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  •  Good diary overall (12+ / 0-)

    On point 5 though.  O, the science fail

    super viruses immune to antibiotics  
    We are having a problem with bacteria immune to antibiotics.  Viruses are and always have been immune to antibiotics.  Viruses are the pirates of the microbe world.  They have to steal a cell to reproduce, they can not make copies of themselves.  Bacteria reproduce by cell division.

    You are correct big pharma does not spend much developing new antibiotics to counter resistant bacteria though.

    •  You're missing the point, though (4+ / 0-)

      Point 5 doesn't deal with scientific accuracy at all. It talks about how people perceive companies, and why they perceive them that way.

      Back to point 1: Most Parents (including me) don't have the background to understand all this stuff in any kind of detail. The information we get comes from other sources, and we have to depend on the accuracy of those sources to get it right.

      The example I gave was based on an actual evening news segment where an expert talked about super viruses. His comment was that big pharma didn't spending money on developing new antibiotics because it wasn't profitable to do so. The same news story talked about super viruses as if they were a new phenomenon, one that started happening in the last 20 years. Specifically, the news story stated that super virus were showing up now because doctors prescribed antibiotics for everything.

      From what little I know about it, that statement in bold does not contradict what you said in your post -- if doctors over-prescribe antibiotics, that gives viruses plenty of opportunity to adapt to the specific ones we're using -- but it does sound like it's being presented as a brand new development in the world of medicine.

      But here comes the tricky part -- just giving them the extra information they need, at this point, isn't going to be enough, because the parent, not having the background to evaluate the truth of any new data, is going to have to trust the authority of the source. And the charlatan is eroding that trust.

      It's tempting to look at misinformation and focus on the fact that it's wrong, but why is that misinformation there? It's there, in the example above, because a news story has truncated information left "background" details out in order to fit it in a 2 minute news segment.

      I guess I needed to spin that part off from point four and give it it's own area.

      The Baptist Death Ray (wrightc [at] eviscerati [dot] org) "We are all born originals -- why is it so many of us die copies?"
      - Edward Young

      by The Baptist Death Ray on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 10:24:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Antibiotics affect bacterial infections (13+ / 0-)

        not viral ones. I think that was Kevskos's point. The "superbugs" such as multiple drug resistant staph etc. are bacterial rather than viral - you kill off the bacteria that are susceptible to the antibiotic and thus the ones that are resistant are more likely to flourish.

        •  Ah! I see! Mea Culpa (7+ / 0-)

          I was saying "super virus" instead of "superbug." Yes, that was sloppy. I refer you again to point #1. :D

          The Baptist Death Ray (wrightc [at] eviscerati [dot] org) "We are all born originals -- why is it so many of us die copies?"
          - Edward Young

          by The Baptist Death Ray on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 10:39:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Kinda. (8+ / 0-)

          Bacteria are capable of swapping chunks of genetic material, not just within their own species, but with other specie as well. The chunks of genome that confer resistance to antibiotics has been demonstrated to jump about pretty easily.

          So it's not just the increased prevalence of resistance within a particular species you have to worry about. If resistance to a particular antibiotic pops up anywhere- Say, in chickens in SE Asia, it won't be very long before the genes that confer that resistance start showing up in human pathogens in Maryland.

          Another reason that people hate science is that there are very few short answers, but very many long conditional ones.

          •  That's a big part of it (3+ / 0-)

            And most modern science isn't like gravity, or mechanics. There are new things being discovered. You think something works this way, then you experiment a little more and find it really doesn't work that way at all, it just looks like it does.

            And when it comes to food, no food is just one thing. They're all combinations, and they're variable depending on a multitude of conditions. Was it wet, dry, just right? Did the farmer over fertilize, not fertilize enough, pick at the right time, was it too cold, too hot, what?

            Add to that the fact that foods and any drugs you take might have interactions, your body doesn't work like mine, I might have more resistance to some bug than you do, I might have some condition I'm not even aware of yet that makes me more sensitive to x, etc, etc,etc.

            Hell, it's a wonder drugs and vaccines work as consistently as they do.

          •  Yes they can, and I have actually done just that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Remembering Jello

            to make e coli bacteria immune to penicillin as well as glow in the dark.  Then you dose the dish with penicillin to kill of the bacteria that didn't accept the plasmid transfer and you are done.  Of course, most of the other students didn't even bother to wash their hands after the lab (yes, it was BSL-1 but you are still required to wash your hands afterwards!) even though the whole point was to show how antibiotic resistance can spread even between different species of bacteria!

            You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

            by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 10:11:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Hopefully, though, the average person (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kevskos, 6412093

        could be expected to know such as a fundamental difference as though between living pathogens (e.g., bacteria) and their non-living counterparts (e.g., virusus).

        •  I dunno. (8+ / 0-)

          I bet if you asked 100 random people on the street, most of them would have a hard time pointing out the difference.  People tend to forget things they hear that they don't use often, and most folks probably don't need to know that difference much.

        •  Why would most people remember that? (5+ / 0-)

          I'm not being snarky. I learned that in high school, and learned it again in college. And when someone mentions it in conversation, I remember learning it in high school, and then learning it again in college. But at the end of the day, what I remember on a practical level is that both bacteria and viruses can make you sick, and that you can take medicine to either kill it or to alleviate the symptoms.

          For most people in their day to day lives, it's a distinction that is important to the people who make the medicines they rely on, but not specifically important to them on a direct, practical level.

          The Baptist Death Ray (wrightc [at] eviscerati [dot] org) "We are all born originals -- why is it so many of us die copies?"
          - Edward Young

          by The Baptist Death Ray on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 10:51:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  To me the distinction between living and nonliving (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kevskos, 6412093

            seems quite vast (so isn't it amazing that both make you sick in a somewhat similar manner even though they are so different?)

            Plus, this is one of the few things from "science" class that has a direct impact on virtually everybody (with the possible exception of those who like Dick Cheney or Marvin Marvin might not actually be human) in that it influences their health care options on a fairly routine basis.

            I mean, if there is * one * thing to remember, this might be it.  Seems like a failure in instruction or something along the way.  

            Of course, since 58% of Americans believe in evolution, this example of substandard understanding of science probably shouldn't be surprising.

            •  I'm not saying the distinction isn't important. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Praxical, ban nock, mmacdDE

              I'm saying that when people live their day to day lives, and they prioritize the things they have to remember (balancing a checkbook, doing taxes, driving a car) with the things that are significant in the grand scheme of things but not directly relevant to what they're doing at the time (mitosis, how to calculate gravitational attraction between two bodies, the difference between weight and mass), some things get downgraded and put in storage.

              There's a lot of stuff I remember remembering (when prompted by someone else's comment) that I can't directly dredge up myself. It's also stuff I don't have to interact with on a day to day basis.

              You can make a compelling case that I'm directly interacting with viruses and bacteria on a day to day basis but it's not interaction on a level that I can perceive, or differentiate from.

              The Baptist Death Ray (wrightc [at] eviscerati [dot] org) "We are all born originals -- why is it so many of us die copies?"
              - Edward Young

              by The Baptist Death Ray on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 11:13:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  But it (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            6412093, kyril, Roadbed Guy, Lucy Montrose

            is important for all people to understand the basic differences between infectious agents.  By knowing the facts you can keep yourself safer.

            You can not take a medicine to kill a virus (not that it is not possible).  Viral infections are hard to treat because they are in your own cells making copies of themselves.  If you give yourself a medicine to kill a viral infection it would probably kill you since it would need to kill your cells to kill the virus. You can use a vaccine to make yourself immune.  

