Yesterday I compared Dr. Harris with Dr. Kruse :
You come over like Dr. Kruse, to be honest : lots of sensational speaking but nothing meaningful except the already known.
Patrik was right when he said, later on :
Hey Bruno --- comparing Kurt Harris to Kruse, not cool. Not cool at all.
Sure, it was not cool. But there's one thing that bugs me. Dr. Harris said the following things :
- Comparing me to Kruse makes you sound like an idiot.
- People like you are why I rarely blog anymore, frankly. It's a time sink to teach the unteachable.
- This is why I am offering nothing prescriptive, despite the whining from people like Bruno.
So let me get this straight : I compare him with a human being, I'm not cool. He calls me an idiot, an unteachable, a whiner, and he gets nothing but upvotes and support.
I wonder, can people with a certain amount of fame get away with more?
My sincere apologies if I have offended anyone. This is not what I want. I think there's not enough criticism towards some gurus, and I'd hate to see them turn into Kruse, who is now monetizing his work.
I didn't create this question because of the argument with Dr. Harris. It's not an apology for my comparison with doctor Kruse either, I don't know why I would aplogoize. I asked this because I'm a bit weirded out by Dr. Harris' extreme popularity. Someone has to question him... He's a confident guy, and confidence + unquestioned popularity is, in my opinion, a dangerous mix. Especially since a lot of people here are willing to believe anything as long as it improves their health.
I'm with Kurt Harris here (though I didn't read the original thread, and probably won't). Because we've been "lied" to all these years from the authorities we (the paleo community) have sort of fallen into this "flat" or "democratic" structure where everyone could be right, so we give everyone's ideas equal weights, because who are we to say who's right and who's not.
But that's not the right way to approach it. First, we have to differentiate between "authorities" and "experts". Authorities are like the government who just make recommendations without understanding the science. Experts are people in the field who have done the research, the experiments, etc, actually understand it. From the outside it's often difficult to distinguish between authorities and experts, but that's where you just need to learn how to do it.
Once we can accurately distinguish between authorities and experts, we then are free to dismiss authorities and give their recommendations no weight in our life; however, an expert's option does count more than a non-expert's. That's because they know more and understand the subtleties (that are a time sink to try to explain to the unteachable).
If Kurt Harris says something about nutrition, I'll tend to listen to him. That's because his website is very well researched and well documented and well written. I trust that he knows his shit, and now I'll save time by just "trusting" what he says (still filtered though my world view).
If Jack Kruse says something about nutrition, I still need to think about it. If he says something about Neurosurgery, then I trust him because that's his field. He's still a smart guy and his blog is well researched, but unfortunately it's not written well enough to give me confidence in what he says about nutrition. But he's still light years ahead of some random Johnny Caveman spouting advice.
If I say something about chemistry, I hope that people would trust me more than some other random person. I have a Ph.D. in chemistry, I've done the research and the reading, so I (and my advisory committee) consider myself an expert in the field and I shouldn't have to justify everything. However, it's harder for me because I don't have time (nor would anyone read) to make a chemistry related blog so that you could be confided that I know what I'm talking about.
So in the end, what I guess I'm trying to say is that everyone's opinion isn't equal. Some people are experts, and you should defer to them in their field of expertise. But it's also the responsibility of the experts (to the extent they want people to believe them) to properly demonstrate expertise, and that's usually through great writing (which is really hard!).
We're in the Wild West of the dietary/health frontier, and our Cast of Characters has its sheriffs, deputies, evil men with twirling mustaches, and damsels in gastric distress.
Every field I've ever encountered has a culture of personality. Some folks cuss and engage in ad hominen attacks. Some don't. Some folks have enormous egos. Some don't. Some folks watch from the sidelines and some jump into the fray.
Thing is, right this very second, YOU are inside YOUR OWN body! Isn't that incredible? YOU get to choose who you want to follow, or you can chart your own path! The beauty of the Wild West is that there are still mesas and arroyos uncharted, plenty of fertile ground near shimmering springs. Take the spoils you find along your own path and build a homestead. That's all any of us can do. You can build your home in another's compound if that works for you. You can get up and move at any time.
I've been lurking at PH since the very beginning, but have only recently "joined" and will probably never have much to contribute. I've watched the great vilification and then rise of the humble potato - what a rags-to-riches story! I've learned that there are as many ways to approach ancestral health as their are human bodies. I found a path that I enjoy, and I'm sticking to it. I can enjoy the discourse and roll my eyes at the juvenile behavior, but none of that is gonna change how my body feels when I do things that it loves.
Bruno, life is so damned short. Explore your own canyons and find your own gold. You can do it!
Fame is always an issue. Like when Kim Kardashian posted on here, she said some pretty dumb things. And then Jon Hamm was kind of a jerk, and we let him get away with it.
But I see your argument with KGH as more of a spat than anything else. He doesn't mince words, and it appears that you don't either.
I think the reaction you got was rude, but I think you might have found a more sympathetic reaction if you hadn't opened the exchange with a pair of fallacious arguments, my paraphrasing here:
Straw Man - Dr. Harris is advocating a diet that includes donuts and pizza.
Ad Hominem - Dr. Harris is operating on ego; he only applauds people who flatter him.
The question of whether he's communicating an idea that is either new or significant is definitely worth discussing, but leaving the rest out will help to build a more polite and productive discussion.
You respond to being called a whiner by whining?
Of course fame plays a role on this website, as it does in general. If Dr Harris writes a long comment I'm going to read it, if someone I've never heard of writes a long comment I'm much more likely to skip it. The whole point of this website is to act as filter to upvote the best comments and questions. Filters are necessary and important in everyday life and especially on the internet.
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