Saving Private Paleo

What began as my Declaration of Independence from the Paleo Movement last week and culminated in yesterday’s rant shall now continue onward, towards the positive and constructive. Some people mistook my declaration as an abandonment of Paleo. No, in fact, it’s too many others who have abandoned Paleo as I see it, I was being dragged along, and now I’m getting back to fundamentals and basics.

The essential problem as I see it, is the continual effort to brand and trademark Paleo into some prescription or rigid set of proscriptions; i.e., a diet plan. Or, to precisely make it into the “fad” it’s criticized for being. What do I mean by that? Well, lots of things but it really comes down to endless marketing of stuff, and new stuff, and stuff on stuff; and books, and books on books. Hell, I seriously have to take a trip to the used bookstore to drop off about 2 dozen books filling my office by this point, that have been sent to me and that I have no time or desire to read.

I’m not saying these are bad books, or that many of the products out there are not decent, reasonable choices or indulgences. It’s just got that…that je ne sais quoi feel to it that soundly rubs me the wrong way. When I put my own cheap little book out there, I emailed it to the small group of folks most influential to my own learning (as a thank you) and who are listed in the book. I didn’t ask for a review. I didn’t even send out an email to my own email list. I just want there to be something simple for people to give those they love. That’s all.

At the same time, not a day goes by—literally—that I’m not hit up for something or the other. Either it’s a book to mail to me (where I’m not already on the mailing list anyway), free samples of product—whatever—and of course, the implication is that I need to try it, read it, write about it etc.; and I don’t know about you, but I’d just rather not say anything than to give a bad or marginal review. …But then there’s that tinge of guilt because they went to the trouble and all. I guess it’s how my parents raised me.

But here’s the real deal, touched on actually by the very first guy to influence me, Art De Vany, on the new public site he’s developing.

As a pioneer of the evolutionary approach to health, fitness, and diet, I am moving beyond that to bring a fully modern perspective to these subjects. Paleo has finally caught on, after years of work by a few pioneers, but it has become fractionated and splintered and a bit lost. It needs more fundamental principles and a more precise application of those principles to a host of modern diseases. A more basic model of the human physiology is required in my mind, with more emphasis on the chronic nature of modern life, which is inflammatory. And far more needs to be understood about the fractal nature of the dynamics that produce the feeback loops and variations that maintain life within a stochasitc attractor.

While it’s not precisely what I have in mind, it does, I think, emphasize my key point and the reason behind my recent changes in attitude and approach.

There is no such thing as “being” Paleo

There’s no “doing” Paleo, either. In fact, nothing “is” Paleo. There are no Paleo foods, no Paleo diets, no Paleo bbq sauces, no Paleo cupcakes, no Paleo snack packs. Grassfed beef and pastured eggs are not Paleo.

You can’t go to a restaurant and find anything Paleo on the menu. There’s no mail order that delivers Paleo. You are not Paleo, you can’t be Paleo, and you never will be Paleo. There’s no magic formula. There’s no such thing as “I’m Paleo,” and there never was.

What there is, however, is THINKING Paleo. Get it? Or, in professor De Vany’s original parlance, Evolutionary Fitness. It’s a state of mind, a way of thinking about all the choices you have to act upon. There are no absolutes, there’s only for better or worse. That’s it. That’s really the whole basic formula.

Over time, knowledge of what’s better vs. what’s worse improves. That’s why we ought to do science—to make better and better choices in our lives…and not so we can beat someone over the head with a study that “confirms” what we’ve been saying.

I’ll keep with Art for a while here because once I began thinking of this recently, I recall how simple and elegant he made it all. And, I was one of the attendees at his Vegas seminar in 2008, along with John Durant—whom I still don’t remember meeting :) . I recall one time on his blog where he posted a picture of some menu somewhere he’d been. Basically, he went down the list and it was not anything like “this is Paleo, this isn’t Paleo, etc.” Nope. Rather, it was “this is better than this is better than this, etc.” He ended by saying “ah, maybe the wrap.”

There are no forbidden foods.Art De Vany

Here’s Art’s new public blog.

Well, what more is there to say? For me, I’m just going to do my own thing, not asking to be promoted by others and promoting almost nobody or anything, except those I did way back in the beginning: Art De Vany, Peter Dobromylskyj, Stephan Guyenet, Chris Masterjohn, Mark Sisson (who elegantly always steers clear of all this stuff while helping out others here and there), Keith Norris, Doug McGuff, and perhaps a small handful of others from time to time.

So if you’re looking to promote your next book, product or “This is Paleo” doohickey, please look elsewhere because I’ll be busy trying to get people to think about the whole context of their lives better, so that they can make better and better choices about what’s available—always from a human evolutionary perspective.

As a final note, this is what finally did it for me with the whole LC-Paleo antagonism that Jimmy Moore has promoted over these last months. OK, I was wrong. It does really matter ultimately that someone doesn’t believe in evolution on religious grounds. As I said, I wish him well with that, but inasmuch as he seeks to be a voice in the Paleo community at large, this just really has to be accounted for, and so we really have too little in common to reach common ground in this context.

Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution. – Theodosius Dobzhansky

Now, go out there and don’t “do” Paleo or try to “be” Paleo. Simply think Paleo. Use the principles, science and knowledge of human evolution to inform your decisions over the many choices you have in life, not really obsessing over the elusive “optimal,” but just better and better, over time.

Accept the bumps.

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  1. I’m going to wait and see what the general consensus about this is at PaleoHacks before I decide what I think about all of this. They’ll dictate how I feel about this topic.

  2. Why should thinking about human evolution be about what mankind did 10,000 years ago? Who knows and why care so much? Why not think forward? Is a meat based diet sustainable for future populations? Do we want to live with the consequences of mass production of beef, chicken and pork? I don’t.

    • Who’s “we?”

      Speaking for me, I want to live in a world that gets incrementally better and better, informed by knowledge of human evolution. Seems pretty simple.

    • I’d rather kill of billions of people so we can live in balance with naturally rasied beef, chicken, and pork.

    • Let me get this straight, I’m supposed to forsake meat today because otherwise people who aren’t even born yet will, possibly, suffer some form of detriment long after I am dead?

      • Rob, it’s the same scam everywhere you look: guilt for living.

        How fucking dare you!

      • guilt is your perspective

      • Ok, Kelly, you tell me.

        Why are you so concerned about future populations and why so willing to sacrifice yourself and pile guilt on others (that’s how it comes off to them)? If its not guilt for you, ok. Then what? Is it that you want to feel superior to those you make feel guilty about living a full life?

        You know, if you loath yourself, there are options.

      • Let’s imagine our future where there is a Joel Salatin farm around every corner. No worries about sustainability. No guilt. The future part of my first comment is mute. The first part of my comment -why assimilate certain aspects of paleolithic ancestors into our modern lives? And how much meat did they eat? They didn’t leave their comfortable climate controlled homes to drive to their local supermarket to purchase all the refrigerated meat they cared for, and then store it at home in refrigerators so they could eat meat three times per day without having to leave their home.

        I’m just guessing, but I think paleolithic ancestor’s probably ate closer to a vegetarian diet out of necessity. I choose to avoid eating meat as a self experiment, just like I chose to eat more carbs as a self experiment. If eating meat makes your life full, good for you. My comment was driven by your continual slams on the paleo movement, and again, your comments about superiority and loathing are your perspective, not mine.

      • “I’m just guessing, but I think paleolithic ancestor’s probably ate closer to a vegetarian diet out of necessity.”

        Where? Would that have been at the equator with plentiful fish and fowl? How about the arctic with very litte vegetation and certainly not year round? Sea level, where the art of fishing was developed? How about 16,000 feet? Vegetarian?

        There’s a lot in between, but if you think that humans, apart from all other animals were able to literally populate the entire globe on vegetables then you are a dismissible moron and I have wasted a good 5-10 minutes.

      • I always think about the whole vegetarian myth….

        I live in toronto – about the same latitude as Detroit. It’s the year 20000 bc, I’m in the middle of our mixed coniferous/deciduous forrest and just woke up to the sound of birds. I step out of my stone hut and I’m hungry… Do I try eating the bark of that fine maple tree? Look for an edible bush, twig, or flower? How about all that lovely fruit from the lack of fruit trees that grow naturally? Maybe I’ll go harvest that field of scrumptous wheat that I need to process and beat to death, grind, mix, and bake then force down my throat?

        Fuck that, I grab my spear /bow and go check all my animal traps then do a little fishing.

        Try that for a second – look at that forrest near you – now blunk your ass in the middle of it with no food – your lost. I bet within 3 hrs you’re running after squirrels with a big stick, eating bugs, or trying to make a trap because there really ain’t much veges around.

      • Kelly wtf do you mean when you talk about “our future”?

        There is no “our future.”

        My future ends, hopefully, in about 30 years, and I doubt the planet will have collapsed by then.

        What happens in the year 2093 is none of my concern.

      • “What happens in the year 2093 is none of my concern.”

        And if history is any indication, they will be one holly hell fuck better off than any of us, just as you are better off than King Louis the XIV in almost every conceivable way.

      • I didn’t say humans populated the entire globe on vegetables. I said paleo ancestors were probably closer to vegetarian, closer than the modern paleo dieter eating 3 meals per day of meat from their refrigerator. But you can choose your diet in California where vegetation is plentiful based on the Inuit.

        I can see that you are more interested in personal attacks in every comment that you make to me, so we are both wasting our time.

      • I wish it was otherwise, Kelly.

        Do you know what happens when it’s vegetables and fruits? You stay as primates in a niche environment. We have all the genetic and anthropological evidence we need, to know that whatever upheaval happened, some primates cam out of the trees and over 4 million years, became generalists.

        How far do you want to go back in ancestry? Plankton as dietary staple? Hey, it works for some of the largest creatures on earth.

      • Ladysadie1 says:

        Wait, Kelly

        Do you really think that the only way to have meat on a regular basis is if you have a refrigerator?

      • Um. And I’m wondering how our ancestors could find nicely cleaned and picked and bug-free, thorn-free, lush and sweet fruits wrapped in cello and ready for the taking? The same ‘drive down to the local farmer market’ story.

        Or, consider how many bushels of stems and leaves it would take to supply a small band of say 20 adults in wild-foraged plants. About 10 pounds PER PERSON, PER DAY. Bushels and bushels and bushels. A few TONS per year. All year long. Every day. Piles and piles.

