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Made You Think
63 minutes | 5 months ago
66: Making the Navalmanack: Interview with Eric Jorgenson
“Even today, what to study and how to study it are more important than where to study it and for how long. The best teachers are on the Internet. The best books are on the Internet. The best peers are on the Internet. The tools for learning are abundant. It’s the desire to learn that’s scarce.” - Naval Ravikant In this episode of Made You Think, Nat and Neil are joined by Eric Jorgenson. Eric is a writer, product strategist, and author of The Almanack of Naval Ravikant. We cover a wide range of topics including: How Eric came to the idea of writing The Almanack What Eric's biggest lessons and takeaways were from authoring this book What topics didn't end up making the final cut The future of education and online courses The idea of leverage and how it can be used And much more. If you haven't already, make sure to check out our last episode where we talked in great depth about The Almanack and discussed our key takeaways from the book. Let us know what you think of this episode by sending a tweet to Nat, Neil, and Eric! Links from the Episode Mentioned in the show Previous MYT Episode (0:35) Naval on Shane Parrish's podcast (2:27) Readwise (10:30) Bonus Section: Education (27:07) Building a Second Brain (32:22) Lambda School (32:55) How To Think Like Elon Musk - Made You Think Episode (44:37) SpaceX (45:40) Books Mentioned The Almanack of Naval Ravikant Debt: The First 5000 Years (11:23) Infinite Jest (13:58) (Nat's Book Notes) (Book Episode pt. 1) (Book Episode pt. 2) Vagabonding (52:02) (Nat's Book Notes) People Mentioned Naval Ravikant Trevor McKendrick (7:38) Elon Musk (41:41) Tim Ferriss (50:40) Show Notes: 0:52 - Eric Jorgenson, author of The Almanack of Naval Ravikant, shares how his idea of writing the book came to be. 5:35 - From the start, Eric knew he didn’t want it to just be a summary book. How he was able to hone in on the writing style of the book to capture the interest of his readers all the way through. 9:20 - Highlight density. Using highlight data to estimate book quality. Skipping chapters and not finishing books. 14:14 - Eric’s key takeaways from the book and what knowledge he has carried away from writing it. The importance of equity, accountability and leverage. We have the tendency to want to do everything ourselves rather than to create systems and put the pieces together. 19:04 - How Twitter and other social media usage affects mindset and energy. Discussions of Naval’s Twitter usage and utilizing it as an outlet for his unfiltered thoughts and ideas. 21:56 - What were the communication patterns between Naval and Eric during the creation of The Almanack? 24:05 - The variety and depth of Naval’s ideas. Eric allowed himself to take time to dive in and explore these topics to let them sink in before writing about it. 26:02 - One topic that didn’t make the final cut was Education. Naval has talked about the flaws within the education system as well as the future of education. If you’re curious to read more, you can find that here! The rise of online courses and the potential for digital course creators. When you’re learning locally, you have the best person in the area teaching you. When you’re learning on a platform that’s global, you’ll be learning from the best of the best, plus increased accessibility. 32:44 - The future of online learning and career preparation is promising. How will the online course market grow within the upcoming decades? Tiktok education in the format of 60 second videos shot from your phone. 37:45 - English as the language of business and the history of the qwerty keyboard. 40:50 - If Eric could write about another influencer of thought, who would it be? 42:10 - Elon Musk, PayPal, Tesla, SpaceX. Writing a biography about Elon Musk: he has a hefty list of accomplishments but his principles and concepts are timeless. 48:24 - What do we know about Naval’s relationships and family? His ideas and concepts are what he is widely known for, so not much is known about his personal life. 53:53 - Eric’s next steps includes creating a course to help build a framework on this idea of leverage that Naval often speaks about. 57:01 - Leverage can be utilized at a personal, managerial, and company level in many different ways. Productivity of a company is no longer about how many employees there are. People leverage. 1:01:59 - Pick up a copy of The Almanack of Naval Ravikant on Amazon, follow Eric on Twitter, visit navalmanack.com, and follow along with upcoming projects on Eric's website! If you enjoyed this episode, let us know by leaving a review on iTunes and tell a friend. As always, let us know if you have any book recommendations! Find us on Twitter @TheRealNeilS and @nateliason. The best way to stay up to date on future episodes and show updates is to join our email list at Made You Think Podcast. Check out ways you can support the show here!
82 minutes | 7 months ago
Seek Wealth, Not Money or Status. The Almanack of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgenson
“My old definition was "freedom to." Freedom to do anything I want. Freedom to do whatever I feel like, whenever I feel like. Now, the freedom I'm looking for is internal freedom. It's “freedom from." Freedom from reaction. Freedom from feeling angry. Freedom from being sad. Freedom from being forced to do things. I'm looking for "freedom from," internally and externally, whereas before I was looking for “freedom to." On this episode of Made You Think, Nat and Neil discuss The Almanack of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgenson, Jack Butcher, and Tim Ferriss. This book contains insights to wealth and happiness according to investor and entrepreneur, Naval Ravikant. From Naval's podcasts and essays to tweets and interviews, his collection of wisdom is put into one piece of writing, sparking great conversations and discussions from Nat and Neil (and tangents of course!) We cover a wide range of topics including: The relationship between wealth and happiness How Naval frames the idea of mental peace Why tools and technology are essential in leveraging the online space Differences between being a contrarian and a conformist Angel investors vs. early investors And much more. Please enjoy, and make sure to follow Nat and Neil on Twitter to hear which book will be the topic of the next episode! Links from the episode Mentioned in the show Angel List (1:50) Product Hunt (5:27) Social Capital in Silicon Valley (8:08) Honeycomb Credit (10:14) Aurochs Brewing (10:39) Facebook Bitcoin Ads and Scams (12:44) Happiness and Income(17:30) Growth Machine (31:56) The Systems Mindset (34:57) Effortless Output in Roam (38:16) Forte Labs (39:36) Open Innovation Leads (42:41) Books mentioned The Tower (20:00) (Book Episode) In Praise of Idleness (1:11:10) (Nat’s Book Notes) (Book Episode) Finite and Infinite Games (1:15:08) (Nat's Book Notes) (Book Episode) Denial of Death (1:15:23) (Nat's Book Notes) (Book Episode) Way of Zen (1:15:29) (Nat's Book Notes) (Neil's Book Notes) (Book Episode) Letter From a Stoic (1:15:35)(Nat's Book Notes) (Book Episode) Psychology of Human Misjudgments (1:15:47) (Book Episode) People mentioned James Altucher (12:44) Dave Chapelle (21:40) Show notes 0:34 - Today, Nat and Neil are discussing The Almanack of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgenson, Jack Butcher, and Tim Ferriss. This book is based off of interviews, podcasts, tweets, and other content from Naval Ravikant, exploring his worldview and how he perceives different ideas such as wealth and happiness. Additionally, Naval is a well-known investor and former CEO of AngelList. 5:51 - Angel investors vs. early investors. The reasons why someone may choose to invest early in a growing company, with one of those reasons often being to increase your social capital. 10:15 - Small business crowdfunding. How a brewing company in Pennsylvania leverages their customers and local community. 12:20 - Naval was also into cryptocurrency, and co-founded a cryptocurrency hedge fund with his brother, Kamal. He's what they call a Twitter philosopher, and is able to provide timeless wisdom into small packages that resonates with a lot of people. 16:50 - “Let's get you rich first. I'm very practical about it because, you know, Buddha was a prince. He started off really rich, then he got to go off in the woods.” Is there a link between increased wealth and happiness? Wealth first, so you can have the freedom to say ‘no’ to things that don’t make you happy, and from there you can build a happier life. 22:01 - “To me, the real winners are the ones who step out of the game entirely, who don't even play the game, who rise above it. Those are the people who have such internal mental and self-control and self-awareness, they need nothing from anybody else.” Money and fame. It’s hard to say no to money, and at what point do you say no to something? Examples of public figures who have stepped out of the public eye. 24:59 - Earlier in Naval’s career, he was quick to temper, and it’s been a big goal to get that under control. It can be hard to balance business and mental peace, especially when you’re at the level that Naval is. 28:18 - The idea of “Freedom from” comes back into play here. Having more control of people who you work with and work for, and wealth gives you the power to say ‘no’ to things that make you unhappy or drain your energy. Clearing up mental space. 33:42 - It’s important to use automation and outsource repetitive work to save your resource of time, which ultimately allows you to scale your income. “Technology democratizes consumption but consolidates production.” 38:07 - Leveraging online tools. The nearly unlimited scalability of an e-product or online course. There’s real value in having an audience of supporters and an email list. 44:05 - “Learn to sell, learn to build. If you can do both, you will be unstoppable.” The two go hand-in-hand when you can learn to build things that can sell itself effortlessly while you sleep. The broader definition of ‘sell’ includes marketing, too. “The year I generated the most wealth for myself was actually the year I worked the least hard and cared the least about the future. I was mostly doing things for the sheer fun of it. I was basically telling people, "I'm retired, I'm not working." Then, I had the time for whatever was my highest valued project in front of me. By doing things for their own sake, I did them at their best.” This ties back in with the idea stepping out of the game, it’s more difficult to do if you’re trading your time for money. 50:55 - Code and media are both extremely scaleable. A one-time creation of a video, podcast, course, etc. can be accessible and profitable for years to come with little to no additional effort on the part of the creator. 52:53 - Product revenue vs. ad revenue. 53:39 - Made You Think custom themed Yeti or merch? Tweet us @TheRealNeilS and @nateliason! 54:55 - The price of a paycheck and the reward that freedom brings. What’s more valuable to you: freedom, money, or can you ultimately have both? 58:29 - “One day, I realized with all these people I was jealous of, I couldn't just choose little aspects of their life. I couldn't say I want his body, I want her money, I want his personality. You have to be that person. Do you want to actually be that person with all of their reactions, their desires, their family, their happiness level, their outlook on life, their self-image? If you're not willing to do a wholesale, 24/7, 100 percent swap with who that person is, then there is no point in being jealous.” You don’t see the ‘behind the scenes’ of someone else’s life, especially when you only know what they put on social media. Jealousy and comparison. Think about what you would lose if you were to actually switch lives with somebody else. 1:00:35 - The difference between being a contrarian and a conformist. Beliefs you took in a ‘package’ should be reevaluated individually. Thinking for yourself rather than minimizing yourself to fit into a certain box or group of beliefs. 1:06:18 - Signaling. Deliberate signaling to filter who ends up around you, but signaling can also be inadvertent. Political signals. 1:10:50 - Rapid fire quotations from the book… and go! 1:17:24 - One last paradox - how is Naval so big on peace of mind yet so active on Twitter? 1:19:22 - Make sure to grab a copy of The Almanack of Naval Ravikant and tell Eric Jorgenson and Naval Ravikant how much you enjoyed this episode. Follow us on Twitter to find out what book we are reading next! And tweet us about some potential MYT swag ideas... If you enjoyed this episode, let us know by leaving a review on iTunes and tell a friend. As always, let us know if you have any book recommendations! Find us on Twitter @TheRealNeilS and @nateliason. The best way to stay up to date on future episodes and show updates is to join our email list at Made You Think Podcast. Check out ways you can support the show here!
110 minutes | 7 months ago
64: The Universal Currency: Energy and Civilization by Vaclav Smil
From a fundamental biophysical perspective, both prehistoric human evolution and the course of history can be seen as the quest for controlling greater stores and flows of more concentrated and more versatile forms of energy and converting them, in more affordable ways at lower costs and with higher efficiencies, into heat, light, and motion. Energy and Civilization by Vaclav Smil provides an explanation of energy in its relation to society. Smil dives deeply into the history of energy. From scavenging and foraging to the modern uses of water, wind, and solar power, energy drives every existing thing in today's world. Interestingly enough, it's difficult to place what exactly energy is, as it's not as tangible as other forms of measurement. Nat and Neil discuss their key takeaways from this book in today's episode of Made You Think. We cover a wide range of topics including: Survival features that are unique to humans Energy density of different foods, and how diet has adapted over time Pre-historic methods of gathering food efficiently Renewable and non-renewable resources Technological advancements in transportation And much more. Please enjoy, and make sure to follow Nat and Neil on Twitter to hear which book will be the topic of the next episode! Links from the episode Mentioned in the show Nat's Youtube channel (1:27) Bitcoin episode with Taylor Pearson (8:24) Only humans sweat(18:32) Flood Myth (28:59) Protein Poisoning (36:40) Crime hypothesis (1:07:25) Traffic and infant health(1:08:47) China air quality in COVID (1:17:17) Hiroshima (1:20:07) List of Nuclear Disasters (1:20:49) Medical errors (1:27:35) Boom unveils its first prototype (1:38:56) Books mentioned The Prize by Daniel Yergin (6:15) The Fish That Ate the Whale by Rich Cohen (7:03) (Nat's Book Notes) Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari (9:44) (Nat's Book Notes) (Book Episode pt. 1) (Book Episode pt. 2) Scale by Geoffrey West (9:45) (Nat's Book Notes) (Book Episode) The Story of Philosophy by Will Durant (12:15) (Nat's Book Notes) The Lessons of History by Will and Ariel Durant (14:06) (Nat's Book Notes) Smoke Signals by Martin A. Lee (1:29:51) (Nat's Book Notes) (Book Episode) The Riddle of the Gun by Sam Harris (1:33:43) (Book Episode) People mentioned Bill Gates (8:07) Richard Feynman (17:05) Show notes 0:16 - Thank you for the support of the Made You Think podcast! Nat and Neil dive into discussion on the book Energy and Civilization by Vaclav Smil this week. If you’re curious to pick up a copy, you can do so here. 8:33 - Energy and Civilization discusses how energy has shaped the progress of humanity and the history of civilization as humans harness more and more energy. Energy drives everything in today’s world from basic human activity to the technological advances throughout time. 13:06 - Is growth limited by the energy that could be harnessed? The author uses energy as his lens to viewing the growth and history. 14:58 - Energy and Pre-history. By nature, humans are made to conserve energy. It’s shown in many everyday tasks such as walking on two legs rather than four and regulating our body heat by sweating. Energy is essential to everything, however it’s hard to place what exactly energy is, as it’s not as tangible as other forms of measurement. 18:13 - Ability to exercise and sweat. Humans are the only species that sweats. While many animals lose water to cool down in the form of panting, humans can do so at a much higher rate through sweating. The idea of a panting threshold in running, and how training can increase how long you can run without panting. Different factors in exercise such as physique, body weight, and training style. 24:09 - Temporary dehydration. Humans can function being dehydrated better than animals, and that ultimately benefits our species from a survival standpoint. Humans’ ability to live in different climates as compared to animals who may only live in a certain temperature range. 30:14 - Energy density of different foods. How diets differ between species based on their need for nutrients and what is essential for their survival. Additionally, energy expended while hunting and gathering also needed to be considered. Energy cost vs. energy returned. Is what you are consuming enough to cover the work you did to hunt or gather the food? 40:47 - Farming, foraging and pasturing. Early farming typically required higher energy input when compared to foraging, but it also could provide a more reliable food supply and support a higher population. Pasturing can also be argued as highly reliable and fairly energy-efficient. 44:06 - Traditional farming. Domesticated animals such as dogs and horses, and the way they have co-adapted with humans. Their partnership with humans in farming and companionship. Evolving to modern foods and diet. 50:05 - Prime movers and fuels. This section of the book talked about a variety of energy types such as water power, wind power, gunpowder, biomass fuels, wood, charcoal, etc. Being efficient with the resources that are available. Are there tools or pieces of knowledge that have been forgotten or lost from the previous society? 57:49 - Use of charcoal and it’s importance in pre-historic times. Various amounts of energy used in different methods of cooking. 1:01:32 - Renewable and nonrenewable resources. The oil industry. Oil sands in Canada reserve around 165 billion barrels. 1:07:25 - Nat shares about the hypothesized link between elevated lead levels in children and crime rate in the U.S. in the late 1900s. Neil discusses a study linking E-ZPass with reduced prematurity and low birth weight in infants whose birth givers lived within 2km of a toll plaza. Possible implications of air pollution. Use of alternate means of energy such as solar power. 1:12:12 - The reality vs. the narrative in oil supply and energy. Fluctuation of prices. The journey from fossil fuels to renewable energy; viewing it as a transition rather than a light switch. The author talks about the advantages of using fossil fuels in comparison to using the natural elements for an energy source. 1:16:54 - COVID’s effect on air quality and cleanliness. 1:17:38 - "No terrestrial civilization can be anything else but a solar society dependent on the sun’s radiation.” Not only are living beings dependent on the sun’s radiation but other forces such as wind and water flow as well. The sun has always been a source of energy. 1:18:26 - Nuclear energy. The first nuclear reactors were for submarines. From there, they were used on land to generate power. When we think about nuclear energy, people are quick to picture the dangers of it and the atomic bombings. 1:21:35 - Metrics surrounding death and death reporting. Excess death rate in the COVID era has gone down in many cities due to people staying in, overall less driving, decreased going out and drinking. Medical mistakes; when is it necessary for one to go to the hospital? 1:28:52 - Supercharged political issues: nearly every topic out there involves a split in views or invokes a reaction from many people. Marijuana, taxes, gun control, COVID. Legality across different states. 1:37:06 - Fossil fuel civilization. The speed of innovation, especially in the 20th century. Advancements in forms of transportation such as jets and airplanes, and the largely increased energy usage in comparison to the previous century. Software innovation has seen quicker growth than hardware innovation in the past few decades. So much of it has been in our phones or in the digital space. 1:44:32 - When we think about the future in energy and development, which companies and innovations will be leading? Nat and Neil share their final thoughts of the book. 1:47:10 - Thanks for listening! If you’d like to support the Made You Think podcast, you can leave a review, share with a friend, and stay tuned for future episodes. If you enjoyed this episode, let us know by leaving a review on iTunes. As always, let us know if you have any book recommendations! Find us on Twitter @TheRealNeilS and @nateliason. The best way to stay up to date on future episodes and show updates is to join our email list at Made You Think Podcast. Check out ways you can support the show here!
