15

votes

[meta] Does fame play a role on this website?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 29, 2012 at 7:55 AM

Yesterday I compared Dr. Harris with Dr. Kruse :

You come over like Dr. Kruse, to be honest : lots of sensational speaking but nothing meaningful except the already known.

Patrik was right when he said, later on :

Hey Bruno --- comparing Kurt Harris to Kruse, not cool. Not cool at all.

Sure, it was not cool. But there's one thing that bugs me. Dr. Harris said the following things :

  • Comparing me to Kruse makes you sound like an idiot.
  • People like you are why I rarely blog anymore, frankly. It's a time sink to teach the unteachable.
  • This is why I am offering nothing prescriptive, despite the whining from people like Bruno.

So let me get this straight : I compare him with a human being, I'm not cool. He calls me an idiot, an unteachable, a whiner, and he gets nothing but upvotes and support.

I wonder, can people with a certain amount of fame get away with more?


My sincere apologies if I have offended anyone. This is not what I want. I think there's not enough criticism towards some gurus, and I'd hate to see them turn into Kruse, who is now monetizing his work.

I didn't create this question because of the argument with Dr. Harris. It's not an apology for my comparison with doctor Kruse either, I don't know why I would aplogoize. I asked this because I'm a bit weirded out by Dr. Harris' extreme popularity. Someone has to question him... He's a confident guy, and confidence + unquestioned popularity is, in my opinion, a dangerous mix. Especially since a lot of people here are willing to believe anything as long as it improves their health.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 02, 2012
at 03:06 PM

Food reward is simple. Think of the treats they give dolphins to jump through hoops. Now, what food would you jump through a hoop for?

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on March 29, 2012
at 10:49 PM

Yeah, I only trust me with number too. Actual chemicals are scary :)

0905a0f8cd1e48f6d39fe625a65b6ef1

(2890)

on March 29, 2012
at 10:01 PM

Thanks for the warm welcome, folks! I am quiet by nature, a bit timid and shy. So, I will do my best to jump in from time to time. Honestly, I feel kinda dumb when I read this site - I don't understand a lot of the science. I still have no clue what Food Reward is, for example, despite reading every post here and on the blogs regarding it... my mind just can't or won't wrap around the idea. But, I still learn things and get a quick out of the various personalities.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 29, 2012
at 09:15 PM

But miked, you're a physical chemist. I'd only trust you with numbers. :P

079c9288506d6692b9ce6ab0e9b2bcac

(359)

on March 29, 2012
at 08:59 PM

@Bruno, your fanboy detector? Seriously? Wow. Nothing wrong with a healthy dose of iconoclasm, and I'll admit to being skeptical of some of KGH's views, but if you are going to be iconoclastic and engage someone who's obviously a deep thinker on the subject, you ought to go about it in a more thoughtful manner, otherwise you are just being a dick as pfw says, and will be responded to in kind.

079c9288506d6692b9ce6ab0e9b2bcac

(359)

on March 29, 2012
at 08:38 PM

I'm with you pfw, I'm wondering what mouse PrimalDanny has in his pocket when he talks about what "we" need.

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on March 29, 2012
at 05:21 PM

I agree- you should lurk less Twinkletoes!

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on March 29, 2012
at 05:13 PM

Sure I did. KGH gets away with no more or less than anyone else would if someone acted like a dick to them. Patrik is remarkably hands off and lets these things solve themselves.

Df6dabaf4b1ef3d5db980ad64c501a5b

on March 29, 2012
at 05:11 PM

Indeed - there are definitely topics that inspire religious fervor here.

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on March 29, 2012
at 04:56 PM

Patrik. Would you re-open the question if I remove all the Dr. Harris stuff and just keep the question itself? After all, it is a real question.

