Stomach Turning Delusion…

I’ll probably leave for my run in about half an hour; the day looks good for a run. But I am still recovering from two tough (but fun) weekends so the run will be moderate (perhaps 5-6 miles).

As far as amount to run: remember that training to run well is different than training for health. The trick for me is to train enough to reach my current potential but not so much that I end up injured.

After this marathon is over, I’ll probably run a bit less and walk and swim more: running: probably 8, 6, weekend race OR 10-14 miles,
walking: 4 and a 10-14, swim: twice a week, weights: 3 times a week (like now).

Rachel Maddow has a nice piece on conspiracy theories. I know that there will ALWAYS be cranks and woos; the problem is that some of these theories are finding an ear in the US Congress. She also has a few good books to recommend (about 9-11); I might get the Popular Mechanics one.

And yes, this is apolitical; there are liberal conspiracy cranks too.

Martial Arts and woo
I’ve chuckled over this:

And when this master fought an outside fighter it didn’t go so well for him:

But the question is: HOW did such delusions take root? I was puzzled; my experience with martial arts involved boxing, wrestling and judo. You practiced competition in practice; I knew full well what throws, holds, and punches felt like. But in some forms of martial arts: well you can’t practice real knife fighting or really poking someone eyes out. Sam Harris explains:

It’s a little hard to see how Yanagi’s delusion got up and running, but once everyone began falling all over themselves, it is easy to see how it was maintained. Imagine it from his point of view: if you thought you might be able to knock people down at a distance, and then your students complied and fell down on cue, year after year, you might begin to believe that you really had these powers. To a lesser extent, this is a problem in many martial arts: because to train most techniques without getting hurt, you have to allow little elements of fantasy to creep in. Does poking someone in the eye really end a fight? People who have done this in combat probably know, but millions of martial artists pretend to poke each other in the eyes throughout their training, without ever knowing what would happen if they tried it for real. You can’t train with real knives, because you’d get killed on the first day. So you train with plastic or rubber knives, and you begin to lose sight of just how far you’ve departed from realism. This happens to some degree no matter how tactically sound the instruction is.

Of course, in Yanagi’s case, it is harder to see how a new student would suddenly get knocked off his feet based by virtue of his own self-deception. But there’s so much social pressure to confirm the stated dogma. It’s not that people need to fake these things consciously. They can be led by a stepwise process to fake it without ever having to confront the fact that they’re faking. It is like faith healing or speaking in tongues. A person can be inducted into a performance by the performances of others.

So what about common, day-to-day delusions? Well, Mike Huckabee posted a note about a medical team saving the life and limbs of one of the wounded Boston Bombing victims:

The Boston police who faced bullets and explosions to track down the Boston Marathon bombing suspects are undeniably heroes. Especially Officer Dick Donohue Jr., who exchanged fire with the suspects while trying to aid another officer they’d shot and killed. But let’s also extend the honor of heroes to the EMTs and doctors who took truly heroic measures to save Officer Donohue’s life. In the firefight, he was struck by a bullet in the thigh that severed his femoral artery. By the time he reached the hospital, he had lost all the blood in his body. He was given CPR, transfusions and emergency surgery. During that time, his heart completely stopped. It took the surgeons 45 minutes to get his pulse restarted. But they not only saved his leg, they’re cautiously optimistic that he will make a full recovery and walk again. He will live to see his six-month-old son Richie grow up, and to tell him all about the time his dad was dead for 45 minutes. But the heroic surgical team at Mt. Auburn Hospital refused to let him go.

So far, so good. Nice post..I like it.

But then came the predictable reactions:

Screen shot 2013-04-25 at 6.57.29 AM

Screen shot 2013-04-25 at 6.58.07 AM

Never mind the problems with a deity that is focused on a tiny part of a multi-billion galaxy universe. Now you have “god guiding the hands of the surgeons”???? (how? with what mechanism?)

Seriously, why rely on medical teams and science? If “god can work through…x, y, z”, then why not trust their deity to work through, say, Honey Boo Boo to do the operation?

Note: I am NOT talking about people who use their religion to calm themselves and do a better job; I am talking about the notion of some puppet master pulling strings.

Seriously, I wish that individuals that believed this crap would be ineligible to receive treatment derived from skill and modern science. Ok, I don’t, but it is frustrating to live with a times. It is almost as if we are 3’rd world nation with better technology, thanks to….science.


April 25, 2013 - Posted by | huckabee, moron, morons, religion, running, science, superstition | , ,

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