Saturday, June 08, 2002

This is one of the stupidest things I have ever seen Send this entry to: Spurl Ma.gnolia Digg Newsvine Reddit

This is one of the stupidest things I have ever seen Proof that the Japanese aren't as technically competent as all those international tests (that I so love) purport to prove. Anybody with a basic knowledge of chemistry knows that negative ions can't be "isolated" from positive ions on macroscopic spatial distances without significant energy expenditure. The charge separation that arises from a hypothetical separation of ions means that there are tremendous attractive electromagnetic forces pulling them back together. So this sort of quote:

Negative ions are molecules with an extra electron that gives them a negative charge, and positive ions are those with an electron missing. Ions are formed when an energy source such as light rays, a strong waterfall or a thunderstorm knocks off electrons. Positive ions are associated with bad things, like dust and pollution, while negative ions are plentiful in refreshing places like a waterfall.

makes absolutely no sense. For example, their beloved "refreshing waterfalls" have tons of solvated positive ions floating nearby the solvated negative ions. I expect that Razib - a biochemist by training - will probably want to pile on... Pile on (from Razib) Having a background in chemistry (or any of the lab sciences) really makes one different than the general population insofar as today there are all sorts of ideas about "fresh" organic foods or shampoos that "revitalize" hair (pesticides are not preservatives and hair is dead) that strike us as kind of weird but are taken as givens by the public. This is simply part of the trend as the public holds onto pre-scientific modes of thinking while we get splattered with chemicals that might cause cancer throughout our lives (chemists once used to use taste as an attribute of organic chemicals, but stopped when too many of them died). People do not look at things around them in a reductionistic manner, they still have a holistic (reasonable in the context of the fact that they don't deal with the reality of molecules on the macroscopic sensory level) worldview. In fact, there's a wholesale fear of chemicals in society that seems to draw from the idea they are "unnatural" and detract from our "life force". I was on the road, and I went to "whole foods" store to get some nourishment. I was also a bit sick, so I looked for some cold medicine. This was a store with an obviously affluent clientele from the looks, and yet all they had were "natural" cold supplements, as in $15 tablets that restored my chi. I can't really put a finger on my rage at this sort of know-nothingness. I know scientists can get accused of hubris, but I hear a lot of people tell me they don't take medicines because they think it will reduce their ability to fight diseases, but if the medicine simply mitigates symptoms (which tell you you're sick so if you're getting medicine you've got the message) then the body that is combating the underlying disease shouldn't be that perturbed at the extra comfort. I also wonder at the utility of water filtration in areas where the water just isn't that hard (I'm sure all the Japanese have filters to get rid of harmful cations!). Of course, I won't even go into the environmentally harmful affects of eastern medicine. But I have thought about drying my urine and selling it as my vitalizing life force. $15 a pop sound good to you? It's all natural!

posted by godlesscapitalist | 6/08/2002 01:17:00 AM | |

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