Respectful Insolence

I never thought I’d be praising Bill Gates, being a Mac person and all and not being at all fond of Microsoft, but it’s impossible for me not to in the wake of a recent interview Gates did with CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

As you probably know, since retiring from Microsoft, Bill Gates has dedicated himself to philanthropy in the form of the work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. One of the greatest works of this foundation has been to initiate vaccination programs in the Third World. These activities are likely to save thousands, if not millions, of lives over the next several decades.

Not surprisingly, the anti-vaccine movement has begun to notice and to attack Bill Gates, who has stood up for vaccines as the single greatest medical tool for saving lives ever invented. For example, recently Gates pointed out that, as fewer children die of vaccine-preventable diseases, people tend to have fewer children because more of the children they do have survive. As a result, he was attacked by Gary Null and Richard Gale as promoting Death by Vaccination: The New Eugenics. People, you can’t make stuff like this up. At least I can’t.

I wonder what the anti-vaccine movement will have to say after Gates’ interview with Dr. Gupta, in which Gates defends vaccines and calls the vaccine-autism link a lie:

Here’s the relevant quote:

Gupta: There has been a lot of scrutiny of vaccines recently — specifically childhood vaccines. There has been a lot of news about is there a connection with autism, for example. What do you make of all that? Dr. [Andrew] Wakefield wrote a paper about this [in The Lancet in 1998] saying he thought there was a connection. And there were lower vaccination rates over a period of time as a result in Britain, then the United States. What are your thoughts?

Gates: Well, Dr. Wakefield has been shown to have used absolutely fraudulent data. He had a financial interest in some lawsuits, he created a fake paper, the journal allowed it to run. All the other studies were done, showed no connection whatsoever again and again and again. So it’s an absolute lie that has killed thousands of kids. Because the mothers who heard that lie, many of them didn’t have their kids take either pertussis or measles vaccine, and their children are dead today. And so the people who go and engage in those anti-vaccine efforts — you know, they, they kill children. It’s a very sad thing, because these vaccines are important.

Yes, the antivaccine movement does result in the deaths of children, just as HIV/AIDS denialists cause the deaths of HIV-infected people who are persuaded to refuse antiretroviral drugs.

Not surprisingly, the antivaccine propagandists over at Age of Autism are already in an uproar over this. First out of the box is AoA’s “Media Editor” Ann Dachel:

This opening gave Gates a chance to attack Wakefield for, as he described it, faking his data. He called the idea of a link as “an absolute lie.” That said, Gates went on to talk more about the “miracle of vaccines.”

While autism was only a one small part of the total interview, the title of CNN story was, Bill Gates: Vaccine-autism link ‘an absolute lie.’ It seems that Gates’ plan to promote vaccinations around the world was another opportunity to blame the controversy on Andrew Wakefield. It’s not going to work however. Thousands and thousands of parents everywhere will never stop talking about how their normally developing, healthy children went in for routine vaccinations and suddenly got sick with things like seizures, bowel disease, and life-threatening allergies. They stopped talking and lost learned skills and were eventually diagnosed with autism. Doctors call it a coincidence. They can’t explain what happened to these children. The only thing they’re sure of is that it’s not connected to the ever-expanding vaccine schedule.

Yup. That’s because the vast preponderance of scientific evidence tells us that it isn’t; after close to two decades of searching for such a link in huge epidemiological studies, scientists have not found one. While it is never possible in epidemiology and medical science to completely prove a negative, meaning that it is still possible (albeit highly unlikely given the lack of biological plausibility) that in a very tiny subset of children vaccines might trigger autism somehow), we can say with a great deal of confidence that vaccines are not responsible for an “epidemic” of autism and, in fact, we can say with a great deal of confidence that it is incredibly unlikely that vaccines cause autism. People like Ann are fixated on vaccines, even though there is no credible scientific evidence to support their beliefs.

I’m not a psychic, but I bet I can predict what will happen now. The anti-vaccine movement will go absolutely crazy in a flurry of conspiracy mongering against Bill Gates, Microsoft, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, complete with New World Order insinuations of secret plots of population control and collaboration with pharmaceutical companies and governments. Indeed, the ever-reliably clueless Ginger Taylor has already begun to do just that:

Apparently the attack on Andy was Phase 1 scheduled for January (Along with Offit and Mnookin’s books) We now seem to be beginning Phase 2, Bill Gates coming out party and his Polio Vaccine drive.

Apparently, Gates has declared 2011 is “The Year of the Vaccines” and pledged ten billion dollars over the next ten years (Interestingly, this was a GSK tag line in their 2005 investors annual review).

Wow. Only a die-hard anti-vaccine propagandist could object to someone declaring a year the “Year of the Vaccines,” but Ginger is only just getting warmed up:

So. How long will this push last… the one year? Or the ten years? Will more money, Big Bill sized money, do what all the other money couldn’t do and get people to go back to sleep on vaccine safety? Is part of Bill’s Billions going to push legislation on the Offit telegraphed idea in the Lancet a few months back that people should be coerced into vaccinating, with requirements for re-education camp before one would be “allowed” not to vaccinate?

I wonder if Gates money made its way into Brian Deer’s pocket? He signed a paper for CNN saying he didn’t take Pharma money for the last 3 years (note that he has been writing about Wakefield for 7 years), but he didn’t sign anything saying that he didn’t take Tech money for the last three years.

Unfortunately, even all of Bill Gates’ billions of dollars couldn’t “re-educate” Ginger to reality. She does score extra loon points, however, for trying to insinuate that Brian Deer is somehow in the pocket of Bill Gates. Dammit! How do I get a piece of that action? I wonder if Gates would cut me in if I switched from Mac to PC? On second thought, scratch that idea. Even a pharma shill has standards.

I would just caution the AoA drones (like Ann Dachel) and hangers-on (like Ginger Taylor) to be a bit careful, though, as J.B. should be careful in declaring Bill Gates his enemy. (Don’t forget that J.B. recently declared anyone who accepts the scientific consensus that vaccines do not cause autism to be his enemy, which means that Bill Gates, by declaring the vaccine-autism link to be an absolute lie, has just become J.B.’s enemy, along with the rest of us, I guess.) Remember that your big macher, J.B. Handley, is an operating partner at major investment firm. Do you really want to attack Bill Gates too vigorously? What if J.B.’s firm handles Microsoft accounts?

Now there’s some real conspiracy mongering for you, about as credible as the conspiracy mongering Ann Dachel and Ginger Taylor just engaged in.

ADDENDUM: Even better are the conspiracy theories flying fast and furious in the AoA comments. For instance, we have Autism Grandma:

This post is to me an excellent explanation as to why so many apparently otherwise intelligent people are sucked into the vaccine propaganda. Their eyes are closed to the truth because they are simply deceived by the propaganda and their lack of factual information prevents them from making logical decisions. This is exactly why so many parents are still taking their children into the pediatrician’s office for this horrific vaccine schedule!!!

Yes, there is a major conspiracy going on here, but not everyone involved in doing the bidding of the conspirators really understands what they are doing. We are fighting a major indoctrination program that is well established by the vaccine industry. People need motivation to research the information in order to come to the logical conclusion that vaccines are playing a huge role in destroying the health of this nation’s children and also adults.

Many people in high places do have knowledge of the factual information regarding vaccines and those at the top who run the show at the industry and government levels are chosing to support the vaccine industry in favor of their financial rewards. These people KNOW what they are doing and they willingly comply with the conspiracy. Bill Gates obviously isn’t going to be swayed by money, he has plenty of that; therefore he is just one of the majority who have accepted the propaganda instead of researching the facts. Certainly the vaccine industry has cultivated his support in order to sell more vaccines to other unsuspecting nations. Bill Gates is being used by the vaccine industry due to his financial power and influence. WAKE UP Bill Gates, you are being USED.

Wow. Just wow. One wonders why so many people would buy into such a conspiracy when it supposedly would harm their very own children, too, along with everyone else’s. There isn’t a word to describe a post like Autism Grandma’s except crazy. Well, maybe loony.

Comments

  1. #1 Sid Offit
    February 5, 2011

    Here’s my take

  2. #2 Anthro
    February 5, 2011

    Much as I dislike what Microsoft and its merry band of billionaires have done to my hometown, I am more than happy to sing Gates’ praises for being so straightforward on this issue. This single appearance will reach far more fence-sitters (I hope) than AoA.

  3. #3 Art Tricque
    February 5, 2011

    I’ve always wondered what that SublmlVaccMsg process running in the background on my Windows computer was for…

  4. #4 Skeptico
    February 5, 2011

    It’s not going to work however. Thousands and thousands of parents everywhere will never stop talking about how their normally developing, healthy children went in for routine vaccinations and suddenly got sick with things like seizures, bowel disease, and life-threatening allergies.

    She should speak to JB Handley – he doesn’t agree:

    It is exceptionally rare that I hear the story, “my son was 100% fine, and at 2 years old after one vaccine appointment he lost everything.” I have heard that story, but very rarely.

    They really need to get their stories straight.

  5. #5 Moderation
    February 5, 2011

    As a fellow Seattlite I have to agree with Anthro, I deplore Microsoft’s thousands of jobs, billions in taxes, infrastructure improvements and philanthropy. Damn them to hell! Where is my iPad? ;)

  6. #6 novalox
    February 5, 2011

    Definitely nice to see almost all of the anti-vax comments of the CNN page for the article being shot down and debunked. The amount of ignorance in some of those anti-vax comments was mind boggling.

  7. #7 Dangerous Bacon
    February 5, 2011

    Gates’ support for vaccination efforts in developing countries has previously drawn major outbursts of crazy from antivaxers.

    Currently making the rounds are fresh accusations of a Gates “depopulation” agenda, supposedly based on coments made in a pharmaceutical publication. Here’s a sampling of looniness which has been cross-posted to numerous nutbar sites (careful, the design of this one makes your eyes hurt):

    “Autism is only one of the consequences of poisoning the immune system. Vaccinations make us life-long customers of the pharmaceutical illness propagation system. Why would we allow them into our bodies when they do not work, have never been shown to be safe or effective and are based on a vast lie: that injected pathogenic material induces disease protection. Nothing, in fact, could be farther from the truth.”

    Amusingly, sites running this are also promoting the antivax “Natural Solutions Foundation”, which is co-run by the ex-general who thought he could walk through walls (and who helped inspire the movie “The Men Who Stare At Goats”), and which has been the target of conspiracy charges from fellow altie loons who think the general is part of a secret government operation.

  8. #8 Phillip IV
    February 5, 2011

    And the nicest thing about it all is that Gates is an advocate of vaccination they won’t, for once, be able to smear as having been “paid off by the vaccine industry” – because they could never have afforded him.

  9. #9 lilady
    February 5, 2011

    I’m certain that Age of Autism and other blogs are working overtime to analyze his comments and will come up with other conspiracy theories. The trolls from those sites will be busy posting on other sites, as well. They will be engaging in their favorite game of “semantics” as well… of Bill Gates’ comments on CNN and anyone who posts in support of Gates.

    I wonder if the anti-vax crowd are checking into their investments and liquidating any of their Large Cap and Technology Funds, that are invested in Microsoft stock? If so, they should also be looking into investments that are in the Berkshire Hathaway Group (Warren Buffett’s Company) as he has given billions of dollars to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

    The big question is who will Sanjay (“I show both sides of the vaccine controversy”) Gupta have on next week.

  10. #10 Heliantus
    February 5, 2011

    I never thought I’d be praising Bill Gates, [...] not being at all fond of Microsoft, but it’s impossible for me not to in the wake of a recent interview Gates did

    Same here. I am prejudiced against big corporations in an almost-monopoly situation, but I can only praise the Gates’ for re-injecting a part of their fortune into the betterment of humankind’s health worldwide. And perhaps more importantly, for tracking the money and making sure it’s put to good use (accountability, we need more of it – and we need more finicky geeks in charge).
    If I remember correctly an article from Time magazine 5 years ago about singer Bono and the Gates’ philanthropic efforts, they are also founding research on paludism, both in labs in Seattle and in Africa.

    Re: the CNN interview, yesterday the first comments were almost all from antivax people, the famed Tony Bateson among them. I assume the usual antivax suspects followed in.

    @Phillip IV

    because [Big Pharma] could never have afforded him

    Alas, this little detail won’t stop the antivax crowd. They will just say that he is deluded (Bateson was saying so already). Or that ‘they’ don’t need to buy him, because as the founder of a big corporation, he is obviously already one of ‘them’.

    Conspiration theories are fun, for this. If you are not with me, you are obviously one of ‘them’.

  11. #11 DaveD
    February 5, 2011

    Alas, this little detail won’t stop the antivax crowd.

    How true. I’ve just been reading the comments over at cnn.com and saw the claim that Gates will make even more billions from the patents on the new vaccines he wants to develop. My guess is that the foundation will have the patents, assuming there are any, and Gates won’t realize a dime from them.

    It’s worth sampling the comments, though. Some of the pro-vax responses are hilarious. I think my favorite so far is “please put on your tin foil hat so you’ll be easy to identify.”

  12. #12 MikeMa
    February 5, 2011

    The antivax loons have tarred Gates with belonging to the Bilderberg Group on the Care2 blog covering this same topic. This as opposed to making him out to be a Pharma Shill(TM).

    Just another way to paint him in a bad light without detail, truth or understanding. One conspiracy is as good as another I guess.

  13. #13 Paco
    February 5, 2011

    Fuck Bill Gates.

    He was a criminal spoiled-child douchebag asshole monopolist for 25 years, almost singlehandedly holding back web technology progress by virtue of his collection of the worst software ever written (I’m looking at you IE and all your spawn). His serial lying and underhanded business practices can hardly be excused by saying a few correct words about an already dead topic or donating a few pennies toward causes worthy by the Great One.

    He’s a squeamy little douchbag and always will be.

    Fuck Bill Gates.

