A Question: Roots; It All Began With Art De Vany

I just had a question come in via email that I though so good that I got up off my ass and started pounding the keyboard.

From Travis:

I stumbled upon your blog and find it very interesting to read. I just started doing the Paleo type diet on Wednesday (so about a week or so), so I've been settling into that. My question was when you started doing Paleo and when you started posting about it. I was hoping to read your intitial posts "from the beginning" of the change to see if there is any sort of advice or things I missed. I'm a graduate student in Oregon, and like your style (both recipe and writing). Any help is appreciated.

I think this is an excellent idea, not just for Travis, but for anyone relatively new. What I want you to see is that this in not orthodoxy. Like anyone else should be, you ought to navigate the path so as to do what's optimal for you.

Here was the very first post, May 29, 2007. The first two paragraphs that started it all.

I will have much more to say about this in months to come [First sentence, first prediction, right on the nose :) ], but it's becoming increasingly obvious to me that in terms of health and fitness, people have been suckered into a load of nonsense over the last 30 years with respect to the benefits of aerobics to the exclusion of all else.

Over four years ago, now, I embarked on a program of walking (briskly) every morning five days per week. I wanted to lose some poundage that needed losing, the dog needed walking anyway, and I like to walk. Well, 4,000 miles later (I was very religious about it, still am, and I enjoy it and intend to keep at it) I not only didn't lose any weight but probably put on about 20 lbs. This was three miles per day (about 45 minutes), fifteen miles per week, every week. If you think you're going to do much about an overweight problem with evening walks around the block you're probably fooling yourself.

To my great fortune in life, a reader named Vendo commented thusly:

Are you familiar with Art De Vany? It looks pretty close to what you are doing. I've lost 20 lbs over the past two months following his advice.

http://www.artdevanyonline.com/

He is also a friend of Tyler Cowan's and an economist to boot.

Obviously, and as I later found out, he was keying into my independent realization that endurance and intensity were inversely related -- Art's power law. So I got an eye & brain full and blogged this the very next day, May 30th with an appropriate post title: Art De Vany.

This is an amazing blog on health and fitness that I've not been able to keep my eyes off of all morning since some kind commenter to my last post on resistance training steered me to it. They say pictures are worth a thousand words, and this is no exception...

Mr. De Vany will be 70 years old in three months (notice the chest and forearms; pictures of vitality, health and fitness both). I wish I looked half as good at 46 and am working on it (photos in two months). There's two things I'd point out to you, both being categories on the blog and so quite a number of posts in each (but very much worth reading). The first is what not to do, i.e., very much aerobics. It's dangerous to your health. Second...; eat fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts and lean meats. Lift weights intensively for short periods of time and perhaps throw in some random (short) duration and distance wind sprints (intense running). All very simple, fun, and short and infrequent enough to benefit -- not damage -- your body and be fun.

Onward.

And onward I went. My next post was a food post with no pictures and after that, a food post with crap pictures, with food looking far less than appetizing. Then, realizing that I began to hit my food and photo posts with decent pictures, here.

OK, so for anyone like Travis who's up for it, You could read those links above and then from the last one, simply click next entry. Keep in mind, I was still a primarily political blogger and so, the food / fitness posts are at first a bit few & far between - with occasional droughts altogether. But by mid 2008 this had taken over and by fall of 2008, exclusive.

