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Showing posts from January 29, 2010

Science & Libel

There's been quite a lot of talk in the media recently about the relationship between Science, Libel Law, Alternative Medicine and Evidence.  It's mostly in relation to the experiences of Simon Singh and others who have been sued in the UK for saying things like:
The British Chiropractic Association claims that their members can help treat children with colic, sleeping and feeding problems, frequent ear infections, asthma and prolonged crying, even though there is not a jot of evidence.The Chiropractic Association in the UK took great offence at this for reasons I can't comprehend and decided to sue Dr Singh for rather a large sum of money.

Now, here's what I think about this. First there really is little or no evidence that chiropractic is any better than physiotherapy for treating back pain.  In fact, there appears to be real evidence that it's less effective (and in some rare cases, dangerous).  Further, many unscrupulous chiropractors claim that their treatments…


I've not used this space to talk about what I do for a living before, so I think today is a good day to tell you a bit about that.

I'm a Software Engineer, working mainly as a Java/J2EE programmer/analyst.  I'm also a contractor, which means I get to switch jobs every 3-6 months.  There are many good and bad things about this arrangement.

First the good:

The pay is certainly better.  I earn more in a week, than I would earn as a permanent in 3.  Maybe even more, depending on the rate.  I get to work on something different every few months.  No endless maintenance!Less office politics.  I don't have to care if Eric's not talking to Lucy because she said he was incompetent. Or smells bad (this happens in every office).But there are downsides If I don't work, I don't get paid.  So : holidays, sick leave, bereavement, paternity and anything else - no pay.Interviews every few months.  Jeese, I'm sick of interviews.  I get hired one in every three interviews (a…

El Estudiante

We saw our final film at the Mexican Film Festival in Wellington on Tuesday.  It was El Estudiante (The Student) and was the story of a retired man who decides to go to university in the beautiful city of Guanajuato, which was one of the real stars of the film.

Really, it was about his effect on the young people there, and their effect on him.  Although the values of the young were different than the old man and his wife, there was more that they had in common, than separated them.

It's a very pleasant, uplifting film, and I think it'll be something I'll look out for on DVD.