We are not amusing
By R Mutt (Mon Jul 03, 2006 at 11:46:41 PM EST) MLP (all tags)
Voting in reality and reality TV. "But, where there are elections... there are apt to emerge political parties -- efforts to combine votes for maximum effect" [BB :(]

Software estimates cone of uncertainty [JR :(]

Disease mongering essays include restless leg syndrome and impotence [:(]

Fat Studies professor troubled by weight loss. Via BFB [:( LL]

Key:
[MeFi] = Stolen from Metafilter
[/.] = Stolen from Slashdot
[M] = Stolen from Memepool
[BX] = Stolen from Blogdex
[X.] = Stolen from Christdot
[)] = Stolen from Monkeyfilter
[B] = Stolen from B3ta
[GG] = Stolen from Green Gabbro
[BFB] = Stolen from Big Fat Blog
[BB] = Stolen from Boing Boing
[PU] = Stolen from PopURLs
[S2MM] = Stolen from Stuff I Send To My mates
[[:)] = Needs sound
[:(] = Serious
[:)] = Amusing
[;)] = Ironic
[:o] = Strange
[*] = Flash
[#] = Free registration required
[NSFW] = Not Safe For Work
[NSFWFUP] = Not Safe For Work For Ultra-Prudish
[(UK)] = UK-centric
[LL] = Late or repeated link
We are not amusing | 22 comments (22 topical, 0 hidden)
Scary brainwashing note by R Mutt (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue Jul 04, 2006 at 12:12:51 AM EST
I came very very close to titling the "impotence" link "erectile dysfunction".

Next thing I'll be talking about "underarms" instead of "armpits" and "flaky scalp" instead of "dandruff" and...

Restless Leg Syndrome by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Jul 04, 2006 at 12:57:59 AM EST
I get that! If I'm really tired after a prolonged period (a few days) of not getting enough sleep, I get a restless feeling in my legs when I try to go to sleep. It can be annoying, but I usually just ignore it and fall asleep after a while. I first noticed it about 6 years ago.

The article's interesting because it's not denying it exists like a lot of reporting on these new drug company "syndromes", just saying it doesn't need to be classed as an illness that needs treating. I'd agree with that. I see my restless leg syndrome as a warning that I'm not getting enough sleep, not something I need to conquer.

Anyway, nice to see an article that doesn't deny it exists, I was getting a bit annoyed with articles saying it was made up by drug companies.

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I think it's a couple of things by R Mutt (4.00 / 1) #3 Tue Jul 04, 2006 at 01:04:21 AM EST
First, a lot of conditions seem to exist on a range from trivial to serious. The drug companies have an interest in making sure it's prescribed to the most people, so they want the drug to go as far to the trivial end as possible.

Second, there's the whole daft puritanical anti-drug thing. People want Viagra as a recreational drug; but neither they nor the government nor the medical establishment can admit that; so it's easiest just to pretend that it's being used as a medical treatment.

[ Parent ]
twitchy eyebrow by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #4 Tue Jul 04, 2006 at 01:26:57 AM EST
Oooh, I hate when that happens. I end up holding my hand in front of my eye to stop it. And I feel like I must look slightly deranged when it does.

[ Parent ]
I find it quite funny by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Jul 04, 2006 at 01:37:30 AM EST
It's pretty common when I think about it. I used to work in an office where we all used to shout "My eye's going again!" and make exaggerated twitchy faces when things got a bit stressful.

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[ Parent ]
I have a mental image by Phage (4.00 / 1) #17 Tue Jul 04, 2006 at 05:57:28 AM EST
Of a dozen Commissioner Dreyfus look alikes gophering out of their cubes and twicthing like loons.

[ Parent ]
Twitchy facial muscles by gpig (4.00 / 1) #10 Tue Jul 04, 2006 at 02:21:28 AM EST
I heard somewhere that the twitchyness comes from magnesium deficiency.

Mind you that could just be propaganda from the dietary supplements industry ....
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(,   ,') -- eep

[ Parent ]
Interesting though by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue Jul 04, 2006 at 02:43:21 AM EST
Haven't suffered it so much since I started eating a decent amount of fruit and veg. When I was on my beer, salami and 4 hours sleep a night diet a few years back it was at its height.

I've been told the restless legs thing is due to too much salt, but dunno if that's true.

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[ Parent ]
Re: Restless Leg Syndrome by toxicfur (4.00 / 1) #19 Tue Jul 04, 2006 at 01:26:19 PM EST
I get somewhat annoyed when people (not you, obviously) believe that this is a problem dreamed up by Big Pharma. My mom has/had it due to the combination nerve damage going into her legs and the medications she was on. Her doctor prescribed an anti-Parkinson's medication and it seems to be much better now. In the beginning, she said she literally couldn't sleep because she couldn't stop moving. Scary stuff when it's not on the trivial annoyance end of the spectrum.
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Continue to lean until you feel gravity threatening to discipline you for being stupid. - CRwM
[ Parent ]
Sounds like by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #21 Tue Jul 04, 2006 at 11:33:02 PM EST
A completely different ballpark from mine, which is slightly less than a minor annoyance. Anyway, hope it stays OK for her.

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[ Parent ]
BFB by hulver (4.00 / 3) #6 Tue Jul 04, 2006 at 01:38:44 AM EST
It's not just a river in Egypt.

Let me just say, as a fat bloke, I find their attitude just plain weird.

They keep going on about fat acceptance, and how the nasty media is horrible to them just because they're fat. How the media is pushing "lies" like being fat is bad for your health.

Reality check.

Being fat is bad for you. It's bad for your heart, it's an increased risk for diabetes and cancer. Fat people die younger than people who aren't fat. Yes, being too thin is bad for you too. Extremes of any condition are. That doesn't change the fact that being fat is bad for you.

"Losing weight isn't just a question of eating less and exercising more. I wish it was that easy"

Hello! It is that easy. That's what you have to do to lose weight. If you eat less than your body needs, you will lose weight. No doubt about it.

Of course, it's not actually that easy to stop stuffing your face. I know it's not, I'm a fat bastard because I eat too much and don't exercise enough.

Just a bunch of fat whiners.

Their whole point seems to be "stop making fun of me because I'm fat, I don't like it".

Tough shit. You're fat, get over it. Stop saying that it's not bad for you and I might stop making fun of you. Saying "Yes I'm fat, I know it's bad for me, I don't give a shit". That's something I can respect.

They object to any piece of writing that uses words like "obese" or "morbidly obese" or "diet" or "food" because it reinforces stereotypes. No it doesn't, it tells the truth. Complaining about people telling the truth just because you don't happen to like the truth is pretty futile.

Idiots.
--
Cheese is not a hat. - clock

Well by R Mutt (4.00 / 2) #7 Tue Jul 04, 2006 at 01:48:42 AM EST
I think they do have a lot of good points about the diet industry, hysteria over the "obesity epidemic" (didn't epidemics used to be contagious? Didn't wars on things used to have two armies?), overuse of weight-loss surgery and so on. And the guy who runs the site doesn't actually seem to be very fat, though the photo seems to have disappeared.

I think how easy weight loss is depends a lot on your family, friends and environment. I can lose weight at the moment because I live alone and can just make sure there's basically no unhealthy food in the house. If I was still living with my parents with cupboards full of chocolate and boxes full of doughnuts and shelves full of crisps and nuts and biscuits... not to mention everyone munching away at them all day... there's no way in hell I could lose weight. Or even not gain weight.

[ Parent ]
Exactly by hulver (4.00 / 2) #9 Tue Jul 04, 2006 at 02:11:41 AM EST
But those points get lost in all their haste to jump on any comment about fatness. Even that linked article (which I thought was pretty moderate) there was somebody complaining because the fat professor had eaten less and exercised more and lost weight.
The average reader will be left with the impression that the fat lady was eating herself fat, sick and diabetic, but when she just ate a little healthier and exercised a little more all that weight melted away. Weight loss is easy! And by implication fat people must not be paying attention to their health.

The fat lady was eating herself fat. You could wrap the point around a pound of lard and hit them around the head with it, and people like the commenter would still miss it.
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Cheese is not a hat. - clock
[ Parent ]
Seems a bit harsh by R Mutt (2.00 / 0) #14 Tue Jul 04, 2006 at 02:53:54 AM EST
On the poor owner of the group blog, to write him off because he has some wacky commenters though...

[ Parent ]
Heh by hulver (2.00 / 0) #15 Tue Jul 04, 2006 at 03:04:48 AM EST
Even the articles seem to ooze "Fat is good, anti-fat bad" though.

Mmmmm, oozing.
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Cheese is not a hat. - clock

[ Parent ]
Cone of precognition by Rogerborg (4.00 / 1) #8 Tue Jul 04, 2006 at 02:02:53 AM EST
I guess it's that time again where I mention that my manager's book contains a "cone of uncertainty" with a Y axis that, rather than using the trite and conventional 4 to 0.25, takes the bold step of running from positive to negative uncertainty.

Negative uncertainty.  I guess that's the end of the graph that we should be aiming for.

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Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.

don't be so negative by martingale (4.00 / 1) #16 Tue Jul 04, 2006 at 04:18:33 AM EST
I'm sure he thought quite long and hard about the graph, probably slept sleepless nights thinking "Nobody seems to use the negative axis, why don't they use it? Are they stupid or what? Can't do any harm, and it's just wasted space otherwise. I think I'll use it.
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$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$
[ Parent ]
Fat Studies. by Evil Cloaked User (4.00 / 1) #11 Tue Jul 04, 2006 at 02:25:51 AM EST
Did that article actually have a message? Pretty sure if I handed up a piece like that back in school I'd have had quite the failing grade. "So, like, well, I had this theory. And I was really into it. And well, on the face of it, a lot of people would say I was wrong. Because I'm basically now doing the complete opposite of what I talked about. And it's working. But I still believe in it. Ya know, even though it seems to be pretty much provably and completely wrong."

I was just waiting for "I know it to be true because I feel it in my gut. You may believe something else, but that's just because you read it in a book. I don't trust books. My gut tells me not to."

You are saying that this is unusual in journalism? by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #18 Tue Jul 04, 2006 at 12:11:01 PM EST
It seems fairly typical. The subject matter's a bit interesting, though. There should be a thesis developed on the woman's behaviour, though, despite the fact that she herself is inconsistent.

[ Parent ]
'Fat people can still be healthy' by Cloaked User (4.00 / 2) #13 Tue Jul 04, 2006 at 02:44:14 AM EST
Yes, they can. Smokers can live to a ripe old age with no smoking related problems, couch potatoes who do little or no exercise can be fit, pale-skinned people can sunbathe without burning, and so on.

The odds are against it, though.

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This is not a psychotic episode. It is a cleansing moment of clarity.

Likewise, by crux (2.00 / 0) #20 Tue Jul 04, 2006 at 03:07:42 PM EST
Women can be top athletes and computer programmers, men excellent single parents, etc etc etc ....

Also, re: fat and healthy, I throw up the Inuit as a counter-example.

all this is trollery, of course, although not entirely without base...

[ Parent ]
I know an excellent female computer programmer by Cloaked User (2.00 / 0) #22 Wed Jul 05, 2006 at 01:06:59 AM EST
She's not a top athlete though...

--
This is not a psychotic episode. It is a cleansing moment of clarity.
[ Parent ]
We are not amusing | 22 comments (22 topical, 0 hidden)