Please enjoy this transcript of my conversation with technologist, serial entrepreneur, world-class investor, self-experimenter, and all-around wild and crazy guy Kevin Rose (@KevinRose), who rejoins me for another episode of The Random Show.
Transcripts may contain a few typos. With many episodes lasting 2+ hours, it can be difficult to catch minor errors. Enjoy!
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Tim Ferriss: Hello ladies and gentlemen. This is Tim Ferriss and this is yet another edition of The Random Show, episode number 4,732. Kevin Rose.
Kevin Rose: We’ve done quite a few.
Tim Ferriss: Serial entrepreneur. Amazing. Good fella. Generous soul.
Kevin Rose: Thank you.
Tim Ferriss: In spirit.
Kevin Rose: [inaudible 00:01:27] doing these podcasts together. We did quite a few episodes.
Tim Ferriss: Avid wearer of trucker hats.
Kevin Rose: Yes.
Tim Ferriss: And drinker of red wine as we’ve already established by the sound effects that preceded this introduction. Kevin, nice to see you.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, it’s good to see you as well. We need to do this in person more often. We did one in the last year.
Tim Ferriss: We do. It was so fun. It was so fun to do it in person.
Kevin Rose: I know.
Tim Ferriss: So what nectar of the gods are you suckling over there?
Kevin Rose: Yes. I’m having a little bit of The Mascot from Napa Valley. The Harlan family, we know Will, obviously, over there and they are quality producers of quite fine cabernet red wine that is just amazing. This is my favorite. To be fair, I’m conflicted a little bit because I am on their advisory board, but they make great wine.
Tim Ferriss: They do make great wine.
Kevin Rose: It’s fantastic wine.
Tim Ferriss: I’ve been over yonder back when I was living in NorCal. You and I had quite a bit of that even before you were on the board. Very, very tasty grapes. Tasty, tasty grapes.
Kevin Rose: Absolutely.
Tim Ferriss: They can put that on the label, if they want, as a quote.
Kevin Rose: Tasty Grapes from Tim. [inaudible 00:02:38] back, founder of CØCKPUNCH. Tasty Grapes.
Tim Ferriss: Exactly.
Kevin Rose: I’m sure that’ll do wonders for their floor price of their—
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, yeah, for that very high and top shelf legacy, multi-generational branding that they’re going after. I think that would really help.
Kevin Rose: Yes. That’s what they want is tasty grapes.
Tim Ferriss: Tasty grapes. I am drinking… I don’t know if you’ve ever seen this before, this thing-
Kevin Rose: No.
Tim Ferriss: … which I’m drinking. It’s this little can of R 1,3 Ginger Mule hard ketones. So this is ethanol-free-
Kevin Rose: Oh, Jesus.
Tim Ferriss: … alcohol. Hold on. I have other ethanol alcohol.
Kevin Rose: You’re drinking hard ketones now? That’s where we’re at?
Tim Ferriss: Hold on. Pause. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
Kevin Rose: I’m not going to [inaudible 00:03:27].
Tim Ferriss: So R 1,3 Butanediol, I know where you’re going to take that. So the R 1,3 Butanediol, a few things. Number one is you do get drunk on this stuff. You cannot drive if you drink this stuff-
Kevin Rose: Right.
Tim Ferriss: … all alcohol, pretty much. Like all alcohol, but the point being that it is not ethanol so you are avoiding some of the metabolites and issues through liver metabolism that you run into with regular alcohol. It is also an appetite suppressant so if you’re used to drinking and then just housing five pizzas like I did the other night, then this is a counterbalance. And what I’ve been constantly [inaudible 00:04:12].
Kevin Rose: It speeds you up though. It’s ketones, right? So it’s like coke alcohol.
Tim Ferriss: Well, here’s the thing. No, it’s ketones but it’s not beta hydroxybutyrate or a performance-enhancing ketone. This is a hard ketone intoxicant. So you have to be very careful. They have warnings. No pregnant ladies, et cetera, all this stuff. Do not consume more than three day.
Kevin Rose: Oh, my god, dude. [inaudible 00:04:35].
Tim Ferriss: You legitimately get intoxicated when you drink this, so you have to be very careful but it contains-
Kevin Rose: Does it burn when you pee?
Tim Ferriss: No, it does not burn with when you pee. It does not give you horns or vestigial tail or eyelid hair, none of those things, and I have been enjoying experimenting with this because what I will sometimes do, and I haven’t done this much, but I will have one of these-
Kevin Rose: You’re an investor, I can tell. Look, you’re sipping [inaudible 00:05:02] investment.
Tim Ferriss: I am not an investor. Yeah, this is like the Wayne’s world [inaudible 00:05:09] drinking Pepsi-
Kevin Rose: You’re like, “I will have one of these every night at 7:00 PM.”
Tim Ferriss: No, I am not an investor. I have no vested interest. Unlike that shill, Kevin Rose, I have no vested-
Kevin Rose: I said I was involved. I almost spit the grape juice that you called it or whatever you-
Tim Ferriss: Tasty.
Kevin Rose: Tasty grapes, yeah.
Tim Ferriss: So yeah, I am not involved. I have no problem hawking the stuff when I am, but this is actually very tasty. So Ginger Mule tastes like a Moscow Mule, but it has no ethanol-based alcohol in it, and here’s what I’m going to do. So I’m going to have this first. Hopefully, and this is, I think, perhaps wishful thinking, but I’m hoping the ketones will have some neuroprotective effect so that when I then shift into fifth gear to have this, which is a tequila I’ve become very, very fond of… I’m not involved, but I have been drinking it because I had it first at a restaurant called Suerte here in Austin which has excellent TexMex food, very high end, outstanding cuisine. And the first time I had this that the server recommended was at that restaurant when I was having dinner with Chase Jarvis and we were both blown away.
Kevin Rose: I love Chase.
Tim Ferriss: Chase is a great guy. Chase [inaudible 00:06:29].
Kevin Rose: [inaudible 00:06:29].
Tim Ferriss: Both wonderful humans, and we were both really impressed with this and I enjoyed it so much that I ended up buying a bottle, which is quite rare for me because I don’t drink that much but I do really like tequila. I mean, if you were in Texas and you drink alcohol, you owe it to yourself to explore the range of tequila, and this stuff is outstanding, it’s just fantastic. This will be step two.
Kevin Rose: I have two questions for you. Actually, one question. You can cut this later if you want.
Tim Ferriss: Oh, boy.
Kevin Rose: You said it on a private text to me that you had a couple of drinks with Attia last night. Attia is not a big drinker, at all. Every time I’ve gone out to dinner with him, he has one tequila.
Tim Ferriss: I had more than he had. I had more than Peter.
Kevin Rose: Is he into this ketone thing as well?
Tim Ferriss: No.
Kevin Rose: Was that what you were drinking or no?
Tim Ferriss: No, no, no. We were drinking red wine from Spain, which was fantastic in the moment. I love red wine. I’ll continue to have it on occasion. Maybe I’m just becoming the crypt keeper, if anybody gets the reference. You’ve got to be pretty old already to get the reference. My body tolerates wine of any type increasingly poorly with respect to sleep. If I have three glasses, man, I feel like somebody put a pillowcase over my head and just punched me in the face for like an hour in the middle of the night. It’s rough.
Kevin Rose: Do you get the hot sweats?
Tim Ferriss: I do, reliably. And you can track it if you have an Oura ring or something else on, you look at it, you’re like, “Good lord, what happened to my body in the middle of the night?” It is so bad.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, this happens to Daria, too. She’s like a sweaty line backer in the middle of the night. It’s like you don’t want to go near it.t
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, it’s brutal.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, it’s a lot.
Tim Ferriss: And I know that’s going to happen, which is why if I’m going to have a drink, a real drink or otherwise… I have not found this stuff to help sleep, by the way. The R 1,3, as much as I am interested and I have been, I have boxes of this stuff, and I’m not an investor, because I’m interested in how I might use this to moderate ethanol-based alcohol consumption, which I enjoy. But let’s just say I can pregame with one of these, get to a point where I’m kind of loopy. I will say that one of these compared to one say tequila soda, the R 1,3 will fuck up my verbal acuity or my ability to speak much more than the-
Kevin Rose: Yeah, that’s all you’re really looking for.
Tim Ferriss: … real alcohol. So it’s perfect for this podcast.
Kevin Rose: At the end of the day you just want to be slurring your words.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, and this stuff also per can, I have found to throw off your physical coordination a lot more than an equivalent single alcohol drink, so you do need to be careful with it. It’s not something you want to pound and then grab a chainsaw and go out gathering wood.
Kevin Rose: Well, that’s the weird thing is it’s such a non-obvious… Like I would never have imagined you were going to say that when you started this podcast, because typically I think ketones is like, “Okay, I’m going to chug a bottle pre-workout,” so I mean I guess you could go lifting right now, drunk lifting if you wanted to, but-
Tim Ferriss: No, this would be terrible for performance. This is bad for performance. Well, let’s put it a different way. It is not a performance enhancer in the same way that other ketone supplements might be, so I have taken… Even earlier today, I took a different exogenous ketone supplement because I was eating pretty low calorie today before recording a podcast this morning, and it, within 20 minutes or 25 minutes, reliably kicked up my blood ketone levels as would be measured with, say, a
Kevin Rose: [inaudible 00:10:18] strip or-
Tim Ferriss: Oh, no, the Precision Xtra.
Kevin Rose: [inaudible 00:10:20].
Tim Ferriss: You can use a breathalyzer, you can use the finger pricks. I didn’t measure it, but reliably I will see a bump of one to two millimoles, which is substantial. And I went from being foggy and tired and slow to being fast with my words, not having to search for turns of phrase, everything was coming quickly. It was very reliable as a performance enhancer. This, what I’m drinking, will have the opposite effect.
Kevin Rose: So actually this is really interesting. One question for you on that front, Tim, because I know having traveled with you a ton to countries where you’ve been so generous as to be our translator, where Tim will translate for you for about six hours and then you’ll just shut down
Tim Ferriss: And then I get so grumpy.
Kevin Rose: You’re, “You figure it out. I’m done translating.”
Tim Ferriss: “Google Translate’s good enough, God damn it. I don’t want to do this job anymore.”
Kevin Rose: Exactly. Tim was like our paid translator at one of my birthday parties for the entire trip. Unpaid, unpaid. So I’m curious though, you know mentioned how quick… Words just flow like butter. Would it help in a situation like that, do you think? Have you tried it? Ketones when translating?
Tim Ferriss: For translating, I’m sure it would help if you’re using the right class of ketone. Because when we’re talking about ketones, you have ketone esters, you have ketone salts, and I’m not qualified to talk about the intricate science of it all. Someone like Dr. Dominic Agostino, who I’ve had on the podcast at least twice, is one of the preeminent researchers in the space who also works with… I want to say the Department of Defense, might be DARPA, in synthesizing compounds for special forces and [inaudible 00:12:12].
Kevin Rose: Yeah, I was going to say weren’t the Seals using it at some point?
Tim Ferriss: Right, and so they need measurable benefit, and one of the measurable benefits is that it helps you to sustain physical and cognitive performance under conditions of low oxygen, which you might experience if you’re doing, say, extended deep diving or submersion, which you might also experience if you’re at altitude. So recently, this would’ve been early October, I used ketones to help acclimate to altitude and then tapered off of the ketones so I wouldn’t perhaps prevent some of the physiological adaptations that I would want to sustain without using ketones every day.
So they’re fascinating. I will say, if I’m taking the other side of the argument and making a counter case, I am skeptical that taking exogenous ketones constantly when you are consuming a normal diet, which is relatively rich in carbohydrates… So your blood glucose is not necessarily pathologically elevated, but if your glucose is normally elevated and then you have very elevated blood ketone levels, my understanding is that does not readily occur in nature, at least with humans in an organic capacity, unless you are in a dangerous position as a diabetic where you’re experiencing keto acidosis, which can be fatal. I mean it’s very, very precarious.
So my feeling is, if this doesn’t occur in nature, because normally you’d be producing ketones in a state of starvation even though… I should be clear. We’re producing ketones a lot of the time but in trivial amounts. By the time we get to the point where we’re noticing it and we’re breaking down meaningful body fat in order to produce these alternate sources of energy, which the heart and the brain really love. The heart and the brain really like ketones.
Kevin Rose: Do they prefer them over carbohydrate? Is that right? Or glucose? Is that right?
Tim Ferriss: I’ve heard that said. I don’t have that much difficulty believing it from a first person perspective. When I’ve done extended fasts, especially, the ketones provoked… Maybe it’s just the spectrum of changes provoked by fasting, say on day two or three where my ketones will naturally be in the 1.5 to 2.5 millimolar range. That condition feels different and I feel sharper than I do when I use exogenous ketones, supplemental ketones, to get to the same measurement using a single device. And I’m not sure why that is, but it feels different. You feel much sharper when you get there through fasting, in my experience.
And that is to say, not all ketones are created equal so this right here is going to make you slur your words and shit the bed from a performance perspective, but might be fun as an experimental ethanol replacement. And then there are others. There are many different options out there that are documented for performing, excuse me… Documented, there go the words, documented for improving performance.
Kevin Rose: So one question for you, Tim, and we can move on to all the whole slew of topics that we have otherwise this will be a two-hour ketone episode, but I’m curious when people are listening, there’s no doubt right now a lot of people are like, “Okay, this sounds crazy, this sounds kind of fun. Maybe I want to try this.” You’ve already mentioned the drink. What about if you’re just doing it for mental performance? The one brand that I know had licensed the patents from somewhere in England was it HVM, HVMN?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, HVMN-
Kevin Rose: You what I’m talking about?
Tim Ferriss: I do. I believe that they are very focused on this particular type of ketone, the R 1,3. I don’t want to say that with great conviction, but I would say to everyone, you owe it to yourself because you’re putting something in your body that could have a significant impact on your blood chemistry and your entire biological system. Read a few studies, find out what the exact ketone is and go on PubMed or somewhere else and just read at least a few abstracts.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, but we just want to know what you’re taking, dude. Just tell us the brand. What are you juicing up with in the morning? What am I juicing up with? Here, hold on… Like what did you take before the podcast. What’s the brand-
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, I’ll grab it. I’ll grab it. Hold on a second.
Kevin Rose: Okay, okay. I’ll entertain you all while Tim is gone. So what Tim doesn’t know is we’ve secretly replaced his ketones with diabetic horse urine.
Tim Ferriss: I love it. Exactly. So this right here, you know what the details are not… The specifics are not on the back of this. It’s on the back of the larger box. The label does not scream scientific credibility but it’s a fun label. So this right here… It’s going to be a little hard to see. The label reads KetoneAid, that is the brand SnakeWater, ketone ester plus electrolytes. So it’s ketone ester plus electrolytes. The brand name is KetoneAid, one word, SnakeWater.
I want to be super clear though, because I think people can fuck themselves up with these things, I am not a doctor. I do not play one on The Random Show or on the internet. Do your reading and talk to your doctor because there are people for which something like this would be contraindicated. So pay attention, folks.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, I mean, never take a supplement from the man that created CØCKPUNCH. That’s just fair to say.
Tim Ferriss: I think those are very wise words. Yeah, yeah, furthermore, just as a side note, I want to say I love when I’m talking to someone… And especially in Austin, you can’t throw a rock without hitting someone who wants to tell you about their latest ayahuasca experience. It’s just like you can’t escape it, and if you’re at a group dinner something will come up related to psychedelics. You cannot avoid it in Austin, which rubs me the wrong way sometimes but I guess I contributed to it probably in some way, so there you go. Just desserts. But the point I wanted to make is you’re having a group dinner and somebody will say, “I really don’t do drugs, I just drink,” and I’m like, “Oh, you mean the civilization destroyer? That’s the only one that you use? It’s a drug, it’s a drug.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, I mean to pretend alcohol is… It’s just, yeah, totally.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, come on-
Kevin Rose: I was just going to say, anything you put in your body that provokes a change, that’s a drug. Banana, ketone, tequila.
Tim Ferriss: For sure.
Kevin Rose: Prescription medication. They’re all drugs.
Tim Ferriss: Every time I talk to Attia about alcohol or anyone on his team, they’re just like, “Don’t do it.”
Kevin Rose: “It’s so bad. “
Tim Ferriss: “It’s the worst. It’s so bad for you.” I’m like-
Kevin Rose: And yet, and yet, here we are.
Tim Ferriss: Sometimes you just want to have a drink.
Kevin Rose: That’s right.
Tim Ferriss: Sometimes you just want to have a drink. Speaking of which, let’s move into the show. So New Year’s resolutions, what do you have, Kevin? And is there anything that’s been on there for like five years straight and you’re bringing it up?
Kevin Rose: Oh, we can go back.
Tim Ferriss: We have at least five years of Random shows that we could probably do a flashback to every single failed one.
Kevin Rose: All the failed resolutions.
Tim Ferriss: That’d be an amazing montage. Oh, my god, there’d be so many.
Kevin Rose: So I would say… I want to hear yours as well. I’ll do a rapid fire on mine, and if you feel like digging in deeper on any of them, you’re welcome to. So I mean the no-brainer is just not drinking in January, that’s a no brainer, just a good reset-
Tim Ferriss: Have you done that before?
Kevin Rose: Yeah, kind of.
Tim Ferriss: That was a little, so so hand signal we got.
Kevin Rose: No, I mean it depends on how many months or how many…
Tim Ferriss: Oh, boy.
Kevin Rose: It depends on how you define January so-
Tim Ferriss: The witness is getting uncomfortable. He’s sweating, starting to shift around.
Kevin Rose: Listen, I just got back from a seven-day silent meditation retreat. I did not do any alcohol and so I take-
Tim Ferriss: You’re a paragon of self-control. You didn’t get hammered on your meditation retreat.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, exactly.
Tim Ferriss: So question for you, if you’re not going to drink… I know this. People may not know this. Flying makes you super, super nervous, as far as I remember. He really doesn’t like flying.
Kevin Rose: [inaudible 00:21:16] in the sky. [inaudible 00:21:18] do it. It doesn’t make sense.
Tim Ferriss: So when Kevin flies, Kev-Kev tends to have a drink or two or three.
Kevin Rose: I mean, I like a glass of champagne, you know? It’s like there’s nothing wrong with it.
Tim Ferriss: We can pretend that’s what we’re going to-
Kevin Rose: No, you’re right. So here’s the deal. I’ll give you an example.
Tim Ferriss: So would you have to cut back on your travel for a booze-free January?
Kevin Rose: No, no, no. I’m not that bad anymore. So when I flew back from the meditation retreat, I didn’t drink, which is great.
Tim Ferriss: Did you take a handful of Xanax though? Tell me the truth.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, exactly. No I didn’t. I was fine. I was totally fine. And-
Tim Ferriss: Wow.
Kevin Rose: Look at that.
Tim Ferriss: Go meditation
Kevin Rose: It’s one of those things where I don’t know what it is. You know what it is about flying? This is going to sound ridiculous. I’m not flying the plane. I want to be in control and I kind of want to fly it, but I don’t know how so that doesn’t make sense either. So it’s a very confusing thing and it’s something that is just… We all got our things. I’m sure you have some.
Tim Ferriss: I got plenty of things.
Kevin Rose: [inaudible 00:22:20] a good one. I haven’t unpacked this with you ever. You’re Tim-Tim the fearless. You do all kinds of crazy shit. What’s the one thing that people wouldn’t know that scares you? [inaudible 00:22:32] some shit.
Tim Ferriss: Terrified of heights.
Kevin Rose: Are you serious?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, and so when I go rock climbing, I do this as a way to try to inoculate myself against some of the fear, to the extent that if I get to a height that many people, even up in a tree like 15 feet, something like that, my legs will start to shake. I’m very afraid of heights. And when I rock climb, I’ll be belaying somebody, let’s just say it and it’s my turn to go, before I am even on the wall, I have sweat pouring off my hands. So I end up using… I can’t just use chalk because it turns into this sticky mud on my hands and if I go up a wall, even if it’s a small wall, let’s say it’s a 50-foot wall, I’ll have to reapply chalk like five times.
So what I will do… People might find this useful. There’s a product called Rhino. It probably has another word there, but Rhino, basically antiperspirant for your hands used by some competitive rock climbers. And that is the only thing… it was recommended to me by a professional level climber… that has helped. And I am fairly sure… Sorry company, it’s a great product. If you’re constantly inhibiting perspiration through the hands, I have to imagine there may be side effects, I would think, so I haven’t used it all the time.
But if I’m training, let’s just say, as I would like to… This will come back to the resolutions, I guess, but train at least twice a week, three times a week, for a period of time, why not? If I did that three, four weeks on, one week off and did that for a quarter, it’d be hard for me to imagine that would do a lot of damage, but I am very afraid of heights. To answer your question.
Kevin Rose: Have you ever done the VR thing where you walk out on the plank and it’s like you’re up a 15-story building or 20-story building?
Tim Ferriss: I have. I’m actually, for whatever reason, fine with that. Maybe it’s because it’s not convincing enough yet or the kinesthetic feedback isn’t quite there yet, or the depth perception is quite not there yet from an adaptive eye tracking perspective when you’re using-
Kevin Rose: Would you ever bungee jump?
Tim Ferriss: I have bungee jumped before.
Kevin Rose: That’s weird.
Tim Ferriss: And it scared the shit out of me and I wanted to do it in part because it was going to scare the shit out of me, and I did it off a bridge in Taiwan. This is forever ago. And everyone was going backwards and they were kind of falling butt first and I was like, “All right, I want to get tied up and I want to jump off head first looking straight down as I’m going.” And I did it and it scared the shit out of me but I will say, despite all of this exposure, so if this were, I guess it’s what, prolonged exposure PE therapy? It does not seem to have reduced my fear of heights at all, whatsoever and-
Kevin Rose: That’s crazy. I had no idea. That’s new for me.
Tim Ferriss: Oh, yeah. That’s a real thing.
Kevin Rose: It’s interesting, the more I fly-
Tim Ferriss: Just talking about it… I kid you not, the more… I’m just talking about heights right now and my hands are sweating.
Kevin Rose: So I’ve done a lot of… You know this. I’ve done a lot of rock climbing and did it a bunch in my youth and I think that the sweating thing would happen to me, as well, but not to the point… But that’s just natural. You’re just like, you’re going up a wall, especially if you’re lead climbing and you’re clipping in as you’re going, it’s much scarier. But yeah, I didn’t know they made antiperspirant your hands though.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, they do. I’ll look it up, but keep going on your…
Kevin Rose: Yeah. All right, so-
Tim Ferriss: So January, booze free. Booze free means no booze?
Kevin Rose: That’s right, no drinks.
Tim Ferriss: Okay.
Kevin Rose: Wine is fine, but everything else is out.
Tim Ferriss: What? Wine is fine? What kind of- [inaudible 00:26:40]. Oh, my god. Amazing.
Kevin Rose: Moving on, so the sad thing… So I have a WHOOP on and Apple Watch on and I’ve tested all these devices, and I really do enjoy playing with them and trying all the latest software out, and one of the things that is really disappointing to me is in the last year, actually a couple years now since COVID, Apple Watch will have a cardio fitness level built inside of it and mine’s been slowly going down and I’m like, “Ah, shit. This sucks. I got to get back into shape.”
My dad died of a heart attack, my grandpa died of a heart attack. Cardiovascular issues are not new to my family so, for me, this is a big deal. So I’m really focused on cardiovascular fitness for this new year. A couple of things just to let people know where I’m at.
I’ve tried out all the different latest versions of software for fitness tracking. I’d like to link this up in your show notes. There’s a scientist on YouTube called the Quantified Scientist that I really like. He’s awesome. He basically uses a lot of the gold standard ways to track sleep and he’ll hook himself up to all the real professional devices and then also use the consumer devices and say, “How good are these devices? How accurate are they at really predicting the levels of sleep? How good are they at heart rate detection while jogging? Is Oura any good because it’s moving around on your finger all the time.” There’s all these open questions, and all he does… I think it’s his full-time job now… is just put out new videos with all the latest fitness trackers and tell you if they’re any good and a lot of them are crap.
Tim Ferriss: That’s a cool niche, though, that he’s basically saying-
Kevin Rose: Yeah, it’s a really cool niche.
Tim Ferriss: He’s like, “All right, we’re going to look at hydrostatic underwater weighing for body composition and compare it to whatever this thing is you’re wearing.” If we take it as… I think I’m getting that description right, but if we take this underwater approach as the, say, Olympic gold standard, how do these things stack up? That’s cool.
Kevin Rose: Right, exactly, exactly. Yeah, it’s really cool. And so the TLDR is that the Apple Watch is actually pretty damn good now. It didn’t always used to be, but it’s really good for heart rate and it’s really good for sleep. The WHOOP I like because… It’s not as good as the Apple Watch, but what it does is it does activity-specific tracking, so for example… And yes, you can do that on the Apple Watch too. You can say, “I’m doing elliptical,” or, “I’m doing all this stuff,” but the WHOOP is cool because you can say, “Okay, I’m going to sit down. I’m going to do a meditation.” It’ll detect that you’re doing that and then it’ll give you your heart rate in real time, or it’ll show you the graph after you’re done over that activity, and it’s much harder to try and find that data.
Apple, their device is amazing, their software kind of sucks. Like health kit and the whole health interface, it’s not a consumer app. It’s very clinical feeling. So the data’s there, but it’s not represented in the right way, if that makes sense. So anyway, long story short, Oura has a brand new sleep algorithm. The Quantified Scientists have yet to test that out against all those other things. Their sleep algorithm, I think, was pretty screwed up before, but they’re testing a new one now. You can enable it in beta so I’m going to wait and see how that goes for sleep tracking.
But anyway, my methods for cardio, Peloton Rower. I’m not involved in Peloton in any way, don’t have any stock but I saw the new rower and it looks pretty interesting. So they give you a 30-day money back guarantee. I just bought it. It’ll show up in the next couple of days. I think that’s good. They say rowing is 80% of your muscles, which is amazing, all at the same time, so if you’re looking for a quick hit, like 15, 20-minute workout… I don’t know, I’m excited about it. I’m going to give it a shot.
Tim Ferriss: I can hop in for a second.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, please.
Tim Ferriss: So I had a chance to test the Peloton Rower for the first time, and this is part of due diligence because I have been having conversations with Peloton, and you didn’t know this before putting together-
Kevin Rose: No.
Tim Ferriss: … the prep for this conversation.
Kevin Rose: This is the first I’m hearing of it.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, so Peloton and I have been talking about possibly doing something in terms of sponsorship on the podcast related to the rower, and as is my first step with all of these things, I asked to use a unit, I said I have to test it. And I had the chance to test a unit. This would’ve been, I don’t know, two or three weeks ago. And I was very impressed with it. And I can give you a couple of tips that might help other people who are also getting the units. So the first is the form correction is very helpful, and almost everyone will use their arms too much, lean back too far, and use their legs incorrectly.
Kevin Rose: So I don’t know what the form correction is, it’s just like in the software or something like-
Tim Ferriss: It is in the software. So it will show a profile of you on the rower and it will flash red in areas where you need to correct the form-
Kevin Rose: How does it know to break? The front camera?
Tim Ferriss: Sensors in the seat and sensors on the pulling mechanism. And there are probably other sensors on top of that. And the feedback is actually quite helpful. There is a competitive or former competitive, I think he’s still current competitive rower, very large white guy who has excellent form. And there are other instructors who have excellent form, but he is the instructor who I know, and I’m blanking on his name, people could figure it out, who has a competitive background. And the reason that’s attractive to me is if you are going to be a competitive rower in the long term and succeed-
Kevin Rose: No injuries.
Tim Ferriss: Exactly. If your technique is not efficient, you are going to suffer from repetitive use injuries, 100%, and debilitate you. So I like the idea of modeling, at least in the beginning stages, the technique on someone who has competitive experience. So that would be a recommendation. I apologize, I’m blanking on his name. The last thing I would say, and I’ve provided feedback, product feedback, so we’ll see, since I think they could make modifications quite easily with firmware instead of changing the hardware. And if my experience with the Peloton bike is any indication, they will make constant firmware improvements. So I expect by the time I’m even saying this, that once you get your shipped unit, I’m hoping there may be some modifications made. The sensors at the very back of the seat are very sensitive. So my experience was, you may get a bit too much feedback in terms of a red alert indicating you’re leaning back when you may not in fact be leaning back that far.
So two suggestions, and these are my experiential suggestions, not any type of, I don’t think official suggestion. Scoot your butt forward just a little bit so that it’s not all the way at the back of the seat. Second is absolutely focus on not leaning back excessively. And so I do think as a practice, especially for engaging your legs, it’s good to almost lean forward slightly as you do the exercise. And what blew my mind is once I had the technique feedback, once I had the guidance in terms of exertion and some metrics to watch, I found that I could do longer rowing workouts. I could actually do a long rowing workouts. And I have a concept two rower, and I like the concept two rower. But what I found is without any of those feedback mechanisms, I would crank up the resistance because there’s a resistance style on the concept two, crank up the resistance, and I would go balls to the wall for 500 meters and I would effectively be done.
My heart rate would be through the roof. My arms would be sore, my legs would not be sore, and I was roasted. I could go longer. But if I were trying to do something, let’s just say as a short morning workout, 500 to 750 meters. And I was like, okay, I think that at this point my biceps are the weak link in the chain using the Peloton rower and following the feedback easily could do a 30 to 45-minute workout, which better engaged all of the musculature that you were aiming to engage. So I had a very positive experience, very positive experience, and I’m sure that they will of course. And they already, I’m sure, have many plans to iterate on the firmware. So I think you’ll enjoy it. I’ll be curious to hear your thoughts. Now, I will say, since you gave a peek behind the scenes earlier, I’ll do you the same favor. When you send me those naked mirror selfie shots, post-workout every once in a while-
Kevin Rose: Which I always do, you love them too.
Tim Ferriss: I’ll get one of these from Kevin.
Kevin Rose: Send me Apple Cash right after, and I appreciate it.
Tim Ferriss: Oh, it’s great. It’s great. Yeah, I did upgrade to premium on your OnlyFans, and I always get the tricep shot. And you have good triceps. I always get the tricep shot. It’s not still there. I still got it. It’s not frequent. It’s not frequent that I get the quad or the calf flex.
Kevin Rose: I have good quads now.
Tim Ferriss: I don’t get this. What?
Kevin Rose: Well, they’re getting better. I’ve been doing a lot of squats. I’ll send you some updated pics.
Tim Ferriss: Oh, oh, great. Great. Good, good, good. Fantastic. Yeah, I was just going to ensure that you understand that using a rower involves your legs. I just wanted to make sure that those-
Kevin Rose: No, you know what’s funny is, all jokes aside, Tim, seriously, in the last four weeks I’ve really focused on my legs, and I’m enjoying it a lot. It’s like I don’t know but, so I’ve always hate abs, I still hate abs. There’s nothing about abs that I’m ever going to love. But once you actually start to build up your legs, there’s like this… I mean, it’s like with anything fitness related, there’s this painful first few weeks. And if you can cross that chasm and kind of get on the other side of it, I don’t know, things are looking up on the legs.
Tim Ferriss: And also you just feel a lot better. You feel a lot stronger, you feel much more stable when you’re doing that kind of work. And I don’t want to interrupt your flow on the New Year stuff, but I have some physical resolutions-
Kevin Rose: Jump in.
Tim Ferriss: … as well.
Kevin Rose: Why not? We can jump back to mine. Let’s just keep it going. Pop on it around as they call it.
Tim Ferriss: So I am going to be spending most of January and February focusing on skiing. I find skiing to be a perfect blend of some of my favorite things. And I have done snowboarding. I just tend to injure myself immediately because snowboarding comes very naturally. I still think I’m a 15-year-old skateboarder and I start doing stuff at the park and getting fancy and then I injure myself, inevitably. So rather than try to rely on restraint, which is not my strong suit, I just don’t allow myself to snowboard anymore. Skiing is a wonderful combination of time and nature, being outside, moving with speed under control, where you get an adrenaline hit, but ideally without excessive danger. It is subtle, and you can refine technique for a long time and not run out of room to improve. You can make quantum leaps in your performance with proper instruction.
Kevin Rose: And you can do it when you’re 70 too. People can-
Tim Ferriss: And you can do it when you are older. And that has become so much more important for me. And to this end though I am, or both in process and leading up to it. So let’s just say I have actually not that much time. I have 10 days, so I’m not going to do a whole lot of conditioning in the next 10 days. But I have done some leading up to it focusing on lower body, lower leg. As you know, I’ve had so many injuries, so I’ve torn most of the connective tissue, the meaningful connective tissue in my ankles over the years just from the outrageous decisions and bad commitments with combat sports and getting heel hooked and things like this. So I, as a result, need to compensate by strengthening the lower legs on the lateral portion, the rear of my calf, everything to try to compensate for weak ankles and terrible torso flexion. And-
Kevin Rose: Is that your weak point if someone wanted to take you out is just go for your ankles?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, you got to go for the ankles.
Kevin Rose: Just curious.
Tim Ferriss: It is a weak spot. So yeah, you can go for the ankles. If someone wants to come at me, go for the ankles and I’ll just pull out my concealed carriage and shoot you in the face anyway.
Kevin Rose: [Inaudible 00:40:07] punch floor price, just go for his ankles.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, if you go for the ankles, just be prepared. I may be packing. So there’s that. And the reason I bring all of this up though is that it’s one thing for me to make commitment in say an urban environment to improve lower body strength and to work on stability. And to do so in a way that is sort of clinical in a workout without real world engagement. But if I really want to stack the deck in my favor to accomplish that, I want to set the environment. And I want to set my social interactions in such a way that that goal is served. And I recognize this is a very fortunate position that I’m in, but I do think people can borrow this maybe framework or way of looking at goals to think about.
All right, I say I want to do X, how can I optimize spending time with people who will help me achieve X, or who are already achieving X, or are trying to achieve X? How can I put myself in locations where I am more likely to interact with those people and absorb some of these maybe ancillary habits related to my primary goal through sheer exposure.
Kevin Rose: So Tim tells that, I think that is such a very, very important thing. This idea that the sum of your closest friends largely makes up what you’re into, your hobbies, the things you get excited about. When you find there’s something new you want to go after, let’s call it skiing or something. You’re lucky because you can pick up the phone and world class skiers will answer and say, let me take you out for the day. So you’re Tim Ferriss. But how do you recommend that people going into the new year, if there’s something new they want to get into, or they look around at their friend group and they’re just like, this isn’t helping me get to the next level. What do you do if you’re stuck like that?
Tim Ferriss: Go make some new friends. And I would say furthermore let’s-
Kevin Rose: Friendster.
Tim Ferriss: Friendster. So aside from Friendster, I will say, and I’ll mention this, I don’t mention it that much. The 4-Hour Chef confusingly is actually a book about accelerated learning and skill acquisition. I talk a lot about this in The 4-Hour Chef. So even if you buy it, you don’t give a shit about cooking, and you just want to learn about meta learning and acquiring physical skills, there’s a section called meta learning in The 4-Hour Chef. And I highly recommend that people dig into it because the recommendations work. And I’ve used them dozens of times now. One of the points that I make is if you go on Google and search whatever your target sport is, let’s just for the time being assume-
Kevin Rose: I want to play that pickle sport.
Tim Ferriss: Pickleball?
Kevin Rose: Yeah, I haven’t tried that yet.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, pickleball is fun. Pickleball is fun. It’s more ankle friendly than tennis, but you can still roll an ankle or two if you’re not careful. So it is exciting. Austin is also not only the third coast capital of ayahuasca and unending ayahuasca conversations, but also pickleball. There’s a lot of pickleball here. And in sort of Central Valley, California, it’s become very popular. But putting pickleball aside for a second, because that is not yet an Olympic sport. Let’s say you want to get better at a sport that is a professional sport, or I should say amateur or professional sport represented in the Olympics. Could be swimming, could be skiing, could be just about anything, snowboarding, et cetera. If you search for snowboard silver medalist, bronze medalist, or even maybe gold medalist from two Olympics ago, there’s a very good chance, and this is not to minimize their achievement, but the fact of the matter is there are many sports that are financially rewarded in the US, basketball, baseball, and there are many that are not.
And I don’t think that’s fair in sense. It’s not reflective of the dedication or skill necessary to be good at certain things. Gymnastics would be another one. However, that does mean an opportunity for a lot of people. And you could find a silver medalist or a bronze medalist who by the way, in many cases is just a gold medalist who had a bad day. That’s it. And you could get one-on-one remote or in-person training with them in many cases for a hundred bucks an hour. And I realized-
Kevin Rose: That’s amazing. I haven’t thought about that. Yeah. Any medal is fine, like bronze, copper, whatever.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, you don’t need, also, if you are… I mean, I am not the best skier, but I do ski black diamond, I’ve done some hell skiing and I’ve done a lot of off piece, kind of off terrain. I’m not a great skier, but I have a basic foundation of ability. I do not need a gold medalist. I need someone who is substantially better than I am. And this is very key. And who can teach. Because in many cases you’ll find, say a college coach, maybe they’re retired, doesn’t really matter, in a given sport who will be a far better instructor and get you further ahead than a gold medalist. If that gold medalist has never really taught. Everything they’ve done since age five has become second nature. So they can’t explicitly name or describe what they’re doing.
So you have a broad menu of people you can choose from if you’re trying to learn a new skill. And it is so mind bendingly affordable in so many cases. There’s so many fields. Let’s take an example. I am very excited about archery. So some of my goals relate to archery for the new year, and I’ve been taking it seriously for a while. I feel very comfortable with compound. I’m focusing now on recurve and bare bow which is-
Kevin Rose: Are you better than Attia or is Attia better than you because he’s in there as well.
Tim Ferriss: I don’t know. I don’t know. I’ve no idea. I mean, Attia has gone full with archery. He’s making his own materials-
Kevin Rose: He’s better than you.
Tim Ferriss: …. fletching. Well then, he might be. Then, he might be, I am feel very confident in my ability to do what I have tasked myself with doing with respect-
Kevin Rose: We got into bareback riding a long time ago, that archery, remember that? You were doing bareback archery in Japan.
Tim Ferriss: It is not bareback, but I was doing yabusame horseback archery in Japan with traditional bows that are long bows, about six feet long. Where you-
Kevin Rose: Is there a saddle on that horse or no?
Tim Ferriss: There’s a saddle, but the saddle is very, very thin wood. The only purpose of the saddle is to hor hold the stirrups on the horse so you can ride the horse without sitting on the horse. So you’re effectively doing a wide squat in the stirrups. The only purpose of the saddle is to hold you on the horse. And the saddle is not intended to be sat upon. I have two antique saddles at home-
Kevin Rose: I know. I’ve seen those.
Tim Ferriss: … that were my reward. Those were my first real reward I gave myself in any meaningful way for anything I did. And it was for The 4-Hour Body hitting number one New York Times. That’s why I have the saddles. Yeah.
Kevin Rose: And so, gosh, Tim, we’ve known each other a long time, man.
Tim Ferriss: Super long time.
Kevin Rose: I remember walking in, what was that downstairs place that you had, you went down this hallway to Tim’s house and it was like there was a big huge Japanese, you had the full armor, right? Off to the light.
Tim Ferriss: Yep. I had the armor.
Kevin Rose: What was that? Little kendo you had or something?
Tim Ferriss: So the armor had traveled with me for quite a while. This was kendo armor that I used in Japan.
Kevin Rose: A kendo you had in San Francisco with that little…
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, it was on the right hand side. So as you walked in, it was in two different places. One place I rented, and then another place that I bought. And the place that I bought, which was in Glen Park, I guess both of them were in Glen Park. The first one had this hallway leading in, pretty long hallway, and it was all kettlebells. It was all kettlebells. It was just like 20 kettlebells. And then you walk up and the armor was to the right. It was directly to the right, across this walkway that went from the living room into the kitchen. And the armor was directly on the right when you came into the place that I bought later. You’d walk in and on the left hand side was an entire chalkboard wall that had artwork on it. So it was like 12 feet of chalk art, which was incredible. So good. I was so impressed with this artist. And then on the right hand side had the Japanese armor. And that was the kendo armor I used when I was in Japan.
Kevin Rose: Tim’s house back then was exactly… Because I met you and you just launched the 4-Hour Workweek. It was just the launch party. It was when I met you for that. And I remember I came to your house, and I remembered just walking at some point to hang out, and I didn’t know you that well. And it was just like you walked on this aisle of kettlebells. It was like a hall of kettlebells, and then this Japanese armor and weird saddles and maybe the saddles were later I think.
Tim Ferriss: Saddles were few years later, yeah.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. And then there was books all over the place with all these little note things in them. And I’m just like, this guy is crazy.
Tim Ferriss: The honeymoon phase of our friendship.
Kevin Rose: That’s right.
Tim Ferriss: Kettlebell date. So yeah, I suppose taking a long roundabout way of saying, do not assume that you do not have access to really good teachers, it’s right there. But people don’t look for it because they assume that it’s not. And this type of outreach and finding instructors I did well before I ever had the first book. And you can do it. There are very direct ways to do it as particularly if you know the right questions to ask, you need to know the right questions to ask. It is your job to use the instructor like the niche expert Google you want them to be, to provide feedback. You have to know how to be proactive as a student.
And if you learn how to do that, you also remove one of the requirements I gave. And that is you can take someone who is not experienced in teaching and make them a good teacher by virtue of feeding in the right questions. And I don’t want to sound like I’m hitting it too hard because frankly I make next to nothing on these books. But the 4-Hour Chef meta learning section has all of this. It’s very in depth. So I encourage people to check it out.
Kevin Rose: Awesome. Very cool.
Tim Ferriss: What else you got?
Kevin Rose: You can do a couple more resolutions or?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, let’s do it. I’ve shifted into fifth gear, and I’m making the transition to the [inaudible 00:52:18]. Just FYI.
Kevin Rose: I’m on my second and a half class, so it’s going to get interesting real quick here. All right, so a few more things on my list and then we can move. I want to talk to you about your NFT ventures and figure out how that’s going. So I finished my seven-day very first ever Zen meditation retreat. It was fantastic in so many ways. And I would say that the one thing that it gave me is when you sit for eight hours of meditation per day, you realize very quickly that the 25 minutes is actually nothing, it just is nothing. And it has really, really helped me create since returning from that trip, I had just haven’t missed a day, and it’s just been solid. Because it feels like it’s so trivial, it’s like of course I can find 25 minutes to go and sit, or do a double sit in a day and get to 50 or 55 if you’re doing walking along with it.
But it just reframed that entire thing for me, which I think is fantastic. And it also gave me this sense of just knowing I want to go deeper in this realm. And the experience of the community and at the Zendo and everyone getting together. You’ve been on one of these. And I know yours was a little bit rocky, I’d be curious to see if you’d go back to one, but I had a fantastic time in. So I know meditation is going to be top priority and of all the things that I do going into next year.
Tim Ferriss: So let me ask some follow ups. I will say that I would be open to doing something like that again. I would probably try a different format. So at the time I’d done a Vipassana silent retreat, and the sitting was similarly intensive and the vast majority of your day is sitting or walking meditation, mostly sitting. And I’ve told that story before so I won’t tell it here. If people want to hear that, and effectively it gets into some very heavy stuff so I won’t rehash it here. But if you want to hear the story, I told it on 10% Happier, the podcast with Dan Harris. And we got into it quite a bit. I had effectively a full psychotic unraveling at my extended meditation retreat, which relates to a bunch of childhood trauma and abuse and so on. So it’s not what I would consider family listening, but if people want background, they can listen to that.
And it ended up being a very important experience for me, but it also scared the shit out of me. And I was very worried about being in a psychological free fall. And thank God Jack Kornfield, who has been on this podcast a number of times, who is an extremely masterful and skilled teacher, meditator, who is clinical psychologist, has worked with veterans, adolescents who cut, he has an extremely hybridized toolkit, which makes him very, very, very effective. And he walks the walk. That guy is as legit as it comes. So people may also want to listen to the podcast I’ve done with him. I would be open to testing another format though. And I’ve been extremely impressed with Henry Shukman, who is your Jedi master as I understand it. And-
Kevin Rose: He’s amazing. He’s been on your podcast twice now, highly recommended to go back and listen.
Tim Ferriss: He has, and I wanted to thank you for that introduction. You had recommended it. And he’s outstanding. He is a very, very good teacher. He’s a compelling speaker. And I could see delving into a different format to see what that provides. And I’m not in a rush to do it. I am, however, feeling some urgency to begin meditating again. I’ve completely fallen off the horse. And so that has been at the very top of my list. And I continue to find excuses to put it off. And it’s funny because this happens to me once every year or two where I’ll be meditating, meditating, meditating, and then suddenly it’s like the excuse factory took a vacation for a year and then it’s like, “I’m back.” And all of a sudden I fall off the horse and I stop. And it does not take a lot for me to feel tremendous benefits. I would say if I do. And my default for kickstarting this tends to be a concentration practice like transcendental meditation. I just find it to be the easiest way to get back on the horse-
Kevin Rose: That mantra base is easy like that. It’s good. It’s good like that.
Tim Ferriss: Using something like that or if I want to make it an even easier on-ramp using say the introduction or the introductory course with the Waking Up app and Sam Harris, I find that to be extremely well done. It provides you with very discreet and cumulative tools as you go through it. Really anything to get you into the habit. And I’ll actually bring up something from a conversation I just had this week with James Clear. So James Clear wrote a book called Atomic Habits-
Kevin Rose: Yeah, I know James.
Tim Ferriss: … sold 10 million plus copies. Habits are his thing. And he shared something with me, a phrasing that I found very powerful and very memorable. And I’m going to paraphrase here, I don’t want to speak for him. But he effectively said something along the lines of, “When in doubt, keep the schedule, reduce the scope.” Which means, let’s say you’ve made a commitment to work out one hour every Monday in the gym. You’re going to do leg day every Monday. And maybe it’s not a 60-minute commitment, it’s just I will do my leg workout every Monday. And your leg workout as it’s currently outlined takes 45 minutes. But then life happens, shit happens. Who knows? The kid’s got a bloody nose, the work call runs over. And you look at your watch and you realize, “Uh-oh, I’m only going to have 15 minutes to do leg day.” You have a few options at that point. And the option that I’ve taken with meditation is I don’t have enough time, I’m not going to meditate.
And his point is, even if leg day is a warmup on the rower and some body weight split squats, that’s better than nothing. And the momentum and the consistency matters.So for let’s just say meditation, if I were to take that advice, which I have not been, although I just had this conversation with him yesterday or the day before. Even if you sit down and meditate for 30 seconds, just check the box, sit down and do it, so that you can build the confidence to maintain some degree of momentum. And this applies to diet too. I think we’ve all had the experience of being on some type of diet and maybe you had a little bit too much to drink, or maybe you ate a little too many edibles. And you’re like, “I just want a cookie.” And you eat one cookie, “Well, since I had one cookie, well, I already screwed myself so let me eat a whole box of cookies.”
And the reverse of that is, “Well, I already have too little time to get a proper meditation session, and let me do no meditation.” And his point is, stick to the schedule, reduce the scope. And I think that’s very powerful and I’m going to try to, I’m going to commit, let me make a different statement. I’m going to commit to applying that to meditation in the new year.
Kevin Rose: That’s awesome. I’d love to hear that because that can snowball into some bigger things down the road.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, totally. Totally.
Kevin Rose: Well, we can move on from meditation because it’s pretty boring topic, but it’s literally just sitting there doing nothing. But I would say the one thing that I… So I was very fortunate that, you’ve been to my Page Street apartment back in the day in SF. I lived right next to the San Francisco Zen Center, right next to it, literally across the street. So, well I took my first Zen course at that Zen center back 15 years ago. And I would say that forever, I was doing the calm slash… well, Headspace was my first app experience on meditation. And I was doing the 10 or 15-minute meditations, and I did that consistently pretty well, not seven days a week, but four to five days a week. And it gave me just some nice moments to just kind of, aah, I’m just going to rest a little bit.
But I got to say there’s something even more special if you can just push into the next zone of that, 25, 50 minutes. And they call this word samariam. I’m sure you’ve probably heard of that before, but it’s like this deep level that I’ve only slipped into probably a dozen times and I’m like, “Oh, shit. There’s a deep well here.”
Tim Ferriss: That was a little bit of a flex there.
Kevin Rose: No, no, no, no, no.
Tim Ferriss: Only 200 times or 300 times.
Kevin Rose: No, no, no. That’s not even near what the, it’s just a-
Tim Ferriss: Okay, I’m just fucking with you.
Kevin Rose: It’s a deep seated meditation. It’s not enlightenment or any crazy thing. I’m not flexing that hard it. But it’s like, it’s a very hard thing to find. And it turns out that the more you chase it, the more it flees, which is because you’re trying for something versus just relaxing into the moment. But anyway.
Tim Ferriss: It’s true for happiness in general, I would say.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, isn’t it? Isn’t it?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah.
Kevin Rose: I’ll say the one thing that I really loved about… By the way, a couple things to mention about Henry as well, just to give him a little plug. He is my teacher. You mentioned the Waking Up app. I agree with you wholeheartedly. That was a turning point for me. I started listening to the Waking Up app. I paid for it. Love Sam’s content. Think it’s well researched. It’s probably the most, it’s the best meditation app for people that aren’t looking to necessarily just check a box but actually want to go a little bit deeper because it has the supporting content that can allow you to go-
Tim Ferriss: The conversations and the essays are excellent. And he has, I think Henry on the app also.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, well that’s how I discovered Henry was, Henry was Sam somehow found him as a Zen teacher. And Henry has several courses on the Waking Up app. So if you’re curious about who we’re talking to or talking about, you can go and check out Henry’s content on the Waking Up app and also enjoy the app as well. Because it’s a great well-made product that Sam has put together.
Tim Ferriss: And Henry’s voice, he has this mellifluous, delsich tones. It’s fantastic. He’s the kind of guy, if he read you the, as Neil Gaiman did once, the Cheesecake Factory menu, you’d be like, “Oh, I could listen to this all day.” He’s got a great voice.
Kevin Rose: Exactly.
Tim Ferriss: Got a great voice.
Kevin Rose: Absolutely. Anyway, so couple other things on my list of New Year’s resolutions and then Tim, I’d love to hear your final list as well. So two boring things, but I think we can all relate. One, organizing my photos on the photos app inside of photos, like Jesus, it’s a mess. I got to go do that. I want to do that this year at some point.
Tim Ferriss: Wait. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait, wait. How are you going to do that? Because I look at my photos and I don’t even take that many photos, right? The youngsters out there take, whatever it is, 20 selfies a day.
Kevin Rose: You send me a lot of bad stuff.
Tim Ferriss: Those are usually the most-
Kevin Rose: Those two dudes awful with the one dude in the center.
Tim Ferriss: Wait, what? No, those weren’t dudes.
Kevin Rose: With the whipped cream.
Tim Ferriss: Those were not dudes.
Kevin Rose: Oh, those aren’t dudes?
Tim Ferriss: You got to watch again. No, they’re not dudes. Anyway, so those are the most hideous things that my friends send me in these various group texts. And by the way, side note, anyone out there who as their personal theater chooses mock outrage, like, oh my God, I can’t believe, da da da da. Every one of you, if you had your group text shared, you’d go down in flames like the rest of the world. So please.
Kevin Rose: Oh my God. Dude, if I had my friend’s group text shared, you and I would both, it would be game over.
Tim Ferriss: Everyone. No, but here’s what would happen is the entire world would be canceled. And if you wouldn’t be canceled, I’m like, I’m so sorry your life is so boring and your friends have no sense of humor.
Kevin Rose: That’s the whole thing is, one of the things I love about my friends is that we can all give each other shit, we take it and we also share things that are just so ridiculous they make us laugh, but we’re having fun with life. We’re just, it’s humor. And we realize that. But you know if that thread got on the internet, people would be like, “Oh my God, they made a joke about this.” And it’s like it’s, I’m not making any jokes that I wouldn’t, like I have no problem with… My jokes wouldn’t be considered to be, like they’d be considered to be crude but not-
Tim Ferriss: Oh no. The apologies start already.
Kevin Rose: No, I’m trying to classify them. They’re not jokes that people would be like, “Oh, he’s a woman hater or a racist or something like that.” Those aren’t the jokes. They’re more just a little bit crude and a little bit rough around the edges. But it’s fun.
Tim Ferriss: Just a little crude. Just a little crude.
Kevin Rose: Dude, your shit is, I couldn’t even show Daria some of the stuff you sent me. I showed-
Tim Ferriss: Of course you can. Of course you can.
Kevin Rose: I showed her the little thing with the two people bumping and she was like, “Jesus.”
Tim Ferriss: Oh no, that was terrible. That was one-
Kevin Rose: That was one the worst one’s you’ve ever sent me.
Tim Ferriss: Oh yeah. It was so bad. Well, I mean, kind of relates to my NFT project in a way, but it’s like you know there’s something horrible and special when you’re in a group thread and I’m not a woman. I don’t want to speak for women. Men I think just in general are much cruder, much rougher. I could be wrong. Please prove me wrong. But there’s some just terrible shit that floats around. And again, it’s not anything that would be illegal, but it’s just in its own way jaw dropping.
Kevin Rose: Here comes the backpedal.
Tim Ferriss: No, no, I’m not backpedaling. I’m not backpedaling. Now that you’ve got me started on this whole apologizing to the woke supremacist thing, now I’ve been drafted into this thankless task. But the point I was going to make is, I don’t know if you’ve had this experience, but you’re in a group thread with a bunch of guys and it’s just constant nonsense. It’s just nonsense.
Kevin Rose: Oh, of course.
Tim Ferriss: Dick jokes-
Kevin Rose: That’s all it is.
Tim Ferriss: Nonsense, nonsense, nonsense. And then one person will throw something in and everyone’s like, “Ooh God, Jesus God, it’s terrible.”
Kevin Rose: Totally. And then you immediately send it to five of your friends.
Tim Ferriss: And I immediately send it to you. When I get one of those gems, I immediately send it to you.
Kevin Rose: Well, me and Sacca. You do have-
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Kevin Rose: Sometimes Sacca’s on there too.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, we do have some good ones. We do have some good ones. How how the hell did we get on this?
Kevin Rose: Okay, so we were talking, okay, I was talking about organizing my photos.
Tim Ferriss: Oh, photos. So wait, how would you even do that though? Because it seems like such an overwhelming task.
Kevin Rose: It is. It’s not even probably worth talking about. I would just fire up the photos app, and I’m going to go back in time and start going to town and just deleting a bunch of crap.
Tim Ferriss: Definitely not going to do that. Okay, continue.
Kevin Rose: So here’s a more important one though. This actually is something that I, two things. Well, we don’t have to talk about the one, but the one thing that I do want to do is I’m really trying to figure out-
Tim Ferriss: Wait, wait, what was the one you don’t want to talk about?
Kevin Rose: Well, no, I’ve started coding again-
Tim Ferriss: Butt plugs tell me.
Kevin Rose: No, no. Not the plugs that you love. By the way, no, we’re not going to get in that. So this is just going off the rails quickly. So I am starting to code again.
Tim Ferriss: So when I moved from keto to tequila, that’s when all the trouble starts.
Kevin Rose: Exactly. That’s how you know. This is going to be a good episode. I’m actually really proud of us.
Tim Ferriss: It’s solid.
Kevin Rose: We finally had another holiday drinking one, which is great.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, yeah. Next time in person.
Kevin Rose: The one thing that I was going to mention is that just for fun, I am starting coding again. I want to do something generative on the NFT side, and hopefully have something ready for our conference in May, just for fun.
And then the last thing I would say, and it’s something that’s really important to me is, I want to do this yearly delete of things. And I have this rule and tell me, Tim, if you have a better idea-
Tim Ferriss: Physical things.
Kevin Rose: Physical things. Yeah. And so what I’m thinking is that if I haven’t used something in six months, or maybe I should even shorten it to three months, let’s call it clothing, devices, et cetera. Something that’s sitting around in your house. Just donate it. Donate it, give it away to Goodwill, let it find the home it belongs in and reduce your stuff to like, I’d love to cut in half, to be honest. I don’t need all the crap. How do you feel about that?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. I have some policies for myself that have been very helpful I think. And sometimes I over-correct and I’ll explain why over-correcting makes sense, at least for me. The first is, and I’m sure you get this, but I think I get it to a much greater degree. Maybe when you were at the helm of Digg, this was an issue. I get sent so much shit.
Kevin Rose: Yes.
Tim Ferriss: It is unbelievable. I just get mountains of stuff sent.
Kevin Rose: We’re in the same boat, dude. Yeah, that’s part of why I was thinking about it. It’s like you get a lot of books, you get a lot of swag-
Tim Ferriss: Stuff.
Kevin Rose: You get a lot of things. Yeah, exactly.
Tim Ferriss: You get a lot of stuff. And so one of my rules, and I don’t follow it perfectly, but some rules followed imperfectly still add a lot of benefit. And in my case, if I’m going to keep something new, I try to get rid of something. So if I’m going to accept one thing in, one thing’s going to go. If somebody sends me, maybe it’s a really comfortable shirt that has some clever thing on it and there’s some really minimal branding for their company and it’s a friend’s thing and I’m like, “Okay, this is a comfortable shirt. Maybe I’ll keep this.” I will try to find a shirt that I get rid of because I have simply too much stuff.
I will also go through periods of purging. And I try to do it leading into the winter. Because, frankly, if you’re out there and you have warm clothing, meaning clothing for cold weather. If you have layers or thicker clothing or longsleeve shirts that you are not using and you will not use this winter, holy shit, there are people who need that. There are people who are homeless, there are people who are without means to buy clothing for themselves or their children. Donate that stuff.
And here’s what I would say. If you’re on the fence, give it away. And I don’t want to do too much of the Marie Kondo stuff, but it’s like, if it doesn’t spark joy, here’s what I would say. This is another-
Kevin Rose: I love your accents by the way. They’re so good every time you do one.
Tim Ferriss: Thank you. Yeah, if anybody didn’t know, it’s not Marie Kondo, even though it’s very convenient for the English-speaking market. It’s Maria, Maria, Maria Kondo.
Kevin Rose: Maria Kondo.
Tim Ferriss: And yeah, she has the most perfect skin of all time, by the way. People can find a photograph of me with her. I interviewed her in Japan.
Kevin Rose: Was it figured out what her secret is?
Tim Ferriss: Genetics maybe. It’s like an AI created the perfect human porcelain doll, it’s unbelievable. I don’t know what it is.
Kevin Rose: Are you attracted to her?
Tim Ferriss: She’s cute. Oh, absolutely. She’s also married and has a family and that’s not something I’m going for. But she’s a good looking woman. Jesus Christ. All right. Anyway, no, but let me come back to this process.
Kevin Rose: And I have a question for you, but go ahead. About buying stuff.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, for sure. So what I try to do when I look in, whether it’s my closet or at things I own, is ask on a scale of say one to 10, how much joy am I getting out of this? Or how much use am I getting out of this? And then the follow-up question is, no matter what the answer is, if it’s a 10, I keep it. If it’s a nine, I’d probably keep it. If it’s an eight, I’d probably still keep it. But if it’s less than that, could I give this to someone? Could I donate this to someone who would absolutely get an eight, nine, or 10 use or joy out of this? If so, get rid of it.
And if you have some means, and that doesn’t mean millions of dollars, but getting rid of a T-shirt or two is probably not going to break the bank for a lot of people. In which case, when in doubt, donate it. Give it to someone who can’t afford to buy the shirt. And if you decide later, you know what? Oh, I really liked that T-shirt. I really like that V-neck. I really liked that fill in the blank. You can buy it again.
And I rarely end up doing that, but every once in a while I’ll do a full purge where I’ll just take garbage bags and garbage bags of stuff and donate it to Goodwill or somewhere else. And then I’ll realize, “Ah, okay, I kind of got overzealous. I got rid of that one thing that I wore all the time.” And then I’ll just buy it again on Amazon. It’s there two days later. It’s fine.
Kevin Rose: Let me ask you, I have a very personal question and something that I haven’t shared before that I’d like to ask you about buying things and-
Tim Ferriss: Oh boy. Wow.
Kevin Rose: No, I just think that this is something that nobody talks about. And I always like to, you’re so good at finding stuff that you can pick up and you’re a very open person, which I’ve always appreciated about your podcast and just how you are transparent about feelings and emotions and a lot of things that I think a lot of men could use to look up to in terms of-
Tim Ferriss: Oh God, is this question going to be a fucking hydrogen bomb?
Kevin Rose: This is a tough one. No, no, no. So here’s a problem that I’ve had, just being completely honest.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah.
Kevin Rose: There was, back when I was in my 20s and early 30s, Digg was doing quite well, which was my startup for those of you who don’t know, it was early social news website that was, it was killing it. We had 38 million people a month that were visiting on the site.
Tim Ferriss: Huge.
Kevin Rose: Back then, it was one of the top sites on the internet. It was crazy. It started to go sideways and it started to go down and we were losing to Reddit. Reddit was starting to kick our ass in some certain ways and we had dominated them for many years. And then all of a sudden that was not the case and we were kind of reeling a little bit. I had sold a tiny bit of my stock, enough to be able to afford an apartment and actually buy and put a down payment on an apartment and that’s how I got my Paige Street place in SF.
And I remember thinking to myself, I need to buy myself something to like, it was a search to feel better. And so I went out and I actually bought, and this is going to sound super douchey, but I’m okay to say this today. Actually I bought a Porsche. I bought a Porsche 911 back in the day. And looking back on that, I realized I was just in a really difficult, sad state. It was hard for me to watch this baby of mine and I didn’t know how to course correct it. I was just so immature in a bunch of different ways. But I was buying for the sake of trying to fill a gap.
Don’t get me wrong, I still think vintage Porsches and old Porsches and Porsches in general, they’re just beautiful cars. I think they’re great. I don’t have a 911 today, but I will say that I’d noticed the same thing.
Tim Ferriss: Kevin is not anti-Porsche in his group text messaging.
Kevin Rose: I’m not anti-Porsche. Please don’t cancel me, Porsche. I would love to be sponsored if you want to sponsor me. I’m happy to drive a 911. So that said, here’s the crazy thing. I went and ran Hokinkee, the luxury watch brand company, I was CEO there for a few years and loved my experience there because we were covering mechanical, like a dying art. It was mechanical timepieces. And it was very beautiful in its purest form. In its purest form, you talk to an artisan that is a single independent watchmaker that takes a year and a half to build something from scratch and sells 10 a year. That’s beautiful. Those days are going away.
In its douchey form, you’re talking to Lambo drivers that just want to have a flex that they can hold the watch on their wrist that says I have $5 million on my wrist. That’s a real thing. And so I met with a lot, as CEO of this company, it still is the largest watch brand editorial site in the world. And you would meet all these collectors and they would come up to you and they come in all different shapes and sizes.
And it was clear to me that some of these dudes, bless them, they were trying to fill that same thing that I was trying to fill, where you go out and you spend money on something to make yourself feel in a group, to feel connection. Because you’d come out and you’d say, “These are other collectors like me.” And it’s tough. And I’m not anti-watch, I’m wearing an Apple Watch today, but I still have a few time pieces that are really meaningful to me, including one that my dad left me when he passed away. And I still love that whole thing.
But how do you approach this as somebody, have you ever spent your money on things? And then how do you approach it with… Have you ever done that? And then also, how do you approach that with significant others? I’ve had this conversation with my wife about, “Hey, we don’t have to wear the flashy stuff. It’s okay to wear…” I told her the other night, one of my favorite times to hang out with you is when it’s jeans and T-shirts version of you at a bar. I love that. Like having a beer.
Tim Ferriss: Totally.
Kevin Rose: We don’t have to be fancy LA. I don’t want that. Where do you stand on all this stuff?
Tim Ferriss: So I think, and you’ve probably observed this in me.
Kevin Rose: You’re so good at this. This is why I’m trying to pick your brain. You don’t have to do any flashy shit.
Tim Ferriss: Well, I’m good, I’m good. But there is a downside. There is a trade-off and I have not figured out how to contend with this. And I’ll actually mention also a book that has come up several times in the last week from multiple people I respect and remember Rick Rubin, the music producer, said to me, when that happens to him, he feels like it’s a signal from the universe that he needs to take a look at something. And so I kind of feel like that right now with this book, which I’ll come to in a second.
I have had very few instances of buying expensive things for myself. And you’ve seen this.
Kevin Rose: I know.
Tim Ferriss: I don’t think I’m stingy in all things. For instance, I will go to, if I think the experience is going to leave an indelible mark in my mind, I will go to a place like Alinea in Chicago and have a meal. And I did that and I’m really glad I did. And it’s very expensive. I would consider it very expensive. It’s like 1,500, 2,000 bucks for a meal. And that on some level would make the 15-year-old version of me go into a seizure. I did not grow up with a lot of money and grew up in a household where scarcity of money was an issue.
Kevin Rose: Oh my God. My dad would yell at my mom for spending too much money and stuff because we would literally bounce checks. I remember that being a conversation, like the account is overdrawn.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, yeah. It was a source of stress. It was a source of stress. And so I decided pretty early on as a kid, okay, I do not want this type of stress in my life. That means I need to figure out how to make money. And that in a way was the spark behind my entrepreneurial experiments.
Kevin Rose: That’s a great point.
Tim Ferriss: This type of stress that I have been immersed in and exposed to, and I don’t think it traumatized me. I wouldn’t put it that way. I wouldn’t want to remove the power of that word trauma by applying it to something like this. And I think it kind of disgusted me how overused the word trauma is. That’s a separate thing. But it affected me. It definitely imprinted something on me.
And as a result, I have spent relatively little money celebrating anything. The fact that I spent, like these Japanese saddles, I bought them at auction from, I can’t remember, it was Christie’s or Sotheby’s, and I think it was $5,000 a piece. And to allow myself to do that, the hurdle was, not only do I have to finish and publish a book that is 500 plus pages, I think it was maybe 700 pages, which was cut down from probably 1,500 pages.
Kevin Rose: Was this in your head or something you wrote down? Like this was a hurdle that you had to-
Tim Ferriss: It was in my head. But I said, if I publish this book and it is number one New York Times, I will allow myself, as a reward, to buy these saddles that cost $5,000 each. And if I don’t, I’m not allowed to do this. So on some level I respect that and it’s very strict, high standards. And on some level all of those things are good.
But what I will say is when I meet or spend time with friends of mine who have achieved some degree of success, and it’s not always millions of dollars. They’ve just figured out a job and a skill where they’ve developed a career and they’re stable and they fix a lot of problems for themselves and they add a lot of joy for themselves and their families by spending money.
The dark side of what I’m describing is that I don’t think I’ve developed that very well. And so I have more money than I know what to do with. And I think I put it, I don’t want to sound like a prick. That doesn’t mean that I’m just doing backstroke through a pool full of gold coins like Scrooge McDuck. That’s not what I’m saying. I think I am a very, very, hopefully this doesn’t sound pompous. I think I am a very, very good capital allocator and steward of money.
I think I use what I have to very high leverage means and objectives through funding the science and the journalism fellowship with Michael Pollan and so on. But here’s what I’ll say, Kevin, is there’s a dark side to it in that I don’t use money to fix problems that I should fix.
Kevin Rose: Like what? Give me an example.
Tim Ferriss: I’ll give you an example which would be, there are little things… I’ll give you a perfect example. So there is an article, it’s not really an article, it’s more an adaptation of John Stuart Mill’s ideas on free speech, which is an illustrated edition. It’s called All Minus One. You can find it on Amazon, you can also get it for free. I think it’s at heterodoxacademy.org/mill. And this came about through a conversation with Jonathan Haidt, who’s fascinating thinker and professor and researcher who wrote The Coddling of the American Mind and many other books.
So this is, let’s see, on Kindle, it’s I think 78 pages. And I agonized over when I was going to find time to print this and put it together in a hard copy so that I could mark it up. Because I didn’t want to wait for the paper back. This is stupid. I have employees. I could send this to someone and just be like, “Hey, figure this out. Whatever makes it readable, go.” It would’ve taken 30 seconds.
But there’s part of me, for whatever reason, that gets stuck on doing it myself and doesn’t even consider that. It doesn’t enter my head as an option. And there are many other examples of this. I’ve been to friends’ houses where they love, let’s not name names, but well, because you’ll probably get it. But I have a friend who really loves Topo Chico and you go to his house and he always has the refrigerator drawer full of Topo Chico.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. I love that.
Tim Ferriss: It’s never empty. He never runs out.
Kevin Rose: It’s extra sparkly. It’s good.
Tim Ferriss: It is. Yeah, it’ll definitely take all the enamel off your teeth. It’s delicious. And even though all the hipster Austinites have boycotted it, because it’s owned by the evil empire of Coca-Cola now so they’re drinking Richard’s Rainwater and others, which are fine. Fine, fine, fine sparkling water. But I just find the outrage pretty hilarious. But the point is, he has a team. He pays people to help him and his family with their lives in various ways so that he can focus on things he’s really good at, which does not include figuring out at the last minute, “Oh shit, I’m out of Topo Chico, how am I going to make it in time to the grocery store to buy this and chew up 45 minutes of my time?”
I don’t have many of those systems in place, and it’s not because I am consciously deciding I need to save money. It’s like the option doesn’t even appear on my mental UI to choose. So this is something I’m trying to figure out, which leads to the book, which has been recommended a number of times now, which is called Die With Zero. I’ve not read it.
Kevin Rose: I’ve heard about this, actually.
Tim Ferriss: So full disclosure now.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, Chris Hutchens sent this to me.
Tim Ferriss: Oh, no shit. Okay. So Bill Perkins is the author, and I should know better than to recommend something before I’ve read it. So I just want to make it super clear, I have not read this. But the book is Die With Zero: Getting All You Can From Your Money and Your Life. And it’s written by Bill Perkins, who’s a famous energy trader/investor and The Wall Street Journal bestseller. I’ll just read a little bit of the description, which is very seductive to me because it’s written by someone who has also been an operator.
If this book were written by just someone who’s waxing poetic without any real bonafides, bonafides, I would be skeptical. But this is someone who’s actually been a real operator in the trenches. So the description is a common sense guide to living rich instead of dying rich. Imagine if by the time you died you did everything you were told to. You worked hard, saved your money, and looked forward to financial freedom when you retired. The only thing you wasted along the way was… Your life. Die With Zero presents a startling new and provocative philosophy as well as practical guide on how to get the most out of your money and the most out of your life. It’s intended for those who place lifelong memorable experiences far ahead of simply making and accumulating money for ones so-called golden years.
Kevin Rose: Yes.
Tim Ferriss: And it goes on. This is interesting to me and I’m hoping that it provides me with some counter programming that will maybe help me to do more. And I have, I will say, been finding some outlets where I don’t have hangups, and one is spending money on art or supporting artists.
So I will be doing, moving forward quite a few experiments with artists and artwork. I did one that is actually running right now as we record. It’s going to end in a few hours. But it’s a competition for AI generated or enhanced artwork.
Kevin Rose: Cockpunch-related or no?
Tim Ferriss: Cockpunch related.
Kevin Rose: Are you serious?
Tim Ferriss: So they have to work… Yeah, yeah. CockPunch related. And the stuff that has come out is beyond belief. It is hard to wrap my head around and I say this as someone who has quite a bit of art background and worked as an illustrator, paid a lot of bills as an illustrator for magazines and books in college. It is hard to wrap my head around what this technology will do for creative expression. And it’s controversial.
Kevin Rose: Oh, big time.
Tim Ferriss: I have seen blowback because AI, whether it’s ChatGPT for text or other tools requires training data. So where do you get that training data? If it’s graphical expression, if it’s what we would consider visual art, they might be pulling from, say, artists on Art Station.
Kevin Rose: Right. But it’s blending it so well together that you could never pick out individually which artist is pulling from.
Tim Ferriss: Sometimes, unless in your prompt you say, instead of in the style of Van Gogh, which most people would consider fair game. If it’s in the style of fill in the blank contemporary artists who makes their living selling prints in part or doing commissioned artwork, is that net positive or a net negative for them? I don’t know.
Kevin Rose: You now who you should talk to, you know who’s fun to chat with this is, I was talking to Mike Shinoda about this, our mutual friend from Lincoln Park, and he was talking about how there’s this list that you can sign up for that apparently will exclude you from the training data if you really want out of it.
Tim Ferriss: It’s like the do not call list.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, yeah, exactly. He was saying that because in music you could imagine this is going to be a big deal. You’re going to say, hey-
Tim Ferriss: I’m already seeing Stable Diffusion applied to music in ways that make your head spin. And it’s so early. It’s not even the first inning.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. I was asking him about like, “Hey, what do you think of AI when it says, Hey, play me a song like it was written by Mike Shinoda.” And what does that sound like? And it’s a big topic to go into.
Tim Ferriss: How does he feel? How does he feel?
Kevin Rose: I don’t want to speak for him, but at that time, I got the sense, and I’m just paraphrasing here, I’m actually not even going to paraphrase. I’m going to say that I got the sense that it’s early days and if anything I know about Mike is definitely he embraces the future. There’s no doubt about it. He’s all Web3, he’s doing NFT drops, he’s doing [inaudible 01:33:30] stuff with music. He’s awesome on that front. But at the same time, I can imagine if you’re an artist in his position, which is just the top tier, top 1% of all musical artists out there, you also want to protect who you are as an individual in your IP. Now the sense I got from him is figuring out how this is going to weave and what you’re going to have to do in the future. So, he’d be a fun one to have on and eventually talk about this stuff.
Tim Ferriss: I should have him back on. I had him on the podcast like 100 years ago.
Kevin Rose: Oh, he’s such a good dude.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, great guy. On the AI front, I will say, I have artists in my family. I see how hard it is. I’ve been there myself. I should point out also that I am not necessarily immune to the influence of these technologies, in the sense that I have seen blog posts generated using predominantly AI with very few prompts and things are going to change for writers.
Kevin Rose: Oh my God, it’s so scary.
Tim Ferriss: In a big way. That will particularly apply to non-fiction writers, and I am principally a non-fiction writer.
Kevin Rose: The fiction writers, dude, a lot of these tools are being done around fiction.
Tim Ferriss: Fiction. Fiction is going to be harder. I think fiction will be a lot harder to thread, but both will be affected. So there are many questions that this prompts, pun intended. One is, what are the factors that will drive, say reading, in my case? How much of it will be being certain that you are reading something generated by a human before you’re willing to commit to having an emotional response, even if the output is identical? Will there be some authenticity of human production that becomes important? I could see that becoming important.
Kevin Rose: Interesting.
Tim Ferriss: Do you really want to cry watching a movie that was 100% produced by robots? Maybe not. Maybe that is a hard line that people draw where they’re like, I don’t actually want to have my emotions manipulated by machines.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, but you already do today with the graphics, right? Those are created by machines.
Tim Ferriss: Sure. Oh yeah. So no, it’s a question of degree.
Kevin Rose: Let me ask you question-
Tim Ferriss: We’re already being affected.
Kevin Rose: What you’re saying, Tim, is, let’s just jump forward 20 years from now, you’re saying there is a world where you could imagine a novel that would have some type of designation on it digitally that would say this was human written, just to ensure-
Tim Ferriss: Oh, absolutely.
Kevin Rose: That’s so crazy. That’s awesome.
Tim Ferriss: Absolutely. Imagine you have these time pieces that are one of a kind, produced by the labor of one or a handful of people over a year and a half. The origin and the story matter. You could produce something maybe even superior with advanced robotics and software and so on. But you want the physical and psychic imprint.
Kevin Rose: It’s the human connection. Yeah, exactly.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. So I think absolutely. Just you have a stamp for organic or humane certified or free trade, it’d be like human-generated stamp. I would be surprised if that’s not a thing.
Kevin Rose: You should go in and file your trademarks and patents.
Tim Ferriss: So, that’ll be a thing. Let me add a few more though. So another one will be, actually this is more philosophical, so I thought about the counter-arguments and the blowback related to AI before I launched this competition. I understood the counter-arguments, and I don’t disagree with them. This is going to affect the competitive landscape for artists, period. Full stop.
Kevin Rose: Sure.
Tim Ferriss: Especially for things like logo design, things of this type.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. Of course, Fiverr is fucked.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. Like website layout and so on. The way I’m looking at it is if I, Tim, wanted to help as many artists as possible, what would my chess move be? Where I landed was we are going from the horse and the horse drawn carriage to the car. That transition is happening whether we want it to or not. If we own a bunch of horses, if we own a bunch of carriages, if we own the equivalent of a taxi service back in the day, that’s fine. But the technology is going to change. So if you want to be in a competitive position, if you want to have advantages, you need to be on the front end of learning about these technologies. Which is part of the reason why I wanted to do this competition, to say, hey guys, you can make this work for you in a lot of ways, but you got to be on the early end. You just have to.
Kevin Rose: There’s a couple things that I think are important to point out here in that, to me, this just represents another leap forward in technology. I would say the closest parallel I have to this is probably the graphical user interface that was done by the Mac and-
Tim Ferriss: Netscape for web browser.
Kevin Rose: Well, imagine you were an artist back in the day. To draw a circle meant you had to sit down and try and draw a circle. Now in Photoshop-
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. You needed a compass.
Kevin Rose: Exactly. You needed a compass. Then now in Photoshop you can literally say-
Tim Ferriss: God, I’m so fucking old.
Kevin Rose: I love you pulled the compass reference, that’s great. But now you can literally-
Tim Ferriss: Pencil is too short. I’m getting a wobbly circle. Let me sharpen that thing.
Kevin Rose: Right. So those days are gone and that’s okay. I’m sure there were some artists that were like, fuck Photoshop for making that perfect circle. I used to have to hand draw those. That’s what we’re going through today with this next jump. It’s going to be tough for a few years. It’s going to feel weird, it’s going to feel not right. Then finally we’ll understand what the tool actually is.
Tim Ferriss: Also, I’ll just say, if you’re early, you can learn how to use the tools, rather than be abused by the adoption of the tools. It’s super important. If you learn early, holy shit, you have tremendous advantage. So learn early, start experimenting now.
I’ll give you another prediction. I was thinking about this. Imagine, if you will, I feel like Dan Carlin with Hardcore History, imagine if you will, General Subutai. No, let me come back. So imagine that you have a book, you have a nonfiction book. It’s a biography of a contemporary figure. Teddy Roosevelt, whatever. I think it’s Theodore Rex, I think is this multi-volume biography that I’ve been meaning to read forever. I just keep putting it off because it’s so long. I’ve heard it’s amazing, but I haven’t been willing to commit. It’s just too long. I think there will be a time, probably in the next year, wouldn’t surprise me. Within the next year, I would imagine for books that are well reviewed, have a lot of coverage and are contemporary, meaning within the last 100 years, I will be able to say something along the lines of, with a prompt interface to stable diffusion or any number of other tools. I think a lot of these tools will get combined into user interfaces where the underlying mechanics are invisible.
Kevin Rose: Oh my god. Dude, wait, pause for one second. Can I slip something in real quick?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, of course.
Kevin Rose: There is a service you have to try. I don’t know if you ever remember our buddy Addison Kowalski. He created prompthunt.com. It’s taking exactly what you said where right now it’s 50 words to create this prompt, this perfect AI.
Tim Ferriss: That’s cool.
Kevin Rose: It’s making themes around it and it’s really cool. It’s exactly what you’re talking about.
Tim Ferriss: This’ll do well. If it’s executed well, prompthunt.com will do well because the magic is in the prompt. It’s like being a magician with the spell.
Kevin Rose: That’s what they realized.
Tim Ferriss: You have to get the incantation right. If you don’t, zero, you come up or you get some fucking mangled monstrosity. Side note really quickly, rhinoskinsolutions.com is what I was referring to earlier. The dry spray and the Mikey’s tip juice, sounds porno, is what I have. So, there you go.
Kevin Rose: What are you talking about? You talking about the hand stuff?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, the antiperspirant for the hands.
Kevin Rose: That was a big callback.
Tim Ferriss: It was a big callback.
Kevin Rose: Okay, so let me do one more quick callback. Side note, this is the last one, I promise. For all those that we talked about, Tim, you mentioned the book Die With Zero, our friend Chris Hutchins. The reason I said that he had mentioned it to me. He actually did a podcast with him. So, I know you love Chris. He has a podcast called All the Hacks. So, All the Hacks, Die With Zero is the one to check out. Anyway, but I thought you’d find it interesting.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, Chris is very diligent. I will say-
Kevin Rose: He is like a mini you. Honestly.
Tim Ferriss: I want to give him more credit. The first Chris Hutchins. I thought I was OCD about prep. He’s given me a run for my money. He really does a lot of preparation and is meticulous in how he approaches the details of these things. So, I’ll check out that podcast and we’ll link to it in the show notes. AI prediction, big book. Three volumes, biography. Fuck, I’m never going to listen to that or I’m never going to read that. I could put in a prompt, which is something like create a Ken Burns-like documentary that allows me to cover the most important parts of fill in the blank book or book series with archival photographs or footage with a voice overlay that provides narration, which is pulling from the highlights of that book, using sources like quotes from Goodreads.
Kevin Rose: Ah, this is going to fuck you, by the way.
Tim Ferriss: It’s totally going to fuck me. I am absolutely going to be simultaneously the beneficiary and the Cock Punch recipient of artificial intelligence. 100%. It’s going to rock the boat in such a significant way. But what I’m committed to doing is being a student of the craft because it is the Model T and the car coming after horse drawn carriages. This is inevitable. It is not reversible. Sadly, there’s no lobby I can think of.
Kevin Rose: No, it’s open source.
Tim Ferriss: It’s out of the bottle.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, it’s out of the bottle.
Tim Ferriss: So, there’s that. Should we talk about cockacidal maniac?
Kevin Rose: Yeah, let’s talk about your Cock Punch.
Tim Ferriss: Let’s have anybody name that movie reference cockacidal maniac. Do you get that reference?
Kevin Rose: No, I don’t. You’re older than I am.
Tim Ferriss: It’s a bar. Oh gee, I’m older than you are. Give a break. Look at those white whiskers you got over there, Mr. Sea Otter.
Kevin Rose: Oh, fuck you. At least I have hair biatch. I got hair underneath here.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, that’s true. You do have a nice Los Angeles slick going with that black hair. What the fuck was I just talking about? Oh yeah, cockacidal maniac. Very important film reference. This is a reference, it takes place in a bar scene in the Winchester in Shaun of the Dead. S-H-A-U-N.
Kevin Rose: Oh, I know Shaun of the Dead. Haven’t watched that in forever.
Tim Ferriss: One of the greatest of all time. I watched it several hundred times as background when I was writing The 4-Hour Workweek.
Kevin Rose: That’s awesome.
Tim Ferriss: Little known fact.
Kevin Rose: Do have gray hairs yet or no?
Tim Ferriss: Oh my god, I’m covered in gray hairs, man. Yeah, I was fortunate/unfortunate to lose my hair before my hair went gray on my head. But chest hair, beard hair, salt and pepper mania. Absolutely.
Kevin Rose: Do you get the grays?
Tim Ferriss: The grays down under?
Kevin Rose: I’ve had a couple down there.
Tim Ferriss: Of course, I do. How would you have anybody who’s like, yeah, I have gray in my beard and gray in my chest, but my pubes are the mane of black stallion. Give me a fucking break, that’s bullshit.
Kevin Rose: I swear. I only have had two and it’s depressing. It’s depressing because you trim them real quick because you going to get them out of there.
Tim Ferriss: Oh, I gave up on that.
Kevin Rose: Did you? You’re just full gray. You’re Santa down there. Santa’s little beard.
Tim Ferriss: I’m like Adam Gazzaley’s beard on my balls. You’re welcome Adam.
Kevin Rose: Leave that in. Oh my God.
Tim Ferriss: One of the greatest neuroscientists of the modern age.
Kevin Rose: You basically just called him a ball sack. I love that. All right, so Cock Punch, how’s NFT land been for you?
Tim Ferriss: Well, let me ask you this first. I’m happy to talk about all of it. I will say, just to preface the whole thing, I am still having so much fun. There was a Death Valley of anger and the trough of sorrow for sure.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. The taint of sorrow. It’s like you have to travel through.
Tim Ferriss: The taint of sorrow was sorrowful. So I’m not going to downplay that, we can talk about it. But what did you expect was going to happen? Let me start there because you’ve been through this rodeo multiple times now.
Kevin Rose: Honestly, Tim, I knew you were fucked. I would’ve said something if I thought it was career ending for you. I didn’t think that. What I thought was that I told Darya this actually, my wife this. I said, “I’m glad that Tim has enough money to not give a fuck, because he’s having fun.” All you can ask for anyone, I think about this with my kids a lot at the end of the day, because Darya is an academic and she got her PhD in neuroscience and I clearly am not. I’m a college dropout. At the end of the day, what I want for my children is them to find their life’s work and their fun in life. Their joy.
Tim Ferriss: Did you see them for to find?
Kevin Rose: What? Did I fuck that up?
Tim Ferriss: You say them for to find?
Kevin Rose: For them to find.
Tim Ferriss: That was an amazing sentence.
Kevin Rose: For them to find.
Tim Ferriss: For them to find. Oh, okay. I think you threw an extra word or two.
Kevin Rose: Go ahead. I probably did. I’m sure. I’m deep into this bottle of fantastic wine, which I will say is the mascot. So all jokes aside, I love when I see Tim having a good time because Tim, I’ve known you for a long time man. I know that you’re a very interesting cat in that you’re like both insanely playful but insanely serious at the same time. You have these two sides of your life that just sometimes are at odds with each other. Anytime I can see playful Tim come out, I’m happy. I’m a happy person because I love to see you happy. If this is that for you, it makes me happy. So, that’s great.
Tim Ferriss: Well, what’s also a timing hilarity in all of this is that as I’m about to go into this huge experiment that I’ve been working on forever, and Kevin’s my Sherpa.
Kevin Rose: Oh, Jesus. Put Brenden in there too.
Tim Ferriss: Well no. Okay, I’m going to give Brendan credit where credit is due. But you got me, along with Naval and other people, interested in Web3. Actually rewind the clock, you led me to my first crypto purchases in late 2012, early 2013, somewhere in that range. You have introduced me to a lot of very important technological innovations. You also walked me through, as my meta mass tech support, my first NFT purchase.
Kevin Rose: I believe I have a shirt that says that, by the way. Meta mass tech support.
Tim Ferriss: Meta mass tech support. VIP white glove tech support.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, exactly.
Tim Ferriss: Then I’m getting ready. The launch is coming. Holy shit, I’m nervous. People on your team are helping me. Then Kevin’s like, “I’m going on a silent meditation retreat for seven days.” I’m like, what?
So, Kevin disappears, but let me catch you up. So Premint, Brenden Mulligan, I have to give him a lot of credit. We’ve both known him for a long time.
Kevin Rose: Good human.
Tim Ferriss: He’s a great human. Yes. He gives a shit. He cares about quality. He is very thoughtful. I want to give his team credit too, he and his team executed Lawlessly. They were so detail oriented, which of course I appreciate.
Kevin Rose: Don’t forget about my team. So we did smart [inaudible 01:52:11] for you.
Tim Ferriss: No, your team was amazing. Hold on. You mentioned Brendan, so I’m mentioning Brendan first. So Brendan executed so well, and his team, prototyping the mint pages as a potential offering through Premint. Incredible. So I just want to give a thanks there.
I’ll also give a thanks, of course, to your entire team, the divergence super squad that was absorbed, was eaten. Brought onto the island of proof by KK Ro Ro. Kev Kev Rose Rose.
Kevin Rose: KK Ro Ro. Is that a new one?
Tim Ferriss: That’s a new one. You sounded like the South Park guys doing some of their voiceovers. Anyway, some people will get that. The diversions team, also world class. Good job by the way.
Kevin Rose: I’m just glad you had a great mint man. Everything went fine. You sold out.
Tim Ferriss: Everything went great. It sold out. We, I think, managed it very well. People get pissed no matter what. But I think we managed it as well and planned it as well as we possibly could have. You know how much I agonized over this, I held on to multiple variables as undefined until the 11th hour because I really wanted to try to satisfy as many people as possible. With that, it is not possible to make everyone happy, especially in Web3, especially in NFTs.
But the mint went off without a hitch, and then the reveal drops a few days later. Oh, let me back up and just say thank you to everyone who participated in the primary sale because it raised $1.8 or so million for the Saisei Foundation. All of those funds have already been wired to the Saisei Foundation, that happened within, I want to say, 48 hours, 72 hours. Money is already being distributed to projects. So, this is not a foundation that sits on funds. Those funds are going to immediate use. I’ll be sharing more about that. The uses, for people who don’t know, they can find Saisei Foundation at S-A-I-S-E-I foundation.org. Saisei means rebirth in Japanese. Has funded and continues to fund critical early stage research related to treating conditions like treatment resistant depression, complex PTSD, so-called intractable conditions that effectively fail with our first line treatments currently.
A lot of that is psychedelic assisted therapy related, but not all of it. I personally, and Saisei Foundation have been involved, in funding Mr. White Pubes himself, God he is going to love that. Dr. Adam Gazzaley and his amazing work at Neuroscape. I’m sorry Adam, we had to do it.
Kevin Rose: It’s okay Adam. It’s true though.
Tim Ferriss: But he’s such a superstar, he can get away with it, right? That guy is an absolute top tier world class scientist who knows how to navigate all of the complexities. Therefore, thanks. Huge sincere thanks to everybody who participated. It’s all going to very, very high leverage, high impact stuff.
Then the reveal comes. The reveal comes, the art comes out. Some people love it, some people hate it. I still stand by the art. I stand by it. One thing that happened that I did not anticipate at all is a few things, and I will point out that I’m paying attention to feedback. I don’t pay attention to, “You said [inaudible 01:56:04] man, fuck you.” I don’t pay attention to that. I’ll block you if you do that. But I do pay attention to valid feedback. There’s a lot of valid feedback. For instance, because this project is not a PFP project, it’s not a profile pic project. Even though PFP stands for proof for picture, I think, or picture for proof.
Kevin Rose: No, profile photo project. Yeah.
Tim Ferriss: No, it does not. It stands for picture for proof. Look it up. Ended up being co-opted into profile pic, there’s no F in profile pic project.
Kevin Rose: Jesus, of course you would know the technical shit. It just means show me your face on the fucking Twitter.
Tim Ferriss: Well, that’s what it means now. I just wanted to throw a monkey wrench in things for a second because I know you’re deep in the wine. So I wanted to stumble things. The point being, because it wasn’t a profile pic, and I tried to explain, this is an ELF, it’s an emergent long fiction project. To explain that, it didn’t fit neatly into any category that people could absorb in a millisecond for that reason. When the art was displayed full body, it was actually, I think, confusing to some people, even though I’d explained they would be full body. Furthermore, the resolution was ratcheted really far down to be a unique file type that allows OpenSea, in this case, the ability to monitor for counterfeits. So the function is really important. The function is super important. They can flag and remove counterfeits and invitations and scams by utilizing this unique file type.
But what it did is it ratcheted down, and I should give a huge thanks to the OpenSea team. They were outstanding and helping with this project in a million different ways. So I want to give them full credit where credit is due. Also, the fact that this file type, which is incredibly high utility and important for the platform, and for projects, because immediately had dozens of scams, just as Moonbird did.
Kevin Rose: Oh, Jesus.
Tim Ferriss: There are a lot of flyby night grifters in oh for sure the space. Anywhere there’s anonymity, you’re going to run into this. But once you add money to the mix, shit gets crazy very quickly. So that was a good thing, in the sense that that file type allowed us to contend with and prevent, or I shouldn’t say prevent, but minimize confusion in the marketplace. The side effect of that though is that the resolution was quite low. As a result, people were not able to see a lot of the detail of the artwork, especially because it was full body. We addressed that later by providing a token ID lookup where people could say I own Cock Punch or the leg legend of Cock Punch number 234. Let me go to cockpunch.com/PFP, put in my number, I get a high resolution image. I also get a PFP camera angle from within Blender for this character.
Kevin Rose: Oh, cool.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. Which has been super fun.
Kevin Rose: Wait, one question there. So if I put in my number, will that give me a cropped version of the head so I can use it as a PFP?
Tim Ferriss: Exactly. It’ll give the best cropped version of the head and also the best camera angle from within Blender, which is 3D modeling software. Then what I did, because I had created these AI blended oil paintings of some of these characters for each of the houses. So there were eight primary houses in this world, much like Game of Thrones. I created what you might consider even a portrait painting equivalent of each of these iconic houses. I did that by using NightCafe, I think it’s also called Night Studio, which largely used a stable diffusion, but also DALL-E 2 and a few others, to blend the original artwork with Van Gogh’s self-portrait.
Kevin Rose: Oh, that’s amazing. How did I not see this? That’s probably when I was on my meditation retreat.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, it was.
Kevin Rose: Where do I see this at?
Tim Ferriss: So if you go to, and we can talk about Twitter because I know that might be on the docket, we should talk about it, actually. If you go to Twitter and then say if you go to-
Kevin Rose: /cockpunch?
Tim Ferriss: Not /cockpunch. If you go to, I’m just waiting on my browser to respond. Wow. Is my browser slow or is Twitter really slow right now? Might be Twitter. Or it could be that my account is suspended for the 12th time. That’s been happening a lot.
Kevin Rose: Elon is-
Tim Ferriss: Let me see here.
Kevin Rose: … blocking you.
Tim Ferriss: Elon hates cock punches. Okay, I’m having trouble getting to Twitter display. But if you go to twitter.com slouch…
Kevin Rose: Happy New Year.
Tim Ferriss: Happy New Year. If you go to twitter.com slouch.
Kevin Rose: Slouch. We need t-shirts for just for the random show to say slouch.
Tim Ferriss: hashtag slouch. Househallux, Like H-A-L-L-U-X. Maybe it’ll pop up for you
Kevin Rose: Okay. I went to /H-A-L-L-U-X on Twitter.
Tim Ferriss: Okay. Twitter.com/househallux. So house H-A-L-L-U-X.
Kevin Rose: Because if you just do Hallux, it’s a guy’s toes on there.
Tim Ferriss: There we go.
Kevin Rose: That makes sense. Okay.
Tim Ferriss: All right. So do you see what I’m talking about?
Kevin Rose: Yes. Oh, it’s beautiful. That’s amazing.
Tim Ferriss: Isn’t that gorgeous?
Kevin Rose: Oh, it’s so good.
Tim Ferriss: It’s so good. So if people go to twitter.com/househallux, House Hallux is one of the eight greater houses. Each of these houses has its background coming out on the Cockpunch podcast, which by the way, you were gone for this, but debuted at number one in fiction across all of Apple Podcasts. Ended up at top 50 or top 60 across all of Apple Podcasts. People are now listening to these and getting really into it. People are enjoying it. Particularly once I made the, and my team, I should give them credit, the higher res, full body images and PFPs available. I put out a video on YouTube, which showed people how to convert their PFP into this Van Gogh self-portrait styled oil painting. People have been having a blast. They’ve been having so much fun and things have gone pretty bananas.
There’s a lot of creativity being unleashed. This was the hope, and hence the description of the project as emergent, long fiction. Emergent, not just emergent from me, but emergent from the audience. So for instance, there is this unofficial Discord. I said from the outset, I wasn’t going to make a Discord because everybody told me Discord is where all the evil comes out. I have, however, ended up chancing upon this unofficial Discord where, I might have sent this to you in Brendan via text, they had AI driven cockfights with different Cock Punch characters on this discord. I have never seen anything like this. It was so funny that I was sweating through my clothing. It was beyond hilarious.
Kevin Rose: It was rock climbing. Yeah.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. It was like rock climbing, but a lot more hilarious. And what they did, it was genius, so they had people opt in to competing. So let’s say they have brackets, like an NCAA tournament, and each character would feed in their name and their traits. So the traits and attributes that you would find on, say, Cowpunchers. And then the moderator who was also the commentator, kind of like a sports commentator, would feed this into Chat GPT. And he would add a prompt like: describe an epic battle between or among, and list all these characters with their traits. And then Chat GPT would spit out this fight scene. And he then on Discord in a voice channel, would read this for everybody as it’s happening, as it’s being generated, so there’s a live sports element to it.
There was somebody else in the channel who, because a bunch of these characters, especially from the Omikawa have an instrument which is called a shamisen, which is a traditional Japanese instrument. Somehow he managed to pull up this super aggressive, traditional shamisen music. So you have this commentator who’s reading the live fights, the play-by-play like a boxing match from the 1950s while this crazy Japanese music is playing. And simultaneously the text thread is going crazy with all these people commenting and throwing in memes. It was beyond hilarious and so exciting and fucking fun. It was so fun. And I had nothing to do with it. Look, I provided a few of the raw materials perhaps in the form of a funny name, some artwork, the attributes. And the naming of the attributes, by the way, not accidental. If people look at the attributes, most people have not paid enough attention to the naming of the weapons and the attributes. I spent at least 10 hours just on naming. So that will become more relevant later. But the way that this is unfolding has been super fun. It’s been super fun.
Kevin Rose: It’s so cool.
Tim Ferriss: There was a period of time where I was just like, “Fuck all these NFT traders. Fuck these people.” I was so annoyed because there was so much unnecessary spinning of conspiracy theories, like, “Tim’s going to send all the money to his own charity and buy a Lamborghini and run off to Bermuda. This whole thing’s a scam. It’s a rug pull.” And I’m like, “What are you talking about? I put everything in the FAQ. I told you all of the conditions, all of the objectives. Stop it. Just fucking stop it.” But there is I think, I would imagine, you tell me, but inevitably this cycle of over-exuberance, as soon as the floor price drops by 0.001 ETH, 10% of the people lose their minds and become children.
Kevin Rose: Here’s the thing, here’s the thing. This is the best advice I can give you Tim, is that having been here in my wise old age of six months longer than you have, seven months, whatever.
Tim Ferriss: Which is like 10 years in NFT time.
Kevin Rose: Exactly. I can tell you that what happens is you, there are a lot of flippers that come in, obviously that are looking like, “How can I, 2 or 3X this in two minutes?” And then eventually you’ll realize, and it’s really cool that we’re starting to see this happen in Moonbirds, where a lot of that chatter has gone away. And it’s more about the long term holders that understand that great projects, great visions, great businesses, they’re not built over six months. They’re built over the next decade. And so if we’re going to do that, they’re signing up and believing in us as builders over the long term.
And I think that’s where you’ll get to is you’ll get to people that are like, “Oh, I love the podcast. I love the lore. I love the backstory. I love what Tim’s doing here. I’m a holder for the long term.” And what you’ll see is your percent listed will drop over time. And that will be because you’re getting in some more of the long term holders that believe in the project over the next decade, which is very exciting. And I already see that happening with your collection today, which is great. The one thing I will say that is amazing is you had one of your golden cocks, which is your kind of your signature cock, go 55 ETH which is just insane.
Tim Ferriss: It’s wild.
Kevin Rose: 55.550 ETH is one of what your cocks went for. And it has the gold balls attribute.
Tim Ferriss: It’s full gold.
Kevin Rose: It’s full gold.
Tim Ferriss: That is full gold.
Kevin Rose: Well, copper too, right?
Tim Ferriss: It might be copper. It might be copper. There are a couple of different options. Let’s see here. There’s gold, pewter I believe, which is the silver equivalent, but I thought pewter was much cooler, and then copper because I love copper. That’s a long story, but I really have an affinity for copper. There are a bunch of metals I have affinities for. Copper is one.
Kevin Rose: One question I have for you is you have an attribute called the Circle of Eight, but my zen hat on says that’s an enso. So is it an enso or no?
Tim Ferriss: An Enso? Describe for the audience what an enso is.
Kevin Rose: It’s just like the Japanese symbol for… You can look up, go and type an E-N-S-O, enso into Google images and you’ll see it’s standard zen circle. The one with the single stroke.
Tim Ferriss: Can you pull up one of those characters as you’re looking at them?
Kevin Rose: Yeah, I have them up right now. Yeah.
Tim Ferriss: Okay. Look at the shirt. What’s on the shirt? Can you see what’s on it?
Kevin Rose: It’s green. Hold on, let me get back to it. I had it. Yeah, it’s a green shirt. And it’s got the single… Oh, there’s a dragon. It’s a dragon eating its own tail. Okay. My bad. I thought it was more of the single stroke like zen symbol. You know what I’m talking about, right?
Tim Ferriss: It may not be unrelated to that.
Kevin Rose: It’s not too far off. Oh, Interesting.
Tim Ferriss: It may not be unrelated. That is a dragon eating its own tail in what is called an ouroboros. And there are a lot of kind of hyper proud liberal arts folks who use this word or mythological reference in snarky magazine articles, but they don’t actually have a full understanding of the mythological significance and variation on this concept of the ouroboros. So people can look into it. But you are going to ask about them. I will say that I think the Circle of Eight are overlooked.
Kevin Rose: Well, there’s only seven of them though. Why aren’t there eight of them?
Tim Ferriss: There is an eighth. He’s in there. He’s in there somewhere.
Kevin Rose: He’s not tagged to circles of eight though. And it could be a sheep.
Tim Ferriss: He’s not tagged. No, it can’t be a sheep because they’re all cocks, but yes.
Kevin Rose: All right. So there’s not a single ball-less one out of all them, they’re all…?
Tim Ferriss: There’s not a single what? Ball-less one?
Kevin Rose: Yeah, they’re all cocks. They’re all male.
Tim Ferriss: It’s Cockpunch. Yes. They’re all cocks.
Kevin Rose: You’re like, “Kevin, maybe the title may have tipped you off. It’s actually Cockpunch.”
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. It’s very much… But that is one of the outstanding mysteries in the Realm of Varlata which as described by the seventh scribe in the first episode of the podcast is there are several very significant outstanding questions. And one is: where are the women? We assume we got here by birth.
Kevin Rose: Is this season two for you?
Tim Ferriss: If we did, there must… Question mark, question mark, question mark.
Kevin Rose: Ooh, interesting lady punch. I could go way worse, but I’m not going to say anything.
Tim Ferriss: You could go cuntslap.com.
Kevin Rose: You’re definitely going to bleep that out.
Tim Ferriss: No, I just love saying that because I know that some aspirational squatter’s going to go out and buy Cuntslap everything. He’d be like, “You didn’t get cuntslap.eth. Now you can buy it from me for $20,000.” And I’ll be like, “Enjoy that one. I’m never going to use it.”
Kevin Rose: Yeah, that’s how they do it.
Tim Ferriss: But I have a lot of ideas. I’m not committing to a decade of building X, Y, or Z. I’ve made this clear from the outset. I’m going to do this as long as it’s energy feeding, which I think is part of the reason why a lot of traders have ditched, which I’m thrilled about. And not to say that traders are trivial. They provide liquidity and a really important function, and I understand why they do what they do. But, as somebody pointed out on Twitter who is a holder of one of these Cockpunch NFTs, they said, “With every secondary transaction you are getting closer to the community that you want.” I thought about that. I was like, “Fuck, that’s true.” And I’ve seen that-
Kevin Rose: Damn, did you tweet that out? Because that some sage shit I need to tweet out.
Tim Ferriss: It wasn’t mine, it was somebody else. I apologize that I can’t remember the proper attribution. But it was like, “With every secondary sale, you are getting closer to the community that you want.” And it’s so true when you think about it. Even if I look at the last… When did this even happen? God, it seems like six months since I launched, but it’s only been two weeks. Exactly. I will say, oh man, when I talk to people who have been deep in the trenches with NFTs for six months, a year, two years, it is looking at a before and after photo of Obama when he got elected and four years later.
Kevin Rose: He’s dead to the world.
Tim Ferriss: People are worn down. They’ve got the thousand yard stare. Their black hairs all gone gray. I’m like, “Holy shit. You really got to pace yourself.” Yeah. Oh my God. So intense.
Kevin Rose: I’m excited for you, man. I think this is a fun, creative chapter for you and I love that you’re not saying, “This is my next great book. This is my next…” It’s a fun outlet.
Tim Ferriss: It’s a fun outlet. But I want to rewind and echo something that you said, and we hadn’t had that much booze. This was in Santa Monica, and I don’t know if we were recording, but I was showing you some of the artwork and I was getting excited. I was explaining some of the stuff I was thinking about. And you said, and maybe you were joking, you can tell me, but you’re like, “This might be the biggest thing that you’ve done.” And I don’t think that’s a 0% likelihood.
Kevin Rose: No, I meant that when I said that.
Tim Ferriss: I know that sounds fucking crazy, but I don’t think it’s 0%. I really don’t.
Kevin Rose: No, the reason I say that is because, and I truly did mean that when I said it is because of one simple thing. And it’s funny, just in full transparency, a handful of friends are like, “What’s Tim doing? What’s this Cockpunch thing?” And they come up to me because they know I know you. And they’re wanting to know, “Is this crazy? Has he gone off the deep end?” Blah, blah. And my answer is always very succinct and it’s on point, and then I say, “You don’t understand, Tim is a creativity factory and if you point that in the right direction…” Look at those triceps by the way.
Tim Ferriss: Look at these triceps. Oh God, look at that forearm of those triceps.
Kevin Rose: If you point that in the right direction, you’re going to have just something that could turn into a franchise and something that is much bigger than you are even imagining. Oftentimes we see this as in technology all the time, whether it be Twitter or Instagram or you name it. I can probably point to 15 companies that everyone thought when they launched that it was a fun little fad, and then it snowballs into something bigger and bigger and bigger. And all of a sudden it would not shock me if five years from now, and I know you’re not saying this is me saying this, but you’re in some major motion picture, crazy shit, multi-print book like world where this blows up into something much bigger. And so when I looked at that, I said, “Wow, if you take your non-fiction world and move it to fiction, this is your creativity shifting to that fiction world,” which I want to watch. I want to watch every chapter of that. So I’m excited for you.
Tim Ferriss: Thanks, man.
Kevin Rose: Or it could be nothing.
Tim Ferriss: I’ve had a lot of fun. Or it could be nothing.
Kevin Rose: But that’s the best part is you haven’t promised that this is the future. You’re saying, “I’m going to have a great time and let’s see what happens.”
Tim Ferriss: I have the emergency exit. If I get sick of it, I’m out. And what you described, maybe. I don’t think that’s inevitable. I do not think that’s inevitable. Because my goal is to create something that can perpetuate without me. That’s always the objective. The last time I gave an interview for the Four Hour Work Week, 10 years ago? Still one of the top books on Amazon.
Kevin Rose: That’s a great point.
Tim Ferriss: And so my intention, and here’s the thing, there’s a cohesion and a shared incentive and an alignment with NFTs that does not quite exist with books. And that’s very interesting to me. So I’m studying this very deeply, having a lot of conversations. I could ditch in a month if I deal with a thousand consecutive dick faces on the internet maybe. But so far it’s been pretty easy relative to all the things that I’ve had to contend with over the last say, decade. It’s been pretty easy to discard that just because the nonsense is clearly nonsense. And the people spouting nonsense are generally spouting that nonsense to other people who are spouting nonsense. And even in two weeks just being able to withstand the heat in the kitchen and staying in the kitchen-
Kevin Rose: Oh, then you’re good.
Tim Ferriss: A lot of that has resolved itself.
Kevin Rose: It’s going to calm down.
Tim Ferriss: Exactly. Yeah. Oh, in 10 days it’s already calmed down. And so for me, this is when the interesting stuff starts. This is when things start to get interesting. When I have a critical mass of people as evidenced by this unofficial Discord and these competitions, which were unbelievably entertaining. I think this could get to a point where people pay just to be a spectator at these competitions. I know that’s a strong statement.
Kevin Rose: Look at esports man. It’s freaking huge.
Tim Ferriss: It blew my mind. So I think everyone who did that, a lot of credit. I was flabbergasted. It was truly one of the greater holy shit moments I’ve had in the last several years. So if that is what’s happening within two weeks, oh my God, holy shit. And I’m excited. I’m having fun. And also you think about non-fiction and all of the… If you’re a responsible non-fiction writer who is engaging in creative non-fiction, but within the broad category of creative, you need to adhere to a certain factual basis that is verifiable when you remove those limiters and you enter the world of fiction, which requires, if you’re going to do it well, I think some degree of consistency and you need to ensure that storylines mesh to some degree.
But when you remove some of the common constraints of non-fiction, holy moly, what I have experienced is that you tap a wellspring of creativity that is enormous, that just does not exist when you are writing fact-based, I don’t want to call it literature, but when you were trying to produce fact-based writing. And I’m having fun, man. I’m having so much fun. And it opens the door to so many things. I was talking to somebody on my team today and I was saying, “I’ve never ever wanted to sell Tim Ferriss branded shit.” The idea of somebody walking around with a Tim Ferriss Show t-shirt with my fucking face on it that makes me want to puke.
Kevin Rose: Well, I have your thong, the limited edition one needed to get. It was great.
Tim Ferriss: The limited edition thong with my face right on the balls. That’s true. You did get the one of one. That is the first one of one I produced. Yeah, you’re welcome. Happy anniversary. But the idea of having my face on say a t-shirt just always made me puke a little in my mouth.
Kevin Rose: That doesn’t feel right.
Tim Ferriss: No, just never wanted to do it. But people do that stuff.
Kevin Rose: Who does their face on a t-shirt? I can see your logo.
Tim Ferriss: Well, even just Tim Ferriss on a shirt, it feels weird to me. So it’s just too narc… I’m sure I’m a narcissist, but I’m not that narcissistic. I just couldn’t get there. But the idea of having a small subculture of people who at some point might walk around with a Cockpunch logo on their shirt, probably without Cockpunch on it, that would be too in your face, but a logo on it where anyone who sees it knows. And that can be the Fight Club wink. That’s fun. That’s super fun. And I’m not saying I’m going to do that, but it’s fun for me to imagine that being a possibility. So suddenly all of these handcuffs that I’d placed on myself for good reasons around what I could or couldn’t do are gone. They’re completely gone. It’s called Cockpunch for fuck’s sake. I can do whatever I want. It’s fun. It’s fun.
Kevin Rose: I love that.
Tim Ferriss: I’m really excited about it.
Kevin Rose: I have one awkward question for you. And it just popped in my mind as a consumer of your podcast, but something you may not agree to divulge and which we can cut it out. But there was a point here a few minutes ago where you said The Four Hour Work Week is still on the New York Times bestselling list, right?
Tim Ferriss: No, I didn’t say that. I said it’s still one of the top selling books on Amazon.
Kevin Rose: Top selling books in Amazon. So yeah, you’re right, because those are different things. I’m sure there’s a lot of people… And Tim take this as I’m being like… If you’re willing to divulge, a lot of people would be curious, what did you receive for the signing bonus to do that book? Because it was your first big book.
Tim Ferriss: Oh, for Four Hour Work Week?
Kevin Rose: Yeah. And then what does it look like over time? And then what do you make now on that book per year? Can you talk about that?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah I can talk about that.
Kevin Rose: Forget the ego stuff and I think it’s really interesting.
Tim Ferriss: I’ll talk about it. I’m happy to talk about it. And these are not going to be… Well, in the case of the ongoing annual stuff, I’m not going to have an exact number, but I can give you an idea.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, yeah. Just rough estimates.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, rough estimates. So a few things on the book publishing side. And I may have to take a pee break because after the ketones and key limes and tequila and soda water…
Kevin Rose: We can also stop in a minute. We’re at two hours or something.
Tim Ferriss: No, I’m having fun. I’m happy to go this. We’re two hours, 24 minutes in. But this is a good episode, we’re covering a lot. My advance for the four hour work week, which was paid out in four to six installments, I want to say, I don’t recall exactly, over probably a year and a half was $75,000, if I remember correctly.
Kevin Rose: Your first book. You approached them or they approached you or how did this…?
Tim Ferriss: Well, the way it happened is a long story. I ended up finding a very good editor named Steven Hanselman who had just become an agent. He was untested largely, as an agent, but I trusted his taste and we hit it off. He then took the book and pitched it to a bunch of editors, 27 or 29 of which rejected it in some cases rudely, really rudely. Ultimately sold it on one of our last meetings in person in New York City with editors and publishers. And Crown took a risk at the time, Crown within Random House. Now I think it’s Harmony Books. The publishing world has a lot of shuffling constantly, so it’s hard to keep track. But I believe, and the person who gave the go ahead was Steve Ross at the time, I think it was Steve Ross. I think I’m getting his first name right at then at Crown. So thank you Steve. And it was 75k paid out over probably a year or a year and a half.
Kevin Rose: Now that’s in advance, right? So they’re saying if you sell that many books… You have to break that first, right?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, exactly. So we’re prepaying you for a certain number of books and if you exceed it, then you get the royalty. And the royalty per copy for hard cover is going to be anywhere between 10% and 15%-
Kevin Rose: What does that mean net net?
Tim Ferriss: … of cover price? Well…
Kevin Rose: Couple bucks.
Tim Ferriss: A couple bucks. So let’s just say it’s 20 bucks and let’s make it… It’s not going to be 10%. So it’ll be, let’s just call it 15%, that’ll be $3 a book. From that $3 though keep in mind you got to pay taxes and you also have to beforehand pay your agent, which is generally going to be 15%. And then anything else that comes out of it.
Kevin Rose: You sold millions of copies.
Tim Ferriss: I sold millions of copies. It took time. It did not flash boil as quickly as say Atomic Habits or as quickly as the Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck. It did not flash boil as quickly as either of those books. It took some time. It took some time. It came out in April of 2007, it did not hit number one New York Times, which it did first on the monthly business list until, I want to say August. It took some time. The initial print run was 10,000 copies and it sold out and then nobody could buy the book anywhere.
Kevin Rose: Wow. Crazy.
Tim Ferriss: Which is a quality problem and it’s actually a significant problem. And that is the advanced story, or at least the numbers on the advance.
Kevin Rose: So what’s your yearly look like at this point? Is it like 50 grand or…?
Tim Ferriss: Well let me… I asked this recently. Let me try to pull up my text thread. I was trying to come up with this number recently.
Kevin Rose: Just a rough estimate’s fine too. It doesn’t have to be…
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, I just don’t want to… You know how particular I am. I don’t want to misrepresent anything. Let’s see.
Kevin Rose: It’s sub 100K, is that right? Or more? You’re probably selling over a hundred thousand copies a year.
Tim Ferriss: Maybe a 100 to 150K.
Kevin Rose: Okay.
Tim Ferriss: I’ve written and published now five books that were number one New York Times and/or Wall Street Journal, and many of them stuck for a very long time. I’m looking at a text thread with my agent and he sent a photo, which is pretty fun with Four Hour Work Week on the trending rack at Barnes and Noble after amazing 15 years. After 15 years.
Kevin Rose: Holy shit.
Tim Ferriss: Now on this rack you have Think and Grow Rich, which has been around for decades, you have The Intelligent Investor, Benjamin Grant, been around for decades, Four Hour Work Week, the Millionaire Next Door, Poor Rich Dad.
Kevin Rose: Poor Rich Dad. Yeah, exactly. I was going to say that one’s always in there.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. Power Positive Thinking. I’m just going to name a few because why not. Trust and Inspire, I’m not familiar, Tribe of Mentors, so I’ve got two on this rack. Atomic Habits, Jordan Peterson, 12 Rules for Life, The 10X Rule and a number of others. So on the trending rack, I’m actually in good longevity company with a number of these. For 15 years afterwards, it’s still trending.
Kevin Rose: You’re like a musical artist, artist at this point. It’s basically, if you’re insert any Queen or Michael Jackson, whatever, there’s just ongoing royalties that just trickle in over time. Because you get to that point. It’s evergreen content.
Tim Ferriss: It’s evergreen by design. And I’m looking at this here.
Kevin Rose: That’s amazing.
Tim Ferriss: I would say all of my books on an annual basis, these are not the most successful books of all time, this is not Harry Potter, but this is probably top 1% in terms of earnings and track record for non-fiction books. And my total royalties pretax would be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. And I don’t know the exact, on that…
Kevin Rose: Campbell Soup in [inaudible 02:30:37].
Tim Ferriss: Say it again?
Kevin Rose: I was just going to say-
Tim Ferriss: It buys it buy a lot of Campbell Soup. But let’s just take it as an example, I have put many hundreds of thousands of dollars into the development of Cockpunch and I won’t bore people of all the specifics, but there’s a lot of money that’s gone into Cockpunch.
Kevin Rose: That’s amazing.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. So no, this is just to say-
Kevin Rose: You’re like, “I’ve taken all the money from Four Hour Work Week and poured it right back into Cockpunchs so you motherfuckers…”
Tim Ferriss: No, well it’s not so much a guilt trip. It’s just to say, I think it’s crazy to think about the fact that I could take almost all or all of my royalties for all of my books, decades of work, all of the proceeds that I get from that I put into an NFT project, which doesn’t highlight that an NFT project done well costs a lot of money, although I do think it requires some. It’s to highlight the fact that part of my reason for engaging with Web3 and NFTs was the promise that artists could resurrect, in a sense, their creative powers through an ongoing royalty, which turns out, this is a shocker and was a shocker to a lot of people, is not automatically baked in and guaranteed by your smart contract across all platforms. It’s platform dependent.
Kevin Rose: Let’s be real, and let me give you some real talk now, Tim.
Tim Ferriss: Real talk.
Kevin Rose: Okay. Real talk is that you’ve had 5,396 ETH in total volume. Your creator fee is 6.9%. And I’m not, please let everyone know on this podcast what you did it no one does, which is the primary sale, you gave all the money to charity. The secondary sale, you’re saying, “This is what’s going to maintain the project,” which I think is awesome. That’s what you want to do.
Tim Ferriss: To be clear, I actually said, “Tim might use it on whiskey and whores.” I didn’t even address the secondary sales.
Kevin Rose: Giving the signal again, the second piece of that may kick in.
Tim Ferriss: Oh boy.
Kevin Rose: We can cut that out. Jesus, I’m sorry Tim. I didn’t mean to say that.
Tim Ferriss: That’s all right. That’s okay.
Kevin Rose: So 5,396 total ETH times 0.069, your creator fee is 372 ETH. So 372 obviously times, let’s just say ETH is at 1200, that means if you’ve already broken even, you’re at $446,000 in secondary sales.
Tim Ferriss: Have not even recouped my costs for Cockpunch yet, but yes.
Kevin Rose: Costs for more than a half million?
Tim Ferriss: Yes.
Kevin Rose: Wow. That’s crazy. Well, and you have to pay taxes on this because this is revenue.
Tim Ferriss: And yeah, that is not counting my time. I’m working at below minimum wage given the number of hours I’ve put into this. But if we discount that, if we’re just considering hours for contractors, the costs, which I view as an investment for artists, for my team members who are allocating a significant portion of let’s just say their annual salary to these things, I do not think I have yet broken even. And I’m totally-
Kevin Rose: I think you’re going to be okay.
Tim Ferriss: … fine with it. I’m totally fine with it. I am totally fine with it.
Kevin Rose: You’re going to break even, dude. There’s no doubt.
Tim Ferriss: I’m not worried. Yeah, I’m not worried. I’m not worried.
Kevin Rose: As the storyline matures, the lore matures, your commitment matures, there’s no doubt that… Dude. Well, I won’t even say what other projects I can compare these against, but you are…
Tim Ferriss: The project’s doing well. The project’s doing well.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. Yeah.
Tim Ferriss: The project’s doing well. And what’s most exciting to me is the trend that I am seeing and the coalescing of a community of people who are actually excited about it and thoughtfully excited about it. They’re not just drunk on Cockpunch fumes, they’re actually thinking about the lore, they’re tracking the lore. They’re tracking some of the details that a lot of folks have missed. And they’re paying attention, and they’re excited about it. They’re having fun with it, which is the whole fucking point.
Kevin Rose: This is exactly what I’m most excited about the Moon Birds community and what we’re doing over there is that we’re finally getting the point where I feel like the community is tipped over and said, “We’re in this for the long term.” They’re excited about what we’re building. They excited about some of the novel mechanics that we’re doing on the technical side that haven’t been done before, or being done in different ways. And once you get there, you’re in a great place with the project, because you feel good, you feel energized to go into work and really put in more energy into this, which is what we can all hope for.
I will say a couple little things to hit before we wrap things up. One thing certainly worth checking out for everyone out there, especially high risk folks, and Tim, I purposely put this in the rundown so that we could chat about it, but there is a mode new to iOS called Apple lockdown mode. And if you go into settings on your iPhone, you’ll probably do this because I know you’re paranoid and like this shit, but if you enable lockdown mode, it actually disables five very common things that you would typically allow on the iPhone. But it prevents most of the compromises that happen from state actors, like-
Tim Ferriss: That’s a good idea.
Kevin Rose: … the governments and sophisticated attackers. Yeah. It locks it all down.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. I’m looking at this-
Kevin Rose: Exactly.
Tim Ferriss: You have protect devices against extremely rare [inaudible 02:39:50] cyber attacks.
Kevin Rose: So, it’s things like if you get a lot of payloads, meaning the vulnerabilities will come over SMS, or text message. And if you get something from, say someone that you don’t know, it by default blocks them. Things, like just obvious things you should have enabled, it does cripple a few things in terms of the functionality of the iPhone.
Kevin Rose: Anything else before we wrap things up?
Tim Ferriss: Well, I’m kind of curious. You have a couple of bullets. I love your spelling. Am I done with ayahuasca? I’m assuming that is the question.
Kevin Rose: That’s right. Yeah.
Kevin Rose: And then about investing. Let’s talk about those two. So real quick on the ayahuasca front, let me just preface this a bit in that I would consider you to be the first person I ever heard about ayahuasca, let’s call it eight years ago or whatever the fuck it was, a long time ago, it was from you, and nobody was doing that. It was like you had to get a proper shaman, blah, blah. Now, Los Angeles, CVS is doing ayahuasca things at night. It’s like everywhere.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. Oh, God.
Kevin Rose: What? What’s… Hey, you. You fucked everyone, in that you created this crazy trend. And have you found durable, lasting effects from it? Like, would you still recommend it for most people, or what’s your take on that?
Tim Ferriss: I wouldn’t recommend it for most people. I have found durable benefits, and I’ve also found unpredictable risks. So, I will say that about a year and a half ago, maybe two years ago, I had an extended deep depressive episode for several months precipitated by two nights of consuming ayahuasca. And there are reasons for that. It’s not unexplainable. It was related to a lot of the content of that experience in a certain sense of meaninglessness and nihilism that was, I think, a predictable result of the content and experience that I went through. And I think in some way the conclusion, landing in this void of meaninglessness and nihilism is justified, but that doesn’t make it productive. And it was certainly not psychologically beneficial.
So, after that experience, I decided to take a hiatus from partaking. And there are significant, not just psychological, but in some cases physiological risks associated with ayahuasca. You can experience, especially if you’re on concurrent medications like certain SSRIs, serotonin syndrome, you can have severe, severe side effects. So this is not a trivial undertaking.
And I have largely in the last year, year and a half, paced down significantly any consumption of psychedelics. I think that they will be an ongoing component of my life until it’s game over, or at least this game over, and I transition from this physical forum, should we say. I do think that [inaudible 02:45:39]-
Kevin Rose: … that you truly are.
Tim Ferriss: That’s right, until we all ascend to the Valhalla of Cockpunch. But I do anticipate it’ll be an ongoing aspect and important ritual component in my life, but I have dialed back the frequency substantially.
Kevin Rose: Let me ask you a question.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah.
Kevin Rose: Did you see the benefits degrade over time, in meaning that if you had to go back and talk to your first ayahuasca self, let’s call it eight years ago or whatever it was, would you say, “Hey, Tim-“
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, 10 plus years ago now.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, let’s say 10 plus years ago, would you say, “Hey, Tim, do it 10 times, or do it five times, or do it whatever,” is there a beneficial return the more that you do it, or is that-
Tim Ferriss: Tough question to answer. I think it depends a lot on the individual. It also depends on the reasons for which you are using it. I would say I wouldn’t have said that to myself. I wouldn’t have said, “Do it 10 times and call it quits.” I wouldn’t have said that. Here’s what I probably would’ve said; I would’ve said, number one, “If you take this seriously, the deeper you go, the more interesting it becomes. If you pursue very qualified training through people who have a proven lineage of focusing on this for hundreds of years, you can go very, very deep, and it will get more interesting.”
I would have simultaneously said, “Be very cautious about how deep you go because you can get lost. If this is not your tradition, if this is not your culture, if you have not been steeped in this, if you didn’t start drinking ayahuasca when you were five years old,” which is when a lot of these, let’s just call them professionals, will start drinking, is when they’re five, six, or seven years old.
Kevin Rose: Wow. Like a full dose or just little tasters?
Tim Ferriss: I don’t know how it’s introduced. Probably at smaller doses, but very quickly getting into full doses. Very, very quickly, getting into full doses.
Kevin Rose: Is it fun when you do a little cough syrup, a little on the side, or do you have to do a full dose to get the benefits? I’ve never done it. You know that.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, yeah, I do. I will say, here’s-
Kevin Rose: Can I say one thing, Tim? Can I say one thing?
Tim Ferriss: Yes.
Kevin Rose: Just let me say one thing.
Tim Ferriss: You can say two things. You can say three things.
Kevin Rose: If you decide to do it again this year, if you would have me, I would do it with you, finally, after like 10 years.
Tim Ferriss: Okay. All right. That’s interesting. That’s interesting. All right. I will not hold you to that, but that’s good to know.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, I would love to man. I know that you would be a good guy to… I know you’d be a good friend, and I know you’d be a good shoulder, and I know there’s… Having to high dose mushrooms, I cried and wept over my dad’s passing, over a lot of shit that obviously comes up, and you need a support structure, and I know you would be a fantastic friend at that, so I would love that if you would have me at some point.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, yeah. Thanks, Kevin. And also, the meditation training you’ve been doing will be instrumental. It will be incredibly, incredibly helpful. So, that’s good to know. And I will say that… I’ll just wrap up quickly, the advice I would have given to my younger self. So number one is the deeper you go, the more interesting it will become, assuming that you have proper guidance from people who have a proven track record before this was fashionable of over generations cultivating an awareness and toolkit for interacting with these spaces. Yeah.
Kevin Rose: I was just going to say one little tidbit to that. Even just being out here a couple months, I hear, “Hey, come to our ayahuasca little thing in the LA Hills, blah, blah, blah.” And it seems very commercial at this point. In my head, I was always like, “I’m only going to trust Tim on this shit, because he’s got that OG, that original shit,” like the good stuff, the good. But you [inaudible 02:50:08] you must feel this-
Tim Ferriss: I’m very strict. You know I’m strict. You know I’m strict, and I’m very-
Kevin Rose: Yeah. I know you’ve only got the best.
Tim Ferriss: Yep. And I’m very, very, very, very particular and meticulous about how I assess expertise. I think that is one of my core forms of expertise, is assessing expertise. I think I am very good at it.
Kevin Rose: I agree.
Tim Ferriss: And I think the vast majority of people who consume these things are children playing with loaded handguns. They don’t realize the risks they’re taking, and the horrifying episodes generally don’t get a lot of airtime. So there’s a survivorship bias, where people end up hearing the positive, life altering experiences. And then the incorrect conclusion is made, that the vast majority of experiences are like that. And I have not seen any evidence to suggest that’s true. There are many positive, life altering experiences, but ayahuasca specifically is a big gun. It is very powerful.
And the other warning I would give, in addition to if you go deep, given that you are not native to this environment, there is a risk that you will become lost. And being lost could be an indescribably terrifying experience, where the line between reality and what you might perceive as a hyper reality in this other dimension, or fabricated reality as a UI, as we perceive it, versus any type of objective truth, things can get very, very unclear very quickly. And I don’t expect anyone to understand this or even take it as reasonable that you could have that experience if you haven’t been there. But take my word for it, you can get to some very, very slippery terrain.
Furthermore, I would say no matter how many times you have done this, doesn’t matter if it’s 10, or a hundred, or 200, you always stand the chance of pulling a joker card from the deck and getting your fucking ass handed to you in a very serious way, that has lasting-
Kevin Rose: Yeah. I don’t want to do it anymore. I don’t want to do it anymore.
Tim Ferriss: That has lasting consequences. Now, I will say, just for you, Kevin, the group matters. The group matters. And I will say more so than perhaps, at least from a traditional format perspective, the people in the group matter. So you are going to have… This is another reason, or another example of where I think many people don’t-
Kevin Rose: Are you sane though, when you’re doing this? Like, if I look over at you-
Tim Ferriss: Well, hold on. Yeah?
Kevin Rose: … while we’re doing this, you’re not going to be doing something crazy? I’m like, “I’m freaking out. Fuck, I’m freaking out. He’s masturbating in the corner.”
Tim Ferriss: Generally not. No. Generally, I’m not like-
Kevin Rose: I’m going to look to you to be solid ground.
Tim Ferriss: Well, I’m not like the exorcist, right? My head is not spinning around while I’m vomiting in all directions and speaking in tongues. Things can get very strange, and they almost certainly will get very strange. I have never had the experience… Actually, I take that back. Well, in my first few experiences, there were one or two times where I felt out of control, fully out of control, and was completely dislocated from anything resembling this reality.
But generally speaking, now, or in recent history, I can go through very, very, very, very challenging experiences. But if someone near me says, “Tim, are you okay,” or, “Tim, how are you doing,” I can reply to that in perfectly coherent English, even if I am, by all subjective interpretations, completely removed from time, space, identity.
Kevin Rose: That’s amazing.
Tim Ferriss: I can still respond to that, which is a developed… I think that’s a cultivated skill, at least for me. But the fact of the matter remains that I could not have foreseen how violently I would be destabilized from that experience a year and a half, two years ago. And I think that was in part due to a degree of overconfidence, after many rounds for a non-clinician, for non-professional. The professionals drink four or five nights a week and do so for years and years and years on end.
So anyone who’s like, “I’ve done ayahuasca 10 times, I understand ayahuasca,” you are setting yourself up for spiritual head kick.
Kevin Rose: The reason I’m excited about this, and tell me if this is foolish, and I’m fine with you saying that; The one thing that I really appreciate about this practice of meditation is that there’s two things. One, it’s Henry slaps his legs and he says, “Just, this, just this. This is the moment, just this,” and that really snaps me back into this is the moment. And the second piece is that this idea of surrender, where you have something that’s facing you and you’re like, “That’s just a thought, let’s surrender back to the moment,” is a big piece of this practice. And do you think that either of those things would be helpful in this, or is that just-
Tim Ferriss: 100%. I’ll tell you how they’ll be helpful in my experience and how they’ll be a hindrance, or how they can be a hindrance. So, on the helpful side, in these very, let’s call them unusual and alternate experiences of reality in say an ayahuasca experience, and you can have nothing nights also, by the way. You get a brew that’s super weak, or you just simply for whatever reason, have your body veto the experience. You can have null experiences. It’s pretty wild. I have had those. They’re rare, but I’ve had experiences where I’ve had three cups, which I never do, three drinks, and have been more sober than I am right now, because I had one real drink, or two real drinks. And I don’t have a good explanation for how that happens.
But let’s just assume we’re talking about the full ride and you’re in. There is an expression, and this is used in therapy, but it’s especially applicable, I think to some of these stronger psychedelic experiences, which is what you resist persists. So, if you’re having an emotion, it’s not that the emotion is the problem. It’s your response to the emotion that’s the problem.
Kevin Rose: Right, of course.
Tim Ferriss: So that is very much, I think compatible, spanning the gap between what we might consider meditation and a psychedelic experience. It’s the same.
Kevin Rose: Very cool.
Tim Ferriss: It’s just magnified. If you resist something in meditation, there is a certain consequence. If you resist something in psychedelics, it’s that consequence times a hundred. So, if you’re able to rehearse, and practice, and cultivate the ability to observe without resisting, it is very helpful.
The risk, and I have seen this, with experienced meditators, is that they effectively, in the psychedelic experience, are able to almost dissociate from a first person experience and sit on the sidelines. They don’t allow themselves to be taken.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, I love that. That’s what I want to do.
Tim Ferriss: And there’s a certain wisdom in that. There’s a safety in that. But you do not, in my opinion, you don’t get the full experience.
Kevin Rose: You’re the coach. You’re watching the players on the field, and you’re like, “Yeah, good job. Keep it up.” Yeah.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, exactly. Clap, clap, clap. But you’re not having the in the zone experience-
Kevin Rose: I get it. I get it.
Tim Ferriss: … of being on the playing field in a way that allows you to ride the light.
Kevin Rose: Well, that’s not true surrender then, because if you’re really truly surrendering, you would let it take you. Right?
Tim Ferriss: If you allow it… For meditators, it’s a conscious decision, in many cases. Unless they just get-
Kevin Rose: Interesting. They have [inaudible 02:59:14] most people don’t.
Tim Ferriss: Most people don’t. They don’t-
Kevin Rose: [inaudible 02:59:20] makes you feel safe, or?
Tim Ferriss: For most people, it’s not surrendering. It’s being taken without thought of there being an alternative.
Kevin Rose: Right. Right, exactly.
Tim Ferriss: Fuck. For meditators, I will say, there is a dose that will render-
Kevin Rose: Oh, sure.
Tim Ferriss: … you-
Kevin Rose: Like five cups [inaudible 02:59:39]-
Tim Ferriss: … just a piece of fucking… It could just be one cup, depending on the brew. It could just make you a piece of driftwood in a hundred foot wave. There are circumstances in which I don’t really care how good you are-
Kevin Rose: You scare me, stop talking about it. Let’s just do it [inaudible 02:59:56].
Tim Ferriss: But the room composition matters. And this is where I’m going to get out there, so welcome to Crazy Town, everybody. But when you have proper guidance in the form of someone who is quarterbacking the experience, and you have a room of, let’s just say four to eight people, I think around six is really the sweet spot for me, that is the right size team for something like this, you are going to effectively have unprotected spiritual sex with everybody in that room, which is part of the reason why I typically do not drink with any strangers. I want to know what is under the hood for people on some level, because it all gets put on the same shared table in that experience.
And I don’t have any scientific proof for this. I only have my own direct experience, and I try to trust in the fidelity of my direct experience. Stuff gets shared in that room. So it’s good to have some basic familiarity of what you’re contending with.
Kevin Rose: Scared.
Tim Ferriss: Well, what’s interesting, it doesn’t necessarily manifest in a negative way. So for instance, I have a friend who I have sat with many dozens of times now, and we will often have the exact same experience. We will see the same things, we will hear the same things. We will experience nausea at exactly the same times, or more interestingly, one of us will get super nauseous and then the nausea will disappear and then the other person will vomit, as if that has been handed off to the other person, they assume that burden or responsibility or feeling and they process it for the other person. It’s very odd. It’s very odd, and it is very, very common.
Kevin Rose: We should get a good crew together.
Tim Ferriss: Who are we going to get? It’s you, me, David Blaine. Who else are we going to get to fucking… Mike Shinoda.
Kevin Rose: Put lead singer of Kiss. I’ve got to run. I’ve got to get back to my girls. This has been awesome, Tim.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. Good to hang, man.
Kevin Rose: It is-
Tim Ferriss: And great to see you, man.
Kevin Rose: I want to say a couple things real quick before we wrap up. One, Happy New Year. I love you. I miss you.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, I love you too, brother.
Kevin Rose: It’s always great to do these. It’s been so many fun years of us doing these ridiculous-
Tim Ferriss: It makes me so happy.
Kevin Rose: … podcasts. Speaking of cock punch, this is the cock punch of podcasts.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, it really is.
Kevin Rose: It’s just us being ridiculous. It’s good.
Tim Ferriss: #FrontForwardSlouch.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. The thing I love about, just to say this, because this goes on your main feed, is you have a very successful podcast that makes a lot of money doing what you do so well. And the fact that you would say, hey, I’m going to dumb it down from time to time and just have a good time and do these types of shows, it means a lot, man. It’s like-
Tim Ferriss: Aw, thanks.
Kevin Rose: I think it’s core of who we are though. We both like to be professionals on some level and then also just, fuck it, we’re going to die soon. Let’s have a good time. Right?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah.
Kevin Rose: I love that.
Tim Ferriss: 100%, man. I love these conversations. I miss you. I miss the family, and I hope to spend more time in person, so I’ll-
Kevin Rose: I’m hoping you come down more often.
Tim Ferriss: … at the very least-
Kevin Rose: You’re thinking about that, right?
Tim Ferriss: I would like to spend some more time out there. It’s perfect weather. There’s a lot to be said for it. Easy access to nature. I get to hang-
Kevin Rose: I’m just saying, in terms of the dating life, [inaudible 03:03:52].
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, yeah, that’s true. It’s a large playing field out there, and-
Kevin Rose: A lot of pickleball out here.
Tim Ferriss: A lot of pickleball. A lot of pickleball.
Kevin Rose: I don’t even know what that means.
Tim Ferriss: Oh, yeah. Yeah, you don’t know what it means. Oh, what a class act. I also have a lot of friends out there. I also have a lot of friends, and it’d be fun to do these in person, man. We used to do in person all the time. We used to do them all the time in person.
Kevin Rose: Always [inaudible 03:04:18]. Yeah.
Tim Ferriss: It was so fun.
Kevin Rose: We looked a lot younger. Less gray ball sacks back in-
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, the ball sacks were really resplendent in their youthful vigor.
Kevin Rose: I had a ponytail on mine, I had the whole thing. It was beautiful.
Tim Ferriss: Little ponytails. Yeah. It was a good look. On that note-
Kevin Rose: Sorry if we offend anyone today. Obviously we’ve had a few drinks.
Tim Ferriss: I’m not sorry. I’m so not sorry. If you’re offended, please, Jesus, relax. You’re going to… Yeah, unsubscribe. You’re going to die soon. Have some fun.
Kevin Rose: Exactly.
Tim Ferriss: All right, man.
Kevin Rose: All right, brother.
Tim Ferriss: Good to see you, man.
Kevin Rose: Good to see you.
Tim Ferriss: To everybody listening, I don’t even know if we’re going to have show notes, but maybe. Tim.blog/podcast. That’s where you can find the more serious stuff. And happy holidays and happy new years everybody.
Kevin Rose: Happy new year, everyone.
Tim Ferriss: Happy new year to you too, man.
Kevin Rose: All right, brother, take care.
Tim Ferriss: Take care, buddy.
The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.