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The Flu (Health)
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Boreades


In: finity and beyond
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"WTF" of the day

Time to assume that health research is fraudulent until proven otherwise?


reasons for not taking research fraud seriously have proved to be false, and, 40 years on from Lock’s concerns, we are realising that the problem is huge, the system encourages fraud, and we have no adequate way to respond. It may be time to move from assuming that research has been honestly conducted and reported to assuming it to be untrustworthy until there is some evidence to the contrary.

https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2021/07/05/time-to-assume-that-health-research-is-fraudulent-until-proved-otherwise/

Yes, yes, I know I've just posted that in Meetings With Remarkable Forgeries

But let's consider the implications here for one specific topic.

Dare we assume that (say) some Covid researchers are untrustworthy and might have venal interests at heart?

How might such a discussion be phrased so that it is not painted as a "conspiracy theory"?
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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Just to put a small oar in -- without wishing to cramp your fine style -- but although I have spent rather more of my recent life than might seem decent stomping about among forgeries, I have come to the conclusion that document-forging is not in fact very common. This is because (a) as artefacts they are mostly not worth forging and (b) as information sources they are mostly not very useful to fake.

When we turn to learned papers it would certainly be that (a) holds true and (b) is also true except in one very specific sphere. Pharmacological. Not, note, medical since they are not on the face any different from any other academic paper. But pharmacology is different. That's Big Business. It would be useful to think of any other academic field that has Big Product hanging on its every word.

There would be geological, especially petrological, surveys except they are self-limiting ["Nope, nothing here, Dallas"]. In fact, given the random nature of geological deposits, it might even be said that a fake survey has only a marginally lower strike rate than a genuine one. The same might be said of epidemiological surveys but I'll leave Borry to say it.

A good drug trial on the other hand is for the ages. ["Yup, it works"... a few years later ... "Damn, everyone got addicted."] But that's the genuine one. With the fake one, it would be, "Yup, it works" ... centuries later ... "Still working."
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Once you accept the cash-stuffed brown envelope, the image is going to haunt you. You might be innocent or guilty but that image of dirty money will always be there, it's not going away.

Money doesn't stink, unless it's in a brown envelope.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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4,336,418 people have died worldwide so far from the coronavirus COVID-19. The starting point is debated so let's say 1 year and a half of deaths.

On average 5,083,173 deaths are associated with non-optimal temperatures each year, 95% of which relate to excessive cold.

The good news is that due to global warming you would expect that this huge excessive cold weather death toll will drop each year as the planet heats up.

Global warming is very good news for those statisticians who concentrate solely on short term death tolls.

You can scare folks by the use and abuse of time frames.

With the exception of two world wars, (let's put a question mark over Spanish flu) average life expectancy has always risen over the last 100 years or so.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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With the exception of two world wars

As I oft point out, these do not show up in the statistics. But since you raise the matter, health -- and presumably life expectancy -- shot up in Britain during the Second World War because rationing forced everyone on to a healthy diet. We shall not see its like again. Thank God. "Turkey twizzler, vicar?" "All right, but we'll have to make it a quickie."
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Ishmael


In: Toronto
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Mick Harper wrote:
...health -- and presumably life expectancy -- shot up in Britain during the Second World War because rationing forced everyone on to a healthy diet....


I feel duty-bound to point out that this is nonsense.

Any impact on life expectancy from those four to five years of rationing would not be seen for decades to come.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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I wholly agree which is why I used the careful formulation "and presumably life expectancy" (it was only a tie-in after all). But it's a relief to see you being merely pedantic rather than across-the-board obstructionist. One more good push and you'll be your old self again.
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Ishmael


In: Toronto
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Life expectancy was the only one of the two variables mentioned that can actually be measured.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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A conservative Supreme Court judge has just ruled that requiring vaccinations for various things eg the army, university is legal. As was pointed out, it has been a requirement for years, nobody has ever given it a second thought and it would be mildly monumental to change the policy now.

This points up something that needs constantly pointing up. It is completely arbitrary, and therefore completely unpredictable, not only what will become a political issue but which side will adopt which side of the argument. If things had been slightly different it might easily have been the right demanding people buckle down and 'do what's right for our country', and the left standing out for the individual's right to stand up to Big Brother. In Britain it just isn't political at all, just various religious minorities being reluctant and the young not wanting to get out of bed unless they're bribed.

That's why AE-ists should always self-assess urgently when they find themselves lined up with the minority. It's fine so long as they chose the position themselves and did not find themselves there because of being an a priori member of some General Tendency. Being with the majority is not an issue since it is unlikely any individual AE-ist would be technically qualified to dissent. Which is not to say they are correct. Only that it is not a sensible issue to take issue with.
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Grant



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The age-adjusted death rate (apparently the gold standard of death rates) was lower in 2020 than in 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999 etc.

In 2021 it’s probably the lowest ever.

That’s all you need to know. This Covid nonsense has little to do with medicine, apart from psychiatric medicine.

That’s why the responses are not correlated to left/right politics. They have all gone mad
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Ishmael


In: Toronto
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Enjoy your spiked proteins.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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I was just about to say that.
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Chad


In: Ramsbottom
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https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/tanzania/

After well over a year without any recorded Covid-19 cases in Tanzania, there has been a surge in cases (and deaths) in recent weeks. They are trying to trace the origin of this outbreak, believed to be a visitor to the country, who recently arrived from Canada.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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It would have to be an anti-vaxxer, so nobody we know.
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Ishmael


In: Toronto
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Chad wrote:
After well over a year without any recorded Covid-19 cases in Tanzania, there has been a surge in cases (and deaths) in recent weeks. They are trying to trace the origin of this outbreak, believed to be a visitor to the country, who recently arrived from Canada.


The "origin" is the new president. After THEY murdered the last one. For precisely this reason.
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