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GumGuts t1_jduhono wrote

You have to be the gate-keeper here. I think the resolute and ultimate fact you're looking for in these subjects just doesn't exist. Weigh what you learn against your conscience and experiences.

For example, my favorite nutrition advice ever is from Micheal Pollan's "In Defense of Food," that ends with the simple thesis, "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

There are thick volumes of antivaxx books chalked full of citations. I steer clear of them, because the medical community has come to the resounding consensus that vaccines are safe. If that doesn't tell you the state of medical science, I don't know what does.

In terms of psychology, there is rarely an idea or a law that can be pointed to as being absolute. Most of it is just what works, and that's very often different for different people. But I do know the protocol for someone experiencing an onset of schizophrenia is to try mood stabilizers first, and if that doesn't work, switch to antipsychotics.

I recently read "Just like someone without mental illness only more so" by Mark Vonnegut. In it, he asks rhetorically, "Whats the difference between someone who recovers [from schizophrenia] and someone who doesn't? The answer is not much."

Think of this all as exploring, not fact-checking. Often I'll meet someone who read a shady health blog that presented an alluring possibility, and the person goes head over heels and declares they've found the holy grail. It just doesn't work like that.

It brings to mind Atomic Habits by James Clear. He presents a simple formula for fostering new habits. I've heard it worked for many people. Is it scientifically backed? Not necessarily, but you can try it out and see for yourself. If it works, it appears Clear knew what he was talking about.

If all of this is too exhausting, read some poetry or philosophy. The human heart craves truth just as much as the brain, but only our heart sings it.


felix_using_reddit OP t1_jduj58b wrote

> because the medical community has come to the resounding consensus that vaccines are safe. If that doesn't tell you the state of medical science, I don't know what does.

That’s exactly the kind of knowledge that I‘m looking for. Things that are agreed upon by a majority of experts in the field. I think for most topics the majority of experts have already come to agree on lots of viable knowledge. So I just have to find someone reliable who tells me what those things are that are widely agreed upon. But I reckon there’s no easy way to find a book that credibly does so I‘ll have to use my critical thinking skills.


GumGuts t1_jdujwia wrote

It's a hornets nest in there. Vaccines specifically, you could get trapped in an endless web of definitive sounding self-proclaimed gurus, all privy to some deep, dark secret that no one else knows about. Some of them even have "MD" attached to their name, making it all the more confusing.

I came to the conclusion that vaccines are safe, not by a book or article, but by witnessing the silence of the medical community. If adverse reactions were happening at the rate antivaxxers were saying, the entire medical establishment would be clamoring about it from the roof tops. Instead, nothing, and that nothing speakers louder than any reactionary website or YouTube video or book.

Moreover, I know the medical community is very aware of and responsive to any anomalies in vaccine programs. That none of those alarms sounded was very telling.


felix_using_reddit OP t1_jdukbbd wrote

Yeah being dumb sadly is nothing that a PhD makes disappear there are some really delusional people in academia as well I remember a story about a guy (PhD in biology) that claimed viruses don’t exist. Basically he said that he‘ll give anyone that can prove the existence of viruses to him $1,000 someone then linked him 6 peer-reviewed articles that do just that and after he (suprise!!) refused to give out the money the other guy took it to court and the dr. was forced to give out the reward. Lol Anyway such stories are funny but I don’t think I‘m at serious risk of falling prey to some strange people suggesting delusional conspiracies antivaxx or whatever else.. I trust myself to be able to see through that


GumGuts t1_jdukru3 wrote

Hah, yeah, I think I've heard of him. One of those Terrain Model folk. It's a mad, mad world.

I don't mean to dissuade you from thinking there isn't a consensus on many things. Like the mood stabilizers and antipsychotics, there are things that are prevalent in many disciplines.

The books these are in may not be as glamorous as the shiny, edgy books with bold claims. One way is to find out what they're talking about: how does a psychotherapist help a patient? What's the day in the life of a nutritionist? When doctors do talk about vaccines, what do they say? How do Olympic athletes train?

Getting a sense of something may be just as, if not more, important than factual knowledge.

Like I said, think of it as exploring, not fact-checking.


videovillain t1_jdxrc2i wrote

You do that, not someone else. You literally can count the amount of times a publication was cited and then check for what type of citation. You can literally count the amount of articles published by an author and the citations of each work, etc. there is no way to just “find the one person who already knows all this”

Sure there are plenty of people who have done it, but you can’t “vet” them unless they are also making peer reviewed publications, so you’ve gotta do it yourself anyway as if they are publishing, you’ll get to there content by doing the above anyway.