Freedive Theme Camp 2023

We are looking for a charter sponsor to sign-up for two slots @$1200 each (travel expenses not included). You will get to decide (along with the instructors) the time and location of the camp. This year’s likely theme – environmental and life sciences.

Level 1 (up to 20m) certification from a recognized agency. Robert is a PFI and Molchanov instructor. Audrey is a PFI, NAUI, SSI instructor.

Two-hour online class. One day of confined water training in a convenient SF area location or on-site. Two to three half days of ocean training. Optionally two more training sessions and/or two more days of fun diving or spearfishing. Workshops on related topics such as the neuroscience of breath and reef citizen science.

Option 1: Monterey. Given that we expect most of the sign-ups to be from the SF Bay Area, the most convenient (but in many ways least desirable) spot is Monterey. Pros: local/convenient to SF. Cons: cold and murky, so much so that it is hard to focus on breathing and have body awareness to learn the skills.. 50-55F (10-12C) year round with very limited visibility.

Option 2: SoCal Aug-Oct. Most of the year SoCal is not much bette than Monterey. But in Aug-Oct the water is 68-73F (20-22C) and after Labor Day viz can be quite good and easy camping is available on weekends. Catalina Island Casino Pt or San Elijo Beach San Diego are two great spots. Modest travel costs.

Option 3: Semi-exotic – Kona or Dominica any time of year. Similar to option 2 with additional travel costs and time (relatively modest). There are two well-known freediving meccas.

Option 3: Exotic – Use your imagination. French Polynesia, Raja Ampat, private yacht, you get the idea. There are also pretty inexpensive freedive meccas in SE Asia but of course there are travel times and costs.

Once there is a charter sponsor and dates and location are set, there will be an application process for the other spots. Professional rate: $600, NGO / academic rate: cheap or free.

Some info on Robert’s dive experience: https://fl0wstate.com/robert/

Freedive training / certification for scientists

This is an MVP for enabling environmental scientists with freediving skills. That is the main motivation. My secondary motivation is that I have a boring corporate job that doesn’t require much brain power, and I like opportunities to meet smart, dynamic people.

I am considering providing a free class in California, but since intro certifications are only about $500 (and thus it might not be worth it to travel for a class, even if free) I am trying to gather information on what to provide. We might start with an online class and/or certification. If you are interested in joining a working group and doing a Zoom on this (including a virtual intro and/or online certification such as Molchanov T1), please fill out this quick application.

Any online get-togethers / certifications will be free. IRL training will be at a very discounted rate. Thus consider this is a kind of scholarship application. Note that discounted might mean a premium product (bespoke, exclusive camp with housing) for a modest price to avoid undercutting working instructors (e.g., $500, the typical rate for a regular class).

My informal bio

My colleague Audrey Yang, MechE Stanford, Xoogler, UXR, multi-faceted water woman, hopefully will be involved as well. She is too modest to have much of an online presence.

Scholarship criteria – since this is MVP, these criteria are very loose, holistic, and subject to change

• Current or recent graduate student in relevant field OR

• Current environmental scientist, journalist, educator

• R1 program, academic publications, Impact Factor or H-Index

• Willing to teach a related skill to other camp members (yoga, kitesurfing, etc.) as time allows – certification preferred

• VO₂ max of at least 45 – can be estimated, by any conventionally accepted method

Application again here

Feel free to with questions: robert dot lee at berkeley.edu

Insider Guide to Preseed Funding & YC-SAFE

Two-part seminar series, each 50 mins, taught back-to-back.

Beta Price is $197.

