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The Intense World Theory of Autism

Great article. Thank you!

I also highly commend reading the original paper  referenced in the article. (full text available here https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/neuro. Reading the original paper was quite a revelation to me. How many things are parsimoniously explained by this hypothesis.... how many things suddenly make sense. As opposed to the jumble of unrelated facts seen in most academic summaries of Autism.

There is of course opposition to the hypothesis but there has also been considerable confirmation as a look at google scholar will easily show.

What if we should use more energy, not less?

Indeed at a first approximation technology is about finding cool ways to use cheap energy. 

What if we should use more energy, not less?

Solar power in particular has plummeted in cost by many orders of magnitude

You need to take into account the base here. Same with batteries. If something goes from ludicrously expensive to just plain very expensive, it is not so impressive. 

I spent 3 months trying to put together a picture of what a 100% renewable energy economy would look like. When you take into account a) the need to build and maintain the RE infrastructure using RE (currently it is almost all done with fossil fuels for cost reasons) b) the vast infrastructure needed per Gw generated due to the low density of RE sources, c) intermittency which means you require a lot of redundancy, a lot of storage, a lot of cables, and backup dispatchable power (ask Germans right now!). The need for backup dispatchable power means that even if RE were free, it would still not be cheaper, because you still have to have the backup dispatchable power stations. So the RE cost is additional,

The total system cost is enormous.

FWIW my conclusion was a minimum 30-50% hit on living standards, and at worst it cannot actually work. If you want to bring the whole world up to 1st world living standards it is not at all possible. 

> [solar] effectively forever

Solar installations have a very limited life span of the order of 10 years. And a very serious waste disposal problem. Similarly with wind turbines.

So no, not forever. While OP alludes to "maintenance costs" this by no means captures the extent of the problem.

For clarity I think AGW is a real, serious, man-made problem. But that does not imply that a solution is easy, or even possible. In any case, irrespective of the AGW issue, fossil fuels are running out and we need a solution, or we will be forced to dramatically reduce energy use and living standards. 

People will say you can have a high living standard while consuming little energy. OK then, show me a country with very high living standard and low energy use. And 10kw/person is a lot of energy.

Sunscreen: much more than you wanted to know

Limitations of the study of sunscreen which make it inconclusive -

1. They only measured blood levels during summer. They would have declined in winter, and were not actually that terrific in either group even at the end of summer, though not at the levels of frank deficiency. Differences would have widened over winter and with ongoing use/non-use of sunscreen over time, as vitamin D is stored in body fat.

2. The study was small and short term and thus major effects could show up as N.S. E.g the 50% greater increase in the placebo group of over 70s was not found "statistically significant". The confidence intervals were very wide so the result should be seen as inconclusive and tending towards sunscreen reducing D levels rather than definitively showing no major effect over time.

Sunscreen: much more than you wanted to know

Also endorphins (opiate type things). 

This is why a friend described taking heroin as like being "bathed in golden sunlight". 

Obesity Epidemic Explained in 0.9 Subway Cookies

I find this post naive, like much writing on weight management. 

I have struggled with my weight for 40 years (BMI currently 26, slightly overweight but strangely enough the level at which death rates are lowest). And I have read just about every book on the subject and cubic meters of academic papers. Perhaps I have learned something. 

> things that will help

I tried all, yes all, those things over the years. Some worked, a bit, temporarily and none worked permanently. I agree that they are plausible stories but they are nothing more.

What this and most writing on diet ignore is that weight management is tightly controlled by the body and lower brain, almost entirely out of conscious control. Yes you can eat less for a while, just as you can consciously stop breathing for a while. But in the end willpower has almost zero effect. 

Feedback mechanisms operate through many mechanisms - by regulating appetite. by downregulating metabolism, willingness to expend energy, feelings of fatigue, sleepiness etc. If you have not woken at night having been dreaming about eating, with the only thought in your head being "I don't care what happens I must eat now" you have not experienced hunger. In Ancel Keys' WWII study on starvation subjects were found literally eating from garbage cans after a while.

When people are young they find it far easier to control weight. As you get older it gets harder. BY 50-60 virtually everyone is struggling. So don't declare victory too soon. https://politicaldictionary.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/mission-accomplished-moment.jpg

The idea that eating one extra cookie a day voluntarily will have the results predicted by a simplistic mathematical model is  not even wrong. You see this in studies where they try to get people to gain weight - it is just as hard for many people to gain weight as it is for others to lose weight. the nody adapts and counters any destablizing inputs.

As Ey pointed out no-one thinks that weight loss is worth the price if it means you effectively lose 15-20 points of IQ because your body has decided to economize on energy supplies to the brain. And no-one thinks that weight loss is good if you mostly lose lean body mass, bone mass and your immune system is weakened. What people want to lose is fat. This is a very different thing from weight loss.

So what is the solution? I have lost 15kg of fat over the years (10 kg of weight when you take into account +5kg muscle).

I do not claim any of the things below are a magic  bullet. Such a thing does not exist. But these things have helped me. 

1. Eat a nutritionally rich diet. If you are lacking nutrients you will be hungry. Something like the diet recommended in "Eat Rich Live Long". Just ignore the author's views on covid19. Protein is often the nutrient in short supply.

