All of Simon Whyatt's Comments + Replies

I switched from veganism to eating small amounts of pasture raised meat for these reasons.

The lives of well treated livestock do seem to be a net positive and considerably better on average than those of wild animals. Less stress, less suffering, quick and painless death.

There are some arguments for reforesting/rewilding pasture land, but even if this were done populations of large herbivores still need to be controlled.

One way to do this is reintroduce wolves, which I'm not against, but I still think death by human is the more humane option.

It doesn't many much sense to me to say it's bad for humans to kill and eat animals humanely so instead condemn them to be torn apart by wolves!


I came across the slime mould article some time ago via the Marginal Revolution blog. I do not find it in the least convincing. It seems to me they have their theory, then cherry pick and misinterpret all evidence to fit.

In short, totally agree with what you're saying here.

My personal thoughts on the many errors in the SMTM theory here should you be interested:

I came across the slime mould article some time ago via the Marginal Revolution blog. I do not find it in the least convincing. It seems to me they have their theory, then cherry pick and misinterpret all evidence to fit.

My personal thoughts on their theory here:

5Nicole Dieker1y
This is what I thought when I read the SMTM papers too. "People are eating more calories but that's not why they weigh more" okay hmmmm... Not that I think CICO is the only factor, and that's important! The leptin resistance and the insulin resistance hypotheses both make sense, for example. Here's another compounding factor (pun intended):  We know that it takes more energy to sustain greater mass, which is part of why people get really excited about CICO ("if I just consume less energy, my body will naturally resolve to a smaller mass") and then disappointed when it doesn't work out quite as planned ("wait my body is naturally resolving to tired?"). And yes, when my body weight was 22% more than current, I was hungrier. Full-stop.  But here's where the numbers get interesting. We know that many hyperpalatable foods have been hyperengineered to hit ever-increasing bliss points (go read Salt, Sugar, Fat), which means that an Oreo Double Stuf gives you 70 calories per cookie vs the original Oreo's 50 calories per cookie.  So it compounds -- you're hungrier because you have more mass to maintain, and the food you're eating has more calories but you don't realize it first because the size of the food is the same as it's always been and second because the food has been engineered to not feel rich/heavy/filling (so you'll eat more of it, go read Salt, Sugar, Fat again). Then mass increases, then hunger increases, and if you eat 4 Oreo Double Stufs instead of 3 you're getting 280 cals instead of 210 whereas if you'd eaten 4 Original Oreos instead of 3 you'd have only gotten 200 cals instead of 150. Cycle cycle cycle.

There are certainly some good aspects to the book.

The exercise selection for example covers all major muscle groups, and the progressions go from easy enough for the most unfit, to hard enough for most mere mortals. (As noted, the easiest squat progression is ridiculous, clearly just added so all exercises had the same number of steps).

The book is also entertaining, as are all the dragondoor books (same publisher as Pavel Tsatouline's books, just switch the Russian goulag schtick for US prison...).

It's about as far from rational/evidence based as you can g... (read more)

I personally like to distinguish between activity, training and exercise.

Exercise being movement done purely for health. It should be safe and effective.

Activity is movement done for another reason. Could be practical (cycling to work), or recreational (playing sport). Typically has similar effects to exercise, but comes with injury risks.

Training is practicing specific movements to get better at a certain activity.

People tend to confuse all of these, unsurprisingly, and end up doing things like crossfit "because exercise is good for you"...

People also tend to have strong beliefs about which is "best". Really it's a matter of personal preference/values.

Ah sorry. There was no reference to that in this post so had no idea.

I think the main flaw in his argument comes from his belief that more exercise always = better health / increased longevity.

The evidence on the other hand indicates that health benefits come from a very modest amount of exercise. Daily waking plus maybe a short session of resistance training once a week.

As you start to increase volume and intensity, health and longevity benefits not only tail off, but can actually start to decline. (Especially if you're doing flic flacs and land on your head).

I personally enjoy strenuous physical activity, and being strong... (read more)

5Rob Bensinger2y
Logan prefers the pronoun "they" over "he", FYI.
This struck me as well. Part of my brain reads this list as "Broken bones, busted knees, torn ankle ligaments, burst spinal and knee cushions." I can associate many of my forays into fitness with a particular chronic injury. Basketball, ankle doesn't work right anymore. Taekwondo, toes on right foot no longer support my weight. I'm sure there are plenty of people who don't accrue all these injuries when they exercise. A cursory Googling suggests that there are some important genetic factors relating to connective tissue strength/integrity and/or recovery speed. As I've gotten older, I've chosen to simply focus on keeping my resting heart rate solidly into what is considered a healthy zone. This is one of those easily measurable knobs that can be intervened upon from a number of directions. If somebody suggested that I need to pack on muscle to be healthier, I think I could argue pretty persuasively that they are wrong.

"Does anyone think that Anki is better than real life use for learning? Or is it perhaps more of a (possibly imperfect) substitute for when one cannot avail themself of a real life usage setting to apply what they have learned?"

I doubt it. Anki is one (very useful) tool, that's all.

It's not meant as a substitute but an adjunct.

You need to also practice speaking, listening, reading and writing.

Nb The book fluent forever is the best resource I've come across for language learning. His process for anki card creation is also very good (using images/never using your native language to avoid translating).

Also, get yourself a Korean lover. Sure to help!

This is a perennial topic as it's incredibly difficult to study.

You can't do a double blind RCT on the effects of eating / not eating x on longevity.

As a result you're limited to short term clinical studies and epidemiological data. Both of which come with their own set of problems.

The official dietary guidelines are based on the best available science but there's still plenty of things we don't know for sure.

There's also issues of risk communication which further confuses things.

Processed meats for example are classed as a probable carcinogen based on obs... (read more)

Plus, self-reported dietary information is garbage.

All cause mortality? I very much doubt it'll protect you from car accidents or bear attacks.

Far more likely that people that people that take such supplements do so as they're health conscious and any perceived benefits are halo effect.

Eat a balanced diet, include skin, bone and shellfish and you'll get more than enough of both plus lots of other nutrients.

All cause mortality? I very much doubt it'll protect you from car accidents or bear attacks.

Improvements in all-cause mortality mean that if you sum up all causes of mortality, the risk goes down, not that all causes decrease.

For example, if the only ways to die are car accidents or bear attacks, with equal probability, a self-driving car that perfectly avoids all accidents would decrease all-cause mortality by 50% even though it doesn't do anything to prevent bear attacks.

An improvement in all-cause mortality is a useful metric because it avoids mistak... (read more)

I'd first start by questioning what evidence you've seen that would convince you that calorie restriction is a good idea?

I've seen zero studies in humans that would indicate this. The negative side effects are huge, and little evidence for significant gains in longevity.

There was a good discussion of this on the SSC blog last year:

With regards to meal timing, I've been keeping an eye on the research for over a decade, and in short it makes very little difference.

Quality and quan

... (read more)

Acoustic guitar.

Learning and playing an instrument is fun, rewarding and therapeutic (or at least can be with the right attitude).

The acoustic guitar is a good option due to its versatility and portability. You can learn some camp fire songs in a few days, but the possibilities are endless if you want to keep learning forever.

Yeah. A steel string acoustic guitar is "a friend for life" as Mark Knopfler said. Another versatile instrument is the electronic keyboard.