The rise of the placebo Seth’s blog
I’m a fan of the appropriate placebo. They often have some side effects, they work when used cheaply and under the right circumstances. You can check out my rent on them here, it has been read millions of times to date.
A placebo is not just a medical intervention. It is any tool we use to feel good in a complex world. Not only do they make us feel good, sometimes they can actually change our physiology and make us better. A wine label is a placebo for something (expensive wine tastes good, as long as the labels are vague) and even search engine satisfaction comes primarily from the story we tell ourselves about what we’re using to search.
Many forms of marketing are actually attempts to create a placebo effect.
But how do we pick them? Why chicken soup is good for cold but not tomato soup or turkey soup?
And why do we see (often to our detriment) the vicissitudes of conspiracies, conspiracies, and stories that were driven by true and replicable studies?
For a placebo to be effective, we need space to operate our brain. It may involve:
• Complex problems
স্থান Taking place over time
That has emotional effects
When these conditions exist, our mind seeks an explanation, firm action and the opportunity to make things better.
But that has always been true. Another reason is that we need to hear about a placebo from someone to whom it has worked. A proposal should be made that requires the power of advice.
If an influential person is dieting in chicken soup when their cold naturally gets better, it is not difficult to say the reason for the improvement of the soup. Because there was a placebo when the disease was on its way, we associate the soup with improvement. We can then tell others (increase our confidence, status and affiliation) in an effort to generously improve the health of our friends. Some of them will also eat soup when the cold improves, which will further cement the running advantage of chicken soup being the placebo of choice for colds and coughs.
Thousands of years ago we had plenty of placebo. We had no idea why the sun rose, why it snowed, and why anyone got sick. Placebos were essential for our mental well-being. But the rise of the scientific method has sidelined many of these stories, as we have come to understand things more clearly and less of what was complex.
In the last ten years, we have seen a change happen.
And, as always, the Internet is the agent of change here. The Internet has given people the opportunity to share their fears and anxieties and frustrations about the world, especially the complex things that happen over time. The world is not getting more complicated, but our fears and misconceptions are becoming more widely shared, which makes it seem more complicated. Very few people are bothered by gravity, but it is easy to see mysteries or even conspiracies in events and trends which is less easy.
If someone suggests a placebo as a healing, relieving or culturally sensitive, it can be used by others. And some who use it will find that things got better as it was present and so it gained in currency. Vitamin C does not work the way it does in curing scurvy, but in the sense that it was co-occurring to cause something else to happen.
A placebo magician who gives us comfort and patience without any side effects. Alas, when we apply them to areas where we are better off doing things that have a more direct impact, we are making a mistake that we and the people around us must pay the price for.
Leave a Reply