Anders Sandberg (
Thu, 24 Apr 1997 07:40:01 +0200 (MET DST)

On Wed, 23 Apr 1997, MikeRose wrote:

> Why not? I think the issue of placebos is very interesting. I'm sure if
> 51% of the world actively pursuaded the other 49% that a pill could solve
> depression, anxiety or even cancer, then the 49% would receive relief from
> symptoms almost instantly.

Well, placebo is good but not that good. I have no doubt most of the 49%
would feel better, especially in the case of depression and anxiety. When
it comes to somatic illness it sometimes works, sometimes it don't.

> I'm sure most extropians believe that the state of the body is
> inextricably linked with mind state. So why not the `belly-button' cure?

I think we are already relying heavily on placebos when we invoke the
mighty powers of antioxidants, melatonin and rational thinking :-)

Unfortunately placebos work better for people with slightly negative
initial schemata; since a part of their problem is entirely a matter of
attitude they can get an immediate effect, which enhances their faith in
the placebo, making it even more effective. Since most extropians try to
use mainly positive schemata we miss this effect.

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y