I. Socially engineer your preseed to get the best possible terms – MFN / uncapped

II. Financial & legal nuances of SAFEs – valuation, compliance, minimizing costs

** Jan and Feb 2023 – pay whatever you want AFTER try take the class **

Sign-up here

Free articles here

Free primer notes below and in Google Doc format here

***

Part I: Pre-seed Fundraising is Poker, not Chess

“If you sit in on a poker game and you don’t see a sucker at the table, get up. Because you’re the sucker.” – attributed to many, but originally from John Spooner

“The reality – and its a reality that clever players try to obscure from the naive – is that business relationships (including startup ecosystems) are full of both positive and zero-sum games, many of which are unavoidably linked.” – Silicon Hills lawyer

  • Pick the right table for your pre-seed
  • Winning a poker game is more social engineering than math / formal analysis
  • We will discuss a useful example / analogy from an actual poker pro

Get the best possible terms (MFN or at least uncapped) by sitting at the right table and employing three strategies. The ideal result is an MFN SAFE (or at least uncapped)

  • Good-will – ask for a favor (social impact)
  • Scarcity – do them a favor (insider deal)
  • Clean-cap – do us both a favor (don’t cause problem for the future)

Case Study using the above strategies – see also Google (1998)

Let’s suppose that after achieving one or two milestones in the next 2-3 years, you think you can raise seed or Series A at a substantial valuation, perhaps @$25M pre-money. You could use some pre-seed now, however. Conventional wisdom is that raising any money at this  stage necessitates a very low valuationas a concession for being so early. However, there is a way to think about your positioning and value proposition, using the above strategies. They were actually relevant to the pre-seed funding of Google while the two founders were still in grad school. We will go over what happened with Google in 1998, including the two investor checks that, famously, sat in a drawer for a while because the company they were made out to, Google, Inc., did not yet exist.

Assume you know a few VCs who operate institutional funds. If a VC likes your deal but it is not right for her fund, she might invest her own money. No matter how good a relationship you have with her, if you asked her for $1M, she is likely to negotiate with you, because $1M is serious money, even for her. And because you don’t have very much going for you yet, you would get crushed on the valuation. However, if you asked for a relatively small amount, perhaps $25K, she might be willing to give you good faith terms. To say it another way: if you are below a certain threshold, she might be willing to do you a huge favor, and I’m not saying she would give you the money for free, but she might not care to negotiate terms. Such good faith terms can be memorialized in MFN (“most favored nation”) instrument.

Which brings us to Google in 1998. When Sergey and Larry had dinner with professors Cheriton and Bechtolsheim, the latter each wrote over $100K checks, famously, before the company was even incorporated. We can think of that $200K as Google’s pre-seed. We can think of the money that was raised a few weeks or months later as the seed. Anecdotally, David and Andy did not ask for any terms for the pre-seed. In other words, they were willing in good faith, to assume that Sergey and Larry would give them fair and standard conventional terms. Likely the seed was done as a convertible note at a 20% discount to the Series A and David and Andy got the same. I have not asked any of these people what the terms actually were, and they likely don’t remember. Also, to be honest, it’s not the sort of thing you want to spend cycles on when you are fortunate enough to spend time with such people 🙂

A 20% discount is not MFN. What was MFN in this situation was the relationship of the $200K pre-seed to the $1M seed. In other words, the professors got MFN with respect to the later $1M seed, not the Series A.** Had they chosen to, David and Andy could have negotiated over this, i.e., since we are the first investors, give us a better deal. The important point is that they didn’t care to. For a very early-stage startup, this is probably the only way not to get crushed on terms– to operate below the “negotiating threshold”. This is what I term the good-will driven strategy.

Perhaps you don’t know any fund managers, but you likely know other people who can make such an investment: doctors, real estate investors, etc., and if they are not in your industry, you can give such people the opportunity to learn about something new by investing in something new. This is part of what I term the scarcity-driven strategy. Another good source of capital can be successful people in the industry you are trying to change.

I stated in the first paragraph that this type of investment is about their faith in you. Thus your pre-seed might come from someone who is successful in and knowledgeable about your industry (“smart money”). It might be someone you have known since high school, who has seen you operate, who knows your ability,and character. Even if she can only afford $10K, multiply $10K several times and you will start to see real money. Thus you can both a mix of good-will and scarcity in your social engineering, though usually not with the same investor.

If this approach doesn’t sound promising to you because you don’t know many such people, then you probably need to rethink your financing roadmap. Building a startup is mostly about building goodwill and inspiring confidence, particularly early on when you have no resources. If you have been locked in your lab for the past three years doing nothing but engineering or sciencing (I have seen many examples of this), you are going to have a hard time getting investors, customers, partners, co-founders, employees, because they are not going to care about how great your invention is if they don’t care about you. If all you care about is the technology, then perhaps this approach is fine, but if you are building a company, then probably you care about actual people using and buying your product, not just the technology itself. This misapprehension is what I call the formalistic approach to fundraising. Some people think that they can just go and find a VC in their industry and raise money from them using formalistic advice on pitch decks, TAMs, industry analyses, etc., when in reality raising money from a VC is not that different from asking your best buddy from HS for $10K.

There are some founders in the right industries with the right credentials (PhD in computer vision from MIT doing an ML startup) that can raise money the formalistic way (or at least get a lot of intro meetings). More often than not, though, such founders fail when it comes time to actually close the deal.

**This could be described as an MFN amendment (a nuance you can look up) rather than MFN, but this is just a matter of semantics, because it was a handshake deal. In other words, the professors weren’t so specific as to say “give us the same terms as your priced round, but update our terms to an intermediate financing, if it happens” they just handed them the checks and didn’t worry about the details, so depending on how interpret it, that is either MFN or MFN amendment.

MFN SAFE

The legal instrument to use for this strategy is the MFN SAFE. People generally refer to the most founder friendly SAFEs as being “uncapped”, but to be rigorous, they should be referring to MFN. MFN means no cap and no discount, as opposed to just no cap. It discount term is easier to understand and has more transparent consequences (unless some rather unusual wording exists in your document, which is certainly possible) so I would say that uncapped is almost as good as MFN. Note that founders tend to think that a high cap is almost as good as no cap, but it can have significant, non-obvious consequences, see: Why Startups shouldn’t use YC’s Post-Money SAFE.

Below, we will go into some detail about the differences between the terms post-money and pre-money (definitionally). Note that this is not the same as the difference between the post-money SAFE (2018) and pre-money SAFE (2013) because those are actual document that have differences beyond pinning valuation on a post-money vs pre-money definition. Further, you don’t have to understand post-money vs pre-money at all if you use an MFN or uncapped SAFE, because then there is no valuation calculation – yet another reason to go MFN.

colloquially referred to as the post-money SAFE and the pre-money SAFE.

YC & $350K MFN

In 2022, YC changed its seed investment from $125K to $475K (the extra $350K being as an MFN SAFE). The value of YC has been seriously diluted over the past decade, and I was generally hesitant to work with or invest in a YC company for two reasons. (1) startups often go to YC for signaling value alone. So while the average YC startup is better than the average startup, unmodified (which is not saying much), the best startups tended to not want YC’s onerous investment terms. The startups that did so often because they had no better option, because they had so little experience and that even a diluted YC experience was seen as valuable, and/or because the founders were status conscious. In other words, they valued YC as a brand like Harvard or McKinsey, and not so much intrinsically motivated by their project. I think the best founders are the types that can get into Harvard but don’t care much about it or don’t even go. Another problem is that the valuations coming out of YC demo day are generally too high.

I believe that $475K is fundamentally different than $125K in terms of runway, so I can see much more of a reason to go to YC now based on fundamentals. I hope other accelerators will follow suit.

Why Startups shouldn’t use YC’s Post-Money SAFE

Trust, “Friendliness,” and Zero-Sum Startup Games

When VCs “Own” Your Startup’s Lawyers

What’s the best founder-friendly term sheet?

Part II. Technical Details of the SAFE

Pre-Money vs Post-Money & why the Standard Post-Money SAFE is confusing

The default SAFE document used throughout the world today is the YC 2018 v1.1. SAFE, referred to as the Post-Money SAFE. At a basic level, the concept of pre-money vs post-money is simple. The value given to the company is pre-money, then you add in the money invested, to arrive at the post-money valuation:

PRE-MONEY + MONEY == POST-MONEY

in other words

COMPANY VALUE + $ INVESTED == POST-MONEY VALUATION

The widespread confusion caused by the meaning of “post-money” in the SAFE has been created by the development of rolling rounds, which didn’t become the norm until several years ago. Before that time, companies generally raised, and attorneys insisted on, discrete financing rounds, in other words, a precise amount to be raised from enumerated  investors, all closed (executed and wired) on the same date (or at most a few dates). This is what was meant by a financing “round”. With the development of YC SAFEs and DIY, founders started raising money in a much more open-ended fashion. They often found an investor or two to agree to terms, and then raised from them and maybe a few others. Then what started happening is that instead of closing the financing round there, they kept raising on SAFEs, sometimes for months or years. This is a low-friction but less disciplined way of raising money, and it has become quite common, perhaps the norm, under DIY.

