Locklin on science

US public health problems which are more serious than Corona-chan

Posted in corona-chan, stats jackass of the month by Scott Locklin on November 20, 2021
  1. Fat people. Americans are incredibly fat. It’s really beyond mere gluttony at this point; we’re approaching levels of fat which are legendary; like giants of old. Beyond the fact that most of the people who actually die of ‘rona are disgusting ham planets who are dying of obesity, beyond the crippling mobility problems, beyond the fact that it ups type-2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer rates, kidney, gastric and liver disease and lowers fertility through direct biological mechanisms, it also destroys beauty. 50 or even 30 years ago you could go to a working class nightclub in America and there would be good looking people around. Now you just have giant ham planets. The few non hambeest womenfolk seem to all have full time jobs as instagram influencers. This has destroyed the normal economy of love. I used to go for walks on a railtrail in Manchester NH, and I’ll never forget a working class couple I saw walking the other way. The man obviously worked outdoors, probably swinging a hammer; tanned and wiry, he was visibly tired from a hard day’s work and was walking his morbidly obese girlfriend around to get her some exercise. The girlfriend probably weighed 350lbs and had a sinister sneer on her porcine features as she wheezed along the trail. They both looked miserable. This demonic spectacle literally didn’t exist 30 years ago when I was their age, or if some circus freak managed to achieve conjugal union with a normal looking man, we’d all make fun of him for having sex with a barnyard animal. Now a days, the only weird thing about this coupling is the man had an outdoors job and so he was pretty normal looking.  If we demonize smokers as choosing an unhealthy habit, we must do something about the morbidly obese. Dying of lung cancer or COPD from smoking is nowhere near as bad aesthetically as dying of gluttony.
  2. Insanity. One of the downsides of internet equipped modernity: mentally ill people can find each other and convince themselves that there is nothing wrong with them. Quite often they can convince society at large there is nothing wrong with them, or it’s society’s fault somehow. Picking on fatties again: there is the great example of lardy cum-logs preaching “fat acceptance” and mythical “slow metabolisms.” 13% of the adult US population is on antidepressants. According to NIMH, 1/5 adults in the US is mentally ill at any given moment in time. 6.5% of American women are seriously mentally ill; as in, not functional at any given moment. Adolescents; 50% are mentally ill. When you have that many crazy people around, things are pretty crazy. We need far less acceptance of mentally ill people. Mentally ill people historically have been shunned and even imprisoned to prevent them from ruining the society around them by flinging literal and figurative shit at everybody else. The phrase “stigma of mental illness” has 48 million google hits; almost all of them advising people to overcome the stigma of mental illness. Well, I heartily disagree with this; when you remove societal disapproval of something, you tend to get more of it. The United States is literally and objectively the most insane country in the history of the human race: unquestionably more insane than Nazi Germany or North Korea. Widespread madness and the drugs that allow such people to continue to function in normal society have made the situation intolerable for normal people,  removing the incentive to have a society in the first place.
  3. Hormonal disruptors. There’s a lot of problems here; you can see the women becoming more masculine and the men more feminine. Fertility is on a steep decrease. The recent fashion in transgenderism is probably another result, albeit one with a twisted eugenicist political component. Glyphosate is probably a part of the issue, and its use in stuff like harvesting beans has approached absolute insanity. There’s also atrazine making frogs gay in America. They’re starting to ban BPA’s, but they substitute related substances which are just as bad, and BPAs are still in most thermal receipts you handle, and the filthy stuff gets absorbed in your skin from handling it. I am also suspicious of soy, weed and over-hopped beer. The main upside to all this for me anyway is middle aged to old men like me have giant cocks compared to 20-somethings because we weren’t exposed to this shit in the womb. Of course most of the 20-something year old American women are obese and mentally ill anyway, so it’s a wash.
  4. Autism. I’m not sure this doesn’t fall into the category of “insanity.” It may also have something to do with hormonal disruption. Either way, the fact that some huge fraction of the population who thinks they don’t have to be kind and thoughtful to others because “muh disability.” Whether its on the increase because of some chemicals in the water, mutations from later reproduction, or dipshits raised by their Xbox and ipotato: I don’t think it’s acceptable that we let it pass without even so much as a public health official commenting on the fact there are millions of unpleasant spergs running around being unpleasant and getting away with it. Computer sperdos; totally not buying it. If you’re capable of writing a makefile, you’re capable of learning how to behave in public in a way that doesn’t make people want to fling you from the roof.
  5. Allergies. Why do so many people have lethal allergies now?  Millions of people have or claim to have life threatening allergies, such that I can’t have fucking peanuts on American air flights any more. If you die because you’re around harmless peanuts or some other normal substance of modern life, this means you’re basically animated meat -walking dead. What causes this? Did everyone who was allergic to peanuts before, say, the 1980s die off? If they did, how did they manage to pass on their genes? Will this trend continue until everyone needs to walk around with an epi-pen? Like most fucked up things in America, nobody even notices it; everyone acts like it is a fact of life we must accept uncritically.
  6. Drugs. It’s been about a million deaths since 2000 of overdose. It’s accelerating; the US experienced 100,000 overdose deaths 2021 so far; a new record. Add to this the ruined lives around people who overdose or are otherwise addicted, and the giant tent cities associated with druggie infestation. Unlike the ‘rona which takes people who are close to their natural lifespan anyway, drugs mostly kill young, bored adventurous people: people who could be the best of us, but will never get a chance because they made a bad choice. It may be considered a sort of slow moving suicide, chosen by nihilistic kids, and it may very well be so, but it’s still a public health problem.  Beyond that, muh weed is going to cause huge problems down the line; it’s already been implicated in a minor epidemic of schizophrenia. Go look at people waiting in line for their muh weed; village of the damned. There are huge subcultures of people who need “muh meds” which aren’t any better: amphetamines, emotion-deadening SSRI antidepressants, benziodiapene anxiolytics, sleeping pills: people who use these daily are addicts. They are a public health problem despite them being supplied by large corporations: you know, like Perdue pharma pushing oxy.
  7. Fertility. Public health officials have utterly failed to communicate with people the fact that female fertility falls off at age 35, well, like chart below. Mutational load is also higher the older the parents. Men are also becoming infertile in greater numbers; sperm count is plummeting across Western Civilization, probably because of obesity and hormonal disruptors, or maybe just because they’re a bunch of giant pussies.
  8. Censorship and erosion of public trust. Imagine what would happen if there were a real public health emergency; a new infectious disease that, say, really did have across the board 1% or 10% infection fatality rates. I’m going to go out on a limb and assert that half the country wouldn’t listen, and I don’t blame them, because public health officials are liars and fools who have failed at everything they’ve attempted since the early 1960s, to say nothing of all the issues they failed to do anything about. It is an acute public health problem, one which will obviously get worse.
  9. Homelessness. Every American town or city above 100,000 people has favelas of bums living in it. We’ve always had hoboes, crazy people, drifters and so on; we’ve never had so many that tropical diseases have made a comeback. Some of these people are junkies, some are classic victims of mental illness who should be hospitalized, some are just poor. None of it is necessary: despite the primitive conditions of antediluvian ages like the 1950s, we had no such problems back then. Almost no modern or primitive current year societies have the problems the US does with this sort of thing. Supposedly San Francisco spends 100k per homeless person, which seems a little excessive. It’s obvious from these facts that whatever we’re doing it is incorrect, especially in San Francisco and the people working on the problem must be at least partially responsible for it.
  10. The health care system. The US spends more on its health care than any other country in the world, and gets worse outcomes than most of them. That’s more in absolute numbers and in fraction of GDP (20%). This is completely absurd, and the trend is entirely in the wrong direction. In fact, the US health outcomes, when normalized for risk factors, has steadily declined since the 1960s. I’ve experienced health care in a first world country that spends a small fraction of what the US does and has a couple years longer life expectancy despite heavy drinking and smoking: America is preposterously, ridiculously behind the rest of the world on almost every level. Americans may have some experimental treatments others don’t have access to; that doesn’t move the needle for most people, and it isn’t why American health care costs so much. In America, health care isn’t a public utility like the water or electric company; it’s a series of ridiculous rice bowls for evil bureaucrats and filthy looters. People can be bankrupted for routine treatable illnesses. The fact that something like medical billing is a profession ought to give you a hint that something is very wrong here.

 

 

 

145 Responses

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  1. Raul Miller said, on November 20, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    I wish I could disagree with you.

  2. Matt said, on November 20, 2021 at 2:15 pm

    There are few better ways to start a Saturday morning other than swinging a kettlebell, drinking coffee, and reading the latest Locklin on Science. Thank you for the hard bitten checks on reality. Might have to do something about the IPAs in my fridge.

    • William O. B'Livion said, on November 21, 2021 at 4:15 am

      Eating bacon, drinking coffee, running four or five miles, then heading off to sword fighting practice.

      • Sebastian said, on November 30, 2021 at 2:33 pm

        Dont take RNA shot. There is no pandemic. 600,000 die each year from cancer, but government doesn’t force chemo and radiation on us. 660,000 die each year from heart disease, but we aren’t force fed anti-cholesterol drugs. Only 400,000 die each year WITH covid, not from it. There is no pandemic. Tell your friends, family, and employers to calm down.

  3. James Johnson said, on November 20, 2021 at 2:21 pm

    I love this screed. It was totally cathartic. It hits (hard) some of the major problems we have (have created). Thanks, Scott for the unforgiving spotlight you shine on whatever comes across your bow.

  4. Mischa said, on November 20, 2021 at 2:54 pm

    I’m a single issue voter. Fix healthcare or gtfo

    • AttilaThe Hun said, on November 30, 2021 at 10:44 pm

      Mischa, I’m in agreement about fixing the health care system. It’s not a single issue for me, but that’s a minor difference between us.

      I maintain that we could fix the health care system with a one sentence change to the tax law: Move the deduction for medical expenses from the employer to the individual. This would ultimately fix 80% of our problems (okay, I made up the number).

      It’s revenue neutral. The corporation lists what it spends on health care on employee’s W-2’s. The employee now has that much more income, but they can deduct it from taxable income. Everyone’s taxes are the same.

      However, it gets the corporation out of the medical insurance game so that individuals deal with insurance companies directly, forcing the insurance companies to be much more responsive to individual needs. And eventually, people will deal with their doctors directly and eliminate the middle man (insurance companies). Medical insurance would become real insurance (vehicle for spreading risk) instead of a method of avoiding taxes. This will bend the cost curve way down.

  5. Anon said, on November 20, 2021 at 3:42 pm

    Go to Mississippi [2]. It’s worse there.

    The scary part is that a BMI of 23 – 25 is not necessarily healthy, especially for women. Mortality rates bottom out between 20-22 [1], which coincidentally is the range that women are most attractive at. Nobody is “superficial” for their desire to mate with attractive women. At the very least it’s because the fat ones are infertile and will die early. Why don’t these fat acceptance warriors talk about anorexia acceptance? It’s absurd to think about, but no less absurd than the 300lb plus size models. Everything that is said about fat acceptance & normalization should also be applied to anorexia acceptance for logical consistency. They are fundamentally the same thing.

    American cities are designed to induce weight gain to some extent. It’s literally impossible to walk through suburban areas. Europeans bike and walk to work, this definitely gives them an edge. Driving is stressful, which may contribute to insanity or more feeding behavior. Walking or biking can be peaceful, stress relieving and calorie burning..

    [1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27146380/

    [2] https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/prevalence-maps.html

    Let’s just hope Europe doesn’t follow America’s nonsense. Scott do you have plans to leave America? These problems are getting worse not better. I’m questioning my sanity looking at the protestors and rioters and the people who think Rittenhouse should be imprisoned for self defense.

    • Scott Locklin said, on November 20, 2021 at 4:51 pm

      I don’t live in KWA, and other than some doodads I wouldn’t mind having, have no real desire to visit. Even speaking with most Americans via zoom or whatever is stress inducing. Most of ’em seem, like, not all together there: some have obviously lost their shit. Watching it from abroad is pretty wild.

      I have always held that the anti-anorexia propaganda campaign of the 1980s is one of the reasons everyone is so damn fat. It was extremely effective in associating maintaining a healthy weight with a mental illness. I remember hearing chunky broads rattle on about “anorexic” (aka looked better than them) women who had normal BMIs, then watching them eat like soldiers after a 25 mile ruck.

      • mikeinwatertown said, on November 23, 2021 at 6:55 pm

        Try as I might, I can’t manage to expand the acronym KWA. Enlighten me?

        And do I read this right that you’re not in New Hampshire anymore?

        For those of us still doing time in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts (I know, I know, but you don’t have to hang out with any moonbats, and walking to work is really nice), New Hampshire is still the great shining beacon of quasi-normalcy.

        If even the Granite State has degenerated enough to suck like everywhere else, geez, that’s really a black pill.

    • Marty said, on November 21, 2021 at 9:06 am

      Yeah are you leaving America? What can sane people do besides leave the only home they know?

  6. DamnItMurray said, on November 20, 2021 at 3:50 pm

    Bro, it’s a fucking shame. I’m in France currently, young people here are also products of mass consumption of phthalates. It’s becoming increasingly hard to distinguish between the boys and the girls. I myself am an organic meat-fed Eastern European wrestler and the looks I get man. It’s insane, back in my country I didn’t really stand out, here I’m like a circus show. If you don’t have man tits, soft jello-like physique, hunched over back, and a pussy demeanor you’re looked at as some threat(which you most definitely are for these guys). And that would be nice if the girls also weren’t crazily out of shape. There are some odd ones out, especially in more athletic schools and academies, don’t get me wrong, but 80% of the population is what I just described. And all those things translate into bad social behaviors, i.e. guys behaving like girls, gossiping and being unconfrontational twerps, girls becoming radicalized Karens, etc. Again, I’ve found exceptions, but for the most part, it’s generally the norm, and no one is talking about how this is tearing apart normal social structures. Sad shit, but Imma keep hitting them weights, drinking that coffee, and preparing for the inevitable societal collapse during which meatheads will once again reign supreme. Just gotta sit it out, reading my boy Locklin for practical advice.

    BTW you old fucking fart, I’ve requested a dedicated section with book recommendations on this site so you could impart knowledge on us young bucks in the written form, but you’re still not obliging. Gotta make them brain gainz brah, something to read when resting in between sets of your articles.

