Something tells me my fruitcake detector field is getting more powerful. Last night I had the privilege of chewing the fat with a racist, homophobic creationist. That was pretty funny, if only because playing whack-a-mole with ludicrous arguments can be relaxing in small doses.
Tonight, this frothing ball of incoherent thought processes hove into view. The first tweet came out of the blue.
It’s not a good idea to act like a total merchant banker in my presence. I don’t scare easily and I don’t like being talked at as if I’m an idiot. Threats and bluster from quacks and frauds merely encourage me in my hope that I may be doing something right. As a result, I practise my WTFometer kata with added enthusiasm.
You may point out that, as Arthur Conan Doyle first posited and the Dunning-Kruger Theory of Fuckwittitude predicts, fools are incapable of understanding that others may be smarter or have a better grasp of the subject being discussed. That is so, but surely the instinct of self-preservation against public ridicule should kick in sometimes? For one particular foaming quack, this was one of those times.
Image via Wikipedia
This whole thing just gets more insane by the minute. It’s bad enough supposedly reputable newspapers like The Observer giving uncritical coverage to praiseworthy, if misguided, attempts by beloved celebs to raise money for a little girl dying of cancer. Praiseworthy because, well, that’s obvious. Parents and family need all the help they can get and cancer research always needs more funding: there are many different types of cancer, with many different causes. Misguided, because the type of research being funded, isn’t. It’s at best a desperate attempt by a single doctor to promote a treatment he continues to believe in after 30 unsuccessful years of ‘clinic trials’; at worst it’s a con trick.
Over the summer, one Big Alt bully got a proper seeing-off after attempting to silence an Italian blogger who had the temerity to point out that the homeopathetic remedy Oscillococcinum contains nothing more than sugar. Oscillococcinum is supposed to be something in the heart and liver of the Barbary duck which relieves cold and flu symptoms by causing them (you did know that was the philosophy behind homeopathy, right?). Apart from Hahnemann, who invented homeopathy, no-one has ever isolated oscillococcinum, so even the existence of this diluted-out-of-sight ingredient is debatable. In 200 years, nobody has managed to reproduce the experiment? I think the FPI™ order on that one is well past its put-up-or-shut-up-by date.
Anyway, onto the bullying scandal du jour. The inestimable Quackometer, run by the indefatigable @lecanardnoir, ran a piece on the Burzynski clinic two days ago…