Monday, October 26, 2020

I'm Still Alive!

 Just wanted to let you know that I'm not dead!

I've recently had an opportunity that is going to take all my extra time and attention for the next several months.

Even though it's a tough decision I decided to put my podcast on hold until I get things in my life normalized again.

The good news is, after an initial push I should have more time to devote to the podcast and I can get back on schedule. 

I have really enjoyed the process and finally got into a good rhythm so I'm a little bummed that I'm going to stop but I think it will be for the best in the long run.

In the meantime keep sending me questions and I might do a little Q&A show every now and again if there is any interest. 

Friday, August 21, 2020

Podcast Episode 53: The Tragedy of Age Segregation

Kids go to school, spend all day with other kids their age

People are encouraged to retire, leaving the workforce for people in working age

Older people spend their time in retirement homes

The normal thing is for the grandparents to help teach the kids

Grandparents teach what is most important, morals, how to live a good life

Parents teach more practical things, how to make a living, how to organize your life etc

Why the change?

Perhaps because things are changing so much that many people look at their parents and grandparents as uninformed because they don’t know the latest tech.

Schools and the push for retirement are big factors

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Podcast Episode 52: Designing your vision for your life

People making drastic life choices without thinking them through

Autopilot just following the path of least resistance

Buying things you don’t need or sometimes don’t even really want

Weighing the importance of each thing

There isn’t enough time or money for you to do everything so you must actively prioritize

Big potential mistakes:

Going into debt - car, house, college, consumer

Wasting time

Not having an idea of what you want your life to look like

What to do?

Think about what a perfect day would look like for you

Try to be as realistic as possible (sitting around all day gets boring fast)

What can you do to design your day to look like that as much as possible?

Do this exercise often because it will motivate you and also it will change over time.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Podcast Episode 50: Making the World Stronger by Allowing Groups to Split

 When more than one leader crops up it is because the people no longer agree on something fundamental

Social insects follow this pattern

Primates follow this pattern

Dunbar’s number hypothesizes that we can have a group of 150 people max that we feel comfortable socializing with

If a group gets so big that each person no longer knows all the others then it’s harder to agree on a leader (or common ideologies)

The tribe then splits (or fights)

This is probably good over all

As long as the groups can get along, separating because of fundamental differences leads to more options

The more options there are, the more likely a better option will emerge

If we force everyone to stay in the same group it is probably unhealthy

-it leads to animosity and resentment

-If there is only one option it is less likely to be the ideal (fragile)

How could a system like this work?

Maybe try to design cities with this in mind

Allow communities as much autonomy as possible

Make sure there are clear agreements, traditions, expectations, etc for what happens when there needs to be a split. (peace treaty, who leaves and who stays)

Dispute resolution is key

Monday, August 10, 2020

Podcast Episode 49: Personal Preparedness


Risk Assessment

Fragility Assessment

most common things are not what most people think of

Lost job (savings (money and food), personal connections, side hustles)

Sickness (savings, insurance, personal support group)

Disability (savings, insurance)

Unexpected expenses (savings, insurance)

Death (savings, insurance)


Less likely things are potentially more disruptive

Natural disaster (food storage, insurance)

Economic problems (food storage, social connections)


Pandemics (food storage)


Preparing for the more common things usually sets you up pretty good for the more disruptive things

Find ways to make yourself ant-fragile


Make a budget, start saving, financial freedom!!

Eat what you store, store what you eat.

Get insurance!!

Help those around you and build social connections

Friday, July 31, 2020

Podcast Episode 48: Google Keep

 -Widget on your phone

-record audio

When people give you a suggestion, make a note

When you think of something, make a note

Must plan on looking at it at some point

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Podcast Episode 47: Collective Preparedness vs Individual Preparedness

Collective preparedness is fragile

We can’t always predict everything

We can’t have stuff for everyone

Only one option, if we get it wrong everyone is hurt

Individual preparedness is anti-fragile

Most people are prepared for the things that they think are most likely

Anyone who is wrong can be helped by those who are right

There are thousands of options with varying degrees of usefulness

Distribution is easier

No single point of failure

Each area, community and person is more likely to know what their needs are

Monday, July 27, 2020

Podcast Episode 46: Time Management

Capture Tasks (Stay Focused)
When you are already doing something and you see something else that needs to be done, write it down wherever you need to so you can remember it later.
Unless it is more urgent or important than what you are doing now
Or it won’t throw you off track
Prioritize Tasks
What is Urgent?
Things that will cause major consequences if they are not done on time
What is most important
What do you enjoy
Plan Tasks
Try to eliminate as many urgent tasks as you can (Focus Funnel Procrastinate on Purpose by Rory Vaden)
Eliminate - Ignore
Automate - Invest
Delegate - Delegate
Permanence of deadline 
Rock - Cannot be changed, you do it at this time or not at all
Wood - Date is set but you could potentially change it
Clay - Better if scheduled but can be moved easily
Water - No scheduling needed, can be done any time
Focus on the most important urgent item and get it done then move on to the next
Take small breaks as desired (pomodoro)
When All your urgent tasks are done, work on the things that are most important and that you most enjoy.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Podcast Episode 44: Crowdsourced Funding

