On Arrogance and Tone

On Arrogance and Tone

“Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of CAM. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves Integrative Medical Providers.”

Thomas Jefferson. Sort of.

I guess we are saying good-bye to dr24hours, who announced in Scientific Arrogance Revisited that is not going to renew his membership because he is

routinely disappointed by the condescension I read in their posts.

SBM posts, not SfSBM posts. While SBM and SfSBM are different organizations, we have the same personnel, so close enough.

He finds

it is deeply counterproductive to do so with a side-order of arrogance and mockery…I’m simply saying that I find it ugly, and I’m not going to pay for it anymore.

I think a lot about the tone of my entries and I understand where dr24hours is coming from, although from a different perspective. One would think Free Inquiry would be in my mail box. It isn’t. While I pick it up on occasion and have subscribed, I find the tone to be smug, humorless and pedantic even if I agree with the content. Skeptical Inquirer is similar but less so and reading it is more like taking a dose of castor oil. I read it because I think I should rather than for enjoyment.

 I do not know the best tone for my blog entries. As I mentioned in a recent post, it is the pseudo-medicine I try to ridicule, not the person using the pseudo-medicine, although there is a tendency for people to identify with their ideas. But at the end of the day it is a blog and I write for me. To quote one of my favorite bloggers


    Throughout your MYSTERIOUS AND WONDERFUL AND OCCASIONALLY MISERABLE ART JOURNEY, you will meet many naysayers, and you will be given enough advice that, if you wrote all this advice upon many pieces of paper, you would singularly destroy a significant portion of the world’s forests. You can always keep your ears open. You can always take in every piece of advice, every warning, every admonishment, and you can regard it the way one regards a strange animal skull in the woods (“Was this a possum? A cat? A Bandersnatch?”). But when you know what you want to do, do it anyway. Even if it seems unwise. Someone will always tell you that art is a bad idea. They will tell you that book you want to write won’t sell. They will explain to you how you’d be a far better lawyer, doctor, barista, horse whisperer, or orgy custodian. They will say: “You shouldn’t do that.” And you will say: “F**k it, I’m doing it anyway.”

But not everyone is going to agree with my approach. So be it. But I do disagree with one statement:

But large swaths of the public are not interested in our science, and needn’t be.

The consequences of disinterest can be horrific.  My first year in practice I was called to see a case of gangrene. It was a 20 something female with a dead leg, wet gangrene, with a smell few get to know. A year earlier she had been diagnosed with a sarcoma that could have been cured with amputation. She opted for a naturopath, herbs and alkaline therapy. The cancer grew, advanced and rotted. She continued to believe her naturopath when told that the rotting leg was good, a response to his nostrums. She was only in the hospital as she had a fainting spell and was brought in by a family member. She refused any intervention on her leg. That night the tumor eroded into her artery and she bled out and died. It was that case that started my interest in SCAMs.

An extreme example, but by no means unique. Mockery on our part seems such a mild response.

Sorry we are not your cup of tea, but I learned long ago since you can’t be everything to everyone, so at least try and be true to yourself.

So long dr24hours, you will be missed.


Joomla insists I use f**k.  I will have to look through the settings.

Points of Interest 01/29/2015
Points of Interest 01/27/2015

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