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Messages - Matt Emery

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Food & Diet / Re: question about heartburn
« on: September 23, 2008, 07:57:04 AM »
I'm new here, but love your site. I have learned alot.

Welcome Windrider  ;)

Thanks for the compliments.  I too have learnt a lot from this site, thanks to the forum.  When I built this website I laid down a fairly basic premise and hoped that an inquisitive community would flesh out the facts and share ideas for improvement, hence, the forum.

I have studied much in the last 30 years on these subjects and I really felt comfortable with this site.

Looking forward to hearing more from you :)

Hi LA, good to see you again.

Sure, we're gonna see the end of raw Capitalism, but Conscious Capitalism is really what's on the rise. Yay!

I think that "Conscious Capitalism" will only rise so far as the government (or ruling authority of the day) allows it to, because Homo sapiens (like most organisms) display altruism in proportion to the amount of perceived reward, and are incapable of displaying the amount of empathy required to sustain the harmonious co-existence of large populations, hence the need for government.

British anthropologist Robin Dunbar suggests that our brains are incapable of comprehending (in a functional group) more than 150 people, see Dunbar's Number.  There has been a lot of research into this peculiar "cognitive limit", and I also think that this peculiarity partially explains why the science of sociology is so ethereal - humans seem to be void of a biological mechanism that enables us to coexist within large populations.

We do have biological mechanisms that cause us to be altruistic to close relatives - J.B.S. Haldane said "I would lay down my life for two brothers or eight cousins" when he spoke of kin selection -  yet this is a genetic link, and although theoretically we are all related, we've evolved to be so genetically diverse that we're effectively unrecognisable to each another, thus; little altruism.  However, there is a backup, and it's a trait called 'Reciprocity'.

The science of 'Reciprocity' tells us that people will act altruistically, relative to the probability of reward and the value of such reward.  Reciprocity is a trait that human beings (and other animals) possess, and differences in individuals vary wildly Eg. humanism to genocide - such varying degrees of reciprocal behaviour could arguably be explained by the individual's psychological interpretation of "reward".  But in a group context, there exists a vacuum... which we attempt to fill with a mechanised version of altruism, perhaps you could call it culture, or foreign policy, or law... whatever, the point is; extrapolating the vectors of individual altruism into a large social context is rather an art than a science, evidenced by the astonishing variation of political systems and ideologies that have been implemented over the ages.

The idea of "Conscious Capitalism" is appealing, but if it emerges as a social framework, I think it will be initiated (and possibly maintained) by fear and/or self-interst, rather than altruism.  And, as previously mentioned, it will require authoritarian management because human beings are cognitively ill-equipped, and biologically ill-suited to give a stuff about so many people at once.

In relation to what is happening at the moment in the global economy, I think we're going to see poignant changes in our culture, although i'm not entirely sure how it will play out... it could manifest as World War III (Sarah Palin comes to mind) in lieu of paying foreign debt, or it could be a time when free markets sober up and do the proverbial equivalent of an AA program.

And if we don't manage to nuke ourselves into a modern tragedy, I'd love to be around in another 100-200 years to see what happens.  Personally, i'm optimistic that the next few generations will progress towards better social frameworks.  And as retarded as i've made humans out to be in this (long-winded-over-worded) post, we're generally pretty good at learning from our mistakes... after exhausting every other possibility.

We live in interesting times :P

Those of you who've been following world news of late will undoubtedly be familiar with the recent collapse of several large financial institutions - the essential  causes of which (in my opinion) have been greed and misinformation.  And although this is a terrible saga, perhaps what is more interesting is the revealing fact repeatedly emerging amongst all this; in a modern capitalistic society we privatise the profits, and socialise the losses.

As a result of this paradox,  people may start to lose faith in the idea of individualism.  Additionally,  we will probably see contractions in the world economy that could dramatically change the tenets of modern culture... perhaps we'll cherish sufficiency and intrinsic pleasures, rather than material abundance, keeping up with the jones' (status anxiety), and utopian visions of prosperity.

Perhaps now is a good time to think about the free things in life - you know, the things that have stimulated mankind for tens of thousand of years, such as kinship, breeding, developing new skills, etc.

To quote Time magazine:
"...we come out the other side of the true collapse of this dominator culture, the one that eliminates the phenomenon of super-richness, we will be older and wiser. Maturity will again rule the house and we will have earned the right to live within our needs. Abundance will become synonymous with sufficiency. Community will eclipse the illusion of rugged individualism."

Perhaps that's not such a bad thing.

General Discussion / Re: Paleolitic Beyond Diet and Exercise
« on: September 18, 2008, 11:44:41 AM »
;D ha, anyone here sceen or read fight club? renderd fat, lye, etc. "you could blow up the world with enough soap" "the first soap was made through the death of heros" its actually a great caveman esc book all about escape from modern entrapments back to something primal.

Damn it... you broke the first rule!  >:(

Anyway... Fight Club is the definitive book/film for the modern existentialist - and i'll think you'll find that it's highly esteemed on this forum.  8)

Check this out:

With all due respect, Matt, we'll have to agree to disagree here.

I respectfully accept. Thoughtful debate and rational discourse are always welcome here  :)

There is no psychiatric "disorder" that has been shown to be a neurological illness (such as a lesion or brain tumor).  Nor is there any brain scan, blood test or X-ray that can show the existence of a mental problem.  From this, one must conclude that the problem is not medical in nature and thus will not be cured by a medicine.

This is correct, I am not disputing that.  I was/am asserting that Neurological Disorders (not Psychiatric Disorders) are not only physical in nature, they are also related to mental problems.

I am painfully aware that there is very little that neurologists can do to detect psychiatric disorders, although they are slowly joining the dots (psychosis, schizophrenia, dementia).  From a scientific point of view I agree whole heartedly with you - and i'm equally sceptical towards pharmaceuticals and psychiatry (as i've stated in other topics), but... they can in fact help to assuage the symptoms a suffering individual - caveat emptor of course.

Unfortunately, it sometimes boils down to a triage decision; do we let the person suffer and possibly harm themselves and possibly others, or do we allow them access to dopamine regulators etc.  It's not an optimal choice, but sometimes it is a productive one.

Do exhaust all possible options before taking them.  At best, they are a Band-Aid. At worst.. well, you know...

In my opinion, I believe this to be a rational direction to take.

Furthermore, thanks for the excellent post.  I hope to hear more from you.

he is a few thousand years removed from a cave man, the trouble is however, those noble savages didn't leave a written record for us to enjoy.  :-\I consider Hippocrates and the other sources I've mentioned as perhaps come of the closest links we have to this ancient, almost instinctive knowledge, if nothing else it may provide a good source of reference and as we consider both our discoveries of ancient medicinal practices and learn of more modern practices, something of a bridge across the ages.

That is an excellent point.

Welcome to the forum Toby.


That's quite a strong statement there, and it's one that I disagree with.

I have personally witnessed people who've used pharmaceuticals as a temporary measure to get them through extraordinary ordeals.  Those people thought long and hard about there decision to use psych-drugs, and they approached the problem intelligently and responsibly.  For them, it was the smart choice.

I've also witnessed people who were close to suicide (and possibly homicide), and the psych-drugs were a sweet mercy for them... buying them enough time to get some therapy and medical analysis.... in other words; to go forward.


Neurological disorders are a physical illness.

Asaahi, I think you owe it to yourself to get the best treatment possible, even if that includes the short-medium term use of drugs.  I've seen what happens when people are stubborn about this, it's terribly sad.

I'd certainly take a cautious approach (as iterated by Toby), but I wouldn't be stubborn about it.

As I said before, be smart.

Food & Diet / Re: Cheat food?
« on: September 16, 2008, 08:40:38 AM »
Imike... on your very first post you decided to post subtle links to penis enlargement pills, anti-smoking aids, and affiliate marketing schemes.

Your lack of respect for this website and it's community has been noted.

You are now banned.

Do it!  See a therapist and get informed.  A smart caveman would use all resources available for his/her health and well being!  ;)

Sometimes science (namely, pharmaceuticals) can be a good friend.  I realise that there is some stigma around anti-depressants, anti-psychotics etc... but used wisely, they can be a valuable tool.  I know people who've used anti-depressants to help them through lengthy ordeals, and it was a very positive experience for them.  Taking pills or doing therapy does not have to be permanent, in fact, it rarely is.

Lets face it, in this extraordinary society, sometimes extraordinary measures are required.  So be smart and go see what help is out there; and remember, it's the adaptable that survive, not the stubborn.

Paleolithic Medicine & Natural Remedies / Re: The Caveman Dentist
« on: September 14, 2008, 11:31:20 AM »
And as to the guy taking out his own tooth, there was a scene in the movie Castaway that dealt with just that scenario. Tom Hanks had to knock out his own tooth and passed out.

Yeah, that scene at once haunts and inspires me - I generally always remember it when I have a toothache too  :-X

I've found that with intermittent fasting, my body is much better at defending against pathogens and I don't really get sick.

I fast intermittently when I have a Gastroenteritis problem.  However, when faced with a cold or flu, my immune system responds better to grazing.