I think the value of doing this is to see how I myself have experimented and evolved, over time. you probably should do the same. Do and promote what works. I hope that's helpful for anyone who undertakes to review.

~~~

Now there's one item left to address and I fucking hate to do it, but it's been bugging me. As all of you know who have read and followed me for any length of time, I have never failed to credit Art De Vany -- in numerous post and every interview. In fact, I think I've fallen over myself, generally, in my attempt to make that perfectly clear. And that will never change. It's the truth. The end.

It was along about the time Art organized a one-day seminar in Vegas (excellent) that some things began to change in the way he interacted with the growing "Paleo" community (his term is evolutionary fitness). Anyway, he soon went to a private, subscription blog and I suppose that to some extent that move left the door open to a lot of others, I suppose myself included. I have always since paid for his blog.

And I have had excellent interactions with Art over these three+ years. I've told him a number of times that I will never forget where I got started and would always credit him and I believe he appreciated that. And I meant it and still do.

But I increasingly noted a bit of a condescending attitude toward me in email responses from him, and then this, when Timothy Haas showed his own photo results in Philly Mag and credited Free the Animal. A comment.

Art De Vany says:
June 27, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Richard, the author of Free the Animal website, acknowledges that he learned most of this from me. He is a good student and has taken it his own way, as all who follow the lifestyle must do. Take a look at my site and see the deep side of the primal life from someone who has lived it for more than 25 years–called the grandfather of the paleo movement. Or read my forthcoming book, The New Evolution Diet.

OK, it pissed me off; not because it wasn't essentially true, but because I'd just never, ever do something like that. Last I checked a few months back, I have well over 800 posts about all of this going back 3 years -- probably 1,000, by now -- I bow to no-fucking-one, and students eventually become teachers -- and they often, as actually should be the case, surpass their masters. And I have covered ground Art never has, because I had other sources to learn from like Robb Wolf, Mark Sisson, Dr. Stephan Guyenet, Dr. Peter Dobromylskyj and others. While it's unlikely I'll ever gain the deep knowledge Art has acquired, that's simply not all there is to it. I stick to my style. My style attracts readers: at about 80,000 visits and 120,000 page views per month (and Art: my "hits" are in the millions, too). And then they read here and go other places as well.

...But I held my tongue.

Then, in an email response to me that I initiated, Art actually dissed one of my Real Results folks, which person I won't name. And still I held my tongue...

And finally, the other day while catching up on his blog I came to a post entitled "Cross Fit Gone Wild," which was, I think, a totally valid criticism of a particular exercise being done by some female (squats in the 400s). I agree: probably unnecessary and certainly not Paleo, Primal or EvFit. Criticism is crucial and I not only don't mind it but encourage it. One of the reasons I have an open blog and unmoderated comments. Criticism is crucial for my own development -- not only as a blogger, but as a fitness advocate.

But, alas, I'm not a scientist. In fact, I may be a "know nothing." And maybe so are many of you other bloggers. Here's the last two paragraphs of that post.

I am a bit appalled at where this former Paleo or Natural movement is going. Things are getting weird and harmful. CrossFit has gone over the edge and Paleo is promoted by a lot of know nothings all over the internet, as well as by some people with some background in science (and no practical experience or bodies to show for it, albeit some dramatic weight losses, usually following a simple EF protocol).

All knowledge eventually turns recursively into itself and then propigates onto many stochastic paths. The original Paleo/Genetic approach is propigating non-linearly and stochastically into strange places. It always happens with any social process. As I said in Hollywood Economics, stochastic, recursive (feedback) processes can take you into strange places. We are getting into that strange world with the growing Paleo movement. I think CrossFit is being drawn into a strange attractor and so are many blogs by non-scientists and recent converts.

Now, Art didn't name names, nor do I have any idea as to whether he was thinking of me in any of that. But then I have the recent history with him too. And he certainly didn't specify any exceptions.

But all that doesn't really matter. What truly bugs me is the sort of authoritarian attitude that one ought to have some formal qualifications in order to competently advocate for Paleo. If he's not talking about me, then he's certainly talking about some of my friends...many of whom are sending traffic my way, I theirs, and the pie just keeps getting bigger and bigger. The potential is that even Art -- who had the chief slice of the pie way back then -- will have an even greater slice, though merely a sliver of the whole. Uh, seems to me he should be the one preaching that economic reality.

Moreover, it's an odd attitude to display right on the cusp of publishing a book (The New Evolution Diet: What Our Paleolithic Ancestors Can Teach Us about Weight Loss, Fitness, and Aging) he's been promising for a decade. Doesn't he realize that all of these know-nothings are chomping at the bit to get it, read it, and promote it -- just as we have all done for Mark & Robb? And I know one thing about them because I've had email exchanges with both of them, with the other CC'd: Robb is thrilled for Mark and Mark is thrilled for Robb. Duh.

So, what is my purpose in brining this up? To clear the air, I suppose. What I most certainly don't want is a slam fest in comments. If you have resentments toward Art, please hold them. If you must, give Art information. That is, tell him what you want from him.

There's no doubt about his contribution. But there's equally no doubt that others are going to take it, add their own twists, and run with it. I think history shows that the one who comes out on top of the heap is often not one of the original pioneers.

I will always continue to name Art as the one who stated it all from me. I will buy the book, read it, and give an objective review. I'm certain I'll learn a few more things.

And I guess I have little choice but to keep blogging and, apparently, getting under his skin.

Comments

  1. Interesting post. What we have here is a typical Edison/Tesla scenario. Edison was brilliant and changed the world as we know it. However, when Tesla came along, Edison did his best to sink the man whose method surpassed his own. You have done your best to pay homage to De Vany, but he wants this whole thing to himself. Well, what about Weston A. Price or others who studied hunter gatherers over the years?

    De Vany has to remember that he DIDN’T INVENT “paleo.” He has done much to educate people on the benefits of ancestral exercise and diet, but this is not “his.” Others have helped pave the way and bring this message to a broader audience. The truth is, the more people get excited about it and share it, the better off we all will be. He cannot possibly be arrogant enough to think he could do this on his own, could he?

    Don’t answer that.

    I first heard about this whole paleo thing from one of my patients who discovered Mark’s work. His website and book have changed my life forever. I also discovered Robb’s podcast and book, which has added even more to my knowledge base. From there I have discovered other bloggers and authors such as yourself, Loren Cordain, Nora Gedgaudus (Sp?) etc. I take bits and pieces from each and make it work. You all have something to contribute to this discussion. De Vany just wants all the credit (and all the spoils) because he thinks he has all the answers. Wellllll, Edison thought his DC current was the only game in town, too.

    Keep up the good work, Richard.

  2. John Campbell says:

    Art De Vany was my portal into this as well – he has undoubtedly added many years to my life and life to my years. I salute him and I salute you Richard – I found your site shortly after devouring Art’s.

