Whatever happened to Rupert Sheldrake?

Remind me again. Rupert..... ?   3 votes - 60 %
He's still working hard, and one day his theories will be vindicated   1 vote - 20 %
Even if he could prove any of his theories scientifically, he'll always be scorned. Scientists are only open minded within the confines of their own training.   1 vote - 20 %
He got slashed by Ockham's razor.   1 vote - 20 %
I'm glad you are interested in my work. I'm actually a keen HuSer - I go by the nick of _________   0 votes - 0 %
He was like a mind expading drug - he wore off.   2 votes - 40 %
He went out of fashion, like techno   1 vote - 20 %
Techno's not dead!   0 votes - 0 %
Punk's not dead!   0 votes - 0 %
Goth is dead!   2 votes - 40 %
 
5 Total Votes
Green policies by gazbo (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 09:38:51 AM EST
I actually flicked through their manifesto after it was linked (from Badscience probably).  The effect was to convince me that while undoubtedly well-intentioned, they are wooley-minded idealistic luddites.

I could never vote for a party that would put a wholesale ban on all animal testing.  But on top of that, the unsurprising love for alternative medicines, the irrational fear of nuclear power and GM crops, the use of phrases such as "To...foster understanding of our inter-relationship in the web of life"

I'd actually started to think that maybe they weren't all that bad and I was just being prejudiced in my disdain for them.  Now my disdain is no longer due to prejudice.

I didn't bother to look at their policies relating to Europe.  Much as I'm not inclined to bother looking at the BNP's policies on education.


I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

Sounds like prejudice to me by xth (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 09:51:25 AM EST
Obviously you are entitled to your ideas, but anti-nuclear != luddite. Solar panels are technology too.

Also, I also share your policy of not looking up the BNP's policies on education, that would be like trolling myself.

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[ Parent ]
anti-nuclear by Phage (4.00 / 1) #4 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:20:34 AM EST
Solar panels ? Hilarious.

[ Parent ]
Terse by xth (2.00 / 0) #11 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:02:40 AM EST
Perhaps a bit too terse.

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[ Parent ]
Apples and Oranges by Phage (2.00 / 0) #14 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:16:07 AM EST
Solar cells aint going to run your grid. They're not even going to run your house. All they can do is small electronics and eke out other more reliable sources.

Tidal perhaps, but try getting that past the Greens.

[ Parent ]
Just picked the first one that popped into my head by xth (2.00 / 0) #15 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:24:03 AM EST


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[ Parent ]
solar by garlic (4.00 / 1) #25 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 01:15:15 PM EST
This link talks about the crazy size of solar panels needed for satellites -- things that rarely have to deal with it being dark. The space station's are the size of a football pitch according to this. I believe they also run on fuel cells up there as well.


[ Parent ]
That's somewhat literal of you by gazbo (4.00 / 1) #5 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:27:40 AM EST
No, I'm not claiming the Green Party are against all forms of technology and similarly I'm not claiming they're advocating loom-breaking.  However, their stance on nuclear power and GM food is no more than "what the hell is this scary new thing?!  Kill the monster!".

Oh, sure, they give reasons for not going with nuclear (e.g. because the source of uranium is frequently from politically unstable countries) but that is manifestly not the root objection* (you can call that prejudice if you like - I would disagree).  I wonder what their opinion would be on fusion reactors, if they became viable?

And GM: their policies are wrapped up weasel-words about it maybe being not completely bad, but that we need to do studies before allowing it.  Well, we've done studies, and they show it to be safe.  How many more studies do you think it would take for the Greens to accept it as safe?

Plus, of course, the belief in alternative therapies that demonstrates their policies on scientific matters are based on opinion not evidence.

*As an aside, I agree that fission reactors are no panacea, and I love the idea of wind/wave/solar power.  But nuclear is viable, clean, and has huge untapped fuel sources.  And it works now.


