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Messages - MMIX

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1
Ok sure, that makes sense. But realistically, if you are working security in a US school, where shootings seem to occur with alarming regularity, which would you rather be packing?

Well look, in for a penny in for a pound. All US teachers should be wearing nerve gas vests and deadman switches rigged to their heartbeats.

It's the only way to protect the children.

Wow, they turned you to the dark side Faust . . .
do they really have cookies?

2
Aneristic Illusions / Re: Random News Stories
« on: September 08, 2014, 08:11:37 pm »
It actually would still be part of the EU.  There was a big and dishonest campaign by the No Vote over here to say Scotland would have to reapply, until the EU said "uh, no they don't actually".  It would probably have to reapply to join NATO though...if it wanted to, which it isn't clear is the case.

And sure, Scotland would be viable on its own.  I mean, it's a first world economy, high level of education, tourism, a mixture of high-tech and heavy industry, decent exports.  It may not be quite as viable as it is as part of the UK...but it's really a matter of degrees.  It'd be like Belgium, or something.

If Scotland do leave the union then the rest of the dis-UK will not be as viable either. Which would make us erm, something like Belgium; so kinda like reality catching up with pd memes. Its a third of our land mass but only c. 5.4 M population

Also, Cain wtf is with this Glees chap?
"Professor Anthony Glees of the Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies at the University of Buckingham said: “ISIS are masters of propaganda and realise the impact of selecting a Scot."
Allowing that his splurging allover the Scottish sunday papers is unbelievably tacky and leaves a bad taste in the mouth, is there any substance to his claims?

3
Woo is always bullshit. That said, woo can sometimes be useful in the same way that other kinds of bullshit can be useful. Like when kids get excited about Santa Claus, or when voters get excited about Barack Obama. The fact that it is bullshit has no bearing on whether or not it influences the placebo effect, which is demonstrably not bullshit.

What is even more interesting is that you can tell people they are taking a placebo (and explain what a placebo is) and they will still respond positively to it.  Possibly due to mental cues based on the setting and practice of being given "medication" lowering stress levels and allowing the body to more effectively fight off infection than it would otherwise.

But research on placebos is strange and contradictary at the best of times.
A] I wouldn't even call it a healing process, more of an optimization of the existing healing system.

B] You push the command to get better from a cold down the chain, the body can do that.

C]You push the command to get better from a severed leg down the chain and the body is going to look at you funny. You're not getting the leg back but you might get some pain relief out it.
A]I think you're right about systems optimisation
B]I have a stinking summer cold/fluey thing going on. Maybe I need to learn to program #cos nothing I am doing consciously is making a blind bit of difference
C]And ghost limbs as well maybe

4
I've been saying for years the placebo effect is interesting. It's unfortunate that it manifests in the form of a "gotcha" and is readily dismissed by saying "yes but it's not real, it's just the placebo effect" as if this negates the fact that the patient improved. "Yes his tumor disappeared but it was placebo so it doesn't count"

Would be pretty neat to be able to harness it without the need to hoodwink the recipient.
Amen brother P3nT, preach that truth!

5
Woo is always bullshit. That said, woo can sometimes be useful in the same way that other kinds of bullshit can be useful. Like when kids get excited about Santa Claus, or when voters get excited about Barack Obama. The fact that it is bullshit has no bearing on whether or not it influences the placebo effect, which is demonstrably not bullshit.

What is even more interesting is that you can tell people they are taking a placebo (and explain what a placebo is) and they will still respond positively to it.  Possibly due to mental cues based on the setting and practice of being given "medication" lowering stress levels and allowing the body to more effectively fight off infection than it would otherwise.

But research on placebos is strange and contradictary at the best of times.

If I was young and looking for a worthwhile area to research the placebo effect would certainly be high on my hit list. Any area which offers both strange AND contradictory has got to be an interesting way to go

7
I don't suppose I need to point out to you that you live in a country where somewhere in the region of 80% of your compatriots have an invisible friend who they turn to for succour and relief and who they believe takes an up-close and personal interest in everything they do. The whole "woo" thing is so tightly wound into the structure of life that to try and compartmentalise "woo-based" therapies seems to be like trying to swat a ladybug while there is a hornets nest in the middle of the room.

Most major religions don't explicitly forbid skeptical inquiry and testing, while many woo peddlers do.

Yep the Catholic church for example is really committed to skeptical investigations of miracles in its attempt to stop itself making unworthy saints. And the less said about that probably the better. And woo peddlers can be equally dastardly in pursuit of big bucks and reputation. NB I am also including the major religions in that rather broad church of "Woo peddlers". The point I'm trying to make is that the very existence of such a high levels of religious belief worldwide normalises "woo" within societies. Even in Britain where levels of religious affiliation are much lower and we probably seem like a godless desert to the US we still have 60% Xtian 5% Muslim and smaller communities of Sikhs, Hindus, Jews & Buddhists. Correct me if I'm wrong but the impression I get from reading the forum is that even discordians seem to regard individual religious practice as just a private thing which is nobody's business but the practitioner's. I see religion as being something which ties individuals into networks of "woo" and hence in my perception is that religion is an intensely social and communal activity. That is the contrast I am trying to highlight, the contrast between the relatively harmless ladybugs. Yes they have poisonous knees and make you a bit uncomfortablew if you are really, really unlucky, but don't get hung up on the ladybug and ignore the hornets nest, cos that fucker is a much more serious prospect.

edit to insert missing word

8
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 I think the risk is getting so psychologically invested in woo ANY beliefs that the consequences can be far costlier than the benefits, e.g., believing the woo X worked when it hadn't and a treatable condition deteriorates beyond repair. Chapel perilous and all that jazz.

[/quote] fixxored!

Now I couldn't agree more. And elevating science to a special position where we refuse to believe that it is anything other than pristine and rational is the most dangerous thing of all. The thing about science is that it is performed by human beings; and we all know what a bunch of hyped-up hominids they are.

9
For fuck's sake.

Look at the functional aspect of Reiki.  Acknowledge the suffering of others.  Help them relax.  Pay attention to them.  Get them to pay attention to their own bodies.  Create a somatic feedback loop.  Encourage their positive feelings.  All of this has been shown to improve the mental and physical health of patients.

PLEASE NOTE NONE OF THE ABOVE NEEDS TO BE EXPLAINED BY PHANTOM MYSTICAL ENERGIES, NONE OF WHICH ARE EVEN BOTHERED TO BE EXPLAINED OR EVEN TESTED BY SCIENTIFIC PRINCIPLES, CHANNELED BY A GURU THAT COST SHITLOADS OF CASH.


It's kind of weird I have to explain that.

Yes, I hear your pain.

also if you weren't too pissed off to actually read it I did say
Quote
Actually I've been thinking about this whole "woo" thing and the thing that really makes me
[edit for emphasis] REALLY
Quote
uncomfortable is if there actually needs to be "woo" to make the effect work. If that turns out to be the case then I guess all bets are off

Thing is not everybody sees the world in the way you do. I don't suppose I need to point out to you that you live in a country where somewhere in the region of 80% of your compatriots have an invisible friend who they turn to for succour and relief and who they believe takes an up-close and personal interest in everything they do. The whole "woo" thing is so tightly wound into the structure of life that to try and compartmentalise "woo-based" therapies seems to be like trying to swat a ladybug while there is a hornets nest in the middle of the room.

My mother was a radiographer, my father was an industrial chemist, my cousin is a GP, my uncle was a medical photographer, 3 of my sisters in law are nurses of various specialisms, my aunt was a senior nursing officer involved in hygiene research, I originally trained as a therapeutic radiographer and later as a behavioural scientist. OK, none of us ever tried to knock some scientific sense into Dubya's administration but we are not by nature or training a "woo based" family. Point being, I think you have a tendency to not listen when the whole "woo" thing comes up. So, no, you don't have to explain the scientific shortcomings of reiki, I get it, I hear what you are saying and on some level I totally agree with you. However unless and until we understand the placebo effect the book cannot be closed on these sorts of practices. Or trance healing, or psychic surgery, or the vast range of other weird shit that people believe.
And I think that that is why I call myself discordian. I can look at things with wonder and be intrigued by them without feeling the need to believe in them. I think in the long run that is a pretty sound basis for dealing with the unbelieveable amount of unbelieveable things people have generated

10
[quote author=N ~̝͓̙͍̫͈̪̠͌̀͘͝E͛ͬͪͩ͆ͦ͑͏̘~̴͇͇̳̲͈͙͚̜͑͆͆̃̄ͯ̍̚͠ T link=topic=36760.msg1355644#msg1355644 date=1409778503]
also Your new avatar - it is designed to cause madness, blindness & incontinence isn't it?

8)

My new username also broke the quote function, but I think I fixed it while retaining its terrible glory.
[/quote]
Terrible Glory!!!! hmmmm yep that has a nice ring to it. Also I don't want to sound alarmist but bits of your avatar new username seem to be crawling out and curling up in strange places . . . 

Anyhow, the problem I have with people reacting to the whole concept of "woo" is that you can hear the sepulchral clang of minds closing or the fairy farts of minds opening so they are dribbling out of folks ears. I normally regard LMNO for example as quite an open-minded sort of cove. But upthread his reaction to "woo" indicates a real blind spot to potentialities. Until the jury is finally in and we have a definitive verdict on just what the hell is happening when people get positive benefits from "therapies" which aren't scientifically explicable there has to be enough wiggleroom to allow us to actually investigate fully. That's all I'm saying. And it seems to me [YMMV] that we need not so be so quick to scoff until we actually have the evidence we need to be sure we are not missing something important but which is maybe not obvious or maybe counter intuitive.

Actually I've been thinking about this whole "woo" thing and the thing that really makes me uncomfortable is if there actually needs to be "woo" to make the effect work. If that turns out to be the case then I guess all bets are off

edit for getting mucking fords wuddled

11
For the record, Google is analysing and learning everything about you. If you're  tinfoil hat wearer then my advice would be - steer well clear - this is not the droid you're looking for. I, on the other hand, am more than happy for my exocortex to know me better than I do. It's not much use to me otherwise.

And, yeah - overprescription of antibiotics has led us to A) piss weak immune systems/ herd immunity and B) superstrains of drug resistant pathogens but we're currently so close to programmable, targetted molecules with a rapid turnaroud that it's going to cease to be an issue in the next couple of years. Antibiotics did a lot of good for humanity, back in the day. We're locked in an arms race. It'll lalways be that way.

You know that thing that Nigel keeps saying about not assuming that you are always getting the full picture when you read edited highlights about cutting edge research? Well I agree with her. Double ditto if you [generically you not you personally] are reading actual research papers unless you are the target audience. The only bit of that that I actually agree with is the arms race bit. Like I said up-thread I'm really glad I'm closer to the grave than the cradle.

12
[quote author=N̠̳̘͓̠͓ͦ ͔ ̓̽̃ ̳̦̳͗E̮̜̱͇͗̿ͭ ̮̽̇ͮͦ ̞̲̼̪ ͇̳̤̥͖͕̀ͬ͊T̰ link=topic=36760.msg1355634#msg1355634 date=1409773524]
They were your first ten hits because most of your searches are "crystal healing" and "roswell cover up"

My first ten were NHS, wikipedia then a bunch of scientific papers on new developments

I am laughing my socks off because you couldn't be more wrong, or more gratuitously offensive.

I do however subscribe to a number of news sites and these were newsy results. Point to you though because I didn't know that was how google worked either. Well I guess I probably subconsciously did because its becoming increasingly creepy how it knows what I want to search for before I do
Good way to avoid my point though.


I agree that overuse and misuse of antibiotics is a problem, and the prevalence of such is not helping in the medical arms race to combat rapidly evolving antibiotic resistant disease. But I don't think it follows that alternative therapies such as reiki and homeopathy are the answer. Instead, how about investing in more teachers of math and science and making it possible for people of any socio-economic background to pursue careers in the medical field?
[/quote]

Sounds good. Except that without massive investment from the For Profit Pharmaceuticals Juggernaut or shuffling cash from the Miltary budgets of the Mine's Bigger Than Yours politicos of the world no amount of newly trained medical researchers are going to make a difference. They will follow the money because that is where the research gets done, at the cash point- the point where the cash will generate profit. If we are hugely lucky,  then there may be a new family of antibacterials develped before we collapse back into medieval helplessness, but if there is then we will frankly have been more lucky than we deserve to be.

I don't think anyone is claiming [well nobody rational anyhow] that "Woo" however you care to define it is the answer to our problems. It seems to me that refusing to accept whatever benefits - and there are some demonstrable benefits - from things like reiki or homeopathy or any other ridiculous / superstitious / eccentric practices which trigger the placebo effect is like throwing out the baby with the bathwater. I hope that someone puts the effort into studying the placebo effect and harnessing its results, but lets just repeat this once more for effevt:- there is no money for Big Pharma in sugar pills and touchy-feelin therapies so don't expect them to either help or not hinder any research efforts.

ps it just occurred to me what a weird nickname Big Pharma is. Its one of those homonym things but it sounds likeBig Farmer.

also Your new avatar - it is designed to cause madness, blindness & incontinence isn't it?



13
They were your first ten hits because most of your searches are "crystal healing" and "roswell cover up"

My first ten were NHS, wikipedia then a bunch of scientific papers on new developments

I am laughing my socks off because you couldn't be more wrong, or more gratuitously offensive.

I do however subscribe to a number of news sites and these were newsy results. Point to you though because I didn't know that was how google worked either. Well I guess I probably subconsciously did because its becoming increasingly creepy how it knows what I want to search for before I do
Good way to avoid my point though.


14
I don't know about all this naysaying. I can't say I have a doctorate or that I've published any papers in "real" journals, but I know that a strict regimen combining meditation, homeopathic treatments, and antibiotics can cure pneumonia.

Ok I gotta admit i did laugh first  :lol:

       but then I googled:

Quote
Farm Antibiotics May Be Linked to Food Allergies
U.S. News & World Report ‎- 49 minutes ago
WEDNESDAY, Sept. 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Allergic reactions to food are a concern for millions of Americans, and now a study suggests there's a potential new player on the immunology front: Some people may be allergic to the antibiotics used to keep pests away from fruits and vegetables. 
The study profiles the case of a 10-year-old girl who had a severe allergic reaction after eating blueberry pie. She suffered from asthma, seasonal allergies and allergies to milk and penicillin, but nothing in the pie seemed like a likely culprit.
The researchers determined that the problem was a blueberry that had been treated with streptomycin, an antibiotic that's used in people to fight off germs and in plants to keep bacteria, fungi and algae at bay. .
 The researchers determined that the problem was a blueberry that had been treated with streptomycin, an antibiotic that's used in people to fight off germs and in plants to keep bacteria, fungi and algae at bay.
"As far as we know, this is the first report that links an allergic reaction to fruits treated with antibiotic pesticides," said allergist Dr. Anne Des Roches, the lead author of the study published in the September issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
"Certain European countries ban the use of antibiotics for growing foods, but the United States and Canada still allow them for agricultural purposes," Des Roches said in a journal news release.

Quote
CDC Threat Report: 'We Will Soon Be in a Post-Antibiotic Era' 
BY MARYN MCKENNA      09.16.13
Wired - 
Sep 2013
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has just published a first-of-its-kind assessment of the threat the country faces from antibiotic-resistant organisms, ranking them by the number of illnesses and deaths they cause each year and outlining urgent steps that need to be taken to roll back the trend.
The agency’s overall — and, it stressed, conservative — assessment of the problem:
Each year, in the U.S., 2,049,442 illnesses caused by bacteria and fungi that are resistant to at least some classes of antibiotics;
Each year, out of those illnesses, 23,000 deaths;
Because of those illnesses and deaths, $20 billion each year in additional healthcare spending;
And beyond the direct healthcare costs, an additional $35 billion lost to society in foregone productivity.
“If we are not careful, we will soon be in a post-antibiotic era,” Dr. Tom Frieden, the CDC’s director, said in a media briefing. “And for some patients and for some microbes, we are already there.”

Quote
Are you ready for a world without antibiotics?
The Guardian - 
Aug 2010
Antibiotics are a bedrock of modern medicine. But in the very near future, we're going to have to learn to live without them once again. And it's going to get nasty.

Quote
BBC News - Antibiotics resistance 'as big a risk as terrorism ...
www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21737844

11 Mar 2013 - The danger posed by growing resistance to antibiotics should be ranked along with terrorism on a list of threats to the nation, the government's chief medical officer for England has said.
Professor Dame Sally Davies described it as a "ticking time bomb".
She warned that routine operations could become deadly in just 20 years if we lose the ability to fight infection.

Google antibiotic; you don't even need to put in 'news' or 'resistance' or 'problem', just plain old 'antibiotic'. These were out of the first ten hits. So you might want to polish up your meditation skills cos it looks like, in the medium term, that's about all we are going to have left. Only good thing from my pov is I'll probably be dead by then so my total lack of meditation abilities isn't going to negatively impact my declining years.  :lol:

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