Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bullshit alert

I am very irritated by this, and have commented....

15 comments:

Graham said...

I particularly like the way that the long-winded response to your comment basically dismisses your point because you're not thinking about it from the point of all-seeing, universal, transcendental wossname.

Honestly, this is Deepak Chopra territory.

The Atheist Missionary said...

The best part of her response is: if people can levitate--as has been demonstrated--then why shouldn't they be able to fly?
[face in palms]

Anonymous said...

So until you reach this "state of awareness", you cannot understand how people can survive standing next to a nuclear explosion, cure themselves of heart disease (really, they told him TYING HIS SHOE would kill him!!??), and fix household appliances. But once you reach the state, this all is possible!

Wow. Even writing it made me feel stupid.

dsks said...

Ugh.

Makes me think of this Tim Minchin animation

It's frustrating that she claims to be against rankism (Orwellian term if ever their was one). The promise of "Secret Knowledge" has been used to keep the plebs in check for centuries. Critical thinking is something anyone can try. But secret knowledge... well, that's something you can only get from the right priest, or shaman, or Jedi Master, or for the bargain sum of $269 plus shipping + taxes.

PaulJ said...

Pamela Gerloff obviously lives on another planet. A planet without air, but surely that's not a problem for someone with the right frame of mind.

garethrichards said...

There is a cult of positive thinking in the medical profession, Barbara Ehrenreich take down of it is particularly entertaining in “Smile or Die”, almost as enjoyable as your recent book. I’m surprised the editors of Psychology Today aren’t embarrassed to be associated with such rubbish.

Paul Southworth said...

Wow. The article was irritating enough, but her responses to your comments were possibly the most condescending writings I have ever read. But then apparently I don't understand because I'm thinking with my mind.

Edward Ockham said...

>>I'm thinking with my mind

An interesting idea. Another question: when people say things like this, do they really believe what they say? The philosopher David Hume thought that even apparently religious people don't really believe their religion.

And if they don't, how do we explain their apparent denial? Is it

(a) they are mentally ill
(b) they are consciously lying
(c) they are unconsciously lying or 'in denial'
(d) something else.

The philosopher Harry Franfurter has a 'theory of bullshit' according to which the bullshitter is 'indifferent to truth', but I wonder if that's possible. My experience of bullshitters is that they are pretty expert at steering you away from the exact area they are bullshitting you about. This suggests they are conscious of it in some way (and so not indifferent to truth at all).

I would recommend the commenters here (and Stephen also) not to get upset about this. See it as a psychological (or psychiatric) phenomenon worthy of serious study.

daz365 said...

Are her qualifications really from Harvard or an adjoining building? Is there any way of checking?

Ryan M said...

This stuff is nonsense. I've decided not to bother dealing with people who argue that there are higher "Levels of awareness" and that every person has the passive potential to be a jedi if they expand their awareness.

Tony Lloyd said...

We may have got to meta-nuclear on Edward Ockham's blog (http://ocham.blogspot.com/).

Lester's "nuclear comment" probably cannot even be entertained as *possibly true* unless you are willing to engage with the game at a rather high level, and unless you first have some direct personal experience that suggests that higher-order impossibilities might possibly be true.


I can't quite make out her point but she seems to be using Going Nuclear to deny Going Nuclear.

jules said...

I've commented on the article, but it seems to me that Pamela is suggesting something much stronger than that her "possibility paradigm" is merely a kind of brainstorming technique. Otherwise, why include all that stuff about Lester Levenson? it's misleading at best. Anyway, it'll be interesting to read her response.

Bruce Wright said...

Isn't this like one of those things where we can blame starving people for not positively visualizing a tuna sandwich?

I mean, c'mon starving people, it's your own damn fault, idiots. Also, why are you so stupid that you keep visualizing AIDS and Malaria?

I guess if Lester Levinson can just keep up the happy thoughts, he'll live forever. Which makes me wonder, why does she start the article with "there was once a man named Lester Levinson"? Did he eventually succumb to the dreaded disease called a frowny face?

This is dangerous quackery bullshit. I know people who never quit smoking, as cancer was something that was "easily visualized away".

What trash. Someone PLEASE sue her.

Csiki Attila-József said...

I saw your comment quoted on Unreasonable Faith: http://unreasonablefaith.com/2011/09/29/i-believe-i-can-fly/

It doesn't worth the effort...

jules said...

I came across a review by a long-time user of the release technique. Ok, it's just one anecdote, but it does give some insight into what the technique actually consists of.
http://lawrence-crane-enterprises.pissedconsumer.com/the-release-technique-avoid-20090731151634.html