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“Consider the information” and qualifications versus credentials

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
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Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

For years now it has been a head-swelling sign of the success of if I have written an article on a topic, it will be cited in most social media discussions about that topic. Wherever people congregate to chat about these things, people post links to my articles. Sometimes they tag me, but much more often I’ve stumbled on a discussion where one of my articles has been shared. It’s so inevitable I feel almost embarrassed by it; but, paradoxically, I have also started to feel peevish if I am not cited. Silly ego!

I’m not the only one who has noticed the inevitability of links to the salamander’s domain. For instance, see this comment in a thread about fascia:

Why does everyone here refer to this blogger, not a scientist, whenever the word ‘pain’ comes up?

Why indeed! A mere blogger! The horror! What is the world coming to?! 🙄 I have written about the “just a blog” concern before, but my response on this occasion has a couple new twists (edited for clarity):

It’s always important to “consider the source.” But there is much more than that to consider when evaluating the quality of the information, and it’s much more important to “consider the information.” Ultimately it doesn’t matter who says, it matters what is said and how well it is supported.

I am not shamed by my lack of credentials: they are shite. 😉 And I have always been open about that. My qualifications, however, are quite good. Different concepts! For instance, I have been a writer and science communicator for quite a bit longer than I was a clinician, and that matters when you’re trying to translate health science for a general audience.

Regardless, this topic is usually just a tedious substitute for discussion of the actual subject matter.

PainSci Member Login » Submit your email to unlock member content. If you can’t remember/access your registration email, please contact me. ~ Paul Ingraham, PainSci Publisher