Saturday, August 31, 2013

Words of Wisdom from Seth Godin

Pick Yourself 
Authority?You want the authority to create, to be noticed, and to make a difference? You're waiting for permission to stand up and speak up and ship?
Sorry. There's no authority left.

...Our cultural instinct is to wait to get picked. To seek out permission, authority, and safety that come from a publisher or a talk-show host or even a blogger who says, "I pick you."
Once you reject that impulse and realize that no one is going to select you - that Prince Charming has chosen another house in his search for Cinderella - then you can actually get to work.  
...Once you realize that there are problems waiting to be solved, once you realize that you have all the tools and all the permission you need, then opportunites to contribute abound. The opportunity is not to have your resume picked from the pile but to lead. 
... No one is going to pick you. Pick yourself. 
How much responsibility are you willing to take before it's given to you?
The Math of Self-Selection 
We've all seen the music industry fall apart. Even if you're not a musician, it's worth considering the implications when the connection revolution permits a musician to bypass the label and pick herself.
According to Jeff Prince at TuneCore, the math of before and after the revolution in the music business looks like this: 
Before the revolution:Virtually all musicians aren't picked by a label and are invisible nonentities.
Of those picked, 98 percent fail in the marketplace.
Of the remaining 2 percent, less than half a percent ever receive a single royalty check as a result of their recorded music. Ever.
So we have a world where the odds of being signed are close to zero and the odds of getting a check as a result of your sales, even if you are signed, is even closer to zero. 
After the revolution:A musician who sells two (two!) copies of a song on iTunes makes more money than she would have earned from a record label for selling an entire CD for seventeen dollars.
There are more musicians making more music being heard by more people and earning more money than ever before.
Now, multiply what happened to music by a million. Multiply it by consulting, coaching, and design. Multiply it by manufacturing, speaking, and nonprofits. Multiply it by whatever it is you care enough to do.
That's what after looks like.
 (The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin, pp. 48-50)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Just Wondering Aloud...(about childhood obesity)

Just wondering aloud here as I read Why Is Childhood Obesity Down Among Poor Kids?...

Do we really believe that a major reason there seems to a decline in childhood obesity is because of Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign? Really? Seriously??

Could we not also correlate a decline in obesity with Hostess' bankruptcy?  Can we correlate Twinkies sales to this "trend"? Now that Twinkies are back in business, will this "trend" reverse itself?

Does it matter that childhood obesity stayed the same or increased in a majority of states? How does this constitute a "trend"?

Does this study (cited in the article) prove anything other than that kids in 2009-2010 consumed about 68 sugary-beverage calories less/day than their counterparts did in 1999-2000?

I don't like to be that guy - the armchair researcher/statistician, but that tiny voice in my head is screaming "correlation does not prove causation" and "two points don't make a trend"...

I could be wrong, but I doubt it. Thoughts?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Trial of Miles; Miles of Trials

     "People conceptualize conditioning in different ways," he said. "Some think it's a ladder straight up. Others see plateaus, blockages, ceilings. I see it as a geometric spiraling upward, with each spin of the cycle taking you a different distance upward. Some spins may even take you downward, just gathering momentum for the next upswing. Sometimes you will work your fanny off and see very little gain; other times you will amaze yourself and not really know why. Training is training, it all seems to blend together after a while. What is going on inside is just a big puzzle. But my little spiral theory kind of gives it a perspective don't you think?"
     "Yes, but I don't see --"
     "You've been in that momentum-gathering phase, Cass, is what I'm telling you. You've been in it for quite a while now and I think that - physically again - you're due." 
Once a Runner, pp. 166-167

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Over the years, I've tried most things that you can buy at the local supplement pusher - powders, pills, syrups, lozenges, you name it. Chances are pretty good that, over my lifetime, I've spent more on training supplements than you have. So, when I give you advice on this topic, I'm asking you to do as I say, not as I do. Quite frankly, most of the advice here at the blog is like that...

The typical American meathead method of supplementation is this: "If a little in a diet is supposed to be good, then prolonged usage of isolated megadoses must be better." If we just used a little commonsense, we'd know it isn't what's healthiest... When it comes to our supplements, we don't even know if they work, let alone if they might be harmful when taken in megadoses and uninterrupted for months and months.

I've always believed (but not necessarily acted accordingly) that everything, and dietary supplementaries especially, should be consumed in moderation, at least long term. If you want to go hog wild on something, fine! But don't go hog wild forever. Take a break from it. Girl Scout cookies? Go for it! I can eat a box of those peanut butter patties in one sitting no problem. BUT, I don't do that more than once or twice a year. Fasting? Fine, but not every week. Smolov? Fine, but not months and months of it. Caffeine? Fine, but is a lot of it every single day preferable? Vitamins float your boat? Fine, but not always and forever.

The situation for plants, herbs, and dietary supplements is different. [than drugs] Because of the Supplement Act, the FDA doesn't regulate them, so they don't have to be tested before they're sold. Sometimes supplements are tested by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), a branch of the National Institutes of Health. One difference between the FDA and NCCAM is that the FDA requires products to be tested before they're sold, whereas NCCAM might test some products after they've been put on the market. If researchers funded by NCCAM find that dietary supplements don't work or have harmful side effects, they publish their results in scientific journals. No product recall. No change in the label. No FDA warnings. If people don't read scientific journals, they don't know that claims on the label are false and misleading.