We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Sunday, April 19. 2015
Most exercise is a terrible and inefficient way to lose weight if you are too heavy or fat. Just think about it: A four-five mile high-speed walk will barely burn off the calories in a donut, muffin, or bagel (with the cream cheese, add another few miles). You would have to walk all day, every day, to lose weight.
Remember, all carbs=sugar and yes, that includes the carbs in beans, peas, corn, carrots, potatoes, yams - all the high-carb "veggies." We feed those things to farm animals to fatten them for slaughter. Some people get wacky about sugar, but human digestion turns all carbs into plain sugar so there is lots of physiological ignorance out there about "complex carbs" and so forth. So-called "complex carbs" just get turned into sugar more slowly.
Nature designed us to love carbs because nature expected us all to be poor and half-starving on the African savannah. If you have excess fat which bothers you or slows you down, you do not need hardly any carbs. You do need some fatty meats, though, or other fats like olive oil.
If happy with your physical condition and level of conditioning, please ignore all of this.
I've been following Bird Dog's fitness renewal program which is not designed for weight loss but to convert fat weight to muscle weight, and I approve of it. A bonus of that sort of high-intensity program (which I have done for a few months in the past to rapidly get back to fighting condition after periods of relative sloth, such as after childbirth, to get back my 28 year-old weight and fitness) is that it can help a fellow survive a male's almost-inevitable MI by building up collateral cardiac blood supply.
While high-intensity work-outs will burn fat (but only if on a carb-restricted diet), the main things they build are aerobic capacity and endurance, agility, a feeling of youthful vigor, and muscle fitness if not muscle power. Those are all good things. (Gross muscle power development - body-building - requires heavy lifting instead of reps and is more about appearance than fitness. A harmless hobby for some.)
Barnhardt says this:
I do not think food is the main post-Christian preoccupation, but it does seem common in the higher socio-economic classes. These are often the educated who missed Physiology 101 and Biochem 101. Think Whole Foods and "organic" farming. I think we have been clear on this site that most dietary preaching here is about weight loss, not general health. Nobody can define a "healthy" human diet, as we are omnivores which means we can thrive on anything digestible. In America, we are blessed with cheap and abundant food of all sorts and spend a lower percentage of our funds on tasty food than anywhere else in the world. Thus many people eat more than they need, for fun.
As I have said, I have seen 6'3" football players who grew up on nothing but peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, and the occasional hot dog.
Thursday, April 16. 2015
This gives a very close idea, I'd say +/- 3 points. It is context-free so has nothing to do with education, just pure mental horsepower. Give it a try. You will either be humbled and hate yourself for being an overachiever - or hate yourself for being an underachiever. No, not really. Many will figure they had themselves pegged correctly.
Speed counts, of course. No allowances for slower thinkers or "disabilities" because it is not a test of knowledge or operations. I came out 123 which I think is about right.
Wednesday, April 15. 2015
I have posted about IQ in the past. It's said to be a measure of "g", which is not much different than saying IQ is a measure of IQ.
IQ and total SAT scores are well-correlated so, at the least, it says something about one's power to handle relatively, but not extremely, complex cognitive tasks like higher math, challenging reading, high-level abstractions, etc. etc. It's about cognitive potential more than anything else. In today's world, cognitive powers matter more than they used to and more than they should, I suppose.
Many psychiatrists and psychologists have learned over the years to estimate peoples' IQs quite accurately, just in conversation. Subtlety of mind, rigor of logic, and curiosity as manifested by breadth and depth of knowledge are some of the markers. Of course, there is the birds of a feather issue too: people tend to find others within a similar range most engaging.
Very high IQ is a life handicap, sad to say. There are few of those, though. Lower IQs which are fully-functional and effective in life are far more common.
Medium-range IQ is the most life-adaptive (ie 110-115) for 95% of things in life from plumbing to software sales to money management. It's often been reported that the ideal IQ for CEOs of large, intricate organizations is near or around 130. Of course, character, personality style, sense of humor, and ability to connect with others in a positive way play perhaps larger overall roles in life although they will not help you perform, or even understand, a regression analysis. Furthermore, even moderately alert managers can easily hire brighter people to carry their water and make them look good. We call that "savvy" or "street smarts," not intelligence.
Here's a good essay on IQ and professional performance.
Lots of awkward nerds there.
Report says schools still shortchanging gifted kids - UI research finds many high-ability children bored and unchallenged, despite increased access to programming
Most public school teachers can rarely keep up with the truly gifted
IQ and wealth are the two of the main things social justice warriors hate. They sort-of tolerate every other sort of inequality like musical talent or running speed.
Tuesday, April 14. 2015
We were introduced to this handy term for a certain kind of manipulation by the McCain website.
Thursday, April 9. 2015
Wednesday, April 8. 2015
There's a name for that: Orthorexia nervosa.
It is indeed an eating disorder which is probably related to, and often overlaps, the other eating disorders. Unlike the other eating disorders, it seems harmless enough although irrational, a waste of time, and annoying to others. A waste of effort and money too. Basically another variant of the obsessional neuroses.
Vegans, organics, gluten freaks, Whole Foods, and all that silliness.
Nobody can define healthy eating and it doesn't matter as far as we can tell. Therefore, if you worry about food we say you just need to get a life. A social life, wholesome hobbies, etc. Unless you need to lose weight for health and vigor, to prevent arthritis and diabetes, etc, that is. Does your cholesterol count matter for anything? Not at all, unless you have the genetic disease of hypercholesterolemia which is detectable early in life. In that case, you take pills, cross your fingers, and pray.
Tuesday, April 7. 2015
Wednesday, April 1. 2015
This is the sort of crap that drives docs to retirement. It's called "electronic medical records," and it is essentially government-mandated in hospitals now. It is an incredible time-waster, and almost requires physicians to follow a script instead of focusing on you. Docs used to just note relevant positives and relevant negatives quickly on a piece of paper in a minute, and then practicing the art and science of caring about you.
"Care" is not an economic term. It is not a technical term. The "medical care" experts don't get that.
Read it and weep: Please Choose One.
It's too late to keep corporate and government bureaucracy out of American medicine. We all must now just seek out physicians with the traditional, independent medical values, who work for you despite the intrusions. However, most of them will not "take insurance" anymore. They can't afford the professionally-trained billing staff.
Tuesday, March 31. 2015
"It is much more important to know what sort of a patient has a disease than what sort of a disease a patient has."
Another Oslerism: "Listen to your patient. He is telling you his diagnosis."
Sunday, March 29. 2015
I have seen plenty of marriages hit the rocks on those shores, but on plenty of other shores too. "Class" doesn't mean money in the bank. It means a shared understanding and approach to reality and relationships - and interior decor!
Thursday, March 26. 2015
Wednesday, March 25. 2015
For another example, cardiac surgeons who are willing to take on the most difficult, or oldest, cases have the worst survival ratings. Of course they do. They are the best at what they do so they take on high-risk cases.
That's why No More Numbers makes sense.
Tuesday, March 24. 2015
Different people with different problems and different personalities can benefit from different approaches. Psychoanalytically-informed approaches can be extremely valuable for some people, and useless for others.
Monday, March 23. 2015
People maximize their advantages, because it produces choices. Choices are good. Everybody has some advantages, talents, gifts. Building social capital is what intact, functional families pursue because it makes life better and more fun for everybody.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:17 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, March 20. 2015
I read that article in The Atlantic. I disagree with almost all of it. There is no better or cheaper (it's free) approach to substance abuse for the motivated person.
It's not about "Does it work?" It's about "Does the person work it?" Sanity, like physical health, is not a passive enterprise.
Nothing can be done for the unmotivated person. However, some people on a downward spiral need a little rehab (ie forced abstinence) first to get a little clarity; some people benefit from naltrexone or topamax, and all benefit from treatment of any coexisting problems.
Thursday, March 19. 2015
Wednesday, March 18. 2015
Wednesday, March 11. 2015
Friday, March 6. 2015
Thursday, March 5. 2015
"Emotion" is sort-of an artificial construct, is it not? It - whatever it is - can rarely be separated from cognition, perception, ideas, and all other mental processes and biological instincts. We easily can identify, in ourselves, lustful desire ("urge to merge"), rage, despair, joy, fear and anxiety - but these extremes are rare and still more expressible by poets and musicians than by scientists.
Friday, February 27. 2015
Marketing can work wonders, as can the placebo effect. Don't be a sucker.
Wednesday, February 25. 2015
What drives the disease craze? Big Pharma, and insurance. Normal variants are labeled as diseases and disorders. Think ADD, ED, infertility, fear of dying, and on and on. I term them, smirkingly, "life-style disorders."
Here's an emerging new disorder: A Pill That Boosts a Woman’s Sex Drive Is Almost Here. But Do We Need It?
What shall we term the medical disorder which this pill fixes?
Tuesday, February 24. 2015
We have said here at Maggie's, for years, that a "healthy diet" cannot be defined without evidence, and there has never been any evidence. "Healthy" has just been bias, old-wives tales, and happy-sounding ignorance like "eat your peas and kale and fruit". All nonsense.
It's a big deal that even the slow-witted government finally comes around to what we have all known. America, go easy on the carbs, eat veggies only if you like them, use butter and olive oil, enjoy a fine steak when you can afford it, and do not become food-obsessed.
Sorry, Whole Foods, food quacks, and food faddists. You have been wrong all along. Docs finally now feel free to share the real facts, which they have known for years. I've never known a doc who would refuse a rare ribeye steak or filet mignon. Never known a vegetarian doc either, or a scientist who ate organic food. In fact, the biological scientists I know like to go to fancy French and fancy Italian restaurants as often as possible.
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