0971: "Alternative Literature"

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Hitaro0
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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby Hitaro0 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:24 pm UTC

I believe these kinds of books are called "Journals".

Of course, the devil is in the pricing.

eatadonut
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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby eatadonut » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:39 pm UTC

Hitaro0 wrote:I believe these kinds of books are called "Journals".

Of course, the devil is in the pricing.



That's why I only buy the journals from the clearance rack next to the old calendars and road atlases. The difficulty is in trying to remember my daily trials and tribulations from last year.

ratfox
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Re: 971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby ratfox » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:46 pm UTC

Thirsting wrote:And now that I think about it, my spouse has books with empty pages... which have been bought with real money.


I once gave to my father a small book with blank pages. It actually had a title:
"Everything that men know about women"

When I started laughing in the book store, the saleslady had to ask if it was really that funny.
I guess she had them in front of her for so long, the joke had gone stale on her.

Adorno
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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby Adorno » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:51 pm UTC

Yves Klein (French pronunciation: [iv klɛ̃]; 28 April 1928 – 6 June 1962) was a French artist considered an important figure in post-war European art.
[...]
Klein presented his work in forms that were recognized as art—paintings, a book, a musical composition—but then would take away the expected content of that form (paintings without pictures, a book without words, a musical composition without in fact composition) leaving only a shell, as it were. In this way he tried to create for the audience his "Zones of Immaterial Pictorial Sensibility". Instead of representing objects in a subjective, artistic way, Klein wanted his subjects to be represented by their imprint: the image of their absence


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yves_Klein

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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby ASW » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:55 pm UTC

As a parent I have noticed it is incredible the lack of scientific thought that goes into choosing how to raise children. The homeopathic stuff is a good example, people will use gripe water for everything, for what reason? What study has been done to show it is better than an actual formula for settling your child's tummy.
The number of times you hear, well I did it and my child turned out OK, is fascinating. My response is usually a jovial "That is one crappy sample size, and where is your control group?"

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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby TheCycoONE » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:37 pm UTC

Why not sell sugar water pills though? It's not like placebos don't work; they're remarkably effective against a number of ailments particularly as an anti-depressant and anesthetic. They also only work if you think they will work so putting them on the shelf with other medications gives them the credence they need. If you bought them and they didn't work you'll buy something else, no harm done. If you bought them and they did work then even better, you're being treated without nasty psychoactive drug dependencies or other side effects.

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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby J L » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:39 pm UTC

For some reason, I expected a mention of Dr. Dan Streetmentioner's Time Traveler's Handbook of 1001 Tense Formations.

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BrianB
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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby BrianB » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:49 pm UTC

Cranica wrote:Alt text: I just noticed CVS has started stocking homeopathic pills on the same shelves with--and labeled similarly to--their actual medicine. Telling someone who trusts you that you're giving them medicine, when you know you’re not, because you want their money, isn’t just lying--it’s like an example you’d make up if you had to illustrate for a child why lying is wrong.


Alsadius wrote:And yes, alternative medicine ranges from stupid to evil, with that CVS example falling neatly on the "evil" side of the line.


And so now.... People who don't bother to read and identify what they are taking off the shelf and purchasing == evil corporation?

Oh yeah, and I heard that the US government is going to start using stimulus dollars to wipe our ass for us. Because, heaven forbid, the population take any kind of personal responsibility.

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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby jasc15 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:01 pm UTC

KeithIrwin wrote:Notice in the ingredients, everything is diluted to 30C. That's a 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000:1 ration of dilutant to the original chemical.


Also, 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 = 1060 > 6.02x1023

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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby SpringLoaded12 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:28 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:Really? Another stab at homoeopathy? Clearly Randall is going through some self-esteem issues -- first it was that stupid "Jet Fuel" comic, in which Randall showed he was better than those silly conspiracy theorists, now it's this comic, in which he shows he's better than people who take homoeopathy. In short, Randall's been acting like the worst kind of troll: not the most aggressive or the most disruptive, but the most pathetic, that which desperately needs to get out of the house and talk to real people.

Besides, I've seen many snarky homoeopathy analogies, and this is one of the lamest I've ever seen.

