Friday Notes 088 - January 31 2020

Better week this week with less travel than last week. Today we’re getting 100mm+ of rain, which is a lot. I’m wondering if I’ll need a canoe to take my daughter to swimming lessons later today.

Abundance can be destructive not because it is bad for us, per se. Abundance can be destructive because it abstracts the value of things. The more we have, the less we seem to value what we’ve got. Leaders Eat Last Page 119

If you were on the email list now I'd be talking about our struggles with abundance, way to many kids toys and how they value it, or rather don't value it. To get these longer discussions subscribe.

Oh, I also talk about how I almost ruined my business with abundance and the single book that pulled me out of the problems.

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I Shipped

Monday I took a look at what my Powerbeats Pro have been like with 4-months of use. Overall, I like them, but they aren’t without issues.

Wednesday I walked you through my notebook setup for 2020. I’ve got a Rhodia Reverse acting as a desk calendar and a Leuchtturm Bauhaus edition as my Bullet Journal.

Just as you got this email I put out a review of The Death of Expertise. If you’re interested in the lack of mental rigour happening today, this is a good book.

You’ll also find something from me over at Liquid Web as I write about why personal productivity systems fail.

Friday Five

1 Joe Is Focused on Depth I’m Still Focused on Margin

Joe Casabona is focusing on depth this year.

My theme last year was supposed to be space/margin as in I needed more of it. Sitting here on January 3, I failed pretty bad at it. I’m feeling more stressed lately and like I have less control of my time.

It comes down to a few things.

  1. My wife works and I want her to do what she wants but that also means I have to be done work at 3pm every day no matter what got done because my kids need to be watched. Well they need someone around and I want to be a good Dad and hang out with my kids. I haven’t been doing great at this and they’ve been watching a bunch of TV when I’m done work while I do...mostly nothing that’s very important.

  2. I’d rather not do much programming for others, but that’s what pays the bills and anything new I try has to bring in the same amount of money. I don’t have much room to take any risks with my time. Now luckily we paid off all our debt years ago so what we need to make is fairly low and that does mean I can only work about 50% of the time on client stuff, but still I wish I had more time to pursue what I find interesting. Of course at some point somebody has to pay me in some fashion for the output of those investigations. Maybe it’s a book, maybe it’s ad revenue as I do more YouTube stuff.

Ultimately my goal for the year is to finally get that space and stop feeling so stressed all the time. My plan, cut a few things in January. Write a book in January/February for launch late February/March.

Then move on to some courses on:

In theory with more income coming in from things that don’t take my direct input anymore I’ll have more time freedom.

So...wish me luck.

2 How Joe Is Changing His Podcast For 2020

Enjoyed this video from Joe on what he’s going to be doing this year.

I like how he looked at the popular episodes and tweaked what he’s doing based on that information. Cynthia and I have talked a bunch about how to evaluate what I’m doing as “side” projects so that they have a higher chance of hitting one well.

Also, we have the same toolbox in the background though I have the black handles.

3 Fairly Minimal Bullet Journal Setup

Nice fairly minimal Bullet Journal setup.

I've been using a Bullet Journal setup for about 3 years, though I do use Things 3 a bit as well. I'll be trying out dropping Things from my system and going only with the notebook.

My biggest hurdle with that has always been "template" projects like uploading a video. I have items that I must do, and I must track any cards that need to get added to a video, or links need to be added. If I use only a notebook I'll have to write out the video project checklist every time I want to produce a new video.

4 Joe on How He Keeps Up With His Writing Goal

Joe has a good post on how he keeps writing, and the struggles he had in it. For him a piece of software, Ulysses, worked to help him track stats and keep on his goal of writing.

I schedule time for "production" daily after I read for an hour I have an hour to produce something. At one point it was only writing. Now it's sometimes writing, sometimes editing videos and getting them ready to put on YouTube.

For my upcoming book (subscribe to hear about it first) I schedule Friday afternoon to work on the book for 2 - 3 hours. It's still in research/planning so I'm doing that work then. Eventually (maybe this week) it will be in writing stage so I'll write.

5 Is Wifi Harming Our Children?

I write this today because of a conversation last night I had with a very fervent parent claiming that Wifi was bad for children's organs. Her main point was that some schools in Europe banned Wifi because of the possible adverse health effects on children.

So of course I went and found the research they cited and dug a bit deeper. Ultimately what much of the scare lands on is the WHO classing Wifi as a Class 2B carcinogen. Class 2B items are possibly carcinogenic to humans and includes stuff like:

Now the truth is that there are some things on that list that really aren't good for you, like gasoline. So there is a wide range of things classed as 2B and just because Wifi is on the list doesn't mean it's bad for you at all.

I think that this is the best summary I found of the research which ends with:

On a serious note, breaking news like the link between cell phone use and cancer made a splash in the media, with little consideration given the fact that the report was a summary of the deliberations of the IARC committee and was not an outcome of any carefully planned study by the IARC. It is not always easy to communicate the intricate details of any study to the public; the philosophical and methodological broodings of an international committee are even less easy to communicate, without causing concern and confusion. In an era when the media looks for material for quick sound bites and sensational news, I believe reports like the one by the IARC must have a ‘media summary,’ just like an executive summary in a complex business report. The purpose of the studies and analyses like the one discussed in this editorial must be communicated clearly to the public, to avoid panic and encourage the public to use caution, and also suggest the limitations of the studies on complex subjects related to human health. The discipline of public health may need to evolve strategies for educating the public in an objective, yet effective manner.

Earlier in that piece it's also noted that the studies used in the deliberation were for 2G phones so have no bearing on the phones at the time (this was written in 2011 and 3G phones were common then), let alone our 4G phones and the coming 5G phones.

So I guess the truth is, we don't know at all and any guess past that is totally a guess. If you're going to guess that Wifi is bad, make sure none of your children eat pickles or use shampoo too. We need more studies on the effects of Wifi and cell signals to be done if we want to be able to draw any conclusions.

Some of the stuff I read