[I was totally going to do Carnival of Aces this month, but then writer’s block hit me hard so here’s a rant]
My coworker thinks the Earth is flat. I’m not saying that automatically invalidates every point he is ever going to make, but the world isn’t flat. Having a healthy dose of skepticism isn’t a bad thing. It’s not a bad thing to question something you grew up knowing as “common sense”.
I grew up in a place where people drive on the right side of the road. Here that’s just common sense, but that’s not true everywhere and if I don’t accept that in some places people drive on the left side of the road it could potentially be a dangerous situation. There is a point, however, when skepticism is unhealthy. How do we really know the world isn’t flat? You know, besides the 20 plus world space agencies that say so. We’ve been able to prove mathematically that the world is a globe shape for centuries. So I personally know that the world is a globe because the math checks out.
Anywho, back to my flat-earthing coworker. How do you convince somebody who is beyond convincing? Basically, you can’t. I’m not worried about my coworker, I’m worried about people who take him seriously. The latest thing my coworker is caught up on is gold supplements. Worst he got my supervisor talking about it.
Usually when I’m faced with something I know is B.S. I start asking basic questions. 1) What is it? and 2) What does it do? The basic idea is that by ingesting gold, which is highly conductive, that it helps mental function because the body is a bunch of electrical pathways.
Okay, there’s quite a bit to unpack here and I’m convinced I’m the only person in my home town who didn’t sleep through freshman biology. The only “true” thing in this golden-baloney is that, yes, gold is a better conductor than copper. And that’s about it.
The body isn’t built like an electrical grid so upgrading conductive metals isn’t going to “fix” anything.
Gold is a heavy metal and thus isn’t digestible in a supplement form. Supplements are tricky because you can’t just take them and expect magic to happen. Calcium supplements, for example, need to be taken with food or else the body can’t absorb it. There are foods that hinder or block the absorption of vitamins and minerals. Wouldn’t it suck to take your daily vitamin only to eat something later that blocks it? Grapefruits are on a lot of “do not eat” lists if you’re taking certain medication. So, if you take gold supplements, you’re just going to end up shitting gold.
So, the body can’t even absorb the gold which might be a good thing because I did a quick search for the list of heavy metals commonly found in the human body. Guess what wasn’t on the list. There is more tin in the human body than gold. There is more lead in the human body than gold, but you don’t see doctors prescribing lead supplements. These are trace elements (meaning extremely small amounts) that the body needs to function. That doesn’t mean you can just pick up any old metal and start chowing down. The majority of vitamins and minerals we need we get from food. Anytime I need a little extra iron in my diet I eat some broccoli or some leafy greens. Even I can throw a simple stir fry together.
I can’t convince my coworker that the world isn’t flat, so I probably can’t convince him that eating gold is about as stupid as it sounds. What I can do is ask the right questions and suggest that anyone who wants to start taking gold supplements are probably better off just eating their checkbook.
At least the checkbook might have a little extra fiber in it.