On vaccines and autism, child pornography, and seeing "bullies" everywhere

Bullying. You keep saying that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Yes, I do so love to co-opt that famous line from The Princess Bride for my own nefarious purposes, but it's so perfect for this particular topic, which comes up every so often when I'm writing about the pseudoscience behind the antivaccine movement. It usually takes the form of an emotional screed by some antivaccine parent or other complaining about how she's being "bullied" by us nasty, evil, insensitive pro-vaccine, well, bullies. (They frequently repeat the word many times throughout the course of their little rants.) A newspaper prints a pro-vaccine article critical of antivaccine pseudoscience? It's bullying. What about if a friend questions her antivaccine views? It's bullying. How about if her school or daycare requires her child to be up to date on her vaccines before attending. Obviously it's bullying. And heaven help any pediatrician who who tries to persuade her that her vaccine pseudoscience is pseudoscience and that she should vaccinated. Obviously he (and it's almost always a he in these stories) is nothing but a big fat medical bully.

You get the idea. We've seen these sorts of rants from people like Katie Tietje, Cathy Jameson, and countless other antivaccinationists that I haven't discussed. Just before Thanksgiving, I saw one by another of the merry band of angry antivaccine warriors over at that wretched hive of scum and quackery, Age of Autism. It's by someone whom I don't recall having heard of before, Dara Berger, and is entitled, unironically, Pro-Vaxxers Are America's Acceptable Bullies.

Because I had never heard of Dara Berger before, I did a quick Google search to see what her connection is with the antivaccine movement (other than, apparently, blogging for Age of Autism). I quickly learned that she is a Board Member and Co-Chair of the Programming Committee for the National Autism Association NY Metro Chapter and is on the Advisory Board of a documentary being made called Documenting Hope that will "document" recovery from autism and other chronic conditions. Looking at the medical advisory committee, which includes Dr. Martha Herbert, Dr. Jay Gordon, Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Frank Lipman, an acupuncturist, and a whole lot of other woo, I don't have high hopes that his movie will be particularly science-based...obviously. After all, here we have a woman involved with an organization that believes vaccines cause autism, plus several others who have aligned themselves with the antivaccine movement, one of whom (Dr. Hyman) even co-authored a recent antivaccine screed with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. himself! Then there's the National Autism Association, which until recently listed vaccinations as a cause of autism on its website.

Whatever her background, Berger is nothing if not melodramatic (not to mention grandiose). Note her conclusion after setting it up with a description of the problem of bullying in school:

Everyday we hear horrible stories about children being bullied in school. Some refer to it as an epidemic. The tactics are so much worse than when I grew up in the 70’s. You could not get an entire school to gang up on someone’s Facebook page or send a compromised picture or video of that person and have it go viral. You pretty much had only a few choices to hurt them. Whisper rumors about them to other people, which let’s face it takes time. One popular thing was to scribble something mean about them on the bathroom wall. Although you had to hope that people used the stall and actually noticed the writing.

Bullying is a horrible thing to live through especially when it involves a child. It can leave lasting physical and emotional scars. Children have even lost their lives to bullying as some get pushed over the edge and commit suicide. We here these stories everyday. Luckily there is more awareness and parents have some recourse. They can sue the school or do something more drastic like move or change schools to protect their child.

But what happens when an entire country is bullying individuals? I find that this is the case for Vaccine Bullying.

That's right. It's not just doctors. It's not just pro-vaccine friends and nasty skeptics like myself. It's the entire damned United States of America bullying her! One can't help but wonder: What is the US doing to bully the brave Ms. Berger? Has it started a whisper campaign about her? Has it ganged up on her Facebook page? Has it scribbled mean things about her on the bathroom wall? Inquiring minds want to know!

Unfortunately, Ms. Berger is all too happy to explain. To her The Vaccine Bully is comprised of our entire government because the government doesn't accept that "vaccines are hurting adults and children even though they secretly pay out billions of dollars in their not well disclosed Vaccine Court." This struck me as a strange assertion. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has a prominent, easy-to-find website, complete with lots of information, instructions on how to file a claim, and, of course, data and statistics easily accessible to anyone with a computer or smartphone. The latest statistics were even updated in October. I know, I know, just because there's a website doesn't mean that people know about the Vaccine Court, but Ms. Berger is clearly trying to insinuate that the government is trying to hide the existence of the court while referring to the government "secretly" paying out billions of dollars. It's not much of a secret (at least not to me and most reasonable people) if figures as recent as last month are easily discoverable on the web on an official government website.

It's not just the government, though. Oh, no. It's those damned pediatricians. Ms. Berger tells a tale of woe about an encounter with a pediatrician:

I went to a new doctor on West 79th street. He was a highly recommended pediatrician. During the visit, I told him that I only wanted to do the Polio vaccine since I heard it was one of the more benign ones and that I was worried about giving vaccines to my 3 month old baby. He started to raise his voice and said that I need to give a more useful one like the DTaP. I said that I didn’t want to. He proceeded to speak much louder and told me “I will not stand by and watch you kill your baby”. He actually said these words to me! I left immediately as tears fired down my face. I marched right up to the receptionist and said “don’t even think of submitting this visit to my insurance, since this was not a proper doctors visit and I now have to go see another doctor”. Then I continued “tell him I will report the visit as fraud if he tries to get paid”. She looked at me shocked and kind of mumbled okay. I checked every explanation of benefits for the next 6 months. He never submitted it. I felt some vindication in my small way that I stood up to him and did not pay him for his lousy behavior.

My guess is that this is a rather—shall we say?—selective retelling of the tale. If the doctor truly behaved as described, that's unacceptable, but I rather suspect that Ms. Berger is leaving some things out. For one thing, a pediatrician trying to maintain a practice on the Upper West Side is not likely to start yelling at a patient's mother so easily. I know doctors who practice in New York City. It's very, very competitive, and referral patterns are pretty tight and inflexible. A pediatrician who yelled at a patient's mother like this would risk seeing his referrals and recommendations drying up. This would be doubly true for an affluent Manhattan neighborhood like the Upper West Side. Reading between the lines, having heard many similar stories from antivaccine activists like Ms. Berger, my guess is that Ms. Berger was a particularly annoying antivaccine parent and the pediatrician just got fed up. It's understandable. I don't know if I could keep my cool if I were a pediatrician facing my fourth or fifth parent like Ms. Berger in a day, which is why it's a good thing I didn't become a pediatrician.

Let's accept that if the pediatrician did indeed yell at her (although from the story it sounds more likely that he probably raised his voice in exasperation) it was a bad thing. However, it's not "bullying" to try to persuade a parent to vaccinate her child. Vaccination is standard of care medical practice, and parents who don't vaccinate their children put not only their children in danger, but the children of others. A pediatrician who does not try to persuade parents to vaccinate is, in my not-so-humble opinion, committing at best medical negligence and at worst malpractice. Definitely, he's failing to live up to the standards of his profession.

Ms. Berger also characterizes being required by school administrators to have her children vaccinated before they can attend school to be "bullying." Of course, school vaccine mandates are the law, and school administrators are simply following the law by requiring proof of vaccination before letting children into school. By Ms. Berger's standards, any government official or police officer who enforces the law is being a "bully." That cop who pulled you over for going 20 MPH over the speed limit and wrote you a fat ticket? Definitely a bully! Shouldn't you be allowed to drive as fast as you want? What about that parking officer who saw that your meter expired a half hour ago and wrote you a ticket? Super bully! Shouldn't we be able to park wherever we want and for however long we need to for free?

So fragile is Ms. Berger that to her any questioning of her antivaccine views or story is "bullying." She relates a tale of how at dinner a cousin had the temerity to question her claim that vaccines caused her child to have a stroke, pointing out, quite reasonably, that “you can’t be sure it was the vaccine.” This led the fragile Ms. Berger to scream back at her “YES! I am sure” and ignore her the rest of the meal, concluding:

I felt very angry how she could even think to question me not once, but three times. If my son had broken his leg, she would never have asked me how I could be sure. It is her own brainwashed views on vaccines that caused her to try to bully me at a dinner party. It was both inappropriate and inexcusable. I have decided to forgive her ignorance for my own peace and sanity. It’s just incredible how pervasive vaccine bullying can be.

I don't consider questioning a claim that vaccines caused strokes to be "bullying," given that there is no good scientific evidence that vaccines do, in fact, cause strokes. That was a face-to-face encounter, though. Ms. Berger is even more fragile than I've shown thus far, as she concludes with an example of horrific online bullying that is terrifying to behold:

I recently had someone send me a link to a book called “Neurotribes” which is about how autism has always been around and it’s just better diagnosis. I haven’t read the book but watched three minutes of the author speak. I immediately closed the link and wrote my “friend” that I find the link upsetting. I said my son was vaccine injured like many children with Autism. The authors’s book undermines what has happened to so many children like my son". This person ignored my comment. I was angry that he would not even acknowledge that the link upset me. I went at him again the next day. I explained further that "I live in a world everyday that pretends what happened to my son did not happen. I continued "when we were growing up there were not all these kids that could not walk and talk". He again ignored my message. I felt silently bullied. So I pressed on with my third and final message the following day. Here is what I wrote verbatim: "that link was more upsetting than child porn would be to me. Your insensitivity explains why you are still alone. Most people just apologize when they realize they have upset someone even if it's unintentional”. He finally said that he was sorry. I probably have not changed his views, but I believe he might think twice the next time he talks about vaccines and autism with a parent who has a vaccine injured child. And if he upsets them, maybe it won’t take 3 days to apologize.

Yes, you heard it. A friend sent Ms. Berger a link to a book he thought she might like. What was his reward for something he probably did out of kindness? Ms. Berger totally flipped out. So, as many people would do, he simply went quiet, no doubt hoping not to escalate the situation. Finally, after three angry e-mail responses from Ms. Berger, he appears to have apologized, most likely to get this ranting woman off his back. I might have done the same thing, although, to be honest, were it me I'd probably have issued a notpology along the lines of, "I'm sorry you're angry because of this." If Ms. Berger wonders why autism antivaccine activists are so commonly viewed as a bunch of ranting loons, perhaps she should look at her own behavior in response to an innocent, well-intentioned e-mail from a friend.

To say Ms. Barger's response was disproportionate to the perceived offense would be an understatement. Think about it. She actually said that receiving a link to a book by Steve Silberman about how autism has always been with us was more upsetting to her than child porn! Let me repeat that to emphasize the lack of proportionality: A book on autism—no, a mere web link to a book on autism—that doesn't support the idea that vaccines cause autism upset Ms. Barger more than viewing child pornography would! That's right. Ms. Barger is seriously equating the level of offense caused by questioning whether we really are in the midst of an "autism epidemic," a key cornerstone of the antivaccine faith (because if autism prevalence only appears to be skyrocketing because of better diagnosis, more intense screening, and diagnostic substitution then vaccines couldn't possibly be causing autism), with child pornography.

The mind boggles.

So what do we do about this fantastical problem of Vaccine Bullying (which, I note, Ms. Berger always capitalizes)? This, apparently:

So what do we do about the problem of Vaccine Bullying. I suggest always speaking up to a bully as long as it does not infringe upon you or your child’s safety. We could write more articles on the subject to educate people. There could be a task force created to counsel those being bullied. Most of all we can stand together and support one another for a cause that affects the entire community. You would think that the world would feel some empathy for parents who have a child with vaccine induced Autism, but instead we are persecuted for standing up and warning others.

May I suggest not badgering a friend who did nothing more than innocently recommend a book to her with three ranty e-mails demanding an apology? No? Oh, well...

Heather Barajas comparing her plight to that of Jews during Nazi Germany. This is also not what is going on when antivaccine activists are criticized for their antivaccine beliefs. Heather Barajas comparing her plight to that of Jews during Nazi Germany. This is also not what is going on when antivaccine activists are criticized for their antivaccine beliefs.

Antivaccinationists love to paint themselves as being "persecuted" and "bullied" for their beliefs. Frequently they take this persecution complex to ridiculous extremes, such as during the debate over the passage of the new California law SB 277, which will eliminate nonmedical vaccine exemptions beginning in 2016, when antivaccine activists routinely likened the law to fascism and themselves to Jews in Germany during the Nazi era, complete with offensive co-optation of the yellow Star of David badges that the Nazis forced Jews to wear. (Even Dr. Bob Sears couldn't resist using such imagery.) Co-opting Holocaust imagery is not a new thing, either. Meanwhile, at AoA, Ms. Berger's co-blogger, Kent Heckenlively, has been known to liken his struggle to that of Aragorn against the dark lord Sauron in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.

I suppose I should be grateful that Ms. Berger confined her rhetoric to just being bullied.

Aragorn and his outnumbered armies face the assembled hordes of the dark lord Sauron as the Black Gate to Mordor opens. This is also not what is happening when antivaccinationists face criticism for their views. Aragorn and his outnumbered armies face the assembled hordes of the dark lord Sauron as the Black Gate of Mordor opens. This is also not what is happening when antivaccinationists face criticism for their views.
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It's funny- it sounds to me that she was the one doing the bullying of the friend who sent her the link to the book.

My personal favorite is when someone comes onto MY blog because of a post that I've written and says that I'm a bully for my views. It's my blog! No one is forcing you to read it!

By NH Primary Care Doc (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

Until we have a clear idea as to what autism is and how and why it occurs we are not going to convince these people and I doubt we will then. Particularly in those children who do seem to regress after early development and those with other co morbid conditions.
I wish I had a fiver for every time I have explained that as autism cannot reliably be diagnosed much before the age of two it is impossible to know if a child who has had an adverse reaction to a vaccine was autistic before the vaciine was administered. Antivaxers 'know' otherwise.
I get told that I'm only a mother not a doctor or a scientist so what do I know!
'Umm! 'Cos my opinion is supported by scientific evidence'
At which point I may as well save my breath because apparently all my evidence is tainted and I'm a pharma shill.
Our local charlatan and antivaxer thinks mothers like me are neurotic and don't want to accept that our children are damaged and could be cured becuse being 'autism mums makes us feel special - oh the irony!

By Catherine Hall (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

Interestingly enough, they don't want to listen to doctors, scientists and researchers either.....

Dara Berger = Professional Victim

I know doctors who practice in New York City. It’s very, very competitive, and referral patterns are pretty tight and inflexible.

This goes a long way towards explaining Kelly Brogan.

@#2 There is, without question, a lot more we need to learn to understand autism but it is certainly the case that we know an awful lot about 1) what autism is as it translates into a disorder; and, 2) variables related to etiology. None of this knowledge has changed the attitude of anti-vaxers and I doubt the further accumulation of evidence will either. Sad but likely true.

"that link was more upsetting than child porn would be to me."

Well, there you have it. In her mind, telling the story of how autistics have always been part of our society but have been shunned and shoved away in dark places is "more upsetting than child porn" to her. But it's not that autistics have been treated that way, no. What is "more upsetting than child porn" to her is that Steve Silberman didn't repeat the lie that vaccines cause autism. That is the reality this woman -- and many others who write for and read AoA -- live in, where the truth is an anathema to them. Simply pointing out to them that the sky is blue is bullying, yet they do nothing for autistics who are actually being bullied into those dark places. They even whitewash the murder of autistic children, because murder is more acceptable than bullying, apparently.

This woman's behavior, even as self-reported, makes it sound as if she's really unbalanced.

By palindrom (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

Welcome to ScienceBlogs, the Vaccine/Global Warming website.

Is there a vaccine to prevent CAGW skepticism?
If so, I must not have gotten the shot.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

See, you're not a skeptic. Skeptics can be persuaded by good evidence. You are what is sometimes called a pseudo-skeptic, one who adopts the rhetoric of skepticism to provide cover for a completely dug-in ideological position.

The other word for this is "denier". The standard rhetorical technique for defending against this is to vigorously clutch one's pearls and assert that the word is inextricably linked to Holocaust denial, and how dare you accuse me of that!!! Well, no one's accusing you of that. It's an accurate description of the pseudo-skeptic position, because at this point, the evidence that global warming is happening, is caused mostly or wholly by humans, and is likely to be very disruptions is conclusive.

By palindrom (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

I don't miss these types one bit, you know, as a pediatric "bully" and all. Though, once in a blue moon, I'll still get an AV parent who apparently never checked out my vaccine policy online or read it while registering in the waiting room. Does a part of me feel bad about asking them to go elsewhere for care? Yes. But if you aren't going to vaccinate then you are a risk to my newborns immunocompromised patients. If that makes me a bully, well bully for me.

Also, what is it with these AVers and their glasses of wine in hand whilst "researching" on the computer. Berger is another of these types --see her 11/20/15 AoA column where she just "knows" it's the vaccines that did it). Maybe if they'd all back off on the wine, their brains might defog. No, probably not. But I'm sure the etoh is fueling some of their screed, as it's a pattern seen in the TMR crowd as well.

By Christopher Hickie (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

... likely to be very disruptive. Bah.

By palindrom (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

"I felt silently bullied." Well, at least she isn't flying planes into skyscrapers.

By N. S. Alito (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

This woman’s behavior, even as self-reported, makes it sound as if she’s really unbalanced.

Yes. One assumes that whenever a person writes something about herself that she unconsciously tries to present herself in the best possible light. We all tend to do that, myself included, which is why it takes a conscious effort to try to be more objective when discussing our own behavior. After all, it's human nature to want to present oneself as favorably as possible. So, even assuming that Ms. Barger is trying to present herself in as favorable light as possible (which is likely), her description of her own behavior, particularly that last part where she went absolutely ballistic over a friend innocently sending her a link to a book he thought she might be interested in, to that point that she badgered him with three ranty e-mails, comes across as unhinged and unreasonable.

Somehow the bit about her being more upset by that link to a book than she would have been by child pornography blew right past me when I wrote this, even though it's very important. So I just added a bit of text and changed the title of the post to emphasize that part a bit more, because it is important. Someone who is more upset by seeing a link to a book that refutes her views about vaccines and autism than she would be by child pornography is not someone who can be reasoned with.

I had a friend like this, once. She wasn't terribly wooish, that I know of, but she was terribly, terribly invested in the idea that if ever she felt the slightest bit unhappy or uncomfortable, for any reason, it was because someone else was being a terrible person. It went so far that she accused me of being a bully and a horrible friend for the grave offence of having answered the phone when someone she was arguing with called me.

And here is the thing... so thoroughly had she convinced herself that she was surrounded by bullies and mean girls, that she basically gave herself cover to be as mean as she wanted to anyone, at any time. Calling her out on her own bad behaviour was seen as the ultimate in bullying.

I never did figure out how to get through to her, and some days, I still feel like it's a shame. A few people I know still cross paths with her from time to time, and it sounds like she's still a very unhappy person.

I see the same sort of personality problem in a lot of these AV "bullying" rants, and this example was a striking one. She sounds like she's clinging desperately to the need to believe that any unhappiness she might feel, whether it's something big (like adjusting to having a child with a disability) or something small (like someone questioning a single one of her assertions), is someone else's fault. And not someone else's fault through a simple well-intentioned misunderstanding, but rather deliberate cruelty or malfeasance.

It's a lousy way to live.

By delta-orion (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

This is the exact same attitude that leads anti-vaxers to invade pro-vax websites & complain about all the pro-vax "trolls."

As is one could "troll" one's own website.

"She relates a tale of how at dinner a cousin had the temerity to question her claim that vaccines caused her child to have a stroke, pointing out, quite reasonably, that “you can’t be sure it was the vaccine.” This led the fragile Ms. Berger to scream back at her “YES! I am sure”...

"The authors’s book undermines what has happened to so many children like my son. This person ignored my comment. I was angry that he would not even acknowledge that the link upset me. I went at him again the next day."

Ms. Berger sounds like an awful bully, what with all the anger, screaming and berating.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

@ Chris Hickie:

"Also, what is it about these AVers and their glasses of wine in hand whilst 'researching'..." ?

Oh, I know. I'll venture that it's a self-soothing mechanism/ affiliation-seeking action/ mind-clouding technique that they use frequently rather than facing reality.

I truly believe that some of these women DO have a hard time taking care of a special needs child and in addition, they are disappointed in their lot- they thought that they'd be in a 'different place' when their children were aged 10 or 15. They may become isolated from other parents ( of NT kids who live nearby) and family who don't understand. So I do understand their predicament.

Thus they seek out comfort in mind-altering substances ( not that there's anything wrong with that) and mind-numbing conversations amongst their like-minded computer friends who reward their pseudo-science by agreeing and congratulating them on their brilliance. Then they write the whole mess up and post it on AoA or TMR or- an entirely new option- NARRATE their tales on TMR TV! That's the new thing.

As I always say, these websites/ fanfiction spots are 'group therapy gone wrong' because they reinforce unrealistic ideas and interaction.

And believe me, I like to go out, have wine or gin- not both- and talk with associates/ friends/ SOs but seriously, I know what ideas to keep working on when I've sober and what to discard.
Although poetry created in that manner can often be superior.
Where's JP?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

She sounds like she’s clinging desperately to the need to believe that any unhappiness she might feel ... is someone else’s fault.

I've known people a bit like that -- I had a former colleague who had an infinite capacity for blaming other people for difficulties that were her own doing, and was able to rationalize jaw-droppingly bad behavior on her own part. Everyone ended up mad at her, and she was never able to perceive that she was the common factor, even though in many ways she was an extremely intelligent woman.

By paldindrom (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

@ delta-orion:

"any unhappiness she might feel...is someone else's fault"

That's often how young children attribute blame- it's a means of preserving self-esteem. Everyone does it to some extent but these women appear to make it a habit.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

What a poisonous harpy. DSM-6 should add Tu Quoque Personality Disorder just for her.

I see this victim mentality as being culturally supported. Otherwise why would the perpetually offended not feel any shame for their own behaviors.

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

NH Primary Care Doc,

I enjoy civil disagreements since I learn from them but nothing torques me more in the comments section than someone being insulting to the blog host.

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

More on self-adulating anti-vax promotion:

TMR facebook announces a new documentary by Christie Dames and Kevin O'Malley, *Moms Determined*, featuring TM, Dragonslayer ( Marissa Ali) - a "quest or unite moms from around the world to help find answers to complicated medical diagnoses"

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

a quest TO unite

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

"a quest to unite"

I'd wish more power to them if they weren't so entirely misguided. It's too bad; they might be able to do some good in the world if they weren't wasting their efforts in all the wrong places.

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

@Catherine Hall #2:

I get told that I’m only a mother not a doctor or a scientist so what do I know!

Which is ironic, given the number of anti-vaxxers who claim that as a mother they know that vaccines harmed their child and doctors can't possibly know otherwise.

By Rich Woods (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

The 'worse than child porn' is so outrageous that yup, I felt some rage on first read. But then I realize it's hyper-outrageous, i.e. beyond the realm of outrage into utter WTF.

delta-orion's comment smacks me upside the head, because d-o's friend reminds me of someone now in my life who frequently resorts to a sort of persecution/martyr worldview (someone's always 'screwing them over'), but can also be very combative and hurtful to others (seemingly to a lesser degree than d-o has experienced, thankfully). And what delta-orion sees so beautifully is this friends pain. For which d-o has compassion, a desire to get through. Maybe I'm reading in, but get the impression the fact the friend can't be reached makes d-o feel sad about the whole situation...

I think to myself that yet again sh!t rolls down-hill. World class WTF doesn't come out of nowhere. It's hard for me to be sympathetic when my martyr goes on the 'all about me' war-path. But I know that this individual was abandoned by their mother as a child, and left in the care of a physically abusive father -- a level of traumatic experience I can't imagine I can ever fully understand.

I know that folks with personality-disorder type issues often have had some formative horrifying experience in their youth – incidents where they were badly hurt through no fault of their own. It's hardly surprising that they may shut this out of mind, only to have the repressed return as a variety of irrational projections e.g. 'vaccine damage conspiracies', or that these mental distortions lead them to do harm to others in one form or another. Sadly, full-on personality disorders appear to be cases where some part of a person's humanity becomes broken beyond repair. They become monstrous, and the best advice to others appears to be 'just stay away, because there's really nothing you can do about it.'

So I wonder if someone did something awful to Dara Berger. I consider the possibility that "more upsetting than child porn would be to me" linked to the viciousness of "your insensitivity explains why you are still alone" is not a random reference pulled out of the air. I sense some serious sh!t is rolling down-hill here. I imagine I might feel sorry for Berger if I knew her 'whole story'. But I feel sorrier for the people who are caught in its path, and can't get away...

I've learned that 'my martyr' is falling under the sway of an anti-vax "friend"... At this point things are still a long way from AoA level crazy... But I'm afraid...

I do take some solace from Orac's post, though. I take the appearance of Berger's screed on AoA as another sign that anti-vax is in it's death throes as a 'movement' capable of maintaining enough influence to threaten public health. It's not just that Berger wrote it, but that it's typical of how much more fringey the core AVers have become, along with embracing Tea Party politicians and what not. Taking a wider view, the public sphere in the U.S. appears to be approaching a crisis point with Trump-ism. The mass of sheer crazy seems to growing bigger, but more unstable week-by-week. That's frightening, of course, but I can't see anti-vax getting any significant boost there, but rather getting kicked to the curb by more broadly held, more dramatic, and more venal obsessions: anti-immigrant, death-to-all-Muslims, arm-kindergarden-teachers-with-AK47s, and so on. Small comfort, maybe, but I guess I'll take what I can get.

The apparent definition Ms. Berger (although the intermittent spelling as Barger seems quite appropriate in this case) holds of Bullying reminds me of the Robot Chicken terrorism sketch...

Boy: I pledge allegiance to the hag of the United States of fart.
Terrorist: DID YOU HEAR THAT? HE SAID "FART"! NOW IS THE TIME TO STRIKE!
Boy: I was just trying to be funny!
Announcer: America loves a joke, but not when the punch-line is TERRORISM.
Mother: (baking flag-cake) Ooops! I only put on 49 stars!
Announcer: TERRORISM.
Couple: (at voting booth) We just voted Democrat!
Announcer: TERRORISM.
Jew: (with menorah) Time to light the Hanukkah menorah, kids!
Announcer: TERRORISM.
Punk #1: (at video store) Ooooh, how about The Core?
Punk #2: Ahhhh, ...could be good.
Announcer: TERRORISM.

By Richard Smith (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

I think it's pretty clear that Ms. Berger has borderline personality disorder. Grafting an irrational belief onto such a disorder makes for a particularly noxious and difficult person. She gets into high-voltage conflicts with people wherever she goes, but has no insight into how she is the cause of these conflicts. She has no idea how bad she looks, even in her own self-interested description of these encounters. I loved the sentence "I felt silently bullied." Wow. Even when someone is saying nothing, he is bullying her. "Your insensitivity explains why you are still alone." How vicious. I hope her victim is not sensitive about being single, and took this crazy lady's ranting with a grain of salt. Certainly, he has at least decided to have nothing more to do with her.

By Steven Blackthorne (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

I think the business of the porn versus the book is very simple: the book dares to question her ideas and the porn is all about someone else and therefore of no concern to her whatever. Lookitme! Lookitme!

@ sadmar:

You more or less hit it on the head about my feelings toward my former friend. I honestly can't help wondering if she was (and maybe still is) suffering from some sort of low-level depression, and turned to a sense of persecution as a maladaptive way of managing it, the way some people self-medicate with alcohol or drugs. I *liked* her. When she wasn't tearing a strip off someone for some imagined slight, she was fun.

But at the same time -- liking someone, and feeling sorry for them, just isn't enough. Not when they're doing real harm. I think Denice made an excellent point (which of course she and others have made here before) when she said that, yes, these women *are* unhappy, they *are* struggling. And no, we shouldn't forget that. But they don't get a free pass just because they have hardships to deal with. Their hurt does not justify the harm they do to others, including their own children.

By delta-orion (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

Catherine Hall @2:

Our local charlatan and antivaxer thinks mothers like me are neurotic and don’t want to accept that our children are damaged and could be cured

How is Mr Noakes these days?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

@ Denise #23

If you take a thousand people who can't fix a car and put them all together they still can't fix a car. Similarly, a thousand of these TMR types aren't going to be any better at diagnosis than any one of them alone. Perhaps however they will be more entertaining. Definitely more annoying.

By Christopher Hickie (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

So Ms. Berger does not want her baby to the get the DTaP, even though pertussis is floating around lots more than polio. Of course, if her child does get pertussis she will do the same as Heather Dexter: a bunch of nothing useful and then complain on hard was on herself, not her child.

I am quite familiar with bullies online. A bit over ten years ago I participated in a support listserv dedicated to my son's speech diagnosis (twenty years they got various speech disorder diagnoses, not autism*). One of the Mercury Moms tried to get me banned from the listserv because I just clarified on a thread about the MMR vaccine where she had warned against mercury that it never contained thimerosal.

I got tired of the Mercury Mom Militia going on about vaccines and chelation, that I submitted an email titled "Bad Idea." The vitriolic nasty grams that landed directly in my email (not the listserv) were amazing.

I dealt with this for a year. I shared some of the Mercury Militia email with some folks I had met on the Healthfraud listserv (go to Quackcast to sign up), and was informed one of that militia was an employee of the late Dr. Bradstreet.

I was thoroughly disgusted and frustrated, so I just left the listserv. It was about two weeks later that a little boy was executed by chelation for the unpardonable crime of being autistic.

And they call me a bully?

* Son now has an autism diagnosis, and it is severe enough that he is eligible for the state's Developmental Disorders Administration.

AoA commenter Betty Bona chimes in to add refusing to argue with her to the list of bullying tactics:

Two lines I hate hearing from family and friends are, "we get our science from very different sources," and "we'll just have to agree to disagree." It's their way of ending the argument without having to consider my points. They get to continue with their "more educated than thou" beliefs with the second assumption that I'm a nutcase. I feel bullied then.

@ Christopher Hickie:

Dr Chris, they ARE quite entertaining in an 'OMFG are they really serious?' way.
AND how they jockey for attention, compete with each other for the Most Devoted Martyr or Parent of Most Ill Child award.
They are on display at AutismOne 2015 videos ( TMR and Recovery Panels) and the aforementioned TMR TV. The panels include at least 6-7 of them at a time. Yiii!