It is difficult to fight piracy.

Are copyrights moral? (another day)

You can get the product for free or maybe watch an ad or something (you would be able to anyway)

Or you can buy the product and then you get a share from all future profits

Monday, July 20, 2020

Podcast Episode 43: Make Everyone Your Coach

Ask For Advice

Ask Questions


Last week we talked about coaching. This week I will share a trick that will let you turn everyone you meet into a potential coach.

When you talk with people, the natural tendency is to do most of the talking but the people who are the best conversationalists are the people that listen the most. They listen and they ask good questions.

The trick is asking good questions, these are questions that allow the other person to share things that are important to them.

Body Language. Where are the feet pointing

While you are asking questions you may as well ask advice about the things that this person is good at.

Remember, only listen to advice from people that know what they are talking about. If someone is unhealthy, discount their advice about health. If they are poor, money. Etc. (always exceptions)

Friday, July 17, 2020

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Podcast Episode 41: Freedom of Association vs Anti-Discrimination Laws

Freedom to refuse service

Freedom of association

Lawsuits against wedding cake businesses who refuse to make a cake for gay weddings

Anti-discrimination laws for employers

This idea sounds good in theory but has unintended consequences

Whenever we try to legislate morality it becomes difficult to enforce and usually starts creating inequalities with how people are treated under law

If I have a company I have the right to refuse service to anyone no matter what because it’s my company. If I want to be a racist that is my right. I will probably go out of business but I have the right to make that choice.

If I want to fire someone I should be able to do that for any reason whatsoever. For the same reasoning. If I fire people because I’m racist then I will miss out on good employees from other races and will be less competitive. Plus as news of my stance spreads, there will be many people that will boycott my business because of that.

The market will correct itself if people truly believe in a cause.

If the government gets involved it can create many unintended consequences. If I fire someone because they are a bad employee. They might try to sue me for discrimination. Well I was discriminating... against bad employees. The creates an enforcement issue that favors bad employees because they have less to lose from the situation.

What if I have a haircutting place for people with african style hair. Someone that doesn’t have that type of hair would be discriminated against because they can’t be served.

What about a mens haircut place? Is that discriminating against women?

If I have a sales job then I might want someone who can speak fluent english. Is that discrimination?

What about movie studios, when they need someone to fill a black role is that being racist that they aren’t hiring white people?

Monday, July 13, 2020

Podcast Episode 40: Natural Talent and Hard Work Are No Longer Enough

Against the Rules with Michael Lewis

Natural Talent is no longer enough

When playing sports the older you get, the less it is about natural talent

Canadian kids highlight the advantage of coaching

Thrive 15 coaches businesses to success

Kids that have better test coaches/tutors get higher scores on standardized tests

Better schools lead to better outcomes

No matter how good/smart you are, you will not be able to compete for long without some sort of coaching.

Is this a problem that exacerbates inequality?

Friday, July 10, 2020

Podcast Episode 39: Motion Sensor Solar Lights

Solar Motion Sensor Lights


I found some cheap with a deal several years ago and really liked them. I don’t have a specific brand but Jack over at the Survival Podcast recommends these ones and his reviews are very reliable.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Podcast Episode 38: How a Free Market Handles Shortages (Toilet Paper Anyone?)

Auto-Adjusting Price

Empty shelves are evidence of government interference in the free market or an economically ignorant population educated by said government. In free markets scarce goods are always available at a price and competition keeps it as low as possible.

In an optimized market store shelves could automatically increase pricing as inventory fell and lower pricing as inventory rises.  Imagine if we used bancor to ensure everything is always available to those who need it most when they need it.

All the more reason to have prices rapidly adjusted to ration remaining supplies and reward those who prepared. Instead we punish those who prepare to serve this market by denying them profits.

Those guys take an economic bet that future demand will be higher.  Further more, if stores had dynamic pricing then it wouldn’t be possible to buy them out to resell higher.

In a market with fair money and free from government distortion those with money have earned it by providing value to others in the past.  If money is not the arbiter of scarce resources then political clout or those willing to wait in line at 3am become the “virtuous” entitled.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Podcast Episode 37: Should I Invest In Bitcoin?

What is bitcoin
Peer-to-peer network
Immutable Ledger of transactions
Bitcoin solved the “double spend” problem
World wide access (internet)
Fixed supply. Rate of inflation cannot be altered
Relatively fast and cheap transactions
In a normal market, as demand increases the price increases which leads to more supply being created by producers joining the market which lowers the price which leads to less supply being created as producers leave the market.
This happens constantly which allows the price (supply and demand) to reach an equilibrium.
If you have something with a fixed supply then there is no way for supply to adjust to meet demand. This means that the price is completely tied to demand. And because demand is the unpredictable and uncontrollable aspect of price. The swings can be irrational at times.
This is predicted to lead to volatility.
There are other, theoretically better, cryptocurrencies out there that could make bitcoin obsolete.
There could be a new technology that renders bitcoin useless. Perhaps quantum computers
Many people have gotten rich from the large price swings of bitcoin.
Many people have lost everything from the large price swings
At this early stage it isn’t really an investment, it’s speculation. Which means that you should only speculate with money that you are willing to lose because you probably will.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Podcast Episode 36:

Amazon price tracker

Notifies you when it hits a certain price

Shows best deals on amazon

Rss feeds of deals in a category

It only saves you money if you would’ve spent it anyway

Just because it’s a deal doesn’t mean you have to buy it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Podcast Episode 35: Virtual Reality Driver Training

Virtual reality simulator that mimics real driving as much as possible

Let kids drive when they get a high enough score?

Your car can judge your driving?

Yearly test or something

Maybe a vr app you could have at home.

Over time your score goes down

As you drive in the app your score goes up

Testing centers 

Monday, June 29, 2020

Podcast Episode 34: Self Awareness

Accept and love yourself

Don’t take things personally take them as suggestions (facts)

Listen to what others say, even if they’re joking there can sometimes be truth to what they say

Step back and imagine that you are an outside observer watching your speech and actions. What would you think of yourself?

Pay attention to what things bother you in other people and chances are, they bother you because your subconscious knows that you do those same things.

Come at it from a desire to learn and grow, not to feel bad about yourself. None of us are perfect but we should always try to be better.

If someone gives you feedback about yourself that you don’t agree with, listen anyway. They’re not always going to be right but they are more likely to be right then you are.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Podcast Episode 33: How I Fixed my Knee

I don’t know a ton about different herbal remedies but I had this product recommended to me.

Growing up I played a lot of soccer. A little during high school but mostly after I started having sharp pains in my knees. One knee would hurt pretty bad so I would wear a brace on that one and then the other one would start to hurt so I would switch.

In addition to the sharp pain while playing, they would also ache quite often making it hard to sleep sometimes.

I had this product recommended to me because it is able to help your body to reproduce cells faster, including your bones and other deep issues.

I was a little dubious but I started putting it on whenever my knees hurt. They seemed to have a small pain relief effect in the short term but I started to notice that I was using it less and less as my knees stopped aching. I also stopped wearing the knee brace while playing. In the last year I have probably only used it once.

My boss uses for cracked hands

My mother-in-law uses it for cracking feet

Also good for small cuts and bruises

Don’t use for deep cuts

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Podcast Episode 32: Finding everyone a Good Job

Currently it’s all about who you know. Getting connections is the key to getting a good job. If you are just sending in resumes then you are going to have a hard time finding a new job.

This makes it difficult for people that don’t have connections to get ahead in life.

We could help teach people how to make valuable connections

We could create companies that do it for us

Companies want employees and are willing to pay

Employees want jobs and are willing to pay

There is incentive on both sides to solve this problem.

Headhunters keep a list of people that they know are good employees and they are always looking for opportunities to connect their people with good jobs. Why not have a scalable version of this.

Tinder for jobs

Counselors to help you find interesting jobs

Schools help with learning specific skills

Monday, June 22, 2020

Podcast Episode 31: Junk Food for the Brain

I was listening to a podcast and the host asked the guy, “Why are people so addicted to the news?”. The guy responded quickly and almost dismissively, “It’s junk food! It’s just junk food for the brain. Anything shocking or anything like that, it’s junk food.” They moved on to a new subject but for whatever reason his quote stuck with me.

What is easier to sell, cookies or vegetables?

What will have people coming back again and again because they crave it?

