Saturday, June 22, 2019

Back to the fiction writing

After putting my aspirations of writing a science-fiction novel to rest a couple years ago, it has but to caused the book to incubate in my head further and develop into something perhaps richer. The story lives on and bits and pieces of it burst into my consciousness from time to time, whether I like it or not ... and as of late, with accelerating frequency.
It is kind of a twisting path I find myself in, but in many ways, it is coming full circle. When I was in my early teens, I have been accused by one of my teachers of having had one of my essays written by my mother as I “could not possibly have written it on my own.” My lovely mother’s response was that she couldn’t never in a hundred years have written it so well (I have a humble mother). I was an avid reader throughout my childhood all the way into my teen years and beyond. It was a common scene to find my entire class paying baseball, while I, parked at a safe distance, could be observed devouring a novel; or I would sit in class completely ignoring the teacher and the topic at hand, be in math, physics, economics, etc., and let myself get engrossed in my book “du jour”. When teachers would call my mom about it, the consensus was generally, “since he doesn’t bother anybody, let’s just let him do it.” As life went on, the obligations of existence largely pried me off of my intellectual binging, although it never stopped. Then, come around 2010, I decided to do a startup, although I had no name at the time for what that activity was supposed to be called. I plunged in and three iterations of it later, I now understood why it was not be the path I would be best suited for. The pursuit had already paid off as it had caused me to find out and invest in bitcoin early (although the benefit only became apparent years later during the 2017 crytpo boom cycle). I had been maniacal about following and aiming to understand the tech ecosystem, and more precisely, the VC industry. To this day, I can’t — or won’t — stop reading blogs, listening to podcasts, reading books, listening to interviews and more on this topic: I’m fully “tuned in”. But this world of knowledge wants to burst into a book, revealing in the process what a hunch tells me could be my true calling: writing.
And what is writing? It is a manifestation of creativity, of course, my long-time source of happiness and joy. Years ago, I turned my masonry business into a creative endeavor, restoring historic homes so they looked as though they had been time-kissed. I have built a music studio in my home and learned on my own to do recording and sound engineering for my own music. I have built a guitar last year, which is my best-playing one yet, out of a collection of fifteen specimens. Creativity is what keeps me going. It might just be that writing is the form of it I end up doing best at. We’ll find out.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Trust… so hard to earn, so easy to lose and so precious

First of all, there is something eerily interesting about committing one’s quasi-personal journal to the internet using the blog medium for all to see (although there’s no readership per se) and read posts from the previous years. Once on the internet, it’s indelible, and in my case, that has a way of rubbing a few facts in my face about my journey. It’s also embarrassing in some ways, but it’s all part of the experiment.
As we’re about to depart for the picturesque Eagle Beach in Aruba, where my wife and I will be staying for an extended vacation for the second winter in a row, thanks to having invested early in cryptocurrencies and having liquidated enough of our position just as the the bubble started to burst; I’m reflecting on where I stand on the bullish-to-bearish scale with regards to crypto.
So is Bitcoin over?
Personally, “hardly” I’d say.
If you know a little bit about Carlota Perez’s work, then you can appreciate the notion that technological revolutions tend to follow a pattern of boom and bust followed by a resurgence.
My personal take is that it’s probably far from being over for cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin is about trust, or rather about the lack of a need for trust, thus the word “trust-less”.
Trust is not doing too well lately in society. From the bank bailout efforts of 2008–09 to Trump’s “fake news” propaganda onslaught of the last two years, to the 2018 Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal, and on and on, trust erosion might be at an all-time high.
Trust is evaporating.
So taking a high-level view, I believe that trustless systems are the new gold, and they shall raise in demand and in value.
If the incentives aren’t aligned between the governments and crypto-assets such as Bitcoin, then who knows what the former will do to try and remain in power. No one knows history before it happens, but at a macro level, to me, betting on crypto is the safer choice, given all the factors.
I therefore remain bullish on crypto and am following the market and have been and will continue to invest in it.
Let’s see what I write in a year from now…