  14. #14 enigma32
    February 5, 2011

    Two people can play at the conspiracy mongering:

    I’m convinced that Jenny McCarthy and all of the others are shills for Big Insurance. Thank about that for a minute. Insurance companies have to pay money for vaccinations, and the less people get vaccinated, the less money they have to pay, even though premiums don’t decrease. So if they can get someone out there to convince people not to get vaccinated, then they’ll be charging people for insurance on medical procedures they won’t have to pay for. When was the last time an insurance company covered a homeopathic procedure? Or billed the chiropractor’s office for some bunk medical procedure?

    They’re shills for Big Insurance. The writing is on the wall for anyone with a big enough brain to see it.

  15. #15 Jokey McJokes
    February 5, 2011

    Oh man, all of these cults have a buzz factor. The power you feel knowing something of epic importance that the sheeple just can’t see. It must be awful for Bill Gates when people like We Are Change “confront” him on his “eugenics” plans. with video in public it’s alarmingly stupid.

    Don’t you know that his father was part of Planned Parenthood and this is all just part of their elite global agenda where they kill billions of people.

    It’s pretty easy to understand that women stop having as many kids when they know their children will survive thanks to medicine and vaccines. Can you imagine what would happen if we let the anti-vaccination movement take over and address the world’s problems with their ideas? Not funny!

    Loons all of them

  16. #16 MikeMa
    February 5, 2011

    @enigma32
    Nice try. The cost of caring for the vaccine preventable disease will dwarf the cost of vaccines.

  17. #17 Orac
    February 5, 2011

    Indeed. Insurance companies like vaccines that prevent serious disease. Much cheaper than paying for people who catch the disease.

  18. #18 Finn
    February 5, 2011

    Also a Mac user–and a Microsoft hater to boot–thrilled with Bill Gates’ blunt characterization of the vaccines-cause-autism bilge as an absolute lie. Huzzah!

  19. #19 Kristen
    February 5, 2011

    I am not a fan of Microsoft. I cringe at the thought of having to use Windows and Microsoft’s anti-competitive practices piss me off. That said, Bill Gates has done so much for the children of the world, saving so many from infectious disease. His foundation, no doubt, will be a big factor in eradicating polio worldwide.

    This interview is just icing. I say bravo to him for not watering down the truth like so many others have. Parents need to hear that children are dying, there is no more powerful message than ‘you can lose your child over this decision’.

  20. #20 Rick
    February 5, 2011

    Agreed.

    I am a Mac/Linux user, but I’m 100% in favor of Bill Gates and his tactic of using the truth. (And his money.)

    More.

  21. #21 Militant Agnostic
    February 5, 2011

    MikeMa @15 & Orac @16
    In your criticisms of enigma32′s blatantly flawed logic, you are forgetting that a whackaloon conspiracy theory doesn’t have to make sense. The best conspiracy theories are the one’s where the alleged conspiracy is against the self interest of the conspirators like the ones where industry x is conspiring to kill their customers so there will be fewer people buying product x.

  22. #22 jen
    February 5, 2011

    Gates saying’ all the other studies done show no connection whatsoever’ (vaccines and autism) just makes me think Bill Gates is a moron who doesn’t actually look at the studies.

  23. #23 jen
    February 5, 2011

    p.s. glad I’m a Mac user. Will stay that way.

  24. #24 Lawrence
    February 5, 2011

    Jen – seriously, Bill Gates built and ran one of the largest corporations in the world, assisting in bringing about the Internet Age & became one of the richest men in the world – because he was a moron?

    And please, please, please, point out the studies that have shown a link – and make sure you don’t include the discredited ones.

  25. #25 Medicien Man
    February 5, 2011

    Correct me if I am wrong but isn’t Bill Gates the man who once said he would like to see forced vaccination and forced population control in the name of the environment?

    Seems a little bit radical there don’t you think?

  26. #26 Lawrence
    February 5, 2011

    Except MM – he didn’t.

  27. #27 Dave
    February 5, 2011

    What’s disgusting is that Gupta even pretends this is an actual question! Gupta used to be a doctor. Now he’s one of the damn know-nothing talking heads.

    His med school: epic fail.

  28. #28 Frank Cherry
    February 5, 2011

    I find those who believe in the vaccine-autism link no less absurd than those insufferable Apple users. Both live in a Fox News type world whereby particpants continually seek a self-perpetuating worldview that excludes any reasoning to the contrary.

  29. #29 Militant Agnostic
    February 5, 2011

    @21
    My aunt had polio and had to have here knees fused so that she could walk. Get yourself a dead porcupine and put it where the sun don’t shine.

  30. #30 Joseph
    February 5, 2011

    It’s clear why this story causes anti-vaxers to turn the conspiracism up to 11. Bill Gates just can’t be a Pharma Shill. Imagine a Pharma company approaching Bill Gates and asking him to be their secret propaganda agent. What could they offer him, and why wouldn’t he blow the whistle? (Why wouldn’t anyone, for that matter?)

    Anti-vaxers can’t conceive that Bill Gates could be doing any of this because he thinks it’s a Good Thing. There has to be some nefarious motive, a master plan of some sort. Hence, the population control nonsense.

  31. #31 Joseph
    February 5, 2011

    Gates saying’ all the other studies done show no connection whatsoever’ (vaccines and autism) just makes me think Bill Gates is a moron who doesn’t actually look at the studies.

    I don’t think Bill Gates should spend his time keeping up with everything anti-vaxers publish. No one should. Those of us who do it probably see it mostly as an intellectual exercise and a way to pass the time. It’s sufficient to note that there’s not a single convincing anti-vax study that actually finds what it claims to find.

  32. #32 MikeMa
    February 5, 2011

    Frank Cherry,
    I will agree that Mac users are enthusiastic. That isn’t quite the same as buying Faux News lies day after day.

    Macs are great machines intuitively geared to the user rather than the hardware like windows boxes. The differences in UI are diminishing but would not have occurred without Apple’s innovation. I use Windoze because I have to for work. I don’t think that fixes my television channel in any way.

  33. #33 Technogeek
    February 5, 2011

    Dammit! How do I get a piece of that action? I wonder if Gates would cut me in if I switched from Mac to PC? On second thought, scratch that idea. Even a pharma shill has standards.

    Yeah, I wouldn’t want to have to use the Windows version of iTunes either.

  34. #34 herr doktor bimler
    February 5, 2011

    Correct me if I am wrong
    That has always worked so well in the past.

  35. #35 J. J. Ramsey
    February 5, 2011

    Imagine if Steve Jobs and Mark Shuttleworth (the guy funding Ubuntu) were to come out in favor of vaccines. Wonder if the anti-vaxxers would feel technologically boxed in?

  36. #36 herr doktor bimler
    February 5, 2011

    I wonder if Gates money made its way into Brian Deer’s pocket? He [...] didn’t sign anything saying that he didn’t take Tech money for the last three years.

    I am impressed by this new denial strategy: OK, perhaps an investigative journalist wasn’t paid by pharmaceutical companies to expose Wakefield, but here is some other person who might conceivably have paid him instead. And if it wasn’t Bill Gates then it could have been someone else, therefore case closed.

    if Steve Jobs and Mark Shuttleworth (the guy funding Ubuntu) were to come out in favor of vaccines

    No problem. Everyone knows that these software engineers are all detail-obsessed and have poor personal skills; therefore they are all somewhere out along the Aspergers spectrum; therefore they are promoting vaccines in order to spread autism and make everyone else like them.

    If this conspiracy theory takes off, I want credit for it.

  37. #37 Militant Agnostic
    February 5, 2011

    If this conspiracy theory takes off, I want credit for it.

    Most esteemed herr doktor bimler, I don’t think it will be credit you will be getting,.

  38. #38 rob
    February 5, 2011

    i’m all for correlation and causation. compact disc players cause autism!

  39. #39 Cath the Canberra Cook
    February 5, 2011

    I’m not a fan of Gates’ business practices, but as a philanthropist he certainly deserves praise.

    At the moment I am absolutely livid about antivaxxers, because my Mum has whooping cough. Picture a little 77-year old woman, coughing until she vomits. Thanks, antivaxxers, now go DIAF.

  40. #40 The Gregarious Misanthrope
    February 5, 2011

    @Cath

    Terrible news about your Mum, I certainly hope she recovers soon. Her case should be a reminder to us all that pertussis immunity fades after 10 years or so, so get your boosters. Also, herd immunity is critical for those too young to be immunized and those who are otherwise immuno-compromised.

    [Anti-herd immunity blather by the math-challenged in 3, 2, 1...]

  41. #41 prn
    February 5, 2011

    Two thoughts.
    1. I’m not quite so sure about the imprimatur of a guy who made his billions on perenially misrepresented, defective software, with business practices many had thought illegal. This is supposed to reassure everyone about vaccines’ “product quality” or that this is not another of Bill’s games?

    2. Gates is a math-physics kind of guy, not a chem and biology type. Harvard in 1973 was still more the classic Ivy, born to wealth, rather than the current SAT driven, more meritocratic school of today. Not that their average student was bad, just more leadership and social status oriented with some extra bucks for tuition, although Gates himself may be somewhat better represented by the current Harvard students. One might consider Bill another celebrity endorser, not a technical authority.

  42. #42 Aaron
    February 5, 2011

    pm said: “1. I’m not quite so sure about the imprimatur of a guy who made his billions on perenially misrepresented, defective software, with business practices many had thought illegal. This is supposed to reassure everyone about vaccines’ “product quality” or that this is not another of Bill’s games?”

    Isn’t this poisoning the well? Does Gates’ past have anything to do with vaccines not causing autism? Besides, Gates isn’t giving any sort of scientific analysis of vaccines. He’s representing the scientifically sound, pro-vaccine group by giving a factual summary of Wakefield’s fraudulent research.

    Surely, some people may trust Gates because of his social status, but the facts agree with his statements.

  43. #43 Agent Smith
    February 5, 2011

    Love listening to all these Apple users whine about Microsoft’s business practices, especially considering Apple is the most closed, secretive company known to mankind. Well know for creating closed systems and surrounding them with proprietary ecosystems.

    But the funniest part is, despite apple’s hipster/liberal appeal- Steve Jobs doesn’t donate a cent to charity. The only way I have heard about him spending big money was coke parties in the early 80s (my old boss attended parties with him in SF).

  44. #44 Matthew Cline
    February 5, 2011

    Love listening to all these Apple users whine about Microsoft’s business practices,

    There’s a lot of Linux users who “whine” about that without having any love for Apple/Jobs.

  45. #45 Agent Smith
    February 5, 2011

    I like linux, and I like open system I can build and tinker with.

    But, lets be frank, most of these folks are apple users that seem to feel the need to spread the good word like evangelicals.

  46. #46 Agent Smith
    February 5, 2011

    I like linux, and I like open system I can build and tinker with.

    But, lets be frank, most of these folks are apple users that seem to feel the need to spread the good word like evangelicals.

  47. #47 JG
    February 5, 2011

    Good on Gates. The conspiracy mongering is going to be a source of amusement for days. :)

    An apple user and an apple fanboy are different. An apple user bought an apple because it did what they needed in a computer.
    The irritating ones are the fanboys, who feel the need to make up all sorts of shit to boost their confidence in their purchase, and pass that on as gospel truth.

    I use windows, because just about all the software I use is for it. No other reason. I use asus because I can get a seriously nasty, powerful rig for a low price, and have it run circles around anything from dell or apple at the same pricepoint.
    When another company releases something more powerful at a lower pricepoint, I’ll switch. It’s that easy.

    Lately, I’ve been switching all my art software over to open source alternatives. Blender, and such, and they’re mostly platform agnostic.

  48. #48 adsense hack
    February 5, 2011

    Love listening to all these Apple users whine about Microsoft’s business practices, especially considering Apple is the most closed, secretive company known to mankind. Well know for creating closed systems and surrounding them with proprietary ecosystems.

  49. #49 prn
    February 5, 2011

    @41 Pasts as prologues are common concerns. There have been discussions elsewhere about tax games and other purposes for Bill’s foundation.

    As far as implied product quality and safety endorsement go, for other controversial products, Bill is simply not the guy I would chose. He is entitled to his opinion, he’s a rich celeb of note, and a generally bright college drop out that I would not associate with trust, safety or quality, based on prior history.

    If you were on trial for murder, would you want the town drunk, with a history of confabulation and thievery, to be your sole witness even if he is telling the absolute facts?

    @42 …and no telling the origin of what rotted SJ’s liver out. Hope you did not infer that I am an Apple user.

  50. #50 Simon Matthews
    February 5, 2011

    Apple users really need to get over themselves. Bill Gates is a brilliant man, much more so than the god of Apple lusers Steve Jobs.
    It’s really pathetic to see that statement at the start of this blog. Just makes you seem like a massive douche. Apple is worse than Microsoft, Bill Gates was just a much better businessman than Steve Jobs.

  51. #51 titmouse
    February 5, 2011

    WOOHOO! GOOD JORB, BILL!!!!

  52. #52 Matthew Cline
    February 5, 2011

    @prn:

    If you were on trial for murder, would you want the town drunk, with a history of confabulation and thievery, to be your sole witness even if he is telling the absolute facts?

    If you’re going to cast this as a trial, Bill Gates isn’t a witness, but an uninvolved citizen giving his opinion on the trial. And whatever role he fills, he’s far from being the sole one in that role.

  53. #53 peter
    February 5, 2011

    “Gates saying’ all the other studies done show no connection whatsoever’ (vaccines and autism) just makes me think Bill Gates is a moron who doesn’t actually look at the studies.”

    Show me the link to one study you moron.

  54. #54 JG
    February 5, 2011

    @48
    Most science software is on apple only, like flo-jo and cellquest. Or the pc port of it is half assed.

    Most scientists don’t actually have a choice of what to use. It’s mac or don’t do pcr.

  55. #55 ellid
    February 5, 2011

    @Sid Offit –

    Thank you for showing what an insulting, ignorant hack you and the rest of the anti-vaccination crowd are. Nicely done!

