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Does Dr. Peat Want His Ideas Disseminated?

narouz

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Jul 22, 2012
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A poster here has said that it is known that Dr. Peat
disrespects people who write Peat inspired cookbooks
and try to provide general guidelines for eating in a Peat mode:

“I know that Ray Peat has little to no respect for people who write cookbooks with black and white sections for good and bad foods. There is a reason that his work explains a universe and doesn't plainly present you with a to-do and not-to-do-list.”

Now, I take the poster's point
if those cookbooks are stupid and
if by "black and white" the poster means crudely oversimplified.

But, are all efforts to interpret Peat's dietary ideas
automatically doomed to crude oversimplication and stupidity?

More generally, does Peat not want his work disseminated or popularized?
(By "popularized" I don't mean to be made faddish and trite;
I simply mean that his ideas would become more available and understandable and widely known.)

Consider the many lengthy and in-depth radio interviews Peat has done--
for instance with Josh and Jeannie Rubin.
Wonderful interviews, in my opinion, which have been very helpful to me
in understanding Peat.
I see that they have produced a Peatian cookbook.
It is, I would note, only available if you buy it.
And I see that Dr. Peat has written a note of praise about the cookbook.

Does Peat, in the case of Josh and Jeannie Rubin,
have "little to no respect for people who write cookbooks..."?
Does he go on their show for what must now be hundreds of hours for free
while secretly despising and loathing them and all that they stand for?

Or take Danny Roddy,
with his Peat-inspired website,
first (in terms of his Peat-phase) focused upon hair loss,
and now broadened to other strongly Peatian themes.
Roddy too has produced some heavily Peatian "books"
providing general Peatian interpretations and guidelines.
Those books are for sale.
In the case of the last one, he gives Peat a cut.
And here too: Peat has given a note of praise to Roddy on his efforts.

Does Peat, behind Roddy's back,
as he sits, in all-red outfit in the privacy of his Mexican courtyard,
think disrespectful thoughts about Roddy?

In both cases--Roddy and the Rubins--I wouldn't think so.
Conversely, I would tend to think Peat wants his work disseminated and popularized.
I have no doubt that he would want it done sensitively and accurately.
But...I beleive he desires to spread his ideas in appropriate ways.

The corollary to this threads question would be:
does Peat desire that his ideas be, at least to some extent, hidden.
I've probed that angle too, in other threads,
much to the dismay of some posters. :smack
So...I will not go into that again here. :lol:
 

charlie

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:clap

I don't think someone who went through the trouble of starting a college, then, moving it to another place due to difficulties in the first place. Is trying to "hide" his work. This to me would seem that he is trying to "build" his army. Now, don't go jumping on me saying Ray Peat would not build an army yada yada yada. But hopefully you understand what I mean by that he was recruiting more people to get the "good word" out.

I do see him being very careful in what information he puts out. But nothing that leads me to believe he is hiding.

He was more then gracious when I asked him if I could open the forum with his name included in the title. This is not someone who is hiding.
 

chris

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Combie

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My feeling has always been that while Ray clearly wants his ideas to be heard, he also doesnt want to be too vocal about it. Which is sensible, because people who draw attention to themselves with the kind of powerful truth that can bring down empires seem to have a high "suicide" rate, you know what i mean? Such is the world we live in.
 

narouz

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Combie said:
My feeling has always been that while Ray clearly wants his ideas to be heard, he also doesnt want to be too vocal about it. Which is sensible, because people who draw attention to themselves with the kind of powerful truth that can bring down empires seem to have a high "suicide" rate, you know what i mean? Such is the world we live in.

I've had the same thought, Combie. ;)
 

kettlebell

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We should form a small voluntary "Security" Group travelling with Peat wherever he goes. We can all wear orange tinted sunglasses and those hats with cans of coke on the sides dispensing through straws whenever we need it.

