The Random Show — 2024 New Year’s Resolutions, AI Upheavel, and Much More! | The Tim Ferriss Show

The Random Show — 2024 New Year’s Resolutions, AI Upheavel, and Much More! | The Tim Ferriss Show

Intro (00:00:00)

Tequila disclosures and investment discourse. (00:00:14)

  • Tim Ferriss introduces Lalo Tequila, his first and only alcohol-related investment.
  • He was introduced to Lalo at Suerte, an excellent restaurant in Austin, while with Chase Jarvis.
  • Lalo is an additive-free blanco tequila, made using mature plants and is the product of Don Julio's grandson.
  • Ferriss chose to invest in Lalo after a friend in consumer packaged goods recommended it.
  • Kevin Rose and Tim Ferriss discuss the strategy of investing in products they love and have used.
  • They talk about adding value first and using personal skills to potentially gain investment opportunities.
  • Both share missed investment opportunities and express the importance of supporting products they believe in.
  • An anecdote is shared about an artist, David Choe, who chose to be paid in Facebook stock instead of cash for a mural, which ultimately turned highly lucrative.
  • The story illustrates the potential benefits of strategic payments for services that can result in substantial gains.

Startup advisor considerations. (00:06:04)

  • Success in startups often comes from advisory roles, which can be more lucrative over time than investing.
  • Equity for advisory roles is common and vests over time, often quarterlies, providing a de-risking mechanism for companies.
  • Advisors can bring valuable skills, networks, or platforms to startups in exchange for equity, which could potentially lead to substantial returns.

Advisor equity and engagement strategies.

  • Startups create an options pool for employees and advisors, incentivizing them with stock instead of money.
  • Founders typically allocate a percentage of the company for advisors and seek impactful individuals to help the company succeed.
  • The advisory relationship focuses on authenticity rather than contractual obligations, simplifying the process.
  • Engaging with celebrities as advisors should be low-pressure, avoiding complicated contracts; genuine interest can lead to more natural support.
  • Long-term relationships with advisors can be beneficial, as successful entrepreneurs often work on multiple ventures.

Practical advice on advising deals.

  • Deals will likely involve small fractions of equity but could be significant if the company grows substantially.
  • The entourage of high-profile advisors may complicate deals; simplicity and clear terms are ideal.
  • Personal connections and domain expertise are valuable, and advising roles can evolve from contractor work to advisory positions.
  • Previous positive advisor-founder relationships often lead to repeat collaborations across different ventures.
  • Staying up-to-date on modern strategies, such as leveraging TikTok for marketing, is essential for advisory roles in the current business landscape.

The hit rate of past New Year’s resolutions. (00:14:17)

  • Tim Ferriss and Kevin Rose discuss their track record with New Year's resolutions.
  • Both estimate a 50% success rate over the years with their resolutions.
  • They stress the importance of not setting goals too low just to achieve them.
  • The current year's resolutions for Kevin Rose are to abstain from drinking for three months and to continue daily meditations.

Henry Shukman’s new meditation app: The Way. (00:15:53)

  • Kevin Rose discusses Henry Shukman's upcoming meditation app, The Way, set to launch in January.
  • Kevin Rose is helping with the product side of the app and is an investor but not involved in content creation.
  • The Way differs from other meditation apps by offering a singular guided path rather than various options.
  • The app aims to provide a deeper, more serious meditation experience, with the goal of leading users to an awakening moment.
  • A beta version is available at thewayapp.com with an option for listeners to sign up as testers.

An overlooked advantage for the early investor. (00:18:33)

  • Tim Ferriss has invested in The Way, marking his return to investing in consumer apps.
  • Both Ferriss and Rose discuss the benefits of their early investments in companies like Evernote.
  • They acknowledge the high failure rate of startups but emphasize the learning experience and product influence as compensations for the risk.
  • Rose indicates that most early-stage investments will not deliver the expected returns, which should be considered in one's investment strategy.

