Pride upside down.

Whenever the “placebo effect” is mentioned, people always hurry to say that what they have experienced is not due to that. Somehow, they feel embarrassed to acknowledge that the placebo effect also works on them. Like being fooled by a magician. Instead, they prefer to believe in a pseudo-scientific explanation (homeopathy, chiropractice, reiki, tarot, astrology, …).

There is nothing shameful about the placebo effect. Next time you have a slight headache, try closing your eyes, putting your hand on your forehead and think of something peaceful. You´ll feel better already.

In fact, the placebo effect is more profound than just that. The placebo effect falls in either one of two categories:
– By believing some medicin will work, one feels better already which improves the healing process.
– Some ailments (headaches, sleeplessness, a cold) will improve just automatically and this improvement mistakingly might be attributed to medicins taking during that time.

Ironically, it´s a lot more foolish to believe the unverified and inconsistent theories of new-age quackery than to acccept the placebo effect. A case of pride upside down. The irony is that in their fear to be fooled by a magician, they believe in wizards.

 

Two train stories

 

1. The train that went nowhere

He never stopped explaining that what he really missed from his howetown was its metro network which had one metroline that only stopped in one station. The train would stay there all the time and people would come in, sit down and get out when the train had arrived which was always. He would use this line frequently with his friends. In the town he lived now, however, people got rather tired of hearing him going on about it.

2. Working the trainstation

He was a unique master-thief, specialized in one very particular trick of the trade. He would sit down in a train station, looking very respectable, and wait until someone would ask him to watch his bags while he was going to the loo, and then steal that person´s bags. Because of the extreme specialisation of his job, he only managed to pull this off succesfully once in his entire life. Well, twice maybe, but the second time they sort of let him do it, out of pity.