I feel like over time the news has just gone more and more towards the “junk food” and less and less towards healthy foods.

So to take this analogy further:

Junk food:

Quick high - shocking news gives you a jolt

Bad for you short term and long term - in the short term it makes you anxious and emotional, in the long term it makes you cynical, depressed, numb.

Healthy food:

Not as exciting up front - almost boring sometimes

Leaves you feeling good - learning something new

Gives you more energy - Leaves you feeling positive about the world

Allows your body to heal.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Podcast Episode 30: EDC (Everyday Carry)

Every day carry

Wallet - Grip6 Wallet v1 (not for sale)

Keychain - Carabiner clip


Gerber Dime -

Knipex Pliers -

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Podcast Episode 29: Kidney Donation Market

Kidney Donation Market

Is it ethical to allow people to sell their kidneys?

Potential issues

Poor people could be manipulated into selling their kidneys because they feel they need the money or even as collateral for a loan.

Is this a bad thing? I’m not sure... probably

The purpose of a market is to  allow supply and demand to work out the optimal distribution of a scarce resource

Money is a great way to run a market because it is fungible, easily transferable and allows people to make good decisions.

But a market doesn’t have to be monetary.

Other solutions:

Kidney paired exchange programs

If you want to donate to a friend or family member but you are incompatible, you can donate to someone else in the same situation and you can swap the kidneys.

Preferred status for organ donors

People who have signified their intent to be organ donors if they die are given a preference if they ever need an organ transplant.

My idea:

Why haven’t I donated a kidney? Partially because I want to save it in case someone I care about needs it. But what if no one I care about ever needs it? What if I could donate now and then receive a voucher that I could give to anyone in the future that gets them first on the list for a new kidney?

This would allow me to donate now, helping someone who needs it, and then in the future if a friend or family member needs a kidney, I can give them my voucher which would be equivalent to giving them my kidney.

In fact, you could probably do this for all organs, but instead of you getting a voucher when you die, you could specify in your will who gets the vouchers for any organs they are able to use when you die.

This would incentivise people to donate organs now, when they are needed but still be able to get some benefit from them in the future.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Podcast Episode 28: Get Off Your Phone!!

Most mobile phone users check their phones up to 63 times daily.
Americans spend an average screen time of 5.4 hours on their mobile phones daily.
Currently, there are 272.6 million smartphone users in America.
Social media is responsible for 2 hours and 24 minutes of global internet time spent online by an average user daily.
13% of millennials spend over 12 hours on their phones daily.
Most people check their phones around 63 times a day.
Baby Boomers spend 5 hours using their phones.
Millennials spend 48 minutes texting every day.

Being on your phone isn’t a bad thing in and of itself

This really is a time management issue. There are lots of ways that we waste time doing things that don’t really make us happier

The problem with phones is that they are especially addictive

Push notifications:

This is a big one. If you haven’t disabled push notifications then your apps will send you little alerts every once in a while begging you to come back.

Disable all push notifications by default and only enable ones that you truly want to be notified of immediately. For the rest of your apps, you can check them when you want to on your schedule, not whenever the app maker wants to distract you.

variable ratio schedule - Excitement of seeing new things, sometimes something new sometimes not. Same as slot machines

FOMO - What if you miss out on some tidbit of information? This is what the app makers want you to think.

This is especially common for social media and news apps

To cure yourself of it, don’t check the app for a while and see if you really missed out on as much as you thought. I bet you won’t.

Infinite Scrolling - If there’s no bottom then you will never get the mental que or satisfaction from finishing so you will just keep scrolling forever.

Make a stopping point for yourself. Setting a timer is a good way to do this.

Autoplaying videos -

This is common in video streaming services as well as social media

When your show finishes the next one starts playing automatically, this means that if you don’t take initiative then you could sit there forever.

If possible, disable this feature so that if you want to watch the next show you’ll have to physically push the play button. This gives you a minute to decide if you really want to watch another show or not.

Remember that you are in a constant battle for your time, the only resource that you can never get more of. We only have so much time, how are you going to spend it? The app makers want you to give it to them so that they can sell your time to advertisers. They will do whatever they can to make that happen. If you don’t want that then you will need to fight back against them.

I talked about it in my first show but make sure that you are paying attention to others and not ignoring them because of you are addicted to your phone.

Ask yourself, am I making myself happier, becoming a better person, helping others?

Friday, June 12, 2020

Podcast Episode 27: Windshield Wiper Replacement Trick

If both of your windshield wipers are the same size you can apply this trick

When you feel like you need new windshield wipers just buy one new one and put it on the driver’s side.

