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The Merchants of Doubt

Discussion in 'Current News & Events (Articles Required)' started by The Barbarian, Sep 23, 2021.

  1. The Barbarian

    The Barbarian Crabby Old White Guy

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    The technology of getting people to believe absurd things or to doubt science, didn't appear overnight. As this author documents, it was a conscious effort by the tobacco lobby to undermine reason and science for profit.

    To Understand How Science Denial Works, Look to History

    The same tactics used to cast doubt on the dangers of smoking and climate change are now being used to downplay COVID
    The chief culprit in this darker story was the tobacco industry, whose playbook has been well documented by historians of science, technology and medicine, as well as epidemiologists and lawyers. It disparaged science by promoting the idea that the link between tobacco use and lung cancer and other diseases was uncertain or incomplete and that the attempt to regulate it was a threat to American freedom. The industry made products more addictive by increasing their nicotine content while publicly denying that nicotine was addictive. With these tactics, the industry was able to delay effective measures to discourage smoking long after the scientific evidence of its harms was clear. In our 2010 book, Merchants of Doubt, Erik M. Conway and I showed how the same arguments were used to delay action on acid rain, the ozone hole and climate change—and this year we saw the spurious “freedom” argument being used to disparage mask wearing.


    We also saw the tobacco strategy seeping into social media, which influences public opinion and which many people feel needs to be subject to greater scrutiny and perhaps government regulation. In October 2019 Congress held hearings to investigate the role of Facebook in potentially spreading misinformation. In the summer of 2020 a report from civil-rights law firm Relman Colfax suggested that Facebook posts could contribute to voter suppression. Climate scientists have complained that the social media giant contributes to the spread of climate denial by permitting false or misleading claims while hobbling responses by mainstream scientists by labeling their posts “political.”

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/to-understand-how-science-denial-works-look-to-history/
     
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  2. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Doesn't sound like something a self-described Libertarian would post.
     
  3. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

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    And yet, I oppose climate panic while supporting COVID vaccination and reasonable measures to help contain the virus.
     
  4. The Barbarian

    The Barbarian Crabby Old White Guy

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    If you actually think so, you've confused libertarians and nihilists.

    Me too. Panic is not what is needed. A rational consideration of where climate is heading, precludes panic. The sky isn't falling. It's not even going to be bad for some places. The American west will be drier and less productive. Some people may have to move. The Gulf Coast will be more interesting as a place to live, and not in a good way. North Africa will actually become a better place, and more productive. Stuff like that.

    Which is also good. The sky isn't falling there, either. In the end, maybe one American in 300 will be dead because we didn't handle the pandemic right. That won't destroy us. We've been through worse.

    But we shouldn't have had to make the choices we're now forced to make. The problem is pretty simple; political and economic considerations have led people to reject reality about these problems.

    Few people reject all of the reality. But maybe 40 percent of Americans reject some of it. And that has already done grave damage to the country.
     
  5. SoldierOfTheKing

    SoldierOfTheKing Christian Spenglerian

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    Doubt is what makes the scientific method possible…
     
  6. BeyondET

    BeyondET Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That makes sense, odd society it is, take acholol effects every organ in the body bad livers, car crashes lives gone, dui ruins countless lives, but it still goes on cigs, beer and coronavirus
     
  7. BeyondET

    BeyondET Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Nay scientists would loose interest
     
  8. The Barbarian

    The Barbarian Crabby Old White Guy

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    No. The scientific method does not depend on levels of belief or doubt. It works no matter what one thinks. That's the value of it.
     
  9. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

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    One is not always libertarian with other's liberties.
     
  10. The Barbarian

    The Barbarian Crabby Old White Guy

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    One is free to believe any sort of foolishness, or in the case of some corporations, to promote things that are untrue.

    One is not free from others calling one out for doing it.

    That's how freedom works.
     
  11. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That's just not how cancel culture works
     
  12. The Barbarian

    The Barbarian Crabby Old White Guy

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    Tell us how cancel culture works.
     
  13. renniks

    renniks Well-Known Member

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    It's disgusting and disturbing that the article is putting down Facebook because they still allowed some freedom of speech.
     
  14. The Barbarian

    The Barbarian Crabby Old White Guy

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    People are free to lie as much as they like, if not under oath or speaking to law enforcement. On the other hand, they are not free to demand that a private company is compelled to help them spread those lies.

    In that case,the people who are demanding that Facebook help spread their lies, are just trying to suppress freedom of the press.
     
  15. renniks

    renniks Well-Known Member

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    Mis use of smiley...is against the rules.
     
  16. renniks

    renniks Well-Known Member

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    Who gets to decide what are lies and what isn't?
    In a world of free speech that's up to the individual.
     
  17. The Barbarian

    The Barbarian Crabby Old White Guy

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    Whoever happens to own the site or paper. For example, only Fox can decide what will be presented on their site. Facebook can set whatever standards they want. So can World News Daily, Twitter, or what have you.

    This site can set whatever standards it wishes for participation or content of posts. That's a first amendment right, too. The far right wants not only to have First Amendment rights for themselves, but they also want to take those freedoms from others.

    Bottom line? You can say what you want, but you can't demand that others help you do it.
     
  18. SoldierOfTheKing

    SoldierOfTheKing Christian Spenglerian

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    It only works if it is applied correctly - and that depends very much on what one thinks. It can’t be applied correctly without a degree of doubt.
     
  19. The Barbarian

    The Barbarian Crabby Old White Guy

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    No. Only the data matter. They either support the hypothesis, or they don't. No belief required.
     
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