Those who have an excessive faith in their theories or in their ideas are not only poorly disposed to make discoveries, but they also make very poor observations.
Claude Bernard (1813-78), French physiologist, 1865.
I gotta have faith; I gotta have faith, 'cause I gotta have faith, faith, 'cause I gotta have faith-a-faith-a-faith. Thus concludes my lecture on the overuse of the word faith in George Michael lyrics.
Allen A. Alan, Time Immemorial, British Placebologist and Alternative Scientist, Likes drinks.
Illness: Mail Pattern Boldness
Discovered by: The disease of mail pattern boldness is in some ways related to the disease melon land fill lips. As such it is known by almost all civilisations and goes by many names and has many faces. The Mayans called it “that which makes us sacrifice so many people”. To the ancient Greeks it was known as “the rock in front of Plato’s cave” and the Vikings just didn’t put up with that sort of thing and bashed anyone who showed any sign of it to death until they just stopped living. As with melon land fill lips, Dr Alan discovered and formalised its existence on closer inspection of the hate-filled, journal of written guff The Daily Mail. Due to its excellent absorbance and remarkable softness The Daily Mail is often used by Dr Alan in his “smallest laboratory”. One day he noticed there were some words under his “research material”. On reading the words given to the fevered imaginings of the writers he knew he had hit upon a new alternative illness. And then he was sick.
Epidemiology: Mail pattern boldness primarily affects adults. It is not known whether it can cause symptoms in children but it is unlikely as most children do not have access to a printing press or can hold sufficient rage without their fragile bones crumbling to dust. Mail pattern boldness has primarily been observed in men but occurs with equal prevalence in women. In men the disease tends to be contracted by those whose names can be used as alternative names for penises e.g. Richard, William, Little John, Delingpole, Clarkson. The more penis names the man has the worse the mail pattern boldness tends to be. This does not appear to be the case for females who contract the illness. Unless there are any men out there who call their penis Jan Moir.
Aetiology: It is known through a complex series of alternative scientific guesses that with the disease melon land fill lips, a series of ridiculous thoughts are diverted to the sufferer’s lips whereby they emerge in the form of hideous opinions. It has been thought in the past (which is the bit before the present) that since, in some ways at least, the output of those with mail pattern boldness is similar to those with melon land fill lips that the causes of both illnesses are both similar. This was shown to be incorrect by alternative science wrangler Dr Hellena Handkorb who was able to shout slightly louder than everyone else and thus prove that it wasn’t. Instead mail pattern boldness is caused by the magic of crystals. So a bit like gout but more magic. Of course these crystals aren’t actually magic, that would be ridiculous and more concordant with alternative pseudoscience. Rather the disease is produced by a combination of the vibration of crystals and money.
Everybody has a certain amount of crystals in their blood. Don’t check, they just do OK? The amount of crystals any one individual has depends on a number of factors ranging from their exposure to incense shops to the number of factors the individual is aware of. Everybody knows (for a given value of knowing) that crystals vibrate. The extent of these vibrations vary with exposure to different stimuli. In the case of the crystals we’re talking about (you know the ones) the vibration is greatest when exposed to weekly pay and the possibility of advertisement revenue. The vibration of these crystals is seen mostly in the joints of the fingers and in the part of the brain responsible for stupidity and pointless rage. These vibrations cause the spontaneous writing are seen in mail pattern boldness.
Symptoms: As suggested by the aetiology of the disease, mail pattern boldness relapses and remits with a periodicity determined by money. If an individual is getting money on a weekly basis then the symptoms will recur weekly. This is more complicated if the symptoms also result in revenue from advertisement. In which case the symptoms will occur on a more constant basis and the individual will be left with more or less constant vibration symptoms.
As stated the vibrations of the crystals are worst in the joints of the hands and in the stupidity and pointless rage centre of the brain. This is known to alternative scientists as the Minimus John’s Purgamentum. The vibrations in the hands cause automatic writing of what can mostly be described as bilge. Hateful right-wing bilge. Sadly the grotesquery of these unfortunate opinions attracts viewers who simply want to gawp at words that superficially make sentences but sound like the thoughts of a deranged toddler who is both afraid of and wants to bully the universe. The gawping can be compared to the staring of viewers of Channel 4 medical documentaries which have a sensitive voiceover but are simply inviting people to look at “the boy with an elbow for a nose” or some such cruelty. Unfortunately for the sufferers of mail pattern boldness the more that people read what they write the more money they get from their weekly pay and from advertising revenue. This increasing money eventually causes the crystals to vibrate at maximum intensity and the unfortunate sufferers are churning out sentences like “if Eastenders were realistic Bin Laden would be in it!” “Colin Firth is a frankfurter on the hot dog griddle of life” and “gypsy monsters stole my policeman’s fish fingers because they are gay”. You couldn’t make it up. Except that last one.
Treatment: Going back to first principles it should be obvious that to manage mail pattern boldness either the crystals should be removed from the individuals or no money should be given to them for their writing. There have been several experimental attempts to remove the crystals responsible for the vibrations but sadly it couldn’t be done because of homeopathy or some such stupid reason. The best way to manage the condition is thus to halt the harmful vibrations of the crystals by not applying money to the crystals and thus not allowing them to vibrate. Individuals with known high levels of crystals should therefore not be paid for their writing and their writing should not be read so that they don’t get any advertising revenue. It seems cruel but it’s for their own good. Without the harmful vibrations distracting their rational thoughts, many of these individuals can go on to write rational articles about the dangers of NHS reorganisation or kittens juggling guinea pigs while calculating science! You’d like to see that wouldn’t you?! Yeah you would. Now excuse me, Brian Cox is on TV explaining gravity.
If you must read articles which are seemingly published every week to cause outrage in sensible folks then you can do so with this link which caches it so at least the horrible article doesn’t get the web traffic. Happy outrage!