How Fake News Works

Fake news is something I want everyone around me to know about. I’m in the media industry so I know this stuff to be true because we are part of the attention economy. Here are some quick, entertaining pieces of media which describe what’s going on.

I don’t believe in massive conspiracies. To me, the market economy for attention is the primary cause of the Fake News.

For example, I know it’s easy to make a website that earns consistent monthly cashflow from web traffic via Google Adsense. So in order to make a good amount of money on the side, one only needs to generate web-traffic. To get web-traffic, one powerful option is to write controversial things with no real basis in reality.

That’s why the media today works the way it does. It’s not a shadowy thing, it’s clear and obvious. Here’s how it works:

How Fake News Works

Trust Me I’m Lying came out years ago, but Ryan’s thesis has only been supported by reality in the last few years.

If you’re unfamiliar with Ryan Holiday, he is a young, astute marketer who grew up in the modern media. His list of successful clients speaks for it’s self. From my experience, the media landscape that Ryan talks about is exactly how I see it.

Fake News is Difficult to Differentiate

Whenever we read anything on the internet, we must be conscious of the nature of why that media is there. NPR did a great job telling the story of The Fake News King:

Do you have any resources to share regarding the digital media in 2017?

Please feel free to share links and thoughts in the comment section below.

 

Election 2016

Election 2016 – Things I’m grateful for:

Here’s a TLDR list. The longer version can be found below.

  • Peaceful, professional transition of power
  • The voting process was easy and the ballots were balanced
  • Excellent open data provided quickly by a portfolio of media sources:

Fox News | CNN | Google | New York Times

  • Referendum to decriminalize Marijuana in my home state passed! Less people in prison, less government involvement in an individuals choices (which don’t effect others) and the state government is likely to see a tax revenue injection that will surprise us all
  • Lessons Learned

Peaceful, Professional Transition of Power

non-peaceful transition of power
While living in Chile, I witnessed violent elections. It’s not preferable.

I’ve been in foreign countries and seen ugly elections. One time specifically, I was advised to stay home and not leave the house for the day. It was a violent day where people were hurt, bombs were thrown and arrests were made.

President Obama invited President-elect Trump to the White House. They will work together on details and soon enough, President Obama will have his life back. He can continue to lead afterwards in harmony with the new national leadership.

I would have preferred to see Hillary Clinton win. At the same time, I recognize that the majority of US citizens feel passionately that what she represents, is not the best for the country. That’s how we play the game. The representational democracy picked him and I believe in that process more than anything else.

 

‘Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…’

– Winston S Churchill, 11 November 1947

 

Easy Voting Process with Quality Ballots

Voting was easy. Registering took a few minutes online. At the University of Nevada, there wasn’t even a line to stand in when I voted early.

nevada voter experience

The Nevada Sample Ballot

The sample ballot that arrived was a quick 15 minute read and told the story of the addendum opportunities and the candidates. It did so from both perspectives and had research based arguments. If it was longer, it would have been burdensome to read. If it were shorter, I feel it would have been to incomplete to give a full picture of the questions.

Excellent Open Data and Election Coverage

I watched the election on Fox News, CNN, Google, Twitter and more. Though some were better than others, they all told a very similar story.

Hat tip to CNN. They had the best design and technology on their side.

The New York Times was the first to give Mr. Trump a 95% + likelihood of winning from what I saw.

Overall, there was a lot of excellence happening all over the media. We in the United States enjoy excellent election coverage.

Decriminalizing Marijuana in Nevada

So proud of the referendum outcome for question #2 in Nevada. I prefer beer, but knowing that the pot smokers will soon be free of the fear of imprisonment is PHENOMENAL!

What happened to Colorado may happen to Nevada! What does this mean for the state?

