[ExI] Trust, Bias was: 23andME - Company issues: privacy

Mike Dougherty msd001 at gmail.com
Mon Oct 20 12:38:07 UTC 2014

On Sun, Oct 19, 2014 at 1:08 PM, Will <will.madden at gmail.com> wrote:

> On vaccines, the vaccine “scare” was not about vaccines at all, it was
> about thiomersal.  Thiomersal is a mercury based preservative that was
> determined by “consensus” science to not have a link to autism and other
> neurological disorders.  I would argue that this determination was specious
> at best, and given the availability of alternate preservatives, its use was
> dangerous and misguided.  If the concerns around this preservative had been
> addressed head on and honestly, instead of through obfuscation and medical
> “theater” (while quietly no longer allowing it to be used without
> addressing the concerns directly), we wouldn’t have the present issues with
> vaccine refusal.  Why do we really have these issues?  Because only foolish
> or cognitively defective people would believe such myths?  No, it’s because
> people don’t trust the FDA and establishment because the FDA and
> establishment didn’t handle the matter directly and honestly (probably
> because of legal concerns on the part of one of their benefactors), and
> people can tell, that’s why.  I don’t trust the FDA either, for what it’s
> worth.

Well put.

> On access to genetic information and its interpretation, the FDA should
> not have the power to block an online service from interpreting raw genetic
> data on behalf of consumers.  This mail order and online service is not
> yelling “fire” in a crowded movie theater.  The results are personalized
> and don’t endanger others.  This is an obvious overstep in power by the
> FDA, blocks peoples’ access to information, and reveals an underlying
> arrogance on the part of the FDA and doctors on the industry payroll.  The
> arrogance is that normal people are to naive and simpleminded to seek out
> answers regarding their own personal health.  They should be thrown from
> their pedestals and have their powers greatly curtailed.  We would all be
> much better for it, especially given how modern and evolving technology
> could rapidly advance in so many fields if these crooks would simply get
> out of our way.  Access to medical information is largely blocked by these
> institutions, including the educational system.

I concede that without some point of reference that people can trust, there
would be all manner of snake-oil sales.  As you noted above, trust in the
FDA is no longer what it once was. [or might have been]  Also, there are
plenty of unregulated "infomercial products" that people are free to
believe dubious claims of live improvement.  I don't really see much
difference in caveat emptor between Snuggies or Mr.Lid to Angie's/Craig's
List to eHarmony to information analytic services - whether the information
is home energy use as lights/heat or genomic details.

> There’s no reason that in 5 years we can’t have an internet based “watson”
> like technology that interfaces directly with end users and makes many
> modern doctors largely obsolete.  The FDA isn’t going to accelerate access
> to services like these.  The FDA will block them with red tape, because
> they represent the established industry, and their desire to block
> competition and maintain their comfy, heavily credentialed, anachronistic
> oligopoly.

I think you've identified several reasons.

More generally, I am curious if this mistrust of 'the system' is a neutral
observation of an inherent property or if it is evidence of a personal
bias.  I'm asking because I have noticed my posts tend towards a similar
bias.  So are we coloring the world through tinted lenses or are we so
clever that we notice details and relationships others miss?
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