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Everything posted by blabbate

  1. The fact that Heineken needs to be ice cold should be a tip off that it's a terrible beer. When a beer is too chilled, it tastes more like "cold" than anything else. For some beers, that's good, because those beers are awful. Many of them have their places, particularly when you want something cheap, light, and refreshing, but they aren't good at being beer. Too much cold is murder on the esters and aroma in particular. If you can't smell any particular characteristics, you probably won't taste them either. Of course, you can just wait a few minutes and take another sip to see if you notice a difference. It's rare a beer is _so_ chilled that it's actually damaged.
  2. Yeah, I think we both agree with this. But they're still just absolutes to you, not universally. In another culture, it might be fine to kill other people for sport. Their absolutes are different from yours. And there's nothing to objectively say that your "absolutes" are more correct than theirs. You _feel_ that they are, but your feelings don't matter. Again, it all reduces to self-interest, which is meaningless from an objective standpoint. This really is all semantics, though, since we live by essentially the same ethical code. We just disagree about how we got to it.
  3. When there's a distinction to be made, which isn't always necessary, "morals" are the absolutes and "ethics" are the study of morals or the application of morals to particular people, circumstances, cultures, etc. For instance, the same moral beliefs can have different expressions in Christian ethics vs legal ethics vs community ethics. In an absolute sense, nothing is wrong until we define it as such. The "wrongness" is in our interpretation. Murder is wrong because we define it as such, and we define it that way because it causes us pain and impedes our desires. It makes us feel terrible. If a person does not feel those emotions, does not have empathy, that's where the mental illness is. If it depends on circumstances, it's not absolute. But if you follow that same line of questioning in the other direction, you end up without "evidence" as well. It comes down to rational self-interest.
  4. Yes, this. It's pretty common. After all, as you said, if he's actually that callous, he's genuinely sociopathic. Well, ethics and morals are different. I absolutely believe that someone can be perfectly emotionally healthy while believing there is no such thing as a moral absolute. In fact, I'm counting on it being possible, since it's how I feel. I genuinely don't believe there are immutable, absolute moral principles. However, I do believe in a set of ethics for human behavior that should more-or-less apply to everyone. They're still situational in that they apply only to people in (relatively) civilized society. Incidentally, veganism is NOT one of those ethics, because I'm also a moral relativist. I don't think someone is immoral for eating meat if that's how they've been raised and if that's what their culture has cemented as "normal." I do want them to stop, of course, because I'd prefer everyone were vegan, but I don't condemn them for it. Hopefully I'm not a sociopath. Although, would I really know if I were?
  5. No, if he's a traditional moral anti-realist, what he's saying is that there is no absolute moral law saying that killing the other person is wrong. However, it's still wrong within the construct of society, and it's still wrong in that we feel it's wrong. Presumably, he will feel guilt and sadness if he harms the other person, so he won't do it in any situation. It's possible to recognize that your feelings and emotions and beliefs are not absolute truths.
  6. Depending on how you define it, this is always true. At some level, moral values are constructed, even if you don't think they are. They can be constructed by your basest instincts and emotions, though, which is almost the same as moral realism. However, the universe doesn't care about morality. And if you get your morality from faith or God, then it's not absolute, because it depends on that faith. Any person's definition of morality can always be reduced to the set of factors from which it was constructed. However ... ... that doesn't make this statement true. The lack of an absolute morality in the strictest terms doesn't mean we don't have something that works effectively identically. For instance, the moral prohibition against murder is something that we created, technically. We base it on fear, empathy, guilt, the social contract, etc. At a deep level, it's subjective, but it's also so fundamental and intrinsically part of our culture and personalities that it may as well be an absolute. He seems to be walking a fine line between ethical subjectivism and sociopathy. Value and laws exist for a few reasons. One is definitely to cover our asses. We don't want to be killed, so we have to agree not to kill people. However, we also don't want our friends and loved ones to be killed. We feel real, sincere grief. We don't even want _anyone_ else to die, because we have empathy. And we don't want to have to kill anyone, because we feel guilt. Are those all subjective, and some even unique to certain cultures? Sure, but that doesn't make them less real. It doesn't make them less valid. On the other hand, we have these values because we don't want to feel grief or guilt or sadness, so at their core they're all based on selfishness. Don't kid yourself that altruism really exists. If someone doesn't feel that empathy or guilt or grief, it's no longer in their self-interest to avoid those actions. And those people are sociopaths. I really can't say which side your friend falls on.
