The Next Silicon Valley

February 18th, 2014

Cities around the world are wondering how to become “the next Silicon Valley.” In fact, if you get a Silicon Valley address and know how to make slides, you can actually have a nice time traveling the world as a consultant advising cities how to do this. I once got to see some consultants give

What I think of Bitcoin

January 25th, 2014

I’ve been mostly silent about cryptocurrencies, at least online, till now. Reason being, I was waiting for the government to finish deciding whether crypto-participants were money launderers, counterfeiters, or enemies of the state. But now I’m ready to talk. Not that the government made up its fractured mind. Rather, crypto simply went too mainstream, too

The Best Meat is Illegal to Buy

October 20th, 2013

There’s an article going around today on the audacious idea of making it legal to sell wild game.[1] If that doesn’t sound audacious, it’s probably because you, like most, had no idea that it’s illegal to buy and sell wild game to begin with. But it is. I found out years ago after making the

Jeans

October 6th, 2013

Four years ago, I stumbled onto a clothier’s going-out-of-business-sale. I needed a new pair of jeans and surprisingly, their jeans fit well. So I bought five pairs (boot-cut) and congratulated myself for being so clever. How long might this cache of jeans last me? Ten, fifteen years? I might never have to go shopping ever

Sewn Camera

October 1st, 2013

I’ve finished giving my* camera a proper minimalist makeover. I began by blacking-out, with electrical tape, all its extraneous markings and logos. I finished by sewing the camera strap to the camera, thereby eliminating the bulky, inflexible clips that typically secure camera straps. I love the result. Just a few minutes of relaxing, utilitarian needle-work

Rich Kids

July 25th, 2013

I once went to a seminar for wealthy parents on how not to spoil their children. Not that I have kids but I did have a free ticket. And I’d long been curious as to why people who become “successful” through struggle and striving so often breed underdeveloped loafers. The seminar lasted all day but

Bloodletting

June 18th, 2013

A recent article labeled me and Tim Ferriss as guys who think “way too much about women’s orgasms, the weight of their own feces and how to game the Red Cross so they can do more bloodletting.” It’s ambiguous, but I think it’s the part about bloodletting that’s meant to be attributed to me. Since

Cerebro is Real

June 6th, 2013

I mused last week on the concept of synchronicity after an interesting experience I had. Analytics show the piece was not widely read. But the following day I was contacted (which takes strangers some doing) by two curious fellows, one a psychoanalyst and the other a writer, both who investigate meaningful coincidences and the esoteric

This Morning’s Fire

May 31st, 2013

Synchronicity – A phenomenon where an event in the outside world coincides meaningfully with a psychological state of mind. I awoke this morning to a loud fire alarm, coming from a new apartment complex nearby still under construction. I wasn’t surprised; this alarm had gone off dozens of times over the past two months, sometimes

Real Work

April 21st, 2013

In college I took one philosophy class… and failed. I failed because I didn’t turn in a paper worth a quarter of my grade. I didn’t turn it in because I didn’t feel it would make a real contribution to philosophy. Philosophy already seemed so muddled, I didn’t want to add to the clutter. Of

Whole Foods Listens

April 5th, 2013

A friend who is also on a high-fat diet, lamented one day how our local Whole Foods lacked a full-fat, grass-fed, yogurt. In a brilliant move, which at the time I considered naive, she wrote them to ask if they would please carry some. Ten days later, it was on the shelf. I wondered if

Fat-based Diet — A Menu

March 16th, 2013

The biggest mistake people make when trying paleo or some variant is that they increase their fat intake too little. They cut back on carbs but instead of eating more fat they eat protein excessively. Having been steeped in a low-fat, lipid-fearing paradigm, many of us since birth, it takes a deliberate effort to learn

Eggs & MCT

March 13th, 2013

Soft-boiled eggs and MCT. This simple pairing has become one of my favorite quick meals and for those in the health-optimizing, paleo, biohacker communities, it should serve you well. Here’s why: Soft-boiled — Probably the simplest and purest way to cook eggs is by soft-boiling them. The egg cooks right inside the shell, eliminating the need for

The Gratitude Experiment

March 8th, 2013

Update: About two weeks into this, I was stopped in my tracks with the sudden realization that I’d lately been happier (more content, peaceful, fulfilled, etc.) than usual. More significantly, I realized that I’d been so for days. Unlike my typical experience of reality (general dissatisfaction punctuated by momentary highs), it seemed that my happiness

Foreign Language Immersion

February 7th, 2013

The great thing about learning a foreign language while abroad is the opportunity for immersion. But such opportunities are disappearing fast. Everyone seems to speak some amount of English now, meaning an English speaker rarely has to use a foreign language to communicate. Locals, when confronted with such a horrendous rendition of their own language,

Heating with Wood

January 17th, 2013

In a world where so many products amount to little more than fads and distractions, one cutting edge piece of technology has lately won me over: the modern wood stove.* With it, I plan to heat my home this winter entirely with wood. Free wood. I came by this plan while browsing tax credits for

Diagnostic Paleo

November 21st, 2012

A friend went on the paleo diet and lost 30 lbs. He got down to his target weight and felt better than he’d felt in a long time. Despite these positive results neither he nor I, as his coach, were satisfied with his body composition. He was still a bit pear-shaped and hadn’t gotten as

Consciousness Is a Room

August 27th, 2012

I recently came to terms with the fact that I was unhappy and had been for days. Ignoring it was becoming too difficult and I was tired of feeling this way. I thought, “This is no way to live! What am I doing wrong?” Next morning I broke from the past week’s routine. Where I

Soon I’ll have completed courses in motorcycle riding and professional driving. I’ve considered these courses for years but always ended up dismissing them as frivolous. Surely such unproductive and expensive forms of entertainment are a sign of priorities out of order. But lately I’ve come to view these activities as entirely practical. I’ve been to

Writing and Speaking

May 7th, 2012

I’m pretty good at public speaking, even extemporaneously. If we were at some event and the speaker was a no-show you could ask me to speak instead, and by the time I’d gone from my seat to the stage I’d have figured out something to say. I’ve gotten good at filling time with words. In

The Whiton Protocol

March 31st, 2012

A Dietary Protocol for Optimal Health, Body Composition, Longevity, and Satiety (v 1.2).[1] I’ve given in to suggestions that I name the dietary protocol I follow, so it will be easier to discuss and compare. I’ve given it the uninspiring name The Whiton Protocol because it really is just my, often-revised, researched, but still-speculative take

The Order

December 28th, 2011

If I’m honest with myself about whose life really resonates with me, it’s Gandalf. For a long time this bothered me. I was worried you couldn’t like a wizard without wearing black all the time and playing D&D or LARPing. Instead I wanted to identify with Aragorn, seeing as how both of us are in

Truth Proximity

December 12th, 2011

A friend told me yesterday that she had reformulated her conception of truth. Previously she had thought that you either believed in universal objective truths that are plain for all to see, or had to take the other extreme as a total relativist. Now she thought the truth was somewhere in the middle: real universal

Dictionary

November 15th, 2011

Most new technologies bore me. New ways to listen to music, shop, or access the news… I just can’t seem to care. But some technologies manage to amaze me again and again. Technologies that work well and repeatedly exceed my expectations. The Dictionary that comes with Apple computers is one. It’s a rare example of

Whole Foods

October 31st, 2011

It seems easier sometimes to find nourishing whole foods in foreign lands than in America. Like these fish: My first day in town I ate the one that looked prototypically fishlike. Besides costing less it was also less intimidating than the ugly, whiskered one. The woman laughed as I began trying to eat it, charred

This is a graph of my heart rate while meditating over the course of about 90 seconds. During this time I feel a sense of well-being, calm, and peace. What’s curious is that during this time my heart rate is not constant, as might be expected but oscillating from somewhere between 60 to 90 bpm.

Why don’t I go back to school?

September 19th, 2011

Today someone suggested, half joking, that if I’m so interested in health and nutrition perhaps I should go back to school for it. Someone said the same thing when I was immersing myself in gardening and agricultural reform. And about business before that, and philosophy, and psychology… “If you find that so interesting, why not

Autophagy

September 17th, 2011

So I’ve spent the past four months putting a paleo diet firmly in place as the foundation of my health. I’m very happy with the results: my body composition is the best it’s ever been, I feel great, I really enjoy the food, and my junk food addiction is in remission. Now that the most

Story Slam

September 17th, 2011

Before the other night I’d never been to, or wanted to go to, a story-slam. Regardless, I went to one while visiting Boston, and actually won. Thanks to Katherine and Jonathan for helping induce the herd mentality that landed us all on stage.

The Unconscious at Work

September 9th, 2011

People often ask me why I say the unconscious is intelligent and autonomous. Here’s an example. The other day my girlfriend, who will arrive later that day after a long road trip, calls to say hello. She tells me how the trip is going and when she thinks she’ll get here. She tells me that

Voice

August 31st, 2011

I just heard an interview with Tim Ferriss where he was talking about writing the 4-hour Workweek and how, in order to find his voice, he had to pretend he was writing an email to friends. Before that he started off writing in a pompous “Princetonian” way. When he realized that wasn’t right he swung

Einstein Internet Sugar

August 31st, 2011

One of the best things about my home is that it’s one of the last places on earth that doesn’t have sugar or Internet, two addictive substances that are a threat to me. Both are tantalizing. Both are everywhere. Both are cheap if not free. Sugar, I am convinced, shortens my time on this planet

Q: Josh, you’ve decided to interview yourself. Tell us why? A: The idea came after a real interview I gave recently. It left me in awe of how much material we covered and how easy it was. I put zero prep time into it and it went off well anyway. Compared to prepared talks I

3 months on a high-fat diet

August 25th, 2011

As requested (not kidding), I’m posting a picture to help track what the paleo experiment is doing to me. This is me after three months on a high-fat, low-carb, low exercise, paleo diet. Results so far are improved body composition, stable energy (no crashes), and a greater ability to resist sugar and flour. ‘High-fat’ means

Coconut Milk

August 24th, 2011

It’s been neat to watch my body adjust to a high-fat diet. When I first tried straight coconut milk I couldn’t eat much. Three spoonfuls made me full, and a bit queasy. Three days later I was happily downing six spoonfuls. A week later, half the can. Now I sometimes have a whole can in

Paleo on the go

August 23rd, 2011

I’m getting in the habit of never walking out the door without packing a paleo snack. This keeps me from being struck by hunger and eating something out there in the food desert that I’d be better off without. Today it’s an avocado and a few olives stuffed into a handy little container about the

A common poisoning

August 22nd, 2011

Paleo people keep suggesting that, aside from sugar, I consider cutting out grain and possibly legumes and dairy too. They’re too recent of developments in human history, they say, especially compared to my millions of years old genetic code. Accordingly, they work as an allergen and even as a slow poison in a great many

I’m heading outside now to do some sprints. Though I don’t particularly enjoy exercising two thoughts propel me: One, that it will only take 10 minutes. Two, that this small investment will send signals to my genome requesting that it express genes disposed toward better health, slower aging, and improved body composition. I send similar

Ketosis

August 21st, 2011

As it happens there are two different fuels our bodies can run on: glucose and ketones. Yet we moderns almost never run on ketones because of the modern diet’s abundance of glucose. Entering ketosis requires maintaining a very low carb diet, less than 50g per day, and requires remaining steadfast while the body rejiggers itself

Salmon Cakes

August 20th, 2011

Salmon cakes are fast becoming one of my favorite paleo-foods. Tonight I experimented with a modified recipe: instead of draining the water from the can I left it in and kept adding coconut flour till it thickened up.* The result? Larger more filling salmon cakes that pack 16 grams of fiber and 31 grams of

Having been so pleased with the basic paleo approach I’ve decided to up my game by balancing my omega 6-3 ratio. For a long time I thought, like many, that “omega-3s are good.” But it’s probably not that simple. The latest theories are that it’s the ratio that matters most. And what should those ratios

Having been so pleased with the basic paleo approach I’ve decided to take it one step further by eliminating grains. I’ve been eating grain my entire life. But grain is relatively recent development, far newer than most of my genetic code, and I am eager to see how my body performs without. Early results are

