Category: Pseudoscience

I’m not saying Greenfield’s a pseudoscientist. I point to her pseudoscientific reasoning. That is all


Like a good sharknado, Susan Greenfield is (a) ridiculous and (b) back for more.

We all remember this defence of her claim that internet use causes autism, don’t we?

I point to the increase in autism and I point to internet use. That is all.

Well, whoopy do. On that basis, Russia’s annexation of Crimea was responsible for loom bands. Obviously.

As a reminder, Greenfield’s schtick is as follows: according to her, social networks — the internet kind — cause brain damage. Now such phrasing sounds like a jokey summary of something more nuanced. However, it’s pretty much everything in a nutshell.

But while Greenfield is an expert in treatments for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, she has no expertise or training in sociocultural factors that actually cause brain damage. In other words, she knows X but doesn’t know Y. She knows how to get the milk into the tea, but it doesn’t logically follow that she can get it back out again.

Also, she has no expertise or training in autism. Or in developmental psychology more generally. Or in psychological assessment and diagnosis. Or for that matter, in internet behaviour, sociology, engineering, or any relevant field.

Here’s a general tip for all you logic fans out there: knowing a lot about X doesn’t mean that you’ll know anything at all about Y. Alan Hansen knows a lot about where right-backs should stand when defending set-pieces in football. However, I wouldn’t rely on him to flash a custom ROM onto my Xperia ZL. Continue reading “I’m not saying Greenfield’s a pseudoscientist. I point to her pseudoscientific reasoning. That is all”

My battle against dry eye: I never thought things would get *this* bad…

Readers might remember that I got nice new frames for my spectacles lately. Of course, the same visit to the optometrist revealed me to have ‘dry eye’, a condition associated with being pregnant, suffering a stroke, and other things (such as having eyes).

Well, in the course of doing some research for this book I’m writing, I have now discovered something bad about dry eye. Something really bad.

Take a look at this extract from Louise L. Hay‘s 1994 classic best-selling book, You Can Heal Your Life


Not a dry eye left in the house. Apart from mine

It’s from a table of physical health problems that runs on and on over several pages. It’s not just any old list. According to Louise, it’s “the” list.

You can see ‘Dry Eye’ right there, in between Depression and Dysentery. Now, what’s really worrying are the other two entries in the table. Basically, according to Louise L. Hay, the ‘probable cause’ of my having dry eye is as follows:

Angry eyes. Refusing to see with love. Would rather die than forgive. Being spiteful.

You see? I knew I wasn’t pregnant! Continue reading “My battle against dry eye: I never thought things would get *this* bad…”

Marriage causes germs (kind of)

Yesterday morning I watched an interesting breakfast TV show here in Accra, on Ghana’s GTV. Interesting for three reasons: (a) because it illustrated the passionately articulate and comfortably personable nature of many Ghanaians, with whom just about any quick chat can escalate into an eloquent debate within seconds; (b) because it showed how breakfast TV chat shows seem to follow a universal cross-cultural format, focusing largely on fashion, relationships, and personal health with discussion driven by a small coterie of generalist talking heads; and (c) because, well, religion.

After a slightly over-long item on “managing your wardrobe” (pro tip: don’t put smelly shoes in a wardrobe; the moisture spreads bacteria and mould to the clothes), we had a panel discussion on the slightly cognate subject of “managing your in-laws” (pro tip: again, no putting in wardrobes).


Continue reading “Marriage causes germs (kind of)”

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