Next entry in the cubic foot of art project- medical memory.
Homeopathy is pure magical thinking, as confirmed by a big new study, but persists
anyway. The basic principle is that something which makes you sick may be
curative in small doses, so a substance is repeatedly diluted (often by
1 to 100 “centesimal” dilutions in water). 40 such serial dilutions makes a total dilution
of 10 with 80 zeros, or about the number of atoms in the universe. Higher dilutions
supposedly have greater potency, despite astronomically small probability of containing
even one molecule of the original material, due to a “memory” of the original material
persisting in the water. Since this project is about book forms and information,
I subjected a paper copy of the physicians Hippocratic oath to progressive dilution of various kinds. I photocopied it to smaller size, dissolved it in 5ml of sulfuric acid, did 100-fold
dilution in water 50 times (total dilution was 10 with 100 zeros), put a sample of each
dilution in a small vial, and dried them out so I would not have liquids in my box.
There was no visible residue in the bottles past about three dilutions.
(I think the dry form should be a “memory” of the “memory” in the liquid dilution, so maybe I should market this as an especially potent remedy against quackery.)
Photodocumentation is provided to protect the viewer from false claims.