18 February 2010, 10:56
Good grief, it’s been a long time. I can’t even remember which font and so on I used to use…
I guess that’s the problem with Facebook etc.; when you can make frequent, small updates, what’s the point of writing a big one?
Well, I feel I should get back into it. Blogging is very much en vogue and finally starting to feel like I want to make my point again, having been thoroughly disillusioned by general stupidity in the world for quite some time.
On Monday I went to Skeptics in the Pub, Holborn, for the second time (having been meaning to go again for months and months), at which Martin Robbins (@mjrobbins) spoke regarding the current progress and achievements of 10.23 – one being that an overdose event was staged around the country this winter, at which people took what may have been a bit too much of various homeopathic ‘remedies’, to highlight how pointless they are, essentially.
With regard to SitP generally, it’s a lot of fun, some of the best people in existence tend to show up (e.g. Dave Gorman, Ben Goldacre, Simon Singh, Tim Minchin, need I go on), it’s amusing and friendly and it’s in a pub so it’s automatically good (even if it is a Wetherspoons). However, on Monday, something did really get to me.
Robbins explains in his slideshow here, if you skip ahead a few to the point where there’s a picture of a guy (feel free to read through it all, it’s all good – though missing some references and a nod to gimpy’s blog, as he put those in verbally at the time, and I’m hoping to find a video of the whole thing as I was stuck in a place where I couldn’t see a thing!).
At this point, we get to the real crux of the homeopathy problem. Said guy, Jeremy Sherr, states that AIDS is generally curable but ‘they’ don’t want you to know about it, and he’d be happy to set up a trial in which one of the arms (i.e. groups of patients) receive NO ARV (anti-retrovirals; current gold-standard AIDS treatment) with homeopathy alone. The man is insane.
He wants to set up ‘homeopathy schools’ to train people in this waffle. Funding coming from a recognised British charity; this money could be going to real things that actually help people, or just do SOMETHING, even if it’s fixing a street lamp somewhere – it’d do more good than this hair-brained idea.
And the saddest, most devastating thing; homeopathy ‘practitioners’ have been sent to Haiti and other parts of Africa, telling poor individuals that they can help them with their dysentry, typhoid, cholera, malaria, dengue fever (a horrific disease if ever there was one), AIDS, you name it – with sugar pills and water. This is simply a crime.
So with this post, if anyone ever reads it, I encourage you to look into homeopathy; the fact that people who make money from it can’t even agree on what it is (or isn’t), that supposedly reputable companies (one dubbed ‘shoes’ at the talk, for example!) are selling things to people without bothering to try to find out about it – consider that yes, some people with more money than sense may get better quicker because they spent a bit of quality time with a homeopath and didn’t bother the NHS doctors for so long, but with this somewhat positive effect of what is essentially a lie (is being lied to preferable now, so long as you get better?) there is the extremely serious negative aspect of cases like *the woman and her Chinese alternative ‘medicine’ and people who have died from repeated chiropractic treatments (including babies, see Simon Singh’s libel case for info and PLEASE SIGN HERE!!!).
It’s not at all harmless.