92 minutes | 8 months ago
63: The Universal Laws of Growth. Scale by Geoffrey West
Scale by Geoffrey West focuses on the the principles and patterns connecting the ways that cities, organisms, and companies grow. West, a theoretical physicist, studied the way in which sizes of mammals related to their life expectancy, and further connected these laws to the growth and longevity of cities and the world of business. Nat and Neil unpack these laws and principles on today's podcast episode. We cover a wide range of topics including: The idea of '1 billion heartbeats' per lifetime How COVID has impacted growth of cities and business Human life expectancy Paradigm shifting innovations Growth in its relation to socioeconomic factors And much more. Please enjoy, and be sure to grab a copy of Scale by Geoffrey West! Links from the Episode Mentioned in the show Readwise (0:02) Antilibrary (Umberto Eco) (4:41) Evernote (1:07) Notion (1:07) Roam (1:07) Airr (8:58) Of Mice and Elephants: A Matter of Scale (21:08) Steve Jobs introduces WiFi…with a hula hoop! (48:43) Books mentioned Seeing Like A State by James C. Scott (7:36) (Nat’s Book Notes) Antifragile (7:40) (Nat’s Book Notes) (Book Episode) The Blueprint for Armageddon by Dan Carlin (8:48) The Startup Gold Mine (Neil Soni) (13:05) Scale by Geoffrey West (14:08) (Nat’s Book Notes) Darwin’s Dangerous Idea by Daniel Dennett (27:08) (Nat’s Book Notes) (Book Episode) The Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch (30:05) (Nat’s Book Notes) (Book Episode) The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin (35:31) (Nat’s Book Notes) Happy Accidents by Morton Meyers (59:02) (Nat’s Book Notes) (Book Episode) In Praise of Idleness by Bertrand Russell (1:17:44) (Nat’s Book Notes) (Book Episode) People Mentioned Umberto Eco (4:41) Dan Carlin (8:48) Geoffrey West (14:08) David Deutsch (27:03) Daniel Dennett (27:08) Arthur Clarke (50:14) Nassim Taleb (1:29:30) Show notes: 0:27 - Using Readwise to gather your notes to export to other sites. Scanning book pages of physical books. Nat and Neil discuss their preferences surrounding digital vs. physical books. 6:32 - Re-reading books. The difficulty of finding a ‘mind-blowing’ book to read. If you have any book recommendations for a future podcast episode, send them our way! 8:45 - Airr - Highlight audio as you listen to podcasts. How to make podcast listening more educational for yourself. Purposes of podcasts can be both educational and entertaining. The massive market for “How To” content. 14:08 - This week’s episode is on the book Scale: The Universal Laws of Life, Growth, and Death in Organisms, Cities, and Companies by Geoffrey West. The book talks about how things grow, continue to grow, decline in growth, or decay. The author primarily focuses on growth of organisms, cities, and companies, as the book title suggests, but also within these large structures are smaller substructures that grow and change, too. Some of the same laws of growth apply in seemingly different systems. 20:31 - There are many things that scale along with size that are not growing at a 1:1 ratio. The number of heartbeats in a specific mammal’s life is roughly the same across species. Neil describes an article in which each species receives an average of 1 billion heartbeats per lifetime. The heart rate varies on size of the being. Different lifespans between species. From an objective standpoint, an elephant tends to live longer than a mouse, but subjectively, do life spans feel the same length to each individual creature? 23:45 - How humans fit into this research of lifespan vs. body size. Differences in lifespan pre-technology vs. today’s era. Life extension - whether or not the maximum life expectancy can be extended. The age of 125 seems to be the maximum at this point according to West. 28:02 - Entropy and natural decay in the cell’s ability to replicate. You can bring things from disordered back to ordered, and with that creates externalities. Example: the waste created when we use the bathroom. Are there ways to minimize that? 30:46 - “The problem is that the theory also predicts that unbounded growth cannot be sustained without having either infinite resources or inducing major paradigm shifts that reset the clock before potential collapse occurs. We have sustained open-ended growth and avoided collapse by invoking continuous cycles of paradigm shifting innovations, such as those associated on the big scale of human history with discoveries of iron, steam, coal, computation, and most recently digital information technology.” (pg. 31) This quote is talking about finite-time singularity. This leads into a discussion in paradigm shifting innovations in today’s world. Resetting the paradigm clock. 35:45 - The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin - One thing brought up in this book is that humans, technologically, are an exponentially developing species. Geoffrey West brings up the possibility of hitting a wall and running out of paradigm shifts. To continue growing at an exponential rate, do we have to keep discovering this innovations at an exponential rate? 37:12 - Growth and the way society is structured. A shrink in population would pose the issue of how a generation smaller in numbers would have to be paying Social Security for the generation above them. Continued growth is ‘built-in’ to the system, and if it doesn’t grow at the anticipated rate, a collapse is possible. 41:09 - Across different cultures and countries comes different values: community, family, the state, society, tradition, religion. In America, it’s perceived that one’s self is the most valued, also referred to as individualism. 45:06 - The release of new inventions and technology in the ‘80s and ‘90s: computers, digital cameras, cell phones, and laptops. From big, clunky, and colorless inventions to high-speed and attractive new pieces of technology. It becomes interesting to think about how unique and magical these inventions feel at the time they come out, and also how quickly the next piece of upgraded technology follows. 52:11 - There are products that improve and add more features at a higher rate, and products where that growth is not as rapid. As noted in the book, these paradigm shifts happen, there’s a massive spike, and new innovations slowly come from that spike. The spike jump starts the innovations, and the innovations slow until there’s another spike. 54:26 - Discussions over whether COVID will bring a new spike. There have been many changes in our society with the way we work, make money, education, etc. that it poses the question on what will follow. Making use of underutilized resources. It comes down to what is more efficient. 56:34 - Intellectual capital has been opened up in a new way since COVID, as we are no longer expected to be in the same place. The downfall of Silicon Valley between COVID, remote work, and being on literal fire. With people working remotely now more than ever, it seems to point us in the direction of growth in the digital space and information innovation. 1:00:07 - How these changes in the way we live and work will affect the scaling laws discussed in the book. Urbanization in the U.S. People moving out of big cities. Changes in the way companies and their employees are now working. 1:06:05 - Companies and their current policies: remote, in-person, or a mixture of both. Depends on the needs and what industry they are in. Coworking spaces and working remotely around people, without actually working with them. 1:10:10 - Human’s ability to regulate their internal body temperature. West brings up global warming, and how an increase of 2 degrees Celsius could increase the pace of all biological lives by 20-30% - living and dying faster. Inversely, if you could lower your own body temperature by 1 degree Celsius, you could enhance your life span by 10-15%. 1:14:32 - Growth of cities and its relation with socioeconomic factors: wages, innovation, crime, pollution, etc. “The multiplicative compounding of socioeconomic interactivity engendered by urbanization has inevitably led to the contraction of time. Rather than being bored to death, our actual challenge is to avoid anxiety attacks, psychotic breakdowns, heart attacks, and strokes resulting from being accelerated to death.” (pg. 332) 1:20:03 - Population size in cities and productively interacting with others - discussions on whether innovations can come from a city that stays stagnant or even decreases in size. Commute times and the ‘one hour’ rule. 1:25:03 - Shared ideologies from across the world without a way to bring those people together. Sense of community from these shared interests and ideas, even if there is no physical meeting place for all to share. 1:29:58 - The next book we will be reading and discussing is Energy and Civilization by Vaclav Smil. Feel free to pick up a copy of the book to read along with us before the next podcast episode! If you enjoyed this episode, let us know by leaving a review on iTunes. As always, let us know if you have any book recommendations! Find us on Twitter @TheRealNeilS and @nateliason. The best way to stay up to date on future episodes and show updates is to join our email list at Made You Think Podcast. Check out ways you can support the show here!
109 minutes | 8 months ago
62: We're Back! A Catchup Episode Full of Tangents
Made You Think is BACK! In this episode of the podcast, Nat and Neil catch up after a year and a half hiatus. Their plan was to catch up on what’s been going on, but that didn’t happen as they ended up talking a lot about COVID, the economy, politics, some books they’d read, and a whole lot more. We cover a wide range of topics, including: The rise of Tiktok and Twitter Media coverage and confirmation bias Cargo cult science and research in the Health field How COVID has affected the workplace Our take on schools reopening And much more. Please enjoy, and be sure to stay tuned for future episodes! Links from the Episode Mentioned in the show Oatly Article (18:15) Subreddit: Not the Onion (46:06) Cargo cult science (59:03) ALS (1:08:09) Right To Try Law (1:10:34) Uyghur Muslims (1:20:46) Operation Mockingbird (1:23:00) Wealth Disparity (1:32:11) Airtable (1:43:26) Zapier (1:43:27) Roam Research (1:43:50) (Nat's Blog Post) Notion (1:44:00) Books mentioned Infinite Jest (4:08) (Book episode) Discipline & Punish (5:26) (Book episode) The Denial of Death (5:41) (Book episode) Hiroshima Diary (5:45) (Book episode) Atlas Shrugged (11:02) (Book episode) You Are A Badass (12:42) Outliers (12:44) How to Lie with Statistics (50:22) Scale (1:44:58) People mentioned Kanye West (5:26) (Album Notes) Dan Carlin (9:58) Jen Sincero (12:42) Mark Manson (13:32) Jeff Nobbs (19:03) David Perell (22:13) Steve Jobs (26:38) Sam Harris (40:20) The Riddle of the Gun (Book episode) Donald Trump (51:29) Nancy Pelosi (51:30) Richard Feynman (59:06) Show Topics 3:05 - Nat and Neil catch up and reflect on past podcast episodes. How like-minded people have connected over Made You Think (MYT) podcast with nearly 250,000 downloads. The future of MYT and what listeners can expect from the podcast. 9:28 - Podcasts as well as other forms of media have evolved in what it takes to be successful and keep their audience interested. Between making things ‘pop’ and sticking to their roots, authors and artists alike need to balance making money and doing the work they want to do. 14:12 - The rise of popularity in Twitter and Tiktok in both regular users and those looking to earn. Discussions of other social media platforms and how they have evolved in popularity. 19:33 - The price of being an influencer: receiving more criticism over the Internet, nearly everything you say can be taken out of context, internal battles with your mindset. Having a large following can come with downsides, but there are ways you can respond that are helpful and productive. 27:26 - Recognizing what people are trying to get from critical comments or responses. How to respond, diffuse, or block out the incoming negativity on social media. It’s easy to think they’re coming at you from a place of dislike, when it could be for attention, for conversation, or for clarification on a topic. 32:24 - What’s real vs. what’s not? Social media can easily distort our senses about what is going on. Covid, riots, media coverage and confirmation bias. We are quick to discard information that doesn’t match the beliefs of ideas that we support. It’s important to recognize the bias in order to have the discussion. 40:02 - Stereotypes. Media can paint the picture that a certain idea is contained in an idea set, and if you believe one idea from the set, you believe all within the set. Overlap between ideas are assumed 43:05 - Mask usage during the Covid times. The term ‘anti-masker’. Different states have different laws regarding masks. As of August 10, Wisconsin’s state agency requires employees to wear masks even on Zoom calls 45:58 - With all that’s happening in the world, especially the year of 2020, it’s almost laughable we can’t tell real news from fake news. What institutions can we trust with the most up-to-date news? 50:15 - False information: fault of the media and those in positions of authority, or fault of the people? We want to be able to trust what we read and hear without needing to fact check everything. 55:25 - Health and nutrition research studies. The samples, methods, biases, and why those make a difference in the results of the study. Trials and results often only published when it is in your favor or confirm what it is that you wanted to prove. 59:10 - Richard Feynman’s speech on the dangers of cargo cult science. Feynman’s tells of a tribal society who often received supplies and materials from an airplane during war times. They tried to re-attain these goods by creating imitation runway landings and bamboo radio antennas. Although they were doing all the preparation work to receive the supplies, they did not understand why it didn’t come. Science that lacks integrity, although looks “scientific” is what we call cargo cult science. 1:02:55 - Link between science and marketing. Funding a study that will produce results in your favor to appear more credible and support your message. Hydroxychloroquine and it’s supposed ability to treat Covid topic attracting strong opinions on social media, to the form of bot usage. 1:07:40 - Drug approvals and Right to Try law. Drug companies need to pass phase 3 testing to receive support from insurance companies, and also most report results from treatments of patients from the Right to Try law. Often times with those patients being extremely sick given their only option is to shell out the money without the help of insurance, it could hurt the chances of drug approvals. 1:13:57 - The rate at which the vaccine for Covid is coming vs. treatments for other diseases. There is the ‘hype’ element behind Covid mixed with the way lifestyle has been impacted by the virus that has pushed up the need to find a vaccine for it quickly. 1:17:58 - North Korea: Covid cases in Korea, the death hoax of Kim Jong-un, and North Korean wine. 1:20:01 - Number of cases in the U.S. and how we are perceived by other countries. Uighur concentration camps in China. Propaganda and distrust of media. What is propaganda within our country being spread and being exported out of the country? We have seen a lot of propaganda both for and against Trump during his presidency, that accelerated the distrust of media. 1:23:00 - Operation Mockingbird. While some of the information surrounding Operation Mockingbird is unconfirmed, it’s interesting to read into these theories regarding operations to eavesdrop on journalists, alleged CIA operations to manipulate news media for propaganda purposes, etc. 1:27:11 - Fearful mentality within our country stemming from the upcoming election, riots, protesting, and lingering worry from Covid. 1:30:02 - Reopening schools debate is becoming very politically charged. Not to mention the food distribution that schools provide. With families staying home, and many families disproportionately being affected by Covid, the question becomes how will they be able to physically attend their jobs while the children are home, and provide the extra 2 meals per day that the schools were supplying? 1:32:11 - Wealth disparity. The large companies are benefitting from the downfall of their smaller competitors from the decline of consumer demand due to Covid. Other companies with an online presence saw a boost in business as good and services moved online. The debate whether companies will stay remote long after the virus to lower company costs. 1:39:27 - With work moving online, this brings the option of hiring workers from overseas that’s lower in cost relative to the U.S. Cost of being an employee vs. employer. 1:42:22 - Tools for automation. 1:44:55 - Scale by Jeffrey West is the book used for the next podcast episode. Stay tuned for future episodes. We are happy to be back! We're back with an off-topic episode of Made You Think after almost a year and a half hiatus. The plan was to catch up on what's been going on, but that didn't happen and we ended up talking a lot about COVID, the economy, politics, some books we'd read, and a whole lot more. If you've missed us or are new to the pod, this is a great way to dive back in before our next real episode which should be out in a week or two.
51 minutes | 2 years ago
61: Infinite Discussions. The most Credible and Incredible Theories behind Infinite Jest
Infinite Jest is a book meant to be an actively read –it’s meant to take a certain amount of work to finish it and try to figure out what’s going on. While David Foster Wallace, the author, spends words and words in beautiful descriptions, he purposefully omitted, exchanged, and told through the characters lenses parts of the story. In this episode Nat and Neil are going through some of the theories people have created to help understand the book. We cover a wide range of topics, including: Hal's relationship with the mold and DMZ Mario's ascendance References to Hamlet, 1984, and other books and authors If Infinite Jest will become a film A MYT classic: Aquatic Apes Theory! And much more. Please enjoy, and be sure to grab a copy of Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace! If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out the previous episode on Infinite Jest for more in-depth review of the book. Also, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, another of the longest books we read, that ended up filmed for a movie. Be sure to join our mailing list to find out about what books are coming up, giveaways we're running, special events, and more. Links from the Episode Mentioned in the show Reddit [3:20] Creative Commons [3:30] What Happens at the End of Infinite Jest? (or, the Infinite Jest ending explained) – Aaron Swartz Blog [3:40] Futurama [11:33] Pineapple Express [11:35] Aquatic Apes Theory [16:02] The Wraith – The Ambiguities Blog [20:11] Lost [23:40] John Wayne and Avril Conspiracy Theories [25:28] Medusa [33:36] Atlas Shrugged (film series) [40:30] Game of Thrones [43:00] The Office [45:10] Books mentioned Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (book episode) Hamlet by William Shakespeare [5:23] The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka [7:48] 1984 by George Orwell [26:50] The Pale King by David Foster Wallace [36:50] Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand [46:38] (book episode) The Romance of The Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong [47:07] Les Miserables by Victor Hugo [47:10] War and Peace by Tolstoy [47:29] People mentioned David Foster Wallace Aaron Swartz [2:25] 0:00 – Spoiler Alert: this a commentary to Infinite Jest book. We discuss theories about those parts of the book that were left without There will be spoilers. Refer to the previous episode for more deep book review. 3:55 – Theory #1. The ghost/wraith is pretty obviously Hal’s father, the guy who made the Entertainment. He’s spirit was kind of resurrected by the radiation coming from the garbage dumped in the are he was buried. Allusions to Hamlet. JOI created Infinite Jest to take Hal out of his shell of silence. Unreliable narrators. 6:49 – Theory #2. DMZ or Madam Psychosis. The wraith steals the drug to give it to Hal via the toothbrush. Parallel with Kafka’s Metamorphosis. Hal’s experiences with the mold. He couldn’t communicate → Eats the mold → Communicates, but emotionless and stoic → Gets DMZ → Can’t talk again, but gains emotional complexity. 9:55 – Theory #3. Effects of marijuana withdrawal. Hal’s collapse and Gately’s help in the hospital. Digging up Hal’s father’s head. Connection with Gately’s vision. Hal, Gately, Joelle and John Wayne looking for the anti-Entertainment cartridge but it’s not there anymore. The suspect falls on Orin. How he new about it? Probably because of Joelle (they were dating). 13:21 – Weird theories around Avril, Hal-Orin-Mario’s mom. Apparently Avril is modeled after DFW’s mom. Theory #4. She is an A.F.R. or O.U.S. member, the secret terrorists or intelligence organizations. Affairs with John Wayne, Charles C.T. (stepbrother?). 16:10 – Theory #5. Orin, the oldest brother, fathered Mario with Avril. Avril can be the hand model. Orin doesn’t go to his father funeral. Other stories of parents abusing their sons. Who was in the car with Avril? 18:59 – Why was ghost Jim moving stuff around in the tennis academy? 19:59 – Theory #6. Why DFW uses the word wraith instead of ghost? The wraith explains to Don that it takes enormous effort for him to appear to Don: “Wraiths by and large exist (putting his arms out slowly and making little quotation-mark finger-wiggles as he said exist) in a totally different Heisenbergian dimension of rate-change and time-passage.” Therefore, the wraith has to stand still for extremely long periods of time to appear at all to Don. 21:07 – Theory #7. Speculations that Jim ends up possessing Hal. 22:24 – Theory #8. How did DFW write the book? Did he mapped all out and then intentionally leave out specific sections so people can come up with theories? TV shows with open twists. Apparently Infinite Jest was longer. 24:53 – Theory #9. C.T. is Mario’s father. 25:23 – Theory #10. Avril and Luria are the same person. Theory #11. Orin didn’t die by the end of the book. 1984 flashbacks in the scenes with Luria. 27:08 – Mold in the basement. Mold that feeds on mold. Criticism against mold as a real thing, and more as a metaphor of the teens age difficulties. 29:33 – Theory #12. Did Hal watch the Entertainment or part of it? Doubts about how he got a copy of the movie. 31:11 – Theory #13. Hal has internally self synthesized DMZ because of the mold. 32:26 – Orin thought Joelle and Himself were lovers. Maybe that was because he didn’t want to attend his father funeral. Speculations about covering Joelle: is she disfigured or is she really so beautiful that needs to use a veil? How Joelle got acid in her face. Molly’s story. Joelle using a veil after filming Infinite Jest. 35:30 – What was the movie about? Things the reader is not allowed to know. Other DFW books. Difficulties explaining what’s the book about. Addiction and living passively. 40:00 – Would Infinite Jest make a good movie or not? Problems with Atlas Shrugged bad movie. Formats evolving after Netflix. Most of the value in Infinite Jest comes from the descriptions, not that much happens between the characters. Getting the chaotic feeling to a movie. DFW against an Infinite Jest movie. Longest books. Sierra Leone and Quebequian terrorists. 48:55 – If you enjoyed this weird episode of Made You Think, we appreciate any review on iTunes or if you share with your friends. If you didn’t like it, it’s OK, that’s an experiment, so go listen to a normal episode of the podcast. The previous episode about Infinite Jest is probably a much better introduction to the book than this episode. Find us on Twitter @TheRealNeilS and @nateliason and join the email list at Made You Think Podcast. The email list is the best way to stay up to date on future episodes and things that are going on with the show. Check out ways to support the show at madeyouthinkpodcast.com/support.
