Medley 257: Climate, Monkeys, Tape, Overbreathing, Eels, Recycling, MindPong...

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!

Last week I released a major update to "Effortless Output in Roam," my course on how I use Roam to do everything from running my business to writing this newsletter.

There are now two versions: a "just the basics" and the full version, and both versions have 2.5 brand new hours of me walking through getting set up in Roam and answering questions along the way.

You can see all the details on the Effortless Output site. Let me know if you have any questions not answered there!

Alright, on to the Medley!

The World of Breathing

๐Ÿ“˜ I recently finished "Breath" by James Nestor, and it's one of the few 10/10 health books I really think everyone should read.

๐Ÿ’จ It explores how through changes in our diet, physiology, environment, and habits, we've lost the ability to breath properly. And how terrible our new breathing habits are for us.

๐Ÿ‘‡ Here are a few samples:

"In the 1980s, researchers with the Framingham Study, a 70-year longitudinal research program focused on heart disease, attempted to find out if lung size really did correlate to longevity. They gathered two decades of data from 5,200 subjects, crunched the numbers, and discovered that the greatest indicator of life span wasn't genetics, diet, or the amount of daily exercise, as many had suspected. It was lung capacity."

"Up to 80 percent of office workers (according to one estimate) suffer from something called continuous partial attention... In this state of perpetual distraction, breathing becomes shallow and erratic. Sometimes we won't breathe at all for a half minute or longer... Chesney told me that the habit, also known as "email apnea," can contribute to the same maladies as sleep apnea."

"One thing that every medical or freelance pulmonaut I've talked to over the past several years has agreed on is that, just as we've become a culture of overeaters, we've also become a culture of overbreathers, Most of us breathe too much, and up to a quarter of the modern population suffers from more serious chronic overbreathing."

โค๏ธ What I loved about the book is it gave me some very useful data and tools to incorporate into my life.

โฉ It's clear I'm in the "overbreather" camp. When I go through my Oura data, my nightly respiration rate is around 15 breaths per minute. That's a far cry from the ideal 5.5.

๐Ÿค Luckily there are many things I can do to try to train myself to breath better. A simple one is mouth taping with medical tape which I've been doing nightly since getting the book.

๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™‚๏ธ I've also been trying to incorporate different breathing reminders into my day to day. Like stopping while working to do some slower breathing, or forcing myself to breath through my nose while doing cardio.

๐Ÿ˜ The other piece I found fascinating is how wrecked our jaw structure has gotten from eating soft, processed foods. This is why we need braces, get our wisdom teeth taken out, and have crooked teeth. If you look at any indigenous populations eating a traditional diet, they have perfect teeth. But the cool thing is you can actually grow more jaw bone at basically any point in life, so I ordered some extra tough sugar free gum to chew on while working to help make up for the lack of chewing we do today.

โœ… Anyway, it's a fascinating book and I highly recommend checking it out.

"The perfect breath is this: Breathe in for about 5.5 seconds, then exhale for 5.5 seconds. That's 5.5 breaths a minute for a total of about 5.5 liters of air."

The World of Plastic

โ™ป๏ธ I pretty much never recycle plastic, unless a recycling can happens to be the closest trash receptacle.

๐ŸŒŽ Why? Because it doesn't really work, and it was popularized by the oil & gas industry to make consumers feel like climate change was more their responsibility or fault.

๐Ÿšฎ It's an incredibly clever marketing campaign. To deflect blame directed at oil companies, make consumers feel like it's more their responsibility to reduce waste by recycling

"We found that the industry sold the public on an idea it knew wouldn't work โ€” that the majority of plastic could be, and would be, recycled โ€” all while making billions of dollars selling the world new plastic."

"There is serious doubt that [recycling plastic] can ever be made viable on an economic basis," one industry insider wrote in a 1974 speech... the industry spent millions telling people to recycle, because, as one former top industry insider told NPR, selling recycling sold plastic, even if it wasn't true."

""If the public thinks that recycling is working, then they are not going to be as concerned about the environment," Larry Thomas, former president of the Society of the Plastics Industry"

๐Ÿ™…โ€โ™‚๏ธ This is a rather classic strategy used by companies who know they're doing something kinda bad, and want to deflect blame for it. The process is described exceptionally well in the book "Merchants of Doubt" by Naomi Oreskes.

๐Ÿฅฉ It's also part of why there's so much discussion around quitting meat to "save the environment," even though quitting meat would only reduce your GHG impact by 2 - 4%.

๐ŸŒก It's fascinating to think about how many consumer behaviors have been driven by oil companies deflecting blame for global warming, and how many new industries its inspired.

The World of Eels

โ“ I've been aware of the "eel mystery" for a while, but didn't realize it had been solved.

โœ๐Ÿผ If you don't know about the eel mystery, and even if you do, definitely give this article (and book review) a read when you get a chance. It's not only a fascinating story, it's some of the better writing I've read in a while.

The World of Monkeys

๐Ÿ™Š And in case you missed it, this video of a monkey playing pong with its mind using Neuralink is fascinating.

๐Ÿง  The actual brain - machine interface is not that new of tech, that's been doable for a long time. But the number of electrodes they're using, and the fact they can wirelessly pair it, and train it this quickly, is exceptionally neat.


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