Sunday, June 6, 2010

Viking Medical Care: Homœopathy edition

ITTDGY asks in earlier comments about homœopathy.
Tempting though it is to plagiarise someone else's explanation of the theory, let us APPLY SCIENCE instead. We take a sample of that explanation and dilute it with a 10-times-larger sample of biologically-inert words, shaking the mixture violently ('succussion') to randomise the order:
Orbs (zorb akvavit painting arm iodine) experimenting combination mescal methylene succussion, zorb akvavit painting arm iodine experimenting combination mescal methylene, orbs serial akvavit painting arm iodine. Experimenting combination mescal methylene orbs zorb, dilution painting arm. Iodine experimenting combination mescal methylene orbs, zorb akvavit striking, arm iodine experimenting combination mescal methylene orbs zorb. Akvavit painting dilution iodine experimenting. Combination mescal methylene orbs zorb akvavit.

Painting arm repertoires experimenting combination, mescal methylene orbs zorb akvavit painting arm iodine. Increases combination mescal methylene
orbs zorb akvavit painting, arm iodine experimenting totality mescal. Methylene orbs zorb, akvavit painting arm, iodine experimenting combination remedies methylene orbs zorb, akvavit-painting arm, iodine experimenting.

Combination mescal molecules orbs zorb akvavit painting arm iodine experimenting combination. Mescal methylene memory zorb akvavit, painting arm iodine experimenting combination. Mescal-methylene
orbs water.
Homœopathic science predicts that this derived explanation will be more potent than the original. If it isn't entirely convincing than we need to repeat the process of dilution. Very soon there will be no words remaining of the original text but that doesn't matter because the succussion causes the diluting words to acquire a form of molecular memory from the diluted ones. The only hitch is that we don't know what the text actually explains. This has to be determined by a process of 'proving' where a panel of homœopaths read it and see how it has affected them.¹

Vikings were well aware of all this. Here Thor prepares a remedy for axe injuries by succussing a 10C dilution of axe steel.

However, no-one ever described Thor as the brightest of the Æsir and he was never entirely clear on the concept of dilution, i.e. you don't have to drink the entire diluted dose.

Here Ragnar Hairybreeks visits the homœopathic apothecary to pick up a prescription of Berlin Wall to treat his feelings of powerless, oppression and negative energy.² The depraved perspective of the materia medica on the shelves is Lorentz contraction, a relativistic effect indicating that the woodcut artist was travelling close to light speed at the time.

Via Orac we learn of a homœopathic remedy consisting of diluted magnetic monopoles. I have no idea what symptoms it treats. The same German supplier also deals in Lux Solis britannicae, i.e. a preparation of English sunlight, which I would have thought was already quite homœopathic enough. So far no-one offers a homœopathic 12X dilution of "petrified hadrosaur pelvis containing a .375 bullet",³ which would probably be good for treating something -- unwanted time travel perhaps -- though the hard part would be translating it into Latin.

¹ For contemporary provings it is enough for the panel to meditate upon the text without reading it and delineate its effects that way.

² 'Berlin Wall' is a preparation of a piece of concrete, stone, steel and surface graffiti from the actual wall, ground up with lactose in a succession of 1-in-50000 solid lactose dilutions. Available in solid or liquid form.

³ Calibre fixed in updates.


mikey said...

I'm almost afraid to ask, but what, Professor Smut, can we expect from Homeopathic Pizza?

I'm asking, as you might have guessed, for a friend.

Also, didn't the Romans quantify the bore diameter of their siege engines? One would think that .375 H&H (Yes, sadly, the petrified slug embedded in the Hadrisaur pelvis is quite clearly from a .375 H&H double rifle. No one in their right mind would face a six ton Hadrisaur with a pistol.) would have SOME equivalent in Latin. More research is required...

Smut Clyde said...

Calibre fixed.
Don't know about siege machines. Whackyweedia reckons that Roman lead slingshot bolts were roughly 20-mm calibre, but they didn't take advantage of the casting process to standardise them.

Substance McGravitas said...

Via Orac we learn of a homœopathic remedy consisting of diluted magnetic monopoles. I have no idea what symptoms it treats.


AEthelblarg said...

Polio, obviously.

I would have thought Poli-one.

Substance McGravitas said...

Polio, obviously.

Polio jokes are beyond the pale.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

A dilution of uniped arrows is good for the kidneys.

Another Kiwi said...

I would vouchsafe that a quick reading of the berlin Wall page would cause bats to look at their poo with new respect i.e. "you may be crazy but not that.