Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Start with your conclusion

164 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Newer→ Last

  • B Jones,

    Weeell, my chances of getting smallpox today are tiny in comparison to my chances of getting a reaction to a smallpox vaccine (which was quite a reacty one, I understand). Which is why they don't give it out routinely now it's eradicated. But measles and whooping cough, yeah.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Nothing is risk-free.

    Yes, even the "risk free rate" predicates itself around Treasury not collapsing, something Muldoon may have risked.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew C,

    For anyone interested comprehensive takedowns of MMR=Autism, and other anti-vax rubbish, I can recommend Orc's blog at Respectful Insolance

    He's a surgeon who writes a blog dedicated to abusing woo and its proponents, fisking each with proper medical facts and understanding.

    Auckland • Since May 2008 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Regarding the side effects of vaccines and other "public health" operations, the philosophical decisions that impinge on what is "good for us" as a whole may be the crux of the matter.

    Yes, 10,000 die from smallpox without vaccination and 2 (or 100 - or pick any 'small number") die when vaccinated. For the population the "cure" is a no brainer - vaccinate. But for the "small number" who die from the side effects.......

    One can't help thinking of Stalin's great line:

    One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.

    Is it in the "public good" to let the few die for the sake of the many? Hmm...for those who survive maybe...but jeez, you'd certainly ask the question if you were one of the few.

    But, then again, being a wee bit altruistic may be useful in "accepting" your fate if you are one of the few. Afterall, you have then 'sacrificed' yourself for the many.

    [Grenade launched.....count to 3.....]

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1588 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome,

    This is why Rawl's 'Veil of Ignorance' is important; you need to consider these decisions from the position of not knowing who you might be in the population. Given the massive benefits of vaccination and their low, low risks, we should want to be vaccinated.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 441 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Andrew C: Thanks for that link.

    Unfortunately, Wakefield's hoax MMR/autism link will probably be as pervasive and long lasting as Bettelheim's 1967 assertion (from unethical and flawed research) that 'refrigerator' mothers caused their child's autism.

    The question is - what will be the next big autism hoax?

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    The question is - what will be the next big autism hoax?

    The biomedical treatment, possibly:

    http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/02/the-false-prophets-of-autism/

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 656 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    The point being that the small pox vaccine had done it's job and now the risks involved in this vaccine were no-longer warrented or required, but still delivered, hence admin error.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    The question is - what will be the next big autism hoax?

    I've got one. Ventouse deliveries cause autism. 'Cause it might have happened with my son. I don't know if it's a hoax or not, which makes for the perfect hoax.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Better get onto that book and speaking tour of lucrative international markets

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Stevens,

    Wake Up People ! Didn't anyone watch Shorty last night? The whole MMR thing was there as a plot line.

    They obviously have some sort of trans-dimensional time machine so they can get their plot lines to tie in to these subjects.

    That is the real conspiracy Wishart should be investigating - or maybe Soros is funding Shorty too...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 230 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Didn't anyone watch Shorty last night?

    Clearly not brainy enough

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    I wasn't going to suggest that Wishart was alluding to a Zionist banking conspiracy theory because, well, I had enough trouble with the Truthers late last year and don't really want a round, at the moment, with Wishart and Howling at the Moon.

    Hold on, chaps. Merely because Wishart mutters about bankers does not make him an anti-semite. I cannot recall Wishart making anti-semetic remarks (quite the opposite, in fact) or discussing a Jewish banking conspiracy. The inference is being drawn here, not in Investigate.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    But, then again, being a wee bit altruistic may be useful in "accepting" your fate if you are one of the few. Afterall, you have then 'sacrificed' yourself for the many.

    I believe Mr Spock answered this question long ago. </nerd>

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome,

    I think the previous poster's point is the 'Secret Bankers' conspiracy theory is either a) one step away from the 'Zionist Bankers' conspiracy theory or b) the coded way certain conspiracy theorists talk about the Elders of Zion without having to actually mention 'the Jews.'

