Posted on 28. Jul, 2011 by wisdom.
Astroturfing is a form of advocacy typically to support an agenda with the appearance of a fake grassroots organization that is usually sponsored by corporations or those with a certain political interest. They work in such a way so that you are not aware that the corporate or political backing is present and you are led to believe that just an independent public organization is speaking out. There are a lot of ethical issues raised by doing this and evidence shows that astroturfing can be effective.
A recent article in the Journal of Business Ethics titled “Astroturfing Global Warming: It Isn’t Always Greener on the Other Side of the Fence,” by Charles H. Cho, Martin L. Martens, Hakkyun Kim, and Michelle Rodrigue (online July 3, 2011) explores the issue of those who visited astroturf websites and how it affects the perceptions of global warming.
Before explaining the study let’s make it clear global warming is unequivocal and there is at least a 90% likelihood it is caused by human activity.
In the study the researchers used a final sample of 278 students enrolled in accounting classes at a Canadian university. The true intent of the study was disguised from the students and they were told the website they would be viewing was a marketing experiment about effective website design for social issues including fair trade, homelessness, racism, and global warming. Eight versions of websites all on global warming were set up by the researchers designed to either be an astroturf or real grassroots website and each student was randomly assigned to view one website. Each website either didnt have a funding source listed or included‘ ‘Funded from donations by people like you,’’ ‘‘Funded by ExxonMobil,’’ or ‘‘Funded by grants from the Conservation Heritage Fund.”
As one would hope to have found those who browsed a website from an astroturf organization found the information as less credible and the organization as less trustworthy, compared to those who browsed a website from a grassroots organization. Even so as astroturf organizations had intended to instill confusion and uncertainty in the general public regarding the global warming issue they did accomplish that and those who visited an astroturf like website had their beliefs about global warming significantly altered and had more uncertainty about the cause of global warming.
Even more shocking is that those individuals in the study who were highly involved and knowledgeable about climate change had their views significantly influenced by the astroturf message. In addition, those who were not highly involved in the issues of global warming had their views affected even more.
The researchers note
“Our findings not only indicate that corporations are successful in fostering their own interests through astroturfing, but they also imply that this corporate political activity is likely to be detrimental to grassroots organizations. Astroturf organizations take the social movement approach to fulfill corporate agendas. Such fraudulent replication of grassroots organizations is likely to raise questions about the legitimacy of those organizations in the mind of the public…Once aware that they have been manipulated by a fake grassroots organization, members of the public are likely to be much more cautious and skeptical with all grassroots organizations, whether they are genuine or fake.”
There are clear ethical and societal concerns with not having full transparency for any astroturfing organization.
The researchers also say
“Astroturf organizations are (1) successful in creating uncertainty about the importance of global warming in the mind of the public and (2) utilized by corporations to attack the emerging logic of climate change and defend the carbon based energy logic which encompasses corporate interests.”
In addition these astroturf organizations go against the ethical considerations to protect the environment for future generations.
These findings have broad implications that certainly extend beyond global warming. As I have indicated on an earlier post http://blog.teethremoval.com/lets-give-our-kids-a-chance-to-succeed/ today’s youth has a very difficult time distinguishing fact from fiction on websites and information they view online. The results of this study described above just seek to add to support this and in fact demonstrate that their views can be manipulated even though the views they are ‘planted’ with may not be in their own personal best interests.
This even has implications in our own personal health and yes even the decision to extract or not extract healthy wisdom teeth as I discuss on this site. For example the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) states on their website http://www.aaoms.org/wisdom_teeth.php
“It isn’t wise to wait until your wisdom teeth start to bother you.”
In fact as discussed, scientific evidence does not currently support or refute removing healthy wisdom teeth removal. By AAOMS failing to provide this information on their website which is publicly available they are helping to create additional uncertainty in the minds of those who are trying to seek the best decision for their personal health and well being.