102 minutes | 2 years ago
60: What the f**k is water? Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
“This wise old whiskery fish swims up to three young fish and goes, 'Morning, boys, how's the water?' and swims away; and the three young fish watch him swim away and look at each other and go, 'What the fuck is water?' and swim away.” In this episode of Made You Think, Neil and Nat discuss Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. This is a huge novel taking time in a fictitious 2010 characterized by a non-conventional timeline and a lack of a plot. Despite it’s challenging structure and the fact of being a fiction, it has a lot of philosophical nuggets about particularly on the activeness vs passiveness way of living. We cover a wide range of topics, including: Hitting goals and sense of satisfaction Letting life happen to you while watching TV Accurate visions of the world in 2020 Best porno-like book titles How Nat & Neil broke and got back together 1-on-1 sports and their secondary effect on us And much more. Please enjoy, and be sure to grab a copy of Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace! If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out our episode on Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman, another book that critics how media and TV are ruining our lives, and The Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey, another book that shows how tennis is not just about hitting balls with a racket. Be sure to join our mailing list to find out about what books are coming up, giveaways we're running, special events, and more. Links from the Episode Mentioned in the show Kindle (link Amazon) [8:06] iPad [9:10] Netflix [17:50] The Office [18:36] BoJack Horseman [19:50] Cup & Leaf [40:44] A Crash Course in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Cryptocurrency (crypto episode) [42:57] AA - Alcoholics Anonymous [50:30] Ad Blocker [1:05:56] The Trouble With Facebook by Sam Harris [1:06:25] Snapchat [1:07:26] Skype [1:09:10] Mushroom Coffee [1:14:50] University of Arizona [1:18:39] The College Dropout by Kanye West [1:32:20] (album episode) The Matrix [1:33:07] Primer [1:33:14] Books mentioned Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace Gödel, Escher, Bach by Douglas R. Hofstadter [2:25] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) Ulysses by James Joyce [7:16] Finnegans Wake by James Joyce [7:17] The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus [37:59] (book episode) Cleveland is King by Brendan Bowers [38:20] The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz [45:12] Skin in the Game by Nassim Taleb [46:37] (book episode) Discipline and Punish by Michel Foucault [46:47] (book episode) 12 Rules for Life by Dr. Jordan Peterson [46:55] (book episode) Strange Loops [47:07] (book episode) Mastery by Robert Greene [47:10] (book episode) Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman [47:16] (book episode) The Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey [52:05] (book episode) Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell [58:55] Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand [1:15:19] (book episode) Elegant Complexity by Greg Carlisle [1:15:50] Hamlet by William Shakespeare [1:22:44] People mentioned David Foster Wallace Quentin Tarantino [18:10] Michael Schur [18:58] B.J. Novak [19:36] Kyrie Irving [38:15] LeBron James [38:50] Taylor Pearson [42:57] Trump [1:04:20] Sam Harris [1:06:25] Mattan Griffel [1:19:26] David Perell [1:28:23] James Joyce [1:30:00] Martin Scorsese [1:32:00] Kanye West [1:32:20] (College Dropout episode) Joe Rogan [1:35:41] Show Topics 0:00 – Spoiler Alert: it’s a fiction book, there will be spoilers. However, this is not a normal book. There is not much of a plot, so to say. This is probably a book intended to be re-read. It’s self referential, once you reach the end it intends you to go back to the beginning. 2:50 – The book doesn’t follow the timeline of events. If you are confused, congrats! That’s the point of the book :). The “missing” year is where most of the action takes. 3:35 – “Fiction is about what it’s like to be a f**cking human being”, David Foster Wallace. The central plot of our lives is just a narrative fallacy. The book gives a sense that it’s like life, in a weird way. Life is extremely complex, but we try to give it a narrative with sequential events. The characters don’t suffer a major transformation. The book ends right before all the crazy stuff is going to happen, but nothing happens yet. 6:26 – DFW intended the book to be an active work of fiction as opposed to just something you seat back and read. There are more than 350 endnotes with essential information to the plot, so you can’t skip them. It’s highly suggested to read it on a Kindle because of them. 9:45 – There are no dates to anchor yourself on. The 10 years where the story takes place, they stop using numbers for the years, but a company’s name that sponsors or subsides that year (“subsidized time”). 11:23 – One of the central characters (that is barely referenced btw) created a movie that is so entertaining that people would watch it till they die. This movie is called “Infinite Jest”. Again, the book is chaotic and focus on the characters details rather than a story. Some parts start getting boring (eg. a kids tennis play) but you don’t want to skip them because something important is said in a couple of sentences. Random passages are really beautiful essays. 13:29 – It’s such a weird book to even talk about. It seems we are talking about a dream that we had. Supernatural characters (a ghost, a guy that levitates) may confuse you and make you doubt about your comprehension. 15:12 – Each chapter is made up of many subchapters, that can have from one sentence to 30 pages. Usually, the point of view is changed for any new subchapter, like into a different character who might be in a different place or even year or day. Sometimes you don’t know what day or character you’re getting drop in to until you’re a couple of pages into it, so it’s moving around a lot. 17:05 – What would the book like if it was written knowing Google exists? What would a movie about Infinite Jest be like? Tarantino could direct this movie. Michael Schur, co-producer and actor of The Office TV series owns the movie rights to Infinite Jest. There are many reference to the book and the author in The Office. Other TV show, BoJack Horseman, seems to be loosely based on this book. Addiction component in the book, and addiction issues that the author had. Psychological addiction to marijuana. 21:52 – Broader context of the main characters. There are basically three or four groups that have their own separate stories and those main groups intersect throughout the novel. There is the tennis academy. A particular family with 3 brothers, Hal, Orin and Mario. The addiction home next to the tennis academy. And the groups of terrorists together with those who are fighting them. The book is hilarious at many times, including laughing out loud funny and horrible tragic things at the same time. There are some absurd parts of the book, that are also very funny because of the way they are written. 26:04 – Weird plots. The wheelchair terrorists that want to kill Americans with a movie. The undercovered anti-terrorist agent that dresses like a woman. The male character enamored with “her”. Kid with his forehead stuck in a glass. The way Jim commits suicide sticking his head in a microwave. Hal tricking the psycho therapists having a major breakthrough. The list of people dying watching the film at one guy’s house. Death by passivity. Examples of characters that stuck between an easy passive life and the will of doing something bigger. 36:12 – Beautiful nonfiction parts. Discussion of kids hitting their goals: “one is that you attain the goal and realize the shocking realization that attaining the goal does not complete or redeem you, does not make everything for your life “OK ” as you are, in the culture, educated to assume it will do this, the goal. And then you face this fact that what you had thought would have the meaning does not have the meaning when you get it, and you are impaled by shock.” “It is more invigorating to want than to have”. Kyrie Irving, the basketball player, pissed off after winning everything with the Cavaliers. Finding new hills to climb instead of contenting of reaching the top. Happiness comes from the climb, not much from the achievement. Boredom aversion. Losing the impetus to perform after hitting your goals. Veterans missing the war. “If you’re worried you can feel safe, and if you feel safe you should be worried”. Books with porno titles. 47:34 – Infinite Jest is the fictional version of Amusing Ourselves to Death. Heavy critic on TV. Avoiding letting life happen to you, instead of an active life. Effects of the addiction phase, and breaking through it. Cleanse from addiction hero journey. Self improvement and infinite games found in 1-on-1 sports like tennis, box, or martial arts. Yes, you’re fighting against another player, but mainly the fight is against your brain. 53:53 – Transcending own limits. The opponent is yourself. Most characters are fighting an internal battle throughout the novel. Relationship between DFW and his editor. All typos were intentional. First and third person narrators through the book, and the relation to typos. 1:00:53 – The author sees irony almost like a safety valve that people use to avoid feeling real things. Mario, one of the characters, says (or thinks) “there is some rule that real stuff can only get mentioned if everybody rolls their eyes or laughs in a way that isn't happy.” Laughing to avoid deep conversations. In the book, the author takes serious things and wraps them in absurd and funny incidents to make them tolerable or digestible. 1:05:06 – Predictions of the internet. Advertising invading every surface and communication. Snapchat filters. The rise and fall of video calls: “the amazing things about phones is that you can be paying half attention while assuming the other person is giving you their full attention”. The problem of vi
104 minutes | 2 years ago
59: Eternal Human Psychology: The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene
Let us call the collection of these forces that push and pull at us from deep within human nature. Human nature stems from the particular wiring of our brains, the configuration of our nervous system and the way we humans process emotions, all of which developed and emerged over the course of the 5 million years or so of our evolution as a species. In this episode of Made You Think, Nat and Neil talk about The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene. The author examines human behavior and suggests that it can be explained by different laws. Each law is presented and described in details: what every law means in your life, what you should do with it, how you should interpret it, and how you should use it. We cover a wide range of topics, including: How humans really behave and how one should adapt to it Historical and contemporary examples to better understand each law How to apply each law to your life Why corporations don’t give much importance to Twitter (and it’s because of Trump) The effect of context on our mood and behavior (yes, Nazis and Twitter examples) Why you may feel miserable even with 1 billion in your account And much more. Please enjoy, and be sure to grab a copy of The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene! If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out our episode on Mastery by Robert Greene, a fantastic book on sculpting your mind and your life in the pursuit of mastery, as well as Denial of Death by Ernest Becker, another book that delves into the idea that fearlessness is essential for individual success outside of a traditional path, and even within it. Be sure to join our mailing list to find out about what books are coming up, giveaways we’re running, special events, and more. Links from the Episode Mentioned in the show Irrationality [8:50] Self-awareness [10:37] Narcissism [12:49] Role-playing [17:16] South Sea Bubble [32:22] Black Swan Preparation [33:05] Herd Mentality [35:16] Instagram Influencer [35:39] The Godfather [38:45] Matrix [39:25] Primer [39:42] Self-sabotage [44:01] Mueller Report [45:45] Around the Horn [46:58] Pardon the Interruption [47:08] Crossfire [47:40] UC Berkeley [49:00] Lyft [49:22] New York Times [49:50] QueensBridge Venture Partners [50:41] Nazi [53:17] College as an incubator of Girardian terror by Dan Wang [59:40] American Psycho [1:01:44] Theranos [1:05:38] Enron [1:07:41] Apple [1:06:13] Nat's Article: Increasing the Difficulty [1:09:29] Social Justice Warrior [1:12:07] Neil's Article: Entertainment Isn't Dumb [1:16:40] Netflix [1:16:51] Cup & Leaf [1:17:45] Estee Lauder [1:21:23] Taco Bell [1:22:09] Slacktivism [1:31:38] Star Trek [1:38:19] Books mentioned The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene Mastery by Robert Greene (book episode) [01:33] Antifragile by Nassim Taleb (Nat’s notes) (book episode) [1:34] Letters from a Stoic by Seneca (Nat's notes) (book episode) [1:35] The 50th Law by Robert Greene [03:00] The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene (Nat’s notes) [03:13] Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio (Nat’s notes) (book episode) [6:58] Poor Charlie's Almanack by Charlie Munger [10:11] What Every Body is Saying by Joe Navarro [17:42] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells [25:12] 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson (Nat’s notes) (Neil’s notes) (book episode) [28:50] 12 Years A Slave by Solomon Northup [55:36] Skin in the Game by Nassim Taleb (Nat’s notes) (Neil’s notes) (book episode) [1:00:31] The Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch (book episode) [1:29:26] Made in America by Sam Walton [1:32:30] The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker [1:34:45] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) The Elephant in the Brain by Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson [1:36:27] (Neil’s notes) People mentioned Robert Greene [01:15] Joe Rogan [07:55] Donald Trump [09:17] Charles T. Munger [10:11] Bill Clinton [18:17] Barack Obama [20:07] George W. Bush [21:33] Sam Harris [24:41] Daniel Kahneman [24:42] David Wallace-Wells [25:12] Jordan Peterson [28:50] Isaac Newton [32:27] Fredo Corleone [38:45] Nas [50:20] Steve Jobs [1:06:13] Tim Ferriss [1:11:54] Seth Godin [1:22:31] Kanye West [1:25:37] Sam Walton [1:32:28] Ernest Becker [1:34:45] Ray Kurzweil [1:35:44] Show Topics 01:12 – Nat and Nate are major fans of Robert Greene. Takeaways from their top Robert Greene books, Mastery and The 50th Law. 5:12 – The laws of human nature is based on how humans act and behave and what one can infer about other people or learn about them based on their behavior. Each law goes in-depth on historical and contemporary examples. 8:50 – Law of Irrationality: You may think you are rational but you're not. The first step towards becoming rational is to understand our fundamental irrationality. We all fall into this trap of thinking that we're the rational ones and everyone else is irrational. Green believes that we all have irrational beliefs and the best way to become more rational is having that awareness of yourself that you are also not a fully rational creature. What stems out from irrationality is the conviction bias or superiority bias, where you think like you're better than everyone. The key to stop making irrational decisions is self awareness and reflection. Increase your reaction time: when some event or interaction requires your response, train yourself to step back. 12:50 – Law of Narcissism: Transform self love into empathy. The idea of healthy narcissism is everyone is a narcissist to some extent, but if you're healthy about it, you have a stronger, more resilient sense of self and can recover more quickly from wounds and insults. There is not much validation needed from others. Social media is the medium of overly narcissists. Also, there are two monologues happening sometimes on shows like podcasts where you just happen to be speaking at each other, but you're not really having a conversation. Everybody just wants to feel heard, that's why people are posting on social media.. 17:12 – Law of Role-playing: See through people's masks. Bill Clinton never lost sight of the fact that as president, he had to project confidence and power, but if he was speaking to a group of auto workers, he would adjust his accent and his words to fit the audience and he would do the same to a group of executives. Most of the time, trying too hard to adjust to your audience can be offensive. 21:38 – Law of Compulsive Behavior: Determine the strength of people's character. A lot of people do have some form of compulsion in how they act. The toxic types and drama magnets fall in this type of behavior. There are certain people, like in high school or in college, who always have drama no matter what's going on. The Laws of Human Nature can be read in two different ways – with the eye to learning more about other people or with an eye towards yourself. We go through Sam Harris’ interview of Daniel Kahneman and Joe Rogan's interview of David Wallace Wells, author of The Uninhabitable Earth. 26:43 – Law of Covetousness: Become an elusive object of desire. This law is very true for relationships, for instance, people who are using dating apps. The people you're connecting with on dating apps are always seemingly perfect, but then as you get to know them, you realize they're all human beings, they’re not perfect. Also, it states that if you don't give somebody too much information about yourself, then you have that air of mystery and they can project whatever they want to project onto you. In an era of so much advertising and marketing, it affects your decision-making, what is something that you actually want and what's something you need. We tackle the 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson, where he emphasizes on how many of our desires are actually internally-driven versus driven by what we're seeing other people do. 31:52 – Law of Short-sightedness: Elevate your perspective. It's basically civically training ourselves to detach from the heat of the moment. For any group or team, you kind of want someone in charge of revealing all the ways something could fail. Expecting the unexpected, the black swan preparedness. The concept of herd mentality, where you doubt your own logic in money and selfies. Take those Instagram influencers. 38:07 – Law of Defensiveness: Soften people's resistance by confirming their self opinion. Everyone thinks that they're autonomous and acting of their free will. Also, most think that they're intelligent and that they're good and decent. Regardless of whether or not those things are true, it behooves you to confirm people's beliefs in that about themselves. Fredo Corleone is a perfect example. He is the family idiot who also does some sleazy things and gets the family in trouble, but despite all of that and all the evidence staring him in the face, he still thinks he's an intelligent and good human being. Primer on being a Master Persuader: five strategies for instilling those beliefs in the people you're talking to. 42:50 – Law of Self-sabotage: Change your circumstances by changing your attitude. This part lists out a lot of bad mental routines people get into. When you see one of these self-sabotaging mentalities come out constantly from people, it makes it very hard to be around them. This happens in Twitter feed, where if you were constantly surrounded by political or hostile tweets or news, even if they're not directed at you, it changes your mood entirely. The click bait headlines confirming existing biases. 51:22 – Law of Repression: Confront your dark side. Part of the job in studying human nature is to recognize and examine the dark side of one’s character. You can't deny that there are going to be parts of your character that are bad. Seeking those out and figuring out where they're coming from can improve yourself to deal with those parts of your behavior. There's like very little genetic determination for whether you're a good or bad person. There
67 minutes | 2 years ago
58: Psychedelics and Self-Discovery. Food of the Gods by Terence McKenna
If psychedelics are one thing we can all agree on, is that it will make a lot of people happy. There's a lot of people who could use a heavy dose of psychedelics to stop being angry. There's something about stepping outside of yourself and even up the reality that comes with these types of experiences that is getting even more useful in a culture that is becoming even more obsessed with the day to day and itself. In this episode of Made You Think, Nat and Mansal Denton talk about Food of the Gods by Terence McKenna. This is a fun book episode about Terence McKenna’s take on psychedelics. First of which is that because mushrooms or “shrooms” basically grow faster in Caledon it leads us to see respect and certain religious adoration towards animals and lastly, that psychedelics are originators of religion. We cover a wide range of topics, including: What are psychedelics and its misconceptions How the society take these substances into account Why animals seem keen into psychedelics How psychedelic substances are lowering the floodgates of one’s experience Terence McKenna’s TWO ideas on psychedelics How religion coincided with psychedelics Mansal’s authentic Ayahuasca experience and the hunt for a good Shaman And much more. Please enjoy, and be sure to grab a copy of Food of the Gods by Terence McKenna! If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out our episode on Smoke Signals by Martin A. Lee, a book about the history of marijuana and the war on drugs in the US. Check also The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell that talks about the origin of religions. Be sure to join our mailing list to find out about what books are coming up, giveaways we’re running, special events, and more. Links from the Episode Mentioned in the show Nootropedia [1:28] Nootropics [1:35] Psychedelics [1:39] OYASIN [1:46] Psilocybin mushroom/Magic Mushrooms “Shrooms” [4:28] MDMA for PTSD [4:30] DMT [11:43] Ayahuasca [11:59] Chacruna Leaves [13:37] N,N-DMT [13:49] 5-MeO-DMT [14:00] LSD [15:39] Stoned Ape Theory [16:20] Dominator culture [31:38] Marijuana [32:17] Vape [34:30] MAOI [36:01] Nicotine gum [36:43] Juul Vapes [37:00] Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia [38:21] Soylent [39:07] Polio [41:12] Opium [41:21] Ibogaine [44:29] Iboga [44:51] Burning Bush [49:40] Amanita Muscaria Mushroom [50:21] Aztec [54:31] Sweat Lodge Ceremony [55:06] Kundalini yoga [57:43] Ayahuasca Shaman [1:00:00] Books mentioned Food of the Gods by Terence McKenna How To Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan [4:15] The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley [18:23] People mentioned Mansal Denton [0:33] Michael Pollan [4:15] Trump [8:15] Nixon [9:58] Timothy Leary [10:07] Dennis McKenna [17:07] Albert Hoffman [17:46] Ram Dass [17:56] Aldous Huxley [18:21] Hamilton Morris [38:21] Dr. Dan Engle [47:30] Jesus on Psychedelics [49:45] Santa Claus on Psychedelics [50:07] Show Topics 1:25 - Mansal Denton is the co-host for today’s episode! He has recently left an organization called Nootropedia, where his whole focus was helping people optimize their mental performance using nootropics. He found that some of the best nootropics were psychedelics and from that path he moved into another organization called Oyasin, which is a lifestyle brand reharmonizing people with the natural world. A high-level view of what he's interested right now: he believes that all of the external problems in the world are a manifestation of what's going on in our minds collectively at the society and that psychedelics can be a powerful tool to solve what's going on in our minds. He thinks that transformational or peak experiences are things that we all crave and could help change our perspectives someway. 4:00 - Interesting shift of perspective in society about Psychedelics and plant medicines. “How To Change your Mind” by Michael Pollan is a great influence to this. Some of the kinds of psychedelics are Silicide, Magic Mushrooms, and MDMA for PTSD. It is so compelling and helpful for PTSD. 6:25 - If psychedelics are one thing we can all agree on then it will make a lot of people happy. There's a lot of people who could use a heavy dose of psychedelics to stop being angry. There's something about stepping outside of yourself and even up the reality that comes with this types of experiences that is getting even more useful in a culture that is becoming even more obsessed with the day to day and itself. Imaginary world which is everything in the internet, a reality that doesn’t exist in a physical way. Recreating our relationship with our internal map is something everyone can benefit from, like meditation, like a recognition of something lost. 7:55 - Society's take on psychedelics. Safety and inherent risks with these substances despite its legality in some places. Be smart. In today’s generations, there are negative responses to these plant medicines. War on drugs has done injustice to psychedelics. 10:54 - What kinds of drugs people are comfortable taking and which ones they aren't. Coffee, alcohol, tobacco, and aspirin are drugs all of us use that alter our daily experience. 12:00 - Drugs and hunting. Drugs and animals. Ayahuasca doses given to dogs for more effective hunting today in the jungle. Which plants are mixed with Ayahuasca. There’s an archaeological evidence that people were making ayahuasca thousands of years ago. 14:42 - McKenna’s Hypothesis: hallucinogenic compounds may have actually had influence in developing our own self-reflective abilities. DMT vs LSD trips. Stoned Ape Theory. 18:16 - Brain as primarily a filtering tool. Idea that the brain functions not to understand our environment but to filter out all of the less important noise from The Doors of Perception. Consciousness as a subtractive process, not an additive. Psychedelic substances are lowering the floodgates of one’s experience to open your senses to everything that’s going on in your environment that you’re normally unaware of. Examples: appreciating trees, books you never heard of and hearing it a lot of times after within a week. There is some part of your brain that becomes receptive to that specific thing. 20:57 - Research on the brain about finding truth and logic in certain aspects of life are actually developed more with the intention on how can you create truth to make others believe. Humans are actually social animals. Our brain may not be interpreting actual reality rather it is interpreting reality socially. Elements of stimuli not normally present in our normal consciousness. 22:20 - Why animals seem interested in psychedelics. There’s some element in psychedelics that’s completely pressing reset in our consciousness that almost every species can benefit from. It’s actually an evolutionary disadvantage for animals to be tripping but all animals have habitual patterns which are sometimes helpful and sometimes not. Having these patterns interrupts allowed animals to change habits that proved to be more advantageous. Animals know how to micro-dose psychedelics. The higher the dose of LSD the more tolerant you become. 25:53 - Intention VS. External Environment. Psychedelics can be powerful tools or just for recreational use. Retreats for self-reflection. McKenna says there’s a stigma against taking drugs or substances alone. Respectful use in productive settings and not in rave parties. Taking it on your own makes more valuable experiences. When with somebody, sometimes the ideas come from all over the place and it’s hard to have coherent conversations when you are tripping. It is important to identify what’s the intention to take psychedelics, ex. to escape reality or to explore and reflect or connect. It’s harder to be locked into a monotonous routine that you hate if you’re having these psychedelics driven wake ups every few months. 31:38 - Legal drugs fits in the Dominator Culture. How would work, life, and environment be changed if people had access to psychedelics. We’re seeing it a little bit with Marijuana, as it becomes more and more legalized. It will always depend on the intentions. Stimulants and alcohol fall in the legal drugs category. A lot of these drug compounds create a baseline that is manageable. Psychedelics create peak experiences. There’s so much value in doing both in a regular basis. 34:30 - Why is Nicotine addictive? Nicotine itself is not actually a dangerous chemical, cigarettes are. If you’re smoking pure tobacco, that’s probably safe. Vapes are intense smoking administration method. Nicotine is only addictive when it is combined with MAOI. Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia on MAOI Inhibitors. 39:39 - How people seem to believe that Science and Rationality are the new god. Science is great but incomplete and can get things wrong like drugs with side effects. Drugs that you can do while going to work or do more work are okay while drugs that you would have to relax in the process aren’t okay, for instance, Marijuana. The term “Marijuana”. The propaganda on Mexicans and Blacks liking to get high to not do work and then attack people as racism. 43:07 - Empathy is so heightened in psychedelics - you start to feel this sense of protection for the earth. Michael Pollan’s take on psychedelics relating to modern environmental movement came predominantly out of psychedelic experiences in the 60’s and 70’s. 44:27- Ibogaine experience. Effects of Ibogaine. There are so many great applications of Iboga but high doses can harm the ones with heart conditions. It can cure addiction, like alcoholism, as well. Ayahuasca has similar effects, generally less statistically significant than Iboga. You can find Ayahuasca, LSD or mushrooms even in the US. Iboga it’s not something you mess around with on your own. Where do people do or take Iboga? 48:07 - Mckenna’s Idea that because mushrooms grow faster in Caledon we see respect and certain religious adoration towards cows in some eastern religions. A lot of religious and cultu
4 minutes | 2 years ago
57: Update Episode January 2019
Hi guys, this is an update episode. After end of the year hiatus we are looking back to read more books! But... we need your feedback. Listen to this episode and let us know what's your preferred podcast format. Tweet Nat at @nateliason or reply his newsletter. Excited to share with you new episodes soon!
62 minutes | 3 years ago
56: What Is It Like To Be A Bat by Thomas Nagel
“A Martian scientist with no understanding of visual perception could understand the rainbow, or lightning, or clouds as physical phenomena, though he would never be able to understand the human concepts of rainbow, lighting, or cloud, or the place these things occupy in our phenomenal world.” In this episode of Made You Think, Neil and Nat critically discuss the article What Is It Like to Be a Bat? by Thomas Nagel. This is the most famous piece on the mind-body problem. In it Nagel explores the mind-body issue, freedom, knowledge, meaning and value of human life. This article was penned down at an era where physicalism and materialism were prevalent, the idea that you can reduce all aspects of the mind to simply firings in the brain. However, Nagel was unpersuaded that physicalism of materialism gives an all-encompassing account of human experience. “Without consciousness the mind-body problem would be much less interesting with consciousness it seems hopeless.” We cover a wide range of topics, including The mind-body consciousness problem Creating an objective interpretations of reality. Learning skills to overcome reporters biases Consciousness in animals Artificial intelligence (AI) and hacking of consciousness And much more. Please enjoy, and be sure to grab a copy of What Is It Like to Be a Bat? by Thomas Nagel! If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out our book episodes on consciousness like Godel Escher Bach by Douglas Hofstadter, Sapiens by Yuval Harari, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea by Daniel Dennett, and The Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch. Be sure to join our mailing list to find out about what books are coming up, giveaways we're running, special events, and more. Links from the Episode Mentioned in the show The Beginning of Infinity on Wikipedia [04:52] (book episode) Pod Save America Podcast [19:20] HARO Help A Reporter Out [22:14] Fox News [23:30] CNBC [23:30] Turing Test [30:53] Chinese Room [31:13] Chess [32:00] Go game [32:40] Watson AI [39:53] Joe Rogan interviews Elon Musk [47:34] The Man in the High Castle Television TV series [54:08] Hardcore History ep 62 – Supernova in the East I [54:42] Books mentioned What it is to be like a bat? By Thomas Nagel Gödel, Escher, Bach by Douglas R. Hofstadter [00:39] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) Way of Zen by Alan Watts [01:02] (Nat’s notes) (Neil’s notes) (book episode) Homo Deus by Yuval Harari [01:06] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) Darwin’s Dangerous Idea by Daniel Dennett [1:11] (book episode) The Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch [01:16] (book episode) The Riddle of the Gun by Sam Harris [16:53] (article episode) How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff [24:30] The Elephant in the Brain by Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson [36:08] (Neil’s notes) Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari [56:40] (Nat’s notes) (book episode part 1 & part 2) Trust Me, I'm Lying by Ryan Holiday [23:01] The Man in the High Castle Novel by Philip K. Dick [54:08] Plato's Republic [20:10] People mentioned David Deutsch [05:25] (Infinity episode) Daniel Dennett [08:25] (Darwin’s episode) Bobby McMullen – Blind Bike Rider [09:44] Donald Trump [12:23] Charles Darwin [30:15] Pepper the Poochon [33:40] Sam Harris [37:19] (Guns episode) Yuval Noah Harari [37:19] Douglas Hofstadter [43:36] Nick Bostrom [43:53] Karl Marx [46:02] Elon Musk [47:34] (on this podcast) Hiroo Onoda [55:17] Show Topics 01:00 – Consciousness. The article is about the theory of mind and consciousness, looking into the mind-body problem. Aspects of the mind can be linked to how the brain responds. 01:58 – Challenge to physicalism rather than refute reductionism. Reductionism and physicalism cannot be fully understood; thus, making these two theories flawed. “Every reductionist has his favorite analogy for modern science. It is most unlikely that any of these unrelated examples of successful reduction will shed light on the relation of mind to brain”. Nagel seems not to refute reductionism but rather exposing a big whole in it and saying you can't take reductionism seriously until you fill this hole. 03:43 – Mind-body consciousness problem. Without consciousness the mind-body problem would be much less interesting with consciousness it seems hopeless. “It seems unlikely that any physical theory of mind can be contemplated until more thought has been given to the general problem of subjective and objective”. 05:27 – All problems are soluble given enough intelligence in time. 06:08 – Subjective filter for any information. Physicalism and reductionism create an objective interpretation of reality. Physicalism and reductionism in some ways rely on creating an objective interpretation of reality. All the thoughts human beings have are grounded from the subjective view of the world. 08:00 – Humans cannot understand a “what it is like aspect” because they are not in that very situation. A bat was used to demonstrate this concept. Human beings cannot comprehend how a bat moves and survives by echo-location thus this highlights human cannot understand subjective experience from human data. 09:04 – Humans can learn to echo-locate. An excellent example is Bobby McMullen, who is a blind mountain biker; he uses echolocation and his senses to mountain bike. 10:14 – However, according to Nagel, even if a human could echo-locate, that is still not equivalent to how bats echo-locate. 10:35 – Subjective interpretation of reality cannot be stepped out. This means something outside of one’s understanding cannot be fully grasped or comprehended. This concept applies to understand to someone who is totally different from you. You can never know exactly what they went through or understand what they do why they do some things; it is easy to judge someone thinking they are making irrational actions without viewing their actions from the subjective experience. 12:12 – How would look post-Trump era discussions. Urban Democrats have different interests and value systems than rural Republicans. Where to draw the line for life? Understanding pro-life people. Pro-gunners point of view. Having a gun in Texas is a must. 18:28 – Divided political sphere. Humans choose a side that will agree with their preconceived opinions. 19:58 – Decentralization makes it really hard to create a cohesive story and narrative for a population. 20:20 – Gell-Mann amnesia effect. Phenomenon where one will believe about something they know not about because it has been reported. Journalists are almost never trained to actually understand what they are reporting on, not confirming the authenticity of their sources and misunderstanding statistics. 24:00 – Learning how to read research articles is an important skill these days as we can't rely on media anymore. Famous bad reporters interpretations. Bacon is bad for you as smoking. Coconut oil is bad because saturated fats. 26:26 – Hanlon's Razor. Applying that to even news reporters, they are not doing it necessarily maliciously, they are doing it for one of two reasons- it works, people click on it and read it; the second thing is a lot of these sites are effectively content firms. This circles up to what Nagel is saying about subjective character of experience which we cannot step outside of and not understanding what it is like to be someone else. 28:20 – Test for consciousness. Mirror test for animal self awareness. 30:38 – AI discussion. What means a computer is conscious? Turing test is not enough. Reaching intelligence by brute force. Computers that don't want to play chess. 33:33 – Consciousness in animals. Every animal has a level of consciousness and awareness in the same fundamental way a human does. Dogs dreaming. 35:30 – The self is not necessarily an actual thing. Nagel is trying to keep the sense of self and the potential challenge to him is this thing you are trying to hold on to the mind, the sense of self is an illusion; there is not really anything special for what we think about this consciousness. 37:47 – Challenging reductionism. Nagel is challenging reductionism by pushing for a more helpful theory of mind that says it’s all mental- making it hard to comprehend any one’s mind. 38:43 – Subjective phenomena cannot be explained. Questions that arise with a conscious AI: can you unplug it? Can you reset it? Is it a slave? Riding horses and animals that work for humans. 40:26 – Artificial intelligence (AI) and consciousness. That will just reach a point where it is so competent that it is indistinguishable from interacting with another human. 43:05 – AI scare. An AI is sufficiently intelligent to be a threat to us all, it is sufficiently intelligent to know it shouldn't let us know it exists. AI that optimizes for paperclips can destroy the world. 43:38 – Use of the term is. E = mc2. Knowing that something is true without necessarily understanding why it is true. Consciousness and intelligence exist within its closed system. 50:10 – Knowledge is a justified true belief, based on theoretical understanding. “You can know that something is something without understanding what it means for it to be that thing.” 53:41 – Tangent. Japanese soldiers fighting after the war was over. 57:47 – Subscribe to Patreon to get our book notes, highlights, bonus material and support us without the need of ads. Sign up before october to participate to the next live hangout! Also, recommend us books (even via Instagram), and participate of our private community. Find us on Twitter @Neil Soni (@TheRealNeilS) and @Nat Eliason (@nateliason). Leave us a review on iTunes to get possible guests on the show. You can just write “Love this podcast! Neil and Nat are super fun.”. Check our supporters at madeyouthink.com/support. We are drinking delicious Lapsang Souchong tea from Cup & Leaf. If you want some tangent fuel, try the Mushroom Lemonade Coffee and Chai Latte from Four Sigmatic.
114 minutes | 3 years ago
55: The Qur'an
The truly good are those who believe in God and the Last Day, in the angels, the Scripture, and the prophets; who give away some of their wealth, however much they cherish it, to their relatives, to orphans, the needy, travellers and beggars, and to liberate those in bondage; those who keep up the prayer and pay the prescribed alms; who keep pledges whenever they make them; who are steadfast in misfortune, adversity, and times of danger. These are the ones who are true, and it is they who are aware of God. In this episode of Made You Think, Neil and Nat discuss The Quran, the book revealed to the prophet Muhammad, and foundation of Islamism. This is a very special and interesting episode because there is so much discussion about Islam and its roots, Muslims, and the relevance in cultural and political news. We cover a wide range of topics, including: The different writing styles of the Quran at the beginning and the end Interpretation of Arabic and context at the time of Muhammad Strategies to build and spread virally a set of beliefs Changing views on sex, alcohol and women The validity of 600 AD concepts on today’s world And much more. Please enjoy, and try always to build your opinions reading books at their source! If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out our episode on The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell, a book that deconstruct the need of religions, as well as our episodes on Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari (book episodes part 1 & part 2), a book that spans on the history of human existence. Be sure to join our mailing list to find out about what books are coming up, giveaways we're running, special events, and more. Links from the Episode Mentioned in the show Jihad [6:50] The Crusades [9:09] Inquisition [9:10] Bonus Material on Patreon [11:40] Sharia Law [12:45] Buddhism [15:05] Mecca [16:20] History of Islam in India – India: A History. Revised and Updated [34:59] Enforced Monogamy - Jordan Peterson [38:38] Crony Beliefs [39:03] I'm a college philosophy professor. Jordan Peterson is making my job impossible. Post on Reddit [39:10] Islamic State [41:06] Reformation [44:40] Cryonics [49:57] Rick and Morty arcade life simulation episode [53:31] Burqa [1:37:24] Inception [1:52:54] Books mentioned The Bible [5:00] The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell [5:26] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff [7:40] The Elephant in the Brain by Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson [9:50] (Neil’s notes) Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari [10:00] (Nat’s notes) (book episode part 1 & part 2) Old Testament [11:24] New Testament [11:24] Discipline and Punish by Michel Foucault [40:04] (Nat’s notes) (href="https://madeyouthinkpodcast.com/discipline-and-punish-by-michel-foucault/">book episode) Code of Hammurabi [58:31] Way of Zen by Alan Watts [1:00:15] (Nat’s notes) (Neil’s notes) (book episode) Smoke Signals by Martin A. Lee [1:19:47] (book episode) People mentioned Muhammad The Prophet Moises [19:10] Abraham [19:11] Jesus [19:12] Noah [22:02] Angel Gabriel [31:50] Satan [31:51] Saint Brigid Celtic Goddess [33:36] Jordan B. Peterson [38:15] (on Twitter) (12 Rules episode) Sam Harris [10:55] (Guns episode) Show Topics 2:33 – We think we picked a very good translation/interpretation of the Qur’an. The translator/interpreter includes lots of useful comments in the footnotes, why he prefers to interpret in a certain way, including comparisons with other interpretations. He gives good historical context of the Arabian peninsula at the times of Mohammad. Modern interpretation of ancient books affected by old translations. 6:30 – Politics in translation. Jihad: depending which scholars you listen to, it can mean a religious war limited to the context of when the book was written, or a war that has to be conducted all times. Times when Christianity was militarized. Other religions militarized: Nationalism and Communism. Is Islam a religion of peace militarized for bad use vs a religion violent at its roots? 11:35 – Ancient religious books were less about shared myths and more about legal codes prescribing how to handle human behavior. The problem with religions is when they mandate to impose them on other people. Buddhism is an exception, viewed more as a private practice. 16:15 – Intro. At Mohammad era, in Arabia there were polytheistic tribal religion. Judaism and Christianity were still not spread. People believed in Allah and many other gods. Islam expanded through the whole Arabian peninsula in just 10 years, before the Quran was even finished. Virality at top level. Qur’an is considered the direct words of God, while the Testaments are interpretations of its prophets. The Quran writing style: God speaking directly to you vs a story about God in third person. 22:12 – Mohammad was supposedly illiterate. Mohammad memorized the Quran and just spoke it. The manuscript was compiled later. There were lots of wars for power in the region at the time. Polytheist leaders saw Islam as a threat to their power. Quran is divided in 114 sections. The longest are at the beginning. The shorter ones more to the end, are more repetitive. 27:27 – First part of the Quran is very friendly with People of the Book (Hebrews and Christians). The chief conflict was against the Polytheists. Conflict shifts as the book goes on. Cracks between the three Abrahamic religions. Judaism: we are waiting for the Son of God. Christianity: SoG is Jesus. Islam: no, SoG is Mohammed, or all the prophets together are related to God, but not a direct son. 31:02 – The use of the word We. Polytheism absorbed and organized in Angels and God hierarchy. Christianity absorbed and on-boarded other religions by Sanctification of their deities. Example: Saint Brigid Celtic goddess in Ireland. Islam in India. Converting Hindus to Muslims with tax incentives. 35:50 – Acceptance of Jewish and Christians. Need to declare oneself Muslim, but no need to consider oneself Muslim in private. ‘Produce your evidence, if you are telling the truth.’ In fact, any who direct themselves wholly to God and do good will have their reward with their Lord: no fear for them, nor will they grieve. Double standard when requiring for evidence. Challenging other believes asking for evidence. People need evidence to challenge own beliefs, but don't require it to trust them, word of God is enough. What postmodernism says vs what it is. 41:10 – Reconciling differences in the Quran from the beginning to the end. [This is] a statement of the Truth about which they are in doubt: it would not befit God to have a child. He is far above that: when He decrees something, He says only, ‘Be,’ and it is. ‘God is my Lord and your Lord, so serve Him: that is a straight path.’ But factions have differed among themselves. What suffering will come to those who obscure the truth when a dreadful Day arrives! How sharp of hearing, how sharp of sight they will be when they come to Us, although now they are clearly off course! Warn them [Muhammad] of the Day of Remorse when the matter will be decided, for they are heedless and do not believe. Other books in Islam. Any changes today in religious books means God was wrong. Modern Christianity reconciling writings to today's context. Secular Jewish. Room for interpretation on supernatural events. Quran is much more about political actions than supernatural events. 47:16 – Idea of Paradise is pretty plain: a garden with clean water streams, free food, and attractive virgins. No mention of more complex wishes or benefit. Christian books don't mention heaven, but once we die we just have to wait until the Final Judgement day to come. Large scale conspiracies. 50:20 – Tangent. Cryonics is a religion. You have to wait until the prophet comes and unmelts you. Uploading your brain to a computer is religion for computing people. Need to believe in something. Life simulated. 54:00 – Tangent. Psychedelics revelations. Psychedelics and extension of time. Moises and use of drugs. Psychedelics being a part of spiritual life. When asked about the experience of revelation Muhammad reported, "sometimes it is revealed like the ringing of a bell. This form of inspiration is the hardest of them all and then it passes off after I have grasped what is inspired. Sometimes the Angel comes in the form of a man and talks to me and I grasp whatever he says.":43 57:15 – Definitions of being good. At the beginning of the book a good person worships God and follow dictates of good conduct. Punishment for crimes and forgiveness. Significance of the opening In the name of God, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy. Optimizing for mercy by following Quran's principles. Fully repenting because you understand what's really wrong. 1:02:04 – Jewish idea that if everything is going wrong is because God is displeased with humanity. Contrasting of polytheistic religions comparing natural context: Indus Valley vs Nile River. Deities punish humans with floods, or reward them with crops. Omnipotent being seeing what you do may prevent you from acting bad. Useful concept for making a society more cohesive. 1:06:32 – Islam starts to spread beyond boundaries and other regions push back. The book stop preaching peace and encourages fighting for the religion. Fight in God’s cause against those who fight you, but do not overstep the limits: God does not love those who overstep the limits. Kill them wherever you encounter them, and drive them out from where they drove you out, for persecution is more serious than killing. Do not fight them at the Sacred Mosque unless they fight you there. If they do fight you, kill them—this is what such disbelievers deserve— but if they stop, then God is most forgiving and merciful. Fight them until there is no more persecution, and worship is devoted to God. If they cease hostilities, there can be no [further] hostility, except towards aggressors. Fighting is ordained for
83 minutes | 3 years ago
54: Never Forget Anything. Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer
Dom DeLuise, celebrity fat man (and five of clubs), has been implicated in the following unseemly acts in my mind’s eye: He has hocked a fat globule of spittle (nine of clubs) on Albert Einstein’s thick white mane (three of diamonds) and delivered a devastating karate kick (five of spades) to the groin of Pope Benedict XVI (six of diamonds). Michael Jackson (king of hearts) has engaged in behavior bizarre even for him. He has defecated (two of clubs) on a salmon burger (king of clubs) and captured his flatulence (queen of clubs) in a balloon (six of spades). Rhea Perlman, diminutive Cheers bartendress (and queen of spades), has been caught cavorting with the seven-foot-seven Sudanese basketball star Manute Bol (seven of clubs) in a highly explicit (and in this case, anatomically improbable) two-digit act of congress (three of clubs). In this episode of Made You Think, Neil and Nat discuss Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer. It is a fun book episode about how Joshua Foer came from nowhere to win the US memory championship with the challenge and coaching of Ed Cook. In the book Josh shows how to train our brain memory “muscle” and remember everything. We cover a wide range of topics, including: Why and how poetry, religion, and epics are interconnected because of memory Mnemonic techniques to remember numbers, names, cards, everything How to hack our brain to “live longer” Incredible memory stats How to impress your crush and make your dates memorable And much more. Please enjoy, and be sure to grab a copy of Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer! If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out our fun episodes on Emergency by Neil Strauss, a book for preppers, as well as our recent episode on How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff, a short an easy book that shows how media can be manipulated. Be sure to join our mailing list to find out about what books are coming up, giveaways we're running, special events, and more. Links from the Episode Mentioned in the show How to win the U.S. memory championship [3:12] The Google Effect [8:40] Playstation [15:09] Twitter [19:35] LinkedIn [19:35] Pearl Harbor [21:35] 9/11 [21:36] Anki [26:34] Lindy Effect [29:10] Nat's book notes and Brain [48:49] Evernote [53:00] World Memory Records [59:17] Memrise [1:01:11] Ed Cook on Tim Ferriss Podcast [1:02:11] Duolingo [1:02:58] CMU [1:04:22] Fight Through the Suck – Justin Mares [1:07:28] 10000 Hour Rule on Google [1:12:15] The World Memory Championships [1:17:03] Joshua Foer TED talk [1:17:32] 21 (film) [1:18:04] Books mentioned Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand [1:50] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) Homo Deus by Yuval Harari [1:52] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari [1:52] (Nat’s notes) (book episode part 1 & part 2) Gödel, Escher, Bach by Douglas R. Hofstadter [2:21] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) Emergency [2:32] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman [6:11] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) The Torah [11:00] The Quran [11:00] The Tower – Hotel Concierge [31:16] (article episode) Essays by Montaigne [47:27] 12 Rules for Life by Dr. Jordan B. Peterson [50:15] (Nat’s notes) (Neil’s notes) (book episode) Way of Zen by Alan Watts [50:16] (Nat’s notes) (Neil’s notes) (book episode) Skin in the Game by Nassim Taleb [50:17] (Nat’s notes) (Neil’s notes) (book episode) The Elephant in the Brain by Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson [50:18] (Neil’s notes) The 4 Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss [1:02:34] Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell [1:03:48] Peak by Anders Ericsson [1:03:56] Remember, Remember by Ed Cooke [1:15:52] The Memory Book by Harry Lorayne [1:16:32] People mentioned Joshua Foer Albert Einstein Ed Cook [3:40] Homer [5:36] Plato [5:50] Simba [16:13] Mufasa [16:33] Adil Majid [17:55] (Crypto episode) Sigmund Freud [18:20] Pepper the Poochon [23:06] Montaigne [47:12] Tiago Forte [51:46] Cicero [53:56] Frank Sinatra [56:26] David Beckham [56:32] Superman [56:37] Alex Mullan memory grandmaster [59:43] Tim Ferriss [1:02:11] Anders Ericsson [1:03:41] Malcolm Gladwell [1:03:48] James Franco 1:18:17 Michael Serrick 1:18:24 Show Topics 3:12 – Extreme memory is not innate, comes from training. Until books became affordable, there were no easy means to record and keep information. We had to use our brains and information was passed down orally. There is no need of crazy photographic memory or some innate ability, but just training the "muscle". 7:50 – How many phone numbers do you remember? If you don't have to struggle to remember it, you'll not remember it. For efficiency your body doesn't want to do anything more than needed. Poetry and religion and epics are connected to memory training. 11:20 – The story of how Josh learnt the techniques of extreme memory. First technique: remembering names. Associating name sounds with a vivid image. Remembering not westernized names. What names can you remember with these images? Nailing down in front of a Playstation. A lion's son being chased by an gnat. A wizard dealing cards to Freud. When introducing someone to your friends, name your friends a lot so the new comer can remember their names. 19:04 – Practicing these techniques on Twitter or LinkedIn. Challenges in the competition. Remembering participants' attributes in a fake dinner, cards, string of numbers, and a poem. 20:33 – Second technique. Chunking. Remembering in chunks is easier than in smaller bits. In reduces the pieces of information. Example: string of 12 numbers chunked into the two big surprise attacks on American soil. Combining large chunks numbers into bigger images. Keeping the order of numbers by keeping a path to your memory palace. 25:41 – The time you need to dedicate each day is pretty small compared to its ROI. Remembering cards by associating 3 of each each time. These tactics were used for a long long time, even thousands of years ago. The importance of context. A big part of why this works is because we are good at remembering things in context but not when it's random information. Chessmasters examples. 31:03 – Increased perceived longevity. Nuances and quantity of experiences increases perceptual time. Life seems to speed up as we get older just because life gets less memorable, more repetitive. Monotony collapses time and novelty unfolds it. Downside of the idea of flow. Time experience is based on what we can remember. 37:15 – Tips to make a date memorable. Tips for planning parties. Plan 3 phases of a party, for example move the party in different rooms, different drinks, and change activities. It will feel like a longer party even if it took the same amount of time. It's kind of narrative fallacy used to our advantage. 41:05 – Memory images. Creating images for everything. Our brain prefers visual information and novelty. Collect numbers wandering in your house. The funnier, the looter, the more bizarre images, the better. Our brain takes 20% of our energy consumption. We forget dreams because our brain thinks it's junk data. 44:26 – Make images dirty and sexual. Use multiple senses too. Include smells, feelings, multi-sensory experiences. How we can remember songs even if we don't listen them for 10 years. Write your feelings and thoughts at the end of each book you read. Very useful if you are getting into speed reading or want to remember what the book was about, snippents will give you cues to remember it. Nat's book notes are efficient to remember core parts of a book. Neil's tactic to give attention to books’ concepts. 50:53 – Repetition. Nat's 3 layers strategy: pull out all important sections, bold important parts of sections, then highlight the most important part of the bolded part. Layer 4: adding a summary. 53:02 – The Method of Loci. Using memory images based on your environment. If you have to remember a speech, visualize the points you want to talk about at specific places. You can remember your speech by looking at specific parts of the auditorium or walking through the stage. Useful to remember dance movements. Advantages of the memory palace vs the Loci method. 55:59 – Remembering numbers. The PAO system: Person, Action, Object. First, associate an image to numbers going from 0 to 99. Remembering a 6 digit number can be done mixing the person of the first pair of digits, with the action of the second, and object of the third. 1:01:00 – Tangents. Memory training companies. 1:03:20 – Learning advice. How to get further the OK plateau. Experiments on memorizing. How the early University experiments on memory looked like. Reaching the peak of memory training is not about the hours put in, but the quality of those hours. During the first phase, known as the “cognitive stage,” you’re intellectualizing the task and discovering new strategies to accomplish it more proficiently. During the second “associative stage,” you’re concentrating less, making fewer major errors, and generally becoming more efficient. Finally you reach what Fitts called the “autonomous stage,” when you figure that you’ve gotten as good as you need to get at the task and you’re basically running on autopilot. You could call it the “OK plateau”, the point at which you decide you’re OK with how good you are at something, turn on autopilot, and stop improving. Breaking up the OK plateau. When you deliberately want to get better at something, you may get initially worse. Sometimes you need to go down to get at a higher point later. It's not enjoyable in the short term. You have to deliberately make yourself uncomfortable to break the plateau. Changing variables to find where the weaknesses are. The 10.000 hours rule. 1:14:18 – Other books and resources about memory training. 1:18:48 – Get the story part reading the book! If you want to listen the bonus material, get the book note we use for the show, go to our Patreon pa
98 minutes | 3 years ago
53: The Devil is in The Data: How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff
“When you hear a statistic say that the average American brushes their teeth 1.02 times a day, ask yourself how could they have figured it out? Does it make sense that it could have been researched effectively? In this case they would have had to ask and don't you think it's a safe assumption that people lied?” In this episode of Made You Think, Neil and Nat discuss How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff. In this book we learn how to spot deceptive statistics, ways surveys are manipulated and the hidden agenda behind every piece of data. “If you can’t prove what you want to prove, demonstrate something else and pretend that they are the same thing. In the daze that follows the collision of statistics with the human mind, hardly anybody will notice the difference. The semi-attached figure is a device guaranteed to stand you in good stead. It always has.” We cover a wide range of topics, including: Biased samples & discarded data Stereotypes, demographics and diversity in data The Sphinx, Aquatic Apes and Conspiracy Theories Grapefruits, Graphs and Guantanamo How to question and uncover the truth behind statistics And much more. Please enjoy, and be sure to grab a copy of How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff! You can also listen on Google Play Music, SoundCloud, YouTube, or in any other podcasting app by searching “Made You Think.” If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out our episode on Influence by Robert B. Cialdini for a book with a similar structure, or the book Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Taleb for more on the deception of data. Be sure to join our mailing list to find out about what books are coming up, giveaways we're running, special events, and more. Links from the Episode Mentioned in the show Mushroom coffee [00:22] Caffeine [00:28] Goodreads [03:29] Amazon [06:22] Biased samples [08:17] New York City [09:18] Australia [09:26] Russia [09:31] Africa [09:34] Greenland [09:59] Liberal media [10:39] Republican [10:55] Middle Eastern [11:09] Saudi Arabia [11:14] CNN [11:19] American Flag [11:23] Israeli Soldier [11:27] Have more students been killed in schools than soldiers in combat zones? [12:15] Gallup Poll [14:06] Evolution [14:50] Fox and Friends [16:04] Twitter [16:05] Opioid epidemic [17:10] Biased averages [17:56] Mean [17:56] Mode [17:56] Median [17:56] US income [18:41] Power laws [20:35] MD [21:10] Phd [21:11] Startups [21:34] Revenue [22:07] Mode (statistics) - Wikipedia - Kim and Korean families [25:27] Tweet – Huge Plot Hole In Reality [26:21] Miraval Wellness Resort [26:35] Yoga [26:42] Massages [26:43] Healing Crystals [26:44] Spa [26:45] Plant based diet [27:04] Sphinx [28:15] Patreon [28:19] Crony belief [28:55] American Medical Association [28:58] Heart disease [28:58] PubMed [29:06] Aquatic Apes [29:45] Doctors [31:21] Robin Hanson on Sam Harris’ podcast [32:00] Self-Improvement [33:57] Christianity [33:59] Monogamy [34:13] Tariffs [35:24] Nazi [36:31] Alt-right [36:41] National Debt [38:32] Democrats [38:28] Congress [38:39] Lockheed Martin [39:24] UBI [39:39] Marines [40:22] Navy [40:22] Air Force [40:22] Joint Strike Fighter [40:44] VTOL [40:59] Supersonic [41:00] The F-35 Is a $1.4 Trillion National Disaster – War is Boring article [42:15] FOMO [42:42] Energy subsidies [42:55] Iowa [43:15] Corn State [43:17] Benevolent Dictator [43:25] Legalizing marijuana [43:44] Ethanol [43:48] Guantanamo [43:50] 2020 election [44:27] P-Value [45:50] Zoloft [46:06] ADHD medication [46:35] Big Data [47:49] Correlation and causation [48:34] FDA [50:33] Statins [51:40] Lipitor [51:30] Birth Control [51:31] Aspirin [51:32] Alcohol [51:48] Opioids [51:53] Marijuana [51:55] Naringin [52:24] Grapefruit Drug Potentiator [53:19] Graphs [54:39] Logarithmic Y-axis [57:04] Nostrum [58:08] Nat’s article – Could that Be Explained by Marketing? [58:40] Cigarettes [59:18] McDonalds [01:05:26] Tequila [01:06:56] Gluten [01:06:58] Estrogen [01:07:03] Hops [01:07:05] Phytoestrogens [01:07:8] Soy [01:07:59] Carnegie Mellon [01:10:23] WEIRD research [01:13:45] Harvard [01:14:33] Montana State [01:14:37] Maasai Tribe [01:15:05] Capitalist society [01:15:14] Communist society [01:15:17] Johns Hopkins [01:18:12] Wall Street [01:20:50] Utopia [01:23:02] Nat’s article – Social Disobedience [01:29:14] Medium [01:29:35] The Need for Social Disobedience – Nat Eliason on Medium [1:25:40] PornHub [1:34:10] ARPU [01:34:39] Alexa ranking [01:35:19] Reddit [01:36:43] Xvideos [1:36:45] VK [01:37:04] Twitch [01:37:41] eBay [01:37:47] Books mentioned How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Taleb [02:59] (Nat’s notes) You are a Badass by Jen Sincero [06:51] Influence by Robert B. Cialdini [07:58] (book episode) The War on Normal People by Andrew Yang [20:46] (Nat’s Notes) (book episode) Elephant in the Brain by Kevin Simler [31:50] (Nat’s Notes) (book episode) Kanye – College Dropout [01:10:39] (album episode) Skin in the Game by Nassim Taleb [01:11:29] (Nats’ Notes) (book episode) Discipline and Punish by Michel Foucault [01:21:58] (Nat’s Notes) (book episode) People mentioned Darrell Huff Nassim Taleb [02:48] (Antifragile episode, Skin in the Game episode) Jimmy Fallon [09:16] Donald Trump [10:37] Hillary Clinton [16:10] Bernie Sanders [16:38] Bill Gates [19:39] Ben Greenfield [30:06] Peter Thiel [30:13] Rhonda Patrick [30:16] Joe Rogan [30:29] Barack Obama [30:35] Robin Hanson [31:48] (Elephant in the Brain episode) Sam Harris [31:55] Jordan Peterson [33:14] (12 Rules for Life episode) Andrew Yang [44:30] (The War on Normal People episode, Q&A episode) Nicolas Cage [48:34] Taylor Pearson [01:11:53] Socrates [01:31:22] Show Topics 01:01 – Fun book to read, great pocket guide. Easy to internalize many of the ideas. Useful for everyday life and not getting tricked by data. People rely on data, easily let their opinion be swayed by statistics. The book shows there are so many ways to game a statistic. Learning these rules will serve you well. 03:02 – Lots of overlap to Fooled by Randomness, similar themes for similar problems. This not a new book. Published in 1954 and is more relevant today than ever. 03:38 – Amazon reviews, can’t rely on reviews to be honest, for books, restaurants etc. People give arbitrary scores for unrelated reasons. Scoring using 1-5 or 1-10 isn’t a useful benchmark. Don’t use 7 as a score, 6 or 8 have more concrete meanings. Book reviews skewed by the emotion you feel after reading. Books that are feel-good are rated higher even though if they’re not useful over the long term. 07:23 – Bonus material, 25 minutes, mini-episode on Sphinx conspiracy theories. Check out the Patreon to get it. 07:33 – Book structure, 6 chapters. Different ways statistics can be manipulated. Final chapter gives questions on how talk back to statistics. How to think about data. Similar layout and structure to the book Influence. 08:21 – Biased samples. Where a sample is not representative or too narrow, results are also going to be the same. Psychiatrist example – everyone seems neurotic if you only work with neurotic people. Jimmy Fallon sketch, testing people’s geography knowledge. The joke is that Americans are stupid but they only show those that fail. Also the environment and element of surprise impacts data too. Biased data can’t tell you anything useful. 10:39 – Media portrayal of Trump voters. Using unflattering stereotypes that then becomes accepted as the norm. Media also uses the tactic of showing biased stereotypes of protests and violence to influence opinions on the Middle-East. 11:54 – Statistics on deaths in school vs military. Total deaths may be more in school but this data gets used to imply probability and likelihood of death – which is a completely different statistic. Presenting data one way to provoke an alternative interpretation. Data is being used to tell a story that serves an agenda. When we hear a statistic we assume it’s real, we need to question it more. 14:06 – Discarded data – Example of gallup polls, who answers these polls? Do you know anyone who has been polled? This shows that the sample is not truly representative. Twitter surveys on evolution and skewed data due to restrictive demographics in sampling. The method of survey affects the outcome. Phone polls vs online polls change age demographic. Difficulty of getting a representative sample. All samples will be biased in some way. They key is knowing what is the bias in your sample so it can be corrected or highlighted. Hillary Clinton, opinion polls. Bernie Sanders on healthcare spending. 17:56 – Averages and mean, mode & median. How average can mean 3 different things and are used in certain scenarios. The term average doesn’t mean a lot, need to understand how it was calculated. Mean is hugely skewed by a single outlier but outliers make little difference to the median. As Taleb says, never cross a river that’s on average four feet deep. Averages for income, height, grades, education and how they should be calculated. You can use mean average on things like education because there is a limit to the number of degrees someone can have. 21:34 – Startups and how they calculate their daily active users or revenue per user can be deceptive. Year to date revenue gives a better understanding than monthly. Incomes in a neighborhood can change depending on the average that is used. Once can seem high to prop up real estate figures. The other can seem low to support home owner association protests. Both use the same data manipulated to serve an agenda and presented in different ways. When to use the Mode? Use mode when dealing with non-numerical values to discover the most fashionable or most popular item. 26:35 – Health resort promoting ill informed seminars on the nutritional value of meat. Lots of common myths that we don’t do much research on. The top result on google
108 minutes | 3 years ago
52: Privilege is Being Understood. The Tower - Hotel Concierge
79 minutes | 3 years ago
51: The War on Weed: Smoke Signals by Martin A. Lee
“The prestige of the government had undoubtedly been lowered considerably by prohibition”, Albert Einstein observed when he visited the United States in the early 1920s. “Nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than laws which cannot be enforced.” In this episode of Made You Think, Neil and Nat discuss Smoke Signals by Martin A. Lee. In this book we take a walk through the history of marijuana, from it being a legal, useful plant and the third largest crop in the U.S to it being illegal and harshly but selectively punished. We see how racism and the variety of political backgrounds have shaped the PR of this ancient plant. “It was a move that served as a pretext for harassing Mexicans. Just as opium legalization in San Francisco 40 years earlier was directed at another despised minority, the Chinese. In each case the target of the prohibition was not the drug so much as those most associated with its use. Typically in the United States drug statutes have been aimed or selectively enforced against a feared or disparaged group within society.” We cover a wide range of topics, including: The history of marijuana, benefits and uses Arguments for and against legalization Political figures and their contribution to The War on Drugs Effects of consumption, psychedelics and edibles Tangents on wellness retreats, duels and fact checking fake news And much more. Please enjoy, and be sure to grab a copy of Smoke Signals by Martin A. Lee! You can also listen on Google Play Music, SoundCloud, YouTube, or in any other podcasting app by searching “Made You Think.” If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out our episode on Homo Deus by Yuval Harari for more on the domestication of plants and animals. Or for a totally different type of episode check out Godel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter as a counter to this linear, fact based book. Be sure to join our mailing list to find out about what books are coming up, giveaways we're running, special events, and more. Links from the Episode Mentioned in the show Marijuana [00:32] Neolithic period [01:21] Recreational drug use [02:42] Colorado [02:49] World War I [03:57] World War II [03:58] Virginia [05:27] New York [05:28] Maryland [05:31] Washington, DC [05:32] Austin, Texas [05:38] Shaman [06:18] Biochemistry [06:23] THC [06:26] Psychedelics [06:50] Spirit Journeys [06:53] Hindu texts [07:03] Soma [07:06] Moses [07:52] God [07:53] Ten Commandments [07:54] Ayahuasca [07:59] LSD [08:10] High on Mount Sinai? – Hebrew University’s professor’s theory – Reuters [08:18] The Burning Bush (Ex 3:1–6): A study of natural phenomena as manifestation of divine presence in the Old Testament and in African context [08:18] Hebrew University [08:27] Israel [08:28] Sinai Peninsula [08:31] Amazon Jungle [08:35] Higher Consciousness [09:43] Joe Rogan Experience #1133 – Dennis McKenna [10:25] Silicide [10:26] Mushrooms [10:27] Pharmacological research [10:44] Hemp [12:54] CBD [13:56] Omega 3 [15:18] Declaration of Independence [15:28] Cotton [16:22] Tobacco [16:23] Dietary fat [18:33] Duels [18:40] WeWork [19:01] Estrogen [23:26] Cooking oils [24:46] Soy Oil [24:52] Corn Oil [24:52] Canola Oil [24:57] Arizona [25:32] Miraval Retreat [25:38] Mindfulness [25:38] Healing crystals [26:34] Mysticism [26:39] Civil war [28:26] Hashish candy [28:28] Sears Roebuck Catalog [28:30] Sativa [28:53] Indica [28:54] Edibles [30:11] Salvia [31:30] Paris [32:15] Prohibition [32:54] Mexican Revolution [33:35] California [35:03] Texas [35:11] Ivy League [39:23] FDA [41:18] Patents [41:27] Marinol [41:42] Whey protein [41:57] Keto Diet [42:11] Epilepsy [42:29] Skin diseases [42:32] Autoimmune disorders [42:34] Obesity [42:37] Glaucoma [42:56] Parkinson's [43:24] Federal Marijuana Farm [43:52] California Cannabis Law [44:10] Syria [44:48] Marijuana Tax Act [44:57] Federal Bureau of Narcotics [46:17] FBI [46:27] Great Depression [46:28] Opiate Epidemic [47:06] Alcoholism [47:08] Maryland [47:14] GreenDoc [47:31] San Francisco [48:38] Eaze App [48:44] Postmates [48:47] Ubereats [48:48] Skype [49:10] GrubHub [50:17] LaGuardia committee [50:57] New York Mayor [50:59] Jews [52:23] African-Americans [52:23] Mexican Government [52:56] Congress [54:34] Homophobia [54:39] Pro-family [54:43] Amphetamines [55:13] NIDA agency [55:30] Jamaica [55:38] Postpartum Depression [57:23] Nausea [57:25] Stress [57:33] Anxiety [57:35] Cortisol [57:41] Breast milk [57:45] Meditation [58:15] Heroin [01:01:42] Oxycodone [01:01:59] Libertarians [01:01:23] Protein [01:02:54] Amino acids [01:02:56] Iron [01:02:58] Magnesium [01:02:59] Vitamins [01:03:01] Self-medication [01:05:50] Chemo [01:05:54] Leukemia [01:06:04] Endocannabinoid system [01:06:54] Cannabinoid Receptors [01:07:06] Types of cancer [01:08:20] Peripheral nervous system [01:08:52] Immune system [01:08:54] Lymph cells [01:09:01] Endocrine glands [01:09:02] Reproductive organs [01:09:03] Alzheimer’s Disease [01:09:07] MDMA [01:12:00] Books mentioned Smoke Signals by Martin Lee Godel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter [04:45] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) Finite and Infinite Games by James Carse [05:11] (book episode) The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus [05:17] (book episode) Brave New World by Aldous Huxley [07:08] The Bible [07:52] Homo Deus by Yuval Harari [20:44] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) Sapiens by Yuval Harari [20:46] (Nat’s Notes) (part I, part II) Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas [31:58] People mentioned Martin A.Lee Albert Einstein [00:06] Barack Obama [02:37] Joe Rogan [10:31] Terence McKenna [10:35] Dennis McKenna [10:40] Thomas Jefferson [15:24] George Washington [16:30] Donald Trump [18:51] Al Capone [36:53] Nassim Taleb [44:36] (Antifragile episode, Skin in the Game episode) Franklin D. Roosevelt [44:59] Malcolm X [45:56] Harry J. Anslinger [46:07] Richard Nixon [51:23] H. R Haldeman [52:03] Newt Gingrich [54:48] Ronald Reagan [58:49] Nancy Reagan [58:53] Bill Clinton [01:05:08] Show Topics 00:31 – This seems to be one of the longest marijuana books in existence. 390 pages but incredibly detailed. So much history of this ancient plant. Includes scientific, medical and recreational history as well as legislative and political history. The book focuses on the US history of marijuana and some within Europe too. 02:09 – The book starts as soon as the U.S was colonized around 1776 and includes insights right through to 2009. The push on recreational legalization started happening right after this book came out. We knew that cannabis had been illegal for a long time but didn’t know how it became that way. It’s strange to consider that there used to be a law that farmers had to grow hemp. Lots of things in the book are counter to what your original impression might be. We are not high for this episode, this book is too linear and fact-based for that. 05:47 – The book includes a little bit of background on the history of cannabis and the uses. We know old tribes around the world were using psychedelics and other plant medicines to induce spirit journeys or healing rituals. It seems to be a global constant that people are using mind-altering drugs for spiritual experiences. There are theories around certain bible stories being a recounting of a psychedelic experience. 07:59 – Ayahuasca as an incredible psychedelic, several plants found in the Amazon are known for their mind altering capabilities. Drugs have been used in rituals for a long time. Cannabis seems to be like revered for that reason in many of these cultures. Marijuana is a psychedelic when consumed certain ways. It would be pretty easy to think that by taking this plant you're communicating with God. You can't really get these experiences any other way. 11:03 – Looking at the benefits of marijuana and how it can change your perception of the world. Dennis McKenna explains that your brain filters everything you interact with in life and you're looking at it through a lens. With psychedelics and even marijuana some of those filters start to fall away. In some ways you start to see things more clearly. You see things from a different perspective. It puts you in an altered state of consciousness. The uses and harms of marijuana – marketing problem vs framing problem. 12:54 – The distinction between hemp and marijuana is really interesting. They are the same plant but owning hemp products is legal as it is non-psychoactive. So much of society depended up on hemp up until the 1800’s, clothes, paper, rope, oil. It is nutritionally dense too. The production of hemp was so important it was a matter of national security. It’s amazing how public opinion of a product can change. It was the third largest crop until it was criminalized. 200 years later people are getting thrown in jail for possession. Are there any things that we take for granted that will just be like completely illegal in the future? 19:01 – WeWork banning meat consumption on expenses. Vegetarianism would contribute to the reduction in numbers of animals if meat consumption goes down. We can’t sustain the numbers of animals if it is not for consumption. In Homo Deus it mentions that 50% of all non-domesticated fauna have either gone extinct or are on the road to extinction in the last 200 years. 21:18 – Argument against eating chicken. Smaller animal with less meat, not eating chicken is the easiest way to reduce the amount of suffering created through your diet. Also for dietary reasons due to excessive estrogen. 25:49 – Wellness retreats and limited health science knowledge. Some people are vegan for health reasons, some for virtue signalling reasons. They only make choices that are externally visibly as being health conscious. Behind the scenes, like cooking with lower quality oil, poorer choices are made. 28:15 – Origin of the word marijuana from Mexico. Modern strains don’t have much CBD any more because
103 minutes | 3 years ago
50: Your Fate Belongs to You. The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus
“There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.” In this episode of Made You Think, Neil and Nat discuss The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus. In this book we learn about the Legend of Sisyphus and his never-ending toil. How to find meaning in the struggle and hope for the future. “The workman of today works every day in his life at the same tasks and this fate is no less absurd but it is tragic only at the rare moments when it becomes conscious.” We cover a wide range of topics, including: Meaning of life, Suicide, Law & Death Evolution, the Brain as an Illusion & the Decline of Religion Tangents on Tesla, Twilight Zone & Twitter The Absurd Man, Consciousness and Japanese Duels And much more. Please enjoy, and be sure to grab a copy of The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus You can also listen on Google Play Music, SoundCloud, YouTube, or in any other podcasting app by searching “Made You Think.” If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out our episode on The Elephant in the Brain for more on taboo subjects of the mind or our episode on The Book of Five Rings for ideas on philosophy and a retrospective look over life. Be sure to join our mailing list to find out about what books are coming up, giveaways we're running, special events, and more. Links from the Episode Mentioned in the show Syphilis [02:10] Antibiotics [02:21] Suicides [03:06] Meaning of life [03:35] Ethics [03:56] Metaphysics [03:57] Antinatalism [04:27] Evolution [05:48] Humanity [05:54] Post Modernists [07:05] Last Will and Testament [07:32] Absurd Man [08:50] Freakonomics Podcast – The Suicide Paradox [11:34] Euthanasia [12:30] Libertarianism [13:15] Stroke [13:24] Prohibition [13:48] Morphine [14:02] Life Insurance [14:16] Hospice Care [14:27] Painkiller Medication [16:57] Facilitated Suicide [17:11] Malpractice [17:24] Hospital [17:53] Liability [18:05] DNR [18:53] Washington [19:24] Legality of Cannabis[19:30] Alcohol Laws [19:44] California [19:50] Colorado [19:51] Byzantine [19:57] Mississippi [20:13] Texas [20:14] Pennsylvania [20:14] Nebraska [20:15] Lawsuit [20:44] Small Breweries [20:51] Lobbying [20:53] Alabama [20:58] Government [21:22] Nanny state [21:47] Austin [22:12] Dallas [22:19] Houston [22:20] Pickup Trucks [22:40] Red Pill [23:20] Atheist [23:50] God [23:53] Consciousness [24:36] Solipsism [27:58] World Simulation [28:15] Automaton [28:38] The Matrix [28:44] Costa Rica [34:19] Dog Refuge in Costa Rica [34:24] Japanese Duels [36:59] Akane no Mai – Westworld episode on Musashi [37:10] Character Map [38:14] Kindle X-Ray [38:57] Game of Thrones [39:35] Emergency Awesome - YouTube [39:51] Click (film) [42:31] Post Religious [46:12] Secular [46:19] Genetics [47:32] Nihilism [47:45] Nationalism [48:01] Dichotomy [49:22] Hedonism [53:24] Ivory Tower [56:07] Intellectual Yet Idiot [56:09] Frugality [57:44] Stoicism [57:45] Minimalism [58:25] Confirmation Bias [59:10] Rome [59:54] Amazon [01:00:10] Amazon Valuation [01:00:23] Microsoft [01:01:13] Netflix [01:01:18] Apple [01:01:25] Nokia [01:01:43] Twitter [01:01:47] iPhone [01:01:49] Google [01:02:08] IMDb [01:02:32] Alexa [01:02:46] Twitch [01:02:59] Zappos [01:03:00] Pillpack [01:03:03] Audible [01:03:05] Kiva Systems [01:03:06] Goodreads [01:03:08] Stack Overflow [01:03:15] Basecamp [01:03:17] Domo [01:03:17] Business Insider [01:03:18] Washington Post [01:03:21] LivingSocial [01:03:27] AmazonBasics [01:03:40] Tesla [01:03:57] Hyperloop Transportation System [01:04:28] Legend of Sisyphus – Wikipedia [01:07:52] Nomad lifestyle [01:22:37] A Nice Place to Visit - Twilight Zone episode [01:23:02] Uncomfortable Reading – Neil Soni [1:24:14] Crony Belief [01:26:06] Lindy Rule [01:26:24] Gestalt [01:26:49] Guardians of the Galaxy [01:26:59] Disney [01:27:08] New York Times [01:27:43] Wall Street Journal [01:27:44] Harvard discrimination [01:31:01] Books mentioned The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus Skin in the Game by Nassim Taleb [05:01] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) Sapiens by Yuval Harari [05:27] (Nat’s notes) (part I, part II) Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch [05:29] (book episode) Darwin’s Dangerous Idea by Daniel Dennett [05:32] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) The Stranger by Albert Camus [08:22] Mastery by Robert Greene [09:55] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) Cowboy Conservatism by Sean Cunningham [21:14] Homo Deus by Yuval Harari [24:23] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) Elephant in the Brain by Kevin Simler [25:07] (Nat’s notes) (Neil's notes) (book episode) I am a Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstadter [26:41] Godel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter [26:47] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi [37:13] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy [38:06] The Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey [44:58] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) Letters from a Stoic by Seneca [58:36] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) Happy Accidents by Morton A. Meyers [01:17:39] (book episode) Finite and Infinite Games by James Carse [01:17:56] (book episode) The War on Normal People by Andrew Yang [01:41:56] (book episode) The Jungle by Upton Sinclair [01:25:40] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) People mentioned Albert Camus Anthony Bourdain [03:01] Young Jamie [06:44] Joe Rogan [06:44] Kafka [07:28] Jordan Peterson [23:57] (12 Rules For Life episode) Musashi [37:02] (The Book of Five Rings episode) Adam Sandler [42:22] Yuval Harari [46:58] (Homo Deus episode, Sapiens episodes Part I, Part II) Seneca [57:56] (Letters from a Stoic episode) Tim Ferriss [58:30] Epictetus [59:27] Jeff Bezos [59:53] Elon Musk [01:05:00] Nietzsche [01:06:37] Dostoevsky [01:12:05] Mark Manson [01:21:57] Nassim Taleb [01:25:39] (Antifragile episode, Skin in the Game episode) James Gunn [01:26:47] Sarah Jeong [01:27:57] Andrew Yang [01:41:46] (War on Normal People episode, Q&A episode) Show Topics 01:28 – This week’s episode is Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus. It is a philosophical book exploring the meaning of life, questioning if suicide is ever the rational choice. Themes include, humans questioning their cosmic significance and when life is a struggle, is it still worth living? 06:19 – The book is an essay in 4 sections, Absurd Reasoning, Absurd Man, Absurd Creation & Myth of Sisyphus. Camus was insecure about his work, similarly to Kafka who didn’t wish for his uncompleted works to be published after his death. Camus’ other work, The Stranger, was good, entertaining but it’s easy to hate the main character. Having read more by Camus it’s easier to understand his other works better. 10:03 – Taboo topic of suicide, often discussed as a wholly bad thing and something we should prevent at all costs. This book is a personal exploration of whether or not it makes sense. There are plenty of statistics to suggest that talking about suicide and reporting on suicides causes an increase. We have a natural aversion to talking about it. This essay is an argument against it as none of the reasons presented for it are considered convincing. 12:40 – For those in unbearable pain, what is the compassionate thing to do? This directly competes with the human with the human instinct for not ending a life. If someone is in pain, should it be illegal to let them go? Is it cruel and selfish to extend someone’s life artificially? The practice of assisted suicide still exists even though illegal but just via more illicit means. 14:38 – Insurance has no incentive to keep people alive as they stop paying out for care but hospitals stop getting paid when people die. Waiting for people to pass naturally is often a long drawn out process. Hospitals have to be vigilant in these situations before death to avoid malpractice lawsuits. Their desire is to minimize liability when someone does die. It is often a morally difficult decision for families. Legality of negative actions (not giving an intervention) vs positive action (assisting or speeding up the process of dying). 19:31 – Laws around alcohol and cannabis. Texas is very polarized compared to other states like Pennsylvania. 22:37 – “Living naturally is never easy, you continue making the gestures commanded by existence for many reasons. the first of which is habit. Dying voluntarily implies that you've recognized even instinctively the ridiculous character of that habit. The absence of any profound reason for living, the insane character of that daily agitation and the uselessness of suffering” 24:00 – The brain as an illusion. Consciousness doesn’t have much control, just along for the ride. Can often result in a feeling of chaos or overwhelm. Hard to explain this concept to others not familiar with these subjects. Internal vs external experience of “I”, sub personalities and the internal chatter of the mind. It’s hard to consider that everyone experiences that about themselves. Considering everyone has their own unique experiences, it’s easier to think that it’s just me and the world and you’re all part of the simulation. Perhaps everyone else's consciousness is a figment of our imagination. 29:16 – Determinism vs Free Will & Evolution vs God. You can also think there is third option between non free-will and non determinism, where your brain is still deciding things, there is free will but it’s not yours. Very philosophical episode so far, contemplating the randomness in the universe. 32:07 – Man’s attachment to life. We get into the habit of living (surviving) before we acquire the habit of thinking. Animalian Drive, social bonds and the coexistence behaviors of other animals like chimps & dogs. Human’s drive to co-operate overrides our other urges. However scarcity causes confrontation. 35:52 – Violent crime can be thought of as failure of the cognitive mind. Crime levels show that
106 minutes | 3 years ago
49: The Power of Serendipity. Happy Accidents by Morton A Meyers
“Discovery requires serendipity but serendipity is not a chance event alone. It is a process in which a chance of event is seized upon by a creative person who chooses to pay attention to the event, unravel its mystery and find a proper application for it.” In this episode of Made You Think, Neil and Nat discuss Happy Accidents by Morton A Meyers. In this book we look at the serendipity of so many scientific discoveries and the author suggests how we can foster these chance happenings to make giant leaps in research and discovery. “Penetrating intelligence, keen perception, and sound judgment — is essential to serendipity. The men and women who seized on lucky accidents that happened to them were anything but mindless. In fact, their minds typically had special qualities that enabled them to break out of established paradigms.” We cover a wide range of topics, including: Penicillin, Petri Dishes and Moldy Mary The impact of freedom on research Tangents on Private Schools, Social Media & Conspiracy Theories Modern Diets, Drugs and Toxins turned into cures Self experimentation, Ostracism and changing Medical opinions A possible special kayaking retreat for supporters And much more. Please enjoy, and be sure to grab a copy of Happy Accidents by Morton A Meyers! You can also listen on Google Play Music, SoundCloud, YouTube, or in any other podcasting app by searching “Made You Think.” If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out our episodes on Skin in the Game by Nassim Taleb where he shares other stories of scientists trying treatments firsthand, and Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Cornway for more on controversial science, academia and Pharma companies. Be sure to join our mailing list to find out about what books are coming up, giveaways we're running, special events, and more. Links from the Episode Mentioned in the show Bottom Up Methodology [01:31] Scientific Method [1:48] Penicillin [05:27] LSD Discovery [05:48] Contact High [06:01] Dogmatic [06:19] Petri dishes [08:01] Lifehacker [08:47] The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. Kuhn [9:31] Narrative Fallacy [16:17] Fleming Nobel Prize Speech [17:38] Peoria, Illinois [26:03] Corn Steep Liquor [26:09] Merck [26:48] Squibb [26:48] Pfizer [26:48] World War I [27:42] Aquatic Apes [29:04] Sippy Diet [30:27] Tetracycline Antibiotic [31:47] Acid Inhibitors [34:14] Statins [34:36] Carbohydrates [36:16] LDL [36:20] LDL receptors [36:33] Viagra [38:26] Asbestos [39:46] Facebook Groups [42:14] Discord Groups [42:15] Carnivore Diet [42:49] Shake Shack [44:04] M&M’s [44:07] Purina Dog Food [46:08] Stats of College Debt – Tweet [46:32] CMU [52:40] Choate School [53:45] Sidwell Friends [54:23] Boarding Schools [54:34] Alkylating Agents [57:15] Geneva Convention [58:08] Patreon [01:02:08] Google Trends on episode 35 [1:02:00] Epidemics [01:02:27] SARS [01:02:54] Influenza [01:02:56] Syphilis [01:03:22] Fish Aquarium Antibiotics [01:04:53] FDA [01:07:51] Nazi Testing [01:08:04] Japanese testing on Chinese prisoners [01:08:08] Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male [01:08:19] Eugenics [01:10:18] Darwinism [01:10:31] (related podcast) Russian Gulag [01:11:38] Thalidomide [01:11:52] Diethyl Glycol [01:12:59] Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act [01:13:10] Accutane [01:15:06] Doxycycline [01:16:26] Microbiome [01:16:52] Eczema [01:17:43] Steroids [01:17:36] Spartan Race [01:20:09] Nat’s Instagram [01:20:15] Blockchain [01:21:06] X-Rays [01:22:29] Morphine [01:23:51] American Urological Association [01:24:48] CVS patient statistics for Viagra [01:29:42] Netflix [01:31:18] Spleen [01:32:47] Confirmation bias [01:34:43] Ego death [01:39:38] Dissociative experience [01:39:40] Magic mushrooms [01:40:02] LSD Therapeutic Research Study [01:41:03] NASA [01:46:22] Direct to Consumer Drug Advertising [01:46:29] ADD [01:47:41] Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder [01:47:58] Prozac / Seraphim [01:48:09] Paxil [01:48:18] Female Sexual Dysfunction [01:48:24] Lipitor [01:48:57] Zoloft [01:49:16] UBI [01:53:07] Ethereum [01:59:48] Books mentioned Happy Accidents by Morton A Meyers Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch [00:42] (book episode) The War on Normal People by Andrew Yang [00:51] (book episode) Antifragile by Nassim Taleb [07:02] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. Kuhn [9:31] Boron Letters by Gary C. Halbert [14:44] Skin in the Game by Nassim Taleb [30:00] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway [01:02:02]] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway [01:02:02] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) Homo Deus by Yuval Harari [01:02:36] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) Words that Work by Frank Luntz [01:28:24] LSD My Problem Child by Albert Hofmann [01:40:51] Brave New World by Aldous Huxley [01:48:46] People mentioned Morton A Meyers David Deutsch [00:42] (Beginning of Infinity episode) Andrew Yang [00:51] (The War on Normal People episode) Winston Churchill [05:04] Alexander Fleming [05:29] Nassim Taleb [07:02] (Antifragile episode) (Skin in the Game episode) Thomas Kuhn [09:21] Peter Thiel [10:12] Gary C. Halbert [14:44] Charles Darwin [18:39] (Daniel Dennett’s book) Ernst B Chain [22:31] Moldy Mary [25:56] Barry Marshall [31:07] Robert Koch [32:10] Bill Clinton [01:00:32] George W Bush [01:01:18] Erik M. Conway [01:02:02] Yuval Harari [01:02:45] (Homo Deus episode) (Sapiens part I and part II) FDR [01:13:08] Claude Bernard [01:22:24] Frank Luntz [01:28:24] John William Gofman [1:31:35] President Eisenhower [01:34:48] Timothy Leary [01:40:28] Albert Hofmann [01:40:51] Steve Jobs [01:41:00] Louis Pasteur [01:45:32] Aldous Huxley [01:48:46] Show Topics 00:26 – The book is fun to read, light, enjoyable, easy going. An exploration of scientific discovery and progress and how consistently it is influenced and driven by the role of Serendipity. A case opposite or complementary to the Scientific Method. Serendipity defined as a combination of accidents and sagacity. 05:05 – Not all discoveries are immediately realized or understood. Winston Churchill – “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened”. Penicillin and LSD examples. The dangers of being dogmatic without leaving room for the unexpected. 06:53 – Central theme of the book–How do you foster that serendipitous mindset? Nassim Taleb says that serendipity comes from chance encounters, like a cocktail party. The potential gain from a chance encounter is worth the effort of stepping outside your comfort zone. 07:42 – Trying to harness serendipity for your own benefit. Serendipity through disorder and randomness. Investigating how scientists can foster serendipity in their lab work and how academia and education and research grants, peer review could change because of that. 09:41 – Normal vs revolutionary science, Meyers is dismissive of puzzle solving. Normal science is making incremental improvements on existing knowledge, whereas serendipity fosters revolutionary discoveries as they come from a change in the ordinary methods. 10:51 – Two stages to serendipity. You need something unusual to happen and you have to recognize it to take advantage of it too. 11:21 – Innovation departments rarely come up with paradigm-shifting ideas and products. Need a certain mindset to make the most of these opportunities. Reason, intuition and imagination. Too much experience in a field can cloud your judgement on new ideas. 13:51 – The book is primarily about serendipity in medicine and science but it can be applied to most fields. Breaking out of the norm and finding inspiration for innovation in other industries. Looking at magazines to apply to blog copywriting. 15:33 – "Analogical thinking has certainly been a cornerstone of science." Another theme in the book is looking for one thing but ending up on a totally different path. All of the people making discoveries seemed to have a level of independence in their research to follow a new path when it interests them. The narrative fallacy involved in serendipitous scientific discovery or startups growth. 17:40 – Alexander Fleming and discovery of Penicillin as anti-bacterial. Fleming said that if he was working on a research team at the time it would have been ignored as it wasn’t what he was working on. Being free allows you to pursue these anomalies. 19:04 – Darwin and the finches in the Galapagos. Being told to go and study something brings different results than if you’re free to follow your own curiosity. The constraints of research impose harmful limits on discoveries. 19:54 – Structure of the book is Introduction of the premise, 30+ chapters of examples and the conclusion. Myers suggests at the end of the book that the structure for scientific research and funding is counter to the ability for these serendipitous events to happen. 20:50 – More on Fleming and Penicillin. Odds of it happening were astronomically low. He was away for two weeks and on returning and viewing his petri dishes on his desk discovered an anti-bacterial zone around the mold. It wasn’t until 7 years later that another researcher realized what he had found. 23:09 – For Fleming it took a number of environmental factors that allowed Penicillin to be discovered at all: heat, location, time. Penicillin wasn’t originally pitched as a drug, originally suggested as a way to isolate bacterial colonies. Then there was the huge scale up and production process of the drug. Peoria (IL), the role of corn syrup, and the mold discovered by chance. 29:00 – Bonus Material Discussion, Aquatic Apes, Patreon, future episode ideas. 29:52 – Causes of ulcers, used to be thought of as stress and spicy food. Discovery that it is caused by bacteria in 1981. Marshall ran an experiment on himself to take the b