    Now this might be a false dilemma, but its a dilemma that is fairly common in the existing conspiracy theory literature and it's not a an unwarranted inference to make. I think we can probably assume Wishart is at option a (he's talking about a conspiracy theory that certain readers will think reveals a Jewish plot) rather than option b (Wishart is an antisemite).

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 441 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    ...just need to be aware vaccines do have risks.

    But autism is not one of them. A tiny minority of the people who received a vaccination have suffered adverse reactions. However, these do not include autism. So the matter of vaccine reactions is not relevant to the matter of autism.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Now this might be a false dilemma, but its a dilemma that is fairly common in the existing conspiracy theory literature and it's not a an unwarranted inference to make.

    Yes it is, because bankers does not necessarily imply Jews and because accusing people of anti-semitism is a serious matter.

    That "certain readers" think the banking business reveals a Jewish plot is irrelevant. Certain readers will think many things.

    It might also be worth noting that George Soros is neither Jewish nor a banker.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Hold on, chaps. Merely because Wishart mutters about bankers does not make him an anti-semite. I cannot recall Wishart making anti-semetic remarks (quite the opposite, in fact) or discussing a Jewish banking conspiracy. The inference is being drawn here, not in Investigate.

    My point was more in relation to the 'lost to history' bit.

    The quote was:

    ...the tip of the 'Secret Bankers ruling the world' conspiracy theory. It's a classic for a reason, although the reason has been lost to history.

    To which my reply was:

    Not entirely. As DeepRed mentioned upthread, there's more than a whiff of 'Elders of Zion' to any 'secret bankers' conspiracy.

    My point being that the reason hasn't been lost to history. The roots of most anti-semitic/secret banker conspiracy theories can be traced back to the Tsar's forgery.

    That's an entirely different thing from suggesting Wishart is an anti-semite, which I humbly submit I didn't do, yeronner.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    bankers

    I prefer to think of it as rhyming slang

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome,

    Outside of the context of discussions about conspiracy theories, yes, you have a point. When it comes to suggesting a conspiracy on the part of a global financial elite, as Wishart clearly does in his article, however, the context is, I would argue, sufficient justification to alone one to point out that such a conspiracy theory is but mere steps away from other, similar, conspiracy theories.

    Inferences are context-sensitive, which is why we can make them in some situations and not in others.

    It is also, I think, important to remember that we should expect of a good journalist a keen mind and ethical standards; authors of such articles should not be suggesting these mere conspiracy theories just because they are unwarranted; they should also not be suggesting these mere conspiracy theories because they will be conscious of what certain elements of their readership will make of or do with them.

    Finally, a side-note. In the world of conspiracy theories it doesn't matter if Soros does not appear to be Jewish; for a conspiracy theorist of that stripe the fact that he is a financier is sufficient proof that he will be a Zionist, a crypto-Jew, a Jewish sympathiser or a lackey of the reptiloids.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 441 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I recall you're studing conspiracy theories in depth, but please remind me why you're italicising that phrase? Just curious.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    It might also be worth noting that George Soros is neither Jewish nor a banker.

    No - I believe he's an international currency trader - much like John Key ...

    (and only one of them is Jewish - NZ has a long history of Jewish PMs)

    EDIT: actually if wikipedia is to be believed they are actually both Jewish)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2606 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome,

    A very good question; I'm italicising it here because it is italicised in my thesis, and it is italicised in my thesis because I don't think there is any set of necessary and sufficient conditions that allow us to describe some definite thing as a Conspiracy Theory; at best we have a family resemblance criterion that associates many things as being conspiracy theories. Thus the italics.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 441 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    It might also be worth noting that George Soros is neither Jewish nor a banker.

    In which case Mr. Wishart would note the long association of Greeks with duplicitous agendas!

    “Timeo Danaos et dona ferentis”

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    And a while later he might even note that Mr Soros is Hungarian ....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2606 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.