Respectful Insolence

Seven years…

Seeing Martin’s mention that he’s hit the sixth anniversary of his entry into the awoke a vague sense of unease in me. It was that sort of unease that one gets when one realizes that he’s forgotten something but can’t quite remember what it is that he’s forgotten.

Then it came to me.

Somehow, some way, I had missed my very own seventh anniversary of starting this blog, which was last Saturday. Yes, seven years ago, on a gray and dismal Saturday in December, something possessed me to start a Blogspot blog (these days, if I were to start a new blog, it would be WordPress) and then to generate my first post, a manifesto of sorts. Strangely enough, seven-plus years later, I’m amazed at how true I’ve more or less stayed to the original manifesto. True, over the years I’ve come to “specialize” in that medical topics dominate my blog subject matter, but I haven’t abandoned general skepticism here and I do from time to time branch out.

Back when I started this blog, it was basically a whim, a flight of fancy, the thought being, “Well, I’m tired of sparring on Usenet. Why not see if blogging’s more satisfying.”

Given that seven years later I’m still at it, obviously it was. As I enter my eighth year, thanks for reading.

Comments

  1. #1 missmayinga
    December 16, 2011

    Congratulations, Orac~
    Here’s to….well, actually, it would be a much nicer anniversary gift if all the cranks just up and disappeared, but since that seems pretty unlikely, here’s to seven more years of snark!

  2. #2 MikeMa
    December 16, 2011

    Cheers Oraac. This is the 2nd or 3rd anniversary I’ve seen you celebrate. Enjoyed the education from you and the other remarkable commenters.

    To celebrate, and because I know you have nitpicking, I wont mention Bloagspot.

    Seven more years please:)

  3. #3 MikeMa
    December 16, 2011

    Damn, that should have been ‘hate nitpicking’ but that really says it all, yes?

  4. #4 TonyManU
    December 16, 2011

    As a daily ‘lurker’, many thanks to you, Orac, for the incredible insight that you provide.

  5. #5 Denice Walter
    December 16, 2011

    Well, I’ve always believed that you can judge the quality of a man.. or a box of blinking lights.. by the enemies he ( it) makes, so let’s see:
    those who make a handsome living bilking cancer patients,
    those who commit scientific fraud that results in a decrease in vaccination rates and an increase in disease,
    those who chemically castrate children for no reason,
    those who seek to integrate spurious nonsense into medical curricula,
    those who sell supplements as cures for everything,
    those who spread mis-information through the television or internet,
    -snip-
    and last and certainly not least, those who are not fans of David Bowie (shame on them.)

    Orac, you are as perspicaious as you are perspicuous, truly the bane of woo-meisters far and wide, and you have that whole writer-ish-ness thing going for you ( replete with all the benefits and risks thereof- and you know perfectly well what I’m talking about so you watchit there Mister Doctor!)…
    Best Wishes!
    DW

  6. #6 biopunk
    December 16, 2011

    All praise to the indulging of whims!

    Thanks for writing.

  7. #7 Jojo
    December 16, 2011

    Your minions thank you.

  8. #8 Andreas Johansson
    December 16, 2011

    I’d congratulate you, but first, where the ¤”¤&#”¤”&& is my monthly pharma shill paycheck?!?

  9. #9 lilady
    December 16, 2011

    Congratulations Orac! Just keep serving your heavy doses of Respectful Insolence for your minions to enjoy.

    @missmayinga…but, we have so much fun with the cranks, trolls and loons.

  10. #10 Liz Ditz
    December 16, 2011

    And I think I’ve been reading you for almost the whole time….

    Cheers! Here’s to seven more!

  11. #11 Chris
    December 16, 2011

    What is scary is that I made sure to read comments on the misc.health.alternative newsgroup by Orac many years ago on Usenet!

  12. #12 ArtK
    December 16, 2011

    Thank you, Orac, for a regular dose of sanity in an insane world. One of my commitments to myself is to learn something new every day, and your writing has helped me meet that goal.

    Here’s to many, many more!

  13. #13 sirhcton
    December 16, 2011

    Passionate Perspex Promulgator of Science,

    Congratulations and continue the good work!

  14. #14 usagi
    December 16, 2011

    Thanks for sticking with it and being so consistently good at it.

  15. #15 Acleron
    December 16, 2011

    Congratulations and well done!

  16. #16 Doris D
    December 16, 2011

    Many thanks, Orac, for all of the enlightening and entertaining columns.

    My only question; when exactly do you sleep?

  17. #17 Renate
    December 16, 2011

    Congratulations with your blog. I love to read it. Now if I only could get rid of those nasty Action Script failure messages.

  18. #18 Anton P. Nym
    December 16, 2011

    Congrats, Orac! Here’s to many more years of insolence.

    — Steve

  19. #19 Epinephrine
    December 16, 2011

    Thanks for all the hard work; hope to read many more critiques of irrational thinking and quackery. Keep blinking, you cranky old computer.

  20. #20 alison
    December 16, 2011

    happy bloggiversary & may you have many more :-) Thanks for the great writing, Orac.

  21. #21 Sock Puppet of the Great Satan
    December 16, 2011

    “Well, I’m tired of sparring on Usenet. Why not see if blogging’s more satisfying.”

    I remember your contributions to refuting holocaust denier trolls on alt. revisionism. They were great. I remember getting deep in the chemistry of iron cyanides in discussions to refute the holocaust deniers.

    But after David Irving got his clock cleaned in court, holocaust deniers on alt.revision devolved from being wilfully ignorant morons unable to rationally debate to just cut’n'paste merchants who didn’t even pretend to debate, just hit-and-running in threads.

  22. #22 Les
    December 16, 2011

    Congrats Orac. Been keeping up with you for years and hope to do so for many more to come.

  23. #23 Science Mom
    December 16, 2011

    Thank you for your contributions to the sceptical blogosphere. You are one of my inspirations for countering the anti-vax lunacy.

  24. #24 Adam G
    December 16, 2011

    Congrats, Orac!

    I’m a Geneticist who’s lurked here daily for going on 5 years now. Your writing has inspired me to be active in taking on the claims of many local woo-peddlers…out here in Seattle there’s quite a woo pandemic. Keep up the amazing work, here’s to the next 7 years and beyond!

  25. #25 Th1Th2bot
    December 16, 2011

    Read Orac, is a consequence of the Russian vaccine seatbelt analogy. Orac is a soft-bristle toothbrush and scrub them to see.

  26. #26 Karl Withaky
    December 16, 2011

    With the exception of the ordering of those topics, that post could pretty much just as easily be written today.

    It’s pretty remarkable when a blog survives for more than a year. I’ve seen plenty of other great ones die on the vine or go idle and drop to the occasional post a month or quarter. To maintain the volume and quality level you have is admirable indeed.

    I’ve never managed to do half of what I originally intended to do with my insignificant little blog. When Fringe finally goes off the air, my blog may wither away unless a new show can provide just the right balance of science and woo (with an enjoyable show)to make regularly Deconstructing it worthwhile. It’s hard to be disciplined enough to make time to blog if there’s no deadline/ time line driving you.

    Here’s to you and all that you do!

  27. #27 medrecgal
    December 16, 2011

    Congrats on another blogiversary, Orac! This was one of the first handful of blogs I found, and I’m still a faithful reader because I love the “no baloney” stance that underlies so many of the posts. This blog might be “old” by internet standards, but there’s always something interesting to come back for. Keep up the good fight against the craziness, Orac!

  28. #28 Black-cat
    December 16, 2011

    Orac, Thank you for your stick-to-it-ness. I have only been a reader for a short time but have caught up on most of your blogs. I found your blog when I was researching Robert O Young as a breast cancer patient. Someone told me he had the cure and I needed to find out who this miracle “doctor” was and your blog was number four in my google search. Boy did I learn about Robert O Young after reading your blog. I have learned so much about real science and quackery from your blogs. You have no supplements to sell and you are not plugging any books or tapes. How unusual. You just seem to care about sick and innocent people being scammed. That’s your only motive. You are a remarkable man and this world would be a better place if we had more oracs.

  29. #29 novalox
    December 16, 2011

    Congrats on your seventh year blogging.

    Here’s to many more years of laying down the insolence.

  30. #30 Black-cat
    December 17, 2011

    Orac, you have also sent me on a quest to help others that are victims or quakery and prosecute quakes.

    A women that I barely knew that lived one mile away from me was a victim of quakery. I saw her last year and she asked me why I chose conventional treatment and my simple reply was that I wanted to live. She got visably upset and adruptly said goodbye. I did not know why she was so upset but now I do. She worst victim of quakery that I have seen. Everyone around her took advantage of her. It’s sickening. Her understanding of medicince is so poor, it’s hard for me to know how viable she was at her first diagnosis. This is her caring bridge blog:

    http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/indigocrone/mystory

    One thing that really sticks out is that MD quack that she paid the wife $360.00 for a one hour consultation is on Steven Barrets quackwatch site.

    I have done some investigating on him and his wife Terri Su and it seems that they not only frequent altie hangouts, they go to cancer support groups. The people that I have talked to say that they request 15 thousand dollars to cure cancer and there are people that have paid them that much and more.

  31. #31 Black-cat
    December 17, 2011

    Orac, you have also sent me on a quest to help others that are victims or quakery and prosecute quakes.

    A women that I barely knew that lived one mile away from me was a victim of quakery. I saw her last year and she asked me why I chose conventional treatment and my simple reply was that I wanted to live. She got visably upset and adruptly said goodbye. I did not know why she was so upset but now I do. She worst victim of quakery that I have seen. Everyone around her took advantage of her. It’s sickening. Her understanding of medicince is so poor, it’s hard for me to know how viable she was at her first diagnosis. This is her caring bridge blog:

    http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/indigocrone/mystory

    One thing that really sticks out is that MD quack that she paid the wife $360.00 for a one hour consultation is on Steven Barrets quackwatch site.

    I have done some investigating on him and his wife Terri Su and it seems that they not only frequent altie hangouts, they go to cancer support groups. The people that I have talked to say that they request 15 thousand dollars to cure cancer and there are people that have paid them that much and more.

  32. #32 Black-cat
    December 17, 2011

    I’m sorry to break this up but it’s long and my long comments get cut off.

    One of the quacks that treated this woman was Robert Rowen who was prosecuted for tax fraud in Alaska.

    This is from Steven Barrets casewatch on Robert Rowen:

    http://www.casewatch.org/board/med/rowen.shtml

    Sorry for the double posts. They were not intended

    He met and married Terri Su, after this prosecution. They don’t have an office, but set up 1-800 phone centers on everything from addiction to autism.

  33. #33 Black-cat
    December 17, 2011

    If you look for the business of Robert Rowen MD and Terri Su MD in Santa Rosa, Ca., you get and answering service:

    http://www.manta.com/c/mms5qxt/dr-rowen-dr-sue

    But you put that answering service number into google you will find:

    http://www.manta.com/c/mms5qxt/dr-rowen-dr-sue

  34. #34 DLC
    December 17, 2011

    Ah, thank you oh brave maverick plastic box with lights in it! You have (quelle horreur) brought science-based sense into the land of the senseless, de-theramined woo-woos, and un-quacked quacks. Thanks to you for all that.

  35. #35 Black-cat
    December 17, 2011

    @DLC you are such a loser

  36. #36 Imogen
    December 17, 2011

    I, a minion, thank you for your efforts, Orac!

  37. #37 lilady
    December 17, 2011

    @ Black-cat: I read “Indigo’s” entire 2.5 year diary and it is a sad story of delusion about cancer treatment.

    If Indigo related the story correctly, it did not appear to be a cancer that would have been too difficult to treat. According to the early MRI results it was limited to her cervix and (perhaps) her uterus…with no evidence of a metastases to other nearby abdominal structure.

    She immediately switched to a vegan raw food diet…sort of magical thinking that it would cure her cancer, because she dreaded surgery and radiation.

    She also, searched the internet and sought the “advice” of friends who had some weird suggestions about ozone machines and then paid some alt “practitioners” to provide care…while still “running through” every oncologist that was on staff at the Kaiser Medical Group.

    The descriptions of extensive daily vaginal hemorrhages and what she assumed was the tumor “breaking apart” are proof positive that she was heavily into diagnosing and misdiagnosing herself about the cancer progression. She also encouraged people to pray for her recovery at very specific times of the day.

    The last year of her life was miserable with the oozing, enlarged tumor constantly bleeding that required frequent blood transfusions and it was protruding and hanging out of her vaginal. Now the cancer was incurable and she finally sought the services of hospice care and relief from the excruciating pain she must have been experiencing…with large doses of opiates.

    It was a needless painful death…so sad.

  38. #38 Grant
    December 17, 2011

    I agree with those who have pointed at Orac’s ability to write, night after night. I’m impressed he manages to keep it up. I’ve a general idea what it takes as for a year I made an effort to write a post a night—considerably shorter posts that his typical efforts, mind you :-) I hope to get back to something more regular, but have no illusions about trying to match Orac’s output, there’s just no way I could do it!

  39. #39 Ronnie Libra
    December 17, 2011

    Seven years. Very Coool. I don’t think I’ve even gone seven months yet, but my blog is most definitely growing! Less on the topics of medicine and more , I suppose, of a seductive nature I suppose… ;)

    Cheers to your success!

  40. #40 the bug guy
    December 17, 2011

    Congratulations and the wish for many more years of wonderful writing.

  41. #41 JG
    December 17, 2011

    “As I enter my eighth year, thanks for reading.”

    More to the point, thanks to you for blogging.

  42. #42 MI Dawn
    December 17, 2011

    Happy blogversary, Orac! Over the 7 years, I have read, agreed/disagreed with, learned from and enjoyed RI. Long may you blog!

  43. #43 Black-cat
    December 17, 2011

    @lilady,

    Thanks for your critique. I had a hard time reading it due to knowing who she was.

  44. #44 C. Sommers
    December 17, 2011

    Congrats to Orac from another daily reader! Please keep writing!

  45. #45 lsm
    December 17, 2011

    Thank you Orac, for what is quite a selfless undertaking for the safeguarding of real science. I’ve learned so much, and my hubby, who is a scientist, is also very appreciative that bloggers like you are doing what you do for medicine. He knew quackery was out there, but had no idea how extensive until we came across RI a while ago. He considers your efforts a huge contribution.

    I’ve learned so much about critical thinking, and its by-product humility, which unfortunately gets lost to some. For my husband, critical thinking “just is”, but I had never had such training. This election cycle is quite different for me thanks to you and the people at RI. I hope you can keep up this part of your life for a long, long time.

  46. #46 george.w
    December 17, 2011

    Thank you for blogging! You are a beacon against quackery, to which I have steered many friends.

  47. #47 GlaxoPharma Com Orbital
    December 17, 2011

    MESSAGE BEGINS———————–

    I raise my battleclaw to you o tireless, translucent terror!

    I can truly say I wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for you. Our deepest respect and admiration from all of us up here at Glaxxon PharmaCOM Orbital, Lady Astra, Miss Flinders, the ladies on level 7 and all 227 of the hatchlings (Loraza and Vicodia hold you in such high esteem).

    Yours in Pure Reptilian PharmaEvil™ . . .

    Lord Draconis Zeneca, VC, iH7L
    Forward Mavoon of the Great Fleet, Suzerain of V’tar and Pharmaca Magna of Terra, Booster of Blathery, Blinky Boxes

    PharmaCOM Orbital HQ
    0010101101001
    —————————————— MESSAGE ENDS

  48. #48 Mark Thorson
    December 18, 2011

    You’re missed in misc.health.alternative.

  49. #49 Chris
    December 18, 2011

    Mr. Thorsen, it is difficult to deal with due to the unrelenting spam. My ISP actually dropped USENET service, and I found that it was not worth dealing with anymore.

    It is time to move on.

  50. #50 lilady
    December 18, 2011

    I am a (relative) newbie reader of Orac’s blogs. I was so impressed with the amount and quality of his articles and I thought (truly I did), that Orac had some sort of voice-recognition dictating software. I later found out, when he referenced balancing his laptop on planes and typing at ungodly hours, that he is a great typist/keyboarder with an extraordinary knowledge base in medicine and in woo.

    I don’t know how he does it…but he does…and we are all the beneficiaries of his prolific blogs.

    @ Black-cat: You are welcome. It was “difficult” to read her diary and we only have her impressions of what is happening to her as her disease progressed.

  51. #51 Ergaster
    December 18, 2011

    Thanks for posting, from a long time lurker. First comment ever. :)

  52. #52 Candy
    December 18, 2011

    Congratulations, and thank you for all you do. You helped to remove my last vestiges of wooery and I am very grateful that you did. I consider it a fortunate day when I followed a link from Pharyngula and discovered this blog.

  53. #53 Pieter B
    December 18, 2011

    Happy bloggiversary, Orac, and many thanks for your work and your friendship.

  54. #54 herr doktor bimler
    December 18, 2011

    I feel I should celebrate the anniversary by making an irritating nitpicking correction about spelling or punctuation.

  55. #55 adelady
    December 18, 2011

    Congratulations!

    And many thanks as well for the indefatigable commenters who make life here so interesting. But without you as host, there would be no gathering.

    (Just exactly when do these cheques start rolling in. Is there some probationary period I’ve not been told about?)

  56. #56 Black-cat
    December 18, 2011

    @DLC: I apologize for my comment. I thought you were being a sarcastic troll. I think that I was mistaken.

  57. #57 Cath of Canberra
    December 18, 2011

    Congratulations, Orac, and may you have many more!

    @DLC: Noooo! Not the dreaded de-theramining!

  58. #58 SlingBlade
    December 19, 2011

    I like the way you talk …. uhn hunnn.

  59. #59 Chemmomo
    December 19, 2011

    As I enter my eighth year, thanks for reading.

    Thank you for writing.
    As long as you keep writing, I’ll continue reading. And thinking.

  60. #60 Delurked lurker
    December 19, 2011

    Hey Orac

    Got the 7 year itch yet?
    ;)

  61. #61 Martin R
    December 19, 2011

    Well done Orac!