The  goal of this blog (the “Gary Smolker Idea Exchange” blog) is to be the predominant center of the worldwide exchange of influencial ideas.

QUESTION: Who is this blog published for?


I love to explore, think about and discover the “reason” behind real issues and what works, what doesn’t work and “why.”

This blog is published for people everywhere in the world who want to understand human behavior.

This blog is published for people who feel they need to have a constant pulse on what is going on.

This blog is published for people who are passionately curious.

This blog is published for people who influence others who want to understand the behavior they are influencing.

This blog is published for people who realize “thinking” is part of the reality people have to think about.

When I don’t like something, I try to figure out what is wrong, what needs to be done to make it better or to improve it and to then take action to make it better.

I invite people who genuinely care about the state of the human condition who want to make the world a better place by taking action to bring about understanding and good will to contact me.

My life has been full of mind expanding and intellectually stimulating experiences.

I like to share those experiences and what I learned from those experienes by publishing this blog for people who want to learn from other people’s experiences.

I publish this blog to raise my own and other people’s consciousness.

According to WordPress, this blog was viewed by people in 85 different countries in 2013, many of them privately correspond with me by email.

Wherever you are in the world, you are invited to correspond directly with me by email.

My email address is gsmolker@aol.com.

If you do correspond with me by email, please advise whether your correspondence is confidential and/or whether I may share your email with the public and/or with a select group of people.

That being said:

  • [A] This blog is published for people who want to make an impact on the world.

  • [B] This blog is written for people who want to be educational and inspirational.

  • [C]  This blog is published (i) for people who want their eyes to be opened further, (ii) for people who are dazzled by art and architecture and history, (iii) for people who are inspired by the richness of living and (iv) for people who want to live a healthier richer more prosperous and longer life.

  • [D]  This blog is written for people who like to read, for people who like to watch and talk about good movies and the ideas and lessons presented in those movies.

  • [E]  This blog is published for people who would like to read my comments on how the stories in those movies were told.

  • [F]  This blog is published for people who like to eat and talk about good food, and for people who would like to know more about health, how to live a healthier and more prosperous life.

  • [G] This blog is published for people who are interested in better understanding the course and paths of social, political and economic events.

  • [H]  This blog is published for people who are curious who would like to be better connected to themselves, to the world and to others.

  • [I] This blog is published for people seeking better explanations of why things are the way they are, why people think the way they do, why people do what they do – for people who want to know how people make choices and why people make the choices they make.

  • [J] This blog is written for people who desire to be exposed to other people’s thinking, ideas, perspective, opinions, cultures, backgrounds, real life practical experiences and to ideas about best business and health practices.

  • [K] This blog is written for people who like to identify, learn about and then deal with the real reason behind real issues.

  • [L] This blog is written for civil dignified people who want to exchange their ideas with other civil dignified people.

  • [M] This blog is published for people who want to know where the best people are, what capabilities they possess, and how they face challenges.

  • [N] This blog is written for people who like to think – for people in the “why” loop of things.

The target audience for this blog is “thinking people,” people who think about what is truly important in life –

  • people who have an extraordinary curiosity,
  • people who are lifetime learners,
  • people who want to make their lives better,
  • people who figure out what went wrong and then make the necessary adjustment,
  • people who would consider it a punishment if they were not allowed to read or not allowed to watch movies,
  • people who have always sought meaning in their lives and to live a meaningful life,
  • people who want to increase the quality of life of other people and to make this a better world for everyone.

This blog is published for people who are passionate and intense.

This blog is published for passionate, purposeful, serious people who are focused on a mission; for people who wake up in the morning with the the desire to come up with something better than the status quo.

This blog is published for people whose good fortune has been advanced further and further as the result of their ability to put themselves in the right place at the right time.

  1. My goal in publishing this blog is to increase understanding of issues important to me including (a) what is really going on in the world, (b) how to live a healthy highly functional long life, (c) why people do what they are doing, and (d) what is worth investing time, energy and other resources in.
  2. I approach writing this blog, much as if you and I were sitting at a table in a cafe having a quiet, informal yet intense conversation animated with a sense of fun and the anticipation of discovery by both of us.

  3. Previous posts contain reviews and comments on popular movies such as Django Unchained, Lincoln, 12 Years A Slave, The Butler, Mandela – Long Walk to Freedom, Can A Song Save Your Life?, Argo, Silver Linings Playbook, The Book Thief, Dallas Buyers Club, American Hustle and The Great Beauty.

  4. Previous posts discuss world famous chefs such as Grant Achatz and how they got to be the “best” at what they do as well as world famous businessmen such as Isadore Sharp and how they achieved their great success in the business world.

