2 week farm reset

From May 3rd to May 17th, I was at the farm. I needed a break from lockdown New York City. It was a productive two weeks and I am happy I did it. I not only had a great time with my family, but I woke up at 5am every day, started the carnivore diet, and ditched my caffeine habit.

On the car ride up, I made an an agreement with my friend that we would both try to wake up at 5am for the month of May or we would have to Venmo our worst enemy $100, something neither of us wanted to do. We both validated our getting up early by sending a selfie outside between 5:00-5:15. It’s worked like a charm – every day since May 4th I’ve gotten up on time.

Last year, my new year’s resolution was to get up at 5am everyday for the year. This was a big challenge, and I did so for about half the year. I found that the hardest part was getting to bed early enough to get up on time. Still, with the extra time I had in the morning, I ended up reading a lot and starting a business. I didn’t plan on doing those things, I just made it a point that I woke up early and let myself wander to whatever I wanted to do.

I took the same approach with this challenge for myself during the farm reset – after I got up, as long as I didn’t go to bed again, I wanted to give myself the freedom to do whatever I wanted. I ended up doing a fair bit of reading (Thus Spoke Zarathusrta and Letters From a Self-made Merchant to His Son) and going for walks in the morning. A few mornings I helped my dad, a few I checked on the chickens that had some predator problems.

The first few days of getting up early, I would make a strong cup of black coffee and read in my room. It reminded me of a description of Coke Stevenson’s morning routine of waking up at 4am every day to read. I read about this in Means of Ascent bu Robert Caro. Coke Stevenson was LBJ’s opponent for a senate seat in 19XX. A lawyer, self-made man, his integrity was unassailable and he was popular throughout all of Texas. It’s widely accepted that LBJ cheated him out of the senate race.

“He would read at night, but also in the morning before daylight. He rose very early every morning, and put on a pot-a battered old graniteware pot-of very strong coffee. Then he would site down with a book. Friends who stayed at the ranch remember sometimes getting up at four or five in the morning to go to the bathroom, and seeing a lamp brining in the living room, and in its circle of light, Coke Stevenson reading, his huge, gnarled, powerful hands tenderly holding the book. ‘He treats his books like friends’ one man would recall. ‘None of this books has a turned down edge’ to make the place; ‘none has notes on the margin – if notes are needed, he makes them on a piece of paper and inserts them at the place'”

I always remembered that quote, and waking up a few days and doing the same made me feel some kind of connection with a great man like Stevenson.

The first 10 days I spent clearing away 10 years of brush from fences on the outskirts of the farm. The brush grounded the fence so electricity couldn’t go through.  This was satisfying work and what I needed to shake up sedentary quarantine routine. Above and beyond the other things I’ll talk about here, outdoor manual labor, being around family, and seeing the first results of the work that I do in the real world were crucial to the reset. It got me thinking about some kind of business that could be built around a farm reset.

I also planted 4 acres of peas and did other tractor work. Tractor work is always fun because of the power you feel when behind the wheel of the tractor.

Another change is that on May 14th, I started a carnivore diet. I noticed that within a few days of the carnivore diet, my mood and energy levels improved. I felt alert and sharp all day and slept great. I didn’t feel tired or slow after I ate. I was eating lots of steak, eggs, and ground beef. I don’t know how it will affect my running, since I usually feel better running on carbs, but I’ll write about that later. 

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When researching the carnivore diet, I learned that some people have bad diarrhea for the first few weeks of the diet. Luckily that did not happen to me, at least not yet. I did notice that I poop once every 5 days or so, which honestly is nice. I don’t even think about having to go and don’t miss going 1-2x per day. I drink about a gallon of water a day.

Since I was on a roll with waking up early and eating a lot of meat, I decided to take a break from coffee as well. I haven’t been drinking it since May 12th or so. Who knows how long it will go, but the combination of eating only meat, and waking up early for manual labor outside is a great recipe for not needing coffee. I noticed a few withdrawal headaches, but they weren’t too hard to get through. My liquid treat is now Topo Chico.

On May 3rd, I stopped using a face cream I’ve used for years to keep my face clear. My face has been pretty red, dry, and flaky for the majority of the time, but I think it’s a good release and I am testing whether or not a carnivore diet will change my skin at all. I think it will, but we shall see.

When I set out on the farm reset, I had the intention of journaling more, following Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism, and of starting a calisthenics routine, but you can only do so much at once, and overall I am happy with the foundational momentum I’ve started to build.

I also re-did the farm website. I migrated their content from Wix to Square. It wasn’t a terrible transition. The hardest part of this stuff is having the photos and content already, so I was able to copy and paste most content over to Square. I will say, as someone who has worked in software sales, that it was interesting to be on “buyer” side where I worked with my mom to determine what exactly was needed and what the problem w

I also worked on cleaning up one of the farm houses we have that has sort of fallen into disrepair. I’d like to get it to a livable situation so that it could be used for workers, as an airbnb, or for myself one day. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being ready to live in, it’s at about a 3. It needs a lot of work that is above my skill level, but it’s something I want to work on in the future.

 

10 Ideas – Future Of Agriculture


1.Drones/quadcopters herd and watch cows out the pasture. They can bring them in at the right time, and keep a video stream to watch which cows are in heat.
2.Machine that drives over crop rows and picks weeds with precise mechanical hands. A camera or sensor IDs what the crop is and picks everything else. Grow several kinds of beneficial plants together and have one robot pick everything except those plants
3. Rail system that picks and cleans eggs from chickens as soon as they’re laid.
4. One machine that humanely and perfectly processes chickens. Hardest part would be consistent eviceration,
5. Machine above indoor paddock that moves on xyz axis and can identify when cows need more bedding. It has a supply of bedding on top of the machine, and then as cows move around it comes in a lays bedding so that cows stay as clean and comfortable as possible.,
6. Fencing on wheels so you could move animals around from a computer to a fresh grass paddock. You would have to move water as well. A combination of these things that could bring a permaculture system together to work with machine control and decisions
7. A way to have a hose suspended with solar drones so that a river could feed all the cows in far away fields.
8.The machine milkers that could filter milk coming right from the cow and bottle it right there and put it in a fridge.
9. Before cows enter a parlor, you could take a blood sample to see exactly what nutrients they’re deficient in and then their ID tag could mix the right nutrient solution for them
10. Floors that absorb energy from cow movements to charge batteries

10 Ideas – June 16


1. Boeing or Airbus designs electric jets using Tesla patents and tech
2. John Deere making electric/solar tractors.
3. Ducati electric motorcycles.
4. A company where you adopt a shark/whale/dolphin and have a noninvasive camera strapped to its fin. See a livestream of what it sees and track where it moves for yourself.
5. A tsunami from an ocean of mercury. What do tides do if the ocean is mercury?
6. When you’re at a restaurant and someone at the table asks you where the bathroom is, like it’s a challenge to find bathrooms. It’s in the back where they always are.
7. First impressions of people are always jagged but they smooth out quickly as you get to know someone. I think it’s more interesting when you do something a little extreme the first time meeting someone to see how they react. Then smooth things out.
8. Iced mocha with Baileys ice cubes
9. Genetically modify grasses to photosynthesizes at a higher rate to take more CO2 out of the atmosphere.
10. Use quadcopters to protect grass fed chickens during the day and night. They can make lights/sounds to scare predators away.

10 Ideas – Virtual Reality


1. Adventure learning where math, statistics, geometry can be manipulated right in front of you. You wouldn’t learn as you we did in classrooms, you could build things and the physics of the VR would let you test how things work. Then you could send something that you make to a 3d printer and see it in real time.
2. Money, items, reputation from online games like Final Fantasy and WOW are public in an online VR world so rankings of the whole community can be seen. A more interactive community of clans.
3. Record and upload your face and how it moves to the character you play looks just like you to other players online.
4. You can train pilots/surgeons for any possible scenario that can be imagined.
5. Now you can move your prosthetic arm with your thoughts. Could you connect an oculous rift and move around with your thoughts?
6. Explore the virtual rain forest or safari to see animals in their natural habitat. Explore any natural wonder of the world.
7. Age of Empires/Star Craft in a virtual reality. Go down on ground level and watch battles and zoom back out to move units around.
8. Virtual chemistry set to play around with otherwise dangerous chemicals.
9. Fly around earth like Super Man and turn back time.
10. Choose your own adventure movies where you can look around and see different things as the movie is happening. You could play the same movie over and over and always find something new to do.

10 Ideas – The Future In Space

gpw-20060917-NASA-ISS011-E-11227-Switzerland-Space-Shuttle-Discovery-STS-114-Jura-Mountains-20050728-large1. Space conferences/retreats. Stay in one of the new huge conference centers. Maybe TED would be the company to do this.
2. Teams of contract scientists who run third party experiments in their own labs
3. A translucent globe filled with water to swim in or play the game from Final Fantasy XI
4. Mini space ship racing. Like go carts but they use compressed air to propel themselves
5. A whole new brand in the grocery store of Space Food. It would be verifiably cleaner, more nutritious, and more sustainable to grow than Earth Food. Space strawberries, space carrots, space greens
6. Hollywood will have offices in space for the new genre of space films.
7. One major cost of server farms is the they need to be cooled. Would it be cheaper to have a giant server farm in space that is just cooled by being in space?
8. Counters, computers or humans, who count and catalog objects in deep space.
9. The more people who are in space, the more accurately you can run medical experiments on a large sample size. This could lead to finding one kind of vitamin combination or nutrition regimen that solves a majority of health problems or could make humans stronger, healthier, smarter starting from a young age.
10. Spaceship Station Graffiti.

10 Ideas For Running A City

Here are the ten things I would do if I could make all the decisions for a city for a week. Lots of details are missing, these are broad stroke ideas. I have no experience or knowledge of running a city and would no doubt cause more harm than good, but it’s still fun to think about.

1. People in the city are encouraged to spend one day per month volunteering at an organization that reduces the carbon footprint of the city.
2. All skyscrapers become carbon neutral in 3 years.
3. The best scientists, engineers, doctors council decisions made by city leadership and are appointed by public vote. They all must agree to the rules of #7 and #8.
4. Marijuana, psychedelic mushrooms, LSD, and any other drug that my surgeon general advises me is not medically relevant or has negligible side effects are legal.
5. City colleges are free to those who pass entrance exams. If you don’t want go to college, you have access to technical teaching, schools that help you make money online, or programs to help international travel.
6. Really fast free wifi everywhere.
7. All money spent by government agencies is made public.
8. Mayor wears a 3rd party google glass that cannot ever be turned off and live streams what they’re doing. All government buildings have cameras that live stream through a 3rd party.
9. Free cool looking bikes available to anyone.
10. Public parks have cool lights at night so people have a place to go at night that’s safe and fun but doesn’t involve alcohol.

10 Ideas – June 8 2014

1. Nanorobots that scrub the atmosphere of CO2. When they are just about too heavy to keep flying they fly back to a solar drone that stays in the air for months at a time, drops off the CO2 block and goes back and scrub.
2. Glow in the dark bike tires
3. If all currency evolves to be p2p, would it be possible to have global city states and no federal governments? hyper local communities could solve problems unique to their situation instead of depending on broad federal law
4. Computer games where to goal is competitive cooperation instead of like Starcraft or Age of Empires, consumption and destruction
5. Shark Tank for green energy companies
6. Carbon neutral UN buildings
7. Tax break for white shingles
8. Can you 3d print leather?
9. Humans genetically modify their bodies so that we no longer have body odor.
10. Wearable tech feature that tells you exactly how much weight you lost at all times during the day and night.