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Lewandowsky doesn't like us either

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by JayS, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. JayS

    JayS Senior Member

    Surprise, surprise.

    Most Christians are definitely not terrorists

    "...it has become quite clear that some (note that crucial word again here: some) opponents of chronic-fatigue research are not engaging in reasoned discourse but are exhibiting all the hallmarks of pseudoscience. The evidence for that is on the public record, in broad daylight, and for all to see who care to look for it."


    Hutan, Woolie and Scarecrow like this.
  2. *GG*

    *GG* senior member

    Concord, NH
    Should we even hit this link and give the site traffic?

  3. Luther Blissett

    Luther Blissett Senior Member

    Yorkshire, England
    Shorter Lewandowsky; Concern Troll is concerned.

    This time saving device was brought to you by Phoenix Rising.
  4. Roy S

    Roy S former DC ME/CFS lobbyist

    Illinois, USA
    That's a really patronizing article. I would be too embarrassed to write something like that.
  5. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

    LOL. His understanding of the issues around CFS, PACE and SMILE is basically non-existant, yet he assumes that those who are better informed are concerned about what he's saying because they're stupid.

    Those 'logical puzzles' sure were taxing Lewandowsky, but they've taught me a valuable lesson. Now I can see that it was perfectly reasonable to present patients' concerns and campaigning about PACE and SMILE as exogenous threats to science.

    Throughout their red flags Lewandowsky and Bishop lump together groups of critics, but use the singular for researchers:

    This is the same approach used by CFS researchers to slur patient critics by lumping individuals with the worst examples of behavior they can find, or the worst prejudices that they can generate. The idea that 'the critics' making criticisms from anonymous sources should raise a red flag for a critic's concerns or request for information is perfectly playing in to the hands of those working to stigmatise CFS patients campaigning against quackery. Maybe they didn't realise this, but seeing as they specifically mention PACE, and talk of hard line opponents to CFS research as one of their few examples of areas where researchers face harassment campaigns, they did have a responsibility to look into the history of this area.

    Also, if there were/are any people involved in real harassment, they are so few that they could and should be named individually. Stop this 'some critics' stuff that we have seen does serve to stigmatise and smear those patients and advocates doing good and necessary work.

    (Are there any 'opponents to CFS research'? Those who are really committed to fighting against quackery like PACE and SMILE also seem committed to getting more funding for better quality research. It seems like utter BS to compare even the most angry and hate-filled campaigner to those who want less knowledge about a particular topic: it's pretty clear that this is not the motivation of any CFS campaigner).

    Their ten red-flags would allow those with power to arbitrarily dismiss the concerns and requests for data of critics, eg:

    Does Dr A have a record of misrepresenting evidence? Does she dismiss counter-arguments?
    Do the critics have a record of cherry-picking evidence in public statements?

    Who decides? Colleagues of Dr A? Those working for the institution which could be embarrassed by an association with quackery? Those working within research face quite different incentives to those who are being harmed by rubbish research. Also, it seems that 'the critics' working to show that Dr A does have a record of misrepresenting evidence could easily be viewed as raising another red flag: "Are the critics levelling personal attacks?"

    Lewandowsky said:

    Really? It looked like you had swallowed down White and Crawley's bullshit with a grin.

    Wonder how this expertise of his was assessed? What control did he score better than?

    I've seen quite a few reasonable comments from patients criticising Lewansky and explaining their concerns, in the Nature comment section and elsewhere, and he never stoops to 'discourse' with any of them. Maybe if he did he'd learn something.

    He doesn't seem keen on ever actually providing any evidence for anything either. The closest he's come is posting that Guardian article that was a part of the SMC's campaign. That cannot be used to justify the claims he has made.

    Did anyone else think that this was just irrelevant?

    I love the conclusion. He undermines his own argument to score a cheap point:

    A final sentence worthy of The Economist.

    "Oh poor moderate critics, I'm just worried that some people might be lazy bigots, and be more dismissive of your concerns and requests for information because you are lumped in with those bad people as 'the critics'. To avoid that, you should distance yourselves from those who are critical of my article which lumped people together as 'the critics' (but did it in a good way)."

    How about:

    "Perhaps there are problems with some research somewhere, notwithstanding how unreasonable some critics are. Maybe I'll have a look before writing any more about this. But probably not."

    The more examples we get of 'abuse', 'bullying' and 'harassment' from academics, the more I think that the primary problem is that lots of academics think that they and their opinions deserve to be treated with more respect than others. Also: if you're doing things that risk making life worse for hundreds of thousands of people, being 'bombarded' with thirty people sending you tweets is not a hate campaign.

    edit: had to add in this quote - what a guy:

    This after he's admitting not knowing the details of the controversies he was commenting on?
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016
    Wolfiness, SamanthaJ, beaker and 13 others like this.
  6. Art Vandelay

    Art Vandelay Senior Member

    Adelaide, Australia
    With allies as incompetent as Lewandowsky, Wessley and White don't really need enemies any more.
    beaker, jimells and sarah darwins like this.
  7. Snowdrop

    Snowdrop Rebel without a biscuit

    It seems Lewandowsky hasn't caught on to the first rule of writing on the internet.
    Once you put it out there you can never take it back.

    LOL. It's embarrassing. It reads like something a kid would come up with when they have an emotional investment in something they know nothing about.
    SamanthaJ, beaker, Woolie and 4 others like this.
  8. GreyOwl

    GreyOwl Dx: strong belief system, avoidance, hypervigilant

    I wasn't going to give him the hit, but after some of the comments, I had to...

    World view and "other motivational variables" influence scientific findings, that a Professor of Psychology does not have the insight to appreciate that goes to the source of the issue.
  9. Sean

    Sean Senior Member

    Lewandowsky, like Shorter and Showalter before him, is suffering a bad case of pseudo-metagnosis.