You have every right to your critiques of the comic, as you argued with some other folks a couple of weeks ago, and today I agree with you -- another homeopathy comic was not a good idea -- but I never understood why you guess what goes through Randall's head as he makes the comic. I'm not saying your guess is wrong, but I'm not saying it's right either. What makes you so sure of your theories?
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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby skeptical scientist » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:34 pm UTC

BrianB wrote:And so now.... People who don't bother to read and identify what they are taking off the shelf and purchasing == evil corporation?

Do you really think "Boiron Oscillococcinum for Flu-Like Symptoms, Active Ingredient
Anas barbariae hepatis et cordis extractum 200CK HPUS" and "Nasalclear Cold and Flu, Active Ingredients 1000mg paracetamol and 10mg phenylephrine" really appear that much different to the average shopper? Even if they do notice the "homeopathic remedy" in small text in the corner, chances are they have no idea what it means, and if the word is at all familiar, it's from some wishy-washy local news story talking about a "popular new treatment." On the other hand, do you really think the people running CVS (who are damn well researching the market they're in) believe homeopathic medicines are anything more than ineffective snake oil that they can nevertheless make money selling to an uninformed public? Yes, I'd say that this situation does add up to "evil corporation."
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tsarna
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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby tsarna » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:57 pm UTC

Great Homeopathy sketch: (note "A&E" is "Accident & Emergency department", what the Brits call an Emergency Room)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMGIbOGu8q0

(for more fun, watch it a second time and read the signs on the walls)

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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby sgbraunstein » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:57 pm UTC

As far as books, Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

As far as medicine...well, doesn't that only count if homeopathic medicine doesn't work? I don't know if any of you have tried going to a Chinese doctor. But I lived in Taiwan for a year, and went to several Eastern (read: Homeopathic) doctors, and that stuff DEFINITELY WORKS.

Perhaps someone has become accustomed to the western image of "medicine"?

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hwillis19
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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby hwillis19 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:03 pm UTC

ASW wrote:The number of times you hear, well I did it and my child turned out OK, is fascinating.

Linked to the phenomenon of anti-vaccinationism, where one suburban parent thinks that their "informed" opinion based on an hour of magazine skim-reading is superior to the collective collaboration of the world's immunological community, all of the peer-reviewed literature documenting their findings, and all of the healthcare professionals who contribute to public health policy.

tsarna, I see your Mitchell & Webb and raise you Bill Bailey's hilarious observations on "speaking as a parent" - http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4217775114437878358 and skip to 31:00.

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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby Kit. » Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:08 pm UTC

I wonder if there are studies trying to find a correlation between magnitude of the placebo effect and perceived (by the test subject) monetary value of the pill.

marsman57
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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby marsman57 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:20 pm UTC

Did we really need to talk about homeopathy again?

http://xkcd.com/765/
http://xkcd.com/808/

That said, the alt was probably necessary. I don't think that the joke was clear enough to stand on it's own as a crack at homeopathy, especially if you, like I, do not read the title. Heck, I thought the book-owner was the hero of the strip at first in expressing how he did not feel he had to be constrained by books and he could "make his own stories". That sounds like a very xkcd-esque mentality. Obviously, his diatribe about the profit focused publishers made him look a little silly, but I still didn't get the relation.

If you are too stupid to tell the difference from real medicine and homeopathy... well crud... I guess you are the type that looks to CVS as a trustworthy source...

A better discussion is if the comic was not strong enough to make it's point without the alt... is it not a good comic?

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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby Fire Brns » Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:40 pm UTC

sgbraunstein wrote:As far as books, Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

As far as medicine...well, doesn't that only count if homeopathic medicine doesn't work? I don't know if any of you have tried going to a Chinese doctor. But I lived in Taiwan for a year, and went to several Eastern (read: Homeopathic) doctors, and that stuff DEFINITELY WORKS.

Perhaps someone has become accustomed to the western image of "medicine"?

Yes I was going to say this. If you want homeopathy, don't go to a store or homeopathy "specialist" instead befriend a Chinese immigrant: it worked for me. Also only use for minor ailments, if you have cancer get the chemo.

Additionally the homeopathy adds are misleading but do not lie, that is still illegal[ on a federal level?]. One pill on tv say's "contains ingrediants such as ginger and blah blah blah" the capsule looked like around 5 grams and I know for a fact that you need at least 10-15 pills worth of pure fresh ginger for it to have a noticable effect.

Also to a post on the previous page, if the pill is making your headache worse:
http://xkcd.com/829/
I think you get my point.
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nico
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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby nico » Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:51 pm UTC

sgbraunstein wrote:As far as books, Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

As far as medicine...well, doesn't that only count if homeopathic medicine doesn't work? I don't know if any of you have tried going to a Chinese doctor. But I lived in Taiwan for a year, and went to several Eastern (read: Homeopathic) doctors, and that stuff DEFINITELY WORKS.

Perhaps someone has become accustomed to the western image of "medicine"?


Homeopathy is not the same thing as phytotherapy, which is what most Eastern doctors would do (homeopathy, in fact, is a Western invention). Phytotherapics are extracted from plants and definitely contain active principles (e.g. Willow bark contains salicilate, which is the active ingredient of aspirin).

Homeopathic treatments are, instead, extracts diluted to the point that they do not contain anything else but water. There are multiple clinical trials that show that homeopathy is not more effective than placebo for many different diseases. And that is what one should be looking at. Sure, the cousin of the brother-in-law of your uncle's friend was cured by homeopathy, and good for him! But it does not mean that homeopathy works, just that it worked in that specific case, be it because of a placebo effect, be it because he also took an aspirin and forgot to tell you, or because his cold just went away by itself...

DukeTwicep
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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby DukeTwicep » Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:59 pm UTC

nico wrote:Sure, the cousin of the brother-in-law of your uncle's friend was cured by homeopathy, and good for him! But it does not mean that homeopathy works, just that it worked in that specific case, be it because of a placebo effect, be it because he also took an aspirin and forgot to tell you, or because his cold just went away by itself...

I agree, post hoc and confirmation bias. I'm sure the brother-in-law doesn't remember or chooses not tell about the times it failed him.

ASW wrote:The number of times you hear, well I did it and my child turned out OK, is fascinating. My response is usually a jovial "That is one crappy sample size, and where is your control group?"

I believe these people falls into the category of "believers", http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1A9vrsw6Hw .

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Ronster
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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby Ronster » Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:02 pm UTC

When a homoeopath creates a batch of 30C medicine, what does he do with the remainder of the 29C solution? Just pour it down the drain? What sort of homoeopathic pollution are these guys causing just washing away all that 29C medicine... and how do they wash it away? With WATER!!! So it gets even stronger as it gushes into our rivers! :shock:

Close them down NOW before we have an ecological homoeopathic disaster on our hands.
:roll:

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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby VectorZero » Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:13 pm UTC

tsarna wrote:Great Homeopathy sketch: (note "A&E" is "Accident & Emergency department", what the Brits call an Emergency Room)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMGIbOGu8q0

(for more fun, watch it a second time and read the signs on the walls)

Came here to see if anyone'd posted Mitchell & Webb, (and thanks hwillis for the Bill Bailey one.) I'll see you with Tim Minchin
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theotherplanb
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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby theotherplanb » Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:14 pm UTC

KeithIrwin wrote:Now that I see that there are, I'm going to talk to people I know in media who might be able to write about it.


Please do! This is a worthwhile cause that needs to be brought to public attention.

Rite-Aid is doing this as well. I first noticed it a few months ago and it struck me as one of the most evil retail practices I have seen. The labeling is often in very small print, which many patients will never notice and some will never be able to read without scrutinizing the label under a magnifying glass.

Unfortunately, this is probably so profitable that it will require regulation to put a stop to it. We ought to be emailing legislators and regulatory agencies as well as media.

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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby Oktalist » Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:19 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:Really? Another stab at homoeopathy?

Really? Another stab at Randall?

marsman57 wrote:if the comic was not strong enough to make it's point without the alt... is it not a good comic?

I realised it was about "alternative medicine" without the alt. And I don't often get the more obscure ones.

Also, CVS is old hat. Get with the times, grandad. Git is where it's at now, or at least SVN.

(obvious joke, sorry)
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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby Eebster the Great » Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:42 pm UTC

Dudely wrote:Antidepressants increase suicidal thoughts. There has not been a proper large study that has shown they increase actual suicides.

That's not true. Some drugs have been shown to increase suicidality in cohort studies.

That said, it is not a sufficiently common side-effect to discontinue the drug altogether. I certainly wouldn't give SSRIs or tricyclics to people who are already suicidal--especially kids--but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be given to anybody. Unfortunately, there aren't any great alternatives right now. And untreated depression is a much greater cause of suicide on the whole; there is just a dangerous period in which new drugs increase suicidal ideation and tendencies.

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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby cellocgw » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:01 pm UTC

Alsadius wrote:The comic went up late, as most have been recently.

And yes, alternative medicine ranges from stupid to evil, with that CVS example falling neatly on the "evil" side of the line.


I actually complained (politely) to a local non-chain drugstore about their stock of pseudo-homeopathic medicines ('pseudo' because most of them were chock - full of some actual organic compounds). They basically said it's a product that sells well, and profit per linear foot matters. I don't like the fact that they, and CVS, and Walgreen's, and everyone else, sells useless crap, but they are first and foremost a business, and they sell what people buy. On the bright side, they don't sell tobacco products at all, showing they draw the line at stuff that's unhealthy, as opposed to stuff that's simply worthless.
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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby Whys » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:04 pm UTC

The fact is, many times a placebo can be effective, so long as the user believes it will be effective. This has been shown to be true many times. So in light of this fact, it makes sense that there should be at least one homeopathic remedy for ailments that can be self healed. After all, if you can achieve the same results without the use of any active ingredients, then why not? It's healthier. That said, everyone should understand what homeopathic means before relying upon it.

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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby Quirel » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:05 pm UTC

Karilyn wrote:
Ocker3 wrote:Just because the FDA has approved it, doesn't mean it's good science. How many studies have turned out to have been fudged to get a significant outcome, or just downright wrong? I mean, anti-depressants that Increase the risk of suicide? How was that not picked up during the testing, and not a valid reason to call the entire thing off?

That's more a function of getting out of depression than anything else, not a side-effect of the drug. Essentially, many people who suffer severe depression are too depressed to even kill themselves. As their mood begins to elevate, they start to get some energy back. If they feel crappy enough still, they make take that energy and use it to kill themselves in denial of the fact that they are getting better.

There's not an anti-depressant drug in existence which would not cause that. That's like asking for a laxative for constipation that doesn't cause you to need to take a shit shortly afterwards.

Heh, you said everything that I signed up to say to this guy. Thank you.

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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby CarlTheFirst » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:12 pm UTC

Turing Machine wrote:Who on earth trusts CVS?! Is CVS your dad, or your pastor, or something?

I thought it was just a retail store.


I don't "trust" a retail store to give me a fully competent or unbiased answer regarding the quality of a product. But when I go to the auto parts store and ask for motor oil, I do have to "trust" them to hand me a bottle which actually has oil in it, not water which they waved their hands over and recited some stupid Harry Potter chant.

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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby CarlTheFirst » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:19 pm UTC

BrianB wrote:And so now.... People who don't bother to read and identify what they are taking off the shelf and purchasing == evil corporation?


A normal person probably does not know that the long funny words on the box are actually Latin for "duck liver", not just another long drug word.

A normal person also probably does not know that "200c" is an exponential denominator, not another sensible measuring system like mg or IU.

If the box actually said "It might contain duck liver, but it actually doesn't contain anything at all and the entire basis for our industry is rejected by doctors, mathematicians, chemists, and physicists", then yes, the buyers would have to be idiots. Instead, the box is disguised as real medicine.

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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby CarlTheFirst » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:31 pm UTC

sgbraunstein wrote:As far as medicine...well, doesn't that only count if homeopathic medicine doesn't work? I don't know if any of you have tried going to a Chinese doctor. But I lived in Taiwan for a year, and went to several Eastern (read: Homeopathic) doctors, and that stuff DEFINITELY WORKS.


"Eastern" does not mean "homeopathic". "Eastern" in fact doesn't really mean ANYTHING in regards to medicine. China has real medicine too. You can go to a doctor in Taiwan and get real medicine. You can also get fake medicine, and think that your cold went away because of it.

Much of the popular nonsense fake medicine thought of as "Eastern" was just folk wisdom promoted by the communists, and Mao only pushed that because they didn't have enough real medicine and doctors to serve their entire communist country.


Perhaps someone has become accustomed to the western image of "medicine"?


Yes, we are all hopelessly biased by our belief in the molecular theory of matter.

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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby philsov » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:34 pm UTC

VectorZero wrote:
tsarna wrote:Great Homeopathy sketch: (note "A&E" is "Accident & Emergency department", what the Brits call an Emergency Room)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMGIbOGu8q0

(for more fun, watch it a second time and read the signs on the walls)

Came here to see if anyone'd posted Mitchell & Webb, (and thanks hwillis for the Bill Bailey one.) I'll see you with Tim Minchin


I've always been a fan of the Jame Randi lecture on the matter. I think I linked this vid in the previous related threads, too.

shake-a shake-a shake-a shake-a
The time and seasons go on, but all the rhymes and reasons are wrong
I know I'll discover after its all said and done I should've been a nun.

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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby Tyrannosaur » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:41 pm UTC

willpellmn wrote:When the alt-text is as long as this one, it becomes distinctly annoying trying to read it in a tooltip which disappears after a couple seconds and won't come back until you refresh the comic. The message is a good one, but alt-texts are always better off being shorter if they can manage it (in this case it probably couldn't). Hence I came to this thread for no other reason than to read the transcribed alt-text.


yeah use an rss reader or get a good browser http://www.opera.com/
(inflammatory comment I'm sorry, don't lynch me...)


TheCycoONE wrote:Why not sell sugar water pills though? It's not like placebos don't work; they're remarkably effective against a number of ailments particularly as an anti-depressant and anesthetic. They also only work if you think they will work so putting them on the shelf with other medications gives them the credence they need. If you bought them and they didn't work you'll buy something else, no harm done. If you bought them and they did work then even better, you're being treated without nasty psychoactive drug dependencies or other side effects.


Or you buy them and get more depressed that they don't work, contributing to your belief that you are incurable and that drugs don't work.
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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby Colin OOOD » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:43 pm UTC

marsman57 wrote:Did we really need to talk about homeopathy again?

http://xkcd.com/765/
http://xkcd.com/808/

I agree, there is too much repetition on XKCD. How many comics on crypto have there been? How many about love? How many about maths? Why does Randall keep regurgitating that Black Hat character again and again? Does he have no imagination?

Please note: this reply may contain traces of sarcasm in a non-homeopathic concentration.

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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby drwho » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:46 pm UTC

Thanks for tackling this, Randall. The Homeopaths are frauds. It's bad enough in the USA, but in Germany you are FORCED to deal with homeopaths as many medicines are not available over-the-counter, and if you're a visitor you don't have access to a doctor without spending lots of money. Trying to get REAL medicine for something as simple as an upset stomach is a problem - You can't get Pepto-Bismal or similar pink stuff there.

REAL medicine uses REAL science. Don't trust this phoney eastern medicine or homeopathy. If Steve Jobs had use real medicine ("Western Medicine"), he probably would have been alive today. I keep on hearing stuff about how he was some genius, when he wasn't smart enough to take care with his own health. Not Smart. Stupid.

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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby hwillis19 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:49 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:I wonder if there are studies trying to find a correlation between magnitude of the placebo effect and perceived (by the test subject) monetary value of the pill.

It is an axiom which I believe to be fairly widely accepted, although I'm struggling to find any papers on it at the moment.

There are, however, many parallels in the world of marketing: ie. blinded trials in which the same consumable is given to people who report a significant difference based on cost. One example of this [Shiv et al. (2005) J. Marketing Res. 42:383] gives two equivalent groups an energy drink, where one group believes that it costs $2.89, whereas the other group are also told that it is worth $2.89 but that they received it for $.89 as part of a wholesale deal; in this experiment, not only is the subjects' perception of the effect of the drink significantly higher in the first group, but their actual performance in cognitive tasks is higher when tested.

Just goes to show the power of what the neurologists term "expectancy".

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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby cream wobbly » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:00 pm UTC

Randall's alt text wrote:I just noticed CVS has started stocking homeopathic pills on the same shelves with--and labeled similarly to--their actual medicine. Telling someone who trusts you that you're giving them medicine, when you know you’re not, because you want their money, isn’t just lying--it’s like an example you’d make up if you had to illustrate for a child why lying is wrong.


When our child started teething, we were advised to use homeopathic teething tablets. We rejected the idea for the longest time, until (I suspect lack of sleep) wore us down. We caved. We bought them. We used them. And you know what? They bloody worked. If we forgot (sleep deprivation is one cause of forgetfulness), or we ran out of the stuff, we were in for a night of no sleep. (And we made notes to ourselves so that we didn't have to remember whether or not they worked.)

Then we looked at the ingredients. Right smack bang in the middle of the list: Lactose. The sugar from milk. Jeez, the kid just wanted to nurse! Plus, despite the labelling, it's not homeopathic!

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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby squig » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:01 pm UTC

Whys wrote:The fact is, many times a placebo can be effective, so long as the user believes it will be effective. This has been shown to be true many times. So in light of this fact, it makes sense that there should be at least one homeopathic remedy for ailments that can be self healed. After all, if you can achieve the same results without the use of any active ingredients, then why not? It's healthier. That said, everyone should understand what homeopathic means before relying upon it.


The trouble (or one of them) is that homeopathy is hideously expensive, especially compared with, for example, a sugar pill. If the doctor believes a placebo will do the trick for a patient he would save a lot of money by prescribing sugar pills and tell the patient that it's a very effective treatment.

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Eebster the Great
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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby Eebster the Great » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:03 pm UTC

Quirel wrote:
Karilyn wrote:
Ocker3 wrote:Just because the FDA has approved it, doesn't mean it's good science. How many studies have turned out to have been fudged to get a significant outcome, or just downright wrong? I mean, anti-depressants that Increase the risk of suicide? How was that not picked up during the testing, and not a valid reason to call the entire thing off?

That's more a function of getting out of depression than anything else, not a side-effect of the drug. Essentially, many people who suffer severe depression are too depressed to even kill themselves. As their mood begins to elevate, they start to get some energy back. If they feel crappy enough still, they make take that energy and use it to kill themselves in denial of the fact that they are getting better.

There's not an anti-depressant drug in existence which would not cause that. That's like asking for a laxative for constipation that doesn't cause you to need to take a shit shortly afterwards.

Heh, you said everything that I signed up to say to this guy. Thank you.

Yeah, but it's probably wrong. SSRIs and SNRIs currently on the market bind agonistically to the 5-HT2C receptor which is associated with anxiety and thoughts of suicide. It's more complicated than the drugs just increasing motivation--even people who were not considering suicide before treatment sometimes do during treatment.

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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby Exüberance » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:10 pm UTC

I completely misinterpreted the joke, turning into another joke completely.

I didn't make the connection to 'alternative "medicine"', so I thought that the one guy got ripped off buying a bunch of books which turned out to be blank. So, to hide the fact that he got tricked into buying blank books, he made up a story (well more of an opinion) about him actually WANTING the books to be blank to avoid looking like he was taken advantage of. The other guy sees though his ruse and calls him out on it, asking him who tricked him into buying fake books. (The answer is, of course, Black Hat Guy)

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Re: 0971: "Alternative Literature"

Postby Dinoguy1000 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:17 pm UTC

For the record, there is a very big difference between homeopathy, the placebo effect, and various flavors of folk remedies (including alternative and Eastern medicine, for what those labels are worth).

Homeopathy can sometimes be effective because of the placebo effect, but more often it's just that the ailment it's being used to treat gets better on its own, whether you treat it or not, combined with confirmation bias (and so in this regard, homeopathy is just an insanely more expensive and less effective (and sometimes outright dangerous) version of placebo remedies), but homeopathy has no scientific basis or support in and of itself.

Placebo effects, on the other hand, are a well-studied, well-established phenomenon that in some cases have success rates equal to, or even in excess of, the best non-placebo medicine and treatments available today.

Folk remedies (depending on what ones you're looking at) are a mixture of homeopathy, placebos, mysticism, and enough actual medicine (especially amongst various indigenous people) to have piqued the drug industry's interest.

As for the comic itself... I have blank books that I paid real money for (some of them even have ink splotches!), though I usually call them "notebooks", and their purpose is to be filled with words or whatever. :wink:
How much wood could a woodchuck chuck?

How about a wouldchuck?


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