Making your first trip to East or Southeast Asia? Wondering where to go?
Okay, I've spent significant time in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. I can weigh in on those places for you. I haven't been to Macau, Laos, Burma, the Philippines, North Korea, or Indonesia yet - of them, I've heard great things about the Philippines and Indonesia in particular, but I can't comment.
So, some thoughts about every country -
Japan - Still the crown jewel of Asia, Japan has something for everyone. There's ancient and hyper-modern culture mixed all together. There's amazing technology, high levels of development, basically nonexistent crime, ridiculously high standards of quality and hygiene, and the people are friendly and polite. English isn't widely spoken, but the Japanese take being good hosts seriously and you'll be fine in any major city. You can find quite literally anything here - amazing camping and mountains and forests and oceans, or hyper-developed space-age districts in cities.
The downside of Japan - It's fucking expensive. Like, really really expensive. I hate spending money on eating and sleeping - every dollar I put into basic "staying alive" stuff is less money to be invested in commerce or philanthropy, or learning, or having unique experiences that are more interesting than... well, eating and sleeping. Yet, eating and sleeping is brutally expensive here. If you're not a veteran traveler and don't have friends here, you'll be hard pressed to spend less than $100/day in Japan. If you slum it hard, you can maybe get down to $50/day. Everything's ridiculously expensive, ranging from 400% to 2,000% higher than still-developing countries in Asia.
I want to live a long time. Forever if possible. And I think there's an outside shot, with modern medicine, that we can live close to forever.
Basically three things kill humans - disease, old age, and trauma. It seems reasonable to me that medicine will eventually cure almost all disease and find ways to route around age-related decline and death.
Trauma's a tougher nut to crack. You're in a car crash, yeah, that's hard to reverse. But at some point, I think medicine cures basically all diseases and old age.
When? Well, I don't know. Computing power is on an exponential growth curve right now, and I don't think we've really scratched the surface of all that's possible with with computing and modern engineering and inventing and synergizing stuff. But history suggests that the exponential growth probably won't last forever, it'll probably flatten out.
"While I'm in the dressing room five minutes before I come out, I'm breaking my gloves down, I'm pushing the leather to the back of my gloves, so my knuckles could pierce through. When I come out I have supreme confidence. I'm scared to death. I'm afraid. I m afraid of everything. I'm afraid of losing. I'm afraid of being humiliated. But I'm confident. The closer I get to the ring the more confident I get. The closer, the more confident. The closer the more confident I get. All during training I've been afraid of this man. I think this man might be capable of beating me. I've dreamed of him beating me. For that I ve always stayed afraid of him. The closer I get to the ring the more confident I get. Once I'm in the ring I'm a god. No one could beat me. I walk around the ring but I never take my eyes off my opponent. Even if he's ready and pumping, and can't wait to get his hands on me. I keep my eyes on him. I keep my eyes on him. Then once I see a chink in his armor, boom, one of his eyes may move, and then I know I have him. Then once he comes to the center of the ring he looks at me with his piercing look as if he's not afraid. But he already made that mistake when he looked down for that one tenth of a second. I know I have him. He'll fight hard for the first two or three rounds, but I know I broke his spirit. During the fight I'm supremely confident. I'm making him miss and I'm countering. I'm hitting him to the body; I'm punching him real hard. And I'm punching him, and I'm punching him, and I know he's gonna take my punches. He goes down, he's out. I'm victorious. Mike Tyson, greatest fighter that ever lived."
Before you step into your own ring, where are your eyes? You keeping your eyes on him, or are you looking down?
I've now gotten somewhere between 100 and 150 people who have written to me who are really extremely talented and good. I'm going to go through everyone's info today and over the weekend.
I wanted to show my current views on business and how I go about it, what I stand for, etc. If you're just a casual reader of the site, the second video is probably the most interesting. #1 starts slow, gets going around the 4 minute mark about how we got here from there.
Audio/video quality is so-so, just grabbed a quick camera at the store and did it fast, but you should get the idea. I'm going to send this out to everyone who wanted to work with me, and I'll be in touch over the next 2-3 days.
Video 1: "A Shift"
What a fascinating trip. I just did this route -
Beijing -> Erlianhaote -> Zamyn Uud -> Ulan Bator
Why do I choose such circuitous, crazy routes? Well, lots of reasons.
I want to understand as much as I can about the world, and taking out of the way routes - especially through important border towns - teaches a lot.
Often, you can manage a route like this in a way that's much less expensive than direct flights. Yes, time is money, but money is also money.
The link is here to read the details:
The schedule is here, you can book tickets for free --
There's going to be some amazing speakers. Zach Obront, Josef Wasinski, and Kai Zau are tentatively slated to be in every city, with lots of brilliant people here and a lot of amazing other local speakers in their own cities like Jason Shen, James Clear, Joshua Spodek, Ted Gonder, and many more.
Sebastian, very cool update! I look forward to discussing ideas with other readers.
The followup to: "If you want to get rich, stop being a fucking joker."
Phone is ringing.
I'm not sure what to say if he answers.
One of the biggest, most empowering things I ever learned was how to turn complaining into actions.
It's very straightforward. Not always easy, but very straightforward.
After complaining, you add, "Okay, so what am I going to do about this?"
It seems so simple, but it might change your life. A friend of mine, really smart guy, was complaining about the political leadership of the United States. I agreed with his points completely, and he and I had a pretty good rant about some things that are screwed up.
We stopped to catch a breath. Then I asked, "Okay. So what are we going to do about it?"
Stefanie Zobus just wrote up "Be Yourself (Or, on things "good" and "bad")." It's a nice post. She talks about the underlying philosophy of Nietzsche's "Beyond Good and Evil," which is really a remarkable work.
Stefanie advocates you make your own ethics and beliefs, because good and evil are just defined by consensus.
Things people usually consider “good” or “bad” are determined by consensus. In different cultures or contexts those are different, too; heck, even within one. However, just because a number of people agree on something doesn’t make it right. How about being sane in an insane world? Foucault wrote something nice about that in his “Madness and Civilization.” Besides, some centuries ago everyone thought water was the cause of diseases and sought to avoid it as much as possible, while in fact the opposite is the case. Water was seen as “bad.”
Who is to say that to pursue this or that is “good” or “bad”? I don’t think anything can be said to be “good” or “bad” in the absolute sense. I come to despise those terms. They make people do things they do not want to do, be who they do not want to be just because something is considered “good” or “bad” in their environment or among their peers. The terms manipulate people on reasons that lack or are not spelled out. “Good” and “bad” are stand-in reasons without real content people give when they don’t have real ones. They are tags that hide what’s really behind things.
I responded in comment on her site -