My Second Book Kicks Off

Apparently due the very nice success with the beginner’s guide to weight & fat loss on a Paleo diet, my first book published last January and hugely updated a few months ago (there’s a 12-part video course, too, and includes the book), I got an email from my publisher, Hyperink, this morning under the title: “Let’s do another book.”

Richard – ready to do another book? ….We feel like—especially with our growing audience base—that a followup to FTA could do really well.

It’s pretty cool when you don’t have to do a book proposal, get an agent, toil forever for rejection after rejection as is so common in the traditional sphere. I deal directly with the CEO and founder of this venture-capital backed disruptive entry into new publishing. It’s also cool to still be one of their best sellers amongst their more that 1,500 published books, many authored by well known personalities.

They want to have it done in a few weeks. That’s why they’re hyper-ink. As usual, a team of me, a professional journalist, a junior editor and a senior editor. Around the clock for days and days and it get’s done.

While not totally worked out in terms of title and theme, it’s self empowerment in a far, far wider scope than just diet and weight loss. The essentials:

  1. The Manifesto (copied below and serves as the general outline)
  2. The Anarchy Begins at Home Series (still a few more parts to go on that, part 7 in draft now)
  3. Reams of references, notes, thoughts I have going back 20 years on all of this.

The paleo dietary part will be small, just a touch, because the 1st book covers that in detail. The real meat will be in the mental and social health aspects. So here’s the general outline, in case you didn’t see it when originally posted in 3 revisions: getting to this final with the help of LVX, a reader, commenter and damn fine thinker for a young girl gamer.

Physical Health

1. Human beings possess the ability to quickly change everything about themselves, their society, and often even important aspects of their physical environment. In the span of time humans have been on the planet, the Neolithic age is but a blink. Similarly, while it takes years, even decades, for individuals to become unhealthy and mentally numb, it will take much less time to reverse that. This is the most important thesis to internalize.

2. Humans are animals. The same forces of physiology, biology, climatology, geology, and sociology that determine health and prosperity throughout the animal kingdom apply equally to humans.

3. The key to being lean, strong, and healthy is in your head. There is no definite prescription or proscription that will work for everyone. You must craft your own diet, health and fitness paradigm from your own trial and error experience. You must learn to regulate your hunger and satiation. The burden is squarely on you. Modern institutions only want to sell you stuff. They don’t care about your belly or health. They care about their bottom line and your spending.

4. Non-human animals evolved to thrive in a great variety of environments worldwide. Humans, however, migrated across the globe in order to survive, or even with the the purpose to better thrive and prosper. From the equator to the poles, from sea level to 16,000 feet, humans have evolved to exploit the environment in which they’ve found themselves.

5. The human animal can live a long and productive life without the decline we now associate with age in modern society. It is possible to experience health, vitality, and happiness right up until the last few days, hours, and even minutes of life. Encoded in our genes is the ability to survive and thrive to the very end on a wide range of food sources.

6. Humans become obese. Non-human animals don’t become obese or die unnaturally without human intervention. The pets and zoo animals under the stewardship of human animals become as debilitated as humans. This is the result of the failure to identify and implement a humanely appropriate diet and environment. Humans become stressed, depressed, unfulfilled, unproductive, dependent, sexually starved, uncompetitive, and unhappy for the same fundamental reasons.

7. Good health is natural, by definition. It’s not something that needs to be industrialized or drug-induced. By eating natural foods available to us, humans can enjoy good health and longevity. Industrialization comes with powerful advantages, and powerful disadvantages. We each have the responsibility to use the advancement of knowledge, technology and profitable implementation with great care. Technology should not separate us from or destroy the natural or man-made habitats we and the non-human animals need to live and thrive in good health.

8. Humans manipulate nature and their environment to a degree non-human animals can’t and don’t. The ability to “create reality” by means of marvelously, powerfully, creative human minds is a double-edged sword. Man’s manipulation of his environment can be used to create breathtaking achievements in the pursuit of survival, happiness, and prosperity…or it can be used to destroy all of those.

Mental Health

9. Our large brains desire more, far more, than mere survival. And so the human animal, by means of super intellectual capacity, division of labor, and trade, evolved the capacity to exploit and control nature to its own ends in terms of prosperity, happiness, and sexual pleasure.

10. Health increases as self-determination and independence increase. Your best must come from you. Rigid, authoritative plans and roadmaps are doomed to mediocrity, at best. So you must test and critically evaluate the effectiveness of whatever you apply toward self-improvement. You must be principled and disciplined in your thinking, because TV and the media change their messages daily toward their own ends, not yours. Striking out on your own means freeing yourself from these influences, but you’ll be left to fend for yourself without the crowd to confirm and condone your actions. That choice is yours: the easy way or the hard way, and only you can decide which will ultimately be more fulfilling.

11. The ability of humans to work against their best interests, individually and collectively, is the root cause of all unnatural problems. Unlike non-human animals, people can consciously and purposefully act against their own best interest, even to the point of suicide. Adverse human conditions from stress to ill health to suicide to general failure are tied to dishonest irrationality and rationalization. Non-human animals only concern themselves with the environment in which they find themselves. They thrive automatically. They are neither honest, dishonest, rational, irrational, moral, immoral. They just do.

12. Human animals are the only animals who can be dishonest. Dishonesty in this context is purely intellectual. It is the willful failure to logically and rationally integrate and act upon data from our senses. Dishonesty can be internal to an individual, or external by collaborating with others. In society, dishonesty is the fundamental root cause of disease, failure to flourish, and early, unnatural death. Reducing and eliminating the dishonesty in our own lives and society has far reaching potential.

13. Dishonesty is an adverse consequence of “free will.” It is the product of super intelligence, owing to our ability to fake, simulate or “create” reality through wishful thinking or delusion. Apart from innocent error, dishonesty is the failure to diligently integrate sensory input from the world around us into a logical framework or hierarchy of valid knowledge and context. Ultimately, all lasting value for survival and prosperity is the product of individuals honestly dealing with the reality around them. It’s not just necessary, it’s mandatory for survival.

14. The consequences of dishonesty are unnatural disease, unhappiness, obesity, failed relationships, predation, and more. When such calamities befall non-human animals, it’s natural or environmental. Humans, on the other hand, create problems where no problems otherwise exist. Such problems are created deliberately, or happen by default. Man harming his fellow man through fraud, violence, or predation is a deliberate problem. Consequences that happen by default occur when we fail to take advantage of what we need to survive, leaving us vulnerable to injury, disease, or exploitation.

15. Like other animals, human males and females are different physiologically. Our nature that requires us to identify, choose and pursue values for our survival and happiness opens the door to sexual values not driven by reproduction. Humans have the capacity to pursue and enjoy sex for pleasure alone and to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Societal Health

16. Human animals are social beings. We collaborate to produce values, and then exchange them with others to mutual benefit. In small circles, individuals can hold each other accountable. But agricultural civilization has seen the development of large, centralized, bureaucratized, hierarchal power structures where a few dominate the rest. Even when the domination isn’t totalitarian and brutal, it’s nonetheless dishonest and fraudulent because it is unnatural, based in domination and force, and not social cooperation. The powerful few engender welcome cheerleading from their subjects. When we no longer hold each other personally accountable, those in power dishonestly sustain parasitic livelihoods through force, fraud, manipulation, promise of reward.

17. Modern humans in “first world” democratic societies are fooled into thinking that they possess power over those few at the top of the hierarchy. But in reality, trinkets like a voting ballot are much the same as lottery tickets, keno cards, slot machines and roulette wheels in terms of effectiveness and power. Conversely, we know ancient humans were individually and socially powerful, because they survived on their own, without modern technology, as social beings. Nobody voted on it.

18. A domesticated animal can exhibit shame, but will not sacrifice its well being over it. Human animals invented unearned guilt and shame, and they teach it to their offspring. It’s reinforced socially most often through religion and politics. Guilt and shame keep humans tamed and domesticated, not inclined to buck the system.

