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Yusuf Ibrahim

Yusuf Ibrahim

2 years ago

How to sell 10,000 NFTs on OpenSea for FREE (Puppeteer/NodeJS)

So you've finished your NFT collection and are ready to sell it. Except you can't figure out how to mint them! Not sure about smart contracts or want to avoid rising gas prices. You've tried and failed with apps like Mini mouse macro, and you're not familiar with Selenium/Python. Worry no more, NodeJS and Puppeteer have arrived!

Learn how to automatically post and sell all 1000 of my AI-generated word NFTs (Nakahana) on OpenSea for FREE!

My NFT project — Nakahana |

NOTE: Only NFTs on the Polygon blockchain can be sold for free; Ethereum requires an initiation charge. NFTs can still be bought with (wrapped) ETH.

If you want to go right into the code, here's the GitHub link: https://github.com/Yusu-f/nftuploader

Let's start with the knowledge and tools you'll need.

What you should know

You must be able to write and run simple NodeJS programs. You must also know how to utilize a Metamask wallet.

Tools needed

  • NodeJS. You'll need NodeJs to run the script and NPM to install the dependencies.
  • Puppeteer – Use Puppeteer to automate your browser and go to sleep while your computer works.
  • Metamask – Create a crypto wallet and sign transactions using Metamask (free). You may learn how to utilize Metamask here.
  • Chrome – Puppeteer supports Chrome.

Let's get started now!

Starting Out

Clone Github Repo to your local machine. Make sure that NodeJS, Chrome, and Metamask are all installed and working. Navigate to the project folder and execute npm install. This installs all requirements.

Replace the “extension path” variable with the Metamask chrome extension path. Read this tutorial to find the path.

Substitute an array containing your NFT names and metadata for the “arr” variable and the “collection_name” variable with your collection’s name.

Run the script.

After that, run node nftuploader.js.

Open a new chrome instance (not chromium) and Metamask in it. Import your Opensea wallet using your Secret Recovery Phrase or create a new one and link it. The script will be unable to continue after this but don’t worry, it’s all part of the plan.

Next steps

Open your terminal again and copy the route that starts with “ws”, e.g. “ws:/localhost:53634/devtools/browser/c07cb303-c84d-430d-af06-dd599cf2a94f”. Replace the path in the connect function of the nftuploader.js script.

const browser = await puppeteer.connect({ browserWSEndpoint: "ws://localhost:58533/devtools/browser/d09307b4-7a75-40f6-8dff-07a71bfff9b3", defaultViewport: null });

Rerun node nftuploader.js. A second tab should open in THE SAME chrome instance, navigating to your Opensea collection. Your NFTs should now start uploading one after the other! If any errors occur, the NFTs and errors are logged in an errors.log file.

Error Handling

The errors.log file should show the name of the NFTs and the error type. The script has been changed to allow you to simply check if an NFT has already been posted. Simply set the “searchBeforeUpload” setting to true.

We're done!

If you liked it, you can buy one of my NFTs! If you have any concerns or would need a feature added, please let me know.

Thank you to everyone who has read and liked. I never expected it to be so popular.

More on Web3 & Crypto

CyberPunkMetalHead

CyberPunkMetalHead

1 year ago

195 countries want Terra Luna founder Do Kwon

Interpol has issued a red alert on Terraform Labs' CEO, South Korean prosecutors said.

After the May crash of Terra Luna revealed tax evasion issues, South Korean officials filed an arrest warrant for Do Kwon, but he is missing.

Do Kwon is now a fugitive in 195 countries after Seoul prosecutors placed him to Interpol's red list. Do Kwon hasn't commented since then. The red list allows any country's local authorities to apprehend Do Kwon.

Do Dwon and Terraform Labs were believed to have moved to Singapore days before the $40 billion wipeout, but Singapore authorities said he fled the country on September 17. Do Kwon tweeted that he wasn't on the run and cited privacy concerns.

Do Kwon was not on the red list at the time and said he wasn't "running," only to reply to his own tweet saying he hasn't jogged in a while and needed to trim calories.

Whether or not it makes sense to read too much into this, the reality is that Do Kwon is now on Interpol red list, despite the firmly asserts on twitter that he does absolutely nothing to hide.

UPDATE:

South Korean authorities are investigating alleged withdrawals of over $60 million U.S. and seeking to freeze these assets. Korean authorities believe a new wallet exchanged over 3000 BTC through OKX and Kucoin.

