Brain Storming – Everything Is Allowed

spencer-tunick-2

Every day I list at least ten items. I like to practice my idea muscle. Even if its my stupid idea muscle. They might be business ideas. Thoughts about the revolution. Book ideas. Ideas on how to improve my life. Or blog post ideas. Ideas on who I should be connecting with. And so on. They can be about anything. The ideas should never be about “these ten ideas will save my life or else”. It’s just to playfully exercise the idea muscle. Maybe one idea in six months will be “THE ONE”.

Here’s today’s list.

A)     How to be less shy when public speaking: Here’s what you do: Picture YOURSELF naked. Everyone gives the advice, “picture everyone in the audience naked.” I guess that’s supposed to make you at ease somehow. Everyone naked. Haha.

But it’s bullshit. Picturing everyone in the audience naked sounds repulsive to me. How am I supposed to speak in a room filled with naked people? Do I want to have sex with them or something? I don’t get it. Please, everyone, keep your clothes on in my head so I can give this talk.What are you all doing with your clothes off? You, in the front, your wife’s salad dressing is dripping on your penis. Stop it.

Instead, do this: picture YOURSELF naked. And say, “I’m sorry folks. Someone gave me the advice that I should picture all of you naked. I’d rather not offend you in that way so for the next hour you should PICTURE ME naked while I talk.” You’ll get some laughs. You can begin your talk. And, if you’re built like me, you’ll probably get a lot of phone numbers at the end. (kidding)

(the largest collection of naked bodies ever. Spencer Tunick, the photographer, is a genius. I had dinner with him once. More or that story later!)

B)      Whores. Someone named Hyliry Love just added me to her Google+ Circles. I have no idea who she is. But of course I had to click on her profile. Who is named Hyliry Love?

She has this photo and says, “Alright boys i know aht i am and i know why i like it.. I like exactly what i am… I am a true whore and will mess around with anyone anyone want to be friends…”

I wonder what a “true whore” means? I guess a “whore” is someone who will do it for money but a “true whore” is someone who will also love you.

I notice that Zac Efron is also among the 40 people in her circles. And also there is someone who defines himself as a “Math Teacher”. I like that. Hyliry is a true whore. She likes Zac Efron, me, and she studies Geometry. I’m going to start using that affectionately. Like if a girl gives me the right change at the deli. I’m going to smile and say. “Thanks babe…you’re a true whore.”

C)      Alec Baldwin is copying me. I don’t know patent law. But maybe there’s a utility patent here. Or a “process patent” or at least a trademark or a copyright. But he’s marrying his Hispanic yoga teacher. Just like me. I’ve sort of sensed that Alec Baldwin has been following me around for awhile. Like when I dream about him. I’m not gay but there it is.

But now I know. Alec Baldwin is also dreaming about me. Dreaming he wants to be me. In some parallel universe Alec Baldwin and I are friends and we go on double dates with our Hispanic yoga teachers. We talk about politics. They talk in Spanish and it sounds like a mini-operetta at the other end of the table. Alec and I laugh about that. Ahh, we’re just a bunch of gringos. Then Billy Baldwin comes along and he and Alec are talking and laughing and I feel by myself. I’m jealous. Billy, why did you have to come into this parallel universe?

D)     The Witness Protection Program. Not a single person on the planet doesn’t want to be in the United States Witness Protection Program. So I’m going to tell  you how. There’s lots of gangster types still walking around Chinatown in NYC. Here’s what you do: just follow them around. Walk about ten feet behind them. Whenever they turn around to look at you just look the other way. Oh, I was just looking at this Pig head in the random food store. Then keep following them around. The Feds will think you are one of them. Then testify against them. But first, make sure the FBI guarantees the Witness Protection Program. Then say, “yes, that guy is a low down thug. He killed Michael Jackson. He sent Osama Bin Laden all those porn videos.”

And now you’re in Boise, Idaho. They give you the name Alec Baldwin and everyone sort of jokes about it. The government sends you $9,000 a month. For the rest of your life.

E)      When Does It Stop? I’m in Greenwich, CT as I write this. You can’t even see anyone’s house. They are all enormous but the gates are huge so you can’t see anything. Believe me. I’ve been trying. More on that later. But Claudia and I have been driving down every road that says “NO ACCESS -PRIVATE DRIVE” and we can’t see a single house. Because we are stalkers. Where is Occupy Wall Street when you finally need them?

