Jonathan:

What about the structure I posted yesterday, March 31?  Dead silence on this suggestion so far.  Could be modified of course.

Larry Romsted

All:

I have been reading the exchanges on whether HIV=AIDS or not.  So far the discussion has been almost totally about the discussion and not about the evidence.  I, like probably others on this list, am not expert in this area of science nor will I be anytime soon.  I am an academic chemist working in colloid and surface chemistry and I too have to keep my “financial underpinnings” going just to continue to do my research—and to avoid (successfully so far) taking money from corporate interests.  Occupies much of my time and the remainder is devoted to anti war work.

Anyway, I would really appreciate a discussion about the scientific evidence supporting HIV=AIDS or HIV does not equal AIDS.  I cannot take the time to review and digest the literature on this question myself, but I would read with real interest a well written summary of the evidence that included critical sources (a few that are not too long) that support each position.

What I kept hearing from each side is: you go first and I will respond (I suspect hoping that the other side will not do the initial academic slogging).

So I recommend:

  1. Each side write a paper (5-10 pages with selected references, say max of 10) and submit the paper to the other side by an agreed upon date.
  2. Each side then write a response (2-3 pages) to the other and submit the paper and the response to the list at a later agreed upon date.
  3. The list digests the information, discusses and votes by some later agreed upon date.
  4. The strongest position (or a synthesis) becomes the position of “Science-for-the-People.”

Good Idea?

Larry Romsted



On 01/04/07 8:59 AM, "Jonathan Campbell" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

I did not say that I would not ever produce any position papers. I merely stated that the debate was one-sided, that Balter did not offer anything that HE has written, so it seemed unfair at the outset to demand that WE produce one for HIS review. Under those conditions, I said that I was not willing to participate. Balter promoted a position paper written by someone else, and so have I.

Jonathan

----- Original Message -----
 
From:  Michael Balter <mailto:[log in to unmask]>  
 
To: [log in to unmask]  
 
Sent: Sunday, April 01, 2007 7:15 AM
 
Subject: Re: when are appeals to  authority ok?
 

I for one find Herb's history very interesting and the lesson  he points to the correct one.

I have been mercifully traveling and away  from the computer that past day, so let us recapitulate where we are. When it  became clear that the challenges to the HIV hypothesis were not going away on  this list, I proposed that those making them put forward what they thought was  their strongest argument and that I would then respond to it. If and only if  this exchange was useful and satisfactory, did I propose that we consider  continuing the exchange over other arguments against HIV=AIDS. Mitchel jumped  at this and said that there were only about 4-5 main arguments anyway, which  is true. I take this as a sign of Mitchel's honesty whether I agree with him  or not. What we were then treated to was a series of smokescreens from  Jonathan, and what seems like a refusal to have the debate on these terms even  though Mitchel and I had already agreed it was a good way to go. Jonathan said  that I should be the one to write a major treatise, and what they would do is  post Mae's article or articles. But I had already done that with the NIAIDS  link to a lengthy article to which they had not responded. That is why I  proposed the solution I did, thinking it would be easier for everyone  involved, including the poor list members who must sift through it all.  

Again, these conditions, to which Mitchel initially agreed, are the  only ones under which I will participate. The consensus scientific is that HIV  causes AIDS, despite notable exeptions (some of whom, like Lynn Margulis whom  I gather has been invoked, no nothing about the subject). It is parallel to  the debate over global warming, where there is a consensus and then there are  dissidents. This did not start off by me posting articles proving that HIV  caused AIDS, but by Jonathan and Mitchel posting dissident stuff, so I think  it is fair to ask them to back up with points with scientific argument and for  me to respond.

