I often play dumb here on my blog, I also tend to take stances on issues that I don’t really support because I want people to like me. It’s part of a great effort on my part not to come off as a jerk. People don’t like know-it-alls. I want people to like me, so I play dumb. Sometimes I write something that is really intended more for comedic effect and may not necessarily reflect my true views on a subject… the real me is still a mystery. So, I figured I’d post about some things and how I really feel about them.
|Yes, this does happen sometimes|
1) Ouija Boards:
My opinion? Crap.
Confidence level? High
Look, how Hasbro keeps conning people into buying them is a miracle of the marketing age. It’s like the Pet Rock craze that overwhelmed America in the 70’s. Seriously. Demons (or ghosts) aren’t speaking to us from the other world. How do I know? Because I used to play with one, for months in fact, alone (movies have taught me since that was a bad idea) and in groups, I actually wrote down the answers to my questions.
After much investigation, let’s just say that I have reason to believe that they know a lot about baseball, like, a whole lot. Coincidentally, their encyclopedic knowledge of baseball seemed to end about where mine did. Yes, it (they, whatever) knew how many games the Tigers won in 1984, so did I, but it couldn’t tell me the lifetime slugging percentage of Roberto Clemente… wait, I might have been confusing the Ouija board with the internet. It probably isn’t supposed to know that stuff – still, if it serves as a conduit to the otherworld, then its populated with a bunch of people who sit around and read baseball statistics in their spare time.
The bottom line? It didn’t know anything that I, or the people I was with, didn’t. It gave crap answers and didn’t know how to spell. I’m guessing that has more to do with the people involved, the ideomotor effect, etc. I’m not alone in this opinion, and controlled experiments have demonstrated time and time and again that there is no unexplainable phenomena happening.
My Opinion? Crap
Confidence level? Moderate
I hope I don’t get sued (I hear they’re litigious). How can a group with the lowest efficacy rate of any health organization on the planet also have the highest level of customer satisfaction? I think it’s because they’ve convinced insurance companies into paying for back massages.
No, that isn’t true, I think it has to do with the psychological effects of having a person actually do something when you visit. Giving me a prescription for something isn’t the same as getting a backrub. Chiropractors tend to be much more engaged with their patients too, again, I think that’s a big deal.
Medicine is not a hard science, sometimes even people who don’t know what they’re doing can hit upon something that works, however, Chiropractic medicine simply does not work when compared to traditional medicine (beyond the placebo effect). Lots of data on this too, however, the data is muddied somewhat and it tends to overwhelmed by positive personal testimonies, huge lobbyist groups and a well-organized campaigns to win over people distrustful of traditional medical practices.
|Well, that proves... something.|
My Opinion? Crap
Confidence level? Through the roof.
It’s total crap, but it feels like it should mean something. I have a lot of sympathy for practitioners… but that doesn’t make it not be crap. Case in point, I write this on 3/22/12 at 1:12 p.m. (on my lunch break). Those numbers again, are 32212112. That happens to be a color in the RGB Decimal – a very pretty blue. Blue happens to be an interesting color. Blue symbolizes the Virgin Mary, the Virgin Mary is probably pretty unhappy with Michael Offut’s post about Atheism that he put up today (or yesterday, but today when I wrote this)…. Coincidence? Probably not. Wait, I mean, yes, its total crap. It was a coincidence. Anyhow, I hope you get my point.
My Opinion? Noble failure
Confidence level? Middle of the road
Unlike the other things I talked about, this isn’t something that has actual data to back up or dismiss the claims made. Esperanto isn’t something that really makes a claim. Esperanto is a language that was invented something like 130 years ago. All sorts of people have invented all sorts of entirely novel languages for a long time. They have conferences and everything, I heard one that was made up of pops and whistles that I thought was amazing. Doubly amazing because people can actually converse in it.
|Just what the world needed - another language|
Esperanto is different because it was intended to be a common language that people from all over the world could use, it was supposed to be easy to learn, easy to speak, and free from all the baggage that languages tend to pick up over centuries. There are universities that teach it, businesses that conduct their international affairs in it, and it has lots of people fluent in it.
Why is it a failure, well? It has just enough adherents to keep it from dying, but it’s no one’s first language, and there aren’t any places you can go and find yourself surrounded by it. It’s intention – to be the default language international persons would speak when conducting business – already has a language to fill that niche. English.
And there you have it, a window into my soul. Now you can start to really know me. You may disagree with me, but I'm just throwing out what I really believe.