Witch hunts

https://tim.blog/2016/06/18/jamie-foxx-part-2-bringing-the-thunder/

If you ask anyone who’s read [Fahrenheit 451], that hasn’t read it in like 20 years, “What do you remember of how that came to be in the book?” They’d say, “There’s this totalitarian government.” The truth is, it was the people. It was the people who decided that any dissenting opinions that would offend specific groups in society, ought to be burned. So it was self-inflicted. I think that’s what we are doing right now. We are slowly torching the first amendment and free speech by, basically, going on these witch hunts. I think it’s the most dangerous thing in the U.S. right now.

~ Tim Ferris

Normally, the Tim Ferris show is Tim interviewing his guests. But this episode is a rebroadcast of Jamie Foxx interviewing Tim.

First, great book. Second, I’m a huge believer of the marketplace of ideas. (That’s a significant part of the reason behind my Movers Mindset podcast project.)

Moloch

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moloch#As_social_or_political_allegory

In Allen Ginsberg’s poem “Howl” (1955), Moloch is used as a metaphor for capitalism and industrial civilization, and for America more specifically. The word is repeated many times throughout Part II of the poem, and begins (as an exclamation of “Moloch!”) in all but the first and last five stanzas of the section.

I just recently, (in the scale of my life,) stumbled over an explicit reference to Moloch. I was all like, “Moloch? Who the what is that? *bookmark*”

I finally got around to reading the WikiPedia article and realized that there’s a huge amount of Moloch wriggled into and behind a ton of the classic fiction which I love.

I struggle with distractions

To say that I “struggle” with distractions is a HUGE understatement.

Some time ago, I saw the following idea — sorry, I forget where — and I wanted to share it. (I’ve no idea if/how you would do this on non-Apple-IOS devices, sorry.) Ready?

Move EVERYTHING off of the home screen.

This is not the lock screen on my phone — THIS IS THE HOME SCREEN. When I unlock the phone, this is what I see. Nothing. The frequent-apps/dock is empty, and all the apps are ‘rightward’ in other screens. And they’re just in a jumbled mess because I never swipe off this screen.

Instead, I swipe down and type in the search field.

Perhaps you’re thinking, “so what?”

It changes your life. I spent weeks (after making this change) waking up my phone, staring at this screen and thinking, “wait, why did I wake up my phone?” Now I think, “what’s the weather going to be?” wake the phone, swipe down, type ‘w-e’ touch weather app. Etc. Wake the phone, do exatcly what I want, close phone.

Yes, this does still require a small bit of discipline to not double-tap Home and swipe through the running apps, but I never was a big user of that anyway.

If you’re paying close attention, you’ll note my phone is in “do not disturb” mode at 1:30 in the afternoon. That’s another pro-tip. Add EVERYONE you’d ever want a call from to your VIP list. Disable the “ring through” feature (where multiple calls from the same number can push through do not disturb). Then schedule DND from 11:01 to 11:00 daily. <<= …read the ordering of those times carefully.

(…and sorry, no, that is not the one-secret-minute when you could actually call me.)

Any time I’m expecting a call from someone random — car’s in the shop, plumber is expected around 9am — I just turn off ‘do not disturb’. As a bonus, I immediately realize how many junk calls I used to get. I don’t have a problem remembering to turn it back on, and I get a fresh reminder of how delightful it is to have the phone screen my calls.

These days?

My phone now NEVER rings.

Except when it does! …and I discover that it is now always someone I would like to talk to.

One.
Tiny.
Success.
At.
A.
Time.

Go for a walk in the woods and listen to this

Imagine you’re walking through a forest. I’m guessing you’re thinking of a collections of trees — what we foresters call a “stand” — with their rugged stems and their beautiful crowns. Yes, trees are the foundation of forestes, but a forest is much more than what you see.

~ Suzanne Simard

Go for a walk in the woods, and listen to this short TED talk. You may go into the wood seeing trees, but you’ll come out having heard much more.

