Friday, August 28, 2015

To Be Fooled Is Human

Yes, I know, this is a fairly transparent plagiarism from Pope's famous "Essay On Criticism" but it just seems to sum up so succinctly our communal propensity as humans to believe what we want to believe regardless of any empirical evidence or even rational thought. If you read this blog regularly (Hi Mum), you'll recall that my last post was a rant about my disillusionment with the "paleo" movement which is increasingly the realm of slimy snake-oil salesman looking to make a quick and easy buck rebranding a basic paleo-type diet (no sugar, no wheat, no industrial seed-oil) with their own logo and selling over-priced under-performing supplements or other gimmicks. 

Product of training and diet, not snake oil

Dave Asprey, of Bulletproof infamy, is perhaps the most successful rebrander currently out there if the quantity, price and sheer volume of gimmicky available for sale on his web-site is any indication. From vibrating tables to upgraded water, Asprey sells it all. Wandering around his website is like being lost in Wonderland with Alice where each clickable link takes you from one outrageous claim (eat 4,000 calories a day while establishing lean physique, never exercise yet maintain enviable six pack, workout for ten minutes twice per week and look like a body-builder, etc. etc.) to another. It's dazzling, delicious and, of course, deluded. Losing weight, getting strong, regaining mobility, simply being a healthy functional human requires steady, consistent effort - both mental and physical - and cannot be hacked with no significant effort at any price.

Sometimes you just gotta dig in,
PC, Dave Jack

And, deep down, we all know this. We know that taking Green Coffee Extract won't really give us that shredded physique we've been lusting after, just as we know that pouring butter and MCT oil in coffee does not magically turn us into swole bros even while we sit on our butts all day poring over social media, but, we so want to believe that everything we want is attainable without any hard work whatsoever. Perhaps, taking the easy way out is genetically coded into most (but definitely not all) humans. 

Plain hard work and consistency

Being generally mediocre, I've always had to work hard at whatever I wanted. From staying lean to climbing better, there is nothing I have every wanted in life that could be attained by the click of a mouse and the entry of a credit card number. And for this, I'm truly thankful, because I've learnt that if you want something, you have to work for it and there is immeasurable value in working hard. "Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty..." (Theodore Roosevelt) and that includes upgraded water and vibrating tables.

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