Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 8th Mar 2017 23:34 UTC
Internet & Networking

Fantastic article by Stephanie M. Lee:

Welcome to the vast universe of self-built social media empires devoted to spreading false, misleading, and polarizing science and health news - sometimes further and wider than the real information. Here, climate change is a government-sponsored hoax, fluoridated water is poisonous, cannabis can cure cancer, and airplanes are constantly spraying pesticides and biological waste into the air. Genetically modified food is destroying humanity and the planet. Vaccines are experimental, autism-causing injections forced on innocent babies. We can't trust anything that we eat, drink, breathe, or medicate with, nor rely on physicians and public health agencies to act in our best interests. Between the organic recipes and menacing stock images of syringes and pills, a clear theme emerges: Everything is rigged - by doctors, Big Pharma, Monsanto, the FDA - and the mainstream media isn’t telling us. (Also, there's usually a link to buy vitamins.) This messaging reflects a new, uniquely conspiratorial strain of libertarianism that hijacks deeply intimate issues - your body, your health, your children's health. It shares magnificently.

Indeed, gone are the days when these types of stories would struggle for traction in a media landscape dominated by a few television networks, newspapers, and radio stations. Now anyone on Facebook can take their snake oil straight to the masses - and their message is reverberating in the highest levels of government. Vaccine skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who says he's in touch with Trump about a "vaccine safety commission" recently announced a $100,000 "challenge" to prove their safety. Andrew Wakefield, who helped start the anti-vaccine movement with a fraudulent 1998 study that linked vaccines to autism, showed up at an inaugural ball. The president has called climate change a "hoax" and appointed a skeptic to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Pseudoscience is closer than ever to the mainstream.

Clearly, not vaccinating your children is child abuse and should be treated as such; not only does it endanger the lives of your own children, but also the lives of other children who may rely on herd immunity because they can't take vaccinations for proper medical reasons. The fact that these child abusers are this close to the president of the United States and the US government should send chills down the spine of every responsible parent.

The war on science is in full swing, and they've already won the White House and US Congress. The amount of damage that can be - and is being - done is staggering.

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Conflating ideas
by ezraz on Thu 9th Mar 2017 14:39 UTC
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First off, all of these examples you site are different. People can come to radically different outcomes in those.

I am completely pro-science and pro-logic yet I have been accused of (shouted at, actually) being a science denier because i don't agree with the laymen's version of bad science in a particular discipline.

In my case it's hearing science, the science of music enjoyment, and the way we quantify our sense of vibration/sound. There's bad/incomplete science all over that field. There's ways of measurement that haven't even been agreed upon yet. There's properties of sound that haven't even been agreed upon yet. It's very, very far from 'settled' science.

Since I try to educate people about this state of things some accuse me of being a science denier and a complete moron. These are people that either believe Wikipedia holds all information in the world, or they believe that their 8th grade science teacher had the entire universe figured out. Either way, their ignorance of scientific method (what is known and unknown) and their inability to accept that we are still learning things as a society makes them the ignorant one.

Also, any topic that has to do with medicine is also full of politics, lies, and false threats in the US. For every Bob Marley there's someone like my friend's cousin, who went in for a sore stomach and was dead 14 days later. With all the corruption and profit in the US healthcare system, it's hard to trust those people.

Anyone able to charge you $15k for 1 night in the hospital is really not trying to make you feel better.

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