Intro: The science behind health and nutrition.
Welcome to this episode of The Nugent Report. A definitive source for objective information on healthy nutrition, featuring Dr. Steve Nugent, the renowned psychologist, author, public speaker, an expert on science, health, wellness and nutrition. Be sure to visit our website at drnugent.com. And follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at The Nugent Report.
Dr. Steve: Hello, and welcome to the first episode of The Nugent Report. I’m Dr. Steve Nugent. The Nugent report is dedicated to presenting any information that relates to human health, science and the environment in a thoroughly documented objective way, versus opinions. To make the best decisions for your health, you need accurate, objective information. This first episode is designed to lay the foundation for what you can expect in future episodes, and to introduce you to terms and definitions that you may be unfamiliar with. All support these terms with some examples that should make sense to anyone regardless of their level of education. This first episode will be longer than the others because of the content necessary to establish the foundation of the report.
In this episode, I will also give you some insights into my personal history that even my lecture audiences from around the world have never heard. The Nugent Report will always be clear and easy for virtually everyone to understand, regardless of how complex the topic is. Typically, I will state the science and then translate it into plain language. So, don’t panic when you hear the science. Just stay with me, and you’ll understand it.
First, I’ll give you some brief examples of what to expect in future Nugent reports. Did you know that there’s about a 50% probability that you’re not getting adequate levels of magnesium? Did you know that many people in North America are consuming a diet that has too much calcium? Did you know that there are cases where vitamin D deficiency is actually caused by magnesium deficiency? Did you know that there are industrial chemicals that can affect not just your physical but also your psychological health?
Chances are, you’ve never heard this information and chances are you’re still getting the same tired old information that’s been printed and reprinted hundreds of thousands of times, without anyone bothering to check to see if anything has changed. All people have opinions, and I’m just as human as anyone else. But, scientific objectivity is the key to making the best possible decisions for your health, and the health of our planet. Fortunately, I’m not beholding to any company products or politics for this podcast. I’m an objectivist and that’s someone who thinks objectively. The Nugent report will always bring you the most objective, thoroughly documented information in health science and the environment. information that you can always trust, unbiased and accurate. The new GAO report is a labor of love. It started as a paper newsletter with Volume One, issue one back in 1994. At that time, I had an integrative medicine practice. I was the author of a desk reference for Applied Clinical Nutrition, which was used by many thousands of practitioners. I lectured to doctors of all disciplines on a monthly basis, and I had a co-authored a manual for understanding how to interpret blood chemistries for nutritional versus medical needs. I was an internationally respected expert in the field of integrative medicine, and the clinical use of dietary supplements. Doctors from 17 countries subscribed to that paper newsletter.
For more than a quarter of a century, I’ve lectured on Integrative Health to audiences on every continent, well, except Antarctica of course. I’m trained in many areas of science, but I will devote a great deal of time in future episodes to integrative medicine, dietary supplements, and diet. I’ve also written some books for public consumption, which are currently out of print. One of these, which is my favorite was titled. “How to Survive on a Toxic Planet.” That book written in 2004 was a little bit ahead of its time. It was a report really of how modern environmental toxins adversely affect human health. Writing that book got me a great deal of hate mail. Many conservatives hated the book, because they assumed I was a left wing sandal wearing anti American hippie, and those on the left were angry because they thought the book was not severe enough against industry. It takes courage, perseverance, and a pretty thick skin to be an objectivist.
In future episodes of the Nugent report, I’ll report on the effects of environmental toxins on both human and animal health. I know that the vast majority of people do not think objectively, and I will probably have equal levels of hatred from both sides of the aisle. Because objectivity is not an extreme, and most people are only comfortable if you are 100% in agreement with their belief system.
After retiring from practice, and beginning a new phase of my career, I stopped publishing the Nugent Report. That was about 25 years ago, I’ve been wanting to disseminate purely objective information about health science and the environment for many years and finally, the time has come. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been trained in many areas of science, so this podcast will not be one dimensional. Before I go too much further, I probably should fully define objectivity, and what it means to be an objectivist. In the sciences, graduate students and doctoral candidates have to take classes in objectivity, whether it is specifically called that in the title or not. Students have to be taught the difference between information which is objective, and that which is not. I’ve spent a great deal of time and universities and shared classrooms with a great number of students. What I’ve seen as a consistent struggle among even the smartest of students is trying to be objective in their presentations, some never succeeded.
