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kottke.org posts about Seth Roberts

Butter greases the cognitive skids

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 21, 2010

After Seth Roberts started eating half a stick of butter every day, his speed in solving simple arithmetic problems increased by 30 milliseconds. Flaxseed oil also seemed to help.

This isn’t animal fat versus no animal fat. Before I was eating lots of butter, I was eating lots of pork fat. It’s one type of animal fat versus another type. Nor is it another example of modern processing = unhealthy. Compared to pork fat, butter is recent.

But watching the video of the talk, it’s unclear what’s actually being measured here…it could be that the butter is making his fingers faster at pushing the buttons. Or look at the graph…might a single line that indicates steady improvement over the course of the year also fit the data?