Interview On Three New Leaves (and a DVD giveaway)

I heard from a fellow blogger recently who enjoyed Fat Head and wanted to help get the word out.  So we conducted an interview and arranged for a little giveway contest.  The prize (there will be five winners) is the international version of the Fat Head DVD, which includes the Big Fat Fiasco speech.

The blogger is Matt Madeiro of Three New Leaves.  I’ve been reading his blog lately because he’s a good writer with some good thoughts.  Here’s his brief profile:

I’m Matt Madeiro, a writer/traveler/nerd who made three big changes in the last two years: I lost weight, started to travel, and embraced minimalism, finally selling all the clutter and crap in my life.

How’d I do it? I simplified.

Now I write about all three changes — all three leaves — to help you live a simpler, more mindful life, and to have all the health and happiness you need to enjoy it.

I particularly enjoyed his recent post titled Close the Laptop (and change your life).  As much as I enjoy blogging, reading blogs, tweeting and twitting and Facebooking and everything else online, I agree with Matt:  sometimes we need to step away and get back to real life.

You can read our interview here.  Heck, you can even enter the contest to win one of the DVDs.  And then if you’d like step away from your computer and all other digital gizmos for a few days, Matt and I would both approve.


9 thoughts on “Interview On Three New Leaves (and a DVD giveaway)


    Great and informative interview. And I’m thankful for the alternative media on the Internet. The truth about health and nutrition is a grassroots movement, and hopefully, that will eventually lead to changes at the top.

    In the meantime, let supply and demand in the marketplace, due to truthful information, lead the way.

    While it’s good to step away from electronic media now and then, I’m grateful to be living in the digital age. The information gatekeepers have lost control of their gates, and it’s to our benefit.

  2. Be

    Great referral. I enjoyed the interview. But Matt is right and now I am gonna close the laptop!

    Just remember to come back when you’re renewed and refreshed.

  3. Anne Robertson

    Tom, so you like to get back to “real life” without your computer and other new-fangled gismos? Well, I don’t! Unlike you, I can’t pick up a print book and just read it because I’m totally blind. My MacBook and my iPhone have brought “real life” to me for the first time without having to jump through hoops.
    I never want to go back to the days when the only books I could read were those that someone else decided should be transcribed into Braille or read for the Talking Book library. I can now get eBooks (not all of them because some unpleasant people don’t want their books to be read using text-to-speech), but still, a whole lot more than used to be available. Failing eBooks, I can buy a print copy and scan it, then use an application to perform OCR on it. The results are rarely perfect, but much better than nothing.
    Neither would I be without the GPS apps on my iPhone. I can now go to a strange area and find my way, something that was impossible before recent years. For most of my life, I’ve had to rely on other people to show me the way in unfamiliar areas.
    So, before you dismiss modern technology as “clutter`”, think of those of us with disabilities and consider how much better life is today than it was when I was growing up in the 50s and 60s.

    Hey, I love technology, even though it’s good for me step away from it now and then. Have you ever checked I get my audiobooks from them, and the selection is huge.

  4. Caitlin

    To Anne Robertson:

    I don’t think Tom and Matt are referring to all instances of technology as clutter. If it’s critical in the context of your life, that’s another thing. My fiancé, who has been totally blind most of his life, is a college professor and can tell you how the distractions of technology have cut attention spans and affected critical thinking skills in students. On a personal level, he strongly feels over-reliance on technology as communication has hurt personal interaction. To be fair, I think he needs to learn and use some technology. We got a Victor Reader recently so we can use BookShare. As far as mobility issues, we’ll hold off on the GPS. His cane hasn’t run him into a wall yet.

  5. Marilyn

    Ann Robertson, I’m totally impressed with your “can do” attitude, and with your great writing style. I think computers are a miracle. True, I sometimes feel I spend too much time here, and too little time doing all the things I “should” do, but before computers I found other ways to put off the “should do” things. So I don’t blame the computer. 🙂

  6. Anne Robertson

    To Caitlin: my guide dog hasn’t run me into a wall either, but neither does she know the way to places we’ve never visited before. It’s that kind of independence I owe to technology and appreciate greatly. Without vast numbers of people using the technology, people like me wouldn’t have it. I’ve experienced that problem first hand with an amazing reading machine that used to be made and has been discontinued because the market was too small. In case you’re interested, the machine was the Optacon, and I still have two of them, just in case one dies on me.

  7. Anne Robertson

    To Tom: Yes, I love Audible! But I can’t get all the books I want from there. iBooks is limited in the French iBook STore, but I’ve found Kobo Books. The Kindle app is not accessible to blind iPhone users and, of course, some Kindle books have Text-to-speech disabled because their authors consider TTS as being a “performance”! Anyone who’s used TTS for any length of time will know that “performance” is stretching it a bit, to say the least. OK, rant over. Love “Fat Head” by the way.

  8. Archie Robertson

    To Caitlin: I’m a university teacher too, and the distraction that cuts students’ attention span in class is the mobile phone. So I insist that they be switched off, and that laptops be used only for taking notes—not for chatting or Facebook or whatever.
    For the rest, I’ve found that reliance on typed technology (instant messaging, SMS and so on) has actually improved students’ literacy compared to ten years ago. OK, they make horrible mistakes in grammar and spelling, & thr msgs smts lv sth 2B desrd, but at least they are communicating in writing.

    As for the critical thinking skills—I simply ensure that the first couple of lectures I give in a course concentrate on these. I have a pair of handouts that I use repeatedly: one is the World’s Easiest Quiz, which can be found in various forms on the Net, and the other is one of my own, a collection of popular urban legends and myths about health, technology and so on. Between the two, I can shake students enough that they realise they have to sharpen up… and they do!

    Personal interaction? Perhaps he ought to spend some break time with the students instead of sitting in the staff common room… I do this on a regular basis, and am often struck by the quality of their discussions—not just who drank too much at the weekend or who’s sleeping with whom, but detailed and well-argued cases for and against topics raised in class. I have a great deal of time and respect for my students, and find this is reciprocated; I rarely need to raise my voice to ensure good behaviour and attention.

    So I’d be the last to dismiss “new technology” as another factor for the decline of today’s youth. The benefits of technology far outweigh the disadvantages. Perhaps your fiancé ought to try an iPhone, with its superb reading facilities, its many excellent GPS apps, and its enormous potential as a communication device for all kinds of purposes—and the giant leap in independence it would bring him.

    I agree that on balance, the technology is a blessing. Just look at how much information we’ve all picked up from blogs, YouTube lectures, podcasts, etc. Back in the day, I called my out-of-town friends once in awhile and wrote a letter on rare occasions. Now we email each other all the time.

  9. Caitlin

    Who said he “sits around in the break room?” He spends time with his students in his office and yes, they are much more articulate discussing things with him there—where they are not texting, yapping on a cell, or updating Facebook. However, the deterioration in skills goes way beyond leetspeak in papers. How in the world is “smts lv sth 2B desrd” improved literacy? I’m sorry, but an inability to construct the most basic sentence, apply an iota of grammatical rule, or avoid outright plagiarism does not warrant passing a student with “oh, how cute, he tried.” I taught a class also, and students were texting while we had a guest speaker, for crying out loud. It’s a dependence augmented by sugar saturation of their brains.
    In regards to mobility aids and independence, to each his own. My fiancés main miss is that he can’t get in a car and drive anywhere he wants. I joke that I am his seeing-eye-dog, but much cuter. But consider, it is possible to become dependent on that which makes you independent. GPS satellites can and do fail frequently. (The GPS satellite network is a very old military system). Cell networks can go down. By the way, you sound like an IPhone salesman.


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