  5. Previous posts also discuss and comment on ideas presented in non-fiction books such as Seth Godin’s “All Marketeers Are Liars”; Stan Slap’s “Bury My Heart in Conference Room B”; Sheena Iyengar’s “The Art of Choosing”; Fred Davis’ “Fashion, Culture and Identity”; Harold Evans’ “They Made America”; General Stanley McChrystal’s “My Share of the Task, A Memoir”;  Jose Ortega y Gasset’s “The Dehumanization of Art”;  Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers – The Story of Success”; Ren Koolhaas’ “Delirious New York”; Jean Claude Gautrand’s “Paris ~ Portrait of a City”; Joan DeJean’s “The Essence of Style – How the French Invented High Fashion, Fine Food, Chic Cafes, Style, Sophistication, and Glamour”; Paul Veyne’s “Bread and Circuses – Historical Sociology and Political Pluralism”, Ping Fu’s “Bend, Not Break”, Tom Rath’s “Eat Move Sleep”, William Davis’ “Wheat Belly”, John McDougall’s “The Starch Solution”, David Perlmutter’s “Grain Brain”, Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr.’s “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease,” Dean Ornish’s “the Spectrum”, Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass”, Pierre Bourdieu’s “Distinction – A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste”, Jacques Barzun’s “The Culture We Deserve”, Elias Canetti’s “Crowds and Power”, Carroll Quigley’s “The Evolution of Civilizations”, Fernand Braudel’s “Afterthoughts on Material Civilization and Capitalism” and Richard Louv’s “Last Child in the Woods.”

  6. Previous posts discuss film festivals, great restaurants and films shown at the Toronto International Film Festival as well as films shown at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

  7. Previous posts (a) discuss how to judge the quality and distinction of a film, (b) report on the early work and debuting works by gifted new film directors and (c) discuss and highlight the work of established master film makers.

  8. Previous posts also discuss quintessential experiences I have had in New York City, in New Orleans, in Chicago, in Toronto, in Paris, in Prague, in London, Moscow, Vienna, Rome, Cairo, Alexandria, Athens, and in Istanbul.

  9. Previous posts discuss what I have learned and experienced with respect to down to earth challenges such as (a) losing weight and (b) changing diet instead of taking pills to prevent heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and cognitive impairment.

  10. Previous posts discuss what I have learned about cultural forces, social trends, business practices, medical knowledge and judgments of taste and propriety that structure our lives.

  11. My personal interests include (a) social phenonmena, (b) understanding political and economic events, (c) the science of wellness, (d), health, (e) personal and busienss success, (f) understanding the phenomena and process of creativity, (e) enjoying driving my high-performance-fast car (a 2013 Nissan GTR), and (e) the relationship of food, diet, exercise, nutrition, diet and life style to health.

  12. I aspire to encourage hard working, ambitious, caring, aware, people who demonstrate exceptional potential and whose work is a labor of love.

  13. I love great stories, great story tellers, great leaders, great business people, great business practices, great health practices, great movies, great books and to share my discovery of them.

  14. I believe life is better when we are connected to talent, to inspiration and to each other.

  15. I try to connect people who are the best at what they do to the right people at the right time.

  16. I try to know where the best people are, what capabilities they possess, and how they can help others with the challenges they are facing.

  17. I love to watch artistically bold and socially impactful movies and to analyze and discuss them.

  18. I love to read and discuss well written material which is socially impactful.

  19. I love to build upon the foundation of acute observation and intellectual analysis.

  20. I love to write about things worth reading and to do things worth writing about.

  21. I seek to be part of the process by which great books, great films and the Internet bring people of our world closer together, connect them to themselves and to each other across cultures.


Exceptional things come when passion comes first.

Life should be led with fun, passion, joy and a sense of style.

To be an exceptional leader you need to be an exceptional sharer of information.

Leaders develop other leaders, they engender a sense of collective passion and purpose while enabling high potential people to thrive as individuals. 

Leaders maintain a hunger for revitalization and renewal.

Ideas are the ultimate creator of wealth. 



New postings on this blog are posted irregularly.

Once a post is posted it is often revised.  Each revision is posted in real-time as it is being written.

Readers may obtain e-mail notification of new postings on this blog by clicking the follower button.

To See A List of Prior Postings click on “Archives” and then click on the posting(s) you wish to read.

Happy reading and best wishes,

Gary S. Smolker, Publisher of the Gary S. Smolker Idea Exchange Blog, http://www.garysmolker.wordpress.com

Copyright © 2014 by Gary S. Smolker

  1. Good job Gary! I sent this to my daughter who is a Realtor in Ventura and to my architect friend here in Santa Barbara because I thought you covered the book “All Marketers Are Liars” extremely well and that they could get some great sales tips from your blog. I know I did!

    But, I don’t know how you find the time to do all the writing you do Gary. When do you eat, sleep or work?

    Thanks for your blog!

    Your pal,

  2. Hi Gary! I think this blog is refreshing all the way down to the jazzy uplifting music. Runway Magazine supports you and wish you the best of luck with it…:)

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    Get Legal Magazine

  3. Hi Gary, You and Judi shared a table with us at a night club on Bourbon St. during your trip to NOLA. Then we ran into Judi in a cemetery and you on the street after you had bought your shirt to get into Commanders Palace. I’m from Boise ID and we talked about food here. You really should give it a try. I recommend Red Feather – it’s mostly local food and they even have a worm farm in the cellar where they recycle food and use the compost to grow more food. Both Melissa and I enjoyed talking with you and Judi. Hope you’re doing well. Fun travels….

    • Susan, Thank you for your comment. I think the reason New Orleans has so many great restaurants is because it has so many great restaurants. New Orleans is an example of the systemic effects of having productive creative people (such as chefs) and business enterprises (restaurants) in close proximity to one another. Great restaurants bring in tourists who want to eat at great restaurants which creates a bigger demand for great restaurants. The impact of productive peers is that everyone becomes more productive. Innovations spread from one person to another person across streets, and so on and so forth. It is a virtuous cycle. Judi and I enjoyed talking to you and Melissa and we are doing well. Gary

  4. Mike McGuinness

    Hi – might I suggest checking out the following books by Gary Taubes:
    1. “Good Calories, Bad Calories – Fats, Carbs and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health”
    2. “Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It”
    Since eliminating sugar insofar as possible (no milk – contains sucrose; no fruit – contains sugars) and limiting net carbs to 20/day, I essentially have eliminated my use of insulin (except when I “cheat” and eat Christmas cookies) and have not gained back the 40lbs I lost when changing my lifestyle two + years ago. Lipid profiles are fabulous and I mainly keep an eye on triglycerides (<50) at last check.
    Best to all…

    Mike McGuinness, CIH

    PS – I'm not sure that this is the proper place for this post relative to the diet thread Gary is reporting on…

  5. Hi Gary,
    Here’s a short version to a long answer about the state of farming in the USA. Some of what I’m saying here I will soon post on your Blog about the book report on The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
    The small one crop farmer isn’t making it, so one by one they are bought out by the corporations who take advantage of laws that were intended to help the small independent farmer. In previous centuries the farmer grew several crops at once while using agrarian principles and empirical knowledge that evolved over thousands of years, ie. letting the ground stay fallow every 7th year, so that the soil can be enriched by the absorption of the colloidal minerals that are transferred to the vegetables and fruits we eat. But when synthetic fertilizer was introduced in the 1920’s, farming dramatically changed. As Michael Pollan states in his book The Omnivore’s Dilemma, “Growing corn, which from a biological perspective had always been a process of capturing sunlight to turn in into food, has in no small measure become a process of converting fossil fuels into food.” The inventor of synthetic fertilizer, Fritz Haber, was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1920 for “improving the standards of agriculture and well being of mankind.” Synthetic fertilizer is made by combining nitrogen and hydrogen under intense heat and pressure in the presence of a catalyst. Huge amounts of electricity are needed and the hydrogen is supplied by oil, coal, or natural gas. As Pollan wrote “Liberated from the old biological constraints, the farm could now be managed on industrial principles, as a factory transforming inputs of raw material –chemical fertilizer–into outputs of corn.” Corn uses 50% of the synthetic fertilizer produced. The game of producing massive amounts of corn at the taxpayers expense was on. The underpinnings of BIG CORPORATE agriculture is the bottom line, where profits often supersedes the health of the people it serves. As the public became more aware of the depleted nutrients that we received from the vegetables and fruits we eat, the nutritional supplement business started to flourish in the 1990’s.
    The next ugly shift in the food we eat came in 1994 with the emergence of the Genetically Modified Organism (GMO). The promise of higher yield and crops engineered to be resistant to herbicides was met with resistance in over 60 countries, including all of the European Union, Japan, and Australia. But not the US. I would imagine that Big Business had their say in this acceptance. It should be of no surprise to see that Monsanto is buying up many of those small farms going under – the very same farms that were forced to buy Monsanto’s seeds every year (GMO corn doesn’t provide seeds, unlike natural corn) which put the farmer further into debt. The farmers were doomed like landed fish, it was just a matter of time before their farming days were over, and with it another brain drain on the proper way to farm. The Monopoly food game is rigged by giants such as Dupont and Monsanto, with of course, a complicit government. It’s alarming that there’s little public uproar when former VP and attorney for Monsanto, Michael Taylor was appointed Deputy Commissioner of Foods, a newly created job in the FDA. When there’s a conflict of interest, the public is the guinea pig.
    The tentacles of corn fan out deep into the fabric of the food industry. This includes the numerous corn based products, corn sweeteners, corn oil, starch,etc, used in processed foods and drinks. Corn has become the staple for the fast food beef industry. Corn sweetener is one of the main components in soft drinks like Coca Cola. So it’s easy to see how many businesses benefit from a low corn price, especially when the Government underwrites it with taxpayer money that subsidizes the farmer for his bumper crop of corn.
    The side effects of jumping with both feet into the GMO pool are starting to be noticed in the increased rate of miscarriages and gastrointestinal diseases. Corn is our #1 vegetable, so it should be the 1st place to look at when there’s a dramatic rise in a health problem. Will Michael Taylor turn over every stone to expose what is necessary for the public to know.
    In India, over 250,000 farmers have committed suicide because of Monsanto’s costly seeds and pesticides, not to mention the meager results that failed to meet the promises of Monsanto.
    The shift that went against the grain of common sense has begun. Can we turn it around? Maybe we can start by changing our buying habits.
    Since we are being treated like cattle eating from the same trough, it’s time to lift our heads up and ask the grocer what foods are GMO produced and stay away from them. Why not even ask the grocer why they don’t have a section in the produce section marked GMO or non GMO? Maybe, they’ll start listening if enough people mention that they are concerned about the health issues that GMO’s may contribute too.
    Stop eating FAST FOOD. It’s crap and we know it. But now their meat is corn fed beef, not grass fed. The rumen (stomach) of cattle is designed to process grass not corn, especially GMO corn.
    Keep you head up and make a difference.

