Saturday, June 14, 2014
  Grandma was right yet again

Been skipping through another Spokane history book, focused on downtown in the '30s and '40s. The book was published in 1997.

Still nothing about my neighborhood, but some solid research on interesting stuff like underground steam tunnels and the remarkable thoroughness of the Davenport Hotel. Two stories relating to breweries, at opposite ends of the rich/poor spectrum:



Example 1: The Schade Brewery was closed by Prohibition. It was a vast solid brick building with lots of interior rooms, and it was used as a sort of semi-organized flophouse by jobless men. City government sympathetically allowed the squatting, and the place became known as the DeGink Hotel. Gink was apparently a local term for bum, perhaps cognate with geek. (Incidentally, Schade was an ideal beer brand for a mainly Lutheran city. Let's have another tall glass of Shame!) (Incidentally2, note the dog photobombing the soupline. The dog wasn't obviously a dog in the picture printed in the book; he showed up clearly after I scanned and brightened the pic.)

Example 2: When the date for ending Prohibition was known, the Davenport financed the Bohemian Brewery to resume operations well in advance of the date so the hotel could resume serving Davenport-quality beer at the exact minute when the law changed. The brewery got its facilities running again, and had the requisite number of bottles and kegs ready. Davenport paid to have a truck specially exempted and police-escorted the day before the Big Event, so the beer would be ready to open when the Big Event happened.

At the end of the chapter on Restaurants:
How nostalgic to think of the downtown restaurants of those days! Wishful thinking might make us want to go back to the prices in the restaurants then, but wages were much lower too. We might long for the freedom to eat such delicacies as mocha log, fish and chips, and chocolate almond slabs without pangs of conscience because we knew nothing of the dangers of fat and cholesterol. It was a more innocent time.
The part about inflation is smart, rarely seen in this genre of nostalgic books. The part about cholesterol is tragic.

We knew nothing in the '30s, and we were right.

Bad "science" has created unnecessary guilt and anxiety. Recently this particular area of bad "science" has been canceled out and returned to reality. Salt isn't the problem. Fat isn't the problem. Cholesterol may be a side-effect of the problem, but it's not the problem. Don't try to lose weight. It won't work.

Essentially all the diet advice of the 20th century was fatally wrong. Grandma was right. Don't eat too much, eat lots of colors, get lots of sun and exercise. And that's all you can do.

Billions of dollars wasted, untold anxiety and stress leading to early death, untold amounts of bad eating, all caused by "science".

Time to eliminate all government funding for science. Government-funded science is LETHAL. Let businesses, foundations and crowdsourcing do the job. Almost all genuine advances were made under private funding. This was true for hundreds of years before gov't took over, and it never stopped being true.


= = = = =

Sidenote: The sudden change in public output from the diet-and-heart specialists is remarkable. When any branch of science gets tied closely to granting agencies like NIH and CDC, it gets locked into a cycle of falsehood. There's always an Alpha Man who monopolizes grants with his pet theory, and his monopoly on money enables him to turn out generations of PhD acolytes to carry on his pet theory. All peer reviewers enforce the pet theory, all grantors are accustomed to funding the pet theory. Normally the Alpha Theory retains full power for a couple of decades, then slowly fades without ever acknowledging that it was bad science. Not so in this case. Somebody with budget power has grabbed the steering wheel and slammed on the brakes, causing a sudden switch to fact-based public output. The new output even criticizes and disowns the old pet theories.

This deserves a case study by someone who might be called a 'philosopher of science', someone who can find the key players and determine how they broke out of the Kuhnian prison!

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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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