My observation is that humans are genetically programmed to arrive at decisions as quickly as possible. And in most cases, that means without knowing all the facts. During this episode, I’ll give you an example of how that genetic programming may have come to be. As an expert in human behavior, I can tell you clearly that the majority of people prefer extremes and clean, quick, simple answers to questions. Thought requires energy and time and unanswered questions can be stressful, and delay a person from carrying out their essential or perhaps their enjoyable activities. So in this episode, I will define and discuss some ideas that some people may be unfamiliar with. And these include absolutism, objectivity, realism, versus optimism or pessimism, and some of the thoughts. Some of you will be very surprised with what you’re about to learn.
Here are some examples. Few people care what the most average building in the world is. But if you say to someone, would you like to know which building is the tallest, or which is the smallest in the world, you may command their attention. Average typically isn’t very interesting to most people. Average is in the middle of the spectrum. Keep the idea of extremes in mind, I’ll come back to it.
There are certain behaviors in humans and animals, which are innate versus learned. Another way to describe an ape behavior is instinctive behavior. Researchers in the field of psychology believe and of course, they argue about the percentages, but they believe that much of human behavior is genetically influenced. And some say that it’s even genetically programmed. Clearly, some behaviors are genetically influenced. Every time I say that there are people who are troubled by it, because they’re reading something into it that I didn’t state. Genetic behaviors are quite a subject and I’ll deal with that in a different podcast. Because researchers cannot take humans and isolate them for their entire lifetime to study them. Because human lifetimes are so long, animal studies have been done to obtain more information about the question of innate survival behaviors.
Experiments with animals have shown that behaviors which improve survival of the species are passed on from parents to offspring. These are innate or genetic behaviors. Understanding this, here’s my theory of how our early ancestors may have been genetically programmed to default to absolute is thinking, which leads of course to prejudice. Imagine that you are back in time many eons ago, a member of a hunter gatherer tribe. Your tribe meets a new tribe for the very first time. Each of these tribes was unaware that the other tribe existed. A mix of emotions races through your head, your adrenaline surges. One tribe has always lived on the shoreline of an inland freshwater sea, supporting themselves primarily with sea life, and adorning themselves with necklaces made of beautiful seashells. We’ll call those people the shore people. The shore people have always had an abundance of food from the sea. They have rarely had to struggle to survive and rarely encountered predatory animals. Violence was rarely necessary, and therefore rarely seen. Experiencing a constant moderate temperature and a dependable gentle breeze. They were only loincloths.
The second hunter gatherer tribe has always followed the herds across the vast plains of the interior. We’ll call them the land people. The land people adorn themselves with skins of animals they have killed, and were necklaces made of the teeth of ferocious carnivores. They are well armed and all too familiar with violence, because they’ve always had to be in a struggle for survival. There are tough and rugged group who’ve had a long history of violent encounters with other interior tribes fighting for the same food supplies. They’ve learned over generations to be wary and to react with violence quickly if their tribe or their food sources are threatened. As the two tribes look at each other for the first time, they must assess if this new group of humans is possibly a threat. The assessment is done visually, without having time to learn the facts about the other tribe.
The two tribes look very different. Each group has maintained its specific genetics. So one group has fair skin, hair and eyes and the other group has dark skin, hair and eyes. The leaders of each group attempt to speak to each other, but their languages are completely different. And the communications fails. The land people appear fierce and muscular, with weapons at the ready. While the shore people appear gentle, friendly, and even curious. They look different. They sound different. They dress differently. The two tribes are in complete shock when they meet each other for the first time. They must make a quick decision. Is this new group of humans a threat or might it be possible to make friends with them and trade. Should one tribe run from the other or should one tribe attack the other quickly to ensure the survival of their own tribe. Whatever decision they make, they need to make that decision quickly without hesitation because their survival may depend on it.
Both tribes are going to have to prejudge the other tribe without knowing the facts. This is the root of prejudice.
In our world today, many people don’t even understand what the word prejudice means. If you prejudge someone based on their appearance, without knowing the facts, this is prejudice. This is almost certainly the way it would have gone the first time, two very different peoples encountered the other. Unfortunately, human history shows all too often, these initial encounters resulted in violence. The unknown often causes fear and fear will initiate either a fight or flight response. In almost all cases. Encounters with the unknown can cause a person to prejudge before knowing all the facts or to be prejudice towards a person that is different than they are. I believe that prejudice has its roots in early survival mechanisms of our distant ancestors, and has been imprinted into our genetic memories, like many other mechanisms that we refer to as innate.
Even the friendliest, gentlest, and most caring of people will still prejudge individuals based on their appearance. In most of the civilized world today, people with different appearances who meet on the street know that they’ll be safe from violence. This allows people to have friendly encounters and learn about each other, as well as from each other. Prejudging human beings based on appearance or other immutable characteristics is subjective.
Subjectivity is opinion based on the information which is available or psychological influences from others, which is biased, and if that information is not accurate, then the conclusion will not be accurate. As they say in the computer world, garbage in, garbage out.
Objectivity allows you to gather information without bias, analyze information without bias and report information without bias. Objectivity is so rare in daily life, that it is foreign to the majority of the population. Here’s another personal example that I experienced when being called for jury duty. I live in Dallas County, Texas, USA. It was my time to serve on a jury in that county. As is always the case 36 prospective jurors were assembled in a courtroom and then interviewed by the attorney for the plaintiff, as well as the attorney for the defense. The final outcome, of course, is to select that jury of 12. This particular case was an injury accident case, then the attorney for the plaintiff was looking for jurors that he could sway with emotional arguments about his clients, pain and emotional suffering. This is a strategy which is certainly not unusual in cases like this.
There’s no way to objectively quantify pain and emotional suffering, it will quite literally be different for each individual. So swaying a jury of 12 will require some strong emotional arguments.
The attorney for the plaintiff started going around the room, asking each perspective jury to define the word objectivity. To my astonishment, I was the only person in the room who could correctly define the word. Many of the prospective jurors had absolutely no idea what the word meant, literally, as though they had never even heard the word before. When it came to my turn, I said, objectivity is being able to gather information without bias or favoritism, and then use that unbiased information to draw an unbiased conclusion. The attorney paused for a moment, stunned, I think, and he said, “Doctor, I wonder if you could give me an example.”
I was standing up at the time, and I pointed to the wooden bench that I had been sitting on, and which is common in courtrooms all over the US. Then I said, and objective analysis of this bench is that it is a bench made of wood, designed for people to sit on. A subjective analysis of this bench might say that it’s a beautiful bench, a comfortable bench, a wonderful bench, or something to that effect. But anything other than saying the bench is made of wood, and designed for people to sit on would be subjective, a matter of opinion. Well, guess what?
Objectivity got me excused from jury duty. He didn’t want someone like me on that jury of 12. Hopefully, now the difference between objectivity and subjectivity makes sense to you.
I want to give you some examples as it relates to media because this will make sense in future episodes of the Nugent report on various subjects that sometimes will be controversial. So, I want to take you back to my media days. Many years ago, I did a radio talk show on what was then an ABC owned station in Detroit, Michigan. Well to be precise, it was in Southfield, Michigan. But, most people won’t know where Southfield is. The station call letters were WXYZ. And it was one of America’s first radio stations, first going on the air in October of 1925, when it was owned by CBS Radio, and then in 1946, it was purchased by ABC Radio, who still owned it when I worked there. WXYZ was famous for creating and broadcasting some of the most popular radio series of the early days of radio, including the Lone Ranger, the Green Hornet, and the Challenge of The Yukon. I had the great honor and privilege of doing the sign off broadcast for that historic radio station. When the Federal Communications Commission decided that the TV networks owned too many radio stations, and that that was pushing the envelope on monopolies. Each network had to decide which radio stations they were going to sell, and WXYZ, and Detroit was one of the victims in that cut. When I worked for W XYZ, the day of radio drama, of course, had been long gone. At that time, when I worked there, it was political talk radio.