        Consider living on, say, broccoli, green peppers and spinach. Get 2000 calories a day for everyone in your family group. That is a huge pile.

        Without meat, or without a hugely dense underground root packed with sugar and starch, you AIN’T feeding a clan on vegetables. Unless you pick your nearby bushes clean, down to the nubs. Year round. Day after day.

      • ….Oh, and if life is begrudging allowed, then by damn, you are going to sacrifice, good and hard, and Vaseline isn’t Paleo either….

      • Oh my god. QOTFD here.

      • Tyler

        Embarrassingly, I had to look it up, thanks Godgle. Just can’t keep up with you young whippersnappers (thanking my lucky stars, actually, because I want to die trying).

        Thanks, man.

      • QOTFD? I guess I need one of those handy dandy guides to understanding internet language, complete with a glossary of acronyms. If Richard, who lives in the heart of internet technology didn’t get it, I damn sure won’t.

      • QOTD with a naughty bit in the middle.

    • ladysadie1 says:

      @ Kelly

      Meat is sustainable. Proper farming and animal husbandry practices prove it. Only corporate “farms” utilize pharmacological methods of raising animals. Small and medium sized producers rarely, if ever send their stock to CAFOs. The best course of action is to be educated about the difference between the farmer down the road and the hormone and antibiotic filled “meat” being pushed on the public by Monsanto and ADM, etc.

      • THANK YOU! I’m living in NYC, and food here is expensive enough–one day I will be able to easily afford grass-fed, organic food; for now I make do. I’m sick of the classism that pervades food movements: “if you were REALLY paleo, you’d do this…”

        Tom Naughton has just posted an interview where he makes it very clear that some people can tolerate starch, others can’t. In his words, a 25-year cross-fitter might be able to eat rice and yams without weight gain, but not most of us! It seems the individuality has been shed for doctrine (which ironically represents very few). Just my two cents.

      • ladysadie1 says:

        Liz, hopefully, as farmers are starting to revolt against the death grip imposed on them by the big three corporations that peddle their poisonous seeds, we will see a shift in the way our foods are produced. If it comforts you at all, please realize that most of the meat that is on the shelves now is mostly grass fed. The beef are only ‘finished out’ on grains (which is about 20% of their lifespan at most).

        Yep, the finishing yards are pretty yucky, but again, only big commercial (corporate) farms to this. There is plenty of beef that has been entirely grass fed and just isn’t labeled as such. You may be eating better quality than you think, I just had the dubious distinction of watching cattle being rounded up and hauled off to ‘terminal market’ last week. They never spent a minute on the feedyard – but they will be processed just the same.

      • LadyS

        There really is nothing like getting a good spanking from someone on the scene with firsthand knowledge.

        And a second spanking.

      • ladysadie1 says:

        Spanking? Wait, now my whole train of thought is derailed.

      • Alright, LadieS, here you go, the most referenced YouTube clip in all of FTA comments by far. Castle Anthrax.

      • ladysadie1 says:

        Bless you Kind Sir.

    • mass production . . .of everything is the reality . . .everything you buy including fruit, vegetables, grains , iphones . . .etc
      not sure of your motive for your comment . . .but, the destruction of animal habitat is the main reason for the paltry chances for large animals in general and carnivores in particular . . .

      not sure how paving the world with wheat and corn acreage is the answer . . .unless you just want a world of people w/ the occasional trip to the zoo to see the animals that used to be in charge of their own destinies . . .

      • RG, can you and others PLEASE quote, or give some idea of who you’re replying too, before I’m forced to take back everythng I said.

        The threading is actually very logical, it goes 5 levels and then stacks like any comment thread. In between, you need to see if there are other comments at that same level before you. If not, you’ll be top below the reply and will stay there and can be lazy. If not, then you need to reference what you’re talking about for fear of looking stupid.

        It’s not hard at all, people,

      • I was responding to Kelly Mahoney –

        and to be clear- I was responding to the notion of a future where the only consideration is feeding billions and billions more people . . .

        as if a world of vegans is a more sustainable realization of such a future- which is a bogus argument

      • ladysadie1 says:

        “not sure how paving the world with wheat and corn acreage is the answer . .”

        The producers of GMO crops are the only advocates of that type of mass food production. If mass production is your beef – pun intended – then your adversary is corporations, not individual cattle producers, which was the point that I tried to make.

        Responsible growers utilize rotation of crops (open pollinated non-hybrid) and also rotate the crops and animals on the land in cycles. Bio-diversity is increased, not decreased with this method. In turn, much fewer chemicals are used and the food grown is more nutrient dense (including the grass that is eaten by whatever grazes there.

        I realize that many of you think that all (non-grassfed) animals are raised in big CAFOs, but that is simply not the case. Big factory farms are a problem, and as far as crops go – yields began to decrease and prices skyrocketed with the introduction of genetically engineered seeds.

        The wheat that we eat today is not the same stuff that was being grown 50 years ago, same with corn, and soy really wasn’t part of our diets.

        As far as the destruction of animal habitats – if you are referring to domestic animals, the trend is towards the sustainability that I already mentioned. Only total mass media brainwashed nitwits think that farmers and ranchers allow their animals to overgraze and damage their pastures. Pasture land that is not arable is frequently rotated and very specific steps are taken to ensure a healthy mix of vegetation is available, plus that adequate cover is maintained to encourage populations of wildlife on the same land. (Much of our pastureland and cropland is also hunting ground.) As far as game animals – wildlife range management is generally aimed a controlling animal populations to mitigate the damages to habitats that are the direct result of overpopulation of those animals.

        My motive was to point out that GMO food and factory farming is harmful; grassfed meat is sustainable and benefits the environment. Remove the designer seeds (and the evil corporations that designed them) and we can return to plentiful, more nutrient-dense and more variety in our diets. I also explained it without littering my comment with a hundred links, which I easily could have…

        What was your point?

      • I never engage in the debate myself, for a simple reason. I see not a huge difference between selective breeding of animals or crops and genetic manipulation/engineering and I am open to the possibility that the latter is not all wild ass stupid more than the former, and its always gonna be one or the other.

        I prefer to figure how I’m gonna deal with whatever comes.

      • ladysadie1 says:

        Selective breeding does not and cannot cause genes from different species to intermingle. No seed saved from the best of the crop will ever cause a corn plant to grown a pesticide in the plant or the food that it produces. Only scientific intervention makes a seed that grows its own pesticide (which I choose not to eat) and a seed that will not produce a viable crop in a subsequent growing season.

        Abstinence from eating crops that self-produce deadly chemicals is the reason that I discovered ‘paleo” in the first place.

        Whether you wish to enter the debate is your business, not mine – I just wanted to defend my brethren in flyover country. I think the ag industry is misunderstood by those who have never seen it firsthand. Glad to be able to comment on it.

      • “Selective breeding does not and cannot cause genes from different species to intermingle. No seed saved from the best of the crop will ever cause a corn plant to grown a pesticide in the plant or the food that it produces. Only scientific intervention makes a seed that grows its own pesticide (which I choose not to eat) and a seed that will not produce a viable crop in a subsequent growing season.”

        Sorry, simply not true. Plants have been evolving pesticides, even human and other animal poisons for millions of years. Some we call anti nutrients and some we call poison. Plants are arguably more dangerous than animals with tooth & claw on large (except fruit which evolved to attract, be eaten, to spread seed).

        The idea of specie is an arbritrary human organizational construct to help us organize things n categories we defined in the first place. Google the problem of species, or something like that.

        I for one simply see the AG industry as another part of evolution, they just are figuring out how to get a plant to produce pesticides far sooner. The evolutionary consequences of pushing like that are unknown, potentially problematic, potentially amazing.

        But I’m always up for a risk and taking my chances and I loath Luddites–especially the young, dumb, fucking stupidly idealistic–more than about anything.

        I hate hand wringers, too.

      • After reading what I quoted again, not sure we’re not tailking past one another.

      • ladysadie1 says:

        I get your point, and I understand. I just think that there is a vast difference between a plant that naturally produces defenses and one that has a chemical directly injected into it’s DNA. It would have taken a very long time for a corn plant to start making the poison as a bacteria that is deadly to humans so I just think that there is a difference that maybe I can’t articulate properly

      • I listened to part of an interview on NPR today by a genetic lab scientist and your typical leftie commie moron. It was laughable. He shot her down very badly and so obviously on every ameghedon pronouncement. It was like listening to Gelilleo debate to Pope over the danger of peole thinking the world is not the center of the universe,

        He was ver careful, exact, and was quite impressive, and was very adamant that at this pont for food engineering in seed genetics, there is very, very little they don’t understand.

        He was pretty damn convincing. Pretty impressive.

      • ladysadie1 says:

        I listen to both sides as well. Jeffrey Smith (Genetic Roulette) is on the other side of the fence from the proponents of purposely screwing with the genetic codes. Please listen to both sides. Many, many countries ban GMO’s and have done their own studies that led them to make that decision.

        It’s bigger than whatever crap is in my corn tortillas, there is lots of money involved and on a personal level, I know the havoc that the seed pimps have wreaked on family farms. Also, please note that the genetically modified corn is steadily dropping in yield because nature can outpace the smartest man in the lab. The root borers have overcome the toxicity engineered into the corn plants and they now find it irresistable, so the drought is the least of our worries. Much of the crop here on irrigated land was destroyed because of it, but I bet the genetic engineer didn’t mention that… Maybe the farmers at the coffee shop are full of shit, but they don’t lie about stuff like that.

      • Well, see, I’m the kinda guy who finds that sort of thing cool and any scientist would too.

        Kinda like designing a car for market and all of a sidden a big prob nobody anticipated and I just love that kinda shit to death.

        Europe? Fuck, America. They will always be second best because we have their best. Fact. Europe is dismissed on principle. That is, until the day comes when they can defend their sorry, pathetic asses without hundreds of thousands of American lives to defend them (while they wax on about their “social system” we paid for because they didn’t have to defend themselves–we did)

        But I digress.

      • ladysadie1 says:

        No worries, it’s not scientific, just overheard at the coffee shop. This has been a problem for a few years and it is getting increasingly worse. There is always some natural disaster or other to blame it on, so the stats are hidden. I would have more to say about it, but it’s late and I don’t want to put my tinfoil hat on now and dance around in the moonlight screaming cover-up.

      • Here in the UK I am continunaly suprised at the people who are pitted against proponents of GMO crops to “ensure a balanced argument”. There are many rational scientific and intelligent arguments againstt GMOs but they rarely get heard.
        How can we expect a decent debate in a country where t doctors push unneeded and unsafe drugs and where allow junk food companies to fund nutritional advisory panels?

      • I’d just like to chime in on the GMO thing.

        DNA is just a string of digital information (base 4 for DNA, base 2 for computers). Digital info can be replicated exactly with an amazingly low amount of error when combined with error checking (see Hamming code, a very elegant binary error checking algorithm that only adds a small proportion of extra information to the string–sorry, but I learned all this shit in college and I have to dust it off once in a while)

        In my opinion, there’s no essential difference between manipulating the information in DNA when doing it by husbandry than by genetic manipulation. People who feel that Mankind should only manipulate DNA through the tried-and-true method of selective breeding are just fetishizing this huge bundle of information we’ve collected through millions of years of evolution.

        Horizontal gene transfer happens all the time, mostly between simple organisms like bacteria and eukaryotes. However, 8 to 10% of human DNA is horizontally derived in the form of endogenous retroviruses, see also

        Currently, genetic engineering is simply harnessing this mechanism of horizontal gene transfer that bacteria use all the time to do things like quickly develop a resistance to antibiotics. While transferring genes between species may have some unforeseen consequences (what doesn’t), I don’t think there’s anything inherently sacred about the string of information contained in our genes, or in a corn plant’s genes.

      • Ladysadie1 says:

        Sean, the science itself isn’t inherently evil. Nor is the string of information contained in the genes. Using the population at large like a bunch of lab-rats then altering the results of the grand-scale experiment to make it appear as though something dangerous is perfectly safe? That is evil.

        On this subject, I will have to call it quits, and go to the default paleo position of individuality. I simply choose no to subject myself and my daughters to food that I find to be questionable in nature, and that is not because I am “fetishizing” anything. My fetish card is full, and I don’t want to get into a pissing match over it.
        You are obviously smart enough to do your own research into both sides of this issue and also take into account who funded the studies and who profits from the results.

      • Well in terms of Thinking Paleo for better choices, you’re better off getting your starch and fiber if you like from potatoes anyway and I don’t know for sure, but I doubt there’s a rush to modify them in the lab such as they do with soy and corn, which are poor choices anyway.

        What’s going on with broccoli?

      • Oh another note, I just have this sort of weirdness about me that I tend to look around, see how science has improved life so much, and they generally get it right. It’s the state that fucks everything up by being for sale such that false incentives get introduced. So for example, why is there such a rush to GMO corn? Because they want to grow more per acre? Why? Because its subsidized, meaning that a big part of their cost of production is paid by taxes.

        So I hate all of that but I I also don’t like the ludditism I see in so many (not you, Saddie)

      • Ladysadie1 says:

        No worries, Richard. You are absolutely right, as I mentioned in the comment to Sean, “…take into account who funded the studies and who profits from the results”

        The science and the politics are too big to tackle in a comment. The science is interesting, but the statistics from a research project are no match for reality.*

        *Before anyone calls into question the validity of what I just referred to as ‘reality’, I know you will poo-poo “stories” from farmers and producers as ‘anecdotal’ and therefore irrelevant. Just realize that what you consider scientifically relevant isn’t of much use to anyone driving a tractor or getting crap on their shoes for a living.

      • dr. gabriella kadar says:

        Western Europe, Richard.

      • Yes ma’am, Gabriella. I get your point very clearly.

      • Fish genes being added to tomatoes?!?! Yeah, like THAT will happen in the wild?!? (That’s not horizontal transfer, it’s magical!)

      • Blitzkrieg says:

        “Europe? Fuck, America. They will always be second best because we have their best. Fact. Europe is dismissed on principle. That is, until the day comes when they can defend their sorry, pathetic asses without hundreds of thousands of American lives to defend them (while they wax on about their “social system” we paid for because they didn’t have to defend themselves–we did)”


        is this some kind of sarcasm? Because only an uneducated moron would “think” (if you even could call it that) this way. Perhaps you were already quite a bit drunk. I would hope so for you.

        The US is already known for having the fattest and most uneducated citizens (in the western world, not quite bangladeshi standards yet). You already managed to lose some weight. Perhaps you can catch up in the education department too.

      • Nope, not sarcasm at all

        The fact that America has some of the fattest and dumbest people on Earth in no way diminishes the fact that it has the most talented on Earth as well. It’s been gathering the best and brightest from the rest of the world since 1492.

      • And that America spent the Cold War footing most of the bill for the defense of Western Europe so they could be free from the expense it takes to not get rolled over for a third time (instead building infrastructure and cradle to grave social systems), is simply a matter of fact.

      • The problem that I have with the AG industry, Richard, is that they are jacking with an antifragile system (natural plants) in ways that may make the system fragile (e.g. when Monsanto’s newest crop of whatever forces the extinction of all competitors in every or most environments, and then falls prey to some unforeseen weakness that its brilliant engineers failed to notice, as they always have and always will). I think people are not smart enough to hack nature for the world. We can hack it for ourselves, but I don’t want you hacking for me. No solution to any problem is worth destroying (or what is more likely, seriously defacing) the system nature has built, in my view.

      • Maybe you just answered my objections to GMOs, Sean. But I don’t know. For me it isn’t that nature is sacred or that we shouldn’t be open to adapting, but I don’t like putting my hand out farther than I can draw it back. I don’t trust companies that strive to monopolize food sources (e.g. Monsanto).

        I trust science. I don’t trust scientists. I trust the market. I don’t trust businesses. I trust humanity. I don’t trust humans.

        Maybe I am just an evil Luddite. (Feel free to beat me down. It’s all online, anyway, so it’s not like it will really hurt. If some future employer sees this conversation and refuses to hire me because I am obviously a moron, then I was never going to do good work for that company anyway!)

      • Blitzkrieg says:

        Your first mistake was that you wrote “Europe”. This is somewhat illogical as Russia and the whole Eastern Block were and still are European Countries.

        You wrote: “That is, until the day comes when they can defend their sorry, pathetic asses without hundreds of thousands of American lives to defend them[…]”

        This sentence implies that Europeans needed defending from themselves and hundreds of thousands Americans were killed in the attempt of doing so. Again, this is not how I remember it.

        Now the US fought some proxy wars were some US Citizens were killed but of course Europe was not defended neither in Korea nor Vietnam to name just the two biggest US military operations in the post WWII era.

        Take a look here and realize, that the US is globally the biggest war monger since its inception.

        If you want to know who benefited from the war mongering just look at your military-industrial complex, who btw even financed hitler. Google “hitler financing bush ford” if you want to take a deeper look.

        You wrote: “while they wax on about their “social system” we paid for”

        Now this is straight moronic because a lot of European countries even western ones don’t have a very distinct social system. Look at Greece, Italy, Spain eg. The exception being Germany which has maybe the most pronounced one in the world.
        Of course Germany was demilitarized after the WWII and is still to this day occupied by American and British troops which btw the German taxpayer is paying for. (Yes, they get officially paid hundreds of millions for their “protection” and continued stay.)

        After the war the Allies stole a huge amount of patents, knowledge and scientific research from Germany and relocated all of the German scientists they could get their hands on to the US.

        Look up the names of the top scientists of that time and you will realize that a great bunch of them were Germans who somehow landed in the US. Of course you already know this as you said you have our best.
        I would argue that Germany paid enough for the unwanted US “protection”.

        Now all of this scratches just the surface of it of course. In summary I don’t truly believe that there is a big difference between the average citizen in any country because everybody thinks he is better than the other one and the other one is profiting on account of him.

        You just proofed this to be true. Its the same in Europe now, were some Germans think the other countries are sucking Germany dry by proxy of the Euro and some citizens of other European countries think Germany (and Germans) are strangling their economy by proxy of the Euro.

        I am under the slight impression that maybe there is a third party who is quite happy about the constant bickering of the Joe Sixpacks of all the different countries who then cannot see who is behind the curtains and whats really about to happen very soon.

      • Blietzkrieg, I can’t believe I’m saying this but…I agree with you overall. Not on every point (eg. the first couple) but on most and especially on the general conclusion.
        It’s especially bizarre that Americans have often been encouraged to think that European social systems are unsustainable if the Europeans had to pay their own military expenditures (during the cold war is the implication, btw).
        It’s bizarre because Americans spend the most on the components of those systems than anyone in the world and still pay for their enormous military.
        The only difference is what path the money is taking, through government or private hands, and in fact the private chaos of the American system is costing the most.
        Now, to be clear, I do not think that a government-run benefits system here in the States is a great idea – I think it’s too large a country for that to work efficiently, the structure of the political system Favors corruption and, not to ignore the elephant, the culture here descends from rugged individualism that “won the west” as opposed to social cooperation in the more successful European countries and Canada. Actually, I don’t even think Government itself is a good idea, on any scale.
        However…if we are comparing Existing systems, the Western Europeans have done a better job of nation-running Because – don’t howl yet anarchists! -Because the Ostensible purpose of building a nation is to protect the welfare of its citizens, by which criterion the Western Europeans have been doing a much better job for More of their citizens and by spending Less on exactly those services that supposedly American military support enabled (whether or not having Nations at all is the best way to protect the welfare of anyone is a separate argument).
        Meanwhile, since we all do have (better or worse) governments and those governments are increasingly beholden to international financial networks, it’s one (western) world where each country is pitted against each other while a lot of money is being made. We are not that different from each other, but we are encouraged to think so, thank you Blitzkrieg.

      • “Your first mistake was that you wrote “Europe”.”

        No, it wasn’t. You’re just willing to be seen as a moron to make a point. IOW, you have little shame.

        See this comment, posted even before your first by someone who doesn’t want people to think them stupid.

        Otherwise, the rest of your moronic stupidity is mostly based on your own purposeful desire to make yourself look like an idiot who can’t discern context.

        Here, let me help your sorry little ass, make it explicit because you’re too dumb, or are fine as being seen as dumb.

        1. I’m talking about America coming to the rescue of Western Europe WWI, WWII.

        2. Talking about all those lives money, equipment, production brought to bear to save pathetic peoples who would never bear the cost of their own defense, even to get overrun twice, when it’s right next door.

