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Welcome, welcome, welcome to armchair expert I'm Dan Shepherd, I'm joined by Miniature Mouse oh, maximum dog.
So does it scare you? And I go meow because mice are afraid of cats. Oh, yeah.
Oh, maybe I was a mouse in another life because I. Sorry, I know everyone's going to be mad at me. I do not like they're not your animal.
You don't even have to say you dislike them. You just would never own one. OK, but you know what, I don't like them. OK, that's fair too. OK, I got to tell you, we really had a blast talking to this guest. She will remind you a lot of our conversation with Stephen Dubner from Freakonomics. If you remember that conversation, it has the same meandering facts popping up here and there.
It was really, really delicious quality.
And the guest is Angela Duckworth. Angela is an academic psychologist in science author. She is The Rosily. And Egbert Chang, professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, where she studies grit and self-control. She won the MacArthur Award. Right. MacArthur Genius Grant. My goodness, what an achievement.
She has a couple of great books key to success, how to be successful in the habits of Successful People and of course, grit, the power of passion and perseverance. She also has a TED talk of the same name. And most importantly, she has a new podcast that I'm so excited about with her. And Stephen Dubner called No Stupid Questions. So no stupid question or questions.
Questions? Yeah, questions. Come on. No one say no stupid question. That was a stupid question. That was a we just proved there are stupid question.
Please enjoy Angela Duckworth.
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DAX today he's in our chat. Oh, my God, you're just as cute in real life, but not real life, same size.
Monica and I were just watching your TED talk and she said she's so cute.
And I said, oh, you know, I'll tell her to. Let me just say, though, that was like the apex of my like my hair has never looked better or since what they did.
But I was like, seriously, it was like the best hair day. It was.
It never happens that way, though. It's always your worst hair day when you're out there getting fat. They had a very good makeup and hair person. Oh, that's good. Yeah.
Where was that? Ted did a collaboration with PBS and I think it was in a theater in Harlem or something. I think John Legend was the host.
It was like he was engaged with Chrissy Teigen and yeah, he was so excited. He was like excited to be engaged. And anyway, yeah, it was cool. It was a good little run. They had like Bill Gates and a bunch of other people. And I think they only did it that one time.
We just interviewed John Legend and were huge fans of him musically. I had no idea he went to Penn that he was a Doogie Howser, that he is smarter than all of us. That was a real shocker to me. I was like, great. Weirdly, that parlays into your topic because I think we all believe in the illusion of hyper talent or God given talent.
And I guess that's, of course, what Gladwell book was about, which I so much enjoyed outliers.
Yeah. Which is, by the way, meta.
It's an outlier, like I think it might be like the most outlier of outliers for non-fiction books in that it did so well in that it did so well, I think on the bestseller list for like a collective five years.
Oh, you know, like, like two hundred and seventy weeks or something like that.
Yeah. Oh yeah. And counting. Right. Because it kind of like comes on, it comes off. So a lot of outliers was about this 10000 hour rule which we can talk about by the way. And that scientist just died, but we did last month. So like the ten thousand hour guy who's not Malcolm Gladwell, but anyway. Yeah. Of old age, I hope. Oh no. What do you think about seventy three.
Well, that's not at all. It's not, that's not old enough.
But yeah with my family genetics if I hit seventy three I'll feel like it was a big win. So it's all relative isn't it. Your expectations.
And actually and it's all short so it's like yeah it only gets increasingly shorter.
Did you know that time perspective actually changes as you get older. You know how like old people say like wow, it feels like time is going by faster time. Perception actually changes across the lifespan and it does actually feel shorter.
OK, so I have an armchair theory on why and I'd love for you to tell me what the real reason is. My daughter's five, so this year will be one fifth of her life. I'm forty five, so this year will be one forty fifth of my life. So proportionally they are getting smaller and smaller relative to your time on Earth. So they feel smaller and smaller.
Yeah, it's like a ratio thing, right. Yeah.
What is the real explanation. So I don't think anybody fully knows. You could ask us. There's a psychologist named Laura Carstensen at Stanford and I think her theory is that it is like it has something to do with maybe this is the same maybe it's different from your theory. It's like the amount of time there is that you think, of course, you never really know to the finish line. Yeah. And as that gets like shorter and shorter, somehow that, like, changes our perception.
Although I have to say and I haven't it's not as intuitive to me where I'm like, yeah, I get that. I'm kind of like, oh. Hmm. I have to think about that.
Yeah. The only analogy that feels like that makes sense is when you drive to a new location. Right. And it's novel. And so the ride there feels very, very long. But then the ride back feels quite short because it's not novel. So I don't think your brain is taking on as much new information. So there's not actually as much info in the memories. So the memory itself feels longer and more complete.
OK, this is related. I have noticed this even on a run, I only run the same stupid little circle every day, but it always feels longer going out. Yes, I agree. Yeah. Do you know what flow is.
Have you talked about. Oh yeah. I often a minute data flow on the show.
OK, so when you're in flow some people feel like time goes slower and some people feel like time flies by. But this distortion of time is very common to the flow state. And here's what I think all of this hinges on. It's what you're paying attention to. So like when you are really in the flow state, you're only paying attention to what you're doing. I can see how, in a way time flies because you're like, oh, my God, that was two hours.
You weren't paying attention to, like, time passing and like what's going on in the world. You're just doing what you're doing. I can also see if you're, like, completely paying attention to what you're doing. It's like, you know, when they say athletes can see the stitches of the ball. Yeah. It's like you're paying such attention that you're absorbing so much information that in that sense, like time is Lynagh. But anyway, everything I think is about like where you pay attention and.
There's something about what you're looking at. OK, can I hit you with one more theory? OK, so let's say when they get in a car accident, people feel like time slowed down, right? Mm hmm. That's a very common as I've had that experience. You were in a car accident. I've been in dozens of car accidents and motorcycle accidents, and so there's a bit of a daredevil. Yeah, yeah, I race cars.
So I go, oh, my God. OK, you go. I'm sorry. Don't like in your experience, time slows down when you are in an accident. Yeah.
And of course I end up talking with other folks that have been in accidents. There seems to be consensus around this. OK, so when you're watching a movie and you see slow motion. Yeah. Like The Matrix. Right. To get that slow motion, they actually ran the camera at two or three times the speed. Oh, that makes sense. They're running it at three times the speed, so it's getting three times as much information.
And then when they play it back at normal speed, that's what slows it down as it has three times the amount of frames, right?
Yeah. So I started thinking, oh, that's why your memories feel like time, slow them, because soon as you're in a car accident and the adrenaline kicks in, you start taking on three times so much information and it's all stored. And when you play that memory back at what is a normal speed for memories, yet there's three times as much information, it actually feels like it's slow motion.
I am 100 percent convinced by that theory.
Like, I'm like, yeah, that sounds totally right. Do you think I should publish this? Probably somebody already.
You know who to ask. So here's to you should you should have Danny Kahneman.
All we've been so many people have told us that we're into.
Did you ask him? Not yet. Generally, Adam Grant, who you must know, he's our conduit to everyone. Interesting in psychology. Well, just kind of. Oh, don't don't limit him there. I bet he knows the best mechanic in the world. Adam Grant knows every person in the world, and he is so helpful at connecting with those people. So, yeah, we got to get on Danny Kahneman. He comes up all the time in the experience versus narrative life.
The reason I said you should do Danny Kahneman is that he wrote a book actually before thinking fast and slow. He wrote it in nineteen seventy six and it was called Attention and Effort, and he is really interested in attention and he would be a good person to ask. But he's writing a new book and I think he just finished the first full draft and it's on noise in your judgments and he's really excited about it.
Does he teach somewhere? Is that Princeton?
Technically, but he's like technically, you know, like living in New York. I don't know who's actually at Princeton right now.
Do you daydream of that future where you'll be one of those people? It's like you got a position somewhere, but, you know, we all know what to be there.
Yeah. So it's theme that we're like, whatever man live at Central Park.
And I literally wrote to Danny on my last email said, I realized when I read your chapter that I will never be a Danny Kahneman, so I will just have to be an Angela Duckworth like, no.
I mean, he is like I think he's the best living psychologist in the world. You'd have to figure out how to get him a microphone. Maybe we'll send him one.
What we can we can find a microphone for every Nobel laureate.
Every time I interview experts, I am most interested in why they ended up studying what they study. I think it's as relevant as what they end up producing and very related usually. Right? Yes. You grew up in New Jersey. I did. South Jersey. Cherry Hill. How does South Jersey differ?
So there's like the shishi suburbs of New York, in North Jersey, and then there's like South Jersey, like Jersey Shore.
Oh, there we go.
I didn't grow up on the Jersey Shore, but South Jersey has you know, we have wall-to-wall carpeting and a lot of juiced up meatheads and TransAm.
So it's like a very poofy prom dresses and, you know, a lot of gum being sold and chewed in South Jersey.
OK, so and now I always circle back to Monica does Monica is such a unique experience that I'm now very, very into, which is, you know, the first generation experience. Your parents are both from China, correct? Yeah, that's correct.
It's by the way, does that make us first generation or what generation are we. That's the big question, right?
Your first generation. It's the first one born here. Were you born here? Yes.
So that makes us first generation. So it means first generation parentheses born here in the U.S. Are you sure about that or did you just say that?
No, no, I'm sure of it. He's not sure. I am sure you'll fact check it. Yeah, I'll to go 90 percent positive on that super Google Apple.
Yeah. I mean, I should know that. So I always got confused whether they're first generation and then I'm second generation because if I'm first generation they don't get a name.
Well they're immigrants. Yeah they're. Oh immigrants. OK, yeah. So anyway, to answer your question, my parents immigrated from China and I was born in, you know, in the United States.
Well, first of all, with the first generation thing, it gets a little tricky because it's like at what time? So my mom came when she was six, so she totally grew up here. So I feel uncomfortable saying she's not regulation.
Yeah. Monarchos one point five generation because her dad did come here when he was twenty.
So I'm like one and he counts. Yeah, he can work out now.
Monica was in Georgia, a very white suburb and she was Indian and so naturally she wasn't dying. To introduce everyone to her parents or embrace like when food was made, probably a couple of days.
