July 16, 2008

Caveat Lector

"Let the reader beware."

I am warming you up with a little Latin on purpose. Not to make me look smart, although if it does that is awesome, because I usually don’t look all that smart. I figure you know that.

I assume everyone reading anything I write knows to beware because I wrote it, but I am not talking about just my silly stuff. Get this: You can’t believe everything you read, in a book, in the newspaper or even on the Internet. That is good advice, particularly for the science-like stuff. I am not saying don’t read it. On the contrary I think it is very important to read stuff if for no other reason than so that you learn to get a feel for the good, the bad and the ugly.

I post a lot of stuff under the tag “From the Newswire.” I post stuff that I find interesting. A lot of it, as some of my fellow bloggers are kind enough to point out is pie in the sky small study stuff . I think it good to stay current and staying current is how one develops an appropriate BS sensor.

A lot of reporting and reporting based on other reporters reports no what they read and maybe didn't really understand falls into a trap of over simplification. Sadly folks can buy into that over simplification and hold it dear. I think the best way of avoiding that trap is reading a lot and being both curious and skeptical.

“Diabetes” is a trap. The press doesn’t know the difference between T1 and T2 any better than most of us did before diagnosis. There is lots of reporting that would be a lot better if it made the distinction. In point of fact we can all benefit from more accuracy.

Not that I am all that accurate myself. This site isn’t YT1DMV. Mostly because it sounds stupid and isn't a ridiculously simple play on the ever popular Your Mileage May Vary. So here I am ranting about what the press calls diabetes and I am guilty of the same at my own site.

We all know the T1 T2 particular lack of accuracy but what about the others. Say a book on how a low to no carb diet is really the key in diabetes (pick a type) control or the study of say vitamin D.

Here is a wonderful article that goes into great detail on study from which all those vitamin D articles sprung. (By the way the articles uses actual Latin to look smart.) Hopefully we were all taking them with a grain of salt to start with.

So what is the Latin for: Look out for simple answers to a complex problems?

2 comments:

tmana said...

"So what is the Latin for: Look out for simple answers to a complex problems?"

TANSTAAFL

("There ain't no such thing as a free lunch")

Eric Link said...

I agree w/ your post - buyer beware!

As far as Vitamin D, there are some flawed studies I'm sure but also some good research showing increased Vitamin D in children reduces the % who later get Diabetes.

For anyone interested in more info, here is a detailed post talking about some of those studies...
http://challengediabetes.diabetech.net/2007/09/19/vitamin-d-for-defense-against-diabetes/

http://adc.bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/93/6/512