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:
Nothing new this week. It was a mess with getting stuck in Holbox, then Cancun, then Miami, then getting back to Austin to a busted hot water heater... basically I got nothing done. But it could have been worse!
On to the Medley
🥶 As most people know at this point, last week was an absolute clusterfuck in Texas when most of the state lost power during the winter storm.
🦢 I'm not going to spend any time on whose fault it was. ERCOT definitely screwed up. But it's also hard to say they screwed up in any particularly special way. The rest of the nation's electrical grid is incredibly fragile too, and if a black swan event happened to power centers outside of Texas, it could have been half the country without power.
🥚 And yes, ERCOT was warned about this in 2011, but the whole country has known the power grid is incredibly fragile and it seems to only be getting more fragile.
I'm worried about a few things after this Texas power grid meltdown:
🕵️ We (society) are going to focus on the wrong things. CancunCruz flying off to Mexico was a boneheaded move, but I'm also not totally sure what people expect a Senator to do in a power outage. Regardless, that we're even talking about Cruz is a problem because it indicates we're going to focus on the fun headlines (Haha another Texas politician did something stupid) vs. the actual problems (holy shit our power grid is fragile).
🧐 We (individuals) won't learn. I shared this in a tweet last week:
"The real story though is that despite a 1/100 year pandemic in 2020, most people were still not prepped for a black swan disaster in 2021."
😳 When I look at how my behavior changed coming out of COVID, I'm kinda embarrassed to say I didn't even take my own prepping research that much more seriously. And most people haven't done a two-hour podcast on prepping. The one thing I did have that I ended up being extremely grateful for was 15 gallons of freshwater in my garage. And I have solar... but no large batteries for storing the power. Derp.
👶 I think the trap we fall into, myself included, is the "appeal to management" habit described in the "Cultures that Build" piece I've shared a few times:
"He enjoys what he has as a tenant, without any feeling of ownership or thought of possible improvement. This detachment from his own fate becomes so extreme that, if his own safety or that of his children is threatened, instead of trying to ward off the danger he folds his arms and waits for the entire nation to come to his rescue."
💪 We've gotten out of the habit of fixing problems ourselves. And in this case, the focus will probably be around "how do we make sure this doesn't happen to us again" when I'd argue we should all think about "how do we make sure that when this happens again, it doesn't affect us."
🐪 Obviously we should be able to trust our government and the services we pay for, but we should also have a plan in place for when they let us down. I rather like the old Arab saying:
“Tie your camel and place your trust in Allah.” Which is often rephrased as: "Trust in God, but tie your camel."
🔋 So what am I planning on changing going forward? I had tons of water and food for this disaster so that wasn't a problem. And now that I have a truck and Walden, we have the "bug out" problem pretty addressed. The one big vulnerability this event exposed was power. So I'm planning on adding solar and batteries to Walden to get it closer to being totally off the grid.
⚖️ I hope Texas and the rest of the country get the power grid to a more reliable state. But it's still worth tying our camels.
🤢 I'm trying to further detox our house in Austin. It's kinda remarkable just how hard it is to remove inflammatory stuff from our diets, let alone our homes. I enjoyed my friend Anthony's interview of Wellness Mama and how she's working on it in her home though. I also gotta learn more about her education program.
📖 My friend recently discovered she was dyslexic thanks to a Kindle font that's designed to be easier for dyslexic people to read. If you or someone you know is dyslexic, check out the OpenDyslexic font!
🚛 This is a pretty incredible video of a company moving a 130 year old house in San Francisco. There's actually a company doing this with less-nice houses in Austin, since moving old houses to the suburbs is cheaper than building new houses in the suburbs with the current cost of construction.
😱 And I sold off about 10% of my Bitcoin this week. Here's why.
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Have a great week,