Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Firestormm, Jun 18, 2014.
@ Tom Kindlon
Great answer, that sums up very well the situation.
Hope it gets published!
Susanna Agardy submitted this four days ago to the BMJ, but it hasn't gone up, so she has started posting it around:
No they hate it so much because it works so well and since they don't want to get better it is the worst that can happen to them.
Wikipedia has a page on memes with this section of criticisms. One critic calls it pseudoscientific dogma.
A more colorful terminology for this example might be:
The question remains why this is being done now. Suzy Chapman's speculation earlier in this thread seems quite possible because it does follow the pattern of closely following publicized biological findings in myalgic encephalomyelitis. There is an ad currently playing about distraction being the oldest trick in the book:
The Wikipedia page on psychological manipulation has many tricks listed, but the last time I read it it was missing the effective trick of antagonizing the victim and then blaming the victim for reacting.
Detailed June 25 post where one blogger criticises the Collings/Newton e-letter.
I totally agree with you. Collins and Newton should have applied the term to themselves, and their ignorance, rather than to their patients!
I'd love to see this posted on BMJ.
New BMJ comment.
"reply to Susan Blackmore"
Nasim Marie Jafry - author of The State of Me (2008)
03 July 2014
Just make very sure its clearly labelled as satire. Some might take it literally.
The sarcasm is so hard to resist. but the argument just is that stupid....
Chinese Whispers made to sound 'Intellectual'
I find this whole topic of the 'Meme' to be not much more than the concept of Chinese Whispers having been overly intellectualised and turned into a book. All it actually describes is a non-factual statement/idea passed on as fact and then perceived to be fact by all who receive it - thus it becomes perceived as a real fact in time. They describe this as 'reproduction' when it is nothing more than transmission. They further describe the idea becoming corrupted or embellished as per Chinese Whispers.
There is no aspect of the meme theory that I have been able to find allowing for physical manifestation of a belief. That could only be the case for a true invention - that would not fit the definition of a meme, it must be untrue to be a meme.
The most obvious issue though with respect to CFS is that mitochondria do not participate in 'intelligent thought', nor that I am aware of can by thryoid gland read the internet, or my immune system listen to radio. (sarcasm) It's a complete mystery to me how my various organs became ware of this meme when my conscious mind had never come across this weird destructive 'cfs meme' (end sarcasm).
What is very clearly evidence for meme-tic thought is this ridiculous obsession with psychosocial twaddle about a physical disease and the hero worship of the perpetrators of this villainy. While the concept of a 'Meme' can clearly exist (propaganda depends upon it) it's application to a physical and concrete disease reflects either very low intelligence or an extremely poor understanding of the concept.
A meme is simply an idea about ideas. Its not something concrete. Its something that has some explanatory value, but its always hypothetical. Its a way of talking about beliefs. It is, sadly, also only a belief/concept/idea.
Getting meta is usually a dodgy business.
Stick to the concrete and you rarely go too wrong.
That is the problem with reason as well. We are always reasoning on incomplete information. Ultimately reason has to be grounded in reality, on evidence.
It is almost a cliche now, but as Richard Feynman put it about theory:
If it disagrees with experiment, it is wrong.
Experimental data is ultimately supreme. Which is why certain folk don't want the rest of us to see it, or even want it produced in the first place. Tends to expose the idiots, spivs, and thugs.
What part of psychobabble is concrete?
I wouldn't trust that mob to pour my house slab either!
I wasn't specifically thinking about psych. Was making a more general point about reasoning getting too removed from direct hard evidence. Applies right across science, medicine, and our whole lives.
Susan Blackmore seems to be trying to take a middle path with her comments regarding ME (CFS) being a meme. http://www.bmj.com/content/329/7472/928/rr/759419
I wonder which of her symptoms, when ill, she therefore thinks she copied rather than acquired as part of her illness. Copying the existing behaviour of another is really what a meme is about.
6 July 2014
Response to Dr Susan Blackmore from Dr Ellen Goudsmit (Reitred Health Psychologist): http://www.bmj.com/content/329/7472/928/rr/759996
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