Respectful Insolence

Mike Adams (a.k.a. the “Health Ranger”) has been a regular blog topic for several years now. There are many reasons for this, not the least of which is that, among supporters of quackery, no one quite brings the crazy home the way Mike Adams does, be it writing antivaccine rap songs, abusing dead celebrities by claiming they would have survived if only they had used whatever quackery Adams supported at the time or painting them as victims of big pharma, or conspiracy mongering on a level that make Alex Jones blush. Truly, Mikey has a special talent among woo-meisters. Joe Mercola might have the most popular “natural health” website out there, but Mike Adams, as number two, clearly tries harder.

Of late, not satisfied with promoting quackery and anti-pharma conspiracy mongering, Adams has been branching out. Now, he hates genetically modified organisms (GMOs). In particular, he continues to hate psychiatric medications, and took full advantage of the Sandy Hook shootings last December to blame big pharma and psychiatric medications for making Adam Lanza kill all those children. He remains antivaccine to the core, of course. However, these days, he’s joined the looniest of the loony right wing/Libertarian fringe. He’s posted multiple rants over the last six months or of the “Obama’s comin’ to take your guns with the help of the U.N.” variety. Just last week, he pounced on President Obama’s speech about Trayvon Martin, decrying it as “racism theater” while at the same time ironically spewing not an insubstantial amount of racism himself. In particular, he refers to the “myth of systematic oppression of blacks in America,” referring to such oppression as “ancient history” Why? Because the President and Attorney General are black and “most of the highest-paid athletes and sports figures are black, the highest-paid entertainers are black, and black people hold key positions as mayors, governors, senators and members of Congress.”

So what’s left for Mike Adams? Having plumbed the depths of quackery and the worst type of political paranoia, where is he going from here? Well, apparently Adams thinks he can be a substitute for PubMed, as an e-mail announcement I received yesterday boldly announced:

Today I’m pleased to announce the launch of SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a powerful new portal into the wealth of scientific literature that documents nutritional cures, toxic chemicals (including heavy metals), benefits of holistic therapies, the dangers of prescription medications and much more.

In development for well over a year, SCIENCE.naturalnews.com is a FREE online resource that allows you to easily research answers to questions like:

  • Does chlorella fight cancer?
  • Has aspartame been scientifically studied for side effects?
  • Does curcumin treat arthritis?
  • Is the Mediterranean Diet supported by science?
  • Are statin drugs dangerous?
  • What is the link between vaccines and autism?
  • What are the side effects of arsenic exposure?
  • What are the side effects of drinking processed milk?
  • Are food ingredients safe?
  • What scientific literature supports the benefits of superfoods?
  • How dangerous is chemotherapy?

All these questions — and many more — can be easily answered at SCIENCE.naturalnews.com.

Yes, truly Mike Adams’ arrogance of ignorance knows no bounds. As a colleague fo mine quipped, Adams should call it “SCIENCE”.naturalnews.com. Or maybe PSEUDOSCIENCE.naturalnews.com. Actually, after having played around with it a bit, I’m not sure what the excitement is. You can type terms into a search box and get lists of studies back. I tried typing “vaccine” into the search box (of course!), expecting to see a plethora of antivaccine tripe cascading down the page. What came up wasn’t so much scientific studies, but a lot of NaturalNews.com articles, and, as we all know, no one misinterprets studies, latches onto bad studies, or exaggerates the findings of studies quite the way Mike Adams does.

So I tried typing “homeopathy” into the search box, mainly because if there’s one form of quackery that Adams doesn’t seem to show a huge amount of in, it’s homeopathy. So surely searching on “homeopathy” should reveal articles outside of NaturalNews.com, right? Wrong. All that pops up (at least as of when I wrote this) was one page listing a few NaturalNews.com articles. It’s also highly incestuous. For instance, the first link that pops up on the homeopathy search is a link to cough studies and to articles with titles like Homeopathic prevention and treatment for whooping cough – 7 common remedies that work, advice that could kill children.

After spending a little time fruitlessly running searches and clicking on categories, I became curious over just how this database worked. Fortunately for me (I think) Adams is only too happy to boast about his creation:

So beginning in the spring of 2012, I embarked on an effort to index and categorize the entire PubMed library of science provided by the National Institutes of Health and funded by taxpayer money. This data set currently encompasses more than 21 million studies, with approximately 3,000 new studies appearing each weekday.

While PubMed currently makes all these studies available to the public, they are hidden behind a convoluted interface that makes it all but impossible for the public to easily find the most relevant studies they’re interested in — especially if those studies involve two things such as “green tea” and “breast cancer.”

