The Swagger #2

Fat burning; Boring Thais; JFK again; Stoic Phonies; and AppleGPT-Siri

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Greetings from Pattaya, Thailand for the 2nd publication of Well here’s what I think… happening on the fantastic beehiiv platform, and now using its own domain, This is a weekly newsletter by email (archived on the web). 104 free articles per year. There’s a premium level, but the two free articles come first, and members of get all five weekly articles in a single post over there.

This week:

  1. You start burning fat immediately

  2. “Boring” Thai women

  3. New and shocking forensic evidence: did America assassinate JFK, its own president?

  4. Are those claiming to be Stoics just a bunch of phonies?

  5. Maybe "AppleGPT-Siri" won't be so damn dumb

1. You start burning fat immediately

Expertise isn't merely a function of time served in a domain; it's an artful dance with repetition and nuance. You immerse yourself in the arena, day in, day out, and over time, patterns emerge. You see the same problems, the same misconceptions, the same fallacies—again and again. With this relentless exposure, your skills are honed sharper than a sushi chef's knife. You become adept, yes, but this is a double-edged sword. With increased proficiency comes a dwindling patience for the uninitiated.

It's a peculiar thing, really. When you've weathered the intellectual storms for decades, you can't help but smirk when the newbies treat ancient knowledge as if it were a groundbreaking discovery. They unearth these relics, dust them off, and hoist them up like they've found the Rosetta Stone of the field. But to the seasoned veteran, it's just another Thursday.

There's a humor to it, of course, a sort of cosmic joke at the expense of the neophyte. But let's not be too harsh on these newcomers. After all, we were all once green ourselves, fumbling in the dark, thinking we had grasped something novel when we had merely stumbled upon the well-worn footprints of giants who walked before us.

So while it may be frustrating to watch the cycle of rediscovery unfold with the predictability of a sitcom rerun, we must remember the value of fresh eyes and fresh enthusiasm. These are the fuel for progress, even if that progress is simply relearning what we already know. And in this endeavor, we must remain vigilant—fully integrated honesty is our compass, and reality is our map.

Let us guide the new with a firm but gentle hand, for they are the future of our expertise. Let us share our knowledge freely, without ego, without the taint of arrogance. For in teaching, we learn anew, and in learning, we find the humility to accept that no matter how much we know, the horizon of ignorance recedes ever further.

To the seasoned, I say this: be patient, for you are the custodians of knowledge. To the novices, I urge: be curious, for you are its seekers. Together, we are the continuum of expertise, each of us a vital part of the whole, each of us a thread in the tapestry of understanding that covers the expanse of human endeavor.

Now lets tackle today's nonsense. Last week in #1, I wrote of poor messaging in low-carb-diet circles by disingenuously making a whole big out of the consumption of carbohydrates in the diet not being essential (in the same way hooking your house up to the electric power grid is not essential if you have a solid backup generator).

Today, I'm taking aim at the claim that the human body requires a significant amount of time to adapt to burning fat. Some claim that this adaptation can take two to three weeks. So, the first question that might come to mind is: Well, if you're not eating any carbohydrates to convert to glucose, or if you're fasting, and you require this two to three week adaptation, what is your body burning for energy?

You have about 1800 calories worth of muscle and liver glycogen—that's certainly not two to three weeks' worth. It's a half a day to a day for most people. So, what are you burning for energy while you're waiting for this magical fat adaptation to kick in? Are you converting your dietary protein to sugar through gluconeogenesis? Are you metabolizing muscle tissue? Or perhaps, is your body doing what it's supposed to do, and taking those fat stores that are designed to be there for just such a time, and using them—like, right off the bat, like on day number one?

It turns out this has been known for 52 years...since 1972...ironically, the same year Dr. Atkin's Diet Revolution was published. It has been a while since I read that book and I can't say that Atkins himself claimed any period whereby the body needs to biochemically convert itself to taking the long road (burning fat) rather than the shortcut (eating carbohydrates).

I went and researched that last night because though I'm the world's worst notetaker and record keeper, I do remember noteworthy things, and I still recall the day and time I was disabused of this silly notion that the body requires 2-3 weeks to "adapt to fat-burning mode," which is a ridiculous phrase when uttering it in retrospect. It was a post by Stephan Guyenet (before he became a complete weenie) that rightly pointed out that the complaint about a recent Kevin Hall paper (Calorie for Calorie, Dietary Fat Restriction Results in More Body Fat Loss than Carbohydrate Restriction in People with Obesity), that 6 days was not enough time because FAT BURNING ADAPTATION!!! was bogus.

Stephan's post (More Thoughts on the Recent Low-fat vs. Low-carb Metabolic Ward Study) is perhaps close to 2,000 words and I encourage you to read it for the nitty-gritty; or, here are 2 pictures worth just as many.

If you're having any trouble deciphering those, here's the bottom line: there is no fat-burning adaptation period worth talking about.

Let's cut through the bullshit and address the pervasive myth that's been infecting the public consciousness for over half a century. There are those among us, supposedly in the know, who should be embarrassed for not squashing this nonsense themselves. But no, here I am, doing the dirty work. I wouldn't put it past the low-carbohydrate, ketogenic, and carnivore dietary industrial complex—with their fat fingers in the pie of influence and profits—to perpetuate this crap. However, let's not attribute to malice that which is easily explained by ignorance.

The simpletons out there gobble up this drivel because, let's face it, anyone who's dabbled in low-carb or fasting has felt the effects. You feel like shit. But let's make an analogy here. Suppose you've got a top fuel drag racer with an engine fine-tuned to run on a specific, very high-octane fuel. Will it run on regular 88 octane from your neighborhood gas station? Probably. But will it tear up the track like it's built to do? Not a chance in hell.

Now, relate that to the human machine. Our bodies are primed to run on carbohydrates—that's why carbs are top of the list in our metabolic hierarchy. Take alcohol, for instance; we've got no storage tanks for that stuff, so our bodies burn it first and fast—7 calories per gram worth of fast. But when it comes to our energy pecking order, fat storage is the bottom of the barrel, the last resort, the emergency backup when all else fails.

What we're witnessing here is a colossal clusterfuck of confusion between psychology and biochemistry, and people are getting it ass-backwards. You slash carbs or fast, and then you feel lethargic, like a sack of potatoes—no energy, tired as hell. The knee-jerk assumption? Your body's floundering to switch gears and burn fat. Wrong. That's not it. It's not about your bodily functions—it's about you feeling like you've been downgraded from a high-performance dragster to a goddamn go-kart.

The real deal is this: you're dealing with a psychological hang-up, not a biochemical or metabolic oxidation crisis. It's about your unwillingness to deal with the uncomfortable and immediate switch, not your body's capability to adapt. So, let's stop conflating feelings with physiological facts. Your body can and will start burning fat immediately; your mind needs to catch up and stop bitching about the switch.

... And incidentally, there is an "adjustment period" and an "intermediate fuel" between burning dietary carbohydrate and burning body fat. It's called glycogen, and there's about 1,800 calories worth. That's the extent of your transitioning time, 1/2 to 1 day. Look at the charts above, again, with that in mind.

2. “Boring” Thai women

I was forwarded this article called Boring Thai Women from way back in 2005, nearly 20 years ago.

While in Bangkok I usually get to meet a lot of women through networks and contacts with my expat friends. Some of them are in the bar scene and some of them normal working woman with steady and full-time employment who are interested in meeting or socialising with farangs. I have had short-term flings with some of these woman but never entered into any long term relationship, probably because after a couple of days going through the small talk and finding out a bit more about each other I have nothing really in common with any of these women at all.

Even though I speak Thai very well I still find them very boring.

I wouldn't say I'm the most interesting or charismatic male on earth who could talk and charm the socks off every one I meet but I do have many hobbies and interests that I actively pursue both in Thailand and Australia. I take interest in many topics and can relate to or have knowledge on most subjects.

Most Thai women I meet have very little interest or knowledge of anything outside their own surroundings and environment i.e. workplace, home, and the local shopping mall. Most of them have very little understanding or desire to understand and learn about anything other than what is happening in Thailand. I mean most of them don't even know which direction in relation to Thailand a particular country is located. Supposedly educated and uneducated alike. Now try spending a couple of days with a woman like this and the conversation soon becomes pretty uninteresting. This is one of the biggest reasons besides being 99% incompatible with Thai women that foreigners should probably not try and pursue a relationship with a Thai woman. On the whole they are just so boring. Boredom is the quickest way to end an already very fragile relationship.

I largely concur. In fact, it's not just Thai women. I find women to be boring in the most general sense.

Does that surprise you? After all, and just yesterday, I go on and on about the chicks, right?

I'll let you in on a little secret: they find us boring, too!

That's because males and females, men and women, are vastly different, with near diametrically opposite strategies for navigating through this life, and on some levels, because of that, we annoy and bore each other.

Because we make our way through this life so differently, we develop different interests, and it's really tough to feign long-term interest and curiosity in someone else's things that make them tingle all over, or whatever.

Consider high-risk activities—take organized crime, for example. It's a very high-risk endeavor, and you'll find it's almost exclusively a man's game. Why is that? Could it be because of the inherent risks that men gravitate towards? They seek other men who can be held accountable based on cold, hard facts. Truth alone is the currency here. Women, on the other hand, tend to navigate social issues with feelings at the helm, with facts often relegated to the back seat.

Conversely, men are seldom welcomed with open arms into the social gatherings that women frequent—like girls' weekends or baby showers. These are arenas where the currency is feelings, not facts. Women aren't typically looking for someone to chime in with, "Well, that doesn't make a lick of sense—fact number one, fact number two, fact number three." What they do in their social circles, that's their prerogative. That's their social sanctuary.

So, when you've got men bitching about not finding the intellectual stimulation they crave from women, I must ask: are these guys trying to have their cake and eat it too? You'll notice that many influencers in what's dubbed 'masculine culture' stress the importance of men maintaining a brotherhood—a circle of male friends. And, for what it's worth, I think anchoring this around sports is asinine. I've said it before, and I'll say it again—I consider sports fandom a form of cuckoldry. You're sitting there, living vicariously through someone else's activities, deriving near masturbatory pleasure.

If you're going to bond over something, then join a sports club where you actually play the sport. Join a hunting club, a fishing club, or even a birdwatching club—just do something active. Make it real.

On this point, I say let women be women. Give them their space to operate on emotional and feeling-based levels. Don't try to shoehorn them into being your man friend. Are they trying to make you their girl friend? Usually not, they know you'd suck at it anyway; and if they are, run away fast.

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