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Jan 31Liked by Sarah Haider

When Breath Becomes Air. One of the best books about death and dying and life and love and family.

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Feb 2Liked by Meghan Daum & Sarah Haider

Dear Meghan and Sarah,

I love your podcasts and was on my way to a dinner when you started talking about 4000 Weeks-- a book I loved and recommend frequently. And then: When Breath Becomes Air, another favorite of mine. Thinking this was so cool, two books in a row; I was delighted. But then you spoke about Ayahuasca. I could have said the same words as you both were stating about your trepidation a few years ago. Yet this: Ayahuasca and Psilocybin done in a safe, professional and supportive environment can bring incredible emotional, spiritual and physical well-being life changes. I know this from personal experience, but there's a lot of research showing this to be the case and no, you don't have to do it over and over. Yes, you can do this safely in the US. Yes you want to have a place that adheres to stellar protocol, has a religious exemption and in a state (California, for example) where Good Samaritan laws ensure you could get medical care with no repercussions for you or the guides; and yes this makes me more comfortable than being in another country.

So yes! Do this with all the safety in place, and with tremendous insights and growth and stories awaiting you. No, most people do not spend their entire time purging--and generally this is energetic more than physical. What an amazing topic for you two to cover.

Love to help you find the right place. I seem to do this a lot now.

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Feb 1Liked by Meghan Daum

“It was such a beautiful thing to me, in a way, because it was like ......the world is just broken” MD

This is why I subscribe.

Seriously though- that whole section was wonderful- particularly the imagery of the leather shoe. The concept of ‘patina’ comes to mind.

Exhaustion, and eventually- resignation

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Thanks for highlighting that hatchet job by the New York Times. The breathless tone of the article came across as being written by a college freshman journalist who had just watched "All the President's Men" and wanted to impress the editors of the school paper.

Most egregious was the cherry-picking of quotations that were most assuredly taken out of context.

Heather Mac Donald speaks very bluntly and plainly about the existence of racial disparities in education, employment, crime, health outcomes etc. and the possible causes of such disparities. That's why her brilliance is never on display on ABC/CBS/NBC/CNN. Indeed, now that Tucker is gone, she's rarely on Fox. I can see where the bluntness may sometimes come across as a bit "spectrumy", (I just made up that word) but all she does is spit facts. And she is certainly not a racist.*

If Mac Donald's comments about the NYC immigrant nannies was written as presented, I could see some objection to her poor choice of words. I could also envision some objection to a childless person passing judgment on strangers' child-care choices.

*Full disclosure: I've become personally acquainted with Mac Donald over the last year or so, primarily through correspondence but also through one extensive meeting IRL. Make of that what you will.

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Another great episode.

One note: cashiers are not the most unhappy profession in the United States. Lawyers are (followed by doctors). I think a lot of cashiers are quite pleased with their work - they connect with people, chat, and don’t spend their lives staring into a computer. Many in blue states are unionized and earn good wages.

I think it would be interesting for Sarah and Meghan to try a series of jobs for a few weeks - I can see you both in Home Depot aprons. You might discover a lot and I would find your experiences and thoughts fascinating. Do this before the Ayahuasca livestream.

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I enjoyed this podcast

-Learning to live in the moment is important for a deep satisfying (“happy”) life. I like to think of it as seeing yourself as living in the right moment at the right place, as being exactly where your past and future meet to create a present that fits you in the right way. For me, most of the time this helps me a lot. The only issues for me with this outlook is that I cannot 1) let it devoid me of any ambition (neglect the future) or 2) avoid insights from the past. Creating this “being in the world” outlook that balances the past and future is a rewarding challenge for me.

-The nothing burger from the NYT about DEI is not surprising to me. I have no problem describing myself as right wing (because in my mind being right wing is not being fascist- most people who throw that word around don’t know what a fascist is) so the problem with NYT has been apparent to me for years.

In addition to the NYT being staffed by young progressives who are “preaching to the choir” (i.e. bias), there is something about newspaper journalism that places greater emphasis stories that sell (i.e. entertainment) than stories that tell you about the world. For example, the story of a man biting a dog is more “newsworthy” than the story of a dog biting a man, yet the latter tells you more about the world “as it is” than the former. Fox News is no different- they preach to the choir and entertain but target a different audience. Several months ago when Sarah was describing her dissatisfaction with the NYT and media after a year of concerted effort, her experience resonated with me.

-Sara and Meg’s conversations are interesting because I find them intellectually honest and curious and they have what Meg describes as “Fuck You life/money" mentality. While I rarely have a conversation partner to talk about the issues they discuss, I find that reading great writers can fill that void. For me, it’s Plato’s Socratic dialogues (as well as commentaries on them) that work. That is to say that many of the contemporary issues are present in one way or another throughout history, and are discussed by thoughtful writers, usually from key moments in history where it was possible to write. There are many others, like the Bible (when it is not read dogmatically), Shakespeare, Orwell, or Pinker, who can provide insights into our human condition, on how to live as if you are exactly where you are supposed to be. I would venture to say that Meg and Sarah fit into this category.

-Sarah and Meg: Keep doing what you are doing and thanks!

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Shitting AND throwing up? And you only want to put it behind a Substack paywall? Take that content to Onlyfans and you can retire early!

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founding

Sarah, Meghan is right. You should absolutely listen to Loveline.

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last

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Also, Burr’s wife being black does probably help a bit when idiots accuse him of being racist. With regard to the wnba though I think it’s because people broadly understand that he’s right. The WNBA players wanting more money is hilarious. The WNBA revenue for 2023 is ~200 million. The NBA revenue for 2023 is nearly ~11 billion. On top of this, the WNBA does not make money, the are subsidized by the NBA every year, around 12 million or so if I remember correctly. Even on the grounds of wanting equal profit share. The men get 50%. The women get 50 percent now too but operating a league on 100 million is a very different challenge to operating a league on 5.5 billion. Anyone with half a brain who has looked at the numbers on this knows that Bill is right.

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Did anyone see this article in the Atlantic about polyamory?

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2024/02/polyamory-ruling-class-fad-monogamy/677312/

I actually think the reviewer’s lens of “narcissism” is a bit misapplied here. A narcissist would act selfishly while telling themselves and others that their behavior is just and fair. Whereas Molly represses her own desires and feelings to go along with what others want while telling herself and the world that it’s for her own personal growth. Quite the opposite of narcissism really. She’s pathologically other-centered, not self-centered, but the reviewer gets hung up on her self-mythologizing.

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I would love to hear you both interview Heather Mac Donald - I suggested her when you guys asked about interviewees! She's for sure blunt, but interesting I think.

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I keep listening to them talk about polyamory, and it makes me wonder if either of them are aware of the huge amount of cancelings, woke drama, and other related drama in that community.

I watched, lived through, and was canceled myself in this community. I'd really like to hear them talk with someone, say Franklin Veaux or someone like that, about the subject (I can put y'all in contact with him, if you're interested).

Also, perhaps a conversation about poly with someone would clarify some strange misconceptions they seem to have about it.

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FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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If you clash two of their discussions together, you get one of my big theses here: if you couldn't see yourself working side by side with the sorts of shallow people who currently occupy newsrooms, how in the world could anyone be in a romantic relationship with such a person?

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I had some kind of comment on wanted to make about this episode and now I can’t remember, dang it. I remember something about a shoe metaphor, and time, and life, and marriage. It’s all such a blur.

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