Skeptics with a K: Episode #169

Aeroplane seats, amyloid plaques, quantum vision, and liquid nitrogen. Plus needles for your eyes, taxi numbers, and Jesus’s early carpentry work. Staring at the sun with a magnifying glass, it’s Skeptics with a K.

  1. #1 by George on March 24, 2016 - 22:18

    I enjoyed your comments concerning Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and the thought occurred to me that maybe NLP works, but for a reason that is completely unrelated to listening for “magic” words or body language clues. It may be that one barrier to effective communication is simply not paying attention (which I cannot prove but would seem reasonable to assume). For example, perhaps during a conversation the listener’s attention wanders for any number of reasons, but if they are practicing the “science” of NLP then they are sharply focused on the conversation and want to observe anything that will give them an edge. Perhaps the mere act of intently focusing on the conversation can improve communication so NLP would work (after a fashion) by doing nothing more than intensifying the participant’s concentration. NLP would, then, almost be a form of placebo — it has an effect, but for reasons unrelated to what practitioners teach.

  2. #2 by Chris on March 26, 2016 - 18:10

    I have pretty bad myopia and astigmatism. I remember people telling all about the Bates method, to which I replied that its genetic since my brother, my mother and I all had similar eyesight enough to borrow each others glasses. In the preface of his second edition of Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science Marvin Gardner wrote that those letters complaining about how he portrayed the Bates method were written by those who seemed to require corrective lenses.

    I never went for surgery mostly because I value my close-in vision. I can read in bed without glasses, and take them off when I am using my sewing machine or doing hand stitchery. My younger sister, who also got the myopia gene, did go for the surgery and twenty five years later she needs reading glasses.

  3. #3 by Frog on March 29, 2016 - 01:05

    Hello. link to the video Alice mentioned in her story?

  4. #4 by Alice on March 30, 2016 - 10:22

    Here it is – Cartoon – how an implant could treat Alzheimer’s from EPFL.

(will not be published)