Tim Urban | The Tim Ferriss Show (Podcast) | Transcription
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Hey guys, Tim Ferriss here. Before we jump into this episode, I'm gonna do something I very rarely do and that is to make a direct ask with hat in hand. My brand new book just came out today. It is called Tribe of Mentors, subtitle "Short Life Advice from the Best in the World." If you like the podcast, you will love this book. I reached out to 130 people who are the best at what they do in sports, investing, business, acting, directing, you name it, we got it. Cryptocurrency, done. It turned out better than I ever could have expected. Many of my friends think of all my books, it is the easiest to read, the easiest to use. So check it out. Please take a look. I put out so much free material. The podcast is free, the 700+ blog posts are free. Every once in a while, I put out something like this and it's not that expensive. So please take a look tribeofmentors.com and it does make a great holiday gift or gift for others. There's something for everybody in here. It is really a choose your own adventure guide, a buffet of options for improving your life both in business and in the personal sphere. So take a look. I appreciate you taking a look tribeofmentors.com or anywhere the books are sold. At this altitude I can run flat out for a half mile before my hands start shaking. Can I answer your personal question? I would have seen it at that time. What if I could be out of the sun? I'm a cybernetic organism living tissue over a metal enthoskeleton. Lead to Paris, Seoul. This episode is brought to you by Peloton. And I'd heard about Peloton over and over again. But I ended up getting a Peloton bike in the whole system after I saw my buddy Kevin Rose. I've known him forever. Some of you know. And he showed up at my gate at my house a while back and he looked fantastic. And I asked him, "Dude you look great. What the hell have you been up to?" Because he's always doing a weird diet or another but it only lasts like a week or two. So he always regresses to the mean after like 75 beers. And he said, "I've been doing Peloton five days a week." Now that caught my attention because Kevin does nothing five days a week. And you know I love you Kevin. But it really piqued my curiosity. Ended up getting a system. And it's become an integral part of my week. I love it and I really didn't expect to love it at all. Because I find cycling really boring usually. But Peloton is an indoor cycling bike that brings live studio classes right into your home. You don't have to worry about fitting classes into your schedule or making it into a studio with some type of commute, etc. These classes are added every day and this includes options led by elite New York City instructors in your own living room. You can even live stream studio classes taught by the world's best instructors or find your own favorite class on demand. And in fact Kevin and I rarely do live classes. And you can compete with your friends which is also fun. Kevin I'm coming after you. But we usually just use classes on demand. I really like Matt Wilpers and his high intensity training sessions that are shorter. I think Kevin's favorite is Alex and everyone seems to have their favorite instructor or you can select by music, duration and so on. Each Peloton bike includes a 22 inch HD touch screen, performance tracking metrics. I think that along with the real time leader board are the main reasons that this caught my attention when cycling never had caught my attention before. It's really pretty stunning what they've done with the user interface to keep your attention. The belt drive is quiet and it's smaller than you would expect. So it can fit in a living room or an office. I actually have it in a large closet believe it or not. And it fits with no problem. So Peloton is offering all of you guys, listeners of the Tim Ferriss show a special offer. And it is actually special. Visit One Peloton. That's O-N-E-P-E-L-O-T-O-N. One Peloton dot com and enter the code TIM at checkout to receive $100 off accessories with your Peloton bike purchase. Now you might say, "Meh, accessories? Wait I don't need fancy towels or whatever. Other supplemental bits and pieces." No, the shoes you need. You need the clip in shoes and those are in the accessory category. So this $100 off is a very legit $100 off. So if you want to get in your workouts, if you want a convenient and really entertaining way to do high intensity interval training or anything else. Or you just want to get a fantastic gift for someone, check out Peloton. One Peloton dot com and enter the code TIM. Again that's O-N-E-P-E-L-O-T-O-N dot com and enter the code TIM at checkout to receive $100 off any accessories including the shoes that you will want to get. Check it out. One Peloton dot com code TIM. This episode is brought to you by ConvertKit. My go to email service provider. I use them for everything. If you've ever wondered how professional bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers and so on can build a platform they control and get the word out about their best content. Email is still the answer. People think it's all social social social. But one algorithm change and oops bait and switch and now you only reach 10% of your audience. That is why I've doubled and tripled down on email. After reviewing many different email service providers I ended up selecting ConvertKit for email like 5 Bullet Friday which goes out to about a million people now. Because ConvertKit delivers on what matters most to me at least. Easy to use systems, split testing and resending technology both very very important. High rates of deliverability and great hands on customer service. So whether you run a business or simply have say a serious blog. ConvertKit has integrations with more than 70 different services. Just about anything you might need. Including hosting sites like WordPress, e-commerce platforms like Shopify, lead capture technology like Bounce Exchange or Sumo and many more. They also offer a visual automation builder that makes it really easy to deliver the right content to the right people in your audience. Just when they want it. If you want to segment in different ways which a lot of people do. ConvertKit offers plans that adjust to the size of your business. So it's a good option whether you have a thousand people or one million on your list. And certainly I am planning on growing and growing and growing and I don't like switching email service providers. So I thought very carefully about this before I selected them. So check it out. Take a look at ConvertKit.com/Tim. That's ConvertKit.com/Tim. And you can get your first month for free to kick the tires and test it out. That way you can give it a shot and make sure it works for you, your business and all of that goodness. If you're like me, I hope you'll find that they get the job done. That's certainly been my experience. So check it out. Again, that's ConvertKit.com/Tim for a free month of email services. Why hello boys and girls, ladies and germs. This is Tim Ferriss and welcome to another episode of The Tim Ferriss Show. Or perhaps you're listening to the brand new Tribe of Mentors podcast. Which is currently, as of this recording, number 5 across all of iTunes and Apple podcasts. This is a cross post episode, so it appears in both places. And I'll keep this intro short. This conversation you're going to hear is with Tim Urban and we'll get into his bio in the actual conversation. It was recorded at Barnes and Noble in Union Square, New York City on the launch evening of the Tribe of Mentors book. You can learn all about that at TribeOfMentors.com. We had a blast. The audience was awesome. Thank you to everyone who came out.
Introducing Tim And Discussing Blogging
The Triumvirate: How Sin & Syntax Make for Good Podcasting. (07:57)
And we'll probably be doing some more live experiments like this. So without further ado, please enjoy my very wide ranging conversation with the ever hilarious and fascinating Tim Urban. How's everybody doing tonight? Alright. This is exciting. Thank you all so much for coming. It's a real honor and privilege to have you all here. And we're going to do something a little bit different tonight rather than do what is the norm. And perhaps what I've done many times before, which is get up and tell you all about this book that you already own. I thought we'd do a bonus round with one of the guests, one of the people who was interviewed for Tribe of Mentors. So I'm going to welcome him to the stage in just a moment, but I'll read the bio first while I wrestle with the audio. And here we go. One of my favorite people in New York City. So I'm excited and will be asking questions I have not asked him before. So this is a rare live edition of the Tim Ferriss show in some ways also. Here we go. Tim Urban. Who is Tim Urban? Twitter, Facebook, @waitbutwhy, waitbutwhy.com. Tim Urban is the author of the blog Wait But Why and has become one of the Internet's most popular writers. Tim, according to Fast Company, has captured a level of reader engagement that even the new media giants -- or that even the new media giants would be envious of. Today Wait But Why receives more than 1.5 million unique visitors per month, among them Elon Musk, and has more than 550,000 email subscribers. Tim has gained a number of prominent readers as well, like authors Sam Harris and Susan Cain, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, TED curator Chris -- that's one of my buddies, hi Chris -- Anderson, and Brain Pickings Maria Popova. Tim's series of posts after interviewing Elon Musk have been called by Vox's David Roberts, "The mediest, most fascinating, most satisfying posts I've read in ages." You can start with the first one, "Elon Musk, the world's raddest man."
Introducing Tim. (10:21)
Tim's TED Talk, "Inside the mind of a master procrastinator," has received more than now. I checked it yesterday, 25 million combined views. Please welcome to the stage the incredible, the brilliant, and handsome Tim Urban. I feel like this is like your birthday party and I'm like stepping in the middle and I'm like, it's very uncomfortable. Well, you know, I said, what other Tim can I bring into the fold for those people who are maybe a little older like I am? This is the T2, the improved version. It's Terminator reference. All right. So I figure we'll jump into it and what we're going to do is we'll have a conversation, which mostly involves me just asking him questions. And then we'll jump into this fishbowl and answer some of your questions. And then after that, we will have the opportunity. We might be here for a while. So I will not be offended if people are like, peace, I'm out, I don't want to wait. But we will have a chance to say hello and people who want to have photographs and so on. We'll be able to do that. Okay, let's just jump right into it. All right. Wait but why.
Tim's early writing and his blog, "Underneath the Turbine." (11:37)
Before Wait But Why, and you and I chatted a little bit about this, I guess. Feels like a couple of nights ago, but maybe it was yesterday. I can't remember. It's been a big week. You blogged casually for six years or so on the side. Could you tell us about that blog? What subjects did you cover? What characterized what you did part time for six years? So it was called Underneath the Turbine. So that's a little thing that I came up with. The Turbine? Yes, because my name is Tim Urban. I was 23. It was not a serious project. It was very much a side project. Actually, I think I can credit the fact that it was a side project for why I was actually able to be productive. Because I didn't have this pressure to do it. I was like, what's my voice? Who am I as a writer? I wasn't a writer. I was just doing something else. I was going to blog to procrastinate from the other things I was supposed to be doing. Which liberated me creatively. I was able to do my own thing. Find my voice and be a little bit courageous at times. For someone like me, it was like I tricked myself into doing stuff that I normally would have been more belabored in. What type of subjects? Was it similar? How was it most different? What was it most similar to Wait But Why? It was very much more like a blog blog. I'd write about my day. I'd rant about going to the store. Then they had McDonald's there. I was like, don't get the six piece nugget. Get the four. Then I ordered the ten. Then they actually had, it's the end of the night, so they give me 18. Then I eat all 18. It was that kind of story about my day. Very much just the top of my head. Just typing, publishing. It was a small little passionate following of 700 people. Six comments on a thing. That was that. It was this side project. It was a way for me to actually write 300 blog posts over a six year span.
