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Old 27th October 2006, 01:22 AM   #1
H3LL
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Red face Zero Percent - 0%

Zero Percent.

0%

Nothing.

Zero.

0

Nought.

Nil.

Zilch.

Zip.

Just testing. Is there anything that is difficult to understand about the above words and symbols? They seem to me plain, clear and easy to comprehend for a native English speaker.

I foolishly used these words to describe the amount of active ingredient in a high potency homeopathic remedy and just got blank looks.

Finally I have found a use for homeopathy. It seems to make anyone totally incapable of understanding these words.



I give up...


.
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Old 27th October 2006, 01:48 AM   #2
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Who was your audience?
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Old 27th October 2006, 01:51 AM   #3
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I dunno, there are a lot of people who don't have the slightest idea how homeopathy is supposed to work and often mistake it for some kind of "natural medicine". In my experience, explaining the ridiculous concepts of dilution and succussion to these people is usually enough to convince them that homeopathy is BS. Of course the 0% argument isn't going to convince the nutters who believe in water memory etc., but debating them is like debating religious fundamentalists. Hopeless and frustrating IMO.
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Old 27th October 2006, 01:59 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by logical muse View Post
Who was your audience?
An Msc,fcoptom,fsmc.

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Old 27th October 2006, 02:03 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by SwissSkeptic View Post
I dunno, there are a lot of people who don't have the slightest idea how homeopathy is supposed to work and often mistake it for some kind of "natural medicine".
Exactly the situation I was in and why I stupidly opened my mouth.


Originally Posted by SwissSkeptic View Post
In my experience, explaining the ridiculous concepts of dilution and succussion to these people is usually enough to convince them that homeopathy is BS.
You would have thought so. Thus my bafflement at his inability to understand zero.


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Old 27th October 2006, 02:09 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by H3LL View Post
Exactly the situation I was in and why I stupidly opened my mouth.




You would have thought so. Thus my bafflement at his inability to understand zero.


.
There goes my hope for humanity.
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Old 27th October 2006, 02:23 AM   #7
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On a side note. It also has a similar effect on really big numbers. Not everyone understands really big numbers but you would have thought an Msc would understand that 1030 is bigger than 1024. (I didn't pursue that line of argument for very long).

.
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Last edited by H3LL; 27th October 2006 at 02:25 AM.
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Old 27th October 2006, 02:24 AM   #8
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I've explained this to one (1, uno, etc.) person in my entire life, and she got it immediately and decided not to try homeopathic medicine. It felt pretty good.
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Old 27th October 2006, 02:29 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ond_magiker View Post
I've explained this to one (1, uno, etc.) person in my entire life, and she got it immediately and decided not to try homeopathic medicine. It felt pretty good.


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Old 27th October 2006, 02:33 AM   #10
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I've also had occasion to explain this to people who didn't really have an idea of what homoeopathy was, just that it was some sort of "natural" medicine.

In my experience, explaining that "it's like you get one drop of the active ingredient and dilute it in an olympic swimming pool of water" seems to get the point across.

Then I tell them it's actually worse than that. It's like one drop of active ingredient in the whole ocean.

Then I tell them that the so-called active ingredient isn't really all that active anyway.

And finally, I explain how it all started.

Usually, by that point, they are as mad as I am. So I suggest some Arnica.
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Old 27th October 2006, 02:37 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by H3LL View Post
An Msc,fcoptom,fsmc.

.
(I had to google fcoptom and fsmc...)

I'm a little shocked. I suppose I shouldn't be, but I am.

Btw, which of these is the relevant fsmc:

FSMC Federal Supply Manufacturer's Code
FSMC Female Sexual Medicine Center (UCLA)
FSMC Finite State Markov Channel
FSMC Finite State Modulation Code
FSMC Finite-State Markovian Channel
FSMC Fixed Silver/Mica Capacitor
FSMC Forward Support Medical Company
FSMC Frame Store Memory Controller
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Old 27th October 2006, 02:43 AM   #12
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Just the other day I was talking to a girl who had decided that "calorie diets" don't work. She said she had been eating very few calories for one month and not only she did not lose any weight, but she gained 3kg. I said "exactly, that's why people who go on hunger strikes end up being so fat", but that didn't ring a bell to her and she ... agreed!

Sometimes arguments, *real arguments*, are futile.
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Old 27th October 2006, 02:43 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by logical muse View Post
Btw, which of these is the relevant fsmc:
None of those but this:

Fellowship in Ophthalmic Optics of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers.

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Old 27th October 2006, 02:59 AM   #14
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Are you sure the MSc isn't Master of Spectacles?
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Old 27th October 2006, 03:34 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by El Greco View Post
Just the other day I was talking to a girl who had decided that "calorie diets" don't work. She said she had been eating very few calories for one month and not only she did not lose any weight, but she gained 3kg.
Heh, I've heard this one a few times, too. Not so surprisingly, always by people who don't track their calorie intake.
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Old 27th October 2006, 03:56 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by SwissSkeptic View Post
Heh, I've heard this one a few times, too. Not so surprisingly, always by people who don't track their calorie intake.
They mostly track it in their own ways... Like "fruits don't count", "liquids don't count", "hmmm... that whole chicken must be about 150gr"
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Old 27th October 2006, 05:20 AM   #17
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I've "deconverted" my whole family from homeopathy by:

1) telling my dear mother how my brother and I used to compensate for the lack of sweets in the house by stealing her homeopathic pills (5 from the bottle against headache, 3 against restless legs, 3 against cough, ...).

2) explaining the history of homeopathy and pointing out that by Hahnemann's time, a whole bunch of medical/scientific facts were totally unknown, facts that clearly show homeopathy is BS (and Hahnemann's more a cult's guru than a scientist),

3) explaining the difference between "herbal" and "homeopathic", dilutions, succussion, and the problems with "memory" of water,

4) and finally, pointing out the fact that the claims of homeopaths of being pure, disinterested benefactors of humanity who are fighting an evil conspiracy of greedy pharmaceutical companies intent on poisonning us with evil chemicals is pure BS, given the millions homeopaths are raking in ...

Of course, all this won't convince true believers. And I've discovered that the worst of the worst true believers were usually the ones who shouldn't be, e.g. nurses working in our clinical pharmacology department , pharmacists , and quite a bunch of medical secretaries who then leave their job in order to open their own "clinic" (obviously believing medical knowledge can be acquired by osmosis at the contact of physicians ...) ...


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Old 27th October 2006, 05:25 AM   #18
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I thought this was going to be a thread about Libertarian Party nut Michael Badnarik's vote total in the 2004 election. Zero percent.
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Old 27th October 2006, 07:03 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by H3LL View Post
Zero Percent.

0%

Nothing.

Zero.

0

Nought.

Nil.

Zilch.

Zip.

Just testing. Is there anything that is difficult to understand about the above words and symbols? They seem to me plain, clear and easy to comprehend for a native English speaker.

I foolishly used these words to describe the amount of active ingredient in a high potency homeopathic remedy and just got blank looks.

Finally I have found a use for homeopathy. It seems to make anyone totally incapable of understanding these words.



I give up...


.

Ah, yes, you really don't understand, do you?

Don't you remember that old Anadin pain relief advert....?

"NOTHING works faster than Anadin"!

Therefore (stay with me here...) if homeopathic remedies contain...NOTHING, and this substance called "nothing" works faster than Anadin...therefore....homeopathic remedies MUST work! There's your evidence - an advert from the 1970's proved it!

It's not difficult to understand, is it?!
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Old 27th October 2006, 08:27 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Victor Meldrew View Post

"NOTHING works faster than Anadin"!


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Old 27th October 2006, 08:30 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Flo View Post
Of course, all this won't convince true believers. And I've discovered that the worst of the worst true believers were usually the ones who shouldn't be, e.g. nurses working in our clinical pharmacology department , pharmacists , and quite a bunch of medical secretaries who then leave their job in order to open their own "clinic" (obviously believing medical knowledge can be acquired by osmosis at the contact of physicians ...) ...
Here all homeopathic doctors are required to be legitimate doctors as well. AFAIK many among them are true believers and they're not in it just for the money. So you can see that all those years of education were in vain...
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Old 27th October 2006, 01:12 PM   #22
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One of the problems with explaining why homeopathic remedies are junk is the fact that it's such a stupid concept in the first place that many people don't take you seriously when you tell them "it's like a drop in a swimming pool". It sounds like an exaggerated example to make your point (and being the 'skeptic', of course you'd hate it.). "No way! How could it even be legal to sell something like that?". Often it just doesn't click because it sounds so ridiculous. This seems especially true for people who think it works, but are unaware of the 'theory' behind it, which are the majority that I talk to.
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Old 27th October 2006, 05:38 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by SwissSkeptic View Post
There goes my hope for humanity.
If it makes you feel any better, I used to use homeopathics, but when I found out about the dilution factor (just didn't know it before), I quit.
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Old 27th October 2006, 06:33 PM   #24
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I did get to speak to some folks about homeopathy and had them agreeing with me by the end of it. But they started neutral.

Go search for Kumar thread and MAS threads here if you're looking for a headache involving homeopathy.
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Old 27th October 2006, 07:04 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by SwissSkeptic View Post
I dunno, there are a lot of people who don't have the slightest idea how homeopathy is supposed to work and often mistake it for some kind of "natural medicine". In my experience, explaining the ridiculous concepts of dilution and succussion to these people is usually enough to convince them that homeopathy is BS. Of course the 0% argument isn't going to convince the nutters who believe in water memory etc., but debating them is like debating religious fundamentalists. Hopeless and frustrating IMO.
All sorts of herbal nostrums are now being labeled "homeopathic" like 1X homeopathic alfalfa tonic. (Alfalfa tonic contains some vitamins and was a cheap and popular supplement once upon a time. It still is popular in poor countries.) Then there's the absurd claim that homeopathic remedies "support" your body's own disease control mechanism, which sounds enough like vitamins to impress people.

And of course many herbal drugs are sold with meaningless phrases like "supports the immune system" when in fact what they really are is poorly tested drugs from natural sources.
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Old 27th October 2006, 11:00 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by ChristineR
All sorts of herbal nostrums are now being labeled "homeopathic" like 1X homeopathic alfalfa tonic. (Alfalfa tonic contains some vitamins and was a cheap and popular supplement once upon a time. It still is popular in poor countries.)
Thank you, I wasn't aware of that.

Originally Posted by Elizabeth I View Post
If it makes you feel any better, I used to use homeopathics, but when I found out about the dilution factor (just didn't know it before), I quit.
Yes, it does make me feel better.
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