December 19, 2013

Conflict of Interest

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Shut the Hell Up! — Katrina @ 11:20 pm

Now for an opinionated debatable edition of…


Upton Sinclair said: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”

It’s not an invalid point, but it gets annoying quickly when I see people quoting it a lot with the idea that if you work in an industry that does something even slightly controversial, you are then not allowed to have an opinion on that issue because it’s a “conflict of interest” for you.

For example, someone who works at a clinic where abortions are performed may try to defend the pro-choice viewpoint in conversation, only for some asshat to silence her with “Your salary depends on abortion being legal. Of course you can’t see why it’s wrong.”

What the fuck is that? Instead of bothering to debate her, said asshat just completely writes her off as somehow incapable of rational thought because of where she works. She only disagrees because she’s somehow muddled because of her source of income, not because, you know, she has some actual reasons and said asshat just might be wrong.

Some youth rights supporters believe parents have nothing of value to say about or contribute to the youth rights movement because they supposedly have some interest in keeping their children under their thumb. This is bullshit, of course, because there are some parents who support youth rights (including two of NYRA’s current board members) and even have a valuable insight into parenthood the rest of us don’t which can help to pave the way to a more youth-friendly world, which can’t be achieved very well through hypotheticals alone.

And that is another thing. Sometimes the people who are being written-off as inherently biased because they somehow benefit from “not understanding” actually have a better understanding than those writing them off. Often this is in the form of calling bullshit on a lot of exaggerations the opposition comes up with. One thing that got me thinking about this was a recent response by an immunologist to some stupid crap some anti-vaxxer was spouting. The immunologist gave a good response there to what seems to be willful ignorance on the part of whoever created that image at the top, clarifying the facts about vaccines and debunking the made-up nonsense. And yet… I couldn’t help the thought that some asshat might see that and assume that, being an immunologist, he may somehow benefit monetarily by widespread vaccinations and so of course he is defending them! 🙄

That’s right, you fail-riddled Upton Sinclair-wannabes. That’s how stupid you sound.

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