FIRE

The whiteboard on our fridge a white dry erase magnet, slightly bigger than a sheet of paper. On the top of it is written “FIRE by 2024”, along with the amount of student and mortgage debt that we currently have, along with the interest rates we’re paying on them. (The auto loan was erased last month.) Below that is the current price of BTC, along with an arrow pointing to the price it needs to be erase that debt completely, about $60,000.

Yesterday I decided to put a new number on that board, and calculated the value of my BTC in my cold wallet plus the Ethereum wallets I’m tracking in Zapper.fi

I don’t know if such a visible reminder is good for my mental health or not. I’m already obsessed with price action beyond what’s healthy, and I’m not sure if this is a good aspirational exercise I’m indulging in or compulsion.

Zombie, LLC, the walking dead that I call a day job, lost another client yesterday. This one was due to the client firm shuttering. It’s a small account, one that was more of a pain to deal with, but it had been steady recurring revenue lately, and didn’t require too much from me. When I got the call from the business manager, asking to cancel services, I could hear the depression in her voice. I’m sure she had been making several of those calls to other vendors and I managed to muster some sympathy in response. It was a small, family-run operation, and I didn’t ask for details. I assume it was a mixture of loss of business or the patriarch’s age, or desire to retire.

Side note, this guy actually wrote a book about how modern science is wrong about carbon dating and evolution, and how man co-existed with dinosaurs. He spent $15,000 to publish and market the book, but was always hard to convince when it came to capital outlays for the business. So it goes.

We seem to have reached some sort of equilibrium here at the house, with certain rooms falling into a sort of stable chaos between clutter and cleanliness. Missus made me bring out our Christmas tree last weekend as she wanted some cheer in the house. What we got instead is a leaning tree with one strand of lights thrown on it, and half the ornaments strewn around the living room floor for the past several days. The cats have taken to either chewing on the metal branches, or trying to climb or hunt from within them.

The kids have been somewhat more behaved lately. We seem to have reached a bit of understanding, they won’t do half of the things I ask them to do, and they won’t get to watch TV at all. We’ve settled into a sort of rhythm: we do our own things in the morning, chores (to an extent), breakfast, I have calls for work, they have their project du jour, lunch, and then schoolwork from noon till three.

I’ve been letting them use their laptops or tablets for Khans Academy in the AM if they want, but they don’t get any of their shows until after school. Elder is doing her third grade Zoom sessions, and I’ve got Younger doing IXL math and language arts. I’ll have her reading in no time. I’ve also bribed Elder with an ice cream party when she finishes the Khan Academy third grade math course.

Thanksgiving is next week, and Missus and I are still trying to figure out what to do about it. The girls go to her mother’s every Friday, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense for us to avoid Thanksgiving at her house, even though the rest of the in-laws are there. I’ve got a lot of anxiety about it though. COVID cases seem to be spiking through the roof, and we’ve been lucky so far, the headlines about large Thanskgiving dinners and small Christmas funerals” seems to be stuck in my head. I think part of it is that I haven’t seen my mom since pre-COVID, and had been looking forward to seeing her during the season.

Missus’s father bought a tract of land a few weeks ago and has been steadily working to make it into a homestead. There’s a fully-stocked lake there, they caught over thirty fish in a couple of hours, so we’re going to take a day trip up there this weekend to check it out. It’s a three hour drive from here. My father and law has been busy putting some sheds up there for people to stay in, and making the path in more traversable with some gravel. I’m looking forward to it.

The rest of the house is awake, and I’ve got an hour until I need to be “at work”. I’m signed on and taking calls, but I really have no taste for it anymore. I’m fully immersed in smart contract development when I’m not looking at charts or on Twitter. There’s a lot to do.

I can feel it.

I’m a bit overcome with the feeling that I haven’t been doing enough.

And it’s just silly.

I’m raising two kids, working a job on top of everything else. I’ve got a wife and a mortgage and got seventy thousand in student loan debt coming due next year. So what if I didn’t write a substack last month?

I do feel a bit guilty about it. More guilty that I spent most of my time today consuming content on Twitter and various news feeds than I do making my own. I spend more time learning than I do on acting on that knowledge. At what point will the pieces come together, I wonder, and will I be happy and relax for a day? When the kids are grown and I got FU money.

Saw a quote today: “invest your time, don’t spend it”. Well I definitely spent a lot of time this past week on stuff I didn’t need to.

I am so ready for a career change, but can’t imagine really getting the job I want, one that will give me the extra income I want and still allow me the time I need to keep the kids home and take care of them. Cause as hard as this is right now, I can’t imagine going back to the way it was. Younger is such a joy to behold, and Elder, she’s much more of a challenge, but she needs my help, and I still find it hard to imagine that we shipped them off to daycare for eight hours a day so that I could work.

I just can’t imagine going back to that.

So I’ll just have to create the job I want, and just keep learning everything I can. I just need to remember to find time to create. And I just need to keep honing the knife. I really believe that the next four years are going to be incredibly successful for crypto, and right now I’m trying to get everything as tight as can be for what’s about to happen.

Rainy Saturday

Today is a rainy day, my wife is out of town and I just dropped the girls off at their grandmother’s for a few hours, so I’ve got a bit of time to write.

Bitcoin has had a nice little pump over the last three days. The latest happened late last night. I was in the TD trollbox and everyone was really excited.

People think we’re at the start of a new bull run. I’m starting to feel a bit of FOMO myself, as if I wasn’t all-in already. I spent a good deal of time yesterday talking about bitcoin with a couple of friends, trying to explain what’s going on with QE and why bitcoin is going to succeed. I think I’m just drunk on my gains the last couple days. My IRA was up around four percent on Thursday and Friday thanks to $GBTC, $ETHE, $GDLC and some of the mining companies that I’m holding, like $RIOT. I also picked up a Canadian crypto broker called Voyager had a nice bounce as well.

It’s all thanks to Square picking up $50 million in BTC for their treasury. Now it’s all but certain that others are going to be following right behind them. Gradually, then all of a sudden, as they say.

I’m still managing to get some development time in. Trying to figure out how to use Truffle and working through the Ethernauts challenges. I’ve figured out how to exploit the contracts on my local Garanche node using a Javascript file, but now I have to figure out how to do that on Ropsten testnet. I can’t use the same scripts, since I have to hard code Ethernaut’s Ropsten addresses directly into the scripts.

I may still be able to use Metamask as my provider, but they’re going to stop injecting Web3 into the browser come early November, so now is probably a good time to learn how to use one of the other libraries via Infura orAlchemy.

There are a couple relevant developer conferences going on this month that I’m checking out. The first is ETHOnline’s hackathon. There are hours of talks to go through and catch up on. The other is the Substrate Developer conference, starting next week. Substrate is a blockchain development framework that has some integration with PolkaDot, which I’m very interested in. I’m also hoping to take a look at Solana at some point as well, but baby steps.

Other than that I’ve just been enjoying myself, playing video games. I’m still working through Detroit: Become Human, and have started playing through the original Baldur’s Gate. I also put Path of Exile back on my machine and have been playing through that.

And I keep continuing to learn Clair de Lune. I think I’m about a month into it right now, and have memorized the first intro section and have started working my way through a more challenging part. It’s beyond my playing ability, so I just keep drilling the parts through, hand separate, over and over and over. It’s crowding out the other songs I’ve learned in my brain. I tried to play through the repository of Bach pieces that I learned, and several parts just escaped my brain, just after a few days. I’m really having to drill them into my head.

I think it’ll pay off though, I know if I just keep practicing, I’ll be able to have it down in several month. I’ve only been playing seriously for about a year now, and this piece is really for someone with several years of playing under their hat. So I’m in no rush to get it done.

Evening page.

Today was pretty chill.

I had a couple task to do today for work, nothing that took too much of my time. I spent most of the day in front of my computer reading and doing research. I managed to spend some time poking around with the Alchemy.IO API, trying to explore contract events in anticipation of building some kind of monitoring or arbitrage bots.

Right now I’m mainly focused on trying to get some transparency with my own holdings. Zapper and the other DeFi dashboards don’t really support a lot of the meme-farms, so trying to keep an eye on things is a bit difficult.

I’m waiting on some large fiat deposits to come through the onramp so I can stake some USD stablecoins. Fulcrum has actually been near the top of the list; I’ve never dealt with them before. I’m actually considering converting to Dai, even with the slippage, just for the extra points. Harvest is actually getting about twice as much, although I don’t trust them as much. I have a small test stake on there right now, so I may put a larger stake on there. I’ve got multiple deposits coming through, so I’ll probably spread them out depending on what’s highest that day. We’ll see.

I had a productive session last night working on Ethernauts. It seems Ethereum development relies a lot on Javascript, so I’m delving into that for the first time in a while. I’m using a script to run my exploits, and involves manipulating the Web3 library. JS has a bit of a strange syntax with the callbacks and the way that things chain together, but I’m getting it without too much Googling. They’re more alike than they are different. At least on the surface anyways.

I made a good discovery today. Coingecko has an excellent API that I can now use to get my mining calculator back up and running. It’s a Google Sheet, and relied on the Cryptofinance module and a bunch of custom API functions that I had written for various exchanges, but the CryptoFinance module stopped working because of its reliance on CoinMarketCap. I’ve been unable to use the sheet for several weeks, but I was able to get it back up and running in about an hour today. Now I just need to get payments from my mining pool, but they only go back thirty days, so that’s another challenge. I have a hack for it using my minimum payout and the numbers of payments, which I can get off the API, so that’ll work as a crutch.

The Vice Presidential debates are tonight. I don’t know if I can stand to watch them, but I’m already drinking, so it’s either that or video games tonight. I’m not sure.

I can’t believe tomorrow is Thursday already. The days are flying by.

Life goes on

Sometimes it feels like my life is a never-ending battle against clutter. I’m sure anyone with kids can understand this. Trying to get them to pick up after themselves is a constant battle, all the more so since COVID. I often joke about the Tasmanian Devil, that whoever came up with it must have had kids.

Decluttering and minimizing seems to help. There’s always a relief that comes when we take a bag of donations to the local store, but somehow the kids keep accumulating things. Birthdays and Christmas, gifts from aunts and grandmothers. Most of my detritus is digital, but I still accumulate books, papers, and notebooks. Printouts of musical scores.

Any trying to maintain the house, ah, the joys of home-ownership. Our “dream house” has needed a new roof, new HVAC. The time the upstairs shower leaked and ruined the beautiful decorative dining room ceiling below it. The deck project is coming along but is less than halfway complete. That damn hot tub! We have a moisture problem in the crawlspace that will likely cost us several thousand to repair, and already Missus is dreaming about new windows and fixtures. And all the little things. Just yesterday someone closed the garage door on Younger’s new scooter, and it popped the bolt holding the door opener clean off! Just another card for the backlog.

It’s like playing one of those mostly unwinnable strategy turn based games where everything is falling apart around you, and you can only do so much each turn, watching as your spaceship slowly takes on more and more damage, and you lose one crew member, then another, and another, and before you know it you’ve got just one person left, damage all over the ship, and you know there’s no way for you to get through the next turn. Well, maybe it’s not as bad as that.

In fact, earlier today, I got a text from our quaranteam dad down the street that Elder had brought a bunch of stuff down from our house and was making some sort of mixture: glue, bug spray, fabric freshener, air freshener. I told Missus and she started freaking out, apparently she thought Elder was going to stumble across some sort of chlorine gas or something. I was more mad that she had just taken a bunch of our stuff over there without any regard for what belonged to her and what didn’t. I had to go down and call her back home, and there was a huge row, tantrum and everything.

I actually didn’t get much done today because of work. I configured a router for a client and actually drove out to install it. Four hours of honest work, plus a little more for some admin stuff. That’s comfortable. An hour and a half of it was commuting to the site and waiting on a tech over the phone. But that’s what I got my podcasts for.

I finished listening to one with Robert Breedlove, author of Masters and Slaves of Money. It’s along the lines of The Bitcoin Standard, full of libertarian ideals and Austrian economics. This guy isn’t insufferable like Safedian Ammous, he merely worships Jordan Peterson instead of Nouriel Roubini. (We really need more leftists in the space.)

I also started listening to an Unchained episode about Solana and Project Serum, which is a high throughput layer one blockchain and the DEX built on top of it. It’s a very interesting engineering project, they’re hoping to provide a decentralized platform that can scale and eventually supplant Visa. I wish them luck. They’re designing the system for hardware two years out, and I’ve looked at the requirements for validator nodes. It’s pretty steep, you’re talking hundreds of dollars a month for an AWS instance. (They need GPUs.) And the staking requirements for a validator is in the millions of dollars. They aren’t building for consumers, but for enterprise. Well see how it goes.

For now, I’m going to curl up on the couch and watch Last Week Tonight, then go spend some time on Ethernauts. I spent most of last night messing with my environment. The contracts are for Solidity 0.5.0, and one of the challenges relies on vulnerabilities that were supplanted in Solidity 0.6.0. So I’ve got that working now, as well as Metamask tied into my Truffle/Ganache setup. Now hopefully I can figure out how to test my exploits on my local node, then switch over to Ropsten and deploy it again. Previously I was doing testing in my VM and then trying to deploy code via Remix, which was not a good flow.

At some point I’ll start working through these two Medium articles and figure out how to start querying and interacting with DeFi contracts directly.

Getting older

I feel like I got hit by a bus.

I spent nearly all day yesterday ripping up my back patio deck and laying down new boards. My breaker bar was too short, so I started using the other deck boards as levers, popping them up one at a time. Then I had to clean the old screws up. I tried knocking them back and forth with the break bar, like a golf club, then went back on my butt and popped them off with a hammer and pry bar. Then came time to lay the new ones down.

I only had one good battery for my drill, so it took me three sessions to get it done. I took a break to cook lunch and watch a documentary about Space X, and a second one to balance the house accounts and do some work on my trade planning. Then a last session laying boards.

By that time, Missus was feeling unwell and was in bed, I still had to cut the grass. I threw a meatloaf in the oven, took a much-needed shower, and spent the rest of the evening battling with the girls to get them ready for bed and sleep. I went to bed at the normal time and slept like a tank.

I woke up this morning aching everywhere. I’m not sure the last time I worked so hard.

We’ve got a small get-together for Elder’s “Better Late Than Never” birthday celebration, but I am already beat. I just want to relax.


I opened a position in PolkaDot yesterday

I don’t really have a target price on this one. The Bittrex listing spiked pretty high, so I set the OCO orders just in case.

I’m really interested in this project. There’s a lot of activity, and it seems interesting from a development standpoint. I signed up for the Substrate Developer Conference later this month, and I’m really looking forward to checking it out.

I still remain very bullish on Ethereum as well. There’s a EthOnline hackathon going on this month and I’m going to be watching the talks there as well. I’m taking a break from the Ethernaut challenges though right now as I’m reading through the Rust book before I take a dive into Substrate.

I haven’t been doing much programming lately. I’ve been mucking about with spreadsheets, still trying to refine my trade planning. I want something that will let me plan out my trade and position sizing using the Two Percent Rule, and track the performance of open and closed orders. Trying to do this on a spreadsheet is proving difficult, but I’m picking some tricks up from others that I’m incorporating.

One thing I did figure out is that I can use the symbol as a currency indicator in Google sheets. I also started listing everything in Satoshis instead of as a fraction of a bitcoin. Obviously it doesn’t affect the math in the sheet, but it seems to have a bit of a psychological effect, seeing a price represented as ₿63,000 instead of 0.0006300.

Technically I should probably represent sats as s₿ or something to differentiate. There’s been discussion in the past about creating a Satoshi symbol, but people have pointed out that there already is one: $! This is of course the endgame for Bitcoin, the day when one sat is worth one dollar.

Today was rough

I’ve been having trouble falling asleep and the past couple nights, probably either due to too much caffeine or alcohol withdrawal. And I’ve been waking, or being woken up, rather, several times throughout the night, so the past few days I’ve been in a mood.

The kids haven’t helped. Both of them are trying their best to test the limits, and it’s been a battle. Elder seems to have fallen behind on her homework and has been boycotting it. I let her deal with the ramifications yesterday, but today I put my foot down and wouldn’t let her watch TV or play outside with her friends. Missus managed to get her to sit down this afternoon. It takes a village. I’ve been trying to drill the last few letters of the alphabet with Younger. She’s been getting caught up with lowercase b, d, g, p and q. So I thought up a mnemonic to help her remember: big dogs go poop quickly. Mature, I know, but she won’t forget it. I’ve promised her an ice cream party once she gets her letters down, and these will be the last of them.

I spent some time today exploring homeschool options. Unschooling, actually, but I have to start somewhere. I’m not really sure how we’d pull it off.

I’ve got an appointment scheduled Friday to sell my car. It’ll be a big change. It’s a sellers market, in cars and real estate. One of our neighbors sold their house the day it was listed, and I’m wondering if we could figure out a way to move back in with family and sell ours also, while the going is good. I’d be able to pay of student loan debt in four years.

I spent the rest of the day working. I had a few tasks throughout the day, they were spread out enough that I was able to spend enough time researching market opportunities and reading up on the “debate” from last night.

Voyager CEO Says Revenue Growth Accelerates 8-Fold as DeFi Trading Surges: I’d never heard of these guys before, but bitcoin mining companies and exchanges seem to be my thing right now, so I pulled the trigger on an order for these guys without too much thought. I did my calculations on risk management and put in a lowball order.

Last Night’s Debate

I’m not going to say anything about it, but I’m actually somewhat optimistic given what happened. I take it as a sign that Trump thinks that he’s losing and knows that he’s going to jail broke if he loses. Sure, it makes him dangerous, but it was all on display for everyone to see last night.


I’m going to spend the rest of the evening working through the Rust book. I saw a posting for a Rust/Solidity engineer, and that seems right up my alley. There seems to be a lot of stuff going on with Polkadot that looks really interesting, so I want to get in on the action as soon as possible.

I’m so over my current job.

Evening pages

First day back to work post-vacation, and I was kept busy by a few fires that were waiting for me when I got back. A router configuration to support some VOIP equipment; a user account breach due to a phishing failure; and and urgent server maintenance due to an actual failure on my part. Nothing critical.

I spent most of the day reading The Bitcoin Standard, “researching” finance stuff on Twitter and checking charts. I didn’t change any positions or make any decisions on anything. The Bitcoin Standard is making me very, very bullish on Bitcoin, especially given what I’m seeing and hearing online in the news.

Our plans to keep the kids isolated for the next couple weeks have already failed. We decided to let them play with one friend earlier today, and they were outside for so long that our other neighbors came by, and next thing I knew I had five kids jumping in a trampoline. I think the kids will be alright. One of my neighbors, who works at the local hospital seemed a bit nonchalant when I asked him about COVID numbers at the hospital. He said most of the cases are milder than what they were seeing months ago.

I did have a bit of tense conversation with my other neighbor, who described himself as a “Trump fan”, regarding the upcoming election. He seems more optimistic than I am about Trump leaving office if he loses, but thinks that things will be worse if he wins. I don’t even know what to say to him about it, but thankfully we were able to steer the conversation to other things. While the kids were playing in the back I grabbed my skill saw and started cutting down old deck screws, but he knocked a couple over with a hammer so easily that I grabbed my crowbar and knocked out several dozen in a few minutes. He saved me a lot of time.

Only two more days left in September, then it’s time to move some money. I’ll be pulling BTC out of BlockFi and onto the exchange so I have some capital to deploy. I really wanted to have some to deploy during this last week that might have done well, but I can’t back that up with any hard numbers. I’m two for four this month, so I’m not in a hurry to do anything else at the moment.

For the rest of the night I think I’ll work on Rustlings. I’m more bullish on leaning some of these new chains like PolkaDot and Cosmos after listening to Olaf Carlson-Wee hype on Unchained from earlier this month. I’ve got a lot of work to do on those, and I’ve got some thoughts on how to restructure my trade planning notebooks/programs after seeing some spreadsheet porn on Reddit.

No alcohol since coming back from vacation. My body doesn’t hurt, so we’re back in Atomic Habit mode.

Home, Sweet Home

Today was our first full day home following a week-long vacation with the fam. It was our first beach rental with my father-in-law in several years, and had quite a different tenor to it than past ones.

First off this was an off-season rental, Elder had school during the afternoon — poor thing — and we didn’t really go anywhere. No restaurants, or touristy excursions. We took the girls out one day to the candy store, and the rest of the trip was spent at the house, either on the beach, or watching television.

And we didn’t get as much of the beach as we wanted to. Tropical storm Beta was off the coast, stirring up solid winds with thirty five mile and hour winds. We felt like we were getting sand blasted when we arrived, and the lifeguards didn’t even take down the red flags until Thursday. Still, the girls enjoyed digging and playing in the sand. The house was right on the beach, perched on stilts and surrounded by large dunes.

The house itself was a dump. The owners were obviously hoping for it to be taken out by a hurricane instead of doing any repairs on it. The upstairs felt like it was on a slope, there were signs of water damage everywhere. Handles missing from one of the patio doors, visible mold and peeling everywhere. It really needed to be bulldozed.

And it was just us, my father in law and his wife. My wife’s nephew joined us a couple of days in. The girls enjoyed spending time with him. He’s a realtor, so he, my FIL and myself spent a lot of time talking money: equities and property markets, and me with my crypto.

I spent a good deal of time reading and learning Rust. Cooking, eating and drinking. It was actually one of the better trips given that it was just the seven of us, instead of the bigger family trips that we take with my sister and brother and law and their family. Next year will probably be different.

We left a day early to get get home. We usually tire of being away from home for so long. We were all so glad to be back in our own beds last night. And I missed my piano.