It is imperative that our educators recognize that we need to teach our youth how to effectively read and analyze information on the internet and determine facts from fiction. What really makes this difficult is highlighted in the article discussed on astroturfing and global warming:
“…Western Fuels Association [delivers], for free, to public and university libraries across the United States hundreds of copies of their Greening of Planet Earth video, which shows that plants on earth are lacking carbon dioxide, and that an increase in atmospheric carbon will provide a more fertile world….the Heartland Institute [sends] thousands of brochures and DVDs to Canadian schools, pushing them to teach their students that scientists have been exaggerating the effects of human activity on global warming.”
Again to reiterate global warming is unequivocal and there is at least a 90% likelihood it is caused by human activity.
Who is looking out for our children and our youth? They have more to worry about like the extremely high cost of education which has ballooned out of control in the U.S. at both the undergraduate and further graduate and medical school levels.
Posted on 28. Jul, 2011 by wisdom.
This post is by no means realistic. These images are fake. However real tactics like these have actually been used before by the drug industry as a form of disease mongering although not applied to the wisdom teeth debate to my knowledge.
There is a very interesting piece that appears in AAOMS Today in the May/June 2011 issue on page 16 titled “The power to change: Our specialty’s revolution”
The article opens up with the following
The power to effect change is one of the most distinctive characteristics of being human. Mankind has the ability to change our surroundings not just to survive, but also to thrive
The article draws parallels to the foundations of the United States of America and the Declaration of Independence.
Then the following appears midway in the article
Our power lies in our own leadership in research and education. Our motivation is to prevent any other organization or entity from dictating to OMS what we can do, what we should do, and how we should do it.
Then a donation is asked for to help support research by each of the 9,000 AAOMS members for a $1,500 gift each year which would equal over $13.5 million dollars. There is quite a large sum of money and certainly would help to provide important and much needed research.
I’m not entirely sure why the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) thinks any organization or entity is trying to dictate what they can or can not do.
This may have something to do with the management of third molars (wisdom teeth) though. For example in a recent article by Thomas B. Dodson in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery titled Science, Not Politics, Delivers Wisdom. 69. page 1851. 2011, he says
Because third molars are the bread and butter of most oral and maxillofacial surgery practices, our tenacity in seeking to understand and report their behavior has often been viewed by critics as “self-serving.”
Thomas B. Dodson is exactly correct that some critics see this as self-serving. In a recent article by Sanjivan Kandasamy (from Midland, Western Australia, Australia) titled Evaluation and management of asymptomatic third molars: Watchful monitoring is a low-risk alternative to extraction appearing in the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics pages 11-17, vol. 140. issue 1. July 2011 he says just that
By placing an exaggerated emphasis on the relationship between periodontal disease and systemic disease and linking this to the AAOMS’s self-serving arbitrary definition of disease (pockets of 4 mm or greater), the AAOMS claims that 70% of third molars will develop significant periodontal disease, therefore recommending the routine removal of asymptomatic third molars. This is misleading and inappropriate.
Sanjivan Kandsamy’s article is well worth the read and he ends the article with the following
…in the 21st century, the routine removal of asymptomatic pathology- free third molars has become a dated practice that is rapidly running out of valid excuses, and it has no justification in contemporary dentistry and medicine.
Clearly it appears some in the field are trying to dictate what can and can not be done.
I tend to argue that it may be better to provide patients with more information so they can see the debate as it stands and help them make a more informed decision about the decision to extract or not to extract healthy wisdom teeth.
As an aggregate extraction may be the best choice or it may not be the best choice for healthy wisdom teeth. Certainly more research is needed and this requires funding. However there needs to be balance in this research that is not trying to support an agenda and research that allows for others to be able to compare the research with other papers and not just report percentage differences. There certainly needs to be an emphasis accounting for known risk factors of disease and potential risks factors such as smoking, diabetes, genetic predisposition, socioeconomic status, physical inactivity, and obesity.
