Medley 196: Bees, Glyphosate, Surfing, Drafting, Cheese, Sleep, Travel, Cash, Losses, Janitors...

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Happy Monday!

This week I published an article on my new note taking system from books and articles based on the book "How to Take Smart Notes." I highly recommend checking this article out if you're into personal knowledge management, I think it's a much stronger system than just highlighting things.

I also published a short article on the idea of "making money vs creating wealth." Most work does more of one than the other, so it's worth thinking about how you can be exposed to both.

I added notes on two books to The Brain this week: "Let My People Go Surfing" all about the founding and philosophy of Patagonia, and of course "How to Take Smart Notes" which my article above is based on.

And for my Roam Course, I added lessons on taking Smart Notes, capturing ideas on the go, drafting articles, and a 15 minute live recording of me outlining a new article using my Roam notes.

The World of Sponsorship

This week's Medley is supported by returning sponsor, Clearscope! If you're an SEO or content marketer and you're still on the fence about Clearscope, I strongly recommend checking out this in-depth SEO masterclass from Bernard Huang, the founder of Clearscope, and me. He shares a ton of great advanced bits of SEO knowledge that are baked into the Clearscope product.

The World of Health

😷 Here's a more dire take on how to prepare for the coronavirus worst case scenarios. It definitely leans towards heavy disaster preparedness (hoarding water, food, etc) but it's not a bad list of things to always have on hand anyway.

πŸ›Œ Have back pain or joint pain? The way you sleep might be impeding your body's ability to heal itself, according to this research.

πŸ§€ Also, your parmesan cheese could be made of wood, so that's fun.

The World of Milk Alternatives

πŸ₯› Last week I shared a good analysis of the issues with Oat Milk from Jeff Nobbs. As an alternative, here's his Coconut Cashew Milk Recipe that can get you some of the same creaminess but with much cleaner ingredients.

🐝 Almond milk isn't all good either, unfortunately: Conventional almond farming is apparently awful for bees, with beekeepers who lend their bees to almond farms seeing huge portions of their colonies dying from the pesticides used to protect almonds from pests. But, there's a bit of hope. The end of the article tells the story of a more regenerative almond farmer whose farm actually revitalizes bee colonies. Another point for regenerative agriculture.

πŸ” As a last interesting tidbit, there are some certifications aiming to raise consumer awareness around the damage food companies are doing to bee populations. One is the "Bee Better" certification, and I suspect we'll see more of these pop up in the future.

πŸ™…β€β™‚οΈ If you're not sure whether or not your almond milk is bee-friendly, one proxy is to see if it has a "glyphosate free" sticker on it. That means no RoundUp was used in farming the almonds, so bees should be fine pollinating it.

The World of RoundUp and Glyphosate

πŸ‘©β€πŸ’» Since we're on the topic, I didn't know that much about Glyphosate until my friend Justin pointed it out on a bottle of Malk we had in the cafe. He said he believed (and I agree) that it's going to be a next wave in labeling, similar to cutting out trans fats or making things gluten free.

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ”¬ Glyphosate is the sciency name for RoundUp, the popular herbicide developed by Monsanto and broadly used throughout the US. 10-30 years ago there were a number of studies into its toxicity in humans that were inconclusive, but now as it's had more time to affect people we're starting to see dramatically more instances of Glyphosate attributed cancer in farmers. In one recent case, a couple was awarded $2 billion for the cancer they developed working with RoundUp for so many years.

🍞 Here's where things get even more interesting: some researchers have argued that the rise in gluten intolerance has nothing to do with gluten, but is rather a glyphosate intolerance. Jury is still very out on this one, but it kinda makes sense considering what a long history humans have of eating bread, we shouldn't be broadly intolerant to it.

The World of Relationships

πŸ—Ί Cosette wrote up an article on using travel to test your relationship. This is something she and I recommend to basically every couple before they move in together, or to any couple that's in any way unsure about their relationship. 4+ weeks of living together under stressful conditions is a great way to make sure you're compatible before signing a lease.

πŸ₯… Related to relationships, an over-fixation on goals can be harmful to your long term values, including your relationships. I've heard similar things from many guys in their mid 20s to early 30s who say they wish they had focused on developing relationships or community rather than optimizing for freedom and options. I talked about this a bit in my "year of nomadic passive income" post and my post on "investing in something."

The World of Investing

πŸ“‰ Casper seems to have gotten stuck in a WeWork adjacent land of unfortunate IPOs. With the cuts to their IPO value down to $500 million, we can infer that most early employees aren't going to get much of anything from their stock options. Absolutely brutal for people who stuck it out 4+ years to get their fully vested amount, and another case study in why stock options at an early company aren't always as exciting as they seem.

🏦 Here's a good way to think about staying wealthy: what's the best way to lose wealth? Nick Maggiulli has a good article with some useful lessons, drawing from how the Vanderbilt heirs destroyed their fortune. One big example: not buying income-producing assets, and just spending all their money on conspicuous consumption.

πŸ’΅ Tren Griffin shared a short thread on Twitter about Warren Buffet's position on Cash. It's an interesting dichotomy: cash is on the one hand a "call option with no expiration date, an option on every asset class," but it has the high price of being "the worst investment you can have."

The World of Entrepreneurship

🧹 I loved this story about how a janitor at Frito Lay originally invented the flamin' hot cheetos, and later went on to be an executive at the company. Props to the senior leadership for taking him seriously and not laughing him out of the room at the "this much market share" comment.

🀝 One thing we're trying to improve at Growth Machine is our new employee onboarding and training. I've been enjoying articles from Lighthouse like this one on improving onboarding, but I'm curious if anyone has any other recommended blogs or books.

πŸ› If you're trying to define a market segment, this idea from Clay Christensen advocates for figuring out the job customers are "hiring" your product to do. It's a much more useful look at product purchasing psychology than trying to define customers by demographic info.

End Note

As always, if you're enjoying the Medley, I'd love it if you shared it with a friend or two. You can send them here to sign up. I try to make it one of the best emails you get each week, and I hope you're enjoying it.

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And should you come across anything interesting this week, send it my way! I love finding new things to read through members of this newsletter.

Have a great week,
Nat

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