Do Kwon and the Luna Foundation Guard (of whom Do Kwon is a key member of) have declined all charges and dubbed this disinformation.

Singapore's Luna Foundation Guard (LFG) manages the Terra Ecosystem.

The Legal Situation

Multiple governments are searching for Do Kwon and five other Terraform Labs employees for financial markets legislation crimes.

South Korean authorities arrested a man suspected of tax fraud and Ponzi scheme.

The U.S. SEC is also examining Terraform Labs on how UST was advertised as a stablecoin. No legal precedent exists, so it's unclear what's illegal.

The future of Terraform Labs, Terra, and Terra 2 is unknown, and despite what Twitter shills say about LUNC, the company remains in limbo awaiting a decision that will determine its fate. This project isn't a wise investment.

Franz Schrepf

Franz Schrepf

1 year ago

What I Wish I'd Known About Web3 Before Building

Cryptoland rollercoaster

Photo by Younho Choo on Unsplash

I've lost money in crypto.

Unimportant.

The real issue: I didn’t understand how.

I'm surrounded with winners. To learn more, I created my own NFTs, currency, and DAO.

Web3 is a hilltop castle. Everything is valuable, decentralized, and on-chain.

The castle is Disneyland: beautiful in images, but chaotic with lengthy lines and kids spending too much money on dressed-up animals.

When the throng and businesses are gone, Disneyland still has enchantment.

Welcome to Cryptoland! I’ll be your guide.

The Real Story of Web3

NFTs

Scarcity. Scarce NFTs. That's their worth.

Skull. Rare-looking!

Nonsense.

Bored Ape Yacht Club vs. my NFTs?

Marketing.

BAYC is amazing, but not for the reasons people believe. Apecoin and Otherside's art, celebrity following, and innovation? Stunning.

No other endeavor captured the zeitgeist better. Yet how long did you think it took to actually mint the NFTs?

1 hour? Maybe a week for the website?

Minting NFTs is incredibly easy. Kid-friendly. Developers are rare. Think about that next time somebody posts “DevS dO SMt!?

NFTs will remain popular. These projects are like our Van Goghs and Monets. Still, be wary. It still uses exclusivity and wash selling like the OG art market.

Not all NFTs are art-related.

Soulbound and anonymous NFTs could offer up new use cases. Property rights, privacy-focused ID, open-source project verification. Everything.

NFTs build online trust through ownership.

We just need to evolve from the apes first.

NFTs' superpower is marketing until then.

Crypto currency

What the hell is a token?

99% of people are clueless.

So I invested in both coins and tokens. Same same. Only that they are not.

Coins have their own blockchain and developer/validator community. It's hard.

Creating a token on top of a blockchain? Five minutes.

Most consumers don’t understand the difference, creating an arbitrage opportunity: pretend you’re a serious project without having developers on your payroll.

Few market sites help. Take a look. See any tokens?

Maybe if you squint real hard… (Coinmarketcap)

There's a hint one click deeper.

Some tokens are legitimate. Some coins are bad investments.

Tokens are utilized for DAO governance and DApp payments. Still, know who's behind a token. They might be 12 years old.

Coins take time and money. The recent LUNA meltdown indicates that currency investing requires research.

DAOs

Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) don't work as you assume.

Yes, members can vote.

A productive organization requires more.

I've observed two types of DAOs.

  • Total decentralization total dysfunction

  • Centralized just partially. Community-driven.

A core team executes the DAO's strategy and roadmap in successful DAOs. The community owns part of the organization, votes on decisions, and holds the team accountable.

DAOs are public companies.

Amazing.

A shareholder meeting's logistics are staggering. DAOs may hold anonymous, secure voting quickly. No need for intermediaries like banks to chase up every shareholder.

Successful DAOs aren't totally decentralized. Large-scale voting and collaboration have never been easier.

And that’s all that matters.

Scale, speed.

My Web3 learnings

Disneyland is enchanting. Web3 too.

In a few cycles, NFTs may be used to build trust, not clout. Not speculating with coins. DAOs run organizations, not themselves.

Finally, some final thoughts:

  • NFTs will be a very helpful tool for building trust online. NFTs are successful now because of excellent marketing.

  • Tokens are not the same as coins. Look into any project before making a purchase. Make sure it isn't run by three 9-year-olds piled on top of one another in a trench coat, at the very least.

