Why Didn’t I Blog More About Economics?

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Over the years as my interests have changed so have the topics on my blog. From hiking to financial to fitness to nutrition to cooking to whatever sparked my curiosity. But there is one huge exception and that is economics.

For the past 5 or 6 years I have spent a considerable amount of time learning more about economics. Podcasts, articles and books. I didn’t have a goal in mind. It was just something I gravitated to as my interest in finance was fading. Yet I almost never post about economics unless it relates to a topic that is connected to me personally.

The EconTalk podcast continues to be my favorite source of economic knowledge. Often times I would end up reading the books by the guests to further my understanding of the topic. (NPR’s Planet Money is pretty good too. Never cared for Freakonomics.)

Photo by Paul Downey

A while back someone asked my why I don’t discuss economics on this blog. The reason is that early on I realized that people are biased to their core on their opinions of government and the free market and that will cloud how they will approach any economic topic. It is just like politics. Whatever your belief is you can certainly find data or information to support that belief. And that isn’t just true with average people like us, but some of the top economists of the last 100 years. The Keynes vs Hayek battle is still being debated.

I have my own bias, which I am aware of, and I know that I’m not going to convince anyone of anything. And if I did, so what? As energy draining as all those fitness posts became, I’m certain that tackling topics on economics would be magnitudes worse. Trying to convince a CrossFit enthusiast of SuperSlow HIT – as difficult as that sounds – would be much easier than trying to defend a free market principle to someone that doesn’t trust free markets. So, why bother?

Learning about economics has helped me become a better decision maker. Not just with matters of time and money, but also approaching topics such as nutrition where I believe I have incomplete information. And that is good enough for me.

Opinions are becoming more and more dangerous. Hold the wrong one at the wrong time and you can expose yourself to serious backlash. If there is little to no upside in sharing a controversial viewpoint, but it does carry downside risk, why bother? It makes economic sense to stay silent.

Speed Round: Fitness and Nutrition (April 2013)

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Sometimes I cringe a little when I go back and read some of my earlier posts on nutrition. Not always, but sometimes I am tempted to remove a sentence or add an update. But with almost 2,000 posts on this site, it would be an impossible task to maintain current views on all those entries. And it would be futile, as my views are constantly changing.

Plus it seems unethical to go back and tidy up posts to make oneself always look correct. So my policy is to only update spelling or grammatical errors on older posts. I’ll also fix links that break. The only exception to this policy is recipes. As I make a dish and learn ways of making it better, I will update those posts.

Since my views are changing, how can I quickly bring readers up to my current thoughts? Recently I got a great idea while listening to the podcast interview of Robb Wolf by SportsCoachRadio.com. At the end of the interview Robb is asked to participate in a “speed round“. Quick answers to a lot of topics. A brilliant idea.

Here goes my first speed round.

CrossFit – Asinine

Squat and Bench Press – Unnecessary and unsafe.

Parkour – Looks cool. but unless you are training to be a cat burglar, the risk of injury is way too high.

High Intensity Training – Love it.

Cardio – Unnecessary for good health.

Eat Less Move More – Only explains the successes.

Intermittent Fasting – Great for learning how to deal with hunger. I think the daily 16 hours are excessive, especially for ectomorphs and women. I like Brad Pilon’s Eat Stop Eat approach best now.

Cold Temperature Exposure – I like CT as a tool to widen one’s comfort range of temperatures. However, I am skeptical of the broad fat loss claims. Those losing fat with CT all seem to be endomorphic males. Unless you are a thick-wristed big dude, I would use just enough CT to expand your comfort window. Women should probably avoid.

Glucose vs Ketones – I’ll probably do a full post on this later, but I am still in favor of cyclical approach to carbs, only now my bias is much more towards glucose metabolism.

True Toxins – Veggie oils, wheat and unfermented soy. Sugar is likely fine.

Paleo – A good start, but only a start.

Fitness blogs by young mesomorphs with cut abs – Mostly delusional nonsense written for other young males who like to be told fitness fairy tales.

GMO – Sorry, but I don’t fear genetically modified food. Economist Tyler Cowen cuts through the hysterical claims in An Economist Gets Lunch.

Microwaves – Fine.

Diet Colas – Sugar cane soda is a much better option, however a single diet cola a day is probably fine. More than that might cause strokes.

Popcorn – I have no idea if it is good or bad. I eat it occasionally. Nothing suppresses my appetite more.

Best Nutrition Book – None. Get a cookbook that inspires you instead.

Best Fitness Book – Body By Science or HillFit.

Long term view of health – Extremely optimistic.

Confidence Level that I Understand Fitness – 70%

Confidence Level that I Understand Nutrition – 30%

That is it for now. I’ll likely do another Speed Round post in a year mocking my opinions in this post. 🙂