Long time no email! I meant to reach out while on my journey…and then when I returned…and then every week since then. I wrote a draft Seeking Tribe while I was living it up in Austin but I never pressed send.
I’ve previously alluded to the absurd amount of time that I’ve spent on Twitter. My use certainly increased from the outset of the pandemic and it has been, let’s not mince words here, an on-going addiction. At this point, I have to admit that it’s my favorite MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) and it consumes me…just like World of Warcraft Classic did this past February… Right now, I am taking a break from Twitter to try to reset and focus my energy on achieving the goals that I outlined at the beginning of this year.
- Publishing a short e-book and associated blogs that I’ve drafted in my journals over the past year or so
- Securing a stable enough stream of US dollars and a quality housing opportunity so I can make the leap out of Rochester (likely to Austin!)
Before my trip, I was feeling quite down on how I’d spent most of the last year. I had a ton of free time and mostly spent it tweeting, reading, and coping to not lose my mind while trapped in my house. However, while on my journey, the upsides from my weird use of my time began to materialize.
At this point, I have met twelve ‘mutuals’ (the Twitter term for people who you follow and who follow you back)— most of which I connected with in Houston, Austin, and Oregon. All of these experiences were excellent. I have some tentative plans to connect with more of them and I’ve been invited to quite a few cool parties, meet-ups in the coming months. Furthermore, at least two of the meetings have resulted in interesting part-time gig work.
After my visit to Austin, I began working part-time helping one friend grow adoption for the crypto protocol he helped launch and helping another friend to provide value for his private research community, by co-hosting a series of workshops and Q&As with some brilliant people (I’ll keep you posted about future events). I fully expect that continuing on this weird path and meeting more of my mutuals will result in similarly positive collaborations.
I am partially so interested in moving to Austin because a disproportionate amount of the people I’ve connected with online are located there or are relocating there. There’s clearly an overlap between the selection biases of why people decide to follow me on Twitter and the selection biases of why people are choosing to relocate to Austin.
While some of these trends may begin to shift as we return to true normal, I do think this year has both exacerbated and revealed how atomized and isolated people feel. The pursuit for quality information (or information that confirmed their biases) led many people to online ‘networks’ and ‘communities’. Some people who have been threatening to leave, or who did exit NYC and SF [and elsewhere], will likely return back once social life returns. However, I think migration and other methods of taking online connections offline will continue as people feel comfortable leaving their [limited] social safety nets and venturing out in the pursuit of new opportunities and values-aligned relationships.
I’m optimistic about the positive externalities of people connecting based off of their revealed shared values. But I would also advise you to brace yourself for the acceleration of cults, they exist on forums and Signal chats already. I don’t know where Q Anon is relocating but I guarantee you it’s happening.
Pro tip: you’re much less likely to end up in a cult if you move to a city, rather than coordinating with people to move to a small village or some kind of commune. Keep an eye on your friends!
I wish that I had written this newsletter about a month ago. One of the big takeaways is that it’s still important to meet people face-to-face and break bread. Back when Bitcoin was up to the new all-time-high of ~64k, I was particularly eager to attend the BTC Conference that occurred this past weekend in Miami. However, unlike Austin, NYC, SF, or even Salt Lake City, I have almost no contacts in Miami! I considered purchasing an early bird ticket, half-heartedly tried to find a business to hire me to network on their behalf, or just spending the money to book a hotel and hoping it worked out. Ultimately, I didn’t pursue the opportunity and I regret it.
The conference itself did not seem to be a particularly exceptional event. Many of the videos that I watched were kinda cringe and featured narratives about Bitcoin that I find less persuasive and credible. I regret it because I’m aware of at least a couple contacts of mine (who work places I’d love to…) that I certainly could’ve met with. The next time I have a similar opportunity, I’m going to make it happen and figure out the details later.
This sentiment has been shared with me by multiple people who I strongly feel are going to be wildly successful entrepreneurs and public figures in the coming decades. Keep your mind, eyes, and ears open for weird opportunities that excite you. The 21st century is not on course to become any less strange.
This post was initially sent via Substack on June 11th, 2021.