            •  This is not -quite- true. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LilithGardener, Kevskos

              There do exist antiviral drugs -- those for HIV and tamiflu for the flu.  But that's pretty much it, as far as I know.  I know there're experimental drugs in the pipeline but from what I recall reading most of them tend to have pretty bad side-effects, because they mostly interfere with the body's ability to perform various necessary tasks, such as RNA transcription.  This is different from an antibiotic, which tend to work on chemical pathways that humans don't use but which are vital to the bacteria.  Antibiotics tend to be more like spraying insecticide on plants -- that'll kill the bugs but not the plants.  Antivirals tend to be more like chemotherapy -- it hurts everything at least a bit but it kills the viruses faster than it kills you, or at least that's what the companies producing them hope.

              •  There you go, Scientists disagree. What's the (0+ / 0-)

                layperson to think?

                I'll stick to balancing the check book.

                “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

                by ban nock on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 06:13:11 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  If someone's disagreeing with me here, it's (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ban nock, ebohlman, Kevskos

                  because they're operating on information decades out of date.  This is quite easy to confirm; just hit Wikipedia:

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                  Or, y'know, just rely on simple deduction.  Hey, there're drugs that people with HIV take to combat the virus.  There's been plenty of advertising for tamiflu, so people should know that it's available, and since the flu is a virus, there you go.  People with Hep C can use interferon to eliminate their viral load.  Therefore, the statement: 'there are no medicines that kill viruses' is incorrect.  (Or at least incorrect enough; we don't need to really get into whether virii are 'alive' for our purposes.)

                  In many cases -- such as this one -- simply sitting there and thinking about it critically or doing some simple research will provide a rough way to evaluate such statements when there's a conflict.  Going: 'okay, if that's true, then -this- must be true' and seeing if you can prove your hypothesis false.

                  For example, take the false statement: 'the rise in cases of autism is linked to mercury in vaccines.'  Well, then, one should look and see if mercury in vaccines is banned anywhere and see if populations vaccinated within those areas show the same trend.  (They show roughly the same rates of autism and the same trends in autist population growth per capita, which puts a nail in that coffin.)  

                  •  Thanks for the long answer but I just meant it as (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Kevskos

                    an example. I was aware that there are some medicines for flu. I remember bird flu scare.

                    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

                    by ban nock on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:26:45 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Right, but my point is... (0+ / 0-)

                      ...most of the things that people say that 'scientists disagree about' -- they effectively don't, except for a statistically insignificant number of them.  In most cases, the areas where scientists legitimately do disagree are edge cases, or "My model says the global temperature should raise 1*C in 10 years but yours says 1.3 degrees."  These cases actually do tend to require quite a lot of knowledge to sort out, and the usual reason that they disagree is because there's missing data and their hypothesis have not been tested yet.

                      However -- the 'controversies' that the usual populace picks up on are generally nothing of the sort; they're cases where 97-99.99% of the population of scientists in the field say A, and some thoroughly discredited crackpot nutter says B -- and B's case is either more appealing or more inimical -- and they're presented on the news as having a actual weight to their arguments and that the mutually exclusive cases of A and B are equal in the credibility of their claims.  In these cases, it's generally very easy for someone to quickly discredit one case or another, just through critical thinking and basic research -- but people might like B's case better because it's either better for them or because it makes it seem like following A's claim will only harm them for no reason.

                      Of course, the fact that many people seem to have no ability to evaluate the credibility of, say, an article in Journal of the American Medical Association versus an article on vaccinesarekillingourkids.omg.teaparty.com -- or the fucking Onion -- doesn't help either.  Not that I'm saying that one should be automatically regarded as correct or automatically regarded as incorrect -- but an article in JAMA is much more likely to lack serious flaws in its reasoning than one on a random website run by loonies.

                  •  Yes, considering the implications of a claim (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    sagesource, alain2112, Praxical

                    is the first step in evaluating it. This can be done for policy claims as well as scientific ones. For example, conservatives typically assert that the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) caused the mortgage crisis by forcing lenders to lend to unqualified buyers. Now it turns out that not all mortgage lenders are subject to the CRA (only ones that are FDIC-insured depository institutions are). If the claim is true, then you would expect CRA-covered lenders to have had higher defaults than non-covered lenders (e.g. Countrywide). In fact the opposite was true: CRA-covered lenders accounted for a very small part of the losses.

                    Since the claim directly implies something, and that something turns out not to be true, we can say that the claim can't be true. We can also apply this to a common anti-vax claim, namely that the information from the CDC, et.al. indicating that vaccines are safe can't be trusted because American government agencies are beholden to big business. Now it turns out that there are many developed countries where big business has much less control over government, particularly in the area of healthcare. If the anti-vax claim is correct, you'd expect that those countries' healthcare authorities would be much less sanguine about vaccine risks than American authorities. In fact, there's no difference. Therefore you can conclude that the claim is unlikely to be true.

                    All of this is basic critical thinking. It doesn't really require any in-depth knowledge of scientific content, just some basic principles of logic and rhetoric. It also helps to have basic quantitative literacy, which doesn't really require much in the way of math beyond first-year algebra, if that; it just requires being able to understand that, for example, the number of children murdered by kidnappers annually cannot be larger than either the number of people of all ages who are murdered annually or the number of children who die of all causes annually. Or that if you and everyone you know closely has known someone who has died of heart disease or cancer, then if there's some other condition that's claimed to kill more than either of those, you'd almost certainly know someone who died of it as well.

                    Personally, as a physician, I would be very concerned at a child becoming febrile after having ingested bleach or had it shot up his rectum—Orac (Respectful Insolence)

                    by ebohlman on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 08:14:09 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Exactly. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Kevskos

                      I think that a significant portion of the problem is that people have no training -the application- of formal logic, even those who've taken classes in formal logic -- and gods know they're rare enough.  

                      It also hurts the average person in that they never see a process of deduction worked out like this in reality, so they don't think about it as being an option.  I recall newscasters challenging people they were interviewing with, well, facts and figures and applied logic like this -- but that was literally decades ago.

                      I would love to see some formal "Bullshit Detection" classes taught starting in elementary school, focusing on just this kind of informal formal logic.

                      On the other hand, I work with people who literally cannot solve a problem like 5 + X = 17 and figure out what X is, and I'm honestly sure how innumerate the population really is ... and god knows that doesn't help any.

                      •  Logic (0+ / 0-)

                        was probably one of the best college classes I ever took.  It should be required in High School.

                        •  I've taken formal logic classes... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Kevskos

                          ...And honestly, it took a long time for me to realize how it was applied IRL in places other than programming.  None of the classes which have addressed logic have really worked on the -application- of said logic to real-life experiences.

                          •  I took it from (0+ / 0-)

                            a classics professor who probably knew little about computers.  That was back in 82 and the dude teaching was ancient. It was all about perfecting your writing by making valid arguments.  Not an easy class.

                            When I wrote that last night I was thinking that logic should be taught alongside algebra because they are the basics.  Math without algebra makes no sense. Arguments without logic are word soup (or the internet).

              •  Yes, but they do not "kill" the virus . .. . (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Kevskos
                There do exist antiviral drugs -- those for HIV and tamiflu for the flu.
                as the post by Kevskos correctly claimed.

                Of course, as discussed above, since viruses are not alive, it would be impossible to kill them in any event.

                So you seem to have gotten suckered in to replying to a trick post.

                •  Eh. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Kevskos

                  Maybe.  But for most people, 'kill' and 'rendered inert' or 'rendered inoperative' are effectively equivalent, so I assume they're being used interchangeably.  

