Posts by Martin

    "his father had Frederick's "best friend" executed for trying to help him escape" actually happened. They both deserted together, and the friend got sentenced in compliance with the penal code to death by a court (not the King) and executed but Frederick was not because the judges declared themselves unfit to judge over the crown prince. So, his father forced him to watch the execution of his friend as a penalty. The father was such a dick that one historian who started to write his biography gave up in disgust.

    Let me take some time (quite some time actually) to dig up something. From about 1985 to about 2016, I have mostly ignored popularized physics because I found it too diluted and misleading in my study. Meanwhile, I have read a few popular physics books written by physicists but not yet Stenger. He is on my path because of the recommendation by Alex.

    If our equivalent to the work of Otto Warburg is the work of Norman Dewitt, I very much hope that we are not the equivalent of Thomas Seyfried.

    I see no reason to doubt the validity of the lab work done by him and his team and those whose work he references. However, out of his passion to help cancer patients, he resorts to conclusions and recommendations which are exaggarated, misleading, overly general, premature.

    He implies that the aspects of cancer as a genetic disease and as a metabolioc disease are mutually exclusive. This is nonsense. They go hand in hand. Main stream oncological research has followed up with a lot of work on Warburg's results.

    Those gross professional mistakes and associating himself with known quacks certainly has damaged Seyfried's reputation among scientists and increased his popularity with conspiracy theorists.

    So, he is rather an example of how not to proceed to promote a philosophy.


    Low-carb diets are probably OK to try out. I see a good chance that they may help with diabetes and maybe even slow down the growth of some types of cancer cells. However, for most types of cancers, they are probably irrelevant. Even those types which are slowed down are unlikely to get cured by the low-carb diets because the body maintains a considerable level of glucose in the blood to prevent death from extreme hypoglycemia.

    "... that we love the person so much that without them life is not worth living ..." does not make sense because this would accept suicide out of mourning, which is not Epicurean because we have coping techniques to get over the mourning.


    The way this passes hedonic calculus is rather that we love the person so much that we take great risks of losing our own life to avoid the pain of not having tried to save the friend.

    Moreover, if the action is spontaneous, it is rather out of a strong feeling to help the friend urgently than to contemplate hedonic calculus first.

    The relationship between EP and utilitarianism is touched upon in this quote from John Stuart Mill's book "Utilitarianism", Chapter 2:

    "The multiplication of happiness is, according to the utilitarian ethics, the object of virtue: the occasions on which any person (except one in a thousand) has it in his power to do this on an extended scale, in other words to be a public benefactor, are but exceptional; and on these occasions alone is he called on to consider public utility; in every other case, private utility, the interest or happiness of some few persons, is all he has to attend to."

    This statement seems to indicate that it is fine if the vast majority of people sticks to Epicurus' philosophy, and that utilitarianism provides guidance primarily for those with power/influence/expendable wealth.

    However, Mill's interpretation of EP seems to be quite different from the interpretation which we have worked out here and on the related FB pages. Unfortunately, Mill's writing style is often rather hiding than clarifying what he means. So, I might not add a lot to this thread but I look forward to comments of others who read his book.


    So far, I could not find sufficient sources within EP on how an Epicurean politician should make diffcult decisions. The quote above might suggest that for Epicureans, voting for a utilitarian party might be the best choice in a state with many more people than fit in one Epicurean community.

    That is because if an Epicurean candidate from outside my inner circle told me he would just follow his feelings moderated by his private hedonic calculus, I would not vote for her/him but rather a utilitarian competitor.

    This is unsatisfactory because it would indicate that a nation with a mix of an Epicurean majority and utilitarian leaders would probably produce greater net pleasure for me than a homogeneous nation of Epicureans with Epicurean leaders.

    I suggest that we do not use the oxymoron "speculative math". It is an obsolete term for pure math. The way I learned math from mathematicians, math is essentially built on logic, is not a science as often falsely stated and does not make any claim on reality although whole branches of math are inspired by the success of modelling reality with the assistance of math.

    What you probably mean is "speculative physics", e.g. creating physical theories for which we have not yet any empirical base.