Weekend Link Love – Edition 255

Weekend Link LoveResearch of the Week

Using a computer to simulate one second of human brain activity takes 40 minutes, 1 petabyte of RAM, and nearly 83,000 processors. Ray Kurzweil might be waiting a bit longer than he imagined for the Singularity to arrive.

In a recent observational study, having four or more caffeinated (but not decaf) cups of coffee per day was associated with the lowest risk of suicide.

Interesting Blog Posts

A couple weeks back, I discussed the saturated fat tax being proposed in New Zealand. Well, Professor Grant Schofield wrote a great blog response to it. Be sure to check out the comments (one of the NZ health experts proposing the tax chimes in – and gets politely trounced).

In the first of a body image series on Paleo Periodical, Tara Grant gives her thoughts on what paleo looks like.

I’d say this is a fair, balanced take on GMOs. Wouldn’t you?

Media, Schmedia

Drop whatever you’re eating, folks, and rush over to McDonald’s. You wouldn’t want to miss out on the cheapest and most nutritious food in human history, would you?

Now for some (real) good news: the obesity rate is dropping among poor children.

The world’s first lab-grown stem cell “burger” has been eaten. It’s “close to meat.”

How life in American may actually drive you insane. It goes much, much deeper than food or pharmaceuticals, unfortunately.

Everything Else

Sweat-working, a different kind of business networking that involves heavy breathing, exercise bikes, and (occasionally) spandex.

Do we really need diapers that analyze the protein contents of a kid’s urine? I can’t wait for the adult versions. Quantified Self conferences full of adults making crinkling noises every time they sit down, anyone?

How you might be able to tell people’s socioeconomic statuses by the kinds of toxins in their bodies.

A history of our love affair with sugar.

Recipe Corner

  • There’s really nothing quite so satisfying as a stew. Heck, even the name is satisfying to say: “stew.” Then you add “Caribbean Fish” on to that and get something really good going.
  • Turkey doesn’t get enough attention. Sure, it gets an entire holiday devoted to it, but what about the other 364 days? Now go on and make some Thai spiced turkey burgers to make up for it.

Time Capsule

One year ago (Aug 11 – Aug 17)

Comment of the Week

There are major health drawbacks to beer. That’s why I only drink grain alcohol and rainwater. One must protect one’s precious bodily fluids.

– Everyone should go watch Dr. Strangelove right now, if they haven’t yet. Fantastic movie.

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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55 thoughts on “Weekend Link Love – Edition 255”

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  1. The numbers cited are actually for 1% of a brain. So it would take ~2.5 days to simulate a complete brain.

  2. About this human brain simulation — if computational speed keeps increasing as it did for the past 40 year, rougly doubling each year, then: now it takes 40 minutes to simulate 1 second, which is 2400:1 ratio, then maybe it’s going to be 1200:1 in a year, 600:1 in two years, 300:1 in 3 years, … … … 1:1.17 in eleven years, 1:0.58 in twelve years.

    Well, it surely is more complex than this, but I think I made my point…

    1. Computational speed increase is governed by Moore’s law which roughly implies that the transistor count in cpu will double every 18 months. This has been true for the decades gone by and continue to be true. However this doesn’t guarantee an increase in computational speed per se …

      More cpu power doesn’t equal more cpu speed. Current generation of s/w applications or programming paradigm were built for single cpu or few multiple cpu execution and cannot take advantage of massively multi-core cpus. Also the current paradigm of programming doesn’t resemble brain networks (atleast physically).

      Brain network elements (neurons) do both computation and also storage (via interconnectedness to other neurons), whereas modern cpu follow an ‘intelligent’ design and relies on brute-force calculations.

      IMO, computers will take a long long time to reach anything resembling brain activity and it would be something like quantum/biological computers that achieve that based on vast interconnectivity and not via traditional brute-force style.

