Friday, April 23, 2010

A New Rule


It's tough to make new rules. First, you have to care. Then you have to find others who care, devise rules, create penalties, become prepared to impose those penalties. The list is endless.

My new rule however is so practical, so beneficial, and so easy, that it will probably become the 13th or 14 commandment. Wanna peek?

I propose that no blowhard, anywhere, may publish, publicly pronounce, bloviate, or reference ANY scientific study which does not on the very first page provide all the names of those who funded the study, and when in summary announces said study results are better than..., must name and demonstrate all the better thans.

For instance, and I am totally making this up, suppose you read of a study that says dogs shouldn't chew bones. In fact, the results of this study appeared in my morning paper. Wouldn't I be well served to know that MilkBones funded the study? Or perhaps, that dogs eating bones was more harmful than .... eating cryptonite, but less harmful than Milkbones?

I'm willing to suspend disbelief a lot, but I bet my rule would stop a lot of nonsense.

Toad

For those paying attention today is the 394th anniversary of the death of Billy Shakespeare.

11 comments:

Shelley said...

Good one. A complicating factor is of course that nothing is as simple as we'd like, but I agree 150% (is that a valid statistic?) with your rule. If you care enough to make this rule, perhaps you would enjoy a book called Bad Science, by Ben Goldacre. I drafted a post about it some time ago, but didn't like that I sounded as angry as the author! Must get that post out and dust it off...

Suburban Princess said...

I sooooooo agree! People are always telling me what I should and should not be doing...my own mother loves to tell me the news anchor has been reporting such and such. I always tell them I wont take it seriously until I know who funded the research. Recently a study showed vaccines have nothing to do with autism...but no one pointed out the study was funded by the drug companies! Hmmm sounds shady to me!

So many people forget or dont care that the government is paid by a lot of organizations to make sure the public is told certain things. Dairy farmers, oil barons, big pharma etc...all getting their message out there because of big payouts.

It's a shame the news is now a series of paid ads and real journalism is dead!

*getting off my soapbox*

CDG said...

Excellent idea for Anti-Shenanigans Legislation!

(I guess I'm not lurking anymore.)

Toad said...

welcome to the fray CDG

Patsy said...

Excellent suggestion! Partiality doesn't mean it ain't true, but I'd like all (or most) of the information up front.

My father is fond of http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/

Toad said...

Patsy, that is understandable

katiedid said...

Hear Hear!! (or "here, here".....depending on which independent study you look at.)

ADG said...

ToadMan...ain't is supposed to be "peek" instead of "peak"? I take it back...I take it back...'cause my write ups are as bad as any re grammar/spelling/syntax....Billy Shakespeare...the fishing tackle guy or the one who supposedly but really didn't author those stories?

Ok, I'm off to the tailor to get two pairs of bled out last night bleeding madras britches hemmed.

JMW said...

Yep, today's "news" is nothing but one big ad placement.

Happy B-day to the Bard!

JMW said...

Wait, not happy birthday to the Bard. It's the anniversary of his death...don't have a happy comment for that one. How about "thanks for the good reads?" :)

2PreppyGirls.com said...

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