November 15, 2018
Surfing and coffee
This morning after breakfast, Elizabeth and I rode our Scoopy down to Echo beach. I dropped her off for her surf lesson, then took the bike a few hundred meters up the road to The Slow, a beautifully architected cafe. I worked and read A Philosophy Of Software Design.
Scott called me and we argued about whether Amazon was accelerating the concentration of jobs in fewer cities, or if there was a renaissance happening in towns across the country. I think most middle-tier cities are thriving.
Elizabeth then walked to meet me. She said she stood up and balanced on her first wave! But also “drank a lot of salt water.”
We left Slow and rode our scooter to Peloton Supershop for lunch.
Canggu is a coconut-forward, dairy-free paradise. The vegan burger we had two nights ago is one of the best 5 burgers of my life - cow burgers included.
November 14, 2018
Turtles, All The Way Down
From The Gene:
In a famous story, a medieval cosmologist is asked what holds the earth up.
“Turtles,” he says.
“And what holds up the turtles?” he is asked.
“And those turtles?”
“You don’t understand.” The cosmologist stamps his foot. “It’s turtles all the way.”
When a mother bird protects her chicks, she is being guided by proteins, proteins created from instructions contained in her DNA. Those proteins determine her behavior and emotion and appearance.
A bird is the physical result of genes creating specific proteins, which were flipped on by other genes influenced by other protein, which were flipped on by other genes influenced by other protein, all the way back to the very first embryological cell.
It’s genes, “all the way.”
To a geneticist, “nature” is the genetic code. “Nurture” is the explanation of why certain genes were activated by protein and why other genes were never activated.
But which turtle is the nature part and which is the nurture?
November 14, 2018
Outsite in Canggu, Bali, Indonesia
November 9, 2018
Fall, Winter, Summer
I woke up at 5am this morning to fly from Atlanta to Chicago. The next time I’ll sleep in a bed is two and a half days from now - Sunday night.
Andy and I took a Lyft to the airport.
I’m flying ATL to MDW, where I’m working from Industrious for the day.
It’s snowing in Chicago.
Tonight at 12:30am, I’ll leave O’Hare and fly to Taipei, and then onward to Bali.
Fall in Atlanta. Winter in Chicago. Summer in Bali.
November 8, 2018
“The demand curve slopes downward”
Some people think of Bitcoin as a Giffen Good. The more expensive it becomes, the more in demand it becomes. Sort of like gold.
But that’s the wrong view of cryptocurrencies. They are not Giffen Goods.
Blockchains at their hearts are computing services. To use the distributed computing network, you need coins. If coins get more expensive, then the demand for the coins goes down because the computing on the network gets more expensive.
The demand curve slopes downward.
This means there’s always a downward pressure on cryptocurrency coin prices. The more popular a network becomes, the more expensive it becomes. The more expensive it becomes, the less demand there is for that network.
As a coin’s price rises, one of two things will eventually happen.
- The demand will shift to other blockchains. Since “The Blockchain” is an open source concept, and since anyone can create a blockchain, there is robust competition in the cryptocurrency/blockchain space. The moment Bitcoin becomes too expensive, people will use Ethereum.
- Or, the demand will disappear entirely. Centralized computing is super cheap. If blockchains are too expensive, people will merely rely on AWS or Azure - or even revert back to professionals using pen and paper.
But what about network effects? Could more people using Bitcoin, for example, increase the value of the network and increase the price of Bitcoin?
I think it depends on what the value of Bitcoin is. If it’s a store of value - if it’s a digital gold - then this might be true.
But there are three arguments for why blockchains are valuable:
- It’s a store of value
- It’s a currency
- It’s a computing network
If it’s a store of value, then perhaps it’s a Giffen Good and will behave like digital gold. If this is true, I think only Bitcoin will survive.
If it’s a currency, it will struggle to find adoption because cryptocurrencies are naturally deflationary. Currencies need to naturally, slowly inflate in order to encourage spending.
And if it’s a computing network, I wouldn’t expect much price appreciation. Computing tends to get cheaper, not more expensive, over time. The demand curve slopes downward, after all.