Saucelessness and second brains. (00:20:08)

  • Kevin Rose will start his New Year's resolutions after his birthday in February.
  • For three months, Rose aims to abstain from drinking, practice daily meditation, and organize his thoughts digitally using second brain note-taking apps.
  • New AI-enabled note-taking apps allow users to query their database rather than knowing where each note is stored.
  • He's evaluating Notion, Craft, Obsidian, and Capacities for organizing his digital brain, with a current preference for Craft.
  • Craft won app of the year on iOS and is praised for its interconnected note functionality.
  • Evernote, despite previous troubles, still holds a large market share and has improved under its latest version.
  • Along with personal organization goals, Rose is launching The Kevin Rose Show podcast, which will feature professional production and editing.

Tim Ferriss was part of the conversation, engaging in the discussion about the note-taking applications and complimenting Craft's design. He also showed interest in how the upcoming podcast would unfold and in the guest roster that Kevin Rose has planned.

Protecting your phone’s collage of schwanzes. (00:23:38)

  • Kevin Rose emphasizes the risks of allowing all-photo access on phones, particularly due to the potential exposure of private photos.
  • He shares a real-life case where a friend's iCloud account was compromised through SIM swapping, leading to blackmail risks due to intimate photos being leaked.
  • Rose discusses the vulnerability of iCloud accounts to being hacked, revealing private messages and photos.
  • He suggests a key security measure includes using Google Fi with a new, unknown Gmail account to provide a secure backup phone number for important services like Apple.
  • Advanced security practices recommended include two-factor authentication and utilizing hardware keys, like Google's Titan Key, to enhance protection.
  • Tim Ferriss reflects on the scary prospect of privacy invasion and contemplates doubling down on his phone security due to recent phone performance issues.
  • Rose and Ferriss express concerns about the potential repercussions if their private, context-dependent conversations were ever made public, highlighting the benefits of features like WhatsApp’s message deletion settings to protect privacy.

Privacy and liability concerns in an AI-guided world. (00:30:37)

  • Concerns about how AI might compromise data with a focus on personal photos and notetaking apps like Obsidian which stores data locally and uses local encryption.
  • Reference to potential vulnerabilities with cloud services like Notion and how they may be compromised.
  • Notion of plausible deniability introduced by AI is acknowledged as well as the risk of exploits.
  • Tim Ferriss mentions how Automation uses AI to index all his podcast transcripts, allowing users to ask questions and receive surprisingly accurate responses.
  • Startups are creating AI that can index content and provide answers from podcasts in audio form.
  • Discussion about a hypothetical podcast app that uses AI to answer listener questions mid-episode using the host's voice.
  • Tim Ferriss is not concerned about content being reused because of his content's density but is wary about the liability and indemnity issues that might arise with AI impersonating individuals' voices.
  • Risks associated with wrong AI advice in potentially dangerous situations, such as incorrect supplement dosages, are discussed.
  • Concerns about the potential for scammers using AI for social engineering and the possibility of career plaintiffs taking advantage of AI to create lawsuits.

Minimalist delegation, foot faults, and surrender. (00:35:56)

  • Adopting minimalist delegation by focusing on the 'why' and 'who' rather than the detailed 'how'.
  • Aiming to be less prescriptive, allowing more room for errors, and not micromanaging tasks.
  • Accepting a certain error rate (foot faults) in the interest of speed and efficiency.
  • Discussing the concept of surrender and its role in resilience and present-moment awareness as detailed in Michael Singer's book and course.

The Surrender Experiment

  • Kevin Rose recommends Michael Singer's works, including "The Surrender Experiment" for understanding the value of surrender as a form of ultimate freedom, staying present, and letting go of control.

Quick creative collaborations and physical reboot

  • Focusing on engaging in quick, creative collaborations.
  • Emphasizing the importance of a physical reboot, which involves straightforward but potentially challenging changes.

Quick, creative collaborations. (00:41:46)

  • Tim Ferriss discussed the fun and success from creative sprints with top artists from D&D and Magic the Gathering for his NFT project, COCKPUNCH.
  • He reflected on past beliefs that he worked better as an individual due to being meticulous and uncompromising on quality, which sometimes led to being labeled as problematic.
  • His recent collaborative experiences, involving artists and writers, resulted in outstanding work that will soon be revealed.
  • Ferriss hinted at his first book project in seven to eight years, a nonfiction piece created with a collaborator, focusing on discerning what's essential from what's trivial.
  • The book is not related to cooking or photography—areas he found extremely challenging in the past.
  • He's considering collaboration opportunities in screenplays, animation, and television, and is becoming more comfortable with screenplay format.
  • Ferriss underscored the importance of partnering with people who care deeply about the quality of their work, which aligns with his willingness to collaborate more effectively.

My post-holiday physical reboot. (00:46:55)

  • Tim Ferriss acknowledges indulging during the holidays but plans intense skiing and outdoor training for January and February.
  • Ferriss will spend time with family, enjoying favorite holiday treats.
  • His biomarkers, including lipid profiles and liver enzymes, are the best in a decade due to diet and exercise.
  • Despite being in good internal health, he's historically had high uric acid levels but can't take allopurinol due to a reaction; instead, he's on Uloric.
  • Ferriss points out dietary meat intake isn't the cause of his uric acid levels; hereditary factors and fructose intake play roles.
  • Ferriss discusses a blog post about fructose and a missing chapter from the book "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes.
  • He identifies as a cholesterol hyper-absorber, meaning dietary changes alone don't necessarily improve his lipid profile.
  • To manage lipid issues, he takes NEXLIZET, which combines ezetimibe and bempedoic acid, effectively improving markers of concern.
  • He's had cardiac calcium scores and angiograms to monitor heart health without any precursor issues so far.
  • Ferriss has found that reducing saturated fat intake is beneficial for his health.
  • MCT oil in coffee is a bad idea for Ferriss and can lead to what he calls "disaster pants."
  • His future focus will be on returning to fitness fundamentals, including kettlebell swings, zone two cardio, and hard technical Pilates sessions.

Kevin’s physical reboot. (00:54:34)

  • Kevin Rose has slightly elevated blood pressure that his primary care physician has flagged, though it's not at a level necessitating medication.
  • He is using RESPeRATE, a device recommended by Peter Attia, for guided breathing exercises clinically proven to lower blood pressure.
  • Kevin shares information about Aktiia, a blood pressure monitoring device that is approved in the UK and EU but not in the US.
  • Aktiia is a small wrist-worn device that measures blood pressure hourly and has a five-day battery life; Attia is currently testing it for accuracy.
  • Kevin acquired Aktiia through a complex process involving a VPN, shipping to a friend in the UK, and setting up a UK iCloud account to use the app in the US, thus it is not technically legal in the US.
  • He mentions the impact of diet on blood pressure, noticing that high salt intake combined with insufficient water can raise his blood pressure significantly.
  • Drinking more water, especially after consuming salty foods, helps him keep his blood pressure out of high-risk zones.
  • Kevin expresses hope that Aktiia will be approved by the FDA within the next 6 to 12 months.
  • He also plans to abstain from alcohol for three months as part of his physical health overhaul.
  • The importance of diet and monitoring tools like continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) and Aktiia in managing health is highlighted.

Lighthearted banter

  • Kevin and Tim joke about the challenges of sticking to resolutions, like not drinking alcohol.
  • There is a humorous exchange about Tim's tequila brand and Kevin's observation that Tim isn't drinking any during their afternoon recording session.
  • They playfully contemplate retiring to the same retirement home, with Kevin stopping himself from saying something inappropriate as they toast to their friendship.

Taking a break from caffeine, alcohol, sex, and sweetness. (00:59:06)

  • Tim Ferriss took a month-long break from caffeine, alcohol, sex, ejaculation, and anything sweet including artificial sweeteners.
  • The idea was to eliminate all these elements to experience his "real baseline."
  • Despite headaches from caffeine withdrawal, Tim found this period manageable as he was taking time off work during the experiment.
  • The break resulted in dramatically improved sleep quality with all previous sleeping issues disappearing.
  • Accepting the challenge was partly inspired by someone who quit caffeine after feeling too dependent.
  • During the break, Tim also avoided all supplements except for necessary prescription medications.
  • The break made Tim realize his earlier "normal" had been a state of constant stimulation due to caffeine.
  • He returned to drinking coffee as a response to anxiety, recognizing it as a familiar ritual and comfort despite it increasing physiological anxiety.
  • He noticed negative effects on his sleep architecture after resuming caffeine.
  • Kevin Rose shared that after a six-month break from coffee, a single cup made him feel significantly high—a testament to caffeine's impactful nature.

