Monday, October 23, 2006
  Carb Wars

A friend came over to our house the other day. We offered him some lunch since he'd arrived around that time. He politely declined, informing us that he was having a real battle with carbs this month. He wasn't going to eat any carbs at all.


What I fear is that he doesn't understand the rules of engagement with this particular war.

Let me tell you a secret. In 2005 I lost 70 lbs. Since then, I've maintained that weight. Let me tell you another secret, completely free of charge. I promise you, I won't make a dime off this. I'm doing this out of my own altruistic nature.


No special diet, no miracle piece of equipment, no pill, no drink.

The equation is easy: calories in vs calories out.

It's one of those simple truths that run deep in the implications and hard in the implimentations.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
  Modern Organized Religion

I said a while ago in my post about organized religion that I was going to comment on modern organized religion. I had, at the time, planned something pretty in depth, but I don't think I want to go there any more.

The summary of my thoughts are this:

Small religious organizations are especially at risk for the kind of tribalism that sets them at odds with other religious organizations and beliefs that differ from their own. They must maintain a sufficient membership in order to remain alive. Fear tactics are commonly employed, as well as bashing other religions and beliefs.

Individuals not well grounded in their own beliefs will also resort to attacking* the beliefs of others rather than examining their own, so even in organizations that are 'confident', and so devote much more energy to humanitarian and inclusive persuits, there are many individuals who are highly antagonistic against anyone not clearly in line with their beliefs.

*I think there is a difference between attacking beliefs and arguing beliefs. When attacking beliefs, the goal is not to uncover the truth but to destroy the credibility of the opponent. When arguing, the goal of the individual who is debating is to establish that their stance is the correct one. If that individual has integrity, once they have found flaws in their view, they will reevaluate.

I enjoy discussing my beliefs, and sometimes even arguing them simply because it is an interesting exercise in which I always learn. When I see something I consider false, I tend to try to correct it, but otherwise I feel no need to defend my beliefs. The only reason I've brought them up on this blog is so that, as I blend my skeptical remarks with my religious ones, I'll have a post to direct someone to to show them why I am the way I am. This is simply because I find that as a theist and a skeptic to most paranormal claims, alternative medicine, etc. I am in the minority.

So, this is pretty much the end of my more involved religious posts, unless something interesting comes up.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
  Information vs. Emotion

I was nursing my toddler to sleep this afternoon, basking in the oxytocin glow, the writing buzz, and taking in some church stuff I'd listened to. These are the times when I begin to ponder. It's wierd, but feeling good about stuff always reminds me that I'm very, very lucky. So then I begin to think about what is wrong in the world. I usually go in two directions: the suffering born by the innocent, or the proliferation of falsehoods.

This afternoon it was the latter, and my recent adventures at the Health and Safety Fair. The problem is that a blog like this, or those who have a lot more time to devote to debunking doesn't do a lot. I've thought about writing a whole book, but it has been done by more knowledgable people than me. They are either ignored or recieve bad 'customer' reviews because they are percieved as pushing the evil profit seeking medico-pharma industry.

Maybe a softer voice would work? Maybe the lack of letters after my name, the "I'm just an ordinary housewife" schtick would work? What kind of research, what kind of words to get the point across? And then, who would publish it?

How can I reveal to the world that the alternative medicine industry is profit oriented and not people oriented as they would have you believe? How often even the practitioner is being duped out of money by the school/training/product line whatever. Sometimes the altie practitioner sees a quick road to helping others that goes against the evil corporate machine. It appeals to their feelings. Chiropractic learning isn't so quick though, and is expensive. Those guys have to believe in it from the beginning to put so much time, money, and effort into it.

I was disturbed not only by the blatant lie about Jackie Joyner Kersee being dead, but by what I found when researching other things they'd talked about. I found a chiropractic training website. I couldn't get there directly, but google had a cache of some literature about "The 15 secrets to Lifetime Patients". Here are some examples:

New Patient Advocate:
1. Prepares testimonials, chiropractic analogies,
metaphors, or stories
that correspond to the education of the day.
Inspires the patient by stirring the patient’s emotions. Remember
emotions motivate people to act not information

Using an inspirational case or an emotional testimonial is an
extremely effective method for communicating the chiropractic story.
Actual cases and testimonials build trust, security and confidence with your
current patients while at the same time one of the most effective strategies
for stimulating internal referrals in your practice.
Select a case that really impacted you emotionally and represents the
chiropractic wellness model. Communicate the story with passion to your patients.

They are messing around with people to "build practice". They aren't teaching medicine, but business. Scratch that. They are teaching religion.

But they do probably have a point: People are more motivated by emotion than information. This is why alternative medicine works better.

Maybe that is it: an expose on the alternative medicine big machine, not on the veracity of the practices themselves.

But I can't help but think that more than that is needed. A booth at those fairs, for instance. There are a lot of cool things that could be done at such a thing. Imagine an ideomotor demonstration, you know the one where you have the pariticipant hold both their hands out, instruct them that no matter what, they are to keep them at the same level, then have them close their eyes and talk about how there is a balloon tied to one making it light and a brick to the other making it heavy. Give them questions to ask the person who wants to be their chiropractor.
A Mormon housewife who loves truth, science, rational thought, and reasonable action.

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Location: Utah

Granola is a mix of things: grains, nuts, bits of dried fruit, maybe some coconut. There's some fat in it, and it's a good source of fiber to keep those arteries and colons clean.

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