Is Paleo a Sacred Grassfed Cow?

Count me surprised.

At 140 comments so far on my last post about being a blogger first, expanding my topical area beyond just Paleo diet and exercise mostly, the support is pretty damn remarkable. Even some commenters like Nakhil Hogan who disagree with me on my approach to politics (stop voting, fer crissakes!), have their hearts solidly in the right place. For most of them, their minds will eventually follow. I’ve been at this aspect of my online presence for 20 years, now, and when the heart is right, the mind follows, eventually.

I’ll cover more of the political angles in a subsequent post. For now, in one comment to that post, I wrote:

I view the paleo movement as a movement to liberate the mind toward independence, individuality and freedom in a human evolutionary context.

It’s not about fucking paleo brownies and cookies.

At a point, one commenter added:

What would be the bestest possible paleo product? Imo a line of paleo frozen dinners from a subsidiary of Lean Cuisine. Takes all the stress and wasted time out of preparing a healthy paleo dinner for your family.

Commenter Brent replied, in A++ fashion, in my view:

I can’t tell if this statement is meant to be ironic or serious, but I am seeing that attitude expressed more frequently as paleo goes more mainstream. And it indicates that the paleo movement is close to jumping the shark.

I am reminded of some investment advice I got a while back, which is basically: when the mainstream jumps on an investment idea, sell. Now, a paleo lifestyle is not something I’m going to leave, but – like others – I may have to leave the label behind as it starts to become a marketing term instead of a lifestyle concept.

I saw the same thing happen with low carb when it became a “fad.” One thing I will always be grateful for, from my low carb days, is heightening my awareness of what I was eating, as opposed to just how much of it. In addition to cutting down on carbs, Atkins admonished his readers to also cut out hydrogenated oils and some artificial sweeteners, like aspartame. Suddenly I was checking food labels for ingredient lists instead of just macronutrient content. It made me laugh at ludicrous products like Better’n Peanut Butter, with its inch-long ingredient list of processed additives that made it “healthier” than a product that was made of “roasted peanuts and salt.” That kind of thinking led me to paleo/primal living.

paleo is (was?) a concept, not a brand, not an ingredient list, and not shorthand for gluten and/or dairy free. The latter is what the food industry wants it to be, because they can make their crap without gluten, and simply use a whole bunch of other potentially toxic crap to make the same foods palatable. They did the same thing with maltitol, which made products sugar free and “low carb,” but also caused diarrhea.

You may or may not have seen the report on the gorillas in the zoo whose health improved when they were taken off their diet of standard-issue gorilla food pellets. The which were high in sugar and other processed crap, but met all the “nutritional requirements” for gorillas, but was giving them heart disease and making them lethargic. Their health and energy improved when they were given whole foods more like what they would eat in the wild: fresh leafy vegetables and fruit. Sound familiar?

A “healthy paleo frozen dinner by Lean Cuisine” is contradictory. Frozen dinners are the equivalent to food pellets for zoo humans. I’m looking at my copy of paleo Magazine and I see an ad for “Paleo Coffee Creamer” – which is an oxymoron. paleo creamer is called “cream” – preferably raw from 100% grass-fed cows. The act of sourcing fresh, quality ingredients, “wasting time” by preparing them properly, and enjoying them with good company is what makes the meal paleo, not just its gluten/dairy content. paleo is about changing our attitudes about our food – its quality and preparation – and our lifestyles. I think Richard’s point is that it is also about changing our mindsets towards life in general. That is, breaking away from the mindset of civilization – aka, the zoo. In other words, free the animal.

Again, paleo is a concept. When we start looking for paleo in convenient, processed, pre-packaged containers — so that we can continue being zoo humans eating their food pellets — the concept is dead.

OK, so a few years back when the first packaged snacks you could order like paleo Kits came on the market, I was glad for it. Have ordered them a few times and they seem pretty wholesome to me. Same with Jerky Chews. I’m sure there are others. But where does it stop? It probably doesn’t, and I find it a tad sad.

As everyone knows, I’m not religious and I’m not at all in favor of The Church of paleo either. At the same time, the notion of sanctity transcends religion. In the narrative of Jesus tossing the money changers out of the temple, It’s not about Jesus, sky fairies, or anything supernatural. It’s about the idea that some things are sacred, and we should hold ourselves to high standards and low compromise. To put it in purely secular terms, it would be like having vendor booths set up for the photographer, caterer, planner, decorators, et al, at your daughter’s wedding.

It’s about there being an appropriate time and place. And paleo, if it means anything at all, is about a little more effort, a little more care, a little more involvement, a little more time and attention. It’s about the sanctity of something fundamental about not only our physical health, but our mental and social health. Think families going out and sourcing their food with care, collaboratively coming up with menu plans, all hands on deck for the preparation, and enjoyment mutually…sitting around the table talking to one another.

Saying grace, optional. Or, just take a moment of silence to contemplate “Mother Nature,” or something.

How far removed is that idea from getting stuff in a bag or box with “paleo” stamped on it, that takes no more effort than point and click, and which the family members grab to take on the road before heading out the door?

How about a new paleo book being published almost weekly, now?

How about print and blog publications that are little more than vehicles for advertising all of the foregoing, and very light on substance?

…And all the while, a guy like Jimmy Moore gets criticized relentlessly for some of the sponsorships he has, even in the face of his clear move to cleaning things up with higher quality, including embracing paleo in general and promoting grassfed and pastured animal products. At the same time, the paleo world seems to be moving in the opposite direction.

So as a free market capitalist kinda guy, all this might surprise you. And honestly, I’m torn. I have no problem with making money…on the contrary, it’s a virtue.

But I also believe in freedom and policing one’s self and ourselves. So proceed with caution. Ask yourself when you opt to buy that next whatever in a bad or box, whether you’re advancing your values or taking a step back.


  1. StoneAgeMom on April 21, 2012 at 13:27

    As has been said with increasing frequency by the “early adopters,” paleo is much more than just a diet. The mainstream wants to turn it into a fad diet, but we know better.

    This is why I gave up on convincing my husband. His mindset doesn’t get him past a linear paradigm. “I ate the just the middle out of my breakfast burrito,” he says as he’s washing it down with a whole milk sugar free vanilla latte. Okay. You hear me but aren’t listening.

    For me, it’s not about reinactment, a diet, or a set of rules. It is a community and a paradigm on how I can function optimally in this short life and how I relate to and raise my son.

  2. Sophia on April 21, 2012 at 14:22

    Hi Richard: This is the dilemma I deal with everyday. I launched Grass Fed Jerky Chews out of my personal need for a quality nutrient-dense snack made from grass-fed beef raised in US. I started making it at home with the meat I sourced locally (Marin Sun Farms, Open Space Meats, and now Brandon Natural Beef) and people were pushing me to make it more available so they and their kids could have a nutrient-dense snack for work/school or a camping trip. So I made it available online. People buying my product are not necessarily all Paleo, just consumers who support high quality, good tasting real food snack (why I didn’t even want “paleo” in the name and why I make info about where I source the meat and who makes the jerky transparent). Most importantly, the biggest reward I get is from partnering with grass-rachers who are grateful to me for supporting and promoting their sustainable practices through my product. My toughest dilemma is how do I grow Jerky Chews without compromising the business model and yet keep it sustainable. Might have to get a “real” job to support my biz (and you’ll find a lot of grass-ranchers are doing that, but like them I wouldn’t trade the satisfaction of running such company for anything).

    • Richard Nikoley on April 21, 2012 at 14:32

      Sophia. Honestly? Your jerky tastes and feels to me better than I make myself. That’s why I took care to mention you.

      Don’t do paleo brownies. I know you never would and that is important.

      Another consideration is that jerky has a long, long history as a real food, and sometimes you do need to take with.

      You keep doing what you’re doing, keep it pure, and don’t compromise and people will make the distinctions I allude too.

  3. Shaun on April 21, 2012 at 15:15

    You speak a lot of shit. The only way we can be free is classless society. A planned nationalised economy run democratically. Capitalism poisons us and has become historically redundant as it no longer develops the productive forces. The only possible bright future for humanity is one where the technology is controlled by us, for us. Production for profit is a straight jacket.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 21, 2012 at 15:34

      Oh, thanks Shaun. Ive been waiting for a commie anarchist, syndicalist, or whatever, to show up. I dismissed them long ago for a simple reason: animals are territorial, and in the context of humans, that means claims on property.

      You stupid, clueless morons propose that while chimapziies can claim and defend property, humans cannot.

      I dismissed Prudhoun too, long time ago, maybe 1994.

      Should I go on with the moron? I dunno. Let’s see what what to moron comes up with.

      …don’t forget to feed on your regurgitat, first, man,

    • Joseph Fetz on April 21, 2012 at 22:00

      I am guessing that Shaun is a proponent of the ‘Venus Project’, otherwise known as “Marxism with robots”. I am also guessing that he doesn’t understand a single bit of political philosophy or economics, and that he is unaware of the impossibility of calculation, and thus increased utility, in a non-market society. Without private property and the voluntary exchange thereof, there simply is no way of knowing whether an action increased value or was wasteful– there is no calculating measure or guide. Instead, it is economic chaos that often impoverishes all but those in power.

      Well, there is also the whole problem of democracy being one of the most unjust forms of governance, and that centralization of power typically results in authoritarian regimes and mass-murder, but that’s a discussion for another day.

      • Shaun on April 22, 2012 at 04:13

        Marxism with robots? You have the typical ignorant idea of communism. You equate Stalinism and the regimes in China, Cuba etc as communism. Political illiteracy!

        Socialism, the transitional period between capitalism and communism, is based on the highest form of democracy, workers democracy. The workers will elect the officials, and the officials will have real power to change their lives. Democracy under capitalism is very limited because the real power is in the hands of the people who own the economy, not the puppet politicians.

        The Russian revolution degenerated into Stalinism because of the objective conditions in the country. Mass starvation, illiteracy, exhaustion, civil war, 21 foreign army interventions in a semi-feudal backwards country. This was the soil from which Stalin and the bureaucracy he lead gradually usurped power, from the organs of workers democracy. In spite of the bureaucratic degeneration, Russia went from a peasant country to a superpower with men in space and growth never matched by a capitalist nation.

        Socialism is international and democratic, it needs democracy to survive. Stalinism is a perverse, authoritarian, bureaucratic caricature of genuine socialism.

      • Richard Nikoley on April 22, 2012 at 09:51

        I think it’s time to haul out Carl Sagan, which I do whenever someone in religion or politics goes on about all their distinctions (in this case, why the communism we all know is not _really_ what Shaun has in mind).

      • Richard Nikoley on April 22, 2012 at 09:49

        “The Russian revolution degenerated into Stalinism because of the objective conditions in the country. Mass starvation, illiteracy, exhaustion, civil war, 21 foreign army interventions in a semi-feudal backwards country. This was the soil from which Stalin and the bureaucracy he lead gradually usurped power, from the organs of workers democracy.”

        I’m sure it will be different next time.

        “In spite of the bureaucratic degeneration, Russia went from a peasant country to a superpower with men in space and growth never matched by a capitalist nation.”

        Hey, can you please send over some of that stuff you’re smoking? It’s obviously awesome.

      • Joseph Fetz on April 22, 2012 at 12:06

        “You have the typical ignorant idea of communism. You equate Stalinism and the regimes in China, Cuba etc as communism. Political illiteracy!”

        That’s a nice straw man, but if you look above you will see that I did no such thing. Also, I would be willing to bet that my home library contains far more socialist works than you’ve read in your entire life, and I’ve read every single one of them. So please, spare me the “this is what the transition period is” claptrap. I know what Marx’s conception of history was, and it was entirely wrong. Human history does not follow some linear progression, instead it has an uneven and unpredictable path. If this weren’t true, then revolutions wouldn’t be necessary in order to bring “socialism to the masses” in the first place.

