The Definitive PP Bookshelf Thread

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Adam Taggart's picture
Adam Taggart
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The Definitive PP Bookshelf Thread

At the recent 2018 Peak Prosperity annual seminar, we put out a table with many of the books we deem essential for understanding the Three Es and/or developing the skills that will be needed to cope with them.

We then invited the audience to let us know what other books they felt should be included.

The list of books is below.

What other titles do you think should be on this list? Let us know in the Comments section.

dcm's picture
dcm
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Book Em Danno

Maybe these:

 

This Time is Different

Permaculture: A designers Manual

Edible Forest Gardens VOL 1-2

The Forager's Harvest

Native American Ethnobotany

Wild Fermentation:The Flavor, Nutrition and Craft of Live Culture Foods

 

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A few books I'd add to the list

The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook by Davis and Davis.  Another member of the community here recommended this years ago.  I now consider this an essential home "first aid" item.  If I have any sort of annoying soft tissue pain I will go to this book first, before aspirin or a doctor.  The information in it is generally all I need to deal with the issue.

How Not to Die by Michael Greger.  Again another member recommended this and I've found it to be a fantastic book for information on diet and nutrition as it relates to disease prevention and cure.  All of his info is backed up with the scientific studies to support it.

Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez.  I've linked to the newly updated 2018 version which I admit I haven't read yet.  I've had, and lent away (and never returned), the older versions.  This is the book that got my financial house in order and essentially started the modern day financial independence movement.  It helps you learn to find fulfillment and what "enough" is rather than always seeking more money and stuff.  I saw many parallels between the ideas in this book and "Prosper" (which should probably also be on this list along with "The Crash Course".

The Forager's Harvest, Nature's Garden, Incredible Wild Edibles all by Samuel Thayer.  It's best to think of these as 3 volumes in a set on wild edible foods.  I hope he writes more!  I've been studying wild edible plants for many years now and Thayer's books are hands down the absolute best I've found raising the bar of what to expect from foraging books by a large margin!  He gives in depth accounts of the plants based both on research and always extensive personal experience.  He also injects personal stories about each plant covered.  This part may seem insignificant on the surface but what he's doing is transforming the subject from something rather dry and academic.  His stories begin to restore a culture around wild foods.  In past times we would have learned this knowledge from family and friends through the natural course of growing up, learning such stories from them.  That method of knowledge transference is essentially broken now.  Sam's works start the process of bringing back that culture while also providing the essential information needed to find, harvest, and process the plants he covers.  While he is based in Wisconsin many of the plants he writes about can be found throughout the US.

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I got one!

I have the sense that most people who hang around here have at least recognized the limits of the reductionist paradigm.  A great introduction to the replacement paradigm is  Thinking in Systems: A Primer by Donella Meadows (one of the Limits to Growth authors)

Along similar lines, I found The Web of Life by Fritjof Capra a very accessible introduction for anyone transitioning from a reductionist world view to a systemic one.  He's one of the Bioneers folks now.  I hear is newer book, The Systems View of Life is good but I have not read it myself.

And since foodies and permies made the list, I was surprised not to see any titles by Joel Salatin, especially since he's been a guest.  I haven't read all of his books so you can pick one.

There, after lurking here for so many years I finally pulled the trigger on a comment!  Just before you're coming to my home town of Denver ... and I won't be here that day :(  

jeff

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Need a RIGHT BRAIN booklist, too

Adam, that is quite a lofty intellectually demanding book list you have there!  Maybe we need a RIGHT BRAIN book list too.  The RBBL list might include stories of collapse, survival and lowbrow adventure.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle--the true story of a family that moved to a 5 acre farm in Virginia and decided to grow their own food.  They had a difficult year.

Survivors by James Wesley Rawles, a military man's perspective on the challenge of living in a collapsed society.  The protagonist is a soldier stationed in Afghanistan and must work his way home to America and his family in New Mexico. 

Patriots by James Wesley Rawles, a military man's perspective on the Idaho retreat and small community dynamics.

Alas, Babylon a small town in Florida adapts to life after a nuclear exchange wipes out most of the big cities.

L.A. Dark (Jeremy's Run Book 1), a bunch of young adults living in LA discover the difficulties of living a primitive live in a big city that has no food or water and 12 million freaked out people.  The work to escape the LA basin.

Once Upon An Apocalypse, The Journey Home  --businessman / prepper is out of town when the EMP hits and he must make his way home.

Dark Titan Journey, Sanctioned Catastrophe  Caught 2,000 miles from home, our hero must make his way back to Idaho to his family and retreat.  Along the way he rescues and befriend people who become his traveling companions.  He teaches them wood craft, tactics, medicinal plants, etc.

Walking In The Rain:  Surviving the Fall  The protagonist is a 16 yo HS science student in Chicago when the lights go out.  He must work his way cross country living off the land towards his family homestead in Oklahoma.  Fortunately, his father trained him in camping, hunting, setting snares, fishing and escape and evasion.  This was one of my favorite series.

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Barnbuilder
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A few more

1. Nuclear War Survival Skills

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_War_Survival_Skills#Full_text

2. FM 21-10 Field Hygiene and Sanitation

https://archive.org/details/FM21-10_2000

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ezlxq1949
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Yet more book suggestions

This list could become very long indeed. It needs a few non-US-centric entries too.

Original and brilliant: E.F. Schumacher, Small is Beautiful.

Joseph Pearce, Small is Still Beautiful. Written 25 years later, a good contemporary reminder of Schumacher's thesis.

Martin Adams, Land, A New Paradigm for a Thriving World. Posits that all land should be held communally and rent paid to the community, not to a rentier class. Seems to address the old town planning concept of capturing betterment.

Fiona J. Houston, The Cottage Garden Diaries, My Year in the Eighteenth Century. Lived the 1790s way of life in Scotland. Experimented with recipes, sewing, gardening. Glad when it ended.

Now some books for Oz.

Lolo Houbein, One Magic Square. Grow your own food on one square metre.

Lolo Houbein, Outside the Magic Square. A handbook for food security.

David Holmgren, RetroSuburbia, The Downshifter's Guide to a Resilient Future. An excellent, excellent book, full of practical ideas, wisdom, how-to's, diagrams, pictures, etc. Soon to go into its third printing.

You'll need some gardening guides relevant to your various local areas. In my case:

  • Yates Garden Guide. 100 years of Australia's best-selling practical gardening guide.
  • The Canberra Gardener. Celebrating 75 years of gardening in Canberra.

 

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Only Books?

Water

I was born in a drouth year. That summer
my mother waited in the house, enclosed
in the sun and the dry ceaseless wind,
for the men to come back in the evenings,
bringing water from a distant spring.
veins of leaves ran dry, roots shrank.
And all my life I have dreaded the return
of that year, sure that it still is
somewhere, like a dead enemys soul.
Fear of dust in my mouth is always with me,
and I am the faithful husband of the rain,
I love the water of wells and springs
and the taste of roofs in the water of cisterns.
I am a dry man whose thirst is praise
of clouds, and whose mind is something of a cup.
My sweetness is to wake in the night
after days of dry heat, hearing the rain.
Wendell Berry :

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Ishmael and The Simpler Way

Ishmael by Daniel Quinn is a book that was a life changer for many of us. Apparently it is one of two books that led Nate Hagens to question his course in life. My wife and I spotted it on a bedside table at a B&B in Sitka, Alaska in1998. I bought a copy a few days later at the Anchorage airport bookstore. It completely changed the way we view the world.

Because he understands the extent of the changes required and writes with a clear style, I highly recommend anything written by Ted Trainer. He is known for The Simpler Way. Here is a link to an essay in which he completely destroys the Ecomodernists.

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Books

Nice list, I'm amazed I've read nearly all of them! The really good ones on the list:

But some duds in there too, much easy to debunk:

What's missing? Books that offer alternative views. Few seek out both sides. I make a point to read the very best the alternative view of any subject has to offer. My list of books I would put above all these (I read them all):

Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations - Warsh

Get Serious - Osborn

Abundance - Diamandis

Dividends Still Don't Lie - Wright

Kiss Your Dentist Goodby - Phillips

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration - Price

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We are part of the environmental solution too

When I watched the Crash Course 2014 for something like the 4th time recently, it struck me as odd that food isn't mentioned for the impact it has. In fact, when it is mentioned in this site, as in the recommendations here for books by Mark Sisson and other similar paleo fans, the opposite message is given. Environmentally, what humanity is doing is wildly unsustainable, and yet I feel that more emphasis could be placed on ways in which we can as individuals and families contribute to the environment.

For example, animal agriculture alone contributes more to greenhouse gas emissions than all cars, trucks, buses, planes and ships combined. Transportation emissions are part waste, part necessity, but animal agriculture emissions are 100% unnecessary (at least outside of very poor nations). Not only is the science clear that we do not need any animal products for optimal health (that includes all meats including fish, dairy and eggs), but also there is a growing balance of scientific evidence that shows the deleterious effects that animal products have on our health (and balance of evidences implies consideration of all valid evidence). Yes, I know you've probably heard people who think otherwise, but I've devoted a lot of time to finding unbiased evidence about this and I can assure you what I've just said is true. I invite you to verify for yourself. One place to start is the published position paper of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

So yes, the world is going to continue in its unsustainable ways for the time being, but you and I have a lot more power than we think, to reduce our individual contribution to this environmental mess.

