Including Animation In Your Design System

4 months, 10 days ago

Including Animation In Your Design System

Including Animation In Your Design System

Val Head

2019-02-21T13:00:24+01:00
2019-02-26T18:07:09+00:00

(This article is sponsored by Adobe.) Design systems come in all shapes and sizes, but as Sparkbox’s design system survey noted, not all of them include guidelines for animation. Sure, some teams may have decided that motion wasn’t something their product needed guidance on, but I suspect that in some cases motion was left out because they weren’t sure what to include.

In the past few years, I’ve talked with many teams and designers who admit they think motion is something they should address, but they just aren’t sure how. If you’re in that boat, you’re in luck. This article is all about what to include in a set of motion guidelines for your design system and how to pull it off.

Why Animation?

Animation is an important design tool for both UX and brand messaging. Just like typography and color, the animation you use says something about your product and its personality. So, when it’s not addressed in a design system, that system essentially leaves that area of UI design tooling unaccounted for. Then people following the design system either do whatever they want with animation — which can lead to a strange mish-mash of animation execution across the experience — or, they just don’t use animation at all because they don’t have time to figure out all the details themselves. Neither case is ideal.

Having a clear stance on how animation is used (or not used) in your design system can help ensure your brand is using animation consistently and effectively while also helping your team work faster. Let’s dig in to get started on a set of motion guidelines for your design system.

The Groundwork: Defining What You Need To Cover

First, Talk To People

As Jina Anne says, “Design systems are for people.” I’ve often heard the advice that talking to the people who will be using the design system you’re creating is key to making a design system people will actually use. That holds true for the guidelines you create around animation too. The biggest thing you can gain from this is finding out what they need and what to focus on. This helps you set an appropriate scope for what you need to cover in your guidelines. No one wants to spend hours on extensive guidelines that address more than your team will ever actually need. That wouldn’t be any fun (or use).


Your team may not tell you about their animation pain points unprompted, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have any.

Set up some user interviews (the users of your design system) and ask them about where they get stuck with animation. Ask them how/if they use animation, and where animation falls in their design process. Ask them about what they wish they had to help with the pain points they encounter. Most importantly, listen to how they talk about using animation in their work and what goes well or not so well.

While every team is different, the concerns and questions I’ve heard most often when doing this research are things like: “How do I know an animation is good, or fits with our brand?”, “How can I convey the animation details to our engineers effectively?”,or “Our developers always say there’s no time to implement the animations we design.”

You’ve probably guessed where I’m going with this, but all of those concerns are things you can help provide answers to in your motion guidelines. And you can use the questions and pain points that come up most often to guide and focus your motion guideline efforts.

Reference Other Systems

Not every design system has to be public, but it’s great that so many of them are. They make for a helpful resource when planning your design system, and they can be useful research for your design system’s motion guidelines too. (In fact, we’ll be referencing a few them in this very article.)

Using other motion sections as reference for your own design system is very helpful, but I don’t recommend adopting another brand’s motion guidelines wholesale in place of your own. No, not even if it’s Material Design’s motion guidelines.

Material Design’s motion section is Google’s take on motion guidelines. A good one, yes, but its aim is to show you how to animate the Google way. That’s perfect if you’re making something for the Google ecosystem (or intentionally wanting to seem like you are). But it’s not a good fit when that’s not your goal. You wouldn’t use another brand’s colors or typeface on your product, so don’t just follow another brand’s motion guidelines either.

The most effective design systems contain a branded point of view unique to them — things that make their design system more specific to the product they’re for — along with common design best practices. Spend a little time researching and reading through other systems’ motion guidelines, and you start to get a feel for which parts are best practices and which parts are customized to that brand or product’s point of view. Then you can decide which best practices you might also like to include in your guidelines, as well as where to customize the guidelines for your product.

For example, using ease-ins for exits and ease-outs for entrances is a common best practice for UI animation. But the exact ease-in or ease-out curve is usually customized to a brand’s intended message and personality.

To quote Dan Mall:

“This is the kind of thing a design system should have guidelines for: perspective, point of view, extending creative direction to everyone that decides to build something with the design system. That stuff should be baked in.”

I totally agree.

The Two Main Sections Of A Design System’s Motion Guidelines

There’s no specific rule out there stating that you must have these two sections, but I’ve found this breakdown to be an effective way to approach the motion guidelines I’ve worked on. And I’ve also noticed that most design systems out there that address motion have these two categories as well, so it seems to be an approach that works for others too.

The two main sections are:

Motion PrinciplesPrinciples are typically high-level statements that explain how that brand uses motion. They’re the big picture point of view or design intention behind why the brand uses animation and their perspective on it.
ImplementationThis section focuses on how to carry out those principles practically in design and/or code. It serves as the building blocks of animation for the design system, and the amount of detail they cover varies based on brand needs.

Motion Principles

The principles section is where to state your brand values around animation. They’re the high-level principles to measure design decisions against, and a place to state some specific definitions or values around animation. Principles often tend to focus on the “why” of using animation within a particular design system and the UX-driven purpose they serve. In many cases, design systems list these under the heading of Principles in their motion section. However, you can see the concept of principles present in ones that don’t include a specific section for them as well.

Your motion principles can be modeled after existing global design principles that your brand might have, extrapolated from things like voice and tone guidelines, or even be inferred from looking at your product’s existing UI animations in a motion audit.

Let’s look at some examples to get a better idea of how these play out. Microsoft’s Fluent design system lists their motion principles as being physical, functional, continuous, and contextual. They include a short description and illustration of each to explain how it applies to UI animation.


Screenshot of the Fluent’s first motion principle

A segment of Fluent’s motion principles page (Large preview)

Audi doesn’t have a separate principles section, but they start off their animation section with a declaration of why they use animation, which is setting the stage for what sort of motion is to be used in the design system, just like a principle would. They state:

“We stand for dynamic premium mobility. As such, movements in the Audi look have a typically dynamic character.”

While developing the motion section for Spectrum, Adobe’s design system, we opted for a principles section to match the pattern used in other sections of the system. Within Spectrum, animation aims to be purposeful, intuitive, and seamless.

Note: Spectrum does not have a publicly available site at the time of writing.


Spectrum’s motion principles of purposeful, intuitive and seamless

Spectrum’s guiding motion principles for UI animation (Large preview)

No matter how you decide to present them, your design system’s animation principles can be used to both establish the system’s expectation around animation and to evaluate potential future UI animation for the product(s) the design system is applied to. For example, if a designer following the Fluent design system wanted to introduce a large bouncing animation into a component, there could be discussion around whether that meets the motion principles. (Does it fit the principles of functional and continuous?) Then a decision could be made as to whether or not that particular animation warranted breaking from the stated principles, or if the animation should be redesigned to fit the principles.

This helps to keep the design discussions away from the “do you like it?” or personal opinion realm and gives a structure for evaluating animation in a more pragmatic design-oriented way. That’s my favorite advantage of having declared motion principles; they make discussing animation meaningfully so much easier, even for people who don’t have a lot of animation experience.

Quick Tip: For more motion principles references, check out Photon’s motion principles, Material Design motion principles and Carbon’s motion principles. There are also others out there, but these are a good start.

Implementation

Motion principles are great for some high-level guidance, but without some details on exactly how to implement them, you’ll be missing the biggest time-saving benefits of including animation in your design system. The implementation section (though rarely actually titled as such) helps to answer many of the “how” and
“what” questions your team has around animation. The objective is to provide smart defaults for anyone following the design system. That way, instead of spending ages playing around with durations and easing for every animation, they can use the smart defaults you’ve provided in the guidelines and be on their way. It’s a huge timesaver that also makes your UI animation much more consistent across the board.

The implementation guidelines are where a lot of design systems diverge in their approach and coverage. The amount of detail you include and the topics you cover in these guidelines will depend on how big of a role animation plays in your design efforts and what your team needs. For example, Photon’s implementation section includes just one duration and one easing curve, while Material Design’s includes individual sections on duration and easing as well as additional pages full of implementation details.

There’s no perfect length for a motion section; it’s more about covering the details your team needs than hitting a specific number of pages or rules. Some of the animation building blocks to consider including in your motion guidelines are:

Animation Durations
Easing values used
Named effects

The first three in the list are the main ways we customize or style animation. Variations in the properties, durations, and easings used for animation can drastically affect how animations come across. (And the last one is a way of packing up the first three.)

Let’s dig into each in more detail, and for each of these I’ll point out some of the common best practices and where there’s room for your own customized interpretation.

Durations, Ranges, And Rhythm

Duration has to do with how long animations should be, and when we’re talking about UI animation, these values tend to be very short. It’s amazing how much information we can convey in fractions of a second! This is a key aspect of animation, so every design system with motion guidelines covers it, but they do it in a variety of ways.

Some of the best practices around duration that you’ll see addressed in most motion guidelines include:

Shorter durations should be used for simpler effects and animations of relatively small-sized (such as fades or color changes);
Longer durations should be used for more complex effects and animations of larger relative scale (such as page transitions or moving objects on and offscreen);
Optimal timing can change based on viewport size.
While the specifics of each set of guidelines varies — sometimes even greatly — you’ll see these common best practices in almost all of them. Different systems have different definitions of exactly what “short” or “long” durations are, and go into varying amounts of detail on the difference between the two. Also, while it’s more of a design system thing than an animation best practice, providing design tokens for your specified duration values is a useful thing to consider here as well.

Carbon provides a short table of ranges of duration values based on the type of animation in question. While Material Design breaks down recommendations on duration speed in categories based on the complexity of the animation, as well as by the relative area covered by the animation. Pluralsight takes a different approach and provides a set of keywords for different durations paired with cute animals.


An animated illustration and data table for guidance on Carbon’s animation duration

Carbon’s illustration and table sorted by interaction type give guidance on what durations to use for UI animation within the system. (Large preview)


Animals ranging from a snail to a cheetah to represent possible animation durations

Pluarsight’s design system lists durations, animals and design tokens for each of its duration options. (Large preview)

Easing Values

My number one advice for easing guidelines is to create your own customized curves and don’t just use the CSS defaults. This is the most effective way to build some consistent motion association for your brand and as Sarah Drasner puts it: build “motion equity.” You’ll be on solid ground with just three curves: a custom eas-out, ease-in, and ease-in-out. And there’s always the option to add more if needed.

Quick Tip: If you’re totally stumped on where to start on easing curves, check out the Penner Easing equations on easings.net. These are designed to give you some nice looking motion and are grouped in threes for easy use. They’re much more expressive and flexible than the CSS defaults. Using a set of these in your motion guidelines can be a great place to start.


Six sets of easing curves that vary in their range of speed changes for an animation

A few of the Penner Easing Equations illustrated as cubic-bezier curves. (Large preview)

Essential Easing Functions

I recommend defining the three core easing curves because that will cover all your main easing needs for various animations.

Ease-in
This curve is the one that accelerates as it begins any movement which reads well for moving an object out of view.
Ease-out
This curve causes objects to decelerate before stopping which makes for a more natural feeling way to bring objects into view.
Ease-in-out
As the name suggests, this curve combines the features of the first two and is best for moving elements from point to point.

With these three custom curves, you’ll have almost all your animation needs covered.


One curve for accelerating into the action, one for decelerating out of the action, and one for doing both

The three main types of curves most motion guidelines include (Large preview)

For Spectrum, we did exactly that and created three custom easing curves along with recommendations on which kinds of animation to use each for. (We came up with these curves through looking at existing animation and experimenting with some motion studies.)

Carbon and Pluralsight take a similar approach, designating three curves with suggested uses, as well as designating one as the default curve to use when in doubt. In some cases, you might only feel the need to have one custom easing curve (like Photon does) defining one curve for use across all animations.


The ease-out curve for Spectrum

One of Spectrum’s three custom easing curves (Large preview)

Along with the easing curves, it’s helpful to provide some supporting information like associated design tokens, language-specific code (for CSS, JS, iOS and/or Android), or After Effects keyframe velocities depending on which tools your team uses. This adds to the ease of use and helps make following the smart defaults in your motion guidelines the path of least resistance.

A visual illustration of the curve and interactive examples of the curve are also a big plus for quickly demonstrating how the easing curves work and what they look like. Never underestimate the power of showing instead of telling. (Or showing along with telling!)

Easing Hierarchy

Including a hierarchy of easing is one way you can take things a little further than the three core custom curves. This can be especially useful for brands that use motion as a core method of conveying their design message. Just like with type, you may want a way to make certain animation stand out more than others. Animations that stand out more strongly can be used to emphasize a particular point or interaction. In these cases, structuring your easing curves so that you have one that is more dramatic to stand out from the others can be a useful technique.

Off To A Good Start

At this point, armed with principles plus your durations and easing sections, you have a solid set of motion guidelines. That might be all you need for a version one of your motion guidelines, or for a brand that doesn’t rely heavily on motion in its design. If you’re pressed for time, establishing smart defaults for durations and easing will get far enough to see the benefits of establishing motion guidelines and save your team time.

Named Effects

Providing a listing of named effects or a library of animations to use can be a useful thing to have in your motion guidelines. Not all design system’s motion guidelines have these, some opt to bake the animation guidelines into their components instead (or as well), and some just don’t need this level of detail.

One word of caution on these though: more isn’t always better. It might look cool to have a huge library of animations as part of your design system, but the more effects you list, the more time and effort it will take to maintain those effects. To avoid creating a huge time sink for you and your team, I’d suggest making any collection of named effects as small as you possibly can.

There tend to be two approaches to providing a library of effects in motion guidelines. One approach is the way the Lightning design system does it, providing a library of small animation effects (molecules of animation, if you will) that can be used individually or composed together to build up more complex animations.


A listing of small named animations that can be composed into more complex effects

A few of Lightning Design System’s named animation library (Large preview)

The other approach is to provide more comprehensive and purpose-specific effects like Audi does for its show and hide, transform, shift, and superimposing effects and Fluent does for its page transition effects. For either approach, providing the design rationale and specific code implementations for each is useful.

Quick Tip: If you’re looking for additional motion guidelines for research, Adele is a design system collection that lets you filter by topics like motion, and styleguides.io is always a great resource for finding public design systems too.

Other Places Motion Might Come Up In Your Design System

Design systems come in all shapes and sizes. And in many cases these animation guidelines are also baked into the DNA or components of your design systems. Digging into how to do that is beyond the scope of what we’re covering here, but I do want to note that can also be useful to include animation information on component-specific pages instead of in a named effects section. It all depends on what works best for your team and your design system.

Additionally, it might be useful to call out performance and accessibility considerations for animation either in those sections of your design system, in guidelines for components, or in the motion section itself. Performance and accessibility goals affect all aspects of our design work, and animation is no exception there.

Some Parting Thoughts

I hope this article has helped to show that including motion guidelines in your design system can be incredibly useful, and helped to demystify the process of creating one. Addressing animation in your design system can be beneficial to the consistency of your product’s design and doesn’t have to be an overly time-consuming effort.

As you’re working on your motion guidelines, I encourage you to work in stages instead of waiting for your motion guidelines to be perfect. Shipping a version one with the intention of adding to it and updating it is much easier on you, the person or people authoring the guidelines, and can help you make sure you’re creating guidelines that are useful.

As hard as it can be to share something that you know is missing some detail, it can be hugely useful to ship a version one of your motion guidelines then talk to your team again to see how the first version of the guidelines has helped them and which pain points are still a factor. This iterative approach can go far towards making your guidelines cover the most relevant topics, and lets you adapt them to your team’s needs. Both are good for having a system that’s useful and avoiding unnecessary extra effort.

