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Old 20-01-2006, 06:29 PM   #1
Diane
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Default Deconstruction of the Runaway "MFR" Thread

I want to submit this little excerpt from Richard Dawkin's book, The Devil's Chaplain, from Chapter #.2, "Viruses of the Mind."
From p. 137:
Quote:
Like computer viruses, successful mind viruses will tend to be hard for their victims to detect. If you are a victim of one, the chances are that you won't know it, and may even vigorously deny it. Accepting that a virus might be difficult to detect in your own mind, what tell-tale signs might you look out for? I shall answer by imaginig how a medical textbook might describe the typical symptoms of a sufferer (arbitrarily assumed to be male).
1. The patient typically finds himself impelled by some deep, inner conviction that something is true, or right, or virtuous: a conviction that doesn't seem to owe anything to evidence or reason, but which, nevertheless, he feels as totally compelling and convincing. We doctors refer to such a belief as 'faith'.
2. Patients typically make a positive virtue of faith's being strong and unshakeable, in spite of not being based on evidence. Indeed, they may feel that the less evidence there is, the more virtuous the belief (see below). This paradoxical idea that lack of evidence is a positive virtue where faith is concerned has something of the quality of a program that is self-sustaining, becase it is self-referential. Once the program is believed, it automatically undermines opposition to itself. The 'lack of evidence is a virtue' idea would be an admirable sidekick, ganging up with faith itself in a clique of mutually supportive viral programs.
3. A related symptom, which a faith-sufferer may also present, is the conviction that 'mystery' per se, is a good thing. It is not a virtue to solve mysteries. Rather we should enjoy them, even revel in their insolubility.

Any impulse to solve mysteries could be seriously inimical to the spread of a mind virus. It would not, therefore, be surprising if the idea that 'mysteries are better not solved' was a favored member of a mutually supporting gang of viruses. (...).. the very mysteriousness of the belief moves the believer to perpetuate the mystery.
... Or, at least, set up an explanation without any solid foundation beneath it, all the better to float around in the clouds with.

I look back over that thread and feel that it was successful in at least exposing the underbelly of the sea monster of belief and quackish thinking that permeates quite a lot of what lots of people think they are doing when they do soft tissue work. Truly, it was a surprise to me that Oschman's ideas were so integrated into Barnes' model. That was/is scary. For anyone who wants a better foundation for their clinical endeavors, please consider reading outside your field. Only by learning to think for yourself will you "weaken the team" of memeplex/thought virus contagion out there. Butler is a great anti-viral, Barrett too, Shacklock, these writers are specifically PT antivirals. You do have to self-adminster though. Any of the plethora of brain researchers, Ramachandran, Dennett, Damasio etc are good overall immune boosters. Dawkins himself has provided/can provide a frame around the whole concept of thought contagion and how to protect/prevent/treat a whole profession that is succumbing or has already in large part succumbed. I move we keep PT secular and science-congruent. Any seconders? All in favor? Any dissenters?
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Old 20-01-2006, 10:08 PM   #2
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I might add to the list of symptoms that Dawkins provides:

Quote:
4. The sufferer may find himself behaving intolerantly towards vectors of rival faiths, in extreme cases even killing them or advocating their deaths. he may be similarly violent in his disposition towards apostates(people who have held the faith but renounced it); or towards heretics (people who espouse a different-often, perhaps significantly, only very slightly different-version of the faith). He may also feel hostile towards other modes of thought that are potentially inimical to his faith, such as the method of scientific reason which could function rather like a piece of antiviral software.
(my emphasis)

Dawkins is referring in particular to religion, but this is relevant to the notion of memes and viruses infecting all manner of thought with possible dire consequences.

Diane, are you finding his book quite useful and relevant to the topic at hand and other issues facing physiotherapy?

I agree that physiotherapy should be secular and science congruent, but as the EBM debate shows, it is still possible to fall into the whirlpool on the basis of rigidity of thought. We have to be careful and check that the anitviral software installed in our minds isn't effective to the point that we consider nothing else.

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Old 20-01-2006, 10:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diane
I move we keep PT secular and science-congruent. Any seconders? All in favor? Any dissenters?
yes, I second the motion. It drives me crazy when I talk with my coworkers and when I question their explanations I hear "well, there's a lot we don't understand, science doesn't explain everything."

Well, of course not but before you can talk about the gaps in the scientific knowledge base you have to have some familiarity with that knowledge base. Diane gives some great places to start.
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Old 24-01-2006, 08:18 PM   #4
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Thanks Phil for seconding the motion.
All in favor?
I recommend a reading of the new article Bernard posted called "'Fathers' and 'Sons' of Theories in Cell Physiology: The Membrane Theory." It discusses how science and the perception thereof can distort when not attended.
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Old 24-01-2006, 10:53 PM   #5
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I put a heading on the front page of my site yesterday titled "The Deconstruction of Myofascial Release" and linked it to Soma Simple. With between 13 and 14 thousand hits per month, my site should become another broad avenue toward that conversation.

I'm wondering how anxious Walt, Dave, Scott and Pia might be to have a lot of people look at what went on there, to say nothing of Barnes himself. If they truly feel that they made their case and effectively refuted our objections they'll say so and invite others with some enthusiasm. I'd like to see that.