This following is what an “anachronistic” discrete round looks like. Let’s say you want to raise $100K. Since that number is fixed, the formula is simple. As you can see below, a $3M post-money valuation and a $2.9M pre-money valuation are exactly the same, because the difference is $100K. Thus all the variables are known, and these valuations essentially would be set in stone until Series A.

(a) $2.9M  +  $0.1M  ==  $3.0M

Now imagine the round rolls to $2M. Then post-money vs pre–money makes a huge difference. If you say $3M post-money, then you get

(b) $1.0M  +  $2.0M  ==  $3.0M

But if you say $2.9M pre-money, then you get:

(c) $2.9M  +  $2.0M  ==  $4.9M

With the original 2013 pre-money SAFE, the investors were caught by surprise and dismayed by the unexpected $4.9M number coming out of the rolling round. So YC switched to post-money, and now founders are being caught by surprise and being dismayed by the $1.0M  number. The original intent of the term post-money would be captured by making the following changes to the valuation language, even for rolling rounds, The changes (bold) pin the post-money valuation to a discrete contemporaneous round (e.g., money being raising this week, not uncertain amount to be raised TBD for months and years). Note that this language is not legally precise:

Post-Money SAFE: the definition of post-money is changed from including all “converting securities” to including all converting securities that are part of the current round or an earlier round.

By the same reasoning, attorneys Ancer and Adler (SIlicon Hills and PNW) have amended the post-money SAFE in almost exactly the same way (Box link below). The pre-money SAFE can be fixed in a similar way:

Pre-Money SAFE: the definition of post-money is changed from excluding all “converting securities” to excluding all converting securities before the current round.

SEC & IRS Compliance

To simplify, tiny startups need to abide by the same rules as giant hedge funds and companies raising $500M for a Series A. This can be a serious pain and expense at the early stage, and can cost you several or even tens of thousands of dollars. This is in part because each state has different rules, and while they are generally similar, sometimes they are not. Until several years ago (again, before DIY), lawyers would generally insist in these being done. Most SEC and state rules state that they must be done within 15 days of the first sale. Even before DIY, it was common for these to be done a little late, because it was difficult to round up all the paperwork and because there was little or no consequence of being late. So, if it’s OK to be a little late, is it OK to be a lot late (delayed compliance)? It’s ultimately for you to decide, although your service professionals will have their own takes.

These are the common early events that require such filing:

  1. Founder stock grant 
  2. Stock option plan creation
  3. Any investment (SAFEs and notes)
  4. Any other stock grant that is not part of the stock option plan

As you might imagine, #4 is easier with a discrete round on a single day than for a rolling round, where you might have to do dozens of filing for each 15 days window of SAFE issuances. It was and is common to try to wait for more than two of these events to happen so the filings could be done at once, even if they were more than 15 days apart. By this logic, why not wait until many of these things occur and do the filing at all at once. With the advent of Clerky and DIY, this effectively is what is happening. Some founders are not even aware of such requirements, so when they get to Series A, the lawyer identifies this issue and addresses. And of course, there is the logic that if the company fails before Series A, no harm no foul, but that is not quite true, as closing the company does not extinguish this obligation.

SAFEs and convertible notes are generally regarded as liabilities for 409a valuation purposes, but check with your provider. This means they will not substantially raise your stock option strike price.

Time permitting, we will discuss other situations involving judgment about compliance, including employment status, payroll taxes, and others.

Useful Resources

Note that the National Venture Capital Association has issued model documents for decades, but there was not much guidance for founders to use them effectively.

