Search Results for: ahs

Survival of the Richest (AHS14 Supplemental)

Later, I hope to blog about the "missing links" at what is supposed to be a symposium of ancestral health, which implies what did we eat to be healthy? Which further implies: who ate it and who were their offspring?

I don't attend AHS anymore. I was privileged to promote it highly in advance of its inaugural event at UCLA in 2011, be a speaker there, and then spoke again in round 2 at Harvard in 2012. Here's one reason why. It's rather like stepping back in time to the 2009-2011 timeframe with lots of pretty much the same thing, only more presentations with lots of letters after names.

This is the level of commentary I get at Free the Animal almost every day.

~~~

@christopher - "You either had meat or you subsisted on roots veg and fruit but not both. Except if you were an upper class individual or a pharaoh and didn’t have to gather your food yourself"

The problem in this type of thinking is that modern people are descendants of the rich, rather than of the poor or even average. According to the work of Gregory Clark 90% of English at the eve of the industrial revolution are descendants of 10% of the rich at the early Middle Ages.

There’s a recurring error in the discussion about the diet of OUR ancestors: people acquire information about the typical diets of average people in the past and conclude that this is what the ancestors of contemporary people ate. Such conclusion is based on assumption that there’s some demographic link between typical people of the past and typical people of today.

This assumption is broken, as we are not descendants of averages, but we are disproportionally descendant from the rich people of the past. This has been confirment by many pieces of evidence, sometimes fragmentary: like informations about hundreds or even thousands of sons of ancient rulers versus slaves that had below replacement fertility etc. The best (most precise and based on the best evidence) available work concerns middle ages in the UK, and was done by Gregory Clark, the book is named “Farewell to alms”. It shows that 90% of English in the 18th centaury come from just 10% of the richest people at the beginning of the middle ages. He calls it “Survival of the richest” Here’s a short version of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEGhTtdTwfE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ptm08Leirz4

“Survival of the richest” is very meaningful in the context of the ancestral diets, as what we really want is to find out diets of OUR ancestors, not just the diets of the majority of population, that left no descendants living today. It means that when studying the past ways of eating with the goal to find our ancestral diet we have to discard the poorest, and concentrate on upper social classes – as much more likely to be either our ancestors, or behaving as our ancestors (same social class) if not directly related.

How about Eastern Civilizations - a quote from Matt Ridley – the Red Queen:

“Without exception, that vast accumulation of power was always translated into prodigious sexual productivity. The Babylonian king Hammurabi had thousands of slave “wives” at his command. The Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten procured 317 concubines and “droves” of consorts. The Aztec ruler Montezuma enjoyed 4,000 concubines. The Indian emperor Udayama preserved sixteen thousand consorts [...]

Measures to enhance the fertility of the harem were common. Wet nurses, who allow women to resume ovulation by cutting short their breast-feeding periods, date from at least the code of Hammurabi in the eighteenth century B.C.; they were sung about in Sumerian lullabies. The Tang Dynasty emperors of China kept careful records of dates of menstruation and conception in the harem so as to be sure to copulate only with the most fertile concubines. Chinese emperors were also taught to conserve their semen so as to keep up their quota of two women a day, and some even complained of their onerous sexual duties. These harems could hardly have been more carefully designed as breeding machines, dedicated to the spread of emperors’ genes.”

There are some interesting followups from others; eg. about the sorry state of the groups that didn’t participate in the Clark model, but didn’t go extinct, just become a minority, but still kept their high-violence, high-time-preference, inability to do monotonous jobs behavior from hunter-gatherers time.

http://evoandproud.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-paekchong-of-korea.html

http://evoandproud.blogspot.ca/2012/12/years-end.html

“In pre-modern Japanese society, the Burakumin specialized in jobs that required contact with dead flesh, e.g., butchery, leather making, and preparation of corpses for burial. They were and still are socially stigmatized, and marriage with them was forbidden. Because of their endogamy and their reserved occupations, they may have thus escaped the process of demographic replacement that Gregory Clark (2007) described for English society, i.e., they were not gradually replaced by downwardly moving members of the middle class. As such, they might provide a glimpse into the genetic predispositions that characterized the Japanese several centuries ago”

So basically when we look at oru ancestry backwards in time, from us today, to some hominids in the past, what we see is a chain of individuals who are mostly rich – with some perhaps temporary downward moments, followed by upwards one, who thus didn’t suffer from the starvation, but ate a reasonable diet, with enough calories (although in medieval times rich ate less protein than hunter gatherers, same calories according to G. Clark work) even when the average in the population were starving at the Malthusian limits.

~~~

So, I don't attend AHS anymore because there's very little to see there, anymore. In my view.

I'm about new insight, new understanding, new integration. I'm as far from entrenched academic confirmation bias with a view to enhanced capitalization as you can get. Nothing against capitalization, it's just that I prefer to make my money by roughing up minds.

AHS13 Kicks Off in Atlanta; Break a Leg, Maggots!

And guess what? It's certain to be imperfect. Oh noes! Damn you!

Just in case you thought that pinning my scathing and righteous rebuke of a dumbass AHS12 volunteer to the top of the blog yesterday was in any measure sour grapes—because I'm neither presenting (didn't apply) or attending this year—nothing could be further from the truth. The sour grapes will, however, be well accounted for by all the pips, squeaks and clowns who'll be posting, tweeting and Facebooking up a storm as to how AHS13 is imperfect: just like AHS11 and AHS12 were imperfect.

You see, it's simple. It's way, way easier for pips, squeaks and clowns to take pot shots and poke holes in that which is imperfect, than to get off their lazy asses and take a risk creating an alternative more to their liking. ...But I suspect that at root, it's not the laziness at issue, but the deep seated knowledge that they would flop at any such endeavor, exposing the fact that so very few care about their righteouznezez.

So anywhos, you can check it all out live, by just checking into the #AHS13 Hashtag on Twitter where tons of people are basically live blogging the event for your vicarious pleasure. I probably wasted a skosh too much time yesterday taking it in myself. In years past, I was there, so I never checked the Twitfeed much. Interesting to have that perspective now, especially combined with having been there. It's almost real to me. I can virtually taste it.

...Except, the food. These were my favs from last night's dinings in Atlanta.

Emily Deans at Empire State South:

Emily
"Pork belly, roasted beets, sea beans, fennel, rice grits."

Dallas & Melissa Hartwig at King + Duke:

Melissa
"Ah-mazing steak tartare"

Stuff like this was bound to happen, you know. 'White people of some affluence'—the attractive women of childbearing age—lean & fit—probably with a number of libertarianish leaning political ideas...

To hell in a handbasket, I tell ya.

Footnote: I'll be heading off this afternoon, back up to Hat Creek Rim to spend a couple of days flying hang gliders, dry-camping-roughing-it in the LZ, and sharing remembrances of my longtime friend Page Perrin with a couple hundred others of his friends.

Ancestral Health Society: Please tell me it was a joke about Ben Greenfield with his magical decoder bracelet, complete with snake oil drops

There it was, at 1:00 pm on Friday last, at the Ancestral Health Symposium, in Atlanta.

Ketogenic Diets for Athletic Performance Panel

by Ben Greenfield, M.S., C.S.C.S., C-I.S.S.N., Jamie Scott, PGDipNutMed, PGDipSportExMed, Jimmy Moore, Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf, B.S.

OK, fine. Ketogenesis in the context of athletic performance is something we're hearing a lot about, lately. That's cool. On the surface, huge diff between, say, weight lifters and endurance athletes, and everything in-between. Let the debate rage; because, the whole point about it is to get some folks willing to experiment. But in the end, the cool thing about athletic competition is that: it is what it is. They will use the diet that works best for the application. They do not care about micronutrients or macronutrients, per se. They care about performance and competition. Those, like me—who couldn't give a fuck amongst a nest of whores—still benefit by the knowledge gained where microseconds and milligrams count.

That's one thing; but here's the next, "courtesy" of Ben Greenfield.

SUPERHUMAN ENCODER - The World's First Piezeoelectric Performance Wristband

Holy Fuck! Batman!

But hold on. There's More! And it's so hilarious...

Perhaps you've had this happen to you before...

...you're at a health expo, a fair or a convention, and somebody suddenly pops out from a booth with a "magical bracelet".

My name is Ben Greenfield, and as a personal trainer, nutritionist, and human performance coach, I've been to a good number of fitness events, and I've certainly had this happen to me.

And the story is always the same: I put on the bracelet, do the special muscle or balance testing and suddenly I notice...

Nothing.

That's right, nothing.

From magnets to titanium to holograms, I never noticed any difference at all in performance, strength, balance, health or anything else.

And yet at some point in your life, you have probably also been hounded by wristband salespersons eagerly attempting to conduct muscle tests on you to verify that their magical wristband is going to turn you into some kind of a superhero

Oh really? You actually put it on with an open mind and gave it a test in athletic performance?

Then you're dismissed as a fucking moron. Forever.

Y'all can read the whole laf if you want. Feel free to drop funny shit in comments. There's a million—and it's essentially every marketing shtick-trick in the book—designed for morons.

Look. This isn't about differences in how much meat, fat, carbs—how dairy, natural starch, and maybe even legumes might fit into the whole ancestral/paleo equation. It isn't even about a guy who drops c-bombs, but already had a few fans who'd known him for a long time in the community and was given a pass.

This is simply about a popup con man, in it for as much money as he can get quick. That simple. Read that crap again if you don't believe deeply in Ben Greenfield's essential depravity and his utter worthlessness a human being.

I'll take a little of that back: I'm a sucker for genuine redemption.

...You know, I wondered where the hell he'd come from when everyone went running off to Spokane months ago.

...This may very well be the single thing that broke the camel's back for me, so's I don't even celebrate anything going on in Ancestral / Paleo, anymore.

I'll wish you well, but please keep your stink away from me.

Reflections On The Apparent Demise of The Ancestral Health Symposium (AHS)

Here's the post that came across email yesterday.

After four years of successfully staging annual Ancestral Health Symposiums, we regretfully announce that AHS15 will not be held. We were looking forward to it so much that we began planning for it before AHS14 took place, but despite our jump on the process, we hit several speedbumps along the way that eventually contributed to the event not coming together.

Apparently, they're looking to ramp up their Journal of Evolution and Health which, frankly, with a single published issue in 2013 is a journal in name only.

I can't say I'm surprised and moreover, I'll be surprised if this isn't really the prelude to the eventual end. Having an ancestral health symposium is a decent idea and I thought AHS11, the inaugural, was really great. I still recall Stephan Guyenet commenting "this is like being in the Internet."

I also attended AHS12 at Harvard and am particularly proud of my presentaton at that event. It turns out I came within a "cunt hair" of being disinvited. I can't divulge the source, but long after those events, someone forwarded the entire email thread between those board or committee members charged with the decision (I'd called some women, including Melissa McEwan, a very bad word on Twitter). Ironically, it was Seth Roberts and Melissa McEwan herself who intervened to keep me on the schedule.

That knowledge gave me a bit of added perspective on why, after this post slamming comments by an AHS12 volunteer, McEwan launched a Tumblr campaign against me.

I did not attend the last two symposiums, nor did I submit a proposal for a presentation. Many reasons, but I guess primarily, it comes down to my observation that it was increasingly becoming a giant exercise in lots of confirmation bias, or, simply a get-together where the same speakers, year after year, offer up essentially the same general narrative.

At AHS11 there were really no vendor tables I can recall—just the kind souls at Grassland Beef offering up endless free samples of their wares in the form of beef jerky and pemmican.  Contrast that with AHS12 were there were a dozen vendor tables—a good percentage of them were for various "Paleo" treats and bars—along with the embarrassing irony of conducting a "safe starch" panel in the other room (hosted by Jimmy Moore) were its tantamount to a potentially taboo subject. Go get your "Paleo" bars, but be very careful not to get taken with the idea that our ancestors ever ate a starch granule.

In retrospect, the iron grip control the LC community in general has exercised over AHS is possibly what's killing it now. And if that's the case, justice is served.

I looked closely at the program for AHS14, hoping to see lots of presentations exploring the rapidly burgeoning science on the gut biome. Nope, just a few tokens, the rest largely the same old LC schtick that generally ignores the biome.

In short, the ancestral community has evolved past the Ancestral Health Society. Hopefully, Keith and Michelle Norris will integrate whatever lessons they perceive from this in going forward with their Paleo f(x) Conference. I wish them well and in fact, months ago began hearing whispers that lots of people were seeing more value there.

#AHS12 Arriving

I'm on the way. Actually, just about an hour only out of Boston. 39,000 feet, though. Earlier, at 37,000 feet, I met someone who knows my blog. She's 2 rows ahead of me and emailed when she saw me on my computer. Cool.

Virgin America VX350, San Francisco to Boston. First time on Virgin, and I suppose this is only a taste compared to their international flights—where even some of the true cattle car-airlines do a decent job. Well done, Richard Branson. It's nice to feel like a customer again, on a domestic flight.

Not much to say.

Oh, here's a photo for speculation purposes.

IMG 1069
What happened?

Still figuring out how to make a joke about it for my presentation at AHS. Alright. I'll be reporting from the field. Most real time will be my Twitter feed.

Descent has begun (controlled, so far)...

No Church Revival: #AHS11

The plan came together at the start of my AHS Presentation.

I was lucky enough to be on the email distribution of the first emails that went out in 2009 about this great event. But when Brent and Aaron asked me to present, I asked why...what with Eaton, Cordain, Eades, Linberg, et al presenting; why a blogger like me?

"Richard, we need a blogger who's non-controversial."

Well, owing to the fact that most of the attendees had read enough of this blog, I got a good roar of laughter that really put the rest of the presentation at total ease for me. So thank y'all for your healthy diaphragms and sense of humor.

So, being as non-controversial as I am [cough cough, bullshit bullshit], who better to get on a podcast with Angelo Coppola, Latest in Paleo (the full collection at 5by5)? He already did a podcast last week covering #AHS11 from his podcast studio, so I emailed and asked if he might want to do another one with me, but about "The Controversies of #AHS11?" Within 5 minutes we had a deal and will record tomorrow morning. Preparations are in earnest.

It should "air" sometime Sunday or Monday and I'll be sure to let you know.

So far and tentatively, we'll be covering these controversies:

  • Gary Taubes, author of Good Calories, Bad Calories and Why We Get Fat vs. Dr. Stephan Guyenet, PhD of Whole Health Source.
  • Dr. Richard Feinman, MD vs. Dr. Robert Lustig, MD.
  • Why so many low-carbers?
  • Dr. Boyd Eaton's presentation.

I was there for the Taubes/Guyenet dustup, have spoken with both of them, and there's more, which I'm going to hold close for now, in order to shamelessly build irresistible suspense for actually listening to the podcast upon release. I also have a clear vision and opinion on "why all the low carbers?" Unfortunately, I was not on hand for Eaton's presentation and while I've cobbled together some idea of it from blog posts and getting several earfuls from folks who were, insights about what went down in comments would help. And, I'm a bit lost on the Feinman/Lustig dispute. I know it's about fructose vs. glucose, but again, any insight in comments would be greatly appreciated.

Any other controversies you'd like us to comment on and analyze? Go for it.

Decision AHS13 Atlanta: Not Submitting a Presentation

I greatly enjoyed being one of the first to know about and promote the Ancestral Health Symposium, long before the beginning of it. Brent Pottenger and Aaron Blaisdell have never been anything but cordial and friendly with me, and it was a tremendous pleasure to be involved with both previous events as a layman / blogger presenter.

When the video of my AHS12 presentation got released, I wrote this in my post announcing it:

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.

Time's up.

I had recently been considering submitting a proposal for a wholly different sort of presentation from what I've done in the last two: a sciency one with references & shit. Resistant Starch, given my penchant for starchy Real Foods, potatoes and The Potato Diet, recently. I thought it might be a nice adjunct to the Jaminet-esque Safe Starch debate of AHS12.

But I skate on thin ice, given the hoopla surrounding the combination in which I make my fingers hit keys on the board...often in good ways, often in bad ways, but always whatever rolls at the moment.

That being the given—and my resolution to recapture my principal original focus of being a real help to real people out there, moving forward—I've decided to pass. Whether I submit and get turned down, or submit and get accepted, there will be needless drama. I care not a wit about my own lot in that regard, but I do have a sense that the spectacle detracts from what AHS is trying to accomplish, which I support.

They have a right to not be associated with me. Even submitting a proposal at this point entails some compelled association on my part.

Finally, I think I'm better off for it. So is everyone else. I don't like being told what to do by anyone and will always affirmatively make a point of that. AHS has never told me what to do, of course, but there is an undercurrent of expectation that ultimately translates to upholding standards of decorum AHS would prefer. And this probably tends to fuck me up, arguably makes me more outlandish than I might otherwise be.

I'm simply not cut out for upholding anyone's standards but my own. Accordingly, it's best for me to only do speaking engagements where I've been explicitly invited by those who know all about what I'm all about.

...And so henceforth, nobody has any arguments about how the way I make my fingers move on the keyboard reflects in any way on the Ancestral Health Society.

My Declaration of Independence From The Paleo Movement

Something's been weird for a while and I've finally identified it.

[For an update, please see: Lemons to Lemonade Documentary - Ed]

I've allowed myself over the last couple of years to become increasingly "defined by" (for lack of a better description) and/or entwined in "The Paleo Movement" writ large. It snuck up on me. I suppose it's natural when increasingly, one find's himself so often mentioned in a list of "the popular blogs." Of course, I myself have contributed to that with the name dropping here and there. Yea, I'm friends or acquaintances with a lot of those guys and gals. And yea, there's a certain allure to be "one of those guys."

But I think it's not even that that bothers me the most. I think it began with AHS11 and perhaps even the speaking gig at The 21 Convention around the same time, which was a Paleo talk primarily. Suddenly, I'm seen as some sort of spokesman, representative—what have you—for a movement that's now coalesced into having a more formal identity. Here's the deal: there is a certain logic to the dynamic where, those who have identified with that movement expect that those representing it officially, uphold some general notion of "standards of decorum."

So I get it. I'm a very polarizing figure, intentionally so. I get lots of love and lots of hate, just the way I like it; because indifference sucks. And while those who love me are all for me coming to AHS to speak, that's no surprise. ...And I suppose it's fair to ask, "well, why do Richard's haters get to trump the deal and exclude him?" Problem: it's not really about that for me. It's about me going out of my own BlogZone from where I call the shots, exclusively, into an arena where many don't want to see me. Why bother?

Here, I get to blog whatever the hell I want and if you don't like it, you don't have to read it, promote it...you can hate on it here or elsewhere, and I'm fine with that—though I might bite back if I feel like it. But I never like to go where I'm not welcome, because I feel as though I'm imposing. It's for that reason that I don't much participate in comments on other blogs unless I think I have something positive to offer.

And so, what happens when caught in this paradigm of being a "representative," expected to live up to generally accepted standards of decorum and propriety? What happens is I tend to be motivated to be even more polarizing, focussing more on controversy—et cetera, et cetera—without nearly enough balance in terms of the positive things that tend to help people over time. It's like I'm caught in this Black Hole of controversy, and I fight it and fight back.

[For an update, please see: Lemons to Lemonade Documentary - Ed]

So, that identified, I think I'm going to pass on submitting a presentation for AHS this next year. Whether I attend or not, we'll see.

And I'll no longer be referring to myself as "a Paleo blogger." I'm a blogger, and I blog about whatever tickles my fancy at any given moment and it's often about food, health, nutrition, diet, exercise. And about Paleo from my own perspective.

There. Now I'm in my comfy spot once again. Read it if you like, love or hate as you will, contribute when you can; but above all, know that I'm associated with no other version of Paleo, Primal, Ancestral, or whatever.

Another thing. From this point forward I will only be promoting those things I find or get wind of that I have a specific interest in promoting. So stop mailing the newest Paleo book to come out every week, please.

I'm declaring my independence and will blog about what I feel like, when I feel like, and I'll be linking up this post whenever there's the slightest doubt about that, or hint that I owe anyone anything in particular. ...But I sure do want to help those looking for it whenever I can.

Onward.

Update: I have two new follow-up posts on this topic.

The Definitive Guide to Melissa McEwen’s “Paleo Drama”

"To the man who only has a hammer, everything he encounters begins to look like a nail." — Abraham H. Maslow

[For an update, please see: Lemons to Lemonade Documentary - Ed]

I had a couple of posts in draft to further delve into two aspects of what has come up recently in the latest series of Paleo controversies kicked off by Melissa McEwen of the well respected blog Hunt-Gather-Love, once she began a Mark I, Mod A, By-the-Book smear blog: Paleo Drama.* Instead of posting those, or continuing my tongue-in-cheek "Misogyny 10x" series, I want to do a final, single post on all of this and call it a day, week, month, year...and move onto more more productive and constructive endeavors.

(* A smear campaign is a purposefully dishonest, out-of-context attack whereby only information judged to further the smear is used. Mitigating circumstances, exculpatory evidence, clarifications or elaborations are never used—by design and on purpose—because they do not further the goals and aims of the smear campaign.)

For background, Friday evening I was sitting at a restaurant with Jolly (the camera guy at AHS11 & 12 and The 21 Convention) and Keith & Michelle Norris (Paleo fx) for dinner and we were talking about my AHS "Whining and Gnashing of Teeth" post, the volunteer behind it, etc. Jolly called up the cached version of the volunteer's post, began reading the comments and asked how things were with Melissa. I said they were fine; that we'd had our issues, but have since exchanged a lot of friendly emails over the months on a number of topics and that she comments now and then on the blog.

He said, "are you sure?" and then showed me her comment on that cached post. [Unfortunately, the cache is no longer available either. If someone has it in some version, feel free to shoot me the link and I'll insert it here.]

Later that night, or perhaps it was Saturday morning, I was alerted to "Paleo Drama" for the first time and had not the faintest thought of putting 2 and 2 together. There were only a few posts, a couple of them mentioning me and how awful I am. I assumed it was some troll and didn't give it much thought. I replied to an inquiry on Twitter later that day or evening that it would never get a mention from me. It wasn't until late Saturday night that all came together and low & behold, it was Melissa behind it.

Shocked was I. I decided to give it a while, think about it, see how the whole project was developing. I initially decided a "no comment" stance might be the best approach, and then realized that just wasn't going to cut it. But rather than attack it or her, I decided to post this instead. It was a simple effort at reconciliation, or at least Détente. I took every measure I could think of in the post to keep it from being a so-called "hate circus" on Melissa, Evelyn, or any related parties in comments. Why escalate? Done it already.

[For an update, please see: Lemons to Lemonade Documentary - Ed]

What happens? Melissa immediately blasts me for taking those measures to not have happen this time what she was upset about having happened last time!?!? I even acknowledged and accepted her criticism of that last time in the post, and repeatedly in comments.

Heads I win, tales you lose.

Well, as always, you get to judge for yourselves. Most of my initial exchange with Melissa is near the top of the comment thread. I was going out of my usual way to be reasonable, conciliatory, magnanimous, and so on. In some cases I had to explain the same thing a number of times.

Goose egg. Complete purposeful unreasonableness and later, even an escalation of the Drama at Paleo Drama. In fact, unless I'm mistaken, the tagline for her blog was originally something along the lines of 'some modicum of creating a civil non-anti-intellectual environment', but as I noted yesterday, now reads:

Dispatches from the paleo cesspool. Why? Too much silence for too long, it's catharsis, and for every post I put up, I'm more and more motivated to do something else besides sit in the cesspool.

One might hope she puts up a lot of posts then, so she might feel better and get out of the "cesspool" already, because after all, she's been "silenced" for too long. Yes, she has resorted to using virtually every weasel word and phrase in the feminist handbook: "silenced, repressed, hated, excluded, discriminated, othered..." and the list goes on. All words basically designed to create the illusion that she's at the point of some archetypical man's gun, when she's not. If she was silent, that was her choice. It's. That. Simple. ...Done.

[For an update, please see: Lemons to Lemonade Documentary - Ed]

What she really means is that with speaking up, there is accountability. She didn't want to face it so it's on you, those who would have held her accountable. Essentially, she just wants to be able to get away with shit and you might not have let her, so its your bad. And now that's she's freeeee of her self imposed chains, you better watch out, because you're getting double barrels now. You just wait and see. It's cathartic, after all.

In that comment exchange, I asked a direct question to Melissa that didn't get answered directly.

OK, Melissa, here’s an honest query for you. In my post where I called you out after you called me out, here was your last comment:

http://freetheanimal.com/2012/04/how-do-you-know-what-you-know.html#comment-125811

~~~

“Melissa and I are exchanging emails. I never materially edit a post. That said, here’s the deal. Because it’s my post and if you think I’ve done Melissa wrong, feel free to go after me in comments. On the other hand, please, enough said on the negative side here, don’t pile on if you have an urge. Understand that I hate this. Hell, I’ve hugged Melissa and given her a ride in my car. I hate this. Let it rest. I said what I said, She said what she said.”

Heheh, don’t worry. I’m no delicate flower. I know what people think of me. Heck, I’ve gotten DEATH THREATS from animal rights activists. This stuff said about me on the paleosphere is pretty tame in comparison. So even if I am a bitch, wrong, yadda yadda, at least people aren’t threatening to firebomb my house.

If you are going to fight, do it with some pride at least. I may be tiny materially, but in words, I am a beast. One of the reasons is that I’ve been through a lot in my life, so there isn’t a lot that I’m afraid of.

~~~

[For an update, please see: Lemons to Lemonade Documentary - Ed]

Since that time, you’ve commented here on various posts nine times, not counting your comments here, and they were all constructive or participating in various ways.

In addition to that, since that comment on the post in question in April, we have had a total of 20 emails exchanged on the following topics:

- Kruse
- ItsTheWooo
- Lustig
- Masterjohn/Minger

All of those were friendly, constructive exchanges. Now all this, out of the blue.

So what happened? I’d sincerely like to know.

She answered indirectly on her new blog.

...what motivated me to start this was what happened to that AHS volunteer. I felt so sad for her. I felt somewhat responsible, both for being silent about things and for mis-guided defense of certain people. I don’t think everything she said was correct, but she didn’t deserve to be treated that way.

OK, I can understand she may have initially misunderstood my post and intentions (I don't actually believe that anymore). The problem is, the idea that I called that volunteer a laundry list of names like "poor, fat, old, ugly, etc." has already been debunked by at least a couple of commenters who aren't exactly my fans on Evelyn's blog. For example.

I stopped reading Richard some time ago because if his hopeless vulgarity and lack of compelling content. However, I made an exception to read his post against the criticism of an AHS volunteer. While his post is a typical two dimensional libertarian rant, fully lacking in style or wit, he does not attack this woman ad hominum. And this woman's complaints about the AHS are themselves fine until she gets to the part about a 'whiff of racial supremacy', a claim so outrageous that, absent any compelling evidence to the contrary, are illegitimate and pointlessly destructive.

[For an update, please see: Lemons to Lemonade Documentary - Ed]

He or someone else goes on to explain exactly how I used those words: sarcastically. Exactly. Gold star for what ought to have been obvious on even a casual read. And in fact, I later went on to write this about the volunteer in the same post.

Yea, it's laughable and that's why I'm amplifying it to hyperbolic proportions.

And...

I appreciate the volunteer service of that person and I hope her name was included in my wrap up because I endeavored to get the names of everyone who made it all look easy.

McEwen knows all this. She ignores it, persists on, and even escalates. Two things are telling.

  1. She has not addressed this debunking with a single word either in my comments or elsewhere.
  2. She is not demanding I apologize to the "victim" she pretends to champion, for effect. Rather, she demands I apologize to her.

The demand stems from a hasty, angry tweet I put out in the wake of Jack Kruse being kicked off the LC Cruse, owing to a satirical tweet about him planning a 'major bio-hack involving some virus'. I'd been told previously by a few people I no longer recall that three women were behind the @ShitKruseSays Twitter account. I guess those three women got the same memos, as did others, because everyone seemed to know who I meant when I tweeted "the 3 [just words] will pay."

[For an update, please see: Lemons to Lemonade Documentary - Ed]

The next day, thinking better of things and frankly, concerned far more about the accusation of their involvement than the [just words] I used to characterize it, I issued and apology.

That was a follow-up Tweet last evening, after I had learned the news and was angry. I've had time, space, and the council of a couple of prominent Paleo peeps I count as friends, such that I now regret it as a massive, dick-stepping fuck up.

I apologize, particularly to anyone who may have insinuated that I was accusing them. The fact is: I do not know who was behind it, but that Tweet makes it appear as though I do, and that is wrong. I was wrong, plain, simple, and easy. And I always hate to be wrong and stupid...but the only thing to do when you're either, or both, is to stop being wrong and stupid moving forward. So that's what I'm doing.

Not good enough. It was deconstructed to the extent I had to do a whole "Sticks & Stones" post.

Here's a Sub-Definitive Guide on Apologies for you.

  1. If you want to leave open the possibility and opportunity for receiving an apology (and reconciliation), then never demand one. Instead, just state your grievances as objectively and calmly as possible.
  2. If instead, you want to have something to use and to hold against the aggrieving party at will, then demand one you know you're unlikely to get.

I probably issued a few "I sowwy mommy" apologies on command as a child (and hundreds of unsolicited and preemptive apologies since), I have never, ever issued an apology on demand, and hell and earth will freeze over before I do. Fuck that to death. Two reasons.

  1. I don't like being told what to do in any context by anyone, for any reason. I left home when I was 18. I know what I'm doing and I'll take my lumps if I'm wrong. I'll decide what I'm going to do and I'm not going to "should" you, or demand from you either.
  2. It's such a lame and transparent domination tactic. People who demand apologies are looking to dominate you. I wasn't born yesterday.

I have never in my life demanded an apology. Two reasons.

  1. I don't like to be perceived as a weak pussy, a victim, in cathartic need of someone else's bended knee and contrition to make me feel better.
  2. I simply never attempt to dominate people by telling them what they should or ought to do. If I don't like what they did, I simply tell them. Sometimes I use [just words].

I always have two responses when offered an apology.

  1. Don't worry about it or, depending on context...
  2. Don't apologize, just don't do it again, please.

Now here's a Mini-Sub-Definitive Guide to Achieving Diversity (in Ancestry Ass. and Everywhere).

  1. Get off your lazy asses and energize the people you want to see included. Don't sit around and bitch & moan that "the white guys" are seeing to their own tribes and comfort zones.
  2. Unless there's explicit exclusion—which there is not in AHS, except the price of membership and event tickets—but even that's not insurmountable with fund raisers and such, or outreach)—then #1 is assured...provided...the people who care the most get off their lazy asses.

[For an update, please see: Lemons to Lemonade Documentary - Ed]

Told you it was a mini guide.

I'll tell you what; and I'll put this part into a clean post with some elaboration tomorrow or Saturday. I want to help you achieve your values and goals. In fact, I not only accept a greater diversity at AHS, but welcome and celebrate it. It would be cool and fabulous to see more people "on their way," along with the "already there" (my sense was more of those this year than last and I made note). It would especially be good to see more African and Hispanic involvement, as they seem to have genetic issues with SAD even more profound than for us Euros.

It's just not my job necessarily, and it's not the job of those already busting ass for the people already energized. On the other hand, my own blog is open to all, and I have documented success stories across the spectrum.

So here's what I'm going to do. I'm inviting guests posts for all these diverse niches. I'll elaborate on it when I do the follow on, "moving forward" post. Stefani Ruper of Paleo for Women will already be doing another guest post sometime in the future, seeing how successful her last was. At AHS12, there was a presentation on Paleo in the Hispanic community and I'll be trying to get in touch with them to offer them a guest post (an introduction would be great).

Suggestions and direction and contacts are welcome. I'm not going to make it easy. I'm only going to do guests posts from people with established blogs or programs in the diverse niches in which they're interested in promoting.

[For an update, please see: Lemons to Lemonade Documentary - Ed]

In closing, here's what prompted me yesterday to delete the last post in the continuing drama I'd just put up, then set about to take a new direction, make this definitive and final, and move on to helping people that was the original purpose in the first place. (Click to open the full size for easier reading.)

Screen Shot 2012 08 23 at 3 17 21 PM
 

When I saw that, I almost immediately clicked here, scrolled all the way down, and just glanced at the images on that first of I don't know how many pages. I resolved to set this all aside with my final and definitive statement on the whole thing.

It's true I lose sight of my goal, at times. I'm getting right back to it.

You get to judge for yourself. If you judge that Melissa is going to help more people than I am going forward, then I welcome you to go support her efforts and her new cesspool inspired project.

[For an update, please see: Lemons to Lemonade Documentary - Ed]

AHS12 Whining and Gnashing of Teeth

Update 8/14/2013: Well, one day short of a year since I originally published this. And wowzers did I catch a lot of heat for it. Someone even started a blog specifically to trash me about my "misogyny," laf. Man, those were the days. I just read through it again for the first time since the couple of times right after publishing it and do you know what?

I. Stand. By. Every. Fucking. Word. Maggots. Now go fuck off for a second time.

~~~

When I wrote my wrap up the other day I hadn't seen any other takes on the festivities by anyone who'd actually attended it. I assumed I was going to see pretty much the same enthusiasm I felt, expressed in different ways here and there. AHS11 received such a uniformly positive response and I didn't see why this time would be any different.

Ah, but grasshopper, you were so dumb. AHS11 was a one-off affair conjured up by Aaron Blaisdell and Brent Pottenger (two white men, incidentally; and as such, how dare them) that against all odds was a smashing success not only in terms of the length, breadth and quality of the presenters, but in terms of attendance and plain solid work in pulling it all off competently. In my presentation there, I opened by mentioning how when they first contacted me about the idea, I basically humored them in support—not really believing it would come to pass.

But you see, now that it's a bona fide success, it's just a great target for attack and criticism—by people who did fuck all to make anything like that happen. Yea, there was a volunteer (who helped to make things happen) at this last one who wrote a scathing piece on the whole affair, and then there are posts elsewhere—and the commenters who love to pile on for the party.

I served as a last minute volunteer, and although I attended several of the presentations, of which one was the Moore panel, I mostly served as a gopher and registration assistant.  To that end, I took the opportunity to observe the behavior of attendees, the conference leaders and the vendors, and it was enlightening. I was already disturbed about the logo that AHS uses – it’s obvious that the two body outlines are of white northern Europeans – the male holding a spear, and the woman, a basket. The demographic at this event was almost all white, child bearing age, healthy, wealthy, highly educated, libertarian, racist, sexist and bigoted.  People were largely and obviously judged on their external appearances. Those who weren’t of the demographic were left alone – they were shunned.

Shame on Brent and Aaron for not bussing in uneducated, unhealthy, post-menopausal, fat people who could not pay...and who were also black, hispanic, asian, but comprised mostly of lots and lots of sexually undesirable women—all screened to make sure they they're lefty democrats: racist while protesting to be not, sexist while protesting to be not, and bigoted—but the life of the party sort of bigot.

Was AHS12 by invitation only? Did one have to fill out a demographic questionnaire prior to purchasing a ticket?

I appreciate the volunteer service of that person and I hope her name was included in my wrap up because I endeavored to get the names of everyone who made it all look easy.

You see, I really don't much like those who remind you always of how hard it is to do what they do. The ones I like are the ones who do the hard stuff and make it look easy. This is the true proof of their competence. That's how I felt about the volunteer organizers and movers of both AHS11 and AHS12. For all her criticism of all the behind the scene conflagration and confusion, I didn't notice a whiff of it ever. And it's beyond me why someone as part of an organization that pulled off a success finds so much need in airing all the behind-scene dirty laundry publicly, when I believe the vast majority of paying customers were happy. Does every single thing that can be said, need to be said?

Oh, yea, I forgot: "The demographic at this event was almost all white, child bearing age, healthy, wealthy, highly educated, libertarian, racist, sexist and bigoted."

Perhaps, at base, she wanted it to go off badly for all those awful folk.

As you've probably guessed by now, I could go on and on with that whole deal, but let me cut it off here with just one more "quibble."

The male conference directors and chairs often made unilateral decisions with no leadership or management. I’ll call it intentional incompetence.

I'm not really sure whether she means that all that'd be fine if females did it, or that what needed to happen in every critical moment was to pull all volunteers off station, for a committee—ensuring to include equal representation amongst poor, unhealthy, fat, black, hispanic, asian, women, lesbian and a transvestite—to vote on it.

Yea, it's laughable and that's why I'm amplifying it to hyperbolic proportions.

I think at base, there's a couple of types of folks in the world. For the most part, those attending the AHS events know that they'll see 50% of the presentations at most, but that means they can pick and choose and what that means is: was there enough value for me, there? Yes? I'll be back. No? Maybe not. Simple. That's dealing with things as they really are, not as some ridiculous ideal fantasy. Then there's the other sorts who look at it and conclude this isn't how they would do it, and so they set about to attack and criticize those who do things that they have neither the ability or wherewithal to do themselves. And they've most likely never accomplished a notable thing in their lives...and so there's an element of self loathing.

...The patriarchal criticism annoys me the most. Two guys created this. To my knowledge, they have never, ever excluded a single woman because she's a woman. What they did was take all comers willing to help them make this real. That most of them were men is a criticism of women, and deserved praise of men. Did you hear me, laddies? Get off your asses and take what you think you can handle, or shut the fuck up and stop your whining.

It's there for the taking. For you. I'll be there to applaud every single success (of individuals, regardless of superficial skin color or genital arrangement).

But that's not what some of you want, is it? Now that the really hard work is done, beginning almost 4 years ago, created by two white, privileged men, and it's a success, some of you want it all just handed to you on the proverbial silver platter. Aren't I right?

Last I noticed, the WAPF is pretty much dominated by women. You've got Sally Fallon who I believe heads the thing, and a couple of its chief cheerleaders and promoters are Ann Marie Michaels of CheeseSlave and Kelly the Kitchen Kop, both with hugely popular WAPF blogs. I'm gonna stick my neck out and guess that never in the history of the universe has a single white male ever protested the matriarchal bent to WAPF. Prove me wrong, or shut the fuck up.

...I don't give a fuck about skin color or genital arrangements when it comes to merit or prestige. Sally Ride was the first time in my life that I really took cognizance of the harm the women's "feminist" movement does to women. She was, to me, an astronaut, not "the first female astronaut." It sorrows me to think she had to endure the notion that she got that gig because of how here genitals were arranged, and not because she was damn good at what she did being a physicist, and better than enough others at the time to get what she wanted.

Similarly, for Barak Obama. It's sad for him that he's going to go down in history as "the first black president," and not the gig the white guys get: a skilled politician, more cunning in lying, deception, obfuscation, popularity, dynamism, money raising than everyone else at the time.

~~~

Full disclosure of conflicts of interest: I'm a white guy, northern European descent. I attended private school through HS. It was mostly white people like me. There were plenty of females, though none fat. They all believed in fairy tales, though. Lived in a co-ed dorm in college and boy did I love love love that! In the first true home I could call my own, I split rent with a black guy, Annapolis grad and football player. My wife is Hispanic, and when I met her, she made way more money than me. The company I eventually created employed 3/4 females to males and 3 of the 4 top management positions below me were manned by non-men. I have a lot of gay and lesbian friends. I remain chauvinistic, bigoted and racist...so they tell me.

Memo to Carb-Insane-Asylum: Here’s My AHS Presentation in Video (Choke on it)

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.

One person’s effort to get Nikoley out of AHS

From: Evelyn aka CarbSane
Date: Thu, May 24, 2012 at 2:56 PM
Subject: Richard Nikoley and AHS12
To: Aaron Blaisdell , Brent Pottenger

Hello Sirs!

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 win.

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.

30960400
 

Alright...</gloating>.

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.

Richard Nikoley—Paleo Epistemology and Sociology from Ancestral Health Society on Vimeo.

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.

Livebloging #AHS12 When I Feel Like it

It's 1:30 am.

Ran into to Sisson earlier,  on purpose, as he was checking in about an hour after I did.

Yan, a longtime reader and geek from Denmark (he was at #AHS11), bought me too many drinks and then I bought him dinner. I had about a dozen raw oysters and steak tartare. All raw. Settled well.

Got back to the Charles Hotel just in time to run into Frank Forencich, who is also presenting. We shot the shit for an hour at least.

He and I are the only guys in the paleosphere who will be focussing on the mind.

So stay tuned.

Human Animals Eating Animals #AHS11

It seems to me that hands down, the most heralded eating experience of the whole #AHS11 affair was Animal Restaurant. Everyone who was anyone gave it a shot. We went on Friday night. Skyler made the reservations a week or so in advance.

Ham
Ham (get it?)

Enough of fucking Skyler, for now. Let's get to the food. Animal has a menu that changes, but here's a good sampling. Since it's tapas style (which I love), we decided it would be best to divide off into the four couples present. Beatrice and I had six plates. From memory: quail, crispy pig ears & egg, bone marrow with chimichurri, foie grass on a biscuit & gravy, halibut, and the best of all: veal brain. I only managed a few pics because I was too busy indulging and shouting expletives at the guy sitting next to me (guess).

IMG 0376
Crispy Pig Ears, Lime, and an Egg
IMG 0377
Quail Bits (yummy; an uncle and I once killed a few dozen quail in a single blow; yummy too)
IMG 0378
The Bone Marrow with Chimichurri
IMG 0379
Veal Brain, potentially everyone's favorite (cinnamon spiced, texture of pork belly)
IMG 0381
Flank Steak with some Funky Sauce (guy sitting next to me I was shouting at)

But enough of my crappy iPhone pics. M, of NomNom Paleo does a complete and pro photography treatment, and I do mean complete, and pro. Don't be a fucking idiot by not clicking over. Full Stop. Click. Come back, because you have yet to hear the story of the shouting match. OK, I'll steal one, the foie gras biscuit and gravy, my second fav after the veal brain.

foie gras 1
Fatty Goose Liver

Really, it's a toss up between that one and the brain.

Before I forget, no, this was not anywhere close to gluten free, in spite of no bread basket...and I think someone mentioned they use peanut oil. ...And they politely refuse any mods, according to something else I saw, somewhere. You know what? Don't even get started with me if you want to -- as in the words of Sarah, husband of the loud mouth -- "kick me off Paleo Island." When you can get exotic food like this, in a setting like this, with friends like this (except for the loud mouth), then you throw caution to the wind and you go for that chocolate dessert with bacon it it, too.

That's what I say. Just don't do it more than 4-5 times per week.

Skyler is such an asshole, and between you and I, I think his wife Sarah agrees.

SKYLER: SO WHAT THE FUCK, MAN?

ME: WHAT THE FUCK IS UP WITH THAT COLD WATER DEAL, PUSSY.

SKYLER: BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA

ME. BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA

SKYLER: FUCKIN' A

ME: NO SHIT

Sarah: Skyler, you're talking too loud.

Bea: Rich, you're talking too loud.

ME: SO WHAT THE FUCK, MAN?

SKYLER: NO SHIT. BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA

ME: HEH, BLA BLA BLA BLA. FUCK YEA, YOU GOT THAT RIGHT.

SKYLER: SHIT

ME: FUCK

Sarah: Skyler, you're talking too loud.

Bea: Rich, you're talking too loud.

ME: TALKING TOO LOUD = CURB YOUR ENTHUSUIASM

SKYLER: FUCKIN' A, MAN.

Sarah: Skyler, you're talking too loud.

Bea: Rich, you're talking too loud.

SKYLER: BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA

RICH: BLA BLA. Here, you handle the check.

Animals
Animals at Animal

There's Keith Norris & Michelle, Sarah, Loud Mouth, Beatirice stealing my well deserved limelight, and Austin friends Bryan and Tracy Barksdale, whom it would have been a pleasure to talk to more, had I been able to shake Skyler. Jesus.

Perhaps Sarah said it best when she announced she'd be going to the spa the next day. Not having a ticket to AHS, "I'm not going to pay to hear Skyler speak. I might pay to shut him up."

The Beautiful People of the Ancestral Health Symposium #AHS11

OK, here's the first post featuring photos taken by others during the AHS. What you should note is the huge percentage of people who look like a human animal should look, and it's not just body composition, but skin tone, hair, absence of redness and inflammation, and bright eyes.

Of course, Vegans and Vegetarians with their orthorexic eating disorders, who think POWs look fat, will probably have a different view.

Thanks to Julia Kohli, Arron Blaisdell and Tess McEnulty for the photos.

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photoo
 
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IMG 1079
 
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IMG 1089
 
IMG 1138
 
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IMG 1115
 

Tess also uploaded 70 various AHS photos to her Picasa space. Go have a look. And if anyone else has images similarly available on any of the photo sharing sites feel free to shoot me the link and I'll add it to the post.

I think it's great to present as much of the whole flavor and excitement of the event to those who did not attend as possible. I want to see 2,000+ attendees next year. Let's make it happen.

Update: From commenter Jolly, who was the guy snapping professional quality pics everywhere.

1000 photos, cut down to 234.
Facebook Day 1
Facebook Day 2
Flickr

Crazy Stupid – Paleo – Love #AHS11

 It's 2:11 AM

Just got up after a couple of hours sleep. Bea's right behind, sleeping soundly near as I can tell. And I'm filled to the brim with a mix of love, adoration and euphoria, such that I figured it was time to get my ass out of bed and write about it instead of merely thinking about it while staring at a dark ceiling -- at 2 am. High emotion fuels a blog, and that's just the fact.

Here's all the pics I Tweeted earlier, throughout the night. This ought to give you an envious clue, even though I ought to just make you go look at them on Twitter and be my "follower." But I'm such a nice guy. There's lots, mostly candid. This is not even yet the beginning of the King of Earth Nutrition, the Ancestral Health Symposium. I'm not going to take time to link so if you're new, stumbling in here or whatever, Google names, places, events.

I'm eating real beef jerky, but I'll get to that later.

Rob Wolf
Rob Wolf
Melissa Chris
Melissa & Chris

That's Pedro Bastos off to the right. Melissa McEwen & Chris Masterjohn are genetically made for each other, I'm certain. Cutest couple ever. After chatting with Gary Taubes in the lobby for 15 minutes and before chatting with Loren Cordain and Pedro in the bar for another 15 minutes or so, Bea & I met up wit Melissa and Chris and offered them a ride. We stopped off at a local Whole Foods, then went to the event.

Dr  Stephan
Dr. Stephan

I was so embarrassed that Stephan finally came up to me and said "hey, Richard." It's like not noticing God in the room. I suppose that's easy for me, though.

Pic Them Out
Pic Them Out

Who do you see?

Pedro Erwan
Pedro & Erwan

Pedro is very jet lagged, just in from Lisbon. Erwan is probably about to eat a piece of meat. We all fell victim.

Speaking of meat, 100 grassfed steaks donated by US Wellness Meats to this great Ancestral Health Cause.

US Wellness Meats  100 Steaks
US Wellness Meats
Me Doug McGuff
Me & Doug McGuff
Me The Sisson
Me & The Sisson
Don Matesz and Paul Jaminet
Don Matesz and Paul Jaminet

Don and his new wife both looked awesome. I talked with Don a lot and I did let him know about my beefs, a bit. But you know what? This is why the internet can never substitute for human contact. After talking with him, I'm anxious to see his presentation.

Frank Forench Aaron Blaisdell
Frank Forencich & Aaron Blaisdell

Frank is the Exuberant Animal guy and like me, is into not only how we eat and move, but how we think and how we may have been adversely conditioned.

Gary Taubes and Bea
Gary Taubes and Bea

Gary told me I should caption this something like "I met Beat at the hotel."

There were so many others. My buddy Dr. BG is here, the Drs. Eades, Cordain, Staffan Lindberg and many more. Many more.

The feeling of privilege is really, frankly, overwhelming and I'm humbled about how so many came up and introduced themselves to me, including so many readers. I throw so much shit at my own blog because I feel like it sometimes and there seems to be a whole group of folks who get that about me.

 Singing off at 3:30 am.

The Ancestral Health Symposium 2012, Harvard Law School, Wrap-Up

It's easier to criticize the good than it is the bad—because the bad ought to be obvious enough, needing not much elaboration.

And as easy as it is to criticize the good, It takes surprisingly little additional effort to praise it instead, to encourage it, to promote its continuous improvement process (thanks my old friend, Bud B., for that gem of an idea you gave me years ago).

...For me, the biggest difference between the inaugural AHS11 and the second round—AHS12—was that my wife Beatrice was not there with me this time. It was not to be anyway, because of commitments with her job (she and a team have been called in to fix a broken school). Then, about 14 hours before I was to fly out, she got an awful phone call about her one and only older brother she ever had, or ever will have. Within 2 hours, she, her younger brother, and the matriarch of the siblings were on a plane to SoCal (thanks, SWA). Upon my return from the drop off, I set about to make arrangements for the dogs (thanks, mom & dad), pack for AHS12, collect my thoughts as best I could, and summon my rational walnut.

It was assumed Sam Jr. was basically gone. Brain hemorrhage, or stroke; he'd last been seen Sunday, and was discovered Tuesday afternoon in his apartment by his dad. The medical authorities on scene initially speculated that there was likely no use for extra intervention. It's always hopeless. Upon urging of the family, tests done to judge brain  function were highly positive, so they decided to operate to remove a clot and relieve the pressure on the brain, and to keep him under sedation. This process was going on the entire time I was there at AHS.

As I was leaving the Charles Hotel Sunday morning for the flight out, I got an email from Bea—after a conversation the night before that was very grim and depressing, to say the least—and everything had turned around on a dime...once Sam had gradually been weaned off the sedation. He could respond to commands, answer questions, etc. And by the time I got home last evening, he was changing channels on the remote, talking almost normal, and even joking.

Well, see, I love Sam too.

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Sam "JR" and Richard, 2008

He has that picture hanging in his apartment.

During the drive up to SFO a few hours later, after closing the door, leaving the doggies in the dark—in wait for my parents to show up later—with them having no idea why things were changing around them so fast, I felt very unwell. I had breached the subject with Beatrice immediately, of canning the whole affair and hitting the road with her and the doggies; but she urged me to continue on, and she continued to do so in texts over the course of the days of AHS.

But basically, I was in the position of no matter what I did, life was going to suck. And what sucked the most was hearing the deep sadness in my wife's voice every time I spoke with her. That's so not Bea...ever. And moreover, she was with her mom, dad, and her other brothers and sisters; and so the realization that I would be unable to cheer her up no matter what was a constant reminder of the gravity of the situation and was, well, depressing and very real.

Subsequent investigation suggests this was not an internal/structural hemorrhage or stroke at all, but the result of a fall. It appears his ankle may be broken or badly sprained. He has no recollection of what happened.