I never forget when I read their masterpieces that they are above all performing for an audience. Perhaps they're not really like that but then, how many people would make careers out of narrating their lives as caretakers and their children's challenges? Only histrionic attentions wh-res.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

@Narad: Oh, that is hilarious. Of course, Betty is absolutely correct that saying that "we'll just have to agree to disagree" is a way of ending the argument without considering her points. What she doesn't realize is that it is a good strategy for preventing unpleasantness in a social situation where you don't really want to get into a knock down, drag out argument dealing with antivaccine nutcases like Ms. Barger and Ms. Bona.

It is not, however, bullying. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

Note her sarcasm:
" more educated than thou"
because these people believe that THEY themselves are more educated than doctors, psychologists, researchers.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

Herr Doktor Bimler@ 32
Mr Noakes appears to be well thank you. Though sadly out of pocket having had a tribunal find him guilty of sex discrimination against a former employee.
He has suggested his company be allowed to bid against our Meducal Specialist Group when the contract comes up for renewal. He is offering to treat us all with vitamins and his supplement Golec and promises the island will be cancer free. Not sure what he was planning for obstetrics or orthopeadics and trauma. Even he couldnt be daft enough to expect his wonder treatment would be much use in dealing with a breech presentation or a broken leg.
Anyway, as no one seems keen on taking up this offer he is standing as a candidate in a local by-election next week.

By Catherine Hall (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

They get to continue with their “more educated than thou” beliefs with the second assumption that I’m a nutcase. I feel bullied then.

Think how much more of a bully I must be for not bothering to find out Betty Bona's* opinions in the first place!

* I cannot help thinking of Julian and Sandy when I read her nym.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

# 10 Christopher Hickie

Does a part of me feel bad about asking them to go elsewhere for care? Yes.

Don't be foolish. You are doing your best to keep your patients safe.

If I had young children I'd be searching out someone with your policies (and running like mad from the waiting room of someone like Dr. Sears)

By jrkrideau (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

Berger's claim that a scientific book about the diagnosis of autism is "worse than child porn" is offensive on so many levels.

Orac: "What she doesn’t realize is that it is a good strategy for preventing unpleasantness in a social situation where you don’t really want to get into a knock down, drag out argument dealing with antivaccine nutcases like Ms. Barger and Ms. Bona."

My adult autistic kid has more social sense than either of those women.

"We’ll just have to agree to disagree,” is indeed a smarmy, annoying dodge. It doesn't prevent unpleasantness, because it stinks of undeserved privilege and power to stop discussion. It's not bullying. It's haughty dismissal, something people say as an exit put-down they can get away with via faux politese, because everyone now knows the phrase has become a performative cliche.

The thing is, it's not something you say to actual friends or family you care even a little about. So methinks Betty "Get-Me-A-New-Nym" Bona' (or is that pronounced 'big-bo-NAY') is making that up. That is, either it's not a direct quote from folks close to her, but a paraphrase expressing how she hears their disengagement, or it's a direct quote from someone (probably just one person, one time) who is NOT close friend or family, and she's punching up the martyrdom by framing as coming from multiple close sources. Either way, I'm sensing the sort of hyperbole Denise might characterize as performance for Histrionic Attention Whore Community Theater.

Even if 'Bona' did get this form of 'dis' from a friend, the 'bullying' claim is just so insensitively whiny BS. I was bullied in Jr. High, and I would have celebrated if my tormentors had just dismissed me with an insult. It was physical, creating more fear than anger, and it seemed it would never stop. I'll credit 'Bona' for one thing: saying "I feel bullied then", not "I know I'm being bullied then." Yup, it's all in your mind Betty: either you're making your own bruises, or you have no idea what actually being bullied feels like.

As I've observed, Chris, quite a few of the parents seem to lack that certain *je ne sais quoi* concerning social interaction, self-evaluation, understanding others etc.
and we know that ASDs can display heritability
but we're not supposed to say that because ...you know..
they don't like it or something.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

This woman claims bullying wasn't so easy in the 1970's? Thanks, lady. Thanks for telling me that. I'm sure I must have imagined all those bruises way back in middle school since it was so difficult and time consuming to be a bully back then.

SMH

This woman has no idea what it means to be bullied, and her complaint is just a shield against criticism . . . deserved criticism as it happens. She can't defend her views with logic, so she uses emotion. Cowardly, despicable, and worst of all, dishonest.

“We’ll just have to agree to disagree,” is the Yankee "Bless your heart."

By shay simmons (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

Panacea: "This woman claims bullying wasn’t so easy in the 1970’s?"

I sometimes wonder if the kids who bullied me relentlessly in fourth grade are now part of the AoA crowd. I was an Army brat who had lived elsewhere than their little midwest town, and would actually read books. Apparently being different is a crime in some small towns, and small minded communities like AoA.

Catherine Hall @ #39:

"Even he couldnt be daft enough to expect his wonder treatment would be much use in dealing with a breech presentation or a broken leg."

Why not? It works for everything else:

"We’ve had complete successes with many common cancers including prostate lung breast and melanoma, but a little with leukemia too. The immune system can eradicate chronic inflammation, bacterial and viral infections, and our GcMAF has been successful here, and with Autism, Chronic Herpes, Chronic Acne, Chronic cirrhosis of the liver, Chronic kidney disease, Chronic depression, Colitis, Crohn’s, Fibromyalgia, Hepatitis, Herpes, LMBBS, ME/CFS, Osteoporosis, and various types of Immune dysfunction including allergies. Research shows GcMAF can reverse HIV, Parkinson’s, and prevent deterioration in multiple sclerosis (MS) and ALS, and in its role of immune system regulator, can reverse diseases that attack the immune system like Lupus and Arthritis. And is effective with wound healing."

https://web.archive.org/web/20140326214335/http://www.gcmaf.eu/how-gcma…

By Mrs Pointer (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

I was an Army brat who had lived elsewhere than their little midwest town, and would actually read books. Apparently being different is a crime in some small towns, and small minded communities like AoA.

I don't quite agree with your conclusion there, Chris.

I was an AF brat, back in the days when the Viet Nam war was in full swing, and we moved a lot. Big city schools, small town schools, on base schools, schools near the base, and schools nowhere near a base (because dad was overseas) - all of them had bulling, and anybody could be the target.

I think it's a fundamental part of the human condition - men, women, boys, and girls. You might as well expect big fish to not eat little fish.

I'm not saying that it should be allowed. You can stop a bully, but you can't stop them all.

@sadmar --

“We’ll just have to agree to disagree,” is indeed a smarmy, annoying dodge. It doesn’t prevent unpleasantness, because it stinks of undeserved privilege and power to stop discussion. It’s not bullying. It’s haughty dismissal, something people say as an exit put-down they can get away with via faux politese, because everyone now knows the phrase has become a performative cliche.

I (at least think) I usually say "Let's just agree to disagree," or at least try to suggest that's how I mean it via tone and context.

But I do fairly regularly suggest that resolution under circumstances where the debate has gone on past long enough for it to be clear that no other kind of agreement is going to be reached.

Is that icky of me? I've never intended to convey anything by it other than "OK. This is going nowhere. Let's stop arguing."

^^That's a sincere and not a trick question. I mean, if it's annoying, I'll stop doing it.

If you're enough of a BULLY to make me. Of course.

(No, really. Am I unwittingly condescending to people by saying that?)

And believe me, I like to go out, have wine or gin- not both- and talk with associates/ friends/ SOs but seriously, I know what ideas to keep working on when I’ve sober and what to discard.
Although poetry created in that manner can often be superior.
Where’s JP?

At a fairly raucous event right at the moment, from the sound of things.

Is that icky of me?

No.

Their hurt does not justify the harm they do to others, including their own children.

Yes, a thousand times. But I think we err when we conflate the harm with the person. We can maintain some sympathy for the human-beings while condemning their actions. I don't think this is just philosophical nit-picking, either. What we want is to eliminate as much harm as possible, yes? To develop effective strategies to prevent harms, we must understand them, and some form of measured sympathy is typically necessary to do that.

If there ARE something like personality disorders operating in 'extremist' anti-vaxers at AoA, TMR etc., that puts them into the 'probably lost causes' category, and we're not going to be very successful in getting their behavior to change. It seems the most we can do is warn others to steer clear, and work to reduce future incidence of the causes of such disorders – the best methods of which are likely to be doing what we can to protect the vulnerable from the harms that can warp their sensibilities in their formative years, and working to counter-act the forces that may trigger 'dormant' pathologies to erupt into harm later in life.

My hypotheses here are:
1) The psychological pathologies that lead people to callous actions tend to fall into two general categories:
a) Repeated positive reinforcement of bad behavior in childhood and adolescence.
b) Significant un-addressed childhood victimization. (e.g. child sexual abusers who were themselves victims of sexual abuse denied/covered-up/etc.) I think this has something to do with evolutionary 'natural selection' among social creatures, where the worst survival chances fall to those at the lowest rung on the dominance ladder – thus the instinct after receiving a beat-down to turn around and administer another to a weaker member of the clan.
2. 'b' is much more common than 'a' for the simple reason that brutality is a more common experience for children than basking in unchallenged privilege.
3. Neither 'a' nor 'b' are universally causal. Some folks will emerge from such environments/experiences with negligible effect, only minor damage, only self-directed harm, etc. Some x-factor likely figures in the equation leading to harming pathologies.
4. Those x-factors are either too varied, unchangeable (genetic?), or unknown to imagine addressing, so our focus should stay on 'a' and 'b' (as intractable as they may seem to the pragmatic eye...)
5. 'a' and 'b' aren't mutually exclusive at all, and the most extreme 'deviance' may result from a combination of the two. One scenario might be a 'spoiled' child who suddenly experiences a traumatic instance of how cruel the world can be, and then 'acts out' in ways that are rewarded in some form. (The play/film The Ruling Class comes to mind as a parable...) Another scenario might be a neglected child who has neither buffers against cruelty nor controls on their response.
7. These pathologies may simmer without leading to significant harms until some triggering incident in adulthood exacerbates them. Obviously perhaps, I'm thinking here that most AV-crazy likely stems from some childhood thing that doesn't lead to big-time overt wigginess until the individual faces the 'crisis' of dealing with parenting a special-needs child. But certainly other life events – divorce, job loss, financial woes, etc. – lead vulnerable folks over-the-edge where more grounded folks regain their footing.
8. Recent history suggests that these psycho-social pathologies are amplified by mutual reinforcement... which has been immensely enabled by the explosion of self-selected immediate communication forms: cable news, talk radio, the blogosphere, social media. Now all the damaged nut-jobs can find each other, and create insular 'virtual community' bubbles that support distorted 'alternate realities' that rival Philip K. Dick wildest imaginings. It's hard to imagine either AV or Trumpism being major Things without the internet.

OK. If there's anything to these hypotheses, the question remains as ever 'what is to be done?' How DO we we protect vulnerable kids from the harms that can turn them toward the monstrous? How DO we counter-act the forces that call-up and unleash the waiting monstrous in adults?

I mean if you've plowed through the previous 684 words, I ought to have some pragmatic suggestions for you, amirite?

Wish I did... Wish I didn't feel so exhausted... So at sea... So old and weak... For tonight anyway, outside of muttering vague platitudes about "justice for all" 'fighting inequality and exploitation' or good ol' "do unto others" human decency, I got nothin'...

^ Unless, of course, "performative cliche" represents an infraction under some jurisdiction's Code of Aesthetics.

Would halting things at the outset be any less of a "smarmy, annoying dodge ... [that] doesn’t prevent unpleasantness, because it stinks of undeserved privilege and power to stop discussion"?

I have a close friend who was in earlier years quite mercurial. Unsurprisingly, after several repetitions, my "oh, G-d, it's time to play trying to start an argument again" circuits were quite finely tuned.

Betty Bona's characterization of "bullying" is neither more nor less than the complaint that people eventually refuse to put up with hers.

Johnny: "Big city schools, small town schools, on base schools, schools near the base, and schools nowhere near a base (because dad was overseas) – all of them had bulling, and anybody could be the target."

Actually, I was just highlighting the most egregious of them all. Mostly because the fourth grade class I had in Missouri Rural School #xyz was making me repeat what I had learned in my third grade at Stillwell Elementary of Ft. Ord, CA. It apparently was an abomination that I had already mastered long division and would routinely get 100% on most tests. That place actually made be behind my fifth grade peers at the next school, an American ex-pat school in South America.

This is why I locked myself in my brother's car because I was chased there with threats of real physical violence (well, I already had been hit by full force with by someone on a bike earlier). My brother was in high school, and was supposedly taking care of me while visiting a friend.

It was nothing compared to the teasing (not bullying) I had in 8th in the Canal Zone. Oh, and I did not get bullied in Minnesota during 7th when my dad was stationed in Korea. I just had stupid boys try to toss paper balls down my cleavage in math class (which was self paced, so I made up the time I lost in fourth grade, and having a mathematically incompetent 6th grade teacher in that private overseas school).

The only good thing about living in that wretched place while my dad attend the Command and General Staff School just over the border (and past the prison farms) was that I picked up the habit of going on long walks.

Yes, I was bullied in junior high... but by then I had grown a spine, another "good" thing about that wretched place. Something that has been very helpful in the age of teh internets.

But the difference between the likes of Bona and myself, is that she is the very definition of a troll. She badgers people who do not think like she does.

Though I admit to occasionally mocking them, but I try now to limit that at satire sites like TheSpudd, where because I could do the long division I learned in third grade I am labeled a "Pharma Shill." I am sorry, but folks who do not know how to click on a link, find two numbers on a math table, use their computer calculator to divide two simple numbers deserve to be mocked.

Yes, I am a math and computer literacy bully. ;-)

@ ann

Wow, IMHO it's really cool and considerate that you asked sincerely in response to my rant.* You rock! So I'll fight my drowsies to attempt a sincere, thoughtful reply...

In person, I think tone of voice usually carries the day. Context matters a lot, too. If you're getting browbeaten, and say "let's just agree to disagree" in exhausted resignation, the subtext would be different from the way I've encountered the phrase. My experience with it (which may be idiosyncratic) comes in academic settings, where a person in control of discussion employs it to cut off an exchange with putative peers after being caught with a weak argument. Q and A's after conference presentations or job talks, meetings with The Dean of Faculty, etc.

Actually, I have no problem whatsoever with someone cutting off unproductive discussion, or even ducking a difficult challenge. To me the icky comes from being disingenuous about it when the power dynamic is equal or favors the person withdrawing. The oxymoron of "agree to disagree" is too cute by half, and a sort of coercive gentility in those situations. Thus "Let's agree" is worse than "We'll have to agree" if you hear it voiced from a position of authority. You don't want to 'just disagree'. You think you're right and you want to continue pressing the argument to a conclusion to demonstrate that to your interlocutor, or to others listening in.

Of course, people can feel that way when they're dead wrong, just droning on repeating unsupported assertions, or any intermediate doses thereof. My suggestion then, is that anyone so beseiged should weather the storm long enough to do the small bit of critical reflection on the situation required to generate a specific context-appropriate disengagement instead of invoking the shop-worn generic form – especially in online text forums where tone is damn hard to communicate, and readers often assume the worst and fail to pick up the cues we may to include to indicate otherwise.

And I'll suggest that some measures of honest disclosure and respect for our interlocutors is the key to ick-avoidance.

Having run a few examples through my mind, I'll tentatively suggest a form of [apology] [succinct explanation of the problem with the exchange] [withdrawal statement]. And to whatever extent we may be in control of the discussion, I'd suggest we 'own it'. E.g., if someone drones on and on with the same 'point' in a public exchange we might say "I'm sorry, but this isn't going anywhere, and we need to move on, so I'm going to take the next question." The apology expresses the minimal respect we expect from anyone honestly taking issue with us. Combined with the problem ID, I think it distinguishes the issue at hand from any broad judgement of the other person as a whole – which we're not in a position to make with someone we don't know, and don't want to make with family/friends who have other opinions or qualities we value.

Again I'm suggesting measured respect and honesty, not profuse apology to the point of obsequious butt-kissing on oe hand, or brutal candor on the other. Thus, we might say "I'm sorry, but this isn't going anywhere" when we're actually thinking "Damnit, I can't take any more of this crap!"

It also strikes me as a good idea to 'own' wthdrawal from a position of interpersonal weakness. For example, if we're being browbeaten with anti-vax conspiracy nonsense by a friend or relative we're 'stuck with', we might say 'Look, Betty. I'm worn out. I just don't have the stomach to keep arguing with you. Please let's drop it and talk about something else." Or "Look, Betty. I don't have the stomach to keep arguing with you. I'm sorry, but I'm out of here." Depending on the situation, we might say we'll resume the discussion later, or only entertain resuming it under certain conditions (like, being reasonably calm), or have no desire to ever participate in the argument again under any circumstances, or no intent of even listening. "I'm sorry, but I have to preserve what little peace of mind the rest of my life leaves me, and if you go there, I'm gonna have to leave the room."

Granted, Dara and Betty make it clear that they will take great offense at anything other than total acceptance of their First Principle: "The vaccines ruined my perfect snowflake!" But my premise is that we're talking to people we don't have the luxury of writing off, and there will less offense taken and less trouble spilling over to other matters if we choose our words wisely. Doing so is also good practice for when we have to deal with folks who aren't being bat guano bonkers, but just boorish, tedious, or dumb about a certain given topic at a certain given time. I also like to think I remain true to my own standards – treat others the way I want to be treated – even – or maybe especially – when they're taking a dump on me. That is, I like the feeling of "I didn't sink to their level", or perhaps "I 'won' by demonstrating my moral superiority". That said, there can come a time when nothing but the straight poop will do, "You may or may not be a fine person in a lot of other ways, but on this, you've been a total f***nutz spewing out irrational harmful garbage that makes me want to puke, and then go outside for the good long primal scream I'm withholding to speak to you now in this calm quiet voice." Or something like that...

In sum, whether "Lets just agree to disagree" rises to ick level depends, but while there are certainly worse things we could say, I think we can (and should) do better...
______
* In addition to my long-standing pique at "agree to disagree" my ranting was influenced by sympathetic angst at my SO's tales of a stressful Thanksgiving dinner spent fending off an aggressive martyr-complex sibling's attempts (yup, this is the one moving toward anti-vax) to dredge up argument-starting family stuff. Which fending-off the SO has long given up trying to do with delicate, clever, forced gentility because It Does Not Work -- now just saying calmly but firmly "I'm sorry, but I am NOT going to talk about THAT!"

This woman has never been bullied.

Her characterization of the judgment she’s experienced as “bullying” is insulting to every child in the world who has actually experienced it.

Dara, I hope you read this post about you, and the comments section. You are co-opting children’s pain, and trying to excuse yourself by adding that those children’s parents can just move or sue.

And I am not bullying you when I state that you are not the victim in this situation.

Your reference to bullies in the title, Orac, provides me with a hook to post something here on a matter that is dear to me and many skeptics in Australia, and increasingly internationally. So apologies if I am going a little off thread, but the matter is urgent: This is an SOS call-out:
The multi million dollar sham therpay cult leader, Serge Benhayon, is suing Esther Rocket for defamation over criticism by her of Universal Medicine, a sham health and wellbeing therapy group / business / philosophy / cult. Benhayon is trying to silence his prominent critic by financially ruining her.

To contribute to her support (crowd) fund see here:
https://ozcrowd.com/campaigns/esther-rockett-legal-defence-fund/#.VlmDl…

To contribute to the Streisand effect, please repost this:
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/jane-hansen-how-universal…

Thank you good people for your patience with this somewhat off topic post.

By Rohan Gaiswinkler (not verified) on 27 Nov 2015 #permalink

Would halting things at the outset be any less of a “smarmy, annoying dodge …

Yes, usually.

Betty Bona’s characterization of “bullying” is neither more nor less than the complaint that people eventually refuse to put up with hers.

Well, I'll contend it's "more" because it's so self-contradictory, circular, and enclosed as you pointed out @ #35 – we're bullies if we argue with her, or if we decline to argue with her. I can honestly complain that people refuse to put up with my complaints without being a fascist.* Bona's using the form of a complaint to demand acceptance of her terms. If you can't argue, and can't not-argue, then the only option is to salute and fall in line.

Even if we agreed to disagree about how "We'll just have to agree to disagree" tends to be used, :-) I can't imagine any of the possibilities being Narad-employed. Having been very close to some mercurial folks myself, and often flummoxed in attempts to move things back toward even keel, I'm sincerely curious how you responded when your “oh, G-d, it’s time to play trying to start an argument again” circuits were tripped. If you're still friends, you might be better at that than I've been... (Anecdata can be useful, if you care to share.)

You seem to have been irked by "performative cliche", though I'm not clear why exactly. I see I wasn't quite clear in expressing the point. My bad. I'll spare the bandwidth of the full clarification, and just note that I wasn't apologizing for dear Betty, but pointing to something in her tale that strikes me as tellingly bogus. That is, in seeing how "agree to disagree" can be taken as condescending, I'm skeptical it was ever used that way by anyone who is actually close to her. I suspect she's recasting something else into a betrayal by intimates, fabulating butt-hurt melodrama to appeal to the AoA readership's self-aggrandizing pity-party. You may find that far-fetched or irrelevant to what you object to in the comment, but rest assured I wasn't trying to cut her any slack, but quite the opposite...
___
* In fact, I have complained about people who 'refused to put up with my complaints', (though I bitched to others, not them) when those original complaints were not just to them, but about them not following their own written rules, were on point, supported by strong un-contradicted and un-countered evidence, and when it was their GOD DAMN JOB to adjudicate complaints fairly AND keep their sh!t straight to begin with...
Like an old song: "There, I've bitched it again"...

Not an intellectually respectable article. Just drop the insults and make the case (with evidence, not assertions, please) that there is no causal link between vaccines and autism.

This writer can't do that, which is why he resorts to ad hominem aspersions. What an intellectual lightweight.

By Burmese Days (not verified) on 28 Nov 2015 #permalink

@ sadmar:

re # 7 & 8 above.

Sure. What I've observed is that they are working very hard to CREATE these 'bubbles' in order to insulate themselves from further insults from the reality-oriented community.

So as much as their projects- books, films, websites, social media- are engineered to proselytise to newcomers, they also work to keep partisans within the fold and comforted by reinforcing material, awash in anti-vax. I think the recent spate of AoA related books published by Skyhorse is an excellent example: during the holiday season, Kim will list them all ( see last year's) as gift ideas. Then there are the conferences and films released publicly in theatres ( "The Greater Good"). TMR has a web TV station with 10 channels- all loony, all the time.
Facebook, twitter,
hashtag heaven ( of #CDCwhistleblower, #Hearthiswell etc fame) as well as more private means: this work serves as a second career for many of the principals.

Similarly, merchants of woo are establishing their own alt media empires via computer radio/ phone broadcasting- prn.fm and talk network- founders of these outlets continuously warn their followers about how biased the mainstream is- so " Get your news from us!" They would form an impermeable bubble around their groupies as surely as conservative TV/ radio does. Their skewed politics and economics reinforce the basic message- Buy our products to protect yourself- linked to their merchandise. They teach followers/ converts 'how to live' as surely as religions do compleat with a system of values, mores and taboos.

An endless array of cults for modern anthropologists to survey.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 28 Nov 2015 #permalink

Morning, John boys!

Not an intellectually respectable article. Just drop the insults and make the case (with evidence, not assertions, please) that there is no causal link between vaccines and autism.

This writer can’t do that, which is why he resorts to ad hominem aspersions. What an intellectual lightweight.

The autism / vaccines link has been adressed in several other article on this blog, so you are criticizing the article for something that would have been very redundant.

"The autism / vaccines link has been adressed in _several_ other article on this blog,"

You misspelled "innumerable".

"he resorts to ad hominem aspersions. What an intellectual lightweight."

Irony not your strong suit?

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 28 Nov 2015 #permalink

Burmese Days #52
Usually, the task to show that a new hypothesis is reasonably true is to people proposing it. And believers in autism/vaccine hypothesis haven't succeeded.

By perodatrent (not verified) on 28 Nov 2015 #permalink

Just drop the insults and make the case (with evidence, not assertions, please) that there is no causal link between vaccines and autism.

As others have mentioned, the "case" has been made in innumerable posts on this and other blogs.

How about instead you provide evidence that there is no "causal link" between anti-vax craziness and children dying from preventable (by vaccine) disease?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/whooping-cough-kills-infant-in-l…

Burmese Days: "Not an intellectually respectable article. Just drop the insults and make the case (with evidence, not assertions, please) that there is no causal link between vaccines and autism."

What was the point of this article? Did you understand it?

"This writer can’t do that, which is why he resorts to ad hominem aspersions. What an intellectual lightweight."

Can you? Instead of using insults like in your first and last sentences, just provide the missing science. Provide the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers that any vaccine on the American pediatric schedule causes autism.

Here are some suggestions:

Use the search box near the top right of this page to make sure the study you post has not already been discussed on this blog.

Also, be sure that the researchers are actually qualified. So no lawyers, journalists, computer scientists, professors of finance and others who have not studied the relevant science. And also reputable, so no person whose license to practice medicine has been legally revoked.

By the way, Burmese Days, do you now feel like you are being bullied? Do you also think that the book Neurotribes is as terrible as child porn?

Just asking to see where you stand.

Just drop the insults and make the case (with evidence, not assertions, please) that there is no causal link between vaccines and autism

Use the internet much? Focus on the right-hand side of the blog as you face the computer screen. Under "Categories" you can find 1,215 blog posts discussing the myth that vaccines cause autism. Put your mouse over the words "antivaccine nonsense" and wait for a little blue line to appear, then left-click.

It's really not difficult.

By shay simmons (not verified) on 28 Nov 2015 #permalink

@Dr. Hickie #10: " if you aren’t going to vaccinate then you are a risk to my newborns immunocompromised patients. If that makes me a bully, well bully for me."

I would be interested in making a computation of the difference in risk between a vaccinated child and an unvaccinated one. What would expect the difference to be? How might we go about making such a computation? What numbers would we seek? Because the parameters would vary enormously between vaccines, a one-by-one approach would be best. I think the probabilities could then be summed. Not quite correct, but the probabilities of the intersections can be assumed to be small enough to ignore.

Consider the MMR? What is the probability that an unvaccinated child will be contagious for one of those diseases at some point prior to adulthood? What is the probability that a vaccinated child will be contagious for one of those diseases? Do you know or know where estimates of those risks can be found?

Just saying - another child in Canada has died of whooping cough - too young for the vaccine and family and friends that infected the baby were UNVACCINATED! A tragic waste.

Check www.cbc.ca for more information.

By Jane Ostentatious (not verified) on 28 Nov 2015 #permalink

Seems Dara the Explara has redefined 'bully'.
A bully is the person who planted the tree in their own back yard that Dara then walks into while trespassing.

Is she off the wall? Only like viewing the wall from orbit.

Like many others, I was heavily bullied at school, several brief hospital trips, many many days off school (truant , fake illness, stress related illness), close to suicidal on many occasions.
Yup, if the bullying had been limited to her examples, I'm sure life would have been vastly different and better.
When these type people drop into hyperbole, they seem incapable of assessing their exaggerated examples and then double down when called on their highly inappropriate comparisons.
The thin veneer of civilization seems worn away in some people.

@Beth #72
Of course I can't speak for Doctor Hickie, but I would modify his statement to something more like this: "If you aren’t going to vaccinate then you are willfully and stupidly posing a risk to my newborn and immunocompromised patients."

Nice that you raised the topic of herd immunity, though, given that so many anti-vaxxers discount it.

Well done, friends and neighbors. Well done indeed.

@brian #75

The rephrase doesn't impact my question. What is that risk? Whether you consider the person making that choise "willfull and stupid" or "naive and mislead" or anything else does not alter the computation.

I don't consider myself anti-vaxxer nor do I discount herd immunity. You want to reconsider your assumptions about me.

@Beth:
I'm making an assumption that all of your questions have a point. What is it?
If they do not have a point, then my apologies for making such an assumption.

So I’ll fight my drowsies to attempt a sincere, thoughtful reply

I feel bullied by your thoughtful, gracious gesture.

Actually, I have no problem whatsoever with someone cutting off unproductive discussion, or even ducking a difficult challenge.

^^In the latter circumstance, I would never say agree-to-disagree, or even think it. On the other hand, I wouldn't be very likely to be there to begin with. I enjoy a difficult challenge.
...

I guess that if the difficulty was that I was being outmatched but, for some reason I couldn't quite put my finger on, still didn't think I was wrong, I'd say something like "OK, maybe. I'll have to think about it," and try not to sound too sulky about it.

If the difficulty was that I was finding the argument too upsetting/disturbing to continue, if among peers I knew well, I'd probably say something like "OK, I don't want to talk about it anymore" plus a courteous acknowledgment or concession, to whatever degree was merited (ie -- "I appreciate that you think x, y, z; I will bear it in mind; I totally agree about x; I think y and z are a stupid, tragic mistake. And now I don't want to talk about it anymore" or words to that effect.

Although, of course, I'd listen to the other person's closing statement along the same lines delivered in his/her preferred style, too.

If among peers I didn't know well, I probably wouldn't get into the argument to begin with, if I could possibly avoid it.

Except on the internet, in which case I would only say agree-to-disagree if the debate had been going on and on long enough for it to be clear that agreement wasn't going to happen, and that no other peaceable resolution was possible.

To me the icky comes from being disingenuous about it when the power dynamic is equal or favors the person withdrawing.

That's a tricky one, though, a lot of the time. Social (as opposed to professional/institutional, etc.) hierarchy is kind of in the eye of the beholder. The parties to the dispute both might think they're the underdog. I know I always do, despite also knowing that it can't possibly always be the case.

The oxymoron of “agree to disagree” is too cute by half, and a sort of coercive gentility in those situations. Thus “Let’s agree” is worse than “We’ll have to agree” if you hear it voiced from a position of authority. You don’t want to ‘just disagree’. You think you’re right and you want to continue pressing the argument to a conclusion to demonstrate that to your interlocutor, or to others listening in.

Yes, that's maddening. Completely agree.

But I'm assuming that both parties are resigned to never prevailing and that both are free to walk away with their dignity -- at least in their own eyes, although not necessarily in each other's.

