What is wrong with Chris Hedges? »« Botanical Wednesday: Looking for Pogo

Weird ways of thinking

Breatharian crank Jasmuheen believes she doesn’t need food or water to live — she claims to absorb nutrients from sunlight and air. She was rather easily exposed, as are all these breatharians, by putting her up in a nice hotel with people to monitor her eating, and observing the subsequent quite rapid deterioration as she failed to thrive and wasted away quite dangerously.

The people who were testing her terminated the experiment to avoid risking her health. Breatharian claims are absurd and trivially debunked, but what is fascinating is Jasmuheen’s logic as she is gradually falling apart. She has to know that in her day-to-day life she is regularly drinking and eating; she has to know that she’s hungry and thirsty during the test; she has to know that she’s physically suffering from dehydration and starvation. Yet she denies it all.

I think she was trusting the common sense of her testers: she knew that they could not in good conscience allow her to go on, that the experiment would be terminated while she protested that she was fine, and that she could get out of the dangerous situation while maintaining her fiction of dietary abstinence, no problem.

Her claims are not interesting at all — they’re ludicrous — but I find her psychology fascinating. Last year she was in a bogus documentary about ‘living on light’, and now, years after her failed test, she twists it into a triumphant victory.

Wow. New Age delusion at its finest. I loved this statement, though:

What was recorded, what was presented to the world was not my truth, was not how I interpreted it.

So truth is entirely subjective, it’s whatever you decide it should be, and we can entirely disregard physiology…or video technology. Nothing can beat that rationalization — these are people living lives of radical solipsism. It’s too bad that people are dying trying to follow their claims.

Speaking of psychology, another odd thing in the documentary jumped out at me. It’s a German documentary. I’ve run into these breatharian loons sporadically over the years, and they always babble about not eating anything ever…but leave it to the Germans to focus on something I hadn’t heard much about before, that breatharianism meant never pooping. The German obsession with all matters fecal is just a little odd. Odd but harmless, compared to the American obsession with shooting things and blowing them up, I suppose.

Comments

  1. says

    reatharian crank Jasmuheen believes she doesn’t need food or water to live

    No, she doesn’t. Because if she’s actually alive and healthy she’s sneaking cheezburgers when nobody’s looking.

  2. raven says

    So truth is entirely subjective, it’s whatever you decide it should be, and we can entirely disregard physiology…or video technology.

    This is Postmodernism. PoMo.

    The belief that all truths are equally real and valid.

    It’s been long discredited since it collided with science and the real world. There is only one objective reality and it doesn’t care what you believe.

    Postmodernism does still thrive in the dark corners of our society though. We call it religion. The earth is 6,000 years old, Noah had a boatload of dinosaurs, climate change isn’t happening, CO2 isn’t a green house gas, and jesus loves you so much he will torture you forever in hell. Because we said so!!!

  3. says

    Does she have an explanation for the mechanism by which she can survive on air and light? Last I checked, humans are not photosynthetic organisms. As for air, what nutrients is she extracting, and how? Also, how does she avoid taking in pollutants?

  4. Manuel Dornbusch says

    The German obsession with all matters fecal
    Oh boy that will not leave us since that Southpark episode brought it up :-p

  5. says

    So she tried living on light, then on air. Maybe she should try living on water, next!

    This is such an obvious grift: just do anything to get on camera, and there’s a chance that wealth will follow.

  6. doublereed says

    Does she have an explanation for the mechanism by which she can survive on air and light? Last I checked, humans are not photosynthetic organisms.

    Another way to say this: “WE AIN’T GREEN, YO!”

  7. twas brillig (stevem) says

    She’s just leaving out a few steps of her Truth. We ALL live off of air and light. But the missing step is those plant things, acting as the intermediary. And optionally, those other creatures that pre-process the plants for us. That’s their mistake, they leave out too many steps; and believe that the endpoints can be connected directly.