Yes, I did a political talk show on a station that had many conservative hosts, one only one liberal host. Then there was me.
After that, I did an ask the doctor show for seven years on a different radio station, and also a morning TV show. But, that’s really not pertinent to our conversation about objectivity. Because the default setting for human thought appears to be absolutism. I had my audiences constantly confused by being objective. My station manager advised me that if I went 100%, to the right, that my ratings would go through the roof. Well, I’m sure he was right. But, I chose accuracy and objectivity over ideology. I’m an objectivist, not an ideologue. If you observe the most highly rated shows on TV or radio, you’ll find that those shows are completely biased either to the right or the left of the political spectrum. As an expert in human behavior, I can tell you, it’s perfectly normal for human beings to want to tune into a host, who says what they want to hear, and who agrees with their personal philosophies. This reinforces their beliefs, and makes them feel better about themselves. In an objective sense, this is neither good nor bad. It’s simply normal human behavior.
My radio show was live with live call ins, you know, the format, I’m sure you’ve listened to them before. I had to work very hard to make sure that the information I presented to my listeners was objective. Objectively gathered, objectively analyzed, and objectively reported. If as an example, I reported an objective fact, which favored someone on the left side of the political spectrum. Then my callers who were on the right, would phone in immediately, reacting emotionally. They call me up pinko and lefty and communist, and all manner of other names. Because they were reacting emotionally they weren’t thinking about what I was saying. But, this was the same when I presented information, which was accurate and positive about someone on the right. Then people on the left would call up, and they would be angry. They would tell me I was a Nazi. I was a fascist I was a racist. Because they were reacting emotionally, they were not thinking objectively.
Well, you have to remember that this was the time of the Cold War, and the biggest threat to world peace, perhaps world survival was the communist Soviet Union and their arsenal of nuclear weapons. Well, thank to this, that’s passed. But the point is, back then we had a very polarized group, either on the left or the right. Sounds kind of familiar. Not too different from what we’re experiencing today. But, for other reasons.
I found it fascinating that month after month, the vast majority of my listeners who tuned in loyally on the left and on the right, never understood that I was simply a objectively reporting was neither a Nazi nor of communist, simply an objectivist. But, if I said things that a person didn’t want to hear, it would evoke an emotional response, rather than an intellectual response. This, again, is normal behavior. It’s not good or bad. It’s just normal behavior. I have to say that some days were pretty tough for me. And when I did public appearances, often for charity fundraising, I had people on the left and the right that hated me equally, assuming that I was their enemy, because I was not 100% biased in one direction, or the other. Human behavior is fascinating.
My show was indeed quite lively. I never had a shortage of callers, who had strong opinions about what I had to say in the previous segment. Perhaps that’s why my audiences were so loyal, because they were excited and entertained by the political combat on both sides that seemed to never end. The greatest example of subjectivity today, is from individuals claiming to be journalists. Objectivity is the foundation of both science and journalism. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of people in journalism today either never learned objectivity when they studied journalism, they forgotten the principles of objectivity, or they deliberately choose to be biased in their reporting. Reporting that is not objective is by definition, not journalism. The danger in this, of course, is that the public makes their decisions based on the information that’s available to them. If that information is flawed and inaccurate, then their conclusions will also be flawed and inaccurate. Remember, garbage in, garbage out.
The state of your health is the key to the quality of your life. So, you need to have trusted, accurate information on which to base your health decisions. It’s a major point of frustration for me that the majority of health, and particularly nutrition information that I see posted on the internet is biased and inaccurate. The Nugent Report offers you a trusted alternative.
With every fiber of my being, I hope that the majority of my listeners will understand that if I say something they’ve never heard before, or something that their personal gurus disagree with, this is not about opinion, but rather pure objective fact. Once again, just to be clear, if there is anything that I report, which currently has insufficient data to draw an objective conclusion, I will report clearly that this is the case. At no time, will I attempt to sway my listeners, to my private views. All scientists and journalists have their own opinions, beliefs, we all do. But a person calling themselves a scientist or a journalist who does not analyze and report objectively, simply is someone else with another opinion, and they’re doing a great disservice to their professions.