    • Scott Locklin said, on November 20, 2021 at 4:54 pm

      You’d have to be more specific about book recommendations. Like “cool shit to read” or “fun philosophy” or “how to make nuclear weapons?”

      • DamnItMurray said, on November 20, 2021 at 5:10 pm

        All of it, that’s why we need a more general book section. Cool shit to read is the easiest to digest, but just giving a random book recommendation every week is also a very good alternative.

          • Cameron B said, on November 27, 2021 at 3:57 am

            Weak sauce, Scott. I’ve read some of your amazon reviews and neither those nor your link adequately provide a reading list. Take a minute out of your day to list a loved book and eventually you can publish them. We’d love you for it. Lord knows you’d like to improve our youth.

            • Scott Locklin said, on November 27, 2021 at 11:29 am

              I don’t think it works that way. Read the ancient greeks; everything else is commentary.

    • maggettethekraut said, on November 23, 2021 at 7:44 am

      I consider the wide spread idea that “manly meat-heads alpha males” will “take over” if (or when) society

      collapses, borderline hilarious.

      The “chad” who ATG squads 300 pounds for reps have almost never been in charge of anything and probably never will be. And when they briefly were (like Sparta), they sucked balls.

      Even though the Joe Rogan types love to push the “alpha male” narrative a lot, it’s utter bullshit. The real world is not Robert E Howard novel. Even in the dark ages society was closer to a business corporation than we like to admit.

      We are no mountain gorillas. Your power resides only in the ability to form alliances and communicate. Or the 80% with man boobs will visit you with baseball bats, rape you and take what they want. Not a romantic idea. But facts,

      Hence the fat, old and out of shape dude who is now your boss might be replaced. But the replacement won’t be your “bro” type and pretty close to the dude before.

      The best hedge is to be somebody who knows essential shit and is of value to others. Being able to repair car engines, know your flora and fauna, being able to hunt, welding and carpenting, understanding batteries and electricity in general and, probably most important, know your way around agriculture…is all way more important.

      Being able to power clean 150kg, having a 40inch vertical and run a 400m below 55, know how to “te-guruma” somebody head first into the ground or how to avoid elbows in the clinch is a nice add on. But it doesn’t make you as elite and special as the “bro-snowflake culture makes you think.

      • Scott Locklin said, on November 23, 2021 at 10:53 am

        I think it’s clear from recent examples (Soviets, Eastern Europe) that physically powerful people do pretty well in a societal collapse, though the apex winners do end up being your boss who is the guy capable of organizing them. I also think it’s clear from my social life that athletic people tend to have their shit together in ways the non-athletic don’t. I mean, you’re pretty smart and have your shit together; you’re also pretty athletic. You also live in Germany and have no idea how bad the plurality of America is; if society collapsed in Germany, I don’t think anybody would notice. Maybe there would be inconveniences with plumbing.

        I think it’s also pretty clear that the chubby boss types were extremely fit compared even to athletes of today, back in pre-industrial times. At least in useful stuff like endurance and hand strength. And the ones people admire are more like meat head heroes than modern eunuchs.

        • maggettethekraut said, on November 23, 2021 at 2:04 pm

          I agree that athletic performance it is a very good predictor for the level of discipline. Especially for middle aged persons, when you can’t free ride on your genetic talent base alone anymore.

          But I think you can’t exclude the narcissist crossfit bro or the girl working out for instagram.

          Still better than being fat I guess. But pretty insane as well.

          • Scott Locklin said, on November 24, 2021 at 11:28 am

            >you can’t exclude the narcissist crossfit bro or the girl working out for instagram.

            It’s so rare as to be … at the very least not a public health problem! Narcissism generally is though.

            • maggettethekraut said, on November 24, 2021 at 11:51 am

              “Narcissism generally is though.”

              I am also worried about that one. Would like to get your opinion on that.
              Is it just amplified because of social media? A cultural shift? All the “you are special” and “your are unique” and “achieve greatness” brainwashing (“decent” or “good” is just not good enough any more)?

              Or are we just too eager to diagnose it and see it everywhere? I mean there is a big different between a dude who is a bit full of himself and a true clinical diagnosed narcissist or toxic narcissist is quite a big one. But still. I get the feeling it got worse.

              • Scott Locklin said, on November 24, 2021 at 12:01 pm

                Christopher Lasch saw it back in the 1970s (I recommend everything he wrote), so it was happening for a long, long time before most started to notice. Social media and self esteem played their role as well. Narcissists as you say are a real thing; it’s not just big ego or “extreme confidence” stuff. It’s also something like 6-7% of the adult American population. In certain subpopulations, it is the plurality.

        • another anonymous said, on November 25, 2021 at 11:13 am

          So the poster above is someone who waits for “collapse of society” so he could live great mobster life in 1990’s Russian style?
          He better start right now – people who made it big had already long and fruitful criminal careers during Soviet Union, those who joined late when things got rough joined as the lowest rank of gun meat.

      • another anonymous said, on November 25, 2021 at 11:26 am

        >know your way around agriculture…is all way more important.

        if you predict that something like post-Soviet era is coming to your country, the best hedge is to learn foreign languages, learn skills that are useful worldwide, obtain foreign residency/citizenship and GET OUT

        in 90’s Russia, people who had the opportunlty left (for US, Canada, EU, Israel), no one was leaving the cities to try their luck in kolkhoz

        • gtem said, on December 1, 2021 at 2:19 pm

          “no one was leaving the cities to try their luck in kolkhoz”

          No, but regular city people who had dachas grew their own potatoes/produce, some even kept cows. The other key part of this was access to a root cellar to keep all these potatoes/canned foods in. My family made it through perestroika and the early 90s just fine foodwise as a function of having this type of setup. We had a total of maybe half an acre of tillable land to grow food on (mostly dedicated to potatoes, but we had every kind of vegetable, berry bushes, etc), we had dacha neighbors with a cow, we had a root cellar built below the service pit of our co-op garage, and my mom’s parents lived out in the country and kept chickens and hogs and would drive down with a side of pork now and again. You’d break the pork down down into manageable pieces, pour water over and keep it frozen on your commie-block balcony. Granted, we wouldn’t have starved without this, but our diet would have been much much poorer.

  7. John said, on November 21, 2021 at 1:09 am

    Concerning obesity, I’d like to know the role of high fructose corn syrup in obesity. Also, almost all foods have a lot of sugar in them. Why is it necessary to add sugar to soup and cocktail sauce? If high fructose corn syrup causes obesity, then why doesn’t the FDA prohibit it?

    • Scott Locklin said, on November 21, 2021 at 11:41 am

      I’m sure it’s a factor along with shitty vegetable oils and sloth.

    • James Johnson said, on November 21, 2021 at 1:31 pm

      my understanding (informed) is that HFCS is marginally different from plain sugar in terms of calories, glycemic index, etc. it makes about as much sense as GMO concerns. comes from the same people who “invented” peanut allergies. that said, the world has way too much sugar in it. why put it in soup?? that makes no sense nutritionally or “culinarily” to me.

      • Brutus said, on November 23, 2021 at 4:59 am

        If you read old sources from the 80s (like older editions of The Vitamin Bible), people thought fructose would be healthier than sugar because insulin isn’t needed to use it. The reasoning went that it therefor shouldn’t trigger insulin resistance. In reality, HFCS has been shown more metabolically damaging than sugar. I don’t fault the FDA for approving it back then, but it should have been pulled from the market when the data went against the hypothesis.

    • Cameron B said, on November 27, 2021 at 4:03 am

      High fructose corn syrup doesn’t cause obesity. Eating too much of it does. The role of HFCS in obesity is much less interesting than say, society no longer demonizing gluttony. Or southern hispanics feeding liquid cheese to their children. Or any other number of problems apart from a specific ingredient.

  8. gbell12 said, on November 21, 2021 at 5:55 am

    Fat *and* stupid. Maybe all those old people fretting about these exact trends were right.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3813310/

    And there are zero fat people in this Seals and Croft video – really striking. Makes me sentimental for a time I wasn’t even there for.

    I switched countries, and unfortunately went from the fat pan into the fat fryer.

    I don’t come from a point of hatred or cruelty. It’s just disturbing, sad, and alarming. Oh, and not great to look at.

    Interesting that our beauty standards haven’t shifted – still skinny people on most magazine covers and ads.

    • Scott Locklin said, on November 21, 2021 at 11:48 am

      They probably all got fat. Funny everyone keyed on the “fat people” thing. It really is the biggest thing you notice when you get off the airplane.

    • Klaus Kasimir said, on November 22, 2021 at 3:53 pm

      That Video ist not from 1997: look at the the boats and the clothes! Late 1990s or thereabouts, I’s say.

      • gbell12 said, on November 23, 2021 at 12:05 am

        Sagt es direkt im titel – 1972.

        • JMcG said, on November 23, 2021 at 4:17 pm

          The song was 72. The video description says it’s someone’s home video that was set to music. Boats and clothes look like the 90s to me.

          • Altitude Zero said, on November 23, 2021 at 7:50 pm

            The late 90’s are now just about as close to 1972 as they are to today, so I think that the points still stands – if anything it reinforces how recent a lot of this has been.

          • gbell12 said, on November 23, 2021 at 9:22 pm

            The video description says it’s someone’s home video that was set to music.

            I don’t see that in the description, but I think you’re obviously right! The cars too… and the plastic products… all more modern than 1972.

            I need a new 1970’s summer video to watch.

            • dkoltermann said, on November 30, 2021 at 5:57 pm

              I recognize that location as being Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. This is on the lakeshore park, adjacent to the floating bridge. The bridge shown is the new one, opened on May 25, 2008. So that dates the earliest the video could have been made.

  9. Brutus said, on November 21, 2021 at 6:03 am

    4. When my son was born, I dug into medical journals to understand the cause of autism quite a bit before I’d sign off on any vaccines. I came to the conclusion that the biggest factors are
    (a) tylenol – see https://www.talkingaboutthescience.com/studies/Good2009.pdf and https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/1476-069X-12-41
    (b) destroying the intestinal flora of infant by overuse of antibiotics in children for every little thing, nuking 1/3 of mothers with antibiotics because of strep. B, and overuse of Caesarean sections.

    5. One fact I find interesting is that Chinese generally haven’t taken allergies seriously because serious allergies were so rare. My wife (who is Chinese) tells me there has been a major uptick in serious allergies there in just the past few years. I know that allergies and autoimmune diseases (allergies to self) are or were considered as partly psychosomatic in origin. It makes me wonder if this is partly a social contagion or perhaps related to the mental health epidemic.

    • Scott Locklin said, on November 21, 2021 at 12:24 pm

      4. Absolutely fascinating, and I had never heard of this. One which adds a bit of evidence in favor of this is antidepressant use during pregnancy. This is one which seemed a bit crazy to me; the very idea that one might use antidepressants during pregnancy in the first place seems bonkers. Most women don’t drink or smoke weed during preggos time; why would anyone take other psychoactives? But the type of woman who would pop that kind of pill during pregnancy probably pops a lot of other kinds of pills. The 2009 Good review is pretty convincing.
      https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/antidepressants-in-pregnancy-tied-to-autism/

      5. Russians anecdotally same story, but no increase in allergies I know of. Allergy sufferers do anecdotally tend to be neurotic.

  10. mitchellporter said, on November 21, 2021 at 6:22 am

    This is an excellent list and it deserves a comprehensive causal explanation as well. (I’m not saying Scott should be the one to produce such an explanation, he’s already done the rough work of putting down the facts.) For example, to what extent is it a list of contingencies, and to what extent is it a list of effects deriving from a few common causes? My intuition says “information society” and “liberal values” are two of the common causes, but that doesn’t address e.g. anything deriving from specific chemical or dietary factors. Also, identifying which of the problems are illnesses, and which are pseudo-illnesses (a very different kind of problem), is a step towards clarity.

    • Raul Miller said, on November 21, 2021 at 12:17 pm

      “That would be a lot of work.” (Which, in essence, is the problem we are facing.)

      We have a lot of potential causes, and most of them are disturbing and/or unpleasant and/or divisive and/or boring to think about.

      For example, the insanity and autism issues likely have heavy metal poisoning (mercury poisoning, and lead poisoning, for example) as contributing factors. Literally, this sort of thing probably makes some thoughts “painful to think about” for the sufferers. And, insanity pretty much by definition contributes to problems and interferes with their solutions.

      For example, we have DSM criteria where certain physical activities in children contribute to a diagnosis of ADHD. Conceptually, this bias might be compensated for by adding more lethargic criteria and requiring more criteria matches. But there’s economic pressures here and our insurance system of medical care favors people who can sell their point of view. So how do you beat salesmen in positions of authority? With more salesmen and some reality checks? Would that be enough?

      Similarly, we have the sugar lobby being perhaps the most powerful lobby in the world. You can see this by looking at how much money gets contributed to congress members by various lobbies. And, we don’t want to get rid of them — sugar is too useful — but we still need to address the problems of too much sugar consumption.

      Similarly, we might observe that the incredible convenience of fast food corresponds to a rise in obesity in countries where it is available.

      Perhaps the most disturbing thought is that historically we had more evolutionary pressure — we had more things that killed us, and especially we had more things that killed children. This kind of thinking has been expressed in the past and probably contributes to some of the religious outrage expressed against concepts of evolution. We do not really want to fix this problem, but we might be painting ourselves into a corner such that the problem “fixes itself” and we also do not want that either.

      And, speaking of religion, there’s buddhism which has often been characterized (with statues depicting buddha as obese) as a collection of practices developed by an old fat guy. There have also been compensatory efforts, but sitting and meditating isn’t going to exercise your muscles. Do you know how to fix this problem? I don’t know.

      Generally speaking these issues (I’ve mostly been only talking about the first item on the list here) are not the sort of things which have easy fixes. And it seems likely that the fixes would be unpleasant.

      I am just scratching the surface here, and I have already expressed some concepts that would get me branded as “fringe” for having stated them if they were broadcast (I have tried to express them carefully, but when people repeat ideas they typically make small changes in the process). If those kinds of concepts were even close to accurate, the reality that they crudely describe to would be extremely difficult to remedy. But another problem here is: how do you test these kinds of ideas for accuracy?

      We have a lot of potential causes, and most of them are disturbing and/or unpleasant and/or divisive and/or boring to think about.

      And, we need better habits.

      That said, maybe try to figure out how to include “walk a few miles each day” into your routine. If you can do that much (or if you are already doing that much), you’re way ahead of the pack.

      • Scott Locklin said, on November 21, 2021 at 12:28 pm

        I guess the counter point is to look at other countries not afflicted with such problems and try to be more like them. There should be enough data out there to figure it all out.

        Of course, we probably won’t, for rice bowl reasons. I mean, imagine if all these problems could be attributed to something like soybean oil. It’s an absolutely huge industry in the US with decades of propaganda declaring it a “healthy oil.” It’s also a huge export, and has a gigantic industrial infrastructure associated with it, complete with futures market.

        None the less, the effort should be made, if only to preserve a remnant of healthy and normal Americans to try to set things to right in the future.

        • Raul Miller said, on November 21, 2021 at 2:48 pm

          To some degree, yes — though that can be tricky because different administrative procedures can get different counts for what would otherwise seem to be the same label.

          Still, looking at obesity — for example https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_obesity_rate — and picking a country low on the list, like maybe Japan, we can contrast what they are doing with what we are doing. In the case of Japan, food prices are sky high, and transportation costs are also sky high, so it’s difficult for people to overeat, and people tend to walk everywhere and burn excess calories. But, of course, part of this is due to Japan being a densely populated island nation. Our situation is different enough that simply importing practices from Japan would not get us where we need to be.

          Also, the USA is rather unique in that it’s a nation of immigrants which is a “limited government” by design. Being a nation of immigrants means that we have cultural conflicts well beyond those experienced in most other nations. Being a “limited government’ has meant that we have had to evolve non-governmental measures to cope with many of our issues. It’s not always pretty, and progress is sometimes slow (for example, based on a lack of agreement on what “progress” should be).

          • Scott Locklin said, on November 21, 2021 at 2:52 pm

            Japan or the EU isn’t legislating anything making people skinny, other than maybe not allowing harmful chemicals in the food. Legal systems have nothing to do with anything. In any case, pretty much everyplace but Sweden decided for public health problems at the covid level of seriousness, totalitarian measures are allowable. All 10 of these are demonstrably more serious problems than seasonal respiratory diseases.

  11. […] Locklin on Science looks at the health care issues in the United States that are more serious than FAUXVID. […]

  12. GU said, on November 21, 2021 at 3:57 pm

    Great post, thanks. WRT obesity, popular culprits include seed oils, sugar, and carbs, but fundamentally it comes down to people consuming more calories. American women eat like the stereotypical long haul trucker in a diner. Of course they’re fat.

    I think stuff like seed oils may have a small effect—e.g., long term consumption may screw up your body such that you store more fat than you would otherwise—but there is no convincing evidence for this. You can be absolutely ripped and jacked eating shitty food as long as you hit the right calories and have sufficient protein intake (you gotta lift too). I got down to ~10% body fat in my late 30s simply by tracking calories and sticking to the diet. High carb, fairly high sugar, plenty o’ seed oils. People don’t like to hear it, and while dietary choices may have a small impact on metabolism, CICO really rules the day when it comes to body composition.

    Few people will live like bodybuilders though, and they didn’t in the past, so what gives? Why so fat now, or more precisely, why so many calories now? I think it’s primarily social.

    First, loss of strong social idea of “meal time.” Three squares a day has become “snack all day in between meals.” Anyone with kids will notice that a majority of parents seem to think their kids can’t go more than an hour without eating, bringing snacks to the playground, every car ride, etc. Second, no more taboo against eating anywhere but the table. How many people do you see eating while walking in public? In their car? How many people stuff their face on the couch or in bed? It used to be considered rude and barbaric to eat anywhere but the table. Third, women no longer feel any social pressure to avoid pigging out. Women often expect and demand an identical portion size as men, and often proceed to clean their plate. More women also try to drink booze like men these days too. Fourth, lack of homemakers cooking for their families. Restaurant meals are inherently more caloric.

    One final factor: far less walking for most people. Walking is the one form of exercise that can cause large, population-wide weight loss (or at least keep weight gain at bay).

    • Scott Locklin said, on November 21, 2021 at 7:36 pm

      Walking while eating is mostly an American thing. People look really barbaric when they do it; like a lizard swallowing something bigger than its head. People pumping liquid calories through juices, alcohol and weird pre-diabetic coffee drinks is also pretty uniquely American.

      I’m sure you can lean out on a shitty diet; I think seed oils are bad for the inflammatory response though, so who knows what other horrors you’re wreaking on your metabolism. I mean, this shit gets directly in the cell membranes; can’t be good.

      • GU said, on November 21, 2021 at 7:57 pm

        Agreed. I think stuff like seed oils are bad for health and make it more likely that you’ll get cancer, have a heart attack, etc. But I don’t think they make you any fatter than a calorically equivalent amount of beef or vegetables or whatever you think is healthy.

      • Walt said, on November 22, 2021 at 9:07 pm

        I was just in the Midwest and it was horrifying. Americans waddle from the TV screen to the restaurants which contain even more TV screens back to the TV screen. They are quite fat. What gets them up out of bed in the morning? They seem like the walking dead.

  13. anonymous said, on November 21, 2021 at 6:15 pm

    I’ve read before that in the case of actual diabetes, the causal arrow doesn’t go the way most people assume. If you get diabetes, there’s almost nothing short of auschwitz-level starvation that will keep you from gaining weight. That suggests that there might be something other than pre-disease calories that triggers the metabolic disease (some food additive that only picked up at the inflection point in the 70s or something.)

    I wonder how much of diabetes is iatrogenic? Does metformin help, or does its presence in mid-disease cases act as some sort of crutch that has the remainder of your pancreas giving up?

    I’ve also read papers to the effect that once you’ve developed some sort of metabolic disorder, dieting and exercise don’t fix the damage and any return to normal is brutally temporary and unstable.

    I suppose it’s still possible that a drop in calories expended throughout our days might be the culprit (and therefore a *preventative* solution to those who haven’t already gone into some metabolic dysfunction), but there could easily be many other things going on. Our grandparents didn’t eat small meals – composition was more meat heavy, but caloric content was the same or greater. They were more physically active.

    There are other observations I’ve seen floating around – other things going on besides weight-gain over the past 50 years.
    * neoteny – Someone posted some photos comparing sports stars from the 1950s to today. Physically active (sometimes absurdly so to the point of damage) men. The modern ones all look 15 years younger at identical ages. Is this a real effect and what sort of prevalence does it have?
    * The sperm count research mentioned in the comments on a previous post.
    * Is “soy-face” a real thing and is it new? Prevalence? Is it cultural or biological?

    I’ve remarked before that studying metabolism (and how to alter it) should, in a sane country that wanted to promote health, be some billion-dollar industry. People are willing to pay through the nose for diet/exercise/GFS snakeoil that doesn’t actually work, think of what they’d pay for something that actually does something real!

    I have a friend who is 5ft, 150ish lbs and can eat half his body weight a day and not gain weight, only has to sleep 4 hours a night. (I’m a little envious. I gain weight if I look crosseyed at a calorie from across the room, and exercise has only ever allowed me to maintain a bare grip on a sorta-healthy weight. When I was in the military, I was eating the same stuff, doing the same calisthenics, and passing the same PT tests as everyone else, and I was always teetering on the top of the acceptable weight chart.) There are biochemcial/horomonal (and ultimately genetic) reasons for these vast disparities in metabolism that should point to handles for manipulation. (This is something independent of the metabolic disease/diabetes stuff – you’d want this even if the country wasn’t getting fat.)

    • Raul Miller said, on November 21, 2021 at 7:06 pm

      Sure, and also almost nothing can be done about a non-diabetic overweight condition. But “almost nothing” is not “nothing”. And even people catering to our worst impulses have to allow that that’s not the only possibility.

      It’s always the case that there’s more ways of doing things wrong than there are ways of doing things right. And it’s up to us to apply our intelligence when making that kind of distinction.

      And, yes, the benefits from exercise are unstable in the sense that if you stop exercising you stop getting the benefits.

      On the flip side, our bodies need a certain amount of exercise to stay healthy.

      But… exercising is about inflicting micro-injuries on yourself, and you need to allow yourself some time to recover (historically: one day a week, though that was after a childhood spent developing the muscles and stamina to maintain that pace — if you are out of shape, letting your muscles recover for 40+ hours after exercising them is considered good practice). Exercise too much and the injuries outweigh the benefits. Exercise too little and you you also do not get the benefits (and, you can even fall into “lethargy kills” failure modes like we have been seeing).

      And, sure, once you’re damaged you’ll always retain some traces of that damage. But, there’s a huge (pun not entirely intended) difference between retaining some of the damage and not being able to improve your situation.

      I probably could have explained this better.

      When your situation cannot be improved, you are dead, or almost dead.

      • Altitude Zero said, on November 23, 2021 at 4:03 pm

        Weight aside, the neoteny thing is real. Comparing pictures of college students today with college students from the 1970’s-80’s is staggering. The 70’s kids look 5-7 years older, and not in a bad way. I have no idea what the cause might be, but its real for sure.

        • JMcG said, on November 23, 2021 at 4:22 pm

          The same holds at the opposite end of the spectrum. Forty or fifty years ago, a 70 year old looked really old. I have octogenarian relations that look twenty years younger than actual age. I always chalked it up to widespread smoking in the old days. I’m sure modern dental care and a generally easier life have a lot to do with it.

          • Scott Locklin said, on November 23, 2021 at 4:44 pm

            It’s a known effect that the ageing process is visibly slowing. Nobody knows what causes it. Might be something weird like fluoride in the water (waves hands over fluorodated pineal glands). Might be workaday; increased vitamins, more sunscreen (aka better collagen), fewer people engaging in manual labor, less smoking, drinking; maybe some other shit people take now has inadvertent anti-ageing effects; someone told me once that preservatives in shit like pop tarts wiped out stomach cancer as a leading cause of death.
            I was a late bloomer myself.

            Example: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13524-017-0644-5

            • Altitude Zero said, on November 23, 2021 at 6:30 pm

              Who knows, might be a good thing, but it’s a really striking change in a relatively short period of time,and it seems like it might be a good idea to understand what’s going on.

            • Dawit Habtemariam said, on December 9, 2021 at 3:28 am

              I’m so surprised by this. I would think with people working longer, stressful hours sitting on their fat asses inside offices cutoff from sunlight and eating garbage would make them age faster.

  14. anonymous said, on November 21, 2021 at 6:33 pm

    Re: The autism thing: You’d have to seperate out real autism from “internet autism”. I swear, the moment anything on earth becomes an identity group, the SNR drops instantly to zero. Hard to disentangle the real info from the support-group mutual grooming. The real disease is grim and not at all subtle. I’d be interested to know if the “autism spectrum” is actually a continuum or not – if it’s a disease caused by specific gene malfunctions, you would expect a sort of Mendelian discreteness to its expression. {Have X, Not X} x {Have Y, Not Y} x {…}. OTOH, it could be due to a lot of genes that pile up and could legitimately be a continuous thing.

    • Raul Miller said, on November 21, 2021 at 7:10 pm

      The symptoms of autism are similar to the symptoms of mild mercury poisoning. And there’s presumably other problems with similar symptoms.

  15. Rickey said, on November 21, 2021 at 8:53 pm

    My Deep South Redneck opinions.

    1. Fat People. Central air conditioning is definitely a contributing factor. Normal persons do not stuff their pie holes when they are hot, sticky and miserable. However, they may negate that environmental incentive by chugging beer, sodas or sweet tea with the consistency of Kyro syrup to “keep cool”.

    4. Autism. This is probably more of a diagnostic issue than an actual increase. Follow the money and incentives. Special education programs throw tons of money to school districts and allowing more time to complete standardized tests are great incentives for school systems and parents to have a student diagnosed as “special”. What was considered normal shyness 50 years ago that would probably disappear after puberty, is now part of the autism spectrum.

    5. Allergies. Unless the food gives you blisters, boils, intense rashes, explosive diarrhea, or your throat swells shut, you probably do not have an allergy. Children are not used to normal food since they were raised on chicken McNuggets and French fries because lazy parents do not want to cook and find it easier to capitulate to their children’s demands rather than do what is in their best interest. Try hosting a child’s birthday party. Their little precious has issues with wheat, peanuts, gluten, lactose, eggs, etc. even though they were never formally tested. However, eating that blue frosting that passes through your alimentary canal without losing a shade is not a problem.

    9. Homelessness. One advantage to Redneck culture is that they do not tolerate nonsense such as relatively wealthy white persons protesting (e.g. Antifa) and homelessness as a lifestyle choice. Persons working a blue collar or service industry job barely making ends meet are not going to be sympathetic to some able-bodied bum with no mental issues looking for a handout. I had a nice discussion with a person that worked with a church group that “helped” the homeless. I asked him if you are really helping them or just enabling and subsidizing their lifestyle. I said that there are persons that prefer to live in relative poverty and do whatever they want rather than be responsible or accountable to anyone. I thought he would become defensive but he said there is a good percentage that fall into that category.

    • James Johnson said, on November 21, 2021 at 10:57 pm

      sweet to hear how life is/should be. I hail from areas like that. not sure they are still but I know it is not the case in NJ. My Mom, who grew up on a farm used to wonder why humans supported those less fit for survival. Her model was more along the line if it is a runt, it should be sacrificed. and she would give a lot to help others anyway.

  16. Jan Szubert said, on November 22, 2021 at 6:36 am

    I just arrived in Sydney, the land of Oz, where obesity is also a major lifespan reducer. Excessive consumption of highly processed carbohydrates seems to be a major driver. We eat like manual laborers of yore, yet mostly just sit around and poke keys on a laptop.

    Regarding the rise of autoimmune diseases, bizarrely they started to arise in Western “germ free” environments. Search for “the hygiene hypothesis” or start here :
    Parasitic worms and inflammatory diseases – NCBIhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov › articles › PMC1618732
    INFECTIOUS DISEASE, AUTOIMMUNITY, AND THE HYGIENE HYPOTHESIS

    Graham Rook came up with a more nuanced “old friends” hypothesis : Rook, Graham A.W.; Martinelli, Roberta; Brunet, Laura Rosa (October 2003). “Innate immune responses to mycobacteria and the downregulation of atopic responses”. Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 3 (5): 337–342. doi:10.1097/00130832-200310000-00003 It can be summarised as : our immune system evolved into a highly tuned system intended to keep most pathogens and parasites at bay until another generation could be produced. Yet now our young grow up with little or no obvious targets to hit. The result is that our immune systems’ built-in hyperfine target location system will lock on to anything that stands out in the noise, even peanut protein or aspects of our own biology, leading to so many weird allergies. Higher fat densities lead to stronger immune inflammatory conditions which may also lead to greater rates of depression.

    In the 1940s it was rare for a child to grow up without ever having experienced intestinal or other worms or a serious bacterial or viral infection, yet now those things may only be seen in very poor areas and are much more predominant in third-world countries. The authors suggested that the lower incidence of depression in third world countries was one indicator that obsessive cleanliness could be the source of worsening mental health.
    It is ironic that higher incomes enabled people to be better nourished, to have sanitation systems & cleaner water, better medical care (too many anti-biotics), but it turns out that nearly all of it was a double-edged sword.

  17. Montius said, on November 22, 2021 at 11:26 am

    Agree with all of this. I would add that a related issue to the obesity problem is that there are a lot of grifters (and general ignorance) in the “fitness industry” here in the US. This doesn’t help matters at all. It really doesn’t take much to get into decent shape, just don’t eat like an asshole. You don’t even have to exercise or lift weights for hours a week in order to do so.

    Here is a pretty good video talking about a lot of the misconceptions when it comes to exercise:

    And here is a short one with him talking about how being a fatty ruins your life:

    • Scott Locklin said, on November 22, 2021 at 7:54 pm

      First link is broken. 2nd one is totally right, but discredits himself by being a HIT jedi. Don’t get me wrong; it totally works -they just usually leave out the sterons cycle required to take full advantage of the training modality.

      • Montius said, on November 23, 2021 at 9:48 am

        Sure, you are going to need the sterons if you are expecting Mike Mentzer like results, but with adequate rest and recovery you can get very good results with HIT training once or twice a week. You aren’t going to be winning the Olympia or anything, but it works great to build muscle and get stronger. It is especially good for athletes that have a large skill component to their sport that doesn’t involve lifting weights (wrestling, jiu jitsu, boxing, rugby, hockey, etc) in my opinion.

        Here’s the first link again maybe it will work this time. I believe he touches on the roid issue some in it:

        If he doesn’t talk about sterons in that one I know he has talked about it extensively elsewhere as well as the huge role genetics play in everything. I think he and Drew Baye are good HIT guys to listen to. They make a lot of sense to me, anyway.

        • Scott Locklin said, on November 23, 2021 at 10:46 am

          I was afraid you linked to that one.
          I’m pretty sure you do BJJ; if I did BJJ again, I’d do something like HIT. If you didn’t do a sport like this (which has sizeable strength endurance component); the only way you’re gonna look like this dude on a diet of ice cream is sterons /fraud/. What works for a chemically altered athlete isn’t the same as what works for normies. Frankly I knew juice monkeys who effectively didn’t work out at all, and looked great.

          The whole “you need to work out less” thing is on its face absurd unless you’re already working real hard. Bodies are built to work hard! They’re not built to do superslow rest pause training then sit in front of a computer.

          • Montius said, on November 23, 2021 at 11:21 am

            Yeah I still do BJJ. Lifting weights for me is to supplement that and boxing, so I’m not really concerned with getting good at the skill component part of weight lifting for its own sake. This is why HIT is good for a lot of athletes because it gives them more time to focus on the skill development of their sport. Things like the barbell squat or deadlift are great demonstrations of strength, but the actual skill carryover to most sports is very low (or nonexistent) as there is a large skill component to those lifts. Being able to squat 450 isn’t going to make me a better grappler. The muscle and strength gains that come along with developing said squat would be somewhat beneficial, but there is an opportunity cost factor in developing it.

            He says the only way you are going to look like a fitness model is if you have the genetics for it. Only way you are going to look like a modern bodybuilder is if you have the genetics AND do shit loads of drugs. I think he would agree with pretty much all you have said here.

            The work out less thing is a bit misleading, because you are taking the muscles to failure. In reality you are probably working more (providing necessary stimulation of muscle for adaptation), just in a more efficient and timely manner. Most people (even people with impressive results) waste huge amounts of time in the gym and are really inefficient at providing the proper stimulus for growth, which is kind of his point.

            • Scott Locklin said, on November 23, 2021 at 11:56 am

              I just find his absolutist dogma to be ridiculous and incorrect. Hypertrophy and strength are not directly related for example. Also volume is definitely a legit training modality; gymnasts look great. There aren’t many old ones, and perhaps HIT jedidom is better for olds. So is 5×5 or singles training (I loved singles; made my biggest deadlift gains and over all muscle mass gains doing 10 singles a day, 5-6 days a week: totally natty).

              • Montius said, on November 23, 2021 at 12:39 pm

                I don’t think he is all that dogmatic tbh. He readily says that other training modalities will work to get results as long as they are providing the proper stimulation for adaptation (volume accomplishes this through increased TUT basically). He just believes HIT is the most efficient way to develop muscle. I’ve had a lot of success with various Wendler 5/3/1 programs and recommend them to lots of people (really enjoyed his Krypteia program), but I’ve found the HIT stuff more efficient and compliments my grappling development a bit more.

                One of his main points is that people often mistake skill development with strength/muscle growth. If you are trying to become a Olympic/powerlifter or a gymnast, then yes, you definitely have to put in the time to develop that specific skill.

                I don’t mean to come off as some sort of shilling fanboy of his btw. I just think he makes a lot of sense and I’ve found a lot of value in his videos.

                • Minh said, on November 24, 2021 at 2:15 am

                  @Montius, I watched some of Jay’s vids and agreed with what he said, philosophically, as well. Generally speaking, gear or no gear, weightlifters are good-nature people with strong will and fortitude, so they have very reasonable outlooks on pretty much everything in life. Also, in his “Do You Need “VOLUME” to Build MASS”, he was basically saying his HIT is high-volume at the same time, as in his ‘one set to failure’ having more volume than say, 3 set of ten done casually. In a word, his is a mixed approach, though wording and interpretation may convey misunderstanding, as they usually do. My own observation: since Jay makes money off his method, he needs to come up with a sensational-sounding term for that, and HIT both fits the bill and also describes the method in broad stroke, kinda two birds with one stone.

                  What I disagree with Jay, is his belief that HIT is the most efficient way to develop muscle. When I started out lifting 14 yrs ago, what I hated the most was hypertrophy, so I tried to look for method that generated the most strength with the least mass gain, and ended up doing a lot of low-volume, high-intensity work, essentially HIT/CNS training. I made good gains in deadlift training solely with singles (like Scott), without any weight gain — I did focus intensely on speed and explosion with my singles though. Sure, I replaced some of the fat with muscle, but nothing quantitatively different in terms of look. And not just deadlift, but in every lift I’ve done and every rep scheme I’ve tried, I gained strength but didn’t gain weight when eating normal meal (no supplement, just simple layman diet), but when I ate more, I started gaining no matter what rep scheme I used — I used different schemes for different lift or even the same lift over the years.

                  Basically my overall point is: I don’t think there’s a single program, HIT or no, that’s most efficient for muscle building. People are different and responsive to different kinds of stimuli, so one program may work well for one but not so much for others. Also no one program works best all the time even for one person; people and their circumstances keep changing, so their programs will have to be changed accordingly. This view of mine is largely derived from my own experience plus learning from old-timers like Paul Anderson, Doug Hepburn, Pat Casey etc, basically natty lifters before the onset of steroid. I’m natural so I don’t follow specific routine advice from juiced athletes, as they’re most useless, or worse, lead to overtraining and mental exhaustion, and loss of gain. Now I have gone from being a methodologist in the beginning, to being totally against method these days. Just do what works for you at a particular time by listening to what your body is trying to tell you: anything goes, as long as you don’t overwork yourself to the point of exhaustion, and allow adequate recovery time.

                  Unfortunately, with the rise of PTs who count reps for you these days, this intuitive art seems to have been lost. Intuition is way more important than Big Data, but it takes a lot of hard work, pain, and dedication to get hold of it, while it’s the tendency of most people, more so people in this Internet age, to avoid painstaking hard work and seek easy shortcuts, a sign of weak or non-existent character. But there’s no substituting for character, and shortcuts come with severe consequences, 10 of which Scott has beautifully illustrated in this article. Covid vax is another painful example of how a big part of the world has come to believe in shortcut, in non-existent miracle, instead of good old-fashion analyzing and figuring things out for oneself. A lot of people, due to weakness of character and laziness, cling to government and Big Pharma as their white-knight saviours, buy into their pathetic propaganda, and choose to blindly inject themselves with shitty vax, thinking it’ll make their Covid problem go away once and for all. When they’re now learning the hard way that vaccine is mostly useless, despite repeated MSM lies otherwise, people just don’t know what to do, and so they’re ready to accept yet other lies from autocratic govts condemning the unvaxxed as witches. What’s happening in Germany and Austria right now for ex, is totally disgusting modern-day witch-hunt. Something as trivial as Covid being hailed as one of the biggest pandemic in human history, is a telling sign of how far we’ve sunk as a civilization.

                  @Scott, it’s great to know you also like singles :)), and your “Hypertrophy and strength are not directly related” is totally spot-on!! Muscle size is useless without strong electrical impulse and a powerful underlying structure (bone, tendon, ligament) supporting it. BB’ers for ex, have lots of size with their water-filled muscles but lack density. The old-timers, like Saxon, did a lot of singles in their training, and they got as strong as it gets naturally for minimal body weight; they also had exceptional density. Usually volume training works great for BB’ers building hypertrophy because of the consequential massive diet/supplement, and their pumping of countless steroids/insulin/GH into their body, and the top guys are those who happen to be genetically most responsive to those gears. Also, from what I know, BB’ers do a lot of volumes for symmetry — kinda reminds of dumb-fucked particle physicists looking for non-existent beauty. But symmetry depends a lot on genetics as well.

                  • Montius said, on November 24, 2021 at 11:38 am

                    “I tried to look for method that generated the most strength with the least mass gain, and ended up doing a lot of low-volume, high-intensity work, essentially HIT/CNS training.”

                    “CNS training” is another term for skill development. Your deadlift improved because you got better at the skill of heavy deadlifts. The motor pathways for that lift got more efficient with specific practice. Sure, there was likely some muscular development, but most significant gains (n00b gains anyone?) at the big lifts are due to an increase in efficiency/proficiency of skill, and once that has essentially maxed out (usually very difficult to do), you see the inevitable plateau with the numbers. At that point the way to make the numbers go up is to build muscle tissue (hypertrophy) so more muscle fibers can be recruited for the task.

                    • Scott Locklin said, on November 24, 2021 at 12:09 pm

                      It’s really baloney to call it “skill:” shrimpy olympic lifters regularly put up squat numbers that put bodybuilders to shame. I assume the muscular fibers become more dense or something; it’s not something you can attribute to CNS anything.

                      Also sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is really a thing. If you work out singles, you don’t get so much of it. If you do strength endurance, you get more of it. Bodybuilders need to build both for maximum size.

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscle_hypertrophy#Myofibrillar_vs._sarcoplasmic_hypertrophy

                    • Igor Bukanov said, on November 26, 2021 at 8:08 pm

                      There is a simple way to check if a deadlift improvements comes from strength or through via body optimising just for deadlift. Make barbell with slightly different weights on sides (like 5-10 pounds difference) and try to see how much lower will be the number of repetitions for the given weight. Care must be taken at least initially with that as it may be very tricky on the first attempt and do not try to compare the absolute max as asymmetrical weight may damage the back at that due to unexpected forces. If the number drops very significantly, then surely body was optimising just for the deadlift with absolutely symmetrical weights.

                  • Scott Locklin said, on November 24, 2021 at 11:52 am

                    I also took inspiration from the old timey black and white photo pre-WW2 crowd (by way of Pavel Tsatsouline), for the same au natural reasons. You can build really crazy levels of strength looking fairly ordinary; many such cases (olympic weight lifters who weigh 150lbs don’t squat 4-5 wheels out of “skill”). You can also look really good and not be particularly strong for peak strength.

                    I figure in the long term, natural anyway, you’re going to burn out of various training modalities and it has to end up something like mix-and-match, with tendencies in whatever genetic predisposition you have. As someone solidly in middle age at this point, I’m mostly concerned with longevity and performance. Keeping my testosterone up, circulatory system decent, and injuries down; stuff like kettlebells, calisthenics, long walks on hills and fiddling with stuff like grip strength for peak nervous system seems to work for now. Not the same as building the muscle stage of training, and it totally shouldn’t be.

                    • Montius said, on November 24, 2021 at 2:14 pm

                      “It’s really baloney to call it “skill:” shrimpy olympic lifters regularly put up squat numbers that put bodybuilders to shame. I assume the muscular fibers become more dense or something; it’s not something you can attribute to CNS anything.”

                      The CNS thing is really just the body becoming more efficient at recruiting more available muscle fibers. An Oly lifter is usually already very good (very efficient) at recruiting muscle involved in movements like the squat or deadlift so it makes sense that they would have a good showing at those demonstrations of strength. They are far less technical lifts and the necessary neuromuscular patterns were already highly developed through the training of the Oly lifts.

                      Think about the reverse though. There are people who can squat 500 pounds, but suck absolute ass at Oly lifts. These people aren’t weak/not strong people, they just suck at that skill because they haven’t developed it. This is a reason why you have weight classes in lifting (and lots of other skill sports like wrestling). It is a more impressive demonstration of the skill component of weightlifting the higher the strength to weight ratio there is. In absolute weight terms, a 150 lb lifter that can squat 450 lbs is as strong (producing as much force) as a 300 lb lifter that can squat 450 lb, but I don’t know anyone who would argue the latter is “just as impressive” as the former.

                      The more technical the lift, the more that skill component comes into play. Of course all sorts of exercises and modalities will build strength and muscular size to a greater or lesser degree if the muscle is being properly stimulated for adaptation. The most accurate “measure” of strength would be to limit the skill component as much as possible to directly measure the amount of force the muscles produce.

