Latest Essay

The Pavlok: A Shockingly Bad Idea

By Duff McDuffee on October 23rd, 2014

Wearable health technology is all the rage these days. Silicon Valley just can’t get enough little gadgets to track our movements, weight and bodyfat percentage, blood pressure, and other vital statistics.

Granted, some of these gadgets are pretty cool, and maybe even useful. And yet most current wearables like the Jawbone and Fitbit lines of products are little more than glorified pedometers.

Enter Pavlok.

Pavlok is advertised as the first wearable gadget that shocks you if you don’t do what you committed to doing.

This latest wearable is the product of energetic, young Maneesh Sethi who’s website advertises “cheat codes for life.” Sethi is brother of Ramit Sethi, Ramit being the creator of the popular financial advice blog “I Will Teach You To Be Rich.”

Maneesh and I had a vigorous debate on Twitter about his product, which ended when he encouraged me to write a longer article. So here goes!

You, dear reader, can be the judge of whether my arguments are convincing or not. I doubt I will convince Maneesh, for as Upton Sinclair wrote, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

But more important than this particular product, I think the Pavlok is an iconic example of an entire paradigm of personal development that thinks self-aggression is the best way to go about personal change. Read to the end to find out why! Continue Reading this Essay

Still Fresh

Why Seth Godin is Wrong About Vampires, aka Trolls

Tweet In a recent blog post, marketing guru Seth Godin said… “Vampires cannot be cured. They cannot be taught, they cannot learn the error of their ways. Most of all, vampires will never understand how much damage they’re doing to you and your work. Pity the vampires, they are doomed to this life. Your garlic [...]

Should we buy experiences instead of things?

Tweet On this special Christmas episode, Duff asks deep questions about consumerism and happiness. Many people these days are focusing on buying experiences instead of things. But don’t we buy things because they give us experiences? And aren’t things a better buy in terms of experiences than purchasing experiences directly? Also, why are we even [...]