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on March 29, 2012
at 04:55 PM

(1) I said I wasn't able to read his comments because he didn't post them yet at the time (2) I didn't say I was polite (3) I said I was a dick (4) I never said I was Jesus I said someone should question him. So why don't you stop wasting your time on this. The silly conversation I had with Dr. Harris was an illustration of my question, which you didn't answer.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 29, 2012
at 04:34 PM

I want to hear more from you, Twinkletoes. Even typing your user name is fun, and I loved your thoughts.

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on March 29, 2012
at 04:24 PM

I didn't find your answer helpful. I also read it as unnecessarily personal, flippant and in essence endorsing poor behavior. It'd be one thing if you had been polite and made it evident that you were trying to engage constructively, but you weren't and didn't.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on March 29, 2012
at 03:32 PM

Apparently you've decided to be our community's latest Jesus, taking on the mantle of some imagined necessary role as bringer of truth, by "questioning" a notable member of the community. The problem, beyond the annoyingness of the people who tend to do this, is that your execution is horrible. In that same question, there's a guy who disagrees with KGH, but manages to do it civilly and constructively. Shockingly, KGH responds in kind.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on March 29, 2012
at 03:27 PM

In the comment thread, you said: "Dr. Harris, are you just trying to justify a diet with donuts and pizza?" which is so obviously NOT what he was saying that it's hard to believe you actually read what he wrote. Also, if "your words are meaningless" is your idea of polite conversation, you probably piss off a lot of people. So, you evidently didn't bother to read his comments, then insulted his post as meaningless - if that's not acting like a dick, what is? It'd be one thing if you had been polite and made it evident that you were trying to engage constructively, but you weren't and didn't.

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on March 29, 2012
at 03:02 PM

@pfw You're probably the reason why my fanboy detector is making crazy noises. I just told him his words were meaningless. At the time I said that, I didn't see his follow-up comments on Melissa's blog yet, so there was nothing to read.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 29, 2012
at 02:33 PM

Nothing at all wrong withn trying to make a buck. But the heavier the advertising, the more suspicious/skeptical I am. That said, Mark Sisson is a source I trust quite a bit. Ray Peat doesn't seem to be selling anything, but I'm not sure how reliable he is. I do enjoy reading his stuff and trying to fact check him.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on March 29, 2012
at 02:28 PM

Might you elaborate a bit? The only thing I get from your comment is that you think downvotes are an appropriate input into the tit-for-tat game constructed by the logic of the golden rule, which would imply that I should go find something of yours to downvote for no obvious reason.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 29, 2012
at 02:18 PM

Bruno- fame is always an issue. Like when Kim Kardashian posted on here, she said some pretty dumb things. And then Jon Hamm was kind of a jerk, and we let him get away with it. But I see your thing with KGH as more of a spat than anything else. He doesn't mince words, and it appears that you don't either.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on March 29, 2012
at 02:18 PM

Nice metaphor! Heigh ho, silver!!

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on March 29, 2012
at 02:10 PM

Golden rule indeed. -1

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on March 29, 2012
at 02:09 PM

My first impression was indeed to ask what the significance was, but I decided it looked like a bad day to actually address the question itself. I'm not sure there was anything Bruno could have done. See also: any question about fruit.

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on March 29, 2012
at 01:18 PM

Amazing answer, Twinkletoes.

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on March 29, 2012
at 01:17 PM

You guys are all extremely kind! Ralph, I think monetizing is not necessarily bad, but definitely not a good thing either. Whenever I try to earn money, I end up treating others like crap to earn as much as possible. If you can monetize stuff without harming others, then I think it's a great thing.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 29, 2012
at 01:16 PM

You should lurk less and ride into town and post more, Podner.