 

I know this message may not square well with Chris and Adam since they recommend paleo quacks like Mark Sisson. I tried paleo myself for a month a few years ago after I listened to one of those podcasts here and I read a book by Sisson. After my trial I decided to look into the science of paleo and I discovered that it's one big hoax built on a terribly biased interpretation of the available science. The book The Low-Carb Fraud by T. Colin Campbell PhD provides a readable and relatively short account of that. Nutrition is a very complicated field with conflicting evidence and there's plenty of room for people who want build a case for something to pick and choose data to support their pet theory. That's not how science works.

I would also recommend that you look into Dr. Michael Greger's research. He and his team of researchers read every paper published in every scientific journal on nutrition in English, and then synthetize the results with only one goal: finding what promotes optimal health. And his findings are clear that the fewer animal products in the diet, the better for the individual's health. I highly recommend his very short introductory videos here and this talk in which he summarizes what he's found.

 

Giving up animal products is not something that most people are ready to do right away, so I think it's better to start thinking of ways you can begin to reduce your consumption. Every reduction you can make has an impact. It's a start. (One thing I would caution you against doing is replacing red meat with chicken, since chicken meat involves a lot more animal suffering per pound than beef. Better to start by replacing some animal products altogether with plant-based alternatives.)

 

In short, you too can be part of the solution, not just by being prepared for what could come, but by reducing your contribution to the environmental mess caused by animal agriculture.

 

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Meat

Nedyne: Not only is the science clear that we do not need any animal products for optimal health (that includes all meats including fish, dairy and eggs), but also there is a growing balance of scientific evidence that shows the deleterious effects that animal products have on our health (and balance of evidences implies consideration of all valid evidence).

We've known since W. Prince back in the 1930's that one can survive but never thrive without meat. This is old news. As we know from countless studies as well: there are no centenarians among vegetarians.

You can look at a human's teeth and know immediately he needs meat to thrive; it's how we've evolved. Just looking at the fossil record of hunter/gatherers vs farmers tells the tale. From teeth alone! The only animal to have rotting teeth in the fossil record is modern humans after agriculture. Oh, and their dogs.

I do agree the idea of a healthy life is counter to the whole "resources are running out" belief. But that's a problem with false belief, not living right.

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Diet and health

MKI, from your response it doesn't look like you read the links I posted. For example, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics published in its scientific journal:

It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes. Plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable than diets rich in animal products because they use fewer natural resources and are associated with much less environmental damage. Vegetarians and vegans are at reduced risk of certain health conditions, including ischemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, certain types of cancer, and obesity.

Clearly, flawed ideas from one guy (Weston Price) in the 1930s can't override the position in 2016 of the biggest academy of nutrition and dietetics of the US, published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, can it? What's the last peer-reviewed article you found published by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, or a similar organization, touting the health benefits of a paleo-type diet?

 

Are there centenarian vegetarians? I don't know, and it wouldn't matter even if it were true. Think about it. If only an uber tiny proportion of world population was vegetarian at age 80, then it wouldn't be in the least surprising if there were no centenarian vegetarians, would it? Just because of the size of the cohorts, not because of any health advantage or disadvantage. It's just not the way to settle the argument. A better way is to study people of all age groups that are vegan and that are not vegan and then compare disease rates, among other scientific ways, and you'll find those peer-reviewed studies by the hundreds if you read the links I posted to Dr. Greger's work.

 

I know this is an emotional topic, and I know that many people don't want to change their diet even if was better for them and for the environment, but if you're genuinely interested, read the resources I linked, I seriously recommend it.

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Two more books

'The Five Stages of Collapse' by Dmitry Orlov

A very good high altitude look down on what we are living through as I write this. Financial, commercial, political, social and cultural aspects are all considered. Worth reading biannually at a minimum.

'A Prosperous Way Down' by Howard T Odom and Elisabeth C Odom.

Two professors, husband and wife, speak from a well developed foundation of systems ecology and environmental science coupled with economics. Written in 2001 the content of their predictions provide a possible path to a gentler descent than outright collapse. This book is the capstone of their combined years of study and teaching. As pointed out in their conclusion, "during quiescent periods (of civilization) information was kept alive by low eneegy institutions specializing in knowledge."

PP members may be a small group of outliers today, but we all are information hounds.

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With Peers like these....
nedyne wrote:

MKI, from your response it doesn't look like you read the links I posted. For example, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics published in its scientific journal:

It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes. Plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable than diets rich in animal products because they use fewer natural resources and are associated with much less environmental damage. Vegetarians and vegans are at reduced risk of certain health conditions, including ischemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, certain types of cancer, and obesity.