    Life is messy and the only rule is that there are no rules – not to be an anti-intellectual at all, but we are constantly learning new information and new connections. Orthodoxy has no place in the intellectual life of human monkeys. The internet is the catalyst to the revolution we are living through. As Matt Ridley says “ideas are having sex” as never before. Thank you for stimulating this procreation process. We all know sex is messy and fun – or should be – intellectual discourse and discovery should be the same.

    Cheers to one of the major contributors to this adventure! Lets get out there and f**k!

  3. The student surpasses the teacher. That “is” the point of instruction. If you teach well then the student becomes the teacher. In Japanese arts it is referred to as “Shu Ha Ri.”

  4. This comes as no surprise. For years some of us have referred to Art as “The Vain One”, a tongue in cheek translation of his last name.

  5. Having been involved in the original listserv from more than a decade back, and reading Art until 2009 (paid for one year’s subscription), I think I have some insight into Art’s thinking. As a point of pride, he doesn’t really care what others think so he speaks freely. Maybe the tone come off less civil sometimes. Art got really annoyed once with folks over some issue and the listserv was killed, as was the plan for the book’s release. Maybe this was 1999 or so? Yes, he’s been a curmudgeon before, but that’s anyone’s right. Especially back then when the people interested in this stuff needed Art more than he needed them. Once things got chippy or demanding on him he rightfully retreated.

    So while I see some curmudgeonly crankiness in an old fellow who’s early research is being launched by others, I do think you’ve got it only half right about his notions of propagation. If I know Art he is probably making an observation as much as a judgment. It’s not a question of “only authority should speak.” It’s a note that when a movement grows there’s going to be a cloud of bad information included.

    There’s an interesting analogue to this in the dating seminar/seduction community. Back in the 90s a bunch of men used the internet to aggregate info on seducing women. They went back to old advice and included a variety of hypnosis, sales psychology, social science, etc. Eventually it got codified on some boards and people who were supposed to be good taught expensive seminars on the methods and strategies. By 2004 it started to poke into the mainstream as the author Neil Strauss wrote a book on “the community.” Before long the internet was clouded with factions supporting this guy or that guy, and the seminars and info products were being produced by all types of men looking to make a buck who giving advice on meeting girls. That included some who might have been virgins still living in their parents’ basement.

    Perhaps he wasn’t “talking about your friends.” With the growth of the Paleo movement you will undoubtedly see the same thing happen as did with the diffusion of dating information. Maybe that’s what concerns Art. Crap advice being shopped and the noob not being able to know who is more right or who is more wrong… EvFit might be closing in on its “KimKins” moment.

    Regarding “slices of the pie”… looking for bias toward scalar benefit patterns on a global level from a man who’s lifework is on kurtosis is not going to be a satisfying exercise.

    As a reader I’ve watched you grow into this scene since you first started this blog (and I first saw you on Art’s DVD). Frankly, I prefer a blend of you and Robb and sometimes Mark to Art on this topic because I’ve hit the limit of freshness on De Vany’s delivery. That’s not a knock on Art. He’s not there to entertain anyone. Which is exactly the subtheme: Trying to give Art input to adjust his behavior toward what the crowd wants from him is futile. He’s never taken to that kind of guidance and by asking the public for input might be the kind of thing that makes him retreat again. And I wouldn’t blame him. Being an authority doesn’t give him the right to be authoritarian toward you directly, but Art will still do whatever he’s going to do because that’s Art, and he will tell you so in advance.

    Maybe I don’t see it as you getting under Art’s skin. Sure, he seems to like to keep a print on to what he started. Who doesn’t? You’ve definitely been good about giving him credit, too. Art’s economics work often highlights the lack of control we all have in the greater aspects of life beyond our own decisions, and he’s aware that he cannot control where EvFit/Paleo is going. That might be his point more so than any directed disapproval.

  6. On another post/comments, someone suggested I check out Art. I did ,only to find that there is nothing to check out! Unless you pay. For me….that is a turn off and unfortunately, because of my stubbornness, especially when there is so much on the net for free these days, I may be missing out on some good info. I actually felt insulted. So be it. Everyone wants to make a buck. To me that means they don’t really care about “you.” As someone who has been around awhile and purchased many instructional video tapes (yes…that long ago) and then DVD, as we moved forward, internet download etc. I have learned something. Those looking to sell you something usually have less than those who are truly seeking to help you. 9 times out of ten I wished I’d saved my money. Actually it is probably more like 10 out of 10.

    • Hey Tommy,
      There’s nothing wrong with making a buck….you don’t have to buy if you don’t want to. Please tell me why he should care about you? Is it because you’re such a swell guy? What did you offer in exchange for his knowledge? Nothing…but you feel entitled somehow…boy don’t you fit the mentality of our country.

      • Aaron Curl says:

        “boy don’t you fit the mentality of our country.”
        Would that be…trying to make money (gov, big pharm, health care) and not caring about the individuals health? I agree with Tommy. The…… I’m so special and have so much experience you need to pay me for my knowledge mentality….gets old. The number one problem of society is just wanting money! PERIOD Money is the root of all evil.

      • David Csonka says:

        The Internet has lowered people’s expectation of cost for information so low, that many expect consultations with PH.d level scientists regarding advanced biochemistry processes free of charge. Oh how I wish my college classes were offered free of charge back when I was in school.

        To request payment for one’s knowledge, experience, or effort does not mean one does not “care”. On the contrary, it means that they feel they offer something of value, perhaps more value than can be obtained by others who offer things for free. It may be, that the price they request contributes to their ability to generate that value, and thus might preclude the ability to offer said value if given for free instead.

        To expect somebody to hand over their life’s work for free, to a stranger, who they owe nothing to, sounds quite arrogant to me. Regardless, I don’t charge people to read my blog – but then perhaps that is because the value I provide might be relatively low compared to somebody like Art De Vany. ;D

  7. Bay Area Sparky says:

    Great comments from PAX…I think he is close to dead on in addressing the central and sub-issues in the original blog.

    As far as my own take, I think that if Dr. De Vany was not including you specifically in his criticism, that he certainly implicates you…so I understand your feelings as they regard yourself and the protectiveness you feel towards your community. Your treatment towards Dr. De Vany, as we have all seen has been nothing short of reverential…correcting of course for the fact that you’re rarely reverential…which I suppose means that you’ve actually been VERY reverential towards him.

    I’ll leave by suggesting that as PAX predicts, Dr. De Vany may not care terribly how many bare feet he has trodden on with his occasional clumsy moments. And so maybe Dr. De Vany is not so different than Richard. Certainly both of you can be irreverent, polemic, provocative, direct, and brilliant.

  8. James Mooney says:

