The Hacker News Sacred Cow: The Unhealthy Lifestyle of The Average Geek
Any time I comment on Hacker News, I get some positive karma. Or whatever the fake Internet points are called on that site. Sometimes quite a lot of points.
However, yesterday I dared to comment on how computer geeks are, in general, blind to their health. And I had the audacity to link to my smoothie video. This is a video where I show how to use real food--fruits, vegetables, flax seeds, etc.--to make a super anti-oxidant smoothie. I was accused of being "self-promotional," and down-voted to oblivion.
Self-promotional...which is a laugh. I have no product. I have nothing for sale. I don't even have a small advert on my video. Nothing. It's just simply nothing more than me sharing some thoughts in a higher bandwidth format than typing into a comment box on a website. (And never mind the fact that any comment made by anyone promotes his thoughts, his ideas, his agenda, etc.)
It was also implied that I'm a liar, because I claimed that if someone eats this thing once a day, he will feel better. I claim this on the basis of a 100% success rate with every person I've ever introduced this to, up to and including my father, who I taught how to eat vegetarian, and who is now off insulin because of it (last I checked).
Here's what I think: I don't think they think I'm a liar, and I don't think they really think I'm out shilling some product or whatever. I think I dared to touch upon the sacred cow: you don't tell geeks they're doing it wrong. You just don't. Because every single person on Hacker News is the "smartest person in the room." Always. At all times. 100%, no exceptions. Meaning: if they're not already enjoying the benefits of healthy eating, then that's because it's just a myth and there's no real value there. Because, after all, if it were valuable, then the smartest person in the room would already have known about it, and would already be doing it, right?
And in general, over the years of reading and commenting (mostly just reading, mostly not even registered), I have seen this pattern over and over. It's straight-up denial. It's a belief that, when it comes to food and lifestyle (including exercise), that somehow it doesn't apply to us geeks.
We see our pasty, doughy, sickly selves in the mirror and somehow just deny the obviousness of the truth. We then armor ourselves against anything that might pierce our bubble of denial, so as to protect our inflated egos. I say "we" and "our" because I'm not so different, either. It's just that, for various reasons, years ago I saw the light re: health and fitness.
Unfortunately, the average geek is waiting for a technological solution. Some means or some way or some reason why he doesn't have to be accountable to and for himself. A magic pill. Some kind of well-reasoned argument that he can quarterback from his armchair and say "yeah, that will work, and I won't have to make any changes in my lifestyle!" Doomed to failure, of course.
It's a great sadness. The end. - Joel