Essays Never Normal Newsletter

Let’s Meme the World a Better Place

The world has changed, and we have a choice to make:

Should we focus on the bits or the atoms?

I’ll do my best to explain what that means and how it ties together my nomadic lifestyle, the metaverse, crypto, cows, and a radical plan to buy the constitution.

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The most ridiculously dialed in man alive?

Last week I wrote about Antiwork, the YOLO Economy, Time Millionaires and shared my interview with Paul Millerd.

Ditching the Default Plan

The common thread is that people are asking: Why should we devote the majority of our time, during the best decades of our lives to work that:
a) we don’t find meaningful
b) undervalues our capabilities and creativity
c) no longer provides certainty for the future, and
d) interferes with our ability to enjoy life outside work

You’ve heard all of this from me before, but I’m not “antiwork” at all.

Ideally, we can all find ways of working that allow us to “give our gifts” and maximize our contributions to the world, bring us joy and meaning, and don’t detract from our ability to enjoy life outside of work.

A Ridiculous Fantasy?

If that all sounds too idealistic or unrealistic, then meet Rob Dyrdek.

Up until a couple of weeks ago, I only knew of Rob as a former pro skateboarder and that guy on MTV 24/7.

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Exploring the “Pathless Path”, Time Millionaires, and Antiwork

Last week I wrote about how to solve shortages, sell $3B in a few hours, and have your most productive day ever.

This week I’m excited to share a new episode of my Never Normal podcast with Paul Millerd.

In 2017, Paul decided to leave his successful, predictable corporate consulting career (working for the likes of BCG and McKinsey) behind to embark on what he calls “The Pathless Path.”

Never Normal Newsletter

How to solve shortages, sell $3B in a few hours, and have your most productive day ever

I’m back to business after a couple of weeks off. 🌴🌞

No essay this week, but I did write a twitter thread on how to have your most productive day ever:

I’ve also started recording new Never Normal podcast episodes (coming soon – stay tuned!)

In the meantime, I’m excited to share a few of the things I’ve been reading, listening to, and learning lately.

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Being “smart” (this hit way too close to home for me)

Last week I wrote about rethinking education to take advantage of technology and teach for mastery.

I saw this tweet a few weeks ago, and it’s been on my mind ever since:

It’s tempting to laugh this off and make a joke about people who are a little too obsessed with winning trivia night at the local pub.

Or to dismiss the insight altogether and say, “of course being smart isn’t important as an adult. Besides, who cares what anyone else thinks about you?”

But if you happen to catch me in a brutally honest and self-reflective mood, then I would say, this cuts deep.

I’m one of those people who was praised often as a kid for being smart. <Takes a hit of dopamine>. Being praised feels good, so we go off looking for more opportunities to prove how smart we are. <Takes another hit of dopamine>. It creates a positive feedback loop.

So what’s the problem?

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Rethinking Education

Last week I shared a few weird theories and a study about seemingly sentient plants.

Thinking through theories and reading scientific studies and journal articles makes me I wish I’d studied more math and science in school.

My grades were okay. I passed all the classes that were required to graduate. And I still remember a decent amount of what I learned.

So why is it that now when I try looking into the more advanced, theoretical topics, I find myself lacking the fundamentals to make sense of it all?

An equation like the one below might as well be ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, as far as my brain can tell:

This TED Talk on Teaching for Mastery by Sal Khan (founder of Khan Academy) explains one of the reasons why:

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Binging on Weird Theories, AI, and Bach

Do you binge on writers and thinkers — discover someone then proceed to devour all of their content?

Recently I’ve been enjoying Chris Williamson’s work. The latest issue of his weekly newsletter, 3 Minute Mondays, is packed with a lifetime’s worth of wisdom.

→ You are not your thoughts.

→ You are the sky, everything else is just the weather.

→ Your weirdness is your competitive advantage. No one can beat you at being you.

I’m also a huge fan of Chris’ podcast, Modern Wisdom.

I just finished listening to episode 379 with Rupert Sheldrake.

Rupert Sheldrake PhD is a biologist and author best known for his hypothesis of Morphic Resonance.

Morphic Resonance is the idea of mysterious telepathy-type connections between organisms and of collective memories within species.

I’d never heard of Dr. Sheldrake or Morphic Resonance before listening to this episode. The basic idea of his theory, as I understand it, is as follows:

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Web 3: Overhyped or overlooked opportunity?

In addition to writing about to breaking free from the “default life plan”, I also like sharing what I’m thinking, learning, and working on…

Last week I sent my latest long-form essay on What’s Worth Owning. It’s an open-ended piece; I left off talking about blockchains and NFTs.

This week there’s been some heated debate on twitter about the value of NFTs, and whether they even constitute “ownership” at all.

I couldn’t resist weighing in myself here, here, and here:

Ultimately, I think most people are over-focused on NFT art projects and missing the bigger picture (and opportunity).

The internet is evolving.

Allow me to explain…

Essays Never Normal Newsletter

What’s worth owning?

My dad has a golden rule, he says: The man with the gold makes the rules.

When I was a little kid, he used to take me for walks along the perimeter of our yard.  We’d walk along all four sides and corners, as if we were inspecting the fence. And occasionally we would pause to put a fence post back in place or pick up a piece of trash, but that was never the point.

My dad wanted us to experience, viscerally, what the Montgomery County Land Records Department must’ve had documented in a dusty old book of deeds and plats somewhere — that everything within this boundary was our property and, for reasons I didn’t fully understand as a six-year old, that was important.

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From Belarus to Finding Meaning, Pro Wrestling, and Web3

I’m experimenting with a different format this week and sharing a few of the things I’ve been reading, watching, listening to, and learning.


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Could watching a movie change your life? Here are three…

Follow the White Rabbit

I just learned a few days ago that there’s a fourth movie in the Matrix series, “The Matrix Resurrections” coming soon. I watched the somewhat interactive teaser trailer yesterday, and the official trailer is supposed to drop today.

Are you excited?

The original movie, The Matrix, came out the year I turned 16. It’s hard to overstate how much of an impact that movie had on me, my friends, and other people (especially boys) my age.

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My Biggest Weakness and What I Learned from Pablo Picasso in Barcelona

Have you ever interviewed for a job and been asked “What’s your biggest weakness?”

Most people hate this question, because it puts them on the spot, but knowing your strengths and weaknesses is a super power in life.

Do you know yours? (my answer is below)

There are lots of books you can read and coaches you can hire to help you discover your strengths and weaknesses…

But here’s another approach you can try right now: