Autodidact Daybook.

As someone who read all of the 1967 World book Encyclopedia by 1970 (including the hagiography for Richard M Nixon in the 1969 update), can conform. I was lower energy than Stacey. I was bored. Yes, both parents are retired teachers. Neither are typical: my Dad cross trained after qualifying as a builder (which would not be allowed to happen now). But I don’t live in a country will a bill of rights, so we don’t have judges interpreting the first amendment so that prayer is banned and Christianity hounded from the public spaces. We leave that to Canada.

The typical teacher is a small-minded mediocrity who, when given power over a classroom of children, will use this official authority to reward some children — the unctuous teacher’s pets — and to punish any child who does not meekly comply with the bureaucratic system. Thus, from an early age, my energy and intelligence made me a target for the sadistic impulses structured into the public-education system. The authority of the bureaucrats rests upon their supposed expertise in developing children’s academic aptitude, and nobody inside the system ever questions this claim to expertise. The possibility that favoritism might cloud the judgment of teachers is not part of their calculations, yet the “good student” is always the obedient child, eager to cooperate with the system. My own teachers were shocked and embarrassed when, in fifth grade, I knocked the top off the standardized test — 99th percentile, reading at a collegiate level of comprehension — after years of being punished as a habitual discipline case. Despite being a Bad Student, I was actually one of the smartest kids in the entire state.
My outstanding test score, however, did not gain me any benefit. Nobody bothered to ask why I’d spent the idle hours of my childhood reading through the World Book Encyclopedia, nor was there any accommodation to my unusual abilities in art, music, etc. Instead, the gap between my bad grades and my spectacular standardized test performance was explained as my failure to “apply myself” in class. Yet if I had actually learned more than other children while not applying myself, what did this say about the pedagogy and curriculum? That is to say, when the Bad Student is demonstrated by objective measure to be a better student than the Teacher’s Pets, the educational bureaucrats will ignore this evidence that their system isn’t working, and instead will intensify their scapegoating of the non-conformist.

Stacey McCain.

This was in the mailbox from Mark Sisson (mark’s daily apple, well worth a read) and it does make sense. The “Blue Zones” are places where people apparently live healthily to a very old age. But do they?

It looked at “new predictors” of supercentenarian status in various regions around the world, including the United States and the aforementioned Blue Zones. What’d they find?
Red wine consumption didn’t predict supercentenarianism.
Legume consumption didn’t predict it.
The presence of hills didn’t predict it.
It turns out that a strong predictor of super-longevity is the absence of detailed birth records.
In the United States, whenever a state introduced birth certificates, supercentenarianism miraculously dropped by 69-82%. A full 82% of all supercentenarians on record in the U.S. were “born” before birth certificates were used. Only 18% have birth certificates; only 18% of American supercentenarians can actually be verified. Oops.
In Okinawa, Sardinia, and Ikaria, the strongest predictor for regions with high reported supercentenarianism was high crime, low income, and low life expectancy relative to the national average. Ninety-nine percent of male Italian centenarians smoke. Hundreds of thousands of Japanese centenarians are actually dead or missing. These aren’t what you’d expect. Oops again.
The conclusion of the paper is that the primary causes of reported supercentenarianism in these countries are pension fraud and reporting error.
Everyone’s always asking me about these regions. And as I’ve always admitted, they have a lot going for them.
Whole foods.
Strong sense of community.
Long tradition of daily movement like walking. Much of it through hilly regions.
But I just have to chuckle at this latest paper. Is Blue Zone research all for naught? No. It’s not all fraud. But it’s clear that these areas aren’t magical, and that a closer look at the longevity data might be in order.

Mark Sisson

Mark missed a couple of things — these places are dirt poor so people keep on working. As should we all — I’m following my parent’s example. They have both just given up teaching because the re-accreditation documents are a pain in the neck they don’t want to deal with in their eighties.

The merry pranksters at GAB are at it again.

In the meantime, the managers of medication development are getting desperate. They don’t realize that people read the FDA reports, and the FDA, when it gets irritated, can make the executives lives hell. This is the kind of manipulation that happens in a low-trust environment. Instead of honesty, you have criminal sanctions and oaths with teeth. Hat tip Mark Sisson.

Novartis’ spinal muscular atrophy gene therapy Zolgensma made all kinds of headlines leading up to and following its approval. Now, it’s making just the kind of headlines no drug company wants to be caught up in.

On Tuesday, the FDA said Novartis submitted a drug application with manipulated data and didn’t inform regulators of the issue until one month after approval. The company was aware of the issues two months before the FDA greenlighted the drug, the agency says. If the regulator had been aware of the data manipulation, it would’ve had to delay its decision and strike up an investigation.
Acting FDA chief Ned Sharpless, M.D., tweeted that the agency “will use its full authorities to take action, if appropriate, which may include civil or criminal penalties.”

Fierce Pharma
Via Matt Briggs

Matt Briggs has a comment on last week’s spate of mass murders (well the reported ones) and perhaps the people who aligned with evil. Death awaits there, but they don’t care.

Now there has to be reasons for these murders. One reason is that the threat of punishment, here and in the afterlife, has largely been removed. If the worst that’s going to happen to you is you go from being an obscure nobody to a celebrity with a twenty-year stretch and a string of TV interviews and wedding proposals from emancipated women, well, why not blaze away? Indeed, it seems the Ohio murderer was thinking along these lines.
It is not a coincidence suicide rates follow the rise of random multiple murders. It’s just that some people are politer than others.

No accountability. No judgement. No law. No limits. No hope, No future. Choose not that path. Be not like them.