...OK, so now you know how, while I tried with as much gusto as I could summon to blog and tweet the whole thing blow by blow, I just didn't have it in me like I did last year (here's the list of posts about AHS11). Instead, here's the 30,000 foot view from my perspective.

~~~

Got to the hotel in the late afternoon Wednesday, happy to see a couple single-serving scotch whiskeys in the mini bar. About time, I thought. Those didn't take long at all, so I headed out and found the lobby bar decent enough—but I didn't ultimately want to hang out by myself. Soon enough, I ran into Jan from Norway, the big guy who had me sign and comment in his The China Study book at AHS11 (and I was the first, and he now has quite a collection of signatures and comments from various names you know). We were out on the large square in front of the hotel for a long while, greeting those arriving to AHS and heading out (Aaron Blaisdell and Jimmy Moore sightings and greetings among them).

At a point, we went to dinner at Russel House Tavern upon the recommendation of a thoughtful tweeter. I had a dozen oysters, then steak tartare, then six more oysters. Couldn't sleep worth a crap, later.

Festivities bagan around noon on Thursday and it was quite cool to be there, doing this, again. Everything went off just as I expected in terms of what I get from people: nods, handshakes, thanks, "I've read your blog for years," can I get a picture with you, and now, this year: thanks for what you did ["there"]. And so thank all of you back. In fact, only one person said one negative thing to me the entire time, and he wasn't even attending. I'll get to that later.

The schedules and speakers are, at this point, somewhat of a blur in ways; partly because of the personal situation, and partly because I'm never truly at ease until mine is done—and that was two days away. But what I do recall is some measure of yawn Thursday afternoon. I suppose that owing to the venue and co-sponsorship—Harvard Law School and the Food Law Society—there was no way to get around having lawyers talk about how they're smarter than the other guy who wants to tell you what to do, backed by the fining, seizing, imprisoning, murdering power of the state. So I din't take much of any of that in, instead chatting here and there.

But perhaps I'm ignorant. Perhaps they just want to repeal all food laws and all food regulations and all food subsidies to growers of plants and animals...and replace all of it with nothing, such that they have nothing to agitate about anymore. If that's the case, my sincerest apologies for implying anything to the contrary.

I headed back to the hotel mid-afternoon to work on my presentation a bit, nap...I don't really remember...but be back at 6ish for Joel Salatin's keynote address. It was good, kinda right up my alley in how something's not right in society. Whenever I hear Joel (1st time in person) I'm reminded of how in the life of every fraudulent & scheming/scamming—but nonetheless dynamic—political, media, academic or religious personality, they could, at one point, have been a value to society like Joel—instead of a parasite, or a promoting host for parasites.

After Joel, we got bused over to someone's house in Cambridge for the presenter & volunteer dinner. The caterers had started an entire pig in the smoker at 5am, and it was now about 8pm. How delicious and moist do you suppose it was? Alongside was yams, collard greens...and someone had brought a tub of fresh sauerkraut, and I'm gonna remember that (think coleslaw on a pulled pork sandwich). I contributed a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black, which had been entirely dispatched last time I noticed.

It was really cool to once again chat with the folks who are making this happen, and meet a few new ones. Finally met Sisson's lovely wife Carrie...who's tall, beautiful and has big, piercing eyes. And I'm also privileged to have a special friendship with Nora Gedgaudas and her partner Lisa—and both are looking better than ever. I molopolized them and they me for a good while; and if all comes together, Beatrice & I will be hosting them at our home for the Wise Traditions Conference in Santa Clara in November.

Finally I got some sleep. Crazy sleep, counting for missing the first couple of hours of Friday morning's presentations.

My general perspective on the presentations for both Friday and Saturday: you're on your own. This is highly varied. Figure out for yourself what works. I particularly liked Matt "The Kraken" Lalonde's speech on nutritional density. He covered all the bases, including the organ meats I harp on about. In chatting with him afterward, letting him know some of the stuff I've done comparing liver to fruit, bread, etc., he said that his biggest shocker was realizing how nutritionally poor fruit is...and he added that he though about my liver vs. bread comparison but concluded it wasn't fair because breads have eggs and fat added to the dough, often, and that's probably where most of the nutrition comes from.

AHS12 proves to me that it, and everyone else, can handle the Taubes/Guyenet dustup from last year and be adult about it, accepting that people are split on the issue, or somewhere in the middle like me. The hand wringing is fucking boring. There were plenty of voices on both sides at #AHS12, and that's the best possible situation. Fuck "settled." I want to see Gary and Stephan presenting at every single one, as well as those who side with one, the other, or half & half. Debate often turns to dialectic: thesis, antithesis, and finally, synthesis. Or maybe not, but it doesn't matter because you're still on your own.

Gary Taubes
Gary Taubes

I snapped that photo just as Gary motioned me to come over so that he could scold me a bit on my Internet "charm," as I believe he put it. This was during the catered lunch for everyone on the quad in front of the law school: bbq ribs, 2 kinds of chicken, and fixings. I visited with Keith Norris—the very nicest guy in the Paleosphere—and his dynamic-dynamo wife, Michelle (with enough energy for many). Also, some other very nice folks at the table whose names I unfortunately do not recall. I'll be visiting with Keith & Michelle in Austin (and Skyler Tanner) at the end of the week.

After lunch, it was Taubes and the now Doktor PhD Masterjohn, and of course, I was torn. Gary has a new presentation and this was the unveiling. Chis is Chris. So, I ended up getting a piss poor take on both, trotting back & forth between rooms. I'm looking forward to the videos.

My take on the safe starch panel. First, Jimmy Moore was a professional moderator in my view and I think perhaps Chris Kresser and Paul Jaminet had more total time than the two exponents. For my money, Chris and Paul had the more rational, sensible take on the thing. And they didn't engage in a whiff of condescension, as did Rosedale.

I might have left early, not sure, because all I was thinking about was how J. Stanton was going to do with his food reward presentation, the last of the day. He did great. Took him like a minute or two to relax, and that's good. Stephan Guyenet did challenge him in the Q&A, J was gracious, et cetera. In a chat later with Stephan, I told him that J would have loved to say a lot more and that owing to our conversations when he was my guest, I think they have a lot more in common than might be apparent.

After the day's events I headed back to the hotel in a wonderfully pouring, humid warm rain, barefoot. Having been topped off in sleep, I decided to head out. Stopped by the lobby bar and was soon approached by Kamal Patel, a mainstay on PaleoHacks and one of the guys I scuffled with in comments here a while back on the controversy everyone knows about. We'd already exchanged greetings at the conference, and he kindly invited me to his table, comprised of a few others who had read my blog here and there. Included was a woman who had commented back when, and her husband. A wee bit into the drink, he misunderstood that it was his wife I'd used the c-word on (thanks, Kamal).

Luckily, I was only a teensy bit into the devil's water myself, was able to deflect, and ended up with a handshake instead of a bloodied nose. The next day, Kamal apologized,—which was totally unnecessary—and thanked me for handling it well and not blowing up his group that was on the verge of dinner reservations.

I was a bit dazed & confused because things could have gone awfully badly, so took a walk. The rain had ceased; it was nice out. I ended up at a seafood restaurant across the square and ran into my friend Frank Forencich with whom I'd chatted at the lobby bar on night one, late. He was at the bar having dinner with James O'Keefe, also a presenter.

Raw Clams Oysters
Raw Clams & Oysters

So 2 out of 3 nights, raw dinner for me.

The next day, up to 1:55pm, is a blur. I still was not fully prepared. Frankly, I don't really like canned presentations—for me. I've never given the same one twice, and this goes back to doing speaking at business conventions way back. I actually like to do the brunt of my preparation beginning 4 hours in advance, do one dry run taking stock of the time I take to stop and ask myself what the fuck I'm saying, and then go give it. Right then.

It went well. I presented right after Ron Rosedale, MD and opposite Terry Wahls, the MD who has largely improved her MS with a Paleo diet and gained substantial notoriety, both from her TED talk, as well as the viral video of her son Zack—the articulate, artificially inseminated son of two women who love one-another romantically—testifying before people who believe themselves more competent to run your life than you. Nora and Lisa threw me a bone. Nora went to see Terry and Lisa came to mine. Nora b-lined it to mine when Terry's was over, and I took note in those last few minutes of my presentation. How sweet is that? Here's the most radical image I used in my Keynote.

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Least they have the decency to cover themselves

Soon, it was all over but the cryin'.

...Well, except for the Barefoot Ball. I didn't get a ticket when I registered, deciding to think about it. It was held at The Charles Hotel, in a room bordering the square in front. I'd had a depressing call with Bea, decided I'm glad I didn't go after all, but at the same time, didn't want to do any more than the two scotch single servings in the minibar. I headed out and eventually met up with Jan from Norway again and a few others coming out of the event.*

I so much prefer the spontaneous. Shit, we musta been there shooting the shit to 1am or thereabouts. Fun. And it's weird a bit...to speak with people you know absolutely nothing about but who know quite a bit about you.

OK, let me wrap this up with some random observations and thoughts.

  • Get off Stephan's back, maybe? I talked with him enough privately to think that he's under a lot of pressure...IF...he wants to be a force in helping people; and if you think that's not his prime motivation, then why did he put so much into a blog long before he got his credentials?
  • I'm sorry I'm a lousy small talker and chatter. ...Not that I think being so is a focus for any of the many who took the time and effort to say a word or two to me. But I'm always a little embarrassed, and really at a loss for what to say beyond 'thank you', and I hope, a show of gratitude and respect as best I can. I really, truly appreciate it, and I especially love those who tell me they hated me when they first came to the blog, but stuck around just long enough. Yep. That's  what I want to be: Paleo-heroine.
  • Hot Chicks of AHS. Lindsay Stärke started it by being amused by me. I've now added Stefani Ruper and Ashley Tudor to my cadre of enviable hot chicks who tolerate me and smack me in the arm or make silly faces at me like a brother. Believe it or not, it's a huge barometer. It's not anything like adoration, and I doubt they are much impressed by me in any important way. I think I amuse them to some extent, they know I'm not hurting anyone, and it's that that's important. I pay attention to what they and the many other hot chicks think and how they behave towards me because...as go hot chicks, so goes the world. Lindsay and I made bad faces at each other on first sighting.
  • I vote Dallas and Melissa Hartwig the Homecoming King and Queen of AHS. So poised, such a beautiful, striking couple and a true showpiece for Paleo living. Plus, I got Melissa to drop an F-bomb for me in a whispered conversation, and I value that sort of thing. It was so cool mixing it up with them and especially, having Dallas give me shit about wearing a suit the day of my presentation.
  • I loved it all, in spite of having a large part of me wanting to be with those I get to love more often, my wife and her amazing family.
  • My favorite tweet about me during the affair: PaleoPeriodical Who does @rnikoley sleep with to get these gigs? #ahs12

The thing I truly hate about unqualified, wide criticism in this regard—perhaps especially from people who didn't even attend—is that this is a huge effort and undertaking, and it's a truly non-profit, "gift to society" sort of deal; which I applaud because I don't believe in forcing people to cause, so why wouldn't I? People have half their fucking money stolen from them every fucking year of their lives in terms of Fed, State, and Local/Sales taxes and they can't fucking wait for the next fucking election. Got it? Oh, but spend $250, travel and hotel, have things go off 400% better than anything the government does, then blast them because it's not 500%, or whatever.

In closing about what should perhaps rightly be at the very top, I'd emailed around to get a list of the people who gave multitudes more of their time than is worth the $250 attendance fee...and I'm sure in many cases, more than the cost of your flight and lodging.

  • Beth Mazur, a mainstay of organization, hits it: Lisa Gizzarelli, Larry Kotovets, Vicky Vissering, Tori Kean, Annie Kreider, Judith Chapman, Tamara De Moor, Brady Gelvin, Amy Kubal, Nick DeTar-Koch, Andreas Dietzel, Moira Sherry, Stephanie Soscia, Shirley McLean, David McGee, Dustin Jones, and Ben Greenfield. Please go read Beth's post to get her on-the-scene take of these people who made what happen happen—or otherwise it wouldn't have.
  • The folks who do the work to get things in motion: Carlos Andres Toro, Katherine Morrison, Joe Johnson, Beth Mazur, Sam Osterling, Michal Naisteter, and Nate Rosenberg.
  • And of course, Aaron Blaisdell and Brent Pottenger for coming up with the whole deal in the first place.

Thank you, all the above. Thank you. My praise is well deserved and my criticism only such that I get to heap more praise next time around. Well done, men and women. Salute!

Ok, please do add your own impressions, praise, constructive criticism...and feel free to link a post or more it you're blogged any or all of it.

* Unfortunately, the Barefoot Ball seems to have been a big disappointment for many in terms of the skimpy food served (many went to restaurants to eat after paying $55). Chris Kresser echoed the same thing to me the next morning in the boarding lounge for the flight home (he got one $55 chocolate covered strawberry). A Nor-Cal Margarita  was $10.50. I'm sure that will go to the lessons learned category for the organizers. All the other catering was superb and plentiful in my view.

Update: As I knew I would in oversight, I neglected to mention that I had a nice exchange with longtime value-add commenter Ned Kock. Here's his AHS impressions.

The Great Ancestral Health Symposium Blog Post Roundup #AHS11

For those new, just Stumbling, googling in or, linked here, this is a roundup of blog post assessments, remembrances, and photos and commentary surrounding the just completed first Ancestral Health Symposium, held on the beautiful campus of UCLA, August 5-6, 2011. Click around. Note that the people don't look like the people do on your average trip to the mall, or, hell, anywhere.

These are people who have ignored every ounce of bullshit vomited by the news media, the "alphabets," the "experts." ...All of whom are the whores of the big "food" conglomerates that manufacture the "crap in a box" and bottled sugar that is making the world obese, step by step.

If you're a regular here, just start clicking and reading. I've read most of them over the last few days, and there's some great stuff which should serve to put your butt in a seat, belatedly.

Let's get to it. They're going up in exactly the order they came to me.

Lindsay Starke, Wildness and Wonder, who does her best to be a bit different, which is always an attractive trait. Initial Thoughts from the Ancestral Health Symposium. She comes in with a second post: Top Ten WTF Moments of #AHS11.

Jamie "That Paleo Guy" Scott, who speaks English with a funny accent. Ancestral Health Symposium - The Respect Post.

Dr. Jack "The Neurosurgeon" Kruse, Living An Optimized Life, with an early post I'd categorize as stream of consciousness, a welcome thing. My Very Fresh Initial Thoughts Of AHS 2011.

Roger Dickerman. Ancestral Health Symposium 2011: The Best Stuff on Earth.

Emily "Evolutionary Shrink" Deans, Evolutionary Psychology. Ancestral Health Symposium. And her's her followup: AHS: The People Post.

Chris "The Master" Masterjohn, The Daily LipidReflections on the Ancestral Health Symposium 2011.

"NomNom Paleo." Two posts with lots of great pics: Ancestral Health Symposium: Day 1 (& Paleo Eats) and Ancestral Health Symposium: Day 2 (& Paleo Eats).

FitBombAncestral Health Symposium 2011. Later, I see this is cross posted at a place called AMP3D.

David "Naturally Engineered" CsonkaSummary of Important Ideas From the 2011 Ancestral Health Symposium.

Alyssa Rhoden, An Omnivore's DecisionThe Woodstock of Evolutionary Medicine (Part One): 72 hours of awesome.

Frank "The Exuberant Animal" Forcenich. The guy I was personally most anxious to meet. We're of a mind, along with my buddy Ewan Le Corre. This is more than a diet and a gym. This is deep evolution, deep science, deep natural and playful movement and deep human animal socialization. Ancestral Health Symposium 2011.

Clifton Harski. Leading MovNat courses. AHS11. Holla.

Melissa "The Better Master Half" McEwan, Hunt. Gather. Love. You always just want to pick her up and hug her cuteness. But you also want to pick her amazing brain. Ancestral Health Symposium Part 1.

Whole9Whole9 Goes to the AHS.

Bare 5Ancestral Health Symposium 2011: Notes, thoughts and links.

Emotions for EngineersAncestral Health Symposium Notes.

Tracy of The Food Way. Ancestral Health Symposium.

Debbie "Grass Fed Momma" Young. She was total sweetheart to moi. The Ancestral Health Symposium: Part one.. too much to jam in one post..or maybe five.

Jennifer Hunt. She has a great blog title I must share: Vibrant. Sexy. Strong. This is what I have been telling you, chicks. She knows exactly how to rule the day. You go, Jennifer. Our Ancestors Are Dead Sexy.

John "The Colbert Caveman" Durant, Hunter-Gatherer. My buddy has granted my wife and I a Major Award. Now, who would you rather party with? 2011 Ancestral Health Symposium Awards.

Jimmy "The Big Guy Sweetheart" Moore, Livin' La Vida Low-Carb. He has a post up listing podcasts he's done with most, if not all of the presenters, me included. And other Podcasts. I keep telling' ya: Jimmy Moore has figured out how to be everyplace all at the same time. Must-Hear Podcast Interviews After Attending The 2011 Ancestral Health Symposium.

big think. I know nothing of it, but looks like some digital media attention. EAT LIKE A CAVEMAN? FIELD NOTES FROM A CONFERENCE ON THE PALEO DIET.

Diane Sanfilippo, BalancedBites. I created a dust up. It's over. We're cool. Post-Ancestral Health Symposium 2011 Thoughts.

Slyler Tanner, fitness. fallacy. follyAncestral Health Symposium 2011.

Beth Mazur, Weight MavenMy Ancestral Health recap.

Colin Pistell, Fifth ApeAncestral Health Symposium. Plus, I like LA again.

Andreas Eenfeldt, MD, Diet Doctor. Three posts so far: My first lecture on the big international stageAHS showdown: Gary Taubes vs Stephan GuyenetLustig, the number one talk of #AHS11, now online.

J. Stanton, Gnolls.orgAncestral Health Symposium 2011: You Never Forget Your First Time.

Diana Hsieh, Modern PaleoAncestral Health Symposium: My Experience.

Mighty Al, Primal RoarAncesteral Health Symposium 2012 Review and other random thoughts.

Melissa "Meliscious" Joulwan, The Clothes Make the Girl, threatens a series of posts and here's the first. AHS Recap: Nora Gedgaudas. Her second is about moi: AHS Recap: Richard Nikoley.

Jos, Delightful Taste Buds. Two posts: Ancestral Health Symposium – Day 1 (Aug 5, 2011) and Ancestral Health Symposium – Day 2 (Aug 6, 2011).

Jules, Queen of the Stone Age#AHS11.

Bethany Glasser, at her Blog of the same name. Mostly Rosy, but let's move it forward: AHS: The Good the Bad and the Opposite of Ugly.

Tom "I'm a Fat Head" Nauthton, of Fat Head, the Movie and y'know what? "You've Been Fed a Load of Bologna." Ancestral Health Symposium.

Paul Jaminet, Perfect Health DietAncestral Health Symposium.

Krista, STUMPTUOUS.COM. Ancestral Health Symposium roundup. Very funny.

Denise Minger, Raw Food SOSAncestral Health Symposium Thoughts, Paleo Vegetarianism, and Other Fun Things.

Dr BG, AnimalPharm. Rockstar Edition: THE AHS 2011 (link removed).

Karen De Coster, at LewRockwell.comA Libertarian’s Take on the First Ever Ancestral Health Symposium.

Keith Norris, Theory to PracticeThe Ancestral Health Symposium, 2011.

Don Matesz, Primal WisdomThe Ancestral Health Symposium.

Brent Pottenger, co-organizer of AHS. The Ancestral Health Symposium (AHS) and Its Clinical Implications: If you build a tradition you might just fuel a revolution and The Value of Exposing Ideas to the Envelope of Serendipity: How blogging kick-started the Ancestral Health Symposium (AHS).

Badier, The Lazy CavemanLink Love: Ancestral Health Symposium Edition.

Angelo "Latest in Paleo" Coppola. He wasn't there (so this will remain at bottom in deference to those who were) but has a podcast about the event, and he's always worth listening to. Episode 27: Ancestral Health Symposium. I'll be recording a podcast with Angelo (same format as before) very soon about my take on the controversies of AHS11 (Taubes vs. Guyenet and more).

Blogger attendees at AHS: Post a comment if you have a post but it's not on the list. I'll add, then delete the comment. Or, if you know of one I haven't listed, same thing.

So how about Help Me, Help You? If you're a blogger, socialize the hell out of this and if you're on the sidelines, do the same. For the bloggers, perhaps you gain readership and for the rest of you, you promote the movement and everyone gets to nest where they want.

Tweet it, post it on Facebook and Google +. Link it. Email it. Go all out. I've had diarrhea of the mouth about my own experience for years now. This is organic Paleo, on the scene remembrances and reflections. Get that natural search and traffic flowing in so that the Fat and Hungry just might find a home.

This is a tough place to take up residence, but there are many other options.

Appreciating the People of the Ancestral Health Symposium 2011 #AHS11

I've added the Twitter hashtag #AHS11 to the titles of my previous two posts and will continue to do so. If you have a Twitter account, you can search that hashtag to access the thousands and thousands of tweets that took place over the span of the event. This is a way for folks who don't follow each other's streams to converge on a topic of common interest. Oh, and I generally hate Facebook and pay almost no attention to it. Just had to get that in there.

On two other notes, please email any pics of the event you'd like to share and I'll spice up future posts. In addition, I plan on doing a roundup post on Wednesday in order to share all the blog posts by others on AHS. So if you attended and bloged or will blog about your experience, then please email the URL to include it. If you don't make the Wednesday deadline, I will continue to add links as they come in, even after the post it up.

First to the organizers of this event, Brent Pottenger and Aaron Blaisdell. They worked so tirelessly on this over many months and were just go go go during the event itself. I wonder if they got any sleep at all. And to the many volunteers as well: great job. Everything seemed to roll right along as planned and scheduled, and that sort of thing never happens by accident. Most impressively, throughout the event, presentations, Q&As and breaks, time never went over so the schedule was always reliable. Far too often at conferences I've attended, things get further and further behind. I believe I was on the email list of the very first email Brent sent out on this, likely around the time he posted about it in December, 2009. While I wholeheartedly supported the idea I was very skeptical such an ambitious undertaking would come to fruition. But sometimes it's a pleasure to have been so wrong.

photo 9
Proof that smiling leads to trips to Whole Foods with friends from New York

Chris Masterjohn has to be about the greatest combination of funny and smart I've ever seen. As I've already mentioned, he and Melissa McEwan make the cutest couple ever and I wish them all of the best as they plan for a move out to the midwest next year.

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Dr. Stephan Guyenet, Mark Sisson and Dr. BG

Dr. BG of Animal Pharm (link removed) has been a local Bay Area buddy for a good long while and it was nice to see her again. She'd not met Beatrice yet and they hit it off marvelously. Over the years I've probably linked to more of Stephan's posts than any other blogger and he has always been very generous with his time via email. I believe Stephan and I got the very first two of US Wellness Meats steaks that came off the grill. No side dishes needed. And Mark Sisson. During the whole of the AHS he made himself massively accessible by standing at the back of the main room so that people could easily approach and chat with him. After many exchanges of emails and phone calls with Mark over the last couple of years, it was really great to finally meet him in person.

I'm glad I waited to do another post on Low Carb vis-a-vis Gary Taubes. A couple of months ago I ended up in a short email exchange with Gary, initiated by Dr. BG, and was surprised that he even knew who I was. As it turned out, Gary was the first person Bea and I met at AHS. We'd checked into the hotel and promptly went out for a walk around the neighborhood there on Wilshire Boulevard. Upon our return, Gary was just checking in and he graciously chatted us up for 15 minutes right there in the lobby. Later, we talked about his hypothesis and about my post on 180 Degree Errors back in 2008, which he'd read. Then at the end of day one, I had the pleasure of chatting with both Gary and Dr. Mike Eades over a drink in the hotel bar. Can you imagine better drinking partners? Gary is quite the Obvious New Yorker when you talk with him. Quite the No BS Guy. At any rate, there are some interesting disagreements between Gary and Stephan in terms of how we get fat. But I'll save that for a specific post later.

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Vegan Enemy Number One

No post about anything related to this community would be complete without mention of its newest luminary extraordinaire: Denise Minger, who can eat a whole raw vegan in a single sitting. And yes guys, she's just as hot as she looks in her pictures. And she dresses exactly as she should, if you know what I mean. She's bubbly and cheerful, a true joy to be around. All that said, her best quality is what I termed her "enigmatic geekiness." Other than that, it has been confirmed that she's made out of meat. And I did keep reminding her, so she'll never forget it, that as she said in her first Jimmy Moore interview, she "owes it all to me." Ha! But seriously, I count taking her email seriously and doing those two posts that took her blog from a few hundred visits per month to well over 100,000 in a single month amongst the very best contributions to the movement I've had the honor of accomplishing. It is a credit to the Paleo / Ancestral community at large that they have extended to Denise every gram of credit and recognition that she deserves. Hat's off to you all.

Nora and Richard AHS11
Nora and Richard AHS11

And speaking of the fairer sex, Nora Gedgaudas was such a sweetheart, and with an equally sharp mind. Her presentation was stellar and my guess is that her's was Beatrice's favorite of the whole AHS.

And speaking of Jimmy Moore, I didn't even know he'd be attending until shortly before the event. He showed up to the presenter's party at Aaron's midway through and just off the jet from back east. I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around to find myself face to chest. Jimmy is one tall guy. I turned to Bea and said, "there's Jimmy Moore" and she ran over and gave him a big hug. Jimmy later tweeted: "superstar sighting: @rnikoley I'll never forget your sweet wife giving me a big hug. What a sweetie for a great guy. Richard rocks!" Such a sweetheart. And Jimmy was everywhere all at the same time, on his iPad 2, snapping photos and tweeting everything he could, tirelessly.

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The man who gave new meaning to being a Fat Head

The morning of the first day and my first entry into the main auditorium, I came face-to-face with Tom Naughton on his way out. I extended my hand and Tom says, "give me a bear hug." I'll tell you what, Tom has taken the ability to be funny and serious at the same time to a form of art. His presentation was probably the most cogent and complete treatment of the scientific method applied to health studies that has ever been put together. And he pulled it off while getting dozens of laughs from the audience throughout. Tom has also continued his own body transformation since his movie and from other pictures I've seen since. He looks great.

There are so many others to mention as well, and I loved meeting and talking with each and every one. Loren Cordain was so exuberant and wanted to talk with everyone he could. Pedro Bastos, Doug McGuff, Don Matesz, Paul Jaminet, Robb WolfJamie "That Paleo Guy" Scott, Emily Deans, Julianne Taylor, John Durant, Andrew "Evolvify" Badenoch, Erwan Le Corre, Frank Forcenich, Danny Roddy, Keith Norris, Skyler Tanner, and more and more.

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John & Maggie Durant and friend Denelle

Well I know I've probably forgotten a few. And there were others I wanted to meet and talk with but never seemed to have the chance. And of course, thanks also to the many dozens of readers who came up and introduced themselves as both long time readers and new readers alike. Of course, it's for all of you and for myself that I do this. A special thanks for those few I recognized as commenters. Comments are what make this blog a special place, in my view.

And for a general recognition to all the attendees: you folks are beautiful. I can't imagine an event with so many great looking body compositions all gathered in once place outside an Olympic Games, and I'll bet we're all a good bit healthier too. I propose that from now until AHS12, we make a list of every stupid reporter, every stupid dietician and every stupid researcher who makes a stupid comment about Paleo, kidnap them all, kick their asses right into the main auditorium with an added admonishment: "now, go look around you, dumbfucks."

Here's a shout out to the amazing US Wellness Meats who, not only donated 100 grassfed NY steaks to the presenter's party at Aaron's, but on day two of the conference when the salad bar concession was closed downstairs, set out a bottomless and endless supply of grassfed beef jerky, grassfed beef sticks, raw milk cheese and grassfed pemmican. It lasted all day. They literally fed us all, and both Beatrice and I remarked how we felt satiated and energized all day -- on meat & animal fat. I'm going to soon put in an order out of simple appreciation and I'd encourage anyone else so inclined so do so as well.

And finally, a special thanks to my loving and lovable wife Beatrice, who enthusiastically involved herself in everything, shook hands, gave hugs, and chatted her head off. She had a marvelous time from start to finish.

Update: As I knew I would, I forgot a few mentions and so here they are: Andreas "The Giant Swede" Eenfeldt, MD, was super nice to me. We presented opposite each other on day 2 and he approached me early in day one to shake hands and wish me the best, as I did for him. We ended up both having excellent crowds, which was great. I finally met the great J. Stanton of gnolls.org and author of The Knoll Credo, which I'm currently reading. J. was kind enough to mail me a copy a while back, and during the "meet the authors" event, Beatrice had to force him to sell her a copy, which he finally relented to, and autographed it for her. J. Also had the most notable haircut of AHS. And how could I have forgotten the kind, soft spoken Seth Roberts? He and I talked a lot about self experimentation, which subject he is far more formally versed than I. Seth's presentation partner was NYT best selling author Tucker Max. I ran into both of them in the coffee room at the hotel one morning and Seth introduced us. Unfortunately, I missed their presentation because we were late to get parking and get to the event. Later, Tucker approached me and said "hey, you're that Free the Animal guy." Yep. Turns out he's read some of the blog and thought I would really enjoy his presentation about MMA fighting and its relationship to human violence. I certainly won't miss it.

My Ancestral Health Symposium Presentation – Self Experimentation #AHS11

I'm planning on doing a number of posts over a number of days about the monumental Ancestral Health Symposium 2011 (AHS11) on the beautiful campus of UCLA. And I'll also put up some pics I took and others took. If you attended and took pictures and would like to share them with others, please email to me. My address is on the About page.

I thought I'd kick it off with my presentation yesterday afternoon. The AHS11 was science heavy, as you can imagine just by looking at the schedule of speakers (PDF), as well as the abstracts of their presentations (PDF). As a blogger who blogs about various things from a largely personal perspective, which is kind of the point of a "blog" in the first place, I decided to keep the same focus.

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A slice of the nice large crowd

I was very pleased with the number of folks who came. I'd estimate in excess of 200. Lots of people standing in the back and off to the sides.

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Oh no! There he goes.

Eventually the video will be out and you'll have the whole context, but in the meantime, here's the PDF version of my slide deck. The presentation ran 35 minutes, which left 10 for Q&A, and there were at least three people still in line when we ran out of time. With a show of hands at the beginning, looks like at least 90% of those in attendance were readers of this blog. I appreciate your patronage as well as the dozens of folks before and after the presentation who came up to me to thank me for this blog. I was really at a loss for what to say most of the time except for a simple "thank you." Many people approached Beatrice as well. Thanks for that. Seth Roberts, author of The Shangri-La Diet, told me that out of every presenter at the Symposium, my info on this blog has been of the most use and help to him. He also got up during the Q&A period and testified that he has been soap free since shortly after my first post on it.

So how was the presentation received? Well, judge for yourself from the #AHS11 Tweet Stream. Click to open full size.

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I'm glad that almost everyone seemed to like it.

Update: When this post was first published it included my opinion of the opinion expressed by one of the Tweeters. After exchanging emails with her, following each other on Twitter and basically becoming twuds (tweet buds?), I really don't want the negative shit up here any more. Besides, it has long been my policy that there's plenty enough stuff in the world to hit & run, slash & burn over, other than petty disputes with others in the community, especially those doing good work (and she is). I'll also delete the comments that reference any of this directly. So, my bad. It's over.

Friday Randomness. Something For Everyone. From AHS14 to Farts, Potty Mouths, Beautiful Anarchy, Doggies and Beyond

While I continue the process with Tim and Dr. Grace Liu (link removed) to create a book that the very most people will want to read worldwide, I've had to pull back a bit on blogging, source good commenter and contributor material, and do stuff like this: just a random dump. But, you're getting maybe the best 5% of everything of the hundreds of things I see daily.

~ Farts are healthy for you.

Farting Is Healthy, Says Mayo Clinic

“Could passing gas, in some instances, be a sign that our gut microbes are busy keeping us healthy?” she asked.

Kashyap’s answer: “Absolutely. Eating foods that cause gas is the only way for the microbes in the gut to get nutrients. If we didn’t feed them carbohydrates, it would be harder for them to live in our gut.”

Kashyap continued, adding that when gut microbes “gobble up food” and create gas, “they also make molecules that boost the immune system, protect the lining of the intestine and prevent infections.”

“A healthy individual can have up to 18 flatulences per day and be perfectly normal,” he added.

For a more complete explanation of why farting is healthy and not rude — really, it’s not — we recommend you check out the full scientific report.

~ Keeping on the topic of social unacceptance, I finally have a scientific basis for my potty mouth.

Why the #$%! Do We Swear? For Pain Relief

But cursing is more than just aggression, explains Timothy Jay, a psychologist at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts who has studied our use of profanities for the past 35 years. "It allows us to vent or express anger, joy, surprise, happiness," he remarks. "It's like the horn on your car, you can do a lot of things with that, it's built into you."

I've always told those who complain about my swearing to just go fuck off. And when they use the regurgitate they spout about being uneducated or uncreative, I cite Samuel Clemens.

"Under certain circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer." — Mark Twain

~ What's the earth epidemiology on Alzheimer's and Dementia? Glad you asked.

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Industrialized Nations in Red

You can see the chart as well. The U.S. is #3 behind Finland and Iceland. Notable is that while there are a handful of "underdeveloped" (how hubristic-pretentious, eh?) countries in the red zone, you will not find many 1st world or well-"developed" country in the far more numerous green, purple, and grey zones. A few very low to extremely low notables are: Portugal, Germany, Austria, China, Greece, Russia, and both Singapore and Monaco at ZERO.

Draw your own conclusions. And follow the money and the whores of politics and public policy and influence, paid by massive "food" and drug companies. And yes, so it doesn't fill up comments, we all hopefully understand the confounding variable of diagnosis and reporting accuracy. Nonetheless, it paints at least a fuzzy picture for me.

~ I took a look at the program lineup for AHS14 yesterday and was disappointed.

Don't get me wrong. I have been a staunch supporter of the Society and its annual Symposium since when I lafed at Aaron Blaisdell and Brent Pottenger for trying to put it together, starting in about 2009. Never thought it would happen to the scale they envisioned. I promoted it anyway, best I could—I truly love to be wrong—and ended up speaking alongside big names in our community in both 2011 and 2012.

Moreover, in the aftermath of Seth Roberts' (a 2011 presenter alongside Tucker Max) death, I was kindly shown how both Seth Roberts and Melissa McEwen stood up for me against complaints, in speaking in '12, after I'd shot my potty mouth off way too much, too often; ironically, Melissa was one of the targets. Perhaps I attained a bit of enlightenment as to how she decided to turn on me right after the event, when I published a post taking to task a volunteer who had a lot of bad to say that I took umbrage to.

So where's the beef? It's just mostly SOS as far as I can tell. Very few presentations on the gut biome, i.e., the frontier of human health science, now. So very many presentations that are essentially the same as when I spoke in '11 and '12, giving me an essence of cloistered Ivory Towersville.

Ironically, Paleo/Ancestral, as it's being put out now, is falling behind the science big time. I wonder how many have integrated C4 plants, grasses, sedge tubers and their easily and abundant exploitation, and with a nutrition profile that rivals mother's milk. Not many so far.

Perhaps AHS15 will be more worthy of attendance. Hope so. Always room for improvement. And I dearly wish for not so much success as I do staying in front of everyone.

Here's a bit I worked just yesterday in chapter 6 of the book, that's now about 400 pages and 2,000 references, regarding diets at the extremes of civilization.

Everywhere early man went, he encountered food and microbes that supported him, and his gut. It should by now be clear to the reader that for optimal health and fitness, our gut relies on a substantial intake of plant matter and microbes. At various points in the human migration out of Africa to all corners of the globe, turns in the road led them to places without access to fresh fruits and vegetables year round. Many point to the North American Inuit as just such a group of isolated hunter-gatherers that had little or no fiber or plant matter of any kind—consuming almost nothing but sea and land animals.(79) Surely, some assert, the fact that man can survive on an all animal-based diet is proof that humans need no plants. We believe this conclusion to be a substantial leap, one that could merit an entire chapter—perhaps a book. At the same time, such fringe positions—existing as far from the human norm as the arctic circle is from the equator—merit but brief mention here. We believe the evidence actually shows the Inuit to be a prime example of a people that targeted the use of plants their microbes needed, quite the opposite of how they’re often portrayed.

In his 1935 article, Adventures in Diet, Vilhjalmur Stefansson wrote of his travels in the Arctic and of living with the Inuit of Canada and Alaska.(80) He detailed how the Inuit would go for 6-9 months at a time on nothing but meat and fish—virtually a zero carbohydrate diet. He later made headlines when he and a fellow explorer spent a year under medical supervision eating nothing but meat and offal, remaining in good health. His detailed descriptions of how the Inuit remained healthy exclusively on meat and fat are often cited as justification in the promotion of very low carbohydrate or ketogenic diets.

While it’s possible that Stefansson observed and reported accurately, the Inuit and Eskimo are hardly strangers to plant foods. While they were certainly not eating big salads daily, or growing vegetable gardens when Stefansson observed them, the inhabitants of the far north were eating far more plant matter than the purveyors of low-carbohydrate folklore care to acknowledge. And what they were eating may surprise you.

You'll have to suspend surprise. And yea, those are the 79th and 80th cites toward the end of a single chapter, and all the others are just the same. Huge numbers are from 2013 and even 2014.

Stay ahead of the science, or fall way behind. Once you fall behind, investment motivates you toward entrenchment, and being increasingly wrong and incomplete by the passing of days.

~ I believe it was Jeffrey Tucker who coined the term "Beautiful Anarchy."

I actually led off my 9-Part Series on Anarchy Begins at Home with a quote from the bow tie sporting gentleman.

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Thriving through lack of control

I saw this one, yesterday on his Facebook page.

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Might everyone finally start minding their own business?

Jeffrey posted this quite interesting, illustrative piece about natural, beautiful anarchy yesterday, disembarking a commercial aircraft.

Can society manage itself? The examples of this happening every day are all around us. We only need the perspective to see why it matters.

At Liberty.me, we've seen examples of anarchy in golf and in surfing.

The process of deplaning from a crowded flight is an another interesting case in point. You have people who have been sitting for hours. The plane lands and pulls up to the gate. The ding sounds to signal that we are free from our seat belts.

Everyone wants off as soon as possible. The impatience is palpable, which is strange if you think about it. What difference could a few minutes make? But so it is.

There are no real enforcers in the deplaning process; not even flight attendants can manage this situation in its details. There are no explicit instructions. All we know is that we need to do something to free ourselves from this crazy metal tube and get on with our lives.

In this process, under crowded conditions, there are certain rules that emerge, even though they are not decided upon by anyone overtly and the norms pertain to randomly assembled strangers. These are the worst conditions for emergence of social norms; there are only 10-15 minutes in which it is allowed to happen. But since it is in everyone's interest that this little society and activity [do] well, order does indeed emerge.

The most obvious rule grows out of the physical reality. There is a narrow corridor and the people can only move in one direction. You can't easily get in front of others. You could rush ahead but that seems to violate some inherent sense of justice, which people just presume to mean "people closer to the exit should go before those further away."

So you wait your turn, row by row, systematically. Your own responsibilities are narrow: you wait for the person in front of you. What if that person is taking too long? There is a cost to hoping ahead unless you are invited to do so. A major one is that you can come across as rude and you will face glares and stares. Social ostracism is a powerful force even when there is no chance for further social interaction and no other identifiable downside to misbehavior.

For the most part, people comply. Not always of course. In a flight the other day, the couple in front me, occupying the window and middle seat, did not. They squeezed past the person [in] the aisle and stepped in front of passengers 5 and 6 rows in front of them. The disapproval of this action was intense from everyone around me. People were mortified, so much so that it struck me as overly scrupulous. I mean, what's the big deal about waiting an extra 15 seconds? But it's not about the time; its about the etiquette and the norms. And this reaction on the part of others was a signal to everyone else around me: do not do this.

There is one major exception here. If the person and people in question ask fellow passengers to go ahead because of a possible missed connection, everyone is very happy to allow free passage. In that case, we are being given a chance to show our sympathy and benevolence, and we are pleased to do so. This is what we would want others to do for us were we in this situation.

Here we have two behaviors that are exactly identical in every physical respect. People are essentially cutting in line. But our response to the actions are different based on what we perceive to be the motivations of the line hopers. It's amazing how the human mind can alter the meaning of a situation. A simple ask and a good excuse can turn what would otherwise be a burning annoyance into a occasion of charity.

We feel better about ourselves by deferring to people in need. You don't need mandates, bureaucrats, public service campaigns, much less a massive enforcement mechanism. The desire to do good for others, even when it is not directly to our personal advantage, is a feature of the human personality. There just has to be a compelling reason to do so.

Another condition that allows for an exception to the general rule is a person with a crying baby. That person really needs to step out in front, and everyone is very happy to let the suffering parent get a free pass.

There is also the delicate matter of baggage handling. There are light bags and heavy bags in the overhead compartments, and it can be awkward to pull them down while trying to stay out of the aisle. There is something [of] a taboo associated with touching other people's property, even to move it over in the luggage compartment. People tend to ask politely at boarding time: "may I move this over?"

Indeed, the presumption of property rights over baggage on an airplane is indisputable. Forget discussion about redistribution, inequality in possessions, much less the ridiculous notion of socialist ownership over all baggage. On the airline, everyone present, regardless of political ideology, is a firm believer in the absolute security of private property. Not even a seeming emergency can alter it; the pleas of a bagless person for the right to reapportion ownership rights [will] be rejected by one and all.

Anyone who would suddenly enact a fairer way for everyone to distribute baggage property would be shouted down immediately, and probably even tackled. It isn't just the case that you have to secure your own bag. Everyone present has a strong interest in a social norm that would stop theft, so everyone is willing to be a watcher and enforcer. We don’t need hectoring announcements that "if you see something, say something." We all know the rules and believe in them out of our own self interest, which is bound up with the interests of everyone else.

At the same time, some people clearly need help to get a large bag down from the compartment. A ritual begins. A stronger and taller person in the vicinity will politely offer help. The person with the large bag agrees to the assistance. The exchange occurs and everyone feels affirmed in this spontaneous act of socially coordinating benevolence.

But note that this is not only about benevolence. Everyone has an interest in speeding up the deplaning process. Informal rules and practices, friendly glances and deferrals, subtle body cues and motions, quiet hand movements, reasonable exceptions and general adoption of norms—all of these contribute to the instant order that emerges in this tight and and temporary social microcosm.

What makes it work? Most everyone wants [it] to work because we all want out. There could be chaos. Instead there is order—order without enforcement or overtly stated rules. If this could happen under these implausible conditions, it can happen throughout the rest of society too.

Let me conclude with an observation about something that has always mystified me. As we enter the airport and flying experience, we are constantly bombarded with messages about our bags and their security. Our bags are searched and there is great intensity about the whole matter.

But once we get to the baggage claim after we deplane, it’s a completely different matter. Our bags are thrown out on a carousel with no practical security at all. There are no attempts whatsoever, on the part of any authority, to make sure that people are picking up the right one. Sometimes an agent will feign interest in whether the ticket matches the bag but it's not authentic.

In principle, anyone could grab anyone's bag and scurry away. The whole scene looks rather alarming. And yet, I’ve never once heard of this happening. Maybe it does but I’ve never encountered it. People wait for what is theirs and go on their way. It works. Why? Because everyone has a personal interest in making it work. That’s the whole secret to why society can thrive without a state.

~ Looks like Scout is settled in. Much joy. Fully integrated, wrestling with Nuke all the time, chasing each other all in—a little much on the barking but work in progress—and sleeping next to mommy every night. He's gained a pound or two of lean, and is beginning to sport a ripped hind end. He's the poorest baby in the foreground.

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Poooooor pathetic babies vying for a walk and foods