The Barefoot Experiment

August 15th, 2011

I tried out a pair of toe-shoes yesterday – you know, those shoes that isolate each toe and give the appearance of having neon mutant bionic feet. While not thrilled with their style I was interested in the claim that wearing these shoes is like being barefooted, bare feet being another pillar of the paleo

Dishwater — A Meditation

July 31st, 2011

I own a mechanical dishwasher but wash my dishes by hand. I wash them in a portable plastic basin that collects the soiled water. I use this water in my garden, which is watered solely with dishwater and rain. The plants don’t seem to mind the diluted soap and enjoy the slurry of food particles.

Tip #3: The Crap List

July 19th, 2011

Sticking to a diet when out in public is difficult. If you haven’t noticed, restaurants and vendors tend to sell mostly what profits them, not you. But I’ve discovered a few tricks to hold firm. I call this one The Crap List. The crap list is a literal list of the figurative crap I’ve eaten.

I once wrote about how I got my health insurance premiums lowered by convincing the health insurance company to put me in their lowest risk class. I did this by sending them my medical history and also including a letter explaining my frequent practice of drinking raw vegetables. It’s funny to think what risk category

Sticking to a diet when out in public is difficult. If you haven’t noticed, people tend to sell whatever will most likely snare you rather than what is good for you. But I’ve discovered a few tricks to keep from straying that, on a high-fat diet, work especially well. I call this one Cascading Indulgence.

Tip #1: Gorge Before Going

July 19th, 2011

Sticking to a diet when out in public is difficult. If you haven’t noticed, people tend to sell whatever will keep you coming back for more rather than what is good for you. But I’ve discovered a few tricks to keep from straying that, on a high-fat diet, work especially well. I call this one

It’s proven that a high-fat, low-carb diet will cause one to lose weight.[1] But of all the things I need, weight loss isn’t one. So why am I eating this way? Mostly to eliminate my cravings for sugar and carbs. It’s been a goal of mine for years at which I’ve failed. But now I

A Fit of Sprints

July 5th, 2011

So I’m crusing around my favorite new website this morning, basking in a renewed sense of sharp-mindedness and overall well being. I’ve been eating pure paleo for the past three days and feeling excellent. Mark Sisson seems so spot on with his Primal Blueprint that I even download his free book on exercise (I hate

Toward a High-Fat Diet

July 4th, 2011

Toward a High-Fat Diet It’s been nearly a year since I began my experiment with consuming an ultra-high-fat diet, the premise being that fat is: a) the body’s preferred fuel, and b) the single macronutrient least likely to suppress the life-extending, age-inhibiting expression of our most survival-oriented genes. It’s been interesting to follow a diet

Redefining Entertainment

May 6th, 2011

One smart thing I did after college was get rid of my TV. I was trying to start a company and television was getting in my way. With my daily diet of setbacks, tough decisions, and steep learning curves, it was too easy to turn on the TV when things got tough and too hard

Decoy Tasks

May 1st, 2011

Every day I make a list of two to ten things that I could do. But they are not equal: one is more important than the rest. One of them moves me further along life’s journey, renders me more responsible, and yields greater satisfaction than the other tasks combined. Yet it is often just this

Relationship Yield

April 13th, 2011

For a long time I thought you could tell how good a relationship was by the amount of work it took. Bad relationships took lots of work. Good ones were easier. Then I found out that great relationships take lots of work too. A couple who charts a course for growth, meaning, healing, and wholeness

Breakfast with Tony

April 6th, 2011

I sit alone in the crowded diner, but happily. Several others are alone too: a sad looking woman in her thirties, overweight; a gruff looking man in his sixties, engrossed in his newspaper. The woman looks so lonely. I’m not lonely, but this morning I’m feeling unusually compassionate. Should I offer her my company? I

Be kind to the old man

March 16th, 2011

I walked out of my office building into the courtyard of the sterile office park. The company was in its first year and I was working nearly constantly. I needed to clear my head. A woman nearby was admiring berries on a decorative tree. “That’s nice,” I thought. She plucked a few berries and tossed

The layout of the monastery

March 13th, 2011

The layout of the monastery confuses me, as do all the archaic names. I’m looking for the building where guests take their meals. Finally, I see one of the reclusive monks a ways ahead on the gravel road. I jog, reverently as I can, till overtaking him. “Excuse me Brother, which way to the confectionery?”

How I started reading Jung

March 4th, 2011

The story of how I started reading Jung is strange — at least till you start hanging out with other people who read Jung. Then this kind of thing is commonplace. My story starts with a lingering headache. I’ve had it for weeks. Not a constant pain but an uncomfortable pressure that comes and goes.

The Road to Self-acceptance

December 28th, 2010

L’Arche is quite unlike the rest of the world where we posture all day to prove our worth. Where we wonder incessantly: Am I successful? Am I attractive? Am I in control?

I’m beginning to understand how personality type affects the writing life. First, motivation. Some write to convey a sensation, or to evoke emotion, or to create a work of literary art. I get the urge to write following a flash of insight. Which makes sense. We each have a dominant psychological function and, being most

My Depression Story – Part 1

November 19th, 2010

I once decided to try writing like Kurt Vonnegut. The experiment started and stopped with this piece. I learned something and moved on. One thing you ought to know about me is that I’m a junkie for meaning. I even keep a list of places where meaning might be found. It has things on it

Ego, Virtue, Underworld

November 9th, 2010

I have spent too much time in the underworld lately — the world of dreams and complexes; the wild borderland between the conscious and unconscious mind. I feel unsteady, having encountered too many strange and unfamiliar things, each one demolishing another load-bearing wall in my worldview. Driving in my car yesterday, I began blinking hard as

Intention: an Impression

September 6th, 2010

In college I took to attending debates that pitted a Christian against an atheist. The Christian always asserted, among other things, that he knew exactly what the point of the universe was. The atheist was certain the universe had no point. The two got along terribly. It seemed to me that both were mistaken. The

Inter-conscious Communication

August 11th, 2010

One of my greatest recent discoveries is that my mind is not a single thread of intelligence but a panoply of intelligences. And I am much smarter, and life works much better, when there is fluid communication between them. I can tell when communication in my psyche is good. For one, my thoughts are more

Growth

August 4th, 2010

Chances are that you, like me, were never taught much about human growth. Here’s a crash course to speed you on your way. Growth is a matter of needs Consider a seed. Inside the seed is a blueprint for a fully developed plant. The seed wants to take that blueprint and build, but before it

Appealing Health Insurance

July 24th, 2010

I feel like I’ve broken a law of nature. Like I’ve gone faster than the speed of light, reversed the earth’s rotation, or achieved perpetual motion. I’ve gotten my health insurance premiums to go down. I managed this by appealing to my health insurance company. I sent them five years of medical records and a

I was camped out at a coffee shop working happily when a friend of mine called to say he was bringing his two nieces by for advice. I wasn’t thrilled but acquiesced. Ten minutes later I was enthralled by our conversation. They were brilliant… or at least on their way. As I listened to their

Summer-camp neurosis

June 21st, 2010

I happened by a gaggle of kids today who appeared entirely mad — jumping up and down in place, hitting each other, hitting themselves, whooping and screeching pointlessly, blurting out nonsense. One kid, upon seeing me, slurred and swore at me. I thought it might be a day-care of sorts for children with mental disorders

Church

June 13th, 2010

I went to church today with a friend. The man preaching had a good heart and worked with the poor, homeless, and addicted. He was even so humble as to share that he himself had once had a problem with addiction. Then he remarked, rather softly, that no amount of praying and bible reading seemed

Dreams

June 11th, 2010

I used to think sleep was mostly an inconvenience that I should minimize. But now I think the opposite: sleep is incredibly productive. For one, sleep diverts energy to the unconscious which can do massively parallel, non-linear thinking that the conscious mind can’t do. For another, sleep recalls the conscious mind to the depths of

