The latest thing making the rationalist rounds is Slime Mold Time Mold’s Chemical Hunger, in which SMTM posits that chemical contaminants of some ki

Slowly Parsing SMTM's "Lithium is Making Us Fat" Thing

submited by
Style Pass
2022-05-12 06:30:08

The latest thing making the rationalist rounds is Slime Mold Time Mold’s Chemical Hunger, in which SMTM posits that chemical contaminants of some kind uncommon in the past but common today are increasing obesity rates. Basically, he says, a 1940’s person was thin because that’s the default - it should be effortless to maintain your swimmer’s body. Something else has gone wrong that makes it harder, and by proxy makes us all a little jigglier.

Sometimes when I examine something like this, I’m pretty eager to prove it wrong; in a lot of ways, “prove the other guy wrong” is my default state. This is even more intense of a drive for me when the person is doing something that I think is amoral in some way - that’s when I go into full skull-bashing mode and do my best to prove the other person is some kind evil Loki-type figure who must be resisted at all costs.

My calmer, more normal readers will be glad to hear that’s not really the case here. The biggest reason why is is that this claim is at the very least plausible; obesity rates did rise sharply since the 80’s, and so did the sheer variety of chemical contaminants in the environment over the same period of time. Whether or not he ends up being right, I’m sort of glad to see that someone is looking into the hypothesis; it seems like the kind of thing you don’t want to sleep on.

Leave a Comment