        Democracy is always a failed form of governance because it only cares what the majority wants. In other words, the minority gets fucked. So, this is automatically logically inconsistent with the Marxian view of egalitarian equality. Further, because democracy is merely the arbitrary rule of the minority, this often leads to the subjugation of the minority, as been seen in one form or another throughout the history of democratic regimes. Further, no matter who you elect to be the caretaker of government, they have no property claim to the state’s devices, therefor they have no incentive to maintain it or to increase its value. Instead, the caretaker’s first goal is to get as much as he can while he is still in that role. This, along with democratic aims, leads to an overall reduction in time preference, thus distorting the time structure of production. However, it is those in government and their close friends who reap the benefits of this lowering of time preference, whereas the rest of the population (the democratic workers) who reap the impoverishing results. Further, this lowering of time preference also creates a situation in which certain pluralities within society will seek certain benefits at the expense of the rest of society. It doesn’t matter what form of economy operates under a particular democratic regime, this is inherent to all democratic regimes.

        The very fact that socialism relies upon democracy just goes to show how absolutely flawed it is.

      • Joseph Fetz on April 22, 2012 at 12:10

        note: “arbitrary rule of the minority” should read “arbitrary rule of the majority”

    • Joseph on April 22, 2012 at 05:28

      So, my only viable future is as a government house-pet? I can either settle down to enjoy bread and circuses (free! with the stipulation that we all have to do whatever Uncle Sam says, no matter what) or be the angry dog at the manger (and so richly deserve the beat-down I have coming)? Some of us find both of those alternatives demeaning: we are not willing to be the government’s human chattel. Maybe our time has passed and the syndicate will put us down. That is OK, but I am going to insist on making myself a martyr for liberty rather than acquiesce in being humiliated as some kind of scumbag who must die so that the world can have “peace” (auferre trucidare rapere falsis nominibus imperium, atque ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant: if the syndicate ever does achieve its most noble goals, I suspect it will because humanity is no more; maybe that will be a good thing, but I am not convinced, at all).

    • Shameer M. on April 22, 2012 at 20:50

      “The only way we can be free is classless society. A planned nationalised economy run democratically.”

      There is no such thing. A planned nationalized economy leads to one end – dictatorship. This is Obama’s endgame along with the wannabe Republicans.

  4. Shaun on April 21, 2012 at 15:17

    Capitalism is in its era of irreversible senile decay and you are waffling on about the free market and ‘independence’. You do realise our hunter-gatherer ancestors were primitive communists? They hunted their means of survival and distributed it fairly. We need to return to this but on a much higher level, on the level of superabundance! Your views prove what I already suspected about you, arrogant pig.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 21, 2012 at 15:52

      Shaun. You clearly have zero idea of my history of over 3,000 posts since 2003′ none paleo before 2007.

      I’ll throw you a bone.

      Corporations are a product of the state. Your problem is that you have not made distinctions. Capitalism is merely private production, do with it what you will.

      Capitalism has been equated with government sanctioned mega corporations and so is the real problem that people are figuring out what values people wamt to trade for, or is the real problem that barriers to entry are such that whores sleep together every night?

      • Richard Nikoley on April 21, 2012 at 15:58

        Caution: I use metaphor for brevity.

      • Shaun on April 22, 2012 at 03:58

        Corporations are a product of the state? Wow. The government is a capitalist government, the government is run in the interests of capitalism.

        Capitalism is private ownership of the means of production. Capitalism has exhausted its historical role in developing the productive forces, just as slavery and feudalism did before it. The crisis we are in today, in the last analysis, is the productive forces revolting against the straight jacket of private ownership and the nation state.

        As for the state, the state came into existence precisely when society first divided into classes. The new ruling class needed special apparatus to control the majority they were exploiting for a surplus. When there are no classes in society, the material need for a state is gone. Capitalism needs a big, bureaucratic state because the ruling class are a tiny minority, exploiting and living off the labour of the majority. They need to keep the masses in check! So don’t give me all that state bollocks, the only way to be free from the state is classless society.

        You didn’t respond to the fact we were primitive communists through most of our history. No classes, no state, no police force, no money etc.

        You lack a basic understanding of human history, let me give you a very brief overview. 99% of our existence – prmitive communism – no state, no classes. Private property was alien to our ancestors, the hunting grounds were owned by one and all.

        It then became possible to produce more than we needed to survive and slave society developed. The slaves produced the surplus and the slave owners controlled the surplus. The owners needed to control the slaves, they were held against their will – this is the origins of the state.

        Slave society resulted in development of art, philosophy and science since a class of people were free from labour. However, the contradictions inherent in slave society piled up and slavery was replaced by feudalism.

        Land was power, the feudal lords controlled the land. The serfs were semi-slaves, they had to work for their lord for most of the week but had a few days to produce for their own needs. the serfs literally carried the surplus up to the lord’s castle.

        Yet again the productive forces developed but the contradictions piled up. Feudal society was rigid and became a block on trade. Each region had its own currency, laws, customs etc. The big merchants challenged the power of the lords and capitalism was born out of the ruins of feudal society.

        We are now in the same situation, capitalism has produced colossal advances in the productive forces, but it is now a fetter on further progress. The great technology created by capitalism cannot be utilised to its full potential because it is controlled by a tiny minority of parasites who use it to enrich themselves, at the expense of everyone else.

        The only way this huge productive potential can be realised is for the productive forces to be socially controlled.

        A basic understanding of human history proves economic systems are born, mature, and die. Capitalism is not eternal.

      • Joseph on April 22, 2012 at 05:32

        All economic systems of record (i.e. since civilization began) operate by exploiting a class of slaves. The syndicate will just create a new slave class and exploit it.

      • labbygail on April 22, 2012 at 16:18

        I think you have it the wrong way around. The only way to achieve a classless society is to be free from the state.

      • Claeg on April 22, 2012 at 19:01

        Today capitalism is trumpeted around as the idea that the ultimate goal is to have money aka wealth. However free trade is not the only way to production and wealth. The real problem is that mercantilism didn’t die(as many would have you believe). It morphed and began to call itself capitalism in the early-mid 19th century. The most prevalent way to wealth today is often this hybrid capitalism-mercantilism. Neo-mercantilism’s direct relationship with government is what you see today in the US(corporate subsides, exemptions, the fed, bailouts, military industrial complexes, granted monopolies etc.) This is a strong force to deal with so workers unions and such have spawned seeing a piece of the pie ready for them and have taken it. So the is reality capitalism has never taken over. Where we have seen capitalism is he US has been emerging industries generally for a short time before the neo-mercantilist and unionist are able to organize and lay their hands on new industries. The pure form of capitalism is laissez-faire a economy. In a laissez-faire capitalist economy money/wealth CAN ONLY BE ACQUIRED THROUGH VOLUNTARY TRADE.

        So Shaun, are you against free trade?

      • Brent on April 23, 2012 at 11:22

        “You didn’t respond to the fact we were primitive communists through most of our history. No classes, no state, no police force, no money etc.”

        You forgot: no agriculture, no industry, and much less division of labor. You also forgot that we lived in small tribes of less than 100 people scattered around. You’re trying to apply the economics of a hunter-gatherer tribe to modern, industrialized nations with populations in the hundreds of millions. Those are not the same things.

        It reminds me of Ms. Clinton saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” I wholeheartedly agree. However, a nation of 300 million people — run by un-elected bureaucrats thousands of miles away — is not a “village.”

    • Joseph Fetz on April 21, 2012 at 22:50

      Shaun, first of all, it is true that primitive societies were often communal. However, it is also true that primitive societies had almost zero capital, that they were tribal (i.e. they only had a handful of members), they lived at or below the subsistence level, etc. And, no. Not everything was shared equally. Those that didn’t put in their fair share often starved to death. It was a very brutal existence, notwithstanding your fairy tale understanding of human history. Try to coordinate billions of units of labor, millions of resources, hundreds or thousands of pieces of capital, all from different parts of the world and all to make one little iPhone; and do this without private property and prices. It cannot be done. There would be no way to know if it would be better to use diamonds or to use plastic for the casing, or whether copper or gold would be better for the leads, etc. There would be no way to know whether one course of action was value-adding or wasteful. It is literally impossible to plan an economy successfully, which is why all command economies are rife with waste and discoordination. Read ‘I, Pencil’ just to get a little idea of how complex and economy really is, then multiply that by infinity. Shit, even a ham sandwich involves an immense capital structure.

      You say that everything should be shared fairly. What does that even mean? Who determines what is fair and what is not? Further, if there are no prices and no property, how can you determine the productivity of one worker vs another (BTW, the LTV was refuted over a century ago)? Is every worker owned by the state, and if not, who owns his labor (without private property ownership)? If everything is shared equally, what incentive is there to work hard? If everything is shared equally, what incentive is there to innovate? In fact, if there is no private property, no prices, no profit, and everything is shared equally, what incentive is there to do anything other than feed off of others’ work? Would this not lead to a cascade of laziness, and thus lower total utility? You say that technology will work for us, but who is to build the technology? Who’s going to design the technology? Who’s going to maintain the technology once it’s built? What incentive is there to do any of this if all production is shared?

      You say that superabundance is possible. How is this possible if all of the resources of the Earth are scarce? You cannot create matter out of nothing, you can only transform matter. Well, if that is the case, how do you know whether one transformation of matter is more valued by society than another transformation of matter? I mean, you have no private property, thus no exchange and no prices. So, what feedback mechanism tells you that matter transformation A is better than matter transformation B? Further, if you cannot even solve this simple matter (without private property and prices), then how can you ever hope to create superabundance? Shit, you cannot even calculate whether one process is less wasteful than another process, or whether one good is more valued by society than another good, so superabundance in way off.

      The simple fact is that you were brainwashed by Jacque Fresco, a man who has a child’s understanding of the world around him. He has made no innovation in thinking, rather his ideas are just a repeat of the same fallacious ideas of Marx and Engels. The only difference is that he thinks that robots can replace the workers and that computers can plan and coordinate everything. This is all rubbish, and when you understand economics and the natural laws of human existence, it is quite easy to see what a pipe dream it really is.

      If it weren’t for ignoramuses like you, I don’t think that these ideas would ever get a foothold.

      • Shaun on April 22, 2012 at 04:18

        Joseph, it can be done because of capitalism. Capitalism has created the technology we need, the super computers and advanced technology needed to formulate an accurate plan of production and produce superabundance. Socialism builds on capitalism and takes us to a higher level of production. Work will be a universal right, millions of people condemned to unemployment under capitalism will be free to work, the productive potential is mind blowing when combined with the advances there will be in science and technology.
        Under capitalism the profit motive holds back science. Labs compete against each other, holding patents, and profit dictates where we invest. Money is invested in hair loss products instead and more important problems which blight the planet. Under socialism the whole of science will collaborate and unite to overcome obstacles and conquer the world.

        The irony of you calling me an ignoramus.

      • Joseph Fetz on April 22, 2012 at 11:44

        No, profit dictates what ends are most valued, because all resources are scarce. Under your system, there can be no great abundance because you cannot coordinate production at all, because there is no calculating method to show which ends are most valued by society and which aren’t. There is no escaping that resources are scarce, so all your system would do is waste resources en mass.

        Also, you pose a clear contradiction. You say that less work is the ideal (which I agree, this is the ideal of society). However, then you go back into your Marxian mumbo-jumbo and say that work is a universal right. So, which is it? Is work a disutility, or is it a utility? I am going to go with a disutility.

