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Alternative Medicine

Haupt’s newsletter affirming conspiracy theories and questioning the use of masks to prevent Covid-19 was posted to the mailing list. I replied in anger suggesting that trying to find answers to scientific questions without using science was just guessing. Jerry suggested that it can be helpful to engage all types in the hopes of resolving differences, and linking to some parts of his Brain. We can use this topic area to discuss things like whether getting your body in tip top shape is the solution to preventing illness, whether getting sick is about bad germs or bad terrain (or a bad soul, or some evil genius’ plan to get you sick), and more.

I’ll start us out with this link, which suggests that we cannot interpret alternative medicine “cures” until alternative medicine is tested scientifically the way scientific medicine is. I liked it:


Didn’t read the newsletter, just quickly scanned it, now did read it after your post here (thanks by the way for moving it over to Discourse!).

Likely, Charles agrees with you in regard of the mask, maybe not in other regards (origin and nature of Covid-19), and might only have posted/forwarded it as an invitation for a sensemaking exercise, reviewing the claims/statements made in the text, not to flat-out reject it (which you didn’t by offering another perspective, but can be mistaken as such, which we hopefully manage to avoid :slight_smile: ).

The conversation reads somewhat emotionally charged (might be mistaken), and I wonder if you’re widening it up to the broader topic of alternative medicine “vs.” the scientific method, would doubt that you’re relying on a purely mechanistic, deterministic world view or view of the universe, are you? I would even doubt that the general notion expressed in the newsletter is necessarily much in conflict with your position, so it only grows into a more significant question/exploration if widened to the methods for arriving at medicine/health. Is that the topic here? Can be, why not! :slight_smile:

Of course there are now many new products, promotions, courses, etc., fine, now there’s another guy with some other new sensemaking. To me, all of that stuff is quite boring, as if not everybody could make sense for themselves already, and a topic like Covid-19, conspiracies, sensemaking, I wonder how one would still be confused about any of it, plus, it’s many months too late for this new platform, or years even by extension.

I think I’m particularly interested in this case because Haupt is using an OGM-y tool (Roam) to appeal to followers, taking them into stupid territory on some issues and into other territory I agree with (buried in his writing).

How might we open a useful conversation with him? Could it be useful?

I am deeply uncomfortable with the framing of scientific medicine vs. alternative medicine.

I do not understand the association between ROAM and Haupt’s (or anyone’s) essays and opinion pieces. Can you say more about that, please?

You want a conversation (well, many conversations (+100 to you for that)), but does Mr Haupt? A dialog might be useful if you and others of us here find his ideas on some topics worth inquiring about.

Just to make very clear and avoid confusion, I’m not proposing such a view, and maybe @IzDraves isn’t really either, just she, as I interpret it, made a strong point for scientific review, and not following any random speculation merely because it’s under the name of “sensemaking”. Please correct or object. :slight_smile: It’s probably also simply too big of a term, as some alternative medicine is safe and healthy and scientifically approved/confirmed, just not very popular or prescribed, and then there are the branches for which it cannot be clearly determined (yet or ever), and then there’s a bunch of dangerous snake oil crap.