Smashing Editorial
(il)

This article is part of the UX design series sponsored by Adobe. Adobe XD is made for a fast and fluid UX design process, as it lets you go from idea to prototype faster. Design, prototype and share — all in one app. You can check out more inspiring projects created with Adobe XD on Behance, and also sign up for the Adobe experience design newsletter to stay updated and informed on the latest trends and insights for UX/UI design.

Read more: smashingmagazine.com

Why Doctors Can`t Make You Well

4 months, 16 days ago

Deepak Chopra, MD is the author of more than 70 books with twenty-one New York Times bestsellers and co-author with Rudolph Tanzi of Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-being. (Harmony) and endorses Dream Weaver, a new technology that helps the user instantly get to a meditative, relaxed, dream or sleep state.

For many people, keeping well doesn't involve taking good advice. After decades of public health campaigns in favor of low-fat diets, moderate exercise, and stress management, it's still hard to get Americans to comply. As a society, we are so sold on drugs and surgery as the answer to illness that many of us only register two states of health: Either you are sick or you're not sick. In the first case, you go to the doctor's, who is expected to fix you.

The choice should be broader than being sick or not. "I am well" means much more than the absence of active disease. What the public – and most doctors – hasn't found out is that the cause of illness is becoming more and more murky. It's not just germs and genes. The germ theory of disease held sway for over a century after the discovery of microbes and the arrival of antibiotics to combat them. Gene therapy, long promised as the answer to almost any disease, hasn't actually achieved much success, although in certain cases, such as cancers that are caused by a simple genetic mutation, targeted drug therapies have been successful.

The bigger picture is that genetics has led us into much more complicated view of the disease process, so complicated that it is beyond the skill of doctors. Too many factors are at work when illness arises, and the disease model itself sometimes breaks down.

A startling article in The Wilson Quarterly covered the current explanations for schizophrenia, which has moved from being a psychiatric disorder to a disorder of the brain. And yet, to quote the article, "It is now clear that the simple biomedical approach to serious psychiatric illnesses has failed in turn. At least, the bold dream that these maladies would be understood as brain disorders with clearly identifiable genetic causes … has faded into the mist." All simple approaches, from talking to a psychiatrist to taking a pill or holding out for a genetic silver bullet, don't match reality.

To quote once more, ". . . schizophrenia now appears to be a complex outcome of many unrelated causes—the genes you inherit, but also whether your mother fell ill during her pregnancy, whether you got beaten up as a child or were stressed as an adolescent, even how much sun your skin has seen. It’s not just about the brain. It’s not just about genes." The fact is that many diseases are turning out to have multiple causes that change from person to person. Depression, which is much more widespread than schizophrenia, is now known to involve many brain centers, to the extent that no two people are exactly alike in their depression.

Therefore, the conclusion that applies to schizophrenia may be announcing a massive trend. ". . . schizophrenia looks more and more like diabetes. A messy array of risk factors predisposes someone to develop diabetes: smoking, being overweight, collecting fat around the middle rather than on the hips, high blood pressure, and yes, family history. These risk factors are not intrinsically linked. Some of them have something to do with genes, but most do not."

What are we left with when clear, defined causes don't work?, a term even more vague than risk factors: susceptibility. Susceptibility covers so many things that quite literally everything in life becomes a contributing factor. A doctor can't make you well because susceptibility goes back all the way to birth. A wide range of mental disorders, including schizophrenia, depression, autism, and Alzheimer's, are now traceable to slight changes in the brain that appear many years or even decades before the first symptoms arise.

Much of this evidence has been gained through brain scans and genetic typing, yet these indicators aren't causes. We now know that gene output is highly flexible and always changing, while the brain alters its "soft wiring" constantly. Both are highly influenced by behavior, beliefs, lifestyle choices, diet, and so on. Despite all the new information gained through new technologies, treatment hasn't generally kept up, and sometimes, as in early signs of a predisposition for cancer, autism, and Alzheimer's, finding a suitable drug therapy, should one even exist, is years or decades away.

In the next post we'll discuss what this tremendous shift in explaining illness means for you today, trying to find ways to reduce your susceptibility.

(To be cont.)

Read more: deepakchopra.com

This is yet another blog post about Anthony Davis

4 months, 27 days ago

We have that and more in Thursday’s NBA newsletter.

It seems like the Pelicans’ 30-point home loss to the Magic — a game in which Anthony Davis was probably worse than he has ever been in the NBA — broke something in the local feelings on the fugue state of the franchise. Oleh Kosel at The Bird Writes suggests that something has to give and Davis can’t suit up for the Pelicans any more. Scott Kushner of The Advocate writes that the NBA either needs to let the Pels sit Davis for the sake of the fans or that the Pels need to disobey the NBA on this and face whatever consequences are levied.

I don’t get any of this.

Do Pelicans fans expect the NBA to let the team sit Davis and outright tank for the rest of the season? Why? Because they feel badly because the superstar they landed by being really terrible in the right year is saying goodbye at some point in the near future? Are the Pels feeling entitled to be as awful as possible because they are heartbroken?

The Pelicans have Anthony Davis because they tanked — in other words, because they were as bad as they could be for a season. Now they are sad that Davis is asking to leave, so they want special permission to tank — to be as bad as they can be for the rest of the season — again. Is that right?

The Pelicans knew what they had to do to tank this season: they needed to trade Davis before the deadline or convince him behind the scenes that he was too injured to play the rest of the season. They failed at both. They knew this is what would happen if they failed. No surprises here. If the Pelicans’ front office is surprised, well … is anyone surprised? The same general manager has run this team since before Anthony Davis was drafted. You’d think some of this ire might be focused on his botched plan to build a contender around the All-NBA superstar he tripped into.

I understand that watching Davis play out the string must be highly alienating. Yes, watching Jahlil Okafor and the gang lose is probably more heartening than watching Davis and the gang lose. In a strange way — strange in all the ways fandom is strange — it makes sense. But this is what the Pelicans signed up for when they didn’t trade Davis at the deadline but otherwise opted out of the playoff chase. Be mad at them. Don’t expect the NBA to change the rules to benefit a team that benefited from the NBA’s perverse incentives in the first place.

Scores

Nets 148, Cavaliers 139 (3OT)Bucks 106, Pacers 97Pistons 110, Celtics 118Sixers 126, Knicks 111Wizards 120, Raptors 129Grizzlies 110, Bulls 122Rockets 111, Timberwolves 121Heat 112, Mavericks 101Kings 118, Nuggets 120Warriors 107, Blazers 129Suns 107, Clippers 134

Schedule

Get-away Thursday. Last real NBA games for a week. All times Eastern. Games on League Pass unless otherwise noted.

Hornets at Magic, 7Knicks at Hawks, 7:30Thunder at Pelicans, 8, TNT

Links

A six-question quiz to determine which NBA Slam Dunk Contest dunk you are. I, of course, am the Birthday Cake Dunk. That’s how you know this quiz is infallible.

Luke Walton is safe. Uh huh.

I wrote about how the Lakers are now in a huge pickle with the Davis sweepstakes.

Ooh, Marc Spears asked dunk contest champs how they would improve the event.

Love the Hawks’ little touches on their NBA Jam-inspired scoreboard.

A profile of the heroes behind Basketball-Reference (and the other Sports-Reference sites).

Shea Serrano’s Disrespectful Dunk Index is back!

A reporter uses an anonymous source from the Celtics to complain about her/his conspiracy theory that an anonymous source leaking a rumor to a reporter about Kyrie Irving being interested in the Knicks or Lakers was actually someone from Klutch Sports. Here’s a thought. If you’re really peeved and really confident in your theory, go on the record. Folks are inclined to believe the worst of Rich Paul right now. But all you’re doing whispering s–t to reporters is furthering the cycle.

LeBron wants to follow MJ’s footsteps and own an NBA franchise.

And finally: a lovely piece by Renae and Joe Ingles on their son Jacob’s autism diagnosis. Conversations about these deeply personal realities are hard but healthy for the broader society. Kudos to Renae and Joe for exposing their personal lives for the greater good.

Be excellent to each other.

Read more: sbnation.com

Marvin R. Shanken Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award by Association of Magazine Media (Wine Spectator)

5 months, 8 days ago

Marvin R. Shanken, the chairman and founder of M. Shanken Communications Inc., was presented with the lifetime achievement award by the Association of Magazine Media last night in downtown Manhattan. Shanken is the editor and publisher of Wine Spectator, Cigar Aficionado, Whisky Advocate and Market Watch magazines, as well as many print and digital newsletters.

After a video introduction by famed sportscaster Jim Nantz, Jonathan Newhouse, chairman of Condé Nast International, introduced Shanken and presented him with the award.

“Marvin belongs to the elite coterie of magazine makers, the geniuses of our business,” said Newhouse. He praised Shanken’s long history in publishing, particularly his refusal to compromise editorial integrity for advertising revenues. “In today’s media landscape, where the walls between ads and edit are nonexistent, Marvin maintains an iron curtain.”

Shanken’s publishing success story began with the modest acquisition of a wine-and-spirits industry newsletter called Impact in 1973. The book had annual revenues of $10,000, and Shanken bought it for $5,000 with money he borrowed from his sister Elaine and her husband, Danny. In 1979, he acquired the struggling newspaper Wine Spectator, and later redesigned it into the glossy and successful magazine it is today, broadening its focus from the wines of California to the wines of the world, and adding lifestyle coverage.

In 1992 he founded Cigar Aficionado, despite objections from those at his company, and it was profitable from the start. Shanken’s company has grown considerably, from a struggling, small publishing house to one with millions of readers.

With all this achievement has come philanthropy. Shanken’s Wine Spectator Scholarship Foundation has raised more than $25 million for educational and charitable institutions; his Cigar Aficionado Night to Remember dinners have raised more than $20 million for prostate cancer research; and the Els for Autism Pro-Am, which he created with pro golfer Ernie Els, has raised more than $10 million for autism in only 10 years. Its centerpiece is a school in Jupiter, Fla., called the Els Center of Excellence, that currently has 260 students.

Shanken’s acceptance speech was brief, and he was visibly emotional. He gave a special thanks to his wife, Hazel, and his daughters Samantha, Allison and Jessica, who were in the audience with their husbands. He also thanked the employees of his company. There were eight in the audience who had worked for him for more than 30 years, and another eight who had been with him for more than 20 years. “I wouldn’t be here without all the people who are here that have given their lives to M. Shanken Communications,” he said. “Right now I’m just overwhelmed, and thank you all for coming.”

At the conclusion of the event, all in attendance were offered a glass of Nikka from the Barrel Japanese Whisky (Whisky Advocate’s 2018 Whisky of the Year) for a celebratory toast.

Read more: winespectator.com

Best of Our Blogs: January 29, 2019

5 months, 16 days ago

By now you’ve probably heard of ACEs or Adverse Childhood Experiences. If you haven’t, there are studies on how negative childhood experiences can increase the likelihood of chronic health conditions and risky behavior. Fortunately social support, good childcare and parenting programs can give kids a better start and prevent problems in the future.

But what if you’re an adult dealing with your traumatic childhood now? All is not lost.

Many people have overcome a difficult past and even used the experience to impact others in a positive way. The main things to know is you can’t do it alone, that self-compassion is imperative and therapy can help you process feelings of anger, and grief and help you cope.

11 Manipulative Ways Narcissists, Sociopaths and Psychopaths Sabotage Their Victims (Part 1)
(Recovering from a Narcissist) – Here’s how to untangle the web of manipulation weaved by a narcissist and other toxic people in your life.

3 Ways Childhood Emotional Neglect Sets You Up For Adult Emotional Neglect
(Childhood Emotional Neglect) – You survived emotional neglect as a child, but here’s how it still affecting you.

What’s in a Word: Asperger’s and Hate Groups, or the Cassandras
(Unapologetically Aspie) – These communities spew untruths about people with autism and Asperger’s, and that includes kids.

Too Smart To Have Asperger’s?
(Divergent Thinkers Asperger’s, NLD & More) – It’s all the ways we misinterpret, and misunderstand Asperger’s.

How Not to Say, “I’m Sorry”
(The Exhausted Woman) – You can do more harm than good if you say sorry this way.

Read more: psychcentral.com

Top 12 Tips to Strengthen Gratitude

5 months, 18 days ago

30 Tips in 30 Days Designed to Help You Take Control of Your
Health

This article is included in Dr. Mercola’s All-Time Top 30 Health Tips series. Every day during the month of January, a new tip will be added that will help you take control of your health. Want to see the full list? Click here.

Keeping a written record of the things you’re thankful for is good for your health. That’s the conclusion reached by an ever-growing number of published studies showing a wide range of physical benefits. According to Laurie Santos, a psychologist who teaches a science of well-being and happiness course at Yale, focusing on gratitude has become a growing trend in recent years,1 and for good reason.

There’s an awful lot of stress and unhappiness in the world, and gratitude is an effective remedy that costs nothing. According to the Harris Poll Happiness Index, just 1 in 3 Americans reports being “very happy.”2 Other research suggests nearly 1 in 4 experiences no life enjoyment at all.3

If your joy quotient could use a boost, commit to cultivating gratitude this year. A simple and proven way of doing this is to keep a gratitude journal, in which you document the things you’re grateful for each day.

One 2015 study4 found participants who kept a gratitude diary and reflected on what they were grateful for four times a week for three weeks improved their depression, stress and happiness scores. In a more recent study,5 high school students asked to keep gratitude journals over the course of a month also exhibited healthier eating patterns.

Definition of Gratitude

According to Robert Emmons, one of the leading scientific experts on gratitude6 featured in the video above, gratitude has two key components.7 First of all, it’s an “affirmation of goodness.”

When you feel gratitude, you affirm that you live in a benevolent world. Second, it’s a recognition that the source of benevolence comes from outside of yourself; that other people (or higher powers, if you so like) have provided you with “gifts.” In Emmons’ view, gratitude is “a relationship-strengthening emotion, because it requires us to see how we’ve been supported and affirmed by other people.” If you’ve decided to keep a gratitude journal, keep the following guidelines in mind:

Focus on the benevolence of other people — Doing so will increase your sense of being supported by life and decrease unnecessary anxiety
Focus on what you have received rather than what’s been withheld
Avoid comparing yourself to people you perceive to have more advantages, more things or “better luck,” as doing so will erode your sense of security. If you’re going to slip into comparisons, contemplate what your life would be like if you didn’t have something you currently enjoy

Health Benefits of Gratitude

As noted by Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy,8 an expert in brain and mind health, gratitude has “a health maintenance indication for every major organ system” in your body.9 For example, research shows that gratitude:10,11

Alters your brain in a number of beneficial ways — Examples include triggering release of mood-regulating neurotransmitters12 such as dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine and oxytocin; inhibiting the stress hormone cortisol; and stimulating your hypothalamus (a brain area involved in the regulation of stress) and your ventral tegmental area (part of your brain’s reward circuitry that produces pleasurable feelings)13

Increases happiness and life satisfaction14,15

Lowers stress and emotional distress

Improves emotional resiliency16

Reduces symptoms of depression17 — According to one study,18 “Correlation analysis showed that gratitude, depression, peace of mind and rumination were interrelated … Results … suggested that gratitude may … counteract the symptoms of depression by enhancing a state of peace of mind and reducing ruminative thinking”

Reduces pain

Lowers inflammation by inhibiting inflammatory cytokines

Lowers blood sugar

Improves immune function19

Lowers blood pressure

Improves heart health,20 reducing the likelihood of sudden death in patients with congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease

Lowers risk for heart disease21,22 — According to the authors, “Efforts to increase gratitude may be a treatment for improving well-being in heart failure patients’ lives and may be of potential clinical value”

Improves general health by encouraging self-care — In one study,23,24 people who kept a gratitude journal reported exercising more and had fewer visits to the doctor

Improves sleep25

Improves interpersonal relationships

Boosts productivity — In one study,26 managers who expressed gratitude saw a 50 percent increase in the employees’ performance

Reduces materialism27

Increases generosity28

Science and Practice of Gratitude

In 2011, the Greater Good Science Center (GGSC) at the University of California, in collaboration with Emmons, launched a project called Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude. This project aims to:29

Expand the scientific database of gratitude, particularly in the key areas of human health, personal and relational well-being, and developmental science
Raise awareness and engage the public in a larger cultural conversation about the meaning and significance of gratitude
Promote evidence-based practices of gratitude in educational, medical and organizational settings

The organization has a number of resources you can peruse at your leisure, including The Science of Happiness blog and newsletter,30 and Thnx4, a digital gratitude journal31 where you can record and share the things you’re grateful for year-round. There are also many other gratitude journal apps you can download. Last year, Positive Routines rated 11 of the best apps to track your happiness.32 Remember Emmons words:

“Neuroscientist Rick Hanson has said that the brain takes the shape the mind rests upon. Rest your mind upon worry, sadness, annoyance and irritability and it will begin to take the shape neurally of anxiety, depression and anger. Ask your brain to give thanks and it will get better at finding things to be grateful for, and begin to take the shape of gratitude.

Everything we do creates connections within networks of the brain, and the more you repeat something, the stronger those connections get. The mind can change the brain in lasting ways. In other words, what flows through the mind sculpts the brain.”

Blocks to Gratitude

Depending on circumstances, gratitude can sometimes be a struggle. However, according to Emmons and the GGSC, materialism is frequently the greatest stumbling block, and it really need not be. As noted in one of the GGSC’s newsletters:33

“Seen through the lens of buying and selling, relationships as well as things are viewed as disposable, and gratitude cannot survive this materialistic onslaught … Research has proven that gratitude is essential for happiness, but modern times have regressed gratitude into a mere feeling instead of retaining its historic value, a virtue that leads to action …

[G]ratitude is an action of returning a favor and is not just a sentiment. By the same token, ingratitude is the failure to both acknowledge receiving a favor and refusing to return or repay the favor. Just as gratitude is the queen of the virtues, ingratitude is the king of the vices …

If we fail to choose [gratitude], by default we choose ingratitude. Millions make this choice every day. Why? Provision, whether supernatural or natural, becomes so commonplace that it is easily accepted for granted.

We believe the universe owes us a living. We do not want to be beholden. Losing sight of protection, favors, benefits and blessings renders a person spiritually and morally bankrupt … People who are ungrateful tend to be characterized by an excessive sense of self-importance, arrogance, vanity and an unquenchable need for admiration and approval.

Narcissists reject the ties that bind people into relationships of reciprocity. They expect special favors and feel no need to pay back or pay forward … Without empathy, they cannot appreciate an altruistic gift because they cannot identify with the mental state of the gift-giver.”

If entitlement is the hallmark of narcissism, then humility is the antidote and the answer when you struggle with gratitude. As noted by Emmons, “The humble person says that life is a gift to be grateful for, not a right to be claimed. Humility ushers in a grateful response to life.”34

So, gratitude isn’t a response to receiving “your due,” but rather the recognition that life owes you nothing, yet provided you with everything you have anyway — a place to live, family, friends, work, your eyesight, your breath, indeed your very life. When you start seeing everything as a gift, opposed to things you’ve deserved (for better or worse), your sense of gratitude will begin to swell.

Another way to flex your gratitude muscle when life events leave you uninspired is to identify and express gratitude for seemingly “useless” or insignificant things. It could be a certain smell in the air, the color of a flower, your child’s freckles or the curvature of a stone. Over time, you’ll find that doing this will really home your ability to identify “good” things in your life.

10 Other Practical Strategies to Build and Strengthen Gratitude

Aside from keeping a daily gratitude journal and being grateful for the simple, insignificant things around you, there are many other ways to practice gratitude. I’ve compiled 10 additional suggestions from various experts below. The key is to stay consistent. Find a way to incorporate your chosen method into each week, ideally each day, and stick with it. Place a reminder note on your bathroom mirror if you need to, or schedule it into your calendar along with all of your other important to-do’s.

1. Write thank-you notes35 — When thanking someone, be specific and acknowledge the effort and/or cost involved.

This year, make it a point to write thank-you notes or letters in response to each gift or kind act — or simply as a show of gratitude for someone being in your life. To get you started, consider practicing mindful thank yous for seven days straight.

2. Say grace at each meal — Adopting the ritual of saying grace at each meal is a great way to flex your gratitude muscle on a daily basis,36 and will also foster a deeper connection to your food.

While this can be a perfect opportunity to honor a spiritual connection with the divine, you don’t have to turn it into a religious speech if you don’t want to. You could simply say, “I am grateful for this food, and appreciate all the time and hard work that went into its production, transportation and preparation.”

3. Let go of negativity by changing your perception — Disappointment can be a major source of stress, which is known to have far-reaching effects on your health and longevity. In fact, centenarians overwhelmingly cite stress as the most important thing to avoid if you want to live a long and healthy life. Since stress is virtually unavoidable, the key is to develop and strengthen your ability to manage your stress so that it doesn’t wear you down over time.

Rather than dwelling on negative events, most centenarians figured out how to let things go, and you can do that too. It takes practice, though. It’s a skill that must be honed daily, or however often you’re triggered.

A foundational principle to let go of negativity is the realization that the way you feel has little to do with the event itself, and everything to do with your perception of it. Wisdom of the ancients dictate that events are neither good nor bad in and of themselves. It is your belief about the event that upsets you, not the fact that it happened.

As noted by Ryan Holiday, author of “The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living,”37 “The Stoics are saying, ‘This happened to me,’ is not the same as, ‘This happened to me and that’s bad.’ They’re saying if you stop at the first part, you will be much more resilient and much more able to make some good out of anything that happens.” And, once you can see the good, you’re more apt to feel gratitude.

4. Be mindful of your nonverbal actions — Smiling and hugging are both ways of expressing gratitude, encouragement, excitement, empathy and support. These physical actions also help strengthen your inner experience of positive emotions of all kinds.

5. Give praise — Research38 shows using “other-praising” phrases are far more effective than “self-beneficial” phrases. For example, praising a partner saying, “thank you for going out of your way to do this,” is more powerful than a compliment framed in terms of how you benefited, such as “it makes me happy when you do that.”

The former resulted in the partner feeling happier and more loving toward the person giving the praise. Also, be mindful of your delivery — say it like you mean it. Establishing eye contact is another tactic that helps you show your sincerity. 

6. Prayer and/or mindfulness meditation — Expressing thanks during prayer or meditation is another way to cultivate gratitude. Practicing “mindfulness” means that you’re actively paying attention to the moment you’re in right now. A mantra is sometimes used to help maintain focus, but you can also focus on something that you’re grateful for, such as a pleasant smell, a cool breeze or a lovely memory.

7. Create a nightly gratitude ritual — One suggestion is to create a gratitude jar,39 into which the entire family can add notes of gratitude on a daily basis. Any jar or container will do. Simply write a quick note on a small slip of paper and put it into the jar.

Some make an annual (or biannual or even monthly) event out of going through the whole jar, reading each slip out loud. If you have young children, a lovely ritual suggested by Dr. Alison Chen in a Huffington Post article40 is to create a bedtime routine that involves stating what you’re grateful for out loud.

8. Spend money on activities instead of things — According to recent research,41 spending money on experiences not only generates more gratitude than material consumption, it also motivates greater generosity. As noted by co-author Amit Kumar, postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Chicago, “People feel fortunate, and because it’s a diffuse, untargeted type of gratitude, they’re motivated to give back to people in general.”42

9. Embrace the idea of having “enough” — According to many who have embraced a more minimalist lifestyle, the key to happiness is learning to appreciate and be grateful for having “enough.”

Financial hardship and work stress are two significant contributors to depression and anxiety. The answer is to buy less and appreciate more. Instead of trying to keep up with the Joneses, practice being grateful for the things you already have, and release yourself from the iron grip of advertising, which tells you there’s lack in your life.

Many who have adopted the minimalist lifestyle claim they’ve been able to reduce the amount of time they have to work to pay their bills, freeing up time for volunteer work, creative pursuits and taking care of their personal health, thereby dramatically raising their happiness and life satisfaction. The key here is deciding what “enough” is. Consumption itself is not the problem; unchecked and unnecessary shopping is.

Many times, accumulation of material goods is a symptom that you may be trying to fill a void in your life, yet that void can never be filled by material things. More often than not, the void is silently asking for more love, personal connection, or experiences that bring purpose and passionate engagement. So, make an effort to identify your real, authentic emotional and spiritual needs, and then focus on fulfilling them in ways that does not involve shopping. 

10. Try tapping — The Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is a helpful tool for a number of emotional challenges, including lack of gratitude. EFT is a form of psychological acupressure based on the energy meridians used in acupuncture that can quickly restore inner balance and healing, and helps rid your mind of negative thoughts and emotions. In the video below, EFT practitioner Julie Schiffman demonstrates how to tap for gratitude.

 

Tip #16Clean Up Your Cleaning Products

Tip #18Burn Fat With Intermittent Fasting

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Top 9 Nutrients for Better Brain Health

5 months, 20 days ago

30 Tips in 30 Days Designed to Help You Take Control of Your
Health

This article is included in Dr. Mercola’s All-Time Top 30 Health Tips series. Every day during the month of January, a new tip will be added that will help you take control of your health. Want to see the full list? Click here.

Like autism among children, Alzheimer’s among seniors has reached epidemic proportions, with no slowdown in sight. On the contrary, evidence suggests the trend is worsening. At present, Alzheimer’s affects about 5.4 million Americans and is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.1 The World Health Organization predicts that by 2050, 1 in 6 adults will be living with dementia.

It’s important to realize that dementia is a lifestyle-predicated disease, and there are many strategies that will help prevent this kind of neurodegeneration. In essence, anything that will help optimize your mitochondria will also help prevent Alzheimer’s. You can learn more about these Alzheimer’s prevention strategies in this previous article.

Here, the focus is on specific nutrients shown to play an important role in brain health and cognition, starting with marine-based omega-3, which contains two long-chained fatty acids that are vital for brain health: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).

1. Marine-Based Omega-3 Fat: DHA

The influence of marine-based omega-3 fats on physical and mental health has been the subject of intense research for decades, and there’s compelling evidence they can help ameliorate a variety of psychiatric illnesses and degenerative brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s.

In my new book, “Superfuel,” cowritten with James DiNicolantonio, Pharm. D., we expain how DHA is an essential structural component of your brain, and is found in high levels in your neurons, the cells of your central nervous system. When your omega-3 intake is inadequate, your nerve cells become stiff and more prone to inflammation as the missing omega-3 fats are substituted with omega-6 instead.

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Once your nerve cells become rigid and inflamed, proper neurotransmission from cell to cell and within cells become compromised. Low DHA levels have been linked to memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease, and some studies suggest degenerative brain diseases may potentially be reversible with sufficient DHA.

For example, in one study,2 elderly volunteers suffering from memory deficits saw significant improvement after taking 900 milligrams (mg) of DHA per day for 24 weeks, compared to controls. Another study3 found significant improvement in verbal fluency scores after taking 800 mg of DHA per day for four months, compared with placebo. Furthermore, memory and rate of learning were significantly improved when DHA was combined with 12 mg of lutein per day.

I never previously realized this but DHA also stimulates one of the most important transcription factors that regulates cellular oxidation and reduction, and aids in detoxification, the Nrf2 pathway.4 Additionally, it also increases heme oxygenase 15 (a protein produced in response to oxidative stress) and upregulates antioxidant enzymes — all of which are important for brain health.

In addition, DHA is a precursor for the signaling molecule protectin, which is synthesized in response to oxidative stress. (When found in your central nervous system it’s referred to as neuroprotectin, or NPD1.) As explained in a 2011 paper in the journal Nutrients:6

“NPD1 induces nerve regeneration, reduce leukocyte infiltration and maintains homeostasis through ageing by reducing pro-apoptotic and pro-inflammatory signaling. NPDI is induced by oxidative stress and protects retinal and neuronal cells from oxidative stress-induced apoptosis.

Many mechanisms have been implicated, including suppression of the IL-1β induced stimulation of COX. The discovery of NPD1 offers new therapeutic opportunities for a range of neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease. It also provides an exciting potential for DHA in helping to delay or minimize the ‘normal’ cognitive decline during ageing.”

2. Marine-Based Omega-3 Fat: EPA

EPA, meanwhile, appears to be particularly beneficial in the treatment of depression,7 as it helps lower levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin 1 beta and prostaglandin E2 — three immune chemicals that tend to be elevated in those with depression.

A stumbling block has been to get sufficiently large amounts into your brain. To raise your brain level of EPA, you’d need to consume impractically large amounts of fish oil, for example. One theory is that degradation by pancreatic enzymes renders the EPA incapable of passing the blood-brain-barrier.8

However, recent research9 has discovered something really interesting. By using a lysophospholipid form of EPA (LPC-EPA), they were able to increase the EPA level in the brain of mice 100fold. Even more remarkable, LPC-EPA also doubled the DHA level in the brain, whereas free EPA had no effect on DHA levels. The authors further noted that:

“Only LPC-EPA increased EPA and DHA in retina, and expression of BDNF, CREB and 5-HT1A receptor in the brain. These novel results show that brain EPA can be increased through diet. Because LPC-EPA increased both EPA and DHA in the brain, it may help treat depression as well as neuroinflammatory diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.”

Papasani Subbaiah, professor of medicine and biochemistry and molecular genetics in the UIC College of Medicine and corresponding author, told MedicalXpress:10

“It seems that there is a transporter at the blood-brain barrier that EPA must pass through in order to get into the brain, but EPA in fish oil can’t get through, whereas LPC-EPA can. You don’t have to consume all that much LPC- EPA to have significant increases of EPA show up in the brain, so this could be a way to do rigorous studies on the effects of EPA in humans.”

The Importance of Phospholipid-Bound Omega-3

There are a number of drawbacks to fish oil, and the lack of phospholipids is one of them. DHA and EPA are water insoluble and therefore cannot be transported in their free form in your blood. They must be packaged into lipoprotein vehicles such as phospholipids. This is primarily why the bioavailability of krill oil is so much higher than fish oil, because in fish oil, the DHA and EPA are bound to triglycerides.

When you consume fish oil, your liver has to attach it to phosphatidylcholine in order for it to be efficiently utilized by your body and brain. Phospholipids are also one of the principal compounds in high-density lipoproteins (HDL), which you want more of, and by allowing your cells to maintain structural integrity, phospholipids help your cells function optimally.

Importantly, your brain cannot readily absorb DHA unless it’s bound to phosphatidylcholine, and while krill oil contains phosphatidylcholine naturally, fish oil does not. As the name implies, phosphatidylcholine is composed partly of choline, the precursor for the vital neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which sends nerve signals to your brain, and choline itself is crucial for brain development, learning and memory, as you’ll see in the next section.