Oh, yeah, like lunches that you brought to school, did you have to bring smelly lunches? No, I did really? Well, that is true, right? Yes. We have our own smells. So I know you know. Yeah, I'm talking about.
Right. Lunch. Well, I did not they were totally I took peanut butter and jelly, but I was so hyper aware of it. Like if my mom made dinner and I was so actively like, whatever you're making that has that smelly smell, I'm not eating that right. Because you want it to be Americanized or maybe at least I wanted to be American.
So I don't know how you can go a step further. She you want to be white?
Well, here's the thing. I think in at least my immigrant family, when we said we want to be American, we meant white. Yes. But obviously we were American. But I think we use those terms interchangeably, even though that's not factually accurate.
Yeah, of course.
Were you like one of the few like I was? Because, you know, there are these little clusters of immigrant, but like where you like the only Indian girl in your.
I was not, but I was the only Indian girl who was a cheerleader.
It was really neat. Oh, and why did we do that? Because it was the most American sorry white thing that you could do. I wanted to go against stereotype now with like racial issues being front and center for our culture, which is long overdue. By the way, I realized how non introspective I've been about my ethnic identity like to a fault. And I wonder whether it was like a you know, my family really tried to assimilate and fit in.
I wanted my mom to buy ice cream sandwiches and she, like, literally made an ice cream sandwich between, like, two pieces of bread.
And I remember thinking, like, wow, this is hard. Yeah. I mean, which, you know, we talk about the fact that 90 percent of Asians are lactose intolerant.
So that's not even getting into the fact that at all.
Which, by the way, I'm not. Oh, like, that's a weird thing. I know. And also, I don't have that gene that makes you flush when you get hammered.
Yeah. So anyways, I know that for some ethnic subgroups and obviously, like every culture is heterogeneous, but like, anyway, my family tried to fit in and I especially wanted to fit in. So I kind of like didn't think about being like the only Chinese girl my grade. But now that I look back at it, like in my high school, there was a senior prom, there was a junior prom, and we had a sophomore cotillion.
And like every time one of these big dances would come up, like it was just assumed that I would go with, like, the only Asian guy out, like, you know, like there were two. So I got to go to one with. And then there were like I got to go to the other.
But like, you know, now that I look back and I'm like, wow, there's something wrong with that.
Is this too much to say? I think for Monica to a lot of it was in the background until we started doing the show two and a half years ago, because it comes up so often. We interviewed so many people. I mean, obviously most the majority of experts we interview. It's very eclectic. It's the UN. It really is eclectic.
You have wide ranging tastes.
So it comes up a lot. And I think Monica has done more exploration of it and also having this, like, dating show she has and how complicated her relationship with boys. Like it's all for Monica, just like at thirty, whatever.
Yeah, but it's new because it was an active pursuit to distance. So it wasn't like I just haven't thought about it. It's like I'm not thinking about that because that's not me. Because I'm this. Right. Right. I'm not a geek. Exactly. I am not going to be premed I guess. Were you not premed. You were.
Oh I was a theater major. An actress. I mean could have gone in the other. Yeah.
How'd that go with family. Was that good. It wasn't the acting. It was the financial security. It was a lack of safety. They didn't want me to do medicine necessarily or anything. They just wanted me to be open minded.
They are they're. Oh, they're there.
There's no one I like talking to more than her dad. Are you all very close like you're are you like merged family?
I'm sleeping with her mother, if that's what you're asking me. That's good. That's good. That's one way to get very close. She really wanted to assimilate. So she's going to go of an American empire. The work that I do is on grit and effort.
And there have been essays written about how that's racist. Right. And so I've actually had some conversations with the people, wrote those essays because I was like, hi, I'd like to talk to you. I didn't intend this work to be denigrating of any group. And those conversations I've gotten into, like what is racial identity? That's how I sort of started thinking about my own.
Could you make a non straw man argument out of what they were trying to sow?
A lot of the research that I've done has been in schools and many, but not most, I think of those schools are charter schools. First of all, many charter schools, not all, but many are like quite literally one hundred percent non-white.
I send my daughters to a charter school that's predominantly not white. Yeah, OK.
In L.A.. Yeah. You said, I'd say like 70 percent of the kids are on assisted lunch and stuff.
Yes, well, you are very unusual, by the way, though, right? Don't you think, like your like your people?
Yeah, I think most of my peers do private school. I have a chip on my shoulder because I grew up poor and I want them to be able to interact with all people, not just our rich bubbles. That's good.
And that's not to say I won't change if one of them has some extreme learning disability like I had. And that requires something I'll change.
Right. Or if they're not, if they're not doing well and like you feel like they need some other I can say some really racy. Yeah. When I grew up, even though I was dyslexic and I had a really long journey to learning how to read and what not, once I got a handle on that and in junior high that was on my team and stuff at any moment, if I would have really dedicated myself, I could have finished in the top 10 percent of my anything.
And my wife is the exact same way. Yeah. Now we went to all white schools in the suburbs of Michigan. Now my kid goes to this charter school. They have the big end of year, first grade thing. You come look at all the pictures on the wall and they do an essay. Right. And of course, we go straight to our daughters because that's all we care about and we're reading it. Oh, my God, she did it.
And then all of a sudden I just zoom out and I go, oh, honey, look at the rest of the essays. The rest of the essays look like they had been typed, like the penmanship was insane. The grammar was on point. The spelling was there.
This is in first grade pieces. Yes. And then I looked at the big board where you got stars next to your name and different disciplines. Right.
And I notice, oh, our daughter's tied with all the boys and then all the girls are like, eighty more stars. And I said to my wife, you know, one aspect of this experiment I had not anticipated is she'll never be in the top ten percent on this road where most of these kids are first generation and their parents are fucking pushing them, she's probably not going to be in the top 10 percent.
Ultimately, I decided I guess I don't care if she's in the top ten percent, but it was something that deserved to be acknowledged.
Oh, that is so interesting. So, OK, I didn't answer your question, which is like the non straw men argument. But first, can I just out of curiosity, like what? What is the demographic of this school?
I would say it's predominantly Korean first generation Korean going to school. Asians.
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Most of her friends, she's she knows Korean words and stuff already. If 70 percent are assisted lunch, it doesn't really add up to the Asian know poor.
Well, they're poor Asians, but I was going to say the majority.
But Angela's research challenges on some level, this notion of privilege and opportunity and tutors and whatnot and IQ, some of it gets challenged by her work.
So I taught in a high school in San Francisco that was, you know, very, very like very Asian in its demographics. And I think the majority of the students were also free and reduced price. So it's possible. OK, so maybe I should start with what my research says. Let's do it. Yeah. Yeah.
So and this, I think, has a lot in common with what people think of like the ten thousand hour rule. And I think that the final common path to human achievement, you know, whether it's creating a great film or writing a great novel or starting a company or solving a math proof, the final Campath is high quality, high quantity effort. Like, I don't think there are ways to do anything great, like literally in anything without a ton of very high quality effort.
So that to me is like my job as a psychologist is to reverse engineer. Then like, oh, how do you get higher quality and how you get higher quantity? And it's not to say that these other things that people might talk about matter like ability or IQ. But I do think that's like the final mile. Yeah, that's a claim. And I don't know if everyone agrees with it. I don't know.
Well, I think it's really relevant that it was something you started immediately observing at twenty seven when you left the professional world and became a teacher and you were just noticing what scores were. And that's just an objective outcome of a math problem. And you were seeing no correlation between IQ and outcome of the tests. Why?
Oh no, there's no correlation because all that was before I was a scientist and I wasn't doing statistics on my data. But I will just say this, put it this way. You walk into the classroom as a teacher in September and it's very obvious that some kids are picking up that math so easily. They're like very mathematically able other kids slower. They need two times or three times or four times to be given an illustration example.
So obviously there are differences in ability and there probably are in almost anything you can think of the human beings try to do, skiing, acting, whatever. So when you're a teacher, you think like, oh, I can predict what will happen in June. I think this kid who's like it smart is going to be the kid who's at the top and this kid who needs a second, third and fourth explanation like a. They'll be the bottom, and I guess the thing that struck me was at the end of the year when I tallied up the final grades, it's not that, you know, ability didn't have any relationship, but it was surprisingly small.
And what came out that surprised me was how much some of these kids, you know, despite not having like the highest ability man, they got high quality, high quantity time on task. And that led to my understanding of achievement generally, you know, beyond a middle school or high school math class, like maybe your ability is different from your motivation and maybe we should spend as much time talking to kids like, you know, your own kid's age about like that very fact.
So they don't count themselves out of things too early. Right.
OK, so now I've got to circle back just for one second to my first question, which is, what do you think it is about your personal journey that had you even interested in the notion of achievement and success and what are the building blocks of it where you push to succeed and to speak about my own family?
I'm not going to try to speak about like all Chinese families and try to speak about Monica's family. But in my family, you could sum up a billion and a half people.
Yeah, well, there's got to be one true statement about them. They all came from mothers, I guess. Yeah, right.
No, I'll be a little more specific in my family, achievement was hugely important, I think is because my dad was a really domineering force in my family and my mom cared as much once my dad we were getting into some kind of heated argument. This is like when I was a gosh, I think it was when I decided to become a teacher soon after college. And he was very disappointed. So unlike Monica's parents, my parents were not as open minded and they really wanted me to like, quote unquote, at least get a Ph.D..
And in this argument, my dad said, like minimum, shouldn't you at least be a senator like senator?
Right. So he had achievement as like the front and center. And he honestly, he would much rather have been. And I asked him once successful than happy.
Sure, sure. Sure, sure, sure. Which again, get getting back to common. That doesn't surprise me, because that's the narrative self. And it doesn't some people would trade the narrative self for the experiential self and all of us do at times and not at other times. Right.
So it's deeper than that, I think, with immigrants, because they literally do not know the difference to them. One equals the other. It's one thing.
Yeah, right. They're like when you ask them, would you rather be happy or successful? It's true. Like my dad was like I mean, it took him a while to process the answer because he was like, happy, successful, like what do you mean.
And and then when I was like, you know, happy, like in a good mood, like you smiling like, you know, it's like optimistic, never successful, like, you know, your famously successful and. Yeah. Hands down. And so he talked a lot about genius. He would like literally debate at the dinner table, like who is the greater genius like Newton or Einstein?
Oh, I love these debates. They're really fun. But like when you're like growing up and that's all you talk about, you know.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So my dad was really obsessed with achievement and he was always talking about, like, I have these very successful cousins, like they're all really successful. And my dad loved to talk about these cousins anyway. So my dad was always comparing his kids to other people, either dead and historically famous or like alive and just better than us.
So I'm sure that gave me a preoccupation with like, oh, what makes somebody successful? But by the way, I don't think it's the most important thing.
And can I ask one more question? Were you ever in doubt of your own intellectual capacity and thought, oh, I can't fulfill this destiny he wants for me because I don't have the goods?
So I never thought of myself as like the smartest person in my elementary school or even maybe even my I don't even think I thought it was the smartest person in my homeroom. Right. I think that would have been Michelle Rosen. She was probably smarter than me by far.
So I don't think I ever thought I was dumb, but I didn't, like, look around the room and think like, oh, everything comes easily to me. We had a special education program, my public elementary school. And, you know, as you know, like you can go to special ed because you're dyslexic but can also go to special ed because you test for gifted and talented. Oh, OK.
I tested in one year and then I think we moved and they tested me again. I was like, I was not smart enough. And then like I think and then I got back. So I was borderline. So I never thought like, oh, I'm obviously a gifted and talented person, but I never thought I was stupid. And I now realize intelligence is something that, like the more I study it, the less I understand it. But one thing I think is very hard to tease apart is intelligence and interest.
Right. Like if you talk to me about something that I am not interested in, I can be like genuinely extremely stupid. I mean, let's talk about history together. And you're like, wow, you're not. That's great, but if we talk about, like, you know, human behavior, which, you know, and when I study things in my domain, everything sticks. It's like I'll read an article and I can remember like, oh, yeah, that was that paragraph.
Do you know do you feel that way? Yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah, yeah, I have. Angela and I are the same person.
You guys are the same person. Yeah. I think we might be. Yeah that's identical.
I'm not really as ironically successful but I'll define what is your like.
Do you have a long term ambition. Well it was to be a famous actress, comedian. Comedian.
Well original like didn't like the way.
So I got I'm riding shotgun to my dream. Yeah. Your close. Yes.
But I just mean as far as I also was in school and I was definitely not the smartest person at all, not even close. And I wasn't even categorizing myself as in the top intelligence level of people, but also I knew I wasn't dumb. And then I just was like, it's fine. It was always DACs.
Did you think you were smart?
No, I thought I was dumb. In fact, I was objectively dumb. Everyone else could read and I could not read. And then I had one teacher, Mr Wood, who really recognized I was getting geometry much quicker than the other kids. And he pulled me aside and said, I'd like you to help the other kids learn geometry. And I was like, What?
I know more about something. And then that just was an explosion. And then I just built on that. And then I joined the math team and then I was like, oh, sciences. I'm pretty good at science.
But that was like the turning point. That was when you started to develop confidence that was in it.
Mr. Wood doesn't discover I'm good at math. You know, who knows if I graduate or anything.
But, you know, I end up going to UCLA and I graduated magna cum laude and I did great, but it took I got better and better as I got older.
You know, I'm saying I think I've had more tools to to cope with the dyslexia and every other thing.
But great advantages came with the dyslexia, just like what you're saying I can retain. I know so much of what I learned twenty years ago in college that it shocks me. But again, I was taking it on so much slower than everyone else.
Yeah. That I feel like it's stuck a lot better.
Yeah, well, I think that this like, complex dance between having some ability in something. Right. And, but also having interest and then confidence. Right. Like you can see how these are virtuous cycle. Like you have a teacher who pushes up your confidence a little bit, that pushes up your actual ability. I think that is why when we say like, oh, you know, how intelligent were you? It's just very complicated. And and it's like, I agree.
We like. Right. The more I study it, the more I'm like, I don't even know what it is. There are these neuroscience studies that weren't done that long ago. They scanned people's brains while they're in a state of high interest versus low interest. And like, first of all, when you're in a state of high interest, all the reward activity, like the dopaminergic parts of the brain, like light up. So it's rewarding to be in a state of curiosity and interest and they learn better.
So even when you induce curiosity, interest, like people learn better and they remember more. And this is why I say, like, I can be very dumb about things that I don't care about and I can be extremely smart about the things that I do. And this is why when you think about, like your own kids and they're, you know, like I'm sure parents think like, oh, wonder how smart they are about this or that.
So much of it like how much is even left over after you say like. Yeah, but, you know, this is about how interested they are. Like, I don't even.
Yeah, you know what I mean. Oh. One hundred percent. Stay tuned for more armchair expert if you dare.
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So as you climbed through, you went to Harvard and then you went to Oxford. What was your pattern?
So like you, I went to public schools like you, I send my kids to public schools. One feature of that decision is that when you do go to a school like Harvard, there are kids who went to like Andover. Sure. And you sit next to them, you're like, oh, my God.
It's like like, you know, they're like 18, but they look like they it's almost as if they had already gone to college. Right. So well that the preparatory school really didn't prepare them for.
Yeah. Maybe that's why they come to school. And I didn't I went to a very solid, you know, suburban, I went to like the sixteen candles, kind of rode high school.
So I learned other life lessons, but not exactly how to thrive at Harvard. So it was hard for me. I think a lot of people have this crisis, whether it's when you go to college, it's like the time you enter a bigger pond than the one you were in before. And I think that crisis you resolve in one of two ways, right? You either just get kind of, you know, destroyed confidence wise or for me, I was like, I don't know.
For some reason, my reaction was like, OK, there are total geniuses here. There are also people like Miles ahead of me. It's like what I said about like not being Danny Kahneman. I will never be a Danny conman, but that's OK. I can be an Angela Duckworth. So I just had some kind of ego defense where I was just like, all right, I'm going to do my thing and I'm going to do it well.
And it might be different. So when I went to Oxford, I went on a Marshall Scholarship and the Marshall Scholarship, like half of the people who get Marshall's become professors. I think you have to have like a a three eight even to apply. And it's very selective. And I remember we took the QE two over. It was some like, I don't know, anniversary year of the scholarship. They decided it would be fun to send us over on a boat.
So I remember the queen, the Queen Elizabeth two. Yeah. Yeah. OK, so you run into John Adams.
No, I didn't. And I, I think actually my dad, I think, told me that when he came to this country, he was on Queen Elizabeth one.
Well, I just called it the Queen Elizabeth. They didn't called the queen.
They didn't know there was going to be a sequel, but they all had to be clairvoyant to do that. They would have had to be for mine.
So I remember being on this boat and I remember thinking like it was yet another pond where like it was like the next level of competition. Right. And I was like, oh, so yeah, you know, and many of us in life, if you are successful, you like you get to more and more competitive things. You know, I think maybe what really happened is that, like, I learned to stop comparing myself. Right. So like instead of being like, how big of a fish am I in this pond?
How many other fish are there? Like, what can those other fish do? I just didn't ask that question anymore. And I think I did learn that in the college.
I think that's the best gift. Yeah. I as I always say, the only person you should be comparing yourself to is previous versions of yourself.
OK, me too. But do you do you do that? I do do that. And you know, I was just telling Monica the other day, generally for the last 16 years, I have liked that comparison. And just recently I was watching videos of me when the kids were two years old. And man, I never put them down. I was such a good dad.
And I said, Monica, I can't say that I'm better than I was four years ago, at least that capacity. And it was weird because generally I feel like I'm making progress and I don't think I did in that capacity.
It's still better to compare you with past you and like you, you want to be than to compare you with other people, like in your peer group.
And I only compare. Right. So I don't compare myself to Brad Pitt and I'm going to feel ugly when I do that.
Anyone would upward social comparisons. Yeah. That's why social media is so toxic, I think. Yeah. OK, now once you realize there's some other factor going on as far as predicting success, how does one study gret like how did you take that on? How do you must have to invent metrics and you have to invent ways to measure this thing and define this thing. So what's the success like?
You know, some people think like, oh, you know, you can't measure happiness or you can't measure character or you can't measure grit or actually you can measure anything, but you can't measure anything perfectly. So how do psychologists like measure honestly any of those things that I just mentioned, extroversion, also happiness, all those psychological things?
Most of what we do is really not great.
You make questionnaires and then you have people fill them out. And questionnaires are just sentences on a page and you show them to people like, you know, I finish whatever I begin setbacks don't discourage me. And then they rate those sentences like on a scale from one to five, like how much they agree with them. That's kind of like the modern state of technology for most of psychological science, which, you know, admittedly isn't great because people may not be accurate, et cetera.
But that's what I did. I I wrote a grit scale based on my interviews with high achievers. And I tried to like write down in the scale the things that I heard in these interviews, you know, not only about how they. Describe themselves, because if I asked you, like, oh, you know, DAX, how have you become successful? What do you think you would probably if you have any social intelligence, like you would be humble and then you would you would like have caveats.
But if I asked you to describe Brad Pitt, like, why is he so successful? I mean, other than being physically perfect, like.
Yeah, and very smart, it seems. Yeah. And he's super interested in life, like architecture. So I suffer from reading US Weekly, but yeah. You don't like it. So I made my favorite book, his favorite book, because I read like he likes The Fountainhead the most and so I read it.
I'm like a horse's fountainhead. Are you Objectivists. No, listen, I haven't read the book.
It's a great book. It's very well written actually.
And it's very it's very well-written. And Howard Roark is the type of figure all male, arrogant males would strive to be, which is they always knew what was right and everyone else had to catch up to them. So in an easier way, they're better. Yes. And and if they just stay the path and they never deviate and they don't take on new information or compromise, they'll be rewarded greatly in the end for it. So I can see why it appealed to me.
Yeah, I used to be a libertarian. I am not anymore. But there are certainly lots of merits to some of her arguments.
Yeah, well, so for Monica's benefit or maybe for, I'm guessing, some of your listeners. So The Fountainhead, this novel you should describe is your favorite thing. But like when I asked like, oh, are you an Objectivist? It's because the novelist, the writer, Ayn Rand, it was it wasn't just a novel, wasn't just like, oh, here's a good story to read. It was a fictional account of Howard work in order to express her philosophy of life, of selfishness, a selfishness.
I can tell you my own thoughts on it, which is I do believe we can act collectively. I do believe we can be selfless. I do believe we can be compassionate. But I believe that it will start originally by looking out of our own eyeballs and trying to meet our needs first. I do think humans are innately and inherently selfish. Now. I think you can acquire tools to make the outcome of your behavior better than that. But I do believe that selfishness does result in many of our best breakthroughs.
Many of our best health care options may give you an example of how your selfish oh, well, I was very committed to becoming an actor at the expense of probably being a good friend at times, at the expense of being a good partner to my girlfriend at the expense. You know, or let's put it this way, and I'm honest about it. I hear my daughter hurt herself in the kitchen. Right. But she hurts herself in the kitchen every twenty five minutes.
My first thought is, goddammit, am I going to have to get up and walk over there or just going to blow over.
And I don't have to walk for like the tone of the cartoon. And the first thought is not oh she's hurt. My first thought is how it's going to inconvenience me.
Right. Yeah. Then I go, I'm a better person than that. Right. Get up and go see what's wrong. But what I'm saying is I have to step over my first thought, which is always selfish.
Right. OK, how about this? How about this? My model of human beings is that you have multiple voices in your head and I'm not talking about multiple personalities. Right. I'm like, you have different like you just said, like the first thing is like, oh, God damn it. Like I was in the middle of something. And the second voice is like, gee, I wonder how my daughter is doing.
Like, maybe I should go help her. So how about this? Yes, we're selfish. I mean, the Ayn Rand, like I read The Fountainhead when I was in high school, Monica, maybe your high school didn't you know, whatever it was in Georgia, they were reading Robert E. Lee biography.
Yes, George, Georgia's a different place in Jersey, so maybe you didn't. But like for a week, I also was Objectivists.
I was like, oh, my gosh, this Flosse makes sense. Like, we're selfish if you pursue selfishness, you know, that's actually what makes society great. It's where all the great artwork comes from. It's like the bridges, the buildings. Look at how it works.
An architect, by the way, Monica, it's been theorized it's basically based on Frank Lloyd Wright. Right. That that was her argument.
I didn't know that. Yeah. I think that he's supposed to loosely be Frank Lloyd Wright.
Oh. Who was himself pretty darn selfish. Yeah.
I mean, all I can say, like, you can't even pick out the furniture in this house.
I will build the furniture for this house I design because I have and then in all of his, you know, romantic and personal relationships, like he was incredibly selfish. So here's the thing. After a week of being an Objectivist in high school, I was like, oh, wait a second, this is a complete account, like because there is another part of you and maybe there's a delay.
But like I do really think young children, even when they are super young and you probably saw this in your own kids, they have this very moral impulses like most kids. Oh, yeah. When they see another kid get hurt, like they don't have to be taught, like you should feel bad. They just do. And so part of us is deeply altruistic and but.
Right. I make an argument. Yes, we are also a social primate. Our survival selfishly depends on our ability to be. Catholic when necessary, sympathetic when necessary, to maintain these relationships that we know we need to survive. Right. So you're thinking like these prosocial emotions that are like they're just really instrumental for our survival. So everything always comes back to, like, selfishness.
And I don't feel like we're we're paying a price to acknowledge that. I go like, OK, yeah, that's how we're hardwired. Now, let's come up with some cultural layers that make us rise up and transcend that. But I think you've got to start by recognizing people need incentives. People are going to try to make themselves feel right.
They're going to try to make themselves better off. What's that Adam Smith like? Hypothetical, like most of us would rather ten thousand people die in another country than like us lose our little finger. So, yeah, I mean, you can make all these philosophical arguments. But I will say this, like after that week of Objectivists where, you know, like the strong view is, don't listen to the voice in your head that says, oh, have sympathy for this like that.
That's not great. I know. No, that's weak, too. I was like, that's not a great philosophy. That's repugnant.
Yeah. Yeah. And it also undercuts the notion that ninety nine point nine percent of the people on planet Earth aren't Frank Lloyd Wright.
So if we are all behaving like we're Frank Lloyd Wright, but we never get a great house, we've paid this huge price for really no reward are the people that are really great.
And I don't just mean like rich and successful in Hollywood, but just like the people that you may be artistically respect the most. Are they, you know, in that sense, narcissistic? Are they, like, so self-absorbed and like always convinced that they're right or not? Know?
The ones that I really admire and look up to are like amazing collaborators. And I think it's what ends up sustaining their career long beyond after they've given you their point of view that you can only ride on that for so long before you need to start collaborating. Right. For inspiration. But the thing I will agree with her on, though, is that I do think that when we assume everyone's capable of nothing, we will get that result. So she was a very big proponent of expecting a ton out of people.
Yes. And I do believe in that. I believe people rise to the expectation you set for them.
Yes. That I would also agree with and I think. Have you guys talked about the placebo effect yet? Yeah. Yeah.
In different context. Usually just medically speaking, just in general, the placebo effect is real. It's not not.
It is it's like shockingly huge issue. Some people have studies where they're like, oh, I looked at all these studies and I don't think it's real. But I think for the vast majority of physicians, they would say it's real. Also in therapy, which I you know, I don't know about money. I've been to therapy, I think.
Oh, yeah, we're big proponents of therapy. We're all thumbs up on therapy. But some theorists think that therapy is a placebo. Oh, and so, like, what do they mean by that? I think some it's certainly not all psychotherapies would argue that what you're doing as a psychotherapist is you're giving people a strong expectation that things are going to get better. Yeah, they're they're in control. And that is, you know, arguably what the placebo effect is that you think something's going to happen and then, you know, in one way or another through your behavior.
Well, and that's to me what's still on the frontier, which is so exciting, is we don't actually then understand the metaphysical part of imagining your destiny and then arriving there.
There is some very weird bugaboo, good stuff going on with what you think you can do.
And then somehow what's your I bet you've thought about this like the kind of like Napoleon Hill, like, you know, like, say, the future out loud, like, you know, making oil.
Do you think I've found that when my identity was I'm someone who protects people magically. I was in situations all the time where someone needed rescuing. Yeah. And my wife would even tell you I would run into people and I'd run into a guy screaming at a woman at a stoplight.
And I get involved or I get a different story. Yes, I get I yeah, I get in the mix. Right. Dangerous. Yeah. And so. Well thank you. So my wife finally said, you know, this thing you do where you think you're protecting people, the result of it is I feel more dangerous. I feel scared whenever I don't know what you're going to get into and I feel scared. So it's having the opposite outcome, as you think it is.
And then once I said, OK, wow, that's new information and shocking in the opposite outcome, I wanted I said, I can no longer make that a cornerstone, a more interesting and then a low and fucking behold. I don't ever see anything anymore. I haven't had to intervene.
Was, you know, in a way you're not seeing these like victims everywhere. I have confirmation bias. Yeah. You're just not receiving the information to confirm your. Yeah, OK. So confirmation bias and the fact to have that in common, which is like whatever it is that you hypothesize is true, you selectively attend to that. So here's here's what I you know what we're talking about attention. This is why attention is so fascinating. Everybody knows attention is limited.
We're like, oh, I'm paying attention to you. I'm not paying attention, you know, whatever. The clock ticking. The tree outside my window, the clouds in the sky. Yeah, there's a million things I could be paying attention to, but here is the point that I don't think is obvious. Our attention is so selective that it's as if we're seeing like a pinprick of light and everything else is total darkness, because then that makes you think like, you know, if you have the mindset of somebody who's a rescuer, then like your little tiny little penlight, just like, you know, searches reality, which is Vásquez and like looks for all the details that make you.
And then as soon as you're, like, not thinking that, you know, that all goes black and then you're your little penlight on something else and it just makes you realize how subjective and you may be arbitrary, but just how limited human beings are able to really process like the real world.
Yes. And that you are you are constantly in search of confirming your narrative. Right. So are you married? I am married to a guy named Jason. Jason, 20 something years. Yeah.
OK, I got a hunch he's a catch just based on. Yeah, he's really cute actually.
OK, good. Good. Well, I have to imagine that being married so my wife will go through a spell where I'm not helpful.
OK, so that sounds like you go through a spell of just basically not being. Well, I am my own narrative about her, but I'm going to miss her so she'll have a story where I'm not helpful. So naturally, she sees the three times in the day I was not. Yes. Which I am not. I am often not helpful. Yeah. And she'll like zero in on them.
I'm often helpful though. I might even be more helpful than I'm not helpful, but I guarantee she'll miss those eight times. Um help. Because she's not looking to confirm that story about me going around town saying DAX is the most helpful spouse someone could have. So she doesn't need to confirm that.
Do you do the three blessings exercise? No, tell me that.
OK, it also goes by a less religious term, which is the three good things, but you can call it what you want. Here is how it works. You think of three things in your life that you're grateful for and they can be anything like, I'm so glad I've got an amazing life partner. I had a really ripe avocado today and I didn't trip when I was running, but I could have like those are three good things. It's like the most reliable.
They're called these positive psychology exercises because it makes people happy. Yeah. And it does so in a way that's like very sustained. So the reason I bring this up is that, like, if you are starting to be in a bad way with your wife or husband, which I you know, we all do on marriage, it's happened. Right. I think what Monica's is exactly right. Get this conversation because of like there you go again. And like, I hate it when you do, but what this three blessings exercise does is it rests your attention away from the negative, which, by the way, we all have a bias toward negative events like human nature.
You were just talking about survival. We are biased to look at threats and bad things, and it just forces you to look at good things. And so when I get out of bed in the morning, three good things it takes I don't know what, fifteen seconds and it just draws your attention away from the things that could otherwise just ruminate about.
I love that. Try going back to grit.
I just want to hear what's on the questionnaire. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm sorry. This is a compliment to you. You're so interesting about so many different topics that it's hard to say. I'm not surprised you're doing a podcast with Stephen Dubner because you guys both have this ability. You can just talk and talk and talk about one hundred million topic.
I think that's that's our whole you guys have a guest. We just talk to each other. So fun. Yeah.
OK, there's two halves of grit. The passion part is not just feeling intensely about like something that you love, but really what I've identified about the high achiever is that I study is that they have a kind of long view. They stay loyal to the same general direction of interest over years. So the opposite of this would be like passion. That's like, oh yeah, this year I'm going to be a doctor. And then you come back the next year they want to be an architect and then they've decided to become a singer.
But gritty people are like, I am fascinated by human nature. And then you come back in a year and they're still fascinated, like there is something that points them in the same direction. So there's a bunch of questions that are basically about that. So how do you guys rate on that? Like how much of a through line is there to the kinds of things that, you know, you're working on and that you find engaging?
Woman What year are you here in L.A. for? Close to ten. Ten? Yes. Harmonicas stuck with this for ten years and I'm stuck with it for twenty five years. And ten of those years I didn't make one penny as an actor and I just kept doing it with the personal motto of I'd rather fail at this than succeed at something I don't care about, because for you there was like not anything that was like close to it as something that you would really want to do.
Yeah, yeah. Not a quitter. But I will add, I've also been flexible and willing to embrace things. Is that present themselves that are off my trajectory, maybe that example, give me an example, my singular goal is to be Adam Sandler. OK, I want to be a huge movie star.
So you had that actually as an explicit goal for a while? It was for a while and I knew the playbook. And then at a certain point it became very obvious I was not going to reach that goal. That was not going to happen to me. I had many shots at it. Well, I had many shots at it, you know, because you can't be Adam Sandler. You're not Adam Sandler. So that goal was not an achievable goal in the first place.
So, of course, you didn't achieve it that you couldn't achieve, just like you can't be. Danny Kahneman. Those people are their own people. I agree with you. So you couldn't be that you still. But I had to listen to who I was.
If I wasn't Adam Sandler, I guess I had to get on with the new what was the new goal after you were like, oh, I kept the Adam what replaced that writer director, which is still what Adam Sandler is, by the way?
Well, he's not a director and he's not really a writer.
No, but my point is your goal never changed. Your ego changed. But the whole time you were trying to be successful at this show. Velt.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So human goals are hierarchical in that like whenever I say, like, OK, I got myself a cook, like, why do I get myself cook. Well, because I was thirsty like, well why do you need to quench your thirst. It's like, well because you want to be hydrate like it's like hierarchical in that every goal serves another goal until you get to the top when there's like it's an end in itself.
Right. So I guess I wonder, like, these goals that you had, like, I want to be an Adam Sandler. I want to be like a great writer director. Was there a goal above that? Like if I said, why would you say there is no why? It's just an end is or is there something deeper? Like, I want to, like, entertain people, I want to be a great entertainer. Like, is there a more abstract, higher level goal that you could articulate?
Yeah, there was to there was the ego. I want to be recognized in this business as having been very successful. And then there was the experience. So if I'm the director and writer, I get to work with exactly who I want. And I love to collaborate and I love process when I'm with the people I respect and like.
So there was this very real and I'd say earnest and admirable motivation to just work with the people I love, because the experiences so far and the great wouldn't you say that this podcast serves the same goal as like, you know, your ego needs?
Perhaps, you know, I want to work with the people that I want to work with who are really great and fun. I might be forced.
No, no, no, no, you're not. You're right. You're dead on because I am blown away that I get to talk with all these people that I read their books and I'm obsessed with their thoughts. So, yeah, it is the pure part of why I wanted to make movies is almost entirely present in this.
So my theory of really gritty people and when I talk about like passion that extends and time, it's not that like I come back and I'm like, well, if you're not a podcast or in ten years, then you're not gritty. It's more like that higher level abstract goal, which, by the way, I don't find that not everyone has, like, articulated it verbally and like written it down. Sometimes it's like almost unconscious. But there is something that points in the same direction.
And the reason I think that's part of achievement is that, you know, it really does take a lot of quantity and a lot of quality to do anything. And when people change directions over and over again, which a lot of people do in life, is nothing morally wrong with it. But I don't think they they get close to greatness because they keep starting over. Yeah. And the other half as great if Monegasques like about the grand scale, the other half of the questions are about perseverance.
So so once you are pointing the same direction, how hard are you working. Right. Are you resilient. You are. You know, one of the questions, some skills, like I'm a hard worker. Another one is I finish what I begin. I have a bias to completion. Yeah. So I think that probably is true. Both of you.
Well know you know, I was going to say as you were describing that I was like, oh, that's great, because the first part of your questionnaire I think favors me. And then the second part I really think was Monica.
Like your first part also favors me because I have I think that just the goal of personal exploration. Yeah. Big time. Oh, is that your is that your top level goal like.
I think so. And I do think that's a through line and everything I do and everything I've done and also accomplishing challenging things for myself. So like even with cheerleading, like I couldn't do a back tuck and I like pushed and pushed and pushed. That was the sole goal. And then I did that. And so transcending what I thought was a limit. Yeah. Is also a overarching goal, I think, for me.
How confident are you? Like if I interviewed you when you're forty two, that you would be like anywhere close to as successful as these like people that you happen to be riding shotgun with. Like do you think you're going to be like really, really successful.
Um, yeah, I do too. Is on the show. People came in on this show. She had her own show. That has nothing to do with me on our platform. And it's just. As big as the show, so she already did in her show that didn't involve me. What's your show? Well, this is very nice, by the way. It wasn't didn't involve him. It's still under the armchair expert umbrella.
What do you even know? It's called Monica and Just Love Boys.
It has nothing to do with me. They're dating a little. Thank you, but it is under the armchair umbrella. You're on episodes. You produce it, whatever you're being done. But it's all part of the same world. But it was my show with our friend Jess, and it was about our dating lives, but really it was about our vulnerabilities. Yes, we had a relationship experts on this in the past, but is it not? Yeah, it was a 10 episode thing.
We might do another season at some point, but we did like a 10 episode run. It ended like three months ago. Let me just add with the really the fun premise of it is just as fucked. Every single person who's ever looked at and Monica is gay and Monica has never had a boyfriend.
So this is a guy. Yes.
And so you have two you have two people who are not currently where they ideally thought they would be or want to be. And they have opposite versions of why they're in that spot. And then they just earnestly set out to explore why. And as to Burrell comes on and tells again, couldn't have been more of a personal exploration podcast. But yeah, we had all these experts on who we talked about relationships and then they gave us challenges at the end of each episode that we had to complete by the following episodes like reality TV is fantastic, but with elevated like Esther Pareles on and, you know.
Yes, Dr. Drew.
And all these great people who know about everything.
So you think that she'll be successful because she's like she just bought a house across the street from my house.
So I think she yeah. I think she's like, that's what I was what I was going to say.
It's kind of weird question to answer. And this is maybe my own ego and my own arrogance, but I also know my place in their world. Yeah, I know what I've given big time. Like, I sort of had this realization recently when talking to my therapist placebo effect.
And we were talking about I was probably bitching about some work thing.
And she was like, well, you need to remember sometimes because I give them our relationship. As we've said earlier, he's fucking my mom.
It's all very complicated. It's very complicated. The three of us have a very milkshake Blendr relationship. We're all in each other's lives 24/7. And also they have more power than me. They're my employers. And I'm talking to my therapist about this. And she was like, but you need to remember that you're an incredibly capable person who would be successful at anything you did. You've given them your career. You could give anyone your career. Yes, right.
In other words, you do have power. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Like you're offering something to you. Forget that she's not exaggerating. And I don't say this lightly. She and I would have both been canceled for much different reasons without Monica in the mix.
That's for real. Monica. Yes. Yes. She's a super ego. Big, big time. I'm the head of the family. Kristen's kind of in the middle. Yeah, yeah, yeah. She could be the ego. And it's a it's a good thing. Right in the future.
Thank you for the free session. I know by the nonclinical I'm like just asking as a researcher.
Stay tuned for more armchair expert if you dare.
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Recognizing the components of it, I do want you to tell me, and I know it's very nebulous, how we induce grit into our kids. So I always think, God, I almost hope one of my kids is dyslexic because I feel like that ended up being the greatest thing that ever happened to me in many ways. Do you ever step back even another 20 thousand feet up and say, what the fuck is success and who gives a shit and why am I even trying to figure out the things that could result in it?
And is it even worth pursuing? And is it just a product of capitalism? Are we so brainwashed by our society that we think success is worth sacrificing for? I would say fullfillment is a great goal.
Fulfillment is a great goal. And I don't think achievement is synonymous with fulfillment. But but I think it's part of it, right? Yeah, I think human beings are all ambitious. You know, when I was growing up, I thought, like, I don't know, maybe like five percent of people are ambitious and like. Ninety five percent are. I think everyone's ambitious. I think the drive to do something with your very short time on this planet is is universal.
So I'm not like backing off on, you know, trying to study human achievement, reverse engineer it and help people become more successful. But it's not the same thing as fulfillment because fulfillment is more than that. So I think there's two other things that are different from achieving your goals, and they're very important. And honestly, I'm just going to say, like, I hope for my own kids and myself that why not try to do all three?
So, yeah, probably the most important thing is relationships. I think when people are really unhappy, it's almost always because they are lonely or they don't feel like they belong. And even Mazzello, when he wrote about the hierarchy of needs, said that, you know, to some extent this hierarchy is and by the way, he never used a triangle is like just an interpretation.
So it's like, you know, that we have multiple needs. And he even said, for many of us, like, you know, we would rather have love than something to eat. So anyway, I think we have a social relationship needs like interpersonal needs. I would call those like, you know, we need strength of heart to, like, fulfill that part of our selves. The second thing is that's different from that. And it's also not the same thing as achieving goals.
There's a three part checklist. I said achieving goals is important, but also relationships. And third thing is, I think like imagination and creativity, basically the life of the mind. I think for a lot of us, it's like feeling like you have control over, like what you think about and you have choice in life, like you have autonomy. If I have these two teenage girls who grow up and they are achieving goals. Yeah, but but they're also like in really positive relationships, like with other people and also like society, which they have an obligation to help make better.
