One Simple Piece Of Advice From One Of Today’s Wisest Humans

Jim Keller should need no introduction but many of you probably have no idea who he is. Ironically, it is almost a certainty that you are using many products that contain tech engineered by Jim & his teams. You might even be reading this on a device that is powered by one of Jim’s chips!

In the video above, Jim is talking with Lex Fridman, who asks what advice Jim would give to young people.

“Get good at some stuff.” -Jim Keller

Be sure to listen to the link above for Jim’s entire short but profound piece of advice for young people (and those of us who are still young at heart!)

If you are an open minded person hoping to be a little better today than you were yesterday, I highly highly advise that you listen to all of Lex’s entire conversations with Jim and subscribe to both men on social media.

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If Poverty Did Not Exist, Would People Still Decry The Ultra Wealthy?

There is virtually no debate that all humans of today enjoy a better life, on average, than all humans of 10,000 years ago. And 5,000 years ago. And 1,000 years ago. And #100years ago.

If we assume this trend is to continue, and it better or we are all in big, big trouble, than it is fair to assume that at some future point there will be no poverty. At least not poverty like we know it today where people die of starvation, homeless in the street.

This thought experiment led me to question, when society inevitably reaches the point of no poverty, will snowflakes ignorant uneducated well meaning but incorrect people still complain about the ultra wealthy having “too much money”? Sadly I imagine they will but I hope I am wrong.

Disgusting men! They should have listened to their critics and not revolutionized rail, steel, oil, & banking. They should not have accelerated the growth of the nation by an immeasurable factor! -The “Musk & Bezos have too much money in 2021 crowd”

Now I think about the same well meaning humans of the past, who thought the super wealthy of their day had too much wealth. It is highly unlikely that those humans could have ever dreamed of today’s society, where we are on an exponential path toward enlightenment. And with the benefit of hindsight, we can see that they were clearly wrong to decry such visionary risk takers as Cornelius Vanderbilt, JD Rockefeller, and Andrew Carnegie. We can literally see that those men changed the world for the better, in spite of what the critics of their day were spouting and in spite of any of their faults (they were human, after all.) Yes, they amassed vast fortunes in exchange for changing the world on such a large scale. And yes, today’s visionaries are also amassing unconscionable amounts of wealth. But that does not make it wrong. The fortunes they built are in direct proportion to the amount of collective good they have brought to others who have willingly done business with them.

Today many people complain that men like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk have “too much wealth,” which, as seen above, is not a thing. These people clearly do not understand basic economics, but more importantly they do not realize the true paradox of their complaint: everyone is Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk to someone else. Your wealth, or lack of, is completely relative. And once you realize where you are on the global scale, you might want to think twice about complaining that others have too much. Instead perhaps ask how can you help make the world a better place?

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Bravery Is Not

Bravery is not: proactively shooting someone who might be a threat.

Bravery is: notย proactively shooting someone who might be a threat.

The best and bravest are the ones who choose to take the jobs where they place themselves in the line of danger. Is that brave? Not if one goes in guns blazing.

Bravery is not mowing down any potential threat. Anyone with a big enough gun can do that. The true brave souls are those who are willing to enter a dangerous situation without a shoot-first-ask-questions-later mentality. They are the ones who cannot accidentally gun down a 12-year-old boy or an innocent man in his own home.

Perhaps applicants for these jobs should be asked if they would still want the job if they cannot shoot first? Or perhaps most peacekeepers should go sans weapon with only the most elite, highly trained given the tremendous burden of carrying a deadly weapon? They would just be a small elite group that have weapons that are called in to the extreme cases when they are needed. To think that chasing someone down a big city warrants a plethora of people carrying a weapon is laughably naรฏve at this point when thousands of cameras cover every square foot of the world. What are we not going to find these people? Are they going to get away?

Most critics of this proposal instantly argue something along the lines of “if police cannot carry weapons no one would apply for the job.”

Great – let the market decide. That is in fact, the entire point of the exercise. Let the market weed out the “shoot first” crowd so that only the bravest men & women take on the job and only the most elite of that group are given weapons on the regular. The result may be less accidental/mistaken shootings with more qualified people on the job. Efficiency all around.

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Humbled By Benjamin Franklin In 2021

Part of living a simple, minimalistic, stoic life is making and keeping a routine. The vast majority of my days are the same. Not the content, so to speak, but rather the format. Wake, do things pretty much in a similar order than yesterday, sleep, repeat.

This does not mean I have boring, monotonous days every day. In fact my days are the opposite! My days are exciting and full of energy because I control the flow while generally knowing what to expect. It also helps that I work for myself but this routine based mentality can work for anyone and everyone!

While I have had my routine for years, I do tweak it from time to time. At one point I was a young, single man playing hours and hours of late night online poker, and my routine during those days was…a little different…than it is now.

180 man MTTs on Stars back in the good ole days! I had no idea how good I had it

Presently my routine has generally consisted of 17 hour days. This 17 hour schedule developed organically from a 16 hour routine. At first I would push my waking hours as long as I could, generally until around 23:00, and then I would sleep in until around 07:00 or so. I was getting the doctor recommended 8 hours and not thinking much of it.

As I have aged I have realized that while sleep is of paramount importance (healing!), I do not necessarily need a full 8 hours every night. Rather I should listen to my body and what my body was saying was that I can run on less sleep at night and work in naps during the day if needed. (Who doesn’t love a nap?!)

The result has been my current schedule of 17 hour days, starting at 05:00 with lights out at 22:00. I have kept this schedule for the past decade or so and recently I learned that I am not necessarily a trailblazer in this category.

Enter Benjamin freakin’ Franklin. He literally kept the EXACT SAME SCHEDULE!

UNREAL!

One of the smartest humans to ever live was owning his days on the exact same schedule but ~250 years before me! While Ben certainly was not perfect, who is? I know I am not. Are you? Chances are you are not either! But you can try to be, day in and day out, which is what Ben and I are doing. Asking what good can we do. Examining our day. Looking to make the world a better place. Refusing to be spiteful or vindictive.

To honor Mr. Franklin I have listed my SCHEME in his format, with a small 2021 spin on it.

Thank to my Apple Watch, one of the most fantastic devices ever created, I monitor both my sleep and heart statistics. Keeping to this routine has helped me develop a resting heart rate < 50 bpm that dips below 40 bpm on many occasions.

While there are anomalies from time to time (sleep in every once in a while, treat yo’ self!) sticking to my Ben’s routine has been a tremendous help for both my physical and mental health. Parenting experts are in near unanimous agreement that children do better when they stick to a daily routine. Why in the world would anyone think that would change as we age?!

Develop a routine that works for you. Then stick to it. One day at a time.

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Why I Am Bearish On Bitcoin (But Not Blockchains)

In all of this crpyto craze, I have a few questions for Bitcoin Bulls. These questions are just for Bitcoin, not all crypto, not the Blockchain. Just Bitcoin. Because I believe there is tremendous value in the Blockchain. In fact I believe real estate transactions and even voting will eventually be done on blockchain technology and people will wonder how they ever did things any other way.

When it comes to Bitcoin I have a few questions I would just like a simple answer to. It amazes me that whenever I see a Bitcoin “expert” discuss Bitcoin, they never provide answers to the simple questions below:

  • Why should anyone own Bitcoin versus any other cryptocurrency? (“Because everyone is going to own Bitcoin in the future” is not an intellectual answer yet that is the #1 answer I hear to this question.)
  • What is Bitcoinโ€˜s number one, two and three utility advantage over any other form of digital “asset”?
  • Who invented Bitcoin and how can I contact them? (Clearly Bitcoin Bulls know that the inventor is anonymous, which begs the question, ‘if you were the head of a nation state would you recommend backing an asset or currency of unknown origin by an unknown author?’
  • Is it possible that there is a back door or trap door within Bitcoin’s code that would wipe wealth off the board? How can anyone know for sure?
  • What happens if you keep your Bitcoin offline and lose your password/phrase to your wallet containing your Bitcoin? (Not your keys, not your coin!)
Source: Author

Here we see a chart comparing a few different asset classes. In my first draft of this post I listed Gold as non-speculative. A friend playing the part of the Bitcoin Blinder (I just made that term up!) created a straw man and argued that Gold is speculative. This is what BTC Blinders do. They straw man. They create a new argument and then argue against that. So let us say we change Gold to YES for speculative. That does not change any of the facts about the BTC column. But the Blinders do this all day – they just try to argue against the other columns without defending theirs. I am all in on Blockchain – but the intentional conflating of Bitcoin = Blockchain is laughable and just plain wrong.

I had a great conversation at a recent dinner with two intellectuals, neither of whom could offer up a rational explanation as to why Bitcoin is a worthwhile asset class in terms of store of value. And both are super smart individuals who think the chance it will ever be adopted as a worldwide currency is literally zero.

This does not mean that many people will not build and lose tons of wealth trading Bitcoin. That is true of every speculative investment. It has to be. Anyone making millions is coming off the backs of others losing millions.ย It is literally a zero sum. BUT…it is clearly not a 50-50 split. Like we learned long ago, it is most likely closer to a 97-3 split. So if you are going to speculate with your wealth building (which is not necessarily a bad thing depending on age,) just make sure you are in the 3% of people who are actually profiting from the crypto craze!

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Mara Gordon On Pain Relief That Cannot Kill A Human

I have already told you not to listen to me when it comes to such polarizing topics as race & education. You may have prejudged me as your enemy because you think I am part of the “oppressive patriarchal hierarchy.” (note: such a thing does not exist.) But I doubt you will be so quick to judge Christina Hoff Sommers when she politely educates you!

