My Opinion on Conspiracies

alex3619;234545 said:
There is a huge misconception, from my point of view, on all sides involving conspiracy. I am delving deeply into philosophy of science in regard to psychobabble, but a lot of it is still relevant to the XMRV debate. In practical terms research can be considered to come from competing communities of scientists, each with their own views.

Science is adversarial between such groups, and collaborative within.

So scientists in one group will present information and arguments to undermine the other group. That is their role. We might not like it if we are supporting the other group.

This is not a conspiracy, it is science as routinely practiced.

People who take upon themselves to pursuade a community are also not conspiracists. If some of them collude privately to co-ordinate an information campaign, that might be considered a conspiracy ... or good sense.

Where one sits on these issues is based on values. There are conflicting values of science involved, conflicting methodologies, conflicting philosophies .... and they don't mesh. Values include goals/agendas.

Conspiracy is bandied about way too much. Conspiracies exist, no question. A conspiracy is not just collaboration in private for an agenda. To me, a conspiracy is collaboration in private for an agenda that seeks to violate accepted standards, rules or laws. If it doesn't, its legitimate though not always welcome.

The XMRV debate could still be won by the pro-XMRV group. Its not disproved/falsified. The side which is staunchly defending the anti-XMRV view are using a process called verificationism, not falsificationism. Basically, they point to steadily accumulating data that supports their views. However, they tend to suffer from dogmatic verificationism. That is they dismiss, downplay or ignore contrary evidence. This is very apparent in psychobabble, but I see it in the XMRV debate too.

The problem is, the other side - proXMRV - are also using verificationism.

So are they both wrong?

Verificationism has value in early days of experimental and explorative science. It also has value in accumulating data for pragmatic purpose. There is a concept called tenacity in philosophy of science. New hypotheses/models/theories get attacked. This is normal. Good scientists carry on regardless, tenaciously pursuing their model until it has evolved enough that it can go beyond verificationism. So an emerging model of anything, under attack, is best served by people who fight for it in a highly rational fashion. In this sense it is the old school, conventional wisdom, dogma, that is defending their turf and more likely to be inappropriately dogmatic, even though they might be right.

Now I do think a conspiracy probably exists that involves ME research. I am thinking about writing a book on it, but that is all I want to say for now.

The Lipkin et. al. study into XMRV prevalence in ME patients goes beyond verificationism. Its falsification testing in my view. That makes this a higher standard of study than anything that has gone before. We should pay close attention to it, regardless of the outcome.

Bye, Alex

PS I consider myself a pragmatic rationalist/pancritical rationalist. So my bias, my values, show in that I regard falsification as a higher standard of evidence.
I am posting this as a blog as I intend to use it to launch a series of blogs detailing a range of related issues. This is in preparation for my investigating some specific issues in-depth, but which I will not blog about. Instead I intend writing an article or perhaps a book. Alternatively I might start my own website - this material is too in-depth and specific to be covered in full on this website, as the purpose of this site is different from where I will be heading on this over time. It does not mean that the issues are irrelevant, so I do intend to update my blogs on this from time to time just not in as much detail.

Comments

Bravo! You are definitely someone who understands that there is a difference between "conspiratorial theories" and "conspiratorial facts!"
 
I was not aware just recently how much evidence and argument there is against evidence based medicine, the biopsychosocial model, and psychosomatic medicine. The debate in ME circles has largely been dominated by the all knowing biopsychosocial guru's and us delusional patients (Prof. Malcom Hooper excepted, who has made great contributions). To give a flavour of where I am going, you might like to read this one page article by a leading Australian psychiatrist:
http://anp.sagepub.com/content/36/5/701.1.full

This arcticle is called: The Myth of the Biopsychosocial Model.

So on of my goals is to educate all of us who are in opposition to this non-science as to just what is involved. Knowledge is power.
 
It's all bull. It was the vaccines. Once they shoot you up, you're a walking timebomb. And if you're unlucky enough to come into contact with the right infectious agent or toxin at the right time, you end up with CFIDS/ME. But the vaccines are what did it. They destroy the immune system. And then all those with a vested interest run around making huge smokescreens and confusing patients. They know vaccines don't work. They know vaccines destroy the immune system. They know vaccines cause irreversible neurological and immunological damage. We've all been snowed and conned.
 
Hi Carrigon, vaccines can indeed damage the immune system. So can reactive metals. Indeed, I first started looking at aluminium toxicity with regard to ME back in 2000 - it can induce exactly the kind of abnormal vasoregulatory problem that Vance Spence wrote about.

Vaccines might indeed be a cause for a large or small subset of patients. It remains to proven. Yes I did watch the videos. I also agree that its dangerous to give too many vaccines at once.

