The Lion Killed the Purple Antelope. Isn’t that Racist?

So the Lion stalked and attacked a purple antelope. Now all the purple antelopes, along with sympathetic other antelopes, are up in arms because they think purple antelopes are being singled out. Scientifically, we know that green antelopes are killed more often by these Lions. And, as it turns out, orange antelopes are killed at an equal rate to purple antelopes.

Even more, we find out that the Lions are totally color blind. They cannot even distinguish between purple, pink, yellow, green or orange antelopes. They all look the same. They just know that this particular purple antelope was easy to sneak up on and the Lion has gone 3 days without eating. So it was hungry. Color didn’t matter one bit.

This may seem like a whimsical story, but it points to the difference between scientific reasoning and emotional conjecture.

A really true story is this. Way back when, before we studied the science, people thought that bees that stung people were males. Culturally, it was the males who were most often the warriors and they carried the swords. So it was simple to reason that the bees with stingers were males. However, the truth is that it is the females who have the stingers. A cultural bias led to an improper conclusion not at all based on science.

All organisms have their own methods of smartness inherent to their beings. It just happens that there are human scientists. And human scientists use the scientific method in their reasoning:
1. Observe a phenomenon
2. Ask questions
3. Develop hypotheses
4. Test the hypotheses
5. Make conclusions based on the testing

But while we have people who use reason, we have those who improperly speculate based wholly on emotion. These people jump from #1 to #5 without any testing at all. All they see are the poor purple antelopes getting eaten by Lions. Bad Lions!! These people are sitting miles away with binoculars not at all cognizant of the complex system of life around them. Emotion followed by a social outrage prevails without any science at all.

Even in the best of worlds, you may find a kind elephant who wants to protect the poor purple antelopes. So as the emotional human gazes through the binoculars, it looks like the elephant is attacking the purple antelopes. They are surrounding them to shield them from harm and accidentally steps on one of them. The emotional human now hates the elephants because another purple antelope is getting hurt. When, in fact, the elephant is trying to protect the purple antelopes from the Lions. Stupid emotional human.

Do you know what the kind elephant should probably do? Mind their own business. If the terrible Lions are hungry and eating purple antelopes, the elephant should probably walk the other way and let it happen. Maybe make a wildlife refuge where Lions and purple antelopes exist on their own. The sad thing is that some purple antelopes even harm their own. Isn’t that terrible? But now it is an elephant-free zone. Then the elephants can guard all the other animals from harm, but they don’t bother with purple antelopes anymore. Then you have Lions hurting purple antelopes and purple antelopes hurting purple antelopes. But I guess that’s nature. Let nature be.

Stupid emotional humans!

Speak Truth and Ask Why

I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube since the pandemic started. I’ll admit that it is a central source of information for me. If I’m repairing a car, all I have to do is search for my vehicle and the problem, and I can usually find a few helpful videos on the subject. That’s not to say I’m not wading through a bunch of crap to get there, because I am, but the helpful ones truly help.

I went to Mexico this Winter and found a ton of helpful information. Of course, there was a lot of fear mongering as well. And some fears were probably justified. For instance, while I felt very safe and I was careful of travel scams, there was a cartel shooting not long after I left in the town I was in. You can’t avoid real problems that exist like drug turf wars. But I avoided all of those problems and had a great time.

I saw a video yesterday of a heart doctor saying to not ingest vegetable oils. I also saw a RD (registered dietician) say how ketogenic dieting is so terrible. You really have to take things with a grain of salt. There is implicit bias in everything we do. Truth be told, I work for the government and I know how it works. You have to protect your own. The Federal government subsidizes things like food grains, electric vehicles, ethanol production, solar power, the Post Office, and AMTRAK. If they didn’t, all those endeavors would fail. So if the USDA and FDA supports grain production, then that also must be in the textbooks in college education. So then, all the dieticians that go through school base their food pyramids on grains. You rarely hear a dietician decry whole grains as a substantial part of a diet. When scientifically, carbohydrates are not an essential part of any human diet. But if you read any mainstream health magazine, like Men’s Health or otherwise, their RD’s will toe the line on grains and lowfat diets. These are people who live in upper-middle class neighborhoods devoid of people of color. I was just in Oklahoma where I attended a family gathering. A large percentage of my family passed away due to diabetes that is rampant in Native America. I had an aunt who hobbled around because she recently had two toes amputated due to diabetes. Now, go ahead and preach how carbohydrates are OK for people who just lost toes due to diabetes. Insulin drives everything where I live. Eating a bran muffin every day doesn’t make that go away.

I am getting ready to go backpacking in August. So I am gathering gear and reading up on latest recommendations. I plan to go ultralight. I am all to familiar with carrying to much gear in past trips and I want to avoid that this time. I had already gone to trail runners in previous trips, but I’d like to go with sandals this time. I’ve run ultramarathons in huarache sandals and teach yoga, so I’m barefoot most of the time anyway. I used to go to the CrossFit box and did everything barefoot. But when you watch the videos, they talk about stability, ankle support, toe protection,… {cough!!}. Boots make you clumsy. They desensitize you to proper foot placement. Its like putting casts on your hands when you are doing work. But you cover your feet with huge boots and ask them to be nimble. It doesn’t work that way. I much prefer a more natural approach. Nomadic aboriginal people in Africa, Australia, Central and South America, and Native North America survived their existence without heavy boots. Yet the more evolved among us say you need ankle and arch support. They are certainly the ones with the weakest ankles and feet. When I left 14 years in the Army where I had to wear boots everywhere, I was very prone to twisting my ankles. Years of wearing those leather casts cause everything to weaken. It wasn’t until I shunned shoes whenever I could and adopted shoeless activities like martial arts, yoga, and running that I haven’t had a twisted ankle since. Ankles and arches definitely abide by the use it or lose it mantra. They have to be strengthened regularly with your lifestyle.

I’m not saying to play opposite day with all the central dogmas people put out there. But I would highly question the functional reasoning behind everything. Always ask why? I know so many people who do things just because its what they read in a popular magazine or its what they’ve always done. Many of it makes no sense at all. We need to start thinking for ourselves. Chart your own paths. Now take those shoes off and eat some good fat.