Mara Gordon is as sharp as Christina. As a cannabis advocate she clearly and succinctly explains how cannabis is essentially a magical plant with many healing properties. She questions why modern medicine never mentioned this to her when she was struggling with chronic pain. Now she educates and informs as many people as she can so they can help themselves, get away from opioids, and resume a pain free life!

Mara is no different than you or me or any of the millions of people who rely on cannabis for a safe, non toxic way to alleviate their pain. Just one visit to a dispensary will show you who frequents the clinic: it is NOT pothead hippie stoner losers. Instead you will find the mom who has chronic back pain; the grandma with glaucoma; the war veteran with PTSD; the teacher with anxiety; and sadly, the child with cancer, amongst countless other productive members of society who simply want to live with less pain and not rely on a toxic substance to do so. People who use cannabis are regular people and they are all around us. But do not take it from me. Take it from Mara.

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Can You Be Neither A Slave Nor Tyrant? Is Tribalism Bad?

Until listening to this short clip with Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, I had never considered tribalism and how I define the hierarchy in my relationships with others.

Paraphrasing Dr. Peterson, there are 3 ways to define how we interact with others:

  1. As their tyrant
  2. As their slave
  3. Mutual negotiation

In grouping ourselves into tribes, we do fine with the negotiation part at first, but now we often see ourselves as tyrants to others. After all, if we are advocating for special treatment to prop up our tribe, we are putting down all other tribes. That is a tyrannical power trip.

Instead, I suggest that tribalism, for lack of a better word, is bad. Grouping ourselves with others removes the focus from the individual and places it on the group. Therefore by definition, in a group, an individual is less free.

I care about myself as an individual and I want the most freedom for myself possible. You should care about yourself as an individual and want the most freedom for yourself possible. These are not mutually exclusive. When we are apart we are both free and happy. When we encounter each other and both choose Mutual Negotiation, we are not forming a tribe, becoming a slave or becoming a tyrant. We are simply each still continuing to act in our own best interest.

Mutual negotiation in a tribeless society would benefit all human beings always. What could possibly be a better way of life? Yet so many of us do the exact opposite and actually aspire to join this tribe or that tribe. Do not fall victim to that trap. Tribalism will always lead to either slavery or tyranny. There are no other possible outcomes. Tribes cannot war if there are no tribes.

#butfreedom

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Dr. Jordan Peterson Explains ’12 Rules for Life’ In 12 Minutes

Dr. Jordan Peterson is one of my favorite authors in my #RequiredReading list. Like many of us, Doctor Peterson has struggled with his own demons, including depression and falling into a rut. He knows first hand just how hard and cruel life can be.

Instead of curling up or running away, Doctor Peterson put together a list of 12 things that can help any human being no matter their place in life. This book, 12 Rules For Life, became a member of #RequiredReading about half a chapter in, and in addition to reading/listening to the full book, I highly recommend this video companion where Doctor Peterson gives the pith on each rule.

You have 12 minutes, likely right now. Use it to become a better human being.

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10 Years Of Essays!

Imagine that – it has been over 10 years since I started putting my thoughts onto the interwebs for all to see. Below is a screenshot of my first ever post from May 2010 – though I would not start adding monthly pieces until the following March. As a result I consider my real 10 year anniversary to be March 2021. Blink and here we are – ten years older and (hopefully a little) wiser, with a goal of being a little better today than I was yesterday, everyday. And a lot less swear words. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for taking the ride with me! Together we can help make Earth a better place by being the best versions of ourselves we can be. Cheers to the next 10 years and beyond!

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#RequiredReading: 12 Rules For Life By Dr. Jordan B. Peterson

Clinical Psychologist Jordan Peterson is a polarizing figure, ironically because he burst onto the scene defending freedom of speech. Go figure! Thankfully, his arrival into the spotlight helped his book, 12 Rules For Life, gain a following and the content in the book did the rest as it has sold 4 million copies and counting!

Doctor Peterson reminds me a lot of my psychologist, and I have found his books and teachings to be profoundly helpful. As a result I am happy to welcome 12 Rules For Life to my #RequiredReading list!

As of March 2021, the list now includes:

How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life by Ryan Nicodemus & Joshua Fields Millburn

Economics In One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Doctor Meg Meeker

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

Own The Day by Aubrey Marcus

Weapons of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto

You Are The Placebo by Doctor Joe Dispenza

Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones

Entrepreneurs’ Psychological Warfare – Addiction, Depression & the Gruesome Side of “Never Giving Up” by Chris Jourdan

12 Rules For Life by Doctor Jordan B. Peterson

Reminders on my wall – daily #requiredreading that helps me keep perspective, remember, appreciate and focus!

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