Archives for February 2013
I’ll probably end up using PGP a lot: Pretty Good Paleo. I’m not yet ready to drop the “Paleo” description from my posts on health and diet. Why? Because I don’t see that Paleo in any way needs to be policed. In no way does it need to be pure, approved, sanitized…or even highly accurate in all cases—gasp!
Good enough means: good enough for whom? I always find it useful to ask the question in various circumstances, to whom, and for what? When you do that, it really cuts to the chase, which is, anything one tries must work for them individually; and moreover, it ought to be a framework or system in which they find some pleasure, comfort or satisfaction in the undertaking. Or: people love things you hate, and vice-versa. Kinda makes the world of variety go round.
Why stand in anyone’s way or poopoo whatever success or satisfaction they may get from an approach that doesn’t meet your individual standards? Sure, there’s good reasons to bash outright bad approaches like SAD, low fat, vegan, food pyramid and so on. But within the general Paleo—or even LC—framework, there are a great many approaches that are PGP, and that’s fine with me. I think it’s good there are more varied approaches, not less.
So with that out of the way, here’s a list of various resources for you to check out, dismiss, try, embrace, succeed or fail with. No guarantees, but the veritable variety suggests that you might find something you really like. This by no means exhaustive or even close. Just a bunch of stuff I pulled from the grab bag this morning, as well as some old faces, to be included as well. There’s tons of stuff out there and this should give you a good idea of just how much of it is there is.
~ Jonathan Bailor has created an angel funded non-profit initiative for the purpose of ancestral nutrition education: Slim is Simple. Twitter hashtag: #SlimisSimple. Here’s the first [excellent] video they are working to get into churches, schools, etc.
~ Dr. Stephan Guyenet has gone a bit entrepreneur and I think that’s wonderful. Over time, he will be better able to evaluate the power of monetary feedback vs. academic, peer review feedback. I’m sure he’ll conclude both have their place, but perhaps one is better suited than the other in certain circumstances.
The Ideal Weight Program is a unique system for fat loss and maintenance that draws from the latest science on diet, physical activity, sleep, and behavior modification, and pairs it with engaging tools that help you define your goals and meet them. It keeps you consistently focused on the everyday factors that really matter for fat loss, and gives you the skills you need to make sustainable diet and lifestyle changes. Based on your own goals and priorities, you can choose one of two diet strategies for the initial fat loss phase:
- The Fat Loss and Sustainable Health (FLASH) diet, an intensive high-protein diet for rapid fat loss.
- The Simple Food Diet, a more flexible diet based on whole, natural foods specifically selected for fat loss. One important goal of this diet is to teach healthy cooking skills, using recipes and tips provided.
These diets are designed to naturally promote a lower calorie intake and fat loss, without requiring calorie counting. The Ideal Weight Program also includes important physical activity and sleep components, and explains why these are so critical for fat loss and health.
This is the ideal sort of thing for the more “specific plan” sort of person. You can sign up for free and there are enhanced programs you can purchase. You can also integrate with various devices like those you can cary with you and even a scale.
Stephan has for many years provided a wealth of free information on his blog. His blogging, particularly on the practices and health of non-industrial populations, greatly influenced me. If that’s the case for you and you find the Dan’s Plan approach to your liking, it’s one way of remunerating Stephan a bit for his work.
~ In the same category of apps and tools, Kevin Morton, a 5-year Paleo success and CrossFit Trainer has developed an iPhone app you might find to your liking. It incorporates both Paleo principles and Zone blocks. It’s called FoodRX and that link has the various screen shots and explanations. Here’s the iTunes link.
Over 6 years ago I began my interest in nutrition. When I was introduced to CrossFit I began learning about the zone and paleo diets, which helped me loose 30 lbs. I thought of the app in 2008 – then called zone buddy – because I wanted an easy way to keep track my diet and have a quick & easy reference. It was cumbersome to continually search for information and it seemed to be a barrier for a lot of people I helped start on these diets.
Changing my dietary habits largely impacted my health and influenced my decision to go to medical school following a degree in media communication. My current interest is childhood obesity.