Recent research11 by Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D., also highlights the value of DHA bound to phospholipids, showing this form may actually reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in those with the apolipoprotein E4 (APOE4) gene, which lowers the typical age of onset of this degenerative brain disorder.

Two hallmarks of Alzheimer’s are amyloid beta plaques and tau tangles, both of which impair normal brain functioning. Alzheimer’s patients also have reduced glucose transport into their brains, and this is one of the reasons why plaque and tangles form and accumulate in the first place. According to Patrick,12 DHA encourages your brain’s uptake of glucose by regulating the structure and function of glucose transporters, proteins located at your blood-brain barrier.

While eating DHA-rich fish has been shown to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s in APOE4 carriers, taking fish oil has not demonstrated the same efficacy. According to Patrick, this variation in response appears to be related to the different ways in which the two forms of DHA are metabolized and ultimately transported into your brain.

When the triglyceride form of DHA is metabolized, most of it turns into nonesterified DHA, while the phospholipid form is metabolized primarily into DHA-lysophosphatidylcholine (DHA-lysoPC). While both of these forms can cross the blood-brain barrier to reach your brain, the phospholipid form does so far more efficiently.

According to Patrick, people with APOE4 have a faulty nonesterified DHA transport system, and this may be why they’re at increased risk for Alzheimer’s. The good news is that DHA-lysoPC can bypass the tight junctions, thereby improving DHA transport, and for those with one or two APOE4 variants, taking the phospholipid form of DHA may therefore lower their risk of Alzheimer’s more effectively.

3. Choline Helps Fight Alzheimer’s Disease

Other recent research13 demonstrates the importance of choline for brain health and prevention of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Choline is a precursor to acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter required for the proper function of your brain and nervous system, playing a role in fetal brain development, memory, muscle control, mood and gene expression. As reported by Science Daily:14

“The study focuses on mice bred to display AD-like symptoms. Results showed that when these mice are given high choline in their diet, their offspring show improvements in spatial memory, compared with those receiving a normal choline regimen in the womb.

Remarkably, the beneficial effects of choline supplementation appear to be transgenerational, not only protecting mice receiving choline supplementation during gestation and lactation, but also the subsequent offspring of these mice. While this second generation received no direct choline supplementation, they nevertheless reaped the benefits of treatment, likely due to inherited modifications in their genes.”

Choline helps protect against Alzheimer’s by:

Reducing your homocysteine level, an amino acid that has been shown to cause neurodegeneration and is involved in the formation of amyloid plaques, two hallmarks of Alzheimer’s. Choline converts homocysteine into methionine, which has a number of beneficial effects.
Inhibiting microglia activation. Microglia cells clear debris from your brain, and while this is a crucial function, in Alzheimer’s the microglia have a tendency to become overactivated, causing inflammation in the brain that can result in the death of neurons. By reducing activation of microglia, choline can help protect Alzheimer’s patients from further brain damage.

4. Phosphatidylserine Boosts Cognitive Function

Phosphatidylserine is another supplement that can help improve cognitive function15 and protect against Alzheimer’s disease.16 Phosphatidylserine is an amino acid derivative that is highly prevalent in neural tissue and plays an important role in the cellular function in your brain.

While your body can synthesize it on its own, you can also get it through food (such as mackerel, cod, egg yolks and organ meats) and/or a phosphatidylserine complex supplement.17 Phosphatidylserine has a unique structure that makes it both hydrophilic, meaning it’s attracted to water and hydrophobic, or repelled by water.

With this structure, phospholipids are able to arrange themselves into a phospholipid bilayer — two parallel layers that form a major component of the human cell membranes. In brain cell membranes, the phospholipid bilayer acts as a “gatekeeper,” regulating the entry beneficial substances, basically nutrients, water and oxygen, while eliminating metabolic waste.18

In one study,19 supplementing with 400 mg of phosphatidylserine increased the speed of calculations done in short-term memory by 20 percent in a group of healthy adults. In another, it improved cognitive function of geriatric patients at a dosage of 300 mg per day for six months.20

Taken with DHA, it’s also been shown to improve behavior and short-term auditory memory in children with ADHD.21 In patients with Alzheimer’s, phosphatidylserine helps inhibit amyloid beta and interferon-gamma-induced microglial activation.22

5. Acetyl-L-Carnitine Protects Against Neurotoxic Insults

Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) has many beneficial effects on brain metabolism, protects against neurotoxic insults, and has been shown to benefit certain forms of depression. In one study,23 healthy mice given ALCAR for 25 days at a dose of about half a gram per kilo, were found to have increased levels of the neurotransmitters noradrenaline and serotonin. According to the authors, this is “consistent with ALCAR’s potential efficacy for depressive symptoms.”

In another study,24 ALCAR was found to improve the clinical condition of patients with degenerative cerebellar ataxia (a condition resulting in the loss of control of bodily movements). According to the authors, “statistically significant improvement of some symptoms and a slow progression of the disease in both groups of patients” were observed.

6. Vitamin D Protects Against Memory Loss

Activated vitamin D receptors increase nerve growth in your brain, and researchers have also located metabolic pathways for vitamin D in the hippocampus and cerebellum, areas involved in planning, information processing and memory formation.

According to research25 published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, low vitamin D is associated with poorer brain function, and increasing levels may help keep older adults mentally fit. Vitamin D has also been shown to improve a number of brain disorders, including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.26

In one six-year study,27 those with severe vitamin D deficiency were more than twice as likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s than those with higher levels. Even those with moderate deficiency had a 53 percent increased risk for all forms of dementia, and 69 percent increased risk for Alzheimer’s specifically. According to the authors, “Our results confirm that vitamin D deficiency is associated with a substantially increased risk of all-cause dementia and Alzheimer disease.”

The findings also suggest there’s a threshold level of circulating vitamin D, below which your risk for dementia increases. This threshold was found to be right around 20 ng/mL (50 nmol/L). Higher levels were associated with good brain health.

I recommend getting your vitamin D level tested twice a year, and taking whatever dosage required to achieve and maintain a vitamin D level between 60 and 80 ng/mL (150 and 200 nmol/L). Ideally, you’d want to raise your level by getting sensible sun exposure, but if you cannot, consider an oral vitamin D3 supplement balanced with magnesium and vitamin K2.

7. Vitamin B12 Deficiency Wreaks Havoc on Cognitive Function

Vitamin B12 is another important player. Research28 shows people with high levels of markers for vitamin B12 deficiency are more likely to score lower on cognitive tests and have a smaller total brain volume, which suggests a lack of B12 may contribute to brain shrinkage.

Mental fogginess and problems with memory are two of the top warning signs that you have vitamin B12 deficiency, and this is indicative of its importance for your brain health.

Finnish researchers have also found that people who consume foods rich in B12 may reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s in their later years.29 For each unit increase in the marker for vitamin B12 (holotranscobalamin) the risk of developing Alzheimer’s was reduced by 2 percent. Another study30 found that supplementing with B vitamins, including B12, helps to slow brain atrophy in elderly people with mild cognitive impairment.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is widespread and many have trouble absorbing this nutrient properly from food sources. Blood tests for vitamin B12 are not always a reliable indicator of B12 status, so watching for symptoms of deficiency and increasing your dietary and supplemental intake is a practical alternative to blood testing.

B12 is available in its natural form only in animal food sources such as seafood, beef, chicken, pork, milk and eggs. If you rarely or never consume these animal products, you’re at particularly high risk of B12 deficiency.

The good news is vitamin B12 supplementation is completely nontoxic and inexpensive, especially when compared to the cost of laboratory testing. I recommend an under-the-tongue fine mist spray, as this technology helps you absorb the vitamin into the fine capillaries under your tongue.

8. MCT Oil Boosts Brain Performance

One of the primary fuels your brain needs is glucose, which is converted into energy. Your brain actually manufactures its own insulin to convert glucose in your bloodstream into the food it needs to survive.

If your brain’s production of insulin decreases, your brain literally begins to starve, as it’s deprived of the glucose-converted energy it needs to function normally. This is what happens to Alzheimer’s patients — portions of their brain start to atrophy, or starve, leading to impaired functioning and eventual loss of memory, speech, movement and personality.

In effect, your brain can begin to atrophy from starvation if it becomes insulin resistant and loses its ability to convert glucose into energy. Fortunately, your brain is able to run on more than one type of energy supply. It can run on both glucose and ketones, and ketones are actually better.

Ketones are what your body produces when it converts fat as opposed to glucose) into energy, and a primary source of ketone bodies are medium chain triglycerides (MCT). While coconut oil is one healthy option, MCT oil is a more concentrated source of ketones, so it tends to be more appropriate for clinical uses.

Most commercial brands of MCT oil contain a 50/50 combination of C8 and C10 fats (the “C number” stands for the carbon length of the MCT). My personal preference is straight C8 (caprylic acid), as it converts to ketones far more rapidly than do C10 fats, and will give you higher levels of ketones.

You can learn more about MCTs and the differences between them in my previous article, “The Many Health Benefits of MCT Oil.” Ketones appear to be the preferred source of energy for the brain in people affected by diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and maybe even ALS, because in these diseases, certain neurons have become insulin resistant or have lost the ability to efficiently utilize glucose. As a result, neurons slowly die off.

The introduction of ketones may rescue these neurons and they may still be able to survive and thrive. In multiple studies, ketones have been shown to be both neurotherapeutic and neuroprotective. They also appear to lower markers of systemic inflammation. As noted by Mental Health Daily:31

“In small scale human trials,32 MCT supplementation boosted cognition in individuals with cognitive impairment and mild forms of Alzheimer’s disease after just a single dose. While not everyone improved from the MCT treatment, those with certain genetics experienced notable improvement.”

9. Probiotics Feed Your Second Brain

As your “second brain,” the state of your gut also plays an important role in your neurological and psychological health. Probiotics have been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and decrease pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s, including amyloid plaques and tangles. In one study,33 the probiotic strain L. plantarumMTCC1325 was identified as having these “anti-Alzheimer’s properties.”

In another study,34 published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 60 elderly patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s received either a placebo or a probiotic milk products containing Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Lactobacillus fermentum for 12 weeks.

At the beginning and end of the study, participants underwent a standardized cognitive assessment and a highly sensitive c-reactive protein test, which is a powerful marker of inflammation. As reported by neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter:35

“The results of the study were stunning. The placebo group showed an increase in hs-CRP, the inflammation marker, by an impressive 45 percent. In the group taking the probiotic, on the other hand, hs-CRP didn’t just stay the same, but actually declined by 18 percent, indicating a dramatic reduction in inflammation.

But here’s the truly exciting news. Over the 12 weeks, the patients in the placebo continued to decline mentally, as you might expect. Their MMSE score dropped from 8.47 to 8.00, a substantial reduction.

But the group on the inflammation reducing probiotics actually demonstrated, not a decline in brain function, but an actual improvement, with their MMSE scores going from 8.67 up to 10.57, and that’s a huge improvement. Again, not only was their mental decline stopped in its tracks, these individuals regained brain function!

The message here is that inflammation is directly determined by the health and diversity of our gut bacteria, and this has major implications in terms of brain health, function and disease resistance.”

Tip #23Avoid Constipation

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How to enable a better business case through IoT

5 months, 21 days ago

A decade ago, predictions for IoT saw sensor connectivity in all aspects of our lives – billions of devices reshaping the very nature of technology’s interaction with the physical world. A decade later, while IoT advancement continues to move ahead at a healthy clip, development has lagged behind the bullish early predictions of many analysts. One significant factor underpinning a slower pace advancement is cost. Specifically, the cost needed to validate new systems and applications in the field.

Traditional technology development in consumer electronics or network infrastructure often follows a clear line of innovation, a logical progression of ideas underpinned by the core concept of more: more speed; more memory; more pixels per square inch; more battery life; more appealing form factor.

In most instances, “more” comes with a clear business case – valid sets of data to pull from in assessing which customers are likely to buy your product and why, and a basis for predicting revenue. It is exactly this business case that underpins investment in the thousands of prototypes needed to work out kinks, making products truly ready for scale.

In IoT, that model is flipped completely on its head. While one can point to a sector and create a hypothesis that IoT devices will improve efficiency, validating that hypothesis in the field is often an immense task. Understanding exact data to gather, sensors to use, optimum network to communicate through walls or across great distances, and how to harvest and manage energy in a specific context can’t be done at a desk.

Such development requires investment of thousands or millions of pounds in prototypes – before the data is known, the market validated and even the exact nature of the tools needed fully understood.

Investing millions without a clear ROI or business case is a hard sell in the best scenario – and a flat no in most cases. To truly facilitate advancement, the business proposition must change.

Industry is best positioned to lead this charge. With scale and some of the clearest areas to generate efficiency, this sector can innovate and drive demand at the levels required to lower costs on MEMS sensors and transceivers, thereby facilitating growth of the wider IoT.

Industries related to construction have already moved significantly into this space, creating smart buildings so facility management can control room occupancy and save on energy related to lighting and heating. Logistics companies are deploying devices to monitor the movement of freight down to the pallet level across complex supply chains, as oil and gas companies implement solutions to improve safety and overall operational efficiency.

These applications are underpinned by emergent network capabilities. A veritable eruption of wireless technologies operating on unlicensed frequencies of ISM bands, like LoRa and Sigfox, have changed the WAN connectivity possibilities for IoT devices. Known as Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) solutions, these new technologies enable low data rates and long-range communications capabilities, while maintaining very low power consumption and a low cost for the silicon transceiver. The licenced community grouped under 3GPP has followed, releasing its own version of LPWAN known as LTE Cat-M and Narrow Band IoT.

As these new network capabilities enable access to data on an unprecedented level, it’s important to remember: these trends in and of themselves do not create a business case. Data is the journey, insights are the destination.

Creating real value

The gap between data gathering and insight creation requires we start with the outputs, the specific information we are seeking to glean from an IoT solution, and exactly how that information will add value to a business. Then, speak with an expert to assess which connectivity and sensor technologies are likely to optimally generate those specific outputs. Expertise is critical, as the sensors and wireless technologies at the heart of IoT fall outside the traditional knowledge base of many organizations.

As mentioned earlier – testing, refining and validating in the field are key next steps. Even with dialled in objectives, data gathering and transmission will often vary significantly at IoT scale. For many companies, this involves creating thousands or millions of custom prototypes to evaluate real-world performance. There are also several alternate paths, like the iENBL solution we developed at Flex.

These devices include most sensors, GPS and connectivity options, so companies can trial real-world IoT applications on a significantly more measured scale, without investment in custom hardware, while also reducing development time.

Enhancing available development boards like Arduino or Raspberry Pi can also help companies progress development. When combined with the required sensors and select connectivity interface shield, these solutions can support testing, though still not at the more measured scale in the tens or hundreds of units.

Many industries have made significant progress into the IoT, but we are still in the very early stages of this technology’s implementation. While the space for further development and value creation is immense, this future will only occur at a rate of one system and one validated business case at a time. As companies get better at homing in on the insights they are seeking and finding the right technology partners, and as costs on field testing continue to come down, we will see the full potential of IoT truly begin to emerge. 

https://www.iottechexpo.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/iot-tech-expo-world-series.pngInterested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this? Attend the IoT Tech Expo World Series events with upcoming shows in Silicon Valley, London, and Amsterdam.

Read more: iottechnews.com

Why Is This Man Running for President? (Ep. 362)

6 months, 1 day ago

Andrew Yang supports a universal basic income (a “Freedom Dividend”), the use of “social credits,” and a White House psychologist. (Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Collision)

In the American Dream sweepstakes, Andrew Yang was a pretty big winner. But for every winner, he came to realize, there are thousands upon thousands of losers — a “war on normal people,” he calls it. Here’s what he plans to do about it.

Listen and subscribe to our podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or elsewhere. Below is a transcript of the episode, edited for readability. For more information on the people and ideas in the episode, see the links at the bottom of this post.

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Hey there. Hope your new year is off to a good start. Hope you haven’t broken all your resolutions yet. A couple quick announcements. First: next week, we’ll be resuming our “Hidden Side of Sports” series with a look at the mental side of sports. But also: in a couple months, we’ll be participating in the famous M.I.T. Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, which means we’ll have access to some of the sharpest sports analysts, coaches and owners, and athletes in the world. So: we want your questions for them. Send us the sports questions you’ve always wanted answered, on any aspect of sport whatsoever — the weirder the question, the better. Our e-mail is radio@freakonomics.com. Thanks.

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Andrew Yang is not famous. Not yet, at least — maybe he will be someday. But let me tell you his story. He’s 44 years old; he was born in Schenectady, N.Y., a city long dominated by General Electric, the sort of company that had long dominated the American economy. But which, as you likely know, doesn’t anymore. Yang’s parents had both immigrated from Taiwan, and met in grad school. His mother became a systems administrator and his father did research at I.B.M.; he got his name on 69 patents. Their son Andrew studied economics and political science at Brown, got a law degree at Columbia, and ultimately became a successful entrepreneur, with a focus on widespread job creation. In the American Dream sweepstakes, Andrew Yang was a pretty big winner. But along the way, he came to see that for every winner, there were thousands upon thousands of losers.

The economist Joseph Schumpeter famously described capitalism as an act of “creative destruction” — with new ideas and technologies replacing the old, with nimble startup firms replacing outmoded legacy firms, all in service of a blanket rise in prosperity. The notion of creative destruction has for many decades been part of the economic orthodoxy. And it’s undeniable that global prosperity has risen, and not just a little bit. But Yang — like many others — has stopped believing in the economic orthodoxy of creative destruction. As he sees it, there’s just too much destruction; and the blanket rise in prosperity isn’t covering enough people. We’re living through what Yang calls “a war on normal people” — a war that Yang fears is getting uglier all the time. And that’s why he has taken to saying this:

Andrew YANG: I’m Andrew Yang, and I’m running for president as a Democrat in 2020.

Stephen DUBNER: I can think of a million things that you personally, Andrew Yang — with your resources and abilities and so on — could have done other than running for president of the United States. And yet that’s the one you’ve chosen. So why?

YANG: So imagine if you were the guy getting medals and awards for creating jobs around the country and realizing that the jobs are about to disappear in an historic way. And all of the solutions involve really a much more intelligent, activated government than you currently have. And I went around and talked to various people being like, “Hey guys, anyone going to solve the biggest problem in the history of the world?” And I could not identify anyone who was going to run and take it on.

DUBNER: So you put your hand up and said, “I guess I will?”

YANG: Yeah. I’m a parent like you are. I’ve got kids who are going to grow up in this country, and to me just believing that we’re going to leave them this shit-show that I think is coming and not doing something about it struck me as really pathetic.

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The conversation you’re about to read is in many ways a continuation of conversations we’ve had in multiple episodes over the years. Episodes like “Is the American Dream Really Dead?” and “Is the World Ready for a Guaranteed Basic Income?” Episodes like “Yes, the American Economy Is in a Funk — But Not for the Reasons You Think” and “Did China Eat America’s Jobs?” You may want to give those episodes a listen for a deeper look at the economics involved. But first: who exactly is Andrew Yang? Years ago, he worked as:

YANG: A knife salesman.

DUBNER: A knife salesman?

YANG: Oh yeah, Cutco, I still know the sales patter.

DUBNER: Let’s hear it.

YANG: What’s really dangerous is not a sharp knife. It’s a dull knife, because then you start putting elbow grease into, and that’s when accidents happen.

DUBNER: So here’s how I would thumbnail your story: immigrant kid, smart, got a good education, tried a few things in the labor force, including high-end lawyer, then some entrepreneurship, got involved with a company that was sold. So you cashed out, then took the nonprofit route to try to inspire other people to become entrepreneurs in places where there wasn’t a lot of drive for that already. And then during that process you got exposed to the way the economy was failing in large parts of America. But then instead of just saying, “Wow, that’s tough. But I got mine and I’m going to go back to my coast and lead my comfortable life, and for the people who are not leading this life — I wish them well, but I’m out of here,” you disrupted your life in order to do something about it.

YANG: As an entrepreneur, I feel driven to try and solve problems, and this seems like the greatest problem that we face. And you think, “Hey, if I bust my ass for several years, I have a chance to potentially accelerate the eradication of poverty and helping my country manage through the most difficult transition in decades. And I think if I put my heart and soul into it, I have some chance of making that happen.” And then if you don’t do that, you must be an asshole.

When he was 24, Yang landed a job in New York at Davis Polk, one of the most prestigious law firms in the world.

YANG: I was making $125,000 plus a bonus of maybe another $25,000 or so. And I have Asian parents, so they were quite pleased with this state of affairs. And I thought, “Wow, this is really lousy job.” When I was growing up as a kid playing Dungeons and Dragons, I didn’t dream about being the scribe. I dreamt about going in the woods and killing something, which did not help my parents feel any better about my decision to quit the firm.

So yes, he quit what many people might see as a dream job. He got involved in an internet startup that combined celebrity and charity.

YANG: So we called it stargiving.com. And we got Hootie and the Blowfish and MTV and Magic Johnson to donate meet-and-greets with themselves to their nonprofits.

The launch of StarGiving coincided with the bursting of the dot-com bubble; the firm lasted just five months.

YANG: I mean, I was a very sad 26-year-old who still owed $100,000 in law school loans and had parents still telling people I was a lawyer even though I was not. And I joined another startup, and I was very worried that it was also going to go under. So I started throwing parties on the side as a side hustle. And then I also started teaching the GMAT on the side for a friend’s company. So I had three jobs during that time.

The job that stuck was the GMAT teaching — GMAT being the standardized test you take to get into business school. The company was called Manhattan Prep and Yang ended up becoming its C.E.O.

YANG: That’s right. So I personally taught the analyst classes at McKinsey, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley. And so imagine doing that for six, seven years and then seeing the country go to shit during the financial crisis. And then think, Well, I know why that is — because the smart kids have been becoming Wall Street bankers and management consultants while the rest of the country was getting hollowed out.

In 2009, Yang’s company was bought by the testing firm Kaplan, which was owned by the Washington Post Company.

YANG: We were acquired for low tens of millions. So I walked away with some number in the millions.

He soon left the Washington Post Company to start a non-profit called Venture for America, modeled on Teach for America.

YANG: Venture for America takes a recent college graduate, trains them with various business skills, and then sends them to work at a startup or an early-stage growth company in Detroit, New Orleans, Cleveland, Baltimore, a city that could use the talent. Then you work at that startup for two years, helping it grow. And at the end of two years if you want to start your own business, we have an accelerator and a seed fund to help you do so. It’s going to create 100,000 jobs around the country. We’ve helped create over 3,000 jobs to date, and dozens of our alums have started companies, some of which have now raised millions of dollars and generated millions in revenue.

DUBNER: So you said you hoped to create 100,000 jobs, and then you just said you’ve created 3,000 jobs, so that sounds like you’re a little short.

YANG: Well, create 100,000 by a certain date.

DUBNER: What’s the date?

YANG: So we had 2025 as our target date.

DUBNER: Okay.

YANG: So we would need algorithmic growth.

DUBNER: I gather what you learned about how the world worked outside of the coastal corridors and outside the Ivy League, and so on, was an awakening. Yes?

YANG: Yeah, it was for sure.

DUBNER: What was different in Detroit, in Pittsburgh, and elsewhere that you went, from what you imagined?

YANG: Well, so some of the structural force, and I’ll describe this — a company, it had a couple of very bright founders out of Brown University, and they got started in Providence. And the company starts to do well, hits its strides, doing a couple of million in revenue, and then an investor in Silicon Valley says, “Hey, you guys should come out here, and we’ll invest $10, $20 million in you. But you should really come here.” So then the guys say, “Well I guess we have to take that.” So that company goes from 100 employees in Providence, R.I., to zero employees.

DUBNER: And I can feel the mayor of Providence and the governor of Rhode Island thinking right now, “No, no, no, please don’t go.”

YANG: They were there. I mean the mayor — they were saying, “Please don’t go.” And the guys were like, “Well, you’ve got to do what’s right for your business.” And they went out to Silicon Valley and now the company has 100 employees in San Francisco. It becomes this really unfortunate dynamic that if you are an entrepreneur who’s succeeding in a place like Detroit or Providence or St. Louis, the goal is to get sucked up to the big leagues and wind up in San Francisco or Boston or New York.

DUBNER: But the other part is that what we used to think of as the backbone jobs of this country, the nature of that is changing really, really fast, due to technology and particularly automation. How much of that were you starting to see up close, and how surprising was that to you?

YANG: Yeah, so my thesis was that if you started a tech company in a place like Detroit that it would create additional jobs in that community that were not necessarily skilled jobs. But what I learned was that these companies, in order to be successful, did not need to hire huge numbers of people. That right now, the way businesses grow is that businesses grow lean and mean. They’re not going to hire the thousands of employees that industrial companies used to employ in a place like Detroit or Cleveland or St. Louis.

And it became clear to me that as much as I was excited about and proud of the work I was doing, it felt like I was pouring water into a bathtub that had a giant hole ripped in the bottom. Because we’re blasting away hundreds of thousands of retail jobs, call-center jobs, food-service jobs, eventually truck-driving jobs. And so my army of entrepreneurs, doing incredible work, starting companies that might employ 20, 30, 40 people, was not going to be a difference-maker in the context where that community was going to lose 20, 30, 40,000 retail jobs, call-center jobs, transportation jobs, etc. And I was horrified. I was flying back and forth being like, “What the hell are we doing? We are blasting communities to dust and then pretending like we’re not and pretending like it’s their fault, and pretending that somehow it’s unreasonable to be upset about your way of life getting destroyed.”

I had a wakeup call, a reckoning as you said. But then when Donald Trump became president in 2016 I was convinced that the reason why he won the presidency is that we automated away four million manufacturing jobs in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri. And we’re about to triple down on that by blasting away millions of retail jobs, call-center jobs, fast-food jobs, truck-driving jobs.

David AUTOR: I think if we had realized how traumatic the pace of change would have been, we would have at a minimum had much better policies in place to assist workers in communities that suffered these very severe and immediate consequences.

That’s the M.I.T. labor economist David Autor from our 2017 episode “Did China Eat America’s Jobs?

AUTOR: And we might have tried to moderate the pace at which it occurred. And we also had a huge trade deficit and that meant we simply did a lot less manufacturing. So that meant that workers had to make a tougher transition out of manufacturing, into something altogether new. And I think that upped the challenge.

I think the other thing that we have to recognize, and that economists have tended not to emphasize, is that jobs aren’t purely income. They are part of identity. They structure people’s lives. They give them a purpose and a social community and a sense of relevance in the world. And I think that is a lot of the frustration that we see in manufacturing-intensive areas. And I think that that’s costly even beyond the direct financial costs.

It’s been tempting, especially from a political view, to blame all this job loss on global trade, immigrant labor, and offshoring. But Autor and most other economists agree that the much larger driver of job loss is technology and automation in particular.

YANG: So we automated away 4 million manufacturing jobs.

Back to Andrew Yang.

YANG: This is like the auto-manufacturing plants, a lot of the even consumer-goods, like furniture manufacturing in North Carolina, a lot of that stuff has gotten automated away. Now, I studied economics. And according to my economics textbook, those displaced workers would get retrained, re-skilled, move for new opportunities, find higher productivity work, the economy would grow. So everyone wins. The market, invisible hand has done its thing.

So then I said, “Okay, what actually happened to these four million manufacturing workers?” And it turns out that almost half of them left the workforce and never worked again. And then half of those that left the workforce then filed for disability, where there are now more Americans on disability than work in construction, over 20 percent of working-age adults in some parts of the country.

DUBNER: So the former manufacturing workers, a lot of them are on disability a lot of them are also especially if they’re younger men, they’re spending 25–40 hours a week playing video games.

YANG: Yeah so it did not say in my textbook, half of them will leave the workforce never to be heard from again. Half of them will file for disability and then another significant percentage will start drinking themselves to death, start committing suicide at record level, get addicted to opiates to a point where now eight Americans die of opiates every hour.

So when you say, “Am I for automation and artificial intelligence and all these fantastic things?” of course I am. I mean, we might be able to do things like cure cancer or help manage climate change more effectively. But we also have to be real that it is going to displace millions of Americans. People are not infinitely adaptable or resilient or eager to become software engineers, or whatever ridiculous solution is being proposed. And it’s already tearing our country apart by the numbers, where our life expectancy has declined for the last two years because of a surge in suicides and drug overdoses around the country.

None of this was in my textbook. But if you look at it, that’s exactly what’s happening. The fantasists — and they are so lazy and it makes me so angry, because people who are otherwise educated literally wave their hands and are like, “Industrial Revolution, 120 years ago. Been through it before,” and, man, if someone came into your office and pitched you an investment in a company based on a fact pattern from 120 years ago, you’d freakin’ throw them out of your office so fast.

The Industrial Revolution is a textbook example of creative destruction. Old technologies giving way to new; the rising tide lifting all boats. But history doesn’t actually happen that smoothly …

YANG: If you look at the Industrial Revolution, there was massive social change. Labor unions were originated in 1886 to start protesting for rights. There were massive riots that led to dozens of deaths and caused billions of dollars’ worth of damage that led to Labor Day becoming a holiday. Universal high school got implemented in 1911 in response to all of these changes. And it was a tumultuous time. I mean there was a whiff of revolution the whole time. And according to Bain, this labor-force displacement, this time, the fourth Industrial Revolution, is going to be three to four times faster and more vicious than that Industrial Revolution was.

So even for those lazy-ass people who are just like, “We’ve been through this before, Industrial Revolution,” be like, “Well, the Industrial Revolution was hellacious and it’s going to be three to four times worse according to Bain, who presumably you respect because they’re good at figuring this stuff out.” I mean if you look at government-funded retraining programs, the efficacy level, according to independent studies, is between 0 and 15 percent. And only 10 percent of workers would even qualify for these programs anyway. So we’re talking about a solution that will apply to between 1 and 2 percent of displaced workers. And that’s the kind of lazy crap that people are putting out there as a solution.

DUBNER: So if a revolution happens, how does it start, and what’s it look like?

YANG: So to me the rubber hits the road with the truck drivers. I mean there are 3.5 million truck drivers in this country, only 13 percent of them are unionized. The odds of there being a collective negotiation are very low. Eighty-seven percent of them are part of small firms of let’s call it 20 to 30 truckers, and 10 percent of them own their own trucks.

So think about that. If you borrow tens of thousands of dollars to be your own boss and be an entrepreneur and then your truck cannot compete against a robot truck that never stops — the odds then of these truckers showing up at a state capitol saying, “Fuck this, let’s get 30 guys together with our trucks and our guns” and show up and protest the automation of their jobs. So we’re disintegrating by the numbers. You can see it in our political and social dysfunction. Expecting that disintegration process to be gentle would be ignoring history.

DUBNER: Well even though revolutions do happen and armed violent revolutions obviously have happened, most bold predictions turn out to be wildly wrong. And usually there’s a lot less deviance from the past than predictors predict. So what makes you think you’re not wrong on this one?

YANG: I don’t know thousands of truck drivers, but I do know some. And they do not strike me as the sort who will just shrug and say, “Okay, I guess that was a good run. I’m going to go home now and figure out what job is there for someone who’s a 50-year-old former truck driver.”

But you also are going to see call-center workers, fast-food workers, retail workers — I mean there are 8.8 million people working in retail in this country. The average retail worker is a 39-year-old woman with a high-school degree who makes $11 to $12 an hour. When 30 percent of malls close in the next four years, what is their next opportunity going to be? So we have to start being honest about what’s happening where the market does not care about unemployed cashiers or truck drivers or fast-food workers.

And the biggest issue to me is that we’re measuring economic value in a very narrow, archaic way. We invented G.D.P. almost 100 years ago during the Great Depression. The government’s looking around saying, “Things are going really badly, we need a number for this.” And then Simon Kuznets comes up with G.D.P. and says a few things: He says we should not use this as a measurement for national well-being because it’s really bad for that. We should include parenthood and motherhood in the calculation because it adds so much value. And we should not include national defense spending in the calculation because—

DUBNER: If I remember my history, all three of those were ignored then, yes?

YANG: Yes, yes, yes. We’re like, “That’s great, Simon.” And now it’s our end-all, be-all. My wife is at home with our two boys right now, one of whom is on the autism spectrum. And what is her work valued at?

DUBNER: I’m guessing $0.

YANG: Yeah, about $0. And I know that she’s working harder than I am and the work she is doing is more important.

DUBNER: So your wife doesn’t really factor into G.D.P. In fact, she’s probably kind of a drain on it really, right? Because she could be out there where there’s opportunity cost of her not working.

YANG: She might be able to be a management consultant somewhere and that would be a much more valuable use of her—

DUBNER: So management consultants and the finance industry, financial services, banking, real estate. You argue that many of the most remunerative occupations in America are rent-seeking activities. Rent-seeking as economists use it to describe, basically, extracting value from transactions without really adding value. And you argue that many of the most beneficial-for-society jobs — teaching, nurturing, caring, creating, etc. — are the least remunerative jobs. How can you rail against that disparity while also wanting to bask in the benefits of the capitalism that set up those incentives?

YANG: Capitalism is a wonderful, magical, powerful thing. But it optimizes for capital efficiency and capital gains above all else, really. And that worked well for a long time, because in order for capital efficiency, workers needed to benefit, the consumer economy needed to benefit, the middle class needed to benefit. It’s like Henry Ford and his, “How can my workers buy my car?” But we’re now at a point where Ford does not need those humans to build that car and they can have markets all over the place and don’t really care what’s going on in their own backyard.

There are just these big changes afoot, and the question is how we’re going to manage them as a country. And that’s what I’m trying to answer. That’s why I’m running for president.

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Until recently, Andrew Yang was running Venture for America, a non-profit that tries to persuade young, would-be Wall Streeters to launch startups in places like Cleveland, Baltimore, Detroit, and St. Louis. In 2014, he published a book about this effort; it was called Smart People Should Build Things. While the book pointed out the need for a dramatic overhaul of the American economy, it was for the most part an optimistic book. Last year, Yang published another book, called The War on Normal People, and it is not remotely optimistic. He argues that the American economy has failed most Americans, and that the American political class has failed them again by refusing to focus on the underlying fault lines in the economy.

This collapse in Andrew Yang’s optimism is what led him to run for President. He’s already been to Iowa and New Hampshire several times but, let’s be honest: he’s a very long shot in what’s expected to be a very crowded field. Let’s use Twitter followers as a proxy for the viability of some other possible Democratic candidates. Joe Biden has 3 million followers; Cory Booker, 4 million; Elizabeth Warren, 4.7 million; Bernie Sanders, 9 million. Mike Bloomberg has 2 million Twitter followers and over 40 billion dollars. Andrew Yang, meanwhile, has raised about $600,000, and has roughly 27,000 Twitter followers. But he also has ideas that he thinks will compensate. There’s one idea in particular that he’s banking on.

YANG: My first big policy is the freedom dividend, a policy where every American adult between the ages of 18 and 64 gets $1,000 a month, free and clear, no questions asked.

DUBNER: So the freedom dividend is your phrase for what most of us know as a universal basic income, yes?

YANG: It’s a rebrand of “universal basic income” because it tests much better with Americans with the word “freedom” in it.

DUBNER: Right, as nomenclature. The idea is the same.

YANG: So “universal basic income” tests great with about half the country. And then the other half of the country do not like it.

DUBNER: Because…

YANG: Because there’s—

DUBNER: It’s got welfare connotations?

YANG: Something along those lines. We tested a bunch of names and then when you had the word “freedom” in it, then all of a sudden testing shot up among self-identified conservatives. They hated “universal basic income,” hated “prosperity dividend,” all of a sudden “freedom dividend” is like “ding ding ding!”

DUBNER: What about progressives, liberals, Democrats?

YANG: Progressives, liberals, Democrats liked it no matter what the name was.

DUBNER: What were some of the other names that didn’t work?

YANG: “Citizens’ dividend,” “future dividend,” “prosperity dividend.” We had a lot of dividends.

DUBNER: I think of a dividend as a payout on an investment. What does it mean in this case?

YANG: Well, it’s a payout to ownership and we are the owners and shareholders of this, the most wealthy and advanced society in the history of the world. So this is a dividend for us. And there’s nothing stopping a majority of shareholders, a majority of citizens, from voting themselves a dividend. It’s been law in Alaska and it’s wildly popular in a deeply conservative state, where a Republican governor said, “Hey, who would you rather get the oil money: the government, who’s just going to screw it up, or you, the people of Alaska?” And the people of Alaska now love it, wildly popular, has created thousands of jobs, has improved children’s health and nutrition, has lowered income inequality, and it’s untouchable through many different regimes.

DUBNER: The Alaska dividend comes from oil revenues from the state, whereas the freedom dividend that would go to every person in the U.S. would be funded how?

YANG: So the headline cost of this is $2.4 trillion, which sounds like an awful lot. For reference, the economy is $19 trillion, up $4 trillion in the last 10 years. And the federal budget is $4 trillion. So $2.4 trillion seems like an awfully big slug of money. But if you break it down, the first big thing is to implement a value-added tax, which would harvest the gains from artificial intelligence and big data from the big tech companies that are going to benefit from it the most.

So we have to look at what’s happening big-picture, where who are going to be the winners from A.I. and big data and self-driving cars and trucks? It’s going to be the trillion-dollar tech companies. Amazon, Apple, Google. So the big trap we’re in right now is that as these technologies take off, the public will see very little in the way of new tax gains from it. Because if you look at these big tech companies — Amazon’s trick is to say, “Didn’t make any money this quarter, no taxes necessary.” Google’s trick is to say, “It all went through Ireland, nothing to see here.” Even as these companies and the new technologies soak up more and more value and more and more work, the public is going to go into increasing distress.

So what we need to do is we need to join every other industrialized country in the world and pass a value-added tax which would give the public a slice, a sliver of every Amazon transaction, every Google search. And because our economy is so vast now at $19 trillion, a value-added tax at even half the European level would generate about $800 billion in value.

Now, the second source of money is that right now we spend almost $800 billion on welfare programs. And many people are receiving more than $1,000 in current benefits. So, we’re going to leave all the programs alone. But if you think $1,000 cash would be better than what you’re currently receiving, then you can opt in and your current benefits disappear. So that reduces the cost of the freedom dividend by between $500 and $600 billion.

The great parts are the third and fourth part. So if you put $1,000 a month into the hands of American adults who — right now, 57 percent of Americans can’t pay an unexpected $500 bill — they’re going to spend that $1,000 in their community on car repairs, tutoring for their kids, the occasional night out. It’s going to go directly into the consumer economy. If you grow the consumer economy by 12 percent, we get $500 billion in new tax revenue.

And then the last $500 billion or so we get through a combination of cost savings on incarceration, homelessness services, health care. Because right now we’re spending about $1 trillion on people showing up in emergency rooms and hitting our institutions. So we have to do what good companies do, which is invest in our people.

DUBNER: So what persuades you that that number, $2.4 trillion, could even be close to justified through the menu of savings that you just described? I guess more broadly, why should someone believe that this Democratic-inspired version of higher taxes — or new taxes, with a V.A.T. — and more income redistribution, why should someone believe that any more than Democrats disbelieve the Republicans’ idea of lower taxes and trickle-down economics?

YANG: Oh man. I mean, if you put $1,000 into the hands of a struggling American, it’s going to make a much bigger difference not just to that person but it’s also going to go back into the economy. If you give a wealthy person $1,000 they wouldn’t even notice. You could just slap it into their account and it would be a non-event. Everyone knows that putting money into the hands of people that would actually use it is going to be much more effective at strengthening our economy and society.

DUBNER: One easy argument against a U.B.I. is that if you give everyone a dividend like you’re proposing, $1,000 a month per person, all that new money in the economy will cause the kind of inflation that will render that $1,000 much less powerful. What’s your argument against that?

YANG: Yeah, so I looked into the causes of inflation that are making Americans miserable right now, and they are not in consumer goods like media or clothing or electronics.

DUBNER: Those are all still getting much cheaper.

YANG: Yeah, and a lot of that is being made more efficient by technology and supply chains and everything else. The three things that are making Americans miserable in terms of inflation are housing, education, and health care. And each of those is being driven by something other than purchasing power.

Housing is being driven by the fact in some markets people feel like they need to live in let’s say New York or Seattle or San Francisco to be able to access certain opportunities and then there’s not much flexibility in terms of their ability to commute like a long distance. Education, it’s because college has very sadly gotten two-and-a-half times more expensive even though it has not gotten two-and-a-half times better. And then the third is health care, which is dysfunctional because of a broken set of incentives and the fact that individuals aren’t really paying in a marketplace.

So if you put $1,000 into the hands of Americans, it’s actually going to help them manage those expenses much better. But it’s not going to cause prices to skyrocket, because you can’t have every vendor colluding with every other vendor to raise prices. And there’s still going to be price sensitivity among every consumer and competition between firms.

AUTOR: I think people should have a guaranteed minimum income.

That, again, is the M.I.T. economist David Autor.

AUTOR: Essentially, our system of income distribution is primarily based on the scarcity of labor, right, the most valuable asset you own is your human capital. And if all of a sudden, there was a machine that could do exactly what you did it wouldn’t be clear what skills would you sell to the market.

The idea of a universal basic income has been around for a long time, and you might be surprised by the political diversity of its supporters. In the 18th century, founding father Thomas Paine argued for a universal payout, representing our collective share of America’s natural resources. In the 20th century, the economist Milton Friedman pushed for a different version, called a negative income tax. Then and now, there is a common objection:

Evelyn FORGET: If you give people money for nothing, why won’t they just quit their jobs?

The economist Evelyn Forget studied the effects of a small Canadian experiment that paid out a universal income. Her finding?

FORGET: The finding was that primary earners really don’t reduce the number of hours they work very much when you offer a guaranteed annual income.

YANG: A neuroscientist in Seattle said something to me that really stuck with me. He said, “The enemy of universal basic income is the human mind.” And what he meant by that is that people are programmed for resource scarcity. They think, “Hey, there is not enough to go around. If you get it, I don’t get it. And then if we all get it, it’s somehow going to harm us.” And that’s what we have to overcome. We have to overcome this knee-jerk sense of scarcity that is baked into, in many ways, the way we’re trained to perceive value in money.

So that’s big policy No. 1.

Alright, and what’s big policy No. 2 for would-be President Yang?

YANG: No. 2 is digital social credits.

Which are what?

YANG: Digital social credits are a new way to reward behaviors that we need more of in society. So right now, the monetary market does not recognize things that we know are crucial to humanity, like caregiving and raising children, volunteering in the community, arts and creativity, journalism, environmental sustainability. We’re getting less and less of those things because the market does not care about them. What I’m proposing is we create a new currency that then maps to various activities that we want to see more of.

DUBNER: Give me a for instance of how it would work. Let’s pretend that I am a 58-year-old laid-off carpenter. Maybe you, President Yang, are already giving me a freedom dividend, which I appreciate. So talk to me about what digital social credits would do for me and how it would actually work.

YANG: Right. So you get a message on your phone saying, “Hey, a neighbor has had a shelf break and they could use some help repairing it.” And then you click on your phone and say, “Yeah, I’ll do that.” Then you drive over, repair the shelf, and then the person thanks you, gives you a hug. Takes a picture of it. And then you then get this digital social credit. Let’s say call it 300 points. So you have these 300 points and you’re like, “Okay that’s good.”

And then you get another ping, it’s saying, “Hey, your neighbor needs a ride and they don’t have a vehicle,” and you do. So you give them a ride and then you get some more points and then at the end of the week you say, “You know what, if I go to Cabela’s, I can trade those points for hunting gear or camping gear. I could use it to go to the local ballgame.”

DUBNER: Okay. And then the vendors who are giving their goods or services to you for those social credits, what did they do with the social credits?

YANG: They can take the social credits and go to the government and then the government can exchange it for money.

DUBNER: And what’s funding the money for the social credits from the vendors?

YANG: So,  the U.S. government would be backing it, or foundations or various companies, because if you are a company you respond to this. I mean you’d enjoy the heck out of it and it would drive business to your establishments. But the great thing about this is you could induce hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of social activity at a small fraction of the cost. Because right now if I have 100,000 American Express points, how much does that cost American Express?

DUBNER: A thousand dollars maybe?

YANG: Zero, because I haven’t done anything with it yet. Before I redeem it, it costs them nothing, but I love my points. I look at them. They seem to have value. I could trade them in whenever I want. What you’d see is you’d end up building up a parallel economy around people doing things for each other. This is based on a practice called time banking that’s in effect in hundreds of communities around the country.

DUBNER: Time banking is one of these ideas that’s been around for a while now, and it’s met with some success in some places, but it’s certainly never been scaled up the way that you’re talking about. What makes you think that it’s attractive enough for enough people to want to use it and that it is ultimately scalable?

YANG: Time banking holds that everyone’s time has intrinsic value and that if I do something for you for an hour, I then get a time credit that I can then give to someone else to do something for me for an hour. And everyone can do something — watch your kids or walk your dog or move some trash or whatever the task happens to be.

So the obstacle to more widespread adoption of time banking has been the administration, because you need a person in each community who is tabulating and keeping track of transactions. And now with technology—

DUBNER: This sounds like a job for the blockchain.

YANG: Yes, you could have a public ledger on the blockchain. You could make this happen much, much more easily, much more cost-effectively. And there are people I’m happy to say who were working on technical solutions for this.

People like this:

Anitha BEBERG: My name is Anitha Beberg and I am the C.E.O. of Seva Exchange Corporation, which is an A.I. and blockchain startup that’s reinventing volunteerism using time banking.

The chairman of Seva is Edgar Cahn, who helped launch the modern concept of time banking and wrote a book about it, called No More Throw-Away People.

BEBERG: He came up with this in 1980, when he was actually given a diagnosis after having a heart attack at 46. And he was only given two years to live and maybe two hours a day to do anything. So what he was thinking about was, Hmm, what can I do in this world to still be useful? So he came up with the idea of time banking, where you give an hour of your time within a community and you’ll receive a credit of that hour, redeemable for something you need. So it’s a give-and-take system rather than a one-way volunteering.

