Signal | Noise

When I first started writing a blog I expected it to be read by a maximum of 10 people. I was writing mainly for myself, trying to make sense of my newly acquired knowledge on nutrition, lifestyle, and whatever else would strike my fancy. Unexpectedly, the blog started receiving some attention. It was very flattering at first. But then I began to feel the pressure. Writing a post was no longer the goal. I had to write a GOOD post. I began appraising the sentences from the point of view of a potential reader, questioning myself, my language (scratch that swear word out!), the value of what I was presenting. I began frantically referencing my own sentences (“should I use the Vancouver or APA?”). Many, many posts remained languishing in my drafts because they were deemed not worthy enough. In an attempt to “produce quality content” I killed my own productivity and stopped writing. All nonsense, of course.

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“Hello, mountain biking, where have you been all my life?”

Meanwhile, many changes occurred in my non-digital life. New country, new job, new interests…

The formation of the Ancestral Health Society of New Zealand earlier this year was a big crazy venture which Jamie and I decided to dive into and have been working on since. The online (ancestral health) community which has been such a huge part of our lives for many years began splintering. A change of guard of sorts: from a group of people who valued scientific discovery, epistemic challenge, self-experimentation, and those who selflessly took “knowledge to the masses”, to those who have now jumped on the bandwagon, twisted it into a new dogma, wrapped it into a new shiny Women’s Daily-worthy Paleo diet suitable for the white middle class fad-seeking masses, all for the sake of $$$ and ego-boosting. Oh well.

Although feeling unable to stop the runaway (coconut flour) gravy train I still believe – in fact I know – there are people out there who are good and true. I may even write something on this blog which will be of some interest to this inquisitive crowd. But to be completely honest, I am not writing it for them either. Having felt a growing sense of dissatisfaction with own efficiency (or lack thereof) and being caught up in some of the administrative tasks associated with AHSNZ I had to have a major re-think.

Jamie and I went through an assessment of my personal values, which is a fantastic re-set for your brain; a sort of a stock-take of what you have, what you want and what you need. Turns out, one of the key areas I am missing is creativity. Hard to be creative giving out prescriptions for common ailments or resuscitating a cardiac arrest (“Let’s try something different this time, bigger dose of adrenaline perhaps?”). And I realised that I actually do really miss writing.

So all the stars aligned for a re|evolutionary new blog to be born. It will be very amusing to see whether Jamie and I can share a digital space, as well as the physical one, and how often we will have conversations along the lines of: “You can’t write that, I meant to write that, go find your own topic and get out of my head!”

There will be rants, opinions (gasp!) and even some Science (maybe…). There will be no prescriptions; no agenda; no medical advice; no gurus. As we are not seeking external validation, you will notice there are no comments, “likes”, or “follows”. If you like what you read – great. If you want to share it with others – fantastic. But we will not chase page views at all cost – these things are meaningless to us. There will be heavy bias against panaceas, simple solutions to complex problems, one-size-fits-all diets and theories of everything.

Let’s see if we can sharpen the signal over the noise.

~ Anastasia

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