Wow! You guys should all be embarrassed! That was just like reading an 'intellectual' Coronation Street screenplay! What fun, childish drama! An incredibly thrilling read.

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Why waste time arguing with a guy who starts every comment with a sigh or a shrug. Classic troll.

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Dwight Thieme:

1. The fact that you are still claiming that the NY Times article is "libertarian" is enough to discredit you entirely. As has already been explained to you, the article has nothing whatsoever to do with anyone's theory of government. Indeed, even the hoariest communist might like to know whether, due to unduly sensitive early screening methods, he is being advised to undergo needless and possibly dangerous treatments. That is what the article is about: the fact that millions of people are improperly diagnosed with diseases and conditions that pose no real threat to them, due to early screening methods that are too sensitive.

Again, you have never even laid a finger on this central claim, except to say that it isn't new (no one ever claimed that it is a "new" point, and I even linked to earlier essays in which Welch made the same point).

2. It still isn't clear what significance you purport to find in the Times' generic webpage about "preventive" healthcare. (You do realize that the Times has a habit of inserting lots of links into its articles, which is why there are about a dozen links in Welch's op-ed that merely lead to other generic Times webpages about, say, "John McCain.")

3. As for this: he sounds an awful lot like another guy who argued that [1] if a theory said A->B, and B was observed, then A was confirmed. [2] He also believed that 'statistical significance' was equivalent to 'significance'

[2] is a flatout lie. [1] also shows that you never even understood the terms of the conversation. In our earlier encounter, I said that "acting white" exists, which equates to the fact that smart black children tend to be less popular. I pointed to a Harvard study confirming empirically that smart black children do tend to be less popular. This confirms that smart black children tend to be less popular. In other words, an empirical finding of A confirms the existence of A. There was no "B," and hence no improper logical inference from B back to A. It's surprising that you would bring up a past instance of your inability to comprehend such an elementary point.

4. Robin -- I would recommend banning ScentofViolets, or Dwight Thieme, or whatever nom de plume he chooses. He is a classic troll.

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This is where I get to accuse you of poor reading comprehension, right? Here's what I originally said:

As I said, if you cannot follow this, or if you cannot acknowledge what that list means, I think we're through here. I'll watch for what you have to say, but don't expect a response in return.Posted by: ScentOfViolets

Iow, I was talking to Stuart(I don't know if it's the same person, but he sounds an awful lot like another guy who argued that if a theory said A->B, and B was observed, then A was confirmed. He also believed that 'statistical significance' was equivalent to 'significance') who seems to have a problem with, ironically enough, overcoming bias.

Not to anyone else, though Simon is actually, unlike Stuart, actually responding to the article's definition of "preventive medicine".

I'm guessing this is also the part where you refuse to admit that your comment was out of line, but refuse to give any pertinent reasons why it was not.

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After how many posts of "I am not going to respond" is it only proper to enforce that claim?

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Sigh. No Simon. I'm saying that this is false:

The term "preventive medicine" no longer means what it used to: keeping people well by promoting healthy habits, like exercising, eating a balanced diet and not smoking.

"preventive medicine" - by your own admission, mind you - already says exactly what he is claiming(In fact, as I said earlier, it's either vacuously true or waaaay off base, depending upon your interpretation of the list.) Nothing has changed, and this is not some woo-woo weird new risk that few people know about. At best, as you yourself said earlier, it's pointing out that a few politicians are talking about things that they have no particular expertise in, in which case, well, what else is new?

So, _now_ what is your problem with what I said? Is this a case of you don't know what, but you're sure I'm wrong about something? Or will you finally admit that maybe I might have a point?

Really, this is no different than if Dr. Welch had written about the 'new' threat of over-prescribing antibiotics and the dangers of antibiotic resistance in disease organisms. Are you saying I'd be wrong to point out that this just ain't so?

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I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around what your problem is. You seem to be saying that the article is not saying anything particularly controversial ... in which case what is your problem? As far as I can tell, you are complaining that it is unfair to characterize all of "preventive medicine" broadly defined as bad.

But, that's not what was actually meant by the post. The article, as quoted, pointed out that the actual policies that the term "preventive medicine" stood for in practice were early screening. Most other commenters followed this restricted definition, but you argued as if everyone was using the broad definition.

Now what makes it hard for me to conclude that I have correctly characterized what your problem is that it would seem that the reasonable thing to do when pointed out that you are defining your terms differently than other people in the thread is to simply acknowledge the difference, and, if you still have a point of disagreement, make clear arguments based on terms that all parties can agree on. You have not done so.

So, if I have incorrectly characterized your views, please try to clarify them.

P.S. I'm not sloganeering, the politicians are - when a politician makes a slogan calling for "preventive medicine", one should judge this on the merits of the actual policy differences that the slogan represents. If electing the politician will lead to policy changes A, B, and C, one should judge the merits of those policies, not the merits of uncontroversial policies that the politician attempts to connect to policies A, B and C using a broad term like "preventive medicine".

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Simon, bite me. Read the list. What does the list say. Hint: it says, among other things that some diagnostic procedures may be helpful. It most certainly does not say that more is better. Now, what is the para-paraphrased comment saying? That some diagnostic procedures may be helpful. Now, just what is the difference between the two? Here's some more help, from Stuart:

The author is claiming that when "preventive medicine" is used to mean diet, exercise, etc., it's good. But when "preventive medicine" is used to mean "early diagnosis," it's not always helpful.

Gee, you mean like the link to preventive medicine implied?

So, just what, precisely, is your problem? Or Stuart's?

I suspect - and suspect strongly, now that I recall who Stuart is - that what's really got your knickers in a twist is the phrase 'libertarian boilerplate'. Which this article is.

So stop with the sloganeering, Simon. And actually respond to the point. Rather than accuse others of 'drama', or mutate the talking points yet again.

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Arguments over definitions tend to be extremely annoying, especially when one side seems not to acknowledge the nature of the dispute and accuses the other of arguing in bad faith.

SOV, it has been made clear that for the purposes of this comment thread when we talk about "preventive health care" we are referring mainly to early screening, not to everything that might be called "preventive health care".

Now, you may think that this use of terminology unfairly maligns useful things also generally categorized as "preventive health care". A fair enough point perhaps, although you could have pointed this out in one sentence without the ridiculous drama. But while logically speaking "preventive health care" does include such things as vaccinations, in a political context it makes sense to restrict terminology to the actual policy differences that it represents as a slogan. It is not like any plausible hypothetical anti-"preventive health care" politician would actually be opposing vaccination.

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Shrug. You don't get to decide what is genuine. And not addressing the points because they are 'not genuine', rather than explaining what, precisely, invalidates them indicates that they are actually quite salient.

So, as I said, and you attempted to evade - again - the ball is in your court. It is most certainly not in mine. Not until you actually attempt some sort of argument.

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Well, that was clear from your first comment. If you think of a genuine objection to something Welch actually said, do let it be known.

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Stuart, until you address the points I have made - repeatedly made, I might add - there really is nothing more that I can contribute.

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Scent: My previous point still stands.

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Gee, Robin, do you always wear your resentment on your sleeve like that? A much better way to phrase what you wrote, one which would not be indicative of such a thin skin, would be something like: "If you use html tags, please be sure to preview your posts so that you can spot any you have not closed."

See? Wasn't that much more nicely phrased?

Oh, and by the way, it's ScentOfViolets (the physics problem), or if you must abbreviate, SOV.

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Scent, please don't use boldface if you can't remember to close it before comment end.

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