Why I Am Bearish On Bitcoin (But Not Blockchains)

In all of this crpyto craze, I have a few questions for Bitcoin Bulls. These questions are just for Bitcoin, not all crypto, not the Blockchain. Just Bitcoin. Because I believe there is tremendous value in the Blockchain. In fact I believe real estate transactions and even voting will eventually be done on blockchain technology and people will wonder how they ever did things any other way.

When it comes to Bitcoin I have a few questions I would just like a simple answer to. It amazes me that whenever I see a Bitcoin “expert” discuss Bitcoin, they never provide answers to the simple questions below:

  • Why should anyone own Bitcoin versus any other cryptocurrency? (“Because everyone is going to own Bitcoin in the future” is not an intellectual answer yet that is the #1 answer I hear to this question.)
  • What is Bitcoinโ€˜s number one, two and three utility advantage over any other form of digital “asset”?
  • Who invented Bitcoin and how can I contact them? (Clearly Bitcoin Bulls know that the inventor is anonymous, which begs the question, ‘if you were the head of a nation state would you recommend backing an asset or currency of unknown origin by an unknown author?’
  • Is it possible that there is a back door or trap door within Bitcoin’s code that would wipe wealth off the board? How can anyone know for sure?
  • What happens if you keep your Bitcoin offline and lose your password/phrase to your wallet containing your Bitcoin? (Not your keys, not your coin!)
Source: Author

Here we see a chart comparing a few different asset classes. In my first draft of this post I listed Gold as non-speculative. A friend playing the part of the Bitcoin Blinder (I just made that term up!) created a straw man and argued that Gold is speculative. This is what BTC Blinders do. They straw man. They create a new argument and then argue against that. So let us say we change Gold to YES for speculative. That does not change any of the facts about the BTC column. But the Blinders do this all day – they just try to argue against the other columns without defending theirs. I am all in on Blockchain – but the intentional conflating of Bitcoin = Blockchain is laughable and just plain wrong.

I had a great conversation at a recent dinner with two intellectuals, neither of whom could offer up a rational explanation as to why Bitcoin is a worthwhile asset class in terms of store of value. And both are super smart individuals who think the chance it will ever be adopted as a worldwide currency is literally zero.

This does not mean that many people will not build and lose tons of wealth trading Bitcoin. That is true of every speculative investment. It has to be. Anyone making millions is coming off the backs of others losing millions.ย It is literally a zero sum. BUT…it is clearly not a 50-50 split. Like we learned long ago, it is most likely closer to a 97-3 split. So if you are going to speculate with your wealth building (which is not necessarily a bad thing depending on age,) just make sure you are in the 3% of people who are actually profiting from the crypto craze!

Posted in Common Sense, Finance, Miscellaneous, Politics | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Mara Gordon On Pain Relief That Cannot Kill A Human

I have already told you not to listen to me when it comes to such polarizing topics as race & education. You may have prejudged me as your enemy because you think I am part of the “oppressive patriarchal hierarchy.” (note: such a thing does not exist.) But I doubt you will be so quick to judge Christina Hoff Sommers when she politely educates you!

Mara Gordon is as sharp as Christina. As a cannabis advocate she clearly and succinctly explains how cannabis is essentially a magical plant with many healing properties. She questions why modern medicine never mentioned this to her when she was struggling with chronic pain. Now she educates and informs as many people as she can so they can help themselves, get away from opioids, and resume a pain free life!

Mara is no different than you or me or any of the millions of people who rely on cannabis for a safe, non toxic way to alleviate their pain. Just one visit to a dispensary will show you who frequents the clinic: it is NOT pothead hippie stoner losers. Instead you will find the mom who has chronic back pain; the grandma with glaucoma; the war veteran with PTSD; the teacher with anxiety; and sadly, the child with cancer, amongst countless other productive members of society who simply want to live with less pain and not rely on a toxic substance to do so. People who use cannabis are regular people and they are all around us. But do not take it from me. Take it from Mara.

Posted in Common Sense, Finance, Politics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Can You Be Neither A Slave Nor Tyrant? Is Tribalism Bad?

Until listening to this short clip with Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, I had never considered tribalism and how I define the hierarchy in my relationships with others.

Paraphrasing Dr. Peterson, there are 3 ways to define how we interact with others:

  1. As their tyrant
  2. As their slave
  3. Mutual negotiation

In grouping ourselves into tribes, we do fine with the negotiation part at first, but now we often see ourselves as tyrants to others. After all, if we are advocating for special treatment to prop up our tribe, we are putting down all other tribes. That is a tyrannical power trip.

Instead, I suggest that tribalism, for lack of a better word, is bad. Grouping ourselves with others removes the focus from the individual and places it on the group. Therefore by definition, in a group, an individual is less free.

I care about myself as an individual and I want the most freedom for myself possible. You should care about yourself as an individual and want the most freedom for yourself possible. These are not mutually exclusive. When we are apart we are both free and happy. When we encounter each other and both choose Mutual Negotiation, we are not forming a tribe, becoming a slave or becoming a tyrant. We are simply each still continuing to act in our own best interest.

Mutual negotiation in a tribeless society would benefit all human beings always. What could possibly be a better way of life? Yet so many of us do the exact opposite and actually aspire to join this tribe or that tribe. Do not fall victim to that trap. Tribalism will always lead to either slavery or tyranny. There are no other possible outcomes. Tribes cannot war if there are no tribes.

#butfreedom

Posted in Common Sense, Miscellaneous, Politics | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Dr. Jordan Peterson Explains ’12 Rules for Life’ In 12 Minutes

Dr. Jordan Peterson is one of my favorite authors in my #RequiredReading list. Like many of us, Doctor Peterson has struggled with his own demons, including depression and falling into a rut. He knows first hand just how hard and cruel life can be.

Instead of curling up or running away, Doctor Peterson put together a list of 12 things that can help any human being no matter their place in life. This book, 12 Rules For Life, became a member of #RequiredReading about half a chapter in, and in addition to reading/listening to the full book, I highly recommend this video companion where Doctor Peterson gives the pith on each rule.

You have 12 minutes, likely right now. Use it to become a better human being.

Posted in Common Sense, Miscellaneous | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

10 Years Of Essays!

Imagine that – it has been over 10 years since I started putting my thoughts onto the interwebs for all to see. Below is a screenshot of my first ever post from May 2010 – though I would not start adding monthly pieces until the following March. As a result I consider my real 10 year anniversary to be March 2021. Blink and here we are – ten years older and (hopefully a little) wiser, with a goal of being a little better today than I was yesterday, everyday. And a lot less swear words. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for taking the ride with me! Together we can help make Earth a better place by being the best versions of ourselves we can be. Cheers to the next 10 years and beyond!

Posted in Common Sense, Finance, Miscellaneous, Poker, Politics, Sports, Travel | Tagged | Leave a comment

#RequiredReading: 12 Rules For Life By Dr. Jordan B. Peterson

Clinical Psychologist Jordan Peterson is a polarizing figure, ironically because he burst onto the scene defending freedom of speech. Go figure! Thankfully, his arrival into the spotlight helped his book, 12 Rules For Life, gain a following and the content in the book did the rest as it has sold 4 million copies and counting!

Doctor Peterson reminds me a lot of my psychologist, and I have found his books and teachings to be profoundly helpful. As a result I am happy to welcome 12 Rules For Life to my #RequiredReading list!

As of March 2021, the list now includes:

How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life by Ryan Nicodemus & Joshua Fields Millburn

Economics In One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Doctor Meg Meeker

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

Own The Day by Aubrey Marcus

Weapons of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto

You Are The Placebo by Doctor Joe Dispenza

Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones

Entrepreneurs’ Psychological Warfare – Addiction, Depression & the Gruesome Side of “Never Giving Up” by Chris Jourdan

12 Rules For Life by Doctor Jordan B. Peterson

Reminders on my wall – daily #requiredreading that helps me keep perspective, remember, appreciate and focus!

Posted in Common Sense, Miscellaneous | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

What Reminders Move Me?

I do not have the greatest of memories. This is a blessing as much as it is a curse. I am easily able to forget about things that I have perceived as negative, but on the flip side I need constant reminders of my ethos to keep me on track.

Below are the printouts I keep on my wall with my pithy thoughts in parenthesis. These are #requiredreading for me. I hope each one moves & inspires you as much as they did me.

When you arise in the morning (helps you to remember, appreciate, focus)

6 time management techniques from Senecaย (remember, you will die, work backwards from there)

A little fellow follows youย (your kids!)

Habits to avoidย (these are not easy but very valuable for our mental health)

Desiderataย (favorite poem, changed my life)

You have one job todayย (think about your family when you read this)

Every single dayย (back to our mortality, really brings me back to Earth if I feel myself wanting to get angry)

How long are you going to wait?ย (well, how long? You are the leader of your family and people depend on you. Let’s get moving.)

Many people are not shy about how politics and world affairs yet these things bring anger and anxiety to their life. If this is you, take a step back and ask yourself, why are you choosing to put these triggers into your life? You would not choose to let a bee sting you, would you? So why choose to let current events affect your emotions?ย There is no such thing as a person or event that causes you anger or offense. You can only take offense, no one can give it to you. You and you alone control your emotions and reactions. If someone or something else controlled your emotions you would be a slave to them. Are you a slave? Or are you a human being who can take control of their life? Stop feeling annoyed. There is no such thing as an annoying person – there is only your decision to feel annoyed. Stop taking offense – it means nothing anyway – and start taking control.

You have a duty to your familyย and there is no time for negativity and hostility. The solution is to remove those triggers from your daily routine. Stay off the Internet if needed. Stay away from news, Twitter, whatever it is that puts those subjects that bother you front and center in your life. Get away from them. The further you get the easier it becomes.ย But you and only you can make this choice.

We will get you back on track and it will take some time – it takes us time to fall into a rut and naturally takes time to work out of it. The key is getting started. The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is today.

Posted in Common Sense, Miscellaneous, Politics, Sports | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Do Not Listen To Me

Do not listen to me. In the spirit of the great Dan Carlin not being a historian, rather “just a fan of history” I am no expert – just a fan of experts.

For example, when I point out that classifying humans into Race is an archaic thought that intellectuals do not dispute, do not take my word for it. Perhaps take the word of an expert named Prince Ea. If I tell you that black and white are arbitrary and divisive you may think down on me, even perhaps label me a “racist”. (Oh the irony of those people!)

But if someone who looks like Prince Ea (or Martin Luther King, Jr. for god’s sake!) tells you not to label him anything, let alone, “Black”, perhaps you will listen to what they have to say.

Maybe you are still not ready to listen to me. After all, what do I know? Let us see if Jane Elliott can find a way to get through to you. Jane is an expert educator who has been teaching since 1953 and her message is as clear as can be:

“We hate because we’re taught to hate. We hate because we’re ignorant. We are the product of ignorant people who have been taught an ignorant thing which is that there are 4 or 5 different races. There are not 4 or 5 different races there’s only 1 race on the face of the Earth and we’re all members of that race, the Human Race. But we have separated people into races so that some of us can see ourselves as superior to the others. We thought it would work, I guess, it hasn’t worked it has been bad for everyone. It’s time to get over this business. There is no gene for racism. There’s no gene for bigotry. You’re not born a bigot, you have to learn to be a bigot. Anything you learn you can unlearn. It’s time to unlearn our bigotry. It’s time to get over this thing and we best get over it pretty soon. I’m an educator and it’s my business as an educator to lead people out of ignorance. The ignorance of thinking that you’re better or worse than someone else because of the amount of pigment in your skin. Pigmentation in your skin has nothing to do with intelligence or with your worth as a human being. It’s time to get over that.” Jane Elliott on Race & Education

Imagine we live in a world where a woman looking like Jane and a man looking like Prince Ea can have the same message of love, tolerance and unity, yet millions of people still choose not to hear their message?! Millions of people bathe in their own ignorant tribalistic beliefs meant to prop up their group at the expense of all other groups. And when it is explained to them that they are perpetuating divisiveness, not love, they choose to dig in and fight back.

Do not be that person. Do not dig in. Stop. Think. Be honest with yourself. What about Jane & Prince’s message is wrong? You know the answer. Now live it.

Posted in Common Sense, Miscellaneous, Politics | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Pelotonia 2021

^^^Together you and I have contributed almost $19k – we will top $20k this year!^^^

Pelotonia is our yearly campaign to raise money for cancer research in an effort to fulfill #onegoal: end cancer! Click here to donate to my campaign for Pelotonia 2021.

Together with YOUR generosity, I have helped raise over $18,000 since joining the cause in 2012. Our $18k + $18k from 1000s of like minded people like us have added up to over $218,000,000 directly toward the cause!

This is proof that any amount you are able to give, no matter how small or large, is helping to change the world! THANK YOU!

The fight is not over and we are back to riding in August 2021 after a Covid break in 2020. Please consider sharing this post and donating any amount you can. Do not almost give. Like Master Yoda said, “Give or give not. There is no almost.” (or something like that ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Click here to donate to my campaign for Pelotonia 2021. Thank you for your consideration. And to those of you who are my perennial supporters, YOU ROCK TF OUT! THANK YOU!

^^^Our funds are part of this total of over $218 MILLION DOLLARS! Give yourself a pat on the back!^^^

Posted in Common Sense, Finance, Miscellaneous, Politics, Travel | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Tiger Woods Will Survive For His Children

Tiger Woods was involved in a near fatal car crash on Tuesday February 23, 2021. The entire sports world collectively held its breath as he endured a 7+ hour long surgery.

Thankfully, it appears that the worst is over and that Tiger is going to survive. While there are still many hurdles to jump (namely, infections) there is a very good chance that he ultimately survives the crash.

I have written about Tiger many many times and there is not much more any of us can say about what he has done for the game of golf.

However as a human being who, like Tiger, has had many ups and downs, I want to send this positivity out into the Universe in the hopes that it helps Tiger to keep things in perspective – the only thing that matters is that he is alive to be a father to his children.

I have been a father for just over 16 months and in that time something amazing has happened. I no longer fear death. I had been going down that path since the existential crisis that followed surviving a house fire, but after the birth of my daughter my life seemed complete. While I do not wish to die, I know that someday I must, I know that I do not control how the Universe unfolds and I am ok with that. However I am not ok with not being there for my daughter. That is the only thought that makes me sad – to think about her growing up without me. As a result surviving to be her father is typically in the front of my mind. I hope Tiger can get to a place where the same is said for him and his children.

Posted in Miscellaneous, Sports | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment