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Jack Dorsey Is Gwyneth Paltrow for Silicon Valley

From the New York Times:

For 10 days a year, he sits in silence at a meditation retreat. Before getting dressed each morning, he experiments with using his home infrared sauna and then an ice bath, sometimes cycling through both several times before he leaves home. He walks five miles to work. He eats one meal a day and has said that on the weekends when he fasts from Friday to Saturday, “time slows down.” He talks about starting each morning with salt juice — water mixed with Himalayan salt and lemon. It is dispensed in Twitter offices around the world.

I haven’t really kept up with Twitter founder Jack Dorsey for a while but it seems he’s now gone full podcast bro.

Last time I saw him was via his long-lasting Twitter profile image. But that chisel-jawed Armie Hammer lookalike is more of a Tyron Lannister from Game of Thrones lookalike these days. That dude is looking lean. Maybe this criticism that he’s promoting eating disorders is partly correct. I wonder what’s next chasing that natural high. Self-harm maybe?

I mention all this not to mock the guy, but because I actually find myself somewhat attracted to the health douche culture, sadly. There was quite a while when I flirted with hipsterhood instead. I had to stop myself buying shit from Best Made Co., having £30 beard trims, and listening to Bon Iver. Luckily the furthest I wandered down that path was buying Iron Ranger boots, raw denim jeans and getting into fancy coffee.

So I must be strong and not let this new fad engulf me. I currently actively avoid minimalist YouTube channels, refuse to listen to Tim Ferris, and won’t read Podcast Notes.

Stoicism and intermittent fasting is all I’ve given in to so far. I read Aurelius each morning. And I’ve actually lost a bunch of weight. So, maybe I should just embrace the douchedom? 😐

Further reading: The Podcast Bros Want to Optimize Your Life + Why Is Silicon Valley So Obsessed With the Virtue of Suffering?


Selling Gene Data

Here’s a piece from the Guardian on how the NHS is setting up a database for genes and going to be selling the data they collect:

Sale of personal gene data condemned as ‘unethical and dangerous’

[reading time: 3 minutes]

It’s summed up in the first paragraph:

Private firms will soon be able to buy people’s medical and genetic data without their consent and, in certain cases, acquire personal information that might enable them to identify individuals.

This scares me. You expect this stuff from DNA testing companies like 23andMe, but not from the NHS, a publicly funded health service. Yes, this information is important. I’m sure all the great medical breakthroughs of the next century are likely to come from studying genetics. So thus all the money from the problems they solve and the information they discover will too. And that gets Big Pharma excited. Which is why they’re willing to pay a decent amount of money to the NHS for this data. Which means basically the NHS is just going to be a middle man, and the middle man never gets rich. The NHS will do okay from these deals, sure, but not enough to justify selling the most personal of all data about the people who pay for the NHS with their taxes. It’s not worth it.
Instead of just keeping this data saved somewhere and maybe fiddling around with it to see how obese the nation is and how many people have descended from a Bavarian sheep farmer, they should go on the offensive, despite their limited money now-a-days, and try to do some real good. I’d much rather read the headline “NHS cures Alzheimer’s”, than “GlaxoSmithKline cures Alzheimer’s.”

And of course selling the data is a side issue to the main issue that they’re collecting it at all. But I’m not going to get involved in that whole affair, especially as I don’t even know how I feel about it.

I’ll just say this: I don’t trust the NHS with my postcode, let alone the gene data that makes me, me. (And how could you blame me when the section of the NHS in control of all this data has a website that looks like this.)