General Discussion / Re: This is Great A Must See for all cavemen - WarLord
« on: September 14, 2008, 11:10:08 AM »
The first 60 seconds was enough to get me pumped - wow!

Thanks for the link!

General Discussion / Re: Paleolitic Beyond Diet and Exercise
« on: September 14, 2008, 10:59:17 AM »
My wife makes our soap from lard, coconut oil and macadamia nut oil. There is some chemical she buys - washing soda?

Baking Soda?

He is a Neolithic  :P

However, I like his scientific (aka realistic) approach to healing.  He rejected superstition and used his brain, at a time when mysticism was popular...  which in itself is worthy of applause.

General Discussion / Re: Caveman vs Hurricanes
« on: September 14, 2008, 10:47:51 AM »
Stay safe out there buddy!

I wonder if Paleolithic humans had the wisdom (learned knowledge) to read the weather better than us?  Perhaps they could read the history of the landscape and/or follow the animals, particularly birds.

Paleolithic Medicine & Natural Remedies / Re: Shamans Magic Potions
« on: September 14, 2008, 10:35:22 AM »
Excellent thread  :D

I recommend Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Oil) - it's excellent for treating Athlete's foot, and Jock Itch.  It's also good for stings, bites, burns and cuts.  I've had better results with it than Lamisil (a man-made antifungal agent).

It is native to Australia - unfortunately it may not be cost-effective in other parts of the world.

Technical info is here:

Paleolithic Medicine & Natural Remedies / The Caveman Dentist
« on: September 08, 2008, 08:02:03 AM »
How would a caveman remedy a toothache?

Perhaps a tooth extraction was performed by hammering the tooth out, with the aid of a wooden chisel and a rock mallet. For pain relief, I've heard of Kava (a tranquiliser) and Clove Leaf Oil (an anaesthetic) being used, as well as some mystical options such as boiling worms and hanging a frog around one's jaw. Whilst brushing likely involved the use of chewed twigs and fingers.

Does anyone have some tips and tricks on how to remedy a toothache; caveman style?

Welcome Tobias  :)

What brought an end to it all really was Jarred Diamond, a friend lent me his book "Guns germs and steal" and my eyes were opened to the fascinating world of anthropology...

Jarred Diamond has been an important influence behind this website - his research and hypotheses were a major revelation for me - and I'm incredibly flattered that his book could (through various degrees of separation) lead you to this website.  I'm thrilled to meet another enthusiast of his work.

Here is a relevant link that you may find interesting;

kudos to the web designer

I'm certain their is a great deal I can learn from this crowed, and I hope my own two cents will be useful.
Ditto that.  Thanks for joining in.

Paleolithic Medicine & Natural Remedies / Re: Olive Leaf Extract
« on: September 05, 2008, 10:03:41 AM »
Are there olive trees in your part of the world?

Yep, but I don't think the key compounds can be utilised by simply digesting the leaves... however, i am only guessing and I'd be curious to find out if it works.

Food & Diet / Re: farmer's market
« on: September 05, 2008, 10:01:16 AM »
You will find this with nearly all industrial farmed foods, and any organic foods from recently converted farms. Its caused by the utter lack of trace minerals and nutrients and minimal levels of the more common ones. These levels have been plummeting like a stone since the agrochemical revolution which has obliterated the topsoil across the world. Most stuff grown today becomes little more than water and cellulose, quite literally soggy cardboard.

I'm no Agronomist, but what you're saying makes perfect sense to me - I see a valid role for for multi-vitamin supplements due to such lack of nutritional compounds in soils.

Paleolithic Medicine & Natural Remedies / Re: Olive Leaf Extract
« on: August 31, 2008, 08:31:04 AM »
what about grapefruit seed extract? Any users?

I've never tried it.  Can you tell us more?

Paleolithic Medicine & Natural Remedies / Re: The purpose of this board.
« on: August 31, 2008, 08:30:22 AM »
What about lack of natural selection? For example people with fertility problems having children thanks to modern medicine? People with defects (visible or otherwise) that previously wouldn't have survived childhood, but now reach adulthood and reproduce. The moral issues on these subjects is a minefield... :-)

Yep, indeed.

Food & Diet / Re: What about the "hardgainers"
« on: August 31, 2008, 08:22:06 AM »
In that note, after seeing the replys here, lets start another thread with this debate at its core and save this thread for what it was intended, advice on becoming more muscular.


General Discussion / Re: Addictive Personalities
« on: August 31, 2008, 08:20:43 AM »
i am the observer of my thoughts. I am not my thoughts.

I like that, a lot.  Thanks for sharing.

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