1a. In general try to avoid empty calories. Sorry this includes wine and beer, even 'craft' beer. 

2. Limit carbohydrates to the lowest level consistent with feeling OK. Note that a period of adaption is needed.  Especially avoid sugar/fructose. You do not need keto but low carb changed the game for me.

3. Limit polyunsaturated fats especially Omega 6 "vegetable oils". Like sugars they are nutritionally barren and do not provide satiety commensurate with calories. They are essential but only to 2-3% of calories and it is virtually impossible on a diet with real food to go under this. In contrast saturated fat produces great feelings of satiety and is IMO metabolically benign.

4. Eat seldom e.g. once or twice a day.  This helps your body learn to burn fat. 

5. A combination of small amounts of intense exercise and large amounts of light exercise such as walking. I walk about 6km/day and do weightlifting. But rest days are important too.

6. It seems to take about 2 years for the body to adapt to your new level of fat. In the meantime you will be hungry. But after the adaption (IMHO due to a reduction in the number of fat cells - contrary to medical orthodoxy) things get a lot better.

7. Get plenty of sleep and limit stress and have pleasure in your life. If you are miserable and stressed you are far more likely to overeat comfort food.

8. Avoid toxic environments like fast food outlets, most cafes, restaurants etc. The focus on hyper-palatability combined with hyper-calories and hypo-nutrition is terrible. 

9. Be aware that much nutritional advice, including that delivered by captured regulatory agencies, is warped out of recognition by financial agendas, and various other ideological agendas (e.g. that coming out of the College of Nutritional Evangelism, now renamed Loma Linda University, whose doctrines seem to be inspired by 19th century religious fantasies that held that everyone including the lions were vegans in the Garden of Eden). The whole medical field is also very prone to capture by "Great Men" who dominate the field for decades for reasons utterly removed from the correctness of their theories. 

Delta variant: we should probably be re-masking

"Here’s what that looks like in the context of exponential growth:"

True but actually it is worse than this. As places like Australia are finding, it is not just a matter of a different growth rate. Measures that stopped the pandemic in its tracks before fail completely in the face of delta.

I would also point out that this is looking a bit like the Spanish Flu (which apparently actually started in the US midwest). Later variants were more infectious and attacked younger people more severely. 

I can attest from personal experience that you do not want to get long covid. There is a view that either you die or you are fine - nothing could be further from the truth.

This is a long way from being over. 

Covid 7/15: Rates of Change

"I worry that recently I’ve lacked sufficient skin in the game. Everyone I personally care about is vaccinated or young enough that they don’t need vaccination, so the real sense of danger is largely gone."

[Quotes because editing after using ">" for quotes is totally broken here.]

The strategies being employed at the moment in countries partially but not sufficiently vaccinated are to a close approximation the optimum for evolving viruses that are more transmissible to vaccinated people. We have a huge number of infected and a huge number vaccinated in the same population thus the maximal evolutionary pressure and opportunity.

So it is somewhat likely - hard to tell how likely - that variants that are resistant to the vaccines will appear. 

When a disease is only slowly transmissible there is an evolutionary incentive for it to become less ( and less quickly) fatal. However diseases that are easily transmitted have far less incentive to become less quickly fatal e.g. cholera in some parts of the world.

My conclusion is that given the risk that a more transmissible, more vaccine resistant and more deadly variant will appear, everyone has skin in the game.

Not to mention the "long covid" syndrome which is very nasty and fairly prevalent in young people. And that we really have little idea of the long term consequences of non-fatal infections in young people. 

I remember when Chicken Pox was considered a mild and harmless illness. Tell that to people who have suffered years of excruciating pain from shingles as a result of Chicken Pox later in life. 

You are allowed to edit Wikipedia

This was, I think, a reasonable characterisation of wikipedia in the early days. Things are very different now. 

You have to navigate a gauntlet of deletionistas, poorly defined rules, gatekeepers, and political biases. I gave up a  couple of years ago. The most difficult aspect is the arbitrary rules about what sources are authoritative and what are not.

One small example: You are (or were when I looked) required to refer to male genital mutilation as "circumcision" and are not allowed to refer to it as "male genital mutilation". The female version may not be referred to as "circumcision" and must be called "female genital mutilation". The opinions of the doctors who make money from this operation on males must be deferred to as definitive. Basically I found everything was like this. 

You are not allowed to refer to primary sources such as journal articles but must only refer to secondary sources such as textbooks or newspapers, which are often out of date, biased or wrong. You have the ridiculous situation where people have tried to correct their own date of birth by supplying a copy of their birth certificate and this was rejected. In at least one case, the person had to arrange for their date of birth to be mentioned in a newspaper and then it was accepted. 

In fields where there is no political controversy things are not so bad. But you are still subject to the deletionistas who will find any possible reason to nuke your hard work. And wikipedia's view that there is a definitive version of the truth on any given issue makes it utterly hopeless at covering anything that is controversial. I am certain that wikipedia of the early C17 would be presenting the geocentric view of the universe as definitively true.

How do the ivermectin meta-reviews come to so different conclusions?

Well worth reading the linked material - quite damning.

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