Category Archives: life expectancy

Life is far too short

Dalrymple writes:

The life of Man being but three score years and ten, nothing on earth would induce me to read Hillary Clinton’s memoir of her electoral defeat.

If he had two millennia rather than only two years to go, he would not read it. In fact, he says,

no memoir by any modern politician would tempt me to read it, since the main characteristic of such politicians is mediocrity tempered by unbridled ambition and lust for power. Better to reread Macbeth. Hillary Clinton, after all, is Lady Macbeth to Bill Clinton’s Felix Krull, the confidence trickster.

Sweetened drinks are an æsthetic abomination

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 07.44.34Their consumption, writes Dalrymple, is

consequent upon a mass outbreak of childishness. I want people to suffer ill-effects from their bad taste.

Micronesian pioneers of the diabetogenic diet

Dalrymple pays a visit to Nauru, where half the population has type 2 diabetes. Thanks to phosphate rock,

from a life of subsistence on fish and coconuts they went straight to being millionaires. They abandoned their traditional diet and started to eat, on average, 7,000 calories per day. They liked sweet drinks and consumed Fanta by the case-load. For those who liked alcohol as well there was Château d’Yquem. They were unique in the world in being both rich and having a short life expectancy.

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 07.55.12Type 2 diabetes is

a threat to public health that dwarfs Ebola virus in scale, but kills slowly and undramatically, rather by stealth than by coups de théâtre. No one ever walked around in spacesuits because there was a type 2 diabetic on the ward.