Nevertheless. I think I'll think about it more carefully before I use it in future. Thanks for the feedback, although naturally, I feel bullied by your insistence on being a separate and distinct autonomous entity from me with thoughts of your own. Oppressed, even. Unfair. Unfair.

@sadmar again --

Would halting things at the outset be any less of a “smarmy, annoying dodge …

Yes, usually.

Again, completely agree.

@Denice #63

Sounds like they've gone past community right into subculture. With the worst of them bordering on cult.

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 28 Nov 2015 #permalink

There's an important mathematical reason why Beth's suggested calculations would actually be of very little value.

Suppose we are evacuating a vessel, and the lifeboats we must use are of a very, very peculiar design: they respond to people's birthdays; in fact, they respond to probabilities of birthdays. As soon as the probability that two people in the lifeboat share a birthday exceeds 50%, the boat is at capacity and cannot accept any more passengers. How many passengers can we put in each boat?

The usual answer from the mathematically inexperienced goes as follows: "Well, the chances of two people sharing a birthday are 1 in 365. So if we divide 50% - that is, 1 in 2 - by 1 in 365, well, that gives us around 183 or so. Maybe we have to round down a little, but it's still up there around 180."

But the real answer is 23.

See, the naive person assumes that the probability stays what it is for the first* person. In reality, each person lowers the probability for all people who come after them, that they will have an unshared birthday.

* actually the second, in this case, but that's not important.

The calculation Beth is asking for similarly assumes that there is some fixed probability that any given child has of contracting a given VPD. But the probability isn't fixed. It goes up with every person who gets vaccinated; if the VPD comes to them, they become an obstacle to the disease's spread. It goes down with every person who skips vaccination; if the VPD comes to them, that person becomes an ally to the disease, helping it spread.

There is a whole field of academic study devoted to questions like this, asking questions about when people choose to "cooperate" and when they choose to "defect". There are some scenarios in which there are rewards for "defecting", as long as you are one of the sufficiently early defectors - and therefore such a choice becomes tempting, whether or not it is morally acceptable. This isn't one of them. When herd immunity has been compromised, it puts everyone in danger - and of course the "early defectors" who chose to forego protection are not reaping rewards for dereliction of duty, they're facing the greatest danger. So the question is, why would anyone who has a sense of enlightened self-interest - or hell, even not-so-enlightened self-interest - say "I'll just skip vaccination!"? I have to think that it's because they get the math as dramatically wrong as the person who calculates the lifeboat capacity thinking "I made the calculation for the first person, and that same figure applies no matter how many more people enter the equation."

By Antaeus Feldspar (not verified) on 28 Nov 2015 #permalink

@Antaeus Feldspar

Of course the probability of infection with a vaccine-preventable disease depends not on some overall (say, national) figure representing vaccine uptake but on much more local conditions. If someone like Beth is concerned about a special snowflake's risk from disease compared to the much lower risk from vaccination, it would be much better for that snowflake to be among the rare unvaccinateded spawn of an exceptionally selfish and willfully-ignorant person in a community with exceptionally high vaccine uptake than to be among the many unvaccinated children who are clustered in a private institution like the Waldorf school near my home. Bob Sear's clearly acknowledged this when he advised his selfishly vaccine-adverse clients to keep their anti-vaxx status on the down low.

Antaeus Feldspar: "There is a whole field of academic study devoted to questions like this, asking questions about when people choose to “cooperate” and when they choose to “defect”."

Which leads to studies like:

Pediatrics. 2009 Jun;123(6):1446-51.
Parental refusal of pertussis vaccination is associated with an increased risk of pertussis infection in children.

Am J Epidemiol. 2008 Dec 15;168(12):1389-96. Epub 2008 Oct 15.
Geographic clustering of nonmedical exemptions to school immunization requirements and associations with geographic clustering of pertussis.

JAMA. 2000 Dec 27;284(24):3145-50.
Individual and community risks of measles and pertussis associated with personal exemptions to immunization.

"When herd immunity has been compromised, it puts everyone in danger – and of course the “early defectors” who chose to forego protection are not reaping rewards for dereliction of duty, they’re facing the greatest danger."

There is historical evidence of this happening in many places. Like the measles epidemic in Japan after they decided to make that vaccine voluntary. Then there was the diphtheria epidemic when the USSR broke up. Plus their have been local outbreaks of mumps (Iowa, Wisconsin), and a few of measles (Indiana, and most recently California).

Plus there have been comparisons of nations with varying pertussis vaccine policies. Sweden was compared to Norway in Impact of anti-vaccine movements on pertussis control: the untold story (which also shows what happened to Japan).

Beth has been shown those studies multiple times. So she claims she knows the risks better for other vaccines like hepatitis and HPV.

Beth,

Consider the MMR? What is the probability that an unvaccinated child will be contagious for one of those diseases at some point prior to adulthood? What is the probability that a vaccinated child will be contagious for one of those diseases? Do you know or know where estimates of those risks can be found?

The probability of any child in the US becoming infected by measles, mumps or rubella is very low, because of high vaccine uptake. However, you should also consider that an unvaccinated child will likely grow into an adult with no immunity to these diseases, which can be very much more serious when contracted as an adult. That adult will be faced with the possibility of contracting a potentially life-threatening illness that is endemic in much of the rest of the world. I don't think that person has been done any favors by her parents.

Here's an analogy:
"What is the probability of a child being killed or injured in a car driven by someone over the legal limit for alcohol? What is the probability of death or injury in a car with a sober driver?"

A fatal accident is unlikely even if the driver is DUI (I estimate approximately one fatal accident per 90,000 miles driven), but the point is that being drunk makes it approximately 700 times more likely that a fatal accident will happen, just as being unvaccinated makes it very much more likely that the child will suffer illness, death or permanent disability. You wouldn't risk your child's life by driving her around when drunk, which is quite rightly illegal, so why would you leave her at greatly increased risk of a serious illness?

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 28 Nov 2015 #permalink

Correction:
"That adult will be faced with the possibility of contracting three potentially life-threatening illnesses that are endemic in much of the rest of the world."

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 28 Nov 2015 #permalink

Beth: "What is the probability that an unvaccinated child will be contagious for one of those diseases at some point prior to adulthood?"

A whole lot higher than a child who has had two MMR vaccines as per the ACIP schedule. The risks are relative. They get higher when like minded folk gather together. Like the at a church gathering in Indiana.

The Disney measles outbreak hit at all of the kids of a few families, like one that was written about in the Arizona press. But on the other hand, tens of thousands of vaccinated persons who went to Disneyland at the same time did not get measles.

Of course, it should be pointed out again that those who have no medical reason to not vaccinate, but decide they will be "safe" are parasites on their community's immunity provided by their responsible neighbors.

Aargh, stuck in moderation because of one extra link!

Here are the words without the links:

Beth: “What is the probability that an unvaccinated child will be contagious for one of those diseases at some point prior to adulthood?”

A whole lot higher than a child who has had two MMR vaccines as per the ACIP schedule. The risks are relative. They get higher when like minded folk gather together. Like the at a church gathering in Indiana.

The Disney measles outbreak hit at all of the kids of a few families, like one that was written about in the Arizona press. But on the other hand, tens of thousands of vaccinated persons who went to Disneyland at the same time did not get measles.

Of course, it should be pointed out again that those who have no medical reason to not vaccinate, but decide they will be “safe” are parasites on their community’s immunity provided by their responsible neighbors.

I don't think this has been addressed.

Dana Berger wrote: "The tactics are so much worse than when I grew up in the 70’s. You could not get an entire school to gang up on someone’s Facebook page or send a compromised picture or video of that person and have it go viral. You pretty much had only a few choices to hurt them. Whisper rumors about them to other people, which let’s face it takes time. One popular thing was to scribble something mean about them on the bathroom wall. Although you had to hope that people used the stall and actually noticed the writing. "
__
To me, this is phrased as if Dana herself was one of the (rather ineffectual) bullies of the 1970's.

Also, the whole piece is riddled with grammatical errors. Where is the editorial oversight of Dan Olmsted and Kim Stagliano? They can at least write a grammatically correct sentence, even if the science is lacking.

By Broken Link (not verified) on 28 Nov 2015 #permalink

Ah, I see we have a brave "Dana" at AoA trying to argue with the denizens. Of course, they will let through a few posts, and then prevent her from arguing back by blocking her responses.

Dana wrote:

You're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

Have you ever once thought of those who CANNOT receive vaccinations? Those who have immunological disease, immunocompromised, the very young and the very old, those undergoing cancer treatment, and a plethora of other health conditions. Being near YOUR unvaccinated children puts THEM at extremely high risk.

As for the vaccine-injury compensation court. You do realize don't you, that this isn't a trial-based thing - you don't even have to come up with much proof, just an ambulance-chasing attorney to say something, the panel (who are equally as uneducated), just do their jobs and hand out the compensation funding - no need for medical facts or science. But, you already knew that, right?

Seems like the only bullying going on here are antivaxers who wish ill harm upon the rest of society because you can't grasp the fact that the most horrendous diseases have been nearly eradicated due to vaccines. Try going to a third-world country and seeing for yourself the diseases you'll never see in your lifetime because those diseases are virtually eradicated here. It's easy to ignore them when you've never seen them or watch entire families and communities taken because they didn't have vaccines or their govt. is propagating a conspiracy (African AIDS, anyone?).

Your child's physician did the right thing by telling you he would no longer care for your unvaccinated child. By doing so, YOU risk putting his other patients at harm. What is so hard to understand that as a society, each of us is responsible to curb deadly disease, to protect those who are the highest risk of fatal disease?

Anyone who challenges your beliefs and assertions must automatically be a bully, huh? Sorry you feel that way. Didn't anyone ever tell you, you don't always get what you want? Who is the real bully here?

By Broken Link (not verified) on 28 Nov 2015 #permalink

I took a peek at AoA to see Dana's comment and lo! and behold!
RI's old friend, Greg, writes that Orac's minions didn't comment as much on Thursday because it was their day off - as pharma shills. Bought, he says.

Right. Except that Orac didn't add a post that day IIRC so less comments would be expected and not everyone @ RI celebrates that holiday**.

He shows us how his mind works. Which isn't saying much.

**We minions are truly INTERNATIONAL- not confined within the borders of any country

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 28 Nov 2015 #permalink

Well, I wasn't busy commenting on Thanksgiving because I was hard at work making my famous pan-roasted GMO turnips (my pharma Masters gave me the day off, but only because I promised to shill extra hard on Yule and Samhain).

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 28 Nov 2015 #permalink

As a member in good standing of the Minions International Marching and Chowder Society, I feel it incumbent upon me to celebrate all holidays in all countries as if they were my own. This is merely common courtesy - no thanks are necessary.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 28 Nov 2015 #permalink

RI’s old friend, Greg, writes that Orac’s minions didn’t comment as much on Thursday because it was their day off

Ah, I remember back when he denied being Canadian and then tried to tune up his spelling tells.

Of course, he has readily acknowledged that he is Canadian at AoA.

The Disney measles outbreak hit at all of the kids of a few families, like one that was written about in the Arizona press.

I find it unfortunate that Lanaudière is so often overlooked.

I'm not dead or anything, just in case you were wondering. Some kind of mix-up.

Some day I could tell you the story of how I wandered around outside being insane something something shoelace don't lose your sh!t something something.

"...he was a queer man and would go about the village without noticing people or saying anything. In his own teepee he would joke, and when he was on the warpath with a small party, he would joke to make his warriors feel good. But around the village he hardly ever noticed anybody, except little children. All the Lakotas like to dance and sing; but he never joined a dance, and they say nobody ever heard him sing. But everybody liked him, and they would do anything he wanted or go anywhere he said."

The term "crybully" has been coined for people like her.

Ultimately this is about the entitlement to proof-by-assertion; in "social justice" rhetoric one is considered "silenced" if they're not allowed to have the last word on a matter. It's a power grab, plain and simple.

I hear that Narad has some high gain antennas in his head. Perhaps we are genetically engineered.

Stay classy, Kojak.

Many of them display the characteristics of textbook narcissism, and the "I feel bullied" is merely a narcissistic injury. Which is why the original person discussed had to keep at her "friend" for *upsetting* her.

76 Brian

A much better formulation of the statement, indeed I hope Chris Hickey will adopt it as a motto for the patients' waiting room. Perhaps a tastefully knitted or embroidered wall hanging?

By jrkrideau (not verified) on 29 Nov 2015 #permalink

# 78 Beth

What is that risk?

Death

By jrkrideau (not verified) on 29 Nov 2015 #permalink

@ChemE #102,
I'm not sure if you linked to that paper because you think it is worth reading, or if you are pointing and laughing. An amateur paper that conflates correlation with causation, and has references to Wikipedia and Medical Hypotheses? Hmm. Do you think it's possible there may be some confounding factors that are also correlated with exposure to EMR?

Funnily enough I was recently reading about how human cognition sees random clusters as meaningful. Researchers in Europe have been particularly gullible (IMO), chasing down clusters of leukemia that are near power lines, or nuclear power stations (PDF) or whatever. The best current evidence suggests that neither power lines nor nuclear power stations cause leukemia, but that hasn't stopped a lot of people from still believing they do. I strongly suspect the autism/microwave correlation observed in that paper is a similar artifact.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 29 Nov 2015 #permalink

@ChemE #102,
I’m not sure if you linked to that paper because you think it is worth reading, or if you are pointing and laughing.

The author of the paper is a chemical engineer. An obvious hypothesis of whom "ChemE" might be comes to mind.

By Antaeus Feldspar (not verified) on 29 Nov 2015 #permalink

AF,

The author of the paper is a chemical engineer.

I'm not a physicist, but his theory of everything seems a little unconventional to me:

After collecting 11 months of data and running p-Value statistics, I believe our Doppler Microwave Radars are reflecting/bending/ducting and attenuating off the overhead atmosphere, irradiating our children and all biology, as well as inducing decoherence in strings of vacuum overhead in jet streams, causing an increase in local ionization and decay triggering hypoxia and oxidative stress in waterways and chronic algae blooms and fish kills and possibly interfering with bees, bats, whales, dolphins (RNA Damage – Morbillivirus), increasing autism, some cancers in humans and other neurological disorders and an increase in sinkholes(ionizing/dissolving limestone) and waterspouts and other low pressure disturbances in the area around the Doppler towers.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 29 Nov 2015 #permalink

I’m not a physicist, but his theory of everything seems a little unconventional to me:

I am a physicist -- well, an astronomer with lots of physics background -- and yes, his "theory of everything" is indeed unconventional. As in stark raving paranoid lunacy.

I knew another engineer who went of the rails in a strikingly similar manner. I'm not sure if he's employed, but he's definitely selling books about the toxic effects of EM fields.

By palindrom (not verified) on 29 Nov 2015 #permalink

Narad, I was going to include the cases in Québec, but I was running out of time after chasing down the Arizona link (it was not the one I remembered where the mom of the afflicted clan admitted it would have been better to vaccinate).

I also omitted the large outbreak in an Amish community after some came back from the Philippines. They did lots of catch up vaccinating.

Two thngs.
Firstly, thank you Antaeus Feldspar for your fascinating and informative comment #83.
Secondly, like others have said, Dara Berger is a whiner who doesn't know what bullying is. Being autistic makes you a target for the vicious bullies that exist in society. I still have issues.
Whenever I leave the flat I call my home, I have a canister of pepper spray and my ASP Baton (it's legal for private citizens in South Africa to own ASPs) on my belt. Fortunately, I've never had to use the latter in anger. Generally, just extending it is enough to get a would be assailant to back off. Yet I fear that one day someone will try to call my bluff only to find out that I'm not bluffing.
Dara Berger would fold like a wet blanket if she had to undergo the bullying I've undergone. To paraphrase Game of Thrones:
You know NOTHING, Dara Berger!

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 29 Nov 2015 #permalink

@ JP:

Well, I hope at least you're not wandering about any more because if you live where I think you live, it has probably been freezing and dampish.

Some of us here, despite being preening, self-involved, overpaid pharma shills AND incredibly mean people, DO worry about you because writing a dissertation is not fun and games, depression is no joke and the two situations conjoined can be rather daunting.

Plus you live in a dreary, cold place which certainly doesn't help.

At any rate, the weather here has been remarkably spring-like although drizzling as usual ( weather charts illustrate that we have nearly equal amounts of days of precipitation, cloudiness and clear). so I decided to take a drive to an odd, ancient town along a river where hippies, hipsters and gay people congregate to buy and sell art, clothes and antiques and serve or imbibe loads of fine alcohol and exotic cuisine.

It took forever to get there - my companion needed to stop to get coffee, to buy organic apples and to look at nonsense several times as I drove over 60 miles of drizzly roads with a reasonable amount of traffic - thus I became very frustrated HOWEVER

as I approached the town, driving over the rusty old bridge, the entire landscape was transformed into a fantasy of mist, rising off of the river and hanging ceremoniously in the air. People were stopping on the bridge ( you can walk or drive) to observe and photograph mystical dampness permeating the scene, rendering it wetly beautiful. Crumbling stucco facades over brick walls glistening with mist and dead, ghostly gardens of weeds, shining in the lamplight.

Then we looked at lots of weird crap and later drank and then ate amongst the heathens resident/ employed there.

I find it emotionally useful to escape from the ordinary- even if it's just to look at stuff,drink and eat. No wonder the ancients believed that different locales had their own spirits.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 29 Nov 2015 #permalink

TBruce #79. Some do, some don’t, and those that do don’t have the same one. Your apology is accepted.

@ Antaeus Feldspar #83. I disagree on the value of the computations, but value is a subjective assessment so reasonable people can hold different opinions. Your example of birthdays isn’t particularly relevant to the situation, but I can assure I am well acquainted with game theory and other mathematical modeling techniques. I agree they would be appropriate, but prior to making those computations, we must have some reasonable estimates of the underlying probabilities for individual static situations, which means answering the questions I asked.

You asked “why would anyone who has a sense of enlightened self-interest – or hell, even not-so-enlightened self-interest – say “I’ll just skip vaccination!” There are a number of different response to this question. One is a family history of bad reactions to the vaccine or other medical reasons. A second is a religious prohibition. Yet another is the assessment that when the risk of catching the disease is very low, it can exceed the risk of the vaccination which is also low, but not zero. Thus, it can be a net reduction in risk for those parents to skip vaccination. Of course, the risk of catching various diseases can change quite rapidly, so that is not a strategy that I would choose. All of these reasons line up with a ‘sense of enlightened self-interest’ and are not simply because they got the math wrong.

@Krebiozen #87 & @Chris #89 – Some good points regarding why vaccination is a good idea for most people. Unfortunately, none of those responses answer the question I asked regarding the difference in risk to other patients in a pediatrician’s waiting room.

@jrkrideau #107 I was looking for actual probabilities (i.e. a number between 0 and 1) not the consequences that are being risked. But thank you for your time in attempting an answer.

@ Narad:

If he is indeed Canadian why is he so concerned about Californ-I-A?
I thought I picked up something about the Maritimes once from him IIRC.
It makes me wonder if people like him can counsel clients as he says he does.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 29 Nov 2015 #permalink

Sadmar:

I'll assure you that I'm not flaming you and think you actually have some good points sometimes buried in your Continental-philosophical-influenced oververbiage. I would not respond to you if I thought you had nothing to say.

Here' with the 'agree to disagree' matter, is another example of how the Theory people have given a playbook to the antivaxers. At last I have some insight as to why Theory people act like I'm being arrogant when I don't want to use their jargon. There is nothing remotely smarmy or rude about using 'agree or disagree' or similar phrase to signal that you are uninterested in continuing the discussion. And yes, normal people do it all the time, in family, with friends, and in academic discussions. But not, apparently, by people impressed by Hegel and Jameson.

Yes, it's a matter of conversational power dynamics. And the Continental people are past and present masters of rigging the conversation so that someone, like me, who thinks there is no value to discussions of 'bodies without organs' or whatever is made to look like a bad guy. So this antivaxer does the same.

The antivaxers, the postmodern right-wingers, indeed most of the current nuttiness that pervades American discourse follows the playbook supplied by the Theory people. They are the sequitor of academic postmodernism.

While traditional skepticism has not always taken account of the differing social contexts of the various pseudosciences [i.e. astrology not political threat, creationism serious political threat] it remains the only effective tool by which knowledgeable people can help us achieve a society more informed by the results of science and reason and less informed by tribal-signalling pseudoscience and hatred.

To summarize: traditional skepticism - useful tool for an informed and humane society; Theory - useful tool for those opposed to those things.

he Disney measles outbreak hit at all of the kids of a few families, like one that was written about in the Arizona press.

any way happy new year 2016 to all

Consider the MMR? What is the probability that an unvaccinated child will be contagious for one of those diseases at some point prior to adulthood? What is the probability that a vaccinated child will be contagious for one of those diseases? Do you know or know where estimates of those risks can be found?

Why don't you look at the tag "SSPE" on my blog and read about the horrible deaths that occurred as a result of an intentionally-unvaccinated, measles-infected child brought into a German paed's office. That child infected infants too young to be vaccinated and are now dead.

@jrkrideau #107 I was looking for actual probabilities (i.e. a number between 0 and 1) not the consequences that are being risked. But thank you for your time in attempting an answer.

Why are the "I'm not anti-vaxx" JAQ-offs always asking others to do their homework for them? There are several studies and infographics on risk for various VPDs Beth that include reproduction rates for diseases in unvaccinated. Please avail yourself of them.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 29 Nov 2015 #permalink

The phrase "comprised of" is never correct to usage purists despite its regular appearance in writing

http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2015/01/comprised-o…

Comprised of is an expression in English: X "is comprised of" Y means that X is composed or made up of Y. Its use has been disparaged by language professionals, although it is common in writing and speech.

comprising.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comprised_of

Not that I'm one that can't see the meaning for the words... just sayin'

Grammar bully, err, nazi
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4vf8N6GpdM

By Dr. Acula (not verified) on 29 Nov 2015 #permalink

BTW, I just saw the most hilarious comment ever by someone named Greg on Ms. Berger's post:

False Skeptics, I agree that Orac and his minions with their bullying are truly repugnant, and I will also add that they serve as excellent case examples of phoniness. Take for instance their commenting profile over the Thanksgiving week. Over the week, Orac posted three blogs at RI that garnered, respectively, 86, 14, and 25 comments on the 25th, 26th, and 27th. With Thanksgiving falling on the 26th, interestingly, that’s 86 comments from the previous day falling to 14 on Thanksgiving Day, and representing an 84% decline! Now, it’s natural to expect a decline in comments with each passing day, but an 84% decline?! Notice also that the comments actually rebounded on the 27th, the day after Thanksgiving.

Now if you listen to Orac and minions, they would have us believe that they operate from a personally desire to counter our ‘misinformation and dishonesty’ in regards to vaccines and autism. Supposedly, as passionate as we are in our views, so too are they in theirs. Yet, where was that passion on Thanksgiving Day?! Seems like with the occasion they saw it fit to dock some time off ‘from the office’ and have a break.

Perhaps, some may argue that it is unreasonable to expect that everyone now and again will not take time off from their routine and enjoy an holiday, including Orac and his minions. Very well then, let’s look at the commenting history here at AoA over the Thanksgiving week. In the week prior to Thanksgiving Day, five blogs were posted. They garnered 18, 16, and 16, comments, respectively, on the 25th, 26th, and 27th. Notice that the comments on Thanksgiving Day fell insignificantly from the day before, and in fact they remained the same the day after the Holiday.

Whether these peculiarities serve as incontestable proof that Orac and his minions’ motivations are not personal at all but ‘bought’, they provide an interesting contrast: They reveal that Orac and his minions can, for at least one day, kick their feet up and free their minds of concerns relating to autism and vaccines. As for the victims of their bullying, living the 24-7 autism-vaccination hell, such a mental escape remains just a pipedream for most.

Yes, Greg is arguing that because the number of comments on my posts fell dramatically on a national holiday (Thanksgiving), we must all be paid pharma shills. Never mind that the majority of my readership is from the US and that, in the decade-plus that I've been blogging, traffic always falls markedly on major holidays. Indeed, the three lowest traffic days of the year for me have been, quite consistently, Christmas, New Years, and Thanksgiving in that order.

I guess we must not get the whole weekend off, though, because this will be the 122nd comment on this post, which was posted on Friday morning. :-)

That takes cynicism to a new level to think that commenters here would not want to spend time with their families during the holiday.

Btw, my recent comments have mostly been inane but I was trying to do my part on your numbers. Why, I really don't know. As I tweeted you once, I think unique visitors is a much better metric than comment count but it seems to be something everyone is paying attention to - so here's one more tweet towards the count.

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 29 Nov 2015 #permalink

Whoops! I mean one more comment not tweet.

Guess I don't earn triple overtime for the holiday weekend because of that mistake.

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 29 Nov 2015 #permalink

That comment from Greg is truly inane.

Thanksgiving had nothing to do with it. Everyone knows I was at the Test Match.

More seriously, how could anyone's brain work in such a way that not commenting on blogs on a National Holiday when most people in the US travel to visit their families is evidence that people are paid to comment?

By Chris Preston (not verified) on 29 Nov 2015 #permalink

@ Chris Preston:

" how could anyone's brain work in such a way........"

The same way they get from observations and research to
'vaccines cause autism';
'Wakefield was framed',
'GMOs endanger lives',
'google = medical degree'

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 29 Nov 2015 #permalink

For the uninitiated, Greg was a regular feature @ RI, endlessly arguing with Orac's minions and discussing his work- with adult autists IIRC. Eventually, he earned the rarely utilised ban hammer and was instantly relegated to the darkest, dustiest corners of cyberspace and AoA.
Where he belongs.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 29 Nov 2015 #permalink

Well, I hope at least you’re not wandering about any more

Somehow I had never realized that the line "don't sleep in the subway darling / don't stand in the pouring rain" in The Jazz Butcher's "Girlfriend" actually came from Petula Clark.

Greg is highly amusing. I *didn't* comment on this post previously - Thanksgiving at my parents' house was hectic, then Friday I was doing far more important things like going out with my daughter to purchase a wedding dress. (Fantastic deal, BTW...rarely shop on Black Friday, but we got the dress at 85% off as it was a sample!). Then Friday night through Saturday was traveling home. Today I've restocked my food supplies, put up (but not decorated yet - need more lights) the Xmas tree, and done a little cleaning.

If that means Gurgles thinks I'm getting my Big Pharma pay docked, he knows knowing about this little thing called "vacation pay". (Besides, nothing from nothing leaves nothing...)

@ Antaeus Feldspar #83. I disagree on the value of the computations, but value is a subjective assessment so reasonable people can hold different opinions. Your example of birthdays isn’t particularly relevant to the situation, but I can assure I am well acquainted with game theory and other mathematical modeling techniques. I agree they would be appropriate, but prior to making those computations, we must have some reasonable estimates of the underlying probabilities for individual static situations, which means answering the questions I asked.

Sorry, but if you read the description I gave of the birthday paradox, and you thought it was about birthdays, I do not think you understood anything. The birthday paradox is not about birthdays any more than Schrodinger's Cat is about the details of feline endangerment techniques.

Let me try to be more clear, at the risk of being more blunt:

If you want to get an idea of "the underlying probabilities for individual static situations," specifically calculating how risky it is for any one person to betray the herd and free-ride on herd immunity, then you'd better get ready for a LOT of calculations. Because the answer of "how risky is it for the FIRST person who defects?" is different than the answer of "how risky is it for the SECOND," "how risky for the fiftieth," "how risky is it for the ten thousandth," how risky is it for the hundred thousandth". The answer YOU are looking for, the one you asked us about, is the one which applies to exactly ONE of several million "static situations" - and anyone who thinks they can generalize from a handful of those static situations, or even more ludicrously from ONE such static situation, is exhibiting utter cluelessness.

So if you would like to offer an explanation of why you only seem interested in one such calculation, please do.

By Antaeus Feldspar (not verified) on 29 Nov 2015 #permalink

I'm so sorry, pharma masters. I will be sure to keep my post count higher over holiday weekends as to not arouse suspicions in the future.

^ Hehe!

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 29 Nov 2015 #permalink

Der Gergle wrote

They reveal that Orac and his minions can, for at least one day, kick their feet up and free their minds of concerns relating to autism and vaccines.

. In my own case, this is true. I don't have the monomania he attributes to the minionhood. I am also not ashamed of that.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 29 Nov 2015 #permalink

The same way they get from observations and research to
‘vaccines cause autism’;
‘Wakefield was framed’,
‘GMOs endanger lives’,
‘google = medical degree’

Denice Walter, all of these, except the last, are just ordinary motivated reasoning. The last is Dunning-Kruger. Greg's effort over at AOA is right out of the ballpark, down the road, around the corner and into the manhole conspiracy theorising. It is such an exceptional example of adding 1 + 1 to make 6342 that I really wonder how he does it.

By Chris Preston (not verified) on 29 Nov 2015 #permalink

From #108

"An amateur paper that conflates correlation with causation, and has references to Wikipedia and Medical Hypotheses? "

I am an engineer, not a scientist so I thank you for the amateur comment. I make my living solving problems and sometimes engineers create new problems as a result, it creates job security.

"Hmm. Do you think it’s possible there may be some confounding factors that are also correlated with exposure to EMR?"

Sure

"I strongly suspect the autism/microwave correlation observed in that paper is a similar artifact."

Have you done any research to base your speculation?

That Santa Monica Autism cluster has been stable for over a decade and 3% of the autistic children in the State come from that one cluster area. UC Davis and Columbia University researchers identified and verified the cluster in separate studies.

Those high gain microwave broadcast earth stations and microwave relay towers have also been the area for decades. There are 466% more microwave earth station antennas in the area of 400% more autism.

I know the difference between correlation and causation. I discuss it in the video I placed online discussing the cluster.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhyukgFlFF8

I know the difference between correlation and causation. I discuss it in the video I placed online discussing the cluster.

Oh, that's why you're back: spamvertising.

As for the victims of their bullying, living the 24-7 autism-vaccination hell, such a mental escape remains just a pipedream for most.

Right, because they are compelled to come here and read our unflattering opinions of their drivel. Out of curiosity, I counted the comments on the AoA posts for November 25, 26, and 27, and got 41, 4, and 16 comments, respectively. That's a 90% decline on Thanksgiving day compared to the day before, followed by a 300% rebound the day after! So there you have it, proof positive that the commenters at AoA are being paid by Big Pharma to make antivaxxers look like a bunch of entitled, narcissistic nutcases with their heads so far up their own butts they couldn't find their way out with a flashlight and a map. You've got to hand it to them, they're doing a good job.

Out of curiosity, I counted the comments on the AoA posts for November 25, 26, and 27

I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude for your relieving me of this chore.

There's a recent post on the NVIC facebook page with an anonymous (of course) letter supposedly from a mom about how her pediatrician "intimidated" her into vaccinating all 3 of her children (none of whom had any adverse events from being vaccinated as she herself notes). Makes me think of the "Help I'm being repressed" line from Monty Python when this so-called mom writes:

My “research” went on a bit too long, however, for most people’s comforts. My Doctor threatened to cut off services to me and my family if I didn’t get the girls fully vaccinated within a matter of weeks. My family was barely speaking to me. My friends, I’m sure, were laughing at me when they weren’t busy dodging my communications. My life had changed, all in the matter of a few months of “past due vaccinations.” I wasn’t, however, anti-vaccination. I was more “this seems like too many vaccinations all at once.” I wasn’t someone who posted anti-vaccination news on my Facebook all day, in fact, the main reason most people knew was because I panicked over the Doctor’s threat to remove services. Word spread from there. And it was not good.

Orginal "letter" at http://www.donotlink.com/hi2o

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 29 Nov 2015 #permalink

^ "extend"

I was about to change that to "express," but that's so wrong that I need to reconsider the original construction.

Antaeus Feldspar, # 130
In fact, Beth's question could be framed between two extreme values, depending upon how many people are immune in a particular area.
If no-one is immune (vaccinated or having had disease), then the probability that anyone gets the bug depends on its virulence (e.g.: new strains of influenza). May be over 50%, just to say.
If everyone is immune, then the probability is very near to zero (e.g.: measles in a population with vaccine uptake more than 96%).
But in my view Beth makes a mistake when she thinks that the problem lies in attributing a value to a probability. And it would be a mistake even if she thinks that the problem lies in attributing a value to an individual preference.
The real question is: who has the right to make a choice, when the choice has consequences on other people?

By perodatrent (not verified) on 29 Nov 2015 #permalink

Greg’s effort over at AOA is right out of the ballpark, down the road, around the corner and into the manhole conspiracy theorising.

In case anybody actually gives a rat's ass, there's something of a time-series yardstick.

ChemE,

I am an engineer, not a scientist so I thank you for the amateur comment. I make my living solving problems and sometimes engineers create new problems as a result, it creates job security.

I'm not an amateur claiming to know better than specialists in an area not even vaguely related to my field.

“Hmm. Do you think it’s possible there may be some confounding factors that are also correlated with exposure to EMR?”
Sure

Then why are you posting alarmist nonsense about microwaves when there is practically zero evidence for your hypothesis and even less prior plausibility.

“I strongly suspect the autism/microwave correlation observed in that paper is a similar artifact.”
Have you done any research to base your speculation?

No, but others have and they disagree with you.

That Santa Monica Autism cluster has been stable for over a decade and 3% of the autistic children in the State come from that one cluster area. UC Davis and Columbia University researchers identified and verified the cluster in separate studies.

Here's what researchers at UC Davis have to say about it:

However, the researchers said that in this investigation the clusters probably are not correlated with specific environmental pollutants or other “exposures.” Rather, they correlate to areas where residents are more educated.

“What we found with these clusters was that they correlated with neighborhoods of high education or neighborhoods that were near a major treatment center for autism,” said senior author Irva Hertz-Picciotto, a professor of public health sciences and a researcher with the UC Davis MIND Institute.

“In the U.S., the children of older, white and highly educated parents are more likely to receive a diagnosis of autism or autism spectrum disorder. For this reason, the clusters we found are probably not a result of a common environmental exposure. Instead, the differences in education, age and ethnicity of parents comparing births in the cluster versus those outside the cluster were striking enough to explain the clusters of autism cases,” Hertz-Picciotto said.

You didn't account for parental income, age and education. All of these are correlated with autism. What about the presence of an autism treatment center, which is known to lead to increased diagnoses in the local area?

Those high gain microwave broadcast earth stations and microwave relay towers have also been the area for decades. There are 466% more microwave earth station antennas in the area of 400% more autism.

Wouldn't you expect there to be more microwave towers where there are more wealthy, better educated people who tend to have children later?

I know the difference between correlation and causation. I discuss it in the video I placed online discussing the cluster.

I notice you didn't mention the ecological fallacy. Perhaps you might try looking at organic food consumption, or smartphone ownership, which I suspect would correlate just as strongly as microwave exposure. I think you are seeing patterns in noise, a popular human pastime but a phenomenal waste of time and effort.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 30 Nov 2015 #permalink
Those high gain microwave broadcast earth stations and microwave relay towers have also been the area for decades. There are 466% more microwave earth station antennas in the area of 400% more autism.

Wouldn’t you expect there to be more microwave towers where there are more wealthy, better educated people who tend to have children later?

There was an old study on cell phone relay towers and suicide in London. The author calculated an average density of towers using the whole number of towers in the UK, missing the higher ratio of relays-to-people in London compared to the countryside. This mistake made it more likely for a suicide to happen close to a tower.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 30 Nov 2015 #permalink

Berger has a NEW post @ AoA today, in which, amongst other observations,
she notes that someone called 'Orac' has written up an analysis of her post. It probably took " 45 minutes to an hour" - and he was probably paid for his work.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 30 Nov 2015 #permalink

*checks out the post Denise mentioned*

Feel the need to quote this

"What I thought was humorous is that I got someone on twitter really trying hard to antagonize me. But I wouldn’t budge and engage with them. "

Doesn't that make her a bully by her own definition because is someone won't engage her no matter how many mean emails she sends they are obviously bullying her?

Helianthus,
When EM sensitivity comes up I like to remind people of this story from South Africa in which a microwave tower was alleged to be causing continuing, "headaches, nausea, tinnitus, dry burning itchy skins, gastric imbalances and totally disrupted sleep patterns", before it was revealed it had been turned off for the previous six weeks.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 30 Nov 2015 #permalink

@KayMarie

No, no, no. By her own definition, a bully is someone who makes *her* feel unhappy in some way. Bullying is a one-way street, you see.

You pointing out the double-standard makes you just the *worst* kind of bully.

By delta-orion (not verified) on 30 Nov 2015 #permalink

Denice at #23 wrote

TMR facebook announces a new documentary by Christie Dames and Kevin O’Malley, *Moms Determined*, featuring TM, Dragonslayer ( Marissa Ali) – a “quest or unite moms from around the world to help find answers to complicated medical diagnoses”

O'Malley Is the business manager for the Commonwealth Club and Chair of its Business & Leadership Forum. His wife, Christie Dames, is an chemtrail-believing activist. About the Commonwealth Club (CC):

The mission of The Commonwealth Club of California is to be the leading national forum open to all for the impartial discussion of public issues important to the membership, community and nation.

In 2013, Dames had arranged for The Thinking Moms' Revolution mouthpieces, to give a talk as part of promoting their book -- they gushed about it here:

One huge opportunity came along in the form of Christie Dames and Kevin O’Malley of The Commonwealth Club of California. Christie found TMR somehow on Facebook as she is a victim of environmental illness and never knew what to do for herself until she found the autism biomed community. Her husband, Kevin, is the business manager of the Club. Their kind invite to speak there was as shocking and exciting as anything TMR could have expected. As circumstances laid themselves out for our group, it fell to Sunshine and me to make it happen and get there. What an experience it was. San Francisco, that’s one thing, but this place . . . Who would have thought?

Back in March 2015, Dames and O'Malley scheduled Kent Heckenlively, Dr. Judy Mikovits, and Dr. Brian Hooker to give a talk at the CC, “American Whistleblowers”. Some of the other CX members got wind of the presentation, and raised pointed questions to the CX leadership about the wisdom of contaminating CC's reputation for evidence-based advocacy by giving that trio a platform.

After some pressure, the American Whistleblowers event was cancelled. Heckenlively wrote about it at length at AoA, Commonwealth Club of California Engages in Censorship of Talk entitled, “American Whistleblowers”!.

I have reached out on several occasions to Kevin O’Malley and Christie Dames about rescheduling our talk, but they have given me no reason to believe we will ever be allowed to speak. It’s difficult when those who claim to be your friends treat you no different than your enemies. I never thought it would be necessary in my lifetime to defend free speech. I thought the right to freely express our ideas without fear of reprisal or censorship was something every American would defend to their very last breath. Sometimes it seems even our friends can forget these principles.

Sadly, CC DID host Robert F. Kennedy jr. ranting about thimerosal on April 15, but the event received very little media coverage.

The documentary "*Moms Determined" produced a trailer in 2014, available on YouTube, but nothing since. I wonder if it is stalled for lack of funding.

Chris @ 57

Yah, changing schools and being behind or ahead in subjects is a challenge. I remember going from a school where we were still filling half a page with cursive letters to a school where everything had do be written in cursive. I had to look up at the white on green sample alphabet above the chalkboard, find a letter I could recognize, and work my way to the letter I needed, follow the shape in the air, then put it on the page. Needless to say it slowed down my output.

On the flip side, I read 'Romeo and Juliet' 3 time in 4 high schools (in the 4th? 'West Side Story'), so by my senior year, I knew the story cold, and knew which character to volunteer for to get out of the stupid class read thru (Murcutio, dies in the first act, but I still love the 'wide as a church door, deep as a well' line).

Please don't think that I'm denying you were bullied, or that it was traumatic. I suspect that almost everyone was bullied at some point, including me, and it's a whole lot of no fun.

But kids in small towns don't bully everyone that have a few smarts and read books. They will bully for many other reasons, or no reason at all, as will kids in big cities. (By 'kids', I mean 'people', because it happens to adults, too.)

Simply stated, it was just your turn in the barrel.

I am not an amateur when it comes to chemical & environmental engineering, I have been executing projects for 29 years, many required EPA permitting. I have also installed antennas and radiation sensors.

"Then why are you posting alarmist nonsense about microwaves when there is practically zero evidence for your hypothesis and even less prior plausibility."

The alarming thing is that 1/45 children now across the US have a disorder called autism. The strong correlation I show is just evidence, I guess you did not pick up on that....

"However, the researchers said that in this investigation the clusters probably are not correlated with specific environmental pollutants or other “exposures.” Rather, they correlate to areas where residents are more educated."

The researchers never downloaded 8,000 earth station antennas from the FCC database and geocoded them in Google Earth and Python and overlayed them onto an established autism clusters across California and calculated power densities. I also included another 20 thousand or so microwave relay antennas across the US

By the way, the autism cluster map in my paper was prepared by Columbia University, not UC Davis.

The FCC database includes the transmitters, power levels and antenna gains and not just the tower locations. I am showing high gain, high EIRP transmitters. I excluded the receivers

"Wouldn’t you expect there to be more microwave towers where there are more wealthy, better educated people who tend to have children later?"

Yes, humans love their radiation

Denise and KayMarie didn't mention that they were quoting the more sane parts of Berger's new post. The gist of it compares likens Paul Offit to the Colorado PP shooter. and worries that 'pro-vax' pharma shills will resort to physical violence to cow the brave anti-vaxers.

This would be kind of funny. We could create a new term to go alongside Godwining: 'Braying' named after 'Army of God' honcho Rev.Michael Bray. The problem is, Bray's minions have actually assasinated several physicians. Especially now that AoA is drawing alliances with the far-right fringe, it's easy to imagine some dangerous psycho taking Berger's analogy as a hint coded in reverse. The real violence isn't the shooters, it's those baby-killing abortions doctors, who, of course, are just in it for the money. If an abortion clinic is a baby-killing factory, then a pediatricians office is an infant maiming factory.

Berger may not realize it, but she just offered up a justification for fire-bombing pediatric clinics, and murdering outspoken doctors who refuse to take un-vaxed patients. Or worse, she may know exactly what she's doing.... I'm not saying there's any significant probability any whack job is going to for this on the basis of one post at AoA. All the trigger-folk in Army of God-type attacks only reached the point of action over a fair period of time via repetitive 'conditioning.'

But, seriously, Chris. It might be time to start using a nym here, and laying low on the web about who and where you are. The AVers have posted lists of their most detested 'shills', right? If they start posting lists of 'vaccine bully' pediatricians, with office and home addresses attached, it's time to buy Kevlar.

@ChemE: however, you did NOT apparently address a few important confounders: the changing in diagnostic criteria for autism/Asperger's, the fact that there are many other things that increased during the same time period (as mentioned - the consumption of organic foods and the use of computers), and the fact that minorities tend to be underdiagnosed, but often live in the more "undesirable" parts of towns.

That means your data STILL has problems. You have to address those issues, not just blame it on microwave towers.

Also, please note that Asperger was working with autistic/Asperger's children before WWII - how do you account for the fact he felt strongly that many children were misdiagnosed with other mental problems or not diagnosed at all?

@ Liz Ditz:

I thought that that's who Dames was! I forgot O'Malley's name though.
It seems that Berger is also a screenwriter, penning a tale about a parent of a child with an ASD and a documentary maker!

Similarly, both Conte and Stagliano of AoA have written fictional** accounts of ASD conspiracies starring detective alter egos: can screenplays be far away?

Films and documentaries are the new wave in altie-ville.

** like most of AoA's material isn't fiction.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 30 Nov 2015 #permalink

senior author Irva Hertz-Picciotto
The professor's surname indicates an ancestral link to the radio-communication industry; of course she found nothing!

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 30 Nov 2015 #permalink

Oh, I almost forget:
Dames interviews TMs on TMR TV. I suppose that's where many of these documentaries and screenplays will wind up.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 30 Nov 2015 #permalink

I almost FORGOT

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 30 Nov 2015 #permalink

@sadmar: Yep, Ms. Berger's rhetoric seems custom-made to justify violence against "pro-vaxers." For example:

So getting back to the question of will they [pro-vaxers] ever become violent. Well I think in an indirect way they already have become violent. They are trying to force our children to take vaccinations against our will. They are trying to get our previously vaccine injured children to take more vaccines and don’t care that we feel it will put them in grave danger. They are also trying to force the siblings of this vaccine injured child to get vaccines, even though they may have the same genetic makeup and susceptibilities. Where did this all start? A couple years ago Paul Offit said that he wanted to do away with the religious exemption. He wanted the small percent of unvaccinated children to be vaccinated. Why? So he could make millions of dollars! So what did he do? He wrote a book on the subject that didn't happen to garner the best reviews. He worked tirelessly with pharmaceutical companies and lobbyists to pay off senators and other lawmakers to get them to introduce bills such as SB 277 in California that stripped away a parents right to decide, by using their child’s education as leverage. In California, you now have to vaccinate your child in order to be able to attend a public school in 2016. Unfortunately, many families need a dual-income and may have to succumb to giving vaccines in order for their children to go to school. They may not have the ability to leave their job and move to another state. And not everybody has the ability or can afford to home school their child. Some of these children may become injured as a result. Vaccine injury is a violent act against a child especially if it is forced and without consent. Vaccine injury can leave a child with permanent brain damage. Anyone who lives with a vaccine injured child knows how absolutely devastating life after vaccine injury can be. And the pharmaceutical company who produced the vaccine offers no help and is nowhere to be found.

It's only a short jump from this sort of rhetoric about how vaccination is "violence" against children, causing brain damage and even death, to justifying doing anything to stop it, including a little pre-emptive violence, if necessary—rhetoric very similar to anti-abortion rhetoric.

"@ChemE: however, you did NOT apparently address a few important confounders: the changing in diagnostic criteria for autism/Asperger’s, the fact that there are many other things that increased during the same time period (as mentioned – the consumption of organic foods and the use of computers), and the fact that minorities tend to be underdiagnosed, but often live in the more “undesirable” parts of towns."

I seriously doubt 1/10,000 to 1/45 is due primarily to diagnostic criteria. Columbia researcher mentioned 60% unaccounted for.

I also seriously doubt getting educated by itself causes increased autism. That is the most foolish theory I have ever heard, next to organic foods. That is some crazy BS.

"That means your data STILL has problems. You have to address those issues, not just blame it on microwave towers."

I am not "blaming" microwave towers, I am just saying there is a strong correlation around the Santa Monica area cluster with higher concentration of high gain microwave antennas, that is all. I also show how 14 overlapping, high gain antennas refracted/ducted off the overhead atmosphere can exceed FCC safety guidelines 8000 feet away and there are 224 in the area!

Get an education (or become a movie star), buy an expensive home on the hillsides in Hollywood and get irradiated!

Also, please note that Asperger was working with autistic/Asperger’s children before WWII – how do you account for the fact he felt strongly that many children were misdiagnosed with other mental problems or not diagnosed at all?

Humanities love for radiation began with the telegraph and radio in the late 1800s and early 1900s. We just upped the power and gain and density over the past 50 or so years.

PS, I also have good statewide statistics in Florida showing more dead fish around high gain antennas over 3 years, which is never a good thing...

@ Antaeus Feldspar #130

Yes, I am aware of the many calculations that are involved in the birthday problem and other similar situations. No, I don’t understand why you think the birthday problem is a suitable analogy. I suggest you check out comment #142 by perodatrent for a better understanding.
Regarding an explanation of “why you only seem interested in one such calculation”, it is not the only calculation I am interested in. You might want to back your assumption generator down a little. The probabilities I asked about were simply because I became curious about after reading Dr. Hickie’s comment #10 and I didn’t know any reasonable approximations for the values. I thought, given the expertise that posts here, someone else might have that knowledge or an idea of where to find it. I was apparently wrong about that.
However, with a little googling effort yesterday and a few assumptions I was able to generate an approximation of the risk computation I was interested in. While not a rigorous analysis, there was a clear reduction in risk for pediatricians like Dr. Hickie who limit their practice to patients to vaccine compliant parents. I imagine that’s not particularly illuminating for anyone else here, but I found it interesting.

@perodatrent #142. You are more correct than Mr. Feldspar regarding what I was asking about. BTW, I happen to agree with you that the more important question is who has the right to make that particular choice; it’s simply not the question being discussed at that time.

@ChemE: you say: I seriously doubt 1/10,000 to 1/45 is due primarily to diagnostic criteria. Columbia researcher mentioned 60% unaccounted for

Actually, yes. It *is* primarily due to diagnostic criteria changes. As an engineer, you should be able to read the graph that shows that as autism/asperger diagnoses increased, mental retardation/childhood schizophrenia diagnoses decreased.

Also: Please name the "Columbia researcher". There are many people doing research at Columbia. Some of them are very good and professional. Some are not.

You still didn't address the issue of minorities being under-diagnosed, and many people with "milder" cases not being diagnosed until adulthood.

And hey, if microwave towers can cause autism, why isn't it likely that computers have contributed to it? Or Organic foods? or (gasp) RAP MUSIC!

@ Orac

I wrote my comment before checking SBM today. There I saw the Dr. Gorski post on AVer Tristan Wells' "How To Debate A Pro-vaxer", which (the SBM post) ends quoting a statement Wells made last week. "Vaccines are pure evil, and all those involved in the disgusting criminal enterprise should be executed."

I researched The Army of God for an (aborted) TV documentary, and interviewed a couple of it's prominent figures over the phone (not Michael Bray, though, or anyone implicated in actual violence). As individuals, both guys were basically harmless quirky 'characters', who wouldn't hurt a flea, and didn't actually want abortions doctors to be killed. (I'll spare the complex details of their ideology/theology/intent etc.) Suffice to say that with the exception of Bray, the AoG is mainly folks you'd only cast as villains in a comedy, not a serious thriller. Several prominent pro-choice advocates have posited the existence of a doctor-shooting conspiracy – along the line of violent neo-Nazi groups – that recruits assassins, select targets and plots hits. That's not how it works. What happens is actually scarier in a lot of ways. There are just enough truly dangerous nut jobs like Scott Roeder floating around who pick up on this stuff, that every now and then one of them acts on it on their own. That's why I said one or two posts aren't that worrisome. It takes a certain level of diffusion to reach the homicidal wackos, and they have to stew in the hate speech for a certain length of time before they conclude their only course is to martyr themselves 'for the children'.

Berger and Wells are likely just early signs of a 'disease' that might become life-threatening if it progresses. But that's what you have to look for, recognize, and counter before it spreads. This is serious stuff, not to be dismissed or taken lightly.

Beth, #161
Thanks for your answer. I understand you are new here. I think someone here bristles up his hair, sometimes, believing some posters are only trolling. What sometimes happens.
Really, I think someone other can happen to turn here for some bit of information, and have genuine questions. To which no one has a ready answer.

By perodatrent (not verified) on 30 Nov 2015 #permalink

"@ChemE: you say: I seriously doubt 1/10,000 to 1/45 is due primarily to diagnostic criteria. Columbia researcher mentioned 60% unaccounted for

Actually, yes. It *is* primarily due to diagnostic criteria changes. As an engineer, you should be able to read the graph that shows that as autism/asperger diagnoses increased, mental retardation/childhood schizophrenia diagnoses decreased.

Also: Please name the “Columbia researcher”. There are many people doing research at Columbia. Some of them are very good and professional. Some are not. "

Listen to this, the researcher is interviewed that was involved in the cluster study I mapped. He answers you question.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ma6ALpRQpH4

You still didn’t address the issue of minorities being under-diagnosed, and many people with “milder” cases not being diagnosed until adulthood.

My study only looked at a significant spatial cluster in California which happens to line up well with the broadcast antenna capital of the world!

"And hey, if microwave towers can cause autism, why isn’t it likely that computers have contributed to it? Or Organic foods? or (gasp) RAP MUSIC!"

I recommend you study those correlations.

Can you find any research papers that say microwave radiation is good for you??

So, you looked at one single variable that just so happened to have some correlation to autism diagnoses - though given the relative affluence in the area mentioned & we know that families who are more well off get their kids diagnosed at a younger age, I'd say you really need to go back to the drawing board before making such blanket statements.

My statement is that there is evidence for "increased autism due to nearby high gain transmitters of microwave radiation."

I said evidence, not cause. I gave the evidence and then I gave a possible causation. Nothing more, nothing less. Those other items you mentioned, diagnosis, vaccines, etc have already been studied. I am looking for the other 60-75%

I have chosen not to study RAP music and organic foods because I like both of those things.

ChemE:

The alarming thing is that 1/45 children now across the US have a disorder called autism. The strong correlation I show is just evidence, I guess you did not pick up on that….

No, it is not evidence. It is *data*. You need to demonstrate a causal link, or at the very minimum rule out other explanations before you can start calling it evidence. We know radiation can cause harm (although microwave radiation is not ionizing radiation and should not be confused for it). We do not know it can cause *this* harm. So you have more work to do before you can call that evidence.

It is interesting data, and it is useful data, but it is not evidence of a link. The world is a very messy place; be wary of drawing conclusions too quickly. We also know that autism cases increase with greater access to services to treat autism -- does this imply those services cause autism? That seems highly dubious, though it's pretty reasonable that it could cause some of the increase in *diagnoses* (since, of course, people with no access to child psychologists are probably not going to be getting diagnosed by one, for fairly obvious reasons, and of course the professionals who diagnose autism are more motivated to diagnose it in potential clients).

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 30 Nov 2015 #permalink

ChemE,

I am not an amateur when it comes to chemical & environmental engineering, I have been executing projects for 29 years, many required EPA permitting. I have also installed antennas and radiation sensors.

What does any of that have to do with autism, or the effects of EM radiation on living organisms? How does expertise in those areas translate to exploring the etiology of ASDs? Do you even have a plausible mechanism EM radiation causing autism when there are countless studies showing no effects of microwaves of the frequencies used in communications (that don't resonate water molecules) at far greater magnitudes than humans are exposed to?

The alarming thing is that 1/45 children now across the US have a disorder called autism.

Which can be explained by diagnostic changes, increased awareness and diagnostic substitution.

The strong correlation I show is just evidence, I guess you did not pick up on that….

It isn't evidence, it's one of probably thousands of correlations that are likely due to confounders, and we already have a plausible explanation for the increase in autism diagnoses anyway.

The researchers never downloaded 8,000 earth station antennas from the FCC database and geocoded them in Google Earth and Python and overlayed them onto an established autism clusters across California and calculated power densities. I also included another 20 thousand or so microwave relay antennas across the US

Finding more evidence of a spurious correlation that is very probably due to confounders doesn't make it any more impressive.

By the way, the autism cluster map in my paper was prepared by Columbia University, not UC Davis.

UC Davis' explanations for the cluster seem very plausible to me. Have you thought of ways of controlling for the confounders they mention?

The FCC database includes the transmitters, power levels and antenna gains and not just the tower locations. I am showing high gain, high EIRP transmitters. I excluded the receivers

I don't see how that helps your case. I would still expect to see a correlation between these transmitters and better educated people who tend to have children later.

Yes, humans love their radiation

I'm amused that I have spent as much time arguing with those who are convinced that tiny doses of radiation are deadly as I have with those who argue they are beneficial.

Listen to this, the researcher is interviewed that was involved in the cluster study I mapped. He answers you question.

A six year old video of an interview with a sociologist? More recent evidence suggests that there is no autism epidemic.

My statement is that there is evidence for “increased autism due to nearby high gain transmitters of microwave radiation.”

A mere correlation is not evidence that autism is due to microwave radiation.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 30 Nov 2015 #permalink

"What does any of that have to do with autism, or the effects of EM radiation on living organisms? How does expertise in those areas translate to exploring the etiology of ASDs? Do you even have a plausible mechanism EM radiation causing autism when there are countless studies showing no effects of microwaves of the frequencies used in communications (that don’t resonate water molecules) at far greater magnitudes than humans are exposed to?"

Actually, microwaves have shown all kinds of biological effects other than just thermal heating. Where have you been?

https://www.emfscientist.org/index.php/emf-scientist-appeal

A bunch of dumbass electrical engineers set the current safe health limit so they could sell more antennas. I have shown how 14 high gain antennas clustered together can exceed FCC safe guidelines 8000 feet away in an uncontrolled environment. There are 224 in the area

I referenced 3 papers linking autism symptoms to RF damage, you obviously have not read them.

My take on causitive effects (from an engineer's perspective)
Oxidative stress and accelerated corrosion in electrolytes, including you and I. When warships turn on high gain radars their metal hulls corrode faster in electrolytes (salt water). Calcium is one of the most reactive and "corrodable" metals, much more reactive than steel or even zinc. 0.01 mA of DC current accelerates oxidative stress and corrosion of minerals & metals.

Antennas induce currents and electrolytes, including you!

Attack my data, the microwave data and cluster are real.

Autism Capital of California = Broadcast Microwave capital of Califdornia

Simple correlation to figure out. Matches perfectly

"It’s only a short jump from this sort of rhetoric about how vaccination is “violence” against children, causing brain damage and even death, to justifying doing anything to stop it, including a little pre-emptive violence, if necessary—rhetoric very similar to anti-abortion rhetoric."

Both groups are very fond of Holocaust analogies - after all, a little violence and murder won't lose you the moral high ground if your aim is to prevent the _Holocaust_. And we see, too often, where that leads.

By Roadstergal (not verified) on 30 Nov 2015 #permalink

I confess I've not yet read through much more than half the comments, but wanted to throw something in on AF's #83. In your first 3-4 paragraphs, if one reads through and follows, one gets a gist of NNT and risk assessment, the latter of which is so totally deficient in the antivaccination "community."

Completely OT, it's why Adam Fawer's first novel, Probability, is among my top 3 contemporary favs. (What a shame that his follow-ups have been published only in German--in which I can limp, but . . . --and Turkish and Japanese, in both of which I am totally rubbish.

With respect to what others have said about possible BPD, I kind of agree, but am uncertain (notwithstanding that we just don't do Dx over the interwebz). It occurs to me that this thing about seeing the source of the communication problem as elsewhere gives support to the idea of locus of control. In particular, the constant victimised POV reveals an external locus, therefore relieving oneself of very much impact on, or responsibility for, the outcome. (I hate to say that, btw, 'cause "personal responsibilty.")

I suppose there'a comfort in that, somewhere, for them, kinda like what I may misremeber as the Superman Principal (wherein while one was young, one was effectively immortal), or what "what was she wearing" victim blaming does, meaning that one may feel "safe" from a given risk, because one hasn't the risk factor given out as wot one hasn't got, therefore one is (or one's children are) "safe."

In a similar way, being able to tell oneself that there's not strong evidence of genetic concordance (both heritable and de novo) lets one off the blame hook that must bedevil, especially as the evidence of genetic and congenital causes mounts up. It has to be reeeeally difficult to reconcile when one has three kids, all autistic, the youngest of which was never vaccinated, fer instance.

They also fail to recognise that the only person blaming them (and/or seeking to defend them from blame), is them, I think.

*Again OT, I mentioned to my son, a special ed teacher (and awesome musician and all sorts of other cool things) that my brother, who has some commo deficits, that he'd pointed out to me that I must have "some communication difficulties," because I never understand him. My son cracked up, understanding that what happens (and is frequently underscored) is that I value and respect what he needs or wants to say such that I will confirm whether I've got it, and work to clarify that what he meant is wot I heard. (Harder for him.)

Chemical engineer, I have a question: Epidemiology, how much?

Ren,

To answer your question, enough. A few billion watts of EIRP microwave radiation centered over that autism cluster with 224+ overlapping high gain antennas. Is that enough? 1/45 kids, is that enough? How much do you need? Focus on the data.

PS, I also have good statewide statistics in Florida showing more dead fish around high gain antennas over 3 years, which is never a good thing…

Oh, c'mon, don't sell yourself short:

Our wireless revolution is killing our seabirds and marine life by placing a chronic voltage potential on the surface of our conductive oceans and waterways and inducing electrical currents. Electromagnetic radiation from radars, microwave broadcast towers and cell towers are shocking the marine life near the surface of the waterways along our coastlines. 0.01 amps can damage skin over time and 0.1 amps can stop the heart. WE ARE SHOCKING OUR MARINE LIFE NEAR THE COASTLINES

Is that enough? 1/45 kids, is that enough? How much do you need? Focus on the data.

