Edward O. Thorp, A Man for All Markets — Beating Blackjack and Roulette, Beating the Stock Market, Spotting Bernie Madoff Early, and Knowing When Enough Is Enough (#596)

Illustration via 99designs

“When you begin to think for yourself, the whole world changes and becomes much clearer.”

— Edward O. Thorp

Edward O. Thorp (@edwardothorp) is the author of the bestseller Beat the Dealer, which transformed the game of blackjack. His subsequent book, Beat the Market, coauthored with Sheen T. Kassouf, influenced securities markets around the globe. He is also the author of A Man for All Markets: From Las Vegas to Wall Street, How I Beat the Dealer and the Market.

Edward was one of the world’s best blackjack players and investors, and his hedge funds were profitable every year for 29 years. He lives in Newport Beach, California.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Amazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform. Watch the video on YouTube here.

Brought to you by Wealthfront automated investing, Athletic Greens all-in-one nutritional supplement, and Eight Sleep’s Pod Pro Cover sleeping solution for dynamic cooling and heating. More on all three below.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#596: Edward O. Thorp, A Man For All Markets — Beating Blackjack and Roulette, Beating the Stock Market, Spotting Bernie Madoff Early, and Knowing When Enough is Enough

This episode is brought to you by WealthfrontWealthfront pioneered the automated investing movement, sometimes referred to as ‘robo-advising,’ and they currently oversee $28 billion of assets for their clients. It takes about three minutes to sign up, and then Wealthfront will build you a globally diversified portfolio of ETFs based on your risk appetite and manage it for you at an incredibly low cost. 

Smart investing should not feel like a rollercoaster ride. Let the professionals do the work for you. Go to Wealthfront.com/Tim and open a Wealthfront account today, and you’ll get your first $5,000 managed for free, for lifeWealthfront will automate your investments for the long term. Get started today at Wealthfront.com/Tim.


This episode is brought to you by Eight Sleep! Eight Sleep’s Pod Pro Cover is the easiest and fastest way to sleep at the perfect temperature. It pairs dynamic cooling and heating with biometric tracking to offer the most advanced (and user-friendly) solution on the market. Simply add the Pod Pro Cover to your current mattress and start sleeping as cool as 55°F or as hot as 110°F. It also splits your bed in half, so your partner can choose a totally different temperature.

And now, my dear listeners—that’s you—can get $250 off the Pod Pro Cover. Simply go to EightSleep.com/Tim or use code TIM at checkout. 


This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. I get asked all the time, “If you could use only one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is usually AG1 by Athletic Greens, my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in The 4-Hour Body in 2010 and did not get paid to do so. I do my best with nutrient-dense meals, of course, but AG further covers my bases with vitamins, minerals, and whole-food-sourced micronutrients that support gut health and the immune system. 

Right now, Athletic Greens is offering you their Vitamin D Liquid Formula free with your first subscription purchase—a vital nutrient for a strong immune system and strong bones. Visit AthleticGreens.com/Tim to claim this special offer today and receive the free Vitamin D Liquid Formula (and five free travel packs) with your first subscription purchase! That’s up to a one-year supply of Vitamin D as added value when you try their delicious and comprehensive all-in-one daily greens product.


What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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Continue reading “Edward O. Thorp, A Man for All Markets — Beating Blackjack and Roulette, Beating the Stock Market, Spotting Bernie Madoff Early, and Knowing When Enough Is Enough (#596)”

In Case You Missed It: April 2022 Recap of “The Tim Ferriss Show” (#595)

Welcome to another episode of The Tim Ferriss Show, where it is my job to deconstruct world-class performers to tease out the routines, habits, et cetera that you can apply to your own life. 

This is a special inbetweenisode, which serves as a recap of the episodes from last month. It features a short clip from each conversation in one place so you can easily jump around to get a feel for the episode and guest.

See it as a teaser. Something to whet your appetite. If you like what you hear, you can of course find the full episodes at tim.blog/podcast

Please enjoy! 

***

Timestamps:

Terry Crews: 00:01:27

Tony Fadell: 00:11:16

Donald Hoffman: 00:17:57

Kevin Rose: 00:24:20

A.J. Jacobs: 00:35:05

Bo Shao: 00:41:37

Tom Morello: 00:56:07

***

Included episodes:

Terry Crews on Masculinity, True Power, Therapy, and Resisting Cynicism 

Tony Fadell of iPod, iPhone, and Nest Fame — Stories of Steve Jobs on “Vacation,” Product Design and Team Building, Good Assholes vs. Bad Assholes, Investing in Trends Before They Become Trends, The Hydrogen Economy, The Future of Batteries, and More

Professor Donald Hoffman — The Case Against Reality, Beyond Spacetime, Rethinking Death, Panpsychism, QBism, and More

The Random Show with Kevin Rose — Current Books, Men’s Groups, Tuna Helper, the Latest in NFTs, Fierce Intimacy, and More

A.J. Jacobs — How to Be Less Furious and More Curious

Bo Shao — His Path from Food Rations to Managing Billions, the Blessings and Burdens of Chasing Perfection, Building the eBay of China in 1999, Pillars of Parenting, and Pursuing the Unpopular

Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine Fame — Fear{less} with Tim Ferriss

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform.

In Case You Missed It: April 2022 Recap of “The Tim Ferriss Show” (#595)

Cal Newport and Tim Ferriss Revisit “The 4-Hour Workweek” (Plus: The Allure and The Void of Remote Work, Unsustainable Behaviors, Burning Out, The Cult of Productivity, and More) (#594)

Illustration via 99designs

Welcome to another episode of The Tim Ferriss Show, where it is my job to deconstruct world-class performers to tease out the routines, habits, et cetera that you can apply to your own life.

In this episode, past podcast guest Cal Newport interviews me for an article he ended up writing for The New Yorker titled “Revisiting ‘The 4-Hour Workweek’: How Tim Ferriss’s 2007 manifesto anticipated our current moment of professional upheaval.”

Who is Cal? Cal Newport (calnewport.com) is an associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University who previously earned his PhD from MIT. His scholarship focuses on the theory of distributed systems, while his general-audience writing explores intersections of culture and technology.

Cal is the author of seven books, including, most recently, Deep Work, Digital Minimalism, and A World Without Email. He is also a contributing writer for The New Yorker and the host of the Deep Questions podcast.

You can find my interview with Cal at tim.blog/calnewport, and you can find the 2007 talk at SXSW that launched everything at tim.blog/sxsw.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform.

Brought to you by LinkedIn Jobs recruitment platform with 770M+ users, Vuori comfortable and durable performance apparel, and Athletic Greens all-in-one nutritional supplement. More on all three below.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

Cal Newport and Tim Ferriss Revisit “The 4-Hour Workweek” (Plus: The Allure and The Void of Remote Work, Unsustainable Behaviors, Burning Out, The Cult of Productivity, and More) (#594)

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. I get asked all the time, “If you could use only one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is usually AG1 by Athletic Greens, my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in The 4-Hour Body in 2010 and did not get paid to do so. I do my best with nutrient-dense meals, of course, but AG further covers my bases with vitamins, minerals, and whole-food-sourced micronutrients that support gut health and the immune system. 

Right now, Athletic Greens is offering you their Vitamin D Liquid Formula free with your first subscription purchase—a vital nutrient for a strong immune system and strong bones. Visit AthleticGreens.com/Tim to claim this special offer today and receive the free Vitamin D Liquid Formula (and five free travel packs) with your first subscription purchase! That’s up to a one-year supply of Vitamin D as added value when you try their delicious and comprehensive all-in-one daily greens product.


This episode is brought to you by Vuori clothingVuori is a new and fresh perspective on performance apparel, perfect if you are sick and tired of traditional, old workout gear. Everything is designed for maximum comfort and versatility so that you look and feel as good in everyday life as you do working out.

Get yourself some of the most comfortable and versatile clothing on the planet at VuoriClothing.com/Tim. Not only will you receive 20% off your first purchase, but you’ll also enjoy free shipping on any US orders over $75 and free returns.


This episode is brought to you by LinkedIn Jobs. Whether you are looking to hire now for a critical role or thinking about needs that you may have in the future, LinkedIn Jobs can help. LinkedIn screens candidates for the hard and soft skills you’re looking for and puts your job in front of candidates looking for job opportunities that match what you have to offer.

Using LinkedIn’s active community of more than 770 million professionals worldwide, LinkedIn Jobs can help you find and hire the right person faster. When your business is ready to make that next hire, find the right person with LinkedIn Jobs. And now, you can post a job for free. Just visit LinkedIn.com/Tim.


What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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Richard Wiseman on Lessons from Dale Carnegie, How to Keep a Luck Diary, Mentalism, The Psychology of the Paranormal, Mass Participation Experiments, NLP, Remote Viewing, and Attempting the Impossible (#593)

Illustration via 99designs

My mantra is always What is the scientific underpinning of these ideas?
— Richard Wiseman

Richard Wiseman (@richardwiseman) holds Britain’s only professorship in the public understanding of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles examining the psychology of magic and illusion, the paranormal, luck, and self-help. His books on psychology, which include The Luck Factor: The Scientific Study of the Lucky Mind and 59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot, have sold more than three million copies worldwide, and his psychology-based YouTube videos have garnered more than 500 million views.

Elizabeth Loftus, former president of The Association for Psychological Science, described Richard as “one of the world’s most creative psychologists,” and The Independent On Sunday chose him as one of the top 100 people who make Britain a better place to live. In addition to his work in the field of psychology, Richard served as director of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for eight years.

He recently co-authored David Copperfield’s History of Magic, and his next book, Psychology: Why It Matters, will be published later this year.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform. You can watch the interview on YouTube here.

Brought to you by UCAN endurance products, Headspace easy-to-use app with guided meditations, and Helix Sleep premium mattresses. More on all three below.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#593: Richard Wiseman on Lessons from Dale Carnegie, How to Keep a Luck Diary, Mentalism, The Psychology of the Paranormal, Mass Participation Experiments, NLP, Remote Viewing, and Attempting the Impossible

This episode is brought to you by UCANI was introduced to UCAN and its unique carbohydrate LIVSTEADY by my good friend—and listener favorite—Dr. Peter Attia, who said there is no carb in the world like it. I have since included it in my routine, using UCAN’s powders to power my workouts, and the bars make great snacks. Extensive scientific research and clinical trials have shown that LIVSTEADY provides a sustained release of energy to the body without spiking blood sugar. UCAN is the ideal way to source energy from a carbohydrate without the negatives associated with fast carbs, especially sugar. You avoid fatigue, hunger cravings, and loss of focus.

Whether you’re an athlete working on managing your fitness or you need healthy, efficient calories to get you through your day, UCAN is an elegant energy solution. My listeners can save 30% on their first UCAN order by going to UCAN.co/Tim.


This episode is brought to you by Headspace! Headspace is your daily dose of mindfulness in the form of guided meditations in an easy-to-use app. Whatever the situation, Headspace can help you feel better. Overwhelmed? Headspace has a 3-minute SOS meditation for you. Need some help falling asleep? Headspace has wind-down sessions their members swear by. And for parents, Headspace even has morning meditations you can do with your kids. Headspace’s approach to mindfulness can reduce stress, improve sleep, boost focus, and increase your overall sense of well-being.

Go to Headspace.com/Tim for a FREE one-month trial with access to Headspace’s full library of meditations for every situation.


This episode is brought to you by Helix SleepHelix was selected as the #1 overall mattress of 2020 by GQ magazine, Wired, Apartment Therapy, and many others. With Helix, there’s a specific mattress to meet each and every body’s unique comfort needs. Just take their quiz—only two minutes to complete—that matches your body type and sleep preferences to the perfect mattress for you. They have a 10-year warranty, and you get to try it out for a hundred nights, risk-free. They’ll even pick it up from you if you don’t love it. And now, Helix is offering up to 200 dollars off all mattress orders plus two free pillows at HelixSleep.com/Tim.


What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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Dennis McKenna — An Ethnopharmacologist on Hallucinogens, Sex-Crazed Cicadas, The Mushrooms of Language, BioGnosis, and Illuminating Obscure Corners (#592)

Illustration via 99designs

“To make the world comprehensible, you have to selectively filter what gets in. You inhabit this filtered—you could almost use the word curated—version of reality. Otherwise, it would just be a blooming, buzzing confusion you wouldn’t be able to navigate. And then you can take a psychedelic. You can disable those mechanisms. You can disable this default mode mechanism, open the gates of the reducing valve, and that can be very beneficial in terms of helping you get outside of your reference frame.”

— Dennis McKenna

Dennis McKenna (@DennisMcKenna4) has spent more than 40 years researching the interdisciplinary study of Amazonian ethnopharmacology and plant hallucinogens. He has conducted extensive ethnobotanical fieldwork in the Peruvian, Colombian, and Brazilian Amazon.

His doctoral research at the University of British Columbia focused on the ethnopharmacology of ayahuasca and oo-koo-he, two tryptamine-based hallucinogens used by indigenous peoples in the Northwest Amazon.

He is a founding board member of the Heffter Research Institute and was a key organizer and participant in the Hoasca Project, the first biomedical investigation of ayahuasca used by the UDV, a Brazilian religious group. He is the younger brother of Terence McKenna.

From 2000 to 2017, he taught courses on ethnopharmacology as well as Plants in Human Affairs at the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota. In 2019, in collaboration with colleagues, he incorporated a nonprofit, the McKenna Academy of Natural Philosophy. Currently, the Academy has several projects underway, with the most immediate being preparations for an upcoming conference in the UK May 23rd–26th, ESPD55, which will cover a wide range of topics related to psycho-ethnopharmacology and feature an exclusive, pre-release screening of the McKenna Academy’s first short documentary, BioGnosis, Bridges to Ancestral Wisdom.

Dennis emigrated to Canada in the spring of 2019 with his wife Sheila and now resides in Abbotsford, British Columbia.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform. You can watch the interview on YouTube here.

Brought to you by Athletic Greens all-in-one nutritional supplement, Eight Sleep’s Pod Pro Cover sleeping solution for dynamic cooling and heating, and Shopify global commerce platform, providing tools to start, grow, market, and manage a retail business. More on all three below.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#592: Dennis McKenna — An Ethnopharmacologist on Hallucinogens, Sex-Crazed Cicadas, The Mushrooms of Language, BioGnosis, and Illuminating Obscure Corners

This episode is brought to you by ShopifyShopify is one of my favorite platforms and one of my favorite companies. Shopify is designed for anyone to sell anywhere, giving entrepreneurs the resources once reserved for big business. In no time flat, you can have a great looking online store that brings your ideas to life, and you can have the tools to manage your day-to-day and drive sales. No coding or design experience required.

More than a store, Shopify grows with you, and they never stop innovating, providing more and more tools to make your business better and your life easier. Go to Shopify.com/Tim for a FREE 14-day trial and get full access to Shopify’s entire suite of features.


This episode is brought to you by Eight Sleep! Eight Sleep’s Pod Pro Cover is the easiest and fastest way to sleep at the perfect temperature. It pairs dynamic cooling and heating with biometric tracking to offer the most advanced (and user-friendly) solution on the market. Simply add the Pod Pro Cover to your current mattress and start sleeping as cool as 55°F or as hot as 110°F. It also splits your bed in half, so your partner can choose a totally different temperature.

And now, my dear listeners—that’s you—can get $250 off the Pod Pro Cover. Simply go to EightSleep.com/Tim or use code TIM at checkout. 


This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. I get asked all the time, “If you could use only one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is usually AG1 by Athletic Greens, my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in The 4-Hour Body in 2010 and did not get paid to do so. I do my best with nutrient-dense meals, of course, but AG further covers my bases with vitamins, minerals, and whole-food-sourced micronutrients that support gut health and the immune system. 

Right now, Athletic Greens is offering you their Vitamin D Liquid Formula free with your first subscription purchase—a vital nutrient for a strong immune system and strong bones. Visit AthleticGreens.com/Tim to claim this special offer today and receive the free Vitamin D Liquid Formula (and five free travel packs) with your first subscription purchase! That’s up to a one-year supply of Vitamin D as added value when you try their delicious and comprehensive all-in-one daily greens product.

What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

SCROLL BELOW FOR LINKS AND SHOW NOTES…

Continue reading “Dennis McKenna — An Ethnopharmacologist on Hallucinogens, Sex-Crazed Cicadas, The Mushrooms of Language, BioGnosis, and Illuminating Obscure Corners (#592)”

Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine Fame — Fear{less} with Tim Ferriss (#591)

“Dangerous times demand dangerous songs.”

— Tom Morello

Welcome to another episode of The Tim Ferriss Show, where it is my job to deconstruct world-class performers to tease out the routines, habits, et cetera that you can apply to your own life.

You’ll get plenty of that in this special episode, which features my interview with Tom Morello from my 2017 TV Show Fear{less}. The “less” is in parentheses because the objective is to teach you to fear less, not to be fearless.

Fear{less} features in-depth, long-form conversations with top performers, focusing on how they’ve overcome fears and made hard decisions, embracing discomfort and thinking big.

It was produced by Wild West Productions, and I worked with them to make both the video and audio available to you for free, my dear listeners. You can find the video of this episode on YouTube.com/TimFerriss, and eventually you’ll be able to see all episodes for free at YouTube.com/TimFerriss.

Spearheaded by actor/producer and past podcast guest Vince Vaughn, Wild West Productions has produced a string of hit movies including The Internship, Couples Retreat, Four Christmases, and The Break-Up.

In 2020, Wild West produced the comedy The Opening Act, starring Jimmy O. Yang and Cedric The Entertainer. In addition to Fear{less}, their television credits include Undeniable with Joe Buck, ESPN’s 30 for 30 episode about the ’85 Bears, and the Netflix animated show F is for Family.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform. You can watch the interview on YouTube here.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine Fame — Fear{less} with Tim Ferriss (#591)


This episode is brought to you by 5-Bullet Friday, my very own email newsletter that every Friday features five bullet points highlighting cool things I’ve found that week, including apps, books, documentaries, gadgets, albums, articles, TV shows, new hacks or tricks, and—of course—all sorts of weird stuff I’ve dug up from around the world.

It’s free, it’s always going to be free, and you can subscribe now at tim.blog/friday.


What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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Tony Fadell of iPod, iPhone, and Nest Fame — Stories of Steve Jobs on “Vacation,” Product Design and Team Building, Good Assholes vs. Bad Assholes, Investing in Trends Before They Become Trends, The Hydrogen Economy, The Future of Batteries, and More (#590)

Illustration via 99designs

“It’s about the mission, not about your ego.”

— Tony Fadell

Tony Fadell (@tfadell) is an active investor and entrepreneur with a 30+ year history of founding companies and designing products that profoundly improve people’s lives. As the principal at Future Shape, a global investment and advisory firm coaching engineers and scientists working on foundational deep technology, he is continuing to help bring technology out of the lab and into our lives. Currently, Future Shape is coaching 200+ startups innovating game-changing technologies. 

Tony began his career in Silicon Valley at General Magic, the most influential startup nobody has ever heard of. He is the founder and former CEO of Nest, the company that pioneered the “Internet of Things” and created the Nest Learning Thermostat. Tony was the SVP of Apple’s iPod Division and led the team that created the first 18 generations of the iPod and the first three generations of the iPhone. Throughout his career, Tony has authored more than 300 patents. In May 2016, TIME named the Nest Learning Thermostat, the iPod, and the iPhone as three of the “50 Most Influential Gadgets of All Time.” 

His new book is Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform. You can watch the interview on YouTube here.

Brought to you by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions marketing platform with ~770M users, LMNT electrolyte supplement, and Eight Sleep’s Pod Pro Cover sleeping solution for dynamic cooling and heating. More on all three below.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#590: Tony Fadell of iPod, iPhone, and Nest Fame — Stories of Steve Jobs on “Vacation,” Product Design and Team Building, Good Assholes vs. Bad Assholes, Investing in Trends Before They Become Trends, The Hydrogen Economy, The Future of Batteries, and More

This episode is brought to you by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, the go-to tool for B2B marketers and advertisers who want to drive brand awareness, generate leads, or build long-term relationships that result in real business impact.

With a community of more than 770 million professionals, LinkedIn is gigantic, but it can be hyper-specific. You have access to a diverse group of people all searching for things they need to grow professionally. LinkedIn has the marketing tools to help you target your customers with precision, right down to job title, company name, industry, etc. To redeem your free $100 LinkedIn ad credit and launch your first campaign, go to LinkedIn.com/TFS!


This episode is brought to you by Eight Sleep! Eight Sleep’s Pod Pro Cover is the easiest and fastest way to sleep at the perfect temperature. It pairs dynamic cooling and heating with biometric tracking to offer the most advanced (and user-friendly) solution on the market. Simply add the Pod Pro Cover to your current mattress and start sleeping as cool as 55°F or as hot as 110°F. It also splits your bed in half, so your partner can choose a totally different temperature.

And now, my dear listeners—that’s you—can get $250 off the Pod Pro Cover. Simply go to EightSleep.com/Tim or use code TIM at checkout. 


This episode is brought to you by LMNTWhat is LMNT? It’s a delicious, sugar-free electrolyte drink mix. I’ve stocked up on boxes and boxes of this and usually use it 1–2 times per day. LMNT is formulated to help anyone with their electrolyte needs and perfectly suited to folks following a keto, low-carb, or Paleo diet. If you are on a low-carb diet or fasting, electrolytes play a key role in relieving hunger, cramps, headaches, tiredness, and dizziness.

LMNT came up with a very special offer for you, my dear listeners. For a limited time, you can get a free LMNT Sample Pack with any purchase. This special offer is available here: DrinkLMNT.com/Tim.


What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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Continue reading “Tony Fadell of iPod, iPhone, and Nest Fame — Stories of Steve Jobs on “Vacation,” Product Design and Team Building, Good Assholes vs. Bad Assholes, Investing in Trends Before They Become Trends, The Hydrogen Economy, The Future of Batteries, and More (#590)”

The Path to Better Thinking Through Puzzles and Riddles

Many puzzles made of different colored woods, metal, and paper, all on a dark blue cloth.
Photo by Jonathan Kemper on Unsplash

The following is a guest post from A.J. Jacobs (@ajjacobs), a bestselling author, journalist, and human guinea pig. It is excerpted from his new book The Puzzler: One Man’s Quest to Solve the Most Baffling Puzzles Ever, from Crosswords to Jigsaws to the Meaning of Life. A.J. has written four New York Times bestsellers, including The Year of Living Biblically (for which he followed all the rules of the Bible as literally as possible) and Thanks a Thousand (for which he went around the world and thanked every person who had even the smallest role in making his morning cup of coffee possible). He has given four TED talks with a combined 10M+ views. He contributes to NPR and The New York Times and wrote the article “My Outsourced Life,” which was featured in The 4-Hour Workweek. He was once the answer to one down in The New York Times crossword puzzle. 

You can find my interview from 2016 with A.J here, and you can find last week’s interview with A.J. here.

Please enjoy!

Enter A.J…

My father was the one to introduce me to math puzzles.

He didn’t focus on the traditional kind. His were weirder than that, more homegrown. My dad’s greatest joy comes from baffling unsuspecting people—strangers, friends, family, whomever—and he often accomplishes this with math-based hijinks.

One time, when I was about eight years old, I asked my dad how fast race cars went. This was before Google, so my father was my version of a search engine.

“The fastest ones get up to about 50 million,” my dad said.

Even to my unschooled mind, 50 million miles per hour seemed off.

“That doesn’t sound right,” I said.

“Yes it is,” he said. “50 million fathoms per fortnight.”

I just stared at him.

“Oh, you wanted miles per hour?” my dad said. “I thought you meant in fathoms per fortnight.”

As you might know, a fathom equals six feet, and a fortnight is two weeks. My dad had decided that fathoms per fortnight would be his default way to measure speed, on the probably correct theory that no one else on earth had ever used that metric. I thanked him for this helpful information.

So, as you can see, I was exposed to recreational math early on, leaving me with a mixed legacy—a love of numbers, a healthy skepticism about numbers, and paranoia.

For this puzzle project, I’ve bought a dozen books with math and logic brainteasers. Reading these books often induces a mild panic. How would I know how many spheres can simultaneously touch a center sphere? I can’t even figure out where to start. What’s the entry point?

To remedy this problem, I decided to consult one of the world’s experts on math puzzles, hoping to learn some of her methods. Tanya Khovanova greets me on a video call. But before I’m allowed to ask her anything, she has a question for me.

“I have two coins,” she says, in a Russian accent. “Together they add up to 15 cents. One of them is not a nickel. What are the two coins?”

My palms begin to sweat. I did not expect a pop quiz.

Maybe she’s talking about foreign coins? Maybe rubles are involved, I say?

“Not foreign coins,” she says. “American currency.”

Continue reading “The Path to Better Thinking Through Puzzles and Riddles”

In Case You Missed It: March 2022 Recap of The Tim Ferriss Show (#589)

Welcome to another episode of The Tim Ferriss Show, where it is my job to deconstruct world-class performers to tease out the routines, habits, et cetera that you can apply to your own life. 

This is a special inbetweenisode, which serves as a recap of the episodes from last month. It features a short clip from each conversation in one place so you can easily jump around to get a feel for the episode and guest.

See it as a teaser. Something to whet your appetite. If you like what you hear, you can of course find the full episodes at tim.blog/podcast

Please enjoy! 

***

Timestamps:

Morgan Housel: 00:01:42

Matt Mullenweg: 00:09:18

Susan Cain: 00:15:35

Mark Zuckerberg: 00:26:26

Stewart Copeland: 00:30:35

***

Full episode titles:

Morgan Housel — The Psychology of Money, Picking the Right Game, and the $6 Million Janitor

Tim Ferriss and Matt Mullenweg in Antarctica: Exploring Personal Fears, Bucket Lists, Facing Grief, Crafting Life Missions, and Tim’s Best Penguin Impressions

Susan Cain on Transforming Pain, Building Your Emotional Resilience, Exploring Sufi Wisdom, Tapping into Bittersweet Songs, and Seeking the Shards of Light

Mark Zuckerberg on Long-Term Strategy, Business and Parenting Principles, Personal Energy Management, Building the Metaverse, Seeking Awe, the Role of Religion, Solving Deep Technical Challenges (e.g., AR), and More

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Stewart Copeland — Fear{less} with Tim Ferriss

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform.

#589: In Case You Missed It: March 2022 Recap of The Tim Ferriss Show

A.J. Jacobs — How to Be Less Furious and More Curious (#588)

Illustration via 99designs

“Getting caught in a mental rut is the enemy of coming up with good solutions.”

— A.J. Jacobs

A.J. Jacobs (@ajjacobs) is a bestselling author, journalist, and human guinea pig. He has written four New York Times bestsellers, including The Year of Living Biblically (for which he followed all the rules of the Bible as literally as possible) and Thanks a Thousand (for which he went around the world and thanked every person who had even the smallest role in making his morning cup of coffee possible). He has given four TED talks with a combined 10M+ views. He contributes to NPR and The New York Times and wrote the article “My Outsourced Life,” which was featured in The 4-Hour Workweek. He was once the answer to one down in The New York Times crossword puzzle. You can find my 2016 interview with A.J. at tim.blog/aj

His new book is The Puzzler: One Man’s Quest to Solve the Most Baffling Puzzles Ever, from Crosswords to Jigsaws to the Meaning of Life.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform.

Brought to you by LinkedIn Jobs recruitment platform with 770M+ users, Helix Sleep premium mattresses, and Headspace easy-to-use app with guided meditations. More on all three below.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#588: A.J. Jacobs — How to Be Less Furious and More Curious

This episode is brought to you by LinkedIn Jobs. Whether you are looking to hire now for a critical role or thinking about needs that you may have in the future, LinkedIn Jobs can help. LinkedIn screens candidates for the hard and soft skills you’re looking for and puts your job in front of candidates looking for job opportunities that match what you have to offer.

Using LinkedIn’s active community of more than 770 million professionals worldwide, LinkedIn Jobs can help you find and hire the right person faster. When your business is ready to make that next hire, find the right person with LinkedIn Jobs. And now, you can post a job for free. Just visit LinkedIn.com/Tim.


This episode is brought to you by Helix SleepHelix was selected as the #1 overall mattress of 2020 by GQ magazine, Wired, Apartment Therapy, and many others. With Helix, there’s a specific mattress to meet each and every body’s unique comfort needs. Just take their quiz—only two minutes to complete—that matches your body type and sleep preferences to the perfect mattress for you. They have a 10-year warranty, and you get to try it out for a hundred nights, risk-free. They’ll even pick it up from you if you don’t love it. And now, Helix is offering up to 200 dollars off all mattress orders plus two free pillows at HelixSleep.com/Tim.


This episode is brought to you by Headspace! Headspace is your daily dose of mindfulness in the form of guided meditations in an easy-to-use app. Whatever the situation, Headspace can help you feel better. Overwhelmed? Headspace has a 3-minute SOS meditation for you. Need some help falling asleep? Headspace has wind-down sessions their members swear by. And for parents, Headspace even has morning meditations you can do with your kids. Headspace’s approach to mindfulness can reduce stress, improve sleep, boost focus, and increase your overall sense of well-being.

Go to Headspace.com/Tim for a FREE one-month trial with access to Headspace’s full library of meditations for every situation.


What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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