☝️ Upwarding #51: Will COVID swing Florida? The ONE diet thing. Which ideas spread.

Welcome to this week's Upwarding newsletter. My blog, with more in-depth content, can be found here.


What if you combine this:

With this:

“Covid-19: Unvaccinated face 11 times risk of death from delta variant, CDC data show”

With this:

(North Carolina voting results 2020 election)

If COVID has killed more Republicans than Democrats, will it change the next election b/c of its impact on swing states like Florida and North Carolina?


Noom, the weight watchers killer, has launched a program for mood improvement and stress reduction.  While most of the content is the standard fare (gratitude, mindfulness, etc.) there are enough new tips (e.g. the value of a more nuanced vocabulary for your emotions) that have made it worth it for me.


Aussie Marty Kendall is an engineer whose wife got diabetes; he went crazy with the data and came up with a program called “Data Driven Fasting”, where you use your blood glucose to determine how long you should fast for.  Given that it’s grown from about 20 people per session to 1200 people in a matter of ten months, this is something to pay attention to.

The simple intuition is that the correct eating/fasting schedule is highly individual: what works for someone who barely moves all day is entirely different from what works for a professional athlete.  So far what I like best about it is that it is incredibly SIMPLE.  BTW, the evidence seems to suggest that calorie counting apps actually make us FATTER – check out his blog for more fascinating info.


Nathan Tankus’ very neat observation about how inflation actually works.  I was in the “inflation is temporary” camp but now think it’s widespread and persistent.

“Well first it's important to recognize that companies have options besides instantaneously balancing supply and demand. In fact, the first thing that happens when a company receives an additional order is that their order backlog increases. A company doesn't have to respond to that instantly and in fact how quickly the company responds is a strategic choice up to its discretion. Economics, especially economics textbooks, confuse us on this point by focusing on equilibrium. In textbook economics equilibrium, there are zero-order backlogs and output perfectly balances with demand, though we aren't told as such…. non-price adjustments to demand were very important in practice and that they were most prominent among businesses that felt they had "implicit contracts" with their customers not to raise prices… remember that these demand circumstances are likely temporary and it is unwise to leave customers feeling like you bilked them when you had the chance. Another element that is surely driving order backlogs right now are the supply-chain linkages across the economy. A company waiting on raw materials has no ability to speed up the process so raising prices to reduce their order backlog will just hurt their cash flow without any benefit to them. In this way bottlenecks and shortages tend to propagate throughout the economy from an initial disruption.”


“The ideas that spread most are not those everyone agrees with, but those that divide people the most, because people see them as causes to attack or defend in order to signal commitment to their tribe” – as seen around Twitter.

I take this as: be careful how much media you consume, especially media you “agree” with.  Appreciate what you have.  Seek mutual ground.

Please forward this newsletter to two friends who might enjoy it!  Thank you,