I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

[ Parent ]
One more quote I just stumbled across by gazbo (4.00 / 1) #6 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:38:42 AM EST

HE317 When assessing the degree of control required over the availability of medicines, a balance must be reached between the right of the individual to freedom of choice, and the duty of society to protect the individual from the consequences of unwise choices. We are concerned to protect users from unanticipated adverse effects of novel pharmaceutical compounds, some of which may not be evident until the drug has been in use for many years. The Green Party proposes the founding of a regulatory agency with responsibility for natural medicines, including nutritional supplements, medicinal plants and herbal remedies, essential oils and homeopathic remedies. This agency should be founded on the principles of:

1.Freedom of information and full labelling of ingredients.

2.High standards of safety in production methods.

3.No animal testing.

4.Strong encouragement towards organic production.

5.A ban on GM ingredients.

However when the drugs have been in use for many generations, as with many natural medicines, the need for statutory control is diminished. Measures will therefore be taken to protect the availability of established herbal and homeopathic remedies, subject to basic safeguards.

Because stuff wot's made by man is dangerous, but stuff what grandma used to pick from the garden and put in a poultice is good.


I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

[ Parent ]
If a drug has been in use for many generations... by xth (2.00 / 0) #8 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:47:45 AM EST
...that means it has been tested and found to be, at least, harmless. You are trolling, right?

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[ Parent ]
Most certainly not by gazbo (4.00 / 2) #13 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:09:20 AM EST
This item is specifically to protect "natural" medicines from needing to be shown safe, exactly because they have not been shown safe with the same rigour that we (rightly) demand from medication.

The first example that popped into my head is St John's Wort.  This is self-prescribed by God-knows how many people, and would certainly come under this grandfathered-in-by-being-a-plant clause.  Yet we still see conflicting results regarding side-effects.  Such remedies are in dire need of more testing, not declaring "aw fuck it - it's a plant".


I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

[ Parent ]
It says 'diminished', which in a way makes sense by xth (2.00 / 0) #18 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:42:21 AM EST
To me it makes some sense if you assume "used for generations" = initial testing phase. I.e. you know people are not going to have deformed babies because they take St John's Worth.
You still need more indepth testing, e.g. to see how herbal remedies fare when taken in conjunction with modern drugs (which, as I understand it, what causes bad side effects of St John's Worth)

But like a lot of their policies, they are not well thought out. Personally, I take them more as statements of intent. You can bet if the greens are ever in government, when civil servants explain to them the issues involved, they will change their tune. Or at least, they should.

I think many people who vote Green do not go much further than that. More Greens in the EU parliament = more grief for the big pharmaceutical companies.
Let's not forget the big pharmaceutical companies are just as keen to avoid testing on their products as the greens are on their herbs. 

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[ Parent ]
Absolutely by gazbo (4.00 / 1) #21 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 12:02:40 PM EST
Big pharma are an even bigger bunch of bastards - at least the green policies are thought up with the best of intentions.

And you're right - if the greens could just take a look at the big picture and make their individual policies less isolated and uncompromising, I think they would be a far more attractive prospect for the voter.

Or maybe I'm wrong, and we need such an uncompromising (perhaps unrealistic) party just to influence their opposition.  They could never achieve power that way, but by pushing green policies so hard, maybe they're forcing the people who really can get elected to at least pay some attention.


I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

[ Parent ]
And everyone lived happily thereafter by xth (4.00 / 2) #23 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 12:11:45 PM EST
There you have it, what started as a fierce argument quickly turned into two HuSers finding a common ground.

The Feng-Shui must have been just right.

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[ Parent ]
Well, not in people: by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #38 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 05:40:30 PM EST
From Wikipedia:
Ingestion [of St John's Wort] by livestock can cause photosensitization, central nervous system depression, spontaneous abortion, and can lead to death.

It does also reduce the efficacy of other commonly taken mainstream medicines, such as, err, oral contraceptives.

[ Parent ]
Wow by hulver (4.00 / 1) #12 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:03:50 AM EST
I read the first few sentences of that, and thought "At last, somebody speaking out about hippie mumbo jumbo"

Then I read it again, and realised that they were actually in favour of hippie mumbo jumbo. Change a couple of words, and it would all be different.

HE317 When assessing the degree of control required over the availability of medicines, a balance must be reached between the right of the individual to freedom of choice, and the duty of society to protect the individual from the consequences of unwise choices. We are concerned to protect users from unanticipated adverse effects of novel pharmaceutical unregulated compounds, some of which may not be evident until the drug compound has been in use for many years. The Green Party proposes the founding of a regulatory agency with responsibility for natural medicines, including nutritional supplements, medicinal plants and herbal remedies, essential oils and homeopathic remedies. This agency should be founded on the principles of:

1.Freedom of information and full labelling of ingredients.

2.High standards of safety in production methods.

3.No animal testing. Rigorous Scientific testing.

4.Strong encouragement towards organic production.

5.A ban on GM ingredients.

However when the drugs remedies have been in use for many generations, as with many natural medicines, the need for statutory control is diminished. Measures will therefore be taken to protect the availability of established herbal and homeopathic remedies effective drugs, subject to basic safeguards.


--
Cheese is not a hat. - clock
[ Parent ]
4. by garlic (2.00 / 0) #27 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 01:23:43 PM EST
as I said above, strong encouragement towards sustainable production would be an ok replacement. If you're cure only comes from the dead leaves of a plant that's been at ground zero from a nuclear explosion, perhaps we should come up with another method.


[ Parent ]
this works for the animal testing too. by garlic (2.00 / 0) #28 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 01:25:11 PM EST
sometimes animal testing is necessary. But if we can limit the amount of cutting dog's stomachs to harvest their intestinal juices for cures, I'd be happier.


[ Parent ]
Animal testing is necessary by Herring (4.00 / 3) #31 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 02:14:03 PM EST
Otherwise how will we know which animals are best?

(I think I've already used that one)

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

[ Parent ]
Animal testing by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #36 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 05:22:04 PM EST
IMO, animal testing is necessary for medicine (both disease research and drug testing).

It is not necessary for cosmetics.
--

[ Parent ]
Why are you against encouraging organic by xth (2.00 / 0) #30 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 01:40:05 PM EST
production?

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[ Parent ]
I'm not by hulver (2.00 / 0) #33 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 02:35:10 PM EST
I just don't think it should be required. I like garlic's suggestion of sustainable rather than organic.
--
Cheese is not a hat. - clock
[ Parent ]
the thing with organic by xth (2.00 / 0) #34 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 03:10:26 PM EST
is trying to limit the amount of chemicals building up in the soil and rivers. I think that goes beyond 'sustainable'.

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[ Parent ]
testing by garlic (2.00 / 0) #26 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 01:20:35 PM EST
so, human testing then? I think they should encourage sustainable production over organic production too.


[ Parent ]
I wonder by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #35 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 05:20:07 PM EST
how this would be reconciled with "ancient Chinese remedies" that devastate rare species. Things like ground rhino horn or shark fin or tiger bile or whatever. How can you square "no animal testing" with animals (often rare) used in remedies? Or are they specifically and only saying the ancient herbal remedies are okay (it says only "natural medicines"). And if that's the case, isn't it a bit arbitrary? I mean, it's only been relatively recently that insulin has been created synthetically. And as recent events have shown, heparin is still created using animal products. No one can dispute the value of either of those.
--
[ Parent ]
You are trolling me, right? by xth (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:45:53 AM EST
The main reasons for being anti nuclear are: Chernobyl; and how to deal with the nuclear waste other than dumping it at sea or paying third world countries to bury it in their backyard.
The unstable political thing is down low in the list.

How can you call nuclear clean when nuclear waste has a half life measured in thousands of years?

GM, whose tests are you talking about, who's been carrying them out, and what were the results?

