Day 5: spent

i’m a little tired, but luckily i was done by 3:30pm today so i decided that was enough for one week. I’ve accomplished everything i needed to, so now i’m just looking forward to a little time off.

Someone tried to hand me a flyer in the street today, i saw the word ‘psychic’ on it and nearly laughed in her face. But I pass at least three psychic parlours on the way from the office to the hotel, and at least as many offices of weirdo fringe cults. Putting a psychic in an office next to a doctor or a bank implies that they are somehow as legitimate. They are not. They should be put next to tanneries, slaughterhouses, butcheries or loan sharks. That would be a little more fitting to their deserved level of social acceptance.  

Some people think that it’s wrong to put down the beliefs of others, but not all beliefs are created equal. Take this guy, for example: Philip Distasio, leader of the Arcadian Fields Ministry, believes that having sex with children is a sacred ritual and should be protected by civil rights. His religion says so. Would you honestly go so far as to say that he has a right to believe that if it makes him happy? I wouldn’t. In fact, no belief should be considered acceptable if it harms someone, including yourself. People who take a homeopathic ‘vaccine’ instead of real medication before voyaging into malaria country should be disabused of their belief in homeopathy as a matter of urgency. Their right to believe in that kind of woo woo nonsense ends at the point where they risk their own life, or the lives of others.

And so far i have not come across a single woo woo belief that hasn’t harmed someone, whether it’s people getting ripped off by fake psychics to the tune of millions, getting killed on chiropractor’s tables, spending their last pennies in ‘cancer clinics’ in Tijuana, using traditional remedies instead of taking their life-saving medication, losing everything they own because the tarot cards said they’d have good luck on their trip to vegas… it all stems from the idea that these things are harmless and people should be left to believe what they want. They shouldn’t.


8 Responses to “Day 5: spent”

  1. we await the vaccine against stupidity. until then, you might enjoy this little video:
    courtesy of

  2. On that note, why not make a visit to the scientology temple while you’re there? It is one of their flagships, I only ever saw it from the street but it looks impressive. 120% Legitimate. Take a bag of popcorn and watch the recruitment video; I hear it’s a treat.

    Of course I’m totally selfish in this request, I personally would love to hear your first hand thundering denunciations.

  3. i second that!

  4. hmmm – i don’t see my comment, but i posted it twice. i was trying to say “i second that!”

    apparently my votes don’t count in moonflake’s meritocracy.

  5. tom: genius. loved it.

    Wyrd: arg! i can’t believe i missed the opportunity. Although apparently there’s a scientology brainwashing center ahem i mean temple in Cape Town on Bree street. Also, i think the official term is mothership, not flagship 🙂

  6. Let’s see. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, iaterogenic disease is the THIRD in the list of leading causes of deaths in the United States of America.

    Iaterogenic = doctor caused.

    That figure might be as high as second place. And we are talking here about drugs and other treatments that are used for their intended purpose and administered in the recommended doses.

    So-called “conventional” medicine can be life-threatening. It often is.

  7. Firstly, if you’re going to define iatrogenic you may want to start by spelling it correctly.

    Secondly, i think you must be referring to “Is US Health Really the Best in the World”, Starfield, B. 2000 JAMA 284 vol. 4. No NEJM articles came to this conclusion.

    Thirdly, you’re assuming that the entire world’s allopathic medical community and success can be measured by the USA’s results. The fact is that the USA is nowhere near the pinacle of modern medicine, as the JAMA article shows, so you can hardly use USA stats as a global indicator.

    Fourthly, self-reporting and recommendation of the kind in the article is only ever found in allopathic, conventional medicine. The lack of such studies in the homeopathic community is not proof that it is perfect, it is only proof that there are no checks and balances. You trust a medical community that covers up its failings instead of reporting on them?

    And finally, you can’t prove that homeopathy works by saying allopathy doesn’t. That kind of red herring, non sequitar, false dichotomy reasoning is not cogent so get off it.

  8. also, the results were most certainly NOT restricted to “drugs and other treatments that are used for their intended purpose and administered in the recommended doses.” Here are the numbers from the article:

    # 12,000 deaths/year from unnecessary surgery
    # 7000 deaths/year from medication errors in hospitals
    # 20,000 deaths/year from other errors in hospitals
    # 80,000 deaths/year from nosocomial infections in hospitals
    # 106,000 deaths/year from nonerror, adverse effects of medications

    And that’s how the total of 225,000 comes from, placing total iatrogenic causes third in the list seven years ago. Less than half of those were nonerror, adverse effects, so those alone would be a lot lower than third. Seriously, do the research yourself instead of just repeating what you’re told.

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