I don't want to say that Jonathan has thrown up this  smokescreen because he can't come up with the goods, but all he has to do is  prove that suspicion wrong is agree what Mitchel has twice agreed was a good  idea.\

best, Michael

 
On 4/1/07, herb fox  <[log in to unmask]>  wrote:

For the record.  There never was  an attempt by the October League or the CPML to "take over" SftP.   There was a caucus within SftP "The Unity Caucus" of diverse persons who  wanted SftP to take an explicit anti-capitalist, more-or-less Marxist  position.  I was a leading member of that group (It was not a group of  "outsiders."  For example I was the convenor of the first meeting of  SftP when it tansformed from SESPA and the one who with Britta Fischer  produced the first issue of the magazine).  Some of the members of that  caucus resolved that, if SftP would not move to where the caucus thought it  should go, they would join a "revolutionary" group and leave SftP.   That is why the Unity Caucus more-or-less disappeared.  I certainly  believe today that it was ill-advised for the persons who participated in  the Unity Caucus, myself included, to manifest their need to be associated  with a "revolutionary" group by attempting to transform SftP.  To the  best of my recollection about 1/2 dozen participants in the Unity Caucus did  become members of the October League, myself included.  That was after  the struggle in SftP and resulted in many of those persons taking on factory  jobs, leaving the organization, and dropping their focus on Science.   (Note that by leaving science to work in factories, persons who could have  increased the radical presence in science did not.)

Science for the  People came into existence through the radicalizing transformation of SESPA,  an organization of scientists (and very few engineers), brought about by the  infusion of  angry students in the Boston area (notably Al Weinrub,  Larry Beeferman, David Jhirad.  It had in its ranks many non-scientists  who rallied to the call for science for the people.  One of its  programs was TAP (Technical Assistance Project) which among other things  helped the Black Panthers in setting up health clinics etc.  It also  worked at unionizing technicians.  The work of breaking down the  barriers betweeen scientists and non-scentists and having non-scientists  actively participating ceased to be a main focus after the departure of the  persons associated with the Unity Caucus.  Notable exceptions were the  work of George Salzman and Maurice Bazin (who continues to work with  indigenous people in Brazil) and the work of Jon Beckwith with public school  teachers.  It appears to me that in the end SftP became more of an  organization of scientists communicating with scientists and mainly a  publisher of the magazine.

There is a lesson here for the present  discussion on this list serve.  The "revolutionary fervor" and  insistence on a narrowed set of principles by the Unity Caucus and the  almost inevitable split of that substantial group of persons away from the  organization upset the balance that could have maintained a broader  organization.  The transformation of society requires a transformation  of consciousness that eventually becomes dominant in the majority of the  population.  That is a very long process that cannot be brought about  by shouting radical ideas that are alien and alienating to the very persons  that must become the transformers of society.  What is needed is an  active organization with a broad base united around a minimum set of  principles that can and will become more focussed and radical over time, but  only because the whole organization moves towards a more radical analysis as  the collective experience teaches its necessity.  The problem with the  pissing contests on this listserve is not that people make ad hominem  attacks or any similar critique; it is that the listserve become less  and less relevant to the task that all must unite around, namely, the  building through struggle of a critical consciousness among all the  people.  Our special responsibility is to contribute according to our  particular capability, namely, science.  That is not happening for the  most part.  Apparently most of us express our political conscience by  participating in other organizations.  It saddens me that there is no  active, broad-based SftP organization.  Were there one, the discussion  on this list serve would be quite different. I am confident that there will  be such an organization in the not-too-distant future; but it does not  appear likely that we on this listserve will be its initiators. More likely  a bunch of young people struggling to realize science fo the people will  look at us for what we are in the main--an ineffective bunch of nit-pickers  who are committed more to what is correct science than to organizing to make  the transformations in society that will result in science serving all the  people.
herb fox

PS.
I am not one who is going to quit the  listserve or block out any participant; I find it very entertaining and do  learn things from it.
h f


Carrol Cox wrote:  
Eric Entemann wrote:
  
 
later by some members of the
October League, soon to become CPML, who were in the Boston chapter of SftP
(and elsewhere, I would suppose).  Those were quite contentious times.  SftP
did outlive the CPML.  

    
That's a new bit of information for me. The CPML was a mixed bag. They
could be pretty obnoxious, but there were also some very good people in
the organization.

Carrol