As for alternative therapies, if they make people happy and are proved to work, only a science taleban would have a problem with that.
"Doctor, the patient has been taking placebos for two weeks and is now cured!"
"Impossible! It doesn't fit any of our mathematical models!"
"What should we do?"
"That is offence to Science, peace rest upon her. Shoot the patient."

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[ Parent ]
Compared to Gigatonnes of CO2 by Phage (2.00 / 0) #16 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:27:00 AM EST
Relatively clean yes. And most of that waste is very low level. It's only political considerations preventing proper disposal.

The placebo effect has been known and studied for many years. Nearly all 'alternative therapies' work no btter than a placebo. In some cases they may actually harm the patient. There have been deaths.

Your troll (or opinion) is in very poor taste.

[ Parent ]
Relatively clean != clean by xth (2.00 / 0) #24 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 12:37:26 PM EST
long half life.

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[ Parent ]
nuclear waste by garlic (4.00 / 1) #29 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 01:33:21 PM EST
I can't find an online link to the brochure, but our power company will yearly send out a form saying how much waste they've created. It's in a per 1000 kilowatt hours I believe. They have a couple nuke plants, and a couple coal plants, something near 50/50 power sources. CO2 / KWhr is something like 20,000 tons. High level Nuclear waste/ KWhr is something like 0.05 lbs.

Storage is certainly an issue. But storing the nuclear waste is more feasible than the plans they're working on to pipe the CO2 into the bedrock and hope it stays down there.


[ Parent ]
ISTR by Herring (4.00 / 1) #32 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 02:15:58 PM EST
that for the amount of electricity produced, coal actually produces more radioactivity than fission - cos all the radon and other stuff dug up with the stuff.

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

[ Parent ]
Releases more to the environment. by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #37 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 05:31:58 PM EST
When operating as planned.

It's the when things go pear-shaped that's worrying.

[ Parent ]
Chernobyl by gazbo (4.00 / 2) #20 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:54:32 AM EST
Ah yes, the accident 25 years ago, caused by operators bypassing numerous safety controls.  I'd say using Chernobyl as a reason not to consider nuclear power is pretty good evidence for them being irrational.  An incident like Chernobyl is the time to review your procedures and ask "can we be sure that could never happen here".  Not to say "Holy crap! We should never, ever do this again!".

Perhaps clean is the wrong term.  I meant clean in the sense that the waste is all contained and controllable, and a relatively small quantity. Yes, it would be much better if we could come up with better solutions than hiding it in a mountain, but that's an ongoing area of research.  Without improvements in that regard, clearly there are long-term issues with fission reactors (one of the reasons I said I hoped for viable renewable energy in the future).

GM - to answer your points would involve looking up references, and take far too long considering it's pub time.  I shall have to leave that one for now, sorry!

Placebos on the NHS.  That is a HUGE topic.  Personally, I dislike the idea - partly due to being a card-carrying member of the science-taleban, but mainly because it's money that could be spent on real treatments that go beyond the placebo effect (complicated by the recent study showing that with acupuncture, both "real" and sham acupuncture outperformed proven-effective medication.  As I said, huge area).

But fortunately I don't need to go there.  Because I brought it up solely to demonstrate that their science policies are not based on evidence.  Unless you're claiming that the Green Party are well aware that (e.g.) homeopathy is bullshit, and are including it in their healthcare policies solely to reap the placebo benefits...?


I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

[ Parent ]
A point by point rebuttal by xth (2.00 / 0) #22 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 12:09:16 PM EST
Gosh this is beginning to remind me of the brooms in  Fantasia...

Chernobyl: not the accident itself, but how devastating nuclear accidents are, an how long the effects last. Even one in 50 years is too much.

Nuclear waste: it may be small amounts, but with a half life in the thousands of years it will all pile up. And how can you ensure the disposal method can be safe for that long?

GM: agreed, life's too short.

