Weekend Thoughts - 5.9.15

Image by  Erik Eckel , courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Image by Erik Eckel, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Happy Saturday y'all! I've got a well-rounded selection of links for you to read this weekend. 

1. Something that is hitting hard for me right now is the myriad controversies in nutrition science. Questions like "What is healthy food?" and "How much of it should I eat?" have been ricocheting throughout my brain this week. Quartz has a thought-provoking article on how the cult of healthy eating has more in common with religion than science. The piece's author, Alan Levinovitz, argues that nutrition science is difficult to research effectively, and he cautions his readers to not fall prey to healthy "fad" diet claims. I admit that I have tried many different types of "healthy" diets, to varying degrees of success. I make sure that I never put complete faith in any particular diet, and instead use the experimentation phases as a method for testing the diets for myself. However, I agree with Levinovitz's main argument - finding a truly healthy diet backed by substantial and trustworthy scientific evidence seems nearly impossible.

2. This Sriracha Avocado Chickpea Salad recipe from Healthy Slow Cooking looks scrumptious! After all, it's got three of my favorite things - Sriracha, avacado, and chickpeas!

3. New research has come out showing that there may be bacteria from fecal matter in beards. The findings essentially show that there are bacteria in beards that resemble bacteria found in the human gut. This may be because beard hair is coarser and can trap germs and grease more effectively. First of all, as a man with a beard, I have no plan to shave my beard. Second, I have to wonder if this is more germ and bacteria fear-mongering that will result in overall decreased immune function, rather than the reverse. After all, over sterilization is a thing.

4. One of my favorite video games, Portal, is being turned into a hyperdimensional pinball game. Pinball is one of my favorite arcade-style games, so the combination may prove to be entertaining. For those of you not familiar with Portal, it is a first person shooter game that has mind-bending puzzles in 3D space. Highly recommended. I may actually purchase the pinball version of the game - it's only going to be $2.99 for consoles, Mac, and PC, and $1.99 for mobile devices. The game will be released on May 25th.

5. A fellow Reality Sandwich writer, Bernardo Kastrup, was featured on one of my favorite podcasts last week: Lorenzo Hagerty's Psychedelic Salon. The topic is incredibly intriguing and this was an exceptional episode of the podcast that I just have to share. Bernardo describes the concept of a cosmic nervous system in great detail that resonates with me on several levels. Here is an excellent summary by Lorenzo:

"Today Bernardo Kastrup returns to the salon with more metaphysical speculations. Supplementing his recently released book, "Brief Peeks Beyond," he touches on the so-called hard problem of consciousness faced by materialists. In his examination of the dominant materialistic world view, Bernardo reveals the forces behind our value systems, which in turn determine our behavior. He ends with some very concrete suggestions for five things each of us can do to make the world a little better. However, my favorite section of this talk comes when he suggests that cosmic consciousness at-large may actually be experiencing what we humans call multiple personality disorder."

6. As an Apple fan, I enjoyed this brief piece titled One day they'll understand Apple on Ken Segall's Observatory. He argues that pundits that don't understand Apple's behavior in the present must look to its behavior in the past, as Apple is one of the most consistent companies in the technology industry. I agree with Segall's message here.

That's all for this edition of Weekend Thoughts. See you next time - and until then, keep thinking wilder.