                      Muscle size, shape, and type is largely determined and limited by genetics. A person with genetics that make them well adapted to marathon running isn’t likely going to be a bodybuilder or powerlifter and vice versa. They aren’t likely to gravitate towards those respective sports either, so there is certainly a selection bias at play.

                      “I also took inspiration from the old timey black and white photo pre-WW2 crowd (by way of Pavel Tsatsouline), for the same au natural reasons. You can build really crazy levels of strength looking fairly ordinary; many such cases (olympic weight lifters who weigh 150lbs don’t squat 4-5 wheels out of “skill”). You can also look really good and not be particularly strong for peak strength.

                      I figure in the long term, natural anyway, you’re going to burn out of various training modalities and it has to end up something like mix-and-match, with tendencies in whatever genetic predisposition you have. As someone solidly in middle age at this point, I’m mostly concerned with longevity and performance. Keeping my testosterone up, circulatory system decent, and injuries down; stuff like kettlebells, calisthenics, long walks on hills and fiddling with stuff like grip strength for peak nervous system seems to work for now. Not the same as building the muscle stage of training, and it totally shouldn’t be.”

                      I would agree with all this (except the skill part, but see above), and I’m in a similar boat as to why I train at this point in life.

                    • Minh said, on November 25, 2021 at 3:39 am

                      @Montius and @Scott, thx for the detailed replies! CNS training, AFAIK and also practically from the way it’s worked out for me, is basically the way to train the brain to release more powerful electrical impulses, to make my muscles pull much faster, enabling them to lift more weight without having to grow much bigger (having more fibers). Since we have 3 types of fibers, CNS training is basically a fancy way of referring to specialized training of the fast-twitched, making you more explosive. Oly lifters (and some powerlifters like Ryan Kennelly) do a lot of speed work for the same reason, as the CJ and snatch require a lot of explosiveness, besides the necessary techniques. Singles and low reps seem to be the best way to do CNS/explosiveness training. For deadlift, the reason I find singles work best is because reps will tire me out so fast so I can generate more power using singles. I made no progress in deadlift using high reps, but your mileage might vary.

                      And Scott is right, the muscle fibers get denser in this process too (as do the bones/tendons/ligaments), increasing your density. So the end result is you get high-density muscles and strength with minimal increased hypertrophy, like the old timers. August Johnson weighed only 195lbs, but he gave the massive Louis Cyr a very hard time when they went toe-to-toe. Or this Oly guy from my home country for ex, weighing around 56kg/123lbs (he competed in the under 56kg weight class), squats below parallel 205kg/451lbs in training in the below vid (around 8:34):

                      When doing grip strength, like COC, doing explosive reps also helps break plateau and recover from overtraining, I find.

                      Also, I’ve read about fiber conversion too and a deep believer in it. Basically with a lot of deliberate practice, you can convert slow-twitch to fast twitch fibers, increasing strength with minimal body weight gains. I’m 3 kg lighter now than when I started lifting 14 yrs ago, and I’m 37 (almost 38) so past my prime and suffered a fair bit of injuries over the years due to my tendency to overtrain, but still, I’ve retained my peak strength in all the lifts when I was heavier. Scott and you probably have experienced similar things to various degrees; when you do a lot of high-intensity, explosive work that focuses on strength, not size, then your strength tends to last much longer, even if you give up lifting for some time.

                    • gbell12 said, on November 25, 2021 at 6:35 am

                      At 52, I’m also shifting, and am making “gains” lately by focussing on muscle contraction – my pet theory is that that’s what mostly declines with age. Possibly related to what you folks who know what their talking about are saying with regards to CNS training and electrical signalling.

                      After so many years of weight training, I think the brain has figured out how to get it done with the least amount of effort/signalling. In many cases I’m doing the same weight but my size is declining.

  18. Joe said, on November 22, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    As far as #3 is concerned:

    Men stop watching porn, it’s free for a reason, it makes you docile and feminine.

    Cut out porn and I guarantee you will feel better.

  19. Anonymous said, on November 22, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    The most disgusting thing about it is the unapologetic stupidity of the discourse.
    1. It can’t possibly be just informing people of the dangers of serious obesity and letting them be adults. That’s too intelligent. It absolutely has to swing from unabashed fat-acceptance back to unabashed fat-shaming, with people who can’t do much about their weight getting a double whammy from both weight and shaming. As for your muh beauty standards, if that’s gonna give you a taste of what it feels like to be discriminated for just being different, that’s not too bad. Welcome to the club, I guess. Also that’s what the internet is for: can’t find a date IRL, try online. There’re still obscure corners where people are trying to do something meaningful.
    2. ‘Mentally ill people historically have been shunned and even imprisoned to prevent them from ruining the society around them by flinging literal and figurative shit at everybody else’. Let’s be more specific. It’s not ‘flinging shit’, it’s indoctrinating the normies. Combine a hoard of normies with one charismatic psychopath and you get a time bomb. Hitler was just a dude with opinions, it’s the german normies that made the whole thing possible. It’s historically obvious that isolating Hitlers from the cattle is not the final solution, especially for a society where normies are a product of artificial selection for obedience and have such an elevated status because muh durrmocracy.
    And of course, putting all mentally ill people in one bin is what one must do because separating seriously mentally ill but harmless from seriously mentally ill and psychopathic is way too intelligent.
    4. ‘Computer sperdos; totally not buying it. If you’re capable of writing a makefile, you’re capable of learning how to behave in public’. I’m a high-functioning autist and I guess you can still call me a computer sperdo because I spend a bunch of time at the computer. Like most other sperdos I do know how to behave in public but that never protected me from getting shit for being different. Too asocial, not into sex and stuff, not into kids, not into partying, too intelligent, don’t work at an office 9-to-5 like everybodyelse, etc etc etc. Coupled with the fact that sperdos can communicate alright between themselves, I think the problem is on the other end. It’s not hard to notice that most normie communication is just a needlessly complicated way of saying ‘I too stick with the program’. IME it’s doesn’t matter much what kind of different you are, it’s the degree. The normie argorithm for friend-foe discrimination is too primitive to discern between ‘different in a harmless way’ and ‘different in a dangerous way’. Different means dangerous, that’s it.
    Also, as somebody mentioned above, the epidemic of autism is probably more of an epidemic of overdiagnosing.
    7. I’m already seeing the rise of ‘if you don’t want to have kids, you’re dumb’. Public discourses are just prohibited from using a ‘live and let live’ kind of a approach, doesn’t resonate with the public. I live in a 3rd world shithole where I get shit for being childfree from trads. I guess I’ll start getting shit from reactionaries for the same by the end of the decade. And of course, no discrimination between ‘into kids but doesn’t want the trouble’ and ‘naturally not into kids’, that would be too intelligent. I’m in the latter category btw.

    I’ll let you in on a secret: ‘society’ is a meme. Community isn’t. You can have a community in a small village, in a small internet forum. At the level of a country — not so much. Specifically, ‘society’ is a meme forced by the state in the interest of homogenization — it’s easier to control one big and conflicted group than a bunch of small and tightly knit ones. Easy to see when a regime collapses. In the USSR they had ‘the soviet nation’ and ‘friendship of the nations’. Once the regime kicked the bucket the friendship got quickly replaced with ultranationalism of the worst kind: you hurt us, now we’ll hurt you. In the US the meme used to be the melting pot then it degraded into a salad bowl. As the regime is flailing and engaging in self-sabotage the meme is growing weaker and by the time of collapse there won’t be a whiff of community. Because there’s never been one. Your thinking in terms of society, public health, etc would maybe make sense if you were a top puppeteer, but you’re not. And even top puppeteers can benefit from things like individual independence and power because memes don’t protect you from being put against the wall. I live on the outskirts of a small town in a shithole, busy disentangling myself from the ‘society’ and growing individual power. I have no time for tantrums about how everything is going down the shitter. If anything, I wouldn’t mind giving it a push. Separating myself mentally from everybodyelse and focusing on me and my actual allies is the best thing I’ve done for myself. Maybe you should do it too.

    • Raul Miller said, on November 22, 2021 at 9:38 pm

      Unapologetic stupidity is probably a good description of most “public discourse”:

      We are, fundamentally, a society of specialists, which basically means we are varying degrees of stupid in most other contexts.

      But, also, people are dying — in the USA, almost 1% of the population of the country dies every year. So there’s always going to be people with reason to be upset about this even if there were nothing else to be unhappy about (and there’s always plenty to be upset about).

      Throw into this the inevitable context shifts of public discourse, where no one has time to understand everyone else’s issues in adequate depth, and you have a recipe for outrage. The more people in a conversation, the more likely it is that the people talking are talking about different things which only seem to be related and the more likely it is that the people talking are outraged that the people *they* are talking with are “getting it wrong”.

      That said, we tend to muddle on through (except for the few that die every year), and maybe even sometimes some of us manage to solve some significant problems in a way that’s not torn down by the nearly inevitable ongoing stupidities.

      And, that said, … it’s much easier to see how other people have failed to understand our points than it is to see how we have failed to understand other people’s points.

      Worse, the groups that we belong to are characterized by people we interact with, while other groups are typically characterized by the most outspoken and/or outlandish and/or buffoonish people associated with those groups.

    • William O. B'Livion said, on November 24, 2021 at 9:31 pm

      > friend-foe discrimination is too primitive to discern between ‘different in a harmless way’
      > and ‘different in a dangerous way’.

      That is because the time it takes to tell the two apart means they’ve been inside your wire **way** too long.

    • another anonymous said, on November 25, 2021 at 11:04 am

      >Separating myself mentally from everybody else

      Yes, getting away, both mentally and physically, from people who insist on “giving you shit” is always good advice.
      Life is short and world is big enough so even greatest weirdo could find a place that fits him.
      (although it is much easier for high functioning computer professional who could live and work from any place in the world)

  20. Agent Cooper said, on November 23, 2021 at 5:18 am

    There are more mentally ill rubes per capita today because of a lack of hardened reality (which is just stimulating game theory scenarios). Obesity, autism, chronic allergies, drug use, infertility, and homelessness all derive from or contribute to mental illness. My dad always said “never put a fat woman in charge”. Well here we are in a country devouring itself to the tune of Wang Huning’s over-individualization. With every pill popped, calorie eaten, TikTok video recorded, you can sense the world will be hardly competitive for our children. The question I’m looking for answers to: What will wake people up to reality besides a threat of bloodshed?

    • Scott Locklin said, on November 23, 2021 at 10:59 am

      I think it’s clear that even obvious large declines in standard of living isn’t enough to snap people out of their trance.

  21. Arno said, on November 23, 2021 at 10:09 pm

    This has go to stop.

    Israel, Gibraltar and Iceland had clear surges in their case growths during the weeks after their respective booster shot campaigns. It’s time to just stop, vaccinate the possibly immunocompromised people if the risks outweigh the potential risks and carry on with our regular life. Anything else is just bullshit. Thanks for bringing up the issue in your previous article, I am now convinced.

    • Scott Locklin said, on November 24, 2021 at 11:33 am

      One of the obvious things; I think it’s even admitted by vaccine fans, is the immune system is suppressed during first week or two after vaccination. During this period of time, your immune system is too busy fighting the spike protons in your body (possibly in your nerves or heart tissue to very serious consequence) to mount an effective defense against disease. This is known, and the trials excluded this period of time as counting as “unvaccinated.” How the integral works out when you take it into account as a public health measure, when the vaccine effectiveness is only 6 months …. well, it looks to me like it’s kind of a wash.

      I mean, maybe it wouldn’t be if you made vaccinated people live in a bubble, or at least self isolate for that period of time, but nobody talks about it as a public health issue, so most people are unaware of it.

    • Minh Ha said, on November 25, 2021 at 4:02 am

      Singapore as well, the highest vaccinated country in SE Asia, yet having the case count exploding post vaccination. Vaccine is always dodgy science, if it can be called science. Have you heard of the 2 books, Vaccine Illusion, and Vaccine Nation: poisoning the population one shot at a time? I attach the books here:

      https://www.dropbox.com/s/jwfbc6levzc9rub/Vaccine%20Illusion_%20How%20Vaccination%20Compromises%20our%20Natural%20Immunity%20and%20What%20We%20Can%20Do%20to%20Regain%20Our%20Health%20%28%20PDFDrive%20%29.pdf?dl=0

      https://www.dropbox.com/s/90jub5hgaujl59h/Vaccine-nation_%20Poisoning%20the%20Population%2C%20One%20Shot%20at%20a%20Time%20%28%20PDFDrive%20%29.pdf?dl=0

      Both are unapologetic, and go straight to the history of vaccine and makes clear why it’s false dogma. The illusion book’s author used to post-doc immunology work in Havard and Stanford, but quit in the end after being disillusioned with what she’s witness. Basically vaccine is a form of reductionists science, and most reductionist science is BS, esp. when applied to complex systems like our body, where more is different and emergent properties keep popping up as you you probe deeper.

      @Scott, thx for bringing up the point about vaccine’s immune system suppression; this point was admitted from the start by Big Pharma and they use it as an excuse to call the post-vax cases as unvax’ed ones. The whole thing is just phony-baloney. For me, some thing either works or it doesn’t. I’ve lived in Australia since 2002, but still am still keeping up with the news in Viet Nam, and let me tell you, the vaccine’s effectiveness is low, while cases of adverse effects, death included, keep popping up, even as we speak. The majority of people getting hospitalized are vaxxed.

      The reason it’s getting reported more in Viet Nam is because in those places, societies are still largely politically incorrect and people still have the guts to call a spade a spade, unlike Australia whose people have become so docile and obedient to the point of slavery, in the past 20 years. It’s sickening to see the draconian lockdown that was imposed in Sydney where I live, between June and Sep, all for a puny virus that can’t hurt a fly. But what sickens me more is the weak character of able-bodied people who easily get scared and think of Covid as the Black Plague.

      I personally was thrown out of my place by my landlord, where I’d live for the past 12 yrs, in August, when I refused to take the vax. I was told take it or leave it (the place). I showed my skin in the game and moved out, despite the lockdown making it much harder to find places. Now I’m preparing to leave the country if dictatorial measures like those in Germany and Austria are introduced here.

      Thx a lot Scott for this post and the Covid one! Your blog is one of the last bastions of true humanity in this cynical, confused age. Pls keep fighting the good fights!

    • sigterm said, on November 28, 2021 at 3:12 pm

      When “They Live”-levels of conspiracy are forcefully shoved in my face, my first reaction is not to go back to muh cosoom. Aren’t you curious?

  22. trnc01 said, on November 24, 2021 at 11:55 am

    What do you figure is the reason for the viral spread of obesity?

    • Scott Locklin said, on November 24, 2021 at 12:11 pm

      Ultimately: tolerance.

      • Altitude Zero said, on November 24, 2021 at 3:27 pm

        This, with regard to a lot of things. Generally a society gets about what it will put up with, in terms of anti-social behavior. See also crime, rioting, narcissism, drug abuse, drunk driving, homelessness, general ugliness, and lots of other stuff. Of course, there’s more to it than that, but tolerance is ultimately the largest factor.

      • another anonymous said, on November 25, 2021 at 11:09 am

        It is more complicated – even laboratory animals on strictly controlled diets are getting fatter.

        https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/abs/10.1098/rspb.2010.1890

        Many possible reasons – for one, environmental contaminants, see this

        https://slimemoldtimemold.com/2021/11/23/a-chemical-hunger-part-x-what-to-do-about-it/

        >We need a theory that can account for all of the mysteries we reviewed earlier. Another way to put this is to say that, based on the evidence, we’re looking for a factor that:

        Changed over the last hundred years
        With a major shift around 1980
        And whatever it is, there is more of it every year
        It doesn’t affect people living nonindustrialized lives, regardless of diet
        But it does affect lab animals, wild animals, and animals living in zoos
        It has something to do with palatable human snackfoods, unrelated to nutritional value
        It differs in its intensity by altitude for some reason
        And it appears to have nothing to do with our diets

        Environmental contamination by artificial, human-synthesized compounds fits this picture very well, and no other account does.

        • JMcG said, on November 29, 2021 at 12:37 am

          My son, 18, tells me it’s common knowledge that smoking tobacco has a positive effect on testosterone levels. Thinking that ridiculous, I check the Internet.
          https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24457405/

          WTF. The anti-smoking train really got rolling in the eighties.

  23. Thorvald said, on November 25, 2021 at 10:20 pm

    I think obesity is like consumerism. After a few decades of consumerism all you have to show for that is some second-hand items not worth selling. Opposed to after a few decades of consuming too many calories, because there is no community to give you shame, because food is carefully optimized to give you that sugar high crack, and we made availability akin to old Japanese people conquering mount Everest within a space suit, after that you get noticeably fat. But not like you can teach 45-year-olds how to get more from life than material goods either. There was probably even more toxic disruptive shit in the water 50s-80s than after that. You were always able to dunk potatoes in lard or not stop after one chocolate bar. Obesity is failed culture and community, caused by marketing people preying on the shieldless consumerists.

    Autism too, can be blamed on social features of a society in decay. Its rise too fast for something being in the water or vaccines. Its rise too fast for being some evolutionary kink of Indigo children using their brains not brawls. Extroverts and Introverts are similarly taught: either you were rewarded for building or for creation, and like a Pavlov dog, this is now what makes you drool: do you get satisfaction and energy from building high towers, enacting change in reality, or from calculating how it not will fall over, enacting change in mind? Sometimes things happen to people to make them really introvert or extrovert.

    I got bitten by a mean dog in my butt and I still get tingles there when walking past a dog. Not in my genes. Perhaps autists were young children, trying out projecting their empathy and trust on the external world, mom drives them to the local clinic, weird adults methodically jab a needle in their arm, you get a crappy lolly or ice cream which you have to hold with your left arm, because your other arm hurts. Or their parents tell them with a smile, wet make-up: hey, now you have two Christmas and birthdays to celebrate! What a nice reward, until you find out both now suck. Do we find it so strange these children grow up to become adults who prefer watching a machine dryer or datatable to get their fix? Instead of going to an unpredictable party with strangers?

    The only way society now accepts autists, is because they have scientific and capitalistic worth. Autism is three times more prevalent for mathematicians and computer scientists. So we get those with any jock skill left, appoint them manager, plant the autists in cubicles, throw some data over the wall, and let them come up with business value. Make some use of that freaky mutoid brain power. These pyramids don’t build themselves! Pointing out the weird behavior of autists trying to fit in the network of commerce and value, is like pointing out how slaves carrying bricks for the architect are so masculine and have unsophisticated large penises. This was pointed out to me by a fellow autist colleague, before he was fired for asking HR lady if she liked her vagina in defense for making a poor work-floor joke.

    • Thorvald said, on November 25, 2021 at 11:19 pm

      Further, all animals, including humans, have a social hierarchy and a picking order. In animals, such as birds, this is usually restricted to physical superiority and mating fitness. In humans, you can also pick on someone by having a large stash of stones or money, or by outsmarting them.

      So children, for generations, established this social picking order, in a small secluded tribe. People picked to the curb, either did not procreate their genes, or they came up with better ways to access food or hunting strategies, and contributed something else than their charisma and strong arms.

      Then you have children growing up in a multi-cultural society. Bombarded with TV and High-frequency-trading fashion trends. Not the strongest hunter in the local tribe, but Hulk Hogan, He-man, and GI Joe are now the mythical heroes. Strong community warriors now have to compete at first-grade school with tribes imported all around the world, even those focusing all their evolution on strength. They start picking down extra hard, so not to drown and lose their already rickety spot at the social ladder.

      Children way too quickly end up at the bottom of the ladder. Including those who may have survived in more reasonably sized tribes. Even the most beautiful girls see the mediocre tribes men distracted by unnatural horrors such as Madilyn Monroe. There is no gradual growth to equilibrium. Children are picked on so hard and fast, they fly of the branches and break their wings. Instagram will have created 1.5 generations of turbo sluts and broken beta men. Phase transition after phase transition, social interactions going screamingly fast. So you are forced off that ladder early, and don’t worry so much about improving your clumsy gait to gain a step.

    • Raul Miller said, on November 26, 2021 at 3:12 am

      One thing about autism is that it’s one of those things that’s a judgement call, and the people making the judgements have an professional incentive to diagnose people with autism.

      So, while initially diagnosis might be limited to extreme cases, “increasing surveillance” and diagnosing milder cases would result in increased cash flows for their institutions.

      Is mild autism something to be concerned about? Maybe it is if you do not have any more pressing concerns…

      (That said, I think we do have some more pressing concerns.)

  24. Dear Reader said, on November 26, 2021 at 3:21 am

    Everything’s going to shit. Pretty soon we won’t have a society to live in. But where to go? It seems the other countries (especially EU) are so authoritarian and emasculated now, no individualism allowed.

    I personally struggle the most with obesity. I’ve tried losing weight for the majority of my adult life, over 15 years now.

    I lost 100lbs. Then I gained it back. There were lots of factors (science is hard when you can’t isolate any of the variables), but one was that I lived outside of the US when losing. Then, when I came back, I started gaining it all back despite keeping a strict diet (the same I had when losing). Working out doesn’t seem to help either, I just gain more fat (along with some muscle). I’ve tried powerlifting, kettlebell, endurance, CrossFit..

    • Raul Miller said, on November 26, 2021 at 1:33 pm

      One thing I would have looked at, here, would have been your diet:

      Because of sugar subsidies, it can be difficult to find food in this country which does not have added sugar. And, federal food labelling requirements only apply in certain contexts (not in restaurants, for example).

      (And then I sometimes wonder how accurate those labels are. Most people have no idea how to test for nutrition and I don’t see measuring equipment on the open market. This suggests a lot of approximations indirect techniques — all of which are subject to error. But for whatever reasons it’s not popular to report measurement uncertainties. So… the numbers are presumably better than nothing, but some of them will be low quality numbers.)

      And then there’s getting adequate water. A water filtration system (which needs occasional maintenance) might be the best option there.

      Anyways… it’s a lot of work.

      • Dear Reader said, on November 27, 2021 at 2:43 am

        Not just a lot of work. I don’t even know which work. That’s the thing with fat loss, people all recommend discipline. But discipline doesn’t help if we don’t know what to do. And it strikes me that we don’t.

        I mostly cook my own meals and make sure there’s no sugar in them (e.g. ground beef plus frozen vegetables). Haven’t had a soft drink in close to 10 years. Don’t eat candy.

        • Raul Miller said, on November 27, 2021 at 2:58 am

          Well, if you’re an athlete / manual laborer / similar and your own cook, and you maintain a good schedule, there isn’t much of anything else that I know to suggest.

          (Other than: good luck, I guess.)

          • Dear Reader said, on November 27, 2021 at 5:47 am

            Not manual laborer. Athlete status seems to not help at all. In fact, I lost the 100lbs mostly without working out at all.

            • Raul Miller said, on November 27, 2021 at 12:39 pm

              Sure, … parasites (for example) can help you keep your body weight down.

              Mostly you need to have something going on to burn up that energy, rather than store it.

              And, constant physical effort requires a lot of motivation. But if you can’t deal with the minor pains of exercise, they’ll come back and hit you in spades later. (Our nervous systems are most sensitive to small changes, and less sensitive to “constant” sensations. This makes changing habits of physical activity difficult to achieve but they become much easier and more pleasant once they are habits.)

              But, … “X helps and X was not Y” is not a logical basis for asserting “Y does not help”.

              • Dear Reader said, on November 27, 2021 at 12:50 pm

                1. I did work out very regularly over periods from 3-12 months without losing fat
                2. I did lose fat without working out at all

                What does this tell us about the effects of exercise on fat loss?

                • Raul Miller said, on November 27, 2021 at 1:26 pm

                  It does not tell us much of anything:

                  “Regularly” does not give us any information about which muscle groups you were exercising, nor does it tell us how much energy you were burning in those exercises. It does not tell us how much of the day you spent exercising, nor does it tell us how you paced yourself. (Star athletes, for example, tend to start out taking it easy to warm up and go for the high intensity stuff later in the day.) It does not even tell us whether you were working with someone else to help maintain an even perspective.

                  And, of course, this sketch also omitted quite a number of non-exercise related issues. You will pardon me, I hope, when I do not attempt to list them here.

                  Anyways… people do not become overweight because any of this is easy. Staying healthy can be quite annoying at times.

                  But — for example — when I compare my own flaws with people I know who do better than I, there are certain trends which I can see, and higher sustained levels of physical activity is one of them. (My own levels of physical activity while not at all impressive are still significantly higher than most of the people who I have known. And, the ones who sustained higher levels of physical activity than myself were not the overweight types. (Except in the sense that people who weigh near 300 pounds tend to have excellent calf muscles. And I expect that they also have rather high levels of pain tolerance, though not high enough to do much more than cope with their situation.))

                  And, when reading research papers, it pays to have an eye for what they are not saying that’s relevant. (For example, look for follow up studies which reproduced those results. Also, pay attention to things said which seem to conflict with observation and/or other studies. And, look for things not said in those other studies… And, yes, your own observations about your own situation are definitely relevant here. But you also need to include other kinds of observations.)

                  • Dear Reader said, on November 27, 2021 at 2:01 pm

                    My point being, it’s not that “it’s difficult” but that we don’t know how to do it. If your advice only works on 5-25% of the people, you’re getting lucky.

                    The analogy I like to use: a car is broken down and you recommend the driver change the spark plugs. That sure works sometimes, but not if the car broke down cause it’s out of gas or a gasket blew or the timing chain ripped or the battery’s dead or any other reason.

                    You argue that the driver should change the spark plugs harder, cause it worked for someone you knew who had the same problem! If the problem persists, you claim the driver doesn’t want it bad enough.

                    But really, your advice is just wrong.

                    • Raul Miller said, on November 27, 2021 at 5:11 pm

                      My understanding is that my “advice” is “wrong” because “it’s difficult”.

                      Put different: I was not giving advice, I was relaying my observations.

                      People are not going to change their habits just because I might have noticed something (even if it kills them).

                    • Raul Miller said, on November 27, 2021 at 7:35 pm

                      Thinking about this further: you probably have heard the claim that dieting does not get rid of fat cells — it only shrinks them. But do you know how that was tested? For example, do you know what specific dieting protocols were tested and how the consequences were measured?

                      Or, from another perspective, to eliminate fat cells, they have to die. One of the mechanisms which achieves this is “autoimmune disease” (similar to allergies). This right here should remind you that getting rid of excess fat cells is going to be a miserable experience. And, you would probably need to pace yourself and give your body some time to recover while somehow maintaining the will to dive back into that misery.

                      Some people are capable of losing weight. Other people are seemingly not capable of this and claim that those people that are are fools.

                      That said, in the end, it doesn’t matter whether I am right or wrong about this — it’s your life, and you live with your choices.

                    • Minh said, on November 29, 2021 at 2:17 am

                      @Dear Reader, In the end, because everyone’s body, environment, habit…are different, it’s down to the calorie input vs output. That’s the only universality across all people, regardless of all other structural factors. My best buddy lost some 50lbs of weight over the course of 1-1.5 yrs without regaining later, on a low-carb diet and endurance-based exercises, so that’s something I’d suggest. On a personal level, I find going to sleep with a half-empty stomach helps a lot as well. You can’t gain weight going to bed hungry every night. Also, try working out on a half-empty stomach very shortly before you go to bed, say doing medium weight or 30′ walk. Sometimes I’d even wake up mid-sleep, get up, do some weight and then go back to sleep, if I want to lose weight. All of that takes a lot of will power, but it should cut your weight if you stick to it for long periods, because your calorie intake is far less than what you expend.

    • sigterm said, on November 28, 2021 at 3:35 pm

      You’re already doing it, but I can only encourage you to keep doing the low carb diet. From 27-seven year old student through 40-year old office workers to 60-year old women, this is the one thing I have seen that works and can be sustained. It varied from huge amounts of *only* chicken breasts and broccoli, to paleo, to lazy keto, with results from visible six-packs, to beating cancer (probably temporary, and after abandoning chemo mid-way, but still nice) or losing food intolerances (!). Western sugar levels are effectively poison.

      I would keep regular intense exercise for the health and mental benefits, if nothing else.

    • gbell12 said, on November 28, 2021 at 9:56 pm

      Is weightlifting backed by science for fat-loss?

      I thought that weightlifting burns kcals:

      1) while you’re doing it
      2) while you’re body’s building back better (ie. repairing the damage)
      3) from then on, because you’ve increase your BMR

      I also recommend people stop weighing themselves, and replace that confounded metric with a mirror and honest pinches of inches around the “problem areas”.

  25. Raul Miller said, on November 27, 2021 at 5:32 pm

    Or, more grammatically correct: I was summarizing observations and some of that was phrased suggestively.

    But short quips like this do not (and typically cannot) engage all the relevant issues, and it’s clear that that is the case here.

  26. Chiral3 said, on November 28, 2021 at 1:43 pm

    We talk a lot in terms of science – I assume many us are or were scientists – but I am always fascinated by how the artists tend to be the more accurate futurists in many ways. When I shoot a recurve bow I walk my fingers to cover the distance. It’s all very quantitative. I certainly do not shoot better than a proficient instinctive shooter. There’s something – many things – we’ve been gifted that sciences, hard or soft, can’t really explain in any good way. Whatever is happening with an instinctive shooter, when they pick up that bow, draw, release, is something I’ve felt in things as stupid as playing darts or golf. I smother that instinct with cortical crap and it doesn’t always work out. The artists do something similar. The post-modernists nailed it, decades ago. Borges, Barthe. Others too. Huxley, Orwell, Dostoevsky. Even dippy French dudes like Baudrillard in Simulacra and Simulation nailed it.

    But I think the thing nobody got, not even the artists, was the coincidences. This is why we don’t have flying cars. The fact that smart phones coincided with global terror coincided with the zenith of consumerism (coming out of late 80’s at least in the US) coinciding with the death of religion as a moral center (or at least a basic code of conduct and unifying set of rules) and the rise of ideology coinciding with the renunciation of rational inquiry coinciding with the ubiquity of the internet etc etc. In some ways it doesn’t seem terribly different than Rome, albeit a Rome with more technology and balance sheet such that it all becomes a protracted transformation versus an outright fall.

    Back to fat people. It’s amazing what we can rationalize today as a team; things we could never do alone. Increased connectedness was the perfect catalyst. Even what we’re doing here in these comments is ideological and echo-chamber-like. Apart from fucking and eating very little in how we while our days away has evolutionary value. I was trying to explain to my 11 year old daughter why tic-tac-toe is interesting yesterday. The kid version of “the optimal outcome is rapidly achieving Nash equilibria and having repeated and unending draws” which is actually very interesting and I think she understood that the draws were a type of stable best outcome versus losing. I recall a story of increased or steady munitions usage on the Maginot line while casualties went to zero, the idea being an unspoken realization of “do unto others…”, the first contract per Hobbes, had manifested in war (I can’t remember if that was in the book Theory of Cooperation or some idiotic Gladwell rag). It’s hard to see if, say the virus outcome, is simply some optimal outcome that is dithered by large N, or if all the pessimism is really warranted. I’d argue that if it is hitting ideologues and fat rednecks hardest than this is a good evolutionary outcome, although we’d have to go a few branches out in the tree to understand 7M on a base of >7B. I’d also argue that these things, whether you want to call them cycles or not, are fractal in nature. IOW, you get different answers when you look / analyze / comment over different time scales. Maybe all the fat people are good. Despite all China’s planning things are certainly going in unexpected directions for the commies.

    • Minh said, on November 29, 2021 at 3:36 am

      I agree completely on the artist and the ‘science not being able to explain’ things. It’s great to know someone who thinks so alike! That’s why I always detest the Big-Data type, or more specifically, data-reliant freaks. Overly quantitative people tend to be incapable of truly grasping the qualitative aspects of life. Life is rich and diverse, way more than just number crunching. Sure, we always need some amount of quantitative/systematic methods, esp. when we start out on something, as it gives us a general framework and some sort of direction, so we don’t get lost when we know little about the topic. But as we get more and more exposure to the field, our intuition should be heightened to the point where we don’t need the rules/methods/data anymore, and can go with what our mind’s eye is trying to tell us. We develop a sense for the field. That’s why a lot of breakthroughs in science have happened by accident, and the rigid methodologists always fail to understand why. They love to back-fit a systematic narrative to the events after the fact, but those narratives are mostly out-of-context mumbo-jumbo.

      The ancient, be they East or West, know this art. The Samurai, Ninja, and later on, the martial art masters of Japan, talked about this all the time. Another example is pool players. Yes, they need to know some of the basic concepts of science when they start out, including some physics, the rules of the diamond system, and other aiming methods, but as they get mature over time, they play by feel mostly. The speed at which some fast players,like Earl Strickland, approach a shot, means there’s no time to think about the science of angles or do detailed calculation; they just feel the shot with all their senses. The same for martial artists: the old masters’ teaching is to train and train until you forget the technique and become formless, and the body will know way before the brain can react, what technique to be used in a certain situation. Wait for the brain to react, and it’s almost invariably too late in practical situations, that’s why those who use brain too much won’t go very far. It’s a truth and a realm the quantitative, data-obsessed type can never reach.

      I think part of the reason for the decline in science, and physics in particular, is also the over-reliance on quantitative math. A lot of physics books for ex, are overrun with equation after equation, too much math, too little physics. That’s a telling sign of a field hitting bottleneck, and it applies equally to all other fields. Math for its own sake is just the ultimate fiction.

      The coincidence thing you brought up, is also very interesting, and lost to the reductionists who’re always busy isolating events/causes. That coincidence, is known as interaction and feedback loop in complex system I believe, basically the things that collectively lead to the evolution of a system. As things in our world happen in punctuated equilibrium, a system can change very slowly over time due to feedback/interaction, then when enough momentum has gathered, it reaches self-organized criticality and goes through phase transition. And yes, looks like the scaling of the change can be a universality, hence the fractal nature of those things, so you’d see similar patterns at different time scales. Maybe at this point, we’re right in the middle of one, one that started out last year. But I do hope this phase transition will work out fine for us eventually, because right now life is pretty hard for the unvaxxed, at least in the West.

    • William O. B'Livion said, on November 30, 2021 at 1:48 am

      I come out of the arts–my degree is from an internationally known midwestern fine art school. I basically have a minor in art history.

      Our instincts are very, very good at some things. You *cannot* think your way through picking up a rock and hitting a squirrel with it.

      Our instincts are also very, very bad at some things. If you smell someone with a different diet *most* of the time you are turned off. Doubly so if they don’t look and dress like you. This takes a lot of “cortical crap” to overcome. But unless we want to live in mud huts and go back to killing each other with rocks and spears we’d best put in that work.

      The next 500 arrows, focus ONLY on the bow and the arrow. Basically archery as meditation. Not in the japanese way where the outcome doesn’t matter, but more of the “body scan” way where you’re noting how everything is and reproducing it.

      > This is why we don’t have flying cars.

      We don’t have flying cars because they’re dumb.

      Have you ever been caught in congested traffic in a heavy thunderstorm? I ride a motorcycle, and used to ride it a lot more. I’ve had Bay Area wind gusts move me 3/4s of a lane, and that was with two wheels holding onto the ground. Now do that through a downtown area at 200 feet AGL.

      They look cool, and the engineering is nifty, but as a consumer product? Lots o’ nope.

      We had global terror decades before smart phones. Some of the black panthers were being “lead” by a dude in Algeria, which was a “safe space” for communist/anarchist terror groups in the early 70s. The Weather Underground (why the fuck are Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers walking around free and alive?), the Black Panthers,The Baader-Meinhof Gang, the knee capping Italians, PLO, etc. Politically motivated bombings and hijackings were practically a sport in the 60s and 70s.

      > I recall a story of increased or steady munitions usage on the Maginot line
      > while casualties went to zero, the idea being an unspoken realization of “do unto others…”,
      > the first contract per Hobbes, had manifested in war

      I think you have a couple of wars confused. The Maginot Line was created after WWII to keep the Germans from invading France again. So they went around it. Or went through the forests that the Frogs didn’t think the Germans could get tanks through.

      The artillery issue in WWI was that it was very, very easy for artillery to fire more than the factories could produce, so there was a different sort of equilibrium going on–trying to balance logistics against keeping the other side at bay.

      WWI is one of the reasons I hope that there is a some sort of interested God. Because if there is, there’s a hell, and the generals and war leaders from that war are in UNENDING FUCKING TORMENT for being utter fucksticks.

      • chiral3 said, on November 30, 2021 at 2:36 am

        flying cars… not literal, it was a metaphor for how shitty we are as futurists and making predictions. I think there’s a book called where’s my flying car? or something similar.

        You’re right. I got lucky and found the book first try on the shelf. I was thinking of The Evolution of Cooperation by Robert Axelrod. Haven’t touched it in years and years but it appears heavily dog-eared, underlined, and bookmarked, so I was into it for some reason. Chapter 4, The Live-and-Let-Live System in Trench Warfare in World War I,…, TIT-FOR-TAT, Prisoner’s Dilemma etc.

        I stand by my comment about connectedness and dimensionality and the resultant erosion of rational cooperation. Downside of mud huts, rocks and spears aside, they worried about their village in that scenario. They weren’t worked up about what someone was thinking a world away. That’s the germ of the theory, anyway.

        I arrowed a 160lb buck at dusk at 80 yards two fridays ago after almost 20 hours of trying to create some luck. I was a pin gap off my 60 yard pin plus a skosh for good measure and decreased arrow velocity. I wasn’t wild about the shot but I wasn’t going to get closer and it was dark. I love my recurve but my compound is consistent.

      • Raul Miller said, on November 30, 2021 at 4:03 am

        “The Maginot Line was created after WWII to … ”

        I think you meant to write that the maginot line was created after WWI. It’s frustrating sometimes that there’s no way of editing wordpress comments, but I guess replies are good enough or something.

        • William O. B'Livion said, on December 2, 2021 at 2:52 pm

          Yeah, that was a typo.

  27. William O. B'Livion said, on November 30, 2021 at 1:20 am

    Why we are fat:
    https://imgur.com/a/pZ9ZujK

    Note, SERVES **2**

  28. truth said, on November 30, 2021 at 1:41 pm

    Agree with all of it but the Leave the WEED alone…
    weed doesn’t and has never caused Schizophrenia they already had it…there is no science that backs that claim..
    Other than that good job

    • Scott Locklin said, on November 30, 2021 at 3:25 pm

      There’s plenty of science and observational common sense against the use of muh weed.

  29. b67rl said, on November 30, 2021 at 3:14 pm

    Many are not going to like this – but per #3 – hormonal disrupters. Hormonal birth control. Sure, it has kept the population down – we’d be so much more crowded, less women in the workforce etc yada yada but a larger percentage of the female population than they want to admit have severe problems with it. Bodies are not built the same – and something made to work ‘for the masses’ actually ignores anything that doesn’t sound like what they want to hear. (ding ding – sound familiar, lately?) Weight gain is only the most benign of it.. violence and anger issues (esp. among those females that already produce higher testosterone to begin with, then you give them more), focus issues, increased bleeding, longer and more frequent periods, sometimes increased sex drive and frustration with nothing ever satisfying, psychological issues with anxiety and depression and ‘swings’… many of the bad side effects men don’t want to have with the ‘male birth control’ pills they had devised.

    They want to sweep this under the rug. Look it up. It’s actually really common – and then the girls get told it can’t possibly be from the birth control – it’s their OWN hormones.. not the artificial ones.

    Some girls get offered or forced onto it at the beginning of puberty so they NEVER have a chance to find out what their ‘normal’ personality or body would be like without it. It is a snide conversation – ‘you’ll have a better complexion’, ‘you’ll not have to worry about periods as much’.. And if you have side effects they just ignore it because ‘that is what women act like’… all crazy and unpredictable and emotional and so forth… And the shots that last for months – once you’re on them they can’t just be ripped back out.. you have to wait it out.

    Having the ‘pill’ and the Depo shot might make life ‘simpler’ in some ways we’ve been trained to believe are necessary for ‘civilized society’ – but I swear, this would be a vastly different country without it and maybe even for the better. Tank the birth control – messing with hormones for convenience leads to fat, angry, frustrated people with less kids – but many more problems they can’t even trace the origin of.

  30. Saskia Valentine said, on November 30, 2021 at 4:17 pm

    Why are the victims of diet “oppression” shown contempt rather than cheered on to free themselves from rolls of fat?

    It’s interesting when people unleash their most intense vitriol at women and children and their least at the wealthy establishment leading the world to hell in a hand-basket by proxi of the US health care system.

    Why aren’t the same intensive psychological operations used to push vaccinations also being used to push doctors, schools and parents to ban sugars from children’s diets?

    Why aren’t the giant cereal and soda companies being canceled for pushing foods laden with sugars that trigger behavior and emotional problems in small children, induce early onset of puberty (wasting ovary eggs at their peak), put teens and adults into a lazy stupor, that trigger auto-immune disorders and slowly rot internal organs and cuts off blood circulation to extremities?

    • Raul Miller said, on November 30, 2021 at 6:24 pm

      Rants are fun, but your false dichotomy density here is a little bit too high for me.

      Still, you do touch on some very real issues.

    • William O. B'Livion said, on December 1, 2021 at 3:12 pm

      > sugars that trigger behavior and emotional problems in small children,

      Sugars don’t trigger emotional and behavioral problems. What happens is that when a child is *only* given foods high in simple sugars they get an insulin dump, then a “sugar crash”. This would happen whether one gave them a bowl of Captain Krunch Sugar Bombs, or a bowl of “health” grapes. The problem is that they *aren’t* being given complex carbs bound up in fiber and fats (especially omega 3s), that provide a smoother flow of glucose and fatty acids into the blood stream.

      > induce early onset of puberty (wasting ovary eggs at their peak),

      “Wasting” the eggs? You know that for the first 20 years of their sexual activity most of them are going to use condoms, hormonal birth control AND the pullout method because they’re scared to death of getting preggers, then in their late 30s realize they really want chillins, and have to use fertility drugs to actually get pregnant, right?

  31. Carson jakes said, on November 30, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    Children killed by intoxicated drivers?

