Marvin’s Best Weekly Reads Oct 3rd, 2021

“Heroism is Endurance for one minute more” — George F. Kennan

  1. “The point is that policies will shift as the nature of productive society changes.

The people and institutions that advocate for policies to stay the same and “go back to normal” are the immune system response of the elite players of the old game. The winners of the previous age protecting their status and influence.

We’re increasingly exposed to hostile messaging of the established system from the previous age. Intended to influence the world in order to reflect the old game at the cost of the new. Simultaneously, influencers of the new age attempt to wrestle control of public policies to reflect digital age needs.

This is a flash point, a tectonic fault line that causes friction along key areas of innovation.

In areas where the old system is overly defensive, the flash points are more severe. Making it likely that we see an acceleration of cognitive dissonance. Confusion for individuals struggling to decide what game to play. The old? Or the new?”

2. “On a final positive note, 2021 is still the greatest time to be alive. Crypto currency is solving a large chunk of these issues in real time. Intermediaries simply sit in the “flow of money” and that rent extraction is moving to digital currencies. Therefore, we don’t even care about the prior three steps! They were just there to tell you the real issue (wealth disparity *not* income disparity).

Instead of fighting all of these loopholes, remember that no one is coming to save you. Not your boss, your family or your country. Save yourself by playing the game correctly (“Don’t hate the player, hate the game”)

The game is won by creating digital income (online income) and investing into high quality technology firms and crypto currencies in our opinion. This way your income can be moved to a more tax friendly state/country. This is what the wealthy are doing so you should do it too.”

3. “And that is what you don’t understand in your complacency, you now have a generation who is now saying what you have been telling them back to you,

“Life isn’t fair, we will keep bringing it, and we don’t want your form of capitalism”

You should be very worried. I have seen this play out overseas. You are a Baby Boomer who is soft, past his prime, doesn’t bench press his bodyweight, and works with a keyboard and not a rifle with much to lose.

Being complacent is survivable in a stable society. It is not a winning strategy when volatility finds you in life.

But life is nothing but volatility and when you continually try to suppress it, instead of addressing the cause of it, you only compound the problem.

What starts as economic and market volatility becomes political volatility which finally transforms to societal volatility.”

4. “The wolves are circling within and without, defining our new reality through dialectic and drafting all souls into the conflict whether they choose to care or not. China or a US-led Anglosphere?

Corporatocratic authoritarianism or fascistic traditionalism? And thus we each find ourselves locating our place in this age of the Long Defeat. It will not end easy, and likely not bloodlessly.

May God curse the weak men and women who have succumbed in this moment to the easy siren songs of nihilism, collectivism, or authoritarianism. They who have betrayed liberty, the most precious of gifts granted to man.”

5. This is a good interview with an interesting entrepreneur & investor. All about learning opportunities.

6. “While P2E gaming is still in its infancy, games like Axie Infinity have proven that hundreds of thousands of people can earn money and create monetizable value through play. Assuming this model holds up, we will likely see gaming transform from an activity that distracts players from being productive into one that allows people to earn a livelihood in the economy of the future.”

7. Tech legends here.

8. Worth a read to understand what’s up in VC these days.

9. “The seemingly unique techniques of freediving, then, translate beyond the bounds of freediving. To other sports, to work, to relationships with colleagues and friends and family. There are, it turns out, benefits to better breathing, to masterful body control, and to pursuing the state of mindfulness that is required to plunge to unfathomable depths without freaking the fuck out and accidentally killing yourself. “There is a part of freediving,” the world’s best freediver, Alexey Molchanov, says, “that can be very useful for everyone.”

“There is, though, also the allure of records. The raw number. How deep can we go as a species?Today, there is one diver who goes the deepest, who blends the physical and metaphysical like no one else in the sport. Watching the 34-year-old Russian Alexey Molchanov dive can be dangerously disorienting. Seemingly anyone else attempting what he does would die. It is like watching the world’s best rock climber scale a sheer face with ease, only the inverse. That’s one way to think of what he’s doing: Free Solo but for drowning. Free Solo but down. And no one alive goes down like Alexey Molchanov.”

10. For Dune fans, this is good to know. Love this book series.

11. “The best way to handle the risks and uncertainty of scalable occupations is to share them. Doctors or fitness instructors or writers or investment advisors worried about the future can issue tokens and let their fans and customers participate in their careers’ ups and downs.

And just like with celebrities, sharing risk is only part of the story. By letting other people invest in you, you are incentivizing them to promote your own story and do their best to increase your tokens’ value.

In such a scenario, every career becomes a pyramid scheme. If you can attract enough people to buy your tokens, and they can attract enough people to buy even more tokens, the whole enterprise will continue to increase in value. This increase will happen regardless of how much revenue you can generate from doing your actual job. And it will continue until you run out of stories to tell, or until you run out of people to tell stories to.

There are a lot of people on the internet.”

12. “The flood of new Miamians who have arrived, full or part time, during the pandemic includes tech investors (Peter Thiel, David Sacks), cryptocurrency bulls (Anthony Pompliano, Ari Paul), new-media tycoons (Bryan Goldberg, Dave Portnoy), start-up founders (Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, Steven Galanis), and many more who aren’t yet billionaires but think the Magic City will give them their best shot.

