There are holes in SciBlogs*.
I usually dont notice them until I have a question that SciBlogs cant answer. I mean, we have a ton of super smart, super skeptical people here on just about every topic.
What I love about ‘our people’ is that we dont have to be experts on everything. I know a lot about viruses. I dont have to know a lot about global warming. Other people have that base covered. I dont have to know everything about developmental biology. I dont have to know everything about astronomy. The concept of ‘I dunno, I dont study ___’ totally baffles Creationists.
The only time I am really uncomfortable is when I have a question… and I dont know who to ask for help.
Thats where Pal found himself a few months ago. Dude wanted to drop some weight, get into better shape… and he didnt know where to go for scientific advice and recommendations. Pal, a pillar of the skeptical medicine community, was left dangling in the wind, getting ‘advice’ from fat people who used to be slightly more fat (therefore experts on exercise and weight loss), and diet recommendations from well-meaning people who appeared to eat compost for lunch.
It made me sick.
And now, first of the year, first of the decade, there are a ton of people looking to lose weight, get in shape, get healthier. And we still dont have anyone here at SciBlogs to help. For Petes sake, if Pal, a skeptical physician, needs help on this issue, how the hell can we expect Average Joe/Janes to navigate the minefield of woo that is ‘diet and fitness’??
If I were being cynical, I would say ‘diet and fitness’ isnt a priority for science-types because scientists are nerds/geeks and diet/exercise people are jocks, our archenemies. Jocks are dumb, steroid pumping, meat heads (or plastic anorexic superficial bimbos). Us nerds/geeks appreciate people for their ideas, not their bodies. Who cares if someone is a 500 lb drunk if their ideas/experiments/speeches are mind-blowing?
The jock/nerd relationship doesnt have to be this way. There are some great skeptical ‘meat head’ bloggers that I think you all would like. Alan Aragon constantly makes me giggle, comparing everyday foods to ‘OMFG BRAND NEW SUPER SUPPLEMENT’. Know how ‘food isnt medicine‘? A couple weeks ago Alan compared Two-Buck-Chuck to Monavie (ANTIOXIDANTZ CURE EVERYDING!). Alan was lynched by T-Nation a while back for having the audacity to point out that advertised muscle/strength gains for a new training program were physiologically impossible, and technically, $3-a-gallon chocolate milk was just as good as T-Nations new $33-a-bottle supplement.
Yes, you nerds might say “YA ALL SUPPLEMENTZ R BAD. UR DUMB FOR BUYING THEM ANYWAYZ. I NUT DUMB.”
Well, there are ‘good’ supplements out there. I dont eat enough meat. I just dont like it. So I supplement with protein powders/bars to meet my daily intake needs (do you know what your protein intake needs are? what you get every day?). For the same reasons, I also supplement with creatine (I dont eat meat, especially red meat, to get it via diet). I also like a specific kind of caffeine pill (OMG JESSIE! NOOO!!) instead of an energy drink before workouts if I dont have time to make coffee *shrug*
I would bet a large sum of money that I am the fittest person on SciBlogs. So, I could give ‘diet advice’ based on what I eat. I could give ‘fitness advice’ based on how I exercise. But I dont want to be the go-to person for health/diet/fitness on SciBlogs. On this topic I am an amateur with a lot of personal experience. This isnt ‘InterestedAmateurBlogs’*. This is ScienceBlogs.
Not that Im singling out SciBlogs for not addressing this topic, I dont think the skeptical community as a whole does either (for the reasons I stated earlier). And it pisses me off. Smart kids will spend hours a day playing WoW or Starcraft, but wrinkle their nose at lifting weights 3 times a week. Skeptical women who wont skip a pilates or spinning class in favor of lifting weights cause they dont wanna get ‘bulky’, but dont understand why they arent getting the body they want. Men who have brains overflowing with knowledge of physics or biochemistry bragging about how much beer they drink, but dont have a clue what their macros are (or should be, or what ‘macro’ even means).
I dunno, especially this time of year, Im pissed at the lack of communication and the lack of support between ‘us’ and ‘them’. Im pissed because I see ‘us’ put so much effort into Creationism/HIV Denial/Holocaust Denial/Global Warming/Astrology, but not something as important as our damn health. Im pissed cause that same intellectual communism I make fun of with Creationism (everyone has an equally valid opinion, regardless of education and experience) is totally supported when it comes to diet/exercise (I LOST SO MUCH WEIGHT DOING ___!). Im pissed because getting fit really isnt all that hard. If I can do it, anyone can do it. The ‘hard’ part was sifting through all the bullshit to find out what actually works. And the shit-sifting problem would be on its way to being solved if we built more ‘skeptical bridges’ between ‘nerds’ and ‘jocks’.
If you all are interested, I would love to try to recruit some skeptical health/diet/exercise folks for us. If you have a person/website you think is good, Id love to have the link in the comments.
* More on this later in the form of a blagwar. A blagbattle, at least.