      1. That whooshing sound is everything you just said going wayyy over my head.

      2. The limitations of lithography that chip makers use is reaching it’s critical limits. Moore’s law will not be sustainable pretty soon unless they figure out a new process. Plus since about 22nm-14nm the payoff has become less and less for power and speed compared to size gained. Analog devices on a given chip are roughly staying about the same size as previous generations.

    2. …can process quickly…but can’t remember where it left the car keys…

  3. RE: the brain. Interesting photos, all that room needed for one percent/one second. 100% fits in our skulls, seems as though we had a better designer than the computer designers.

  4. I appreciate the fair and balanced article on GMO’s, but honestly, there was no need to establish hippie credentials. There are hundreds of pro-GMO articles written by scientists. Almost all of them are working to improve human life, including those that work for Monsanto.

  5. Oops, if this is for 1%, then it’s going to take 17 years instead of 11 to reach 100% real time.

    Our design definitely took some time. Computers are evolving a whole lot faster.

    1. In the past they measured it in room sized computers and every few years did the calculations again after learning a whole lot more about the brain and about computers.. I would not be surprised at all if in the future they have the computer power x40 and still state that it’s way shorter than a real brain can accomplish due to knowing more about its complexities.

  6. Synthetic meat… grown in lab. Missing taste, texture, missing fats and I’m pretty sure it’s missing micronutrients as well. I’m curious to see the side effects of such an abomination in 20/30 years from now.

    1. I’m sure it will be touted as the “cheapest, most nutritious” food ever, while paying no attention at all to the actual nutrition it contains (or lacks).

    2. Theirs too many people on the planet though, we’re going to have to find an adequate solution to feeding everybody soon.

      If they can synthesize meat that has enough regulations to ensure us that it is both healthy and safe to consume, I’ll be the first in line to eat it.

      1. Current regulations are here to assure us that soy, wheat, vegetable oils are safe. If you find a package of pure white fructose sugar you can read (at least here in Switzerland) “it gives you a boost of energy by restoring your reserves in your muscles”, and here in MDA we know that this is not true, fructose will just make your liver sick.

        I’d always be suspicious of everything regulations say, especially when there are economical interests behind. Grass fed meat has proven to be safe even since before humans walked on Earth, if it weren’t every animal would have evolved as an herbivore by now.

        Btw, I do not want to argue that feeding 10 billion people will soon be a problem, but the solution is not to eat synthetic, it is simply not to get to 10 billion people, or the next target will be to feed 20,

  7. The article with the rebuttal of the tax butter in NZ was really good. I have tried to explain to my parents several times how fat is not the culprit of heart disease or other modern diseases. They however do not want to believe me. My family has a rich history of CVD and the doctors always recommend a low fat diet, coupled with “healthy” rice and whole grains. They don’t want to go against what the doctor says.

    Too bad they only speak Spanish, wish your site had a Spanish version. Anybody in the community know any good Spanish primal/paleo sites? Or at least some good articles describing the role of inflammation in CVD and other related diseases?

    1. If they open it with google chrome, there’s a built-in translator.

  8. One reason I no longer trust nutritionists, doctors, and academic types to tell me how to live, is because a lot of them now seem fixated on advancing leftist ideology over doing actual sound science.

    Read the comments on the NZ post. Some “expert” chiming in goes on about greenhouse gases and sustainability.

    What the hell does he even know about environmental science, physics, engineering, and agriculture? Nothing, is the answer.

    Climate change being caused by greenhouse gases emitted by humans has been so thoroughly debunked by ACTUAL, HARD science, that when these dolts come out and lecture about how we should sacrifice to avoid climate change, they immediately lose credibility in my eyes.

    And, lets say we agree with them that climate change is an issue (which it isn’t), what is their solution?

    Tax us. Ban things, regulate us. That’s right, these “brilliant” ever-creative researchers always have the best solution to every social problem: force us into compliance with their social engineering through the strong arm of Government.

    Man, Im glad my family moved to the US instead of NZ from the former USSR. At least here the Supreme Court still has enough sense to block this kind of nonsense, as with the “large soda cup” ban in NY.