  8. David MacMillan says

    This isn’t Postmodernism. This is her adopting a caricature of postmodernism in defense of her counterfactual ridiculousness.

  9. M can help you with that. says

    Like David MacMillan says — this isn’t post-modernism, this is a bad parody of pop-PoMo BS. It’s the jump from “language really isn’t built for anything we could call ‘Truth,’ and minds don’t even come close to directly experiencing reality, so we really can’t philosophize our way to the real thing and will always be making mistakes” to “therefore there’s no external reality.” It’s like Deepak Chopra but with epistemology instead of quantum mechanics.

  10. Olav says

    Marcus Ranum #1:

    if she’s actually alive and healthy she’s sneaking cheezburgers when nobody’s looking.

    Exactly. Just a common fraud, nothing else to say.

  11. raven says

    This isn’t Postmodernism. This is her adopting a caricature of postmodernism in defense of her counterfactual ridiculousness.

    More Postmodernism.

    David MacMillan thinks if he labels Postmodernism as not being Postmodernism, it instantly becomes true.

    The nice thing about Postmodernism is that it is infinitely flexible and can explain absolutely everything.

    this isn’t post-modernism, this is a bad parody of pop-PoMo BS.

    Oh look!!! There is another one.

    This is the No True Postmodernist fallacy. It’s impossible to tell Postmodernism from a bad parody of “pop-PoMO BS”. It’s BS all the way down.

    Whatever. I’m going to be a Postmodernist for the next 15 minutes. That is just your truth and is no better or worse than mine, Ken Ham’s, Alex Jones, or any random kook on the internet. See, PoMo can explain (away) anything.

  12. wcorvi says

    Instead of removing all food from the room, I think they should have periodically brought in scrumptious dinners and taped her response. 60 minutes wouldn’t have had to end the experiment at all. I noticed, in the second video, a pitcher of water to her side, half empty – what’s with that?

  13. Thomathy, Do Not Upset Me Ahead of World Pride says

    Ze Madmax, not to get into an argument about this, but Nathalie Reed is not authoritative on Postmodernism, and her defense isn’t particularly critical. It’s informative and she certainly very much likes it, but there are valid criticisms of Postmodernism and other, successful critical theories that may be preferred.

    However, the common application of Postmodernist thought leads exactly to the kind of woo we see in Jasmuheen. Frankly, if the application of true™ Postmodernism is the exercise that Nathalie Reed makes it, there is virtually no person who performs it in that way. Which is to say that the straw-man, in practice, is the thing and Jasmuheen is thoroughly entrenched in it.

  14. Trebuchet says

    I noticed, in the second video, a pitcher of water to her side, half empty – what’s with that?

    It just shows that you have negative vibrations, or negative energy, or something. A proper, positive Breatharian would clearly see it as half full!

  15. =8)-DX says

    @OP
    The German obsession with all matters fecal.
    I’m not German myself, but surely everyone regularly examines their feces for health reasons despite not having that little shelf in their toilet like the Germans do? Surely, during any scientific test of breatharian claims, poop-measurement would be most important!
    Alright, shutting up now.

    @raven #12

    The nice thing about Postmodernism is that it is infinitely flexible and can explain absolutely everything.

    This is the No True Postmodernist fallacy. It’s impossible to tell Postmodernism from a bad parody of “pop-PoMO BS”. It’s BS all the way down.

    Not really. Postmodernism is actually a specifically defined idea, or group of ideas, applied to different fields. The fact that postmodernism itself casts doubt on the usefulness of words and the exactness of definitions doesn’t mean it is in any way an undefinable or useless label itself, nor does it mean that the popular understandings of it are accurate, any more than the popular understandings of things like quantum mechanics or marxism.

    Even if you don’t agree with postmodernism, popular understandings of postmodernism that ignore or conflate postmodern approaches and principles are still not postmodernism. Although of course popular approaches may be in some ways postmodern themselves.

  16. says

    a pitcher of water to her side, half empty – what’s with that?

