Skip to main content
Tangentially Speaking

320 – Ryan Frisinger (Bio-Hacker / Health Consultant)

By May 9, 2018October 9th, 20195 Comments


  • Bill says:

    Great podcast, I’m on my 2nd listen

  • Thomas says:

    While mainstream medicine is far from what it should be, I found the many very complex concepts used and the pathomechanisms described, especially how the words were linked so convoluted that it was challenging to discern this mess from your average made-up alternative health concept. Many of these concepts were linked in ways that, if true, would require serious reallocation of Nobel prizes. I liked a lot that you asked your host whether he got a biopsy to confirm his suspicion of a fungal disease. I disliked that you let it slip afterwards.

    A thought-provoking podcast issue, i have greatly enjoyed hearing you talk. Thank you.
    Urologist from the Netherlands

    • Christopher Ryan says:

      Hi. Yes, I wasn’t really qualified to challenge many of his statements about health and medicine, but i agree that a lot of the material he covered was difficult to judge, given the complexity of the mechanisms and the language. Thanks for your comment.

  • Geoffrey Smith says:

    Fucking mind blowing discussion – especially the first half which circled around Civilized to Death topics.

  • Yves Ball says:

    Wow… what an amazing amount of information some poeple hold in their heads. It would take me probably years to follow up all the links arising from this conversation, and even if I did, I probably wouldn’t understand much of what I was reading – I tried that approach before. Nowadays, my direction is more to empty my head so I can hear that horse better. But even so, what resonated with me was the power of language to create or influence reality – which was mentioned at the beginning a few times but then conversation moved onto other things. I have been wondering for the last about 10-15 years how language could be used to make things better. If it can be used to make things worse, to dehumanise people, for example, then it surely can be used to make things better too. Better for the planet, and us as part of it. I think the stage of human development that comes after capitalism will be called planetism – and we will be doing what needs to be done to be in service of the planet that sustains us. And what an incredibly complicated way to say: walk barefoot… Interesting things about moulds too… and traumas. I am not into podcasts much, as I prefer written word, but this was very interesting. Thank you.

  • Phil says:

    I loved the introduction by Chris as always. However, I couldn’t listen to this guest for more than 10 minutes. However, this guest did help me realize why I dislike Vegans as much as I do. In my opinion, eating meat can be seen as a religion. Being a Vegetarian can be seen as a religion too. In other words, join us, don’t join us, no big deal-whatever.

    Veganism seems to me to be a cult. I have never heard a Vegan speak about eating meat without that Westboro Baptist “you’re going to hell, why can’t you see that?” twinge to their voice. 90% of communication is how you say something, not what you actually say. And Vegans, I just don’t the judgement in their voice. Having said all that, I loved the intro as always.

  • Jennifer says:

    I currently work with Ryan and he’s amazing! I have a number of issues that I’ve dealt with for decades and after 10 weeks, I feel like a new person. I can’t recommend working with Ryan enough if you’re battling issues no one understands.

  • Sonjayaulait says:

    Hey interesting chat! However I fundamentally disagree and would like to challenge the idea humans aren’t special, that we shouldn’t praise our individualism and differences, and that our capitalistic society is inherently bad. I study diseases, and something you learn about diseases is that organisms are constantly evolving to fight each other. Bacteria grows resistant to phages and phages evolve to kill bacteria. Some protect some parts of life and some protects others. What humans have done is evolved to have a much higher level of rational thought. A different type of intelligence (than as mentioned in The Hidden Life of Trees, I think also mentions the social security system of trees). Such a proficient type that we have done things we find in favor – inoculation, creating art, appreciating animals, food, the earth etc. Not to say other organisms don’t have a level of appreciation or that we can’t learn from their levels of complexity. However to simply lump capitalism and our selfish intentions and a one size fits all compartment I think is lying about something I find fundamentally beautiful about humans. Yes we are stardust, billions of bacteria, vibrations, etc. however we have (an again a very specific type) free will something that does in fact set up apart that has led to our creation to getting to the moon and hopefully beyond. This I find inherently very very good, I feel at one with my universe and accept there is a level of both order and chaos that exists and the more we learn about it is fine. It really reminds me of the idea of picking fruit from the tree of knowledge in the story of Genesis. Clearly there was a dogmatic fear against knowledge and while yes I can be sympathetic with the idea we are "too smart for our own good" I see this in a light that it is not inherently bad to create, to destroy, to try and compete. I think it is smart to be cognizant of both sides of the coin, to rationally be selfish, to accept our lives will always have a level of both order and chaos. I agree with Steven Pinker that there is something to be respected about our humanism our secularism and our progress. I am not afraid of a shamanic philosophy, I have even had a few spiritual experiences in Peru myself. I think it is very important to be grounded. But coming from a very conservative background, then transitioning to a very liberal one I tend to find that while it has many great shortcomings capitalism is not humans enemy. We can learn to use recycling as a means for innovation and efficiency. I do respect the ideas you are putting out there, but on a nuanced scale. I don’t feel as if these ideas can be purely applied on the macro level, but rather deserve a nuanced application. There is a level of what we call selfishness that I think is important, is good, is rational, and is not unenlightened but the other side to the coin. I think this is worth looking into with a broader lens. And if you have more information on things I misinterpret I would love to hear your views- I would like to say though I believe deeply in the agency of the individual consciousness (however it is formed by other organic or inorganic material) and that it is good. I believe that the ideas which you are speaking of are no doubt important but should be used as tools of empathy, understanding, to further help others but not in a sacrificial or altruistic sense. Instead of a balanced sense of a keen understanding that yes for survival organisms do have a degree of selfishness. That those things are measurable and all living things have similarities but also have levels of amazing differences. That both our similarities AND our differences should be celebrated. And that even as we learn more about the beauty and order of our universe that space and time and even fundamental properties of this physical world are forever changing. And to truly embrace that change I think is apart of what it means to be human. To try and live forever, to reach other galaxies- it’s okay. We evolved to do more everyday and I think this is truly good. Not to take advantage without regard or respect for the other but to seek out knowledge with the greatest of reverence. I hope my thoughts are tied closely to both of you but it did feel like there were points that seemed like blatant statements that don’t accurately portray the larger picture. Whew alrighty I digress.

    • sonjayaulait says:

      Also one point I forgot to mention- even if we fail in our grasps for knowledge (which we is very possible) that’s okay too. It’s okay that we fail trying, or even destroy the earth in the process (not in a sense that gives us an excuse for global warming- climate change is a serious issue and should be fully dealt with) but in a sense that we might get it wrong. Say going to other planets causes an unexpected chaos for earth, or for the new planet we inhabit- that is fine. Our humanism, I feel is warranted: the exploration, the continuing to thrive to survive to better ourselves. I feel this deep in the very core of my being. The universe is changing in this way constantly and to deny humans what we do deeply desire each on a personal level, and to prescribe a truth that cannot be contested and what appears to be from a morally righteous or more enlightened perspective, I think, can be wrong.

  • sonjayaulait says:

    Sorry I had to make another statement. The argument of your wife from Mozambique, let’s go back before the individuals used agriculture, or before they learned to cook, or before they formed language. Each generation I know personally (that experiences true hard times albeit weathering the elements or disease, or working all day) fully appreciate the tools and technology created to make their lives easier. To spend more time with their community. To not wage economic wars against as many other species let alone their fellow man. Eventually this argument reaches a very self defeating attitude that doesn’t give any credit to a the ever changing property of the universe. I think the boat is missed by and large when see digression as always a better way of life. To what digression does one prefer? "Antiexsistance" itself? The dawn of time? I argue that we will use the past, the universe, as lessons, but to trivialize progress in such terms is intellectually dishonest and I think quite privileged. Comfort is not "only" or "always" our enemy. Again I feel the discussion lacks a level of nuance that greatly shows I guess what I would refer to as a yin and yang. Sorry for being so wordy, I just have a lot of personal anecdote and deep feelings on the issue. Still an interesting chat!

  • Nick says:

    I was unable to find the book he recommended at one point, "The body as a decentralized system". Can someone post a link?

  • Joseph says:

    The "guy in the UK" mistakenly identifying MMR vaccinations as cause for autism was Andrew Wakefield, if I remember correctly.

  • daniel says:

    Anyway you could get these on youtube so I could share on fb to my friends and family. I really luved this one and a lot of others. People have a tendency to like short clips but think you could hook them and bring them into the world I luv. Which would probably be good for both of us. I do work for a company I listen to 8 hours a day of podcasts and your one of the few I look forward to every week. Thank you

  • I would definitely like Ryan to return and expand more on the MANY topics he touched upon. Perhaps more slowly in order to understand his arguments, especially since alternative medicine seems to be such a thorny subject, with a lot of woo intermixed with actual cutting edge science.