How blogging informed the creation of Tim's current website, Wait But Why. (13:53)
Were there any seeds from that experience that then informed Wait But Why? Why did you create Wait But Why? Where's the name come from? I was able to hone my voice through writing 300 blog posts. I look back at the early ones and I wince at the tones I was using. 300 blog posts will teach you the voice you like to write in. That's one thing. Then I also, towards the end, I decided one night to try to draw something. I was going to try to depict this concept I thought was funny. It was doppelganger day on Facebook. Someone posts a doppelganger that's way better looking than they are. I always think that's kind of hilarious. I was like, I'm going to draw a stick figure that's messy looking. Then a handsome stick figure with a wave of hair. I did that. It hit me that I was like, that would be better in drawing. I realized I liked that. I discovered that there too. When I started Wait But Why a couple of years ago. Did other people also respond positively to that? Very, yeah. They did? Yeah, you got great feedback. Then I started every post. The last seven posts on the blog all had drawings. I discovered that at the very end. Then it was time to start a new project.
Recognizing and acting on the impulse to focus on a single creative project. (15:05)
Why was it time to start a new project? Why not continue writing about the Chicken McNuggets? Good question. No, no, no. I'm not trying to be a dick. No, no. It's fair. I also write about Chicken Nuggets sometimes. Sorry. It was family programming. Not sure. Sorry. No, it was time in my life in general to turn all my attention, not a third of my attention, to one creative project. It was always I'm doing something with my full time and then I'm doing these two creative projects on the side. I'm going to be a pain in the ass. I apologize, but that's my nature. Why was it time? What realization or conversation or getting fired or whatever catalyzed the decision? You know what? It's time for me to put all my eggs in one basket creatively. It's this thing you do that makes me love your podcast. It's stressful being the person. Just learning this for the first time. For me, I spent the years from the age of 22 to 31 hating myself a little bit because I was burning to do something creative. Whether it was writing or music or something. I always was doing them on the side. It was like that kind of just leap of faith in my own ability to do something creative full time. It took me nine years. Nine years that I wasn't very happy. I finally said I have to do something full time. I always thought if I could just do something full time with all the energy from all these things into one thing, it would go well. I actually owned a business with my friend. Andrew Finn. It was the fact that the business got into a decent enough spot that we were able to start something new. That's when I jumped on. What was the business? It's a test prep company. This is a great business. Soman Chainani, a very successful novelist, also got his beginnings. A good starter business is something new. Adam Robinson as well. Three people in this book. That's crazy. Who knew I was on to the starter business idea? I was just procrastinating from my music career is actually all I was doing when I started because I was tutoring on the side. The side things ended up taking all my time which is what a classic procrastinator would do. Each session pays for itself. You don't need overhead. At the beginning you don't need any full time employees. We built it up to the point where we had good full time employees. Good enough to run it without both of us there. It was time to start something. We had done this a couple of years ago. We started a podcast app back in 2011 with the theory that podcasts were just going to get bigger. They did. Unfortunately, we didn't know how to build a good app. We built a bad app. We shouldn't build a bad app. Now it was a couple of years later and it was time for something new. I said I'm going to jump on this and say I need to do something creative. Let me see if I can do it as also a business that we can own together. You can run our tutoring company. I'm going to go and start something. It was between writing a musical, which is a terrible business. I wouldn't want to drag him into that. Or writing maybe a content website. A platform, media platform. That can be a business. That's why we settled on that. I knew those were things I could do creatively well. We settled on this and the premise was what if I took, instead of five hours a week to write a blog, 60 hours a week to write a blog, what will happen? I took the things I knew that I had gotten good at on the other blog, which was just writing colloquially and drawing stick figures. Started it from there.
Naming a business (18:44)
What is the origin of the name? 16 hours on GoDaddy searching for Go.coms. Man, there's not much. There is not much. I wanted it to be something that wouldn't pigeonhole it into, you know. Were you just typing in random combinations of words? Or is there some itch that you had related to the expression? Do you have a habit? I was imagining it's because people would say something to you and you'd want to test the assumptions or you wouldn't accept it at face value. You'd say, "Wait, but why?" That was in my head how I explained it. I wish it was that situation. I checked 2,000 things in GoDaddy. 150 came out. My girlfriend knocked out 140 immediately and was like, "Absolutely not." That leaves me with 10 where I was kind of like, "Okay, these are all bad, which is the least bad, but if the site's good, it can seem kind of cool suddenly, maybe, but it starts off bad, but then it's not bad." Some of the other ones were just extremely embarrassing. You can't dangle that hook in front of me. Were there any that I can give some examples to if it makes you feel any better? Please. Both titles that are horrible. Were there any that you really liked that your girlfriend shot down? You were like, "We can both do this embarrassing thing, actually just you." Okay, I'll kick it off. There was, for what ended up being the 4-Hour Workweek, there was lifestyle hustling. Glad I didn't use that. There was drug dealing for fun and profit, which was promptly vetoed by every retailer. Thank God. There was broadband and white sand. I mean, it goes on. It goes on. Sometimes you need life to save you from yourself. Those are kind of good. Those are at least nonsensical. They have some kind of--I understand two of those three at least. All right, I'll take two out of three. That's partially because I'm giving you the better of the worst, but near a turn. Miniatureking.com. I was in a deep GoDaddy spiral. Have you ever been on one of these? It gets weird. It gets really weird. I'm into this idea of a king because I picture the playing card king. I'm a miniature king, and I suddenly got obsessed with it. I was like, "He has little legs, and he's very angry. He's very cranky, and there's big adult people walking by him, and he's on the ground. He's two feet tall." My girlfriend was like, "Jesus, absolutely not." But I got so addicted to the king concept that when I started Wait for Why, I made the logo of playing card king. I was just thinking. He's pissed off. That's amazing. You were like, "Okay, kind of." Yeah. By the way, I still kind of think Miniature King could have worked. He's the mascot. He's cranky. Anyway. I like it. Since then, what you can do. This happens all the time. Do you still own miniatureking.com? I own miniatureking.com and about 15 others. There's a lot. I was going to do a site where it says, "I'm Jesus' half brother." He's not the divine one. He's just born from Jesus' mom with some guy. He's upset. What could go wrong with that? He's got all kinds of psychological issues going on. He's trying to figure out his career.
Writing early blog posts (22:31)
I look back and I remember my first attempts at blogging. The first 12 posts. They've thankfully mostly been forgotten over time. You had more practice than I did. You'd already put in 300 reps. What were the first posts like? Do you remember any of the topics? With my early blog, the topics started with three sentence things. The first three, the title was "Frankly." It said, "If peeing in the shower is wrong, I don't want to be right." That was a blog post back in the day. Flash forward six years. Now, wait but why. I knew more. I knew right away it was going to be long and thorough. It was at my own site. I knew I could get into depth if I could just go longer. At the beginning, I was anonymous. I'm sure you dealt with this too. At some point, it's the get attention phase. Anonymous, the only marketing platform I had was my personal Facebook page. I started with "Seven ways to be insufferable on Facebook." It sounds like a BuzzFeed headline, but it was much more in depth. It got into the deep, dark psychology of why it's the wild west of social etiquette. Why we're all like our very embarrassing version of ourselves on it. What the different qualities, negative human qualities that come through on it. That was the very first one. I actually went to Easter Island for a month before I started Wait But Why. Just alone in the middle of nowhere, write blog posts. Pick my favorite one to put on first to figure out what I wanted. That was the winner. Why did you pick Easter Island? I like the fact that you could take a 2,000 mile yard stick and swing it around the island and not hit any people. That was cool to me. I was so isolated, plus the statues and the whole thing. I was either there or I was going to go to Lithuania in the winter and just creep out some small village. You could tell me a small village to creep out some time. I actually talked to someone and they were like, you may actually arouse suspicion if you're a foreigner working everyday in the cafe. I'm just writing blog posts in isolation in a small Lithuanian village. Sounds like a George Clooney spy movie. I do want to do that in the mid-dead of winter and go to a small cold village somewhere. How did the blog posts do, that one? It did well. The very first one I chose well. How did you choose it relative to the other ideas that you had? Trying to do some combo of something that I thought was true enough to me that represented the kind of quality I wanted to do, but also that could go viral. Just beginning, how can it go viral? What year was this? 2013, summer of 2013. That post did really well. It got 500,000 uniques in the first month. My whole last blog got 250,000 uniques in six years. This was like, okay, longer. Getting into more serious topics and insulting people. It's onto something. Plus, what I didn't know at the time was that 2013 was a pretty magical year to be promoting content on Facebook. This was that Facebook decided, let's show everyone just how powerful we are. This is why. Buzzfeed exploded, then Upworthy, you first heard of it in 2013, Viral Nova, these sites exploded because Facebook's algorithm basically said, "Anyone posting content, we're going to show it to half a million people." I was in the right place at the right time, so that was very helpful as well. Just to maybe underscore one thing, because for instance, when I started my first business, it was the golden age of Google AdWords. It was shooting fish in a barrel, so inexpensive. Then when the 4-Hour Workweek launched, it was at the same time at South by Southwest when Twitter was effectively publicly debuted. There were big screens displaying all of the tweets in the world going on, which happened to be concentrated right in Austin, Texas, because it was so small. I would say that any time is the right time in some way. There are these opportunities we're talking about. There are these opportunities right now. You just have to try to snip them out, or to shoot in the dark and hope that you'll catch some tailwind. Everybody has, it seems with these stories, some element of luck involved, but you can improve the odds. Right, there's like 10 waves throughout your time. One of the waves is cresting when you're starting. You don't know which one, but something is cresting at the time. It's the perfect time to start something for some reason, always. Right, and in every story where you find a component of good timing, there's usually a component of bad timing. Podcast app, like you were paddling for the right wave, you were just doing it years too early.
