Well this was a wild-goose chase. Most of what is below about ECW is incorrect, because the software is … misleading. Contrary to what I found, Kevmo has not been blocked on ECW, AFAIK, and his posts have not been deleted. He did change accounts, apparently, creating some of the confusion. I’ll explain below. Meanwhile, I’m leaving this because there are tidbits of value. When I’m wrong, I’m happy, because I learn things! I’m also glad I caught this before publishing it.
remember, Kevmo is not blocked on ECW and I see no sign now that ECW posts are being deleted (thought i know that some are, because a very few of mine (out of 750 or so at this point) have been. I received no notice. I still consider that a bit rude. But none of those posts were important or represented significant work in writing. I’ve written many long posts there, and they are consistently approved, so far. Now, what I thought until I checked enough to figure out what had happened:
Burnt toast, actually vaporized, nuked. Only small frangments left. Kevmo may have been commenting on ECW since 2011, at least that is when one Disqus account was created. (Below, it looks more like 2014) 2011 was before the Rossi announcement, and he may have commented on other Disqus blogs, but those posts are also gone — and Frank Acland would not have access to them, one would think). The account shows no posts, but 9 upvotes.
I found this checking an old email with notifications from ECW. It has links to Kevmo responses to my comments there. Those responses now read “This user is blocked.”
I had been seeing that notice frequently recently, and wondered who it was. Apparently Frank is nuking all contributions, this is not merely a block from posting. This makes responses to him appear out-of-context, that is not done on, say, Wikepedia, unless truly necessary (i.e, a post contains illegal content or outing information,) and the page record still shows what was done and by whom. But normally, even gross incivility will still be present in history. That way, a user’s history is visible, which can then affect future decisions. As well, discussion context is not lost. I can look and recover a bit from my emails. I could attempt to find Google cache or archives, maybe. Too much trouble for too little gain.
However, fragments remain visible. My responses to him show his user name and mouse hover over the name pop up his avatar, and the first words of the post. See this and this.
There are more in that sequence. Kevmo argued beyond all sanity. As I pointed out there, he argued on LF with lawyers about law, creating endless noise.
Look at this page, mincemeat. Search the page for kevmo, which will bring up the responses to him. Google search for “kevmo site:e-catworld.com” pops up these threads, and it also popped up http://e-catworld.com/community/profile/myprofile/1053/kevmo
which displays a page no found error. But then Google cache would have it for a while. Sure enough (it’s faster to load the text version):
Joined: March 2014
Last Active: April 2014
(it is conceivable that there is more than one kevmo account. Normally the software will prevent that, but sometimes….) Looking at “kevmo” posts as found by Google, in the cache, I found something quite odd: In cache stored Aug 28, 2017 06:14:04, A post was still there, very brief, and the user name “kevmo” was a link, to https://disqus.com/home/channel/presidenttrumpchannel/ It may be possible to use a link like that as a user name. How the software will treat this, I don’t know. Maybe kevmo was hacked. But the behavior was similar between the ECW account and LF.)
“Nuke” tools were created to make deleting massive spam easy. Kevmo was a troll, but not a spammer, but maybe he made a mistake and Frank reacted.
and now I found tthe other Kevmo account.
Very active on that trump channel.
On LENR Forum, firstname.lastname@example.org is still unbanned, though he’s pushed it, was short-banned for a while, as I recall. His behavior, what I’ve seen, would eventually get him banned almost anywhere. One normally has to work hard to get banned on LF. I got immediately perma-banned by touching a weak spot. Kablooey! I declared a boycott (due to abrupt and unnecessary deletion of posts, very rude to writers, and pending resolution) and was immediately banned without fuss. Nobody else has repeated this trick, so the experimental result is unconfirmed. Current practice on LF is what would have satisfied me….
Frank’s deletion practice on ECW is a bit disturbing. But it’s his blog, and if we don’t like it, we can boycott it. That’s normal free society. Matters shift a little if one claims to represent a community; then some level of responsibility can arise.
Meanwhile, just a small taste of Kevmo with his better behavior, which is still trolling, just not so blatant. (At this point, this is Kevmo’s most recent LENR Forum post, 5 days ago.)
do experiment, report results and let peer decide if you did the experiment correctly or not.
When that happens more than 150 times in peer reviewed literature, is the effect real?
If this were a simple question, asked for the first time, this wouldn’t be trolling. However:
- Kevmo has asked this or very similar questions many times.
- This was off-topic in the subject thread.
- the question is misleading.
Standard troll tactic: find something to ask that incorporates a misleading assumption, but that could be deniable as a possible fact. This then generates a response (and it is the response that the troll wants.)
There is a legitimate issue: experimental confirmation, what is it, and has it happened for LENR? Even asked that way can be a little misleading: What is “LENR”? Jed Rothwell’s paper covering papers in the Britz database, about 2009, showed 153 papers considered “positive” on excess heat. However, “excess heat” is not well defined. How much heat? Under what conditions?
Experimental replication, to be clear confirmation, should be exact replication, though less-exact replication is weaker confirmation. Those papers were all over the map. (That massive variation was used as an argument against LENR, actually.) Further, if there are many looking for some effect, and if experimental error can vary — and it can — then there is confirmation bias or the “file drawer effect” to consider.
My opinion is, from years of study of the literature, that there is an adequate perponderance of evidence to consider an anomalous heat effect is real, at least for the purposes of taking further steps to investigate carefully.
Half the experts on the 2004 U.S. DoE panel would apparently agree, and two-thirds of those considered the evidence that the effect was nuclear as “somewhat convincing,” most of them. One considered it “convincing.” The panel was unanimous on suggesting further research, this was not the conclusion of a panel that thought there was no evidence.
This was a panel not familiar with the field, presented with a huge stack of papers, and some of them attending a one-day seminar with limited time for serious back-and-forth, no process to iron out wrinkles and errors.
However, by now, Kevmo will know that he is taunting oldguy, who simply stated normal procedure in science.
150 reports could be based on a combination of factors: artifacts, prosaic causes, interpretive errors, and on and on. The way this is normally handled in science is that someone eventually puts together a definitive review to be, itself, published under peer review. That actually happened in 2010, with Storms’ review in Naturwissenschaften, but that review has some problems; nevertheless there is no competing review. There are many other reviews, none that disagree with Storms.
However, nothing out there addresses all the significant possible problems. Reviewing the literature on certain issues, I find that they were, indeed, addressed long ago, but I know of no recent clear and complete reviews that show this. We are building that kind of content here. Participation is thin, but it is happening. Noise like what Kevmo makes doesn’t help.
oldguy’s post was also off-topic, following other similarly off-topic posts by others, including Kirk Shanahan and Alan Smith (who commonly posts off-topic when he feels like it, provoking more off-topic responses.)
By the way, some would consider this post “doxxing.” Which is a standard synonym for “Bad Behavior,” as if conditions don’t matter. On WMF wikis, which have the most developed rules and procedures of any site permitting discussion, this level of doxxing, when relevant to possible decisions about user behavior, would not be considered a violation, though it can depend on whose ox is being gored. It would not be allowed when there is no legitimate purpose. The research I did today confirms, on the fact, that Kevmo on ECW is the same as Kevmolenr@gmail.com on LF, and this apparently reveals his email address. But Kevmo made the decision to reveal it with his registration on LF.
Nevertheless, administration on CFC (currently me) will consider requests to have information redacted. Given the state of affairs at this point, it would probably be premature, but there is no charge for a request! (That is also WMF practice, any user can request an administrator “revision-delete” information, I did it at times on Wikiversity, and any user may request a steward (for any wiki) or oversighter (for the few wikis who have them locally) hide such information even from administrators.)
However, I would want to make sure that the request was authentic. I’m committed to confidentiality, absent necessity, but if someone doesn’t trust me and my judgment, TANSTAAFL. Eventually, we will have more administrators here, so there will be choices.
Explanation of my error
Apparently, frustrated with many notifications of Kevmo responses, I blocked him. I did not recall doing this. What led me to this was the avatar and snippet of text still shown. The avatar was a link to the user account, which wasn’t the old Kevmo account, but a new one. And it displayed a message that I could not see this profile because I had blocked the user. Aha! So I unblocked, and I have no other users blocked.
Eventually, after unblocking, when I reloaded the pages with those Kevmo posts, they now appeared normally. Someone else would surely have pointed this out to me. At least I hope so! When I write something blatantly incorrect, or even mildly so, I hope people will speak up, this is part of how I learn. I also tend to track down anomalies and mysteries, and those pop-ups indicated a second account, and, sure enough, here it is: Kevmo.
Yes. Most active on Trumpchannel. An amusing post from him there:
This channel is for Trump supporters. If you’re here to troll you won’t last long.
And then more posts responding to the “troll.”
‘Nuff said on that. When I have blocked a user on ECW, a message appears with their posts, “This user is blocked.” I get no information about who the user is.
On LENR Forum, if I block a user, I can see a specific message and there is a bypass so I can read the message if I choose. The Disqus message does not inform me that I’ve blocked the user…. it uses the passive voice, implying that the user is blocked on the site….
To find it, I had to keep looking at the various odd aspects of this, just as the “in reply to” message, with responses to the blocked user, that does show the name of the user, with a link to the profile.
So is this new “Kevmo” the same as the LF account? I’d say yes.
13 thoughts on “Kevmo toast on E-Cat World?”
I think you are the same guy who was booted from Vortex-L several years ago. You deserved it. Now you’re looking to Dox me? Tell ya what… If you want to have a conversation, you can have it over here on Cold Fusion.
This way I know my own comments won’t be deleted. And you won’t be allowed to call me a troll & turn right around & say exactly the same stuff I was saying.
Same guy, all right. Kevmo, this comment is trolling (particularly “you deserved it,” which was not the agreement of the Vortex community at the time). “Doxxing” normally is about revealing real-life identity. I don’t delete comments from someone being discussed, at least not normally, even if they might be trolling. And even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and if I say the same as you, either one of us or both might be a stopped clock. That has nothing to do with whether or not we are trolls. Trolling is assessed by intention, not by point of view, or, more accurately, the point of view of a troll is “you are wrong,” that being stated in such a way as to provoke angry response, at least normally.
“Over here on Cold Fusion” refers, apparently, to https: // disqus.com/home/channel/coldfusion/ Because this is a useless URL to follow, a place with allegedly two threads, but I could only find one, by Kevmo and it was posted two years ago and had no comments, I poked out the URL and I will also delete a comment with just the URL in it. Create some content worth linking to and we might allow links. Kevmo Disqus comments: 44,581. Get a life!
That actually happened in 2010, with Storms’ review in Naturwissenschaften, but that review has some problems; nevertheless there is no competing review. There are many other reviews, none that disagree with Storms.
Consider the context here. There will be scientists who judge LENR evidence strong/weak/very weak etc. No-one with an overall negative view of LENR as a hypothesis will bother to make such a review. Why?
(1) Difficult to publish since it would be considered to alter the current understanding, which is negative for LENR
(2) Negative results – of hypotheses not commonly accepted – or just not interesting
(3) LENR, as a hypothesis, does not contradict any other hypothesis. It is non-predictive. Therefore no-one with their own pet theory will have a positive motive for knocking down LENR.
The same applies for papers in the literature. Negative papers are unmotivated, positive papers naturally expected from those who hold LENR as a likley hypothesis.
This happens with rejection cascades. However, there are paths around this. Atkins commissioned a study of his diet with a professor who was skeptical. CBS 60 Minutes commissioned a review by Robert Duncan, and what Duncan found basically blew his mind. Some of course, claim that he went crazy, hypnotized by those fanatic cold fusioneers. There are people with an interest in finding out. Storms’ Naturwissenschaften review was invited.
“Current understanding” is a fantasy when it comes to LENR, “current opinion” holds and commonly states, when it comes up, “fact” that is not fact.
Yes. Few will write a review of something they think is bogus. However, some do. What happens then? Generally, both sides claim victory. Look what Shanahan claims! While we can look at Marwan et al, and find possible faults, Shanahan was denied reply. That is exactly what happened with some early negative reports and reviews, in the other direction. There is no organized scientific process for review of controversies. When I came into this field, and started to read the documents, such as the 2004 DoE review, I was astonished at what I found. Skeptics found that review as some kind of proof that LENR as bogus, but … it was far from that. It was more or less what I’d expect from 18 clueless scientists invited to review the topic, knowing little or nothing about it but the reputation. And given a huge pile of papers to read and one day — for half of them — to listen to presentations. Given that, 2004 was an obvious sea change from 1989, once one knows the actual history of the 1989 review. It’s massively covered in Taubes and elsewhere.
The biggest failure of the U.S. DoE was to remain passive, to satisfy the literal charge, asked a very limited question with some political pressure from Congress, and not make an actual recommendation that would resolve the issue. Instead, it was terminally vague, and then the recommendations were ignored. No LENR desk was set up, some process for monitoring the field. In fact, they had enough information to make a more positive recommendation than they did, but they had misunderstood the presentation. LENR scientists absolutely were clueless when it came to public relations, and you can still see this. McKubre survived, because he knew how to deal with actual customers, but that environment was often hemmed in by contractual agreements.
Nobody else is going to do it, we will have to. I DGAF about “positive” or “negative,” I want data! And then I want sober analysis. McKubre was actually retained for that. EPRI was not interested in promoting or shooting down cold fusion, they just wanted facts and careful analysis.
What I’ve seen reviewing the history is that if a scientist reviewed cold fusion and was supportive, they were identified as fanatics and deluded. I identified something like twenty positive reviews of cold fusion since about 2005. There were no negative responses to them. There was a tertiary review, actually about another topic, that simply assumed cold fusion was an example of pathological science.
So … no negative reviews. How about we write them? There are two possible benefits. From a skeptical point of view, if we write a conclusive review — that, at last, shows that there is no reason to think cold fusion is real — we may be able to save generations of possibly interested people much waste of time. The collective benefit would be well worth the individual investment. We might even be able to get some financial support, though that’s a long shot. Shanahan did get DoE support to write some of his work, which is … ironic. This is not what the Review Panel had in mind (no actual research, just speculation and argument).
In the other direction, I think you realize the potential value of cold fusion research. There is no clear lab rat yet, and it might take a lot of work to create it. Yet if it can be found, or if otherwise research can become reliable with clear results, and if the mechanism or necessary conditions can be identified, we could then have a far better idea if cold fusion could be a practical energy source. And with that idea, if faborable, and with the full panalopy of modern fabrication techniques, including nanotechnology, either practical application will become possible or we will know why it’s not.
Your claim about “nobody will bother” is contradicted by history. Morrison reviewed the Pons and Fleischmann calorimetry paper. Jones reviewed Miles. What is more accurate is that to write a decent review and get it into Naturwissenschaften would take far more knowledge than the pure nay-sayers often have. Eventually, though, the excuse wears out.
What I saw could break the logjam was a paper describing new work to study the heat/helium ratio. All it had to do would be to confirm (or disconfirm) what was reported by Miles and then at least roughly confirmed, sometimes with increased precision, by about a dozen others, and to do it with a substantial series of identical experiments, or a series of these with variations. That is new work. Until then, we can review what has been done, the good, the bad, and the ugly. We can identify and delineate the issues.
Many objections to cold fusion are based on obvious errors. But some are not. Which ones are which? This is a study of history, and we can proceed as historians. Instead, too many who write on the field are partisans, with axes to grind. That confuses everything.
I believe we could write papers that will be published, at least somewhere, papers that will help guide future students, or seed even better understandings if we err or are incomplete.
Science is a process, not a result.
The Atkins diet has been known to work for hundreds of thousand of years. It is common knowledge among primitive people that if you eat nothing but extremely low fat meat, you starve to death. Anthropologists all know this. It is described in books such as “Good to Eat” by M. Harris, who was one of the leading anthropologists on food and foodways. He described 19th century observations in Australia. During droughts, when aborigines killed kangaroos, they would check the tail for fat. If they found no fat, they would discard the kill even if they were starving. They explained that if you eat that, you die of starvation. We now know that takes more energy to digest lean meat than you get out of it.
The Atkins diet is extremely bad for you, and dangerous. Doctors have known this since ancient times.
