User talk:Hayford Peirce/Archive 5

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I think you'll enjoy this article

"Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan." — Chris Day 18:00, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Yup, thank you, Chris. I think if you look at a *lot* of 1930s writing, by even very *great* writers and stylists such as Evelyn Waugh, you find the word "which" being misused with great frequency. For the Brits they seemed to be, and often still are, completely interchangeable. All I can do is fight today's battles, hehe, without having to take on FDR.... Hayford Peirce 18:26, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
If you're in the mood see what you think of this (Talk:Homeopathy#Wording). Warning, we're revisiting old turf here. Chris Day 18:28, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
Being somewhat cynical, I suspect some of this is a bit of a shell game. On a number of occasions, when pressed about how a homeopath approaches something, the pea shifts under the shell of "well, they also use medical training, to the extent that they have it." This would not be unreasonable if homeopaths were more open to the idea of complementary, rather than alternative medicine, but the most difficult areas to understand seem to be when someone is a "classic", no-other-valid-system homeopath. I remain unconvinced that anyone is willing or capable to give a non-mystical explanation of what any medically oriented person considers the cognitive process in homeopathic diagnosis and treatment. Being told to go read a homeopathy book is about as specific as an answer as "read our holy book, assuming it is holy, and sincerely pray for guidance." (No specific holy book or $DEITY assumed) Howard C. Berkowitz 20:01, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
Besides, no homeopathy goes into the quantum mechanics in any detail. From what I have seen we are often looking at marketing strategies and buzzwords. :) Chris Day 20:31, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
Ah'll trust quantum mechanics when I see Heisenberg win, or not win, at NASCAR. Seriously, I suspect we are seeing two traditions. One is applying sympathetic magic, which, if examined from a mind-body standpoint, isn't always totally unreasonable. Psychoneuroimmunology can show some data. Within a cultural context, shamanic healers do seem to get effects, and, at least to Michael Harner, described something that was a not-irrational approach to psychosomatic medicine.
The other branch is based on FUD, and very much benefits, either in money, ego or both, from attacking medicine. Howard C. Berkowitz 20:37, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
Of course there are all the positive studies, despite the fact they are not widely reproducible :) In my opinion the lack of reproducibility being due to human error on the part of the skeptical experimenters seems doubtful. My main reason is that the off the shelf remedies are robust enough to be sold without a consultation. If it is true that there are remedies this robust and effective it is hard to imagine that a slam dunk trial does not exist where the remedy is not consistently and unequivocally better than a placebo.
In summary, take a noisy experimental system and a good dose of conformation bias and the world is your oyster. Every scientist i know has conformation bias when interpreting data. It is a fact of life and good reason to be cautious when interpreting the work of others, and ones own work. This is true whether the data confirms or refutes your position. Chris Day 20:31, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
This evening, I happened to be picking up some horrible allopathic prescriptions, and, while I was waiting in line, noticed a "flu season" display rack. Among the usual (and fairly useless) over-the-counter preparations was a box of Oscillococcinum. Curious, I picked it up, and read the directions and disclosures. Like any FDA approved products, it carefully listed the inert ingredients, including things that aren't always inert, such as lactose and dyes. One active ingredient was listed. Now, I could pick up any other OTC preparation, read the active ingredients, and even if I didn't know the specific drug, I'd know, from the now WHO-approved nonproprietary naming system, its pharmacologic class. On Oscillococcinum, however, there was a burst of Latin that, had I not known what it actually was, would have been utterly mystified, other than perhaps recognizing a cognate of duck (as in quack, quack, which irony is immense).
Was it sometime in the sixties when pharmacies actually would tell the patient the name of the drug? I remember, as a precocious pharmacologist, conning the information over the phone, but there certainly was considerable secrecy about medicine. Over several decades, however, there has been a generally good tendency to make information available, although sometimes hard for a layman to interpret. The Latinate names have been deprecated for years due to their potential for error.
Yet homeopaths make a point of using Latin names, even for something as trivial as sodium chloride. Might one ask why they continue to use a "secret language"? Is it that the homeopath is the authority and the patient dare not question, which is what I tend to hear when I ask specific questions? To mix metaphors, what is the Wizard of Oz really wearing under the emperor's new clothes? Dare anyone (I'm too controversial) ask, bluntly, why are homeopaths so secretive about what they do but so "authoritatively" condemning of biomedicine"? Howard C. Berkowitz 00:14, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
Didn't the Catholic church do all their services in latin until recently? I have seen arguments that this was a convenient tool to make the bible less accessible to the masses. Can't remember where now. In that case i presume there was a power struggle mentality between the secular authority and the papal authority. Am I dreaming up this argument or is there any basis in history for this? Chris Day 00:27, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
(shifting margin) Religious usage gets interesting. Several religions use non-vernacular (e.g., Church Latin, decidedly non-modern Hebrew, and a specific dialect of Arabic) for the rationale that there can be a single teaching. Religious study is considered an honor and duty for Jews, but the primary sources are in Hebrew. I understand that Jesuit seminaries often deliberately use Attic Greek or Church Latin to teach theology and philosophy, so that language evolution doesn't change meaning. As I understand, only Arabic versions of the Qu'ran are considered accurate, and any Muslim who can read it gains status. Remember that when the Church was developing liturgy, clerics were about the only people who were literate.
In other words, some of these practices may be more like the use of IUPAC notation in chemistry — it's precise, and not secret to anyone who wants to learn it. Now, I can remember, as a young'un having an adult library card by special dispensation, still having to get an additional stamp to give me access to the literally locked medical shelves (this being in the fifties).
"Tradition" has been mentioned, in the article, as a reason for homeopathic nomenclature. Something that has not been mentioned at all: are there provings of new homeopathic remedies? Do homeopaths do the internal equivalent of new drug development, or do they consider their materia medica immaculately conceived complete and needing no additions? After all, Ebola fever and acute radiation syndrome are just collections of symptoms, right? Antibiotic resistance is irrelevant if you don't believe in antibiotics.... Howard C. Berkowitz 00:42, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

[complete the indent] Interesting perspective on the religious use of language. Makes sense. As for new remedies, is there a remedy for AIDS? I assume that collection of symptoms is fairly unique and therefore would require a new proving? Chris Day 00:56, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Go look at Ramanand's webpage, where he talks about homeopaths who "healed" HIV/AIDS, although it was for a whole three months, and I vaguely remember mention of undefined laboratory confirmation. Of course, it's reasonably possible to get zero viral load with HAART, and many patients stayed virus-free for a year or so after ceasing treatment, is a lot more solid — yet they all eventually had viral recurrence with the genetically identical strain, which hid somewhere. Actually, given all the different clinical presentation of AIDS, I wonder why classical homeopaths would even recognize it? After all, while a clinical diagnosis could be made on Kaposi's sarcoma, or whatever the new name is for Pneumocystis carinii, or cytomegalovirus, the definition also requires a depressed CD4 lymphocyte count and HIV seropositivity. Do they do the latter two? Howard C. Berkowitz 01:05, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
The disruption in the vital energy has a specific signature that identifies depressed CD4 lymphocyte count and HIV seropositivity. At least that is probably what the quantum homeomechanicists will say. But to get to your point, a remedy must exist. So recent provings occured? Chris Day 01:10, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
Or do they just match the AIDS symptoms to their best proving from the original set of 3000? And if so I presume each patient would get a different remedy for AIDS? Chris Day 01:18, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
My guess, given there were no details, that most of the patients got different remedies. Trying to use their term of art, though, as far as I can tell, there's a materia medica that identifies about 3000 remedies. The pharmacopeia has 3000 formulas for making the remedies. I don't know if there's more than one of each of those books. There do seem to be multiple repertories that say which remedy goes with which symptom, or, in some that I've looked at, with certain "personalities" or "colors" or suchlike. What I have not been able to tell if provings have been done, since the early days of homeopathy, on any new substances. There have been some experiments using homeopathic dilutions of histamine, which certainly wasn't available to Hahnemann, but it's not clear if those went through formal provings or are used in routine homeopathic practice.
The repertory, incidentally, includes "anemia" among "symptoms", which confuses the hell out of Matt Innis, who gave me the link. How can a macrocytic anemia be a "symptom"? It's a laboratory result that may not have any visible manifestations -- quite a few occult bleeds, tumors, etc., get picked up on a routine CBC in patients getting screening exams and having no complaints.
But do homeopaths only rely on natural substances, or might, as soon as some folate antagonist or TNF-alpha monoclonal antibody becomes available, do provings on it and add it to their lists of remedies? Would homeopathic doses of cisplatin be good for nausea? What about newly discovered natural sources? I tell you that I was righteously annoyed when the giant squid was superceded by the colossal squid, only recently found (I had an Invisible Playmate of a floating giant squid when i was around 4). Did anyone try to do a proving with Supersquid to find out what symptoms it might produce? I'm really curious about this -- there's lots of talk about trials where homeopathic remedies challenge medical ones, but do homeopaths themselves try for improving their remedies, doing efficacy comparisons, etc.? No comparison with medicine -- just evidence-based homeopathy, homeopathic new drugs, etc. Do you have any sense that this goes on? Howard C. Berkowitz 01:57, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
Sortakinda update: [1]. The link to the proving of the light from the planet Venus is broken. Did I just say that? It sounds like an identification line from a really bad spy movie. Howard C. Berkowitz 02:17, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