Meet Winston the Tortoise! (27:32)
I want to bring another character into this picture. Who is Winston? Can you tell us about Winston, please? Winston's a close friend of mine. I met him in 2005 when he was three months old. I purchased him. We've lived happily together ever since. He was the size of a golf ball at the time. Now he's the size of a football, which is a huge upgrade for him. He's a tortoise. He's very lovable. He's kind of my apartment screensaver. I'm just sitting there in what would be a still scene. There's this little moseying dinosaur that mozies by. Who doesn't want that? You should all own a tortoise. It's weird that most of you don't own a tortoise. Why did you name him Winston? Because I thought he had a Churchill look to him. Or it's more that Churchill has a tortoise look to him. I'm sort of imagining, I know they're not the same, but the sea turtles in Finding Nemo, it's like, "Yeah, I can see that." Winston has less charisma, but otherwise... When I look at some of your posts, and I've had my life very directly and profoundly impacted by some of your writing, particularly about time remaining with, say, parents or family. But when I look at some of your very research-heavy posts, and it feels funny to call them posts, whether it's on AI or other topics that confuse a lot of people. We're talking about, for those of you who don't have any familiarity, in some cases 50,000 words, 70,000 words. That's a book, everybody. How long is the 4-hour workweek? 4-hour workweek, that's a solid... Now it's deceptive to use page count, but that's how I think. It's about, I want to say what, 420 pages or 430 pages, and it's not gigantic Dr. Seuss print. So it's probably closer, if I'm guessing, taking a stab to the 100,000, 120,000 mark. I seem to have word inflation with the books. They're getting bigger.
How Sam gets so good at explaining really complex ideas simply (29:59)
But when you're tackling one of these posts, what are some of the approaches or questions you ask that allow you to write something better and different? Because presumably, many people are out there trying to learn about these various topics, and yet you put out these posts that are the size of books that end up going viral, and you make seemingly complicated topics very digestible. So what is your approach to tackling a topic like AI? Yeah. So it's pretty simple for me. First of all, I do this kind of weird thing where I assume that my audience is a picture, like a stadium full of meat. So it's a narcissistic fantasy. But I'm just writing the exact post that I would be thrilled to get. So that's my focus group right there. It's right in my head. And it's easy because we're all kind of special, unique people, except not really. There's like 100,000 copies of each of you out there somewhere. And the truth is, if I just write for me, there's a lot of people that have my exact weird taste. I just know that. So I start there with kind of like, who am I writing for? That makes it easy. And so with something like AI, if there's a 1 through 10 scale of how much you know about something-- 10 is a world-leading expert, and 1 has absolutely never heard of the term. I started at 2 or 3 on most stuff, like most laymen. I'm a layman at everything. And so then I spend-- just out of my curiosity as the driver, I picked topics I'm excited to dig into. And I'll spend however long it takes. Sometimes it's one day. Sometimes it's three weeks. Sometimes it's three months. But I'll take as long as I need to to learn enough to get me to maybe like a 5 or a 6 out of 10. I'm not going to get a PhD. I'm not going to spend five years getting myself to an 8 or a 9. But I'm going to get myself to a 6 where I'm like, I can answer basically any question a layman asks me. I can do a Q&A with an audience on this topic for 10 hours, and I'll have a pretty good, solid answer to everything. Not that I know necessarily the truth of everything, but I know when the experts don't know the truth and they're arguing, I know what the experts say about basically everything. So I get myself to that level. And then I think about-- OK, so experts have sometimes a hard time explaining because they haven't been into 2 in decades sometimes. And they have this jargon, and they don't remember what it's like to beat a 2 out of 10. I was there three weeks ago. I know exactly what my readers know about this. And I know exactly what-- So I just look at the road I went down to get myself to a 6, and I think about how could I do that road way more efficiently if I could go do it again now? How could I do it in a much more fun way? And what's this fun story I can tell to bring readers from the 2 to a 6? And so that's my challenge then is to basically package the road I just went down for three weeks and make it an hour and a half package instead. OK. Not surprisingly, I have some follow-up questions.
If Ihad to Start Learning about Bitcoin and Blockchain from Scratch, Where Would I Start? (33:06)
Let's pick a subject. Have you written about cryptocurrency or blockchain? Not yet. Oh, perfect. Highly requested topic. Right. I'm sure it is. Now, the reason I ask is that much like AI, I have seen dozens of people attempt to explain without misrepresenting cryptocurrency and blockchain. 101 for the masses. And it seems like almost every single attempt has failed. If you were to take that assignment on, where would you start? So I would-- I always start-- I feel like I'm blindfolded in a room, and I'm just trying to figure out where are even the walls here. Where is the furniture? I just want to start and understand what I even need to learn. So I want to get a picture of the topic, and then I can start diving in, going on various rabbit holes, and usually going outside the topic. A rabbit hole outside the topic is procrastination, but it also often gives you even more context. You'll find some metaphor out there that you end up bringing back. So I'll just read and read and watch YouTube videos all on the internet. How do you search? Reading? Are we talking you start at Wikipedia? Is that ground zero? Yeah, I'll start at Wikipedia for just a basic foundation. Wikipedia is good at telling you where the walls are, just letting you even understand the topic in general. And Wikipedia has a lot of good knowledge on it. So I'll go there, then I'll go to the bottom Wikipedia and start clicking on all the reference links. And I'll usually Google blockchain PDF, and you end up finding all these superbly boring journal articles. And then I'll go on YouTube. There's a lot of good people, smart teachers, explaining stuff on YouTube. They're not going to explain the whole thing usually. They're going to explain one part. Maybe I realize that to understand blockchain, you need to first go down three layers. You need to build a foundation that begins with understanding what encryption is. You need to understand how encryption works in public keys and private keys. That's when you can start to, on top of that, build an understanding of what a ledger is that would be on these different computers and how it could possibly be secure. And by the time you get to blockchain, you're like eight layers up, so I'll go find a YouTube video not on blockchain, but on encryption. And then I'll find a YouTube video explaining what ledgers are in general. I'm reading about the history of ledgers and where they're used in the world and encryption and how it was invented and how it's evolved. You just keep doing this, and the reason it's easy for me, this part, is because I'm super curious. So the more I learn, the less icky the topic gets. When the topic gets unicky, it starts to be super delicious, the opposite of icky. And then I can't read enough. It's so fun, suddenly, I get it. And then I just want to fill in the knowledge, and I want to watch a YouTube video I already know the answer to just to feel good about, oh, man, I already knew everything you said. This is great. But it solidifies. You hear seven different people articulate it in seven ways, and it rounds out your understanding. And by the end, they start to be like, I totally get this.
Maximizing YouTube as a Search Engine (36:06)
I find a video on YouTube. Last I checked, which was not recently, YouTube was the second largest search engine in the world. It's a lot of great stuff. There's also a lot of nonsense. How do you search? So what are the terms? How do you sort them? How do you go about picking properly? Well, so in Google, I will Google, like, blockchain. Leave that in a window. Open a new window, and I'll Google Bitcoin, new window, Ethereum, new window, cryptocurrency, new window, like, decentralized systems crypto, new window, cryptocurrency is bullshit, new window, like, you know, whatever. And I'll just keep going. And I'll just think of anything. And then each one of those windows I go back to, and I just hold down Command, and I just click, click, click, click, click, click. And I have ten tabs, ten tabs, ten tabs. And I just go and read everything. So that's -- Google, you know, again, I don't have to discern. I don't care if this Gizmodo article is going to be, you know, really useful, or, you know, whether it's going to be accurate, because the beginning process is just if you read 70 articles that may or may not have validity to them, the total sum of them actually start to understand what do we know as a species? Where are we all agreeing? And then where, clearly, a lot of people don't know what they're talking about, or there's this broad, you know, this kind of dichotomy of a view in this one area. There's these people, and there's these people. YouTube is kind of the same thing. I'll just start watching without discerning. Again, if you're a procrastinator, it's fantastic, because you don't feel bad about just watching endlessly when you're taking all of your time, and it's not what you're supposed to be doing. It feels great. So I'll just watch, and then, of course, the sidebar starts to figure out -- YouTube very quickly, and Google will figure out what you're doing. And then YouTube will start to put all the things on the side for me. Plus, you start to see names you trust -- Make money in cryptocurrency. Yeah. Well, even just -- it's funny, I'm just writing a post now on, like -- I won't get into this, but political stuff.
How to guide people without telling them what to do. (38:07)
Normally, my sidebar is like, "Look how much of an idiot Trump is and his voters." And then I go to the -- I'm now trying to -- I was googling all these conservative things, because I'm writing about both sides of stuff, and suddenly the Internet starts to indoctrinate me the other way. And they're like, "Look at this wise Trump voter, embarrassed this." And I look over, and a couple hours later, I'm like, "Trump's the best." So YouTube figures out your angle, and it will start to kind of feed you stuff. And then there's certain names you trust -- Hank and John Green, I trust them. Kurzgesagt, I trust them. CGP Grey, I trust him. So you'll see certain names you trust. MinutePhysics, great. So there's also that. Same with Google, of course. I'll trust certain sources more than others. And once you've ingested massive amounts of information, and you've established a basic map for the territory, what do you think are the tools or approaches, anything at all, that help you to be so good at teaching these subjects, in the way that you present it or structure your pieces? Yeah, well, so again, the starting point is I'm like, "I just went through this, and I had to teach myself. And I was bad at teaching myself because I didn't know what I was doing." So now, the experience of a learner is fresh in my head. So that's the first thing that's helpful. But then I always basically, with almost any explainer posts like that, I just zoom out, helicopter up. If you're looking at the land and you see a beach, you don't know what it is. Is this a huge lake? Is this a little beach? And then does it curve around? I don't know. That's how I feel like a lot of the articles on AI or cryptocurrency are. They show you a piece of beach, and the author might have a full understanding, but they're just describing the beach. So you take a helicopter up, and you're like, "Oh, okay, wait a second. This is a big river." And you go take it up further, and you're like, "Oh, no, this is kind of a tributary that goes into the ocean." And now you're kind of up where airplanes go, and maybe even the International Space Station goes, and you're like, "Ah, okay, this is actually what's going on." So I start there myself as a thinker, and then when I'm trying to explain, I'm just going to start there, which is why people make fun of me, because I'll write about three different things, and they all start at the Big Bang by the time I'm done with them. I have to basically go back to them. But sometimes it's helpful to you. By the time you get from the Big Bang to now, suddenly we can see the whole coastline, and now the beach suddenly makes sense. And then I try to make it fun also, because who wants to like -- The journal articles, for example, the experts, they're often just -- because they're not ready to entertain, and it's just bad. It's like textbooks in school were so bad. They were so boring. Part of the reason I like YouTube is because the people who end up with a lot of views on YouTube that are going to end up on my recommended thing, they have an eye for entertainment. So I try to do the same thing as well. And if you were to ask, say, friends of yours who are fans of your writing what your ingredients for entertaining are, what might they say? Or just to ask you. I don't want you to be overly self-deprecating. I'm just trying to figure it out. What makes it entertaining? Because it is clearly entertaining. Well, again, entertaining means 10 different things to 10 different people. Every post, I get nine e-mails from mothers in Kansas angry at me for swearing. It depends on-- It's, I think, trying to add sense of humor into basically everything, treating it light, good metaphors, and for me, lots of visuals. I'm a visual learner. If I see a block of text and I'm just scrolling down, I'm kind of upset. It feels like homework. But if I scroll down, in every few paragraphs, there's a chart or there's a comic. I'm suddenly like, "Okay, this is fun. I'm kind of excited." And so that's how I think, so I try to do that. That's what I would want. There's so many things where you can just do a funny stick drawing or a really good diagram and it's just way clearer and it sticks in your head more. If I'm going to talk about procrastination, I can talk about the limbic system and talk about how it works in a fight or flight zone. Or I can make an instant gratification monkey because that is essentially what it is, and that's more memorable and, I think, more fun to read at the time. So you've really, in my opinion, exhibited a mastery for taking what many people would consider extremely intimidating subjects, many of them involved in forging what we're going to experience as a species as the future.
Thoughts On The Future And Happiness
Rebranding the future (42:37)
So I'd like to talk about the future for a second, and I want to read a quote here. All right. "Believe that you wrote or said this." So correct me if I'm wrong. "I always thought the future would be intense, but now I think the future is going fully fucking crazy." Okay. So what are a few things that you're excited about or see coming down the pike in the future? It doesn't have to be one or two. It could be many. It is going to be crazy, and here's why. So the first thought a lot of people have is that it's naive to think that the future is all weird. The end of times, everyone thinks that, you know, you're just another naive person that thinks they live in a special time. And the reason we all have that instinct is because we are... Biology moves very slowly. It evolves very, very slowly. So 50,000 years is nothing in biology and evolution. So we've barely changed, meaning we are still... a baby born today is a baby that is perfectly optimized to live in a tribe in Ethiopia in 50,000 B.C. And it is... everything about it is ready for survival in that world. But what we've done is taken that baby away from its home planet and brought it to another planet, which is the Earth in 2017, and that baby isn't made very well for this world. None of us are, okay? So the first thing to think about is just that a lot of our instincts and a lot of our, you know, intuitions are actually going to be inherently wrong. We're going to be living in a delusion that was helpful back then that today just is not great. So the reason... the way you can cut through this and actually see reality when you're... that baby is not... it's not... Seeing reality isn't helpful to that baby. Fitting in with the tribe is. And believing what the tribe believes is. So today, we want to see reality. And so you can do things like... you can just look at the facts sometimes. So imagine that the... it's going to be a long answer. Imagine that... I have a lot to say about this. Imagine that the... this is what I'm saying. The zoom out. The answers can't be short in my head. So imagine that human history is about a thousand centuries. Get comfortable, folks. Get... settle in.
(6) The detail is hidden in the corners (45:06)
A thousand centuries of human history. A hundred thousand years, okay? So each two centuries is a page in a book, okay? How many pages is this? About 700 pages. Okay, well, 500 pages. Actually, you know, whatever. You can make the math easier. No, no, no, no. They're finding older human remains. So fine. So 140,000 years. Every page in this book that you're holding is 200 years in human history, okay? So page one through 650 of that book, "Hunter-Gatherers." If you're an alien reading this book to understand what happened on this planet, you are bored. I mean, this is really boring. Page 650, 10,000 years ago, you have the agricultural revolution. Okay, wait. So suddenly people are coming together and forming cities. Okay? They're starting to actually form larger civilizations. They have a collective intelligence that's starting to form. They can compare notes. They can kind of create a knowledge tower that, like, is bigger than any one of them. It's very interesting stuff. So that's 50 pages ago. Then it gets boring again for a while. Okay? Page 690 out of 700, right? At the little tiny end of the book here, you have Jesus. You have, you know, 693, you have the advent of Islam. The Roman Empire happens two pages ago. It's already done. 697, you have imperialism. For the first time, you have countries. There's this new thing that happened in the last three pages. Page 698, you have the Enlightenment. You have the Renaissance. You have things like this. They discovered that there's galaxies. Telescope. Page 699, you have, you finally get to the beginning of the US and the beginning of kind of constitutional democracies, right? Now, page 700 happens, which is from about 200 years ago to today. Okay? So the beginning of page 700, the alien turns the page. Industrial Revolution happens. Okay? Big deal. Big change. Okay? And as it reads on the page, things start to go crazy. You start to have, you have, in 699 pages, this alien has read, this boring-ass species has communicated through letters and talking. You know, he was excited about language 500 pages ago. Now he's bored. Smoke signals firing a cannonball in the air, stuff like that. Okay? Suddenly, on page 700, we go to the space station. I mean, we have the space station. We have the moon. We have airplanes. We have cars. Just on page 700. 699 pages. Okay? We have, we only communicate through, well, we have this kind of simple transportation communication. Now we have FaceTime. Okay? We have, you know, we have telephone. We have the internet. I mean, crazy, right? Less than a billion people for the first 699 pages. On page 700 alone, we cross the one, two, three, four, five, six, and seven billion person marks. So the alien's reading, and like, his wife comes in and is like, "Hey, we're going to have dinner." So he's like, "Shh, shut up, shut up, shut up." It's the most inter-grivening thing. He's like, "What is about to happen to this species? This is crazy what just happened on this page." This is when we're born. We're born at the end of page 700. Okay? So... This is why, when someone said, "What do you think the future's going to be?" I'm like, "Oh, page 701?" And they're like, "What the hell is this guy talking about?" Page 701, there's no way it's not going to be... Shit just goes bonkers. Yeah, the first three sentences of page 701 will take us to 2025, when they predict that AI is going to basically infiltrate every single industry and part of our lives the way electricity did in a 10-year span in the 1880s. I mean, that's the first three sentences. So to me, I see revolutions. The first half of page 701, the first quarter of page 701, I see revolutions in VR, AR. I see revolutions in AI. I see revolutions in brain-machine interfaces. We're going to be able to think thoughts to each other. It's way cooler than language for the first time. I see revolutions in genetic stuff. Your grandkids are going to be like, "So you just had a baby and hoped it was a good baby? It's going to seem crazy. It's going to seem so primitive." And you can just go on and on and on with things that... Look, how about this one? Okay? What are the major leaps for life? Like, you can count on one hand for all of life. Simple cell to complex cell. Big one. We have animals now. Ocean to land. Big one. I would say the fourth that fits on this same list is going from one planet to multi-planets as a civilization. That's happening in the next decade with SpaceX. No one's talking about it yet, but they will be. I mean, just the fact that, like, we're going to witness in our lifetimes one of the great leaps for all of life. Like, this isn't normal. So, yeah. Okay, so I want to talk about extraplanetary.
(7) Space YOUR Name Here! (49:38)
Just a couple of things. I want to talk about extraplanetary. Just a couple of curious notions that have been bouncing around in my own head. If you had to bet on more humans inhabiting, say, Mars or inhabiting space stations that don't have to conquer a separate gravity, where would you bet? Because there are competing camps, or at least technologists who are looking at, say, inhabiting other planets, or saying, no, that makes no sense, because now you're dealing with a separate environment, gravitational field, et cetera. We're going to just build space stations. Yeah, I'd say Mars for a while. Mars is probably going to have a million people in the next five or six decades, and then it'll eventually probably end up at a billion people. But I think space stations in the long run way better. I mean, it's going to seem really crappy to be on a planet. Being on a planet is going to seem very old school and very kind of rough compared to the space stations. Imagine dealing with weather. It's going to seem crazy that you'd have to deal with weather, that you had to deal with things like climate change. That's just not our problem. We have to deal with bugs. I'd be so happy that there's no bugs on the space station. So I think in the long run that. But I have a more important question, which is, are you going to go to Mars? No. No? Well, not in the near term. I don't want to be the first monkey shot to Mars. I'll let quite a few people work out the kinks on that one. I mean, we can't even figure out how to upgrade iOS without replacing "I" with fucking images. I'm going to let someone shoot me to Mars? No. No. Not early. No.
Mars vs. Antarctica (51:25)
OK, now picture is 20 years from now. And every 26 months, Earth laps Mars. And they end up next to each other. That's when you have this window to go. So every 26 months, there's going to be a fleet, colonial fleet, heading there and another fleet coming back, bringing people back. Round trip tickets. How about-- All the different people on the legs, right? Yeah. No, no, exactly. And this is going to be like first class things. It'll be like fancy people. But everyone will be jumping around, bouncing around with the gravity. It sounds great, like a zero gravity cruise ship. So question is, for you, it's 2038. OK? 2045. And it's been proven for the last 20 trips back and forth. No one's gotten hurt. It's totally safe. Would I visit? Yeah. I would spend the total time invested at this point in the transportation-- Let's say the shortest round trip you can do is a 52-monther. I would strongly consider it. I heard Jeff Bezos say recently on stage, before you think about going to Mars, spend a month in Antarctica. That's a cakewalk. Oh, Antarctica's way better than Mars. Not much in Antarctica, but 15 or 20 degrees colder. You can't breathe the air. You can't be outside in the sun without a radiation suit. So I think it depends a lot on the brochure of Mars Club Med that I receive. Yes. It's not good.
AI: Existential Threat or No? (52:48)
All right. Shifting gears a little bit. AI, do you think it is an existential threat or not? And if so, what is the time horizon for becoming an imminent existential threat? So this is one of the great questions. AI is probably the subject I've talked to most experts on. So I'm not an expert, but I really know what the experts think, and I try to keep up to date because they change their minds a lot. So we'll be fine. No we're all done. No we'll be fine. No we're all done. What I find is very few people who don't think this is going to basically take over everything. The question is when. And I was surprised that even the people that are pessimistic, they kind of think, oh, it might be 100 years from now. Most people think 50, 30. And people at DeepMind these days at Google, which is like the leading AI company now, they're saying things like 10. And when I say 10, 10 till what? I'm talking about before any of this moment happens, to understand AI, you have to think about two things. There's narrow intelligence and there's general intelligence. So humans have general intelligence. We are smart across the board. We have social skills. We have creativity. We can understand math. We can read. We can be creative. We can learn from experience. You just name anything. Humans can kind of learn how to be smart there. But when you think about AI, AI is way better than any human at the things it's good at, like chess. It's the world chess master, right? Of course. And it's the world master at everything that it does well. But it's only good at that one thing. So there's AI on your phone. There's AI in your car. There's AI running most stuff at this point. But it's only good at one thing. So the question is when will AI gain that same breadth that we have? When will it become broadly smart? And until then, it's still going to change the world. It's still going to take a huge amount of jobs and create a whole bunch more. So it's going to be a massive group of changes that happen even before we get general intelligence. But the question that I was referring to before is when do we get to this level where AI is now smart like we are, but way, way smarter, what Nick Bostrom calls super intelligence, where it's as smarter than us as we are than monkeys. So basically if you picture like not only can a monkey not build this room, or not only can you look out in the night sky and you see little lights moving around. Humans are so smart we put those there. We put airplanes and satellites in the night sky. So not only can a monkey not do that, you can show the monkey the lights of this building. And you can't even understand that you did it. We'll think that it's just there. That's just a moving star. So we're talking about something that not only can we not do what this thing can do, we can't even understand that it did it even if it tried to explain it. That's how smart this thing is. It's a really crazy concept. So things that we think are hard like curing disease, poverty, climate change, name it. Anything that we consider a challenge. Easy, piece of cake for the AI. So that's the really exciting side. And then there's the what if we're not in control of it the way we want to be. Not that it's going to be evil. That's this anthropomorphization that people do. They try to apply human stuff to this thing that's not human. But when you build a house and there's an anthill there, you're not like, "Ha ha! Death to the ants." You just built a house and they were in the way. So you killed them. Big deal, right? The fear is that the AI is doing its thing and that we're kind of in the way and we programmed it in a way that we didn't think of this thing, but now it's too powerful. We can't change it and we're toast. Or it gets annoyed that we're doing something to it that it doesn't want and we're toast. So you have some high stakes here, which is why basically we're going to have God on Earth because we can play God to every other animal right now, even a chimp. Chimps are really smart until we put it in a cage. Now what are you going to do? We have a gun, we have a taser, we can poison its food. Chimps are nothing compared to our God-like ability because we have a little intelligence gap over them. Little in the scheme of things. When this thing has a big intelligence gap over us, it truly can play God to us. So the question is, is it a good God that can solve all of our problems or is it like one of those dick Gods in the Old Testament like that guy? So this is what they're talking about. This is why AI safety is so important, but most of the money and time is going into AI development right now. So last question and then we'll go to audience questions.
Perspectives on happiness. (57:05)
How do you view happiness, just to bring it back to things that we may be able to influence, at least speaking for myself and a lot of people in this room. How do you view or define happiness for yourself, if you do at all? I kind of think there's two kinds of happiness that you have to deal with both. One is micro happiness. Are your Tuesdays good? Are you generally having a good Tuesday? And then there's macro happiness. Are you present? Are you like, yeah, I'll dig into this current life for 20 years. I love it. Or are you like I was for nine years after college, and I'm doing this now, but I really want to, I should be doing, and that's macro happiness. So I think you have to worry about both. I think that the most important one to get right at the beginning at least is macro. I think if your macro happiness isn't there, you're going to feel frustrated. You're going to have a cloud over you. And then I think you can work on micro happiness, which is about lifestyle. This is what you're so good at. And so I think a lot of people here, really for both kind of happinesses, they look to you because you have a lot of good advice, but I think with micro you really focus so hard on like just really crushing like a Tuesday. And I think like, but all life is is literally a Tuesday again and again, and then you die. So crushing the Tuesdays, good day. That's the title of my next book. Let's get good at it, right? White sand and Tuesdays. But so yeah, but the thing that's hard is a lot of times we assume that it's the external world. We have to succeed. We have to get this relationship and then we'll be and this is kind of cliche, but we know that it's messing with your internal expectations. It's getting your mind in the right place and kind of seeing reality and seeing what is your ego and what is your fear and what is kind of worrying about judgment and what is actually real that matters to you and realizing that a lot of the perceived risk isn't really dangerous and a lot of the perceived reward isn't really gratifying and it's all there in front of you. If you can just look past your primate self with your very rational, you know, intelligent self and just see it and then learn to internalize it, often suddenly the happiness is, you know, become very clear how to work themselves out and it's often we end up spending all our time trying to, you know, get to those happinesses with the primate kind of self in charge and that usually doesn't get us there. So to add to that, reality minus expectations.
Travel, Well-Being And Life Perspectives
Assessing over gratitude. (59:27)
Is that a useful framework for defining happiness, do you think? Yeah, I mean, so you just say, you know, your happiness is like an equation. Reality minus expectations is your happiness and so you can work on two things. You can work on improving your reality or you can work on not lowering, but kind of like refining your expectations to reflect what actually matters to you, which will almost always end up with them lowering in a certain sense and maybe going up in another sense, but, you know, the classic trap, of course, is like, you know, you're in a way better place than you were ten years ago but you're just as unhappy because you're the hedonic treadmill concept. It's this term that psychologists use that, you know, you just, your happiness goes up because something really good happens. Even like, you know, the little examples, you get a new, you buy something new and you wake up in the morning and you're like, "Oh, my iPhone X10," whatever, and you're like all happy and then like, you know, every day that goes down and six days later it's just your stupid iPhone again. But we use this in a macro sense. You get the new job. You finally get into a really good relationship. You work it out or, you know, you have a sick friend or a parent and then they get healthy and wow. And then instead of just, you know, so the obvious way to get off the treadmill is obvious, just assess over gratitude. There's like what I have, what I want and like looking up, you're going to be really unhappy. And if you keep, you know, the mountain keeps growing underneath you, but you're not even looking at it. You're just looking up all the time. It's going to seem like everything sucks. If you're looking down, you're like, "Look at this mountain. It's amazing. Look at all the things I have." Like you're going to be really happy. So like the gratitude things are real. Like all the, you know, the thing where you're supposed to write the three good things that happened that day every night before you go to bed. Write three good things that happened and why they happened. The reason that people want you to, that psychologists say this is good is because it trains your brain to all day be thinking, "Wait, what's good? I need to do this thing tonight. Like it's just what's good, what's good?" You suddenly are looking down at all these things that are good in your life as opposed to kind of looking up at what sucks, what sucks about the situation. How is the world wronging me, which is a pure recipe for unhappiness.
Objective happiness across different countries. (01:01:40)
Okay, I'm going to try to put a little icing on top just to add to that, which is I was reading recently about some of the supposedly objectively assessed happiest places on earth. And if you look at them, three of them are Costa Rica, Tico Pura, Tico Puro, Mas Polino, Perdón. Okay, screwed up my gender already. It's bad to do in these days, huh? All right, at least I did it in Spanish. So moving on. Puyi. I'm going to move on quickly. Costa Rica, Singapore. Singapore, is there one I shout? Okay, I'm all for it. You don't see it as much in Singapore. And then Denmark. All right, so. Norway. Norway. I'm from Norway, I'm sorry. Norway. All right, well you can write a letter. I love Norway. But I will rely on National Geographic. You can write them an angry letter. They are very communicative. That's fine. So Norway also. But I can only speak to the Danes, but I will give you the official gold medal. But the silver medal for the Danes. And I want to point out a couple of things. Knowing people in all three places. That in Singapore, there's very much an optimization for improving your reality. It's very sort of achievement focused and there's a large economic component. Nonetheless, the various combination of factors lead them to be on the very top. On the perhaps opposite side of that equation, or at least on the alternate side, you have the Danes. And I know a lot of Danes. And I remember one point, without even bringing up any of this, I said, "You guys are apparently really happy. Why do you think that is?" And as a group they said, "We have really low expectations." I was like, "Wow, that's interesting. Hmm, let me noodle on that." And then I think Costa Rica is kind of squarely in the middle in a lot of respects. So, stuff to ponder. Work on both. And also, it just struck me that given all the talk about stoicism and so on, that I tend to beat people over the head with, stoicism in a lot of respects I would view as a complete philosophical system that checks a lot of boxes, but does focus quite a bit on refining your expectations and preparing for the worst case scenario. So, I often add quite a healthy dose of Epicureanism and so on, which is more on the opposite side.
