More logical implications re Cassandra

Obvious rule: most people, no matter what they say, do not and cannot have throngs of followers. Followers are necessarily many and leaders are necessarily few in number.

Rule: Most people who speak nonsense are not listened to, especially if they are certifiably insane, if they lack conviction, or if what they say is clearly recognizable as nonsense.

Exception: some people who speak a whole lot of nonsense, dressed up in the guise of sense, and particularly those who speak nonsense with great passion, have throngs of eager followers. Historical example: Hitler.

Rule: Those who speak sense are mostly not listened to. Historical example: Socrates, although, of course, I do not expect many people to think he was speaking sense. You have to know these things.

Exceptions: Occasionally, those who speak sense are sometimes listened to, at least by a few people, if only because of random chance (a broken clock is right twice a day) and the fact that man, while obviously foolish, is not a total fool.

What do we make of mankind’s most admired people who all have throngs of eager followers?

People like Jesus, Mohammed, and Shakespeare (his throngs of eager followers are mostly academics)?

By rule, they probably spoke a whole lot of nonsense to merit such large throngs following them.

But maybe one or more of this rather large group of “most admired people” is an exception to the rule.

How can we hope to know? To know, one would have to be a person who does not speak a whole lot of nonsense, and one would have next to no followers. To guess, one just has to be lucky.

Highly unlikely aside: what if I ever had a whole lot of followers?

This is a little different: in following me and my advice, they would only be saying that “I believe in nothing at all that is flat out contradicted by reliable evidence; I believe in nothing absolutely, not even what is in science textbooks – that is, I believe propositions to the degree that they are supported by reliable evidence.”

Again, it is a little different. I have no separate teachings per se and my principles are those of science, though so many have studied science for many years and never fully grasped what it is saying. Like Richard Dawkins, they think that science is a system of firmly held beliefs that oppose religious beliefs. The opposition to religion in 2017 is a result of science having been and always being what it really is – skeptical to its core, rejecting what is contradicted by reliable evidence, and only slowly coming around to what is supported by reliable evidence.


How ridiculous this will sound

“The fire caused extensive damage to the house.”

Really, all by itself, fire did this, according to the strictures of causality. The destruction has nothing to do with the fact that we build houses out of flammable things, populate them with flammable things, and do not protect them properly.

Someday when we get sense to build houses and really our world out of inflammable substances, this statement, which seems obvious in 2017, would truly puzzle the enlightened.

How ridiculous all causal claims sound to me now!

On the impossibility of the single nutrient deficiency

I have given many reasons why this widely held myth is false. Here is another:

one nutrient deficiency inevitably leads to other deficiencies as the body tries to cope.

Consider a deficiency in niacin due to either dietary insufficiency or an absorption problem (with either any of various NAD+ precursors or specifically to NAD+ precursor tryptophan) or a metabolic problem or an excretion problem. In the case of excretion: if the intestines absorb tryptophan poorly, for example, in Hartnup disease, the kidneys tend to reabsorb tryptophan poorly.

This niacin deficiency leads directly to a measurable deficiency in tryptophan, as tryptophan must be diverted to make NAD+. This leads to a major deficiency in tryptophan if dietary tryptophan is limiting or if tryptophan absorption is also compromised. Tryptophan is only about 1% of all protein; so in a sense it is seriously limited except in what I would call high protein diets: more than 100 grams of protein per day. 1 gram of tryptophan in 100 grams of protein is only enough to make 16 mg of niacin – a little more than 1xRDA – if that is all that tryptophan had to supply. Not even close – the demands on tryptophan are stringent.

Tryptophan deficiency leads to serotonin and melatonin deficiencies for the same reason.

[I need to look into the possibility of inchoate protein deficiencies; seems unlikely, generally the most important use for every amino acid found in proteins is for protein synthesis.]

Tryptophan deficiency leads to measurable zinc deficiency because less picolinic acid is made because more of the tryptophan has to be diverted to making NAD+.

[Also needs investigation: There may also be a local B6 deficiency in the circulatory system, as more B6 is diverted to making NAD+ – of the 140+ reactions requiring vitamin B6, I doubt there is one more important than the manufacture of NAD+ when niacin is deficient in the diet or is insufficiently absorbed.]

A better test of analytical intelligence

An intelligence test in which someone is telling you perfectly believable lies, appealing to your vanity and your prejudices, and in spite of all of that, you answer all of the questions correctly in less time than anyone else in the world – if you can do that, then you are #1 in analytical intelligence, even if others score higher on the Stanford Binet IQ Test.

If you have the emotional intelligence to match that analytical intelligence, then have your species checked. You are not human.

In fact, your species was in doubt when you aced the real test of analytical intelligence, one not invented yet, except in fiction – Sherlock Holmes was repeatedly lied to, flattered, and appeals were made to his prejudices. In spite of that, he figured out who was lying, who was telling the truth, and “who done it” faster than any of the rest of us. Time and again, with a real test of analytical intelligence, Sherlock Holmes proved his analytical intelligence was second to none – in the pages of fiction. In a world of maximum irony, where else would an intelligent person expect to find real life intelligence?

A flaw in genetics

Before the flaw, what is more important: the application – finding the hidden functions of genes/proteins by searching every part of the gene sequence, every which way it could be arranged or rearranged to code for a new or existing function.

Now for the flaw in the current system:

As a rule, genes are more pleiotropic than is believed.

Consequently, mutations are more pleiotropic than is believed.

Consequently, even when a geneticist has exhaustively defined the consequences of a mutation, misunderstandings of the consequences of mutations are more common than is believed. The genetics database is corrupted with all kinds of errors of misinterpretation.

Add that source of misunderstanding to another prolific source of misinterpretations – the underestimation of the effects of nutrient deficiencies -always plural, as there are thousands of possible conditionally essential nutrients – on enzymes with some redundancy or partial functionality.

Add that to an evolutionary fact: nature optimizes growth and reproduction better than it optimizes maintenance and repair. Consequently, even when we make our own nutrients (part of routine maintenance), it is highly unlikely that we ever make the optimal amount of any of them. Thus, even when we eat properly, we are suffering the consequences of nutritional shortfalls, and we really suffer whenever we consume empty calories, and as a group, Americans are consuming lots of empty calories, as anyone walking the aisles of a supermarket can attest.

Note on chemically defined animal nutrition and human total parenteral nutrition: by definition, these lack the accessory nutrients in good food, and the victims of these treatments cannot possibly be at the optimal level for all of the thousands of accessory nutrients. However, they can be in the acceptable range for a very long time before outright conditional deficiencies develop in some of these accessory nutrients.

Standard medical practice is baffling

Nitrous oxide is used as an anesthetic in surgery and it irreversibly oxidizes vitamin B12, the product of which is excreted in urine. One would think that screening for B12 deficiency (most common in the elderly who have most of the operations) pre-operatively would be routine as well as the oral supplementation of prophylactic doses before surgery and after surgery. None of this is standard medical practice. Amazing. Where is the oversight?