (finally) stops.

@ Tom

One more point that I’m sure you won’t accept. The pollution from fossil fuels is responsible for approximately 150,000 premature deaths in the United States, hundreds of thousands of disabilities, billions in health care costs, and economic losses due to illness, not working. What type of illnesses? Respiratory, cardiovascular, and cancer. So, even if you refuse to really investigate all that is known about climate change, that 95% of world’s scientists support, fossil fuels are still harming all of us.

By the way, Harriet Hall, over on Science-Based Medicine blog, has a great article on a book about modern medicine “No, Everything You Thought You Knew About Disease Is Not Wrong” (June 2). I’m sure you will disagree with her and I highly recommend you purchase the book. The book by Dawn Lester and David Parker entitled “What Really Makes You Ill?: Why Everything You Thought You Knew About Disease Is Wrong.” The authors think like you do.

Thanks for the recommendation. Harriet Hill is exactly right. Her parting words, for the record: “If you don’t think “some random scientist reportedly said” is evidence, if you value science, this book is not for you.” You seem enamored by the “some random scientist reportedly said” approach to climate science. Isn’t that the approach that you have taken? To paraphrase your argument: “Somebody found a correlation between atmospheric carbon and warming, so it must be causal. If that’s not enough evidence for you, you must like asthma and hate babies and puppies.”

@ Tom

You write: “You seem enamored by the “some random scientist reportedly said” approach to climate science. Isn’t that the approach that you have taken? To paraphrase your argument: “Somebody found a correlation between atmospheric carbon and warming, so it must be causal>”

I listed a number of pieces of evidence; but you picked just one. It would take a very long comment to document all the evidence; but thank you again for showing your incapability of actual thought, your picking sentences out of context. I am not a climatologist; but I have tried to read every article in Scientific American since late 1980s, some articles in Nature and Science Magazines, a half dozen books, have downloaded and read several of UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, other websites, and watched several documentaries. What have you done?

Below is a reference list. I have read most of the listed items. I include the Clean Room because it is an excellent example of how industry knowingly harmed people for profit and fought against scientists for almost 70 years. The Wikipedia article gives a reasonable summary. I also included a book that documents that many of the scientists who worked helping Big Tobacco then helped obfuscate/challenge global warming. A great book, available at amazon.com. And I include the 9-part TV series “Years of Living Dangerously”. Available on YouTube. Well worth watching.

I suggest if you even consider yourself intelligent and open-minded that you watch the series, read the book, and read some or better ALL of the references I give. I put them in specific order. NASA has several pages with well-documented info, the World Meteorological Association gives a good summary. IPCC is quite long and detailed. I challenge you to read all carefully and then explain your position. Otherwise, you are just one more moron posting platitudes, sentences out of context, etc. And, as I explained above, I don’t base anything on one random scientist; but extensive careful reading, etc. and sometimes going to seminars and asking questions. You apparently are the one who chooses positions, not based on random scientists; but on cherry-picking confirmation bias.

And no response to my comment on pollutants from fossil fuels and devastating health consequences?

Do you even have a science background? Graduate school?

And asshole, I love babies and puppies. Though I don’t have children of my own, when younger I often babysat for free for friends, especially single mothers. Other times would take their kids to matinees so they could go shopping. And I have had dogs, cats, and other pets most of my life. Current dog, an Australian Shepherd, I got from a rescue group 10 years ago after my last dog, a mini-schnauzer, developed untreatable cancer just before his 15th birthday. Typical of people like you to make such absurd claims.

References on Climate Change

NASA (The National Aeronautics and Space Administration) (2020 Jun). Global Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet. Facts: Evidence, Causes, Effects, Scientific Consensus, Vital Signs, Questions (FAQ). Available at: https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence

World Meteorological Organization (2019). WMO Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2018. Available at: https://gallery.mailchimp.com/daf3c1527c528609c379f3c08/files/82234023-0318-408a-9905-5f84bbb04eee/Climate_Statement_2018.pdf

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2015). Climate Change 2014 – Synthesis Report. Available at: https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/02/SYR_AR5_FINAL_full.pdf

Oreskes N, Conway Eric M (2010). Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. Bloomsbury Press.

Wikipedia. Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (2014). Episode 7: The Clean Room. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Clean_Room [TV can rent for $2.99 at: https://www.amazon.com/Standing-Up-Milky-Way/dp/B00IJL1J02/ref=sr_1_1?crid=PYDKWXAEOWI8&dchild=1&keywords=cosmos+a+spacetime+odyssey&qid=1591625457&s=movies-tv&sprefix=cosmos%2Caps%2C197&sr=1-1

Years of Living Dangerously. 9 Part Series. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dA41EGRyJJI&list=PL7LXYo3OxRxFIWMhdHGWVgfHNP6QZf6i2 [note things come and go on YouTube; but often more than one upload]

Offtopic:

I made my way out of the cavern…

Some time ago, I enlisted into a database design associate degree course and because of the shutdown here, we ended up compressing a 13 weeks 300 hours semester into a 10 weeks ordeal where 8 of those weeks used to wrap up 250+ (no more than 260) hours of course time, that is not counting homework, study and practice.

I am into my 2nd semester and since wrapping up the previous semester, I was struck by a left lung pneumonia which is in treatment but I’m lucky for my result of COVID test which is negative. This past Wednesday, paramedic brought me to one of the hospitals in the city to be treated and because the results of my test weren’t in yet, I was not cleared to use any public transportation and thus, took a slow 8.6km (5.35 miles) walk home. I’m still in good shape 🙂

I have to crash but more later.

Alain

Alain,
I’m glad you’re feeling better and it wasn’t COVID, but what on earth making you walk 8.6km? That’s completely unreasonable! I hope nothing bad comes of having to walk that far while recovering from pneumonia.

Best wishes for next semester!

Justatech,

2 things, first, I wasn’t cleared to use public transportation (and yes, I want to own a car but…) and I was short on cash for the taxi.

Don’t worry, I took 2 full hours to walk the 8.6km instead of my usual 1:20 (my record so far is 33km in 4:30 not counting 2 breaks (one break was an appointment, the other, laying low for 30 minutes within 6km of home).

I seem to have good pain tolerance; in 2013, I spent over a week with an apendicitis and it was 24 hours after said apendicitis transformed itself into peritonitis (yes, I felt the appendix rupture or explode). Call the paramedic, get transported and triaged to the waiting room for 3 hours with no other symptoms except a fcking pain in the belly (nausea, fever, etc… all negative, only motherfcking belly pain). I got surgery on the same day.

Alain

oh, another curious oddity: I was 37 years old in 2013. Apparently, apendicitis happen much sooner in life…

Alain

““Donald Trump with his sycophants, toadies, and lackeys have hyped the drug relentlessly”.

“That statement/quote from this article is an example of conformational bias, he wanted this study to be true, so he ignored all the red flags that were thrown up.”

It was understandable that given a President who’s jumped on the bandwagon of various idiotic medical theories (from vaccines causing autism overnight to injecting disinfectants for Covid-19), one would be deeply skeptical of his fervent promotion of HCQ, especially since there were already studies suggesting it did little if any good, and then to initially accept what turned out to be a flawed study confirming earlier findings of the ineffectiveness of the drug in this application.
Every time RFK Jr. or another prominent antivaxer hypes a study as “proving” their beliefs, it’s reasonable to have a default assumption that they’re full of shit, but still have to analyze and demonstrate that the study is crap. Which is what this blog has done many times.

Will the promoters of ineffective coronavirus remedies and purveyors of bizarre Covid-19 conspiracy theories ever acknowledge they were wrong? Don’t count on it.

As for the Dunning-Kruger effect, people like to cite it as a sophisticated way of saying “You’re a dumbass, and too stupid to realize it”. Did the initial researchers ever incorporate the concept that intelligent people who perform well in their fields can stubbornly embrace fallacious ideas, involving the same sort of defective pathways as morons? I’ve heard Dunning-Kruger interpreted this way, but can’t find evidence that D-K themselves did so.

I suspect that all of us are ultimately susceptible.

@ Dangerous Bacon

I don’t know if one has ever applied Dunning-Kruger to experts in one area who automatically assume they know something in entirely different areas; but there are plenty of examples. Linus Pauling won the Nobel Prize in chemistry. But later in life with no education or indication he even studied/read up on human physiology, medicine, etc pushed for megadoses of vitamin C. All his claims debunked. Perfect example of Dunning-Kruger even if never actually applied to him.

@ DB:
( and Joel):

I’ve never seen D-K used that way. Earlier, developmental psychologists showed that school children with poor grades often predicted that they would do well on tests whilst
those with better track records were more cautious about potential results.
I tend to view it as more globally as a failure of metacognition. People with poor skills assume they’re better than they actually are.

Orac refers to the Nobel Effect which encompasses Pauling, Kary Mullis,( hiv/ aids denailism) and Montagnier, I suppose that the engineer who embraced IQ racism ( Shockley? **) would fit the appellation as well.

Assuming ability in areas one didn’t study is common amongst anti-vaxxers with advanced degrees in Business or Law ( Blaxill, Kuo Habakus, Holland, RFK jr, Heckenlively. others), Then there’s Shiva and Seneff-
but who venture into life science or psychology as bold maverick paradigm shifters..
Although they aren’t experts in their new areas, I imagine that really well educated people learn that they don’t know everything because of their past histories. with liberal studies vs concentrations.: a 50 year old should be able to fathom that something you researched for 2 weeks isn’t as well known as what you focused upon for several years and that someone with a smidgen of work in an area is not the same as a lifelong researcher- if they can’t tell the difference, it says lots about other characteristics of their mode of thought and manner of dealing with the real world- none of them good..

**so well known it showed up in a Spike Lee movie

Ooops!
That should be Nobel Disease ( see Rational Wiki for a list of offenders. I forgot all about TInbergen. Nice strike out on Schrodinger) Wikipedia entry on Shockley also.

I’m sure that it can be frustrating if the bricks are all gone when you get there.

It sure is. These delivery guys went to the wrong address again:

{Ok, maybe they’re just cleaning them up in advance. Besides, Hasn’t it been largely non-vilolent (except for police) these last few days? Fox is still showing stuff from last week.}

It’s nice to finally get a peek behind the curtain of medical research. I wonder how many other “studies” this company and others have done costing people their lives and health, and billions in malpractice and maltreatments. “Oh, but it was published in a peer-reviewed journal” you said. “Oh, it’s a scientific consensus” you said. How much medical research out there is just as fraudulent but has not yet been uncovered? Likely far more than we suspect. This blog is bullocks and engages in disinformation, only ever admitting it when it’s impossible not to do so.

One notes that neither of the articles retracted was “scientific consensus.” A scientific consensus rests on a lot more than one or even a few papers. You’re very silly.

I’ll take that as an “I’m awfully sorry for being such a liar and condescendingly lambasting anyone who dared disagree with me and the fraudulent studies I promote”.

@ MedMal

“I’ll take that as an “I’m awfully sorry for being such a liar and condescendingly lambasting anyone who dared disagree with me and the fraudulent studies I promote”.”

Why would you do that? It’s obviously not Orac’s intent.

You’re therefore only making yourself feel good.

Cheaply.

Nowhere near as silly as you are going to look when the news regarding the editors in chief of the Lancet and NEJM admitting on tape they publish studies they know are bogus, due to pharma’s power and money. “Silly” actually doesn’t even begin to cover it. Your already tattered reputation will be nothing but a small pile of poo on the floor.

Any editor who intentionally publishes a study they know is fraudulent should – and almost certainly will – lose their job.

This study was not actually a “big Pharma” product. Part of the problem here is that the data is from a small company that can’t do what it said it’s doing.

If and when you have actual evidence of journal editors intentionally publishing fraud, please share it. It would help get them out.

@ MedMal

“the news regarding the editors in chief of the Lancet and NEJM admitting on tape they publish studies they know are bogus, due to pharma’s power and money.”

You have a link to such tape recordings?

@ MedMal

So, if you believe almost all medical research is fraudulent, I guess you avoid doctors no matter how sick you are?

Science is based not on one or even a few studies but many and studies do get retracted and even well-done studies are found to be “incorrect” by more well-done studies. What I look at in a study is its methods section and statistical analysis, then I look for more studies on the same subject.

Since you don’t believe in modern medicine, I suggest you turn to faith healing. It suits you.

“So, if you believe almost all medical research is fraudulent, I guess you avoid doctors no matter how sick you are?”

No. I only avoid doctors after they’ve already made me especially sick via malpractice, which is almost at every visit, this HCQ imbroglio serving as an excellent example as to why that is so often the case.

@ MedMal

The HCQ “imbroglio” has nothing to do with the notion of malpractice. And let me be painfully clear: there is an ethical difference when it comes to malpractice between a situation where the patient has asked for medical care to be provided and a situation where the patient didn’t ask for anything: appreciations of moral hazard issues are different in these cases.

Personally, I avoid doctors no matter how sick I am. I’d indeed rather drown than let them lay a finger on me: they believe that “No” means “Yes”. But I see no reason whatsoever to trust faith healers more than doctors… on any count…

Reasons for malpractice or other medical “bad” behaviours are more structural than linked with the concept of medicine-as-science and with flaws like the HCQ “imbroglio”. These structural reasons do, on some topics, spill over in the scientific literature produced by the medical world; but absolutely not in the way the HCQ “imbroglio” highlights. In fact, the HCQ “imbroglio” highlights the fact that doing research too fast leads to confused results and confusion; a criticism or warning skeptics tend to have made repeatedly recently…

“I’ll take that as an “I’m awfully sorry for being such a liar and condescendingly lambasting anyone who dared disagree with me and the fraudulent studies I promote”.”
And I’ll take as an “I’m an idiot who puts words in people’s mouths in complete disregard of the facts when they say the exact opposite of what I want them to say.”

How much medical research out there is just as fraudulent but has not yet been uncovered? Likely far more than we [sic] suspect.

You’ve got a point there. I’m certain that verucca vulgaris is caused by miasms; all this “virus” stuff is a put-on. I’m not certain whether it’s covered in one of the seemingly endless editions of the Organanon.

@ Tom

You write: “I then clicked on the NOAA link. The feds wouldn’t lie to us. I found this:

ERROR 404
We apologize, but the page or resource for which you are looking could not be located.”

Funny, I just typed in Google: NOAA AND climate

Went right to the site at: https://www.noaa.gov/climate

Also just Google: NOAA

Went right to the site: https://www.noaa.gov

Then in search box type: climate

Got a ton of hits

But I submitted earlier a bunch of better websites. Sometimes the filter takes more time if too many URLs.

In any case, either you just didn’t type search correctly or just plain lying?

@ Tom

Go to any of the websites, they include references or better download National Academy of Sciences free book.

You really are an asshole. Even if I gave 10 references you wouldn’t change your mind. You don’t understand science and don’t want to. And the consensus is based on many articles, articles on rock sediment, articles on oxygen isotopes in Antarctic ice, articles on isotopes of CO2 in atmosphere and on and on its goes. I have given you a ton of references and all you want to do is continue to be a genuine asshole. Well, congratulations.

Whether you believe in climate change or not, you are just one moron among many. I’ll be dead in a few years; but younger generations will suffer from climate change because of people like you and current living generations and future will also suffer from premature deaths and disabilities caused by fossil fuel pollutants.

@ Tom

You write: “Next, I tried the National Academy of Sciences. Surely, they’d have the smoking gun study on full display for me. But, no.”

Tthat is absurd to expect a “smoking gun study”. Climate change is based on numerous studies; but NAS does have a free for download book: National Academy of Sciences (2014). Climate Change: Evidence and Causes. Available at: https://www.nap.edu/catalog/18730/climate-change-evidence-and-causes

So, you claim you couldn’t access NOAA and when checking out National Academy of Sciences website, didn’t notice they have a free book.

The only conclusion I can reach is you are a friggin liar, assuming no one will check you out on your claims that no information is available.

Joel – So I managed to download the book. First of all, interesting explanations. Second of all, they don’t cite a single paper in the whole “book”. Not one! This is the NAS!! My thesis chair was a member of the NAS back in the day. If I turned this crap in, he would have embarrassed me with it. Thirdly, the authors seem to think that the earth was created around 1850. You haven’t stumbled on some sort of Creationist website on accident, maybe? “Nope. God put the planet here shortly before Lincoln was elected. Eve voted one way. Adam voted the other. We had to break the tie..We checked the temperature then, and it’s hotter now. By golly”

@ Tom

You write: “the authors seem to think that the earth was created around 1850.”

Gee, on page 8 it states: “Direct measurements of CO2 in the atmosphere and in air trapped in ice show that atmospheric CO2 increased by about 40% from 1800 to 2012.” 1800, not 1850

On page 9: “Comparison with the CO2 levels measured in air extracted from ice cores indicates that the current concentrations are higher than they have been in at least 800,000 years” Maybe a moron like you doesn’t understand; but 800,000 years is a few years before 1850

On page 12: “Recent estimates of the increase in global average temperature since the end of the last ice age are 4 to 5 °C (7 to 9 °F). That change occurred over a period of about 7,000 years, starting 18,000 years ago.” Page also explains ice cycles of approximately 100,000 years. And page 12: “Measurements of air in ice cores show that for the past 800,000 years up until the 20th century, the
atmospheric CO2 concentration stayed within the range 170 to 300 parts per million (ppm), making the recent rapid rise to nearly 400 ppm over 200 years particularly remarkable.”

And later: “For earlier geological times, CO2 concentrations and temperatures have been inferred from less direct methods. Those suggest that the concentration of CO2 last approached 400 ppm about 3 to 5 million years ago, a period when global average surface temperature is estimated to have been about 2 to 3.5°C higher than in the pre-industrial period.” Unfortunately they don’t explain in this paper the indirect methods; but other websites do; but the book certainly doesn’t just go back to 1850.

As for references, go to page 36 it states:

Much of the original data underlying the scientific findings discussed here are available at;

then gives 10 websites, so not a traditional reference list; but does refer to original data. And it is only one of the references I gave you. As I explained ASSHOLE, I don’t rely on one source.

@ Tom

“Joel – So I managed to download the book. First of all, interesting explanations. Second of all, they don’t cite a single paper in the whole “book”. Not one!”

Can’t check as I have a personal policy of not registering online to download an ebook. But I find that statement dubious.

“This is the NAS!! My thesis chair was a member of the NAS back in the day. If I turned this crap in, he would have embarrassed me with it.”

Oh! Really?

“Thirdly, the authors seem to think that the earth was created around 1850.”

And you do not feel embarrassed by this blatant misrepresentation? You should. Seriously.

“You haven’t stumbled on some sort of Creationist website on accident, maybe?”

Oh! Oh! Oh! Ah! Ah! Ah! Oh! Oh! Oh!

Very funny.

Well no. Not even funny. Utterly stupid feces throwing behaviour. You’re proof that we do descend from primates. Go and present yourself to creationists: you seem darn close to being the “missing link”…

“Nope. God put the planet here shortly before Lincoln was elected. Eve voted one way. Adam voted the other. We had to break the tie..We checked the temperature then, and it’s hotter now. By golly”

If you continue like this, I believe I’ll have zero qualms in the future nuking the planet if ever I lay my hands on this North Korean red button. You’ll be regretting anthropogenic climate change.

Call me Skynet.

@ Tom

OK. Just checked. Anyone interested can check the content of the book here.

Most pages of this chapter reference, as margin notes, some sources and articles.

Bottom line: Tom is a LIAR.

And should be called as such as he has been given lots of opportunities to look at documents that he has been indicated. He deliberately FALSIFIES the contents of the document in the way he represents it to others.

In his own words: “Second of all, they don’t cite a single paper in the whole “book”. Not one!”.

That’s a lie.

Plain and simple.

I believe I’ll have zero qualms in the future nuking the planet if ever I lay my hands on this North Korean red button.

If they’re firing to the east, it seems that it should be a blue button.

I will again take the high road. Just asking: did you note the interview with the lead author? One of the comments noted that he seemed to mix up HCQ with hydroxyquinolone, which must be a French name for metronidazole, used for amoebic dysentery. Dosage and maximum dosage is much higher than for HCQ.
Another study designed for failure – through stupidity? Or something else.

