Brexit, aka, the UK Becomes a Clown Car of the Highest Order

An apple is significantly cheaper than a tube of Pringles. I don’t think the cost of a bag of apples are keeping people away. In a food desert it’s simply having access to a market that will carry them. Otherwise it’s the convenience (yeah, I know, apples aren’t exactly prep heavy) and addictiveness factor.

It’s certainly possible to implement some taxation system where unhealthy foods get taxed to subsidize healthier options.

If that will actually work, dunno.

Are we really here again? As Orwell wrote:

Would it not be better if they spent more money on wholesome things like oranges and wholemeal bread or if they even, like the writer of the letter to the New Statesman, saved on fuel and ate their carrots raw? Yes, it would, but the point is that no ordinary human being is ever going to do such a thing. The ordinary human being would sooner starve than live on brown bread and raw carrots. And the peculiar evil is this, that the less money you have, the less inclined you feel to spend it on wholesome food. A millionaire may enjoy breakfasting off orange juice and Ryvita biscuits; an unemployed man doesn’t. Here the tendency of which I spoke at the end of the last chapter comes into play. When you are unemployed, which is to say when you are underfed, harassed, bored, and miserable, you don’t want to eat dull wholesome food. You want something a little bit ‘tasty’. There is always some cheaply pleasant thing to tempt you.

I would love this. Make it cheaper to make and build full salads.

RIP the Kroger salad bar, another COVID casualty.

Neither. I was pointing out how a goal that might be a good goal can be twisted and waylaid, and that whatever out desired outcome, we have to be careful that our means of measuring it don’t produce undesired, bad, processes.

That was pretty obvious.

There’s a lot of common sense policy that is never considered in the US because people perceive it as failed before they even attempt it. Which is ironic, because Americans are supposed to be the “Go everywhere, do everything, dream big” people.

It’s dream big, until someone proposes meaningful regulation. Then it’s communism, or it’s inconceivable, and then we should stop dreaming immediately!

Meanwhile, in some parts of Europe, a lot of this stuff is already being enacted, and it’s reasonably effective.

We still have people arguing that masks don’t work, despite the fact that they have been standard equipment in every hospital forever.

Like, if you went into surgery, and the team wasn’t wearing masks, you would be in for a bad time.

FWIW, I admire the USA for precisely this.


So, I just read an article, appropriate to this thread.

There’s a huge, Brexit-shaped hole in this election – that’s why there’s such an air of unreality about it | Nesrine Malik | The Guardian

Surprisingly balanced for the Guardian.

Probably as a result of this piece in the Guardian where the columnist visits Godalming in Surrey, which is to the Tory party what Texas is to the GOP…

Reminded me a bit of this piece, which is less about the politics and more about the economics:

AI for Parliament in the UK!

Artificial Intelligence, because Natural Stupidity has had it’s time in the sun, and look at the mess it’s done.

Lord BinaryFace

If there was a “fair” AI, I think it’d do way better than what we’ve got now.

Sadly, the GIGO problem makes a “fair” AI that is trained on existing human created data impossible. There isn’t going to be some transcendent intelligence, some impartial all knowing oracle. Perhaps some future technology can process and separate all the real info from the shitposting on the internet to create an actual critical thinking, sarcasm identifying, not just sentient but prescient and empathetic intelligence. I’m not seeing that coming out of the LLM hype.

But I guess that’s a discussion for another thread (for those that still believe in the cultural construct of “threads”).

At this point some of our billionaires can’t resolve a “Shitpost? Y/N” decision tree correctly so I doubt even a faulty AI can do worse on an average garbage basis.

Hesitant to post this here, but this is ad adjunct to the discussion on food environment/choices above.

I wonder if we should move that part of this thread to the “Getting Healthier with technology” thread.

Anyway, not scientific (it is Youtube) but someone’s experience of the food environment in Japan.

The Japanese comments are quite interesting:

I watched some videos on YouTube about making American bento boxes, and I was surprised to find that half of the bento boxes were full of sweets.
I think that the food you eat in Japanese school lunches and bento boxes has a great influence on your later life.

and this gem:

It’s not that Japanese people are thin, it’s that Americans are fat.

See original (Translated by Google)

I’m not going to argue against promoting and facilitating healthy eating, but I would note that regardless of the food environment, Japan still spends considerably more than the OECD average on healthcare (and gets better outcomes with an older population, to be fair). It’s not a panacea, and it’s absolutely not a substitute for healthcare.

Looks like yet another YouTuber has fucked around and is about to find out.