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This week, Michael speaks with Dr. Kenneth Ford, founder and CEO of the Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (where Skynet comes from.) Robb Wolf, who facilitated the introduction, has worked with Dr. Ford on issues related to the ketogenic diet.
Dr. Ford studied philosophy before joining the U.S. Navy before returning to graduate school to study computer science with an interest in Artificial Intelligence. From early on, Dr. Ford wanted to better understand how our brains give rise to our minds and consciousness.
Dr. Ford’s work for the Defense Science Board (upon which he served until May of 2014) exposed him to cutting edge research on the burgeoning research area of ketones and ketone esters. He became interested in their performance aspects and co-authored a paper for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists with Clark Glymour called “The Enhanced Warfighter” in the first part of 2014.
A ketognic diet, helpful for children with epilepsy and individuals who suffer from neurodegenerative disorders, Dr. Ford explains, moves one from a glucose-based metabolism to a fatty acid and ketone-based metabolism. This has a whole lot of benefits involving all sorts of body processes.
We produce ketone bodies as a result of an evolutionary adaptation that grants us an inherent ability to produce three ketones which is helpful when our our brains were starved of glucose during famine times. These three ketones, Acetoacetate, acetone, and beta-hydroxybutyrate.
One way to become ketognic is to significantly cut down on carbs, since the glucose in something like fruit can kick your system back to the non-ketogenic way of operating.
While glucose is good for short bursts of energy, ketones allow for enduring performance. There are a series of potential benefits for endurance athletes, special operators, and individuals who work in high and low oxygen states.
DARPA and the National Institutes of Health collaborated to fund research to ” research to “develop a ketone ester that could enhance physical and cognitive performance” for members of the special operations community.
They also talk about Dr. Ford’s work with NASA research on machine autonomy, humans in space, and what excites Dr. Ford about upcoming developments and new areas of research..
Dr. Ford’s books are available at Amazon.com and other retailers.
Learn more about IHMC at http://www.ihmc.us