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Sunday, December 12, 2004

Plankton, Crabbie Patties, and Relational Frame Theory

The goal for philosophers as well as chefs since mankind first lifted a pen or spoon for that matter is the meaning to life. Since our busy lives don't give us much time to ponder, we prefer short little recipes that neatly sum up the immutable laws of living. God's ten commandments sufficed at first, but modern man needs more, a secret formula or winning recipe that when followed gives you a leg up on all those other folks in the rat race, provides motivation and a feel good experience, and can be done on the cheap. There are lots of recipes in psychology, from Covey's seven habits to Dr. Phil's nine life laws that presume to get you on the winning track to business success, motivation, or even a place in heaven. That they don't quite succeed in doing this for us is testimony not only to the fact that such formulae are crap, but that people are a whole lot more ornery than our best philosophy would have.

Which brings me to the most elusive formula of all: the recipe of the crabbie pattie. As we all know, or at least those who have to watch Saturday morning cartoons with a young child, the crabbie pattie recipe is known only to Spongebob Squarepants and Mr. Crabs, the latter proprietor of the 'Crusty Crab', a sort of Wendy's of the deep. Now, as the Crabbie patty is the source of all culinary goodness, there are nefarious sorts, well one mainly, who wants this secret to reach ultimate power and 1 billion served. The evil doer is near microscopic in size (to match his creativity and wit), but has outsized ambitions to steal the recipe if he cannot create a similar one for his own restaurant: the 'Chum Bucket' (with not quite one served). As we all know, he never succeeds, as he invariably does himself in by falling on his own sword, or rather evil contraptions, and gets blown to bits each episode.

Dr. Hayes:
Green Little Guy Posted by Hello

Unlike food recipes, psychology recipes are gladly shared with others, providing you acknowledge its source and have a royalty check in hand. Secondly, psychologists have an often inordinate faith in the formulae they come up with, even if the resulting concoction has no more appeal than a bucket of chum. I found this out in correspondence with a certain Dr. Steven Hayes, a psychology professor who has his own secret sauce, which he calls Relational Frame Theory, a concept that completely baffles me. As a philosopher myself with more holes in my head than a certain yellow sponge, I sent him for review my own secret recipe Itty-Bitty Self Help Book.

To make matters simpler, he responded with his own formula, which I also can't understand, but no matter. It's with this formula below that he will take

Dr. Hayes' Crabbie Pattie Recipe Posted by Hello

by storm the psychological world. So be prepared, as I will surely be, for another surefire recipe that will tickle and satisfy our palates, like a bucket of chum.


Anonymous said...

It's rather amusing (though also somewhat sad) how you attempt to criticize things you clearly (and admittedly, in this case) don't understand. Of course, I guess it's easier to criticize and mock than -- gasp! -- make some attempt at actually learning something new. Your approach isn't terribly original, clever, insightful, or useful, but it can be worth a chuckle once in a while, I suppose.

Good luck with things. It appears you'll be needing it.

Anonymous said...

whatta a dick oww

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