THURSDAY, JANUARY 5, 2023
Commenter Perry pretty much misses the point: We've lost a chunk of time today. At the point of subjecting the reader to boredom, we'll comment on a pair of comments to the post by Kevin Drum which we reviewed this morning.
Drum's post produced very few comments. One commenter started like this:
PERRY (1/5/23): I agree that it would be a good idea for Kevin Drum never to cite this study. He doesn't have any idea how to critique this study and he knows nothing about pain studies. He doesn't know the literature in this area, showing undertreatment for pain for various minority groups, including women and infants, not solely black people. Earlier studies showed undertreatment for people of various ethnicities, such as Eastern European immigrants.
This is not a valid criticism:
"The problem with the study is that after presenting the results of the survey it immediately dives into a long and messy bunch of weird measurements and unclear statistics."
This only reveals that Drum, like Somerby, doesn't understand what the study is analyzing. Like Somerby, Drum largely ignores the treatment task and focuses on the false question ratings, which only serve the purpose of classifying those subjects with misinformation about black physiology. The relation of that misinformation to the pain treatment portion of the study is the whole point, yet Drum brushes those significant correlations aside.
How much does Drum know about pain studies? We have no idea. That said, it seems it would be a valid criticism of any study to say that it involves "a long and messy bunch of unclear statistics."
As he closes, the commenter offers this:
PERRY: I think this incompetent analysis by Drum and Somerby's more specious criticism both come from untrained non-researchers who don't know what they are talking about. These are the critiques that can be safely ignored.
The commenter says that Drum's analysis is incompetent, but that our criticism is even more specious than that. It seems to us that the commenters may have missed the point of our own extended Case Study.
We do understand what the UVa study is attempting to analyze. That said, our own interest in the study concerns the talking-point about (white) medical students which has emerged in the mainstream press as a result of the study.
We're interested in the way this study has fueled a talking-point which reinforces a very significant type of blue tribe Storyline. At this site, we focus on the mainstream political press corps, not on the nature of pain treatment for various groups, an important topic concerning which we have no knowledge and no expertise.
The commenter Perry goes on from there, but he never seems to understand the nature of our interest in this particular study. Meanwhile, someone else appended this comment to Perry's original comment:
RZM (1/5/23): Somerby has become a bore and his style of argument is tedious, but the starting point for his comments was an opinion piece in the WAPO:
NORRIS (12/9/20): We are not just tussling with historical wrongs. A recent study of White medical students found that half believed that Black patients had a higher tolerance for pain and were more likely to prescribe inadequate medical treatment as a result.
Is that an accurate statement about the study?
Also, the fact that the questions leave no "I don't know" option seems like a meaningful design flaw, doesn't it?
We'll offer this possible translation:
It seems to me that Somerby has been making some valid points. But before I say that, I understand that I must say that he's a tedious bore.
Top experts have offered this provisional assessment:
We're all inclined to cling to our narratives, and perhaps to keep ourselves safely in line with prevailing views of the tribe.
Views of those experts notwithstanding, we're inclined to say that, once he got going, RZM went on to make some halfway decent points!