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Monday, January 30, 2012

A Pepper of Thoughts

* Shoppers are irrational, and markets don't really work as advertized. Guess who makes this claim?

* Query: If people in the Paleolithic did not eat grains (and there is good archeological evidence that they did eat them), then why the hell would they have begun cultivating them? "Hey, here's a plant we don't eat -- let's try to deliberately grow it! What the f*&K -- with our paleo lifestyle we have plenty of time on our hands."

* A fact is a fact is a fact: Some guy "vdirequest"  calls Don Boudreaux's claim that the British have not been pursuing an austerity policy "ludicrous." The thing is, he says, that this is a "checkable fact." How does he "check" this fact? He notes that, in 2009, Cameron called for an "Age of Austerity." Well, if that doesn't prove it, what does? And the 1970s must have been an "Age of Harmony and Understanding," because some hippies said there should be one! (Note: I'm not trying to answer the question of whether Britain has or hasn't had such a policy. I'm just noting that vdirequest is being an asshat.)

8 comments:

  1. For the grains thing, there's the ecological garden of Eden theory where as the hunter/gatherer populations increased and resources to support those populations diminished, that the pressure to try something else increased. Normally it would be migration but perhaps some enterprising caveman made the connection between some grain he consumed (and spilled) and the new grain producing plant that is growing there.

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  2. I often cringe at de Koster's economic posts, because many of them seem to be anti-free market to me. This particular post of hers almost reminded me of the advertising argument, whereby ads are bad because they make people buy stuff that they wouldn't have, except this time it is a "sale" on items that makes people buy a product.

    Also, I don't think that the strategy that she speaks about dupes many people (esp. with the availability of the internet), I think that it is counter-productive to the firm's aims to bring in more revenue. This is all pretty basic economics, but it is lost on her.

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  3. Ceres, cereal, cerveza. (I'm working up a piece on the linguistic aspects for the Journal of Irreproducible Results.)

    The only good use for grain is beer.

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  4. "He notes that, in 2009, Cameron called for an "Age of Austerity." Well, if that doesn't prove it, what does? And the 1970s must have been an "Age of Harmony and Understanding," because some hippies said there should be one"

    Obama called for millionaires to pay more in taxes. Doesn't that settle that their taxes have gone up?

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  5. As I understand it, the paleo grains argument isn't so much that our distant ancestors didn't eat them at all so much as they were not preferred as they were very inefficient as a food source (not to mention tasteless and hard on the teeth). Until the discovery of how to make beer.

    The alcohol in beer is anti-bacterial, and the process of making it gives it more bio-available nutrition than the source barley grain. Plus, of course there are the other social aspects to drinking that we rely on to this day.

    The "Beer Theory of Civilization" has been around for awhile but recently has been picking up adherents as we dig up more evidence.

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  6. Joseph Stromberg, I must say that I agree.

    I actually lowered my intake of grains back in my body building days. Although I was still eating a small portion of grains I had noticed dramatic results when I replaced grains with fruits, berries and veggies, not just from an aesthetic and strength standpoint, but from a health perspective, as well.

    Today, I don't eat grains because I notice that they have a profound negative effect on me. However, I do drink beer (I should probably stop),which also has a profound negative effect on me (blubber).

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  7. "As I understand it, the paleo grains argument isn't so much that our distant ancestors didn't eat them at all so much as they were not preferred as they were very inefficient as a food source..."

    The proposition "Perhaps we should eat less grain-based food" is plausible, and worth exploring.

    The proposition "We must eliminate all grains from our diets this instant" strikes me as cranky and cultish.

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  8. "The proposition 'We must eliminate all grains from our diets this instant' strikes me as cranky and cultish."

    I can certainly agree with that statement on its own merits.

    However, I also think that basing ones diet upon a single source is also cranky and cultish.

    I prefer to have a wide variance of foods without giving total dominance to a specific classification. I can certainly see a place for grains in a healthy diet, especially when one needs a quick source of carbohydrates (running a 10k, playing a full game of sport, long-distance swimming, hiking, etc) , but I certainly do not agree with basing one's diet upon a single food staple.

    When it comes down to it, nobody knows what is best for them other than themselves, and this includes my best friend who has his Master in dietetics. In most cases it takes a little knowledge and common sense. If you're sedentary and have little need for quick food-energy, then it doesn't make sense to have a grain-based diet. However, if you're athletic and need a cheap source of energy, it makes sense to incorporate grains into you diet (the negative effects are offset by the positive activities).

    Ultimately, it comes down to knowing your own body. For instance, I know that if I were to eat a candy bar that I would immediately become hyper-glycemic with a rapid heart-rate, sweating, increased temp, etc. This would be followed by a general feeling of lethargy and discomfort (the same is true when I drink alcohol).

    I don't think that there is a specific diet that covers all situations, because not everybody's body is the same, nor do they use their bodies in the same ways.

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