                  When a soldier says he killed a tank with LAW, I don't argue the semantics with him. ;)

                  Also, since the person I was responding to stated that killing a virus was possible -- or at least that it was not not possible -- that kinda lends weight to the idea that they weren't being an insufferable pedant. ;)

                •  The micro (0+ / 0-)

                  professor I worked for in college used to say that the best way to start a fist fight at a microbiology meeting was to go to the bar at 2 AM and start asking if a virus was alive or not.

            •  You basically "kill" a virus in your body... (0+ / 0-)

              by enhancing the power of your immune system, or at least not letting it get too depleted. That's the theory behind bed rest, vitamin C, chicken soup, herbal supplements, etc. And that's another reason anti-vax is a seductive idea: it's almost a statement that if you're healthy enough, you don't NEED vaccines. It pats you on the back for taking such good care of yourself.
               Promises to strengthen your immune system are the charlatan's most potent tools.

              Meanwhile, viruses are like honey badgers; they just don't care. If your body is unfamiliar with a virus, the ONLY thing you can do is let it run its course. If you get over a cold quickly, that's because it's similar to other colds you've had in the past, so your immune system had a head start.

              Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

              by Lucy Montrose on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 06:36:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  The distinction is important and applicable. (5+ / 0-)

            Bacteria are susceptible to antibiotics.  Until very recently we had no medications to combat viruses, and for the most part, those we do have a very specific to particular strains or families of strains and have a lot of side effects.

            If you have a bacterial infection, by all means, you want to go to the doctor.  If you have a non-life threatening viral infection and it's not the flu or HIV, in most cases, there's nothing the doctor can really do for you.

            •  Correct me if I am wrong, but don't pretty much (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Praxical

              all antiviral drugs only target retroviruses by interrupting the RNA to DNA copying mechanism common to most retroviruses?  Are there even antiviral drugs that are effective against non-retroviruses.

              You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

              by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 10:14:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, many or most anti-viral work by preventing (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Praxical

                of a virus into a cell or unpacking of the virus once endocytosed.

                Most viruses (unlike HIV that is a real publicity hound of a virus) are not retroviruses so targeting RNA to DNA reverse transcription is not all that broad of a strategy.

                •  Retroviruses are also pretty fragile... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Praxical

                  as far as viruses go. That's why HIV cannot just be spread in the environment. It's a feature of their protein coat, envelope, etc. that leave them vulnerable. Viruses without envelopes, curiously, are a lot tougher...like parvo, polio, and norovirus.

                  Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

                  by Lucy Montrose on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 06:44:41 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  What an optimist (10+ / 0-)

          No, people don't know that. It is why they hammer on their docs to prescribe antibiotics for their common colds.

          “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

          by Catte Nappe on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 11:10:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  hah. the average person doesn't know a prokaryote (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          6412093, kyril, Praxical, Kevskos

          from a pachyderm.

          And the anti-science nutters ALL prey heavily on that public ignorance.

        •  virus vs bacteria (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Naniboujou, LilithGardener, ban nock

          you all are losing me already, supporting point #1.

          Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

          by 6412093 on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 01:54:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  How about this (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            6412093

            Both can make us sick, but there are a couple big differences.

            Viruses are much smaller and can not live and multiply on their own. We call them particles because they are densely packed combinations of DNA or RNA, proteins, and little bit of fat.

            Bacteria are much larger and are single celled organisms, that can live and multiply on their own. They have DNA and RNA, proteins, fats, and many other chemicals inside their cell walls.

            Bacteria build structures that allow them to selectively take what they need from their environment, literally selectively take it inside their cell walls. They have sensors they can use to switch from randomly tumbling, to directed movement, and they have structures outside the cell wall by which they can swim toward food, or swim away from a bad environment.

            Bacteria can live in liquids, in soil, on skin, on your faucet, and most of them will cause you no harm. There are many living in our colon and some of them help to digest food and make vitamins.

            Viruses can't do any of that. They have to start by attaching to a cell and injecting their DNA or RNA inside. They commander the host cell's proteins to make copies of their DNA or RNA and to package them into new particles, called virions. When a large number of virions have been made and package they will cause the host cell to die so the virions can be released. They can only travel by floating along passively on fluids or through the air, or after someone touch their finger to their nose and then opens the door.