Realistically speaking, and I am a realist, the best rated TV shows and podcasts are the ones that are the most biased. Interestingly, however, the majority of people surveyed, don’t seem to know that their favorite shows are biased. Fascinating. Another topic of discussion for a different podcast.
There are a few rare exceptions but very rare. Here’s one more example to explain objectivity versus subjectivity in the modern world. There are many TV networks especially now with cable making-almost anyone can start a TV network on cable if they have the basic resources. But, there are six networks, which are the most viewed in the United States, listed in alphabetical order not in order of importance or preference. There are three free air original networks. They are ABC, CBS, and NBC.
Each of these three of course have their own so called news divisions, and I use the word news lightly. I hesitate these days to use the word journalism in conjunction with those organizations. When it comes to journalism, there’s only one standard and that is objectivity. Once again, by definition, if it’s not objective, it’s not journalism, its opinion. Besides the three original free air networks, there are three cable networks which are most watched and once again in alphabetical order, not in order of importance or preference. There is CNN, FNC, and MSNBC.
Back in my radio days, I gathered information from both sides of the political spectrum every day, because I never wanted to be the guy on the radio who didn’t know the answer. I worked really hard at this. Understanding that TV ratings vary literally vary by the hour. I’m going to talk to you about current averages at the time of this podcast, which may be different. If you listen to this podcast on a different day obviously. There is an average that’s done by the day by the week by the month in terms of ratings. So you can get yourself confused with these in cable news at this time, and I use the term news lightly once again. The number one rated news opinion host most weeks is a man named Sean Hannity on FNC or the Fox News Channel. He’s constantly saying that he is fair and balanced. But it’s clear that his broadcast is highly biased to the right. Objectively speaking, he does not claim to be a journalist, but rather a news opinion host. That is clearly to his credit. There are, however, other hosts on TV today who claim to be journalists, but are simply opinion hosts pushing their personal agendas. That misrepresentation annoys me greatly.
In Hannity’s defense, I think he sincerely believes that he is fair and balanced, I really do. It would only be accurate to say that he presents arguments from the right side of the political spectrum, which then offers balance against the other five networks, which are clearly biased to the left side of the spectrum. As an expert in human behavior, I do not detect any malice or secret agendas in his broadcasts. He is sincere. He sincerely believes that position. He’s honestly representing what he believes to be true.
I support the dissemination of information on both sides of any argument, because that’s how you work towards an objective analysis and finally, an objective conclusion. I support anyone’s right to express their views, as long as there is no potential harm from those views.
The number three rated show in cable news most weeks is with a host named Rachel Maddow, and she’s on MSNBC. To be fair, I haven’t watched every show she’s ever aired. But, every time I have watched her show, she’s been entirely biased to the left. And I’m sure most of our viewers don’t know that. The viewers are strong and loyal for both Hannity and Maddow. Because those viewers are tuning in to reinforce what they want to hear not to hear a fair and balanced presentation. There is a ray of hope for me I’ll ever as an objectivist. That’s the number two rated cable news opinion show host almost every night of the week. This is a man named Tucker Carlson. Carlson is trained and experienced as a journalist. He understands objectivity, obviously. But, as a news opinion, host it’s his job to give his opinion and to entertain enough to keep up the ratings. His job as a host is not to report the news objectively. That would be his job if he were acting purely as a journalist. I was trained in broadcast journalism more than 40 years ago. And yes, for the absolute is listening right now, it is possible to have expertise in more than one field. Here’s a rare case where I will give my opinion. In my opinion, Carlson is an expert writer.
Most news opinion show hosts begin their programs with a monologue of the various hosts. I’ve watched it on the various networks. I typically but will emphasize not always find Carlson’s monologues to be the best written of the three hosts mentioned. I’ve also read many books from people on the left and the right. What I found after reading a book written by Carlson, which is called, Ship of Fools, his writing in that book was, in my opinion, excellent. Well, now you’re getting some opinion. But in most of the new Joe report going forward, it’s going to be pretty cold, hard, objective facts.
