Today I have for you some curated conversation from Reddit, tips for maintaining social fitness and hot links on things like how WFH has changed summer Friday culture.

—Nick Wolny

The other perks of FI culture

Reddit is the epicenter of Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) culture. FIRE is a personal finance methodology in which participants save aggressively to reach various money milestones and overall lifestyle design. I am researching FIRE culture more closely for, uh, something secret I can't tell you about quite yet.

FIRE (Or just FI if you cut out the retiring part) can also be really elitist. A recent survey of the /financialindependence subreddit found that, of 1850 respondents, the median annual income was $205,000 -- over quadruple the median American income in 2023. It's easy to save tens of thousands of dollars when you have that kind of money flowing in, and without excess income it can be difficult to even get started with FIRE.

For every unrelatable tech bro boast, however, there's an interesting thread that shines a light on the connection between money and behavior. Here's one I found the other day in which the original poster (OP) discovered sobriety as a result of FI-related behavior change.

"This sub can sometimes get filled with stories of people with FIRE tunnel vision depriving themselves of things that make them happy in the present, so I thought it would be nice to share an example of how FIRE can actually help people improve their current lives -

As a previous non-alcoholic but way-over-recommended-amount drinker who had steadily increased my intake over time, I had never realized how much it was impacting my energy level/ mental clarity/ mood. Beginning FIRE led me to look over my spending and realize how much I'd been shelling out for alcohol - I wound myself down from 5-6 nights a week to 1-2 nights a week and now, as an unforeseen benefit, I have much more energy and just generally feel much better. It’s a double win (with the money being the lesser importance)."

Check out the thread below.

🔗 Read on Reddit

On maintaining social fitness

Brett McKay does great work over at Art of Manliness. Don't let the name fool you; in a world where every tech bro and their problematic cousin has a podcast now, AoM is 50% more quality content and 90% less cringe. Brett and his wife have been doing this blog/podcast game since 2009.

I enjoyed this recent essay on the idea of social fitness: How our social fitness is like physical fitness, and how both have changed as our culture has become increasingly white collar and sedentary.

Social fitness now requires effort to maintain. And often, what we're trying to achieve either online or offline is easier when we have relationships in our lives, whether they be strategic, supportive or both.

Give this explainer on social fitness a read.

🔗 Read on Art of Manliness

Reading Is Fundamental

Online business industry

An Anonymous Source Shared Thousands of Leaked Google Search API Documents with Me; Everyone in SEO Should See Them. This is an insane 2,500-page leak of API details that several insiders are saying is real. Many APIs contradict what Google has historically said is best for SEO. Rand Fishkin, former founder of Moz, had the scoop. (SparkToro blog)

Mike King's analysis of said Google leak is incredible. And the turnaround was so fast. People say longform content doesn't work and, well, I call bullshit. Make all the Reels you want; rapid commentary like this screams credibility and authority far more than a TikTok video. (iPullRank)

An appeals court will hear challenges to the potential TikTok ban this September. (Reuters)

PayPal Is Developing an Ad Business That Will Leverage the Data of Its Millions of Shoppers. (The Wall Street Journal)


MAMAA (Meta, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet)

HubSpot shares jumped 8% on Monday on talks of potential Google deal. (CNBC)

Apple announced preliminary Tinnitus research it has gleaned based on headphones usage. The data comes from the Research app, which users can opt into; about 160,000 users were in this data set, which was done in partnership with the University of Michigan and the World Health Organization. (CNET)

iPhone users may get AI-generated emoji and more app customization than ever with iOS 18.(Engadget)

Elon Musk Is Fighting With Meta’s Chief AI Scientist. (Gizmodo)



‘Not Gonna Be Pretty:’ Covid-Era Homebuyers Face Huge Rate Jump. About 1.4 million American homeowners used an Adjustable-Rate Mortgage and couldn't refinance because rates rose so fast; some expect a monthly payment increase of $1,000 or more. (Bloomberg, friend link)

Defunct crypto exchange Gemini will start returning $2.2 billion to users after pausing withdrawals 18 months ago. The users' funds had been frozen this whole time. (CNBC)

College graduates still earn more money, but earnings for workers without a degree have improved over the last 10 years, a new report found. (CNBC)



The Pope used a vulgar Italian word when referring to gay men, Italian newspapers reported. He later apologized. (Reuters)

The Texas GOP platform calls for ban on same-sex parenting because being gay is “abnormal”. (LGBTQ Nation)

GLAAD launched a campaign in partnership with Ground News featuring transgender stories. The campaign is a reaction to the statistic that 71% of Americans have never met a transgender person. (Here We Are)

A profile of Woodstock, Vermont, population 2,900, as it prepares to have its first Pride. (The Advocate)

As Pride party season begins, the CDC urges mpox vaccinations. A more aggressive form of the 2022 virus has spread in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and mpox vaccines are now widely available at pharmacies. (Plus)


Odds and Ends

Hybrid Jobs Mean More Remote Work on Friday, Boosting Local Businesses. (Business Insider)

Inside the scramble to ‘prebunk’ election misinformation before it takes hold. (The Washington Post)

YouTube's free games catalog 'Playables' rolls out to all users.The interface has 75 free games. (TechCrunch)


Make it a game to get something done as quickly as possible.

This newsletter could take me four hours, or it could take me 40 minutes. I make it a game to get it done as quickly as possible, with zest and with a smile.

It's often in these sprint sessions that I learn where I bleed time and energy. Knowing where you're leaky is half the battle.

Often, things we tell ourselves will take a long time don't actually take that long if we just bring a positive attitude and focus to the table.

Cheering you on,