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Comment Re:Sounds like a new corporate prison system (Score 1) 151 151

It would be profoundly stupid if any of it could be traced to one person, but that's not how big corporate partnerships work. When you are a corporation you are not going to get arrested, and your lawyers will indeed advise you to risk killing people if the added revenue is likely to surpass the payout costs.

Comment These are the choices? (Score 3, Insightful) 77 77

Most good journals already publish a lay summary, and often a description of significance aimed at a wider audience. Sometimes even a video. That leaves us with the recommendation to either force the scientist to draft a press release OR let science journalists communicate the discovery. This is not helpful.

Comment Re:Diet composition (Score 1) 244 244

Here is the dietary composition. Sorry about the formatting. Table 1. Comparison of diets Normal (chow) High-fat High-sucrose PicoLab Rodent Diet kcal/kg diet 4070 4500 4000 Percent of kcal provided by: Protein 24.7 17.3 17.7 Carbohydrate 62.1 42.7 70.4 Fat 13.2 42.0 11.8 Sucrose, g/kg diet 31.8 341.46 645.6

Comment Re:High fat? (Score 1) 244 244

He mostly just said that are mice are designed to run on a grain based diet. The study is clearly motivated by the natural diet of a particular organism. From the intro: "The Western diet contributes to many chronic, diet-related illnesses in the United States, including the obesity epidemic (Cordain et al., 2005). Western diets are typically high in fat and simple carbohydrates (CHOs) (Cordain et al., 2005). Higher intake of fats and refined sugars are associated with deficits in cognitive flexibility and hippocampal-dependent memory in humans (Kalmijn, 2000 and Francis and Stevenson, 2011) and an increase in the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease (Pasinetti, 2002)." When that diet is altered, things will change, including gut bacteria. Will there be other important changes? The study doesn't address that, but the sensible working hypothesis should be: yes, radical dietary changes affect more than gut bacteria. Let's look at the end of the discussion to see if this makes a difference: " Interestingly, mice fed 33% fat, in the form of lean ground beef, showed better long- and short-term memory than those on 12% fat (Li et al., 2009)." Maybe all the stuff in the diet besides the current macronutrients of interest actually matter??

Comment Another lousy study with an agenda (Score 1) 244 244

If you're going to study high fat vs high carb, you'd at least control for protein and calories, right? NO!!!!!! THE HIGH FAT DIET HAS LESS PROTEIN AND MORE CALORIES!!!!! Previous studies in this field have also been misleading: "It’s well known that in mice, “high-fat diets” induce endotoxemia. But these diets aren’t necessarily high in fat – any pelleted rodent food in which fat provides more than 20% of calories may be called “high-fat.” The critical difference of “high-fat diets” from chow is that they are composed of purified nutrients – starch, sugar, oil, vitamins, and minerals – whereas chow is composed of natural whole foods such as wheat, corn, and seeds." (http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2015/06/disease-begins-in-the-mucus/) At least they didn't use a "high fat high cholesterol" diet with ridiculous amounts of purified cholesterol.

Comment Re:Way too many humanities majors (Score 1) 397 397

If an engineer doesn’t know why he should be building something, then that something should be avoided. If he can’t explain why he designed a bridge in a particular way, then stay off the bridge! If his boss can’t explain why a bridge would improve traffic patterns, in some quantitative way, then it shouldn’t be built either. When these conditions are violated, it’s usually for the benefit of someone besides the engineers. A well trained engineer would not build a bridge to nowhere, or allow an unsafe shuttle to fly. These decisions are made by people who answer to social and personal pressures but not science or engineering principles. Part of the problem is greed, but another part is ignorance. Both will be big problems with AI, and studying humanities will not allow anyone to intelligently decide whether a particular machine resembling AI should or should not be built. They have no standing under which to make an argument. You can’t simply expect them to spew out some philosophy and convince a legal body that they understand the consequences of the machine better than those who designed it, and can quantify its purpose and abilities. You can’t effectively regulate what you don’t understand, and you won’t understand anything resembling AI in any meaningful way without some technical background. The precautionary principle is your only regulatory hope, and realistically that isn’t going to prevent AI malfeasance. Since we don’t know what this AI will look like, the answers to which technoligies should be suppressed must be picked up as its designers and observers go along. A solid background in science can’t just be picked up as you go along, if you’ve ignored it your whole life. But with a good background in some scientific area, other scientific expertise can be readily picked up along the way. I have no background in chemistry but now I work in a lab where biochemistry is a main focus. I’m picking it up to research level, but that would not be possible with a pure education in humanities. And the implications of any technoligy I may create? How could I expect someone to understand those implications without understanding the technology?

Comment Re:Way too many humanities majors (Score 1) 397 397

If critical thinking involves "knowing" when to apply equations, then critical thinkers must have experience applying equations. That comes from STEM education and not humanities. Understanding people and their motivations is surely important for selling stuff, and many other things. Fortunately there are (arguably) sciences that deal with these subjects directly - psychology and sociology.

Comment Re:Without going paleo? (Score 1) 496 496

That's to make you appreciate all the hard work involved in keeping with the diet - counting calories, reducing caloric intake month after month, huddling with a nutritionist, extra exercise and lots of yoga. Also there is stigma involved - some people have a very negative view of crossfit, and hate paleo by association. Some people just think that only an idiot would remove entire classes of food from their diet. Vegans avoid paleo because it involves eating animals or animal products.

A slow pup is a lazy dog. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"