Starting Over

Looking back on it, human health would have materially improved if every physician and surgeon in 1800 had walked behind a horse and vanished. The next question is how that would have influenced health in later years, say in 1900. Medical traditions would have been interrupted, and presumably other people would have drifted into the medical niche. If those vanished medicos had been replaced by astronomers and physicists, progress would likely have been faster – since they were practitioners of the scientific method, which was not often the case for physicians.

What disciplines today would benefit from firing everyone and starting over?

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100 Responses to Starting Over

  1. vuurklip says:

    Post modernism
    Climate “Science”
    Psychology
    Gender Studies
    Lots more in the Humanities

    • reinertor says:

      Gender Studies

      Should be rather abolished altogether.

    • kot says:

      Climate “Science”

      Oh boy.

      Why doesn’t greg just ban these guys.

    • dearieme says:

      Particle physics? “Climate Science”. Nutritionists.

      How about Cosmology? That’s a genuine question because I know nothing about it.

      What about those medical fields where the dominating doctrine looks increasingly suspect?For example cardiovascular disease, dementia and oncology.

      • kot says:

        You wish you could understand particle physics.

        • dearieme says:

          Doesn’t everybody wish they could understand particle physics? My pal the particle physicist is of the view that anyone who claims to understand it clearly doesn’t.

          • Jim says:

            Didn’t Feynman say something like that about quantum theory? I guess the hard part is exactly how does the mathematical theory relate to ordinary language?

          • ohwilleke says:

            Read Feynman’s short and readable book QED (about 120 pages in four chapters with minimal math) and you’ll have a much better conceptual idea of what it is about and why it is solid science.

            • Ursiform says:

              That’s a thirty year old book about a seventy year old theory. Particle physics has been in something of a funk for decades.

            • Jim says:

              Oh obviously it’s solid science but the relation of the mathematical language to ordinary language seems obscure. Maybe there is no relation.

          • kot says:

            Ask your pal about global warming sometime.

      • biz says:

        What’s wrong with particle physics and cosmology?

        These are some of the most well established fields. In fact we are in an era where we can rightly speak of “precision cosmology.”

        • Ursiform says:

          The universe is dominated by dark energy. No on really has a clue what it is.

          • biz says:

            That doesn’t mean that cosmology should be junked and started over. If we did that we would just come back to this exact same place in our knowledge, just some time in the future.

          • Jim says:

            Dark energy came as a surprise. Actually Zwicky’s original findings on dark matter were generally doubted and only accepted long after his initial results.

            It turns out we didn’t know anywhere near as much about the universe as we thought we did before these discoveries.

      • ohwilleke says:

        Cosmology, and honestly, a lot of theoretical physics (e.g. a lot of string theory and supersymmetry work), while having a solid foundation has subfields that have drifted to the dark side with slogans like “Beyond Falsifiability”. For example, there are something like 200 published versions of a concept called “inflation” but we can’t tell the differences between them empirically and many take very implausible assumptions. The number of string theory “vacua” number in the millions and nobody knows how to find the version relevant to us today. Both fields have basically spun their wheels for the last 40 years.

        Particle physics i contrast is very hard science that makes the most precise and accurate predictions know in all of human history – one of the leading open questions in the field is sweating a two and a half standard deviation anomaly that is roughly one part per 10,000,000 from the theoretically predicted value. The only downside is that it is so expensive to do this kind of research that there are only a few experiments generating new data in the entire world, but some of those, like the LHC are churning out huge amounts of data about previously untested circumstances as fast as it can be digested. Hell, scientists from Tevatron, which was collecting data from 2001-2011 are still publishing new papers based upon the data that they collected in that ten year period eight years later.

        “Climate science” is also very solid with detractors driven by cognitive dissonance and not scientific objections. Some of this has real practical immediate benefit like a great improvement in the accuracy with which the number and strength of hurricanes in a season can be predicted. We know the physics behind weather and climate perfectly for all practical purposes (the places where physics has unsolved problems all pertain to conditions not found on Earth such as in distant galaxies, black holes and the Big Bang) and the measurements to which the physics are applied are not only good, but have greatly improved through rigorous critical analysis of experimental and statistical methods over the last several decades.

        Nutritionists on the other hand, could just as well start over from scratch. They have zigged and zagged and have been hit and miss on the accuracy of their advance. Old wives tales are no worse.

  2. Anuseed says:

    Anthropology.

  3. Cloudswrest says:

    I’m always shocked that, despite Leeuwenhoek discovered microorganisms in the mid 17’th century, it took two centuries to connect them with infectious disease! Duh. I mean, there were already examples of infectious macroorganisms like lice and worms. Also the strong resistance to statistical thermodynamics, which explains heat in terms of Newton’s laws, until Perrin unequivocally demonstrated the existence of atoms in three independent ways (despite circumstantial evidence of them for a century or so). He basically had to scientifically smack them over the head.

    • Cloudswrest says:

      I guess the basic epistemological reasoning here is, if an ad hoc assumption allows you to explain some mysterious phenomena in terms of preexisting physics, and it can’t be disproved, one should go with the ad hoc assumption rather than positing new physics, e.g. caloric theory.

    • GAY_WEED_DAD_69 says:

      One example I’ve often wondered about is how the debate over blending inheritance vs particulate inheritance lasted so long. Granted, statistics was in its infancy in those days, but there were some people who really ought to have known better. Example: Francis Galton knew all about the Central Limit Theorem, but when it came to this question he couldn’t see what was right in front of him.

      Either that or I’ve misunderstood what the debate was about.

    • Misdreavus says:

      The association wasn’t immediately obvious to everyone.

      Bacteria were ubiquitous and present in the bodies of both sick and health organisms. Most of them looked nearly identical through a microscope, regardless of pathogenicity or function — it would take many decades to develop the experimental procedures to classify them, and even today, pathogenic varieties of certain bacteria can be impossible to identify by sight. (Gram staining, for instance, wasn’t even available until the late 1800s.)

      Not even Semmelweis himself believed in the germ theory — he blamed puerpal fever on some sort of “unnamed contagion” that thrived in decaying organic matter. That’s wrong, too — filth doesn’t cause infectious disease, pathogens do.

    • ohwilleke says:

      The mark of a truly revolutionary “Copernican” scientific revolution is that is changes people’s world views in ways that makes the true state of affairs seem obvious when it was not at all obvious before the discovery or innovation.

      Until that point, people aren’t just mistaken about how things work, they are looking in the entirely wrong part of the library, and the few people who figure out the truth are typically non-experts without the clout to make their correct ideas stick in the body of knowledge passed on to future generations.

      In the philosophical world, atheism was vanishing rare, and people identified as clockwork God deists instead, for pretty much the entire period from Newton to Darwin. Even then, atheism didn’t really catch on in earnest vis-a-vis some manner of deism until the experiments showing that the biochemical building blocks of DNA could arise abiotically in the 20th century.

      • Jim says:

        Schopenhauer was one of the first out and out atheist in the Western philosophical tradition. Hume though, I suspect, was for all practical purposes an atheist although he wasn’t real candid about it.

    • Dave Pinsen says:

      Didn’t Galen boil surgical instruments before use in ancient Rome? Greg says medicine made no progress for 2,000 years, but maybe it made progress in ancient times and then regressed.

  4. Irate eye rater says:

    Filmmaking

    • dickschofield8291986 says:

      “You need to have studied economics for many years before you’d be surprised by my research; it didn’t shock my mother at all.” Daniel Kahneman

    • ohwilleke says:

      Macroeconomics is a cesspool that is far afield from empirical confirmation that discourages more useful lines of inquiry yes. But, microeconomics is a very practical and well established field that provides lots of useful insights. If you measure a theory’s success by its capacity to deliver lots of insights with a minimum of basic ideas, microeconomics delivers in spades.