You know, what *I'd* really like to see are some accurate numbers on how many 'Merkins (admittedly a pretty dumb bunch of primates) actually *use* homeopathy as a primary treatment. Ie, yesterday I saw my primary for the second time this year (normally I see him once a year) in order for him to burn off one little white spot on my arm with his handy little bottle of liquid nitrogen (?). If I were a rabid homeo-believer, would I have him/her do a "remedy" for this little white spot (which, of course, could eventually become *much* more dangerous), or would I be sent to a dermo, or what? I remember a couple of years ago when my wonderful supermarket next door sold out to those imbeciles in Colorado (I think) and it was renamed Wild Oats and they put in an *enormous* section of homeopathic bottles (at $20 a bottle) to replace the canned tomatoes and other useful items, and I would see, to my wonderment, dozens of people browsing up and down the aisles actually *buying* this stuff! And once one of the section ladies shouted at me: "There are double-blind tests, you know!" I was *so* happy to see the miserable store fail and be shut down. Even though Whole Foods bought the other branches.... Hayford Peirce 01:28, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
When I lived in Dallas, we had a Wild Oats with idiotic signs in the produce department about how they didn't use irradiated produce, depicting atomic bombs with the legend "NO NUKES IN OUR CUKES!" But yeah, unfortunately, not only Whole Paycheck but also CVS and such are profiting from That Very Expensive (But Very Pure) Water. Bruce M.Tindall 02:09, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
Hayford, do you get a sense that homeopaths, at least the pure ones, have a sense of urgency about anything? Are there emergency homeopaths?
Well, yeah, that's sorta what I was getting at. If something *really* bad starts happening at 3 in the morning, do I go to the homeo-ER or just the regular one? Or call my primary homeo-doc at home (maybe they're still like regular doctors were 50 years ago)? Or what? I gotta say that after spending about 2.5 years recently with my GF of the time who had had a semi-minor auto accidnet seeing about every friggin' doctor of every friggin' specialty in Tucson (metropolitan area, 950,000 ppl), about the only doctors we *didn't* see were homeop. -- so no matter *what* was going on, no one advised us to go see one of *them*.... Hayford Peirce 03:26, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
Vaguely apropos, one of the unwritten Laws of Emergency Medicine is "it is impossible to diagnose abdominal pain, without at least three consultations, in a female who conceivably could conceive."
Now, for the record, one of the what-ifs of my life, which objectively I can't feel guilty about but tell my emotions, is that I hadn't talked to an inlaw (stepfatherinlaw #2.5 [2nd husband of 2nd wife's mother]), who was like a father to me, for about 2 weeks. My MIL said he was "feeling poorly" with a backache, and had been resting when not seeing his chiropractor. I didn't push getting him on the phone. Eventually, I got a call from him, sounding weak, and he described the pain. What he described was so characteristic of visceral pain that I told him he might want to call 911 if his wife wasn't stable enough to take him to the ER right now
It turned out he was calling from ICU, having been sent there from ER a few hours before. It was pretty optimistic that he was in ICU at all; they had a firm diagnosis of a significant tear of an aneurysm of the abdominal aorta, the closest heart surgeons were 2-4 hours away, and he never would survive the drive. At least I talked to him one last time; he died during the night. Now, had he been in Houston at the time (that was the nearest cardiac center), there still would have been a 50 percent chance he'd die on the table. Still, the chiropractor had been treating him for a "backache" and adjusting him for two weeks, without ever suggesting a medical consult on what, to me, was a condition that should have put him into "emergent" in any ER triage.
So, while I will use true complementary medicine myself, I have a bit of a personal button about CAM practitioners — or physicians — that don't know when to call for help. Aside from any professional observing I've done in ERs, I've lived with severe asthmatics with a history of anaphylaxis; our bedroom had the drugs and equipment for about anything short of endotracheal intubation, and we had one horrible ER two blocks away, 2 very good ones within 5 miles, and paramedic response times of 4 minutes. Maybe this helps explain why I got a little blunt with Ramanand and respiratory emergencies.Howard C. Berkowitz 03:47, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

I started respiratory emergencies when Ramanand was going on about trying to decide if help should be called -- I did not have a sense there was anything that would be a blazing red light until the life-threatening condition was ruled out, rather than waiting to see if the remedy did something. Little example of "index of suspicion" here: a month or so ago, a housemate mentioned she had had two nosebleeds in the day (unusual), but then said "I have a terrible headache". Now, she does have chronic migraine, but I asked her not to move (well, she is in a wheelchair) until I could take her blood pressure, and I'll tell you I was scared. Those were the last words of FDR, and many people dying of an acute brain bleed will say something like "this is the worst headache of my life." Combined with a nosebleed, which also can be a signal of extreme blood pressure elevation, I will say I was really scared until I took her BP and found it normal. Even a full paramedic ambulance may not have the right drugs for intervening. Howard C. Berkowitz 01:57, 10 December 2008 (UTC)


Just got the skinny on AIDS and homeopathy. Sounds like they use traditional remedies and some new ones based on various growth factors. This latter set have undergone provings according to Dana.

"Several new homeopathic sarcodes have been prepared from recombinant human growth factors, several of which have not only been potentized, but have undergone homeopathic drug provings, and have been tested through randomized, double-blinded, placebo controlled clinical studies." Ullman D., 2003, Controlled clinical trials evaluating the homeopathic treatment of people with human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome. J Altern Complement Med 9:: 133–41.This review has been cited only once by Nyamathi A, Singh VP, Lowe A, et al. (2008 ) Knowledge and attitudes about HIV/AIDS among homoeopathic practitioners and educators in India in EVIDENCE-BASED COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE 5 (2) 221-225.

