Discover more from Deliberate Internet
Summertime Sadness and the fight for immunity
Plus parenting, Arnold Schwarzenneger and riding out the next cataclysm
The summer is definitely over. To some extent, it felt like the first real summer after COVID, with no masks, safety theater and other rituals. We collectively deemed the pandemic to be over and launched for the beaches. Tourism traffic has reached new peak, and we all had a little less appetite to spend time online. Nature is healing.
I paused my newsletter to enjoy this time and focus on touching grass instead of touching glass (screens). Unfortunately, winter is coming. The only consolation is that you get to enjoy my writing once again.
The fight for immunity
My least favorite part of parenting is the Pandora's box of deadly diseases that my daughter keeps bringing from her daycare. It feels like we are sick about 50% of the time, and I am (pun intended), sick of it. With the flu season fast approaching, I am trying to devise a defense plan for our family.
Thanks for reading Deliberate Internet! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
Oldschool remedies, your Grandma, and Arnold Schwarzenegger
My dear friend swears by the following concoction:
Cinnamon (of the Ceylon variety, which is also what Tim Ferriss recommends for Glucose management)
He would grind all those ingredients, add warm water, and leave it overnight to marinate. His daughter would drink it and enjoy an enhanced immune system.
As much as it sounds like something recommended by your grandma, it turns out there is real science behind these ingredients, particularly garlic and onion. Unlike you, Arnold Schwarzenegger actually listens to your grandma. In his Arnold's Pump Club, he also points to a very recent study on Garlic and Onion and their role in preventing upper respiratory tract infection:
Supplementing a combination of garlic powder and onion extract decreased the risk of upper respiratory tract infections, namely the common cold and the flu.
Onions and garlic are rich in sulfur-containing compounds (like alliin in garlic), which may improve the ability of white blood cells to fight off unwanted germs.
Cortisol, Adrenaline, Cold plunges and fights
Andrew Huberman published an episode about Andrenaline and Cortisol and it's uses for boosting mental energy and immunity. He rounded up multiple peer-reviewed studies in his classic manner and presented clear, actionable takeaways.
Your body is primed to resist infection when you have high levels of adrenaline for short periods of time.
Increasing adrenaline in the body can improve immune resistance in the short term.
As cortisol and adrenaline are both thought of as hormones of stress, stress can protect against infection in the short term.
Classic studies by Bruce McEwen have found that inducing stress can enhance immune function in humans and animals.
The immune function enhancement from inducing stress is observed within 1 to 4 days.
Chronic stress will definitely tank your immunity.
He lists a couple of methods to induce this short-term stress:
Known also as Wim Hoff breathing: 25-30 breaths, exhale, hold 25-30 breasts again, exhale, hold twenty-five
Fasting in the morning (Cortisol rises when you are hungry, and more so when my wife is hungry).
You can get in a fight, but that has other drawbacks for your health.
He also recommends getting cortisol early in the day by first spending time outside and looking at the sun upon waking up. This may be a viable strategy in California, but as Autumn is coming to Europe, this is not doable.
In any case, this is an example of when I would not be listening to my grandma. She would have me hidden in the basement so I wouldn't catch a cold, but it turns out that my maniac gym schedule during winter is what helps. I hope to double down this winter.
Send me your best immunity tips!
A few things I've read
Where’s the Best Place to Ride Out the Next Cataclysm?
Contrary to prepper fantasies and zombie movie enthusiasts, your best bet to survive the cataclysm may not be escaping to woods or New Zealand but staying in a densely populated area, preferably close to the government offices. Tyler Cowen explains in "Where’s the Best Place to Ride Out the Next Cataclysm?":
when it comes to getting food or medical care, not to mention internet service, I would rather be in a densely populated area. People usually pull together in times of extreme need, so I would want to be near more people, not fewer people.
Nonetheless, I consider the New Zealand option to be overrated. Remember, the country closed itself to foreigners during the Covid pandemic — might it do the same in response to a sudden cataclysmic event? And even if it were open to foreigners, getting there could be difficult
Some solid parenting advice in the Sharp Tech podcast
Sharp Tech is a podcast hosted by Andrew Sharp and Ben Thompson, exploring the impact of new technology on the world. My favorite part of the podcast is TikTot (for non-native English speakers: Tot is a small child) segment dealing with the practicalities of technology, parenting, and older folk.
In one of the new episodes, Ben Thompson dishes some parenting advice about the different stages of your relationship with your child:
0-5 y/o is the time to survive and be there, not build your career and be stressed all the time due to overscheduling
<12 y/o is the time to share your worldview with ("propagandize") your child and be a parent. Not a friend.
>12 y/o is the time to trust your child in making their own choices, including their approach to technology, resisting advertising, etc. This is also when your child needs to be more of a friend than a parent, but you don't get to impose your worldview anymore.
When your kids go to school and you have survived parenting, you can focus on your career again with newfound productivity.
This time of your 20s where you can really be a go-getter and you have tons of energy and you have really nothing to do and you will have kids, and become much more productive and realize all the time you wasted. But there's that time, then you have kids and I think it's okay to step back a little bit. It's okay to get that promotion in three years instead of two or sort of, or that's why I'm going to go work for a big tech company instead of working at a startup.
Then your kids go to school and you have this newfound capability for incredible productivity and what feels like an unbelievable amount of time. And so that actually I think is the real sweet spot for your career is. (...) So that actually I think is the real sweet spot for your career is you're still young enough and vigorous enough and have the drive because you want to provide for your kids to really make A huge impact and the kids have state-provided babysitters for the day
A few things I wrote
In "The AIKEA Effect," I argued that when implementing AI features, developers are incentivized to overcomplicate their implementations, as they don't understand the tech they are working with, so they create a scaffolding of technology they are familiar with.
I reverse-engineered Evernote local database format on my laptop so I could integrate it with Alfred. Details on Reddit.
Here are some wallpaper and textile designs created by Henry Dearle during the late 1900s: