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In this special episode, Cal and Steph answer audience questions across a wide range of topics including writing, relationships, finances, and even death. Listen in to find out.Next StepsEssay about the nuance of privilegeIf you liked this episode, make sure to subscribe and leave a review. To receive the latest updates, follow The Sh*t You Don't Learn in School on Twitter.
Steph has some exciting news to share in today's episode! Listen in to find out.In this episode, Cal and Steph also cover the rise of the creator economy -- both its promise and pitfalls.They breakdown why the heightened attention toward creators, whether we can expect a creator "middle class" anytime soon, the importance of IP, and even explore what it truly means to be a "creator"...Is it the things they build?Is it the audience they have?Is it the money the make?They also cover upcoming trends that they expect to hit this growing "creator economy" including the rise of digital influencers, content automation, crypto, and gaming.If you'd like to ask Cal or Steph a question for an upcoming AMA episode, we encourage you to submit your questions here!
We all know that where you live is one of the most important decisions you can make, but it may be more important than you think. And with more people working remotely, there is no more freedom than ever in deciding where you call "home."In this episode, Steph and Cal discuss how to think about where you should live, why it matters more than you think, and how you can make a decision when it involves two people who have different desires from a location.In one of our next episodes, we'll be answering listener questions! You can ask your questions here: Next StepsPaul Graham's essay: you liked this episode, make sure to subscribe and leave a review. To receive the latest updates, follow The Sh*t You Don't Learn in School on Twitter.
Life feels like a bunch of micro-decisions, yet a few macro-decisions often end up determining how you spend most of your time.Perhaps one of the most significant are the degree you choose and the first job you take. The decisions that follow those are inevitably pulled by their inertia.In this episode, Cal and Steph discuss the importance of exploring the diversity of jobs out there and how many people become fixed in a singular path.If you liked this episode, make sure to subscribe and leave a review. 
We believe that the desire to give is universal, but is just as much a skill as anything else in life. In this episode, Cal and Steph discuss the how you can make a difference during your limited time on this earth, with the limited resources you have -- especially during times like these.They dive into...Creative ways that people have supported UkraineStriking a balance between hedonism and altruismMaking difficult problems tractableA breakdown of the gender pay gapImpact starting with small actionsWTF is effective altruism?Whether charities should be structured differentlyIf you'd like to join us in giving back, we're giving to 
Language is one of the most powerful tools that humans have accessible to them.Don't believe us? Consider the fact that someone could walk up to you and say something that could immediately change your mental state.Nothing around you has changed, other than the words echoed through the air.In this episode, Cal and Steph discuss the power of words and how language can shape the way we think. They use untranslatable words to convey these concepts and share how language has been shown to impact anything from our impression of time, space, or even emotional regularity.If you're interested in digging into this more, Steph has built a directory of untranslatable words (Eunoia, which itself is an untranslatable word) and has written an article about the topic here. Send us a message with your favorite "untranslatables"!Liked this episode? Make sure to subscribe and leave a review. 
The allure of getting rich quick is intoxicating.It's even more intoxicating when you're trapped inside and it seems like all your friends have cashed in big.In this episode, Cal and Steph discuss Cal's experience with active investing over the last 20 months and ultimately, why it's time to walk away from the casino.If you liked this episode, make sure to subscribe and leave a review. You can also read Calvin's article on the topic here. And if you're also stuck in the casino, don't be afraid to reach out to Cal or Steph on Twitter. We'd love to hear your story.
"The only constant is change", they say.In this episode, Cal and Steph discuss just how drastically the world has changed and will continue to change.From the iPhone... to the Internet... to antibiotics... to human flight... to to the sequencing of DNA... to perhaps the most important fact that humans now live more than double as long... these developments all happened within the last 100 years.Given that things within a single lifetime can go from being inconceivable to ubiquitous, it's mind-blowing to imagine what might be come.They use the remainder of the episode to explore what might be to come, whether it be proactive medicine, computer-brain interfaces, printed food, digital warfare, and much more.If you liked this episode, make sure to subscribe and leave a review. Resources: The Great (TV show)Life expectancy dataNeal's fun tools
There's an endless sea of advice online.Whether it's from a vague Twitter thread or a clickbait blog post, the advice sounds catchy, but if we're honest... often holds little water.However, we all know from experience that the right lessons, sometimes even sitting in plain sight, can genuinely change the trajectory of one's life.In this episode, Cal and Steph discuss the few pieces of advice that they think matter most and shouldn't be ignored.Love this episode? Give it a review at's article: Pigford's project page: Time Right:
In this episode, Cal and Steph discuss the hidden side of risk: the infrequent, often unpredictable events that make the biggest differences in our lives.If you look around, rare, high-impact events are everywhere. A small number of days in the stock market drive the bulk of the returns.Large businesses like Google, Amazon, and Best Buy have tested thousands of products, yet have a single profit puppy. Insurance companies make money on most customers, but have to pay out very large claims to a few people.A handful of people have had more of an effect on the future than the other 7 billion people combined.This episode is all about navigating tail risk and tail opportunity. You'll learn how to better avoid the catastrophic events in life, and on the flip side, to take advantage of the life-enhancing opportunities with asymmetric upside.Love this episode? Give it a review at
