New frontiers – the pillars of a modern education

Two brief thoughts today:

1. I’d like to be able to look upon any circumstance in life with a smirk of amusement. An attitude of amusement – that’s how you punch back at the tragedies in life.

2. To think that it’s the most exciting time to be alive – that’s a worthy thought to have each day. Probably every technologist and artist has felt this way throughout history. It’s the constant fight against complacency and desensitization. Louis C.K. had a bit about people on airplanes complaining about 30-minute delays… “What’s the problem?! You’re still about to take part in the miracle of flight.”

I feel fortunate to have the internet and social platforms where individuals can broadcast ideas at a scale previously only possible by several established TV networks. I’m grateful for the proliferation of software, open-source and private. And have a particular interest in cryptocurrency and DeFi. What a rich-space this is. So many new projects and no one really knows what to make of it all. People complain about the risk and speculative nature of DeFi – this uncertainty of what it is makes it so exciting for the technologist. It rightfully intimidates the investor but presents a new frontier with enormous upside. Data science, ML and advances in computation are bringing more change that we cannot foresee.

Now the cherry on top? Virtually anyone in the world can educate themselves and become competent in these domains via online education. And we’ll see more disruptive edtech with COVID acting as a catalyst for remote, democratized learning.

I’ll have to settle for felicity over originality

I set out to say something original, but something felicitous will have to do. Plato didn’t speculate about cryptocurrencies, but a lot has been said about human universals, the lessons embedded in the humanities.

So I’ll settle for felicity – an ‘appropriate’ remark about our contemporary times. And that’s cool, if time proceeds, and the world is in constant change, then every generation must reinterpret what has been perpetually meaningful throughout human thought and experience.

But this obstacle to originality is the origin of humility. When you sit to write something original, or when you think to say something original, an honest evaluation will reveal plagiarism. Indeed, we stand on the shoulders of giants, and they didn’t have all answers either. As Bill Maher puts it: “History is a litany of humans getting shit dead wrong.”

There’s been a lot of thought experimentation over the past several thousands years in terms of philosophy, politics, economics, psychology, and metaphysics. But not one single system of belief has brought about the everlasting utopia that we all subconsciously yearn for.

Every time you open your mouth, you parody what has been done before. The only proper stance is humility – that no single thought, act or entity holds the final answer. Account for the contradictory nature of this World in your worldview. And expect no black and white.

“Bitcoin is trending”… thanks a lot Coinbase

See the picture for an example of poor UX in Coinbase. It’s really no secret that Bitcoin is in a bull market.if I invest in it now, I will likely see gains in the short to medium-term. But that’s exactly the point, I’m not sure what my time horizon should be on this trade at this point, I’m not sure of Bitcoins value.

That’s why I downloaded Coinbase and am learning about the fundamentals of blockchains and cryptocurrencies. I definitely don’t need an anxiety provoking notification implying that I’m missing out on a hot trade.

Finance apps especially should carefully consider their default notification policies. Truly, this experience moves me further in the direction of opting for a decentralized exchange, not that I see a centralized exchange like Coinbase can’t pass up the opportunity to boost user engagement. Feels like a needy kid tugging at your shirt. I get that profit is an imperative, I generally like capitalism, but it’s strange to be reminded of it by a company whose underlying technology that critiques this kind of corporate centralization.