As paleo and primal become more complex, authoritarian, licensed, profit driven, subverted and infected with fear based marketing efforts, Primal North seeks to simplify, unify, and advocate a proper level of scientific skepticism to the world of paleo, primal and low carb nutrition. Meat is food, plants are medicine, food is fuel, and movement is pleasure. Lets stop making a mess of it!
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Movement Succumbs to MarketPretty much all of our paleo gurus have stopped worrying so much about helping us and worry more about marketing to us.
First of all let me be blunt. Do not waste my time commenting if you do not have a full and thorough comprehension of what provocation marketing is all about. For an excellent primer check this link.
When you truly understand provocation based marketing, which is nothing short of a scientific method to win trust through the use of seemingly benevolent advice that actually builds fear and doubt, then closing the loop by providing solutions which result in audience trust building and loyalty building. The ideal ratio is approximate 3:1 to 5:1. In other words, 1 in 3 articles to 1 in 5 articles a paleo blogger writes should result in asking for a sale with the remaining providing totally free (albeit biased towards your market) advice.
We as a society must become more skeptical and more aware of tactics used to circumvent skepticality in favor of product sales.
Our entire society is profit driven. The message is that your next raise or even your job security depends on company profits (true even in Governement where you can replace "profit" with "abesnce of budget deficit").
We are conditioned not only to accept the need for profit as a benevolent, society building thing but that also the quest for profit rarely affects the altruistic traits of those with something to sell.
In the paleo and even low carb world we are, like all other markets, surrounded by figures whom we recognize as "friends and advisors" first, while only peripherally aknowledging that the primary reason these people became our friends and advisors was because we had a credit card with available limits.
As long time Primal North readers know, I pretty much universally despise gurus. I am currently seeing even my most respected gurus pushing, recommending, and reviewing products and approaches that in other circles they would never endorse or try themselves.
In short, pretty much every active blogger with a profit based product line has pretty much been selling out. And sorry but that is exactly how I see it.
The primary reason I no longer blog for hours a day is because overcoming the effectiveness of this provocation based marketing system, combined with the paleo circle jerk of insincere, deliberate and planned confirmation bias as futile and pointless and quite frankly nearly rewardless in comparison to time spent with my family. This marketing method is so well executed that even my lamenting it will often feed the beast.
I am not saying these people are nefarious. They are working within a system and the system demands profit, idolizes profit and considers profit an altruistic and economy building effort. Since most sales in the blogging world are dropped soundly on credit cards and thus derived from debt its hard to see how this builds an economy but the illusion is that it does thus I cannot call that effort an evil intentioned one.
We as consumers have a duty to recognize the techniques used to bypass healthy and desireable skepticism that are used in order to gain our trust. The obvious goal: become a mentor (guru) in our lives, and thus develop loyalty, in return and indirectly shortening the sales cycle for our mentor (AKA future products require much less convincing before we part with our money).
Paleo, low carb, veganism, it just doesn't matter, we are all locked in a mutual circle jerk of confirmation bias. Time to bust out.
What I See? The death of a movement, replaced by the marketAs Richard "The Animal" calls it, "Paleo Masturbation", one example provided below.
Safe starcher Paleo "Looky here! Man eats nothing but potatoes, gets loses weight, feels great. See, potatoes are awesome! We told you so!"
- Safe starch paleo = Wow that is awesome! Share share share! Like like like! Paleo for life! Paleo power!
- Vegans = simple plant based diet wins again!
- Low Carbers = not sustainable! Long term effects not known! Could be dangerous! Vitamin B12 deficiency, yadda yadda
Low carb paleo "Looky here! Man eats zero carb all grass fed meat diet and hits goal weight in perfect health. See? You do not need potatoes! We told you so!"
- Low carbers = Wow that is awesome! Share share share! Like like like! "Low carb for life! Keto power!"
- Vegans = That man is a silent heart attack waiting to happen!
- Safe stacher paleo = Some people do OK without starch but its just "not optimal" plus you run the risk for scurvy, hair loss, cold hands and feet, nuclear winter and planetary disalignment!
Vegans "Looky here! I run long endurance races and do well all the time eating massive amounts of fruit and nothing else! See? You don't need meat! We told you so!"
- Vegans = Wow that is awesome! Morale high ground! Share share share! Like like like! "Veganism is the ONLY diet we need for amazing health and MORALE HIGH GROUND!"
- Low carbers = This guy is wasting away before our eyes, no muscle tissue, and the B12 deficiency is blinding him to it
- Safe starch paleo = Fruits are great but this is "sub optimal" and likely to lead to deficiencies over time, danger danger danger!
So many of our gurus have a massive profit incentive to keep this circle jerk alive
And this is why you will find low carb advocates recommending books named "Sweet Potato Power", and the "Perfect Health Diet" which implicitly describes low carb as dangerous. The simple reason is, in my mind, because the worm will turn and the low carber will put out a well researched book or article and the potato people will in turn endorse, share or review it in a positive way as well despite the fact it contradicts their own point of view.
In some cases, mutual endorsement is not employed. Mutual mention is enough. Potato power people continually mention the low carb people who in turn continually mention the potato power people. Thus both sides preserve more credibility but mutually increase the confirmation bias and market loyalty of the other.
I often speculate that so many "flame wars" are actually engineered traffic and confirmation bias generation strategies between two opposing bloggers with products to sell.
And do not kid yourself, page clicks are a better than money (which is fake) because they represent REAL USE of time, a commodity and valuable
Internet traffic is a commodity and simply becaues a blogger has no obvious product line that does not mean there is an abesence of financial or even ego incentives to cling to the party line, and mix it up with the more obvious profit bloggers.
Skeptics please, the rest can simply "unlike" as I have no use for market zombies
It is hardly a schock to me that my earliest readers and followers on Facebook were in fact former zealots of one way of thinking or another who started to become open to other methodologies being OK for other people.
I have never truly cared how many likes I have on my page, or how much traffic I generate. My philosophy has always been that the people who can benefit from what I write will find me on their own, take what is useful, and discard the rest.
To me, my traffic count and page likes are pretty cool but NOT THE POINT AT ALL and I have no problems with the numbers dropping because my message is distasteful and truth based.
Diet identity is a real barrier to personal health
I have often, in Facebook, referred to the dangers of "diet identity". To me cries of "Paleo/Low Carb/Veganism" for life, that are typically rewarded with "Hell ya!" from so many others read like "I have closed my mind to other possibilities, can some of you other zombies give me a high five?"
Once you have decided you have found the final solution, you are almost guaranteed to end personal growth.