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Author Topic: The Crop Circle Artists Struck Again!
Spring Hope
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posted 29 August 2002 09:04 PM      Profile for Spring Hope     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
http://www.cropcircleconnector.com/2002/eastfield3/eastfield2002c.html

Scroll down to the pictures and skip the ads.


From: Vancouver | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Spring Hope
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posted 29 August 2002 09:07 PM      Profile for Spring Hope     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And yet again!

http://www.swirlednews.com/article.asp?artID=495


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meades
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posted 29 August 2002 09:17 PM      Profile for meades     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Whoever s/he is, they've got talent
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nonsuch
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posted 30 August 2002 07:05 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Cute...
...and yet again,
does nobody notice, or care, that these people are destroying someone else's crop?

From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Spring Hope
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posted 31 August 2002 04:13 PM      Profile for Spring Hope     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Nonesuch, it has now become custom established by the crop circle researchers in the U.K. to set up a donation box for the farmer at the entrance into circles.

By the way, the second formation shown (above), although it defies an easy dismissal as being man-made, upon close inspection by the researchers, is said to be a hoax (ie. man-made). Others, including those appearing in recent years in the remote farm country of the Peace River and Saskatchewan in Canada, where they would not have been found were it not for observant air pilots, remain puzzling even after having been closely scrutinized. Nor do the farmers there accuse anyone of wrecking their crops.

To their credit, none of the established crop circle researchers have made any claims of them being connected with aliens and UFO's. Some speculate, but mainly they confess to it being a great mystery which defies simple (predictable) ridicule and dismissal. Most of the latter comes from people who have not taken the trouble to take a longer look, they say.


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Michelle
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posted 31 August 2002 05:53 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's not even necessarily a moral problem with replacing lost income for the farmer - it's the waste of food that is bothersome as well.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 31 August 2002 11:13 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes, i suppose that's what mostly bothers me - and the fact that one person's art-work is defacing another person's work.
I can't tell exactly how they're done; assume it's by flattening the grain, with a lawn-roller, maybe? Hay will spring back up after a while; wheat or barley will break.
I suppose it only destroys a relatively small part of the crop, but i still hope the fad doesn't spread.
Oh well, a lot of field-mice are happy.

From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Pogo
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posted 01 September 2002 12:07 AM      Profile for Pogo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I believe they take a rope with a weight tied on the end and swing it around, leveling everything in a perfect circle. That way they can carefully go to the center of the field without damaging the crop on the way.

If only they would use their energy for good. Consider how many Afgan children could have clean teeth and fresh breath if they had instead supported the Afgani toothbrush program! If the peace there collapses, I personally will blame it on the crop circle vandals.


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skadie
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posted 01 September 2002 02:31 AM      Profile for skadie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think they use boards holding them with two pieces of twine (like a childs swing) They then step on the board gently bending each stock. They work with circle based designs so all they really need to do is map out the center of each circle. The rest is just walking. Seems pretty simple to me.
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Spring Hope
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posted 01 September 2002 02:42 PM      Profile for Spring Hope     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Those obvious ways mentioned here for making them have all been considered. Too simple for these devious artists. The following site lists the peculiarities which set the obvious hoax apart from the genuine....er...whatever?!:

http://www2.capcollege.bc.ca/~jdowler/UFO/G1-circl.htm

(By the way, I hope it's not a sin to investigate this deliciously intriguing phenomenom because some grain gets wasted. Of course, ignoring them for any reason is one way of dealing with this.)


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Terry Johnson
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posted 01 September 2002 04:23 PM      Profile for Terry Johnson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
England's crop circle makers have their own website, Circlemakers.org, which is worth checking out. It includes some background on the two original crop circle makers who, after a pint in the pub in 1978, set off the entire craze.

For a good, critical review of the published work of crop circle researchers, see CSICOP's Skeptical Briefs. There is no good evidence that there are any electro-magnetic or other anomalies associated with "genuine" crop circles.

It's worth noting that Terence Meaden, a British meteorologist who claimed for many years that crop circles were probably created by unusual wind patterns has since retracted most of his claims. He now concedes that such vortices could have created only the simplest circles, and that any with elaborate designs are most likely the work of hoaxers.


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Spring Hope
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posted 01 September 2002 05:46 PM      Profile for Spring Hope     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Terry, do you always look for the first way out of paradox, mystery, the anomolous, the unanswered or minority views back to the security of orthodoxy? Doesn't that make life boring? Had that attitude always prevailed the world might still be flat as a pancake.

Seriously, we need your type as well as your opposite. And, maybe a third type (which I consider myself); one who can remain poised between belief and disbelief without discomfort.

You will, however have a very hard time if you ever try linking even a majority of the thousands of crop formations found (around the world) to hoaxers. Thousands! Left in fields between late summer sunset and early sunrise! No calling cards or signatures! No footsteps!

It's true that some of the U.K. stars of crop circle research have fallen after being taken in by real hoaxers - very publicly and to their great embarrasment. In fact, partially because of this, as well as invasions of various New Age spiritualists with their "channeled" claims, the whole scene around formations, by all accounts, is a circus. But there is still plenty of explaining to do.

At least - if you take a look through the non-cynical links rather than, right off, dismissing them - you would have to agree that, at the very least, the cleverness and deviousness and anonymity of whoever the artists are all pretty amazing. Worthy of an Agatha Christie novel, at least with the final revelation unknown as yet.


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jeff house
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posted 01 September 2002 06:36 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Terry, do you always look for the first way out of paradox, mystery, the anomolous, the unanswered or minority views back to the security of orthodoxy? Doesn't that make life boring?

Yes, Terry, wouldn't you rather give yourself over to pure fantasy? It isn't true, but gee, it's fun!


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Pogo
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posted 01 September 2002 08:47 PM      Profile for Pogo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ocham's Razor:
quote:
Entia non sunt multiplicanda paeter necessitatem / No more things should be presumed to exist than are absolutely necessary
1324

If you don't need little green men to explain crop circles then don't add them. Besides haven't you seen Mars Attacks? They will come and kill us for sport. Do you want that?


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Terry Johnson
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posted 01 September 2002 11:44 PM      Profile for Terry Johnson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Terry, do you always look for the first way out of paradox, mystery, the anomolous, the unanswered or minority views back to the security of orthodoxy?

I've found that my attachment to scientific--i.e. evidence-based--explanations of the world actually leaves me in the minority. Most people, at least here in Vancouver, seem to give some credence to at least one of the Kennedy murder conspiracies, UFOs, horoscopes, Deepak Chopra, echinacea, Tibetan Bhuddist healing rituals or the many other sad examples of this era's abandonment of rationality and common sense.

I'm also a socialist, which is--unfortunately--also a minority and unorthodox view.

The two actually go together. If you want to change the world, you also have to understand it. And you can't understand the world if you are willing to seriously entertain every silly theory that pops into someone's brain. Do that and instead of understanding the world, you end up with nothing but blind obedience to the arcane dicta of priests and magicians. A world where magic and faith reign is a world safe for capitalism. That's why I feel it's so important for people on the left to reject Protocols of the Elders of Zion-style conspiracy theories, quackery and cuckoo-clock science.

But I don't think my skepticism makes me boring.

I can tell a joke. When I'm not out on the porch smoking, I can liven up a party conversation with amusing anecdotes about Prairie agriculture, the history of the Western Canadian fur trade or the influence of Doug Harvey on modern ice hockey. If I've had enough to drink, and the Pogues or Dead Kennedys are playing, I can get up and dance a little (although, to be honest, I kinda dance like Elaine on Seinfeld). And there's even a neat trick I can do with my (double-jointed) elbows.

