Small update

I’ve updated my Resource on Alternative Medicine. I’ve mostly added material on pseudoskepticism and why it’s a pretty bad thing. It still has a long way to go before being the definitive resource I want it to be, but hey, any improvement helps.

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Pseudoskeptica

Well, we’re all sick, so what better to do than peruse the slums of the skeptical internet and point out all the bad arguments pseudoskeptics make in the name of “debunking” pseudoscience. I had taken this up as a hobby a little over a year ago, but, because it’s really too painful to read some of the garbage that people are willing to say in the name of debunking what other people say (whether they are debunking garbage or not). They debunk things that are both pretty out there and things that are actually true. (And things that are both.) Unfortunately, their “arguments” do little to separate the truth from the chaff.

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Pseudoskepticism

It’s been a while since I’ve tangled with the skeptics, and for good reason. I’ve pretty much stopped reading anything at “science”blogs.com or anyone that advertises the skeptics circle.

However, I did come across “this article”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudoskepticism on pseudoskepticism, and pretty much points out everything that bothers me about these blogs I’ve kicked from my periodic reading list. Not listed in the bullet points is that trying to carry on a reasonable, logical argument against a pseudoskeptic is like trying to convince a brick wall to back away so it doesn’t hurt so bad when you bang your head.

Maybe one day I’ll write about my good ol’ nemesis Orac again. After all, every once in a while it is fun to give a thrashing to a pseudoskeptic who pretends to believe that science disproves things he doesn’t believe in.

In the meantime, I will confess an interest in a lot of fields that may be better described as “protoscience”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protoscience, or fields that strive to remain coherent within the scientific framework, but which have not quite yet achieved experimental verifiability according to the principles of repeatability and replicability. I think we have a lot to learn from such fields, and they tend to stretch our understanding about reality and how we learn about reality.

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Random John quackery update — I regressed

Bizarre, just bizarre. My canard rating dropped like a stone with just two entries! I didn’t even try. Perhaps I should stop using such terms as “placebo” and “quackery.”

I must be a quack – the quack-o-meter told me so!

I scored 8 canards out of 10!

I don’t know if I can add anything to this. I think I might go for 10 canards. I wonder what I would have to do…

I mean seriously, if a personal blog that espouses critical thinking of a different sort from Robert Carroll and the skeptics circle can get 8 canards out of 10, then you know something is up with the algorithm.

I guess, being a biostatistician, I hate words such as placebo and eat too much organic food.

Grounds for confidence

By engaging in that bit of quackery known as “sugar detox,” I have lost 7.5 pounds in the last two weeks. That’s right. By drinking my coffee black (and cutting back to one cup a day) and eliminating sweets from my diet I’ve gone from around 210 to 202.5 in two short weeks. The only other change I’ve made is a little bit more activity. I’ve also noticed that I take in a lot more water. My wife has heard that sometimes sugar craving and dehydration signals can sometimes be confused. My experience certainly lends credence to that statement.

Who knows what sort of woo I will engage in next. Yoga, perhaps?

Because there’s only one type of altie, right?

Shorter Orac: Gah! Alties want mercury in their own products but no one else’s!