  56. #56 peter
    February 5, 2011

    “and a generally bright college drop out that I would not associate with trust, safety or quality, based on prior history.”

    having heard gates in discussions, he is certainly brighter than a hack like you trying to smear him.

    He is a business man formost, his actions might have been borderline, but after all – what is capitalism all about?
    That he is a dropout does make him incapable of learning? Wow, you are really an arrogant git.

  57. #57 Onkel Bob
    February 5, 2011

    Most science software is on apple only, like flo-jo and cellquest. Or the pc port of it is half assed.

    Not quite true. The frau’s Dev Bio (mostly mac) lab freaked when their old PC died. All their qPCR data was on it.

    Buy a Zeiss or Leica confocal and the controller will be a Windows machine. Bitplane’s Imaris was ported to the Mac (following Perkin Elmer’s Volocity) but it’s a turd on that platform because it needs the MS COM to port data between programs like Matlab.

    What is true is that many science programs have a Linux version, and while there is a significant learning curve to it, for certain specialties (bioinformatics & bio-imaging) the benefit is tremendous.

    Oh and bully for Bill. Yeah, I cursed his mother and father every day for those abominations known as Windows 95/98/ME (NT and 2000 were OK and I sort of like Win7), but he’s putting the money he made to good use. The Koch brothers stole much more from the public and their money doesn’t go improving the world. So bully for you Bill Gates, all’s well that ends well.

  58. #58 prn
    February 5, 2011

    He’s speaking beyond his area of natural technical interest, much less expertise. Simply because he is a very bright person, there may be confusion about exactly where his waters edge is.

    For many, his business actions were not borderline. The US is acquiring something of a reputation for corporate lawlessness greased by infinite lawyers and lobbyists as well as “too big to f/jail”.

  59. #59 Militant Agnostic
    February 5, 2011

    prn – arrogant git

    He’s speaking beyond his area of natural technical interest, much less expertise.

    Evaluating whether or not Wakefield is right should be within the technical expertise of any reasonably intelligent laymen with a basic understanding of science.

  60. #60 Landru
    February 5, 2011

    Full disclosure: I once administered a largish BMGF grant spread over several governmental and international institutions for a global health project (that bore some relationship to, but was not close to exclusively about, vaccinations).

    That said:

    -I don’t get the point of conflating Gates’ business practices (or those of the company he founded) with the quality of his philanthropic endeavors, or pretending that whatever OS we’re fanboys (and girls) of matters, in context. That said, I really hate….nah, not going there. Really.

    -prn, do you really think a guy horks up almost $14 billion on something he knows nothing about? Or manages, in the process of doing so, to learn nothing about it?

    -prn, “for many,” aliens subject innocent victims to anal probes. Cut with the innuendo–are you aware of actual U.S. crimes committed by Gates himself? I mean, your disdain for the US is clear, and you’re entitled to your opinion on that. Is US law your area of technical expertise? Okay, you hate Gates. Fine, you’re entitled. But you really, and obviously, have no idea what you’re talking about when it comes to his involvement or his level of expertise with issues on which BMGF has spent, again, billions of dollars.

    -Curse who you’d like, Onkel Bob, but it was Bill Sr. who clued Bill Jr. to the staggering importance of global health as a philanthropic thang.

    -Seriously. $14 billion. I just don’t get how anyone can sneer at that, for any reason or in any way. I mean other than antivaxxers, of course.

  61. #61 Charles
    February 5, 2011

    Now if only Bill Gates could somehow vaccinate my Windows PC…

  62. #62 eNeMeE
    February 5, 2011

    Most science software is on apple only, like flo-jo and cellquest. Or the pc port of it is half assed.

    Most scientists don’t actually have a choice of what to use. It’s mac or don’t do pcr.

    Citation needed. Not all science software is for pcr; in fact, I’d say most scientists don’t have a use for pcr.

  63. #63 Kristen
    February 5, 2011

    Militant Agnostic,

    My aunt had polio and had to have here knees fused so that she could walk. Get yourself a dead porcupine and put it where the sun don’t shine.

    I hope you didn’t mean me. I was saying it is wonderful that the Gates Foundation is doing so much to eradicate polio. It is a terrible disease that would have already been gone if not for misinformation.

    Please read my comment again. And I am sorry your aunt had to live through such pain. I hope soon no one will ever have to suffer like that again.

  64. #64 g724
    February 5, 2011

    OS agnostic here: MacOSX, WinXP, and eeeBuntu (Ubuntu variant) on my laptops plural. Gates is doing a great thing, and invidious comments about him, Jobs, et. al., are a digression.

    What to do about these anti-vax nuts: *Encourage them* and then trap them in logical double-binds:

    Go to the places where they hang out, and tell them how much you approve of what they’re doing because it will help deal with overpopulation, and also help the cause of eugenics by wiping out idiots and taking their genes out of the gene pool (plus or minus a certain amount of collateral damage …sigh).

    Tell them you feel sorry for them when their kids drop dead from measles and whooping cough, but it means more resources for you & yours, so on balance it’s OK.

    Close by encouraging them to use homeopathic remedies and crystal healing.

    Then sit back and watch the fireworks!

  65. #65 ESPness
    February 6, 2011

    I was wondering how long it would take the thread to turn into a mac v pc war.

    I use both. I’m so conflicted, what side do I take? Can I just stay out of it like Switzerland? Kudos to Mr Gates.

  66. #66 Militant Agnostic
    February 6, 2011

    kristen @64

    Of course I didn’t mean you – why would you think that?
    I was referring to a comment by Jen. A moderated comment has snuck in and changed the numbering.

  67. #67 Matthew Cline
    February 6, 2011

    I was wondering how long it would take the thread to turn into a mac v pc war.

    Since vaccines are also on topic, I want to work in a VAX pun somehow, but I’m not witty enough to pull it off.

  68. #68 Orac
    February 6, 2011

    I was wondering how long it would take the thread to turn into a mac v pc war.

    Me too, except that I’m surprised that it took as long as it did. I rather expected it from the first comment. So predictable.

  69. #69 Matthew Cline
    February 6, 2011

    @Heliantus:

    Or that ‘they’ don’t need to buy him [Bill Gates], because as the founder of a big corporation, he is obviously already one of ‘them’.

    But for that to work then the Big Vaccine Conspiracy would have to be something other than (or more than) Big Pharma maintaining their profits and preventing lawsuits. I don’t think that the “vaccines cause autism/diabetes/etc” crowd is going to join with the “vaccines are a tool of the Illuminati” crowd just so they can shoehorn Bill Gates into their “pro-vaxxers are evil” world-view; they’ll just write Gates off as being stupid/deceived.

  70. #70 Ryan
    February 6, 2011

    @ Sid Offit # 1

    Against my better judgement I took the bait and clicked on your link. As expected the link confirmed my my understanding, based on your comments on this blog, that you completely lack any understanding of vaccine science. Not so expectedly it also confirmed that you are an uncaring ignoramus as well.

    So Mr. Gates, go to Pakistan and Nigeria and Afghanistan and spend your money as you will, just give me a break with the pro-vaccine lies and propaganda when it affects me and my country.

    I must say, if I thought that vaccines were causing all sorts of unnecessary harm to children all over the world I would want to see all children protected from that harm, even the ones born in Pakistan, Nigeria, and Afghanistan.

    I must say, it’s a good thing your understanding of vaccine science is nonsense and that there are people like Bill Gates who feel it’s important that children everywhere receive good medical care, even those in the developing world.

  71. #71 Daniel J. Andrews
    February 6, 2011

    Sheesh Militant Agnostic (29), what do you have against dead porcupines? :)

    May as well jump in on the mac-pc war ‘cos they’re always fun. Gates’ products drop in price and become affordable. By comparison, that iPad in Futureshop is still the same price it was 18 months ago. Old technology, same high price, but people will run out and buy it just because it is Apple. And how many years did it take for Apple to pull its head out and listen to people who wanted a mouse with a right-click option?

    Also, don’t get me started on needing that piece of bloatware called iTunes if you want to use an iPod. True, their iPod renders sounds very well and battery life is great. After trying 4 other mp3 players and returning them, I’ve been extremely happy with the iPod outside of the iTunes issue–but am also annoyed at Gates for IE–least I don’t have to use it, unlike iTunes. :-)

  72. #72 Roadstergal
    February 6, 2011

    Most science software is on apple only, like flo-jo and cellquest. Or the pc port of it is half assed.

    FlowJo should be ashamed of their shit-tastic PC version. I have an old Mac I keep on hand soley for FlowJo because they do pretty overlay histograms. All of our CantoIIs run Diva on PCs.

    Most scientists don’t actually have a choice of what to use. It’s mac or don’t do pcr.

    PCR? All of the PCR analysis programs I use are PC.

    Good on Gates, BTW. Plenty of people make a lot of money and don’t freaking give boatloats away to make life better for some of the least fortunate people in this world.

  73. #73 titmouse
    February 6, 2011

    prn: He’s speaking beyond his area of natural technical interest, much less expertise.

    IT DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER, YOU MORON.

    Bill is summarizing the scientific consensus. Ergo, he is correct.

  74. #74 AnneS
    February 6, 2011

    Off-topic: Orac, have you read about yet another awful, useless, woo-based ‘treatment’ that’s being used on autistic children?

    http://neuroskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/01/packing-autistic-kids-french-scandal.html

  75. #75 Autistic Lurker
    February 6, 2011

    OS agnostic also here but I cringe at the various monopoly I have to deal with as (part-time) college student and business owner (btw, I’m 34 so I’m not exactly your average student…):

    dev environment:
    Visual Studio 2010 pro on windoze, 899$
    monotools plugins to develop on VS 2010 and deploy on Linux+Mono 99$

    website authoring:
    adobe web dev suite for student: 499$ (not useable for the business, not tested for asp.net)
    same suite, business version: 2499$
    MS Expression studio web 4: 149$ (barely useable for php, could be an option for asp.net but it’s hit and miss with mono on Linux)

    all prices in canucks money except for monotools and expression 4 and the reasons I have to deal with ms .net is because my college is a private college sold to MS.

    To get back on the vaccine topic, I wish MS would pitch in and give part of their sales to the Gates foundation; I would thus be more satisfied after spending the necessary dough on the aforementioned software (except adobe)

    Lurker

  76. #76 T. Bruce McNeely
    February 6, 2011

    It’s hilarious to see all these antivax trolls go on and on about Gates’ “lack of qualifications” to advocate for vaccines. What about the all the troll-bois’ qualifications? I mean, apart from boundless egotism, cement-headed stupidity, and a complete lack of concern for anyone but themselves.

  77. #77 Fabian
    February 6, 2011

    Go Bill Gates. He did a great job.

    I didn’t realise that THOUSANDS of kids have died from measles and pertussis as a direct result from the Wakefield study. That is so very sad. Wakefield had no right speaking out against the pertussis vaccine.

    Keep up the good work Mr Gates. You are a true humanitarian.

  78. #78 Silver
    February 6, 2011

    So, Bill G donates billions of his personal fortune to vaccinate and save thousands or millions of lives, which just might become a key step in finally eliminating polio forever. But still people can’t forgive him for, um, bundling Internet Explorer with Windows or something? Because that was really monopolistic and IE had crappy support for web standards and stuff? Seriously? Seriously?

    Give the man his due, he’s on the side with the good guys here, and he’s got the brains, money, and motivation to make a difference.

    Off topic:
    | Now if only Bill Gates could somehow vaccinate my Windows PC…
    Get Microsoft Security Essentials. Really, it’s good.

  79. #79 Giliell
    February 6, 2011

    Who the fuck cares about MS’s less than optimal products if talking about vaccines?
    The fact that my stupid MS Laptop drives me crazy by crashing every other day (but I suppose it’s the harddrive, so glad the semester is almost over and I can have it repaired) may cause me a bit of trouble but it certainly doesn’t cost any lives.
    Do you know what costs lives? Whomping cough. Measles. Polio.
    So, now Gates is giving back. And if he ripped all of us off a hundred bugs which are now being used to end Polio, I would think that to be a damn good investment.

  80. #80 Azkyroth
    February 6, 2011

    Anti-vax kookery: too evil and stupid even for the man responsible for the corporate culture that produced Windows ME.

  81. #81 Drivebyposter
    February 6, 2011

    Also, don’t get me started on needing that piece of bloatware called iTunes if you want to use an iPod. …I’ve been extremely happy with the iPod outside of the iTunes issue–but am also annoyed at Gates for IE–least I don’t have to use it, unlike iTunes.

    I too hate itunes and have been on a never ending quest to find something else. It doesn’t even need to be as functional as iTunes, just put music on my iPod. I’ve only had minor success so far. Xilisoft Ipod Rip isn’t terrible, but it isn’t free and rarely causes stuff to appear more than once on my ipod.

  82. #82 herr doktor bimler
    February 6, 2011

    He’s speaking beyond his area of natural technical interest, much less expertise. Simply because he is a very bright person, there may be confusion about exactly where his waters edge is.

    If I were pouring $14 billion of my own money into a technology, I would spend some time acquiring some expertise and extending my waters’ edge.

    At any rate, the issue here is whether Wakefield’s research was fraudulent, and that is the kind of question that jury members are asked to decide all the time. Not a lot of special knowledge is required to see that clinical pictures were altered to fit the desired conclusion, and that blood samples and biopsies were obtained under false pretenses.

  83. #83 conundrum
    February 6, 2011

    I nominate Bill Gates for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, for his support of many life-changing initiatives in the Third World including the fight against malaria.

  84. #84 prn
    February 6, 2011

    Now that that we’ve had an opportunity to indulge in personalities, let’s set a few things straight.

    Criticism of Gates, past or present, is not “anti-vax”. If Gates can earn his terminator acolade on the global extermination of polio, I think that would be a notch for some self defined cursus honorum.