Kevin, it looks like I can edit the topic title. Can you? If not, what word do you suggest as the topic title? What I am trying to highlight here, I guess, is the general notion of “not believing your doctor”. I agree Alternative Medicine is not the right word. I’m talking about what we saw Steve Jobs do; What Christian Scientists do; What Trump does with Fauci; What Trump did when he recommended drinking antiseptic, or when he said the virus was going to “go away” after a few cases in March; what everyone who thinks they don’t need a mask does; what Haupt did in his newsletter; what anti-vaxxers do; what people who pass around the videos that Facebook is banning are doing. Things like acupuncture and herbal remedies may or may not fit into this rubric. Spiritual exercises like thoughts and prayers to heal the sick could perhaps be discussed here. And of course we all know that appropriate diet and exercise will make us healthier, including our doctors. However there are vast differences of opinion on WHICH diet will make us healthier, and many scientific studies have been carried out, so that might be in a different category. “Illegal” drugs are being studied scientifically to treat patients, and that is entering the realm of what doctors and scientists study as well. Perhaps it could go here. A scathing indictment of Big Pharma could belong here. Things like using meditation to cure pain instead of opiates, or to treat ADHD instead of stimulants… which are also being scientifically studied, could belong here. Perhaps a combination of valid and totally invalid “not believing our doctors” stuff could go here. I get that different people are on a spectrum of how much they believe in “Treatments” that haven’t been studied or proven, such as drinking water that is more basic or acidic, having spinal surgery to correct back pain, or following one’s horoscope, or sticking pins into dolls. Some of these “treatments” may be doctor recommended, or could be found with doctor shopping, like the back surgery. I’m open to changing the name if you like. We could vote on it.

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Perhaps “Second-guessing the scientists” or “When do we doubt our doctors”?

Hi! I hear what you are saying, thank you for saying it, and I also want to mention that I categorically disagree with the notion that we should never flat-out reject certain notions, and that it is some hallmark or goal of an open mind to never flat out reject anything. :slightly_smiling_face:

While I remain open minded (of course only in my own opinion - can one be anything else?), I have reviewed certain topics extensively enough to have come to certain conclusions and I believe in my conclusions and stand by them. This is called conviction and I don’t equate it with narrow-mindedness, which comes from a place of limited research and meanness.

I reject sexism. I reject racism. I reject homophobia. I reject anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers, who are literally causing death. I reject positions that hurt innocent people, whether they come from stupidity or willful malicious intent. Not only that, but I stand by my rejection of these things. So if it’s a requirement to treat racists, murderers or rapists with kid gloves here, then perhaps this isn’t the right spot for me. If Epstein’s or Weinstein’s behavior is understandable and OK by you and hey let’s not get “emotionally charged” about it, then you guys can have your open minds without me. Really. I wouldn’t want to play in that sandbox. I’m not going to throw sand in your face, but I will take my toys and go home.

@peterkaminski, does this forum make threads so my reply can appear as a reply to @skreutzer 's comment as opposed to a separate comment on the topic as a whole?

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I think the “Reply” button/link works pretty well (leading to both a post at the bottom of the thread and also a little “Reply” with an expand/collapse attached to the post replied to).

There’s certainly many things to flat-out reject, I’m too much in favor to hold strong convictions and maintaining them if defensible, so it’s far from “open-mindedness” to insist that no universal truths can be discovered. At the same time, you expanded on the argument yourself that the subject matter is usually more complex/difficult/messy/“nuanced” (?) than a broad, generalized term implies, and while you can demand/expect that there should/could easily be some universal agreement about them, on the ground, it can sometimes be not that clear-cut, precisely for the reason of fair judgment and avoiding harm.

To not go at length into some of the broad topics you mentioned (which are of many different aspects with many different motivations/views involved), I would wonder for example, what you mean by “anti-maskers”, to even get to an understanding myself what exactly you’re flat-out rejecting. Wouldn’t it be OK to not wear a mask while sleeping in bed, in the shower, maybe while at home in quarantine with your family in the household, would it be fine to not wear a mask outside, what about those who already had Covid-19 (depending on whether or not medically they would later continue to spread it)? Or people who refuse any at all, fine, you may “reject” their behavior, but what does this mean? To what extend could that be identified and mask-wearing enforced? Wouldn’t it also somewhat depend on their contact patterns? Given that the masks, I think you would medically, scientifically, agree, only play a secondary role in limiting the spread of the pandemic anyway, given that people always take risks and trade-offs with their health and the harm they’re willing to potentially inflict on others, and these are de-facto mostly their own, personal choices, with very limited control over what they’re doing in and with their private, personal lifes. In a similar way, would like to hear your position on smoking or traveling by car or eating meat or sugar, would you jump to flat-out reject these (certainly without doubt, some would)?

