Biohacking (and some thoughts on gold)

by JDH on December 7, 2013

As I read MetalMeister‘s comments on the Buy High Sell Higher Forum about grounding, I pondered my own experience as a bio-hacker.

Huh?

Sorry, time for another rambling, disjointed, rant about nothing, but don’t worry, I’ll get around to gold shortly.  But first, some definitions:

“Grounding” or “earthing” is based on the notion that the earth emits a natural magnetic frequency that assists with our circadian rhythm, hormonal cycles, and absorption of negatively charged free electrons.  It’s not a crazy notion.  Obviously the earth has magnetic poles, and it’s not a stretch to assume that humans have evolved to adapt to their environment.  The theory goes that you should absorb the earth’s energy by walking barefoot, outside, on the earth, as much as possible.  Go the beach, walk around your backyard, whatever.  Makes sense, costs nothing, and if it doesn’t work, what’s the downside?  Here’s a good post that talks about sleep and grounding.

I have heard about grounding, and during the summer I do go barefoot in my yard.  Does it work?  I have no idea, but I try things like that because I’m a “bio-hacker”.  A bio-hacker is similar to a computer hacker, except instead of hacking computer systems, I’m hacking the human body.  More specifically, I’m hacking my own body, looking for areas for improvement.

I experiment with different diets. In my case I find if I eat a high fat diet (olives, avocados, eggs, etc.) I can maintain my weight and energy levels much better than on a traditional high carbohydrate diet (grains, sugars, etc.).  I’m not religious about it; I still enjoy my home-made-cooked-on-the-barbecue pizza with red wine every Friday night, but I also do not frequent fast food joints.  It’s a balance.  I have bio-hacked my body to determine what works best for me.

Another example: in Canada, to get blood tests, you need a doctor’s requisition, because health care is government controlled and paid for.  So, whenever I travel to the USA, I order my own blood tests, such as the 10 Most Important Tests from Direct Labs, which I use to confirm that my basic markers of health are where they should be.  In Canada I can’t order tests on my own, because the government believes they know better than me what I should be doing with my health.

A final example: two weeks ago I did the 23 and me spit test.  You spit in a container, ship it off to them, and for $99 they give you a print out of dozens of your genetic markers (because your saliva contains your DNA).  It’s a cool test, because if you are genetically pre-disposed to diabetes, or breast cancer, or whatever, you can take steps to mitigate the damage.

Of course genetics only accounts for a fraction of the risk of getting any particular disease (less than 25% in most cases).  Genetics notwithstanding, eating a high sugar diet and not getting adequate exercise increases your risk of diabetes.  Doing the opposite reduces your risk.

Unfortunately, about three days after I sent in my test kit, the FDA told 23andme to stop marketing their services.  After much consideration, 23andme agreed.

It would appear that the FDA’s reasoning went something like this:

“If a customer finds out that they are genetically predisposed to testicular cancer, they may immediately go out and cut their balls off, and we can’t have that!”  I’m exaggerating, but only somewhat.  Presumably a bio-hacker interested enough in their own personal well being would take the results and then do further research, including talking to their doctor, to determine what further action is required.

I suspect that Big Pharma and Big Medicine does not want an empowered consumer.  They don’t want me to know where I have an increased risk, and they don’t want me to make lifestyle changes to mitigate that risk.  They would prefer that I buy drugs, or extensive medical care, to deal with my health issues.

That’s not right.

And yes, I am not naive.  I realize that these tests are not perfect.  I realize that a test may say I’m not at risk for a certain type of cancer, and I may still get that type of cancer.  I realize that this type of testing is in it’s infancy, and has yet to be perfected.

I also realize that 23andMe did a horrible job of managing the FDA.  If Big Brother asks for information, don’t ignore them, hoping they will go away.  Give them lots of paperwork.  It appears that 23andMe ignored the FDA, and now they’ve got a serious problem.

My point is this: I strongly believe that we humans should take care of ourselves.  I should not expect government to take care of me.  I knew what I was getting when I spent my $99 on the test kit, and I believe I should be the one making decisions about my health, not the government.

—- end of rant

Some Thoughts on Gold

We live in an era where “government knows best”.  They know what medical tests I should be allowed to order, and they know how much “fiscal stimulus” is required to get the economy back on track.  (You see, my rant on bio-hacking was not completely irrelevant to the subject at hand).

As we have said many times on these digital pages, a government cannot print money like crazy forever without consequences.  At some point the house of cards crashes.

There is no evidence of that happening imminently, but it does remain inevitable, and that’s why I continue to keep my toes in the golden waters.

This week I did some house cleaning, and sold all of my under-performing junior exploration companies.  I generate a tax loss, but more importantly I free up cash for better opportunities.  Over the next year it may be difficult for companies to raise cash, so if a company doesn’t have cash, even if they have a great story, it’s time to leave the party.

Of course there are companies that do have a good story, so those are the companies that get the freed up cash, but only on down days.  I have placed some aggressive stink bids, and on low days I get filled.  I’m in no hurry.

I also did covered writes on my blue chip gold stocks, slightly out of the money, to pocket some premiums during this sideways market.

I view quality gold stocks as being on sale today, so why not take advantage of those sales?  If I like the stock when it was trading at $60, I should love it at $30, if they have producing assets.  So, take advantage of the sales, and don’t expect to double your money tomorrow.  I have adopted a two year time horizon on my investments, so I’m not going to panic over day to day fluctuations.

That’s the plan.  Thanks for reading.  See you next week.