Josh: The Podcast, Episode 55: Shortcuts

We talk about taking shortcuts and making sure we're aware of what we miss when we skip things.

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Links:
On shotcuts
Tim Ferriss | The 4-Hour Chef
GT's Synergy Raspberry Chia Kombucha
President Trump releases tax plan | WSJ version

And a couple of videos I mentioned

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On shortcuts

It's important, when considering shortcuts, that you nail two things: what you're willing to bypass and where you're going.

If you use a surgery as a shortcut for weight loss, you might bypass the formation of healthy habits that will help you keep the weight off.

If you buy social media followers, you only get the appearance of an audience. They don't engage with your company or buy things from you.

Watch where you're going, and how you get there.

Josh: The Podcast, Episode 54: Mistakes, bad guys and Bill O’Reilly; plus, March for Science

Some of you got a taste of the future. Oh well. We talk Bill O'Reilly, Gronk, Sean Spicer and a couple of high-profile suicides.

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Links:
Bill O'Reilly fired
Aaron Hernandez commits suicide in prison
Steve Stephens shoots himself
Earth Day
March for Science | Empathy and science are important
Brady didn't visit the White House, so he didn't contribute to Super Bowl comeback
Gronk checks in on Sean Spicer

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In praise of the greatest you

Lewis Howes releases three podcasts a week. One of those is a quick take on Fridays he dubs "Five Minute Friday." The one above is from April 14, 2017 and is called Be True to Yourself.

It's a look at what is commonly called crab mentality — the notion that one crab in a bucket will scurry out, but if there are a lot of crabs in a bucket and one tries to crawl out, the others will grab that crab and pull it down.

I know this wasn't the point, but I did try to look up whether this is actually true, since in my experience crabs are merely delicious. All I found was this:

[C]rabs pull on stuff when they can't swim. They're trying to move. If there's nothing else around, they'll pull on the other crabs. And there's nothing else in a bucket of crabs.

Back to the crab mentality.

The analogy in human behavior is claimed to be that members of a group will attempt to negate or diminish the importance of any member who achieves success beyond the others, out of envy, spite, conspiracy, or competitive feelings, to halt their progress.

Howes notes that we don't want to feel lonely or excluded or to disappoint or upset other people.

It's worth noting here that for survival, humans as a species had to conform to our communities or we'd be ostracized and not receive the benefits of collective living, like sharing in food gathering, child-raising, etc.

While that's still true in many communities, if you're in a position to listen to podcasts or read blogs, you're most likely not stuck in such a community. It might be difficult physically or emotionally, but you can change which communities you're a part of.

If you're missing out on what's possible in your life, Howes does offer some tips for dealing with people who try to hold you down while never climbing to achieve anything in their own lives:

  • Have a conversation with the person hold you back. Request that person's support for your endeavors.
  • If you can't garner that person's support, don't get caught in the trap of being dragged down by others. Set boundaries. Know when you have to get up from the table and not be part of the conversation.
  • If necessary, significantly cut back on the time you spend with people who hold you back. Instead, go find people who life you up

You can love and support negative people from a distance, he says, but don't spend time around them allowing their negative attitude seep into your world.

Remember, there's room for everyone to be great.

Josh: The Podcast, Episode 53: Thanks for a year; plus baseball, health care and the flu; Passover and the Luv Guv

Thanks for sticking with me for a year. I hope we're getting more and more awesome. We bounce around a bunch this episode, but I think there's a lot of good stuff in it.

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Links:
Episode 13: Declaring Independence
Episode 22: Chris Malone
Episode 35: Maximiliano Campos
Episode 39: Ethics, facts, nuance and where we need to get
What is Passover?
The Red Sox are being decimated by the flu
The Red Sox and the flu: Health care and the bottom of the pyramid
Savannah National Wildlife Refuge
Sean Spicer on Hitler and Assad
"Luv Guv" Robert Bentley resigns
J. Geils dies

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The Red Sox and the flu: Health care and the bottom of the pyramid

Sometime in the not-too-distant future, I'll have a post about Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler's book Abundance. Until then, I just want to borrow their concept of the bottom of the pyramid — the four billion or so people who are the world's poorest but could mean big bucks for someone willing to go in with cheap products.

One of the things that happens is, if you can get this group of people clothes and food and water and electricity and cell phones, they can solve more of the world's problems. If you're worried about clean water and where your next meal's coming from, you could be the world's top engineer and you can't help anybody because you have to feed yourself first.

It's the same reason they tell you on airplanes to put your oxygen mask on first before you help anyone else with theirs: If you can't breathe, you're not of much use in making good decisions for someone else.

OK, so there's the bottom of the pyramid. Let's look near the top of the pyramid: professional athletes in the U.S.

The Boston Red Sox are off to a slow offensive start to the baseball season. A lot of that is due to the fact that the starting lineup has been decimated by the flu.

These are pro athletes, so they're generally in really good shape. They're also by and large wealthy — minimum salary for someone on a Major League roster all year is over a half-million dollars (approach that number without judgment — just recognize it as a statistic in relation to other incomes in the US).

While healthy people do tend to get rid of the flu more quickly than unhealthy people, the flu doesn't give a crap about your bank account.

Doctors and insurance companies, however, might.

Whether you're making $535,000 or $10,000,000 as a member of the Red Sox, if you feel like garbage and miss several days' work, at least your family is going to be well-cared for and it's hardly a matter of life or death.

If you're closer to the bottom of the pyramid, as far as US workers are concerned, several days with the flu might mean you miss several days' pay and perhaps you get fired. Maybe your job doesn't offer health insurance. Maybe your family isn't going to get to eat, or turn on the heat or lights this week, whatever you choose to forgo.

The thing about the flu: It spreads. If you have the flu, you risk your family getting the flu. If you go into work, you risk spreading it to their coworkers, and they to their families. If you work a bottom-of-the-pyramid type of job, say, at a department store, you might get a few dozen people sick. If you work in a restaurant or grocery store, there's a good chance you'll get some customers sick.

But if you work those bottom-of-the-pyramid jobs, it's hard to not go to work. You risk a lot.

Still inside the first few months of a new presidential administration, a lot of people are looking for a change in our health care system. Leadership royally botched its first attempt.

My congressman replied to my letter to him (see the post linked in the preceding paragraph), pointing out the Congressional Budget Office said the American Health Care Act would have saved the federal government money.

Yes, I responded, but they also said it would leave 24 million (more) people uninsured. Some people call that "patient choice." It's really not a "choice" if you have to decide between spending three-quarters of your paycheck on insurance and having a home and food and such.

So what do we do for those folks who, once the Affordable Care Act is replaced, won't be able to afford health insurance and won't be able to afford to miss work?

I don't know the answer. We have lots of smart people who could be working on it, but I'm not convinced any of them are.

In the words of President Donald Trump, "sad."

Josh: The Podcast, Episode 52: Talkin’ baseball

We talk sports. Mostly baseball. Because baseball.

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Links:
T-Mobile
MLB.tv
Vin Scully retired
NCAA season over
Celtics in the playoffs
Bruins in the playoffs
Len Bias
Bill Buckner
1985 Bears
Reminder Publications

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Civility in disagreement

If you're not subscribed to the JKWD Podcast, I suggest you try our most recent episode. In fact, here it is:

Kelvin and I have been doing our podcast for about 10 months or os — JKWD stands for "Josh and Kelvin World Domination" — and normally we have a fairly standard routine.

We'll get on a call about 10:30 a.m. on a Friday, talk about our week and whatever else for an hour and a half, then figure out what we're going to do for a podcast, go refill our coffees, and then record the podcast.

This time, we had to reschedule, and neither of us was really at full speed when we started speaking. We got into our routine as we always do, and 45 minutes or so into our typical ongoing babble, we both realized without saying anything that we were actually recording the podcast.

I am of the opinion, generally, that unscripted podcasts are best, but since we often tackle a specific subject, we tend to at least outline and have a pre-discussion.

We got into stuff that we had planned on doing in the future — most prominently The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, with shoutouts to The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson and The Antidote by Oliver Burkeman — and during that discussion, we disagreed a fair bit.

Kelvin and I are very different people. We often mention that we're of different generations, of different races and faiths, with different upbringings.

We're into very different things, and we have very different approaches to almost everything.

A little bit ago, Kelvin said we should read The Power of Now and discuss it on the podcast. So, I read it. Much of it wasn't meant for me. No harm, no foul. But that doesn't mean I had to like it.

We hadn't planned to discuss the book yet, but I had been reading The Antidote, which is subtitled Happiness for people who can't stand positive thinking. Burkeman interviewed Tolle for a chapter, and it gave me some new insight, so I wanted to talk about it.

Kelvin and I often mention that the discussions we have before we record the podcast would be fun to eavesdrop on, and we recognized that this was so far the most glowing example of that.

It's unscripted, entirely raw (even Kelvin cusses a bit, and we had to bleep out names that we said because we weren't planning on it being a podcast), and more importantly, we have an active disagreement.

Not an argument, mind you, but a disagreement. We were civil to each other throughout, and we simply moved on to another topic when we were done with that subject.

I think there are a lot of people in political power who could learn a thing or two from it.