Your brain on pseudoscience
Posted: 26 July 2015 02:59 PM   [ Ignore ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4267
Joined  2014-06-20

Your brain on pseudoscience: the rise of popular neurobollocks

The “neuroscience” shelves in bookshops are groaning. But are the works of authors such as Malcolm Gladwell and Jonah Lehrer just self-help books dressed up in a lab coat?

http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/books/2012/09/your-brain-pseudoscience-rise-popular-neurobollocks

 Signature 

[color=red“Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.”
― George Eliot, Silas Marner[/color]

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 July 2015 05:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6640
Joined  2007-10-05

Very good article and very well written. Love this line.

You then climax in a fit of premature extrapolation, inferring from the scientific result a calming bromide about what it is to function optimally as a modern human being. Voilà, a laboratory-sanctioned Big Idea in digestible narrative form.

The author has some very good criticisms of not only the entire self-help genre, but also of Sam Harris’ narrative style and Chris Mooney’s take on conservative thinking. While I agree Harris is a polemicist, I’m less sure about his criticism of Mooney. How can we talk to ultra-conservatives as peers if they refuse to think instead of reacting out of fear?

 Signature 

You cannot have a rational discussion with someone who holds irrational beliefs.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 July 2015 07:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5248
Joined  2007-08-31

Yeah, great find.

I like this one:

Too often, (Paul Fletcher, professor of health neuroscience at the University of Cambridge) tells me in an email correspondence, a popular writer will “opt for some sort of neuro-flapdoodle in which a highly simplistic and questionable point is accompanied by a suitably grand-sounding neural term and thus acquires a weightiness that it really doesn’t deserve. In my view, this is no different to some mountebank selling quacksalve by talking about the physics of water molecules’ memories, or a beautician talking about action liposomes.”

Not everything that is labelled ‘science’ really is science.

It might not differ from quantum healing, quantum touch and whatever.

 Signature 

GdB

The light is on, but there is nobody at home.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 July 2015 01:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4267
Joined  2014-06-20
DarronS - 27 July 2015 05:27 AM

Very good article and very well written. Love this line.

You then climax in a fit of premature extrapolation, inferring from the scientific result a calming bromide about what it is to function optimally as a modern human being. Voilà, a laboratory-sanctioned Big Idea in digestible narrative form.

The author has some very good criticisms of not only the entire self-help genre, but also of Sam Harris’ narrative style and Chris Mooney’s take on conservative thinking. While I agree Harris is a polemicist, I’m less sure about his criticism of Mooney. How can we talk to ultra-conservatives as peers if they refuse to think instead of reacting out of fear?

Good point. We can’t.

Lois

 Signature 

[color=red“Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.”
― George Eliot, Silas Marner[/color]

Profile
 
 
Posted: 31 December 2015 12:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  244
Joined  2015-12-10

This thread has some wear over the years, so here is an update on the original article for ancient in terms of technological advancements.

https://www.esomar.org/web/research_papers/Neuroscientific-Techniques_2707_Reliability-and-Predictive-Validity-in-Consumer-Neuroscience.php

Certainly, all science can easily become religious in belief in its “Truth”. Even to the point of death (rumored of Pythagoras’ challenger noting the existence of irrational numbers), Seligman’s team under pressure and threat from behaviorists, and biologists like EO Wilson dumped upon by new left radicals. The fights are rarely to the death today, but just for money and prestige by those who really believe.

 Signature 

By expanding knowledge of the real, reduce the environmental footprint of of ignorance…in any and every way you most desire.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 January 2016 06:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7757
Joined  2009-02-26

Then we run across a little story of applied science and realize that the presumed difference (gap) between the physical and meta-physical is shrinking.

The only question remains if AI can become a self-aware sentience with a mirror function of human behavior.

Scientists build artificial neuron that mimicks function of human cells

http://www.roboticsspace.com/scientists-build-artificial-neuron-mimicks-function-of-human-cells/

[ Edited: 08 January 2016 06:16 PM by Write4U ]
 Signature 

Art is the creation of that which evokes an emotional response, leading to thoughts of the noblest kind.
W4U

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 January 2016 06:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6640
Joined  2007-10-05
Write4U - 08 January 2016 06:13 PM

Then we run across a little story of applied science and realize that the presumed difference (gap) between the physical and meta-physical is shrinking.

The only question remains if AI can become a self-aware sentience with a mirror function of human behavior.

Scientists build artificial neuron that mimicks function of human cells

http://www.roboticsspace.com/scientists-build-artificial-neuron-mimicks-function-of-human-cells/

Read the abstract at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0956566315300610.

The author of the linked article took a lot of liberties. The abstract discusses using the cells as therapy to repair brain damage and link prosthetics. That’s only a tiny step toward autonomous robots.

[ Edited: 26 January 2016 07:23 AM by DarronS ]
 Signature 

You cannot have a rational discussion with someone who holds irrational beliefs.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 January 2016 12:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7757
Joined  2009-02-26

Yes, now that we are really working at nano scale where we can actually build molecules from scratch, it would seem that the sky is the limit.
But the term *autonomous* scares me. There has to be a *mirror function* (empathy) or the robot would just make decisions without any moral considerations.

 Signature 

Art is the creation of that which evokes an emotional response, leading to thoughts of the noblest kind.
W4U

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 January 2016 07:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6640
Joined  2007-10-05

Could be worse if the robots made decisions based on morals. Remember, the Cylons turned on humans after they developed a religion.

 Signature 

You cannot have a rational discussion with someone who holds irrational beliefs.

Profile