Saturday, June 13, 2009

Its in the genes BS

This blog has nothing to do with barefoot running or crossfit but some it seems related.

I was reading this lets-cut-the-crap article and #3 caught my eye. The article suggests that we should not blame genes for getting ourselves sick. I thought about it and drew parallels between people and computers.

One way to look at genes is like computer operating systems. Its clear that brand new computer with same OS looks pretty much the same but it looks very different for two different OS. Certain viruses will attack certain OS and not others. So if you think genes contain codes for a person, EVERY person is a different OS except identical twins. However, OS for people within same family have somewhat similar OS. So two people will have different risk factors for different diseases but correlation is higher if there is blood relationship.

But really, what matters for computer's health is not the OS but how it used. The key to not getting your computer sick is to
1. Install preventive measures like antivirus software and maintain it with updates.
2. Stay away from bad habits (not using good password) and bad softwares or websites as much as possible. However if #2 is compromised since you dont want to degrade "computer experience" too much due to fear of getting virus, #1 acts as a defense.

These two factors are so much more important than selection of preinstall OS on a software for computer getting slow or even crash.

Similarly, for human body,
1. building defenses through exercise and building immune system (by NOT coddling yourself with germ-phobia) is critical.
2. Then staying away from smoking, drinking, junk food, drugs, contagious people will complement #1. But also there is a limit to how much we can do without affecting quality of life. So if #2 is compromised, #1 acts as a defense to potential damage.

These two effects are RIDICULOUSLY important than risk factors based on genes. Its quite frustrating to see doctors/media preach that certain people are predisposed to be obese or have cancer or get heart disease.

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