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Mindconnection eNL, 2009-07-19

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In this issue:
Brainpower | Finances | Security | Health/Fitness | Factoid | Product Highlight | Thought for the Day

1. Brainpower tip

Have you noticed lately how publishing standards have gone downhill? I'm talking about the flood of alleged "nonfiction" titles that serve no purpose other than to advance the personal views of the author. There are several problems with this, such as:
  • The author's views contradict the evidence.
  • The author cherry-picks facts and then uses fallacious logic to reach conclusions.
  • The author claims to be writing a non-fiction title, but in fact is producing a novel or just plain old horse hockey.

Typically, these are political opinions and those are nearly always statist and leftist. Sometimes, however, the author writes a fictional account of a true incident, posits unsupportable (or blatantly false) conclusions, and then presents the whole thing as fact.

I've noticed that such books get glowing reviews on Amazon. Yet when you read the reviews, they don't really say anything of substance. The words "air head" come to me over and over again when I wade through this tripe. Then you'll see a lone voice detailing where the author went astray.

It's not that negative people are detailed and thus write those kinds of reviews. It's that people who have the skill of critical thinking and can write a proper review end up giving a crappy book a negative review that explains where the book falls short.

Apparently, most reviewers are easily taken in. This gullibility and lack of critical thinking is why the Demopublicans keep returning to their lives of crime (exhibit one, the $11 trillion federal debt) despite the fact we have "elections."

The problem I'm identifying here though isn't the mindless reviews. It's the books themselves. Books larded with disinformation and written with low standards (if any) of editorial integrity. Such books usually have some value, but they are also dangerous because they present fiction as fact and do that to achieve an agenda that generally is in conflict with the best interests of the reader.

How can you defend yourself from being contaminated by the dross that flows from such intellectual dishonesty? Here are some tips.

  • Look at the literature sources. You can tell these people are disinformed and brainwashed, just by looking at the sources they list in the back of the book. Rather than conduct research using valid sources, the agenda-driven author lists agenda-driven sources. For example, one author's source material came almost entirely from that bastion of bias, the New York Times. If you believe that the state should be empowered and the individual diminished rather than the other way around, this rag helps you bolster such a belief.
     
  • Look at the expert sources. If an author makes claims and is using lay opinions when expert opinions are readily available, the book is fiction. For example, one author claimed a riot incident aboard an aircraft carrier was mutiny. But mutiny is a legal term with a specific definition and the death penalty applies (source: the Uniform Code of Military Justice). Nowhere in the book did the author quote a single lawyer, senior officer, or the UCMJ about mutiny. He did quote people who weren't qualified to comment on it, repeatedly, and used those quotes to make his case.
     
  • Look at imbalance. I have no idea why people distinguish between the big-spending, regulation-happy Democrats (who are mere employees of lobbyists) and the big-spending, regulation-happy Republicans (who are mere employees of lobbyists). Somehow, the "logic" goes that if you choose one band of bandits over the other you will be better off, as if somehow the Demopublican Party isn't a monolithic entity despite its consistent track record of behaving like one. A trend in alleged nonfiction today is the author writes in a tone that indicates one end of this particular turd doesn't stink and the other does. This kind of delusional presentation of reality means the author is probably wrong in other areas as well.
     
  • Follow the logic. If you haven't read a book on logic and/or can't identify the basic four kinds of logic, get a book on logic and read it closely. Being able to understand what a logical fallacy is and then being able to spot one is a great brainpower skill. Using this skill, you can prevent yourself from being carried along a leap of logic to a false conclusion.

Now, I have no problem with an author who states personal opinion and labels it as such. "It seems to me" or "My take is" mixed into the text is one way an honest author does this. Another way is the author has a separate chapter (often an epilogue) where the author expounds on his/her personal views. The tone in such a chapter is usually different from that of the rest of the book, and an author who is being fair isn't bringing in new evidence at this point but is basing conclusions on what the previous part of the book contained.

It's also true that our personal biases filter our very perceptions. So we can expect a bit less than complete objectivity. However, blatant non-objectivity is unacceptably dangerous when disguised as nonfiction.

2. Finance tip

Rather than write something detailed, I'm going to present you with this statement to think about:

"A penny saved is a government oversight."

Think about the implications of that. Then, look at your city council's Minutes and budgetary decisions. You may be quite shocked.

If you're in the USA, go to www.ntu.org and look at the spending records of your misrepresentatives in CONgress. The statement I quoted above really hits home when you do this. Take a moment to look at the Illinois Senatorial record of B.H. Obama if you want to know what kind of pain we're in for over the next 8 years. Spendbama, indeed.

We racked up trillions of dollars of debt under Clinton and trillions more under Bush. Now we're racking up trillions of dollars of debt under Spendbama. Whatever happened to the "change" part of his campaign? This crucial issue hasn't changed at all. And it deeply affects us all. Perhaps more than anything else the govt can do. Spendbama didn't start this pattern of gross misbehavior. It's become institutionalized. We need to take down that institution while we still can. That institution is the Demopublican-controlled CONgress (it's the Demopublican part that's all wrong).

If you review the actual voting records of the highest spenders, you see they are nothing more than the paid employees of lobbyists. Just follow the money. It's your money, after all.

3. Security tip

People constantly abuse their senses in a variety of ways. Your senses can warn you of danger, and thus prevent bodily harm or death. Most of us take these senses for granted. That's a huge mistake. What can you do to preserve, or even sharpen your senses? Here are a few tips:
  • Eyesight. Wear safety glasses any time you use rotating equipment. This means lawnmowers (read the manual, and it should tell you that), too. To sharpen your vision, practice using it. Sitting in front of a monitor all day will cause your eyes to adapt to that particular kind of seeing. You need to get outdoors and look at the terrain. Can you spot where a bird might make a nest? Can you spot where a mugger might hide? What can you see at the edges of shadows?
     
  • Hearing. Don't listen to loud music. Period. If you have to raise your voice to carry on a conversation, the noise is too loud. Wear hearing protection. This is also a requirement if using a lawnmower, leaf-blower, or weed whacker.
     
  • Smell. I have a remarkable sense of smell. It's not because of superior equipment (we men have fewer olfactory sensors than women). It's from consciously practicing the use of it. We humans tend to ignore this sense. But it is a powerful ally for detecting danger. To protect this sense, don't use perfume, don't wear polyester clothing, and don't have particleboard furniture in your home. To sharpen this sense, take the time to work with it. Stop in an area, and try to decide what scents you can detect. I have done this so long I can accurately determine if worms are attacking my kale because I am keenly sensitive to the smell of their poop.
     
  • Feel. The kinesthetic sense of where your body parts are is something martial artists develop to a high degree. So do climbers, skaters, basketball players, and other athletes.
     
  • Balance. While standing, close your eyes. Lift one foot to knee height and see how long you can remain standing. When you get good at this, you can make the exercise more demanding.
     
  • Touch. Close your eyes and work with different textures until you find them easy to differentiate. After you master this with your fingertips, try it with your toes.
     
  • ESP or "psyche sense." This is commonly derided as bunk, but I'm a believer. You build this sense by being open to it, practicing with it, and learning to develop a state of moderate relaxation. If you're all keyed up (as most people are most of the time), you probably won't be able to sense anything. This one sense is probably your most important one for detecting danger. If you don't like the label I gave it, then go with the idea of hairs standing up on your neck. If you've ever sensed something is wrong or out of place but it all looks fine, you've used this form of perception.

4. Health tip/Fitness tips

Recently, a reader asked me, "What kind of situps work best for abs?" My answer is they don't. Another reader passed me a link to some gadget that you sit on and do twisting motions with and wanted to know if I thought it would build abs. I said no.

You've seen lots of folks with great-looking abs. Let me ask you a question. Have you ever seen any of those people with twig arms, wimpy backs, flat chests, or bird legs? No, you haven't and there's a reason why.

The reason is the adaptation response. Hanging leg raises will work the abs (though sit-ups are a waste of time and will hurt your back), and a rigorous program of them can leave your abs sore for days. But your abs won't grow without working the rest of your body because your body wants to stay proportional. Even when they do grow, you won't see them if they are hiding under a thick layer of fat.

What's my favorite exercise for the abdominals? The front squat. In addition to putting tremendous, growth-inducing stress directly on the abs when done right (your abs form the front part of your natural "weight belt"), front squats cause a spike in testosterone output.

That spike means more muscle and less fat.

Fitness supplements for bodybuilders

Keep that lean summer look, with Nitro All Natural Night Time Fat Burner.
 

If you want impressive abs, you need total body conditioning, proper diet, and sufficient rest. If you do circuit training, you will never develop an impressive physique unless you are some kind of genetic freak and/or are taking seriously illegal substances.

You need to allow several days for a muscle group to recover. This is why so many bodybuilders divide their workouts into separate routines for separate muscle groups on separate days. There's no way you can do an intense chest workout and an intense leg workout on the same day. You simply do not have enough energy. One or both of those workouts will be so suboptimal as to fail to invoke an adaptation response so it's as if you didn't train at all. Worse, your cortisol levels will be far too high for the testosterone to really be effective. Worse still, this is exactly the recipe for overtraining and that means the muscles never recover between workouts.

The key to impressive abs is to adopt a lifestyle of training right and eating right, then giving things time to happen. As you develop slabs of muscle across your back and chest, your abs will just start showing up on their own even if you hardly ever work them directly.

Like anything else worth achieving, this level of fitness takes discipline. You aren't going to get it from a pill or from a gadget, though a fatburner supplement can prove helpful. Just don't rely on fatburners to make up for overeating, because they won't.

I personally believe you have to get out of the gym to build a truly strong body. Do some heavy work, somewhere. Is a neighbor digging a foundation for an outbuilding? Grab a shovel and help. Rather than run on a treadmill, go for a walk somewhere and bring along a plastic shopping bag. Squat down to pick up trash and/or pull weeds. You'll burn an amazing number of calories while doing something useful, plus the motions involved are natural motions that build body kinesis and athletic prowess. Plus all that squatting is a major workout even without a bar and weights.

 

As regular readers know, I'm 48 years old in the picture (above, right), taken in December. I don't diet down for summer. I don't have good genes for maintaining a lean body, I really have to be conscientious and disciplined about it. That doesn't mean I suffer, eat bland foods, or starve myself.

At www.supplecity.com, you'll find plenty of informative, authoritative articles on maintaining a lean, strong physique. It has nothing to do with long workouts or impossible to maintain diets. In fact:

  • The best workouts are short and intense.
  • A good diet contains far more flavors and satisfaction than the typical American diet.

Nor does it mean being hungry all the time (you are less hungry on six small meals a day than three large ones), being weak from hunger (on a proper dietary regimen, you will have much more energy than otherwise), or "giving up pleasures" (I have no idea where this concept comes from, unless a person considers being sick a "pleasure.").

 

5. Factoid

A dime has 118 ridges around the edge. Every dime you earn is taxed at least 118 different ways.


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We don't run ads in our newsletter, despite getting inquiries from advertisers all the time. This eNL is supported by sales from www.mindconnection.com. Please shop there, as appropriate.



7. Thought for the Day

The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right time, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

Please forward this eNL to others.

Authorship

The views expressed in this e-newsletter are generally not shared by criminals, zombies, or brainwashed individuals.

Except where noted, this e-newsletter is entirely the work of Mark Lamendola. Anything presented as fact can be independently verified. Often, sources are given; but where not given, they are readily available to anyone who makes the effort.

Mark provides information from either research or his own areas of established expertise. Sometimes, what appears to be a personal opinion is the only possibility when applying sound logic--reason it out before judging! (That said, some personal opinions do appear on occasion).

The purpose of this publication is to inform and empower its readers (and save you money!).

Personal note from Mark: I value each and every one of you, and I hope that shows in the diligent effort I put into writing this e-newsletter. Thank you for being a faithful reader.

Wishing you the best,
Mark Lamendola
Mindconnection, LLC

Authorship

The views expressed in this e-newsletter are generally not shared by criminals, zombies, or brainwashed individuals.

Except where noted, this e-newsletter is entirely the work of Mark Lamendola. Anything presented as fact can be independently verified. Often, sources are given; but where not given, they are readily available to anyone who makes the effort.

Mark provides information from either research or his own areas of established expertise. Sometimes, what appears to be a personal opinion is the only possibility when applying sound logic--reason it out before judging! (That said, some personal opinions do appear on occasion).

The purpose of this publication is to inform and empower its readers (and save you money!).

Personal note from Mark: I value each and every one of you, and I hope that shows in the diligent effort I put into writing this e-newsletter. Thank you for being a faithful reader.

To subscribe, change your e-mail address, offer your own tidbit, tell us how much you love this eNL, ask how to put us in your will <grin>, or to (gasp) unsubscribe, write to comments @ mindconnection.com (paste that into your e-mail client, and remove the spaces).

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