There is quite an interesting quote from a article on KevinMd.com http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2011/07/implications-technology-catches-medical-practice.html
To use a military analogy, the medical profession appears to me like an army engaged in a battle against the enemy of disease, with the latter using patients as soldiers, and politicians, managed care and administration as allies. The battle conditions are changing, the enemy (you are welcome to think of patients as “the enemy” for the purpose of this analogy – I’m not for a moment suggesting this in reality) are rearming and using newer weapons. In this battle, intelligence is everything, and to be forewarned is to be forearmed.
If AAOMS or any other physicians or groups of physicians think of someone like me as the enemy they are sadly mistaken. The goal of this website’s owner is to provide information with patients to better be able to make health decisions.
I was left with a 24/7 headache as a result of elective surgery to remove wisdom teeth partially due to AAOMS’s definition of disease and practice of removing healthy wisdom teeth by dentists and oral surgeons in the U.S. and the failure of these organizations and physicians to alert someone like me to the truth that healthy wisdom teeth are not extracted in the U.K. in most cases due to lack of scientific evidence and that some patients are left with lasting pain and problems which more severe than I was led to believe such as paralysis, chronic headaches, and trigeminal neuralgia. Certainly it is my opinion that this is unethical, irresponsible, and tantamount to malpractice. I had no access to the court system in the United States to be compensated for my pain and suffering and the failure to provide proper informed consent.
In addition to this I was left having to deal with a piece of crap healthcare system in the United States of America. I saw well over 20 if not 30 doctors at least in a short time period in an effort to find out what happened to me and do something to rid myself of the pain. This never occurred. I had to meticulously keep track of all of my own medical records on paper and imaging studies on CDs by requesting them after each doctor visit. In addition I had to pay out of pocket for some of my care since insurance only picks up some and am stuck in a system where healthcare is not a right. At any point none of the doctors really tried to work together as a team to come up with solutions or even had any idea who I had seen previously.
A doctor can injure a patient in the United States and leave them having to fend for themselves in a chaotic system where they have the added burden of having to deal with insurance companies. Then they are left having to work their ass of like the rest of working class America in order to be on health insurance. Unfortunately for over 50 million Americans they don’t even get to be on health insurance. To add insult to injury those luckly enough to have insurance are often left bankrupt and insurers are constantly looking for ways to drop their ‘customers’ so they do not have to pick up the tab when they get sick and have health problems.
For those young and healthy and have not had to experience dealing with the U.S. healthcare system I encourage you to watch the video below.
If AAOMS and other physicians or groups do not like what I am doing with this website I encourage them to buy me out. Isn’t that how a lot of things work in this country you spend a little money to have your own views supported and the rest of the views suppressed in order to get what you want even those this is often at the expense of doing what is right and in the best interest of the majority of the citizens.
Posted on 18. Jul, 2011 by wisdom.
If you are recovering from having your wisdom teeth out or soon will be having surgery to have your wisdom teeth removed you may be looking for something to do.
One thing I enjoy doing these days is listening to musicians on YouTube. Below are some artists I have enjoyed lately with some of their music embedded for your enjoyment.
Kurt Hugo Schneider. http://www.youtube.com/user/KurtHugoSchneider
Kurt is doing extremely well for himself and has over 1 million YouTube subscribers. He graduated from Yale in 2010 with a degree in mathematics and has his own Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Hugo_Schneider
The video below is produced by Kurt Hugo Schneider and features “Just a Dream” originally by Nelly with Sam Tsui http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Tsui and Christina Grimmie http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christina_Grimmie http://www.youtube.com/user/zeldaxlove64 on the vocals.
Tyler Ward. http://www.youtube.com/user/TylerWardMusic
Tyler is my favorite musician on YouTube and is an extremely talented kind individual. He is from Colorado, and is a former football player at United States Air Force Academy. http://www.tylerwardmusic.com/
The video below is of Tyler singing and playing guitar for the song “Teenage Dream” originally by Katy Perry.
Julia Sheer. http://www.youtube.com/user/JuliaSheer
Julia is a 19 year old musician also from Colorado and used to work with Tyler Ward. She has an absolutely amazing voice and is stunningly beautiful. She is currently in the band Caroline County http://www.youtube.com/user/carolinecountymusic
The video below is of Julia singing “Misery” originally by Maroon 5.
Joseph Vincent http://www.youtube.com/user/hoorahjencar
Joseph has been the Ellen DeGeneres show a few times and is very talented.
The video below is an excellent rendition of Joseph Vincent singing “Just a Dream” originally by Nelly with Jason Chen http://www.youtube.com/user/miniachilles
Tiffany Alvord http://www.youtube.com/user/TiffanyAlvord
Tiffany is an 18 year old female singer from California and also plays the guitar and piano.
The video below is of Tiffany singing “Love You Like a Love Song” originally by Selena Gomez with Jake Coco http://www.youtube.com/jakecoco on the drums and as the producer.
Megan Nicole http://www.youtube.com/user/megannicolesite
Megan is a young and talented female vocalist.
The video below is Megan’s debut single “B-e-a-utiful”
Avery is a 16 year old singer who reminds me and many others of Avril Lavigne.
The video below is Avery singing an original song titled “Love me or Let me Go”
Dave Days http://www.youtube.com/user/davedays
Dave achieved a lot of YouTube fame by singing to Miley Cyrus cardboard cutouts which led to him actually having Miley in one of his videos. He actually is a pretty talented musician.
The video below is Dave days singing an original song titled “Your Melody”
If you are a bit more mature perhaps you will enjoy something from the Piano Guys http://www.thepianoguys.com/. But really definitely check out the video below.
Yes I know I am leaving many talented acts and musicians on YouTube out of this post, I’m sorry! Go on YouTube sometime and check them out. Also you can of course listen to mainstream acts and their music. This is just something different to perhaps keep you entertained for a bit.
Posted on 16. Jul, 2011 by wisdom.
In the past I posted survey respondent elaborations of their wisdom teeth removal experience that were negative as in the outcome was not what they were expecting.
For some of these you can see http://blog.teethremoval.com/wisdom-teeth-surgery-survey/ and http://blog.teethremoval.com/wisdom-teeth-extraction-survey/
If you have a spare few minutes please complete the wisdom teeth removal survey I have created which is linked to below.
Below are some survey responses of those who have had positive wisdom teeth extractions. All ages given are at the time of surgery.
A 23 year old female who had 2 wisdom teeth removed says
For me, the worst part was the “laughing gas”. Other than that, I have had no bleeding post-surgery, almost zero swelling, and have not needed to take any pain medication beyond Advil.
A 48 year old male who had 4 wisdom teeth removed says
after surgery my sinus problems improved.
A 31 year old female who had 3 wisdom teeth removed says
It went better then I expected, because my wisdom teeth were erputed and it made easier to access them. The oral surgeon didn’t have to cut my gum and bones. Afterwards there were some bleeding I knew that ahead of time. The worst part was when the novocaine wore off, I could still feel the injections where he injected the novocaine, but in time that feeling wore off. I had mild pain a few days afterwards, over the counter pain meds were all I need. My face swelled up some, that was expected. My jaw ached for over a week but the over counter pain meds helped again. The sockets are filling in now, it’s been months since the extraction and so fare I am doing fine.
A 19 year old male who had 4 wisdom teeth extracted says
I had absolutely no problems with my surgery, my doctors were excellent and well educated on the procedure, I had no complications from the surgery, and I never had any pain after the surgery. I honestly did not think there were any problems (besides the probability of error when administering anesthesia) until seeing this site. Also, I trusted my doctor and am very happy I had mine removed.
A 34 year old female who had 2 wisdom teeth extracted says
I am glad that I have them removed because it was causing problems like ear, neck and back pains including chest pains.
A 20 year old male who had 4 wisdom teeth removed says
It was quick and somewhat painful, under 40 minutes. The top wisdom teeth were removed easily without any pain while the bottom wisdom teeth hurt as they were drilled out. I did the surgery awake with just Novocaine shots. The shots were extremely painful. After the surgery, I didn’t experience really any bleeding as it stopped within a day. I didn’t experience too much pain afterward, and by a week later I feel close to normal again plus I can eat normally again.
