Adding efficiency is one of the key ways an economy grows. It is the difference between healthy growth and a zero sum game. Here are some of the ways that efficiency is introduced and how well various types of entities are able to implement that efficiency. Specialization & Division of Labor Simply put, have the people that are best at something do that thing, and other people do what they are best at. Imagine a company that employs 100 craftspeople – 50 of them can produce either 1 table or four chairs per hour – the other fifty have slightly different skills and can either produce 2 tables or three chairs per hour. If everyone spends half of their day working on each, the company will end up with 600 tables & 1,400 chairs per day. If the company lets those that are best at making tables, focus on that task and those
This year I set out to think about the topic of health – what it meant and how to achieve/maintain it. It should come to no surprise to anyone that knows me or reads this blog that my first goal was to figure out how to measure it. How to turn an abstract concept into a concrete number. Here are my thoughts. The Old Way I used to think of my health on a given day as a percentage. 100% was full health – defined by my normal self when I had no ailments. If I got sick or injured I would think of myself as operating at some lesser degree – almost like how you would measure the output of a factory. 100% means all machines are working at their expected capacity – if anything goes wrong then you measure the difference as a percentage. I have frequently used terms like
I started writing this post two years ago. The controversy of the topic spurred me to let it steep. Here are my thoughts on a topic that for some reason is far more controversial than it should be. Vaccines I’m a huge fan of the vaccination process. Actually, to be clear, that really makes me a huge fan of the rapid adaptation of the human immune system – but I’m glad we’ve figured out how to hack it. That hack, whether discovered thousands of years ago in China or Turkey, or in 1796 in England, is the ability to help the immune system develop resistance to diseases without the host body actually having to suffer the full disease. Pretty cool stuff. Not only is it cool, but it has saved millions of lives. I’m really glad I was given a number of vaccines as a child. My wife and I have
I’ve had a number of collections over the years: baseball cards, action figures, Beanie Babies. Call me a child of the 80’s – everything was a collectors item back then. The one I’m most known for, however, is a Pez collection that was nearing 500 pieces in its prime. As an aspiring minimalist, I have been coming to terms with that collection over the past few years. It isn’t going to be able to be a big part of my life anymore. But at the same time, it isn’t easy to get rid of something I’ve invested time and energy into for over 20 years. Here are some tips I picked up on how to get rid of a collection in the least jarring way. Some I’ve learned from past collections that were easier to part with, and some I’m learning now. If you have come to the place where you are
Being the aspiring minimalists we are, my wife and I brought our first child home to our small apartment that had very few baby toys in it – everything fit in/on a toy box that sat on our bay window seat. Over the three years that followed, despite our best intentions, our house has accumulated many more toys. Though they are individually great – the trouble with toys, as is the trouble with most things, is that their value does not scale linearly. More toys does not equal more fun or more learning. There are diminishing returns. Eventually even negative returns where more toys results only in more mess, stress and frustration. A knee-jerk reaction might be to get rid of most everything – to go full minimalist. While that reaction will provide some benefits, we feel it would be throwing the baby out with the bath water. We are attempting to get the best of both worlds via a
Which will happen first? Our societies will learn to curb our use of water Our technologists will discover/invent a way to purify and transport water effectively to keep up with our rising demand We will perfect the art of splicing genes and adapt our species to be able to consume salt water directly We will hit the water cap and see our species growth top out and/or start shrinking Water will not be the limiting factor because we will have already have experienced extinction or massive population reduction due to some other limited resource and/or foolish action I would be hard pressed to ever make a bet on humanity curbing consumption. Run technologists, the clock is ticking.
I currently live in Seattle, which sits in a county where 73.9% of voters chose Clinton. My former city of San Francisco leaned even more blue at 85.3%. My Facebook news feed has been full of shock and disappointment since election night. I’ve been sitting on this draft for weeks as I tried to find the right words. How could this happen? I don’t personally think this means we are regressing, racist or sexist. I think those are easy answers. Scapegoats. I fully believe some portion of the population is and always has represented those viewpoints and this election, particularly, gave voice to certain elements that have been quiet on a national scale lately. Those aren’t the reason though and putting the blame on them diminishes our chances of moving forward in a productive manner. The reason this happened is that democracy is working as intended. Over the past year I’ve
My competitive nature manifests itself in various ways – healthy and worrisome – but one of the most important to me has been deep friendships I’ve created alongside strong competitive rivalries. The best rivalries are the ones where the scales tip back and forth. If it is clear who the better participant is, there is no soil for a rivalry to grow. Fertile ground requires head to head competition, close victories and a tide that turns. To have a rivalry, each side needs material to craft their own story of victory and enough doubt to undermine that of the other. It sometimes amazes me that Chris continues to make an argument for being a better runner than I am. Across a wide range of the most popular running race, I have a faster personal record – 1500, 5k, Marathon. Time and time again I’ve crushed him on the battle field – the
Over one human lifetime, Sixty five thousand kWh of energy directed. Thirty seconds in New York City, Sixty five thousand kWh consumed. For three hours, I ran the five boroughs, Powered by the city’s cheers. As though I lived three hundred lives.
A few months ago I gave a presentation on minimalism as part of my company’s ‘Hearsay Talks’ series. I wanted to share the general themes here in written format. My apology for minimalism is this: It is not about less of something. It is about more of something else. You give up things so that you have more room for something else. We each only have 168 hours in the week – our lives are finite. If we want more of one thing, the only way to make that possible is by having less of something else. From 2012-2014 I lived in a 400 sq/ft studio apartment with my growing family. Because of the time and money we were saving, we were able to spend much more time pursuing outdoor activities we love – including some of my challenges. That was our way of having less of something (housing space) in order to have