Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Are Sugar Highs a Myth?

Are sugar highs a myth? Experts say yes but parents say no. I've known parents to point out when their child is hyper after eating sugar as "evidence". But ignore every time their child consumes sugar and don't get a high, or are hyper without eating sugar. So I'll trust the experts on this one.

Also read about other parenting superstitions like the myth of teething pain.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Hillary Clinton's

Hillary Clinton changed her views on gay marriage, the War in IraqMarijuana LegalizationNAFTA, and Illegal Immigrants. So when someone asks Quora why some people find Trump trustworthy or honest, I have to wonder why they think Trump is so special in this regard. (Also the top answer is good).

Of course, when our candidate does it their "views are evolving". When their candidate does it, they "flip flopped"

Monday, September 26, 2016

Is America Conscious?

Eric Schwitzgebel thinks the United States might be conscious. Apparently, the criteria mind-researchers typically give for consciousness applies quite well to the United States. We find it unbelievable because of our bias that two consciousnesses cannot be nested within each other.

Reminds me of...

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Water with a Lime

A starbucks barista asked how we charge for limes when someone asks for a water with a lime.

I told them that I don't charge for the lime, because some costs sufficiently negligible that it's not worth the cost to the brand, or worth the diminished repeat visits to charge. The average Starbucks customer comes in  six times per month. Turn that six into a five because you wouldn't give them a lime, and you've just done a horrible financial disservice so your store.

This isn't the first time something like this has come up. The overarching trend among baristas is for them so feel personally taken advantage of when a customer does something that "cheats" the company out of money - like splitting a venti iced drink into two full tall iced cups. These baristas often rationalize their feelings of injustice with short time horizon calculations, without considering that the brand is the most powerful mechanism Starbucks has going for it.

CEOs understand the cost of being penny wise and pound foolish, baristas do not. I doubt this is a coincidence.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Are Sugar Highs a Myth?

Is sugary high a myth?

As father of a two year old, I have to listen to ridiculous parenting superstitions. "He's hyper, did you give him any sugar?" No, but if I had would that be evidence that a lack of sugar causes hyperactivity?

Sleep is the ultimate throwaway explanation. Sleep is the explanation for his energy whether he got a lot of sleep or very little. If he got a lot of sleep then that just gave him all the energy in the world. If he didn't get much sleep, then that's why he's so loopy and silly; he's trying to keep himself awake.

So I'm not surprised to find plenty of evidence that sugar highs are a myth.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Lack of Power to Cause to Be

Sometimes I imagine a debate over whether God created the heavens and the earth.

The negative side says, "God could not have create the heavens and the earth, because God doesn't exist
The positive side says, "Yes, we agree that God doesn't exist, but I believe that God still created the heavens and the earth."

This seems quite ridiculous. Things that don't exist don't create the heavens and the earth.

But at least we can debate whether God exists to create the heavens and the earth. We know that non-existence never exists. Non-being is a lack of existence and therefore a lack of existence of power to cause to be. So when the debate becomes over something else, like whether God exists, the possibility that we came from nothing should be excluded, for the same reason the possibility that the non-existent God created the heavens and the earth should be excluded.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Using the Right Tribal Signals

I was very impressed when I read SlateStar's non-fiction writing advice
Figure out who you’re trying to convince, then use the right tribal signals 
For example, when I’m trying to convince conservatives, I veer my signaling way to the right. I started my defense of trigger warnings with “I complain a lot about the social justice movement”. Then I cited Jezebel and various Ethnic Studies professors being against trigger warnings. Then I tried to argue that trigger warnings actually go together well with strong versions of freedom of speech. At this point I haven’t even started arguing in favor of trigger warnings, I’ve just set up an unexpected terrain in which trigger warnings can be seen as a conservative thing supported by people who like free speech and don’t like social justice, and opposition to trigger warnings can be seen as the sort of very liberal thing that people like Jezebel and Ethnic Studies professors support. The important thing isn’t that I convince anyone that trigger warnings are really on the right – that’s a tall order – but that the rightists reading my argument feel like I’m working with them rather than against them. I’m not just another leftist saying “Support trigger warnings because it’s the leftist thing and you should be leftist and everyone on the right is terrible!”