Atkins discovered nothing new. Taubes knows nothing about basic science, as you see in his book about cold fusion. See the examples here:
Taubes is also a notorious liar and character assassin who told Ed Storms, “I don’t give a shit whether cold fusion is real or not; I am writing this book for money.” For once, he was telling the truth.
Taubes repeated dangerous, unfounded advice from Atkins and others. Evidently, he also doesn’t give a shit how many people he and Atkins kill, or how many lives they ruin by ill health. Anyone who has studied anthropology or lived in Asia and eaten a typical old-fashioned Asian diet, which is mainly rice, will know that Taubes is wrong. The people who eat this way in Japan tend to be thin and they have the longest longevity and the best health on earth. (The latter is partly due to their diet, but also because the Japanese health care system is excellent.)
Jed, I’ve been on an Atkins food plan for maybe a dozen years now. Your comment shows that you do not know what the Atkins diet is. It is a high fat, moderate protein, low carbohydrate diet. It is sustainable, in fact, joyful. (Similar diets are often called HFLC. they are not high-protein diets. When I buy meat, I want fatty cuts, they taste the best, for starters. I watched a Moroccan down about a pound of aged sheep fat in one sitting, long story. Maybe it was two pounds! Fat is prized in most societies that have not been influenced by our not-so-scientific propaganda.
When I was considering the diet, my physician had recommended the South Beach diet (also developed by a cardiologist like Atkins). I did the research. There was more science behind Atkins. That was before Taubes’ book came out, though I’d read his NY Times article, “What if it’s all been a big fat lie?”
My physician then took me into his office and handed me a book from the 1920s about diabetes. It started out with noting that some diabetics could be effectively treated with a diet that is low in carbohydrates. Atkins did not discover his plan, and it was based on what had largely been common knowledge until the 1970s, when an information cascade started about fat, cholesterol, and heart disease. The Atkins diet is not dangerous unless one has certain fairly rare conditions.
Because I had high cholesterol, according to common standards, I made sure to get fractionated cholesterol tests, as well as C-reactive protein, to measure inflammation, and then I got a cardiac cat scan, at my own expense, since insurance would not pay for it. The result: overall, I was low risk. Biggest real problem: writer, sedentary. Not my diet.
You are making a specific claim, about a well-known and reasonably well-studied diet, with medical implications. Do you have any evidence at all for it?
As I have mentioned, Taubes does address the Japanese diet issue, and you are displaying all the ignorance you so condemn in cold fusion skeptics. Taubes is not dogmatic about diet. You assume he is.
Instead of looking at that Storms story and realizing that, after all, Taubes was a writer, and had worked on the book for way too long — he tends to do that, writing tomes — and so he needed to get the damn thing done and move on, you assume that he was an idiot. Jed, if you are seeing many idiots, what’s the common denominator?
What I know, and what many medical professionals told me when I started out on the diet, was that Atkins works. (I also found that they would not tell me this unless I made it safe. Standard of Practice, you know. If what a doctor says is not standard of practice, they can get sued. If they stay within standard of practice, no matter how stupid it is, they are legally safe. After all, crackerjack excuse, “it was the standard of practice, the research showing that it was wrong only came out later and it took time to be communicated. So not my fault!”
That does not require that the Japanese you are thinking of be dying from poor diet. They won’t, because there are many differences in the population and conditions. Atkins did not consider carbohydrates as poison, as such. As many have figured out, though, we evolved before agriculture and the high-carbohydrate diet that agriculture made possible was outside the norm for us. We could eat carbohydrates, for sure, we are omnivores, but the resulting high glucose levels in the blood are toxic, so levels must be kept down with insulin. And then the energy is stored to allow us to survive low food consumption. Our natural (“paleo”) diet was much higher in fiber, probably higher in fat (from game), and any carbohydrates were not much processed; both fiber and fat slow down carbohydrate absorption, thus reducing the insulin swing. Processed carbs are fast-absorption.
A better example to look at is the Inuit, from when they were eating their native diet. Very high fat diet, almost no carbohydrates. Practically no “diseases of civilization,” i.e., heart disease, diabetes, cancer. However, as the Inuit became “civilized” and started eating processed foods, especially the industrial foods of processed carbohydrates, they started showing obesity and the correlated diseases.
To Taubes, diet is a very complex issue that was drastically oversimplified by some truly bad science in the 1970s, and the government actually ignored scientific opinion except for one narrow idea, and created public recommendations that were not solidly based. It was effectively a massive uncontrolled experiment, with a sense of necessity behind it (think of the lives we can save by reducing fat in the American diet! After all, doesn’t fat make you fat? — but it doesn’t, and understanding that is a matter of understanding metabolism and that metabolism varies with diet, a high carb metabolism is heavily depending on insulin, which turns carbohydrates into fat, whereas after a few days with low carbohydrates, metabolism shifts to a fat-burning metabolism. Most Americans never know what that is like. I do. It’s how I live, and I don’t get hungry, this is all standard, I don’t get hungry because I have stores of fat that I can burn, and fat is my regular fuel. I don’t experience the insulin crash that is normal for most Americans after eating.)
For years, it was almost impossible to publish research that showed anything different than the “low fat gospel.” That started to change in the early years of this century. There is still far less research than would be appropriate. Plenty of money for drug research, little for nutritional research.
As I mentioned, Atkins funded a study by a skeptic. There have been a fair number of studies now. Studying diet is very difficult. The Bad Science was epidemiological, with cherry-picked populations. I’d guess you have no idea what studies of Atkins found. Just like cold fusion pseudoskeptics have no idea what is the actual state of research.
You are relying solely on your highly reactive character assessment of Taubes. I believe Taubes might well have said that, or something like it. He is a real human being, and appears to be frank and forthright, not devious, but you seem to think he has horns and a tail and smells of sulfur.
Your story about the aboriginal Australians fits what Atkins would have said. Fat is actually an essential nutrient. People on low fat diets tend to get sick. Fat is high in caloric content, so one eats less (a suppression of hunger is one of the effects of a high fat diet; appetite is not suppressed but is more easily satisfied.)
Some people try to do Atkins low-fat. That, indeed, is quite dangerous, but usually the person gives up quickly. That only happens people who don’t actually follow an Atkins food plan, but who believe that fat is bad for them.
One of the major problems with the official low-fat recommendations, starting in the 1970s, was that when you take fat out of the diet, it will be replaced by something. By what?
By carbohydrates, and the consumption of high-fructose corn syrup skyrocketed. Sometime around 1985, my doctor recommended I cut out fat from my diet, because I had high cholesterol. I did. And not only did I gain quite a bit of weight (that’s actually a common outcome of those recommendations), but I also developed prostate cancer, and, it turns out, that is a plausible consequence. Carbs don’t actually cause cancer, but developing cancer cells need glucose and insulin, so a high-carb diet helps it develop more rapidly. Cancer is one of the diseases of civilization. Why?
Well, if the Atkins diet includes fat in meat, then I am misinformed. I read that it includes only very lean meat. As I said, this is known to cause carnivores to lose weight. It is a net energy sink, not a source.
If the diet includes fatty meat in large amounts, then modern conventional dietitians would probably consider it dangerous. I wouldn’t know about that. My knowledge of diet is limited to discussions in anthropology and evolution. (For the latter, see “Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human.”)
I know a lot about rural Japanese diet because that’s mostly what I have eaten for the last 40 years. I know many elderly rural Japanese people who eat mostly rice.
Anyway, Taubes is a notorious liar, character assassin, scoundrel, and a certified idiot with no technical knowledge. He is one of the few opponents of cold fusion who I would enjoy punching in the nose. So I have severe doubts about anything he claims or endorses. If he says it is day, I would assume it is night.
Yes, you are radically misinformed. Yes, you are correct about some high-protein diets being very dangerous. The danger with Atkins is only if someone tries to combine low carb with low fat. I.e., they try to make Atkins “safe” by eliminating the fatty foods. That leaves protein.
You are also correct about “modern conventional dieticians,” and Taubes traces the origin of the idea. It was Bad Science, Jed. Much worse than the situation with cold fusion, actually, and more immediately harmful.
The rural Japanese diet is very different from the high-processed-carb diet that Taubes suspects for the diseases of civilization. Your reaction to Taubes blinds you.
You are, again, correct: it’s very difficult to trust anyone to whom you react like that. You will be very sensitive to evidence confirming your reaction, and will dismiss contrary evidence. If you want to understand yourself on this, study Krivit. If you don’t want to understand yourself, it’s your choice.
If you want power, understand yourself. That is where it starts. Taubes’ first “diet book,” Good Calories, Bad Calories, is meticulously documented. (It is not actually a diet book, he is not recommending any diet in it. He did move on to that later, I think, but I haven’t bought his later books. Taubes shows that he understands information cascades, where something becomes “scientific consensus” without actually being “scientific,” other than involving a few scientists (who then influence the formation of the cascade). Taubes shows that “scientists” can make heavy interpretive errors. That’s been his theme since before Bad Science, with his book, Nobel Dreams. He discovered some of the same kinds of “scientific behavior,” after closing out his investigation of cold fusion (with obviously premature conclusions), among nutritionists, about salt in the diet, when these discussed other “nutritional science” with him. And that led him to the “Big Fat Lie.” The title came from New York Times editors. He doesn’t use words like “lie.” He does not accuse scientists of lying. He did make accusations about tritium, as you known. Taubes, like everyone else, can make interpretive errors, particularly when his own emotions are triggered.
Consider this: the tritium evidence can readily be considered probative that chemistry is leading to some kind of nuclear reaction, way too much tritium was found. Taubes, however, accepts the “conventional wisdom,” so comes up with the idea of deliberate tritium spiking. In fact, it is impossible to prove that unless someone is caught red-handed, and this possibility, which always exists, is why, for extraordinary claims, it is routine to require fully-independent confirmation. Taubes did not have adequate evidence to make the accusation, and the spiking would have had to be much more sophisticated than his basic idea, if I’m correct — I have not studied the actual Science article — but, again, these are the mistakes we make when attached to some idea. Taubes and anyone else, or should we except “present company”?
Because the tritium evidence is relatively isolated from the other nuclear evidence, I have de-emphasized it, but … it is relatively strong circumstantial evidence that the heat effect is nuclear in nature, and it is an historical tragedy that nobody ever carefully searched for clear correlation of heat or helium with tritium production. Ed’s theory, more or less, hand-waves this away, by asserting that tritium production depends on the H/D ratio in the NAE, but there would still be correlations; from his theory, at low H concentration, tritium would vary directly, at least, with the absorbed H, and H is preferentially absorbed. Heat would decline with absorbed H, if NAE exists, because of the lower expected yield from his (H+D+e) fusion. So the relationship would be complex, but correlations should be observable. I would also expect much more tritium than a million times down from helium, Ed is a bit out on a limb with his chart showing the ratios of production of deuterium/tritium/helium vs H/D ratio. However, this part of his theory is not “over the edge,” in my opinion, that is, H/D ratio might well be involved in tritium production.
(Apparently the relationship of absorption of H/D/T has been studied, and in any critical study, they should be confirmed by study of loaded cathodes, not just by the R/R0 measure of loading. Expensive work. But fundamental, basic research, likely to generate useful data.)
The 1970s+ diet recommendations for low sat fats were based on assumptions – due to the link between fat and cholesterol, and cholesterol and plaque. The epidemiological evidence was incomplete and unclear – epidemiology is very difficult to get right because there are so many not understood conflating factors.
Quite a lot of medicine is like that. It never used to be a science, more a collection of empirically based ideas some of which are true, some of which are myths. And difficult to know which is which.
Now with the development of epigenetics and molecular biochemistry many of these biological mechanisms are becoming better understood but it is still difficult and dietary advice, in particular, will be highly inaccurate unless it is personalised based on genetic profile. To get the data to do that is difficult since you need either even more difficult empirical studies or to tie down all of the relevant biochemical pathways – a mammoth task.
The Keys study was essentially cherry-picked. That can be fatal to studies seeking correlations. Taubes would agree with you. And even then, once many or most pathways are known, it would still be theory, until and unless confirmed experimentally. Which can be very difficult. Taubes started NuSI with a goal of conclusive evidence within ten years. Ambitious.
(See my comment below.)
Ah, my comment above. I decided to document it, so I googled Keys study and found a blog post that demolished my idea. Not the overall sense I have, but the claim that Keys cherry-picked his study. The blogger actually comes up with “maybe” on that question, but the cherry-picking story and subsequent history took on, in the blogosphere and in many articles, mythic dimensions, showing how what we think we know can be way off.
THE TRUTH ABOUT ANCEL KEYS: WE’VE ALL GOT IT WRONG
The Butter Bob diet works for me.
I could write a book about it, Sam. I discovered HFLC diets about fifteen years ago. There are shifts as one gets older, it seems to be common, metabolism changes. However, Bob’s ideas about fasting fit with other concepts of mine. “Fasting” to me, the short-term fasting he talks about, is simply not eating out of boredom. And, as well, eating smaller amounts of high-fat foods (and rounding out the diet, something Bob doesn’t pay much attention to. “Rounding out” does not mean much carbohydrate, it means adding in vegetables. I prep them with butter. I also may eat some fruits (especially blueberries, which I can keep frozen) with, say, Greek Yoghurt (full fat) or even heavy cream (which I always have on hand, and I used to call it my “fuel.” I have it liberally in coffee, maybe one or sometimes two cups a day.)
I’ve learned how to make delicious small meals with ready ingredients. A simple example would be a moderately common meal for me (lately). I buy “sushi-quality” tuna at Aldi, it’s cheap, flash-frozen, probably on the boat. Toss the individual serving in a pan of water and it takes a few minutes to thaw, then open the package and eat it uncooked with soy sauce. Sashimi! Fantastic! I make soft-boiled eggs because it’s easy and reliable with a timer. Add a small piece of toast (buttered, of course), and it’s absolutely delicious. For variations, I sprinkle Parmesan cheese on the peeled eggs. Maybe some cayenne sauce. I like the yolk a little runny, so the time I use is six minutes, puncturing the eggs with a mat knife on the fat end, so that they don’t crack and leak, and lowering them into boiling water. Whatever works, but the reliability is important. I also make hard-boiled eggs (10 minutes) and mix them with, say, a can of tuna, and mayonnaise, of course. If I have it, I’d toss in chopped celery. And there are many other simple foods, I keep the freezer stocked, and also buy fresh foods (which I, of course, eat first!)
Bob doesn’t seem to get another issue: fun. Yes, he’s looking at the fun of not being fat, but that’s negative. Eating is wonderful! When I’m making something to eat, I think about how delicious it’s going to be. And it always is. My mouth is watering as I carry the food to where I’m going to eat it. My body is ready for it.
But at my age, the amount to eat for maintenance is lower than before. Even eating very little, my weight stays the same, it’s homeostatic. So I’ve needed to develop more approaches, because I do weigh too much, for my satisfaction. Flax crackers, easy to make (just flaxseed and water). They satisfy the desire for something crunchy, and have other excellent effects, they are great with, say, cream cheese. I always have cream cheese in the refrigerator and a quick little meal might be a cucumber with cream cheese. And I’m watching the markers, I may have another cardiac CAT scan. So far, I have a diagnosed cardiac blockage, which shows up in a nuclear stress test. It may have developed many years ago, before I went HFLC. I have an exercise program, and I declared it would be fun, and, so … it is. I push my self, the goal being not only strength training, as well as encouraging the heart to develop collateral circulation. No heart attack, and I carry nitroglycerin, but have never taken it. They wanted to put in a stent. I did the research, and declined, at least so far.
(I get angina, but it is very mild and quickly goes away; I carry the nitro just in case it stays, it can save a trip to the hospital or make it easy for them if I do go. I also take metaprolol, which keeps my heart rate lower, because it makes my cardiologist happy. I take one baby aspirin a day. And I worry about the metaprolol, that this might slow down the development of collateral circulations. Nobody really knows the answers, to questions I ask. So we make our best guesses. In my training, they say that survival is a game that we are all going to lose, and that’s quite the case. Survival is not my goal, living well is, for myself and for the rest of us, and the closest we get to immortality is in what we create in our families and communities.)