Thursday, September 18, 2008

The smoking police.

As the pain in my throat subsides, the temptation to have just one cigar increases.

It's not so much addiction. I've been non-smoking (not by choice) for long enough to have flushed that away. It's more a case of... I like cigars.

There is also a definite element of sheer, perverse, bloody-minded disobedience involved.

Read this and tell me I am over reacting. If you say 'Yes, Romulus, you are over reacting' I will smack you one.

It's not just the patronising, officious, overbearing and dictatorial attitude of these people that has sent my blood pressure into dangerous territory. It's the appalling pseudoscience behind it.

I get told, all the time, that hunting for ghosts is pseudoscience. It is not. Hunting for ghosts with equipment that is not proven to find ghosts, and pretending to find evidence which is not evidence at all, is pseudoscience. Science is a method, not a subject of study. Any subject can be approached with either a scientific or a pseudoscientific approach. It is the approach, the experimental design, that determines whether the study is scientific or not. The subject of the study is not pseudoscience. The subject is not science at all. Science is only in the method of study.

In this case, our idiot government insist that smokers in the street must be shown how much carbon monoxide they inhale.

In. The. Street.

Where they will inhale traffic fumes full of carbon monoxide, as will the non-smokers. Non-smokers will not be tested. Only smokers who, in the street, are guaranteed to have carbon monoxide in their lungs. So will everyone else.

The experimental hypothesis here should be 'In a particular environment, the lungs of smokers will contain more carbon monoxide than those of non-smokers'.

The experimental method would be to test smokers and non-smokers equally within a street, within a limited time range. A balanced experiment where overall, there are equal numbers of smokers and non-smokers exposed to the same amount of street with the same average traffic flow. That will show whether there is a difference due to smoking.

Yet all they plan to do is to show smokers that they have carbon monoxide in their lungs and so drum up business for their anti-smoking classes. They plan to do this on the street so that every single test will definitely be positive. There is no control group.

You want pseudoscience? Look to the government. They are the experts in this, not researchers into subjects you don't happen to like.

I still can't smoke. Perhaps I won't, but things like this definitely won't help.

3 comments:

Southern Writer said...

I feel for you. It's one thing to try to quit if you want to. It's quite another to quit when you don't want to.

Check out the verification word I got:

puffjig

Romulus Crowe said...

I'm still quit, and my throat is pain free. Every newspaper is filled with stories that would turn the Pope to drink and cigars though.

Normal service is resuming. Gradually.

Dr. Brainiac said...

You've got to be joking. Great waddling twats...

love the verification word:
oiofy git

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