This pandemic revealed that many if not most “experts” in the fields of epidemiology, virology, public health, pharmacology, medicine are not much better than the snake oil salesmen from the days of yore. We shouldn’t be surprised, as fraud and imposture are common even among those with all the walls full of diplomas: economists, CEOs, and just about anyone. Even here in Germany, the people I trust the least are those who sign “Dr. Dr.-Ing.”; but is everyone a clueless expert nowadays? In the age of the “social networks experts” the world seems devoid of real specialists…

The other day I happened to run over the book The Science of Sleep, under the label DK, a Division of Penguin Random House LLC; Text © Heather Darwall-Smith 2021; Artwork © Owen Davey 2021; ISBN 978-0-7440-3368-7.

About the author: Heather Darwall-Smith left a career in design to become a qualified psychotherapist, and has a diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy and training in CBTI. She is currently working on a PGDip in Sleep Science at the University of Oxford. Heather believes that the path to well-being lies in a good night’s sleep, and alongside her work as a sleep therapist at The London Sleep Centre, Heather runs a private practice online and in Oxford.

At first sight, the book seems fabulous (it looks fabulous!) despite the author not being a medical doctor, but a psychotherapist, which is more or less a bullshit field (heck, I had my years of reading about the various psychotherapy “schools” and I even met a number of such people; don’t assume all of them are like Irvin D. Yalom, because they’re anything but). Then, even after a cursory browsing, I discovered I cannot agree with many things written there.

I therefore wrote a thread of tweets mentioning the account of the author, to see whether someone, anyone, bothers to contradict me. Nope, no reaction whatsoever. It’s so specific to these times of social madness when people don’t reply to direct mentions, and when they don’t bother anymore to comment on a blog article on that blog, but instead they open a discussion about that blog post on Reddit or on Hacker News. It’s so moronic that I can’t even find a qualifier for it.

Here you have my objections, with the screenshots embedded in the tweets; in some cases you might need to click on a picture to see it in its entirety:

On the other hand, I’d like to try an app (recommended in CHIP 7/2021), despite its real price being higher than the one indicated by the “experts”…