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The Ancient “Super” or “Doofus” Polarity

“Am I being sweet or sour?” is one of the greatest questions one can ask oneself; as between these poles lays nigh on the entire span of human moral experience.

The Great Stoics instruct us to aim to always be in this state of self-examination and battle about virtue and vice. In Dharma, it is the distinction between Suka and Duka. We all know it, we all get it when we think about it. I find I never get close to that lofty ideal of a constancy of practice, thought practice I try.

Part of this practice is developing a kind repertoire of extra polarities that I can use throughout my day. Humans using tools. Distinctions and choices that are in a sense more fine-tuned than the all-encompassing “Sweet or Sour”.

There are three essential polarities that I practice getting more skilled in, and they reap immediate benefit and direction. They are:

“Am I serving myself or others here?”

“Am I acting out of love or fear here?”

“Am I being a warrior or a wimp here?”

Potent stuff, methinks! Enjoy!


Lugol’s has a history that spans nearly 200 years. In that time it has gone from being in every first-aid kit and doctor’s bag to being almost unheard of. I remember using it to purify water in Cubs in the 1970s – I do not remember being warned of its over-use. Now it is considered scary as a medicine, supplement or skin treatment.

Iodine is my most recent chemical conversion (I think the last was MSM, two years ago) and I am 100% convinced that every household should have some. Lugol’s Solution is a mixture of potassium iodide and iodine in distilled water and it has been in use for nearly 200 years. Lugol’s is considered by iodine literate doctors and health experts to be the best, and most useful, form of iodine.

I have become pretty iodine informed in the last few months and I think that iodine supplementation is one of the most significant parameters that we can easily change to improve general health. It is an essential element, essential to so many processes. It is an element that modern farming has removed from the soil and thus billions of people over the world are biologically suboptimal due to this lacking.

It was added to bread and salt until the 1970’s and, even after my research, it remains a mystery as to why it was removed. What is clear to me is that there are now not really any vectors for iodine to get into our bodies from food. Moreover, there is a clear propaganda against this element and a suppression of its benefits to biology. The world is, to quote others, “iodinephobic”.


I have 15% Lugol’s and take maybe about 4 drops a week (0.015 grams). This is orders of magnitude more iodine than the critically low RDA (0.00015 of a gram) and it is much less than the people taking a gram or more a week. I have been looking at the history of iodine and it seems people took it lots in the past, it was even in chewing gum for kids. Incidentally, the term “cretin” refers to an iodine-deficient child.

I am a member of a number of online iodine communities and the stories you hear of people taking loads and loads of iodine are insane.

Scary, but in a sense reassuring. People saying:

“My thyroid is swelling!”

“That is because it is so starved of iodine, it is swelling up to take as much iodine as possible in! Keep taking it! It will go down!”


“I feel terrible on this!”

“That is the toxins, like Bromine, which are being washed out of your cells by the new iodine! Keep taking it!”

And there are so many success stories. Maybe these two are success stories? The point is, many people take huge amounts of iodine and the science does back up the kinds of advice given above, counter-intuitive and scary, though it may seem.


In conclusion, I think that taking Lugol’s is probably a good idea for most people, even as just a self-experiment for a month or two (As said, it’s great in a first aid kit, and will last indefinitely).

If you have been low on iodine for decades the change due to supplementation could be profound. Perhaps that low energy you experience was because of low iodine, therefore low thyroid hormone, therefore reduced mitochondrial energy production, therefore fatigue. Add the element, the process improves. This is just one of the many ways iodine optimisation might really give you a boost and benefit.

An elemental change in your wellbeing.

Thanks for reading!

The Benefits Of Skipping Breakfast

I am currently writing a talk to give about minimal efforts for optimum wellbeing. One of the key strategies I recommend is to skip breakfast. I would say that after getting good sleep, this is the biggest benefit approach with the lowest time/money/stress cost that one can take (other contenders for this, to me, currently, would be replacing missing minerals and balancing macros…).

Going from teatime to lunchtime without eating is a very natural, evolved state. It is a state in which the body changes how it does things. It is the very minimal start of the fasting state that brings such benefits, especially in our over-consuming world.