64 minutes | 3 years ago
48: UBI Q&A. A Conversation with Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang
“That's really one of the most powerful things about Universal Basic Income. You start to believe in a sense of abundance and possibility.” In this episode of Made You Think, Neil and Nat speak to Andrew Yang, the author of The War on Normal People, a follow up to our previous book episode. Today we are discussing the possibility of Universal Basic Income for all. “The bigger people think, the more they wake up. We can make this real together.” We cover a wide range of topics, including : Objections and barriers to adopting UBI The cost of UBI and if can we afford it Video games vs the real world Social Credit Systems and Basic Jobs VAT and economic migration Trump and running for president in 2020 And much more. Please enjoy this interview with the author of The War on Normal People by Andrew Yang. You can also listen on Google Play Music, SoundCloud, YouTube, or in any other podcasting app by searching “Made You Think.” If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out our episode on Sovereign Individual by James Dale Davidson and our episode on Emergency by Neil Strauss for related topics discussed in today’s show. Be sure to join our mailing list to find out about what books are coming up, giveaways we're running, special events, and more. Links from the Episode Mentioned in the show Universal Basic Income [00:30] Roosevelt Institute [04:02] VAT [06:16] Freedom Dividend [07:49] Twitch [10:00] Social Credits [13:24] World of Warcraft [13:50] Pink Collar Jobs [11:19] Blockchain [16:45] (Crypto episode) Ypsilanti, Michigan [18:15] Yang Ventures [18:18] Mynt [18:31] UBI Pilots [18:59] Solyndra [20:18] The Hamptons [34:32] Enlightened Self-Interest [34:38] Allegiance [30:36] Scrooge McDuck [39:48] Reddit Andrew Yang AMA [43:35] State of the Union Address [43:47] Yang2020.com [47:23] One For Humanity [48:14] Cryptocurrency [54:09] (Crypto episode) Joe Rogan Podcast [59:40] Tim Ferriss Podcast [59:41] Vocal fry [01:01:59] Books Mentioned The War on Normal People by Andrew Yang [00:17] (book episode) Homo Deus by Yuval Harari [07:10] (Nat’s Notes) (book episode) Sovereign Individual by James Dale Davidson [35:20] (Nat’s Notes) (book episode) Emergency by Neil Strauss [38:08] (Nat’s Notes) (book episode) Raising the Floor by Andy Stern [47:44] Skin in the Game by Nassim Taleb [52:02] (Nat’s Notes) (Neil’s Notes) (book episode) Sapiens by Yuval Harari [53:22] (Nat’s Notes) (part 1, part 2) Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch [01:00:40] (book episode) College Dropout by Kanye West [01:00:56] (book episode) People Mentioned Andrew Yang Yuval Harari [07:06] Sam Altman [19:09] Chris Hughes [19:10] Cory Booker [25:11] Jeff Bezos [32:04] Donald Trump [40:43] Barack Obama [41:50] Bernie Sanders [41:47] Chris Rock [42:31] George Bush [42:34] Jesus Christ [42:41] Kanye West [1:03:24] Questions Asked 01:01 – What are the main challenges and objections to UBI? 01:36 – Are any of these objections compelling? 05:04 – Isn’t UBI just cycling money from the top consumers to those that are below $120k a year in spending? 08:18 – Do you see any differing objections between liberals and conservatives to UBI? 09:24 – Do you think there will be a portion of society that replaces work with video games and do you see a growth in the gaming industry because of UBI? 14:40 – How would we implement the social credits app in cities for real? 17:33 – Does it have to be the government that starts a social credit initiative? 20:35 – If you were elected, how are you viewing the idea battleground? 21:10 – How do you get past the inertia to convince people UBI is necessary? 25:00 – How do you feel about basic jobs? 26:40 – What makes the basic jobs idea attractive to other candidates and some voters? 29:15 – Is making the majority of the population reliant on a government subsidy making it easier for a totalitarian president to take control after you? 30:58 – You said in the book we are moving to a winner-take-all economy in a variety of fields, where you have a handful of companies controlling Government policy. Do you see a future where that is possible and how do you stop that? 35:20 – Have you read Sovereign Individual? 35:32 – In Sovereign Individual there is an idea that as wealth disparity grows, eventually the elite will separate themselves from the rest of the population. Do you see any concern for that? 38:54 – Will we see countries trying to attract citizens to move and will VAT be a factor in that? 39:59 – How bad would it have to be before more people left? What’s the threshold? 41:24 – Do you think that Trump getting elected is helpful to someone who’s not a career politician, helping them get elected in 2020? 45:40 – Has communicating a very statistics and quantitative approach been a struggle for you when speaking to audiences? So much of politics is about the emotional appearance. How have you adapted to that? 54:09 – Extra Question that we didn’t get to ask - Would adoption of a VAT accelerate a crypto economy and how does that change the estimates of how we would pay for UBI? Show Topics 1:11 – The main objections to UBI are : How can we afford it? Will it turn people into less happy, lazy wastrels? Won’t it cause mass inflation? 1:44 – Universal Basic Income is affordable but we’ve poorly managed budgets in the past and there is stigma around hoarding money. We need to believe in sense of abundance and possibility. Culture and mental barriers and block around hoarding money. 3:28 – Cost of UBI in the US would cost $2 Trillion. It would be $1000 per month given to each person, we call it the Freedom Dividend. It would cause economy growth due to increased taxes and spending. 4:27 – Benefits of UBI. We would get more out than we put in. It reduces health issues, crime and has many secondary benefits to putting the money into the hands of the people. 05:57 – How the money would be spent. The wealthy vs the majority. VAT taking from those who spend the most and given to the bottom 80%. Money sitting in bank accounts causes a stagnant economy. 07:27 – Basic Income as both appealing Liberals and Conservatives. Most people seem to think it is impossible, shows decline of society and lack of faith in democracy. 10:21 – Video games and the growth of the eSports economy. Parents as an early form of UBI for large groups of young people. Will additional income cause people to withdraw into games more or will it allow them to participate in real life more? 11:03 – Lack of appealing opportunities for men in the real world. The digital world as the cheapest form of entertainment, more money equals more options and less time spent in the digital world. 12:05 – Games used as a sense of accomplishment and emotional highs, which can wear off over time. UBI will give opportunities at a time when people are looking for something new. 13:24 – Social credits as a socially constructive gamification of the real world. Gaming impulse transferred into the real world and other outlets. Current philanthropic trials are small by comparison and Government could apply resources. 20:02 – Yang’s plans as president. Government currently too risk averse. Electing a president with UBI as a main objective would be a huge step towards it. Congress people would have to listen to their constituents. 24:08 – Nothing is as effective as cash to people when talking about control of programs. People losing faith in government programs. Basic jobs as a bad idea, no long term value in unproductive work as more jobs get automated. Unproductive jobs lead to unhappy people. Instead find out what work is inside of each person. The idea of Basic jobs doesn’t value people. Valuing people as stakeholders and not serves. 30:10 – People heading towards reliance on the government. UBI as better way, gives people a higher-level of integrity and self-determination. Any government change to UBI would cause riots and is still a powerful check on the government. Doing nothing will lead to bloodshed and revolution. Antitrust laws and harm to consumers. 32:38 – Defining human success independent of economic or monetary measures. Wealth getting concentrated in ever smaller pools is bad for all businesses. Riots in America looking more likely, how can we prevent that instead of waiting. 37:54 – Enlightened self-interest and lifting others up. Renouncing citizenship for tax reasons. Ad campaigns trying to encourage economic migration. VAT not a powerful factor. 40:17 – Lack of entrepreneurial migrants. Electing Andrew Yang would be a compelling message to immigrants. The opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian guy that likes facts and figures. Clear message through recent politics, people are desperate for change. 44:54 – Using Universal Based Income as a lever to address a crisis. The road to the 2020 election. Challenge of evolving as a person over time. Humanity First and One For Humanity project. Reduction of labor as a central role, the rise of automation and an economy that values people first. 48:36 – Possibility of a follow-up episode. Listeners, send in any questions. Next time we could dive deeper on Venture For America and his other policies. Check out his site Yang2020.com. Follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewYangVFA and @andrewyang2020 53:29 – Influences of Yuval Harari. Andrew’s perspective is super refreshing for a politician. Getting other authors on the podcast. 57:44 – If you’re enjoying this show we would love to see you over on our Patreon page. You get the bonus material, detailed book notes, all of our questions from interviews and upcoming books and the opportunity to join Neil and I on a live Q&A hangout. Patreon helps us to keep the show as we want it without ads interrupting the flow of the conversation. 01:01:22 – Keep telling your friends about the show, leave a review on iTunes. It helps us to show as up as a recommend
101 minutes | 3 years ago
47: Free Money for All. The War On Normal People By Andrew Yang
"The normal American did not graduate from college and doesn't have an associate's degree. He or she perhaps attended college for one year or graduated from high school. She or he has a net worth of approximately $36,000, about $6,000 excluding home and vehicle equity and lives paycheck to paycheck. She or he has less than $500 in flexible savings and minimal assets invested in the stock market. These are median statistics with 50% of Americans below these levels” In this episode of Made You Think, Neil and Nat discuss The War On Normal People By Andrew Yang. This book is a balanced and optimistic view on Universal Basic Income, the economic impact of the automation of jobs and our options for the future. "half of American households already rely on the government for direct income in some form." We cover a wide range of topics, including: Universal Basic Income and Government benefits Statistics on unemployment, labor and the changing workforce Technology, automation and robot dog walkers Centralization of certain jobs in certain cities Remote work, freelancers, the gig economy Taxes, Cryptocurrencies & Video Games Tangents on Fortnite, Rolex and ad revenue in sports And much more. Please enjoy, and be sure to grab a copy of The War On Normal People By Andrew Yang. You can also listen on Google Play Music, SoundCloud, YouTube, or in any other podcasting app by searching “Made You Think.” If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out our episode on Sovereign Individual for opposing views. Along with our episode on The Elephant In The Brain for more on human nature and the desire for success. Be sure to join our mailing list to find out about what books are coming up, giveaways we're running, special events, and more. Links from the Episode Mentioned in the show Waking Up Podcast [01:08] Universal Basic Income [02:48] Mass Shooters [04:43] Social Revolution [04:46] Median Statistics [05:33] Labor Participation Rate [06:22] Manufacturing States [12:33] Detroit Riots [13:11] W-2 [13:43] Retraining Programs [15:12] Technology Industrial Wave [15:43] Amazon Warehouses [17:17] Walmart [17:25] Paralegals [19:33] The Sims [23:02] Hive Mind [23:27] UpWork [32:56] Slack [36:40] Esports [37:00] Twitch [37:09] Extremistan [37:12] Mediocristan [37:14] Gig Economy [40:44] Rover [40:52] Wag [40:52] Twilight Zone [42:10] Flywheel effect [45:35] Lincoln University [47:24] Biggest question Nat had have from reading @AndrewYangVFA's UBI book (on Twitter) [55:00] Unlimited Brewing [55:55] The world’s top economy: the US vs China in five charts [57:50] Cryptocurrencies [01:05:50] (Crypto episode) TransferWise [01:09:05] Blockchain [01:09:26] Winner-takes-all effect [01:09:54] Patreon Bonus Material [01:12:19] Fortnite [01:17:46] Call of Duty [01:18:03] Mad Max [01:21:11] ISIS [01:21:17] Social Credits [01:22:48] Million Dollar Bill [01:22:48] Vietnamese Dong [01:23:51] Trump’s Tax Plan [01:27:20] Totalitarianism Article [1:31:45] Yang2020.com [01:31:58] The New Deal [1:32:38] The Great Depression [01:33:40] Obamacare [01:35:22] Selection Bias [01:39:03] Books mentioned The War On Normal People by Andrew Yang Sovereign Individual by James Dale Davidson [03:17] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama [01:12:47] Sapiens by Yuval Harari [01:18:47] (Nat’s Notes) (part 1) (part 2) Homo Deus by Yuval Harari [01:18:48] (Nat’s Notes) (book episode) Skin in the Game by Nassim Taleb [01:31:47] (Nat’s Notes) (Neil’s Notes) (book episode) Elephant in the Brain by Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson [01:38:43] (book episode) People mentioned Andrew Yang Sam Harris [01:00] Winston Churchill [04:25] Nassim Nicholas Taleb [37:06] (Antifragile episode) (Skin in the Game episode) Donald Trump [01:03:10] Barack Obama [01:12:12] Youval Harari [01:19:04] Robin Hanson [01:38:05] Show Topics 01:42 – The book feels optimistic and fairly balanced and offers Universal Basic Income as a good solution to our current situation. Andrew sets the stage well with the magnitude of the problem. 03:04 – We have both come from a place of not thinking UBI was a good solution and our views have been changed several times on this, since reading Sovereign Individual and now this. 04:19 – It feels like this could the best of the option that we currently have if we want to maintain this current system and avoid social revolution. 05:10 – Yang starts the book off by emphasizing the scale of the problem using median statistics or labor participation rate, unemployment rate and number of disability claimants. 06:30 – There is a massive number of people who are working age but are no longer looking for work. This is not evident when viewing the unemployment rate as they are discounted. However the labor participation rate is 63% which is lower that all other industrialized economies. 06:58 – One in three people have left the job market entirely. They have self-selected to no longer participate in the search for work and are not counted as unemployed. 08:09 – "half of American households already rely on the government for direct income in some form.". The majority of these are on disability for muscular tissue issues, mood disorders, anxiety or depression. 09:09 – There is a whole industry of lawyers who help people get onto disability who then take a cut of the back dated payments. 10:26 – Similarities between the level of disability payments and the proposition of UBI. However with disability payments, you are dis-incentivized from trying to find work as payments would stop. This causes a large number of people to stay on disability for longer and find untraceable ways of earning additional income. 11:10 – Yang says that 94% of all jobs created within the last 10 years were temporary contractor jobs with no benefits. People are not going to risk their $12,000 disability payment for a job at $7 per hour. 11:35 – Disability has less than 1% churn rate, very few people get off it. It’s like the anti-SaaS startup. 11:59 – Increases in disability payments correlate to the areas with the biggest job losses. Highest in the old manufacturing states. Does the government recognize that these payments are just another type of welfare for those that have lost their jobs? 12:31 – In Michigan of the 310,000 who left the workforce between 2003 and 2013 half went on to take disability payments. They don’t have any other options available. 13:29 – The Government doesn’t seem to actively fight benefit fraud with more people joining but few leaving. Missing of checks to see who is health is improving enough to move back into work. 14:29 – Inefficiencies of job retraining programs and the lack of transferable skills between old industries losing jobs and new (mostly technical) industries with jobs available. "The test is not 'Will there be new jobs we haven't predicted yet that appear?' Of course there will be. The real test is 'Will there be millions of new jobs for middle-aged people with low skills and levels of education near the places they currently reside'. And the answer to that seems almost certainly no." 15:44 – In previous industrial waves people have been able to adapt due to similarities of skill. Automation is now removing low skilled jobs entirely. Automation in car factories, Amazon warehouses. 18:30 – Automation isn’t solely for low skilled, Blue Collar jobs. Anything repetitive and routine can be automated. This will impact White Collar workers too. “Routine jobs of all stripes are those most under threat from AI and Automation and in time more categories of jobs will be affected.” 19:21 – Automation in law, research and reduction in personnel. Repetition as a tool for learning. Loss of high-level expertise as no-one has the foundational knowledge that comes from early repetition. 20:42 – Tangent. A Science Fiction story to make you think! In a distant future, expertise on computers has been lost and no one knows how to resolve a computer bug. A future where humans are reliant on computers to retain the knowledge for them. 22:42 – Computers no longer needing humans. The Sims, the hive mind of the Internet. Memes, Russian hackers, and Wikipedia created by AI destroying humanity. 25:19 – Assumptions of UBI imply an increase of entrepreneurship. What happens when you pay people to not work? Current level of cash wealth for the average American is $500. The expense of Healthcare means that one ER visit can put people into long term financial difficulty. Defaulted medical bills are then just another form of welfare. 27:50 – Median salary in the US is $31,000. Cost of living in New York and San Francisco. Impact cost of living has on average job wages. Manhattan vs Brooklyn. 32:14 – The author criticizes the idea that those that lose their job can just start working remotely. Those in the US can’t compete due to cost of living with locations like the Philippines and Sri Lanka. Tech skills required are also a barrier to entry. 36:10 – Professional eSports players and the popularity of Twitch and the platform reinforcing the popular streamers causes them to be more popular. Extremistan vs Mediocristan. 39:11 – Lack of service jobs, the rise of the gig economy, dog walking apps. Robot dogs and cyborg owners. 42:39 – Hyper-concentration of money and talent in 6 cities: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Washington DC. Reinforcing loop effect. Venture Capital money and secondary cities that are on the rise. The effects of anchor companies in smaller cities. 50:01 – Potential to see an exodus of people moving away from high cost of living areas due to remote work. The increase of remote working technologies which helps team collaboration. 52:32 – Geography is destiny. Jobs disappear where society falls apart and the smartest leave first. Reduction in families relocating across state lines. 54:14 – The ‘useless’ class being subsidized
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