Clearly, flawed ideas from one guy (Weston Price) in the 1930s can't override the position in 2016 of the biggest academy of nutrition and dietetics of the US, published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, can it? What's the last peer-reviewed article you found published by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, or a similar organization, touting the health benefits of a paleo-type diet?

 

 

At the risk of actually agreeing with MKI for the first time, it is pretty clear that humans evolved as omnivores that derived much of their nutrition from eating meat.  And that animal fats and proteins provides optimal health and functioning. This frankly makes logical and common sense from an evolutionary standpoint.  And is a separate argument from the issue of  harm that industrial farming both meat and grains/vegetables  has on the environment.   

I say this as a practicing vegetarian and former Vegan who has looked hard at the evidence and personally experienced dramatic health benefits by both reducing grains and fruits and other carbs and  reintroducing animal protein and fat into my diet.

 Your appeal to authority touting the academic integrity and unassailablity of the the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is particularly misguided.

They (formerly known as the ADA ) are essentially a' professional' special interest organization operating on a sclerotic and failed paradigm that brought us both the upside down food pyramid and the  subsequent obesity and metabolic syndrome epidemic.  Their science is self referential and suspect and funded by industrial food interests and commercial entities.  Looking at their current sponsors they are unsurprisingly  in sync with their dietary recommendations, and their 'helpful' articles and findings. 

On the plus side Coca Cola is no longer sponsoring them!

NutritionFact.org wrote:

 The American Dietetic Association (ADA) is the world’s largest association of nutrition professionals. They claim to be devoted to “improving the nation’s health.” They promote a series of Nutrition Fact Sheets. Who writes them? Industry sources pay $20,000 per fact sheet to the ADA and explicitly take part in writing the documents. The ADA then promotes them through its journal and on its website.

Some of these fact sheets are “What’s a Mom to Do: Healthy Eating Tips for Families” sponsored by Wendy’s; “Lamb: The Essence of Nutrient Rich Flavor,” sponsored by the Tri-Lamb Group; “Cocoa and Chocolate: Sweet News” sponsored by the Hershey Center for Health and Nutrition; “Eggs: A Good Choice for Moms-to-Be” sponsored by the American Egg Board’s Egg Nutrition Center; “Adult Beverage Consumption: Making Responsible Drinking Choices” in connection with the Distilled Spirits Council; and “The Benefits of Chewing Gum” sponsored by the Wrigley Science Institute. For visuals, see Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Conflicts of Interest.

Did you know there was a Wrigley Science Institute?

In 2008, the ADA announced that the Coca-Cola Company had become an “ADA Partner” through its corporate relations sponsorship program. The ADA “provides partners a national platform via ADA events and programs with prominent access to key influencers, thought leaders and decision makers in the nutrition marketplace.” The ADA’s press release also pointed out that “the Coca-Cola Company will share their research findings with ADA members in forums such as professional meetings and scientific publications.” For example, did you know there are “No Harmful Effects of Different Coca-Cola Beverages on Rat Testicles?” Was that even a concern? Thou doth protest too much methinks…

Since this is a book library thread I will reccomend:  Crystalizing Public Opinion by Edward Bernays

 

PP

 

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Please let's not debate veganism

I have been on this site a very long time and support the message fully. I have changed my name to VeganDB12 a while ago as a way to offer gentle support to other veggie types out there (love ya all) who might feel marginalized by the animal husbandry focus (which I have never ever argued with here btw).  Chris and Adam welcome everyone who offers clear data, respectful debate and I hope we can provide that here. 

MK1 please let people like me make suggestions.  I for one am not trying to be a thorn in anyone's side by being open about my food choices and I  wish we could put aside this debate for purposes of letting the thread continue peaceably. 

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yes, lets get along

With respect to the  MKI and nedyne, you are both correct.  I work as a secondary researcher evaluating the evidence based literature to develop nutrigenomic tools for clinicians.  I get paid to read science. I have probably read over 10,000 articles in the last three years.  What has become very clear in that time is there is no “One diet that fits all”.  Research into dietary habits is notoriously difficult to perform well and a lot of the evidence based literature that gets quoted as proof is not case controlled, does not have large enough cohort to to be sufficiently powered, relies on patient self reporting, gets misquoted, is poorly designed, etc. I follow the work of Mark Sisson and Michael Greger both, and I see they cherry pick the evidence to support their messages.  If you comb Google Scholar/Pubmed you can always find a piece of science that supports your personal bias. 

