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Author Topic: Nutrition  (Read 11471 times)
Julie.chan
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Re: Nutrition
« Reply #45 on: June 30, 2017, 01:17:18 pm »

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If however you find out that 45 of those correlations CANNOT be causes, since they ONLY correlate with the consumption of other types of food that correlate with the health condition, you are left with only 5 different foods.

Pure speculation. You have no idea how much improvement there can actually be if all the data is collected, and this is not an acceptable experiment to perform.

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Do you understand why the nutritional researchers are using randomized controlled trials? It seems to me like you only "think" using a random selection of people is a "good idea", since that is what people have been doing for a long time. Or like if they somehow discovered that using a random selection of people gave the most reliable results from doing lots of experiments. People didn't discover this empirically, they understood it from advances in basic probability and statistics during the 17th and 18th century. Mathematics is not an empirical discipline.

I haven't the slightest idea what you're asking here. Randomized controlled trials are not just about "a random selection of people". They're about a methodology which controls the circumstances of experimental subjects, which is generally speaking impossible with nutrition in humans due both to the time it takes for real outcomes to occur and ethics concerns.

This just means that researchers in the field of nutrition have to do the best they can with what they have. It does not mean that we need to switch to a totalitarian dictatorship watching our every move in the hopes that more data will make their job easier.

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I don't know how things are in your country, but here we almost never use cash anymore. When I use my debit card to pay in grocery stores, I am already giving my ID to the payment terminal. The only people that still are using cash in my country, are criminals and very old people. They politicians here are discussing to get completely rid of cash, since they believe it can reduce black market activity.

That's horrible, and the only country I can think of which I've heard is so terrible (other than North Korea et al) is the Netherlands. No, we haven't abandoned cash in the U.S. No, we don't consider cash to be for "criminals and very old people". No, we don't require ID to use credit cards.

I'm a cashier, and in my experience, most people use credit cards, but several people use cash. I'm one of those people. I only use my debit card to make purchases online, and when I either forget or am unable to withdraw the cash beforehand. There are all kinds of reasons to use cash which have nothing to do with criminal activity: you can check how much you have without logging into your bank account/visiting an ATM, most vending machines require it, you don't need to wait for the waiter to process your card at a restaurant, you don't appreciate government surveillance, you don't appreciate spousal surveillance, etc.

The reason I know about the Netherlands as an example, by the way, is because of a Dutch documentary made sometime around the Snowden revelations called "Panopticon: A Documentary About Your Privacy".

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where have I said anything about using surveillance cameras to collect data?

You didn't, and the fact that you are disputing the necessity of it shows your naïvety, or possibly the totalitarian nature of your country. You need surveillance cameras to collect all the data for your proposal to even have a halfway decent chance of succeeding. Otherwise:

1. Once someone buys the food, you have no idea whether or not that's going to stay with that person.
2. Once food enters a household, you have no idea whether or not it's going to be consumed, or by whom.

You're calling for collecting all of the data, and consolidating it for researchers, so that researchers don't have to rely on things like voluntary self-reporting for their research and maybe that would improve their results a little. Nothing short of total surveillance can achieve that, especially if you're talking about using correlations to prove that a link is impossible.
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Zanthius
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Re: Nutrition
« Reply #46 on: June 30, 2017, 01:38:31 pm »

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If however you find out that 45 of those correlations CANNOT be causes, since they ONLY correlate with the consumption of other types of food that correlate with the health condition, you are left with only 5 different foods.
Pure speculation. You have no idea how much improvement there can actually be if all the data is collected, and this is not an acceptable experiment to perform.

That is not speculation, that is mathematics (and not very complex mathematics). If you had a PhD in statistics I would never have this discussion with you.

That's horrible, and the only country I can think of which I've heard is so terrible (other than North Korea et al) is the Netherlands. No, we haven't abandoned cash in the U.S. No, we don't consider cash to be for "criminals and very old people".

Well, I hate to use "dirty pieces of paper" which  tons of other people have put their bacteria on. I also find it much easier to use my debit card everywhere I go, than to carry "dirty pieces of paper" around.

you can check how much you have without logging into your bank account/visiting an ATM

It takes me about 5 seconds to check how much money I have in my account from my phone. We used to have lots of ATM's here 10-20 years ago. Nowadays you can barely find ATM's here. But if you want cash, any grocery store will let you withdraw cash there, if you also buy something.

1. Once someone buys the food, you have no idea whether or not that's going to stay with that person.
2. Once food enters a household, you have no idea whether or not it's going to be consumed, or by whom.

I have already written about this:

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If we instead base our studies on the groceries people are buying, we avoid the problem of self-reporting, but another problem arises. In families for example, one person often buys food for the entire family. This problem can be circumvented however, if we obtain information about how many people are living together. If we only use individuals that are living alone in our studies, there is a high likelihood that most of the purchased groceries are consumed by the individual that is buying them. Families can also be considered as units, where we look at all the groceries bought by the family, and the overall health situation for the family.

In my country, the tax department already knows if you are living alone or with a partner/family. The postal service also has a register of which people are living at which address.

The reason I know about the Netherlands as an example, by the way, is because of a Dutch documentary made sometime around the Snowden revelations called "Panopticon: A Documentary About Your Privacy".

I am not living in Netherlands, but in my country, we focus upon such things as transparency of the government. The individuals in our government would for example never be allowed to not disclose their tax returns. In general, I also think we have much stricter privacy laws than you have in the United States. The Internet operators here are for example generally not allowed to give my identity to someone else, so very few people here have been caught for piracy.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2017, 02:49:00 pm by Zanthius » Logged
Julie.chan
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Re: Nutrition
« Reply #47 on: June 30, 2017, 02:49:51 pm »

There is no such thing as a person who lives alone, only ever buys food that he himself eats, eats every single thing he buys, and never eats anything else. The only way you could know everything about an individual's diet, rather than the same stuff they could just self-report, is if you perform totalitarian surveillance on them.

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That is not speculation, that is mathematics (and not very complex mathematics). If you had a PhD in statistics I would never have this discussion with you.

Are you saying that you have evidence that there are currently 50 possible causes for something (which you have not defined), and can prove that only five of those possible causes are true? I'd like to see your evidence and proof, please.

Or are you under the impression that I am disputing how subtraction works? Because I am obviously not.

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Well, I hate to use "dirty pieces of paper" which  tons of other people have put their bacteria on.

That's your subjective opinion. Clearly you value the fantasy that your credit/debit card is cleaner than cash (which is probably not true) over your privacy. Let's just pretend you're not touching the same doorknob as everyone else, eh?

But I value my privacy more than whether or not there's bacteria on something. There's bacteria on everything. That's what our immune systems are for. It's not like you're eating your money.

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It takes me about 5 seconds to check how much money I have in my account from my phone.

That's nice and all, but I wasn't arguing that cash is more convenient than cards, only that there could be reasons for people preferring to use cash other than crime and "old people". I don't know how you check how much money you have in your account in just 5 seconds without completely compromising the security of your bank information, but I cannot do that, so it is still a valid example.
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Zanthius
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Re: Nutrition
« Reply #48 on: June 30, 2017, 03:03:55 pm »

There is no such thing as a person who lives alone, only ever buys food that he himself eats, eats every single thing he buys, and never eats anything else.

Sure, but that is the nice thing about "big data", it really doesn't matter if a few individuals are giving their food to someone else, as long as the large majority of people aren't. The "few individuals" that are giving away their food to someone else, can be neglected when you are basing your analysis upon a very large amount of data. Think about it as a 10000x10000 pixel photo. It doesn't matter if you lose a few pixels here and there, you will still see a clear image. In general, the higher the resolution is, the more you can "afford" to lose a few pixels.



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That is not speculation, that is mathematics (and not very complex mathematics). If you had a PhD in statistics I would never have this discussion with you.
Are you saying that you have evidence that there are currently 50 possible causes for something (which you have not defined), and can prove that only five of those possible causes are true? I'd like to see your evidence and proof, please.

No, I am saying that you can figure out which foods only are correlated to other foods that are correlated to a specific health condition, by analyzing subgroups, like I have tried to make very easy for people to understand in my text (http://archania.org/a_new_way_to_do_nutritional_research.html). If you disagree with something in my example, or if there is something you don't understand in my example, under "How we can distinguish correlations from causes", please be a bit more specific so that I can improve the example.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2017, 03:44:00 pm by Zanthius » Logged
Julie.chan
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Re: Nutrition
« Reply #49 on: June 30, 2017, 04:05:02 pm »

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The "few individuals" that are giving away their food to someone else

...are not just a "few individuals". No one I know behaves in the way you expect. We throw away food. We eat with others. Invite people over. Get invited over. Pay for a friend's meal because they forgot their wallet. That kind of stuff. These are all things that completely throw off the methodology you're suggesting, and you're just dismissing them as anomalies. This isn't even mentioning the actual anomolies, like farmers who grow their own food, wrong PLU codes at checkout, petty shoplifting, wrong barcodes, missing barcodes, varying portion sizes, free food (compensation etc), gift cards... it's beginning to look like an unworkable methodology, unless you establish total surveillance of the people involved. Nothing short of Orwell's nightmare is sufficient for your suggestion to be plausible.

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Are you saying that you have evidence that there are currently 50 possible causes for something (which you have not defined), and can prove that only five of those possible causes are true? I'd like to see your evidence and proof, please.

No

Then, as I said, the idea that you can create such a drastic improvement is unfounded speculation, just like I said.

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I am saying that you can figure out which foods only are correlated to other foods that are correlated to a specific health condition, by analyzing subgroups

You can.

That does not mean that you can reduce uncertainty by 90%. It could very well be that uncertainty would only be reduced by 2%. These numbers are not of minor importance; if we are going to implement a totalitarian dictatorship to fulfill a particular goal, we had better be very confident in the effectiveness of that plan. You seem content to just throw your freedom and privacy away for the mere possibility that maybe nutrition science can advance a little faster. This tells me that the amount of value you ascribe to your freedom and privacy is zero. But I value freedom and privacy more than not at all, and I'm sure millions if not billions of people would agree.
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Death 999
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Re: Nutrition
« Reply #50 on: June 30, 2017, 04:16:27 pm »

> That is not speculation, that is mathematics (and not very complex mathematics). If you had a PhD in statistics I would never have this discussion with you.

Zanthius, please apply the principle of charity. I know statistics quite well and it is not at all obvious how to do what you are saying, in real life circumstances, even on large data sets. The possibility space explodes harder than population gets big.
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Zanthius
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Re: Nutrition
« Reply #51 on: June 30, 2017, 04:19:27 pm »

...are not just a "few individuals". No one I know behaves in the way you expect. We throw away food. We eat with others. Invite people over. Get invited over. Pay for a friend's meal because they forgot their wallet. That kind of stuff. These are all things that completely throw off the methodology you're suggesting, and you're just dismissing them as anomalies. This isn't even mentioning the actual anomolies, like farmers who grow their own food, wrong PLU codes at checkout, petty shoplifting, wrong barcodes, missing barcodes, varying portion sizes, free food (compensation etc), gift cards... it's beginning to look like an unworkable methodology, unless you establish total surveillance of the people involved. Nothing short of Orwell's nightmare is sufficient for your suggestion to be plausible.

I showed you an image with 100x75, and 1000x750, each of them had 50% pixel loss. Imagine the 100x75 image to be like a study based upon 7500 individuals, while the 1000x750 image to be like a study based upon 750000 individuals. You could can still see the 1000x750 image pretty well, even with 50% picture loss! That would be like 50% of the individuals living alone, buying food for someone else, shoplifting, missing barcodes, etc. In my country, I would estimate the amount of such anomalies to be less than 10%, but in your country maybe half of the people living alone survives on shoplifting and/or getting food from someone else.  And yeah, maybe this would be impossible in your country, if it is as disorganized as you are implying.

That does not mean that you can reduce uncertainty by 90%. It could very well be that uncertainty would only be reduced by 2%.

That depends entirely on how many individuals are included in the study, and on how many anomalies there are in the study.

Better organized societies -> less anomalies (less pixel loss)
Larger population size -> more individuals in study (higher resolution)
« Last Edit: June 30, 2017, 04:39:10 pm by Zanthius » Logged
Zanthius
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Re: Nutrition
« Reply #52 on: June 30, 2017, 04:44:32 pm »

Zanthius, please apply the principle of charity. I know statistics quite well and it is not at all obvious how to do what you are saying, in real life circumstances, even on large data sets. The possibility space explodes harder than population gets big.

Fine, but I think you are a bit biased here, in teaming up with people from your own country. I don't think she always is applying the principle of charity herself, and I rarely see you commenting upon that.

The best would of course be, if all of us tried to see why a different country isn't necessarily better or worse, even if it is a bit different. And be less occupied with that "my country is the best!".
« Last Edit: June 30, 2017, 04:54:04 pm by Zanthius » Logged
Julie.chan
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Re: Nutrition
« Reply #53 on: June 30, 2017, 05:03:43 pm »

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I showed you an image with 100x75, and 1000x750, each of them had 50% pixel loss.

Do you have any evidence that the way human behavior works is reflected in what you did to that image?

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I would estimate the amount of such anomalies to be less than 10%

Do you have any evidence for this estimate?

And again, do you have any evidence of the extent to which implementing the surveillance state you want to implement (tracking all people's purchases) would improve our scientific understanding of nutrition?

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And be less occupied with that "my country is the best!".

I never said that.

What I did say was that if what you said about your country is true (and I hasten to add that I haven't a clue what that country is), then that state of affairs is horrible. I never said that the United States is "the best", nor did I say that it is "better" than your country (which, again, you haven't identified). Every country has its strengths and faults, and based on what you have said, one of your country's faults is Orwellian surveillance, and widespread acceptance of such.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2017, 05:05:42 pm by Julie.chan » Logged

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Re: Nutrition
« Reply #54 on: June 30, 2017, 07:24:50 pm »

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I showed you an image with 100x75, and 1000x750, each of them had 50% pixel loss.
Do you have any evidence that the way human behavior works is reflected in what you did to that image?

I certainly think it is a good analogy, except for that you are trying to extract a trend from lots of data when you are comparing what groceries people are buying to different health conditions.

But maybe Death999 could tell you if he thinks it is reflected in what I did to the images, since he is likely to be less biased about this than me.

Anyhow, I have added the images with 50% pixel loss to the main document: http://archania.org/a_new_way_to_do_nutritional_research.html
« Last Edit: June 30, 2017, 11:01:02 pm by Zanthius » Logged
Julie.chan
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Re: Nutrition
« Reply #55 on: July 01, 2017, 04:46:31 am »

You didn't answer any of my questions, all of which are straight yes/no questions:

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Do you have any evidence that the way human behavior works is reflected in what you did to that image?

Do you have any evidence for [the 10% anomalies] estimate?

And again, do you have any evidence of the extent to which implementing the surveillance state you want to implement (tracking all people's purchases) would improve our scientific understanding of nutrition?
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Re: Nutrition
« Reply #56 on: July 01, 2017, 10:38:28 pm »

And again, do you have any evidence of the extent to which implementing the surveillance state you want to implement (tracking all people's purchases) would improve our scientific understanding of nutrition?

The thing about the nutritional study I am proposing, which differs from other nutritional studies, is not that just it is based on a much more individuals, and avoids self-reporting. It also doesn't have a time limit. The longer it continues, the more certain we can be that the trends it recognizes are correct. Uncertainty will decrease more and more as we move into the future. Something like this:



But please, verify this assertion with Death 999, since he is likely to be much less biased than me about this.

Anyhow, I have now also added this graph to the main document: http://archania.org/a_new_way_to_do_nutritional_research.html
« Last Edit: July 02, 2017, 01:25:11 am by Zanthius » Logged
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Re: Nutrition
« Reply #57 on: July 02, 2017, 05:43:15 am »

Fine, but I think you are a bit biased here, in teaming up with people from your own country. I don't think she always is applying the principle of charity herself, and I rarely see you commenting upon that.

I don't care what country Julie is from, or you.

The asymmetry here arises from the plan itself. This proposal would be a massive undertaking. So, it very well ought to be subject to intense scrutiny.

If you have a specific place you think that charity has not been properly extended to you, please show me.
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Julie.chan
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Re: Nutrition
« Reply #58 on: July 02, 2017, 06:26:18 am »

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The thing about the nutritional study

Are you going to answer any of my questions? The answer to all of them is either "yes" or "no".
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Zanthius
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Re: Nutrition
« Reply #59 on: July 02, 2017, 08:33:07 am »

The asymmetry here arises from the plan itself. This proposal would be a massive undertaking. So, it very well ought to be subject to intense scrutiny.

I want intense scrutiny, but not destructive negative-sum comments that aren't helping me, such as "this will turn our society into George Orwell's 1984", or "this will turn our society into the Soviet Union under Stalin". That would be like me saying that Donald Trump is just like Hitler, and therefore you are living in a society that is equivalent to Nazi Germany now. Such assertions are false equivalences.

And consumption of unhealthy food also costs a lot:

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The social cost of malnutrition, measured by the “disability-adjusted life years” lost to child and maternal malnutrition and to overweight and obesity, are very high. Beyond the social cost, the cost to the global economy caused by malnutrition, as a result of lost productivity and direct health care costs, could account for as much as 5 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP), equivalent to US$3.5 trillion per year or US$500 per person.

http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3301e/i3301e.pdf

If we were more certain about which foods are healthy and unhealthy, it would be more justifiable to put taxes on unhealthy foods and to subsidize healthy foods. It is very risky business to put taxes on unhealthy food, unless you are really certain that it is unhealthy. It is also risky business to educate kids about healthy nourishment, unless you are somewhat certain that your ideas about healthy nourishment are correct. That could generate distrust in the government.

I have now also written a bit about this and how malnutrition influences the global economy in my main document: http://archania.org/a_new_way_to_do_nutritional_research.html
« Last Edit: July 02, 2017, 03:26:07 pm by Zanthius » Logged
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