  6. Stephen Bottfeld

    Hi Gary,

    Reading your blog reminded me that my own loss of 60 lbs over a 14 month period eliminated my sleep apnea, reduced my COPD to almost normallevels and led to the elimination of cancer in my kidney.

    People don’t seem to recognize the impact of excessive weight on diseases. They think diabetes and maybe heart problems. They don’t realize the impact excess weight has on ALL body functions and elements … and that includes brain activity as well!

    Keep on writing!!


    • And note all the over weight people consume lots of “diet” foods and drinks. these contain diuretics. diuretics effect the thyroid and cause weight gain because the thyroid controls metabolism.

      Effects of diuretics on thyroid function of guinea pigs.
      Chow SY, Tao PL.
      Uptake of radioiodide by the isolated thyroid and serum concentrations of thyroxine (T4) and tri-iodothyronine (T3) were determined in guinea pigs pretreated with ethacrynic acid (20 mg/kg), furosemide (40 mg/kg) or hydrochlorothiazide (40 mg/kg). It was found that both ethacrynic acid and furosemide suppressed the 131I uptake by the isolated thyroid tissues. In addition, thyroid weight and serum T3 concentration were lower in ethacrynic acid-treated animals. It seems that some diuretics, particularly ethacrynic acid, depressed the function of thyroidal follicular cells.

      Stop eating diet foods and drinks
      Drink more water and you will consume less real food.
      Hunger is really thirst. Drink water when you think you are hungry.

      • According to Dr. Mark Hyman:

        Diet drinks are not good substitutes for sugar-sweetened drinks. They increase cravings, weight gain, and type 2 diabetes and they are addictive.

        The direct and indirect costs of diabetes in America in 2007 amounted to $174 billion. The cost of obesity is also significant, and amounts to $113 billion every year. From 2000 to 2010, these two conditions have already cost us a total of $3 trillion.

        By 2020, there will be fewer than 20 million deaths worldwide from infectious disease, but more than 50 million deaths chronic preventable lifestyle diseases – heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. These are all fueled by the same preventable risk factors: high blood pressure, overweight, physical inactivity, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and smoking.

        But strikingly, 95 percent of private and public efforts and finding focus almost exclusively on combating communicable or infectious disease.

    • Steve,

      I read in “The Daniel Plan” (a book published in 2014, written by Rick Warren, D. Min., Daniel Amen, M.D. and Mark Hyman, M.D.):

      One in two Americans suffer from some chronic disease. Heart disease; diabetes; cancer; dementia; autoimmune diseases; allergies, acid reflux; irritable bowels; neurological problems; depression; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; thyroid, hormonal, and menstrual problems; skin problems including eczema, psoriasis, acne, and more. We spend almost $3 trillion a year on our health care system, and almost 80 percent of that is for chronic lifestyle preventable and reversible disease.

      I would like people to think through their myriad lifestyle choices. Your posted comment will help them do that.

      Please ask any cartoonist to draw a cartoon for me to use, FREE OF CHARGE, in which a physician says “Only you can end illness.”

      Check out my post entitled “Footnote No. 2 in A Mentor’s Journal – High Powered Time Starved Woman Working While She Hurriedly East Breakfast” – about a heart attack about to happen.

      Best regards,


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