    I also think one should be careful with the terminology used in order to explain (or not) phenomena that is currently outside our scientific models. Take for instance the idea that homeopathy works at a ‘quantum level’. That may or may not be the case, but in my experience the moment someone uses the term ‘quantum’ is often because they want to clothe a New-Age argument in the most vanguard scientific parlance, and that may end up having a negative consequence in the end –there’s a reason why New Age mentality remained stuck with terms like ‘ethereal bodies’, when mainstream science moved away from the concept of the ‘luminiferous ether’ loooong ago…

    Take for instance Ryan’s idea that homeopathy ‘changes the resonance of water at an epigenetic level.’ That may sound really complex and smart, but it’s ultimately a bogus argument because H2O last time I checked is DEVOID of a genome i.e. doesn’t have genetic information. Can it be that homeopathy can change the structure of the water in ways we can’t understand or even measure? Why not, but I think it would be better to state "we don’t know what happens or why" than using bogus terminology.

    It’s not that I’m intending to shoot down homeopathy per se –my mother treated me with homeopathy when I was very young and suffering from sever asthma. I don’t know if homeopathy works, all I know is that I no longer have asthma– but as people who are criticizing alopathic western medicine –and there are MANY things to criticize– we need to be careful about our arguments.

    Ditto with vaccination. Yes, it would be GREAT if every person had access to their genomic history so they could approach health care in a more informed, ‘customized’ way. But until that day comes we have no choice but to rely on vaccines in order to keep the diseases that used to kill most infants before they reach adolescence all over the world at bay.

    And I say this as someone who edits news links on a website that deals with UFOs and Bigfoot 😉

  • B says:

    @Red Pill Junkie:
    Well said, I was thinking the same thing. Ryan is throwing around a lot of claims, but sometimes fails to back them up.

    @Christopher Ryan: It would be really helpful to list references/citations in the podcast on your website with each episode.

  • Hi there, a friend recommended this podcast to me and I’m glad she did. I would never have listened to it if I’d just come across either of your websites–but I found the conversation one of the most intelligent I’ve listened to in a really long time. It’s also directly up my alley with the work and research that I’m doing–although you’re both much better versed in the philosophical lit than I am. I’m currently in the Peruvian Amazon doing (or trying to do) dissertation fieldwork in medicinal plants and music and also struggling with a long-term chronic health issue–so Ryan’s experience hits VERY close to home. I’ll contact him directly. Nevertheless, I wanted to point out that a couple of your claims regarding indigenous peoples weren’t quite true. Yes, there have been individuals as well as entire groups who’ve come out of the forest and sought refuge of various kinds in what you call here "civilization." There are various reasons for why they needed or wanted refuge to begin with–but it’s patently false to say that not one person has ever chosen to abandon a "pre-civilized" life, or a life in the forest, or however you want to term it ("indigenous" is not accurate for the people you describe–too broad) in exchange for "civilization." I almost want to provide examples, but frankly, there are just too many. Also, yes, there are anthropologists and activists who work closely with peoples who have been recently contacted and recently integrated into a market economy–and they do ask them what they think. The one that comes first to mind is this: Godoy, R., Reyes-García, V., Gravlee, C. C., Huanca, T., Leonard, W. R., McDade, T. W. et al. (2009). Moving beyond a snapshot to understand changes in the well-being of Native Amazonians: Panel evidence (2002-2006) from Bolivia. Current Anthropology, 50(4), 563-573. The authors used both subjective and objective measures to look at changes in well-being over time among an indigenous group of the Bolivian Amazon. I have both agreements and disagreements with the paper and their conclusions, and it may not be the best to address what you and Ryan were talking about in the podcast (which in any case was poorly defined, when you try to start talking concrete specifics), but it’s what comes first to mind. In general, I agree much with the both of you, but I also think the picture is not as black and white as you’ve made it out to be, especially with regard to indigenous people. You have the Jivaroan tribes, for example, who were never "conquered," and yet who have wholeheartedly embraced lots of aspects of modern living.

    But again, great podcast, thanks for the intellectual stimulus. Maybe you should provide a bibliography for your podcasts… 😂

  • Arley says:

    This is one of the best things I’ve heard in forever, and I listen to a lot of podcasts. Thanks Chris and Ryan. Very excited to read Civilized to Death, obviously an idea you have a lot of passion for.

Leave a Reply