What’s The Harm updated

I’m going to start posting here when I update What’s The Harm? in significant ways. (I’m not referring to when I add new cases to existing categories, that happens regularly and is already announced via the RSS feed over there).

Tonight I made several interesting changes to the site. First, there are two new categories:

Second, I renamed the ill-fated vegetarianism category to refocus it on children eating unbalanced vegetarian diets. Too many vegetarians were missing the fact that almost all the people in that category were children. The recent coverage of the site on ABC News also drew some unwanted attention to the category. So I’ve removed the few adults and renamed the category. I hope the vegetarians out there will find this to be a more balanced presentation.

Third, I’ve dumped the “quackery” category and moved all those cases over into “alternative medicine”. The intent of the site is to appeal to believers or potential believers. But who is going to say to themselves, “Oh, my doctor is a quack. I should look in there”? Noone, of course. So off it goes. (As always, the old URL forwards to the new one).

Finally, I’ve added an Amazon Store to the site. This is to call attention to some excellent books and videos on topics covered by the site. Of course, the hope is that it will also help defray the costs of hosting the site. (Right now those costs are fairly minimal, but if the site continues to be successful it might not always be so). If you would like to show your support of the site, but don’t have any cases or links to submit, then visit the store and buy something. There are some excellent skeptical books that have come out in recent months or will be coming out soon.

It is not yet fully enabled on all pages on the site, but there can be a single Amazon product link on each page, at lower left. On the topic pages those links are going to be keyed to each topic as much as possible. I hope this will help steer people to good follow-up material as they are thinking about the harm caused by these beliefs and practices. (And if you have some good suggestions on books or videos to link under particular topics, or products that I missed in the store, feel free to send them in).

I have hidden a small joke in the placement of one of these book links on the site. See if you can spot it. (Sorry, I have no prizes to offer for doing so).

P.S. Check out the excellent Skepticality podcast this week. Yours truly was interviewed about What’s The Harm and the plans for this web site.