No it's not enough and you need a lot more to establish any viable correlation. What others keep trying to explain to you is that you don't control for the numerous confounding variables to see if your observation is real or not. What statistical model are you using or should use to do this? Also consider there are a few epidemiologists here hence the question.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 30 Nov 2015 #permalink

ChemE @175 -- BILLION watts? That's equivalent to the output a large nuclear power plant. There's no way there's that much microwave power being radiated.

By palindrom (not verified) on 30 Nov 2015 #permalink

I have chosen not to study RAP music and organic foods because I like both of those things.

To be fair to ChemE, most of the cranks that show up here with off-the-wall ideas aren't so up-front about the fact that their "research" is motivated by their own personal prejudices.

If you happen to be in the refracted focused beam of the microwave radiation from the parabolic dishes it is equivalent to being near an isotropic antenna of that power level(millions or billions of watts equivalent depending upon antenna) Same reason a relatively low power focused flashlight beam can blind you with light, that is high EIRP.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equivalent_isotropically_radiated_power

For example, LA County has approx 14.5 billion watts of EIRP radiation in the overhead atmosphere from pulsed radars and high gain microwave earthstations. That does not include all of the point to point microwave relay towers pointed over the area. The area of the autism cluster has the highest microwave power density in LA by a factor of 5. All of those beams undergo anaprop
http://www.radartutorial.eu/07.waves/wa17.en.html

Electrical engineers have used our atmosphere as a conductor and assume placing nature and humans under a chronic voltage potential is good for us. 0.01 mA DC (0.00001 Amps) accelerates corrosion (oxidative damage) to calcium and other minerals like magnesium

"What others keep trying to explain to you is that you don’t control for the numerous confounding variables to see if your observation is real or not"

The observation is real. Other than diagnosis, pollution and weather, the only other possible confounders I can think of are that area produces a lot of bad movies and TV shows...

The observation is real. Other than diagnosis, pollution and weather, the only other possible confounders I can think of are that area produces a lot of bad movies and TV shows…

In other words, you don't have the foggiest idea of how to actually design a study, collect data, assign the appropriate statistical model and control for confounding variables. Colour me surprised.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 30 Nov 2015 #permalink

If you happen to be in the refracted focused beam of the microwave radiation from the parabolic dishes

Good L-rd. Do you even know what refraction means?

P.S. What does the presence of the round things signify?

Oh, wow, I had never ever heard of Ted Twietmeyer before. I actually thought this had to be a parody that had slipped through (seriously, just skip down to the images), but a quick check strongly suggests that it's real.

This is way better than ChemE.

ChemE: What the heck is a "refracted focused beam"?

The total number of hits from a search for "refracted focused beam" on DuckDuckGo, Google, Bing, Wikipedia, and (just for the heck of it) twitter is zero. Nothing. The cube root of fuck-all.

^ Wait, I have to think that my browser isn't rendering the page as intended. This guy has to have known the demographics for CEV Hatch Boulders.

Vicki: What the heck is a “refracted focused beam”?

Vicki, it is known as "ducting" or "super refraction" of a beam of radiation:

If the atmospheric condition that causes superrefraction bends the beam equal to or more than the earth's curvature then a condition called ducting, or trapping, occurs. Ducting often leads to false echoes also known as anomalous propagation or simply AP.

http://www.srh.weather.gov/srh/jetstream/doppler/beam_max.htm
http://www.radartutorial.eu/07.waves/wa17.en.html

I call it "electrical engineers hosing you with radiation" x 224 overlapping high gain antennas.

I showed in my paper where 14 antennas in a group exceed the FCC safe limit for uncontrolled areas 8000' away (along the path of the beam)

Here is another hint: What transmits millions of watts of EIRP radiation, refracts off the atmosphere and irradiates you?

The Sun?

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

Science Mom

"In other words, you don’t have the foggiest idea of how to actually design a study, collect data, assign the appropriate statistical model and control for confounding variables. Colour me surprised."

I love it how humans resort to insults and attack people. I have collected so much data over the past 3 years your head would spin.

I am actually building a non isotropic radiation power density model that predicts where radiation and disease will be highest

So far it is pointing to droves of dead fish and dissolved coral reefs (CaCO3 corrosion) around high power, high gain antennas.

http://darkmattersalot.com/2014/01/12/florida-2/

I have other folks smarter than me looking at confounders.

I love it how humans resort to insults and attack people. I have collected so much data over the past 3 years your head would spin.

What good is it if it isn't the right data and you don't have a clue of how to analyse it?

I have other folks smarter than me looking at confounders.

You are admitting that you haven't controlled for those variables but still make definitive statements about your "evidence" which is easily just noise. And if you are admitting you aren't smart enough to conduct a proper study then what exactly are you doing?

By Science Mom (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

"And if you are admitting you aren’t smart enough to conduct a proper study then what exactly are you doing?"

Teaching you guys about how radiation is bad for you and vaccinations are good for you

The "noise" in my data is 14.5 Billion EIRP watts of confounding microwave radiation to those that think autism is a result of going to college and getting educated and buying a home on the hillside and having children and taking them to the doctor and getting them vaccinated.

Smart dumb people get smart people to help them. I did that two years ago.

Smart dumb people get smart people to help them. I did that two years ago.

Given that you just blundered spectacularly again, demonstrating that you don't even know what confounding variables are, I'd say you're still wallowing in the dumb part and refusing help from smart people.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

Hey Mom,

Confounding variables (aka third variables) are variables that the researcher failed to control, or eliminate, damaging the internal validity of an experiment.

Example: Researching moms failed to consider a 14.5 billion watt EIRP plume of radiation emanating from the Santa Monica area as their blonde bimbo cheerleader blamed Autism on vaccinations.

I bet you even know what hormesis is...

. I have collected so much data over the past 3 years your head would spin.

I doubt it would qualify as data in any statistical sense of the word. It sounds like you've simply been getting measurements of stuff - whether meaningful or not - and looking for correlations. One of the first things we teach students - even freshmen - is that if you have any collection of numbers, then if it is large enough you'll find all sorts of correlations to be significant, even though they are representative of nothing. If you really are an engineer, did you fail the basic stat classes you had?

"If you really are an engineer, did you fail the basic stat classes you had?"

My radiation model is now getting good enough now that I can predict cancer clusters. I have done simulation and modeling of chemical systems, power systems and solar thermal plants for 29 years

http://darkmattersalot.com/2014/11/01/wow/

Here is a good research paper that explains what my radiation model is predicting.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21716201

Since electrons are fermions, when you increase electromagnetic radiation in an area, you increase uncertainty, (Pauli exclusion principal) and increase disease rates due to increased oxidative stress (corrosion) in minerals in electrolytes.

If your model is now getting good enough that you can predict cancer clusters, what confounders have you controlled for? Or are you claiming the radiation you're tracking is the sole cause for cancer?

Or is that the job of them smarter folks at some future point?

@ gaist:

Right, confounders like age and ethnicity.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

And about ten more.
For example, I learned that I lived in a county which has extremely high longevity for women. What are some of the factors that may contribute to that? Might factors like that affect the outcome of any research about radiation etc?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

The other smarter folks have been looking at the data since early last year, including confounders.

The database I put together includes 2000+ high power, high gain pulsed microwave radars and 8000+ high gain microwave earth station antennas. I have also mapped microwave relay towers (from a separate database. Microwave frequencies appear to be more biologically active than RF frequencies based upon my research

I am telling you that, based upon my studies and modeling and mapping of existing clusters of autism and some cancers, high power density/high gain microwave radiation is most likely the primary cause of the 75% unidentified triggers of autism and associated mutations.

Actually the root cause is electrical engineers if you want to blame somebody.

Now why don't you scientists get off your butts and prove me wrong.

You can download my google earth microwave database from:

http://googleearthcommunity.proboards.com/thread/750/microwave-radar-ea…

And microwave relay towers from:
http://fccinfo.com/fccinfo_google_earth.php

It also includes AM/FM/Cell towers from the FCC database.

My radiation model is now getting good enough now that I can predict cancer clusters

Color me unconvinced. If your model predicts the existence of the 'clusters' in your collected data, that means nothing. If your model 'predicts' which have been previously unknown - I don't believe you. The fact that you believe something to be a cluster doesn't make it one.

My question still stands.

Confounding variables (aka third variables) are variables that the researcher failed to control, or eliminate, damaging the internal validity of an experiment.

Example: Researching moms failed to consider a 14.5 billion watt EIRP plume of radiation emanating from the Santa Monica area as their blonde bimbo cheerleader blamed Autism on vaccinations.

Excellent, you looked up the definition of confounding variable but still fail to actually utilise it in your study analyses or even hypothesis.

I bet you even know what hormesis is…

Now why would you think that Radar?

By Science Mom (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

Now why don’t you scientists get off your butts and prove me wrong.

You really don't get this science thing do you? You have to prove your own hypothesis first...you have yet to do that.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

From Mom:

Excellent, you looked up the definition of confounding variable but still fail to actually utilize it in your study analyses or even hypothesis.

Revised Hypothesis: Microwave radiation increases autism near high gain, high power density transmitters. Confounders such as education level, income level, vaccinations were considered but found to be so outlandish and clueless that they were dismissed in their entirety early on in the study

Confounders such as education level, income level, vaccinations were considered but found to be so outlandish and clueless that they were dismissed in their entirety early on in the study

You are indicating the answer to my stat class question.

ChemE- Why do you feel you have to resort to childish insults?

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

ChemE,

Confounders such as education level, income level, vaccinations were considered but found to be so outlandish and clueless that they were dismissed in their entirety early on in the study

Good grief! You can't dismiss confounders just because you don't like them! There are several confounding factors that you need to take into account, parental age and educational level for example, as well as various lifestyle factors, that most definitely correlate with autism. Look at any epidemiological study on autism and you will find that these are controlled for, otherwise you end with the sort of nonsense Hooker produced that has led to the CDC whistleblower debacle.

Are you saying that senior author Irva Hertz-Picciotto, a professor of public health sciences and a researcher with the UC Davis MIND Institute was clueless when he wrote:

“What we found with these clusters was that they correlated with neighborhoods of high education or neighborhoods that were near a major treatment center for autism, [...] In the U.S., the children of older, white and highly educated parents are more likely to receive a diagnosis of autism or autism spectrum disorder. For this reason, the clusters we found are probably not a result of a common environmental exposure. Instead, the differences in education, age and ethnicity of parents comparing births in the cluster versus those outside the cluster were striking enough to explain the clusters of autism cases,” Hertz-Picciotto said.

The professor is saying that education, age and ethnicity were confounding factors that explained the correlation, not an environmental factor such as being irradiated by microwaves, in case it wasn't clear.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

With all this wonderful and conclusive data, why is eng here instead of busily preparing papers for publication? Perhaps for some free consulting from people who know lots and point out deficiencies in his work?

Another possible confounders: location of available support resources.

Todd,
That's precisely what the UC Davis researchers found (from the article I linked to above):

Most of the areas, or clusters, are in locations where parents have higher-than-average levels of educational attainment. The other clusters are located close to major autism treatment centers.

I suppose that's "outlandish" too.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

"Are you saying that senior author Irva Hertz-Picciotto, a professor of public health sciences and a researcher with the UC Davis MIND Institute was clueless when he wrote:

“What we found with these clusters was that they correlated with neighborhoods of high education or neighborhoods that were near a major treatment center for autism, […] In the U.S., the children of older, white and highly educated parents are more likely to receive a diagnosis of autism or autism spectrum disorder. For this reason, the clusters we found are probably not a result of a common environmental exposure. "

I did not say he was "clueless". I will say he was ignorant of the power density of microwave radiation emanating from those cluster areas. Hollywood Hills is the high gain broadcast microwave antenna capital of the world. Duh

Older people will get more radiation over time in the area of transmitters and more oxidative damage to cells

Educated/higher income people buy homes on the hillsides and get more radiation in the Hollywood Hills

https://sdsimonson.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/santa-monica-autism-mw.p…

https://sdsimonson.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/hw2.png

@Krebiozen

Didn't refresh before I posted, but yeah. That's a big variable to account for when talking about proximity and clusters.

doug December 1, 2015

"With all this wonderful and conclusive data, why is eng here instead of busily preparing papers for publication? Perhaps for some free consulting from people who know lots and point out deficiencies in his work?"

I make a good living doing engineering and all of my work is already published, and not locked up behind some paywall., so what else do I need?

I like solving problems, not writing research papers. Plus, I do not have access to the human health statistics, only transmission sources, so others are looking at that. I have just mapped known clusters vs. my radiation model and transmitter location database.

I do have good statistics on dead fish around high gain antennas in Florida on my blog though

"The professor is saying that education, age and ethnicity were confounding factors that explained the correlation, not an environmental factor such as being irradiated by microwaves, in case it wasn’t clear."

The Columbia researchers say different and that 60-75% is unaccounted for, which my maps imply is primarily high gain radiation

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ma6ALpRQpH4

I also mapped Autism clusters in LaJolla, Fresno, San Francisco and Minneapolis that match up well with high microwave EMF environmental load areas

I like solving problems, not writing research papers. Plus, I do not have access to the human health statistics, only transmission sources, so others are looking at that. I have just mapped known clusters vs. my radiation model and transmitter location database.

You mean that you're afraid to have your work peer-reviewed else it'll harsh your buzz eh? And if you don't have access to the most important data to analyse then how are you coming to your conclusion? Who are these "others looking at that" and where is their work? It sounds an awful lot like you are making pathetic excuses for your woeful inadequacies after the fact.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

ChemE,

I did not say he was “clueless”. I will say he was ignorant of the power density of microwave radiation emanating from those cluster areas. Hollywood Hills is the high gain broadcast microwave antenna capital of the world. Duh

You said that the confounders the professor says are probably responsible for the cluster you are so excited about are "outlandish and clueless", which seems to me to be much the same thing. It also seems to me that your ignorance of the etiology of autism, epidemiology, statistics and complete dismissal of well-known confounders merits a "duh", not the professor.

Older people will get more radiation over time in the area of transmitters and more oxidative damage to cells

That's true for all causes of oxidative damage, which is why it is a confounder.

Educated/higher income people buy homes on the hillsides and get more radiation in the Hollywood Hills

Educated people are more likely to seek medical advice if their child is not developing as they think they should, and are more likely to get an autism diagnosis as a result. This is well-established in the literature. Similarly, those living near an autism treatment center are more likely to consider an autism diagnosis, and those with an autistic child may be more likely to move to an area with a center.

I don't think anyone mentioned the UK studies that found almost identical prevalence of autism in the UK in both children and adults, which strongly suggests that autism prevalence is not increasing. It also strongly argues against microwaves as a cause of autism - I'm pretty sure UK adults were not exposed to a great deal of microwave radiation in utero or as children.

Various strands of converging evidence point to a prenatal origin of autism. It seems unlikely to me that microwave radiation could cause problems when the fetus is shielded by amniotic fluid and the mother's body. If something environmental is partly to blame I would look for something that can affect the mother systemically e.g. a chemical or a virus, the way that valproate and rubella do.

The Columbia researchers say different and that 60-75% is unaccounted for, which my maps imply is primarily high gain radiation

The first author of the Columbia study writes:

The study does not attempt to identify the cause of autism—a much debated topic—but it suggests that increased prevalence is spurred by local variables, such as environmental toxins or social influences. In the case of West Hollywood, social influences might include increased awareness of autism, decreased stigma associated with the disorder, or increased number of local advocacy groups, said Soumya Mazumdar, a postdoctoral research scholar at Columbia’s Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP) and the study’s first author.

Those social influences are known confounders, and there is no known mechanism for microwave radiations causing autism.

I also mapped Autism clusters in LaJolla, Fresno, San Francisco and Minneapolis that match up well with high microwave EMF environmental load areas

Several things that we know correlate with autism are also likely to be associated with lots of microwaves. You still don't seem to grasp this.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

<A href="http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2014/03/14/autism-clusters-and-toxins… in 2014:

Believe what you want. I was not put on this Earth to convince you of anything.
If you guys want to comment back to me you can do it on my blog. I will post the comment as long as it is respectful

ChemE now:

Now why don’t you scientists get off your butts and prove me wrong.

I was not put on Earth for that purpose.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

"To answer your question, enough. A few billion watts of EIRP microwave radiation centered over that autism cluster with 224+ overlapping high gain antennas. Is that enough? 1/45 kids, is that enough? How much do you need? Focus on the data."

Judging from your answer, not enough. You keep having issues of confounding, surviellance bias, recall bias, diagnostic bias, and so on and so forth. And you keep telling us to "focus on the data" instead of clarifying how your conclusion addresses all of these. If I were to go up before my thesis committee with this, they would laugh at me until the cows came home.

Don't be lazy. Explain it all using good Epi or call it a wrap and go home. Your "research" has issues a priori which you either don't want to address or can't, cancelling out (or at the very least calling into question) your conclusions.

Finally, come on, man! Radio waves lack the intensity to cause any kind of damage at a cellular level at the distances and strengths you're talking about. It's not like we're full of circuits that can be affected by radio. (You call it radiation to scare us, but it's just plain old radio waves. It's not gamma rays coming out of plutonium.)

Confounders such as education level, income level, vaccinations were considered but found to be so outlandish and clueless that they were dismissed in their entirety early on in the study

"Confounders, I fart in your general direction!"

Sadmar,

Didn't they find a common thread that most of these nut jobs are seeking notoriety and relavance in a society that ignores them until they do something vile?

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

ChemE was more entertaining when he was going on about the dummy radar towers whose existence he could deduce to preserve the hypothesis. And their power to cause waterspouts and to dissolve limestone. The whole scenario was reminiscent of "Crystal World"-era Ballard, but it showed promise.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

"You mean that you’re afraid to have your work peer-reviewed else it’ll harsh your buzz eh?

Many engineers (I work with 500) have reviewed my work and think I am right. You are welcome to review/criticize my work if you dare stoop so low (wait, you already have)

"And if you don’t have access to the most important data to analyse then how are you coming to your conclusion? "

I have taken existing, peer reviewed, very important cluster studies and overlayed and correlated with my radiation model containing over 10,000 high gain, high power antennas. That saves me a lot of time as I am an underfunded research garage outfit. Clusters correlate really well with my database: 466% higher radiation in an area of 400% more autism.

Hey I just thought of another Confounder in California, tattoos....

Who are these “others looking at that” and where is their work?

Mom, I can't tell you who, but a peer review manuscript for academic types will be published. Grammar will be much better than mine, containing many more words with more syllables, confounders and conspirators will be identified as well as good techie stuff like uW/cm2,W/m2, dBi, EIRP, etc... Some results may surprise or dismay, I am really not sure.

But if I do look around at other autism studies that show a strong genetic mutation/environmental link I would start here:

http://journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/article?id=10.1371/journal.pcbi.1…

"It sounds an awful lot like you are making pathetic excuses for your woeful inadequacies after the fact."

Now to me, VaxMom appears to be a "bit insulting" but there is something I still like about her...

I told you guys I was just a measly engineer with too much time on his hands.

Thanks for your continued interest.

All I need to know is whether or not you typed this with a straight face. It will answer everything for me and then I can get on with my afternoon. Please reply.

Many engineers (I work with 500) have reviewed my work and think I am right.

"ChemE was more entertaining when he was going on about the dummy radar towers whose existence he could deduce to preserve the hypothesis. And their power to cause waterspouts and to dissolve limestone. "

BTW, I can go on Amazon and buy a pulsed electromagnetic water conditioner that dissolves limestone (CaCO3)

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003Z96GR4?psc=1

It gets 4 stars!!!!

What is even more impressive is if you pulse 30 million watts of microwave radiation over a coral reef 2000 feet below, it dissolves it too!

http://www.kkcr.org/archive/ht101915.mp3

Impressive!

Delphine by the fireplace
December 1, 2015
"All I need to know is whether or not you typed this with a straight face. It will answer everything for me and then I can get on with my afternoon. Please reply.

Many engineers (I work with 500) have reviewed my work and think I am right."

I am ...speechless.

"Autism is an engineering problem, not a biology problem, that is why the scientists can't figure it out."

You guys see that leopard seal laughing at you, right? You have had like 80 years to figure it out and people are still making blogs about vaccines and autism! Too Funny!

Many engineers (I work with 500) have reviewed my work and think I am right. You are welcome to review/criticize my work if you dare stoop so low (wait, you already have)

Who have about as much epidemiology/stats knowledge as you have no doubt.

I have taken existing, peer reviewed, very important cluster studies and overlayed and correlated with my radiation model containing over 10,000 high gain, high power antennas. That saves me a lot of time as I am an underfunded research garage outfit. Clusters correlate really well with my database: 466% higher radiation in an area of 400% more autism.

Bemoaning your lack of funding is no excuse for sloppy work. I'm glad you have a day job...keep it.

Mom, I can’t tell you who, but a peer review manuscript for academic types will be published. Grammar will be much better than mine, containing many more words with more syllables, confounders and conspirators will be identified as well as good techie stuff like uW/cm2,W/m2, dBi, EIRP, etc… Some results may surprise or dismay, I am really not sure.

Oh yea! Another Super Sekrit blockbuster paradigm-shifting study in the works by (undoubtedly) the world's most eminent scientists.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

You guys see that leopard seal laughing at you, right?

I did and I shot the bastard with my dummy radar tower.

An engineer, a statistician, and a physicist are out hunting. They spot a buck, and each take turn to try and bag it.
The physicist goes first. He pulls out his lab book and quickly calculates the trajectory of the bullet, assuming it is a perfect sphere in a vacuum. The bullet falls 20m short of the deer.
The engineer goes second. He pulls out his engineers pad and book of projectile assumptions. After a few minutes he's ready, he takes aim, and he fires. The bullet lands 20m past the deer.
The statistician leaps in the air shouting, "We got it!"

Oh yea! Another Super Sekrit blockbuster paradigm-shifting study in the works by (undoubtedly) the world’s most eminent scientists.

PLEASE DEAR GOD NOT A BOOK!! OH PLEASE WHATEVER YOU DO NO BOOK PLEASE NO!!!

@ Delphine:

Ha ha.

But you DO know what they say about engineers and autism?
And aren't we at RI familiar with other engineer-theorists?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

Yes, yes we are. Do not speak its name, please.

Look Denice, right now, I'm just having horrible flashbacks to when RFK Jr. threatened to write a book. There's another one who doesn't know his arse from hole in the ground who threatened to put it on paper and...he did and...my eyes have been opened.

They're going to close soon though, just as soon as I take another hit of this awesome Nyquil.

I just found your one and only review "helpful", Stewart.

Oh yes, that review was extremely "helpful."

Many engineers (I work with 500) have reviewed my work and think I am right.

So people with whom you work and associated, and with whom you share multiple thoughts and views in common, agree with your hack bit of "statistics".

You don't realize how stupid that is do you?

@ Delphine:

If you are truly having flashbacks, it's helpful to:
-keep blinking your eyes
-focus on something real which is on your field of vision
-chant / sing- "it's not real"
-go with the flow, 'cause you just never know

-btw- there are MUCH better potions than Nyquil

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

So, checking out this author's other "work" it is now painfully obvious why engineers fall prey to quackery (or in this case, full-blown science fiction as reality)......

I am awaiting the arrival of Mr. Delphine in another hour or so with something better than Nyquil. Delphinette is in my care and I honestly feel too ill to make it to the pharmacy, esp. with her in tow.

Potentially a very stupid question, but are flashbacks really a true thing? Pretty sure my father had them as an adult, triggered by fireworks (bombs falling). I know I know, if only there existed some sort of tool on my computer, some type of search mechanism...

Since electrons are fermions, when you increase electromagnetic radiation in an area, you increase uncertainty, (Pauli exclusion principal)

Jeezums, I'm glad the coffee's not ready yet.

ChemE, please stop embarrassing us engineers.

Many engineers (I work with 500) have reviewed my work and think I am right.

But this is isn't engineering you're asking them to review. (By the way, I did notice your little bait-and-switch there, where you imply that you have 500 people review your work with the irrelevant statement that you work with 500 engineers, but don't actually say how many reviewed your work.) You know engineers should not review outside their area of expertise, right? Basic engineering ethics, there. I'm a software engineer; you don't want me peer reviewing a circuit design or, god forbid, a chemical process you've developed. Sure, I took a semester of Organic Chemistry, but that hardly would qualify me for that.

You need to get people with relevant expertise to review your work. Don't get ChemEs to review your work. Get epidemiologists, physicists specializing in microwaves, neurologists, developmental psychologists specialising in autism, these sorts of people. It's not a proper review otherwise. It is, at best, a bunch of engineers speculating outside their area of expertise.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

ChemE: "Plus, I do not have access to the human health statistics,..."

So you can't be bothered to go to a library at your local university? Or you don't understand demographics as confounding factors? Which is it?

ChemE: "Many engineers (I work with 500) have reviewed my work and think I am right."

That is hilarious. I echo Calli Arcale's request that you stop embarrassing engineers.

There is an occasional theme here about engineers who think they can do science that they were not trained in. One classic chemical engineer is Andy Cutler, who is really big on chelating kids with autism. Another engineer that whose bad science and statistics is the biochemical engineer Brian Hooker.

Your appeal to the authority of engineers does not impress the engineers who post on this blog, especially me, a former aerospace engineer. I did structural dynamics, which involves a bit of statistics. Though the level of statistics paled compared to those used with biomedical data. This is where Brian Hooker tripped up spectacularly. I know my limits, perhaps it is time you learned yours.

Krebiozen:

Todd,
That’s precisely what the UC Davis researchers found (from the article I linked to above):

Most of the areas, or clusters, are in locations where parents have higher-than-average levels of educational attainment. The other clusters are located close to major autism treatment centers.

I suppose that’s “outlandish” too.

I think he misunderstands our objection. Earlier, he asked how more education could possibly cause autism. He's ruling things like this out because in his mind, it's outlandish that they could cause autism.

But that's not what we're saying. We're saying they could cause increased *diagnosis*. He's thinking confounders have to be things that could also cause autism, which means he's a step ahead of himself. It's not about other things that could cause autism, it's about other things that could cause the statistics that we're seeing.

In one's list of possible confounders, one must always remember this one: your data may be wrong, or at least incomplete. Using autism diagnoses as a proxy for actual incidence of autism is reasonable, but has a crucial weakness.

Consider murder rates. If a newspaper article says the murder rate went down, does that mean the police are doing a better job of keeping us safe? Well, maybe. But what are we using as a proxy for the murder rate? We're probably looking at the arrest rate. That could go down because the police were doing such a good job that all the murderers are lying low, or it could mean they're doing such a terrible job that nobody catches them. We don't really know which, and this data can't tell us.

That's what ChemE is missing. The data he's using can't tell him if it's deficient. He's using the diagnosis rate as a proxy for the incidence rate, and oblivious to the distinction.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

dean
December 1, 2015

"Many engineers (I work with 500) have reviewed my work and think I am right.
So people with whom you work and associated, and with whom you share multiple thoughts and views in common,

Actually I disagree with electrical engineers much of the time and I work with 100 of them.

What concerns me is that with one NEXRAD radar, they pulse the equivalent of 32 billion watts of EIRP radiation 500 times a second and they don't know where it is all going!!:
http://www.srh.weather.gov/srh/jetstream/doppler/beam_max.htm
How do we know the path of the beam all times?
Aside from when AP is seen on the radar, we don't! To know the path of the beam would require us to know the exact composition of the moisture, temperature and pressure in the atmosphere, up to 70,000 feet, every minute or so, within about 240 miles of the radar and that capability does not exist.

I guess you guys are OK with that? I think I know where the electrons are going

" and agree with your hack bit of “statistics. You don’t realize how stupid that is do you?"

I used to be smarter

I have this beautiful non-isotropic radiation model which I can enter dish angle and cloud ceiling and power feed and gain and it computes a radiation profile striking the ground (which incidentally can be 3 times higher a few miles away from the dish transmitter than directly around it (see "cone of silence" - not Get Smart) It can then process and compute the overlapping refracted power density of 10,000 high gain antennas within 30 seconds across the US. It then uses that power density for any point in the US to create maps and data tables that I can than run statistics against incidences of diseases(geocoded with lat/lon and FIPS codes) and my python routine spits out P-values for null hypotheses. It is a beautiful thing I must say. It has led me to correlations with unusual mortality events of stranded dolphins and whales and manatees and dead fish and dissolved coral reefs and autism clusters and cancer clusters and I feel so fortunate I can share it with you guys who are so appreciative.

Let me ask a simple question. How come nobody has checked electromagnetic radiation power density against autism and cancer clusters. Why such a waste of bandwidth and money on Vaccines?

Get epidemiologists, physicists specializing in microwaves, neurologists, developmental psychologists specialising in autism, these sorts of people.

Actually, the local ARRL section would probably suffice.

"How come nobody has checked electromagnetic radiation power density against autism and cancer clusters."

Because of the sixth Bradford-Hill Criterion, which I'm sure you're aware of being as how you were taught "enough" epidemiology and all.

I guess you guys are OK with that? I think I know where the electrons are going

Electrons don't "go" anywhere in EM propagation.

"Electrons don’t “go” anywhere in EM propagation."

Next, you'll tell me that photons don't have mass.

EM Waves (from radars and antennas) create electrical currents in conductors/electrolytes

Definition: Electromagnetic induction (or sometimes just induction) is a process where a conductor placed in a changing magnetic field (or a conductor moving through a stationary magnetic field) causes the production of a voltage across the conductor. This process of electromagnetic induction, in turn, causes an electrical current - it is said to induce the current.

You and the ocean are the conductor

I used to be smarter

It would be hard to have been worse off.

You are looking at huge amounts of "data" you collected, ignoring the things you don't think are important (despite the fact that the scientists who study this say otherwise), searching for random correlations, and claiming that your results are valid because some of your pals think your work looks good. You won't bother to look at existing research studies because you know they are wrong. You won't talk to experts in the field you're trying to comment on, and you won't bother trying to present your work to have it reviewed.

That doesn't pass any test for validity in basic statistics or scientific research, let alone do the things you claim it does.

Sixth Bradford-Hill Criterion:

Plausibility: A plausible mechanism between cause and effect is helpful (but Hill noted that knowledge of the mechanism is limited by current knowledge).[1]

Autism and EMF? Plausibility of a pathophysiological link – Part I
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0928468013000370
Part II
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0928468013000382

Martha Rocks!

RF Radiation accelerates oxidative stress and corrosion rates as it inducers electrical currents in conductors and electrolytes

https://skyvisionsolutions.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/reference-inform…

ChemE @247: " How come nobody has checked electromagnetic radiation power density against autism and cancer clusters."

How about *you* tell us what the mechanism of action is? And how in some places this radiation causes autism and in other places the *same* kind of radiation causes cancer?

By JustaTech (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

You and the ocean are the conductor

What's my impedance?

Let me ask a simple question. How come nobody has checked electromagnetic radiation power density against autism and cancer clusters I haven't gone outside with a field strength meter?

FTFY.

"What’s my impedance?"

Your lack of open-mindedness? :-p

He’s thinking confounders have to be things that could also cause autism, which means he’s a step ahead of himself. It’s not about other things that could cause autism, it’s about other things that could cause the statistics that we’re seeing.

Exactly, ChemE thinks that the various confounding variables we have listed for him are independent variables. Nothing terribly surprising that he is digging his heels in; we've seen it with pretty much every crank and their hare-brained hypotheses who think they've indentified autism aetiology.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

Narad “December 1, 2015
P.S. What does the presence of the round things signify?”

Could somebody please help Narad out…

Narad, here is a hint:

[Picture of EMC teleport]

The correct answer was "relay station."

Here is another hint: What transmits millions of watts of EIRP radiation, refracts off the atmosphere and irradiates you?

Not those.

What transmits millions of watts of EIRP radiation

ChemE's entire bait-&-switch is based on treating a unidirectional, intermittent energy source as if the same flux of energy were coming from all directions, continually (possibly blinded by the "equivalent" in EIRP).
In the real world, fortunately, a laser pointer will not vaporise a blackboard.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

Well, there is a slight problem that EIRP is a meaningless statistic, given that the beams are going every which way, and that at microwave frequencies the refraction of the atmosphere is tiny.

To all my biomed and medical statistics oriented commentariat friends out there: the physics is just as bad as the epidemiology.

Please proceed.

By palindrom (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

"Real crop circle patterns (reflecting plasma/heat/magnetic damage) may actually be triggered from dark matter and energy, passing through Earth. In this case, dark matter can be both beautiful and deadly. Are some of these intricate patterns actually trying to tell us something? (Yes)"
(from the Honey, They Cooked the Kids Illustrated Ebook)

It's a mighty fine book you've written, full of wisdom and insight, for sure. I'm curious to hear your thoughts on what the patterns are trying to tell us as they pass through our planet.

What’s my impedance?

Well, if you like the guy on this sign, if must be infinite.

^ you are like the guy

^ IT - IT must be infinite
So few words, so many errors.

@gaist

Not only is he an expert on biology and epidemiology, he's also an astrophysicist? Is there anything ChemE isn't an expert on?

I think he misunderstands our objection. Earlier, he asked how more education could possibly cause autism...but that's not what we're saying. We're saying they could cause increased *diagnosis*

In a sense, advanced education could be considered an indirect cause of autism because people pursuing advanced education often put off having children until later in life, and advanced parental age is a known risk factor. Of course, there's also the "assorted mating" hypothesis - if you get enough highly-educated people in one place, they're likely to have higher-than-average rates of autism-like traits that likely share a genetic basis with ASD, such that when they interbreed they produce offspring with higher-than-average rates of ASDs. I'm not totally sure I buy that, but it's an interesting thought. Anyway, my point is that its not totally impossible that some of these clusters could actually have higher rates of ASDs than the general population, but there would still be more plausible explanations than ChemE's hypothesis.

I'm reminded of a comment by a friend who's a 6th grade teacher. They do a lot of bullying education in middle school. On the days after they cover that unit she gets a stream of complaints along the lines of "Ms. G, I've been bullied, X bumped me in the hall!"

Narad @255 & 256

Looks like you caught him with his amps down.

By Militant Agnostic (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

@gaist

Well, it is about time we had some some dark energy woo. Quantum is getting stale.

By Militant Agnostic (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

Guys! Guys! Are we bullying ChemE?

@ Ren, of course we are.*

*By the whiny-arsed anti-vaxx definition of bullying of course.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

re the quote from the book.

Yiiii!

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

Vicki: What the heck is a “refracted focused beam”?

Vicki, it is known as “ducting” or “super refraction” of a beam of radiation:

If the atmospheric condition that causes superrefraction bends the beam equal to or more than the earth’s curvature then a condition called ducting, or trapping, occurs. Ducting often leads to false echoes also known as anomalous propagation or simply AP.

Oh, good L-rd. The coinage isn't just redundant, it makes you sound foolish right off the bat,* as though you're babbling about refractive focusing ("refracted off the atmosphere" is a similar garbling). The existence of conditions for ducting varies from uncommon to rare (PDF).

I showed in my paper where 14 antennas in a group exceed the FCC safe limit for uncontrolled areas 8000′ away (along the path of the beam)

"Uncontrolled areas"? Why would all the antennas be pointing in the same direction? Is this just some sort substitute for isotropy in your word salad? Before you start combining antennas, you have to demonstrate that you're not hopelessly wrong for one (and no, I'm not going to go read "your paper"; if you can't explain it here, you don't understand it in the first place):

Do the calculation for a perfect waveguide.

* Rather than letting the true crankery sink in over time.

Dark matter? Dark energy? Crop circles?

I toadya, folks. Waste of time.

By palindrom (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

Oh, and -- JP: I really, really hope you're OK.

We all do.

Seriously.

By palindrom (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

gaist

December 1, 2015
“Real crop circle patterns (reflecting plasma/heat/magnetic damage) may actually be triggered from dark matter and energy, passing through Earth. In this case, dark matter can be both beautiful and deadly. Are some of these intricate patterns actually trying to tell us something? (Yes)”
(from the Honey, They Cooked the Kids Illustrated Ebook)

It’s a mighty fine book you’ve written, full of wisdom and insight, for sure. I’m curious to hear your thoughts on what the patterns are trying to tell us as they pass through our planet.

OMG Look at these articles!

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=4774
http://www.sciencefriday.com/articles/cosmic-connections-dark-matter-an…

Some are warning us about electromagnetic radiation from earth stations and microwave towers...

http://darkmattersalot.com/2014/12/14/what-if-our-first-contact-was-som…

"Martha Rocks!"

Martha Herbert, the anti-vacc non-expert on autism? Good lord.

Todd W.

http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
December 1, 2015
@gaist

"Not only is he an expert on biology and epidemiology, he’s also an astrophysicist? Is there anything ChemE isn’t an expert on?"

NOt really, but I do have a theory of everything based upon M Theory. "The Theory of Everything" that nobody knows what it means...

http://darkmattersalot.com/2013/04/15/is-it-our-brane-thats-still-foggy…

We have lots of cold dark matter in our atmosphere.

While I was looking for Dark Energy, which routinely knocks houses over, I found lots of microwave radiation that the electrical engineers can't seem to keep track of.

Looks at #281.

Ok: this clown is not serious - he's just posting random bullcrap picked from an orifice. Nobody is stupid enough to write "While I was looking for Dark Energy, which routinely knocks houses over" or "We have lots of cold dark matter in our atmosphere." and be serious about it.

“Uncontrolled areas”? Why would all the antennas be pointing in the same direction?"

Because they are transmitting up to the same geostationary satellite. Or in the case of microwave relay towers they are transmitting to the same remote tower.
Is this just some sort substitute for isotropy in your word salad? Before you start combining antennas, you have to demonstrate that you’re not hopelessly wrong for one (and no, I’m not going to go read “your paper”; if you can’t explain it here, you don’t understand it in the first place):

Do the calculation for a perfect waveguide.
Total Power at the Antennas1330 watts (14 earth stations pointing at same satellite)
Antennas avg Gain in dBi53.2 dBi
Distance to the Area of Interest4000 feet
1219.2 metres
Frequency of Operation5000 MHz
Are Ground Reflections Calculated?Yes
Estimated RF Power Density3.8084 mW/cm2
Controlled
EnvironmentUncontrolled
Environment
Maximum Permissible Exposure (MPE)
5.005 mW/cm2
1.005 mW/cm2
Distance to Compliance From Centre of Antenna
3490.9796 feet
1064.0506 metres
7806.0059 feet
2379.2706 metres
Does the Area of Interest Appear to be in Compliance?
yes
no

* Rather than letting the true crankery sink in over time.

Wow. I mean, wow. I've been busy with life for several days and didn't notice this thread. As someone with professional (and hobby) s/w and RF/antenna design expertise, and the degrees to back it up, there's really only one thing I can do while skimming this fellow's blathering. I am sitting here with a silly grin on my face and occasionally laughing as I read. That may be a bit cruel since he appears to need professional help, and I don't mean the technology sort.

Martha Rocks!

Good grief ChemE will latch onto anyone he thinks validates his pet hypothesis. You might want to take a little closer looksie at whackadoo mould-causes-autism Martha Herbert there Radar.

NOt really, but I do have a theory of everything based upon M Theory. “The Theory of Everything” that nobody knows what it means…

Betcha John Cleese does.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

rs, this you see this admission by ChemE: "Actually I disagree with electrical engineers much of the time and I work with 100 of them." ?

I assume you agree with his dissenting co-workers.

I think I know where the electrons are going

Electrons go around in circles.

Let me ask a simple question. How come nobody has checked electromagnetic radiation power density against autism and cancer clusters I haven’t gone outside with a field strength meter?

No, the right way for ChemE to show a real world threat would be to go outside with an antenna and a spectrum analyzer (a pre-amp would probably be in order, too). We're in prime ducting season about now (it tends to happen when the weather is changing), so it probably wouldn't take more than a long week-end to come back with all the real world plots he'd need to shut us right up. Match those with his predictions, and he'd be golden.

In a previous life, I've done exactly that, so I can tell you what he'll see, and that nothing like what he thinks he will.

He's ignoring free space loss (considerable), the fact that all the various transmitters are on different frequencies (with a lot of unused bandwidth in between, so you can't just add them up), and most importantly that ducting doesn't exactly look like the simplified pictures he's been using. Microwave ducting isn't like a LASER beam bouncing between front silver mirrors, it's more like a flashlight beam bouncing between sheets of wrinkled tissue paper that has holes in it.

I have this beautiful non-isotropic radiation model which I can enter dish angle and cloud ceiling and power feed and gain and it computes a radiation profile striking the ground (which incidentally can be 3 times higher a few miles away from the dish transmitter than directly around it (see “cone of silence” – not Get Smart)

No sh*t, Sherlock. That's because they're not aimed at the ground. And cloud ceiling tells you exactly nothing about n(h), which moots the whole thing.

It can then process and compute the overlapping refracted power density of 10,000 high gain antennas within 30 seconds across the US. It then uses that power density for any point in the US to create maps and data tables that I can than run statistics against incidences of diseases(geocoded with lat/lon and FIPS codes) and my python routine spits out P-values for null hypotheses.

This is idiotic. You don't even have a time series for your "computation" of "power densities."

It is a beautiful thing I must say.

Yah. Surely there must be some AREPS output floating around that you could benchmark it against.

palindrom
December 1, 2015
"Well, there is a slight problem that EIRP is a meaningless statistic, given that the beams are going every which way, and that at microwave frequencies the refraction of the atmosphere is tiny."

The FCC makes the vendors report EIRP, why do you say it is meaningless? It is an indication of the equivalent focused power of the transmitter

Actually GHz frequencies are refracted more then AM/FM so you are wrong about that. For ducting it can be 100% refraction and you become "biological contaminants" or "ground clutter"

Ducting is actually very common along coastlines, so don't make stuff up.
https://sdsimonson.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/ducting1.png

^ I presume that the start of the b0rk3d blockquote is obvious.

"Microwave ducting isn’t like a LASER beam bouncing between front silver mirrors, it’s more like a flashlight beam bouncing between sheets of wrinkled tissue paper that has holes in it."

I never called it a laser beam, you did and i did call it like a flashlight or searchlight beam and in the case of Hollywood Hills there are 224 of them all bouncing around at times, all at similar earth station frequencies

I NEED HELP!
Can anyone point me to some "most probable" sites where germ theory denial is a big thing. There is some complete idiot on a CBC vaccine-related comment thread that denies germ theory ("Measles is a vitamin deficiency disease, polio is a chemical poisoning disease." and he flat-out denies germ theory), and I'd like some idea of where the big cheeses of denial hang out.
Thanks.

Not only is he an expert on biology and epidemiology, he’s also an astrophysicist? Is there anything ChemE isn’t an expert on?

There's more. He's a meteorologist supreme as well!

"Orbiting dark matter has a large impact on our weather patterns and determines them to a great degree."

In addition to triggering volcanoes, sinkholes, localized structural failures and more, the particles supposedly generate hurricanes around them, until (conveniently as far inland as would be expected following mere common meteorological models) the particle disappears underground, dissipating the storm.
Low atmospheric pressure is supposedly caused by the particle collapsing atmospheric gases during its travels, and/or due to it's "massive gravitational pull on the surrounding gas" (yet not having that much gravitational pull on solids on the ground, it seems).

They also cause vacuum energy by creating "micro black holes sucking the entropy from its surroundings. I would think that at first, the particle will cause extreme upset to the local thermodynamic and gravitational stability of matter in its new environment".

Oh, also Tunguska was an "exit wound" caused by one of the particles, which also cause heart attacks and strokes by their presence. (A question to ChemE, wouldn't incidence heart attacks and strokes occur in geographical patterns then?)

Also, dark matter exiting from Earth into ocean may be responsible for fish kills... How does this coincide with your dead fish as evidence for human-caused electromagnetic radiation causing autism-theory, ChemE?

"Also, dark matter exiting from Earth into ocean may be responsible for fish kills… How does this coincide with your dead fish as evidence for human-caused electromagnetic radiation causing autism-theory, ChemE?"

We have cold dark matter in our atmosphere and it is causing electromagnetic radiation to duct and refract and scatter. Since it is cold, it is also condensing water vapor, which creates our weather.

"Dark matter's existence is inferred from gravitational effects on visible matter and gravitational lensing of background radiation"

Waterspouts and tornadoes and hurricanes have cold dark matter along their eyewalls in my model, which are really domain walls. They are all vacuum disturbances, not just a temperature disturbance. They decay and give of "dark energy" That is why you get "hook echoes" when you point a radar at a tornado as the atmosphere bends the radiation. Basically tornadoes are small wormholes that evaporate and decay.

Simple concept.

Actually GHz frequencies are refracted more then AM/FM so you are wrong about that.

Somebody get Stephen P. McGreevy on the line.

For ducting it can be 100% refraction

OK, at least you've clarified that you most certainly do not know what refraction is.

and you become “biological contaminants” or “ground clutter”

"P.S. I am not a crank."

NOt really, but I do have a theory of everything based upon M Theory. “The Theory of Everything” that nobody knows what it means…

If you're conceding that "M Theory" doesn't mean anything, then that's a start.

Narad
December 1, 2015
"OK, at least you’ve clarified that you most certainly do not know what refraction is."

??

http://www.theweatherprediction.com/habyhints/234/
Ducting is exceptional super-refraction. Super-refraction occurs when the trajectory of a radar beam bends towards the earth's surface more than normal.

The advantages of ducting are increased radar range, being able to sample storms further from radar, and being able to sample lower elevations within storms further from radar. The disadvantages of ducting are increased ground clutter and increased anomalous propagation (due to radar beams bouncing energy back from hitting earth's surface or sampling storms beyond the radar's maximum unambiguous range).

Can anyone point me to some “most probable” sites where germ theory denial is a big thing.

@ doug, there is no one hovel where these loons congregate. AVN (not the porn site), Natural News and Prison Planet spring to mind though.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 01 Dec 2015 #permalink

Thanks, Science Mom. I've paid little attention to germ theory denialists, though I've read our host's posts. Whale is usually the first place that comes to my mind for anything that's grossly ridiculous, but I know it only by reputation, not because I've spent more than a few minutes there. (Perhaps a certain someone should be nudged in that direction.)
I've sort of decided not to engage the kook - it seems a bit like trying to reason with a bowl of rice pudding.

I never called it a laser beam…

But isn't your model based on exactly that?

According to your model as you post #284, 100% of the EIRP is returned to the earth, but if that happened, all those satellite uplinks would go dark. That doesn't happen in real life. In fact, nothing close to that happens, and you'd know that if you had the slightest idea what you were talking about.

Don't you think that maybe your model is off just a wee little bit? Like a coupla dB?

You do know what a dB is, right?

Based on your post #284, what would be the free space loss?

We have cold dark matter in our atmosphere and it is causing electromagnetic radiation to duct and refract and scatter.

Dark matter only interacts gravitationally.

Since it is cold, it is also condensing water vapor, which creates our weather.

Yoo hoo.

Leaving aside the cosmological stuff, you're trying to play RF physics and engineering while demonstrating less practical understanding than a competent member of the the Amateur Radio Service.*

I suggest that you make keeping your day job your first priority.

* Never should have eliminated the Morse requirements.

Narad
December 1, 2015
“OK, at least you’ve clarified that you most certainly do not know what refraction is.”

??

You used the words "100% refraction." What you would have meant if you had the slightest idea what you're talking about would have been 100% reflection.

^ Eh, that was an atrocious sentence. I'll just note that ChemE left something out from the quote in comment 217, viz., "the chance of two radars with identical atmospheric conditions are nil so it is wise to get views of storms from nearby radars to compare with the closest view to take into account beam spreading and refraction."

Path losses change all of the time with weather conditions. Just because a signal ducts heavily in one area does not mean a portion of the signal still does not make it to the satellite along a multi paths outer.

You guys are totally missing the point that in an area of LA with 466% more high gain broadcast antennas you have 400% more autism. And that does not include the extra relay antennas. And it is a similar situation around the LaJolla and Fresno clusters. Microwave Radiation fills up an area due to path losses such as refraction, reflection and scattering, just like light(visible radiation) does.

Path loss normally includes propagation losses caused by the natural expansion of the radio wave front in free space (which usually takes the shape of an ever-increasing sphere), absorption losses (sometimes called penetration losses), when the signal passes through media not transparent to electromagnetic waves, diffraction losses when part of the radiowave front is obstructed by an opaque obstacle, and losses caused by other phenomena.

The signal radiated by a transmitter may also travel along many and different paths to a receiver simultaneously; this effect is called multipath. Multipath waves combine at the receiver antenna, resulting in a received signal that may vary widely, depending on the distribution of the intensity and relative propagation time of the waves and bandwidth of the transmitted signal. The total power of interfering waves in a Rayleigh fading scenario vary quickly as a function of space (which is known as small scale fading). Small-scale fading refers to the rapid changes in radio signal amplitude in a short period of time or travel distance.

Narad

* Never should have eliminated the Morse requirements.

I take it that you are in the "There is no intelligent life on 2 metres." camp.

By Militant Agnostic (not verified) on 02 Dec 2015 #permalink

ChemE,
If you want to be truly scientific about this you will try your very best to break your hypothesis. By this I mean you should be looking very hard for an alternative explanation for this correlation, perhaps look for natural experiments in other areas where microwave exposure is particularly high or low, maybe look at people who are occupationally exposed to microwaves, or those who are hardly exposed at all, maybe those living in remote areas off the grid, and see if they have more or fewer children with ASDs.

Ask yourself what else would have to be true or false if your hypothesis is correct and look to see if this the case or not. A real scientist would chase down and correct their figures for confounders, not flippantly dismiss them.

What you appear to be doing at present is looking for evidence to support your hypothesis, and ignoring any that does not, which is the unmistakable mark of the crank and dilettante.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 02 Dec 2015 #permalink

127.0.0.1
December 2, 2015
I never called it a laser beam…

But isn’t your model based on exactly that?

No, I am using a standard non-isotropic antenna power density calculation model which includes ground reflections.

Since I have 224+ Transmission antennas in close proximity in that LA autism cluster area, I could have chosen more antennas and higher path losses and come to the same conclusion.

And that does not include all of the studio relay transmitters overhead.

What happens when air traffic with metal fuselages fly through those beams? ~ 100% reflection to the ground. LAX (cluster wraps around it, Santa Monica and Burbank.

Scattered, smothered and covered.

So let's leave it at this:

You guys think 400% greater autism diagnosis in the area is due primarily to higher education and higher income and I think it is due to 466%+ higher microwave radiation in the area.

I could have chosen more antennas and "higher" path losses and come to the same conclusion.

I meant to say "lower" path losses

400% greater autism diagnosis in the area

Greater than what? What is your baseline? What are you using as a control?

"Greater than what?"

Greater then the rest of the LA area. Read the hypothesis paper

ChemE- If I substituted "witches" for "microwave radiation", your theory wouldn't be much different from what passed for science in the Middle Ages.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 02 Dec 2015 #permalink

Greater then the rest of the LA area. Read the hypothesis paper

How did you control for differences in demographics? Migration? SES? Education? Parental age and health status?

Oh wait that's right...

By Science Mom (not verified) on 02 Dec 2015 #permalink

Gray,

Microwave radiation is real. You apparently believe in witches

Greater then the rest of the LA area.

And how did you define the area used? (In addition to the confounding variables Science Mom mentioned.) How did you determine what was in your experimental area vs. what was in your control area?

http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
December 2, 2015

"And how did you define the area used? (In addition to the confounding variables Science Mom mentioned.) How did you determine what was in your experimental area vs. what was in your control area?"

Todd, I drew a bounding box in Google Earth around the Autism Cluster in Santa Monica/Hollywood Hills area identified by Columbia Researchers and my Python routine extracted 224 high gain microwave earth stations and pulsed radars in the cluster area from my database of 10,000+. My transmitter database was downloaded from the FCC I can then move the bounding box to ANY area of LA outside of the cluster and get ~400%+ less high gain microwave transmitters. I had 48 in the example I showed in my paper. Moving the box to multiple different areas should help resolve demographics issues.

The concentration of high gain microwave antennas is very obvious on my maps and lines up very well with the cluster area, which is ~ 20km x 50km and is irregular shaped, same as the transmitter locations.

https://www.academia.edu/18019528/Evidence_for_increased_autism_due_to_…

palindrom:

To all my biomed and medical statistics oriented commentariat friends out there: the physics is just as bad as the epidemiology.

I am reminded of a joke my uncle (a statistician at 3M) likes to tell:

Biologists defer only to chemists.
Chemists defer only to physicists*.
Physicists defer only to mathematicians.
Mathematicians defer only to God.

*Except for ChemE, who is of course a chemical engineer, not a chemist. There is a distinction.

Sarah A:

Anyway, my point is that its not totally impossible that some of these clusters could actually have higher rates of ASDs than the general population, but there would still be more plausible explanations than ChemE’s hypothesis.

That is a very good point, and I also have a hunch that autism might be more disabling among the highly educated and wealthy urban families, because they are more likely to put their children into highly structured academic courses and intense extra-curricular activities where a kid with autism may experience a lot more stress than if they, for instance, grew up on a farm. A farm is a perfectly good place to grow up, BTW. I just kind of wonder if maybe high-functioning autistics might be less likely to display concerning symptoms if they're in a less stressful environment to begin with. ADHD too. I wonder if ADHD is more diagnosed now not because there are more people with it but because it is more disabling, since a critical

But mostly I wanted to point out that the most obviously plausible explanation for the difference in diagnosis is nothing more than access to services, and ChemE has dismissed it because he cannot envision the data being wrong. And that is a huge deficiency in his logic to which he still has not responded.

ChemE:

Because they are transmitting up to the same geostationary satellite.

Ah, you do know there's more than one geostationary satellite, right? And that's without even considering Molniya-orbit commsats, popular for those high-latitude regions where there's a crappy line-of-sight to the geosycnhronous ring, and all the lower orbit ones, like the Iridium constellation, and if we're being honest, we should really also be counting the navigation satellite constellations, mainly GPS but also GLONASS, Beidou, and the nascent Galileo, as they also receive transmissions from the ground.

Good gracious, can you imagine what cancer rates must be around Goldstone, California, with the Deep Space Network site located there? :-P

By the way, "dark matter" and "dark energy" aren't discrete entities. They're placeholder terms for matter and energy which we know exists but cannot observe directly and so can't identify. Cranks tend to assume they're specific entities, rather than quite likely a whole bunch of things we haven't discovered yet. Thus, dark matter and energy tend to be a very useful litmus test for cranks.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 02 Dec 2015 #permalink

Oh, and ChemE, to Gary you said this:

Microwave radiation is real. You apparently believe in witches

Witches absolutely do exist; they just don't really have magical powers, even if they think they do. So I'd say his analogy is spot on, as you evidently believe microwaves have powers beyond those scientifically proven, and refuse to actually study them in anything like a scientific manner.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 02 Dec 2015 #permalink

Guys,

Thanks for all of your support!

You're now in the top 4% of researchers on Academia by 30-day views!

THIRTY-DAY STATISTICS
129
PROFILE VIEWS
123
DOCUMENT VIEWS
102
UNIQUE VISITORS

Thanks,
The Academia.edu Team

Calli Arcale

Witches absolutely do exist; they just don’t really have magical powers,

I thought he meant the powerful kind. The others are most likely scattered through LA with most showing up around Halloween

I have to say, this thread has become quite entertaining and educational. I appreciate the comments from Science Mom, Calli Arcale, et al, who have pointed out ChemE's errors that I wasn't aware of (physics, radio waves, etc are WAY out of my knowledge base). While I readily recognized he was ignoring any cofounders, I couldn't call him/her on the radiation stuff.

Thanks to all of the minions who have this knowledge! :)

Crud... "recognized he/she..." I didn't bother to click on ChemE's links of self-aggrandizement, so unsure of the sex and want to be PC. :D

"Good gracious, can you imagine what cancer rates must be around Goldstone, California, with the Deep Space Network site located there? "

Yes, Hinkley, California is near Goldstone. Lots of health issues there. I mapped it on my blog and the radar is in my database. If you look at the autism map of california it is high in the South/SouthEast.

EMF increases corrosion/oxidative attack of positively charged metals/minerals like Ca2+, etc...in electrolytes

If we are going to immerse ourselves in all of this EMF we need cathodic protection for our children

After seeing an old Mythbusters episode, I can see ChemE knitting copper clothing for his kids.....

"Good gracious, can you imagine what cancer rates must be around Goldstone, California, with the Deep Space Network site located there? "

YOU ARE SO RIGHT! THEY EVEN MADE A MOVIE!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erin_Brockovich_(film)

Last I read about Hinkley, backbones were dissolving, trees dying, etc..

Krebiozen
December 2, 2015
ChemE,
If you want to be truly scientific about this you will try your very best to break your hypothesis.

I did. I received assistance from a computional biologist at a university in the SE US three years ago to help me setup a null hypothesis in Florida for dead fish, built a metric, ran 10,000 iterations sorting 3 years of fish kills along with radar locations and dummy(not stupid) locations and computed P-values for null hypothesis. p-values ranged <.01 to less than 0.001. Info on my blog. His initial comments are on my blog if anybody even cared.

Since many of the marine mammals around the radars appeared to be dying of "shock" I said hell, maybe they are getting shocked!

By this I mean you should be looking very hard for an alternative explanation for this correlation

I did, and I have narrowed it down to electrical engineers and witches

, perhaps look for natural experiments in other areas where microwave exposure is particularly high or low,

I have, it led me to the North Shore of Kauai where the Calcium Carbonate coral reef is dissolving below the 30M watt pulsed microwave radar stations and the reef fish are turning black and going belly up. So bad they are making a movie!

maybe look at people who are occupationally exposed to microwaves, or those who are hardly exposed at all, maybe those living in remote areas off the grid, and see if they have more or fewer children with ASDs.

For ASD I mapped clusters throughout California

Ask yourself what else would have to be true or false if your hypothesis is correct and look to see if this the case or not. A real scientist would chase down and correct their figures for confounders, not flippantly dismiss them.

I am an engineer, I like to identify and solve problems. I did not flippantly dismiss confounders, I agree with the Columbia researchers that those other confounders mentioned are only a small part of the answer.

What you appear to be doing at present is looking for evidence to support your hypothesis, and ignoring any that does not, which is the unmistakable mark of the crank and dilettante.

I actually handed off my research to others with faster computers, larger databases, more initials after their names, and more money to either falsify or support my hypothesis.

We shall wait and see...

I am just the color commentary

“Good gracious, can you imagine what cancer rates must be around Goldstone, California, with the Deep Space Network site located there? ”

YOU ARE SO RIGHT! THEY EVEN MADE A MOVIE!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erin_Brockovich_(film)

Last I read about Hinkley, backbones were dissolving, trees dying,

Painfully oblivious or willfully obtuse that the Hinkley cluster was groundwater contamination from power plant runoff?

By Science Mom (not verified) on 02 Dec 2015 #permalink

I drew a bounding box in Google Earth around the Autism Cluster in Santa Monica/Hollywood Hills area identified by Columbia Researchers

But how did you determine precisely where the boundaries were drawn? A difference of a block could greatly change your results. And how did you account for people who moved into/out of the region? How did you control for treatment center proximity? How did you control for parental age? How did you control for pre-natal exposure to drugs like valproate? How did you control for pre-natal infections, like rubella?

And wrong post. Delete as needed.

ChemE: "Thanks for all of your support!

You’re now in the top 4% of researchers on Academia by 30-day views! "

So you are just spamming for page views?

"I am an engineer, I like to identify and solve problems."

So what? You are way out of your depth in terms of skills and education.

"I did not flippantly dismiss confounders..."

That is probably true. You dismissed them because you do not have clue about the issues, and how epidemiology works. In an advanced applied math class for engineers I did do problems involving epidemiology, but that does not make me cognizant of all of the factors that go into that discipline.

In short, I can solve the specific differential equations, but I cannot up come up with the appropriate variables or how they related to each other. Not like I can for the mechanical systems in a dynamic structure.

ChemE,

I did not flippantly dismiss confounders,

Then I must have misunderstood you when you wrote:

Confounders such as education level, income level, vaccinations were considered but found to be so outlandish and clueless that they were dismissed in their entirety early on in the study

BTW, are you aware that no one here, other than the occasional crank visitor, believes that vaccines cause autism?

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 02 Dec 2015 #permalink

BTW, are you aware that no one here, other than the occasional crank visitor, believes that vaccines cause autism?

So why is everybody wasting their time talking and blogging about it?

OK, my bad it was VAxBlogMom that set me off.

I was joking about that confounder stuff. What I meant to say was that if you get a good education and income, buy an expensive home in Hollywood Hillsides near all of the high gain microwave antennas and buy lots of electronic/wireless toys for you and your kids, their chances of getting autism are higher. And as you get older and spend more time in the area, your chances of genetic damage and having a kid with autism increase since you are getting oxidized/corroded faster than others due to the extra EMF load in the area.

So take your Anti-Oxidants!

Todd W.
http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
December 2, 2015

But how did you determine precisely where the boundaries were drawn? A difference of a block could greatly change your results.

I zoomed in in Google with a high res monitor and set the box as close to the boundaries of the autism cluster identified by Columbia University. I used my reading glasses for extra magnification. I then duplicated the box using cut and paste to make sure it was exactly the same size...(~20km x 50 km)

And how did you account for people who moved into/out of the region?

I can move the box anywhere in California and most places in the US and they will not have that many microwave transmitters, so I have that covered. I guess if they move out of the country I have a problem...

How did you control for treatment center proximity?

I figured if I can move my box anywhere in California and not have that much microwave radiation, I have that covered. some boxes will have treatment centers many will not.

How did you control for parental age? How did you control for pre-natal exposure to drugs like valproate? How did you control for pre-natal infections, like rubella?

ditto, I can move my box anywhere in California and not have that much microwave radiation from one area. Some areas will have young people, some will have old people some will have healthy people, some will have sick people.

Whatever Columbia & UC Davis did in defining their cluster maps are included in my research (because I used their maps)

That is exactly why you guys can't figure out autism, you can't see the forest through the trees. You are stuck in the weeds and trying to separate gnat shit from pepper.

I took a look down from 30,000 feet up in the atmosphere and the cause is obvious, that area of Hollywood Hills is glowing with microwave radiation (in a non-visible sort of way). I can move my box anywhere in California and they don't have that much radiation. It is the microwave broadcast capital of the WORLD!

Reminds me of the extra crispy meal at KFC

I was joking about that confounder stuff Thanks for clearing that up, so relieved, etc. etc.

OK, my bad it was VAxBlogMom that set me off.

Set you off about what? And are you twelve years old?

was joking about that confounder stuff. What I meant to say was that if you get a good education and income, buy an expensive home in Hollywood Hillsides near all of the high gain microwave antennas and buy lots of electronic/wireless toys for you and your kids, their chances of getting autism are higher. And as you get older and spend more time in the area, your chances of genetic damage and having a kid with autism increase since you are getting oxidized/corroded faster than others due to the extra EMF load in the area.

And once again, you weren't joking about your lack of controlling for confounding variables...you are really that out of your depth and got called out on it. Furthermore, you can't make this claim because you haven't collected any relevant data, just your one variable. Shall I assume you are kidding about that too amateur?

By Science Mom (not verified) on 02 Dec 2015 #permalink

ChemE: "I was joking about that confounder stuff."

I doubt you even understand anything about it.

"What I meant to say was that if you get a good education and income, buy an expensive home in Hollywood Hillsides near all of the high gain microwave antennas and buy lots of electronic/wireless toys for you and your kids, their chances of getting autism are higher."

I also doubt you understand much of the geography of the area. There are hills all over. Also, many cities like Seattle it is difficult to not live on a hill (though the ones that go faster are those with views of water).

The Autism Watch website has diagnostic requirements for three different states listed. It turns out that is one big confounding factor, as explained here:
http://www.autism-watch.org/general/edu.shtml

Being an engineer does not give you special powers to do much outside your discipline. I am learning that the very hard way by trying to read legal documents as we set up a Special Needs Trust for our autistic son, and get our wills updated. The Latin used by lawyers is mind boggling. Though I take heart that they get confused by the Greek alphabet soup employed in engineering math.

And are you twelve years old? Please, let's not unnecessarily malign twelve year-olds.

Chris
December 2, 2015
ChemE: “Thanks for all of your support!

In short, I can solve the specific differential equations, but I cannot up come up with the appropriate variables or how they related to each other. Not like I can for the mechanical systems in a dynamic structure.

Chris, I work with a a lot of structural engineers, they have a hard time thinking out of the box afraid that the box will fall over.

Since you are a structural engineer, I don't know if you have designed any marine structures (I worked 10 years for a marine engineering firm) So you should know about cathodic protection to reduce corrosion of the structure and sacrificial anodes (like zinc, which is less reactive than calcium). You should also know that stray electrical currents, as low as 0.01 mA DC can accelerate corrosion (oxidative attack) in seawater (electrolyte).

In fact a new warship with high powered pulsed radars and electronics began dissolving shortly after put into service.

http://darkmattersalot.com/2015/10/16/so-its-all-come-back-round-to-bre…

RF/EMF accelerates corrosion/oxidative attack in anything conductive nearby by increasing ORP in electrolytes

A warship with 6 typical antennas induce 6mA/m2 of electrical on surrounding seawater. Remember that 0.01 mA accelerates corrosion
https://www.cst.com/Content/Events/nauf2008/02-willhite.pdf

All I am saying is that if you live near lots of antennas your life will corrode faster...

Is it a surprise that cheme references (and inhabits) one of the more infamous homes for weak-minded conspiracy theorists and science-deniers, darkmattersalot dot com? It shouldn't be.

@ChemE - Are you being serious? You know that humans aren't made of metal, right? Our bodies have complex systems in place to balance oxidation and reduction, just like we have systems in place to maintain pH and osmotic pressure. Just because something corrodes metal doesn't mean its going to corrode people, any more than drinking lemon juice lowers your pH or drinking water lyses your cells.

The Autism Watch website has diagnostic requirements for three different states listed. It turns out that is one big confounding factor, as explained here:
http://www.autism-watch.org/general/edu.shtml

"So, what is happening in Oregon and Minnesota? "

Oregon gets lots of weather which is linked to the autism rate
http://darkmattersalot.com/2014/11/19/precipitousprecipitationparadox/
http://darkmattersalot.com/2014/11/19/oregon/

Radiation refracts/reflects off weather

Minneapolis, MN is the midwest broadcast capital:

http://darkmattersalot.com/2015/11/28/lots-of-high-gain-microwave-anten…

The jump in autism rates in MN in the mid 90's correlates fairly well temporally with radar installation time frame:

http://darkmattersalot.com/2013/11/03/ok-now-i-feel-worse-again/

ChemE, that whizzing sound was all the points I just made going over your head. Well, that and everybody else's.

"If you want to be truly scientific about this you will try your very best to break your hypothesis.

I did. I received assistance from a computional biologist at a university in the SE US three years ago to help me setup a null hypothesis in Florida for dead fish"

Oh, congratulations. You got someone else to help you develop a null hypothesis regarding dead fish in Florida. This means you never have to look at any confounders ever again in any hypothesis, and you've satisfactorily made an effort to disprove your hypothesis . . . right?

BTW, your hypothesis that microwave radiation causes autism is probably not nullified very well by a hypothesis pertaining to dead fish in Florida. I think I will have to decline any of your engineering expertise, as this does not give me much confidence in the thoroughness of your engineering analyses.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 02 Dec 2015 #permalink

@Sarah A

I'm just waiting for his Nobel winning paper showing that radio waves are ionizing radiation.

Oh Jesus, ChemE is a full-fledged, reality-challenged, individual.....linking weather to dark matter?

He isn't an engineer, he's a science fiction writer.

ChemE: "Oregon gets lots of weather which is linked to the autism rate"

So does Washington. A point you missed because you did not read Dr. Laidler's article. Perhaps you were not aware that the "Washington" stated on the page was the state that borders Oregon and was once part of the Oregon Territory, and not our nation's capital city.

You'll have to understand I will take the writing of Dr. Laidler, a medical doctor and biochemist PhD, over your website. Especially since you are further showing a lack understanding about the geography of the Western USA.

Sarah A
December 2, 2015
@ChemE – Are you being serious? You know that humans aren’t made of metal, right?

Calcium is a metal, one of the most corrodable

http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/electrode-potential-d_482.html

You know that, right?

Our bodies have complex systems in place to balance oxidation and reduction, just like we have systems in place to maintain pH and osmotic pressure.

Until you irradiate the human and blood and increase ORP and throw it out of balance.

Just because something corrodes metal doesn’t mean its going to corrode people, any more than drinking lemon juice lowers your pH or drinking water lyses your cells.

Our bodies fight oxidative stress their entire lives. EMF increases corrosion rate in electrolytes by increasing ORP

You know that your cells/bones have calcium in them and that calcium is a metal right??

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcium
Calcium is a chemical element with symbol Ca and atomic number 20. Calcium is a soft gray alkaline earth metal

Listen to these doctors discuss it, don't believe me.
http://www.kkcr.org/archive/ht101915.mp3

Chris

December 2, 2015
ChemE: “Oregon gets lots of weather which is linked to the autism rate”

"So does Washington."
A point you missed because you did not read Dr. Laidler’s article. "

No, I sent you maps of Washington and Oregon from the study
http://darkmattersalot.com/2014/11/19/precipitousprecipitationparadox/

"Perhaps you were not aware that the “Washington” stated on the page was the state that borders Oregon and was once part of the Oregon Territory, and not our nation’s capital city."

So catch a clue

It appears that ChemE has taken Heinlein"s Waldo and thrown some numbers in to it. The idea that em radiation causes X is as old as our knowledge of em radiation. The last one I remember is that cell phones cause brain cancer.

I can see ChemE knitting copper clothing for his kids…..

"I’m knitting it into a pair of socks. Nothing fits better nor wears longer than solid wire socks"

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 02 Dec 2015 #permalink

Sorry, ChemE, when I said I prefer Dr. Laidler's writing, I also meant I will never click on your website for any reason. Especially since your idea of precipitation and microwave radiation trumps the difference of school assessments.

If you want to be taken seriously you will stick to providing us PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers (no lawyers or engineers, please).

"So catch a clue"

Oh, the irony!

Todd W.

http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
December 2, 2015
@Sarah A

I’m just waiting for his Nobel winning paper showing that radio waves are ionizing radiation.

No, they are actually increasing oxidation and corrosion rates, not ionizing - oxidizing. It is almost as bad.

Chris
December 2, 2015
"Sorry, ChemE, when I said I prefer Dr. Laidler’s writing, I also meant I will never click on your website for any reason. Especially since your idea of precipitation and microwave radiation trumps the difference of school assessments."

Uh dude, that is how a pulsed microwave weather radar works, it pulses 1,000,000 watts ~ @ ~ 45 dBi gain and 2.8 Ghz (same freq as a microwave oven) a few hundred to 1000 times per second and bounces the radiation off the clouds and precipitation. What you see on your 6:00 weather news is microwave radiation scattered back to the dish, not the actual clouds... very little of the radiation makes it back to the dish, most of it scatters and is absorbed in the surroundings.

Duh

chemE, did you ever learn anything in statistics besides the words? It certainly doesn't seem that you did (or that learned basic science).

Oregon gets lots of weather

The only way to avoid "lots of weather" is to live underground.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 02 Dec 2015 #permalink

ChemE...one question. You blather on and on and on about California. What about New Jersey? According to the CDC, New Jersey has the highest levels of autism in the country. Of course, that *might* be because New Jersey also has very good services for autistic children, and people move here specifically for those services if their child receives a diagnosis of autism.

Perfect example of how engineers can fall victim to this kind of quack thinking.....

Wow. Just...wow. Does ChemE remind anyone else of the Giers thinking that because testosterone binds mercury in a beaker of hot benzene it must have the same effect in the human brain?

On the plus side, the idea that tornadoes are actually short-lived wormholes could make an interesting premise for a re-imagining of the Wizard of Oz as a science fiction story.

Sally

December 2, 2015
For everyone enjoying this back and forth (I am!), there’s an excellent episode of This American Life where they talk to an electrician who claims to have disproved Einstein’s theory of relativity. It seems pretty applicable here.

Actually, I am trying to prove Einstein's theory, ie. we live in spacetime, not space and it routinely gets curled up, creates tornadoes, waterspouts and hurricanes (all wormholes) that decay in our atmosphere, knocks over our houses, condenses the atmosphere and bends radiation back on our heads!

Reminds me of "What a Wonderful Life"

I'm wondering how much LSD ChemE has partaken of, over the past few days of this "interesting" conversation?

OK. That proves it. ChemE is now just trolling. Time for killfile.

MI Dawn

"ChemE…one question. You blather on and on and on about California. What about New Jersey? According to the CDC, New Jersey has the highest levels of autism in the country. Of course, that *might* be because New Jersey also has very good services for autistic children, and people move here specifically for those services if their child receives a diagnosis of autism."

MI Dawn

"December 2, 2015
OK. That proves it. ChemE is now just trolling. Time for killfile."

Dawn, that is too bad, I was just starting to like you.

I uploaded 3 images of New Jersey for you. The North/Northwest of New Jersey has the highest autism rates in the State and also the highest density of high gain broadcast antennas and relay towers. Of course most of that also follows population density, etc.

I have not adjusted for any other confounders like time spent at Atlantic City gambling, # of Bruce Springsteen concerts attended, # of Sopranos re-runs watched, etc....

https://sdsimonson.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/nj2.png
https://sdsimonson.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/nj3.png
https://sdsimonson.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/nj1.png

Lawrence

December 2, 2015
I’m wondering how much LSD ChemE has partaken of, over the past few days of this “interesting” conversation?

Mostly coffee and Mtn. Dew...

So, ChemE, you say that you can ignore #6 of the Bradford Hill criteria (plausibility), but what about the other 8? You know:
Strength, consistency, specificity, temporality, biological gradient, coherence, experiment and analogy?

Also, what happens if you use as baseline the average number autistic adults from Pasadena and Claremont? I bet your 'association' goes poof.

By JustaTech (not verified) on 02 Dec 2015 #permalink

My bones is just a brimmin' with metallic calcium, so I'm terrible a-feared of it losin' its precious electrons or even havin' to share 'em. Don't even want to think about my stock o' heme.

Am I correct in assuming you people talking about knitted copper clothing have never had the experience of be punctured with bare copper wire?

A little ear worm I have due to ChemE:

Trollin' Trollin' Trollin'
Trollin' Trollin' Trollin'
Trollin' Trollin' Trollin'
Trollin' Trollin' Trollin'
Rawhide!
Trollin' Trollin' Trollin'
Though the threads are swollen
Keep them comments trollin',
Rawhide!

Move 'em on
(Head em' up!)
Head em' up
(Move 'em on!)
Move 'em on
(Head em' up!)
Rawhide!
Cut 'em out
(Paste 'em in!)
Paste'em in
(Cut em' out!)
Cut 'em out
Paste 'em in,
Rawhide!
Keep trollin', trollin', trollin'
Though they're disaprovin'
Keep them comments trollin'',
Rawhide
Don't try to understand 'em
Just rope, laugh, and ignore 'em
Soon we'll be discussin' bright without 'em

doug -- have they ever tried knitting with copper wire, should be the question. I've knitted with silver wire and it's hell on the fingers..

By shay simmons (not verified) on 02 Dec 2015 #permalink

They do make fine copper mesh, which can be sewn....I betcha ChemE has an entire wardrobe.

OK. That proves it. ChemE is now just trolling. Time for killfile.

His inability to consistently and competently indicate quotations is enough for me to quickly be losing interest in sifting his comments. I mean, this is ripe for yet more Not Even Wrong treatment, but I just can't whomp up any enthusiasm:

Actually, I am trying to prove Einstein’s theory, ie. we live in spacetime, not space and it routinely gets curled up, creates tornadoes, waterspouts and hurricanes (all wormholes) that decay in our atmosphere, knocks over our houses, condenses the atmosphere and bends radiation back on our heads!

Reminds me of “What a Wonderful Life” [sic]

Remember this one?

Since electrons are fermions, when you increase electromagnetic radiation in an area, you increase uncertainty, (Pauli exclusion principal [sic]) and increase disease rates due to increased oxidative stress (corrosion) in minerals in electrolytes.

Yes, because white dwarfs are just so chock-full of "uncertainty."

Here's a home experiment: Go pick up some scallop shells from a kitchenware store. Put them in an appropriate microwave field. Time how long it takes them to dissolve.

P.S. Lobsters are not mollusks. Their carapaces are not "CaCO₃ based." If you want to pretend that epizootic shell disease isn't a result of chitinase-bearing bacteria but rather some idiocy about induced currents, you have to explain why it primarily affects the least mineralized area why crabs aren't even worse off. Hell, where are great snail die-offs?

^ "where are all the great snail die-offs?"

For the spouse who has everything…
I am totally TEMPEST-shielding my head. Why should They steal all my ideas?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 02 Dec 2015 #permalink

[Quoting me] Do the calculation for a perfect waveguide.
[The reply] Total Power at the Antennas 1330 watts (14 earth stations pointing at same satellite)
Antennas avg Gain in dBi 53.2 dBi
Distance to the Area of Interest 4000 feet
1219.2 metres
Frequency of Operation 5000 MHz
Are Ground Reflections Calculated? Yes
Estimated RF Power Density 3.8084 mW/cm2
Controlled
Environment Uncontrolled
Environment
Maximum Permissible Exposure (MPE)
5.005 mW/cm2
1.005 mW/cm2
Distance to Compliance From Centre of Antenna
3490.9796 feet
1064.0506 metres
7806.0059 feet
2379.2706 metres
Does the Area of Interest Appear to be in Compliance?
yes
no

Great, you didn't understand the question, which means that you don't understand ducting, which further means that the "8000'" value disgorged from your calculation "beautiful thing" has no connection whatever to the real world.

shay, I can believe knitting with any wire is murder on the fingers. Since you didn't offer, I'm supposing you aren't going to let on just what you were knitting from silver.

Being stabbed with bare copper wire is extraordinarily unpleasant - far worse than any other metal I've been punctured with.

Machine-knit copper fabric is actually available as an off-the-shelf item. You can also get copper in what looks a bit like roving for spinning. Both of these find application in RF shielding. Braided copper "tubing" is extremely common.

Narad

"His inability to consistently and competently indicate quotations is enough for me to quickly be losing interest in sifting his comments."

I am typing many of these responses from my IPhone so I apologize for the grammar.

"Lobsters are not mollusks. Their carapaces are not “CaCO₃ based.”

https://www.mpg.de/5720889/W004_Materials-Technology_072-079.pdf

"On closer examination of the lobster
shell and the crab carapace, pores
can be seen that pervade the structure
from top to bottom in the shape of long
canals. They are formed while the epithelial
cells create a new carapace before
molting. Tiny bulges therefore protrude
from the cell surfaces of the
lobster or crab epithelium, and the layers
of chitin fibrils must be woven
around them. Gradually, elliptical, helically
twisted pore canals are formed.
Initially, they serve as a transport system
for the minerals that the animals
use to quickly harden the soft skeletal
structure of the new carapace once they
have shed the old one.
When Fabritius zooms even further
into the electron microscope samples,
the particles that constitute the second
main component of the natural composite
become visible: essentially, they
consist of different types of calcium carbonate,
similar to the limescale deposits
we know from kitchens and bathrooms.
In the lobster shell, the particles
are arranged between the chitin fibrils
in the form of tiny spherules. In some
parts of the crab shell, similar particles
create solid tubes around the fibers. The
type of crystal lattice and the shape and
number of calcium carbonate particles
determine the hardness of the exoskeleton,
which may vary both according
to species and within one shell."

What ocean did you crawl out of?

Our bodies have complex systems in place to balance oxidation and reduction

Sure, because if oxidation and reduction were left to balance themselves, you'd wind up having to run out for a cup of electrons first thing in the morning to make up for too much reduction, or having to clean out the excess electrons that collect in the little tray, sort of like cleaning ash and clinker from a furnace.

Just because a signal ducts heavily in one area does not mean a portion of the signal still does not make it to the satellite along a multi paths outer [sic].

Asserting a leaky waveguide (which is what you're doing; it also looks offhand as though satcom links are designed to reject multipath) merely highlights the fact that you don't even have it together enough to deal with the idealized case.

Somehow I'm reminded Abe Simpson (typing a letter on a manual typewriter):

"Dear Mr. President, there are too many states these days. Please eliminate three.

P.S. -- I am NOT a crackpot. "

On "Rawhide" parodies, undergraduate science professors can relate to this:

Rollin, rollin, rollin,
Rollin, rollin, rollin,
Keep them pre-meds rollin,
Rawhide!
Don't try to educate 'em,
Just take a pen and grade 'em,
Soon you'll be livin high 'n wide!
Raw hiiiiiiiiiiide!

(Yip! Whip cracks.)

By palindrom (not verified) on 02 Dec 2015 #permalink

Regarding clothing and metal - I believe it was Gaffer Gamgee in "Lord of the Rings" (the books, not the movies) that asked Sam what happened to his weskit "I don't hold with wearing ironmongery, whether it wears well or no."

By Jane Ostentatious (not verified) on 02 Dec 2015 #permalink

"it also looks offhand as though satcom links are designed to reject multipath"

I am much more interested in the the transmitter power that never makes it up to the satellite through pathlosses: free-space loss, refraction, diffraction, reflection, aperture-medium coupling loss, and absorption(into biological contaminants...)

I could care less about the ideal case since we do not live in that world. Electrical engineers don't have a clue where all of that radiation is going and they even admit it:

From NOAA:
http://www.srh.weather.gov/srh/jetstream/doppler/beam_max.htm
"How do we know the path of the beam all times?
Aside from when AP is seen on the radar, we don't! "

I rest my case

doug - Christmas ornaments..little silver leaves.

By shay simmons (not verified) on 02 Dec 2015 #permalink

doug: "shay, I can believe knitting with any wire is murder on the fingers. Since you didn’t offer, I’m supposing you aren’t going to let on just what you were knitting from silver."

What I have seen are necklaces that were crocheted with silver wire that had bead interspersed. I guess it could be done with copper.

My daughter took a jewelry class to satisfy an art credit. There are lots of way to do damage to one's hands, eyes and lungs if one is not careful. I just wish I knew where her box of supplies went to after she moved out. I want to see if anything will help make the yards of silk cord (that I have spent the day dying) into necklaces that I can use with some of my pendants (I have a nickel allergy, so I am creating an alternative to gold chains hardened with nickel... which is the common way).

(the dying includes three drapey ombre jackets, five semi-T-shirts, six scarves and lots of silk covered cords... today I managed the green and yellow, tomorrow I will do the blue, and I am still testing the red dyes... I may have to go buy different red dye tomorrow, the dye is the mostly costly bit, well I did get the 25 yards of white silk for $20 at a yard sale)

You don't need to knit copper wire to make an effective shield - .1 inch copper screen should have about 14 dB attenuation at 10 GHz.

The biggest problem is that you'd need to ground it. That would limit your mobility.

I just wish I knew where her box of supplies went to after she moved out.

Funny how they never leave the useful stuff behind, isn't it.

By shay simmons (not verified) on 02 Dec 2015 #permalink

If anybody wants to support coral reef & marine life research here is a link to a new non-profit group in Kauai, HI

http://www.reefguardians.org/

Funding will go towards protecting our coral reefs and near shore ocean environment. I am listed on the team as an advisor, I am not being paid. Donations are tax deductible.

Happy Holidays

Funding will go towards protecting our coral reefs and near shore ocean environment. I am listed on the team as an advisor, I am not being paid. Donations are tax deductible.

Given the integrity and intellectual honesty (as in lack of) you have demonstrated here, your involvement guarantees I will avoid donating.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 03 Dec 2015 #permalink

I am much more interested in the the transmitter power that never makes it up to the satellite through pathlosses: free-space loss, refraction, diffraction, reflection, aperture-medium coupling loss, and absorption(into biological contaminants…)

I could care less about the ideal case since we do not live in that world. Electrical engineers don’t have a clue where all of that radiation is going and they even admit it:

From NOAA:
[same old link]
“How do we know the path of the beam all times?
Aside from when AP is seen on the radar, we don’t! ”

I rest my case

One would hope. You're simply switching back and forth willy-nilly between satellite uplinks and weather radar. You don't understand RF propagation, particularly that you can't say anything about ducting if you can't even work things out about an ideal waveguide, and you and your "beautiful thing" therefore can't calculate your way out of a wet paper bag.

Not only that, but said "website" seems to be harboring some very malicious code / malware....do not, I repeat, do not, click on that link.

Narad

December 3, 2015
"You don’t understand RF propagation, particularly that you can’t say anything about ducting"

Ducting is well established science, pathloss will vary with atmospheric conditions. This is not new science. You can't tell me how much power is hitting the ground at any given point time around those antennas, it changes all of the time.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/RS020i005p01061/abstract

On top of that, you have shown a complete incompetence in anything chemical or biological.

Science Mom
http://justthevax.blogspot.com/

Given the integrity and intellectual honesty (as in lack of) you have demonstrated here, your involvement guarantees I will avoid donating.

Honestly, I think your blog just perpetuates the ongoing distraction of the vaccine and autism debate while our children get sicker. You are confloundering around.

ChemE- Large numbers of people, even today, have claimed that witches are responsible for diseases and famines. Why shouldn't we believe them?

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 03 Dec 2015 #permalink

Lawrence
December 3, 2015
"Not only that, but said “website” seems to be harboring some very malicious code / malware….do not, I repeat, do not, click on that link."

Lawrence,

I think some virus/malware scan software recognizes the wix.com photo sharing site used by reefguardians as possible malware/porn site. My browser gave me a warning the first time about the site/photos

"Dear Wix
When a photo or something is uploaded on the website, it goes to static.wixstatic.com/media Since this domain is common for all Wix users and some of them has uploaded porno stuff there, our country has banned the address and no one can access the link."

But hey, I don't expect you to believe me

Chow

Gray Falcon

December 3, 2015
"ChemE- Large numbers of people, even today, have claimed that witches are responsible for diseases and famines. Why shouldn’t we believe them?"

If I have learned one thing in my life, it is that people will believe whatever they want, so more power to them!

“You don’t understand RF propagation, particularly that you can’t say anything about ducting”

Ducting is well established science, pathloss will vary with atmospheric conditions.

Leaving aside that these two clauses are wholly unrelated, that's an extremely clumsy example of selective quoting.

This is not new science.

No, it's not, and you don't understand any portion of it.

You can’t tell me how much power is hitting the ground at any given point time around those antennas, it changes all of the time.

Which is why your "beautiful thing" is a load of crap.

On top of that, you have shown a complete incompetence in anything chemical or biological.

Go look in the mirror, babycakes. You're going to be back to talking to yourself in short order now that this attempt to flog your new Y—be entry has backfired spectacularly.

You can’t tell me how much power is hitting the ground at any given point time around those antennas, it changes all of the time.

Well, they have this stuff called 'test equipment'.

In particular, there is what they call a 'spectrum analyzer'. It makes some very pretty pictures showing what frequencies there are in a signal, and how strong each frequency is.

If you hook an antenna to a spectrum analyzer, it's possible to measure just exactly how much RF is hitting the antenna. This is one of the best and fastest ways to track down interference. I have done this. I wasn't the first.

I never saw anything like what you think happens.

If you want to prove your silly idea, get a spectrum analyzer and an antenna, and go gather a few plots. It's not hard. Any half competent radio tech can show you. Then you can say exactly how much RF is hitting exactly what spot the earth, and exactly when it happened. Nobody will be able to argue with you. If you find the sorts of signals you claim are out there, you will be able to call the FCC, show them your data, and they will shut down the offending transmitters.

Pro tip - be prepared to spend some time at it. You won't find what you think you will find.

doug @378: I have seen for sale at fiber events yarn (thread really) that is a combination of linen and stainless steel. Touching it on the spool was unpleasant enough that I would never consider buying it, but a friend actually made two tunics out of the stuff. Granted, they're so loosely knit they're more holes than fiber, but they do hold a shape well.

By JustaTech (not verified) on 03 Dec 2015 #permalink

Johnny
127.0.0.1
December 3, 2015
"You can’t tell me how much power is hitting the ground at any given point time around those antennas, it changes all of the time.
Well, they have this stuff called ‘test equipment’.
In particular, there is what they call a ‘spectrum analyzer’. It makes some very pretty pictures showing what frequencies there are in a signal, and how strong each frequency is."

Dude,

You are acting like I don't know what a spectrum analysis is and we discussed the measurements we are doing in Kauai on the radio show & site.

I agree with everything you are saying, on top of spectrum analysis we are also testing for ORP, salinity, stray electrical current, pH, TDS, corrosion test strips, Calcium testing, etc. Full environmental survey. Underway for a few months now.

Ever try one of these?
http://www.narda-sts.us/products_highfreq_srm.php

Shay: "Funny how they never leave the useful stuff behind, isn’t it."

Yesterday I found the little Dremel tool attachments. But the last time I saw the actual Dremel was in her box of jewelry making supplies!

I agree with everything you are saying, on top of spectrum analysis we are also testing for ORP, salinity, stray electrical current, pH, TDS, corrosion test strips, Calcium testing, etc.

So, basically, you've convinced a nonprofit to squander its resources on your hopelessly incompetent idée fixe?

What ocean did you crawl out of?

The one in which your CaCO₃ babbling fails to correlate with degrees of mineralization, I suppose. What part of "bacteria" and "chitinase" did you not understand? Given that you snipped this right out of your reply, I'm guessing all of it.

ChemE @396:

If I have learned one thing in my life, it is that people will believe whatever they want, so more power to them!

My poor irony meter.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 03 Dec 2015 #permalink

I am not an amateur when it comes to chemical & environmental engineering, I have been executing projects for 29 years

Perhaps the most plausible of your utterances so far. Lethal injection?

