Partisanship Rots Your Brain

No wonder it’s so popular, the “ideal” way to organize society—into ideological factions where the “winners” get to loot from the “losers.”

Now and then I get a comment on the blog and I just know I have to blog something about it.

Recent research explains the paradox of why VLCers/Ketoists see the evidence that Eskimos were never in ketosis as a good reason for everyone to eat a ketogenic diet and was summed up with: “When people are misinformed, giving them facts to correct those errors only makes them cling to their beliefs more tenaciously.” (Marty Kaplan). This cartoon illustrates the problem.


Kaplan’s article isn’t perfect, as toward the end, he uses “climate change” as an example, without noting that there are lots and lots of people, like myself, who are skeptical of some of the [fraudulent] data, conclusions, predictions, asserted causes, outcomes, all without denying that warming appears to be taking place.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. gabkad on December 20, 2014 at 20:20

    Toddler mentality. That’s the climate freakouters. Climate has always been changing. Like you Richard, I’m a skeptic about cause of climate change. And I really enjoy how it’s gone from global warming to climate change because, ooops, the globe is not warming.

    The big shit is that California had a dry climate until the 20th century. The wet century enabled humans to establish all these cities and farms. Except it’s reverting back to ‘usual’ and who knows what the heck is going to happen next. Will Californians be able to high tech their way along or are they going to dry out?

    Anyway, I don’t live in California so you guys have to use your own imaginations to figure out what to do about it.

    The really big problem is going to be in India and China: two massively overpopulated places with water scarcity. The Chinese are migrating their farming to places like Africa and getting food from South America. At least they are thinking ahead. The Indians, not so much. I think the Chinese will cope much better. At least their population is not malnourished.

    • gabkad on December 20, 2014 at 20:23

      I probably missed the point. Not unusual.

  2. Michael44 on December 20, 2014 at 21:31


    I just want to say that you and your site has helped me very very much. You, and some of your commenters (such as you Gab 🙂 ), have helped save me from the keto crap.

    Thank you.

  3. Bret on December 21, 2014 at 02:49

    Kaplan’s article isn’t perfect, as toward the end, he uses “climate change” as an example…

    Tee hee. That’s the trouble with academia. Real intelligence is almost always bogged down with leftist groupthink, and the two are conflated and confused for one another.

    At least that community serves as useful idiots against the right wing propaganda machine, as the Iraqi WMD example shows.

    • Bret on December 21, 2014 at 02:55

      This is exactly how I would describe the VLC/KG camp. Swimming in their own groupthink. Right about some things, but definitely missing the big picture. Just because crony capitalism is wrong, that does not make socialism the alternative.

      Useful idiots against the USDA, nothing more.

  4. Phil on December 21, 2014 at 09:37

    And if Kaplan himself was influenced by confirmation bias re: “climate change,” then that further underscores the difficulty of avoiding this bias. Thus it makes sense for everyone, including us, to look for things that don’t fit our current hypotheses–such as the rough model that currently prevails at this blog of the importance of a certain amount of carbs and prebiotic-rich plant foods in the diet. For example, Duck did this to some extent when he reported about animal sources of carbs, fiber/prebiotics, and probiotics in the traditional Eskimo diet that might somewhat reduce the need for plant-sourced prebiotics and probiotics.

    Thomas Kuhn argued that science progresses via periodic revolutions, aka “paradigm shifts.” It’s an imperfect model, but fits well enough to be practically useful. Once one accepts a certain paradigm, confirmation bias and the need to get on with life tend to reinforce it. I have fallen prey to this myself at times, such as when I accepted that VLC was probably good for me, and maybe even the optimal dietary approach for most of humanity, and started to see nearly everything through that lense, sometimes quickly embracing that which supported the VLC model or dismissing what didn’t fit it. Eventually there were too many things that didn’t fit to dismiss them all.

    For most of us there isn’t time to seek out contradictions to our hypotheses daily, but I think it helps to keep the possibility open and every now and then investigate potential contradictions.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 21, 2014 at 11:25

      Right on Phil. I’m on my phone right now and it’s a PITA to get a link, but search YouTube for Yasuhiko Kimura omnicentric mind. It’s about having a multi paradigmatic mind.

  5. John Doe on December 22, 2014 at 17:09

    “winners” get to loot from the “losers.”

    Exactly. Just like bulk prices piss me off.
    Again the rich befitting from the poor.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 22, 2014 at 18:24

      Well, voting with dollars is quite different from masturbating in public in a political contest voting booth, getting your 1/300 millionth say in your own affairs and pridefully wearing a sticker on your lapel that might well read: “I did Stupid.”

    • John Doe on December 22, 2014 at 18:39

      Artfully corrected.

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