Archives for: March 2005
I was up way to late last night watching the 24 hour 'Twilight Zone' marathon on the Sci-Fi channel, which featured the classic episode 'To Serve Man.'
The Kanamits, a race of nine foot tall space aliens, with big light bulb heads and curious little goatees, arrive on Earth, and immediately start helping man. They appear totally trustworthy and full of goodwill. This idea is backed up when they leave a book titled "To Serve Man" at the U.N. Michael Chambers, a decoding expert, along with thousands of other people book passage to the Kanamit's home panet. Meanwhile, Michael's assistant Pat is trying to decode the book left by the Kanamits. As Michael is boarding the Kanamit spacecraft, Pat runs up and tells Michael she has finished translating the book - it's a cookbook!
Besides the fact that it was shot in glorious black and white and gorgeously lit, the show had oddly moralistic endings, which were themselves often quite twisted. Not too scarey to a saucer-eyed kid in 1964 who could still run to his grandparents sitting in the kitchen if things got too intense.
This all-consuming soliloquy reminds me of a classic line from the Simpsons, during the opening credits of the Clown's holiday special:
"It's a Krusty Kinda Kristmas. Brought to you by ILG: selling your body's chemicals after you die. And by Li'l Sweetheart Cupcakes - a subsidiary of ILG."
Which of course reminds me of the famous scream by Charleton Heston that 'Soylet Green is made from humans!' or, even better, the repeated attempts of an Apache-necktied Heston parody on a long-ago Saturday Night Live trying to get the phrase just right.
Back soon with a 'heartier' blog!
If you rob Peter to pay Paul, you've already got half the vote.'
'Many years have you have been snubbed and even mocked, your theories debased and reviled. People seem to offhandedly wave away the world of discovery you have achieved like an odd odor in the air. It would seem that tremendous psychological forces are interacting in peoples minds when it comes to change, specifically in terms of attaining concrete understanding of health. You scare people, they are not ready for the truth.
-Stephan (blog comment)
Truth be told, the last few years have been a painful, if eye-opening education in the reality of rent-seeking, the corruption (intellectual, spiritual and economic) that results when learning is wedded to bureaucratic authority and income. Competing with rent-seekers can be a wearying and scarifying experience and a note like Stephan's does a lot to reassure me, a least a wee bit, that I am not some type of evil lunatic.
Rent-seeking can take many forms. There was the time a major manufacturer of ephedra-driven diet pills, fronted by a sonambulent reality TV star, advised my via FAX that they had been awarded the patent for developing supplements based on blood type and unless I 'played ball' with them, they would issue a cease and desist order. Investigating the patent quickly disclosed that the source material used in their application was my first book. They were, in essence, using me again me. We rolled the patent back, but only at great expense. But what about people who can't afford to fight back against the well-heeled?
Rent seeking is nothing new. The philosopher Schopenhauer wrote of it almost 200 years ago:
'Now what in the world has such a philosophy as mine to do with that alma mater, the good, substantial university philosophy, which, burdened with a hundred intentions and a thousand considerations, proceeds on its course cautiously tacking, since at all times it has before its eyes the fear of the Lord, the will of the publsher, the encouragement of students, the goodwill of colleagues, the course of current politics, the momentary tendency of the public, and Heaven knows what else? Or what has my silent and serious search for truth in common with the yelling school disputations of the chairs and benches, whose most secret motives are always personal aims?'
The new USDA food guideline are a great example of rent-seeking. Witness how the major processed food manufacturers have pre-registered for the whole-grain bandwangon. The stuff was already produced, the advertising copy already written. And right behind them? The biggest rent seekers of them all, The American Dietetic Association.
Whole grain? Great! GMO? What's that? Oh, yeah. Don't worry! Junk food CAN be part of a balanced diet. Blood Type Diet? Dangerous! Unscientific! Read this pamphet on a REAL healthy diet (paid for by McDonalds Corp). Use our spokespeople in your magazine or TV show (funded by Kraft Foods, or Monsanto, or ADM).
The proposed Codex Alimentarius is another exercise in professional and corporate rent-seeking. Interesting dialectic going on there. As long as vitamins are medically useless and not very profitable, there's no need to regulate. As soon as a biological role or profit margin is discovered, they become a terrible threat to the public and must immediately be regulated. The difference to the public? A minimum three-fold increase in price, availability only through physicians (most of whom are not going to prescribe them), and sub-therapeutic doses.
Those Quackbuster guys are another bunch of self-appointed public guardians who are in reality world class rent-seekers. Talk about double-speak: By definition alternative medicines don't work, since if they did, then they would then be conventional medicines.
So what chance does a guy like me, with a puny idea like the BTD, stand against a juggernaut like this?
A pretty good one, if you ask me.
They can only manipulate to achieve their ends.
We have the idea.
'Every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized. In the first it is ridiculed, in the second it is opposed, in the third it is regarded as self evident.'
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Cool is a complex aesthetic of motion and interval, of tension and tranquility, of juxtaposition and coexistence, that has its roots in various West African cultures. Over time, it has been transformed by African-Americans and appropriated by American and Western popular culture, generally.
A new study seems to indicate that Tai Chi may reduce falls in the elderly. The researchers concluded that â€˜Improved functional balance through Tai Chi training is associated with subsequent reductions in fall frequency in older persons,' the authors write. â€˜Healthcare providers and clinicians contemplating fall-prevention programs for older persons at risk of falling should consider Tai Chi, both as a balance-retraining program, and as part of a multifaceted treatment intervention for fall prevention.'On of the main topics at ifHI 2003 was the link between elevated levels of a 'soluable endothelial factor' called E-Selectin, and individuals who are blood type A. In a nutshell E-selectin is one of several molecules that are involved in the adhesion of certain white blood cells to the artery wall, typically as a result of inflammation. Higher levels of E-selectin may contribute to the overall greater levels of heart disease seen in type A individuals.
New research indicates (again) that a 'western' level of red meat consumption results in increased levels of E-selectin. Also worth noting is that the artery inflammation caused by E-selectin is greatly enhanced by elevated levels of other blood clotting factors (Factor VIII, von Willebrand Factor) which can be up to 25% lower in normal, healthy, type O individuals when compared to type A.
E-selectin levels drop with a vegetable based diet. so if you're type A an think you need to do Atkins or Paleo, think again. You may well wind up cooking your arteries.