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KyaryPamyu

Do you practice life-extension methods?

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Anti-aging studies are all the rage nowadays, and several experimental interventions were proven effective in extending mammalian lifespan (the class to which humans belong). Practices that work on humans include:

  • Drinking coffee
  • Drinking teas (green, red, black, hibiscus, ginseng, mint etc.) instead of plain water, due to their antiadipose quality and antioxidants
  • Intermittent fasting (IF) - having your meals in a restricted window of time, e.g. eating during an interval of 4 hours, fasting for 20 hours. While hunger levels and fatigue drop after months of consistent practice, elevation of ghrelin (the peptide responsible for hunger) increases the expression of BDNF, which heightens neuron proliferation in the brain area associated with learning and memory
  • Fasted exercise. Aerobics sessions deplete the glycogen from your liver and muscles, forcing the body to use its own body fat and labile proteins for energy. Resistence training (weight lifting) during a fasted state can increase HGL levels to exorbitant levels, preserving muscle and aiding the construction of new muscle tissue
  • 30-40% caloric restriction, or more (CR) - consuming all of your essential nutrients, but ingesting less energy (calories) than you burn in a day. This forces the body to cannibalize its old proteins for energy, making way for a faster production of new proteins (and as a result, slowing down aging). Hard to implement in a three-meals-a-day scheme, easy on one meal a day since it's difficult to overeat in a single sitting. In time, your body adapts to caloric restriction by increasing energetic efficiency, slowing down metabolism and decreasing core body temperature. Using less energy to run physiological operations, as well as spending less time assimilating food results in decreased production of free radicals, a major factor in aging. 
  • Methionine restriction (MR) - decreasing intake of the amino-acid methionine  (currently only practicable by moderating or eliminating consumption of animal products)
  • Protein restriction (PR). Generally, bodybuilders consume 1g of protein or more per lb of bodyweight everyday. This is the surest way to make your liver explode, even if you are healthy. For contrast, you can Google a powerlifter named Dr. Amen-Ra which maintains a muscular body on roughly half a gram of protein per kg (kilogram) of bodyweight.
  • Glycation restriction (GR) - reducing the process in which sugar molecules bind to bodily proteins, rendering them resistant to removal. Can be managed by reducing sugar intake, intermittent fasting, incorporating beans in your diet and supplementation with teas, spirulina, brewer's yeast, isolated amino acids, isolated soy protein
  • Cooking foods in ways that reduce advanced glycation end products (AGEs)
  • Supplementation with various substances: creatine, probiotics, cocoa, ginger, broccoli extract, glucosamine, resveratrol, curcumin/turmeric etc.
  • Stress management, including meditation
  • Reducing the time you spend sitting

I currently practice some of those but not others. For example, I still eat animal products, sugary sweets, moderate protein. I tend to skip morning aerobics due to lack of time and I don't really supplement with a lot of stuff. Reducing the time spent sitting is itself a challenge. But in my opinion, the things listed above are all worth a go as long as two golden rules are met:

1. There must be no dichotomy between what you want to do and what those practices entail. For example, a ketogenic/low carb diet can be a nightmare for most people, since it involves giving up on pancakes, bread, sugary foods and basically everything that is nice in the world. However, incorporating coffee and tea in your diet is something people would do regardless of any anti-aging properties.
2. Transparency and ease of implementation. The practices must not take away from the time you would otherwise spend enjoying other activities. For example, aerobic sessions can be a drag for most people, unless they combine health with utility. Brisk walking to your workplace (if it's not very far away) or to your nearby store is just as efficient as a walk in the park or on the treadmill. And people with busy schedules might be attracted to the prospect of freeing up their time by skipping breakfast/lunch and eating a kingly dinner when they get home, especially since fasting can allow them to eat 'bad' foods while decreasing their negative effects.

So what is your approach to health? Do you make provisions for your long term health? Do you prefer to live life now and hope for the best?

Edited by KyaryPamyu

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6 hours ago, KyaryPamyu said:

Drinking coffee

Interesting, I drink one large cup of coffee per day to help wake up.  I wasn't aware there was a study that suggests it might prolong life:

https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/news/20180702/can-coffee-extend-your-life#1

MONDAY, July 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Having a morning cup of java -- and another and another -- might prolong your life, a new study suggests.

In fact, drinking lots of coffee was associated with a lower risk of early death, including among people who downed eight or more cups per day.

And it's not the caffeine. To reap the benefit, it doesn't matter if your coffee is decaf or instant or caffeinated, the researchers said.

[...]

6 hours ago, KyaryPamyu said:

Drinking teas (green, red, black, hibiscus, ginseng, mint etc.) instead of plain water, due to their antiadipose quality and antioxidants

I don't drink teas, and I am skeptical about drinking tea instead of plain water.  I do drink plain water, perhaps around a gallon a day, and have been doing so for several years.

6 hours ago, KyaryPamyu said:

Intermittent fasting

On a normal day I eat two meals within an 8hr period then I don't eat another meal for 16hrs.  But in the morning I have coffee with some milk and at night I have red wine.  Perhaps this doesn't get the full effect of intermittent fasting, but the reason I started doing this is because I'm not hungry in the morning and don't gain an appetite until around midday.  I didn't find out that intermittent fasting was a "thing" until just recently.

7 hours ago, KyaryPamyu said:

30-40% caloric restriction, or more (CR) - consuming all of your essential nutrients, but ingesting less energy (calories) than you burn in a day. This forces the body to cannibalize its old proteins for energy, making way for a faster production of new proteins (and as a result, slowing down aging). [...]

About two years ago I reduced the number of calories of intake, and stopped eating breakfast.  I re-worked my diet and began vitamin supplementation to help make up for reduced number of meals.  If you burn more calories than you intake, you lose weight.  So there will be a balance between caloric intake, body mass, metabolism, nutrition, and overall health.  I suppose the process I underwent was "caloric restriction."

7 hours ago, KyaryPamyu said:

Methionine restriction (MR) - decreasing intake of the amino-acid methionine  (currently only practicable by moderating or eliminating consumption of animal products)

For many years I reduced how much beef I ate and opted for fish, poultry, and low-fat ham instead.  Again two years ago when I reworked my diet I changed that completely and I eat beef and hamburger regularly, and I've never felt better.  The studies that showed red meat was bad for health were wrong.  Healthy beef----ie. low in fat---is good for you and causes no cardiovascular risk.  High quality beef as in grass-fed and grass-finished beef is the best and most nutritious and is what I eat.  Personally I could never become a vegan, but I know many people who practice veganism say good things about it.  Yet, I question what diet they practiced before becoming a vegan.  If a person simply goes from an unhealthy diet to a healthy one, no matter what the healthy diet is, there would be a marked improvement in health.  Veganism is trendy right now---which is great---but I won't ever become a vegan.

7 hours ago, KyaryPamyu said:

Protein restriction (PR). Generally, bodybuilders consume 1g of protein or more per lb of bodyweight everyday. This is the surest way to make your liver explode, even if you are healthy. For contrast, you can Google a powerlifter named Dr. Amen-Ra which maintains a muscular body on roughly half a gram of protein per kg (kilogram) of bodyweight.

With the bodybuilding example there is likely a difference between processed protein as one would get in protein powders vs. eating protein from natural food sources.  I did the protein shake thing several years ago and I never felt sicker, but I find it hard to imagine that if someone were to consume the same amount of protein from natural food sources they would have such negative effects.

I see someone consuming large amounts of protein for bodybuilding as purpose-driven, but for an everyday lifestyle consuming such large amounts of protein might be unnecessary.  I'm skeptical about protein restriction to be honest.

7 hours ago, KyaryPamyu said:

Glycation restriction (GR)

I cut out consuming large amounts of sugar and sweets in general, for me it was to cut out unnecessary carbs.  Today I look forward to eating healthy meals as much as I used to look forward to sweets.  It took a while, but my appetite did adjust.