        3. Talking about the Marshall Plan, NATO, dozens of US military bases on W Europe soil. Then, the audacity to just shrink back and spend their taxes on every form of welfare imaginable. Pathetic. No shame.

        4. Talking about the tens of thousands of American soldiers in WWs I & II buried on W Europe soil.

        5. Talking about the fact that worldwide, for a few hundred years, America attracts most of the best and brightest minds.

        …I could go on, but I’ve reached my pearls before swine threshold.

      • dr. gabriella kadar says:

        Two big problems: Eisenhower wanted to finish off the Soviets at the end of WWII. He was not permitted to do so.

        The USSR were the beneficiaries of USA provided equipment because they didn’t have enough munitions to help defeat Germany.

        If Eisenhower would have been given the go-ahead and succeeded, there would not have been a cold war.

        He was a very smart guy but he wasn’t permitted to make the final logical decision. More American lives would have been lost. Besides which, the Russians were allied with the Americans to defeat the Germans. Deal with the devil.

        Your relatives and mine would not have had to stand in breadlines. (All that reliance on bread and no obesity….had to put that in.)

        Well, whatever. It was done. You are in the USA. I am in Canada.

        Britain lost her empire because the Marshall plan only applied to defeated enemies. Britain is the most egregrious example of ‘if you win, you lose’.

        The EU appears to be dyfunctional. Our prime minister has changed the air force to the Royal Canadian Air Force. Now our ambassadors and high commisioners will be sharing office space with the Brits. The Queen’s portrait is once again hanging on the walls of diplomatic missions around the world.

        The EU is not turning out to be a major economic trading bloc it was meant to be. Britain is reaching out to its commonwealth members. The infrastructure has never been entirely deleted. I wonder if the Aussies who have republican leanings will strengthen their ties to the commonwealth at this time. It’s about money, dude. China wants to buy the world and sell us cheap crap at Walmart. Stuff is going on.

        WW1 didn’t end with the treaty of Versailles. It continued in Eastern Europe but that doesn’t make good movies.

        You know all of this and more. Sometimes you’ll need to give some kickass perspective here for the dummkopfs.

        The USA has it’s own issues in the China sea. Japanese are not permitted to have a military. The USA is tasked with defending Japan. The Chinese are claiming territories that they are not entitled to. Japan, Philipines etc. are involved in this piracy. If the rhetoric and cheap bullshit fishing and naval vessels don’t get the hell out of these areas, the Americans will have no option but to push their weight around. It’s a no-win due to post WW2 established obligations.

        It’s all a bloody mess.

        Ah shit, this is semi make no sense, maybe. I could write an essay but comments don’t allow. Besides, there are historians out there. And really Richard, you could write the essay too.

        All this from your comments about the American military bases in Western (thanks) Europe preventing the encroachment of further Soviet expansion.


      • Yea, Gabriella, I sense we’re largely on the same page.

        I don’t really engage in second guessing geopolitics because that whole stretch of time from early 1900s to mid-40s in Western Europe is such a fucking disaster it’s amazing to me that it worked out.

        My point is very simple:

        1 it would not have without hundreds of thousands of American young boy lives.

        2 without billions, perhaps ever over a trillion of US taxpayer money.

        So I get a bit perturbed when Euros get on their high horses.

        Simple question: how many Euro war dead to defend America are hurried here? How much money have Euro taxpayers spent in defense of Amaerica or its interests? Note that Im not making judgments about propriety, though I think that in the case of WWII, it would be a far, far different world had not the US brought it all to bear when needed.

      • dr. gabriella kadar says:

        Yes, however, the USA is ‘here’. No one until those goons in 2001 threatened the USA. And really, compared to true warfare, they were a blip on the screen. Personal tragedy notwithstanding.

        Plus the Germans, like the Japanese, were not allowed to have a military complex after WW2. The USA has had no other option but to keep bases in those countries. That was part of the deal with the Marshal Plan.

        There were plenty enough of ‘Euro dead’ as a result of WW1 and WW2. The lands were damaged from all the warfare so agricultural production took a while to get up to speed. Industrial complexes were either bombed to shit or taken lock stock and barrel to the USSR.

        Eastern European countries after WW2, including parts of Austria, were raped by the Soviets.

        I think the ultimate compliment is the fact, which you stated somewhere here, that the best and brightest of Europe came to the USA and brought their creativity and genius to augment America. They voted with their feet.

        Despite the harshness of the German army (not the SS), at least they didn’t rape women like the Soviet brutes. The Germans had a professional army. The Soviets…. not.

        Don’t forget, Canada lost plenty enough young boys in both conflicts as well.

        Out of all the European countries, Poland got it worst. Both the Nazis and the Soviets wanted to destroy the Polish people. The Jews were just part one.

        The really positive consequence of WW2 for the American economy was it solved the great depression.

        I’m not too optimistic about economic recovery today.

      • “The really positive consequence of WW2 for the American economy was it solved the great depression.”

        You should dig more deeply into that “just so” assertion. It’s just another version of the Broken Window Fallacy and there are a lot of valid critiques to be found on the Internets. Best to check out a few.

      • Here. There’s tons of stuff out there but here’s a mainstream one.

        Essentially, the “New Deal” started the depression. No, not the one named the ND by Roos, the one started by Hoover and expanded upon by Roos.

        WWII ended all the New Deal policies, the root cause of the depression before it was called the New Deal. Building “stones” (bombs, tanks, airplanes, ships, bullets) to break “windows” (whole civil societies, infrastructure and producers) and then putting everyone to work to fix all of the breakage is only financed by debt. So debt is the “cause” of the economic “recovery” and when everything is fixed, you’re back to where you were, but with lots of debt.

        This all _ought_ to be economics 101. But even Paul Krugman doesn’t get it, or won’t.

  3. Again, well said. Well spoken. I got out of this>follow your own instinctive behavior. What paleo thinking and being is all about.

    It is not a silly cookbook. Or take this vitamin. Or here, please shill this or that. It is about knowing your body. About knowing what is right and when for ones SELF. Not some money making scheme (and I am huge free market capitalist believer).

    Ancestral life was about growing wisdom. And not about growing a pocket book. It is about sharing. It is looking at any situation and making it better. ETC…

    I am glad to have Richard back. Talking about his foods. His self experimentation. His ideas. All because he wants to. Not attached to an agenda for anyone else.

    Thank you. You have me back as a regular. And the second edition book was good. I have made several people read with the desired affect.

  4. Richard Jones says:

    Your spot on about Sisson. Ive taken note that he doesnt really do much social media, other than to boost his blog posts, inso keeping himself separated from the bullshit that comes with all the paleo hype. Hell, he even named his own version! …further separating himself from ‘paleo’ dramatics.

    • I’m glad you brought that up, Richard. I expect probably to get some flak because Sisson is a bit of a marketing machine. But it’s HIS machine, he never tears down others, helps tons of people does a damn very substantial post everyday and the tone of his posts really always hit the mark for me. They are usually put out as information. Use it if you like. And he revises his thinking on things over time.

      Mark obviously cares about what he’s doing, creating a very content rich free site and forum, and helping more than all the rest of us put together.

      And he accepts the scientifically established fact of biological evolution. There’s that, too.

      • MDA has to appeal to a broad audience so a lot of the stuff doesn’t interest me too much though I like his message that you have to cut yourself some slack every now and then, because I tend to take a balls out approach to pretty much everything.

        What he has going for him is

        1. He’s in it for the long hall
        2. He’s impossible not to like.
        3. He seems to me to take an objective approach to issues

      • Sisson is the the “Mr. Rogers” of the group. Just have to like him.

      • I could never stand Mr. Rogers when I was a kid. I liked Sesame Street, The Electric Company and something I remember called Zoom. Mr. Rogers creeped me out.

      • “the scientifically established fact of biological evolution”. Really Richard?

        The scientific method is a tissue of logical fallacies. But I thought I had already demonstrated that to you in the past.

        And you seem especially angry lately? Even for Richard Nikoley. And that’s saying something.

      • Yes, really. Fact.

        Demonstrated to me? Sorry, I just barely recall your name. See how easily dismissed you are?

  5. Richard – This post has finally motivated me to buy your book. Sort of ironic…. Is Version 2 available on iTunes? The icon there does not have the V2 banner on it. Thanks

    • I’ll have to check but I doubt it. It took a while last time for iBooks, owing to their more complex setup. However, the PDF version that’s available at Hyperink and is actually formatted much more beautifully than the ereader versions, will open in iBooks on the various Apple devices.

  6. YES!
    nice one Richard

  7. “It does really matter ultimately that someone doesn’t believe in evolution on religious grounds.”

    LOL Try basing your diet around the time before the universe/earth/Sun/animals were created.

    It’s like a sign on their chest reading “I’m a fucking nut”

    • Jesus Christ.. I meant “Try basing your diet before the universe/earth/Sun/animals were created.”

      • Mark, having come from that realm years ago, the logic is that we were createdin his image and so we are different from other animals.

        In fact, we all evolved together but we are the generalists, as a result of mass migration.

      • If you believe in creationism, how hard is to believe that god created evolution?

      • Yea, that’s the Catholic dodge of the issue, always needing to be politically relevant, but it’s just a dodge of the issue.

        Jimmy is no Catholic. I think he believes in young Earth creationism.

      • >> “If you believe in creationism, how hard is to believe that god created evolution?”

        why would any omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient creator, having created everything else so perfectly in 6 days then leave the rest up to such chance

      • Boredom.

        “It does really matter ultimately that someone doesn’t believe in evolution on religious grounds.”

        My comment was referring mostly to this from the original post. If you believe in god, and free will, I don’t think it’s too far of a stretch to see that evolution is necessary. If everything was linear, then yeah, evolution wouldn’t be necessary, but their is choices and free will.

      • It’s far, far easier for me, considering the question of bored god who sets off evolution and such and enjoys the millions of years of real suffering of conscience, to say WHAT A FUCKING CUNT! WHAT A MUTHERFUCKING CUNT!

        There. Now God is a cunt. I’ve let all the females off the hook.

      • (Or elevated us?! {wink})

    • I take all of my nutritional advice from the Bible. I also take parenting advice (stone your kids if they are bad [Deuteronomy 21:18-21]), relationship advice (your neighbors are to kill your wife if she turns out to not be a vigin [Deuteronomy 22:13-21]), time-management (kill anyone that works on the Sabbath [Numbers 15:32-56]), and what’s up with those annoying gays (Jesus hates ’em [Mark 7:20-23]).