What should you do with 3-6 months to nurture well-being & develop perspective? (01:04:14)
In any case, Tim, thank you so much. And we're going to jump into some audience questions. I know that... Yeah, please give it up. And we will definitely be doing some individual hellos, but let me jump in and see what we have here. And I suspect there might be some curve balls/bear traps that I don't want to step into. So, let me see what we have here. Bear with. All right. You're 20, you have three to six months pre-job post-college. All right, I take that to mean three to six months after graduation to do whatever. No financial, social commitments, and you've already read Tim's books. All right, thank you for that. How do you spend your time to maximize well-being and develop perspective? Aman from Paris. Well-being and develop perspective. Three to six months. Now, you may have already done this. Where's Aman? Is Aman here? Hey, how's it going? All right, so you may have already done this, but if I were giving advice to the normal American audience for that, I would say travel for those three to six months. Go to countries where you do not speak the language. Get deliberately lost in places that are safe, perhaps, like Japan or Costa Rica in most places. And for well-being and developing perspective, well-being would mean deliberately exposing yourself to people who are worse off, maybe at least financially, than yourself. So spending part of that time volunteering, for instance, in those three to six months, and then that will simultaneously help you to develop many, many different perspectives. That would be just--speaking as someone whose life was changed completely by a number of overseas experiences, which I had starting at age 16 or 17. I'd never really spent time outside of the U.S. That would be my recommendation. Tim, do you have any other thoughts? No, I think that's right in line with what I would have said, which is basically traveling to me is another way to zoom out, because you're just looking at your life from far away. You're not going there to look at your life, but you end up thinking about your life. For some reason, being far away, being out of your comfort zone and out of your element, you just have fresh eyes on your whole situation. You can have this perspective. It's like going in a helicopter and looking at it from up there, and a lot of things make sense. Then I would have also said couple that with a hard zoom in on reality, which I think you get from-- I might have said wait tables, work construction. Just do something where you're just around working people. It just reminds you what work is like, what reality is like, what adults go through, and then that can help you figure out where you're about to be and what you want to do. For sure. The travel advice I would not limit to someone just getting out of college. I think everybody, when possible, should have that experience, because the benefits outlast the trip, because what will happen to most people, especially if you put yourself in very foreign environments where perhaps you can't even read what is written. Japan, China, many different examples, whether it's Cyrillic, Arabic, it doesn't matter. You observe different customs. What happened to me at least in Japan, for instance, my first real time abroad for a year as an exchange student, the only person who looks like this in a school uniform in a high school of 5,000 Japanese kids. Pretty easy, where's Waldo game? I was like, wait, they drive on the other side of the street? That doesn't make any sense. Then I was like, wait a second, maybe we don't make any sense. Oh, what, they take a shower before they get into the bathtub? That doesn't make any, wait a second, that makes perfect sense. And I got back and I realized how many rules we follow are just made up. They're just totally made up. Very fragile, socially reinforced illusions that we just reinforce. And that's very liberating because you realize, wait a minute, like if all of these different cultures do things differently, maybe I don't have to go there to do things differently, I can do that here. Then you start to really question assumptions and you become, in my experience, more experimental. Alright, let's go to another question.
Trends, industries, or topics were most excited about right now (01:08:54)
What trends, industries, topics are you most excited about right now? Patrick. Patrick. Is Patrick here? Hey, Patrick. Alright, I like that Hi Tim applies to both of us, it simplifies matters. What trends, industries, topics am I most excited about right now? Speaking for myself, trends I'm not watching very closely. I have trouble explaining why, really. I suppose I'm not trying to capitalize on any trends because I feel like, particularly having left Silicon Valley and having moved to Austin, which I love on almost every level, if I'm spotting trends that I hope to capitalize on, by the time you see it, you're too late. Generally speaking, so I'm not paying a lot of attention to trends. Industries, I am interested, just almost from an academic standpoint, in space travel, not so much from a personal experiential standpoint, but specifically looking at inhabiting planets versus building space stations. That debate is interesting to me because you have some of the smartest humans, the last 50, 100 years arguably, with very, very different viewpoints. Whenever that happens in any field, I'm really interested. You see that in quite a few places. Topics, I would say, and this might be considered a trend, I'm hoping to turn it into a trend, which would be scientific research using current cutting-edge technologies to re-examine both psychedelics and MDMA, which I wouldn't strictly consider, in the traditional sense, a psychedelic, for applications to very debilitating, serious conditions, ranging from PTSD to treatment-resistant depression, end-of-life anxiety, and so forth. I've taken most of my energy and capital that went into startups and am redirecting that to scientific research at Johns Hopkins, hopefully other places like UCSF, NYU also, that are taking these compounds that have been used very, very wisely, I think, in certain contexts for millennia by various civilizations and applying a scientific lens to understand the mechanisms of action and the risks involved, quite frankly, but how they can be less politicized and stigmatized for unscientific reasons and examined so that we have a better understanding of why they do what they do, which can be pretty incredible. What about you? Trends, industries, topics that you're excited about right now.
Life extension (01:11:42)
Definitely some of those. I agree with you on getting the stigma off of perspective-altering drugs. I would also add, there's a lot of cool things going on in the field that also has a stigma called life extension. The stigma is that it just seems like it's narcissistic, rich, white guys who want to live forever. The truth is, and people think it's vain and this narcissistic kind of thing, but really what you could just reframe it as, if you just cure or learn how to manage the four things that kill people, basically, which is heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer's, cancer, it just means that, and other things going on in health, we can just live a lot longer and higher quality later years. Who doesn't want that? It's this knee-jerk reaction that makes people not even want to put money or time into this industry, but I just feel like there were definitely people back when humans lived on average to 40 who would have been like, "Oh, death at 40 is the lot of man, living to 80 or so," but now we're all happy about that. No one wants to go back. If suddenly, I don't know, 140, 140 was the new 90 and 90 was the new 50, who's not happy about that? We always say, "Oh, because at that point you're done." Well, that's because we got used to that. We're managing our own expectations. If we all died at 35, I would be like, "Well, it's been good," but I'm not like that. I'm all ambitious and excited because I think I have more decades. I think that there's a lot going on. Mark Zuckerberg and his wife are one of the teams that are trying to cure all diseases by the end of the century. This is just a machine, and the diseases are just a glitch inside the machine. If we can have enough nanotech and really fancy AI, medicine, and everything, we can go in there and fix it. This is a fantastic development. The most heartbreaking thing is someone that you love dying, especially early. Let's work on that. I think there's a lot going on there, but I think a lot more would be going on if the stigma of this as a narcissistic pursuit would just go away. Yeah, to comment on one thing there in terms of the narcissistic rich people, everyone should want the narcissistic millionaires and billionaires to spend as much money as possible on this. You want them to be the people who create the economies of scale for everybody else. Many of the things we take for granted now, like recycling, started off being very hoity-toity, affluent experiments. You want them to be spending millions of dollars on something that in ten years is going to be available for $50 at CBS. Yeah, plumbing and sanitation. These things are all rich people things for a while, and then everyone benefits tremendously from them. People also get mad. They think, "Oh, this is just going to benefit the rich. It's this unfair thing where super rich people will be able to live longer." It's like, "Yeah, for a while," and then it trickles to everybody because the cost comes down as we get better. So get over it. On that note, hang on. If you want to read some, I think, very interesting thinking related to what might account to life extension or at least death prevention, Dr. Peter Attia is one to pay attention to. One of my favorite people. What is the name of the city everyone must visit before they die? Thanks for everything. Steve. Steve Carell. Not to be confused with Steve Carell. Yeah, it's a great name. It's a great name. Spelled differently.
The city everyone must visit before they die (01:15:32)
On my list, I would have to go with Tokyo because it has such an unusual combination of safety, cleanliness, extreme weirdness, and incomprehensibility, even to someone who speaks Japanese, that it provides a really unique... I think I just used that twice and I'm going to get shit from friends who love to heckle me for using modifiers on unique. They're like, "No, there's no such thing as very unique." I'm like, "Okay, all right." I'm going to say it again just to annoy them. It's a very unique opportunity to feel extreme discomfort and confusion with elation with next to no real harmful consequences. I think that provides an awesome learning opportunity and just a fun trip. I would say Tokyo is very high on the list. You stole my answer again. I was just in Japan all summer. It's like going to another planet and you're like, "Oh, how does this civilization live?" You're on another planet. That's how different it is. Western culture has infiltrated so many places and it just hasn't really there. They just have done everything their own way. You're like, "How does the cab door open? Oh, it opens by itself. Then I get in and it closes by itself. That's really cool." I had to give a different answer. I'll say Hanoi, Vietnam, just because crossing the street is just crazy. There's bikes, motorbikes, a sea of them going by and there's no stoplights and it doesn't stop. What you do as a walker is you just walk. It's like Indiana Jones walking over the thing. You just walk and they figure it out. It's unbelievable. You feel like you're God walking on water or something. You just walk out and nothing happens. The thing you don't want to do is get freaked out towards the stops because then you're doing something they can't anticipate. You've got to try this stuff. Steady, well-paced strides. Confident. I actually was just living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, the past two months and I came back from this. Is it the same there? I didn't go down there. Yeah, it's amazing. My wife is insane. I was actually driving a motorcycle down there. You just go with the flow or else you die. Yeah, go with the flow or else you die. Good advice. My goodness. That one would take us both several hours knowing the two of us.
