- Praxis had it’s best year ever.
- I got to speak in Brazil at the largest student libertarian event in South America about building a career without college.
- Experiencing a whole year of Delta Airlines Diamond Status and all the perks that come with it.
- Fighting in the Bitcoin Cash wars of 2017 for the soul of Bitcoin. Yours.org, BCH shirts, Cameron Sorsby Cash, and Twitter.
- Personalized gifts.
- New artwork. Getting an original painting of Zeus by Hannah Philips.
- We made it to the Tech.Co Top 100 Startup’s of the Year awards.
- Chatting about professional success with Braveheart writer Randall Wallace at the Four Seasons, Big Island Hawaii.
- Handwritten letters.
- Nonstop Dumb and Dumber references. Major Payne, SouthPark, Ace Ventura, and Tropic Thunder too.
- The Steal Like an Artist Journal by Austin Kleon. If you haven’t picked one up, get it.
- Dumping Kindle for physical books again. Rebuilding my physical library and anti-library.
- 1 million Quora views!
- 1.5 million Quora views!
- Praxis on Fox News & CNBC.
- Mining my past for blog content.
- Repaying my dad for paying for my crashed car in high school.
- Helping Craig Biddle and team at The Objective Standard on on the first ever TOS-Con.
- Getting daily Soup Peddler. I will miss it so much.
- Listening to all the Harry Potter audiobooks again and getting an entirely new appreciation, and some annoyances, for the books.
- Landing in Sarajevo for the second time “under sniper fire” to speak at the largest pro-liberty event in Eastern Europe, OpenFest.
- Driving 2 hours for a midnight Icelandic hot spring dip at a private spring with incredible new friends.
- Guest lecturing at the Foundation for Economic Education and the Institute for Humane Studies, a goal I’ve had since college and which never really seemed fully attainable.
- Beating Cameron Sorsby in ping pong, badly.
- Kira, the Berger Blanc Suisse pup. Training and morning ball throwing. Learning to care for another living thing.
- Visiting the Arctic Circle in northern Finland with Alicia North during the dead of winter. Husky farms, reindeer, snowmobiling, and early afternoon sunsets.
- Visiting Hawaii with the family and staying at the incredible Four Seasons. Standing in an active volcano.
- Learning to love The Office for the first time.
- Reading articles and blogs I don’t agree with and probably shouldn’t be reading because I believe truth exists more often on extremes than we like to admit.
- Fighting charlatanism everywhere.
- Eating at Picnik in Austin, the world’s greatest restaurant.
- Voxer threads with my friends and colleagues Isaac, TK and Cameron.
- Learning how to use Twitter properly by searching for keywords I am interested in and reading Top and Latest posts. Also responding to Tweets I like and dislike.
- Anna Muzychuk.
- Realizing Fred and George are my favorite characters in Harry Potter.
- The Peikoff Podcast and Michael Savage.
- Snow in Austin!
- The Gervais Principle by Venkatesh Rao, one of the first truly original books I’ve read in a while. Also Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work by Austin Kleon.
- Bryan Larsen’s “Triumph of Icarus.” And all the rest of his work as well.
- Pranking T.K. Coleman with fake Tweets.
- The Most Dangerous Game
- “Sadak in Search of the Waters of Oblivion” by John Martin
- Rereading Philosophy: Who Needs It by Ayn Rand
- Take Me Home Country Road by John Denver, How to Save a Life (Live) by The Fray, Ryn Weaver, and 90s/early 2,000s music. Brandy, you’re a fine girl.
- Making up songs of my own that I will never share.
- Drinks with old friends from college. H/t Hubbard Velie and Cody Chipman.
- The Digit savings app. For the first time in my life I’ve automated savings goals and was able to sock away far more money than I thought possible this year. If you use this link we’ll both get $5.
- Learning to see time at home as a luxury.
- My dad’s 60th birthday video compilation.
- Twitter and YouTube “Dark Mode.”
- Star Wars Theory.
- Finally settling on a website design I’m happy with. Getting new and better pages created.
- Enslaved by Altruism
- “You don’t have a self.” I let that slip during my Q/A at ISFLC 2017 and it’s followed me ever since.
- Just 25 Pages a Day
- Praxis participants meme-ing me.
- Gilmore Girls with my girlfriend and learning that Edward Kirk Hermann narrated The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand brilliantly.
- Recognizing in concrete terms the limitations of advice from successful people.
- New friends. Leonardo Arruda, Magnús Örn, Marta Kristjana Stefánsdóttir, Alex Christakou, Tomek Kołodziejczuk, Mariana Matos, Ivanildo Santos Terceiro, Iryna Havryliuk, Fernando Henrique Miranda, Tyler Scott Ashby, and others.
- Making YouTube videos. Especially “Dear Young People: Your Parents Aren’t Always Right.”
- Realizing that my marketing business doing just about six figures was not going to be a fun business to run and shutting most of it down in favor of a few higher paying clients. Money is both everything and nothing at the same time. You have to love your work.
- Speaking in Iceland, Prague, Ukraine, and around the US.
- Caffeine cycling.
- Learning that I just want this blog to be a place for all things “Derek” and nothing more or less than that.
- The constant battle to be interested and interesting.
- Accepting that Austin, TX is not the town for me. Polling my friends for a new spot to set up my life.
- Apartment rental insurance covering car break-ins on the property. It saved me $5,000 when my car was burglarized.
- Realizing ever more clearly how glad I am I dropped out of college and spent the last few years working and developing my life instead of drinking, partying, and jumping through hoops. It’s made all the difference.
- Learning that I need to be more grateful.
- Interesting people: Pieter Levels, Nat Eliason, Chuck Grimmett, Austin Kleon, Thibault Serlet, Steve Patterson, and others.
- Getting into physical notebooks. I like plain Moleskines.
- Reading The Shallows by Nicholas Carr and having my perspective on the Internet totally changed.
- Readers of this blog getting great jobs despite not having a degree.
- Rejecting the temptation to cash in on temporary fashions and working to make things that last. Thucydides wrote that he was not writing for the immediate public, but for all time. That’s become a guiding motto for me this year.
- Writing a lot and on much more varied topics. It’s not that I don’t want to keep writing about skipping college or career stuff, but I’ve found a ton of interest and fulfillment in branching out into philosophy and cryptocurrency.
- Learning about the Polish Hussar charge at the Battle of Vienna led by Jan III Sobieski.
- Canceling 3 trips abroad that I had already paid for because I wanted to spend time at home with the people I love and because nothing can beat time to deliberately focus.
- Pickup trucks.
- Trump’s Twitter account. Learning to laugh more.
- Praxis participant stories and reviews.
- Late night drives through the rain to get hot Passion Tea at Starbucks & cheese pizza with my lady.
- The moments I was able to completely unplug from screens.
- Henry Rider Haggard Allan Quatermain novels, starting with Marie.
- Getting to return to San Diego for a few months to see family and enjoy the unmatched lifestyle of Southern California.
- Thinking about life as a series of “dropping outs” and “dropping ins” rather than a simple linear path. Enjoying the personal changes that each year brings.
- The ever-increasing number of people dropping out of college all around the world. College enrollment is dropping.
- The growing feeling that I am not as talented at anything as I had previously thought, and the inspiration to act, create and develop myself that comes with that feeling.
- Trying my hand for the first time in a long time at satire and at fiction.
- Having a great year financially!
- Getting dozens of passport stamps.
- Custom mugs. My HP Media mug, and Atlas Shrugged Mug are favorites. They’re perfect for daily Bulletproof Coffee.
- The word “charlatan.”
- Getting written about in the Michigan Daily despite them never publishing my writing while I was in college.
- Not watching a single sports game.
- Infared Saunas.
- Using fictional characters as guides to action.
- Taking walks. Getting sunshine.
- Ordering plain teeshirts directly from the manufacturer on Amazon. Replacing them quickly when they start to wear because the prices are so cheap.
- Spending most of my time with 1 or 2 people.
- Getting incredibly excited for 2018. Feeling like it’s a new start, which is both true and untrue at the same time.
2017 was one of the better years of my life. I got to speak in 4 countries and make some incredible. I had over 1 million views on Quora. Praxis had it’s best year ever.
I have nothing at all to complain about, but all the same, in honor of Festivus, I’d like to inaugurate a yearly tradition on this blog. Anyways…
I’ve got a lot of problems with these things, and now you’re gonna hear about them!
- I been listening to the Harry Potter audio books again and they’re incredible but I can’t take it seriously whenever they repeat that tired old line “it’s safe at Hogwarts with Dumbledore.” Okay. Quirrel + Voldemort, Voldemort + Ginny Weasley + Giant Snake, Dementors + Peter Petigrew, Barty Crouch Junior, Dolores Umbridge. Need I continue? Dumbledore is either criminally negligent or he’s in on it all from the beginning.
- Parents everywhere who put their kids in school. For shame! For shame!
- Manhattanites who keep dogs in high rise apartments and make them poo on the sidewalk are abusing both the dogs and everyone else. Don’t get a dog unless it has room & time to romp outside.
- Many of my favorite bloggers have switched in the past few years to podcasting. This is a huge shame. I can only listen to maybe 1 episode a day at most from one person, whereas in the past I could follow dozens of bloggers easily. Their content overall tends to decrease in quality too the more they rely on podcasting as their primary medium. Tim Ferris’s last two books are my go-to example to prove this point. They aren’t bad, they just aren’t good in comparison to his previous works.
- UnCollege rebranded their Gap Year program, which was a semi-alternative to college to YearOn, which is a glorified college prep program for Gen Z and Millenials who want “meaning” and “travel.” Pathetic.
- If you are angry about free speech on campus but you keep paying tuition that supports the professors who spread the ideas that give way to free speech restrictions, you need to rethink your strategy. Opt out of school entirely if it bothers you that much.
- Incidentally, Mom & Dad, I’m still mad about the years of school I had to go through.
- Star Wars has been hijacked by overly-political clowns who want to inject their own agenda in everything. Movies should be about plot, plot, plot, and nothing else. It’s no wonder the new release is failing.
- If you see something that offends your tastes or morals, like a seal trapped in plastic, it is not appropriate to use that thing as an excuse to indict all of humanity. Remember it’s also humans who are uniquely endowed with the compassion and intelligence to go out of their way to save said seals.
- Just because you CAN recline your seat on the flight does not mean you SHOULD recline your seat.
- I was plagiarized this year by someone close to me. That made me pretty mad. Don’t do that.
- George Bailey (fictional) ran a subprime loan scheme that worked as well in Bedford Falls as it did in early 2000s America. And yet millions of Americans every year, including me, warm their hearts to his story in It’s a Wonderful Life.
- This post is egregiously bad. And this Tweet is fraudulent.
- Deconstructionists are degenerate and the conservatives who hate them are boring. Both groups should learn to laugh a bit more.
- Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, sold his Litecoin because a few Twitter trolls made him feel bad. This is supposed to prove that he has no conflicts of interest. I think it proves the opposite. I sold my Litecoin at the high for Bitcoin Cash and don’t expect to ever return now.
- The California Franchise Tax board keeps insisting I owe something to them from 2015 despite not having lived in California as a resident since 2014. I guess it’s okay for them to ask but it’s not okay to assume guilt and provide no options for recourse.
- I can’t tell whether the Atlas Society’s new CEO Jennifer Grossman thinks she is giving a talk or a peep show whenever I have the misfortune of seeing her at a conference. Skip TAS and just read Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead if you’re interested in Ayn Rand.
- Most gluten free bread is filled with junky soy and sugars that are even worse for you than the gluten.
- “Hitlerizing” all the bad guys in film is trite. Not every bad guy needs to be a cartoonishly evil German in attitude and appearance and give stern right armed salutes. I’m thinking of you, Star Wars, but Wonder Woman this year was also to blame. I tried reading Star Wars Aftermath this year and the only takeaway about what motivated the Galactic Empire was racial supremacy over all other aliens. Come on.
- James Altucher cryptocurrency ads.
- Futurists and Luddites are similarly annoying.
- Instagram models who are not actually models.
- Steve Horwitz.
- All Marvel movies follow the exact same template. I’m tired of their style of comedic relief and I question how many times a major US city can be completely destroyed and not cause major global financial/existential problems.