    I believe a lot of “breatharians” still drink water. Because, um…

    It also gives them a chance to go to the bathroom, where presumably a confederate has hidden cheezburgers in the paper towel holder, or something like that.

  17. =8)-DX says

    I noticed, in the second video, a pitcher of water to her side, half empty – what’s with that?

    For the cameraman and interviewer of course.

  18. llyris says

    Wcorvi #13. I had a similar idea. I thought it might be interesting to leave food around when she’s not looking, and keep watch. Maybe she seriously thinks she doesn’t eat and has no memory of eating.

  19. says

    For the cameraman and interviewer of course.

    If I was the cameraman I’d be nomming on a great big bacon cheezburger, periodically offering the con artist a bite. Damn this thing is good. There’s nothing like bacon, is there? Beats trying to live on LA air, with all that car exhaust!

  20. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    As for air, what nutrients is she extracting, and how? Also, how does she avoid taking in pollutants?

    Those pollutants are the nutrients. Breatharians have had a much harder time surviving since the Clean Air Act was passed. They thrived in the late 1960s through the mid-1970s. Since then, the lack of exhaust has exhausted them.

  21. Thomathy, Do Not Upset Me Ahead of World Pride says

    Oh great. The vagueness of Postmodernism protects it. You know, it’s trivial to find critics of Posmodernism on that very point? You might wonder why Raven wrote, ‘No True Postmodernist Fallacy’ …or not.

  22. doublereed says

    I thought post-modernism just referred to “stuff after world war era.” But then I usually think of it in terms of art.

    Raven, you should read the link in #10.

  23. Thomathy, Do Not Upset Me Ahead of World Pride says

    The pitcher of water is for inspiration? Maybe she inhales the moisture. Maybe the water is fortified?

  24. says

    I thought it might be interesting to leave food around when she’s not looking, and keep watch.

    Randi used to tell a story about debunking a breatharian. Apparently the guy snuck out of his room and went down the street to a McDonald’s at 4am. Randi’s watchers, of course, intercepted him on the way back, carrying the bag of food. Apparently he claimed that he was just going to smell it.

  25. twas brillig (stevem) says

    They thrived in the late 1960s through the mid-1970s. Since then, the lack of exhaust has exhausted them.

    Oh so that’s what they meant when they said, and we thought they were complaining, that, “The LA smog was so thick you could eat it”. All that unburnt fuel was fuel for them; they must be starvin now. (blaming you, EPA.) ;-D

  26. twas brillig (stevem) says

    So that’s why Nixon started the EPA, to starve out all the hippies that he hated.

  27. muttpupdad says

    The pitcher contain a homeopathic food dose that when it evaporates into the air makes it that much stronger for her to subsist on, thus confirming her beliefs. (Must go shower now after writing that!)

  28. says

    You could also read my take on post-modernism. Equating critical thinking (which is what post-modernism is) with the caricature-worthy po-mo stereotype is a lot like equating science with scientism. Of course there are ignorant abusers of the concept — it doesn’t mean it’s all like that.

  29. Carl Muckenhoupt says

    reatharian crank Jasmuheen believes she doesn’t need food or water to live

    No, she doesn’t. Because if she’s actually alive and healthy she’s sneaking cheezburgers when nobody’s looking.

    I think you’re greatly underestimating the human capacity for self-deception. She clearly sneaks food, but it’s plausible to me that she still sincerely believes that she doesn’t need to in order to live. “I can quit any time”, etc.

  30. Rob Grigjanis says

    =8)-DX @16:

    …nor does it mean that the popular understandings of it are accurate, any more than the popular understandings of things like quantum mechanics or marxism.

    Quite. People can get very attached to their pop misunderstandings. Sometimes dogmatically so.

  31. says

    #31/Carl Muckenhoupt:

    I think you’re greatly underestimating the human capacity for self-deception. She clearly sneaks food, but it’s plausible to me that she still sincerely believes that she doesn’t need to in order to live. “I can quit any time”, etc.

