Tag Archives: convexity

Health benefits from fasting that was NOT associated with reduction of calories.

Good news, but people in Medicine are a bit slow in getting the very notion of 2nd order effect /Jensen’s inequality and disentangling mentally the first from the 2nd order effect. Which is why few are getting Antifragile or the more general sensitivity to scale of a distribution.
In the paper, Longo and associates saw health benefits from fasting that was NOT associated with reduction of calories, but solely from the variability (5 day fast compensated by subsequent boost in calories). So it is NOT the caloric deprivation but the convexity of the human body to change (over a specified range) that is the subject under concern. Luckily you can detect that without too many experiments given its mathematical necessity (the link between convexity and benefits of volatility).

This report missed the point. And look at the silly weight loss connotation.


Reverse signs of aging safely with 5-day fast each month
A stunning new study shows that intermittent fasting can slow the aging process, improve cognitive ability, and reduce the incidence of cancer, inflammatory disease, and bone loss.

Another problem of averaging under convexity…

Another problem of averaging under convexity. Traditionally we have had *on average* slightly more than 2 children per woman (net of child mortality), which is the rate people converge to today. Except that in the past ~2 out of 10 children survived, today 2 out of 2. It means that we no longer have selection at work, since survival was not random. And, further, there was a high variance between women: some had no surviving children, others had many (for the same overall average).

So, clearly the world today is better, fairer, with equal opportunity to survive and be survived. But we cannot compare evolutionary processes to those of the past.

via Another problem of averaging under… – Nassim Nicholas Taleb.


THE PERFECT TEMPERATURE IS CONVEX. Recall that pulmonary ventilators (for patients with weak or sick lungs) are more effective if one varies the intensity (x+dx, x-dx instead of the constant previously assumed optimal x). Also recall that convexity (Jensen’s inequality, antifragility) is a general rule in natural settings rather than the exception.

It just hit me that the most pleasant temperature could not be a constant; it has to fluctuate accordingly to some degree of volatility. Temperature should not be fixed as in air-conditioned environments. I am now sitting in a room with a gentle intermittent breeze and the wind-adjusted temperature is dancing around the perfect spot. It is ideal for sleeping… Our bodies like to be confronted to variations, as if they were teased by nature.

via THE PERFECT TEMPERATURE IS CONVEX…. – Nassim Nicholas Taleb | Facebook.

OVERTREATMENT as short volatility…

OVERTREATMENT as short volatility: Huge vindication of the argument of Chapters 21 and 22 on the convexity of iatrogenics (only treat the VERY ill): Mortality is convex to blood pressure. Spyros Makridakis found this graph from the Farmingham study.

The implication is obvious: only treat the seriously ill (and overtreat them!). But for every person very ill (say 4 STD away for the norm), there are 5000 slightly ill (1 STD away). There we see why pharma has an incentive to treat mildly ill people.

Note that the iatrogenics are the same for both mildly ill and very ill.

via Timeline Photos | Facebook.