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Archive for August 10th, 2008

Latest blurb for DGFA

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All being well, this is the text that will actually appear on the cover!

Why is it that, time and again, intelligent, educated people end up
falling for ideas that turn out on closer examination to be nonsense?

We live in a supposedly rational age, yet crazy notions seem increasingly mainstream. New Age peddlers claim to cure Aids with vitamin tablets. Media gatekeepers stoke panic and regurgitate corporate press releases in the name of ‘balance’. Wild-eyed men in sandwich boards blame it all on CIA… Even the word ‘sceptic’ has been appropriated by cranks and conspiracy theorists bent on rewriting history and debunking sound science.

But while it may be easier than ever for nonsense to spread, it’s never been simpler to fight back….

Don’t Get Fooled Again offers practical tools for cutting through the claptrap and unravelling the spin – tackling propaganda, the psychology of deception, pseudo-news, bogus science, the weird cult of “Aids reappraisal”, numerous conspiracy theories (including the one about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq), and much more.

Richard Wilson’s book is user-friendly, enjoyable, shot through with polemic – and argues forcibly for a positive solution. Don’t be a cynic – be a sceptic!

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Written by Richard Wilson

August 10, 2008 at 5:23 pm

What’s the harm in HIV/AIDS denial?

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www.whatstheharm.net is a website devoted to highlighting the damage that can be done by bogus ideas.

“Not all information is created equal”, say the site’s creators. “Some of it is correct. Some of it is incorrect. Some of it is carefully balanced. Some of it is heavily biased. Some of it is just plain crazy. It is vital in the midst of this deluge that each of us be able to sort through all of this, keeping the useful information and discarding the rest.”

The website focuses on cases where a lack of critical thinking has had deadly results. One of the key case studies is a grim roll-call of HIV-positive AIDS denialists who have died after deciding to stop taking the anti-retroviral drugs that could have saved their lives.

In “Don’t Get Fooled Again” I look in detail at the roots of AIDS denialism, and the impact that it has had – not only on its adherents, but on the thousands who have been affected by the stranglehold that this bogus theory gained over AIDS policy in South Africa.