1462: "Blind Trials"

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PinkShinyRose
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Re: 1462: "Blind Trials"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:57 pm UTC

CocoaNutCakery wrote:
PinkShinyRose wrote:
CocoaNutCakery wrote:Originally, I was just going to post one of the many facepalm gifs that are out there, but you know, maybe it would help to educate you a little bit. Here is what a single-blind exercise study would look like.

Group 1 will go walking for 30 minutes each day, but the people in the group won't know that they're walking.
Group 2 will do comparable resistance band training each day, but the people in the group won't know that they're doing resistance band training.

Can you see what's wrong with that?

That makes sense, I thought it might be exercise with resistance band versus not-so-much-but-still-some-resistance band. Or some exercise for a more complicated issue where moving differently would suffice for making it ineffective (because it doesn't train the relevant muscle).

To be fair: at least here medical education doesn't involve developing academic skills very thoroughly.


Image

And the award for completely missing the point goes to...

I've bolded the issue. Can you see it now?

I got the bold parts, which is why I mentioned thinking of a different setup: group 2 vs group 2 with sabotaged equipment. Of course this could not possibly be done for walking.

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Re: 1462: "Blind Trials"

Postby CocoaNutCakery » Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:10 pm UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:I got the bold parts, which is why I mentioned thinking of a different setup: group 2 vs group 2 with sabotaged equipment. Of course this could not possibly be done for walking.


...So your argument is that they'd use resistance bands that don't offer any resistance.

And nobody would notice.

How about weight training with plastic weights and compare it to weight training with real weights?

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Re: 1462: "Blind Trials"

Postby ucim » Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:11 pm UTC

CocoaNutCakery wrote:Group 1 will go walking for 30 minutes each day, but the people in the group won't know that they're walking.
Group 2 will do comparable resistance band training each day, but the people in the group won't know that they're doing resistance band training.


Group 1 will do magnetic field band training each day, but it will be on the fifteenth floor of an outlying building, whose elevator just happens to be broken. That building is on the other side of the campus from the one where they check in, which is on the other side of the campus from where they park (because the near parking lot is always full when they arrive). The magnetic field bands will be set at very low resistance, and there will be no magnets involved, but they will make satisfying "whop whop" sounds.

Group 2 will do magnetic resistance band training located in the office where they check in. They are scheduled to arrive fifteen minutes before the near parking lot fills up, so they get parking spaces. The resistance band is set for high, and neither magnets nor satisfying sounds are involved.

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Re: 1462: "Blind Trials"

Postby aerion111 » Sun Dec 21, 2014 4:37 am UTC

Clearly the solution is to develop a method of 'writing' memories.
I figure that with how unreliable the human memory is, as long as you don't choose people with exceptional memory (maybe do some basic testing beforehand to filter them out), you can do this with sufficiently good hypnosis and the right chemicals.
Mainly, you'd need to make them unable to tell reality from fiction, and block the formation of true memories - the hypnosis part is the easiest, since convincing people of false things is basically the only thing hypnosis has been 'proven' as doing.
In other words, sometimes people can form false memories from dreams and daydreams, and I think we could simulate that with chemicals, using hypnosis to make sure they're thinking about the 'memory' right.

I'm not sure how to convince them in the moment, though.
Maybe it'd be easier to do the other way around?
As in, don't convince the Placebo people they're having sex, convince the sex-having people they're not actually doing so.

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ManaUser
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Re: 1462: "Blind Trials"

Postby ManaUser » Sun Dec 21, 2014 9:13 am UTC

aerion111 wrote:Clearly the solution is to develop a method of 'writing' memories.

I was thinking along the same lines, but in reverse. Instead you give both sets of patients drugs that cause amnesia. One group would have sex during the forgotten period, the other would only be told they had done so.

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Re: 1462: "Blind Trials"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Sun Dec 21, 2014 3:31 pm UTC

ManaUser wrote:
aerion111 wrote:Clearly the solution is to develop a method of 'writing' memories.

I was thinking along the same lines, but in reverse. Instead you give both sets of patients drugs that cause amnesia. One group would have sex during the forgotten period, the other would only be told they had done so.

No, you're not allowed to lie to your subjects. You can tell both groups they "either had sex or didn't have sex". Then again, I doubt your methods would be deemed ethical to begin with.

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Re: 1462: "Blind Trials"

Postby higgs-boson » Mon Dec 22, 2014 7:50 am UTC

If your control group members get pregnant, you really should check your placebo.
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Re: 1462: "Blind Trials"

Postby orthogon » Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:57 am UTC

ManaUser wrote:
aerion111 wrote:Clearly the solution is to develop a method of 'writing' memories.

I was thinking along the same lines, but in reverse. Instead you give both sets of patients drugs that cause amnesia. One group would have sex during the forgotten period, the other would only be told they had done so.

This is great news. It turns out I was having loads of great sex during my teens and early twenties, and I only don't remember it because of selective, chemically induced amnesia administered during a clinical trial I signed up for as a student. The drugs apparently also wiped my memory of the trial itself, but I know I must have participated from the fact that I'm not still paying off a massive student debt. (People have tried to convince me that the government of the day actually gave a shit and used to pay for the course fees, but this idea is patently ridiculous). I presume the researchers are tracking my career development, mental health etc. via my profile on one of the social networks that I also don't remember signing up for.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1462: "Blind Trials"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Dec 22, 2014 1:30 pm UTC

12obin wrote:I'd really like to think that I could tell the difference between being poked with a toothpick or a needle.
If it's done basically anywhere other than your face or the palms of your hands, you almost certainly can't.

(Though I know one way they've come closest to double-blind aupuncture trials has been to use retractable needles for the control group. That way even the "practitioners" don't know which group they're in.)
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orthogon
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Re: 1462: "Blind Trials"

Postby orthogon » Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:23 pm UTC

higgs-boson wrote:If your control group members get pregnant, you really should check your placebo.

There's nothing wrong with my placebo, thank you very much. (Come to think of it, that's quite a good word for it).
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1462: "Blind Trials"

Postby Kit. » Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:41 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
12obin wrote:I'd really like to think that I could tell the difference between being poked with a toothpick or a needle.
If it's done basically anywhere other than your face or the palms of your hands, you almost certainly can't.

In classical Chinese acupuncture, needle tips target locations that are rich in nerve endings, and the feeling when the tip reaches its target is quite intense.

gmalivuk wrote:(Though I know one way they've come closest to double-blind aupuncture trials has been to use retractable needles for the control group. That way even the "practitioners" don't know which group they're in.)

Normally, a practitioner of classical Chinese acupuncture uses reflex action feedback from the patient to check when the needle tip reaches its target.

Which makes me wonder if there were actually any "non-sham" forms of acupuncture tested in those trials.

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Re: 1462: "Blind Trials"

Postby squall_line » Mon Dec 22, 2014 3:03 pm UTC

jc wrote:A somewhat less sarcastic reply that I've run across occasionally is a more general comment on the idea that only properly controlled experimental tests can be considered "scientific". If this were true, we'd have to conclude that the entire field of astronomy is a pseudo-science, since astronomers obviously perform very few experimental tests on their subject matter. But in fact, astronomy is considered by all scientists to be one of the "hardest" of the "hard sciences". It's not actually all that hard to understand how purely observational data can be the basis of good scientific theories. The only problem is with people thinking that there can only be one method of performing "science".


I would definitely like to meet some of these people who purport to believe that astronomy is pseudo-science due to a lack of "experiments". The "non-experiments" in Astronomy are all based on coming up with theories of how forces in the universe interact, modeling them with equations, and then using observations of other areas of the universe to confirm or disprove those equations.

I'm fascinated by the idea of galaxies colliding and becoming a new galaxy, and I would love to be able to witness how that happens over the entire course of the process, from initial meeting through the beginning of equilibrium, and to be able to see how it plays out at the galactic level (watching spirals join) as well as deeper in on the planetary scale.

Being able to see things happen on all different scales like that is one of the reasons I was disappointed in most of the Transformers movies; they were so insistent on showing off the CGI work on individual gears, chains, wheels, etc. that most of the coreography of the battle sequences was lost in the noise. I was happy to see the transformation and to know that they left all of the "parts" of each vehicle intacts as workings of the larger robot, as well as to understand the scale of the machines themselves, but fight scenes still need some wide shots to get a sense of the flow of battle; it was almost like watching a Jackie Chan movie shot entirely with a GoPro camera.

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Re: 1462: "Blind Trials"

Postby Whizbang » Mon Dec 22, 2014 3:08 pm UTC

So what you're saying is that you want galactic sized transformers? I can get behind that idea.

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Re: 1462: "Blind Trials"

Postby Time Kitten » Mon Dec 22, 2014 4:19 pm UTC

I can't help but think of the sex pills from Barbarella (which shows up on my US netflix but not my partner's Canadian netflix).

