Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Jan 1, 2013 - this and that

Science-Based Medicine blog has been a good tutor for me. This whole operator/interactor distinction came about because of a conversation I was involved in, there, about placebo, years ago, and a comment by Mark Crislip about how contact was stress-relieving and didn't need to be much more than that:
“Monkeys, and other animals, groom each other often with a marked reduction in stress. Touch is good, and one doesn’t need to wrap it up in pseudoscientific nonsense for it to be beneficial.” - Mark Crislip discussing reflexology on ScienceBased Medicine blog

Anyway, Science-Based Medicine bloggers also evolve: today Harriet Hall posted this: Beyond Informed Consent: Shared Decision-Making. It pretty much sums up all the tricky elements involved with the medical approach [which started out as purely "operator", but is carefully transforming itself into "interactor"], based on evidence that has come to us by way of neuroscience

It seems to me that nowadays everywhere I see bits of evidence that remind me of Iain McGilchrist's book, and attempts to loosen "left hemisphere-like" control by the culture on thinking by all aspects of human primate social grooming, from SBM to SomaSimple, and who knows where it will all end? Maybe a whole lot of chaos, or a whole lot of world peace, or maybe a whole lot of both in some infinitely far away human or no-longer-human-as-we-currently-know-ourselves future.



Operator Interactor, Diane Jacobs, 2011

Beyond Informed Consent: Shared Decision-Making, Harriet Hall, Jan 1, 2013 

Iain McGilchrist: Why Things Are Not What They Seem and the Courage to Think Differently, William Harryman, Jan 1, 2013

"Iain was a Research Fellow in neuroimaging at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore. He has published original articles and research papers in a wide range of publications on topics in literature, medicine and psychiatry. His latest book, The Master and his Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World, published by Yale in November 2009, explores the way in which the bihemispheric structure of the brain influences our understanding of the world.
A vast body of research reveals that the brains of birds and mammals, including humans, have evolved to enable us to apply two equally necessary, but mutually incompatible, types of attention to the world. One is sharply focused, but narrow, certain already of what it will find; the other is broad, open, and receptive to whatever it may find, without preconception. So difficult is it to combine these types of attention in one brain that they have been sequestered to the two distinct cerebral hemispheres. It is the left hemisphere that provides instrumental attention, enabling us to get and manipulate, by focusing sharply on narrowly conceived detail.
It is the right hemisphere that provides what one might call relational attention, enabling us to see the whole picture, to form social bonds, to inhabit and belong to the world we see, rather than simply being detached from it and using it.
Over time there is a tendency for the view of the left hemisphere to entrench itself: it is simpler, more explicit, ignores what does not fit its paradigm and makes us powerful manipulators. But the price is a baffled incredulity when the world does not seem to work the way it would predict. The costs include widespread despoliation of the planet, empty consumerism, a belief in theory at the expense of experience and an unwarranted optimism as we shuffle like a sleepwalker towards the abyss."

The Life of Pi, and Other Infinities by Natalie Angier, Dec 31, 2012

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