trowawee 4 months ago

I’m a little frustrated at the tossed-off reference to Plato and Aristotle at the beginning – “The good life may have sufficed for Plato and Aristotle, but it is no longer enough.” – because I feel like that ignores the fact that both Plato and Aristotle, along with a lot of philosophers, actually had a lot to say about physical fitness. Plato was a champion wrestler, and both he and Aristotle viewed physical education as a fundamental component to living the good life. Xenophon quotes Socrates saying this:

“For in everything that men do the body is useful; and in all uses of the body it is of great importance to be in as high a state of physical efficiency as possible. Why, even in the process of thinking, in which the use of the body seems to be reduced to a minimum, it is matter of common knowledge that grave mistakes may often be traced to bad health.”

The whole article feels a little too mired in presentism, and ignorant of the history of self-improvement ideas.


coldtea 4 months ago

>Plato was a champion wrestler

And the name Plato is a nickname — meaning “the broad/wide one” given to him for his broad shoulders because of that training and physical appearance. Real name: Aristocles.


kernelbandwidth 4 months ago

It’s funny to consider that one of the canonically great philosophers in history is known essentially by the equivalent of his WWE wrestling name. It’s like if in the future there were classes taught on the philosophical ideas of “The Rock”.


coldtea 4 months ago

Some other amusing related stuff: so, Plato, was called for for the ancient greek word for broad/wide.

Modern [English] words that stem from the same root: plateau, platitude, plat, plate — via French and Latin (plattus) from Greek (platis “flat, wide, broad”).


danohu 4 months ago

Well, the first Pope was literally called The Rock (Peter). Jesus appointed him by saying “you are The Rock, and I’ll build my church on this rock”.

Exactly what he meant has led to centuries of debate between protestants and catholics.


acangiano 4 months ago

“No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.”

― Socrates


— Improving Ourselves to Death

— Hacker News



2018.06.01 Friday ACHK

Sleep apnea

erentz 3 months ago

Slightly tangential to the study here but I’ve been going down the sleep apnea rabbit hole in recent months and I strongly encourage folks to investigate their sleep. A lot of people have sleep apnea and don’t realize it. You don’t have to snore to have it. A surprising statistic I found was 20-30% of people with ADHD have sleep apnea. A lot of people may be treating symptoms of sleep apnea like ADHD and high blood pressure with medications while ignoring the root cause. My experience with this has been that doctors are surprisingly ignorant. They’ll happy prescribe you medications for anxiety, ADHD, blood pressure for years, and never think to ask you about your sleep. Do some of your own investigations or ask about it if you have any suspicions.


copperx 3 months ago

I’m going to add myself as a data point. After suffering years of feeling sleepy regardless of how much I slept and frequently unmotivated and withdrawn, I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. A few years ago I was given Dexedrine, Ritalin, Adderall, and I even tried self-medicating with modafinil to ameliorate the symptoms of what doctors thought was ADHD with varying levels of success; but the drug-free treatment of sleep apnea with a BiPAP machine got rid of all of these issues; in addition, I feel about ten years younger.

— Sleep and Mortality: A Population-Based 22-Year Follow-Up Study (2007)

— Hacker News



2018.05.09 Wednesday ACHK

Eyes on me

dziungles 14 days ago

Hey, this is really cool to see natural eyesight topic on the hacker news.
I practice this for more than 10 years. Each day I work with computer for ~10 h., drive a car and do other things, and never wear glasses, even though the traditional ophtalmologic measures clearly indicate that I need strong glasses and I shouldn’t see even the biggest letter on the Snellen chart, but I see not only the biggest, but sometimes even the 20/20.

Doctors can’t explain this, and only congrats me on my achievement. Of course, the eyesight is not perfect. I see clearly in the daytime, but in the nighttime or low light conditions it becomes much harder to distinguish faces.

The best book I found so far is “Relearning to See” by Thomas R. Quackenbush. The originator of this theory was William Bates.

Actually, there is no clear unified theory on how to achieve this. Everyone interprets it differently and the results are inconsistent. There is also a lot of criticism from the medical establishment.

Natural eyesight improvement really works. And the unified theory, in a form of an app, or a good book, maybe including findings from neuroplasticity, would be a great gift for humanity.


bsder 14 days ago

Natural eyesight improvement really works. And the unified theory, in a form of an app, or a good book, maybe including findings from neuroplasticity, would be a great gift for humanity.

It SORT OF works in stable and predictable situations.

What seems to be happening is that your brain, in all of its neuroplastic glory, is learning to make better inferences from the broken information it receives.

The issue is that this works as long as the inferences are correct. That’s fine when you are reading a newspaper, using the computer, etc. as the situation is stable and predictable.

The problem is that when you are suddenly confronted by a situation where the inferences are NOT correct–such as a nighttime emergency situation while driving. Now you are relying on the “uninferenced” data coming in from your eyes and that data is subpar with all the resultant problems.

The best solution is both: fix the data coming in with corrective lenses for unpredictable situations, and train your brain to make better inferences so you can deal with predictable situations better.


dziungles 14 days ago

Before, I also had this theory in my mind for a year or so.
But for example, right now I’m in Thailand, traveling here for the first time. Everything is new, unfamiliar and unpredictable, daytime, nightime. I have no problems seeing things, everything is almost perfectly clear and sharp. I needed some time to adapt to a smaller screen of my laptop (I was using 24 inch before), but now I’m doing fine.

Actually, the more you look, the better you see. Like in Aaron Swartz blog post, if you want to retrain your weak legs, you need to walk more. Same with eyes.



2018.02.09 Friday ACHK

Fasting creates new brain cells

So, what’s going on?

Well, when they examined the brains of the fasting mice.

They found something extraordinary. 

These green objects are newborn brain cells.   

These three here are brand new?

Sporadic bouts of hunger actually trigger new neurons to grow.

Why should a brain start to generate new nerve cells when you stop feeding it?

If you think about this in evolutionary terms, it makes sense.

If you’re hungry, you’d better increase your cognitive ability.   

That will give you a survival advantage, if you can remember where the location of the food is and so on.

It seems that fasting stresses your grey matter the way that exercise stresses your muscles.

So hunger really does make you sharper?

Yes. We think so.   

Mark’s research is starting to point towards a simple conclusion.

Alternate day fasting has better effects on the brain than does a lower-amount-of-daily-calorie restriction.

It’s true of mice, but he needs to do proper human trials to prove it’s true in us.   

I’ve come to the end of my search to find out how to eat, fast and live longer.

The official advice is, eat at least 2,000 calories a day, and if you really want to fast, even on an intermittent basis, see your doctor first, because there are people it could harm such as pregnant women or those who are already underweight.

— Eat, Fast and Live Longer

— BBC Horizon

— Me@2013-10-05 1:06 AM

2014.11.13 Thursday ACHK