Green Smoothies

June 3rd, 2010

Given today’s industrial food system, the green smoothie is a survival skill. With it you can add raw leafy greens to your diet painlessly. It has the power to transform someone who never eats vegetables into someone who eats veggies with breakfast. Here are two recipes: Coconut Strawberry Green Smoothie 1 cup of water 2+

I was at a party the other night chatting pleasantly with a young girl who was leaving for Africa to be a missionary. I kept my reservations about so-called mission-work to myself so as not to start a religious debate. Then she asked, “Who do you think Jesus was?” Not that it was really a

After I was led by my unconscious to read C.G. Jung’s autobiography, I lost the urge to read much more. Instead I was drawn to, of all things, Michael Crichton’s autobiography. I’d found out some months earlier that he’d written one and his name kept surfacing in my mind. So I did. As for why

Cold-water Alchemy

May 4th, 2010

The idea to give up hot water seemed to come out of nowhere; an exhilarating thought that struck me as something I must do. So I unplugged my water heater. I washed dishes in cold water. I took cold showers. “Why am I doing this?” I asked myself. “Why are you doing this?” others asked

I got rid of my Teflon coated pots and pans today. It turns out that the non-stick coating when heated above a certain temperature releases toxic fumes and carcinogens. Of course no human deaths have been directly linked to these coatings though an unsettling number of bird deaths have — pet birds in their cages

I have a clipboard that someone gave me. Whenever someone gives me a sheet of paper with something printed on it, I flip it over and slide it into the clipboard and write on the back. This way I never have to buy notebooks. I’ve been this way a long time. When I finished college

What I am. Maybe.

April 21st, 2010

I was raised with a Sunday-school metaphysics that made spirit out to be some sort of otherworldly substance separate from matter and mind. I never saw the stuff but was inclined to believe in it because of a class of experiences I called “spiritual” — experiences where I felt connected to something timeless, indestructible, and

I decided to take a break from studying the unconscious to read Michael Crichton’s autobiography, but no such luck. A few chapters into the book he tells about a time when his unconscious mind tried, repeatedly, to kill him. Consciously he had no desire to die. He was writing more novels and traveling. But he

Business disinterest

April 13th, 2010

I took a personality test the other day that told me I was innovative, resourceful, and quite possibly an entrepreneur. How does that fit? Well, right after college I did found a company to pioneer innovative technologies, which we managed to do using only our wits, earnings from part-time jobs, and second hand computers from

One of my greatest struggles in writing is my battle with pomposity. When I sit down to write it’s usually just to convey some interesting idea in plain speech. But when I actually start writing something strange happens and what comes out is irritatingly grand, solemn, and self-important. What’s odd is that I don’t journal

Writing with archetypes

April 4th, 2010

Often I’ll finish writing something and be quite content with it only to feel a little while later that the whole thing is completely wrong — not logically wrong but wrong in how it sounds; wrong in what it’s even about. Conversely I have stumbled onto things that I had entirely given up on only

Where to find ghosts

March 13th, 2010

It’s strange how everyone knows what ghosts are though we don’t bump into them often (or ever, some might say). Still we intuitively understand what a ghost is or, at least, what a ghost would be. But maybe the reason ghosts are such a common conception is because we actually do bump into them often.

I’ve heard a lot of different theories about the point of life. Everything from afterlives and paths to salvation to theories saying there is no point to life or that it’s whatever I want it to be. Recently I had the thought of letting the universe itself weigh in on the question. What I mean

Division of labor

February 7th, 2010

A friend asked me recently during lunch why I grow food when I live in the city and can buy it all. Don’t I believe in the division of labor? Why make life unnecessarily hard? But lots of things are unnecessarily hard. Eating a sandwich, for instance. All that chewing is needless, really. You could

There is a dumpster behind a book store in my hometown. At 2AM of a Saturday it’s full of trash, coffee grounds, and three drunk teenage boys.  Every few minutes, out of the top, over the metal side, onto the ground, the dumpster spits out a book or magazine. Eventually it spits out the jaunty

Back before Gandhi became Gandhi, he was a young man in England studying law. This he could only afford with the help of a dozen relatives back home. It wasn’t his plan so much as theirs. They hoped he would secure a high paying government job and support the family. He was expected to adopt