Writing Techniques And Tools
Advice on push through writing experiences. (01:18:21)
I apologize to the person whose name I will not read. Dear Tim, regarding two crappy pages per day, I'll explain what that means. How do you structure your days and weeks when you are working on a book? Thanks. Jean or Jeannie, I'm not sure. Alright, I'll go with both. I wasn't sure how to respond. Alright, so the two crappy pages per day, for those who don't know, was advice that I received regarding writing and working on a book, which can be, in my personal experience, a very daunting, intimidating task. I would get frozen for days or weeks and I'd try to write something and it wouldn't be perfect and I'd throw it out. And a mentor of mine, or an author I knew, said, "Your quota should be two crappy pages per day." And he told me the story about IBM and how they demolished the competition by exceeding every sales quota every quarter and just absolutely steamrolling everyone for a long time. And he asked me, "Do you know why that is?" And I said, "No." And he said, "Because the quotas were low and then people were unintimidated to pick up the phone to make the calls." And you can do the same thing with yourself, with writing. And you do that by making your bar for a successful day two crappy pages. That's it. Even if you throw them both out, you never use them, you've won the day if you have two crappy pages. And of course, over time, there are days when you just get your two crappy pages and they are really, truly terrible. And then there are other days where you overshoot, you're in the flow, and you get 10, 15, 20 pages. You don't need so many of those to eventually put together what can become a book. In terms of structuring my days and so on, I'll be super, super specific here because the weeks and months basically look identical. And it's just copy and paste of this particular day. I've realized for myself that I benefit greatly given historical predisposition to bipolar and all these various things. It's just written in my code. It's a whole separate story.
Why I write during the summer. (01:20:39)
But yeah, it's kind of laughable how predisposed my family is. That writing near sunshine is really important. So I write books generally during summer months and my day involves getting up not super early, but for me, respectably early, which would mean, say, 9 a.m., 930, before the sun is setting. And I wake up, I meditate for 20 to 22 minutes, which would be typically transcendental meditation or some type of guided meditation. Then I jump in the water because I'm on Long Island. I jump in the water to wake up. I might do a little bit of swimming. I hop out. I already have pages from the night before that I want to edit. I will edit during the day, but I do my prose generation at night.
My typical writing day. (01:21:30)
That's just when I have the best output. But I can edit, do that grump work during the day. I've printed out pages. I will go into a sauna, which requires all sorts of trickery because you start sweating on the pages, but go into a sauna and I will hand edit those pages. Then I come out, take a quick shower. I have a very small breakfast of some type, typically, say, macadamia nuts and some eggs, very, very small. And I continue to work very often at a treadmill desk. And the treadmill desk works during this period of time at a very slow pace because, say, in the case of Tribe of Mentors, I'm handling outreach and editing. I'm not going to do original drafts and composition at the treadmill desk. I will work at the treadmill desk. This is literally the exact day. And this won't take hours to explain. Then, around, say, noon or 1 p.m., hop on a bike with a researcher or someone that I have hired to be with me in the same house at all times. Why is this important? I realize that writing is very isolating for me and it can catalyze a lot of negative mental states and downward spirals because I feel alone. So I have someone physically there, even though we could probably do the work remotely. They have to be optimistic, which fortunately my researcher is. Everything to him is hand clapping. Amazing. Really good influence to have around. So we both get on a bike. So you'll notice there are little bursts of physical exercise inserted in the day. Get on bikes, ride to this very mediocre deli, and we have Mediterranean wraps every day. For those interested, it is whole wheat tortilla with chicken, hummus, tomato, avocado added, always extra cost. And we eat our Mediterranean wraps and I have unsweetened iced tea plus sparkling water. And we work there until, say, 5 or 6. Sun starts to set. Jump on the bikes. Sometimes head to the bay. Jump in the water again. Head home. And then have a snack. Work for an additional 2 or 3 hours. Then go to dinner. There are 2 or 3 restaurants that we go to. That's it. Those are the rotations. And for all these restaurants, I'll give a pro tip. Jesus, what a long answer that I said wasn't going to be long. Alright. Pro tip for people who might want to do this. Now it's late. We're going out late. We're having dinner at 9 o'clock. A lot of these kitchens close at, say, 930, 10. What does that mean? Staff's going to be fucking pissed. They were coming in right as the door is about to close. And I know this because I worked in service jobs as busboy and waiter in restaurants forever. I get it.
A helpful writing tool, the 3-day rule, and Rounds of Tequila. (01:24:27)
So here's what you do. You have 3 restaurants. You know you're going to be going to them for a few weeks or a few months. You go to the same restaurant for dinner 3 nights in a row. And then the next restaurant, same place, 3 nights in a row. Each night, you buy rounds of tequila over and over again for every person who works in the restaurant. Front of house and back of house. Really important. These people will now love you. And they will let you hang out for an extra hour, hour and a half. This is really key. Okay, so we do this. Then we go home. Not too much tequila. And we'll continue to prepare things for the next day. Go to bed around 1 am, say. And then it's groundhog day. Over and over again. That's it. And there are, very often I would say every other day, some type of kettlebell swings or exercise that is done immediately before leaving to dinner. And it's just that day. Over and over and over again. Yes, I see you raised hands. From, yes, Joanne. Yeah. Genie. Genie. God damn it. Sorry. When you're having the Mediterranean wraps, do you work there at the place you ate? Oh, yes, yes, yes. So, important clarifying question. Do I work where we have lunch? Yes, there are outdoor picnic tables. And we will sit down and work outside.
The importance of working outside. (01:25:55)
That's actually a fairly key point. But you have to have a high tolerance for mosquitoes and ticks. Because it's eastern Long Island. So, caveat emptor on the line of disease or. Tim, over to you.
Sometimes the tool is just a pencil. (01:26:13)
If you take the opposite of that answer. Imagine you're 16 hours awake is like an amorphous wad of self-loathing. It's basically, someone asked me the other day, what do you need with your work? And I was like, I need a gnome that will follow me around and like shock me if I'm not working. And like when I'm supposed to be working. And they were kind of like, it was kind of. But I, yeah, no, no. I mean, this is where you're awesome at and what I admire you for.
Writing Habits And Author Experiments
Why I love the 2-crappy-pages-per-day rule. (Thanks, Kurt Vonnegut!) (01:26:45)
But you can also, just to be clear, have really regimented, well-structured self-loathing. Just to make that clear. But I was like trying to memorize that answer. Because I want to like, I think for me the times when I am being productive, I find that two days, two pages a day thing resonates with me. Because for me it's like, if I get it in my mind, my problem when I'm not being productive is that I have this in my head. I'm behind on my stuff so I need to work 14 hours. I need 14 hours of writing today. And I have done those crazy hours when there's like a crazy panic in my life. So I know I can. So I think I can. But without the panic, it never happens. And then six hours into the day, I've already blown it. I've already blown the day and you get discouraged. And then you start to self-fulfilling prophecy yourself that of course I'm going to blow it. I blew it the last three days. So if I do the same thing, if I say I'm going to write three hours today and then I've had a successful day, it's amazing all the positive, like reward pathway feedback that comes in from feeling like you succeeded that day. And then that night you can go to bed on time because I already succeeded today as opposed to thinking no I can't go to bed now. I can't let this be the whole day. And that can feed on itself. And something I try to remind myself is like someone who is three hours of writing five days a week but really focused, like phone is away, like deep, deep focus writing. 15 hours a week, like it's shocking how much you can produce. Like add those weeks together, 40 weeks later you have a book. The difference between the prolific writer and the self-loathing person who doesn't write anything is one does 15 hours a week out of their 112 waking hours a week writing. And the other one does zero out of 112 waking hours. So one seventh versus zero sevenths. Six sevenths of those two people's days and lives are the same. I mean it is, people who can't put something together they have this daunting kind of assumption that the prolific writer is fundamentally different. They're working constantly all the time. It doesn't have to be that way but it's the consistency. It is the IBM thing.
Writers' avoidant plants and dog massages. (01:28:47)
I've never thought about it that way. That's a really great way to put it. It's so true too. I mean most writers I know spend the majority of their time inventing things to do to avoid writing. They're like but my plant's dying. There's really no way that I could possibly. Winston needs another massage. Yeah, I mean this is an unconstructive environment. The writing is not going to be high quality if I don't polish my tennis shoes and so on.
