Author Topic: I'm just going to leave this one here....  (Read 5665 times)

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Offline Towelie

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Offline Sidoh

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Re: I'm just going to leave this one here....
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2012, 04:56:45 pm »
kill me.

Offline Armin

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Re: I'm just going to leave this one here....
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2012, 05:58:38 pm »
too funny.

Being in the hippy business, I have witnessed more than my fair share of pseudoscience, but nothing quite like this.
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Offline Sidoh

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Re: I'm just going to leave this one here....
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2012, 07:28:54 pm »
too funny.

Being in the hippy business, I have witnessed more than my fair share of pseudoscience, but nothing quite like this.

I'm curious - how do you address this sort of thing? Do you adopt a 'live and let live' attitude, ignoring blatant and painful scientific misunderstanding to avoid hurting peoples' feelings, or do you tell them they're dumbasses?

Under most circumstances, I'm in the former camp. That's moreso out of cowardice than respect, though.

Offline AntiVirus

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Re: I'm just going to leave this one here....
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2012, 07:46:47 pm »
Had to stop it early.  I don't know what H2O is and she seemed to think it's really important in her theory. :/
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Offline iago

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Re: I'm just going to leave this one here....
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2012, 02:12:37 am »
Oh Steven Hawkings...

I love her mixture of real science and madness.

Offline Armin

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Re: I'm just going to leave this one here....
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2012, 01:50:13 pm »
too funny.

Being in the hippy business, I have witnessed more than my fair share of pseudoscience, but nothing quite like this.

I'm curious - how do you address this sort of thing? Do you adopt a 'live and let live' attitude, ignoring blatant and painful scientific misunderstanding to avoid hurting peoples' feelings, or do you tell them they're dumbasses?

Under most circumstances, I'm in the former camp. That's moreso out of cowardice than respect, though.
Depending on the circumstance, I usually engage in a polite discussion, respectfully pointing out the flaws in their theories, and then, if applicable, bringing to light more appropriate ways that science can coincide with their general viewpoint. If they're still overbearing with their pseudoscience, I make sure they know I disagree, that they shouldn't spread such misinformation, and then change the subject or move on. I find this most effective, but still not effective enough.

If it was this lady, I'd adopt the "live and let live" attitude, but more-so out of respect for my own time and sanity.

I'd imagine someone could conjure up a pretty humorous flow chart on how to confront the preachers of pseudoscience.
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Offline while1

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Re: I'm just going to leave this one here....
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2012, 08:36:23 am »
Depending on the circumstance, I usually engage in a polite discussion, respectfully pointing out the flaws in their theories, and then, if applicable, bringing to light more appropriate ways that science can coincide with their general viewpoint. If they're still overbearing with their pseudoscience, I make sure they know I disagree, that they shouldn't spread such misinformation, and then change the subject or move on. I find this most effective, but still not effective enough.

Yeah, I could see this approach sometimes backfiring and giving them more fuel to fire their pseudoscience and misinformation, especially if the person thinks they're so smart and clever like this lady obviously does.
I tend to edit my topics and replies frequently.

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Offline Sidoh

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Re: I'm just going to leave this one here....
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2012, 03:57:40 pm »
Sometimes they get defensive, but contradicting them and providing them with solid evidence almost never gives them "more fuel". It might get them all riled up for no reason, but that's about the worst thing that will happen if you stay calm.

An anecdote:

I once sat next to a hippie girl on a flight.

She kept talking about metaphysical crap like spirits, "energy", and karma.

When I made it clear I didn't buy any of it, she wondered why I was such a skeptic. I told her "because I have no evidence to believe in anything supernatural."

She sounded pretty convinced that she did have evidence to believe in the supernatural. She gave her recounting of what sounded like Young's interference experiment, but her version had a twist.

She thought that when humans watched the room, we saw the double-slit pattern. When only recording devices watched, we saw the single-slit pattern.

I chuckled and calmly explained "That's not really what happened in that experiment."

She was incredulous. We made a bet to check Wikipedia after we got off the plane, and that's what we did.

We landed, and found a place to sit down. I found the article, gave her my laptop, and let her read.

"Oh my god, you're right!", she said. Of course... no good nerd is without a good (superficial, at least) understanding of the double-slit experiment. "This changes everything!"

Yep. Her entire belief in the spiritual realm rested on this fabricated version of the double-slit experiment. I don't keep in touch with her, but I'll always remember that as the day that arguing with a kook actually did something.

Offline deadly7

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Re: I'm just going to leave this one here....
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2012, 08:52:20 pm »
She thought that when humans watched the room, we saw the double-slit pattern. When only recording devices watched, we saw the single-slit pattern.
Yep. Her entire belief in the spiritual realm rested on this fabricated version of the double-slit experiment. I don't keep in touch with her, but I'll always remember that as the day that arguing with a kook actually did something.
She doesn't really sound that into the cult of voodoo magicks if that's what predicated her belief and that's all it took to get her out of it.

I'm also slightly wtf'd as to how she misinterpreted the DS experiment that badly in the first place.
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Offline Sidoh

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Re: I'm just going to leave this one here....
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2012, 01:24:11 am »
She thought that when humans watched the room, we saw the double-slit pattern. When only recording devices watched, we saw the single-slit pattern.
Yep. Her entire belief in the spiritual realm rested on this fabricated version of the double-slit experiment. I don't keep in touch with her, but I'll always remember that as the day that arguing with a kook actually did something.
She doesn't really sound that into the cult of voodoo magicks if that's what predicated her belief and that's all it took to get her out of it.

I'm also slightly wtf'd as to how she misinterpreted the DS experiment that badly in the first place.

Well, the point is some people believe in this stuff because they just haven't thought about it that much. People tend to believe in things that seem nice to them, even if it's stupid.

I was pretty surprised too. I'd guess she heard it from another stupid hippie person trying to cite it as evidence for something mystical.

Offline Armin

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Re: I'm just going to leave this one here....
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2012, 09:39:26 pm »
Sometimes they get defensive, but contradicting them and providing them with solid evidence almost never gives them "more fuel". It might get them all riled up for no reason, but that's about the worst thing that will happen if you stay calm.
Agreed. Staying calm is key. Being a dick is more likely to fuel the fire.

An anecdote:

I once sat next to a hippie girl on a flight.

She kept talking about metaphysical crap like spirits, "energy", and karma.

When I made it clear I didn't buy any of it, she wondered why I was such a skeptic. I told her "because I have no evidence to believe in anything supernatural."

She sounded pretty convinced that she did have evidence to believe in the supernatural. She gave her recounting of what sounded like Young's interference experiment, but her version had a twist.

She thought that when humans watched the room, we saw the double-slit pattern. When only recording devices watched, we saw the single-slit pattern.

I chuckled and calmly explained "That's not really what happened in that experiment."

She was incredulous. We made a bet to check Wikipedia after we got off the plane, and that's what we did.

We landed, and found a place to sit down. I found the article, gave her my laptop, and let her read.

"Oh my god, you're right!", she said. Of course... no good nerd is without a good (superficial, at least) understanding of the double-slit experiment. "This changes everything!"

Yep. Her entire belief in the spiritual realm rested on this fabricated version of the double-slit experiment. I don't keep in touch with her, but I'll always remember that as the day that arguing with a kook actually did something.
That is an awesome story.

Funny you bring up this experiment. I have a friend that consistently refers to the double-slit experiment as evidence that through the act of concentrated observation, we can deliberately collapse the waves of probability to our will (for applicable phenomenon only), which in turn provides us with some sort of godlike choice of which universe out of all multiverses we reside in. So for example, he believes that if, during the Schrödinger's cat experiment, the observer had a single-minded focus that the radiation would not reach the Geiger counter, then there would be a much higher probability that the cat is still alive, at least within the observer's universe. He claims this is just a theory of his, but he refers to it so often that I think he really uses it as a sort of a motivation for accomplishing seemingly impossible goals.

I've debated with him over this for amusement, and though this is clearly flawed in my mind, I can never find the right words to explain why. Admittedly my knowledge of physics is limited. How would you refute this idea?
« Last Edit: April 16, 2012, 02:17:56 am by Armin »
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