To personify the human body, it says to itself:

“OK, potential promlemmo, there might be low nutrient and low energy times ahead. I have evolved for this over hundreds of millions of years (some of these kind of “fasting systems” seem to exist in all vertebrate life, other, higher-order, ones are very mammalian). I need to perform better mentally and physically to solve this problem, and I need to start using my stored energy (fat) and nutrients (stored in fat and old cells) to facilitate this.”.

It is generally accepted that sixteen hours without energy is the minimal fast. If you last eat at seven PM and have nothing until lunch at one, that’s an eighteen hour fast, right there. Thus it begins…

It is easy to think that surely just the start of a fast cannot bring anything like the benefits of a more “complete” fast. This kind of thinking overlooks the fact that nature seems to optimise at the start (eg Pareto principle, square laws and evolutionary jumps) and so we should expect the benefit to be disproportionately significant at the start of the fasting process. Which I think it is: I belive you will get more fasting benefit from the first 16 hours than the last sixteen hours of any fast.

There is dispute and disclarity about the gradient of benefit from fasting. Is it best to have one five day fast once a year or one day fast once a month or a minimum fast every day? There is much to be debated there, for sure. Where there is little dispute is about the benefits of fasting in itself. All who know agree, they are many, and many are very potent.

I believe that these are the key benefits, the reasons why, by far, most adults should fast. Before I list and briefly discuss them let me say that these are what I consider to be root, systemic benefits. Together these will lead on to the many observed benefits, such as better cardiovascular efficiency, insulin sensitivity or concentration.

Fasting changes things at a systemic level:

Metabolism shifts down.

Hormones balance and readjust. Insulin drops. Grehlin and Leptin (Hunger hormones) responses begin to reset.

The immune system ramps up; because it no longer needs to be involved in digestion, via the lymphatic system. Especially true with movement.

The liver and kidneys and other organs have a chance for respite, to heal the damage of the oxidative stress, and the waste, of metabolism.

The microbiome tends towards a more stable balance.

Fasting changes things at a cellular level:

Autophagy ramps up dramatically (and more than by any other influence). Every cell checks itself and, if it is damaged, it eats itself, recycling its parts as new nutrients for new cells.

Stem-cell production, even in the elderly, increases naturally (especially when combined with exercise).

Mictochondrial efficiency is directly improved by fasting. The tiny, tiny engines of our lives become more efficient at energy production. They also become more efficient at fat utilisation.

Fasting increases neurogenesis, the process by which new brain cells and connections are created, boosting neuroplasticity and reducing cognitive decline. Until fairly recently it was not known that this occurred. Now it is known, and it is accelerated by fasting, more than by any other cofactor.

Fasting changes things at a personal level

I expect we all know this common behavioral pattern in the Western world:

“I am hungry, therefore, I must eat something”  #justcheckingthefridge

Even the shortest fast forces us to make a choice about this, and I believe, this is of tremendous benefit to mental Fortitude. You also quickly learn that often what you thought was hunger was craving, especially for carbs. You learn that hunger never stays around that long on a fast. It comes in waves and the peak is not lasting.

One thing about the mental aspect of fasting is that you have to be prepared for defeat and not let defeat stop you fasting. This is the practicing Resolve. Just last week I started the day thinking I would do a 24 hour fast. It was soon dropped down to no morning eating (NoAm/16 hour). By eleven I had eaten a glutinous amount of crisps. Salt And Vinegar. Human Fail. You get back on the horse, innit.

In this day and age of runaway consumption, we are bombarded with consumption cues (tanha) that we either chose to resist or we give in to. Practicing that resistance and resilience is a key aspect of stoic training, dharma practice and virtuous living, in general. Good skills backed by good smarts. That is what we want, I think.

Why would you not skip breakfast?

Skipping Breakfast, a sixteen hour fast, is demonstrably of immense benefit to you. If you believe that you need breakfast because you have been told so, that is a belief worth testing for yourself. Fast has huge benefits and sixteen hours is going to be the very begging of these processes. Processes that are increasing en mass, and system-wide. After a day or two they will be functioning at capacity for healing and system optimisation and this will continue for at least a few more days (3 days is my max). Of course,  there a clear benefit in taking the fast past sixteen hours, but this does not mean there won’t be huge benefits to regular breakfast skipping.

In my opinion, and this is not something I can back up as it is my own conclusion, but given that biological systems optimise in parreto/square-law/step-evolutionary ways, we should expect for the first sixteen hours of any fast to be more beneficial than the last sixteen hours. That seems reasonable and plausible.

Why would you not?

There are, in fact, only three reasons why skipping breakfast might be unwise. One is personal weakness due to conditioned (from self and others/media/etc) expectations, the next is a critical human weakness to mouth-pleasure and the third is a medical reason, though I cannot think of any that could really prevent skipping breakfast.

Bloat, Faff and Pantomime

I think that there are three common distortions that affect non emerged/evolved systems, such as public institutions, businesses and information systems.

  • Bloat – This is where the system expands in multiple inefficient ways which, in combination, produce a holistic inefficiency that is often both hidden and immense.
  • Faff – This is where the time cost of processing information is greater than the comparative benefit of the actual information.
  • Pantomime – This is where the system adopts behaviours that bring no benefit to the system other than to make other systems perceive the system as being beneficial.

So, there you have it: avoid, prevent and extinguish.



One thing I have been practicing with myself for a few weeks is the practice of  not being a naysayer. A naysayer is not someone who says “no”, it is someone who says “no” without good thought.
Dialogs normally go like this:
Offspring: “Dad can I please borrow your…”
Me:(Interrupting): “No.”
That, right there, is me being a naysayer.
I am trying to change that by not saying “nay,” in accordance with the ancient practice of “Saynonay”. To practice Saynonay just keep in your mind not to say “nay” in any way unless it seems, after good thought, to be the right thing to say.
If you ask someone if they are playing Saynonay, and they say “no”, they are probably not practicing Saynonay.
In the weeks I have been doing it I do think it has a positive benefit on my life, and I would expect my kids – all four of whom now have metabolic syndrome and are in prison for gang related offences. I jest.
Interestingly, nobody knows the etymology of “Saynonay”. Some think it traces back to the Great First Language, others think it comes from the PreprotoPalli form “sa su ka” which means “talk outwardly sweetly”. I don’t think it matters, what is important about practicing Saynonay is simply not to say “nay” unless it really is OK to say nay.

NoAM Eating

Not eating in the morning.
I am a pretty big believer that there are fundamental differences between proper fasting and intermittent fasting, even when the proper fasting is but a mere day. It seems plausible, and I think the evidence suggests, that the magic happens with no consumption.
I often go two proper days, I have been three. Some people go for many days but just a few times or once a year. I don’t know what is wellbeing optimal, but my opinion is currently with the smaller, regular, fasts.
Anyhoo’s… this does not mean that I am at all against intermittent fasting.
Quite the contrary. One simple, and I think ancient, fasting routine is just to not eat in the morning. Break fast. Before the PM. I do it two or three times a week. It is very easy, and most of us will have done it without wanting or trying.
In these 16 hours, your body will change state.
Perhaps not into the full-on FAST state with autophagy and stem-cells,  that is the aim of informed fasting, but still, goodness will be happening, even if it is just giving your metabolic organs a bit of a rest from their normal 247mustprocessthis mode.
Some people will find that NoAM fasting is good for calorie reduction, if just because you are going to be missing a meal and eating less. This makes sense.
But this doesn’t work for me because, as happened today, after a NoAM Fasting, my car swerved into Tescos and I rinsed of five packets of Square crisps as I drove home.
The wrappers are in the glove compartment.

A friend just asked me: “What evidence is there that EMF damages our cells on a permanent level?”

You should do your own research on that if you are skeptical, and why not be sceptical?:)

But my understanding, which is not totally naieve, is that there are many mechanisms of disruption.

I am not going to use any research to answer your question here, and I am not one for details, but here goes, my attempt to pursued you, via answering it.

The first thing that you need to understand is that of all the millions or billions of variables that constitute our bodies: Oxygen, Water, salts, amino-acids… there is only one that is totally biologically ubiquitous. This is electricity: Within, and between, every living are electrochemical processes that operate on tiny, tiny voltages.

The second thing that you need to understand is that wirelessly connected devices gain their connection via electromagnetic energy.

The third thing you need to understand is that connected devices operate at energy levels thousands and thousands of times higher than, both the natural background EMF energy (As the earth was 200 years ago, or so) and the biological levels found in every living cell in our bodies.

You need to understand and accept these three things before proceeding really Alexs. They are just science fact, which you should be able to easily disprove or accept.

