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Wounded Ronin
1/23/2005 2:14pm,
My fellow students make me sad. I'm a grad student at the Tulane school of public health and one of the classes that I am taking this semsester is a class in alternative medicines. The premise of the class is that alternative medicines and things like that are becoming increasingly popular in the US so it makes sense to know about them if you're going to work in a health-related field.

Last thrusday, for the class, we had a psychic come in. The psychic told this whole long story about her psychic powers, her near death OBEs, and how a peruvian shaman had cured her of epilepsy, blah blah blah.

And then she does a few readings on some of the other students. I'm watching her, and she's just doing the typical "psychic" bullcrap, where she'll make a general statement, let the subject validate it, and continue from there. Just the usual con job.

But a lot of the other students were, like, nodding and taking it all so seriously. This made me very sad. I mean, we're supposed to be in tertiary education here. We're supposed to have, somewhere along the road, developed this little thing called critical thinking.

Personally, I'm probably pretty far out in terms of alternative medicines. I practice meditation and chi kung. I once had accupuncture done on me and liked it. But it was so obvious that this "psychic" was just doing the usual bullcrap fortunetelling that any psychic would do. If I had wanted to, I could have gone up in front of the room and done the exact same thing.

....

I guess that learning critical thinking off the internet at places like bullshido.net pwns learning critical thinking in a classroom setting.

Smeagol
1/23/2005 3:05pm,
true.

Vargas
1/23/2005 3:41pm,
Well, I watched John Stewart's show on the Sci-Fi Channel a couple of times for laughs. I wound up feeling more sorry for the poor folks in the audience who were being conned than anything else. I'm aware that there is more to the world than necessarily meets the eye, but the psychic stuff pretty hard to swallow...

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
1/23/2005 4:08pm,
I guess that learning critical thinking off the internet at places like bullshido.net pwns learning critical thinking in a classroom setting.

I learned everything I know from the internet.

NATURAL MALE ENHANCEMENT! ENLARGE YOUR PENIS IN MERE SECONDS! (http://img166.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img166&image=charsweats9pw.jpg)

feedback
1/23/2005 4:13pm,
in before ban

Anna Kovacs
1/23/2005 6:47pm,
Well, I watched John Stewart's show on the Sci-Fi Channel a couple of times for laughs.


Yeh, I like to watch the Daily Show for laughs to...but it's on comedy central...


...I think you meant John Edwards ;)

j416to
1/23/2005 6:53pm,
I understand your frustration with a lot of these alternate treatments in general, and psychics in particular. I have no faith in them, I believe that most of them are simply frauds. However, under the right circumstances, given the appropriate safeguards, under the supervision of people such as yourself, they can be helpful. People often need faint hope when traditional medicine tells them that all is lost. Terminal cases often needed something to believe in, not because they're really waiting for a cure, but to find peace with their circumstances, to remain productive with their personal and family lives, with whatever time they have left.

serious harm
1/23/2005 9:25pm,
This doesn't sound like desperate people, I don't think that's necessarily true.

This sounds like no one wanted to say to the psychic, no, you got it wrong, something's not working here, your psychis technique is off. If a martial arts technique wasn't working, you wouldn't pretend it was lol.

VikingPower
1/23/2005 10:17pm,
Just tell them to read a bit about James Randi and they'll feel like douchebags, guaranteed :thumbsup:

Wounded Ronin
1/23/2005 10:23pm,
Randi is sort of gung ho and abrasive...I'm thinking that would alienate people who don't already see things his way

Phrost
1/23/2005 10:48pm,
I'm glad Randi is gung ho and abrasive. When douchebags like John Edward are exploiting people's grief for fame and money, somebody needs to give them a beating, if only using reason and science to do so.

Poop Loops
1/24/2005 2:39am,
You should have thrown a brick at her face. Then yelled "I THOUGHT YOU WERE PSYCHIC??" after it hit her.

PL

Olorin
1/24/2005 2:46am,
If people take comfort in this silliness it is ok, but it has no place in an academic environment. Like prayer, if it makes sick people feel better and more positive about their chances and treatment, great, but without scientific evidence it does not belong in the classroom.

Wounded Ronin
1/24/2005 2:53am,
If people take comfort in this silliness it is ok, but it has no place in an academic environment. Like prayer, if it makes sick people feel better and more positive about their chances and treatment, great, but without scientific evidence it does not belong in the classroom.


The point of the class was not to prove that psychic powers work. The point, as I said in my first post, was to provide an overview of increasingly popular alternative therapies that many Americans turn to in addition to their normal therapies to individuals who want to work in public-health related fields.

On that level, I think it certainly does belong in the classroom.

My source of unhappiness is how a lot of the students seemed to be really eating it up.

Ignorant
1/24/2005 4:32am,
they should eat it up, consider its possibilities,,,then either spit it out upon realization of its falsehood..or...well keep persuing what its nature might be.

bwerb
1/24/2005 9:47am,
I'm curious, since you obviously saw that the entire psychic portion of the class was utter BS, did you or anyone else bring this into the discussion? If you didn't, why didn't you feel comfortable doing so? I believe that traditional medicine does have a place in the continum of care, providing that there is some underlying scientific principle. I also believe that pure Western medicine is also open to huge abuses from unscrupulous drug companies and fee based treatment plans. I think that when we see things that are obvious crap, especially within a classroom environment, then we should lead the discussion towards challenging the bullshido as it were.