What experiments, questions, and hypotheses are you wrestling with? (01:29:16)
Very very true. This will be the last question and then we'll move on to the next phase of this evening. What experiments, questions, hypotheses are you wrestling with right now? How have they changed over your life? Where do you think they'll take you? Now we may not have a chance to hit every aspect of this but let's start with what experiments, questions, hypotheses. Let's start with you, Tim. Shit. So nice having his answer about my answer. What experiments, questions, or hypotheses are you wrestling with right now? And then I'm just going to abridge this and go to where do you think they might take you? Well it's a little like my last answer. I'm trying to, so my mind is structured as I explained in the TED talk you mentioned. There's three characters. There's the rational decision maker who's like we should probably work right now. It's 10 a.m. on a Wednesday. Very good time to work. Then there's his pet, the instant gratification monkey who, he has a different idea. He has a different idea of what 10 a.m. on Wednesday is good for. And then there's, and the two of them go back and forth and the instant gratification monkey wins every single time. Which leaves me in what I call the dark playground where I'm like not working but I'm supposed to be. And the only thing, the only thing that breaks that cycle is the third character who suddenly wakes up when a deadline gets close or there's some external pressure, that's the panic monster. And the panic monster freaks the monkey out, the only thing the monkey's scared of. He runs away and I can get my thing done and I'm going to die at 45. And what I'm trying to learn how to do, especially since I'm about to start my first book next year so I like you've done 52 books, I need to like learn from this man. Is like you know a book is too big a project, you can't just do that all at once. It's like at some point you have to learn how to have this internal motivation. And for me I'm like a you know a caricature of myself but there's a lot of people in this room who maybe aren't classic procrastinators but without realizing it if there's no kind of deadline even if they're not down to the wire with the deadline, the deadline itself just being there is what makes them do stuff. And that's dangerous. Because actually a lot of what's really important in life is that kind of important but not urgent stuff. The stuff that doesn't have a deadline. Seeing your friends and family enough, changing careers, improving yourself in the long run. So I think like this whole these three characters thing applies to a lot of people, applies very much to me. So what I'm working on is trying to just really really working on having productive days with nothing in the external world making me. Because a child is not good at that and I'm trying to be less of a child. That's my goal for the next year. Yeah, I empathize. I do. I do. I do. I do. Most productive person in the history of... No, I'm just really good at showing like the high right. The high right. Well, I got really super. When I get tired, this is going to get me in all sorts of trouble. I actually after spending like a year only speaking Japanese when I get really tired I start to mix up my R's and my L's. I'm not shitting you. Wow. Do you speak Japanese? Yeah. That's so cool. That's a cool language. So just so you guys know, I'm just going to digress for a second. In Japanese they have "na ri du de rou". They have a syllabary and the R, L and D sounds are kind of combined into one thing. That's why they're not aware of the distinction. They kind of got screwed when God was handing out phonemes. They didn't get a lot of sounds. It's really hard for them to learn other languages. Bit of a rip off for them. But I'm showing the highlight reel of like a very mediocre movie. So I'm going to create the illusion that I'm just knocking out productivity all day. Not the case. Which is why when people are like, "Can we follow you around for a day?" I'm like, "No, absolutely not." Absolutely not. Because you're just going to be like, "Are you going to do something?" No, man. I'm like, "I found some lint in the carpet and I need to fix this." Not a good Dances with Wolves experience for the documentary filmgoer. Alright, so what experiments, questions, hypotheses am I wrestling with right now? I'm going to make this maybe a little soft around the edges. Which is not my style. Typically it's hard, analytical, quantitative. But whatever. So I've spent the vast majority of my life at best tolerating myself. It's true. I had some really horrible experiences early on that led me to just decide, sort of self love was for other people. I could be a really good instrument for competition though. I could hone myself into an instrument with a high pain tolerance to be really good at certain things. And that was enough. And that I could get my joy or happiness wherever I found that from observing other people. Long story to unpack that fully. But suffice to say, I accepted a really low level of self regard and was really, really unforgivingly brutal with myself. I mean, I talk to myself endlessly every day. We're talking about decades. In a way that I would never speak to another person. And what I've realized in the last few months actually in particular is that if you want to fully love other people and to make other people feel loved, you can't get away with just tolerating yourself. You cannot. And you have to learn how to forgive yourself for a lot. But more so than that, for me at least, is to have compassion for earlier versions of yourself that you might view as cowardly or ashamed or weak. And I was introduced to that through something relatively new from me, which is called META. M-E-T-T-A or loving kindness meditation, which sounds super woo woo. And I mean, the 20 year old version Tim would just be vomiting on his shoes right now hearing this. Like, oh my God, really? You're embarrassing us. Stop it. But it's been a really profound shift in my perspective and realizing that even if my only goal is not necessarily to love myself, but to do the greatest good I can possibly do with my small amount of time on this planet, that I have to put my own oxygen mask on first. And that's something that comes up a lot. Contrava mentors. Arianna Huffington. Sharon Salisbury. It comes up again and again. And I just want everybody to realize this is part of my new mission of sorts is for people to realize that if you're feeling damaged or flawed, and that leads you to be depressed and to have a really, really low amount of regard for yourself, where you're really aggressively brutal to yourself, that the first thing to realize is that you are not alone in feeling that. And in fact, I certainly not everyone in this book, but I would wager, and this is just speculation in most cases, but a very, very high percentage have incredible demons and are fighting battles that we all know nothing about. But I mean, really, with some very, very dark periods. So A is that you're not alone and B is that you can actually let go of and repair almost all, if not all, of what you think you should just lock away and forget. So that, I suppose, would be what I'm wrestling with right now and working on and trying to communicate. And there's some really concrete ways you can go about it. I would recommend everybody, certainly if any of that resonates, do yourself a favor, get a book called Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach. Terrible title, fantastic book. Give it a read. It could have a huge impact. How have psychedelics helped you at all with that? Yeah, that's a question about psychedelics. I would say that yes is my tentative answer, but I would not recommend that anyone touch psychedelics without professional supervision. There are legal ramifications to consider and I would take it as seriously as you would choosing a neurosurgeon to remove a tumor that if misoperated on would result in a fatality. So a lot of people right now, sorry man, that's about it. Right now a lot of people are going on Craigslist and finding neurosurgeons. My friend's a shaman, we just ordered some stuff from the internet from China for ayahuasca. We're going to do it in our slow cooker. Bad idea. Bad, bad, bad, bad idea. So there are many tools. I don't think that's the only tool. Meditation, silent retreats which I'm not ready to recommend because I do think they can be extremely destabilizing. There are many, many tools in the toolkit, but the point I want to make is there are tools. And you can start with something that does not involve visiting your ancestors and seeing flashing neon crocodiles in your mind, which could be radical acceptance.
Announcing the Four Weeks to Optimum Performance course. (01:38:59)
So take a look. Thank you guys very much and thank Tim for being here. Hey guys, this is Tim again. Just a few more things before you take off. Number one, this is Five Bullet Friday. Do you want to get a short email from me? Would you enjoy getting a short email from me every Friday that provides a little morsel of fun before the weekend? And Five Bullet Friday is a very short email where I share the coolest things I've found or that I've been pondering over the week. That could include favorite new albums that I've discovered. It could include gizmos and gadgets and all sorts of weird shit that I've somehow dug up in the world of the esoteric as I do. It could include favorite articles that I've read and that I've shared with my close friends, for instance. And it's very short. It's just a little tiny bite of goodness before you head off for the weekend. So if you want to receive that, check it out. Just go to 4hourworkweek.com. That's 4hourworkweek.com all spelled out. And just drop in your email and you will get the very next one. And if you sign up, I hope you enjoy it.
Four Hour Workweek. (01:40:08)
This episode is brought to you by ConvertKit, my go-to email service provider. I use them for everything. If you've ever wondered how professional bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers and so on can build a platform they control and get the word out about their best content, email is still the answer. People think it's all social, social, social. But one algorithm change and oops, bait and switch, now you only reach 10% of your audience. That is why I've doubled and tripled down on email. After reviewing many different email service providers, I ended up selecting ConvertKit for email like 5 Bullet Friday, which goes out to about a million people now. Because ConvertKit delivers on what matters most, to me at least. Easy to use systems, split testing and resending technology, both very, very important. High rates of deliverability and great hands-on customer service. So whether you run a business or simply have, say, a serious blog, ConvertKit has integrations with more than 70 different services. Just about anything you might need, including hosting sites like WordPress, e-commerce platforms like Shopify, lead capture technology like Bounce Exchange or Sumo and many more. They also offer a visual automation builder that makes it really easy to deliver the right content to the right people in your audience, just when they want it. If you want to segment in different ways, which a lot of people do. ConvertKit offers plans that adjust to the size of your business. So it's a good option whether you have a thousand people or one million on your list. And certainly I am planning on growing and growing and growing and I don't like switching email service providers, so I thought very carefully about this before I selected them. So check it out. Take a look at ConvertKit.com/Tim. That's Convert, C-O-N-V-E-R-T-K-I-T.com/Tim. And you can get your first month for free. Kick the tires, test it out. That way, you can give it a shot, make sure that it works for you, your business and all of that goodness. If you're like me, I hope you'll find that they get the job done. That's certainly been my experience. So check it out.
Again, that's ConvertKit.com/Tim for a free month of email services.
Fitness And Health Gadgets
SPEG Tights (01:42:11)
This episode is brought to you by Peloton. And I'd heard about Peloton over and over again, but I ended up getting a Peloton bike in the whole system after I saw my buddy, Kevin Rose. He's known him forever, some of you know, and he showed up at my gate at my house a while back and he looked fantastic. And I asked him, I said, "Dude, you look great. What the hell have you been up to?" Because he's always doing a weird diet or another, but it only lasts like a week or two. So he always regresses to the mean after like 75 beers. And he said, "I've been doing Peloton five days a week." Now that caught my attention because Kevin does nothing five days a week. And you know I love you, Kevin. But it really piqued my curiosity, ended up getting a system, and it's become an integral part of my week. I love it and I really didn't expect to love it at all because I find cycling really boring, usually.
But Peloton is an indoor cycling bike that brings live studio classes right into your home. You don't have to worry about fitting classes into your schedule or making it into a studio with some type of commute, etc. New classes are added every day and this includes options led by elite New York City instructors in your own living room. You can even live stream studio classes taught by the world's best instructors or find your own favorite class on demand. And in fact, Kevin and I rarely do live classes. And you can compete with your friends, which is also fun. Kevin, I'm coming after you. But we usually just use classes on demand. I really like Matt Wilpers and his high intensity training sessions that are shorter, like 20 minutes. And I think Kevin's favorite is Alex and everyone seems to have their favorite instructor or you can select by music, duration, and so on. Each Peloton bike includes a 22 inch HD touch screen, performance tracking metrics. I think that, along with the real time leaderboard are the main reasons that this caught my attention when cycling never had caught my attention before. It's really pretty stunning what they've done with the user interface to keep your attention. The belt drive is quiet and it's smaller than you would expect. So it can fit in a living room or an office. I actually have it in a large closet, believe it or not, and it fits with no problem. Peloton is offering all of you guys, listeners of the Tim Ferriss show, a special offer. And it is actually special. Visit One Peloton. That's O-N-E-P-E-L-O-T-O-N. One Peloton dot com and enter the code "TIM" All caps T-I-M at checkout to receive $100 off accessories with your Peloton bike purchase. Now you might say, "Meh, accessories? Wait, I don't need fancy towels or whatever other supplemental bits and pieces." No, the shoes you need. You need the clip-in shoes and those are in the accessory category. So this $100 off is a very legit $100 off.
Daily Vitality Products
160 oz. Primal Vigor Fatigue/Depression Water, Daily (01:45:02)
So if you want to get in your workouts, if you want a convenient and really entertaining way to do high intensity interval training or anything else, or you just want to get a fantastic gift for someone, check out Peloton. One Peloton dot com and enter the code "TIM" again that's O-N-E-P-E-L-O-T-O-N dot com and enter the code "TIM" at checkout to receive $100 off any accessories, including the shoes that you will want to get. Check it out. One Peloton dot com. Code "TIM".