YESTERDAY HENRY PUBLISHED a link to “Reckless Endangerment” in the comments section of one of his posts, with his complaint that “…as usual, my case is not being addressed, it’s just notpicking [sic] trivialities.”
If you have come here after following that link – welcome, and I hope you find this a useful resource in untangling the knotted, snarled mess of Henry’s thesis on HIV and AIDS. Henry is always complaining that no-one has seriously addressed the substance of his "arguments" ever since he first began publishing them around four years ago, and I am glad that he feels flattered that some random Snout with a laptop feels strongly enough about their dissemination on the web to have a go.
Now, I do not expect my efforts to make the slightest difference to Henry’s personal belief system or that of his most rusted-on supporters: my intended audience is those who have come across his musings on the net or elsewhere, and are wondering if there is anything to his views, and if not, where has he gone wrong.
As for the accusation of, well I assume he meant to say “nit-picking trivialities”, please judge for yourself as the posts on this site unfold over the coming months.
Consider if highlighting his mistaken assertions that “very many HIV positive people spontaneously revert to HIV negative” and “very few HIV positive people ever become ill” are nit-picking at minor or “trivial” misapprehensions, or, are these are major factual howlers, foundational to his later epidemiologically based arguments?
Or is his claim that “…blacks and Hispanics suffering from HIV disease live longer than Asians, Native Americans, or whites suffering from HIV disease” a trivial error based on a minor misreading of his data-source, or is it an obvious blunder, and the basis of about half his argument in his recent paper “Incongruous Age Distributions of HIV Infections and Deaths from HIV Disease: Where Is the Latent Period Between HIV Infection and AIDS” ?
Or what do you make of his claimed starting point for his musings on HIV/AIDS, the relatively equal sex distribution of HIV positive teenaged military recruits in the US c1985-9? Is it really “unbelievable”, or does this simply demonstrate Henry Bauer's readiness to fall back on the informal logical fallacy the Argument from Incredulity?
The problem with Henry’s thesis is not a single factual misconception, or a minor logical slip-up, or an isolated misreading of data, or a solitary and inconsequential failure to grasp the significance of a particular study finding in the overall picture. His thesis consists of multiple examples of each of these faults, often serious, knotted tightly together, and presented in a prose style which superficially could give the appearance of erudition to someone who has neither the time, background, or patience to critically scrutinise the content of his argument.
AN OBVIOUS QUESTION about this blog is “why bother?” After all, attention is what most “AIDS dissidents” crave – to many, even negative evaluation is better than being ignored entirely. This is a difficult question, but my decision to set up this site was based on seeing Henry’s ideas posted uncritically in mainstream web threads, and finding a lack of net resources that specifically deal with his arguments, which are at times as complex and opaque as they are flawed.
Unfortunately, to unpack the matted mess of Henry’s theory requires some knot-picking to begin with so the loose ends are easily identifiable. In the process I hope to clearly demonstrate the repeating patterns of errors that occur throughout Henry’s “work” on HIV/AIDS. There is a purpose to my choice of what order to approach each flawed element of Henry’s thesis, so as to make my critique flow coherently, while allowing each post to stand alone as much as possible. Please be patient, and check in again from time to time. I have an offline life and a day job (that doesn’t, incidentally, involve collecting payola from Big Pharma or the CDC).
It has become necessary to moderate comments, after one persistent troll from the “dissident” camp decided to flood a thread with a string of six successive posts, tediously repeating the same denialist canards over and over. This is not, I repeat, yet another site for denialists to post their misconceptions and misinformation, and I don’t have the time or inclination to address every barely-coherent tangential denialist stream-of-consciousness rant, particularly when their points - such as they are - have been repeatedly dealt with elsewhere. Other comments, including critical responses, that are succinct, intelligible, and to the point of the subject at hand will be more favorably received.
"And going to the university and the University of Florence in particular, it came out that Professor Ruggiero – that’s myself – was in absolute terms the Best Professor in the Entire University... and not only in biology and medicine but overall, concerning all the professors of the entire university" - Dr Marco Ruggiero, Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Florence.
"Derrida's method consisted in demonstrating the forms and varieties of this originary complexity, and their multiple consequences in many fields. He achieved this by conducting thorough, careful, sensitive, and yet transformational readings of philosophical and literary texts, to determine what aspects of those texts run counter to their apparent systematicity (structural unity) or intended sense (authorial genesis)."
- Wikipedia: Jaques Derrida (and also copy-pasted to 2,520 other websites)
"I have long ago given up looking at anything from Snout... He has no credentials at all to discuss the things he talks about, yet feels free to denigrate a long-established, peer-reviewed Italian journal, and highly competent, even distinguished scientists and scholars. If anyone prefers to take his opinion rather than mine, I think that shows rather poor judgement in view of the curriculum vitae posted on my website and the anonymity and missing C.V. of Snout…"
- Henry H. Bauer. Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, Science Studies and Dean Emeritus of Arts and Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.