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
Monday, May 18. 2015
Certainly. It's part of the package or, if you will, part of the trip.
Friday, May 15. 2015
Princeton ethicist: it's 'reasonable' to kill disabled newborn babies
What does 'reasonable' have to do with ethics?
Thursday, May 14. 2015
The Economics of Tidying Up: An Economist Reads Marie Kondo. “People are wrong when they think that pair of jeans will ever fit again, Kondo is arguing. Optimistic predictions keep people from getting rid of things they don’t need.”
We adhere to the two-year rule except for jewelry, art, firearms, and heirlooms.
Wednesday, May 13. 2015
Watch out. Assess peoples' characters, if you can. Watch out for flatterers and users.
Saturday, May 9. 2015
Friday, May 8. 2015
Have trouble identifying the point at which you have had enough food to live on? Tend to eat as if in a race, too fast or more greedily than most other people? Tempted to eat impulsively between meals? Feel that you have to clean your plate without thinking, or without sensing normal satiety? Want a dessert even when you are full or over-full (not counting Thanksgiving)? Occasionally conceal your eating habits out of shame? Feel bad about yourself when you know you have eaten more than you need?
These are the main signs of a fairly-common "binge eating disorder." You do not have to pathologize it - it could also be called a "bad habit," or, from a moral standpoint, "gluttony," one of the Christian 7 deadlies. A First World problem, but not as much as you would think: there is more overweight among the "poor" around the world these days than among the more prosperous.
Like many so-called "disorders," it is mainly medically-defined as such for insurance purposes but it is a real pattern of impulsivity, often manifest in many areas. If it's a problem, it is easily addressed.
Binge Eating Disorder - Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Help
Thursday, May 7. 2015
A major omission, however, is the topic of lawsuits. No physician wants to be asked on the stand something like this: "Doctor, you have testified that in your opinion Mrs. Jones had the symptoms of ordinary migraine headache and did not need an MRI. We have an expert witness who says he always orders an MRI for headaches...."
This topic gives me a headache. The fact is that rigid "best practices" combined with lawsuit avoidance diminish physicians' use of their judgement, flexibility, experience, and more.
Sunday, May 3. 2015
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:52 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, May 1. 2015
It's nothing new in human cultures. It's been around forever. It's not culture that becomes sexualized, it's human nature. I think my point was that when you place mixed sexes in close proximity, really regardless of age, chemical things happen for a hundred different reasons. Often with unfortunate consequences. Work, home, school, wherever. More so today with coed campi and many women in the workforce.
Truth is, it can be overstimulating for both men and women. Overstimulating, and too easy for the weak of character and conscience.
My advice from such experience: Guys, if you desire your family's au pair, get rid of her. If you can't take your mind off your receptionist's body, get rid of her and hire an old lady.
This is why everybody needs his or her own code of behavior, and his or her own boundaries. No need to invent one's own because many smart people have thought about it already. God, too, as a gift to us.
Thursday, April 30. 2015
Campus life with no rules and no barriers. A quote:
It's not just campus life, though. Similar no-boundaries lives exist in the military too these days, and to a degree in society in general. Where, exactly, is the benefit for young women? Young men, once trained to be gentlemen, now often tend to view college as a free candy shop. Bonobo life, monkey life.
Do young women view it the same way, or not? How Sex Ed Screwed Millennial Women
Of course, most women do not wish to be viewed as a victim class. We must ask to what extent women have colluded with the abandonment of sexual rules and boundaries. Confirmed: Women’s sex drive is as high as men’s. Perhaps that is at least partly true. Most women I know love sex but do not feel the physical pressure for it that guys do.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:07 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, April 26. 2015
A Deadly Dance - Two prominent doctors. One beautiful woman looking for romance. And a likable misfit who spun tall tales. Their lives intersected after an intense relationship turned sour, but no one guessed that the path to love would lead to murder.
It is a story as old as mankind. The people are all idiots, too.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:36 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, April 25. 2015
Tuesday, April 21. 2015
It's not either-or. Hospitals are looking for good ratings and market share. It definitely can go to ridiculous lengths and it remains a good rule of thumb that the hospitals with the best "hotel services" are not the most medically-advanced. And sometimes the "most advanced" can get you into new problems.
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."