My Yahoo! article on homoeopathy was taken up by Amit Varma, who is responsible for editing the new suite of columns on the website. Amit starts his own column by writing, "I was delighted this Monday when my fellow Yahoo! columnist Girish Shahane took on homeopathy in his column 'Sugar Pills and Skepticism'. It needed to be done, but while I found myself agreeing with much of his piece, I was disappointed by the last paragraph, in which Girish said that he uses homeopathy occasionally, and that it sometimes seemed "to have an effect, particularly with respect to allergies.""
What I actually wrote was: "Like most Indians, I have family members who regularly take homoeopathic medication, and I’ve consulted homoeopaths myself. In my experience, the system sometimes appears to have an effect, particularly with respect to allergies."
There's a massive difference between me saying "I've consulted homoeopaths myself", and Amit's version of me using homoeopathy occasionally. As a matter of fact, the last time I entered any homoeopath's clinic was over fifteen years ago. Amit misconstrues my account of something that happened in the past in order to portray me as a soft supporter of homoeopathy.
The second quote he takes issue with is my statement that "the system sometimes appears to have an effect". I stand by this, it's the equivalent of saying the sun appears to go around the earth. It doesn't indicate the sun actually goes around the earth, all it suggests is, I kind of understand why everybody believed for millenia that it does. People I trust deeply have provided stories of how doses of homoeopathy alleviated symptoms where conventional medicine did not. Of course this could be the placebo effect at work, or a result of the fact that homoeopathy often 'cures' ailments which tend to cure themselves. By taking the 'appeared' outside my quote, so "the system sometimes appeared to have an effect", becomes "seemed 'to have an effect'", he changed the meaning of what I wrote without technically misquoting me.
Both Amit and I are in Goa right now, on a poker marathon, and, if we end up on the same table this evening, I intend to harangue him to induce a bad play.