After the 99% have finished killing off the 1% (Derek Jeter – I always wonder this – are you in the 1%? Like, clearly you are financially but do baseball players count? Is Miley Cyrus in the 1%?) then who is next? Now the 99% have become 100% of the people. Now there’s a NEW 1%. What do you do with them? Of course you have to kill them also to be consistent. It seems like the safest place to be is in the bottom 1%. Does Occupy Wall Street want to start tattooing our percentage numbers on our foreheads? Maybe that’s a solution.

F)     Online Education. Finally! Someone is trying to disrupt education, which is like the last bastion of existence which hasb’t been fully disrupted and destroyed by the Internet. Benchmark Capital, a firm I greatly admire (art.com, Ebay!) just put 25 million dollars in an online university called Minerva. Named after the Roman goddess of Wisdom. They will be offering one degree. The MBA.

WHAT!?

Because of course, when you are a bunch of venture capitalists sitting around trying to decide what the world needs you think: Hmm, what is the one degree we should offer to make the world a better place. Urologists? No, my penis is fine. Cancer specialists? No, if anyone could cure cancer Steve Jobs would’ve done it. Potato Chip makers? No, Pringles has got that LOCKED DOWN. Hmmm, hmmm. Hey Bill, how about the MBA? I feel like too much of the truth about crap like Coca-Cola is getting out there. We need more marketers to have sexy girls drinking coke in commercials so nobody catches on.

At least, that’s how I hope the conversation went. That would be pretty cool if someone in a VC meeting discussing uses of 25 million dollars says, “No, my penis is fine.”

Because isn’t that what it’s all about anyway?

H)   The Illuminati.  On youtube there are a lot of videos suggesting Jay-Z is in the illuminati. I get it. He’s got “Barack on the text”. “you should know I bleed blue.”  He has a song called “Lucifer”. And he’s married to Beyonce, who was clearly a gift from the rest of the illuminati to a guy that looks like Jay-Z.

I’m sick of all the people who hate the illuminati. Just admit it, if they slipped you an engraved invitation underneath your bedroom door in the middle of the night you would be as excited as a puppy dog. C’mon. Beyonce? You know you are in. Stop player-hating on the Illuminati. They control your life. They have secret powers. They know you read porn magazines in the bathroom. And they understand why there is a pyramid on the back of the dollar bill. You want to know that also. Stop all this racism against the Illuminati.

Also, why am I watching all of these videos about Jay-Z in the Illuminati?

 

G)  What’s up with all the social media apps that tell me how many miles you ran today? Like, as soon as you run 8 miles it gets tweeted, facebooked, G+ed and I even see a photo on Pinterest of you sweating like a dog with a watermark over you of the number of calories you lost.

Do you think that is very social?

Let’s use common sense. Everyone seeing your “share” is sitting IMMOBILE AT A COMPUTER, for god’s sake! For hours. They aren’t moving. And I, for one, am eating a bag of potato chips right now. Think about it.

H)        Cosmopolitan Table of Contents this month

  • –          How to Make Your Butt Look Amazing (with photos)
  • –           Dudes will Do Anything To Get You in Bed. Case in Point….
  • –          Sweet Things Guys Do on the Sly
  • –          Sex tricks – Wow him every single time
  • –          Steamy ways to turn you on
  • –          10 Kinky Light Moves He Can’t Resist [Note from me: are they going to shine a flashlight on me naked? I don’t think I like that one]
  • –          Guess that Sex Position?

The Economist Table of Contents this month

  • –          Message to Ankara
  • –          The Yangon Spring
  • –          Geothermal energy in Japan
  • –          From Brussells, with shove [Note from me: hahahaha. That’s funny]
  • –          The Wenzhou Experiment
  • –          Marjorie Dean internships [Note: highly coveted]
  • –          Istanbuls and bears
  • –          Sexy spies and Islamofacism [store for later reading]

All bullshit aside, Cosmopolitan is clearly a superior magazine. And Cosmopolitan has perfume in it. I feel like I’m on a date with a sex goddess when I’m reading Cosmo. And yes, I read Cosmo. I need those sex tips more than I need a Marjorie Dean internship (unless she’s a true whore).

I)  Oxymoron: Family vacation. Kids are not fun. The only thing  you do on a vacation with kids is constantly be alert so they don’t drown somewhere. Not fun.

J) My tenth idea is ideas for tdp.me before I launch even an alpha out of it. I want to create a site that people can use for free to help them track what I call the Daily Practice. The idea is to not track “progress” but to just simply “track”, see what other people are doing, get more ideas on how to improve your life, and see how life changes over time. Essentially, a Facebook timeline but about improving yourself and without “the Facebook”.  Adding the ability to browse other public profiles this week and adding a Q&A function that anyone can use to add some gamification and viral attributes. Should be fun. All suggestions welcome.

And that’s how you do it.

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  • http://www.kilaventures.com Sean Conner

    Ha! Just ha. And thanks.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      And thank you. 

      • kesselkoomson

        Ok so i stumbled on here somehow and i must say that the “whore” section of this post is almost literary. No. Actually it is.

  • Robin Heinen

    LOL, this must be your weirdest post ever. Cool! It’s good to see I’m not the only person around with weird thoughts. You should post these more often. I think the comments will also be a good source of feedback. I think the tdp.me is a nice idea, maybe you should make it as a G+ app (does that exist…? I’m a new user) or a facebook app. It might be interesting to see how other people spend their days (and how and IF they reach their set goals). Keep ’em coming James!

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

       Very good idea on the apps. Doing it via HTML5 so should be easy to convert into apps.

    • http://twitter.com/arzvi 阿倫

      yeah, I think the ‘facebook’ app should be able to feed your ‘app’ – would get you initial crowd faster, dont you think?

  • http://twitter.com/arianna Arianna O’Dell

    I’m trying to not burst out laughing after reading this. 

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Then my job was accomplished. Thanks Arianna. 

  • http://twitter.com/arianna Arianna O’Dell

    In a good way. ;D

  • Tim

    James

    This made me laugh out loud. That should be on any list of things to do each day, thanks for that.

    Tim

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

       Yes, its on my list also. Sometimes not so easy but very important. Extends life.

  • UK

    Are you DRUNK, James?

    • http://444express.blogspot.com/ the444

       Possibly.  He used the “P” word two times.  Once was OK, but the second time, regarding the urologist, might have been too much.  Can you imagine the urology consultation? 
      “Pardon the odor…” 
      “Is that Ranch?  Or Thousand Island?”

      • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

         Drunk on life!

      • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

         Drunk on life!

  • Jon

    the illuminati is so real. i was a member, first i had to play a game of checkers w satan. if i lost, i sucked his dick. if i won..i sucked his dick, if it was a draw..i sucked his dick. then eminem, tupac, biggie, and jay-z told me that i had to enter the chamber of secrets and kill the basilisk with a triangle…the kind you use in band class. then i had to kill bugs bunny w a four leafed clover. the only way to get out is to watch all 4 seasons of My Name Is Earl, fear the mighty triangle.

  • Laura G.

    TDP.ME ideas:
    1) Include some kind of module where people can enter their goals, but give them the ability to put a running list of what they’ve done so far underneath each goal. This is to make tracking easier. More emphasis on the tracking than the accomplishment.
    2) Create a page/group/whatever that allows people to find others based on similar goals or daily habits.
    3) Maybe work out an arrangement with email providers that allows your users to directly link their TDP.ME accounts to their email providers’ calendars. This will provide maximum efficiency.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

       Great, great ideas. Going to try to make all of these. thanks Laura.

    • Habeshawi

      i thought 43things.com was for that purpose. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/ciaranarchy Ciaran Murphy

    Hilarious post James! Really made me laugh :)

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Thanks Ciaran!

  • http://devcodehack.com/ DevCodeHack

    I really love the Illuminati James, no prejudice here. Next can you do a post connecting the Greenwich, CT residents to the Illuminati? It could be called ‘Beyond the Gates: Money, Drugs and Orgies’, I think it would be your #1 post.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      If only I could get beyond the gates I would be happy to oblige. 

      • Chuck

        You can live there if you really want to.
        But don’t forget to just rent :-)

  • Kat

    is it weird that i keep focusing on the letters instead of numbers?  is there a reason for those? 
    and then also, it worked.  i keep saying i am going to this (write a list of ideas) but reading this may push me over the edge to actually do it.  It’s like reading what is going on in my head ALL. THE. TIME.
    dont think i would be brave enough to blog them though!

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

       Haha. I like using letters. I don’t know why. Maybe numbers are too much pressure.

  • murali

    I liked this post. A tad different from your usual offerings. 

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

       Yes, trying to make sure that I keep fresh with the blog but still keep quality. The blog is on my mind all day. I never want to get into a rut with it. I want it to be helpful (else there’s no point)  and the best way is for me to also keep it fun for me.

  • http://jlcollinsnh.wordpress.com/2011/06/06/why-you-need-f-you-money/ Jlcollinsnh

    RE:  Illuminati.

    Being one’s not all the great.  You think maybe it’s fun keeping track of the rest of you…..

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      haha. 

  • Sebastien Latapie

    For the tdp.me I would suggests having a more robust idea muscle section: a section that lets you type in your list each day and saves them for future references. It would be great to have it online and make it searchable so you can easily find old idea/revisit old concepts. Would be fun!

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

       Excellent idea.

      • Stewart

        funny thing is that a friend is writing a notes app after becoming frustrated with evernote that could make tdp quite easily…

  • http://twitter.com/fzeng96 Feng

    He prefers Cosmo over Economist. So refreshing.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

       take one on a plane and spread it out so everyone can see what you are reading. Its fun watching the reactions.

  • http://www.toddandelin.com Todd_Andelin

    Reading this post made me feel like my brain was chewing on aluminum foil, at first, but after reading the whole thing I think its brilliant.  I am thinking about tdp.me

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

       I like that description of the brain chewing on Aluminum foil. I tried to picture it. Aluminum foil is so shiny and useful it almost feels like fun for a brain to chew on it.

  • Andrew

    Thanks again James – I love your honesty – hopefully I can get a bit closer to honest myself one day.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

       Don’t beat yourself up, Andrew. Just the fact that you want to be honest shows very good intentions. Its hard for me to be honest as well. Even sometimes the slightest white lies have huge ramifications (like the butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil causing a tornado in china). First being aware of these tiniest of lies is important. And even being aware of when you are dishonest with yourself.

      When my daughters tell me they want something I always ask “why”. And they give me a reason. They give me a good reason. Always. But there’s the “good reason” and there’s “the real reason” (i couldn’t do my homework because i was sick” as opposed to “homework is boring”). Always being aware of the real reasons is important.

  • http://babydoc3.livejournal.com/ babydoc3

    I loved (E). I’ve often wonder what the occupiers plan to do for revenue after they have driven all of the rich people into the sea.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

       I guess they can live in their houses.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Connor/100000284561197 Peter Connor

        How would they pay the utilities and taxes–is that another “free” demand?

  • jay

    Biggest step forward for tdp.me is an app. It demands to be a mobile platform that can you can update whenever you want. I love the idea but I don’t see myself using unless it is 100x easier to interact with. More of a technical challenge than a conceptual one, I know. 

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Jay, already in action. 2 weeks i think.

  • Tgxman

    you should post about ozzie guillen. i cant figure out what he said that was so worng that he’s been scape goated

  • pchandra

    Great post as always James. The ideas part of TDP has always been the hardest for me, so nice to see how you do it.
    Re: tdp.me – may I suggest badges and lots of them? I used to write ‘Morning Pages’ on a site called 750words.com and it was great to see the badges coming up as I reached certain milestones but then the gaps between milestones got bigger and the motivation got weaker :( 
    It was always the biggest request from users on the site – more badges please!
    Just my $0.02 worth.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Your wish is my command.

      • pchandra

         Thanks James!

    • http://twitter.com/VeehCirra Veeh Cirra

      Hey Priya,

      I totally agree with you on motivation and milestones. Celebrating even the smallest achievements fuels up my momentum every time.

  • K96themovie

    You should try stand-up

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

       I want to! My only problm is I go to sleep too early.

      • Jeremy

        Why do comedy shows always have to be at night?  I enjoy laughing during the day as much as I enjoy laughing at night.

  • http://www.womanincredible.com/ Kat

    I love tdp.me already. Have to remember to update the last few days actually. I was thinking, how about a blogging daily practice section? I’m going to add one to my profile. Thanks for the free software!

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

       The key is, and I have to somehow have the site get this message across: is that there is no pressure. Someties I miss a day. Then I go back. Its just a way for you to check boxes and keep track over potentially a long period of time (your lifetime). Maybe even make the goals simpler so its easier to check them off. Still thinking about this.

  • http://twitter.com/choppen5 Charles Oppenheimer

    Nice one James.  I was going to suggest http://meteor.com/ to build tdp, but see you have one up, just signed up.  Butcheck that meteor, the new new thing.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

       Interesting anyway. I will check out meteor.com

  • http://planetoplano.blogspot.in/ Leonardo

    I love Cosmopolitan. I always read my daughter’s, when nobody’s watching; but I think they should go back to the illustrated cover. Much more sensual. A good illustration beats a photograph any time.
    The Economist instead should put on the cover photographs of leading ladies in skimpy clothes, (Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Argentina, Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel…): very important women, who also love us.  

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

       I agree! And I love Cristina Kirchner. I always tell Claudia she looks like a younger Kirchner but she makes a face so I back off.

      • http://planetoplano.blogspot.in/ Leonardo

        She kinda does, doesn’t she?

      • http://twitter.com/carpenter_kenny ken carpenter

        spent some time in Mendoza last month (Malbec!)  many places don’t even take credit cards, most request or offer a discount for $USD in payment.  If you hold an ARG peso long enough it will dissolve in your palm.

  • http://kymira.blogspot.com/ Chimera Swa

    The first thing I thought when I heard about Alec Baldwin and the Hispanic yoga teacher is ‘similar to James’ :D  i just registered at tdp.com. Also can i request for a post? When you have an idea of a website like tdp, how can we accomplish the tactical steps eg, 1. requirements 2. register a domain 3. engage a developer/developers etc.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

       I will describe the whole process i went through once I complete this:
       – there’s the spec, the programmer, the quality control, the iterations of ideas, the gamification, voyeurism, the sharing aspect, the facebook page, the generating facebook, fans, getting subscribers to return. All of this is in process now but once we’re finished I’m going to do a complete post.

      The idea is basically: I’ve seen the daily practice accomplish miracles in my life and for others (i get lots of testimonials). i wanted a way so that forever, people can chart their own personal approach to this practice (without pressure of “progress” or “perfection”) and to give them as many tools as possible (for free) to do this. So we are still in progress of building it but should be done in next couple of weeks. All of these suggestions have been VERY helpful.

      I will describe the 100% process in a post once finished.

      • http://kymira.blogspot.com/ Chimera Swa

         Thanks James for patiently replying to me. Looking forward to the post.

  • http://www.PriscillaPWood.com/ Priscilla P. Wood

    Great public speaking advice, btw I’m so stealing some of your jokes and trying them out during my presentations… :D

  • http://twitter.com/VeehCirra Veeh Cirra

    The idea to create a site for the daily practice is just awesome…it clearly works…and it’s always fun to celebrate a milestone…It can be nice to see how everyone does after a couple of months…there should be rewards like cute badges for each milestone…this practice works especially well…when one is motivated…just in case procrastination sets in..and then that’s a whole different story.

  • mgmarino

    your college is a waste of time and $ theories are getting some support =

    Savannah College of Art and Design ranked as the college with the
    absolute worst value, with tuition clocking in at $176,000 and a 30-Year

    All over the world, university students are ratching up thousands of dollars/pounds/pesos worth of debts, completely unnecessarily. Lengthy university courses are set more for the convenience of the professors rather than the students

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/high-school-dropout-branson-slams-the-university-system-2012-4#ixzz1rr6CVLTj

    Net ROI yielding -$189,000.Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/worst-value-colleges-2012-4#ixzz1rr3bk5dd

  • http://jameshamlett.com/ James Hamlett

    JAY Z may just be successful.  He will never admit that he is in such an organization.  Does everyone have to be part of the illuminati to be successful?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=734178852 Karl Schmieder

    Please James, more posts like this one. I always tell everyone that I am a true whore on LinkedIn and it’s worked. Everyone wants some.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=734178852 Karl Schmieder

    Also, reminder: “Nothing is true, everything is permitted.”
    -William S. Burroughs

  • Walucher

    Ben Bernanke is a terrorist.

  • Patrick Wayodi

    It would be so cool if we men started all our conversations by asking each other: “Is your penis okay?”

  • http://www.perfectlyturbulent.com/ Michael

    I’ve been using google docs’ forms to do daily and weekly tracking, just started. And I think it’s always important to track tracking too. (who watches the Watchmen?)

    If you added the tdp feature to do ideas online and then keep your lists for later reviews I would use that right away. I’m so pumped for tdp.me. Great ideas James.

    I strong armed a friend into reading I was blind…, recently and now I’m his oracle for all positivity and self improvement. Haha. Well, you know, after you of course.

    Have a great weekend.

  • http://webpromoexpert.co.uk/ best seo company

    I wanted to thank you for this great read!! This is a very informative post, it helps me more.

  • http://www.gollyjer.com Jeremy

    Just started reading your blog and am gong back to “older” stuff.  This is pure gold.  Thanks for the inspiration and openness.

  • Emmanuel Iko Ojotu

    I laughed so hard while picking the lessons from your beautiful piece.Thanks as always,James.

  • playbimbo.com

    ” Someone named Hyliry Love just added me to her Google+ Circles”, just so that you know her real name is Hilary Fisher and she was in Playboy and no that`s not really her sending out an invitation to you.

  • Onionring

    Maybe I’m just not with it, but who in their right mind would want to be in the Witness Protection Program and have the state know where you are.

  • http://twitter.com/retheauditors Francine McKenna

    Hey James,

    I was thinking the same thing about Alec and his yoga teacher. You are a model for all men… :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/adoka Khalil Ford

    J. A phone app for android would be great for the tdp.me.