There are no "combination types'--every type has its own unique logic.
If you're used to other systems for identifying types--Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, the system of somatotypes developed by William Sheldon, you may be used to thinking that there are broad categories and then many combinations. Ayurveda, for example, has three major types of people--Air, Fire, and Earth--and then four combinations (Air-Fire, Fire-Earth, Air-Earth, and a triple type that partakes of all three).
The GenoTypes don't work like that (though they do overlap with some of the types from other systems). Instead, they represent coherent wholes, six self-sustaining efforts to solve the problems of survival that our ancestors encountered.
I think of the GenoTypes as six different types of tractors, each designed to solve the challenge of a particular type of terrain. One tractor is built very high off the ground so that it rolls right over any stones or stumps it encounters. Its weakness, of course, is that it's not always so stable. Another tractor is build low and squat. You couldn't knock it over if you triedâ€”but when it runs up against even a small stone, it's stuck. There's no one model you can invent that will encounter all difficulties equally well.
Likewise, you don't have an infinite number of solutions. Rather, there's a natural limit to the number of solutions and combinations you could come up with. Once you've given yourself a choice between big, small, and medium wheels, and between wide, narrow, and medium tread, you've pretty much exhausted the possibilities of wheel sizeâ€”after that, the differences aren't so significant. And since you can't put giant wide-tread wheels on a small, agile tractor that's built for easy steering, or tiny little wheels on a huge, wide, bulldozer-like tractor, you've got a kind of natural limit to the ways the combinations can come out as well.
'The GenoType Diet" page 111
I think some readers may have difficulty with this idea, since it is almost impossible to have ALL the characteristics of one GenoType and NONE of the characteristics for any of the others, though perhaps our minds would like things to work that way, since we most often think in a bivariate (low number of variables) world, but inhabit a holistic, multivariate world.
The GenoTypes are actually clusters of data characteristics: Genes (like blood type), anthropometrics (like leg length or somatotype) and other traits, such as dermatoglyphics (fingerprints). These traits themselves overlap in their significance; blood types influence somatotype (some, like the A antigen, more than others); fingerprints, a measure of fetal-placental nutrient balance, are also a good indicator of asymmetry, another marker of developmental instability.
Clusters come in two flavors, ones where each datum is limited to one cluster (and one cluster only) and 'fuzzy' clusters in which the data can belong to more than one cluster. The key concept behind the latter is the idea of membership i.e what gets you into a particular cluster (or GenoType). Fuzzy logic allows partial membership in a cluster.
This is usually determined by distances between the data points and variations between the clusters with regard to membership criteria; the closer that two data points are the more likely it is that they will share the same cluster. Distances here can be measured in the normal (Euclidean) way; i.e "it's ten miles to town." or in something called the "Manhattan or Taxicab" method, which, if you've every lived in New York City, DOES qualify as its own unit of measurement.
You keep adding clusters until you hit what is euphemistically called the The Elbow Criterion: a point where adding another cluster doesn't add sufficient information or encompass any more variation. At that point you're done. Initially it looked like there were going to be a LOT of GenoTypes (like, 32!). But then it kept falling: to 16, then 8 and finally 6.
I was hoping for 7 (for good luck) but the elbow kicked in and that was that.
So, if despite the last last five minutes you are still left wondering why are there no combination types, let me give you the simple answer:
They already overlap each other!
We've done some renovations to our kitchen. They were long-needed since the kitchen cabinets came with the house when we purchased it ten years ago, and they weren't all that terrific even back then. Among the great new additions is a stove top exhaust which really does a great job of pulling the smoke out of the kitchen. Unfortunately, because of its height and location, it also does a great job of pulling large amounts of flesh off the top of my head, since with my height, virtually every attempt to reach towards the back burners to wipe up results in an automated appearance at Little Big Horn.
Why do the make these things so deadly? I mean these corners are SHARP. And yet the manufacturers seem to make absolutely no effort to round them off or otherwise de-claw the darn thing. I've taken to wearing a baseball hat around this menace and it got me right through the hat!
