The amount of disinformation in communist countries is hard for westerners to understand. It was to the point that my dad would believe exactly the opposite, so thought things like the Vietnam War must have been good.
“I investigated and those comments were autokilled. There are handful of phrases that cause comments containing them to be autokilled, and one is “circlejerk.” I doubt we have lost any insightful contributions to HN by it.”—<3 pg
Serwer: But people love their cars. They have their stuff in their cars, the car seats for their baby, their Frisbees, their golf clubs—it’s their second home. People aren’t going to give that up, are they?
Andreessen: Ask a kid. Take teenagers 20 years ago and ask them would they rather have a car or a computer? And the answer would have been 100% of the time they’d rather have a car, because a car represents freedom, right?
Today, ask kids if they’d rather have a smartphone or a car if they had to pick and 100% would say smartphones. Because smartphones represent freedom. There’s a huge social behavior reorientation that’s already happening. And you can see it through that. And I’m not saying nobody can own cars. If people want to own cars, they can own cars. But there is a new generation coming where freedom is defined by “I can do anything I want, whenever I want. If I want a ride, I get a ride, but I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to make car payments. I don’t have to worry about insurance. I have complete flexibility.” That is freedom too.
Even for me, with each passing year, owning a car seems to be far more of a hassle than it’s worth — quite literally. Yeah, yeah, Silicon Valley bubble talk for now, perhaps. But I think this mentality will spread rather quickly in many areas of the country.
I bet a friend that I could train to do a 1 armed pull-up in 6 months. That totally failed. So now we’re on a double or nothing bet over 6 months ending on March 15th, 2014. This time I’m going to win.
A one-armed pull-up is a super human feat. I don’t know anyone that can do it. My trainer “knows a guy in the navy” that could do it. I started very skeptical, but my progress has made me more confident. If you attempt something super human, you’ll probably end up just getting a lot better.
I’ve lost ~12 lbs in two months, now at ~193 lb. I used to be able to to 9 pull-ups in two sets and now I can do 14. My pull down is now at around 200 lb for a set of 10 (5s up, 5s down). My barbell bicep drag curl is still bad, at 75 lb. Today I did 10 supported one arm pull-ups with 130 lb support, then 5 at 115lb, then 4 at 105 lb support. I think this means my one rep max would need around 90 lb of support today. Once that number hits zero, I win.
Here is the withings view of my weight over the last year. That recent bump is a vacation to Croatia.
Here is another view, showing weekly checkins in blue with a goal path of 1 lb lost weekly in green. I’ve already needed to reset the goal path to make it more aggressive.
The way I’m going to about this project is interesting. The actual tasks are obvious: lose weight by eating better, drinking less, and sleeping better, and gain muscle through regular strength training. Everyone knows this stuff, so the real question is why people don’t do it.
Here is the support structure I’ve set up to make me do the obvious right thing.
I’m doing a slow carb diet, which helps me because there are such clear rules. Absolutes are much easier than trying to do the right thing because it requires so much less mental effort. I think Tim Ferris is right that the best thing about the diet is the compliance rate.
I take weekly measurements of weight and legs, arms, waist, and hips. I know those measurements are coming, which helps me stay on track.
I weigh myself a few times a day actually. This helps drive the obsession which helps compliance, but it also helps me build a really strong coupling of action to consequence. Also, your weigh varies +/- 3 lbs within a single day, which is surprising. You might be losing 1 lb a week, but with infrequent measurement, you might see no progress in a week or two. That stinks! You solve this by knowing more detail about this kind of variance.
I’ve made this bet semi public, and now this post is public. That fear of shame is a surprisingly strong driver.
I’ve put a reminder of my goal where I’ll see it most: on my phone’s home screen. It is a picture of me with the message “Try Harder”. The constant reminder is surprisingly motivating, and for everything, not just this goal. Want to see it? Warning: graphic imagery.
I’m using a personal trainer. I think the exercise on my own matters more. The regular checkins are really helpful again. Plus as I add weight to my exercises, I want to make sure my form is solid to avoid hurting myself. We focus on balance, stability, and flexibility, which is a nice foil to the basic strength that is easy enough to do on my own.
I don’t do cardio! That stuff is so much effort for essentially no benefit towards this goal. For heart and overall health, it’s great. For losing weight, the math just doesn’t work. This change is pretty big because it really helps me focus on the exercise that actually matters. That mentality also helps keep focus on the fact that diet and sleep are 80% of the results for weight loss. I’ll start doing more cardio when I hit my goal.
“Hipster, for example, is having a cultural moment, but it tends to be used linguistically as a straightforward modifier (hipster glasses, hipster jeans), without the playfulness of the bro compounds and blends.”—
When you’re building a new kind of product, your focus should be on driving engagement, not scale. Do people understand your product? Are they actively using it? How often do they come back? Answering these questions is more important than user acquisition at the start because if your product…