You didn't answer my question, ChemE. Why shouldn't we believe witches are responsible for illness?

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 04 Dec 2015 #permalink

Why do we know that it isn't witchcraft? Because there are other possible explanations that have stronger physical evidence.

Likewise for autism and EM fields. Yes, EM fields are a possible explanation, but there are a dozen others that have more evidence supporting them. That's why we're dismissing your claims.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 04 Dec 2015 #permalink

You are acting like I don’t know what a spectrum analysis is…

I very much believe you don't, nor do I believe you are competent to conduct such a test, nor interpret such a test.

When you say things like "You can’t tell me how much power is hitting the ground at any given point time around those antennas, it changes all of the time", and people have been doing those test continuously for over 50 years, yeah, it makes me think you don't know a thing about it. Sure, I can't tell you exactly what you will see at any location at any time, but if the power levels you claim are hitting the ground were, in fact, hitting the ground, somebody would have noticed by now.

As far as the SRM-3006, no, I've never used one, but from reading the spec sheet, it looks to be a fine piece of field service gear. It isn't bench quality, but it's OK. It would find the signals you think exist, if they were there, but they ain't so it won't.

Chris -- I really want a Dremel. Now that I'm retired and allegedly have time for some hobbies, I may buy one.

By shay simmons (not verified) on 04 Dec 2015 #permalink

Johhny,

Thanks. You misinterpreted what I said. Because power levels change over time with atmospheric effects, I was saying you can't know the power density level at ground (without measuring with a scope/receiving antenna).

I am not doing the testing in Kauai, we have technicians doing it and PhDs interpreting. I will also tell you that we will be measuring levels when the weather is "worst" and the 2.8 GHz Doppler weather radar reflectivity is highest and showing blue and the cumulative power density hitting the ground is highest and most testers stay inside and play Xbox.

Also, I have been quoting EIRP values above(reported to FCC ) and not actual power densities and you are smart enough to know that. The one example calc I gave above shows a power density slightly above the FCC guideline. It does include high power pulsed radars or the other 200 plus high gain antennas in the area of 20 km X 50 km. But you can spin it any way you would like.

What happens to the focused beam of microwave radiation when a low flying aircraft flies through the beam(s) hundreds of times a day?

You guys can go ahead and believe microwave radiation is good for you and I will cook my food with it.

I appreciate the opinion on the Narda unit.

"It does include high power pulsed radars or the other 200 plus high gain antennas in the area of 20 km X 50 km."

should have read:

"It DOES NOT include high power pulsed radars or the other 200 plus high gain antennas in the area of 20 km X 50 km."

Wait - they are going to test for RF scattering in the rain?

Why, I'll bet in the last 60 or 70 years, nobody, and I mean nobody, ever thought of testing microwave propagation, satellite uplinks and downlinks, or RADAR in the RAIN!!!!11!!!

It's that kind of out of your mind the box thinking that will win you the Nobel, sir.

/sarcasm

"Wait – they are going to test for RF scattering in the rain?
Why, I’ll bet in the last 60 or 70 years, nobody, and I mean nobody, ever thought of testing microwave propagation, satellite uplinks and downlinks, or RADAR in the RAIN!!!!11!!!
It’s that kind of out of your mind the box thinking that will win you the Nobel, sir."

No, I think the problem is that everyone is concerned about their own transmitter dish which, by itself is not a problem, but when you group 224 high earth station transmitter dishes plus another few hundred high gain studio relay transmitters plus a few high power high gain pulsed radars in a "small" area at various frequencies and you throw in lots of low flying commercial and private aircraft you end up with a large voltage potential overhead.

How many high gain transmitters are safe? 200? 400? 800?

What happens when you put a constant chronic voltage potential on the ocean, a very good conductor and strong electrolyte?

You still haven't answered my question about low flying commercial aircraft and high gain transmitters? If you don't know just say so.

Does the FAA keep track? Does the FCC keep track? Does the military know/care? EPA? Remember that 0.01 mA DC (0.00001 amps) increases oxidation rate in electrolytes. Your bloodstream has lots of electrolytes.

Or is that not your problem and you are only concerned about your single transmitter?

Microwave Broadcast capital of California = Autism Capital

/double sarcasm**********

when you group 224 high earth station transmitter dishes plus another few hundred high gain studio relay transmitters plus a few high power high gain pulsed radars in a “small” area at various frequencies and you throw in lots of low flying commercial and private aircraft you end up with a large voltage potential overhead

As evidenced by all the discharges, of course. I think it's time to cue the Billy Madison.

P.S. "Voltage potential"? You can't make this shіt up.

Remember that 0.01 mA DC (0.00001 amps) increases oxidation rate in electrolytes.

Except when it doesn't. There is something(s) critical missing in the statement.

Except when it doesn’t. There is something(s) critical missing in the statement.

Don't be silly. That's why Pedialyte is always kept in Faraday cages.

That’s why Pedialyte is always kept in Faraday cages

Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

Now that chemE has repeated demonstrated he is completely ignorant of statistics, engineering, and science, any bets what he'll move to next?

Perhaps ChemE could engage Felonius Gru's nemesis as a consultant to clear up some problems.

Narad
December 4, 2015
"P.S. “Voltage potential”? You can’t make this s*$t up."

"The results can be shown in physical units, e.g. electric field strength in V/m (Volts/meter), magnetic field strength in A/m, and power density in W/cm2"

https://www.narda-sts.com/en/safety/products/high-frequency/srm-3006/

Voltage is a potential

Dude, I hope you are not a brain surgeon...

doug
"Remember that 0.01 mA DC (0.00001 amps) increases oxidation rate in electrolytes."

"Except when it doesn’t. There is something(s) critical missing in the statement."

http://www.usps.org/eddept/me/files/ch_5_corrosion_slides%20042909.ppt

Stray current corrosion (oxidation)

DC is 100 times more destructive than AC
Over 1 mA AC
Over 0.01 mA DC

Doug, did you and Narad attend the same online college?

Dippy, you have completely missed the point, which doesn't surprise me in the slightest.

From northern Canada to Saudi Arabia to points beyond there are installations that utilize controllers I designed to manage such currents. I will not elaborate.

This may be a foolish question, but where does the DC come from? Is there a huge rectifier in the sky?

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 05 Dec 2015 #permalink

And isn't it normal to have an enormous "voltage potential" between the sky and the earth during storms, so high it sometimes leads lightning? Imagine the free radicals a thunderstorm generates.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 05 Dec 2015 #permalink

Imagine the free radicals a thunderstorm generates.

That's what she said. Or maybe it was him, I don't remember anymore...

ChemE,

EMR fields can be either.

My background is in biochemistry so maybe I missed something, but how do you think microwave radiation with a frequency of 10 MHz -300 MHz generates DC current in people, the ocean, lobsters or whatever?

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 05 Dec 2015 #permalink

Sorry, that should be 300 MHz to 300 GHz for microwaves, but my question stands.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 05 Dec 2015 #permalink

For decades I saw ads for Dremel tools, and thought, 'what the hell good is that'? Then around age 50, I finally got one.... Don't know how I ever lived without it! I've used genuine Dremels and a variety of other-brands. Forget cordless, not enough torque. There's a Chinese model, with a rotary speed dial on top and a rocker on-off switch on the bottom, that works great and is super-cheap - sold under the brand names of HTS, Genesis, Wen, Master Mechanic, and no doubt others. e.g. http://tinyurl.com/jj3zxmk. Recommended!

And, AFAIK, they're safe as far as EMF is concerned. Wearing safety googles with any rotary tool is recommended though, and the tiny rotary saw blade attachments (the metal ones with actual teeth) are REALLY dangerous.

Krebiozen,

Electromagnetic induction and conduction of EMR generating low level AC currents in electrolytes and increasing oxidative stress and "corrosion". Many signals are now digital pulse trains that may be more biologically active. FYI most high power, high gain pulsed radars pulse at low freq (200-1000 Hz) with a 2-6 GHz carrier freq. while it is on.

http://www.hese-project.org/hese-uk/en/papers/goldsworthy_bio_weak_em_0…

Calcium is a very reactive metal/mineral

ChemE,
That still doesn't explain where the DC you mentioned comes from. AC only causes corrosion when more than 1 mW is induced, according to one of your sources. Has anyone ever measured microwave intensity great enough to induce that much current at ground level?

BTW, the last article you linked to asserts that, "the evidence that electromagnetic fields can have “non‐thermal” biological effects is now overwhelming". Perhaps you could direct me to some of that overwhelming evidence that the EM fields humans are exposed to has clinically significant non-thermal biological effects.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 05 Dec 2015 #permalink

AC causes accelerated corrosion @ 1 mA in electrolytes, which is 0.001 amps (not watts, like you said, which is power) which is still very low current. DC is more aggressive. They say you can feel ~ 10 mA on your skin and 100 mA (0.1 Amps) can stop a mammals heart. Your typical circuit breaker at home is 10 or 20 Amps..

Many pulsed weather radars are pulsing ~ 1,000,000 watts ~ 500 times per second which is focused to an EIRP of 32,000,000,000 (billion watts).

Lots of antenna power density calculators on the web that will show you how you can calculate E & H fields (peak and average), I reference one in my paper.

As far as overwhelming evidence of EMR affects on biology I would start here:

https://emfscientist.org

And here:

http://www.bioinitiative.org

And if you are starting to like me you can visit my blog for lots of environmental evidence and good music. :)

Epic Fail!

Darkmattersalot.com

1mA (0.001 Amps) not mW, that is very low current. Current induced will depend upon impedence/resistance of biological contaminant...

Begin here for "overwhelming evidence"

https://emfscientist.org

Lots of antenna power density, E&H field calculators online, I referenced one in my paper.

Voltage is a potential

The comedy just keeps coming. You might as well have said "amperage is a current." What you fail to realize is that you keep blurting out weird phrases that literally scream that you don't understand the basic subject.

Here I describe what I did to my house:
POWER LINE EMF CANCELLATION FOR THE HOME
https://mttmblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/8/

We have evolved to deal with EMF from lightning, the DC magnetic field of the earth and electromagnetic radiation from space. Everything else is a potential problem.
Since blood is a moving electrolytic solution, magnetohydrodynamic effects may also play a role in altering chemical reactions in the body..

This is another of those areas where there are some, er, fringe types claiming that X is deadly, while others claim that X is beneficial. Things like phenylalanine spring to mind, with some claiming it is a useful painkiller and antidepressant, and others claiming it is a deadly excitotoxin. Ionizing and non-ionizing radiation are much the same. I shudder to think what terrible effects ChemE and APV imagine this gadget must have. Or these radioactive stones, come to that.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 05 Dec 2015 #permalink

I beg his pardon, 'Goldsworthy'.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 05 Dec 2015 #permalink

Krebiozen
ChemE,
"That still doesn’t explain where the DC you mentioned comes from. AC only causes corrosion when more than 1 mW is induced"

Not "1 mW", 1 mA. You show your ignorance. I listed both AC and DC from the slides I referenced. 1 mA AC (0.001 Amps) is a also a very small amount of currrent. 10 mA can be felt on your skin and 100 mA can stop a mammal's heart. For any given power, amperage will depend upon impedence/resistance. Electrolytes, like the ocean and your bloodstream are very good conductors (1000 x better than Earth.)

NEXRAD Weather radars pulse 1,000,000 watts (32 Billion EIRP watts @ 45 dBi gain) ~500 times per second, plenty of peak power there to produce 0.001 Amps

I suppose these guys are all quacks?

https://emfscientist.org/

Keep making stuff up sweet cheeks. I am done teaching you . Ask Narad now that he knows what voltage potential (energy) is.

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/electric/elevol.html

Krebiozen
ChemE,
"That still doesn’t explain where the DC you mentioned comes from. AC only causes corrosion when more than 1 mW is induced"

Not "1 mW", 1 mA. You know the difference right? I listed both AC and DC from the slides I referenced. 1 mA AC (0.001 Amps) is a also a very small amount of currrent. 10 mA can be felt on your skin and 100 mA can stop a mammal's heart. For any given power, amperage will depend upon impedence/resistance. Electrolytes, like the ocean and your bloodstream are very good conductors (1000 x better than Earth.)

NEXRAD Weather radars pulse 1,000,000 watts (32 Billion EIRP watts @ 45 dBi gain) ~500 times per second, plenty of peak power there to induce 0.001 Amps in any conductor

190 Scientists and 2000 research papers

https://emfscientist.org/

Krebiozen

"AC only causes corrosion when more than 1 mW is induced". I think you meant 1 mA? mW is a measure of power, mA is a measure of current.

Below is a link to a list of 217 scientists from 39 nations. These scientists have collectively published over 2,000 peer-reviewed papers on the biological or health effects of non-ionizing radiation

https://emfscientist.org/

Please visit.

By EMFscientist (not verified) on 05 Dec 2015 #permalink

Doug, did you and Narad attend the same online college?

An FM radio station broadcasts from a vertical magnetic dipole antenna of radius b mounted at height h at a frequency f with total radiated power P.

1. What is the radius over flat terrain at which the intensity is a maximum?
2. Which of these variables are totally unnecessary to arrive at the answer?

"And, AFAIK, they’re safe as far as EMF is concerned."

I spent over ten years working with military comm-elect equipment, including some honking big microwaves. If EMF were in fact anything to worry about I'd be past praying for.

I'm going to buy a Dremel but probably not until after Christmas.

By shay simmons (not verified) on 05 Dec 2015 #permalink

We fed the daughter tonight*. She came to pick up a package she had delivered to our house (because there is a higher chance of it disappearing in her housing complex). She lent the jewelry tools to a friend who took the same class two years ago. She has no idea where the Dremel is. Argh.

* Her rent is half of her pay. She is practicing to become a graduate student. So she is really easy to bribe with food.

Chris, depending on what you want to do, a Dremel with a "flex shaft" can be a lot nicer to use. The handpiece is much smaller and easier to hold for long periods. The drawback is you have to hang the motor so that the flex shaft doesn't have to bend at a sharp angle.
I destroyed my genuine Dremel flex shaft when I was trying to true a rubberized wheel that was out of balance. The stupid cheap mandrel was too soft, abruptly bent at about 90 degrees and wrecked the bearing in the handpiece. Of course Dremel changes everything every once in awhile, so the new flex shafts won't fit the older tools.
I have a couple of cheap copies, but the bearings in the flex shaft handpiece seem to be vague approximations of real bearings.

If you are loaded with cash and want something much better, I recommend Foredom Electric products. They are quite expensive, but the motor is much more powerful and there is a wide range of handpieces available. Places that sell tools for jewelers often have them - and other things usable in Dremel tools at prices that are often considerably lower for better quality. One difference is that a lot of burs for jewelry work have 3/32" shafts and most of the Dremel stuff is 1/8", but all you have to do is use a different collet in the chuck.
Grobet USA has nifty stuff.

"Rubberized" grinding wheels, which are made with abrasive particles in a rubber-like matrix are fabulous for certain things. Cratex is one brand. They do wear rapidly and usually need to be trued when first used (running lightly against the wheel on a bench grinder is very effective).

I've seriously considered getting a low-speed dental handpiece. They run on compressed air, so they can be used with water running over the workpiece and bur for cooling. There are Chinese-made counterfeits that are apparently OK. The major US or European brands are quite pricey.

I’ve seriously considered getting a low-speed dental handpiece. They run on compressed air, so they can be used with water running over the workpiece and bur for cooling.

I had no idea that dentistry dropped the extra 'r'.

(I've recently had to change dentists for insurance reasons. I also reject local anaesthesia for filling work, just because. As a matter of small talk, once the new one was on board, I asked whether he used a coarser bur in such cases, as had my – as I recall – my previous dentist of a decade's standing. The new dentist rejected the entire notion out of hand.)

Cool info, doug... thanks! The Dremel under discussion was bought by dear hubby when he was high school in the 1970s. This does seem like a good thing to upgrade.

"If you are loaded with cash and want something much better,.."

Sorry, I spent it all on dye. Plus I had to return unopened bottles today (but picked up blank newsprint to wrap dyed silk garments for their steam treatment). But I might sneak in a mail order soon. And the jewelry supplies I bought for daughter are somewhere else! Aargh! This includes files, saws, and most importantly wire and flat metal. I know because I am the one who paid the cashiers. grumble, grumble, grumble

Okay, one of those cashiers was at a place that teaches how to make jewelry, and rents out time on their tiny versions of power tools (imagine a tiny drill press for necklace pendants, or other jeweler tools). Instead of signing up for the community college class, I could take a class from them, and get both some education on what I want to, plus a student discount.

Oh, crud missing a word: "... some education on what I want to do, plus a student discount."

Also, I just signed up for the school/store email list so I will be notified of future classes. Obviously it is too late to sign up for the "Fall 2015" classes. Plus I have to survive the December holidays (I am the tree decorator and feast creator, dear hubby deals with the gifts... thankfully we have dialed back the festivities as the kids have matured).

Her rent is half of her pay. She is practicing to become a graduate student. So she is really easy to bribe with food.

Ah, yes. Good thing she has a really nice mom, though.

I also reject local anaesthesia for filling work, just because.

I reject anaesthetic cream whilst getting tattoos. Yes, there was one fella who used it while tattooing a couple words on my right arm; took half the fun out of it, I tell ya. Nerve pain of the sort which tooth work involves is entirely another matter, though, for me at least.

What happens to the focused beam of microwave radiation when a low flying aircraft flies through the beam(s) hundreds of times a day?

Not a lot. It happens all the time. Air traffic control counts on it, it's how they know where the airplanes are.

I've never done much work with RADAR, but I do know a bit about terrestrial microwave and SATCOM. Airplanes don't fly thru terrestrial links, because the towers aren't that tall. Flying thru a SATCOM link doesn't do much of anything. I've seen the telemetry from the birds, and watched receivers on the ground, and they don't even flicker.

Sure, an aircraft will scatter and reflect a bit if RF, but not much and not for long. If an aircraft could reflect a significant portion of a SATCOM uplink, there would be a lot more outages.

Does the FAA keep track? Does the FCC keep track? Does the military know/care? EPA?

Aircraft are painted by RADAR beams constantly, or close enough so that it makes no difference. AFAIK, nobody counts the number of times.

Now I can tell you the military (and some other guys in the government) care very much. If microwaves scattered and were as powerful as you seem to think they are, it would be a lot easier to keep certain databases up to date.

This may be a foolish question, but where does the DC come from? Is there a huge rectifier in the sky?

FSM help me, I'm starting to understand how ChemE "thinks".

To convert AC to DC, you'd need a rectifier, as you note. Humans have rectums. Thats how the microwaves cause autism - they shock the $#!+ out of our @$$.

FSM help me, I’m starting to understand how ChemE “thinks”.

:-) I'm very disappointed he hasn't explained this yet. I'm sure he's just been too busy lately.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 06 Dec 2015 #permalink

“If you are loaded with cash and want something much better,..”

Sorry, spent it all on yarn.

By shay simmons (not verified) on 06 Dec 2015 #permalink

@ shay simmons #451

30470 here (but those don't exist anymore). After that, I worked as a contractor, and that's when I got to play with the real fun stuff.

But, yeah, I, too, was microwaved almost every day.

When I came in I was a 2502, by the time I retired that had been changed to 0602 (USMC). The first half of my career was spent in the field, so yeah, microwaves, HF, not to mention radar sweeps (5 years with 3rd MAW) and all that time hanging around antenna farms.

By shay simmons (not verified) on 06 Dec 2015 #permalink

Is it an urban myth that the heating effects of microwaves were discovered when a radar operator's chocolate bar melted? Thermal effects seem to be the only plausible ones, as far as I can see, though there are an awful lot of cranks claiming otherwise. It reminds me of Victorians claiming (probably apocryphally) that traveling too fast on a train would result in instant asphyxiation.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 06 Dec 2015 #permalink

I, too, was microwaved almost every day.

I had the opposite experience, all the computer equipment was Faraday-caged to TEMPEST specs to stop any detectable radiation, though it wasn't for our health.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 06 Dec 2015 #permalink

Krebiozen:

Is it an urban myth that the heating effects of microwaves were discovered when a radar operator’s chocolate bar melted?

I always understood that story to be true and not just a story. In fact, several versions I've read mention that as how Percy Spencer found out that microwaves warm food.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 06 Dec 2015 #permalink

"...all the computer equipment was Faraday-caged…"

Sometimes it isn't possible to just shield the equipment, and you have to go into the cage with the equipment. Like when you have a computer with a handful of terminals and a line printer, it's easier to put all the equipment and the operators in a screen room. I have spent some time at a place that the whole building was a screen room.

"...TEMPEST specs to stop any detectable radiation…"

Strictly speaking, TEMPEST only addresses compromising emissions. If a system radiated, say, a clock signal, no problem. As long as the signal carried no classified information, it could radiate no end of RF.

Also, it isn't necessary to stop all compromising emissions, as that's often not possible. TEMPEST set limits on the signal strength, but the limit wasn't zero.

Chris, I trust you know about Pro Chemical & Dye and Dharma Trading.

Electrolytes, like the ocean and your bloodstream are very good conductors

I take it you've never put together a saltwater rheostat. Blood is even worse.

@Not a Troll #465

Personally I am withholding judgment on hormesis until the evidence becomes more definitive one way or the other. That said, one of my colleagues made a point of getting a chest x-ray every year just for the jolting dose of deep penetrating ionizing radiation.

It's by no means the craziest thing people do in their personal quests to beat the reaper. One acquaintance goes online to scream at strangers that high fructose corn syrup causes ADHD; he is under the impression that he is somehow thereby increasing the safety of the national food supply.

By Robert L Bell (not verified) on 06 Dec 2015 #permalink

I take it you’ve never put together a saltwater rheostat. Blood is even worse.

Obviously needs more Brawndo.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 06 Dec 2015 #permalink

I just remembered when I was about 12 years old, I used to put 9v DC from a battery across my temples and enjoy the light-show (not recommended). I guess I'm lucky to be alive.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 06 Dec 2015 #permalink

Doug: "Chris, I trust you know about Pro Chemical & Dye and Dharma Trading."

Of course. Pro Chemical is the one who is having the sale I mentioned earlier.

NEXRAD Weather radars pulse 1,000,000 watts (32 Billion EIRP watts @ 45 dBi gain)

Just to reiterate, this is totally boneheaded: A moment's thought (haven't I said that before?) should tell anyone that a directional transmitter with a peak power of 1 MW does not in fact turn into 32 GW by virtue of being referenced to an isotropic one. The calculation is utterly meaningless. If the klystron is putting out 1 MW, that's all the power there is.

The actual average transmitted power of a WSR-88D radar is 1.56 kW (PDF).

^ Oh, and since Our Precious Bodily Fluids are apparently the receving antenna, perhaps ChemE could figure out its gain and then apply the Friis transmission equation.

The actual average transmitted power of a WSR-88D radar is 1.56 kW

And then you consider the fact that the antenna goes up and down and round and round.
Did Joni Mitchell ever write about RADAR?

I guess I’m lucky to be alive.

Yah, me too. Sort of.

If this was a flounce from ChemE, it was a spectacular one.

Keep making stuff up sweet cheeks. I am done teaching you . Ask Narad now that he knows what voltage potential (energy) is.

Assuming that it is.... wait, it doesn't matter. In case the wormhole opens up again, hint, ChemE: Regarding comment 450, look up the average energy flux for the antenna type and then set ∂|S|∂R| = 0.

^ Dammit: "∂|<S>| / |∂R| =nbsp;0."

^^ Oh, screw it.

Narad,

https://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/compendium/2700.00-290…

"The peak power of the NEXRAD is 1 Megawatt (1x106 Watts) and it employs a directional antenna with a mainbeam gain of 45 dBi; resulting in a transmitted signal power level of 32 Gigawatts. The NEXRAD has a maximum duty cycle of 0.21 percent and a minimum duty cycle of 0.05 percent. Additional information related to ground-based weather radars can be found in ITU-R Recommendation M.1849.14"

The "average" power of 1.5 kW is meaningless since it includes the time the radar is turned off between pulses.

EIRP is very important since it indicates how focused the beam is. Similar principle you use when cooking ants using a magnifying glass and ordinary sunlight

It only takes a nanosecond to shock you.

The “average” power of 1.5 kW is meaningless since it includes the time the radar is turned off between pulses.

Why, yes, yes it does include that.

EIRP is very important since it indicates how focused the beam is.

And? That's a derived quantity. The only reason one could pretend that it's "very important" is for embarrassingly dumb rhetorical purposes, viz., trying to put over getting the whole trip backwards.

Go back to comment 450. I've already given you a hint at 480, even if I did screw up the formatting twice. Hell, plug it into the "beautiful thing" and see what that spits out.

If you can't deal with very basic questions such as this, you are talking out of your RF ass.

Quick: What is S?

narad

I also reject local anaesthesia for filling work, just because.

It dulls the senses.

- Jack Nicholson

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 06 Dec 2015 #permalink

It dulls the senses.

Please substitute "because I find the notion of a needle being stuck into my gums viscerally horrifying" for "just because" above.

A 1970's Dremel? That's back in the day when mfrs made stuff to last, i.e. "they don't make 'em like that anymore!'. I'd keep that puppy if you find it.

For anyone looking for a 'first' Dremel, I'd say go with that cheapo Chinese one I mentioned above -- easy way to find out if you find the tool useful w/o spending the big bucks. Third party attachments -- cutting wheel and such -- are hit and miss, but there are some good values among the junk. BTW, the knock-off tool sold by Harbor Freight Tools is way inferior to the one I mentioned above, and costs more...

Another very useful thing for medium-size jobs is an oscillating multi-function tool. HFT has decent ones very cheap.

Well, I suppose there always could be potential voltage, as distinct from voltage potential.

Potential voltage could be defined as voltage that might appear sometime in the future, as opposed to actual voltage that exists right now.

By palindrom (not verified) on 07 Dec 2015 #permalink

I don't like the way this discussion is Poynting.

By palindrom (not verified) on 07 Dec 2015 #permalink

Narad:

"And? That’s a derived quantity. The only reason one could pretend that it’s “very important” is for embarrassingly dumb rhetorical purposes, viz., trying to put over getting the whole trip backwards."

It is very important because that is a function of the gain within the beam and the reason the candy bar melted...

that is a function of the gain within the beam and the reason the candy bar melted…

Jeezums, you guys let my candy bars get melted? I was planning on eating those later.

shay simmons:

“If you are loaded with cash and want something much better,..”

Sorry, spent it all on yarn.

Ah yes, I have that problem as well. ;-) Yarn stores are dangerous places!

With all the discussion regarding conductive materials to protect against this nasty RF, you can get Faraday protection without having to knit with copper. We use blue ESD drapes to cover open product in our labs, and if the drape completely covers the device, all the way down to the properly grounded ESD mat, then protection is assumed. We also wear our ESD labcoats, which when properly worn (three snaps minimum must be fastened, sleeves extending past the sleeves of our street wear), prevent static buildup on the surface of our clothing. Mind you, we're mostly interested in preventing static buildup.

Now, for total Faraday protection, I have the delight of sitting next to a construction area at work where they're building an RF shielded lab. Oh lord, the noise as they cut metal pieces to build the walls....

A while back, I came across a website offering ESD materials and garments for those who believe proper grounding and RF shielding is essential to one's health. Perhaps ChemE would appreciate it. ;-) I am tempted by the Upper Body Shield they offer. At $70, it's a pretty good price for a chainmail coif. :-D Oddly, their one legitimate ESD garment, the ESD labcoat, is $195, which is severely overpriced. But do check this out if you want a laugh.

http://www.lessemf.com/

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 07 Dec 2015 #permalink

More specifically EIRP is a function of antenna power and gain:

Equivalent Isotropically Radiated Power (EIRP) is the product of transmitter power and the antenna gain in a given direction relative to an isotropic antenna of a radio transmitter. Normally the EIRP is given in dBi, or decibels over isotropic. It can also be given in Watts.

I am tempted by the Upper Body Shield they offer. At $70, it’s a pretty good price for a chainmail coif.

Hm. Maybe I should re-think this knitting-with-wire stuff. How many could I produce in a week?

By shay simmons (not verified) on 07 Dec 2015 #permalink

A while back, I came across a website offering ESD materials and garments for those who believe proper grounding and RF shielding is essential to one’s health. Perhaps ChemE would appreciate it.

ChemE linked to the same site back at comment #375 (bravo, sir!). The Upper Body Shield is just the thing for your Monty-Python-Holy-Grail cosplay.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 07 Dec 2015 #permalink

sadmar: "A 1970’s Dremel?"

Yes, that is one reason why I really want to find it. After the insanity of the winter holidays, I plan to go through the rooms that dear daughter left stuff. I managed to find a small spool of black thread in one, which will be used in a sewing project today or tomorrow (I am steaming garments right now to set in the acid dye).

Chris, you're making me feel guilty. I have so much stuff stacked on the table in the sewing room that I'd need a guide dog and a Ouija board to find anything.

By shay simmons (not verified) on 07 Dec 2015 #permalink

Shay:

Alas, the coif isn't knitted. It looks like real chainmail, which is pretty awesome. I was in the SCA in college, and one of the other participants was working on a coif, bringing it along to every meeting. Meticulously linking ring to ring with a pair of pliers. It was very slow work.

For Lord of the Rings, the costumers found a cheaper version -- they cut PVC pipe into rings and then linked that. The pipe is flexible enough you can link it without the pliers, and the result is much lighter but looks perfect.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 07 Dec 2015 #permalink

Hm. Maybe I should re-think this knitting-with-wire stuff. How many could I produce in a week?

I'm not sure if I ever mentioned the orgone blanket a good buddy of mine made in college, really as a gag, but he passed it off as part of an assignment. Oh, Evergreen.

It currently still resides, as far as I know, with another "Greener" friend with whom I am perhaps even a little bit closer. I have so far refused to sleep on it, but the very elderly cat, Zoe, seems to like it.

^ You might want to look up "orgone" and read about "orgone boxes" if you want to be able to figure out why an "orgone blanket" is relevant to the discussion at hand.

Crazy guy, Wilhelm Reich. I hear he used to hang out with Bill Burroughs back in the day.