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October 31, 2005

It Ain't Necessarily So (Ch.6 & 7)

"Popular beliefs--however erroneous--rather than expert opinion largely determine our allocation of resouces to lessen and eliminate risks."

This is unfortunate. I realize that we live in a democratic republic, ruled by the will of the people, but "people" don't know about actual health risks and climactic change- experts do. And because of this democracy, experts are forced to become activists, sometimes streching the whole truth to achieve a more important end.

Posted by DavidDenninger at October 31, 2005 08:22 AM


Great obsevation Dave, I wish you would have wrote more, because you got something here. I never really looked at experts as activists, but now that you mention it, there are some examples that I thought of that can make that statement true. It is a shame that experts, if disagreed with a political view, are technically activists, when they might actually have some important details to back up their claim. Once again, great observation.

Posted by: Jason Pugh at October 31, 2005 10:54 AM

I agree with Jay; great insight.

There is always a lot of pressure to "jump on the bandwagon," even if you know better -- even if you, as the experts do, know that the bandwagon is wrong. It's easier, and makes for much quicker, more powerful changes.

Posted by: ChrisU at October 31, 2005 11:12 AM

In the case of cancer, it appears to me that in most cases experts don't know exactly what causes it. I'm not sure that it's wrong to print a theory as long as it's stated as such. Then if the article contains enought information, the reader can decide for him or herself whether or not to avoid something. I personally might not want to use pesticides for that reason. (We are helpless, though, if food is mass produced with pesticides.) I remember when cigarette smoking was first linked to cancer. It's enough for me to believe the risk factor without evaluating statistics but it appears that a lot of people don't care or don't think it's a risk.

Posted by: NancyGregg at October 31, 2005 05:37 PM

Thanks all for your comments--

I'm rather busy right now with work from other classes, but I will respond when I find time.


Posted by: David Denninger at November 1, 2005 04:09 PM

I think that everyone in America at least one time in their life stretches the truth David. But i do believe that sometimes journalists and researchers stretch to far and then it ruins the story.

Posted by: Denamarie at November 1, 2005 04:10 PM

Another blog that I found interesting was Lorin Schumacher's blog entry about simply forgetting all of these possible bad things in the world occurring. It's informative and interesting. Her website is:


I know you're busy, but check it out if you get a chance.

Posted by: Jason Pugh at November 10, 2005 07:07 PM

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