Traditional remedies according to Rastogi DP, Singh V, Dey SK et al. Research studies in HIV infection with homoeopathic treatment. CCRH Q Bull 1993;15:1–6. They did a trial with 100 patients and used a total of 25 different remedies based on the "totality" of the symptoms. Chris Day 02:46, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Interesting. Placebo controlled, eh? The current Declaration of Helsinki says it is unethical to use a placebo control group when there is an established treatment considered of some demonstrated value. Ramanand's...interesting...web page on this [2]] mentions a 1999 placebo controlled trial.
I am by no means an HIV specialist, but there are some glaring things in the material he gives both in his own discussion of HIV and of the trial. First, he mentions Western Blot as "more accurate" than PCR. Ummm...that is very arguable, depending on what you mean by accuracy. PCR measures viral load and is more sensitive to active infection. Western blot measures antibodies, so it becomes positive later; it can be said is more specific than ELISA, which is a fairly low-cost screening test. As far as the study, it's a 3-month trial, which is too short to prove much of anything. Also, it was in 1999, and, while the no-placebo rule might not have been in the Declaration of Helsinki version in the late nineties, I doubt seriously any human research board in the U.S. would have consented to a placebo-controlled trial of any experimental treatment of clinical disease.
As I say, the site is interesting. Don't miss the finding of lost things, which may not be applicable to items in CZ articles. Howard C. Berkowitz 03:14, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
The 1999 trial is by the same group I mentioned above: Rastogi DP, Singh VP, Singh V, Dey SK, Rao K. 1999 Homeopathy in HIV infection: a trial report of double-blind placebo controlled study. Br Homeopath J. Apr;88(2):49-57. PMID 10335412 Chris Day 03:24, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
So, homeopaths reporting their results to other homeopaths, not anyone in the tiny mainstream of AIDS research? Pfui. When the abstract shows very questionable methodology and ethics...Howard C. Berkowitz 03:47, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

More info on the homeopathic growth factors from:

Brewitt B, Traub M, Hangee-Bauer C, Patrick L, Standish LJ. 2002 Homeopathic growth factors as treatment for HIV: Recovery of homeostasis and functional immune system. In: Standish LJ, Calabrese C, Galantino ML, eds. AIDS and Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Current Science and Practice, p126–146. Philadelphia: Churchill Livingstone

Study included 77 people with AIDS who used only natural therapies and no antivirals or steroids

Homeopathic preparations of the following growth factors: insulin-like growth factor-1, platelet-derived growth factor BB, transforming growth factor b-1, and granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factors.

Prepared homeopathically to the 30C, 200C, and/or 1M potencies. Dose was 10 drops three times per day from each of three potencies or placebo.

I have not read this study but it is summarized in Dana's review cited above. According to him this study found:

Assayed factors Treatment
homeopathic growth factors placebo or natural medicines
Physical no loss of lean mass lose 3.5 pounds
20% of the subjects with more than 5% weight loss at study entry achieved ideal body weight 8–16 weeks later. no positive physical changes toward ideal body weight.
Immunologic reproducible stability or increases in CD4 counts, significant losses of CD4 counts approximately 85 cells per microliter (p50.03)
naive lymphocytes (CD45) that are resistant to HIV infection increased by 19 cells per microliter in 1 month

HAART takes more than 36 months to achieve an increase in CD45 cells of 50 cells per microliter

HIV viral load continually declined 20.3 log over 8 weeks and 20.7 log over 52 weeks, (p, 0.01) increasing viral loads
no hospitalizations or new opportunistic infections during the 2.5 year follow-up 25% and 40% hospitalizations and opportunistic infections (even with HAART)
Neurologic normalized measures in electrical con-

ductance at the extremities after 8–12 weeks

Metabolic healthier levels of liver enzymes
Quality-of-life statistically significant improvement using Medical Outcomes Study, specifically ability to complete daily routines

