The What vs. The Why

This is a great video that just came out from Paleo FX. I think it’s worth sharing because I suspect this attitude is more common that most would believe.

It’s not just prevalent in paleo-land, it’s in every domain of significance. And why is that?

By my judgement it is primarily due to something called the anti-conceptual mentality. This phenomenon is culture wide, and generations deep.

I think of it as an addiction to concretes, coupled with an active ignorance of additional layers of abstraction (which teeters closely on “aggressive-stupidity”).

In daily-life talk, it’s the addiction with “what to do”, and a complete dismissal of why one should do some thing — if anything is to be done at all.

This is as common in political discussions as it is in the “health and fitness” industry, and as one might imagine, the world of dating and relationship advice.

It’s tempting to say that this “what vs. why” concept is easier to observe in one domain over another, but truthfully, it’s easy to observe in any area of interest, once you are aware of it.

In nutrition it’s : what do I do what do I do what do I do, instead of why am I fat and sick?.

In male/female relationships it’s the classic : what do I say what do I say what do I say, instead of why am I so obsessed with entertaining women, particularly the ones I am attracted to?

Or alternatively, the classic “one-itis” syndrome, where a person becomes completely physically-obsessed with another person, and entirely forgets the much bigger, and much more important picture : the self.

And in politics, well, you can probably figure that one out.

Edit : changed romantically to physically, a more appropriate term for the sentence.

About Anthony Dream Johnson

CEO, founder, and architect of The 21 Convention, Anthony Dream Johnson is the leading force behind the world's first and only "panorama event for life on earth". He has been featured on WGN Chicago, and in the NY Times #1 best seller The Four Hour Work Week.    His stated purpose for the work he does is "the actualization of the ideal man", a purpose that has led him to found and host The 21 Convention across 3 continents and for 6 years in a row. Anthony blogs vigorously at and

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12 Responses to The What vs. The Why

  1. Aiston March 4, 2013 at 10:11 pm #

    “By my judgement it is primarily due to something called the anti-conceptual mentality. This phenomenon is culture wide, and generations deep.”

    Interesting you should say that. I find many Americans to be anti-conceptual and started to think it was a “western thing” arising from monotheism and one of the reasons I traveled to South and Southeast Asia to find more philosophical and philosophically sound traditions.

    I’ll give the video a look.

    As far as “paleo” its a joke. Nobody is out there hunting and gathering in the West, though I try to gather and harvest as much as I can manage. I have a vertical garden in my home and a screened in patio stacked with micro-green and sprouting trays, as well as an outdoor garden which I plan to turn into a full scale mini-farm.

    I also have learned to identify edible leaves, roots, flowers and weeds, so my nutritional intake has been expanded that way as well.

    That’s about as gatherer as we could manage, I suppose.

    Tip: don’t wash organic veggies and fruit. Whatever residue of soil, bugs or feces left on them is actually GOOD FOR YOU.

  2. Aiston March 4, 2013 at 10:29 pm #

    OK watched it. Its hard to formulize any opinion of her answer without hearing the question. However she wasn’t positing what vs why, she clearly says people need to understand both what and why.

    Basically I got that she was talking about this faux post-modern, so-called “paleo” diet and saying that not only do people need to be educated about what it is but also about why it might be good for them.

    I’d agree with that basic premise. With an emphasis on “might” in the “might be good for them”.

    And I “might” also add that so far all of the videos I’ve seen of people who supposedly follow this “awesome” diet, are videos of luck lustre people devoid of a healthy glow, and many even appear over weight or out of shape like that “free the animal” guy in one of your 21 Conventions.

    On the other hand if you check out the people who do high raw, most of them are quite healthy and good looking.

    I’ve attended several raw food retreats and the women there are incredibly stunning. Often unbelievably so. WITHOUT makeup. And their energy and positive up-beat attitudes are incredibly attractive also. All around a higher vibrational energy field than I’ve ever gotten from a “paleo” chick or dude.

    But I plan on checking out a paleo retreat just to do my own little personal emperical study on this. Heh. 😉

    • Anthony Dream Johnson March 4, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

      Nora is being nice, and is a nice person. From what I can tell, I’m much less gentle, and have been with people I know who are obsessed with “what to do”. Nora may also not be familiar with concepts like the “anti-conceptual mentality”, so it is possible she does not fully understand what is going on when one of her clients (many of her clients) gives her one of these “your book’s informative, *but* I just want to know what to do”.

      This statement is tantamount to saying “I don’t want to think, or live. Can you just live for me?”.

      (This is true in this context specifically because eating is a life-long activity that is a demand of the organism, unlike say exercise, which from effective beginning to effective end, is an initiated experience – you don’t die of biceps curl deficiency).

      If you really understand what is being said, this is a really barbaric thing to ask of someone. Tolerance for it should be the exception, not the rule.

      Also, as you indicate in your comment, this post is not a transcription of the video. I posted the video because I like the video, and added some commentary of my own. I could have elaborated more. I didn’t. I may in future posts.

      If any of my positions are unclear, just ask. I obviously do not speak for Nora.

  3. Aiston March 4, 2013 at 11:49 pm #

    On a lark I youtube searched “paleo summit” and this was one of the first videos. Pretty funny, if a bit hyperbolic;

    • Anthony Dream Johnson March 5, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

      Ya I’m familiar with this guy’s videos. He is a true ass clown. Very angry, bitter, confused person.

  4. Aiston March 5, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    He hit the nail on the head with Jimmy Moore. Just watched a recent video of this guy giving a seminar at that Paleo Summit Nora above also spoke at. And he was just as fat as Durian shows him in this video. Really? This dude is some sort of paleo weight loss success story and seminar circuit guru?!?!? SMH.

  5. Aiston March 5, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    One thing that irks me about these upper-middle class snooty “paleos” who think they’re the first to discover the “grain free, dairy free” way is how much they have stolen from the Raw and Living Foods community and yet no mention at all is given to their sources. I realize that noobs would have no idea about it, but the major players (money makers) in the paleo scene have gotten a large majority of their information (and a helluva lotta recipes) from the raw food scene which has been grain and dairy free for several decades now.

    I just sit back and laugh as I watch these post-modern “cave men” stroll with their shopping carts through the aisles of Whole Foods like they’re doing something important.

  6. MC March 6, 2013 at 12:57 am #

    It’s amusing Aiston, how your “philisophical” and spiritual beliefs, foreshadowed your views on diet so seamlessly.

  7. Ondřej March 6, 2013 at 10:55 am #

    2All…read Diet Recovery 2, you need it:-)

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