QuickReaction, Friday-2

Calories are calories: Even considering the source of the study (high chance of biased results) I still agree. I think people just don’t want to face facts. Calories are calories and how much or which kind of sugar is irrelevant. Everyone is mistaking correlation for causation here. Most likely people who consume a lot of HFCS also just consume a lot of calories – cut back on the calories is what’s needed. Plus debunking the various diets is totally rational, again, eat less, exercise more. Sorry, there are no magic bullets so public stop seeking fad diets or blaming innocent bystanders. You consume too many calories and that’s why you’re fat. And here we have another – mostly correct in its recommendations, but just can’t resist the unproven but faddy nutrition advice.

Disingenuous and illogical anti-healthcare rant: No big surprise coming from flat tax loving Forbes, but this article is a piece of work. Read it carefully. Compare one paragraph to another. Do they make a point in one place to push their biases and then turn around and argue the exact opposite elsewhere to make a different point. Let’s get this straight – Forbes represents the rich who don’t want to either pay taxes or in the rare cases where they actually are employers to pay benefits. They want cheap starving people and if too many die from lack of healthcare they’ll just outsource some more or bring in more immigrants. This article is a total greed based argument trying too hard to try to make sense for anyone else and rope in the gullible. It’s the same rhetorical and (il)logic techniques creationsists use.

Another really poor lie covering greed: I think Karl Rove is scum, but this fight he’s having over trying to get electable Repugs just demonstrates how much the opposition (the crazies) just want their own slice of the power and graft. For instance, this article says “the primary voters should be trusted to decide the best candidate” Now has anyone heard Rove saying he wants to actually change the way candidates are selected (NO) or is he just talking about bringing his rich friends’ money to influence voters (after all, it was good old Scalia and the Repugs on SCOTUS who decided corporations should be allowed to spend unlimited money, and you fools loved that when you thought that gun would only be aimed at Dems). Rove is just saying he intends to outspend you. Well, Steve King, Rove spent $100M already and didn’t win anything, Obama got sworn it, so Steve, you want to sell the voters go sell them and stop whining about Rove, or else go back to Congress and overturn Citizens United.

Exporting “our” oil is stupid: This article loves the idea that the U.S. is now exporting oil and importing less, great for royalties to property owners, terrible for the country. When I was still so little I could just barely do math, I argued with my dad (in the oil business) how stupid it was for the U.S. to put duties on Saudi oil (then $0.50/bl) so the more expensive ($2/bl) U.S. oil could compete. His argument was we’d be dependent on Saudi if we didn’t use “our” oil instead. This was insane then and it’s insane now. Oil is a non-renewable resource. Whatever amount there is under “our” ground is finite. When we get it out of the ground and either burn it or sell it’s gone. When we burn Saudi oil, their oil is gone and ours stays safely stored away underground (it’s not going anywhere). This isn’t like manufacturing, it’s resource exploitation. If other countries are stupid enough to let us have their resources and reserve ours for some future time, we should buy every drop we can. This is the world’s simplest argument and there is only one right answer, yet the greedy oil companies con us and in fact themselves into somehow believing that “producing” increases supply. Hey, if you believe that, then we individuals and our government should spend as much money as we can because that will increase “supply”, but I bet you don’t believe that.

Still waiting to see: Will Boston really get clobbered? I’m not convinced but it’s possible. Whenever anything is so hyped it usually turns out to be a bust. But the next thing I’m waiting for is some idiot climate change denialist to use a record snowstorm as evidence against global warming rather than actually understand this storm will have been caused by global warming (simple, hot water in the oceans evaporates more readily and provides the moisture for all that snowfall – learn some science you dumbasses). Here’s a good article exactly about that point – not only does global warming cause more evaporation into the air the slighter warmer, but just below freezing air of this storm can hold more water in the atmosphere which can then freeze out as snow. But of course this is too much logic for the dumb-as-a-rock denialists.

Good! Apple’s anti-Amazon ploy is over: Apple, who browbeat music producers and forced them to accept Apple’s pricing turned around and did the opposite with book publishers because Apple was late in the game and Amazon already had everything sewed up. So, not to worry, just illegally fix the price of books higher (which the greedy publishers quickly latched onto) and try to starve Amazon of content. Well, a) it didn’t actually work at a restraint of competition, and, b) it is illegal and they got busted. I always said, back when Apple did this, that the publishers were making a deal with the devil and they’d end up getting screwed for it (I anticipating Apple winning the war and once having pushed Amazon out of the picture then being able to screw the book publishers the same way they screwed the music publishers). Now it’s actually back to a competitive market. iPad isn’t going away as an eReader so Apple has its niche in the market and Amazon is not going anyway and publishers can make deals. Consumers will now get the benefit of competition. Good! We love to praise competition when it’s the excuse for giant unearned bonuses on Wall Street, but when it benefits consumers with low prices businesses will do every cheat there is to actually avoid competition. The government has done what it is supposed to, level the playing field and ensure a fair game, just like good refs in sporting events. Now Apple, Amazon, and publishers can earn their bonuses.

And more good news on eBooks: Hopefully a patent means more than just the filing and that Amazon will move on implementing this patent. When I buy a dead tree book I can give it to someone else and in turn they can too (in fact there are swapping networks already in place). But now I own an eBook even though I will never read it again. I just gave away a ton (well, ur, at least 100lbs) of dead tree books so I’ll like to be able to give away my eBooks too. Now the technology to support that is done (no big deal) so let’s hope to see it in practice.

Curiosity’s drill works: That’s good or otherwise maybe we sent a billion dollar piece of junk there. Now tell me what you found after you’re done playing in your sandbox. Perhaps the big power supply on Curiosity is making NASA really cautious about getting on with doing any science. Is drilling into rocks on Mars somehow way different than the testing you presumably did?

A voice of reason: Everyone should read this article carefully. A doctor (not a scientist per se but a better-than-usual informed doctor) puts forward the idea of learning to understand what all the health/nutrition talk is really about and how to distinguish important and meaningful “conclusions” from temporary fads and misinformation or irrelevant information. I think the nutrition lobby is doing a disservice – they put out too much doctrinaire and unsupported claims because it’s politically attractive and as a result people constantly see one answer one day and another answer another day and contradictory “advice” on the same day. So they tune out. There is some truth in all the nutrition advice but too much of it is just attitude, not science. So it’s good to hear someone more authoritative than me say this and I hope people listen. When it comes to flab we’re lazy (mostly why we have the flab to begin with) and so we want magic answers, so we fall for whatever snakeoil some charlatan is selling. Then it doesn’t work and we’re in worse shape than we started. Failure after failure leads to discouragement and after numerous fad diets people just give up. Sorry eating kale or quinoa isn’t going to solve your issues and banishing gluten is useless for all but a tiny fraction of people. So stop falling for the nonsense that you hear and go start reading hardcore real science. Then eat less, exercise more. There isn’t some evil substance you can blame (too much you put in your mouth is the villain) and there isn’t some silver bullet (vegan gluten-free, ha!). Moderation and most of all knowledge is what you need, not glitzy fads. If it’s in the popular press or talk TV then it’s almost certainly wrong.


About dmill96

old fat (but now getting trim and fit) guy, who used to create software in Silicon Valley (almost before it was called that), who used to go backpacking and bicycling and cross-country skiing and now geodashes, drives AWD in Wyoming, takes pictures, and writes long blog posts and does xizquvjyk.
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