Abundant Michael

How not to be afraid of terrorism when you travel

When I tell friends I am traveling abroad they sometimes freak out about "how dangerous it is" "what about the terrorism?". 

Case in point bomb in Bangkok this year where I will be traveling in October for a conference.

My advice:

  • follow your gut
  • be careful
  • look at the real risk probabilities.

I remember last year all the fear around the coup/martial law in Thailand. It was a complete non-issue once I was on the ground there. 

That is also my experience with all other news stories about countries I have visited. The news and US State Dept reports are full of negative hype (that is what sells news) and the reality is completely different. Yes the events happen and they are such a small part of the total reality you have to go looking for them to see them when you are there.

Looking at this from a rational risk probability of death you are far more likely to die other ways

Here are common probabilities of dying (source):

Pedestrian                        1 in 47,273

Car occupant              1 in 17,625

While on railway train    1 in 10,283,615

air/ space accidents      1 in 440,951

Fire                              1 in 91,149

venomous snakes   1 in  95,980,407
venomous spiders   1 in 28,794,122

Poison/OD                 1 in 16,407

Self harm                 1 in 9,096

Assault                   1 in 16,325

Childbirth (mom)          1 death of mother per 5000 live births in US/EU
Terrorism deaths       1 in 1,700,000 to 1 in 20,000,000 (source)

So! I would be far more concerned about risks from cars, suicide/depression, muggings or pregnancy than bombs in bangkok. (Risk reduction: put on seat belt in taxi/pick a safe driver, not walking drunk at 3am in bad neighborhood, self mental health care are all good ways to reduce these risks.)

For a discussion of the real terrorism risk and some insight on to why we spend so much extra time and money on this risk the article in Reason magazine is useful. 

Basically both the news media and government get an enormous amount of benefit from amplifying the terrorist threat. The news sell more stories/advertising, the government gets to spend trillions on DHS easily changing laws to control/spy on their citizens.

Robot anesthesiologist may replace $348k job in US hospitals

Robot anesthesiologist iControl-RP has been tested with 250 patients in operations. It

  • controls the dose of anesthetic to put patient under
  • monitor ECG brain activity to adjust dose during operation so you neither wake up or die in middle from the drugs

From Washington Post article:

Anesthesia is tricky. It’s often compared to flying a plane – keeping a patient hovering in just the right plane of consciousness. It’s called depth of hypnosis. Surgeons don’t want patients writhing on the table. And patients don’t want to be aware of the operation. Of course, no one wants patients to die, a distinct possibility if too much of an anesthesia drug is delivered.

The iControl-RP aims to thread that needle by using an EEG to scan a patient’s brain waves to make sure the sedation is adequate. And it looks at heart and breathing rates and blood oxygen levels to make sure the patient is not slipping too deeply into sleep. The machine’s algorithm makes all the medical decisions that a doctor usually does.

Ansermino said anesthesiologists are not very good at maintaining just the right amount of sedation. This is especially important in children, where studies show that deep sedation can have negative longterm cognitive impacts on infants and toddlers.

One early role for the machine, they say, could be in war zones or remote areas where an anesthesiologist is unavailable.

Hhmmm median expected annual pay for a typical Physician - Anesthesiology in the United States is $347,991 (source). These are not entry level jobs being replaced by automation. This is part of many jobs being affected by robots and early form AI...

How to stay healthy while traveling (and what to do if get sick)

Being sick on the road sucks. Today we look at 

1) How to prepare while at home to be travel healthy

2) What steps do you take to avoid getting sick/injured when traveling

3) If you do get sick on a long trip what to do

Doctor exam

1. Prep - Stay healthy with steps below. Healthy is goal #2 of mine so this is easy for me to focus on each day.

  • Healthy food, exercise and plenty of sleep/naps. Lots of water. No coffee, alcohol or smoking.

  • For exercise I do the Donna Eden 5 minute energy resets and 30-60 minutes of kundalini yoga/meditation each day. Plus a lot of walking.

  • Daily multi-vitamin and 1000mg Vit-C

  • Brush and flush teeth daily. I just got a travel water pik as that helps my gums stay healthy.

  • Set intention of being healthy and young.

  • Visualization of each body part in turn - sending light and seeing them each happy, healthy, smiling and youthful.

  • Clearing any emotions as they come up rather than stuffing them into a body part as I used to do. Journaling also helps.

  • Listen to my intuition "What does my body want to eat in this moment to be super healthy?" rather that eating what my mind/ego wants. Ditto on type of exercise.

2. Avoiding sick/injured while travel.

  • Keep to practices from 1. Even if that means getting up 4am to do yoga before an early flight.

  • Avoid alcohol on flights as it is dehydrating and planes are kept at low humidity. Bring my own water on flight and drink it. Get up from seat every few hours - in theory to pee - in practice to stretch. (Avoiding deep vein thrombosis).  Get aisle seat to facilitate this practice. Take naps rather than stay up all night on plane watching movies.

  • Take extra naps/rest.

  • Schedule extra "rest days" in my travel schedule so it is not all "go-go-go". No business calls scheduled on these days (I mark whole day as "busy" in google calendar so ScheduleOnce won't put a call there). I often leave a day before intercontinental flight and a day or two after for rest.

  • Keep up maintenance. Get a general check up once per year. Get teeth cleaned and checked every 6 months.

  • If I feel I am "coming down with something" then I head it off by take a packet of Emergen-C that I carry with me, drink more water and have a long nap. And meditate on clearing the sickness pattern from my body. This is rather than keep going if tired/getting sick. Change my plans/cancel side trips for the day so can rest. It is hard to enjoy a trip if sick.

3. When got sick when traveling.

  • Rest for as many days as needed with last step from 2.

  • Tell friends that I am sick and to check in on me. Preferably in person, though Skype can work too. Easy to get depressed when sick so this is a help to reduce that.

  • When I was sick in Bangkok at DCBKK 2013 with mystery disease (itchy red spots, tired as a dog, sore throat) I went to see a doctor at an expat health service where they spoke English. It was Thai chicken pox, I could stop worrying what it was. Cure: rest (and the other things I was doing). There is nothing Western medicine can do for viruses.

  • Talk to the disease or injured body part. Tell it I love it and ask if it has any messages for me. Often just hearing the message makes the sickness significantly better. Sometimes it cures it. The book "You can heal your life" by Louis Hay has a big table of symptoms and standard messages at the back that is useful when starting this practice. I keep a copy on my Kindle as I travel for this purpose.

  • Use the Busting Loose from the Money Game Process to take back my power from this illusion of sickness. (Health Game)

  • Ask a remote energy healer for help by email.

  • Get acupuncture. Often helps heal any underlying energy imbalance.

  • Get a massage - helps relax and also to move lymph fluid which is where the body gets rid of toxins and waste from fighting disease


Why a US debt crisis is impossible and the Titanic is unsinkable

The Titanic is unsinkable. Look at the water tight compartments. See how they go up all the way to the 5 deck level! Notice how experienced the captain is and how he can steer the ship in any direction he wants to because it is the biggest and most power ship the world has ever known. And I can't see any icebergs anyway (who cares that it is dark moonless night and so calm that no waves are breaking on the iceberg anyway).

Sure we have a look out but hey if he needs to take a nap or something no big deal because we have those water tight compartments! No modern ship this big has ever sunk. And the Titanic is unsinkable. Just have a drink and enjoy the party, nothing can go wrong.


And if you believe that then read this article on why a US currency crisis is impossible too.

11 travel security tips

I have had stuff stolen from rooms twice over three years traveling in South America. Tips for better security:

  • Don't leave valuables out in the room - some maids are light fingered
  • Close windows, even if they have bars someone can put their arm through to grab stuff. I left a room for 10 minutes with window open. Bag under window was grabbed through window.
  • Keep two wallets - main street one with just some cash and photocopy of passport. Second one with your credit cards and more cash that you hide in your room. I only take a credit or ATM card when I plan to use them. Getting a lost card replaced can take a week or more with DHL here.
  • Keep your passport either in a money belt or hidden in your room. A stolen US or EU passport is worth about $2000 on the street...
  • Follow your intuition - if a street feels bad don't go down it.
  • Walking around drunk at 3am dramatically increases your risk of mugging. Pay for a taxi if you want to go out drinking. Leave valuables at home when you do.
  • Don't display a lot of jewelry in poor areas
  • Separate your cash stash into several hiding places in case you loose one, you will have the others.
  • If you are renting long term get bars put on windows if you are on ground floor. Get a better door lock and metal lock protection installed (this prevent crowbar attacks).
  • Change the locks. I have several friends who woke up to hear thief in next room who had got in with old key. If in backpacker room use a door stop. A chair under the door handle works too.
  • Back up your camera memory card and laptop photos and documents  - at least if you loose them you won't loose your data too

How does the future look with VR and AR glasses?

Memories with Maya is both good scifi and a relationship story with a twist. I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened next to the three main characters. I found Dan a bit irritating at first, where he doesn't express his feeling for his girlfriend Maya, but he comes through in the last third of the book.


I also learned many interesting ideas and applications of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (think more advanced than Google glasses) that I hadn't come across before. The book is an eye opener into what will soon be possible with this kind of technology and the social implications. From enhanced nightclub interactions and virtual clothing, to lie detecting glasses and remote reality sex encounters. Then there are the military applications that get Dan and Maya into serious danger...


Also worth taking a look at is some of the science behind the story. The author posts this at at http://www.dirrogate.com (but if you don't like spoilers, visit the site after reading the book!) and he has also written on the transhumanist aspects of VR.


Is survivorship bias getting in the way of your self improvement?

We study how to be more successful by looking at how great business people do things. Perhaps this is fatally flawed. We never see all the failures to see how they failed.

David McRaney in his article "Survivorship Bias"  says:

The Misconception: You should study the successful if you wish to become successful.

The Truth: When failure becomes invisible, the difference between failure and success may also become invisible.

The problem is that there can be common patterns how all the failed business have that you just don't see because they are never studied. In the article (which is a long read but worth it) he gives the example of WWII air force generals coming to top statisticians asking them where to add armor to bombers so fewer are shot down. The top brass got it totally wrong due to survivor bias in the data.

The military looked at the bombers that had returned from enemy territory. They recorded where those planes had taken the most damage. Over and over again, they saw the bullet holes tended to accumulate along the wings, around the tail gunner, and down the center of the body. Wings. Body. Tail gunner. Considering this information, where would you put the extra armor? Naturally, the commanders wanted to put the thicker protection where they could clearly see the most damage, where the holes clustered. But Wald said no, that would be precisely the wrong decision. Putting the armor there wouldn’t improve their chances at all.

The correct answer was to put armor where the surviving planes did not have holes because those are the places that the shot down planes had been hit in! Genius. Saved a lot of lives over the "obvious decision".

So where in your business life or personal improvement are you reading only about success stories? Following the "top ten ways Ms X succeeded" and trying to do those ten things in your life. Perhaps some study or thought on how the other 90% of folks failed and then avoiding those might be more useful....

Additional credit: I was tipped off to David's article by author Charles Hugh Smith who's blog is www.oftwominds.com and covers collapse, economics and future of society.

Cable TV cold turkey

I stopped watching cable TV over two years ago now. I use Netflix and Amazon Prime and DVDs when I want to watch a particular movie. Actually to be honest I watch a lot less TV now - I see friends and read books more.

I also went cold turkey on my news addiction about 10 years ago - gave up a heavy daily newspaper, TV news and NPR news habit. I have to say that helped me be much happier and if anything important happens I always hear about it from friends or in newsletters anyway.

Their is the paying the cable and internet bill cost and then there is your time and energy cost in watching stuff that you really don't want to because it is there. How much is your time and energy worth?

My Ayawaska experiences

I recently had intuition to experience Ayawaska as a way to increase my connection with spirit and psychic abilities.


It was amazing healing and visionary experience. The first night I saw a brain with tentacles and I checked in with my intuition that parts of it were not good for me and was sending it to the light when I realized that it was the control manipulation part of me! I still sent it to the light. We went to bed at 9:30pm and my mine was racing with new healing methods and other many creative inspirations which I wrote down. I went to sleep at 5am and woke up at 7am but felt good. 


The second night I saw visions of an alien intelligence that kept showing me this alien writing again and again all over my body. I figured out that it meant love and acceptance and gratitude which was both a message for my body and my life. Very moving. I also had a vision of abundance as this octopus like creator that was growing and growing and even though these sharks of negativity tried to eat it they could not because it was growing too fast! All I had to do was put buckets under the stream of abundance to receive. :-)


The second night I worked on assimilating the energy when ever I felt my intestines pulse and didn't need to have diarrhea like the first night. I did vomit a bunch though, which when all you can see is visions is tricky to get into the bucket :-) 
In the mornings the shaman talked with each of the participants one on one to answer questions. There were only 3 of us, so intimate group. It was in a beautiful house in Calca with amazing views of the mountains here.

Getting ruthless about adding tasks to Someday/Maybe list vs Todo list

Recently I have been getting much more ruthless on putting new ideas in my Someday/Maybe Getting Things Done list rather than my Do this week list and then reviewing them in my weekly review. I used to add every idea for a task or improvement to my ToDo list and then feel overwhelmed by how much I had to do and not do any of it! Now with most of the longer term ideas saved in my Someday/Maybe list I have a clear mind and my Today ToDo list is only tasks that are either baby steps on important projects or urgent items for today


Random thoughts on avoiding overwhelm:

1. Schedule the tasks in a calendar (paper or online) - that way you are clear that a certain block of time is only for one project and if you want to do extra tasks/projects you either need to do them on later free days or delete or delay an earlier task. To be clear these tasks are not meetings with clients etc that have a hard day/time, they are appointments with yourself. When I used a Planner Pad (paper system) I did this sometimes with good results.

2. How much can you delegate? If you were out sick for a month how could you keep things moving on just 4 hours a week? I learned this question from a Tim Ferris interview video and it made me radically rethink some of my tasks.

3. I like the idea of knocking out smaller projects to get them off your list. This is one reason I bring big tasks into baby steps (eg ask Jane for the dentist's phone number, call dentist to schedule appointment, go to dentist) That is similar in concept to the Snowball debt reduction method where you pay extra money on the credit card with the smallest balance first. While mathematically paying extra on the one with the highest interest rate is best, emotionally it is best to get a small win faster by getting one card totally paid off to give you a pat on the back for paying off debt. That makes it more likely you will stick with the program. I know when I start my day getting smaller (and even psychologically harder) tasks off my GTD list I have momentum to then tackle larger tasks that might be more important in terms of results.


4. I often get a head start on creative projects like writing by forking off a part of my consciousness to work on it while I am doing other things, even sleeping. I just set the intent that I spin off a piece of my consciousness and that it will come up with good writing and that it will check back with me later with the results. Usually when I come to do the writing it just flows out of me. Or if I need a new idea I have it when I wake up. It is a pretty common magic and healing technique that can be applied to business. Note: it is important that you include the intent that the forked part of you does come back or has a time limit for existence of say a day. You don't want random pieces of you wandering around unguided...

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