    Well, I started doing this back in 1997 with Dan Duchaine’s Body Opus book. It wasn’t exactly fun, but it got me thinking about what make ME fat, lethargic etc. Since then, I have been a low carb (not paleo per say) for the last 13 or so years. Art’s information basically taught me that you can live like this, and it is a life style, not a special diet to do 5 days a week. He is not the owner, creator, and probably not even the grandfather of this lifestyle though. In reality, this is pretty fucking simple – eat real foods, go hungry every once in a while, stay away from sugar, lift weights. Try patenting that method and see where it gets you. Art did a great job of getting everyone started and then went private. That is his choice, and good for him. I have always said, if you want people to read your blog, you need to write every day, or close to it. If you want to charge for your blog, you better be writing every day, and have something new or worthwhile to read. .. he, in my opinion does not. I subscribed to his blog for a year and just felt that for 50 bucks, I need more than a few posts a month of shit I already know, or shit I can read elsewhere for free. I certainly won’t pay to read anybody’s somewhat outlandish claims when they are not backed up by pictures. His “sprinting” through Utah desert sans shirt and then claiming 200 pounds and 6% BF did not help matters much either. Furthermore, Art has ALWAYS been in shape! With his genetics he most likely did not need to eat this way. You however, were fat! I remember your original post on Devany’s site, and have been an everyday reader ever since. Now you are not fat, you provide real motivation to live this lifestyle, and your food is a whole lot better than his (my opinion) This give you credibility, plus you do this stuff for free. Art, in my opinion, did not capitalize on being the first mover, and now has a smaller piece of pie because he thought he was THE authority. He is for evolutionary fitness, but not for anything else. The rest is common paleo knowledge hunted and gathered by you and many others. He had something going when his site was free, I wonder how many people did not renew this year?

  9. Dave Fish says:

    I don’t intend for this post to slam Art but I wasn’t that impressed by the information on his site after paying for the subscription. It didn’t seem to be updated very often and while I enjoy looking at pictures of food, it isn’t something I want to pay for. I honestly haven’t visited the site in months so maybe there is a wealth of new information available, but in these days of information being pushed to me via email, RSS feeds, Twitters, and Facebook links it is easy to forget about a site that doesn’t reach out to you.

    On the other end of the spectrum is Sisson’s site which is updated daily and costs nothing. Mark is big on providing information but after a couple of years of reading these sites I’m not sure how much more I can learn about Paleo/Primal. I enjoy your site because I (mostly) like your editorial style and I enjoy reading you take arrogant blowhards down a peg or two. I’ve also enjoyed wandering around the links you provide.

    I guess I’m just glad that Paleo/Primal is reaching enough of a critical mass for any of the “founders” to start feeling like others are trying to steal their glory. It’s only about health for me so I’m not too concerned if egos are getting hurt.

  10. Michael says:

    the strange thing is that he complain about us ‘non-scientists’ promoting the paleo diet/lifestyle while at the same time running a private blog which cannot possibly have more traffic than a free open blog like this one and others. If DeVany had a public blog his voice would be stronger and he could criticize anything he sees when he feels like it and it would quickly be read by thousands of people. And he would sell more books and DVDs. Mark Sisson’s website would not and could not be as popular as it is now if it had been a private subcription-only blog. You can have a subscription system to be able to comment on the blog posts that’s OK or if you don’t want to manage comments then you don’t allow comments and that’s OK too but doing a private weblog when you have something to promote in a field that’s currently exploding in popularity is quite a bad decision. I read it had something to do with high traffic and hosting costs but if that’s the case then you make a donations page or you do a fundraising week.

    if being an economics professor didn’t stop him from making a bad business decision then I guess us not having doctorates in anything won’t stop us from doing a pretty good job promoting a scientific concept that’s easy to understand and satisfying to experience.

    what’s surprising to me is that evolutionary psychologists like Edward O. Wilson didn’t ‘discover’ it back in the 1970s.

  11. Good post.

    I somewhat feel targeted as I am a somewhat new blogger and been doing this for less than 3 years (about 2.5years actually). I definitely fit the bill. I am not a biologist (or in other words a student of evolution). I study body movement.

    I tend to not read Art too often anymore because his posting is not as entertaining (his evolutionary fitness essay was really good, but nowadays it’s not as good… and that’s alright). I also don’t read his blog as often nowadays because he seems to be against pushing the body to its limit. Being a kinesiology student, I know the kind of beating a body can take and I really believe it necessary in some case. For example, he is against marathon running because he thinks its unhealthy (with studies to back up his point) And that’s fine. But, about any competitive sport will destroy your sport… Ever seen a pro NFL player in his 40? Most can barely walk. What about boxers? etc. etc. It’s part of the job and that should not prevent someone from training toward that goal (its a legitimate one if you accept the fact that you may pay it with your health later).

    Obviously, it takes training to get to that level…and it’s magnificent to be able to see this (or train athletes…which I plan to do). Other people make other choices and all of them have to pay for their choices. For example, some are so sedentary (office jobs) that it’s also unhealthy. It’s a matter of context. And, with art, I feel as if there is no possible personalization in that regard. This is probably why someone like robb wolf is so popular. He definitely stress personalization. This is what WE want as a reader/fan. We want someone that is willing to adjust his thinking toward what WE are seeking.

    This is also why I keep reading Free the animal. In fact, Dan from Darwins table was asking me about my favourite blogs… And I was quick to reply that my favourite of all was yours. You are politically free and you are willing to explore. May be we are not as good with the whole evolution thing (may be it does not matter that much after all), but we are good are trying (and actually doing it) to improve our life. This is what matters.

  12. I read a lot of different ‘paleo’ blogs, including being a member of De Vany’s site, and I appreciate the diversity of personalities and body types all contributing in their own unique ways. I have some background in mathematics and physics of complex systems, and so I particularly love Art’s more detailed posts on the complex-adaptive behaviors of our biology. The paleo blogosphere is an ecosystem just like, say, an industry’s value-chain, where some people have more specialized knowledge while others downstream generalize that knowledge into practical recommendations and personal observations. And like any ecosystem, the more diversity, the healthier the system. I understand Art’s criticism, he objects to the bastardization of a body of knowledge he has worked very hard in developing, and his post may have just been his frustration with the dilution of this knowledge, but he should really be championing the emerging diversity while pushing for retaining quality, rather than decrying the whole movement entirely.

    Regarding this, I can say that ecosystems in nature produce adapted organisms because of selective pressures, and the paleo ecosystem will not produce optimal ideas unless there are fitness functions that select the good ideas from the bad. Crossfit may be an example of an idea based in sound principles but has since been pushed into the wrong path. They are not optimizing for health or fitness in an evolutionary framework anymore, but are optimizing their workout routines based on some fitness functions their headquarters have dogmatically committed to and license out. Alas, that is a symptom of most bureaucracies, even one as diffuse and innovative as the Crossfit organizational structure. I have my ideas on how to remedy this, but this isn’t the place.