BTW, I can also show you how to march into and out of a wheat field without leaving footsteps or any other sign of your presence. It's not hard to do. But then, it's usually only city people who think the lack of footprints is a sure sign of a crop circle's non-human origins.


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nonsuch
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posted 02 September 2002 01:58 AM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm no dogmatic scientist, either, but it never once occured to me that these were anything but human in origin. The whole idea has H. sapiens written all over it, especially in this age of landscape art. (Footprints really aren't necessary when there are tractor trails across a field already.) It just isn't the kind of thing aliens would do: it's utterly pointless. When you've eliminated the improbable, figure out how the probable is possible.
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Spring Hope
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posted 02 September 2002 04:20 AM      Profile for Spring Hope     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Terry, I abhor the same prospect as you:

"blind obedience to the arcane dicta of priests and magicians. A world where magic and faith reign is a world safe for capitalism."

But I see today enough obedience to new forms of priests and magicians, including scientific and rational ones, to concern me very much. And I have been a Socialist all of my life too, although, lately, I don't care much for the label

The problem here is that there is either a lack of honesty on your part or a deficiency in your reading comprehension to write as though you haven't understood me. My point: that I am mystified by these things and not satisfied with the dismissals and explanations of the artistry and the origin of all the crop formations and that I challenge readers to look a bit deeper.

Oh, I have a big confession; I do take Echinacia occasionally.
I suppose now you feel vindicated, right?


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jeff house
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posted 02 September 2002 01:57 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
But I see today enough obedience to new forms of priests and magicians, including scientific and rational ones,

The first tactic of quacks and charlatans is to equate science and magic, or science and religion.
Once you have taken this step, it's open season on you for all the cults and phoneys of the world.

Many people die from their retreat into hocus-pocus.

Science can be difficult, but it causes the real world to become predictable. If you think Einstein and Jung are priests and magicians both,
just try splitting and atom, and check whose prediction turns out to be correct.

It mystifies me why anyone would want to revisit the Scopes trial, and claim that the Bible and Evolution are equivalent. (For Bible substitute any new age creed which rings your chimes.)

[ September 02, 2002: Message edited by: jeff house ]


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Spring Hope
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posted 02 September 2002 10:16 PM      Profile for Spring Hope     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hurrah, we agree on something Jeff!

"It mystifies me why anyone would want to revisit the Scopes trial and claim that the Bible and Evolution are equivalent."

It would mystify me too.


From: Vancouver | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Terry Johnson
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posted 03 September 2002 01:26 AM      Profile for Terry Johnson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The problem here is that there is either a lack of honesty on your part or a deficiency in your reading comprehension to write as though you haven't understood me. My point: that I am mystified by these things and not satisfied with the dismissals and explanations of the artistry and the origin of all the crop formations and that I challenge readers to look a bit deeper.

I'm mystified by the crop circle phenomenon, too.
But outside of the crudest and simplest circles, which may well have a natural origin, all the evidence points to human involvement in their creation.

How does saying that take away from the artistry of their makers? They're very good at what they do.

Why are you so perturbed by any suggestion that human beings did create them?


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jeff house
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posted 03 September 2002 02:10 AM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Hurrah, we agree on something Jeff!
"It mystifies me why anyone would want to revisit the Scopes trial and claim that the Bible and Evolution are equivalent."

It would mystify me too.


But the Scopes trial was about whether science is superior to religion, or whether they both have the same status. Science won.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Spring Hope
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posted 03 September 2002 03:57 AM      Profile for Spring Hope     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Jeff, you say:

"But the Scopes trial was about whether science is superior to religion, or whether they both have the same status. Science won."

That is how you interpret the trial outcome. But that was not the issue.

I may be wrong.

Wrong or correct, you're falsely implying that I'm on the side of religeon and against science.

If you want my verdict - they are applied in separate spheres.

Science - a method for explaining the physical universe, formulated by Descartes and Newton - is actually based on metaphysical assumptions (i.e. man-made rather than universal truths). But that gets into a big topic - which is very current, by the way.


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jeff house
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posted 03 September 2002 01:49 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Science - a method for explaining the physical universe,

So, are crop circles part of the physical universe?


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Tommy_Paine
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posted 03 September 2002 08:20 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There is a phenomena with the crop circles that needs close examination.

It's why people insist on believing in something when it has been clearly explained, and demonstrated to be a hoax.

There are so many "credulous" people out there that it is impossible for me to dismiss them as being "stupid" or an albatros around the neck of the more reasoned members of society. Although, I tend to think they often can be not just an albatros, but down right dangerous.

Be that as it may, there must be some utility to credulity. As aggravating as this body of people are to us sceptics, I think we need these people as much as they need us.

I think credulous people are those a bit more likely to try the new.

As a sceptic, I would not invest in a fantastic one of a kind machine that I was not allowed to view. The owner and inventor sites fear of industrial espionage, and won't let me see it. So, I give the fantastic machine a pass, and chortle at the "rubes" who line up to fork over their money to the "huckster".

I would have passed on a chance to invest with the Wright brothers: scepticism doesn't guarantee success all the time, and nor does it claim to.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Spring Hope
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posted 03 September 2002 09:36 PM      Profile for Spring Hope     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The answer to your question, Jeff, to me appears to be yes, "crop circles are part of the physical universe" - to be clear, (apart from who or what creates the crop drawing for which I don't have a definite answer although others have obviously made up their minds).

But suspecing you have set a trap caused me to reconsider. I now realize that I should have written that "science is a model for ATTEMPTING to explain the physical universe (including various forms of EM phenomena)". It does a damn good job for us and I wouldn't do without it. But it doesn't explain everything.

Not even light.

Or take the stuff of genetic formulation, DNA and RNA around which a huge amount of descriptive data has been collected. This impressive body of material and the sharp brains who are expert in it tend to give us the impression that "science" has unlocked the secret of life, but this hasn't happened at all!
Even when we have gone right down to viewing the sub-atomic nuts and bolts of our cells, or of any matter, we end up with just a DESCRIPTION and....... hopefully - otherwise our sanity should be questioned - a big how?

Tommy_Paine, you're on track if I understand you as respecting differing human propensities for locating the line between credulity and scepticism. On an other point we part ways - I think there is an undeserved credulity in what Science, er Scientists, pronounce to be true or untrue and that this is as dangerous as credulity in things that appear mysteriously in the crop fields of the world at night. However, we are close to a common middle.


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TommyPaineatWork
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posted 04 September 2002 04:02 AM      Profile for TommyPaineatWork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, I mean to point out that there must be a utility to credulity on some level. I wonder if it's just to provide us sceptics with giunea pigs.

I think there's much unsaid in science that leads people to think it claims to have deffinitive answers at all times. This has never been the case. This is the main reason why people have such a hard time grasping that a self correcting mechanism is a strenth and not a weakness.

But on the other hand, deconstructionists and occultists attempt to get too much milage from the inherent uncertanties in science in their attempt to discredit it entirely.

The real litmus test over where people really put their trust is when their life depends on it.

That's why there's no postmodern brain surgeons or civil engineers, and why we call the paramedics in emergencies and not paranormalists.

Ever hear the phrase "Quick! call a philosopher!" ?

Ah, there's a reason for that you know.


From: London | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Spring Hope
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posted 04 September 2002 03:46 PM      Profile for Spring Hope     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
TommyP, what a great phrase: "There must be utility to credulity"!

I agree basically with you: when our lives are IMMEDIATELY (my insertion) at stake we call the paramedics not paranormalists or philosophers. Who can argue over the utility of that?

But........

When we notice that an unusually high number of lives are jeopardized under particular conditions, such as a busy traffic intersection, between accidents, we don't call the paramedics but the traffic experts or urban philosopher/planners.

