The Rise of Digital Pseudonymity: Why CA is Pseudonymous
Carnivore Aurelius isn’t a person. Carnivore Aurelius is an idea.
It’s a conceptualization of the power of the internet. And it is unstoppable.
Why am I anonymous?
Because I don’t want anything to ever hold me back from speaking the truth.
Anonymity is the ultimate enabler of free speech. It is symbolic of what the internet was meant to be: a pure idea meritocracy.
No ego. No identity. No hidden motives. All truth.
The following is an obituary of old world institutions.
Carnivore Aurelius has had an explosive rise.
A decentralized, pseudonymous account is clashing with old world institutions.
A battle that has all but just begun.
But why is Carnivore Aurelius pseudonymous? Don’t expertise still matter? Who would trust someone hiding behind a screen?
In the pre internet era, identity and truth were intertwined. Something was considered true as a function of who said it.
Expertise mattered. But being an “expert” with credentials mattered more.
Today, more than ever, we are witnessing that identity is no longer synonymous with truth. Expertise still matters. But being an “expert” with credentials does not.
If anything, identity is increasingly in conflict with truth. Identity injects principal agent issues where the safety net of authority allows someone to mislead their acolytes. Identity and “expertise” engendered false confidence in the USDA, AHA who presided over the biggest health disaster of the last century.
Identity and “authority” subjugates the merit of each idea to secondary importance.
Pseudonymity creates a pure meritocracy of ideas, completely removing ego from the equation. And without ego, the carnivore aurelius hive mind is able to produce the most objectively true heartbeat of information at all times.
In the post internet era, as we will explore, identity and truth have been decoupled. The internet catalyzed this shift from an authority laden world to one where substance is paramount. Carnivore Aurelius is the embodiment of this tectonic shift.
There have recently been calls for us to reveal our identity. This article will discuss why those interested in truth and the health of the nation have our pseudonymity in their best interest. Whereas those entrenched in old institutions, siphoning money away through corruption most definitely do not.
The rise of Carnivore Aurelius is the fall of old world institutions. But it will benefit everybody, except the corrupt.
Before The Internet
Before the internet, large institutions created and controlled narratives. Information was scarce and asymmetric. Those who possessed the requisite information had a monopoly on it, and big institutions and experts were synonymous. In the pre-internet era, big signified trustworthy and people blindly flocked to these “trusted experts.”
This was all based on the premise that experts had special knowledge or talent that justified the trust people placed in them.
At the time, this was partially true; information was scarce and barriers to access were rampant.
Doctors and researchers were the only ones with access to the germane health studies. Banks had privileged economic information to protect your wealth. Professors had access to private libraries, and universities aggregated research papers and journals (University of California paid $12m for access to research papers, for instance).
The individual had no chance of outsmarting the institution because they didn’t have the access or the resources. And this was fine – until the institutions betrayed the trust placed in them by the people.
When they had your complete and total devotion, they used their privileged place of authority to line their pockets instead of supporting their acolytes.
Without permeating the molten core of these institutions, there was no way to verify the results for yourself. The top-down control structure precluded individual access.
Over time, these power structures ossified and were permeated by corrupt forces.
The public was lulled into complacency, and the powers stultified the hierarchies and used their positions of power for their own gain. Without a modicum of accountability, these elites were corrupted into pushing corporate agendas.
Society is built on “foundational” truths, but the creation and spread of these truths was controlled by institutions and elites. There was no dialogue – rather, truths were created by the institutions and disseminated through their channels.
For a while, they were able to get away with it. Then along came the internet.
The Explosion of Information: A Shift From Scarcity to Abundance
The internet — specifically the distributed web — has hemorrhaged this power structure. The creation of the internet has led to a tsunami of information. Before the web, there were a handful of information sources to turn to: rusted newspapers, trusted TV channels, and trusted universities.
This all changed with the internet. In 2002, we produced two times the information of all of history COMBINED. This same pattern held for every year thereafter.
Information went from scarce to abundant. A large portion of this information was nonsense, but somewhere hidden deep within the tangled mess was the truth. And the disturbing fact was that, a lot of the time, these truths contradicted what the elites said the truth was.
Because of increased transparency and the glare of social media, corruption and misinformation could no longer hide in the shadows.
The sunlight of the internet revealed that many leaders are morally bankrupt and incompetent. The internet betrayed their authority and showed that they don’t hold any special knowledge that justifies their power.
We have entered an unprecedented era in which the monopoly on information has been destroyed. Individuals are now able to fact-check every single claim institutions make, and we have the power to both create and destroy narratives.
The internet places power back in the hands of the individual. No longer can a truth be suppressed because it’s not laden with the right credentials.
The Fall of the Institution
With the rise of the internet, we are witnessing a tectonic shift in power. People don’t trust authority like they used to, and the establishment doesn’t control the industry like it once did. This decline is giving rise to a new breed of internet natives who follow a playbook against which the establishment cannot compete.
The tsunami of information is washing away old world institutions, turning them into cartoon versions of their former selves — useless in today’s world.
The internet is doing to large institutions what cars did to the horse. The car isn’t just a faster horse and buggy; it put all the horses out of business. And for good reason.
In fact, we’re gradually seeing some credentials turn into a negative indicator.
All of these “trusted individuals” presided over the greatest destruction of health in history. They presided over a staggering rise in cancer, diabetes, obesity, and depression. They precipitated the largest increase in wealth inequality in history and one of the biggest financial crises since 1929.
This tsunami is a welcome change for everyone but the old guard.
Before, only expert institutions had access to information. Now, one Google search can do what used to cost a university $10 million.
Hyper-efficient, empowered individuals are striking down large goliath institutions. Recently, a 14-year-old built a fusion reactor — something that would have been unfathomable before the internet.
We’re in the midst of an unprecedented reversal of power dynamics. A world in which idea and execution matter more than “authority.” If the fusion reactor works, it works. It doesn’t matter if the creator had a pHd.
Social media turns every individual into a news anchor – Those who prevail will do so on their merit.
The Health and Science Crisis
The modern health crisis epitomizes this trend.
Ancel Keys and the anointed AHA and USDA ostensibly had your health interests in mind in the 1950s. The government conferred authority on these institutions, and with the combination of capital and expertise, they were tasked with solving the health crisis.
Using their expertise, the USDA told you they could improve your health by outsmarting evolution.
Ancel Keys studied 22 countries and Europe and found the “solution” — it was red meat and saturated fat causing disease. Foods we’ve been eating for millions of years.
He was heralded as a hero and put on the cover of Time magazine. His findings were cemented into nutrition textbooks. The USDA built an entire dietary edifice around his conclusion.
But this accepted truth would turn out to be faker than soy-based meat, and the results were disastrous.
In 1957, Perushalmy and Hilleboe presented a more comprehensive study with more countries included.
France, Switzerland and Chile were outliers with high fat consumption but low instances of heart disease – all left out of Keys’ study. With all 22 countries included, there was no longer any statistical significance.
Because we put blind faith in these institutions, nobody questioned how it could possibly be appropriate to go against millions of years of evolution to cure a brand new disease. Nobody questioned how we could even find a “solution” to a complex, nonlinear system like health.
The truth is quite sordid.
The AHA, one of the primary proponents of the diet-heart hypothesis, was launched by a $17 million donation from Procter and Gamble — the manufacturers of Crisco. Naturally, they promoted seed oils, of which P&G was the biggest purveyor.
Today, the reach goes even further. All promoters of high-carb diets are funded by corporations interested in maintaining the status quo.
Newly released documents show that the Sugar Research Foundation paid three Harvard Scientists ~$50,000 each to publish a paper shifting the blame from sugar to fat. The studies were published in the New England Journal of Medicine — a prestigious journal — and were pivotal in USDA guidelines [*]
Mark Hegstead, one of the scientists who was paid off by the sugar industry, would later become the head of nutrition at the USDA, where he helped with early stages of the food pyramid.
The USDA and AHA had a principal-agent problem; they were more interested in lining their own pockets than protecting your health.
Pre-internet, it would have been impossible to reveal the extent of this corruption. Even post-internet, it’s still pretty hard. But the web has opened a crack just wide enough to burrow inside.
Even most of the studies themselves are pseudoscientific nonsense.
The two most prominent journals of medicine are the Lancet and New England Journal of Medicine, and even they will freely admit that a lot of what they publish is incorrect.