  5. social psychology, sociology, cultural anthropology, etc. “studies” would not need to be replaced, ust eliminated. Saw a story some years ago about the priimary causes of death in 1900 compared to 2000. If I recall correctly, the main causes listed for 1900 were coummunicable diseases: tb, flu, pneumonia, typhoid, etc. A hundred years later, the causes were heart disease, cancer, stroke, etc. Pneumonia was still a major cause (probably as a complicatioin for old people.)

  6. owentt says:

    The world is more competitive now and counterproductive niches are usually replaced by better alternatives. Even government monopolies like primary education have enough competitive forces that scientific approaches to testing and improvement of technique are constantly applied and results improve.

    There are a few places where incompetence and rigid devotion to self-pleasure are totally protected from accountability and outside review. American foreign policy is a classic example. Backing and building support for the disastrous wars in Iraq and Libya and Syria and The Yemen and Afghanistan has been a career builder for thousands of leaders. International negotiations are a mess of blunders and deliberate undermining of American interests by America’s supposed professional representatives. And all discussion and criticism is considered unpatriotic. Even though the last two presidents have been elected on platforms critical of the FP establishment, they’ve immediately staffed up with and promoted and obeyed the same policy makers they criticised.

    Another example prominent in the past couple weeks is professional football coaching. The miasma of blame in an industry where 31 of 32 teams fail each year and head coaches make plutocrat salaries means that following received procedure is always the safest way to keep a the best job you can ever have. So coaches make obvious and easily traceable statistical mistakes constantly for the sole purpose of shifting blame from themselves onto the collective. Deeper observers note the same behavior in personnel as on the field. The one exception—with his total job security and iconoclasm—is well known, but no one tries to emulate him because it wouldn’t guarantee job security.

    Oddly, the Sabermetrics era has erased the same sort of cozy arrangement in professional baseball management quite effectively.

    That’s the sort of opaque guild dynamic that kept medicine where it was in the 1800s. It used to be how most professionalized industries operated. It’s pretty rare around the first world now. And we’re much better off thanks to that change.

  7. Ian says:

    Software engineering.

    • Jim says:

      Software engineering is that bad?

      • Space Ghost says:

        99.6% (rough estimate) of actual software development these days, as practiced, operates at the level of shipbuilding or architecture in the 1600s – essentially, you have some master builders with a lot of experience as well as a bunch of “bodies” banging out code. Software is developed using a grab-bag of heuristics, techniques that have historically worked, knowledge of common failure modes, informal implementations of design patterns, semi-formal algorithmic analysis etc to put something together that mostly works.

        However there isn’t really any science to it – generally, the languages used are not amenable to formal proofs. For most software, this is actually fine – see “Worse is Better” – https://www.dreamsongs.com/WorseIsBetter.html – software, like most things, is subject to market & evolutionary forces, and judging only by the quality of the code is a common mistake many nerds make. You also need to consider time-to-market, the marginal cost of higher quality (do customers care?), marketing & sales, ease of use, and many other things.

        There are exceptions – generally in safety-critical or serious financial software, and some crypto implementations. Wasn’t always the case though – see the Therac-25 incidents: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Therac-25 . Most safety-critical software these days (avionics, nuclear power plant control, etc) is developed using CMM level 5 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capability_Maturity_Model) which formalizes the development and change process but still generally uses programming languages that don’t admit formal proofs. On the financial side, some Wall Street firms use languages (Haskell, OCaml) that make formal proofs of correctness easier (sometimes by implementing Domain Specific Languages in those host languages).

        There are also proof assistants like Coq and Isabelle that offer very strong reliability and termination guarantees that are starting to gain traction, but I think it will be years before mainstream software is developed using tools like these.

        • arch1 says:

          I agree but for the caveat that unlike pre-1800 medicine, software engineering has to date been a big net win over no software. Alas that qualifier “to date” is important: If security/reliability don’t get drastically better very soon, the cyberthreats/rapid rise of AI/internet-of-things combo threatens to turn that net win into a massive net loss. So yes, if I had one magic-wand wave to try to fix this, I’d put mathematicians in charge.

        • Haskell
          What is the excuse of Haskell apologists to actually show some software that works? It is like Cathedral prohibits this and 25+ years needed, like with eugenics?

      • William O. B'Livion. says:

        A significant part of the problem (mostly) is that most “Software Engineers” are not really engineers. They are people who have weaponised their compilers and are trying to kill us all.

        I say that as a someone who’s held the title of “Systems Engineer”, which basically mean “Linux Administrator”. I have a fine art degree. If confronted with a bomb too big to outrun that can only be defused by Calculus I’m PROBABLY gonna die.

        Oh, and those “Software Engineers” have their priorities set by marketing and project management types who don’t really give a cr*p about things like security and functionality. They care about things like “checklist compatibility” and “did it ship on time”.

  8. pyrrhus says:

    Management consulting, for sure…

    • ohwilleke says:

      Who teaches management consulting as a discipline, or trains to become a management consultant? It is only a discipline in the sense that “business services” or “skilled trades” is a discipline.

      The practice of smart upper class young people without much specialized training going out into the world to justify what management already wants to do, while discerning that management agenda by other unstated means, is as old as the classical Romans with their rhetoricians, at least.

  9. Tanon says:

    Social work.

  10. I’m a social worker. The field could be improved by starting over. Please give us people who can do arithmetic next time.

    • William O. B'Livion. says:

      No one who can do arithmetic will be a social worker. Getting a 200k bachelors + masters degree to get a 35k a year job doesn’t make sense–you’re paying 10 percent of your income on 200k in student loans YOU WILL NEVER PAY IT OFF. EVER. (assuming a 4 percent loan). If you’ve got 100k in loans at 4 percent, paying 335 a month (a little more than 10 percent of your gross at 35k a year) it will take you over 132 years to pay it off.

      There are ways to get the degree without that much in student loans, like joining the military and letting THEM pay for the degree. It would be really interesting to do A/B testing on social workers who had a military background v.s. without. REALLY interesting.

  11. Thomas says:

    Child psychiatry. Completely confused by being based in an amorphous mix of obscure observations, psychoanalysis, blank-slate ideology and modern paedagogics. Has to go and be replaced by a discipline based on biological theory and empiricism about child development. Or not repleced at all, and let paediatricians care for the few really mentally scik kids.

    • The child psychiatry at my hospital is pretty strongly biologically based. Of course, we have to, because we are an acute care lockdown facility.

      There is also a difficulty with children – they have a limited number of biological responses, so different conditions can look very similar as they are developing.

    • Rosenmops says:

      Adult psychiatry seems to be just as bad.

  12. Ilya says:

    Pretty much, >80% or most of HR department personnel, including those dealing with recruitment.
    Bioethicists.
    Psychologists.
    Social workers.

    • William O. B'Livion. says:

      At least in the various IT/Computer industries HR is where we put the people we need to fulfill federal diversity quotas. That an Project Manglement.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Education and psychology come to mind.

  14. Bob says:

    We may not have had mathematical science without medicine though.

    During the Renaissance/early modern period, medicine was based on astrology, and astrology used math. The first mathematics department was established in Renaissance Italy because of its relation to astrology hence medicine, which was a prestigious discipline while math itself wasn’t. Science at the time was based on Aristotelian dogma and wasn’t mathematical.

    • gcochran9 says:

      No, medicine wasn’t based on astrology.

      • Bob says:

        I shouldn’t have said that medicine was based on astrology, as if that was all there was to medicine back then. Rather, medical astrology was a big part of medicine, and doctors were trained in astrology.

    • Four temperaments, maybe. They thought miasmas and odors caused illness, which was on the threshold of understanding germ theory, but they didn’t get there for centuries. Herbalism, always idiosyncratic by region and practitioner, was a frequent treatment. Wyrd/fate and punishment for sin were believed to be primary causes.

  15. dave chamberlin says:

    Flush every notion how government ought to be run and start over. As Leo Derocher once said “back up the truck.” Empty every pea brained notion out of everybody and start over. We can only do better, we can’t do worse.

    • dave chamberlin says:

      Some one is going to say of course we do worse. Which of course we could theoretically but given how advanced and efficient we are in other areas government is simply pitiful.

  16. Gord Marsden says:

    Social justice and the Warriors that practice it should be sent to the front lines of a real war

  17. Warren Notes says:

    Organizational Development.

  18. retona says:

    World Leaders

  19. Cantman says:

    According to my grandmother, practical medicine in 1920s and 1930s [Western Europe] was administered by a “bonesetter”, seemingly someone without medical certifications who was good at doing the obvious when people encountered life’s various misfortunes. They were much cheaper, apparently.

    So it seems there was a parallel tradition, presumably killed by regulation and nationalisation of healthcare provision by governments.

  20. mtkennedy21 says:

    Well, you could read my book. “A Brief History of Disease Science and Medicine.”

    It answers some of those questions. I wrote it for medical students about 20 years ago.

  21. Jim says:

    To bring this outcome about will probably require completely defunding the humanities and social sciences and ending all student loans. Hopefully this will result in the economic collapse of academia.

  22. Spencer says:

    Anything with “studies” in discipline title, adios. Departments of Education could go away tomorrow and college average IQ would jump up a few points. Anything with “leadership” in title is for dopes who confuse academics with advocacy and identity politics. What else? Half oif anthropology (the other half kicks ass). 90% of sociology. One could go on all day.

  23. Mike Byrne says:

    Community Organizer

  24. moscanarius says:

    Since we are to think about things that are not just useless, but actively harmful…

    Psychology. I’m sure there is something of value buried in the mess that this discipline is, but holy cow what a mess it is.

    Education, mostly because psychology.

    Law, mostly because education.

    • Hmmm… I thought about law (as science) being useless but I can’t coin any arguments for it.

      • Peter Lund says:

        Criminology, then?

      • moscanarius says:

        I believe that the science part of the law is partly to blame for the mess that law interpretation is. I can give some examples of what I’ve seen, but they are more ThirdWorld-specific:

        a Supreme Court Justice argued that the word “election” on a certain statute does not mean election with actual voting, but nomination – because mumbles in Legalese, juspositivism and legislator’s will and the principle of lesser evil and whatever. The motivation for this was political, of course, but the argument could only be conjured because law is a mess of unrelated theories that judges and jurists feel free to mix when it suits.
        leading jurists saying we should abandon the “barbaric” notion that law is about punishing offenders, and instead realize that it should be about recovering them. Not kidding, they don’t just want to add recovery to the penalty; they want recovery to be the central tennet of justice administration.
        judges that believe occupation of public buildings by pressure groups is not unlawful if “they don’t have the intent of depriving the State of the building, but are just demonstrating” – even if the demonstrators spend a week in the building and actually impede the State to use the building for anything! Again, political, but enabled by crooked smartypants legal theory.
        a general discussion of everything in terms of “rights” that cannot ever be enforced in any meaninful way.

        We could do better without all the bad notions that enable these kinds of thoughts.

        • moscanarius says:

          oops, soryy for the bad formatting. I will post again:

          I believe that the science part of the law is partly to blame for the mess that law interpretation is. I can give some examples of what I’ve seen, but they are more ThirdWorld-specific:

          a Supreme Court Justice argued that the word “election” on a certain statute does not mean election with actual voting, but nomination – because mumbles in Legalese, juspositivism and legislator’s will and the principle of lesser evil and whatever. The motivation for this was political, of course, but the argument could only be conjured because law is a mess of unrelated theories that judges and jurists feel free to mix when it suits.
          leading jurists say we should abandon the “barbaric” notion that law is about punishing offenders, and instead realize that it should be about recovering them. Not kidding, they don’t just want to add recovery to the penalty; they want recovery to be the central tennet of justice administration.
          judges that believe occupation of public buildings by pressure groups is not unlawful if “they don’t have the intent of depriving the State of the building, but are just demonstrating” – even if the demonstrators spend a week in the building and actually impede the State to use the building for anything! Again, political, but enabled by crooked smartypants legal theory.
          a general discussion of everything in terms of “rights” that cannot ever be enforced in any meaninful way.

          We could do better without all the bad notions that enable these kinds of thoughts.

    • ohwilleke says:

      The problem with law is not that lawyers (I among them) don’t know useful things with a sound empirical basis (we know more about what really works in business and how the economy actually functions than economists and business school types do).

      The problem with law, which makes it actively harmful to many working and middle class people, is that it is very expensive to get credentialed as a lawyer, which limits the supply of lawyers and makes work done by lawyers expensive, but the broad scope of the discipline prevents other paraprofessionals from doing the same work, less expensively, and just as well.

      For example, all of the legal skills and substantive law that you need to know to be a good immigration lawyer could be learned in a semester as a post-graduate certificate or as undergraduate college major, because the private law topics (i.e. contract, property, torts, securities law, corporations, etc.) that are important to most lawyers and take up most of their education is irrelevant to immigration lawyers. And, lots of people need providers of immigration law services who are cheaper than $300 an hour lawyers, who are in scarce supply. But, because this is considered legal work limited to lawyers, it isn’t possible legally to have $100 per hour specialist paraprofessionals doing the same thing. So, the best becomes the enemy of the good and people who are absolutely incompetent are forced to represent themselves since they can’t afford real lawyers and specialist paraprofessionals are banned (although “notarios” illegally do fill this role, but in an unscrupulous manner occasioned by the fact that they are in an illegal black market for services).

      Ditto child custody matters.

  25. protokol2020 says:

    Human devised chess and Go theories have been dumped by AlphaZero recently. Machine Learning aka Neural Networks of some flavor started to eat up every science there is. The problem I see is that, that the ML isn’t that good either. With which even Hinton (the man behind this) agrees. He sees the backpropagation as an inadequate way of producing knowledge from data because too many examples are needed. I think it’s even deeper than that since the weight/graph representation of every knowledge — isn’t complete, can’t be complete.

    Still, you have to kill the Machine Learning, otherwise, the Machine Learning will kill your own field, soon enough. Unless some other branch of AI will kill the Machine Learning first. But then, all sciences will be finished by this AI, anyway.

    • what do you mean, ‘dumped’? is it like AlphaZero is a clean room design regarding ‘chess and Go theories’? If the same program learned to play HoMM3 as well as it did with chess…. it would be probably more impressive.

      • protokol2020 says:

        is it like AlphaZero is a clean room design regarding ‘chess and Go theories’?

        It is. After presenting with only the rules of the game, it won over all the competition. Haven’t you heard about that?

        • Ursiform says:

          Presented with the rules and allowed to play a vast number of games against itself.

        • arch1 says:

          Chess, Go, and Chinese Chess. Note: After being given the rules and before competing, it did have an opportunity to train via unsupervised self-play. For Chess, this took 4 hours: 4 hours to effectively recapitulate all of human chess experience and almost* all computer chess experience to date.

          *I qualified because I gather that the timing rules and also the Stockfish config settings used in the AlphaZero/Stockfish match were decidedly suboptimal for Stockfish. I also gather that AlphaZero’s hardware may have had significantly more processing power than Stockfish’s, but haven’t seen this quantified.

        • Yes, I have.
          You haven’t answered my first question (as well as second).
          Is it like programmers were completely devoid any knowledge of Chess and Go theories before they started working on it? For Go they hardcoded it to take symmetry in account, which is NOT part of the game rules.
          One of my acquatances even went so far that he said that you don’t even need to present rules to NN; NN would be able to deduce them by itself (e.g. illegal move = instant lose).
          Given that chess is simpler than Go… nothing really notable.

          • protokol2020 says:

            It’s AlphaZero, you can easily find it on the internet.

            In the future, it will be the chemistry or physics, not the chess. And some wise guys, which will tell us all how that’s “nothing really notable”.

          • arch1 says:

            That symmetry hardcoding was for AlphaGo, a Go-specific predecessor to AlphaZero. The AlphaGo/AlphaZero team has significant chess expertise and at least some familiarity with Go. That said, AlphaZero did not take advantage of Go’s symmetries nor of any game-specific heuristics, opening books, endgame tablebases, search techniques, evaluation logic, nor anything else game-specific (other than piece types, move rules and game termination conditions) for any of its 3 target games (chess, go, or chinese chess).

            What I’m dying to learn more about is the degree to which AlphaZero’s approach is able to achieve superhuman performance beyond two-player strategy games of total information – how deep (and especially how widely) this architecture can be applied.

            • Chess openings theories said thah Philidor’s defense is bad and obsolete. Scandinavian defense was considered bad was competitive chess too. Has this changed with AlphaZero? Your first paragraphs looks like a phrase from a marketing booklet with “high performance, low power consumption”.

    • Ursiform says:

      Human devised chess and Go theories are designed to be executed by human brains. Change the hardware and a different approach may work better.

      • protokol2020 says:

        Matters only which strategy (based on some theory) is better in an actual game. No affirmative action here, please! And the Machine Learning way of AlphaZero outperformed human devised chess theories, accumulated during centuries.

  26. nickedP says:

    Lots of obvious choices mentioned above. Here is one biggie: Business management. Nothing is more destructive to large businesses than Carly Fiorinas of the world.

  27. bob k. mando says:

    ‘Therapeutic’ Psychology is not merely quackery, it’s perverting the useful work that Descriptive Psychology had done. the original DSM manuals are Descriptive and everyone should be familiarized with all the Cluster B neuro-deviancies.

  28. bob k. mando says:

    agreed on ‘Nutritionists’. Fats are good for you, Sugars ( Sucrose so-so, pure Fructose bad, artificial substitutes way worse ) are bad, and it’s looking like many grains are a low level irritant or poison.

    Lard is good for you, hydrogenated vegetable oils are bad. what does everyone cook with?

    there’s no ‘science’ in the Food Pyramid.

    • arch1 says:

      no ‘science’ in the Food Pyramid: Doesn’t economics count:-?

      • bob k. mando says:

        have you seen the idiots that get awarded Nobel prizes in econ? holy shit, Paul Krugman has one and he hasn’t gotten a single prediction right in a score of years.

        GDP is taken seriously as a metric. but considers neither debt nor inflation ( inflation of fiat is partly concealed by the fact that there are currently no non-fiat currencies ) as relevant.

        central banks ( using GDP == Consumer + Investment/business + GOVERNMENT + ( eXport − iMport ) ) constrain annual growth to <3% because they “don’t want the economy to overheat” … at the same time that something like the US Federal Gov requires annual spending increases of ~9% in every line item, otherwise it’s considered a “budget cut”.

        and i’ve never seen any economist point out the obvious stupidity or the economic bind that’s going to put any nation in.

        why does China have the Ghost City problem? because they take GDP seriously as a metric, and Ghost Cities is how they’re trying to game GDP. this also points up one of the major problems with GDP, especially considering that there’s no penalty for deficit spending … the GDP number is whatever the government decides that it wants it to be. do you have too much of a trade deficit? raise .Gov spending! is there insufficient commercial activity? time for a major weapons program! are consumers unemployed and feeling depressed? bump up SocSec, EBT and Welfare and all is well!

        yes, i know your comment is a joke, and i do appreciate it. but there’s a LOT of really serious shit behind that. Economists pretend that Friction and 2nd Thermo don’t exist, which is how they get by with subsequently pretending that Debt and Taxation doesn’t matter. which is a pretty good indication that the entire “field” is fantasy.

    • Greying Wanderer says:

      lard – food of the gods

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