in: Odds & Ends

• Last updated: March 24, 2023

Odds & Ends: February 9, 2023

TikTok is a New Kind of Superweapon. TikTok is a Chinese-owned company famous for its propriety algorithm that delivers highly viral content. Here in the U.S. and in most Western countries that means you see a lot of content of people dancing, lip-syncing famous movie scenes, and doing stupid things like licking toilets. But tech ethicist Tristan Harris has pointed out that in China, kids don’t see twerkers and toilet-lickers on their version of TikTok, but rather science experiments and educational videos. Furthermore, the Chinese version of TikTok is only accessible to kids for 40 minutes per day, and it cannot be accessed between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. This article explores the possibility that China is potentially using TikTok as psyops in the West — basically counting on it to dumb down and fracture its citizenry. 

Tuck Everlasting. Our family just finished reading this book out loud together. We all really enjoyed it. It forces readers to ask themselves, “What if you could live forever?” Underlying the existential plot and evocative writing are resonate notes as to what it feels like to be coming of age and feeling the stirring desire for independence. 

Mr. T Advice Compilation. Thanks to our family’s recent viewing of the Rocky series, our children were introduced to Mr. T. Of course they thought he was awesome, so we got on YouTube to see more Mr. T stuff and came across this compilation of him dispensing short nuggets of life advice. The clips are 40 years old, but the wisdom is timeless and on point. Plus, everything sounds cooler when coming from a guy in a mohawk and gold chains.

Carbon Nutrition Coach App. If you count macros for your nutrition needs, the Carbon app from AoM podcast guest Layne Norton will be of interest. You pick your diet goals (gain weight, lose weight, etc.), track what you eat, and weigh in each week. The app then adjusts your macros for the following week based on your weight and your goals. I’ve been using Carbon for the past six months or so and have found it incredibly helpful. Takes the guesswork out of adjusting my macros each week. 

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