However there is a fundamental mistake in this line of thinking. Its implicit, but being ignored. If its was the vaccines, and just the vaccines, the prevalence of ME would be close to 100%. Now there is some evidence of that, though I cannot indepently confirm it - one vaccine trial (drug and company unknown) has been claimed to cause ME in nearly 100% of patients. The information source that was supposed to confirm this however didn't, and I am not sure why. Maybe it was erroneous. Maybe it was there and was deleted (these are the redacted UK files on ME).

So if the vaccines induce brain damage, it has to be vaccines plus the patient - whether that be an acquired immune issue or an inherited one or just too many vaccinations (or adjuvant doses) at once. Not everyone who has these treatments gets sick.

One of the claims made in the video is misleading too. They said someone applied for an epidemiological study that would approve it. Funding was denied. Therefore it could not be done. That makes it difficult, yes, but not impossible. Given the clear nature of some of the issues, in fact an historical data search should prove the point - simply compare places with vaccination programs to places nearby which did not embrace vaccination. This is possible for some countries, and some vaccines, but not others. In any case they could have self funded a small pilot study to prove their point, and then they would have had a stronger case.

I cannot say the vaccine theory is wrong, but equally I cannot say it is right. Indeed, my suspicion is that it might be correct for some vaccines, in some circumstances, in some people. But which circumstances, which vaccines, which people? I would like to see more research on this, and that research is happening. It might take longer without the kinds of funds that big pharma have, but it will happen. If it is correct it will eventually be proved. Indeed there is growing evidence that vaccines can induce autoimmune-like conditions.

Now there is no dispute that people can have serious adverse neurological consequences to vaccines. We can to disease too. In the video they talked about people not having a problem with measles, or only rare, so why vaccinate? Here is something I have said before: I am one of them. I had measles encephalitis at age 7. If it gets into the brain, only one in four escape unharmed. Two in four get neurological damage. One in four die. These are only approximate figures of course. I guess I am in the half with long term neurological damage.

The second thing that is missed in the debate is adjuvants versus immune response. I agree that excessive adjuvants, particularly in multiple vaccines simultaneously, can be highly dangerous. The more risk factors a person has, and the more adjuvants used, the higher the risk.

Newer vaccine methods under development are adjuvant free. Now there might be other unknown issues with those, but I would like to see all adjuvants gone in time.

So the primary problem is adjuvants, not the pathogen or pathogenic protein itself. Vaccines though do something else, something that is damaging and was missing from the debate on those videos.

Most vaccines induce an immune shift from Th1 to Th2. Some do the opposite, but they are the minority. It is Th2 inducing vaccines that have the highest incidence of problems so far as I recall, not Th1 vaccines. Its this immune shift that does the damage. This is the same immune shift as typically seen in ME, and so it fits the hypothesis that vaccines are a risk factor.

Now excitotoxins in the brain from hyperstimulated immune cells is not a topic I am very familiar with. I cannot discuss that issue. Its possible, so the video could be right about that. I do know that this theory was put forward to explain GWS, and was taken as potentially credible, so for now I have to consider it very credible.

To prove more than this will require research. I am all for research. I just want to see the data before I make conclusions.

So the vaccine theory is possible, it deserves more study, but it is far from proven.

Bye, Alex

PS I wonder if alongside a Th2 shift vaccines might not damage the innate immune system, including NK cells. If this can be shown it go a long way to demonstrating the vaccine theory of ME.
 
Something I think I should clarify, I was going to leave it for a later post but I am concerned what I am saying could be misunderstood - I am not saying the problems claimed by many conspiracies do not exist. Many of them do. What I am saying is that a conspiracy theory is not necessarily the answer, that other more complicated factors are involved. For most of the follow-up blogs I will be talking about issues with science. Other non-science conspiracies will not be addressed. So let me say that I think conspiracy theories are often too easy - they are simplistic solutions. The reality is often much more complicated and not easy to sort out. One in so many conspiracy theories will be right, but the rest will either be wrong or partially wrong. Conspiracies are explanations often wrapped up in unprovable bundles of simple explanations. Human error, human greed, failures in checks and balances in human organizations, laws and culture, these are more likely to cause issues than covert conspiracy, because these are everywhere and complex. To prove a conspiracy you usually need a whistleblower or somebody needs to make a big mistake. The bigger the conspiracy, the more chance someone will make that mistake. In the case of vaccine induced brain damage, and vaccine induced ME, both these things could be completely true and still there could be no vast conspiracy, although in that case I think an individual here or there would know and be saying nothing.

Also, in case there is any doubt, if the evidence pans out the way I think it might, I am going to try to show a conspiracy about ME is very possible and it needs investigating. It will not be the type of conspiracy that is usually talked about though.
 
Hi Alex,

Interesting post. I've always been a person of integrity, and because of my naivete/illness always assumed everybody thought the same way I did. However, after becoming disabled, and was left for dead by people I thought were friends, I've have painfully woken up to what people are capable of.

Anyways, I have some views most people consider extreme because they think other people can NOT be that mean.

Some people still believe the propaganda that elected government officials are really working for the people they govern, and not the medical industrial complex or the military industrial complex, banking cartel...

I believe many people in government agencies and elected officials are completely aware of what is going on keep everybody else in the dark with the compartmentalized approach. Military style. "Everybody just follow orders, and don't ask questions" OR government style "that's a different department" plausible deniability. Or another effective strategy is consensus. Even if one or two guys realize what is going on, they get overthrown by the consensus of those supporting the various complexes.

I guess it is a matter of just how fast people understand the real goals of people running the world.

Anyways. Good luck on your project, but consider it may not be welcome news to some with opposite goals.
 
Many people from developing countries understand exactly what I'm talking about. Those who are middle class in western countries may have a hard time grasping. Try asking somebody in Russia if they think their government is working in the people's best interest. Probably get a laugh....
 
I believe a key concept when thinking about complex conspiracies is that the likely conspirators are usually too incompetent to pull them off.

markmc, your comments about Russia remind me of stories I've read about the old USSR, where folks watched state TV with amusment, knowing that everything they saw was a lie. The difference between USSR propaganda and USA propaganda is that most Americans watch TV and think it's the truth.
 
Yep, funny about propaganda. Many people in the USA are still believing it....

I agree incompetence abounds in todays world.
 
Conspiracies are more often "general pushes/desires", rarely do they get more "precise" and when they do, they can get very nasty, often opst of the criminality occurs due to the FEAR of exposure or a screw up, for example, Watergate.

Powerful people we will never hear of, meet up in exclusive clubs, take over remote resorts etc, and lesser but still powerful scions meet up in more public venues for example, "banquets with state leaders" or other social events.
At such, they debate trends, methods ot screw over the markets, evade tax, bribe politicians so their chosen agendas get put through.
Varities of this exist throughout the world and all systems, including, liek it or not, science.

Science though has less manipulation in general for bunch of reasons, but the medical end IS grossly, dangerously corrupt.
Pharma corps have the population literally by the balls: "buy our murderously over priced anti-cancer drug, or DIE!"
Those in power only care about keeping power, keepign their wealth and screwing anything that gets in way of that, no matter the risk/stupidity etc.
They would rather be princes of a wasteland, than citizens in a utopia, to paraphrase an old saying ;)
To them, any harm/risk of ME are nothing compared to profit/power/keeping the status quo

Thus while the practical facts of the vaccine or retroviral possible caustions of ME will take time to sort out, for 30 odd years these bastards I reffer to HAVE been influencing the situation, and you have to ask; WHY?!
And yes, they, the "Powers Behind the Throne" are involved, please note how Wessely and several others involved in this, keep cropping up in OTHER contentious areas; organophosphate poisoning; mobile phone cancer risks; Gulf War Syndrome etc etc
"once is an accident, twice coincidence, three times...they are the "go to men", the pundits for folk who want some things to GO AWAY"

WHY?
because they fear or know there is a threat to their "system", doesn't matter to them if it's real or not, merely the possibility of upset/change must be quashed.
If vaccines are shown excessively harmful, or worse, contain retorviri, then the merde will hit the fan, and they will not allow that.
Should such be shown as fact, the outrage, the lawsuits, governments left holding the insurance can (governments took idemnity for them, wonderful con!)...wow Biggest mess in history.

These people do not use Hollywood style silly "hit squads!" and other such nonsense, no, they can "arrange" for folk to get moved around in positions, folk to be told to "hush up or lose tenure/pensions", those they like get funded, those they don't lose funding, and so on
all by whispers, by suggestions over brandy or golf...

Note the incredible corruption exposed in UK recently, and way the music/movie corporations basically own the US Congress into pushing through obscene laws that turn the" land of the Free" into a police state (eventually such always gets abused and runs away into ugliness, hard fact of history), these things do NOT "help artists" they help corporations dominate and screw artists and ordinary people.
One of my faves was a US singer in a hit group, the record company made $4 million from her work, she only got $40,000..she was p*ssed and encouraged folk to pirate her work, because who's the worst thieves of all?
And when you control knowledge, ah, that is power! They want ABSOLUTE CONTROL. Worst menace we've ever created, make Stalin, Hitler etc look like chumps :/

When such scumbags gets to control of your body, your very life, never mind music or film, the stakes are so high, that the obscene SOBs who lust after power do sit up and take notice, do order their henchmen to act, again, not my "crazy film-style mayhem" but by obfuscation
He who controls your health, controls YOU
These people/corporations have their finger in many pies, pushing and stirring, and are in bed with other scumbags, like media barons.
Note how often some drug is announced by the media empires as "WONDER CURE FOR CANCER!", stocks of company go up...sales boom...years later it's often shown to have been a sham, or dangerous.

We are smothered by a blanker of bullshit, not "CIA super spooks" :p
See how Dr Kerr was treated, and many many others.
By closing doors on funding, by letting it be known by whispers to the heads of universities funding comittees that "this topic is not wanted to be dealt with from on high", they achieve their aims.

The "Scientific Method" is great! :)
The "Human Race" however, sucks sucks monkey ass :p

PS
off topic-ish
Alex, see they are re-making "SYNDICATE" computer game?
touches on this in a very dangerous way, fiction but the original had a wonderful and scary proposition:
if in the future, everyone is directly wired into a cyber-connection via neural implant, allowing web browsing, even artificial reality projected right into the brain.
he who controls the implants, and thus controls all the person sees/hears, and thus controls the world....
 
Hi Silverblade, there are plenty of horrific Science Fiction stories about just that. Information is power - ergo who controls the most information has the most power? This is not a valid statement as an inference, but I think its a valid hypothesis.

The point I am trying to make, is that conspiracies for the most part are due to other things than secret cabals, even including rumour mongering at the exclusive mens club for the super elite. Its about influence. Its not criminal. It doesn't violate standards .... it is the standard. That doesn't stop it from being immoral and sometimes unethical. You are also right in that fear of being caught can drive some to the next step - illegality.

Bye, Alex
 
On the philosophy tip, are you familiar with pancritical rationalism? There was an interesting book by WW Bartley, though it has not been nearly as influential is it could have been.

Remember, falsification in itself is useless as you must have belief in something to merit the potential of falsification in the first place...
 
Will you be expanding later on falsification vs verification? It strikes me that the Lipkin study is better than the BWG study but not necessarily in a different class: both test the researchers' ability to distinguish blinded patients from controls, and ability to reproduce results from multiple identical samples from the same patient. But even then the test is of the researchers' assays, not XMRV itself. I thought that in Science usually only surefire way to prove that X isn't the cause is by proving that Y is instead.
 
Hi Snow Leopard, on the last census my religion was Pancritical Rationalism.

On the falsification comment I disagree - you don't have to have a belief to falsify something, you have a testable hypothesis. Indeed one of the reasons to falsify it is to show it is not worthy of believing in. In any case, no scientific hypothesis should be believed. They are all working hypotheses, they can all be replaced if the right data comes along.

I also call myself a pragmatic rationalist. I have yet to investigate the crossover between my version of pragmatic rationalism and pancritical rationalism.

I still have not read Retreat To Commitment, I haven't got a copy. I have only read some essays on the topic. It was pointed out to me on PR that my position was similar, which is why I became interested.

Another influence on me was the easy to read treatise on science, The Tree of Knowledge, by Maturana and Varela. I have a system theoretic background in addition to a philosophy (well, logic anyway) background.

Bye, Alex
 
Hi oceanblue, my half written sequel to this blog is about just that, although I think it will go beyond that. Unfortunately it is not easy to go deeply into it, for that there are many other sources. If I find a really good link I will post it. Bye, Alex

http://wn.com/Critical_Rationalism#
First of a series of You-Tube videos that explain falsification. If you like the game Skyrim, watch the Skyrim version. These videos are on critical rationalism, based on the work on Karl Popper. There are other views. Be warned that as part of this item 7 includes a proposed philosophy linking rationality to incremental change in belief. This may or may not have validity. So far I can only recommend 1, 2, and 6. I am still looking at them, one every few hours.
 
Alex
*nod*
I think best example of the more..."bias, head in sand, immovability, I don't want ot hear this!" type of "conspiracy" you reffer ot a bit, is best shown by Stoye's seeming behaviour at CROI: completely unscientific and ludicrously biased (laughing it off, belittling the topic of XMRV/MLV etc, plus many folk involved weren't even invited!)

another issue if it's vaccine related will be there will be those who use the following excuse to cover it all up:
"Just think of the good of Science! It will destroy the good name of science and all we hold dear!"
 
alex3619;bt6511 said:
Hi oceanblue, my half written sequel to this blog is about just that, although I think it will go beyond that. Unfortunately it is not easy to go deeply into it, for that there are many other sources. If I find a really good link I will post it. Bye, Alex

http://wn.com/Critical_Rationalism#
First of a series of You-Tube videos that explain falsification. If you like the game Skyrim, watch the Skyrim version. These videos are on critical rationalism, based on the work on Karl Popper. There are other views. Be warned that as part of this item 7 includes a proposed philosophy linking rationality to incremental change in belief. This may or may not have validity. So far I can only recommend 1, 2, and 6. I am still looking at them, one every few hours.
Thanks, look forward to the next blog.
 

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