And then they have like real autonomy and like an imagination and like they're intellectually open minded. That's really what I think driving is. And that's why all parents, I hope, don't just think about grit and like, delayed gratification because, like, that's only one part and probably the least important part of thriving well.
But I would argue that grit is also required in self exploration, in pursuing emotional goals and in pursuing spiritual relationships.
I mean, yeah, people give up on relationships really easy. People give up on themselves really easy. They set New Year's resolutions and then two months later, they don't think they can do it. You know, so grit, I do think, can apply to the other areas of our life that have nothing to do with capitalism.
Yeah, no, that's that's true. And I think there are these kids who grow up and maybe you feel this way about like the people that you really like to collaborate with, including Monica, like they are all of those things that I just described, it's like they're getting stuff done, but they're such great people and they like, you know, they're honest. They like really empathic people, but they're also creative and imaginative and open minded. And I don't think it's a coincidence that in my data I find that these things are really correlated, because I think when you are raised in a challenging but supportive family and society, honestly, these things are weaving together, braiding together, reinforcing each other.
And that's what I think parents are looking for. And by the way, the opposite is also possible when kids are not in a supportive and challenging circumstance. You can have the development of none of those things.
Is there any quick tips for grit?
I think you should be a role model. I mean, unintentional role model, for example, like a lot of us are talking about race in this country. If you say one thing at the dinner table about race and your kids watch, you interact with people of other races and like they see another value system, like, you know, you say one thing to another. So when I say like you should be an intentional role model is I think you should be reflective and you should just understand that you're modeling.
I think understanding that, like your kids are watching you all the time is right.
If they see you give up on every diet, they see you give up on household chores. If they see you going to work, if they see all these things, they they know. They know.
And when I wrote. Ritt, like my kids were younger and they saw me cry a lot. Well, I mean, they saw me say that I was going to give up and, like, go to bed. But when they woke up the next morning, Mommy was at the computer trying to write her book again. And I think that was really important. So they saw the perfection, they saw vulnerability, but they also saw like, oh, she got back up again.
I guess that's how it works. So, yeah, the quick tip is modeling. I mean, really, those that like so be a role model of all the things you want. You want them to be kind because you want them to be forgiving, be forgiving, wanting to be greedy, be greedy. But the supportive and demanding thing looks like this, especially for kids like yours who have, you know, parents who are privileged. Right?
Yeah, like, OK, so you're probably very supportive, is my guess. You're warm, you respect their opinion, you know, you provide for them. But the demanding part is and I think this is hard for all parents, but sometimes it's very hard for parents of privilege. They have to be asked to do things that they can't yet do. It's like if you raise a kid who's never asked to do things that they can't yet do, then they will never grow.
And so I think that is a challenge for a lot of connected, able parents.
You're right. A lot of us think like somehow through osmosis, us preparing their meal every single time they're hungry, that they're going to somehow magically know how to prepare their meal. It's like, well, why would they do that?
Why would they do? Yeah, I don't believe in telling your your kids they're great. I believe in providing opportunities that they can they can discover they're great.
They can discover it. Right. Yeah. OK, as they get older I would just recommend outsourcing as I get older. Tell me that. I think that. Well it's just that I think that like being the person to be like structuring things for them to do that are always challenging, like, you know, just beyond, just beyond, like just an inch beyond. What they can do is like what great coaches do, like if they sign up for a team, you know, if they do like some other activity in school, like a great teacher.
But I think it's very hard. I was not very good at this, so I just outsourced it like, you know, I was like just took my daughter to ballet class. Right. And right. That's why parents sign up kids for all these activities. It's like you're outsourcing supportive but demanding adult relationships.
Well, yes. Oh, my God. So this couldn't be more in what's going on currently. Right. So we just found out LAUSD is shut down for fall, remote for the fall, right?
Yes. And we just did two months of Zoome. OK, I am. Yeah, I'm a zero at it. Like out of ten I'm a zero and my wife is infinitely better at it than me, but she's a six at best. Right. So I said, look man, we have the resources.
I'm going to hire a teacher to do this this year. Yes.
That is a great idea. Right?
I'm like because they don't listen to us. No, they're never going to it's going to hurt them. It hurts us. And we're in a position to do it. So why wouldn't we just get a fucking professional in the mix?
Yeah, I would say, like get a professional if you can. And here's an idea. There are a lot of college students who are not thrilled that they, too, are supposed to be in agreement. And honestly, I think they are, you know you know, when you are nineteen and you're with like a six year old or seven year old, I think they're sometimes so much better at it. They're like, you'll be fine, you know, like what it's like now you're having a tantrum.
You know, you'll be like they're just better.
None of my kid's failures are running through their identity filter were their failure is an extension of my your failure to your ego.
There's too much at stake in the problem for you.
That's why I say to outsource it. And I do think outsourcing the education of your young daughters to like a gap year college student like you, take that suggestion back and you guys can do so. But I think it I, I think it's a pretty good one.
I like you. What is the name of your new podcast or is it even new, its newest. No stupid questions and everyone loved Dubner. So put you two together. I can't imagine why anyone would not go.
I he's a great guy. He's mostly why I'm doing it. I'm like, OK, I'll talk to you every week. That sounds good.
Yeah. So it's once a week.
Apparently I was like, oh, when does the season end? And he was like, what do you mean? I was like, well you know, like podcast coming seasons.
Right? He was like, no, this is a weekly podcast.
I literally didn't know that very recently, but now I know. All right. Well, we're in love with you and we're going to talk to you again. Thank you. It's been a pleasure. And I will see you soon.
OK? OK, thanks. Bye bye.
And now my favorite part of the show, the fact check with my soul mate Monica Padman. Welcome, welcome, welcome back to the Fact Check. Hi, how are you doing, Ray? I just had a mocha and you had it like half a match.
So let's be honest. And you've been having half of matches since we got here at 10:00 a.m. and it's two, 13 now. I'm past.
I can't drink anymore. No, I can't, because now it's too close to the evening.
I love what a little caffeine lightweight you are. Yeah. I mean, I can't drink any caffeine except moccia. And even still, sometimes it's too much.
It's just too much. Yeah. Yeah.
I get to go bonkers. But as I was saying and this is an update. Oh good. I've been on these antidepressants for almost a month now, at least three weeks, and I think they're doing a lot of things I want them to do. Yeah, I feel much less irritable, I'd say. I mean, it's dangerous to say. You notice that. Yeah, that's not to say I thought you were irritable.
Well, I was. I knew I was. I could tell that something was wrong because of that, because I was like a things that wouldn't normally bother me this much. Ah. And it's hard for me to know, which I think maybe a lot of people might have this issue. I don't know. But, you know, I have a lot of it. Yeah.
And I have a lot of thoughts on things. And I, I'm kind of high strung.
Yeah. And I think when you're depressed, like obsessive thoughts.
Yeah. But see, it's it's hard for me to know when it's extra or when it's just me, because that's my personality as well.
That's right. That can't go away with a pill and I don't want it.
Of course not. But I want the excess to go away. And it took me a long time to realize there was excess and it wasn't just my regular personality. Right. I have noticed that that that edge is just rounded a tiny bit. Yeah. And that's really all I wanted. Last week I was sad about something. And for a second I was like, oh, they're not working.
And then I was like, no, I'm still going to be sad if things are making me sad and I should be sad if something's making me sad. So that's actually a good sign. Yeah, I'm able to feel things as they really are. Yeah. The goals not being emotionless. No. Yeah, I don't want that now anyway. So point is, I think they're doing a lot of good and and I'm excited also. I have zero energy.
Right, right. Right. I'm very, very little energy. I'm really tired and so I've been increasing my moccia uptake.
Well welcome to my world. It's just a bunch of like any non-narcotic up or I can be on any non-narcotic depressant. I just regulate it.
It's fine if it is an Cristen. Just read the new Michael Pollan. I want to read me too.
I don't know if it's a book so much as like a long essay or something because it's two hours audio, but it's like on caffeine and basically all these doctors who are sleep study doctors do not intake caffeine. And I was like, oh, I feel good. I'm not someone who has to struggle with that or has to think like, oh, should I get off of it?
But now I kind of am.
Well, it'll be an easy getting off of it. You've had a half cup of March and six hours.
I know, but I need energy anyway, so that's sort of my update. It's a positive update. I think it is, yeah.
What other updates. What do you have any updates. No updates.
Updates. Updates. Well, my son's leaving today. Yeah.
So Aaron Weekly will be talked about before is in town now. People don't get too mad at us because he drove. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah he drove.
Well he got a test he and his, the four children he brought all got tests before they left and they didn't interact with anyone then they were in our pod and they didn't leave our house. And now they're returning back to Michigan and they drove from Michigan.
God bless them. I don't know how is four kids?
Yeah, eight, nine, thirteen and thirteen. Oh, what a saint. Yeah. And he said it was it went swimmingly also. I got him on Mondays, which I said now. That's right. He's fucking loving those. We are watching a succession outside last night.
Yeah. And he was laying on his belly and he itches butthole. I could see him but I don't want to see his whole but pretty close to his butthole guy and he goes, I even like how it feels when I itch myself in these underwear.
I was like, yeah, because you're feeling that microtonal squish around. That's right. Three times softer than cocks. Oh yeah. And he could feel it on that scratch. Oh, I love Amanda.
You know, I see them every night.
Yeah. Oh you say you took the bed in the drawer the other night in the a nude sleep.
Yeah. Yeah. Sometimes I do a nude sleep when I do that. Weirdly enough I did it last night.
OK, because, because Aaron's in town, our kids are sleeping at the foot of our bed on a little pad and then so Kristen was asleep. The two kids are asleep and I thought just. Crossing to my closet was going to be too disruptive to get my boxer shorts because I wear undies all day, but then I sleep in boxer shorts, er my ball sack out, OK. And I thought, well, I'm not going to do that.
I'll just sleep nuti. Right. But the problem is it can be distracting. Like when I roll over on my side now I might have like nuts between my thighs or penis between my thighs and then I've got to pull it all out from between my thighs. And so I just run the risk of waking myself up by Belvedere, eating myself, basically.
Sure, sure, sure.
I don't run into that problem right where those boobs around wake you up, you get hit in the face with one.
Oh my God. Oh my God. Mine are not so loose that they're getting me. Well, OK. There'd be nothing wrong if them if they were there'd be absolutely no. Hangers are beautiful too. Everything's beautiful. But mine are a different kind of beautiful mine. Mine are not the kind that are hitting me in the face though. You are like your arm wrestling. You are smushing with it sometimes. I don't like it because I'm like, what if I am like stretching them out or something?
Yeah, you want to preserve their buoyancy, but that doesn't really make any sense.
I don't sleep in a bra. The shirt isn't doing it. Oh God, no. No structural support there. So it's a mental game really.
Yeah. Yeah. I do not worry about my penis becoming saggy or my balls when I sleep in the wrong or in a box or panty.
Yeah but women are. Ah yeah. You know they're evaluated.
But yet another thing that is not fair, it is not what's really not fair, if I can say it, is that the reward for making their body a filling station for a human.
Yes. Is that it changes your boobs forever. That's right.
It feels uniquely mean from Mother Nature, like you should be rewarded with bigger, fluffier tits if that's what you're in the market for, whatever you're in the market for, that's what you should have after breastfeeding to kids.
You should have what do you want right after you have the baby? I totally agree. But you know what? This is interesting. I wonder if this is well, it's obviously physical. They're draining fluid out of your breast. Yeah, but evolutionarily, maybe because remember, we had David Sinclair on and he was saying evolutionarily it's very hard to give birth and so it's hard on the woman's body. Yeah, our heads are too big. Right.
Obviously, in history, many women died in childbirth. So that's partially why there's a shorter range of time a woman can use eggs.
Yeah, like it would probably it could literally break an 80 year old's hip. Exactly.
To back through there. Yeah. So I wonder if the boob Zagunis has to do with they want you to retire them.
Yeah. Or incentivizing getting more pregnant again because you get pregnant and even if your boobs got saggy after the first one, you get pregnant and they get big and plump again. And so maybe you desire your boobs to be big and plump. I'm going too far now.
Yeah, it's possible. One time on Oprah, like I must have been ten and I've never forgotten this. It was an episode on like bras or something. She was talking about sagging as she said that if you put a pencil o under your boob and it stays.
Yeah, that's a bummer.
I don't know. That's a very high bar.
It's an incredibly high bar. This was probably the year 2000.
Things have changed. OK, yeah. But I have never forgotten that and I do sometimes do it. You do. Yeah. And does it hold a pencil. It must.
I haven't done it recently but it wasn't holding a pencil.
Thank you. It has been a bit. Maybe I'll try it tonight. How about a beer can. That's a fair measurement of your boob. Can hang, can hold a full unopened beer can then.
Yeah the bodies are beautiful, especially the ones that are, that are a milk station. Yeah. A fueling station. Your story about being nude, you started it by saying the girls are at the foot of your bed. So it started off weird.
Can I just say that started off like so I decided to be nude because the girls were in my room there at the foot of my bed. So I decided to be nude. Man before that I sleep nude.
Yeah, that that was weird. Yeah. So don't sweat it out or explain there on a padded floor. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I didn't want to wake them up also they see me naked all the time.
And what age do you think you're going to stop that. I think a lot of parents wonder about this.
I wonder about it. You know, I guess for me it's like they're not sexual beings yet. That's just those hormones haven't come yet.
I don't know. Well, because I know when I thought, oh, I can tell you, like when I was a kid, my brother would watch this one porno my dad had into me. It looked like a homicide.
But that's you. And that's boys and girls are. Give me one second. OK. I don't know, I would argue little boys are horny or no, I don't know the point. I'll just tell my own story. It look like a homicide. It looks like a homicide for a couple of years. Then I clearly remember I was walking down the stairs and I saw that same porno. I was like, hmm, that looks kind of interesting.
And I didn't do anything other than I got new hormones. Right.
You know what I'm saying? Yeah. So I guess I feel like once the girls are starting to have like hormones and having sexual thoughts, they will not want to see me naked. Yeah, maybe because I didn't think about seeing my mom naked until I started having weird feelings.
And then I was like, oh, I don't want to see that. I now know the utility of that whole setup. Sure. Then I don't want to be recognizing that my mother has those parts, but there's probably stages.
Right. Let's start from one thing. Humans for one hundred thousand years didn't have clothes. Yeah. So there's there's nothing natural about being clothed around your children as an animal on planet Earth.
So I have to start by just saying we are designed to be nude around each other.
Sure. Yeah. So we live in an age where there are clothes.
So to me it's like whenever they are uncomfortable about the fact that I'm naked, you also see these European family. So you go to a park in Germany, the whole goddamn family's naked in Jersey, in the park. And I'm like, it's cultural, whatever are weird. Again, I do not want to see my mom naked. And yet if I had grown up in Germany or France, I probably wouldn't give a shit. So it has to be cultural.
Sure. But I've seen in your children that they they have flirtations, that there are boys, that they are kind of in that.
Oh, yeah. Oh yeah. And so I do think there is something happening in them now. I don't think they're putting together penis.
That's what I'm saying. Yes. They think I have like like I'm an elephant and I have another device to breathe from or something. It doesn't they're not that it's not a sexual organ to them. Yeah. Right, right, right.
It's just an appendage that is goofy looking.
Yeah. Coming off my body and they don't understand why there's hair around it. Yeah. It, the whole thing is just a goofy mystery to sure. Sure, sure. But I'm saying as far as hormones and stuff and stuff happening, it is happening, it just they haven't put the pieces together literally and physically.
That's what I'm saying is I think once they realize that that thing will get hard and be used for Coyte is yeah, it's time to put a robot. Yeah. Yeah, that's fair. I guess you're right. You can kind of let them dictate. Dictate. OK, Angela Duckworth.
Oh Angela. Boy did I like her. Yeah. She was wonderful. We were saying after the fact she has this podcast with Stephen Dubner, who we love from Freakonomics, and we were saying what a fun podcast that must be because they just have so many thoughts in their head. Yeah. And but this episode and our episode with Stephen were so meandering in a fun way. Yeah. Covered so many different things. Their podcast must just be all that and I bet it's great.
Cannot wait to listen to it. Same so she said Outliers is an outlier best seller list collective. Five years. Two hundred and seventy weeks. OK, so published in 2008, Outliers debuted at number one on the best seller list for the New York Times in the U.S. and the Globe and Mail in Canada. OK, it came out on November 18th.
It was on the best seller list the next week, November twenty eighth, holding the position for eleven consecutive weeks between 2011 when the paperback version was released in February 2017. The book made The New York Times best seller list for paperback nonfiction. Two hundred and thirty two times.
Holy smokes. How much money do you think he's made off of this? I hope a lot. Me too. He deserves it. Yeah, he's so dang special. Yeah, we love him.
OK, so first generation, you were very adamant that you knew. Yep. And let me tell you, you don't because there's really very little consensus. Like most people say. It's very willy nilly. Uh huh. So here's what I found. OK, the term first generation immigrant refers to an immigrant, a foreign born resident who has relocated and become a citizen or permanent resident in a new country. OK, we could guess that. That's that.
Yeah, there are two possible meanings of the adjective first generation. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, first generation can refer to a person born in the U.S. to immigrant parents or a naturalized American citizen. Both types of people are considered to be U.S. citizens. The US government generally accepts a definition that the first member of a family to acquire citizenship or permanent resident status qualifies as the family's first generation. But the Census Bureau defines only foreign born individuals as first generation.
Birth in the United States is therefore not a requirement, as first generation immigrants may be either foreign born residents or U.S. born children of immigrants, depending on who you ask. Some sociologists insist that a person can. Not be a first generation immigrant unless they were born in the country of relocation, but this is still debated, so there's a lot of a message.
Yeah, we just don't really know or you don't know. So we can just decide for ourselves. Sounds like what everyone's doing is deciding for themselves.
I think I stand by that. I'll tell you why.
Just if we look at the words first generation mom, a generation has to start at birth. But why again, like, what about my mom?
What if someone we want to get this right. If someone emigrated from India at 70 years old, would you call them first generation American if they became naturalized? No, because.
Well, and then they had kids after that. Forget that. No, if we if we can call someone first generation for just being naturalized. I thought that's what you just read then as 80 year old person that moves here from India becomes naturalized and then everyone go like the other first generation. I would say no.
Well, no. But you're only saying first generation in relationship to your family. You're saying like I'm first generation, which means I was first in my family.
So you wouldn't say first generation if it was someone who I'd say it's it makes sense to me that it's the first generation born here.
Let's say somebody was born in Germany because there was or Julia Louis-Dreyfus and she wasn't born here. Right. Or I can't remember.
But she that that could be anyone who's, let's say, born in Paris. And then a year later, their family moves and they grow up here.
That's harder. What the see why?
Because they're so young that they represent a generation. But my mom was six.
I fully concede that your mother is like some mix that doesn't fit the definition all that well because she was so little when she came here. Right. So you're saying that's why you give her five. You're saying born here?
Yeah. I think the first generation to be born here is who should be called first generation.
OK, so the Paris example wouldn't be correct. OK, ok. Oh, all right. The ethnic diversity of Lincoln School.
Oh, all right. So I already talked about this with Kristen. And and this is ripe for a debate between you and I because you're about to get data on the whole school.
Yep. Not her classroom. Yeah, of course, we were talking about the school. No, I was talking about that my daughter's in a class with predominantly first generation Asian kids. No, no.
Yes, that's my whole point, is that I was looking at her her writing and seeing that she's at the bottom was part of the conversation.
But the beginning of the conversation was about low income. We were talking about the ethnicity based on that member, because I said that doesn't really make any sense because a lot of Asians are affluent. So this doesn't add up. And then she was like, no, but there can be poor Asians. That was that was definitely one part of the conversation. But the part where I'm I made claims about how many Asian kids were in the class was about the fact that my daughter could probably never be in the top 10 percent of her class because the majority of the students in her class are first generation Asians.
Now, are you saying class as in kindergarten? Yeah. And not even just or is not even really her classroom, literally her classroom, because I was looking at a wall with her writing next to all these others.
And then I looked at a chart with gold stars and saw that she was yeah. Well tied with the boys. So I was only making a claim about her class.
OK, I mean, well, I will go back and listen to this that.
Do you understand the logic of what I'm saying, though? It wouldn't make sense for me to say that she's competing with fourth grade, fifth grade or first grade, second grade, third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade students. She's not even competing with her in other grades. The only thing that's relevant to the point I was making, those who's in her class, I was saying that was secondary, that that was a secondary thing you were talking about.
We were talking about the breakdown of charter schools that just happened to be something you said about. Yeah.
And then but you're about to read the percentage of Asians adds. I don't want to say the name of her school at her school.
Yeah, I am.
And I'm just saying that that's not necessarily what the percentage in her classroom is.
Sure. OK, right.
But you were saying that the breakdown of the school is mostly ethnic.
And then you were saying I said the whole school is like 70 percent reduced lunch or something.
And yeah. Yeah, you did.
Regardless of what I said, you're probably right. I don't know what I'm telling you right now is the point I was trying to make is that in her class, she was not in the top 10 percent, nor do I think she could get in the top 10 percent because I think that the her class was majority first generation Asian.
Yeah, that's the point. I'm currently I just want to be clear about. That's what the point I'm trying to make.
OK, so her school is 20 percent Asian, six percent black, one percent Filipino. Thirty three percent Hispanic, 40 percent white guy.
Why are they not counting Filipino is Asian. Wow. That's why did they break up just the Philippines?
Well, I think it's better to be breaking it down to more specifics.
You sure. But let's just say it said the school was 20 percent Asian, 30 percent Chinese, 20 percent white.
It's just weird to break out Filipino, Filipino, one percent Hispanic, Latino. Thirty three percent white, 40 percent multiple, other zero percent English. I'm glad there's no others there.
Well, no, that includes this is in parentheses includes American Indian, Alaska, native and Native Hawaiian, other Pacific.
It's as American Indian it does. Oh, English learners. Eighteen percent special education, eight percent free reduced lunch. Forty three percent.
Oh that's much lower than I thought. I mean it's almost fifty percent. That's great.
Yeah but I said seventy so I was way off.
I'd like to get that number up to fifty. It's almost fifty which is good. That's good. Yeah.
Well the premise of the schools have haves and have nots. Yeah I like that. Yeah I'd love it. I love it. I love it. It's like it's so beneficial for both people. It is. It absolutely is. That's what we're trying to go for.
Yes we are. Um as I say, Asian and Filipinos, not Asian. We learn that today about its own category. They're just going slow.
But what they're going to do is eventually have each ethnicity represented or starting with Filipino.
Yeah, great. It's a baby step. I know. You know, you don't like that I classify myself as Asian. Fucking hate it.
OK, but from the subcontinent and not from Asia, you're from a subcontinent.
In this case, I'm Asian. I reject that. And it's why I backed up against this with you, because every test I've ever taken my whole life, I have to check the Asian box.
That's bullshit. Under other I would have written subcontinent. Well, yeah, I didn't do that because Mickey Mouse technically.
Or rather Mickey Mouse.
Minnie Mouse. Yeah. You know, every single election, I forget how many Mickey Mouse votes there are, but there's always like thousands of people write in Mickey Mouse. It's been a tradition for well fifty seven years.
But you'd be writing other but then writing Minnie Mouse. So like it'd be playing on that joke.
And also your idea of. He has been in shambles. That's right, although I'm not doing that, I will be voting for a president. You're not going to write Mickey Mickey Mouse? I don't. You could in California. I'm not risking it. You guys, this is too important. Oh, I know.
I'm just saying California will be a high 70 percent blue, as it always is.
Yeah, but I'm at risk. Yeah. Don't risk it. And I would feel horrible about myself going into that.
I think it's cool if you voted for yourself miniature mouse. Oh, no, no. I'd love to have you as the president.
The stakes are high. You know, you would you would be such a great president, but you would kill yourself as the president. You'd probably die like two and a half years and heart attack.
Yeah. Just you would try to take on everything. Oh, I would you want in delegate.
I'm the secretary of all the things. Yes. So for the first time, I'm the president and Treasury, Defense Secretary or secretaries.
I'm also my secretary, my own secretary. There's virtually nobody at the White House except for me in the special services.
How else will I know if everything's going right? I know. I know. You know, I know if you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself, including the secretary of state.
OK, anyhow, I'm Asian and OK. So she said she thought for the Marshall Scholarship you had to have like a three point eight and you have to have a three point seven minimum GPA. OK, yeah, pretty high. It's high. And that is, by the way, college. Yeah, not high school. I don't care about high school doesn't mean anything. You don't care about it because I sucked at it.
That's right. I mean, you did well in college. That's right. Oh. You OK, Frank Rourke, let me ask you this, though.
Yeah. Just it's a binary question. Would you have rather been great in high school, regretting college academically?
Let's put it this way, I feel much better saying I graduated college with a three eight in high school with the two point or whatever the hell it was, then vice versa.
If I said to people, oh, yeah, I went to college, I got a graduate with a one point nine. Of course. Yeah.
But here's the thing. Here's the rub. Here is the thing which we talk about a lot in this episode is the reason I actually don't give college is as much credit. And I can say that as a summa cum Marty.
OK, don't pull rank.
Oh, I'm going to this is all tying in. I was doing something I loved. I was also doing something I didn't love, to be honest. I had an extra major that I didn't love. But when you're doing something you love, as you said, you're much more inclined to do well, yeah, pay attention to care.
But but but there is a little caveat in that, which is I actually took all the same stuff I took in high school, but I chose to. And literally for me it was the simple act of getting to decide because I still like I ended up loving history. I didn't love history in high school. And, you know, I ended up taking all these geography classes I found super fascinating. None of that's of interest to me in high school.
But I had autonomy over the process, ownership, really. And I think you find this in employees like when you give employees ownership over the outcome there a million times more invested, as was I.
That's true. But you probably didn't take the maybe you did. I'm not. You can tell me, but you probably didn't take the class in college that you were the absolute worst dad in high school that you hated and that you were no good at.
I did not take chemistry. That's what I was about. College. Yeah, I did it. Yeah, I did it. But additionally, I didn't like English in high school and I loved my English classes in college.
I mean, first and foremost, you're around people who want to be there and in high school, half the people there don't want to be there. Maybe more half of them aren't going on to college.
So just you're surrounded by people that all want to be there, that has some lifting effect.
One hundred percent more to my case that I don't actually give that much credit to your GPA in college. I, I think if you fail out of college, that probably means like, OK, something happened there.
But if you just have a really high GPA, I'm like, yeah, if you cared, you did.
Right. You would not suggest that the coursework at high school is as hard as the coursework at college, would you.
But like I struggled more probably in high school. Like there were classes like chemistry. Yeah. I was just not good at and I had to work hard to be at the level that I wanted to be at.
And in college, I'm like, I'm just not taking chemistry because I'm not good at that.
Yeah, I had three term papers for every second class.
So if I had four classes, which I always had, I had 12 term papers in three months and that was extraordinary. You know, like when I look at my binder from college that I kept all my papers. It's a Bible. It's an encyclopedia. Yeah. And I just I had to write three papers in high school.
I know, but you like writing.
Says you said you love writing. I don't know that I love writing research paper. No one does but citations and bibliography. No, I'm not doing any of that either. But I'm more likely to enjoy a class where there's writing over chemistry. Yeah, me too.
Even if I don't love the thing I'm writing about, I'm going to be better at that than I am.
It's really weird too, because the hardest classes I ever took in my life was in college and it was Spanish entry level Spanish, so much Spanish because my theater degree required it and I was also bad at it.
Yeah, I use all U.S. schools require that you test into like two years of Spanish or something, or you got to take two years of whatever it is.
And you know, I tried it at three different schools before I found when I could I could pass it at. Oh. So to me that was even worse than chemistry. I was just like, I can.
My brain doesn't work that way either.
I had to take four because of theater and I was just like, this is I took German in high school and it wasn't hard. Is Spanish in college because I didn't have sasy, failed to copy every single homework and test off of. So she got me through German in high school, Caleigh and my friend Robbie would cheat in Spanish classes.
I would always cover my paper, not let them cheat off me.
Oh my gosh. Wow. Yeah, OK.
They were goofing off and then cheating.
The only time I ever cheated in my life in college was in my Spanish final for the second term.
And what I did is computers. Relatively new at that time, and I just made the font like two, and I printed out this huge thing that fit in the palm of my hand that's so dangerous.
I had to I was not going to pass and I was not going to get into UCLA.
And I just I had to do it. And I was like, I can't believe I'm about to cheat in college, but I have to.
And I did. Wow. And it worked. It worked and worked. OK, so. Well, one of my facts got erased, but that's fine. It was about Howard Roark and Frank Lloyd Wright. Yes. It seems that parts of Howard work were based on Frank Lloyd Wright. That's what I saw. Yeah.
So they're not saying the whole thing obviously is by no means a biography of him. But he was the archetype. I think she was crazy.
Yeah. Yeah. Adam Smith, she was saying a thousand people dead far away is better than losing your bets on the wealth of Nations.
It's not actually a different in no way is that Adam Smith. OK, but it is from his book Before Wealth of Nations The Theory of Moral Sentiments.
Mm. If he was to lose his little finger tomorrow, he would not sleep tonight.
But provided he never saw them, he will snore with the most profound security over the ruin of a hundred million of his brethren. And the destruction of that immense multitudes seems plainly an object less interesting to him than this paltry misfortune of his own.
That's not that astute of an observation. I mean, he certainly said it, but it's not that it's not that profound.
Back then, no one thought that. I don't know.
No one it doesn't seem like a real breakthrough and think, OK, yeah, he's observed that humans are selfish, you know, and he put it in an extreme scenario. Wow, you're not happy? I'm jealous of Adam Smith. I can tell. Yeah, that's all. That's all. Yeah, well, that was nice and I love her love Duckworth. Don't be Danny Kahneman.
Be Duckworth. That's right. That's the lesson to take.
So good lessie. Love you. Bye.