Sunday, 19 May 2013

Vitamin D, cancer, cliques and flouncing.

First Google Image Search result for Vitamin D, cancer, cliques and flouncing.
This is a continuation of my previous post Enzyme kinetics, standing on the sun and weird blog comments sections.

Apparently, I didn't like the answers that I received on the blog in my previous post, so I flounced. The study that I asked for opinion on was Vitamin D and calcium supplementation reduces cancer risk: results of a randomized trial. If I showed you an RCT where deaths from all cancers fell by 77%, what would be your reaction? My reaction would be "That looks promising. More work is needed to investigate it". One person (sophia8) reacted thusly. Other reactions that I received (with their logical fallacies) were as follows:-

Pure coincidence. Argumentum ad ignorantiam.

More than 1,100iu/day of Vitamin D is harmful. Straw man. I didn't say that people should take more than 1,100iu/day of Vitamin D (even though I take 5,000iu/day, which isn't harmful). Also, argumentum ad ignorantiam. See enzyme kinetics in the previous post.

You're cranky. Ignoratio Elenchi.

The study wasn't testing Vitamin D on its own. Straw man. I didn't say that it did.

By the way, “Nigeepoo”, taking supplemental vitamin D is not a proven way to prevent sunburn and is not an adequate method of protection from getting skin cancer (despite assertions in your blog). Straw man for the first part of the sentence. I didn't say that it was. Argumentum ad ignorantiam for the last part of the sentence.

Going for long drives with the top down and broiling gently without sunscreen on a repeated basis is dumb. Straw man. I didn't say that I did. I obviously don't go for long drives with the top down in the middle of the day on a sunny Summer's day. That is dumb. Like, duh!

I'm curious why you found my response to be satisfactory but lilady’s to be unsatisfactory. Could you explain? Ignoratio Elenchi.

Did I mention all of the mis-quoting?... Oy!

Maybe they should have done a bit of basic research, like:-

Vitamin D and musculoskeletal health, cardiovascular disease, autoimmunity and cancer: Recommendations for clinical practice.

The effect of calcium and vitamin D supplementation on obesity in postmenopausal women: secondary analysis for a large-scale, placebo controlled, double-blind, 4-year longitudinal clinical trial.

Vitamin D, cardiovascular disease and mortality.

Why randomized controlled trials of calcium and vitamin D sometimes fail. Essential reading.

I'm the sort of person who's not interested in cliques or secret societies. I'm therefore not interested in joining a cliquey, ivory-towery blog where you have to conform to a set of unwritten "rules" to be accepted, some of which are eccentric (Question: Which blogs insist on the use of manually-typed blockquote tags? Answer: Only that one). I decided to leave. I even apologised to some commenters for my language in some of the arguments.

I wondered why that blog and its owner annoyed me so much. Then it hit me (like a discarded boomerang)!
Hmmm. See Brain Surgeon meets Rocket Scientist ;-)

Other comments:-

May 19, 2013
Nigel, you need to tone it down, too.
I’ve warned both of you once already. This is the second warning. There won’t be a third. To show you I mean business this time, your comments are going into automatic moderation. You two have already wasted more of my time than you’re worth.

Which part of "Can people please stop leaving comments aimed at me, unless it’s an acknowledgement. I don’t want to have to leave any more comments on here – ever." did you not understand?

MI Dawn
May 19, 2013
@Nigel: we responded to the Lappe information. It didn’t prove what you say it proved. Now, if you do have something to say, give the peer-reviewed proof.

Straw man. I didn't say that it proved anything.
Which part of "Can people please stop leaving comments aimed at me, unless it’s an acknowledgement. I don’t want to have to leave any more comments on here – ever." did you not understand?

May 19, 2013
Thank you Orac for your intervention.
The bottom line for Nigel and Lisa is that they, by their vicious unwarranted personal attacks, have drawn unfavorable publicity to themselves and their blogs.

There's no such thing as unfavorable (sic) publicity for my blog, as far as I'm concerned. What you have done, by your vicious, unwarranted, lying and malicious defamatory personal attacks on me, is to draw unfavourable interest from me.

In a place where no federal police turned up today
May 20, 2013
What a pity they both seem to have flounced off without bothering to respond to the questions put to them. I am not surprised though.