Placebo, Homeopathy etc: Were you trained as a scientist? I just sensed your irritation at the concept of non-scientific drugs. Me, I was trained as an engineer, I use science but don't care either way, whatever is proven to work. If we had to wait for a scientific explanation for everything we wouldn't be using tunnel diodes (mind you, not we do that much).

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[ Parent ]
Point 3 by Phage (2.00 / 0) #39 Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 03:22:13 AM EST
Disposal in subduction zones. Ironically scuppered by the treaty banning dumping at sea. We are prevented from protecting the environment by a device designed to protect the environment.

[ Parent ]
A for effort, C for result. by anonimouse (4.00 / 1) #3 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 09:58:20 AM EST
I'm doing my best to instil enough despair in Labour by trolling Labourlist, but still can't find an MP willing to stand against GB...


Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
You need to find some dirt by xth (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:50:38 AM EST
Or just fish in the dark
"Mr X, I know all about the cruise..."
"The cruise?"
"THE cruise."
"Damn. I suppose your silence can be bought. How much will it be?"
"Actually, I'm after something a bit different..."

Keep trying it, eventually there'll be one with something to hide


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[ Parent ]
I am by anonimouse (2.00 / 0) #10 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:52:49 AM EST
..not particularly bothered if they do replace him or not, so long as the level of despair and self-recrimation in the party is high


Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
[ Parent ]
Thai cooking by ObviousTroll (4.00 / 1) #17 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:27:44 AM EST
Do you have a suggestion for a cookbook for someone wanting to try cooking Thai?


An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
Nothing easy by xth (4.00 / 1) #19 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:50:05 AM EST
What I've learned comes from 'triangulating' between Thompson's bible,, a few cheapos I since discarded, and Asian  friends.

The Thompson's book is a  very ambitious job, it's a great reference work but not really suitable for home cooking. I'm sure he must have written some more accessible ones, perhaps have a look at some of his other books.

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[ Parent ]
Home cooking by gazbo (2.00 / 0) #40 Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 04:31:55 AM EST
When you say it's "not suitable", do you mean because it's not a very accessible book for home cooks, or that the ingredients are hard to source?

I ask because I could quite fancy a no-crap authentic Thai book, and can cope with tricky recipes (even if it takes a couple of attempts to get totally right), but I can't deal with sourcing weird alien ingredients from a shop that's an hour away on the bus which might not stock them anyway.


I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

[ Parent ]
Alien ingredients by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #41 Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 06:47:33 AM EST
Or, indeed, the shop that is likely to sell them does not have any labels in English on their produce, and the alien ingredient is only shown in the cookbook after it's been dissolved, chopped or cooked.  And the shopkeeper, whilst being affable and friendly, has little or no English either.

I usually end up with a bag of interesting stuff, but not the ingredients I went there for.


[ Parent ]
VERY alien ingredients by xth (2.00 / 0) #42 Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 08:07:44 AM EST
It's not just the normal thai stuff, which in most shops I go to in London (China Town, Thai supermarket in Mornington Crescent, Oriental City in the arse of the moon) are well labelled. Not to mention, you can always ask.
The problem is that a lot of the ingredients only restaurant suppliers source.

He obviously wrote this book to become a classic like an Escoffier or the Silver Spoon. It's the culmination of a life's work, running restaurants, going to local libraries researching recipes from old diaries, traveling up and down the country. You can tell, because the first recipe starts at page 140 or thereabout.

It's a fantastic book, but there are no compromises, no cutting corners, no western-friendly versions. He goes into a lot of details, perhaps too much for a home cook. A few of my friends got it, and they all have pretty much the same feedback.

As I said, he wrote other books, he must have written an accessible one. If you find one, let me know.

I use this one as a reference to increase my general know-how, and also use some of his tips to improve recipes from cheaper, more western-friendly books.

gosh that was a long comment.

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[ Parent ]
A shorter one then: by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #43 Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 06:09:29 PM EST
Sometimes you find substitutes.  Sometimes you find something else, which is even better, for a curious chef.


[ Parent ]