    A terrible affliction, often seen emerging in senior academicians as retirement and irrelevance starts to loom on their horizon.
    beaker, Mij, Valentijn and 4 others like this.
  10. adreno

    adreno PR activist

    The less we ignore him, the more relevant he continues to be.
    Sean and beaker like this.
  11. Skippa

    Skippa Anti-BS

    Well, it's a good job that CFS "advocates" aren't attacking scientific research.

    They are attacking pseudoscience masquerading as scientific research, vested interests and all.

    So, logically, the CFS brigade are on the same side as Lewandowsky, both are opposed to pseudoscience.

    I guess some pseudoscience is more acceptable than others.
    SamanthaJ, ukxmrv and Yogi like this.
  12. user9876

    user9876 Senior Member

    There red flags are very poor as well they are written as if they are easy to tell but they are actually incredibly subjective.

    Take having an age of 32757 in a data set I suspect some would say that is one data point in many and therefore a minor error (although outliers heavily skew parametric stats). However, I would say it is a major error since it represents a failure to check the data and QA the data processing chain leading to the results. Hence it is suggestive of a bad process and more hidden errors. I don't think academics tend to think in terms of the process used to generate the result just the result and the paper.

    My saying this would lead to the charge that I am using small errors to dismiss work.

    The issue is small/minor/major are all very subjective to the way you look at the world. Coming from a different background than Lewandowsky clearly I have different concerns. The real thing should be to argue the case in a systematic manner and they do not do that. Rather they twist a few things to suit their cause. Such as his logic puzzle - the real question should be what is the impression that a reader is left with not what is the detailed argument that the writer intended to convey or a twisted version of that.

    Then there is the issue of anonymous sources. A name may be made up even with a history that fools people.
    Woolie, Scarecrow and Esther12 like this.
  13. A.B.

    A.B. Senior Member

    It appears that many people still don't realize what is going on.

    There is an active campaign to by Peter White to lobby the government to make universities exempt from the freedom of information act. The narrative of dangerous CFS extremists is being promoted to justify such a radical intervention.

    Unsurprisingly, other people entangled in bad science are jumping on the bandwagon because they too would very much like never having to release any inconvenient data ever again.

    Point out why this is being promoted and how hard White and colleagues are fighting to prevent any critics from seeing their data.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016
    Wolfiness, SamanthaJ, Sea and 9 others like this.
  14. Sidereal

    Sidereal Senior Member

    Painfully uninsightful and irrelevant man, best ignored.
    halcyon, JaimeS, jimells and 3 others like this.
  15. Bob


    England (south coast)
    Public comment no.1 (below the blog) is excellent, I think, and is exceptionally reasonable compared to the blog. At least stupid blogs like this give us a chance to get such excellent comments published, and to help people understand the issues. And the more blogs that are written, the more mainstream PACE becomes.
    Sea, Woolie, Snowdrop and 5 others like this.
  16. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

    That is indeed an excellent comment. Nice job, whoever wrote that!
    Woolie and Bob like this.
  17. Gijs

    Gijs Senior Member

    Some psychologists defraud their data. All psychologists are fraudsters.
    Some psychologists demonize ill ME patients. All psychologists demonize. Some psychologists abuse their patients. All psychologists are abusers. Some psychologists have morbid theories. All psychologists have morbid ideas.
    geraldt52 likes this.
  18. Yogi

    Yogi Senior Member

    We have all been expecting the slurs and campaign of disinformation given recent events. "Militants" has been used previously by the Science Media Centre and was expecting the word "terrorist" to be used at some point with CFS. And on cue as criticism of the PACE trial is increasing by other scientists and the Information Commissioners court case is in April - here it is.

    I think this is the first article using the word "terrorist" explicitly albeit as an example.

    He could have used any example for his "logical puzzle" but chose this word. Why?

    As typical with the PACE team he cannot get the term correct and uses both "chronic fatigue" and "chronic fatigue syndrome" interchangeably.

    Terrorist word count in this short article on CFS is 14.

    He knows very well as a psychologist these type of articles and word associations give a very poor impression and image of disabled people with CFS in the eyes of the general public.

    Most Christians are definitely not terrorists

    By Stephan Lewandowsky
    Professor, School of Experimental Psychology and Cabot Institute, University of Bristol
    Posted on 4 February 2016

    Human cognition can be exquisitely attuned to our environment, but it can also be subject to numerous strong biases. To illustrate, consider the following logical puzzles:

    Some Christians are terrorists. Therefore all Christians are terrorists.

    Some Jews are terrorists. Therefore all Jews are terrorists.

    Some Muslims are terrorists. Therefore all Muslims are terrorists.

    The answer in all cases is a clear and unambiguous no—the inference is not warranted. Notwithstanding the existence of Timothy McVeigh, the Stern Gang, or Osama bin Laden, the inference that all members of their respective faiths are terrorists is entirely invalid....

    Read the rest of the article here.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2016
    Woolie likes this.
  19. Bob


    England (south coast)
    Comment no. 3 (see quote below) looks like a typical spam comment that you get submitted to all blogs. (Usually spam comments get filtered and blocked.) Don't click on the link in the comment because it's probably virus infected.

    Purple likes this.
  20. jimells

    jimells Senior Member

    northern Maine
    Who are these "moderate critics" and how do we distinguish them from "self-radicalized extremist head-chopping critics"?

    This is such blatant propaganda - he really needs to go back to Propaganda School and learn how to do it properly. He must've skipped class the day they discussed that effective propaganda needs to start with a kernel of truth.
    Woolie likes this.

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