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    • Rationality Is A Process, Not A Conclusion (Nuclear Weapons Edition)
      A lot of mistakes come from assuming rationality means “thinks the same way I do” rather than “reasons from premises I might not share.” Left than 1/1000 economists predicted the financial collapse, because they reasoned from assumptions like “the market is self-correcting” or “housing prices never go down.” (Sometimes both at the same time, which is rarely […]
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Anti-vaxxers should be tarred and feathered…

Tanaquil Le Clercq, Principal dancer with NYCB. Her career was tragically cut short by polio in 1956.

…and run out of town on a rail.

I can’t believe how so many allegedly “educated” people are refusing to vaccinate their kids. We’re not talking just about measles. We’re talking about polio too. Polio is not like smallpox. It hasn’t been eradicated. If people are able to spread measles around, it won’t be long before there’s a polio epidemic with the shriveled limbs to go with it. Isolating anti-vaxxers from social gatherings might be the only way to get through to them.

But the growth of the anti-vax crowd is very disturbing. Following up on the post last night about how scientists think differently, I get the feeling that people who make money are so valued and scientists less valued that our credibility has taken a hit. It doesn’t help that the industry I used to work for has fueled this distrust by looking out for shareholders at the expense of everyone else. That is not to say that it has been deliberately manufacturing shoddy products. I don’t believe that and as long as we have a strong FDA, we shouldn’t have to worry. But the price gouging is hard to ignore and that makes people suspicious, especially when it’s combined with mass marketing that includes 30 seconds of side effect information. I’m going to bet that most people don’t look up the information on the drugs they take and don’t know which side effects are common, rare or dangerous. It all sounds extremely dangerous to the average person.

And then the industry asks parents to inject stuff into their kids without giving them a crash course in immunology so they can see just how beneficial the vaccination is and how it works.

So, maybe all the people who are defending the excessive amounts of money spent on marketing at the expense of R&D should sit down and think about this for a few minutes. Maybe marketing is the problem here, even if we’re not talking specifically about vaccinations on TV.

Marketing has its place. Fundraising is a good place for marketing. Selling pharmaceuticals and vaccinations, ehhhh, not so much. Too much information, presented without qualification, may just be too much scary information. The industry needs to fix this fast.