Seriously? PubMed is too difficult for NaturalNews.com readers? Apparently so, and apparently typing “green tea breast cancer” into the search box for PubMed is too difficult. So instead Adams has to create a system that will find for them what he thinks they want to find. What I don’t understand what the big deal is about indexing PubMed with two keywords. Maybe some of my computer programming readers can dissect the described algorithm in detail. Basically, from what I can gather, Adams uses some sort of algorithm to determine which sets of two key words are most closely associated with each other. In other words, all he does is to search how often certain sets of keywords appear together. One example described by Adams is milk. According to him, the page on “milk” will tell you that the most frequently associated result of milk is “allergies.” Then if you click on “allergies” on the milk page, you will get a page listing all the studies that cover both milk and allergies.

Just for yucks, I did click on the page for milk. According to Adams’ algorithm, the most commonly associated terms with “milk” include: allergies, bipolar disorder, celiac disease, constipation, cough, diabetes, diarrhea, depression, eczema, flu, hepatitis, high cholesterol, HPV, hypertension, lactose intolerance, liver cancer, lupus, overweight, pain, pregnancy, prostate cancer, Raynaud’s phenomenon, and smoking. While some of these (such as “allergies” and “lactose intolerance” seem reasonable as keywords that go with each other in PubMed, a lot of them seem a bit odd. In fact, they don’t see like keywords at all. PubMed has a very distinct, defined system for assigning keywords to articles. If you don’t believe me, take a look at a reference in PubMed and under “Display settings,” check MEDLINE to see the reference in MEDLINE format, which shows all the fields. For instance, clicking “milk” and “bipolar disorder” only brings up one article. “Milk” and “celiac disease” only brings up three articles. By comparison, searching “milk” and “bipolar disorder” on PubMed brings up 28 articles, 26 in English. Clearly, there is some culling of articles going on here. At first, I thought it was because the terms “milk” or “bipolar disorder” didn’t appear in every article and the algorithm was only listing articles with both terms in their MeSH headings, but that’s not the case. It’s easy to see that using this algorithm in a case in which there are few matches. As for “milk” and “celiac disease,” a PubMed search brings up 428 entries.

It would be very interesting to know exactly how Adams is determining which articles are the most “relevant” to the point where 428 PubMed entries get whittled down to three articles in Adams’ search engine. Not being a computer programmer or search engine expert, I could be completely wrong about this, but something smells fishy to me. Again, I will be asking you, my readers, who have expertise in this area to comment and tell me if I’m on the right or wrong track. In particular, I’d like to know if Adams’ algorithm sounds the least bit reasonable or could function as a “signal detection” system that can “discover hidden relationships in large data sets, then present those relationships to the user through a series of easy-to-navigate web pages.” Actually, I already know to some extent, particularly after reading this claim:

The underlying technology I’ve developed for this also has the theoretical ability to perform original human psyche research, such as sensing shifts in human emotions, outbreaks of pandemics, “fear factor” scores for economic collapse (which translates into trust factors for the highly-leveraged banking system) and so on. It has not yet been applied to those projects, but I’m always looking for new ways to expand human knowledge.

In essence, we now have a universal “signal detection” technology that has now been applied to one particular data set (PubMed). This same technology could also be applied to many other data sets in order to tease out other relationships that represent psychosociological trends, mass media reporting trends and so on.

For example, I believe this technology will be able to accurately predict the coming global banking collapse. We now have the technology to do this, and if time permits, we may pursue this project in the near future.

Wow! That’s a mighty massive claim to make for a simple two keyword algorithm, don’t you think? I get the feeling that what Adams is doing is nothing more than a little bit of computer prestidigitation that sounds impressive and serves up links to PubMed entries linked to NaturalNews.com articles about the same topics, while painting it as being some sort of revolutionary bit of new programming. I mean seriously. Google Scholar does it faster and better, but it doesn’t do it woo-ier, and woo is what Adams wants.

In fact, I rather suspect I know what Adams is about, and it’s not about “a shortcut to knowledge that allows you to instantly discover relationships between nutrients and health, chemicals and diseases, medical therapies and side effects, and so on.” It’s about getting his raders to use his search engine rather than PubMed when looking for studies. It’s about page views and encouraging readers to click on NaturalNews.com links that come up from their searches. It’s nothing new. It’s what web developers have been doing for years. Nor will it provide knowledge that can’t be found faster and better elsewhere. It’s more about “knowledge” shaped the way Adams likes to feed into his preferred narrative in which “natural” healing is always better and big pharma is pure evil. It’s about nothing more than making more money off of Adams’ website.

Comments

  1. #1 MikeMa
    July 23, 2013

    Lots of ways to restrict the lists. An easy one would be to add a few hidden keys to every search like ‘natural’ or ‘natuopathic’. He could have assigned weights to various authors. Lots of ways to skew results.

  2. #2 Helianthus
    July 23, 2013

    Seriously? PubMed is too difficult for NaturalNews.com readers?

    To be fair, the first time on pubmed could be a bit overwhelming. Plenty of studies springing back from you inquiry…
    Also, paywalls.

    On the other hand, assuming the typical naturalNews readers are looking for simple answers, they are very likely to find real science (and real life in general) frustratingly short of black-and-white issues.

  3. #3 Dangerous Bacon
    July 23, 2013

    What Adams is doing is not all that different from what cranks do in numerous fields with special “wikis”, to try to steer believers to a limited selection of “facts” while ignoring inconvenient evidence.

    I still find it bizarre that people who constantly tell us that we can’t trust science, also trumpet scientific studies to support their beliefs, including scientific studies demonstrating that science is not to be trusted.

    As an aside, I often use Google in my field (pathology) to quickly find relevant articles, presentations and reviews (often faster and more rewarding than PubMed). This would not work nearly as well for woo-infested topics, as you’d be drowned in garbage.

    Apparently Mikey wants to filter in the garbage more thoroughly with a patina of scientific respectability.

  4. #4 Eric Lund
    July 23, 2013

    Does chlorella fight cancer?

    Am I a bad person for initially reading the second word of that sentence as “cholera”? Of course I did an immediate double take.

    For example, I believe this technology will be able to accurately predict the coming global banking collapse.

    I haven’t been keeping close track, but I believe Mikey’s track record on this topic is that he’s predicted, oh, six to eight of the last two economic crises.

  5. #5 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 23, 2013

    He should call his site Wackypedia.

  6. #6 Dangerous Bacon
    July 23, 2013

    “He should call his site Wackypedia.”

    Especially since “Quintessence of the Loon” is already taken.

  7. #7 Denice Walter
    July 23, 2013

    Mike Adams is pursuing a path similar to that of Gary Null:
    they would do anything restrict their audiences’ access to SB** information.

    And they do it by masquerading as science:
    at their fancy dress balls, millions of studies in “natural health” and “alternative therapies” are available, used as references and given as evidence that SBM is wrong, wrong and wrong again. They are merely making their own sources accessible to their readers and listeners.

    In this cargo cult world, “peer reviewed”*** is commonplace when speculation proceeds at timewarp speed, jumping to conclusions, misapplying results to unrelated topic, utilising very small samples et alia.
    On their planet, AJW’s work is sacrosanct as are Burzynski’s many studies and anything any homeopath or energy healer dreams up and writes about in Medical Hypotheses : indeed it’s Pure Science because it isn’t funded by Pharma, approved of by Elitist Universities or sponsored by the Corrupt Government.

    More on MIke ( continued)

    ** they also would have you disbelieve in mainstream media as they also provide news.
    *** actually, in their vernacular, it might be “peer review” (sic)

  8. #8 JayK
    July 23, 2013

    Most likely his algorithm only brings up articles that are used by NaturalNews articles. That would be a simple algorithm to do.

  9. #9 Denice Walter
    July 23, 2013

    In Mike’s alti-verse, he is a scientist and a researcher; Null often declares,” I’m a researcher, a PhD, an academic, a professor, a scientist” ad nauseum, to his entranced audience. They would play dress-up and convince any takers that their information is superior to that which is regarded as standard. SBM is tainted. Whereas their own…

    Isn’t real. Twists facts, distorts conclusions, can’t design an experiment with controls to save its life, is aimed at selling products for their monetary benefit.

    Adams and Null both started their own alt media ( Natural News and the Progressive Radio Network, respectively) in the past few years and have gone beyond health to economics and politics, in the wake of the financial crisis.

    Besides being a way to air their own gripes with the Establishment, these outlets also keep their audience away from the taint of mainstream media ( i.e. reality). Thus in solidarity amongst the similarly mistrustful and rebels against reason, grateful followers may reward their mentors with occasional purchases and the elite amongst them may buy up the store on a monthly basis.

    But they also inspire their followers to ‘research’ on their own without the benefit of academia:
    and haven’t we all seen the results? – the various parents at AoA and TMR, Jake, those who come to argue with Orac and the minions about cancer or vaccines or autism.

    Following their leaders, they believe that they can do it on their own, falsely believing their own drippings to trump the body of SB lit. We see that every day.Mike will make it easier.

