15
Sep
11

Arguing on the internet: you’re doing it awesome

When a paediatrician starts writing about an charged topic like infant mortality, you might expect him to have a bit of an emotional investment in his side of the story.  When a smartass reader fisks one of his talking points in an email, you’d be forgiven for assuming that he’d double down or at least ignore the inconvenient, cognitively-dissonant new data.  And I’ll hazard a guess that most of the time you’d be right.

Aaron Carroll, on the other hand, first engaged that reader’s argument, then publicly walked back his position when presented with a more detailed argument full of citations of credible evidence:

None of this lessens the fact that infant mortality in the US is still too high, compared to other countries. But my final assertion that better access to good prenatal care would solve this problem seems like an unsubstantiated claim. I still think it does a lot of good for many things, but this reader may be right that it won’t do much to prevent the deaths due to prematurity.

Folks, that’s how we should all do it.  (And as a reminder: if you’re interested in not saying stupid things about health care and health reform, you should be reading TIE.)

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anarchocapitalist agitprop

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