This is my first ever official endorsement of a celebrity. For some reason I’m leery of the practice. I usually stick to endorsing my friends. Maybe I tend to side with Lord Acton; great men are almost always ethically compromised men. Becoming a household name generally requires you to leave some people and principles in your dust. It’s the price of fulfilling such extreme ambition.

But what the heck. This guy deserves it. Micheal Pollan is a hero. His writing is thoughtful and his ideas are important. He is doing exactly what I would like to be doing if I were a journalist: writing great, thoroughly researched books about food, eating, and agriculture, and selling millions of copies of them. Well, it would be nice if those millions of copies were printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper, but I can’t lay much of the blame for that on him. There’s Penguin Press, his publisher, and… well, a whole host of things. That’s another rant entirely.

Here’s Michael Pollan, interviewed by Amy Goodman. His new eating guideline is “Don’t buy any food that you’ve ever seen advertised.” Watch the clip. It’s good.

You know what? While I’m at it, I’m going to endorse Amy Goodman, too. I’ve just started exploring the Democracy Now! archives, and she seems like a hero too. Here and here she is interviewing Noam Chomsky. Hmm… How about Noam Chomsky? He was largely responsible for the fall of the behaviorists from control of experimental psychology, which was definitely a good thing. I don’t think he’s been able to accept the way some of his linguistics ideas have not held up to scientific scrutiny, but I don’t hold that against him much. They were great ideas, they just didn’t all pan out. He was one of the first people to get me to wonder why I would value the welfare of people living in America over that of people living in other places. I like the way he describes the complexity and the interests of all sides in international affairs. He reminds me of Buckminster Fuller in that way. He sees the systems.

It’s past my bedtime, but let me add Buckminster Fuller to the list. He decided to make his life into an experiment: What could he accomplish if he dedicated his life 100% to the welfare of human beings? Some would say the answer was ‘Not much,’ and it’s true that his inventions, while creative, have not had much of an impact on human welfare, but he lived with such integrity and such devotion and developed a truly world-centric view. He has been an inspiration to me. I checked around youtube and couldn’t find a decent clip. If you’re interested, check out a lecture of his called “Only Integrity is Going to Count.” I think you can get it as an audiobook.

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