Image #1

Colorado Road Mortality since Marijuana legalization
Data pulled on Road Mortalities in Colorado. I separated it via the red line from when Marijuana was decriminalized in 2012.
Source: https://www.codot.gov/library/traffic/safety-crash-data/fatal-crash-data-city-county/fatalities-by-person-type/view

 

Image #2

incarceration rates and the effect of Marijuana decriminalization
So crime dropped steadily, while incarceration rates PLUMMETED. All this while population grew! 😀
Source: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dcj-ors/ors-crimestats

 

marijuana penalties that will go away

Lessons Learned

I didn’t think Trump had any chance of winning and I didn’t want him to. This goes to show that I didn’t have any idea what was going on. My perception last night was that we were sitting down to watch her take the election, but I got it 100% wrong.

Some very smart people had it right.

This election taught me that I need to listen better and try to find the lower level clues as to what is actually going on in the world.

Your thoughts?

I’d love to hear what you’re grateful for this election. Please let me know in the comment section below.

Is Chris Hughes the Coolest Digital Nomad Alive Today?

If you flew to Panama with a lot of debt, a little cash, no experience and nothing but a plan to make money online, would you still play it cool?

A common theme of this podcast is to explore transition. No one gives permission to do this stuff. It takes a leap of faith to make it happen. I love to ask how the most successful people made it happen.

My guest today is Chris Hughes (@whosChrisHughes). We met at KoHub one night. I dive into that story in the podcast.

Lots of people say that building a business is like jumping off a cliff and building an airplane before you hit the ground. For Chris, that plane was a Duck Dynasty Facebook fan page. Duck Dynasty caught him before he hit the dirt. He’s still flying. It’s a crazy story.

“Do the stuff you’re supposed too, before you do the stuff you want too.” – Chris Hughes

Travel Topics:

  • How Chris almost killed his friend [02:20]
  • Starting a life of travel [02:40]
  • The viral power of Duck Dynasty [03:35]
  • Using a Facebook Fan Page to buy a margarita [06:50]
  • Valet-parking cars for Orlando Magic [10:45]
  • Refusing job opportunities to keep your freedom [14:10]
  • Learning how to make money online [16:05]
  • On completing college for your parents [18:03]
  • Burning your ships and making the leap [22:38]
  • Being smart with your money [23:20]
  • Juggling for video games [25:20]
  • The benefits of Capitalism [29:05]
  • Leaving the surfing haven of Costa Rica [30:35]
  • Building systems for your business [33:30]
  • Making business work on Facebook [35:50]

Chris Hughes Talking Points:

Facebook | WhosChrisHughes

Music Credit:

Take Action:

What was your last important life transition?

TransferWise Review – International Money Transfer Case Study from USD to AUD

TransferWise Review - From USD to AUD

Get your First Transfer Free

The banks are out to get us. I’m seeking ways to fight back. International money transfers are one of the banks little secrets. TransferWise says they can save us. So I tried them. Here is a TransferWise review.

TransferWise Review
Click This Image for a Free Transfer

Planet Money did a great piece on the invisible financial pipes that move money. This was part of their “t-shirt project.” In it, they talk about the Automated Clearing House (ACH) and what it took to move money from their Kickstarter (e.g. Amazon) to their Chase Bank account. Note: Listen to that podcast. It’s excellent.

In Australia, the banks just offer free money transfers. That’s right. It’s free in Australia with bank apps on your phone. Apps like Cash and Venmo are making it easier in America. Transferwise is the only place doing it internationally right now that I know of.

We’re moving money to Australia this month. We’re going to be testing TransferWise.com to see if we can save ourselves some fees.

TLDR – It’s great. Click here to transfer your first bit of $ for free.

A Transferwise Review

A long time ago in a….

TransferWise came across my desk a long time ago in a paid advertisement on Facebook. I clicked through, but didn’t need to move money at the time. After bookmarking the page, I was excited for the opportunity when I would need to move a good amount of money internationally.

November 20th, 2015

Today was that day I found a need to move money from the USA to Australia.

The Transferwise steps were easy to follow. They have a pretty good UI on the surface, but it wasn’t perfect…

I noticed some strange glitches in their software. At one point, it seemed as if I saw someone else’s screen before it flashed back to my screen. Very strange and disconcerting when you’re moving large amounts of money. This happened a few times. It’s a glitchy user experience.

My International Money Transfer Situation

By the way, I’m moving about $4,300 USD from a CapitalOne account to a Commonwealth Bank account. To clarify, thats a United States savings account to an Australian checking account.

