In August of 2011, the inaugural Symposium of the Ancestral Health Society kicked off on the beautiful campus of UCLA. Offhand, there were about 40 presenters from across the globe, many sporting decades of achievement in fields surrounding health and well-being—all from a human evolutionary standpoint. And then there was me.
Why was I presenting amongst this Who's Who? Uh, probably because I put forth a lot of effort on this blog to promote it from day one, and had done a lot to promote Paleo/Ancestral in general. Big surprise, eh? Go figure. I continued to promote the Society and Symposium, as well as the underlying mindset and lifestyle in general, and by great fortune, was welcomed back to present a 2nd time. AHS12 took place on the prestigious campus at Cambridge: Harvard University, School of Law.
None of this would have happened had I, instead, sought to tear down anything and everything virtually everyone else but me was doing...attempting to elevate myself...not through the promotion of valiant efforts by others—errors here & there & all—but by seeking an easy, lazy route to self-importance by tearing down those values created by others.
From: Evelyn aka CarbSane
Date: Thu, May 24, 2012 at 2:56 PM
Subject: Richard Nikoley and AHS12
To: Aaron Blaisdell , Brent Pottenger
I’m not sure whether Brent is familiar with me, but I do believe Aaron and I have had (cordial to my recollection) exchanges on the PaleoHacks website. My name is Evelyn Kocur and I blog at My Carb Sane-Asylum.
While the majority of the content on my blog is analysis of peer review nutrition literature, I’m probably most notorious for my outspoken criticisms of various low carb advocates, especially Gary Taubes. I think if either of you take an unbiased look at my blogging (rather than relying on characterizations of it), it should become clear that my criticisms are backed by the science as we know it and not personal character assassinations. Still, I cannot hold my tongue that I think it is an abomination that Jimmy Moore is going to be moderating the Safe Starch debate or that Jack Kruse is (I can only hope was?!) to be on that panel. If the purpose is a serious consideration of the benefits/drawbacks of starch content of the diet, it would behoove the Foundation to cast panels with some expertise in the matter. Is there a biochemist in the bunch? Any scientist with training in the field? It’s not like they don’t exist in the community (Wolf, Lalonde, me!). [emphasis added to exclamation]
Which brings me to the subject at hand. I have a ticket to AHS12 and thanks to generous donations by my readers, I’m able to attend. My total cost to attend will be around $1000, and this would be far more if I weren’t road-trip “local” and had to fly. I’ve made this commitment to attend your conference and many of my readers have donated to this specific cause. [...]
As if Kruse’s actions were not bad enough, they were certainly compounded by one Richard Nikoley. [...]
I suppose there’s some logic by which a Loren Cordain type (note, not Loren, but someone of his stature in the community) might be afforded some leeway in their personal behavior were they to be this sort of certifiable misogynistic jerk. But what does Richard Nikoley bring to the table? He IS a blogger. Therefore this sort of behavior on his blog goes directly to whatever “value” there is to having him speak at AHS12.
As a paying attendee and the target of his vile actions, I request you disinvite this man from speaking. I’ve said on my blog, and feel very strongly, AHS12 and the community as a whole would be better served watching 20 minutes of webcam footage from the Bronx Zoo.
I decided not to bother to submit my own proposed talk for AHS12 on early reports that many “in” folks were turned away. [...]
...But if you value the integrity of your organization, please consider weeding out the Richard Nikoley’s in your midst. He has no business presenting at such a conference.
Word I got is that she got no response from AHS organizers to this. What is known is that I attended, delivered my presentation for the 2nd consecutive year to a good audience (even though in the other speaking venue, I was up against the multiple sclerosis self-"cured" physician and TED Talk extraordinaire, Terry Wahls), and that even after all that, CarbInsaneAsylum did not attend, citing "scheduling conflicts."
I won't bore you with the number of her posts in the aftermath that wined on and on about it all, a clear record in pure volume for anyone who's never actually attended an event.
So here's the presentation. Runs about 17 minutes. Yea, I've been doing the Anarchy Begins at Home series, up to Part 7 just yesterday; but here's a completely encapsulated version. Check it out. I usually hate the videos of my presentations, but I'm satisfied here—perhaps 20 minutes is perfect for me. I always begin my preparation the early morning of actually giving it, do a dry run immediately prior, then give it. I want it honest, fresh, genuine...not too contrived or too clever.
AHS has just put out the call for presentation submissions for AHS13 in Atlanta next August. Deadline is January 15th, and while I have mostly leaned toward not doing it again, I'm leaving it open for consideration. I'll chew on what value I might be able to bring and then decide definitively.
I wholeheartedly support the endeavor regardless. I support the investment every single presenter ever made to be there—in spite of nit-picks or serious disagreements I might have. I trust your brains to sort it out. I am not your authority. I'm your biggest cheerleader—and I always, always understand and know my place.
Be sure to browse the other presentations already up, of both 2011 and 2012, more coming every few days. Don't take me, yourself, or anyone else too seriously. Take seriously the people who put this together. So, my thanks for Brent Pottenger and Aaron Blaisdell for the vision and execution. Thanks also to Calos Toro—who seems to be the on-ground executive BMOC, so far as I can tell; and his team. Thanks also to the Harvard video team who labored to record all of this, edit it and publish it. They have integrated the PP slides perfectly with the video of the presentation. Job well done.
...Now, see how easy that was, Insane? You ought to try it sometime and see if things roll your way more often.