Sunday, December 1, 2019

Welcome and Policies

Welcome To Vivo Centum!

My name is Steve Branam. Vivo centum is Latin for "I live a hundred." This is my goal: to live to be a centenarian, over a hundred years old. I want it to be a life well-lived.

This goal was inspired by Dr. Gunther von Hagen's Body Worlds exhibit The Cycle of Life at the Boston Museum of Science. This is a fascinating exhibit, whose goal is preventive healthcare.

In particular, the last section of the exhibit covered centenarians, the rare group of people who have lived to a hundred years and beyond, in full vigor, with a high quality of life.

As I looked at the photos of these people enjoying active lives, I decided that's what I want to do. I want to live into my eleventh decade and beyond as an active member of society, able to continue most of the activities I enjoy now.

That takes intention, planning, education, action, and care. It takes understanding the pitfalls and obstacles. It takes changing habits, eliminating bad ones and starting new ones.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

There are an infinite number of ways this can go wrong. Life is composed of the things you can control, and the things you can't. This is about the things you can control.

What This Blog Will Cover

In this blog, I'll cover my personal journey along this path. What I've tried, what works for me, what doesn't. What other people suggest, what I find interesting.

This is about my choices, the information that influences them, and the effects they have on me. You don't have to listen to me, agree with me, or join me. But you're certainly welcome to.

You might find some of that works for you, and some of it doesn't. I'm not you; you're not me. I won't make the mistake of generalizing a sample of one (me) to everyone else.

But in most respects we're all closely enough alike that much of what applies to me may also apply to you. That's where you need to use your own judgement, as well as that of your healthcare and other professionals.

I'm not qualified to give medical, financial, or legal advice. I'm not an expert or authority in any of those fields.

There are a number of considerations for reaching my goal successfully, and these will all be the topics of various blog posts:
  • health
  • fitness
  • diet
  • medical
  • financial
  • emotional
  • psychological
  • cognitive
  • social
I'll be posting on a completely random basis, depending on when I have time and something useful to say. That could be days or months between posts.

I typically update posts a few times after initial posting, to take care of typos, awkward writing, and things I forgot to include.

If you find my writing interesting, you might enjoy my other blogs, CloseGrain, covering woodworking, and FlinkAndBlink, covering software engineering. They are equally as random.

You can also connect with me on LinkedIn; please mention that you saw the blog so I have some idea of why you're connecting.

I welcome constructive feedback (see Policies below). If we engage in dialog and I find you have something interesting to contribute, I may include some of it in a post and give you credit for it.

Baseline Status

As of Dec 1, 2019, I'm 59 years old. I've always tried to be maintain reasonably healthy habits and avoid unhealthy ones.

I'm married, well-employed with a good income, in good health, reasonably physically fit, with a little age-appropriate joint and muscle soreness, with no indications of chronic disease.

I don't smoke or do drugs, and I try to eat and drink in moderation. I mostly have the energy, strength, and endurance to do the activities I want to, though I have scaled back due to age.

The world is full of risk factors, so I try to mitigate them reasonably. I'm subject to all the stressors of modern life, so I try to manage them.

I'm starting from a good baseline. That got me through the first six decades. Now on to the next five.

Policies as of Dec 1, 2019

All policies are subject to change at any time. I'll update this post whenever I change them.

Principles: As an engineer, former Boy Scout, and former Scoutmaster, these are the thing I believe in:
  • don't let hate be your guiding light
  • facts
  • theories based on sound principles
  • the scientific method
  • education
  • honor
  • honesty
  • integrity
  • gratitude
  • compassion
  • empathy
  • courtesy
  • civility
  • respect for others
  • moving forward
  • thoughtfulness
  • open-mindedness
  • optimism
  • humor
  • diligence
  • perseverance
  • lifelong learning
  • learning from mistakes, my own and others'
  • celebrating others' achievements
  • giving credit where credit is due
  • having plans, backup plans, and backup plans for the backup plans
  • fortune favors the prepared mind
Quality: I endeavor to make sure all information presented here is of high quality in accordance with the above principles, based on either my own personal experience, or information I've researched and verified from multiple sources. The topics of this blog are subject to all kinds of false and misleading information, unfounded claims, and uninformed opinion. I'll try to clearly differentiate opinion from established fact. Where anything is in honest doubt, a matter of opinion, or subject to honest controversy or disagreement, I'll note that. However, just saying something is in doubt or controversial with no legitimate evidence to back that up is not honest doubt or controversy. Sometimes things are a matter of judgement, subject to honest debate conducted in good faith.

I Am Not A Medical, Financial, Or Legal Professional: The statements expressed on this blog are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical, financial, or legal advice.

Advertising: For now, there is no advertising. I find that most websites related to health, fitness, and cooking are so overloaded with advertising that you can hardly find the actual content. Or the sites are so obnoxious about it that you can hardly get to the actual content. This site is about actual content. I do expect to enable limited advertising at some point.

Paid links: I don't accept paid links.

Affiliate links: When I link to something for sale, it's usually an affiliate link, where I earn a small commission on the sale, per the target site's standard affiliate policies. I may link to items for sale or businesses that don't offer affiliate commissions if I feel they're worth sharing.

Guest posts: I don't currently accept guest posts. That includes paid posts or placements of outside content. I'm not a fan of SEO. I may invite others to write posts ("invited posts") if they don't have some other platform for sharing their information, or if I feel it is particularly relevant or worth sharing here.

Reviews: All reviews are of things I've actually tried, and in some cases used for a long time. This includes things that I've been given to try for free; I'll disclose that at the beginning of the review. I aim to be transparent, honest, forthright, and direct about my results, and am always willing to consider additional information. If you wish to offer me something to try and expect a positive review, make sure it is something that I will feel comfortable reporting positively. If you give me something that doesn't live up to it's claims, or I don't feel is worthwhile, I'll state that in my review.

Comments: Comments are currently enabled, but require moderation; that is, I will review comments and publish them if I find them acceptable. This is because blog comments are often polluted by "comment spam", where people try to create more links to their sites by spewing them out to comment sections, in the hopes that search engines will treat them as indications of legitimate interest in their content and thus rank it higher in search results. I'm fairly ruthless in what I'll reject. I'll generally accept any comment that is directly related to the topic of the blog post, is civil in tone, and does not include any links. I'll usually accept reasonable links to personal websites or directly related content, subject to my judgement. I'll reject any comments that appear to be SEO comment spam. This typically includes comments that contain links not directly related to the blog post topic, links to things for sale, and include vague or nonsensical commentary. I'll reject any comments that appear to be made in bad faith or lack civility, subject to my judgement.

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