He can then feel safe focusing on spreading his message more widely thanks to the well nourished people around him who won't run out of energy, keeping him safe.
 

kiran

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Aug 9, 2012
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Combie said:
My feeling has always been that while Ray clearly wants his ideas to be heard, he also doesnt want to be too vocal about it. Which is sensible, because people who draw attention to themselves with the kind of powerful truth that can bring down empires seem to have a high "suicide" rate, you know what i mean? Such is the world we live in.

In that case, it probably makes sense to let his supporters do most of the pushing.
 

Ray-Z

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Oct 16, 2012
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Combie said:
My feeling has always been that while Ray clearly wants his ideas to be heard, he also doesnt want to be too vocal about it. Which is sensible, because people who draw attention to themselves with the kind of powerful truth that can bring down empires seem to have a high "suicide" rate, you know what i mean? Such is the world we live in.

Excellent point. It's a bit of a challenge to do pathbreaking research and write books and newsletters when you're dead.

While I agree with Combie's point, I think Ray Peat may have additional reasons for not seeking the limelight.

For Ray Peat to expand his audience much more rapidly than he's now doing via the internet, he might have to collaborate with one or more large, mainstream organizations -- media outlets, universities, foundations, government agencies, and so forth. We have every reason to expect these organizations would either reject Peat or (much less likely) cooperate but severely distort his views -- particularly the most challenging ones about authority, intelligence, intellectual self-reliance, and the nature of life.

So not only would Peat run serious risks if he sought the limelight, but doing so might not accomplish anything. He simply may not have many platforms available to him besides a couple of tiny public radio stations and the internet.
 

Ray-Z

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kettlebell said:
We should form a small voluntary "Security" Group travelling with Peat wherever he goes. We can all wear orange tinted sunglasses and those hats with cans of coke on the sides dispensing through straws whenever we need it.

He can then feel safe focusing on spreading his message more widely thanks to the well nourished people around him who won't run out of energy, keeping him safe.

:rolling
 

narouz

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kiran said:
Combie said:
My feeling has always been that while Ray clearly wants his ideas to be heard, he also doesnt want to be too vocal about it. Which is sensible, because people who draw attention to themselves with the kind of powerful truth that can bring down empires seem to have a high "suicide" rate, you know what i mean? Such is the world we live in.

In that case, it probably makes sense to let his supporters do most of the pushing.

This has been my inclination too--to interpret Peat's goals somewhat like that, generally.
I think that must be counter-balanced against his obvious distrust of commercialization.
But, all told, I think Peat wants his ideas to reach a wider audience.

And so I believe it would be going against Peat's desires
to view his work as intentionally cryptic,
or crytic because of the "radical instability of language,"
or cryptic because
we mis-apply some of Peat's philosophical notions about language or context
to his work.

I believe Peat intends to write clearly,
and I believe he does write clearly.
I believe his purpose is to be understood,
and so I believe he did not design his writings like works of art--
which often work through
figurative language vs. literal language,
and through strategies of ambiguity, indirection, and hiddenness.

As you say, kiran,
and partly, IMO, because of the reason you express
I think it is likely if not obvious
that Peat wishes for others to do the "work" of dissemination.
(I say "partly" because I think there are additional explanations
for why Peat leaves to others the dissemination;
in other words, I don't think it is sheerly because he is afraid of
conspiracies to silence him
and of retaliation.)

Part of a responsible dissemination of Peat's ideas--
a natural and fundamental and perhaps even essential part--
is the collation and distillation of his general ideas.
This is true of Peat's ideas
just as it is true of any complex body of ideas.
We don't have to re-invent epistemology or communication science or hermeneutics
in order to interpret and disseminate Peat's ideas.

Peat expresses general ideas and he expresses specific data,
just as have the multitude of brilliant thinkers and scientists throughout human history.
A unique science of interpretation especially for Raymond Peat is not needed.
 

narouz

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So to return to the topic question:

I don't think Peat hates and disrespects those--
like the Rubins and Roddy--
who spread his ideas.
I think he feels just the opposite:
he wants that to happen--
that's why he spends so much time doing interviews
and seems to write approving reviews of those people's work.

Part of the that spreading or dissemination
involves generalization.
If you listen to the East-West, Josh and Jeannie interviews,
they frequently try to clarify with Peat some specific points in question,
but they also ask him for general answers about his ideas.
Peat is very forthcoming and helpful in supplying such general answers,
and his work contains a LOT of general statements
which suggest quite clearly the outlines of what A Good Peat Diet should look like
(see my contemporaneous thread: "Context: Common Misinterpretations of Peat").

But: there is an odd, submerged assumption on the part of some posters
on the question of Peat dissemination--
how it should be done, for instance.

Some posters seem to believe
that the only "pure" or "true" way to disseminate Peats ideas
is to urge people to read Peat's work.
But to try to distill Peat's many general statements about the shape of his diet...
many regard this as taboo--
it seems to them to be impure or tainted or something.

For instance the poster referenced above,
who said that Peat looks down upon popularizers like the Rubins and Roddy
because--I'm guessing here--they are simpletons or crassly commercial
or because they take Peat's Artistic Complexity and
throw it into the gutter of more popular, accessible understanding...
or something like that.

I think such assumptions about how Peat conceives of the spreading of his ideas
are wrong-headed.
I do think Peat's ideas are complex
and to some degree they are also experimental--
sortuv "under construction."

So, I do not think Peat would want his ideas oversimplified
or misrepresented as some inflexible, authoritarian dogma.

But I do not think Peat would have anything against attempts
to distill his many general, guiding statements about the nature of a good Peat diet,
and to try to present that distillation in such a way as to make more easily accessable
the general, rough shape of a Peat diet.
I would think he would welcome that.
Just as he seems to welcome shows like the Rubin's and blogs and books by Roddy.
It is perhaps the most obvious first step toward responsible, accurate, effective dissemination.
 

narouz

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To riff a little more on the thoughts in my last post...

I think we need to be alert to and honest about
some temptations in being "Peatians."

It is human nature to want to belong.
And it is human nature to want to belong to something exclusive.
Simply put,
it makes us feel special.
Better.

Consider the attractions of Ray Peat:
-he is subversive
-he is a rebel
-he is brilliant
-he is a radical
-he is iconoclastic
-he seems to be eccentric...

Let me pause a moment there and ask:
aren't those some very attractive characteristics?
I mean, don't those characteristics strongly compare
to a figure like Che Guevara,
a fixture on radical chic t-shirts?
Wouldn't a lot of us like to possess some of those Peatian traits,
or at least be associated with them?
Don't we enjoy associating ourselves with such a charismatic, rare persona?


...now let me add another Peat characteristic:
-his public persona and his ideas are not easily accessible
in a condensed, general form.

So he is a bit obscure.
His ideas are certainly available,
but he has not been packaged for easy consumption.

Doesn't that last characteristic add to his appeal,
to our egos?
Doesn't it allow us to feel that we are part of a special group,
a rare group,
an exclusive group?

And mightn't that basic dynamic
lie at the root of much of the fierce, emotional resistance
to any attempt to distill Peat's general nutritional ideas
and present them in more easily accessible form?

In short,
what I'm saying
is that I think we should be self-examining enough
and honest enough with ourselves
to steer away from the Cultish attractions of Peat.
 

frustrated

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I don't think he hates them at all -- but I can guarantee he cringed when he saw a book titled "The Peat Whisperer"
 

narouz

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I suspect that some of the cultish nature of devotion to Peat
is, maybe, subconscious.
This thread is an attempt to probe that.

So Peatians might consider this possibility
about themselves--
a kind of tip-off:

"You know you are cultishly investing in Peat when..."

1. You enjoy telling people watching you eat a diet,
that there is no Peat diet.
2. You concoct exotic and pseudo-intellectectual reasons to nullify attempts
to describe with some clarity and concision
what a Peat diet is, generally.

I suspect that in many cases those tactics
are simply ways to guard the exclusivity and specialness
of being part of The Peat Club-
like Gollum guarding his "precious."
If the club is made more accessible,
it becomes less cool to belong to.
 

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