In 2015, Richard Horton, editor in chief of Lancet, stated the following:
“The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue.” [*]
Across the board, institutions are failing and the individual is fighting back.
Part 2: The Internet Will Transform Society In Its Own Image
The Ultimate Power Inversion
“Social media allows the masses to bypass the Mass Media, gatekeeper of the elites. Anti-establishment candidates are the future.” – Naval
Every great change in information has profound implications for society’s social and political structure. We create technology. Then technology creates us.
Like a magic wand, it transforms everything around us.
This has happened before. With the rise of the printing press, the individual confronted the monstrosity of the predatory Catholic church. Martin Luther used his 95 theses to question the Church’s parasitic authority, ultimately returning religious control to the individual.
This spawned an unprecedented era for individual freedom — but also a tremendous war between the old guard and the new.
Similarly, self-taught autodidacts are confronting traditional hierarchies.
This conflict will come to a head as old hierarchies try to force their incumbent, sclerotic frameworks on this new decentralized hive network. They’ll wield their typical weapon of credentials: “You’re not credentialed.” “You didn’t go to Harvard.”
But like showing up to a gunfight with a knife, showing up to an internet fight with credentials is a recipe for disaster.
A credential is not the north star in the decentralized web. Truth is.
The internet is an autonomous system that promotes the most salient information. Not always true but always relevant, the information filters information post-production instead of pre-publication.
The internet is a pure meritocracy, whereas the pre-internet world was more of an inherited aristocracy.
Horse-and-buggy professors, doctors and nutritionists say meat will kill you. But meatheals.com, a blog launched for almost no cost, features thousands of testimonials about meat revitalizing health. Twitter has surfaced thousands more anecdotes of people curing lifelong depression, reversing cancer and losing 100+ pounds doing the exact opposite of what people with credentials promote.
“For real people, if something works in theory, but not in practice, it doesn’t work. For academics, if something works in practice, but not in theory, it doesn’t exist.” — Nassim Taleb
This is the digital equivalent of the Thirty Years’ War. What is the point of a health credential if it ends up making people sicker?
The web is characterized by instant feedback loops, the old world by slow, sclerotic bureaucracy that takes years to reflect new information.
The Rise Of Digital Pseudonymity
“There are only two ways of telling the complete truth–anonymously and posthumously.”
― Thomas Sowell
Carnivore Aurelius isn’t a single person. Carnivore Aurelius is an idea.
It’s an idea that represents our tectonic cultural shift, a check on health institutions. It’s a distributed channel of information, and its heartbeat is the success stories of anti-establishment diets. Each time the Carnivore Aurelius heart beats, traditional institutions erode.
We’re not the first to come to this realization. Enlightenment figures like Voltaire and Ben Franklin were prolific users of hundreds of pseudonyms.
Ben Franklin realized that the only true way to relentlessly question authority is from a position of pseudonymity.
Anonymous publication has been an essential facet of American democracy since the beginning. It was at the heart of the debate that ultimately yielded the Constitution and Bill of Rights: Thomas Paine, John Dickinson, Alexander Hamilton, Arthur Lee, John Jay, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison all wrote with pseudonyms during the American revolution.
To reconstruct and transmute power, pseudonymity is required.
Carnivore Aurelius is represented by a decentralized rising class of self-taught individuals.
Satoshi Nakomoto, with the release of Bitcoin in 2008, is the forefather of this trend. Without pseudonymity and complete decentralization, bitcoin would have been squashed like its thousands of predecessors. It doesn’t matter if Satoshi got a pHd in monetary economics or computer science – it matters if a credible path was presented to separate money from state.
Bronze Age Pervert, Zero HP Lovecraft, Thibaut, the Stoic Emperor, Illimitable Men, and LifeMathMoney are all part of this unstoppable force.
The world is moving towards a digital pseudonymous economy as Balaji Srinivasan explains here.
Like Ben Franklin, I consider it beneath me to put my real name on this. Sure, I personally might be more popular and get more credit, but the Carnivore Aurelius hive mind would suffer.
Benefits of Carnivore Aurelius Pseudonymity
Why is Carnivore Aurelius pseudonymous? How could a pseudonymous account possibly garner this much attention and loyalty seemingly out of nowhere?