        Further, unemployment is not an inherent feature of the free market. The market system in use today is what is called a mixed-economy, which means that it incorporates aspects of a market economy with aspects of a socialist economy. Probably the biggest cause of unemployment today is the monopoly issuance of money, which is the direct cause of the business cycle; followed by interventionist laws into labor markets (i.e. unemployment payments, minimum wage, licensing, etc).

        You try to blame the problems of the world around you on the market, when in fact the market is merely a reactionary system, it is only reacts to the inputs plugged into it. Throughout your lifetime and most of human history centralized power-centers have existed and had interventionist policies toward the marketplace, yet you want to blame the problems on the market? That is retarded. It shows me that you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about and have had blinders on. When you have monopoly power centers, it goes without saying that the evil in society will seek the reins of such power for their own ends, and that they will subjugate the masses under them. Unfortunately, the rise of democracy has created the illusion that it is YOU that is in charge of government, not the overlords of power. That is complete bullshit.

        I am calling you an ignoramus because it is apparent that you have only taken into account the Socialist telling of the story, and have not also studied those that have refuted it (Mises, Hayek, Rothbard, Menger, Bastiat, Boewm-Bawerk, etc). It’s great that you’re at least studying something, that is certainly more than most people do. But, to only study a narrow and simple-minded sliver of something is almost worse, because you become obsessive with that new knowledge, to the point that your judgement is clouded when presented with logic. Everything that you’re bringing up has been tried and has failed. Even further, it was predicted that it would fail for the very reasons that I am discussing here.

      • Joseph Fetz on April 22, 2012 at 11:47

        Also, I noticed that you didn’t address a single question that I posed, which tells me that you aren’t learned enough to give an answer. This is not uncommon for those who study a subject from only one perspective and think that they’ve found truth. Bullshit!

      • Shameer M. on April 23, 2012 at 18:08

        Work is no more a right than happiness, good health, education or a ferrari. The Bill of Rights states clearly our inalienable rights – the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness (the key word being pursuit). Anything beyond that you have to earn your right.

      • Joseph Fetz on April 24, 2012 at 01:08

        I actually take a pretty hard-core ‘Natural Rights Theory’ stance and say that all rights are derived from property. Since most of the Enlightenment thinkers were natural rights theorists, and the “founders” were highly influenced by these thinkers, it is no surprised that the Bill of Rights is almost entirely based upon this conception of rights.

    • Joseph Fetz on April 21, 2012 at 23:11

      Oh, and did I mention that all you’ve accomplished thus far is prove to the entire internet-connected world that you’re an absolute, fucking idiot? Good job!

      Everybody, please give a round of applause for Shaun the absolute, fucking idiot… May we hope that he never reproduces and that his genetics end with him.

      clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap

  5. Shaun on April 21, 2012 at 15:20

    Why are our cows fed soy? Why are chemicals pumped into our food? Why is the air we breathe toxic? Because of the profit motive. If production were from human need there would be no restrictions, no reason to poison our bodies!

    • Richard Nikoley on April 21, 2012 at 16:06

      “Why are our cows fed soy? Why are chemicals pumped into our food? Why is the air we breathe toxic? Because of the profit motive. If production were from human need there would be no restrictions, no reason to poison our bodies!”

      It’s the Eeeeeevilllll corporations, Shaun.

      Obama is getting grey hairs because he sits awake nights wringing hands of what to do about it,

      If only we had Stalin, things could get fixed in a jiffy.

    • Samson on April 21, 2012 at 16:18

      Why do you have shelter? Why do you have food? Why do you have a computer? Because of the profit motive.

      If profits are so evil, send me yours. Make sure to cancel your Internet subscription while you’re at it, because it’s not a human need.

      • Richard Nikoley on April 21, 2012 at 16:48

        Samson, it’s not like he invented biting the hand that feeds.

        His root problem is that in a situation where a whore has a great relationship with her pimp, because he clears the landscape for her, he sees only the whore,

        And actualy, he loves the pimp, because he wants to be the pimp’s next best whore,

      • Natalie on April 21, 2012 at 19:16

        Whore/pimps are honest. They don’t force anyone to fuck.

      • Richard Nikoley on April 22, 2012 at 08:37

        Yes, I have been accused of needlessly insulting prostitutes in the past.

    • Joseph Fetz on April 21, 2012 at 23:40

      Why do you drink water instead of turpentine? Why do you have sex with humans rather than sheep? Why do you breath rather than suffocate? Because of the profit motive.

      You’re so stupid that you probably don’t know that profit has absolutely nothing to do with money. In economic terms, profit is merely revenue exceeding cost. To put this in simpler terms, all actions of humans are done to increase utility (i.e. to improve our state of being), if this weren’t true, there would be no reason to act (all needs would be satisfied). If we engage in an action where the result is valued less than the effort put into it, this is called a loss. However, if we engage in action where the result is valued more than what we put into it, then this is called a profit.

      So, if for instance I want to have sex with Jessica Biel, I might give her flowers, cook her some dinner, tell her that she looks pretty, or whatever. If after railing her I determine that what I put into it (flowers, dinner, sweat nothings in her ear) is valued less than the utility gained from railing Jessica Biel, then I am said to have a profit. Further, if after railing her I determine that what I put into it is valued more than the utility gained from railing Jessica Biel, then I am said to have realized a loss. As you can see, having sex with Jessica Biel is not the determiner of profit/loss, rather it is the difference between the subjective value of resources put into the endeavor vs the realized utility of the endeavor. Further, and I cannot stress this enough, profits reaped in the service or production of goods for others can only be reaped by meeting the customers desired ends. Thus, a business that reaps a profit not only increased its own utility, but it also increased the utility of the customer. Thus, profit increases the general utility of society.

      So, essentially, your reasoning is fucked. The reason that cows are fed soy and chemicals are put into food is because the general masses don’t give a shit what they put into their bodies and that they also want extremely cheap food. As for the toxic air, that is due to the fact that the government, which is an institution that is supposed to protect property rights, doesn’t do its only fucking job (which is protect property rights). Instead, those in control of the state created an agency called the EPA to protect their cronies from lawsuits, while also dramatically reducing the financial liability incurred for polluting. Meanwhile, idiots like you support the EPA, never realizing that it is a shell created by these companies and their friends in government.

      • Monte on April 22, 2012 at 07:07

        Joseph Fetz:

        I was reading along with great captivation until you stated that you would put sweat in Jessica Biel’s ear. You sir, are a fascist pig.

      • Richard Nikoley on April 22, 2012 at 10:13


      • Joseph Fetz on April 22, 2012 at 11:22

        LOL. I would use the excuse that that was a typo, but now I don’t know. Freud?

      • Shelley on April 22, 2012 at 11:00

        “The reason that cows are fed soy and chemicals are put into food is because the general masses don’t give a shit what they put into their bodies and that they also want extremely cheap food. ”

        I have found this to be an entirely true statement with about 95% of my friends and family. They would be pissed if, in the event food manufacturers changed their ingredients, prices of their beloved “cheap” food became more in line with the effort put into making the product. They wouldn’t be able to afford their iphone and manicures. It’s all about choices.

        Joseph, your writing and thinking are wonderful; dinner and flowers are wonderful, but sweat in my ear?? :-)

      • Joseph Fetz on April 22, 2012 at 13:07

        Like I said, the market is operating perfectly to the wants of the consumer, it is the consumer that is faulty in most cases. However, you must also realize that I am talking about the general masses when I say that. Because the market has also provided for our wants, as well. I have absolutely no problem finding grass-fed and pastured meat, animal organs, organic produce, etc; all at a very good price. In the socialistic world that this guy is talking about, you’d be lucky to have food at all.

        Boy, I tell ya. You get sweat in a person’s ear ONE TIME…. LOL

      • Nigel Kinbrum on April 23, 2012 at 09:05

        “Like I said, the market is operating perfectly to the wants of the consumer, it is the consumer that is faulty in most cases. However, you must also realize that I am talking about the general masses when I say that. Because the market has also provided for our wants, as well.”

        Hold it right there, Joseph. You’re forgetting one teensy-weensy detail.

        Marketing. Consumers want what the market makes them want.

        I love the way you blame the consumer, rather than the market. There may be irony somewhere in this comment.

      • Richard Nikoley on April 23, 2012 at 09:17


        The market operates from two approaches, or paradigms. There is the obvious one, as has been discussed, that it accounts for all values via supply, demand, pricing, costs, lowering costs, etc., to supply people with what they objectively need, think they want, and desire.

        But how did people ever think to desire automobiles, airplanes, ships, or party gags, cellphones, and all other manner of things until someone came up with them and created a market. Thing is, of these two functions, it is the latter that generates most of the wealth and jobs in society.

        And also, just like the video I posted from OPM, this latter function is what preserves and recycles dead capital.

      • Nigel Kinbrum on April 23, 2012 at 10:15

        “But how did people ever think to desire automobiles,…”
        Nerds often invent gizmos for shits & giggles. Some invent gizmos to solve a problem. If the gizmo turns out to be a great idea, other people desire it. Lots of different types of automobiles were invented, but none of them caught on until Karl Benz’s design. Nerds aren’t usually very good at marketing, so they get somebody who is to do it for them. Nerds & entrepreneurs go together.

        Do you ever watch “Dragons’ Den USA”? I find the UK version fascinating.

        The thing is, if all of the gizmos in your above list had never been invented, life would have been completely different but we would have been happy all the same.

      • Richard Nikoley on April 23, 2012 at 10:42

        You always, always, always make the same stupid fucking error.

        “we would have been happy all the same.”

        Who the _fuck_ is WE?

        Why do you always, always, always feel so qualified to speak for every other living should on Earth?

      • Nigel Kinbrum on April 23, 2012 at 15:59

        I typed a reply at great length on my Blackberry while I was at a music gig. It didn’t post. Fuck. Anyway, the answer is fucking obvious.

        Everybody doesn’t miss what everybody doesn’t have and everybody doesn’t know about (because it hasn’t yet been invented).

        Why do you always*, always*, always* not see the wood for the trees?

        *You don’t always, just as I don’t always.

      • Richard Nikoley on April 23, 2012 at 16:01

        No Nigel.

        You always do it, and I always point it out. :)

        BTW, how close are you to Brighton/Hove? I have a reason for asking.

      • Nigel Kinbrum on April 24, 2012 at 07:47

        O.K. then. Here’s another one. We are all going to die. :-D

        I’m about 60 miles from Brighton. You have piqued my curiosity.

      • Richard Nikoley on April 24, 2012 at 07:53


        I’ve got your email. Somethng entirely unrelated to this. Very old fried who just looked me up, whom I used to trmp around Tailand with late 80s early 90s . Thought I’d introduce you via email. And he needs to shed some poundage.

      • Nigel Kinbrum on April 24, 2012 at 08:45

        O.K. I normally refer people to my blog, but I can do personal consultations by phone & email.

      • Richard Nikoley on April 24, 2012 at 09:09

        Oh, I just meant in a friendly, chatty sort of secret handshake sort of way, like this shit really works, or however you Brits say it to one another when there’s no Yank in earshot, that sort of thing. I emailed a copy of my book.

      • Richard Nikoley on April 24, 2012 at 09:10

        And Keith introduced me to both Indian food and rhyming slang, so he’s good people.

      • Nigel Kinbrum on April 25, 2012 at 05:57

        O.K. Face to face works fine, too. Especially if there’s good food involved.

      • Joseph Fetz on April 24, 2012 at 01:33

        No, I didn’t forget a thing, your reasoning is just entirely fucked.

        First of all, marketing does nothing more than make people aware of the products available to them in the marketplace. Second, if all that was needed to make a product successful was marketing, then we’d still be using buggies and whale-blubber lanterns. Thirdly, if marketing was as successful as you say, then revenues realized by businesses should correlate with marketing expenditure (hint: there is no such correlation. Remember Crystal Pepsi?). Lastly, if marketing were truly that effective, why don’t all businesses follow the model of huge upfront expenditures on marketing followed by expenditure on production of the good, rather than the opposite being the case (i.e. huge expenditure on product design, followed by expenditure on marketing)?

