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"I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates,

"who said, 'I drank what?'"

I have come across claims before that all-natural products, at worst, cannot be bad for you. My favourite version of this was on an infomercial, where the host prefaced his pitch for some dietary supplement with the disclaimer, "Now I'm no doctor, but...". At least he was honest about that much.

Recently, I've been seeing articles pushing respberry ketones (complete with clickable ads for the stuff) written or backed by popular doctors, like the man behind the curtain, Dr. Oz. Should it surprise anyone that their argument for the absolute harmlessness of something for which they have conducted no serious human trials or long term studies might as easily justify drinking cyanide or hemlock?

Every version of the Hippocratic Oath I have read, one of which most doctors and med schools will at least pay lip service to, says something like, "Do no harm." But what about when you have no idea whether or not your advice might ultimately harm people? Apparently, that means you should profiteer to the best of your ability until real scientists say otherwise.


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More Political Notes

-Rick Santorum seems a somewhat likeable guy who believes several crazy, distasteful things. It may not be helpful to say his ideas are nuts, but it still is less useful to fashion him an evil man because his discriminatory views don't jive with the left, centre, or centre-right in America.

-Calling a person a 'front runner' before votes are counted is just plain wrong.  Calling one a front-runner after some votes are counted is slightly misleading.  The race isn't about who the media thinks is ahead, and it is only indirectly about who gets the most votes.  What really matters is accruing the most delegates.  In the race for a major party's nomination for POTUS, the guy with the most delegates-who-will-actually-vote-for-him-at-their-national-convention is ahead. If no delegates have been awarded, there isn't really a front-runner, no matter what polls might say.

-I doubt the primary process will hurt the eventual Republican nominee for POTUS all that much.…

Pointless Ruminations on the Absurd

The world around us is in no way required to conform to our expectations, beliefs, or desires. Rather, it is all but guaranteed to disappoint us, at least once or twice a lifetime. The loftier (or more deeply felt) our ideals, the more this may be true.

When we accept this incongruity and are keenly aware of it, but cannot change our thinking, absurdity steps in. The world no longer quite makes sense. It is untethered from rational or moral concerns, adrift in a bizarre joke told by no one.
Desire for normative order is often irrational and misplaced. Placing ethical constraints on amoral matters makes no sense. Yet these appear (sometimes, seemingly) inescapable conclusions. Hence the sensation of absurdity.

We can apply these incongruous demands to anything and anyone. But this is not a universal philosophy. It is a philosophy of the self, a diagnosis.

Magical Unrealism

The same men who say global warming is a hoax, Obamacare has been failing for eight years, and abstinence-only sex-ed works are also convinced even basic gun control is an impossible and useless approach which would only make us less safe. These are also the dudes most likely to tell you black and brown folk have it too good, Obama is a secret Muslim born in Kenya, and Sharia law is being forced on American legal systems. I wonder if there's some sort of overarching thread or theme to all this.