19. Religious institutions, government institutions, many in the media, many social and political activists, many large and multi-national businesses, many in the the legal profession, medical profession and ivory-tower academia use unearned guilt and shame to induce fear, to keep everyone malleable, submissive and seeking external authority. Fear is a natural part of our evolved behavioral makeup. In a primal and primitive world, fear motivated action that worked towards survival. Since then, there have arisen those who dishonestly manipulate unearned guilt and shame in order to secure an unearned livelihood.

20. Fear is what gives legs to unearned guilt and shame. Fear is natural, something we would feel even without the urging of society or external authorities. Neolithic institutions use our natures against us. Overcoming the effect of unearned guilt and shame leaves Neolithic institutions with their only other option against you: brute force.


Alright. I’m out of here for about a week of travel doing various things. But I’ll probably manage to blog still. Often in these times, I blog even more. Expect me to wrap up the series on Anarchy at Home so I can move on to the book.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Elenor on November 17, 2012 at 05:31

    BRAVO! Go, Richard, go!

  2. Greg Swann on November 17, 2012 at 07:59

    Excellent news! May hat is off to you.

  3. neal matheson on November 17, 2012 at 23:27

    It is interesting how few comments this thread has and how many the potato one has got.

    • aminoKing on November 18, 2012 at 23:30

      So you’re saying Richard’s third book should be a potato cook book? Damn good idea Neal. I second the motion.

      Richard? Yes, no? Make sure your potato friend Ray C. cuts you in on a deal here. People can read about the ‘science’ of potatoes all day long but at they end of the day they just need to know how to cook the things if they’re going to eat them.

      • Richard Nikoley on November 19, 2012 at 07:38

        Yes, I’d already been considering that, something pretty short, on the order of 30 pages or so, damn simple and to the point.

    • E.C. on November 19, 2012 at 03:43

      If I agree with something, I generally nod to myself and move on. (If I *dis*agree with something it’s much the same, but with the ‘nod’ omitted). Which usually leads to me rarely talking/posting. Perhaps it’s the same with others.

      • neal matheson on November 19, 2012 at 06:25

        It strikes me as odd that’s all, odd in a nice way. Here inthe UK there is a general pub rule that you don’t talk about religion or politics (one of the reasons I don’t go in the damn places), on the internet at least it seems it can less controversial to disuss politics than food.

      • Richard Nikoley on November 19, 2012 at 09:36

        One thing to consider in a post like this is the number of Likes in comparison to comments. I don’t typically ask for Likes at the end of the post and often, you’ll see 100-200 comments, but only a handful of Likes. This one has 24.

      • marie on November 20, 2012 at 21:04

        That’s funny Neal. Maybe it’s the combo of politics/religion and Beer that they’re wary about?
        In Greek, Italian or French cafes, politics are about all you hear. Though mind you, the Greeks talk about politics Anywhere, even in their neighborhood tavernas with plenty of wine around – but then, they’re rarely drunk, drink is always accompanied by food there, you’re considered an idiot if you don’t know your limits and someone will walk (or drag) you home.

      • marie on November 20, 2012 at 21:07

        Richard, there. Another Comment vs. Like (smile).
        Congratulation on the new book, I’m really looking forward to it. From the outline above, the synthesis looks very interesting.

  4. Rhys Morgan on November 17, 2012 at 08:52

    Congrats Richard, looking forward to it.

  5. Dane on November 17, 2012 at 16:43

    Should be a great, entertaining read. Congrats…now stop being a puss and go hammer some weights.

    • Richard Nikoley on November 17, 2012 at 16:50

      Ha, I was at the gym at 9:35 AM. Until about 10:00. McGuff’s Big 5 plus a couple of sets of DL on the front end, 255×5, 255×5. Last week I messed up on the weight calculation, these being new and different sizes. Turns out my first set of 5 reps was so heavy because it was 295, not 255. I got in 1 rep in set two. Lowered it by 20 to what I thought was 235 but was 275, and got in 5. Decided to back off this time.

