Yesterday I began training for the Portland Marathon — I joined a local group for a slow four-mile run. Not a bad start. Now I have just six more months of training before I’m ready! (My friend Leo at Zen Habits recently completed his second marathon. Go Leo!)
You guys have been sending me a lot of links lately, more than I can ever hope to share. Here are some of the best:
Ramit at I Will Teach You to Be Rich sent me an essay from Kevin Kelly that I somehow missed earlier this year. “The internet is a copy machine,” Kelly writes. “The previous round of wealth in this economy was built on selling precious copies, so the free flow of free copies tends to undermine the established order…When copies are free, you need to sell things which can not be copied.” In order for users to pay for what they might otherwise get for nothing, what you offer has to be better than free. This is a great essay.
SB sent me a story about frugality from CNN. “Frugal living is more about priorities than about sacrifice,” the article says. The piece features interviews with two real families about the tactics they use to save money every day.
The current issue of The New Yorker has an interesting article from James Surowiecki that posits that, ironically, stricter bankruptcy laws may eventually lead to more bankruptcies. Surowiecki notes that while big businesses in financial trouble are getting government bail-outs, consumers in financial are not. I cannot vouch for the veracity of this piece — remember, I don’t know much about national economics — it contains some interesting ideas.
Multiple readers sent me a New York Times story about willpower and the brain. Reader Whitney F. summarized the piece nicely: “The brain has a limited amount of willpower, so if you are using a lot of it (say, to stay on a strict diet), you have less of it for other areas (say, to stay on a strict budget).” I have been saying this for years. Seriously. I’ve always told Kris that I can control two out of three — diet, finances, cleanliness — but that I can’t control all three at the same time. (But I’m trying!)
Finally, the Mighty Bargain Hunter recently shared eleven ways to ease your commute. Some of this is common sense, but a few of the options are great. When I was commuting half an hour each way, audiobooks helped to pass the time. And Kris works four ten-hour days instead of the traditional five eights. Little things like this can make a big difference.
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This article is about Spare Change