Medley 215: Arrests, Jails, Speakeasies, Jumping, Taleb, Apple, Email, Podcasts, Camps, Laws, Burritos...

This is the Monday Medley, a newsletter that goes out, you guessed it, every Monday. I republish it here for sharing and referencing, but if you'd like to sign up you can do so right here:

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Happy Monday!

I'm doing a workshop with Teachable tomorrow all about Roam and how I use it for my productivity, personal knowledge management, learning, and more. If you've already taken the Roam course then it'll all be familiar, but if not and you're interested in Roam, this will be a great intro!

The World of Sponsorship

๐Ÿ“† This Medley is brought to you by Woven! Aside from being the best user experience for multiple calendars, I've also really loved their native iMessage app. It lets you drop a scheduling link right into a text message without having to go to a separate calendar app. It's perfect for quickly scheduling meetings and get-togethers, especially when combined with their powerful meeting templates feature.

The World of Police

๐Ÿšจ I absolutely loved this podcast episode from Radical Personal Finance on how to "arrest-proof" yourself. Even if you're a law abiding citizen who's extremely unlikely to have an unpleasant encounter with the police, it's still worth listening to this and taking a few notes. It's a very cheap insurance policy on not getting inadvertently arrested or harassed by police in the future.

๐Ÿ‘ฎโ€โ™‚๏ธ Here's an unintuitive idea I haven't seen much: maybe part of the problem in the US is the high prisoner to police ratio, and how few police officers we have relative to European countries. Essentially, this imbalance means we have to severely punish a small number of people, instead of lightly punish a larger number of people. It's wild that despite having 33% fewer police officers than most countries, we have 300% more prisoners:

The World of Quarantine

๐Ÿธ I enjoyed this perspective on how bars might have to adapt to more permanent social distancing rules, since those rules will make it almost impossible for them to be profitable. One point the article makes is that we might see the return of true speakeasies, since if bars can't be profitable as legal establishments, they might have to go more underground. We've already had a few popular bars get their liquor license suspended for 30+ days for violating social distancing laws in Texas.

๐Ÿ˜ฐ It might seem from the unemployment numbers that things are improving rapidly, but this piece makes a good point to keep an eye on other, more accurate metrics like the "core jobless rate," which suggests that many people are moving into "sustained unemployment," and that when we take out temporary layoffs, the core unemployment rate rose in May.

๐Ÿค‘ I don't see that changing until the current extra unemployment benefits stop at the end of July, especially since 2/3 of currently unemployed people are getting more from unemployment than they earned when working.

๐Ÿค” I've heard from a number of people in the service industry in Austin that it's almost impossible to hire baristas and servers because of how significant the unemployment benefits are. It's great for everyone currently getting those unemployment checks, but if all the companies that could have hired them back go out of business from not being able to re-staff, those jobs will take a long time to come back. I think the service industry is going to be very interesting to watch over the next few months as it responds to these conflicting incentives.

The World of Ideas

๐Ÿฆข Buckle up Nassim Taleb fans, because this one is a doozy. It's an hour-plus read taking down "The Internet's Biggest Asshole" written in Taleb's own style. Despite my love for Nassim's work, I found a bunch of the points in here pretty compelling (and funny!). Particularly interesting is the allegation that he's not actually that successful of a hedge fund manager.

๐Ÿฆ  One thing that COVID-19 and the recent protests against police violence have showed is how quickly an idea can spread around the world and take hold. Sometimes for good, sometimes for bad, but what is the future going to look like now that we know this power exists?

"The question is not if a real war, in the physical world, can be started in this environment. We all know it can. Without some dramatic course correction, the question is only when."

๐Ÿ›‘ Some people, especially Zuckerberg and Dorsey, have the power to affect the spread of these ideas, and the debate over how appropriate it is for them to dot hat is only going to get more heated. In this piece, John Naughton argues that Zuckerberg, not Trump, is the main thing standing in the way of Biden winning the presidency.

The World of HEY

๐Ÿ˜ฑ Last week was an exciting one for email. HEY officially launched to the public, and quickly built up a waiting list 100,000+ people long.

๐ŸŽ Then, they basically declared war on Apple for what they felt were anti-competitive policies the app store had that were preventing them from pushing updates to the app.

๐Ÿ•ต๏ธโ€โ™€๏ธ DHH, one of the founders, went into a lot of detail on why he thought Apple was being ridiculous and inconsistent. A lot of it had to do with Apple saying people shouldn't be able to download HEY and not have it work, though others have pointed out that tons of popular apps don't work unless you sign up for them outside of the app.

๐Ÿค HEY did eventually come to some sort of deal with Apple today, though DHH doesn't seem too pleased about it.

๐Ÿง Which kinda makes you wonder how much of this was really smart marketing vs. a legitimate desire to take on Apple. I suppose we'll see if this battle keeps up even though they've been let back in to the app store.

The World of Apps

๐Ÿ† I asked on Twitter this week about ways to speed up my somewhat old Macbook Pro, and got tons of great responses. The most effective one so far has been using CleanMyMac to run some automated improvements, and getting rid of most desktop apps to use their web versions instead.

๐ŸŽง And I've been really impressed with this new podcast app Airr. It was designed to make it really easy to capture snippets of audio from podcasts, which somewhat solves the lack of easy note taking inherent in audio.

The World of Investing

๐Ÿ’ต Besides retirement accounts, I've always kept a lot of my net worth in cash to keep it available for special investments and as part of a "permanent portfolio" style hedge, but this article on the case for being fully invested was pretty compelling.

๐Ÿฆ And here's a great take on the many important laws of investing from Morgan Housel.

"When you first start to study a field, it seems like you have to memorize a zillion things. You donโ€™t. What you need is to identify the core principles that govern the field. The million things you thought you had to memorize are simply various combinations of the core principles."

The World of EMFs

๐Ÿ”Œ I asked this on Twitter, but I'm curious if anyone here has any good reads on the dangers (or non-dangers) of EMF radiation from our many electronic devices. This is a topic that I've seen popping up more and more, and I'd put myself in the "curious skeptic" camp. So far I've been sent this paper on how it affects rat brains, and the book "The Non-Tinfoil Guide to EMFs" (can't vouch for either yet).

The World of Just for Fun

๐Ÿ• I love this idea from Webflow: Camp No Code where kids can spend a few days learning how to build websites without code as part of a virtual summer camp.

๐ŸŒฏ And if you want an exceedingly fun new game to play with friends, you have to pick up Throw Throw Burrito. It's fantastic.

End Note

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Have a great week,


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