      I guess I can just selectively beleive parts that I like, and discount other parts…just like how I can not beleive in evolution, but give me all those modern things science has created.


  8. The best three paragraphs ever written about Paleo…Kudos, Richard…worth a re-read here:


    There’s no “doing” Paleo, either. In fact, nothing “is” Paleo. There are no Paleo foods, no Paleo diets, no Paleo bbq sauces, no Paleo cupcakes, and no Paleo snack packs. Grass-fed beef and pastured eggs are not Paleo.

    You can’t go to a restaurant and find anything Paleo on the menu. There’s no mail order that delivers Paleo. You are not Paleo, you can’t be Paleo, and you never will be Paleo. There’s no magic formula. There’s no such thing as “I’m Paleo,” and there never was.

    What there is, however, is THINKING Paleo. Get it? Or, in Professor De Vany’s original parlance, Evolutionary Fitness. It’s a state of mind, a way of thinking about all the choices you have to act upon. There are no absolutes, there’s only for better or worse. That’s it. That’s really the whole basic formula.

  9. Steve Cronk says:

    Perhaps you’re drawing a false dichotomy. I think we can simultaneously view Paleo as a lens from which to analyze health AND as an ideal end state. You can use the Paleo framework to understand the continuum of choices available to you while also calling a sugar-free, coconut-flour pancake “Paleo” because it is informed by the Paleo lens and attempts to reach the ideal end state of lens.

    • “I think we can simultaneously view Paleo as a lens from which to analyze health AND as an ideal end state.”

      I agree with you in principle. Totally. But it’s asymptotic, which is to say, closer and closer, but always more to do. Where we are on that curve is also a matter up for discussion. I doubt we’re at anywhere near zero curvature.

      “…while also calling a sugar-free, coconut-flour pancake “Paleo” because it is informed by the Paleo lens and attempts to reach the ideal end state of lens.”

      No. Hold a principle. Call it the X-axis. You never get there, because the Paleolithic ended about 10K ya, but we can always make better choices, choices that put us in better harmony with out evolutionary ancestry.

    • I disagree. I don’t want to be “Paleo” as an end-state. I want to be a healthy modern human. I want to be as healthy as possible given my current body, resources and life. I currently believe a “Paleo” philosophy, which uses evolutionary theory to help me identify dietary toxins and nutritionally balanced foods that are the most optimal for good health, is an excellent approach to achieving my health goals. But, I still just want to end up being a healthy, modern human living in the world that currently exists.

      • TimA

        Yea, good point. I think it’s a distinction between obsessing over Paleo as some new magic formula, and using it a a flexible tool. Hammers don’t only pound nails, to put it another way.

        Thanks. Very nice precision.

  10. Richard, as I said in an earlier email to you I consider paleo a tool not a lifestyle. many people are fooling themselves. They remind me of people who buy sports jerseys and consider themselves part of the team. My improvements in my life have come from within, and you have stated repeatedly that you are on your own when it comes to weight loss and self improvement. That is what I appreciate about your blog. wearing vibram five fingers is not going to make you lose weight anymore than buying season tickets for a football team is going to make you an NFL player. BTW I would not wear those shoes to a dogfight

    • Yea, I wear the vibrams rarely. I do like them on hikes where I’m unfamiliar with the terrain. Otherwise, it’s plain barefoot to me and I do it everyday, like just this morning and every day with the dogs.

      You do know you have more nerve endings in your feet than your genitals? So, walking barefoot is really just masturbation.

      But oh yes. You’d have to hear me, Mike B, every time I hear someone say “we” in reference to a sports team.

      I just loath that kind of vicarious identification.

      “You didn’t build that!” :)

  11. “And, I was one of the attendees at his Vegas seminar in 2008, along with John Durant—whom I still don’t remember meeting :)”

    Richard, I find it a little hard to believe that you don’t remember our night of passionate abandon. Say what you will, those brief moments of ecstasy are seared into my brain.

    I am not ashamed, and I will never forget.

  12. Keoni Galt says:

    This has always been my ethos.

    Learn from the experiences of others, test it on yourself (n=1) and adjust your behavior accordingly.

    In 5 years of “going paleo” (excuse me, thinking paleo) I”ve never given up eating dairy, nor fruits (when “low-carb” was the ascendant paradigm and many were swearing off all fructose).

    To me, the term “Paleo” or “Primal” is just a handy, easy to use reference to tell people in real life who inquire about your apparent success in losing weight/achieving good health.

    “Wow, you’ve lost a lot of weight since I last saw you! You look great! What did you do?”

    When faced with this sort of question, I used to always go into a long spiel, thinking I could convert another person to THE ONE TRUE WAY OF EATING HEALTHY:

    “I follow the Paleo or Primal diet. I eat lots of meat like bacon, steak and fish, and cook with a lot of fat like butter and coconunt oil, and I eat a lot of vegetables too. I don’t count calories, and I feel great! Let me just say, it’s not really a ‘diet’ per say, it is a lifestyle change. A way of looking at food and your relationship to it, and how to discern what foods are good to eat, and what are bad. I mainly focus on avoiding most processed, industrially manufactured food made out of grains, seed or legume oils and HFCS. I just focuse on real, naturally sourced food. ”

    This usually goes over most peoples heads.

    “You mean you eat a lot of FAT? Like bacon and steak? What about all that red meat causing cancer?”


    Nowadays, I keep it short and simple…which is where I find the terms “Paleo” and “Primal” very useful.

    “Basically, I’ve been kinda following the ‘paleo’ or ‘primal’ lifestyle. If you’re interested, go check out Mark’s Daily”

    Folks who are really interested, can easily google paleo or primal, and Mark’s Daily Apple is a very easy URL to remember.

    You can lead a horse to water…but giving the horse the shortest, easiest direct route to the water hole will make it more likely they’ll actually drink once they get there.

  13. Keoni Galt says:

    Thanks Richard…but I’ve made it my habit long ago to not link up on every comment I make around teh interwebz, unless I’m referring to something I’ve written at my place and it’s easier to link to than re-write.

    I do so to show that I’m interested in leaving comments in good faith, so bloggers know that I’m only contributing to the discussion because I find it compelling and thought provoking, and not simply trying to gain blog hits or traffic. (Not that there’s anything wrong with those who do that, I just really don’t care about maxing out hits to my own blog. )

    • What, Keoni, do I need to send you a fucking laminated license? :)

      Let me put it this way, then: You are very much encouraged to link yourself up, always. No force, but like, if you’d do me the favor and shit and help out because you’re one of the good ones?

      Thank you. :)

      • Keoni Galt says:


        I haven’t renewed my laminated hunting license in the State of Hawaii in 4 years….

        …I haven’t exactly quit hunting. 😉

        But I did quit voting for my next set of rulers, and your perspective was the one that helped me see it that way.

      • Yep. Imagine it in retrospect. Can you believe that you used to clamor over getting a 1/300 million say in who’d going to rule you next?

        Dont you just love laughing at yourself? I sure do. And at almost 52, I have endless comedy to reflect upon.

  14. Rich – Your site, for me, is now a resource of no-nonsense reason. The current “Paleo” mainstream culture is practically circling the drain… paleo this, paleo that. Give me a friggin’ break. I’ve had enough with the evolutionary crap, & what man ate & how man lived 10,000+ years ago. I’m more into the here & now, & what works for me… constantly experimenting & adapting. The biochemistry of it all is interesting, but the most important thing for me is how I feel & perform… In other words, all that counts for me is what it says on the fucking scoreboard!

    • You know what, Ron.

      I’m inspired to do a Costco run and just fucking blog it and let it go how it goes.

      …And I’m pretty sure Art does Costco too…

      • Their frozen wild salmon, cod & halibut is pretty damn good… and cheap! Just keep me out of the booze aisle.

      • Almost forgot – Costco is a pretty good microcosm of the state of America’s health, & the items seen at the checkout counter provide the reason why.

    • IOW, there are the honest “Paleos” like you who amply want to make better choices for you and loved. Me too. Yea, grassfed is a better choice in terms of quality and humanity. But sometimes I just need to go to Costco or the supermarket because of emergent desires and demands and that’s that.

      Paleo thinking has not only been afflicted of the LC Nazis, but almost every form of Nazi.

      I’m here to give people a break.

      • Keoni Galt says:

        When organic grass fed bacon costs $10 a 1/2 lb. at Whole Foods here in HI, I’m making due with Costco’s $12 for 3 lbs of factory farmed fare. Got a family to feed in a bad economy, and gotta figure out where to get the most bang for the buck.

        And yeah, keep me out of the booze aisle too. Best place to get Tequila, Scotch and Beer.

        Almost forgot – Costco is a pretty good microcosm of the state of America’s health, & the items seen at the checkout counter provide the reason why.

        Yeah. It never fails to amaze me when I see shambling behemoths of obesity, standing in line, with their carts full of bulk packages of chips, cookies, crackers, bread, pre-made cakes and pastries, and of course cases of soda in the undercarriage. Like…don’t you ever look in the mirror, and at the bathroom scale, and then at what you fill your Costco cart up with, and make some kind of connection?

        It’s even more ludicrous when you see that while they’re feeding themselves that crap, they’re also springing for the most expensive, highest quality pet food that Costco carries.

      • “Yeah. It never fails to amaze me when I see shambling behemoths of obesity, standing in line, with their carts full of bulk packages of chips, cookies, crackers, bread, pre-made cakes and pastries, and of course cases of soda in the undercarriage. Like…don’t you ever look in the mirror, and at the bathroom scale, and then at what you fill your Costco cart up with, and make some kind of connection?

        It’s even more ludicrous when you see that while they’re feeding themselves that crap, they’re also springing for the most expensive, highest quality pet food that Costco carries.”

        So true! I feel worse about those poor dogs than the Zombies in line.

  15. Keoni,

    I get the same questions about weight loss, and give the same answer (marksdailyapple) for some reason I want to keep Freethenimal to myself

  16. Keoni Galt says:

    Yeah Mike….see, leading the horse to Mark’s place offers some nice, soothing and refreshing water to drink from if they’re interested.

