Homeopathy Suicide Attempt

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ArgumentumAdHominem (April 09, 2008, 19:23:36 PM):
Don't get me wrong, I still appreciate the video and I will definitely play it for anyone who disagrees with me about the efficacy of homeopathic treatments.

I'm just quibbling about details really, as usual ;) Speaking of which, how does SciOps operate on a Defiant class? Surely the science deck is smaller than the galley? I'd much prefer the facilities of the Intrepid class, purpose designed science vessel! :D

...owing to bandwith limitations, which seems available only in homoeopathic quantities… ;D
ROFLMAO! I have to remember that one!
Owen Swart (April 10, 2008, 10:05:59 AM):
Haha... I'm glad you enjoyed it. In retrospect we probably should have payed closer attention to the details, but since it was intended as an attention-grabbing gimmick we didn't feel too strongly about it. As long as the general message gets across, I guess it's done it's job.

Yeah, you're quite right that a Defiant Class is less than optimal for this kind of mission. Unfortunately I'm not the Dauntless' first Captain, so I had no say in her "construction" originally. I've considered putting in an application for a retooling to either Intrepid or Nova class, but it just seems like too much admin. With all the politics in Starfleet these days, the less we bother the guys over at HQ the better :)
Mefiante (April 10, 2008, 11:34:50 AM):
Further to the issue of homoeopathic dilutions, the symbols “C” and “X” together with their leading numbers reveal not only the dilution factor but also how the preparation was diluted. The “D” is a variant of “X” that seems to be preferred by German, or possibly central European homoeopaths. The symbols “C” and “X” come from the Roman system of numeration and denote, respectively, “by hundreds” and “by tens.” For example, a nostrum marked “8C” was diluted eight times in succession, each time by a factor of one hundred, whereas one marked “13X” was diluted thirteen times, each time by a factor of ten. Thus, the “8C” concoction is diluted to a 1/100th concentration eight times in succession using the concentration from the prior step, giving a final concentration of (1/100)8 = (1/10)16 = 1/10,000,000,000,000,000, and the “13X” to 1/10th thirteen times, giving (1/10)13 = 1/10,000,000,000,000 as a final concentration.

In practice, one litre bottles with screw caps are used together with 100 ml beakers for “X” dilutions, or 10 ml beakers for “C” dilutions. 10 ml is 1/100th of a litre (100 ml is 1/10th of same), and generally, dilutions are done by volume rather than weight, which in itself opens a whole new can of one-quadrillionth of a worm that we’ll simply slither over sans a second thought.

Suppose now we want to formulate a homoeopathic murder mix of prodigious scope. We consult our Materia Medica (or our grandmother, whichever happens to be closer to hand) and find that chicken broth in normal concentrations is life-sustaining and induces a ruddy glow of good health in its consumers. Being canny in the ways of homoeopathy, we realise that, in great dilutions, chicken broth must therefore produce a cure for “a ruddy glow of good health,” i.e. it is a ghastly venom, one that Dr John Bodkin Adams would have been proud to feed his victims.

A little thought suggests a 20C dilution should be more than powerful enough to produce a comprehensive ruination of life – after all, any stronger and we might denude the planet! So we scoop up 10 ml of chicken broth with our beaker and pour it into our one litre mixing flask. Adding one litre of water, we heartily shake it up exactly twenty-three times (see below), and then decant 10 ml from the mixing flask, disposing of the rest. The saved 10 ml now goes back into the mixing flask, to repeat the addition of one litre of water, the twenty-three shakes and saving 10 ml from the mixing flask. This dilute-shake-save cycle is done twenty times in total, yielding a potency of 20C in the final flask. As a precaution, we should probably engage the services of a toxic waste disposal crew because the stuff we throw away in each cycle becomes progressively more toxic, and without such a precaution against indiscriminate disposal, we could easily precipitate some manner of ecological Armageddon.

There is also the practice of “succussion” following each dilution step, which practice is a vigorous rhythmic shaking of the preparation so that it smacks bodily into the wall of its container a number of times. It also clarifies why one litre bottles are generally favoured because slinging, say, ten-litre canisters around would soon enough tax even the hardiest homoeopath. This pounding is supposed to convince the curative properties to become active, as in, “Awaken, ye powers of flummery!” and to distribute them evenly into the mixture. Some homoeopaths consider this shaking at least as important as dilution, and will go to extraordinary lengths to count the number of shakes as well as the “amount of vigour” applied to each one. The latter, of course, presents some practical difficulties but obviously not enough to deter the courageously determined quack.


(Edited for improved clarity … I hope.)
Mefiante (April 10, 2008, 18:41:39 PM):
There is a further fairly important point to note about homoeopathic dilutions that I neglected to mention in the first paragraph of my previous message. It is definitely not the case that a “<2n>X” preparation is equal to a “C” one, because logically that would make sense, what with them having the same final dilution, namely 1/102n. But of course logic and sense don’t feature here, being, as they are, the overworked cudgels of those who seek to bludgeon the soundness from our craft! No, while it is true that the dilutions are the same, the “<2n>X” alternative is actually more potent because it entailed considerably greater effort in its preparation.

Oh, and the “D” notation derives from the German “Dezimal,” the meaning of which I think the reader will be able to fathom with an uncertainty approaching around 100,000C.

bluegray (April 15, 2008, 13:35:00 PM):
So really, while this attempted suicide by a homoeopathic preparation for “psychosomatic disorders, climacteric neurosis & emotional distress” is admirable, methinks you should instead have used a 30C dilution of chicken broth. :P
Probably depends on what you use in your chicken broth. I'm sure, depending on the ingredients, that it would cover everything, good and bad. Not to mention the minute traces of whatever the chicken had in it's lifetime (or would it not count due to improper succussion? Maybe better use those shaken up Kentucky popcorn). Free range chicken is possibly a good choice for suicide - since it's supposed to be healthier.

Which brings me to another problem. How do they clean those containers before they start a new preparation? Sounds to me that most homeopathic preparations should contain ridiculously potent traces of previous preparations, and as a consequence cure far more than just what is listed on the packet.

How are you sleeping these days? ;D
Thanks for those vids - although you proved that those homeopathic pills are ineffective when it comes to making you sleep, you also proved that they are relatively harmless. Of course that is not the point. It is immoral and deceitful selling placebos as a cure for anything.

Thanks again!


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