Monday, January 31, 2011

Great concepts.

Recently, I was reading....Ok that is fake, I am reading all the time. Sometimes tripe, sometimes good stuff and sometimes just things I have made up out of my head. It works, it gets my mind off things and onto better ground. Last night, after a weekend + with the flu I was perusing a Jim Henson book. It is one I have always liked...."Its not easy being Green" and there are a number of inspirational quotes in it. Many are probably not worth notating, but this one hit home.
It is from a cultural hero, Kermit the frog, "Here's some simple advice: Always be yourself. Never take yourself too seriously. And beware of advice from experts, pigs, and members of Parliment."

Now although I doubt I would be taking any advice from a pig, or even a member of Parliment (don't know any) there are things to be said for "experts".....firstly, I am sceptical of most self proclaimed experts. There are few that really KNOW what they are talking about.
Our first experience with an "expert" came in the form of a doctor. She told us a lot of flap about our boy. She didn't know a thing about Austism, or Aspergers or Pervasive Develeopmental Disorder (we were told it doesn't exist). We were also informed that we should do some things, like put our child in a home and forget we ever had him.

She was an expert and a doctor to boot. Put it this way, if I bowed down and listened to every doctor that ever told me something aobut my kid there would be a row of bottles leading to h_ll and back with different directions. We don't put much store in doctors.....at all. We do put store in the ones we have on our team now....but if I really have to hear about how some expert is going to tell me what to do with my kid, I am likely to tell them to stuff it and come see my kid for themselves.

Now this is an unpopular view I am certain. Defense of doctors would go up world wide if anyone actually read this blog outside of family and friends (all of whom are tolerant). I think what I am trying to get at here is that we can't always listen to experts. If we did, where would our sense of experimentation go? How would we justify just stopping and doing exactly what an expert told us and no more.

We can't. We won't.

For example, I know there is a ton of support for Andrew Wakefield, the guy who messed up his research materials for his case study. Frankly, I have little patience with lax research. Maybe because I do research professionally myself, I cannot see how excusing a poor job and not doing a complete bit of work really helps anyone. Doing it faster doesn't mean doing it better....it just makes a mess. It bothers me that this guy didn't do his homework correctly, what was he getting paid for anyway, underwater basket weaving naked or something. Whatever, it was he really should be putting his due to society and not be used as a positive research example, he makes all professional researchers look like we have studied in garbage bins....or that people can do it better themselves, which would explain why the economy is in the fix it is in. All these people doing their own reseach and mucking it up so badly......research is not about feelings, it isn't and although there are some good points about MMR and other things, if it is true that Wakefields false reports are motivated by the financial sector, that is really beyond anything an ethical researcher would do. Faking any kind of research or pushing it to one venue or another is not only harmful to everyone, it is bad for the society as a whole. IT makes all of us with kids on the spectrum look bad....either we are seen as grasping at straws or just not being responsible parents. Either way it is just not a cool thing for any researcher of ANY kind to do.....back to the quote from Kermit about the experts and pigs....makes sense doesn't it?

Oh and don't jump all over my butt about this....lax work is lax work and if we got paid for doing a bad job then the worst of us would be working at the highest level possbile positions (put in a call to Donald Trump and Oprah OK, I am still looking for regular FT work)

Oh and if any of you contact Andrew Wakefield please let him know that not everything you read from google is real btw.