[extropy-chat] Are vaccinations useless? was Re: Failure of low-fat diet

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Mon Mar 6 22:07:45 UTC 2006

On 3/2/06, Robin Hanson <rhanson at gmu.edu> wrote:
> At 01:43 AM 3/2/2006, Rafal Smigrodzki wrote:
> >I also find it important not give legitimacy to, for example, parents
> >who deny vaccinations to their children. Theorizing about why you
> >might not need basic medical care simply because you are feeling rich
> >may be harmless in itself but sometimes may be taken over by people
> >with unusual agendas.
> As my webpage says:
> >I have little patience with those whose thinking is sloppy, small, or
> >devoid of abstraction. And I'm not a joiner; I rebel against groups
> >with "our beliefs", especially when members must keep criticisms
> >private, so as not to give ammunition to "them".
> I will continue to call 'em as I see 'em, regardless of who that might give
> ammunition to.
### Actually, yes, I will admit that if you truly believe vaccinations
are useless, disclosing it will be useful to your interlocutors.

I also greatly dislike sloppy thinking, and arm-waving argumentation
without numbers. Since so far you have made mostly quantitative
statements (disease disappearing as a result of "reduced
susceptibility" attributable in part to the positive psychological
effects of affluence on the immune system), I have to ask you to be
more specific: What is in your opinion the percent contribution of,
for example, smallpox vaccinations to the currently observed reduction
of lifetime prevalence of that disease? Please use the historical data
on lifetime prevalence in e.g. Europe, compare with current numbers
and tell me how much, if any, of the reduction is attributable to

I hope this will make the discussion less sloppy and instead firmly
ground abstractions in concretes.


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list