When that one gets worn out, get a new one, put it on the driver’s side, and take the old driver’s side one and put it on the passenger side.

The passenger side one doesn’t need to be as good so your old driver’s side wiper should be fine on the passenger’s side

I look for when my wiper goes on sale and buy one so that I always have an extra one.

Extra tip

Consumer reports says that pretty much every windshield wiper will last about 6 months no matter how good it is. The better ones just do a better job before they get worn out so you don’t have to worry too much about trying to buy high quality to last longer.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Podcast Episode 26: Taxing Corporations

Each corporation's true purpose is to give profits to the shareholders. There is a going rate for how much it is worth it to risk creating a business in an area. This number rarely changes. If the expenses go up then costs must be cut elsewhere or prices for the product must go up.

Shareholders expect a certain rate of return

When you tax corporations they simply pass on the cost to the customer

Of course, the tax code is so messed up that it isn’t necessarily that simple.

Which of course brings us to our conclusion that the tax code is too complicated and probably immoral

What would a moral tax code look like?

Property taxes

States pay federal

Counties pay states

Cities pay counties

People pay cities

Each city can decide how to tax for services

This allows for the most competition between different tax ideas

Fees for services





Monday, June 8, 2020

Podcast Episode 25: Survivor Bias

Survivor bias is a form of selection bias

Selection bias is when you are doing a statistical analysis but you don’t get a good random sample because of your poor selection criteria

"They don't make 'em [them] like they used to"
it is inevitable that only those items which were built to last will have survived into the present day. Therefore, most of the old machinery still seen functioning well in the present day must necessarily have been built to a standard of quality necessary to survive. 
Everything that has failed over the intervening years is no longer visible to the general population as they have been junked, scrapped, recycled, or otherwise disposed of.

Same with old buildings

Success in sports or acting or business

During World War II, the statistician Abraham Wald took survivorship bias into his calculations when considering how to minimize bomber losses to enemy fire.[10] Researchers from the Center for Naval Analyses had conducted a study of the damage done to aircraft that had returned from missions, and had recommended that armor be added to the areas that showed the most damage.[citation needed] Wald noted that the study only considered the aircraft that had survived their missions; any bombers which had been shot down or otherwise lost had logically also been rendered unavailable for assessment. The holes in the returning aircraft, then, represented areas where a bomber could take damage and still return home safely. Wald proposed that the Navy reinforce areas where the returning aircraft were unscathed[10]:88, since those were the areas that, if hit, would cause the plane to be lost. His work is considered seminal in the then-nascent discipline of operational research.[11]
As another example, when the brodie helmet was introduced during WWI, there was a dramatic rise in field hospital admissions of severe head injury victims.[citation needed] This led army command to consider redrawing the design, until a statistician remarked that soldiers who might previously have been killed by certain shrapnel hits to the head (and therefore never showed up in a field hospital), were now surviving the same hits, and thus made it to a field hospital.

So how does this help us

It’s important to remember that just because you see someone that is successful doesn’t mean that if you do what they did that you will be successful. You need to look at all the people that followed that path and see what happened to them

Success in college

Many studies show how college graduates are more successful, make more money, etc

Usually this is shown to argue that everyone should go to college, and more dangerously, that any debt you have to go into to go to college is worth it for the payoff at the end.

The problem is that it only shows graduates and doesn’t include the people that went to college but didn’t graduate. People who get into a lot of debt and then don’t graduate end up in really bad situations.

It also doesn’t take into account the different majors. Someone who gets a degree in engineering or medicine is obviously going to make more than someone who gets a degree in gender studies or communication.

If you just follow the story given you might go to college by taking out a large student loan and then either not graduate or get a degree in a field that doesn’t pay you enough to pay off your student loan.

What you should do is recognize the survivor bias and instead decide what you want to do and then figure out what you need to do to get there. Then you can estimate what you can expect to be paid and then you can figure out how much it is worth paying to get that job. 

If you had to pay $100,000 to get a degree where you are going to be a teacher, you might want to find a cheaper way to get the degree.

Another takeaway

Kids playing sports hoping to play professional.

If they listen to the professional players and do what they do hoping to get the same results they will hear things like “Practice all the time”, “always push yourself to be better”, etc.

Well guess what, there are thousands of people that do that and most of them never become professionals.

So is it worth it to spend much of your life practicing one skill that has so little chance of a payoff?

Maybe, maybe not, but don’t be fooled by survivor bias.

When evaluating a course of action, look at the outcomes of everyone who followed that path, not just the survivors.