Sometimes, you find idea vaguely floating about at the back of your mind. It takes some event to bring them to the fore. In this case, the event was some statements by a ‘university professor’ upon the subject of ecig marketing, or some such – cannot remember exactly.
It turns out that her original university qualification was in ‘English’. I do not know in what direction her studies of ‘English’ went. For all I know, she might have studies Chaucer’s ‘English’, or Regency ‘English’, or London’s East End ‘English’, or all three. Or she could have studied the origins of ‘English’ words, or the wording of ‘English’ legal documents from way back.
My point is that her opinions of ecig marketing, and any research that she did, do not coincide with her ‘expertise’.
This is a common phenomenon. We have Glantz in California, Chapman in Australia, Hastings in the UK, and many others, who have degrees, and masters, and self-conferred illuminati letters after their names, and, in some cases, call themselves ‘Sir’, but it turns out that it is rarely the case that these people have any expertise in statistics. Frank Davis drew attention to this fact here:
Glantz, I believe, gained his degree in mechanical engineering. Chapman may have got his in Social Services, and Hastings, according the McTear Case Judge, is an out and out charlatan who criminally reinvents stories to suit Tobacco Control’s agenda. There are thousands of academical ‘experts’ who pronounce upon epidemiological evidence with no expertise in Statistics at all.
If we had the money, any of us could do it. We could hire an army of chuggers to stop people in the street and ask them questions. The results of the questionnaires could be analysed and put in a graph, or pronounced to be “70% in favour”. What no one would observe is that only gullible, obsequious, weak-willed, easily-led, fearful, powerless, aimless people would allow themselves to be suckered in the street. Any self-respecting person would say, “No thanks” and walk on.
Something similar happened today at home. Readers will know that Herself has been in hospital. I got a phone-call from the physiotherapists attached to the hospital asking if the could visit to ‘assess’ the situation at home. I said OK. Well, despite my 40 years experience of the affects of MS on the body of Herself, you never know if some new idea would help.
We did not get off to a good start. There were two of them. The younger one took the lead while the older one took notes.
After about one minute, I had to pull the leader up. She was talking as though she was speaking to a child. In loud, slow tempo, she said, “Hello, B, I’m X. We’ve come to talk about your problems” (words to that affect). “Erm”, I said, “Can I stop you. Would you please talk normally. We are not imbeciles”.
And then I said, “We are wasting our time unless you look around our house, so I’ll show you what we have in the way of space, aids, shower units, etc. Then we can talk about any other possibilities”
The whole thing was a mess of box-ticking. When I asked about laxatives that had been prescribed, they knew nothing. When I asked about communications with the District Nurses, they opined that the DNs were a totally separate organisation. Near the end, they started talking about dangers in the way that I have been dealing with moving THE BODY on the bed. I said that I was not happy about being deliberately made fearful. I said that the promotion of fear was deliberate, and that I detested it.
They could not wait to get out of the house.
One final thing. They asked B is they could share the information. I said nothing. B said, “No”. Then the woman said, “Can I ask your husband?” I also said NO. Then the woman asked B if she would sign a document stating that she said NO. I kept my mouth shut and waited. It was not clear if B could sign, so I was asked to sign. I said NO. I said NO on the basis that they had no right to ask the questions in the first place. Our lifestyle information is private.
We did not invite these people. They intruded. They came with preconceived ideas which were gleaned by some physiotherapist who had spent a few minutes with B as compared with the forty years that I have known that she has MS, and the fourteen years or so that we have been dealing with the fact that she cannot use her legs at all. Every time these people interfere, they never seem to know that she cannot use her legs at all. AMAZING! How can they not know?
Going back to that person who had a degree in ‘English’ and proceeded to pronounce upon ecig marketing led me to the idea that these people have an inflated opinion of their own expertise.
A person who is clever goes through the education system getting top marks in every subject. He/She goes to Uni and gets top marks in every subject. He/She gets something of a God complex. It can do no wrong. Naturally, those academic qualifications are never tested in the real world. Such people get Master’s degrees and acquire teaching positions in universities. They write dissertations in journals, published by the mates. They are always right. They never leave academia. They themselves are perpetual students, and they have the petulance of students. Thus, Chapman et al ‘unfriend’ people and ‘block’ critics on twitter.
The fact of the matter is that the are not ‘experts’ at all. They are still jumped up students.
How have the gained so much power?
They have not. It was people like Doll, Godber, et al, who paved the way for the Perpetual Students to gain power. None of these people are statisticians. They claim to be ‘EXPERTS’, but they are not.
Politicians are frightening. The reason is that they do not take alternative advice. They take advice only from Advisers recommended by the Advisers. The “Long March Through The Institutions” has borne fruit.
And yet, I simply cannot understand the point of it all .