    That. I find it plausible enough. Wonder vaguely what she tells herself. Mebbe ‘Well, I still enjoy the sensation of eating, the flavour of food, so why should I deny myself this pleasure? I clearly can run 100% solar, just don’t feel like it this week…’, or somesuch…

    (Caveat about ‘sincerely believes’, possibly… but I always sorta figure this is just as likely to be a on a bit of a gradient. As in: maybe mostly sincerely… with occasional and/or nagging doubts regularly squelched with distraction/rationalization, so on. As I’ve had a lot of people describe the practical experience of ‘faith’ in general this way. The practical day-to-day of it can build quite an edifice of these, over time, though, so it’s like a tiny hot kernel of stubborn, lingering doubts layered and suffocated in a thick armour of well-maintained, squelching, mollifying foam.)

  32. Sili says

    So she tried living on light, then on air. Maybe she should try living on water, next!

    Perhaps she could move straight to fire.

  33. Nick Gotts says

    You could also read my take on post-modernism. – PZM

    I did. I wasn’t in the least convinced, because whenever I’ve tried to read anything that is categorised or self-categorised as postmodernism or similar (Derrida, Foucault, Baudrillard, Latour, Porter…), it turns out to be a load of pretentious twaddle which is unable to distinguish between ontology and epistemology, truth and knowledge. Nor am I convinced by Nathalie Reid’s implication that no-one before 1945 had ever thought of criticising claims of absolute objectivity. Nor by Kuhn’s claim (or the interpretation of Kuhn as claiming) that science is not cumulative, when it quite clearly is.

  34. Hypatia's Girl says

    Nick Gotts —

    To be fair, and mostly because I’d rather rattle on about this here, than write my dissertation, Haraway and the second generation of the people listed in your comment at 38 are now styling themselves as post-*human* — which is such a phenomenal load of bullshit. *Foucault* has been terribly misread by his followers (all of whom wanted to play with the iconoclasism, none of whom wanted to clean up after themselves) and early Derrida is actually quite rigorous.

    It’s the post-humanists who are really reallllyyyy taking things and running off cliffs. As in, I have sat in graduate courses at an R1 university and had to refute vitalism.

  35. anne mariehovgaard says

    She’s not delusional, just lying so she can get rich by selling books to gullible people. She looks and sounds completely insincere, she hardly even bothers to pretend she believes what she’s saying. If she was auditioning for a commercial, she’d never get the job; she’s a very poor actor.

  36. says

    A little while ago, Alan Sokal claimed that academic postmodernists are now walking back on previous anti-science positions, primarily due to the Bush administration’s use of postmodernism to justify policies.

    Sokal cited a paper by Bruno Latour, which I tried to read. As far as I could tell, Latour was indeed backing off, but his new position was not really much of an improvement.

  37. unclefrogy says

    I do not really have to doubt her sincerity in her beliefs to have some understanding of her. Her experience is that she feels fine and the energetic feeling must be what it means to be thriving. She is wrong of course she is starving but the body has some pretty neat tricks to help it survive.
    From my random reading and compulsion to understand everything a hopeless task but fun trying, I discover one of the reasons the anorexia nervosa is so difficult to treat is that there is a point is not eating or fasting where the body starts pumping out endorphins, It is as if the person who is suffering from anorexia has become addicted to a highly addictive drug like heroin that they get by starving themselves. It is that feeling of energetic euphoria that is in this person that is interpret as thriving.
    So why would that happen? the body puts out the endorphins to help give it the energy to go and fine some food what came to mind that help me see that was the pictures of the people in Eritrea that were in the news not so very long ago. Women who walked with there children miles and miles with little or nothing to eat. They would have only been able to endure the journey with the help of the bodies secretion of endorphins.
    I am not doubting there are charlatans and frauds who use this for some kind of personal gain. The conman’s games are many and varied.
    uncle frogy

  38. says

    Continuing from #42: Bruno Latour is an academic postmodernist, not a pop-postmodernist. But even he admits academic postmodernism is partially responsible for pop-pomo. He compares pop-pomo to weapons which have been smuggled across enemy borders. (Latour’s view seems to be that epistemology is a weapon for battle, rather than an instrument to figure out what side of the battle you should be on.)