FS : Could you please precise what dosage of HCQ you gave to the patient ? and the results ?
ML :  It is 2400 mg in the first 24 hours and 800 mg from day 2 to day 10.  It is an 10 day course of treatment in total.  These are quite high doses to make sure that the blood levels got high enough to have a chance of killing the virus.
 
FS : How did you decide on the dosage of HCQ ?
ML : The doses were chosen on the basis of pharmacokinetic modelling and these are in line with the sort of doses that you used for other diseases such as amoebic dysentery.

I misspelled it.

This is the comment that I found concerning:

A french MD about this itw (pr Perronne):
“there’s confusion between HCQ and hydroxyquinolin. If this is correct, it is incompetence. The most serious is the use of a dose, potentially fatal.”
➡️ Landray talk about dysentry: HCQ isn’t for this disease, it’s hydroxyquinolin

https://twitter.com/neeyial/status/1269665657643294720?s=21

Wow! I came across this blog as I’m not a health professional, have some real concerns about vaccines (especially in light of the current situation) and wanted to find something that might help me see vaccines from a different point of view, hopefully in a better light. I must say I’m disappointed with the tone of some of the arguments/attacks here, but I suppose this is just a blog used by people after all, and it takes all sorts.

Anyway, if anyone’s interested, the following is a video from another doctor who also made the same error as Orac, talking to one of the doctors who helped with the retraction, and is now providing an opportunity for health workers in the US to help science research a solution that would specifically help these essential and at-risk workers themselves initially, then spread to the wider population if successful. I don’t qualify, but think it would be great if those of you who do would help, and/or let other colleagues know about it so they can too.

https://www.facebook.com/ZDoggMD/videos/212166756409545/

@Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

You wrote: “You really are an asshole. Even if I gave 10 references you wouldn’t change your mind. You don’t understand science and don’t want to. And the consensus is based on many articles, articles on rock sediment, articles on oxygen isotopes in Antarctic ice, articles on isotopes of CO2 in atmosphere and on and on its goes. I have given you a ton of references and all you want to do is continue to be a genuine asshole. Well, congratulations.”

Even if you gave me 10 references…and yet an eminent scientist such as yourself (held in high esteem mostly by yourself, from what I can tell – at least I’m genuine – your insecurities are glaring)…won’t give me one reference. Not one. Consensus is not science. For crying out loud, you allege that you took THREE graduate level philosophy of science courses. One of them must have covered develop theory –> develop model –> test model on data (control for known con-founders)–> resort to name-calling only if that doesn’t work. What is the most-compelling paper that proves AGW without a doubt? Have you actually read any? The one that claims “95% of scientists agree…” doesn’t count. And, if you read it closely, it doesn’t even really say that.

@ Tom

You just continue to demonstrate what an asshole you are. The graduate courses I took emphasized that science is a cumulative enterprise built on numerous studies, reviews of those studies, etc. The 95% of scientists who agree, agree on the body of evidence, not just one study. And again you friggin moron, the evidence, the studies cover many different aspects. If I gave you reference to study of ice cores from Antarctica it wouldn’t mean much without studies of other phenomena.

And I gave you link to an excellent book; but you are too dishonest, too much a friggin asshold to simply download and read.

I did check on series Years of Living Dangerously and unfortunately not currently available.

And I NEVER claimed to be an eminent scientist. In fact, I clearly explained that I’m not a climatologist; but tried to read every article since late 1980s in Scientific American, article in Nature and Science Magazines, half dozen books, attended seminars, and watched several documentaries. So, claiming I was making myself out to be an eminent scientist just shows one more example of what a friggin asshole you are.

I do consider myself reasonably intelligent; but not an Einstein; but I do my best before taking a position to research a topic. Now on infectious diseases, I’m still not an eminent scientists; but it is part of my education and I do understand research design quite well.

I think your posts, clearly not to actually enter into a civilized rational dialogue, indicate you are an extremely unhappy individual and the only way you get your jollies is trying to get a rise out of an old man. Well, it isn’t you I’m reacting to; but what you represent, a significant proportion of Americans who don’t really understand many things; but rigidly stick by their beliefs.

GO TO HELL ASSHOLE

More ranting, and yet not a single paper that you or your ranting pen pal can point to? I get my jollies by pointing out that most liberals haven’t got a clue about the “facts” that they believe in, and that they fully believe, simply as a part of their virtue signalling, in politically correct ideas without actually questioning. That’s fine. Lot’s of people believe in things because other people tell them to. Children. Religious zealots. Children typically don’t call people LIARS when they are asked for a foundational basis for their beliefs, but they’d be excused for doing so. Religious zealots make it their habit to call out “DENIERS” of what they know (without a factual basis) to be true. You know, that “significant proportion of Americans who don’t really understand many things; but rigidly stick by their beliefs.” Stones and glass houses don’t mix well.

That’s OK. I get my jollies pointing out that most MAGA-types are incredibly talented at engaging in projection when they say that liberals “haven’t got a clue about the facts they believe in.”🙄🤦‍♂️

@ Tom the Liar

“More ranting, and yet not a single paper that you or your ranting pen pal can point to?”

Why should we care about providing anything to someone that misrepresents so outrageously the documents he’s presented? Moreover, we’re not obliged to anything towards you in the first place. And if there is one person you should NEVER try to bullshit by falsifying the contents of a document, it is me.

You should feel lucky that courtesy is the only thing holding me back from going further than rants.

“I get my jollies by pointing out that most liberals haven’t got a clue about the “facts” that they believe in, and that they fully believe, simply as a part of their virtue signalling, in politically correct ideas without actually questioning.”

Oh… I’m a “liberal”, now… Take your head out of your ass for a second, and acknowledge that the US is not the center of the world.

“That’s fine. Lot’s of people believe in things because other people tell them to. Children. Religious zealots.”

Kiss my ass.

“Children typically don’t call people LIARS when they are asked for a foundational basis for their beliefs, but they’d be excused for doing so.”

People like me call out people for being liars and falsificators when they are. You have no fucking clue what my beliefs are, you enjoy playing the telepath, and you lie and falsify data. You’ve proven it by yourself. And I have no fucking obligation to explain to anyone what the “foundational basis for my beliefs”, whatever that means, are. That’s called freedom of conscience, and I’ve been tortured for the right not to have to explain anything to people wanting to crawl under my skin. That last criteria is what makes the difference between a zealot and a theocrat. Mark my words.

“Religious zealots make it their habit to call out “DENIERS” of what they know (without a factual basis) to be true.”

Theocrats burn down heretics just to be sure what the foundational basis for their beliefs are.

“You know, that “significant proportion of Americans who don’t really understand many things; but rigidly stick by their beliefs.” Stones and glass houses don’t mix well.”

Get it straight: most people are not luminaries and it’s a miracle we managed to come down from the trees.

@ Tom

“Held in high esteem mostly by yourself, from what I can tell – at least I’m genuine – your insecurities are glaring.”

You really are ridiculous. If you’re referring to my little skirmish with Joel, you really should understand that: 1. I enjoy bickering with people in the medical world and 2. as Joel said, science is a collective enterprise, and we shouldn’t belittle the work of others or the competence of others to get the upper hand. Science work is done by eminent and very much less eminent people, and while there can be quite some disagreement over many points, overall, different work by different people compound over time. You simply cannot dismiss people the way you did.

Again, again, again and again: engage with the arguments. For what it’s worth, you’re a dick that doesn’t even want to look at work being done by scientists. It’s so blatant that I do not think you even deserve the title of “climate change denier”. This is blatant anti-science. It’s not even masquerading as climate change denialism.

Carolyn: “I came across this blog as I’m not a health professional, have some real concerns about vaccines (especially in light of the current situation) and wanted to find something that might help me see vaccines from a different point of view, hopefully in a better light. I must say I’m disappointed with the tone of some of the arguments/attacks here, but I suppose this is just a blog used by people after all, and it takes all sorts.”

It’s interesting that Carolyn, who is so distressed by negative “tone”, would then link to a ZDoggMD video. Dr. Z has done multiple videos lampooning and harshly criticizing antivaxers (check out for example “A Real Doctor (& Tom) Watch A Vaccine Debate”), so he’s hardly a role model for dainty tone – yet he’s also directly and respectfully addressed parents with vaccine concerns, as in this presentation:

http://zdoggmd.com/to-parents-worried-about-vaccines/

Personally, I gravitate towards facts, don’t allow myself to be fatally distracted by insults and perceived disrespect, and certainly don’t dismiss good evidence on the pretense of being miffed over “tone”.

@ Dangerous Bacon

In the musical comedy Man of La Mancha, Alonso Quiana’s, Don Quixote’s real life name, niece and parish priest catch up with him. The parish priest tries to talk sense into him saying “face the facts.” Don Quixote replies: “Facts are the enemy of truth.” Well, in a musical comedy, one of my all time favorites, amusing. Unfortunately, too many people like Tom ignore the “facts”, as you say, use every excuse to not allow their beliefs to be challenged, e.g., tone used, etc.

Unfortunately, same with politics. In fact studies have found that people more influenced by what a politician says and his style than what he actually does. Frightening. As with you, I really don’t have to like someone or even their style to decide on the facts; but, in all honesty, still, Man of La Mancha and even childhood reading of unabridged Don Quixote still among my favorites;

But, then again, I also like Peter Pan; but not when it comes to vaccines, public health, climate change, etc. Then I focus on the real world.

Oracsays:
June 9, 2020 at 9:03 am
That’s OK. I get my jollies pointing out that most MAGA-types are incredibly talented at engaging in projection when they say that liberals “haven’t got a clue about the facts they believe in.”🙄🤦‍♂️

BY POST AUTHOR

Great. Glad everybody had a good time. I’ll go tell my wife/half-sister to get supper on. I’ve got to get back to putting the lift kit on my pick-up, so I can get to the mask-free Deplorable Jamboree on time. Which will free you and your colleagues up to make up data in support of your political views. If Trump is for it, stand against it. Remember though, in the immortal words of warmist-hero Dr Mann, “HIDE THE DATA!” Transparency is what always gets “scientists” into trouble.

As I recall*, the “Nature trick” was a certain analysis technique that had been used for a previous Nature journal publication. This made things going on with certain ‘peers’ and and publishers look a little hokey. It was made worse by others feeding the “trick” random data and it tended to spit out hockey sticks.

He was exonerated by Pennsylvania State University but, then again, so was that one football coach.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_E._Mann#CRU_email_controversy

*I’m quit sure others will remind me that those emails did show a bit of animosity amoungst various researchers.

**Also, the UAH record in that one graph in the video has since been revised upwards over the years as systemic error with the sat measurements were recognized or called out over the years.

@ Tom the Liar

“Which will free you and your colleagues up to make up data in support of your political views.”

Yikes! Now I’m accused of being a falsifier! You really shouldn’t pull that kind of shit with just anyone. Some people take it very very very personally.

I expect you have proof that I am “making up data”. Or maybe I should understand the word “colleagues” in a looser sense not including myself. Please advise the exact extent of your allegations so that I can ascertain whether or not I should take it personally.

“If Trump is for it, stand against it.”

Don’t give a fuck about Trump: I’m a Schneider-Ammann fanboy! So give us a break with Trump if you want to discuss climate change.

“Remember though, in the immortal words of warmist-hero Dr Mann, “HIDE THE DATA!” Transparency is what always gets “scientists” into trouble.”

The truth can also get scientists into trouble.

In fact, you do not give a fuck about climate change. You only care about Trump. Which is fine by me as long as you’re clear with yourself with it. For the moment, you’re obviously not.

And you’re a liar and a data falsifier. Before spouting shit on other people, you should consider wiping your butt. Go home and play with your boogers.

It is amazing, isn’t it, how so many overlapping groups of Americans simply fail to understand the rest of the world exists. Tom, anti-vaxxers, climate change yahoos (why the heck we got side tracked about climate change now I have no idea), for all of them the world ends at the boundaries of the continental USA.

I’ve only visited Switzerland once, a brief stop in Bern and an overnight in Lauterbrunnen, which had the best air I’ve ever breathed. And more cheese than it was perhaps wise to eat.

@ JustaTech

“It is amazing, isn’t it, how so many overlapping groups of Americans simply fail to understand the rest of the world exists. Tom, anti-vaxxers, climate change yahoos (why the heck we got side tracked about climate change now I have no idea), for all of them the world ends at the boundaries of the continental USA.”

That’s somehow understandable that people focus on their country to some extent. But it’s not excusable to not get the point… I did not enjoy pulling out the swiss card so insistently in my interactions with Tom, but his “I’m a poor Trump afficionado” whining really got on my nerves. I mean, I’ve made it pretty explicit in my interactions with JP — which were rather friendly — that I myself have a problem with crazy moonbats (there are rather rational and intelligent moonbats, do not get me wrong…) strawmaning me every possible way on such issues that I was not going to have Tom lecture me on such topics. And clearly not with the kind of language and innuendos that he’s been abusing and abusing. I mean, bring back Christine Kincaid: she’s an angel compared to this dimwit nutcase. For all I care, he can kill himself.

“I’ve only visited Switzerland once, a brief stop in Bern and an overnight in Lauterbrunnen, which had the best air I’ve ever breathed. And more cheese than it was perhaps wise to eat.”

I’d advise visiting Luzern, Ticino and the Engadine.

F68.10: Someday I’ll get back to Europe. Though goodness Switzerland was expensive!
I was actually in Germany in February (in a middle-of-nowhere industrial town for work, in the part of Germany labeled in the guidebooks “don’t bother”), and I’d hoped to visit Hampton Court Palace on my 6 hour layover in London, but they wouldn’t let me out (firmly discouraged me for leaving). 4 days of travel for 1 day of meetings, it was atrocious. Not Germany, or Europe in general, just that it took two full days to get to my destination (partly because my company was cheap about flights, which are really expensive when you book them 2 weeks before traveling).

Then I was supposed to go to Italy in March and said “absolutely not”. Some day I’ll go back and eat the amazing food and breath the amazing air, and look at the cool art and history, but not any time soon.

@ JustaTech

“Though goodness Switzerland was expensive!”

It’s somewhat over the top, I agree. In this listing the 5 most expensive cities for cost of living are swiss. Seems like US rents can be twice the swiss ones but overall the swiss cost of living is higher than NY for these 5 cities.

“Then I was supposed to go to Italy in March and said “absolutely not”. Some day I’ll go back and eat the amazing food and breath the amazing air, and look at the cool art and history, but not any time soon.”

Well, I’m not exactly the person that will glorify Europe for art or history. But I must say that going east in my european travels, whether it be Wien/Vienna, Praha/Prague or Budapest has been what I appreciated the most. It’s underrated. Really.

I certainly didn’t mean you personally. I was referring people with sufficient creativity to make up data. I apologize for any confusion.

“In fact, you do not give a fuck about climate change. You only care about Trump. Which is fine by me as long as you’re clear with yourself with it. For the moment, you’re obviously not”.

I just advised you that I was headed to the Deplorable Jamboree. How much more clear can I be about my unwavering admiration for the big orange guy? Sure. He’s impulsive and has an unsteady relationship with actual facts. Surely you can relate to that. Nobody has truer aim when shooting at his own foot than the Donald.And, that man can fill a stadium. Full disclosure, the BBQ at the Jamboree was some of the best I’ve ever had. Hard to argue with that.

You call me out as a liar, and in the spirit of the “admitting our mistakes” theme of ORAC’s original post here, you’re right. Anybody who knows me, knows that I don’t have the mechanical skills to install my own lift kit on my pickup. My wife/half-sister did that for me after she fixed my supper. There. I feel unburdened.

Anybody who knows me, knows that I don’t have the mechanical skills to install my own lift kit on my pickup. My wife/half-sister did that for me after she fixed my supper.

I see that you to are a man of culture.

But down here in Bamalam, you’d better at least have the skills to hang your own truck nuts on that rig or the wife/half sister would beat you stupid right out of the garage forever with the 7/8” spanner and you could not then drive your truck. Ever.

Then, later on, after The Five and America’s Got Talent, she’ll also use her secret Xbox Live account, while out in the she-shed behind the back of the trailer next to the collards and tomatoes where you think she is playing Overcooked 2, to troll you on and on telling you to “go make sandwiches back at the mess barracks” while the rest of the squad is staging for a raid. She has already slipped an eyelash underneath your B button, anyways.

@ Tom the… whatever

“I certainly didn’t mean you personally. I was referring people with sufficient creativity to make up data. I apologize for any confusion.”

Should I take that as some form of surrepticious insult? Insinuating that I do not have the creativity to make up data? You know, something like the japanese art of insults; where they turn their insults in such a nice and polite away that you feel obliged to say “Thank you” when insulted. Anyway, I’ll brush this one aside.

“I just advised you that I was headed to the Deplorable Jamboree. How much more clear can I be about my unwavering admiration for the big orange guy?”

I have no clue what a Deplorable Jamboree is and no clue what you’re insinuating about Trump here.

“Sure. He’s impulsive and has an unsteady relationship with actual facts.”

Which is not my problem. He can take lessons with Schneider-Ammann if he wishes to improve these points. Schneider-Ammann is rock solid when it comes to placidity, and hard-headed on facts.

“Surely you can relate to that.”

Me? Impulsive? No. Feeling homicidal but never impulsive. Otherwise, had I not exercised quite some self-control over the last years, it would have gotten rather ugly. And it hasn’t. Unsteady relationship with actual facts? Me? If you have something specific to point out, please say so. After decades of violent gaslighting, I’m not in the mood for self-introspection on such matters any more. Be explicit.

“Nobody has truer aim when shooting at his own foot than the Donald. And, that man can fill a stadium.”

Yeah. Well I do enjoy the Trump show from afar. Feeds into my cynicism. But I must say that Schneider-Ammann managed to outrank any living politician when it comes to comic talent. (To fully enjoy the video below, turn automatic subtitles in English on, and try very hard not to laugh: the harder you try not to laugh, the most hilarious it gets). Enjoy:

“Full disclosure, the BBQ at the Jamboree was some of the best I’ve ever had. Hard to argue with that.”

I tend to stick to Weisswurst + senf + pretzel.

“You call me out as a liar.”

Yes I did. You do have the opportunity to backtrack by admitting that the paper Joel gave did give references to articles. For instance: Shum and Kuo 2011; Dore et al. 2009; Bates et al. 2012; IPCC AR5; Zickfeld et al. 2013; Scripps CO2 Program; Etheridge et al. 1996; MacFarling Meure et al. 2006; HadCRUT4 dataset; NCDC MLOST dataset; NASA GISS dataset. All referenced here.

I’m indeed waiting for you to recant from your claim that no articles or sources have been listed in the document Joel Harrison gave you. Because it is a lie.

“And in the spirit of the “admitting our mistakes” theme of ORAC’s original post here, you’re right. Anybody who knows me, knows that I don’t have the mechanical skills to install my own lift kit on my pickup. My wife/half-sister did that for me after she fixed my supper. There. I feel unburdened.”

I do not give a fuck about your wife/half-sister. You’re playing the dumb ass and you full well know it. Now: recant, or endorse the liar label. I have no patience for this kind of ridiculous shit you’re pulling.

@ Tom

Wrong as usual. Check out Wikipedia. Climatic Research Unit email controversy at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climatic_Research_Unit_email_controversy
and Wikipedia. Hockey stick controversy at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hockey_stick_controversy

Of course I realize you won’t; but I’m making it available for rational open-minded people.

And you are wrong about the vast majority of us, myself included, taking a position on whether Trump is for it or against it. But, nothing will sway your delusional world of fantasy.

Joel – I love you man, I really do. I pick in jest. But, I have given zeros to graduate students for courses that I taught as an adjunct (I know, I might as well be the hot dog guy at WalMart in terms of prestige, but i did it for a few years) for using Wikipedia as a source. You’re a smart guy. Up your game.

@ Tom

“But, I have given zeros to graduate students for courses that I taught as an adjunct (I know, I might as well be the hot dog guy at WalMart in terms of prestige, but i did it for a few years) for using Wikipedia as a source.”

Wikipedia is quite fine as an entry point for a discussion. You’re starting to sound like a crazy commie I humiliated on another blog who had this fetish on Britannica. You do not pick and chose your sources, smart ass: every source has a level of authority attached to it, and what matters is the argument within.

Simple. Basic.

But, I have given zeros to graduate students for courses that I taught as an adjunct (I know, I might as well be the hot dog guy at WalMart in terms of prestige, but i did it for a few years) for using Wikipedia as a source.

They have hot-dog guys at Walmart? Oh, wait… I’m now morbidly curious what the subject matter was, not to mention what lofty post you attained afterward.

@Tom: Here are some facts.
We know what carbon dioxide is. We know know the role it plays in the atmospheric greenhouse effect. We know that if the prevalence of CO2 in the atmosphere increases, more of the insolation heat Earth receives will be trapped in the atmosphere and surface, raising average temperatures of land, air, and water. We know that since the first industrial revolution the prevalence of CO2 has been increasing. We know that the increase in CO2 is connected to human activity. We know that global average temperatures are increasing in more or less lockstep with the prevalence of CO2. Now there’s no “smoking gun” single fact or finding I can cite that connects the two, although there probably is, but there are converging lines of evidence that leave less and less room for any other interpretation of the facts.
Given all of that, humanity would be foolish to continue pumping so much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere regardless of any concurrent natural process there might be, although the evidence for such processes is slim to none
It doesn’t matter if Donald Trump believes in it or not as long as his cronies can keep selling coal, oil, and natural gas. and keep the money flowing to his campaign and to his pocket. He is an ignoramus who thinks that his gut feelings trump (pun intended) reality. His beliefs and yours are ultimately irrelevant to the facts. But remember, if you don’t want to develop cancer, you might not want that wind turbine near your house.

We know that the earth has been much hotter. We know that the earth’s level of CO2 has been much higher. We know that the climate seems to cycle through warmer and colder periods. We know that the planet cycles through higher and lower levels of atmospheric carbon. We know that those fluctuations are subject to random noise and that that random noise includes rapid fluctuations (in geological time) of hundreds of thousands of years. We know that some of the same people who condemned fossil fuels in the 1970s for leading us into another “ice age” are some some of the same people who are now warning us of global warming, from those same fossil fuels. So, we know that they’ve been wrong before. We know that pressure has been put on researchers, peer-reviewers and journals to screen out skeptical views. We know that the required skepticism of science has been equated with denial-ism. We know that data has been hidden. We know that historical measurements of temperature have been “corrected” in ways that better fit the theory of those making the corrections. We know that countless independent variables are having an effect. We know that smart people are humbled by the challenge of sorting out the complexity of it all and making predictions. We know that our bullshit detectors would be going crazy if EXXON instead of NOAA replaced actual historic measurements with estimates that better served its interests, as they did. Should we carefully weigh Donald Trump’s opinion? Of course not. He’s an idiot. Should we accept the snowflake cry of “but the experts all agree…?” Of course not. They’re mostly lazy idiots who can’t cite a single scientific paper to support their position. They (you?) whine about science, but reject the rigor that good science requires, i.e. read an actual fucking scientific paper or two before taking a position.

In the meantime, should we be careful? Should we replace fossil fuels with renewables that reduce particulate matter and asthma? As my good friend Dr. Joel suggests? Of course, we should. Even in the minority communities that my detractors claim that I don’t care about. Absolutely. Should we apply actual science while we look at this? Of course. Should we claim that Florida will be submerged when we head there next winter? Probably not. Should we let the risk of climate change modify our approach to science so that it more closely resembles religion, since that approach reduces our burden of reading actual scientific papers and actually thinking? I don’t believe we should. Does that make me a MAGA hat wearing redneck? Apparently. Is that a sad commentary on science, and its alleged advocates? Yes. It really is.

@ Tom

“We know […]. We know […]. We know […]. We know […]. We know […]. We know […]. So, we know […]. We know […]. We know […]. We know […]. We know […]. We know […]. We know […]. We know […].”

Gee! Suddenly, you do know for a skeptic of the pyrrhonian kind. Impressive. Where did all your knowledge come from?

“Should we carefully weigh Donald Trump’s opinion? Of course not. He’s an idiot.”

Why do you fucking bring Trump in the discussion over and over and over and over again? Can’t you leave him alone for a second or so? Seriously…

“Should we accept the snowflake cry of “but the experts all agree…?” Of course not.”

Do you know what an argument from authority is? It means that at least you should consider the arguments of those you call experts and be on top of the literature if you want to be able to criticise it. For now, such conditions do not seem to be fulfilled merely by looking at your rants. Show us you’re on top of the game…

“They’re mostly lazy idiots who can’t cite a single scientific paper to support their position.”

Ah. Again. Denialism. Plain and simple. Not even denialism of climate change. Denialism of the status of the science itself. With a cute smear: “lazy idiots”.

Are you for real?

“They (you?) whine about science, but reject the rigor that good science requires, i.e. read an actual fucking scientific paper or two before taking a position.”

Who the fuck do you think you are for feeling entitled to spout such nonsense? Claiming that scientists write papers but do not read them? You’re starting to implode under the weight of your nonsense.

“In the meantime, should we be careful? Should we replace fossil fuels with renewables that reduce particulate matter and asthma? As my good friend Dr. Joel suggests? Of course, we should. Even in the minority communities that my detractors claim that I don’t care about. Absolutely. Should we apply actual science while we look at this? Of course.”

As long as you stop lying, I simply do not care what your position is on the matter. Were you the one complaining about “virtue signaling”? Yeah? Well stop it.

“Should we claim that Florida will be submerged when we head there next winter? Probably not.”

Get back to papers and arguments. Your Gish Gallop is starting to be very annoying.

“Should we let the risk of climate change modify our approach to science so that it more closely resembles religion, since that approach reduces our burden of reading actual scientific papers and actually thinking? I don’t believe we should.”

You haven’t given a shred of evidence that our “approach to science” resembles “religion”. I have asked quite a few times if you knew what times series analysis and model selection were. Stone silence. You therefore have no right to complain about science being religion.

“Does that make me a MAGA hat wearing redneck? Apparently.”

It makes you a dick. I do not have problem with rednecks. Spent a huge portion of my life with the lowliest of the lowliest, locked up with them. No lesson to receive from you.

“Is that a sad commentary on science, and its alleged advocates? Yes. It really is.”

This is merely FUD. You’re a dick of a galactic proportions. And as mentioned earlier, you do not even deserve the title of “climate change denier”. That would be too much of an honour.

@ Tom

You write: “As my good friend Dr. Joel suggests?”

I hope that this was meant tongue in cheek because NO WAY would I ever consider a liar like you a friend. And NO WAY would I ever consider someone who is so stupid to call for the one definitive study on a topic like climate change where the evidence includes ice cores from Antarctic, tree rings, sedimentation, isotope measures of CO2 in atmosphere, etc.

As for Earth has been hotter in distant past, yep, and life as we know it didn’t exist. How about going back a billion years? What I follow, since I was raised to believe we leave this planet better for future generations, we are not doing that, not even close. Climate change, billions of tons of plastic, 80,000 chemical released in environment since World War II, less than a thousand with any prior research, and many have half lives of decades and more. So, I am sad at the prospects for current generation of children and their children and we have ASSHOLES like you who twist, distort, ignore anything and everything that doesn’t fit into your rigid ideology, not science, ideology.

We know that some of the same people who condemned fossil fuels in the 1970s for leading us into another “ice age” are some some of the same people who are now warning us of global warming, from those same fossil fuels. So, we know that they’ve been wrong before.

Nope. They were right.
And the condemning of the fossil fuels in the 70’s was not about leading us into an ice age. Anti-colonialism and ecological awareness were enough motivations (but I’m sure you have a source to support your claim).
We are due to an ice age.
It’s just that our pollution – OK, fine, the mysterious increase of CO2 and other greenhouse gases – has been counterbalancing the impetus for cooling.

Actually, there were people concerned in the 70’s about a possible cooling effect of aerosols and other sources.
Well, yes, they were wrong.
They were also no climate scientists.

We know that the earth has been much hotter.

Oh, true. You are just overlooking a tiny point.
There is cartoon somewhere which plays on this.
Oh, found it. An Italian scientist used the picture on his blog.

For those too lazy to click:
The goddess Gaia is interviewed by a radio host about “this global warming hoax”.
She acknowledges happily that she has been hot before (sidenote, she is also very hot right now – sorry, I digress) and will nonetheless be fine.
It’s us humans who will have to find another planet.

Yes Tom, the Earth has been much hotter. At one time it was a ball of molten rock.
You’re not suggesting that previous stages of planetary development are compatible with life as we know it now, are you?

Because that would be a patently absurd statement.

Tom: “I have given zeros to graduate students for courses that I taught as an adjunct…for using Wikipedia as a source.”

Oh goody, the old “Wikipedia? Hahahahahahahaha! Along with “Snopes? Hahahahahahahaha!”, it’s a common refuge of the wooist who dismisses evidence based on the source, no matter how accurate and well-referenced it is.

Very typical of antivaxers and conspiracy theorists of various kinds. It reflects profound laziness and unwillingness to engage with facts.

From: Phil Jones

To: ray bradley ,[email protected], [email protected]

Subject: Diagram for WMO Statement

Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 13:31:15 +0000

Cc: [email protected],[email protected]

Dear Ray, Mike and Malcolm,

Once Tim’s got a diagram here we’ll send that either later today or

first thing tomorrow.

I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps

to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from

1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline. Mike’s series got the annual

land and marine values while the other two got April-Sept for NH land

N of 20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999

for NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90. The Global estimate for 1999 with

data through Oct is +0.35C cf. 0.57 for 1998.

Thanks for the comments, Ray.

Cheers

Phil

Prof. Phil Jones

Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 (0) xxxxx

School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 (0) xxxx

University of East Anglia

Norwich Email [email protected]

NR4 7TJ

UK

Some things can’t be explained away, no matter how they are sourced.

@ Tom the Liar

“Some things can’t be explained away, no matter how they are sourced.”

So you think some things are above understanding? This passage is very well known, and you could have referenced the “controversy” in a more concise and more informed manner by using a link.

Where you could read stuff like that; on (shiver….) Wikipedia (shudder…):

“Summarising its own analysis, FactCheck stated that claims by climate sceptics that the emails demonstrated scientific misconduct amounting to fabrication of global warming were unfounded, and emails were being misrepresented to support these claims. While the emails showed a few scientists being rude or dismissive, this did not negate evidence that human activities were largely responsible for global warming, or the conclusions of the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report which used the CRU as just one of many sources of data.”

Now, will you please avoid verbosely polluting the comments with elements that you can succintly condense in a link, as I have done above; and please explain to us why you believe this amounts to “making up data”.

Because you are here making a positive claim. You’re therefore out of your “I’m a skeptic” comfort zone. This indeed is a positive claim. You have to back it up with a bit more meat.

If you do not, we can positively claim that you have entered conspiracy theory territory. The onus is on you. Because, yeah, people may be fooling you… who knows?

Convince me…

But stop lying. And apologise to Joel.

@ Dangerous Bacon

“it’s a common refuge of the wooist who dismisses evidence based on the source, no matter how accurate and well-referenced it is.”

In France, I’ve seen it use for political gains. Not for “woo”. As a mechanism to prove that your opponent is an uneducated ignoramus with bad manners. Used by both people in position of administrative or intellectual authority and by the stalinist fringe of the ultra left. They’re not using it in the scope of an argument but as a way to highlight the bad manners of the people on which they claim authority. The bad manners being themselves proof that they need to be educated.

It’s a much tougher nut to crack, the Wikipedia gambit, when it gets associated to a notion of manners. Dealing with Tom’s Wikipedia gambit can be done with a sleight of hand. Dealing with an academic or an official that uses the Wikipedia gambit is much tougher.

So, by “to hide the decline” Phil didn’t mean to misrepresent data showing the inconvenient decline in temperatures that they had found? And “Mike’s trick” wasn’t misrepresentation of data. It was probably juggling or something. How cynical of me to even suspect it. Good thing you geniuses are on the case to identify the real, hidden meaning of communication that seems to suggest (to the uninformed denier) what it says in pretty plain English.

So, by “to hide the decline” Phil didn’t mean to misrepresent data…

Correct.

…showing the inconvenient decline in temperatures that they had found?

They did not find a decline.

And “Mike’s trick” wasn’t misrepresentation of data.

Correct.
You are flogging a dead horse. This has been looked at. It’s only twisting, misrepresenting liars who still believe there’s something there.
Just like antivaxxers who insist against the evidence that vaccines may cause autism.

@ Tom the Liar

“So, by “to hide the decline” Phil didn’t mean to misrepresent data showing the inconvenient decline in temperatures that they had found? And “Mike’s trick” wasn’t misrepresentation of data.”

Did you ask them?

“It was probably juggling or something.”

No. Juggling is something else. Typically:

“How cynical of me to even suspect it.”

To some extent, yes. More stupid than cynical, though. You cannot infer merely from these wordings what you do infer. Cannot. You need more evidence than a scientist talking about a “trick” and talking about “hiding the decline”. Seems that this has been explained all over for a long time. But are you able to summarise your opponent’s point of view? Bet you’re not willing to do that.

Prove me wrong.

“Good thing you geniuses are on the case to identify the real, hidden meaning of communication that seems to suggest (to the uninformed denier) what it says in pretty plain English.”

Well, no. You’re on the case. I’m busy with very different stuff. Like the Ehresmann-Schein-Nambooripad theorem. Sorry to disappoint you: you’re not the belly button of the world.

But please keep me posted if you uncover a conspiracy. I may lend a sympathetic ear; assuming that you are not engaging in character assassination and misrepresentation of facts. I’ll indeed be very sensitive if you do engage in that: it’s indeed the kind of situations that feeds into my homicidal impulses and fantasies. I’ve already talked to you about these, didn’t I?

It’s also to be noted that whether a conspiracy is uncovered or not by your laser sharp pilpul analysis of the Word of Scientists is orthogonal to whether or not climate change is real. On this last point, let’s be clear: you’re not a skeptic: you’re indeed a proponent of alternative theory. Not someone engaging in suspension of belief.

Oh! And you still haven’t recanted your lie nor apologised to Joel, metal heart.

@F68.10 “This is merely FUD. You’re a dick of a galactic proportions. And as mentioned earlier, you do not even deserve the title of “climate change denier”. That would be too much of an honour.”

Darn it. I’ll have to change my business card, now that you’ve deemed me not worthy of my old title. I hope that won’t hurt my chances with funding from the fossil fuel industry. Still, “Dick of Galactic Proportions” is pretty impressive. I’ll make the replacement. There must be some industry out there that would value that sort of thing. You spend a lot of time critiquing my every word, and yet very little locating a single scientific paper in support of your beliefs.

Here’s an interesting take on time series data, since you’re interested:

http://joannenova.com.au/2010/02/the-big-picture-65-million-years-of-temperature-swings/

@ Tom the Liar

“Darn it. I’ll have to change my business card, now that you’ve deemed me not worthy of my old title.”

Yeah. Never underestimate the impact of a business card. Eggshell with Romalian type…

“I hope that won’t hurt my chances with funding from the fossil fuel industry.”

Hey. Why don’t you move to Geneva or Zug and get a job at Glencore or Trafigura. You’ll be a bit more credible with the “Boohoo! I’m a bad guy! Please be afraid of me!” gambit.

Honestly, that trick will have real trouble working on me. Did I mention to you that official documents portray me as a terrorist and that I’ve been living under threat of life-long detention without trial? Make me cry with your business card.

“Still, “Dick of Galactic Proportions” is pretty impressive.”

I’ve got more in stock. Call me.

“I’ll make the replacement. There must be some industry out there that would value that sort of thing.”

Well, no, not really. They tend to like people that are cool headed. Conservative views are appreciated, but cool-headedness much more. I mean, if you work at Glencore and your job is to crack down of any union in embryonic form or stage and spin narratives of violence, you’d better be cool-headed and not make it a principle to mistake your fantasies for reality.

“You spend a lot of time critiquing my every word, and yet very little locating a single scientific paper in support of your beliefs.”

You’ll have a hard time convincing me that I ought to lend you an ounce of consideration as long as you haven’t recanted your lie towards Joel, liar.

Might change my opinion, and start playing you for a fool, though. Is that something you fancy? How may I ease your journey through this world?

“Here’s an interesting take on time series data, since you’re interested.”

We’re making progress.

Now that you have acknowledged that time series have a role in climate science, maybe you could enlighten us, and explain how time series analysis have been designed to select models, known as AR, ARMA, ARIMA SARIMA or whatever. One of the goals of this modeling is indeed to provide a mechanism to do predictions.

Do you acknowledge that?

Oh! And please… before answering that last question, take the time to recant your lie against Joel.

@ Tom

“Too hot now in Geneva and Zug. Haven’t you heard?”

There’s lakes all over the place. Not an excuse.

Moreover you should try saunas in Geneva. The massages are not cheap, but well worth it.

Not to beat a dead horse, but from that link,

“There is one exception. Many researchers agree that a good case can be made for continuing to test whether hydroxychloroquine can prevent infection if given to people just in case they get exposed to the virus, for instance on the job at a hospital—a strategy called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). “You have a much better chance of preventing something with a weak drug than you have of curing a fully established infection,” says White, who runs one of the largest PrEP trials. He notes that doxycycline, an antibiotic, has long been used in malaria prophylaxis. “We would never treat anybody with it, it’s too weak. But it’s a very good prophylactic.”

@ Tom

“Many researchers agree that a good case can be made for continuing to test”

Hummmh… yes. To test.

To test.

Not following too much the HCQ situation, but I see nothing specifically wrong in these statements.

No dead horse to be beaten.

@ Tom

I repeat, the only evidence was one in vitro study and a fraudulent French study. Yep, beat a dead horse. Just because a low dose of some medicine prevents one type of disease doesn’t mean that low doses of just any medicine will prevent others. Using your logic, can we prevent river blindness with low doses of quinine?

There is NO evidence that hydroxychloroquine has any effect on COVID-19, except hypotheses by those who have been proven wrong about its effectiveness in treatment. No evidence except they don’t want to admit they were TOTALLY wrong.

You really are a dum shit.

As another commenter said, for a supposed game-changer, the benefits of HCQ are awfully difficult to establish.

Well Tom as been pretty much shown to be an idiot by now. But reading thru I didn’t see this pointed out to him. So…

Tom said “My post was a simple request for scientific theory/testable model proving AGW (or climate change as the bet-hedgers now call it) ”

The term ‘global warming’ was first used in a 1975 Science article by geochemist Wallace Broecker of Columbia University. He wrote a paper called “Climatic Change: Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming”.

In 1956, the physicist Gilbert Plass published a seminal study called “The Carbon Dioxide Theory of Climatic Change”. In 1977 the journal Climatic Change made its first appearance. Within another decade, the term ‘climate change’ was in common use, and embedded in the name of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was formed in 1988.

And finally,
“It’s time for us to start talking about “climate change” instead of global warming and “conservation” instead of preservation…“Climate change” is less frightening than “global warming”…While global warming has catastrophic connotations attached to it, climate change suggests a more controllable and less emotional challenge”. – Republican Political Consultant Frank Luntz, 2003

@ JimB

“Well Tom as been pretty much shown to be an idiot by now.”

I nonetheless do feel a bit guilty for laying it somewhat thick. But it wasn’t a fair fight: he let down his guard way too often and way too easily. Tasty jugular vein, though.

It’s striking that I did not have to engage with the science in any substantial way to prove him an idiot. Which by itself is fascinating to me.

@ F68.10

I nonetheless do feel a bit guilty

Please don’t. Some anvils need to be dropped.

How about:

Svante Arrhenius (1896 Apr). On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground. Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science. Series 5, Volume 41, pages 237-276

G.S. Calendar (1938 Apr). THE ARTIFICIAL PRODUCTION OF CARBON DIOXIDE
AND ITS INFLUENCE ON TEMPERATURE. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society. Volume 64, Issue 275, pages 223-240.

I’ve got more.

And I still recommend Naomi Oreski’s book: Merchants of Doubt.

THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE

Forget the debate by the few who don’t believe in climate change. We can go over to using renewable energy without a major disruption to our economy, except the corporations who profit from fossil fuels. In fact, we can actually create more jobs, more local jobs; e.g., making and installing solar panels (currently many imported from China), wind turbines, electric and hydrogen fuel cell cars, insulating homes and office buildings, etc. And we can reduce premature deaths and disabilities, costs to health care, overall economic costs (sick, can’t work, sick, parent stays home with child, etc.). So, whether one believes in climate change or not, we can switch with no major problems. Unless, one consider corporations who have lied over and over, who have one goal, profit. I remind you of how we pumped lead into the environment for 70 years as additive to gasoline despite already knowing from day one its hazards to health. I remind you how tobacco industry fought against research, only to find out in court cases on discovery that their own internal research had found the same results. So, going over to a renewable energy based economy is simply the right thing to do.