    However, in the past some of Gates’ public facts have been very slippery. So “skeptics”, where did that shocking “thousands” of dead kids figure come from? Excess deaths (using a 1998 base) from MMR for 1999-2010 for Australia-NZ, USA, Canada and Western Europe ?? Even with DTP infections added?

    Also mere criticism of vaccine promises, politics, performance and failures is not “anti-vax”.

  85. #85 rejistania
    February 6, 2011

    @68: About the pun: Bill Gates used to work with PCs, but since then moved to VAXes ;)

  86. #86 Landru
    February 6, 2011

    prn, you continue to make assertions about Gates’ fundamental honesty/trustworthiness without backing them up or relating them to his role as a spokesperson for BMGF’s global health efforts.

    I didn’t call you anti-vax, and maybe I’m showing a lack of imagination here, because at that point, accepting your implication that you’re not anti-vaccination, it seems to me that your point is merely that you don’t like Bill Gates because he’s done some bad stuff that you’re not willing to specify.

    Is your point merely that Bill Gates is a bad person? If so, I’m not sure how your concern relates to the issue at hand–it doesn’t change the facts about vaccines’ success as a health intervention (yes, “thousands” is pretty loose, and he was ridiculously precise about the context…so what? The scale here is millions of childrens’ lives, and you want to quibble about the magnitude of the number of lost lives attributable to Wakefield’s fraud?).

    Are you saying something to the effect of, “Bill Gates is a bad person and that should be the dominating point in this discussion, but I’m not anti-vax”? I think most people here would see that for what it is. But maybe I’m being presumptuous about your message and motivation. You tell me.

  87. #87 Kristen
    February 6, 2011

    Militant Agnostic,

    Of course I didn’t mean you – why would you think that?
    I was referring to a comment by Jen. A moderated comment has snuck in and changed the numbering.

    I didn’t think you meant me, I was just worried. I am not the best with this whole “writing words” thing. I just saw your comment and as far as I could tell I was the only one who mentioned polio.

    Thank you for replying. Sorry for thinking the worst.

  88. #88 SLC
    February 6, 2011

    Re Daniel J. Andrews @ #72

    A $20 Microsoft mouse works just fine on MACs, both PPC and Intel.

  89. #89 titmouse
    February 6, 2011

    prn, repeat after me:

    VACCINES HAVE SAVED MORE CHILDREN FROM ILLNESS, DISABILITY, AND DEATH THAN ANY OTHER MEDICAL PROCEDURE HUMANS HAVE INVENTED.

    There, now *you* can enjoy being correct also.

  90. #90 machintelligence
    February 6, 2011

    On another bright note I have seen a pro vaccine billboard here in Denver. It features a picture of a healthy toddler with the question: Are You Good?
    The answer below is:

    IMmunise
    for GOOD

    Sorry, I didn’t note down the sponsor.

  91. #91 Pablo
    February 6, 2011

    Also mere criticism of vaccine promises, politics, performance and failures is not “anti-vax”.

    If people actually did that, it might be different. However, whenever I see this type of stuff, it is almost always based on strawmen and lies.

    Find the _honest_ criticism, and they are not called anti-vax. Unfortunately, they are rare compared to the liars.

  92. #92 DW
    February 6, 2011

    Mr.Gates is merely stepping out from the shadows to reveal his membership in an extremely exclusive “club”, hell-bent on WORLD domination: although we can only guess about its inner workings, I can reveal some important facts about its ruling triumvirate, plans, and MO.

    First, all are named “Bill”: Mssrs. Gates, Clinton, and Pitt ( ne- *William* Bradley Pitt)- ( they sometimes jokingly refer to themselves as the “Bill-derbergs”/ “Tri-Bill Commission”/ or “Fight Club”).They don’t talk about their club.

    Second, all have amassed great wealth ( albeit in diverse manners) and worldwide visibility, have donated incredible amounts of money to “charities” which they created, and have wives who publicly participate in world affairs, government, the UN, and “charity”. All are very convincing in their “acts”- “helping the poor”. Right.

    Last, they aim to cultivate goodwill so that their nefarious plans to rule the WORLD are barely noticed, perhaps even welcomed by the masses. A few “truth teller” rebels have warned us : Mr. Tarantino has written and directed films that hint,”Kill Bill”, Conservatives in Congress cry out, ” Who will pay the Bill for this Bill?”, a rival computer innovator has presented snarky commercials mocking one of them, and a few natural health sites on the web have gone as far as to NAME one ( or two) of them ( see Orac’s posts).

    But, you might ask, “How do you know this? Why should we trust you?” My name is *not* Bill and as an “insider”, I have “friends” in high places . Very high places. DW

  93. #93 Agashem
    February 6, 2011

    Just wanted to say it is nice to hear such unfettered honesty from Mr Gates.
    Also didn’t want some strange rambling to be the last post……

  94. #94 John Marley
    February 6, 2011

    @DW

    If you are a Poe: That was awesome.
    If you are not a Poe: Seek help. Now.

  95. #95 Giliell
    February 6, 2011

    @DW
    My money is on Poe

  96. #96 DW
    February 6, 2011

    @ 94 – call me “Edgar Allen”. I tried to illustrate how themes, concepts, and even words, are gathered together, magpie-like, and confabulated into a scenario that explains some cockamamie conspiracy or other, usually alluding to “WORLD” domination or some such. Some may say, ” You can’t make up stuff like this!”, I disagree. However, my effort has too much internal consistency to be the real thing.

  97. #97 skeptifem
    February 6, 2011

    Bill Gates is rich because he is lucky. He’ll tell you as much. He happened upon a computer in 1968 at the age of 13, his school decided to purchase one. How many kids got to use one at that time and at that age? Very, very few. He got in on the ground floor of something huge because of that chance occurance.

    Anyway, he is a nice counterpoint to the pharma shill thing, so thats good.

  98. #98 Dangerous Bacon
    February 6, 2011

    prn: “Also mere criticism of vaccine promises, politics, performance and failures is not “anti-vax””

    Being focused on the premise that Vaccines Are Bad does, in fact, make one “anti-vax”. What is it about antivaxers that they just hate having their position accurately characterized?

    Is there some unbearable opprobrium in being recognized as “anti” something? Or is it the core realization that their position is untenable, ludicrous and threatens one of the great public health achievements of all time?

    If the stigma of being called “anti-vax” is just too much to bear, think about why that should be.

  99. #99 GlaxoPharma Com Orbital
    February 6, 2011

    MESSAGE BEGINS———————-

    Shills and Minions,

    As was once relayed to me by a loyal Minion, human parents frequently have trouble with fractious yearlings in vehicles. I believe the phrases “don’t make me have to stop this cart” or “I can reach . . .” are designed to strike fear into the hearts of misbehaving younglings.

    Well, Shills and Minions, I can reach.

    This business about “Mac” and “PZ” is most tiresome and diverts us helping Mr. Gates, or as we know him, Kobol D*oss, Magistrate of the Cybernetic Kobol Enclave (if you read your SAMH-IV, you’d know who the non-human players were) with his eeeeeevil population reduction plans.

    Now really, can’t we all just get along? The rebels never sleep so we must keep our battleclaws sharpened and at the ready. And speaking of being ready, the ladies down on level 3 would like feedback on whether or not they should retrieve and envat the rebel called “prn” for a countermeasure drone. Might it be too subtle? I know you enjoy the more obviously bonkers models like the “jen” and “ginger” units. And we registered your displeasure with the more extreme “wackosphere” models and your sense of pity for some of the more tiresome, overdue for retirement models like “dr. smart” and “sid o.” Would more subtle units be a challenge or torpor-inducing?

    Please fill out a HDX7 form with your input, the techs do appreciate it and delight in keeping you fast, deadly and, of course, entertained.

    Evidently the industrious Miss Flinders will continue tapping me on the crest with her stylus until I remind all Shills and Minions that next weekend is the third annual Orbital Command Pappy Puff-Adders’s Old-West Days and Phuntime Pharma Jamboree™ at the old Imperial Vortex Generation Base in Sedona. I hope you’ve all notified Cindy as to what you’re bringing and if you require transit to what will surely be the highlight of the PharmaCOM social calendar year.

    Let us put aside this nattering whose toys are better and get back to the job at hand: total Glaxxon PharmaCOM dominion of this tiresome little backwater. Riches and luxuries await you, my hominid helpers! Now get back to work, the Grand Magus of the Arcturan Semblance has declared war on homeopathy and he must be obeyed.

    Stay sharp my Minions, stay sharp!

    Lord Draconis Zeneca, VC, iH7L

    PharmaCOM Orbital HQ

    0010101101001

    —————————————— MESSAGE ENDS

  100. #100 Fakrudeen Ali Ahmed
    February 6, 2011

    Great man!

    I would trust Mr. Gates over these people anytime. He is alreay [very very] rich, famous etc. What he has to gain by misleading someone?

    About Mr. Gates not having credentials to talk about vaccination, If only these people spent 90% of their money on developing countries’ health efforts and then talked about his credentials …

    As for his [lack of] intelligence, why don’t these people build the equivalent of Microsoft and then talk? It was a great company [particularly in his time] and people vote with their money buying their great software like windows and office even now.

  101. #101 prn
    February 6, 2011

    A potential problem with Gates is his lack expertise to determine the unknown cause(s) of autism. Also I don’t think anyone says he is unintelligent, he appears to be an extremely sharp games person.

  102. #102 prn
    February 6, 2011

    @87
    I didn’t call you anti-vax
    Yes, your words have been civil, even lawyerly. Other posters here cumulatively imply the anti-vax part, or said so, pretty directly (e.g. #77).

    Gates’ fundamental honesty/trustworthiness
    I am not sure how old you are that you have had real time observation of the Gates saga, but many who have witnessed Gates and Microsoft’s rise would get up and walk away from you right there, if they were being polite. Misrepresentations seem to have been popular from the start.

    For my part, I once mildly admired Gates, he had humbled IBM, which into the 80s had some pretty nasty habits, and in sort of a “revenge of the nerds” way, was very financially successful, yet managing his expenses conservatively, while making clunky me-too but inexpensive software available to the masses, and despite a few emergent warts, seemingly an overall positive story.

    To the extent that Microsoft was an extension of Gates, re-establishing public trust for those with any memory may be a non-trivial item. For example, I remember the Astroturfing campaigns online by Microsoft employees and associates.

    The scale here is millions of childrens’ lives, and you want to quibble about the magnitude of the number of lost lives attributable to Wakefield’s fraud?.
    Yes, I do “quibble”. Americans find repeatedly over the generations, the bigger and more powerful an individual or organization is, the higher the standard that they should be held to. Seemingly small descrepancies flowing from powerful entities often don’t bode so well for bystanders and other participants.
    “…pretty loose” has been an ongoing issue for Gates, or his direct employees, long after he ceased to play bit parts in the economy.

    Nothing we say here should alter Gates’ determination and drive for his goals.

  103. #103 Chris
    February 6, 2011

    prn:

    A potential problem with Gates is his lack expertise to determine the unknown cause(s) of autism.

    But the science consensus is that it is not vaccines, and his concern is getting vaccines to areas in need. He is also not relying solely on his own expertise. That is why the Gates Foundation as a Global Health Program Leadership Team. Ever hear of William Foege?

    I keep seeing his name in books I have been reading lately. First it was the biography of Paul Farmer (Partners in Health, Haiti clinic), Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder, then in Inside the Outbreaks by Mark Pendergrast, and finally in Offit’s Deadly Choices. Why do you think that is? Why would he be part of the Gates Foundation?

  104. #104 DocD
    February 6, 2011

    Maybe if Steve Jobs and Linus Thorvalds to support vaccines, we could get the anti-vax’ers to stop using computers… ;-)

  105. #105 Linda
    February 6, 2011

    I thiink you’d also like this article: http://views.washingtonpost.com/leadership/light/2011/02/is-bill-gates-wrong-about-polio.html?hpid=smartliving

    The writer keeps his eyes on the prize: it’s not about fighting antivaxers. It’s not about autism. It’s about ERADICATING POLIO.

  106. #106 Antaeus Feldspar
    February 6, 2011

    A potential problem with Gates is his lack expertise to determine the unknown cause(s) of autism.

    A problem with this “potential problem” is that it assumes the false premise that Gates has to know what the unknown cause(s) of autism are in order to have any knowledge what they are not.

    One does not need any particular expertise to be aware of the predictions made by the believers of the thimerosal hypothesis, that autism (said by some to be nothing more than a misdiagnosis for mercury poisoning) would drop drastically if not disappear entirely once thimerosal was removed from most vaccines. One does not need any particular expertise to know that these predictions were falsified when the near-elimination of thimerosal from the whole of the vaccine schedule did not produce any noticeable decrease in autism rates. One does not need any particular expertise to know that believers in the thimerosal hypothesis behaved like fanatics and ideologues rather than pursuers of truth and dreamed up all sorts of paranoid and preposterous “rationales” to try and rescue their failed hypothesis (such as David Kirby’s idea that cremation of bodies with amalgam fillings and toxic plumes wafting over to California from Chinese power plants were creating a net increase in mercury exposure.) And one does not need any particular expertise to be aware that this story has repeated over and over with nearly every variant of the “vaccines cause autism” meme.

    It seems to me that you are putting the burden of proof in the wrong place: when did you ever ask David Kirby, or Dan Olmsted, or Barbara Loe Fisher, or J.B. Handley, where they got the “expertise to determine the unknown cause(s) of autism”? Unlike Bill Gates, they actually do claim to know those causes, and claim to know that the welfare of children will be better served by leaving them vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases, as long as it doesn’t subject them to the (completely unproven to exist) autism risks of vaccines. One would think that you would be subjecting their claims to a bit more skepticism, that is, if you’re not “anti-vax.”

  107. #107 trrll
    February 6, 2011

    I’ve never been a great fan of Microsoft’s products, and I’ve often felt that Microsoft’s cutthroat business practices were less than ethical. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that Bill Gates is a brilliant man and one of the great businessmen of our time.

