Looking back, and revisionist history


#1

I was revisiting posts about Rob and found one by davecortesi linking to old posts that had been disappeared from this site. The claim is frequently made that Rob never advocated that people might go 100% Soylent, but I think that careful perusal of his posts might show otherwise. In particular, I remembered that Rob told the press that he no longer had a refrigerator, and speculated about how people’s worlds would change without refrigerators.

If Rob wasn’t thinking about people going 100% Soylent, where would their fridges go?

I miss his sci-fi speculations about the future of society, and strongly suspect that they were removed because they weren’t in line with the new administration’s plans for Soylent. I wonder what the real story about the company’s evolution was? In Washington D.C., there would be a memoir out with the real story, but I suppose we will never see such a thing with regard to this (fine) company.


#2

I can’t speak for any particular post, but it looks like the vast majority of his posting history here is intact.


#3

You and me both, dude. :frowning_face: That’s what got me so hyped about Soylent in the first place. Hell, I sent him a total nerd-out email about how Soylent was a fantastic example of a sci-fi concept come to life, complete with references to Deus Ex and The Matrix. And, to my surprise, he replied:

I can’t possibly imagine that he removed all his old website content because he really, truly wanted to. :confused:


#4

Some of Rob’s ideas had a whiff of Howard Hughes about them.

In particular, his idea to eliminate laundry by buying his clothes in bulk from China, and donating them after they’d been worn a couple of times. (At least, I hope it was a couple and not just once.) Sure, he eliminated laundry for himself, but I really doubt the resources he saved by not doing laundry offset the resources needed to manufacture and ship a constant supply of new clothing.

I think his idea of using Soylent as the majority of a person’s nutrition is sound, but I’m not at all surprised that the company is taking a step back from his philosophy. Particularly since the problem with Canada came up.


#5

At some point last year, Rhinehart took down all his blog posts; robrhinehart.com is now a single page. However the internet doesn’t forget, and they are all available in the wayback machine:

They all make good reading. The first three launched an industry. In them, did he “advocate” going 100%? At least in the first essay, he is quite clear that it was an experiment and he is easing off:

It’s fine to have a normal meal too, nutritional fundamentalists really irk me. The point is freedom, you don’t have to. I started consuming Soylent exclusively just to test the effects. I see nothing wrong with eating traditional food as well, I just don’t have much of a desire to. The only thing I missed was eating with friends. Now that 30 days are up I’m going to start doing that again. I only drink socially, and now I only eat socially.

I think the phrases “nutritional fundamentalists really irk me” and “The point is freedom” answer the question.


#6

The idea was that food would be an event, you would replace a mediocre chicken sandwich for lunch with engineered nutrition and then maybe at night or on the weekend go out with friends to get something more pleasing to the taste buds.

Given i’m the one who manages and curates most everything in the Soylent ecosphere I ethically will not revise (save for spelling / grammar). If I wanted nothing but sunshine and roses I would set fire to most of these discourse posts.

Ultimately with any grand plan and hope, things don’t happen over night. Even right now society is coming to be more accepting of vegetarianism and veganism, they coupled with climate change are going to cause a big shift.


#7

Alright @Conor, fess up, where’s your futurist blog??

For the record, 99.9% sure none of this is directed at you. I’ve never seen an instance of you removing even super-harsh criticism of your science juice, the company, or people within it. I imagine it’s a public image concern to have a company executive talking about life without fridges and extreme personal water conservation, but for the absolute nerds in the audience, it’s just kinda disappointing to see it cease AND disappear.


#8

I have removed nothing from our blog, Rob’s personal blog is his personal blog so him removing and adding are up to him entirely.

Again, if we wanted to clean the house I would wipe discourse clean. So there is no secretive moves happening to rewrite history. If press want to take a 5 minute dive into discourse they could find some fun things, but again, not interested in reformative history.