  13. Art’s comment was way too vague to be useful. If he wants to say that dangerous or oddball ideas are being promoted in paleo circles then he should name them in no uncertain terms. Make the case for why they are wrong-headed so we aren’t completely beholden to him as the source for all that is right in paleo-land.

    Alan Aragon does a better job of this, although I think his paleo smackdowns are lacking and incomplete to my taste. Plus they’ve also been in his private subscription newsletter, so again they don’t do much in fostering debate.

    He is right that a lot of us know nothings are going around promoting paleo. I myself fell into that trap for awhile, enjoying the righteousness of the newly converted. Big Fucking Deal. Telling people to cut back on processed sugars, fats, and grains is not the worst advice a know nothing could give.

  14. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Art’s PhD is in economics. There are those who would use that to question his diet and exercise advice – he’s out of his discipline.

    I wouldn’t. I saw him post a lot of things before anyone else, which I didn’t believe, but as I was doing my own basic research, which included 6 credit hours of anatomy & physiology, 3 of biology and 4 of chemistry so I would have to rely on an authority figure, I kept discovering things that meant Art was right.

    I think there is room for those like Art, Dr. Eades, Dr. Harris, Stephan Guyenet, etc. and there is room for those who are layman. Ultimately it is up the the consumer to make the choice. Most of my “usual suspects” whose blogs I check out tend to be like those I’ve listed above.

    That does not mean that I don’t find valuable information at a layman’s site.

    Everything needs to be cross checked and cross referenced anyway.

    I find that my life works best when I strive to be as paranoid as Dick Nixon.

    And if you are thinking, wait a minute, Joe Stalin is the gold standard for paranoia….

    Repeat after me, class, in order for a goal to be achievable, it must be believable.

  15. [I'll direct my comment squarely at Art]

    Art,
    I was one of your readers back when you had an open blog. I enjoyed reading your blog and while I disagreed with your style and approach at times, I thought you were making fantastic points about evolution as a perspective on nutrition and health — points made by few, if any other, people on the net at the time.

    When you first broached making your blog subscription-only (I believe you called your readers free-loaders for not paying) I pointed out to you the folly of doing something like that in the comments as well as the poor track record of monetizing content in such as manner.

    I suggested that you monetize your growing influence in other ways. (For the record, I believe you deleted my comment.)

    The folly was that by making it a pay blog and very clumsily making a few bucks (BTW I have nothing against that) you actually decreased your own sphere of influence! And that is what you are trying so desperately (and clumsily) to claw back. Too late.

    I should also mention, you also limited the influence of new ideas and approaches upon you carried by random comments from readers passing by.

    Summa summarum, this is all unfortunate because it would have been great to see you and your blog grow and evolve with the growing Paleo movement.

    C’est la vie.

    • Art who? I became aware of Paleo about a year ago, but I have not read a single thing by Art. Other than the occasional mention here, I really don’t know anything about him. I think he has really closed himself off too much if he wants to be influential.

      My gateway was Stephan’s blog and his blogroll. Stephan and many bloggers that I read don’t even claim to be paleo. I personally think it is good for the paleo movement to listen to different voices, but maybe that is just me. That is actually what I like about the paleo movement, the willingness to be open-minded and look at things critically, but maybe I am self-selecting what I see in paleo.

  16. Dear Art,

    I just want you to know that I’ve been Paleo/Primal for about a month now and feel approximately 1 billion times better than I have in about 35 years. So thanks for starting the movement.

    HOWEVER. I will not, not, not be subscribing to your site or buying your book based on your arrogant and childish behavior. You remind me of nothing so much as those awful second wave feminists who went to the trouble to make the world a better place for women and then get their panties all twisty because we (younger women) have the nerve to enjoy our freedoms without bowing towards Gloria Steinem seven times a day.

    And do you seriously believe that your philosophy is the be-all end-all and that it is not to be expanded upon?

    And since your background is in economics—not anything remotely science based–I’m not so sure you have any standing to make disparaging remarks about “laypeople.”

  17. Like many of the folks here, I was first turned onto the Paleo/Primal/Evolutionary Fitness way of life by Art, and I certainly wish him the best. However, I more or less stopped taking him seriously the day he gushed over Sarah Palin’s “experience” and said he looked forward to voting for her in the future. Shortly afterward, he switched his blog to subscription only, which was perfect timing from my perspective.

  18. I remember stumbling upon Mark’s, Art’s and Richard’s blogs more or less around the same time (I can’t remember the order in which I found them) and my initial responses to them can be summarised in a very simplistic manner as follows:

    Mark: Damn the guy looks awesome for a 50+ year old!

    Art: DAMN is the man really 70+???!!!

    Richard: Holy cow it really is possible to stop being a fat fuck without killing myself with copious amounts of exercise and eating ridiculously low calories ala the biggest loser. And at the time he was more or less is following what the other 2 guys said!

    All 3 of them demonstrated very clearly to me that age is NOT an excuse to be unhealthy and not look good naked. For that I will always be grateful. These guys quite literally saved my life.

    And Art, even if I was the one you dissed(likely since I consume *gasp* white rice), I still love you man.

    There were also other influences such as Good Calories Bad Calories and Robb Wolf’s excellent podcasts. Looking back, I learnt different things from the various blogs, books, and podcasts and was able to slowly adapt myself to a new and easily sustainable lifestyle that has helped me to drop my excess weight,keep it off, and improve my quality of life by leaps and bounds.

    About Art’s blog, I too saw little point in paying for it. I’d buy his book if he ever publishes it though, the sample draft was pretty good. Providing tons of free content doesn’t seem to have hurt the sales of books by Mark Sisson and Robb Wolf at all. Perhaps he can reconsider his business model.

  19. Hmm.

    I’m not a scientist either and my blog has been primarily a place for me to record information on fitness / diet for a few years now.

    I came to this theoretical “space” via low carb and Art was one of several people I found early on – not the only one. Don Wiss paleodiet.com was one of the earliest places I studied.

    However, I liked Art’s essay and his integrated approach. I read his blog avidly and enjoyed the posts – even the ones that made me laugh (like the dogs that barked as he walked by because he was exuding so much testosterone). The posts around the death of his wife were very moving.

    When he went subscription only I didn’t bother to subscribe – I couldn’t see the value. I will buy products – books, tapes and – would have bought products from Art but not just the blog posts.

    I have great respect for him though and don’t want this to turn into an abuse Art post.

    Some of us just need to grow up. Paleo now feels like something that lots of people have discovered and sometimes I want to feel smug and one of only a few people who know the secret! It is like when other people discover your favourite underground band….they somehow lose some of their appeal.

