0808: "The Economic Argument"

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HonoreDB
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby HonoreDB » Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:00 am UTC

David,

In our previous exchanges, I said that I could tell from what you were saying about culture that you had a negative view of sex, and were therefore conflating the two concepts Pfhorrest is trying to pick apart above. I looked you up to try to confirm this, and I did. To be clear, I'm not accusing you of holding any beliefs other than those you have professed. I'm saying that the two quotes of yours I found, in themselves, constitute an anti-sex viewpoint. Here they are again, emphasis added:
davidstarlingm wrote:Being gay is not immoral. Gay sex is immoral because (and only because) God did not provide for sexual expression outside of certain bounds.

davidstarlingm wrote:Because of this heritage, we all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. The most righteous and holy person on earth still lies, cheats, entertains lustful thoughts, and harbors hatred toward others at one time or another.


It's these beliefs I'm attacking. I consider them to be the single most pernicious Western meme concerning sex. I consider them to be responsible for a great many evils. I want to make you feel bad about them, so that you'll change.
davidstarlingm wrote:do you understand (yet) that Christians who criticize media objectification of women do so, not because they are misogynists, but because they recognize misogyny in the portrayal of women as sex objects?


You've actually provided some evidence against that. I wouldn't call you a misogynist, exactly, but your criticism of "portrayal of women as sex objects" is clearly a catspaw for your real beef against media efforts to de-stigmatize lust.

davidstarlingm wrote:
HonoreDB wrote:
davidstarlingm wrote:in America, threats to happiness are the ultimate evil.

I'm with America on that one.

Funny. I would have expected a secular humanist to see humanity, not the personal happiness of any given individual, as the greatest good.

The happiness of all thinking beings, not just humanity, but other than that I don't see the difference.

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby davidstarlingm » Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:10 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
davidstarlingm wrote:Do you see how portraying women as if their sensuality is their only worth objectifies them?


I'm curious if you distinguish between portraying women as if their sensuality is their only worth, and only portraying the sensuous worth of women.

Thanks for bringing it back to the topic of discussion, Pfhorrest.

Pfhorrest wrote:....is accentuating only women's sexuality equivalent to disparaging their non-sexual traits, in your book?

No, they are not equivalent. Clearly, one statement is stronger than the other.

Pfhorrest wrote:I ask because, while there are certainly plenty of notable examples of the first kind, the overwhelming majority of what I see in the popular media is of the second kind. Lots of things draw attention to how sexy women are, but much fewer (though certainly not none, I admit) explicitly put down everything non-sexual about them.

Agreed. Ludacris and Lil Wayne are clearly extreme examples of sexim. The former is more prevalent in what rap I have heard; the latter is more characteristic of the culture as a whole.

I would point out, though, that extreme focus on the latter at some point begins to approach the conclusion of the former. When the vast majority of one's revenue comes from exploiting male desire by sensual depiction of women, it becomes difficult to argue that the business isn't treating women like sex objects.

Ol' Hefner would no doubt insist that he believes women to be much more than mere sex objects, but there is very little in the average Playboy to reinforce this.

The point is that by continually and persistently portraying sex as the primary function of women, the media contributes to society viewing women as nothing more than sex objects. And we treat people how we view them....hence the statement that society wants to treat women as whores, and Christianity disagrees. Yes, it's a generalization, but everything is a generalization to some extent.

Pfhorrest wrote:(And [admittedly to a lesser extent, though increasing in recent years] men are sometimes framed with only or predominantly their sexual characteristics accentuated. The first example that comes to mind is the 90s TV show Ally McBeal, where many of the male characters, mostly incidental but some of the main cast as well, were portrayed primarily as objects of sexual interest of the female protagonist(s). A more recent, but lesser example I ran across just yesterday was a rerun of Farscape, where one female character asked another if she "liked men for sex", and the other replied ambivalently that they're sometimes good for other things, "but they're REALLY good for sex". And before you say that these are examples of the sexualization of the female characters in question more so than the men they're talking about, I ask what would you say if the genders were reversed? Is a portrayal of men talking about how sexy women are portraying the former as sex objects, or the latter? Whatever your answer, it should be the same for a portrayal of women talking about how sexy men are.)

Yes.

While it is obvious that the media is much more focused on objectifying women (mostly because that's usually more profitable than objectifying men), the insistence on viewing everyone as sex objects is applicable to both genders. However, due to traditional gender roles, this usually manifests in different ways. Like I said before, society encourages men to be overgrown sex-crazed adolescents who view women as objects to be used and discarded. Occasionally reversing roles just intensifies the effect ("Gee, that woman views me sexually? She must really be a slut!"). On the flip side, everyone knows (or assumes; this is what is encouraged) that men are already sex-crazed.

Traditionally speaking, men are the greater source of wealth in society, so the media caters to and encourages their desires first. As was pointed out back when Palin's son-in-law posed for Playgirl....girls aren't the primary audience that magazine is intended for.

The media can make the most money by encouraging men to stay sex-crazed and convincing them that women are equally sex-crazed. For them, it's just about the money, but it has the unfortunate consequence of encouraging sex addiction and the continued objectification of women by society. Ultimately, it contributes to perversion and sex crimes.

At least that's the way Christians view it.

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby The_Mexican » Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:25 am UTC

davidstarlingm wrote:While it is obvious that the media is much more focused on objectifying women.


davidstarlingm wrote:Like I said before, society encourages men to be overgrown sex-crazed adolescents who view women as objects to be used and discarded.


davidstarlingm wrote:On the flip side, everyone knows (or assumes; this is what is encouraged) that men are already sex-crazed.


davidstarlingm wrote:Traditionally speaking, men are the greater source of wealth in society, so the media caters to and encourages their desires first.


davidstarlingm wrote:The media can make the most money by encouraging men to stay sex-crazed and convincing them that women are equally sex-crazed. For them, it's just about the money.


davidstarlingm wrote:At least that's the way Christians view it.


http://xkcd.com/285/ on all of these highly sexist statements, please.

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby davidstarlingm » Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:40 am UTC

HonoreDB wrote:To be clear, I'm not accusing you of holding any beliefs other than those you have professed. I'm saying that the two quotes of yours I found, in themselves, constitute an anti-sex viewpoint. Here they are again, emphasis added:
davidstarlingm wrote:Being gay is not immoral. Gay sex is immoral because (and only because) God did not provide for sexual expression outside of certain bounds.

davidstarlingm wrote:Because of this heritage, we all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. The most righteous and holy person on earth still lies, cheats, entertains lustful thoughts, and harbors hatred toward others at one time or another.

It's these beliefs I'm attacking. I consider them to be the single most pernicious Western meme concerning sex. I consider them to be responsible for a great many evils. I want to make you feel bad about them, so that you'll change.

Re the first quote: I'm not sure how the position that sex is meant to be expressed in a particular way is anti-sex. Couple this with the fact that I have many gay friends and don't make dogging them about their lifestyle a practice....

I have specific personal beliefs about what God desires for humans. Someone who doesn't believe in my particular idea of God really shouldn't be threatened by my beliefs. Of course I tend to think that the reason they are threatened is because they are insecure in their own beliefs about God, but that's just the silly musings of a bored physics major with a penchant for philosophy.

Re the second quote: expressing why I believe God is justified in condemning humanity isn't exactly a comprehensive assessment of how we humans ought to view each other's sexualities. But let's say that it is. Christians have this archaic idea that internalized ideals tend to eventually manifest -- "as a man thinks in his heart, so he is". Crazy, I know. But the conclusion is that if a person cannot control their sexual desires when they are just desires, they will probably not be able to control themselves in other situations. The argument can be made that pornography satisfies lustful desires, thus preventing rape, but Scripture tends to support a different psychology: that things like lust tend to feed on themselves and grow more dangerous if not controlled. So yes, unrestrained lust is bad for the public as well as the individual.

HonoreDB wrote:
davidstarlingm wrote:do you understand (yet) that Christians who criticize media objectification of women do so, not because they are misogynists, but because they recognize misogyny in the portrayal of women as sex objects?

You've actually provided some evidence against that. I wouldn't call you a misogynist, exactly, but your criticism of "portrayal of women as sex objects" is clearly a catspaw for your real beef against media efforts to de-stigmatize lust.

Well, it's nice to know that you wouldn't call me a misogynist.

I wouldn't say that the media is nobly trying to de-stigmatize lust so as to benefit humanity. I would say that they are trying to exploit lust by objectifying women so as to turn a profit. Yes: sex isn't the problem; lust is. But lust is not the primary reason that the media disgusts me; I'm primarily irritated that they degrade women in their pursuit of profit. The fact that they exploit lust is of secondary concern....mostly because lust isn't a problem the media created. Degrading and objectifying women more or less is.

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby davidstarlingm » Sun Nov 14, 2010 3:04 am UTC

The_Mexican wrote:
davidstarlingm wrote:While it is obvious that the media is much more focused on objectifying women.

An object lesson will probably be more effective than a citation, so here are a few exercises:
  • Turn on the television for an hour. Flip through a few channels. What is the male/female ratio of sensual depictions in the commercials?
  • Walk down the checkout lane at the grocery store. How many of the magazines have sensually depicted women on them? How many have sensually depicted men on them?
  • Google Image "sexy" (not recommended; don't actually do this). What is the male/female ratio in the pictures?

davidstarlingm wrote:Like I said before, society encourages men to be overgrown sex-crazed adolescents who view women as objects to be used and discarded.

See above. Also, see Wade below.

davidstarlingm wrote:On the flip side, everyone knows (or assumes; this is what is encouraged) that men are already sex-crazed.

See above. Also, see Wade below.

davidstarlingm wrote:Traditionally speaking, men are the greater source of wealth in society, so the media caters to and encourages their desires first.

Chang, 2004

davidstarlingm wrote:The media can make the most money by encouraging men to stay sex-crazed and convincing them that women are equally sex-crazed. For them, it's just about the money.

Wade, 2009

davidstarlingm wrote:At least that's the way Christians view it.

no citation needed

The_Mexican wrote:http://xkcd.com/285/ on all of these highly sexist statements, please.

citation needed (How are these statements examples of sexism? They are facts about sexist attitudes.)

EDIT: In the future, please specify whether you prefer APA, MLA, Chicago-parenthetical, or Chicago-footnote citations.

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Nov 14, 2010 6:37 am UTC

davidstarlingm wrote:I am disappointed by your approach. Resorting to ad hominem attacks
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Looking into and discussing the things you yourself have said and done regarding sexuality, in an effort to understand your beliefs regarding sexuality, seems completely reasonable and not even a little bit resembling "ad hominem attacks".
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby davidstarlingm » Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:08 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
davidstarlingm wrote:I am disappointed by your approach. Resorting to ad hominem attacks....
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Looking into and discussing the things you yourself have said and done regarding sexuality, in an effort to understand your beliefs regarding sexuality, seems completely reasonable and not even a little bit resembling "ad hominem attacks".

+1 Internet Points for the quote. :-)

I was specifically referring to an ad hominem circumstantial. HonoreDB argued that because my views of homosexuality/heterosexuality were invalid/unethical/damaging/dangerous, my argument (that the media's portrayal of women causes them to be devalued in society) must be false. This is a textbook ad hominem circumstantial fallacy; my view of homosexuality is completely irrelevant to the question of whether media portrayals contribute to the objectification/degradation of women. To simplify/exemplify:

A: "Do games like Call of Duty contribute to America's acceptance of involvement in aggressor conflicts like Iraq?"
B: "You said a few weeks ago that you thought Halo 3 was boring! Clearly, you don't know anything about video games. You're out to get gamers."
A: "Uh....okay....WHAT?"

Even if A did have a vendetta against gamers (very unlikely), that fact would do nothing to make his question illegitimate or less relevant.

However, his observation that I believe lust to be damaging was not an ad hominem attack, because it contributed to the discussion. The question of whether I think lust is damaging holds clear relevancy to the question of whether I think media portrayal of women is degrading. I admitted that yes, uncontrolled lust is a problem for society as well as individuals, but the crux of the matter is whether exploiting that lust for profit degrades women by displaying them as sex objects.

This was ad hominem:
HonoreDB wrote:Your beliefs harm children. You're contributing to the fear, confusion, and shame that needlessly accompanies puberty for everyone. You've accumulated some blood on your hands.


This was not:
HonoreDB wrote:....your criticism of "portrayal of women as sex objects" is clearly a catspaw for your real beef against media efforts to de-stigmatize lust.


'Nuff said?

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby Squall83 » Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:43 am UTC

davidstarlingm wrote:
Squall83 wrote:
davidstarlingm wrote:No one here has ever said that medically effective homeopathy cannot exist.
You couldn't be more wrong. There are a LOT of people who claim that homeopathy is completely ineffective.

Correct, I (for one) claim that homeopathy is completely ineffective. But that's not applicable. You do recognize the difference between saying "homeopathy cannot possibly work, no matter what the data says" and "homeopathy doesn't work; that's what the data says"? The latter is common sense; I have yet to see anyone express the former.
Nope, it's not common sense. McTaggart wrote about experiments where human antibody reacted to water which has been in contact with antigenes but shouldn't contain more that a few molecules of it. Jacques Benveniste, a doctor in parisian hospitals, was researching allergies in the 1980s (not in a homeopathic manner, just normal experiments about allergic reactions).
He accidently stumbled on homeopathy which was caused by a computing error when his assistant Elisabeth Davenas accidently thinned the allergenes far too much since she thought it had a much higher concentration, but she still got reactions from the Leucocytes. Of course they didn't believe those results right away. They were redoing the experiment for weeks, with the same result. McTaggart writes about that beginning on page 100 (at least that's the page number in the German version).

davidstarlingm wrote:
Squall83 wrote:I'm not talking about reasonably skeptical. I am talking about people living in a closed-world-assumption, i.e. everything which has not been definitely proven is assumed to be wrong.

Like who?
Like people I know. You're lucky if you don't live around any of them.

davidstarlingm wrote:
Squall83 wrote:I only said that if you believe in god despite there being no scientific evidence then you contradict yourself if you rule out the possibility of esoteric stuff on principle.

Scientists don't rule things out on principle. They rule things out by experiment.

And more to the point, if they still believe in the miracles of Jesus and the way sins are forgiven, without doubting all of this, then they contradict themselves.

davidstarlingm wrote:Repeat after me: It's not an assumption; it's the conclusion.

Yet there are many different conclusions around, all the result of serious experiments.

Also thanks for the explanation on that million dollar challenge. According to McTaggart there should be a lot of people by now who'd be able to claim that prize indeed.

Carlington (The Aussie) wrote:When did this thread for discussion of xkcd #808 stop being about xkcd #808, and start being about whether or not homeopathy/dowsing/aura detection/astrology is a provable phenomenon?
Oh that was me a few pages back, since that comic claims that auras are a crazy phenomenon. I wrote that auras are electromagnetic fields caused by the currents running through our body (and therefore their existence is scientifically proven) and then it went something like "it's about what is claimed to be doable with auras" etc.
But we know that electromagnetic fields can be influenced which causes the corresponding currents to be influenced as well and we know our brain sends it's orders using currents and we know about the placebo-effect (by thinking that we get healthy, i.e. by sending electrical impulses accordingly, we can get healthy), so who knows what might or might not be possible through aura healing?

HungryHobo wrote:Apparently in the Pear studies the percentage of hits in the intended direction was 50.02% if you look at all their studies though I'm guessing The Field only mentioned the few which were further out in the normal curve.

No, she doesn't fall for easy traps like that. ;-) She writes that she did serious research and from what I read I believe her. 50,02% is around what McTaggart writes, too. She writes that if you look at 10.000 Bits then an average of 1 Bit was wrong. The only way to prove that it wasn't chance was to repeat the experiment over and over again until even a deviation of 1 Bit out of 10.000 was very improbable.

HungryHobo wrote:It would also appear that other groups have not been able to replicate their results reliably.
That's possible as well. McTaggart wrote about various different experiments about influencing randomness by wishing (not all with the RNG but with all kinds of different other means) and she wrote that 10 out of 19 studies showed significant deviations.

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Nov 14, 2010 3:45 pm UTC

Squall83 wrote:Jacques Benveniste, a doctor in parisian hospitals, was researching allergies in the 1980s (not in a homeopathic manner, just normal experiments about allergic reactions).
He accidently stumbled on homeopathy which was caused by a computing error when his assistant Elisabeth Davenas accidently thinned the allergenes far too much since she thought it had a much higher concentration, but she still got reactions from the Leucocytes. Of course they didn't believe those results right away. They were redoing the experiment for weeks, with the same result.
Yeah... and then when the editor of Nature examined his lab and ensured that the experiment was actually double blind, there were suddenly no significant results.

You seem to all of your information from this McTaggart person, when you might be better off checking some primary sources or looking for sources from people with different biases.
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby davidstarlingm » Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:53 pm UTC

Sweet! Finally back to a topic that's actually related to the comic.

Squall83 wrote:McTaggart wrote about experiments where human antibody reacted to water which has been in contact with antigenes but shouldn't contain more that a few molecules of it.

By now, you should probably expect that "citation needed" brackets will be the default response to pretty much any of your claims. Also, a quick Google of "McTaggart antibody" took me to a "Lynne McTaggart" (ostensibly the one you are referring to), who has written books like "What Doctors Don't Tell You". Conspiracy theorists are generally given a very short leash around here.

Back to your claim, though: immune system response to a solution containing only a few (ie statistically insignificant/less than 1000 per mL) molecules of an active substance would be very interesting. Immune system response to a solution containing none of the active substance wouldn't be interesting; it would be extraordinary! It would be Nobel-Prize-worthy.

Needless to say, McTaggart's hearsay is the former; homeopathy is the latter.


gmalivuk wrote:
Squall83 wrote:Jacques Benveniste, a doctor in parisian hospitals, was researching allergies in the 1980s (not in a homeopathic manner, just normal experiments about allergic reactions).
He accidently stumbled on homeopathy which was caused by a computing error when his assistant Elisabeth Davenas accidently thinned the allergenes far too much since she thought it had a much higher concentration, but she still got reactions from the Leucocytes. Of course they didn't believe those results right away. They were redoing the experiment for weeks, with the same result. McTaggart writes about that beginning on page 100 (at least that's the page number in the German version).

Yeah....and then when the editor of Nature examined his lab and ensured that the experiment was actually double blind, there were suddenly no significant results.

As a general rule, Squall, most pseudoscientific/paranormal claims have already been seen and evaluated by scientists under many, many sets of circumstances. Very rarely does any truly novel claim arise. When the last four thousand claims have been shown to be the result of confirmation bias, poor statistical analysis, or experimental design error, it's reasonable to be a little skeptical about claim #4001.

Squall83 wrote:
davidstarlingm wrote:
Squall83 wrote:I'm not talking about reasonably skeptical. I am talking about people living in a closed-world-assumption, i.e. everything which has not been definitely proven is assumed to be wrong.

Like who?
Like people I know. You're lucky if you don't live around any of them.

Pardon me for being blunt, but since you seem to be the only person on these forums who knows anyone who fits this description, I'm afraid these "people you know" aren't particularly good evidence for any point. I can talk about how my blue-skinned pointy-eared downstairs neighbors are able to hover 3" off the ground, but unless someone else knows them as well, my point isn't particularly relevant.

Squall83 wrote:
davidstarlingm wrote:
Squall83 wrote:I only said that if you believe in god despite there being no scientific evidence then you contradict yourself if you rule out the possibility of esoteric stuff on principle.

Scientists don't rule things out on principle. They rule things out by experiment.

And more to the point, if they still believe in the miracles of Jesus and the way sins are forgiven, without doubting all of this, then they contradict themselves.

Yes, yes; we both agree that blind faith is stupid.

Squall83 wrote:
davidstarlingm wrote:Repeat after me: It's not an assumption; it's the conclusion.

Yet there are many different conclusions around, all the result of serious experiments.

#285

Squall83 wrote:Also thanks for the explanation on that million dollar challenge. According to McTaggart there should be a lot of people by now who'd be able to claim that prize indeed.

And yet no one has, in the 42 years since the challenge was first made. What should this tell us about McTaggart's hearsay?

Squall83 wrote:
HungryHobo wrote:It would also appear that other groups have not been able to replicate their results reliably.
That's possible as well. McTaggart wrote about various different experiments about influencing randomness by wishing (not all with the RNG but with all kinds of different other means) and she wrote that 10 out of 19 studies showed significant deviations.

#285 (on McTaggart, not on you)

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby zerozerozero » Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:14 am UTC

Really felt I had to post on this comic as it has been the first one that I have been disappointed by the logic of the argument.

Not that I am arguing for the validity of ANY of the phenomenon mentioned in the strip, but by arguing that modern capitalism IS ruthlessly profit driven (which I believe), you are providing a motive for existing monopolies or financial giants in various industries to prevent the use of 'phenomenon' that may interfere with the current and potential income received from the patents they hold.

Example:
The electric car and fossil fuel alternatives.

In addition, research into scientifically verifying various 'crazy phenomenon' could conceivably be repressed by the aforementioned financial giants. In my field of work/research I have come across multiple occasions where pharmaceutical companies and other interest groups whose profits have been marginally threatened by certain advancements and/or existing products in the natural health industry* (deemed a 'crazy phenomenon' to many) have actively repressed the sale of various natural health products and/or publicly mislabeled them as dangerous, through such means as suspicious sponsorship of biased research on these products (rather than having this matter researched independantly by the appropriate government agencies).

Example:
The falsified mutagenic status of the plant-sourced sugar-free sweetener steviol glycoside, concluded by bogus research initiated by the patent holders of nutra-sweet, which was submitted to the US FDA and led to the ban of Steviol glycoside in food production for over 20 years.

Companies like Coca-cola who would have greatly profited from using non-patented steviol glycoside in their diet beverages were prevented from doing so by another "ruthless" capatalist enterprise.


(*I am not including Homoepathy, which I do not recognise as a part of the industry)

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby uncivlengr » Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:00 pm UTC

zerozerozero wrote:Not that I am arguing for the validity of ANY of the phenomenon mentioned in the strip, but by arguing that modern capitalism IS ruthlessly profit driven (which I believe), you are providing a motive for existing monopolies or financial giants in various industries to prevent the use of 'phenomenon' that may interfere with the current and potential income received from the patents they hold.
Except, as has been pointed out every time someone comes up with this argument in this thread, the examples of pseudo-scientific phenomenon used in the comic aren't examples of new ideas entering the scene to compete with the status quo - in most cases, it's the reverse.

Sure, if astrology was a new concept that hadn't had a chance to overcome the other pressures you mentioned, it wouldn't be expected to have the advantage at this time. But astrology has been around longer than other business models, and it's the newer concepts that have overcome the status quo and surpassed astrology. Psychics, astrology, tarot reading, homeopathy, witchcraft.... they've all been around long enough that they should have been widely adopted by now.

In addition, research into scientifically verifying various 'crazy phenomenon' could conceivably be repressed by the aforementioned financial giants.
Yes, there's always those omnipotent "financial giants" controlling everyone like puppets. Thankfully they've allowed this discussion to continue this long without shutting off the internet.

People like to throw this around whenever the "water cars" were popping up into the news - oil companies would never allow such a technology to flourish. In reality, if someone had such a ground-breaking technology, there are plenty of equally greedy investors that would be happy to support research and production. In time, the more effective technology with a greater economic advantage will persist - otherwise, how does any new technology get developed?

Research into these phenomenon has been conducted, and they have been shown to be ineffective.
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby Haevitetty » Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:16 pm UTC

uncivlengr wrote:Research into these phenomenon has been conducted, and they have been shown to be ineffective.

Maybe you're actually a puppet controlled by these companies!?!? Trying to spread misinformation to spread the power of your corporation even farther!!! :x
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby uncivlengr » Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:24 pm UTC

Haevitetty wrote:
uncivlengr wrote:Research into these phenomenon has been conducted, and they have been shown to be ineffective.

Maybe you're actually a puppet controlled by these companies!?!? Trying to spread misinformation to spread the power of your corporation even farther!!! :x

It's conceivable so it's true!
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby davidstarlingm » Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:32 pm UTC

uncivlengr wrote:
Haevitetty wrote:
uncivlengr wrote:Research into these phenomenon has been conducted, and they have been shown to be ineffective.

Maybe you're actually a puppet controlled by these companies!?!? Trying to spread misinformation to spread the power of your corporation even farther!!! :x

It's conceivable so it's true!

This.

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby Charltous » Thu Dec 09, 2010 8:27 pm UTC

Crazy Phenomenon: Nuclear Fusion. Potential Applications? Limitless Eco-friendly energy production. Are companies making a killing off of it? no. is it possible? yes. Am I suggesting homeopathy works? no, but this argument doesn't either.

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:06 am UTC

Charltous wrote:Crazy Phenomenon: Cold Fusion (fusion which produces more energy than it takes to sustain it). Potential Applications? Limitless Eco-friendly energy production. Are companies making a killing off of it? no. is it possible? So far doesn't seem to be, no. Am I suggesting homeopathy might turn out to be effective with appropriately sophisticated techniques upon further research? not really, but this argument probably won't either.

FTFY.
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby uncivlengr » Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:26 pm UTC

Charltous wrote:Crazy Phenomenon: Nuclear Fusion. Potential Applications? Limitless Eco-friendly energy production. Are companies making a killing off of it? no. is it possible? yes. Am I suggesting homeopathy works? no, but this argument doesn't either.

Seriously, this is about the third or fiftieth time now...
uncivlengr wrote:Except, as has been pointed out every time someone comes up with this argument in this thread, the examples of pseudo-scientific phenomenon used in the comic aren't examples of new ideas entering the scene to compete with the status quo - in most cases, it's the reverse.

Except this time, you've taken not just a newly developed principle, but one that hasn't even been developed yet at all! Why the heck aren't businesses making a killing off of technology that doesn't exist? Obviously it's a flaw in the comic's argument.
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby Charltous » Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:46 pm UTC

uncivlengr wrote:
Charltous wrote:Crazy Phenomenon: Nuclear Fusion. Potential Applications? Limitless Eco-friendly energy production. Are companies making a killing off of it? no. is it possible? yes. Am I suggesting homeopathy works? no, but this argument doesn't either.

Seriously, this is about the third or fiftieth time now...
uncivlengr wrote:Except, as has been pointed out every time someone comes up with this argument in this thread, the examples of pseudo-scientific phenomenon used in the comic aren't examples of new ideas entering the scene to compete with the status quo - in most cases, it's the reverse.

Except this time, you've taken not just a newly developed principle, but one that hasn't even been developed yet at all! Why the heck aren't businesses making a killing off of technology that doesn't exist? Obviously it's a flaw in the comic's argument.


I was pointing out that this particular argument did not work. "This argument" being that pseudo science doesn't work because companies are not exploiting it for profit. I'm not saying anything about pseudo-science challenging the status quo or anything like that.

Also would like to add that nuclear fusion technology is being developed, in a more focused fashion then, say, tarot reading, but that it still doesn't produce enough energy to balance out energy input. Nuclear fusion is definitely possible, we're just "not doing it right". Pseudo-scientists would say that we are "just not doing tarot cards right" to rebut the argument the cartoon made.

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby uncivlengr » Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:55 pm UTC

Charltous wrote:I was pointing out that this particular argument did not work. "This argument" being that pseudo science doesn't work because companies are not exploiting it for profit. I'm not saying anything about pseudo-science challenging the status quo or anything like that.
The argument is that if it worked, and modern capitalism is "ruthlessly profit-focused", then companies should be making "a killing" from those phenomenon. It's not a stand-alone argument against those phenomenon, and it doesn't pretend to be.

Regardless, you picked an example of a technology that doesn't exist - that doesn't even demonstrate the point you were trying to make. Whether or not it's being developed, nuclear fusion as an energy source is not currently possible, so there's no chance for a business to take advantage of it.

Tarot readers have been "doing it right" as far as they're concerned - you're just making things up now.
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby Xeio » Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:52 pm UTC

Charltous wrote:Also would like to add that nuclear fusion technology is being developed, in a more focused fashion then, say, tarot reading, but that it still doesn't produce enough energy to balance out energy input. Nuclear fusion is definitely possible, we're just "not doing it right". Pseudo-scientists would say that we are "just not doing tarot cards right" to rebut the argument the cartoon made.
Except that, in this case, it's evident that nuclear fusion doesn't provide an economic advantage. As of yet, no one has demonstrated it to provide extra energy, so any claim that it works here and now, should be looked upon with skepticism.

Now, there is science saying that it may be possible, but the economic argument proves that neither nuclear fusion nor tarot reading are any more effective than other means.

You can bet if someone makes a breakthrough and manages to get cold fusion working, that they will, in fact, be making a killing though (similarly to if someone could actually tell the future with tarot cards, or develops a new technique that works, they would be making a killing).

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:59 pm UTC

Yeah, the difference is that no one (except probably a number of kooks) is claiming cold fusion is a mature power-generating technology that is simply being "kept down" by the "establishment" or whatever. *Everyone* understands that it's not here yet.

The things in the comic, on the other hand, allegedly are fully developed practices, and yet still no one is making as much money as anyone would reasonably expect by using them.
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby eran_rathan » Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:32 pm UTC

DavidRoss wrote:2) How does a homeopath do their dishes? If rinsing a jar 200 times doesn't get rid of the duck liver/heart, what hope do they have for the Tupperware that held the pastrami that went bad in their fridge?



...

I just re-read this, and it is a brilliant rebuttal of the whole nonsense.
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby davidstarlingm » Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:43 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:
DavidRoss wrote:2) How does a homeopath do their dishes? If rinsing a jar 200 times doesn't get rid of the duck liver/heart, what hope do they have for the Tupperware that held the pastrami that went bad in their fridge?


...

I just re-read this, and it is a brilliant rebuttal of the whole nonsense.

The worst thing is this: they'd probably argue that rinsing the bad-pastrami-laced Tupperware container 200 times would make it an excellent antidote for food poisoning.

Nonsense.

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Re: 0808: The Economic Argument

Postby scarletmanuka » Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:13 am UTC

HungryHobo wrote:An idea which appeals to the human mind but this would imply that people who suffer from auto immune diseases would be almost totally immune to everything. Have any proof that autoimmune sufferers don't catch maleria, AIDs or polio?

As someone who has relatively recently joined the ranks of the autoimmune sufferers, I haven't noticed any decrease in the rate at which I catch colds and so on. I can't comment on malaria, AIDS or polio since I have never had them either before or after I got the autoimmune stuff. :)

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby MrConor » Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:56 pm UTC

Don't entirely write off homeopathy: the homeopathic cure for a hangover works brilliantly. As we all know, homeopathy is based on the principle of similars. What causes a hangover? Alcohol! Now we have the basis for our cure.

Take a litre of water. Add a statistically negligible amount of alcohol. Shake it the beaker around a bit, then dilute with more water. Your cure is now ready: drink it, then go to sleep. Congratulations, you will now have a less severe hangover headache in the morning! This method works for me every time.

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby Xeio » Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:28 pm UTC

MrConor wrote:Don't entirely write off homeopathy: the homeopathic cure for a hangover works brilliantly. As we all know, homeopathy is based on the principle of similars. What causes a hangover? Alcohol! Now we have the basis for our cure.

Take a litre of water. Add a statistically negligible amount of alcohol. Shake it the beaker around a bit, then dilute with more water. Your cure is now ready: drink it, then go to sleep. Congratulations, you will now have a less severe hangover headache in the morning! This method works for me every time.
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:39 pm UTC

I don't know that Poe's law is applicable here, since that (obvious) "parody" is also quite correct about what could technically be a homeopathic cure for a hangover. (Or even for dehydration in general. After all, alcohol causes dehydration, so diluting alcohol in water should cure it, right?)
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby Xeio » Wed Feb 16, 2011 5:38 pm UTC

Yea, but isn't that silly? Homeopathy still hasn't done anything, the alcohol you added to the water actually made the treatment less effective (if by an infinitesimal amount).

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:12 pm UTC

Xeio wrote:the alcohol you added to the water actually made the treatment less effective (if by an infinitesimal amount).
Not if you then proceed to dilute it to homeopathic strengths.

And of course it's silly. That was the point.
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:50 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Xeio wrote:the alcohol you added to the water actually made the treatment less effective (if by an infinitesimal amount).
Not if you then proceed to dilute it to homeopathic strengths.

Since infinitesimals are equal to zero, he effectively said "you made it less effective by no amount" (i.e. "you did not make it any less effective"), which is exactly what homeopathic levels of alcohol in the water would do, since there is (statistically) no alcohol left.

Of course that's not what he was trying to say, but technically it is what he said...
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby Xeio » Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:43 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Since infinitesimals are equal to zero
Wikipedia wrote:In common speech, an infinitesimal object is an object which is smaller than any feasible measurement, hence not zero size, but so small that it cannot be distinguished from zero by any available means.
Liez, wikipedia sez so.

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:20 am UTC

My roommates need to see this discussion about hangovers
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby dorus » Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:24 pm UTC

Did you heard about ADE 651 detector? It is produced by the company ATSC LTD http://www.atscltd.com
how can this be possible?

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby uncivlengr » Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:31 pm UTC

dorus wrote:Did you heard about ADE 651 detector? It is produced by the company ATSC LTD http://www.atscltd.com
how can this be possible?
It's not possible, because it's just a dowsing rod on a plastic handle.

A very expensive dowsing rod, mind you, and it's scary that military and police organizations make use of it. At the very least because it's a waste of public funds, and at worst because it would take the place of security measures which would actually be effective.

It doesn't take any extensive testing to come to this conclusion;
Wikipedia wrote:The BBC's Newsnight programme investigated the ADE 651 in a report broadcast in January 2010, asking the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory to assess one of the "programmed substance detection cards" used in the device to detect TNT. The laboratory found that the card contained only a standard radio frequency security tag of the type used in stores to prevent shoplifting. According to the laboratory's Dr. Markus Kuhn, it was "impossible" for the card to detect anything and it had "absolutely nothing to do with the detection of TNT". The card could not be programmed, had no memory, no microprocessor and no form of information could be stored on it. Despite the high cost of the devices, the cards were worth only about two to three pence (3–5¢) each. Kuhn commented: "These are the cheapest bit of electronics that you can get that look vaguely electronic and are sufficiently flat to fit inside a card." The "card reader" was found to be an empty plastic box.


The best part:
Jim McCormick refused to be interviewed for the Newsnight investigation, but told The New York Times that ATSC would remain in business: "Our company is still fully operational."[1] He told The Times that ATSC had been dealing with doubters for ten years and that the device was merely being criticised because of its "primitive" appearance. He said: "We are working on a new model that has flashing lights."
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby jasc15 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:08 pm UTC

This just occurred to me. Couldn't we add hemp to the list in this comic? I've seen no shortage of claims of hemp curing/preventing cancer, eliminating hunger, restoring economies, etc.

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby addams » Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:16 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:I don't know that Poe's law is applicable here, since that (obvious) "parody" is also quite correct about what could technically be a homeopathic cure for a hangover. (Or even for dehydration in general. After all, alcohol causes dehydration, so diluting alcohol in water should cure it, right?)

I have seen people do it.
Hard alcohol at night, Beer in the morning. Yuck.

The homeopathic way is better. Use the vodka bottle for the cure, after rinsing it 200 times.
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby jewish_scientist » Tue May 05, 2015 12:07 pm UTC

It is so weird that companies are actually making money from the craziest ideas on that list.
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby gmalivuk » Tue May 05, 2015 12:49 pm UTC

Are you referring to the fact that frauds can make lots of money with pseudoscience, or are you claiming that relativity is crazier than homeopathy?
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