August 17th, 2008


Evil Robot Double Guest Post #0

Hi! This is Ted's evil giant robot double. I'm posting while Ted is out for uncertain reasons in unknown ways.

I'll be posting about my evil ideas here in the interim. Oh, I'm not sure how I can be a giant robot and also a double. Please don't ask.

(Robots count from zero, of course.)

Here's my idea. It's a medical cure. You've all heard of the power of the placebo, right? That the body heals better when it believes it's healing.

Clearly, there must be some mechanism for how this happens. It cannot happen in a vaccuum. That belief must send some neural signal, hormone, enzyme, or something out to the body. Maybe a combination of them, I don't know. Since it exists in the body, there must be some way to duplicate it: some way to boost this incredible healing power, even for people who aren't as suggestible or eager to believe as the ideal patient.

I'm not talking about a sugar pill. I'm talking about an artificial placebo, that synthesizes the belief in healing. I suspect that it would have tremendous benefit, especially when given to skeptics.

The only problem I can see is that it will be very difficult to do controlled studies.

Please invest billions of dollars in the comments section below. I assume there's some way to do that; I don't use LiveJournal much so I can't tell you how.