User:Revolver

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DAMN, I wish I'd proved this
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Me

Revolver
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Revolver



AIDS Wiki

Writings

Serge Lang Memorial HIV/AIDS Archive (2006)

The Rodríguez et al paper

Duesberg's Pharm & Thera monograph (1992/ed. 2007)

Other articles

Bialy/Moore debate

Quotes

On Science and scientists

  • "The Congress, like any political body or any politician, need not worry about what reality is, only the perception of reality. Scientists, on the other hand – it's their job to be concerned about what reality really is." — Charles Thomas, biochemist
  • "The role of the scholar, like that of the journalist, is not to apply balm or to go with the grain of received wisdom, but to seek plausible explanations, to dare to try to glimpse truth, no matter how uncomfortable that might be for others." – Michael Tracey, "Mere Smoke of Opinion: Aids and the Making of the Public Mind"
  • "There can, however, be little doubt that the whole complex of the natural sciences has become a substitute religion, fulfilling the double roles of mysterious incomprehensibility to the lay public and a means of livelihood for its practitioners... The institutionalization of science as a mass occupation, which began during my lifetime, has brought with it the necessity of its continual growth...not because there is so much more to discover, but because there are so many who want to be paid to do it. Entrepreneurs disguised as freedom-fighters may look ludicrous, but they are usually effective, for there is little as irresistible as the momentum of the pocketbook." — Erwin Chargaff, Heraclitean Fire
  • "Scientists are not content with running their own playpens in accordance with what they regard as the rules of the scientific method; they want to universalize those rules, they want them to become part of society at large, and they use every means at their disposal – argument, propaganda, pressure tactics, intimidation, lobbying – to achieve their aims." — Paul Feyerabend, Against Method

On medicine and doctors

  • "In the natural sciences, graduate students spend years learning about the vagaries of experimenting and observing and reproducing and finding flaws. The science doctorate is typically followed by years of postdoctoral research, where the novices gain further experience under the tutelage of experienced researchers, before they are thought ready to go it alone. In contrast, an MD degree instills none of the researcher's feel for the uncertainties one meets as one tries to discover what no one yet knows, and for how tentatively all apparent advances need to be held. The practice of medicine is a form of engineering, where empirical knowledge is primary; if something works, it doesn't much matter why it works." — Henry Bauer, The Origin, Persistence, and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory
  • "Psychologists are obsessed with rats and dreams. I once spent an entire semester training a rat to punch little buttons in a certain sequence, then training my roommate to do the same thing. The rat learned much faster. My roommate is now a doctor." — Dave Barry, Dave Barry's Bad Habits: A 100% Fact-Free Book
  • "The experience of AIDS medicine tends to confirm that the origin of human suffering is anxiety of death. Its vision of calamity was not confected from the morbid anxieties of those sick to death, nor from the depths of extreme pain, but sprang from the minds of well medical scientists. The vision of mass death expresses, I have argued, the trauma of a profession that has assumed responsibilities beyond its capacity to deliver.... But we can retrace our steps, scale down our expectations of medicine, and travel the alternative path on which suffering is transfigured by its meaning. In the case of AIDS, retracing the steps places the burden of suffering on the medical profession's recognition that a phantom epidemic symbolises its misconception of the aims of medicine." — Hiram Caton, The AIDS Mirage

On self-deception, gullibility, and stupidity

  • "Most conspiracy buffs underestimate human stupidity. They see people they consider smart and powerful do stupid things, and they think the people must have some hidden ulterior motive. Surely people in such high positions, they think, couldn't do something that dumb." — Charley Reese
  • "So strongly can a fantasy press upon the minds of scientists and laymen alike that evidence is frequently misinterpreted in order to fit in with more comfortable notions, or, as was pathetically and poignantly done in the case of a phantom epidemic of gonorrhea in a primary school, the wished-for evidence can even be hallucinated." — Casper Schmidt, "The Group-Fantasy Origins of AIDS"
  • "Into this pond [at Auschwitz concentration camp] were flushed the ashes of some four million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance. It was done by dogma. It was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge, with no test in reality, this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods." — Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man
  • "There are two basic types of stories. One floats the promise of more freedom/success, but if the person swallowing the story tries to live it out, he winds up facing a locked door. The other type of story warns of a danger. If a person buys this one, he does things [preventive measures] that will put him in danger. Both types are dead ends... Meanwhile, of course, new PR is being invented... The whole idea is to rope him into serial stories that are compelling. And this is called a life. From pillar to post. It's all about distracting him from the one thing he can do to free himself: tell his own stories." — Ellis Medavoy

On speech, language, lies and the truth

  • "Freedom of speech... What it's about is protecting the words that come out of your mouth. But how will your words reach anyone's ears if you don't have the freedom to hear?" — Tommy Smothers
  • "It will seem that the truth has at last been arrived at. At the same time, it is evident that all contact with the world has been lost and that the stability achieved, the semblance of absolute truth, is nothing but the result of an absolute conformism. For how can we possibly test, or improve upon, the truth of a theory if it is built in such a manner that any conceivable event can be described, and explained, in terms of its principles? The only way of investigating such all-embracing principles would be to compare them with a different set of equally all-embracing principles – but this procedure has been excluded from the very beginning. The myth is, therefore, of no objective relevance; it continues to exist solely as the result of the effort of the community of believers and of their leaders, be these now priests or Nobel prize winners. This, I think, is the most decisive argument against any method that encourages uniformity, be it empirical or not. Any such method is, in the last resort, a method of deception. It enforces an unenlightened conformism, and speaks of truth; it leads to a deterioration of intellectual capabilities, of the power of imagination, and speaks of deep insight; it destroys the most precious gift of the young – their tremendous power of imagination, and speaks of education." — Paul Feyerabend, Against Method
  • "Political language...is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." — George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language"
  • "It's amazing how people lie competently and efficiently. I'm always constantly impressed about how people just totally slip into the ability to just... transpose facts." — Eric Idle
  • "If you're defending a lie, you can only defend it with obfuscations and other lies. You can't defend a lie with the truth." — Harvey Bialy, Interview with Keidi Obi Awadu
  • "It is the responsibility of intellectuals to speak the truth and to expose lies." — Noam Chomsky

On group sacrifice and feeling good

  • "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." — Voltaire
  • "My sense, however, is that an announcement that any particular epidemic is an example of epidemic hysteria will be met with resistance among those who subscribe to the group delusion, and for whom the epidemic is a golden solution to unconscious conflicts. The larger the number of people subscribing to the delusion, the stronger I would expect the resistance to be to such an announcement (magnification effect of the group). Since it would also give rise to power struggles among people over whose beliefs are stronger or more accurate, such an announcement will have to come from someone held in very high esteem for having impeccable scientific credibility. In the AIDS epidemic, with the entire Western world sharing a belief that AIDS is caused by promiscuity and two fluids containing a virus, one should expect a truly monumental outpouring of hatred and resistance to such an announcement." — Casper Schmidt, "The Group-Fantasy Origins of AIDS"
  • "If you go to a primitive tribe where they are about to sacrifice fourteen babies, and tell them that this will only make them feel good for a day or a week, and then they'll have to sacrifice more...you know what they do? They kill you on the spot! Because you are interfering with their sacrificial ritual... Every bit of AIDS research that underwrites the group fantasy and continues the sacrifice is approved of." — Casper Schmidt, interview by Ian Young