I stopped posting on Paleodrama because I realized bigotry and pseudoscience were so deeply embedded in the paleo community that nothing was going to change.

Paleodrama: Why I stopped posting on my blog highlighting pseudoscience and bigotry in the paleo community

I occasionally get comments here with the insinuation that I stopped posting on paleodrama because I "lost" or realized "boys will be boys." I didn't stop posting, though I rarely post there now. For the uninitiated, paleodrama was created to highlight incidents of sexism and other bigotry in the "paleo" community, as well as the most obvious examples of pseudoscience. It was created after years of silence, where I attempted to resolve these issues among the people who are considered leaders of the "paleo" community. I guess writing that last sentence I realize a huge issue – the fact that there are "leaders" in the first place. The reason that there are is that "paleo" went from a niche community aiming to explore the role of evolutionary biology in informing modern health decisions to a business enterprise. It's a business enterprise that essentially repackages the now-stagnant ideas from that original paleo movement over and over again, with some incorporation of other diet movements.

Look at the dozens of paleo books that come out every year. Which of them contain original ideas? I receive a lot of them from publishers and ones with original ideas are very rare. It's an exercise in how many times people can re-write older works like 2010's Food and Western Disease: Health and Nutrition from an Evolutionary Perspective. And usually re-write it badly, incorporating all manner of popular pseudoscience. Or just simplifying it and targeting it towards a specific market. Paleo for People Who Love Cats anyone? I'm surprised that isn't a book yet.

And the people who are good at doing that are the leaders. Social relations between various leaders, not people's accomplishments, are the main nucleus of the community. Inter-community criticism dies and any perceived threat to that network is quashed. And a threat includes pointing out that someone in that network promotes pseudoscience or bigotry. This is worsened by extensive social ties to other virulent movements such as the pick-up artists, "racial realists," and other assorted fringe movements. 

Stagnancy reigns as new ideas are seen as threats to the status quo. Each "new" writing is just an echo that comforts those who have already accepted their monolithic principles. Problems cannot be cast out, so they fester and poison everything. For a time I believed this could change and even had some discussions with leaders about changing it, but it was heavily resisted.

I have worked in tech for much of my adult life and there are huge issues with sexism in that community, but they really pale in comparison to what I experienced in the "paleo" community. Sexism in tech is an obstacle, but so much of your status is tech is based on accomplishments. And women have made huge strides in contributing to open source software, at least in the niches I have worked, which has really improved the situation there. You can't do that in paleo because it is not an accomplishment-based community. It is a marketing-based community. While good for the dollar bottom line, it's bad for integrity, but at least means I lose little by not participating.