And, during the transition there are even kits that can convert gasoline burning cars to methanols. Not methanols from corn as the difference is minimal; but from switch grass, saw dust, etc. Germany, a cloudy most of the year nation, even has an experimental hydrogen fuel station with the electricity generated to produce the hydrogen from solar panels.

So, do we transform our economy, not just based on climate change; but overall health, more localized jobs, distribution of income, or allow a few corporations to keep extracting profits, corporations that have a long history of contempt for anything but profit?

Dr. Joel – I hate to agree with you, because it seems to make you uncomfortable. Any time that an all caps ASSHOLE agrees with you, you have to consider re-thinking your position. I hope that you don’t.

“In fact, we can actually create more jobs, more local jobs; e.g., making and installing solar panels (currently many imported from China), wind turbines, electric and hydrogen fuel cell cars, insulating homes and office buildings, etc.”

I couldn’t agree more.

“And we can reduce premature deaths and disabilities, costs to health care, overall economic costs (sick, can’t work, sick, parent stays home with child, etc.)”

Preach on.

“I remind you of how we pumped lead into the environment for 70 years as additive to gasoline despite already knowing from day one its hazards to health.”

And paint! My father was a house painter. My job was to shake off drop cloths with him. A steady diet of lead paint dust as a child. Perhaps the lead made me an ASSHOLE, which would qualify me as a victim. And, perhaps explain my baseline skepticism (You sure this is a good idea, Dad?)

@ ATHAIC

Actually, there were people concerned in the 70’s about a possible cooling effect of aerosols and other sources.
Well, yes, they were wrong.
They were also no climate scientists.

Really, my little snowflake?

From Newsweek, April 28, 1975.

To scientists, these seemingly disparate incidents represent the advance signs of fundamental changes in the world’s weather. The central fact is that after three quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions, the earth’s climate seems to be cooling down. Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the cooling trend, as well as over its specific impact on local weather conditions. But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century. If the climatic change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic. “A major climatic change would force economic and social adjustments on a worldwide scale,” warns a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences, “because the global patterns of food production and population that have evolved are implicitly dependent on the climate of the present century.”

A survey completed last year by Dr. Murray Mitchell of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reveals a drop of half a degree in average ground temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere between 1945 and 1968. According to George Kukla of Columbia University, satellite photos indicated a sudden, large increase in Northern Hemisphere snow cover in the winter of 1971-72. And a study released last month by two NOAA scientists notes that the amount of sunshine reaching the ground in the continental U.S. diminished by 1.3% between 1964 and 1972.

“The world’s food-producing system,” warns Dr. James D. McQuigg of NOAA’s Center for Climatic and Environmental Assessment, “is much more sensitive to the weather variable than it was even five years ago.” Furthermore, the growth of world population and creation of new national boundaries make it impossible for starving peoples to migrate from their devastated fields, as they did during past famines.

Climatologists are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change, or even to allay its effects. They concede that some of the more spectacular solutions proposed, such as melting the Arctic ice cap by covering it with black soot or diverting arctic rivers, might create problems far greater than those they solve. But the scientists see few signs that government leaders anywhere are even prepared to take the simple measures of stockpiling food or of introducing the variables of climatic uncertainty into economic projections of future food supplies. The longer the planners delay, the more difficult will they find it to cope with climatic change once the results become grim reality.

I’ll spare you the rest of the embarrassing repudiation of your assertion, and include the link, as my career adviser has suggested to save space.

http://www.denisdutton.com/cooling_world.htm

You can link through to the full article from there.

That reliable source wikipedia seems to confirm that Murray Mitchell and George Kukla were climatologists

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Murray_Mitchell

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Kukla

@ Tom

You really are an ignorant asshole. First, historically there have been fluctuations; but going back over longer periods of time there has been a clear pattern of increased temperatures with the industrial revolution. Second, I listed above in a comment two papers, one from 1896 and one from 1938 and I have more. Third, you have made it absolutely clear that you are a friggin liar, e.g., National Academy of Science report, claiming only went back to 1850 and no reference list.

Please, what degrees do you have, from which universities, and do you have any publications? What is your profession and current job? As far as I can tell, you suffer from delusions of grandeur, thinking you understand science; e.g., asking for the one definitive study. You give a blog, a Newsweek article, etc.

And you cite data from millions of years ago before life as we know it existed. I am only interested in the changes from beginning of homo sapiens, and, yes, there have been mini ice ages; but not like the ones of 100,000 years ago. Again, isotopes of CO2 tell us increases mainly from fossil fuels, not vegetation, and on and on it goes.

You are full of shit.

Thanks, Dr. Joel – We are getting closer, I think. You and me. Now, I’m just an asshole. Not an ASSHOLE. That’s progress. I have a welding certificate from a (top tier) trade school. I gave a Newsweek article in response to a claim that no climate scientists believed in global cooling in the 1970s. It quoted several climate scientists who believed in global cooling in the 1970s. Trust me, my welding gear is hot enough without more warming.

I almost forgot. For electives, I took THREE philosophy of science courses. I couldn’t get in to the brazing elective courses due to my grades, so I figured what the heck.

@ Tom the Liar

“Thanks, Dr. Joel – We are getting closer, I think. You and me. Now, I’m just an asshole. Not an ASSHOLE.”

I believe you’d be less of an Arschloch if you’d acknowledge that you lied concerning the lack of sources or articles referenced in the book Joel gave you.

“That’s progress.”

I guess we can wait until the next fuckin’ ice age to make significant progress.

“I gave a Newsweek article in response to a claim that no climate scientists believed in global cooling in the 1970s.”

Formally, yes. It was nonetheless out of context to rebut Athaic’s claim.

“It quoted several climate scientists who believed in global cooling in the 1970s.”

And consensus formed only in the 1980s. So what’s your point about the 1970s? The music was cool but computers were crappy. Things have changed since then, don’t you think?

“Trust me, my welding gear is hot enough without more warming.”

Le rapport avec la choucroute? Climate change or AGW (if calling it AGW makes you feel better) has nothing to do with your welding gear. I’m sure many people on Earth would appreciate their corner of the world to be a bit warmer. Like inhabitants of Anadyr. But whether climate change is real or not has absolutely nothing to do with their personal interests or wishes. Nor with your welding gear.

Still waiting for you to recant your lie towards Joel.

@ Tom the Liar

Nothing in the article you linked contradicts the statements by Athaic. Athaic mentioned “aerosols and other sources”. Your articles does not.

This is called strawmaning.

Look, I feel bad if you have been wrongly accused of terrorism and are consequently locked up. I feel good if you are accurately accused of terrorism and are locked up. Either way, probably stressful So, you might have missed Athaic claiming that no climate scientists in the 1970s were claiming that we were entering an ice age due to fossil fuels.

“Actually, there were people concerned in the 70’s about a possible cooling effect of aerosols and other sources. Well, yes, they were wrong. They were also no climate scientists”

Are you trying to teach me how to do that strawmanning thing?

Now, by “They were also no climate scientists,” I took that to mean that they were also no climate scientists. And, I proved that they were, in fact, highly regarded climate scientists. They didn’t focus on aerosols. That’s just bullshit. They truly believed that we were heading into a new ice age and if the governments didn’t help melt the ice caps or whatever, we’d all starve to death. Neither of those happened.

But, maybe there’s a code in climate science that I just don’t get. Apparently, “hide the decline” doesn’t really mean hide the decline. And “use Mike’s trick to do it” doesn’t mean “use Mike’s trick to do it.”

As long as we’re on the subject of Mike, and you have lots of time on your hands, you might want to peruse this link, where a couple of statistics experts take Mike to school about the reasons to be humble with respect to what his confidence curves prove, or don’t.

It’s an actual peer-reviewed, well-considered scientific paper. Not sure if those are allowed here.

https://projecteuclid.org/download/pdfview_1/euclid.aoas/1300715170

In any case, I feel like you and me and Joel are becoming best buds. It warms my heart.

@ Tom la Brosse à Reluire

“Look, I feel bad if you have been wrongly accused of terrorism and are consequently locked up. I feel good if you are accurately accused of terrorism and are locked up.”

Either way, I do not care about your opinion nor about your sympathy on this matter.

“So, you might have missed Athaic claiming that no climate scientists in the 1970s were claiming that we were entering an ice age due to fossil fuels.”

Double-checked Athaic’s post. He hasn’t said anything like this as far as I understand his prose.

“Are you trying to teach me how to do that strawmanning thing?”

You’re doing fine on your own. Keep it up.

“Now, by “They were also no climate scientists,” I took that to mean that they were also no climate scientists. And, I proved that they were, in fact, highly regarded climate scientists. They didn’t focus on aerosols. That’s just bullshit. They truly believed that we were heading into a new ice age and if the governments didn’t help melt the ice caps or whatever, we’d all starve to death. Neither of those happened.”

As far as I can judge, it seems to me a misrepresentation to claim that 95% percents of scientists were of that point of view at that time. You haven’t done so, but you seem to suggest something along those lines. Anyhow, consensus formed in the 1980s, so I do not really see the point. And I do not see how Athaic’s claims were inaccurate.

And you still should recant those lies towards Joel’s references.

“But, maybe there’s a code in climate science that I just don’t get. Apparently, “hide the decline” doesn’t really mean hide the decline. And “use Mike’s trick to do it” doesn’t mean “use Mike’s trick to do it.””

Well, you’re clearly thick and dumb. If I use “trick” in an email to talk about some technical stuff, it’s not like I’m Dr. No. trying to shaft the rest of humanity. This is absolutely ridiculous.

“As long as we’re on the subject of Mike, and you have lots of time on your hands, you might want to peruse this link, where a couple of statistics experts take Mike to school about the reasons to be humble with respect to what his confidence curves prove, or don’t.”

Well, no, I do not have massive amounts of time on my hands. Very busy with my pathological self-soothing. Takes up a lot of my energy. And I’m not surprised about statistics experts taking other scientists to school: should happen a ton and a ton more in science anyway overall. So there’s no reason to believe you’ve invented lukewarm water.

“It’s an actual peer-reviewed, well-considered scientific paper. Not sure if those are allowed here.”

It is. The journal doesn’t seem all that old though, and one paper is by principle never the truth by itself. So, now that you have dumped your link, any specific quote that would serve as an entry point so that I do not have to waste too much time on it? I indeed do not want to give you reasons to deceive yourself into thinking your obsession deserves to be the Axis Mundi.

“In any case, I feel like you and me and Joel are becoming best buds. It warms my heart.”

I do not have nor want “buddys”. Joel is a respectable old man. Nothing more, nothing less. I try to abstract away any notion that he is an MD in my interactions with him, as I would otherwise behave much much more sociopathic; as I do with all MDs. There’s nothing personal against Joel, and he clearly deserves some respect. But “buddy” with anyone, nah… never.

Now, are we done with the bullshit?

@ Tom the Galactic Dick

“That reliable source wikipedia seems to confirm that Murray Mitchell and George Kukla were climatologists”

Wikipedia is an entry point for discussion. It’s not the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi. Nor is it the byproduct of a plot by warmists. It represents overall a mainstream view of things and should be though of as such. If you have heterodox views, you need to get them published in the scientific literature and accepted by the scientific community. Then Wikipedia will accept them.

Is Britannica more lenient towards your “school of thought” when it comes to accepting articles representing your viewpoint? I guess not.

So stop whining about Wikipedia. This encyclopedia simply is what it is. Nothing less, nothing more. Nothing stops you from making an alternative to Wikipedia representing the Alternative Truth. It’s just likely that it won’t be a huge success. Therefore, if you have a problem with Wikipedia, you in fact have a problem with its readers and its contributors. Which means a big portion of humanity.

Not that I am defending humanity on any count, mind you. I am not. But it may be a wakeup call to wonder why on Earth is it so hard to push anti-warmist ideology into it. The reason is that it is not accepted science. So go on, find scientists willing to publish anti-warmist papers, and then you’ll be able to push your “point of view” into it.

Viel Glück und viel Segen.

Actually, there were people concerned in the 70’s about a possible cooling effect of aerosols and other sources.

Dear fucking G-d, you’re incompetent at this, not to mention looking for your keys at a lamppost. You have already been provided with conclusive rebuttals to the litany, and you have reached into your jorts and chosen the most embarrassingly stupid glob of karatinous ooze available.

Google hasn’t heard of it. Their guess: “Did you mean: keratinous”

I guess if you can make other stuff up, why not words? Maybe a spelling error? Kind of embarrassing to misspell a word in the same sentence where you are calling somebody else stupid. It happens.

Kind of embarrassing to misspell a word in the same sentence where you are calling somebody else stupid.

Typos are one thing; frank malapropisms are another.

@Tom
And this is what Wikipedia articles actually say:
“Mitchell was a pioneer in investigation and understanding of climate change, and from the 1960s onwards sought to alert the public to issues of global warming.[4] In 1976 he described the conjecture of global cooling as irresponsible, and around that time supported other scientists in warning of the damaging effects of increasing CO
2 in the atmosphere.”
“George Kukla (born Jiří Kukla; 14 March 1930 – 31 May 2014) was a senior research scientist at the Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.[1] Kukla was a member of the Czechoslovakian Academy of Sciences, prior to emigrating to the US, and a pioneer in the field of astronomical climate forcing. In 1972 he became a central figure in convincing the United States government to take the dangers of climate change seriously.[1]”
You should really read articles you cite. It would take less than a minute.
I do remember nuclear winter, indeed caused by dust. But it requires a nuclear war, which would generate lots of dust.
Future ice age, if it coming at all, would not save us either. We must wait ten thousand years, at least

No – YOU should read the articles I cite. Yes – Kukla convinced the United States to take the dangers of climate change seriously. He thought that danger was global cooling. Mitchell might have been convinced by 1976. but, clearly, he wasn’t in 1974. My only point was that many climate scientists in the 1970s were convinced that dirty air from fossil fuels was leading us into another ice age and that something must urgently be done to prevent it. @ ATHIAC denied that, so I showed him proof of it. Science gets stuff wrong and course-corrects. That’s part of the process. Maybe the most important part. Acknowledging that many climate scientists believed in global cooling from the same cause that they now attribute to global warming is painful, I’m sure. Too painful for many to bear. It should at least introduce a little humility into the discussion. I’m accused of being a DENIER, but my friends here deny not scientific “consensus,” whatever that’s worth, but provable history. In the brave new world, the Newsweek article that documented the cooling theory/concerns apparently never happened, despite the fact that is is readily available. “Hide the decline” didn’t mean hide the decline. That cynical scheme to manipulate the representation of scientific findings draws not condemnation from scientists, but rather the scurrying of the true believers to cover their tracks. Orwell’s 1984 was prescient. You’re probably convinced that it never existed. That he never wrote it.

Data shows a pause in warming that threatens the preferred model? No worries, just replace actual historic measurements with “estimates” that lower the earlier temperatures, and you can once again “prove” warming without doing any scientific inquiry about the pause. Just make it go away. Ice cores show, surprisingly, that temperature increases frequently preceded CO2, making a causal relationship in the other direction unlikely? No problem, just assume a feedback mechanism. Maybe lung cancer causes people to want to smoke more? [SARC] The problem with climate science isn’t with what the scientists know, it’s their zeal in proving it, and their hesitation to take contrary information seriously. To explore it. To bother to explain it away in a serious way It’s their denial – to borrow a term – of even proven facts, like conspiratorial emails and prior claims of cooling. As you have so well illustrated. I’m not trying to convince anybody that CO2->warming isn’t real. It probably is. I’m merely pointing out that when advocacy replaces skepticism in science, we are all in trouble. That seems to make some people uncomfortable.

@ Tom

“No – YOU should read the articles I cite.”

Well, we try to. Sporadically. Because your obsession is not the Axis Mundi.

“Yes – Kukla convinced the United States to take the dangers of climate change seriously. He thought that danger was global cooling. Mitchell might have been convinced by 1976. but, clearly, he wasn’t in 1974.”

For Kukla, yes, it seems this is the case. For Mitchell, clearly, we’re in the situation of someone making honest calculations with paper and pencil, coming to his own conclusions, reevaluating them, and coming to the conclusion that global warming was the issue.

Mitchell was not “convinced”. He “convinced” himself. Heck! He didn’t even “convince” himself. He made calculations. and did the grunt work. That’s what a scientist does. It’s not like he went from protestant to popist in the midst of a war of religion, as you seem to portray it to be.

“My only point was that many climate scientists in the 1970s were convinced that dirty air from fossil fuels was leading us into another ice age and that something must urgently be done to prevent it.”

So what? Must I highlight to you that psychoanalysis is still thought of as a science in my country and that they haven’t outgrown the 1970s in this regard? That people take time to change their minds and that what is scientific or not changes over time? Who the hell do you think you’re trying to lecture?

“@ ATHIAC denied that, so I showed him proof of it.”

Don’t you think you’ve been overinterpreting and dissecting his every word to make them fit into that worldview? And again, climate change consensus formed in the 1980s. I mean, I too can bitch around over historical worldview changes. Take Vatican 2, for instance…

“Acknowledging that many climate scientists believed in global cooling from the same cause that they now attribute to global warming is painful, I’m sure. Too painful for many to bear.”

Do not give two tugs on a dingo’s dick.

“It should at least introduce a little humility into the discussion.”

Is it tone policing? From someone who has not recanted his lie towards Joel?

“I’m accused of being a DENIER”

You made it rather clear. But again, I tell you, looking straight into your eyes: you’re not worth that title. I reserve “denier” to someone who denies an established scientific theory and engages in discussion with a usually twisted worldview and that cherry-picks and interprets things in ways that are… cough… unconventional. But that does it rather honestly with himself or herself. Christine Kincaid, for instance. It’s something I find psychologically understandable to some extent. However, when the line is crossed into outright lies and character assassination, I do not consider them worthy of the title of “denier”. If you wish to upgrade your status to that of “denier” in my eyes, recant your lie towards Joel. Until then, you’re a liar.

Are we clear on terminology?

“but my friends here deny not scientific “consensus,” whatever that’s worth”

Yeah, we may get back on discussing that last point later on. It’s not precisely a trifle.

“but provable history. In the brave new world, the Newsweek article that documented the cooling theory/concerns apparently never happened, despite the fact that is is readily available.”

Well, no, the article doesn’t surprise me at all. What surprises it what you’re making out of it. Trying, as it seems, to deform the history into trying to make everyone believe that scientists were engaged in some form of Ice Cult. The history of Mitchell, that you yourself gave, disproves your psychological projection and illustrates precisely the mental process of scientists in an era where scientific consensus is forming or not yet formed. This kind of phenomena has been rather precisely described for almost all types of scientific endeavour in Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of the Scientific Revolutions.

Keep trying to educate me. Good luck.

““Hide the decline” didn’t mean hide the decline.”

That’s the line that you cross and that makes you unworthy of the title “denier” but where “liar” and “falsifier” are much more accurate. So, out of courtesy, here’s a link that explains what you need to understand on the topic. Keep going on with “hide the decline”, and I’ll start quoting from it.

Everything’s transparent: You’re fixated on an issue. I give you reference on the matter. And I explain what my next rhetorical move will be. I also behave that way when I’m teaching chess to people: explaining to them what my next moves will be and why.

“That cynical scheme to manipulate the representation of scientific findings draws not condemnation from scientists, but rather the scurrying of the true believers to cover their tracks.”

Was that a fart I just read?

“Orwell’s 1984 was prescient. You’re probably convinced that it never existed. That he never wrote it.”

So you really are a telepath!

“Data shows a pause in warming that threatens the preferred model? No worries, just replace actual historic measurements with “estimates” that lower the earlier temperatures, and you can once again “prove” warming without doing any scientific inquiry about the pause. Just make it go away. Ice cores show, surprisingly, that temperature increases frequently preceded CO2, making a causal relationship in the other direction unlikely? No problem, just assume a feedback mechanism. Maybe lung cancer causes people to want to smoke more? [SARC]”

Look, pick one specific point at a time, drop the incendiary rhetoric, and we may have a chance to treat it. I see no point engaging in any discussion until you start to learn to behave so that discussion may happen. Which is obviously not your intent.

And you still have that lie to recant against Joel, I remind you.

“The problem with climate science isn’t with what the scientists know, it’s their zeal in proving it, and their hesitation to take contrary information seriously.”

That’s obviously not the case. That the magnitude of certainty is rhetorically overblown in the face of the despicable harassment climate scientists face, yes. That they have failed to address your “concerns”, or “lies”, more accurately, no.

“To explore it. To bother to explain it away in a serious way It’s their denial – to borrow a term – of even proven facts, like conspiratorial emails and prior claims of cooling.”

We haven’t denied the emails. We may highlight a few contextual facts, like the climate of harassment under which these emails were 1. written and 2. stolen. We may also highlight that was is deemed conspiratorial is largely a figment of your imagination, and not one of denying that the letters are sequenced in that order, that these letters aggregate into words, words into sentences, sentences into paragraph. We’re fine with that. We’re therefore fine with the facts.

We’re not fine with the lack of contextualisation wankers like you engineer to twist the world around your fantasies. Which is called pseudologia fantastica. A domain in which I, very modestly, claim “expertise”.

“As you have so well illustrated.”

You should take a look in the mirror, Princess. And make it a moment of silent self-reflection.

“I’m not trying to convince anybody that CO2->warming isn’t real.”

No shit!

“It probably is.”

So what? I’m not the one to convince. I. Do. Not. Care.

“I’m merely pointing out that when advocacy replaces skepticism in science, we are all in trouble.”

When liars claim that they hold the truth and engage in emotional manipulation, we are all in trouble.

You still have to recant your lie towards Joel.

“That seems to make some people uncomfortable.”

Not me. I went drowning in the deep end of what the consequence of lying is and the impact of liars are. I can look you straight in the eyes. With utmost placidity. I’m in my comfort zone.

Yep you were right about Kukla. But, still, he did not speak about dirty fossil fuels, he believed a new ice age is coming. But here would be tens and hundred thousands years. (Check Milankovitch cycles.)

How many of its feet does a millipede need to shoot off before it tips over? It has already been demonstrated that when it preferentially shoots the feet on one side it walks in circles.

In college a friend of mine had a pair of Flemmish giant rabbits. One summer Natasha got sick, like really really sick, like we thought she had died sick. And then she got better.

But ever after she held her head cocked to the right, and hopped in circles rather than being able to walk straight.

So sometimes going in circles is evidence of brain damage.

One has to wonder where Natasha thinks she’s headed and whether she believes she has attained her objective. Or perhaps the journey is the destination, and a circle is a lifelong journey.

@ Tom

You write: “Dr. Joel – I hate to agree with you, because it seems to make you uncomfortable. Any time that an all caps ASSHOLE agrees with you, you have to consider re-thinking your position.” I hope that you don’t. (June 10, 2020 at 5:44 pm)

During my lifetime a number of people agreed with my position. In fact Christine Kincaid and I agree that COVID-19 is quite serious and that masks and physical distancing essential. Only difference is that I have actually studied the history of pandemics and read currently well over 200 articles on COVID-19 and coronaviruses in general and skimmed many more. And maybe Kincaid and I also agree that the U.S. should devote a larger percentage of its resources to helping people, e.g., especially families with special needs children; but we don’t agree on vaccines and, again I have studied immunology, microbiology, epidemiology, history and current status of vaccine-preventable diseases, she hasn’t. So, we agree; but only superficially, she based on her beliefs and, perhaps, some education if she really is a nurse, me, on a life-time of study, etc.

I have known Libertarians and we agree that drugs should be decriminalized. I have NEVER used any illegal drugs, barely sampled alcohol, NEVER smoked, don’t even like taking aspirin/ibuprofen, but do indulge in coffee. Laws should be only for what actually hurts people, e.g., physical assaults, property damage, theft, not what morally we oppose. I am all for funding programs for education against drug use, if honest, and treatment; but not imprisonment and fines, unless sold to minors. However, Libertarians want limited government based on a philosophy when we had small cities, mainly rural population, and were “more homogeneous.” However, when people vote to limit government, mainly Republicans, what they in essence do is limit government siding with them or being neutral judge, and instead siding with corporations and the super rich. A good government should be an independent judge; but ours puts people away for possession of drugs; but bankers who almost destroyed our economy get bonuses. And a good government should spend the taxpayers monies to benefit the taxpayers, not mostly corporations and the super wealthy. So, yep, I agree with Libertarians on some things and not others.

President Richard M. Nixon was a horrible person, a war criminal. Against international law and even a Congressional resolution, he bombed and invaded Cambodia, killing ca. 200,000 civilians, causing the downfall of the Prince Sihanouk government and the rise of the Khmer Rouge with 1 1/2 million murdered Cambodians. He bombed the electrical plant, children’s hospital in Hanoi on Christmas Eve, war crimes and on and on it goes. However, Nixon started OSHA and NIOSH and the EPA, things I agree with.

So, we agree on some things, so what?

You write: “This is the NAS!! My thesis chair was a member of the NAS back in the day. If I turned this crap in, he would have embarrassed me with it. (June 8, 2020 at 8:53 pm). . .I have given zeros to graduate students for courses that I taught as an adjunct . . . for using Wikipedia as a source (June 9, 2020 at 9:28 pm) . . I have a welding certificate from a (top tier) trade school. (June 10, 2020 at 9:02 pm) . . . I almost forgot. For electives, I took THREE philosophy of science courses. I couldn’t get in to the brazing elective courses due to my grades, so I figured what the heck.(June 10, 2020 at 9:44 pm)

In high school we had term papers. We were allowed to cite Britannica; but required to have five original sources. I often include Wikipedia in papers I write; but, of course, also include original papers. I only include Wikipedia articles if I have checked out the references and/or it is a topic I know well, because many of the articles I cite I have to drive to university library to photocopy and/or scan in. Wikipedia articles are easily accessed. In fact, I have actually found excellent articles that I missed on my own web searches in Wikipedia references. And studies have found, at least with science articles, Wikipedia as good as Britannica. So, if you actually gave a zero to a student for citing Wikipedia, except if was their only reference, just one more example of you being an ASSHOLE and seeing the world in black and white.

However, I don’t believe anything you write is true. You have a welding certificate from a trade school? But, claim your thesis chair was a member of NAS. And, of course your claim to THREE philosophy of science courses is just BULL SHIT. They were NOT electives. The first was in my M.A. program in Social Psychology and the next two required courses in Swedish doctoral program. Again, what real degrees do you have and what is your current profession? I doubt you are capable of telling the truth.

Finally, you link to a paper that contains a statistical analysis of climate data.

https://projecteuclid.org/download/pdfview_1/euclid.aoas/1300715170
(June 10, 2020 at 9:21 pm)

The article:

BLAKELEY B. MCShane and ABRAHAM J. WYNER (2011). A STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF MULTIPLE TEMPERATURE PROXIES: ARE RECONSTRUCTIONS OF SURFACE TEMPERATURES OVER THE LAST 1000 YEARS RELIABLE? The Annals of Applied Statistics; Vol. 5, No. 1, 5–44.

Did you actually read it? If so, did you understand it?

I’ll allow F68.10, if he is interested, to go through the paper; however, it is only one paper and the first author is a statistician on the faculty of a Marketing Department in a business school at Northwestern University and the second the Wharton School of Business of University of Pennsylvania. Doesn’t mean the study is invalid, but one can question how well they understand climate science and their choice of variables. Can you supply any further articles that others have written that reinforce theirs or, as usual, do you rely on the one “definitive” study.

Even if one assumes them right about the problems of data from 1,000 years ago, the data we have on isotopes of CO2 in the atmosphere, showing most coming from fossil fuels, the rapid acidification of the ocean, all happening mainly post World War II can’t be denied. The question is, given that you agree with me when it comes to jobs, economy, and health, do we err on the side of caution and act based on data such as I just mentioned or do we deny the possibility, play into the hands of industries that have one goal, PROFIT, and potentially leave future generations to a miserable existence?

Again, I highly recommend Naomi Oreski’s book “Merchants of Doubt.” Fascinating read, including that many of the scientists who worked for tobacco industry then went on to fossil fuel industry.

As for pauses in global warming, the upward trend is clear. Though dealing with climate and weather, in the 2014 Cosmos series, Neil deGrasse Tyson walks his dog down a beach. He walks in a straight line; but the dogs wanders back and forth. As Tyson explains, the dogs represents weather, his straight line represents climate. Numerous things can affect current climate; but we are currently furthest from the sun when it should be cooler; but it isn’t.

Good to hear from you, my friend. There are several attempts to refute McShane & Wyner published online. (They missed the old “marketing department” approach, though.) No need to bother our other best buddy with it. For example, from Schmidt and Mann:
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/12/responses-to-mcshane-and-wyner/
I understand enough of it to know that the statistical methodology chosen by Mann accomplished what it was supposed to. It showed what he wanted it to show. Better to pick a opaque statistical approach that supports what you are advocating than taking the time (and career risk – if there is any) to hide data. Who’s going to call you on it? The marketing department guys (actually accomplished statisticians, but that’s beside the point)? Ha Ha. Who takes them seriously?

I took ELEVEN COURSES in statistics and research methodology at my “welding school,” which incidentally seems to rank 25+ slots higher on the world university rankings than any university in Sweden, in any of the major rankings. If that sort of thing is important to you. And its seems to be. Personally, I couldn’t care less. An ivy-league education, which I have (not one of the top-tier ivies, if that counts against me) is currently simply an ideological indoctrination in an environment of safe spaces and micro-aggression puppies. I’d be prouder of an actual welding certificate.

The cognitive dissonance of watching liberal elites like you try to balance your insecurities and ego needs for recognition as cognitively superior to the masses, on one hand, with your need to appear morally-superior/egalitarian on the other hand (advocating universal health care paid for by others, for example, without ever so much as helping to pay a poor person’s co-pay or deductible on your own dime), is a joy to watch. But, only because there’s no baseball.

@ Tom

“Good to hear from you, my friend. There are several attempts to refute McShane & Wyner published online.”

Yeah. Went through a few of them.

“No need to bother our other best buddy with it.”

Well, I wouldn’t mind going over it as time allows. I wouldn’t be surprised, though I am no climate scientist at all — and not interested in the topic — that statistics can be misapplied in such matters. Though the paper has been criticised for using the Lasso technique, which may lead to less precise estimates, hence begging the question of the precision of Mann’s precision as it would use a less precise statistical method to “prove” lack of precision… Bummer.

Statistics are indeed a domain when one has to start from the principle that anything can be wrong or spurrious, so it isn’t a surprise that papers can come out criticising the “hockey stick”. Though, it should be noted that if statistics were the only criterion to ascertain knowledge, we would also be in deep shit in a lot of areas of science, as it’s not that easy to pigeonhole all the data in a statistical framework. So statistics can positively prove a negative (such as the null hypothesis) up to a level of confidence. But statistical criticism of the kind of the article can only, in case everything is correct, “prove” the failure of Mann’s methodology. Proving a methodological failure does not amount to a rebuttal of all the other claims that have piled over the years in favour of climate change. So while I’m very touchy on the topic of misuse of statistics, statistics are not the end game either. (Though I’d really love them to be, in, say, two centuries or so…) I simply think people are generally not careful with them enough and jump to conclusion, specifically in the area of politicised “public health” (crazy shit like papers on pornography, gay stuff, illegal drugs, electronic cigarettes, and some medical literature on mental health fall in this category of cranking all your presuppositions into the statistical machinery and compounding garbage with garbage to pretend that it’s statistical gold at the end — fairly fed up with it).

“I understand enough of it to know that the statistical methodology chosen by Mann accomplished what it was supposed to. It showed what he wanted it to show.”

That’s an accusation of fraud. Not merely of misuse of statistics. You should be careful on this kind of shit. I do know of a few cases of what I consider deliberate misuse of statistics, mostly by official authorities, to drown the fish. But on a topic such as climate change, where many eyes have looked at things over and over, this amounts to accusations of conspiracy. You’d better back it up properly, and I do not think you can derive such a charge from the paper you gave. The conclusion of that paper is that “hockey stick” = regression artifact. Given the intro and the conclusion, seems to me to be a politicised paper, so it’d be wiser to double-check it and triple-check it.

Haven’t had a look at your last link by Schmidt and Mann yet, though. (Though I believe I skimmed over it yesterday).

“Better to pick a opaque statistical approach that supports what you are advocating than taking the time (and career risk – if there is any) to hide data.”

Well, it’s indeed better. At least, we can criticise it and point out flaws. And there always are shitloads of them. So yeah. Way way better. Science works that way. Publish crappy paper. Gets criticised. Less crappy paper published afterwards. Etc… Nothing wrong with that. I mean, I’ve been reading lots of pure maths, and quite a lot of revered papers, I do consider them crappy. They were obviously genius at the time. 30 to 50 years afterwards, they’re crappy. That’s how the world works. End goal is “less wrong”. Not statistical gold. That should be obvious to anyone.

“Who’s going to call you on it?”

Many people. Ever followed Retraction Watch? Ever heard of the replication crisis in psychology? Ever followed works by Ioannidis? Oh! And climate “skeptics” also do at times. Haven’t you heard?

“The marketing department guys (actually accomplished statisticians, but that’s beside the point)? Ha Ha. Who takes them seriously?”

It means that these people may eventually be competent statisticians, but not necessarily have a fair view of all the data in the field. Which implies that their criticism is circumscribed to a specific point, and cannot by extended by capillarity on the whole corpus of evidence which they will unmistakably fail to address. Haven’t looked into their background, but “accomplished statistician” can mean many many things. Some econometricians can be very good statisticians. Some theoretical statisticians can be poor practitioners. Some very good practitioners can get almost everything wrong once you start to corner them on theoretical aspects of statistics. It’s frightening how fragmented a field statistics can be on these aspects. Being more of a theoretician — though not a statistician by trade as I’ve decided to study other stuff — I’m often terrified by what I see. Or hear.

“I took ELEVEN COURSES in statistics and research methodology at my “welding school,” which incidentally seems to rank 25+ slots higher on the world university rankings than any university in Sweden, in any of the major rankings.”

Yeah. Well I do not give a fuck. There are a lot of people in top universities that I’m willing to personally drown myself. So that should give you an idea of what I think of “credentials”.

“An ivy-league education, which I have (not one of the top-tier ivies, if that counts against me) is currently simply an ideological indoctrination in an environment of safe spaces and micro-aggression puppies.”

No. These safe spaces can be legitimate at times, and a huge pain at other times. “Micro-agression” “puppies” do also get on my nerves. But whatever one may think of these, this is a vastly unfair characterisation of what’s going on in universities. It is NOT ideological indoctrination. Definitely not. If you want to talk about specific issues, we can, but they are perfectly orthogonal to climate change. And universities can also be hotbeds of far right ideology. Université Jean-Moulin-Lyon-III, for instance. Your characterisation is politically motivated and has no bearing on a political reality that is more complex than you seem to think it is. It’s not because some journals did publish a Feminist Mein Kampf, highlighting some ideological bias in some areas of academia, that law schools have suddenly hired the reincarnation of Bakounine to teach future Supreme Court Justices.

Get. Fucking. Real.

“The cognitive dissonance of watching liberal elites”

Hey! Give it a break. Always voted somewhat on the right, I’m pro Big Business and worked in the hedge fund industry. That’s a liberal for you? If so, you must see liberals everywhere you look. Face the reality: people have no fucking reason to think like you. That’s all there is to it.

And you should also be aware that “liberal” doesn’t mean the same thing everywhere in the world. Do you see the logo of this “liberal” party? Does it not look like a swastika?

Fuck me sideways with your “liberal” fetish.

“like you try to balance your insecurities and ego needs for recognition as cognitively superior to the masses”

Telepath turned psycho-analyst now?

You’re not the “masses”. You’re a dumb ass. There is a huge effort to be undertaken to lift up the “masses” in terms of economic development, social empowerment and educational level. I’m not even satisfied with the level of education in our elite, so there you go. If you care about the “masses” (and you do sound awfully marxist), do yourself a favour, and support empowerment of women and control over their reproductive cycle. That’s the first required step to lift the “masses” out of poverty. And support the Samata Foundation for pushing science into policy making so that it can be proven that policy do cater to them. That’s what it means to care for the “masses”. It has nothing to do with being “superior”. Calling you out as dumb ass for not making the difference does not make us “superior”: it simply is behaving ethically in the sense that it offers you a chance to break out of your cultural bubble and grasp the meaning of a wider range of issues. We’re doing you a service here. You’re free to twist that any way you want and make a fool of yourself doing so. Be my guest.

“on one hand, with your need to appear morally-superior/egalitarian”

WTF??? Egalitarian? Me? I’m very much aware that we are not born equal on many counts, and very much aware of the damage that can be done when one does not have an accurate mental representation of that. But if not being egalitarian means endorsing conversion therapy for gay people and endorsing locking them up or throwing them from rooftops, yeah, count me in as “egalitarian”. And cheer up: you met an “egalitarian” who enjoyed pouring dough into vulture funds. A once in a lifetime opportunity!

Gimme a fucking break with your political preaching.

“on the other hand (advocating universal health care paid for by others, for example, without ever so much as helping to pay a poor person’s co-pay or deductible on your own dime), is a joy to watch.”

It’s quite likely that universal health care paid by “others” would be better than the nonsense you have in the US. On the other hand, I already had my little skirmishes on the topic with Joel, and I made clear the extent to which I oppose quite a number of aspects of state-controlled medicine.

Again: wrong pick. You’re ridiculous.

“But, only because there’s no baseball.”

Yeah. Well try to hit the ball next time.

@ Joel

“So statistics can positively prove a negative (such as the null hypothesis) up to a level of confidence.”

I mean positively proving that the null hypothesis is wrong. Not true. Bad wording. Do not get started, Joel…

It’s always the little details that trip up a liar. In this case it’s ELEVEN courses in statistics and research methodology. No way: most of the Ivies operate on semesters. Eight semesters, four courses per semester and 32 courses are required for graduation. I can’t find a Department which would ALLOW 11 cases in such a narrow spectrum. The courses required to master the broader field consume a big chunk of the 14 – 18 total required for graduation

As the Car Guys would say: “BOOOOOOOOGUS!”

Tom did not read the article. The citation:
“This effort to reconstruct our planet’s climate history has become linked to the
topic of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW). On the one hand, this is peculiar
since paleoclimatological reconstructions can provide evidence only for the
detection of global warming and even then they constitute only one such source of
evidence. The principal sources of evidence for the detection of global warming
and in particular the attribution of it to anthropogenic factors come from basic science
as well as General Circulation Models (GCMs) that have been tuned to data
accumulated during the instrumental period [IPCC (2007)]. These models show
that carbon dioxide, when released into the atmosphere in sufficient concentration,
can force temperature increases.”
So Blakeley is not a climate sceptic

Tom: “My only point was that many climate scientists in the 1970s were convinced that dirty air from fossil fuels was leading us into another ice age and that something must urgently be done to prevent it.”

Your “point” is bogus.

“…global cooling predictions in the 70s amounted to media and a handful of peer reviewed studies. The small number of papers predicting cooling were outweighed by a much greater number of papers predicting global warming due to the warming effect of rising CO2. Today, an avalanche of peer reviewed studies and overwhelming scientific consensus endorse man-made global warming. To compare cooling predictions in the 70s to the current situation is both inappropriate and misleading. Additionally, we reduced the SO2 emissions which were causing global cooling. The question remains whether we will reduce the CO2 emissions causing global warming.”

http://skepticalscience.com/ice-age-predictions-in-1970s-intermediate.htm

Check the references.

Claiming that “many” scientists predicted global cooling in the ’70s is reminiscent of antivaxers alleging that “doctors used to endorse smoking!” (also a gross mischaracterization).

If you want to play the “Science wuz wrong before!” gambit, at least get your facts straight.

@ Tom

So, you went to an Ivy League school and a trade school? And you took ELEVEN COURSE in statistics and research methodology and THREE COURSE in philosophy of science and your school, NO NAME?, ranks higher than any university in Sweden. Wow. So, what school, what degrees, and what is your current occupation? By the way, upon return to the United States I was able to get a highly prestigious post-doctoral three year fellowship from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, so I guess they thought my education in Sweden was OK

You write: “I understand enough of it to know that the statistical methodology chosen by Mann accomplished what it was supposed to. It showed what he wanted it to show. Better to pick a opaque statistical approach that supports what you are advocating than taking the time (and career risk – if there is any) to hide data.”

Yet you with your 11 course in statistics and research methodology DON’T ACTUALLY POINT OUT, EXPLAIN ANY FAULTS IN THEIR ANALYSIS. “Opaque statistical approach” says absolutely NADA.

You write: “The cognitive dissonance of watching liberal elites like you try to balance your insecurities and ego needs for recognition as cognitively superior to the masses, on one hand, with your need to appear morally-superior/egalitarian on the other hand (advocating universal health care paid for by others, for example, without ever so much as helping to pay a poor person’s co-pay or deductible on your own dime), is a joy to watch.”

Actually ASSHOLE, 65% of health care in U.S. is paid for by taxpayers, including many who either lack health insurance or are underinsured. That 65% translates to the same percentage of gross national product as other nations who cover everyone with high quality care. International studies show we rank poorly on life-expectancy, infant mortality, and quality-adjusted life years for chronic disabilities. And it isn’t free; but cheaper than the current alternative. For those insured, the premiums paid by employers and from pay checks, the copays and deductibles much more than a simple tax. In other words, with Medicare for All we will pay less for more. You do realize that over 30 cents on the dollar in our current system goes to profits, high insurance company executive pays and making it much more difficult to get health care and continuity of care. Several friends had to change physicians when their company changed policies. Wouldn’t happen with Medicare for All. And studies have found that the total costs over 10 years will be far less than our current system. And, no, there won’t be long lines. Currently, doctors, on average, spend an additional 15 hours a week or more on dealing with insurance company bureaucrats and excess paperwork. Under Medicare for All they will have that time to actually see patients. You really are FULL OF SHIT. And I realize that you are too stupid to understand this; but there are certain basic assumptions that underly a market model and health care doesn’t fit a market model. One excellent book that clearly explains this is:

Thomas Rice (2015). The Economics of Health Reconsidered, Fourth Edition. You can buy used copies of earlier editions, just as good; but considerably cheaper at amazon.com

And you friggin ASSHOLE, despite a relatively low income because I lived in five different nations, I do give monies and other help to various charities that supply meals and health care. I tried during the pandemic to volunteer at a food bank; but they turned me down because of my age; but I managed first week to donate blood, then they wouldn’t take me eight weeks later; but again donated blood this past Sunday. And when younger I volunteered once in a while at soup kitchens. What have you done?

Bottom line, I really don’t believe anything you say, e.g., degrees, coursework, etc. I think you are just a sick extremely unhappy individual who thinks by irritating others, especially old men, you have accomplished something. Nope, just give me a chance to prove that even at my age I still can defeat ASSHOLES like you. And help others following this blog who want to actually learn something.

I realize you won’t read them; but two articles I’ve written on health care:

Joel A. Harrison (2008 May). Paying More, Getting Less: How much is the sick U.S. healthcare system costing you? Dollars and Sense Magazine. Available at: http://www.pnhp.org/news/2008/june/paying_more_getting.php

Joel A. Harrison (2018 Aug 10). The Case for A Non-Profit Single-Payer Healthcare System. Physicians for a National Health Program. Available at: http://pnhp.org/news/the-case-for-a-non-profit-single-payer-healthcare-system/

I’ll take that as a “no” on helping actual poor people pay for their health care. The problem with identifying yourself on discussion platforms is that people could, in theory let’s say, check and find out, for example, that Zillow thinks that your house is worth almost a million dollars. And, if they did, your claims of relative poverty would be suspect. Which your are. I prefer anonymity. But, yes I graduated from an Ivy League school. In the top 10% of my class (barely, but there I was). Yes, I took 11 courses in statistics and research methodology. It was over 30 years ago, so my skills aren’t sharp, but I can still identify attempts at statistical gamesmanship. No, I don’t know how to weld, but I imagine that I hold working people like welders in far higher regard than you do. My brother-in-law, to offer but one example, has a high school diploma (barely), drives a truck, and he’s a far better man than me (which won’t surprise you) and he’s probably smarter than you (which you’ll try to disprove, since it offends your sense of superiority). And, he can weld.

If you think that Medicare for All will eliminate administrative paperwork/costs, you’re ill-informed or dreaming. For example, see: https://ehrintelligence.com/news/meaningful-use-regulatory-burdens-costing-providers-billions. That was Obama’s brain child. Rather than start with a basic dataset structure that would be interchangeable (which was critical to the goal of interoperability), it was the wild west. A clusterfuck of colossal proportions. The only thing that making it less bad is the fact that the smaller EHR players are getting crushed as the industry of health care consolidates into regional monopolies, which Obama’s approach encouraged, and which do nothing but drive the cost of health care up, and the costs down. To be bipartisan, here’s some republican stupidity under Bush that was equally-flawed bureaucratic nonsense: https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2012-11375-001 Among other bureaucratic idiocy, Medicare pays 60% more to hospitals to provide the same service as is provided in an ASC. Medicare pays a premium to provide care on a hospital campus, which has enabled hospitals to buy up doctor groups and consolidate their power, increasing health care costs in the process. Medicare seems like an unlikely candidate to drive efficient high-quality care.

And, if they did, your claims of relative poverty would be suspect. Which your are.

Medicare seems like an unlikely candidate to drive efficient high-quality care.

I think I’ve already mentioned that my Medicaid is fan-freaking-tastic, although it’s only good in Cook County. Nice to be able to get a mammogram when a mass shows up at 5 o’clock around the left nipple. FQHCs have their downsides, but that’s mostly because of demand.

By the way, I seem to have missed the part where you personally “help actual poor people pay for their health care.”

Oof. If you worked at the local teleco here, you would have noticed that before 5 o’clock.

It was nothing worse than trichinellosis, I hope.

Hi Joel – You defeated me. Congrats! What do you win? I had a chance to read your articles. Well written. I especially liked the part where you didn’t call anybody an ASSHOLE or tell them to GO TO HELL. That’s very important decorum for a public health advocate. Nicely done.

I find common ground with you on many of the points that you make. We disagree on some others, no doubt due to some cognitive or moral failing on my part. I’ll share anyway, since…I’m not sure exactly why. But here goes.

Drug companies/payment: You are exactly right on the diagnosis. Greedy drug companies chasing profits. But, that’s to be expected. Profits can motivate the development of innovative drugs. Many drugs that cure cancer or treat HIV/AIDS are available only because greedy bastards thought that curing cancer would be profitable. What enables those profits to sometimes be obscene is government regulation. Revolving door: FDA to drug companies.Congress to drug companies. CMS to lobbying firms, that help drug companies work through the bureaucracies. It isn’t clear to me how a single-payer run by the government would necessarily make an about face and suddenly have an incentive to serve the population, rather than the vested interests. After all, it would be more dependent on insiders. The simplest fix, it seems to me is to enable customers of all stripes to buy from anywhere on the globe, provided that provenance is verifiable. Part of the reason that our costs are higher is that we cover a big share of development costs on behalf of other countries. But, I’m not against negotiating the price. I would worry that Donald Trump’s son or Joe Biden’s brother or whomever has pull, would suddenly be in demand as consultants/lobbyists to shade the negotiation. We mostly agree.

Pricing/complexity/markets. Health care pricing is overly complex. Mostly, that is because of CMS regulation. The insurance companies piggy-back (mooch) on the regulatory work done on behalf of CMS, such as RBRVS and simply pay “a percentage of Medicare”. Unfortunately, that government-initiated complexity creates dozens of exam codes, some of which are only payable for certain diagnoses, which can’t be known until the diagnostic process is complete. In answer to the simple question, “what will an exam cost?”, “who the hell knows?” is the only reasonable response. I have no confidence that a federal bureaucracy would simplify things. That’s not exactly their style. More likely, the jockeying would be on for a seat at the rule-making table, like pigs at the trough.

WHO rankings, etc. Here, we disagree. Too much of the rankings are based on principles of socialism, moral judgments about who should pay and who should be covered, rather than technical judgments about “given condition X, where would I want it treated?” It’s not really a fair comparison to say, socialized care gets scored higher on our scale, so the scale proves that socialized care is better. Circular reasoning. Doctor training costs are socialized in some companies to a much greater extent than here. In the US, they tend to be incurred by clinicians in training, then recouped through health care spending. So, they show up as health care costs rather than education costs. Not apples to apples. And, as noted above, cost comparisons are skewed based on the distribution of drug development costs. It’s also not clear to me how costs like cosmetic plastic surgery – boob jobs or whatever are handled in the data.

Expectations are different here. The legal climate is different here. I didn’t see a proposal for malpractice reform in your papers. They are another well-fed hog at the trough, driving up costs and taking a huge slice of the recovery for harms that lay-juries are often poorly-equipped to assess. Those dollars would be better spent delivering health care.

@ Tom

“Drug companies/payment: You are exactly right on the diagnosis. Greedy drug companies chasing profits.”

Yeah. I do not buy that. It’s market failure that handicaps the development of new antibiotics, for instance. Not greedy drug companies. Politics on patents is yet another topic.

“But, that’s to be expected. Profits can motivate the development of innovative drugs. Many drugs that cure cancer or treat HIV/AIDS are available only because greedy bastards thought that curing cancer would be profitable.”

That’s a misrepresentation of the inner workings of capitalism. Greed is a motive. It is not the only one.

“What enables those profits to sometimes be obscene is government regulation.”

Nope. There are no markets without “government” regulation. And government “regulation” is usually attacked for hampering profits. Not bolstering them.

“Revolving door: FDA to drug companies.Congress to drug companies. CMS to lobbying firms, that help drug companies work through the bureaucracies. It isn’t clear to me how a single-payer run by the government would necessarily make an about face and suddenly have an incentive to serve the population, rather than the vested interests.”

You have a point to some extent. But on the other hand, you have more negotiating power when you want to negotiate the price of drugs on the scale of a country with pharmaceutical companies. So it’s not as clear cut as you portray it to be.

“After all, it would be more dependent on insiders. The simplest fix, it seems to me is to enable customers of all stripes to buy from anywhere on the globe, provided that provenance is verifiable.”

Not with medical drugs. Nope. Too dangerous to use on your own. Regulation is patently needed on such matters. This position of yours is about as ethical as deliberate murder is.

“Part of the reason that our costs are higher is that we cover a big share of development costs on behalf of other countries.”

Reference needed. I’m sure the africans on which the drugs are tested share your point of view, that the US covers a “big share” of development costs on behalf of “other” countries. AstraZeneca is british-swedish. GlaxoSmithKline is british. Sanofi is french. Roche is swiss. Pfizer is american. Johnson and Johnson is american. Elli Lilly is american. Seems evenly distributed to me.

“Pricing/complexity/markets. Health care pricing is overly complex. Mostly, that is because of CMS regulation.”

Nope. Healthcare delivery markets does not satisfy the basic axioms that allow a market to function properly according to well known economical theorems such as Arrow-Debreu. Structurally, that market is bound to fail. That’s why regulation is absolutely necessary. In order for the market to function. Blaming market failure on regulation in this case is bonkers. We need regulation in order to enable market functioning.

“Unfortunately, that government-initiated complexity creates dozens of exam codes, some of which are only payable for certain diagnoses, which can’t be known until the diagnostic process is complete.”

That’s not “government” initiated complexity. It’s “insurance” initiated complexity.

“In answer to the simple question, “what will an exam cost?”, “who the hell knows?” is the only reasonable response. I have no confidence that a federal bureaucracy would simplify things.”

There simply has been no overall good solution found for pricing healthcare delivery. Whether with or without government. In France, we had the “tarification à l’acte”. Not a big success. Government backtracked. Switzerland hasn’t been doing way better on pricing methodologies. No one is good at it. Market or no market, government or no government. We’re better at pricing the cost of disease and disability.

“WHO rankings, etc. Here, we disagree. Too much of the rankings are based on principles of socialism”

Bwahahahahah!!!…

“moral judgments about who should pay and who should be covered”

These simply cannot be avoided. It’s not a coincidence that the Church has historically been in charge of that kind of thing in the last centuries. And they were precisely into moral judgements. Even nowadays, moral judgements are an integral part of medicine at a huge number of levels.

“rather than technical judgments about “given condition X, where would I want it treated?”

Can’t work that way. We have to guarantee correct delivery of healthcare across a whole country. For a wide variety of reasons. The first one is that medicine can be a butchery if not done right, and to guarantee a level of public confidence in medicine, one needs to avoid horror stories catching traction because of a dysfunctional “free” market. If the price of your system is the drop of public confidence in medicine, it’s not a viable option.

“It’s not really a fair comparison to say, socialized care gets scored higher on our scale, so the scale proves that socialized care is better. Circular reasoning.”

Prove that this circular reasoning is indeed circular reasoning. So far you’ve only projected your prejudices and begged the question.

But I thought we were discussion climate change?

@ F68.10

if you are willing to look at paper that Tom linked to, he also linked to rebuttal at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/12/responses-to-mcshane-and-wyner/

I downloaded it and it links to a bunch of additional papers. Some of the links didn’t work; but I went to website of Annals of Applied Statistics, then 2011, Volume 5, Issue and found them. Too many for me; but I downloaded the index listing all the articles.

I really don’t believe Tom’s claim of so many or even one graduate course in statistics, etc.

@ F68.10

You are younger, have more energy than me, and specialize in statistics, so i was wondering if you could carefully analyze a paper that climate change denier Tom linked to: https://projecteuclid.org/download/pdfview_1/euclid.aoas/1300715170

Rebuttal at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/12/responses-to-mcshane-and-wyner/

Note they link to a number of websites; but not all links worked, so I went to Annals of Applied Statistics, then 2011, Volume 5, Number 1 and just saved the Table of Contents. Some of the other links did work.

As I wrote in a comment to him, both authors are in business schools, so, may be valid; but good chance they really don’t understand the data used. The rebuttals make a case they don’t really understand the data; but they also wrote a “Rejoinder”.

Bon chans
Viel Glück

p.s. I am going back and forth between half dozen articles on blogs, so, I think I posted the above on the wrong page. Oh well.

@ Joel

“You are younger, have more energy than me”

That last point is debatable. I’m still very much stuck in my trauma loop and in poor health. And trying to muster the energy I have to work on some pure mathematical topics. Got a proto-paper I wish to finalise and send it to a few interested people.

“And specialize in statistics”

I’m not a statistician. Been educated and do have some credentials there, but not a practitioner. Reading a lot though, mostly pure theory. And hoping to blend some of my current work with foundational aspects of statistics (more information theory than stats per se, though…). Mathematicians are indeed a weird kind of “scientists”…

“So i was wondering if you could carefully analyze a paper that climate change denier Tom linked to: https://projecteuclid.org/download/pdfview_1/euclid.aoas/1300715170

I’ve skimmed over it. I won’t be able to go further than the discussion that happened over it over the last 10 years without diving into the data. I can read it more carefully, though.

“Note they link to a number of websites; but not all links worked”

I also noticed quite a number of broken links. Bitrot is problematic on such politicised issues.

“As I wrote in a comment to him, both authors are in business schools, so, may be valid”

He deliberately misrepresented your position. How surprising…

“But good chance they really don’t understand the data used.”

Seems that’s half of the story. The other half of the story is indeed that climate scientists claim that science is not only about statistics. Which is true. To some extent. Already pointed to Tom a few of the points raised by the critics of this paper that I consider legitimate. I would need to read more in order to have a personal opinion. As I tend to be very critical of science, I’m bound to agree with some points made in the paper, and I know for certain that Tom is bound to misrepresent them any possible way… So the problem is bound to be Tom the Liar more than paper itself, which he’ll be using to shoehorn his position and rhetorically force his nonsense on us.

“P.S. I am going back and forth between half dozen articles on blogs, so, I think I posted the above on the wrong page. Oh well.”

I think you’re overstretching. While your dedication is admirable in your old age, you should avoid taking things too personally. Whenever I see you writing “you’re full of shit!”, I just hope you’re not overdosing on coffee. These discussions can be a bit rough when you grow old. Take it easy. Do not give up, but take it easy. And try to laugh it out a bit more: sarcasm can be an art and a pleasure.

@NARAD

“I think I’ve already mentioned that my Medicaid is fan-freaking-tastic, although it’s only good in Cook County. Nice to be able to get a mammogram when a mass shows up at 5 o’clock around the left nipple. FQHCs have their downsides, but that’s mostly because of demand.

By the way, I seem to have missed the part where you personally “help actual poor people pay for their health care.””

Medicaid is fan-freaking-tastic because somebody else is buying it for you. Mooching is fun. Free beer is fan-freaking-tastic, too. I’ve paid co-pays and deductibles and full service fees for dozens of patients at facility’s where I have been associated. They have appreciated it. You seem to not understand where the funds come from to pay for your health care come from, although (and I’m sure I’ll regret this) you seem smart enough to get a job where you produce something valuable enough to provide your own health care.

@ Tom

“Medicaid is fan-freaking-tastic because somebody else is buying it for you.”

No. When people are subsidising healthcare, they are doing themselves a service: getting poor and sick people off the street so that you do not see beggars everywhere you look begging you for money for the diabetes medication, with swollen feet and deformed faces. Switzerland wouldn’t be so cute and polished if they didn’t subsidize health care. And filthy rich people would choose another place to live and work and if their sight were polluted by human misery.

People are therefore buying themselves a service by subsidising healthcare: creating for themselves a nice place to live… until it’s their turn to be locked away in a care center for the elderly.

It’s their own unenlightened self-interest that is at stake when subsidising healthcare. Nothing else.

And you can perfectly publicly subsidise healthcare within a capitalist for-profit medical insurance framework. Switzerland does it.

There are other models for subsidised, state-funded, state-controlled or sovietised medicine. France is midway between state-funded and state-controlled and arguably lightly sovietised. You won’t like it. But the swiss model isn’t the french one, and is much more compatible with what seems to be your ideology; and strikes a democratic balance among many interests. Not perfect, but very far from being soviet medicine.

Again, give us a break with your political preaching: people are free to make themselves their own opinion on the matter. We’re not forcing an ideology on you. You are forcing yours on us.

But, hey, again, I personally do not care either way: I’m less bothered by brothels in Bangladesh than I am by your stupidity: Dacca prostitutes likely have a clearer view of reality than you and are likely less stupid than you are.

Do you start to understand what the stakes of healthcare is? Avoiding rampant misery? It’s not about funding hi-tech medical equipment for anyone. That’s a fantasy. It’s about caring for your living environment. To make it nice and cute to your eyes. But, hey, if you enjoy watching misery, feel free to state so. Personally I do not mind misery; I’m just not stupid enough to glorify it.

@ F68.10

Yet the French model of health care has ranked number one for a number of years. Easy access, choice, high quality care, including prenatal and postnatal care and it costs as percentage of GDP less than even Switzerland. And the Swiss system basically makes sure almost everyone is insured and holds profits and administrative costs down, not a free-for-all like American system. You might like reading: Systèmes de santé en transition France. Available at: https://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0015/80700/E84609.pdf?ua=1

Yes, I read it with help, a lot of help, from a French/English dictionary and also checking my understanding by having also the English language version. Free download. There is also a more up-to-date version and one on Switzerland at: https://www.euro.who.int/en/about-us/partners/observatory/publications/health-system-reviews-hits

Some other good books:

Paul Dutton (2007). Differential Diagnosis: A comparative history of health care problems and solutions in the United States and France

Ellen M. Immergut (1992). Health Politics: Interests and Institutions in Western Europe (chapters of France and Switzerland), explain culture, politics, etc that influenced how different systems developed

And you really should read the two papers I wrote, listed with links above.

Besides epidemiology, I have read and been involved in health care reform probably 40 years. Have and read many books on Swedish health care, German, Canadian, British, etc. Audited several grad course in Health Economics. When I audit a course I do ALL the readings, attend all the lectures, just don’t need credits, have enough degrees already.

Tom, as many morons, really doesn’t know what he is talking about and, besides, lies.

@ Joel

“Yet the French model of health care has ranked number one for a number of years. Easy access, choice, high quality care, including prenatal and postnatal care and it costs as percentage of GDP less than even Switzerland. And the Swiss system basically makes sure almost everyone is insured and holds profits and administrative costs down, not a free-for-all like American system.”

Yeah, yeah, Joel. I know. We already discussed it. Not denying any of that.

I’m just trying to pull Tom’s head from his ass so that he understands that the world is not black and white. That’s all. Just trying to explain to him that he does not need to endorse needless suffering out of his phobia of “liberals”. Just trying to explain to him that he has other options than forcing himself to believe that he has to make a choice between Kim Jong Un and Pinochet.

I wouldn’t challenge your expertise on the brothel industry. I’m somewhat familiar with the Swiss system. I considered a surgery available there but not here a few years ago, so I looked into it. Definitely has merits.

@ Tom

“I wouldn’t challenge your expertise on the brothel industry.”

Yeah. Switzerland is fairly liberal on the topic. They started outlawing prostitution of minors in Zürich only in 2013. I’m very well informed on these topics.

Dacca prostitutes likely have a clearer view of reality than you and are likely less stupid than you are.

If one wants to range to the southeast, I thought Cleo Odzer’s Patpong Sisters was worth the time to read. I didn’t even realize that she had been dead for nearly two decades.

Medicaid is fan-freaking-tastic because somebody else is buying it for you. Mooching is fun.

Being forced to declare bankruptcy because you had to spend an absolute fortune on cancer treatments isn’t.
The fact that you view Medicaid as “mooching” speaks volumes, none of it good.

Let’s put our thinking caps on. If one has Medicaid, they are already essentially bankrupt. they don’t go broke paying for treatments. They start that way. If they are instead paying for their own insurance, they have less money to spend on their own care because they are also paying for Medicaid through the tax code. So, it’s OK to not having money because you are paying for somebody else’s care, but not OK to not have money because you are paying for your own care? And, let’s skip the “we are all in this together, it’s insurance, duh!” speech. Insurance is when you pay for your own share of risks, and when something bad happens, you’re covered. It not when one person pays the premium for ten others (who each pay no premiums), and if something bad happens, they’re all covered. When that’s voluntary, it’s called charity. When it’s involuntary, it’s called theft or confiscation or taxation.

to mooch:
to get things from another or live off the generosity of others without providing any return payment or benefit

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mooching

How does that not apply?

@ Tom

“Let’s put our thinking caps on. If one has Medicaid, they are already essentially bankrupt. they don’t go broke paying for treatments.”

No. Went broke paying for the right to be locked up without my consent to be cured of my desire to have control over medical decisions that concern me. Fairly brutal treatment that cost me a hell of money and that had 0 effect. Science-based and doomed to fail. Got me broke and I was well off before that.

That happens. And going broke for cancer treatment or more conventional ordeals than mine also does happen. Quite a lot more than you seem to think.

“They start that way.”

Nope.

“If they are instead paying for their own insurance, they have less money to spend on their own care because they are also paying for Medicaid through the tax code.”

Do not know the US that much, but that “logic” is bonkers. Medicaid or not, what you are describing is the concept of an insurance itself. When you are insured, privately or through a public tax scheme, whatever, you pay for “others”. That’s just the principle.

“So, it’s OK to not having money because you are paying for somebody else’s care, but not OK to not have money because you are paying for your own care?”

The “logic” fails me.

“And, let’s skip the “we are all in this together, it’s insurance, duh!” speech.”

M’kay… quite weird a rebuttal seen from Switzerland, where insurances are the backbone of society to the extent that they almost replace the State. Guess they too got tired of the “we are all in this together, it’s the friggin’ mountains, duh!” speech, and decided that maybe insurance was not so bad an idea…

Mountains can be rough, sometimes, when you’re on your own.

“Insurance is when you pay for your own share of risks, and when something bad happens, you’re covered.”

Hmh… no. Basic principle is that standard deviation of risks grows in proportion to the square root of numbers of people insured. (Assuming very crude modeling of risks by gaussian variables). “Square root”. Not “linearly”. Thus, it’s not “your own share”. It’s others than are giving you more than a hand. Everyone benefits from others in an insurance scheme.

On paper.

But the argument that it’s “your own share” of risks is flat out bogus. Moreover there are other social benefits to insurance, such as the pooling of capital into reserves that enable funding of capital markets, another social benefit because capital markets are a public good. (If and only if they function properly and are adequately “regulated” in an intelligent way.)

Actuarial Science 101.

“It not when one person pays the premium for ten others (who each pay no premiums)”

Claiming that there are 9 freeloaders for one good hard-working Tom is a gross misrepresentation of reality. And by the way, the square root of 10 is roughly 3.2. Not 10. Try again to make the Swiss Defender of Big Insurance cry… When we’ll start putting assholes in orbit, Tom, you’ll be in for quite a ride.

“and if something bad happens, they’re all covered. When that’s voluntary, it’s called charity. When it’s involuntary, it’s called theft or confiscation or taxation.”

Oh! Now I get it! You have a “private property” fetish! Well, look, the world doesn’t work that way. There’s theft, confiscation, taxation, war, genocide, rape, torture, and a huge array of other ugly things in the world. One of my favorite is human trafficking of disabled and mentally retarded children. Bottom line: we have to make judgement calls between ugly things. Taxing poor poor Tom is an ugly thing. For sure. But there are vastly worse things in the world. So we have to make a judgement call. If we have to tax Tom to avoid worse things, then we have to tax Tom. That’s tough, but that’s the way it is. And that’s called a “democratic decision”. Not Soviet Russia. Private property is important as it indeed is an incentive for economic activity. But it is not the endgame of morality.

“to mooch: to get things from another or live off the generosity of others without providing any return payment or benefit
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mooching
How does that not apply?”

Oh! The dictionary trick! Did L. Ron Hubbard teach it to you?

When someone is dying in front of your eyes, he is not “mooching”. He is “dying”. If you’re not helping him while you know he is dying, you’re more or less directly a murderer. If you’re doing it out of Charity, good for you. But Charity doesn’t scale. That’s why we invented the modern version of Taxes and Insurances. And legislated a few things on the topic so that it’s not overly unfair to everyone.

But you’re not making an argument based on aggregate human happiness or any potentially objective measure of moral goals on which we should as humans agree upon as a compass for public policy. You’re indulging in the magical invocation of your private property fetish. And you seem to claim that it trumps any other moral imperative. Which is patently false.

If one has Medicaid, they are already essentially bankrupt.

This very well be the dumbest fucking thing you’ve disgorged so far. Were you having Mai Tai’s while playing with yourself in your gazebo? Believe it or not, 133% of the Federal Poverty Level is not the end of the world. Moreover, the weird invocation of bankruptcy requires the magical creation of White Trash/Nigger/etc. debt.

I will close with a note from someone who will be remembered for far longer than you will be.

When someone is dying in front of your eyes, he is not “mooching”. He is “dying”. If you’re not helping him while you know he is dying, you’re more or less directly a murderer.

@ Tom

Once more ASSHOLE you make no sense. You are on Medicaid; yet have enough money to pay co-pays and deductibles and full service fees for dozens of patients?

And, as I explained, I have contributed to groups who provide health care to uninsured and I donate blood on a regular basis. I’ve worked at soup kitchens and will hopefully be able to volunteer at a food bank soon. However, you are such a friggin liar that nothing you say is believable.

GO TO HELL ASSHOLE

I’m not good with directions, Joel. I got lost on the way to hell. I think that you may have been unclear about the Medicaid post. I wasn’t saying that I’m on Medicaid. I buy my insurance. I was responding to a different contributor, who loves her Medicaid.

^ Oh, right, I almost forgot this:

Or, the costs imposed on others by the pointless overuse of emergency rooms by “frequent flyers,” who have an absolute EMTLA [sic] right to unnecessary attention at absolutely no price, On a daily basis, if that’s their preference. And, a right to sue (along with a $50,000 fine) any on-call doctor who has the temerity not to show up within 30 minutes (a time commitment that even Dominos Pizza has relaxed).

Leaving aside the passel of distortions bundled in here, you can’t have it both ways: no Medicaid, and the ED becomes the (much more expensive) primary-care provider.

^^ The EMTALA comment was intended to go after my comment below. And….

I was responding to a different contributor, who loves her Medicaid.

Newsflash: Men have breasts, too.

Medicaid is fan-freaking-tastic because somebody else is buying it for you. Mooching is fun.

I guess you’ll be really irate that I also have a disability pass for the mass-transit system. I can barely walk four blocks or sit for more than a couple of hours, and I have mediocarpal arthritis in my right hand, with surgery four years away if I’m lucky. And yes, I worked for decades and am still looking for something I can do, with an employment specialist, despite impending homelessness.

@ Tom

You really are a friggin ASSHOLE. Did you read my two articles on health care? Of course, you didn’t. And you won’t even consider the book I recommended Economics of Health Reconsidered that makes an overwhelmingly compelling case that health care doesn’t fit into a market model. I clearly made the case that even people receiving Medicaid often have contributed to it through taxes. And even if they didn’t, your absolute contempt for other humans is despicable.

By the way, did you attend public schools, public universities, etc. Well, people like me without children paid taxes for these and gladly did so because previous generations paid taxes for my education. And even if you attended private universities, they are partially subsidized by taxpayers monies. One example is indirect costs. When a researcher applies for a research grant it includes indirect costs, often more than 50% of the direct costs. Higher indirect costs often go to private universities. These indirect costs support computer centers, labs, administration, etc. Only ASSHOLES like you remain either ignorant or don’t care that you have benefited from contributions of others.

GO TO HELL ASSHOLE

@ Tom

You write: “If you think that Medicare for All will eliminate administrative paperwork/costs, you’re ill-informed or dreaming.”

Just one more proof you are an idiot. The administrative paperwork in our system, including Obamacare, is because of our fragmented, dysfunctional, for-profit system. Attempts to keep the system honest, failed attempts. Canadian doctors, for instance, submit a bill, get reimbursed. They don’t have to fight with for-profit bureaucrats, etc. I discuss this in my papers; but being the ASSHOLE you are, you won’t read them. I know more in my little pinky about health care than you.

I’ve lived in Sweden and Canada and read quite a bit about their respective health care systems. Also, audited several grad courses in health economics. When I audit a course, I do ALL the assigned readings and attend ALL the lectures; just didn’t need any more credits. So, once again you are an ASSHOLE and if you really are on Medicaid don’t realize that you and everyone you know would have better health care and choice of doctors. When Medicare was enacted, Medicaid in many states reimbursed doctors at same or similar rates; but, since it is needs based, funding cuts, then cuts to what doctors paid, so fewer and fewer doctors taking Medicaid, so not everyone gets, for instance, prenatal care. Without prenatal care, if infant damaged due to lack thereof, it will cost society, a person who has limits, ends up . . .

GO TO HELL ASSHOLE

@ F68.10

“Claiming that there are 9 freeloaders for one good hard-working Tom is a gross misrepresentation of reality. And by the way, the square root of 10 is roughly 3.2. Not 10. Try again to make the Swiss Defender of Big Insurance cry… When we’ll start putting assholes in orbit, Tom, you’ll be in for quite a ride.”

I know that assessing the American system, between waterboardings in Switzerland and what not, can be challenging.

Can’t wait for my ride in orbit, though. Can I take Joel with me? Given sufficient time (perpetuity), I think that he’d really come to like me.

Let me walk you through the math. You tell me what the prostitutes know that I haven’t yet figured out. Aside from the obvious.

In the U.S.:

Medicaid covers 1 in 5. https://www.kff.org/medicaid/issue-brief/10-things-to-know-about-medicaid-setting-the-facts-straight/#:~:text=Medicaid%20covers%201%20in%205,75%20million%20low%2Dincome%20Americans.

Taxpayers in the top 2% cover 47% of the taxes. The top 50% pays virtually all of the taxes, percentiles 3%-50% mostly just covering their own costs. And, the Medicaid crew, mostly mooching. No taxes (or insurance premiums).

https://www.irs.gov/statistics/soi-tax-stats-individual-statistical-tables-by-tax-rate-and-income-percentile

Assuming that the top 2% then pay completely for the bottom 20%, I guess that it is 10 freeloaders per 1 payer? Not nine that I guessed?

You and Joel are only guessing that I only completed the third grade (and probably not on my first attempt) or whatever, and maybe pushed though that grade only as a courtesy. Maybe got by on white privilege, or my mom makes movies for Hallmark or something? Got me through on a “rowing” scholarship? No sir. I got all A’s in third grade. Want my report cards? Birth certificate? Confirmation from my mom? Letter from my principal?

That would be bad, if you were in fact correct. Let me take you to school. Medicare is paid out of payroll taxes, but only partially. https://www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/the-facts-on-medicare-spending-and-financing Medicaid is paid out of the general fund. Medicare is paid mostly by people who have worked. It’s an inter-generational subsidy. To borrow an analogy from my knowledgeable friend Dr. Joel, it’s like a revolving door. You pay in when you’re young, and presumably don’t need it. Then, you need it and don’t pay in after you retire. Then, you die. Medicaid is very different. Many of the people on Medicaid don’t work, or don’t work much, and never have. And, they don’t pay into the system; they only collect from it, i.e., mooch. There is another group of Medicaid beneficiaries who are in nursing homes. There is a whole legal/accounting infrastructure in the USA that advises on how to die “broke”, so that regardless of your actual wealth, the costs of nursing home care (much of which is paid by Medicaid) will be passed along to taxpayers, shielding your assets from those costs, to the benefit of your heirs. This is a form of mooching, although some people justify it on the rationale that they paid into the system, which is truer in some cases than others.

@ Tom

“Medicaid is very different. Many of the people on Medicaid don’t work, or don’t work much, and never have. And, they don’t pay into the system; they only collect from it, i.e., mooch.”

So you take people who essentially are in deep shit, and want to withhold medical care so that they die faster? If I didn’t know you were an idiot, I would be one step away from believing you’re a social eugenicist of some form.

Get it straight: people do not enjoy not being able to work. I personally can’t work any more, and I’m not enjoying it at all. Just received my health insurance card two days ago after a year or two being an administrative ghostwalker. Sent me mentally shuddering given all the pain I gave myself to extract me out of medical hell. I’ll be “mooching” for a quite a while, while hiding away from doctors as much as I can, but hey! I asked for euthanasia! Didn’t get it. That would have taken care of the moocher… And now, you’re starting to complain that I’ve been mooching for two days? After having been thoroughly treated against my will and on my funds for a few decades and being pushed to bankruptcy?

That people should be thoroughly encouraged to work, and not under the moral threat of “contributing to society”, has my full support. Hiding yourself from the fact that many cannot is nonetheless not acceptable. Endorse state mechanisms to help them or to kill them, but endorsing needless suffering is bonkers and self-serving. Either you’re an idiot or you’re glorifying misery, which more or less boils down to the same. My guess on that point is that it is the later: the more people are in deep shit, the more they have incentive to work in your worldview, I guess, so you glorify misery. The fact that the world in fact doesn’t work that way doesn’t seem to trouble you. You’re in the game to earn the moral upper hand, whatever that is in your view. Not to solve problems.

“There is another group of Medicaid beneficiaries who are in nursing homes. There is a whole legal/accounting infrastructure in the USA that advises on how to die “broke”, so that regardless of your actual wealth, the costs of nursing home care (much of which is paid by Medicaid) will be passed along to taxpayers, shielding your assets from those costs, to the benefit of your heirs.”

I’m not surprised at all that some people try to “shield their assets”. Not at all… Would be a bit weird given my professional background to believe it’s not the case. But it simply is something to be dealt with. Not a reason to push people in misery needlessly. So yeah, sometimes you have to accept that fraud is a reality to get things rolling. Cannot make omelettes without breaking eggs.

“This is a form of mooching, although some people justify it on the rationale that they paid into the system, which is truer in some cases than others.”

Well I “justify” it in the sense that I know the world is not perfect, and that you can make it worse by trying to make it perfect. I stand by the logic of “less worse” than by the Logic of Utopia.

@Tom

Medicaid is very different. Many of the people on Medicaid don’t work, or don’t work much, and never have. And, they don’t pay into the system; they only collect from it, i.e., mooch.

Promising career opportunities include:

Timekeeper

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Time_%28film%29

Union Repo Man

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repo_Men#Plot

Sandman (for the sportsman-like bureaucrat)

DMV organ doner influencer {Correct Signature Dept.}

@Tom When you are yourself old, you would be sicker, too. Whole idea of health insurance is that you save money when you are young and healthy and spend it when you are old and need it.
Some people do work hard enough, but still need Medicaid. Walmart advices its associates so use it, for example.
OK, part of Medicaid comes from general revenue. Question is, where general revenue comes from. Federal invidual income tax only is a part of it.

@ Tom

“I know that assessing the American system, between waterboardings in Switzerland and what not, can be challenging.”

My situation has been somewhat more complicated than what you describe. You have a link I gave that might give you a few hints. Not that I believe you’re interested anyway.

“Can’t wait for my ride in orbit, though.”

It’s just a cult one-liner.

“Medicaid covers 1 in 5. Taxpayers in the top 2% cover 47% of the taxes. The top 50% pays virtually all of the taxes, percentiles 3%-50% mostly just covering their own costs. And, the Medicaid crew, mostly mooching. No taxes (or insurance premiums). Assuming that the top 2% then pay completely for the bottom 20%, I guess that it is 10 freeloaders per 1 payer? Not nine that I guessed?”

This is ridiculous figure twisting. Look: I do not give a fuck about these rationalisations. In France, healthcare is funded by taxes directly on your paycheck. You’ve got the “part patronale” (what the bosses pay for workers) and the “part salariale” (what workers pay themselves). People endlessly squabble over who pays what. In the end, bosses hand down a paycheck, and from gross to net salary, the portion of income that is redirected into social protection doesn’t get in the hands of workers, whatever the repartition between part patronale and part salariale is. And there you have people endlessly squabbling over what pays what, who pays more and why bosses do not pay enough compared to workers, blah blah blah. In the end, same pie, social protection takes a part and ridiculous squabbling over whether money should be handed to the State before it’s handed down to workers or given to the State after it’s handed down to workers. But I guess you’d be one of these assholes believing this distinction is of paramount importance! When social protection takes money directly from your boss, you’re a moocher. When your boss gives you money and, the moment it’s in your hands, the State grabs a part of it, that makes you an Honest Decent Hard-Working Citizen. If you’re that dumb to think that way, go fist yourself.

If income inequality is important, then taxation disparities will follow mechanically. Haven’t checked the figure in Zug, but I’m pretty sure that the richest contribute the most. By far. But you know? That’s just the point! Taxes are kept so low that the rich want to come there. And why is it interesting to make them come? To tax them! The game is finding the optimum tax rate to maximise tax revenue. That’s why taxes are so low: to maximise tax income when taxing the richest.

For no other reason. Tax Haven 101.

And yes, US realities is not that much my concern. I’m just noticing that you’re selecting figures to suit your agenda. Aarno noticed that you focused only on federal income tax. VAT tends to hit consumers much more evenly and that includes a lot of people. And yes, caring for moochers is a huge part of the burden of a State. If the State doesn’t do it, religious fundies will do it, and that’s how you get the Muslim Brootherhood taking over Egypt: by proselytising through clinics targeted at moochers. That’s what you call Charity. Because moochers may be moochers, but they have two hands and can carry guns when the need will be felt. For that kind of reasons only, it is unwise for a State not to care for moochers. So snap out of your fantasy world where the State is here to Defend Your Private Property. Your private property will only be safe as long as moochers will not go berserk. So take care of them. The Church got that right from the start in the first millenium. It’s not beyond your cognitive abilities.

“You and Joel are only guessing that I only completed the third grade (and probably not on my first attempt) or whatever, and maybe pushed though that grade only as a courtesy.”

Find one quote of me calling you a liar on the topic of your education. You’ll find quotes of me calling you a liar. But none on the topic of your education. And the reason is: I. Do. Not. Care. about what bloody paper you fancy waggling under my nose. Talk about specific points, and avoid talking too much about yourself.

“Maybe got by on white privilege, or my mom makes movies for Hallmark or something? Got me through on a “rowing” scholarship? No sir. I got all A’s in third grade. Want my report cards? Birth certificate? Confirmation from my mom? Letter from my principal?”

I’d wipe my ass with all these. But keep complaining. Please do. Keep talking. That’s how we build a civilisation. That’s how we came down from the tress. Keep Talking.

P.S.: I notice that you do not seem that much concerned with climate change now that the topic has shifted to moochers…

Thanks. I’m easily distracted. Actually, i think we started with HCQ and the merits of a pre-exposure prophylaxis using that drug. Which I thought might have some merit, and still hasn’t been tested as noted in a link to recent ORAC’s post, above. It has been deemed sufficient to test post-exposure administration, and impute failure on pre-exposure prophylaxis for good measure. My new friend, @ DANGEROUS BACON routed me to a website (see above) that quite methodically and respectfully makes the case for warming and patiently takes on skeptics, criticism by criticism. I’ve been spending some time on that site. Contrary to the claims, I don’t have a rooting interest in the science of it. I’m just naturally skeptical until I understand something. More so when I see data manipulated in favor of a theory or hidden from view when it isn’t supportive. We’ll see. Maybe Joel and i will agree on even more things.

@ Tom

“Contrary to the claims, I don’t have a rooting interest in the science of it.”

This is factually inconsistent with your “hide the decline” mantra. But who knows? Maybe you’re in the same position as a Jehovah’s Witness trying to break away from the group in order to get access to higher education. Not ruling it out. But not exactly credible.

You should know better than anyone that just because you’re paranoid, that doesn’t prove that they’re not out to get you. None of this makes you even a little skeptical?

“This is factually inconsistent with your “hide the decline” mantra.”

Really? Is this?:

http://www.assassinationscience.com/climategate/1/FOIA/mail/0843161829.txt

“I really wish I could be more positive about the Kyrgyzstan material,
but I swear I pulled every trick out of my sleeve trying to milk
something out of that.”

Does that sound like unbiased science?

http://www.assassinationscience.com/climategate/1/FOIA/mail/0848679780.txt

“Remember all the fun we had last year over 1995 global temperatures,
with early release of information (via Oz), “inventing” the December monthly value, letters to Nature etc etc?”

We explain why the globe is 0.23k (or whatever the final figure is)
cooler than 95 (NAO reversal, slight La Nina). Also that global annual
avg is only accuirate to a few hundredths of a degree (we said this
last year – can we be more exact, eg PS/MS 0.05K or is this to big??)

Probably not the decline that they are trying to “hide”?

http://www.assassinationscience.com/climategate/1/FOIA/mail/0926026654.txt

Keith didn’t mention in his Science piece but both of us
think that you’re on very dodgy ground with this long-term
decline in temperatures on the 1000 year timescale. What
the real world has done over the last 6000 years and what
it ought to have done given our understandding of Milankovic
forcing are two very different things. I don’t think the
world was much warmer 6000 years ago – in a global sense
compared to the average of the last 1000 years, but this is
my opinion and I may change it given more evidence.

http://www.assassinationscience.com/climategate/1/FOIA/mail/0938018124.txt

“I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards “apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the temperature proxy data” but in reality the situation is not quite so simple. We don’t have a lot of temperature proxies that come right up to today and those that do (at least a significant number of tree proxies) have some unexpected changes in response that do not match the recent warming. I do not think it wise that this issue be ignored in the chapter.”

“I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago.”

“I walked into this hornet’s nest this morning! Keith and Phil Jones have both raised some very good points. And I should point out that Chris Folland, through no fault of his own, but probably through me not conveying my thoughts very clearly to the others, definitely overstates any singular confidence I have in my own (Mann and co-workers’) results.”

Most compellingly:

“I had been using the entire 20th century, but in the case of Keith’s, we need to align the first half of the 20th century with the corresponding average values of the other lines, due to the late 20th century decline.” Michael Mann 9/22/99

“I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline. Mike’s series got the annual land and marine values while the other two got April-Sept for NH land N of 20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999 for NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90. The Global estimate for 1999 with
data through Oct is +0.35C cf. 0.57 for 1998.” Phil Jones 11/16/99

But, that’s probably not the “decline” that he was talking about? [SARC]

I’m not trying to break free from anything. You assume that anybody who’s not a believer is a denier. I believe what I’ve been convinced of. How many of the believers out there have never made even a cursory inquiry into what it is that they believe, let alone into the case for what they don’t believe? I’m guessing that very few have.

A few scientists obviously conspiring to misrepresent or hide data that doesn’t fit their model isn’t conclusive proof that their essential theory is wrong. But, it does call for some skepticism. It certainly strikes me as a bit theological, in light of those sorts of shenanigans to label skeptics as deniers. But, as I have indicated, I don’t have a vested interest either way.

@ Tom

“You should know better than anyone that just because you’re paranoid, that doesn’t prove that they’re not out to get you. None of this makes you even a little skeptical?”

Well, in fact, one of my favorite punchlines when locked up was “Of course I’m right! I’m a paranoiac!”. Never really went down well with doctors, but I was endlessly driving the point that I would never care for their opinion given all that has happened.

“I really wish I could be more positive about the Kyrgyzstan material, but I swear I pulled every trick out of my sleeve trying to milk something out of that.”

Yeah, well I also currently am pulling every trick out of my sleeve to solve a problem on the representation theory of involutive monoïds. Nothing wrong with that. Keeps me busy.

“Does that sound like unbiased science?”

None of the emails ring any specific alarm bell. It’s just people at work, dealing with data and science communication. If you look at it from this angle, there is no “conspiracy”. If you want me to discuss a specific point, pick one explicitly: I’m not going to write a comment longer than the Amazon river. They’re already way too long.

“I’m not trying to break free from anything. You assume that anybody who’s not a believer is a denier.”

Cut it with the skeptic card. You’re not a denier: you’re a believer in a conspiracy and as far as I can judge, though you seem to deny it, a believer in the positive claim that climate change is not due to human activity, and potentially even a denier of climate change itself without human activity.

“I believe what I’ve been convinced of. How many of the believers out there have never made even a cursory inquiry into what it is that they believe, let alone into the case for what they don’t believe? I’m guessing that very few have.”

Look. Indeed, you cannot spend your life double-checking everything. At one point, you delegate to third parties the responsibility of doing that work. That’s what your taxes are for. If things did not work that way, science would mostly be at a standstill. Now, people may get things wrong, but the default position is that you cannot do much better than them. Of course, if there is a conspiracy, this last argument is flawed. But you then have to prove a conspiracy, not just wish it, and so far, you’ve been pulling allegations out of thin air. Or, you can also highlight things that are wrong, but that exercise can be done with polite argumentation. That works. Mostly. Otherwise, you have to some extent rely on the work done by others. They’re paid for that. And you do not stop living merely because you haven’t double-checked the entirety of the scientific literature on a given topic, like I did. That would be nonsense. In the words of Oliver Heaviside: “Am I to refuse to eat because I do not fully understand the mechanism of digestion?”

If you have valid objections, you’re free to raise them, and they will be treated in due time. The more reasonable one will be dealt with in priority. The website given by Dangerous Bacon does just that.

“A few scientists obviously conspiring to misrepresent or hide data that doesn’t fit their model isn’t conclusive proof that their essential theory is wrong.”

Obviously?

Obviously?

Nope. As far as I can see it, that’s your imagination.

And given the money industry has poured into disinformation, it’s fascinating that climate change deniers haven’t organised over time to themselves form scientists and tilt the scientific consensus in their favour. Maybe money can’t buy just anything?

“But, it does call for some skepticism.”

How do you make the difference between “skepticism” and conspiratorial paranoïa? Because you’ve checked quite a few suggestive criteria of conspiratorial paranoïa. Prove me that “skepticism” is warranted. Your emails just do not cut it. Highlight a specific point, word it out clearly, and then we’ll have a chance to treat it.

“It certainly strikes me as a bit theological, in light of those sorts of shenanigans to label skeptics as deniers.”

There are no shenanigans. You are making positive claims that scientists are twisting the truth. You have to document them. Not just toss stolen email around. Explain what is wrong with them precisely in a way that we cannot rebut any sentence in your case.

There is nothing theological in expecting scientists to work on your behalf with your taxes and expecting scientists to base their findings on logic and evidence, and then trusting it to some extent. If logic or evidence is faulty, lay down your case precisely. The Enlightenment was a period where philosophers did precisely that: dismantle spurious theological authority. We have now moved on and knowledge is not based on theology any more but on logic and evidence as far as we can. If you believe you too can dismantle spurious authority, feel free to try. But lay down your case precisely. As others have done before you in the past centuries.

Required reading for you.

“But, as I have indicated, I don’t have a vested interest either way.”

As if you were mightily credible on that one. You may not have one, but you do act as if you did. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, it must be a duck.

@ Tom

First, you ignore that many wealthy people and corporations didn’t just earn their wealth; but government policies, thanks to lobbyists, etc. benefited them.For instance, we bailed out the banks, we purchase weapons that the military clearly stated in neither needs or wants, e.g., tanks, fighter planes, etc and we give loopholes. Studies have found that IRS investigates and prosecutes middle and lower class much more than wealthy because wealthy can afford lawyers. You also forget that they thrive because of the men and women who serve in our military, because taxpayers pay for highways, roads, bridges, fire departments, etc. And on and on it goes; but you ignore the elephant in the room, which I already explained and you ignore that more than 30 cents on the dollar goes to high executive salaries, stock dividends, and huge bureaucracies that don’t benefit our health. And you ignore that taxes pay for 65% of health care, even poor people pay taxes. So through taxes we pay for health care, then turn the system over to for-profit companies, making it far more expensive and difficult to navigate even for those insured. Read my articles you friggin sack of lying shit.

And you claim you have received Medicaid. If so, why didn’t you refuse it since you claim you paid copays, deductions and even total bills for others?

Medicare for All will save people money, including those currently with insurance, will give them choice of doctors and hospitals, will remove the hassle/stress of dealing with multiple bills for those who are insured while they deal with illness or injury

Another excellent book that depicts just how bad our for-profit system is, just how much it is designed not for people; but for profit is:
Elizabeth Rosenthal’s “An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business.”

And something else you don’t understand is that without government, e.g., Medicare and Medicaid, many hospitals would close, so even those with good jobs and insurance won’t have a fully equipped hospital nearby.

Health care doesn’t fit the assumptions of a market model. Get and read the book I suggested. Nope, of course not, just rely on what you choose to believe. As for whatever level of education you have, doesn’t matter. I have a PhD and four Masters degrees and I would NEVER attempt to decide on which plan for a bridge is correct because I have NEVER studied structural engineering. But I have and continue to follow the economics of health care and international comparative studies and I actually lived in Sweden and Canada and keep up with friends there, at least, those still alive and read Swedish and Canadian government reports.

As I’ve demonstrated I have actually studied/read/attended seminars on health care and even climate change, read exponentially more than you. You continue to cite one or two articles that you apparently don’t even understand, e.g., that, yes, Obamacare had an immense bureaucracy, the ones already existing, and then added a new layer, even more money going to administration than actual health care, which is why Medicare for ALL will cost less and allow easier access, choice, etc.

Read my articles if you dare ASSHOLE

And read Rosenthal’s book, an inexpensive paperback and easy read. If you actually do, I think it will scare the hell out of you and it is well-documented.

@ JOEL etc. “First, you ignore that many wealthy people and corporations didn’t just earn their wealth; but government policies, thanks to lobbyists, etc. benefited them.For instance, we bailed out the banks, we purchase weapons that the military clearly stated in neither needs or wants, e.g., tanks, fighter planes, etc and we give loopholes.”

Why are we arguing about this so angrily? Yes, many people have gotten rich due to government policies and lobbying. I offered in my recent post that drug companies are a perfect example. Check out a drug called Omidria for an example. https://eyewire.news/articles/product-specific-j-code-for-omeros-omidria-is-now-in-effect/ The federal government is paying $450 for a combination of two generic drugs worth less than $20. Coincidentally, they hired a lobbyist who recently left CMS to “help” them with the process. That’s a pretty good way to get rich. It is also a function of the spending of other people’s money. Nobody would pay insanely high prices out of their own pocket, but government policy manipulation encourages such foolishness. I read your articles, but if you addressed how you would keep the lobbyists and corporate pigs from the legislative/regulatory trough that would be inevitable in single payer, I missed it.

@ JOEL etc. “And on and on it goes; but you ignore the elephant in the room, which I already explained and you ignore that more than 30 cents on the dollar goes to high executive salaries, stock dividends, and huge bureaucracies that don’t benefit our health.”

I agree. Especially for health insurance companies, CEOs made insane amounts of money. They did it by taking advantage of a vacuum in government regulation. Governments permitted big insurance companies who were competing in markets to essentially swap market share, resulting in market concentration that drove up prices. The Affordable Care Act encouraged the development of accountable care organizations ACOs that would take on risk and thereby lower costs. Instead ACOs increased market concentration and increased costs. You criticize profits, but many of the best paid health care executives inhabit the not-for-profit sector. CMS knowingly pays the Medicare Advantage plans more than the risk-adjusted costs to provide care. More pigs at the trough. I don’t disagree with you that there are pigs at the trough. I’m just skeptical that a government-directed program would miraculously find a way to end-run vested interests, lobbyists, revolving doors to industry, etc. Please show me an example of an American taxpayer money being spent wisely, if you you are advocating that your program would do so.

@ JOEL etc. “And you claim you have received Medicaid. If so, why didn’t you refuse it since you claim you paid copays, deductions and even total bills for others?”

I never said that. I copied a post from a different contributor and responded to that. Perhaps that generated some confusion. I’ve never received Medicaid and never claimed that I had.

@ JOEL etc. “Read my articles if you dare ASSHOLE”

I read your articles, at least the two that you had linked for me. I dared. As I stated, I thought that they were well-written and made a case for your arguments. The same case has been made many times by many others. Two quibbles. I don’t think that you made a case that the lobbyists/revolving door/bureaucracy would improve under such a system. Government-run failures are everywhere in the U.S. Public schools, VA health care, military procurement and so on. It strikes me as a bit of magical thinking to imagine a well-run efficient single-payer system in the U.S. As Uwe Reinhardt put it, “the founding fathers gave us an impotent government that acts quite irresponsibly.” https://pnhp.org/news/is-uwe-reinhardt-for-or-against-single-payer I agree with him on that, at least.

@ JOEL etc. “And read Rosenthal’s book, an inexpensive paperback and easy read. If you actually do, I think it will scare the hell out of you and it is well-documented.”

I’m not opposed to reading anything. I’ll read that, if you’ll read Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell. https://www.amazon.com/Basic-Economics-Thomas-Sowell/dp/0465060730

Sowell does an amazing job of highlighting the failures that have ensued, historically, from the centralized spending of other people’s money. He’s probably the smartest economist of the modern era.

@ Tom

You write: “Maybe Joel and i will agree on even more things.”

While anything is possible, two problems:
1. I base my position on actually researching things, not on one or two articles, and I have the skills necessary to evaluate what I read
2. Even if we agree on some things, doesn’t change the fact that you are a liar, that you continuously ignore clear valid refutations of what you write
3. You don’t even claim you intend to read what I suggest, books, etc; but especially my own two articles which I gave links to.

So, I can even agree with the Nazi’s building of the Autobahn and inexpensive Volkswagon’s that people could afford; doesn’t mean I in any way think of the Nazis as less than evil.

No, I don’t consider you a Nazis; but it just gives an extreme example of why just because someone is in agreement with you on some things that means they have even the least positive opinion of you

@ Tom

So, again you find a few articles and base your comment on them. A few articles posted on assassinationscience.com. I went to their website and it is a hive of conspiracy theories, most that the links don’t work. And:

Assassinationscience.com is an early website named as an outlet of “Fake News” by PropOrNot. In March 2019 the site remained online, but hda a dated appearance and contained numerous broken links . . .Assassinationscience was one of the first websites to question the official narrative of the JFK assassination. It was online in December 1998. Set up by James Fetzer, it hosts and links to content that challenges the official narratives of a number of deep events, especially the JFK Assassination.

So, they posted a few e-mail exchanges; but not most. I gave reference to journal that almost entire issue devoted to back and forth on Mann’s climate model and also links to a few contained in journal as well as others; but I doubt you really even understand the data, data collection techniques, or the statistics.

As I and others have written, you have shown NO expertise in climatology, claim to have studied statistics; but haven’t given any concrete criticisms, and you have lied about reading something and/or read it and lied all the same.

And you keep commenting on health care without reading my articles, clearly indicating you don’t understand jack shit about health care economics, comparative international studies that show U.S. ranks poorly on ALL outcome measures and, yet, by far the most expensive healthcare system.

Why don’t you just crawl under a rock.

Good idea, Joel – I’ll do that and you can go back to tormenting concerned mothers of kids with autism. Back to your comfort zone. From your almost million dollar lodging, wallowing in your alleged “poverty”. Too desperate yourself to help out with a few crumbs for the poor people who you claim to care about. Not your fault. It’s expensive to live like an elite. And, it’s not like you’d want to live in a minority community, with “those people”, right Joel? While you advocate endlessly for the spending of other people’s money. And, spew anger and hostility so vile (in the name of your love of humanity, of course) that casual observers worry about the impact on your health. Anger management is probably covered by your Medicare plan. Take advantage of that.

@ Tom the Moron

“Good idea, Joel – I’ll do that and you can go back to tormenting concerned mothers of kids with autism.”

Gee… If there is one thing moms with kids with autism need, it’s less and less medical crazyness around that condition, which implies that the science should be as right as possible. Because what has been done in the past on the topic of autism is not exactly a motive to stick a medal on Humanity’s chest. So Joel is perfectly right fighting against the idea that vaccines = autism. For both the sake of public health with vaccines and the sake of autistic kids.

“Back to your comfort zone. From your almost million dollar lodging, wallowing in your alleged “poverty”.”

Now you’re a telepathic psycho-analyst working for the IRS?

“Too desperate yourself to help out with a few crumbs for the poor people who you claim to care about. Not your fault. It’s expensive to live like an elite.”

Moral blackmail on the topic of charity, eh? You’re an ass. No one has anything to prove to you. And Joel is likely not an “elite”. But “elite” is a nice buzzword to get readers excited and irrational, I grant you that. Doesn’t change the fact that if doctors chose to rely on their gut feelings rather than studying science, things would get rather ugly for patients. It’s their interest than an intellectual “elite” exists. In the sense that it not be wankers handling retractors.

“And, it’s not like you’d want to live in a minority community, with “those people”, right Joel?”

You have no bloody clue where Joel lives. Drop it.

“While you advocate endlessly for the spending of other people’s money.”

He’s advocating that people get properly insured in a legal framework that enables it so that everyone benefits. Except jerks like you who’ll be howling at the moon.

“And, spew anger and hostility so vile (in the name of your love of humanity, of course) that casual observers worry about the impact on your health. Anger management is probably covered by your Medicare plan. Take advantage of that.”

Anger and even hate can be perfectly moral. Get your facts straight.

Back to your comfort zone. From your almost million dollar lodging, wallowing in your alleged “poverty”.

Ah, I had almost forgotten about this one:

The problem with identifying yourself on discussion platforms is that people could, in theory let’s say, check and find out, for example, that Zillow thinks that your house is worth almost a million dollars. And, if they did, your claims of relative poverty would be suspect. Which your [sic] are.

Please do share you Zillow results, Tommy.

@ Tom

You really are delusional assuming you know my economic circumstances. How about a 23 1/2 year old car? How about not even owning a TV and no cable TV? How about never eating out, except for about once every three months at a buffet that is inexpensive? And I explained that I help out a group who arranges health care for poor people. I guess you are too stupid to understand plain English.

And I don’t believe you help others with copays, deductions, and full medical bills; yet claim you are on Medicaid.

And I explained how the financing of health care works, guess you are too dum to understand.

As for tormenting mothers with kids with autism, nope, only mothers who misdirect their problems on to vaccines which, if others listen to them, could really end up with damaged or dead children. Yet, at the same time I have contacted my member of Congress, encouraging more funding to help families with special needs kids, not just autism; but ALL special needs kids.

In any case, I am going to try to ignore you as you truly are delusional.

However, if you actually read my two articles and can convince me you did, then, I might consider an exchange.

Otherwise, I sincerely suggest you seek psychiatric help.

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