        The entire purpose of production is for consumption. So, it then logically follows that what is produced must be what is desired by the consumer. The job of the entrepreneur is to attempt to predict what goods will be desired by the consumer in the future. Those that predict correctly will do well (well, at least until profits equalize across the market). Those that predict incorrectly, well, won’t do well (this is the overwhelming majority case). Further, the demands of the consumers are not constant, so even if you predict the consumer’s wants correctly, you must continue to do so in order to continue to succeed. Once the consumers decide that they no longer demand a good, no amount of marketing can save that good. Further, if I design a product that nobody wants, no amount of marketing will cause demand for that product.

      • Evolutionarily on April 24, 2012 at 10:36

        I think our favourite old friend “correlation does not equal causation” can step in and help us with this one… That said, I do sympathise with your line of reasoning.

      • Nigel Kinbrum on April 24, 2012 at 07:40

        Did you even bother to watch the video?
        You’re not completely wrong, but you’re not completely right either.

      • Nigel Kinbrum on April 24, 2012 at 07:54

        If marketing is worthless, why do so many businesses spend so much on it?

        Why do so many people eat Crap-In-A-Bag and drink Crap-In-A-Bottle?

    • Joseph Fetz on April 21, 2012 at 23:54

      Also of importance in this profit/loss understanding is the difference between ex ante and ex post. Most all human endeavors are profit seeking ex ante, however very few realize a profit ex post. In other words, loss and failure is common, probably more so than profit when comparing the ex ante vs the ex post. The reason for this difference between the ex ante and the ex post is clear– the future is always uncertain and change is always and everywhere inevitable. One cannot be certain that a certain course of action will produce a profit any more than they will know that they will live another day.

      This idea that profit is something only present in business or that that profit is the norm (and loss is rare) is pure stupidity. The only way to continually maintain profits is to continually create more value than the totality of the costs of its inputs. So, the idea that profit is something to be scorned is almost anti-human, because it means that what the person against profit really wants is for resources, time and effort to be wasted and for there never to be an improvement of the state of things for humanity. This actually makes sense, because that is typically the result of Marxist/Socialist systems.

      • Shaun on April 22, 2012 at 04:04

        Humans are not inherently greedy. Our ‘nature’ is dictated by the material conditions of our existence. Under capitalism we are compelled to be greedy and put ourselves first. In primitive communist society we were compelled to cooperate and share, without cooperation we would not have survived.

      • Joseph on April 22, 2012 at 07:08

        I like this, with the caveat that capitalism (like any other -ism) relies heavily on cooperation and sharing. The problem is not that people are greedy (inherently or not), but that they are stupid. Unfortunately, this problem does appear to be inherent: we conquer it only for brief moments, whether as societies or individuals (with the latter being much easier, particularly as societies get larger: more people = more stupid). The key to making progress is not becoming smarter (nice as this sounds in theory), but learning to recognize and deal with our intractable stupidity (individual and collective). Past experience shows that nature is a better judge of stupidity than we are: she isn’t as dumb as we are when it comes to picking which companies should fail, i.e. which marriages between theory and practice are no longer working (if they ever were). So let the losers lose. Let the banks fail. Let the empires fall. Let the mobsters go broke and their peons suffer. Leveraging the world to save them all ends up costing us all (including them) more long-term, more than we are capable of paying. Dealing wisely with stupid seems to require us to let go of the illusion of control–an illusion as dear to fascists as to communists (and many who cannot decide which “side” they are officially on: it also infects all kinds of religious people, including many who proudly proclaim themselves to be free of all religion).

      • Joseph Fetz on April 22, 2012 at 12:45

        I agree, human’s are not inherently greedy. However, they are self-interested and will act accordingly. This is how we explain all acts of man from the simplest form of eating for sustenance, to the more complex, such as building a net to catch fish to eat. The fact is that without self interest, man would die. Also, you seem to forget that this historical communal living only applied to small groups of humans. If confronted with another, unfamiliar group, the tendency was to kill that other group. Luckily, when we were a communal society, our population was so small that we rarely encountered other groups, that we lived a life of pure subsistence, slept on the dirt, didn’t read or write, had no technology other than the most basic of tools, and had no concept of philosophy. The idea that somehow that society is indicative of sort of ideal is preposterous.

        The whole reason that primitive humans operated in a somewhat communal fashion was that they realized the benefits of the division of labor for their survival. However, when you are only talking about a handful of humans in your group, it is pretty easy to work together based on communal standards. However, when you are attempting the coordination of billions of humans working together, then a structure must emerge to coordinate this cooperation, and that is exactly the role that the market plays. The impossibility of calculation of the modern economic society is so clear that only the most simple-minded cannot see it. Further, at its base the idea that the primitive communal society could be applied to today’s society represents a clear logical fallacy (the fallacy of composition).

        On class: Class implies that there is no mobility between the classes, that you are of a particular class and that is where you’ll spend you life. Further, in the Marxian conception of class, each class has a certain way of thinking and operating, there is an inherent state of being for each class. Of course, all of this is idiotic nonsense. One can easily see that there is free mobility between the “classes”, as we see examples of poor people becoming extremely rich and rich people becoming extremely poor, every day. There is free mobility between the so-called “classes”. Further, to state that one’s being is embodied in their “class” is so absurd that I am surprised that anybody even takes this seriously. There are no more inherent features to be found in one class vs the other, than there is inherent features of those who like Pink Floyd vs those who like The Beatles.

      • Richard Nikoley on April 22, 2012 at 13:11

        Regarding mobility of classes and the “income gap,” from deep in the archives. 2004.

      • Joseph on April 22, 2012 at 15:53

        Thanks for pointing out that “class” is incoherent as a definitive category. The way most folks run the numbers, I would end up being part of the proletariat (i.e. someone in a lower “class”). But this says little generalizable about my value (to myself or even other people: it only tells you that I have not turned that value into large material or capital gains, for reasons that remain utterly opaque; maybe I am a lazy crackhead; maybe I am unlucky; maybe I am biding my time for the next Black Swan).

        I just saw this article on Yahoo! about how society is “failing” liberal arts graduates with bachelor’s degrees, because they do not all find remunerative employment in their chosen field of study–as though someone owes me the opportunity to make money reading Latin because I found it interesting and decided to pursue it in depth? As a liberal arts major with a working brain, I find that proposition ridiculous: I studied Latin because I wanted to. No one is under any obligation to pay me because of that decision. I have to adjust to unavoidable externalities just like everybody else. There is no such thing as a guaranteed road to success in life. If it were that easy, it would be much more obvious (and politics and religion would both be much less interesting, even to those who cannot stand either).

      • Shaun on April 22, 2012 at 04:29

        You are misguided and ignorant. The incentive under socialism will be to work less. As technology advances, productivity increase, less time needed to produce what we need. As the socially necessary labour time continues to fall, our working day continues to fall. We will soon reach a stage where we only need to work a few hours a week for superabundance. Robots will do the hard work for us. Leaving us free to enjoy life, now that’s paleo!

      • Richard Nikoley on April 22, 2012 at 09:55

        “Robots will do the hard work for us.”

        You must have a 1970s view of what an automobile factory, shipyard and a Brazilian other things look like.

        Robots? You mean, we’re gonna have robots someday? Wow, imagine that!

        Just keep the capitalists away from them, y’hear? They’re gonna be the worker’s robots!

      • Richard Nikoley on April 22, 2012 at 09:56

        Hey Sean (the other Sean).

        Add a new one to the list: but who will build the ROBOTZ????? (Presumably, robots)

      • Sean on April 22, 2012 at 11:25

        I don’t know about you, Richard, but I will only be served by robots that were built by exploited children in third world countries while I drink from a jewel-encrusted cup of the children’s tears.

        Mmmmm. Child tears.

      • Richard Nikoley on April 22, 2012 at 10:27

        Ha, will this just came in and is apropos. About 3 minutes. Ze Frank on robots. Funny as hell.

      • Sean on April 22, 2012 at 11:50

        Great stuff.

        I am very skeptical of the Singularity, at least as long as computers are algorithmic.

        BTW, robot is one of three English words I know of that comes from Czech. Howitzer and pistol being the other two. I also heard someone argue that hop-scotch could come from Czech (from the verbs houpat and skočit) and polka is either Czech or Polish.

      • Joseph Fetz on April 22, 2012 at 12:49

        I told you, Richard. It is nothing more than ‘Marxism with robots’. They think that somehow robots solve the incentive problem, yet they forget that one must design, build and maintain the robots. They say, “other robots, of course”. Soon, it becomes a chicken and egg scenario. Then, there is the economic calculation problem and the most important problem of all: continual and inevitable change.

      • Richard Nikoley on April 22, 2012 at 13:16

        Yes, and as Sean pointed out in an email, even with all this super increase in productivity over the last decades, hours worked are about the same, if not more, because now so many women work as well.

        It’s really a utopian sort of mindset, that there’s some magical endpoint (heaven on Earth) where dogs & cats sleep together and everyone lays around in lazy bliss with their slave robots.

        I think everything we know about human nature now is that people for the most part like to produce values they can trade with others, and the more they produce, the more they want to produce and can produce.

        Ever notice how long and hard self-made rich people work, typically? How come they don’t just sit back and relax?

      • Joseph Fetz on April 22, 2012 at 13:31

        It’s funny that you mention “Heaven on Earth”, because one of the earliest communist societies of the Holocene period is that of the Anabaptists of Münster in the 16th century, and that is exactly how they sold their conception: “The Kingdom of God and Heaven on Earth”. I mean, all of the claims are completely outrageous and illogical, but they are just the same as those by modern communists and socialists. All of it is Utopian claptrap, but at least the earlier communists were clear that their beliefs were religious in nature. The communists these days attempt to claim that they are atheists, when it is clear that they *are* religious, only that they have replaced a deity with the Man-God, and claim to be able to turn the Earth into the conception of heaven. So, instead of claiming that God and Heaven are to be found in the afterlife, they claim that they can create it in the here and now.

        Oh, and yes, I have noticed that (about the self-made rich).

      • Joseph Fetz on April 22, 2012 at 13:33

        BTW, that should read the earliest “well-documented” communist societies. There were others, just there isn’t much historical documentation. All of them failed horribly, of course.

      • Richard Nikoley on April 22, 2012 at 13:42

        Like I always say, we evolved to account for the values and actions of 30-60 other individuals. Moreover, “communism” in this context was natural because everyone could hold everyone else accountable (“free riders”) and as well, every competent member had a real shot at influencing the direction of the commune as a whole.

        Such is not possible beyond those evolutionary limits (perhaps a bit, with technology and social networks, now), but certainly nothing like on the scale we see today.

        And this is precisely what the market does so well, transparently, invisibly. In the simplest terms possible, the free market is the mechanism whereby values get trades such that both traders judge themselves to be better off after the trade.

        If I have a dollar and you have an apple, the only way you end up with the dollar and me the apple is because I deem (in that time, place and circumstance) the apple to be worth more to me than the dollar, and you, the dollar to be worth more than the apple. Likely, you have more apples than I do and maybe I have more dollars than you do. There goes equality.

      • Shelley on April 22, 2012 at 13:43

        I am thankful everyday that I was born a poor child from parents who worked hard for absolutely everything and grandparents who ran from the strong-arm pols of Russia; I definitely embody their spirit of life/survival, sense of personal freedom and responsibility for self.

        I am certainly not in the 1% but comfortable and the only thing I imagine doing with my extra time of trading in my 70+ hours a work/week for 3 hours per week would be: gardening, raising chickens, fishing/crabbing, cleaning the house, raising/schooling kids, planning/cooking dinner, working out, helping out some who I feel need the help, educating others, teaching others how to make a kick-ass bone stock — I’m thinking my 3 hours/week just turned into 80! I may be able to program a robot to do those things, but I am a controlling obsessive person, it wouldn’t be able to do it as well as I could!

        Time to get back to work!

      • Richard Nikoley on April 22, 2012 at 13:46

        You just don’t know what you’re missing, Shelley. The virtue of sloth. Living at the expense of others….and robots.

        Who care if they do crap work not up to your standards. We know what’s best for you. We’re your mother. Now sit back, relax and enjoy, while we give it to you, good and hard.

      • Richard Nikoley on April 22, 2012 at 13:48

        …and don’t you dare lift a finger because you might make the rest of us look bad.

      • Shelley on April 22, 2012 at 13:51

        So long as you give me whatever Shaun is smoking or maybe it’s all the soy he’s ingesting. I need to stop eating all this “paleo” food. :-)

      • Shelley on April 22, 2012 at 14:20

        Actually, let me restate so that it is more inline with your blog post, Richard: So long as you give me whatever Shaun is smoking or ingesting because it ain’t happening in my current “paleo” state of mind. :-)

        Normally, I don’t comment, but thanks for instigating a “piss me off” blog! :-)

      • Richard Nikoley on April 22, 2012 at 15:05

        “Normally, I don’t comment, but thanks for instigating a “piss me off” blog!”

        I aim to please, and it’s substandard unless I myself get pissed off in comment and fail by not having someone tell me that’s it, I’m off their reading list.

      • Joseph Fetz on April 22, 2012 at 15:07

        Yes, I agree with that number (30-60). There is something called the ‘Dunbar Number’, and it puts the maximum at roughly between 100-200. Most studies say that the maximum is about 150. However, for most practical purposes, I certainly think that 30-60 is the norm and is a good range to use in most cases.

        This is part of what pisses me off about guys like Shaun, because I know that he probably hasn’t even heard of the Dunbar Number, or anything close to this concept. He’s one of those guys that reads stuff from a single ideology and accepts it as fact, instead of seeking the truth that can only be found by studying a wide array of subjects (including those that oppose one another).

        This isn’t to say that Shaun’s ignorance of knowledge is something that is limited to socialists. In fact, there has been a great interest in economic subjects lately, especially in free-market schools of thought. I am personally a proponent of the Austrian school (well, its anarchist version, anyhow), so I certainly like to see people becoming interested in guys like Mises, Rothbard, Hayek, etc. However, just like Shaun’s ignorance of the market, these new “Austrians” are ignorant of Marx, Keynes, Friedman, Malthus, Fisher, etc. They only study it from one view and then conclude that that is the correct view. They never look at both sides to come to their own conclusion, rather they repeat what they’ve read from a limited point of view.

        Sorry for rambling, but it is just something that really pisses me off. I mean, it gets old sitting here in the year 2012 and having to hear the same tired arguments that were refuted well over a century ago. Even more, these arguments are being presented as if this is the first that you’ve ever heard of them. It’s downright insulting.

      • Richard Nikoley on April 22, 2012 at 15:20

        And it’s not that hard, Joseph.

        One does not really have to read all the original sources, even as you have (I have not; some, yes). The Internet is awash is secondary sources for and against just about everything and you can get yourself an amazing Cliff Notes Ed on just about anything in the space of 5-10 minutes.

      • Joseph Fetz on April 22, 2012 at 15:53

        Oh, I agree. There is tons of information to be gleaned from the internet, and it is far less time-consuming. I’ve embraced this technology as an educational tool just as much as the next guy, but you must also be very careful, because there is a lot of BS on the internet, too. In fact, the internet is partially responsible for this new embrace of socialism, because as the shit hit the fan people began to search for answers.

        Right around the time of crash the documentary ‘Zeitgeist’ came out. The first one seemed pretty decent, it was anti-religion, anti-central banking, anti-war; it pulled in quite an audience. However, by the second one it soon became clear that it was nothing more than a Marxist front. Then there is the ‘progressive’ propaganda machine, which pulled many people into a more socialist bent (I think that Bush’s admin helped this along). I mean, shit. Even the ‘Greenback’ movement has shown its ugly face again. So, the internet is awesome, you just have to tread carefully.

        I am young, but old fashioned. So, I usually buy a lot of books, and when I get abbreviated versions of something, it is usually to see if the original would interest me. Don’t get me wrong, I still have quite a way to go before I find the answers to the world around me (in fact, I more than likely will never find them). However, I’ve essentially ruled out socialism, egalitarianism, collectivism, and the state as the institutions that will increase the state of humanity as a whole. For me, these things represent regression, not progress.

        I don’t consider myself smart or extremely well-read, but when I know a subject and I am willing to discuss it openly, then that usually is an indication that I am pretty confident in my knowledge and that I have studied it backwards, forwards and sideways. Otherwise, you won’t hear a word from me.

      • Richard Nikoley on April 22, 2012 at 16:01

        You’re an auto-math.

        Do you read Billly Beck? He’s more active on FB these days than his blog.

      • Joseph Fetz on April 22, 2012 at 16:49

        Is that like a mix between a polymath and an autodidact? If so, then that is pretty true. I am polymathic in that if ever I do have a curiosity about a subject, I will study the hell out of it. And I am autodidactic in that, well, I’m self-taught. There is good and bad in this: the good is that I will be proficient in many subjects, the bad is that I never truly master a single subject.

        I will say that I am far better with the social sciences and the arts than other areas of knowledge, though nutrition, exercise physiology and biology are certainly interests of mine. I’m not trying to stroke myself here, I am just being honest; I spend a great deal of my free time reading about… stuff. I never like to be considered the “know it all”. Though, when I know something I am not shy about sharing it.

        Now, if I could monetize that somehow, then I’d be happy. LOL.

        Are you talking about the trainer Billy Beck? Yes, I’ve heard of him, though I am not very familiar with his work.

      • Richard Nikoley on April 22, 2012 at 17:14

        I was actually hoping you didn’t know him. Google around. See if you can figure who I, talking abut and why. Most particularly’ why.

      • Joseph Fetz on April 22, 2012 at 18:16

        Ahhh! Now I got what you’re talking about. The guy really likes to read, that’s for sure. Even though his recommended books link is clearly only a small fraction of what he has in his library, I actually own about 25% of the books that he lists, and have read an additional 25% of those listed. I’m guessing that he didn’t go to college, either. LOL

        Thanks for mentioning him, I now have another blog to put on my list of favorites.

      • Joseph Fetz on April 22, 2012 at 18:25

        I did notice that he clearly has a better grasp on pure philosophy than I do. In fact, that is an area in which I am lacking. I learned this just recently in a epistemological conversion on the synthetic and analytic a priori. I never really got into Kant or Rand, so that kind of explains that. I understand all of that stuff in a limited fashion, I just never read the two most notable opposing viewpoints. IOW, I never dug in deep and put the eyebrows to it.

        Hey, there’s only so many hours in a day, you know?

      • Richard Nikoley on April 22, 2012 at 18:35

        He did far better than go to college. For the last thre decades he’s designed, erected and run the lights for lots of rock bands.

        But he always kept lotsa books in the coach

      • Richard Nikoley on April 22, 2012 at 18:40

        Google around his blog for any Soviet character you might have an interest in, for fun. Yes, lots on Stalin, but lots on far more obscure characters. Billy has a better understanding of what Stalin was about given his sycophants than most American scholars have of Nixon, given his.

      • Joseph Fetz on April 22, 2012 at 18:57

        Awesome! He’s a techie, but apparently a really good one. I play a few instruments (guitar, bass, drums, piano), but my favorite hobby is audio production (recording, mixing, etc) and messing with electronics (building, troubleshooting, fixing). So, yeah. This guy is pretty much right up my ally. Thanks again.

      • Joseph on April 23, 2012 at 08:32

        Muntzer and company were expecting God to step in on their side and save the day. For some reason, he didn’t (keeping up his long tradition of ignoring humanity outside of storybooks). Their story is quite interesting (as is the whole saga of “heaven on earth”).

      • Shelley on April 22, 2012 at 11:11

        Oh my, you have now proven without a doubt that you are a moron. Technology advancing to a point that we will only have to work a few hours a week? Really? This reminds me of Rosie O’Donnell (who which you are now on a reasoning level with) when she said “I don’t need to learn math; I have a calculator to figure it out for me.”

        Who the fuck do you think programs/will program/grow,etc. the robots that are going to control technology? I certainly hope not you! What color pill did you take?

      • Shaun on April 22, 2012 at 04:33

        The reason our food is pumped full of chemicals and shit is because it’s profitable. For example, when the price of sugar drops, the manufacturers use it as a bulking agent. Profit comes before everything, especially our health.
        Under socialism, if we democratically decide it is in our interest to produce organic and free range produce, what is there to stop us? The profit motive will not stop us.

      • Joseph on April 22, 2012 at 06:35

        Many of the “chemicals and shit” in our food are only profitable because our federal government offers ridiculous food subsidies to farmers (counteracting the market and creating artificial pockets of productivity that would not “naturally” exist). Ironically, many of these subsidies came into being during a time period when a large number of Americans (including some of the regulators at the federal level) were getting all fired up to fight communism, conducting witch-hunts and invoking national security.

        The idea of good central planners making things better for everyone is incredibly seductive. We all see its upside, and we tend to generalize that upside as an inevitable good, something that all societies should seek as a matter of conscience. The downside is just an aberration (that for some reason recurs every time we get central planners at the top making real decisions). It is possible that every instance of central planning thus far has only gone wrong due to some unlucky fluke, but that possibility gets harder to defend the more history one knows. People are all morons (myself included: in some contexts, I can be bright, but I consistently make really dumb decisions, too). Central planners are people. And so it goes. Until someone invents a robot that never makes a mistake and puts it on God’s throne, we’re doomed. (And for what it is worth, I wouldn’t even trust that robot: it was made by people! People are morons.)

      • Sean on April 22, 2012 at 12:32

        For me the biggest intellectual argument against central planning is that it destroys information. People aren’t morons when in comes to their self interest, if the price of gas goes up, people will drive less, buy smaller cars, or just put up with it depending on their circumstances. Take the price of gas away from individual decisions and put it into the hands of a central planner and huge distortions result.

        Now let the socialists start to bitch about externalities.

      • Joseph on April 22, 2012 at 16:00

        Sean, I agree. Central planning turns the decision-making landscape into one that magnifies the effects of human stupidity (making it impossible for us to make wise decisions — or, even better, inhibiting our ability to learn from our really dumb decisions: we can learn from bad decisions, and we do respond, unless a philosopher king convinces us to ignore feedback and go with his pie-in-the-sky with uncritical fervor).

    • Carlos Morales on April 23, 2012 at 12:55

      1. Subsidies. 2. Subsides. 3. Subsidies…most be the free market.

      • Carlos Morales on April 23, 2012 at 12:55


      • Richard Nikoley on April 23, 2012 at 13:02

        You simply don’t understand, Carlos, because under the Right Leadership (TM), this is not supposed to happen.

        Now shut up, got vote, and just make it for Ron Paul and all will be OK.

      • Carlos Morales on April 23, 2012 at 13:29

        Absolutely, slavery is awesome when you have the right slave master.

  6. Mike P on April 21, 2012 at 15:26

    This post, and your quoted comment, are EXACTLY what paleo/primal are for me and my family [wife, 5yr old, 2yr old, 4mo old]. It truly is a way of life, not just another new category for food to fall into. My oldest will have conversations with my wife and I about what dinners we should have this week [his favorites, obviously]. We take our kids to the local butcher shop to buy free range meat from local farms. We take them to other local farms to get fresh produce and chicken eggs. They will sit on the counters in the kitchen and watch, and sometimes help, my wife prepare meals. They are starting to understand where our food comes from and why we eat what we eat, and also, why we don’t eat what we don’t eat.

    We were in the grocery store once and we took a trek down one of the ‘middle’ isles [I know, I know… nothing good in those isles..]. We walked past the potato chips and my oldest asked if we could get some. I asked him what was in potato chips. “Potatoes!” he said..probably thinking “dad…don’t ask dumb-ass questions!”. I told him if we could find one that was just potatoes, salt, maybe some vinegar or oil, we could get them. We then looked at labels of about 10 bags of chips and couldn’t find one that had a small ingredient list. I couldn’t explain what was in all those bags to him… or even why those other things were there, but he understood that what was in those bags wasn’t something we could find at the farm. I then told him we would get some potatoes from the farm and try to make our own. He understood that loud and clear!

    Great post Richard!!

    • Richard Nikoley on April 21, 2012 at 16:15


      I’ll take you over Jesus any old day, and so should everyone else,

      Thank you, sir, for your sound stewardship of the younguns. It’s the future,

    • Matt on April 21, 2012 at 16:54

      With both my wife and I working 40+ hours a week, and now having a 6-month old son at home, it has been all too easy lately for me to slip into a convenience and laziness mindset, e.g., “Well I’ll just grab some takeout on the way home from work” or “I don’t feel like driving to the farmer’s market this morning; I’d rather drink coffee and dick around on the internet.”

      Thank you, Richard & Mike, for the reminder that sourcing & preparing quality food needn’t be viewed as work, or items to be crossed off one’s to-do list.

      • Richard Nikoley on April 21, 2012 at 17:15


        Good on you, and notice I did not say it was easier, it’s harder, and that’s a big a part of my problem.

        To put it bluntly: profetering “paleos” (should be a contradiction in terms) are working to make money working against you and your efforts with your family that’s already hard because you’re likely at odds against lots of other people you love and cherish in your circle of life and love.

        No matter.

        Just click, and you get Paleo Brownies. Then you’re hooked, becaue the kinds are goingt to love brownies, so they and them make you into an unwilling brownie junkie,

  7. Kate Ground on April 21, 2012 at 15:29

    Its always about the all mighty dollar. I can whip up a good big ass salad and grill some chicken in about the same time it takes to nuke a lean cuisine….and I’ll have left overs and no crap in my food. Right? But it isn’t just about food, carbs, convenience. It’s about taking control of our own bodies. Being stewards of our own health. It’s not a quick fix weight loss trick. It is a lifestyle.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 21, 2012 at 16:31

      Kate, I should have used the word ‘steward’ in my post, thanks for the upscale addition.

  8. Nikhil on April 21, 2012 at 17:06

    I’m definitely having a blast learning to cook with real, unprocessed ingredients. But that doesn’t mean I’m against entrepreneurs coming up with exciting new paleo-type products. In fact, I’m pretty excited over the ingenious new products that the market is going to come up with that I would never have thought of.

    It’s fashionable to attack business, but not all are the same. If there’s a company producing paleo-themed trash, we as consumers should not buy their products and speak poorly of them. Conversely if there’s a company producing kick ass paleo products we all could use, we should vote for them with our money.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 21, 2012 at 17:29

      Thanks for making me sorry I linked to you, Nakhil.

      You miss the point as far as it can missed, and you leave me wondering if you’re even smart at all, given the link. But whatever. Be a fucking stupid fuck, for all I care.

      I’ve been an entrepreneur for 20 years, different businesses, many employees, millions in paycheck. How many pay checks have you signed, yet, oh sage of business? I spend on average of a quarter million a year on $ 400+ an hour attorneys (less is a waste, paradoxically) just to stay in business. (young regulatory attorneys, cutting their teeth–you’r ewelcome, hand wringers. Now, you’re protected from me)

      You annoy me, because you’re so cocksure, but so obviously dumb, and so obviously ignorant.

      But there’s always Ron Paul.

      Now go fuck off, Nakhil.

      • Nikhil on April 21, 2012 at 18:20

        That’s awful, what kind of business do you run where the legal fees go so high, if you don’t mind me asking?

      • Nikhil on April 21, 2012 at 18:25

        Don’t answer that, I answered my own question with 15 seconds of googling.

      • Richard Nikoley on April 21, 2012 at 18:43

        It doesn’t matter’ Nakhil. Hell, I’ve even paid Gray Davis legal fees at one point because of his past relations with then AG Jerry Brown. If you are going to pay attorneys, you’re generally wasting your money under about 400-500 and hour, in my long experience.

        Now, think about that.

      • Nikhil on April 21, 2012 at 18:52

        Intense. I’m just of college and hoping to start a business someday. I’ll keep that in mind.

      • Nikhil on April 21, 2012 at 18:52

        *out of

      • Squirenetic on April 21, 2012 at 20:22

        I think that was the comment that’ll have me taking this blog off my reading list.
        Your rantings may be fun reading Mr. Nikoley, and the comments section activity interesting. But your attitude towards commenters who don’t agree with you is despicable. Telling people they’re stupid and should fuck off, because they dare to disagree, is immature power play. And doing it to people who are less than half your age, not yet out of college, who obviously seem to idolize you, judging by the amount of shit they’ll take from you, is bullying. You’re using an influential position (don’t deny that you wield some influence here) to aggrandize your own, sizable, ego at the expense of others. Your justifications may be that you’re a ‘straight talker’ and always speak your mind etc etc. But in the end, that’s no excuse for being a dickhead. When you accuse someone of stupidity whenever they disagree with you on something, you do to twings: One, you make claim to your position, by default, being the ‘intelligent’ one. 2: You break down the confidence of the one you accuse of stupidity, that is, if they care about your opinion.
        I was bullied in secondary school, so I’ve seen all these tactics before. For all your talk of wanting people to think for themselves, you present two options to dissenters. Either they get in line and pretend to agree with everything you say, or they scuttle off to the corner, put on the dummy hat and acknowledge your awesome superiority.
        You may say that people have a choice if they want to frequent the blog, and if they don’t like it, they can piss off at will. But some people (I’m not saying this is you Nikhil, I don’t know you, and I’m not going arrogantly come and ‘defend’ you from Richard. The comment above just tipped the Richard scale into the abusive asshole department and prompted me to write this), obviously put a lot of trust in your word. Now for all your talk about thinking for ones self and being independent, you might want to encourage others to do so too, by responding constructively to their dissenting views instead of bullying them into submission. For someone who hates power abuse, you’re pretty good at abusing the little power you have in your digital realm.
        Same thing with the ad hominem rants you’ve found it necessary to post lately. Calling someone a bitch because they disagree with you is high school behavior. You’re more than 50 Richard, grow up and act your age. Interesting also how you found it necessary to aggrandize yourself further by going on a seemingly irrelevant rant about your pricey attorneys. Yes, you may run a business Richard, it’s not a huge deal, lots of people do that more successfully than you. Would you like to have Mark Zuckerberg come here and tell you you’re an idiot because you’ve been running your business for x number of years without having billions to show for it? Actually, you probably would, since your inflated ego probably makes you think you’re the superior businessman of the two of you.
        You display some seriously narcissistic tendencies on this blog Richard, and I hope you treat your family and friends differently from your blog followers.

      • Ben on April 22, 2012 at 00:33

        He is not the only one displaying narcissistic tendencies in the “paleosphere” – if you look through the comment sections of various blogs, you’ll see other prominent paleo people engaging in name calling, ad hominems, appeals to authority… It’s sad for the people looking for advice, but otherwise very, very amusing. Like little kids taking themselves too seriously.

      • EatLessMoveMoore on April 22, 2012 at 01:30

        You said it, Squirenetic. Three words: mid-life crisis.

      • janet on April 22, 2012 at 05:06

        At my age it is frankly all about the food. I tell my husband after 45 years of marriage that at this point what you see and hear is what you got sweetie. Get on your hand and knees and thank whatever god around that i come home from a full time job and cook this good food. Been in my fifties long ago and over the crap Richard wafts lately. Ho hum. But guess you have to experience it before you cringe about it later in life.

        Rihard honey, your treatment of nikhill is mean and nasty. If you enjoyed it shame on you. Freedom is not ll about you. I could say more but this tablet sucks to type on.

      • Richard Nikoley on April 22, 2012 at 09:18

        @Squirenetic, Ben, ELMM, janet:

        In case, you lack context, see my previous substantial conversation with Nakhil, here:

        Which is likely why he reacted the way he did. He gets it. And, I respect him enough to not only give him my best, but my worst too, and not worry or ring hands about it.

        So where’s the victim? You had already seen that we exchanged a few comments after that, so all’s obviously cool, and perhaps it’s a decent lesson in how adults really behave, instead of playing roles and making nice, and being phony. Instead, you jump to the defense of…who, really? So it’s you all who have so much respect for Nakhil, presuming he what, can’t speak up for himself if he feels he’s been truly dissed, or doesn’t much care about it, just like I don’t care much about it when I’m told to fuck off, or I’m an idiot, or I’m a fatass or whatever it is I happen to get told in comments on any given day, somewhere (keep in mind, there’s lots of comment threads with comments coming in long after the action dies out).

        How come nobody ever says Richard, that was really great and nice how you treated the ignoramus that just commented. Man, you must really be stable in your 50-s.

        “Telling people they’re stupid and should fuck off, because they dare to disagree”

        And this is a misrepresentation. Nakhil got told to fuck off because he presumed of me that I’m one of the crowd that loves to engage in the fashion of attacking businesses when I’ve been defending business for decades and explicitly speaking out against the lefty anti-business agenda.

        …Not because he disagrees. Because he presumed. Go ahead, go read that thread I linked and show me where I told him to fuck off because we disagree on Ron Paul, voting, being involved in the process, and whatever else we disagree about.

        So that’s right there in your prelude to your long diatribe you wrote to tell me you won’t be reading anymore.

        Oh, and thanks for the free psychoanalysis session.

        As for the wife and friends, last evening, on the heels of giving my worst to Nakhil, they got treated to wild game elk burgers from my brother’s kill, salad, and some cheese and fruit later during a game of cards. Come to think of it, Julie told me to “fuck off, Richard,” a time or two and Beatrice flipped me off.

        I just love it when they do that.

        Cheers, all.

      • Nikhil on April 22, 2012 at 09:44

        I’m not too bothered by Ad Hominem, after 2 years in the special forces words are just words. ;)

        But Richard, my 1st comment was not even aimed at you, which really puzzles me as to why you flipped your lid. The consequence of the market is that you’ll get both bad and good companies.

      • Richard Nikoley on April 22, 2012 at 10:31

        Well, it was a top level comment to the post, not a nested reply to another.

        At any rate, my post was neither against entrepreneurial endeavors, nor an attack on business per se. That’s the only reason I flipped my lid.

  9. Kristin on April 21, 2012 at 18:04

    I was explaining to my boyfriend’s brother that Paleo is SLOW food that you cook for yourself from basic ingredients. The commodification of Paleo products will never be true Paleo to me. Part of Paleo is doing a bit of work for your meals. Back in the day, work was mandatory, or you starved. These days with all the bags and boxes and packages, work is elective. Even restaurant food, say a steak and vegetables, starts to lose out because short of looking over the chef’s shoulder, you cede a little knowledge over how your food is prepared. That said, I’ll bet money that our ancestors sought out the foods in their environment that were the least trouble for the effort; THAT aspect of human nature likely has been consistent since forever.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 21, 2012 at 18:12


      Very decent overview of the push pull of it all. Embrace all of that. be modern, but always be eyes wide open.


  10. Joseph Fetz on April 21, 2012 at 18:05

    “So as a free market capitalist kinda guy, all this might surprise you.”

    Not in the least, Richard. What often bugs me about people’s understanding of the market is that they can confuse certain market trends as a market failure, when in fact the market is operating exactly as designed. It isn’t the idea of paleo that is making it turn to crap, it is the inclusion of the idiot masses that is causing that. They’re the ones that want easy to cook meals, low-carb this or that, paleo cookies, trendy little magazines and blogs, etc. The market, being a system that does nothing more than please the wants of the masses, is coming through on the bargain and providing all of these things.

    I laugh sometimes when people look at bankruptcy, recession or what have you and they say, “oh well, looks like the market is failing”, when in fact the market is operating perfectly, it’s the human component that is failing. If you want to make real change to the world around you, then you must change the ideas and beliefs that permeate society, because that is often where the source of bad things arise.

    Obviously, what is good or bad is very subjective, but that is my take on it.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 21, 2012 at 18:14

      Go away, Joseph. Come back in 3 months. With any luck, the morons will be a little smarter then.

      I fear you might embarrass them too much.

      • Joseph Fetz on April 21, 2012 at 21:15

        Haha! I don’t want to go away, I like this place. I think I’ll stay. However, while I know that you’re aware of what I was talking about, I know that the majority of people aren’t into studying the subjects that they are so loud about discussing. Here’s a pretty well-known quote from one of my favorite economists:
        “It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.”

        Obviously, this also holds true for history, political philosophy, epistemology, dietetics, biology or whatever other specialized discipline you’re discussing. People generally have an opinion on shit they know nothing about. While that may impress other morons, it doesn’t go very far with those that have studied the stuff for years. Robb Wolf also has a pretty good line about this, except he uses a 19th century Russian literature example.

        While I think that the internet and the realities of contemporary politics have helped to usher in somewhat of a renaissance in critical thought and logical reasoning, I still think that we have a long way to go– those damned idiots breed like sex-crazed rabbits.

      • marie on April 21, 2012 at 22:04

        Well, if it’s any consolation, those damned idiots breeding like bunnies might be useful in one way, as a human example of a pattern found widely in nature : fibonacci numbers and the golden ratio…. So they’re both ‘paleo’ and 12th century renaissance at the same time, eh? ;-)

    • Joseph on April 22, 2012 at 06:53

      “But the market is driving my brilliant idea out of business! Obviously, it must be wrong (rigged, broken), since my idea is the best thing since sliced bread (ha!). I need Big Brother to step in and make sure that my righteous product does not go the way of all flesh–because I’m too big (too important, too smart) to fail.”

      • Joseph Fetz on April 22, 2012 at 13:14

        Yep, I’ve heard that one, too. It goes right along with, “I’m worth twice the amount of money that they’re paying me” and claptrap of that nature.

      • Richard Nikoley on April 22, 2012 at 13:19


        Obviously, you have not seen my antique collection of rare buggy whips.

      • Joseph Fetz on April 22, 2012 at 14:18

        We should get together. You can show me your buggy whips and I’ll show you my collection of walkmans, calculator watches, boom boxes, fax machines, record players, film cameras, encyclopedias, and ataris.

        You know, it really pisses me off that not only did they put all of this functionality into one device, but they also improved upon all of them– don’t you realize how many people that put out of work?

      • Richard Nikoley on April 22, 2012 at 14:32


        Larry the Liquidator, Other People’s Money, 1991.

      • Joseph Fetz on April 22, 2012 at 14:49

        Shit, forgot about that speech. Classic!

      • Richard Nikoley on April 22, 2012 at 15:16

        It’s remarkable how many sound principles of economics and business are packed into 6 minutes.

      • Joseph Fetz on April 22, 2012 at 14:27

  11. Chris on April 21, 2012 at 18:18

    So with all this talk of entrepreneurs getting involved in Paleo, I’d like to make the following observation: we’re born with bare feet, and the human foot is one of the most flawlessly implemented architectures of bio-design in existence. Da Vinci himself agreed. So what did entrepreneurs do with that? They came up with Nike. They gave us mass plantar fasciitis, shin splints and the various other problems that didn’t start appearing until we started shodding ourselves, shitting ourselves.

    We take a step in the right direction: Vibrams, Luna Sandals, Invisible Shoes and, to some extent, Merrells. What do the big companies do, the ones that weren’t at ground zero? They continue to sell shit to people that shit themselves: Reebok Realflex, Nike Free, New Balance Minimus, and the veritable Dark Lord itself: the Fila Skeletoes. They sell an image, a promise, a lie. What do you we think is going to happen if these same people, these large faceless manufacturers motivated by profit, start pumping out, en masse, ‘Paleo’ food?

    We’re shitting ourselves if we think stewardship of this revolution can be handed over to people motivated by profit.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 21, 2012 at 18:33

      Chris as a money loving and grubbing entrepreneur myself , I have to soundly agree with you.

      This is why I introduced the idea of sacredness. Or, more bluntly, keep your greedy hands off.

      Of course, they won’t.

      I walked the dogs barefoot this mornning, just as I do most times.

      I wonder if Da Vinci knew that the human foot has more nerve endings than genitallia. Going barefoot is tantamount to masturbation.

      But never mind. The human experience is so much less exciting than a new pair of Nike’s.

      Good job, mate,

      • Chris on April 21, 2012 at 20:33

        There’s no telling WHAT Da Vinci knew about the human foot – his detailed drawings only hint at whatever vast knowledge he might have acquired, might have merely glimpsed or totally mastered. But he was right when he called the human foot ‘a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.’

        And so, as someone who loves buying things from money loving and grubbing entrepreneurs – and yet as someone who continually removes degrees from myself and experience (taking off the Nikes in favor of bare feet for example) – I’ve learned over time that it comes down to just that: personal experience. As in: remove all influence, move around, take stuff in, and see what happens.

        I have a huge problem with authority: with this notion that anyone, whether doctors or entrepreneurs or your well-intentioned neighbor that was diagnosed with ‘high cholesterol’ and keeps bringing up PubMed articles about high cholesterol every time you mentioned your eggs and bacon for breakfast, can somehow be a master of your life; as if they could know YOU, let alone the vast architecture of reality. That they, or anyone, could say with any level of certainty: this is the situation right here and here’s what needs to be done.

        And so it all becomes a matter of trust I suppose. But how can any trust be sincere unless all the shades of influence have been stripped away and one has tested it for themselves?

        So I think I’m going to star my own blog, Richard. This sort of wide-bodied, broad-shouldered, take-no-shit synthesis has rekindled my interest in the ongoing conversation of Paleo.

  12. Natalie on April 21, 2012 at 19:14

    You just posted a message using the tools made available by the useless capitalism (Internet, computer or other personal device).

    You also made a classic mistake of confusing free market and the current corporatism. Understandable, since if you listen to the government we’re supposed to live in a free country. However, some day you should grow up and realize that there’s no free lunch and you can’t expect others – whether it’s your parents or the government – to solve your problems for you.

    • Natalie on April 21, 2012 at 20:04

      That was a reply to Shaun

    • Shaun on April 22, 2012 at 04:25

      It is not a classic mistake you moron. Socialism is about building on the productive forces, we welcome development. I have already praised the progress made by capitalism, but that process is at a standstill. We are on the brink of another recession!
      Corporatism~? I understand the big swallow up the small, capital becomes more and more concentrated until we reach the stage where we are now – the global economy dominated by huge multi-national companies.
      Why are you talking about free lunch? I pay my way, I work. Silly dumb bitch!

  13. marie on April 21, 2012 at 20:53

    Speaking of classic mistakes…. Some useful inventions or discoveries were made in a capitalist system so therefore the system is great? Well, Mussolini made the trains run on time, hurray for fascism. The soviets were the first in space, yay communism. Wait for it… rockets and several medical discoveries (shudder), so way to go Nazism!

    There are good arguments to be made about free markets, free exchanges of any kind, the key term there being ‘free’. Any structured system, any -ism (capitalism, communism etc) doesn’t qualify. Trying to separate-out the excesses of capitalism under some other term, corporatism (nice, I must admit, who doesn’t hate the big, bad corporations), can’t white-wash the fundamental lack of freedom in capital-ism too.

    • Natalie on April 21, 2012 at 21:51

      “Speaking of classic mistakes…. Some useful inventions or discoveries were made in a capitalist system so therefore the system is great? Well, Mussolini made the trains run on time, hurray for fascism. The soviets were the first in space, yay communism. Wait for it… rockets and several medical discoveries (shudder), so way to go Nazism!”

      You could just as well mention Mahattan project, another successful government project, for all the relevance your post has.

      I wasn’t talking about “some inventions”. I’m talking about mass produced goods that we use all the time and that exist because someone wanted to make a profit (yes, that dreaded word) by selling them to the masses. I’m not happy with the current system, but I just used it as an example to show that it’s still better than full government control where you’d stand in line even for most basic things. We want more freedom, not less.

  14. marie on April 21, 2012 at 22:30

    “We want more freedom, not less”. Who’s “we” ?
    Meanwhile, there are and there have been huge amounts of mass produced goods that are used or were used under other systems and so existed for other reasons, not because “someone wanted to make a profit”. This still isn’t an argument to support one system over another. If, as you say, you’re not happy with the current system, I’m just suggesting you look further than systems and any kind of government that’s needed to enable or enforce them. Arguing that capitalism is better than communism is like arguing that a powered wheel-chair is better than a scooter (or vice versa), they both make us very dependent. Free markets do not imply capitalism. Connecting the two is just another party line.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 22, 2012 at 09:25

      Actually, I think it’s better to distinguish between capitalism and liability shielding via the state sanctioned corporate entity.

      Capitalism is merely the ownership and direction of capital, the ways and means of production, in private hands.

      • marie on April 22, 2012 at 12:57

        “Capitalism is…” – well, there seem to be more than one definition, no? Mirriam-Webster’s dictionary, for example, includes corporations and is closest to the historical term (the rise of the term in the US being during the Grant administration and broad public references being I think around the 1870’s…across the pond, I’d stay away from the 1867 ‘definition’ in the first volume of Das Kapital, though of course that too includes corporate capital and financial institutions). I don’t know of capitalism ever having been used or applied without corporations, financial entities and governments (your definition could apply to feudalism, for example). But yes, defining it as you do, I’d have to agree.

      • marie on April 22, 2012 at 13:59

        In fact, I guess it’s rather appropriate that the term capitalism evolves too;-)

    • Natalie on April 22, 2012 at 10:56

      Marie, I _am_ an anarchist. I don’t want government in any shape or form. I do agree the true free market can only exist when there’s no such government around. That’s why I always get annoyed when people speak out against free market by conflating it with the modern crony capitalism.

      However, the current system, however flawed, has improved the lives of millions in terms of the material wealth. So I find it ironic why would anyone these days want to change one unfair system for the even worse one, that would also makes everyone poor to boot. Why not root for more free market?

      “Arguing that capitalism is better than communism is like arguing that a powered wheel-chair is better than a scooter (or vice versa), they both make us very dependent. ”

      You obviously haven’t lived in a socialist country (and I mean more socialist than, say, Western Europe). I have. Trust me, you can’t even compare them. It’s like owning a BMW (or, at least, having an opportunity to do so) vs. walking everywhere on foot. (this doesn’t mean I “support” the current system, even if I like it more than socialism, as I’ve said I’ve been an anarchist for a number of years).

      • marie on April 22, 2012 at 11:49

        O.k., I think we mostly agree then.
        But just to be clear, I have lived in a dictatorial ‘socialist’ country (quotations, since they perverted the term) and I’m sure there were better and worse experiences (Ukraine vs.Rumania, for eg., or a wider contrast: Yugoslavia, especially Dubrovnik district, vs. Albania), but in my experience, no, the material wealth was not the big difference between systems. My comment about wheelchairs and scooters was just in context of the commercial discussion up to then. As an example, none of this ‘walking everywhere’ , not in the cities -in fact the excellent bus and subway system was much more convenient than driving everywhere here. There were trade-offs too, eg. there was an unsteady supply of secondary commercial goods (toilet paper and ready-made clothes were hard to come by, just as an example) but health care and education were plentiful.
        However none of that really registers compared to the constant bureaucracy, constant low grade fear and the background threat of physical state violence. So in terms of quality of life, of course we have it better off in any democracy, I just don’t equate that quality with the abundance of cheap commercial goods. They’re just another aspect of the ‘bread and circuses’, yes? That’s one reason I take issue with using them as any kind of argument for/against one system or another, the other reason being that depending on which country and district, one had more or less of them, just like in the ‘west’, so logically it’s just not a defining distinction.

      • Jeremy Voluntaryist on April 25, 2012 at 14:02

        You crazy anarchists… I’ve been going through FB groups trying to see if there’s a Natalie on any of them. I’ve enjoyed your writing. And Joseph’s.
        You guys should link to a blog/ email/ etc if you’re interested. I’m always looking to read more from like minded people.

  15. Bob on April 21, 2012 at 23:01

    Guys, Shaun is actually pulling your legs. He doesn’t really believe those things.

  16. Sunday Reading - April 22nd, 2012 | Four Sides on April 22, 2012 at 00:28

    […] Richard Nikoley, Is Paleo a Sacred Grassfed Cow? […]

  17. v on April 22, 2012 at 05:22

    this post is like heaven in it’s perfection.

  18. v on April 22, 2012 at 05:22

    i’m not being sarcastic.

  19. smgj on April 22, 2012 at 05:46

    Best post ever. And remember – the caveman that didn’t prioritize his food… he didn’t live long or happy ever after… Why should we?

  20. Monte on April 22, 2012 at 06:29


    This is one of the best fucking blogs you’ve ever wrote. And you’ve wrote a lot of fucking blogs.

  21. Joseph Fetz on April 22, 2012 at 20:53

    Strange how the world works. A friend of mine just posted this speech from Brad Thompson today, it’s entitled “Why Marxism?”. Let’s just say that Brad isn’t a fan…

  22. J. B. Rainsberger on April 22, 2012 at 13:36

    You describe the phenomenon that has tried to destroy the lean/agile approach to developing software: once the thing becomes a buzzword, a nontrivial market treats it as a goal unto itself, then everyone wants to “be” whatever the buzzword is, then people stop trusting the buzzword, … blah.

    I prefer to hold on the ideals and live them, whether it’s Lean/Agile/XP in the software world, or Paleo/LCHF/Low sugar in the eating word. I found I got better results when I stopped caring what other people called it.

  23. EatLessMoveMoore on April 23, 2012 at 06:02

    Really, Bob?

  24. Kate Geound on April 22, 2012 at 17:23

    Wow, from Lean Cuisine, to capitalism, to Jesus, to pimps and whores….sigh….all thoroughly entertaining. Don’t stop now. I have all evening to waste.

  25. Claeg on April 22, 2012 at 19:26

    I would like to make a distinction that many here probably already know, but still needs to be stated.

    Today the US consist of several types of economies within one country.

    1. A great portion of the US economy is not capitalistic. Any part of the economy that is subsidized, regulated, or overseen by the government, but produced by private entities is not Capitalistic, but is more akin to old mercantilistic agreements between larges businesses and governing bodies.

    2. A lesser portion of the economy is communal and obligatory. Military, Social Security, Welfare, Jury Duty. Contribution is mandatory and in many cases the government the government is only entity in that market.

    3. Finally there does exista few true laize-faire capitalistic sectors. These are trades that are made WITHOUT ANY government influence.

  26. EatLessMoveMoore on April 22, 2012 at 22:35

    “…And all the while, a guy like Jimmy Moore gets criticized relentlessly…”

    Because he’s an idiot, Richard. A 300+ lb. idiot riding ‘paleo’ all the way into irrelevance (and taking lots of good people along with him). Just sayin’.

    Political discussion may now recommence…

    • Bob on April 23, 2012 at 01:27

      Jimmy’s low-carb, not Paleo.

      And he was building the community while you were still eating rice cakes.

      He also treats everyone with politeness and civility.

      Unlike you, you fucking ass munch.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 23, 2012 at 06:40

      Jimmy has his problems and issues, I suspect as do most of us.

      But he’s no idiot. I think perhaps a bit bright eyed about LC and a few other thngs. He’s also honest about his weight gain problems, puts all his food up and he is pretty darn LC Paleo at this point and promotes food quality. He also went after the LC bread and pasta guys, who were sponsors of his, which I thought demonstrated honesty and integrity.

      You can’t listen to his podcast and come away with any conclusion but that he provides an open forum for just about every aspect of what we’re trying to accomplish.

      I wish him well. Don’t you?

      • Sean on April 23, 2012 at 09:12

        Hear, hear.

        The only problem I have with Jimmy is that his science background isn’t very strong and he sometimes gets a bit out of depth or can’t ask perceptive questions when he’s interviewing a science ninja like Chris Masterjohn. This is also why he tends to rely on experts rather than figuring things out for himself. Contrast Jimmy Moore with his friend Tom Naughton. Tom would probably self-identify as more LC than paleo AFAIK, but he can easily dissect a bullshit paper or meta-study, and lecture about how scientists get things wrong. Still, I see Jimmy as a hardworking journalist and in that capacity he’s light years ahead of the typical Jane Brody type of mainstream media, lipid hypothesis bootlicking “health” journalist.

        I don’t get all the factional Jimmy Moore hate. Well, I get it I just think it is terribly misplaced.

      • EatLessMoveMoore on April 23, 2012 at 14:55

        Well, I see I’m not going to win this argument. From an outsider’s perspective, though (and as one who identifies as neither LC or paleo, that would describe me), a 300+ lb. Born-Again Christian who insists that calories don’t matter makes a rather ridiculous king-maker for a movement ostensibly grounded in science. Dr. Kurt Harris might agree.

        As for the “hate”, well, I don’t know if I’d call it that, but it might have something to do with the (probably) hundreds of honest voices he’s summarily banned from his page/forum.

        But I’m just guessing.

      • Richard Nikoley on April 23, 2012 at 14:58


        I totally get your frustration.

        I don’t see Jimmy as a King Maker at all, and if you do I guess I understand where you’re coming from more.

        I see Jimmy as a guy who helps supply me with the largest brain LC folks. Because I care most about big brains.

      • Sean on April 24, 2012 at 07:02

        Yeah, Kurt would totally agree. He’s said several times he wouldn’t go on Jimmy’s show again. But what can you expect from a guy who sells his Les Paul and Porsche 911?

        I’m skeptical that Jimmy has banned hundreds of honest voices. And if he’s a ‘kingmaker’, well, he’s remarkably eclectic one. He’s interviewed everyone from the banana-eater who shall not be named to Robb Wolfe.

    • Carlos Morales on April 23, 2012 at 13:22

      Go kill yourself.

  27. David on April 23, 2012 at 01:48

    I would pray to the almighty grass fed cow. Seems just as reasonable as praying to anything else. At least im getting something in return for this sacred animal. In reality this day of jumping the shark was coming. It will come and go (probably take 5 years from beginning to end of super marketed products) and then it will be back to the ones who stayed low key. Instead of adding new products and info and such, i would like to see the Paleo movement simplified. Dean Dwyer said it best “with so much information from so many different sources, how can we know what works?” he said something like that.

    • rob on April 23, 2012 at 04:55

      I’ve been doing pretty good eating meat and potatoes six days a week and meat and rice on the seventh (along with my “pound o’ carrots” every now and then), though a lot of people would say that’s not Paleo … at least they can’t say it isn’t simple.

      As far as “What works?” the problem is that everyone has different objectives, so there are necessarily many different solutions. Some people have the goal of avoiding spikes in glucose, some want a better blood workup, some want to be thinner, some want to be fitter, some want to extent their longevity, some want to manage a chronic medical condition etc. etc.

  28. mark on April 23, 2012 at 05:37

    I’m starting to think humans should have never, ever, have eaten meat.

    • Kate Geound on April 23, 2012 at 06:14

      Grass fed humans with three stomachs.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 23, 2012 at 06:47

      Well mark, many species of primates didn’t.

      You’ll find them swinging in trees and copulating in public.

      Alright, maybe I see your point. :)

      • Jeremy Voluntaryist on April 25, 2012 at 14:05

        I love copulating in public and make it a point to do so as often as we can get away with it.

  29. Lisa on April 23, 2012 at 06:39

    I’ve got half a freezer full of “Paleo frozen dinners”. They’re called steaks and filets.

  30. Steven on April 23, 2012 at 08:53

    I agree with your sentiment, Richard–however tangled it has become with hookers and capitalism? I saw Paleo as a rather critical movement when it began with Rob Wolff ( Cordain was too caught up in cooperation with co-option, as Dr. Harris puts it). And even though it has started to catch into a fad drift, the total number of critical thinkers has increased, although the ratio has declined. Sometimes you need more mainstream placement to catch the attention of those who just don’t have the serendipity of finding these niche movements. The fools will hop from Paleo re-enacments to Weight watchers, to stupid startups and so on.. But this is only the beginning for what I think will galvanize real change. Sure, it started with all these fat people trying to lose some weight. But it has become a much bigger phenomenon. We questioned ideals that were in place for decades, ideals that seemed so obviously wrong but remained because of our fear and inadequacy to challenge those who had them instituted. Paleo is the stepping stone for a referendum. Not just for our health, but for anyone and anything that claims to be infallible. I see this as an almost historical event, and I hope it gets as much publicity as it can.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 23, 2012 at 09:02

      I like your analysis and optimism, Steven, and share it in more ways than one.

      Now, back to talking about hookers and capitalism. :)

  31. Kate Ground on April 23, 2012 at 11:03

    YES! More prostitution and big government…or, is that the same thing?

  32. Jc on April 23, 2012 at 12:00

    I, for one, welcome our new socialist* robot overlords.

    (* although I would prefer that they instead implement a more free market-based system.)

  33. Richard Nikoley on April 23, 2012 at 12:03

    “although I would prefer that they instead implement a more free market-based system.”

    Anatomically correct would be a nice feature, too.

  34. […] Posts RSS ← Is Paleo a Sacred Grassfed Cow? […]

  35. Chris on April 24, 2012 at 09:22

    Isn’t it ironic that I see an ad for lactose-free Yogurt next to your blog? Probably it’s just a reminder that I need to turn my adblocker back on and/or need to improve my skills on ignoring ads even more.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 24, 2012 at 09:28

      Ha, Chris, yea, I think given the nature of Paleo, joke’s on them. People may disagree. We’re not talking huge money but it does defray the $2,500 or so a year it takes to keep the lights on, here. I take a little pleasure knowing that the products we’re fighting against are financing this, in part.

      • Chris on April 24, 2012 at 09:39

        Hey, I’m not poking fun at you – just think it’s funny that whatever algorithms figure out where to place the ads simply do not get the semantics of the content at all.

      • Richard Nikoley on April 24, 2012 at 09:41

        Exactly, Chris. It’s a constant lesson in how dumb marketing can be. Of course, it’s all built into the costs and at this point, would probably cost more to tighten up the algorithms with some form of AI.

  36. Good Reads – 4/29/12 | Go Tami Go on April 29, 2012 at 12:39

    […] Is Paleo a Sacred Grassfed Cow? – by Richard Nikoley […]

  37. […] Is Paleo a Sacred Grassfed Cow? […]

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