Release Q4 2017
Many important things in life appear superficial, disposable, until we lose them: health, love, purpose, ethics, time, the irreplaceable. How can we find meaning in a random world? How to make a fruitful use of time? Where is the good life, to the extent we can create it for ourselves and for others? We live in a world of having and doing too much or too little. Society entices consumption while depriving us of moments to meditate, to be alone with ourselves, to exist. We receive notifications, interruptions and distractions, reducing our ability to focus, to pursue deep work, and to prioritize. Instead of concentrating 5 hours at a time, we are invited to switch every 5 minutes.
The challenges of carving freedom, calibrating quantities, making use of time, do not originate in modernity and have existed at least since the first records over 2,000 years ago, as told by the writings of Hippocrates, Seneca, and later on by Paracelsus and Nietzsche. Modernity is not the issue. It is how we approach life that is. These are the challenges we discuss in Robustness, by combining disciplines that are often seen as opposites: passion and rationality, freedom and determinism, epicureanism and caloric restriction, metaphysics and physiology, statistics and life stories, not how to choose between one or the other, but how to live with both. While popular ideologies paint the world in black or in white, the world needs truth.
Robustness embarks the reader on a hedonist manifesto, a bold bet to reconcile apparent opposites, a joint venture between scientific research, memoir and philosophical essay. The project took Nicolas Pujol not only to libraries and research labs. He went on to meet scientists, adventurers on volcanos, and to discover the methods and poignant stories of Robert Marchand, the oldest athlete on the planet.
This book is for life enthusiasts: fitness and sports practitioners, epicureans who like to experiment, to taste all flavors with all senses, metaphysicists who ask themselves deeper questions, and those who want to live without indifference, conscious that because life isn’t fair it is up to us to make it more so. Robustness takes readers on a travel through space and through time, to reflect on what matters to them, to build their own anti-regret framework.