  39. Hercules Grytpype-Thynne says

    leave it to the Germans to focus on something I hadn’t heard much about before, that breatharianism meant never pooping

    Silly breatharians. Everybody poops.

  40. says

    Don’t be too quick to go the “Let them starve themselves to death” route, folks. Like any such BS you can be sure some of the believers will try it with their kids.

  41. boadinum says

    I thought Everybody Poops was by REM.

    Anyway…whenever you hear a would-be philosopher mention the phrase “post-modern” you should stop the bugger right there. Say something like, “before you go on, oh wise one, please give us a simple definition of “post-modern.””

    No answer will ever be forthcoming. The would-be philosopher will be sucked into his own navel.

  42. says

    @47
    boadinum

    oh wise one, please give us a simple definition of “post-modern.””

    No answer will ever be forthcoming.

    (for some values of “never”, “simple”, “answer”, “definition”, and “forthcoming”)

  43. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    This is Postmodernism. PoMo.

    The belief that all truths are equally real and valid.

    It’s been long discredited since it collided with science and the real world. There is only one objective reality and it doesn’t care what you believe.

    As noted, this is not strictly true.

    Unfortunately, people who subscribe to and advocate legitimately a legitimate post-modernist methodology are nearly as energetic and successful as philosophers at policing the dipshits under their banner.

  44. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    By which I mean of course there’s a deafening chorus of crickets whenever some dumb fuck’s doing the “This is my truth, it may not be yours :D” thing, but the True Postmodernists do occasionally rouse themselves for a hearty #NotAllPostModernists when people assume their lazily letting the dipshits publicly define the label actually publicly defines it and comment accordingly.

  45. busterggi says

    She’s not a fraud, just a new-ager. The ‘real’ her, her spirit/soul/astral self does not eat drink or poop. Only the physical mortal carriage the ‘real’ her inhabits eats, drinks and poops.

    i’m surprised I haven’t seen that given as a serious response by her.

  46. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Don’t be too quick to go the “Let them starve themselves to death” route, folks. Like any such BS you can be sure some of the believers will try it with their kids.

    It’s been known to happen.

  47. says

    This is a good example of why I don’t really like the word “truth” nearly as much as I like “real”.

    It seems to me that reality is truth minus the influence of the bullshit contributed by the social aspects of brains.

  48. says

    It is nice to see this thread, though. Breatharians and chupacabras are the only legitimate sorts of topics of discussion on skeptical/atheist blog sites, I’ve been told.

  49. says

    Starvation was “not in her truth”? And presumably, neither is the eating she obviously does when nobody’s looking. Or maybe her Truth doesn’t call it “eating food”. Maybe it’s like the windows in a Known Space canon FTL ship — edited out by the perceptual system.

  50. David Marjanović says

    I thought that years ago Jasmuheen said, much like in comment 31, that she still eats, she just does it for the pleasure and not because she needs it?

    Wikipedia doesn’t mention that, but says: “As of 2012, four deaths had been directly linked to breatharianism as a result of Jasmuheen’s publications.[26][27] Jasmuheen has denied any responsibility for the deaths.” Refs 26 & 27 are:
    26. Walker, Tom; Judith O’Reilly (26 September 1999). “Three deaths linked to ‘living on air’ cult”. The Sunday Times ((London)).
    27. “Swiss woman starves to death on daylight diet”. Herald Sun. 26 April 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2012. “This was the fourth known death linked to breatharianism and Jasmuheen’s books since the practice emerged in the early 90s.”

    not having that little shelf in their toilet like the Germans do

    Germans don’t. Austrians do, and reportedly so do Lithuanians.

    the lack of exhaust has exhausted them

    Thread won.