  32. inthisdimension said, on November 30, 2021 at 6:01 pm

    The bottom line on all – as in 100% – of this is that all of the above, with the possible exception of #5, is a direct downstream result of 19A. These pathologies ALL are based on empathy voting and catering to feelings rather than fact. There essentially are no pathologies in America not related to empathy votes. Women vote to take care of people – which mean ever-larger and more intrusive government. Many men vote to get into women’s pants and are unwilling to understand or care about the downstream effects of this. Prior to 19A, men voted as though government was force to be used and/or contained appropriately to ensure their pursuit of life liberty and property/happiness. Some men were convinced that they must vote as women wanted in order to have a partner, which gave us 18A – the only amendment ever repealed. Once the 19th passed, women voted for care, half the men voted to get laid – ie for empathy as their wife or girlfriend demanded, and the rest as they had before. The result was a huge swing towards government as Daddy/Nanny. Which gave us social security & medicare and $240T of unfunded future liabilities, most of the $29T of Debt, created Affirmative Action and its DESIGNED goal of mediocrity rather than merit, Welfare – and zillions of people choosing the couch instead of the job, and worrying about how parasites (druggies, homeless) felt about stuff – which is absurd. Nearly as absurd as enfranchising the childless – those not caring enough about the future to populate it being asked their opinion on how to govern that future. Repeal 19A and most of these pathologies go away quickly, the rest in a generation or two. Don’t repeal 19A and we’re completely screwed. Several women with whom I regularly communicate express that they would happily trade their vote for a more-just, prosperous, educated society. That is what it will take. Everything else – anything else – is eyewash.

  33. Marcos said, on November 30, 2021 at 8:12 pm

    You can get free books from this site- https://b-ok.cc/?signAll=1&ts=2239. The US has an issue of a consumption mentality. When you change the paradigm from making to consuming, then you have a problem. When I dated a Chinese-Malaysian female, we went to Vegas (back in the 90s’.) The first thing she said was, why are Americans so fat? Over 70% are overweighted, and over 40% are obese (BMI>30.) Today, an average 22-year old “man” has the same T-level as an average 67-year old man back in 2000, 20 years. It is the reason you see all the pussified “men” around.

    Also, read John Glubb about declined empires. The US is done.

  34. Brent said, on December 1, 2021 at 12:28 am

    Autism – see also personality disorders. Maybe I am just older and wiser but it seems like really obvious “cluster B” behavior has become a lot more common than when I was coming of age. I don’t think it’s unrelated.

    On the light end, Assburgers and whatnot, I’m more skeptical: people that get pegged as “on the spectrum” seem to me to be casualties of really rotten bright-kid-in-public-school socialization. Figure out the class warfare angle on that one.

    • Scott Locklin said, on December 1, 2021 at 3:15 am

      Both of those sound about right. Cluster B practically has its own political party these days.

    • William O. B'Livion said, on December 1, 2021 at 3:41 pm

      I suspect that most of the people “on the spectrum” could be shifted *considerably* to the left (not political left, left on the “spectrum” by judicious use of both the carrot and the stick forms of education.

      I had a very hard time handling emotions and looking people in the face as a child, and had other sorts of problems (texture issues, particularly with food) that would get me labelled as “on the spectrum” these days.

      My father would have none of that shit. “LOOK ME IN THE EYE WHEN YOU TALK TO ME”, and other “authoritarian” edicts and instructions turned me into someone who still has problems reading other people emotionally, but I can pass as “wired too tight” rather than “assberger”, at least most of the time.

      I think that almost all of our problems today are complex issues that will not be significantly mitigated by simple solutions.

      The increase in autism is probably spurred by *at least* four things:
      1. Shitty parenting. The *primary* job of a parent is to feed *and civilize* their spawn. In both the black and white ghettos they fail at the latter by failing to inculcate non-violent conflict resolution skills. In less lower class neighborhoods they manage to teach their kids to be non-violent (to some degree), but they fail to instill a sense of discipline when it comes to behaviors and other people. When you have a child who has any one of the inclinations towards autistic like behavior, this fails to minimize it.

      2. Given the class status notions prevalent in the middle and upper middle class communities, parents would often rather their children get a college education and a $45k a year teaching job, than a machinists certificate and make 80 or 90k a year working with their hands building useful shit. This means that if their child doesn’t exhibit the sorts of behaviors appropriate to an academic life, SOMETHING MUST BE WRONG. Given that there is so much money out there for assistance in schools there is a great pressure to label these kids with some sort of medical diagnosis to get them “the help they deserve”.

      3. Assortative mating. Prior to the 1960s it was *incredibly* likely that you’d marry and settle down with someone who lived within 5 or 10 miles of you. It was more likely you’d have someone with a similar background, with a similar worldview, etc. Now days we take everyone with a reasonably high IQ and Time Preference, and we send them into a caldron with other people who have reasonably high IQs and TPs, and have them mating, while we leave the others to breed within their home territory. MOST of the Autists come out off the former pool.

      4. Expanding on 3, the people who meet and marry in college tend to delay childbearing more than people who do not. There have been studies that showed the mother’s age correlated somewhat with an increase in autistic diagnosis.

      • Scott Locklin said, on December 1, 2021 at 9:48 pm

        I used to the the assorative mating thing had legs based on how many Bay Area nerdy couples had broken kids, but I’m not so sure any more. I’m thinking of people I knew from my hometown who actually did marry the girl/boy next door and still had a bunch of broken sperdos. I think a lot of it is people who live on their electronic devices rather than in the corporeal world; poor parenting to be sure. Speaking of poor parenting: kids don’t go outside, and haven’t since Gen-X times: basically children have lived like prisoners. That has to make them a little weird.

        Other fun theories I’ve heard: antidepressants, PFUAs, birth control pills, venereal warts. Who knows: whatever it is, it’s a very serious problem, and it shouldn’t be considered “neurodiversity” or whatever. It’s just severely broken people.

    • Scott Locklin said, on December 13, 2021 at 5:30 pm

      200 pages is tldr. Nobody needs to read that much to notice more people died in 2021 than in 2020, therefore the public health mitigations are abject failures.

      • Sprewell said, on December 13, 2021 at 6:21 pm

        Yes, but the bureaucrats have successfully sold a story that it’s all on the virus versus this paper tries to lay out a detailed statistical case for why the lockdowns and other mitigations were to blame. I thought you’d be interested in digging into their case and signal-boosting that October paper with a blog post if you find it convincing. At the very least, read the second link: I found the allegations there against Fauci, Birx, et al stunning.

        • Scott Locklin said, on December 13, 2021 at 11:10 pm

          Ronamadness isn’t my primary interest in life, though I end up knowing plenty about it anyway. I’m not reading 200 pages of anything unless they have a very compelling summary, and they don’t. Maybe they’re right in detail about everything. They failed at marketing their correctness, so it’s a useless effort.

          Life’s too short. I’d rather read 200 pages of Thomas Hodgkin than something that likely to rustle my jimmies.

    • Raul Miller said, on December 13, 2021 at 9:08 pm

      Looking at the summary, they are calling out long term issues, like the obesity and poverty.

      But long-term issues implicate past decision makers. And, there it’s not only the people at the top, but the people informing them.

      So this includes our medical professionals, our university system, our lobbyists, our business leaders, and of course our politicians.

      But, also, “poverty” is very much not a USA-specific issue. Poverty is a world-wide issue and it just so happens that we are not immune to it. On top of that, countries with high poverty have tended to push anti-vax narratives to keep their budgets in line — and we are not immune to that, either.

      (Obesity is also a world-wide problem, but it’s one that seems to have been hitting us harder (per capita, at least) than any other country.)

      Anyways, … “incompetence” is not a helpful label unless (a) the corresponding “competence” is identified, and (b) there’s sufficient evidence (not cherry-picked) to show that it’s a relevant definition.

      Mind you, as individuals we have a lot of “incompetents” in position of authority. But that’s always a problem with leadership — any one person has only limited time and experience. So leaders *must* rely on their own people and that in turn opens them up to other problems (for example, where some of “their” people are actively working against them, but also where people are strongly opinionated about subjects where they have little to no relevant experience).

      Anyways, … we probably could have done better. But hindsight is different from foresight. And, there will always be people who complain.

      So… from a control systems theory point of view… it’s critical that top-down imposed remedies are imperfect. You can’t solve everyone’s problems because that would convince everyone that those problems do not exist. You need some failures to inform the public of important failure modes, and government is more about dampening out the problems than it is about eliminating the problems.

      It’s rough.

  35. Sprewell said, on December 13, 2021 at 10:00 pm

    You seem to have missed the point of the paper: nobody is claiming the long-term issues magically climaxed into a bunch of deaths last year. Rather, those authors argue that the extraordinary short-term measures taken since Covid were worse than the virus itself. I’m still going through the data, so I can’t say how convincing their case is yet.

    As for the incompetence of the Covid task force last year, note that I said “criminally incompetent,” not just incompetent. How else do you describe this?

    “Fauci got the most media attention of the troika, but Atlas thinks that Birx did the most damage. As Pence’s chief subordinate on the Task Force, she shaped its agenda, participated in the regular ‘Covid huddle’ with White House officials, and traveled the country, successfully pressuring state and local leaders to issue mask mandates and close businesses and schools. In one of Atlas’s first meetings with her, he asked her what she considered the strongest scientific evidence for the efficacy of masks against Covid. She cited a report published by the Centers for Disease Control about a hair salon in Missouri, where two stylists infected with Covid had worn masks that supposedly prevented the virus from infecting their customers.

    ‘I knew the study well,’ Atlas writes, ‘having already dissected it in detail with a few epidemiologists before I set foot in Washington. My colleagues had all laughed at it. It was poorly done, and the conclusions were not valid. It was an embarrassment that it had been published prominently on the CDC website.’ Among the many limitations of this small study, critics had noted that, while none of the customers contacted by the researchers reported Covid symptoms, most of them were never tested for the virus, and many of the stylists’ customers were never contacted at all.

    Atlas tells how he tried, ‘in as diplomatic a way as I could muster,’ to discuss these limitations with Birx, but she bristled. He soon realized that she wasn’t even familiar with the basic aspects of the study she was using to justify mask mandates across the U.S. Nor did she or the rest of the troika show interest in the many far more rigorous studies with contrary findings. Though Redfield would later concede, after leaving the CDC, that there was a ‘paucity of data’ to justify mask mandates, during the Task Force meetings the troika refused to debate any scientific research challenging their mask mandates and lockdowns, according to Atlas. ‘Unlike scientists with whom I had worked for decades,’ he writes, ‘I never saw them voice any critical assessment, methodological or otherwise, of the pitfalls of any published studies.’ Atlas says that they never brought scientific papers to the meetings and declined to respond to his presentations about the research.

    ‘For what I anticipated would be a data-filled discussion about opening schools and the risk to children,’ Atlas says, ‘I brought approximately fifteen different studies and a summary sheet of the research. For what I hoped would be a discussion about testing guidance, I brought and distributed articles and other documents about the role and pitfalls of PCR testing and concerns about cycle thresholds. Even though I handed out a number of these published studies to everyone at the table, no one ever mentioned them in the Situation Room. My guess was that no one in the Fauci-Redfield-Birx troika ever opened them.’

    Instead, the troika of bureaucrats obsessed over Birx’s charts showing how many Covid tests had been administered and what percentage were positive. They proclaimed success for their strategies when infections started to wane in states like New York and Arizona—never mind that the downward trends began before the lockdowns and mask mandates were imposed. They ignored inconvenient data, like the chart that Atlas reproduces comparing the rates of Covid cases in states with and without mask mandates: the two curves remained virtually identical throughout the pandemic. ‘The doctors in the Task Force showed no study about mask efficacy or any other of their policies, and they never once mentioned the harms of the lockdowns that I witnessed,’ Atlas says. ‘Their sole focus was stopping cases, even when their policies were already implemented and were failing to do so.'”

    There are allegations of much worse, that Fauci is a fraud and a long-time grifter, based on his HIV/AIDS past.

  36. Raul Miller said, on December 13, 2021 at 11:04 pm

    If your “you” was me, rather than “Scott Locklin” and you were responding to my comment that began “Looking at the summary …” please note that I was assuming that the summary adequately represented the findings.

    Anyways… sure… IF the summary which accompanied the paper did not adequately represent the findings of the paper, then I will accept as valid the criticism that I missed the point of the paper.

    But, also, my point was based on the observation that hindsight is 2020. Criticizing the consequences of past decision making without pointing out what was wrong with those decisions which should have been known at the time strikes me as a waste of time.

    Consider, for example, “if Trump had been less trusting of the assurances he had been receiving from his contacts in China that the disease was a minor issue, his administration might have taken action sooner”. Or, consider, “if Trump had been more trusting of the Obama administration, he might have used their playbook for handling the outbreak.” These would be *specific* criticisms and could refuted (or not) by looking at the historical record. But a declaration of “incompetence” without such specifics leaves too many independent variables in the mix.

    Perhaps, instead, it’s a criticism of the people that were in that administration? That could be. But I guess that that’s something I would expect seasoned bureaucrats and their sense of self preservation to have to grapple with.

  37. Sprewell said, on December 14, 2021 at 12:51 am

    The summary clearly says, “We infer that persistent chronic psychological stress induced by the long-lasting government-imposed societal and economic transformations during the COVID-era converted the existing societal (poverty), public-health (obesity) and hot-climate risk factors into deadly agents, largely acting together, with devastating population-level consequences against large pools of vulnerable and disadvantaged residents of the USA, far above preexisting pre-COVID-era mortality in those pools.” So at best, you misread the summary.

    As for evidence of criminal incompetence, read the quote I gave you in my last comment. If you don’t see it there, I’ll simply add you to the list.

    • Raul Miller said, on December 14, 2021 at 1:39 am

      Ok, now I think that you do not understand what I wrote.

      If you do not understand what “But long-term issues implicate past decision makers. And, there it’s not only the people at the top, but the people informing them.” has to do with those charges of “criminality” I am not sure how to explain it to you.

      But if adding me to the list helps you cope, I won’t object.

      • Sprewell said, on December 14, 2021 at 3:25 am

        I’m not sure you could explain it to yourself, your nonsense word salad here is inexplicable to all. Rather than “coping,” try to pay attention to the rampant criminality around you. If that’s too difficult, be quiet while the adults talk.

  38. John Baker said, on January 18, 2022 at 10:47 pm

    “Hamplanets” – I was unaware of this new class of celestial objects. Sadly, given the rate of mass accretion with such objects, they may soon need to be given official IAU status.


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