It costs a whopping $0.99, but Kevin has provided me with an initial five free download codes so pop yourself into comments if you’d like one, while they last (passed out in the oder the comments come in—make sure you provide a valid email address).
~ I’ve mentioned him recently, but Paul Jaminet’s newly updated and republished Perfect Health Diet very well could be the thing PGP evolves into principally (Paleo + white rice, in a nutshell). Like me, Paul is very enthusiastic about gathering information from a variety of sources and synthesizing it, not worrying too much if any particular source is completely trustworthy on all matters. Paul has to be one of the nicest guys in the whole community I’ve encountered, and I believe that’s saying a lot because there are so many great folks.
He doesn’t for a second agree with my more base antics, yet he has been very generous in pointing people my way at times. Thanks Paul. I do have a copy of his latest edition and plan to review it soon. I think it’s that important, and so does J. Stanton, who gave it a very nice review.
~ I still remember when I had lunch with Patrick in San Jose a few years back and amongst a few ideas we talked about and he pitched, PaleoHacks is what got off the ground first. It now has 40,000 Paleo enthusiasts as members, and because it’s not part of anyone’s blog or forum connected to a blog, it’s pretty “anarchic.” Some love that, some hate it, but few are indifferent—as it should be.
So this is one resource where anyone can go and ask anything of the community, and get community answers. Answers could be opinion, anecdote, admonition, or a list of references. Others in the community vote up or down on answers, so if you believe in the wisdom of crowds, this could be what’s right for you.
I was, I believe, given the privilege of announcing it first and helping it to get off the ground with initial subscribers (I’m sure most on PH are not aware of that, and might be chagrined if they were—[chuckle]). I’m thrilled it has been a success.
~ For the ultimate geek and biohacker, there’s Dave Asprey, one of those people who if he didn’t exist, he would have to be invented. I’ve had the pleasure of Dave’s company a couple of times and the guy’s enthusiasm, energy, drive and geekiness are never in short supply. He’s The Bulletproof Executive.
~ Way back when, I got an email from one Stefani Ruper who had a blog I’ve forgotten the name of. She was looking for a bit of a boost which I was glad to help with (I don’t always, because I don’t have the time). She eventually suspended blogging and went back to school, then arose yet again with a Paleo blog oriented to women and some of their specific issues: Paleo For Women: Evolutionary Health, Revolutionary Womanhood. Some months back, she did a guest post here at FTA: No One’s Power but Our Own: Paleo Sexist Woes, and an Invitation to Rise Up and Roar which got a record number of Facebook Likes.
So again, this might be just the sort of variation on PGP some of you find to your liking, women in particular.
~ Angelo Coppola has had a very high production value podcast for a while now: Latest in Paleo, on the 5by5 network. It was a privilege to have been both a co-host and a guest on the program a couple of times. I really love his format for a show like that.
He’s now started a blog and I expect we’ll see the same kind of quality from him that listeners of his show have come to expect. Humans Are Not Broken. This is a takeoff from the tagline in his podcast: Humans are not broken by default. I’ve always loved that, because I’ve always felt it comes from the same basic idea as I had when I came up with Free the Animal.
I hope to do this again sometime soon. Please feel free to send an email to pitch me on including you but also, please don’t feel slighted if I don’t get back to you and you don’t see your project show up. I have limited time and I’m very subjective and fickle, so what might grab me one day, doesn’t the next. Them’s the breaks, folks. I’ll do what I can, when I can.
To preclude the obvious irrelevant question in a comment: Nope, zero financial interest in any of this and I didn’t even use an affiliate link for Paul’s book. There. Not that there’s anything wrong with having a financial interest in any or all of it, and I’m open to future considerations. I just like to fuck with assholes who think that’s a big deal on a blog that, face it, is hardly a big commercial success anyway.
Or: I hate people who hate people who make money.
I did get a coupon code from Stephan for Dan’s Plan to check out the premium service. I got the 5 coupon codes from Kevin for the iPhone app which I’m giving away. Paul sent me a copy of his book, which wonderfully arrived on my birthday. …Oh, yea, after buying 2 pounds of Dave’s coffee off him in Austin at The 21 Convention right before his presentation, I won a third pound by being the first to answer a quiz question during the presentation.
So, are we all squeaky clean and clear, here? I know there are thousands upon thousands of Paleos out there who hate to see anyone make a dime…the same ones who never, ever donate a dime—and are absolutely the ones who whine and complain the most…and staking my life on that would be a slam dunk (I hate envious people as much as I hate people who hate people who make money—but I repeat myself). I’ve done my absolute best to get zero benefit from doing this, because all you whiners are just so damn special. Mkay?
…I do this because I want more PGP variety, not less; I want no policing, and I want people to evaluate and decide for themselves amongst the various free and paid resources out there, all imperfect, all pretty good anyway.
Let money and attention drive the process, not lofty pronouncements and smears right out of the gutter. You decide? Eh? You. Decide. The. End.
In a few words: you’re guilty, a total inner-conflicted mess
A short reading from a woman. The horror!
To force a man to drop his own mind and to accept your will as a substitute, with a gun in place of a syllogism, with terror in place of proof, and death as the final argument—is to attempt to exist in defiance of reality. Reality demands of man that he act for his own rational interest; your gun demands of him that he act against it. Reality threatens man with death if he does not act on his rational judgment; you threaten him with death if he does. You place him into a world where the price of his life is the surrender of all the virtues required by life—and death by a process of gradual destruction is all that you and your system will achieve, when death is made to be the ruling power, the winning argument in a society of men.
Be it a highwayman who confronts a traveler with the ultimatum: ‘Your money or your life,’ or a politician who confronts a country with the ultimatum: ‘Your children’s education or your life,’ the meaning of that ultimatum is: ‘Your mind or your life’—and neither is possible to man without the other.
If there are degrees of evil, it is hard to say who is the more contemptible: the brute who assumes the right to force the mind of others or the moral degenerate who grants to others the right to force his mind.
That is the moral absolute one does not leave open to debate. I do not grant the terms of reason to men who propose to deprive me of reason. I do not enter discussions with neighbors who think they can forbid me to think. I do not place my moral sanction upon a murderer’s wish to kill me. When a man attempts to deal with me by force, I answer him—by force.
It is only as retaliation that force may be used and only against the man who starts its use. No, I do not share his evil or sink to his concept of morality: I merely grant him his choice, destruction, the only destruction he had the right to choose: his own. He uses force to seize a value; I use it only to destroy destruction. A holdup man seeks to gain wealth by killing me; I do not grow richer by killing a holdup man. I seek no values by means of evil, nor do I surrender my values to evil.
In the name of all the producers who had kept you alive and received your death ultimatums in payment, I now answer you with a single ultimatum of our own: Our work or your guns. You can choose either; you can’t have both. We do not initiate the use of force against others or submit to force at their hands. If you desire ever again to live in an industrial society, it will be on our moral terms. Our terms and our motive power are the antithesis of yours. You have been using fear as your weapon and have been bringing death to man as his punishment for rejecting your morality. We offer him life as his reward for accepting ours.
You who are worshippers of the zero—you have never discovered that achieving life is not the equivalent of avoiding death. Joy is not ‘the absence of pain,’ intelligence is not ‘the absence of stupidity,’ light is not ‘the absence of darkness,’ an entity is not ‘the absence of a nonentity.’ Building is not done by abstaining from demolition; centuries of sitting and waiting in such abstinence will not raise one single girder for you to abstain from demolishing—and now you can no longer say to me, the builder: ‘Produce, and feed us in exchange for our not destroying your production.’ I am answering in the name of all your victims: Perish with and in your own void. Existence is not a negation of negatives. Evil, not value, is an absence and a negation, evil is impotent and has no power but that which we let it extort from us. Perish, because we have learned that a zero cannot hold a mortgage over life.
You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness.
You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.
You, who have lost the concept of the difference, you who claim that fear and joy are incentives of equal power—and secretly add that fear is the more ‘practical’—you do not wish to live, and only fear of death still holds you to the existence you have damned. You dart in panic through the trap of your days, looking for the exit you have closed, running from a pursuer you dare not name to a terror you dare not acknowledge, and the greater your terror the greater your dread of the only act that could save you: thinking. The purpose of your struggle is not to know, not to grasp or name or hear the thing I shall now state to your hearing: that yours is the Morality of Death.
