The Listen #9 — Pork buns, the disease of more, and waking up fat

The Dave Chang Show, Joe Rogan Experience, Pat Flynn & Dan John, The Knoweldge Project, and Design Details

This photo is from today, but I wrote this intro dispatch last week.

Here's a hunch about my writing process:

  • I’m better at…: Writing chunks of things throughout the week – I can write short blurbs about episodes throughout the week.

  • … than I am at: Actually using those chunks for things I publish – I had 6 blurbs ready to go this morning from the week. How many did I use? None. Not sure why, but I need to change that if I want to make things more sustainable.

My guess: Because I know it’s part of a longer piece that I’ll publish later, I’m okay not revising it right at that moment. Then it comes time to compile, revise, and publish those things I wrote through the week.

Then I get overwhelmed because I know there’s a lot of revising to do since it was sloppy initially. Plus I need to do all the links, etc. I convince myself I’ll be better off just writing some new stuff from scratch.

So I try writing from scratch. And it takes forever and it’s sloppy by the end of it. So I’ve taken a ton of time and then there’s guilt of wasting all the writing throughout the week. 

I usually arrive at the same conclusion: I should just revive the podcast because writing is harder and less fun. But then a few hours pass and I want to write again. (Which is why I’m writing right now, just a few hours and a long walk removed from going through the process above.)

Having written all that above, I think I just need to get the components of the final newsletter in a more finished state through the week. I’ll try doing that by keeping a single doc going and adding links as I go rather than saving it as an activity for the end.

(And also need to get the podcast going again, because it is actually true that it’s easier and more fun. Maybe me and Wally can just talk about some of the podcasts from the previous newsletter. So it can be an audio companion to the newsletter.)

The Dave Chang Show: "The Story Behind the Momofuku Chili Crunch, With Eddie Huang" (The Ringer, Spotify, Apple Podcasts)

This clip is from today. I listened to the episode a couple weeks ago now but finally made the trek. I skimmed through the episode last night and that made me think, "Man I want some pork buns." So I went to Baohaus today to find out it was closed temporarily. Had a nice backup—walked the avenue over to go to Momofuku Noodle Bar to get the pork buns (and scallion ginger noodles) that, in a way, seems to have kicked off Eddie and Dave's relationship...

Eddie Huang opens the episode talking about a decade ago when he first had the pork bun at Momofuku but seeing that it wasn't really the same as the traditional bun. Eddie and Dave had their differences and still disagree on things, but are now friendship built around the fact that they have a ton in common. Over the years, their mutual friends would tell each of them, "Hey you guys should be friends."

Actually, before that, Eddie gives an overview of his current life in Taiwan: going out to eat and drink, playing basketball. A normal day a few months ago sounds so phenomenal now.

Takeaway: Listen to this to hear two friends disagree gracefully.

Joe Rogan Experience: "David Choe" (JRE on YouTube, Apple Podcasts)

On that Dave Chang episode above, Chang hints at the value of doing an episode about abusive Asian upbringings. They joke that they'd definitely need David Choe as part of the asian roundtable.

In this Joe Rogan episode, Choe touches on the perfectionist expectations and worship of hard work in his interview with Joe Rogan. He talks about being successful in one discipline (art) and then another discipline (TV) and another (podcasting) and another (whatever comes next). Then still feeling unfulfilled and wanting more success.

If you’ve succeeded in so many different ways, what more could you want, right?

Well, now you want to prove people wrong because they’re saying you got lucky. The problem is that no amount of additional success will help you prove it wasn’t just luck.

The disease of more. It motivates and then it destroys.

My current routine: 5-minute warm-up, 100 swings, 10 get-ups (aka Pavel Tsatsouline's Simple & Sinister)

Pat Flynn: “EP 412: The What To Do If I Wake Up Fat Program ft. Dan John” (Pat Flynn, Apple)

I would’ve shared this when the episode originally aired a couple months back, but I wasn’t writing my newsletter at the time. Anyway, in this episode, Pat Flynn and Dan John go over how they would approach fat loss if starting from scratch. Lots of kettlebells and lots of walking.

I also recently watch a 30-minute presentation by Dan John about Easy Strength for Fat Loss. Every day, you take an hour. Start with a short full body weight workout and immediately follow that up with walking for the rest of the hour.

Which reminds me of another Dan John thing, from a book. (I’m hitting for the audio, video, book cycle.) In Fat Loss Happens on Monday, Dan John and Josh Hillis do a really nice problem re-frame.

Let’s say you manage to set aside an hour a day for workouts. Take one of those days, hey maybe Monday, and use the “workout” for groceries and food prep. Cut the veggies for the week so you’ll actually eat them. Make healthy food more convenient than your unhealthy snacks.

A few other podcast episodes to round it out to 5

I thought it'd be good to practice writing some shorter paragraphs. (Admittedly a bad imitation of Polina Marinova's excellent link descriptions in "The Profile"—Also go check out this post about her process if you're at all interested in writing newsletters.) This seems like a skill worth practicing if I want to stay consistent with the newsletter.

The Stanford professor helping you floss one tooth — BJ Fogg was on The Knowledge Project:  "BJ Fogg: Create Lasting Change". BJ Fogg and Shane Parrish discuss building habits (by changing the person, environment, or scaling the habit down), diagrams in nonfiction books (they both love them, publishers would rather you toss those in the appendix), reshaping your refrigerator as a super-fridge, and more. (The Knowledge Project, Apple Podcasts, Spotify)

The product manager with a very good question — Cemre Güngör is a PM on Instagram and joined Facebook through an acquisition. He talks to Brian and Marshall from Design Details  about that entire transition, breaking things down from why he did it to how reality has panned out compared to the expectations he had going in. That very good question I mentioned is for product designers considering a switch to a PM role: Would you rather have shipped Facebook Paper or Facebook Lite? (Design Details: "356: Becoming a Product Manager ft. Cemre Güngör", Apple Podcasts, Spotify)

Closing with some current reads

I'm reading Rapid Viz: A New Method for the Rapid Visualization of Ideas (1980) by Kurt Hanks & Larry Belliston and Hackers & Painters (2004) by Paul Graham. One is about drawing with a pen and the other is about writing code. Both are about sketching solutions out quickly, communicating effectively, and making things fast.

Here's a sketch of where I listened to some of these podcasts today:

Took the subway south a few stops, walked to Baohaus (closed), walked to Momofuku Noodle Bar, got a drink at Pan Ya and ate the pork buns there, got some coffee at Starbucks, read a little bit on a bench at Washington Square Park, then read Sam Harris's "Free Will" (on recommendation from the Design Details episode above) at Central Park. A very Phase 4 day.

Thanks for reading and see you next week! Closing with this map of where I listened to podcasts today.