Monday, October 7, 2019

#2250: Naveena Shine

Naveena Shine is a Seattle-based splash of color who received some attention in 2013, when she decided to find out if she could live without food, subsisting only on water, tea and sunshine – in other words, by photosynthesis. She could not. She dropped out of the experiment after 47 days, having lost 20% of her body weight. As reason for quitting the experiment, she cited negative feedback: “From the feedback I am getting, it is becoming patently clear that most of the world is by no means ready to receive the information I am attempting to produce.” After all, “I was just asking a question, but there was just so much negative response that that means the question can’t even be asked,” and “now that I am ending the experiment I will never know.” It is hard to imagine a sillier conclusion, but then, initiating the experiment in the first place suggests certain general problems with judgment. (She also cited financial issues: insofar as she was confining herself to her house so that she could film every moment of the fast, she was unable to pay her rent and bills.) It should be pointed out that in 2013, Mrs. Shine was 65. We are just assuming that she is still around, but given her level of judgment we would hesitate to bet on it.

Though the medical establishment had suggested to her that her hypothesis was based on some poorly calibrated priors, Shine pointed out that “a doctor can’t see living on light because he looks through different lenses.” At least she got out in time; others have not been as lucky.

Diagnosis: Hopefully harmless, but the comments on her youtube videos do not inspire confidence.

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