Homeopathy, Comparisons, and Meyers Briggs

April 12, 2010 at 12:33 am (Making Sense of Things) (, , , )

If you don’t know much about homeopathy then you should probably read the WP article. I first heard of homeopathy when I read Voodoo Science by Robert Park. On the beach with my parents last New Year I found out that my sister had once been treated with homeopathic remedies.

She was given the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella) and developed a rash and fever. Further medication only worsened her state. My mother was told by a homeopathic practitioner to stop all conventional medication and to instead administer ~7 homeopathic remedies at various times each day. Within five days my sister was cured.

My mother proceeded to embrace the Post Hoc fallacy by insisting that since my sister was cured, it was because of the homeopathic remedies. I suggested that perhaps her body simply needed the calm afforded by the placebos that were labeled as homeopathic remedies, as the only “medicine” involved were sugar and water.

Nonsequitor: http://friendlyatheist.com/2009/08/12/this-is-why-its-tough-for-an-atheist-to-date/

My mother and I don’t see eye to eye on most issues, that being just one example. Perhaps it is the strong disparity in her Cold War USSR upbringing and my no-war US childhood, but I can’t help but revert to MBTI thinking. I’m an INTP. My mother always compares me to my sister, who Ive talked to and found is an ESFJ. I’m introverted, she’s ex. I’m intuiting, she’s sensing. I think and perceive, she feels and judges. All of those come with their strengths and weaknesses, but all of my sister’s strengths are my weaknesses. She’s in HR, I’m in physics/programming. She went to a huge school, I went to a small one. She makes her situation while I mold mine as it comes.

MBTI has helped me view what my mother perceives as faults instead as alternatives. My biggest reveltation has to do with my perception of time. Rather than taking the “do today what you can do tomorrow” approach, I find myself procrastinating until the last minute. The rare times that I do work early, it comes out shoddy. When I put it off however, I spend my mental downtimes (restroom, shower, falling asleep, waiting in queues, walking to places, etc) immersed in useful thought, often about the very things that I’ve put off until later. When I finally sit down to do them, I’ve had many hours of mental planning, planning which I wouldn’t have had without procrastinating. And to think, procrastination is very common in TP individuals!

If only children all took Myers Briggs early on in the educational system, and schooling was tailored to the children’s traits.

Back to the beginning: I sometimes wonder if my lack of belief in placebos and homeopathy diminish their psychosomatic effects. Perhaps however, my strength of resolve helps keep my stress levels low, contributing to a reduced frequency of illness (my worst this past year has been influenza, which I suffered for only two days during which I dosed advil, filtered half a dozen cans of soup, and slept for 19 hours each day, after delaying the effects for several days with Vitamin C until the weekend). Yeah, I think knowing is better than being ignorant, irrespective of which one brings you happiness.

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