Unlearning the Habits of a Bratty Teen

I’m taking a guitar lesson this week.
In high school, I thought it was “cool” to be self taught.
Who needs all that stupid music theory? Who needs some dork at a guitar store who probably listens to Joe Satriani telling you what to do?
To be fair to my obstinate and opinionated teenage self, I do think that the ability to self-educate is pretty rad.
And I did probably develop my ear pretty well by just sitting there and figuring out Slayer and Megadeth riffs.
But, I’ve wasted a bunch of time by learning a bunch of bad habits – then having to unlearn them.
(Like how I hold my pick. I think part of it is just my extreme hitchhiker’s thumb, but I definitely have had to do some serious practice to at least get my pick in a somewhat reasonable position.)
Also, as a person who has skills and knowledge that people pay for my advice in (fitness and business), I can see how much I can help my clients prioritize what’s actually important and get out of their own way.
With most of my coaching clients, my primary role is to either:
  1. Help them prioritize the actual thing that is super important that they need to work on – instead of whatever mess of half-baked tactics they’re worried about
  2. Teach them mental models so that they can make better decisions and problem solve on their own
I absolutely need someone to do this for me with my guitar playing.
Looking at how I live the rest of my life – especially with things that I’m interested in – I kind of can’t believe I haven’t invested in music lessons.
I did most of my practice and learning in a time period when I had a lamentable attitude toward “learning from experts.”
I also had a pretty unforgiving attitude toward “corniness” – which was basically anything involving jazz fusion or the pentatonic minor scale. This criteria unfortunately eliminated all guitar teachers in the entire world.
But now, I’m ready to bend some blues riffs with anyone who will teach me.

Top Down and Bottom Up Trust

Last weekend, I headed out to New York for a $2000 course that I didn’t really know much about – just that it was going to be a small group of 15 folks working on growing their businesses.
Why would I do such a thing? Especially when I barely knew what the course would entail?
Some of it was probably related to the application process – I had to record a short video answering some questions and was selected from an ostensibly large and competitive pool of applicants.
Ask any good social science researcher about effort justification in initiation rituals – there’s a reason fraternities have elaborate hazing rituals. The difficulty and discomfort inspires participants to create a narrative justifying their effort, which increases their buy-in once they’ve made it through whatever blindfolded, sexually charged initiation process they’ve been subjected to.
Also, Ramit Sethi – the proprietor of the course – has built tons of trust with me over the years through his blog, his email list, his books, and his online courses. We’ve implemented many of his systems and tactics for marketing and copywriting at South Loop Strength & Conditioning and seen great results.
So, it was a no-brainer to swipe my credit card for the course and book tickets out to New York, even though we have construction going on at the gym, and the South Loop Games are coming up in just about a month.
During the weekend, I had a breakout session on “How to stand out in a crowded niche.” Legion Strength & Conditioning – our online coaching company – plays in the saturated and overcrowded competitive CrossFit coaching space.
I’m often extremely frustrated by the nonsense from prestigious coaches in our industry that masquerades as solid training principles. I’d love to do my part to stamp out the misconceptions and myths that pollute our market – but Legion doesn’t have enough trust in the marketplace as a whole to be able to combat the bad ideas that are out there.
That trust that I have in Ramit? To fly to New York and spend thousands on a course that I don’t know much about? We need to figure out how to build that.
And, unfortunately, the dense, nuanced discussion of abstract ideas that I enjoy is not necessarily the best way to build that trust. Once you have trust – great. Go down the rabbit hole, get detailed, and get after it.
Until then, there are probably better strategies for establishing a foothold in the marketplace.
I had a 5-10 minute conversation with Ramit after the course that was worth the trip alone.
Side note: As someone who is often in a position where people are lurking around me and attempting to monopolize my time to ask me lots of questions (often while I’m trying to focus on something else), I’m very sensitive to trying not to do that to other people. So, I was hesitant to approach with my self-interested questions, but I’m happy that I did 🙂
We discussed this trust building process, and here’s my distillation of those lessons:
There are top down and bottoms up ways of building trust.
In the market of competitive CrossFit coaching, the “top down” model is coaching or working with “famous” athletes. This is a somewhat unpredictable process, since it’s not enough to coach athletes who are really good – these folks also need to have struck whatever je ne sais quoi results in them becoming “influencers.”
I liken the process of becoming a “famous” athlete to that of becoming a “famous” pop star. Quality is only loosely coupled with the actual success in the marketplace. Take a listen to Carly Rae Jepsen’s “I Didn’t Just Come Here to Dance” and tell me that isn’t one of the 10 best pop songs of the last decade. But, guess what – it only has 756k views on YouTube and wasn’t even released as a single. And CRJ already had built-in attention from her breakout breakout mainstream success with “Call Me Maybe.” What the hell!
So, anyone playing in the competitive CrossFit space should probably be trying to stumble into whatever serendipity they can that will push them over the tipping point into some sort of influencer status.
However, that’s a relatively unreliable business plan.
Fortunately, there’s another road that is probably more under your control.
This is the “bottom up” method of building trust.
To succeed here, you need to deeply understand your market and the problems that they are struggling with – and provide them very tight, crunchy, low-barrier to entry solutions to those problems.
Then, when they actually test drive the advice that you give, they have a quick win, are surprised at their success, and start to build trust.
In Ramit’s case, he opens his book I Will Teach You to be Rich with word-for-word scripts on getting credit card fees waived in the first chapter. This is a very low barrier to entry, tactical tip that will work almost all of the time.
And, once someone sees a late payment fee waived with 60s of work on a phone call, they start to build trust – and are much more willing to engage in the higher barrier to entry behaviors Ramit recommends like setting up automatic investment into an index fund.
This is tricky in fitness since most things that actually work are nuanced and take weeks – if not months – to produce results.
And, most of the things that people say they want are not what they actually want.
“Yeah, I’d love a meal plan.”
“A six week accessory work program would be awesome.”
“I’d like videos on proper form.”
Bullshit! All of them!
Not that these things aren’t valuable and some people don’t utilize these kinds of resources, but these solutions are way too ambitious for most people.
They love the idea of a accessory work and think it sounds nice, but there’s no way they’re actually printing off the PDF of their accessory program from some company they don’t really know about, taking it to the gym, and following it for six weeks. And, most people are lucky to consistently accomplish their main training goals in a given day. Very unlikely that they’re going to spend additional time in the gym doing accessory work.
So, how do you create a tactic that is low barrier to entry and gives nearly immediate results? And actually solves a problem that people know they have and that is a burning pain for them? I don’t really know but I’ve got some ideas.
(If you think of anything, please email me as well.)

Chris Mills (Harm’s Way)

John Friel

Chris Mills is the drummer for Harm’s Way – and he’s also a clinical social worker for an addiction and mental health residential program.

Many folks who are touring most of the year piece together random part-time jobs or have their hands in a few different pieces of the music industry (management, booking, merchandise, etc.).

Chris, however, is a highly trained professional in an extremely difficult field.

We dig into music nerd stuff about how Harm’s Way writes songs – and how they think about the roll of “heaviness” and “rhythm” in their songs. And Chris also explains why he thinks that many of the models that we use to think about addiction are outdated – and what he prefers instead.

Check out the full conversation to learn:

  • Why Chris got into angsty nu-metal as an adult – and how that influenced his songwriting process
  • Why the most common models for thinking about addiction are outdated – and what methods Chris has found to have more success for patients
  • What is typically the biggest barrier to lasting behavior change – and why it’s much harder to “stay sober” than to “get sober”

Check out the episode at the links below. If you enjoyed the episode, the best way to support the show is to share with your friends, so send them a link.

Listen Here

Check out more from Chris and Harm’s Way here:

Show Notes:

  • [01:08] Getting into nu-metal as an adult – and how that influenced the process of writing music
  • [08:31] Harms Way’s change in sound was more “organic” in that the new riffs that they were writing started to sound different. And, how songs can be “heavy” without just focusing on the “breakdown.”
  • [15:15] The album writing process: trying to create a cohesive work – and writing through jamming, building songs in practice, and grinding it out.
  • [26:02] The crappy practice space that Like Rats and Harm’s way share.
  • [29:08] Working as a social worker in a residential program in the field of addiction and mental health. How does Chris prioritize what clients work on in terms of their biggest priorities in treatment?
  • [37:44] What’s the difference between the 12 step model, the disease model of addiction, and a more behavior-based model? What framework does Chris prefer for treating his patients?
  • [45:42] Differentiating psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers – and understanding what is usually the biggest obstacle to creating lasting behavioral change?
  • [54:14] Harm’s Way’s history as a straight edge band, and how Chris thinks about playing in a band that often focuses on negative emotion in its art through the lens of a social worker.
  • [58:14] Harms Way’s upcoming touring plans

Links and Resources Mentioned

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Projecting Confidence as a Leader while Maintaining Intellectual Humility

I recently listened to an episode of my favorite podcast EconTalk focused on the concept of balancing intellectual humility with the confidence and authority that is expected of a leader.
The guest on the show was David Deppner, who is the CEO of Psyberware and an EconTalk listener – and the episode grew out of a Q&A session at a live EconTalk session.
Anyone in a leadership position will often get questioned or challenged about the future of their organization – especially if they are operating in a highly competitive industry or undergoing the turmoil and rigamarole of something like fundraising.
We had many dark moments throughout the history of South Loop Strength & Conditioning where we were just one bad break away from shutting it down – leases falling through, shady business partners, losing in the market to more established competitors, etc.
What should a leader say during the dark times when clients or employees are asking for reassurance?
Folks with a penchant toward intellectual honesty may want to acknowledge the fact that they’re kind of winging it and that, at any moment, everything could fall apart and the business could crater.
However, this message does not exactly inspire those around them to dive in, work hard, and keep pushing forward.
This kind of behavior is anathema to the type of person considered with intellectual humility we are discussing – and they probably couldn’t even pull it off if they tried.
So, what should they do instead?
I think the key distinction here is understanding why things seem uncertain to different folks.
For the leader, everything is uncertain and fuzzy because they have a very high resolution view of their organization, its strategy, and the threats facing it.
They likely think in probabilities and understand that – even with perfect planning and execution – there are all kinds of long-tail events that could completely change the course of their business.
They see the emergence and complexity in both the markets and in the layers of their own organization that magically results in their business staying afloat, and they recognize that much of how these systems organize is out of their control.
This high-resolution view is not terribly comforting, but most business leaders have probably grown comfortable with it since it’s a constant overlay of their reality.
For employees and clients, their uncertainty comes from a low-resolution view of the situation.
They don’t understand the strategy of the business.
They don’t have an awareness of the competitive landscape of the marketplace.
They don’t have comfort with the layers of management and accountability in an organization that magically keeps things chugging along.
So, a detailed and “honest” answer about the uncertainty of the business doesn’t serve them since they don’t have the framework to appreciate the nuance.
They see low-resolution uncertainty and would need to have a high speed upload brain upload to learn kung fu appreciate the high-resolution uncertainty view.
So, it is totally fair to communicate to someone at the level that they’re at. You don’t need to lay out all of the conditionals, all of the threats, all of the long tail events that could either make or break the business.
This doesn’t mean being a bloviating huckster peddling an unrealistic vision – it just means adjusting your communication to be appropriate for your audience.

The Delegation Doldrums

Many people who are growing their businesses have some understanding that they should be “delegating.”

Maybe you’ve read The 4-Hour Work Week. Maybe you’ve read The E Myth. Maybe you’ve heard some dork on Instagram talking about how you need to work “on” your business not “in” your business (which is from The E Myth anyway)

While delegation is, in fact, key to any sort of growing business, it’s rarely as simple as people think it is.

When you delegate something, it’s not like you suddenly have massive amounts of free mental bandwidth with which to create new ideas, work on more important tasks or engage in excessive leisure.

Instead, even though you are no longer responsible for explicitly completing your taks, you are now responsible the myriad of creative ways that your employees will find to do the task incorrectly or otherwise miss the point.

It’s insufficient to simply have a standard operating procedure and to assign the task to someone. Instead you must:

•Have mastery of the task yourself
•Have a documented and repeatable procedure to complete the task
•Document regular troubleshooting issues and contingency plans for when the task goes wrong
•Develop some sort of quality assurance process for the task to make sure that it is not just being completed – but that is being completed at an acceptable level
•Ensure that it’s not just the “letter of the law” that is being followed, but also the spirit
•Give regular performance communication and feedback to the person to whom you’ve delegated the task

In many cases, delegating the task is in fact more work than simply doing it yourself – at least for several weeks (if not months).

However, once you’ve made it past the tipping point, you will find that employees will start to offer insight about better ways to do things.

Through delegation, you are also creating opportunities for employees to be engaged and learn. So, even if it is a hassle to attempt to delegate and have things constantly go wrong, you are also increasing the buy-in and the teamwork of the organization by spreading responsibility amongst multiple individuals.

Todd and Friel on Fundraising

John Friel

When people think of “owning their own business,” they usually either think of doing freelance wedding photography on the weekends, or raising a bunch of money and starting the next Google.

This can be a pretty significant limiting belief, since getting investors is an intimidating, stressful and time-consuming process.

But, what do you do when you need to get your company funded? And what are the trade-offs between different funding models?

I’ve raised money from friends and family in the past to cover the buildout and operating expenses of South Loop Strength & Conditioning when we took on a large lease.

And, my friend John Friel is currently in the process of applying to the well-known start-up accelerator Y Combinator for his company Art in Res.

Check out the full conversation to learn:

  • What are the incentives of investors and what are they hoping to gain out of investing in companies – and what are the trade-offs and dangers of pursuing the rapid growth that venture capitalists expect?
  • How to think about “storytelling” to investors and why some investors like to hear hard numbers and other like more narrative in their pitches
  • What are the differences between nerds, fans and utilitarians – and why do suburban dads who don’t even play guitar know so much about different tones and amps?

Check out the episode at the links below. If you enjoyed the episode, the best way to support the show is to share with your friends, so send them a link.

Listen Here

Check out more from John and Art In Res here:

Show Notes:

  • [01:21] Going through the Y Combinator application process required “stepping back” and looking at the entire structure of Art in Res – rather than getting caught up in the day-to-day, in-the-weeds aspects of operating the business. It also required understanding how to “storytell” to investors – which seems to require different skillsets for finance people and venture capitalists.
  • [12:30] Why play the venture capital game rather than bootstrapping and attempting to create a “lifestyle business?” What will it take for Art in Res to grow to a scale that would justify venture capital investment?
  • [24:15] How much money should you actually raise during the fundraising process? There seems to be conflicting advice regarding being frugal – but also raising more money than you think you’ll need. And – the cognitive biases that make it necessary to game the system so that you can signal a constant and impressive upward trajectory.
  • [37:31] Thinking about the incentives of venture capitalists and why they want to invest in companies – and going down a rabbit hole to parse out the difference between nerds, fans and utilitarians. And how art collectors, coffee snobs, music gear heads and sports fans all probably follow a similar archetypal structure in terms of their enthusiasm for esoteric knowledge.
  • [53:45] How to potentially tap a latent market for art collectors – and understanding the psychology of potential consumers in order to create a marketplace on which commerce actually takes place.

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Jason Leydon (Conquer Athlete | CrossFit Milford)

Jason Leydon
Jason Leydon of Conquer Athlete and CrossFit Milford is an elite-level CrossFit coach – and, much like myself, a continuing education junkie.

I’d been looking forward to this conversation, since Jason is not only very successful in his ability to develop athletes, but also self-aware about his frameworks for coaching and his process for learning new things and applying them in his practice.

Many well-known coaches are able to get great results from athletes, but can’t really articulate how and why they do the things that they do.

Many other well-known coaches just happened to get lucky by having some freakishly talented folks walk through their doors, and have built careers on being in the right place at the right time without much actual knowledge.

Jason is the real deal, and he can articulate exactly what he’s doing and why he’s doing it.

In this conversation, we don’t just hit the nitty gritty details of developing athletes (although there is some of that). We spend a lot of time on Jason’s process for continuing to learn – and how he actually turns the things that he learns through books, seminars and courses into tangible results for his athletes and his coaches.

Check out the full conversation with Jason to learn:

  • How an identity-destroying injury started Jason on the path to coaching – and how he thinks about the psychology of athletes who have their identities wrapped up in their performance and their results
  • How Jason actually applies things that he learns from continuing education – and how he passes his knowledge on to his coaches so that they can actually apply it as well
  • How Jason thinks of the theoretical hierarchy for developing athletes – and how he picks what the top priorities are for his athletes in their training

Compliment with my conversation with Scott Young on Ultralearning for more on transferring knowledge from the abstract to the practical.

Check out the episode at the links below. If you enjoyed the episode, the best way to support the show is to share with your friends, so send them a link.

Listen Here

Check out more from Jason, Conquer Athlete & CrossFit Milford here:

Show Notes:

  • [1:08] What’s up with Jason’s accent? Is this how people from Milford speak? And – the sudden and shocking end to Jason’s basketball career.
  • [11:17] How to handle the sudden change in identity as an athlete who can no longer compete. And – the transition from athlete to coach, as well as the coinciding dedication to continuing education.
  • [20:21] How does Jason actually apply the things that he learns from seminars, books and courses? How does Jason think about solving tangible problems with the material that he learns – and how does he go about asking for help when something isn’t clicking for him.
  • [25:36] Connecting the practical, in-the-gym application of concepts with the theoretical learning that occurs in books or courses. Outcomes are often messy, so how does Jason figure out what’s actually working and what is just happenstance and chaos?
  • [31:14] How does Jason teach coaches who work with him to hold the same standard of coaching? Not everyone is able to learn from courses in the same way, so how does Jason pass knowledge on?
  • [37:00] How does Jason decide what his coaches need to prioritize in their coaching development? And, what lessons from learning to manage rowdy teens in a gym class are applicable to coaching adults?
  • [44:24] How does Jason manage the sport-specific needs of his competitive CrossFit athletes with their long-term development? How does a coach prioritize what an athlete needs to work on – and how does a coach create sustainability for an athlete in the sport?
  • [52:40] How to find out more about Conquer Athlete and the Conquer Athlete Podcast

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Why the quest for efficiency makes people inefficient

I’ve learned that our quest for efficiency is often one of the things that makes us the most inefficient.
Many people in management or coaching positions often get sour on the folks who they work with – claiming that they’re lazy, unmotivated slackers.
While this can be true, I’ve found that people are often putting forth a solid effort and doing the best they can, but are victims of two types of errors:
•A confused and improper focus on “efficiency” (which results in cutting corners, relying on willpower to create behavior change, and failing to set up long-term systems that are actually sustainable)
•A lack of skills to deal with obstacles, barriers, or questions that come up when attempting to engage in a new behavior.
I will discuss these issues from a management perspective, since I often find myself getting much more frustrated with employees than I do with coaching clients. (I have a healthy emotional distance from coaching clients, while I often regularly take mistakes employees make as a reflection of me in a way that is not always helpful).
In running a gym, I’ve found that one of our biggest issues as we’ve scaled is that – at each tier of growth – we have to relearn and refocus on the basics of each role within the organization.
This could be the basics of coaching a class (Give everyone in the class at least two pieces of individualized feedback – and use their name while doing so), the basics of setting someone up with a membership in our system (Please please please take their picture and have them fill out a membership agreement), or the basics of coaches communicating schedule changes for class coverage (Until the class is formally taken off of your schedule, it is your responsibility to make sure that someone shows up for it).
As we add employees and members, we tend to lose the thread of executing on these fundamental building blocks of our business. There’s more clients in the gym so classes get busy. There’s more front desk staff with a tiered management structure, so the way that we communicate and hold staff accountable is constantly shifting. There’s more to do in general, so it’s easier for things to slip through the cracks.
Over the last year, I’ve focused most of my effort on creating systems to make sure that we are not missing out on the fundamentals.
These include systems that track new members so that we can follow up on them consistently.
These include systems that track the recurring front desk tasks that need to be completed during each shift.
These include systems to make sure that all new members have all of their information entered into our software correctly.
And, as anyone who has tried to roll out systems like this in an organization, a lot of people just flat out don’t use them. Which results in a constant stream of mistakes, forgetting and oversight which can drive a high conscientiousness individual mad.
It can sometimes seem like people are actively ignoring my efforts to clean up all of these messes in an attempt to be “lazy.”
But, I really don’t think this is the case.
From conversations with employees and partners over the years, I’ve found instead that people are often searching for “efficiency” and a better way to do things.
Many of the solutions that I’ve come up with can seem overly optimized and like a waste of effort.
It can seem easier to “just remember to do it” than to create a to-do list system.
It can seem easier to “just remember your appointments” than to keep a detailed calendar.
It can seem easier to “just scan your email periodically throughout the day” rather than having structured times to handle your entire inbox.
And, in fact, it is easier to do each of those things. In the moment.
However, it’s not actually easier in the long run – neither for yourself nor for the organization that you work for.
Most people never make it past the initial difficulty of using a new system or a new protocol since it is often slower and less efficient the first several times you do something a new way.
It can still be purely self-interested behavior to develop systematic, repeatable ways of doing things. If you don’t have to remember how you did something last time, if you don’t have to rebuild the same email template every time, if you’re not constantly scrambling and cleaning up messes from things that you forgot to do…you tend to be a happier and more productive person.
And, if you do care about the organization that you’re a part of, developing systems has multiple benefits:
•The things that you’re doing can be more easily taught to a colleague – allowing you to focus on other areas, or allowing someone to cover your responsibilities if necessary.
•Systems make it easy to communicate throughout the organization what has been done and what needs to be done next.
Lets use a seemingly trivial example.
I’ve made a Google Sheet for our front desk that has a variety of recurring tasks on it – things like “fold towels, refill chalk buckets, empty trash on main gym floor, etc.”
Each task is categorized by the shift that it’s supposed to fall under.
The tasks also link to an internal wiki article that explains how to do the task.
The checkboxes automatically uncheck themselves on regular intervals relative to when the task needs to be repeated.
Tasks use conditional formatting to show when they’re due, overdue, and complete.
This ostensibly makes it very easy to keep track of what needs to be done – removing the the pain point of confusion between desk employees regarding which tasks are done, which are not done, and which need to be passed off onto another shift.
What’s not to love?
Well, it’s taken quite awhile to get front desk employees in the habit of consistently checking tasks off the list – even if they’re done.
It seems easier to just do them. Who cares if the tasks are checked off if they’re done?
It seems easier to just remember what tasks need to be done during your shift and take care of them. Why bother looking at the task list – it’s not that hard to remember to fold towels.
But, it’s not actually easier.
That’s a false sense of efficiency gained by skipping over the task list that is really a tax on the organization whenever a task is repeated prematurely or left incomplete past its due date – and it’s also a tax on your future self since you are often spending mental energy remembering what to do and how to do it (that could be externalized to a system) as well as spending time and energy cleaning up the messes that your lack of systemization created.
Or, more likely, one of the other employees or managers ends up cleaning up after you.
So, quit looking for efficiency in the wrong places. You don’t get more efficient by doing less.. You get more efficient by doing more work upfront so that you can trade in the mundane problems of forgetfulness and miscommunications and actually work on something interesting.

Shelby Lermo (Vastum | Ulthar)

Shelby Lermo
Shelby Lermo plays guitar for Vasum and Ulthar, and used to oversee the tangled web of death metal, interviews and conspiracy theories that was Illogical Contraption.

This conversation was a real pleasure for me, since I’ve known Shelby as an “online friend” for probably close to a decade, and have long admired his work from afar.

For those concerned with the stagnation of the extreme metal underground, we discuss possible iterations on the form of death metal outside of the contemporary postmodern juxtaposition of seemingly disparate genres or the rehashing of the past through “old school death metal.”

For those concerned with their ability to follow through on creative projects, we discuss Shelby’s discipline surrounding creativity – including scheduling time to create, separating creating and editing, and balancing multiple different projects.

For those concerned with conspiracy thinking, we discuss the allure and the dangers of conspiracy theories, as well as the mechanisms that have pushed conspiracy into the mainstream.

Check out the episode at the links below. If you enjoyed the episode, the best way to support the show is to share with your friends, so send them a link.

Listen Here

Check out more from Shelby, Illogical Contraption, Vastum & Ulthar here:

Show Notes:

  • [01:12] The process of making internet friends before social media, and the tangled web of content that was Illogical Contraption.
  • [09:17] The evolution of music discovery and communication in the underground from tape-trading to music blogs to Spotify – and how Shelby thinks about consuming music vs listening to music.
  • [19:58] The stagnation of the death metal genre, and how to think about composing outside of the standard idioms of the form.”
  • [24:21] Shelby’s creative process for multiple different projects, and the differing levels of collaboration between different projects.
  • [29:35] Where can death metal go next? Do the popular styles of metal in the underground follow cyclical patterns (ie thrash -> old school death metal -> technical death metal)? Will anyone create a new form for underground metal that isn’t just a postmodern hodgepodge of varied styles and instrumentation?
  • [40:48] Being disciplined regarding creativity: scheduling time to create, not waiting for inspiration, and separating the process of creating from the process of editing
  • [48:10] The allure of conspiracy theories – and why you shouldn’t believe them, as well as the surprising “mainstreamification” of conspiracy thinking.
  • [59:00] Implausible beliefs are a signaling mechanism for in-group loyalty, which can create feedback loops that increase the strangeness of conspiracy theories.
  • [1:05:05] Shelby’s favorite interviews from the Illogical Contraption podcast

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Do your email newsletter subscriptions stress you out?

Do you like subscribing to email newsletters…but hate having a cluttered inbox?

Do you like reading your e-mail newsletters – like mine hehe – but hate when you’re just trying to soak up some #content and you’re getting hammered with work e-mails?

Well have I got a solution for you:

Just make a new e-mail address only for newsletters.

A lot of people have some sort of throwaway e-mail address (like an old AOL account or something) that they use to sign up for stuff that they don’t want to receive.

But, why not have a separate e-mail address for things that you do want to receive?

This way, you have an e-mail inbox that’s almost like an RSS reader – just content that you want that you actually subscribed to.

I typically use the Gmail mobile app on my iPad to read my stories. I don’t have my other email accounts signed in on my iPad, so there’s a high barrier to entry to impulsively start checking in with work stuff. This works out very nicely for me. Hopefully this helps you, too.