The internet was always meant to be a pure, peer-to-peer idea meritocracy.
The old world is represented by appeals to authority, but the new world is represented by appeals to merit and truth.
A credential no longer matters. “Expertise” no longer matters. Right and wrong does. An uncredentialed truth is better than a falsehood backed by four degrees.
It’s pure open-source information. If you don’t trust it, run the code yourself.
The purest expression of an idea meritocracy is complete pseudonymity, as it strips away the deference to special knowledge that typified the old world.
“Experts” are an old-world concept, but expertise is not.
Expertise is still necessary to distill information, but appeals to authority corrupt the argument. Without these relics, truth and beauty will rise to the top.
A name isn’t necessary in a pure free market of ideas, just like it’s not when you pay someone at the local market. The currency is truth.
The only way for pseudonymous ideas to gain popularity is for them to be beneficial. On the other hand, corrupt and decrepit old world ideas could spread based on their appeals to authority alone. Would Ancel Keys’ ideas ever have spread if he and the AHA were pseudonymous? I’d guess they’d be dismissed as the quacks that they are.
Pseudonymity creates a pure idea meritocracy, allowing the best to rise to the top.
Our follower count is a signpost for how valuable our content is — not how popular Carnivore Aurelius is.
Content > identity. That is the beauty of the internet.
By stripping identity from the equation, every idea is dissected as a standalone cadaver instead of one supported by our past. Every single claim I make must withstand the brutal market of ideas, and there’s no identity to fall back on. After all, identity is so often a safety net that allows you to get away with fiction.
This is the purest form of idea capitalism.
In today’s world, the only way to be completely honest is by being anonymous. It is why I can and do question “carnivore experts.” If your argument hinges on how long you’ve been a carnivore rather than principles, evidence, and anecdotes — it’s not a good one. That’s archaic ideology bubbling back to the surface. The only way to have zero ego in an argument is to have no identifiable self.
This abstraction of identity allows us to not worry about reputation or social status, instead enabling us to focus freely on the content and merit of our ideas.
Name is an asset that we do not want to leverage. It precludes the objective dissection and permits prejudgement of ideas.
Yes, this is uncomfortable. Your eyes have been closed, and now you’re squinting in a glaring pseudonymous light. When faced with uncertainty, most people latch onto the familiar.
Their eyes are glued to the rearview mirror instead of the road ahead. They’re one step behind, clinging onto the past.
But if you remove your pre-internet tinted glasses, you’ll see the future. And the future is a pseudonymous online democracy of information.
The rise of Carnivore Aurelius is the fall of old world institutions.
The only way to expand the Overton window is to be completely outside of it. Anonymity knocks the armchair experts out of their seats and leaves room for nothing but unadulterated truth.
Don’t Trust, Verify — The Carnivore Aurelius Hive Network
Similar to Bitcoin, the Carnivore Aurelius code should not be trusted. The only way to trust our information is to verify it for yourself by running the code.
Carnivore Aurelius is an open-source hive network. If our code doesn’t result in physical and metaphysical life improvements, do not run it.
Carnivore Aurelius is a playground for experimentation, a new type of network. It’s not the NYTimes, nor is it a book. Carnivore Aurelius is not producing patented, trademarked op-eds, we’re aggregating and synthesizing digital bits of health knowledge.
Ownership of information is an anachronism on the digital hivemind of the web. The Carnivore Aurelius network shares everything.
Information is our fuel, and our content is our heartbeat. Others take in this information, ingest it and transform it into life force.
Pre-internet, Carnivore Aurelius would have been impossible. A porcelain statue couldn’t go on CNN to expound on the benefits of meat eating. But because of the merit of our ideas, the internet age has allowed us to thrive.
The internet allows for an unparalleled two-way interaction. If the Carnivore Aurelius heartbeat is wrong, I expect it to be questioned. And if rightfully questioned, Carnivore Aurelius would be in a position to rapidly iterate and fix a vulnerability in the code. This is the power of the web. Carnivore Aurelius is not an authority that people blindly refer to. Each and every day, the ideas Carnivore Aurelius puts out are exposed to the brutal free market of ideas. Sink or swim. There’s no life raft of identity to latch onto.
Everything I release is brutally dissected, and this is only possible because of anonymity. This is a pure democracy of information.
On the Fragility of Ego
Our capacity to achieve greatness is limited by how much we value our own egos.
In its most extreme form, the ego is a veil that prevents us from seeing the truth. The veil can be blinding, and it often morphs into a dangerous compass on which we base our decisions.
Do I choose popularity over truth? Do I choose wealth over morals? Would I rather be right with the crowd than wrong by myself?
Ego-driven decisions inevitably lead to destruction, first of oneself and then of society. Naturally, “trusted experts” who have built their entire empire on who they are rather than what they say can very easily fall into a trap of exclusively making decisions that feed and benefit the ego.
“Whatever will make me feel better.”
At the individual level, the ego is very fragile. It is wrapping paper for the giant ball of insecurity at the core of every human being. Most people never achieve greatness because they are paralyzed by their own fears: fear of failure, of disapproval. Fear of leaving their comfort zone. Fear of challenging the status quo.
So they’d rather suppress their true beliefs to fit in.
You will only begin to live once you are no longer afraid of what others think of you. For most people, that is easier said than done. So why not eliminate the ability for people to judge you altogether?
By its very design, Carnivore Aurelius has no ego. The ego is a representation of a person’s sense of self-esteem and self-importance. But Carnivore Aurelius isn’t a person – it’s an idea. Therefore, it has no self-esteem, no self-importance to blur its judgment.
I am far from perfect. I’ve made mistakes, and I will surely make mistakes in the future. But I will never be handicapped by my ego’s attempt to cover my mistakes. I want my ideas to be battle-tested for what they are, not for who says them.
The man or woman or people behind Carnivore Aurelius have positioned themselves in a way that makes it impossible to make a decision based on ego.
Without ego, it is easy to change the mind, as the idea of competition becomes non-existent.
Instead of leveraging our following to parade around conferences and monetize our name, we are using it to serve the individual and the ultimate north star of truth.
On Real Skin in the Game
Why would you want to buy products from a pseudonymous account? The products are as transparent as open-source code. The ingredients label is our BIOS, the USDA is the compiler.
If the code corrupts your computer, you uninstall it. If it works, you continue using it. It doesn’t matter who made the last code commit. What matters is whether it benefits you or not.
Pseudonymous and anonymous accounts do, however, come with unique risks. With one mistake, we could vanish like we never existed.
We have real skin in the game in keeping the internet free for dissent. Every single piece of content and product we produce is make or break, and each idea is dissected for its own value, whereas people with names ultimately conform to popularity instead of right or wrong.
Anonymity allows us to completely focus on the ideas and products we put out, unburdened by the “need for respect.” We don’t care for such trivial PR, especially when building an ego on the internet is a virus that ultimately leads to conformity. The real question is why someone uses their real name, not why they are anonymous.
We expect backlash. People have spent $100k+ and the better part of a decade getting a credential that’s been more or less turned into a meme by this new era of pseudonymous hive minds.
Investing capital and time into a pseudonymous business is the ultimate skin in the game. You start from nothing. Absolute ground zero. And you only build based on the ideas you share, not who you are.
Nobody is forced to buy anything we make. If you think it’s unreasonable for someone to buy from an anonymous company, do not buy. This is the beauty of decentralized markets.
We’re all here for the same reason.
It’s time to take matters into your own hands and take back control.
People can get upset all they want. But it doesn’t matter. We don’t have a reputation, all we have is the next piece of information we put out.
The explosion of information has led to a battle of the clans: hierarchical versus networked, industrial versus egalitarian, top-down versus bottom up.
CA has experienced an explosive rise, and this is only the beginning.
Modern information technology has enabled an amateur, anonymous account to break the power hierarchies of the industrial age. As the floodgates of information open, the public, organized on social media networks, is clashing with hierarchical, Industrial-era governments and institutions.
The level of anonymity tolerated is representative of the level of free speech one is willing to accept. The only reason to be fearful of someone anonymous is to be fearful of speech, maybe even of truth.
When digital privacy disappears, free speech goes with it. To all of those people trying to reveal who we are – be careful what you wish for.
Carnivore Aurelius is a distributed truth engine. The heartbeat will flutter with falsehoods. But over time, like a single canonical chain, we will converge on the truth through the checks and balances of the idea market.