Which Diet?

Introduction.

Perceptions of diet in the Western World have changed in half a century.

One result is a confusing mass of information, from both valid and invalid sources.

Some opinion has evolved in scientific institutions, with the implied credibility of that origin. Some has been evolved by charlatans, both within and without the field of journalism.

Those philosophies originating within scientific institutions, and dutifully perpetuated to the medical and dietetic professions often had dubious origins, some frankly wild guesses.  Some of the claims to statistical certainty must be taken with caution, and there are suspicions that BigPharma has been responsible for some distortions of that process.

Much advice about food appropriate for health has been given. Much of that has been based upon (often marginal) statistics. Many are deduced from self-reporting surveys. However the variables are so great that it is impossible to accommodate these into meaningful statistics. A few of these variables include quantum of food, types of mixtures of food, frequency of these foods, plus multiple variables related to micro-nutrients ingested simultaneously, and more.

What is the Aim of this Booklet?

The aim is to try to give a better understanding of some of the reasons behind eating patterns, and perhaps clarify the perplexing variety of opinion about diet.

This attempt to rationalise is not scientific precision.  This is not peer reviewed but critical responses will be welcomed.  This might not resist the rigor of an editor.  These are simply observations intended to spur thought and look laterally.

Abundant food

Abundant food is now available (in the Western World), in contrast to the period before World War two. Up to then the amount of food was limited and choice even more so. Previously many were lucky to go to bed with a full stomach. Since 1946 food production per capita has increased by 40%.

Since then, and this is recent past, almost unlimited food has become available to most, and the choice of food increased by huge factors. Further the food industry, which includes the retail market and multiple extensions such as the packaging and advertising. Pre-prepared foods have become standard, and recreational eating has become part of daily life, and the economy. Agricultural practices have changed, and new cultivars have become available in a way previously unimagined.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the influence of abundance on choices, increased disposable income and consequently on health are profound.

Can Optimal Diet vary with Context?

Biologically it seems likely that diets were driven by the context in which parcels of humans lived prehistorically. This allowed a slow adaptation of varied human groups, with their varied cultures Migration was probably slow and limited, which allowed an adaptation to the context of habitat, and to modify the biology.

Economics of Food.

Like Big Pharma, Big Food began to dominate and control diet in the present era. Powerful tools of advertising, preservation and immediate availability, have altered human dietary behaviour in the 20C.

Not surprisingly some people are now perplexed. Some have developed concern at the change of disease patterns and the changes in appearance.

Pathology and Ill-health

It is true that obesity has existed throughout history, but this was the exception, just as wealth and finery were exceptional.

However these alterations in human biology towards obesity are now becoming the norm, as are the illnesses and deaths of affluent excess.

What Sources of Information are Available?

When in doubt, it has been said, look in the instruction book. The instruction book for  animals (including the human)  exists in the animal. It is the inclination to eat some foods and the abhorrence of others.

The changes of context and the deviations from the “natural” have now left us without the instruction book. Therefore, one step back is to consider the design specifications.

Design Specification.

Unfortunately the animal-machine-design did not make provision for the possibility of limitless food, or great food variety, or changes cultivars.

Since selection by appetite is probably flawed, and one is left guessing (somewhat) about the design specification. That is what is addressed here.

But before that, if one wants to live longer, the method has been (scientifically) available for the better part of a century. Simply, eat less. Eat less than your appetite drive. Eat less than your cohorts.

If one wants to reduce the chance of cancers, eat less smoked preserved food.

But let us look at design. Suppose humans were to be designed from scratch, which fuels (i.e. foods) should be selected, bearing in mind the limitations of availability, and knowing that the human is a mobile device with defined functional requirements and a limited life-span? Consider these options, and consider how they fit with current eating patterns:

Fat is probably the most desirable and quintessential choice of fuel-food for humans. Fat has the highest calorific gain per unit mass of all foodstuffs whilst it has a low energy cost for ingestion and digestion. It is the most cost effective source of energy.  Fat is the supreme appetizer, driving the animal to eat it.  Yet fat has powerful negative feedback mechanisms.  Therefore, although fat stimulates appetite it also produces satiation relatively rapidly. Rapid satiation allows food to be spread to the entire pack, in keeping with expectations of le milieu exterior which demands survival of the group, not the greedy individual. However the satiation effect of fat can be strongly altered by salt.  Therefore, salted fat and perhaps salted protein can become “compulsive” foods, inducing the eater to keep eating until gorged.  So we have yet another factor, the “additions” to food which induce compulsive feeding, prompted by those intent on making money out of food. Fat carries essential vitamins, and is therefore an essential to the diet.