    The researchers in New Zealand are full on morons, and they are also, in rheir stupidity, advancing a Marxist agenda of control and authoritarianism. It’s not enough to issue their misguided speculation dressed up as “science,” no. They have to FORCE everyone to comply with threat of government taxation.

    People laughed when the idea of a breathing tax was suggested, but that day may be closer than we think.

    1. +1
      I live in NZ and some of us are getting pretty sick of these idiots trying to control us!

    2. Your tinfoil hat seems to be leaking brain juice.

      Also, you pay less taxes than any other industrialized country, and less taxes than have been paid by Americans in 90 years. WTF is this “Marxism” you’re crying about?

      1. America has the highest corporate tax rate in the first world. The government collectively controls over a 5th of the economic output of this nation. It spends at an astronomical rate on social programs that do not work effectively.

        At the same time, the government picks winners and losers by allowing companies like General Electric to get away with paying no taxes for years on end, while levying steep taxes on other companies.

        Do you know what companies do when you levy more taxes on them? They pass it on to the customers by raising prices of goods.

        The government attempts to manipulate economic activity and the choices of individuals by making it harder to acquire some goods, over others. The Saturated fat tax is just one example of this in New Zealand. Another would be subsidies to companies like Solindra (now bankrupt) or grain production.

        In a free market economy, market forces should dictate what products and what companies make it, not government intervention based on an ideological view.

        There are many, many examples of government blatantly overstepping its constitutional mandate, and you can find these through google. Everything from the TSA, to fourth amendment violations performed by cops on a regular basis. Protestors are often brutally put down by police in riot gear. The media is corrupt and selectively covers issues to censor truth (Benghazi, fast and furious, etc.)

        America is fast becoming a police state, run by unelected bureaucrats and horrendously complicated regulations enforced at the barrel of a gun.

        I am not a tin foil conspiracy theorist. Labeling me such is a knee jerk reaction on your part. Perhaps you should stop and think: why are so many people who fled Marxist countries as my family has, of a similar viewpoint? Perhaps it’s because, having seen tyranny and Marxism first hand, we can clearly see the signs of its onset.

        As far as climate change is concerned, it’s just another scheme to control people. Look at the laws being passed and the mountains of regulations, the dogmatic rhetoric of “science is settled” and it becomes apparent what the real goal is.

        Google Svensmarks theory of climate change. Dr. Svensmark, a Danish scientist, has developed a new theory that shows how climate is actually driven by cosmic ray activity. His theory is well supported and peer reviewed, and it’s significance in understanding climate change is on the order of plate tectonics.

        I am honestly shocked at the simple-mindedness of people. On the one hand, here we are on a blog espousing the idea that artficial, processed foods are bad for us, because people don’t understand enough about the body to do a better job than nature. Here we are advocating natural, non-GM foods because humans can’t play god.

        Yet, in the same breath people readily demand something be done about the climate. As if passing some legislation or banning some thing is going to lead to global changes in climate.

        How naive must you be, to think Man has the power to play God with the planets climate. We can barely predict the weather accurately. Accurate climate data only became available when we started launching satellites into space.

        And yet people cling to this notion that Co2 emissions from humans are somehow going to change the climate.

        It’s nonsense, and what people don’t realize, is that by banning and taxing the use of fossil fuels, they are only harming the economy. This in turn slows the rate of technological progress. Progress that will inevitably lead to better alternatives to fossil fuels.

        Overpopulation is another myth of the statist, intended to make people comfortable with submitting to government control.

        The planet is a largely uninhibited, untamed wilderness, yet people are led to believe there is a problem with overpopulation. Quite the opposite. If you live in a crowded city, you might conclude that the entire world is like this. It’s not. The Earth, as of today, can best be described as an untamed wilderness dotted with cities and settlements.

        What we do have, is urban overpopulation, especially in places like China and India. This is not a product of too many people, but of not enough infrastructure combined with people bunching up in small areas. This is entirely an artficial problem, created by uneven land distribution. On the one hand you have RUSSIA, 1/6th of the worlds land mass, with fewer than 300 million people. On the other you have Israel, a strip of land the size of New Jersey with millions of people.

