Erwin Alber and VINE: Intellectually Bankrupt

This weekend, over at the "Vaccine Information Network (VINE)" Facebook page, an interesting graph appeared.

Obviously faked, no?

This graph, as you can see, is an obvious fake-up. The "total meningitis reporting rate" is tacked on using a cheap graphics program such as MS Paint. It shows an incredibly  implausible trend - that Hib meningitis reporting rates rocketed but hospitalisations and deaths sharply declined.

The legend has been clumsily tacked on, in an unmatched font with an unmatched background, and a typo, and the copyright claim, most damningly of all, is both incorrectly declared and purported to be from "fictuscorp". Fictus is a latin legal term which stems from the same etymological root as "fictional". It means "fake".

This is a deliberate, obviously faked graph. There are no two ways about it. It declares itself to be fake. Only a sub-functional moron could be taken in by it.

VINE admin Erwin Alber, of whom we've spoken before, embraced this graph with open arms.

Not only that, but Alber has defended that graph with the following staggering statement

"People have different takes on reality, and sometimes some of them approximate, or even match, actual reality. To me the graph is real, to you it is a fake. To each his own" - Erwin Alber

Yes, folks, Erwin really believes that it is a genuine graph, and he thinks that that belief has some bearing on reality. Erwin is telling people, repeatedly, that vaccines are dangerous, that the New World Order wants to use them to control the population, and that the path to true health lies down Unicorn Fart Boulevard along with homeopathy, chiropractic and other assorted nonsense.

The graph, if we imagine for a moment that it actually is real, doesn't even say something supportive of the antivax agenda. It says that while reports flew upwards, deaths and hospitalisations plummeted. It says that the vaccine saved thousands of lives, even though reports of meningitis flew upwards.

It is my firm belief, though I am not a doctor*, that Erwin has an undiagnosed or untreated paranoid delusional disorder. It is also my firm belief that he is a clear and present danger to public health, as well as a possible danger to himself.

Erwin, and all his anti-vaccination buddies, need to be stopped.

* Since July 2010 it has been legal for me to call myself "Doctor" here in Australia. However, I am not intellectually dishonest and morally bankrupt.

posted @ Sunday, February 13, 2011 4:19 PM


Comments on this entry:

# re: Erin Alber and VINE: Intellectually Bankrupt

Left by reasonablehank at 2/13/2011 4:55 PM
Rebecca Hoskins: new hero.

# re: Erin Alber and VINE: Intellectually Bankrupt

Left by Peter Bowditch at 2/13/2011 5:00 PM
You ask Erwin "Are you mental?".

Surely this must be the rhetorical question of the week.

# re: Erin Alber and VINE: Intellectually Bankrupt

Left by advodiaboli at 2/13/2011 6:41 PM
Can we feed the man on the vine?

The real one or the fake one?

The one throwing his poo.

Oh! That'd be Irwin.

# re: Erin Alber and VINE: Intellectually Bankrupt

Left by Andy at 2/13/2011 11:28 PM
Just to clarify, I assume the upward trend is for all forms of meningitis (or menengitis, whatever that is), as opposed to just Hib. I think that's the point it's trying to make, that when we defeat one, the others take over (this, it seems, is supposed to convince us to just give up trying). This one looks like a Poe, possibly made to see who would take it seriously.

I tried to find some stats last night but it was late and I gave up coz I'm like that. Maybe someone who knows what they're doing could have a look.

More worryingly, I posted a graph on my own blog last week and gave it an obviously nonsense copyright notice assuming that would prevent people copying it. Now I'm worried.

# re: Erin Alber and VINE: Intellectually Bankrupt

Left by jason at 2/14/2011 1:02 PM

I agree that that may be clumsily what it's trying to say. But it's a deliberate fake-up, no matter what trend Erwin tries to extrapolate from it. It might just as well be incidence of ice-cream droppage or reported rate of losing car keys.

I like your faked-up graph though...

# re: Erwin Alber and VINE: Intellectually Bankrupt

Left by DrRachie at 2/15/2011 8:33 AM
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