Friday, July 4, 2008

I'm Surrounded By Idiots

"'Conventional medicine,' the trope goes, 'only cares about making Big Pharma rich. It's a billion dollar industry. They want you to stay sick, so they can keep treating you and getting rich. And besides, it's so... conventional. Let's take these herbs instead. They were used by (insert extinct primitive culture of your choice here). They understood about the earth and treating the whole body. Not like those reductionist doctors.' (Disregarding the fact that alternative medicine is also a billion dollar industry, and that the primitive culture in question had a life expectancy of 45.)"

"Or: 'Of course those studies on telepathy/ astrology/ Reiki/ reincarnation/ audio recordings of the spirits of the dead didn't work. The researchers were biased. They unconsciously skewed the test. Maybe even consciously. They didn't want to see the Truth. It would blow their minds.' (Disregarding the fact that, if any scientist could conclusively prove the existence of metaphysical energy fields or life after death, it would make them the single most famous scientist in the history of the world.)"

"Or my personal favorite: 'Did you know that, according to quantum theory, (insert wild New Age interpretation of quantum theory of your choice here)? No, I didn't get that from a physicist or a physics text. I got it from Deepak Chopra (or whoever). He understands the true implications of the new science, way more than those scientists. The scientists are so mired in the physical, they can't see The Truth right in front of their faces.' (Disregarding the fact that maybe, just maybe, people who have spent their entire adult lives rigorously studying quantum physics might know more about it than some New Age guru.)"

-- Greta Christina, showing that rejecting critical thinking merely "makes you a puppet of mass opinion," on Greta Christina's Blog

She helpfully adds in these bits of conventional wisdom:

"Tattoos and piercings are good; nose jobs and boob jobs are bad. Arthouse films are good; reality TV is bad. Nature is good; industrialization is bad. (Except when you're on your Blackberry or your iPhone, or are checking your email twenty times a day.) Meditation and Wicca are good; megachurches are bad. Alternative medicine is good; conventional medicine is bad. Tai Chi is uplifting and spiritual; cheerleading is sexist and shallow. Anything you buy at Rainbow Grocery will be delicious and healthy; anything you buy at Safeway or the A&P will be tasteless and carcinogenic."

Oh yea!