2.While we are on the subject of things to villify, I've also decided that I hate Microsoft Excel. Considered to be the de facto champ of spreadsheet world, this bloated piece of junk makes even the simplest things inordinately difficult. I suppose that if you were just using it for monetary things like balancing your checkbook it could suffice, but even that seems so painful, with its arcane rules and tiny window to enter data.
Trying to do any sort of reasonable data analysis, such as one does with statistical work, is an exercise in futility. It finally got to the point that I just gave up and wrote a bunk of single purpose handler programs in Perl, R and Java.On the other hand, some of the packaged statistical programs are ludicrously expensive. I've been doing a lot of statistical work involving multivariate analysis, in particular one method called principle component analysis (PCA).
I found a rather nice shareware program on the internet which allowed an evaluation download, and really liked its simplicity and user interface. Perhaps I should have been tipped off by the fact that no matter how hard I scanned the site, I could not find a purchase price. Rather I was instructed to contact a sales representative â€˜to discuss pricing' (always a bad sign). After sending this gentleman a furtive email, as promised, I was rewarded with a response within 24 hours.His software program cost $4,250.00.At that point I almost felt like going into the kitchen and banging my head into the exhaust canopy.
Later found a much less snazzy program that runs in Excel (!) for $75.00.
My lectures to the Ontario Naturopathic Doctors 2007 Conference went rather well. I built them out of the lectures that I gave at IfHI 2007 and the Grand Rounds Presentation at the UB Naturopathic School. Both the main plenary session and my breakout were very well attended and received. Unfortunately we had no time whatsoever to visit our old haunts in Toronto, although we did manage to get in a visit to a â€˜Roots' outlet. The kids love the sweats and I am quite fond of their wool socks.
Toronto during the winter can have the most amazing gray skies. Due to the lake effect it doesn't get the kind of snow fall that other side of Lake Ontario receives (Rochester, NY for example, has snowfalls of legendary proportions). However, Toronto's nemesis are never ending days and weeks of gray winter skies, which many people consider dreary but I just love. In fact when I lived in Phoenix, AZ I would pine for a cloudy day which are few and far between out there. I once read that the composer Erik Satie never went out in nice weather, but as soon as it would rain, out he went.
I can identify with that.
Some of the moderators on the bulletin boards noticed that the recipe database had been 'hacked' by internet bots intent on leaving hundreds, if not thousands, of entries offering everything from mail-order brides to the possibilities of enlarging virtually any part of your body. Part of the problem was that anyone could enter a recipe in the database, and once these roving ambassadors of malfeasance find an open site they just bombard it relentlessly.
The beat way to deal with these types of attacks is to institute some sort of challenge response test which is usually in the form of some sort of visual recognition scheme. These are usually called "Reverse Turing Tests" after the brilliant, if tortured English math genius Alan Turing and they are now part of the internet landscape:
The basic idea is to prove that you are human, which may be easier for some than others.
Although I have a million other things to do, I suppose my type A mindset kept thinking of new enhancements to the recipe database, one of the more neglected step-children of this website. So why not take a tour of the new and improved recipe area?
This is the basic entry portal. From here you can list, search and display recipes. I'm working on a printer friendly version as well.
Saddened to hear of the passing away of the great Richard Rorty from pancreatic cancer. His book "Contingency Irony and Solidarity" was a big influence on me, giving me a sort of 'permission' to live with my thoughts and ideas without the burden of always having to analyze them to death. Certainly, Rorty's work in this area stemmed from John Dewey, but I alway thought that Rorty said it better, at least to me. In either case, if you think today's 24 hour "news" is actually "News" you may want to read these guys.
"One of the functions of art is to offer a more desirable reality; a model as it were, of another style of existence with its own pace and its own cultural reference."
I've made a note to feature or otherwise mention parts of the website which are obscure or difficult to access but have incredible value. Today's feature is the now-inactive blog of Pumpkin King Jim Garland. Jim is a very bright guy with a lot on his mind. You'll find some cool stuff over there.