    Sending them to FTA is like giving ’em a bottle of Johnny Walker and telling ’em “bottoms up!”

    To me, MDA is a good place for those interested to get started.

    FTA is the place you go when you’ve figured out how ‘paleo’ or ‘primal’ helped you, and the conventional wisdom you always thought was true is now revealed to be nothing but lies and deception….so you begin to think, “Ok, mainstream diet and nutrition advice is all wrong…what else?”

    Like all good whiskey, you gotta sip it to truly appreciate the complexities and character of the flavor.

    • right on brah

    • MDA is for all things paleo while FTA is for the mind.

      MDA puts out some thought provoking stuff from time to time, but the comments section is more of a cheerleading squad. When I come here, I sometimes have no clue what the hell people are talking about, but that inspires me to want to learn and grow. All good things.

      • Todd, that is the intention.

        Plenty of smart people at the more sciency blogs like Peter, Stephan, whomever. But that gets dry to me. And often, I see a science post get taken off the rails with basically, comments like “ok, here’s my situation and can you interpret the science to be specifically applicable to my one case.” I used to have some of that too.

    • you know da kine

  17. Well I very prone to marbling, so is very difficult to stay trim. I done everything possible Paleo, except die. Dying probably most paleo thing you can do and take most weight off. Maybe I try Hollywood diet. Let see, is okay to mix fat and protein, but no fat with opiates, and no carbs with benzos. Vicodin and veggies unlimited. But how many points is Percocet?! Jesus, why is so hard!

    • “Jesus, why is so hard!”

      Because you’re a cow and we rule.

      Marbling is very nice, hover. In cow parlance? Is likes the fist times.

      • “we” as in you, Richard, or is you speaking for you collective? What exactly you ruling? Because seem to me many billion of you kind of circling drain, while even those in better living situation still having to deal with severe unnatural stresses such as economic ruin, crumbling family and Taylor Swift.

      • “What exactly you ruling?”

        Well, for one, all cows, except one.

  18. Its good to get the cow’s perspective on things. Well played Cow! I pretty well agree with your take on Paleo. Perfect is the enemy of good enough and I try to be good enough so that I am not just maintaining myself above room temperature, but able to enjoy a good active life. Being perfect is not worth the bother.

    • I has to admit I live most my life on what you calling “room temperature”. Only I calling it “Life Support Only.” Is not so much because I big fattie, but because other bad habit. Although right now marbling becoming biggest problem. At this point, I has higher body fat than Kelly Orborne for fuck sake! Jesus!

      • Cow! What happened to your picture? Cute blonde, but is that (gulp!) pink slime?
        Or are you just being pretty in pink?
        I can’t see it too well -I’m old enough that my arms started getting too short, so help me out here?

      • Yes, in this picture I reading an US Weekly about how Kelly Osborne get thin. Only clothes I ever worn was when I in prisons. I no accept non-paleo notion of using textile to cover body. Although, for some human, that is a blessing for all eyes.

      • ladysadie1 says:

        Cow, you are a lucky one not having to be covered in textiles!

      • Cow

        Nudity is a probably pre-Neolithic human deal.

        Let me explain. Textiles are a tool that affords human males and females another opportunity to compete, lure, whatever.

        Not the same as female cow piss big in field, attract all male because huge bladder.

        Plus, female cow? Body only a stear could love.

      • LeonRover says:

        That was a bum stear.

      • Why you say such thing, Richard! Is outrage of hate crime and species discriminations! Plus, you hurt my feeling. I happen to has very beautiful body and has had many many sexings with mens and womens of you species, okay?!

      • Also, I sure when human start using bit of fur or shell as adornment they no forsee it to end in ludicrous shitstorm of $500 blue jean and $3,000 pumps. Is problem, human never no when to quits. You push and push until everthing is absurd denatured circus and all you systems so intricately corrupted they FUBAR! You civilization will implode on itself just like all other civilization before you. You becoming empty, superficial, narcissistic peacocks that does no even realize you can no longer fly!

        Okay, has a nice day.

    • Do you understand how we’re both right? I know you do.

      • Sure, which is why I posted the link. This post reminded me of your manifesto (

        and of Andrew’s

        My head tilted a bit with this and previous posts because, well, it seems you done done these before. Then, I remember reading my journals at year end. At how I say the same thing different ways before making a big push. Sometimes, we circle back a few times.

        The manifesto of yours needs more play.

        As do we all.

      • Yea, and Im glad you take notes where I don’t. Yes, numerous circles and tries and of course, the whole weirdness, even from my perspective is as a result of not really being a marketer in all of this. In my day job I’m a bit cutthroat because that’s the ethic. This is more of a love, a garden, nurtrure stupid pussyshit deal. What can I say?

        It’s not that I just stumbled on this. It’s a result of a process of thought, act,thought, act, thought, act. But I think I found where I wanted to be which is basically full circle. I don’t want to compete over branding and trademarking paleo. I probably could not do it well anyway, but I don’t want to do it either well or badly.

      • Nice to have outlets. Nicer to have outlets with an audience.

        It was good to read the manifesto again. It tied in Andrew, ribbonfarm, and introduced me to Justin Owings who really could benefit people by blogging more.

        It takes 7 times from multiple media points to get people to remember something (so it was said to me when I had a different career. ).

        I get it.

        The manifesto deserves airtime.

      • JS, do you know that Justin Owings designed that banner, above, the main one for the blog?

  19. The fight for Paleo is like a greased pig contest, except boring.

  20. Sometimes I want to go track down Loren Cordain, grab him by the neck and demand that he explain why he called it “The Paleo Diet”. I’m sick and tired of the circle-jerk echo chamber of mutual self-promotion the “paleo” movement’s seem to become.

    There is no paleo.
    There is no spoon.
    There are no good foods.
    There are no bad foods.
    There are actions and consequences.
    You pays your money and you takes your chances.

    In the end we’re all dead.

  21. EatLessMoveMoore says:

    So where’d all the Jimmy defenders go?

    • EatLessMoveMoore says:

      I believe I hear the sound of crickets.

      • My mind reels at how pathetic you are.


        I can’t even get my mind around it that this is what you’re using your life for.


      • EatLessMoveMoore says:

        Hey Joe. You don’t even know me, dude. What I can’t get my mind around is why you’re such a devoted water-carrier for that huckster.

      • I know you, loser.

    • What’s to defend? Jimmie is a great guy, who interviews amazing folks, and do a bang-up job in a difficult field. If you object to him having advertisements in his podcasts, then send him some money so he can do without.

      There is NOWHERE else you can hear interviews with the lights-and-brights, as well as the nuts-and-vegans, for FREE. I think his belief system is screwy, but it’s HIS and he can twist his thinking around any way he wishes to keep his ‘comfort’ close. MOST humans need some sort of god to provide them with security. I don’t hate people for it, just lose respect for them! {shrug}

      Do you think he NEEDS defending? (Defending? From Richard writing, essentially, “go in peace” to him?) Were you hoping to start a fight here. (Again?)

      • EatLessMoveMoore says:

        If Jimmy were to simply earn an honest living (i.e., a ‘real job’), then maybe he wouldn’t have to tie his entire income stream to a dubious – at best – weight loss ‘success’. He wouldn’t have to attempt to co-opt movements like paleo – or stir up fake controversies – simply to add to his market share. Thankfully it appears to no longer be working. Score one for the haters.

      • Loser, you’ve scored nothing. Your obsession with his “income stream” is bizarre. Once you get a job you will discover that’s there’s no shame in making a living. People make a living — almost automatically — when they create value for other people.

        Try it some time.

      • EatLessMoveMoore says:

        And so creating unnecessary schisms between communities is “creating value”? Any weight loss/diet scammer out there is surely creating value for SOMEONE, right? Your measuring stick is flawed, my friend.

      • “Schisms”? GOD, you are a loser. There are no “communities”; there are just a few shitty blogs trying to be king of the anthill.

        And you don’t even run one! You’re just a freak shitting on people under assumed names.

      • EatLessMoveMoore says:

        If there are no ‘communities’, then why would Richard have even bothered blogging about any of this? Why would such respected figures like Dr. Kurt Harris have taken the trouble to leave a community that doesn’t even exist? Obviously it’s pretty important to some people – most tellingly Jimmy himself.

      • EatLessMoveMoore says:

        Oh, and are ad hominem attacks all you can manage?

      • Oh, are appeals to authority all you’ve got?


      • Your Scammer threshold may need a measuring stick of its own. A scammer is of a different animal. Jimmy is a believer of belief. They are rarely scammers from intention.

        If you want to stop people like him your approach is gonna have to differ ELMM. The first step would be to use part of you that is real. That, it seems, is gonna be hard for you.

  22. Richard, I think I totally agree with you (meh, it happens….) .
    It was the “je ne sais quoi” that did it of course :-)
    This is how I see it, am I right in thinking this agrees with you? :
    If “paleolithic” food = anything anywhere that was eaten by paleolithic man,
    then maybe the first problem is anyone today thinking that the logic works like this:

    — IFF “paleolithic”, Then “healthy”
    (if and only if)

    Because, even if we could find true paleolithic food today, at Best the logic would be :

    –IF “paleolithic”, Then “healthy” __(ie, not ‘only if’ )
    –IF NOT “paleolithic”, Then “modern”
    –IF “modern”, Then GO TO ….
    (where Go To leads to criteria from biochemistry, n=1, personal health status, personal ancestry/geographical ancestry etc. in order to figure out which ‘modern’ foods are healthy for any Individual).
    The next problem though is the one that blows all logic out of the water in terms of filtering based on “paleolithic”, and you’ve nailed it, imo.
    That problem is that there is nothing on earth today that can be considered paleolithic.
    Not only are the best agricultural practices still ‘agriculture’, but a lot of the wildlife has changed, the habitats/environment it feeds-on have changed, we have changed…and we have no clue really how well anything today approximates paleolithic food.
    So the real value of being aware of the basics of paleolithic nutrition/lifestyle (the Few basics that have been determined reproducibly) is to sensitize people to the influence of a 2m yr evolution, making it a useful prism through which to examine our bodies, and to sensitize people therefore to the usefulness of real science.
    The real kind of science, not the kind where senators choose what you should eat based on their personal preferences while the actual evidence was controversial. Not the kind plugged by the latest ‘science’ of nutrition which doesn’t follow the scientific method (reproducibility, Falsifiability, controlled studies….) and of course not based on “lies, damn lies and statistics”.
    Heh, that last line prompts me to “full disclosure” : I’m a physicist first (physical chemist second) – so I may be influenced by a physicist’s perspective (and what a physicist he was) :

    • Ha, I’m hitting bedtimes before digesting it all. But, and this would be a laugh, can you do that in complete BASIC, PASCAL, or FORTRAN? Yea, the only languages I coded, back in early 80s.

      It would be like new poetry.

      I’ll catch up tomorrow.

      Thanks all. You are the best, most engaging and you are magnets for all the smart people put there.

      It’s not me. It’s you. :)

    • Amy Haines says:

      marie, from the quote of the Feynman interview in your link:

      Because of the success of science there is a kind of a…I think a kind of pseudoscience, social science is an example of a science which is not a science. They don’t do scientific…they follow the forms…you gather data, you do so and so and so forth but they don’t get any laws, they haven’t found anything, they haven’t got anywhere yet[.]

      May be the most succinct and clear definition of pseudoscience yet. Every time I read anything Feynman wrote or said, this Bear of Little Brain takes an intellectual leap.

      Thanks for that blog, I’ve added it to my daily checks.

  23. I did notice, cheri. And just for that, I’ll see about macro-poetry next break I get. But really, oh ancient one, Fortran? Not even Fortran 77? Still, anyone deserves to get their kicks in their own Personal way :-) :-)

    • LeonRover says:

      I cannot resist retelling a personal anecdote.

      When visiting an IBM office in Walloon Bruxelles – this in the 1970s – I observed on the inside of a progammer’s office door, a poster with the multilingual slogan:

      ” ICI”

      ” Sprechen”

      ” FORTRAN”

      I was so amused, I used them on the project.


    • It may have been Fortran 77, since this was in like ’81. Still ancient history. Dabbled in COBOL as well. Is that still around?

      Back in ’80 I was doing CS at Mt Hood Community College in Gresham, OR, they had an HP 3000 Mini computer with lots of terminals and if you were in a class, you had an account with unlimited time and could code and debug in real time on a line terminal. Made quick work for the pretty simple programs we were writing. Our skills to make decent algorithms sucked, though, because you could just keep trying until your code was small and worked.

      Then I transferred to Oregon State and entered the Dark Ages. Punch cards. No shit. This meant that you had to have a killer algorithm and then code from that, or you would be in an endless loop of batch processing. I did a rudimentary airline scheduling app (limited aircraft, limited ports) with minimization of time/cost given whatever input. That was in Pascal and the project was just complicated enough that it was a real bitch to debug in a punchcard enviro.

      I switch major study to business admin.

      • Oh Oh, BMT. I was still in school then. But punch-cards…. in the 80’s! And you worked them. I bow.

      • In the end, all will bow.

      • LeonRover says:

        Hey – some of us are really ancien.

        In the day, 8-bit paper- tape-loaded rudimentary OS, then tape compiler, FINALLY program on paper-tape also. Did a simple AOV on that.

        Data analysis from cards to FORTRAN – I drew the line at using COBOL!

        After that DEC-tape minis were HEAVEN.


      • When at Tennessee Temple U in 1979, they had one computer on the entire campus, an Altair. Only a few of us had interest and the prof who oversaw things was a phd physics guy but also taught math classes, as in the calculus classes I was taking (religious school, small science classes). But the 4 or 5 of us had a load of fun writing code in BASIC and such, mostly to display complex stuff in ASCII, but with good algorithms and not brute force.

        For storage, we had a simple cassette player. I still remember the command: cload [filename]. You just hoped that your file wasn’t at the end of the tape.

      • Laf! O.k. LeonRover, Oh tape-meister, all bow before You.

      • LeonRover says:

        To every beau its string.

        “And until the day he comes along,
        I’ll string along with you.”

        You “une ange” after all.


      • Oh, LR, I adore that. Into my iTunes library instanter.

        I have everything from tons of Ella & Louis and the like from the era, to one of my fav make me feel goods always: Glenn Miller. God, what a fucking shame. Just imagine what could have been.

        And I have Rush and Led Zep and African drums and Reggae and Latin and, and the Cubans…. Everything. I always put my library on shuffle at parties.

        My furniture is eclectic, too.

      • RioghanLover, oh my! I’ve come undone.
        “Too many churches, not enough truth.
        Too many people and not enough eyes to see”
        You have been missed. Táille ort go maith?

      • Marie

        I’ve had that in my iTunes library for years. It just has that certain something, perhaps tied to memorable events of you life, but it always makes me smile, cry or laugh when I hear it– the mark of good lasting music.

      • Yeah….some songs you just know you’ll be nostalgic about, the same day that you first hear them, especially if plaintive guitars.

      • That one too. In my cassette library in the early 80s, CD in the mid 80s (early adopter), burned into my iTunes library years ago and now in the cloud with all my other hundreds of burned albums for $25 per year. I can stream from any device with no storage.

        I’m streaming now to my Huge Boston Labs speakers via a Powerful Amp. Powerful, and Big, marie.

      • “Powerful, and Big” – mon Dieu! Going from bowing to kneeling, just like that.

      • Hey, I’m American. While I know French, there’s just nothing quite like Oh My GOD! please.

      • ….kneeling is good.

        In my 50 years, I’m undecided on preference. Both are kneeling, but there’s upright kneeling with applicable applications and then there’s hands and kneeling, a whole other set of applications.

      • Nothing?
        Oh My FUCKING GOD!
        But I wouldn’t want to help you find religion, cheri.
        So keeping it subdued for you,
        mindful of all the power in that kneeling position…

      • “mindful of all the power in that kneeling position…”

        That has been the quintessential detente (well, philosophically) for eons.

        …Here’s to standing at attention and kneeling. (not a contradiction)

      • Smiling. Yes.

      • God – streaming compressed crap to crap speakers…. I guess there are only a few of us audiophiles left.

      • Mark, give it a rest. Please. This is to convey ideas, not audiophilics.

  24. I wonder if back in day, actual Paleo peoples sat around belaboring whether they should be livin’ la vida Cretaceous.

    • gallier2, omg! Mock-vibram Crocks?!! Blegh, cross-breeding at it’s worst.

      • It’s a crock.

        In case it’s been a few comments since I mentioned this, just go barefoot, my two pair of Vibrams are barely used. Go barefoot.

        You have more nerve endings in your feet than your genitals. Walk the dogs twice per day and you raise your masturbation rate to four, five on good days,

      • Yes, any ‘faux’ barefooting is stupid, but the crocks imitation vibrams are freaking ugly too.
        And in Bad Taste, as gallier noted.
        That’s the ultimate sin, surely! 😉
        Cool comment found on that site :
        “Sweet Jeebus, they’re evolving!”

  25. “Over time, knowledge of what’s better v.s. what’s worse improves. That’s why we ought to do science—to make better and better choices in our lives…and not so we can beat someone over the head with a study that ‘confirms’ what we’ve been saying.”

    Well said. Goes good with this Samuel Johnson quote:

    “The Supreme end of education is expert discernment in all things — the power to tell the good from the bad, the genuine from the counterfeit, and to prefer the good and the genuine to the bad and the counterfeit.”

    “Paleo thinking” is what causes one to prefer genuine food to counterfeit food.

  26. Art seems like a good guy and I know he’s a pioneer, I get all that. But what’s up with his turning chaos theory into meaningless jargon? Yeah, I’ve bitched about this before.

    And far more needs to be understood about the fractal nature of the dynamics that produce the feeback loops and variations that maintain life within a stochasitc attractor.

    What the fuck does that sentence even mean? I’m no expert in complex systems theory, but I do have a passing familiarity with attractors and fractals. So think I know what all the words mean. But I’ve no clue what that sentence means other than the sort of peudo-intellectual wanking that passes for intellectual discourse in a lot of academia and other places these days.

    The human body has tons of feedback loops, some of which we are just finding out about (ghrelin was first reported in 1999), many are poorly understood. The feedback loops could be said to maintain life within a stochastic attractor but what does this mean? The simple feedback system of a shock absorber and a spring could be said to maintain the wheel of a car within a stochastic attractor (that’s the point for a “dynamic” wheel, ie a wheel actually responding to a bumpy road).

    Sorry, but I’ve no patience for people who want to obfuscate or shock-and-awe or show off or whatever the fuck Art was trying to do with that sentence. One of the reasons I like about FTA, Richard never tries to hide behind jargon or overly-complex terminology.

    • Amy Haines says:

      Yeah, this Bear of Little Brain gets lost in all the academic stuff. I used to think I had a decent level of intelligence, until I started reading about paleoancestraldiets, then I realized what a dumb f*ck I really am.

      • If a person writes in a manner that is difficult to comprehend, it’s not because you are stupid, it is because: (1) they are trying (knowingly or sometimes unknowingly) trying to blow smoke up your ass; or (2) they suck at writing.

        Nothing exists that cannot be explained clearly through written language.

      • rob, whose language?

      • The language spoken by men, all you get from women is yada yada yada.

      • :-)
        Yes, yada yada is what you hear if you don’t speak the language, thank you for demonstrating.
        “Here’s all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid.”
        ― George Carlin, When Will Jesus Bring The Pork Chops?

      • Rob, you’re such a baiter. But, are you the Master?

      • Richard,
        Ah ha ha! Bait Master?! You’ve been sleeping with your new iPhone toy, haven’t you?

      • pshaw. I was born with a toy.

      • Here is my original observation on men and women:

        The function of man is to run around while carrying a sharp, pointed stick.

        The function of woman is to warn man of the inherent dangers of running around while carrying a sharp, pointed stick.

        Without either function humanity would not exist.

      • bingo!

    • Great catch Sean! De Vany’s smart and good-willed and I pay attention to his work, but I confess, I often skim-over his musings…and there’s the reason why. That sentence elevates portentous jargon to a work of Art :-)

      • I do, however, think his newest bent is rather interesting, if you read the blog entries he has up already. Basically, the idea that modern diseases we suffer now in warm & plenty were actually survival adaptations for things like epidemic disease (bubonic plague) and the ice age. Intuitively, makes sense to me.

      • Oh sure, like I said, I pay attention to his work. The occasional Art-isms that appear when he’s summarizing broadly just add color…and they are absent when he gets down to the nitty-gritty of explaining his reasoning – his very careful reasoning imo.

