You had me at ‘bacon’

One of the central conceits of the “man’s natural state” argument is that if we go back to some point in time, we’ll find it. We’ll finally come across the state of being where man lived totally in harmony with each other and with nature; eating the perfect diet for health, worshipping the correct gods, having sex in the natural and acceptable way. And besides studying religious texts, the tool that’s most frequently employed is the study of ancient, “pre-historic” man and woman. We hope that, by going back far enough, we’ll hit some arbitrary Point of Naturalness. That’s partially the approach used, for example, by the Paleo movement which has become such a popular force in nutrition. We evolved to eat bacon, right?

~ Shane Parrish from,


I have avoided—I’ve no idea how—the rabbit hole of, “what is natural [for a human being’s flourishing]?” I have limited time, (I suggest doublechecking, as yours may also be limited,) and I’m really only interested in, “what is best for this human being’s flourishing?” I don’t care if we evolved to eat bacon. I do care how I feel after I eat bacon. …after I eat different types of bacon. …after I consider the monetary cost of buying bacon. …after I assess the environmental cost/footprint of eating bacon. …after I assess the societal aspects of bacon.

Sorry. All this talk of bacon. I lost my train of thought. Oh, right—

For a short span of several decades, I have complete control over my thoughts. At no time do I have absolute control over anything beyond my thoughts. (I have pretty reliable control over many things—movement of my hands for example. But even that control is not absolute. See: Disease, accidents, etc. At any moment, my preferences related to all the things beyond my thoughts, can easily be frustrated.) So the only thing that makes sense is to discover, reflect and then exercise what efficacy I have at any give moment: What do I know? How do I know it? What decision should I make now/today, given what I know? How would I find where my unknown unknowns are?