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What's an equivalent? That a culture can be unchanged for 500K years? A sociologist who proposes that will be dismissed as being un-biological and a-historical.

For some context, this is the Roche Biochemical Pathways Wall Chart for Metabolic Pathways. It is available in interactive form, including search support, from http://biochemical-pathways.com/#/map/1 .

Note that this link from Georgia Tech manages to omit the copyright notice and most of the notes. It also has alignment problems. On the other hand, it can be printed directly as a poster.

The Passivhaus method was influenced by the Saskatchewan Conservation house project. Quoting from http://esask.uregina.ca/entry/energy-efficient_houses.html :

> It had no furnace; instead, the house was heated with a solar heating system designed specifically for Saskatchewan’s extreme Climate.

Use the washer output as greywater. Eg, http://oasisdesign.net/greywater/laundry/ . Or change to Japanese-style bathing customs and use tub water as input to the machine, as in http://www.survivingnjapan.com/2011/02/how-to-use-hotwarm-wa... . That also says there are high-end washing machines which filter an re-use the water.

> do people really move to New York City without having jobs lined up?

Yes. Plug in "move to New York without a job" to a web search provider and you'll find sites like http://www.movingtonewyorkguide.com/moving-to-new-york-city-... , which starts:

> Moving to NYC with no job may seem like an impossible feat- but thousands of people do it successfully every year.

or advice like http://newnyers.com/2009/09/02/should-i-move-to-nyc-without-... or people like https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070310180400A... saying "I moved to NYC without a job.".

Or the "Structure Data File" format I often deal with in computational chemistry. Or the other items at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SDF .

"American slaves were (at the time) a small minority of the country"

11% is a minority. It is not a small minority. Slaves were also a majority in Mississippi and South Carolina. http://thomaslegion.net/statesandslaverypercentagesintheunit... .

Your start date of 1776 is irrelevant. Colonial America also had a slave class, starting in the 1600s, which the US inherited.

Sweden, Norway, and Finland did not have serfdom.

If your analysis is correct, shouldn't there be a large difference in the social welfare systems between those them and the Nordic countries with serfdom-like systems; the Danish stavnsbånd, from 1733 to 1788, and the Icelandic vistarband, from 1490 until 1894?, or between the Nordic countries and, say, The Netherlands?


Sweden, Norway and Finland all had monarchies, a landed gentry, and a peasant class. If you'd like to make a subtle (and perhaps useful) distinction between "peasant" and "serf" then I suppose that's worth talking about, but my generalizations about Europe include the nordic countries.

"The peasant proprietors, who, under the name of the "Lantmanna" party, formed a compact majority in the Second Chamber, pursued a consistent policy of class interests in the matter of the taxes and burdens that had, as they urged, so long oppressed the Swedish peasantry;"[1]

"Outside the political sphere, however, the peasants were considered at the bottom of the social order—just above vagabonds. The upper classes looked down on them as excessively prone to drunkenness and laziness, as clannish and untrustworthy, and especially as lacking honor and a sense of national spirit."[2]

"The difference from serfs elsewhere was that the farmer did not directly own the life and property of the homesteader (Husmann), but in most cases, he practically did."

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweden_during_the_late_19th_ce...

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Finland#Peasants

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_serfdom

You said "What if a population was not systematically enslaved and disenfranchised for, oh, say, 2000 years". You used the terms "systematically enslaved" and "They were property". Those are terms applied to serfs. They do not apply to all peasants.

You therefore cannot be referring to Sweden's relatively recent and short period of absolute monarchy when you talk about 1000+ years of time. See for example https://www.quora.com/Sweden/In-Swedish-history-why-did-most... "In Swedish history, why did most of the peasants own land, and why did they ally with the king against the nobility? This is substantially different from the rest of Europe, and I wonder why it developed this way?" Quoting from it:

> The Swedes retained that almost primordial, archaic concept of individual liberties and rights when other Germanic tribes had been subsumed into other legal or property concepts, such as what happened in the Holy Roman Empire.