      • LeonRover says:

        I’m afraid I cannot quite buy T1DM as an adaptation which produces hyperglycemia as a blood anti-freeze. That one is too speculative for me.

      • I don’t disagree.

        But I trust you to speculate. It’s not like its going to result in a new deity. You’re smart, but not evil….enough.

    • LeonRover says:

      Art, like many others has been beguiled by the ideas of that clever & fast-talking Phoenician, dear ol’ Nicholas Nassim Taleb.

      It is not clear whether Art’s ideas are the pseudo-randomness of chaotic attractors a la Benoit Mandelbrot, or the “ordinary” randomness of stochastic processes.

      Either way, (I think), he is saying that physiology is not predictable – so accept the results that happen from your intervention.


      • “Either way, (I think), he is saying that physiology is not predictable – so accept the results that happen from your intervention.”

        See the very last paragraph and sentence of this post.

      • LeonRover says:

        So Art may start the Taleb way of eating – otherwise “Fueled by Randomness”.

      • To close loop even further, before I began all of this, I think it was 2006, I had made many tons in the options market, going at it full time. 60k to half million in 6-8 months, and then I lost 250k in a week. Not bad for a private investor in pajamas. Woke me up. Godgle, being my personal friend and savior, helped–unlike false dogs.

        Who did I stumble upon?

        You know the answer. To this day, Fooled by Randomness is just one of the best reads ever.

        A year later I start hakimg my health, fall upon Art and the loop was closed.

        Nassim gave my book a 5-star on Amazon and I’m mentioned in a para in his forthcoming book.

      • LeonRover says:

        Never traded options, but did forex futures.
        Was coming out with nice gains until Black Monday 1987.
        Similar outcome to you.

        It’s those distributions with no 2nd moment – no variance, thus beta-theory is fucked.

        Mandelbrot’s “Fractals Scaling and Finance” was not published until 1997, while “The (Mis)behavour of Market” became available in 2004.

        I also have both Taleb’s books in my library.

        I do not Day Trade.

      • I had set up a forex account and was reading lots of option and currency bloggers when I decided I wanted to live a live, love a wife, cook and shit. Well, you shit every day hopefully, but you get the point.

      • “fueled by Randomness” and “a la Benoit Mandelbrot”

        I saw what you did there. Clever without twisting the knife. If I were a gay man (Half a man as the current Pope would say) I would kiss your hand, sir.

      • LeonRover says:


        Why twist the knife, when all that is needed is a gentle prick ?

        Mandelbrot is also a sideways reference to RickNik’s Almond Bread.

        “If I were a gay man”

        sung to this tune –

        Alternatively, be your own lute-player – a la Nero – and provide own pyrotechnics.

        Re: “gay”

        I prefer Byron’s use in ‘Eve of Waterloo’

        “Last noon beheld them full of lusty life,
        Last eve in Beauty’s circle proudly gay,”

        Lastly, you may kiss my hand, it would be a tribute to my feminine side . . .

        (If Ah inclined the other way, I would invite you to KMA . . . )


        Post Scriptum: like dear Oscar “I can resist everything except (verbal) temptation.”

        As Benedict might say: “Et ne nos inducas in temptationem . . . . ”
        and follow the injunction in Ave Maria:
        “Benedicta tu in mulieribus” – my dog-Latin provides me with this exegesis:
        “You are blessed while in a woman” !!!!!

        We former Catholics how to use Scripture (& Prayers), in a Satanic way, for our purposes – but I do not do Verses, only versus.

      • You must stop coming over the top with me! I go to sleep with the robe of clever to wake up naked.

        But while you are feeling Feminine and while I am waking up perhaps be my Dawn? I could use a few days off…

        “…but kept him in her palace, caring for him, supplying first rate clothes, food, and ambrosia. ”

        Well done Lama Rover.

      • LeonRover says:

        Hey JS

        Little Boot-Boy Caligula alternated between Deus and Dea in his craziest moments.

        While most Dawn phenomena are insulin induced, I note it is a Dawn lady who feeds ambrosia.

        At least you did not address me as Llama Rover; one is grateful for little mercies.


      • If I am anything, it is that I am a merciful god.

      • ArboArba says:

        Malcolm Gladwell says that Nassim Taleb is a fairy tale believer, er a Christian(face contorts, blood pressure raises)

        If you ever talk to him, I trust you’ll tell him that he’s a silly fool?

      • I don’t know about any of that but having read his books I’d say he’s more of a cultural Christian, not necessarily a believer in a Superman in the sky.

    • There is actually a difference between “chaos theory” and “random dynamical systems.” Whenever one starts talking about things like “stochastic attractor(s)” the discussion has generally moved from the realm of chaos theory and into the realm of random dynamical systems.

      Chaos theory, is, in essence, the study of non linear systems that display certain properties, the most important being extreme sensitivity to initial conditions (a very simple example of this is a double pendulum undergoing large oscillations). Chaos theory is “deterministic” which is a fancy way of saying that if we know the initial conditions of the system we can predict (calculate) the state of the condition at a future time.

      Random dynamical systems, however, are not deterministic. Even if the initial conditions are known, an observer of such a system cannot exactly predict its state at some future time. Wikipedia (yeah, yeah, I know, but if it’s well said, who cares?) says it quite well in its entry on stochastic process:… “in a stochastic or random process there is some indeterminacy: even if the initial condition (or starting point) is known, there are several (often infinitely many) directions in which the process may evolve.” Random dynamical systems are mathematically modeled by what is known as “stochastic differential equations.” In physics and some other fields, the main method of solution is to find the probability distribution function as a function of time using the equivalent Fokker-Planck equation (more technical stuff, google it, if interested). The solution approach in probability theory and mathematical finance is to, as far as I know –not my field– find the probability space .

      I have no idea how any of the ideas of random dynamical systems would apply to biology, human or otherwise. Frankly, I am not even convinced that human physiology *is* a random dynamical system. It is much more convincing and intuitive to look at physiology as a non-linear dynamic system that is indeed deterministic. In short, it is arguably a chaotic system. People who are trying to talk about the body as a random dynamical system, to be quite blunt, seem to be talking out of their ass and showing their ignorance –partly because they do indeed improperly conflate chaotic systems and random systems.

      Finally, recall that I said earlier that “[when] talking about things like “stochastic attractor(s)” the discussion has generally moved from the realm of chaos theory and into the realm of random dynamical systems.” I used the qualifier “generally” not because there is any ambiguity whether or not the concept of a stochastic attractor belongs in chaos theory or random theory (it most definitely belongs strictly in the latter) but because there is indeed ambiguity that sometime arises in determining whether or not a given system is chaotic or random. In other words, there is almost always some of form of “corrupting noise” in the data set that is collected from a system, eve if the “noise” is caused by something as trivial as rounding errors. This corruption can give the appearance of randomness, even if the system is actually deterministic. The primary method of determining a chaotic from a random system is to observe whether or not the system will always end up in the same state given the same initial conditions. If it always ends up in the same state, it is deterministic.

      P.S. Although this is in “reply” to Sean, I do not mean to imply in any way that he does not know what he is talking about or that he is guilty of conflating the two concepts. Sometimes the physics nerd persona gets the best of me and I have to expound such subjects when I seem them being discussed.

      • Yeesh, I should have cleaned up this post a little bit before i posted it. The only proofreading I really did was to check for spelling errors… My apologies to all who take the time to slug through it.

  27. LeonRover says:

    Forgot to ask earlier.

    When the movie “Saving Private Paleo” will Matt Damon play the role?

  28. Finally…like a breath of fresh air to hear you talking this way. Thanks for stopping this maddening merry-go-round of insanity you seem to have been on lately. I too am quite sick of paleo this and paleo that.

  29. Professor De Vany is going to be absent from the old forum soon and start up a new one of old members only. it’s not clear whether it will be invitation or include all the old members. it will be interesting to see what happens. we will still have the public blog anyway.

  30. Oh, are appeals to authority all you’ve got?


  31. If you eat plenty of veggies, meat, fish; focus on healthy fats and limit processed foods and grains to rare ocasions you are eating pretty good even if you don’t think paleo at all. If you are overweight, limiting the carbs seems to work well. Adkins and the zone diet both showed that as well the paleo eaters. I think “paleo” is a good frame work. I’ve eaten about 80/20 for about 14 months. But I’ve never said to anyone I eat paleo. I just focus on real food and keep my carbs moderate. After a while its just became how I eat. The paleo blogs are great, but some other diet focused blogs have good info also. I lurk and learn, but I never joined a movement. At the end of the day its about making good choices with your diet, and making them consistently. Keep the liver recipes coming.

  32. AlexaProwler says:

    I was over at, ran report for and this was what I got:

    “Audience Snapshot

    Based on internet averages, is visited more frequently by females who are in the age range 25-34, are college educated and browse this site from school.”

    Who could that be I wonder? I laughed so hard that I shit my pants!

  33. AlexaProwler says:

    Awww fuck. Too many links in my previous post so I’ll try again. I was over at alexa dot com and ran a report for this website of Richard’s and this is what got returned:

    “Audience Snapshot – Based on internet averages, is visited more frequently by females who are in the age range 25-34, are college educated and browse this site from school.”

    Who could that be I wonder? I laughed so hard that I shit my pants!

  34. AlexaProwler says:

    Fucking too funny. See alexa audience snapshot for freetheanimal below. Who the fuck could that be I wonder?

    “Based on internet averages, “freetheanimal dot com” is visited more frequently by females who are in the age range 25-34, are college educated and browse this site from school.”

    • Laf. That is too fucking funny. I guess college ed females 25-34 have heads screwed on tightly and know how to deal with a guy who thinks they’re just awesome and make the world go round in many ways.

      Misogyny defeated again.

      …Perhaps I ought to go back to my dirty tank top photo…

      • LeonRover says:

        “…Perhaps I ought to go back to my dirty tank top photo…”

        Yeah —— Go NiKaleo


  35. Note to Canadian readers. Keep this guy (safe, I mean). He deals in the politically given while having rational understanding and rational ideals.

  36. Not to detract from Mark Sisson, but the people who frequent his site are some of the most dimwitted assholes in the history of the universe.

  37. Ken O'Neill says:

    I greatly share with you in your insights, having published BEYOND PALEO on my blog last March on the eve of the Paleo FX gig in Austin (

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