Post-Money SAFEs Give Investors Extreme Anti-Dilution Protection. Here’s How to Remove It

SAFEs Archives

https://app.box.com/s/bwm02h8ahtb0wwn6ugbasuwoh9y0thq2

Official Y Combinator Safe Financing Documents

Primer for post-money safe v1.1

SAFEs and Convertible Notes | News | Haynes and Boone

Model Legal Documents – National Venture Capital Association – NVCA

SAFE and Convertible Note Calculator

The Carta SAFE for Seed Rounds – Silicon Hills Lawyer

What is “Shadow Stock”? – Law for Startups

The Shadow CEO: Equity Beyond Stock Option

STANDARD DISCLAIMER

None of the material, including the seminar, constitutes legal or financial advice, and no client relationship is implied. The info above is intended for you to better understand the subject matter, not a substitute for hiring service professionals.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

Catalina Island Somewhat Deep Week

Friday Sept 27 9am – Sun Oct 6 7pm

Please join me and a bunch of other freedivers for this unique event!

If you don’t know California diving, there is abundant marine life, but it can be very cold – typically 10C/50F in Monterey.

Catalina Island offers similar scenery, but in late Sept it is about 24C/75F, with viz 10-15m. It will look much like this, but almost tropical – https://vimeo.com/tufftravels – first three videos.

The marine park, Casino Point, is incredibly convenient. Just a few hundred meters from town, with rental shop on site. Just walk down the steps, swim a few hundred meters, and you have 30m of depth. The perfect place to do your first 100ft dive!

This is an informal camp, not sanctioned by any shop or organization. There will be experienced divers and instructors like myself from different organizations to give out tips in a non-certification setting. DAN insurance is recommended. Any outdoor activity has inherent risks, especially freediving, so you assume all risks and release all other parties against any claim by participating in this event.

The plan is to dive every day in the park until Sunday or Monday. Because it is so warm and convenient, you probably will be able to do 3 or even 4 2 hour training sessions, though 2 x 3hr will be more typical. If you can extend your stay during the week, we also will rent a skiff to go to other parts of the island for fun diving, put out a counter-balance so you can dive deeper – max 60m – depending on consensus, etc. Lobster season opens on Saturday.

There will be modest logistics fees for this event. It depends on how many days and what you want to do. e.g., just using a line and diving with friends vs. needing counter-balance/safety/coaching for a 60m dive. The counter-balance is an efficient carbon-fiber rig of the type used for depth competitions. Just DM me to discuss or email robert.lee at berkeley.edu.

Non-certified divers are welcome, but you are limited to snorkeling and fun diving on your own – no training.

Additional notes:

Fly into LAX or LGB (closer). For those who drive, Long Beach ferry parking is about $20/day: https://www.catalinaexpress.com/schedule-fares.html
You can fly direct to the small airport. Prop charters from SF area are about $10K round trip for 5.

I have reserved some rooms because I got a fantastic deal for the weekend. Hotels are scarce in Avalon, and price variance is high. The small room is about $150 with tax per night, the big room is about $250 with tax per night. I have reserved the below Sept 26-30 will hold them till Sept 15.

https://www.catalinaislandinn.com/rooms/queen-bay-window/#top – no AC, shouldn’t be needed – $400 total
https://www.catalinaislandinn.com/rooms/family/#top – $800 total, 3 beds

You can also camp or find another hotel. Hermit Gulch camp ground is easy, 2km/1mi walk, and has tent cabins for 6. https://catalinachamber.bookdirect.net/

Please RSVP on the FB event if you have FB.

Feel free to discuss, look for rides, etc., in the FB comments.

Learn to Wim Hof Magnified

Learn to hold your breath for 2-3 times longer than with the Wim Hof method, with similar stress reduction and wellness benefits. Workshops in Kona, Bali, and other tropical locales. Yoga, great local food, yoga sessions, and more.

Optional: apply these learnings to underwater meditation like this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

rlee at codex dot stanford dot edu

fl0wstate.com/robert

Aug 10: Breath Control & Intro to Freediving: Seminar at UCSF

Join me and Professor Kevin Yackle at UCSF Mission Bay for a seminar on breath work and intro to freediving, 4:30-6:30 on Th Aug 10, 2017. Limited spots available (including by video). Please RSVP to me, rlee at codex.stanford.edu

http://yacklelab.ucsf.edu/

4:30-5:15 Breath Work

5:15-6:30 Apnea (up to 3 minutes)

Conference Room: Genentech Hall S261.

