In public school we were taught not to be too ambitious. Career aptitude tests pushed you into mediocre jobs, guidance counselors encouraged you not to reach too high in your college applications, and my peers laughed at the few people who had “big goals.”
School today is the attempt to reduce people to a common denominator. Anyone who deviates, anyone of unborrowed vision, of ambition, is seen to have something wrong with him. Our culture borrows from this and sometimes I worry we’ll eventually have a pill to “manage ambition,” as if it’s a disorder.
We, Equality 7-2521, were not happy in those year in the Home of the Students. It was not that the learning was too hard for us. It was that the learning was too easy. This is a great sin, to be born with a head which is too quick. It is not good to be different from our brothers, but it is evil to be superior to them. The Teachers told us so, and they frowned when they looked at us.
― Ayn Rand, Anthem
If you’re upset about mediocrity around you, the best thing you can do is to opt out of the mediocre, stop praising it, and make something great yourself.
Be the trend.
Last month I hung out in Monte Carlo with the Bitcoin.com team and had the chance to talk to Michael Coombe after a lunch right by some of the best yachts docked in the harbor. We talked about a variety of topics: winning the CoinsBank Cruise competition, my interest in Bitcoin Cash, tipping for blog content, skipping college, and building your career.
Watch or listen here.
I had a conversation with a 21 year-old friend in Austin recently about how old he’ll feel when he’s my age (25) and how worried he is about the next few years.
It struck me during the conversation how much I felt the same at that age and how differently I feel now. 25 is shaping up to be one of the best years of my life. I’m calmer, more focused, better positioned, and happier than I’ve ever been.
I feel younger now at 25 than I did at 21. Big mistakes you make eventually become comical lessons and even good memories in a way and what’s left is just excitement for your future and the realization that you never needed to worry that much at all.
From Aeschylus in the Orestia:
Zeus has led us on to know,
the Helmsman lays it down as law
that we must suffer, suffer into truth.
We cannot sleep, and drop by drop at the heart
the pain of pain remembered comes again,
and we resist, but ripeness comes as well.
From the gods enthroned on the awesome rowing-bench
there comes a violent love.
Vrook: “You were deafened.
“Kreia: “At last, you could hear.
“Kavar: “You were broken.”
Kreia: “You were whole.”
Zez-Kai Ell: “You were blinded.”
Kreia: “And at last… you saw.“
From Donnie Darko:
I promise, that one day, everything’s going to be better for you.
From The Fountainhead:
I’m not capable of suffering completely. I never have. It goes only down to a certain point and then it stops. As long as there is that untouched point, it’s not really pain.
It turned out I should have listened better to the things the people I admired had written all along.
In this episode of the This Week in Bitcoin podcast from Bitcoin.com, I sat down with my friend Matt Aaron to discuss blockchain surveillance, stable coins, the potential Bitcoin Cash chain split, and the environmentalist propaganda around Bitcoin’s energy consumption.
I first connected with Matt after he invited me on the Humans of Bitcoin show and later connected with him during the CoinsBank Cruise this fall in Barcelona, Ibiza and Monaco. He’s a great host and I was excited to record another episode with him.
My favorite part of this episode is the discussion on energy. It’s fashionable to argue that Bitcoin’s energy consumption harms the environment, but this fails to take into account the existing energy consumption of the fiat financial system that Bitcoin hopes to replace.
Consider for example the staggering waste that is produced by deficit financing that could not exist in a world based on honest, hard money in which consumption cannot outpace real wealth. Bitcoin is one attempt to solve that and I think people who attack it are misguided and need to look under their noses at the real energy costs of the fiat system.
Perhaps one day Matt and I will connect for a more in-depth discussion on the topic, and for those who want to know more about fossil fuel consumption in general and to develop a methodology of thinking that can be applied to the question of Bitcoin’s consumption, I highly recommend Alex Epstein’s The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.