As before, I continue being not well, for which reason I still have not
yet written more
on the DSM-5TM and there
also was no Nederlog yesterday. I also wanted to write a bit more
about psychiatry and about
Cargo Cult Science and
pseudoscience, but these things also have to be queued awaiting somewhat
On the other hand, it's still a tiny bit better than it was before, and
for the moment I have on this place just a little bit of light relief I
found recently that I liked:
As you may have realized, having come this far, JC = John Cleese, and the
above I found by accident on Youtube, and both seem to date to 2008.
I do not like the intros and outros, especially not their lengths and
music, but that's very probably not Cleese's doing, and the two
bits themselves are fine, funny and quite instructive also.
Indeed, I have heard many an academic lecture quite as refined and clear
as the first one, that also has been firmly, lucidly and compellingly
been based on the first principles of academic science
(*), as you may find
out if you listen attentively.
The second lecture may not teach you all about the human genome, but
again manages to be perfectly clear on basic principles, that also
deserve being know to a wider audience, for which reason I supplied the
Finally, here are two somewhat related bits of light relief, that are
related to my appreciation of nonsense and absurdity.
literal quote, quite true as it happens:
The value of the null literal
is the sole value of the Null
type, namely null.
It also is true with "null" substituted by "twit", but that is a topic
outside specifications of computer-languages, or so it may be hoped, at least.
And this is a quote I found attributed to the physicist
Famously, he once said of such an unclear paper: Das ist nicht nur nicht
richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch! "Not only is it not right, it's
I do advice you to follow the last link (on Wikipedia), where Pauli's
reasoning is explained, but in case you didn't, here are some quotations from
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the weblog and book entitled "Not Even Wrong", see
An argument that appears to be scientific is said to be not
even wrong if it cannot be
falsified (i.e., tested) by experiment or cannot be used to
make predictions about the natural world. The phrase was coined by
Wolfgang Pauli, who was known for his colorful objections to
incorrect or sloppy thinking.
Rudolf Peierls writes that "a friend showed [Pauli] the paper
of a young physicist which he suspected was not of great value but
on which he wanted Pauli's views. Pauli remarked sadly, 'It is not
even wrong.' "
In brief, if it's not verifiable nor falsifiable at all, it is not
testable, not empirical science, and mostly in the nature of baseless
belief, false presumption, delusion, fraudulence or nonsense.
To continue quoting:
Statements that are "not even wrong" may be well-formed, but lack
reference to anything physical (as in "Souls
are immortal", because the noun "soul" is not well-defined in terms
of experimental results), or may simply be
gobbledygook which appears meaningless. The phrase implies that
even a wrong argument would have been better than the argument
proposed, because an argument can only be found wrong after at least
meeting the criteria for being considered academically (proper
assumptions, falsifiable, makes predictions). Arguments that are
not even wrong do not meet these criteria.
Quite so - and please note that this is so in real science,
but usually not outside real science: There what is not
even wrong often is the dominant ideology, religion, or fashionable
cant of the day, that is
enthusiastically embraced, often for
ostensibly and apparently the best moral reasons, by the democratic
To continue quoting:
The phrase "not even wrong" is often used to describe
pseudoscience or bad science and is considered derogatory.
Indeed, and again we have arrived implicitly at
professors Wessely, White, Sharpe, Chalder,
Bleijenberg and Van der Meer,
pseudo-scientists all - and what's far worse, though
with the possible partial exception of Chalder and Bleijenberg in view
of their evident tremendous dimness (**) - who all
know very well they are blathering, lying, posturing and being
fraudulent and very dishonest.
Incidentally - and contradicting the final part of the quoted article:
A theory that is not testable, that is, the logically entailed
consequences of which cannot be compared to experience, is not empirical
science, but may be intellectually quite respectable if it is decent
mathematics or logic, especially if this may be made testable by
improvements in technology (such as better microscopes or telescopes, say).
But most of the "not even wrong" theories in the soft sciences,
especially the pretentious ones like psychiatry and psychology, are not
testable because they are not intellectually respectable at all, but
consists from the start from nonsense, delusion, pretension, prejudice
and appeals to authority and rank ("as Fraud taught us").
And the psychiatric pseudoscientists Wessely, White and Sharpe, at least,
know full well they are pseudoscientists whose careers are based on
fraudulence and deception, and that they are personally neither real
scientists nor real intellectuals, but simply conmen who ought to be
hunted out of the groves of real Academia and real science.
So I end
once again with the physicist's
Archibald Wheeler's call: