There are so many more of you here after our spring sale and who came over from our mention in The Atlantic! I feel we should celebrate! I'm going to host a live watch-and-chat for the one the only Pumping Iron, in the Discord on Monday 5/8 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Paid subs are welcome one and all, so if you're interested, upgrade and join us!
The quest for longevity is already over. I read once that up to the age of about 75, our mortality largely depends on controllable factors—diet, exercise, do you have a supportive social network, do you live in a soulless dystopia or a “Blue Zone”—but beyond that, it’s between you, your genetics, and your god.
This just makes sense to me; it explains why people who live an absurdly long time are always up to the weirdest shit, smoking two cigars a day and doing recreational freediving and eating their daily morning hamburger with a side of bacon. That stuff simply doesn’t hit them the way it hits the rest of us. Another devastating blow to longevity people: we’ve learned the stuff about “long telomeres” (having them, or trying to preserve them) equaling a longer life span is all smoke.
The Longevity Bros (Joe Rogan, Peter Attia, Andrew Huberman, Tim Ferriss; I'm sure there are more but I don't have all day) are not going to let this one go easy. But just like people who are shaped like Victoria’s Secret models or can deadlift 1,000 pounds or can remember every single thing that happened to them since birth, some people just have that dog in them, and there is actually very little to be learned from them.
And that is fine; it’s a waste of time to try to divine rules for the rest of us to live by from the world’s extreme outliers. It is even fine to assume that other people’s exceptional existence has no bearing on yours just on the face of it, and know that that doesn’t make you any less worthy. “How to live decently long” is neither some crazy convoluted set of practices nor a competition. I wrote a little about the power of freely assuming things about people in “Go ahead, assume they are on steroids” re: the Liver King:
An email leak outmaneuvered the Liver King into stating the obvious, which is that he has a staggering steroids-and-other-performance-enhancing-drugs regimen to the tune of $11,000 per month… If, at any point, you took one look at this guy and didn’t immediately recognize that he’s drowning in PEDs… I rarely say this, but, in your specific case, consider assuming things about people more freely.
If you are the type of person to get really worked up about what people do or don’t admit to doing in order to look the way they do, return to the Blogilates principle: They either are lying or they are so genetically elite that whatever they say they do is not relevant to most of us anyway. This is an extension of the swimmer’s body fallacy: people with swimmer’s bodies become swimmers; their body doesn’t look that way because of the swimming.
Either way, what they do does not matter for most of us personally. If it seems improbable, assume that what you think is true; doing otherwise is lost time from your one precious life. As a culture, we are encouraged never to assume. But a little educated assuming can do wonders to free otherwise valuable brain space. Assuming also does not have to go hand in hand with judging, or holding the assume-ee’s feet to the fire to affirm your assumptions.
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~Discord Pick of the Week: Extremely good post from Jason and Lauren Pak: If personal trainers talked about weights like “nutrition” influencers do. Honorable mention: this woman setting a Guinness World Record for throwing 10 guys.~
This unfortunately-timed story (April 2020 :( ) deserves a resurrection: The women of the Scottish Highland games. Here is a calendar of upcoming Highland Games events in the U.S.; do what you will with that information.
Does yelling while exercising make you stronger? Research says yes. Planet Fitness’s Lunkhead alarm found dead!!
Will it protein shake?: Bacardi edition.
How the ’90s health sheen that followed “a glass of wine a day” slowly fell apart. (I’ve sat with it, heard all the arguments, experienced a two-day hangover from exactly four drinks in my advanced age, and decided that still, no one will be taking this away from me.)(Great piece about hangovers, btw.)
Your periodic reminder that no one is proactively keeping tabs on the supplement aisle and it is 100% Hunger Games “put it on the shelf and let God sort it out”: Melatonin supplements have literally random amounts of melatonin in them.
Remember when headlines used to refer to companies cutting their budgets or laying off employees as "trimming the fat"? Well: Our old friend Jenny Craig is doing a big-time "fat-trimming" of the richly-deserved dramatic-irony kind. Bye bitch and don’t let that door hit you on the way out!
But there’s a third option—the most radical of them all—to actively accept that work is undeniably and unacceptably boring. This plan begins with a willingness to wallow, at least temporarily, in our boredom and allow it to wash us over. We don’t avert our gaze. We focus on it and acknowledge it. We experience it. We allow it to inform us that our opportunities for meaningful and satisfactory engagement are being blocked. We let it impress on us that we are currently incapable of actively and effectively pursuing our freedom.
Moira Donegan on the Texas guy who sued his wife’s friends for murder after they helped her get an abortion. Alas, he was too dumb, but not everyone who wants to try this will be.
The Other Two is back. If you’ve never watched The Other Two: Watch the other two seasons of The Other Two. If you’ve watched The Other Two: Brothers, today we ride for season three.
That’s all for this week! See paid subs in the Discord Monday 5/8 for Pumping Iron, per the top of this transmission! I love you for reading, thank you, let’s go—