Chef, Miracle, and Pranks

11/12 - What's Next

Hey 👋 Hope you have a great Monday.

Enjoy the content!


Articles to Read.

So You Wanna Be a Chef - By Bourdain

I am frequently asked by aspiring chefs, dreamers young and old, attracted by the lure of slowly melting shallots and caramelizing pork belly, or delusions of Food Network stardom, if they should go to culinary school. I usually give a long, thoughtful, and qualified answer.

But the short answer is “no.”

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not telling you that culinary school is a bad thing. It surely is not. I’m saying that you, reading this, right now, would probably be ill-advised to attend—and are, in all likelihood, unsuited for The Life in any case. Particularly if you’re any kind of normal.

You’re about to take on $40,000 to $60,000 in debt training for an industry where—if you are lucky—you will, for the first few years, be making $10 to $12 dollars an hour.

The Estonian Economic Miracle

It was cold in Estonia in January 1992. The end of communism had created real chaos in the country. Shops were completely empty, and the Russian ruble no longer had any value. Industrial production declined in 1992 by more than 30 percent--more than during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Real wages fell by 45 percent, while overall price inflation was running at more than 1,000 percent and fuel prices had risen by more than 10,000 percent.

Radical reforms in the 15 years since 1992 have changed Estonia beyond recognition from its com­munist days. It is sometimes hard for us to remember how this country looked under the old system.

As a result of this amazing transformation, Esto­nia has experienced the fastest economic growth in Europe during the past few years. Since the start of Estonia's reforms, economic growth has averaged 6 percent per year. Growth was nearly 11 percent in 2005 and nearly 12 percent in the first half of 2006. As a result of this formidable growth, Estonia is catching up to the average European living stan­dard faster than anybody expected.

Mystery solved behind the viral photo of Justin Bieber eating a burrito sideways... Gotcha!..

My Life Cleanse: One Month Inside L.A.'s Cult of Betterness

Rosecrans Baldwin had lived in Los Angeles for nearly four years before he realized he was missing out on something essential to life in the Southland. People all around him were trumpeting new self-improvement projects with cultish devotion: at boutique juice bars, at hallucinogenic ceremonies, at mysterious wellness retreats. So, in an effort to get in on the woo-woo, he tried everything he could for one month. And wound up in darker depths than he ever imagined.

I took a walk with a "complexity coach" who treated patients while hiking. I did an afternoon spell session with a witch. I attended a Gnostic Mass in a strip mall.

Randazza: Damn right we should get rid of birthright citizenship

American citizenship is one of the most coveted statuses that mankind has ever invented. A majority of the 7 billion people on this planet would gladly swap their passport for a nice blue one with a gold eagle on its cover. And how do you get it? For the most part, you get it by being born in the right place or to the right parents.

We should have a “point system” for how much citizenship you get, with completely open borders. This country is built on freedom and competition, right? Let’s inject competition into the citizenship market! We would each earn between 0-100 citizenship points. 50 points, you’re a citizen. At 75 points, you get Bronze Citizenship, 85 points you get Silver Citizenship, and at 95 points you get Gold Citizenship. Anyone who hits 100 points even, gets Super Eagle Citizenship.

The Chinese Farmer Who Live-Streamed Her Life and Made a Fortune

Three years ago, Liu Mama was an unremarkable middle-aged farmer from the Dongbei region, in northeastern China. Then she started presenting her life on the social-media platform Kuaishou. Liu Mama’s son-in-law, who would later assume the role of her trusty cameraman, introduced her to the live-streaming craze, and they decided to try it out, for laughs. The first videos, each less than a minute long, show Liu, short and squat, black hair pulled back in a tight ponytail, dressed in a red mian ao (a cotton-padded jacket)—the archetype of the good farmer’s housewife—sitting at the kitchen table. She’s chewing on pork ribs and fish heads while composing crude rhymes about the glories of rural life. 

A few years after this humble start, Liu Mama has fourteen million followers on the Kuaishou platform and reportedly earns a million yuan (about a hundred and forty thousand dollars) per month through her Kuaishou account.

Consulting Firms Keep Lucrative Saudi Alliance, Shaping Crown Prince’s Vision

Even before Prince Mohammed rose up the royal hierarchy, McKinsey and BCG nurtured ties to him. BCG’s top Middle East executive, Joerg Hildebrandt, cultivated a relationship with Prince Mohammed in recent years, according to two consultants who have worked in the region. Mr. Hildebrandt, through a spokesman, declined to comment.

In February 2016, consultants for McKinsey and BCG escorted five emissaries from the Saudi royal court to make the rounds of think tanks in Washington. They informed Gulf experts about Mohammed bin Salman’s grand goals to remake Saudi life while the consultants, who outnumbered the Saudis, quietly took notes.

More to Check Out: 
The World Isn’t as Bad as Your Wired Brain Tells You
- Heat Death: Venture Capital in the 1980s
- The Odd (and Oddly Sweet) World of Obsessive Pornhub Commenters
- The Calm Place
How Mark Zuckerberg Became Too Big to Fail


Kudos (to people in the community).

  • Alex Hinch, from Wanderjaunt, shared a progress update on the future of what he and his team are building - the future of hospitality.

  • I published an interview I did with Sar Haribhakti - a very interesting take across a wide diversity of topics…all revolving around independent thinking and startups. I think you will really enjoy it.


My Update.

  • Writing this from Duke! Has been an awesome weekend visiting my brother and seeing friends. Back to St. Louis for the week and then Arizona this coming weekend for Thanksgiving!

  • A few friends and I launched Just Focus - a dead-simple chrome extension for blocking distracting websites and getting work done.

  • Hosted a “discussion group” this past week and learned lots of new things. Will continue to do in the future.

  • Let me know how I can be helpful!

Thanks so much for reading! Find me on twitter : )