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Monday, April 9, 2012

Dogma of Stupid: LSD to treat Alcoholism

So I was under the foolish assumption that education was about learning - learning being the process where you conduct activity, make mistakes, use those mistakes as feedback to correct behavior and/or assumptions, and, in the end, discover something new.
Wikipedia says "Learning is acquiring new, or modifying existing, knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences and may involve synthesizing different types of information."

I have to take issue with this definition because its not so clear on what "acquiring" involves.

My guess, based on this WSJ article, is that in today's world "acquiring" involves mostly "being told what to think."

Now I wonder how that works for riding a bicycle?  Don't you have to work at it in order to learn how to balance and steer?  Same with a car - I know of no "driver's ed" where you are simply "told" how to drive.

But at least in science there seems to be little room for anything but the "standard dogma."

To wit, in Tennessee, according to the linked article new legislation would "allow teachers to question "the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses" of theories "including, but not limited to, biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning."

Imagine - a law stating that you don't have to spout the traditional dogma - whatever that might be...

So what's the point of my comment on this?

Well, for one thing, at least in my opinion, when no one questions standard dogma you get science like this: "LSD May Help Alcoholics Stay Off Booze."  (And yes, its "acid" from the 1960's we are talking about...)

According to these "scientists" LSD is "...  safe and nonaddictive, although it could carry acute psychiatric adverse events such as anxiety and confusion."

For me its hard to imagine trading an alcohol addiction for dependence in some for or other on LSD - a substance which does not always bring out the best in people.

Here's a nice example of what an LSD dose does to someone from the 1950's (when LSD was a "legal" substance).

Now having spent many hours in bars playing music I am used to conversations with heavy drinkers - especially after a long night out.  I really don't see much of a difference between the effects of LSD in this movie and those bar conversations.  The women's reaction to LSD appears to match common side effects of LSD - disorientation, strange visualizations, and so on (the classic "Timothy Leary" symptoms).

But this woman and her LSD trip are not what I am concerned. about:  "Modern science" says LSD is "safe and nonaddictive" for alcoholism treatment?

Would you want this woman under the influence of LSD driving your child's school bus?  A car?  Performing medical tests on you?

I doubt it.

So what's wrong with these "researchers" suggesting that this is better than alcoholism?

My belief is that the "researchers" were the product of modern dogma-based education where things like "alcoholism is bad" and "smoking is bad" are beaten into children's heads like drum beats for 12 or more years.

The problem with this drum beat is that it offers no model to think about what the real problem is or what a reasonable solution might be.  No one in their right mind would simply trade one addiction problem for another.

How about spending some time learning about addictive personalities.

How about understanding what's driving the person to drink the first place?

How about thinking what little Jr. will do when the local "LSD" shop opens up down the road from the school.

But that's not what these researchers think about.

No big picture thinking.

And little wonder because they were not taught to think for themselves.

No questioning.  No free thinking.  No reasoning out solutions to hard problems.

All because "education" is delivered as a nice, thought-out-in-advance package of pablum for ready consumption by untrained and unthinking fools.

And worse, evil Republicans have to pass a law to simply allow a discussion of opposing scientific view.

As they say in England this is barking mad.

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