A women who had 4 wisdom teeth removed and was 22 at the time says
I was so much in pain before my extraction that anything would have been a relief. I was not sedated or put out for fear of not waking up. I heard every crunch sound imaginable, but did not feel a thing. I must have had a great surgeon!!!!!! No nausea from the sedative I didn’t have, so things went well. That was over 20 years ago and know things have come a long way since. Don’t FEAR!!!!
Everything will be OKAY!!!!!!
A women who had 2 wisdom teeth removed and was 40 years old at the time of surgery says
My wisdom teeth had grown in completely, with no complications almost 20 ago. Dentists had suggested throughout the years that I have them removed and I took the stand that if there was nothing wrong with them and they weren’t hurting anything, I was going to keep them. I saw no reason to have them removed just because they were inconvenient for them to clean. I made the deal with all of my dentists that if something happens with them, I will have them removed. Since then, I had a tooth removed on the bottom and thankfully, I had a wisdom tooth to take its place. The other bottom is impacted and if it rears it’s head, it’s going to be ugly. Dentists don’t want to touch it unless something happens. Recently I cracked one of the top ones and decided it was time to lose them. The procedure was painless. I had no swelling or bruising and I didn’t even have soreness the next day.
A women who was 17 at the time of having four wisdom teeth out says
I am glad I got my wisdom teeth out! I understand that the presence of wisdom teeth can lead to complications, such as pain, infection and neoplastic changes which are often completely unpredictable. Trying to manage this situation later in life is much more difficult than preventatively having your teeth removed at a young age. There is no question that the highest standard of care must be employed during the procedure from both an anesthesia and surgical technique standpoint. I agree that one must be informed of all the potential risks associated with wisdom teeth removal and must be able to make an informed decision, and it is up to the doctor doing the procedure to thoroughly provide this information.
A 19 year old female who had four wisdom teeth removed says
My oral surgeon was very comforting and explained the pros and cons that I could experience from undergoing the surgery. I had no complications and was happy to avoid issues that can occur from problem wisdom teeth later in life. I was informed that one of the main reason I suffered from no issues, other than moderate discomfort, was because I took preemptive action and removed them before the roots had completely formed; this prevents more serious complications such as holes to the sinus cavities and nerve damage.
A 27 year old female who had two wisdom teeth extracted says
I left my wisdom teeth in as long as possible before it started to adversely affect my health. Due to the angles they were in, I couldnt properly clean them and they had decayed to the point where it was risking my health. My surgeon made me sign waivers that I was informed of all the risks, after explaining them of course, and I felt as though I was properly informed. I did however do my own research online anyway. I only had my 2 top wisdom teeth come in. The lowers never formed I guess. Never showed up on the xrays. Anyway, I had been given twilight sedation and it was wonderful. I went to sleep, didnt feel anything and dont remember anything, woke up and I was fine. Didnt need any pain medication. No pain, no (noticable) swelling. One was a surgical extraction and one was impacted. I had both teeth saved and the amount of decay is frightening. One is cracked in half from decay and the nerve exposed. That explains the pain I had felt! The other is missing a good part of the tooth. I’m on day 4 and so far no pain or problems.
A 17 year old female who had four third molars extracted says
It was fine. I’ve pretty much had orthodontic work done on my mouth all my life due to a massive overbite, VERY crooked teeth, teeth growing in over top of each other, and not enough room in my mouth for teeth that weren’t in correctly. This was a very long, painful, and EXPENSIVE process, but I now have a beautiful and healthy smile and have no problems talking or eating or anything. However, having my wisdom teeth come in would have undone all that, due to there not being enough room in my mouth and also due to them coming in crookedly. I do suffer from loud pops on both sides of my jaw whenever I open my mouth more than half-way now, but it doesn’t hurt, and having my wisdom teeth taken out saved me a lot more pain and money in the long run and kept my smile beautiful. People have to understand that EVERY surgery involves risk, no matter how common, and they need to decide for themselves in every case of surgery whether the benefits outweigh the costs and potential risks.