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Thursday, September 30, 2021

I Heard/Saw/Read It Somewhere

ME: Do your own research they said. 
MICE ELF: Uh-oh. Don't get CP started. 
CP: What?
MICE ELF: ME just said someone said "do your own research". 
CP: Haha. I love when people say they "did their own research". Remember when we were at University and we were taught HOW to think and not WHAT to think?
ME: Of course. WE were all there. 
MICE ELF: We learned lots about our subjects, and others. We learned how to read and evaluate clinical studies, how to research and write papers. 
ME: Yes. The good old days. 
MICE ELF: Yet no one trusts us, or any other, more expert opinions anymore. 
CP: Sad, really. But I did give myself a laugh after I overheard your conversation. 
ME: How's that? 
CP: This is how the conversation went in my head. I wish I weren't on the phone at the time. 

Merely Every Guy Arguing Things Which Aren't True: I'm here to get the J&J booster. 
CP: There is no booster. 
MEGATWAT: There is. I read a study somewhere. 
CP: Did you now? Do you have a copy?
MEGATWAT: I don't know where I saw it. On TV or NPR or somewhere. 
CP: Aha. I see. I see. Can you give me more than the headline to go on?
MEGATWAT: It said J&J had been approved for a booster after 2 months and it will bring me up to 94%. I want it. I had my shot in March. 
CP: This is the problem with attention spans and how we digest news today. It reminds me of those "spotty network" commercials where people only hear every other word. 
MEGATWAT: How's that? That's what I heard!
CP: Yes, it was announced that J&J reported the results of their Phase 3 trials. They reported that a second shot boosted immunity to those levels. However, the news did not say a booster had been approved, nor did it say it was recommended by the CDC or approved by the FDA. You can't even understand what you saw/read/heard on the news but you say you are going to "do your own research". Ha!
Let me give you an example: The study headline reads: "Every time a woman flips a coin it comes up heads". What is your takeaway? 
MEGATWAT: It's a miracle! I must take her to Vegas with me!
CP: But was it a singular woman? Or "woman" as in "not a man", or ALL women who flipped the coin? 
MEGATWAT: I don't know. 
CP: How many women were in this study?
MEGATWAT: I don't know. 
CP: What if I told you that the "study" involved one woman; that her "flipping of the coin" involved placing the coin on the table face-down then simply turning it over to show heads face up? Would that change your mind? Your "own research" is based on this flawed study. Much like the "alternative treatments" studies of your own research the study size was too small, there was bias in the study, she and the researchers knew which side was down so it wasn't a randomized, double-blind study. Basically, if you don't know how to interpret the data, you are incapable of "doing your own research". 
MEGATWAT: So can I get the shot?
CP: You are equally as flawed as your "own research". Please come back when you "hear" J&J has been approved for a booster. 

ME: You are correct though. 
MICE ELF: Yeah. People who purport to doing their own research are merely googling for research to back their preconceived opinion. 
CP: And I love when people post in the replies the same "studies" with the same headlines that are all based on exceptionally flawed data. 
ME: It's still amazing to me that, no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary, these studies are still passed around as scientifically sound. 
MICE ELF: Probably the 3 worst cited studies have been: 1. Vaccines cause autism, 2. Oxycontin does not lead to addiction, and 3. the ivermectin study circulating. 
CP: As I said, the people who quote these studies back to us are the ones who can't understand or interpret what they saw/heard/read on the news, let alone determine if their information is coming from a legitimate source. 
ME: But keep in mind, thanks to Coming Very Slowly, our expertise is worth less than your interpretation of a news headline. 
MICE ELF: People can't even understand coupons, sales, how to assemble IKEA furniture but they can tell us all about "their own research". 
CP: Where else is the professional challenged? 
ME: Ted Bundy was his own lawyer? 
MICE ELF: Yeah. And how did that work out for him? 
CP: Leave the thinking to the experts.

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