Now saying what I’ve just said, is neither an endorsement, nor a condemnation, of any of the content of any of the programs have the three hosts mentioned. I’m simply giving my opinion about Carlson, as a writer. Carlson makes it clear that he hosts a news opinion show, he’s not acting as a journalist and making that disclaimer is to his great credit. Perhaps Maddow also makes that disclaimer, that she’s an opinion show host and not acting as a journalist. But, if she does, I haven’t seen it yet on the programs of hers that I’ve watched. Not making the distinction between opinion host and journalist could lead some viewers to draw a conclusion that everything presented is objective, and is an irrefutable fact. That’s what you would expect from a true journalist.
Realistically, it’s unlikely that most people understand the distinction or even hear the comments. But, at least for me, making the disclaimer is important.
It seems Carlson has a mixed audience of conservatives, liberals and independent as I once did on my radio show. His is a political opinion show, as I’ve stated, and it’s important that his viewers know where he comes from on the political spectrum. If he was presenting as a journalist, on the other hand, it would be essential to maintain his objectivity, and for no viewer to ever be able to detect what his opinions or views were. He makes no secret that he’s a conservative. So, he’s fully transparent in that respect. But, he’s not the stereotypical conservative as he rather consistently disappoints hardcore right wing conservatives by saying things that sound to them to be well, too liberal. This is most likely the reason that Carlson keeps coming in at number two, rather consistently, because he’s not doing his broadcast as an absolutist.
Unlike the programs I’ve viewed by Hannity and Maddow, Carlson frequently interviews guests with whom he disagrees, and he actually allows them to speak, which is very uncharacteristic of opinion show host. Carlson’s approach is not unlike the way I conducted my radio show years ago. On the Fox News Channel, they have one host lead into the next show without a commercial break. And I’ve seen on more than one occasion that Sean Hannity, who’s clearly conservative, and follows Tucker’s program was actually speechless, after hearing something that Carlson had said. Not expecting any deviation from conservative ideology, from someone who is declared as a conservative. Sometimes, that gives me a chuckle from an otherwise long and stressful day. Personally, I don’t have a lot of time or desire to watch a great deal of television. I find most of it to be a waste of precious minutes of my life that can never be reclaimed.
The definition of value becomes much more serious to you as you age and that is, the less you have of something, the more valuable it becomes. As I age, the minutes of my life become far too valuable to be wasted on nonsense. I simply have too much left to accomplish. This is also the main reason that as a public speaker, I no longer engage in circular arguments with the audience. They are pointless and a waste of time. However, as I mentioned previously, I try to watch some alleged news information broadcasts by people biased on the left as well as those biased on the right and I try and budget the time to watch Carlson as often as I can. I confess, because of my workload, I don’t meet this goal for any of the shows I mentioned, on a regular basis. So, objectively speaking, I do not have complete data to draw conclusions regarding these three hosts that I’ve mentioned. Thank goodness for DVRs. Because I’m typically hard at work while the shows are on at night. My typical work day is 16 to 18 hours, sometimes longer, seven days a week. And no, for those of you who are absolutist, I’m not a workaholic. I am however, mission driven. I have things to accomplish with the years I have left. This does not allow for me to waste time.
So why do I do all this? Why do I care about getting information from all sides? Why don’t I just tune into the things that make me feel good personally, like most people do?
If something affects my life, and especially the life of my community, or even the world community, it’s important to know what each side of the political spectrum is attempting to convince you of each day. Otherwise, your opinion will be inaccurate. I spent time on this because when I do my podcasts and blogs about environmental issues, particularly, I will be attacked strongly by people on both sides of the political spectrum. Just as I was when I wrote my book, How To Survive On A Toxic Planet. The people who have fanatical views on the left and the right, will probably hate me about equally, because my reporting will be objective, and not 100% bias to either end of the spectrum, for the absolutist This is in comprehensible and intolerable.
So, when someone asked me if I’m a liberal or a conservative, my response is, I’m an objectivist, for an objectivist and I must emphasize that we are extremely rare. A cold hard fact, is neither a good thing nor a bad thing. It’s simply a fact. A fact is emotion and bias free.
However, people with bias often twist facts or use facts out of context to support their agendas. This is what I work against.
If you’re one of the millions of Star Trek fans, you might be familiar with a character from the original series, often referred to as classic Star Trek, called Mr. Spock. He represented a race called Vulcans, and they were devoted to pure logic. They worked hard to ensure that they didn’t experience or express emotion. Even though according to the storyline, they had to work very hard to suppress their emotions, which were in fact more intense than those common to humans. If everyone conducted themselves objectively, like the mythical volkens, prejudice, hate, violence, war, dishonesty, virtually every other negative emotion that you can conjure up would cease to exist. We would live on a clean, safe and healthy planet. Unfortunately, Star Trek isn’t real and neither are volkens. Star Trek fans, please don’t send me hate mail.
Life is short, all too short.
I believe life must have purpose. I want to make a difference in the lives of other human beings while I’m here. Everything else to me is secondary. If I can teach even a small number of people to think of objectively, they may be able to do the same with a small number, who eventually will make a difference with a much larger number. In terms of health, it is crucial that your health decisions are based on solid, objective data, because without good health, you will either struggle through life, or potentially shorten your life.
Finally, we need to talk briefly about realism, optimism and pessimism. This probably could make a good blog or podcast by itself.
The majority of people think that there are only two kinds of people. Once again, go into my example of extremes.
People think there are optimists and there are pessimists. What they miss is the middle of the spectrum and those are people called realists. In my time as an expert on human behavior, I’ve encountered many people who appear to be either intellectually or psychologically incapable of being anything other than optimists or pessimists.
I’m not speaking to those people in this podcast as much as I am to the person who has the ability to change to better their own lives and the lives of others through realistic thought. Optimists think that realists are pessimists and pessimists think that realists are optimists. Did you follow that? To the optimist, everything will eventually turn up just fine. Everything’s always going to be all right. To the pessimist, well, they believe that everything will eventually go bad no matter what you do. The realist, however, is in the middle. The realist knows that sometimes things will go well, and sometimes they won’t. That’s reality.
The overwhelming majority of human beings tend to be basically optimistic. And realists are pretty darn rare.
Let’s give a classic example and this will be our last example in this podcast of the glass of water. Is it half full or is it half empty?
Well, everyone knows about this. You’ve all seen the example before. But, I’m going to present this to you a little bit differently this time, from a realistic point of view. All right, you know how this goes, you take an ordinary eight ounce kitchen glass, you pour water to about the four ounce mark, and then put the glass in front of an optimist, a realist and a pessimist. They didn’t see you pour the water in, you did that in a different room. So, they don’t know if the glass was originally full, and someone drank half of it or if it was empty, and you filled it half up with four ounces. Even though the crucial information is missing, the optimist will still think in absolute terms, and will say that the glass is half-full. The pessimist even though that person does not have the crucial information, will also think in absolute terms and say, “no, the glass is half-empty.”
Well, the realist has an entirely different point of view. The realist sees this objectively. You see, the glass is neither half-full nor half empty to say that is an opinion. It’s subjective, and it’s not provable. Well, the realist looks at it and says this is simple. You have an eight ounce glass that contains four ounces of fluid, that’s objective, that’s realistic, no opinion, no bias. And it is provable. It is an eight ounce glass that has four ounces of water, you can prove it objectively.
So, this is a great example of how objectivity and realism blend together. Objectivism is not about passing judgment. So to me, if you’re the person who says the glass is half full, or the person who says the glass is half empty, each of you are equally important to me. Objectivism is the opposite of judgment. We don’t pass judgment. So, you’re both important. I want to help both of you. Just understand that my approach in the Nugent report will always be objective, and realistic. There’s a lot of people I know that will listen to my podcast, they’ll read my blogs, and I will never ever be able to convince them to think objectively. I know this, that’s simply a fact that just the way it’s going to be. But, some of you will learn and some of you will improve your lives, and therefore you will affect the lives of others objectively. And remember that Vulcan Mr. Spock, if there is no subjectivity. You avoid things like prejudice and hate and you come to objective conclusions that give you accurate information. That’s what the Nugent report is all about.
Sorry, this one was as long as it was, the others will be shorter. I hope that you will want to listen to the Nugent Report episodes and read our blogs on the Nugent Report website because this information is for you, to help you, to help your health and to help our environment.
Thanks for listening. I’m Dr. Steve Nugent. Be safe, be sensible and be objective.
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