- If you can’t laugh you can’t work with me.
- When people assume you must agree with everything a person has ever done or said if you say one positive thing about them. Our president quoted Mussolini once on Twitter and it was taken by the press and weak people everywhere as an endorsement of fascism. Trump correctly pointed out that he does not want to be associated with fascism, he wants to “be associated with interesting quotes.”
- The lies about Roger Ver are embarrassingly bad. Try harder.
- Anyone who calls themselves a Chief Mindset Officer needs a lot more than a mindset evaluation.
- You are either a founder or not a founder. “Founding team member” is a title for frauds looking to cash in on the unearned.
- Seth Rogan said this year that anyone who treats fascists the same as people fighting fascism are crazy. I will remind him that the communists fought the Nazis fiercely and yet raped, pillaged, and murdered their way through Europe in the 20th century. You have no right to demand respect solely on the grounds of what you’re against.
- If you want Coinbase to be sued for insider trading, you should go back to fiat currency.
There you have it! Let’s see if we (I) can go a full year before complaining again.
Excerpted from the New York Times:
In this Edward Kirk Herrmann narrated Hallmark Christmas remake, a young clerk guilts his boss, Ebenezer Scrooge, into letting him off of work early on Christmas Eve despite the firm being understaffed and behind schedule.
While sleeping, the clerk has three nightmares that take him on a tour through his past, present, and future to help him discover the essentially secular, commercial meaning of Christmas and how, through the thankless and lonely hard work of men like Scrooge, it is all made possible.
The special ends on Christmas Day in a dramatic climax during which Scrooge is put on trial for blowing up a state-owned toy store and with the clerk and his crippled son trudging through the bitterly cold streets of London to testify on his behalf.
When it aired for the first time in 2016, the special elicited violently negative responses. Film critics lampooned the courtroom speech of Scrooge for absorbing 30 minutes of the 90 minute program. Women’s rights activists called for it to be banned on account of the controversial love scene between Scrooge and Belle, which, according to the latest estimates, cost the city of London nearly $50,000 in damages during filming. And yet ratings this year are expected to far and away exceed those of last year.
There’s a thought experiment I’ve posed to young students for some time to help them understand why they’re really in college.
Imagine you are an incoming freshman at a prestigious school. On your first day of orientation, the Dean comes to the microphone to make a special announcement. “Degrees will no longer be awarded,” he says with a smile. “School is about learning,” he goes on. “Tuition remains unchanged and students will be able to pay to take classes in their interests and desired fields like normal. Also, the entire world will follow this policy as well.”  
Do you think most students would still remain students? Would you yourself remain a student? Would your parents still tell you to stay in school?
Keep in mind all variables remain the same. Tuition costs remain the same. Education quality remains the same. The social experience remains the same. The expectation is still that you will spend at least 4 years as a student. You just won’t get a degree at the end. Nobody anywhere will.
The question tends to make people uncomfortable because it forces them to confront the lie that they have been taught to tell themselves since they were very young: that their interest in college is primarily about learning.
“Am I really in college to get an education?” they must ask. Is the education I’m getting here really good enough to justify 4 years and a small fortune? Am I here for any other reason than the piece of paper? And if I’m not here for the education, by what standard can I be proud of a degree that certifies my supposed education?”
The answer to the thought experiment — very few people would stay in school — leads to a scary personal conclusion: you have chosen to spend 4 years of your life in an “educational institution” in which your education is subordinated to the certification and that you might not find the experience all that educational after all, or that you didn’t even care about the education to begin with.
It is a dangerous but necessary pill to swallow. A few people actually leave school because of it. Most remain despite it but with the lingering feeling that they’ve sold out in some way they try hard to never define.
And we should not let off the hook just yet the vanishingly small minority of people who can honestly say they would choose to remain in school even if they were not awarded the degree because they genuinely do value the educational experience.
Since colleges cannot award degrees anymore, their institutional uniqueness must be called into question. If you are there ONLY for the education and never cared much for the degree, you need to seriously ask whether the college environment is the best, fastest and cheapest delivery mechanism for that education.
What if you could do in 1 year what college classes allow you to do in 2 or 3 years? What if for a couple thousand dollars or less you could build your own curriculum that rivals the best college classes? What if you could get through experiential learning what you previously thought could only be gotten in lectures? These are questions that most students never ask themselves before enrolling in a 4 year university but that this thought experiment demands they ask.
For me, it was this consideration that pushed me to leave school. College was never about the degree in my mind, it really was about education. When I realized it did a bad job at this, and that I could do a better job on my own, I left.
 I believe my friend Isaac Morehouse came up with this but I’m unsure. We have an unspoken agreement in our circle that we’ll all steal from each other at some point, so if I’m stealing from him now, consider it payback…you bastard.
 A fun variation on the thought experiment to propose to professors is the following: “How many of your students would pay for your class if it was offered as a stand alone course outside of school?” This usually satisfies one of Taleb’s requirements for a good day — humiliate an academic deeply.
Thanks to Alicia North for reading drafts of this essay.
[Illustration by Hallie Bateman]
Since 2013, I’ve had a somewhat advisory role with the Michigan Review, the Libertarian/Conservative student publication at the University of Michigan.
I’ve helped provide technical web knowledge when I can, intellectual guidance, and funding. I filmed it’s event with Milo Yiannapolous.
I’ve also been interviewed for the publication twice, contributed an article on the BBUM Movement and broke the news on the Jake Croman Uber Rant, which led the Review to national headlines, including Time Magazine.
I’ve cared about the future of the Review deeply because I see writing for it and participating in it’s meetings as a gateway “drug” to leaving school entirely for a bright, free thinking student who values liberty and Western civilization.
Over the last six months, I’ve grown increasingly concerned about the direction the Review was going after coming under the “leadership” of Jake Thorne. It felt that the paper was quickly falling out of touch with it’s guiding principles. Articles began appearing that either did not strongly criticize the leftwing nonsense happening on campus and around the country or subtly praised it.
After reading Jake’s article, “Do You Hear the People Scream,” in October 2017, I decided I had waited too long to speak out about this. The article was so embarrassingly apologetic, so weak, so fawning towards the campus Left that I have to assume Jake thinks he is writing for another paper.
I immediately sent this letter to Jake expressing my disgust with his work and asking him to remove himself from the paper. The footnotes and links were not in the original email but are provided for context.
From: Derek Magill
Date: Wed, Oct 11, 2017 at 12:51 AM
Subject: Michigan Review
To: Jake Thorne
Over the years I have written for the Review, funded it, and spent hundreds of dollars maintaining the site. I’m absolutely disgusted by the direction you’ve taken the content.
The Review was meant to be a Conservative/Libertarian publication that offered radical, differing views from the Daily and professors on campus. You’ve turned it into a blithering, middle of the road, equivocating, pompous, slumber party that is almost indistinguishable from the trash published by the Daily.
It is a place for serious, compelling writing, not a safe space for you to talk about crying and eating your feelings out with ice cream.  Nor is it a place for you to write love letters to Obama, a vicious, murderous, thief who taxed men greater than you more money than you’ll make in your lifetime.
How you came to be in “charge” of the paper is beyond me, but you had a responsibility regardless to keep the material published by the Review within its founding principles.  You’ve failed this entirely.
You should not be writing for the Review nor any publication that cares about liberty and Western culture.
Please leave the Review immediately and pass your position onto somebody who can better do the job.
Thanks in advance,
It should be noted that I asked the previous group of students at the Review repeatedly in 2016 to make sure there was a non-student who had administrative access over the paper precisely because I know how difficult passing the torch can be in campus organizations. Otherwise intelligent and passionate students fall into the laziness and indifference of senior year and all too often leave their organization with no proper leadership at all.
It appears this is exactly what happened in this case.
I’ve spoken with the former editors and both insist they never wanted Jake in charge of the paper but that it happened by default when nobody else volunteered. This is a sad state of affairs that reflects as badly on the rest of the staff as it does on Jake.
The above can be considered my official “statement” regarding the Review. What the staff and future students choose to do with it is their choice.
If any Objectivist, Libertarian, or Conservative student at the University of Michigan agrees with me and would like help or guidance moving forward, please feel free to reach out to me and I will do what I can.
 The embarrassing quote in question is as follows:
I’ve felt heartbreak. I’ve suffered through broken relationships and personal failures that churn my stomach and overwhelm me with despair. But this pain is temporary. With a pint of ice cream and a quick binge of Mad Men and BoJack Horseman, I wipe the tears from my eyes and move on.
2017 has been my busiest speaking year yet. I’m actually writing this post from the airport lounge in Minneapolis after a guest lecture I did in St. Louis yesterday.
In the first two quarters, I spoke at a number of conferences in the US and at events in Ukraine and Prague. This summer and fall have filled up quickly and I’ve got at least 10 upcoming events in the second half of 2017.
Below is a list of currently confirmed events. I hope to meet you there at one of them
June 8 // Atlanta (FEE High School Seminar on Entrepreneurship at West Georgia) June 16 // Atlanta (FEECon 2017 Panel) July 12 // St. Louis (FEE High School Seminar on Entrepreneurship at Lindenwood University) July 21st // Atlanta (FEE High School Seminar on Entrepreneurship at Ogelthorpe University) August 2nd // Atlanta (Praxis Weekend Workshop with Chuck Grimmett on Freelancing)
September 19th // Waterville, Maine (DisruptColby at Colby College)
September 30th //Reykjavík, Iceland (ESFL Regional Conference)
October 6th // Mackinac Island (Michigan Construction Leadership Summit)
October 14th // São Paulo, Brazil (LibertyCon Brazil 2017)
October X // Tuzla, Bosnia (TBD)
October 27th // Sarajevo, Bosnia (OpenFest 2017)
November 1st // Starkville (IHS Seminar at Mississippi State)
November 4th // Ohio (Students for Liberty Regional at Ohio State)
November 4th // Salt Lake City Live Webcast (Students for Liberty Regional Webcast with TK Coleman)
November 11th // Tallahassee (Students for Liberty Regional)
November 18th // Warsaw, Poland (TBD)
November X // Dublin (Trinity College – TBD)
November 23rd // Belfast, Ireland (European Students for Liberty Regional Conference)
More events are currently in the works and I’ll post them here soon.
I never really intended to make a mini career out of lectures and talks, but I’ve found that I enjoy it the more I do it. It’s a great excuse to meet people, travel, and promote ideas that are important to me.
I look forward to seeing you at one of the events hopefully.
A drawing on of the attendees at my last FEE Seminar talk made.
1) Creating Opportunities 101
I’m asked often about how to get an interesting, exciting career. Call me too particular, but I think the question is all wrong. A great career is not “gotten.” It’s created. You’re rarely going to find a job that fulfills your desire to speak Mandarin, work with 8th century choral church music, and make a lot of money. I won’t say it’s impossible to have a career like that, but you’ll need to build it yourself.
So point number 1 is the flip your perspective. Stop looking for people to create the perfect job for you because it probably doesn’t exist. Create your own job around your interests that solves the needs and problems of others.
The good news is that this is easier than it seems. It’s often as simple as asking and never more complicated than developing a solid value proposition.
When I was a student one of the things I really wanted was to be a public speaker. And I thought the path was to wait and wait and wait until you got invites and that could only happen when you were much older.
Why wait though? You can land yourself a speaking slot this month if you want. Find a meetup group or a campus club or a small conference and send them an email with your talk proposal. People in the real world are desperate to find other people who can make their lives easier. I got my first few speaking opportunities this way and was able to start doing this much earlier than I’d previously thought.
Thus the question is really not “what jobs are available?” or “what jobs am I qualified for?” but “what job can I create for myself?”
2) Compound career interest
I think the financial term “compound interest” works well when we’re thinking about our careers too.
The person who starts working at 17 has an easier time than the person who starts at 25 even if the 25 year old works harder and smarter. He’s been building up career capital over the last 8 years in the form of skills, experiences, self knowledge, network, his personal brand, and his portfolio. These things have a weird way to compound over time.
The most clear examples I can give are from my own life. Every year it seems I experience a doubling in the number of client opportunities I’m given, the number of interesting people I connect with, the number of blog readers I have, the number of speaking invites I have, and the amount of travel I get to do.
