Saturday, December 27, 2014
I Think You'll Find it's a Bit More Complicated Than That by Ben Goldacre
A collection of mostly fairly short critical and skeptical essays. Most of them have been published on Goldcare’s column on Guardian (apparently the best newspaper in Britain). There were a few pretty random and not so readable or interesting ones (like a foreword to a book about small railroads – what did that have to do with this book?), but most of the essays were very good, even when some of them concerned pretty local details like some intricacies of NHS, while many have wider interest. Especially interesting were a couple articles about the “Medical Hypothesis” journal, the chosen journal where the Finnish scammer, Valkee, publishes its’ “studies” about how an ear light “cures” seasonal fatigue. The quality of that journal seems to be even worse than I imagined. Certainly there would be a dire need for a similar journalist in Finland, who is capable of critique stupid misuses of numbers, statistics and mathematics in journalism and in “public” science reporting which is made government and other official or semi-official organizations. Bad reporting and poor grasp of numbers is truly international. As a whole this is not as good and interesting book as “Bad Science” was, but very interesting one anyway. The book contains exhaustive references, so many them that I was surprised when the actual book ended – as according to the reading app there was still a significant percentage of the book left.