Chris Day 04:16, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

I gather that when you put something in small, it is your...ahem...small way to call attention to a bit of questionable methodology, analysis, or other piddly technical stuff?
Unfortunately, I don't have, as far as I know, access to any of the data bases that indicate how frequently an article has been cited by others. Since I expect to be doing some volunteer reference librarian work at the municipal library in the new year, that may improve. When papers, such as Dana's or the papers Dana cites, are cited by very few others, and those others might not be of the status of Science or Nature or NEJM, that's a subtle but significant point. There are, I believe, some formal methods of judging the significance of a paper that way; I should learn them.
So far, I am immensely unimpressed with what I've seen in the statistical strength of anything homeopathic. Clinical trial populations tend to be in the tens, versus an equivalent phase medical study in the thousands. Study durations are very short, as with this AIDS study — I'm guessing here, but I don't think any reputable AIDS journal, even the interim reporting ones, are likely to consider anything less than a couple of years significant.
I'm also concerned that this study compares to placebo rather than HAART, which was the gold standard during at least part of the study period.
In what you cite, how can one make a serious comparison of a 3 month change, versus something that takes 36 months? Phased differently, how do I know that 3 month change isn't transient? There doesn't seem to be any followup; that's almost 10 years ago, and one would think that if they could make those results verifiable for several years, it would be published a lot more widely than in homeopathy journals. Maybe I'm too trusting of medical journals, which certainly have publication bias. Still, with AIDS in particular, I can't believe an activist group such as Act-Up wouldn't have found out and been hitting the mass media. Am I missing something?
Oh, if the viral load disappeared in a month, that would get attention, but it would be only preliminary, because there have been too many disappointments when HAART got viral load to zero, the treatment was stopped, but the virus always came back, with exactly the same DNA. Nobody knows where it hides, but it wasn't new infection. I'm sure everyone would be delighted if a regimen could be found that did a year or two of HAART, with its side effects, and then was able to switch to a lower-dose, less toxic regimen that kept the virus suppressed. Even if that maintenance therapy were homeopathic eye of newt, if it kept virus load near or at zero, and CD4 count up to normal, we wouldn't have a cure, but we'd have a whole new quality of life.
Unfortunately, these are rather nuanced points that I see no way to get into the homeopathy article, where there may be much statistical sleight of hand.Howard C. Berkowitz 04:59, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
Small print is just an aside point for reference, i.e. that only one person has cited Dana's review would indicate that people are not getting too excited by homeopathy being useful in treating AIDS. In the table above it is not my commentary, it was in Dana's review. The Brewitt chapter is at Can you get into that? I did not read it but just used Dana's analysis. I'm not sure why she did not publish the study in a journal. Chris Day 05:23, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Oh this is just rich. I did a google on Barbara Brewitt and discovered that she is the founder, CEO and Chief Scientific Officer at Seattle based Biomed Comm Inc. According to the front page of the web site she is innocent of charges that she was ‘practicing medicine without a license’. I love the the banner on her web site where she describes herself as a world renowned medical scientist. Chris Day 05:33, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

I have mixed feelimgs. This may more than Gareth wants to know. Well, we shall see what comes overnight from Caifornia and India. Howard C. Berkowitz 05:45, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't think Gareth is naive. Besides, a good, but neutral, homeopathy article is a worthy goal to differentiate this project from others. It should be possible to do this without it being a vehicle to endorse homeopathy. Chris Day 05:51, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Great interview with Brewitt here: Her GH remedies are starting phase II trials. She talks at length about how her remedies work. In her own words.

"If we can bring the chi or the electrical potential back to balance over and over and over again we can retrain the body to know how to do that. The body normally does that regularly, the situation where a person has, quote, a disease they are out of balance and they have forgotten how to come back to balance. In HIV there are two oscillating components: the lymphocytes and the virus. Research has shown that people who are sick have very disturbed oscillatory frequencies that are much higher and it takes longer for them to correct. In HIV where its normal rhythm (cycle of replication, thriving, and death) is two days, it has also speeded up the CD4 lymphocytes oscillatory rhythm, so, their cell turn over is now much higher than it used to be before HIV. The immune system, in an HIV infected individual, is replicating a billion new CD4 lymphocytes every two days, thus changing the physiology and metabolism to a higher level than before. At this rate the CD4's will eventually go into chaos and drive the immune system to destroy itself."
"It is a well known in chaos theory if you have two oscillating components one will go into chaos and the way to rescue that is to bring in a third oscillatory component. This study introduces a third oscillatory component that will retrain the immune system to oscillate normally, chaos ends and if that becomes the dominant oscillation it will drive HIV into chaos, then HIV will collapse and the virus can no longer survive."