    -btw- perhaps is Mikey only showing a degree of relationship between concepts and the number of times it appears in his dreck index?

  10. #10 Mark Thorson
    July 23, 2013

    I do lots of searches for journal articles. I used to use PubMed all the time, but now I use Google. The trick to avoid a ton of irrelevant hits is to restrict the search to PDF files. That gets results that are rich in research studies.

  11. #11 PressWire
    July 23, 2013

    NEW SCIENCE WEBSITE IS CULMINATION OF 15-YEAR DEVELOPMENT

    CRANKVILLE, USA (PressWire) – A new world-leading website for medical and science reporting has been launched as a collaboration among the sharpest minds in the field.

    The website, located at science.naturalnews.huffingtonpostsnbc.com/aolkeyword=science, is likely to replace the various profit-driven universities and journals which only care about money and are currently failing to validate popular beliefs in natural cures for cancer, heart disease, and moderate lower back pain.

    “You might say that the current establishment is a toxic amalgam, and we aim to drill through that at any cost or side effect,” said SciNaFPo chief editor Marianna Adams (a.k.a. The Science Stranger). “It might seem odd that we have spent the better part of the existence of the Internet getting around to looking at actual science, but that’s okay. It’s more about the journey than the destination, results, or risk/benefit analysis.”

    # # #

  12. #12 Darwy
    Røde grøde...wait...no... Noo Inglind
    July 23, 2013

    Null is a PhD in ‘Interdisciplinary Studies” or some other associated bullpocky. I give his PhD as much weight as I would a PhD in underwater basketweaving with tiddlywinks.

    Mike Adams is going all out to try to lead his readers further down the rabbit hole of pseudoscience – and the faithful will follow him like lemmings over that cliff.

  13. #13 Old Rockin' Dave
    The Big Bang Burger Bar.
    July 23, 2013

    “The underlying technology I’ve developed for this also has the theoretical ability to perform original… research, such as sensing…outbreaks of pandemics…”.
    It’s been established for some time that the popularity of certain Google search terms can be used to track epidemic influenza.
    Meanwhile, I’ve discovered a way to use circular devices to move objects without dragging them. Maybe Mike Adams would like to help fund the development of my idea.

  14. #14 Chris,
    July 23, 2013

    Helianthus: “Also, paywalls”

    That can be avoided by clicking on the “Free full text available” filter on the list to the left of the results.

  15. #15 WLU
    July 23, 2013

    Doesn’t google do that whole “patterns with two words things” already? Whenever I start typing into google, it pops up suggestions almost immediately and some of them are entire sentences. Often they’re also quite correct in guessing what I was looking for.

  16. #16 Narad
    July 23, 2013

    Maybe some of my computer programming readers can dissect the described algorithm in detail.

    I’m busy packing, but a quick look reveals this to be more or less gibberish. “We use an enterprise database system with a highly-optimized relational table structure that turns text searches into far-faster integer searches”? WTF is this supposed to mean? Oh, wait, your crack development team figured out what a freaking hash table is?

    I’m sorry, but off-the-shelf Microsoft SQL (and, Mikey, it’s “Transact-SQL,” not “Transactional SQL”) is not some sort of innovation. Cripes, use Hadoop if it’s such a monstrous computational problem.

    The preceding digression into combinatorics is unparsable. I’ll skip the details. This is the true laugher: “If n = 7000 and x = 21 million, then what you are dealing with is 49 million * 21 million comparisons, which is over one billion comparisons.”

    No, Mikey, if you’re looking for the intersection of two keywords in a 21-million title list, even the most brain-dead algorithm looks for one first and then looks in the pruned list, as opposed to wandering the whole thing looking for the freaking pair.

  17. #17 Denice Walter
    July 23, 2013

    (For the newbie:
    I’ve been observing these creatures for a long time – Adams since c. 2007; Null c. 2000).

    What is most alarmimg to me is the degree of loyalty they inspire in followers: I read comments on NN and listen to PRN’s “Talkback ” wherein listeners speak to their guru by phone. Some take his word as Holy Writ and above that of doctors for serious problems like MS, cancer, ALS, RA, ASD, bipolar etc.

    Supposedly the Master only counsels the terminally ill but since when are depression, alcoholism or marital discord terminal? ( Done over the air, no less). Listeners are also channeled to the nutritionists who work at his mortar-bricks store for counselling…

    There is cultism at these two venues that disturbs me to no end:
    restricting information from outside sources, demonising the outside world, self-agrandisement, black-and-white judgments about people, control over others’ lives, money..

