Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Eggs More Complex Than Entire Planet

The U.S. government is poised to withdraw longstanding warnings about cholesterol - The Washington Post:
“There’s been a shift of thinking,” he said. But the change on dietary cholesterol also shows how the complexity of nutrition science and the lack of definitive research can contribute to confusion for Americans who, while seeking guidance on what to eat, often find themselves afloat in conflicting advice.
No, actually there tends to be ZERO "conflicting advice" among at least government funded "experts" ... they weren't in ANY doubt about cholesterol being bad! The rule of the "expert" is "Always certain, frequently wrong". Often, they are even willing to tell you "it's settled" -- not that we ever hear that in these "enlightened times".

No doubt this will go the way of "wait an hour before swimming or you will get cramps" -- absolute gospel back when us Boomers were kids, forcing us to sit on the shore for the mandatory full hour after lunch!

The list is a long one -- parents being told their babies MUST be on their BACKS ... an especially sore point for our family since 25 years ago it was every bit as COMPLETELY CERTAIN that kids MUST sleep on their STOMACHS! Naturally, our first son HATED to sleep on his stomach, so we had rolled towels alongside him to keep him on his stomach.

Crib death ... like autism and vaccines, or like early heart attacks is something that we believe "there must be a reason for", so we are very suggestible when someone gives us one. Our brains are wired to "look for solutions / rules of thumb" and IN GENERAL that is a highly adaptive trait.

A place it breaks down however is dealing with rare events, or events that take place over long periods of time.

Crib death is (thankfully) rare ... like plane crashes. Any new parent is afraid of crib death, so very suggestible. They want to do "everything they can" -- so they are prone (as we were) to believe what the "expert" tells them. BTW, there is some evidence that SIDS may be caused by the same gene that makes one susceptible to dying in sleep apnea.

When something is rare, it is harder to pin down a "cause", and indeed, the incidence may be so low as to not allow a "cause" to be found. The theory at the time we had our son was that the baby spit up and choked on their vomit when they were on their back ...

The danger of "the expert" like all con artists and confidence men is greatest when one assumes their own ignorance -- the idea that "the expert", MUST know more than "poor little me".

ALWAYS look for alternative views, historical wisdom, "laws of large numbers" , ie if the condition is very rare, then any attempt to "fix it" is highly questionable. If something like climate is known to shift over many thousands of years, then someone making claims of "climate shift" in a period of 100 years or less is lying to you for certain.

We could go on ... but for now, enjoy those eggs in good health -- turns out we are back to being as smart as we were 45 years ago.

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