  51. knowknot says

    Even the smallest of beliefs (which we all have) has within it the ability to distort perception of the world, established understanding, and memory of experience.
     
    Remember chidren: “With Fraud, all things are possible.”

  52. PaulBC says

    “Why not? If you live as we live, you will assuredly grow like us.”

    “Do you mean food and drink?”

    “We eat no food, and drink only water.”

    “And on that you manage to sustain life?”

    “Well, Maskull, our water is good water,” replied Joiwind, smiling.

    A Voyage to Arcturus by David Lindsay

    …which is a pretty obscure reference, but it came to mind, though it’s been about 30 years. I just really like the retort “Our water is good water.”

    Lindsay’s work is not really SF as much as metaphysical allegory, but even he is a little more realistic about the limits of what’s possible.

  53. geisthander says

    I’m reminded of the great Ronald Reagan, who once observed that:

    “A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that’s true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not.” (March 4, 1987)

    Another champion for truth against those pesky facts and evidence!

  54. toddsweeney says

    I’m a horrible person. My first reaction was; this woman has nice clothes and is sitting in a classy hotel room thanks to espousing a ludicrous belief. I’m wearing torn trousers and shoes held together with gaffer’s tape because I work for a living. And my stomach is empty, too…but that’s because I’m too broke to afford lunch.

    And, yeah, I think Douglas Adams had it right (again). It is easy for humans to hold two completely incompatible beliefs at the same time. Hiding food, and living without needing food, simultaneously can be made compatible with enough mental effort.

  55. Menyambal says

    Maybe she’s like that tribe where the men don’t poop, because that would require that they squat like a woman. It just happens that the men go off in the brush to hunt lizards, regularly. And the women pretend to believe them.

    Maybe she just supports local farmers, and it happens that a few hours later she recycles the water in her toilet.

  56. says

    toddsweeney @ 65:

    I’m a horrible person. My first reaction was; this woman has nice clothes and is sitting in a classy hotel room thanks to espousing a ludicrous belief. I’m wearing torn trousers and shoes held together with gaffer’s tape because I work for a living. And my stomach is empty, too…but that’s because I’m too broke to afford lunch.

    That doesn’t make you a horrible person. It does make you someone who sees the sharp demarcation line of privilege. The people who want so very much to believe they can be something like a breatharian are all too often privileged, at least in the material sense. People who are poor and don’t always have enough to eat aren’t likely to look on such nonsense with kindness.

  57. Ichthyic says

    s. As in, I have sat in graduate courses at an R1 university and had to refute vitalism.

    as in, not a hypothetical for debate purposes, but an actual belief position?

    whoah.

  58. Menyambal says

    brianpansky, I heard about that tribe from a traveler who spent some time in Africa, not online. I never thought to look for it. Hmm.

  59. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    So wait, there might be a culture where the “Girls Don’t Poop” thing is reversed?

  60. PaulBC says

    “It just happens that the men go off in the brush to hunt lizards”

    That’s my best excuse for getting out of long software design meetings.

    Thanks for ruining it for me.

  61. chigau (違う) says

    I learned about the non-pooping-men-tribe in an introductory Anthropology course at University in the early 1970s.
    I think it was in a text-book.

  62. M can help you with that. says

    This is a good example of why I don’t really like the word “truth” nearly as much as I like “real”.

    It seems to me that reality is truth minus the influence of the bullshit contributed by the social aspects of brains.

    If you start from there, start capitalizing “Real,” and then write books without really adding anything to the thought but repeated reminders that thought and language are always at least a few steps removed from reality, you’re a contemporary post-modernist.

    Post-modernism was a major contribution to my intellectual development. Now, though, outside of my approach to reading, it’s mostly a reminder of what led me to science-style epistemological pragmatism (and complete disinterest in philosophical ontology) and a set of tools for examining the inner workings of delusional worldviews.