      • Dane on November 17, 2012 at 17:45

        That’s a solid decision. Unless you’re training for a monster deadlift, it tends to be more beneficial to only deadlift heavy every 10-14 days. You are not a professional deadlifter so it makes sense. Next time, don’t make such a dumb fucking mistake! Sounds like kids I train who bitch about some of my bumper plates being in kilos…well, maybe not that bad.

      • Richard Nikoley on November 17, 2012 at 18:16

        I’d have probably noticed the error a lot quicker had I not done 325 for 5, 2 years ago this month. It’s cool that lifting is in part life riding a bike: CNS.

      • Ben on November 18, 2012 at 01:35

        Now stop hammering weights and go eat some puss!

        I hope that will be a topic in your book too. No book is complete without it.

  6. alec on November 17, 2012 at 17:50

    Hi Richard,

    You are a bit too optimistic in my opinion:

    Non-human animals don’t become obese or die unnaturally without human intervention. The pets and zoo animals under the stewardship of human animals become as debilitated as humans. This is the result of the failure to identify and implement a humanely appropriate diet and environment. Humans become stressed, depressed, unfulfilled, unproductive, dependent, sexually starved, uncompetitive, and unhappy for the same fundamental reasons.

    Later you cover it in agricultural society and religious institutions but basically wherever humans go there is rape, murder, theft, enslavement. We are bad animals Richard.

    Even among the original paleos. The theory is that human sapiens eliminated neanderthal man in the very first act of ethnic cleansing.

    So imagining a hunter gatherer idyll is a bit naive.

    Yet should we take care of ourselves physically and not eat twinkies? You bet.

    Congratulations on the book deal though. Despite what I perceive as fallacy in your historical analysis, your practical recommendations will do many people a world of good.

    • neal matheson on November 17, 2012 at 23:25

      The hypothesis that humans wiped out neanderthal is pretty much without any evidence. It made sense in the context of the 19th and early part of the 20th centuries. There is more evidence that we made love not war with the neanderthal.
      Anthropological books are not hard to find but can be pricey, even in very hard conditions hunter gatherers tend to get on better than agricultural peoples. Enslavement (unheard of), theft and rape occur in far, far lower incidences and murder rates are also lower than agricultural peoples.
      Indeed while murder rates are often reported as high among hunter gatherers “similar to new york city” we have to remember that most hunter gatherers have virtually no health care and use really dangerous weapons. “manslaughter””attempted murder” and even “GBH” are all likely to be murder in a foraging society.
      Life probably wasn’t idyllic and a foraging lifestyle is not proof against terrible violence (Mesolithic Scandinavia) but war, enslavement theft and other problems really got going in an endemic and widespread manner after the advent of agriculture.

    • Cow on November 17, 2012 at 20:08

      Yes, humans is worst mistake evolution ever make. They big fat brain is corrupt to point of FUBAR and genie no going back in bottle, yes? Why can human just no admit this?

      Okay, congrats Richard, and has great time on you vacation! Love and kisses, Cow

    • Richard Nikoley on November 18, 2012 at 14:51


      You’re a bit out of date. We all have Neanderthal DNA (unless of African descent, obviously). Could have been rape. Could have been h Sapiens females wandering off in search of a better deal, predation, or tons of other things including assimilation over time and we’ll likely never know for sure.

      Here’s recent research that sheds light.

  7. Bay Area Sparky on November 17, 2012 at 19:57

    The discussion on the manifesto can take place at a different time.

    At this time I just want to extend my most heartfelt CONGRATULATIONS!!!

  8. Jim on November 18, 2012 at 15:24

    This second, I think, is your book (although the success of the first probably paved the way for this one being accepted by the publisher). And I think the quick editing process they use is great at getting a book out into the world, flaws and all (with the ability to update). In contrast, John Durant, going the more traditional route, has been toiling on his book for years now.

    • Richard Nikoley on November 18, 2012 at 15:52

      When I spoke to John at AHS I think he said he’d turned the manuscript in and that it was in process. I think it’s a spring release. He pretty much hated the whole deal, he told me.

  9. Dimitri on November 26, 2012 at 10:26

    The manifesto was a great read. I can’t wait to read this book when you’re finished with it.

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