I'm Mike Rudnick. I'm going to share some of my perspectives here at Green Rochester in the hope of helping to grow this site, Rochester Greens, and create a more just society. But first, let me tell you a bit about myself.
I'm an eclectic thinker and would be an intellectual but for the fact that my dyslexia causes me to read relatively slowly. Nevertheless, I read as widely as time permits. I like to see what is and think about it.
I've worked 40 years as an engineer and scientist, recently focused on MANet -- a bastardized acronym standing for Mobile Ad-hoc Networking. In mid-life I returned to school and earned a PhD in Computer Science and Engineering.
I value science and believe it's one of our best ways to see/discover what is and how things really work, including us. For the past 20 years or so, as a hobby, I've read in the healthy-lifestyle areas of science. I wanted to learn how to boost my intellectual performance. I've always worked in intellectually challenging areas -- computers, programming, an undergraduate degree in mathematics, PhD research into nature-inspired computational models and artificial cognition including artificial neural networks, evolutionary algorithms, optimization, and wireless data communications.
Around age 50 I married and my wife and I started a family. I was, and still am, concerned about being around for my kids once they are grown. This concerned focused my healthy-lifestyle science reading on longevity. Along the way I read about and practiced calorie restriction (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calorie_restriction and http://www.calorierestriction.org/crdcvs032806/) -- very hard for me to actually do, BTW. Later I read The China Study, a book by T. Colin Campbell and his son Thomas M. Campbell II. The science described in this book caused me to modify my diet to near the whole-plant-vegan end of the dietary spectrum. I now call myself flexitarian, which means mostly vegan most of the time, but willing to make exceptions. Unfortunately, most of my life I eschewed fruits and vegetables, often going for days without eating any. For a particularly interesting and accessible review of some of this body of high-quality science in the form of short video vignettes, see Michael Greger's www.NutritionFacts.org website.
In short, a substantial and growing body of high-quality science clearly demonstrates that for most of us a whole-plant-parts vegan diet, ie, pieces of plants the way nature made them, is much healthier than the Standard American Diet (interestingly, its acronym is SAD). Campbell claims SAD is the single biggest cause of death in the U.S. Personally, I believe his analysis is overly conservative -- my perspective on this body of science is that SAD is not merely the biggest single cause of death in the U.S., but is so by far. As you can see, I can go on about this topic (and will in a future post).
Having children means I'm now much more concerned about our society's future prospects than I used to be PK (pre-kids). Essentially, I'm now hostage to the future through my kids. Over the past decade become particularly concerned as I watched class warfare become ever-more rampant. This, in turn, has caused me to read about topics like peak oil, U.S. and global class warfare, the deterioration of the U.S. rule of law, the dramatic increase in inequality and injustice in our society, and the gradual deterioration of the U.S. as we seemingly become ever more a third world country (more on each of these topics in future blog postings). Put bluntly, our society/system has become ever more corrupted, to the point where now our collective posterity's prospects have been damaged. Present generations are, in effect, stealing from future generations. I will no longer sit idly by while my children's futures are stolen. Lots more about this in future posts.
Finally, a word about my perspective. It changes. It always has and I expect it always will as long as I continue to educate myself, learn more, and grow. I will change my mind as I better see what is. This is a good thing.