The Lighter Side of Hard(ish) Truths

Mellows getting harshed right and left today. Well, OK, left, mostly. Seems that dizzying sense that the world is just not as one imagines it is a new sensation to some folks. Are my values, my dreams, my feelings not shared by all good people? Am I not on the Right Side of History? Could I be Wrong? (1) I’m here today to say: it’s worse than that. In no particular order:

  • Organic food is a luxury item, like driving a Porsche. Organic food isn’t better for you. In the lab, it’s indistinguishable from other commercially produced foods. More often than not, pesticides cannot be detected in either case, and, when they can, they’re found as often on the organic stuff as any other food. You may like the taste of organic food (I sometimes do) but that’s no better than somebody spending the money to drive a fancy sportscar – because, face it, they are more fun to drive and let everybody see how cool you are.
  • Further, growing organic food requires up to 5 times as much land and other resources, since pesticides and fertilizers allow much more food per acre to be grown. So – you really want to either a) put vastly more land into production (you know, plow prairies and cut down forests and jungles) or b) kill off a large number of people?
  • Probiotics is a fraud. Not a drop of evidence they do anything for you.
  • If you’re miserable, it’s not because your chakras need adjusting. That it also a fraud. Reiki isn’t going to help – fraud. Acupuncture – placebo. And so on and so forth.
  • Your misery is also not the result of giant mystical forces. History doesn’t have a side.
  • Life is never fair. If you have a computer and are reading this, you are among the .01%, blessed beyond the imaginings of 99% of all people who have ever lived.
  • Electric & hybrid vehicles are also a fraud. If you bought a used Hummer and drove it into the ground, you’d be using fewer resources than if you bought a new Prius or Tesla – because the Hummer is already built, so there’s no factory, no mining (especially no mining of the rare earth metals used in all that ‘green’ crap), no manufacturing overhead – you’re just burning gas. But the Prius and Tesla need to get built and sold, which, in addition to involving factories and resource consumption directly,  would not happen at all if it weren’t for all the economic activity being taxed to subsidize their creation – activities that generate waste and consume resources.  So, while the production and operation of an electric or hybrid car might – *might* – consume less energy and fewer resources than the production and operation of a similar traditional car, it can’t compete with just buying a used car, where the production costs are all sunk already.  Which can’t compete with taking the bus. Or riding a bike. Or walking.
  • There’s a reason why the purveyors of all the above things and services can be found predominantly in Progressive strongholds like Berkeley, San Francisco,  and Boston – that’s where the gullible rubes that buy this crap live in the highest concentrations.

Have a nice day!

  1. OK, just kidding – that’s a bit too far – right and wrong are such a primitive concepts, far beneath the ken of those of high and lonely destinies.
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Author: Joseph Moore

Enough with the smarty-pants Dante quote. Just some opinionated blogger dude.

5 thoughts on “The Lighter Side of Hard(ish) Truths”

  1. Possibly some part of Gell-Mann at a point or two here? Look up the treatment for persistent Clostridium diffidus; as well as the cause.

      1. I’m not sure this is the link you intended, but if it is, I fail to see what the applicability is to probiotics. The video discusses fecal transplant as a treatment for persistent c-difficile infection, which, while it sounds unpleasant, does not address one way or the other if taking probiotics has any good effects. Sure, one can imagine that ingesting live bacteria *might* have some effect, if one assumes those bacteria somehow survive stomach acids to make it to the colon. This idea would be something one would test – controls, double-blind, replication, that sort of thing – to see if it, in fact, is the case. Such a trial might yield some science to hang some claims off of. If science along those lines has been done, I’ve missed it and would appreciate being pointed towards it.

        Short of that, probiotics inhabits the same universe as Dr. Kellog’s air enemas and drinking radium water – proponents of such ideas had attractive theories about what good they might do – theories that proved wrong.

        Please straighten me out if I’m getting it wrong here.

  2. Thanks for your reply and for stimulating a small amount of research on my part. As you have noted in many blog posts (as well as TOF), much research is highly suspect. If not tainted by outright bias, it is often poorly done: I suspect it may be such as an effort to be published in academia and for editors to fill various respectable sounding journals with articles. For this reason, I often rely on trusted sources and common sense such as what you mentioned above — “if bacteria can make it to the colon then …”

    So I went to my supplier’s website (Designs for Health) to see what they used as references in their TechSheet on probiotics. As you might suspect by my tone, I was not thrilled. I had no idea so much probiotic research was related to emotions — very hard to study, especially in mice!! Nonetheless, they did have human studies and some were triple-blinded for the findings (which may or may not be related to actual changes in real live humans).

    My personal reason for recommending — and even selling(!!) probiotics — usually has to do with restoring gut flora (colonies) after incidences, usually antibiotic therapies, that do much to injure bacterial colonies in the body. This is why I included the C. difficile video. Fecal transplant is meant to do the same thing. It creates a competition between colonies of micro-organisms in the gut. My common sense analogy is that if you kill off all your grass with Round Up and just leave it, more weeds will invade the area. If the bare ground is reseeded with grass this will create competition for the weeds.

    A patient of mine, following knee surgery and the pre- and post-op antibiotics developed C. difficile. Visiting him in the hospital required wearing a plastic hazmat-like suit. Upon his release, probiotics made a big difference to him. I have seen positive cases with others after antibiotic therapy, usually by relieving diarrhea relatively quickly. I have also seen positive results with patients who were bruising more or easily. I suspect this was related to reduced Vit. K production by bacteria in the colon. Vit. K is important to the intrinsic method of clotting and is why newborns often get Vit. K injections. They have not gotten bacteria in their system until they ingest things orally. This is why clotting improves daily (no study to cite) in newborns coming to it’s height at about day 8 (very interesting when tied to ceremonial circumcision timing).

    I include the following reference because it is a review/summary of a lot of research. It begins with much common sense such as how even before we knew of micro-organisms, we used fermented foods for health reasons (wine, cheese, vinegar, sauerkraut) just as we used many spices for food preservation and health reasons. Most spices while adding savor to food, were primarily used to keep that pottage from going bad in the days before refrigeration.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1319016413000819

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