Death is the standard of your values, death is your chosen goal, and you have to keep running, since there is no escape from the pursuer who is out to destroy you or from the knowledge that that pursuer is yourself. Stop running, for once—there is no place to run—stand naked, as you dread to stand, but as I see you, and take a look at what you dared to call a moral code.
Damnation is the start of your morality, destruction is its purpose, means and end. Your code begins by damning man as evil, then demands that he practice a good which it defines as impossible for him to practice. It demands, as his first proof of virtue, that he accept his own depravity without proof. It demands that he start, not with a standard of value, but with a standard of evil, which is himself, by means of which he is then to define the good: the good is that which he is not.
It does not matter who then becomes the profiteer on his renounced glory and tormented soul, a mystic God with some incomprehensible design or any passer-by whose rotting sores are held as some inexplicable claim upon him—it does not matter, the good is not for him to understand, his duty is to crawl through years of penance, atoning for the guilt of his existence to any stray collector of unintelligible debts, his only concept of a value is a zero: the good is that which is non-man.
The name of this monstrous absurdity is Original Sin.
A sin without volition is a slap at morality and an insolent contradiction in terms: that which is outside the possibility of choice is outside the province of morality. If man is evil by birth, he has no will, no power to change it; if he has no will, he can be neither good nor evil; a robot is amoral. To hold, as man’s sin, a fact not open to his choice is a mockery of morality. To hold man’s nature as his sin is a mockery of nature. To punish him for a crime he committed before he was born is a mockery of justice. To hold him guilty in a matter where no innocence exists is a mockery of reason. To destroy morality, nature, justice and reason by means of a single concept is a feat of evil hardly to be matched. Yet that is the root of your code.
Do not hide behind the cowardly evasion that man is born with free will, but with a ‘tendency’ to evil. A free will saddled with a tendency is like a game with loaded dice. It forces man to struggle through the effort of playing, to bear responsibility and pay for the game, but the decision is weighted in favor of a tendency that he had no power to escape. If the tendency is of his choice, he cannot possess it at birth; if it is not of his choice, his will is not free.
What is the nature of the guilt that your teachers call his Original Sin? What are the evils man acquired when he fell from a state they consider perfection? Their myth declares that he ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge—he acquired a mind and became a rational being.
It was the knowledge of good and evil—he became a moral being. He was sentenced to earn his bread by his labor—he became a productive being. He was sentenced to experience desire—he acquired the capacity of sexual enjoyment. The evils for which they damn him are reason, morality, creativeness, joy—all the cardinal values of his existence. It is not his vices that their myth of man’s fall is designed to explain and condemn, it is not his errors that they hold as his guilt, but the essence of his nature as man. Whatever he was—that robot in the Garden of Eden, who existed without mind, without values, without labor, without love—he was not man.
Man’s fall, according to your teachers, was that he gained the virtues required to live. These virtues, by their standard, are his Sin.
His evil, they charge, is that he’s man. His guilt, they charge, is that he lives.
They call it a morality of mercy and a doctrine of love for man.
No, they say, they do not preach that man is evil, the evil is only that alien object: his body. No, they say, they do not wish to kill him, they only wish to make him lose his body. They seek to help him, they say, against his pain—and they point at the torture rack to which they’ve tied him, the rack with two wheels that pull him in opposite directions, the rack of the doctrine that splits his soul and body.
They have cut man in two, setting one half against the other. They have taught him that his body and his consciousness are two enemies engaged in deadly conflict, two antagonists of opposite natures, contradictory claims, incompatible needs, that to benefit one is to injure the other, that his soul belongs to a supernatural realm, but his body is an evil prison holding it in bondage to this earth—and that the good is to defeat his body, to undermine it by years of patient struggle, digging his way to that glorious jail-break which leads into the freedom of the grave.
They have taught man that he is a hopeless misfit made of two elements, both symbols of death. A body without a soul is a corpse, a soul without a body is a ghost—yet such is their image of man’s nature: the battleground of a struggle between a corpse and a ghost, a corpse endowed with some evil volition of its own and a ghost endowed with the knowledge that everything known to man is non-existent, that only the unknowable exists.
Do you observe what human faculty that doctrine was designed to ignore? It was man’s mind that had to be negated in order to make him fall apart. Once he surrendered reason, he was left at the mercy of two monsters whom he could not fathom or control: of a body moved by unaccountable instincts and of a soul moved by mystic revelations—he was left as the passively ravaged victim of a battle between a robot and a dictaphone.
And as he now crawls through the wreckage, groping blindly for a way to live, your teachers offer him the help of a morality that proclaims that he’ll find no solution, and must seek no fulfillment on earth. Real existence, they tell him, is that which he cannot perceive, true consciousness is the faculty of perceiving the non-existent—and if he is unable to understand it, that is the proof that his existence is evil and his consciousness impotent.
As products of the split between man’s soul and body, there are two kinds of teachers of the Morality of Death: the mystics of spirit and the mystics of muscle, whom you call the spiritualists and the materialists, those who believe in consciousness without existence and those who believe in existence without consciousness. Both demand the surrender of your mind, one to their revelations, the other to their reflexes. No matter how loudly they posture in the roles of irreconcilable antagonists, their moral codes are alike, and so are their aims: in matter—the enslavement of man’s body, in spirit—the destruction of his mind.
The good, say the mystics of spirit, is God, a being whose only definition is that he is beyond man’s power to conceive—a definition that invalidates man’s consciousness and nullifies his concepts of existence. The good, say the mystics of muscle, is Society—a thing which they define as an organism that possesses no physical form, a super-being embodied in no one in particular and everyone in general except yourself. Man’s mind, say the mystics of spirit, must be subordinated to the will of God, Man’s mind, say the mystics of muscle, must be subordinated to the will of Society. Man’s standard of value, say the mystics of spirit, is the pleasure of God, whose standards are beyond man’s power of comprehension and must be accepted on faith. Man’s standard of value, say the mystics of muscle, is the pleasure of Society, whose standards are beyond man’s right of judgment and must be obeyed as a primary absolute. The purpose of man’s life, say both, is to become an abject zombie who serves a purpose he does not know, for reasons he is not to question. His reward, say the mystics of spirit, will be given to him beyond the grave. His reward, say the mystics of muscle, will be given on earth—to his great-grandchildren.
Selfishness—say both—is man’s evil. Man’s good—say both—is to give up his personal desires, to deny himself, renounce himself, surrender; man’s good is to negate the life he lives. Sacrifice—cry both—is the essence of morality, the highest virtue within man’s reach.
That was 1957, four years before the world even began on my calendar..
Ayn Rand, excerpt of John Galt’s Speech, Atlas Shrugged, in the latter 700 pages, depending on version.
Take a look.
The “raging frenzy” of the sex drive, to use Plato’s phrase, has always defied control. However, that’s not to say that the Sumerians, Victorians, and every civilization in between and beyond have not tried, wielding their most formidable weapon: the law. At any given point in time, some forms of sex were condoned while others were punished mercilessly. Jump forward or backward a century or two (and often far less than that), and the harmless fun of one time period becomes the gravest crime in another. Judging Desire tells the story of the struggle throughout the millennia to regulate the most powerful engine of human behavior.
Writer and lawyer Eric Berkowitz uses flesh-and-blood cases—much flesh and even more blood—to evoke the entire sweep of Western sex law, from the savage impalement of an Ancient Mesopotamian adulteress to the imprisonment of Oscar Wilde in 1895 for “gross indecency.” The cast of Judging Desire is as varied as the forms taken by human desire itself: royal mistresses, gay charioteers, medieval transvestites, lonely goat-lovers, prostitutes of all stripes, London rent boys. Each of them had forbidden sex, and each was judged—and justice, as Berkowitz shows, rarely had much to do with it.
With the light touch of a natural storyteller, Berkowitz spins these tales and more, going behind closed doors to reveal the essential history of human desire.
“When you think sex is bad, you make bad sex laws.”