Once you agree with the three understandings above then you can start to extrapolate from those premises.

Does it seem plausible that connected devices could cause biological change?

I think it does, why would it not. There is nothing special about the electrical energies involved here, over and above say, an electrical motor.

Would such changes be unnatural?

I think clearly yes. Three hundred years ago no human had expected anything like the levels of even measly Bluetooth4. (This is one point I am not convinced about without further researching. #cosmicblasts etc).

Would such changes be disruptive?

I would imagine that if you were to be able to take a person with a magic wand just randomly change the nano-voltages in the electrical systems in their bodies then those changes would have a point at which they would become noticeably negative. This seems totally reasonable to me as an assumption. And it is a case analogous to EMF, except with EMF it is more point of  source dependent.

So where we are now, I think, without any science evidence, just thinking,  is an understanding that, because of the nature of connected devices and biological systems, it is plausible that there could be negative effects from connected devices.

I accept that, it seems very sensible to me as a conclusion. There is no WooWoo in what I have said and I challenge anyone to refute any of the above:)

The next stage in my answering your question is to look at evidence. Is there evidence that supports the above plausible hypothesis?

I think there is lots.

The newest (2016?), most-compelling, evidence is to do with their system which decides on whether or not to allow calcium into our cells. Every cell needs calcium. Any cell can be damaged by too much calcium. This system that governs the calcium flow is called a “Voltage Gated Calcium Channel” and it is shown to be heavily susceptible to disruption from non-natural EMF. The effects of this are emerging to be many, but one that seems accepted is that this calcium imbalance, caused by your phone etc, causes sever oxidative stress. This is the cell ageing…rusting… corroding that is the cause of most modern diseases (It’s the thing that antioxidants are touted to reduce.)

So there we go…

I hope that answers your question!

Vegan Oysters. Again.

I am a committed Vegan, but I am totally missing oysters.

Every day this mini-battle goes on in my head.

I am a Vegan for two prime reasons.

Reason One

I think, for reasons of woo woo, that the following is a supreme teaching:

“Do Not Eat Animals”.

Reason Two

Like most people, I do not want to be an increaser of negativity in the world. That is, I don’t want to choose to cultivate and propagate or in any sense be responsible for or supportive or endorsing negativity production in any way.

The “choice” aspect is important here, I think:

When I eat a salad, beings may have died to get that salad before me. A shrew in a field. Two badgers in a pile up on the M4. All is possible, even with kale.

But when I eat meat, I am necessarily choosing that an animal was imprisoned, tortured, exploited and slaughtered for me.

Vegans choose not to cause suffering in their choices, this does not mean that their choices will never cause suffering. #quornpocalypse

Once I accept this principle (Ahimsa and Sukka) it is just a no-brainer to me that if I eat cheese or chicken, then I am causing suffering. Often in massive ways that, as the end consumer, I see myself as ultimately responsible for. I pay the assassin via the teller or waiter or jolly vendor at the farmer’s market.

I have philosophised these kinds of points so much over the last few years, more than most, I would wager. Still my conclusions remain: it is water-tight, a no-brainer, a comestible cogito: We should not eat animals.

Of course I would eat meat in a survival situation.

Of course honey is not the same as ham.

Of course milk is worse than flesh, because it is flesh, plus more suffering. If B contains X and C contains B then C contains X.

I belive that if you want to be one of those people, like most people, one of the… “I-dont-wanna-be-cruels”, then, in no sense, can your meat eating be justified. You are being irrational, alongside your cruelty. (Please, please prove me wrong on this, for I would so love it not to be so true.)

The Mammalian end of the spectrum, and even the birds and the fish, those little fellas, I am close to done with them in my philosophical enumerations and ruminations, but Oysters, they are still in the mirky penumbra, somewhere between figs and accidental cod roe.

Of oysters I cannot say, “I should not eat that.”

I don’t currently eat them, and haven’t for many many months, but by gosh, they are almost on the tip of my tongue.

I cannot yet justify their exclusion for reasons a bit like, but not limited to, the following:

I cannot really make sense of an oyster experincing suffering, in much the same way that I cannot imagine yeast suffering. I could torture a goose, but an oyster? That does not yet make sense to me.

I don’t think it experiences anything. It has no brain, as such. It has a strewn out clumps of proto-neurons. It will respond to stimulus, but feel pain or in any sense be, in any point in anything that can be considered a mental space?