  20. I first read about Art on Clarence Bass’s site circa 2000, and enjoyed his (then free) blog. I vaguely recall him mentioning Richard and came to this site at that time, cannot remember when (pre it being called Free the Animal, but I cannot remember the previous name!). I did pay for Art’s blog for a year, but got a bit annoyed when my subscription failed midway through, and I decided I couldn’t be bothered to take it up with his IT guys, because I wasn’t getting that much from the experience any more. I’m no cretin or scientifically uneducated, but I found the posts just a little too technical for me personally. I guess some people like that – I don’t, I like something I can get my teeth into with a good explanation, but not reams of information. There also seemed to be quite a lot of hero worship going on, which I hate – although this is evident on almost every blog in fairness.

    I see him in a positive light though – a very smart guy, who was a very strong influence in getting a (fantastic) movement off the ground and into the public eye. But other people have picked up the mantle as was bound to happen, who provide additional and fresh insights.

  21. Art was where I discovered Paleo – via, I suspect, the previous commenter, if it’s the Chris I think it is. He managed to alienate me (can’t remember how) but I didn’t take it personally – one has to separate the man from the message. I guess that’s just the way he rolls. Things move on, though, and I think to most people in the community it’s self-evident that the ‘newcomers’ like you and Mark S bring a number of more real-world, layman perspectives to the scene that Art, for all his genius, was never going to be able to offer.

  22. Keith T has a nice piece on Art: http://www.evfit.com/devany.htm

    • Keith T is the one that I have the highest regard for amongst the mentors.
      Truly altruistic with his knowledge.

      How paleo or palaeo is a paywall?

      Richard tries the hardest out of all the bloggers to communicate to his readers in layman’s language. He’s also the most tech savvy. Using relatively cheap image, video and sound systems to put his views across. He has an ego, and can be a pompous twat, (so can I be) but he can also be self deprecating.
      The effort put into his food porn presentations make them very readable.

      Keep it up Richard. You’ll always be up there if you sustain your momentum, and continue wearing your heart on your sleeve. Your devotion, especially of your time to this blog, is greatly appreciated.

    • I really like Keith’s stuff. Reading his site expands my mind, kind of like reading Richard’s expletive-laden rants solidifies my intestinal fortitude.

  23. gallier2 says:

    Art who?

  24. I have been at it (EF/paleo/primal) for over 5 years now. Blogging for almost 4. (documenting meals really)
    A friend of mine turned me to Art and it literally changed my life around over 5 years ago.
    I think Art is wonderful. I certainly don’t always agree with him, but I don’t think he wants you to. He wants you to think about things. (very much like a good teacher….which I’m sure he was) Any good teacher I’ve ever been around (including a tremendous martial art teacher) always had the ego to match it, same with Art. I’ve blogged about it, but others who are much much smarter then I am and that write much more eloquently, have touted the message for years; you must make this “thing” your own!
    My humble opinion is that Art has been instrumental in helping many of us achieve just that.

    Hope all is well Richard and that your are enjoying your new diggs.

    Marc

  25. How did Crossfit “get out of hand”? I don’t follow it, but I’ve heard of it, often mentioned in relation to Paleo.

  26. Mike Gruber says:

    “I think history shows that the one who comes out on top of the heap is often not one of the original pioneers”.

    Who said it’s a contest to “come out on top”? I read all 3 of you guys (Mark, Art, Richard) at one time or another … and have learned something from all of you. I don’t have a “favorite”, or consider any of you “better” than the others.

  27. I arrived late to the game, through fellow CrossFitters, being fairly strict paleo for 370 days now. I know of Art, but I don’t subscribe to content so don’t know his work. Ironically my job is a web developer for an extremely profitable B2B content subscription site. Our content is mainly government regulations spelled out in an easier to understand manner, which saves time and money. All of the sources for the information are available free on the Internet on government websites, but good luck finding what you need when you need it. There’s something to be said for experts filtering through immense mountains of garbage and presenting you with the truly valuable information.

    I am willing to put in the time to sift through the garbage myself and make my own decisions, but that is not for everyone.

    My personal evolution has been mainly through a group of somewhat dissaffected paleo CrossFitters, the incredibly large web of primal information on the Internet, Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf, and Richard, and the numerous authors of the books in my growing library. Mark helps really fat people, and that’s not me. Robb trains athletes, and that’s not me. I know their reach is far broader, but many times I just can’t be part of a discussion because I have no experience and never will. With Free the Animal, I feel a strong connection. I’m an average 40 year old that has made vast health improvements in one year and am really sad and angry for being misinformed my entire life. Richard you have done the time, sifted through the garbage, have an extremely sharp mind, are beholden to noone, and don’t patronize or condescend. You are a great model for how I can navigate this maze.

  28. anonymous chris says:

    Are we really going to get through an entire comments-cycle without at least one FTA regular pointing out the not so subtle irony of thee most irreverent, in-your-face, fowl-mouthed, insulting paleo blogger taking umbrage with subtle innuendo?

  29. anonymous chris says:

    foul

  30. Art sounds a bit like Campbell there — falling back on the credential trump card to keep his market alive.

  31. Glenn Whitney says:

    Possibly some more credit is due to Loren Cordain? Is there anyone who has contributed more to establishing a scientific basis for Paleo?

  32. I was one of those who discovered Art through Clarence Bass. I found him thoughtful, well-read, and well-spoken–and like many here I enjoyed reading his blog regularly before it went private. If I had not been a starving student, I would almost certainly have subscribed to it, at least initially. As things were, I was cash-poor and did not really need more detailed information than I already had (from him and other sources) in order to live a much healthier life. So I took the free advice home and began putting it into practice, keeping what worked for me and tweaking what didn’t.

    I have always felt grateful to Art, and I confess it hurt a little when he called his readers freeloaders. That being said, I do not think he owes anyone (least of all me) anything. Like all of us, he is free to put out whatever information he wants (good or bad) in whatever format he wants to whatever audience he chooses.

  33. A wise teacher once told me that you should never read just one book on a subject. Read at least three. Each brings a different perspective and, hopefully, new insights.

    My own gateway into all of this was through the WAPF. From there I found Loren Cordain and the Paleo Diet. This led me to Mark Sisson and the Primal Blueprint and I am an active member at MDA. Through Mark’s blogrolls, I found this site, along with Robb Wolf. I have read The Paleo Diet, The Primal Blueprint and The Paleo Solution. All great, all bringing something to the table.

    Somewhere along the way, I looked up references to Art’s blog, and read what free info I could. I cannot afford a regular subscription, but I enjoyed the posts I did see. I will likely read his book also. Well rounded research leads to informed decisions. I’m also incredibly excited by Erwen le Corre’s upcoming book.

    All knowledge is worthwhile. It is up to the reader to do the research and be discerning.

  34. That was a comment about where this “movement” is headed and about Paleo being a primarily savanna-based model that seems to leave the Ice Ages out of the story. I never sought to take credit for any of this; it just happened and I was a fairly early mover. That is all. No ownership implied or expected.