This morning I finally got started on my deck project. I picked up some furniture dollies, ripped up some boards, then jacked up the hot tub with a breaker bar and scrap boards till I could fit the dollies underneath it then slid it across the deck and got to work. It’s going to be a miserable project, but I need the physical exercise. I have to rip the boards to pieces with a circular or skill saw, then cut the old screws off at the joice. Then I can start putting more boards down. I can do it, it’s just dragging on, and it’s a matter of personal pride at this point that I finish it.

Tomorrow it’s back to work. Usually I would feel energized to be going back to work, but at this point I feel absolutely no joy in going back on Monday. At this point it’s just taking time away from focusing on the things I really enjoy doing. Sure, it pays the bills, but I have really got to figure out a way to make a move to something different. Waiting for bitcoin to moon is getting tiring.

I got a mailer from my car dealership while I was out. They want to offer me “top dollar” for my car, which is five years old and has three years left on the payments. Seems I have equity in the car, so they want to put me in a brand new one with a nice discount and zero APR. I’m going to call them tomorrow and see if they’ll take the car off my hands just so I’ll be free of it. It’s costing me $225 in car payments each month, not to mention some $1200 annually in insurance costs. I will need that extra cash when student loans come due in January.

For now, I just got to focus on these kids. We told them that we want to resume social distancing again, and that they can’t play with their friends down the street for at least a week. People have been getting really sloppy, and things are just getting too crazy around here. Trump was in town while we were gone — three thousand people showed up, and you know they weren’t wearing masks. We’ll see if we can make it.

Last note, this election is going to be nuts. The wife and I have been talking about getting the family’s passports issued or renewed. If Trump does get re-elected, or refuses to accept a loss, we’re not sure we want to hang around the states. The uncertainty is already playing hell with the markets, and RGB’s death has already made it more apparent what’s at risk here. I’m not sure what to do. My focus is on finance and crypto assets right now, so I think I just keep eyes on that for now.

Decisions, decisions

This week has not been very productive. I’ve been learning the Rust programming language. I don’t have much to say about it quite yet; I’ve been reading over documentation and trying to follow along with the Rustlings tutorials. I was spurred to do this following the release of the new Cosmos developer environment, Parity.

I finally decided what to do with my Uniswap airdrop: I sold half of it and staked it in the Uni-Eth pool, and I’ll let it sit for now.

I read Infinite Detail in a day earlier this week. The author’s name came up in my feed and I was interested, so I found a copy and blazed through it. It’s good. A more dystopian version of Rainbows End, I suppose. Given the backlash to all of the tech companies, it’s also a bit of wish fulfillment as well, to see “the network” get shut down.

Still reading The Bitcoin Standard. I wonder how it’s affecting my politics. Ammous does not hold back his disgust for leftists. There’s a lengthy note about Harry Dexter White, a senior US treasury official, who dominated the Bretton Woods conference. Apparently White was performing some sort of espionage with the Russians, and Ammous goes into this long rant about progressives. He also has zero respect for Keynes, who he said had no academic or professional insight into economics.

The markets are very volatile right now, and it’s probably only going to get worse as we approach the election. I’m still sitting on cash, and am considering buying gold, or maybe some put options on SPY if I can figure out how to do that. Now’s probably not the time to be taking huge risks like that.

I had a dream two nights ago that I pulled cash out of my IRA so that I could quit my job and focus on my own business, building masternodes or validators for various blockchains. Probably not a great idea either, but maybe it deserves more thought. I was listening to an Invest Like The Best podcast with one of the Y Combinator judges, so he had some interesting advice.

I think part of my problem is my lack of a network; I don’t have others who I could trust with a venture of this type. Que Sera.

I’m reminded of another quote from The Bitcoin Standard, something about the capital flight from unsound to sound money systems. It reaches a point where it’s more lucrative for people to gamble, or speculate, than it is to actually build things. I sort of feel like that’s what’s happening, in a way. There was a scene in infinite Detail as well, when one of the main characters has an interaction with a tech bro. They’re watching a BLM protest from the vantage on top of an NYC skyscraper, and the bro admits that no one knows what’s happening, the algos are just running things and no one knows how they work.

It made me think of all these Vaults and AMMs.

There’s a scene later in the book, where the bro runs into the same protagonist a few days later. The finance bro has made a killing on a short following their earlier conversation, and the social hacker is disgusted, ready to burn it all down.