the squidgy 1.5kg lump of pink stuff in our heads
March 31, 2013 10:23 PM   Subscribe

NeuroBollocks: Debunking pseudo-neuroscience so you don't have to.
posted by cthuljew (18 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
Bookmarked
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:41 PM on March 31, 2013


Oh, this is brilliant. Bookmarked as well, although I have to note that any use of the word "squidgy" immediately summons this earworm. I obviously need to try more Interactive Metronome stuff so I can focus bett -- oh. Never mind.
posted by maudlin at 10:49 PM on March 31, 2013


Good reading.

Although frankly the entertainment value of NLP enthusiasts is underrated.

My favorite AskMe "How to choose a therapist" answer counseled, among other things, that "when picking a therapist you should choose one who's eyes move around in the sockets easily."
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:11 PM on March 31, 2013 [5 favorites]


Related: Your brain on pseudoscience: the rise of popular neurobollocks
posted by chavenet at 11:55 PM on March 31, 2013


This made me giggle a bit, from the NLP entry:
Despite being nearly 40 years old, and a ridiculous, facile hodge-podge of concepts from psychology, philosophy, linguistics and new-age twaddle with absolutely no support from any reputable sources, amazingly, NLP is still very much alive and kicking.
Considering homeopathic "medicine" is still something you can buy, I don't know if it's amazing so much as totally predictable. This is good stuff though, I'll be reading through these.
posted by cj_ at 12:28 AM on April 1, 2013


Despite being nearly 40 years old, and a ridiculous, facile hodge-podge of concepts from psychology, philosophy, linguistics and new-age twaddle with absolutely no support from any reputable sources, amazingly, NLP is still very much alive and kicking.

I read that as "NPH is still very much alive and kicking" and was in a high dudgeon for a moment there.
posted by Etrigan at 4:30 AM on April 1, 2013


Wow, I read NLP and thought "Natural Language Processing", which can actually do some interesting things. Neuro-linguistic programming? Total bollocks. Can we have a central registry for TLAs? :)
posted by petrilli at 6:22 AM on April 1, 2013


Neuro-Linguistic Programming: neither Holy, Roman, nor an Empire.
posted by Segundus at 7:40 AM on April 1, 2013 [10 favorites]


Annoying thing about NLP: people think it's how Derren Brown does his tricks, failing to realise that (a) Brown's explanation of how he does the trick is itself misdirection and (b) NLP is all bollocks. See a previous conversation wth NLP true believer (on a "rationalist" web site, amusingly), and an interesting interview with Brown.

I'm not sure how much to blame Brown for this: was it the fault of magicians from a different age if people took their performances as being evidence for psychic powers?
posted by pw201 at 9:29 AM on April 1, 2013


My rule of thumb is that if someone is touting a novel technique for improving motivation/mood/behavior/well-being/happiness/etc. and it involves nothing more than reading a book and talking to yourself or posting motivational sticky notes around the house, then go for it.
If they want you to pay for classes, videos, seminars, or medicinal products, or are suggesting you ignore your doctor's advice, then beware and avoid at all cost.
posted by rocket88 at 9:37 AM on April 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Neuro-Linguistic Programming: neither Holy, Roman, nor an Empire.

Nero-linquistic programming on the other hand...

posted by mmrtnt at 12:01 PM on April 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is what's great:

For much of neurobollocks, if you believe in it, it ceases to be bollocks. Belief isn't just an illusion; to a self-rewriting executable structure, to believe is to redesign.

You're not going to believe your way out of physically damaged neurons, but alter firing patterns and reroute axons? Sure, totally going to happen.
posted by effugas at 12:20 PM on April 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also, that means science is blocking effective treatment. Oops.
posted by effugas at 12:20 PM on April 1, 2013


Interactive Metronome Treatment...

But what’s this interactive metronome business? Well, as you can see in this video on the hypochondriac’s website of choice (WebMD), it’s basically waving your arms about and moving your feet in time to a regular beat.

Nope, hasn't helped the conductor of our orchestra AT ALL.
posted by randomkeystrike at 12:56 PM on April 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, the editors of this blog need to learn about the "more" tag.
posted by randomkeystrike at 12:59 PM on April 1, 2013


This looks good. Thanks, cthuljew.
posted by homunculus at 10:02 PM on April 1, 2013


pseudo-neuroscience

Often shortened to psneudroscience.
posted by Drexen at 7:31 AM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Among its other sins, we have NLP to blame for the disease of PUAism.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:21 PM on April 2, 2013


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