Tuesday, April 29, 2014

#1018: Steve & Erin Pavlina

Both of them - though Internet
rumors have it that there may
be some ... challenges going on
in their relationship at present.

Steve Pavlina is a life coach and personal development advisor, most famous for his book Personal Development for Smart People, which rather obviously deals with matters beyond his expertise and is – equally obviously – not targeted at smart people, but rather at the Dunning-Kruger quartile unable to see that they are not. On his website, and in his book, Pavlina amply demonstrates how crank magnetism sometimes works by personal example, and both are filled with substantial amounts of crazy (though he evidently doesn’t like that being pointed out to him).

Pavlina is for instance a champion of raw foodism and water fluoridation conspiracies. He also rejects science as a method for gaining knowledge about health issues, since science tends to disagree with him on said issues. The official reason is primarily that big pharma is in a conspiracy against him and some relativism bullshit, including the point that science was wrong before, as well as tacit Galileo gambits – Pavlina is, as most cranks, fond of Kuhn (whom he doesn’t understand). And note to cranks: even on Feyerabend’s view it makes no sense to claim that scientific consensus is wrong and your views represent a new paradigm – part of the nature of relativism is the commitment to the idea that if you disagree with consensus, then since consensus decides truth, it means that you are wrong – by definition. Not so in Pavlina’s mind: “The Scientific Method is a tool, and like any other tool it has limits. It is a tool for studying objective reality, and within that domain, it’s indomitable. But it’s a worthless tool for studying subjective reality. So if you want to study the possibility that reality is thought-created – that observer and observer are inseparably connected – then you can’t use the Scientific Method.” Well, ok. You can’t use the scientific method for that, I suppose. Of course, you can’t use any other method either, but that doesn’t stop Pavlina from trying. Indeed, Pavlina promotes something he calls “intention-manifestation”, which is pretty much this.

There is a website devoted to him here, and a decent takedown here.

Erin Pavlina, Steve’s ex-wife, is a psychic, New Age guru and lightworker, famous for promoting modern belief in “spirit guides”. Spirit guides, imaginary friends for adults, are psychic magic-beings who can apparently not interfere with your free will, but may nudge you in the right direction. According to Erin Pavlina, before the 9/11 events many people were ‘nudged’ by their spirit guides not to arrive at the buildings on that day, despite the fact that statistically speaking it doesn’t look that way. Pavlina, however, complains that some of the victims of 9/11 probably became victims because they “used logic to override their intuition” to stay away. See how bad things may turn out if you follow logic rather than intuition! The guides of the terrorists, however, “were definitely attempting to get their charges to stop their plan, just like any guide would of anyone planning murder.” Spirit guides are incredibly moral, but unfortunately terrorists rely so heavily on logic that the guides don’t stand a chance.

Pavlina offers a training course for $3000, in which you can learn how to contact your spirit guides and how to read people’s chakras. But by visiting her website you can, for free, learn how to “raise your vibrations” (here, though it is not recommended); you can measure it by intuition, but be careful: logic and reason may break the spell.

Diagnoses: Dense cranks, both of them. To be avoided at all costs.

1 comment:

  1. Pfff... http://diepeliefde.com contains most of a Dutch book of a Philosopher of Science from the Rationalist Popper and inter-disciplinairy, he got his Ph.D. on the Thesis "Rationality in Discovery". This Dutch guy knows more about neuropharmacology, logic, computer science and cognitive psychology than most Colleg Professors, and STILL writes a huge novel, in Dutch about all topics that both this Erin and her Steve Pavlina man, seem to hold sacred. A point, not to be taken lightly.... (BTW, I am that guy ... ;-)