For my part, I remain very pleased with everything said, and, ironically enough, especially the posts by those named above. After all, I would never have thought of "hiding behind science" on my own. As I say to my classes (briefly, I promise), "I couldn't make this stuff up."

I agree that memes are the thing, and that only by understanding the power and use of memetics can we possibly see how we are driven in so many ways. When I Googled the word meme in 2003 for that wonderful thread (archived in The Bullypit) I got 1,810,000 hits. Today you'll get 68,100,000 hits. Still, I rarely meet anyone who's heard of this word.

What do you suppose that means?
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Old 25-01-2006, 05:26 AM   #6
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Meme fever hasn't caught on with the general population, and maybe PTs don't read books by Gould, Dennett, Dawkins and Blackmore....and Rama.
...or maybe memetics doesn't feature strongly in EBM.....


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Old 25-01-2006, 01:34 PM   #7
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Nari,

You might be right, but I think fear has more to do with this ignorance of something as large, well-studied and important as memetics. In my experience, most people are literally frightened by the very notion that they aren't in charge of what they think and believe to be true. They'd rather wander along, oblivious to all of this, trying to live a life approved of by all who surround them. As Thomas Moore says, "The need to be normal is the predominant anxiety disorder in modern life." I would add, "Even if willful ignorance of things important to your clinical life is part of that normalcy."

You can't study or even understand memetics without considering how you might be trapped within a meme that might not be true. Sensing this on a certain level, most people avoid the term and its study as best they can.

I know this sounds rather cynical, but I get around. During the past month I've introduced Soma Simple to over 200 therapists. They sat before me and expressed a distinct interest in what they might find here, they asked me for references that I said I'd be glad to fax them if they emailed me the #, they proclaimed that they were "amazed" at the changes evident in the people upon whom they employed Simple Contact and in themselves when they moved ideomotorically. "I can think of ten patients I want to try this on tomorrow," they say and shake my hand vigorously before they leave.

So far, I've gotten exactly one request for a fax and Eddy is the only student who has contribited anything to this discussion. (Eddy, you're a rare bird.) Over 4000 students the past couple of years and, now that I think about it, this is a larger result than usual. I say they forget all I've shown them as soon as their car door swings shut, and I think I'm right. For some, I know my workshop is a nightmare they'd rather forget. (See "The Matrix and Me" on my site)

Is this situation a result of fear, ignorance, cowardice, indifference or my mistaken notion of what professional discourse could be? All of the above?

Does a fear of memetics explain this? Would consideration of what is said here be too threatening to the memes in the heads of therapists?
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Old 25-01-2006, 02:43 PM   #8
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I agree that memes are important here. I am afraid that reading about memes (which many will have done - see the number of "hits" on google - indicator of "hot subject") does not equate internalising the concept. Rational awareness and acceptance is by no means a motivation for change. For some, taking ANY course, even SC, must be like going to a good motivational speech - lights a fire, but when the usual psychosocialeconomicalphysical environment gets put on like a coat, the fresh and new and exciting info slides off like rain.... It really takes much more for many people (and I was one) than just info - it takes a effort of will to make a step away from the familiar frame and explore beyond.

Barrett, I think indifference is the main one - then fear of the "unknown' or "unfamiliar". And of course, your notion of professional discourse is entirely to blame :-)

I really don't think enough therapists really CARE about this - which is a very sad statement. I much rather have violent discourse (verbally) with some than the quiet indifference of many. Most ideal is professional discourse of course....
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Old 25-01-2006, 06:02 PM   #9
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I think the problem is a combination of Dawkins' points 3.,
Quote:
the conviction that 'mystery' per se, is a good thing. It is not a virtue to solve mysteries. Rather we should enjoy them, even revel in their insolubility.
... and the one Nari supplied, 4,
Quote:
may also feel hostile towards other modes of thought that are potentially inimical to his faith, such as the method of scientific reason which could function rather like a piece of antiviral software
and what Barrett quoted from Thomas Moore,
Quote:
The need to be normal is the predominant anxiety disorder in modern life.
I would like to add that there are developmental issues here that are being overlooked. I'll use myself as a (not very good) example. Physiotherapy isn't comprised of a homogenous group of beings have been produced and turned out fully cooked. Everyone is at all different ages and stages.

Lots of the people you teach, Barrett, are young. One cannot possibily learn everything there is to know in PT school, which is why they come to hear you. The best that can be done is graduate a group of young people each year who know some stuff, are bright and can learn more, and are more less safe to turn loose on the world as representatives of the profession. From the individual's perspective, PT certification is a security blanket that one possesses, eventually processes, extracts the essence from (hopefully the values, ethics etc.) and then can see in perspective as newer more relevant forms of care make their way into one's mind. (I shudder to think how "fundamentalist" I was in my twenties.)

Life itself intrudes for a couple decades too, people distracted by mating/ childrearing/ growing the basic social unit known as the family.. Even though I never did any of that my brain was certainly engaged in fighting the memes of it all, so it was still a distraction from "real" thinking.

What I'm saying is, I think that it's a bit unrealistic to expect young(er) people to immediately fall all over themselves adapting their minds to this new meme that seems so different, when so much else that seems so overwhelming is happening simultaneously from all inputs in life. What I'm saying is, that you don't give people anything cozy to cling to Barrett, the way Barnes does (see Dawkins point 3 above), you give them bare facts (see Dawkins point 4). Meanwhile they are coping with how they compare to what they think might be "normal" while perhaps quietly or unconsciously not liking "normal" or else working hard to enact "normal" (the Thomas Moore quote.)

I will say this however, Barrett; people grow up, and exposure to your bare facts will have already been put in place. They might not remember the precise facts but they will remember that the facts made sense at the time, and you were insistant that they learn to think about facts. You're like the Johnny Appleseed character. You may not see the crops grow to your satisfaction in your lifetime, but the fact you are so busy out there planting and writing and engaging is, well, what more can you do? You expose young(er) minds to your memes and they will either be taken up or they'll be outcompeted, eclipsed, lay dormant perhaps, but they won't be discarded by those minds, not when the memes actually make sense, not when the memes are not just memes but are anti-viral memes.

Sooner or later when the minds into which they've been absorbed mature to the point where they can handle and process the information and recognize the value and the other stuff (like comforting belief systems) has become less important (like after the age of forty perhaps), then perhaps we can expect to see a growth curve in PT mentation that matches your output efforts now. You've already done most of the heavy mental lifting and discarding by getting rid of all your own memes that didn't make any sense to you, and laid a trail through the mental underbrush. Others will be able to find it and wear it down some more. I think there's lots of room for hope.
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"In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists" ~Roland Barth

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Old 25-01-2006, 07:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Lots of the people you teach, Barrett, are young
Speaking on behalf of the young-uns... Coming out of a simple contact course, you have to be willing to let things go, but not first before examining why you should let them go. I think this is what Barrett does best, challenges you to examine.

I wouldn't say that I forgot what he showed the minute my car door shut, but the return to clinic life was a challenge (probably more accurate to say I forget as soon as the clinic door is opened). All I can say is that I felt this subtle resistance to the changes I made in my practice. This was at times directly experienced by the disapproving looks of fellow PT's, the questioning looks of patients, but mostly by the own voices in my head (I assume this is how memes operate, "The Meme Machine" is on my Amazon wish list but not yet purchased). For the first 3 months it felt like I was swimming upstream. I think the one thing that made the transition easier was to finally meet therapists in Naniamo whose writings I admired (Diane, Nari, Jon, Luke, and Barrett), and interact with them online til my comfort level became sufficient to propel me (yeah, youse guys were just training wheels).

I suspect as the community of PT's who are interested in questioning the current therapy memes increases, there will be a little less resistance and more carry over. Learning simple contact is easy, brining it into the clinic is significantly more challenging IMO.

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Old 25-01-2006, 07:42 PM   #11
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What a head start you have Chris! (I certainly am pleased to have been able to provide you with conribution toward your 'training wheels' if that's all that was required. )
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Old 25-01-2006, 08:18 PM   #12
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Remember back on Rehab Edge when they used to call me "Barrett The Great Destroyer"? Well, okay, nobody ever really called me that but I kept trying to get this going.

Surely you're not suggesting that I'm now to be referred to as "The Johnny Appleseed of Physical Therapy," are you? Despite the lovely sentiment, it seems somehow to be a demotion. Guess I'll just have to deal.

If I can remember, I'll do a little survey of my classes on the west coast next week and see what the average age is. I've got some large crowds so this might mean something. Maybe someone can remind me. I'm in Eugene Oregon next Wednesday.

I can't help but think of a PT in the front row of my course in Grand Rapids this past week. My age (perhaps a little older), clearly a responsible professional if one can judge by her manner and dress and the quality of her speech. She listened carfully and actually answered a few questions though she also made it clear my tone wasn't to her liking. She told me she didn't know anything about Internet discussions because "our computer broke down two years ago." This is a direct quote.

She was especially interested in a quote I read from a web site referenced here recently and asked me where she could find it. I said she could send me her fax# and I'd send the whole article. She nodded emphatically but I've heard nothing. Turns out she had widespread pain for many years and she volunteered to be treated at the end of the day. Distinct improvement followed, especially in her painless cervical ROM.

I don't anticipate hearing from her despite the fact that I have something she wants (the article) and her own function was dramatically changed for the better. I'm truly disinterested in being thanked for anything, I just wonder what happened to her obvious interest.

I agree with you Diane, but this woman didn't fit into any of the categories you mention.
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Old 25-01-2006, 09:06 PM   #13
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Appropriated from elsewhere on the web. The political reference can be ignored. Isn't this what memetics has been saying since '76?

"In what may be bad news for the reality-based community, new research from the world of neuroscience suggests that both Democrats and Republicans rely on emotion rather than reason when confronted with facts that should disrupt their political preferences.

As part of a study that will be presented at this weekend's conference of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, researchers put Democrats and Republicans in an MRI machine and asked them to confront what seemed to be flip-flops by John Kerry and George W. Bush. Brain scans showed that the study participants weren't exactly struggling through the contradictions of their own candidate. "We did not see any increased activation of the parts of the brain normally engaged during reasoning," Emory University psychologist Drew Westen tells UPI. "What we saw instead was a network of emotion circuits lighting up."