    Richard, Mark, and Robb are solid guys.

    By the way, the subscription blog is where everything is headed. It does keep the complainers out of the mix, a good thing.

    I happen to be interested in the deeper aspects of evolution, the evolutionarily conserved metabolic and genetic networks that exist in all creatures. There is much to be learned from that, particularly the role of those powerful mitochondria. I always make sure my mitochondrial feel comfortable in my cells. They are, after all, a kind of guest there, evolutionarily speaking.

    Sadly, Cross Fit has grown a bit crazy, at least in some places. Rhabdo is real and dangerous. And, injuries are found in many slightly strange aspects of exercise that are growing under the mantle of Paleo. I like to take life easy. None of these comments disturb me in the least.

    • Art De Vany wrote:

      “That was a comment about where this “movement” is headed and about Paleo being a primarily savanna-based model that seems to leave the Ice Ages out of the story.”

      Interesting, and something I’ve been wondering about myself.

      • Indeed. And even the savannah was affected by the Ice Age. The Great Rift Valley went through tremendous cycles of change between wet and dry climates. Some shifts happening in the matter of a thousand years or less. Most people tend to think that the savannah was always hot, but I’d almost bet that it had its share of cool and dry as well.

      • anand srivastava says:

        It is possible that humans did not face the Ice Age, till they came out of Africa. The Tarkana basin in Africa has not been cold for a significant time in the past 4 million years. It did not encounter the Ice Ages. A place like this can explain why we have little hair and why we have so many sweat glands. It also can help explain why we felt the need to walk upright.

        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100608135043.htm

    • Ron Kelley says:

      Art – You responded to Richard’s post and the comments exactly as I thought you would. “No ownership implied or expected.” Plus, “I take life easy. None of these comments disturb me in the least.”

      I attended your seminar in Las Vegas and one the best things about it was observing the graceful ease at which you approach life. You appear to be a man at peace with himself and all that life brings.

      I may disagree with your ideas from time to time, but more importantly, I must credit you with saving me from seriously declining health. Your work on EF enabled me to be physically what I wanted to be. And, your confident and graceful demeanor inspires me to be the same. I very carefully pick my battles now.

    • I was wrong, Art is a class act. Take’r easy.

    • I’m glad you took the time to respond, Art.

      I agree with you about the ice age point and have mentioned it before, as in, first eat real food, then determine your genetic lineage. A different mix might be called for if your genes stayed in africa then if they left and ended up in a ice age or a pacific island.

      I’m going to disagree about the subscription blog. I just don’t see it happening because there’s too much good content for free. There are other ways to monetize. Plus, so long as not gratuitous and repetitive, I like the dynamics of having the complainers around.

      Good day to you, sir.

      • Beyond deleting/banning there are other ways blogs can control trolls and complainers. See Hacker News (news.ycombinator.com) for an example: downvoted comments change color and gradually fade away! Reddit’s approach works too, although downvoted comments will conceal possibly interesting things deeper in the thread.

      • It depends on what he means by a “complainer”. Dissenting opinions are good if the goal is intellectual growth. Otherwise you get something like 30Bad – group masturbation in a walled garden.

        It makes good business sense though to control the message. I guess it depends on what you are going for – promoting a preconceived message or doing something interesting.

      • I don’t have problems with bad commenters because I moderate :) Of course my comment sections are less fun compared to the ones here…the comment section is a big part of the fun of Free The Animal.

      • I rarely ban, but I did today. When I see someone using multiple pseudonyms from the same IP address and posting short hit & run clips, they’re gone. Sometimes I just delete a BS comment without a ban. Other times I have put an IP address into the moderation queue so I can individually moderate a single commenter without compromising the flow.

        Of course, it helps that I stay on top of comments from computer, iPad and iPhone and I can manage them from all devices.

        Yep, if you’re just reading the posts and not the comments you’re missing out on a lot.

      • anand srivastava says:

        The problem with moderating based on a single IP is that there are very few IPv4 addresses to go around. Most ISPs in India do not allocate an IP address to an individual. So you will (eventually) see many people posting from the same IP.

        Yes there are abusers. But there might be some genuine people who get the same IP.

        I guess its not a big deal. The problem is rare, and I hope they can at least read the blog, if not allowed to post. And possibly ask you to remove the ban by mailing directly to you.

      • yes, I understand the issue. Most people are running on dynamic IPs so every time they reset their cable or dsl modem they pull a different ip from the table.

        But I have very few troll commenters banned, fortunately. Lots of big commercial spammers, however (hundreds). Fortunately, they seem to not pop up again once banned indicating they’re running on static IPs.

    • Nice response. I think I am going to subscribe to Art’s blog.

      His comments here and in his post at are useful in all this discussion we are having I think.

      • I subscribe to Arts blog, read every entry and drop a comment now and then.

        Make no mistake that that’s NOT what this post was about. I would recommend subscribing to anyone.

      • When it was free I read it all the time but it just got awkward when it went subscription only. Thinking back I remember now that I did initially subscribe to the blog, but there was some technical problem that kept locking me out, so I sort of gave up and moved on. Following this discussion I went back and reread his revised essay and it is full of good stuff that is quite stimulating.

    • “Rhabdo is real and dangerous. ”

      100% agreed with Art.

  35. I have read little of DeVany’s stuff because it’s behind a pay wall. I just can’t see enough on the free side to convince me to pay.

    I am quite curious (as a female CrossFitter) what he thinks is over the top for women?

    I have completed a Level 1 Certification, and can safely say that CrossFit doesn’t claim to be Paleo. They are still teaching the Zone, in terms of diet, and they are mostly about maximum work capacity. They use the term “evolutionary movements”, but mostly they say “functional movements.”

  36. Jennifer says:

    I have been reading DeVany since 2008 and really respect him. He had to discover evolutionary biology and how to apply it to diet and fitness back in the 60′s when his first wife and son had Type 1 diabetes and the medical establishment was giving them deadly (eat high carb) advice. He didn’t have the luxury of easy searching and knowledge discovery we enjoy today (via the internet). I don’t mind paying for his website because there’s no way in hell I could have ever discovered what he knows by just going to the library and trying to read through biology/microbiology/biochemistry books. The crossfit video of Leah was shocking to me. I kept waiting for her back to snap under the weight of that barbell. If crossfit trainers are recommending that kind of stuff then they are really headed in a bad direction. Richard, I think you’re fantastic and give the Paleo community a strong, intelligent voice for us lay people and a way to connect. You, DeVany, Sisson, Harris, Peter from Hyperlipid, Drs. Eades, Dr. Rosedale, Dr. T from Nephropal, Stephen Guyenet, Robb Wolf, Dr. Cordain and others in the Paleo world are bringing truth about nutrition to the masses and I am deeply grateful to you all.

  37. odd timing…. i was just writing about you in a blogost im composing as my ‘paleo pioneer’ lol