In this episode, Steph and Cal break down the best of 2021. You'll find out the...Best New IdeaBest New SkillBest New Life HackBest New ExperienceBest/Worst PurchaseBest/Worst InvestmentBest/Worst TrendBest PodcastCreator of the YearBest Personal Win/Accomplishment#1 Goal for Next YearPrediction for the New YearJumpstart 2022 by doubling down on the best activities and avoiding the worst. It's going to be an awesome year.PS: If you liked the sound effects in this episode, we found them here.
What do airplanes, railroads, and jazz music have in common? They were all innovations that people feared.In fact, if you look into any key technology shift from the past, you'll find a wealth of fear, uncertainty, and doubt surrounding it. And while this shouldn't be surprising, we can still learn from the skeptics of the past.We can learn just how difficult it is to predict what's to come and look toward our future with a humble perspective, an acceptance that we probably will get it wrong again.In this episode, Calvin and Steph talk through how people viewed inventions seemingly as innocuous as the bicycle or teddy bear, what we can learn from these stories, and how to stay open minded and capitalize on opportunities as technology takes us into the future.
Death is universal part of the human experience. During our lives, we often must confront the painful reality of death around us, and eventually, we face that reality ourselves.What's odd is that despite death being at the core of the human experience, many people avoid talking or thinking about it. So when people pass away or we face a health scare that brings us into contact with the fragility of life, we often don't know what to do. In this episode, Calvin shares his experience with the death of two close loved ones: his mentor and his mom. He dives into the depths of those experiences, whether it's choosing to take his mother off life support or the psychedelic experience that helped him process his guilt. And most importantly, he shares what he's learned from years of grieving.We hope this episode serves as a jumping off point for people to speak more openly about death and to connect with the many people that have lost a close loved one.As a disclaimer:  If you are unable to listen to difficult topics like suicide, mental health, or sexual abuse, please do not listen to this episode.Resources:My Mom’s Path to Suicide: Battling the Darkness in a Broken SystemI Will Make You Proud: A Eulogy for My MomThe Power of Mentorship and Paying it ForwardUnpacking Unit 73: Insights from Revisiting My Youth
In the second part of this series on the future of work, Steph and Cal dive into new products and services, alongside macro trends that they predict are in full flux.These include mass migration, global tax infrastructure, opportunities for services to specialize, increased isolation, UBI, and of course... the metaverse. :)
People say that COVID was an accelerator, forcing trends that may have taken decades to develop, to instead take hold in much less time. Remote work was one of those trends. But we're not done yet!The future of work is constantly evolving and it doesn't just impact whether you can Zoom without pants. :)In this episode, Cal and Steph discuss the second and third order effects of the remote revolution and what's to come. And in part one of this series, they discuss how this equation impacts the individual and companies. In part 2, they'll talk about new products and services, and macro trends to come.Resources:Printable user manual prompts:’s user manual:’s user manual:
The information age gives us access to so much advice that it can be hard to see through the noise.4AM morning routines that don't make sense for you. Productivity hacks that hardly move the needle. Hindsight bias cloaked as success stories.Most advice is well-intentioned, but rarely translates to improvements in another person's life. So this week, Cal and Steph took a step back to ask the simple question: what are the 80/20 habits, beliefs, and products that had an outsized impact in changing their lives.While many of their answers aren't revolutionary, they're universal and can be adopted by anyone.If you find yourself looking for an 80/20 episode that cuts through the noise, this one is for you.
With the exception of a few companies like Buffer and GitLab, 99.99%+ of companies opt to keep their salaries closed. This closed nature creates information asymmetry and at times, inequity in the workplace.Lack of transparency gives companies a hall pass to not develop a robust compensation system, but at the same time, sharing salaries openly isn't without its pitfalls, including privacy and the tendency for people to over-compare themselves to others. In this episode, Steph and Cal debate whether companies should share their pay methodology or even fully open up their book. They share a range of studies, including results from Norway, a country that has shared their tax returns publicly since 1863.If you've felt the information asymmetry in the workforce or are considering how you can get more out of your career, this episode is for you.Love this episode? Give it a review at
Wealth inequality has been increasing for decades, and recently, there has been a heightened focus on billionaires as we debate what to do about the concentration of large swaths of wealth in a few hands. In this episode, Steph and Cal discuss whether or not billionaires should exist, common proposals for dealing with billionaires, and a few policy proposals for how we can start thinking about tackling wealth inequality.Whether you find yourself saying, "billionaires are evil and don't deserve all that money", "billionaires deserve what they have earned", or "I don't care about billionaires, but I care about a world with more equality of opportunity," this episode is for you.Love this episode? Give it a review at
In this episode, Cal and Steph discuss the subjective nature of pricing. They explore how a value extends beyond utility or the physical nature of an asset (think luxury items, NFTs, etc) and use these ideas to explore new pricing models, including tiered, retention-based, and completion-based pricing.They also explore how our own psychology can inhibit use as consumers to spend on what's most meaningful and the importance of unlearning certain spending habits.If you find the psychology of money as fascinating as we do, give this episode a listen.Love this episode? Give it a review at
In this episode, Steph and Cal dive deep into traditions, the societal defaults that shape how we think and act in the world. They start by exploring the origins of the 40-hour work week, modern alternatives, and how we can rethink the idea of retirement. In the second half of the episode, they explore how the ways in which commonly held beliefs about monogamy, love, and marriage may not set people up for the life they want to live. If you're interested in questioning the norms and designing a life that works for you, this episode is worth a listen.Love this episode? Give it a review at
Comments (23)


Very informative podcast. I like the fact that they dive deep into different topics to help with life in general.

Jul 6th

Sebastian Shetters

Those were some great answers to those questions. Personally, if I knew I would die within a year, I would focus on what I would leave behind. Just recently, a well known YouTuber, Technoblade, passed away from cancer and that shooked a lot of us. What got my attention is what he said before he died, "If I had 100 lives, I would be Technoblade single time because those were the best days of my life." What I learned from that is to enjoy life to the fullest and do good for the community because you will never know when you would leave this world.

Jul 4th

Danarria Thomas

I think this is very useful for me. It explains that at the end of the day you still have to be yourself regardless of what everyone else is doing. People will be doing things that you want and do not want to do, but you just need to surround yourself with people successful people. If you do that, then you will end up being successful.

Jul 2nd
Reply (1)

Adrian Alog

At first, I wasn't sure what I was getting into when I listened to this podcast. However, after listening to "Special Episode: Finding Meaning in Sudden Death," I feel as if this podcast episode has greatly resonated with me. Similar to Calvin, I lost one of my parents, that being my father. Overall, this traumatic experience has allowed me to live life to the fullest because you will never know when your time will come. I managed to utilize my grief to further improve my well-being despite the many adversities I must overcome. This podcast episode provided me with an insight where I must live up to my late father's expectations to honor his legacy.

Jul 1st

Sebastian Shetters

Great Podcast! I will be sure to go consider the advice as I pursue my life goals.

Jun 30th

Sebastian Shetters

Great podcast!!! I will be sure to live by those life lessons.

Jun 28th

Sebastian Shetters

That was an interesting podcast. As a physics major who plans on becoming a theoretical physicist, I see this sort of thing all the time. I know people who are really into science and every time I see them wanna be an engineer for no reason, I ask myself, "why not be a scientist"? "Why not be an astrophysicist, cosmologist, or neurochemist"? They don't ever talk about higher level jobs like that in schools.

Jun 24th

Sebastian Shetters

I already had some predictions on what would happen in the future, but there were a lot of things in the podcast that caught my attention. One example is that 300 years ago it was completely different, just imagine what it would be like 300 years later from now. With the technology we are currently working on, I can tell there are going to be some things that will completely change even 50 years from now.

Jun 23rd

Susandese Pounds

Love this podcast. Really informative..

Jun 22nd

Sebastian Shetters

That was very informal. Thank you for sharing with us that this imposter syndrome is not an uncommon feeling and the advice on how to deal with it. I will be sure to consider it in the future.

Jun 7th

Kat Davis

Very introspective and relaxing to listen to. It is nice as a young person to listen to know that other people have the same thoughts and anxieties about life and the world as you do. I've heard that it is especially hard to make friends as an adult and that is something I worry about, even though I am not yet 18 XD.

May 27th

Briana Mathews

Really love this podcast! I love when you talk about how to reduce anxiety since I have anxiety and it helped me calm down and made it stress-free. Keep up the good work!

May 25th

k k

Absolutely love this podcast! Teaches us valuable lessons that school professionals do not discuss. I particularly liked the podcast about staying in touch with friends in adulthood. This was particularly interesting to me as I often switch friend groups and lose touch with my old friends. I don't have any childhood friends which saddens me. I appreciated the suggestions provided to deal with this issue.

May 25th

Lyn McNamee

Love this podcast.

Apr 5th

Nathan Hall

good material that is helpful

Feb 15th

Nathan Hall

This podcast has interesting material. It is true that we don't learn this in school.

Feb 15th

Kailyn Hill

This podcast is really helpful and I really enjoying listening! Great podcast.

Feb 14th

Breanna R

This podcast is really helpful! It tells you things that you need to know in life that a lot of people can't learn anywhere else.

Feb 13th


I really enjoy hearing how to reduce anxiety because It actually helped me calm me down. Without this, I couldn't be feeling stress-free. Thanks!

Feb 13th

Shyenne Farrell

I agree that it seems almost odd to for people to meet in person for a date. Things are so artificial online and it creates a unrealistic standard for everyone.

Feb 12th
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