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on March 29, 2012
at 01:13 PM

Thank you PrimalDanny. Also : I'm a huge whiner. Always have been. My name fits me well.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on March 29, 2012
at 12:58 PM

Approve @Twinkletoes. ::twirls lasso::

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 29, 2012
at 12:34 PM

The pizza and donuts comments gave me a tremendous belly-laugh. Sorry they were at your expense. But I found myself agreeing with your comments at least initially. I guess my thinking also needs to evolve. And in spite of the painfulness of the exchange, I learned something, so thank you for that.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 29, 2012
at 12:31 PM

Well, you shouldn't really be surprised. And for what it's worth, I do sympathize. But remember, Dr. Harris has gotten nothing but love from these boards, whereas Dr. Kruse has been viciously attacked. So, comparing the two around here is not going to go over well (although I understood your point). But if Dr. Harris is not willing to go into specifics at this time, that is not the same as Dr. K. who has difficulty being clear and has numerous other problems that I won't reiterate. One thing I admire about Dr. Harris is that his writing is always a pleasure to read.

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on March 29, 2012
at 11:11 AM

Sure you're more likely to read it, and you may be more likely to upvote it without the same depth of critical thought you may reserve when filtering other answers from people you have less reason to trust. But also upvoting comments that really contain nothing but ad hominem attacks simply because they have been made by someone you respect is not the sort of filtering we need.

A4587cfef29863db612c43f89c202cc1

(2053)

on March 29, 2012
at 10:14 AM

What's wrong with a person "monetizing his work"?

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on March 29, 2012
at 08:21 AM

As it does on any other website, and pretty much most other social groups.

446d2dddaeeccb2cc31a09cf20e40d46

(676)

on March 29, 2012
at 08:16 AM

Answerable question or sincere apology?

  • 685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

    asked by

    (1026)
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7 Answers

best answer

6
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on March 29, 2012
at 04:20 PM

I'm with Kurt Harris here (though I didn't read the original thread, and probably won't). Because we've been "lied" to all these years from the authorities we (the paleo community) have sort of fallen into this "flat" or "democratic" structure where everyone could be right, so we give everyone's ideas equal weights, because who are we to say who's right and who's not.

But that's not the right way to approach it. First, we have to differentiate between "authorities" and "experts". Authorities are like the government who just make recommendations without understanding the science. Experts are people in the field who have done the research, the experiments, etc, actually understand it. From the outside it's often difficult to distinguish between authorities and experts, but that's where you just need to learn how to do it.

Once we can accurately distinguish between authorities and experts, we then are free to dismiss authorities and give their recommendations no weight in our life; however, an expert's option does count more than a non-expert's. That's because they know more and understand the subtleties (that are a time sink to try to explain to the unteachable).

If Kurt Harris says something about nutrition, I'll tend to listen to him. That's because his website is very well researched and well documented and well written. I trust that he knows his shit, and now I'll save time by just "trusting" what he says (still filtered though my world view).

If Jack Kruse says something about nutrition, I still need to think about it. If he says something about Neurosurgery, then I trust him because that's his field. He's still a smart guy and his blog is well researched, but unfortunately it's not written well enough to give me confidence in what he says about nutrition. But he's still light years ahead of some random Johnny Caveman spouting advice.

If I say something about chemistry, I hope that people would trust me more than some other random person. I have a Ph.D. in chemistry, I've done the research and the reading, so I (and my advisory committee) consider myself an expert in the field and I shouldn't have to justify everything. However, it's harder for me because I don't have time (nor would anyone read) to make a chemistry related blog so that you could be confided that I know what I'm talking about.

So in the end, what I guess I'm trying to say is that everyone's opinion isn't equal. Some people are experts, and you should defer to them in their field of expertise. But it's also the responsibility of the experts (to the extent they want people to believe them) to properly demonstrate expertise, and that's usually through great writing (which is really hard!).

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 29, 2012
at 09:15 PM

But miked, you're a physical chemist. I'd only trust you with numbers. :P

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on March 29, 2012
at 10:49 PM

Yeah, I only trust me with number too. Actual chemicals are scary :)

20
0905a0f8cd1e48f6d39fe625a65b6ef1

(2890)

on March 29, 2012
at 12:22 PM

We're in the Wild West of the dietary/health frontier, and our Cast of Characters has its sheriffs, deputies, evil men with twirling mustaches, and damsels in gastric distress.

Every field I've ever encountered has a culture of personality. Some folks cuss and engage in ad hominen attacks. Some don't. Some folks have enormous egos. Some don't. Some folks watch from the sidelines and some jump into the fray.

Thing is, right this very second, YOU are inside YOUR OWN body! Isn't that incredible? YOU get to choose who you want to follow, or you can chart your own path! The beauty of the Wild West is that there are still mesas and arroyos uncharted, plenty of fertile ground near shimmering springs. Take the spoils you find along your own path and build a homestead. That's all any of us can do. You can build your home in another's compound if that works for you. You can get up and move at any time.

I've been lurking at PH since the very beginning, but have only recently "joined" and will probably never have much to contribute. I've watched the great vilification and then rise of the humble potato - what a rags-to-riches story! I've learned that there are as many ways to approach ancestral health as their are human bodies. I found a path that I enjoy, and I'm sticking to it. I can enjoy the discourse and roll my eyes at the juvenile behavior, but none of that is gonna change how my body feels when I do things that it loves.

Bruno, life is so damned short. Explore your own canyons and find your own gold. You can do it!

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on March 29, 2012
at 01:18 PM

Amazing answer, Twinkletoes.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 29, 2012
at 01:16 PM

You should lurk less and ride into town and post more, Podner.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 29, 2012
at 04:34 PM

I want to hear more from you, Twinkletoes. Even typing your user name is fun, and I loved your thoughts.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on March 29, 2012
at 12:58 PM

Approve @Twinkletoes. ::twirls lasso::

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on March 29, 2012
at 02:18 PM

Nice metaphor! Heigh ho, silver!!

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on March 29, 2012
at 05:21 PM

I agree- you should lurk less Twinkletoes!

0905a0f8cd1e48f6d39fe625a65b6ef1

(2890)

on March 29, 2012
at 10:01 PM

Thanks for the warm welcome, folks! I am quiet by nature, a bit timid and shy. So, I will do my best to jump in from time to time. Honestly, I feel kinda dumb when I read this site - I don't understand a lot of the science. I still have no clue what Food Reward is, for example, despite reading every post here and on the blogs regarding it... my mind just can't or won't wrap around the idea. But, I still learn things and get a quick out of the various personalities.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 02, 2012
at 03:06 PM

Food reward is simple. Think of the treats they give dolphins to jump through hoops. Now, what food would you jump through a hoop for?

9
21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 29, 2012
at 02:20 PM

Bruno-

Fame is always an issue. Like when Kim Kardashian posted on here, she said some pretty dumb things. And then Jon Hamm was kind of a jerk, and we let him get away with it.

But I see your argument with KGH as more of a spat than anything else. He doesn't mince words, and it appears that you don't either.

9
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 29, 2012
at 10:40 AM

Fame definitely gives one more license to be an ass. No surprise paleo fame works the same way.

6
Df6dabaf4b1ef3d5db980ad64c501a5b

on March 29, 2012
at 12:36 PM

I think the reaction you got was rude, but I think you might have found a more sympathetic reaction if you hadn't opened the exchange with a pair of fallacious arguments, my paraphrasing here:

Straw Man - Dr. Harris is advocating a diet that includes donuts and pizza.

Ad Hominem - Dr. Harris is operating on ego; he only applauds people who flatter him.

The question of whether he's communicating an idea that is either new or significant is definitely worth discussing, but leaving the rest out will help to build a more polite and productive discussion.

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on March 29, 2012
at 02:09 PM

My first impression was indeed to ask what the significance was, but I decided it looked like a bad day to actually address the question itself. I'm not sure there was anything Bruno could have done. See also: any question about fruit.

Df6dabaf4b1ef3d5db980ad64c501a5b

on March 29, 2012
at 05:11 PM

Indeed - there are definitely topics that inspire religious fervor here.

5
4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on March 29, 2012
at 01:58 PM

You acted like a dick who didn't read or attempt to understand his post, and so he responded in kind.

Golden rule.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on March 29, 2012
at 03:32 PM

Apparently you've decided to be our community's latest Jesus, taking on the mantle of some imagined necessary role as bringer of truth, by "questioning" a notable member of the community. The problem, beyond the annoyingness of the people who tend to do this, is that your execution is horrible. In that same question, there's a guy who disagrees with KGH, but manages to do it civilly and constructively. Shockingly, KGH responds in kind.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on March 29, 2012
at 03:27 PM

In the comment thread, you said: "Dr. Harris, are you just trying to justify a diet with donuts and pizza?" which is so obviously NOT what he was saying that it's hard to believe you actually read what he wrote. Also, if "your words are meaningless" is your idea of polite conversation, you probably piss off a lot of people. So, you evidently didn't bother to read his comments, then insulted his post as meaningless - if that's not acting like a dick, what is? It'd be one thing if you had been polite and made it evident that you were trying to engage constructively, but you weren't and didn't.

079c9288506d6692b9ce6ab0e9b2bcac

(359)

on March 29, 2012
at 08:38 PM

I'm with you pfw, I'm wondering what mouse PrimalDanny has in his pocket when he talks about what "we" need.

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on March 29, 2012
at 02:10 PM

Golden rule indeed. -1

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on March 29, 2012
at 04:24 PM

I didn't find your answer helpful. I also read it as unnecessarily personal, flippant and in essence endorsing poor behavior. It'd be one thing if you had been polite and made it evident that you were trying to engage constructively, but you weren't and didn't.

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on March 29, 2012
at 03:02 PM

@pfw You're probably the reason why my fanboy detector is making crazy noises. I just told him his words were meaningless. At the time I said that, I didn't see his follow-up comments on Melissa's blog yet, so there was nothing to read.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on March 29, 2012
at 02:28 PM

Might you elaborate a bit? The only thing I get from your comment is that you think downvotes are an appropriate input into the tit-for-tat game constructed by the logic of the golden rule, which would imply that I should go find something of yours to downvote for no obvious reason.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on March 29, 2012
at 05:13 PM

Sure I did. KGH gets away with no more or less than anyone else would if someone acted like a dick to them. Patrik is remarkably hands off and lets these things solve themselves.

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on March 29, 2012
at 04:55 PM

(1) I said I wasn't able to read his comments because he didn't post them yet at the time (2) I didn't say I was polite (3) I said I was a dick (4) I never said I was Jesus I said someone should question him. So why don't you stop wasting your time on this. The silly conversation I had with Dr. Harris was an illustration of my question, which you didn't answer.

079c9288506d6692b9ce6ab0e9b2bcac

(359)

on March 29, 2012
at 08:59 PM

@Bruno, your fanboy detector? Seriously? Wow. Nothing wrong with a healthy dose of iconoclasm, and I'll admit to being skeptical of some of KGH's views, but if you are going to be iconoclastic and engage someone who's obviously a deep thinker on the subject, you ought to go about it in a more thoughtful manner, otherwise you are just being a dick as pfw says, and will be responded to in kind.

0
079c9288506d6692b9ce6ab0e9b2bcac

on March 29, 2012
at 10:17 AM

You respond to being called a whiner by whining?

Of course fame plays a role on this website, as it does in general. If Dr Harris writes a long comment I'm going to read it, if someone I've never heard of writes a long comment I'm much more likely to skip it. The whole point of this website is to act as filter to upvote the best comments and questions. Filters are necessary and important in everyday life and especially on the internet.

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on March 29, 2012
at 11:11 AM

Sure you're more likely to read it, and you may be more likely to upvote it without the same depth of critical thought you may reserve when filtering other answers from people you have less reason to trust. But also upvoting comments that really contain nothing but ad hominem attacks simply because they have been made by someone you respect is not the sort of filtering we need.

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on March 29, 2012
at 01:13 PM

Thank you PrimalDanny. Also : I'm a huge whiner. Always have been. My name fits me well.

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