Archevore Diet Revisited

I actually shy away from the Paleo label when discussing my diet because I feel it’s somewhat misleading. The real short-hand is “High Animal Fat” but Paleo benefits from mainstream familiarity. Most of the guidelines I follow, I got from Kurt Harris. The man’s site, Archevore (formely PaleoNu), is a treasure trove of nutritional information and analysis. He’s surprisingly been MIA for a while but it’s nice to see that his latest post is an update to his general guidelines.

His aim is to reduce the false herrings and make it more universal. Hence, legumes, aside from soy and peanuts, are not mentioned given their relatively benign nature. I’ve agreed with this for quite some time and thought the Paleo crowd was overreacting about “phytates and anti-nutrients” in legumes. Properly prepared legumes have had a place in one civilization or another for millenias, and most of the vilification demonstrated seemed to me like weak associations. This isn’t a reason for me to include beans though, I still think they’re boring, but won’t complain if I had to eat them.

His admonition of milk is interesting though. You can tell he’s being influenced by the “Food Palatibility” theorem currently floating around the blogosphere and is thus excluding liquid calories out of caution. The idea is that liquid calories are too easy too consume and might potentially lead to issues. It’s hard to see why milk should be mentioned in this circle though: how much milk can you comfortably consume in a given period of time? Compare that caloric load to any other food on the archevore safe list, I don’t think it’s a fair association.

That said however, it’s clear that his list is geared more towards people who have suffered long under the SAD, and this is a means of addressing that. It’s also heartening to see starch vindicated as a nutritional bad guy. Considering Guyenet’s critical look at the carbohydrate hypothesis of obesity, I’m now less and less convinced that carbohydrates as an umbrella term are necessarily bad. Once you have solid foundations, it seems that the general population can safely swing between using glucose or long-chain saturated fats as a fuel. Your mileage will vary, and so will the taste preference. I generally lean towards animal fats, but generally will not complain for want of health or taste if I had to substitute some of those calories with safe starches. Fat and starch are one hell of a drug.

Assorted Links

1. Was Aaron Swartz Stealing? [The Awl]:

What we know so far, if the allegations in the indictment are true: late last year Swartz busted into the MIT network in order to conduct his download in secret, though he has been working at nearby Harvard for many years and has no direct affiliation with MIT. At Harvard, as at pretty much any U.S. university, Swartz would automatically have had full access to JSTOR. It’s been widely asserted that Swartz intended to distribute the material he downloaded from JSTOR to the public, e.g. by posting the lot onto a file-sharing site like The Pirate Bay. And it’s no wonder that people are saying this, because the government’s indictment alleges it directly, but the indictment provides not a single shred of evidence to support these claims.

2. Tell Your Own Damn Stories! Games, Overreading and Emergent Narrative [Futurismic]

One way of engaging with this psychological quirk is by talking about the existence of Emergent Narrative.  These would be stories that emerge from raw facticity despite the absence of an author; stories that emerge when we try to describe a series of unconnected events, prompting our poor brains to scramble to fill in the gaps and smooth out the awkward edges; stories that can transform mere happenstance into amusing anecdotes and the brutal meaninglessness of existence into the neatly manicured Grand Plans of organised religion.

So how does all of this relate to videogames? Simple. One of the most disastrous things to ever happen to videogames was the emergence of the belief that being a game designer is a bit like being a film director and that it is the job of a game’s designers to create a story.

3. Overdone: Why are restaurant websites so horrifically bad? [Slate]

4. This story is perfect bait material. Feds sue a trucking company for firing an alcoholic driver, arguing that it’s a disability. Of course, the company will still be liable for any drunk driving accidents that should occur through this person’s employment.

5. A couple dances through 100 years of London fashion: