It’s humbling to think about how little I know, and disturbing to ponder how much I’ve learned and forgotten, or how often I learned, retained, and applied wrong information.
The information was sometimes wrong because we thought that’s how things worked back when we learned it. Then, later, you discovered, “Oh, shit, that works for everyone else, but it doesn’t work for me.”
Yes, this is another Big Lie rant. The Big Lie is that we’re all the same. Eat these foods, gain these nutrients, do these exercises, and you should be good to go.
Yeah, they then admit — you know they, the great aggregate of society, social media, medical professions, governments, you know, they — well, they admit, there are some exceptions. Like, you may be diabetic because your body rejects the insulin it makes. So you’re like, whaat?
Maybe you’re allergic to things. Or you may have problems because your body doesn’t process certain vitamins and minerals well, rejecting them. Maybe you hear things different. Perhaps you hear shapes, or you taste something because you hear a sound.
I grew up learning that people that talked to themselves were most likely not right in the head in some way. Now we’ve learned, no, they’re probably fine. Their personality is different from your personality. Conversely, telling me to come out of my shell and socialize more works on the assumption that I’ve made a choice to stay in my shell and not socialize, and not because of the components at work inside me.
Not all people we called slow were slow thinkers, but they didn’t benefit from the learning environment. Too bad for them, back then, because we didn’t know.
We keep learning that there’s a lot that we don’t know, and that what we thought we knew and pushed as truth was wrong. This was sometimes done deliberately to further someone’s wealth — remember how they told us for years that smoking cigarettes aren’t bad? — or to achieve a political advantage.
That takes me to food shopping. Oh, lawdy. I’ve decided to cut down on processed foods and reduce my sugar intake, so I’m reading labels more intently than before. A correlation often exists; if a food is low-fat or non-fat, it’ll be loaded with sugar. If it’s sugar-free, it has a lot of fat.
They say — now — that supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals probably doesn’t do anything for you, if you’re healthy. You really can’t tell that from the advertising and commercials that abound, can you?
If you’re not healthy, too much of one mineral or vitamin can cause greater problems. All this comes with that caveat, for some people. You need to learn early that you may be some people. You learn by observing your body and reactions to different inputs, studying those differences, and consulting experts when necessary.
And these deficiencies can have profound effects. Constipated, tired, and depressed? You might have a potassium deficiency. Or something else. Just saying.
Consulting experts — or the Internet — doesn’t always work out. Some experts dismiss study results. Reasons vary for why they dismiss the results, or skew them. It could be from ignorance, religion, or false information that they acquired. It could be because they’re being paid to dismiss the evidence, or they’re pathological liars, or protecting someone or something else. This spectrum about why is as broad as humanity.
Even when you find your flaws and shortcomings and address your patterns to cope, it ain’t over. Your body and brain, and our society, are dynamic. Our body is changing, sometimes from aging, sometimes from abuse. Sometimes, it’s just a slow shift because of habits.
As a society, we’re always learning new information, or revealing old frauds, or finding something new about the human body. Our food security gets exposed in unimaginable ways. Consider from this week:
Cocaine in shrimp
Cocaine in salmon
Blood absorbs sunscreens
In each case, these findings surprised scientists and investigators because it wasn’t expected. The sunscreen lotions were most interesting to me. They’ve been around back to a time before governments, industries, or individuals worried about the active ingredients in sunscreens, so they were never tested. That was partly propagated by the good ol’ common sense approach that sunscreen is rubbed on your skin; how the heck would it get into your blood? (That’s typically followed by mocking chortles because doesn’t that seem so self-evident?)
Yeah, there’s a lot that isn’t self-evident, isn’t there?