Additional discussion on caffeine and its effects [Not explicitly denoted with a time stamp]

  • Caffeine withdrawal can manifest rapidly, sometimes within a day for heavy drinkers, leading to symptoms like headaches.
  • Tolerance to caffeine can also develop quickly, causing withdrawal symptoms even after a short period of resumed use.
  • Caffeine's potent impact, particularly on sleep architecture, is underscored.
  • Discussion included how challenging it is to find products without sweetness in the U.S., with sugar being prevalent in many items.

Cacao ceremonies and perilous tobacco cocktails. (01:12:34)

  • Cacao ceremonies involve the consumption of large amounts of cacao and have been practiced in various cultures, particularly in Mexico and Guatemala.
  • Theobromine, found in cacao, differs pharmacokinetically from caffeine and is a vasodilator that has been linked to both cognitive improvements and reductions in blood pressure.
  • Experimentation at San Francisco restaurants has included infusions of tobacco in alcohol for cocktails, resulting in potent effects for those who are not regular tobacco users.
  • Both cacao and tobacco plants are regarded as powerful and can be risky at high dosages, with tobacco being potentially lethal.
  • Caffeine is widely consumed across the globe, with coffee and tea being the primary sources.

Radical Acceptance and the origin of TimTim. (01:18:46)

  • The rituals of daily life, such as frequent travel or regular intake of substances like caffeine or alcohol, can be reconsidered by imagining a baseline without them.
  • Tara Brach's concept of 'Radical Acceptance' and the prompt from her teaching: "What are you unwilling to feel?"
  • The nickname "TimTim" for Tim Ferriss originated from a trip to China where there was another person named Tim, necessitating a distinguishable name.
  • "Radical Acceptance" influenced Tim Ferriss significantly, particularly because the recommendation came from Darya, a neuroscientist with a low tolerance for non-scientific approaches.
  • The discussion encourages experimenting with abstaining from substances or habits to rediscover one’s personal baseline without their influence.

How NFTs drove Kevin to ketamine. (01:21:07)

  • Kevin Rose, known for being an entrepreneur and investor, became involved in the Web3 space, particularly with NFTs and blockchain.
  • He launched an NFT called Moonbirds, which exceeded expectations and traded over a billion dollars in a year.
  • As a result of the project's highs and lows, Kevin experienced extreme emotional distress, leading to anxiety, sleeplessness, and IBS-related issues.
  • He was diagnosed with a small brain aneurysm exacerbated by stress.
  • Kevin sought out ketamine therapy after Andrew Huberman discussed its benefits for PTSD, depression, and anxiety on his podcast.
  • He visited a clinic in L.A. (Golden Afternoon) and went through a series of treatments where he felt a profound emotional release and described a newfound lightness in life.
  • Ketamine therapy allowed his anxiety to be viewed externally, reinforcing the concept that life is more playful and less burdensome.
  • Tim Ferriss shared his experience with ketamine therapy and provided insights into its safety and efficacy.
  • Both Kevin and Tim discussed the importance of clinical settings and professional supervision for ketamine.
  • They warned against recreational use, emphasizing the difference and necessity for a trained physician's oversight.
  • Kevin credited psychedelic research, including ketamine therapy, for potentially life-changing mental health improvements.

Note: The provided text is a verbatim transcript of a podcast conversation involving personal experiences and reflections. Some dialogue was omitted for relevance and summarization purposes.

Kevin’s robot-enhanced Tyler Hobbs tattoo. (01:54:43)

  • Kevin Rose discussed his new tattoo, which he is getting while in town.
  • The tattoo is by Tyler Hobbs, an Austin-based generative artist known for his NFTs and traditional visual art.
  • Hobbs' art is sold at high-profile auctions and is highly renowned for its beauty and complexity.
  • Blackdot, a company in Austin, has developed a robot capable of high-fidelity tattoos using a fine needle similar to those used for cosmetic eyebrow tattoos.
  • The machine uses a template on the skin resembling a massive QR code, which guides the robot's optical lenses and lasers.
  • It performs precise microinsertions into the skin to prevent the ink from spreading and fading.
  • Hobbs designed Kevin's tattoo, which features a sparrow that becomes pixelated over three images through an applied algorithm.
  • The tattoo signifies the notion that everyone is equal, akin to sparrows being common, low-ego birds.
  • The robot can potentially allow bespoke generative tattoo art by renowned artists, creating one-of-a-kind pieces.
  • Blackdot is a startup pioneering this new tattooing technology, and Kevin's visit is for a unique piece by Hobbs.
  • Tim Ferriss expressed interest in the technology and contemplated getting his first tattoo.