  18. #18 Chris,
    July 23, 2013

    WLU: “Often they’re also quite correct in guessing what I was looking for.”

    One reason is that Google is using data from your previous searches and you geographic location to personalize the results for you. It is even more freaky creepy when you have a gmail account since it knows some of what you communicate to others.

    I just think of it as “Big Brother” and never communicate some things over the Internets. It will also give me something to talk about when I visit family next month.

  19. #19 Dangerous Bacon
    July 23, 2013

    The big question now is how other major cranks will respond to Adams’ upping the ante with his new enterprise.

    Will Joe Mercola start his own religion? Will we see a Gary Null presidential campaign? How about Hulda Clark returning from the dead to make zombie movies?

    This could be more entertaining than the autism antivax movement’s civil war.

  20. #20 elburto
    July 23, 2013

    @@DW –

    actually, in their vernacular, it might be “peer review” (sic)

    My favourite crankisms include “You are bias!!!!111″ and “You are just close-minded!!!

    When I run across those in a comment there’s a sort of internal record-scratch in my head. It’s very jarring, as is “peer-review study

    Oh, and the substitution of “do” for “due”, as in, “One day you pHarma shill’s will get whats do to you all

    @ORD- I can’t see your round thingummy catching on. Back to the drawing board!

  21. #21 Chris Hickie
    July 23, 2013

    What are the side effects of drinking processed milk?

    Only good, I would think: http://www.bambootrading.com/proddetail.asp?prod=1706

  22. #22 Eric Lund
    July 23, 2013

    I give [Null’s] PhD as much weight as I would a PhD in underwater basketweaving with tiddlywinks.

    Hey, you’re not being fair here. Underwater basketweaving with tiddlywinks sounds pretty hard to me. Harder than getting a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary studies from a university that doesn’t do adequate quality control, at any rate. Certainly harder than getting a Ph.D. (in any field) from Diploma Mills University.

  23. #23 Militant Agnostic
    Where the right wing anti-tax party advocates massive government spending so people can continue to build on flood plains.
    July 23, 2013

    I think JayK @8 nailed it. The search engine only brings up papers referenced by NaturalNews. This creates the illusion that all the “peer-review” studies support Mikey’s whackaloon beliefs. This is the perfect strategy to misrepresent the scientific consensus and control access to information.

  24. #24 ChristineRose
    Ann Arbor
    July 23, 2013

    I didn’t spend much time on this, but it appears that of those 28 articles, only one has the exact terms “milk” and “bipolar disorder” in the title. Most of them are about breastfeeding while taking certain medications and have words like “breastfeeding” and “lithium” in the title. Presumably milk and bipolar disorder would be in the articles.

  25. #25 Rich Woods
    July 23, 2013

    @Narad #16:

    No, Mikey, if you’re looking for the intersection of two keywords in a 21-million title list, even the most brain-dead algorithm looks for one first and then looks in the pruned list, as opposed to wandering the whole thing looking for the freaking pair.

    Yeah, but this is Mikey we’re talking about. He believes all sorts of sh!t, including the garbage spouted by the developer who knows an easy touch when he sees one. I bet Mikey paid several grand to a hard-up (and slightly unprincipled) comp sci grad, who got access to a couple of datasets and worked out how to intersect the two in a way which Mikey would like. It probably only took two or three days of work. The actual results pages (search engine friendly, naturally, and with a helpfully long link-friendly life) are spewed out and uploaded onto the site maybe once a week at most, ensuring that the developer has to be called in to fix any non-Mikey-friendly results which might arise over time.

    I’ve done similar work when producing web-based archives, except mine presented complete data and were done with honest intent.

  26. #26 Shay
    July 23, 2013

    @WLU — you’re lucky. Google keeps sending me ads for cholis, senior dating sites, and timeshares in Dubai.

    I’m Caucasian, I’m married, and I’m still trying to figure out the Dubai thing.

  27. #27 Denice Walter
    July 23, 2013

    @ elburto;

    One of my own faves involves the use of the word pronounced ‘conscious’ for meanings that include ‘conscious’, ‘consciousness’ and ‘conscience’

    @ Eric Lund;

    The so-called disseration investigates the relationship between ‘caffein-ism’ ( sic), urine surface tension and adrenal ‘exhaustion” ( see Barrett’s discussion at Quackwatch- he actually read the tripe… wait, can you READ tripe? AND Lee Phillips’ take at lee-phillips.org; the latter was sued for his writing-btw-)

    @ Rich Woods:

    Mikey claims that he was a high powered “software executive” prior to a diagnosis of diabetes at age 30 before he cured himself and changed his life so becoming a great leader of the woo-besotten.

    He created software that uses e-mail to advertise stuff.
    he had a bio at healthranger.com where he also claimed that his parents worked for Big Pharma and he followed SBM until he almost died – or suchlike.,

  28. #28 Orac
    July 23, 2013

    In addition to owning a spamware company whose software was designed to get around those pesky spam filters, Mikey was also involved in promoting Y2K hysteria back in the day through a website called http://www.y2knewswire.com. His solution? Subscribe to the premium version of y2knewswire.com—for a fee, of course—to get all the information and news you would need to survive the coming catastrophe. Hilariously, Adams shut Y2knewswire.com down in November 1999, claiming that he was afraid that the government would blame him for the chaos that was going to ensue in less than two months. More likely, he probably knew all along that Y2K wouldn’t bring about the downfall of Western civilization, as he had been strongly implying, and that he’d best take his profits and disappear before the end of the world didn’t happen and people started demanding their money back.

    Just Google his name and Y2K. I’m 99% sure it’s the same Mike Adams:

    http://healthwyze.org/index.php/component/content/article/616-special-report-the-legend-of-mike-adams-and-the-reality.html

    He even referred to people who claimed that Y2K wouldn’t result in the end of civilization as we knew it as “Y2K deniers”:

    http://rense.com/politics5/y2kcontradictions_p.htm

  29. #29 Narad
    July 23, 2013

    He created software that uses e-mail to advertise stuff.

    One might also recall the hilarity that ensued when Pattimmy managed to call himself to the attention Spamhaus and SPEWS.

  30. #30 Denice Walter
    July 23, 2013

    Just as I thought:

    his bio is no longer on healthranger.com- which now features animal videos and brag about his philanthrophy.
    Foodinvestigation.com now has a shorter bio along the same lines as my notes. He used to have bio stats- height , weight, body fat percentages, blood chemistry…posed photos a la body builders.

    What else I know:
    he’s from Missouri,has lived in Florida, Tuscon,Arizona, Vilcabamba, Ecuador and Tuscon again, and now outside of Austin, Texas.

    He’s marrried and possibly has a child. According to another woo-meister ( @ PRN), a high profile alt med dude in Ecuador had to get out because of kidnapping threats- about the time Mikey left. He had the place up for sale for about 600K USD- on the ‘net. He was associated with realty
    ventures there.

    He’s about 43 or 44 years old and raises chickens and shoots off guns frequently. No mention ever of formal education. He claims to be fluent in Spanish and Chinese.
    No mention of English, however.

  31. #31 herr doktor bimler
    July 23, 2013

    What Adams is doing is not all that different from what cranks do in numerous fields with special “wikis”, to try to steer believers to a limited selection of “facts” while ignoring inconvenient evidence.

    Conservapedia comes to mind (designed for people who wish to avoid the alleged liberal bias of facts).

    In essence, we now have a universal “signal detection” technology that has now been applied to one particular data set (PubMed). This same technology could also be applied to many other data sets in order to tease out other relationships that represent psychosociological trends, mass media reporting trends and so on.

    This is the Web Bot project, which has been around for 16 years; I’m surprised it has taken Adams so long to plagiarise the concept.

  32. #32 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    July 23, 2013

    @Shay –

    I’m Caucasian, I’m married, and I’m still trying to figure out the Dubai thing.

    I’m told Dubai has vast beaches.

  33. #33 Narad
    July 23, 2013

    I’m told Dubai has vast beaches.

    Gotta put the indentured servants somewhere.

  34. #34 dedicated lurker
    July 23, 2013

    Dubai has an indoor skiing facility as well.

    I know of a guy who got banned from Wikipedia for life for a variety of reasons who promptly headed off to a “specialist” wiki he could spin to his heart’s content. Then again, this is a guy who thinks that “evidence based” means “published in a peer reviewed journal.”

  35. #35 Narad
    July 24, 2013

    I’m 99% sure it’s the same Mike Adams

    You’re 1% short. (Cf.)

  36. #36 Militant Agnostic
    Where the right wing anti-tax party advocates massive government spending so people can continue to build on flood plains.
    July 24, 2013

    Orac – your second link was to full on Christianist Alex Jones style whackaloon who is about as credible as Mike Adams. I recommend Orac’s second tor those who want a good look at right wing Alt-Med crazy. Apparently AGW is hoax propagated by pagans who demonize CO2 because humans emit it – who knew.

  37. #37 Narad
    July 24, 2013

    Some further, unverified, yet entirely plausible-sounding background on Mikey’s earlier activities lies here.

  38. #38 Old Rockin' Dave
    On the Boulevard to Heck (missed the exit for the Highway to Hell)
    July 24, 2013

    For a long time I didn’t notice too many ads on Google, but now they’re back inserted to look like actual results. In the old days, if you entered something like “compound fracture” the ads would say things like “Lowest prices for compound fracture” or “Largest selection of compound fracture on the Internet”. They’ve gotten a little more sophisticated, too. Here’s one I got for my favorite test term:
    “Fracture
    athletico.com/
    Are You Got Fracture?We Help You,Find Good Treatments You Won’t Miss!
    – from SearchMenu Sponsored Links” Sounds like one of our “friends”.
    @elburto: You’re probably right. Instead I will try to promote my newly discovered process in which a piece of wood generates light and heat, in the process giving off some kind of black matter into the air and leaving behind a flaky gray residue. Seems to me it would be perfect for Mike Adams, especially since it seems like it would work on paper too.

  39. #39 Narad
    July 24, 2013

    I see that I failed to grasp that the reference was just to the Y2K aspect and not to the (in restrospect, obvious) Arial part. Sorry about the diversion.

  40. #40 Narad
    July 24, 2013

    I will go ahead and call attention to this spamware attention-grabber from the previous link:

    Campaign Active Archive can remove old campaigns from the main menu without deleting them. This feature also maintains Can-Spam compliance by continuing to actively record unsubscribe requests for 30 days after a message is sent.

    I.e., address verification for reuse/reselling. I somehow completely missed out the Sanford Wallace/”THIS MESSAGE IS IN COMPLIANCE WITH SECTION 301″ part of Mikey’s career.

  41. #41 SoftClatter
    July 24, 2013

    @Narad:

    The first thing I noticed about his little journey into combinatorics is that he doesn’t seem to grasp the difference between combinations and permutations. Sure, it only puts him off by a factor of two but it does make those breathless “if you want to get technical” calculations just a little more amusing.

    Of course that whole spiel is written in the tone of someone who has perhaps seen people analyze algorithms in the past but never given it a try themselves. This fits with the idea of someone managing to make it sound so surprising that the naive “brute force” approach to search and indexing does not yield an efficient algorithm, a concept with a lifespan of maybe a week or two in even the most basic computer science education.

  42. #42 Denice Walter
    July 24, 2013

    And here’s a little taste of Mikey in action:
    today at NaturalNews-

    ” A statistical analysis of millions of scientific studies reveals that curcumin- one of the active chemical constituents in turmeric- is the most widely-studied phytonutrient in modern science. The analysis was conducted by medical science researcher, Mike Adams, editor of NaturalNews.”

    Oh right. And according to the medical science researcher himself “100,000” people viewed his new site since yesterday. I think we can see where he’s going with this.

  43. #43 WLU
    July 24, 2013

    @Denice Walter

    wait, can you READ tripe?

    Is the liver tripe? Because haruspex.

    Great word, just top-notch.

  44. #44 Denice Walter
    July 24, 2013

    @ WLU:

    Well, if so I must be one because I read tripe all the time.

  45. #45 Shay
    July 24, 2013

    I wish I had done a screen capture at the time, but I remember a diploma mill advertisement that offered baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees.

    And mis-spelled all three.

  46. #46 sophia8
    July 24, 2013

    ” A statistical analysis of millions of scientific studies reveals that curcumin- one of the active chemical constituents in turmeric- is the most widely-studied phytonutrient in modern science. The analysis was conducted by medical science researcher, Mike Adams, editor of NaturalNews.”

    Translation: “I googled ‘curcumin’ and got 3,430,000 results.”

    BTW, “millions” of studies? A search for curcumin on Google Scholar pulls up 77,900 results – and that includes patents and citations..

  47. #47 Shay
    July 24, 2013

    A statistical analysis of millions of scientific studies reveals that curcumin- one of the active chemical constituents in turmeric- is the most widely-studied phytonutrient in modern science.

    If that isn’t a great excuse to pig out at the local Indian buffet restaurant, I don’t know what is.

  48. #48 Narad
    July 25, 2013

    The first thing I noticed about his little journey into combinatorics is that he doesn’t seem to grasp the difference between combinations and permutations.

    Yah, I started in on that but then abandoned the attempt because there’s no telling what he’s actually talking about, so dorking around with binomial coefficients made no sense. What’s the over/under on the time to simply fgrep, pipe, fgrep 21 million entries that already have keywords? Generously guessing a record size of ~1024 bytes (title, keywords), I’ve pushed stuff like that through sed in seconds.

  49. #49 Alain
    July 25, 2013

    And to continue on the topic of grepping through the mesh word list, there’s the fine resource called PubReMiner (or similar) which is available there:

    http://hgserver2.amc.nl/cgi-bin/miner/miner2.cgi

    Enjoy :)
    Alain

  50. #50 Denice Walter
    July 25, 2013

    Mikey continues….

    Today he announces another aspect of his recent endeavors-
    yesterday was his Monsanto Video Revolt LIVE- which attracted 120K at peak( video available) and will be seen by millions; seems he’s using ‘Google multi-party broadcast technology’ to achieve his aims of uniting the world’s rebels under his revolting presence..

    Also: I took a peek at his SCIENCE site and think perhaps he’s setting up information to channel people AWAY from PubMed: if you look at the categories ( that he has arranged like the Periodic Table), you’ll see “food, supplements, phytochemicals, diets, toxins, food additives..”..
    in other words, categories not inherently based in the material itself (i.e. health, medicine) but categories upon which woo revolves. It’s a surreptitious way of getting you to think like he does.Frightening thought that.

    He claims 4 million studies eventually expanding to 20 million. Although his definition of “study” appears to vary from my own.

    Next, he’ll add an earth science and environment section.Then something else. Possibly also astronomy and astrophysics will be down the pike
    .
    Where are his vaunted Spiirituality and Music sections?
    ( and what no cogitive science?)

  51. #51 Dangerous Bacon
    July 25, 2013

    Unfortunately for “medical science researcher” Mike Adams, reality keeps intruding on his fantasy of selfless, humanitarian supplement marketers.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/07/25/bodybuilding-supplement-designer-matt-cahill-usa-today-investigation/2568815/

  52. #52 Krebiozen
    July 25, 2013

    Shay,

    If that isn’t a great excuse to pig out at the local Indian buffet restaurant, I don’t know what is.

    If only curcumin wasn’t so poorly bioavailable when ingested, and wasn’t present in such low quantities in turmeric as compared to the amounts that show promise in vitro. I have little doubt that if curcumin is ever used as an effective treatment it will be as a fully-fledged pharmaceutical drug modified for bioavailability.

    Luckily no excuse is ever required to enjoy South Asian food, in my opinion.

  53. #53 A
    August 5, 2013

    Cute, funny and envious people, how come this blog has 51 likes and Mike’s thousands?

  54. #54 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 5, 2013

    A – I blame marketing. Mike Adams markets the hell out of himself and his site; Orac is doing this as a hobby in his copious spare time..

    That says nothing about the quality of the content, naturally. I’m sure that fewer people have seen, say, Shakespeare’s Hamlet this year than, say, The Biggest Loser.

  55. #55 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 5, 2013

    And you’re going to have to tell me exactly what statements have been made that make you think anyone envies Mike Adams for, well, pretty much anything.

    Thanks.

  56. #56 MI Dawn
    August 5, 2013

    @M O’B: Well, I *could* say I envy Mike Adams’ ability to ignore morals and conscience and sell all kinds of junk, make millions, and still sleep at night…

    I happen to not be able to do that. If I pulled the lies he pulled, I would never be able to sleep OR face myself in the mirror.

  57. #57 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 5, 2013

    @MI Dawn – I have to admit that filthy lucre would go a long way to curing insomnia. And when someone as rich as you is looking back from the mirror, well, really, who are you to judge?

  58. #58 Bronze Dog
    August 5, 2013

    Because envy is the one and only reason anyone criticizes anyone, and popularity is a sign of correctness. Cookie-cutter trolling/shilling by someone who doesn’t have a legitimate argument and knows it.

  59. #59 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    August 5, 2013

    Cute, funny and envious people, how come this blog has 51 likes and Mike’s thousands?

    Very credulous and ignorant people, just like your appeal to popularity.

  60. #60 JGC
    August 6, 2013

    In my opinion, that would be because Mike tells people what they’re already predisposed to hear whether it’s accurate or not, while Orac tells people what the evidence supports. Of course people want to believe they can best (insert illness of your choice) by (changing their diet/visualizing healing/ ‘cleansing’ their organs,etc.) and of course they’ll like anyone who offers hope.
    number

  61. #61 JGC
    August 6, 2013

    That they ‘ like’ him doesn’t t suggest he’s right.

  62. #62 JGC
    August 6, 2013

    Just that he offers an attractive message.

  63. #63 JGC
    August 6, 2013

    (I hate posting from a Kindle)

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