  • Not entirely decentralized, DAOs. We shall see a future where community ownership becomes the rule rather than the exception once we acknowledge this fact.

Crypto Disneyland is a rollercoaster with loops that make you sick.

Always buckle up.

Have fun!

James Howell

James Howell

2 years ago

Which Metaverse Is Better, Decentraland or Sandbox?

The metaverse is the most commonly used term in current technology discussions. While the entire tech ecosystem awaits the metaverse's full arrival, defining it is difficult. Imagine the internet in the '80s! The metaverse is a three-dimensional virtual world where users can interact with digital solutions and each other as digital avatars.
The metaverse is a three-dimensional virtual world where users can interact with digital solutions and each other as digital avatars.

Among the metaverse hype, the Decentraland vs Sandbox debate has gained traction. Both are decentralized metaverse platforms with no central authority. So, what's the difference and which is better? Let us examine the distinctions between Decentraland and Sandbox.

2 Popular Metaverse Platforms Explained

The first step in comparing sandbox and Decentraland is to outline the definitions. Anyone keeping up with the metaverse news has heard of the two current leaders. Both have many similarities, but also many differences. Let us start with defining both platforms to see if there is a winner.

Decentraland

Decentraland, a fully immersive and engaging 3D metaverse, launched in 2017. It allows players to buy land while exploring the vast virtual universe. Decentraland offers a wide range of activities for its visitors, including games, casinos, galleries, and concerts. It is currently the longest-running metaverse project.

Decentraland began with a $24 million ICO and went public in 2020. The platform's virtual real estate parcels allow users to create a variety of experiences. MANA and LAND are two distinct tokens associated with Decentraland. MANA is the platform's native ERC-20 token, and users can burn MANA to get LAND, which is ERC-721 compliant. The MANA coin can be used to buy avatars, wearables, products, and names on Decentraland.

Sandbox

Sandbox, the next major player, began as a blockchain-based virtual world in 2011 and migrated to a 3D gaming platform in 2017. The virtual world allows users to create, play, own, and monetize their virtual experiences. Sandbox aims to empower artists, creators, and players in the blockchain community to customize the platform. Sandbox gives the ideal means for unleashing creativity in the development of the modern gaming ecosystem.

The project combines NFTs and DAOs to empower a growing community of gamers. A new play-to-earn model helps users grow as gamers and creators. The platform offers a utility token, SAND, which is required for all transactions.

What are the key points from both metaverse definitions to compare Decentraland vs sandbox?

It is ideal for individuals, businesses, and creators seeking new artistic, entertainment, and business opportunities. It is one of the rapidly growing Decentralized Autonomous Organization projects. Holders of MANA tokens also control the Decentraland domain.

Sandbox, on the other hand, is a blockchain-based virtual world that runs on the native token SAND. On the platform, users can create, sell, and buy digital assets and experiences, enabling blockchain-based gaming. Sandbox focuses on user-generated content and building an ecosystem of developers.

Sandbox vs. Decentraland

If you try to find what is better Sandbox or Decentraland, then you might struggle with only the basic definitions. Both are metaverse platforms offering immersive 3D experiences. Users can freely create, buy, sell, and trade digital assets. However, both have significant differences, especially in MANA vs SAND.

For starters, MANA has a market cap of $5,736,097,349 versus $4,528,715,461, giving Decentraland an advantage.
The MANA vs SAND pricing comparison is also noteworthy. A SAND is currently worth $3664, while a MANA is worth $2452.

The value of the native tokens and the market capitalization of the two metaverse platforms are not enough to make a choice. Let us compare Sandbox vs Decentraland based on the following factors.

Workstyle

The way Decentraland and Sandbox work is one of the main comparisons. From a distance, they both appear to work the same way. But there's a lot more to learn about both platforms' workings. Decentraland has 90,601 digital parcels of land.

Individual parcels of virtual real estate or estates with multiple parcels of land are assembled. It also has districts with similar themes and plazas, which are non-tradeable parcels owned by the community. It has three token types: MANA, LAND, and WEAR.

Sandbox has 166,464 plots of virtual land that can be grouped into estates. Estates are owned by one person, while districts are owned by two or more people. The Sandbox metaverse has four token types: SAND, GAMES, LAND, and ASSETS.

Age

The maturity of metaverse projects is also a factor in the debate. Decentraland is clearly the winner in terms of maturity. It was the first solution to create a 3D blockchain metaverse. