The Tim Ferriss Show, Episode 7: Stephen Dubner, Co-Author of Freakonomics

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Stephen J. Dubner (@Freakonomics) is an award-winning author, journalist, and radio and TV personality.

He is best-known for writing, along with the economist Steven D. Levitt, Freakonomics (2005), SuperFreakonomics (2009), and Think Like a Freak (2014), which have sold more than 5 million copies in 35 languages.

In this podcast, we discuss dozens of topics, including: his writing process, religion, parenting, favorite documentaries, and much, much more.

I recommend checking out his new book, Think Like a Freak. If you liked the assumption-busting, myth-testing stories of Freakonomics or any of my books, you’ll enjoy it.

Click here to subscribe/listen to the show on iTunes.
Click here to subscribe to the show via RSS (non-iTunes feed).

If you have a second, please leave me an honest rating and review on iTunes by clicking here. It will help the show tremendously, including my ability to bring on more incredible guests. Thanks!

Please let Stephen (@Freakonomics) know what you enjoyed most.

Show notes are below, courtesy of reader Kasperi — thanks for posting in the comments!

Selected Show Notes and Links

Questions:

-How do you collaborate with your co-author getting the material together for a narrative?
-How do you make a good story? How does Stephen start brainstorming a story?
-How Stephen ended up choosing his own religion
-From the book, which two principles would Stephen most like to teach to his children?
-Discussion about Stephen’s children & Tim’s thoughts about family and kids
-As a mentor, how would Stephen improve his student’s thinking?
-Stephen talks about how it’s sometimes easier to learn from bad examples than great examples
-The surprising origin of the word ‘sophisticated’
-How to overcome “mental masturbation”– wasting mental energy on meaningless nonsense
-In the book, which were the principles that didn’t make it in, but could have made it in alternate universe?

Rapid fire questions:

-What are Stephen’s favorite movies/documentaries?
-What does the first hour of Stephen’s day look like?
-Does the clothing you wear affect your mood or attitude?
-What are Stephen’s favorite sources of reading material?
-If Stephen could provide his younger self one or two pieces of advice, what would those be?

Movies mentioned in episode:

Seven Up!
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058578/

Websites mentioned:

New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/

Wall Street Journal
http://online.wsj.com/

Marginal Revolution
http://marginalrevolution.com/

Freakonomics (Find Stephen here)
http://freakonomics.com/

Books mentioned:

Think Like A Freak

Levels of The Game

Companies/organizations mentioned:

Uber
http://www.uber.com

Quantified Self
http://quantifiedself.com/

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Why Not Hug Strangers? – A Video Experiment

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What happens when you hug strangers?

Andrew Hales of LAHWF wanted me to find out.

The above video took place in Dolores Park in San Francisco last Thursday, around 5:30pm. All people hugged are complete strangers.

Andrew challenged me to make the awkward even more awkward:

  • Could I score a hug by simply standing like a zombie with my arms out? (He’s good at this)
  • Could I go for the “long hold” and hug someone for 5 seconds, 10 seconds, or more?
  • Could I hug without saying anything? (Not my strong suit, it turns out)

To make things more interesting, Andrew accidentally–or purposefully?–started the filming at the famously gay southwest corner of Dolores.

Oh, boy…

###

In other news, if you’re looking for a short essay to jumpstart your week, this might be what the doctor ordered: “6 Formulas for More Output and Less Overwhelm.”

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The Tim Ferriss Podcast, Episode 5: Filmmaker Jason Silva

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silva bw

My guest this episode is the incredible Jason Silva.

Download it here.

Jason has been called the “Timothy Leary of the viral video age” by The Atlantic.

He is also host of Brain Games on National Geographic Channel. The show set a record as the highest-rated series launch in Nat Geo’s history, with an average of 1.5 million viewers for the first two episodes.

In this episode, we discuss his career, his skills, TV, his influences and tools, and much more.

QUICK FAVOR – If you haven’t already, can you pretty please:

1) Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, even if you listen to it elsewhere?  This is critical for ranking and recruiting future guests.

2) Leave a review of the podcast on iTunes here? Even one sentence would be extremely helpful.

Hope you enjoy the episode!

Would you like to sponsor the podcast (more than $5K per episode, less than $25K)? Please let me know by filling out this short form.

Below are the show notes, links to resources, and non-iTunes download options… Read More

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The Obstacle Is The Way — The Tim Ferriss Book Club, Book #4

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The_Obstacle_Is_the_Way__The_Timeless_Art_of_Turning_Trials_into_Triumph__Ryan_Holiday__9781591846352__Amazon_com__Books

This post is about the fourth book in the Tim Ferriss Book Club, which is limited to books that have dramatically impacted my life. All previous selections can be found here. Enjoy!

“Would you have a great empire? Rule over yourself.” — PUBLILIUS SYRUS

The last two weeks have been disaster after disaster for me:

  • A dear friend died unexpectedly, only miles from my home. (RIP, Seth Roberts)
  • A seven-figure business deal fell apart at the last minute.
  • Only days ago, Turner Broadcasting let me know that the May 27th digital launch of The Tim Ferriss Experiment has been canceled. Some (not all) of the higher-ups want to try selling it to traditional outlets. (Sidenote: If you bought an iTunes season pass, definitely request a refund)

Over the last 14 days, I have carried one book in my backpack to cope, all day and every day: The Obstacle Is The Way.

It has helped me to turn problems upside-down, become the calm within the storm, and even uncover unique opportunities.

“Philosophy” gets a bad rap.

Most of us know a turtleneck-wearing pseudo-intellectual who’s spent countless hours studying obscure details of Freud or post-structural lesbian feminism.  These same people sometimes purport to be “philosophical.” And for what? More often than not, to posture as a holier-than-thou jerk off. To argue over semantics that don’t matter.

Fortunately, there are a few philosophical systems that produce dramatic real-world results…without the nonsense. In other words, all substance instead of smoke.

The Obstacle Is The Way, penned by Ryan Holiday, is a collection of stories and principles about Stoicism, which I consider to be the ultimate personal “operating system” for entrepreneurs…or anyone who wants high performance under high stress.

Ryan became Director of Marketing at American Apparel at age 21 (!). He gets more heat, makes more high-stakes decisions, and take more risks in a given week than most people experience in any given quarter. He also happens to be a die-hard Stoic and incredible at putting the principles into practice.

If you want to be “anti-fragile” like Thomas Jefferson, Marcus Aurelius, and many of most dominant soldiers and investors in history, Stoicism offers the playbook.  If you want to make better decisions, if you want to smile when other people cower, it offers real tools.

To quote Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel, “Bad companies are destroyed by crisis. Good companies survive them. Great companies are improved by them.”

What if you could be a person who is improved by crisis? That would give you opportunities no one else can see, let alone grasp.

It will also make you a happier human being.

Check out The Obstacle Is The Way today:

I’m not the only one who loves it. Here are just a few of many:

“Follow these precepts and you will revolutionize your life. Read this book!”
—Steven Pressfield, author of The War of Art and Gates of Fire

“A book for the bedside of every future–and current–leader in the world.”
—Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power and Mastery

“Ryan Holiday has written a brilliant and engaging book, well beyond his years…It is invaluable.”
—Honorable Frederic Block, Judge, U.S. District Court

Seriously, check out the book.

If you’d like to hear more of Ryan’s ideas, you might enjoy the podcast interview I recorded with him recently, which has gone nuts on social media:

Question of the day: What philosophies, guiding tenets, or quotes have you found most helpful in your own life? Please share in the comments!

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The Tim Ferriss Podcast, Episode 4: Ryan Holiday

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“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” — Marcus Aurelius

This post includes:
– Sponsor intro (please visit them)
– Episode description
– Quick favor
– Show notes and tons of useful links, including mentioned books and documentaries

This episode of The Tim Ferriss Show is sponsored by HipDial, which I’ve been a fan of for ages.

I use HipDial for conference calls: no stupid PIN numbers, no hitting #, and you get a text when people join, so you don’t have to wait. It’s rocks–try it for a free month, and you’ll never go back.

Now, on to the main event…

My guest is Ryan Holiday, who became Director of Marketing at American Apparel at age 21 (!). He’s a beast.

Since dropping out of college at 19 to apprentice under strategist Robert Greene (author of The 48 Laws of Power), Ryan has advised many New York Times bestselling authors and mega-multi-platinum musicians. He is a master of the media, and he knows how to build massive buzz while responding to unexpected crises. He can compete or counterpunch with the best.

I hired Ryan to help with the launches of The 4-Hour Body and The 4-Hour Chef. His unorthodox approaches always impress me.

I loved his new book (The Obstacle Is The Way) so much that I bought the audiobook format and produced it with him. It is the newest addition to The Tim Ferriss Book Club.

In this episode, we discuss dozens of topics, including the real-world strategies he uses to thrive (not just survive) when the world is exploding around him.

And…want to win some cool stuff today? Tweet out your favorite quote or line from this episode, using the following format, and I’ll pick a few of my favorites for prizes:

“[Insert quote]” More: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-tim-ferriss-show/id863897795?mt=2 #TFS”

To encourage other people to retweet, try and keep your entire tweet to 125 characters or fewer. The iTunes link above will be automatically shortened.

Deadline is 8:30pm PST.

QUICK FAVOR — If you haven’t already, can you pretty please:

1) Leave a review of the podcast on iTunes here?
2) Vote as “helpful” the reviews you most agree with? Here’s the link. The vast majority are 5 stars (290 out of 333), but there’s some wild Haterade, too, if that’s your thing.

Show Notes for Episodes 4 (Thanks, Ian!)

  • The surprising story of how Ryan was introduced to stoicism by Dr. Drew
  • What makes a “quake book”?
  • How Marcus Aurelius helped Ryan survive a tough breakup
  • About esoteric philosophical ideas that are excellent tools in the modern world
  • Deconstructing the “Big 3″ stoics – Seneca | Epictetus | Aurelius
  • Is stoicism compatible with material or financial success, or are they completely at odds with one another?
  • Tim’s strategy for developing connections in Silicon Valley
  • Cultivating advantageous mentorships with peak performers
  • The story of Benjamin Franklin’s lending library…

Read More

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The Random Show, Episode 24: Porn Attacks, Eating Insect Protein, Tech Finds, and More

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There are dozens of topics covered in this tea-infused, bromantic episode of scatterbrained nonsense.

Like what? Well: porn (including select picks), taking an “alcohol vacation,” fixing low testosterone, the wonders of insect protein, start-up talk, and much more. O-tanoshimi dane!

Please note: The 100 free spots for Exo protein bars filled up in less than 15 minutes! Hope to do more giveaways next month, but — in the meantime — you can get Exo here, while inventory lasts. My favorite flavor right now is cacao nut.

This edition of The Random Show was recorded and edited by Graham Hancock(@grahamhancock). For all previous episodes, including the epic China Scam episode,click here.

Enjoy!

Show notes are below, courtesy of kind reader Wayne Patton (Thanks, Wayne!):

1. Unicorn Peppermill at 1:10 – good for all kinds of herbs/spices, not just pepper. Tim’s favorite (and perhaps Amazon’s favorite) peppermill.
2. Benefits of turmeric tea and longevity beginning at 2:11
3. Diet of the world’s “oldest” city per capita at 5:00
4. Kevin on why you shouldn’t push down elderly folks at 6:25
5. The 30-day challenge beginning at 9:30
7. Low testosterone conversation at 13:25 & 16:20
8. Tim’s favorite porn at 16:05
9. The bet between Kevin and Tim at 19:08

*Commercial: Donate to http://www.donorschoose.org

10. Crypto currencies like Dogecoin and micro-transactions at 21:00 (side note: Tim only invests if he has an “informational advantage”)
11. At 26:30 Kevin begins talking about http://www.ethereum.org and how it could have a decentralizing effect on the internet and cryptographic currencies
12. Protein from crickets at 31:00 – http://www.exo.co
13. First 100 people get a free cricket bar at 38:45 [NOTE:  These slots filled up within 15 min of this post going live]
14. What Kevin’s excited about (hint: recycling furniture) at 40:18 –http://www.moveloot.com
15. At 43:15 Kevin talks about http://www.misfitwearables.com and how much he likes the product
16. On meditation and the effects at 44:39
17. Dopamine vs. serotonin and building habits at 47:20 – stay tuned at http://www.summertomato.com
18. The effects of heat on the body (and magnesium oxide) at 48:45
19. Magnesium deficiency and the effects at 51:00
20. Tim’s podcast at 54:00 – Don’t podcast drunk and edit sober.
21. Tim on taking illustration classes at Filoli Gardens in Woodside, CA (http://www.filoli.org) at 57:15
22. Slaine The Horned God graphic novel by Pat Mills & Simon Bisley at 58:15
23. Subscribe for Tim’s quarterly subscription package –http://quarterly.co/tim – and why it’s so much fun for Tim
24. Kevin’s dream about a Bonsai style orange tree at 1:01:20
25. Titanium sunglasses at 1:02:03 – http://www.williampainter.com

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The Tim Ferriss Podcast, Episode 3: Kelly Starrett and Dr. Justin Mager

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Kelly Starrett pic

It’s my first podcast threesome! [blush]

THE TIM FERRISS SHOW, EPISODE 3:

This episode features two incredible guests: Dr. Justin Mager and Kelly Starrett. We all drink wine and get crazy.

Dr. Mager is my personal doctor and has helped me with dozens of my crazy experiments, complete with blood testing and next-generation tracking. He’s brilliant (and hilarious).

Kelly Starrett is one of the top Crossfit coaches in the world, and one of my favorite PTs and performance trainers. His clients include Olympic gold medalists, Tour de France cyclists, world and national record holders in Olympic lifting and powerlifting, Crossfit Games medalists, ballet dancers, and elite military personnel. If you’re interested in taking your body or brain to the next level, or attempting to become the guy from Limitless, this episode is for you.

Enjoy!

And…want to win some cool stuff today? Tweet out your favorite quote or line from this episode, using the following format, and I’ll pick a few of my favorites for prizes:

“[Insert quote]” More: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-tim-ferriss-show/id863897795?mt=2 #TFS”

To encourage other people to retweet you, try and ensure your entire Tweet is 120 characters or less. The iTunes link above will be automatically shortened.

If you haven’t already, please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! My iTunes rank — largely determined by subscriber count — is critical for recruiting future guests. Other options for download are the end of this post, but iTunes (here) really helps me out, even if just for the first few episodes. Help me make this podcast as strong as possible, and click subscribe here!

If you’d like a teaser of Episode 3, some of the subjects we cover are below. Learn more about Kelly at MobilityWOD and through his Twitter account:

  • Defining a “performance whore”
  • The potent combination that is Justin Mager
  • What makes people “well” and what makes people thrive
  • Mixing passions for endocrinology and eastern philosophy
  • How chakras described in Ayurvedic medicine correspond to nerve plexuses and endocrine glands
  • How Justin Mager changes lives by exploring the body as a whole
  • Experimenting on the fringes of physiology and what limits can be pushed
  • Working with high-end athletes and military to exceed supposed “optimal” performance
  • Blood testing is a snapshot, not a overall description of health — how do you improve it? What do you measure?
  • Delving into the effects of travel on circadian rhythms, and how to correct problems
  • Exploring the Quantified Self (QS) movement and Kevin Kelly
  • Testing quality of sleep
  • Why science isn’t the cause-and-effect master of the universe, or shouldn’t be viewed as such
  • Pattern recognition and “chunking” for improved talent acquisition
  • The diverse role of genetics; what can be changed and what cannot
  • The health and performance implications of testosterone, boners, sleep, and more
  • Mattress selection from the mobility expert (Kelly)
  • Hacking the nervous system for rejuvenating sleep, utilizing body temperature as a tool
  • Rebooting the parasympathetic nervous system
  • “Supple Leopard” morning rituals
  • Kelly’s test of functional mobility
  • How pain tolerance, mobility, and movement come together
  • Common qualities of top physicians, coaches, and bio-hackers, and how you can emulate them… Read More
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