Is it a being?

When I think “Do Not Eat Animals” that last term expands out into something like “sentient beings”. “Sentience” means able to experience. “Being” means able to be. I don’t know really what either of those terms really mean. Nobody really does. Especially not the oysters. But I am sure a dog is sentient, as I know I am. Oysters, profoundly lack this sureness, to me, right now.

We think fish can feel pain, they respond as such, they can be anaesthetised, they have similar pain biologies to mammals. But these arguments and understands do not apply to oysters. Oysters may move away from toxic environments but that does not mean they experience the environment. Singled celled organisms can do the same, and vegans eat those. #youpeople!

There is another point, I will make this my last, which is that oysters are jam-packed with nutrients that vegans find very hard to get without chemical supplementation (Which is what I do).

Is that wise? The vegan definition on the society website centres around the term “practicable”. I like that definition, it gives room for reasonableness. I am forced, by reason, to ask, is it not practicable to eat oysters given that, being human, I need B12?

Is it really better that I get it from some industrial process in pill form?

I do not know the answers to these questions and so I just trundle along, not eating oysters, yada yada, “have another bit of cress, Mat”.

Thanks for reading!

Hard Cheese

First  one realises, just by thought, that they are a cause, enabler, endorser, supporter, antecedent (temporal or not) and well… a fan of the causing of  unacceptable suffering.

Then one realises that, ultimately, the reason that they cause this suffering is to satisfy their  own momentary mouth pleasure.

When these two simple realisations are acknowledged I belive it would be ignoble of me not to then ask myself,  “What should I do?”

If I consume meat, then am I an accomplice in the murder of a baby animal, just for fun?

What should I do?

It took me a while to get to answer this question. There were lapses and cognitive dissonances and a guilty goat curry that was “going to waste”.

But the answer came, a nobrainer it seems to me now, “I do not eat animals.”

And that is almost that, except that  it get’s worse than the worseness of meat and the obvious butchery/epiphany of that equation:

If I eat dairy, then I cause greater and wider suffering than the suffering I cause from just eating meat.

This is startling, when you let it settle.

The dairy industry is the meat industry.

But it is the meat industry with extra layers of humiliation and exploitation.

It has enforced breeding, unnatural confinement, torture, antibiotic recklessness and on and on…

Is it not is even more repugnant and brutal than the meat farming?

Cheese is literally addictive.

I miss it so much.

Caveat Emptor and Current Data

  1. The word data comes from the latin word “datum”.
    1. A datum is something, like a stick, or a number, which can be given from one to another.
  2. Data is the plural of datum.
  3. As An Example:
    1. Take the data 4029:
      1. I just gave you this data.
        1. You can copy that.
        2. Share it.
        3. You can alter it.
        4. Delete it.
        5. Split it.
        6. Hide it.
        7. You do this to the data: 9204
  4. Data has no context.
    1. It has no meaning.
    2. It is only when it has context that data then becomes something with meaning.
  5. In  3.1, 4029 might be:
    1. My childhood phone number.
    2. An encoding for a three letter word.
    3. Part of a coordinate to a sub-marine base in a spy-movie.
    4. The last four contiguous numbers of my driving licence.
    5. It could have no meaning to me and meaning to you.
      1. What that meaning is, is the information.
    6. It could be two of your winning lottery numbers.
    7. It could have meaning in that you and I might share an exceptional coincidental void of connections to this number.
  6. Data has less value than information.
  7. All information is data.
    1. All data is not information.
  8. Data exists when there is a change of state of a representing/recording medium.
  9. Questions:
    1. Is 4029 the same data as 111110111101?
      1. It is the same number.
        1. As is FBD.
    2. Could a change in the locks and junctions in  a canal system represent numbers?
      1. Is this identical to silicone logic gates?
    3. Imagine the following thought experiment :
      1. Consider:
        1. At time T1 You have a packet of data that can be divided up as: ABCD.
          1. It could be four bytes, or four yadabytes, it doesn’t matter.
        2. At T2 you split the packet into AB and CD.
        3. And then at T3 you join the packet back together again to make ABCD.
      2. The composite question is: Where, How and Why does the information ABCD exist between T1 and T2 and T3?
    4. Is truly random noise information?