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The Weaponization of Debate

Ten years ago, while still a relatively fresh academic, I was invited onto the Joe Rogan podcast to debate Peter Duesberg, a biologist who was infamously claiming that the HIV virus is not the cause of AIDS. I declined the invitation for several reasons, not least of which was that I was not comfortable granting credibility to a fringe and dangerous theory.  (more…)

What Is This Thing Called ‘Evidence’

Back in 2013, I received a humbling email. I was being invited to be a guest on “The Joe Rogan Experience”. Unlike other guests who are brought on for a free-wheeling three hour conversation, however, I was being invited to engage in a specific task: to debate a man named Dr. Peter Duesberg, who was famous for refusing to accept the causal link between infection with the HIV virus and contracting the disease AIDS.

At the time, I was a fan of Rogan’s show. I appreciated his open format, his conversation style, his selection of guests, his open-mindedness, and his intellectual humility. I was also a fan of Rogan the comedian, martial arts commentator, the marijuana liberalization activist, and Rogan the navigator of various self-development strategies about which I would otherwise not know.

Fast forward 10 years and Rogan is now a media behemoth, his podcast attracting more listeners and viewers than does CNN. In the era of COVID, the show seems to have embraced and championed some troubling anti-science positions, has platformed some truly rancid characters, seems to revel in amplifying some tiresome talking points from a particular political ideology, and Rogan himself has made some public statements that make me uncomfortable. (more…)

Separated At Birth, part 165

For part 164, click here.

For the whole series, click here.

The new improved Vince McMahon:


My dog, in disguise:

COVID-19: The Looming Challenge of Long COVID

by Raywat Deonandan, PhD
Epidemiologist & Associate Professor
University of Ottawa
(I add my credentials to these COVID-19 blog posts in case they get shared. I want readers to know that my opinion is supposedly an educated and informed one)

In 2020, Harvard economist Dr David Cutter estimated that the cost to American society of so-called Long COVID would be a staggering $2.6 trillion, representing 17% of GDP.  For comparison, total US health care spending historically is around 18% of GDP.

This post-viral condition is poised to be one of, if not the, most impactful health conditions for coming years and possibly decades.  Some believe that the pandemic is over. (It’s not.) But COVID will continue to render its horrors upon us for some years to come.

Later today, I will join Fahad Razak and Jennifer Frontera on a panel discussion on TVOntario’s The Agenda, about some of the challenges posed by Long COVID. In preparation for that session, I’ve decided to briefly jot down a summary of what is known about this syndrome. (more…)

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