    I am happy to see that Gates has turned his great talents to the area of public health. Even in the field of information technology, Gates is largely self-trained, and from my perspective as a biomedical researcher, he has been equally successful in acquiring the knowledge needed to apply his financial resources for greatest benefit. In particular, I’ve been impressed by his ability to identify areas of great need that are not well served by commercial and government-supported biomedical research, which tends to emphasize the needs of the developed world over those of poorer nations, and where private philanthropic investment is likely to benefit the greatest number of people. There is no doubt that expanding vaccination in underdeveloped parts of the world is one of those “sweet spots.”

  108. #108 Linda
    February 6, 2011

    “No problem. Everyone knows that these software engineers are all detail-obsessed and have poor personal skills; therefore they are all somewhere out along the Aspergers spectrum; therefore they are promoting vaccines in order to spread autism and make everyone else like them.

    “If this conspiracy theory takes off, I want credit for it.”

    Ha! BTW, I bet some of the peeps who actually are pro-Aspergers will accuse Gates of selling out to neurotypicals for having enough social skills to care about protecting children from polio.

  109. #109 Prometheus
    February 6, 2011

    prn serves up white-hot irony:

    (#59)”He’s speaking beyond his area of natural technical interest, much less expertise. Simply because he is a very bright person, there may be confusion about exactly where his waters [sic] edge is.”

    Jenny McCarthy? Jim Carrey? Mark Blaxill? Dan Olmsted? These names ringing any bells? With a few exceptions, all of the anti-vaxers have zero expertise in science, let alone medicine or biology. Not to mention that they aren’t that bright.

    Then prn shows a complete lack of fundamental reasoning skills:

    “A potential problem with Gates is his lack expertise to determine the unknown cause(s) of autism.”

    To being with, we don’t need to know the cause(s) of autism to know that some things don’t cause autism. Of all the proposed causes of autism, vaccines have been studied the most and (wait for it) they haven’t been found to be associated with autism.

    Secondly, Bill Gates doesn’t need to know how to find the cause(s) of autism to know that the scientific research to date has failed to find a vaccine-autism connection any more than I need to know how to build a car engine in order to know which race-car crosses the finish line first.

    Finally, the irony created by this comment, as it relates to the “usual suspects” promoting the mythical “vaccine-autism connection”, is utterly incandescent. And the irony of this statement in the context of Andrew Wakefield is hotter than quark plasma.

    Andy Wakefield has no idea what causes autism. His research (such as it is) has historically been focused more on “What diseases can I pin on the MMR vaccine?” than “What causes autism?” (or “What causes Crohn’s disease?”). I suspect that if it hadn’t been for the desperate devotion and hero-worship of the parents who follow him, Andy Wakefield would have pivoted to yet another disease to blame on the MMR vaccine.

    Prometheus

  110. #110 Heliantus
    February 6, 2011

    @ Matthew Cline

    I don’t think that the “vaccines cause autism/diabetes/etc” crowd is going to join with the “vaccines are a tool of the Illuminati” crowd

    I am not totally sure about this. There is already some overlap between the two groups (especially among the leftist part, well at least where I growned up). Beside, I was not thinking of the “Illuminati” crowd, but merely of the comparatively more sane “wary of multinational corporations” crowd. Something on the line “thieves stick together”.

    But I agree. The easiest way for antiwaxers will be to dismiss Bill Gates as ill-informed.
    As it has been seen on this thread, actually.

  111. #111 RoyceA
    February 6, 2011

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2011/02/on-vaccines-and-autism-gates-and-gupta-are-an-odd-pair.html here’s the reply to the interview from the site.. haven’t had time to have a look at it. but way to go gates.

  112. #112 AnthonyK
    February 6, 2011

    Screw the idiot trolls: Bill Gates is correct. As, indeed, the doughty commenters, and Orac, have said. Whatever his culpablility for windows ME (do vaccines cause ME, I wonder – Bill is suspicously quiet on this point) and, which is why he’s one of my great heroes, he is prepared to use so much of his money to help the world’s poor. I mean $10 billion to combat malaria: brilliant!
    And isn’t it ultimately true that autism is, in fact, a disaese of the rich?
    Or am I going too far?

  113. #113 Joseph
    February 6, 2011

    And isn’t it ultimately true that autism is, in fact, a disaese of the rich? Or am I going too far?

    @AnthonyK: Not exactly. Kids from more affluent families (and those who live near urban areas) have better access to diagnosis services, but evidence suggests that the condition of autism exists pretty much at the same rate in all races and socioeconomic conditions.

    Case in point: 1.07% prevalence in a semi-rural area of Sri Lanka (after thorough screening, of course.)

  114. #114 Landru
    February 6, 2011

    prn @103

    I’m five years younger than Gates. And I should admit now that I despise the death of the command line, which he helped to bring about through his arrogation of Jobs’ arrogance.

    I don’t think that we have to agree or disagree about Gates’ and Microsoft’s business practices to admire the extent of his commitment to global public health in general and vaccination in particular. Taking in good faith, of course, your implication that you’re not anti-vaccination. The closest I can get to understanding your point is that you seem to be complaining that the ends don’t justify the means. If that’s accurate enough, I argue that the ends are what they are. Gates putting his money where his mouth is ends my concern about how he made his money.

  115. #115 drksky
    February 6, 2011

    @landru #115

    I’m five years younger than Gates. And I should admit now that I despise the death of the command line, which he helped to bring about through his arrogation of Jobs’ arrogance.

    I hate to tell you this, but the command line is alive and well. I use it every day to great effect.

  116. #116 Sid Offit
    February 6, 2011

    @Fabian

    I didn’t realise that THOUSANDS of kids have died from measles and pertussis as a direct result from the Wakefield study.

    You didn’t realize it because it never happened.

  117. #117 prn
    February 6, 2011

    @101-115
    Folks, I’m not against Gates and BMGF freely distributing approved vaccines to poor countries. Wiping out polio, great. Malaria vaccine research, great.

    I am concerned what he’s trying to trying to sell us now, when he makes any public statements. Many simply do not trust him. I am not sure of his underlying personal goals stateside, and question every statement that comes out of his mouth as to veracity and intent. Because he is smart and wealthy with a long history of self serving games and slippery statements, one might take note of actions and statments that may confer more power and influence to him.

    If the past is prologue, Gates putting his money anywhere will have impact and that automatically raises concern. We are wrestling globally with growing security problems from architectural choices he knowingly made over a dozen years ago for small commercial advantage. We are going to live with sequlae from Gates, his unknown plans, and his influence for a long time.

    Gates piling on with loose statements like “thousands…died” doesn’t help my discomfort and distrust levels.

  118. #118 prn
    February 6, 2011

    @107 …when did you ever ask David Kirby, or Dan Olmsted, or Barbara Loe Fisher, or J.B. Handley
    Who said I cared ? Just because someone asks for a copy of a waste disposal plan doesn’t make them a member of Greenpeace or Earth First!, does it?

  119. #119 prn
    February 6, 2011

    @110
    Jenny McCarthy? Jim Carrey? Mark Blaxill? Dan Olmsted?…ring any bells
    I’ve seen at least two of them in the movies?

    To [begin] with, we don’t need to know the cause(s) of autism to know that some things don’t cause autism. Of all the proposed causes of autism, vaccines have been studied the most and (wait for it) they haven’t been found to be associated with autism.

    Vaccines do cause injuries and inflammatory responses. The vaccine arena is heavily politicized. Afaik, “haven’t been found to be significantly associated with individuals’ autism over a multiyear test period of an individual, in a simple single factor, by less than disinterested parties” might be a more accurate statement. Some of the less subtle adverse reactions are in the 3rd and 4th deviations to start with. Extracting significant results good to two more standard deviations even with a single factor is a non trivial task with crude test and partly subjective evaluation means.
    —–
    I won’t be surprised to see a two or three factor model eventually emerge, where some fraction of the unvaccinated susceptibles, without prophylactic procedures for 1-2 factors, simply get zapped 2-3 years later anyway. For both the unvaccinated population and for vaccine administration, focusing on mechanisms, biomarkers, and cheap, simple prophylactic procedures may be more productive, as well as relentless vaccine improvements.

  120. #120 Bruce Gorton
    February 7, 2011

    Microsoft, is actually less evil than Apple, and always has been. Its just that it is the historic big-fish in the market.

    Think about it, which company had one of its factories have to install nets – in order to avoid allowing its employees the sweet release of death? It wasn’t Microsoft.

  121. #121 Bruce Gorton
    February 7, 2011

    Posted by: prn | February 6, 2011 11:47 PM

    Vaccines do cause injuries and inflammatory responses.

    Which is a bit like saying breaking your leg makes your arm hurt. There are side effects to vaccines, and allergies to the preservatives in them exist and get this, recorded by the self-same groups of people you call “less than disinterested”, however the symptoms in these cases are not related to autism.

  122. #122 Anne
    February 7, 2011

    Linda, were you assuming that our more offensive “let the poor brown kids die” trolls are “pro-Aspergers” or were you just making a bad joke at Aspies’ expense?

    When people in the neurodiversity movement complain about the emphasis on “social skills,” we mean the emphasis on making children feel unwanted and broken if they are socially awkward or can’t read others’ facial expressions. We’re not saying we shouldn’t care about other people; we’re just not that good at recognizing other people’s emotional states. But anyone can figure out that dying or being paralyzed by polio are bad, and that preventing that suffering is good.

    As an autistic person whose mother was a polio survivor with post-polio neuralgia *and* autism, I am very glad Bill Gates has taken on the challenge of ending polio around the world–and of openly confronting the anti-vaccination lies.

  123. #123 Anne
    February 7, 2011

    Forgot to include that I am a Mac and Android user who hasn’t been a Microsoft fan or admired the way Bill Gates does business.

    Maybe I should shift my perspective: he plays to win. That can be a very good thing when the object is a laudable public health goal instead of just making money. But, it turns out at least some of that money was the means to the better goal.

  124. #124 herr doktor bimler
    February 7, 2011

    I won’t be surprised to see a two or three factor model eventually emerge, where some fraction of the unvaccinated susceptibles, without prophylactic procedures for 1-2 factors, simply get zapped 2-3 years later anyway.

    Are you proposing that vaccinations do precipitate autism in some vulnerable infants, but those infants would have become autistic anyway because of some later precipitating event? The proposal at least has the advantage of being untestable.

    It has the disadvantage, however, that the brain changes that cause the developmental pathway we call ‘autism’ have already happened by early infancy. No-one “gets zapped 2-3 years later” and suddenly turns autistic.

  125. #125 Candy
    February 7, 2011

    Maybe if Steve Jobs and Linus Thorvalds to support vaccines, we could get the anti-vax’ers to stop using computers… ;-)

    This gave me joyful giggles! Thanks!

  126. #126 dt
    February 7, 2011

    Actually for the first time ever, I find I agree (sorta) with a Sid Offit post when he corrects Fabian (citing Bill Gates) for saying “THOUSANDS of kids have died from measles and pertussis as a direct result from the Wakefield study”.

    Wakefield was merely one catalyst in the antivaccine primordial soup. His own claims have not “directly” killed “thousands” from measles and pertussis as BG implied. They have indirectly contributed to a situation where parents feel scared to vaccinate because they cannot appreciate that failing to vaccinate is riskier for their child. I doubt whether on a global basis 99% of people who haven’t vaccinated their kids have even heard of Wakefield.

    The blame for the deaths (however many that comes to) is spread very widely, and rests more with the bubble-headed celebrities like JMcC and co and the media hysteria fostered and encouraged by the various antivaccine organisations than it does “directly” with Wakers.

  127. #127 dt
    February 7, 2011

    Just to clarify – it was Fabian who said “thousands” died directly , and not Bill, who actually said “many”.

    And Sid is right only in that Wakefield did not “directly” result in thousands of deaths. I am disputing the attribution of blame, but not the eventual numbers.

  128. #128 Fabian
    February 7, 2011

    Huh? Maybe my hearing is wrong because I thought Bill said thousands have died. Either way, a hell of alot of children have died because of Wakefield. There’s no denying that!

  129. #129 Adam
    February 7, 2011

    I use Microsoft operating systems and while I have thoroughly disliked Bill Gates at times and his company, I am in complete support for this statement. Anti-vaxxers are peddling lies that have killed kids.

  130. #130 Lawrence
    February 7, 2011

    When Bill says “thousands” have died, he’s taking a much larger worldview than just speaking about the US & Western Europe. The bulk of his money is going to vaccine programs in the third world, where many of these diseases are still endemic & do continue to contribute to high death rates among infants and children.

    The Imans in Nigeria, who claim that the polio vaccine is the work of Devil Jews & meant to steralize good muslims, got a big helping hand when Western anti-vaxers were given equal or even more time to spread their own anti-corporate blatherings.

    Gates is spending money in areas where most governments are either unable or unwilling to act – “humanitarian aid” isn’t what it used to be, especially if it isn’t seen as fighting terrorism & in this case, I’m very happy that Gates has stepped up to the plate and doing something extremely positive with his money.

    If he can in fact, eradicate Polio worldwide, that will be one less vaccine that our grandkids will need to get – isn’t that something even the AoA people can get behind (one less vaccine necessary?).

  131. #131 Jud
    February 7, 2011

    prn writes:

    Harvard in 1973 was still more the classic Ivy, born to wealth, rather than the current SAT driven, more meritocratic school of today. Not that their average student was bad, just more leadership and social status oriented with some extra bucks for tuition, although Gates himself may be somewhat better represented by the current Harvard students. One might consider Bill another celebrity endorser, not a technical authority.

    Oh please do get a clue.

    There’s a test that at least back in the day was given nationwide to high school seniors who show promise in math (I’m close to Bill’s age – not sure about whether the test is still around, or how schools opt in or out of having particular students take the test). I took it, and 90% of it was utter Greek to me. My best friend, the smartest person I’ve ever known – he got a perfect score on his math SATs and has had astrophysics experiments on Hubble – took it, and never heard back from anyone. Bill Gates scored in the top 20 in the USA.

    Also, this from Wikipedia:

    In his sophomore year, Gates devised an algorithm for pancake sorting as a solution to one of a series of unsolved problems presented in a combinatorics class by Harry Lewis, one of his professors. Gates’ solution held the record as the fastest version for over thirty years; its successor is faster by only one percent. [Citations omitted.]

    And as for your other theory, equally well supported, that he’s just “a math and physics type” – yeah, so he wouldn’t be good at other sciences, and especially not at anything involving knowledge of the wider world, like for instance business.

    Prat.

    “Celebrity endorser” indeed.

  132. #132 Cambrico
    February 7, 2011

    In spite of the many problems and stupid leader in my latin american country, I am glad to see mothers and fathers of low income coming everyday to vaccinate their little children in an Public Health Center near my work: polio, measles, mumps,everything. And no idiotic antivaccines propaganda from any place. When I was a child the only vaccines available were smallpox and polio. Lather I got BCG and Yellow Fever vaccine, thanks to a Health Ministry campaign of vaccination in schools. But I got sick with mumps, measles and other preventable diseases in elemenatary school. Measles was the worst. 45 years latter I still remember days in bed with fever over 40oC. My sister got it too and has to be hospitalized for 24 hours.
    Conclusion: I vaccinated my kids against everything and totally agree that an antivaxxer is a dangerous moron.

  133. #133 Antaeus Feldspar
    February 7, 2011

    @107 …when did you ever ask David Kirby, or Dan Olmsted, or Barbara Loe Fisher, or J.B. Handley

    Who said I cared ?

    You did, when you intimated that Bill Gates might not have sufficient expertise in the “unknown cause(s) of autism” to dispute their fixation that vaccination is primary among those causes.

    If you start asking whether Party A has the credibility necessary to refute Party B’s charges, it’s dishonest to then turn around and ask “When did I ever say I found Party B credible??”

  134. #134 jim
    February 7, 2011

    I’m going to make a few comments at random, because I’m too late to get in on the ground floor of this discussion.

    This of course goes to show that the world is not divided into good people and evil people, and you can’t categorise them based on where they stand on your hot button issue of the moment. Not that the anti-vaxxers and the anti-Microsofties won’t try, of course. The predatory practices of Microsoft are well known, but the Gates’ own charitable work is praiseworthy.

    I’m sure Steve Jobs is in favour of science-based medicine, given that it’s keeping him alive right now. Torvalds and Shuttleworth I don’t know about, but I expect there’s a good chance they’d be on the pro-vax side, given that they aren’t damn fools.

    And I did like that comment from Dachel about “the only thing [pro-vaxxers] are sure of”. Imagine I’ve lost my keys. Dachel suggests they might be on the hall table. I look on the hall table and they aren’t there.
    “Look again.”
    “I looked. They aren’t there.”
    “Well you obviously know nothing about finding stuff. All you know is that they aren’t on the hall table.”
    “That’s because I already looked there.”
    “HALL TABLE DENIALIST!”

    Does that sound like a rational person? I’d hate to be an anti-vaxxer. They must never find anything they lose, because they keep looking over and over again in the first place they think of.

  135. #135 Gray Falcon
    February 7, 2011

    Does that sound like a rational person? I’d hate to be an anti-vaxxer. They must never find anything they lose, because they keep looking over and over again in the first place they think of.

    And then they demand to know why the pharmaceutical companies are hiding their keys. (Sorry, had to be said.)

  136. #136 squirrelelite
    February 7, 2011

    @jim 136,

    Interesting comment.

    It reminds me of what I do when I can’t find something important that I misplaced.

    My rule is, “if it’s not where you expect it to be, it could be anyplace.”

    In other words, if you can’t find it where you expect it to be, you probably left it someplace unusual, so look in unusual places.

    What real science does is to try looking to find something.

    What the antivaxers want scientists to do is keep going back to the box (or table) and look there again because that’s where it’s supposed to be.

  137. #137 Raging Bee
    February 7, 2011

    A potential problem with Gates is his lack expertise to determine the unknown cause(s) of autism.

    I’m sure there are plenty of people who DO have the required expertise, who would be happy to answer all of Gates’ questions, with or without expecting to be paid for their trouble. Trust me, dude, when you’re as rich and important as Bill Gates, you WILL have access to all the expertise you need, in any field.

    Bill Gates doesn’t have the chops to do vaccine research himself; but that doesn’t mean he can’t understand what vaccine researchers are talking about.

  138. #138 prn
    February 7, 2011

    @132 Jud
    Thanks for the detail, you didn’t change a thing. Bill is good great at math, had a fantastic HS and sinistral genes.

    Bill got a C+ in Organic, even before Harvard started its NMF recruitment. At a school that even 50 years ago, pre Vietnam grade inflation, had 50+% graduate with honors, distribution-wise, a C was more like an F.

    Maybe Bill was just bored, but I’ve met a lot of people that were asymetrically good at Math/Phys or Chem/Biology, and completely sucked at the other. Even complementary siblings.

    Btw, a lot of the good Math/Phys, not so good Chem/Bio students, were called CompSci and/or EE majors.

    Bill should do great at game theory on polio’s last great snipe hunt. However, I still have my doubts about his independent authority on experimental biological matters, where I’ve seen 30+ in a room try to gang bang one orphan, and lose hands down. Ignorant suits and experimental often don’t mix well.

  139. #139 prn
    February 7, 2011

    @134
    No, I simply addressed Bill as an original source, deciding things with “expert eyes”, or not. The others you mention, don’t even register.

    The reason I mention this, is that there are exceptional people who can reach out, against all informed odds, and expert naysayers, change the technical world. I’m thinking of another Harvard dropout, Edwin Land.

  140. #140 a-non
    February 7, 2011

    Let me distill this meandering comment thread into something everyone can understand.

    1. Bill Gates is very smart.
    2. Bill Gates founded a company that engaged in some questionable business practices over the years.
    3. Bill Gates is correct about the vaccine-autism link.

    Thank you.

  141. #141 Wow
    February 7, 2011

    “I deplore Microsoft’s thousands of jobs, billions in taxes, infrastructure improvements and philanthropy”

    Humour.

    Except

    Thousands of jobs: compared to thousands of jobs that would be employed if software wasn’t so expensive (per seat) because of CALs.

    Billions in taxes: that MS don’t pay in the USA because of the loopholes. Oh, and the expense of purchasing CALs for government work…

    Infrastructure improvements: Wha?

    Philanthropy: The only reason why he isn’t richer now than he was before he stated he was going to give away all his money is because the US Dollar tanked. And that’s YOUR money he’s philanthroping away. Also note that many of his charitable works have a sting in the tail: purchase of MS products. OK, at a mark-down from retail, but still highly profitable.

    That said, his direct and straightforward stance here IS worthy. But he could have said the same whether he was philanthroping or not, so that stature hasn’t got a lot to do with it.

    PS:

    “1. Bill Gates is very smart.”

    Not really. He was aggressive and ecumenical with the truth and that, tied with his parents huge wealth and connections gave him Microsoft. NOTE: the works he’s done in Microsoft aren’t smart. Remember the internet is a fad? Or are the early editions of his book no longer available?

    Smart? Yes.

    Very smart? I don’t think so. Could be wrong, but there’s not a lot of evidence for VERY smart.

  142. #142 Calli Arcale
    February 7, 2011

    Somewhat offtopic, but if this AFP article is correct, that flu vaccine breakthrough is on the way. We heard a while back about researchers developing a vaccine targeting the more evolutionarily stable portions of the virion. Now they’ve apparently produced a vaccine and tested it on actual people, and it appears to have worked. Not sure how close they are to a vaccine that can be mass manufactured, or how well it protects against the actual flu, but it’s exciting all the same.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110207/wl_uk_afp/britainhealthfluvaccine

  143. #143 Matthew Cline
    February 7, 2011

    @prn:

    … independent authority on experimental biological matters, where I’ve seen 30+ in a room try to gang bang one orphan, and lose hands down.

    What?

  144. #144 Todd W.
    February 7, 2011

    @Calli Arcale

    Very cool. Did you happen to find any links to published studies on it?

    Next area of research that would do lots for the promotion of vaccines: needleless immunization.

  145. #145 Mike from Ottawa
    February 7, 2011

    C’mon you vaccine vampires, it’s obvious that vaccines cause autism. Let me spell it out for you in simple steps so that even hired tools of the vaccine industry can understand:

    1. Something causes autism.

    2. Vaccines are something.

    3. Therefore, vaccines cause austism.

    QED

  146. #146 prn
    February 7, 2011

    or,
    3a. In BMGF’s endemic disease areas, large net benefit carries the day. Fresh public health progress can be made easily.
    4. Inadequately addressed vaccine reactions and injuries in mature, low incidence areas may be being given short shrift, and the prospective psychological backlash threatens existing progress. Especially unfortunate if there were cheap, potential public health answers waiting in the wings.

  147. #147 Raging Bee
    February 7, 2011

    prn: if you can’t point out any specific instance where Bill Gates is actually WRONG about something, then your attempts to question his expertise are nothing but empty insinuations. Seriously, if he didn’t make an obvious mistake, then what’s your problem, exactly?

  148. #148 Matthew Cline
    February 7, 2011

    @prn:

    Especially unfortunate if there were cheap, potential public health answers waiting in the wings.

    There are cheap public health answers that would obviate the need for vaccination?

  149. #149 Jud
    February 7, 2011

    prn writes: Thanks for the detail, you didn’t change a thing.

    And why, exactly, should I expect to change the mind of someone who is still looking for the studies that will provide statistical evidence of a vaccine-autism connection? Because after all, none of the scientists who’ve done studies on hundreds of thousands of children so far has been smart enough to perform anything but “crude test[s],” certainly not sufficient to detect anything so very complex as a “two or three factor model.” ‘Cause medical researchers would never be familiar with disease causation models that involved something so horribly complicated that it actually had two or three factors involved!

    Sounds like these guys could use some math help from Bill Gates.

  150. #150 Antaeus Feldspar
    February 7, 2011

    @134
    No, I simply addressed Bill as an original source, deciding things with “expert eyes”, or not. The others you mention, don’t even register.

    Except you are still putting the burden of proof in the wrong place, insisting that Gates does not have sufficiently “expert eyes” to debunk the vaccines-cause-autism idea but evading the question of why it should need to be debunked at all.

    You would surely never say that the evil-hexes-placed-by-witches-cause-autism idea is so compelling that Bill Gates would need to have “expert eyes” to debunk it, because the idea is not very credible on the face of it. Why do you regard the vaccines-cause-autism idea as so credible, by contrast, that it’s the obligation of Gates and others to debunk the idea, rather than the obligation of VCA believers to substantiate it?

  151. #151 herr doktor bimler
    February 7, 2011

    Next area of research that would do lots for the promotion of vaccines: needleless immunization.

    Big Pharm has showed little interest in my invention of the anti-flu suppository.

  152. #152 Vicki
    February 7, 2011

    In other words, Bill Gates took and passed organic chemistry. Most people haven’t done so; a C is evidence of rather more learning than never taking the course at all.

    Did the people you’re trusting as experts pass with better than C’s, by the way? Did you? (I will freely admit that I never took college-level chemistry; I claim no expertise here.)

    For that matter, a C might also make have taught Bill Gates that this is a difficult subject, and worth consulting experts on.

  153. #153 Jud
    February 7, 2011

    @Vicki -

    Bill Gates quote about the relationship of that C+ to what he does now:

    Well, I love science, and my favorite course in high school had been inorganic chemistry. You were supposed to take Chem10 [at Harvard], which is inorganic, and then take organic. But I knew [inorganic], because I had an incredible chemistry teacher in high school….So I loved inorganic, but then I didn’t like organic. There are certain ironies to that, because now in my foundation work, I am spending all sorts of time reading medicine, and biology, and stuff like that, but that’s my C+ there.

  154. #154 Chris
    February 7, 2011

    prn, have you figured out who William Foege is yet? Why is he on this page, and what does it have to do with Bill Gates?

  155. #155 Linda
    February 7, 2011

    “but evidence suggests that the condition of autism exists pretty much at the same rate in all races and socioeconomic conditions.

    “Case in point: 1.07% prevalence in a semi-rural area of Sri Lanka (after thorough screening, of course.)”

    The screening’s thorough enough to screen out behaviors that look and sound like autism but come from other factors (like not being able to make friends because your parents tell you to spend all your waking hours studying instead, or not caring what other people think because you believe the hype even though you’re *able* to care what other people think), right?

  156. #156 Linda
    February 7, 2011

    “Linda, were you assuming that our more offensive “let the poor brown kids die” trolls are “pro-Aspergers” or were you just making a bad joke at Aspies’ expense?”

    Making a joke at the expense of jerks who diagnose themselves with Asperger’s in order to accuse the rest of us of discrimination for not wanting to be friends with people who are unfriendly to us, not wanting to date people who turn us off romantically, etc., of course. ;)

    “As an autistic person whose mother was a polio survivor with post-polio neuralgia *and* autism, I am very glad Bill Gates has taken on the challenge of ending polio around the world–and of openly confronting the anti-vaccination lies.”

    I agree with you!

  157. #157 Linda
    February 7, 2011

    BTW, I wasn’t “assuming that our more offensive “let the poor brown kids die” trolls are “pro-Aspergers”” but of course it is a *possibility* if not a *likelihood*.

    I’m reminded a bit of the response to an episode of the making-fun-of-everyone Something Positive webcomic. As the artist/authir said in his blog at http://kobold.livejournal.com/667559.html :

    “My imitation of my current inbox:

    “‘Randy made fun of the physically disabled! Ha ha! Cranky cripple! Oh, Randy’s making Alzheimer’s jokes! Hehehe! Oh, a SIDS comic! HA!… ‘Putting the ass in Aspberger’s’? … that horrible, insensitive son of a bitch! I HAVE ASPBBERGER’S!’

    “Yeah, not everyone’s freaked out – but there’s been more than a few.”

  158. #158 Pieter B
    February 7, 2011

    I hadn’t heard anything about this:

    which company had one of its factories have to install nets – in order to avoid allowing its employees the sweet release of death? It wasn’t Microsoft. [Bruce Gorton @121]

    So I Googled it. It wasn’t Apple, either:

    A “suicide cluster” formed at the main iPod assembly factory as nine workers have committed suicide this year and 30 other suicides have been prevented in the past three weeks alone. Foxconn is the Taiwanese company, also known as Honhai, which manufactures Apple’s iPhone and iPod, as well as goods for just about every major technology company, including Sony, Nintendo, HP and so on.

    Foxconn has been plagued by a series of suicides at its plants, particularly at the enormous Longhua plant where over 400,000 people work

  159. #159 LW
    February 7, 2011

    “There are cheap public health answers that would obviate the need for vaccination?”

    Well, yeah. Letting children get sick and live or die as fate would have it is quite cheap.

  160. #160 AnthonyK
    February 7, 2011

    “but evidence suggests that the condition of autism exists pretty much at the same rate in all races and socioeconomic
    “Case in point: 1.07% prevalence in a semi-rural area of Sri Lanka (after thorough screening, of course.)”

    The screening’s thorough enough to screen out behaviors that look and sound like autism but come from other factors (like not being able to make friends because your parents tell you to spend all your waking hours studying instead, or not caring what other people think because you believe the hype even though you’re *able* to care what other people think), right?

    Mmm, yes. Clearly my original remark about autism being a “disease of the rich” was tongue in cheek (and btw, why do people, including me, protrude their tongue while concentrating?) but what research – including reasonable diagnostic criteria – has been done on non-us socities? 1% diagnosed autism in rural Sri Lanka seem high to me, but then I can be ignorant. What exactly, if anything, does autism mean in “less developed” societies? Are we talking village idiot, or medicine man, or simple nonsense?

  161. #161 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 7, 2011

    One note that probably does not need to be said.

    Bill Gates is an intelligent man who is doing very good things with his money. He has said some things very directly and openly that are consistent with current knowledge. As a person who has done more than casual investigation of the issues around health and vaccination, he’s worth listening to.

    He’s not a primary source, though.

  162. #162 Gopiballava
    February 7, 2011

    @Pieter:

    My understanding was that the suicide rate at FoxConn was below the rate in the general public. They have 400k employees at that factory – there are bound to be some suicides with that many people.

  163. #163 prn
    February 8, 2011

    @148 He muddies the waters in nearby areas of iatrogenic concern.
    @149 Clarification. Cheap answers that might make vax administration a little more platable to some concerned or marginal patients, maybe even some “anti-vax” members. And improve herd health and/or immunity.
    @150 the thing about subpopulations and significance requirements in large scale tests, is that vulnerable minorities can easily get lost, and iatrogenically ignored, without a clear set of biomarkers in use. The incremental perceived value is a lot different when 1 in 10 might die of an infectious disease vs 1 in 10 million, or less. OPV became a victim of its own success in the US.
    @151 Gates is enthusiastically supporting his agenda and he doesn’t want fallout from followers of Wakefield. Narrowly presented, “autism” appears to miss the general issue, hence easy to “debunk”. Wakefield is, of course, toast. However 3rd world demagogues don’t need Wakefield, they can just make it all up, whole.

    Gates’ statements seem to minimize / collide with the general idea of inadequately addressed vaccine sequelae, where there are pertinent biomarker claims that remain untested and credible.
    @153 although Harvard has produced some outstanding organic chemists, and major level organic is further than 90+% of the population, in 1973-4 a terminal C from Harvard is not a glowing testimonial for expertise, or even grad/med schools. It certainly puts a crimp in achieving that glittering 3.9 BCPM that can open doors to the next level.
    @154 Great, he can follow the conversations w/o crapping on the floor too often. Will he have independent vision and insight, choose well those that do, or just become the fatted calf with a ring through his nose? Laugh at me, but the latter is precisely the job of VPs, Deans and college “development coordinators”.
    @155 good for WF, he found the ultimate deep pocket for support, I’m happy for him. A 2nd time is pure gravy on the virus extermination trail – his mission would appear to have very little to do with iatrogenic vaccine injury debates in advanced countries.
    @160 daisychain-multi Xerox effects on remarks@149 re:#120, 147 . I am saying that there may be already known (proposed), cheap answers for some vaccine adminstration and injury issues sitting unused and unstudied. Orphaned generic technology.

  164. #164 Jud
    February 8, 2011

    prn writes:

    @150 the thing about subpopulations and significance requirements in large scale tests, is that vulnerable minorities can easily get lost, and iatrogenically ignored, without a clear set of biomarkers in use.

    Yeah, and clearly none of the medical researchers who’ve done these studies is smart enough to take account of the objections that your thoroughgoing knowledge of the subject allows you to raise.

    I’ll stop now, sarcasm takes too much energy over a prolonged period.

  165. #165 prn
    February 8, 2011

    When someone shows up with a new instrument, previous experts often look a little hollow, even if they can bludgeon or starve the competition out.

  166. #166 Antaeus Feldspar
    February 8, 2011

    @151 Gates is enthusiastically supporting his agenda and he doesn’t want fallout from followers of Wakefield. Narrowly presented, “autism” appears to miss the general issue, hence easy to “debunk”. Wakefield is, of course, toast. However 3rd world demagogues don’t need Wakefield, they can just make it all up, whole.

    Gates’ statements seem to minimize / collide with the general idea of inadequately addressed vaccine sequelae, where there are pertinent biomarker claims that remain untested and credible.

    Ah, so your answer to “what makes the vaccines-cause-autism idea so credible that it requires expertise beyond that which Bill Gates can command to debunk it is that unnamed parties somewhere sometime said something that sounded like ‘credible.’”

    Do you realize that I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt by supposing that the first paragraph from you I quoted above is just a confused mass of gobbledygook that doesn’t mean anything, that you injected into the discussion as a squid injects its ink into the waters, in an effort to baffle pursuers?

    That’s giving you the benefit of the doubt, because otherwise the meaning of that paragraph seems to be “Oh, well, if it comes to the issue of whether vaccines cause autism, that’s pretty much an issue that has no one reputable behind it, although that doesn’t stop lots of disreputable people from pushing it. But autism is only one of an infinite number of awful health consequences that might be caused by vaccines.” And that would be really, really dishonest from the person who claimed that Bill Gates needed to know more about the “unknown cause(s) of autism” than he did in order to fulfill the goals of the Gates Foundation. Why not just say “Oh, well, Bill Gates might not be the right person for this work, because he has not yet unlocked every single medical mystery in the whole damn world, leaving not a single one that can be blamed on vaccination even by the most ignorant?” Besides, of course, the fact that the gambit would be blatantly obvious to all as an example of the Nirvana fallacy.

  167. #167 Jud
    February 8, 2011

    By the way, for anyone not particularly wanting to spend time translating prn’s polysyllabics –

    “Biomarkers” have recently been popular with those Galileos of autism research, the Geiers. (Fortunately, there are real researchers working in this area. See, e.g., http://autism.mit.edu/ .) Biomarkers are objective indicators of the presence/absence of a medical condition, and such indicators are being sought for autism spectrum disorders.

    “Iatrogenic” simply refers to complications or adverse side effects (in this case from vaccines).

    “Sequelae” are pathological conditions resulting from a preceding injury.

    So what prn is apparently saying is that previous large scale studies of vaccination and autism, which have relied on subjective diagnoses of autism, have not been adequate to find autism caused by vaccines.

    For this to be true, autism following from vaccine injury would have to be significantly under-diagnosed as compared to autism resulting from any other cause. Of course you can see how this might be possible, since parents who allege vaccine causation are always going on about how difficult it was to see any change in their kids post-vaccination…oh, wait.

  168. #168 prn
    February 8, 2011

    I am not specifying autism, that is Jud repeatedly just putting his biased words in my mouth. Rather, many of the various vaccine complaints have potential commonality in their roots, also observed by legitimate, recognized researchers for long generic therapies.

    I actually come into this discussion following the biomarkers themselves from other important medical conditions unrelated to vaccines, from work spread across decades and recognized in other industrialized countries.

    The ignorant, non-investigatory hostility of some comments here is pretty amazing.

  169. #169 Matthew Cline
    February 8, 2011

    @prn:

    I am saying that there may be already known (proposed), cheap answers for some vaccine adminstration and injury issues sitting unused and unstudied.

    So you’re saying “I have no idea if such things exist, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they did”? Or do you have some concrete examples?

  170. #170 Jud
    February 8, 2011

    prn writes:

    I am not specifying autism, that is Jud repeatedly just putting his biased words in my mouth. Rather, many of the various vaccine complaints have potential commonality in their roots, also observed by legitimate, recognized researchers for long generic therapies.

    Cool, what are the other diseases/conditions?

    Oh, and what are “long generic therapies” (as opposed, presumably, to short generic therapies or long brand-name therapies)?

  171. #171 Matthew Cline
    February 8, 2011

    @prn:

    Rather, many of the various vaccine complaints have potential commonality in their roots,

    Do they have “potential commonality in their roots” because they’re all vaccine complaints, or is it something more than that?

  172. #172 Heliantus
    February 8, 2011

    @prn

    The ignorant, non-investigatory hostility of some comments here is pretty amazing.

    Well, you want to send us chasing wild geese, and you get surprised that people are answering in essence “what the heck is he talking about?”.

    Example:

    I am saying that there may be already known (proposed), cheap answers for some vaccine adminstration and injury issues sitting unused and unstudied. Orphaned generic technology.

    What answers? Where? By who? Plants extracts, vitamins, orbital strike, Obiwan Kenobi?
    How do you want us to consider your opinion if you don’t give us data? Not a full cut-and-paste, mind you, a link will be enough.

    @ Jud

    those Galileos of autism research, the Geiers.

    Ah, the Geiers. I cannot resist repeating the immortal words of Mephistopheles O’Brien:
    “I knew Galileo. Galileo was a friend of mine. You, sir, are no Galileo.”

  173. #173 prn
    February 8, 2011

    Histamine buildup, in addition to its toxicity reactions, is associated with a large fraction of metastatic adenocarcinomas, where it can be transformative due to stimulation of VEGF production. Histamine can be attacked a couple of ways very cheaply with specific generics, dramatically in a large fraction of cases, and yet, largely ignored, unadvertised, unsupported in cancer treatments.

    Although histamine itself is a biomarker, other therapy related biomarkers suggest very high, perhaps quantitative success in some advanced cancers for several dollars per month, vs $10-20-30,000 per month with much less performance at 5 and 10 years. Researched and documented by a shocking number of researchers and MD-PhDs, but not in the US.
    —–
    Many of various anecdotes that the vaccine injury stories cite would be consistent with histamine toxicity, realizing other potential factors may operate, too. I’ve seen lengthy academic research citing vaccine related histamine toxicity, prophylaxis and treatment. Again cheap, untested on a large scale, ignored and/or derided without substantsive basis.
    ——-
    There is another cheap biomarker, and proposed prophylatic treatment, much more recent and speculative, but interesting in for susceptibility to mental illness including autism, in the secosteroids.

  174. #174 Heliantus
    February 8, 2011

    @ prn

    Although histamine itself is a biomarker, other therapy related biomarkers

    I happen to work on finding cancer biomarkers. After a few years in the field, I feel like giving up, because most of the promising biomarkers we found in our pilot studies are either not confirmed, or worse are common to so many illnesses to the point of being useless for monitoring and even more for targeting it for therapy.
    Of course, not every scientist is as mediocre (or pessimistic) as me. Some biomarkers have been found.
    I would be curious to read about histamine and the other biomarkers you are talking about. Do you have any reading to recommend?

  175. #175 Jud
    February 8, 2011

    Hmm, does this stuff about “histamine toxicity” have something to do with http://www.whale.to/a/pdf/geier.pdf ? If not, can you provide a cite or two, which shouldn’t be hard with the “shocking number” of researchers you claim have documented it.

    There is another cheap biomarker, and proposed prophylatic treatment, much more recent and speculative, but interesting in for susceptibility to mental illness including autism, in the secosteroids.

    Ah yes, see http://www.bmj.com/content/326/7380/71.1/reply , implicating…wait for it…MMR vaccine as part of the chain of causation with “the secosteroids,” meaning, in lay language, Vitamin D.

    prn, this has the problem I mentioned before: If MMR plus Vitamin D caused increased incidence of autism, then one would see an increased incidence of autism in studies of hundreds of thousands who’ve had MMR vs those who haven’t. No such increased incidence occurs. QED. Done. Dead theory.

  176. #176 Antaeus Feldspar
    February 8, 2011

    I am not specifying autism, that is Jud repeatedly just putting his biased words in my mouth.

    Ah, so when you said “A potential problem with Gates is his lack expertise to determine the unknown cause(s) of autism” you weren’t specifying autism; that was someone else putting words in your mouth? Interesting.

  177. #177 lol
    February 8, 2011

    I love how many are bitching about microsoft, even if you reeeeally hate ‘em, it doesnt really matter.

    If the devil would offer you a cure wouldn’t you take it?
    well, kinda bad example, he’d probably take your soul. Wait…

    … is that what They’re doing?

  178. #178 prn
    February 8, 2011

    @175 The commercial carbohydrate markers, CA19-9 and CSLEX1, for sialyl Lewis A and X, respectively, tie to the histamine problem and specific antihistamine therapy, with multiple anticancer effects. It’s an ongoing research subject in Japan and occurs under several monikers for the source related antibodies (e-selectin, FH6, SLEX, CD15s etc) with lots of MD-PhD involvement. Latest, Sato (2010). Also, earlier, Matsumoto (2002), shocking result.