You second link, for Finland after it was conquered by Sweden, says:

> In contrast to serfdom in Germany and Russia, the Finnish peasant was typically a freeholder who owned and controlled his small plot of land. There was no serfdom in which peasants were permanently attached to specific lands, and were ruled by the owners of that land. In Finland (and Sweden) the peasants formed one of the four estates and were represented in the parliament.

These are not "systematically enslaved and disenfranchised" peasants who were "property".

As your third link says, the "Norwegian serfdom" social system for Norwegian lower class farmers 1) started in 1750, so well after slavery was firmly established in the American colonies, and ended in 1860, that is, before the US abolished slavery, and 2) was "not actually in serfdom by European standards". This isn't the 2000 years or even 200 years you alluded to.

Based on your HN account name and the linked-to domain, I believe one person is behind both, and I will use "you" to refer to that person.

"I was really happy to see that my code coverage was over 95%"

If you look at some of the TDD literature you'll find that some of its advocates believe (or at least believed) that it would naturally lead to 100% code coverage. For a semi-arbitrarily selected quote, from http://accu.org/index.php/journals/1325 :

> In theory, when using TDD we will always get 100 percent coverage (remember, we're only supposed to write code as an automated test fails).

and in my notes I have that Kent Beck wrote "TDD followed religiously should result in 100% statement coverage."

I think your own experience shows that this statement isn't true. My observation is that the refactor step implicitly allows new untested code paths.

"But testable code will make your product more reliable, so you shouldn’t chose between these two, but find a balance between them"

When I read your essay I wondered why you were focused on unit tests. Integration tests can also be used to check that low-level accessors work. While they don't pin down the error to the precise unit, this is also the sort of error which is easy to track down once you know that an error exists, so there isn't a strong need for a unit test over an integration test.

You might be interested in James Coplien's "Why Most Unit Testing is Waste" at http://www.rbcs-us.com/documents/Why-Most-Unit-Testing-is-Wa... , and its followup at http://www.rbcs-us.com/documents/Segue.pdf , as well as plenty of discussion about it here on HN and elsewhere.

"..generally do work".

If that were so, then could you explain the section at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuro-linguistic_programming#S... ? Pulling three quotes from it, "controlled trials failed to show any benefit from NLP", "Numerous literature reviews and meta-analyses have failed to show evidence for NLP's assumptions or effectiveness as a therapeutic method", and "Among the reasons for considering NLP a pseudoscience are that evidence in favor of it is limited to anecdotes and personal testimony".

What evidence was enough for you to conclude that the methods "generally do work"?

I do not know how NLP is taught right know, however I'll explain how I come to that conclusion with a reference to the mentioned book from steve andreas.

One of the basic tools of NLP is what is called "anchoring". An anchor is an association in terms of action->response. One example lots of people can associate with is: You hear a song and have instantly a mood change. You could feel very happy, because you remember meeting your spouse for the first time when this song was played. Or maybe you feel bad because something bad happened when you heared that song and associate the bad feelings with that song.

One way to break away from a specific "action->response" pair is by using a pattern interrupt and overwriting the usual response with another response. You do that regularly yourself, for example when you learned a false fact and correct it afterwards.

Of course you can also create new associations. You probably do not have any strong feelings associated with a song when hearing it for the very first time, but you can associate something with it.

Anchoring, pattern interupts and overwriting old anchors is heavily used in behavioral therapy, and is also the basic concept for a lot methods in NLP. For me the parallels to behavioural therapy are why I conclude "generally do work".

I think the bad reputation NLP is receiving is because of "hype-riders", people who want to rip the help-seeking people off their money. And as you do not have to study psychology to practice NLP (or say you can do NLP), charlatants have an easy entry.

In Steve Andreas book, you learn how to rewrite old anchors effectiveley, specifically the ones that make up your identity, the "how you know you are you".

Example Scenario:

Current situation: Suppose you think you are bad at maths and that is simply your personality, that's why you will never solve any math problem in reasonable time. Effect: You will not even try to solve math problems or will not have fun doing it, thus taking more time or limiting yourself in other areas as well as panicing as soon as you see a math problem.

How you change that? ->

1) Think about how you know you are bad at maths.

2) Do you imagine one or multiple situations where you were bad at maths? Are these pictures or video? How are they organized in your head? In color or black/white? Big/small?

3) Now take every example in your head that support that belief and change the modalities. Already at that point you will notice with each transformed example, that you feel less bad about maths.

4) Next you build positive images around maths in the same way as before, thinking about situations where you were good at maths and transform your images to the same modalities the bad images were before.

5) Pro step: Build values for yourself such as: intelligent, resilient, motivated and associate these values with situations were they helped you in solving math problems or other problems. This would decouple your identity from "maths" and help you not fall into panic as soon as you encounter a math problem or any other problem you think you are not good at (remember, you are intelligent, resilient and motivated?)

I do not know if specifically this technique with exactly these steps is used in todays scientific therapy. However, it is based on anchoring/overwriting old anchors and I do not see much novelty there.

Once upon a time we (that is, general medical consensus in the US) thought that milk would help treat ulcers, and that ulcers were mostly due to diet or lifestyle (overwork, smoking, etc). There was a model of how milk would be a good treatment, and doctor would recommend milk to patients with ulcers.

Starting a few decades ago, we found that "the vast majority of ulcers are caused by H pylori infection" (quote from http://www.ulcerresourcecenter.com/ulcers-and-milk ), and can be treated with drug therapy.

I point this out as an example of how even if there is a reasonable mechanistic model of how a therapy might work, which is widely believed to be true, that doesn't mean it is true. The Wikipedia link I posted gives reference to attempts to verify if NLP is a useful treatment, and concluded that it isn't.

As for "pattern interrupts and overwriting old anchors is heavily used in behavioral therapy", if you search for '"pattern interrupts" "behavioral therapy"' on Google there are very few hits. Duck Duck Go has even fewer. This suggests that "pattern interrupts" is not a term used in behavioral therapy. If you further look at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/gquery/?term=%22pattern+interrup... you'll see that "pattern interrupt" is not commonly used, with only 214 matches in PubMed. A spot check shows only a handful used in the sense you mean.

Therefore, the term "pattern interrupts" is likely not the term used in behavioral therapy. You are, I believe, making a statement about a homologous treatment, perhaps operant conditioning? But operant conditioning, and its application, predate NLP, so I don't think it's reasonable to attribute its effectiveness to NLP, nor would it be novel in NLP if Skinner discussed it in the 1950s.

("Operant conditioning" has 18356 matches in PubMed, and the first 7 papers all use it in the cognitive psychology sense.)

Sorry about the bad terminilogy, I have my input from a psychology student. Maybe someone can clarify about the correct terminology.

I researched more, and at least the wikipedia arguments against NLP are critisized heavily, too. http://realpeoplepress.com/blog/research-in-nlp-neurolinguis...

There is an organisation that aims for NLP to be recognized scientifically http://www.researchandrecognition.org/

At this point, you are right that there is not much scientific evidence. I hope for the research group that it produces some proper results soon

I looked at your first URL. My earlier comments hold.

For example, it says (concerning using mental imagery) "This result comes as no surprise to anyone with even basic training in NLP. Imagining “themselves performing this act, with as much sensory detail as possible” has been a standard and essential part of rehearsing or “future-pacing” any behavioral change."

A quick search shows that behavior rehearsal was part of non-NLP since at least the early 1970s. See for example http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1311981/ , "Training predelinquent youths and their parents to negotiate conflict situations":

> In response to parental requests for assistance in dealing with adolescent problem children, three parent-child pairs were taught negotiation responses to hypothetical conflict situations using behavior rehearsal and social reinforcement. The negotiation process was separated into component behaviors that were practised during simulations by each youth and his parent under the direction of trainers. Results indicated that (a) the procedures were successful in training youths and their parents in negotiation behaviors that produced agreements to conflict situations, and (b) these behaviors generalized to actual conflict situations in subjects' homes.

or a clinical trial from 1981 at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/7205244/ , "The treatment of social phobia. Real-life rehearsal with nonprofessional therapists."

> It was concluded that repeated behavior rehearsal, both in the clinic and in real life is a cost-effective treatment procedure for many social phobias. The approach is straightforward and can be applied by nonprofessionals, including the patients themselves, after limited training and with minimal supervision.

Further, the original synopsis at http://digest.bps.org.uk/2011_06_01_archive.html points out that it's not just imagery which is important, but that there was question: why was there a seeming

> contradiction with earlier research showing implementation intentions are most helpful to those with compromised willpower? Churchill and Jessop can't be sure, but they said one possibility could be because their task of eating more fruit and veg is more complex than some of the lab tasks studied previously.

The summary of the summary at realpeoplepress.com leaves out these complexities.

That is interesting.

To sum up, you say that a technique which NLP uses was non-NLP before and works, that's why NLP is not scientific?

Maybe I'm too tired right now, but for me that's a clearer NLP pro argument than I could come up with.

Anyway, I'm not really interested in who is right or wrong. I think NLP works and whoever wants to try it should do it, but be careful not to learn from charlatans. These who want to wait for scientific evidence can also do so.

Here's an analogy. In some churches, the faithful will kneel in order to pray. Now I come along and say that praying 200 times per day will lead to better health. We put this to a test, and find it's true. But there are conflating factors - is it the praying, or the physical exercise through kneeling, or doing it in a church, or all of the above, which lead to the outcome?

A Kneelologist could stop, be happy that it works, and promote Kneelism as a healthy activity. But a non-kneelologist could point out that it's similar to calisthenics, which was already known to give similar positive results, is simpler to understand because it doesn't require the prayer component, and can done by people who are against prayer or don't have ready access to a church.

(Or for a real world example, the asanas from hatha yoga are used as exercise, and called 'yoga' even though yoga is a much broader topic.)

The scientific approach would address some important factors: 1) is the effect real and reproducible?, 2) when should be be used instead of other forms of treatment, and 3) what are the possible conflating factors and can we disentangle them to improve 1) and 2)?

Applying that to NLP, and making this up because I don't know the details. What if NLP is an incorrect synthesis of real-world observations that were already known at the time NLP was developed? In that, the ability of NLP to predict similar effects is not surprising. Other psychology models developed since Bandura's work in the 1960s also need to "predict" that behavior rehearsal can be an effective treatment.

Instead, what new predictions does NLP make which are different from other behavioral models? Can those predictions be tested? Or failing the ability to make new predictions, is it a simper model which it at least equally effective as other models in describing behavior?

That's where the science comes in.

NLP might work. But so might cognitive psychology, and with seemingly fewer worries about charlatans.

Yes you are right in the scientific approach.

What's more, NLP was not really developed. The techniques have been copied - or "stolen" - from other approaches, starting with Gestalt therapy. Therefore it's not a simple coincidence that you encounter similar techniques elsewhere.

Also, does NLP really need to bring novel ideas for it to be recognized? It does not promise anything like that, because that is not it's goal. NLP is about stealing what works to extend its "toolbox". That is also one of the points why it is considered being a pseudo science, "copying what works" is not scientific. In my opinion, not focusing on science is a major flaw of NLP. Therefore I hope that the NLP research organisation or others will change that.

Also, like you said, it is also possible that there are flaws in the copies, i.e. by making wrong conclusion from the observations. I would find it interesting to compare the NLP versions with the scientific versions to find the differences and maybe correct one or the other model after running some tests.

Btw. Do you know if depression or PTSD therapy based on the "scientific" psychoanalysis does yield results today?

"does NLP really need to bring novel ideas for it to be recognized?"

Of course not. It could be synonymous with "best practices." But even if it were identical to best practices, it uses set of unique terminology which makes it harder to understand. Why does it do that?

I do not know the answer to your last question.

That I do not know. However, that is not always the case. AFAIK Hypnosis after Milton H. Erickson is also part of NLP and similar terminology (if not the same) is used there.

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