7 hours ago, KyaryPamyu said:

Supplementation with various substances: creatine, probiotics, cocoa, ginger, broccoli extract, glucosamine, resveratrol, curcumin/turmeric etc.

I stopped consuming almost all of the products that the fitness industry pushes and I've never felt healthier.  I am extremely skeptical about the benefits of these powders, their long-term effects, and the ingredients and minerals/metals they contain.  I supplement with vitamins, along with a healthy diet, and feel great.  If prolonging life is the goal, I just suggest that people do their research and consider what they are putting into their bodies.

7 hours ago, KyaryPamyu said:

Stress management, including meditation

I think this is the standout in the list.  It seems that it's a matter of pride in western culture to accept stress and endure.  Or accept stress and have a eustress balance.  Or other coping mechanisms.  But why not remove the stressor instead?  For me, that's been a priority in life for several years now and I've had a marked improvement in physical, emotional, and mental health.

National Geographic has a documentary that aired in 2008 that I found very helpful; Stress, Portrait of a Killer.  Though some of the studies in the documentary are questionable, it was a real eye-opener for me and since that time more studies have come out to suggest that stress is linked to several life-shortening conditions and diseases, including cancer.

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Life-extension methods? Certainly. I eat, breathe, sleep... most of those daily.

More generally, I think, I learn, I produce, I consume. All of those either aim to extend my life, in part, or do so as a happy byproduct.

8 hours ago, KyaryPamyu said:

Anti-aging studies are all the rage nowadays, and several experimental interventions were proven effective in extending mammalian lifespan (the class to which humans belong).

Most of what you mention I only engage in incidentally, like drinking coffee/tea -- not for the sake of "extending my life," per se; and I would consume them if there were not the current scientific link you mention; and i would consume them, most likely, if they had slightly deleterious effects.

Your questions get at the root of ethics, a question I've tried to address on this forum several times, though rarely to anyone's satisfaction. :)

8 hours ago, KyaryPamyu said:

So what is your approach to health? Do you make provisions for your long term health? Do you prefer to live life now and hope for the best?

I suspect I sit somewhere in the "excluded middle." I give some amount of thought to diet and exercise (and sometimes I even take action in the same direction), so that's a kind of "provision for long-term health," I believe, along with medical check-ups, etc. But I do not let my actions be dictated by long-term health concerns; to continue to use my long-running (or long-suffering) example, I yet eat ice cream on a semi-regular basis, and I plan to do so to the grave. I do so because my primary interest is not in forestalling or avoiding death, but living life.

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11 hours ago, KorbenDallas said:

I wasn't aware there was a study that suggests it might prolong life

I've only started drinking the stuff a few days ago, it gives me a nice kick though it will probably get tamer as my tolerance level increases. If you like the subject you can check out this meta-analysis of twenty studies.

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Just because something works on mice (that's usually what things like this are tested on) doesn't mean it works the same on humans. But still, it's more likely to work, than a more arbitrary suggestion, that hasn't even been tested on mice.  So yes, I do try to keep up with the latest studies, and adapt my lifestyle as much as possible.

That said, some of the stuff (even the stuff on your list) is contradictory. Drinking coffee and tea instead of water for instance contradicts the version of intermittent fasting you describe (it's specifically called time restricted eating)...because coffee and tea are foods. So you're not fasting, your body has to process even black coffee and sugar-free tea the same way it would process a chunk of ham. Water's the only thing that goes through the body unprocessed.

Restricting feeding to 10 hours/ 24 hours, in mice, had spectacular results. And this is acting on the metabolic cycle, which is shared between mammal species (carnivores, omnivores, herbivores, night creatures, day creatures, etc.). So it's probably one of the more worthwhile things to try. But you gotta be all in, you can't drink coffee or tea outside the 10-12 hours, it has to be water. It's explained why early in this video:  Scientist on Joe Rogan explains time restricted eating

I will make one more observation: once you get rid of the obviously bad foods (high sugar content for sure, many kinds of soy, for sure, low fat, pasteurized milk, for sure, certain vegetable oils, for sure, gluten with a high probability, processed meats ...I'm gonna say probably) the health effects most likely depend on the source of the food more than the kind of food you eat.