Edgar Cahn obviously lived on, and so has time banking. It exists in a few dozen countries, usually at quite small scale; one of the larger exchanges, similar to what Andrew Yang is proposing, is a British organization called Tempo. It found that nearly 60 percent of its participants had rarely or never volunteered before. Beberg’s time-banking group, meanwhile, Seva Exchange Corporation…

BEBERG: Seva actually means volunteer in Sanskrit or service, to serve.

The Seva app is a spinoff of Timebanks.org.

BEBERG: What we’re doing is trying to create the largest volunteer exchange network.

How would it work?

BEBERG: We offer powerful motivators to retain volunteers.

Motivators like gamification.

BEBERG: It’s a lot more exciting to run up a score and earn badges especially if you’re doing good.

Also: skills-matching.

BEBERG: Whatever you’re passionate about or you’re highly skilled at and willing to offer, you get matched to the critical needs of either an organization or a person.

And rewards, via the blockchain.

BEBERG: Our digital social credits is called Seva coins. And they will be redeemable for more time. Or you can donate them. We’re also working with colleges for loan forgiveness and micro-scholarships for students.

Beberg and Seva have gotten some pushback from religious institutions.

BEBERG: They’ve said, “Oh, we volunteer for the sake of volunteering.” And I said, “That’s wonderful. The more people like that, the better, because now they can just donate those to an institution in need or give it back to the church for hours.” So every hour you give, another hour can go to someone else in need.

Those are the micro components of how Seva’s digital social credits would work. But it’s the macro view that makes this idea particularly attractive to a would-be politician like Andrew Yang.

BEBERG: We’re redefining work. So there are some forms of work that money will not easily pay for building strong families, revitalizing neighborhoods, making democracy work, advancing social justice. Time credits were specifically designed to reward, recognize, and honor that work that most people never valued before or felt valued for.

Andrew Yang believes that injecting all that undervalued work into the “real economy,” would solve a couple problems at once: it would give people access to more of the goods and services they need and can’t afford; and it’d boost morale by revaluing skills that the market no longer values.

YANG: Yeah, that’s right.

DUBNER: I don’t mean to be a skeptic or a cynic, but what makes you think that the best overseer of a big scaled-up time banking or digital social currency is the government itself?

YANG: I don’t think so. I mean one thing I’ll say, to quote my friend Andy Stern: the government is terrible at most things but it is excellent at sending large numbers of checks to large numbers of people promptly and reliably. The government would not be administering this at all. The best the government would be doing would be allocating social credits to various communities, who could then have the credits flow through nonprofits and NGOs and organizations that are closer to the ground that could administer it more effectively.

DUBNER: But ultimately, when all those vendors want to take in their DSCs, their digital social currency coins, whatever, and cash them in for real cash, it’s the government they’re coming to, it’s the Treasury they’re coming to, yes?

YANG: Yeah, yeah. So there is a government budget allocation. But the government budget allocation would be essentially proportional to population and then each community would be doing different things with it. Because something that would be effective in Mississippi would not be necessary in Montana or Missouri.

So digital social credits and a universal basic income, these are Andrew Yang’s two most prominent proposals in his Presidential campaign. There are, of course, many others, most of which align with a standard Democratic platform. You can see them all at Yang2020.com. I’d asked him his most outlandish position.

YANG: We should have a psychologist in the White House that’s looking in on the mental health of the executive branch, because it doesn’t make any sense to me to have that much power and responsibility without some sort of mental-health professional monitoring.

DUBNER: Did you have this idea before the current presidency?

YANG: I always thought so. I mean, my brother’s a psychology professor. I think it would also help destigmatize mental-health issues and anxiety and depression around the country, and just say, “Look, we all have struggles.” That includes people at the top of the government.

Another thing I think is really important is that right now we expect people to be sort of martyrs if they enter into government service, and then they turn around and become lobbyists to make a lot of money. We need to take advantage of the fact that the government can pay much, much more, and then just require people to not go back to industry afterwards. Because if you’re a human being and your stint is going to end in two or three years, you don’t want to be too harsh on the companies that could end up paying you and giving you lots of money later.

DUBNER: So you’re arguing for a $4 million salary for the U.S. president.

YANG: Yeah, because it’s true for presidents too. I mean, if you’re going to get paid a quarter of a million by some company after you leave office just to show up and schmooze and give a speech, then human nature is like, “Maybe I shouldn’t be too harsh on this company.” And I’ll say, this raise can go into effect for the president after me. I do not give a shit how much I get paid. But the president after me should get paid enough so that we know that they’re just looking out for us and not going to just speech it up afterwards.

DUBNER: You happen to be the Democratic-entrepreneur-as-would-be-President who happens to be running after the successful campaign of a Republican-entrepreneur-as-President who a lot of people agree, his entrepreneurship and CEO-ship have not contributed to a stable presidency or to a business-like presidency, etc. Does that not strike you as potentially terrible timing?

YANG: Well, the reason why Donald Trump in my mind won — aside from the fact that we’ve blasted away all these manufacturing jobs — is that many Americans are desperate for some kind of change agent. And if you look at it, there has been a thirst for that not just with Donald Trump but with Bernie Sanders’s outsized success, even to some extent with Barack Obama winning in ‘08, where the citizens of the United States have been casting about for some kind of change because they know that our government is failing us.

Donald Trump is a terrible president because he’s a terrible president. He’s not necessarily a terrible president because he was not steeped in our government for decades. And genuine entrepreneurs like myself regard Donald Trump as a bullshit marketing charlatan. So he gives us all a bad name. And the goal is to show what real builders and entrepreneurs would do to solve some problems.

DUBNER: If you were a bookmaker, what are the odds that you’re laying off for Andrew Yang winning the presidency in 2020?

YANG: I think the latest odds I saw were like 200-to-1.

DUBNER: Let’s pretend for just a second that you don’t win the presidency. But that you do impress a lot of people with your energy and ideas and vision. And you are invited to run as V.P. on the Democratic ticket.

YANG: One of the fun things about running for president is you spend time with other candidates on the trail. I have some ideas, but my vision is that there is a set of patriots that are all heading to D.C. to try and save this country. I plan to be in that group. And if it’s as president, fantastic, if it’s as vice president, also fantastic.

I just want to solve problems, man. I don’t really care about the seating chart. And someone said to me, “Hey, what if Joe Biden takes all your ideas?” I would say that’s fan-freaking-tastic. I’m not some freaking crazy person who has been measuring the drapes since I was 16 or any of that jazz. I just want to keep this country together for your kids and mine.

*      *      *

Freakonomics Radio is produced by Stitcher and Dubner Productions. This episode was produced by Harry Huggins. Our staff also includes Alison Craiglow, Greg Rippin, Alvin Melathe, and Zack Lapinski. Our theme song is “Mr. Fortune,” by the Hitchhikers; all the other music was composed by Luis Guerra. You can subscribe to Freakonomics Radio on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Here’s where you can learn more about the people and ideas in this episode:

SOURCES

Anitha Beberg, c.e.o. of Seva Exchange.
Evelyn Forget, economist at the University of Manitoba.
Andrew Yang, entrepreneur and Democratic candidate for president.

RESOURCES

Labor 2030: The Collision of Demographics, Automation and Inequality,” Karen Harris, Austin Kimson and Andrew Schwedel, Bain & Company (February 2018). 
No More Throw-Away People by Edgar Cahn (Essential Books 2004).
Smart People Should Build Things by Andrew Yang (HarperBusiness 2014).
The War on Normal People by Andrew Yang (Hachette Books 2018).

The post Why Is This Man Running for President? (Ep. 362) appeared first on Freakonomics.

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A Week In Paris, France, On A $101,000 Salary

6 months, 5 days ago

Welcome toMoney Diaries , where we’re tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We’re asking millennials how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we’re tracking every last dollar.

Are you a furloughed federal employee? We’d love to read your Money Diary. Submit here.

Today: a communications director working in software development who makes $101,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on roses. Editor’s note: All prices have been converted to U.S. dollars.

Occupation: Communications Director Industry: Software Development Age: 39Location: Paris, France Salary: $101,000Paycheck Amount (Month): $5,000 (I also get food vouchers as part of my company benefits — about $200/month.)

Monthly ExpensesMortgage: $1,235 ($1,185 a month on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage at 1.15%, with homeowner’s insurance at $50/month)Utilities: $485 for electricity, gas, and waterInternet: $43.75 (includes international calls, TV, and broadband)Cell Phone: $0 ($96 paid for by my work)Navigo Pass: $94Gym Membership: $200Subscriptions: $31.25 (This includes newsletters and business tools for my side business in communications consulting.)House Emergency Fund: $490Savings: $1,000

Day One

5:30 a.m. — On Mondays I take the train to Paris, which costs $15 if I buy my ticket ahead of time online. It’s three times as much if you buy it at the station, so I avoid that whenever possible. I can’t afford property in Paris, but there’s no work in my field where I live, so I work in Paris and live in a rural region about two hours away. My boyfriend, R., and our infant daughter will follow in the afternoon by car. We’ll spend Monday through Thursday afternoon in Paris, where my boyfriend owns a small two-bedroom apartment. $15

7:50 a.m. — It’s my first day back in the office since maternity leave started four months ago. No one else is here yet. I caffeinate with free office coffee and grab some fruit and nuts.

12:21 p.m. — Morning meetings are over, so I duck outside for lunch. I head to the supermarket to stock up on soup, yogurt, and bars for the next week. Paris is a lunchtime minefield, and if I’m not careful, I know I’ll end up spending more money than I can afford. I used to watch my expenses in this area and stick to a strict food budget, but I don’t anymore. It was unrealistic while I was single and working all the time, and it’s unrealistic now that we’re a family of three. When she was my age, my mother had two children and cooked three square meals a day, all while working. Despite the current constraints of my life, I feel like I should be, too, and feel halfway guilty when I cop out by buying bricks of soup. $21.17

5:17 p.m. — I can’t seem to settle down, so I go out for a quick walk around the block. I duck into a Starbucks for an herbal tea, as I’m trying to go to bed earlier and don’t need caffeine right now. I immediately regret throwing away money on vegetable-tasting water. I leave work early. Well, it feels early. I used to stay until 8 or 9 p.m. several days a week, and that’s just not possible anymore with a kiddo. So I get in two or three hours before everyone in the morning and leave around 5. $5.25

5:41 p.m. — I walk to the express train stop right at the Grands Boulevards next to Galeries Lafayette and Printemps. I top up my Navigo pass with a monthly subscription before taking the express train to R.’s place. It’s $94 for monthly access to the Paris metro, trams, buses, and suburban trains across a 60-mile radius of the city. Not great value if you’re just using it to commute within the city, but a steal if you use the suburban stations like I do. There are so many exquisite things in the store windows. When I first moved to Paris, I redid my budget to bump up the amount I thought I’d be spending on clothes and personal maintenance. Living here had the opposite effect, though. For one, everyone seems to wear the same thing all the time. Also, there’s so much trash and junk covering this city — even the pretty, touristy parts — that I’m put off by the idea of buying more stuff and adding more waste to the pile. Black sweaters, Chapstick lips, and eyeliner it is.

6:40 p.m. — We live at R.’s place three days a week, although “live” is a pretty big word for what we do, which is squeeze into his tiny two-bedroom and watch TV until we fall asleep. Before we moved to the country, he was supposed to renovate his place. This hasn’t happened yet, and I’m not sure how long I can live without a basic kitchen and a shower that doesn’t leak. I run some numbers in my head and figure that it will take at least $7,500 to redo the plumbing for the kitchen and bathroom, put in an oven and fridge, and finish the rest of his move. I don’t have that money just sitting around right now, so it’ll have to wait a few months. It wouldn’t bother me that much, but it’s different with a kid.

7:45 p.m. — R. and our daughter, B., have arrived. I consider stepping out to get noodles from the Chinese restaurant down the street, but R. has just finished an early dinner at his parents’ place a few miles across town. I’m not that hungry, so I eat an apple, make some tea, and answer some emails before it’s time to get B. ready for bed. Goal: no screen time at all while she’s awake. Nighttime is precious. I’m in bed and drifting off to an old episode of House by 9 pm.

Daily Total: $41.42

Day Two

6 a.m. — Alarm goes off at 5:07 a.m. I lie around for five minutes or so before I drag myself out of bed and set off for the 15-minute walk to the express train. I change metros and get off at Strasbourg-Saint Denis to go to the gym. A few bars and sex clubs are still open, and the bakeries are just pulling up their shutters. I realize that the gym has changed its hours since I was last here, pre-birth, and now opens at 7. I grab a seat at Sarah Baker and send a few emails over a double espresso until it opens. $3.30

7:47 a.m. — Finish working out and showering. Time for a quick hop into the steam room before dressing. This gym membership, at $200/month, is my only real indulgence. Unlimited entry to the steam room and sauna alone are worth the price.

8:18 a.m. — At my desk with a free office coffee. I have meetings all morning and afternoon, but I block off an hour from 10 to 11 to squeeze in some writing reports and plans.

9:49 a.m. — Coffee break on the second floor patio. I half want a cigarette, but there’s no way I’d go back to smoking now that I’m nearly 40, have a child, and work to stay in reasonably decent health.

12:23 p.m. — Time for lunch. I heat up a soup and then go out for some bread and a walk. End up getting a cheese roll from the bakery. $1.50

12:39 p.m. — On my way back from the bakery, I see a can of B.’s formula in the window of a pharmacy. I had problems breastfeeding, and as a result, B. started full-time on formula at two months when her weight gain lagged. We use an organic goat milk-based one, which is $37.50 a can here at the pharmacy. I can get it for $17 online by ordering a pack of six cans and using a promo code. I stop in anyway to pick up some ibuprofen for my back and shoulders, which have pretty much been in constant pain since I gave birth. $6.68

1 p.m. — I call a physical therapist when I get back to the office – I have a doctor’s prescription for 15 sessions for my back and shoulders, which will be covered by national health insurance. This therapist comes recommended, but part of his fee isn’t covered by insurance. (Guess that’s why I got an appointment so quickly). I decide I don’t mind paying the extra $50 per session fee out of pocket. My back has been bothering me for years. I can only imagine what it would cost me to get it fixed in the States. $750 isn’t so bad, especially since the payments will be spread out over four months.

1:19 p.m. — R. sends me a text message to let me know to meet him at his parents’ place after I leave work. He doesn’t have a full-time job, and when he’s in Paris, he spends a lot of time hanging out with his retired parents. (He has a net worth 10x mine, mostly in property and stocks, but is cash-poor. His family’s generosity has allowed him to not work full-time or pursue a career over the years.) He and his mother take care of B. during the day. We’re lucky to have this childcare arrangement, I just don’t know how long it’s going to last. I get off one stop before R.’s parents’ place to go by the florist’s shop, where I pick up a small bunch of miniature roses for his mother. $12.50

6:41 p.m. — R., B., and I are in the car on the way home to the apartment. We park a block away and I stop by the Chinese takeout place for fried rice and dumplings to split. We can’t cook in the apartment, so if we eat a full meal at night it’s usually Chinese takeout or sushi. $22.50

Daily Total: $46.48

Day Three

4:43 a.m. — I manage to sleep from about 8:20 p.m. until 4:30 a.m., when I hear B. cooing. I mix up a bottle, feed her, and change her diaper. I probably won’t go back to sleep before I get up and go into town. I hop online and place an order for more formula. It’ll arrive at my house in time for the weekend. $127.43

5:45 a.m. — Out the door as quietly as possible so as not to wake R. and B. I leave $62.50 on the table for R. He’ll probably need to buy diapers for B. and lunch for himself. I don’t mind leaving him money, but it makes both of us feel weird. I don’t like feeling like I’m giving him an allowance, but he has expensive tastes that I can’t afford, and aside from housing, gas, and food, we don’t agree on priorities. Money is a huge sore point between us. We don’t share finances per se, and neither of us has debt, but I pay all of our basics and 90% of other expenses. Plus I contribute to my own retirement. $62.50

7 a.m. — Gym. Treadmill. Listening to RTL through my headphones. I want to start lifting again but I’m not ready. Pregnancy and childbirth were rougher on my body than I was expecting. I hate admitting that I just can’t get up again and bounce back.

9:14 a.m. — At my desk with breakfast eggs and lentil salad from Prêt à Manger ($10), plus free fruit and coffee from the office kitchen, when I get a phone call from R., who wants to know what the money is doing on the table. He “doesn’t need money,” except I know that he does, and the next time we need something or he wants something while we’re out, we’re going to play some stupid game of “Mother May I” that’s going to leave both of us with hurt feelings. He hangs up in a huff. $10

11:15 a.m. — Macarons! One of our favorite partners has stopped by with goodies from Pierre Hermé. Time for an office coffee and a salted caramel macaron. I feel defeated about the R. situation; I can’t win. My salary package finally reached six figures last year, but four years ago I was making a grand total of $34,000. Living in substandard housing for many years and being worried about how I would pay for groceries at the end of the month took a toll on me. It’s why I usually drink office coffee. The idea of going to Starbucks so much that you would want a loyalty card horrifies me. (No judgment, just the residual effect of years of being poor.)

12:30 p.m. — I heat up some soup purchased earlier this week, supplement with a veggie salad and cheese roll takeout from the bakery, grab a pot of yogurt from my stash in the fridge, and head to the lounge to check out the FIFA action happening on the big screen. $6.50

2:20 p.m. — Long distance calls with an American client, who congratulates me on how well I speak English. I’ve learned not to say anything other than “thanks.” Men at my level never get these kinds of questions, like where they’re from or how long they’ve been wherever, whether or not it’s hard to move somewhere completely different, and do they like living in France?

3:35 p.m. — Seven minutes until my next meeting. I order a cool poster of wine — I’m a wine lover and a map geek and want to cover the bare walls of my house with all kinds of maps and graphics. I leave the office at 4:15 p.m. I worked straight through with 20 total minutes of break, so I’m out early to go to pilates at the gym. $24.75

7 p.m. — Pilates is over, I’m showered, and we’re at R.’s parents’ place waiting for traffic to die down so that we can get in the car and drive to mine. I’ll work from home tomorrow. I stopped at Franprix to bring some fruit and chocolate to the in-laws and pick up some diapers for B. She’s gone up a size in the last week, and for some reason the next size up is nearly three times as expensive as the ones she was wearing. I can’t really compare, though, since the packs of diapers have different quantities. This frustrates the comparison-shopping American in me. $26.84

9:21 p.m. — On the road with a sleeping B. in the backseat. We stop to fill up the car and I knock out a few emails before losing the 4G signal about an hour down the highway. $108.51

Daily Total: $366.53

Day Four

5:40 a.m. — Up early and caffeinated with B. fed and diapered. I check emails from my desk downstairs. I remember that I still need to send back a bunch of holiday orders for R. and B. that didn’t fit.

9:15 a.m. — Break for more coffee and a trip to the bakery ($6.25) and post office. I open the huge shutters facing the street and watch the light flood in. This place is so pretty (and cheap), but over the past few months I’ve had the nagging feeling that it was the wrong decision, for lots of reasons. $6.25

9:20 a.m. — Spend more than expected sending back the holiday items and buying stamps. Sending a letter will go up to around $1.25 this year. Crazy. On the way back from the post office, I see our neighbor coming out of the bakery. He’s a mysterious figure who, like me, works in the city. Sharp and well-dressed, in his mid-60s. I have no idea what he actually does or what he’s doing here in this poky little town. His girlfriend is closer to my age, and I’ve been wanting to hang out with her for a few weeks. I make a note to call her. I’m back on calls from 9:30 straight until noon. $45

12:07 p.m. — R. runs downstairs in a panic that we’re going to miss the Friday market. The market comes to town twice a week. Today it’s the fruit and veg wagon, plus the cheese van. R.’s thing is cheese. I’m in the middle of something, so I hand him $40 and tell him to get whatever he likes. He comes back 30 minutes later with two and a half pounds of cheese and $15 worth of muscle car magazines. “Some light reading for the lady,” he smiles triumphantly as he hands them to me. His cheek is incredible, but so is his ability to make me laugh. Market haul includes potatoes, pears, salad, and clementines. And two and a half pounds of cheese. We’ll probably do a raclette tonight. $40

4:40 p.m. — I finish up work, we pile in the car, and drive the 10 miles down the road to the butcher shop. It’s the kind of place that tourists love to come for the authenticity. We buy some beef for stroganoff, some smoked sausage for freezing and quick weekend dinners, and a couple of slices of pâté for snacking. Everything is local. $34.76

5:17 p.m. — On the way back, we veer off toward a neighboring village and pass in front of Cédric’s bar to see if it’s open. It is, so we go inside and share a pint of the local microbrew while showing B. around to the regulars we haven’t seen since she was born. We’re back home by 6:30 p.m. I start messing around with a communications plan for the local organic grocery store, which is in danger of closing. It’s not really clear why, but inexperienced management seems to be a factor. It’s one of the few oases of progressive thinking here, and it would be a shame if it went under. I attended the last co-op meeting and volunteered to help where I could: marketing, communications, sales. I stop to make the stroganoff around 8 p.m., then call it a day around 10 after B. is fed and things are reasonably clean. We drift off to an old episode of House. $5

Daily Total: $131.01

Day Five

6:13 a.m. — Wake up to B. glurgling happily beside me. She’s not hungry or dirty, so I check messages before heading downstairs. There’s a WhatsApp from a number I don’t recognize. Then I remember it’s M., a 20-something investment banker I met last summer shortly after R. left me. We had a few dates before R. came back. M. didn’t mind that I was single mom-to-be in my late 30s, but he was scared off by the fact that I was moving to the country part-time. I told him that R. was coming back and we dropped out of contact soon after. He kind of ghosted me on WhatsApp, which is why I’m surprised to see the message. Decide to wait awhile before replying.

6:30 a.m. — M.’s avatar is once again greyed out and there’s no status. I don’t have the mental energy to wonder what just happened. He’s a sweet guy, and I hope he finds someone.

8:17 a.m. — I ‘m caffeinated and the baby is changed, fed, and entertained. R. goes down the street for bread and pastries. $6.98

10:15 a.m. — Working on grocery store messaging when the doorbell rings. It’s the postal carrier with a package. I ask her to wait a second so that I can get her tube of homemade cookies and her yearly tip. In France, it’s traditional to tip service workers a little something at the end of the year. The concept is completely foreign to me as an American, but I play along. Connections mean a lot in a small place like this, and if you’re cheap, crazy, or strange, word gets around fast. $25

11:14 a.m. — Browsing clothes for B. I order a couple more pants and another jacket in a warm, comfy style I bought for her a few weeks ago. She looks and feels like a cuddly little penguin in them. $59.96

12 p.m. — Pâté sandwiches with goods from the butcher, fruit from the market haul, and tea. Then story time with baby, which turns into nap time.

2:30 p.m. — Get up and realize I’m late for a meeting with R.’s real estate agent. He bought a property to renovate in the same town at the same time as I was buying my house. I want to drop off a gift for her since she went out of her way to introduce us to people here, and since the transaction had a lot of ups and downs. Normally I wouldn’t pick up this particular chore, but R.’s not going to do it because it’s a “waste of money” — his words. But I know how hard she worked to get the deal done and smooth things over when things went belly-up with the owners. I want her to know that someone noticed and appreciated the extra effort that she made. $64.44

4:45 p.m. — Just discovered the air wash function of my washing machine. How did I not know about this?! This is going to save a ton on dry cleaning. I also discover that moths have eaten my new-last-season cashmere sweaters that were in storage this summer. I bought them on Grana, but I’m not sure I want to shell out $100 each to replace them. That’s not expensive for a decent cashmere, but it’s still more than I’m used to paying for a basic sweater. I may go with some merino Uniqlo ones for $29 a pop.

5:30 p.m. — Laundry and Columbo marathon until the late hours of the evening. I make a pot of tea and sandwiches, and a bottle for B.

Daily Total: $156.38

Day Six

1:24 a.m. — Can’t sleep. Browsing Amazon for The Feynman Lectures on Physics. I’m looking for something to do; a longer, bigger thing that is greater than the sum of its parts. Raising a child is part of it, but I feel like my intellect is going unchallenged. The last 10 years of my life have been about money and career. I grew up in an unglamorous place on the frugal end of middle class. No one had any particular expectations of me. I arrived at adulthood with no idea of what I should do, and no idea how to do it. Somehow – and most of the time I don’t know how – I arrived here at this place I never expected to be. Mostly because I was tired of worrying if I was going to be able to afford groceries and a house one day. I came to France with dreams of making a living from my translation and writing, but gave up during yet another year of grinding anxiety about finances. I just didn’t have the personal fortitude to push through. I feel like I failed sometimes, and wish that I had pushed anyway.

1:30 a.m. — The Lectures are over $100 for a box set, plus shipping. It’s an unnecessary expense I don’t feel like I can afford right now. I add them to my wish list. I keep thinking about the whole work-money-life thing. We often judge people who synchronize their lives to the fluctuations of the balance sheet and promotion cycle (I used to), but when you’re on the other side of that looking in and hungry…damn it feels good to even get within striking distance. I’m kind of surprised that I’ve pulled it off.

5:32 a.m. — Up and on the train. I got my ticket early, so it was only $15. I put on my noise-canceling headphones and try to sleep. Today’s a big day: the usual Monday meetings plus lunch out. $15

7:20 a.m. — Arrival in Paris. I take the metro to Grands Boulevards and pop into the Prêt à Manger on Haussmann. Get some eggs, a sandwich, and a small bar of chocolate. Fruit, coffee, and sparkling water will be free at work. $11.01

7:51 a.m. — At my desk and answering emails with office coffee.

8:22 a.m. — Scheduling all the little moving parts of an announcement this week. There’s a lot to coordinate and a lot of areas where information can potentially fall through the cracks. I got into marketing and communications by default. Good communication is a real job and an art, though. If I’m doing my job right, everything should look and feel seamless. That’s the part that takes the most work – making the rough edges invisible in order to create and highlight the main messages.

10:05 a.m. — Coffee break with the guys from finance. They’re talking about their next vacations. Realize that I’m happy enough going home on the weekends and don’t feel the need for anything more exotic than pushing a stroller through the forest at the edge of town.

12:03 p.m. — Meet a new friend at a Parisian corner bistro where we’re getting lunch. We met on a Facebook group for single parents a few months ago after R. left me, and she recently wrote to ask me for advice about buying an apartment. It’s the first time we’ve met in person. I also want to ask her about her family lawyer and her experience in the court system here. So far R. has been good with B., but I haven’t been able to get over the fact that he left while I was pregnant, and the fact that there’s increasing tension in our household — especially his badgering about money and our lifestyle in general. $20.08

1:20 p.m. — I stop at a Starbucks on my way back to the office. After hearing my friend’s story, I’m more resolved to at least contact a lawyer. Lately, there have also been some temper fits that leave me feeling on edge and unsafe. On the one hand, I feel gutted knowing that my daughter will probably not grow up with her two parents living under one roof. On the other, I know that this leads nowhere good in the long run, and that I need to sort things out now rather than wait until they get worse. Also, I don’t want her to grow up believing this is okay. It’s going to take a long time to get unstuck from this particular situation, but I’ve resolved to do it this year. $5.75

3 p.m. — Two pieces of fruit from the kitchen to get me through the rest of the afternoon of meetings. I call it a day around 6 p.m., think about going to the gym but am too tired, and get on the suburban train.

8 p.m. — I call in a sushi order for R. and me. One order is more than I can eat by myself, and he’s already eaten at his parents’ house, so we’ll split one order of sushi, tempura, rice, soup, and salad. It’s not great, but it’s food. I’m in bed by 9. $22.50

Daily Total: $74.34

Day Seven

7 a.m. — At the gym and on the treadmill after a 5:40 wake-up call. My goal is to be showered, dressed, and in the office by 8:20. Hope I’ll have time for the steam room. Even five minutes would be great.

11:07 a.m. — See an envelope lying in my bag and realize it’s the check for the plumber. Why have I not sent that back yet? I remember that there’s some complicated tax form that comes along with it that also needs to be completed. I want R.’s dad to take a look at it before I mess something up. I shoot his dad a quick email.

11:32 a.m. — Takeout lunch of pesto salad, lemonade, and a yogurt pot from M&S. I also pick up some chocolates for my team and a can of double-acting baking powder for some cookies I want to make this coming weekend. I text with R. He’s trying to entertain B. with some rudimentary version of a puppet show. It sounds cute, and I’m sorry to be missing it. $20.01

2:45 p.m. — Office fruit won’t cut it today. I’m famished, so I head out for one of those prepackaged triangle sandwiches with egg salad and bacon. $4.50

5 p.m. — My friend T. texts me to let me know he’ll be a few minutes late picking me up. He was one of the first people I met when I moved to Paris. We went out twice but weren’t right for each other, and he’s now dating another friend. We drive to a bar over on the Left Bank where we catch up over drinks every month or two. It’s one of those typically Parisian places with gold-plated furniture, glass tabletops, saucy service, and classics like Picon bières, rosé in pitchers, and vermouth by the glass.

5:22 p.m. — T. orders us each a glass of champagne. We’re celebrating a career accomplishment of his today. I admire his resilience and work ethic.

7:20 p.m. — R. and B. get home about 30 minutes after I do. R. is hungry and wants Chinese. I go across the street, order, and sit down to wait for another our fried rice and dumplings. Takeout and lunches out are a bigger portion of our budget than I’d like, but we really can’t do any differently right now living in a place without a kitchen four days a week. $22.50

7:25 p.m. — Making lists in my head of stuff I need to get within the next week. I order some baby pictures of B. $73.75

7:31 p.m. — I go ahead and buy my train ticket for next Monday. The online price has inexplicably gone from $15 to more than double. The national rail service is trying out dynamic pricing, except it’s not dynamic, it’s just bad and half-baked. $31.25

7:45 p.m. — Back at home, eating with one hand and cuddling B. with the other. I make a deposit on some baby books at Shakespeare & Co. I’m trying to get B. into a bedtime routine. She has some books in French, but only one or two in English. I’ll go pick up the books during one of my lunch hours next week. $25

11:41 p.m. — My eyes snap open after sleeping for two hours. I can’t sleep. This has been happening a lot lately. As usual for the past few months at night, I’m worried about something. Objectively, life is good. It hasn’t felt this way in a long time, though – last year was horrible and full of fear of instability. But then I look at the result: a beautiful, healthy baby girl, and my health is good. My salary and career are better than they’ve ever been. I’ve bought a house I can afford and have been careful to not squander the seeds of long-term financial security. I’m making new friends and volunteering again. I just wish I could relax.

Daily Total: $177.01

If you are experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224 for confidential support.

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