I have recently given interviews to German, Austrian, French and Canadian journalists. They all had different perspectives, but they all had one question in common:
YOU ARE RETIRED AND COULD BE ENJOYING LIFE, WHY DO YOU CARRY ON WORKING?
And every time I was asked this question, I was surprised. To me, it seems perfectly natural to carry on. But having been asked several times, I did ponder: why do I do it? Here are some answers found through this exercise of introspection.
First let me list three reasons that my detractors regularly imply which, however, are all false:
- I do not do it for the money. In fact, I earn nothing from writing this blog and even have to pay for the pleasure.
- I do not do it because of a bad personal experience; such an event does simply not exist.
- I do not do it because I want to be famous.
So, why then?
The best reason I can give is that I feel a responsibility to do what I do. I am perhaps the only person on the planet who has studied so-called alternative medicine (SCAM) extensively and who, at the same time, has been critical about it. Practically all other full-time SCAM researchers are demonstrably less than critical about their subject (in case you know someone who isn’t, please tell me). And other SCAM critics are often (rightly or wrongly) dismissed by SCAM enthusiasts because they have never done original research on the subject. This does not easily work in my case.
The responsibility I feel relates to the abominable amount of false or unreliable information that is being published every day about SCAM. In my view, it harms and even endangers the life of many consumers and patients (see, for instance, this recent case). Confronted with this endless flow of seriously misleading information, I feel unable not to do anything about it. I thus see my work since retirement as an attempt to counter-balance this danger and to make a small contribution to progress.
If I am honest, I also have to admit that I am enjoying what I do. Thus the question ‘why don’t you enjoy life…?’ entirely misses the point. I have enough time to pursue my hobbies and, when I work on SCAM, I usually have plenty of fun.
In conclusion, I am retired and I enjoy life!