About InContiNet – History, Policy, Sponsorship

IncontiNet is a dream whose time has finally come. In the early 1980s, Bill Farrall and I argued over who should provide an Incontinence Bulletin Board Service (BBS) – the manufacturer or the inventor. He had an old CPM computer available, I had a used Apple II. But neither of us really thought the world was ready. Finally in 1990 I did organized a “Bulletin Board” for Incontinence. I set up a 286 “AT” computer, 2400 baud modem, and private phone line. I started posting articles. I waited. And waited, And waited. Finally, after months, the phone rang. It was a wrong number. Eventually one person did try to log in, but after six months of inactivity I had forgotten to turn the computer on.

About the same time the American Urological Association started its own BBS. Along with 86 MDs, I signed up. There was so little activity that the AUA abandoned the project after just two years, and no one noticed.

But that was before the WEB. According to the experts, there were 5 million Web users in Dec. 94, and 12 million in June, 95! Judging from the number of now FREE web browser disks I get in the mail, there must be at least 25 millon by now (Nov. 95). The joke on the internet is that some manufacturers are trying to cancel Planned Parenthood, because at the present rate every human being alive will be on-line by the year 2004 AD.

Alternative Publishing On the Internet

What really turns me on about the Internet is the way it is rapidly democratizing the academic and intellectual community of the world by allowing free exchange between people. On the internet, professors and drop-outs, company presidents and “entry level workers” are known only by their screen names, and they make or loose their case by the strength of their arguments, not their position in the power structure. It is difficult to understate the effect this is going to have on our culture; indeed, it has already started.

I’m not much of a fan of peer-reviewed journals. I was, once, before I had personal experience with the authoritarian power structure of modern science. Back in 1976, when I invented the pelvic muscle EMG sensor that is now curing incontinence, I submitted an article to Psychophysiology, the ‘in’ journal at the time in this field. I based my article on the “vaginal myograph” (as I called it then) on Geer’s article in the same journal on the “vaginal photophethysmograph” from 1973. My mentor and I were somewhat shocked when all three reviews came back panning the article. One said it wouldn’t work because I used non-standard amplifiers. Another said it couldn’t work, because Basmajian said you have to use electrode paste for surface EMG. Finally, one claimed that the erratic tracings proved that “movement artifact” rather than true EMG signals were being recorded.

Not to be discouraged, I conducted a series of experiments in which we pulled and pushed a cylindrical sensor in and out during Kegel-type contractions — there were no movement artifacts! I re-wrote the article based on the criticism, and submitted the new data which proved I was right (and that one could indeed measure pelvic muscle activity by means of a sensor inserted inside the vagina!). Schacter, the editor, never forwarded my new data, and the same old reviewers again dreamed up new reasons why it would never work.

Over the years I gradually discovered who my three blind reviewers had been. All three were very famous people in the psychophysiology profession. One even made the mistake of quoting in public from my unpublished article that he had himself rejected! But in every case I discovered that each of the three hostile reviewers had a financial interest in a device that would have been made relatively or completely obsolete by my invention. (One measured blood flow by photocell, another by thermister, and the third measured vaginal muscles by pressure.) So much for the impartiality of “blind” scientific reviewers, and so much for the contribution of peer-reviewed journals to the advancement of knowledge. All of the reviewers, BTW, have gone on to more lucrative projects, and have abandoned their pet devices. My device, which they said wouldn’t work, has already helped hundreds of thousands of patients get over urinary and fecal incontinence, and other chronic muscle dysfunction problems. Yet it has never been described in any peer reviewed journal. Strange, isn’t it?

InContiNet Editorial Policy

If you have read this far you won’t be startled to learn that IncontiNet is not going to be “peer-reviewed”. Indeed, we hope to have a characteristically “internet” flavor of being open to any and all contributors, based only on the quality of their logic and clarity of their presentation. No one will be censored, certainly not for disagreeing with the “owner” of this site. However, all contributors will run the risk of generating discordant opinions, so let the buyer beware! Hopefully web browsers will take advantage of our mailing list to discuss the merits of the material posted here.

Sponsorship Policy

Mirroring our editorial policy, our sponsorship policy is that InContiNet will accept support from anyone and everyone who wants to participate. Browsers who appreciate the intellectual and professional content of InContiNet should remember that it is brought to you by the generous support of our sponsors. We hope that you will recognize their progressive and charitable contribution by using their products (when appropriate, if appropriate). And, when you contact them, be sure to tell them you saw their page or paragraph on InContiNet!

Like everything else on the Internet, this policy is subject to change, revision, modification and the grace of God. Your comments and suggestions are eagerly solicited: email to DrPerry@InContiNet.com.


© 1996 by John D. Perry

This page’s address is: http://www.incontinet.com/other/aboutinc.htm