Tag Archives: dark winter

Seeking Tribe #17: Dark Winter is Over

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I am feeling quite optimistic at this moment (it may not be a coincidence that you receive emails from me on days when I’m feeling particularly positive and energetic,,,).

For those of you who are a bit tuned out, and I do not blame you:

One can certainly find reasons to temper our optimism. There’s a lot that we still don’t know and we’ve all just lived through 12 months of bad takes that seldom played out as expected. I am adding this little paragraph because I don’t want this email newsletter to end up on this feed in a year…

But personally, I think we’re about to have an amazing spring and summer. The past few days in Rochester have been moderately sunny and the temperature has been as high as 38F. While finding that to be good and remarkable is kind of sad, we learn to cope in Western NY. We’ll have some warmer days in the next few weeks and people will find it easier to socialize as we monitor the effects of mass vaccination.

My winter is over. I am leaving this Sunday to go visit Orlando for a week with a few of my friends. From there, I’m continuing on to Houston for a week and then Austin for a minimum of two weeks. It’s unclear exactly where I’ll go from there but it seems unlikely that I’ll return to Rochester before May. If you have any recommendations, connections, big ideas, etc that you want to share with me – please hit me up.

I’m looking forward to seeing the sun again and (re)connecting with friends and strangers alike.

Best of My Recent Read:

  • Bitcoin Dissidents: Those Who Need It Most by Anna Baydakova, Coindesk

    Bitcoin, like Amazon and Tesla, has benefitted disproportionately from the US’ (and other country’s) monetary policy response to the pandemic. As new dollars have flooded the market and short-term interest rates declined, people with a large amount of assets and the ability to borrow at near 0% interest have sought out assets with potential long-term growth and robust network effects. While it may not make sense for Tesla to be valued at $586/share, it would make much less sense to have seen a 500% rise in price of a robust, moderate-growth manufacturing company. Tesla, like Bitcoin, at least has a plausible narrative for how it could eventually earn its valuation. This article demonstrates the utility of Bitcoin beyond its role as a speculative asset class, or hedge as “Digital Gold”. It’s easy for Americans to forget that cryptocurrencies are of global significance.
  • How I Read by Slava Akhmechet

    TL;DR: Read ~40 pages/day, assume 30% failure rate. That’s 10k pages and ~20 books annually. Pick a problem, and read clusters of five books to study that problem from a unique perspective. Visualize each cluster as an instrument to inspect the world. Collect instruments into a mental lab, with various stations for related instruments. You can upgrade the instruments one book at a time. Have your bookshelf reflect this mental image. Win the decade, not the day. Start now and never stop.

    I recommend reading the full article. I’m still refining which clusters I want to focus on this year but community and localism will certainly be two of the topics. Lately I’ve been listening to more audiobooks as I’ve soured a bit on podcasts. If you have Audible, there’s a ton of interesting books that are available for free, “Included” FYI.
  • Enough Already: Time to End the War on Terrorism by Scott Horton

    If you have any opinions about American foreign policy, you need to read this book. Horton certainly has his clear biases, as we all do, but almost all of the most damning claims are from official, publicly available government documents. He does a great job of sharing a clear narrative about the madness of American Middle Eastern policy, from the Carter administration through to the book’s release date.

    As always, thank you so much for taking the time to read the newsletter and I’d love to hear from any and all of you. I think my trip will be quite energizing and I’ll have some interesting ideas and perspectives for y’all in the weeks to come. Have a great

This post was initially sent via Substack on March 5th, 2021.

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Seeking Tribe #10: Birthday in Quarantine

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I turned 26 years old yesterday.

Usually having a November 21st birthday is quite nice because I’ve always been able to see family and friends, due to its proximity to Thanksgiving.

This year, I decided to just isolate and lay low because of the recent spike in hospitalizations in Rochester (and throughout many states in the US).

I will celebrate with a few friends once Thanksgiving is over but my response to everyone asking me, “What are you doing to celebrate?” was “Not much.”

Thank you all for the warm birthday wishes! They really mean a lot.

The Best of my Recent Reads:

  • “In the United States in February 2020, pre-pandemic, 8% of the workforce worked remotely. When the pandemic hit, that rose to 35% in May and bounced back to 24% in August. In Canada, in 2018 ~13% worked remotely, that grew to nearly 40% of the workforce working remotely in March 2020 [3,4]. In Europe, pre-pandemic, 5.4% of the workforce worked remotely, which rose to nearly 40% a result of the pandemic. We can assume there’s growth in remote work in regions outside US/EU too.

    In just a few months the amount of people working remotely ballooned to ~125 million people in North America (US, Canada) and Europe, or over 5 times the amount before the pandemic” [from: The greatest human migration in history will happen in the next decade (part 1) by Peter Levels]

  • “Billions of savers worldwide must therefore reckon with inflationary currencies, or monetary repression — a state of affairs where they don’t have the freedom to move their assets around. This latter phenomenon is often imposed by central banks that fear currency flight and accompanying depreciation…

    The Lira isn’t the only sovereign currency in which Bitcoin is already trading well beyond its prior highs. Other currencies where Bitcoin has already hit new highs since 2017 include the Argentine peso, the Russian ruble, the Venezuelan bolivar, the Brazilian real, the Colombian peso, the Lebanese pound, the Sudanese pound, and several others. Those countries alone account for 523 million people” from Nine Bitcoin Charts Already at All-Time Highs by Nic Carter

    Bitcoin’s valuation in USD has risen by over $5,000 USD since the last time I shared an article from Nic Carter. It is now approaching a new all-time-high in USD. This bull-run looks distinctly different than the previous run-up in 2017.*

    [*Nothing in this newsletter is ever investment advice. I just think this is an interesting topic – although I wish I had followed the enthusiasm of my friends who were into this in 2014 :’)]

I wanted to keep this week’s newsletter short. I’m sure there’s a lot on everyone’s minds as we prepare ourselves for what has been branded a ‘dark winter’.

I plan on:

Please reach out if you feel isolated and need some social interaction! We will get through this together, you’re not alone.

This post was initially sent on November 22nd, 2020 as part of an early prototype of my newsletter Seeking Tribesubscribe here!

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