Have been playing around with fractals. Although arithmetic, they yield surprisingly organic results. Here are a few images that I developed using a variety of fractal algorithms:
Spent the last two weeks in feverish rewrites of The Genotype Diet. The results appear to be a manuscript that is tighter, better organized and much less 'difficult' to decipher for the average layperson. Very readable, in fact. Something that my new masters at Random House care (not unexpectedly) very much about.
A lot of credit for this must go to Rachel Kranz, who has come in at the eleventh hour and really polished up the work. Rachel has done a lot of good writing (The Chemistry of Joy and the The Fat Resistance Diet are two books that many people are aware of. So now the manuscript is back at Random House editorial offices and I'm hard at work at finalizing the prescriptive parts of the book.
To do that, I wrote a program to help me sort out the myriad factors that are associated with the food values in the Genotype Diet. How different are things from the of Eat Right For Your Type days, where things were just kept in notebooks! For this book, I condensed huge amounts of information into massive data files. These include, to name a few, the mammoth USDA SR19 Nutrient Database and most of it's adjuncts (such as the proanthrocyanidin, isoflavone, flavone and choline metabolites); all of the Lecster lectin database; all of the BTD values, all available data on food contamination, allergens, chitinase, pesticides, carbohydrate breakdown values, etc.
Putting the data together was just part of the job. A lot of this I could do with judicious use of textfiles, databases and spreadsheet editors. After that I still had to write a program, essentially de novo, that could scan that data and derive conclusions that I was interested in. This I did with the D'Adamo Diet Equalizer a tool that allows me to zoom in on specific nutrients and filter them in and out of my equations.
The idea came from working in my home office and listening to iTunes a lot. Every once in a while a song comes up that just requires a little tweaking to get it to sound right. Normally you do this with a device called an equalizer; a series of sliders that filter out parts of the audio spectrum. At one point I was adjusting the built in equalizer in iTunes for the song listed above (a very good approximation of pre-ambient Brian Eno, if truth be told) when it occurred to me that it might just be a cool idea to write a program that used the equalizer interface to filter my data for The Genotype Diets. Thus the D'Adamo Diet Equalizer:
The stuff on the top are switches that filter specific choices; i.e 'restrict all foods which are avoids for blood type AB non secretors and have a high glycemic index" or 'include all grains which don't contain gluten or gliandin which are neutral or beneficial for type O secretors'. That kind of stuff is simple enough to do in Perl and HTML. However, developing the next series of filters, the slider channels, was more difficult, since browsers and HTML don't have a provision for slider-type input. However, I did find a nice Java applet that solved the problem. This part of the software works by allowing me to move the slider up or down and then letting it adjust the choices based upon falls within that range. For example, if I move the sider up it might include all foods with creatine content above 4 mg per 1 cup serving, or restrict all foods which have greater than 350 mg sodium per cup if I move it down. Problem here is that food values vary considerablly between foods. If I make the top of the slider full value the highest value in the database things can get screwy. For example, the highest value for sodium in the database is (perhaps no surprise) salt. It has something like 35000 mg of sodium per cup. Second place is not even removely close. Thus if the top slider number (+50) was just the highest value (salt), all the other values for normal foods would probably lie between 0 and 1. Although this is how a lot of the online nutritional databases present the data, in this form it is not very useful. Fortunately I was able to use a few log functions to spread out the data till it was silky smooth.
It's a cool tool and like any craftsman, I take some pride in the quality of the presentation as well. Actually perhaps too much pride since I eventually have to stop playing with the thing and go to work. The DDE turns out to be very useful in the Clinic, especially when I have to do a quick tweak on a patient who is already following the basic SWAMI program.
Hopefully by IfHI 2007 I'll be in a position to let the folks there tinker with it.
As for the readers of the GTD, they'll see nothing of this. Just a beautiful stretch of road where the gorgeous scenery just seems to go on forever.