Advanced Potty Training to Benefit Everyone & Everything

From what I have learned, some of this is happening. I hope this post encourages more action to benefit everyone and everything.

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Molly Winter’s interesting TED Presentation, “The Taboo Secret to Better Health” discusses the “Taboo” subject of Advanced Potty Training. I was fascinated by her explanation about how we could treat our Pee and Poo differently so we benefit everyone and everything. Her plans explain how reusing Pee & Poo by designing  a system to do what McDonough and Braungart describe as  “Cradle to Cradle” so we “Upcycle” waste. This technique provides a way to convert what was waste into a valuable resource for its next use, which is Upcycling. The techniques she describes also cleans the water, land and air and this negates the need for aded chemicals and fossil fuels. In other words, everyone and everything benefits.

In this post I am happy to highlight innovative solutions that demonstrate how to practice paneugenesis. Winters “Advanced Potty Training” generates comprehensive improvements that have pervasive, reciprocal positive impacts by creating selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

I encourage you to learn about these innovations and how you may want to help them get implemented in your area…

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Harvest Current, Not Ancient Energy

**I would like to thank Alex Hsain,undergraduate researcher in energy harvesting systems at NC State University, for her collaboration in this post.


At the recent 2016 Appalachian Energy Summit, I attended Alex Hsain’s “Energy Scavenging: Small Steps, Big Impacts” presentation about how she was harvesting ambient energy for portable electronic devices and it caused an epiphany, or sudden insight for me. Harvesting energy or energy scavenging is the process by which energy is obtained from  the surrounding environment in order to power small wireless devices. My question, why is  this not what we always do? Let me explain my thoughts.

Harvesting is a process of gathering, collecting or obtaining a resource for future use. Isn’t that what we do when we gather, collect, and obtain energy from the sun or wind to use to power our needs? According to multiple sources, the sun delivers more than enough harvestable energy every day to meet any possible needs. If we also collect wind energy, and energy that can be harvested from ocean currents, we will greatly exceed our energy needs with clean sources.

Instead of harvesting what is delivered to us daily, free of charge, we have embarked on an adventure to dig up hidden energy delivered millions of years ago that we have to burn it to use. Knowing that conserving energy is an evolutionary trait innate to humans, does this make sense? We are seeking the most indirect form of energy by using ancient fossil fuels instead of looking right in our backyard. The motion of our footsteps, the heat our body produces, the acoustics of our voice – all have the possibility to make us more energy independent.

Why are we doing this? An analogy would be to be given food to eat, like picking an apple from a tree, but instead of using that food we choose to find an animal gut, cook and eat. Beyond the data that documents whole food plant based eating provides more personal and planetary health benefits for humans than animal sources, why take the extra effort?

I understand there are taste issues with food, but why are we not only expending more effort than necessary to meet our energy needs, we also are giving energy companies the power to control our lives. Of course the even more important, often ignored issue is that the extra effort we must expend to get to the ancient energy or for that matter animal based foods, causes more damage than benefits received. I support energy independence that comes from utilizing a network of key technologies, working in parallel.

Lets all become independent energy generates or Robert F. Kennedy Jr. often discusses. Hear Kennedy’s presentation here from the 2015 Appalachian Energy Summit.


Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Based on Your Data – Here is YOUR Personal Profile

I have done a personal analysis of you and here is what I discovered:

You have a need for other people to like and admire you, and yet you tend to be critical of yourself. While you have some personality weaknesses, you are generally able to compensate for them. You have considerable unused capacity that you have not turned to your advantage. Disciplined and self-controlled on the outside, you tend to be worried and insecure on the inside. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety and become dissatisfied  when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. You also pride yourself on being an independent thinker and do not accept others’ statements without satisfactory proof. But you have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. At times you are extroverted, affable, and sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary and reserved. Some of your aspirations tend to be rather unrealistic.

Was that an accurate analysis? Did it describe you?

According to David McRaney, in his book, “You are not so smart: Why you have too many friends on Facebook, why your memory is mostly fiction, and 46 other ways you’re deluding yourself“, it describes everyone. He explains that the above statements come from a 1948 experiment by Bertram R.  Forer. In this experiment he told the students that they had been individually assessed and then gave everyone the same analysis. The students rated the analysis as 85% correct even though the above analysis was just a collection of statements Forer pulled from  horoscopes (Forer, 1949).

These findings support the idea that we are more similar than we are different. We are all almost genetically identical. It also suggests our efforts would be best used discovering the values we share with others and how we can work together on achieving those values, rather than finding reasons why and how we are different. These findings also make me wonder, as seen on quotes in Pinterest, Who are you really? In the essay below, Madison Kuhn offers some thoughts…


To me this says, with effort, we can become what we choose to work at becoming. These efforts also will help us forge a personally meaningful existence (see Meaningless Post). Will we be perfect and will that state be permanent? Perfect probably in spots, but not for long and certainly not permanent. We are always evolving into what we want to be. We must remember this is good because we are most satisfied when we feel like we are making progress toward internally generated goals that match our values. Progress is what we are after…This means as we do what helps us make progress, this is when we will be at our best. Our life then is our own personal pursuit of continuous and never ending improvement.

I define this as experiencing wellness. For me, wellness is progress – see discussion here and how it is not just the opposite of loneliness. I look forward to enjoying your company as we each get to where and who we work and desire to be. Many of these posts are stories of how to make this happen. I encourage you to explore past posts about urban gardeners and what others are doing and how their efforts benefits everyone and everything.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Amazing Olympics and the Dunning-Kruger Effect!


Wow, the athletes in the Olympics were amazing. I was a swimmer and I remember thinking when I was young that I could be an Olympian. I was able to go from novice to amateur to decent in a few years. However to be able to get to the level of  a Michael Phelps was a bigger difference. It is this misunderstanding that is explained by the  The Dunning–Kruger Effect. (link takes you to Wikipedia explanation of Dunning-Kruger Effect)

Charles Darwin captured this effect well in a quote:

    Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge…

The effect is a cognitive bias or an irrational way of believing that although a person only has poor skills, they actually believe they are very good. I remember seeing this effect on American Idol when the singers thought they were very good but were not. William Hung, demonstrated this effect in video below, even admitting, he had no professional training.

This effect explains why people sometimes believe they are much better at something than they really are. Dunning and Kruger’s work suggested this happens when people are unable to accurately evaluate their own skills. Evidence indicates this may happen because people compare themselves only to peers or other lower skilled people. For instance, although I was a decent swimmer, I mostly compared myself to colleagues, however if I compared myself to Olympic swimmers it would have caused me to change my evaluation.

The other interesting finding from this work was that they also found that highly skilled people sometimes underestimate their relative confidence. For skilled people, they may believe that skills they have mastered because of their practice and experience are also easy for others. Olympic athletes may be able to stay humble because they continually compare themselves to other highly skilled athletes, not those of the general populace.

I sometimes saw this with my daughters who became very skilled at gymnastics or school work because of hours of practice. I can remember situations, when to their surprise, others were not as capable as they were. In these situations I had to remind them that they are able to do those skills well because of the many hours of practice they had already accumulated. Now I know this was the Dunning Kruger Effect.

Wikipedia offered this explanatory quote from Dunning and Kruger:

    The miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others.


A personal understandable example had come from my work life. Although the end product of years of work comes out fairly simple, the simple looking result was the byproduct of years of work. A smart colleague shared, in time, brilliant insight becomes obvious and it this means it is hard to understand why others don’t understand as you do. However, it is at this time that I work to remind myself about the years of work it took to  come to that insight.

As another example, even though I had done a thesis, a dissertation and other research projects, it was not until I was teaching research methods, and thought about what I did, that I truly understood. Another smart colleague, in a short sentence helped me understand. She explained it to me that Confucius statement was incomplete. He said:


She explained, you truly understand when you think about what you have done.

To Really Understand

I have found this to be true, it is only after I think about what I have done and why what I did worked out the way it did that I truly understand. It also only after I think about what I did that I am able to explain it to others. I look forward to learning from you about how we can create interactions to benefit everyone and everything.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!


Growing Healthier Food, People, & Communities


Urban Farmer Creates Growing Power

The success story of Will Allen is similar to my former post, Urban Farmer Puts Selfish, Selfless, Synergy in Action. This post however is about former basketball star Will Allen’s Growing Power organization. His book, The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People and Communities provides more detailed information about this successful ongoing project.

His efforts, some outlined in video’s below, demonstrates how someone can take action to create healthy food, provide jobs, nutrition, self-worth and value in ways that benefit everyone. His persistence toward creating the greater good has created a movement that benefits all and gives back to our environment.

A super impressive part of these efforts is how he grows healthy soil and also uses it to provide heat and energy without any waste – like nature. I encourage all to learn more about his beneficial efforts to see how he is generating comprehensive improvements by creating interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Tree’s to Nuts to People – ALL Connected SuperCooperators


The hypothesis that the earth is one organism with many INTERDEPENDENT parts makes sense to me. This is also called the Gaia Hypothesis. Here is information from James Lovelock who claims to be originator of Gaia Theory. Previously we may not have understood this because we sought independence with the every man/women for him/herself philosophy. This may have been because we did not have evidence of how we are all connected. The lack of available evidence was misleading. As Nassim Taleb explains in his book Black Swan,

Absence of evidence is often confused with evidence of its absence.

In the book he cites previous advice not to breast feed our babies because they did not have evidence of its benefit. It was mistakenly believed that because they could not see the benefits, the meant there were no benefits. Of course now we better understand benefits, with many still unknown, to infants who receive milk from their mother after birth.

