Friends & Advisors Update 2024

dear friends and mentors,

I'm starting a new adventure I want to tell you about.

As you know, for the last few years I've been writing about how culture, tech, and spirituality relate.

Through this work I’ve built great friendships and partnerships with entrepreneurs, and I’ve developed powerful methods of inquiry for understanding culture and meaning. Now I’m thinking about how to apply these tools in the world.

In my 2022 essay Life After Lifestyle, I showed the limits of branding, and explained how body practices and cultural ideas are replacing goods as a new kind of scalable product. With the rise of health "protocols," Bryan Johnson's Blueprint, Jhourney, and others, this prediction is playing out even faster than I expected.

Over the last year I asked myself how I want to act on these insights. With much reflection, I came to understand that mental health practices have an important role to play in the new forms of sociality I described. And thanks to my own interest in psychology and friendship with some therapeutic communities, I realized this was an area where I can make a difference.

I'm starting a new publication & membership business designed for mental health professionals, self-healing enthusiasts, and wellness entrepreneurs.

For those wondering about Other Internet, the org is stable and is starting work on an anthology of our writing. :-)

Introducing Care Culture

According to SAMHSA, over 23% of Americans over 18 (59.3 million people) have a mental illness defined by DSM criteria. These numbers are crazy, and they're only growing. Yet the medical professional struggles to explain—and cure—the "mental health epidemic."

As a result, more and more people are pushed towards alternative therapies and wellness practices, and especially toward online communities that form around self-diagnosis and treatment. From IFS to cold plunges to somatic and mindfulness-based approaches, online subcultures are now driving adoption of therapeutic practices.

There are advantages and risks to this new paradigm. As choice of treatment increasingly becomes a choice of cultural tribe, it's important to map these cultures of care and understand how they interact with established therapies.

My new project, Care Culture, addresses exactly this. With Care Culture I have three goals:

  1. Help people navigate the maze of wellness subcultures. It can be terribly hard to find a therapist. By documenting the cultural dimension of wellness subcultures and mental health practices, we can help people find practices that serve their growth and healing—whether scientific or spiritual.
  2. Create educational resources for therapists and coaches. I want to help professionals improve their effectiveness with better knowledge of the subcultures and wellness trends that play an important role in our health today.
  3. Build a community of practitioners and patients who favor integrative practice. I envision a future model of psychiatry which is flexible and fluid in its treatment approach, drawing from many models and disciplines—nutrition, spiritual traditions, storytelling, community, thoughts and behaviors, body practices, etc.

Just to be super clear, I'm figuring this out as I go. I don’t have a PhD in this topic and I haven't worked as a healthcare practitioner. Instead, I’m starting with a strong hunch and a theoretical approach—exploring the connections between culture and mental health—and going from there.

If this work is successful beyond my wildest dreams, we'll superaccelerate the adoption of integrative, holistic, and embodied models of mental health services.

The months ahead

I need to discover fit with the right audience and figure out how I can best help wellness practitioners. For the first 8-12 months, I am focused on finding my core audience and putting out great content exploring different wellness subcultures and modalities like Longevity, Internal Family Systems, and heat+cold therapy.

My aim is to build 1) an engaged audience of coaches and practitioners who pay for the pro membership, and 2) a broader audience of patients & wellness enthusiasts who get value from the wayfinding aspect of the work.

To that end, I'll be traveling around and exploring different wellness modalities. If you have one to suggest, let me know! I'm moving to California in March, so I'll be right in the thick of things.

Then next year I'll start layering on business opportunities that serve my long-term goals. I'm exploring a number of ideas here. Feel free to shoot me a message if you have thoughts.

There are a number of ways I could use your help and support.

  • Suggestions for wellness communities & modalities I should cover. What would you love me to look into and write an essay on?
  • Introductions to domain experts experts in clinical & alternative mental health, and mental health policy, who I could speak with and learn from. A good example is Steve Hayes, the creator of acceptance and commitment therapy, who I was introduced to by a friend.
  • Do you know any founders in these spaces, or people experimenting with new wellness tools and practices? I'd love to get introduced and to try out & document their offerings. An example is Othership in Toronto, where I spent a week in November experiencing their product and interviewing the team and customers.

Finally, consider becoming a Founding Member of the project. Joining as a Founding Member will grant public recognition in newsletters and on the site, and will come with other special privileges, like being in our private Advisors chat.

Founding Member
Support independent research and field-building across clinical and alternative wellness domains.
  • Lifetime access to all Care Cultures Membership benefits.
  • Public recognition on our Founding Members & Advisors directory (anonymity optional).
  • Early invitations to our private events and on-sites.
  • Receive a quarterly business update email.
Become a Founding Member

The implications of this work are big. If you’ve liked my writing in the past, consider becoming a pro member or founding member. Everyone I’ve told about this project has a mental health story to share. Even if you’re not in the mental health field, you’ll learn a lot by exploring this alongside me. I hope that this work will make the maze of scientific and spiritual mental health communities easier to navigate, whether you’re a practitioner, patient, or family member.

Thanks for your support and for being with me on this journey,