The study's findings may provide an explanation -- but little comfort -- to Democrats like Kerry, who find themselves mystified when sober, fact-based arguments about national security or Iraq don't sway voters who believe in some generalized way that the Republicans are better at keeping America safe. How can you get through to such people? You can't, it seems, unless those who are listening to the message make a conscious effort to hear it. For an individual to override his own biases, Westen tells the New York Times, he has to "engage in ruthless self reflection, to say, 'All right, I know what I want to believe, but I have to be honest.'"
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Old 25-01-2006, 09:19 PM   #14
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Barrett,

Quote:
I agree that memes are the thing, and that only by understanding the power and use of memetics can we possibly see how we are driven in so many ways. When I Googled the word meme in 2003 for that wonderful thread (archived in The Bullypit) I got 1,810,000 hits. Today you'll get 68,100,000 hits. Still, I rarely meet anyone who's heard of this word.
Being a daily reader of Merriam-Webster dictionary,(Yes I actually read the dictionary every day and look up words all the time) I have encoutered the word meme. However, I have not used it more than 2 or 3 times since my meeting with it about 3 years ago.

Diane started this thread with the viral concept and I have to agree with her when she equates viral infection in some way with memes.

Being a French native, I can readily discuss the word meme that literally means: same, even. Perhaps it has the same etymology as in French and hints at a speck of mimicking but not actually being the real thing. Who really knows.

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Old 25-01-2006, 09:55 PM   #15
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Eddy,

Virus of the Mind by Brodie was one of the first and most influential of the books on memes. As far as I know, Dawkins simply made up this word and you won't find its origin in a language somewhere else. It is unrelated to "same" or "even."
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Old 25-01-2006, 10:07 PM   #16
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Being British himself and if he made up the word meme perhaps he perpetuated the everlasting tension between the two neighboring countries by alterating the meme into his own definition. Am I reaching way too deep? possible.

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Old 25-01-2006, 10:49 PM   #17
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Haha! Eddy, I see where you are coming from..
I think however that Dawkins wasn't toying with the French language, he just wanted a word that rhymed with "gene"....
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Old 26-01-2006, 01:11 AM   #18
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Quote:
I think that it's a bit unrealistic to expect young(er) people to immediately fall all over themselves adapting their minds to this new meme that seems so different
I don't know what can be realistically expected, but it is certainly quite possible for a young one to "immediately fall all over themselves adapting their minds to this new meme". Both Chris and I can attest to that. I even managed it while still at school.

Chris, we've shared the same training wheels. I'm going to keep them on for I while yet though.

Luke
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Old 26-01-2006, 02:06 AM   #19
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Ultimately, the goal should be to get rid of the traditional memes that have held us back for so long. They simply should not be taught. When will they disappear? The answer might lie in something Ian sent me a long time ago:

Planck's Dictum

Major advances in science occur not because the proponents of the established view are forced by the weight of evidence to change their minds, but because they retire and eventually die!

No, I don't know where he got this, but I really like it.
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Old 26-01-2006, 03:02 AM   #20
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Chris, did you ever get the feeling that when discussing the why of things that perhaps you were speaking with Lily Tomlin's Ernestine on the other end? Snort, snort.
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Old 26-01-2006, 03:54 AM   #21
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Barrett,
Quote:
I agree with you Diane, but this woman didn't fit into any of the categories you mention
... She might be a late bloomer.

Luke, Chris, you guys might be unusually bright/quick studies for young-uns, or unusually curious, or unusually immune to bad memes/belief systems, or unusually relaxed/laissez-faire/undistracted about your developmental stages/responsibilities.

Barrett,
Quote:
the goal should be to get rid of the traditional memes that have held us back for so long
I agree... but how do we stop the replication of useless memes when they are like lubricant that helps keep currency floating around? Love Planck's Dictum.
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Old 26-01-2006, 04:37 AM   #22
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Jon,

I actually know who you're talking about

Yeah Luke, I think I think I'm still a long ways away from them being riding partners... good to keep the wheels on for a while.

Diane, I think I am naturally curious and a bit of a trouble maker, I don't readily conform (Although I do feel guilty about not conforming )

I have a funny/not so funny story, it's more disappointing for our profession.

I was having a conversation with my co-worker/former manager as to why my schedule was so light (other than the obvious reasons that I get better results and D/C sooner ). And she said that because I do things so differently I wasn't meeting the expectations that people have about PT. Because of this she didn't feel comfortable putting people on my schedule when I wouldn't meet the expectations that had been established in the clinic. I have talked to this PT til I was blue in the face about why I do what I do, and was able to show it worked and pull out tons of information stating why it makes sense to do it that way... and still, just gotta meet expectations. As I practice explaining and educating patients I find they are quite receptive to the "new ways" (much more than PT's it seems, although some of my colleagues are coming around, I can be a persistent little bugger)

That's probably the kind of barriers that people meet when trying to put these ideas into practice coming back from a SC course.

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Old 26-01-2006, 04:37 AM   #23
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Ah, Barrett, I'm glad I still am remembered by you. And, I'm glad that you have returned to your old self-deprecating self. I, too, cannot figure out why those 4000 students have not warmed to you. On a serious note, you asked
Quote:
I'm wondering how anxious Walt, Dave, Scott and Pia might be to have a lot of people look at what went on there, to say nothing of Barnes himself. If they truly feel that they made their case and effectively refuted our objections they'll say so and invite others with some enthusiasm. I'd like to see that.
I have no fears about others viewing the information presented over the past month. There will always be a faction in therapy that "sides" with either you, or me. I doubt if believers on either side would be swayed way from their comfort zone. I think many, like myself, were turned on to much of the information presented here. All of you have wonderful minds and the enjoyment of both your work as well as the information that you share with each other is evident. An open mind is quite marvelous.

Newcomers to this site, possibly the folks from your classes that you sent to this site, or those wanting to learn more about which "side" (MFR or the NeuroNuts), has more credibility, will decide for themselves. They will see that we lack the "credibility", as you define it, but have tremendous successes. They will see that you have the backing of a tremendous amount of research, but will they accept your research as total and valid? An aside here, I must admit, that the amount of citations and books recommended for us MFR'ers to "see the light" was overwhelming. Having read many of the links, I skated to Amazon for a look at a few of the books that were suggested. I was amused to read some reviews of "The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness", by Antonio Damasio. The third review had the title: " Almost Entirely Speculation of the Worst Kind". this sort of reminds me of what Diane said of James Oscman's work. I do not know whether the Amazon reviewer is right or wrong, and I suspect that there is enough disagreement in science to allow for both of their opinions to be correct. I know, Diane, you posted someone's review of Oschman's work that corraborated your views. But, they are just your views. There is a wide space of views in the therapy world. If we followed only one, those of the APTA, neither Barrett's or John Barnes' classes would be allowed in our world. I, for one, do not wish to live in that world. I think there is a place for those who follow a strict orthopedic line, a researched neurological line, an eclectic MFR (and related) line, and, god forbid, an hot pack/ultrasound/10 reps of an exercise line.

A line in another thread on this site struck me as characteristc of the tone in which MFR and it's founder/followers has been treated on this site. On the "Diagnosis" thread, Nari was commenting on Mike's question as to whether posture has anything to do with pain.
Quote:
I don't take any notice of posture..it is not related to pain
This statement embodies the dismissive nature that any opinion outside of the opinion evident on SomaSimple is invalid. The postural attitude that a patient presents gives us so much information about the nature of a person's dysfunction, as well as their pain. While somewhat ignorant of the principles of neural tension, surely posture plays a part in your evaluative methods? Can a person, with wildly asymmetrical posture, represent a balanced individual from a neuro perspective? Quite possibly this is a crucial break point between MFR and neuro approaches. Quite possibly, this is what newcomers to this site will see. Dismissing another's views, whether due to credibility issues from the viewer, or from believing a deceptive reporter's opinion on the illegality of a work, I beleive is wrong.

Barrett, there is a certain irony in the fact that you quoted Planck
Quote:
Major advances in science occur not because the proponents of the established view are forced by the weight of evidence to change their minds, but because they retire and eventually die!
John recites this quote in nearly every introductory seminar. Science changes slowly.

So, no, I am not anxious that others will read the MFR thread. Some will be repelled from the work, others will be drawn to it. Still others will not see the controversy. This apathy of the final group, I believe, is what you, Barrett, were talking about when you commented on how few of your students students show up here. There are many therapists who are not passionate about what they do. We, I believe, are passionate. Differences aside, we are passionate. Maybe that is what Simple Contact needs. Your self-deprecation might be a detriment to your teaching. Enthusiasts want a positive image to follow, not like a cult, but to see a positive outcome. As you know, I've not taken one of your seminars, but is this what you are teaching? Most of us operate well within our comfort zones, seldom moving off to the edges (dare I say the word...into chaos?). This thread, as many others of yours in the past, dwell on how others seem to pay you no mind, and you are comfortable with this. Despite all that has been said, I truly think that your work has merit. Treat it as such...though I still think you could stand a good unwinding.

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Old 26-01-2006, 05:06 AM   #24
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I hope I can add myself to the list of the unusually curious/immune younguns. I was always conscious of there being a 'hole in therapy' but was unable to define it until reading Barrett's and others writings. Perhaps I was standing on the edge of the hole not yet ready to jump in, whereas many others do so without checking to see how deep it is. I can imagine that once in the hole looking up at the sky, its impossible to see anything beyond its edges.

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Old 26-01-2006, 05:16 AM   #25
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Eric,
Welcome to the wide space of views.
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Old 26-01-2006, 05:19 AM   #26
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You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You've just crossed over into... the Liminal Zone.
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Old 26-01-2006, 05:24 AM   #27
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I can't quite get the cadence down that Rod Serling had!
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Old 26-01-2006, 05:32 AM   #28
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In case I wasn't clear, I still prefer to look at the scenery around me than stare up into the sun. That's a sure way to premature blindness.

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Old 26-01-2006, 08:18 AM   #29
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Chris, that must be incredibly frustrating! Thankfully, I don't have those constraints and am free to work however I choose.

Keep on truckin',
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Old 26-01-2006, 09:27 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nari
I agree that physiotherapy should be secular and science congruent, but as the EBM debate shows, it is still possible to fall into the whirlpool on the basis of rigidity of thought. We have to be careful and check that the anitviral software installed in our minds isn't effective to the point that we consider nothing else.

Nari
I quite agree with you here. I sometimes feel that EBM can also be a 'faith' . By this I mean I hear people saying 'According to EBM or According to scientific evidence ......'
The question to ask is 'How much do you know about how the evidence was gathered and interpreted?' This is not to decry EBM - or say it is useless. However, I have often noticed in studies in pain research a number of exclusions which are clearly to reduce counfounding factors. However, it can also cut the number of potential patients to whom the study is relevant. Known psychiatric illness is one I most often see listed as an exclusion.

The other concern relates to the statistical interpretation. Numbers needed to treat (NNT) and loss of subjects in follow-up are 2 possible grey areas. Sometimes they are correctly dealt with - and sometimes not.

When it comes to accepting anything based on scientific research - or rejecting ideas for which there doesn't seem to be strong enough evidence - it puts us gravely in the 'faith' category. For all those clinicians who spend a lot of time reading and updating their knowledge, there are a lot who say ' I can't find the time to read more than the abstracts'

Conclusion; Moderation in all things!

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Old 26-01-2006, 09:33 AM   #31
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Luke,

So have I. The land of physiotherapy Oz-style does have some virtues going for it. Freedom to choose what is best and in keeping with logic and common- sense deductions without losing track of reality.

Eric,

The trouble with being in a hole is just that - inability to see what is actually going on in the world; and digging deeper does not improve matters at all.

Walt
Have a look at pain neurophysiology. It's not possible to comment on your criticisms until you do that. It is a waste of time.

Jane,
A good post. The exclusion of important variables can render the study impractical for inclusion into practice.

Nari

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Old 26-01-2006, 09:49 AM   #32
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Jane, here's one of my favorite paragraphs from the Seamonster/Whirlpool essay by Willis. It seems to fit with what your post above says, and Nari's thoughts:

Quote:
Principally, I am dismayed by the extent to which, in the new management culture which has been imposed on British medicine, the people who now control medicine have seized-on the deeply mistaken notion that scientific evidence delivers certainty. And instead of using such evidence to inform independent professional judgement, its correct and hugely-important role, they have taken the idea (in my view also a mistaken idea) that clinical freedom is dead, and used ‘evidence’ to ‘govern’ clinical behaviour at the individual level. They have even adopted the word ‘governance’ for one of the many new mechanisms with which they intend to achieve this end. What is more, such is the certainty that this radical innovation in medical practice is progress, and such is the confidence that it is free of unexpected and unwanted effects, that, in a supreme paradox, it has itself never be the subject of scientific evaluation. The application of evidence based medicine is not itself evidence based.
(Emphasis mine.)
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Old 26-01-2006, 01:36 PM   #33
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Walt,

I can't see how anybody reading the thread would conclude that you get "tremendous successes." Because you say so?

You say there are "believers" on either side of this issue and I reject that. Your side certainly has believers. It has to because evidence for your theory is absent. Our side isn't asked to believe anything but only to read, consider and understand what neuroscience has taught us. Of course what we know changes because all knowledge in science is provisional. This is a basic principle of science often ignored by those who operate on the level of faith alone. Sound like anyone you know?

Assuming that you've read as much as you claim, I find it interesting that you cite the title of one review of one book. Did you read the book or just the one review? Oschman's book was taken apart by one of the most highly regarded people in the skeptical scientific community. Perhaps you didn't know that skepticism isn't a position taken but a process used to ferret out what makes sense and what doesn't. A skeptic's mind is always open to other explanations until this process is complete. When Nari says posture isn't relevant to pain she's not "dismissive." She's statling what is known-not describing what we think or hope is true.

We're working on an explanation for the absence of the 4000 from our debate. Have you an explanation for the absence of the 50,000 believers on your side? Have you invited the people from the MFR chat? Ever read "The Memory Wars"? Ever ask Barnes about that cloud thing?
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Old 26-01-2006, 03:52 PM   #34
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Barrett,
If you would, give me the link to Memory Wars. The choice to cite "one title to one review" of a book on Amazon was not intended to show that all you believe is wrong. And, IO think I made it clear that I did not read the mentioned book. It was intended to show that differences in opinion exist even at the research base of understanding. There are no absolutes, even in science. I would beg to differ on the concept that skepticism is not a position. No one reported, whether a writer for a news agency or a skeptic's blog, is immune from reporting from their base of beliefs. You, me, and the rest on this site are all operating from our views, opinions, and biases, and we view all we read and see through our filters. We may say that we empirically employ only proven methods, but our choice of what to read, believe, and act upon are based on our intentions and beliefs. The latest data reporting the percent of the population who've drifted from traditional medicine into "alternative" treatment seems to show that peolpe are not happy with traditional appraoches. Do alternative sources truly offer a better outcome? For some, no, for others, yes. Perception of the outcome, whether placebo based or not, is a valid measure of the success that consumers search for. You and I are dealing with these consumers. I am not dealing with faith alone. The results that I achieve are a measure of my outcome.

Quote:
I can't see how anybody reading the thread would conclude that you get "tremendous successes." Because you say so?
No, I truly believe that the amount of energy that you've spent over a career, bashing a successful individual and his work, may be enough to send therapists to our seminars, wanting to see what success is all about. No, I've never invited the chat line members here. I thought it might be more effective to see just how well followed you are. You've often mused that there must be many of us lurking on your sites, fearful of engaging you in debate. I think the silence is telling. As for your 4000? That silence is even more revealing.

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Old 26-01-2006, 04:12 PM   #35
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Of course there are no absolutes in science. Do you think you're telling us something we don't already know? Isn't it obvious that science is about refining further and further the sensible nature of its explanations? As George Eliot says in his novel Middlemarch: "...the very eye of research (is to) provisionally frame its object and correct it to more and more its exactness of relation." (a mild paraphrase here-thanks to The Sea Monster and the Whirlpool link).

You guys don't seem interested in correcting your original view no matter how much the research points you elsewhere. I am defining skepticism as the skeptics themselves define it. I assume they are aware of what they are doing-your opinion of their "biases and filters" notwithstanding.

The silence of my 4000 is disturbing as I've said, but at least they've been made aware of this thread and can make their own decisions about contributing. You seem to be choosing to keep your potential supporters in the dark. Why would you do that?

Of course the public isn't happy with the traditional approaches for pain our profession offers. This has been my point for many years. What I contend is that we can use science to move from tradition. You should try that yourself.

"The Memory Wars" is in the latest issue of The Skeptical Inquirer. On your news stands now-not online.
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Old 26-01-2006, 04:42 PM   #36
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Barrett,

Quote:
Of course there are no absolutes in science. Do you think you're telling us something we don't already know?
No, I'm sure you are aware of this, but I feel you are selective in its application.

Quote:
The silence of my 4000 is disturbing as I've said, but at least they've been made aware of this thread and can make their own decisions about contributing. You seem to be choosing to keep your potential supporters in the dark. Why would you do that?
Barrett, as long as you spend time bringing others down, even if for the few prescious seconds you state that you spend during a class, you may never see any of those 4000 here. There is nothing negative in scratching deep for meaning. I have learned a great deal here. Judging by your thread on Empathy, I seem to feel that you may have learned a bit about yourself as well. Do you send people to the MFR chat line to see what is being said? There has to be a bit of fear, a double edged sword? They might see the lack of science, but they also may see the enthusiasm of patients and clinicians alike. Some may side with the negative of your lecture, the bashing of others. Some may want to drift into something more positive...just one skeptic's opinion.

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Old 26-01-2006, 05:08 PM   #37
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Okay, that thing you said about being "selective in application" makes no sense. Again.

I don't bash others-I disagree with their ideas. How am I supposed to do that without expressing that I think that they are wrong? Is this what you call negative? Is everything said by anybody whom you deem has their heart in the right place perfectly fine? If you disagree at all isn't that what you call negative?

I tell people to go to the MFR Chat all the time. I'm doing so right now. There they will find what it is I'm so "negative" about.
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Old 26-01-2006, 05:31 PM   #38
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Walt,
I do not understand why you cited only the bad comment about the Damasio's Book.
The average on amazon is 3.5/5, not really bad. And many neurologists said it was very good. But you said that neurology and neurosciences were unimportant matters.

Average Customer Review: based on 42 reviews.

About Barrett followers =>
Since he joined SomaSimple, the daily audience was simply doubled. Do you really think that these 250 daily lurkers came from nowhere.
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Old 26-01-2006, 07:28 PM   #39
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Walt, simply - disagreement with the science and claims made by MFR/Barnes. I am NOT a SC course participant (yet!) - but HAVE taken MFR courses in late 80's. I am absolutely convinced by the material presented over the years by Barrett, Diane, Jon, and many others, that the theoretical underpinning of MFR does NOT fit the scientific evidence as we know it today. The EFFECTS of gentle handling of a person's skin and soft tissues has very GOOD scientific support as being effective - due to neurophysiological and psychological implications. Effectiveness is NOT at stake here - either in SC or MFR.

and please - BE selective in your application of the available science - not all is of equal quality.....as has been demonstrated in the poor selection in the MFR lit.
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Old 26-01-2006, 07:58 PM   #40
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Walt,

Being a skeptic, as you surprisingly claim to be, you may enjoy this article.

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2843/is_4_27/ai_104733249

There were some reproduction typos but it doesn't detract from the substance of the article.

One thing I've learned is that if you live too far away from natural laws you are bound to suffer eventually. If this is true, and it seems likely that it is, MFR is likely to contribute to suffering at some point.

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Old 26-01-2006, 08:23 PM   #41
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Walt

If you are a skeptic, as you imply, your example of Damasio and the negative review of his text demonstrates how selectively skeptical you are. Choosing only material which fits and supports your own point of view, and ignoring all else, isn't just staying in your comfort zone... it's hiding from what the rest of the world is about. This is relevant to what jon's link has to say about the butterfly..people search for something that goes 'ping' with their memes; some find it, some never do. You may have found the thing that suits your belief system; but that is no better or worse than the searchers who still hunt for the thing that goes 'ping'...they are still in the same boat. The boat is large, but ephemeral, it tends to develop leaks; the timber keel is prone to toredos....and is totally dependent on which way the wind blows..


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Old 26-01-2006, 08:43 PM   #42
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Walt, I must have missed something. Which of Damasio's books do you dislike?
Another thing, why are you still batting for your boss? Can't he hold a bat himself?
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Old 26-01-2006, 08:59 PM   #43
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Great link Jon.

Tonight I look forward to seeing The Office on NBC. In order to appreciate this show you have to be able to at least tolerate what they call “cringe humor.” This is the sort of comedy that evokes in the audience a combination of discomfort and delight at the revealing of another’s foibles; those ways of being that are individualized and often irritating yet irresistibly expressed. On The Office the boss, Michael, regularly calls staff meetings in an effort to make a point about his brilliance and insight. Without exception these meetings reveal precisely the opposite. No one on the staff is fooled with the exception of Dwight, Michael’s lackey and an even more self-deluded character.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

Walt, you’ve scored many points on this board. Unfortunately for you they’ve all been for the other team.