Which part of "Can people please stop leaving comments aimed at me, unless it’s an acknowledgement. I don’t want to have to leave any more comments on here – ever." did you not understand?


flip said...

"What a pity you seem to have the same level of intelligence as the above commenters."

What a nice little non sequitur.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

Ah, finally! Someone from "over there" leaves a comment "over here". In what way was my comment aimed at you a non sequitur (it doesn't follow)? It certainly did follow.

I clearly stated "over there" that I had no desire to leave another comment - ever. Even Gorski commented to me after I left that comment!

I must confess to feeling disappointed by your comments - after I had apologised to you. You were perfectly reasonable to me at first. Why did your attitude towards me change?

Cheers, Nige

Nigel Kinbrum said...

I publish all non-spam comments, whether positive or negative. I made it clear that I would never post on that blog ever again.

I felt that there was no possibility of meaningful dialogue there.

Anyway, I'm standing in a field, so now is not a good time for a discussion.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

I'm at a music festival, so it's not convenient to type long replies. My last ever post asked you to not ask me any more questions. Yet you persisted in asking me questions. That's why I made the comment about your intelligence. Got it?

Nigel Kinbrum said...

I'm pursuing Eddie Mitchell, as he has committed libel, malicious defamation and harassment. He has no defence. I'm not currently pursuing anyone else.

flip said...

Posts on other blogs suggest you do have intentions to pursue others.

flip said...

Ah, I see. So it was a non sequitur anyway. I will no longer ask any questions, here or elsewhere of you, since it's clear that you do not want to talk about your ideas to do with vitamins, nor convince me of your viewpoint. Thanks for the no-debate debate.

flip said...

Well, my point was that despite our disagreement, I am thankful at least that you don't censor me, as others have done. We can agree that meaningful dialogue begins with openly publishing comments whose content we don't necessarily agree with.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

You're showing quite a lot of interest in me. I do have intentions, yes!

Nigel Kinbrum said...

No. It totally follows that if you continue to ask me questions when requested to not do so, that casts doubt on either your intelligence or your integrity. Which is it?

You are temporarily white-listed, to speed the flow a bit.

flip said...

So when you said "I'm not currently pursuing anyone else.", you really meant "I'm not currently pursuing anyone else, but I may do so in the future because people out there have criticised me". So you'd agree with me that you're more interested in threatening people's free speech than in actually discussing the evidence?

Nigel Kinbrum said...

There's a big difference between criticism and what lilady has written. If my legal eagles tell me that she has not been libellous, then I will not start proceedings. And vice-versa.

flip said...

I respectfully suggest you spend some time reading:

I don't agree that all of Lilady's comments are criticism towards your ideas, no. I also don't necessarily agree that all insults can or should be sued over. You seem to believe that an insult is a fact, but it's not. It's an opinion. And opinions are usually considered protected speech. I would also further recommend you read about Simon Singh and Brian Deer, who have fought and continue to fight, similar accusations by calling people frauds. Even in the UK, they have won. So even *if* you believe you have been wronged, that doesn't necessarily follow that you would win or are actually in the right.

I am sure in the UK where your libel laws are considerably unfair in laying proof at the defendant's feet, you believe you may have a case. However, I suggest that perhaps suing everyone on the internet for libel is going to make you look like a bully who can't take criticism; and less like likely to make Lilady into anything other than a small flea you're squashing because you don't like being called names. I also suspect that you think you can quash any commentator on any website, no matter where that person actually resides. International boundaries might prevent you from following through.

To be fair: I've been threatened with law suits before for criticising someone on the internet. That person also did their very best to call me worse things on the internet because they hoped that some of it would stick. It hurt me a great deal and I can understand how it would affect you. However, I also learned from that experience three things:

1. That the person who screams "libel" and threatens law suits at the drop of the hat usually has vague reasons for doing so, and is making hollow threats.

2. That the more someone is throwing names at you, the less credible they are. Again, I don't know the background, but to me, Lilady's comments seemed over the top. In this case, I dismissed what she was saying out of hand and instead focused on what you and the others were trying to discuss. I dismissed her credibility in this case. Likewise, the more insults you throw at her, the less credible you sound. Yes indeed, there's a reason why we tell people to grow up and stop using insults as a debate tactic.

3. The Streisand Effect. Learn it, and learn it now.

flip said...

Thank you for white-listing me.

The comment that you quote in your post, which is here on RI:

Was not actually directed at you. The tone, grammar, and words, all make it clear I was directing the comment in general towards the other readers (and lurkers) of that comment thread.

I will allow that if you did come back to the thread, and saw the comment, that I did indeed intend to provoke you into providing a more substantial contribution to the discussion. However I do not see any direct question in my comment to you. In fact, had I asked a question, I would have used a question mark at the end of my sentence, as that's what question marks are for.

Furthermore, although I am neither in the UK nor the US, I do have the ability and right to free speech. You do not have to respond to me on RI, here or anywhere else. Likewise, I have every right to continue to post where, and when, and about what, I please.

This does not show a lack of intelligence or integrity, but rather an unwillingness to submit myself to your narrow-minded concepts of who is allowed to speak and when and to whom. Forgive me for not bowing down to your unspoken laws of "speak when spoken to".

If you don't want to be bothered, don't come to other people's sites and participate in a discussion. Just keep yourself to yourself. (And yes, I get the irony)

Nigel Kinbrum said...

I know the difference between insults, ad hominem and slander/libel, thank you very much. I've given lilady the sharp edge of my tongue/pen.

What I believe is irrelevant. It's what the law believes that counts. In addition, lilady has followed me to other blogs e.g. SBM. That is harassment, a criminal offence in the UK.

I don't care what other people think about me. It's what they write about me that counts.

I didn't expect to get trolled on Gorski's blog. My guard was down. That's why I initially responded to all posts and lost my temper with some commenters. I won't be making that mistake, again.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

You wrote "they both". I interpreted that as meaning Lisa and me. What did you mean?

flip said...

I don't believe that finding publicly available information you have posted on the internet by using a google search is harassment, and I don't believe that it would be held up in a court of law. Please feel free to correct me of this by pointing toward any relevant case law or legislation.

flip said...

Yes, that is who I was referring to. However, if I was going to direct it at you (and/or her) I would have written it as: "What a pity YOU both seem to have flounced off without bothering to
respond to the questions put to YOU. I am not surprised though."

I know Queen's English is not the same as Australian English, but I don't believe the meaning could have been any clearer. It was specifically directed towards the other regulars and lurkers, and tangentially directed towards you and Lisa.

Please do not put words into my mouth. I know what I meant, I know what I typed, and I know that you have completely misunderstood it.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

That's not the problem. See

"Nigel Kinbrum lies." That is libellous. I didn't lie.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

"...tangentially directed towards you and Lisa."
You shouldn't have directed it towards me at 90° or any other angle, for that matter.

flip said...

So now you're moving the goal posts. Which is it? a) She followed you to other blogs, and is therefore harassing you. b) She posted that "you lied" and is therefore harassing you. c) Both.

I will also note the distinct lack of reference to relevant case law or legislation. I am not in the UK, and know little about your laws regarding issues of free speech, so this is a good opportunity to educate me and make me agree with you.

As for the content of her post, I would agree with her. We are not trolls, just vigorous in the pursuit of evidence over assertion. In Lilady's case I would agree that she went over the top. I would not agree that it is worth a law suit though. I certainly would not agree that you would win a case, at least without convincing case law/legislation to back you up. I will agree with her that instead of discussing the paper you initially posted (and dismissed responding comments when posted to you) and focused on insults.

The rest of what she posted seems to be copied directly from your blog and is therefore not worth complaining about.

flip said...

Once again I refer to you my remark that it was MOSTLY directed to others. And that you had left: if you had left, then you would have not had the ittiest bit of an idea that any sort of comment had been left that mentioned you. (I further refer you to my remark about not responding to your narrow-minded concepts of free speech.)

Or are you saying that despite leaving the comment thread you continued to read it as a lurker?

Nigel Kinbrum said...

Now you're really splitting hairs! I read many blogs as a lurker. I think that you know exactly what I meant. Are you familiar with the term "disingenuous"?

flip said...

Oh for... sigh... to save myself the bother: ok, you were right, the comment was directed at you.

Now please read the following carefully: I DO NOT CARE THAT YOU DIDN'T WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE THREAD ANYMORE. I get to write what I want in a world with free speech, and on a site that isn't yours, you have no right to demand that I shut up.