Genius

https://www.brainpickings.org/2018/01/08/germaine-de-stael-passions-happiness-glory/

One of the most fascinating portions of her treatise, for it applies to nearly every aspect of life in every era at every level of society, deals with the complex ecosystem of talent, ambition, and success — what we do with our talent, what others make of our success, and how to cope with one of the ugliest impulses of the human heart: the small-spirited urge to tear down those who have risen to prominence by their own merit.

~ Maria Popova

Two centuries old (ie, very new). There’s nothing new under the sun (at least, in terms of the crap humans do wrongly ;)

Perfect game theorists

http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/09/04/cooperation-un-veiled/

…now I want to write a science fiction novel about a planet full of aliens who are perfect game theorists, but who always behave kindly and respectfully to one another. Then some idiot performs a census, and the whole place collapses into apocalyptic total war.

~ Scott Alexander

That pull quote is simply fun. The article is actually a serious attempt to pick apart an interesting philosophical question.

I’m not sure I agree with his conclusions… actually, I’m not even sure I understand the question he’s thinking about. But I find that the more I peek in the dark corners of the basement of my philosophical ideas, the more comfortable I sleep at night.

From the ‘we are space craft run by bacteria’ department…

https://phys.org/news/2018-01-good-bacteria-genes.html

This work, led by Dr. Patrick Varga-Weisz shows how chemicals produced by bacteria in the gut from the digestion of fruit and vegetables can affect genes in the cells of the gut lining. These molecules, called short chain fatty acids, can move from the bacteria and into our own cells. Inside our cells, they can trigger processes that change gene activity and that ultimately affect how our cells behave.

Have you heard of nutrigenomics? (“The study of the effects of foods and food constituents on gene expression.”)

Genetics is completely main stream. Certain genes for eye color, certain genes pre-dispose you to this disease or that cancer. Wizardy one hundred years ago. Totally main-stream today. Next came “the gut biome” (the collection of genes in the bacteria in your gut) and how that DIRECTLY affects you. Some people are not yet up to speed on the gut biome, but most everyone is now on board.

Next up is nutrigenomics. The realization (this is not wacky theory, but now a part of functional medicine) that what you eat LITERALLY alters the expression of your DNA. What you eat, literally alters how your body — your individual cells — activate and use your DNA.

Treat people like human beings

http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/08/31/radicalizing-the-romanceless/

In the end what he wanted wasn’t entitlement to other people’s money, or a pity job from someone who secretly didn’t like him. All he needed to keep going was to have people acknowledge there was a problem and treat him like a frickin’ human being.

~ Scott Alexander

I’ve heard that men tend to be quick to propose solutions. That fits perfectly with my self-perception: When someone complains, or voices a concern, or raises an issue, etc., my first instinct is to try to find the root cause (or at least, a major cause) and then immediately start proposing or brain-storming solutions, things to change, action items.

It took me a long time to understand that what everyone wants, first of all, it to be understood.

Ketosis

https://peterattiamd.com/the-interplay-of-exercise-and-ketosis-part-i/

To test the relationship between exercise and ketosis I decided to examine my blood levels of glucose, B-OHB, and lactate immediately before and after three different types of workouts on three successive days. This interplay is complex and no one knows “everything” about it, including the world’s experts (which I am not pretending to be). I’m going to try to balance a fine line in this post – I want to be rigorous enough to explore the ideas with substance but not too detailed to put you to sleep. I hope I am able to balance these forces adequately.

~ Peter Attia

The more I read about the human body, the more fascinated I become. One of the big dietary changes I started long ago was to just “try to eat fewer refined carbohydrates.” Less cookies, breakfast cereal, that sort of thing. And then I spun off into intermittent fasting and ketosis and on and on.

But this guy, he’s gone way WAY farther down the rabbit hole. This article is a superlative dissection of ketosis, fuels (carbohydrate, protein, fat), wattage, workouts and … well, the best part is after all of it, there’s no strong conclusion. It’s just this wonderful exploration of how one person’s body performed under a bunch of circumstances.

Anyway. File this one under: Human body = amazing.