            "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

            by LilithGardener on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 05:13:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Your point was fine (5+ / 0-)

        your science was bad.

         Viruses and bacteria are not the same thing.  Any expert who said viruses were becoming immune to antibiotics was not an expert.  He probably said super bugs.  IMOH a stupid term. Bugs is not a scientific term for any type of germ.

         The problem is with resistant bacteria.  They are not super we just don't have an easy way to kill them.  They may even be weaker.  A bacteria can only produce a limited number of proteins and if they are protecting themselves from antibiotic X then they are probably not doing something else.

        •  Understood now. Apologies, mea culpa. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kevskos, kyril, Naniboujou

          I was saying "super virus" when I should have been saying "superbug." That was sloppy and there is a difference.

          In my defense I will refer you to point #1. :D

          The Baptist Death Ray (wrightc [at] eviscerati [dot] org) "We are all born originals -- why is it so many of us die copies?"
          - Edward Young

          by The Baptist Death Ray on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 10:42:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Also... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kevskos

            ... if the above comment looks identical to my response to Pat, it's because the response to Pat errored out and I thought it was lost in the ether.

            The Baptist Death Ray (wrightc [at] eviscerati [dot] org) "We are all born originals -- why is it so many of us die copies?"
            - Edward Young

            by The Baptist Death Ray on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 10:43:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  There's a lot that's (8+ / 0-)

        Valid in your analysis, but I think the root is more simple than all this:  science is hard, counter-intuitive, and challenges cherished beliefs.  People tend to denounce that which intellectually hurts.  Public attitudes towards math are similar.

        •  There is also the fact that most people (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kevskos, JosephK74

          tend to want certainty, and science cannot offer it. To most people, scientists sound like they're hedging their conclusions because they won't say "absolutely yes" or "absolutely no" even when they're talking about something that's 99.99999% certain. Science offers probability and doubt, whereas charlatans offer absolute promises. A quack, for example, will NEVER say "nobody knows what's causing your problem" or "there's nothing I can do for you" or even "this problem will go away on its own and you'll just have to wait it out."

          It turns out that we have a cognitive bias the predisposes us to think that the more confidently someone makes a statement, the more likely the statement is true. However, the people who are the most confident and absolute in their statements about a particular area are generally the ones who don't know enough about the area to properly evaluate their own competence in it. People who have developed true expertise in a field will tell you that the more they've learned about it, the more they realize how much they still don't know about. You don't see that kind of humility from people whose entire knowledge of a subject comes from "Google University".

          Personally, as a physician, I would be very concerned at a child becoming febrile after having ingested bleach or had it shot up his rectum—Orac (Respectful Insolence)

          by ebohlman on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 08:28:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Specialized education partly at fault (0+ / 0-)

        I'm a humanities and social sciences person. I took forever to pick a major. No one really even knows what my degrees mean cause I've always been in inter-disciplinary fields. And that really hurts me in job searches. But there's the thing--I'm not a scientist, but I have actually had a ton of classes that taught me the scientific method, how to read studies and entertain multiple credible interpretations of the same data, sourcing, biases present in the presentation of data and so on.

        Fewer and fewer people have a well rounded, "renaissance" or "liberal arts" kind of education. You have people who go into science who take that stuff, people who go into business who seem to know only about money and so on. We have so much pressure to specialize and compartmentalize I think we don't have enough well-rounded folks who can see the big picture and navigate.

        "What is essential is invisible to the eye." www.thefoxfoot.com

        by greywolfe359 on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 09:46:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I could have sworn there were a few viruses (0+ / 0-)

      (not very common ones, though) that were vulnerable to antibiotics.  Though probably only to specific antibiotics and they have most likely mutated to gain immunity to them by now.

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 10:10:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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