What I’ve been Listening to (June 2014)

What? June is nearly over already? The May and June months seem to travel the fastest.  Here’s what I’ve been listening to this month.

On the School of Greatness podcast Chris Bailey talks about three ways to be more productive. His cup of tea is focusing on Time, Energy, and Attention, with the latter two being big things we don’t think about. He even brings up in the interview that to maximize those things you need to eat right, sleep well, and exercise somehow.

Tim Ferriss let Sam Harris give a guest essay on the value of psychedelic drugs and then did an interview. I finished the episode wondering if drugs were good or bad, if I should begin or never take them, and what drug use says about our culture. It’s a well prepared speech and then interview student and even though it didn’t sway me, provided an excellent contrary opinion.

Stuff You Should Know had a wonderful episode on the placebo effect. Talking about the history of it, how it was discovered, and the ways doctors are handcuffed in using it. If you have any interest in this specifically or how the mind can frame things check it out. For example, did you know that people who get a placebo can have not only the healing effects but also the side effects of the medicine they think they are on?  Crazy right?  In another study the placebo was more effective than antidepressants because it activated a different part of the brain than the placebo did. It looks like the placebo effect is thanks to our brains dumping some endorphin into our system and that helps us get better. A very good episode.

On a family vacation to the sweetest place one earth, Hershey Pennsylvania, we listened to Dad is Fat in the car. This is a wonderful book by Jim Gaffigan and I was reminded at how much I had missed or forgot from the first time. The crowning moment was when he did a bit on kids asking “Are we there yet?” and one minute later my oldest daughters asked, “Are we there yet?”

Mark Cuban was interviewed on James Altucher’s podcast.  A good chunk of the podcast was spent with Cuban pitching his own products, things he made to ‘scratch his own itch’ but then again, that’s what a lot of people do. The other parts that talked about his history were interesting.

Finally I’ve been listening to Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson near the end of the month. It is long and Isaacson has a certain style that I was not expecting. The book feels more like a close friend telling Jobs’s story rather than a stranger. Jobs was generally not a nice guy to work for, date, or even be around (unless you were an animal that is) but his persistence is admirable. He stops at nothing to see things occur the way he envisioned.

Did you listen to anything good this month? Let me know, @MikeDariano.

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