3 Minute Monday
I made it back from Guatemala in one piece.
My trip ended up taking a fair bit longer than I expected so I went full Alan Partridge Travel Tavern Mode living in the hotel I’d only intended being at for a few days but I got the job done…
I am now the proud owner of a United States of America O1 Visa!
This means I can come and go from the US as I please for 3 years.
I can work over here, buy a car, get a social security number, a US bank account and do many other useful things.
The O1 has been a brutal process including a 700-page portfolio (thank you for getting it over the final hurdle Assistant Ben) and 10 days in Guatemala waiting for the result of my interview, I’m so happy to have got this completed.
Pretty exciting, although Austin has become disgustingly hot since I left so I might look at Amsterdam or somewhere less sweaty for summer.
Anyway, here’s something I realised while I was in Guatemala:
I learned about the historic corruption in the Guatemalan government.
Pretty much every Guatemalan government has raised a ton of money to fix things like crime, roads, healthcare and then one day, the money just ends up vanishing with little to show for it.
I was in a car on route to Antigua, the old capital of Guatemala.
It looks like a beautiful ancient Spanish town, replete with cobbled streets, olden-worldy churches, beautiful town squares and one of the world’s oldest universities.
Antigua is also at the base of an active volcano which all but destroyed it 300 years ago, which is why it’s no longer the capital.
So I’m driving through these classic Central American streets.
Street doggos everywhere, the endless thrum of scooters and roadside vendors selling everything from food to jewellery to iPhone cases.
Hearing a story about how common corruption has become in Guatemala.
And I felt a combination of pity and relief.
How unfortunate is it for a country with the most stable currency in Central America and a population desperate to raise its living standards that corruption is curtailing its ability to grow.
How fortunate I am to be from a country like the UK where we have government officials who would never do something so primitive, dishonest and fraudule-
Why do I think that the UK government or any other developed country is less deceitful than Guatemala’s?
Sure, the squirrelling away of funds may be less obvious, but just because a criminal is more advanced doesn’t mean that the crime is any less real.
The types of people who want to achieve power and rise up through the political ranks are going to have the same personality traits no matter what country they’re in.
They’re going to have similar opportunities to be fraudulent, and for every increase in oversight to keep corruption in check, there is probably an equivalent increase in the sophistication of methods at their disposal to hide it.
I weaved between more street doggos and peered at the cloud-topped volcano as I came to the conclusion that bureaucracy and a solid GDP can’t dampen the allure of corrupt political ambition.
I’m usually pretty good at avoiding blackpills.
(You could also call that hopefully naive)
But this is one that’s stuck with me.
In short, it seems smart to treat people in political power like sharks; sometimes useful and difficult to get rid of, but ultimately an animal you should never trust.
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This week’s upcoming episodes:
Seth Stephens-Davidowitz – imagine if you had access to millions of data points that could tell you exactly how to live the perfect life. What actually makes people happy? What are we truly attracted to? What determines our kids’ outcomes in life? You need to listen to this.
Tim Clare – after suffering with anxiety and panic attacks for years, Tim read nearly every paper and visited most of the world experts on anxiety, then tried all of the different treatments they suggested from fitness to nature, breathwork to diets.
Not sure yet. Maybe Killing Eve Clinical Psychiatrist consultant Mark Freestone on what makes a psychopath.
THINGS I’VE LEARNED
Women judge sex workers more harshly than men.
“In an empirical investigation of moralised sexual conduct, more women than men engaged in moral condemnation of sexual behaviour than did men.
Women participants judged both men and women more harshly than men.
The sex difference was particularly strong for the sexual economics sub factor – the exchange of sex for money.
This finding has potential policy implications for issues such as the legalisation of prostitution (and presumably the proliferation of OnlyFans).
It suggests that women, on average, will be more motivated than men to oppose the legalisation of sex work and other forms of transactional money-for-sex exchanges.
Women may also mete out harsher penalties for those who violate laws against prostitution.”
— Rolf Degen
Karma doesn’t need spirits to deliver justice.
“Karma is just you, repeating your patterns, virtues, and flaws until you finally get what you deserve.” — Naval
There’s a corpse:water ratio governing your swims.
“Most people wouldn’t swim in a pool with a corpse in it.
But everyone is fine to swim in the ocean, which undoubtedly has a ton of corpses in it.
Therefore, everyone has a corpse-to-water ratio that they would or would not accept.”
Put suncream on naked.
I can’t believe it’s taken me 34 years to realise this.
There is literally no advantage to suncreaming around your clothes or even your underwear.
Get your kit off, put cream on without fear of ruining whatever you’re wearing that day, quickly skip around the bathroom trying to generate a drying breeze and then get on with your life.
Some huge guests lined up for the show. This summer is going to be willlld son.