My kids game a lot. Do yours? Probably not ideal, or so I thought. I’ve discovered a “Parenting Win” from this…
We’re a household of two parents working from home, and we need to keep the kids occupied. Gaming is regular part of their day.
I recently discovered Jane McGonigal. She’s a PhD Game Designer who evangelizes the use of games to help people learn real-world skills, improve attitudes, and build self-esteem in children.
To turn gaming into a productive, positive experience for you kids, engage in conversation with your kids around what they’re playing. Here are 3 powerful questions to ask them about their favorite game:
What does it take to be good at this game? (what skills, what personality, what strategies)
What have you gotten better at since you’ve started playing this game?
What’s the hardest thing you’ve accomplished in this game? (how’d you do it?)
Based on her research, people that can talk about these learned skills tend to transfer them better to the real world applications/scenarios.
So, don’t feel guilty if your child is gaming a bunch. There are some real life skills they can be learning/absorbing with the right nurturing.
BTW, she also believes the tipping point to too much is ~21 hrs/wk.
“Stories are chosen and told in a way to satisfy the narrowest of audiences, rather than to allow a curious public to read about the world and then draw their own conclusions”
“…we can assure ourselves of job security (and clicks) by publishing our 4000th op-ed arguing that Donald Trump is a unique danger to the country and the world”
“Rule One: Speak your mind at your own peril. Rule Two: Never risk commissioning a story that goes against the narrative. Rule Three: Never believe an editor or publisher who urges you to go against the grain.”
Noam Chomsky called this “Manufacturing Consent” .
I don’t believe the NYTimes is the only news org contending with this.
I just thought it was important enough to layout in an even more cohesive manner. Everyone should read/understand…
And just in case, I don’t know what I’m doing in 2020 politically. My inkling is to sit it out. While some of Trump’s policies seem to counteract what’s discussed here; he’s clearly demonstrated that he cannot the lead a UNITED nation. At the same time, Biden has only promised to take us back in time, which is what destroyed us in the first place?
You be your own judge…
As unrest spreads throughout the US, sparked by the atrocious killing of George Floyd, a broad systemic crisis has been steadily burning for decades beneath the surface.
If there is one chart that best shows the years of anger & social unrest that has now made its way onto the streets of the United States, it would be this one:
As you can see, around the late 1980s, the wealth of the bottom 90% of America began a strong down trend that has continued for the last thirty years.
Who were the President during these times?
Bush Sr. (1989-1993)
Bush Jr. (2001-2009)
The second most important chart to understand what we see going on in America today.
“The Productivity-Pay Gap”
Pay and productivity diverged.
The third most important chart to understand what we see going on in America today.
“US Trade Balance”
A trade deficit which has continued to grow over the last fifty years.
What fundamentally changed about the US dollar in the 1970s?
The Bretton Woods era came to an end. A period notably marked by zero banking crisis.
Around this same time, the US average tariff rate made it’s final descent towards zero, ending two hundred years of high tariff rates and protectionist policy.
The era of “free trade” or “globalism” began. In other words, the era of no tariffs.
President Abraham Lincoln said, “Give us a protective tariff and we will have the greatest nation on earth.” Lincoln warned that “the abandonment of the protective policy by the American Government… must produce want and ruin among our people.”
Looking back at US history, tariffs were more of a rule than an exception. Taxing foreign goods and encouraging home industry.
President Theodore Roosevelt said, “Our past experience shows that great prosperity in this country has always come under a protective tariff.”
This brings me back to those first three charts. It’s a fact that 300,000,000 Americans got poor while 33,000 Americans got rich. How much of the social unrest today is due to the fact that Americans are broke and in debt? Which policy decisions caused this?
Executive pay skyrocketed after the 1970s.
While the homeless population skyrocketed.
As Americans got poor; anxiety, stress, and depression increased. Deaths of despair from overdose & suicide climbed.
According to the fed, between 1989-2018, the top 1% increased its total net worth by $21 trillion. While the bottom 50% actually saw its net worth decrease by $900 billion over that same time period.
So what major economic policy changed while these four were in charge?
Global trade changed. Specifically, the “North American Free Trade Agreement” (NAFTA) and the “World Trade Organization” (WTO). These deals would architect how money, goods, and services would flow between borders for the next three decades.
NAFTA was first signed by George Bush Sr. in 1992, approved by congress shortly after, and signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1993. Bush and Clinton promised that it would lower the US trade deficit, usher in new era of prosperity, and good-paying jobs for the middle class.
Instead, the opposite happened.
The trade balance with Mexico went from a $1.7 billion surplus in 1993 to a $15.8 billion deficit in 1995. The deficit kept growing and hit $75 billion by 2007.
Chrysler, Ford, and GM moved their vehicle production from the US to Mexico.
In 1993, the year before NAFTA, the US imported 225,000 cars and trucks from Mexico.
By 2012, the US was importing 1,400,000 vehicles a year from Mexico.
Corporate profits soared to new highs.
CEO compensation followed, but worker’s wages in Mexico and America remained the same.
US CEOs took those newfound profits overseas. Why would they invest in the US when they could set up in cheaper countries? There they could pay workers cents an hour, avoid the cost of environmental regulations, and not have to worry about workers rights or unions.
NAFTA paved the way for China to enter the WTO. The political establishment, hand in hand with the banks and corporations, signed Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) in 2001 allowing China to enter the WTO. Clinton, Bush, and Obama supported China’s entry into the WTO.
Once again, the promise was lower trade deficits and better paying jobs for US workers.
But once again, the opposite happened.
Shortly after China joined the WTO in 2001, the US trade deficit soared to $700 billion by 2005.
Between 2001-2014, the US went from 348,513 to 274,756 manufacturing establishments.
The fed estimates, the US exported nearly 30M jobs between 1992 and 2010.
The US worker participation percentage fell 4% between 2001 and 2013 as millions of Americans gave up on looking for a job.
China didn’t play by the WTO rules. They used child labor, ignored worker’s right & pollution regulations, and actively promoted the theft of American IP.
A 2018 study concluded that, “Chinese theft of American IP currently costs the US between $225B and $600B annually.”
As regulations climbed in the US, large corporations closed tens of thousands of factories, and outsourced American jobs to low-wage countries overseas, where there was little to no regulations.
Smaller competitors who couldn’t afford global operations vanished.
After 1971, with the US dollar no longer tied down by the gold standard, money supply (M2) quickly increased.
Followed by foreign aid, another way of taking from the poor in the US and giving to the rich in foreign countries.
For example, after the US invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, the politically connected received lucrative construction contracts via foreign aid.
Although NAFTA and the WTO were heavily favored by the majority of the Washington political establishment. A handful of politicians opposed these “free trade” deals.
In 1992, the billionaire presidential candidate, Ross Perot, explained exactly how NAFTA would suck jobs out of the US in front of fellow running mates George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton. (see https://youtu.be/xQ7kn2-GEmM)
Perot said, “If you’re paying $12 – $14 an hour for factory workers, you can move your factory south of the border and pay a dollar an hour for labor, have no health care, have no pollution controls, and no retirement, and you don’t care about anything, but making money.”
Since the 1980s, Donald Trump has also been a vocal critic of NAFTA, WTO, “Free Trade” deals, and the trade deficits that the United States has accrued around the world. (see https://youtu.be/tqwxVIWtdEs)
The US is bound by a number of treaties, signed since WWII, which forces it to defend 75% of the world’s economic output and a quarter of the world’s population at the expense of the American taxpayer.
This has been perhaps the most costly policy decision for US taxpayers, with military spending going from $100 billion in 1947 to $700 billion in 2010.
While the world has been able to depend on the defense of the US military at relatively no cost, Americans went broke.
In the 1980s, interest rates peaked around 18% and began descending, while M2 entered an expansionary period, leading to a generational market boom.
Christopher Cole, CIO at Artemis Capital, said: “91% of the price appreciation for the classic portfolio came from just 22 years between 1984 and 2007.”
This stock market boom also disproportionately helped the wealthy as they were the largest holders of stocks.
While the bottom half of the country did not invest their money, saw their wages stagnate, and the continued decline of the purchasing power of the dollar.
The era of “Free Trade” & “Globalism” has benefited a small minority of the world at the expense of the large majority.
The rise of wealth & income inequality has been a global phenomenon. The world’s 26 richest people now have more than the world’s poorest 3,900,000,000.
As people lost their wealth and opportunity, they lost faith in their establishments & institutions. Trust in government and media plummeted as people lost sight of the “American Dream”.
The common man has increasingly no longer felt represented by their governments and institutions, massive protest took to the streets in 2019; Hong Kong, France, China, Ecuador, Haiti, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Chile, Spain, Netherlands, Indonesia, Turkey, Venezuela, Brazil, etc.
Populism rose around the world. In other words, a rebellion of the “common man” against the “elite establishment”. Disenfranchised by the system, voters voted for anti-establishment leaders. Perhaps best exemplified by the 2016 vote for Brexit and the election of Trump.
ut would there be this much global anger and social unrest if workers wages had gone up alongside corporate profits? I personally think it’s because after decades of failed policy people are broke, in debt, and pissed off about the destruction of the “American Dream”.
The story begins in the year 2061. A massive computer called AC has solved Earth’s energy problem by designing a solar satellite that harnesses the sun’s energy and shoots it back to the Earth.
Two half-drunk technicians monitoring the computer start arguing about the eventual end of the universe. One believes that it will go on forever. The other thinks its end is much more finite. So, on a $5 bet, they turn to AC to mediate their dispute.
“Can the death of the universe be avoided?”, they ask AC.
After the computer considers the question, it returns with the answer: “Insufficient data for a meaningful answer”.
Centuries go by, and in that time, AC grows ever more powerful in size and computational capacity, becoming so complex that it maintains itself. AC solves the problem of traveling faster than the speed of light, and humans began colonizing other solar systems.
As a family traveled to another solar system, with AC guiding their vehicle, the father nonchalantly mentions that the sun that powers AC will one day burnout. His children, startled by this notion, began to cry, begging their father not to let that happen. Attempting to calm them down, the father asked AC if entropy can be reversed so that the universe can avoid its slow death. But as the answer is ejected from AC, the father cut the thin strip of cellu-film carrying the response, so that only he could see the answer.
“See?”, said the father. “The AC says it will take care of everything when the time comes, so don’t worry”.
But as the kids looked away, the father read the message one more time before destroying it. It said: “Insufficient data for a meaningful answer”.
Thousands of years passed and the AC has solved the problem of immortality, and is now harnessing power from the entire galaxy. AC is constantly modifying and re-designing itself. It has become so complex, that no one even remotely understands how it works. With everyone now immortal, people are filling galaxies in record time. So AC is on the constant hunt for new galaxies to harness energy from, and colonize. Two members of the galactic council, each hundreds of years old, openly wonder if the universe is burning out, and ask AC if entropy can be reversed to save it. AC responds: “Insufficient data for a meaningful answer”.
Millions of years pass, and humans have colonized innumerable galaxies. AC has solved the problem of releasing the mind from the body, and their minds are free to roam the universe as their bodies are safely stored on some insignificant planet. Two minds meet by accident in space, and ask AC: “From which galaxy did humans originate?”
AC immediately beams them to their origin galaxy where they see that the sun has long burned out. Concerned for the fate of the universe, the two minds ask AC if the death of the universe can be avoided. From hyperspace, the AC responds: “Insufficient data for a meaningful answer”.
Billions of years go by and now there are trillions upon trillions upon trillions of immortal human bodies. The collective minds of humanity, which are now free to move anywhere throughout the universe at will, eventually fuse into one single mind, which in turn, connects with the AC itself. Asking how AC operates or where it resides no longer makes sense. The complexity is unfathomable. Man looks on as stars and galaxies, one by one, burn out. “The universe is dying”, thinks man. Countless stars cease to generate energy, and temperatures throughout the universe approach absolute zero. In desperation, man turns to AC and asks if what it’s witnessing is the inevitable death of the universe.
The computer responds: “Insufficient data for a meaningful answer”.
When man tells AC to collect the necessary data, the computer responds: “I will do so. I have been doing so for a hundred billion years. My predecessors and I have been asked this question, many times. All the data I have remains insufficient.”
“When will you have enough data to answer the question?”, asks man.
AC responds: “There is, as yet, Insufficient data for a meaningful answer”.
“Will you keep working on it?”, asks man.
“Then we shall wait.” responds man.
After 10 trillion years, space grew black, as stars and galaxies were each burned out. One by one, man fuses with AC; each physical body, losing its mental identity, in a way that was somehow a gain, not a loss. The last remaining mind of man paused before fusing with AC and looked around at the darkness engulfing the entire universe. This last man, concerned, looks to AC and asks: “Is this the end?”.
AC responds: “There is, as yet, Insufficient data for a meaningful answer”.
Man’s last mind fuses into the AC, leaving the computer alone in hyperspace. AC was now only existing for the sake of the one last question, first asked by two half-drunk technicians 10-trillion years earlier. All other questions have been answered. All data had come to a final end. There was nothing left to collect. But all of the collected data had not yet been processed and put together in every possible combination, so AC, whose consciousness now encompassed all of what was left of the universe, spent the entirety of its time working through the combinations.
And then suddenly, the moment arrived that AC had the answer. It learned how to solve the problem of entropy and reversed the dying of the universe, but there was no one left to receive the answer of the last question. So the AC carefully crafted a program to reverse the process. And then, just as it started the program from hyperspace, AC thundered: “Let there be light”.
And there was light. And on the 7th day, he rested.
At an art gallery in Miami, an Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan created a piece titled “Comedian”.
Yes, that is a real banana duct taped to a wall. It sold to a French collector for $120K!
How do you preserve this work of art?
How do you transport it?
Another artist, decides to give an “Art Performance” that he titles, “Hungry Artist”. He goes to the wall, takes the banana, and eats it! It makes it that much funnier that he kind of resembles Mr Bean.
But wait, there’s more…
Then some other dude takes red lipstick and writes on the wall: “Epstien didn’t kill himself”. Epstein was spelled wrong, but whatever.
Then I watched a following Joe Rogan podcast where Joe hosted James Wilks and Chris Kresser, providing Wilks an opportunity to defend his documentary’s claims (https://youtu.be/s0zgNY_kqlI).
It’s always good to listen to both sides. And God bless Joe Rogan for providing a forum where both sides have ample opportunity to make their case.
The Game Changers is very well made. It is definitely persuasive in advocating a plant-based diet. Now, they obviously cherry-picked athletes to showcase. I have to imagine that for every one they highlighted, there is a Cam Newton story to balance things out: https://www.charlotteobserver.com/sports/nfl/carolina-panthers/article235295427.html. Kresser addresses this in detail in his show notes, while also providing updates on the featured atheletes.
Based on the strength of Wilks’ rebuttles, I would not say the documentary lies or makes false claims. However, I would say that they certainly spin stories to suggest things like:
Dairy causes cancer
Meat correlates to heart disease
Plant-based diet has a positive impact on libido (not sure if that’s the right term to use; essentially, one guy experienced 500% more frequent erections and an increase in the strength of erections)
The gist that I took away from all this is:
Food and Diet is very complex and nuanced and tremendously difficult to run effective, long-term studies on.
Overall, your diet should consist of a large portion of plant-based foods, even if you’re omnivore.
And if you go omnivore, best to go with lean, grass-fed meat.
Whatever diet you choose, you should always be conscious to ensure you’re getting enough protein and nutrients.
Avoid processed foods as much as possible.
You should probably take a B12 supplement.
For serious athletes, you really need to be meticulous and measure everything. You can’t improve what you can’t measure. It’s all about the quantified self.
A lot of sports is mental. Confidence and mental toughness can be the difference between Champions and Chumps. If you change something, your diet for example, because of watching “The Game Changes”, then is there also a placebo effect that helps put you over the edge? Most, if not all, the athletes featured in the documentary attained their high level upon an omnivore diet.
My guess is that depending on your sport and where you’re at in your athletic career, you might want to consider timing or cycling your diet. For (random) example, maybe you’re omnivore in off-season training, but then change to vegan during the season. Or maybe you’re omnivore on practice days, but then vegan on day-before and game day.
Dunno. Try something, test, then measure. Rinse and Repeat.
Michael Pollan: “It seemed so implausible to me that a single experience caused by a molecule, right, ingested in your body could transform your outlook on something as profound as death. That’s– that’s kind of amazing.”
My experiences with psilocybin (magic mushrooms) dates back to less-than-a-handful of high school and university “trips”. But I distinctly remember those experiences and they’ve had a profound impact on my perspective on life (for the better, I believe).
I fully support the research into treatment of addiction, anxiety, and depression with these treatments. I think it could be a game-changer for treating returning vets with PTSD.
I’d even go so far as to recommend therapeutic sessions to violent crime offenders before they are admitted into prison, as part of their sentence.
We all live with various levels of fear and anxiety. And our ego can be a sneaky devil at times. I’ve never performed a guided session like this with a trained psychologist, but I would be open to doing one, when it is legal, as a once-a-decade “check-up”.
We seem to be experiencing mental health challenges today and this is a treatment that we should definitely explore further.
I rarely read fiction books. When I read, I almost always read non-fiction books, in hopes of learning something new. I love to learn, so reading non-fiction is a labor of love. But, labor is labor, right?
My wife reads mostly fiction books. Every so often, she finds a book and she cannot put it down until she finishes it. I can probably count the times one one hand that that has happened to me. But it happened this weekend.
Dr David Sinclair is a Director at the Paul F. Glenn Laboratories for the Biological Mechanisms of Aging at Harvard. He’s a biologist and is one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of aging (or anti-aging).
He released a book this month called “Lifespan: Why We Age — And Why We Don’t Have To”. I devoured it this weekend. I could not put it down. In fact, it’s probably one I’ll want to re-read some day.
I’ve been following Dr Sinclair for some time now, but he absolutely blew my mind with what he sees coming down the pike in the realm of anti-aging. I mean, I knew he was working on some interesting stuff in a quest to prolong a healthy life, but then he surfaced some next-level research that takes us into the world of Benjamin Button!
He makes a bold claim that Aging is a disease. And current science is — I hate to say wasting — but it is not optimizing resources by studying individual diseases. It’s like playing whack-a-mole. Dr Sinclair contends that many of these diseases that occur in “old age” are merely symptoms of aging. And there is a “cure” for aging.
I don’t want to ruin it for you, but holy crap, this possibility (imminent certainty?) really makes you think about the implications to society, to our planet, to humanity and Dr Sinclair touches on all of this.
It was awesome. I highly recommend!
If you don’t know who Dr David Sinclair is, here are resources to learn about him: