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Radically Inept
Friday, October 29, 2004
  What the #$*! Do We Know!? + A little admin

Forecast: light bloggin for the weekend

I don't often do movie reviews here; the last one was Hellboy. But yesterday, the Pacifier, a couple of new found friends and I went to see "What the #$*! Do We Know!?" (2004). We all enjoyed it immensely. I have purposely chosen the link above because the critique of the movie there may provide you with some balance. I think the reviewer gets a little overly snarkey, but he does point to the credentials, or lack there of, of some of the movies participants.

I don't have a problem with 'New Age' thinking, as long as it isn't 'New Age' religion. I don't like religion PERIOD. And, be forewarned, at the end of the movie the tone does get a little religious, and even a little dietific, but I was willing to overlook it. I do prefer to have my science delivered without reference to a diety or a religion, but...Hell, it might have been a concessation - "include it, or have the religious right protest it".

And I do think the 'New' in 'New Age' is a misnomer. Most of what I've seen on the topic tends to reflect 'ancient' mysticism, buddhism, taoism, etc. And these really do seem to be in keeping with what current Quantum mechanics seems to be telling us. Hell, by the time you get to 'String theory', it's hard to tell buddhism, mysticism, and quantum theory apart.

Anyway, we found the movie entertaining (though I thought it started a little slow, and they could have ended it five minutes sooner, for my tastes), and I certainly wasn't holding it up to the 'standard' of 'documentary' (of which I've seen some real questionable films called documentary).

Oh, back to that critics point on the credentials of some of the interviewees, I get the impression he's not a real big science historian. Hell, we all know that one of the most important breakthroughs of the twentieth century was made by a patent clerk (though in fairness he did have a Ph.D., but he his thinking wasn't accepted by 'acceptable, mainstream' physicists, even at his own school). Further, if you do a review of scientific history, you'll find many cases of real breakthroughs made by individuals who didn't have at the time, or never had, 'acceptable' credentials.

It does pose a problem in determining the value of their information, but than, mainstream science has a history of adamently getting things wrong - see The Structure of Scientific Revolutions for some examples and insight.

The point to all this? I think many of you will enjoy the movie, and I think you'll find it informative.

Personally, I've been fascinated by the mind's power over our reality and our bodies for quite sometime. The idea that people suffering from Dissociative identity disorder, can actually have one personality that is severely allergic to a substance and another personality is not, and that the gamma and alpha wave patterns change between personalities (though almost all of this stuff is in a state of some controversy), demonstrates the power of the mind.

Also, the idea that the every part of the brain of a schizophenic who hears voices, operates exactly as if the voice exists. In fact, as far as I can tell, the studies cannot prove that the person doesn't hear voices, only that the doctors and people around them don't hear them.

Enough for now. I recommend "What the #$*! Do We Know!?" (2004) as an enteratining, and intellectually fascinating movie. 'Nuff said.

The Wife and I will be heading to North Georgia to her father's place. His bridge washed out during the floods caused by Ivan, and we haven't seen the place since it happened. All he has left of the bridge is two I-beams, though he now has estimates in the $10k range to get it repaired, and no help from any form insurance.

He also said the rivr had changed fairly radically during the floods, with huge boulders being moved, and in some cases, the river actually changed course (though at least of these course changes was the river going back to the way it flowed before land owners had it redirected).

We plan to spend the night, and tomorrow the landscapers will be here to repair the yard damage the heavy equipment caused when they were removing the tree from the house. Hence, my forecast of light blogging.
 
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