Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Any student of psychopathology will be aware that self-deception is a very common human frailty. So it is not particularly surprising when I and many others like me constantly point to inconvenient facts (such as the large influence of heredity) that Leftists ignore. Ignoring facts is very widespread generally, not only among Leftists. It may be useful to point to some other instances of it.

Perhaps the most amusing is the way people are always fussing about their diet. There is a constant stream of talk about what food is and is not good for you. And what is good for you today will almost certainly be bad for you in ten year's time -- and vice versa. Wicked Thoughts often reports such ups and downs as part of his coverage of humorous items in the news. But regardless of the details, almost everyone is convinced that eating "healthy" food and exercising more will make you live longer. Except that it doesn't. All the longditudinal studies of lifestyle change (including diet change) show no effect of such change on longevity. See here for just the latest such study. Fussing about your food is unlikely to add one extra day to your life. But people like to feel that they have some control over their health so the fussing will go on forever as far as I can see. And, sadly, some well-intentioned dietary changes are actually bad for you -- e.g. salt restriction.

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