Can you bring someone in off the bench? Someone with a fresh arm, fresh legs or, at the very least, a new argument? One that isn’t knocked out of the park so easily? (Blame Diane for the tortured attempt at a sports analogy)

Hello? Where amongst the 50,000 are you?
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Old 27-01-2006, 01:28 AM   #44
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So, Barrett, I'm assuming you see yourself in the character of Micheal in The Office?

I find it amazing how such educated folks read so selectively for the content they think they see. nari, as to selective skeptivity, if you re-read post #23 and 34, you will see that I am not saying that you or Damasio are wrong. I am saying that polar opposite opinions exist even from within the "educated" community. This book was selected to show nothing except this point. All of Damasio's book reviews on amazon are mostly positive, I do not doubt that his works are well researched and written. Bernard, here is acknowledgement of the 3.5/5.0. No dispute. But, where and when did I say:
Quote:
But you said that neurology and neurosciences were unimportant matters.
If you search through Damasio's reviews, every book has at least one person who voices an educated difference in views. I'm not making a negative statement toward damasio. Just to make you aware that differences exist. As the bunch of you slap hands over your brilliance, know that differing opinions exist even within the world in which you state is fact.

Barrett, Thanks for the point tally. I see the scoring differently. What the trickle of readers from your classes will see, in addition to our lack of research, is your attempt to directly link us to charges of bringing about false memories that simply is false and unprofessional on your part. You know that you have no ground to stand on regarding these claims, but you continue to perpetuate these falsehoods. Seems like you softened your tone a bit, since we brought forward statements you've made.
Quote:
I don't bash others-I disagree with their ideas
...need I re-quote you calling John barnes the Jerry Springer of physical therapy? Or how one of your students affirming that you called MFR practitioners "criminals"? Or how you state that "the psychological harm inflicted upon patients in their (MFR practitioners) care can be enormous"? Please, welcome your students, let them see who sent them here.

Yes, they will see this as well. If your personality allows others to see how low you will stoop just to denegrate another therapist, I invite you to continue to spread the word. I'm sure your still lurking on the MFR chatline. Too much fodder for your essays in there to ignore it. Try being yourself on that line, sign a post with your name. You seem to have plenty of time on your hands, stir things up over there.

As for the scoreboard? Score that a whitewash! But you, Barrett, have said that you don't care about what people or your students think of you. I really don't think you need to spend too much time researching why none of your new students show up here, I think you already have your answer.

Walt

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Old 27-01-2006, 02:00 AM   #45
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Walt, what's wrong with Jerry Springer?

From a student's perspective I remember Barrett saying "It's criminal" during one of his classes, not "they're criminal". I believe it was in reference to the teaching of the practice of freeing memories stored in fascia. Wouldn't such a thing be criminal in nature if it were being taught as actually true and not just hyperbole? Not to mention that he could have been using it in the informal sense.

Regarding Damasio: I'm hopeful that dissent remains commonplace in the scientific community unless it comes to someone not adhering to things like the laws of thermodynamics or other such natural laws or with known physiology. In fact, this is one of the issues of the reviewer you highlighted; that Damasio didn't take into account known physiology to a sufficient degree. Are there any dissenters among the MFR crowd that actually disagree with the idea that memories are stored in the fascia? Please let yourself be known. How about that disease thing? At least Walt agrees that there really are some diseases.

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Old 27-01-2006, 02:03 AM   #46
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Will someone please tell me which of Damasio's books is under discussion?
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Old 27-01-2006, 02:26 AM   #47
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Pretty weak Walt.

Jon's got it right. Encouraging "memories" from patients is criminal and that was determined repeatedly in the 90s. Not by me, by the courts. If you don't think this causes harm to families I don't know what planet you're living on.

Claiming you don't do this isn't the best idea you've ever had considering the record generated on the chat line to say nothing of Dottie's blog. Are we supposed to forget that exists? Are we supposed to ignore your continued assertions that the fascia holds memories that must be "released"? How do you expect to hold on to your core theory of dysfunction while simutaneously denying that you do anything about it? The ground beneath me is quite firm. I suspect you know this.

I read Barnes' book and listen to his students and then I watch Jerry Springer. Somehow I see a continium, so shoot me. Maybe I should say Oprah Winfrey...Nah, just doesn't work.

The last paragraph of your post sets a new standard of some sort-and I don't mean clarity.
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Old 27-01-2006, 02:31 AM   #48
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It's a bit hard to work out, but I note that Walt made a reference to Damasio's The Feeling of what Happens and the sole review to show that he (Damasio) did not know what he was talking about. There may have been other reviews that disagreed, that is what science is about, but Walt mentioned only one review.

Funny thing about your posts, Walt. I have to read them a number of times to try and work out what you are really saying; I must be uneducated after all.


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Old 27-01-2006, 02:48 AM   #49
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Barrett,
If the Memory Wars article you are refferring to is the one by E. Loftus

http://www.science-spirit.org/printe...article_id=403

you've gone even farther off base than I originally thought. If not the correct article, let me know. I'll comment once I'm sure this is the one you have kept sending me to.

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Old 27-01-2006, 02:56 AM   #50
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It's not the same one though Loftus' conclusions about the nature of memory and the danger of trusting it appear in both.

I don't think arguing with Dr. Loftus on this subject is a good idea, but that's just me.
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