Louis' Learnings 43 - Accidental Fat Loss, Climate Skepticism, Anil, and Lists
Also I Got A Job
Happy Monday from Nashville, TN 🤠
My first full month of living in Nashville was great. I’ve been deeply enjoying learning Jiu-Jitsu, discovering new places to eat and go out, and making new groups of friends.
Longtime readers of this newsletter have probably noticed that I alternate between a few main article formats: media summaries (books/podcasts), think pieces (essays), and general journal-style reflections. This week’s issue falls into all three categories 🤷
Quick Life Update 🎉
This past week, I accepted a hybrid/remote job offer at Bitcoin Magazine in Nashville.
I’ll share more details about my role as I settle into the job, but the gist is content creation and marketing (go-figure).
Today is my first official day!
Onto the newsletter!
1) Unexpected Benefits of Subtle Daily Changes
Moving to a new city brought two changes for me: new furniture and new routines.
Let me explain.
Decent restaurant food is pretty expensive (like stupid expensive), so I’m cooking almost all of my meals. Nightlife and most social activities are within walking distance, so I’m walking almost everywhere. My Jiu-Jitsu gym is very close, so I bike there—oh, and I bought a standing desk.
The cumulative effect of a month of home-cooking, standing instead of sitting, biking instead of driving, and long city walks is extremely positive. None of these were extremely deliberate choices. None had the stated aim of trimming body fat, but it’s working, no doubt.
If curious, the 80/20 of my current diet is as follows.
At Home: meat (chicken/turkey/beef/fish), eggs, fruit (and juice), fermented or steamed vegetables, nuts, dairy.
Out With Friends: Zero restrictions.
2) Inviting Controversy
This week, we released a podcast with meteorologist Joe Bastardi. Joe is a frequent guest on conservative news programs where he reports on the weather and shares his skepticism about aspects of climate change.
Why invite controversy by tackling a hot-button issue?
Because you learn more from hearing multiple sides of an argument. (Notice I didn’t say both, very few issues are narrowly constrained to two sides).
See Feynman (the above tweet). I have not studied climate science. I don’t know enough to have a strong opinion.
Joe’s book was really good.
It’s important to acknowledge what you DO HAVE in common with people you potentially disagree with.
These are my big ideas from reading Joe’s book and having him on the podcast.
Anyone who is afraid to have their ideas challenged either lacks confidence or is trying to distort the truth. Asking questions should not be a crime.
Models have often been wrong (in every domain). Overtrusting models have gotten us into trouble many times as a society.
Lying is easy. Joe shares several compelling examples of how weather data is reported in purposefully misleading ways to take advantage of an audience who doesn't have a broader context or a big-picture understanding (#HowToLieWithStatistics). It’s very easy to say “this is the worst hurricane/wildfire on record” when you know your audience doesn’t know weather history and has a 0% chance of taking 5 minutes to fact check you.
Inconsistencies. If we are convinced of coastal flooding in the next few decades, why are 30-year mortgages being offered on theoretically susceptible beachfront property? If carbon is the issue, how come the emphasis isn’t on nuclear power and carbon sequestration?
Freedom is good and is in need of continuous protection.
TL;DR: Joe approaches the climate debate as an open-minded participant and demonstrates intellectual humility. I'm not sure if I agree or disagree with his overall views, but he makes thought-provoking points. Last, it is very difficult to dispute that several climate change "experts" employ a few “dark arts” tactics.
3) Twitter Lists
My love-hate battle with Twitter continues.
So many interesting ideas and announcements surface on Twitter days before anywhere else, but the platform is also filled with trash and irrelevancy.
I’ve been slowly building lists to address this problem. Instead of seeing an algorithmically determined mish-mosh of stuff from EVERYONE I follow, I can choose to filter my feed to only the activity from predetermined accounts.
I follow accounts for various reasons: keeping up with industries, keeping up with personal connections, learning about various topics, and being entertained.
Getting all of that at once is disorienting and unproductive. With lists, you can be deliberate.
Curate, divide, simplify. I’m unbundling my messy feed into neat lists of the very best accounts within each topic of interest.
You can view any account’s public lists at → twitter.com/theirusername/lists
4) So Good I Can’t Ignore It
I’m unsure if I can credit my finding him through my Bitcoin list, but for the sake of making my last point more persuasive, I’m just going to say that I did.
Anil (@anilsaidso on Twitter) has created the clearest visual explanations of fundamental Bitcoin concepts (technical, economic, etc) I’ve seen on the internet.
Links I Recommend Clicking
Summarized above. This is a super short read (probably 1-2 hours tops).
Sometimes we assume everyone else also knows what we know.
Sometimes we are wrong.
Goodreads is how I’ve been keeping track of the books I’ve read and want to read since 2017. The recommendation, tracking, and social features are all pretty good.
The interface is hilariously 2010, but then again, how beautiful does a social database need to be?
You can follow me here
Unsurprisingly, Mikhaila Peterson fans have wicked good meme skills. I recently stumbled into this 1600 person Facebook group, and it has some gems.
If you like Mikhaila’s politics, this group will entertain you immensely. If not, definitely discard this recommendation 😂
(HEADS UP. Memes aren’t always family-friendly or G-rated. You’ve been warned).
Joe Bastardi Meteorologist, Bodybuilder, and Penn State Wrestler.
Tom Merrick (The Bodyweight Warrior) on nutrition and calisthenics.
Thank You For Reading!
Feedback and suggestions are always welcome.
Photo of the week — How The Sausage Gets Made
This is by far my favorite desk setup I’ve ever had.
60x30 height-adjustable standing desk. Height-adjustable swiveling monitor arms. Espresso portable screen. Ethernet. LoFi beats YouTube art and Prof Feynman. Podcast mic on a boom.
No complaints 👏👏👏