Putting information diet in the energy stack

Biohackers generally believe that the correct goal of lifestyle design is to maximize energy. A typical preference cascade looks like this:

1. Fix pathological health problems
2. Fix sleep
3. Fix diet
4. Exercise
5. Fix finances

There is some wiggle room in here because (for instance) exercise can help you sleep, and it’s not really clear when sleep is good enough to start focusing heavily on eating in a way that will encourage exercise. Still, it’s a damn good pseudo-system.

As intelligence increases, so increases the need for intellectual and aesthetic stimulation. I don’t think muggles quite understand how much we hoity-toity types need to read. It’s a desperate craving that’s almost, almost as much a matter of life and death as getting enough food. We ought to at least understand that in the absence of information inflow we are flirting with madness, and may need to meditate or pray like a man wasting away from hunger. Everybody understands that the body has needs- we need nutrition, calories, exercise, bathroom breaks, human touch, and to a point even sex can be considered a need. The brain’s needs are not so well understood and only slightly less important.

I haven’t read The Information Diet yet but I can guess most of what it says, and if you’re reading this you probably can too.

I suspect that many of the principles carry over from nutrition and exercise. This bears a bit of personal consideration because everyone is different- Scott Adams can’t eat potatoes but he can eat pasta, whereas the opposite is true for me. Scott Adams easily eats the official “recommended” daily protein requirements on a mostly vegetarian diet, but a weightlifter regularly needs at least five times that amount.

All I can say for sure is that you’ll have to exercise a great deal of judgment. We live in a culture that has lost the ability to perpetuate itself, which encourages individuals to act in pathological ways. Just as you can’t thrive on school lunchroom fare, you’ll have to brownbag your own information diet.

In terms of importance, I’d place the information diet and creativity after nutrition and before exercise:

1. Fix pathological health problems
2. Fix sleep
3. Fix diet
4. Fix information input
5. Information output (creativity)
6. Exercise

As a weird consequence of my wildly disproportionate creativity, the average person who reads here is significantly smarter than me. So it’s quite possible that your information diet needs are more important than mine.

Remember: the point is to maximize your energy, so consume the information that inspires you. So you don’t have to read the “best” books like Aristotle and Plato- in fact, it’s unlikely that this is a good first choice for you because much of what attracts us to particular information sources comes from shared psychological and cultural factors that are expressed in subtle stylistic choices. You may be the best classics student in the world, but you still have a better cultural and psychological connection with My Little Pony than Plato.

Speaking of which, I recommend that show to anyone who can stomach the pastels and surface grrlpower- these things were necessary because it is a Trojan horse. You can decry this as a testament to our degeneracy, but the show My Little Pony is the greatest achievement in Western culture since Wagner (And yes, I’m including Tolkien). Doompony explains this better:

The main reason Bronydom is seen as a ‘gender poison’ to men is because of the surface neoteny, but scratch the pastel exterior and you’ll find a show who’s main themes are social maturity, importance of tradition, family and bravery in keeping civilisation together. Because it is a girl-power show, though, most antagonists are defeated through cooperation and shows of solidarity. In real life, if the women of the Troy rode out to meet those trying to bring down the city walls, they’d be put to the sword. Hence Celestia keeps male royal guards around.. but anyway.

Full Nazi

Use the inspiration of your information sources to produce some sort of output. This is analogous to exercise. The format and quality simply don’t matter as long as you do it every day. With consistency over time comes quality. If you jog every day, you’ll get better at jogging- if you draw every day, you’ll get better at drawing.

Some of us blog. I have always blogged because it increases my energy- It helps when it’s something you can share with others, or there’s some kind of external purpose, but I blogged for sixteen years before I had a real audience or a purpose (or anything useful to say, to be frank). You have to harness something that truly inspires you, not something you think ought to inspire you.

About Aeoli Pera

Maybe do this later?
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2 Responses to Putting information diet in the energy stack

  1. Heaviside says:

    The thing that always confused me about the food pyramid is why the superior victuals aren’t placed at the top.

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