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About thaddeus

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  1. Any Kabbalah experts?

    google Tisha b'Av I don't think it's strictly a kabbalah thing. T
  2. Another spin on placebo

    I've read estimates that placebo effect could be upwards of 30% and more in an experiment. Placebo here meaning actual placebo plus all the other factors that could result in a positive outcome. Suppose 1 million people practice some bogus qigong healing exercise...that means you could have 350,000 people going on about how great the system is and how it healed this or that. Hmmmm... T
  3. The Placebo Effect

    I hate to confuse you more but..consider this. Let's assume qigong is real. Now, someone sets up an experiment to test a new qigong that relies on a special breathing technique plus a special arm movement. To test this, he breaks up a thousand people into four different groups of 250 people each--1 learns the arm movement only, 1 learns the breathing technique only, 1 learns the arm movement and the breathing technique, and the last group is simply observed for 1 year. If the people that only learn the arm movement or just the breathing technique report benefits, that is considered placebo effect. So, how do you know your qigong experiences are not "placebo"? How do you know you learned correctly and are not fooling yourself? Everyone who is under the placebo effect believes it's 'real'. T
  4. Beliefs and Intent

    Hi Vajrahridaya, Of course everything has a cause. The problem is identifying what is that cause. Take the babies born with a genetic disorder. The cause was whatever caused the 'random' change in the genes. This could be something external, something natural, etc. Of course 'something' caused it. The challenge lies in determining what caused it. I think you may be using a belief system to explain what caused it, namely karma in the context of buddhism (I may be wrong on that, there were alot of threads to go through). A scientist will look for something verifiable that caused the genetic variation. I agree people say 'random' when they don't know the cause. Once the cause is identified, then it's no longer random. I think this is all elementary and doesn't really need to be argued. I just want to point out that you might be using circular reasoning to justify your point of view. I think Pietro made some excellent points in his last post about making statements. I quoted the above because I just wanted to say again, I learned alot from reading 'Fooled by Radomness'. One thing I learned was that randomness means there may be patterns. A good example from the book is to imagine someone throwing darts at a square. Naturally you will find little holes on the square from the darts. These holes will naturally cluster and form patterns. Now superimpose a map of the US on that square and look at how people will look at these clusters and start believing the clusters represent something happening in that area like an epidemic or cancer statistics etc. T
  5. Beliefs and Intent

    Yes! I know this is a completely unpopular point of view here, but why is this idea so hard to accept. T
  6. The Placebo Effect

    Let me know what you think of that book and if it's worth reading! Thanks, T
  7. The Placebo Effect

    Here's the study, it was published in 2002: "After they recovered from the procedures, most patients said their knee pain had improved, and they continued to say they were better for the two years that the researchers followed their progress. But Dr. Nelda P. Wray, who is chief of the section of health services research at Baylor, said, "On the objective scale, no one was better at any time point."" I think it's a stretch to say the patients who got the sham operation were 'healed'. I think the point of the study was to show that the surgery was ineffective. And yes, the participants agreed to have fake surgery. T
  8. The Placebo Effect

    Yes, I've heard this story and similar ones before. Some quick thoughts that come to this story/myth actually true..we have to consider the ethical issues with performing sham operations and consider how this ever got approved as an actual study with controls, etc. I'm glad you read Taleb and understand what I'm trying to say, Black Swan and Fooled By Randomness are very similar. I think FBR reallly drives the point home regarding randomness. In the study you mentioned, it really needs to be done a few more times to determine it wasn't just a fluke result. Otherwse we are 'fooled by randomness'. I'm sure there are hundreds of thousands of examples of operations done incorrectly that produced no such miraculous result, or worse, but they are not making headlines anywhere. Because we often just look at and discuss these unusual results, we often make the mistake of not seeing the larger picture which in this case are the thousands of people who don't get better from wrong operations. Any scientist worth her salt wouldn't make a big deal out of something like this, I think the sensationalism is caused by journalists looking for a story or people pushing an agenda. Causality is a huge topic. How do we know something happened as a result of something. These are great questions and I'm happy you started this thread. T
  9. The Placebo Effect

    Check out this book when you have some time: Fooled by Randomness: The problem with placebo effect is that it is difficult to determine what exactly was due to placebo. Say you are testing a drug that grows hair. So you have 30 people in the study. 20 grew hair and 10 didn't. When you analyze the result, you find out that of the 20 that grew hair, 5 didn't really get the drug, they got an inert substance. It's tempting to say all 5 grew hair from the placebo effect, but you just can't. They could have grown hair for a bunch of reasons completely unrelated to the study. When you read results of these scientfic studies, you will find that placebo is the term used to describe those people that saw a result from the inert substance. Logically, you can't assume it was really from placebo effect. I picked a hair loss example, because that's exactly what you'll find if you look at the studies on Rogaine. To throw more complications in, say in the above study, it's tempting to say the 15 people grew hair as a result of the drug. You really can't until you repeat the study several times to rule out a Random result from the one study. That's why the book I'm suggesting above is a great read, it explains this much better than I can. T
  10. TCM & the Kidneys

    The book scholar warrior has some recipes to build kidneys. Chinese believe, dark foods like black sesame and black beans will build up kidneys. Eating kidneys like pork kidney is supposed to be good as well. Lamb is reputed to be a jing builder. You can take herbal recipes like 'sho wu ji'. Rubbing and gently tapping the kidney area is supposed to help (don't over do). One explanation of why taiji builds kidney and liver strength is because the movement from the waist and legs stimulate those meridians with the twisting. Sleep alot but not too much. T
  11. Types of Tai Chi/taiji (updated)

    google chen zhenglei dvds. He has the best teaching dvds for authentic and traditional chen style taiji that I've seen. He's got everything, lao jia, er lu, sword, guando etc. You can't go wrong with his stuff because it's one of the most popular. he breaks everything down step by step.
  12. try this idea..not *pushing* down but releasing..constant and refined release of tension from top down. T
  13. how about this.. it can be summed up by 'not doing'. e.g. if you try to do 'sinking' or 'centering' etc. chances are you are doing something incorrectly.
  14. taichi and brazilian jiujitsu

    Yes! On a related note, I feel aikido can be improved with better randori. T
  15. taichi and brazilian jiujitsu

    Doesn't every martial art claim to be able to overcome bigger/stronger/faster opponents? That's the limitation of a technique based perspective. When two opponents know the same techniques, the stronger/faster will prevail. Taichi is beyond technique. Think of it as an abstraction of principles and strategies that can make your BJJ skill higher. For example, if you have two BJJ fighters who know the same techniques, the one that can flow better (meaning relax/yield/listen) can prevail, not the stronger one. I'm not interested in fighting about this, if you want to have a decent discussion about this i'll continue, if you want to attack me personally for trying to contribute to the thread then i'm done commenting on this stuff. T