    (People call Dubya’s administration post-modernist, which seems a bit like calling Dan Brown a follower of Umberto Eco or calling Deepak Chopra a quantum physicist. Misreadings are only post-modernist when they’re deliberate, and W-style bullshit is the object of study, not the practice, of post-modernism.)

  63. ck says

    PaulBC wrote:

    “It just happens that the men go off in the brush to hunt lizards”

    That’s my best excuse for getting out of long software design meetings.

    Oh? I didn’t realize that excuse would work, and usually had to claim something like that I had to restart the cloud virtualization driver to restore RAID cache integrity.

  64. toddsweeney says

    I’m keeping, “go off in the brush to hunt lizards” as my new all-purpose euphemism.

  65. cactuswren says

    According to Wikipedia (that phrase should count as a disclaimer), Jasmuheen claims to live on about 300 calories a day, although “she has not yet mastered the ability to be fluid-free for more than short periods”. She’s also quoted as claiming she lives on “a few cups of tea and a glass of water” a day — one wonders exactly how much sugar and milk go into that tea — supplemented with “a mouthful of whatever it is I’m wanting the flavour of”, such as “a piece of chocolate or it might be a mouthful of a cheesecake or something like that”.

    She’s another Victorian fasting girl.

  66. dianne says

    breatharianism meant never pooping

    Technically, there are sloughed intestinal cells in poop, as well as whatever you’ve been eating. So a breatharian would presumably have occasional, small poops. Also, they’d be extremely hard, given how dehydrated a breatharian must be. (Sorry-in Germany just now.)

  67. David Marjanović says

    Why did source make all living things shit?

    …That’s an empty white page. What am I missing?

  68. Nick Gotts says

    Bruno Latour is an academic postmodernist, not a pop-postmodernist. But even he admits academic postmodernism is partially responsible for pop-pomo. He compares pop-pomo to weapons which have been smuggled across enemy borders. – miller@44

    Which side of the border did these weapons start on? Consider that Derrida, Foucault and Rorty all acknowledge the well-known and respected Nazi Martin Heidegger as a major influence.

  69. Al Dente says

    Yesterday I tried breatharianism to see how long I could last without eating. I made it all the way to suppertime.

  70. says

    @80
    David Marjanović

    Why did source make all living things shit?

    …That’s an empty white page. What am I missing?

    Shortly after I posted the link, the page became unavailable ;)

    I just figured out a way for you to view it though! A cached version was made that was also blank, but I clicked “text only version” and it shows up nicely. That is the second page, here is the third…I can’t seem to get the first page.

    It’s funny because it is yet more cognitive dissonance. They have these beliefs that we can “make our own reality”, but it’s really obvious that we can’t. I saw someone say in another thread there that you just have to ‘make yourself not get cancer’ for example. Some icky victim blaming.

  71. drbunsen, le savant fous says

    PZ, OP:

    So truth is entirely subjective, it’s whatever you decide it should be, and we can entirely disregard physiology…or video technology. Nothing can beat that rationalization — these are people living lives of radical solipsism.

    Where you been, man? This is holy writ for Newagers. The universe is literally created by your thoughts. Yes, the whole universe. Yes, your thoughts, you special snowflake you.
    .

    83 brianpansky:

    Some icky victim blaming.

    As is this. If you “manifest” undesirable life events, it’s not because of any flaw in the theory; the flaw lies in you. You’re doing it wrong.

    This of course is supergreat for anyone suffering from a fragile self-esteem, depression, and/or self-loathing.

    Course, questioning the theory also means there’s something wrong with you. Believe harder, dammit!
    .

    74 M can help you with that.:

    Post-modernism was a major contribution to my intellectual development. Now, though, outside of my approach to reading, it’s mostly a reminder of what led me to science-style epistemological pragmatism / and a set of tools for examining the inner workings of delusional worldviews.

    This describes my history with the Newage movement pretty accurately. Apart from the “intellectual” bit.