Tuesday, 3 August 2010


Keep It Simple Stupid.  Sound advice, and for me, perhaps the biggest hook in paleo.  It occurred to me several years ago, to consider what I would actually eat if I were trapped out in the wilderness for a year (answer: anything I could hunt with the addition of some seasonal vegetation).  Suddenly WHAT I should be eating came sharply in to focus.

Tamir Katz was the first author whom I came across who had actually articulated this very proposition as a guide to how we should eat - a moment etched deeply in to my psyche.  An idea so fiendishly simple and yet so profound.  Katz' book 'TBK Fitness Program' became my first piece in the paleo jigsaw.

With such simplicity we avoid prescriptive RDAs, dietary programs involving the maintaining of cumulative figures for each of the macro nutrients that we each day (and a whole host of other measures), calculations concerning protein to lean bodyweight and we avoid worst of all, traffic light systems (how many 'ambers' can you eat in a day?).  With paleo we avoid hunger and the misapplication of maths.

So I was pleased to see that someone has tried to run with this idea of simplicity....

John Maeda's 'Simplicity' is a fine little book (and is supported by a website).  What he has done is derive ten laws governing simplicity:
  1. REDUCE - The simplest way to achieve simplicity is through thoughtful reduction.
  2. ORGANISE - Organization makes a system of many appear fewer.
  3. TIME - Savings in time feel like simplicity.
  4. LEARN - Knowledge makes everything simpler.
  5. DIFFERENCES - Simplicity and complexity need each other.
  6. CONTEXT - What lies in the periphery of simplicity is definitely not peripheral.
  7. EMOTION - More emotions are better than less.
  8. TRUST - In simplicity we trust.
  9. FAILURE - Some things can never be made simple.
  10. THE ONE - Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful.
I'd disagree with '9' given that DeVany's First Law states 'There is no failure, only feedback', but as for the rest, I think that these ten laws give a pretty good framework on which to maintain the premise of 'paleo'.

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