Also one of the people in my head is giggling over the idea of ejaculating sugar pills, should a more strict reproductionist view of sex be taken.

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Re: 1462: "Blind Trials"

Postby NealCruco » Mon Dec 22, 2014 4:49 pm UTC

Is Randall taking a break for Christmas? It's Monday at 10:48 AM, and there's been no new comic, nor any word on a delay. Randall's never been late with a comic since I found xkcd.

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Re: 1462: "Blind Trials"

Postby ramblinjd » Mon Dec 22, 2014 5:44 pm UTC

NealCruco wrote:Is Randall taking a break for Christmas? It's Monday at 10:48 AM, and there's been no new comic, nor any word on a delay. Randall's never been late with a comic since I found xkcd.


I came here to ask the same question... in 7 years I've never seen it more than a few minutes late, and we're closing on 13 hours now...

WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO WITHOUT A NEW COMIC???

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Re: 1462: "Blind Trials"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Mon Dec 22, 2014 6:28 pm UTC

ramblinjd wrote:
NealCruco wrote:Is Randall taking a break for Christmas? It's Monday at 10:48 AM, and there's been no new comic, nor any word on a delay. Randall's never been late with a comic since I found xkcd.


I came here to ask the same question... in 7 years I've never seen it more than a few minutes late, and we're closing on 13 hours now...

WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO WITHOUT A NEW COMIC???

Dunno about you but I am running around with my arms flailing. I never knew my doors were too small.
Mikeski wrote:A "What If" update is never late. Nor is it early. It is posted precisely when it should be.

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Re: 1462: "Blind Trials"

Postby NealCruco » Mon Dec 22, 2014 6:34 pm UTC

Apparently no one in the #xkcd channal knows why the comic's late either. I'm worried something has happened to Randall- maybe not him personally, but perhaps something like a family emergency.

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Re: 1462: "Blind Trials"

Postby Klear » Mon Dec 22, 2014 6:51 pm UTC

NealCruco wrote:Apparently no one in the #xkcd channal knows why the comic's late either. I'm worried something has happened to Randall- maybe not him personally, but perhaps something like a family emergency.


Some emergency like Christmas?

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Re: 1462: "Blind Trials"

Postby dp2 » Mon Dec 22, 2014 7:01 pm UTC

NealCruco wrote:Apparently no one in the #xkcd channal knows why the comic's late either. I'm worried something has happened to Randall- maybe not him personally, but perhaps something like a family emergency.

Every time someone posts concern that something bad has happened in Randall's family, an angel has to do a shot.

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Re: 1462: "Blind Trials"

Postby ucim » Mon Dec 22, 2014 7:25 pm UTC

Neil_Boekend wrote:
ramblinjd wrote:WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO WITHOUT A NEW COMIC???

Dunno about you but I am running around with my arms flailing. I never knew my doors were too small.

Neil, you should know better that that! I'm going to wait for it, like all good OTTers. :)

edit: And we've been rewarded. New comic is up. Go forth and be molpish!

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Re: 1462: "Blind Trials"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Tue Dec 23, 2014 6:49 am UTC

ucim wrote:
Neil_Boekend wrote:
ramblinjd wrote:WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO WITHOUT A NEW COMIC???

Dunno about you but I am running around with my arms flailing. I never knew my doors were too small.

Neil, you should know better that that! I'm going to wait for it, like all good OTTers. :)

That is the way I wait for it, don't you? It's really good for you cardiovascular health.
Mikeski wrote:A "What If" update is never late. Nor is it early. It is posted precisely when it should be.

patzer's signature wrote:
flicky1991 wrote:I'm being quoted too much!

he/him/his

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Re: 1462: "Blind Trials"

Postby BlitzGirl » Tue Dec 23, 2014 7:51 am UTC

Spoiler:
Image
Knight Temporal of the One True Comic
BlitzGirl the Pink, Mopey Molpy Mome
Spoiler:
Image
Image
Image<Profile
~.Image~.FAQ->Image

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Re: 1462: "Blind Trials"

Postby Hafting » Mon Dec 29, 2014 12:08 pm UTC

Philbert wrote:If they have some of these sugar pills left that can make you think you are having sex, I'm willing to take them off their hands.


Not sugar pills, but heroin supposedly feels better than orgasm - so there you go. Costs more in the long run though.


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