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New Year (5/1/2013)
Welcome back, or just welcome if it's the first time you've been here. During 2013 I expect continued hostility from people who don't like what I say about them, hysterical rants from illiterate morons who hide their names, threats of lawsuits and even the occasional anonymous death threat. You could call it business as usual. I intend to be a bit more proactive with increased use of the Kind and Gentle emails to those who say questionable or objectionable things.
I also expect that I will get lots of nice emails and I will really try to respond to them all. I read everything that comes in but sometimes time gets away. If you contacted me during 2012 and didn't get a reply I apologise and I will try to do better in future.
In summary - it's a new year, so have a good one.
Holiday reading (5/1/2013)
You could start the year by reading the latest edition of the excellent popular science magazine Australasian Science. If you live in Australia you should be able to get it at the newsagent, but I recommend subscribing because not only will you get a nice-smelling paper copy in a plastic bag each month but you will have online access to the magazine's archive. A year's worth is less than you spend on coffee in a month while relaxing over the Saturday papers, and each copy is full of well-written articles that you don't need a PhD to understand. There is even a column by me called "The Naked Skeptic". In case you can't get to the shop or the letterbox, you can read my latest column here:
Everyone knows what science is, don't they? I would hope that readers of this magazine might have a clue, but almost every time I pick up a newspaper or watch one of those entertaining current affairs programs on television I see things that have a scientific look about them but behind the instruments, the books, the colleges and the white coats there is nothing. Like a stage set, things look real until you get up close and then you see the plywood flats and the two-dimensional paintings.
This is medicine? (5/1/2013)
The following appeared in the latest newsletter from the Medical Board of Australia, the umbrella government group charged with overseeing the bodies that supervise registration of medical practitioners.
I have written recently about the way that chiropractors have managed to establish the Chiropractic Board of Australia as a means of providing a veneer of respectability to that form of quackery. You can see from the article above that there is a Chinese Medicine Board and there is now a move to include acupuncturists in with the sellers of untested magic herbs and ground tiger penis. I can see a day when there is a Homeopathic Board of Australia and we will have surrendered and handed over medicine to charlatans and quacks by officially recognising and endorsing all the incompatible forms of nonsense that I wrote about once in Issues magazine.
So what will be the next official board set up to register people with no scientific training who use untested and implausible treatment methods while pretending to be able to cure illness? Reiki? Ayurvedic? Suppressed cancer cures? Autism reversal? Why not just have one body - the Bullshit Board of Australia? It would save duplication of facilities and staff and all that would be needed would be a cheap computer and a laser printer to produce accreditation certificates.
I've upset someone. Good. (5/1/2013)
Anti-vaccination liar "Dr" Sherri Tenpenny seems to have a streak of cowardice in her. She was the winner of Quote of the Year in the 2012 Millenium Awards, so I posted this Kind and Gentle notification to her Facebook page so that her 30,000+ followers could see that she was receiving the recognition she deserved.
Thirty minutes later it had been removed and I was blocked from commenting on the page. (The reason it says "about an hour ago" is that the screen shot was taken by a friend of mine who had not closed or gone away from the browser window.)
Then things got better. Various people kept posting copies of it or links to the awards page here until "Dr" Tenpenny finally could stand no more. Both her Facebook pages were closed (or made invisible to unapproved people). Gone. No presence on Facebook at all. More than 30,000 loyal fans dumped. All because someone said something she didn't like.
Or was it? Maybe Tenpenny took the pages down because they were not achieving the desired results. Simultaneously with all this it was announced that 2012 had been the worst year for whooping cough in the US since 1955. While this would normally be expected to have anti-vaccination liars wetting their pants with glee, the problem was that while infections were up, only 15 children under the age of twelve months died. This is fewer than what one lunatic let loose in a kindergarten with a gun can do so it probably didn't meet the Key Performance Indicators set at the Tenpenny organisation. Making money by lying about vaccination is one thing, but actual physical results on the ground are the real measure of success.
No, I don't know who created (sic) this. If anyone knows, please tell me.
The email keeps on dinging! (5/1/2013)
A selection from the inbox. Enjoy!
Someone wants to sell me Search Engine Optimisation (which I do for clients as part of making a living). Unfortunately he thinks that because I talk about the insane anti-vaccination liar Rebecca Carley I really am that person and this site is hers. I don't think we will be able to do business together.
Date: Fri, 04 Jan 2013 07:11:09 +0000
Subject: Gain Organic Traffic:Drcarley.Com :PS
From: Jorge Conner
Hi Drcarley.Com Team,
I thought you might like to know some of the reasons why you are not getting enough organic & social media traffic on your website.
