Saturday, September 3, 2011
We speak of statistics as if it were a god. We choose how we eat, where we live, and how we treat others in our lives based on the vagaries of a little known, but much quoted field of mathematics.
Folks choose what they eat and what pills they shove into their bodies because statistics tell them that high cholesterol is bad for them, gives them heart attacks. Badness.
Yet I have watched people, including your humble correspondent, eat bacon and eggs and cruise along with serum cholesterol in the 160's. I have watch other folks frenetically monitor their diet, eating nothing but vegetables and tofu, have their cholesterol in the 300's. Pity.
We are so intent on control of our lifespan that we lose track of the nature of fate. We have built a world view where our medical and technological marvels are bent around "beating the odds". But the odds beat us. We try to control shallow surface phenomenon that our scientists have identified in the fabled past, blithely ignoring the fact that the surface effects that we so diligently monitor are mere epiphenomena.
We appear to run our entire society like this. The vagary of the stock market passes itself off as the health of the economy while the unemployment and misery soar. The treatment of symptoms take precedence over the underlying conditions. Attractive appearance trumps personal virtue. A well turned phrase overturns rigorous analysis.
I suppose that the old men in ancient Greece sounded just like this.
at 9:10:00 AM