[LINK] IPA, astroturfing and fantsy themes
jwhit at melbpc.org.au
Tue Feb 21 14:05:45 AEDT 2012
At 01:45 PM 21/02/2012, Paul Bolger wrote:
>Interestingly Dr Winston hasn't been totally saintly in the scientific
>method area either.
Thanks. I think he's just a big name that is on such a high demand
that he may not pay attention as he should. Was the study by Oxford
University or wasn't it? Was it a student project or a real research
study with proper controls? Goldacre also says this:
"Ben Goldacre: And then on top of that obviously every year there's
something called regression to the mean, just by the natural play of
chance...if you've just rolled a double six, it's actually very
likely that your next roll will be lower than a double six. If you've
just rolled a double one, it's actually very likely that your next
roll will be higher than a double one, just from the play of chance.
So if you go in and do an intervention like this, handing out the
pills in an area which has just had particularly poor exam results,
then you might expect that they'd do better anyway. "
That's just wrong. There is always an equal chance of any dice
combination. Always. He would be terrible at coin toss guessing.
And I'm not sure regression to the mean is anything about chance of
rolling any particular number. But I'm not going to waste time doing
the research on what it is.
>So then you get into this childish unbearable circular stuff
>where...in their own press release they called it a trial, in all of
>their interviews they called it a trial, in the company's press
>release they called it a trial.
And that is what happens in Australian govt programs All. The. Time.
Just look at the current crop of 'ehealth record trials'. No they're
not. They are pilot roll-outs, with very little 'pilot' either.
Maybe we are all a bit too loose with the terminology, but if major
decisions are going to be based on them, then at least get the
That was 2008. I wonder what's become of the whole fiasco.
disclaimer: I take 1000mg of fish oil daily, for joint health, not my
brain, which seems to be losing its functions, at least a little
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or
sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
~Madeline L'Engle, writer
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