    @176 Jud, I did not tie MMR to secosteroids for autism, I noted this as a more recent, very speculative proposal, and cited without the vax part. Until we see calcidiol blood data populating tests upwards of 90 mg/ml, vs 10-20-30 mg/ml, we will know someone isn’t even trying to find the useful calcidiol range.

    “Shocking”, are the Japanese papers with CSLEX1 and CA19-9 biomarkers on adenocarcinomas, using the specific antihistamine.

    Grier – histamine?? Clemetson is a more appropriate, actual researcher for histamine level control in ob-gyn, pediatrics, and an improved minimum protocol for vaccination.

  179. #179 Jud
    February 8, 2011

    prn writes:

    Jud, I did not tie MMR to secosteroids for autism, I noted this as a more recent, very speculative proposal, and cited without the vax part.

    You tied secosteroids to autism; you’re correct that you didn’t bother to note that your source tied secosteroids (Vitamin D) and autism to MMR (or the Geiers). I found that out for myself.

    Clemetson is a more appropriate, actual researcher for histamine level control….

    Clemetson had a prestigious career. However, his papers on histamine were published in Medical Hypotheses, described as a “fringe journal” in Wikipedia. He blamed histamine and childhood scurvy for brain bleeds others attributed to shaking babies. In turn he blamed vaccines and infections for elevated histamine levels.

    The only citations I saw to these papers were by Dr. Harold Buttram, familiar to readers of this blog, Jim Carrey (ditto), and others at whale.to and similar sites.

    Once again, were Dr. Clemetson’s theories regarding vaccine causation correct, we would see the results in the large scale statistical studies. We don’t. Nada. Bupkes.

    Sorry, prn, citation of the “usual suspects” and no valid objections raised against the large scale studies means no reason to credit your argument.

  180. #180 Chris
    February 8, 2011

    Jud:

    The only citations I saw to these papers were by Dr. Harold Buttram, familiar to readers of this blog, Jim Carrey (ditto), and others at whale.to and similar sites.

    Obviously the reason prn does not link to his sources is that we know who the usual suspects are, and Buttram is infamous for his support of a baby murderer.

    I always wonder when these guys cite “histamines”, “inflammation”, and other supposed effects of vaccines: why do they think a child would fare better with the actual disease?

  181. #181 prn
    February 9, 2011

    There you go again, Jud and Chris. (Un)just trying to lump me in with the “anti-vax”, creating false “positions” for me, out of whole cloth.

    Both of you are so wrapped in MMR, anti-vax wars, personalities, and presumptions, I have a hard time following you. Or communicating with you. You are off, stuck in a rut about irrelevant celebs, failing to keep with current science or read links accurately.

    @181 Chris
    cite “histamines”, “inflammation”, and other supposed effects of vaccines
    Clemetson cited vaccine researchers and vaccine designers themselves on histamines, inflammation and reactions from decades ago.

    why do they think a child would fare better with the actual disease?
    Neither Clemetson nor I said, “Don’t vaccinate”. I would say look, and proceed with caution, have a backup plan a la Clemetson and others, to mitigate any coterminal illness or reactions. However, as science and technology mature, other immunogenic options may evolve, there are veterinary patents on glycans for an immune stimulation type of “immunization”.

    @180 Jud
    you didn’t bother to note that your source tied secosteroids (Vitamin D) and autism to MMR (or the Geiers).
    Some world class conclusion jumping there, Jud. I am actually looking at current researchers like JJ Cannell, Adit Ginde, and Elisabeth Fernell (news) concerning autism related linkage and prophylaxis treatments.

    The secosteroids currently run hot and heavy in science. Turns out there were/are multiple errors and a general lack of valid, replicable medical studies for over half a century, where physician practices were simply 1-2 orders of magnitude off on recommendations concerning either the general population, or identifiable segments of the population.

    In turn he blamed vaccines and infections for elevated histamine levels.
    Unlike almost everyone else, Clemetson published histamine measurements and carefully researched prior data.

    [Clemetson]…his papers on histamine were published in Medical Hypotheses” yes, exiled to the publication fringe, sort of like the shabby treatment of Sakharov, Clemetson had sufficient character to communicate his research despite the hacks and naysayers.

    were Dr. Clemetson’s theories regarding vaccine causation correct, we would see the results in the large scale statistical studies.
    Conclusory statements. That’s not exactly how science works, Jud. In fact, Clemetson left us histamine critera for checking with to identify possible vaccine associated injuries, but is apparently ignored in ignorant or biased Cargo Cult Science quality of papers.

  182. #182 prn
    February 9, 2011

    There you go again, Jud and Chris. (Un)just trying to lump me in with the “anti-vax”, creating false “positions” for me, out of whole cloth.

    Both of you are so wrapped in MMR, anti-vax wars, personalities, and presumptions, I have a hard time following you. Or communicating with you. You are off, stuck in a rut about irrelevant celebs, failing to keep with current science or read links accurately.

    @181 Chris
    cite “histamines”, “inflammation”, and other supposed effects of vaccines
    Clemetson cited vaccine researchers and vaccine designers themselves on histamines, inflammation and reactions from decades ago.

    why do they think a child would fare better with the actual disease?
    Neither Clemetson nor I said, “Don’t vaccinate”. I would say look, and proceed with caution, have a backup plan a la Clemetson and others, to mitigate any coterminal illness or reactions. However, as science and technology mature, other immunogenic options may evolve, there are veterinary patents on glycans for an immune stimulation type of “immunization”.

    @180 Jud
    you didn’t bother to note that your source tied secosteroids (Vitamin D) and autism to MMR (or the Geiers).
    Some world class conclusion jumping there, Jud. I am actually looking at current researchers like JJ Cannell, Adit Ginde, and Elisabeth Fernell (news) concerning autism related linkage and prophylaxis treatments.

    The secosteroids currently run hot and heavy in science. Turns out there were/are multiple errors and a general lack of valid, replicable medical studies for over half a century, where physician practices were simply 1-2 orders of magnitude off on recommendations concerning either the general population, or identifiable segments of the population.

    In turn he blamed vaccines and infections for elevated histamine levels.
    Unlike almost everyone else, Clemetson published histamine measurements and carefully researched prior data.

    [Clemetson]…his papers on histamine were published in Medical Hypotheses” yes, exiled to the publication fringe, sort of like the shabby treatment of Sakharov, Clemetson had sufficient character to communicate his research despite the hacks and naysayers.

    were Dr. Clemetson’s theories regarding vaccine causation correct, we would see the results in the large scale statistical studies.
    Conclusory statements. That’s not exactly how science works, Jud. In fact, Clemetson left us histamine critera for checking with to identify possible vaccine associated injuries, but is apparently ignored in ignorant or biased Cargo Cult Science quality of papers.

  183. #183 Chris
    February 9, 2011

    Yeah, prn will always say “I didn’t say to not vaccinate”, but will pull out the basic anti-vax arguments. When you are found citing Buttram, you are revealed to be a contrary troll and will be ignored.

    Next time, if you don’t want to be ignored actually post the journal, title, date and author of what study you are referencing. Don’t make us chase down your sources, and to make it much easier: never cite Medical Hypothesis.

  184. #184 Jud
    February 9, 2011

    prn writes:

    [Quoting me] were Dr. Clemetson’s theories regarding vaccine causation correct, we would see the results in the large scale statistical studies.

    [Responding] Conclusory statements. That’s not exactly how science works, Jud.

    Oh, man. C’mon, do you really need it laid out for you why this is not a “conclusory statement” but a simple fact? OK, here, follow along:

    - Clemetson says vaccines cause histamine elevation cause autism. It’s a chain of causation, right? So where the “cause” (vaccines) is present to a greater degree, the “effect” (autism) must also be present to a greater degree, if the hypothesis regarding the chain of causation is correct. If, on the other hand, the hypothesized “cause” is present to a greater degree, but the hypothesized “effect” shows no increased incidence whatever over study populations of hundreds of thousands, the hypothesis is thereby conclusively shown to be incorrect. It has expired, it has joined the choir celestial, it is an ex-hypothesis.

    Or, to put things in even simpler terms – if Clemetson says vaccines (acting through histamine) cause autism, but it has been shown vaccinated and unvaccinated children have equal rates of autism, then what accounts for all the autistic children among the unvaccinated?

  185. #185 Anonymous
    February 9, 2011

    “I’m sure Steve Jobs is in favour of science-based medicine, given that it’s keeping him alive right now. ”

    Maybe now, but he has a bit of an anti-western medicine history, what with his zen-budhism and veganism. Apparently it took some time to persuade him to have surgery when he was diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer, and initially embarked on a special diet to thwart the disease. Surgery saved his life though, and I suspect changed his perspective of medicine.

    Amazing how brilliant people, and even brilliant technical people, can be anti-evidence in some ways.

  186. #186 Antaeus Feldspar
    February 9, 2011

    [Clemetson]…his papers on histamine were published in Medical Hypotheses” yes, exiled to the publication fringe, sort of like the shabby treatment of Sakharov

    Oh goody! The Galileo gambit! If Clemetson can’t get his papers published anywhere other than the infamous Medical Hypotheses, it’s not because his work doesn’t rise to the quality demanded by every other journal other than MH; it’s because he’s (chant it all with me, folks, you know the words) A Maverick Scientist Oppressed By The Establishment! Just like Andrei Sakharov!

    … Well, except for the fact that it was the government that was censoring Andrei Sakharov, and they would not have allowed him to publish in any journal. In contrast, if Clemetson can publish in Medical Hypotheses, but can’t get published in any of the journals that practice peer review, the explanation is almost certainly that his work isn’t good enough to convince his peers.

  187. #187 Narad
    February 9, 2011

    Maybe now, but he has a bit of an anti-western medicine history, what with his zen-budhism and veganism.

    I assume that by “zen-budhism” you are referring to some sort of internalized faddish psychic mush that corresponds to an “anti-western medicine” stance?

  188. #188 prn
    February 12, 2011

    @184 C- you are found citing Buttram
    Wrong again, I did not cite Buttram, don’t know of him, don’t care enough to even look him up. Perhaps Buttram cited sound bites from Clemetson. Yeah, I temporarily forgot DNFT, now I’m going to need the rabies vaccination.

    if you don’t want to be ignored
    With you, I prefer to be ignored. Sometimes I err and don’t ignore purblind harangues.

    actually post the journal…Medical Hypotheses
    I don’t have access to Med Hypotheses. Clemetson’s positions were built and published in a number of places. Probably the first I saw, was in the 1970s-80s in the news; most recently, in BMJ Responses.

    @185 Jud Clemetson says vaccines cause histamine elevation cause autism
    Clemetson associated histamine with adverse reactions more broadly, whether pre-existing histamine buildup for various sources/reasons, contributed from a series of events including vaccinations. He recommended to avoid administering vaccinations with pre-exisiting illness for this reason, or at least, repleting histamine caused depletions for reduction of histamine to avoid sequelae in general. Clemetson vaccinated kids.

    @187 AF The Galileo gambit…Maverick Scientist Oppressed By The Establishment
    Clemetson spent several decades assembling his real, recognized elemental data, frequently used against “alternative medicine” proponents. But now derided here, hmmmm. Although I am not that versed in the vax wars, I can’t say I’ve seen any data directly addressing, and refuting, some of his points. He, and I, are not being quoted correctly here. Perhaps the anti-vax literature is “over recruiting” his work, but I am pretty sure he is not being correctly criticized here, either.

    There are a number of areas in “regular” US medicine where large histamine buildups, even with frank pathology, are not being addressed, well if at all. Been there.

  189. #189 a-non
    February 12, 2011

    @189

    Although I am not that versed in the vax wars

    For someone “not versed” in the topic, you’re sure good at parroting the anti-vax talking points.

  190. #190 prn
    February 12, 2011

    you’re sure good at parroting the anti-vax talking pts
    I have the distinct impression someone keeps substituting or adding the “autism” to everything that I say. That’s not me, “parroting”; that’s several someones persistently putting the words into my mouth.

    The histamine part I’ve discussed, part of the histamine story, taken outside of the autism debate drama, is pretty basic stuff. Some of the vaccination contraindictions Clemetson talked about decades ago are standard now, part of the vaccine manufacturers’ insert warnings. Guess it’s Clemetson’s parts that are not required labeling that are still resisted, or attacked ad hominem ad infinitum, like here.

  191. #191 Mark Jay
    August 5, 2011

    Bill Gates is an idiot about vaccines. Basic public health measures are the proven disease preventer. Vaccines cause only harm and a myriad of long term and short term health problems. They impair maybe permanently the normal detoxification processes of the organism. It is an attempt to suppress what is thought to be an attack but what in actuality is the remedial response in the form of a
    s e l f – l i m i t i n g spike in purification or temporary purge which should be facilitated (by resting, clean water, cleanliness, fasting or semi-fasting) not fought (poisoned, killed, suppressed, thwarted).

    It’s just another rich fool juicing exactly the wrong thing, and inadvertently injuring and damaging countless lives.

    So a say to Bill Gates, “Stay out of it, grow up, and seek therapy for your horrendous miseducation!”

  192. #192 novalox
    August 5, 2011

    @mark jay

    Necro much, troll?

    Also, have any citations for your “assertions”

  193. #193 Chris
    August 5, 2011

    Mark Jay:

    Basic public health measures are the proven disease preventer.

    Have you even been to the Gates Foundation website, like the this one: Water, Sanitation & Hygiene?

    Also, you need to work on your basic knowledge of disease and vaccines. Sanitation does not work respiratory diseases like measles, diphtheria, pertussis and Hib. Japan and the UK have seen increased incidence of measles and mumps. What is the more probable reason, reduction of vaccination or sanitation?

  194. #194 lilady
    August 6, 2011

    Hmm, a multi-facet, multi-tasking troll, I see.

    I lost him after “the normal detoxification processes”. It is astounding that he tosses into his word salad each and every fallacy about disease prevention, disease process and disease treatments.

    Novalox, has this “poster” decided to post here…seven months after the thread shut down, because Jacob and his sock puppets have been excluded now?

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