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Inexpert opinion August 11, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Thought this letter in the IT worth consideration. There was an article last week about how research had indicated cholesterol lowering drugs were ineffective. I thought the piece odd because it didn’t bother to name any such drugs. Indeed details were thin on the ground in the report.

Then I read the critique, in the letter, and it struck me that this is part of a wider problem in the IT, where there seems – and this is particularly evident in relation to coronavirus, to be a tendency for ill-informed commentary on various matters scientific and medical without any effort to engage expert opinion. Perhaps the most egregious example was this from early on in the pandemic. But as noted here there’s been plenty more. Is this a function of class, that the much vaunted liberalism of the IT and similar buckles under any constraints and restrictions on travel, commerce and so on imposed for the common good? Surely not!

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1. tafkaGW - August 11, 2020

It’s also a function of most journos being scientifically illiterate, having no idea how science works much less how capitalism interacts with science – usually to make it less effective.

Example – the current Covid19 vaccine development programs (160+) where we will probably get a plethora of competing and often essentially similar vaccines, many of them grossly inflated in price, and enclosed by ‘intellectual property’, making them too expensive for poorer people and parts of the world to use.

If instead the WHO had been able to finance development of 3 or four teams working on each kind of vaccine, we would be in a better and cheaper place with regards to Covid19.

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WorldbyStorm - August 11, 2020

Very true – the lack of knowledge of not just science but how studies work, how to assess their robustness etc. There was a time when this sort of cherry picking was the sort of stuff the Daily Mail or newspapers of a similar approach would take. I see it a lot in the Guardian and IT these days.

Re vaccines, +1. This is a shitshow of epic proportions. If (a big if) they are developed successfully then the antisocial and frankly inhuman aspects of the development framework will be reflected in their deployment.

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2. Mick Hall - August 11, 2020

Thanks for this WBS a similar article was published over here in the Times, total crap and dangerous too, as people on statins may conclude why bother taking them. Hope all is well with you and yours.

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WorldbyStorm - August 11, 2020

And you too and yours. All grand so far. Are you still at same email?

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3. oliverbohs - August 11, 2020

Absolutely it is.
The example that comes to my mind (there are many others) is the chairman of Exeter Chiefs Rugby team bleating that without spectators allowed back to watch his team/franchise/whatever it is, major financial difficulties will befall them. Normality needs to return ASAP, whatever the consequences. The report on the BBC did not mention, for the sake of balance, that the coronavirus was unavailable for comment.

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WorldbyStorm - August 11, 2020

+1

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