October 12, 2021

K and N has been published in Greek, led to the publication of a condensed version (Should I Eat The Yolk: Separating Facts From Myths To Get You Lean, Fit and Healthy) paved the path for many articles (translated to various languages) and seminars.  K&N covers an array of topics, but is best recognized as a myth-busting book. Many of the myths addressed in the book still exist in various forms.

Currently, a 2nd edition of Knowledge and Nonsense does not exist. The Special order only is for the 1st edition – Knowledge and Nonsense.   

There are approximately 120 myths illustrated in the book. Since the book was published there have been new myths constructed and disseminated.  Many of the myths are modulated versions of older myths, but some are new in origin. One of the myths that stands out is what I call the Sugar-Brain.

Proponents of the Sugar-Brain claim that consumption of sugar can activate the same brain reward mechanisms (dopamine pathway referred to as mesolimbic dopamine system) as the consumption of addictive drugs. This is true; so it is not a myth?  You have probably seen photos comparing the sugar-brain with the drug addiction-brain. he problem with the claim is the way it is presented  and inferences made regarding the claim. The claim is a rhetorical device used to convince people that sugar consumption is bad, much like drug consumption. read more…The Sugar Brain is not Unique 

 I don’t suspect that exercise and nutrition  myths will disappear in the near future. Myths, of all sorts, are ubiquitous, easy to believe, appeal to cognitive miserliness, serve financial and status objectives, are congruent with wishful thinking, adhere to fallibility of memory and fall under the umbrella of the peripheral persuasion model. All of these things ensure myths continue to thrive.

What are the top sources of these myths? A few of the sources include- gym personnel, supplement salesman, coaches, media, assuming correlation is synonymous with causation, and the exaggeration of a little bit of truth. Arguably, the media plays the biggest role in the spread of myths of all types. Scott Lilienfeld (author of 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology) commenting on the media’s role in the spread of psychology  myths:

“The primary source is the huge, burgeoning pop psychology industry: self-help books the internet, films, TV shows, magazines, and the like. But many of these myths also spring from the allure of our everyday experience; many of these myths seem persuasive because they accord with our common sense intuitions. But these intuitions are often erroneous. The public can defend themselves against shams by becoming armed with accurate knowledge.”

Myths through the lens of Memetic science is important to consider. This domain of study is concerned with the development of myths and what characteristics allow myths to survive. It isn’t just about the specifics of mental processes of those constructing, spreading and believing the myths, it is also about the characteristics that allow the myths to thrive.

Memetic Science

An understanding of the meme concept is important when considering the survival value and the  prevalence of myths. Richard Dawkins coined the term meme in his popular 1976 book The Selfish Gene. A meme is conceptualized as a unit of cultural information that is passed on by non-genetic processes (it isn’t directly linked to genetics). Dawkins described the meme as having characteristics similar to the gene. He referred to it as the new kind of replicator, a second replicator in addition to the gene. “We need a name for the new replicator, a noun that conveys the idea of a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation. ‘Mimeme’ comes from a suitable Greek root, but I want a monosyllable that sounds a bit like ‘gene’… If it is any consolation, it could be alternatively thought of as being related to ‘memory’, or to the French word meme. It should be pronounced to rhyme with cream” (Dawkins 1976).  read more The Origins of Myths 

Thanks again to Alan Aragon for the suggestions he provided when I was writing the book:

“When Jamie was in the beginning stages of writing Knowledge & Nonsense, I encouraged him to cover as many misunderstood and uninvestigated topics as possible. What resulted was an amazing brainstorm of ideas that could barely be contained within a manuscript more lengthy than many college texts. There are many topics in this book that I’ve always pondered but never had the time to investigate. I encouraged Jamie to make this book a mind-bending opus of breadth and depth, something that’s never been done before in our fickle, superficial industry…

And he did”

K and N 2nd Edition

A second edition of the book would include an updated discussion on information presented in the first edition. It would also include Cognitive Behavioral Nutrition, Exercise Neuroscience, Nonsense Detection Kit, Memetic Science and tips for acquiring the right mindware (scientific mindware).

Cognitive Behavioral Nutrition 

Most people have a general idea of what qualifies as nutritious food and the steps involved with weight gain or weight loss. The primary question is how to make it easier to adhere to the behaviors, and form a thought process that makes eating nutritious foods more likely? How do I make it easier? I don’t want to have to think too much about it (thus, a natural default to be a cognitive miser- Stanovich, 2009; thinking hard is energy expensive- cognitive resources must be allocated to an array of tasks- most would rather not aim those resources at the task of contemplating what and how much to eat). Cognitive behavioral nutrition may provide answers to that question.  read more A New Paradigm for the Study of Eating

Exercise Neuroscience

Too often, discussions on exercise leave out the importance of the central nervous system (CNS, brain and spinal cord) . Discussions of the brain’s complex signaling and variations in brain usage as one goes through different stages of learning motor skills is often barely mentioned, or not mentioned at all. All exercise involves the CNS. I suspect The Society for Neurosports will be a key player in bringing an understanding of the central nervous system’s role in exercise and sport to the public, and to professional working in related fields. The following interview was conducted with the Dr. Jaime Tartar, President of  The Society for Neurosports   read more Neuroscience Meets Exercise / Sports Science 

Nonsense Detection Kit

The Nonsense Detection Kit provides guidelines that can be used to separate sense from nonsense. There is no single criterion for distinguishing sense from nonsense, but it is possible to identify indicators, or warning signs. The more warnings signs that appear the more likely that claims are nonsense. read more Nonsense Detection Kit 2.0   

Scientific Mindware

It is common for popular science articles and books to misrepresent science, a practice that isn’t limited to popular publications. Textbooks, peer reviewed publications, and college courses sometimes promote misinformation. To avoid being bamboozled, think for yourself or go to the source and evaluate the evidence for yourself. Science is hard; methods and statistics used within and between scientific domains vary greatly. A brief look at a paper’s abstract is often done when people evaluate studies, reviews, or research reports. Sometimes this is enough to get a general overview, or at least to gather the information one is looking for. However, sometimes a thorough read and investigation of the paper is appropriate. Evaluating a paper—and determining its level of validity (and different types of validity) and reliability—is cognitively demanding. With a little education, including the appropriate mindware, a general understanding of popular science and scholarly science is attainable.  read more  Scientific Mindware  

Currently, a 2nd edition of Knowledge and Nonsense does not exist. The Special order only is for the 1st edition – Knowledge and Nonsense. 

Special order only Knowledge and Nonsense (e-book) only $14.95. Make payment to paypal acct[email protected]