Let me tell you that your website still does not organically rank on Google's first page for most of the popular keywords, which means people searching for your products are not able to find you and you are losing traffic. Your loss is your competitors' gain i.e. the traffic which could have generated quality sales, goes to your competitors as they rank well in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) organically.
Some of the major steps you can adopt to rank well in SERPs organically and increase your social media presence is:
1. Your website profile needs to be regularly updated in social media sites.
2. Your site has very less number of genuine Google back links and this can be improved a lot further.
3. You need to update fresh and quality contents on your website and blogs as per the latest Google guideline.
In the present day scenario it's very essential to take a proper care of your website and keep it updated with fresh and original contents. One single unwanted link might put your website in disaster situation. There are many additional improvements that could be made to your website, and if you are interested to learn about them and curious to know what our working together would involve, then I would be glad to provide you a detailed proposal for your website.
We do website optimization, Reputation management, SMO for websites to make them listed on the top of the search engine as well as promote them over the Internet. We have a team of 220+ SEO professional working 24*7. Unlike other SEO companies we do not believe in talking rather we believe in delivering what we promise to our clients.
Our clients' consistently tell us that their customers find them because they are on the top of Google. Being on the top of Google is the best thing you can do for your sales and online reputation.
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Jorge Conner |Senior SEO Advisor
I am diagnosed.
From: Made In Portugal
Subject: Open your mind, Machine!
Date: Fri, 04 Jan 2013 23:44:08 -0800
It occurred to me whilst have come across your "Miillenium" page, that YOU in fact probably have a touch of Asperger's yourself!
Really? Are you a psychiatrist?
Judging from the style(or lack thereof) and content of your site, you possess a brain like a machine ( extreme left-brainedness seems to be a Northern Euro DNA-linked trait), and most probably suffer from a deficit of the 'spirit" molecule.
I will see if I can buy some spirit molecules at the next MindBodySpirit Festival I attend. I assume you don't mean the spirit molecules in that bottle of tequila on my bar shelf.
I suggest you drop some acid/ eat mushrooms/drink ayahuasca, and then rethink your worldview. I am serious.
Sorry. I already did the 1960s and I don't need to do it again.
Best of luck!
I am presented with a conundrum.
Date: Thu, 03 Jan 2013 01:18:45 +0000
From: Matthew Hanson
All swans are white.
So everybody thought until someone went to Western Australia and saw black ones.
Homeopathy is Bolloxs.
That is correct, specially when it is correctly spelled as "bollocks"
Ah! Madeleine Ennis. 2001. Never been replicated, but still cited as evidence of something. It is evidence of error in laboratory practices but that doesn't seem to suit believers in magic.
And What? What does this mean? I've been to Devon. Not all swans are white.
Nobody has thought all swans were white for a very long time. And, unlike people who believe that one suspect experiment done a long time ago throws over all known science, when presented with contrary evidence in the form of black swans all sensible people stopped saying they were all white. Science is like that.
Can you explain the difference to me between Skepticism and Dogma?
The fact that you have to ask the question suggests that it might not be possible to explain the difference in terms that you might understand, so I'll do it by example. Skepticism (and science) is like rejecting the hypothesis that all swans are white when an example of a black swan is detected. Dogma is like refusing to recognise that a single experiment done badly proves nothing and continuing to cite it as if it means something.
How does a man interested in Science differentiate the opinions of those who call themselves Skeptics from Dogmatists?
Quite easily, as it happens.
I appreciate the question mark, because I don't know what "decorator" has to do with anything either.
I have my misconceptions clarified.
I December I had this exchange with Roger:
Date: Fri, 07 Dec 2012 20:53:44 +1100
I have been reading Nexus Magazine since 1993 and love it.
It is a highly amusing publication. I have a fondness for it myself.
The alternate media is a refreshing place for people to exchange ideas. It is not for the faint hearted. You have been brainwashed since childhood.
I give my brain a wash quite frequently by reading magazines like Nexus.
Go and join the skeptics....your world is black and white.
I joined the Skeptics years ago.
You are a narrow minded RATBAG.
may the farce be with you!!!!!
In your universe Quantum physics does not exist.
Horse and cart travel will last for another millennium.
The world is still flat.
The universe revolves around you.
Maybe Jesus/Dick Smith still loves you.
You haven't been born yet.
Wait for the stork!!!!
I'm glad we cleared that up.