This is fun and all, but I need to go do some work. I will continue tomorrow if you have any further replies.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

Lying about people is libel. Following someone around is harassment. I'm under no obligation to tell you UK libel/defamation/harassment laws. You know where Wikipedia is.

You didn't troll me, although you got snarky at the end. Others definitely trolled me.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

Now please read the following carefully: I DO NOT CARE WHAT YOU CARE.

I didn't demand that you shut up. I said that you seemed to lack intelligence for aiming comments in my general direction after I had asked you to not do so.

I need to get some food!

flip said...

Yeah, see that's your problem. When someone makes an assertion it is up to them to back it up with evidence; not the other way around. This is a basic concept of how science works, and that you refuse to accept it is a pretty good sign that you're not interested in the scientific method.

Secondly, I could indeed look it up on Wikipedia. However, Wikipedia is not a law expert, and it does not offer case law *specific* to this *specific* situation. Further to that, there would be thousands and thousands and thousands of cases in UK courts to do with libel. Trawling through that does not get me one iota closer to what you are relying on to base your conclusions on; it only means I once again am expected to hope that I stumble on what I think you meant, rather than what you actually meant.

You are the one proposing that you are on solid ground; therefore you must have a reason to think you are on solid ground; therefore you must have read relevant legal advice, legislation, or case law, in order to come to that conclusion.

Unless of course, you're just making it up and hoping nobody calls you on the fact that you're making it up.

You are most certainly under an obligation to provide evidence to back up your assertions... that is, if you intend to convince people that rely on evidence to make up their minds about things.

I told you I could be convinced. Telling me to go look it up on Wikipedia is not convincing me of anything, except perhaps that you have a very tenuous grasp of the law based on reading what's on Wikipedia.

I have taken to reading law blogs and case documents for fun recently. I would be in your debt if you could direct me to something on UK libel that is more in depth than Wikipedia.

Lastly: calling someone a liar may be libel. However that does not mean you would outright win. See the word "may". Googling someone's handle or nickname and then following the links is not harassment. If you don't want people googling your name, don't use it as a handle, and don't publicly post anything about yourself. Expecting people to respect some level of privacy which you yourself waived is silly and naive.
I believe you do sincerely feel upset and confronted, however I do not believe that you would win a court case with such arguments.

Once again, you have the opportunity to prove me wrong by pointing to case law which covers the same ground.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

My problem is people reading what I write and passing it through their "weird filters". See
Mis-quoting and Strawman fallacies really grind my gears.

"You are most certainly under an obligation to provide evidence to back up your assertions" Not enough hyperlinks to studies on my blog? I didn't notice hyperlinks to studies in the comments from the trolls.

I leave the legal stuff to my eagles. I'm not discussing it with you. Wiki is just a starting point.

George Henderson said...

Flip, I have read all the comments you've left on Nigel's blog, and there isn't a word of science in any of them. There's a bit of vague hinting at a philosophy of science, that Nigel has supposedly fudged (and that's me reading between the lines) but no analysis of any claim or suggestion that Nigel has actually made or been supposed to make.
If you're one of the sensible ones, as Nigel seems to think you might be, it's easy to see why he won't post on "that" blog again.
Myself, I wonder how Nigel does it. Everywhere he goes he seems to start a fight these days. We are thinking of locking him inside when we go out in future.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

Blimey George! You actually read all of flip's comments? Now that's what I call dedication (or insanity) ;-)

How do I do it? I'm having fun using my newly-rejuvenated brain. All of this fighting improves my mental faculties. It might even improve my singing ;-)

I wrote a very long, very respectful & very blockquoted comment containing no links on SBM, that's been held in moderation (by David Gorski, presumably) for over 12 hours. I'm wondering how much longer to leave it before emailing Steven Novella with an official complaint about David Gorski's behaviour. Hmm... Decisions, decisions. Is it a Bank Holiday Monday in the US?

flip said...

That's because Nigel has not posted anything for me to discuss. I asked him repeatedly on RI and here to post evidence to back up his assertions. Once again, there is a failing or unwillingness to realise that in science, if you make an assertion YOU have to provide the evidence to back it up. I have not proposed any sort of assertion - indeed I made a point of saying that I have no opinion one way or the other on vitamins (with the exception that I doubt that they can cure major illnesses). This is what's known as the null hypothesis, and doesn't require me to put forward any evidence.

As a tangible example: I asked Nigel to put forward some case law as a way to defend his position that he would win a law suit about this 'libel' and 'harassment'. He refused to do so. Am I then expected to go trawling through thousands and thousands of suits for the UK (a country I don't reside in and don't know anything about their laws) to prove his assertions wrong, only then to be told "no, no, that's not the case law I'm relying on". I then go and try and dig up another example, only to be told "no no, my legal eagles are relying on something else".

If your answer to that is yes, then I respectfully suggest that "science: you're doing it backwards" will be my reply.

Nigel has been given plenty of opportunities to discuss actual science. In fact, if you had bothered to read any of my comments properly at all, you would have realised that the comment quoted in this ACTUAL POST was about how Nigel insisted on AVOIDING ANY DISCUSSION OF THE SCIENCE AT ALL.

I would be perfectly happy to discuss science. I've been ASKING for him to discuss it. I've been wanting to read the papers he's basing his conclusions on. (I will admit to not wanting to trawl through his blog to find them though, for two reasons: 1. I don't want to be accused of picking something which is not relevant or not what Nigel is relying on - which is why assertions need to be backed up by the person making the claim and not the other way around. 2. I have lots of other things to do and need to maximise my time spent on this)

I want to be convinced. But when one half of the group involved in the discussion continues to go on (and on and on) about other people's bad attitudes and the other half continues to ask them to just please for the love of spaghetti post some science... Well, I'm sorry, but the conversation is like a rowing crew with only one side pulling on the oars.

flip said...


I said: "Suffice to say that I suspect that, like many other people who come along, you’ve hit a merry-go-round and they’re trying to get you to respond to their questions."

I am done. I am not convinced that you are capable of suing anyone, especially someone residing in a different country to you, and even more so because they reside in the USA, home of the brave and land of the anti-SLAPP legislation. I am not convinced you truly want to discuss science, and I am now in the camp of those who think you are a crank. You sit on the same topic, refuse to post evidence, call names, scream "law suit" at the drop of the hat, and are completely unwilling it seems to consider that other people have a right to say whatever they damn please even when asked not to. I'm sincerely sorry that my ability to use my freedom of speech is so offensive to you.

I have work and a life, and as far as I'm concerned there's no point in talking to you any further as you refuse to move the conversation in any forwards direction.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

Wrong, again! I back up everything that I say with links to studies on my blog. Gorski censored me on RI so that I couldn't post comments containing links to my blog as they went into moderation for many hours. So, don't blame me for not putting links on RI.

RE Legal matters: The Letter of Claim to Mitchell has strict instructions to not publicise any of the information within. I will not jeopardise my case to suit you.

flip said...

"Not enough hyperlinks to studies on my blog?"

Once again, you're refusing to comprehend what I wrote. I do not have the time to trawl your blog and read EVERY SINGLE post and every single link. To make this plain and easy: because neither of us have all the time in the world to read all the papers and discuss everything, please pick your TOP 3 papers, the ones that best backs up your assertions. Then we can discuss those. But otherwise, I am busy, you are busy, and for the sake of not wanting to put words into your mouth, it would be easier for you to direct me towards your best evidence. You are more familiar with your blog than I am; you are also more familiar with your arguments than I am. The person who makes the claim needs to back it up, and I have little time to spend reading everything.

"I leave the legal stuff to my eagles. They know the law inside-out. I'm not discussing my case with you. Wiki is just a starting point."

Then allow me to remain unconvinced that you would win any law suit based on the fact that: you are attempting to sue across international borders; you are attempting to sue an American; you are attempting to sue people based on vague assertions of libel and harassment; you are attempting to sue people based on such low standards of libel and harassment that it's unlikely you would convince a jury of such. Feel free to ask me to eat my hat when and if you succeed.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

What you believe is of zero relevance. I am currently pursuing someone in the UK. That is a fact. I don't know how difficult it is to pursue someone in the US. When the Bank Holiday weekend is over, I will ask my solicitor (legal eagles sounds much more exciting) the following questions:-

1) Is there anything actionable on RI?
2) If so, is it worth pursuing?
3) If so, who do I pursue?

Anyway, your whitelist status has now been rescinded. Thanks for dropping in. Don't let the door hit you on the way out!