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Comment: Re: How about cutting sugar* (Score 1) 68

by QRDeNameland (#49460579) Attached to: Plaque-busting Nanoparticles Could Help Fight Tooth Decay

It appears you're more adept at putting words into my mouth than you are at parsing the ones I've actually written. Perhaps English is not your native language? Perhaps I'm a shitty writer? Perhaps both?

Considering that I explained exactly how I was interpreting your words which you declined to correct, yet you still claim I'm misrepresenting your words, I am leaning towards you being a shitty writer.

I never claimed that they were unfounded.

No, just "nonsensical". *shrug indeed*

I even gave you a particularly outlandish example of what I regard as the obsession with sugar intake -- apparently fruit juice is bad now -- but you declined to acknowledge or respond to it.

And what was the reasoning you gave to counter that particular outlandishness? "'Reduce your intake of fruit juice to lose weight!' Umm, fuck you, I'm running 20+ miles a week, I'll drink as much orange juice as I want. I may even have a soda." Should I somehow interpret that a reasoned argument? Fruit juice is effectively pure sugar with a few vitamins in the mix and is absorbed just as rapidly as soda. That it is fructose instead of sucrose/HFCS does not change much, Even a 100% juice product like OJ still has a very high glycemic index of 71, so I'm not sure why it is so outlandish to suggest that it should be consumed in restricted quantities, particularly by people who want to control their weight or blood sugar. So what makes "Reduce your intake of fruit juice to lose weight!" such an outlandish claim?

Comment: Re: How about cutting sugar* (Score 1) 68

by QRDeNameland (#49459025) Attached to: Plaque-busting Nanoparticles Could Help Fight Tooth Decay

Correlation does not indicate causation. Compare the population density of hunter-gatherer societies against agricultural ones. I wonder in which society you'd be more likely to contract smallpox?

I am not arguing causation, only pointing out the observation and that a diet which supports greater population does not mean that individuals might not less healthy overall as a result. There may indeed be other reasons for this observation other than diet, but diet is certainly a reasonable hypothesis. But while your population density = more infectious disease hypothesis might explain why life expectancy dropped with the advent of agriculture, it does not explain the smaller stature and increased dental issues that have also been documented. That is not to say the diet then must have been the primary cause, but again, only that it is a reasonable hypothesis.

Do tell, what is that you think I believe? I've never claimed that sugar doesn't contribute to dental (or other health) problems. I simply stated that it's not the problem. I'm sorry that you failed to parse the word "the" in my post. I suppose I should have been clearer and said "It's not the problem I would be most concerned with."

Based on what you've said, it appears you believe that sugar is at most a minor contributor to tooth decay or any other chronic disease. Even with falling back to your clarified "not the problem I would be most concerned with" position, the fact that you then double down on "nonsensical" (which I think it's fair to interpret as "mostly if not completely invalid") indicates to me that you don't really believe it could have much of a contribution at all.

I regard the obsession over sugar as nonsensical, given that 2/3'rds of the population fails to meet recommended guidelines for physical activity. More than one quarter (28%) of the population is completely inactive. Yep, clearly it's soda that's the problem....

This is the standard form of pretty much every argument you've laid out: the argument that modern sugar consumption levels could cause X is nonsensical because some completely orthogonal factor mitigates X. That in itself is both logically invalid on its face and dismissive of a great deal of contrary evidence, and to me, far more 'nonsensical' than what you are arguing against.

I only raised that point to point out the unsustainable nature of fad diets like Atkins or Paleo. There are people (not you) in this discussion that seem to think modern agriculture is a bad thing. Unless they propose to kill off the bulk of humanity I fail to see what the alternative is.

Well, then I fail to see what what place that has in the discussion other than as a straw man. Even if is true that the only sustainable way to feed the future population is a carb/plant centered diet (I have my doubts, but I'll concede the point here), that in no way implies that *sugar* would be a healthy (or even necessary) part of that diet, or that the arguments that modern sugar consumption is detrimental to health are unfounded.

Comment: Re: How about cutting sugar* (Score 1) 68

by QRDeNameland (#49458101) Attached to: Plaque-busting Nanoparticles Could Help Fight Tooth Decay

No, a quick google search does not make me a subject matter expert, but it does show that that your characterization of the idea that sugar plays a major role in dental caries as 'nonsensical' is pretty wide of the mark.

And I didn't respond to your point about flossing because it is utterly irrelevant your original assertion. The question of whether flossing mitigates tooth decay (and I would agree that it does) is completely orthogonal to the question of whether sugar contributes to it.

Likewise, your devil's advocate point about needing carb-centric diets to maintain the world's current population is completely orthogonal to the question of whether or not such diets are healthy. As noted before and reflected in your original posted link, life expectancy and general health appears to have declined significantly as hunter-gatherers transitioned to agriculture. Yet it also true that agriculture supported much larger populations than the hunter-gatherers could, which is why agricultural societies came to dominate. So there is no contradiction to suggest we are seeing the same dynamic now: that we are collectively choosing to sustain a population that is doubling every 50 years on diets that may well be causing us (or at least some of us) chronic disease.

And of course, I didn't say anything previously about carbs in general; my original post was mostly to counter the erroneous point that Native Americans would not live long enough to get tooth decay, and then to counter your characterization of the idea that sugar causes tooth decay as 'nonsensical', both of which you had no answer for and instead started arguing far afield of your original point. I get it, you don't want to believe that modern levels of sugar consumption could be a dietary problem, and that you run a lot and fuck anyone who tells you that guzzling fruit juice afterwards might not be ideal. And maybe for you it isn't a problem (or not yet, anyway), but there *is* pretty clear evidence that for at least a significant number of people it is an issue. But the fact that you've so quickly brought your original argument from "Native Americans didn't live long enough to get tooth decay" to "society has an obsession with sugar that has gotten out of hand" to "how do we feed 7 billion people without carb-heavy diets?" indicates that you are grasping at straws to support your belief when confronted with contrary evidence, in my opinion.

Comment: Re: How about cutting sugar* (Score 1) 68

by QRDeNameland (#49455441) Attached to: Plaque-busting Nanoparticles Could Help Fight Tooth Decay

I think you've over-thought my post, I was mostly making a snarky response to the nonsensical argument that sugar is the problem.

I just did a google search of "sugar dental caries" and every single result acknowledges that excess sugar consumption is a significant contributor to dental caries. Is it the sole or even the primary problem? There does not seem to be a consensus to be sure, but to call the OP's point "nonsensical" is to once again ignore significant evidence.

Comment: Re: How about cutting sugar* (Score 2) 68

by QRDeNameland (#49455409) Attached to: Plaque-busting Nanoparticles Could Help Fight Tooth Decay

I was merely using that as an illustration to counter the common misconception that lower life expectancy at birth in a population equates to no one growing old enough to experience diseases that become more common with age. That data clearly indicates otherwise, not to mention that anthropologists who studied the last remaining hunter-gather societies do note that they did indeed have people who lived to ripe old ages.

As to your hypothesis that younger people were dying of diabetes and heart disease, no I haven't considered it because there is zero evidence I've ever seen of it. We have over a century's worth of well documented medical evidence that shows that it is infectious diseases, particularly those eradicated by vaccines, that caused that vast majority of infant/child mortality. Do you have even a shred of evidence that it was caused by chronic diseases? I doubt it.

Comment: Re: How about cutting sugar* (Score 5, Interesting) 68

by QRDeNameland (#49454691) Attached to: Plaque-busting Nanoparticles Could Help Fight Tooth Decay

Native Americans didn't live long enough for tooth decay to be a serious problem, so your point is kind of moot.

All too often, when discussing the many chronic diseases (diabetes, obesity, hypertension, heart disease, many cancers, and yes, dental caries) that appeared to be mostly absent in hunter-gatherer populations but are rampant among 'civilized' populations, many people dismiss such observations by rationalizing that because these populations had much lower life expectancy *at birth* then therefore *nobody* in those populations lived long enough to develop these diseases.

But that is clearly not the case. Look at the data for life expectancy by age for the US from 1850-2011. Yes, life expectancy at birth was nearly half what it is now but the gap narrows considerably if you survived past 20. That is to say, most of the increase in life expectancy at birth comes from curing the childhood illnesses from which many died very young. And while far fewer people lived to 90-100 than now, living into the 70s-80s was not exactly uncommon.