They’re breaking sales records for dock-accessed mansions by day and packing the new branches of Carbone and Red Rooster by night. The boom is visible in the city’s crane-spiked skyline, too, with deals for Spotify, Microsoft, Apple, and TikTok either signed or in the offing. In greater South Florida, a related incursion by the finance industry — Goldman Sachs, Citadel, Elliott — is in full swing.

Wall Street may not be quaking over Miami’s ascendancy, but in the zero-sum game among cities, San Francisco is indisputably feeling some pain. In July, according to Redfin, Miami was the top migration destination for home buyers in the U.S., while San Francisco had the largest homeowner exodus.”

13. “Over the last decade, Peak and other Turkish gaming studios have transformed Istanbul into the world capital of the “casual game” (otherwise known as free-to-play games) industry. Unlike AAA games, like Halo, Assassin’s Creed, or Final Fantasy, casual games are mobile-native, easy to learn, shorter to play and target the broadest audience possible. According to 2020 statistics, around 58.86% of all mobile game players are casual gamers. It’s estimatedthat the global market for casual gaming is worth more than $8 billion.

In March 2021, six of the Apple App Store’s top ten mobile games in the U.S. came from Turkish studios……And Istanbul has become a magnet for up-and-coming game developers.”

14. “NFT collections, and especially the latest wave of ‘avatar communities’ aka PFP collections, have the potential to mirror this healthy dynamic. When we own a SupDuck or Cryptoad, we have a motivation to engage in behavior that makes everyone’s ownership more significant.

As ‘residents’ of that virtual neighborhood, we all have an interest in broadening the list of ‘stuff you get’ as part of your NFT. And yet, the vast majority of these projects pay only lip service to that potential. The vast majority of projects offer only hand-waving assurances of future amenities. Rather than investing in genuinely valuable services for its community, the focus tends rather to be on shilling and stunts to generate FOMO.

Most of today’s Web3 virtual neighborhoods are following the history of the physical world’s McMansions; building 10,000 ‘homes’ in the middle of nowhere hoping people move in. The awareness that needs to take place in order to avoid a mass flippening is the approach Web3 takes to constructing neighborhoods. Instead of just finding land, developing homes and hoping community fosters through a shared space, developers need to invest in making sure individual buyers get value out of their experience. This means making sure that every single day, there is something happening in the community. NFTs communities can be awesome, we just need to start building shit inside of them.”

15. This is a must read for founders. It’s a weird market right now.

“With the current market, Series A+ investors are using a couple of strategies which work to their favor but are not that great for founders. One strategy is to seed fund companies you like to give yourself an advantage if they do achieve PMF. The main problem with this for founders is that venture investors know nothing about finding PMF unless the specific partners was a serial founder or has an immense amount of seed experience.

They also have no time to spend with their optionality bets. However, founders love the brands of these firms and will often allow them to crowd out seed investors who would be more helpful. This is seen regularly in YC demo days where venture investors will write checks to capture the optionality of promising companies. Only later do founders realize that there is nothing but cash and some brand value in these deals, the partners don’t have time or expertise for the dirty work and experimentation to find PMF.”

16. The man is a Libertarian kook but he has some good ideas. (and pretty good contrarian investor and writer).

“First of all, education is something that you provide for yourself. It’s not something that somebody — certainly not the State — gives you.

….even if you don’t want to internationalize, the next best thing is to quit your job and become self-employed.

But beyond that, in order to have control of your life, you need capital, which gives you flexibility and room to run.

So how do you get that capital?

If you’re not in a position to quit your job and become self-employed, then take a second job — part-time. The advantage of that is your income will go up and your expenses, in the way of consuming, will go down. Put that money aside.

The key is to cut your spending to the bone and save. That means don’t buy that new car or trade up to a larger house. Don’t go out and get a new wardrobe.

Build capital while the economy and the currency are still held together. Capital will allow you to take advantage of opportunities in the future, as opposed to getting deeper in debt like a serf.”

17. This is a very exciting future here enabled by software.

“The solo stacks of the future will offer a mix of these three things (depending on what makes sense for any industry), giving workers the tools — and thus, the confidence — to leave their jobs. The software will be vertical-specific, as well, as lawyers, personal trainers, money managers, and graphic designers all need different tools, have different customers to market to, and require access to different networks to do their jobs.”

18. “Look, I’m all for using “green energy.” However, I’m a realist — you need to first build the “green economy” before you shut off the “carbon economy.” Going through the steps in reverse, is bound to create an energy crisis — which may incidentally be the goal here. If carbon is unaffordable, everyone will be forced to pivot into “green energy” — costs be damned. I’m a hedgie; this will be a minor inconvenience for me — it will cause chaos for most of society.”

19. Insightful read.

“Reading this list, it felt like a kind of post-mortem that could apply not just to the Vietnam War, but with a few minor revisions, the War on Terror, personal and work relationships, failed product launches, the tumble of once-great corporations.”

Ever curious: Tsundoku, Reader, Aspiring Shokunin, World traveller, Investor & Tech/Media exec interested in almost everything!