The author is pretty excited about this new research. — Chris Day 06:15, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

I wish Martin Gardner [3] was still reading this sort of stuff and writing devastating book reviews about it. Wow! He would have a field day! Hayford Peirce 16:14, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

On Chaos Theory

Would this also be true?

"It is a well known in chaos theory if you have two oscillating politicians one will go into chaos and the way to rescue that is to bring in a third oscillatory poltician. This study introduces a third oscillatory politician that will retrain the political system to oscillate normally, chaos ends and if that becomes the dominant oscillation it will drive the electoral competion into chaos, then the political fighting will collapse and the nation can longer survive."

Did this just happen? If so, what was the sequence of oscillatory politicians? Do oscillatory talking heads into this? Is this all too complex for mere chaos theory?

As a slight bit of amusement, when I studied formal propaganda analysis, especially Soviet, it was a general rule that any statement starting "It is well known" should be ignored. Howard C. Berkowitz 16:31, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

It is well know that water memory and Obama mania function in a similar manner. I suspect that his quantum spin will slow down the current political chaos. It is also well known that an anarchist friend of mine suggested that it would be better still to dilute the whole government for a more potent fix. Chris Day 18:56, 10 December 2008 (UTC)


Hey Hayford, sorry for hijacking your talk page. I have no idea how that happened. :) Chris Day 06:02, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

No hoohah, cobber. This way it makes it easier for me to keep in touch with what's going on, hehe.... Hayford Peirce 16:08, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

CZ French

Hi Hayford, as I understand, the French project would require editors to start. Do you known if CZ is actually looking for editors ? Do you known if there is any search action in process ? If yes, do you known which profile is required (French + English editing expertise, or only French editing expertise ?). Sorry for these naïve and global questions ! Friendly. Thierry Henri Cauchois 22:07, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Salut, le copain! I really know nothing more about it than what I've read in various Forum discussions over the last year or so. Here's *one* discussion:
maybe some of the other people are more knowledgeable than I, but I think that for the moment there simply aren't enough resources and/or manpower. One thing you might do, is to post your questions in the Forum. Or even email your ideas/proposals/whatnot directly to Larry.... Hayford Peirce 22:39, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
Hi Hayford, thanks for these info ; I have read the two discussions once more ; I will raise a question to Larry. Frendly. Thierry Henri Cauchois 13:25, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Fusion cuisines

Henry Kissinger defined German-Chinese food as something that is satisfying when eaten, but, half an hour later, leaves you hungry for power.

Seriously, the point about Vietnam is that it is one of those societies that absorbs from conquerors but maintains its own identity. Howard C. Berkowitz 00:29, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

I don't think that it is a very profound comment on his part -- the same thing is undoubtedly true of any given country. Think of Thailand with a million different influences on its cuisine from all parts of the world. Sure, they use curry and knives and forks and eat potatoes and noodles. So what? Hayford Peirce 00:41, 28 December 2008 (UTC)


I am counting on you to check my grammer! D. Matt Innis 21:04, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

It'll be my plezure.... Hayford Peirce 22:08, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Sorry for the change of mind. Let's just move forward from where it was. D. Matt Innis 23:08, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

No problem. I myself feel that it's fine as it stands -- it says "homeopaths assert that Hippo etc.". I don't know what Martin finds so objectionable about that. In an article about Flatearthers, we could say, with perfect truth, "Flatearthers assert that the earth is flat." I made my proposal simply because I was tired of seeing this argument go around and around. Hayford Peirce 23:11, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

Your sis

Hey Hayford, what did your sis, the former Astrology Guru, have to say about genethlialogy? (Or did you have a bit too much Bourgogne over dinner so that you forgot?) --Paul Wormer 16:37, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Oh, I didn't make it clear, I guess -- she's coming for a two-week visit in February, not for dinner a couple of nights ago. Sorry. But I *will* try to ask her. In fact, I'll email her right now and ask her to remind me about it when she's here.... Best! Hayford Peirce 17:05, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
How come I think of dinner and French wines when you talk about guests? --Paul Wormer 13:34, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

It worries me...

when I find I'm writing Gestapo when you are doing Soup-Nazi. I wonder if the Columba Haus canteen served soup to the staff? Howard C. Berkowitz 22:20, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Just as long as the Three Martins (including Herr Bormann) aren't serving the soup! Hayford Peirce 22:35, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Signed Article

Hayford, your article discussing the age of Matt Helm has disappeared from the internet. Do you know if there is an alternative look. Or possibly you could add to CZ as a signed article at Matt Helm/Signed Articles/Hayford Peirce? Chris Day 16:22, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps Helm's agency has had words with Hayford? Is the similarities of names to Richard Helms mere coincidence? Howard C. Berkowitz 17:30, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Chris -- thanks for bringing this up! I just did a google and found a new link to it at: Could you change the link for me? Many thanks! Hayford Peirce 17:47, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Howard, I remember that when James Earl Ray was on the run, he had used the phony Eric Stavro Galt and Newsweek or someone speculated that Eric came from the code name for Matt Helm, Stavro from the James Bond books, and Galt from You Know Where. Hehe. In my first novel (written in London, in 1968, where Ray was captured), a spy caper story, I also have a Brit mandarin making a snide reference to "Matt Helm, or whoever the name is who runs your wretched agency...." Hayford Peirce 17:47, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Speedy delete page clean

Three of those pages had no speedy delete template. Part of the problem was that a speedy delete category must have existed but was subsequently removed without an edit being made to the page (probably due to it being transcluded by another template in the page, like the {{R}} template). In those cases a minor edit to the page, line break or such, made the categories current, i.e. it was removed from the speedy delete category. Chris Day 19:09, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Ah! Thanks for the explanation -- I was totally baffled by this. And thanks for clearing things up! If you look at the speedy delete request page, you will see that it is now totally blank! (of items, that is). Hayford Peirce 19:37, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Awesome!!!! D. Matt Innis 02:10, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Constable help with botched move?

Sorry about this, Hayford, but I seem to have botched the move of "Toastmasters international" (lower-case "i") to "Toastmasters International" (upper-case "I"). Some subpages seem to exist in both places, some only in the old place, etc. Would you be able to unbotch it? Thank you. Bruce M.Tindall 20:13, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

I'll see what I can do, Bruce, but I'm fairly innocent of a lot of the CZ mechanics myself. I'll let you know, however, if I only make things worse! Hayford Peirce 20:22, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Thanks! Looks OK now! So before I make a mess like this again, let me get this straight: To move a cluster, I first go to the Talk page and move it, and then move the article itself (while following all the instructions about changing the metadata template and such). Correct? I got extra-confused by the fact that some of the instructions tell me to click where it says "cluster move" on the Talk page, and I couldn't find any such thing to click -- just "move". I assume that bit of the instructions are out of date. Anyway, thanks again for the cleanup. (Now you must know how Obama feels.) Bruce M.Tindall 20:43, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
I really can't help you too much there. Whenever I Move a page, I just first do the Move of the main page, then, if I see any instructions popping up on the screen, I try to follow them to the best of my ability. If they seem too complicated to me, I just ignore them and go on to something else. So far I haven't had many failures, I think. I think that if there's an existing article, with a metadata template and talk page etc, but incorrectly called, say "Baseball Players" and you want to move it all over to "Baseball players", there won't be any problems. The problems probably arise when there are *also* existing Redirects, from, say, "Base-ball Players". That's a can of worms I don't want to go into.... Hayford Peirce 20:50, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Point well taken about redirects (mutters about the search engine, and editorial conventions, being far too compulsive about capitalization for intuitive search). Nevertheless, what I find works best for a complex move is to go to the metadata page, change the titles there, save, accept the complaint, then move the metadata. Once that is done, I go to the main page and do a cluster move. Howard C. Berkowitz 21:25, 23 January 2009 (UTC)


But what about his elder brother? Howard C. Berkowitz 19:59, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

You mean The Man at the Helm? Hayford Peirce 21:17, 24 January 2009 (UTC)