Friday, February 4, 2011

fun conversations with Chris Masterjohn

I just wanted to copy the conversations here so I don't lose track of them.

Chris Masterjohn writes:

"Taleb says he eats "no carbs that do not have a Biblical Hebrew or Doric Greek name (i.e., did not exist in the ancient Mediterranean)." I think that's his own rule, not De Vany's. He seems to primarily credit De Vany with his exercise routine."

Taleb writes as the las 2 sentences in his afterword to Professor De Vany's book: "So good luck with the regimen. I've been on it for close to 3 years and my intellectual production keeps getting greater."

I think we can assume that by the word "regimen" used in the afterword in a book with the word "Diet" in it, that Taleb is including the concept of *diet* in his endorsement of the book. In other words, he is a believer in the De Vany guidelines for *diet*. His diet mentioned in the afterword follows those guidelines. He is close to my age and was overweight. He has had ongoing success with the diet. He is very smart. Therefore his endorsement of De Vany means more to me than a criticism of the De Vany guidelines coming from someone much younger than me who never had metabolic issues. Dr. Harris is close to my age, but has never been never fat. De Vany has never been fat either, but his guidelines work for the most metabolically challenged and have the longest record of success that I know about.

I do think that Professor De Vany has cleared up some contentious points, but he only does that on his blog, so if you are not a subscriber, you are missing out. It's like $40 a year- not a lot for even a cheapskate like me who used to get around paying the fee by coming into the blog via a google search before he closed that loophole.

I remember in response to one poster who wrote that he ate a lot of eggs with the yolks everyday from his own hens, Professor De Vany wrote that (paraphrasing here) the poster's activity level probably mitigated all the fat he was taking in, but that most people who eat lots of eggs with the yolks are getting a surge of fat to their system. Then they get in their cars to go to office jobs where they just sit around. So in that context, which prevails for many people (all the people not employed in physically demanding jobs), eating lots of yolks is problematic. He explained more of the science, but I need to find that info and quote him directly since i am science-challenged :(

v/vmary said...

Hi again!
Chris Masterjohn wrote: "Usually when people explain a psychological trait as something that "began in evolutionary times" with an adaptive function, they are suggesting it is a heritable adaptation. If that is not what De Vany meant, and he personally corrects me, or someone can convince me from something he has written that this is not what he meant, I will gladly change it."

De Vany does not use any words on page 179 indicating that the attitude towards fat people is heritable. I would never have that interpretation because, as far as I know, *no one* makes the claims that attitudes are biological heritable. Where did you hear that concept? Could you site some references? Ideas/attitudes/culture are passed down through time, yes, but this is not a function of heritability. Just because he used the phrase "...began during evolutionary times..." you went off on that tangent? I just took that phrase to me in the early period of the evolution of homo sapiens.

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