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> When a medical doctor prescribes you a treatment plan and drugs, do you claim it's all due to marketing wanketeering, and this is the problem of why healthcare is difficult? When they say something that doesn't make sense to you, do you argue with them from a position of ignorance?

To be honest, this is literally the level of discourse of most Hacker News discussions about healthcare.




And it would be the correct level of discussion.

I have doctors in the family. The scariest stories of "marketing wankateering" in medicine I hear is from them.


To posit a strawman slippery slope for exposition, would your doctors in the family say the entire medical profession and science can't be trusted, and we should just stop vaccinations, nutritious diets, fitness regimens, cancer treatments, surgical procedures, etc. altogether?

Obviously not. So, where is the line drawn of what professional opinions are or are not trusted?

There's no doubt that "marketing wankateering" happens in all complex domains. Any "Market for Lemons" (i.e. a market with information asymmetry - a domain so complicated or obfuscated that consumers can't understand its fundamentals) will be exploited by charlatans. This is why we have professional (imperfect but functioning) backstops such as medical scientific research and the security/crypto research community.

OP was claiming that not even the professionals on this thread can be trusted to not be "wankateers" for a free/open source library, with no evidence, or even a hint of moderate understanding of the problem domain (i.e. why it's hard to distribute a public key), or desire to learn. Perhaps they were just frustrated with the complexity of the domain, but flaming people trying to help as being "wankateers" is rather fatalist.


> And it would be the correct level of discussion.

Arguing from a position of ignorance when people say something that doesn't make sense to you is literally how anti-vaxxing happens.

Just because arguing from a position of ignorance can sometimes produce outcomes which align with your personal anecdotes doesn't make it an intellectually valid method of discourse.


Where do you have position of ignorance? People on HN do know doctors, talk to doctors, have doctors in families, and some even are doctors themselves.

Anti-vaxxer beliefs aren't caused by people questioning the first medical advice they get from a medical professional when it doesn't sound right to them. Anti-vaxxer beliefs come from either not verifying and going with your gut, or verifying and then ignoring what you've learned.

Doctors are humans and make mistakes sometimes, and your own health is your own responsibility. So is safety of your own application, so you shouldn't plug in someone else's crypto if you don't feel comfortable with it, but instead try to understand the domain as much as you need to start feeling comfortable.


> not verifying and going with your gut

...which is exactly what "arguing from a position of ignorance" means. Once you attempt to verify medical advice (in good faith) you are no longer ignorant.




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