Here’s your weekly guide of what I’m reading, watching, paying attention to or just overall enjoying:
^that photo above was taken from the bench in this classic scene filmed in Boston’s Public Garden. Recognize the movie?
Article I’m Reading
The Podcast Bros Want to Optimize Your Life – (NY Times)
This article pretty much hits the nail on the head on what has occupied my time over the last 2 years. I’ve spent the majority of my time consuming the books, podcasts and YouTube videos of Tim Ferriss, Aubrey Marcus, Joe Rogan and the likes of personalities they interview on their shows. These wise men talk about things like evolutionary psychology, optimizing your health, wealth and mind, and generally important discussions around religion, politics, consciousness, etc. Here is another NY Times article that deams many of the podcast guests and hosts as “The Intellectual Dark Web.”
These guys go against the grain of the typical talkshow-type two-minute canned answers that sound fake “Well I’m excited to talk about my new book, Jim! We’ll be right back after this quick commercial break.” Instead, they dive into deep two or three hour conversations and cover uncomfortable topics including medicine, fitness, politics, religion, and why the conventional wisdom we were taught in school or by the generation before us is wrong or misunderstood. They’re challenging the way we’ve consume traditional media and redefining a new way of communicating, educating, and illuminating conversations that we should be having as a country and a world to solve most of life’s issues. They can lean heavily left and liberal, extemely right and conservative, or taper off somewhere in the middle. There’s no bias or shouting over each other. Just great discussion and dialogue based on facts and good judgment that gets you thinking.
…over the past few years the podcasters have become a significant cultural phenomenon, spiritual entrepreneurs who are filling the gap left as traditional religious organizations erode and modernity frays our face-to-face connections with communities and institutions.
If you’re at all confused in life I highly recommend giving at least one of these guys a listen. You’ll learn a ton and be more mentally stimulated in a 2 hour podcast than in the last 2 years. It beats watching Keeping up with the Kardashians or Netflix re-runs of that show you’ve already watched every single episode of.
Book I’m Revisiting
Speaking of Tim Ferriss’ guests, I just picked up Unshakable – Tony Robbin’s abridged sequal to the colossal Money: Master the Game. If you’re like me and get easily confused when it comes to finances, I can’t recommend these books enough. If you’re already highly versed in finance, Unshakable is basically a Sparknotes version of how you should handle your finances. From how to diversify your portfolio within and among asset classes, investing in index funds, and tax efficiencies.
But if you know next to nothing about money, you should absolutely pick up a copy of the giant Money: Master the Game. It’s daunting at 750 pages, but it is well worth the lifelong knowledge of setting yourself up for wealth in the future.
If you’re completely nascent in regards to finance, I also recommend Rich Dad, Poor Dad for beginners, followed by The Millionare Next Door – which should be required reading for every high school senior or college course in the world. It’s unbelievable how little the education system teaches us about personal finance, but these three books should cover almost all of the basics you need to get started.
Topic Worth Exploring
It’s the elephant in the room – CTE, or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, which we can all pronounce with ease… We’ve all heard of it and how prevalent it’s now become when talking about football, boxing, or MMA. Freakin’ Will Smith was in a movie about it, so you know it’s important and culturally relevant.
As I’ve been hearing more and more about it though, one statistic really jumped out at me. In a study of the brains of 111 former NFL players, CTE was present in all but one of them. That’s alarming! Aaron Hernandez, the budding tight end for the New Englad Patriots who was convicted of murder at 23 years old after playing in the Super Bowl and then hanged himself in prison at 27… was found to have the most severe CTE ever found in a person his age.
Junior Seau, a Hall of Fame linebacker who I idolized growing up, shot himself in the heart. He chose not to shoot himself in the head so that his brain could be studied for CTE. His brain indeed showed CTE – chronic brain damage from 20 years of head-to-head collisions in the NFL, likely causing his depression, mood swings, and erratic behaviors later in his life.
I’m one of the biggest football fans out there. I’ve been going to Giants games since I was six years old and cried for joy when they won Super Bowls in 2007 and 2011. But over the last few years, football has gotten tougher to watch. A large reason being the ridiculous amount of flags, TV time-outs, re-plays, debates over catch rules and other meddling confusion (also the Giants slow, decaying, pathetic play over the last four years). But add to that, every big hit or collision I watch on TV or in person, I now immediately think of the impact on that player’s long-term mental health. And it’s no longer as fun as when I used to watch The Biggest Hits in NFL history on YouTube and cheer for players getting absolutely laid out for making the unwise decision of running a crossing route straight into Ray Lewis.
The long term impacts of just one or two concussions are lethal and aren’t something we should just be shaking off. Yes, I love football, and I love big hits just as much as the next guy. I enjoy boxing and MMA too. And those guys and girls should have the right to play those sports. The effects of the impacts on our brain are well documented and common knowledge in 2018 – something we couldn’t say 10 or 20 years ago.
*Sidenote: It’s always funny to me that football thinks re-engineering helmets will curb the concussion issue. To me, the biggest issue is the shoulder pads. When you have that much protection on your body – you have no fear of running full speed and launching your shoulder into someone else running full speed. Enforcing Rugby-style tackling (from the legs and lifting up) and decreasing shoulder pad size are going to be the most effective ways of curbing concussions in football. There are still plenty of concussions in rugby, but FAR less than there are in football. But that’s just my opinion.
Sorry for the morose topic. Let’s end with some good news!
The Morning Brew posted this graphic the other day of companies and technology that have only existed within the last 10 years. Pretty wild.
Quote of the Week
Be stupid, be dumb, be funny, if that’s who you are. Don’t try to be someone that society wants you to be; that’s stupid. So be yourself.
– Christina Grimmie
Have a good weekend y’all