A perfect tool for the JABS contingent

I guess I’m just going to have to face it. I’m entering a period of lots of vaccine blogging again. After all, Jenny McCarthy’s book is coming out this month, and I’ve heard rumblings that she’s scheduled to be on the undisputed Queen of Woo Oprah Winfrey’s TV show later this month; so beware. Already in some bookstores is Paul Offit’s book Autism’s False Prophets, and there’s little doubt that the antivaccination smear machine is gearing up to slime him as hard as they can.

It’s going to be a depressingly busy fall on the antivax front.

I keep hoping I can take an extended break from this particular topic. After all, even I get tired and demoralized rebutting the same nonsense again and again and again. I’ve been at it for over three years now. It’s all so repetitive, too. In fact, whenever I have an invasion of antivax trolls, their blather is so similar that I think their comments are computer-generated.

Now I know that they might be.

You know, the results generated by this tool above are indistinguishable from comments from real anti-vaccinationists. A fun exercise might be to use the Jabs-O-Tron for a little fun in discussion forums and see if real antivaccinationists can tell if it’s a joke. In the meantime, I’m going to try to avoid the topic for a at least a few days, if not longer. I need to recharge my batteries and be ready for the onslaught that I know will be coming soon, and dwelling on other topics is a good way to accomplish that. I can only hope the antivaccine activists will let me.

I’m not optimistic on that score.


  1. #1 I am so wise
    September 5, 2008


    Not quite the same level as the postmodern generator, but amusing none the less.

  2. #2 Natalie
    September 5, 2008

    I just got

    It’s sad but true! des anyone realise that know-nothing liberals are poisoning us ith monkey viruses because they don’t accept alternative medicine. Come on protest at Dr Wakefield’s trial.

    I am so wise, do you have a url for the postmodern generator?

  3. #3 Rogue Epidemiologist
    September 5, 2008

    Wow. That’s convincing. Does it just draw from a pile of catchphrases and buzzwords?

    Natalie, you might want to check out http://www.generatorland.com It might be there.

  4. #4 D. C. Sessions
    September 5, 2008

    Damn you, Orac!

    Here I am, immobilized thanks to orthopedic surgery, and you give me a perfect reason to gen up an AoA bot on the eve of a weekend.


  5. #5 D. C. Sessions
    September 5, 2008

    Does it just draw from a pile of catchphrases and buzzwords?

    Don’t know about this one, but some of them are pretty sophisticated. Point them at a body of work, and they’ll find statistical relationships among word groups, which they can then use to generate random paragraphs that read a lot like a group member.

    No quotations and semi-coherent replies that I know of yet.

  6. #6 Tsu Dho Nimh
    September 5, 2008

    Well … it’s adequate, but needs more acerbity and vitriol.

    typical imo ben goldacre si overreactnig o these minor ailments all those who care about children should refuse vaccniations. fihting the war on drus!!!

  7. #7 Matlatzinca
    September 5, 2008

    Hi Orac,

    Did you see this recent poll? http://www.scrippsnews.com/node/35753
    Browsing the comments at the bottom of the story reveals more indistinguishable rants.

    Keep up the great vaccine-related posts. It is undoubtedly wearing to answer the same misconceptions/rants over and over, but it is also indispensable.

  8. #8 Compulsive Editor
    September 5, 2008

    I have become aware over the past few years that bad doctors mean to place us all in death camps. All in order to cover up their mistakes. Those who care about children need to stand up and be counted.

    (Bad grammar and composition hurts my hair, sue me.)

  9. #9 I am so wise
    September 5, 2008

    Natalie, check out- http://www.elsewhere.org/pomo/

    Orac, an argument I’ve found useful, particularly with people who are concerned about vaccines, but not crazy, is pointing out smallpox. After all, if responsibility for the reduction of diseases like smallpox is not due to vaccines byt the better sanitation, nutrition, and health care as many in the anti-vax movement claim, well where is smallpox?

  10. #10 Anne
    September 5, 2008

    It’s not a bot, it just strings phrases together using javascript. You can see the pile of phrases if you “view source” on the page.

    I think it’s funny, but it needs to be updated to include something about mito.

  11. #11 Skwee
    September 5, 2008

    I got
    Its obvious that the allopathic idiots are killing our kids because of Ben Goldacre!.. All parents should chelate… LOL!!!

  12. #12 isles
    September 6, 2008

    aw diddums! parents of autistic kisd know that cheerleaders for glaxo wasting taxpayres money no useless drugs because of terrorists. somebody should kill all vaccinators.

    A little too realistic there.

  13. #13 Kev
    September 6, 2008

    (Killjoy mode /on)

    aw diddums! parents of autistic kisd know that cheerleaders for glaxo wasting taxpayres money no useless drugs because of terrorists. somebody should kill all vaccinators.

    One of the myriad reasons I blog about vaccines and autism is to try and ensure the world knows that not all parents of autistic people are antivax psychos. I’m a little perturbed to see us all make the Jabzotron in quite so general a way.

    (Killjoy mode /off)

  14. #14 colmcq
    September 6, 2008

    “A fun exercise might be to use the Jabs-O-Tron for a little fun in discussion forums and see if real antivaccinationists can tell if it’s a joke”

    yup, over at badscience they already did that: JABS took about 3 or 4 days till they twigged.

  15. #15 DLC
    September 6, 2008

    Hrm. the postmodernist generator composes some amusing babble.
    I thought the random JABS generator should have more instances of “I’m not against vaccines but” as a first phrase. Oh, and the misspellings were good, but they need more all caps and eleventy-ones.

  16. #16 Nemo
    September 6, 2008

    Kev: Don’t take it personally. It’s meant to mimic the style of anti-vaxxers, who probably would try to claim that all parents of the autistic were on their side. No more true than their other claims, of course.

  17. #17 Ronnie
    September 6, 2008

    Please, please. Let’s stop these maddening blog wars and get a good old fashioned live debate scheduled. The public deserves nothing less. Orac can show that he is a paragon of genius and the “Woos” will no doubt go back underground until the next crisis gets their attention.

  18. #18 Orac
    September 6, 2008

    I do not “debate” cranks, for reasons I explained here and elsewhere:


  19. #19 blf
    September 6, 2008

    The public deserves nothing less [ than a live debate ].

    Oh piddle! What people are getting is a resurgence of dieases for which there are safe and effective vaccines. People’s children are being threatened by the breakdown in herd immunity caused by too many people being frightened or threatened into not immunising children. People do not need a debate about the blatantly obvious; the debate, if any is needed, is what to do with/about those who are causing herd immunity to be lost (i.e., what to do with/about the anti-vax woos). Are new laws needed, and how would they be enforced? Is social rejection part of the answer? What role does education have to play? What can family GPs do? Etc.

  20. #20 Danimal
    September 6, 2008

    Look at the bright side, Orac. You are blogging about Jenny McCarthy, a former Playboy bunny!! It does not get much better then that. Now if only you included a few nude pictures every time you write about her, your blog would be a hit!!! Maybe even surpass PZ Myers’. Now how good is that? Then we can focus on her mind as we are suppose to./sarcasm

  21. #21 Acai
    September 6, 2008

    Jenny Mccarthy the queen of Woo?

    And she is dating Jim Carey too btw. LOL

  22. #22 sailor
    September 7, 2008

    Not bad, but it needs a button where you can post it in comic sans.

  23. #23 Rogue Epidemiologist
    September 8, 2008

    sailor, the html tag for that is <font face=”Comic Sans”>

  24. #24 Gray Falcon
    September 8, 2008

    I almost forgot about Comic Sans. Times Roman may be the “Wonder Bread” of fonts, and Helvetica the cheddar cheese, but… I’m not sure I want to extend the metaphor here.

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