Tag Archives: substack

Seeking Tribe #18: A Time to Poast and a Time To Log Off

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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.

In particular:

  • 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 houseHowever, 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 thereThere’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.

If you’re not looking to invest yourself into something weird, you probably don’t stand to win in the 21st century.

Justin Murphy

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.

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Seeking Tribe #14: Return to Tribe

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I hope that everyone’s 2021 has been off to an excellent start. I’ve been staying busy while trying to figure out what big moves I’m trying to make in the next year.

My three main goals for the year are:

  • Move to a new, growing city that’s filled with energy and opportunities
  • Secure a role that will pay my bills, where I could see myself working for two or more years
  • Start a significant personal project that I’ll either complete or make meaningful progress on by the end of the year

I’ll be sharing more about what exactly I’m thinking once I get a bit more information but this is where a good chunk of my attention will be focused over the next few months (my lease in Rochester is up at the end of June). There are a couple opportunities on my radar but, as always, I’d love to hear from any of you with any ideas or insights you have.

House Keeping:

I hope that everyone will receive this email. I decided to pivot from Mailchimp to Substack to manage Seeking Tribe.

The ethos of Substack is more aligned with my values, particularly their commitment to freedom of expression and how their business model ties their success to the success of the creators using their platform. I have no intention of paywalling the Seeking Tribe newsletter but may end up hosting other content through this channel (tbd). Please pardon any minor issues that arise from this switch.

A Few Projects That I’ve Been Busy With:

  • My friend Tim Wilcox and I recorded a podcast about the thematic overlaps between the best-selling book Life of Pi by Yann Martel and the cult classic film Donnie Darko

    Life of Pi was published on September 11th, 2001 and Donnie Darko’s failure of a theatrical release was October 26th, 2001. The overlaps are surprisingly numerous and both seem to reflect a world that has been lost since the launch of the War on Terror.
  • My friend Will and I held a series of conversations on the new social media platform Clubhouse discussing One Billion Americans by Matt Yglesias.

    I’ve been meaning to publish a few of my thoughts on the book, as I took extensive notes to prepare for our discussion.

    Overall, it’s a case for a sort-of liberal nationalism: pragmatic immigration reform to dramatically increase America’s GDP, policy proposals to dramatically expand the housing supply in cities where the rents are too damn high, and the case for direct cash transfers to help more Americans to be able to afford to have children of their own.

    I certainly have my criticisms of Yglesias’ ideas but found it to be a compelling and, at times, maddening read (did you know in the US it costs 10x what it does in Germany to construct the same amount of commuter railway?). The book was highly effective at making Trump’s nationalism look either incoherent or unserious. Personally, I’m a localist, not a nationalist, but the book was insightful none the less.
  • This past week I moderated/hosted an event titled Getting Paid to Post: Freelance Writing in 2021.

    I will be sure to invite y’all to the next one. The event was quite successful so likely there will be more coming in the near future. I will keep you all posted.
  • I applied for a couple jobs, including one that I was particularly excited about. Unfortunately, it didn’t play out but, as always, it was a learning experience.

Checking-in:

How have you been? What are a couple of your goals for 2021?

I would love to hear from each of you and help in any way that I can.

The pandemic is going to continue for months to come, our crazy country is going to continue to face numerous issues – many are symptoms of underlying issues that have been ignored for decades, and likely there will be some other curveballs along the way.

We can’t control any of that but we can choose to acknowledge our abilities and their limits in a way that allows us to make the most of this year and help people within our influence.

I’m determined to ensure that 2021 is a big year for myself and I’d love to help y’all to do the same!

This post was initially sent via Substack on January 24th, 2021.

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Seeking Tribe #13: Substack Launch!

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Are you interested in challenging your assumptions and biases?

Do you want to connect with other thoughtful, ambitious, curious people?

My friends and I are all committed to building a future that is much better than any of us alone could imagine.

We’re tired of doom and gloom.

We don’t want to spend our attention and energy being upset about aspects of our world that we cannot change.

Instead, we’re focused on broadening our perspectives, training our skill stacks, and taking action to solve the problems that keep us awake at night and help us to jump out of bed every morning.

We’re creating a more prosperous, beautiful future and we’d love for you to join us.

You’re early! Our work is but begun.

This post was initially sent via Substack on November 20th, 2020.

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