        What we need is to spread out and build more cities and areas to live in.

        We don’t because of economic reasons. To put it simpy, we have a TON of resources and room to expand on the planet, and at the same time, advances in technology will lead to the ability to better use those resources, and to both fit and support more people in less space.

        The actual carrying capacity of Earth is probably in the trillions, not billions, and that will be in the distant future when we will have a god like mastery of technology.

        So, stop with the doomsday crap. We do not need to reluinquish more of our rights to the government, as much as they make us think we do. Quite the opposite, what we need is for every country to embrace free market capitalism, and build free and open societies. Only then will we reach our true potential. Freedom unlocks human potential. Freedom creates wealth an prosperity, and a powerful, booming economy which is the engine of technological progress and innovation.

        This is a fact of human existence. It is what people in the former USSR that fled to America learned first hand. It is why we came here.

        To see the developed world commit cultural and political suicide and embrace Marxism is just depressing, because there is nowhere left to run.

        If I wanted an egoistic academic to tell me how to live my life and what kind of food I have the right to eat, I would move to North Korea.

        I will leave you with a sobering thought.

        Most of the people that planned the final solution, the extermination of the Jews, where scholars and academics with PhD’s.

        Never let anyone tell you how to live your life. You as an individual are responsible for your health, your wealth, your lifestyle, and your future (as well as that of your family).

        The day a guy with a college degree and a title in front of his name starts mandating, through the strong arm of government, how much of your wealth you can keep, what sort of food you can eat, the car you can drive, the place you may live, the amount of energy you may use or whether you can own firearms, is the day you will wake up a slave to someone else.

        I would rather die than be enslaved, and I’ll be damned if I’m paying a tax on Saturated fat, Co2 emissions, or any other such nonsense.

      2. Marxism is a belief system manifested by socialism. We don’t need to have complete government ownership of the means of production in order for folks who would like to spread their belief system to be advancing their agenda. So while you use ad hominem arguments to disparage people who don’t agree with you, you cannot deny the direction in many countries toward more government control of people and resources.

  9. “Climate change being caused by greenhouse gases emitted by humans has been so thoroughly debunked by ACTUAL, HARD science”

    Really? Prove it. Copy and paste links showing this is true. Incidentally, how well read are you regarding biostats? Just because a “study” was done, doesn’t prove that it was a well designed, or even accurate, study. I don’t feel like message board fighting, so please, provide evidence that supports your claims.

    1. The climate change denier’s quote is akin to the statement about McDonald’s burgers.


    2. Well Kelly, I must agree with you, but not for the standard reasons you think are underlying human-caused climate change. Humans definitely are changing the climate, but it is occuring through massive, illegal and undeclared geoengineering via aerial spraying on a worldwide scale.

      Personally, I am staggered to see how divorced from and clueless humanity is to this reality. Look up in the sky–often, from morning to evening. Do you actually believe those are clouds coming out of all those high-altitute jets criss-crossing major urban areas, leaving a checkerboard of “contrails” that meld into a silver soup where once there were blue skies and fluffy, cumulus clouds? (I should know, I live in one of the most heavily sprayed cities on earth.) What are those whispy, sickly cloud imposters made of?

      Well, that soup is made up of nanoparticles of aluminum, barium and strontium. Don’t believe me? Take a lock of your very own hair and have a lab test done for heavy metal concentrations. It’s not that expensive.

      Then maybe you will see what is really going on and you will stop buying the propaganda and stop browbeating others about not buying into the lie of “global warming” and start rallying those about you to the frightening reality that your fellow humans are–secretly but yet right under our proverbial noses–playing God with our climate and ultimately with life on this beautiful planet.

    3. Are you familiar with Svensmarks theory of climate change? His work is experimentally supported by CERN, peer reviewed, and readily available for anyone interested to read. He even has a documentary available on youtube where he explains the theory, and the mechanism that drives climate change.

  10. The modern world definitely leaves us depressed. Finally we are connected enough to see our leaders are corrupt and most of our jobs are meangless, low pay and probably highly temporary. Almost nothing is what it seems just like Conevtional Wisdom. We look for meaning in work and life and there is none so we earn a bare living by sucking ass at job that need not exist. Causing slow insanity.

  11. Love the article about sugar. My advice to anyone wanting to live better is to ditch sugar immediately. Just this simple step can do miracles.

  12. I also wouldn’t underestimate exponential growth of technology/computers.

    Re: coffee – I don’t really understand kinda biased view leaning to coffee (ab)use on this site. There are so many conflicting studies about it and also some people just don’t handle it very well. Reading this site gives me the impression that coffee is good for me but my body and mind both disagree in the long term. Also, can’t imagine regular grok having the amount of caffeine of even 1 cup every day. That said, it’s damn hard NOT to drink. Another reason to be suspicious of it. Addiction much?

  13. It was interesting to see the sugar story framed around not only my home town, but also the school I attended for two years. (It was a middle school at the time, 30 years ago.) I don’t remember any coke machines when I was there, and certainly no pop tarts, so things obviously went the wrong way for a while. It’s impossible for me to imagine why an elementary school would ever need a coke machine, but perhaps that’s more the norm these days than I care to believe.

    When I was there, the cafeteria food was processed and plain, but palatable – fish sticks, tater tots, a carton of milk and plenty of ketchup – not what I’d eat today but at least my metabolism remained in tact until I was much older. I think southern cooking in general exists on the limit of what a body can handle, so it’s no surprise that under current dietary guidelines, the delta leads the world in obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc. It probably always has. (Though I suspect that the climate plays a large role in those statistics as well as diet – summer in the Mississippi delta, with it’s suffocating humidity, is one of the most stressful environments you can imagine.)

    Nonetheless, it’s a well-written article and it’s comforting to see these stories more and more in mainstream publications.

    1. ‘Southern cooking’ is not why the deep South is fat; it’s systemic poverty, a love of soda (sweet tea’s evil cousin), and old-fashioned racism (apathy coupled with lack of resources). Poor people choose between bland supermarket fare or fast food, made affordable off the backs of other poor people who work these industries and most likely do not make a living wage. Southern cooking, on the other hand, is delicious, and can easily be primal-ized.

      1. So, you’re saying that southern food is good for you, once you take out all the bad stuff. Therefore, racism.

        Sorry, but drawing a distinction between ‘southern’ food and ‘poor’ food tells me that you either a) have never spent much time in the south; or b) picked up a pair of the extra strong blinders at the denial store.

        And I don’t recall the cafeteria at Kirkpatrick serving different food to the white kids.

        Yes, it is surprising how many po’ folk manage to die from diseases of affluence, but sometimes the rich folk, they eat bad too.

  14. The future looks particularly Orwellian when, besides all the usual madness, people are already pushing test-tube hamburger upon us.

    Can you say “conditioning” anyone?

  15. Made the Caribbean Fish Stew tonight. Quite tasty! The wife gave it a thumbs up so it is going in the “keep-recipe” file. Thanks!

  16. The stem cell article raises a good point though. Good meat is hard enough to come by now; what will we as a community do if a crisis raises prices to, say, $20/lb?

  17. Re: the McDouble:

    Trade Joe’s peanut butter is $2.50. No added ingredients. Roughly 2,000 calories. Trumps the hell out of a McDouble. (I know a bunch of people on here don’t eat peanuts, but if you had to choose between peanuts and fast food…)

    1. I see no difference. Peanut butter is made from peanuts, which are legumes. McDonalds burgers are made from grain-fed beef and assorted corn-derived additives. At least with the burger, I would be getting some SFAs. Of course I would be ditching the bun.

  18. Well, having the percentage of poor children obesity decreasing is great. Although fast food is cheap it is a problem for obesity in children. As well those recipe sound pretty good, I might check that out. Also having 4 cups or more of coffee a day seems pretty extreme although, interesting to know that it lowers the rate of suicide.