What kind of tattoo might I get, and why? (02:00:21)

  • Tim Ferriss has contemplated getting a tattoo of his dog Molly's paw prints on his forearm for years, as he cannot imagine a situation where he would regret it.
  • Molly has had a significant emotional impact on Ferriss, providing steadfast love through various life stages and relationships.
  • Ferriss discusses the profound effects Molly has had on him, including the practice of love and caring for another's welfare.
  • He reflects on his own behavior when training Molly, learning patience, and understanding.
  • Ferriss recounts anecdotes about Molly and another dog named Toaster, indicating their importance in his life and his connection to the podcast.
  • He plans to get a second dog within the next year as a New Year's resolution and contemplates the mortality of his beloved Molly.
  • Ferriss mentions considering a tattoo of Molly's paw print because it would serve as a valuable reminder of the lessons and love Molly has brought to his life.
  • Kevin Rose suggests that Ferriss get the tattoo from a talented tattoo artist, Jess, who will be available around the time of his birthday celebration.

Advice for our former (and current) versions. (02:07:07)

  • Acknowledge that different personal needs do not equate to someone being high maintenance.
  • Gain understanding through frameworks like The Five Love Languages to better recognize and address each other's needs.
  • Develop a shared vocabulary and agreements to facilitate the repair of issues within relationships, as conflicts are inevitable.
  • Consider resources like Conscious Loving by Gay and Katie Hendricks for relationship advice.
  • MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD shows incredible results and has potential for profound effects in couples therapy, though it is illegal and not without risks.
  • Testing substances from sources like Dancesafe.org is crucial due to possible adulteration.
  • Investigate informative content like "How to Change Your Mind" on Netflix or the documentary "Trip of Compassion" for more insight into the effects of psychedelics.
  • Reflect on deepening existing friendships before seeking new ones and examine if current valuable relationships are being nurtured sufficiently.
  • Realize the importance of expressing love and gratitude openly among friends and understand the brevity of life's moments.
  • Psychedelics often amplify existing sentiments and possess the potential to induce feelings of love and gratitude, depending on pre-existing conditions and inclinations.
  • The effects of psychedelics include heightened feelings of unity and can counter feelings of isolation, correlating to reduced anxiety and depression.

Ayahuasca agony alleviation and alternatives. (02:19:39)

  • Tim Ferriss discussed his severe lower back issues due to a congenital issue called a transitional segment in his lumbar spine.
  • Standing or slow walking was particularly painful for him, and various treatments including MRI, specialists, and physiotherapy had not been effective, leading to Ferriss’ anxiety about his future health.
  • Seeking alternatives, Ferriss went to South America for training, part of which involved consuming plants and a one-week water fast without much sitting or standing. This experience included ayahuasca, which he emphasizes is not recommended for most people.
  • During a very difficult ayahuasca session, ranked as one of his hardest experiences, Ferriss had a vision of his ex comforting him and realized he hadn’t allowed himself to feel the full heartbreak from their separation.
  • After feeling the full emotional weight and pain of the breakup, his back pain released suddenly, and he has since been mostly pain-free, which he can't fully attribute to fasting or the recumbent positioning.
  • He cautions against relying solely on ayahuasca for healing, suggesting other therapies like talk therapy or ketamine first and considering ayahuasca as a very last resort.
  • Ferriss also criticizes, yet still finds value in Dr. John Sarno's book on healing back pain, which posits that many physical ailments are psychological in origin.
  • A practical tip Ferriss shared was using a Pilates ball as a seat cushion during travel, which has helped him manage his back pain in difficult seating situations.

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