Monday Miscellany: Pasta, Purity, Public Schools

1. This article is great, and not just because it describes the topic under study as a ‘fontroversy

2. Robby remains exceptionally good at distilling contentious points into lists that can be easily investigated and discussed. In this case, veganism and the ‘purity/virtue’ standards of decency within effective altruism. (Short explanation of effective altruism here.)

People with eating disorders can have good grounds for not immediately going vegan. Immunocompromised people can have good grounds for erring on the side of overusing medicine. People trying to dig their way out of debt while paying for a loved one’s medical bills can have good grounds not to give to charity every year.

The deeper problem with treating these as universal Standards of Basic Decency in our community isn’t that we’d be imposing an unreasonable demand on people. It’s that we’d be forcing lots of people to disclose very sensitive details about their personal lives to a bunch of strangers or to the public Internet — physical disabilities, mental disabilities, personal tragedies, intense aversions…. Putting people into a tight spot is a terrible way to get them on board with any of the above proposals, and it’s a great way to make people feel hounded and unsafe in their social circles.

3. Leah tackles a similar topic: anxiety, scrupulosity, and effective altruism.

4. A memoir piece on teaching in Chicago Public Schools.

5. Over at Science of Eating Disorders, a series on recovery. Part three tackles whether or not patients can even imagine themselves recovered fully. (n of 1 here: nope.)

Recovery as “unimaginable” is tied up in the role that the eating disorder played in many participants’ lives, and, as Malson and colleagues describe, into the social context we live in. There is a well-acknowledged split between the kinds of strategies imposed in treatment for eating disorders and the preoccupation with body image in contemporary Western culture. More than that, however, individuals with eating disorders might find that their sense of self is tied up their eating disorder.

6. The importance of pasta on the left. (Not a political commentary.)

7. Grice’s conversation maxims, plus bonus commentary for use in Real Lifetm (h/t Chana)

8. [calorie talk at link] I have this problem that when food is complicated or seems to involve too many decisions, I panic. The fast solution is to get ‘safe’, not-scary food by buying a prepared meal. However, sometimes I can’t because I’m far away from options, it costs too much, it involves getting ready to leave the house, it takes too much time, etc. This dilemma is one of the things that most quickly tips me over into badbrains times, and can spiral for as long as weeks. So. Not good.

In the spirit of possibly solving this, I’m testing MealSquares. When food is complicated, I’ll try swapping in one of these for a meal. The link is for ordering your own box, ingredients and nutrition are here.

9. Webcam pulse detector. Webcam pulse detector. (h/t Spencer Greenberg)

10. “Today, every day, I can list everything I ate for you, but it wouldn’t help.” [content note: eating disorders]

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8 thoughts on “Monday Miscellany: Pasta, Purity, Public Schools

      1. it means that clicking the link in that section will provide you with information about calories of stuff. Some people (myself included) find this deeply unpleasant and try to avoid it.

  1. If you’re in a situation with overwhelming food options, could it (or does it) help to have a confederate choose for you? As in, you tell them, “I’m trying to decide between X, Y, Z, can you pick what you’ll think if like best?” And they do. I bet a lot of friends would be glad to offer that assistance, me included.

    1. So far this hasn’t worked for me…a lot of being open about my ED and recovery has meant sacrificing autonomy. for instance, eating a small meal or passing on offered food will get me worried looks, and the number of times I’ve mentioned my mental illness and then had people promptly try to feed my everything under the sun is high. So, I value getting to decide what I eat

      The thing that seems to cause being overwhelmed is not being able to make a smooth transition from “this is what I’ve eaten today, this is what sort of thing I should eat next” to “this food fits the criteria, I should eat it” Since I do most food planning and choosing from System 2 (I rarely notice being hungry or full) when I’m decision fatigued or such, it feels like doing homework or attempting complex math problems. MealSquares already fit my somewhat-obsessive criteria for eating, and so will (hopefully!) always bee the “this food fits the criteria, I should eat it” answer.

      [this answer was a touch rambly, let me know if it made no sense]

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