Steve Levitt, Tyler, United States discussed on The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss


They're the people you should envy to ask you about. One of your many books class Now like my my read into. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Is That A. You've you've argued that we've in some respects become a stagnant and cautious society. What does that? What does that mean? If I'm actually sort of interpreting things correctly and feel free to correct me we innovate less especially outside of the tech sector. Our incomes grow more slowly we move around the United States at roughly half the rates we used to. We are now unable to pull off grant projects such as putting a man on the moon. Almost all of the spending of our federal government is now locked in much of that most of that going to the elderly. We're just a less dynamic society. People are crazy how they bring up their kids no risk is to be allowed people obsess over. What kindergarten will my kid get into if they don't get into that kindergarten? My goodness lost. We are far more a society of credentials which I regard as a huge negative All of that and more what. What can one do is is? Are there any personal actions that you would suggest to counteract or counterbalance in some fashion? Those societal trends I mean of course. It's more than just societal trend. There are actual government policies and so on. But what can the individual do if they listen to you? Say This and they agree with you. Are there any particular practices are steps or recommendations that you absolutely? Sa- Steve Levitt the freakonomics Guy. He wrote a great paper where he took some people and he looked at their major decisions and for some of the people aucoin with flipped and if the coin said they had to make a big change they made the big change. An ex post. The people who made the big changes were happier than those who did not so of course it depends on the person and on the context but in general. Read that Steve. Levitt paper think about the coin flipping and more time. Make the big change. Of course it's a right But it seems on average it pays off question for you is the those were big changes determined by the flip of a coin. Is that right right right okay? How much of the happiness with the big change do you think was from making the big change or being absolved of the the buyer slash sellers? Regret equivalent second guessing in other words. Decision that you had to make on your own. I don't know if it's only the being absolved that matters. Well treat me is the villain and you are hereby absolved from responsibility. Just say tyler made me do it. And they'll often be happier in the rest of society will do do better as well. What are some of the major decisions that you've made? That have been extremely impactful in your life. I decided that I would really focus on the Internet and giving away my output for free and mostly stopping doing peer reviewed scholarly research and devoting all my time to blogging and online essays and online education in my podcast. And that has gone phenomenally. Well for me. When did you make it doesn't sound that scary I started blogging. I think seventeen years ago in the notion that I would do this every day for what is now. Almost seventeen years at the time was extremely weird and I was doing well in my other endeavors. It wasn't there was some kind of failure that needs to be patched up but I just thought I mean do this. I'm not going to look back I like no one paid any attention for years. I just kept on doubling down happily oblivious fog and it worked out great so so I'm going to push back a little bit on the oblivious fog. You're smart guy. You're you're you're you're able to say I was a med irrational. You settled smart guy. Maybe I was going to med irrational next. That was my second compliment. How what was your decision making framework for for doing that seventeen years ago so that places. Us around two thousand three. Roughly how did how did you make that decision? Which at the time too many very smart. I will use the word. Smart here colleagues probably appeared absurd. How did you? What was your decision making framework or? How did you think about making that decision? I'm not even sure I had decision making framework I think in a way. I'm dysfunctional as a decision maker at that level. I like did it for a day. I enjoyed it and I just didn't stop doing it in a very selfish curious. Greedy with information way and it was just became quickly impossible to turn that ship around so I thought wow I've got to do more of this and I mean I would hesitate to recommend my so-called decision making process to anyone. What was the the positive feedback loop on the daily experience that kept you going for years before it seemingly game gain traction? What was it that appealed so much to you for three or four years? We had a few thousand readers but it wasn't a thing and it hadn't taken off. It was fine and when I started I thought oh it would be awesome to have only five thousand readers like some kind of Utopian Dream But I lost track of that and I just found. I was learning things having to write all these posts like. Oh I need to learn this. I need to learn that and then when I would write on it I would change my mind so I thought well. This is some form of progress and again just stuck at it and then later like blogs became thing and even though blogging is mostly disappeared. It's gone very well for us. We've played a kind of last man standing strategy and we haven't seen that kind of cutback in readership. I think it's it's it's lost some of its newness sex appeal but I would be astonished if long form or even not so long form writing as long as it is of high quality for considered of high quality for at least a few thousand people or even less. I don't see that going away anytime soon. And I know that there are other media any other forms of Media. That are more fashionable. Perhaps but I'm certainly not concerned for the longevity of your readership. I think you'll be fine. How have you thought about branching out from the written word and making decisions about that? Well I do now a podcast. Every two weeks that's called conversations with Tyler and that keeps me very busy dominates a lot of my reading time. you know that's for free? It's not a business for me. It probably costs me some money but I find. I read much better when I'm reading their work to go and interview them so next. I'll be doing Philip Tat. Lock the Guy who writes on prediction and super forecasters that will force me to get my thoughts in order on those topics after that. I think it's emily St. John Mandel. Who wrote station eleven? Which coincidentally is a book about pandemics and she has a new book out. I read fiction much better when I know I'm talking to the author himself or herself When I interviewed Martina Navratilova to learn a lot about the history of tennis. I read fifty books on the history of women's and also men's tennis. That was fantastic. I wouldn't have absorbed them in the same way if I wasn't going to be speaking to her so I'm just keep on doing these podcasts again. Totally dysfunctional decision. Making on my.

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