My Research on Bitcoin

You can find the original bicoin creation document written by Satoshi Nakamoto here.

I found it empowering to follow along with the audible version embedded below. Reading while hearing is a powerful way to internalize complex ideas:

This is a challenge to wrap ones head around, but what I’m gleaming is about the Bitcoin system is that the system’s security becomes more robust as it grows.  The complexity is built out by miners who are rewarded with Bitcoins. These miners are getting increasingly sophisticated. One entrepreneurial miner moved to Iceland to take advantage of an abundance of cold air.

So these entrepreneurs are running tremendous computers, specially designed to make hacking the Bitcoin system more challenging (using the Hashcash system.) With each use of a bitcoin, with each creation of a bitcoin, the currency becomes more robust.

But I’m skeptical because, while I understand this all very vaguely on an intellectual level, I wanted to know about who was behind it all… What do the faces of the guys who are running this show look like?

So first off I went into how to set up a bitcoin wallet and how to buy coins. I got to this article which makes it far easier.

But again, who is this CoinBase group? Is this some elaborate scheme? Sure their website is designed beautifully and seems legitimate… but this is the wild west of crypto currencies and I image the pirates could figure this one out.

Of course, I paused for a long time when considering to enter my bank account information in order to purchase these abstract coins… who were the guys behind the coins? Where they to be trusted?

Then I found an interview with the co-founder.

This made it seem much more real.

I’m kicking myself for not getting in earlier to be perfectly honest. A friend of mine who is passionate about RoboCoin suggested buying coins 3 months previous. The price was $120. Now it’s $630…. If I’d listened to him I would have seen about 430% growth.

So I’m in. Tweet me @IndependentIan if you think this was a good idea. Even better, tweet me if you bought some too.

Update April 19th 2014: I bought in at $630 but got out at $830. Afterwards it’s tanked considerably. I’m still holding off. The current cost is $495 so it’s back on the rise. Stay vigilant people! 🙂

Book Notes: Who Moved My Cheese

This is my reflection and meditation upon reading Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson. It’s a simple book which can be tied to a million metaphors… here is one:

Hustling is key to success and those two little rats (Sniff and Scurry) are the quintessential hustlers. They did a few things that I appreciate:

  1. See the Big Picture

Himmm and haaa didn’t notice that the cheese was shrinking. They didn’t notice that their time in tube three was running out. The signs were there but they just sat around getting fat and practicing stupid the whole time. When the cheese ran out they were obliterated.

Sniff and Scurry saw it coming. When the cheese finally ran out they weren’t surprised. They didn’t waste a minute to get to the business of finding more cheese.

This s$%t is happening on the daily in this country. THE CHEESE IS MOVING FOLKS. Higher education? Scammy finance rackets? Are you a involved in the movie rental business? BlockBuster declared bankruptcy in 2010 people. There is no reason you should think that whatever cheese you’ve got is not going to run out.

  1. Act Accordingly

Himm and Haa took forever. Haa got it after a while and I think his process would be far more enjoyable if he had enjoyed the hunt for cheese. Himm is simply a metaphor for what to avoid. Do not wait for the cheese.

Sniff and Scurry got to work immediately on hunting more cheese. There wasn’t even a discussion about it.

| Cheese Gone | I’m Finding Cheese |

  1. Win

There is always going to be cheese.

Macroeconomic forces might alter the big picture for governments and the international monetary fund, but that crap doesn’t affect me or you. Those things don’t affect us because, though we get international news, we live in local economies. We live in local relationships. You can start from nothing tomorrow and be great now.

100% is possible 100% of the time.

Cheese is, of course, a metaphor. It is the representation of getting what you want, be it a relationship, a bunch of money or inner peace. You’re only going to find it by taking action, finding new opportunities and executing on them like your life depends on it.

Book Notes: Act Accordingly by Colin Wright

You know that feeling where you’re listening to music or reading a book and you think, “ARRRGH I should have written that!” It’s like someone snuck in with telekinesis and jacked your idea straight from your soggy brain.

For example: I wrote a song called “Rich Kid Blues.” It wasn’t finished of course because I’ve got a 100% success rate at writing songs halfway and never touching them again. Anyways, I had “Rich Kid Blues” half written and was procrastinating when some guy name Jack White came out and wrote it.

Blah! Jack White sneaks out and beats me to the punch.

Alas, it’s happened again.

Colin Wright nailed a philosophical framework that I might have considered my own. Even better, I think he did it in a way than I had it in my head.

It’s a short read, you could bang it out in an afternoon.

He was the third guest on the Love Affair Travel podcast and you can listen to us talk about travel lifestyle and his philosophical framework for free.

If you want to pick up the book, you can get it here (he’s included an audio version for those of us who prefer to listen.)

By the way, the Act Accordingly mindset is going to have me finish a song one of these days.

2 Years Worth of Immigration Bureaucracy to Get My Wife into My Country | Ended Today

Australian US Embassy Approves Partner VisaMy Australian wife and I married 2 years ago (July 20th 2011) in Hawaii and for the first time in our marriage, the US government will allow her to enter my country.

Over the past two years we have been dislocated to New Zealand, The Philippines and finally, we relented a year ago and moved to Australia where I gained my Australian residency. It cost me $4,000 but I was granted my bridging visa the day I applied (wheras the USA visa takes about 2 years.)

Our lives have been completely derailed by this process and I though that when it was over, I’d be elated. The truth is, I’ve just fizzled out of caring. The costs of the paperwork and the bullshit medical screenings completely drained me of all my wealth. It’s been such a long and arduous process that I gave up trying a few months ago. A piece of me that believed that I would never return to the USA to live again, because my government wouldn’t allow my wife across their boarder.

It’s great that we will be returning to the USA, but I can’t help but think how depressing it is that the process of bringing loved ones to the USA is such a mammoth, expensive and terrifying process.

It’s a damn shame.

My wife and I constantly joke that we should have never got married. We probably should have flown to Mexico and crossed the boarder like true outlaw immigrants.

James Altutcher Gives the Best Advice for Startups

I spend some time in the tech scene in the community that I’m currently in now. Last month I even went to a fancy dinner with free cocktails in a stunning room. Lot’s of tech people but I couldn’t help but realize something:

None of them seemed to be making any money on their projects, and most of them are doing everything wrong.

I’m no expert. My business hardly turns over enough money to buy chocolate and bacon (which are the only things I want) but everything is growing and it starts with revenue.

Lots of these guys had fantastic devices and tremendous ideas. One had the fastest keyboard for typing. But all these well to do tech communities gurus were talking about things like NDAs, Patenting Ideas and Angel Investors.

I’ve only been doing this stuff for a short time but I’m confident these things are a waste of time (especially at startup level.)

This article illustrates the characteristics of building businesses successfully.

JamesAltutcherBlackandWhite

I think everyone in that room would probably gain from reading that article alone.

Also, listen to James Altutcher here primarily. If you want more, listen here.

Also, to define what a start up is read Paul Graham’s definition. That’s right Techos = A startup isn’t an APP company. I imagine a drywalling company could be an amazing startup. I’m currently reading The Millionaire Next Door (hint: READ THIS BOOK) and it turns out that being a millionaire is more about Dull Normal Businesses than anything else.

Elon Musk is the Real Life Iron Man

Elon Musk is my hero because he works as a creative fundamentalist.

Hey Elon, do you think you can handel a contract with NASA to take astronauts to space?

“Sure we can create the first private astronaut orbital transport… but what we really want to do over the long term is work out the cargo transport problem to mars and be able to establish a self sustaining civilization on mars.”

Wait what? Where did you get that idea?

“The calculations worked out.”

So you’re telling me life is sustainable on mars?

“You’d need to live on a dome at first but over time, life could be terraformed and you could actually walk around on the planet without anything. It’s a fixer upper of a planet.”

Right… so moving on. What’s the deal with the electric car?

“The problem with the electric car is that the price of gasoline is way to inexpensive so we’ve gotta make them WAY better than our competitors who get the benefit of an artificially low cost of running internal combustion engines.”

Wow, that sounds stressful. What’s the secret to your success?

“Well, many people reason by analogy and I try to reason with a physics approach to reasoning…. Essentially, if you want to figure out something new, it’s best to start with the most fundamental principals/truths and reason upwards from there as opposed from reasoning by analogy.”

analogy |əˈnaləjē|

noun ( pl. analogies )

a comparison between two things, typically on the basis of their structure and for the purpose of explanation or clarification: an analogy between the workings of nature and those of human societies | he interprets logical functions by analogy with machines.

Ira Glass is Inspiration to Creators

The internet allows people to create amazing identities of travel, millionaire lifestyles and wild adventures.

On my path to realize a lifestyle like this, I sent a message to a guy who crafts this image really well.

I asked him,

“How do I become a great web developer?”

I don’t remember his response exactly, but It was something like,

“Start now.”

“…and watch this video.”

Google is Awesome

RoswellGoogle is awesome.

Once in a while, Google does something interesting with their home page. This time, it was an interesting little game where you act as an alien and feed radioactive fuel to plants and horses in order to recover the pieces of your space shuttle to go home.

66 years since the Roswell UFO Incident.

But google is awesome now.