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Why do people so easily accept hoemopathy and Eastern mystic healings?

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you're painting half the world.

I am not painting half the world anything. If anything, I am painting a select group of people not from the east, and trying to backdoor something in to the world in a way that doesn't compute with anything intelligible.  Two very very different things.

And even there, I just used "eastern mysticism" as something of an easy term for me to latch on to. 

I am not concerning myself with the east at all.  I don't think about the east, nor do  I know it.  All I know is what tries to import itself into relevancy in my world.

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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I can't approve of the broad brush with which you're painting half the world.

Also, I just pointed that out because people are really focusing on tertiary things to the topic on hand, and it seems obvious that I have hit a "metaphyscial sensitive" spot - due to the nature of the thread going very "meta" and people wanting to talk about "real"Buddhism, kung fu,chi, or  whatever - when these are words that I specifically stated can be substituted with the terms x,y, and z to really see what I am trying to get at.

I just threw the words around because they buzz around my head in real life more than other word like Trinity, God faith, prayer, or whatever when dealing with bunk medicine

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

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Lady Saiga replied on Fri, Aug 10 2012 10:54 AM

Ok!  I won't argue with that. 

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Bert replied on Fri, Aug 10 2012 11:18 AM

vive, you should be a bit more specific, even though it's obvious what you are hinting towards, which is white, liberal, yuppie New Agers who have uprooted traditional practices and put them through a bastardized Western lens and try to pass it off as something "true" - being medicine or otherwise, which is something that annoys me a lot, because I do have an interest in such metaphysical and traditional things.  Yourself said you don't have an actual interest in Eastern metaphysics and traditions, so maybe that shouldn't have been the language of the OP?  Anyway chi, meditation, holistic healing, it's all there, and "real", and works.  It's on perspective.  The four yogas for example, the West took one of them and boiled it down to just some physical activity that's out of context.  Sometimes you can't just substitute words without taking out the context, but again the interest of the OP wasn't actually Eastern metaphysics and mysticism.

There's a Rene Guenon quote that this thread reminded me of:

These lower forms of knowledge, so worthless to anyone possessing knowledge of a different and higher order, had nevertheless to be realized, but this could not occur except at a stage where true intellectuality had disappeared. Such research, exclusively practical in the narrowest sense of the word, was inevitable, but it could only be carried out in an age at the opposite pole to primordial spirituality, and by men so embedded in material things as to be incapable of conceiving anything beyond them.

Your interest is not metaphysics, you boil it down to a material aspect, and in doing so will not understand the metaphysical properties of said subjects.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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you are hinting towards

I don't think I hinted as much as I flat out stated in my first post (leisured class yuppies) what my target was - which seems to be lost to people.  That stated it seems a bit beyond new wave and / or dirty dirty hippies anymore.  People like LRC and suburban moms do it as well, so just yuppies in general.

I also specified in my second post I am not talking about lifestyle practices and diet.  Which I would actually suspect the average person from Hong Kong may very well have better than a person from Houston.  If yoga, meditation, daily tai chi routines, or whatever are part of a normal routine, I would bet these would fall into a "net gain" life style practice to overall health than what the average person does in Dallas (this is a very superficial brush).

That stated, that was never my point.  I only brought in the concept of bringing in foriegn words as usually unecessary and a "red flag" indicator.  I have said the same thing about the use of Greek and Latin words being used to backdoor idiocy in and use obfuscating myticism.  

So has Orwell among others:

http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/george-orwells-5-rules-for-effective-writing/

 

conceiving anything beyond them.

Well on a "meta" level I already claimed Stirnerite so there is that.  But that is still no where near anything I am talking about.  The topic is about the intelligability of medical interventions and the discontents methods of subversion.  So in this, or any other conversation -there is a limit as what can be concieved while remaining near the point at hand.

 

EDIT:

Also I simply expect most people on this forum, and in most places I am in life to be closer to "atheism"..as that is what I am used to being around.  So I don't usually expect the spanish inquisition when I bring in metaphysical terms that are not my bag.

 

 

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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JackCuyler replied on Fri, Aug 10 2012 12:12 PM

You mean like this? (From an episode of South Park)


faber est suae quisque fortunae

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gotlucky replied on Fri, Aug 10 2012 12:15 PM

@Vive

Best excerpt from the Orwell Essay you linked to:

 

Now that I have made this catalogue of swindles and perversions, let me give another example of the kind of writing that they lead to. This time it must of its nature be an imaginary one. I am going to translate a passage of good English into modern English of the worst sort. Here is a well-known verse from Ecclesiastes:

I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

Here it is in modern English:

Objective considerations of contemporary phenomena compel the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account.

And his explanation that follows:

This is a parody, but not a very gross one. Exhibit (3) above, for instance, contains several patches of the same kind of English. It will be seen that I have not made a full translation. The beginning and ending of the sentence follow the original meaning fairly closely, but in the middle the concrete illustrations — race, battle, bread — dissolve into the vague phrases ‘success or failure in competitive activities’. This had to be so, because no modern writer of the kind I am discussing — no one capable of using phrases like ‘objective considerations of contemporary phenomena’ — would ever tabulate his thoughts in that precise and detailed way. The whole tendency of modern prose is away from concreteness.

I also think it is clear what your point is.

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Orwell is always amazing, my favorite part was the naming of flowers "snap dragon" is a much better word.   Mencken had similar sentiments in his book "The American Language". 

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

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Malachi replied on Fri, Aug 10 2012 12:39 PM
Nope.   I am suggest they are being slippery and subversive, and are operating and supporting crankery and crackpots.
it wouldnt surprise me in the slightest if lrc was acting to subvert the hegemony of mainstream doctrine in the popular discourse. I'm not sure what you mean by "slippery," and as far as the crankery or crackpot factor of any given idea, that would depend on the merits of that specific idea. I'm not sure how one is supposed to ascertain that without familiarity with that specific idea, which familiarity could begin because one's curiousity was piqued by an article on lrc.
However I think there are more interesting ways to approach this.   A drug company has to list a bajillion side effects, suffer massive lawsuites, and go through a pretty clear language in order to explain what is going on - in order to cover their own ass.  A homeopathic healer, not really.
A homeopathic healer doesnt have laws that limit his liability like a pharmaceutical company, and there are many things that are forbidden to him because he is able to deviate from the approved mainstream medical doctrine. I also question your assertion that drug companies employ clear language when compared to homeopaths. In my opinion, its pretty clearly the other way around. You tell me which is more obtuse, "myocardial infarction" or "chi."
Furthermore intellectuals who have dubious merit in the area of medicine are promoting one form of crackpot treatment at the expense of medicine are being flat out subversive and misleading.
I agree with this statement, if "intellectuals" is taken to mean people who have been ordained/approved by the establishment and "medicine" is taken to mean "folk medicine." graduating from medical school is not a magic bullet, there are hacks and quacks a-plenty...but they have something to hide behind.
I just think it's funny everytime someone brings up the "mystic east" to a form of criticism, it's about as polite as shitting on the dinner table.  Governments do subsidize this crap by the way, so it isn't "pure":
that article was an example of traditional medicine trying to integrate alternative therapies, basically trying to steal their thunder. A person with an m.d. has been selected, subsidized, approved, and ordained by the state. The same cannot be said of your average acupuncturist et al.
Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
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I wanted to bring this up earlier but it gost lost. So to whom it may concern:

There actually is an "alternative" amazing (and even holistic) approach to practicing medicine and increasing the quality of the totality of patient care. It's a school of thought that has grown in leaps and bounds over the decades: it's called nursing.

Of course it requires a lot of accountability, disciplin, putting ones money and body where their mouth is, transparancy, effort, time, compassion, and clarity than what I see from most  alternatives.  

Oh, and it is much less self aggrandizing than calling oneself a guru or  "healer" or whatever.  More work, less prestigous title, less thanks, more lives saved.  Go figure.  

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

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Do you work in patient care, vive?

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I'm a medic.  I also, without the slightest hesitation, do hepatits and flu vaccination at various events if I get bored. So that probably makes me an establishment baby murdering fascist to a select minority of people.

@Jack

What episode is that.  That's hilarious.

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I thought maybe.  I'm in medical, but on the administrative side.  No patient care.  I've noticed that people basically know nothing about their own bodies.  I have a coworker who eats a bag of tootsie rolls a day but buys acai smoothies because they're "so healthy" and blames her overweight issue on "solid food".  Public school health education: big time fail.

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gotlucky replied on Fri, Aug 10 2012 1:53 PM

vive la insurrection:

I'm a medic.  I also, without the slightest hesitation, do hepatits and flu vaccination at various events if I get bored. So that probably makes me an establishment baby murdering fascist to a select minority of people.

Well, we can't all be perfect. Btw, are you still studying to be a PA?

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Btw, are you still studying to be a PA?

Wow good memory.  I'm doing some pre-reqs for it, but i am not in PA school.  It was suggested I get another degree to help prepare me to get some of the pharmacology down.  That will help me be a more attractive  and better prepared canidate for selection with nurses with masters degrees and more hands on ER work.

I was thinking about doing a RN bridge program so I could work both as EMT and ER Nurse, but that really is not worth the time and those programs are really really hard to find.

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 blames her overweight issue on "solid food". 

I don't know if this mindset is more of a public school failure, or that general trend and attitude towards what I call "McDieting" - quick and glamorous fixes to what ought to be a lifestyle change.  This would envoke roughly the same mentality I have with what I am calling homeopathic medicine.

I don't see the public school failure part of this specifically though.  Without thinking much about it I tend to think this is actually more of a "big pharma" and Hollywood type thing.
 

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What I mean is Public School purports to be the means of standardizing the raising of intelligent kids across the country, and one of the elements they take on themselves is in educating them about their own health. 

I like that, McDieting.  Lots of "alternative" slop gets mixed in there, too.  She'll take the Super Food Of The Moment (in pill or powder form, of course) along with her potato chip breakfast, but if her husband wants pork chops and salad for dinner, she complains about him causing her to eat too much.  And twice a year she pulls out that three day diet thing that circulates online, the one that says you have to eat exactly whatever it says, with the grapefruit and the vanilla ice cream. 

She's the one that a lot of those snake oil products gets sold to, she's had it all.  And to hear her talk to the other ladies in the office, none of the rest of them notice anything weird about her habits.  They do almost the same way.

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What I mean is Public School purports to be the means of standardizing the raising of intelligent kids across the country, and one of the elements they take on themselves is in educating them about their own health. 

I've only been to a public school for collegeand k-4th grade. But from what I can remember, and this was before all these crazy alternatives became en vogue again (can you imagine what the 70's were like?) the health classes and education were fairly sane and non politicized, other than maybe some excessive side effects of pot (which has become one ofthose straw men and over publicized things everyone likes to joke about now).  They were, if I remember, about basic nutrition, avoiding dieting / anorexia / etc, basic exercise, avoiding harmful substances, how to do an abdominal thrust, CPR, rape and child abuse, and stress.  I think they were tolerant towards various cultural differences as well without being preachy.  I could be wrong, but that's how I remember it.  

The few times I have had to do anything at a public school from what I have noticed things seem fairly vanilla to me. And the two health teachers I know tend to speak of pretty "normal" topics in an even keeled way, at oleast on the subjects they talk to me about.  I'm not saying the teachings were "correct", or even anything but superficial - they were however non offensive, and treated as secondary things in school.

Now maybe that has changed now that food,health, medicine, etc have become extremely politicized and vulgar by both sides and "health class" is probably one of those secondary classes that runs the risk of turning into a progressive (or conservative) hippy agenda. I also have spent most of my time in the fairly sane Great Lakes region where, even here in Chicago, people aren't that batty.  No crazy Texas, Alabama, New York, Portland, or California mentality really dominates the overall attitude here (though there are  apologists for such   cultures).  

Maybe we justhad different experiences, or I am misreading you?  Can you please rephrase?

 

 

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No!  Just the same!  And that's what I mean.  She went to the same kinds of schools I did.  Supposedly someone told her those things too...but they couldn't pay attention to whether or not she understood it.

Anyway, the content of lessons like that is not really the valuable part, because information changes, and that's where the lady I know gets thrown.  She jumps on board with every new thing her media outlets tell her about because she didn't learn the basics, the ways of thinking that test new knowledge against the old, and can properly categorize incoming data.

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Ahh yeah,

that's just the institution then.

It's weird that physical education, art, music, grammar, and health are probably the most pragmatic and useful things one can focus on if one cares about some notion of "universal education" - yet are considered to be the secondary subjects. 

That's a whole different topic though on the uselesness of a broken down system.

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And mathematics, though that does get primary attention.  But yeah, and yeah.  If I ever adopt a child, they will be home schooled. 

As a kid I was well aware that I was learning more easily than others around me because at home, I had access to the great literature of the west in my father's shelves, and a couple of literature professors to talk about ideas with around the dinner table.  My parents are greedy consumers of all the arts, and took us to chamber music festivals, Tanglewood performances, art galleries and museums, the works.  Even just exposure to that stuff "for fun", without any kind of educational plan or training in interpretation, you pick up on some basic thought processes and general trends of aesthetic and technical interest.  These become the basis of the learning process and are the foundations of everything that follows.

I actually think that the ideal education is sort of on-topic.  Because I think that was my basic stance, that it's the way people learn how to learn that makes them susceptible to foolish product claims.  In particular, the lack of training in rhetoric is a problem for modern americans.  Advertisers know their rhetoric, politicians do, quack physicians do, but average Joes don't hear the language of pursuasion when it is used on them. 

 

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Malachi replied on Fri, Aug 10 2012 4:16 PM
vive la insurrection:

A cute little article I had cut out from last year:

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-03-06/news/ct-met-0306-homeopathy-20110306_1_homeopathy-oscillococcinum-products

And with wonderfully stupid names like Oscillococcinum, and white dudes in pony tails and robes who call themselves "healers" (something not even the douchiest doctor would call himself) one would think it was a funny joke.  But there are casualties to subversive BS.

There are casualties to hegemonic BS as well. That article isnt very persuasive, anyway.
"Some people feel these products shouldn't work due to the dilution level," said pharmacist Christophe Merville, director of education and pharmacy development for Boiron, the world's leading manufacturer of homeopathic medicines. But he said basic science studies have shown "that highly diluted solutions have biological properties that are different than water." Ernst, who calls homeopathy the "worst example of faith-based medicine," said that even if the solution is structurally different, it doesn't matter. "After doing my washing up, the water in my sink is very different from pure water," he said. "Yet it would be silly to claim it had therapeutic effects."
it would also be silly to claim that the acknowledged structural differences are totally irrelevant in any context. This is a non sequitur.
Homeopathy is one of the most polarizing forms of complementary and alternative medicine in part because it's based on principles that defy the laws of chemistry and physics. One pillar is the assumption that "like cures like." Chopping a red onion, for example, can make your eyes tear and nose run. Seasonal rhinitis can trigger the same symptoms, so a homeopathic treatment derived from a red onion — Allium cepa — may be a possible remedy.
that sounds a little bit like injecting people with biotoxins in order to make people resistant to biotoxins, or prescribing speed to kids who cant sit still, which are among modern medicine's favorite things to do.
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Malachi replied on Fri, Aug 10 2012 4:24 PM
vive la insurrection:

I can't approve of the broad brush with which you're painting half the world.

Also, I just pointed that out because people are really focusing on tertiary things to the topic on hand, and it seems obvious that I have hit a "metaphyscial sensitive" spot - due to the nature of the thread going very "meta" and people wanting to talk about "real"Buddhism, kung fu,chi, or  whatever - when these are words that I specifically stated can be substituted with the terms x,y, and z to really see what I am trying to get at.

I just threw the words around because they buzz around my head in real life more than other word like Trinity, God faith, prayer, or whatever when dealing with bunk medicine

I still have no idea what your argument is, since none of your examples were durable under scrutiny. Western philosophy/medicine/culture doesnt have a lock on truth. Its so hard to get people to take the blinders off and allow themselves ro be exposed to new ideas, and here you are telling us that its irresponsible to take the blinders off. You didnt hit a sensitive spot, you threw out a bunch of buzzwords and phrases without even familiarizing yourself with the ideas they are attached to. I guess lrc publishes those viewpoints because if it was up to demagogues no one would ever learn about those viewpoints.
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My allergist tells me the mechanisms are different, but I don't totally understand him; but nonetheless, my allergy shots are supposed to be working in sort of the same way.  I don't know why, but they are definitely helping, while simply living with a cat for eleven years has not.

I think where homeopaths are coming from is that by building up a more efficient coping mechanism within the body to those symptoms, the patient eventually grows more resistant to them.  Again, I don't know why just experiencing lots of the original symptom wouldn't do the same thing. 

I have to sheepishly admit that I use arnica preparations.  Again, I don't know why they should work, but for muscle soreness and allergic swelling, I have noticed definite relief.  And I once used Oscillo in college when I thought I was getting the flu right before exams-and I never got the flu.  But that doesn't really mean anything except that I was short on my grocery money that week!

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Malachi replied on Fri, Aug 10 2012 4:38 PM
Your allergy shots are probably antihistamines.

I dont want to come across as an apologist for homeopathic treatments. I think the maor error here is that people are assuming that there is less quackery in traditional medicine, because argument from authority, of course!

I will agree with the OP that people accept quackery too easily, but IMO the quackery they accept is a result of state-sponsored medicine and they accept it easily because everyone knows, a priori, that all the goofy shit is just goofy shit.

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You tell me which is more obtuse, "myocardial infarction" or "chi."

No clue about drug companies.  My guess is for them M.I. is some kind of Medical legal  term they have to deal with.  For patient care workers (all of whom get sued at least once in their lives), none of them - unless they are supreme douches- are going to tell you you had an M.I, they will use any pragmatic word you understand such as "heart attack".  And when they say you had a heart attack, and you know what a heart attack means and it affects your future actions, you've had a heart attack not an "m.i.".

Medical workers take a course in medical terminology in order to communicate effectively with each other.  I can't tell you a damn thing an engineer or computer programmer talks about.  But the words they use aren't pretentious or gibberish - they serve an end.

Maybe "Chi" does too, but for the love of Macho Man Randy Savage, may he RIP, let's get off the Chi please it is not my concern for this thread.  Pretty pretty please with sugar.

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No, allergy shots aren't antihistamines.  They are a dosage of the allergen, the exact format of which I have no idea.  Only that they must be fairly concentrated because they make my arm swell up like anything, and itch/hurt all weekend, with a temporary increase in my normal systemic allergy symptoms.  So quite NOT like homeopathic drugs in respect to dilution!

I agree that the existence of federal regulation in conventional medicine gives a lot of people a false sense of security.  It also can stop them from questioning the way in which their treatment is handled, because everyone they know gets treated in about the same way.  For example how many people do you know who haven't been prescribed cholesterol lowering drugs?  Which may or may not prevent any actual illness, and may or may not cause other actual illnesses.  I'm not saying they're not good medicine.  I don't really know, myself. 

I just don't think that an FDA certification means much.  Like any other centralized institution, it means the guys who sign off on a thing as safe have no competition and only their own motivations to inform their work.

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My allergist tells me the mechanisms are different, but I don't totally understand him;

1) Are you confusing allergy shot with steroid?  (probably not, but it's worth asking)

2) To be very superficial:

An allergy shot works off the same basic principle as a vaccine.  It is their to stimulate the proteins produced in white blood cells (the white blood cells are what fight off unwanted substances in your body). This is usually going to help block much more effectively the allergies comming in.  If homeopathic medicine claimed todo the same thing it couldbe tested.  

Also, the fact that it helps with a cat is rare - that has a tendency to work less often I think.

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These aren't steroids.  They are standard allergy shots, the buildup to a max dose to create tolerance, etc. etc...

it's not just for the cats.  I'm allergic to my dog, my parrot, my dust, my dust mites, my grass, my trees, my LIFE...

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Ok then it's a very specific form of expoitation of how the immune system works, triggering a reaction with it to work on the allergen.

I'm  not too sure on this, but these shots I think are used more on such "broad" allergies as dust, mold, pollen etc because they are ongoing type allergies.  They are also used on very severe allergies.

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Neodoxy replied on Fri, Aug 10 2012 6:21 PM

Vive,

As a medical practitioner what do you see as being the major problems in the medical care industry today and what are your feelings on the specifics of Obamacare? If you feel that it's too off topic for this thread you could respond in any way possible.

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
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Wow, that's a huge question.  

The generic answer is everything to do with patient care - which is all that matters anyway.  

This could include over litigious aspects of culture, "big pharma", and the affects of corporations and intellectuals on "top down" cultural manipulation, bureacracy,  the basic institutions of nursing homes, hospitals etc. There are a lot of bizarre incentives out there, and it leads to odd results  Furthermore overtreatment, too much "knowledge" is a very real problem. 

Theoretics:

A great teacher of mine called practicing medicine similar to a "cookbook"  rather than a concrete series of "If, Then" statements.  It's built of what is called "clinical pathways" - I think that mentality ought be taken more seriously.  It's kind of a learn as you go / tinkering technique that isn't built off a crazy standard of certainty,

In research:  the side effects of discovery are just as important asthe "certainty" which one is trying to find (how Hayekian).  I think these things ought be taken very seriously.

 

As to Obamacare:

I doubt I could say much.  It isn't my thing.  The best I have is I don't trust a federal government dealing with what is already a giant federal cluster of Bureaucracy.  But there isn't much I know about it.  Sorry I can't help you much here

That's all I got, it's probably a confusing answer - but you asked an over whelming question that I can't digest. Could you narrow the scope down please. 

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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The second link was supposed to be a direct link to the full epoisode, titled Cherokee Hair Tampons, but it seems to have too many redirects.

Here are some more fun clips from the episodes. I assume these illustrate your point perfectly. This one in particular.


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As for a general reason why people accept heterodox postions more than they should is that the mainstream refuse to engage with them on the level of the intelligent layman. This is for three reasons: firstly that the government pretty much funds most scientific research these days so there is less diversity than there otherwise would be- it thus becomes an area of uniformity; secondly a unified view of life is unpopular whereas extreme specialism and also empiricism is in hence the specialists essentially believe anyone outside their field has nothing to say; finally they percieve they have everything to lose in a debate and nothing to gain.

What I would like to see is on issues of substance a televised formal debate with great exponents from both sides tearing flesh from bone. This way an informed opinion could be drawn rather than from the ridiculous political debate- how can you debate foreign affairs or the banking system in an ad hoc manner in 5mins?

The atoms tell the atoms so, for I never was or will but atoms forevermore be.

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Think Blue replied on Sun, Aug 12 2012 10:48 AM

The closest approximation to Chi in the West is Vitalism:

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

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Kakugo replied on Sun, Aug 12 2012 11:52 AM

Different times though Western history there has been a "revival of magic", the last one being in the '60s and whose effects are still felt to these days.

There's obviously a sociological and anthropologic explanation as to why, say, people from late XIX century France, which had access to the most up to date science of the moment, started to don robes and perform ritual magic or why today people are obsessed with the "supernatural" powers of Asian martial arts which obviously failed to impress the European sailors and soldiers who fought in the Boxer Revolution. This is not to say they are bad, far from it: martial arts (especially kendo, but I am biased) are good for your physical fitness and require very strong self-discipline. But the same could be said about any sport practiced in non-casual fashion.

To get back to the original question, part of the issue stems by how modern medicine has been "industrialized in Soviet fashion", meaning the trend is towards a "one size fits all" cure. To give an example the same antiacid drugs are usually prescribed without taking into account the individual needs and physical peculiarities of the patient. Some people respond better to aluminum hydroxyde, other to sodium citrate, other to baking soda, other still to hydrochloric acid. It's deeply ironic considering at the present there's an array of prescriptions the likes of which were unimaginable just forty years ago. To take things to the extremes even the same active principle in two different drugs will have different results on different persons: a good doctor must be ready to recognize this and suggest a different cure instead of simply amping up the dosage. Good doctors are increasingly in short supply (despite a huge number of MD's) but that's another topic for another day. 

It's obvious in such a situation people feel alone and betrayed and look not only for alternatives but also for someone who will talk to them and make feel like individuals and not just just a number to be treated according to the textbook. I personally know persons who turned to traditional Chinese acupuntcure not because they were fascinated by it but simply because they were tired of being prescribed the same treatment time and time again despite lack of results. I was on the verge of doing the same because of some joint pains due to my BMX/MTB riding past but I somehow managed to armwrestle my doctor into trying a completely different therapy. It worked, but had I not insisted I would have probably tried some "alternative" cure out of desperation.

And then, of course, there are the complete fruitcakes, like the crazy lady running your local "alternative" health shop: even if you live in a rural area there's bound to be one. Since I am not in the habit of dealing with fruitcakes I'll leave that to your own judgement.

Then there are the people sitting in between. For example my grandfather used to shun GP's: if he had some problem he went straight to see the best (and most expensive) specialist he could find. I am sure this practice gave him an extra ten years of life (he died at a ripe old age). Yet he had some weird "alternative" views, like eating some simply terrifying tasting wild berries, whose name I won't post, because he was sure they were good for "blood flow and sexual potency".

Together we go unsung... together we go down with our people
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As for a general reason why people accept heterodox postions more than they should is that the mainstream refuse to engage with them on the level of the intelligent layman. This is for three reasons: firstly that the government pretty much funds most scientific research these days so there is less diversity than there otherwise would be- it thus becomes an area of uniformity; secondly a unified view of life is unpopular whereas extreme specialism and also empiricism is in hence the specialists essentially believe anyone outside their field has nothing to say; finally they percieve they have everything to lose in a debate and nothing to gain.

Now we approaching the subject that I was curious about.  I don't think it is about government funding though.  As the government also funds "subversive hippies" to make pseudo-Easternism, and skeptic(i.e post-structural) subversion fashionable. At least that is my intuite impression.

My hunch is this has a lot to do with non-accountability, relative ease of practice, and "status"*.  This is perhaps mixed with what you are saying, that leads to overall a "nihilistic" and silly approach to health.  

As for specialism, I think that may be a buzzword, or a gap that is being filled by nursing. Or it could just be about patient treatment in an increasingly screwy system, the specialization of doctors shouldn't be much of a concern.   I also think "holistic" approaches are an obfuscating term.  It's very hard to think of medicine without thinking "holistic".

P.S:

to those who  say "the body is a mystery to people" or whatever - this is a subversion, done even by scientists (scientism) and corporations trying to sell drugs, though more so by "hippies" .  It is no such thing,it never was such a thing, and it never will be such a thing.  It is people screwing with your head trying to pull one over on some poor person. 

Also to whoever decides to adress me:

Once again - I don't care about chi. I never have, I never will

* Status of titles like "healer", and allowing a very physical practice to continue with an ambigous relation to mysticism.

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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@Kakugo

Well stated, the things you state are very accurate descriptions of many frustrations people do experience.  I have a hunch that the field of medicine has hit some type of dowward slope - but there is nothing to compare it to.  I don't believe in a "golden age of medicine".  And I just have not been able to find too many "hard" papers or studies on the issue, other than the short supply of doctors.  Just polemics.

And in relation to "no golden age" and actual goodfrustrations people may have - my criticism would be roughly one that can be leveled against Marx and alienation - you can't do a psychologism and preach a utopia and closed system to an open system / actual factual practice/process in place.  That is not only skeptical and subversive nonsense, it is dangerous rabble rousing nonsense.

 

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

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Neodoxy replied on Sun, Aug 12 2012 1:10 PM

Vive,

Well a big part of what I'm asking is how much of the problem do you see as being the fault of the state and how much of it do you see as being the fault of our big consumerist lifestyle and the massive health problems in America?  There's no doubt that they feed into each other, but what would you identify as the bigger problem here? Also, what do you think about the normal libertarian solution of ending the compulsory education periods to become a medical professional? I would assume that you oppose it on principle, but do you think that there would actually be a change in the way medicine would be practiced on the market?

I rarely get to hear your opinions on economic matters because you seem to mostly focus on things like epistemology and praxeology. Although this is important and fascinating, it means that I rarely get to hear your feelings on economics in general. I wish you would express your views more.

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
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Well a big part of what I'm asking is how much of the problem do you see as being the fault of the state and how much of it do you see as being the fault of our big consumerist lifestyle and the massive health problems in America?

I really struggle with this question.  Perhaps it is an unavoidable consequence of a "market culture".  That stated, if I were to peg the "big" problem on anything, it would probably be legal.  That is, the lack of grass roots common law, accountability, and "common sense" (either what Hume or Aristotle may talk about).  At gigantic federalized bureacritized levels; things become way too abstract and politicized.

Sensationalism may always be around, but it is easier to pinpoint and deal with it as it immediately affects your community  and one does not feel helpless about participation in his actual social settings, and not some abstract ideal.

In my personal experience I have dealt with more "alternative" malpractice things - but this is probably just a very very crazy exception.  Most people are going tobe screwed up because drug companies are pushing crap no one needs.  Or themedia hypes some fad diet,disease, or random health concern and people flip out.

As for problems with the state: you get A LOT of 911 calls that are absolute BS and free clinics filled with people who don't need treatment.

For grey areas: Wittnessing the very poor who do need actual attention is crazy, and the nursing home system is broken, and there is  a very real problem with drugs and violence in very poor areas*.  I don't know what's to blame for this though, other than saying: a community that has more control over it's social aspects will probably not allow half this crap to happen.  I think this may be why I find the Elinore Ostrom work appealing, though I don't know much about it.

Can you give me an article to the libertarian view of compulsory education in reference to the medical field?  I have honestly never read one.  I can say that in order to have a practice that works some standardization is going to have to happen.  If anything, maybe I could see hospitals taking control of their education.  I really haven't thought much about it.  My Alma matter: The University of Toledo did something like this not too long ago with MCO. 

That stated there are schools just for Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assitant.  Also, you really can get by  through nursing school while "working your through" starting as a CNA. 

 

I should say, due to the nature of my job, I am not in hospitals for all to long, nor do I do that much actual work in hospitals.  It is probably best to associate our profession with the fire department than with hospitals.

 I wish you would express your views more.

Thanks, I'll try I guess.  I usually just shut up because there are a lot of people here that know a lot more than me.  And my little drift towards Lachmann has made me even more insecure with what I feel comfortable talking about since it is very new territory for me.

* As to drug culture: "middle / upper class drug culture" is different, and evokes very little concern for me, as stupid as it is. I say this as someone who is around it more than I like tobe, and who was actually a part of it briefly when I was much younger.  

While it is a probelm, and shouldn't be made fun of - it's a different beast than what takes part in poverty stricken areas.  I don't think this problem is related to health / "public health" in the same way as what goes on in the ghetto.  In fact, I would bet this issue this is probably more closely related as to why these people are so willing to subvert a pretty practicle andd good practice like medicine and are so easily taken with gobbelygook like homeopathy.

EDIT

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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