Adrian Howell

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alittledizzy
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Re: Adrian Howell

Post by alittledizzy » Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:53 pm



I appreciate this video a lot more than the last one.



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Re: Adrian Howell

Post by Snowboy » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:45 am

He uploaded a video titled "Patreon Q&A" today. I got the notification for it, but by the time I had gotten around to watching, it had been taken down. Is anybody who managed to see it willing to give me a summary of what he had to say?

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Re: Adrian Howell

Post by Stakhanov » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:08 pm

Yea I got the notification too. He hasn't uploaded a Q&A yet though, so I don't know what that notification was about. Something similar happened with the previous Q&A but that video did reappear soon after. I hope he hasn't filmed it yet, I only replied to his post about Q&A questions yesterday and the post was only up for a couple of days.
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Re: Adrian Howell

Post by knq » Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:51 am

I came across Adrian’s most recent post today about ‘cold water therapy’ on Instagram, which he claims “the science supports” through a “quick google search.”

How can you go through 4 years of university and graduate thinking that an appropriate way to come to a scientific understanding is a quick google search? My undergrad was in anthropology, hardly a rigorous field, and I would have failed out first year.

Secondly, how can you have so much baseless confidence in the global applicability of your own experiences and your quick google search to ‘guarantee’ your methods and ‘challenge’ people to stay in showers as cold as they can stand it for as long as possible? Jesus man.

My own search of the scientific literature indicates cold showers are unlikely to be associated with increased harm but that isn’t the case with cold water immersion, which is what Adrian’s photographed doing. It seems to be a trend in sports medicine in particular and for muscle soreness after intense exercise—which isn’t even what Adrian’s recommending it for—and generally what the science ‘supports’ is equivocal results with both potential harms and short term benefits and the need for more and better designed research in the face of increasing practice based on relatively little evidence.

This is more negative than anything I’d usually post because I’m angry. I hate seeing someone encourage people to subject themselves to mild pain in order to get a ‘happy hormone’ adrenaline boost like that’s some sort of healthy lifestyle choice. It’s bad enough seeing someone giving unqualified advice based on ‘I googled it’ type science in the Facebook posts my mother’s generation consumes; seeing it show up and receive support in fandom adjacent spaces is disheartening.

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Re: Adrian Howell

Post by Stakhanov » Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:08 am

I agree that doing "a quick google search" is not an appropriate way to come to any sort of rigorous scientific understanding. However later in your post you talk about your own 'research of scientific literature' which I imagine you probably also did online, maybe through access you have to your universities or work's subscriptions to academic literature, or through the limited selection of academic literature that is freely available?
Unless you are telling me you did a meticulous literature study that took at least weeks and also have the right credentials in the medical field to evaluate and contextualize the conclusions of academic works and papers, you are really doing the very same thing as that what you just said was inappropriate.

I don't know what the objective risks and benefits of 'cold water therapy' are. And neither can you or most people really, even if reading a couple of scientific articles is better than randomly googling. Unless that googling also leads to reading A+ journals which is very possible and happened to me on quite a few issues too :lol: .
I've seen cold water baths been used and praised by sports doctors in cycling. I know from friends I have in certain countries (Finland, Norway) that is considered a fairly common and healthy thing to do (it's done by many after a sauna but not necessarily). From the little information I've heard from proper medical professionals, it's generally safe to take plunges into cold water or take cold baths and showers - if you take some precautions in consideration of course. For example you don't want to put yourself into a state of hypothermia and you should be careful and abstain from putting your body under such stress if you have a heart condition or are sick, etc, etc..

However, I think it's odd to read Adrian's message as a scientific statement. I have understood that text as a warm (pun intended) recommendation and invitation to try the 'cold water therapy' he's doing. He talks about how it focuses your attention, sharpens you senses, helps him to stop remunerating. Basically, the benefits he attributes to it sound very similar to mindfulness exercises to me. I'm not sold on all the benefits he claims and whether these are scientifically valid and proven to be true for everyone, but I have no reason to doubt that they seem true to him. As always, it is also the viewers responsibility to not mindlessly consume any content one views and remain critical about any advice that is given. If you can't think for yourself to the point that you might harm yourself, you really shouldn't be consuming that content unsupervised.

I agree his claim that "the science supports these facts" is one that we shouldn't accept at face value and would need a lot more explanation to be accepted by me. It is always more prudent not to invoke a scientific consensus where there is none. Even though I think he probably is convinced the benefits of cold water therapy is hard science as he has read books and follows some well known proponents of it. If we had to ban every (self-help) book that's based on iffy or just not well researched enough and thus inconclusive evidence, we'd have a lot of empty bookshelves. The post, on balance, just reads as his personal statement on why he thinks cold water therapy is beneficial, and the 'scientific facts' he invokes are only part of the motivations he cites. So I think it's an unfair standard to use actual academic criteria to evaluate his contribution. Almost nobody outside academia meets that bar, let alone the endless stream of (bad) advice and recommendations that you find everywhere on social media.

I'm convinced his approach doesn't work for everybody. But that was never his claim. Any recommendation is unlikely to work for everybody. Yoga works wonders for some but doesn't work at all for others. Swimming or showering in cold water is the same. Unless the harm can clearly be scientifically and universally demonstrated, which isn't the case here imo - I don't see why it would be wrong to share and recommend his own experience. That's what about all vloggers do, often without any explicit consideration or awareness they're supporting an idea or course of action.
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Re: Adrian Howell

Post by alittledizzy » Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:57 pm

Stakhanov wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:08 am
However, I think it's odd to read Adrian's message as a scientific statement.
This what makes it Adrian trying to give a scientific statement.
veganadrian on instagram wrote:The science supports these statements as well. A quick google search will show that it improves circulation, reduces inflammation, whilst simultaneously boosting happy hormones and speeding up your metabolism.
The part where Adrian says that science supports it, and then attempts to give his google-search explanation of the benefits. If he wanted to make an experience only based post, he could have just left that part out.

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Re: Adrian Howell

Post by Stakhanov » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:41 pm

He could have, and I think it would have been better to leave that part out even though it's really hard to evaluate the claims he makes and they might actually be correct.

When I say it's odd to read Adrian's Instagram post as a scientific statement, I consider his whole message and not just that one statement in isolation.
vegand adrian on instagram wrote: veganadrian
I want to share one of the things that has brought immeasurable benefits to my life: cold water exposure. Before this photo was taken, I felt moody, unenergised and generally discontented. Afterwards - well, I think the photo speaks for itself. In all honesty, I’m a person who can often get really caught up in my head about things. I have moments where my brain goes into hyperdrive, getting overwhelmed by unnecessary details that sometimes spiral out of control. ⁣
.⁣
The shock as the water hits your skin draws your attention so sharply into the moment, that all of your worries and concerns fade away instantaneously. Your breathing becomes expansive instead of contracted, and any external pressures seem far less significant than they may have done previously. From an outsider’s perspective it might seem crazy, but discovering the power of cold water has served me immensely.⁣
. ⁣
The science supports these statements as well. A quick google search will show that it improves circulation, reduces inflammation, whilst simultaneously boosting happy hormones and speeding up your metabolism. Where we live, we’re lucky enough to have the ocean nearby to swim in - but a cold shower works just as effectively. Often the thought of doing it is far worse than the act itself, but afterwards you feel so charged with energy that you will feel unstoppable - and that is a promise! ⁣
.⁣
If you aren’t already into cold water therapy, I want to assign you a challenge at the end of your morning shower. Turn the temperature as low as you can handle for as long as possible, every single day for a week and see what happens. Speaking from personal experience, I can guarantee that you won’t regret it. ⁣📸 @majorthetoom .⁣

#trailrunners #traillove #vegan #veganathlete #mountainlove #runnersworld #runhappy #oudooradventures #getoutstayout #wildandfree #naturelovers #outsideisfree #neverstopexploring #findyourepic #naturelovers
Seems to me that his recommendation is based on a lot more than a claim about scientific benefits. He opens with his personal experience on the matter, notes that it 'might sound crazy to outsiders' and says it served him immensely
The he says science supports these statements as well which already indicates he views it as more of a corollary reason to do what he does and in which he finds immense worth.

He ends with offering a challenge and guarantees us we won't regret it, which I also don't take as a literal guarantee.
Is he maybe suggesting scientific support where that may be lacking? Maybe, depending on the perspective you take on his words to start with. I do remember enough of biology and psychology class to be quite sure that circulation of blood indeed does tend to improve when you heart rate rises, for example because you're swimming of are in a sauna or cold bath. So it's certainly not wrong if you consider circulation to mean 'circulation when doing the activity'. It doesn't follow that circulation in general improves, though it likely would if you live a sedentary life style just by virtue of going for a daily swim. The dopamine reward system in our body is also very active when exercising or experiencing physical stress and pain and is known to boost dopamines and other chemicals (which are colloquially sometimes called 'happy hormones'). So that doesn't sound like to outlandish a claim really. During strenuous exercise, your body will also react and combat inflammation through various processes and your metabolism will certainly speed up. So again, at least on a surface level, there is some truth to it. None of us are experts, so we might as well be criticizing his claims while they indeed are sensible.
Whether you think cold water therapy is is a good or bad way to motivate yourself, is up to each individual. I don't see the harm in trying to increase your dopamine production with an activity like taking a really cold shower, unless there are good reasons to assume that cold shower would be worse for you than any subjective gain you experience from your 'cold water therapy'.

At the very least he seems sincerely convinced those claims are correct. Why would Adrian be held to a higher bar than any other person on youtube claiming things about whatever without full scientific backing? He does not claim to have any kind of medical or professional authority. He is allowed to have an opinion on benefits and believe they are scientific. His argument that science supports his experiences might be unfounded - or correct - but that's not his whole message, it's not even the main point he's trying to make as I understand him.
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Re: Adrian Howell

Post by felucca » Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:02 pm

As much as Adrian isn't really my cup of tea, I must say I truly enjoy this part of a youtuber's life cycle. The naively uncensored part - before they grow all savvy and cunning about their audience's every reaction, and either become more guarded/apologetic abut everything or start knowingly saying controversial shit to get reactions. I could follow him just for that.

I know it's an old discussion by now but I especially loved the part where Adrian called himself an "obese, depressed fucking piece of shit person" because MAN I'VE BEEN THERE and THAT'S SO REAL. To me personally it was actually very freeing to hear someone say that about their past self because I can relate so hard, and I have yet to meet anyone irl who really understood what took Adrian half a sentence to express. I do see how it can be damaging to other people to hear, and perhaps I can also see why it's something you should learn to censor/make disclaimers about - but it also feels like a loss. After all, isn't half the point of a Youtube personality that they grow and cultivate an audience of likeminded individuals who understand each other, while people who don't vibe as much drift off to other creators?

I probably should drift off from Adrian, because apart from the above I'm mostly just amused by how very unlike the two of us are and how fricking young Adrian feels (or maybe I'm old). I can't believe he's actually publishing a book. Anyone gonna take one for the team and read it?

Adrian's insta wrote:I had no idea what to expect when I arrived at Jorge’s house in San Antonio. Me and Juvia caught two buses together, winding through the mountains in the late afternoon. The vegetation became more lush as we continued, the forests becoming increasingly dense and green due to the North of the island receiving more rain than the other parts. ⁣⁣
.⁣⁣
We were welcomed by a group sat around the fire, playing in a drum circle, talking and smoking weed. At this point, a part of me had wondered what I had signed up for.⁣⁣
.⁣⁣
I felt incredibly out of place. My first impressions of the house seemed that it was derelict - discarded pieces of rusted metal lay around the pathway, and the whole place seemed to lack a sense structure and order. The kitchen table was located outside, covered in dirty pans, half-filled jars of unidentifiable mixtures and discarded lemons. Yet at the same time, I noticed that everyone was smiling and laughing, connected to each other by the rhythmic beat of the drums.⁣⁣
.⁣⁣
Every experience that I’ve had on this island has defied the standards that Western society sets for what we need for happiness. It almost seems that the fewer material luxuries we have, the more joyful and appreciative we become. ⁣⁣
.⁣⁣
The love that the people express here is unconditional, and it feels strange to say that this makes me slightly uncomfortable. I’m not used to strangers embracing you with warmth and friendliness, as if they had known you for years. It almost makes me feel a little ashamed that most of us walk around without even acknowledging the other, sometimes even avoiding eye contact as if it would invite some form of unwanted attention. The people at Jorge’s commune definitely have found something that most of us haven’t...⁣⁣
.⁣
This is an excerpt taken from my book about my experience in La Palma.⁣⁣ If you’d like to support me financially you can do so by following the link in my bio, and get access to exclusive content only on Patreon.
I love how it goes from "It almost seems that the fewer material luxuries we have, the more joyful and appreciative we become." to ⁣⁣"Support me on Patreon." :lol: :facepalm2:
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Re: Adrian Howell

Post by knq » Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:16 pm

Stakhanov wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:08 am
Unless you are telling me you did a meticulous literature study that took at least weeks and also have the right credentials in the medical field to evaluate and contextualize the conclusions of academic works and papers, you are really doing the very same thing as that what you just said was inappropriate.

I don't know what the objective risks and benefits of 'cold water therapy' are. And neither can you or most people really, even if reading a couple of scientific articles is better than randomly googling.
I'd hate for someone to think, from reading my post or your response to it, that there's no way to fact check a scientific claim without yourself being an expert in that field and having several weeks/months of free time to conduct your own review of the relevant research. Primary research and systemic reviews/meta-analyses that synthesize primary research in health and healthcare fields exist exactly to answer questions like "what are the risks and benefits of cold water therapy?"

Searching PubMed for systematic reviews/meta-analyses of the health topic you're curious about is a practical way of checking what's actually out there when someone says "the scientific evidence supports" their health claim.

(You don't need a subscription to use PubMed, though you will only have access to abstracts for most publications without a university/library subscription. I wish that weren't the case. Maybe if scientific research was more accessible to the public we'd have less people citing google or taking the position that no one can know the answer to empirical questions.)

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Re: Adrian Howell

Post by Stakhanov » Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:47 pm

@felucca Now I feel like a detached, evil scientist in a lab coat who is watching poor, young youtubers whose genuine way of expressing themselves is slowly getting crushed by an audience that is confused, disgruntled and completely intolerant about anything that youtuber says that they disagrees slightly with their own view.
Is this how we got to houseplants and hiatuses :cry: ?
I felt the same way about his depressed obese piece of shit comment! It was liberating, it was a genuine glimpse into his internal monologue and it was he truly felt. Shows how different people can feel about words i guess.

I might get the book, it's gonna depend a bit on what it's about and the pricing. He just posted a sneak peak of it but it's only for tier 4 patrons so alas, I'll have to wait until it actually comes out as I have been inspired by Adrian and sworn off all of my material possessions, live in a wine barrel and desire only for the sun to warm my face. I'll let you know when I buy it ;)

@knq

I certainly don't think it's impossible to answer empirical questions or wish to equate a researched position with a non-researched position. But some empirical questions are hard to answer, and in this case it seems that there is no conclusive evidence that clearly supports all the claims but also that multiple researchers have found actual health benefits. It's just really hard to judge if Adrian's scientific claims are correct or not. From the science I read, there certainly seems to be some good indications that they are at least partly true.

Given the complexity of interpreting health results I think it's really hard to have a proper perspective on the facts on this specific matter. Just look at all the contradicting statements and research that is made on things like the benefits of certain diets ortherapies etc. Meta studies are even harder to read since methodology is rarely exactly the same and so a 1 on 1 comparison of results is often hard. There's also the question of what aspects of the claims really have been researched So I do think it's very tricky to arrive at 'the' right conclusion and that it requires more than a cursory reading of a couple of articles on one scientific database like Pubmed (with often only abstracts or parts of the conclusion being available).

Just tested what 'simply googling it' returns and the first two results for "cold water therapy sciende" do actually link to two peer reviewed articles : "Scientific Evidence-Based Effects of Hydrotherapy on Various Systems of the Body" (with some claims about cold water immersion being covered) and The Effect of Cold Showering on Health and Work: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Both seemed positive of a couple of claims but neither of them covered the full breath of Adrian's proclaimed benefits.

In the end, I feel like we're forgetting Adrian is just a young buck (yes, I'm obviously old) who's mostly a regular guy promoting his own passions. That's why i feel some leniency in interpreting his words is in order. If he were making claims about the benefits of alternative cancer therapies and suggesting you don't bother with chemotherapy, it would be a whole different story. As it stands he's just convinced of a thing that helped him and read some books about it which themselves also link to scientific studies (e.g. the Wim Hoff method) and while i'm skeptical about most things he says, I also enjoy the bravoure and honest attitude he brings to his videos, and am interested in what he says. Without thinking it's the gospel.
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Re: Adrian Howell

Post by dontpanic » Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:06 am

all I can think of after reading that excerpt is this article https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... ism-travel
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Re: Adrian Howell

Post by alien » Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:53 pm

That’s a really good article.

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Re: Adrian Howell

Post by felucca » Thu Mar 21, 2019 4:34 pm

Stakhanov wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:47 pm
@felucca Now I feel like a detached, evil scientist in a lab coat who is watching poor, young youtubers whose genuine way of expressing themselves is slowly getting crushed by an audience that is confused, disgruntled and completely intolerant about anything that youtuber says that they disagrees slightly with their own view.
Is this how we got to houseplants and hiatuses :cry: ?
Haha sorry :lol:

I'd say that's how we got to 2013 Dan who kept repeating he "couldn't have an opinion" on anything. He got over that, as must every public person living under the scrutiny of an audience. They adapt and find ways to cope because that's the healthy thing to do. Still, while recognising that, I can't help but feel intrigued by the stretch of time before they find their healthy balance. (Hopefully. Some people never do.)
dontpanic wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:06 am
all I can think of after reading that excerpt is this article https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... ism-travel
Well put.
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Re: Adrian Howell

Post by Stakhanov » Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:08 pm

Yea it's certainly the thing a lot of youtubers are forced to do to keep the connection with their audience. But it's a loss that us from getting to know the person behind the camera better. I hope Adrian doesn't find a balance and just stays himself. He doesn't have to count on mass views to pay the bills and if he just wants to raise his income a bit with patreons and the occasional small youtube cheque, I don't think he needs to compromise to much on his authenticity.
It's certainly make his content rather dull in my eyes and I would probably drift away.
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