Sunday, March 13, 2011

It is all about information

While I've been reading Art DeVany for years, I think that I have only just started to "get it" in some ways.   His book has helped - I thought initially that it was too dumbed down but there is some real wisdom in there.

Doug McGuff has also been important especially the talk from the 21 Convention that has been made available from Anthony.  I've posted it below.  This talk is vital stuff.  Take the time to watch it and think the implications through.

Anyway, I've been thinking back to my university courses in Economics.  One of the key things that they tried to teach us in microeconomics was the idea that PRICES ARE SIGNALS.  It is all abotu information.  The market reacts to signals and prices are one of those signals. It is all about information and the signals that are being received.

This is something that comes through very much in Art DeVany and Doug McGuff.  Your body reacts to signals.  Everything you do provides information to your body:
  • how you move
  • how you eat
  • how you sleep
It is all about signals, information being given to which your body reacts, adapts.

What signals are you sending by how you eat or move?   It isn't a is information you are providing, a signal to which your body will respond.

Anyway - here is Doug (interviewed here)   This DVD and others of equal quality from other great minds in the field are available here.


Asclepius said...

That idea of 'signalling and information' is very much consistent with my interpretation of ADVs work. Your link to Taleb's Fooled by Randomness contained this quote that really hit home with me:

"Classical thermodynamics produce Gaussian variations, while informational variations are from Extremistan. Let me explain. If you
consider your diet and exercise as a simple energy deficits and excesses, with a straight calorie-in, calorie-burned equation, you will fall into the trap of misspecifying the system into simple causal and mechanical links.
Your food intake becomes the equivalent of filling up the tank of your new BMW. If on the other hand you look at food and exercise as activating metabolic signals, with potential metabolic cascades and nonlinearities from network effects, and with recursive links, then welcome to complexity, hence Extremistan. Both food and workout
provide your body with information about stressor in the environment.
As I have been saying throughout, informational randomness is from
Extremistan. Medicine fell into the trap of using simple
thermodynamics, with the same physics-envy and with the same
mentality and the same tools as economists did when they looked at the economy as a web of simple links. And both are complex systems."

I like the fact that the paleo concept is evolving and becoming more 'evolution focused' rather than paleo navel-gazing. We are seeing change; carbohydrate is being reformed and dairy has a place in this brave new world. The same might even be happening with the 'paleo view' of exercise.

But the whole signalling/information paradigm championed above seems to be quite fertile ground and yet is largely ignored by the more scientifically inlined in the paleo crowd. In an adaptive biological system, you'd think that this would be THE crucial approach.

Asclepius said...

Another pithy observation from ADV on his forum:

"Do remember that IF does not restrict energy intake or food intake; it only varies the pattern to alter your metabolism."

Chris said...

Agreed - it is fascinating. Interesting that DeVany is an economist. As I noted economics is all about signalling within complex adaptive systems.

Anonymous said...

I think signals is a great way of viewing the body. Aside from external signaling (lifting a heavy weight) there's also internal signaling. For example, the fat cells signaling the brain with leptin. If that signal breaks down then the system (us) starts to break down.

Anonymous said...

It's a great presentation. But one thing Doug got wrong, was HFCS. It's just Fructose and Glucose without a bond, so it doesn't depend on sucrase activity.

Steven Sashen said...

The question I always wanted to ask Doug is: Well, what if I'm a sprinter and don't want to work on all 3 muscle types? I just want to focus on IIB.


Chris said...

Why not just ask him? He usually responds to questions posted on his blog: