An Indian Doctor’s Cure-All: Charlie Chaplin

An Indian Doctor’s Cure-All: Charlie Chaplin

In India, laughing is a serious matter. There are laughing clubs — groups who gather in parks for a collective guffaw to relieve the stresses of daily life.

Ashok Aswani goes one step further: He hands out free DVDs of Charlie Chaplin movies to patients as a cure for depression.

“This makes them feel better,” he says. “They enjoy it. The next visit, they ask for another movie.”

Aswani, 59, practices ayurveda, the traditional medical system widely used in India for thousands of years. He has a tiny walk-in clinic in the industrial town of Adipur, in the western state of Gujarat.

A wonderful NPR piece reported by Philip Reeves.

I think more Americans need to form and join laughing clubs. Seriously (grin).

IPA and Piaget

IPA and Piaget

Santa Monica, California. No doubt this tall glass of IPA is all about the old Piagetian conservation idea that a given amount of liquid will remain constant no matter the shape of the container. The taller the glass, the more arrested development types like me will think we’re getting more than a typical glass of beer.

Piaget’s task included showing a child two beakers, one tall and thin, the other short and fat. The tall and thin would be empty; the short full. He would pour water from the short to the tall, asking the child if the quantity of water was the same. In accordance with Piaget’s ideas, the children replied ‘there is more’, because the appearance of the tall made it look as if it were bigger. This concluded that Piaget was correct, and the children did not have the ability to conserve. In his words, ‘children who are unable to conserve believe a perceptual change means a quantitative change.’

He furthered the conclusion to suggest that this confusion was born from a pre-operational child’s inability to understand the notion of reversibility; the ability to see the reversal of a physical transformation as well as the transformation itself. These ideas were used to create the ‘Principle of Invariance’.

On the other hand, even though I may be stuck in a stage that prevents me from seeing "reversibility," I have proven many a time in my younger years that if I drink enough beer I can most easily (and unpleasantly) reverse that beer drinking, moving the beer from a tall thin container (me) to a wide flat container (the floor) all the while knowing that the same amount of beer existed in both places.