It’s popular to knock fast food, but it is easier to measure than food made at home. I love to cook, and I do almost every day. But I have to accept much more of a margin of error on what myfitnesspal says my calories, fibre, and macros are at for the day. I know exactly how many calories a double cheeseburger has, and exactly how many grams of carbs, protein, and fat I’m getting. I can expect it to be exactly the same at any location on the planet. I might eat fast food a dozen times a year, totalling maybe 20,000 calories. In the context of the 700,000+ calories I eat a year, any purported negative effects of it being fast food are insignificant.
WhatsApp is fascinating. Only 32 engineers built and maintain a system that delivers more messages per day than the total global SMS traffic, and they do it with no ads, no games, and no gimmicks. A viable company whose product costs $1 per year is a new, and very exciting thing. Although these days $1/year/customer is about the profit margin of traditional PCs makers, I know which business I’d prefer to be in.
Here are a couple nuggets of wisdom I’m noting:
- Spend more time thinking about solving the problems of the “middle billion”; those living on ~$10/day.
- Mobile apps have access to device/ecosystem contact lists. This transforms the nature of “network effect” from a moat (stopping competitors) to a ladder (easing adoption). This is very important.
Another day, another “study” in the news. Apparently they claim to have found significant evidence that (note: significant in science-land means “probably not due to chance”, it does not mean “really good” or “a large amount”) the hours a day we’re sedentary matters more than how active we are.
Consider a web developer who bikes to work and does aerobics a couple times a week. She’s easily getting 5 or more hours of activity a week; which is fantastic. But she’s also sedentary, sitting mostly still in front of one screen or another (work computer, living room display, car, smartphone), easily over 100 hours a week. Less than a couple hours of exercise a week is probably more typical. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to claim that 1 hour of activity for every 50 hours of being sedentary is just not going to be sufficient to avoid a loss of mobility over time.
But strength training dramatically changes the context. 2 hours of effective progressive-overload weight-training a week delivers a potent signal to the body to grow stronger. Growing stronger is not only about muscle. The central nervous system and cardiovascular system must adapt to support your skeleton & muscle moving heavier and heavier weight around. Of course running 5-10km a day will do this as well, but ain’t nobody got time for that!
It doesn’t matter if you’re 80 years old or 8 years old. If you don’t have a medical condition that prevents you from heavy weight training, and you have control of your arms and legs, you should be lifting weights. Not for muscle now, but to give yourself the best possible chance to remain fully mobile as you age, with the shortest possible weekly time requirement.
IMs to Magda just now after the Women’s Hockey Olympic final:
JP: HEY!!! WOMEN HOCKEY GOLD UNBELEEEEEEVABLE GAME
JP: 2-0 for US until minutes left in 3rd period. Pulled their goalie, tied it in final seconds!! then win in OT
JP: that’s it, we win the Olympics, done. Crazy game
JP: Veteran Canadian players against much faster younger Americans. Amazing.
What an incredible game!
Every Olympics it plays out the same for me. As it approaches I’m all bah-humbug this is obscenely expensive & likely corruptly wasteful. But then the Olympian stories unfold and I just can’t help getting sucked in. So many amazing stories.
99% of the time, a car is an appliance. I’m not completely happy with the suspension, noisy cabin, and unacceptably-delicate interior materials of my 2012 Honda Civic, but otherwise it is a great appliance. I often try to compare it to my memory of cars in the 90s and 80s. Even though I know my memory is not entirely reliable I still marvel at how much better cars are now compared to even a 10 or 15 years ago. The inflation-adjusted total-ownership cost of an average car hasn’t changed that much in decades. But my civic is remarkably safer, more efficient, reliable, and refined than Canada’s best selling cars in 1985. My first car was one of those, a very, very used K car.
I think the engineering that goes into hypercars (formerly known as supercars) is an under appreciated contributor to why everyone’s cars are so fantastic. It’s kind of like building muscle.
Muscle grows in response to a progressive overload of weight stimulus. You need to push your body to its limit to convince it you’re in an environment that require more strength, so it builds muscle. Hypercars push the envelop of what’s possible, which inevitably becomes cheap enough to make all cars better.
The electrification of hypercars bodes very well for electric cars in general. Or more specifically, battery technology.
I have been having a blast the last six weeks doing a Starting Strength program with my brother Dave. Not only do we have a couple hours a week to catch up, but we’ve both already gained considerable strength. The first week squatting my knees were popping like popcorn, but nothing strengthens my knees like progressively heavier ATG barbell squatting. Now my knees are nearly silent and solid. Dave has had some issues with back pain and so was a little hesitant to deadlift. But within a couple weeks he told me his back felt better than ever.
The pic above is just some basics of strength training. Everyone, depending on their genetics & environment, responds to heavy weight lifting in a similar way; rapid initial strength and muscle development. The bad news is somewhere between 6-18 months it slows sharply, limited by one’s maximum genetic potential. The good news is that the vast majority of muscle one can possibly build in a lifetime will be gained in the first few years of focused & effective training and diet. Starting Strength is giving us a solid technique & strength foundation in less than a few hours a week.