Discover more from Poor Billy's Almanac
The craziest Mexican of all time
What did Billy do this week:
I got called gay at a comedy show. The comedian is hilarious. Her name is Robbie Hoffman. If you’re ever in New York, you should check her out.
My friend John is spending two days in a remote Airbnb. No computer or phone. Just books, nature, and a journal. I’m jealous. More of us could use a digital and spiritual reset.
I saw, noble peace prize-winning economist, Joe Stiglitz speak. After the talk, I asked if crypto could make the world a better place. He thought crypto was crap, but after I brought up points around smart contracts and a globally decentralized database he told me to email him.
Idea of the week: What if we ended self-help?
I’m reading a book called, “How to Do Nothing,” I’m enjoying it so far. I tried reading a more popular book in the genre called, “Digital Minimalism” by Cal Newport, but it was preachy and felt like another blazé self-help book. It made me think about the purpose self-help books serve. Do we really need another person telling us:
Don‘t give up
Do this, do that
Focus on the process
I’ve fallen for the self-help trap before, but as I live more life, I realize the most effective self-help is storytelling. It’s why we love movies, books, and conversations. The better the storytelling the more we pay attention and the higher chance we’ll change our behaviors. Next time you want to get a point across tell a story. The icing on the anti self-help cake?
The book responsible for the self-help genre, Self-Help, was written by a Scottish ex-journalist called Samuel Smiles who was not very successful in his career.
Article of the week: Writer's Diary by Playwrite Matthew Gasda
Gasda discusses how the 2020s are going to be a high-risk, high-reward decade. The previous decade got us addicted to harmful stuff and our behaviors changed for the worse.
Social media and dating apps formed new relationships but made us more lonely and depressed. Apps like Robinhood and DraftKings made us poorer. Matt says, “I don't think it's a coincidence that the App Era is also the era of permanent crisis (climate crisis, political crisis, pandemic crisis, and so on).” The article is only a few minutes long if you want to check it out.
Quote of the Week
“If you want to be successful in life, simply watch what most people would do in a given situation, and then do the total opposite—nine times out of ten, you'll receive greater rewards.”
Company of the week: NoCode MBA
NoCode MBA gets me excited for 2 reasons.
I like companies giving the average Joe tools previously only available to the rich or large companies.
No code is the future
This website has dozens of no-code courses. You can learn how to build Tinder, Indeed, and Zillow all with no code. I have no shill to promote, but if you want to take your business idea seriously, here is the link to the website
👨🏼💼 Person of the week: Antonio López de Santa Anna (1794-1876)
Santa Anna was the President of Mexico 6 different times. He’s sometimes referred to as the Napoleon of the West. Even though he is responsible for several military victories including, coming out of retirement to lead the Mexicans over the French in the Pastry War (where he lost a leg), most Mexicans hate him.
He was in charge of Texas during the loss of Texas and is a large reason California, New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada are U.S. states. He enjoyed leading an army much more than leading his country. Like Napoleon, he was exiled from Mexico to Cuba, the United States, Colombia, and Saint Thomas.
Other fun facts about Santa Anna:
He has two legs (both prosthetic) in two separate U.S. museums. He even held a military funeral for his real leg shot off in the Pastry War. He spent thousands of taxpayer pesos on the funeral which included an elaborate ceremonial burial with cannon salutes, poetry, and prayer.
He was a passionate cock fighter.
He’s famous for fighting with the Spanish to suppress Mexican independence, only to switch sides back to Mexico when he saw independence coming.