 

Science is a verb really: the building of tested observations that try to control for as many confounding factors; its replication by other research groups; the eventual emergence of an accepted theory that seems to work in all cases.  That model works great in the physics lab, but not so well in the human body as we are all so unique: which different genetics, different habits, different environments, and different metabolic challenges over our lifetime.  We exist along a spectrum of ability to eat, digest,absorb and metabolize fats, protein and carbs.  Some people have the genetics to thrive on a cyclical ketogenic or low carb diet, for others its a nightmare.  Likewise, there are folks among us who do extremely well on diet 65% high complex carbs, 10% fat, 25% protein (MCdougall, Ornish, Okinawan, etc ) but for others it ends in Type 2 diabetes.  Most of us lie in the middle somewhere.

 

Research into the blue zones that have a much higher percentage of centenarians (Sardinia, Icaria Greece, Loma Linda Adventists, Okinowans and Nicoya Costa Rico) show they are not vegan, but they eat animal products sparingly: dairy, fish and eggs weekly and red meat monthly (expressed as a median intake, not a rule, there are outliers on either side who skew vegan or eat animal products more often).  It is also interesting to note that these are people who are highly active into old age, eat very little sugar, have a strong community of friends/social life, tend to have some faith based practice, and with exception of the Loma Linda Adventists, live in relatively unpolluted rural environments.  So it is not all about the food.  

 

Its my considered opinion that vegan/vegetarian diet done well (Whole Foods plant based with quality unprocessed foods and animal products used sparingly more like a garnish, and supplementation of B12 and other missing micronutrients if needed) is best for most people and the planet.  

 

Long story short:  There is plenty of good evidence the SAD (standard American diet) is crap.  There is sufficient credible evidence/number crunching  that a vegan diet is more environmentally sustainable long term for the numbers of people on the planet now.  There is overwhelming evidence we all need to eat more Whole Food plant based nutrition. (Half your plate should be vegetables, a forkful or two fermented).

 

And in the spirit of cherry picking I will leave you with this: a sufficiently powered meta-analysis with clear end points that shows that yes, vegan and vegetarian diets superior to omnivore diet.  But also point out, that statisically significant results does not mean 100% of the people in the study benefited, there are always outliers who defy p values < 0.05.

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26853923

 

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aggrivated
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We argue like First Worldlers

Without refrigeration this discussion will have a much different flavor. What do we have the ability to forage in winter?, would be a good approach. BARF(biologically appropriate raw food) can be fairly easily introduced to dogs. What is the human equivalent?

Dr Price's primary research dealt with the diets ofhealthy indigenous populations in various parts of world. Bottom line, those who survived and thrived had developed cultural customs and taboos that protected and developed an adequate diet specific to their locale.

A good exercise would be delving beyond the veggie-carni divide and learning, as Price did, what nutients are needed for health and how to most successfully source them in our locales year round with the minimum of help from modern fossil fueled technologies.

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The Fourth Turning

I've read many of the books on Adam's list.  The one book that was most impactful for me I found via this site but was not on the list.  It was Neil Howe's The fourth Turning.  It seemed to have a slightly optimistic twist in that even though things are getting worse now its all cyclically and will get better in about 20 years.

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On the grittier side of things, left and right brain

Surviving the Economic Collapse by Ferfal

https://www.amazon.com/Modern-Survival-Manual-Surviving-Economic/dp/9870...

Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self Defense by Massad Ayoob

https://www.amazon.com/Deadly-Force-Understanding-Right-Defense/dp/14402...

Guide to Investing in Gold and Silver by Mike Maloney

https://www.amazon.com/Guide-Investing-Gold-Silver-Financial/dp/19378327...

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins

https://www.amazon.com/New-Confessions-Economic-Hit-Man/dp/1626566747/re...

The Creature From Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin

https://www.amazon.com/Creature-Jekyll-Island-Federal-Reserve/dp/0912986...

The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins (cleverly disguised as an adventure story for tween girls, but quite revolutionary and relevant to our near future)

https://www.amazon.com/Hunger-Games-Trilogy-3-Book/dp/B00PMGUR7S/ref=sr_...

"Welcome to the Hunger Games. And may the odds be ever in your favor."

If you were to read all of these in the next six months, you're going to need this proverb:

"When you've finally had enough, grab your rifle and run out onto your front porch.  If you're the only one there, it's not time yet."

And this one:

"We're at that awkward stage where it's too late to work through system, but too early to shoot the bastards."

 

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Research into dietary habits difficult

greendoc,

Good comment. I too have read research on nutrition (not as much as you, for sure, but I used to work at a NatLab doing physics and even in hard science GIGO usually makes it easier to redo the dang experiment than figure out what errors the last guys made. Bottom line: nutrition research is very, very bad because it's on humans and impossible to control and there are TONS of other factors, including genetic differences and outliers.

So I fully agree "research into dietary habits is notoriously difficult to perform". I agree so much, in fact, I don't find any of the papers available convincing on this subject. It's terribly weak research, giving us clues from meta-analysis, yes, but nothing definitive. Which makes "more" papers not helpful. Which leaves us back to where we started.

What everyone (who is sane & unbiased) should agree on?

1) There has never been a thriving human culture with some history that ate plants only.

2) Humans cannot survive (let alone thrive) on plants alone unless very, very clever about what they eat.

3) Humans evolved in modern form (big brains/small stomach) by eating meat (via chimps).

4) Human teeth and digestive track clearly show we have evolved to eat meat.

From this alone, Occam's Razor gets us the right answer. I have no personal agenda, I just follow the data.

Let me close with a question: you find Sisson & company cherry-picks data? I'm not challenging you (I don't know them well enough) but I would like to know your basis, since those books are claimed by this site as being worth reading so it's worth warning folk. And one more: Have you read Price, and what do you think of his data?

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The best book I have found on permaculture

The Resilient Farm and Homestead: An Innovative Permaculture and Whole Systems Design Approach: Ben Falk: 8601200664270: Amazon.com: Books

This book was recommended to me by a permaculture expert who I was lucky enough to become acquainted with. The author, Ben Falk, started his homestead around seven years ago, on 10 acres of worn out land on a Vermont hillside. He has turned it into a lush food forest.

The greatness of this book is in its organization. Mr. Falk begins with general concepts and goals of regenerative farming and permaculture. He then goes into all major topics around permaculture, in the order that you want to address them. For each topic, he gives an overview and refers you to more exhaustive information. He then discusses how he applied these ideas to his farm. He gives valuable insights into what did and didn't work for him. He is quick to say that a number of things that he read, did not work out for him. He also guesses at reasons why. He is encouraging in experimenting and with gaining confidence with knowing your own land. Every homestead is different.

The book could be considered a textbook on the subject of permaculture and resiliency, complete with test assessments at the end of the book. The book can also be considered extremely practical because of his application of the concepts to his own farm. There are lots of color pictures and diagrams. After reading it, I find myself referring back to it often. 

Since reading this book, I have installed a pond and swales (on contour). I have cut down a number of trees (pines) for garden sunlight, and used the wood to build 200 feet of heugelkultur mounds along my driveway. I have one acre in Raleigh, NC and am thrilled to see my budding food forest. Favorite quote in the book:

The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now. (Japanese Proverb)

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nedyne
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 14 2012
Posts: 70
Diet and health
mememonkey wrote:

At the risk of actually agreeing with MKI for the first time, it is pretty clear that humans evolved as omnivores that derived much of their nutrition from eating meat.  And that animal fats and proteins provides optimal health and functioning. This frankly makes logical and common sense from an evolutionary standpoint.  And is a separate argument from the issue of  harm that industrial farming both meat and grains/vegetables  has on the environment.   

I say this as a practicing vegetarian and former Vegan who has looked hard at the evidence and personally experienced dramatic health benefits by both reducing grains and fruits and other carbs and  reintroducing animal protein and fat into my diet.

 Your appeal to authority touting the academic integrity and unassailablity of the the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is particularly misguided.

They (formerly known as the ADA ) are essentially a' professional' special interest organization operating on a sclerotic and failed paradigm that brought us both the upside down food pyramid and the  subsequent obesity and metabolic syndrome epidemic.  Their science is self referential and suspect and funded by industrial food interests and commercial entities.  Looking at their current sponsors they are unsurprisingly  in sync with their dietary recommendations, and their 'helpful' articles and findings. 

On the plus side Coca Cola is no longer sponsoring them!

NutritionFact.org wrote:

 The American Dietetic Association (ADA) is the world’s largest association of nutrition professionals. They claim to be devoted to “improving the nation’s health.” They promote a series of Nutrition Fact Sheets. Who writes them? Industry sources pay $20,000 per fact sheet to the ADA and explicitly take part in writing the documents. The ADA then promotes them through its journal and on its website.

Some of these fact sheets are “What’s a Mom to Do: Healthy Eating Tips for Families” sponsored by Wendy’s; “Lamb: The Essence of Nutrient Rich Flavor,” sponsored by the Tri-Lamb Group; “Cocoa and Chocolate: Sweet News” sponsored by the Hershey Center for Health and Nutrition; “Eggs: A Good Choice for Moms-to-Be” sponsored by the American Egg Board’s Egg Nutrition Center; “Adult Beverage Consumption: Making Responsible Drinking Choices” in connection with the Distilled Spirits Council; and “The Benefits of Chewing Gum” sponsored by the Wrigley Science Institute. For visuals, see Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Conflicts of Interest.