Protein is probably neutral tasting without the fat and salt: is not particularly palatable and does not have the “addictive” quality of carbohydrate. But it contains “essential” components which the human cannot manufacture, including amino-acids and vitamin C (curiously a “water-soluble” vitamin). It is also firmly mechanically bound to fat, and often inseparable from it.

Carbohydrate, was probably not particularly attractive to early humans.  Yes, I know that some carbohydrates, the sugary carbohydrates, are exceedingly attractive today.  But in primitive societies, all carbohydrates were not attractive.  Pure sugar is a relatively new evolution. The current sweet fruits and even corn and potatoes are the product of intentional selective breeding to make those carbohydrates more palatable.

The metabolisms of carbohydrate, the sugars, are again very different from fat, because the same metabolic pathways are used for both the anabolism and the catabolism of carbohydrate. The control of carbohydrate metabolism lies outside the direct metabolic pathways, relying on end-organ control. These include insulin receptors.   This is different from fat metabolism where the anabolic and catabolic pathways are different, and so allowing feed-back to curb appetite and metabolic direction.

Carbohydrate’s prime quality is that it is cheap.  As a consequence commerce has “wrapped” carbohydrate in both fats and sugar in order to make it compulsive eating at a cheap price.  Amongst the most tempting ingestants are those that have both sugar and fat, as in chocolate.

Refined and manufacturer altered carbohydrate once ingested, prompt the desire to keep on eating it. Carbohydrate can have a long shelf life, is easily stored and so lends itself to easy snacking. No surprise that it is perfect to fuel “habituation eating”, and ultimately obesity.

Sugar is impregnated into cakes, carbohydrates or spread on the top as icing.  Fat is used as a layer to make bland carbohydrates or even carbohydrates and protein more palatable, as in deep fried foods – where salt is added for good measure. Cheap beans are made more palatable for sale by adding the salt and sugar of ketchup. Salt is impregnated into carbohydrate ( chips and French fries).

Changing carbohydrates. The vegetative production of carbohydrate has been substantially altered over the centuries.  In broad terms, carbohydrate was not palatable and not an attractive ingestant but it has been altered to be more enticing, primarily by increasing the sugar.  The fruit which we eat now has been selectively bred and is considerably sweeter than the fruit provided to primitive man (as a generalisation).  Even substances like corn have been made softer, sweeter and probably fattier by selective breeding.  More recently the changes of selective breeding have been accelerated by genetic engineering, but the perspective must be retained that genetic engineering has had less influence on palatability than selective breeding.  Much of genetic engineering relates to enhanced production efficiency with greater yields and resistance to adverse events such as drought and disease.  Shelf life has been improved and methods of removing contaminants (including contaminating infections and their by-products such as the flavo-proteins) have been forcibly and successfully addressed.

Probably the single most influential change has been the enhanced production of sugars.  Not only has the feedstock been made sweeter but the sugars themselves have been produced in enormous quantities as a standalones or additives.

Water, the foundation nutrient.  Animals and plants are far more dependent upon water than food, and will die of thirst long before dying of hunger,

In recent times many children are trained into metabolic confusion about thirst. This is because the water offered to them is laced with calories, primarily sugar and some metabolically noxious colourants. They the capability to distinguish between thirst and  hunger. When thirsty they might attempt to satisfy themselves by choosing “food” rather than fluid (sugar laden drinks, ice cream ). The outcome is hyper-caloric habituation.

Is it what is eaten or is it which combination that is important?

It might not be what you eat, but which combination one eats, that influences the health or disease of individuals.  There is some evidence that individuals like to eat the same food and will repeat eating that ingestant by choice.

“Humans like variety, humans need variety, and humans need a balanced diet”.  This may not have been the case with evolutionary man and it is certainly not the case with many animals.  Those animals can adapt to a particular foodstuff (obviously one that is available) and then continue eating that foodstuff by choice, even where alternatives become available.

The legend has arisen that individuals need a “mixed and balanced” diet.  As far as I am aware there is no evidence that this mixing needs to occur in the same meal.  True enough, one needs the vitamins and one needs the different proteins, fat and carbohydrate.  But does one need them simultaneously, wrapped around each other and made into tempting compotes?

Metabolic pathways

Metabolic pathways are the succession of chemical changes which convert one compound into another within the body. There are many: the entire number is probably not known and there are even more subsidiary and partial pathways by which biochemical processes proceed.  The pathways themselves are highly complex and depend upon routing through enzymes, co-enzymes as well accelerating and retarding factors. These routes change with different ingestants and external factors, even unlikely factors such as sunlight, in their complexity as a manufactory.

That these pathways can “learn” to take increased loads and can be trained to be more efficient and act more rapidly can be demonstrated in enhanced metabolism (“adaption”) of drugs and alcohol. Mitochondria engineer these intra-cellular modifications. This “training” might be the basis of athletic fitness (other factors such as muscle hypertrophy and muscle memory training are clearly also involved)

At simplest these pathways allow the assembly of those carbon based substances which form biological structures and allow degradation of material in order to provide energy. Disassembly of “organic” components to be reused in growth, repair, adaptation and excretion of “waste” is further role.

The railway analogy.

These biochemical pathways can be compared with complex railroad transit systems having junctions, points, lay-bys, regular sites of loading and unloading as well as the ability to regulate the load carried.

Many disease processes can be attributed to aberrations or failures of these metabolic “transport systems”.  Many diseases probably occur as a result of unknown happenings in these biochemical pathways.

Therefore, if one considers nutrition, one must consider these pathways, by which ingestants are disassembled, transported through (usually) the intestinal boundaries.  In themselves, these intestinal transits are highly complex, selective and prone to disease or abnormality.

21st century humans ingest in very different fashions from their evolutionary predecessors.  Ingestants have changed and have become complex by a variety of manufacturing and industrial events.  What then is the likelihood that the biochemical pathways have become altered, “confused” or overloaded beyond design specification?  This would seem not only highly likely but to be accepted and guaranteed.

Therefore, let us look at the common ingestants, the basic feedstock of humans, and the source of their fuel-energy dynamics.  Preeminent is carbohydrate.   For practical purposes all carbohydrate is grown as vegetation.  ( some sugars, exemplified by lactose, have animal origins) So important is food to human behaviour and existence that the wealthiest nations have, as their economic foundation, successful agricultural industries.

Industrialisation of Food. One result  of the “industrialisation” of food is that carbohydrate has been changed from the highly fibrous and cellulose wrapped (and therefore relatively unpalatable). Carbohydrate is now an easily accessed and addictively attractive substance with a long shelf life, made immediately available to millions of households. Because it does not deteriorate (assisted by long-life additives) it can be snacked at will, on impulse, as a consolation or a habit from the readily available stock in most households.

Other attracting and seductive foods have been mixed with carbohydrate to make carbohydrate relatively inexpensive and highly, if not addictively, desirable. Eminent are salt and fat.  Carbohydrate has been introduced into the diet of infants and children in this way and so probably changing their taste and purchase preferences forever.  One has only to look at breakfast cereals where the bulk is cheap carbohydrate but “flavoured” (and for the word flavour think behaviour changing) with the two most powerful enticers, fat and sugar.

Of concern also is the industrial removal of substances from food, such as “de-bittering”. That bitterness, nature’s negative attractant is caused by a variety of substances such as tannins. These would “normally” have the effect of binding molecules and making some foods non-digestible. Removing them will increase absorbable calories, and reduce colon bulk. There is evidence that some of these lost “bitter” components could prevent cancers.

Disease pathways. Gout, as is well known is the result of an aberrant metabolic pathway – part genetic, part contextual. Atheroma demonstrates an analogy with gout. The “pathological substance” of atheroma is cholesterol. This is a normal constituent of the biology of humans. Cholesterol plays a vital part in the structure of the neurological system, and much more. To suggest that cholesterol can be removed from human metabolism (by reducing intake) is ludicrous. What needs to be corrected is the deposition in arterial walls. Now look at gout where the pathological substance is uric acid – a perfectly normal constituent of human metabolism. In humans uric acid is converted, by a metabolic pathway, to urea. Urea is soluble and readily excreted in urine. However if the metabolic pathway is disrupted, uric acid accumulates and disease (gout) results. This metabolic pathway disruption can be caused by genetic factors, overload by ingestion, and other physical factors. Not unlike atheroma.

The physical factor in atheroma is reflected by vascular damage by high pressures of blood, areas of blood turbulence and perhaps loss of blood vessel wall elasticity. Yet another factor might be direct damage to the arterial wall by tiny shards of metal generated in the opening of metal cans. This might explain the high incidence of atheroma in young GIs in Viet Nam: They lived on canned food, probably ingesting these metal shards which might be expected to damage arterial walls, especially in areas of is high turbulence of the blood.

Over eating. Could excessive food volume alone confuse the metabolic pathways and produce disease? Could mixing different types of food taken at the same meal confuse the metabolic pathways and produce disease?

Maybe.

Calories? What about dieting? The analogy with the law of physics, “matter cannot be created or destroyed”, has led to a dieting illusion. It is often held that losing weight can be worked on the basis “calories in – calories out (by exercise)”. Hence calorie counting. But it can be shown that is invalid as a way of reducing fat. More likely exercise (which undoubtedly can lead to loss of weight, particularly fat loss) changes the metabolic pathways (perhaps from glucose catabolism to fat catabolism), allowing selective burn of fat.

Jon Driver-Jowitt

 

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Alder Hey Affair

After death the words, “closure is necessary”,”matters need to be put to rest“,”finality  is wanted” are often heard. Those who claim to be due those actions are usually not clear about what their emotions mean. In most cases it is a demand to hear the cause of death or the reason for death. This of course fits with the concept of the reasons for grief and its purpose as recorded elsewhere.

Although never expressed as such, the implications behind the Alder Hey affair were those of ownership claims by the parents of their children. There is an responsibility of parents towards children, and an expected duty of care whilst the child is alive and hence the authority to execute that duty of care to the living. But does and should this exist after the child’s death? This then raises the question of the anthropomorphisation of the dead by the living in many cultures. Perhaps it is the abruptness of the transition from living to dead which causes profound emotional impact.

However there are many indications that the dead return to the ownership of society broadly, as one might expect given the temporary mandate which humans have with respect to both children and others. It is obligatory in most cultures to assemble the dead in groups. It is customary to place notifications of loss or identification. Legal control of the dead is paramount vested in the Coroner and other legal mechanisms.

Thus the strong emotions which surrounded the Alder Hey matter can be distilled to those of claims for sustained ownership.

Worsening the issue were a fueling of vindictiveness primarily by the press. This pathologist was called, in the Independent (dated 5 December 1999) a Butcher. A butcher? This man’s profession was to scientifically dissect in order to establish a scientific basis for death, and hence aim to protect the living. Hardly a butcher. In other news headlines the pathologist was referred to as a surgeon, with all those emotive implications. [See examples below. Many more are available on Web search]

Ironically the autopsy method and tradition aims to produce explanations for death and “closure”. Since this does not always succeed in medical science, the storing of tissues could be regarded as an attempt and a hope that these tissues would yield answers in the future. As it happened this possibility became true beyond the wildest imaginings of the pathologists who care took these valued samples. That was the advent of genetic testing.

A huge reservoir of potential genetic wealth existed in these specimens. These have been destroyed by lay emotion never to be recovered. This lay emotion was supported, perhaps promoted, by weak, ignorant, self-centered politicians at the time.

Of course it was not just the Alder Hey hospital. That Liverpool hospital was one of 117 health trusts and medical schools in the United Kingdom which stored histological specimens. It was an inherent policy (perhaps intuitive and perhaps not specified) regarded as just as valid by much of the medical profession in Britain and throughout the world. However Dr. Dick van Veltzen was chosen as a scapegoat, a symbolic victim and professionally destroyed because it was politically beneficial to do so. It also enhanced readership in the most despicable of ways, capitalizing on perverted emotions.

Graveyardmemorials are a reminder of only one thing, which is human forgetfulness. These are a pitiful and misplaced claim to the perceived ownership of the dead, by individuals.

Selected contemporary newspaper headlines.

5 December 1999 The Independent.

Hospital Scandal: Why did this man… think it was right to butcher these babies?

Doctors think it’s fine to use organs from dead children for research and training; grieving parents are horrified. The gulf between public expectation and medical practice has never been wider

COLE MORETON  the author should now cringe in shame.

 

Daily Mail: SCANDAL OF THE ORGAN SNATCHERS

Surgeon: It’s not my fault

Claims by the doctor at the centre of the Alder Hey organs scandal that he never knowingly removed body parts without consent were dismissed by the hospital today.

Professor Dick van Velzen, now the subject of a police investigation, has blamed NHS management for the failings that led to last week’s damning public inquiry report.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-20511/Surgeon-Its-fault.html#ixzz2jjxemj9K

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Woman Looks Back at her Life.

A Woman looks back at her Life.

I always wanted to have babies, ever since I can remember. As a toddler I wanted a doll to simulate a baby, and subsequently I asked for (and was given, as a birthday present) a stroller into which I could place my “baby” and care for it (as I would my child, when that would happen.

Those who militate against “gender warping” by categorising the types of toys which are given to male and female children. These are the peculiar outliers at the far extremes of the bell curve. Perculiar might not be a strong enough word. They are pathological, and represent a hazard to the structure of societies. Indeed, by adopting those extreme and curious views, these people designate themselves as aberrant humans, who have no place to dictate their perverse views.

As a young girl I early recognised the need to attract males, or perhaps better, to ensure males were attracted by me. In my early teens, about the time of menarche, I became a “mall rat”. These were little shoals of girls of similar age (and similar aims) who collected in shopping malls (which were crowded on Friday nights) to give ourselves best exposure to youthful males.

We knew early, perhaps intuitively, perhaps by meme, that these youths would become fertile males. In the words made famous in “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie”, “The want to stick their thingies into you”. “Why?” some girls asked, but I knew. Was that instinctive?

I later learned that males are designed as inseminating machines. Whatever the outward cloak, their purpose was to inseminate fecund females. That was, and is, the way it is. Accept it.

I masturbated every night before sleeping from an early age. My first sexual encounter was a “cold turkey” affair, with the resident in the next apartment after my first degree. We had spoken several times about sex (and I think it was his first time also), so he bought a condom and it was all very clinical. No romance, but pleasurable.

During my second degree I worked as a prostitute for a relatively short time, out of a “brothel”. Officially I was an escort, since no sex was allowed on the premises.  That meant that I would go on a “date” with the man, and to a restaurant. That I enjoyed much as it was glamorous, and a novelty for someone (like me) with a small-town background. But then we would go to the man’s apartment or a hotel for the sex. I did not like that, as I felt vulnerable. The money helped me through the second degree at university. This was not uncommon, even for women in established relationships, including marriage. It was regarded them as harmless, inconsequential “moonlighting”.

The contract therefore became “sex was made available in return for a meal ticket for the woman and any children resulting from that sex”. This makes it difficult to understand the concept of “marital rape”. Physical abuse, torture or painful assault is, of course, an entirely different matter, prosecuted in terms of other law.

Some women, now in the age of reliable contraception, allow “test drive” sex on both an occasional and a long term basis.

Of course, as is always the case with biology, there are a myriad of tempering counter-currents. A male is unlikely to move to (and seduce) other women without restraint.  If he is attracted to, and likes and cares for, a particular woman, and if she gives him sexual pleasure regularly and predictably, he will stay with her. If she bears his children then physiological changes will occur in him, and that will further constrain him (These changes have been demonstrated). This type of male (and not all are this type) will endeavour to provide for this family, and commit himself, lifelong, to this endeavour. Should he invest heavily in infrastructure (mostly the case) he will have a vested interest in maintaining his place with the family.

I wanted a husband to do this, provide for his family, whilst I also provided for him. I would allow him to have sex with me, more or less on demand, and I would run the household, feed and clothe him and the children. He would go out and work. Even if I did not feel like sex, he could use me as a repository for semen (perhaps needing lubrication). That was part of the deal.

So I selected a husband. Make no mistake; it is the women who select the male (whatever the rituals deny). At times women have bought their way in with a dowry.

The man is expected to make the first  ”move” to indicate his desire for physical (and sexual) contact. It is therefore the male who shoulders the risk of rejection and the associated humiliation. The woman might play a reciprocating game of allure-rejection-encouragement-rejection (the “stop it I like it” game) [Harvey Weinstein, you are not unusual or abnormal! Those women disliked your power, and wanted to claw some of it out of you, and humiliate you. They all had an exit strategy open to them, which they chose not to use, because that believed that they had sufficient manipulating skills. They brought their humiliation upon themselves. They should be scorned]

It is not all that it seems, though. An accepted ritual is for the male to invite the female on a “date”, conventionally to eat with him (or his family). This can be interpreted as proving that the male can provide food for a mate. Naturally it gives both the chance to appraise “table manners”. Does he grab it all? Does she order the most expensive item? How does he treat the waiter?

My husband was ordinary. OK, he was kind and gentle (what more could I ask?), but never outstanding. I knew most women would settle for the “ordinary / average”. It has to be that way. Yes, I grieved when he died, but that always happens. Grief is a universal emotion. In the same way, almost all women and men succeed in finding a mate. That is based primarily on their age, with perhaps a minor aspect of attraction, being symmetrical and the absence of observable disease. To that end, humans inherently have a highly developed capacity to judge age.

What restrains marital relationships, and keeps them in place?  In time past it was society. Any breach of the “proper” was condemned and social disapproval was a sufficient disincentive aglifainst any union breaking up. Weddings played an important role, since the entire community (usually) was invited to witness the vows of the marital couple, and carry the memory of that, and the concurrent duty to abide by those vows, forward throughout the life of the couple.

However, that was disrupted with the breakdown of societal strength. In part this was the anonymity of urbanization. At that point the lawyers began to capitalise, and ultimately all control marital unity was encompassed and held by the law, and their monopolist protected lawyers. In making it a profitable industry for themselves, lawyers devised means of making divorce profitable for the wife (or ex-wife). Constructs such as “the ex-wife must live in the fashion to which she was accustomed” became entrenched. Thus yet another (potential) restrain on marital dissolution was not only removed, but reversed. There is no logic associated with that, only emotion. It is certainly not conducive to later family harmony. In parallel, the division between male custody and female custody was widened, sinc this gave the female further monetary leverage (and of course legal fees were ramped up, both because the “reward” of divorce was increased, but because ongoing, stuttering legal actions were given grounds in law. In any event the economics of marital union survival do not allow that. In time past the economic stress on the marital union was recognised by society, and a number of “allowances” were generated and offered by society. These took the form of rebates on taxation, and similar. However when socialistic politics arrived, and “industrialised compassion” pervaded, that opened the door for many to “suck the system”. Gays clamored for the same “marital” (economic) rights – originally designed to help support the young, breeding, couple.

I often have heard women say “I want to do something important. I do not want to be just a baby making machine.”  Really? What could be more important, more miraculous than creating a new human? What could be more important than perpetuating your race and culture? What greater achievement than extending the human species for another generation?

What they are saying is that they want money, and that money is more important than everything else.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Woman Looks Back at her Life.

I always wanted to have babies, ever since I can remember. As a toddler I wanted a doll to simulate a baby, and subsequently I asked for (and was given, as a birthday present) a stroller into which I could place my “baby” and care for it (as I would my child, when that would happen.

Those who militate against “gender warping” by categorising the types of toys which are given to male and female children are the peculiar outliers at the far extremes of the bell curve. Perculiar might not be a strong enough word. They are pathological, and represent a hazard to the structure of societies. Indeed, by adopting those extreme and curious views, these people designate themselves as aberrant humans, who have no place to dictate their perverse views.

As a young girl I early recognised the need to attract males, or perhaps better, to ensure males were attracted by me. In my early teens, about the time of menarche, I became a “mall rat”. These were little shoals of girls of similar age (and similar aims) who collected in shopping malls (which were crowded on Friday nights) to give ourselves contact with, and put ourselves on the best exposure to youthful males.

We knew early, perhaps intuitively, perhaps by meme, that these youths would become fertile males. In the words made famous in “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie”, “The want to stick their thingies into you”. “Why?” some girls asked, but I knew. Was that instinctive?

I later learned that males are designed as inseminating machines. Whatever the outward cloak, their purpose was to inseminate fecund females. That was, and is, the way it is. Accept it.

I masturbated every night before sleeping from an early age. My first sexual encounter was a “cold turkey” affair, with the resident in the next apartment, after my first degree. We had spoken several times about sex (and I think it was his first time also), so he bought a condom and it was all very clinical. No romance, but pleasurable.

During my second degree I worked as a prostitute for a relatively short time, out of a “brothel”. Officially I was an escort, since no sex was allowed on the premises.  That meant that I would go on a “date” with the man, and to a restaurant. That I enjoyed much as it was glamorous, and a novelty for someone (like me) with a small-town background. But then we would go to the man’s apartment or a hotel for the sex. I did not like that, as I felt vulnerable. The money helped me through the second degree at university. This was not uncommon, even for women in established relationships, including marriage. It was regarded by them as harmless, inconsequential “moonlighting”.

The marriage contract therefore became (to me) “Sex was made available to the man in return for a meal ticket for the woman and any children resulting from that sex”. This makes it difficult for me to understand the concept of “marital rape”. Physical abuse, torture or painful assault is, of course, an entirely different matter, prosecuteable in terms of other laws.

Of course, as is always the case with biology, there are a myriad of tempering counter-currents. A male is unlikely to move to (and seduce) other women without restraint if he is attracted to, and likes and cares for a particular woman, and if she gives him sexual pleasure regularly and predictably, he will stay with her. If she bears his children then physiological changes will occur in him, and that will further constrain him (These changes have been demonstrated by scientists). This type of male (Most, but not all are this type) will endeavour to provide for this family, and commit himself, lifelong, to this endeavour. Should he invest heavily in infrastructure – including a home – (mostly the case) he will have a vested interest in maintaining his place with the family.

I wanted a husband to do this, provide for his family, whilst I provided a household for him. I would allow him to have sex with me, more or less on demand, run the household, feed and clothe him and the children. He would go out and work. Even if I did not feel like sex, he could use me as a repository for semen (perhaps needing tube lubrication). That was part of the deal.

So I selected a husband. Make no mistake; it is the women who select the male (whatever the rituals deny). At times women have bought their way in with a dowry.

It is not all that it seems, though. An accepted ritual is for the male to invite the female on a “date”, conventionally to eat with him (or his family). This can be interpreted as proving that the male can provide food for a mate. Naturally it gives both the chance to appraise “table manners”. Does he grab it all? Does she order the most expensive item? How does he treat the waiter?

The man is expected to make the first  ”move” to indicate his desire for physical (and sexual) contact. It is therefore the male who shoulders the risk of rejection and the associated humiliation. The woman might play a reciprocating game of allure-rejection-encouragement-rejection (the “stop it I like it” game) [Harvey Weinstein, you are not unusual or abnormal! Those women disliked your power, and wanted to claw some of it out of you, and humiliate you. They all had an exit strategy open to them, which they chose not to use, because that believed that they had sufficient manipulating skills. They brought their humiliation upon themselves. They should be scorned]

My husband was ordinary. OK, he was kind and gentle (what more could I ask?), but never outstanding. I knew most women would settle for the “ordinary / average”. It has to be that way. Yes, I grieved when he died, but that always happens. Grief is a universal emotion. In the same way, almost all women and men succeed in finding a mate. That initial attraction is based primarily on their age, with perhaps other minor aspects of attraction, such as being symmetrical and the absence of observable disease. To that end, humans inherently have a highly developed capacity to judge age. The belief that male selection of females contrubutes to “evolutionary selection” is probablyhooeee.

What else restrains marital relationships, and keeps them in place?  In time past it was society. Any breach of the “proper” was condemned and social disapproval was a sufficient disincentive against any union breaking up. Weddings played an important role, since the entire community (usually) was invited to witness the vows of the marital couple, and carry the memory of that, and the concurrent duty to abide by those vows, forward throughout the life of the couple.

However, that was disrupted with the breakdown of societal strength. In part this was the anonymity of urbanization. At that point the lawyers began to capitalise, and ultimately all control of marital unity was encompassed and held by the law, and their monopolist protected lawyers. In making it a profitable industry for themselves, lawyers devised means of making divorce profitable for the wife (or ex-wife). Constructs such as “the ex-wife must live in the fashion to which she was accustomed” became entrenched. Thus yet another (potential) restrain on marital dissolution was not only removed, but reversed. There is no logic associated with that, only emotion. It is certainly not conducive to later family harmony. In parallel, the division between male custody and female custody was widened, since this gave the female further monetary leverage (and of course legal fees were ramped up, both because the “reward” of divorce was increased, but because ongoing, stuttering legal actions were given grounds in law.) In any event the economics of marital union survival do not allow for this disparity in benefit.

In time past the economic stress on the marital union was recognised by society, and a number of “allowances” were generated and offered by society. These took the form of rebates on taxation, and similar. However when socialistic politics arrived, and “industrialised compassion” pervaded, that opened the door for many to “suck the system”. Gays clamored for the same “marital” (economic) rights – originally designed to help support the young, breeding, couple.

I often have heard women say “I want to do something important. I do not want to be just a baby making machine.”  Really? What could be more important, more miraculous than creating a new human? What could be more important than perpetuating your race and culture? What greater achievement than extending the human species for another generation?

What they are saying is that they want money, and that money is more important than all else.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Misnaming and misunderstanding.

 

Many terms develop to become derogatory, despite originating with a benign meaning.

Thus some terms transmogrify to become catagorised as “vile” or “despicable” and many other deprecating terms. This reflects the common human heuristic (a short cut), demonstrating the inability to quantify within a spectrum. Humans rely upon “binary” neurology. Therefore the instant (emotional) categorization (heuristic) is either “good” or “bad”, “desirable” or “undesirable”, “repulsive” or “attractive”.

Where a spectrum is presented, new and specific words are evolved to demarcate each position on the spectrum as a distinct entity: This is illustrated in the colour spectrum, where a multitude of words have been evolved to describe each component of that spectrum.

What if this wording goes wrong? What if the wrong word is accepted as valid?

In orthopaedic surgery, in relation to the descriptions of the commonest deformity suffered by humans, such a misnomer is universally accepted, which has allowed an incorrect concept to evolve. Subsequently a plethora of incorrect surgical procedures have been invoked and inflicted upon an un-suspecting public.

That word is “metatarsal” when it is (incorrectly) applied to the longest bone supporting the great toe. That bone is, correctly, a phalanx. Thus the (human) great toe has  – like all the other toes  and fingers  – three phalanges. What determines the correct appellation? Many bones have characteristic sites of the “growth plates”, seen only in the growing bone.  In the phalanges that growth plate is “proximal” that is towards the head. In the metatarsal it is “peripheral”, that is away from the head.

http://www.fpnotebook.com/_media/orthoLegFootOssificationCentersGrayBB289.gif

Therefore the great toe, correctly, has three phalanges.  The true metatarsal is reduced to become the short “medial cuneiform”.  Such changes might be related to the evolution of an “opposable” first ray in both the hand and the foot (as an atavistic expression in the foot). This is an important concept because the commonest deformity of the great toe exactly emulates the (similar) deformity in the second toe, which is named “clawing” in the lesser toes (if untreated that might become a “hammer toe”).

Thus the cause of this deformity of the great toe duplicates exactly the cause of a “clawed” second toe. Consequently the appropriate treatment of the great toe deformity should duplicate the treatment of a “clawed” lesser toe.

Hallux valgus (and “metatarsus primus varus”, another fallacious term) recurs, following “conventional” surgery. This has spawned a number of scientific papers addressing the question “Does excessive laxity of the ‘metatarso-cuneiform joint’ predispose to recurrence of the condition?”. This is fatuous, since the anatomy of that joint has no bearing on the cause of the pathology. That joint only has a bearing on the “Hallux Paradox” (see elsewhere)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Patrimony

Patrimony “inherited from father”, i.e. the assumption is that the father creates wealth which is transmitted down the generations. This word does not fully encompass the concept which will be described below. In this sense it means that fraction of a nation which is shared among the population. To illustrate further, the sum total “wealth” of a nation can be assumed to belong, as the appropriate fraction, to every member of that national community. It is vaguely understood is some contexts. Thus the scenery is spoken of as “our beautiful land”. But it goes further – there is a “commonwealth’. This is that portion of the agriculture, the fisheries, industries, services, within a land which can be considered to belong – in the appropriate fraction – to each “citizen”. Of course it cannot be claimed directly by each citizen. Except in a few isolate circumstances such as a “commonage”, or (in English law) right of passage. But it is available as “drop down”. Thus the inhabitants of a wealthy country tend to be wealthy, benefiting from the affluence of the rest of the community.

Other factors abut on the residents of a given nation (or sub-section of that nation), such as the compassion, charitibility, and generosity of that community. Also included is the “filiality” of the community (the extent to which (most) feel an allegiance to their fellows, and are prepared to act as their “brother’s keeper”). This varies with community, and it is likely that the smaller the community, so the greater is this filial concern. [It is noteworthy that as populations condense, so the need to assert “individuality” increases. That is to say individuals projects their needs as individuals over (and in competition with) the needs of the community. Ultimately the individual competes against the state in an attempt to extract maximally from that state.]

This is the “patrimony” inherited by dint of the existence, and approval of that existence, by the community. It is valuable, and guarded by the community – at times by physical isolation, such as in an island or by building fortified walls about the community. It is a value not easily dispensed or sacrificed by most communities.

This “protection” of the “laggard” is demonstrated in many social animal communities.

What the immigrant does is to dilute the “patrimony” by that fraction represented by an individual, or multiplied by the size of that alien intrusion.

Approval.  This is the binding agent of societies. Each individual seeks approval, by controlling (inhibiting) behaviour to accord with the expectations of, and the approval of, that society. The precise strategies will vary with the society, its culture, and the threats to that society.

In this context “politeness” warrants introduction. What is politeness? It is suggested that this is a behavioral pattern which “recognizes that a system of behavior is in place”. The entire system might not be understood, at least initially. Once it is understood – or partly understood – the participants in this behavioral pattern will rapidly assert their social” rights”. That enhances and reinforces the behavioral patterns, and has the sub-purpose of demonstrating the existence of a behavioral pattern to the novice. To illustrate: a newcomer to a church congregation will demonstrate “politeness” by keeping voice down (which serves to establish that “he” is not assertively intruding, and probably accepts a seat to the back, behind the “established” congregation (which members of that congregation will readily demonstrate by the confidence with which they occupy “their” place in the chancel.)

Posted in Human Behaviour, Humans as social animals, Language | Tagged | Leave a comment

Pleasure, Happiness and Comfort

Large regions of the brain have recently been mapped and labeled as “centers of pleasure”[1]

Happiness, however, appears to be an emotion which is recognised retrospectively. It is preceded by “pleasure” the complex result of an interpretation by the brain of external factors received through the conscious senses. These (essentially binary) imputs are selectively amplified (as described in an earlier post).

Pleasure at this introductory stage is interpreted in terms of those (selectively amplified) external factors, which become symbols or tokens of “pleasure”. That association remains identified with the source, so that sexual pleasure (for example) is associated with a particular female. This has a “lock-in” effect and ties the male psychologically to that female.

“Happiness” is then the reterospective appraisal, as stored in memory.

In a similar way, food which appeals is associated with pleasure and is thereafter sought preferentially.

Similar mechanisms can be associated with “comfort”, such as an environment offering shelter, warmth and protection. That entity is then sought selectively in a search for the pleasure of “comfort”.

“Reward” can be considered the satisfaction of fulfilling expectation.

[1] Richard L. Peterson, M.D.

Collaborating Researcher, Stanford University

Managing Partner, Market Psychology Consulting

San Francisco, CA , USA

Telephone:  415.267.4880

Email:  richard@peterson.net

Last updated January 3, 2005

Published in: Brain Research Bulletin

 

Posted in Human Behaviour, Humans as social animals, Sex and Society | Tagged , , | Leave a comment