Podcast #136 with Drew Birnie of Mark Manson


Episode 136


In Episode #136 Ari spends time speaking with Drew Birnie, Content Manager for Mark Manson. During their conversation, Drew and Ari cover what’s wrong in the science-media relationship and why a data-driven approach to self-improvement is the best way to bring about measurable results.

Special Announcements:

Less Doing Does Europe!

Watch Ari bring the lessons of Less Doing to some of Europe’s most famous cities including Barcelona, Munich, Amsterdam and Budapest for the 2015 European Growth Summit. Ari will be joined by fellow masters of entrepreneurship Steve Martin, Director of Influence at Work in the UK, and Verne Harnish, founder and CEO of Gazelles.

EO Vancouver

On June 18th, join Ari at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel in b-e-a-utiful Vancouver, B.C. as he takes the microphone for EO Vancouver. Enjoy this unique opportunity to watch Ari candidly discuss life as an Author, Speaker, Teacher and – most importantly – Achievement Architect.

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Mastermind Talks

Looking for an opportunity to see Ari speak live somewhere on the west coast?—Look no further! On April 29th and 30th, Ari will be featured at the Mastermind Talks event in Napa, California. To learn more about this opportunity to watch Ari “Optimize, Outsource and Automate” in wine country, click here.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

16:24 – Introduction of Drew Bernie, Content Manager of Mark Manson 16:40 – What Drew’s role is and what MarkManson.net is all about 16:55 – A data-driven approach to the human condition, slanted towards self-development 18:45 – Evaluating good science from bad science is no easy task 19:15 – It starts with looking at Research Methods 20:15 – In the social sciences, a lot of creativity is required to build a solid control group 22:00 – It’s really hard to trick someone into thinking they’re getting neuro-feedback when they’re actually not 24:00 – Sometimes it’s not even about having a good control group—it’s about not having a terrible one 26:20 – Defining why double-blind research is best—unconscious bias 28:10 – How are there so many poorly conducted studies and why does the media give them so much attention? 28:38 – There’s a lot of pressure in Academia to publish and publish high-profile studies 29:09 – People look to science for some modicum of certainty and, quite frankly, it can’t always provide that—science isn’t always black and white 31:00 – How Drew keeps his biases out of his work 31:05 – Awareness 31:24 – Refusing to be “certain” about anything 33:26 – Drew designed his own studies at the University of Nebraska and Iowa 34:05 – Drew has a particular affinity for articles on Nootropics and addiction 35:20 – Carol Dweck and Robert Cialdini are two of Drew’s favorite researchers in the way of mindset, persuasion and influence 37:15 – Drew’s Top 3 Tips to Be More Effective: 37:30 – Suspend beliefs and just have ideas—Be OK with uncertainty 37:52 – Do not be afraid to be wrong—It is way more efficient to be wrong 39:12 – It’s OK to not always be happy 40:45 – MarkManson.net and @DrewBirnie

7 Key Points:

There is a distinct difference between good science and bad science yet they’re commonly confused. Evaluating good science from bad starts with evaluating the research methods. To conduct research in the social sciences, capable creativity is needed. Unconscious bias is the most commonly overlooked contaminant of any research project. Science isn’t always black and white, there’s usually a lot of uncertainty. Refuse to be “certain;” actively practice uncertainty. Do not be afraid to be wrong OR unhappy.

Resources Mentioned:

JackPocket – Allows for the purchase of lottery tickets over the smartphone CoeLux – Artificial lighting that recreates the look of sunlight through a skylight ioHawk – Basically a Segway that’s the size of a small skateboard Instant Blood Pressure – An iPhone app that takes blood pressure without a cuff—just put your finger over the lens and the microphone over your chest Optimized Programmer – Dave Rael’s new website Short – An iPhone app that catalogs reading material, specifically short-form for optimal user use Singularity U – Singularity University, a resource for people who want to use technology to meet challenges


Music and Audio Editing provided by Felix Bird Show Notes provided by Mike Rossi