Complementary and alternative medicine Pseudoscience Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking

Choprawoo, automated

I realize that this has been posted by a lot of people on Facebook and around the blogosphere, but I can’t resist. Given my history of making fun of Deepak Chopra’s inimitable type of woo and even coining the term “Choprawoo” for that combination of the pretentious and stupid that Deepak Chopra regularly lays down. Just search for “Choprawoo” on this blog, and you’ll see what I mean. In any case, Chopra’s nonsense has always been so hilariously predictable and vapid that I’ve always wondered if a computer could do just as good a job.

Now I know.

Yes, someone has thought the same thing that I have. The difference is that that someone did something abou it. That someone created the Wisdom of Chopra, which is a random Deepak Chopra quote generator. All it does is to generate quotes from a list of words that can be found on Deepak Chopra’s Twitter stream randomly put together in a sentence.

It’s sheer genius.

And it’s actually better than Chopra’s usual drivel.

Each “quote” is generated from a list of words that can be found in Deepak Chopra’s Twitter stream randomly stuck together in a sentence.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

25 replies on “Choprawoo, automated”

A year or two ago I argued that not only it doesn’t matter what is the actual sense (heh) in Chopra words, but actually that it does matter that there isn’t any. His followers are not in it for the meaning behind his words. They are here for his words, period. If they could parse them and find meaning – that is, not subjective one they want to find – it would make the whole exercise, ahem, meaningless. They are here for mystery, not meaning of life. Or, to say it in Chopra own words (a little randomized) – “Your desire opens irrational mysteries”.

I’ve been playing with the generator on FB off and on all day. Very amusing! I thought about putting up a Random Chopra generation each morning to see how many people fell for it. I have a few FB friends who, in all seriousness, post things like this all the time, usually superimposed over a field of daisies or something. It also reminds me of Chomsky’s phrase describing the difference between syntax and semantics, “Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.”

The ego serves humble abstract beauty

It was said of some CoE grandee that he was “inordinately proud of his sublime humility”. Same goes for much of the woo crowd.

Yah, well, we hope you don’t have a Maytag.

I have my *suspicions* about the identity of Chopra Word Generating blogger.

*Thingy (“You’re barking up the wrong squirrel”)

My money is on Thingy…the Th1Th2bot makes a lot sense.

Maybe it is a script preparation for “Being There, Part Deux”:

@lilady – I picture insane troll as the Dog from UP! – given its fascination with squirrels….


Ah, Being There. Awesome movie. Watched it in one of my college linguistics courses when we were studying semantics.

You know, I could see Chopra actually using this generator when he’s suffering writer’s block.

“Oh, man. I’m drawing a blank on what wisdom to give my sheep today! Hmm…something that brings in nature. Crap. Okay, Wisdom Generator, don’t fail me now!

Aha! Perfect!”

@DeepakChopra Elephants are plants.

hearing chopra speak always reminds me of the family guy star wars parody where they make fun of the emperor saying “something something something darkside.” except for chopra it’s “something something something consciousness.”

As a High Prietess of Contrawoo, I cautiously approached the Wisdom Generator, fearing that I may indeed be tempting the Fates: being All Wise, it will certainly sniff out my contrarianess and produce bad jokes and inappropriate metaphors; taking a deep breath, I pushed the button and got:

Greatness is rooted in sexual energy AND

Freedom is inside visible bliss AND

Wholeness is inherent in unique actions…..


Also, “something something something quantum something.”

As I said over on Pharyngula, Deepak’s deepities rely on the same basic principles as ‘cold reading.’ You just throw out a lot of vague generalities or obscure suggestions and then let the subject/client do all the work.

“I see a man with light hair– he’s wearing some kind of uniform, and he’s bent over. Does this make sense to you?”

“Well, my Uncle Carl had a bad back… and his hair was dark, but he lost most of it when he got older. Uniform? He was a car mechanic — wait! I remember now! They made him wear a shirt, a blue shirt, everyone in the shop had them and his name was embroidered on the pocket. OMG! I can’t believe you got all that detail! Even stuff I’d forgotten!”

That’s why Deepak and his ilk are so popular with a certain subset of the intelligentsia. The smarter you are, the better you will be at generating meaning from this mixture of science and spirituality, picking out patterns which will resonate with your special sense that you have a special sense.

Deepak Chopra makes his fans feel like they go on a journey and, working together, discover something profound. The starting assumption is that “you will only get out what you put in.” Yeah. That’s a deepity. You can look at that statement and translate it two ways.

This thing is epic.

“Your words sound wise, precisely because they are meaningless.”

he’s cold reading the cosmos. also, he’s more or less selling a version of “the secret.” if you believe that reality is a construct of our consciousness, then you believe you can alter it. i’ve heard him say things like being happy makes your molecules happy and therefore you’re less likely to get sick. it’s like joel osteen’s prospertiy gospel but with no specific religious component, just a bunch of generic spiritual quantum nonsense.

also, he’s more or less selling a version of “the secret.” if you believe that reality is a construct of our consciousness, then you believe you can alter it.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: monist idealism is not tantamount to “The Secret,” because what has been constructed is nothiing more nor less that the entirety of the perceived world, along with all of its apparent order.

Alright, three more**

Death grows through the doorway to experiences.

Freedom undertakes potential marvel

Infinity expresses intricate balance.

** -btw- I have have only pressed the generator button a total of six times ( above and here)- lord help me : I am NOT editing.

I believe I have been chosen… it wants me to write either a treatise on philosophy or cryptic poetry and is giving me cues. Never fear, I WON’T!

Is your new site hosted by a virus? Because it takes forever to load. Comments seem down as well. I hope this was the right move.

narad, i understand your point of clarification and it prompted me to look up idealism and learn more about it, so thank you for that. however, i still think he is more or less selling the secret (or technically the secret ripped off him since it he’s been around longer but really this sort of nonsense has been around forever just in different forms). his message is not just about consciousness but how we can manipulate it for our own gain. he’s selling motivational mumbjo jumbo wrapped in a weird combination of philosophy, mysticism and quantum woo.

“I thought I controlled reality until I walked in front of a bus.” -Cheepak Dopra….. Deepak’s cousin.

This stuff sounds like quotes from Mystery Men.
The Sphinx: You must lash out with every limb, like the octopus who plays the drums.

Mr. Furious: I don’t need a compass to know which way the wind shines.

he’s selling motivational mumbjo jumbo wrapped in a weird combination of philosophy, mysticism and quantum woo.

Yes, pretty much. All the quantum stuff is complete gibberish. Mysticism… well, I have no real (no pun intended) problem with mysticism. I could venture the opionion that, aesthetically, Sufism stomps Kabbalah, but it’s of no consequence. Ontology is not required–The Void is always on tap.

Mystification, on the other hand, is always a sign that someone is trying to put something over. Nobody would really argue that one can’t manipulate one’s consciousness for personal gain. It happens all the time. What “The Secret” would seem to propound is some sort of instant and effortless transformation into a character from the juvenalia of one’s choice.

Eesh, “opionion” is either going to leave a mark or represent a novel MLM opportunity.

I was going to write you a private email on this very thing. I am elrtemexy uncomfortable with this sort of thing. I find a lot of atheist activism and even general events to be so reminiscent of my church days that it is not even funny.My husband and I (who is becoming even more hard core atheist than I) were talking about this the other day, and my feelings were stated thusly: I am just not interested in convincing anyone that what they think or believe, is wrong . Does this make me a bad, irresponsible atheist? Perhaps. Perhaps I should be more aware of the wooists and their hold on world leaders and be concerned about this. Perhaps I should fight Islam with all my strength because it’s only a matter of time until sharia law is invoked in my country. I don’t like charlatans, human rights violators, idiots of any kind, but they have always existed and will continue to, long after I have taken my last breath. If people want to waste their money seeing Deepak Chopra (getting back to the aforementioned event) and honestly believe that their life is enhanced doing so, who am I to challenge them? And why would I challenge them?When I hear of activism of this sort I think that there should be an atheist on every set of church steps every Sunday, handing out pamphlets as well.

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