  38. “I think history shows that the one who comes out on top of the heap is often not one of the original pioneers.”

    One word: Zenith

  39. Bushrat says:

    Firstly, “Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master.” – Da Vinci

    Secondly, and now Art is here he can chime in, but I thought his comment about upstart bloggers was about Matt Stone. I can see that guy doing more damage (both to the paleo ‘movement’ and to people’s health) than good in the long run.

    Thirdly, Art I am interested the evolutionary background of man, and wouldn’t the Ice Ages have promoted a more meat based diet, given the absence of digestible plant matter for humans?

    Fourthly, Crossfit has become a fad and too many ‘upstarts’ have come in making up workouts than sound cool but have not been thought out and people are putting the ‘crossfit’ label on anything because they know it sells.

    Fifthly, Art, with regard to the paleo isn’t it better that the gist of the message gets out and starts to sink into the mainstream, however that happens.?

    Sixthly, with regard to the above, isn’t the most important aspects of the whole paleo movement to eschew grains and sugar? Obviosuly, there are other things that are important, but aren’t these two the biggest causes of diet related problems?

    • Grains, sugar and Frankenstein oils, and you’re well over 80% of the way, Id say.

    • I fully expect that Tara Parker-Pope (NY Times health writer, former WSJ health writer) to do an article on how incredibly dangerous CrossFit is. Any day now!

      I loathe that woman – she’s one of the worst purveyors of nonsensical conventional wisdom you’ll find in the media today.

  40. Jesus said “Do not change one dot on the i of the letter of the law” …meaning follow Jewish Law…uh…he was a Jew, and we see how that worked out. Paul changed it all. If he hadn’t, Chrisianity would have about as many converts as Jews today. A drop in the bucket.

    My favorite Buddist saying is… Buddha says “if you see Buddha by the side of the road , you must kill him.” The prophet must be willing to deliver the message, what happens next is beyond his/her control. We are all warriors in the struggle for our’s and the world’s health to improve. We are still a tribe of few comparatively. Although, we have reached the stage of Robin Hood and his Merry Men/Women. Much more fun and supportive. I wanna be Friar Tuck, getting all my “healthy whole grains” thru alcohol. Go Richard the Lion Hearted!

  41. I see Art is getting a little to and fro here and I must say that I love the way in which he reacts.

    However, his moving to subscription, I am sure, left a lot of people a little disappointed. I actually remember Patrik’s old advice to Art about monetizing on his name and knowledge elsewhere than on the blog. Robb Wolf’s path of Paleo Solution Seminars, owning a gym, building up a ‘fan’ base via both blog and (truly excellent) podcast and THEN putting out a book will turn out to be the more profitable as well as quite charitable, when you think about it.

    Newcomers to this movement–I myself started blogging about these matters in October 2007—would be fools not to check out all of Art De Vany’s earlier, free stuff. Here, you get to know the man for better AND for worse. I am currently reading through this immense back catalogue, and it is making me wiser everyday, not that I look upon his stuff as gospel by any means.

    Go check it out.

    And about the proliferation of Paleo… In Denmark, one of the large banks has doled out 20 million Dollars to a committee that is determined to formulate and promote a New Nordic Diet. Hired to do the job is guys like Dr. Arne Astrup who has had a hand in the (dreadful) Danish National Dietary Guidelines in the past many years, guidelines that in Denmark much resemble yours, i.e. emphasis on grains, defatted dairy, fruit and veg, little meat, even less fat especially sat fat.
    Well, the professor, who incidentally is the Chief Editor of the journal Obesity, is getting a little bit wiser these days, and is on record to have publicly denounced the new Danish fat tax as ludicrous and serving no health purpose. He is also very positive about the sat fats in dairy and chocolate, which is a beginning of sorts.

    I explain the new diet in detail on my newly launched blog about this very topic—fret not, it’s in English—but here’s the gist of the way they are intending to go:

    In the Nordic countries a small population shares a vast natural environment. Therefore, we have a natural access to large quantities of plants, funghi, meat, fish, berries, and fruit, which may be harvested from the wild.

    Now, food harvested from the wild. From where did they come up with this strange concept?

    • Matthew says:

      Could you link this back catalogue.

      I just hit up his site for 15 minutes and couldn’t find anything.

      This is the second or third time I’ve looked and the impression I get from the site itself is pretty amature. The writing itself is not as engaging as Free the Animal or any of the free paleo blogs, though I would like to read some of the “sciency” stuff.

      I also think it’s important to note that people shouldn’t put anymore faith in “scientists” than they do in any other discipline. I myself have a degree in chemistry, and have seen “science” in action, surely there are great scientists, but the field itself is as tainted as any other, and as biased…

      • Hi Matthew … hm, this is tricky. Art has put his whole blog under lock and key with the intention to sell access to the back catalogue as well as future posts. Therefore, I don’t think that I should be providing a direct link to his older stuff. I will however tell you about the obvious fact that the WWW is like an elephant: It never forgets a thing. I will give you two words and then be on my way:

        Internet Archive

        Okay, two more:

        Wayback Machine.

        There. Good luck with your post hunting ;-)

  42. In regards to Art’s site becoming a subscription blog, there was a good article on Tim Ferriss’ site about how giving away content *for free* is an incredibly potent marketing tool. The article itself was written by Tucker Max, and regardless what you think of the guy its a worthwhile point to consider for those interested in the “new” marketing age. I look forward both to reading Art’s book, and seeing how it does compared to Mark Sisson & Robb Wolf’s books as a case study in how two different approaches work. Shit, I’d love to see Art’s book rocket to the top of the NY Times list, but I’m not making any bets.

    In reference to Art’s comment above, a lot of people would agree that some Crossfit-promoted workouts can be dangerous, but that’s more of a minor quibble with Crossfit than any sort of damning of paleo. I know there’s an association, but if people hurt themselves doing 60 reps of snatches they’re gonna say, “That was a stupid exercise choice,” more so than “Paleo is dumb, time to eat sugar again!”

  43. Dave from Hawaii says:

    One question to consider…who do you think has monetized more profitably from this growing paleo genre – Art with his paywall, or Mark with his Primal Blueprint book?

    I’m pretty sure I could accurately guess the answer…

  44. freeagent says:

    OMG Art and Richard arguing! It’s like I’m eight and watching my parents divorcing again. Please stay together for the kid’s sake.

    However, sooner or later we all must stop suckling the great knowledgeable breasts of Richard and Art and learn to hunt and forage on our own.

    (This comment is provided without serious intent intended)

  45. I got jerked around as a paid subscriber when I was not able to access the site for lengthy periods due to malfunctions on their end and then got treated in high-handed fashion when I asked to be properly credited. The basic message is not complicated, Art’s postings were erratic and often of only tangential interest and they screwed me around as a paid subscriber. So I dropped the subscrition, haven’t missed anything important, I suspect, and I’ll pick his book up in due course. Of course, I paid $10 for a first chapter years ago that promptly got pirated. Art promised some sort of compensation for that, but I don’t recall any form of solid followup. The site had good information, he’s an interesting and genetically gifted guy but, once again, there were others around with similar information in the same rough time frame, and I haven’t been ripped off by any of them.