Meat from animals raised on conventionally grown grain and soy (crops are treated with weed and pest killers, some carcinogenic), then heavily treated with antibiotics and dewormers (because it's the only way to keep animals alive when they're bunched together in a cage, living in their own feces and cannibalizing each other) ...  isn't the same food as meat from animals raised to organic standards, out on pasture, being moved every day; which is all you need to do to keep them healthy, as a daily move breaks the parasite cycle.

The source is just as important with vegetables and fruit, to the point where it's likely not worth it to make exotic stuff shipped in from afar part of your regular diet, simply because there's no way of knowing how it was grown, and what was used on it. [note on fruits: a lot of fruits have been bred for high sugar content...their wild variants contain maybe 10% of the sugar a modern fruit does; the main exceptions are berries and nuts (even strawberries, surprisingly), those have not been bred as intensively in the past 10,000 years, and therefor contain a lot less sugar]

Edited by Nicky

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4 hours ago, Nicky said:

So you're not fasting, your body has to process even black coffee and sugar-free tea

Interesting. I practice a form of IF but only recently started incorporating coffee and tea. The opinions on this seem to be mixed, ranging from 'coffee will break the fast' to 'coffee enhances the effects of fasting'. The latter camp claims that coffee and teas enhance autophagy, one of the major mechanisms through which IF improves overall health.

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2 hours ago, KyaryPamyu said:

Interesting. I practice a form of IF but only recently started incorporating coffee and tea. The opinions on this seem to be mixed, ranging from 'coffee will break the fast' to 'coffee enhances the effects of fasting'. The latter camp claims that coffee and teas enhance autophagy, one of the major mechanisms through which IF improves overall health.

There are many fasting methods. I am talking strictly about restricted eating, where you restrict your food intake to anywhere under 12 hours/day. And even in this case, you can have all the benefits of coffee and tea...during those hours when you're eating. It's just that you can't drink them instead of water (because you wanna be drinking some sort of fluid when you're not eating, and non-flavored water is the only thing that doesn't cause enzyme production (doesn't start that 12 hour stage of your metabolic cycle when digestion is optimal).

And, again: the studies that show spectacular benefits from this kind of fasting were done in mice (in one study that comes to mind, it was mice that had their circadian rhythm messed with on purpose, to see if this is a good way to fix that problem so many people suffer from). Mice have much faster metabolism (they will eat far more often than large omnivores, if food is available), so a 14 hour fast for them could be far more impactful than it is for people. Unfortunately, there's just no way to empirically test this on humans for longevity, in a period shorter than a lifetime (which would be 100 years, if it actually works the way it does in mice).

As for other types of fasts, you just have to try it. Coffee and tea WILL cause hunger, rather than satiate it, in my experience. So if I fast, I'm strictly on water, because I find it easier. But it might work differently for you. This is my subjective experience (and other people's subjective experience), not proven fact.

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On 12/24/2018 at 7:09 AM, KyaryPamyu said:

While hunger levels and fatigue drop after months of consistent practice, elevation of ghrelin (the peptide responsible for hunger) increases the expression of BDNF, which heightens neuron proliferation in the brain area associated with learning and memory

Do you have a study to link about this?

On 12/24/2018 at 3:27 PM, DonAthos said:

I do so because my primary interest is not in forestalling or avoiding death, but living life.

I get what you mean, but I think it's easy to overrate or underestimate how good other things are. Sometimes it's a matter of routine and comfort. I like ice cream, but for the most part, I prefer something like sautéed broccoli with garlic. Or I might prefer a burger made out of salmon. Over time, these healthier things grow to be even more appealing than ice cream. I think it's important to remember that sometimes when you decide to do things differently, it introduces you to a way of living that you enjoy even more.

I don't follow these methods deliberately. But I kind of ended up eating only two meals a day between 11 AM and 7 PM. I drink almost only water, but sometimes I drink tea for my first meal. And a tiny snack at 10 PM, usually piece chocolate or a cookie. Mostly I just learned to be balanced with what I eat (sometimes acknowledging that I need to almost completely limit something to very rare special treats), and it really does work out pretty well. I find that three meals a day is just way too much. As long as you are aware of what you eat, I think that's what counts. Of course it can be more precise and specific, if I do make changes, make little words just to see how it makes me feel.

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On 12/26/2018 at 3:34 PM, Eiuol said:

...I think it's easy to overrate or underestimate how good other things are.

Of course; you're underestimating how good ice cream is, as we speak.

On 12/26/2018 at 3:34 PM, Eiuol said:

Sometimes it's a matter of routine and comfort.

Perhaps it is, sometimes, but 1) you shouldn't presume to speak for others and their values, and 2) you shouldn't act as though there's necessarily no value to "routine and comfort."

On 12/26/2018 at 3:34 PM, Eiuol said:

I like ice cream, but for the most part, I prefer something like sautéed broccoli with garlic. Or I might prefer a burger made out of salmon. Over time, these healthier things grow to be even more appealing than ice cream.

It sounds like you're describing a form of Stockholm Syndrome.

But seriously, you realize I have had broccoli before, right? And salmon. And burgers. I like all of those things just fine. (Though, all else being equal, if I'm having a burger it will be a burger -- and if I'm having salmon, it will be salmon. While I'm certain just about anything could be enjoyable if prepared correctly, a "salmon burger" sounds like an intrinsically poorer proposition than either of its basic constituents.)

I don't think you could possibly have taken me to mean that I only consume ice cream? But typically, no, when I eat ice cream, sautéed broccoli with garlic would not be a fitting substitute. And before you reply with something slightly dessert-ier like sliced apples, ultimately we have to realize that things are what they are. There's no 1-to-1: it's a matter of valuing things for what they are and choosing among them accordingly. I'm fully capable of weighing ice cream versus broccoli, or any other thing, according to my experience and information and as against my own standards. There are times and places where I prefer ice cream, and in those times and places, I choose it.

But the overarching point -- that which bedevils us across threads and years -- is that my standard of value is not longevity. Longevity is not a full accounting of "life." IMO, a rational person may select values which are actively and knowingly detrimental to longevity -- which bring on either an earlier death or some greater risk of an earlier death. "Ice cream" is a fairly superficial (though true-to-life and hopefully relatable) way for me to describe this, but it can run much deeper.

Consider Steve Irwin, the "Crocodile Hunter." He pursued a very dangerous vocation. It was reasonable for him to assume all throughout that he might well die far earlier than otherwise, for the fact of pursuing it. And of course, he did die quite early, at 44. But for that, I don't think his choices were irrational.

And while I know there are those who would try to extract some argument that, somehow, Irwin's choices could be interpreted as being somehow pro-longevity, I think it's an attempt to avoid the obvious: his choice of career made early death far, far likelier, and the results were not particularly surprising. But that choice of career was not in pursuit of the longest life, but the fullest (and what I would accordingly describe as the "best").

"Ice cream," though also a literal thing I am often happy to consume, is really more a stand-in for this basic approach -- pursing the fullest/best life, even at the potential cost of its length. The opposite, sacrificing the fullness of life for the sake of extending its length, ironically smells of death to me.

But I don't know -- would you have tried to convince Steve Irwin to be an accountant, instead, Eiuol? That "over time, these less-risky occupations grow to be even more appealing than the adventurous ones"? :)

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I Googled, "ice cream leads to shorter lifespan" but it didn't return anything.  What it did find were articles about obesity and life-shortening conditions resulting from obesity like diabetes and heart disease.  So, as predicted, ice cream itself doesn't shorten a person's lifespan.  If ice cream is an indicator of an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise, then it would be the unhealthy diet and lack of exercise that might lead to obesity, again not ice cream itself.  Desserts can be part of a healthy diet, and can certainly provide satisfaction and pleasure if one so chooses. 

But here again arrives the question:  Does someone necessarily have to choose a healthy diet to value their own life?  The short answer is: No.  What it means for someone to value their own life (in Objectivism) is for someone to take responsibility for their own life and to provide for themselves, without sacrificing others.  Beyond that what someone chooses to do with their life is up to them.  If someone like Steve Irwin wants to pursue a dangerous career, then as long as he's providing for himself and not sacrificing others then that's up to him.  (As an aside, I enjoyed his show quite a bit.)

Personally, I consciously made a decision that I value my life and I believe there is nothing after this life, so I wanted to live as long as possible.  It's a value that I chose and I have been making decisions to try to achieve it like diet and exercise.  But I enjoy dark chocolate and eat it everyday in moderation, with the occasional binge.  It doesn't conflict with my other values like diet, and I get to enjoy sweets as well.  Crocodiles, on the other hand, I should definitely stay away from them, I'd likely become their dessert.

Edited by KorbenDallas

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6 hours ago, DonAthos said:

and if I'm having salmon, it will be salmon. While I'm certain just about anything could be enjoyable if prepared correctly, a "salmon burger" sounds like an intrinsically poorer proposition than either of its basic constituents.

That just means you need to try my salmon burgers. :P

I'm not trying to argue that your value of ice cream is wrong or against your life, or even against longevity. It also depends on how much of it you eat. It's never so simple to talk about diet and all that, because there's so much to consider.

The idea I'm getting at is that values change. Even enjoyment can change. Your values aren't static, it's not as if you have one value hierarchy and that's it the rest of your life. The interesting thing about food is that there is a lot psychology and all kinds of variables that go into flavor. I've heard plenty of people say that when they eat more healthy meals (that is, being aware and cognizant of their meals and nutrition), they literally enjoy healthy foods more, and the other foods that the use to eat more of they literally enjoy less. Not because they are supposed to enjoy it less, or that it is self-denial, but the experience of these healthy foods transforms over time. Sometimes your experience with food entirely depends on how it was cooked, and the skill of the cook.

Longevity or pleasure are false choices. Most of the time, doing the things that lead to longevity are pleasurable. If the things that lead to longevity aren't pleasurable, that doesn't mean they can't become pleasurable. Sometimes even diminishing the intake increases the pleasure! If I have something too often, it gets boring.

Many of the methods discussed here are very appealing to me. Others aren't. Yet I know that many of these things help people feel naturally happier, healthier, and more energetic. Of course people vary, but in general, physiological wellness is psychological wellness. It probably also includes ice cream :)

 

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On 12/29/2018 at 7:10 AM, KorbenDallas said:

But here again arrives the question:  Does someone necessarily have to choose a healthy diet to value their own life?  The short answer is: No.

Absolutely right.

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What it means for someone to value their own life (in Objectivism) is for someone to take responsibility for their own life and to provide for themselves, without sacrificing others.  Beyond that what someone chooses to do with their life is up to them.

Yes, although: a person can be more or less rational, in selecting a standard of value, in evaluating particular things or actions against that standard of value, etc. Moral action is a bit more, perhaps, than refraining from sacrificing others.

A drug addict, for instance, who burns through a miserable, short existence (while only in this example destroying himself in the process, however unlikely that might be in reality) generally cannot be said to be "valuing their own life," either acting rationally or morally. (Might there be a proper context for this sort of behavior? There well might, though it would require a bit of invention to conjure. And other people may rightly use drugs with more or less reason in many contexts; in fact we classify an entire group of them as "medicine.")

Yes, what someone chooses to do with their life is up to them, but that doesn't mean we look upon all possible choices equally.

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If someone like Steve Irwin wants to pursue a dangerous career, then as long as he's providing for himself and not sacrificing others then that's up to him.  (As an aside, I enjoyed his show quite a bit.)

I enjoyed his show, too. And what little I knew about the man, I just liked him generally.

And while I agree that, so long as Irwin is not sacrificing others what he wants to do is up to him, again, I think that there's more to discuss. It seems to satisfy a political requirement, but with respect to morality we can yet ask, was Irwin right to pursue a dangerous career?

IMO, it's nearly impossible to answer this without being Steve Irwin, or at least without knowing him well. Values such as these are deeply personal. In part, that's what I'm pushing back against: this undercurrent among certain Objectivists that these sorts of choices (like one's degree of "healthy living") may be judged out of context. I think this typically comes from a too narrow conception of what "life" means, when considering "life as the standard of value." The thinking seems to go something like: 1) life is the standard of value; 2) a dangerous career stands to shorten one's lifespan; 3) a dangerous career is a disvalue. Thus, Steve Irwin must be immoral for knowingly pursuing a dangerous career.

But life is more than longevity, and based on what I do know about Irwin, and what I've observed, I'd say that his choice appears rational -- or at least that it might be. He certainly seems to have gotten a lot out of his vocation, in the time he had to do so.

As perhaps a shorthand for all of this, imagine a loved one. If that loved one was spiraling down a path of drug abuse, you might be concerned; in fact, you might try to intervene to some greater or lesser extent (even while recognizing that they are well within their "political right" to act as they do). Push come to shove, you might be motivated to some more drastic choice, like cutting ties, or etc., but altogether this would be a distressing and negative situation for all involved.

Now imagine that a loved one was a burgeoning Steve Irwin. You might experience some large measure of concern, here, too, watching your loved one travel paths most would dread -- but would you want to stop the next Irwin from emerging, for the sake of their "safety"? What is the heroic and the anti-heroic, here?

Indeed, I can rather imagine such a person pursuing accounting because they have been convinced (in error, I argue) that "longevity is the standard of value." That seems to me to be the sort of error that might plague a Randian hero in the first half of the book. And that I would hold to be the mistake -- that choice that might be argued against, that might call for some degree of intervention from friends and loved ones. Because knowing who they are, an extended career in accounting would be like a slow, agonizing, living death; the more moral choice for that person, perhaps ironically, may well be the more exciting-yet-dangerous path -- even if that would predictably lead to an earlier actual death.

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Personally, I consciously made a decision that I value my life and I believe there is nothing after this life, so I wanted to live as long as possible.

I also value my life and I believe that there is nothing after this life. However, "living as long as possible" is not my standard of value. There are choices I have made, and will continue to make, which are geared towards putting my experience of life, my enjoyment of it, it's "fullness," etc., above its actual span.

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It's a value that I chose and I have been making decisions to try to achieve it like diet and exercise.  But I enjoy dark chocolate and eat it everyday in moderation, with the occasional binge.

In largely the same way (though coming from a somewhat different direction, perhaps), I also pursue "diet and exercise" -- in moderation, with the occasional binge.

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It doesn't conflict with my other values like diet, and I get to enjoy sweets as well.  Crocodiles, on the other hand, I should definitely stay away from them, I'd likely become their dessert.

Agreed; I'm not Steve Irwin, either. Chocodiles > Crocodiles.

On 12/29/2018 at 8:44 AM, Eiuol said:

That just means you need to try my salmon burgers. :P

Deal. Let me know when you're in the PNW. (We have good salmon.)

Edited by DonAthos

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On 12/29/2018 at 5:10 PM, KorbenDallas said:

I Googled, "ice cream leads to shorter lifespan" but it didn't return anything.  What it did find were articles about obesity and life-shortening conditions resulting from obesity like diabetes and heart disease.  So, as predicted, ice cream itself doesn't shorten a person's lifespan.  If ice cream is an indicator of an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise, then it would be the unhealthy diet and lack of exercise that might lead to obesity, again not ice cream itself. 

Don't Google "ice cream", google the toxic and addictive ingredient in ice cream: sugar.

The dosage where sugar is chronically toxic depends on each individual, but the normal western diet should put you well above that dosage. On average, Americans eat 30 kg of sugar per year. That's 85 grams/day. It (added sugar) starts being toxic at a fraction of that.

If you buy processed food, from the store, and do not actively avoid foods that have sugar in them, you are exposing yourself to toxic levels of sugar, and are at significant risk for all those illnesses you listed. Doesn't matter how "healthy" you think your diet is. You cannot have a healthy lifestyle if you live in the West and you don't actively, religiously avoid food products that have sugar added to them.

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Desserts can be part of a healthy diet, and can certainly provide satisfaction and pleasure if one so chooses.  

Well that depends. If you define a dessert as a small dish that's meant to excite a person's taste buds, at the end of a meal, then sure. There's nothing unhealthy about that, whatsoever.

But if you define dessert as a delivery device for an addictive, toxic substance, meant to feed that addiction, then nope. And no, it's not likely that you are able to control that addiction, by keeping your sugar intake just below toxic levels each day. That's not how addiction works.

A few strawberries (50 g, let's say), with 4 g of natural sugar in it, fits into the former category. A medium sized strawberry flavored soda, on the other hand, is not a dessert, it's the delivery device your 40 grams of sugar (well above toxic levels) comes in. You haven't ordered it for the amazing flavor (or you would've had the strawberries), you ordered it because you crave the toxic doses of sugar you're addicted to. It's not meant to appeal to your taste buds. You would have to shove over a pound of strawberries down, to get the sugar hit you can gulp down in a minute, with a medium sized soda. That's why strawberries won't get you addicted (they can still make you somewhat unhealthy, especially if you mix them in with fruits and vegetables that have even higher levels of sugar, and decide to live on that, but they won't get you addicted to sugar, because they're not efficient enough delivery devices.).

Soda on the other hand unavoidably will get you addicted. Doesn't matter how "little" you drink. So will fruit juice, btw., especially orange juice...the sugar is "natural", but it's the same substance, and in similar doses, as in soda. So will solid sweets with extreme sugar content, like regular chocolate (anything below 80% dark), most ice cream (you can make ice cream without sugar, of course, but that's not what people eat), cookies, even things you might not consider "sweets" can have a lot of added sugar, that's masked with spicy, salty, vinegar or herb flavors. All fast food has sugar poured in the batter, breading, crust, burger, sauce, "salad", etc. by the bucketful.

People don't eat desserts and fast food for the taste (these days, with the rise of processed sweets) any more than they drink beer or wine for it. That's an evasion. The taste serves to make the toxin bearable to the taste buds, as they seek a high.

P.S. Chronic toxicity means that something is toxic if you consume it regularly. If you eat a pound of sugar in a sitting, the only effect will be temporary nausea. But if you eat 100g/day for 10 years, you're going to look and feel awful by the end of the 10 years, and will have increased your odds of an early death significantly. A good comparison would be to smoking. It's unclear that it compares favorably to smoking, actually. Could very well be worse, we just don't know for sure yet (because it's been studied far less, and because it's so much harder to reliably find test subjects who never consumed toxic levels of sugar, than it is to find non-smokers, to serve as the control).

Edited by Nicky

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Regarding fasting, I don't know if this was mentioned yet, but the longest medically observed and documented period of fasting (on NO CALORIE INTAKE, water and vitamin supplements alone) was 382 days. In that time, the 27 year old grotesquely obese patient lost 125 kg. More from the study:

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This patient weighted in 456 pounds (~207 kg) and weighted out 180 pounds (~82 kg). So, he lost 276 pounds (~125kg) during his fast. Five years after the fast ended, the patient’s weight has been constantly around the values of 196 pounds. A.B. had no ill symptoms during and after the fast.

Facts

Throughout the entire period of 382 days, patient A.B. consumed water and had taken vitamin supplements, yeast for the first 10 months, potassium supplements (Day 93 to Day 162), and sodium supplements (Day 345 to Day 355). Urine and blood collections were taken throughout the whole period of fasting. Fecal evacuations were infrequent in the later period of the fasting, as the time between stools was averaging from 37-48 days, as the researchers claim.

Results

Blood glucose decreased progressively in the first four months but it remained at 30mg/100ml onward. However, by the end of the fasting, the researchers have frequently seen values below 20mg/100 ml. The researchers say that “despite the hypoglycemia the patient remained symptom free, felt well and walked about normally”

 

 

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