Did you know there was a Wrigley Science Institute?

In 2008, the ADA announced that the Coca-Cola Company had become an “ADA Partner” through its corporate relations sponsorship program. The ADA “provides partners a national platform via ADA events and programs with prominent access to key influencers, thought leaders and decision makers in the nutrition marketplace.” The ADA’s press release also pointed out that “the Coca-Cola Company will share their research findings with ADA members in forums such as professional meetings and scientific publications.” For example, did you know there are “No Harmful Effects of Different Coca-Cola Beverages on Rat Testicles?” Was that even a concern? Thou doth protest too much methinks…

mememonkey, I am aware of the conflicts of interest of the AND. In fact I had come across that material from nutritionfacts.org previously. However, I think that those conflicts of interest, if anything, should bias them against vegan and vegetarian diets. How much money do you suppose that the pulses, whole grains, fruits and veggies industries devote to lobbying and twisting science, as a percentage of the budget for the same purpose of the meat, dairy and eggs industries? 0.01%, 0.1%, 1%? 

Also note that a fact sheet is not the same thing as a peer-reviewed paper. The AND's position on vegan and vegetarian diets is not a fact sheet sponsored by the lentils association, it's a peer-reviewed paper. (I'm not saying it's impossible to publish a peer-reviewed paper on the net benefits of chewing gum, it probably can be done.)

 

Regarding our evolutionary past, I think it's clear that being able to digest animal products gave us an evolutionary advantage. Tens of thousands of years ago, if you couldn't eat animals, and the plants run out for whatever reason, you would soon become compost. However, that proves nothing about the healthfulness of animal products, and it definitely proves absolutely nothing about the healthfulness of a diet very heavy on animal products like the paleo diet. That observation is entirely compatible with animal products being unhealthful.

20000 years ago high cholesterol and all the nasty effects of animal products didn't matter. They are long-term effects, not instant poison. Even if back then someone ate what the paleo diet proposes for their entire lifetime, it almost never would have killed them before they passed on their genes to the next generation. Today, your goal is not to survive long enough to have offspring at age 15. It's getting past 70 without heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, etc. along the way. Like it or not, science is the only way we have to determine what the optimal human diet is. Shaky hypotheses about the pre-historic past won't do.

 

 

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dcm
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Joined: Apr 14 2009
Posts: 217
the meat of the argument

Following up on nedyne's comment 

https://freefromharm.org/health-nutrition/catching-up-with-science-buryi...

and there's also our earlier paleo diet debate

https://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/109969/webinar-health-effect-robb-wo...

 

as nedyne points out so well, there's a logic problem laying paleo survival patterns on top of human nutrition needs and worse, modern food and animal food production. As lots of science shows, benefits vs risks is a powerful and necessary factor to consider.       

Grover's picture
Grover
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 16 2011
Posts: 866
No Specific Titles - Just A Genre

I'm surprised that nobody has listed any "How-To" books. You know, the kind that can limp you through a complex problem if the internet is down. Of course, if you only prep for conditions where the internet is operational, you won't need any of these books.

I occasionally walk through thrift stores and junk stores (they buy leftovers from estate sales for parts of pennies on the dollar.) It is amazing what can be found. Generally, the items there are those that may have been popular at some time but currently are not. These books aren't popular ... because the internet is soooo much easier. Who in their right mind would even buy these?

Grover

David Allan's picture
David Allan
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Joined: Nov 15 2009
Posts: 106
Right brain nourishment

I'm as left brain dominant as anyone else here and have read a good number of the recommended books. But I also love a good story and I strongly endorse Sandpuppys suggestion for right brain nourishment. There is nothing like a good plotline with empathetic characters to really bring home the practical implications of a situation that is otherwse of 'academic interest'.

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LesPhelps
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Posts: 806
jbuck wrote: I have the
jbuck wrote:

I have the sense that most people who hang around here have at least recognized the limits of the reductionist paradigm.  A great introduction to the replacement paradigm is  Thinking in Systems: A Primer by Donella Meadows (one of the Limits to Growth authors)

Along similar lines, I found The Web of Life by Fritjof Capra a very accessible introduction for anyone transitioning from a reductionist world view to a systemic one.  He's one of the Bioneers folks now.  I hear is newer book, The Systems View of Life is good but I have not read it myself.

And since foodies and permies made the list, I was surprised not to see any titles by Joel Salatin, especially since he's been a guest.  I haven't read all of his books so you can pick one.

There, after lurking here for so many years I finally pulled the trigger on a comment!  Just before you're coming to my home town of Denver ... and I won't be here that day :(  

jeff

I’d add Limits to Growth: A 30 Year Update as well as the best book on Peak Energy.  The Best Peak oil boom I’ve read is The Party is Over, but that was published in 2003, I believe.

Dennis and Donella Meadows and company nailed our problem very effectively in the mid 70s.  The promised 40 year update to Limits to Growth was cancelled, probably because of Donella’s death.

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greendoc
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 23 2008
Posts: 145
quick answers

Cherry picking of data: selectively choosing the best case example to prove your point while ignoring cases that do not serve your conclusion is rampant.  Nutritionfacts.org website (gregor) does it too. It comes in part from deadline pressures.  There is so much research out there who has the time to sift thru and cogently review/summarize all the findings (that usually end up with contradictory results anyway)?  So it is easier to just present one piece of research that "proves" your point.  That is what I meant about cherry picking. 

And the reliance on a single piece of research to prove a point is dangerous as well. Look at most recent blogpost on MDA: https://www.marksdailyapple.com/women-and-intermittent-fasting/

He says: women's ghrelin levels rise faster after meals than men.  He links to this article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23509106 as support.  16 healthy overweight/obese adults, 5 men 11 women, presumably caucasian.  That is not a sample size large enough to draw conclusions you can generalize to all of the world's population: all ages, all races, all levels of health, eating varied diets.  Mark Sisson at least tries to point out the shortcomings, but not often enough IMO.  The rest of that blog post goes on in the same vein: quoting rat research and extrapolating to humans, etc.  What is really needed is large, randomized trials in humans and most importantly: is the single case study of you.  Meaning, everyone is so unique, your mileage may vary, so go do that experiment for yourself and see if it helps/hinders.  Mark Sisson is a champion for that self hacking and I applaud that spirit.  

I read Weston Price as part of required reading in Naturopathic Medical School. The professor cautioned us that it was likely problematic, as not that rigorous (ie: more anedoctal/observational/not qualitative or quantatitive enough) but had some interesting observations. I also remember a classmate who had her undergraduate degree in Anthropology, said it smacked of selection bias and was typical for the era: in that Price had a preconceived healthy savage agenda. Or something to that effect, it was 30 years ago this all happened.  I should go back again and read it now.  I do remember a bit about how the Salish peoples reserved organ meats like liver for pregnant and nursing mothers, invalids.  Which made sense.  the muscle meat to organ meat ratio is such that not every one gets to eat organ eat all the time, so you save it for those who may need it most.  

I am not trying to prove we should all be vegan or omnivores.  I am just saying if you do eat animal products, then in terms of climate change and health, people in the West should be eating less than they do now.  Animal products as condiments, not animal products as the star of your plate three meals a day, which is how many eat today.  

 

Whoa, spending way too much time on this.  gotta run 

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Mark_BC
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 30 2010
Posts: 502
I'd love to read more books

I'd love to read more books but I'm too busy. Is there a way to get them on podcast so I can listen while driving?

ezlxq1949's picture
ezlxq1949
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 29 2009
Posts: 249
What level of technology?

How-to books can be useful but dealing with what level of technology? I have the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, and it's always fun browsing through it. Take "Driving" for instance: it treats of horses only and I had no idea that driving was such a complicated art and high-level skill. Single horse, 2 in hand, 4 in hand, leader and two wheelers, and more. Consider this little excerpt:

In the first place he has he has now four reins instead of two to manipulate, and the increase of weight on his hand, especially when four horses are being driven, requires considerable strength of wrist to support it without tiring. It is of the first importance, moreover, that that he should know instinctively the position in his hand of each of the reins, and be able automatically and instantaneously to lay a finger on any one of them. The driver who has to look at his reins to find the off-side leader's rein, or who touches the near-side wheeler's in mistake for it, is in peril of a catastrophe.

The reins are held in the left hand and adjustments made with the right. Single horses are much simpler to drive, apparently, but I for one won't be learning to drive any time soon.

The 1911 levels of science, mathematics, engineering and sundry technologies were very high. Leave me well behind.

DennisC's picture
DennisC
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 19 2011
Posts: 323
The Right-Brain Experience

I have an older book on my bookshelf called "The Right-Brain Experience" by Marilee Zdenek.  Towards the last half of the book are some exercises to help provide a self-assessment of how your hemispheres are battling it out.  One of the most interesting, if not the most frustrating one for me was "other-hand writing".  In this case, you use your non-dominant hand to write down answers to questions about yourself.  Good luck reading what you write.  For me, just to confuse myself, I try other-handing writing on occassion, brush my teeth with my non-dominant hand (try it), or use my shower brush opposite to what I normally favor.  One side starts goin' "please stop".  Fun times.

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