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Book Review: Trick or Treatment

In Trick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts About Alternative Medicine, Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst, M.D., set out to analyze the scientific literature on acupuncture, homeopathy, chiropractic, herbal medicine, and a host of other modalities of so-called alternative and complementary medicine. The book begins with a long, fascinating chapter about the history of medicine and the emergence of the modern, evidence-based approach to medicine—i.e., conventional, Western, or allopathic medicine. Their stated purpose is to keep an open mind while applying the principles of evidence-based medicine to popular alternative modalities. Their backgrounds as medical outsiders and the careful, measured language of the introduction gave this skeptical reader confidence …more

50/50 Exercise #15: Book That Changed Your Life

Author’s note

This piece is so far from being complete that I thought it might clarify matters for my readers if I put my note at the start instead of at the end, which is where I usually have been placing notes about the texts.

The assignment was to write about a book that’s had a big influence on me. I’m having a hard time figuring out exactly why this has been the hardest exercise for me since the 50/50 class started. I love books—lots of them! I could name many books that have had a profound impact: The Chronicles of Narnia, any Ray Bradbury short-story collection, The House of the Spirits, Illusions, Walden, A Christmas Carol, Welcome to the Monkey House…the list goes on and on and on. But I settled on One Continuous Mistake a few moments after receiving the assignment, and I’ve been chipping away …more