Google Hangout: meet.google.com/ogq-ajhc-mbu

If you are not familiar with UCSF campus, I suggest you meet me at The Pub at 4PM so I can take you to the conference room. There is free parking several blocks away at/near 16th Street. Otherwise use the meters or parking garage. Some of us may get dinner after.

The Pub, 1675 Owens St, San Francisco, CA 94158

More info here: https://fl0wstate.com/robert

And here: https://blog.bulletproof.com/robert-lee-breathing-for-performance-focus-freediving-185/

Here is a prologue to the seminar:

ZERO What Scared the Fearless Woman?

“What Scared the Fearless Woman?” was a 2013 story on NPR’s Science Friday. The story described a paper in Nature Neuoroscience that studied patients with a condition that causes atrophy of the brain’s amygdala center. The amygdala is a corpus that mediates fear and other emotions in humans. Thus it was believed that these patients had lost the ability to feel fear. An article in The Guardian describes the same study:

The patient known as S.M. has not experienced fear since she was a child, and has fascinated brain researchers for many years. In 2010, one team noted that she makes risky financial decisions in experimental economics games, because she isn’t afraid of losing money. Another tried everything they could to frighten the life out of her – but failed. They showed her clips from some of the scariest horror films ever made, asked her to handle large spiders and snakes, and took her to a haunted house. On no occasion did she show the smallest sign of fear, even when faced with traumatic events and potentially life-threatening threats.

The experimenters placed the patient on a breathing mask that simulated suffocation. Within seconds, S.M. started to waive and scream. To the surprise of the experimenters, and S.M. herself, it turns out that she was capable of experiencing fear, even outright panic, but only with respect to this one stimulus.

Upshot— the drive to breathe in humans is so fundamental and atavistic that it invokes an entirely different, and more basic pathway of fear than other stimuli associated with danger. And this is why exploring the nature of breathing and learning to “breathe better”, as we will do in this document, can be a unique and profoundly powerful way of managing fear and anxiety. At the end, we will also explore the challenge of learning to arrest that breathing— that is, holding our breath. Should you choose to try this extended breath holding (called voluntary apnea), you will experience a unique challenge that can result in powerful benefits for your confidence, literally on an existential level, and your peace of mind.

Hacker Hostel San Jose Area: $250/week in a new house

room_cropI have rooms for rent in my brand new house 22 miles S of San Jose airport, right off the 101. It is also close to the Morgan Hill Caltrain station, where the Google and Apple buses pick up.

Why you would want to live here:

Pristine, new house in a beautiful neighborhood near the necessities – Trader Joe’s, Target …

No lease commitment, but cheap, $250/week. Perfect if you are new to town for school, and want a place to crash while looking for a permanent place (though you are welcome to stay long term). $25 extra for private bathroom.

Easy parking.

There is also a converted library (big and cozy, but near the kitchen) available for $200/week.

Why you would NOT want to live here:

A bit of a drive to San Jose (you will want to have a car unless you are prepared for a long bike / bus ride).

The house is in a town (Morgan Hill), not a city.

The house has only the basics. It is a new and clean, but I don’t have a couch, TV, living room. This is a place to sleep, study, and is best suited for those who work long hours and/or spend their leisure time out of the house.

The housing complex does have a pool, hot tub, basketball court, outdoor grill, tables with a view for eating outside when the weather is good. I often cook and eat outside.

Additional:

My house is directly across the street from this Starbucks, open from 5:30am to 9pm. It is right next to an open field, not a concrete jungle. I work from there a lot.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Starbucks/@37.1440569,-121.6643677,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x8c45f19d33c3d67c!8m2!3d37.1440569!4d-121.6643677

I am pretty well connected in the Silicon Valley ecosystem: Google, VC firms, Stanford.

Please email me at rlee at codex dot stanford dot edu. I don’t check the comments below.

Your room looks like the above picture. Here is a virtual tour of a model of the home (mine is not furnished like this).

http://www.modelhomephotos.com/tours/taylormorrison/madrone_plaza/unit_A/flash/index.html

A little info about me:

fl0wstate.com/robert

Thanks!

Robert