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Re: [evol-psych] Re: The New Yorker and Tierney

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  • Steven D'Aprano
    ... On the contrary. It is very, very good writing, if you have a hidden agenda to perform. As propoganda, its far too effective to be just random bad writing.
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 31, 2000
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      A Carter wrote:
      >
      > At this point you have to
      > possess the most cold-hearted of scientific minds to realize that
      > absolutely no evidence has been given that the vaccinations had any
      > role in the deaths. The more natural reaction, and apparently the one
      > given by nearly every social scientist, journalist and commentator
      > who read the article was to draw the opposite conclusion. None of
      > this is factual error, just bad writing.

      On the contrary. It is very, very good writing, if you have a hidden
      agenda to perform.

      As propoganda, its far too effective to be just random bad writing.

      --
      Steven D'Aprano
    • Kevin Johnson
      Hi, ... Subject: [evol-psych] Ward writes to the Guardian Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2000 17:52:26 +0100 cites: James Meek, science correspondent, Guardian, Wednesday
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 31, 2000
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        Hi,

        A Carter wrote:

        While I share in the disappointment some have expressed in the New
        Yorker's studied response to Tooby's Slate article, I think some care
        should be taken in pinpointing the New Yorker's error.

        First there are a couple of substantive though minor points about
        which, so far as I know, the New Yorker remains correct. First, Dr.
        Neel did not in fact have permission to give the vaccinations. Those
        defending Dr. Neel have made constant mention of Susan Lindee's
        review of Dr. Neel's field notes, yet they have pointedly ignored the
        claim made in Tierney's article that "She has since told The New
        Yorker that her evidence for the claim was erroneous." Second, while
        granting that the Edmonston B vaccine is considered safe and that
        there is no evidence that it can either cause or transmit measles I
        have read no one who disputes the claim that the Schwarz measles
        vaccine is preferred. Nor have I seen any explanation given for why
        Dr. Neel chose the Edmonston B vaccine over the Scharz vaccine.

        Subject: [evol-psych] Ward writes to the Guardian
        Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2000 17:52:26 +0100

        cites:

        James Meek, science correspondent, Guardian, Wednesday October 4, 2000
        interviewing Ryk Ward.

        "He suggested vaccinating Indians in the villages the team visited, and after consulting with the centre for disease control in   Atlanta, the pan-American health organisation and the Venezuelan authorities, arranged for a vaccine called                    Edmonston B to be used. The Yanomami were not consulted. 

        "This vaccine tended to trigger mild measles-like symptoms, but then offered stronger immunity to the disease. It had already    been administered to millions around the world."

        The subsequent stronger immunity would be such a reason.  Of course, if Neel had not used Edmonston B then we would be fighting insinuations that the strongest available vaccine had deliberately not been chosen (for some 'dark' ultimate purpose, right?).

        Take care,

        Kevin Johnson
        Graduate student
        University of South Florida
         

      • Paul Gross
        In a message dated 10/31/00 3:14:25 AM Eastern Standard Time, abc@fame.com ... It s not only bad writing, it s dishonest writing. And the publication of it by
        Message 3 of 3 , Oct 31, 2000
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          In a message dated 10/31/00 3:14:25 AM Eastern Standard Time, abc@...
          writes:

          > It is exactly here that the
          > New Yorker deserves strong rebuke for the article reveals a
          > systematic pattern of innuendo that is inexcusable given this
          > awareness. There are numerous instances of this but one of the more
          > egregious is the repeated linking of the vaccinations with the
          > measles epidemic that devastated the Yanomami. This point isn't
          > merely repeated but expressed in a number of distinct ways. First a
          > paragraph that shows that wherever Dr. Neel and Chagnon went, death
          > and destruction followed. This is followed with an extended
          > description of the death of Roberto Baltasar and then leads into the
          > paragraph that begins, "It cannot be determined with any accuracy how
          > many died after receiving the vaccination." At this point you have to
          > possess the most cold-hearted of scientific minds to realize that
          > absolutely no evidence has been given that the vaccinations had any
          > role in the deaths. The more natural reaction, and apparently the one
          > given by nearly every social scientist, journalist and commentator
          > who read the article was to draw the opposite conclusion. None of
          > this is factual error, just bad writing.
          >

          It's not only bad writing, it's dishonest writing. And the publication of it
          by The New Yorker is dishonest publishing. If the editors who read it had had
          any interest in comparing the "evidence" (the article IS, after all, an
          offering of evidence in support of certain claims) with the clearly implicit
          (at least) claims, they would have either have rejected the piece or insisted
          on eliminating all the innuendo. Of course it is possible that the editors
          have no idea of what evidence IS. That wouldn't surprise me, especially in
          this period of media sagacity on the "issues" of the upcoming presidential
          election.

          But if we don't make a fuss about this sort of thing, who ever will?

          PRG
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