Bikepacking the Oregon Coast Range
ChatGPT, financial FOMO and catwalking
Ciao, Traipsers! Today’s intro is written by the can’t-avoid-it AI everyone is talking about, ChatGPT:
"Greetings, Wanderers and Adventure Seekers! Welcome to the latest edition of our newsletter, where we explore the far reaches of the world and delve into the depths of our souls in search of true meaning and purpose. With each step we take, we shed our mundane lives and embrace…” *Dakota grabs microphone*
WHOOOA there, Chatty ChatterGPT! Let’s not overstate things.
I’m sticking with my intro, thank you very much.
Welcome back to Traipsing About, a newsletter about reclaiming creativity and ditching tired personal paradigms.
Back to ChatGPT, which I currently view as (yet another) tech tool. Obviously it has incredible potential, but it also makes stuff up, can’t do math, and can’t help you move a new stove into your house.
I ALSO think the cost of generating listicles, boring articles and generally shitty writing just went practically to zero, which inversely makes curation and creative, engaging writing even more valuable. Hopefully that’s why you’re here!
That and for the quotes…
Success is a function of persistence and doggedness and the willingness to work hard for twenty-two minutes to make sense of something that most people would give up on after thirty seconds.
From Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
This week on Get Lost ChatGPT, Traipsing About is MY Newsletter, Edition #118:
Bikepacking through the Oregon Coast Range
The worst financial trait we can have
ICYMI: last newsletter I talked about riding the same trail vs. a new one, which applies to biking, creativity, and juuust about anything we do!
Bikepacking the Odyssey of the VOG
Bikepacking in the Oregon coast range had languished on my bucket list for awhile, so I wasn’t TOO sad to pivot away from a fall bikepacking plan in Idaho after a forest fire messed up plans.
Luckily, my friend Ben organizes a race in the coast range called the Odyssey of the VOG. (VOG=Valley of Giants, an old-growth stand of Doug firs along the way.)
So I changed plans and pedaled out to the Oregon coast and back on steep forest roads. With no research except downloading the GPS route, my friends and I were off.
A few highlights:
The shift in landscapes: farmland, coast range, ocean. From Willamette Valley farmland to the forested coast range with plenty of icy streams to the Pacific Ocean and back.
Eating at The Breadboard in Fall City! Amazing food, cheery owners and patrons. “Welcome to the gay Alps!” said the proprietor, something you nevereverever hear in a small rural logging town. We may have each done a fashion catwalk in front of everyone on the stage from Pride Week…
The small things made special by shared exertion: Watermelon. Fried potato wedges at a gas station (when in Rome…). Coconut water. Conversation about science, photography, and how to live well. Uproarious laughter.
Ah, bike trips. Memory making machines!
For all the highlights and my take on the trip, click here. Or just check out Brady’s fantastic photos (plus a few of mine) here in the photo gallery.
Fear of missing out is the worst financial trait
Last year, the book The Psychology of Money dramatically shifted my mindset regarding money. I also dug the author’s recent short post on FOMO in investing. (FOMO totally dragged me from “hey, crypto is a concept worth learning about” to torching some cash
investing gambling with it.)
A few ideas from the FOMO post:
Having no FOMO might be the most important investing skill. Being immune to the siren song of other people’s success – especially when that success is sudden, extreme, and caused by factors outside their control – is so powerful and important that it’s practically impossible to do well over time without it.
Charlie Munger from Berkshire Hathaway once said:
Someone will always be getting richer faster than you. This is not a tragedy… The idea of caring that someone is making money faster than you are is one of the deadly sins.
Remove FOMO from the equation, and what’s left?
You only care about your own goals.
You tend to avoid getting sucked into bubbles.
You tend to think long term.
And you don’t need much else to do well over time.
(Related reading: my blog post BS investing, or my misadventures in crypto)
Traipsing About Tidbits
For kicking ass on tough stains (showers, concrete, tile behind stoves…), I can’t recommend the Drill Brush enough.
Whoa, these drawings of hands morphing into nature are COOL.
Bro, can you even time travel and take a selfie?!
This fascinating dialog with ChatGPT about designing a game majorly opened my eyes to how powerful it can be given the right context and prompts.
Quote of the Week
The typical person’s self-image suffers partly from its attachment to past performances, which anchor us more than they need to, and partly from an externally derived sense of self-worth, which poisons motivation.
The Rock Warrior's Way by Arno Ilgner
You’ve reached the end of Traipsing About newsletter #118.
This week’s unsolicited advice:
Always sleep on investment decisions, never invest in something when you’re excited (see previous), and DOWN WITH FOMO. (I’ve learned all these the hard way…)
Catch you in a couple of weeks! I’ll be hard at work honing my ChatGPT skills so it can crank out my future newsletters while I go climbing.
I kid, I kid. I’m going mountain biking, not climbing.
I appreciate you taking the time to read my newsletters. I always love to hear from you, so hit reply and send me an email if you feel so inclined. I read and respond to every one.
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Oh boy, ChatGPT and AI tools in general. Everyone's OBSESSED. And - well, I get it, I'm a huge nerd, but can't we also talk about the way that it's a tool that collects together the average of everything that's out there on a topic and serves it up on a nice-looking digital platter? Whereas, creativity is about trying to find the thing *hardly anyone* is doing, so you can stand out by being as weird as possible? Isn't that a fundamental part of the core of Good Art - you try to fit the wider world, but you also try to break it by being as surprising and odd and "uh, are you having a midlife crisis?"-y as possible?
I know plenty of writers are freaking out, but if this is a call to arms for us to sound *even more* human (and get even weirder), maybe that's a good thing? All this said, it's going to be an incredible tool for all sorts of things. But it's still powered by humans, even though it's pretending it isn't. So - let's double down on being humans?
I should probably just go write something. I've clearly got a lot of caffeine-related ranting to do.
Great letter! Also, loved the photos of the bike trip. The bunny photos! So cute!