Who is Oscar Wilton?
I am a graduate in Modern Languages from the University of Durham, UK. Apart from English I speak French, Spanish and Italian, but there’s no language in the world I wouldn’t learn. A scientist at heart, I place myself in the ’empirical-realist’ camp. While some people think that everything in the world is up for their interpretation, I believe there are objective truths out there if we bother to look for them. As a result I have an unhealthy obsession with absolute scientific fact, and am particularly interested in exercise and nutrition. In addition I love travel and photography, and have visited over 35 different countries as well as lived abroad multiple times. I have an analytical mind and don’t stop until I’ve found the truth, or enough fact that I’m satisfied. People that influence me particularly strongly are: Tim Ferriss, Dave Asprey, Gary Taubes and Ben Goldacre.
Who are you to run a blog without a PhD?
Firstly, a degree is only as good as the contents of the course. I’ll be the first to admit the heterogeneity of language-based degree courses in the UK alone! Aside from politics, culture and history, each institution places a different academic emphasis on grammar versus translation, speaking, reading, writing and interpreting. What interests me with so much in the world is finding perspective on the modern era with respect to current development status as compared to the almost limitless potential for future development. Put another way, it is all too easy to get caught up in the present, and think that the world is so technologically advanced today that most things are right and can’t be improved a great deal. This is perfectly encapsulated by Charles H.Duell’s comment:
“Everything which can be invented has been invented”
Clearly mistaken, but when did he say this? No later than 1899. Yes, the 19th century! But what about the Internet, airplanes, or mobile phones? With retrospect this conjecture is clearly laughable, but it shows how existing in the present can distort people’s attitudes and shape preconceptions and misconceptions. Equally, today’s technology will look at least as weak by comparison to that of a century’s time. My point is that the truth can sometimes be very different from what we think we know. In his typically colloquial tone, Mark Twain eruditely said:
“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”
Mainstream nutritional advice is one huge area where this unfortunate state of misconception is painfully prevalent, and our future selves will laugh at the terribly naive denizens of the early 21st century. With a vast amount of reading of alternative hypotheses, I feel, rightly or wrongly, well placed to comment on mainstream nutritional recommendations; often better placed than a significant smack of would be dieticians who frequently fill the Internet with poorly written, poorly researched articles, replete with misguided logic and false conclusions. Few are those who analyse topics in enough depth and with enough skepticism to remain scientifically rigorous and objective. One such person with an exemplary approach to reliable fact-establishment is Gary Taubes, journalist for the New York Times and author of Bad Science (1993), and Good Calories Bad Calories (2007) amongst other, thought provoking, conventional wisdom-denying works.
My objective with everything in life is to understand things for myself, remain open to new alternatives, and ask questions. Why do we eat three meals per day? Is time travel possible? Is democracy the best form of government? On that point, Winston Churchill famously said that ‘democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time’! Essentially, I like to think for myself. Can you blame me?
That said, I wish not to disqualify the legitimacy of qualifications in general. Of course not. If I did I would hardly have persisted with full-time education. I believe the majority of modern endeavour is well worth the time, money and effort spent on it. But crucially, this does not lead to infallibility. I could, like Gillian McKeith, send off for a PhD by post from a non-accredited institution in the US, and lie to my readers about my qualifications. My goal however is not to deceive, but educate; to open people’s minds to alternatives, to encourage critical thinking.
This blog is the fruit of my psychological endeavours, a look into my way of thinking about nutrition, health, diet, and exercise. I update the articles constantly as the research reveals new truths or expels old myths. Enjoy…
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