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Blather -- The True Enemy of Progress

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Blather -- The True Enemy of Progress
**********

Date: 2013-06-20, Thursday

Today's Thoughts:
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emoticon Blather & The Dwindling Signal to Noise Ratio – S2N

Long before the Internet and web achieved their ubiquity, there was a growing problem in the “information age”. The Internet and web has only exacerbated that problem! The problems follows a true exponential growth path!

And, the problem is?

Well, the usual answer is that people are having problems with the information explosion. This may be an issue, I don't doubt that.

However, the real issue, IMHO, is blather. BS. Misinformation. Disinformation. Outright forkin' lies. Purportedly valid information. In brief, the signal to noise ratio (S2N – en.wikipedia.org/
wiki/Signal-to-noise_ratio
) is getting weaker all the time. Research psychologists have known for a long time that S2N greatly affects humans' ability to process information (think, learn and act on data and knowledge) ( en.wikipedia.org/
wiki/Detection_theory
.

And, we are all guilty of it. Including me. Any time we assert that we know that something is of importance to another person, even if the underlying facts are correct, we may be committing a heinous act of blather. Rhetoric training lends itself to that. We are taught, in school when we are writing essays to assert! Not, “think”.

But, this is not the heart of the problem, IMHO. The problem is: (a) The assertion of facts as truth, when scientific evidence establishes, as clearly as anything can establish, that the assertion is untrue. Or, (b) “Science” is invoked as justification for a methodology or program, when either there is no such scientific research, or the research is either invalid or inconclusive. Let me be clear. “Scientific” models (theories) are NOT important – no matter how renowned the “scientist”. Only models that have been appropriately verified by appropriate, controlled empirical research are valid.

emoticon Many “doctors' diets” fall into the category defined by “(b)”.

emoticon I read a lot of blogs on SP. There are many fine people who are effectively (and not so effectively) using what they consider to be scientifically verified diets, nutrition programs, fitness programs, and wellness directions. While they may work for a specific user, or for a time, most folks, even at SP, who espouse a specific diet or program really don't know what they're “talking” about. In many cases, they go even further and “raise” the program to the level of a religion.

You can find out what I think about religious references on SparkPeople, here: www.sparkpeople.com/myp
age_public_journal_individ
ual.asp?blog_id=5249840


Data Points:
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emoticon Weight: 186.5. Up slightly, again, since yesterday. I'm getting less concerned about this. In looking at the calf muscles in my legs, I clearly am putting back significant muscle by walking that I had lost while I was only using the stationary recumbent bike. If this keeps up, I may have to revise my goal weight up. This may be especially true once I have recovered from the arm/shoulder surgery and I can begin weight lifting, again.

emoticon Sleep, Last Night: 7.0 hours. Felt great, again! Fitbit seems very good at removing the awake time required by “prostate issues”.

Ear plugs really worked. I didn't even hear my wife come in this AM.

emoticonFitBit Stats, Transferred to SparkPeople, automatically (as of 10:20 PM):
* 181 minutes (66.67 of this was a continuous hike over uneven ground.)
* 930 calories of exercise (out of 2463 shown on dashboard); 1079 total with other exercises
* 4.6 miles traveled
* 17 floors climbed
* 9,802 steps.

(Quite frankly, I still don't understand which of the minutes and calories are transferred to SP fitness, and which are just part of BMR.)

emoticon Isometric Abs: 40 minutes.

emoticon Right Shoulder/Arm Exercises: 4 exercises x 40 reps x 2 sets

emoticon Calorie Budget Adherence, Yesterday: 350 calories, over. Calorie budget raised today (by Fitbit?). Well within bounds.

Nits & Grits
----------

emoticon Tomorrow is D (doctor) Day. I see the surgeon to see whether my goose, or arm & shoulder is cooked. emoticon | emoticon

O+O

Lee emoticon

------

Need to meet new people with new ideas and perspectives?

***Sure, you do*** emoticon

On what?

Life, nutrition, fitness, wellness, humor, culture ... gezortenplatz emoticon

SP Diversity emoticon

www.sparkpeople.c
om/myspark/groups_individu
al.asp?gid=59617


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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATHEMARIE 6/21/2013 4:27PM

    emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 6/21/2013 12:46PM

    Actually doctors and other medical people don't even know the truth any more either. LOL. Bad science has become the norm. Some grad study, under the cover of a big research facility who is taking money from big business to come up with a certain result, does a study on 5 rats and practically the next day the results are published as fact. A bunch of paper shufflers study some data and decide that drinking water causes cancer because lots of people who drank water got cancer. They don't look to see what other circumstances were present. Everyone embraces every tiny worthless study that comes out - especially if it suits their own thoughts and needs. The detractors point out right away that the study is flawed and not based on the scientific method but no one sees those. I've come to the point that I try to think what makes sense and what makes sense is some things like exercise, drinking water, eating natural minimally processed clean food are no brainers. Adding things that should not be into our food and water supply are inherently not a good idea. Headlines like: "(Insert food here) causes cancer " tend to make me wary.

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GOANNA2 6/21/2013 9:19AM

    Great blog.

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MOTLORAC 6/21/2013 2:08AM

    So much covered so well. Thanks, it truly is ridiculous how much blather they try to put over on us. but really what is gezortenplatz.
Thanks,
Tom
SP Diversity
emoticon


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