Leaving Behind Media

6 02 2013

I recently read the following book:
Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator, and have decided to stop reading the “news.”  The summary of the book is quite simple:

  • Modern non subscription media is paid by advertisements shown.  More clicks = more money.
  • News happens infrequently.
  • Pseudo news is much more click friendly, and thus the media generates pseudo news.  Making things up, publishing the most audacious or controversial points of view, exaggerating, etc.
  • News sites are no longer trustworthy.  They do no research, no follow up, and their sources are usually anonymous (aka people reporting it for their own interest).  It took 1 day after finishing this book to read this anti-news story: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/02/no-free-wi-fi-isnt-coming-to-every-us-city/
  • Combining these makes the media easy to manipulate and quite a beast in terms of destructive capability.  Also it is useless for normal people and no longer serves its purpose as current events.

Because reading the news has becoming just about churning through articles to avoid boredom, I am leaving it behind.  As I constantly try to remind myself: spend time, don’t kill it.  Reading “the news” is most definitely killing time.

Ask yourself after a week, has reading news/blogs/gossip given me any actionable ideas?   10 to 1 says it didn’t.  At most it acted like TV, filling some hours, giving you a low dosage of happiness, but overall just being a waste of time that you could have used learning a new skill, talking with your friends, or playing with your kids.

Originally I intended to stay on Facebook and follow RSS feeds on Arstechnica and Lifehacker (both posting 50 articles a day, compared with 4 to 10 a few years ago), but have quickly seen that this will not be conducive to my reasons for leaving media.  Facebook hardly has any life updates from friends (the main reason to be on it IMO), and is mostly people re-posting the crap they read on the media sites.  Arstechnica has the occasional interesting piece, but there’s too much BS to sort through.  Same with lifehacker.

I will continue responding to messages and posts on facebook, but that’s all.  I still read the following blogs: Study Hacks, Earlyretirementextreme, IWTYTBR, Neil Strauss, Seth Godin, TED talks list, baseline scenario, Tim Ferriss, my personal friends, and dilbert/xkcd comics.

So, bon voyage mass media!


Three month challenge

23 01 2013

Decided to give myself a three month challenge.  I’ve put on a healthy gut, I’d estimate 15% to 18% body fat on my stomach, certainly not much but enough to have me annoyed.  The main reason behind this gut is travel for work. Can’t commit to my normal work out, difficult to eat slow carb on travel, and I’m too lazy to cook when I actually am at home.  So I think this will be quite the interesting challenge, since so many people complain about not enough time, money, etc to getting in shape/healthy.

My challenge:

  • Return to about a 12% BF ratio.  But ultimately, just look be in good physical shape which shows (anyone want to judge? lol), no need for a six pack.  Giving myself until May 1st.
  • Workout with no weights of any kind.  I will be doing convict conditioning along with other things I’ve learned on my own.  Only tools will be a baseball, basketball, pull up bar, and chairs (or my workout bench).  Oh, and I’ll probably do sprints and burpees as well.
  • I will record time spent working out and keep it to a minimum.  This type of workout is very good for doing while watching TV or doing other tasks at home.
  • A simple diet anyone could adopt, which is pretty cheap.  Will have to iron this out over the weekend, but it will be slow carb
  • Do this all while traveling sporadically for work.

Some advantages I already have are:

  • I don’t have any strong cravings for food/have done slow carb before
  • I am already in reasonably good shape (I estimate my max deadlift to be about 280 pounds and max overhead press about 125 right now)
  • I already know what to expect.  This is a powerful advantage.

Because of these advantages, if you wanted to replicate results you should expect to take a full year, not just nine months.  Dedicate 3 months to diet alone, 3 months to working up to a decent workout routine, and give yourself an extra 3 months to execute.  I’m going for just 3 months straight of execution.

I will track my workouts here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AtSXSNbY2r9HdFRaZHV4emlNYUZVZXVqRldIRTM1a2c

I will post a general idea of what I’ve been eating here on my blog periodically.

Of course there will be a million people who say this is too easy, or that I have an awesome metabolism, or a million other things.  But this is a challenge for myself, so who cares what they think?


Spread Happiness 1

15 01 2013

Tomorrow, my friend Creative and I are going to stand by the 15 freeway entrance at Scripps Poway Parkway with signs to smile and wave at people 🙂  Cheers,





**Update 1-16-13

Everything went awesomely!  Thanks to my buddy Creative for coming out!

A lot of people think the world is topsy turvy.  Crime, shootings, and other negatives are almost always the top 90% of news stories.  But nothing stops you from making the world a better place, even just standing 30 minutes on a center divider with a sign and a smile.




Oh yeah, and we got two tweets! haha:

To the guys in the median with the #SmileMore signs omw to work- Thanks.

Saw some guys on the corner Omw to work w/signs that said You’re awesome. Smile more. Worked for me. #smilemore #youreawesome#imawesome

End of self experiment: intermittent fasting

7 07 2012

I actually stopped intermittent fasting around June 28th, but have been lazy about posting.  Basically even without fasting/diet, as long as I work out my weight/look stays the same, so for now I’m not really doing much.


IMF worked great!  I lost like 10 pounds in 2 months.  Keep in mind that is coming off of GOMAD.

Because of my lack of a sleep schedule, it was really difficult to maintain.

I seriously cannot believe anyone would deny themselves food, it’s a waking nightmare.  While on the schedule, it was not bad, but when I started adjusting hours/messing up some days, it was horrible.  Basically my stomach would hurt, growl, and I couldn’t think of anything but food.

Losing weight while eating mostly crap/fast food was possible.

Self Experimentation: Ice Age

23 05 2012

Over the weekend I seriously cheated on my diet.  I went to SF to help my friend move back to Orange County and basically had a mini vacation of eating and drinking.  Anyway I’m back and the damage isn’t too bad, 177 pounds at last weigh in, up from about 175.

Although my weight loss is progressing, I decided to add a couple things from Tim Ferriss’s book “The Four Hour Body“, the chapter on “Ice Age.” The basic premise is that if your body is cold it must burn calories to heat back up.  There is some extra science in there, stuff about brown fat and how cold may stimulate it etc, but all that really matters is that introducing a little cold can catapult fat loss results results.  He has some crazy suggestions, but I am looking to add just a little extra “umph,” not to go crazy with it, so all I’m going to add is:

  • drinking 0.5 liters of ice cold water in the morning
  • switch to cold showers

I should note that I have taken cold showers before, but that was mainly to see if I could do it to save energy.  Once you get used to it, they’re not that bad.

To adjust, simply take normal showers, then at the end of each one add 30 seconds of as cold as you can take.  Once you can stay in for 30 seconds at the coldest setting, you’re ready to switch to a complete cold shower.  A small tip, when you first start, have the water hit your lower back, where your tramp stamp is.  I noticed that I don’t really feel the cold when it hits that spot and it helped me adjust.  If you really want to save the planet, switch to navy showers which are cold.  A step further would be to not shower every day.

The idea that cold can catapult weight loss shows a missing piece of the puzzle that is fat loss and human health.  People always talk about diet and exercise, but they don’t think about how most of the 1st world is temperature controlled and that this might play a roll.  There are some interesting implications.  A good observation is that morning cup of hot coffee you drink.  That cup of coffee helps warm your body up, which is the opposite of the ingesting ice cold water tactic.  Since I will be drinking 0.5 liters of ice cold water in the morning, I will not be drinking hot tea or coffee, at least not until a few hours later.