no affiliation with anything at all

brett brett at BORCIM.WUSTL.EDU
Thu Apr 30 08:36:05 EST 1998

May I add (this e-mail does not necessarily represent my thinking), that (and
if this is long-winded, sorry, but not officially affiliated with an English
language department) people started adding these words to their posts (actually,
no statistical data on this) in this forum (I am only a subscriber, not a
moderator) because several people (who shall remain nameless) would post
blatant advertisements thinly disguised as helpful posts (IE,"Your Acme
minipreps will literally sequence themselves.  Signed, President & CEO of
Acme Miniresin Technologies"), thus defeating the utility of this
forum. Just my 2 cents (not affiliated with the United Stated Treasury). 

>> > I posted a remark about a year ago about "no affiliation", and I was put
>> in my place by the
>> > moderator and told to read the rules. Nevertheless, I wonder if anybody
>> besides me takes umbrage
>> > at the "no affiliation" comment?
>        You have a point, but merely from an intellectual point of view.
>From a practical point, those two dreaded little words are a necessity in
>a world where a thousand and one companies are flogging a million and one
>products. We all know from anecdotal experience that many products are
>fantastic and well worth their price. On the other hand, we also all know
>that there is a myriad of other products that do not work as advertised,
>that cost much more than they are worth, etc...and of course, I am sure
>you have at one time or another purchased a product, found it to be
>problem-prone, only to call the manufacturer and have their tech support
>tell you that *that* problem has *never* been encountered by either
>in-house testing or by any other user. 
>        The benefits gained if I misrepresent my research are essentially nil.
>It's not fair to compare the financial interest that can be obtained when
>a company sells a few hundred or thousand units of a given product (which
>may or may not work as described by the company) to the personal interest
>of a researcher when they are trying to advertise (for lack of a better
>word) a new protocol or a new finding. Sure there is a vested interest 
>when someone is trying to get people to notice their published results
>since publications and citations mean everything in granting and tenure,
>but at least the research is peer reviewed, and it is almost always public
>domain. In addition, most journals even include that little paragraph that
>says something to the effect that because page charges have been paid by
>the authors, the paper constitutes a form of advertisement under US law.
>How would you like to put *that* little disclaimer in your posts ? :)
>        In this context, although the advice of company people is fully
>welcome, and indeed many of the finest contributors in this newsgroup are
>from companies that we buy products from, the opinion that is most likely
>of value to us as consumers (with scarce resources) is the opinion of
>other *fellow consumers*. The two dreaded little words represent a way of
>saying that the opinions are coming down from a fellow consumer. 
>        The reality that Science is just as fraught with mis-representation
>as any other field is a little bit disappointing, but so is the reality
>that although guns don't kill people, people with guns kill people (not
>affiliated with the NRA) :)  In any case, we should all overcome the 
>temptation to think that scientific research is in some high moral plane
>that is free of market share and profit. The two little dreaded words are
>almost a necessity, if you think about it. They're not much, and in fact
>as you have mentioned before, someone who wants to misrepresent something
>will still do it (just as someone who wants to kill someone will do so
>regardless of gun control laws :) ). Nonetheless, the two dreaded little
>words are meant to say that the opinions given are devoid of the sort of
>conflict of interest which may lead to non-objectivity. 
>Ed (end of rant...)
>ps. using the whole gun control as a metaphor for newsgroup postings by
>biotech company people is not meant to cast a negative light on biotech
>company people, nor is it implying that they are any more (or less) likely
>to be in support of the views held by the NRA. The opinions stated here
>are also my own, and not those of my employer. Not affiliated with any
>biotech company, although I would be most willing to entertain any offers
>by any company out there that would like to void my non-affiliation.

Brett Lindenbach
Washington University

This message does not necessarily represent the teachings of this university
nor the quality its students as a whole.

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