Michael Lewis and Martine Rothblatt (#749)

This episode is a two-for-one, and that’s because the podcast recently hit its 10-year anniversary and passed one billion downloads. To celebrate, I’ve curated some of the best of the best—some of my favorites—from more than 700 episodes over the last decade. I could not be more excited. The episode features segments from episode #427 “Michael Lewis — Inside the Mind of the Iconic Writer” and episode #487 “Dr. Martine Rothblatt — A Masterclass on Asking Better Questions and Peering Into the Future.”

Please enjoy!

Bios of guests may be found at tim.blog/combo.

Listen to the episode on Apple PodcastsSpotifyOvercastPodcast AddictPocket CastsCastboxYouTube MusicAmazon MusicAudible, or on your favorite podcast platform.

This episode is brought to you by Eight Sleep’s Pod 4 Ultra sleeping solution for dynamic cooling and heating, AG1 all-in-one nutritional supplement, and Shopify global commerce platform, providing tools to start, grow, market, and manage a retail business.

Transcript for the full Michael Lewis episode | Transcript for the full Martine Rothblatt episode | Transcripts for all episodes

#749: Michael Lewis and Martine Rothblatt

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Go to shopify.com/Tim to sign up for a one-dollar-per-month trial period. It’s a great deal for a great service, so I encourage you to check it out. Take your business to the next level today by visiting shopify.com/Tim.

This episode is brought to you by Eight Sleep! Temperature is one of the main causes of poor sleep, and heat is my personal nemesis. I’ve suffered for decades, tossing and turning, throwing blankets off, pulling them back on, and repeating ad nauseam. But a few years ago, I started using the Pod Cover, and it has transformed my sleep. Eight Sleep has launched their newest generation of the Pod: Pod 4 Ultra. I’m excited to test it out. It cools, it heats, and now it elevates, automatically. With the best temperature performance to date, Pod 4 Ultra ensures you and your partner stay cool, even in a heatwave. Plus, it automatically tracks your sleep time, snoring, sleep stages, and HRV, all with high precision. For example, their heart rate tracking is at an incredible 99% accuracy.

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This episode is brought to you by AG1! I get asked all the time, “If you could use only one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is usually AG1, my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in The 4-Hour Body in 2010 and did not get paid to do so. I do my best with nutrient-dense meals, of course, but AG1 further covers my bases with vitamins, minerals, and whole-food-sourced micronutrients that support gut health and the immune system. 

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What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.


  • [04:13] Notes about this supercombo format.
  • [05:16] Enter Michael Lewis.
  • [05:54] Why Michael quit his well-paid job to become a full-time author.
  • [12:58] Liar’s Poker is a cautionary tale, not a how-to book.
  • [15:16] On ambition and the metrics of success.
  • [18:31] Maximizing self-satisfaction, optimizing the writing process, and learning to sing.
  • [20:51] The value of having an impolite editor on your side.
  • [23:52] On the merits of productive laziness.
  • [28:13] How Michael determines if a project should proceed.
  • [29:51] Michael’s billboard.
  • [32:45] Enter Martine Rothblatt.
  • [33:14] Martine’s appreciation for Alan Watts’ book on human identity.
  • [35:34] Martine’s thoughts on AI-human coexistence in the movie Her.
  • [36:31] BINA48 and realistic human simulations in media.
  • [39:53] Martine’s role models and inspirations.
  • [41:20] When Martine started a biotech company to save her daughter’s life.
  • [52:44] Glaxo Wellcome’s misconceptions about Martine’s successful drug.
  • [56:17] Martine’s interest in satellite communication systems.
  • [1:00:33] Promoting scientific literacy and curiosity.
  • [1:05:20] Questioning authority and Martine’s transgender journey.
  • [1:10:28] Martine’s non-binary gender identity.
  • [1:12:34] Key decisions in Martine’s transition.
  • [1:13:28] The need for genetic information protection laws.
  • [1:16:00] South American population and organ transplant research.
  • [1:21:42] Vagus nerve manipulation for various therapies.
  • [1:31:25] Martine’s Alzheimer’s cognitive enabler patent.
  • [1:38:17] The Rothblatt family’s “love nights” tradition.
  • [1:43:54] The possibility of machines experiencing love.
  • [1:49:20] Ethical considerations for future technology.
  • [1:52:44] Current practices future generations might view as barbaric.
  • [1:57:42] United Therapeutics’ zero-carbon-footprint headquarters.
  • [2:00:32] Refurbishing unusable lungs to save lives.
  • [2:04:45] United Therapeutics’ focus on long-term COVID-19 effects.
  • [2:07:26] Martine’s billboard.
  • [2:08:27] Advice for finding positivity in life.
  • [2:11:48] Parting thoughts.


Connect with Michael Lewis:

Website | Podcast

Connect with Martine Rothblatt:

Twitter | Instagram


The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than one billion downloads. It has been selected for “Best of Apple Podcasts” three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it’s been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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