I was able to generate a code on the CapitalOne online banking login and use that code to authorize the transfer with the TransferWise.

To my dismay, I learned that the transfer will take 1-5 business days from CapitalOne to TransferWise. Also, my Australian bank will also require 2-3 business days for the money to clear in that account. So 3-8 days in total to move some digits across a line.

Ahhh the wonders of the modern financial system.

Anyways, I clicked transfer and the deal is in action.

As I go back to the site to check the status of the transfer, they have this cryptic page that doesn’t tell me information about fees. I’m unsure of the fee schedule. I can ascertain the conversion rate because they tell me the amount I’m transferring in USD and what we will receive in AUD:

  • $4,300 USD/$5,923 AUD = Which equals a rate of .725 AUD/USD
  • .72 AUD/USD is the mid-market rate as reported by Google

Testing Transferwise vs Midmarket Rate

So it looks great.

I’m in it now. I’ll wait 1-5 business days for CapitalOne to release the money to TransferWise. Then I’ll wait for however long it takes for the money to move through TransferWise to CommonWealth bank. Finally, I’ll wait 2-3 business days for CommonWealth to clear the funds on their end.

November 24th, 2015

Four days have passed.

The transfer has come through. It all cleared. Here is a screen shot of what I’m seeing via the dashboard of the Transferwise website:

Transferwise Screenshot for Case Study
I’ve blacked out my wife’s name. Nothing more.

Transferwise (as per the screenshot above) tells me that the transfer was completed for $5,923.79 AUD.

Commonwealth Bank Transaction Details

 

The amount shown in Commonwealth bank is $5,923.79 AUD.

The deal went through. They transferred what they said they would! Huzzah!

Deconstructing the International Money Transfer via TransferWise

This is the actual rate we experienced transferring from CapitalOne in the United States to the Commonwealth Bank in Australia:

$4,300 USD / $5,923.79 AUD = $.72588 USD/AUD

The mid-market exchange rate from Yahoo Finance saw a low of $0.7187 AUD/USD and a high of $0.7216 AUD/USD the day of the transfer. Here is a screenshot:

Transferwise review Mid-market rate vs actual transfer rate

So depending on the time of transfer, that $4,300 USD would have exchanged at a low of $5,983.03 AUD to a high of $5,958.98 AUD.

Here is a table describing the actual mid-market rate vs. realized exchange rate from the transfer:

The Day’s Price Point Mid-market rate at $4.3k USD Realized from Transfer Amount Unaccounted for in Transfer
When Market was Low  $5,983.03 AUD $6,023.25 AUD  $40.22 AUD
When Market was High  $5,958.98 AUD $6,023.25 AUD  $63.27 AUD

So the real cost of the money transfer was between $40-64 AUD (or $28-46 USD).

Free. Nope. Better than the banks? Good question.

November 24th, 2015 (Later that Night)

I received a receipt clearing some stuff up. This was my mistake. I get way too much Email and this was buried in the fray.

Here is a screenshot of it:

TransferWise Review - Final Receipt
I’ve blacked out my wife’s Email. Nothing more.

Conclusion

My guess is that the banks would offer a less attractive rate and also tag on a boatload of fees.

Transferwise did work. The ordering process was easier than going into the bank and talking to a teller. I will use it again next time I transfer money internationally.

Finally, they gave me a coupon code. If you want to use it, you could wire your first 3,000 GBP (roughly $4,500 USD) for free. If I had this code when I made the transfer, I would have actually realized the mid-market rate.

Here is the coupon code. Sure, this is an affiliate deal. You get your first transfer free if you use this link. Also, I get some money… I think. Or maybe just some free transfers. Either way, if you use this link, we both win. I did not write this article just to send you to TransferWise. I would have written ill of them if they sucked. Then I wouldn’t have put any links to send people to their service.

I wrote this article because I think international business needs to be cheaper, faster and more modern. Have a great time traveling dingo lover.

Updated November 20th, 2015 – Gold Coast, Australia

Berkshire Hathaway Letters Challenge (BHLC) – MBA Hack – 10 Years of Annual Letters

WarrenBuffettBucketNotThimble

Tim Ferriss and Pat Flynn had a great talk about the podcasting industry on Pat’s podcast.  Inspiration:

“If you do a handful of things right, even if your slow and plodding and letharic about it; you will beat almost everyone. It’s amazing…

For those who can get into dense stuff, pick up the annual letters of Warren Buffett to Berkshire Hathaway share holders. That is going to be worth more to you than any MBA program on the planet… I think.” – Tim Ferriss on Smart Passive Income podcast


Skip to 50:56 to hear Tim’s quote

Go to the Source of the Berkshire Hathaway Letters Here

Progress:

  1. 1993 Letter – BHLC: 1993 Notes and Review
  2. 1994 Letter- BHLC: 1994 Notes and Review
  3. 2006 Letter- BHLC: 2006 Notes and Review
  4. 2007 Letter- BHLC: 2007 Notes and Review
  5. 2008 Letter- BHLC: 2008 Notes and Review
  6. 2009 Letter- BHLC: 2009 Notes and Review
  7. 2010 Letter- BHLC: 2010 Notes and Review
  8. 2011 Letter- BHLC: 2011 Notes and Review
  9. 2012 Letter- Coming Soon…
  10. 2013 Letter- Coming Soon…
  11. 2014 Letter- Coming Soon…
  12. 2015 Letter- Coming Soon…

Jake Ducey: Almost Died yet Found Purpose

Author of a new book The Purpose Principles.

Jake Ducey is curious about what creates both success and failure.

He left business school to write and travel.

A fall in heavy Indonesian rain caused his life to flash before his eyes.

He headed home to write his first book, which was a huge success.

Now it’s time for his second book to be released to the world.

Say hello to the talented young author, Jake Ducey.

“What can really propel us to do incredible things is being courageous in spite of the fear.” – Jake Ducey (Tweet It)

Travel Topics:

  • Left business school at age 19
  • Decided he wanted to write, and most people did that by traveling
  • Was in Indonesia, hiking in the pouring rain when he slipped and fell
  • Life flashed before his eyes, he cut his travels short to go home to write
  • Didn’t really know how to start writing, started by copying The Great Gatsby like Hunter S. Thompson
  • Finished his transcript, then couldn’t find a publisher
  • Self published Into the Wind, hit top 300 on Amazon, sold 15,000 copies
  • Read The Success Principles by Jack Canfield then when on to meet him at an event
  • Canfield wrote the foreword to his newest book
  • Talks about his Indiegogo expertise and the importance of creating personal connection
  • Was never afraid to just send an email asking for what he wanted
  • Decided to do his own publicity for new book, The Purpose Principles
  • Went to deliver donated bicycles with Tom Shadyac
  • People need to be acknowledged and need to know that their lives matter

“When we take matters into our own hands life really responds.” – Jake Ducey (Tweet It)

Lovely Links:

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Music Credits:

Graham Brown: Learning the Business Lifecycle and Fitting it into Your Traveling Lifestyle

A telecom business made him traditionally successful.

Then Graham started to examine what success really meant.

So the transition from being a CEO to just a guy with a backpack began.

His family slowly scaled down their lives and started traveling the globe.

Now he enjoys Zen-like moments around the world.

Our next guest, Graham Brown.

“Everybody has a different way of traveling. People need to know there are options, there are different ways of doing it.” – Graham Brown (Tweet It)

Travel Topics:

  • Lived in Japan in the 1990s where he saw the beginnings of the mobile revolution
  • Why Graham scaled down his telecom business to make it more profitable
  • How he learned to be wary of taking on any overhead
  • The importance of the business life cycle
  • Benefits of being detached enough to step back and see what the business needs
  • How he saved money from real estate investments
  • The important part of your finances when traveling: what direction your bank account is going
  • How he wanted to live some place exotic and warm (who doesn’t, really?)
  • His son goes to local school wherever they go, allowing the family to integrate into the local community
  • Books are about starting your own business, making it autonomous, getting rid of material stuff, and being able enjoying the adventure
  • Tips for getting started: Educate yourself, write down your travel goals, be aware that it’s a process
  • How people think traveling is going to get rid of all their problems… It won’t!
  • If you’re a guy with big feet, buy your shoes before you go to Japan
  • How children are far more adapted to this lifestyle than adults

“Children don’t care about making mistakes and they are natural travellers.” – Graham Brown (Tweet It)

Lovely Links:

  • Connect with Graham:

Barefoot Journal | Facebook | Google+

Music Credits:

Bianca Forzano: From Corporate Office in Rome to a Kite Board in the Dominican Republic

Imagine moving to a foreign country.

You’ve got no money.

All you know is that you want to kitesurf.

Sounds crazy right?

Well it worked out pretty well for our next guest.

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce, Bianca Forzano.

“For me, it’s more important to have freedom than safety.” – Bianca Forzano (Tweet It)

Travel Topics:

  • A special message from guest Jim Carrey
  • Safety as a traveler on the North Shore of the Dominican Republic
  • The power of travel and the impact of expats in developing countries
  • The mechanics of kite camps in Dominican Republic and Italy
  • Transitioning from a corporate office in Rome to a Caribbean kitesurfing instructor
  • The founding story of Bianca’s Bikinis and the first sale
  • Inspiration, adventure, travel, waves and the ocean
  • Breaking away from the systems which limit freedom yet provide a sense of security
  • Lifestyle perceptions and they shift with travel
  • Awe moments

“I want to be the first bikini line for girls to feel cool and sexy in the water.” – Bianca Forzano (Tweet It)

Lovely Links:

  • Want to be the face of Bianca’s bikini’s in your country? Tweet Her
  • Connect with Bianca:

Music Credits:

Make the World Less Boring with The Adventurists and Dan Wedgewood

He woke up after drinking all night and learned that he bought a car.

So they drove it to Iran… that didn’t work.

But it kick started a mission to make the world less boring.

They’ve put on hundreds of adventures.

Raised millions of dollars for charity.

But the next adventure is just around the corner…

Ladies and gentlemen, Dan Wedgewood of The Adventurists.

“Our mission is to make the world less boring.” – Dan Wedgewood (Tweet It)

Travel Topics:

  • About the founding of the Adventurists
  • What inspired the Mongol Rally
  • Goals for future growth of the Adventurists
  • The charity fundraising that comes from the adventures

“Getting lost is an art form.” – Dan Wedgewood (Tweet It)

Learn about Feeling Your Nuts:

That’s right. Guys out there, feel your nuts… Ladies, support the men in this mission.

Early detection is the best form of treatment.

“Entertaining people and looking stupid is a great way to make friends.”- Dan Wedgewood (Tweet It)

Lovely Links:

The Adventurists | Twitter | Phone +44 117 364 3402

Music Credits:

Chris Kirkland: Building a Freedom Driven Internet Business and the Hobo CEO

During a vacation in Goa, India, Chris felt like a naughty school boy.

Answering client issues whilst adventuring, he realised he could have it all.

Since then he’s moved to Tokyo, Japan and runs his own business.

In this episode we discuss his business and the things that inspire him.

Welcome Chris Kirkland the Hobo CEO.

“The threshold of what you’re capable of doing tends to grow a little bit.” – Chris Kirkland (Tweet It)

Travel Topics:

  • A great way to start out your Hobo lifestyle and internet business
  • The cheating feeling one gets from working where ever they desire
  • How it took about 18 months to establish himself as an expat in Tokyo
  • Fond memories of the freelance days vs. the job of the entrepreneur
  • About the headstands, the story of the original inspiration and the philosophical implications
  • On overcoming anxiety in business and day to day life
  • Viewing subtle and subconscious entrepreneurial opportunities after living abroad
  • How to cultivate a network of location independent friends and the social permission to live like this
  • All the other Lovely Stuff

Lovely Links:

ArtWeb | Mr. Kirkland | HoboCEO | Twitter | Facebook

Music Credit:

Take Action:

What’s your internet based business looking like? Have you started it? If not what’s holding you back? If you have, please link it up. It will get you back link and perhaps there will be another member of the community who could use your stuff.