Dispensing with the Unnecessary

Today Queen Elizabeth II became the longest reigning English monarch ever. I suppose that it was only to be expected that the Guardian’s Polly Toynbee should take the opportunity to describe the crown as a “charade”, an “absurdity”, and a “soap opera” that was “infantalising a nation”, and called for her to become Elizabeth the Last.

But which is better, a crowned queen on her throne, or the drab bureaucrat in Brussels who was today calling for “solidarity”, “union in diversity” and for the compulsory redistribution of 160,000 migrants throughout the EU?

These days ‘progress’ seems to be all about stripping away whatever is believed to be inessential. It’s something that is perhaps best exemplified by cold, clinical modern architecture, devoid of ornamentation.

The impulse to dispense with the monarchy is the same as the impulse to strip ornament from architecture, and ban smoking in public places. They’re seen as unnecessary, old-fashioned, and unhealthy. But when the urge to dispense with the unnecessary has run its course, there will not only be no kings, no ornamental architecture, and no smoking, but also no music, no art, no literature, and no poetry.

 

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About Frank Davis

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33 Responses to Dispensing with the Unnecessary

  1. garyk30 says:

    My congratulations to the Queen and to the UK for having a least one bit of stability.

    ‘Change’ for the shake of just change is not actually progress in the right direction.

  2. Some French bloke says:

    cold, clinical modern architecture, devoid of ornamentation.

    Seems that the “fantasy world” of these people was kept within the confines of their epidemiological body of work…

  3. garyk30 says:

    “. But when the urge to dispense with the unnecessary has run its course, there will not only be no kings, no ornamental architecture, and no smoking, but also no music, no art, no literature, and no poetry.”

    Nor comedy, or frivolity, nor sports winners, nor any one being better at anything.

  4. Joe L. says:

    O/T: Long post – sorry, but I’m quite pissed off.

    “Alzheimer’s disease may be passed on through blood transfusions and contaminated surgical instruments, scientists have suggested”

    Scientists fear Alzheimer’s ‘may be passed on in surgeries’

    Wait … you mean there’s a possibility horrible diseases are not caused by lifestyles???

    Then, the author of the article makes sure to add the obligatory disclaimer:

    “Drawing conclusions at this stage is premature, he added. The biggest risk factor for Alzheimer’s is age, along with genetics and lifestyle factors such as smoking, obesity and high blood pressure.”

    Why not, right? The usual suspects: smoking, obesity and high blood pressure are the biggest risk factors for every goddamn disease today! Except, however, that this directly contradicts the results of this other recent study:

    High blood pressure linked to lower risk of Alzheimer’s

    I’m sorry, but how can high blood pressure simultaneously be one of the “biggest risk factors for” for and be “linked to a lower risk of” Alzheimer’s???

    Of course, this earlier study/article also conveniently proceeds to go off the rails. God forbid they actually look for a physiological or genetic link. Instead, they wind up attributing the lower risk of Alzheimer’s to gue$$ who … good ol’ Big Pharma!

    “The researchers also found that individuals with genetically predisposed high blood pressure were much more likely to be using antihypertensive medication, causing the researchers to speculate it may be the use of these drugs rather than high blood pressure itself that drives this association.”

    But wait … here’s the ultimate kicker: they also found a link between smoking and a lower risk of Alzheimer’s, but they made sure to squash it with a nice, fat incrimination of smoking, and something far worse:

    “The researchers also identified a weak link between smoking quantity and lower risk of Alzheimer’s, though they note further studies are required to gain a better understanding of this association. Such analyses would address the causality of smoking as a risk factor, and offer valuable insight into nicotine’s role in the etiology of Alzheimer’s disease,” they explain. “Since smoking is a major cause of global disease burden, increasing knowledge of the role of nicotine in the etiology of Alzheimer’s disease may prove to be the more actionable insight.”

    “More actionable insight?” So they’re saying they won’t perform studies on the link between smoking and Alzheimer’s because smoking is a “major cause of global disease burden.” Instead they just want to examine “the role of nicotine in the etiology of Alzheimer’s.” That is anti-scientific and immoral!! What if it’s not the nicotine? They’re willing to potentially deprive the world of a prevention/cure/treatment of Alzheimer’s because “smoking is bad for you?” Why? Are they afraid of what they’ll find? This should be illegal, and these motherfuckers should be thrown in jail!

    • Rose says:

      Look, the nicotine goes to the patches and gums and the never mentioned Solanesol in the same plant with a tweak here and there goes into medicines. Do a quick search on the market for Solanesol, and you’ll be amazed. Once again the highest amount and easiest source of Solanesol is in the tobacco plant, but it is seemingly so valuable that if you look there are lots of people trying to extract it from things like potato leaf waste.

      Now it’s no longer used as a pesticide what better way to get rid of the nicotine than slapping it on people’s arms in a patented patch or persuading them to chew it.

      You can always rely on a tobacco company to be quick off the mark.

      Scroll down past Utilisation of Tobacco Waste – Nicotinic Acid

      22nd July 1960

      Other Materials From Tobacco Waste

      “If other products of high value could be extracted along with the nicotine, the extraction of the latter from tobacco waste might become more profitable or the cost of nicotine could fall.
      Such a material would have to be in the high price range associated with drugs.
      At present there is no such material on the horizon although it is just possible that ubiquinone ( Co-enzyme Q ) or some related compound may become important in medicine.

      Ubiquinone has been found in tobacco as also has solanesol, a long chain alcohol which could provide part of the ubiquinone molecule.

      Ubiquinone is known to be a normal constituent of many animal tissues and in some senses is a vitamin since the benzene ring is not known to be synthesisised in man.

      It is known that Hofman-La Roche are carrying out extensive work on this in Switzerland, and it would be interesting to know if they have considered tobacco as a raw material.

      In addition, the isolation of a-tocopheral and solanachromene from flue cured tobacco suggests that the tobacco plant may contain a range of biologically important compounds such as Vitamin E and Vitamin K as well as compounds related from solanesol.

      However, none of this is very exciting, first because Reynolds have published fairly widely in this field and must be assumed to be well aware of the possibilities, and second because the type of compound considered does not have a molecule intrinsically very difficult to synthesise from cheap materials.

      As a guess for example, if ubiquinone became important, the market price would quickly drop to a few shillings per gram.

      Nevertheless, this aspect is worth watching and the political impact of the tobacco industry making a contribution to medicine might be considered important.”

      https://industrydocuments.library.ucsf.edu/documentstore/n/t/c/n//ntcn0214/ntcn0214.pdf

      Only four years earlier

      Flue-cured Tobacco. I. Isolation of Solanesol, an Unsaturated Alcohol
      R. L. Rowland, P. H. Latimer, J. A. Giles
      Publication Date: September 1956

      ABSTRACT A low-melting unsaturated alcohol has been isolated from flue-cured tobacco in quantities corresponding to 0.4% of the dry weight of the leaf. The compound has been isolated from tobacco in three different stages of treatment, indicating that the leaf content of this alcohol does not change significantly during the processing of tobacco.”
      http://www.researchgate.net/publication/231509751_Flue-cured_Tobacco._I._Isolation_of_Solanesol_an_Unsaturated_Alcohol

      • roobeedoo2 says:

        Waste Knot Want Knot – I shamble I wrote for my mum, who spent her last 8 months utterly miserable because she wasn’t allowed to smoke and I, “My daughter, the smoking militant” didn’t fucking stick it to the rest of the family or her fuckwit doctors and told them to fuck off, can’t you see the poor bitch doesn’t have long for this world.

        http://www.synchromysticismforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9668&start=130#p58238

      • slugbop007 says:

        Maybe you already cited this link. If not it fits right in with your theme:
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19773155

        • Rose says:

          I don’t think, I’ve seen that one, but here’s another one from some of the same people but using potatoes a year later – that I found about 5 minutes ago.

          Optimization of microwave-assisted extraction of solanesol from potato leaves and stems
          November 2010

          Abstract

          “Microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) was developed for the fast extraction of solanesol from potato leaves and stems. The ratio of raw material to ethanol, extraction time, extraction temperature, and microwave irradiation power were interdependent. The yield of solanesol reached its maximum 98.57% with 1:8.0 g/ml, 40 min, 55°C, and 2.0 KW, respectively. MAE was comparable to other extraction methods, including solvent extraction, heat-reflux, and Soxhlet-extraction. MAE reduced extraction time, solvent consumption, and increased yields of solanesol. Solanesol concentration was performed by RP-high performance liquid chromatography. The method was rapid, simple, accurate, and reproducible.”
          http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00044-009-9226-4

        • slugbop007 says:

          Sounds practical to me. Some Green ideas are sensible and worth examining, especially the ones that promote recycling and eliminate senseless waste.

        • Rose says:

          Slugbop, if it’s such beneficial and valuable stuff it would be a pity to waste it.
          Having grown potatoes there’s an awful lot of unusable leaves and stems left over after digging them up.

        • slugbop007 says:

          I live in an HLM (social housing) in Montréal. 120 plus residents. That’s a lot of food waste every week. I mentionned composting food at another HLM around twenty years ago when I a member of a food CoOP. Nothing has been done since then except for installing a green bin for recycling household products. There is a center for food compostage in Montréal, but it’s way out in the suburbs. Who’s going to lug their garbage there?

  5. Bucko says:

    “no music, no art, no literature, and no poetry”
    I’m not sure about those things. The left seem to want to preserve the arts even if it means using our tax money to do it, which it usually 100% does.
    Art is the opposite of a capitalist free market, which is why they love it so and demand we all pay for it.

  6. Reblogged this on The Last Furlong and commented:
    Beautiful, profound thoughts from one of my favourite bloggers. Thanks Frank.

  7. harleyrider1978 says:

    Smoking Doesn’t Always Mean A Shortened Life Span

    Although smoking has been shown to have drastic consequences for lifespan and disease progression, new research suggests that not all smokers experience early death, in fact, some manage to survive to extreme ages.

    We identified a set of genetic markers that together seem to promote longevity. What’s more, many of these markers are in pathways that were discovered to be important for aging and lifespan in animal models,” Morgan Levine, corresponding author of the study, said in a statement. “There is evidence that these genes may facilitate lifespan extension by increasing cellular maintenance and repair. Therefore, even though some individuals are exposed to high levels of biological stressors, like those found in cigarette smoke, their bodies may be better set up to cope with and repair the damage.”

    For the study, Levine, who is a researcher at UCLA, collected and analyzed data from long-lived smokers. They identified a network of SNPs (a DNA sequence variation occurring commonly within a population) that allow certain individuals to better withstand environmental damage (like smoking) and mitigate damage. Collectively, these SNPs were strongly associated with high survival rates.

    The findings suggest that longevity, rather than being entirely determined by environmental factors, may be under the regulation of complex genetic networks which influence stress resistance and genomic stability. Therefore, there is reason to believe that long-lived smokers represent a biologically distinct group, endowed with genetic variants allowing them to respond differentially to environmental stressors.

    Genomic instability also happens to be one of the hallmarks of cancer pathogenesis, and so the same genes that may promote survival among smokers may also be important for cancer prevention. This is consistent with the findings of the study, which showed that the genes identified were associated with nearly 11 percent lower cancer prevalence.

    Read more: http://www.universityherald.com/articles/23393/20150909/smoking-doesnt-always-mean-a-shortened-life-span.htm#ixzz3lKKb1QKI

  8. slugbop007 says:

    Speaking of longevity, Quebec does quite well in this regard. Here is a chart of deaths in Quebec from 2010 to 2014. In 2014, more than half of deaths were from age 80 up. These people were born before WWII. They lived and prospered through the postwar era, embraced the Quiet Revolution and survived into the 21st Century. How many of them smoked I haven’t a clue. But smoking prevalence in Quebec was at its highest during their lifetime.

    • prog says:

      It’s a well known fact that the toxicity of tobacco is indirectly proportional to the total number of smokers.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        The ranking goes for all cancer deaths/mortality:

        Per 100,000 population CDC NUMBERS/ smoking rates from tobacco free kids

        Kentucky at 207 Adults in Kentucky who smoke* 29.0% (971,000)

        Miss. 200 Adults in Mississippi who smoke* 26.0% (579,300)

        West Virginia 196 Adults in West Virginia who smoke* 28.6% (420,500)

        Louisianna 196 Adults in Louisiana who smoke* 25.7% (888,300)

        Arkansas 193 Adults in Arkansas who smoke* 27.0% (601,400)

        Alabama 190 Adults in Alabama who smoke* 24.3% (893,100)

        Indiana 187 Adults in Indiana who smoke* 25.6% (1,259,300)

        Maine 186 Adults in Maine who smoke* 22.8% (241,400)

        Missouri 184 Adults in Missouri who smoke* 25.0% (1,149,600)

        Delaware 184 Adults in Delaware who smoke* 21.8% (153,100)

        South Carolina 182 Adults in South Carolina who smoke* 23.1% (831,200)

        Lung and Bronchus. Invasive Cancer Incidence Rates and 95% Confidence Intervals by Age and Race and Ethnicity, United States (Table 3.15.1.1M) *†‡

        Rates are per 100,000 persons. Rates are per 100,000 persons.

        Note the age where LC is found…………..OLD AGE group incidence hits the 500/100,000 at age 75-85

        AGE it seems is the deciding factor……….

        http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/uscs/… Cancer Sites Combined&Year=2010&Site=Lung and Bronchus&SurveyInstanceID=1

  9. c777 says:

    Communism is like living in a controlled bureaucracy you need to obtain permission to carry out the most mundane of tasks.
    It was this crushing repetitive lifestyle that really brought down the Berlin wall.
    In our so called democracy we are dangerously close to this now, so called health and safety and laws governing speech, broadcast, literature, and the arts.
    All these and others are mere instruments of control and profit for the pointless people who enforce them and their corporate political masters who profit via consultant directorships or creating money from thin air.
    As for governance bad decisions are made and rolled out nonetheless, these seem to be a very frequent occurrence at the moment.
    Its because government is acting like a corporation, as if it makes decisions based on the interests of itself in financial returns only.
    It believes its own lies and false advisers, because it is financially rewarding for its members to do so.
    Its called self delusion.
    The last people in Europe who governed with this sort of mentality “was” the Ceausescu’s.
    Of course it has to get really bad first.
    And I think the EU has just ensured that will happen.
    I look forward to their fate…….

  10. Pingback: Why? | Frank Davis

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