At the start of 2004 I instituted a "kinder and gentler" policy for dealing with people with whom I might not normally be friendly. During 2004 the policy was reactive – I was kind and gentle when replying to critics. I extending the policy for 2005 to become proactive, and regularly reached out to people with whom I might not be in agreement.
The Proactive Policy took a holiday while The Millenium Project was in hiatus from 2016 to 2019, but it's back. Under the policy, I write to people to let them know they've been added to the site, to ask them questions to clarify their positions or to point out problems with their arguments. By doing this I hope to establish a dialogue and to demonstrate my commitment to tolerance of their views. Here are the 2019 efforts at diplomacy and friendship.
The first one for the year, sent to the owner of truthlibrary.info.
Kind And Gentle kicks off for 2019 (28/1/2019)
The very first Kind and Gentle email for 2019.
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2019 14:47:15 +1100
I'm in the process of resurrecting my Millenium Project site at https://ratbags.com/rsoles/ and of course I am eager to find new sites to add to the various lists there. Truth Library has been added to the lists for medical fraud, anti-vaccination liars, pseudoscience, buffoonery and general liars (I have found it a useful heuristic to assume that any web site with "truth" in its name will contain little of it).
I might add a commentary about your site one day, but for the meantime inclusion in the various lists will have to suffice.
Thank you for your efforts.
Bernie replied. You can see it here.
I kindly and gently ask a question (4/2/2019)
Tay's Way is running some vaccination seminars. I was concerned about balance.
[Sent through a form on the web site because no email address was available]
Making Informed Choices
Will there be any medical vaccination experts or immunologists presenting at this event, or just anti-vaccination propaganda? I ask because the promotional material says "It will be a completely referenced and thorough presentation showcasing the latest science and medical literature".
You can see what the seminar was about and the response from Tay here.
Tin foil hat time again (19/2/2019)
I live in the delightful country town of Oberon, home to sheep, cows and a billion pine trees. Some time ago the Council announced that it was planning to add fluoride to the water and hysteria broke out. I attended a public meeting about the matter and representatives of the Australian Dental Association and the NSW Health Department were shouted at. Dentists who actually look at children's teeth in both Oberon and Bathurst (50 kilometres away, fluoride for 40 years) told stories about how they could tell where a child lived by the amount of decay and were accused of only doing it for the money. (The fact that fewer fillings means less income for dentists whooshed straight over the heads of protestors.) All the standard nonsenses were brought out, and it took on all the attributes of an anti-vaccination rally. (Surprisingly, there is no visible anti-vaccination activity in town and childhood vaccination rates are well into herd immunity numbers for all age groups.) All that was missing was the tin foil hats. (They will probably roll those out when the telephone companies announce that the towers are switching to 5G. There was much resistance to the wireless towers installed so that Oberon could get the National Broadband Network earlier than towns just a few kilometres away.)
The Council listened to some experts and announced that it would be going ahead with fluoridation, but that didn't stop the loons. One of them managed to get onto the agenda for the Council meeting on February 19. I had planned to go but things got in the way, so I wrote a Kind and Gentle email of support to the Council. I also mentioned my opinion on the local community Facebook page so I will be keeping an eye out for people carrying rails, tar and feathers.
Subject: Fluoride "debate"
Unfortunately I can't get to the Council meeting tonight, but I hope that the councillors aren't influenced by the hysteria of the anti-fluoride campaigners who are scheduled to speak and decide to retreat from the decision to fluoridate Oberon's water supply.
The science is in – fluoridation of water is one of the major public health initiatives and there is no danger to people, stock or plants from the tiny amount of fluoride added to the water supply. I congratulate the Council for deciding to go ahead with it. Don't back down now.
I have an answer for those who don't want fluoride – they should cut themselves off from the town water supply and only use rainwater. We currently have water restrictions and the level of the dam is still dropping, so if these people stop using town water it will be a win for the rest of us as it will reduce the load on the supply.
I make an offer of help (5/10/2019)
I'm an author myself (and I've just visited Alice's Wonderland to rearrange how Amazon handles and pays me for some books I've written) so I know the problems facing a first-time author. In 2015 the University of Wollongong granted a PhD to Dr Judy Wilyman for something to do with vaccination. The thesis came in for some criticism (including even some from me) because some believed that it tarnished the status of the institution and might even have damaged the value of other degrees from the same university. (Macquarie University granted me two qualifications but then embarrassed me by opening a school of chiropractic. I turn the testamurs to the wall every Friday to hide the shame.)
Dr Wilyman has now published the thesis in book form. Following my Kind and Gentle policy of reaching out to people with whom I might have had disagreement at some time, I picked up an olive branch and pointed it in Dr Wilyman's direction. I haven't heard back yet, but I'm optimistic.
Dear Dr Wilyman,
I'm a freelance journalist (MEAA Member Number 2011631) and I was wondering if I could get a review copy of your new book. I write for several publications including my own web sites which are read by several thousand people each week. Some of the reviews I have written can be found at https://peterbowditch.com/writing/writing.htm#reviews.
Thank you in advance.