Issue № 21

Forward is the best option

Because forward is the best option. Let’s go with one that makes the most sense–and if you don’t have a better plan, you should be responsible enough to back the one that’s most likely to work, even, especially, if you don’t like it.

~ Seth Godin from,

For me, this “rhythms” with things like “having skin in the game” and with Theodore Roosevelt’s famous idea of “the man in the arena“. But I like Godin’s turn of phrasing better.

Skin-in-the-game and man-in-the-arena feel focused on requiring one to earn the right to participate in guiding the direction of things (a project, a company, a nation, the human race.) While Godin’s—in my opinion—suggests that the value of your contribution should be judged by how it moves things forward (including contributing to the discussion of what does “forward” mean.)

Heart work

So much of the job is more emotion and ‘heart work’ than it is ‘head work.’ The head comes in after, to look at what the heart has presented and to organize it. But the initial inspiration comes from a different place, and it’s not the head, and it’s not an intellectual activity.

~ Rick Rubin


Any analysis of Haiti must state two facts. First, Haiti is the only country where slavery was defeated by a slave revolution. Second, Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world, and the poorest in the Western Hemisphere. Now that I’ve stated these facts, I’d like to explore deeper. What do we know about Haiti’s poverty? How does this relate to its history? And why does it compare so unfavourably with the Dominican Republic?

~ Craig Palsson from,

In recent years I’ve been trying to pay attention to when I’m geographical ignorant. (Tip: Check out Atlas Obscura.) Hispaniola has always interested me and I can recall—probably in junior high?—thinking, “wait wat? Islands can be divided into multiple countries? How does that happen?” (Which of course makes no sense. People love to fight over things and draw borders.) Anyway. I’ve long known that Haiti and the Dominican Republic were neighbors, but I never took the time to dig into any history. The other day I spun off following a train of thought about the Vente de la Louisiane and it turns out that that story has it’s beginnings in Haiti.


Trying to get everyone to like you is a sign of mediocrity. You’ll avoid the tough decisions, and you’ll avoid confronting the people who need to be confronted.

~ Colin Powell

A cure for hiccups

[It] boils down to a simple breathing exercise. First, exhale completely, then inhale a deep breath. Wait 10 seconds, then—without exhaling—inhale a little more. Wait another five seconds, then top up the breath again. Finally, exhale.

~ Uri Bram from,

Sometimes I straight-up do public service announcements. Here, have a cure for hiccups!

If you’ve thought about how proper breathing works, you’ll quickly realize those instructions involve incrementally, increasingly flexing your diaphragm muscle. (If that isn’t obvious, the Thoracic diaphragm page on Wikipedia has you covered.) The muscle spasm is part of a feedback loop involving two of our nerves, and intentionally activating the muscle breaks that feedback. The trick is that you need to really flex it… flex it much harder than you normally do when breathing.

Note that if you do the “hold your breath” part of the exercise by closing your glottis (what’s that?) and relaxing your diaphragm, you’re doing it wrong. The entire point of the exercise is to flex, flex, flex and hold tension in the diaphragm muscle.


You can’t reason someone out of something they didn’t reason themselves into.

~ Tim Ferriss

Overlooked truths

Peoples’ desire to have an opinion far exceeds the number of things that need to be opined on. “I don’t know” is a phrase that should be praised for its honesty, not belittled for its detachment.

~ Morgan Housel from,

Collaborative Fund is an investment firm so everything there is about investing. Mostly about investing. Well, actually, it turns out that investing is at its core just people doing stuff for reasons. Posts like this one from Housel read like investment (or “financial”) advice, and their lessons directly generalize. I’ve already mentioned that “I don’t know” is how how I avoid making the mistake of trying to have an opinion about everything. There are several other nuggets in there too.

Until next time, thanks for reading.



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