  7. "Withhold?" I don't think your omni diet is helping you at all with word choice. If you're going to insult someone else's intelligence, try not to fuck up while doing it.
  8. Wow, yeah, you've got a great cut in at the waist, so you look very naturally slim. Hopefully it'll be easier for you to get visible abs than it would be for most folks. Just keep at it. I'm sure you'll see visible progress soon.
  9. This isn't supposed to be insulting. I'm not saying anything personal. These are just facts. There are plenty of sources in the References section of the wikipedia article I posted a link to. Here are a few: http://web.archive.org/web/20110515123240/http:/www.mayoclinic.com/health/blood-type-diet/AN01415 http://web.archive.org/web/20100804034005/http:/www.keepthedoctoraway.co.uk/Articles/TheBloodTypeDiet:FactorFiction_1049.html http://www.vegsource.com/articles/blood_hype.htm - I'm not usually a huge fan of vegsource, but this particular article is pretty well-researched and referenced. http://skepdic.com/bloodtypediet.html - The Skeptics Dictionary page links to references for each of its claims. And Dr. Pusztai gets a special mention, because he's particularly thorough: http://www.owenfoundation.com/Health_Science/Blood_Type_Diet_FAQ.html
  10. FYI, http://gizmodo.com/5889581/meth-addict-accidentally-burns-down-worlds-fifth+oldest-tree.
  11. Yea, I guess I was totally making up my stomach pains, or any other benefit from following some of the advice. And FYI, I didn't (nor does the author) say to follow it to the letter. Correlation doesn't equal causation, and anecdotal evidence isn't proof. Your benefits could have been from any number of other factors that have nothing to do with blood type. They could have been simple regression to the mean. They could have been placebo. This is why we do controlled studies. We can't say for sure exactly what caused the effects, but we can say with a high degree of confidence based on actual research that D'Adamo's claims that lectins in food react differently with different blood types are utterly false.
  12. Don't bother. Blood type dieting is nonsense. There's no evidence for it whatsoever. There are zero peer reviewed articles on it in PubMed. Zero. None. D'Adamo hasn't even produced results from the clinical trials he claims to be running. Real, published, verified research has shown that lectins in foods are not ABO-specific. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_type_diet You're only limiting yourself if you take it into account with your own diet. Figure out what's best for you personally based on how you feel.
  13. Not exactly. Evolution selects for reproductive fitness, not longevity. Living past the age of healthy reproduction (and possibly child-rearing) is useless as far as natural selection is concerned. Yes but natural selection and evolution is a process that takes generations, sometimes and often without obvious cause or reason, think about it, what is the purpose of living to 113 when you cannot reproduce. That's exactly my point. There is no purpose. Living longer than necessary is simply a bonus. You might be more genetically likely to have a long life if your parents did, but that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with procreation. There could very well be a gene that promotes longevity but reduces fertility, which would almost certainly be selected against. These days, though, there's almost no difference either way. We've broken natural selection pretty completely.
  14. Not exactly. Evolution selects for reproductive fitness, not longevity. Living past the age of healthy reproduction (and possibly child-rearing) is useless as far as natural selection is concerned.
  15. It's perfectly safe as long as you're _not_ immunodeficient. Vaccines have one of the longest and most robust records of safety and effectiveness in all of medicine. Many have been refined over decades of use. The incidence of harmful side effects is very, very low, and the reporting system is pretty comprehensive. And again, we don't have to depend on studies for most of them. We have many years of real world use to rely on. The importance with respect to immunodeficiency is through herd immunity. Immunocompromised people, especially children, are at high risk for these diseases. The best way to protect them is by making sure the infections aren't in the population. Loss of herd immunity due to poor vaccination is what caused the pertussis epidemic in 2010 in California, and 10 infants died. There was a huge push for vaccination towards the end of the year, people listened, and 2011 saw no deaths at all. I'm sorry, but I cannot believe you're making educated decisions when you mention homeopathy. Just as with acupuncture, the claimed results behind homeopathic remedies cannot be duplicated in research. There is absolutely no science or evidence behind it. Nothing at all. http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2007/nov/16/sciencenews.g2 Quite the opposite, in fact. It can be mathematically shown that at common levels of homeopathic dilution, the solution is likely to contain not even a single molecule of the original "remedy." Serial dilution produces a geometric logarithmic concentration of the original substance. Or, from another point of view, an exponential increase in the solution volume for an constant amount of the original substance. Basically, a 200C dilution is the equivalent of diluting 1ml into a volume of water the size of the known universe. http://www.fasebj.org/content/20/11/1755.full http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16165225 And it's not harmless. People are using homeopathic cures instead of actual medicine, and it's killing them. If all you need is a placebo, great. But if you need real medication, homeopathy is the same as using nothing at all. And buying into it, publicizing it, and recommending it is destructive. http://whatstheharm.net/homeopathy.html
  16. That was Desiree Jennings, and it was 100% a hoax. http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/11/desiree_jennings_cured.php This is what I'm talking about. You're taking a complete and, frankly, obvious fabrication and using to make a medical decision that affects not only yourself, but society as a whole. Do not take things like that at face value. If it seems "holy shit balls," investigate. Find out what research has been done. See if there's any evidence at all. There exist no studies showing acupuncture has any conclusive therapeutic effect. In fact, research shows it has the same efficacy as placebo. Any improvement is likely psychological or regression to the mean. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110324104147.htm http://sci-ence.org/series/the-ghosts-of-woo-acupuncture/ What your shaman is giving you is psychological reinforcement, a safe place to heal, and calm guidance. All of those are wonderful, sure, but he's not a doctor, and you probably shouldn't take medical advice from him. I'd say the same thing to anyone taking the same advice from their priest, sufi, dungeon master, or magic 8-ball.
  17. I'll get anything for which herd immunity is of value to the immunocompromised. Flu is marginal, for exactly the reason you said, but I don't believe it does me any harm. I stay vaccinated for everything else (MMR, TB, Hep, etc) for preventative reasons, and if there was a local outbreak of something for which they recommend vaccination, I'd be all over it. Look at Steve Jobs, too. He had a very treatable cancer, tried homeopathy and natural remedies, and by the time he came back to sanity it was too late. There's being skeptical and cautious and avoiding unnecessary treatment, which is fine, but falling prey to woo and quackery is utterly different, and it's bad for society as a whole. For a more fun look at it: http://darryl-cunningham.blogspot.com/2010/05/facts-in-case-of-dr-andrew-wakefield.html http://darryl-cunningham.blogspot.com/2010/06/homeopathy.html
  18. After 13 years of Veganism, I couldn't disagree more. Dairy, eggs, & meat smell overwhelmingly disgusting, like the dirtiest barn. Don't even get me started on sea animal. Every time I smell eggs frying in butter or ham esp, my stomach starts turning inside out. Oh, my reactions have definitely changed too. Most of it is still fine, but every so often I'll get a smell that I used to love but now seems ... off. However, that doesn't change that when I was eating them, meat and dairy were delicious. I can totally understand people wanting to find an ethical way to keep eating them. Of course, as Richard said, that doesn't mean it's worth it when they can simply go vegan.
  19. +1 This, totally. Eating a bunch of faux meats and processed crap is totally different from eating tofu and even soymilk.
  20. Because meat and dairy are delicious. If I could eat them ethically, I would.
  21. Ooh, the Plinys are fantastic, but I never get them down here (Georgia). This weekend was a good one for beer. Had the North Coast Grand Cru, Hebrew Genesis 15:15, Jailhouse Smokey Wheat, New Belgium Belgo IPA, Shipyard Apple Head, and the Ass Kisser Vanilla Pale Ale. The Grand Cru was terrific. High gravity, but still refreshing, mostly sweet with a touch of sour bourbon. It's pretty crisp when cold, but tastes best just slightly chilled. The Hebrew 15 was pretty intense. Definitely tasty, but a slow-drinker. Heavy and dark with almost a smokey feel to it. I still have a 13 and 14 I've been keeping for a while.
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