Also, note that the link you provided shows that life expectancy at birth dropped significantly as hunter-gatherers progressed towards agriculture. The archeological evidence suggests that as early cultures adopted agriculture they became smaller in stature, had many more dental issues, and likely died younger overall. Jared Diamond details the evidence in his well-known book, Guns Germs and Steel.

It is also well documented that the doctors like Albert Schweitzer who treated the dwindling number of remaining hunter-gatherer populations in the late 19th/early 20th centuries observed very few cases of the "chronic diseases of civilization" as they came to be known, even among the oldest people in those communities, and far lower rates than could be explained by "they just don't live long enough." Yet soon after adopting western diets and/or lifestyles, they would develop these illnesses at similar rates as western populations.

So I guess only if you ignore the vast amount of evidence that counters the "didn't live long enough" hypothesis, the question might be moot, otherwise maybe you should keep your mind open to alternative explanations.

Comment: Re:Easy explanation (Score 1) 97

by QRDeNameland (#49454253) Attached to: Being Overweight Reduces Dementia Risk

Another easy explanation is that the causation goes the other way: People with dementia are less likely to gain weight. There could be many reasons they eat less: less cravings, less ability to prepare food, less social interaction at meals, or just forgetting to eat. They are also more likely to smoke, which reduces appetite.

One such hypothesis that reverses the causation is that obesity and dementia could be different responses to the same or similar underlying disturbance.

Obesity and dementia (both vascular and Alzheimer's) are strongly correlated with metabolic syndrome, along with diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and many cancers. The conventional wisdom is that obesity causes the metabolic syndrome and the other ensuing conditions in the obese, but does not explain how the same problems occur in lean people as well.

With diabetes, for example, there is significant evidence that shows that although the obese are far more likely to develop Type II diabetes than the lean, the lean people that do get it have worse mortality than obese people with the same condition. And here we see a similar correlation showing obesity as being "protective" against a another chronic illness strongly correlated to metabolic syndrome, which is essentially defined as disturbed insulin response.

So one possibility is that the initial condition is the disturbed insulin response, which in most people will result in obesity but some not. Those who do become fat could be staving off the later consequences of metabolic syndrome for a time (first is usually diabetes and hypertension, later heart disease, dementia, etc.), where those who don't fatten start developing those consequences earlier.

So what causes the disturbed insulin response? Robert Lustig would say sugar, Gary Taubes would say sugar and refined starch, Campbell/Esselstyn et al. would say meat/animal products, others will cling to the old tautological standby of 'too many calories', and still others hypothesize a prominent role for things like chemicals in the environment and antibiotics. But regardless of what causes metabolic syndrome/insulin dysfunction, the fact virtually all of what are often described as the 'chronic diseases of civilization' are associated with it suggests that the progression of these diseases, though they manifest differently in different individuals, could be tied to a single cause or group of causes.

Comment: Re:Marijuana's capacity to REVEAL TRUTH (Score 1) 291

So, the 5% of people who smoked weed at university, and realized university is a RE-EDUCATION CAMP where special educational tools are used to break the most dangerous young minds and prepare them for a life of productivity in service to the Man. *bong smoke floats out of my stained beanbag nest.*

Reminds me of a Bill Hicks bit:

"They tell you pot-smoking makes you unmotivated. Lie! When you're high, you can do everything you normally do, just as well. You just realize that it's not worth the fucking effort."

Comment: Re:everyone who passed a math class knows (Score 1) 159

by QRDeNameland (#49349747) Attached to: Many Password Strength Meters Are Downright Weak, Researchers Say

Well, if everyone only used the list provided, you have a valid point (actually, he provides an alternate, but the point still stands). However, it's trivial to generate a unique list for each user to work from, at which point you have far more entropy than with just the numbers from the dice.

Also, while attackers may be aware of the method, they'd have no way of knowing whether or not any given user is using it.

Real Programmers don't write in FORTRAN. FORTRAN is for pipe stress freaks and crystallography weenies. FORTRAN is for wimp engineers who wear white socks.