So no need for hurt feelings, none of this is supposed to question any strong position or conviction, it’s an effort for actually understand better and in detail what you mean. Same with Haupt: to me, in the first, quick read, it appears as if the criticism of political and economic exploitation is far more dominant, and from that he’s probably trying to interpret the other events, which likely is indeed flawed, but doesn’t therefore render the original main complaint invalid, so why even bother to go into the confused secondary questions about all the things that went and go wrong with the response to Covid-19 while the invitation in the newsletter sounds to be more about the former? And I really in fact hope that people for both topics did and do make good sense on their own, instead of getting excited by that kind of pseudo-“sensemaking” or false “open-mindedness”.

@IzDraves, you can Reply to a post, with the button under the post, or you can Reply to the topic, with the button at the bottom of all of the posts.

I confess that I cannot see yet how a reader differentiates if a post is a reply to a post or to a topic.

Perhaps more usefully, you can highlight some text in a previous post, then hit reply, and that quotes the highlighted part into your reply (as I did with your sentence in this post).

Also, anyway, I find that “topic” is a confusing name in Discourse; I think of them as “threads” instead. If I were you, I’d edit the topic title to be something like Interpreting Alternative Medicine “Cures” or Not Believing Your Doctor – it’s not like this topic/thread will be the be-all and end-all discussion of Alternative Medicine, it’s a more focused discussion.

Peter, when I reply to your post it stays with your post, and also shows up in the thread list. In the thread list, this post it seems to indicate that there is a reply, but does not show it. (However, I cannot ‘see’ the whole list while I am replying to your post, so maybe I need to make screen shots. Ugh.) More to come, perhaps.

Thanks, Bill! I think I can see that. Now to wrap my brain around it…

BTW, if you’re on a Mac, screenshots are so fun with CleanShot. Totally worth buying, and the scrolling screenshots are amazing! (Having said that, now I also remember that Firefox has really boss screenshot capabilities for webpages, too.)

Kevin, say more? What aspects of the framing rankle?

Bill, right now I’m trying to engage by taking people seriously, listening to what they say and processing it into something that I can express in TheBrain. I may be pushing noodles up the wall.

Other approaches?

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I’m having confusion around the threads and replies, too.

Only just realized that the little drop-down arrow would give me post-specific replies; really don’t like that the replies end up duplicated in the thread later. And that when I reply, I get sent to the bottom of the thread. I have enough trouble participating in threaded discussions already :slight_smile:

I’m sure some of this is tunable because Discourse is so flex, and some of it I’ll grow to love.

I missed the original Haupt newsletter (and don’t know who he is), but came this morning to talk about Covid and what we know and don’t know. I listened to a long podcast on Virii (viruses?). There are trillions of them all over all the time. They are not alive, but rather are genetic material that is used for cross-species communication and sometimes within a species. Really fascinating. The podcast guest was Dr. Zach Bush. He said viruses spread through many means, including on 2.5 Particulate Matter (i.e. pollution). He had a lot of information that resonated with me – but of course none of it has links in podcast format.

One thing he pointed out was PCR tests had high false positives (and I have heard the rapid testing ones are less accurate).

I post this as an example of what I want OGM to be about. Take a controversial topic and lay out different points that I can make my own judgement on.

Here is the podcast on Youtube Don’t Fear the Virus: Your Body’s Immunity Blueprint & Humanity’s Awakening w/ Dr. Zach Bush #304 - YouTube

It is also on The Life Stylist podcast if you prefer just audio. It is 3+ hours!

We ( had some discussions about how Conor White-Sullivan, Roam Research co-founder, seems to have drifted off into conspiracy theories now that Roam has some money. For my part, I have been pruning my media intake (including logging out of Twitter) and I hope this is the start of some improved focus on the things I’m trying to work on.