The absence of evidence of benefits being confused with evidence of its absence is now playing a role in forestry. As Suzanne Simard describes in her TED Talk, “How Trees Talk to Each Other”, she documents how diverse trees are INTERDEPENDENT and help each other. These findings also seem to document, once again, how everything on earth his interdependent suggesting efforts to create interactions so everyone and everything benefits helps us create comprehensive improvements.


Martin Nowak documents, just as Ms. Simard explains, we are not competitors and when we collaborate and work as cooperators with others and the environment benefits ensue.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Phenotype Plasticity – We Shape Our Future

We respond, adjust and adapt based on environmental stressors. The big issue Daniel Lieberman discusses in his book, The Story of the Human Body : Evolution, Health, and Disease, are how the stressors, what was present in our environment, shaped us into who we are today. He explains how the cultural revolution has outpaced biological revolution and is now the driving force. The reason our environment is so important and a driving force is because it shapes us and has added meaning to the idea of plasticity.


This book also explains why and how so much of the work by a variety of people relate. It explains why doing certain things or creating specific environment Nudges, as described by Thaler and Sustein, pushes our bodies to respond, adapt and change because of our reaction to present stressors.

The idea of plasticity is getting a lot of press lately. A lot of news has been shed about brain plasticity and how the brain continues to evolve and change based on its environmental stressors. Examples are shown from meditators and how their brains have changed because of their meditation practices. We also hear all the time about people doing things that were supposedly impossible. Of course impossibility is a situational statement.

Those impossibility statements mean it is impossible based on what we know and can do now, TODAY. At one time flying, going to the moon, running the 4 minute mile, and even making video calls was thought to be impossible. Even the late Christopher Reeves, who played Superman in the movies, who was paralyzed in a horsing accident, taught himself to walk again, something supposedly impossible.

To me what this means is that we have to be creators of the environment we want, not passive consumers. In other words we must create an environment that nurtures, supports, encourages, and reinforces factors that create a desirable future. Some examples Lieberman shares in his book of how what we do shapes what we become relate to issues with our feet, our teeth, obesity and diabetes which he argues does not have to be our evolutionary destiny.

He explains in detail we evolved to move and stress our body through movement. He demonstrates how our movements helped us realize our potential by creating strengths and abilities that were built in but not yet developed. With regard to feet, he suggests orthotics or other shoes that soften the stress on our foot only worsens any problems by weakening rather than strengthening our feet. He says we should work to develop strength in our feet and then our foot muscles will not become strained and inflamed, which he explains is the cause of the pain.

In a personal example, my girls got warts on their feet from hours and hours of gymnastics. To treat the wart the doctor burned the the bottom of the wart. I asked why and she said that doing so ignites our own immune system and then immune system treats the wart. I am sure there is more to it but sure enough, within a week the warts were gone. This is another example to show how our body adapts adjusts and correspondingly reacts to the environmental stressors, a burn in this case.


To me one of the most interesting issues he discussed focused on teeth. Of course we have more cavities today because we eat more sugar and starches than in our evolution because of farming, but we have created a remedy – dentists. What I found very educational was when he says data suggests our jaws have become 5-10% smaller over the last few thousand years because our food is easy to chew from processing. He cites data that indicates if we stressed our jaw more during our youth with vigorous chewing, even sugar free gum chewing, our jaws would be bigger. If our jaws were bigger, it would eliminate the need for the common practice of wisdom teeth removal. After all, why would we have evolved to have more teeth than our jaw could hold. Our ancestors did not have dentists who removed wisdom teeth – because there was no need. On a personal note, I chewed a lot of gum when I was young and I have not had  need to get my wisdom teeth removed, very coincidental.

With regard to obesity and diabetes, he suggests these conditions are outcomes of what we were evolved to do. Evolution did not prepare us to live in a world of abundant food and leisure. Eating and behaving, evolution says eat and relax, however our actions create outcomes and those outcomes are results of our actions. Our actions are the result of how we react to the environments we choose.

Another highly publicized example of our personal plasticity was made popular by Dr. Carol Dweck. I posted about her findings related to brain plasticity and the growth and fixed mindset here with McDonough and Braungart’s Upcycle work. To document the significant power of the brain, Alia Crum continued this work to show how just thinking about food can create physiological response. If you wan to learn more, I wrote about Dr. Crum’s work here.

Our stress response represents an even more basic level of our plasticity. We can learn new things or stress our brain to learn new things in school or at work and our brain capacity and potential expands – an example of plasticity. This is how our brain evolved. As I posted before more can be learned from Kelly McGonigal’s TED Talk – Stress Can Improve Your Health and here.

If you are interested in learning more, I am again offering links to a TED Presentation he made and interview he had with Brian Lehrer and Steven Colbert. I found them interesting. Enjoy.

This link takes you to Lieberman Interview on Brian Lehrer Show  BL

This link takes you to his interview with Stephen Colbert On the Colbert Report  Unknown 

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker