Monday, October 30, 2017

The wonder of the tundra #3: Adventures in the book trade

Wait, what? Five days after the nominal date for arriving on the shelves ($140 reduced 15% to $119), a book remains unavailable from the publisher or the usual on-line sources... but Tundra Books can provide a second-hand copy marked down to £282. Perhaps on-demand publication has advanced to the stage of printing used copies.

The book-shaped artefact in question was to have been the subject of a footnote or an Updatage to a recent Riddled episode, but TL;DW. It is totally a sober, balanced weighing of evidence and not a regurging of stovepiped antivax mendacity, despite the second editor's tendency to regard vaccines as the modern equivalent of the Holocaust.
Library pixies ejecting an unwanted book
The Riddled staff are wondering about the market sector that Elsevier thought they were targetting. It may be that they were under the impression that they were handling a scholarly compilation of recent advances on a topic of academic contention, rife with vying researchers who would be queuing for their copies -- or urging university libraries to acquire them. The Riddled library pixies were scornful of this suggestion. $119 is a lot to pay for a 480-page trade paperback with a shiny cover, which is to say an overpriced airport novel. Even if Controversies in Vaccine Safety had included ten detailed exegeses of the intellectual debate, it would still be plenty to pay for a ten-gloss battle.
A due Diligence
Due diligence would have disabused Elsevier of that notion. Contributors to the tome include Vinu Arumugham (on "Vaccine Induced Allergies") whose scholarly credentials consist of falsely presenting himself as a med. student, and paying the egregious shitweasels at OMICS to place on-line one of his essays in cherry-picking. Other, similar exercises are self-published -- if that is the correct term for "listed at Researchgate".

Arumugham's keystone dictum is that all food allergies ensue from prior exposure to the food proteins that Big Pharma adds to vaccines, although this is accompanied by a bodyguard of ad-hoc secondary hypotheses designed to shelter it from harsh disconfirming facts. He has promoted the resulting belief system on discussion boards and skeptic blogs across the Interlattice, with the nyms of APV and Vinucube [possibly chosen as a hommage to the legendary TimeCube]. The commentariat at Respectful Insolence have watched the evolution of his scholium of thought from the beginning, with the multiplication of auxiliary hypotheses... they hope that success will not spoil him, and that he will remember his roots now that he has busted through into the Big Time.
Big Time
More detail on other contributors here and at OggiScienza. But we shouldn't forego the opportunity to point and laugh at David Lewis, Wakefield acolyte who provides the closing Chapter 27 (on "The role of institutional scientific misconduct").

Lewis is best-known for pimping a set of bowel-biopsy pathology reports that had somehow been left in his possession, in the belief that they would vindicate Wakefield's "MMR-Vaccine-causes-autism" grift, when in fact they provided proof of his fraud (for this well-meaning dumb-arsed exercise in rat-fucking, Lewis is respected in antivax circles as a 'whistle-blower'). He put the cherry atop his reputation by arguing that journalist Brian Deer is really a cats-puppet and a sock-paw for Big Pharma's war aganst Wakefield -- for there was no way that a mere journalist could understand so well the medical complexities of the accusations against Wakefield.
Lewis' own qualification is in sewage management.
You can't buy that book here, sir
Ideally, then, Brian Deer would be the reviewer for Controversies. But as was noted supra, publication has been delayed... for a few weeks, according to one supplier, though the publishers have elsewhere been quoted as intending a permanent delay.

There remains only the mystery of Tundra Books' used copy for sale. Nick Brown has reported another occurrence of this Amazon affiliate -- a residential address in Seville -- trying to sell a purportedly-used but marked-up copy of a book not yet in physical existence. This seems to be part of their business model.

One possible explanation involves the words "stupidity tax"... a scam that only becomes apparent when there are no extant copies of the new copies they on-sell, ostensibly pre-loved and doubled in price. But I prefer to believe that they are borrowing (or will borrow at some point in the future) the Riddled time machine.


M. Krebs said...

Paging smut clyde...

Smut Clyde said...

Saw that!

Smut Clyde said...

Given Tundra Books' fondness for advertising second-hand copies of unprinted books, I wonder if they have a copy of the Necronomicon in stock (slightly bloodstained). Or The King in Yellow (one previous owner, went insane).

Smut Clyde said...

Book cancelled.
When the retraction issue bubbled up a few weeks ago, Shaw and Tomljenvoic were getting ready to release a new book they had co-edited with Dwoskin and Lujan called Controversies in Vaccine Safety.
But in light of the journal retraction, Shaw said he and Tomljenovic decided to remove their names and their chapter from the book.
“We didn’t want people to say, ‘Aha! Just another anti-vacc(ine) book. Look at Shaw and Tomljenovic. We know them,’ ” he said.
A spokesman for Elsevier, the book’s publisher, said this week authors of several other chapters have since decided to withdraw their contributions in the wake of the controversy and the book has been cancelled.

Also, bonus CONSPIRACY. Counter-revolutionary saboteurs dunnit!
Tomljenovic suggested in an email that the problems with the most recent vaccine paper were the result of “intentional sabotage.”
The paper underwent review for nine months prior to publication and nothing came up. “But the bloggers caught it right away. How is that possible?” she said.
“I do believe the truth will come out.”