Big….”Whatever”

“Big pharma is only out for profits and wants to keep us all sick.”

or…

“Big agriculture is complete unregulated.”

or…

“Big government is watching you.”

or…

“You must be a shill for big….”

There’s a very distinct problem in the public discourse today in regards to larger industries or entities. The thought process seems to be that an industry is one singular being with evil in its heart and acts as one mind to make the world a terrible place.

This, of course, is absolute nonsense.

Earlier today, I saw this meme.

It really strikes at the conspiracy strings, doesn’t? The problem ¬†is that the argument is complete garbage.

The main problem is representing the production cost of a pill as the only cost in creating a medicine. It ignores the huge amounts of money required to develop the technology, the medicine itself. It also contains zero sources for what medicine it’s referring to, because who cares, right? It only matters that the ambiguous “big pharma” is out to get us.

The reality is far more complex. There ARE problems in the pharmaceutical industry. In fact, there are problems is pretty much every single industry. Those problems SHOULD be discussed and addressed.

An industry, however, is populated by entities, people, and structures that are diverse. There are countless moving parts. While regulatory problems may affect more of an industry, most of the problems people categorize an industry with only affect a fraction.

Doing so by caricaturing an entire industry by those problems and using hyperbole and bad arguments is the absolute worst way to have that conversation.

7 Websites Every Skeptic Should Be Using

Being a skeptic isn’t always easy. We encounter so many varied topics, and it’s impossible to master them all. We’re expected to be able to handle nearly any conversation, any subject matter, as if “skeptic” meant “human encyclopedia.”

The challenge is really knowing what sources to use, and where to find the best information depending on the subject matter.

Here are 7 websites every skeptic should be using in no particular order.

Skeptical Raptor

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This guy is the gold standard for well-sourced articles. He covers a wide range of topics, though the focus is science in general.

http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php

Science-Based Medicine

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This is a great blog with highly qualified contributors talking all things medicine. If you need a source to debunk medical woo, this is the place.

https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/

Quackwatch

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Quackwatch is sort of a catch-all on specific instances of harm by various forms of quackery and pseudoscience.

http://www.quackwatch.com/

RationalWiki

rationalwiki

The is the skeptic version of Wikipedia. It covers all things pseudoscience and deceptive and typically is extremely well-sourced. It’s the perfect reference site.

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Main_Page

Metabunk

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This is another great catch-all that handles the paranormal and bizarre with a skeptical eye.

https://www.metabunk.org/

Skeptical Science

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This is a pretty comprehensive resource on global climate change. They debunk the “climate skeptics” and give great, accurate information.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/

Biology Fortified

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This site is a great source for GMOs and all things agriculture. It’s run by great people, working scientists, and is a fantastic resource.

https://www.biofortified.org/

Rational thought for a better world.