And, when, for example, young male student performance has been declining relative to females (no, no, not meant as a red flag!), we very well might call in the philosophers. (O.K., they might be called sociologists.) We might very well do the same thing after having noticed high rates of depression or suicide in a particular population.

But, you might say, that doesn't address paranormalists?

It depends on where you look. Acupuncture has no basis in material science to explain its efficacy. It might still be considered a fringe fad practiced by gullible granolas if it hadn't been for former President Nixon agreeing to get treated with it on his first visit to China in 1975 and finding that it worked, although it didn't straighten out the crooked parts of him, unfortunately.

Homeopathy, practiced for 150 years by the non-gullible Europeans is another example. There are other paradoxical, anomolous, efficacious, "paranormal" practices in the cultures of China, Tibet, India, the Amazon and North American natives.


From: Vancouver | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Terry Johnson
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posted 04 September 2002 06:57 PM      Profile for Terry Johnson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I like TommyP's utility of credulity thesis. I think there is some truth to it: people who are better and quicker at discerning patterns in nature will head down a lot of wrong roads, but every now and then one will hit the road to Oz. But I think the real problem is the very human propensity to overvalue sunken costs: once we have invested time and energy in a thesis or idea, we are loath to discard it, even when all the evidence says we're wrong.

I just hope my fondness for Marx's labour theory of value doesn't fall into that category.

quote:
It might still be considered a fringe fad practiced by gullible granolas if it hadn't been for former President Nixon agreeing to get treated with it on his first visit to China in 1975 and finding that it worked, although it didn't straighten out the crooked parts of him, unfortunately.

Actually, it wasn't Nixon but NY Times journalist James Reston, who was covering the Nixon trip, who received acupuncture. I'll quote from the July 1997 issue of The Skeptical Inquirer:

quote:
When columnist James Reston required an emergency appendectomy during Nixon's visit, he was widely, though erroneously, believed to have been given only acupuncture as a pain killer during the surgery. It was not until much later that it was revealed that the Chinese surgical patients observed by foreign delegations had been preselected for high pain tolerance and heavily indoctrinated beforehand.4 It was also disclosed that these demonstration cases were routinely administered surreptitious doses of morphine in an intravenous drip that supposedly contained only hydrating and nourishing fluids (Keng and Tao 1985). In addition, it has since come to light that much of the apparently objective and well-controlled research on TCM emanating from Chinese medical schools during the tumultuous era of the cultural revolution (1966-1976) was falsified at the behest of the hospitals' scientifically unqualified political commissars to ensure that the "research" would support the party line.

As for homeopathy, it is widely practised in Europe. But that's not much of an argument for its efficacy. Europeans do lots of silly things.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Terry Johnson
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posted 04 September 2002 08:42 PM      Profile for Terry Johnson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Ever hear the phrase "Quick! call a philosopher!" ?

Actually, a philosophy prof who specalised in medical ethics at the unviersity I attended did get called in for consults on treatment and other ethical questions, and even carried a hospital pager. Probably, at some point, someone did yell out, "Quick! Call the philosopher!"

But I agree with your point, of course.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Pogo
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posted 04 September 2002 11:34 PM      Profile for Pogo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A friend of mine has a gig as a philosopher/consultant at Riverview. He gets to offer opinions on a variety of issues. The one he told me about was whether a book on self inflicted injuries could be kept in the hospital library (I think they decided it could as no one needs a book to figure out what a razor blade will do).
From: Richmond BC | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
TommyPaineatWork
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posted 05 September 2002 12:58 AM      Profile for TommyPaineatWork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Probably, at some point, someone did yell out, "Quick! Call the philosopher!"

.....Probably because someone else needed the
pager....

quote:
people who are better and quicker at discerning patterns in nature will head down a lot of wrong roads, but every now and then one will hit the road to Oz.

Like Norman Mailer, sometimes words fail me. That's pretty much what I was trying to get at with my "utility of credulity" idea, but couldn't quite spit it out.


From: London | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged

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