It would be difficult for my clone to catch himself now if he were just now graduating college and trying to start his career. I like to joke that I wish I had started working when I was in elementary school.
So the best advice I can give is to start now.
There are many people who, at various times in my life, have served as mentors for me. I’ve only met a small fraction of them though and I don’t think you need to meet a person, or that they even need to be alive, to serve as a mentor. I’m actually biased against meeting people in person because it lends itself to wasting time.
Here are a few mentors of mine: Ayn Rand, Tim Ferriss, Nathaniel Branden, Peter Thiel.
I’ve never met them and two of them are dead, but so much of their material is public. I can read every book and article Ayn Rand ever wrote. I can read old forums where people discuss in person meetings with her. I can listen to her talks and watch her TV appearances. And then I can start developing questions — what was their childhood like? What was their career path like? When did they know they wanted to be X? How did they accomplish Y? Did they ever have doubts? Struggles? How did they interact with people? The goal here is to learn how to think and act like them and then to use it in your daily life.
So just find some people you admire and consume everything they ever wrote or did and everything ever written or recorded about them until you no longer find it valuable and then move on.
1) Making the Moral Case for Freedom
This is not an absolute rule in the sense that I mean economic arguments and other pro-liberty cases aren’t important, but they are not a substitute for more foundational arguments.
As Ayn Rand wrote in a letter to Leonard Read while he was planning the launch of FEE,
People are not embracing collectivism because they have accepted bad economics. They are accepting bad economics because they have embraced collectivism….you cannot destroy the cause by fighting the effect.
And for an illustration of the importance of moral arguments in creating our understanding of what it means to be “free,” just observe the calls from the Bleeding Heart Libertarians for Universal Basic Income Guarantees or the sneering “left libertarians” who once ran significant parts of Students for Liberty and endorsed openly show trials, redistribution, and prison sentences for people who “slut shamed.” 
We don’t need to agree on everything, but my advice to you is to be wary of libertarians promoting collectivist or altruist moral views. They are not your allies. And to those of you who do, check your premises.
2) Small tent radicalism
Over the last few years the libertarian movement has seen an increasing number of calls for a more open tent — this takes the form of the former SFL President stating that anyone can be a libertarian regardless of your views or influential activists saying certain libertarian topics should not be discussed because they might alienate or offend certain groups and unity is more important than ideological purity.
For the record, I disagree with this entirely. I do not believe you can spread ideas long term by stealth. I do not believe you can trick people into being free.
A lesson I learned from Isaac Morehouse early on at my time at Praxis is that knowing who our product is NOT for is equally important as knowing who our product is for. And in spreading ideas I think this holds true as well. There are certain belief systems, certain ways of life, and certain cultures that are incompatible with a free society and we ought to treat them with ridicule and contempt, not open our arms to them so that we can tell our donors that we had more conference attendees.
If you look at the history of successful movements, and of successful startups incidentally, they were almost always led by a relatively small group of unyielding, uncompromising radicals. These people want controversial, dangerous, daring ideas, not watered down platitudes that anyone and everyone can accept.
I’ve seen a downward trend since my first conference years ago — there is less and less energy and excitement among the young people. I don’t blame them. They’ve been taught that energy and enthusiasm is a sign of close mindedness, arrogance and soft bigotry. Fight this. Be a radical for liberty and a radical for capitalism. Don’t apologize, don’t appease, and don’t back down. 
 I don’t exaggerate, all of this and more has happened during my time in the liberty movement.
 See “The Anatomy of Compromise” in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, by Ayn Rand
Whenever I visit a new city, the first thing I do is try to identify a place to buy Bulletproof Coffee.
It’s partly a game I play with myself, and mostly a need I’m fulfilling. See, I fast every day in the morning and grass fed butter, Brain Octane, and coffee keep me going. I don’t get headaches or anything when I skip it, I just know I feel significantly better with it. I’ve even traveled with the ingredients before but it’s also a bit of a pain, so I prefer to find a local shop.
I was in San Francisco this week for a new shoot and found that it wasn’t all that difficult, though you usually can’t find it under the label “Bulletproof,” which I suppose makes it harder to Google.