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Comment: Wrong target (Score 1) 123

by Chris Mattern (#49195245) Attached to: How Activists Tried To Destroy GPS With Axes

A lot of his concerns are legitimate, but he went about it the wrong way. Trying a publicity stunt like that against GPS is never going to work, because people are never going to be indignant about system that just enables you to determine your own position (and can't track anybody--GPS devices may track you but that's the device using the GPS results, not GPS itself). He chose a very poor target for the general trend he wanted to protest against.

Comment: Re:He actually could be right. No joke. (Score 1) 320

by Chris Mattern (#49127859) Attached to: Use Astrology To Save Britain's Health System, Says MP

Definition #3 from Dictionary.com: the medical history of a patient.

Ah, that makes a lot more sense. I should have looked in dictionary instead of just googling it. And if his story is correct, he has an excellent point. If homeopaths are spending a good deal of time with their patients getting their history than doctors do and getting more accurate diagoses as a result, then they're performing a valuable service, even if their actual cures are bunk.

Comment: Re:There is some truth to it (Score 1) 320

by Chris Mattern (#49127723) Attached to: Use Astrology To Save Britain's Health System, Says MP

but it is a fact that planets and celestial objects have an effect on human behaviour and the environment.

No, it's not. The sun and the moon have effects. So does anything that actually runs into the Earth. Everything else is too damn far away.

Ask any police officer or health care provider how people act during the full moon. They will almost always tell you that they are busier and people are crazier around that time of the month - consistently - although they can't quite explain why.

And, guess what? They're wrong. They remember the weird stuff that happens during the full moon because they expect weird stuff to happen during the full moon. Numerous studies have been made looking for the so called "Lunar effect". No actual correlation between human behavior (including police calls, emergency room visits and such) and the full moon has been found,

To think that there is absolutely no basis in truth regarding astrology is simply wrong.

Is simply right. There is no known mechanism by which the planets or other stars could affect human life on Earth in this fashion. It's bunkum, pure and simple.

The practice of astrology would not have survived for thousands of years if there were no truth to it.

The evidence shows fairly conclusively that selective remembering of evidence and wishful thinking is perfectly capable of sustaining a practice with no basis in reality for several thousand years. It's happened a lot of time. People sincerely worshipped Zeus for thousands of years. Do you believe in Zeus?

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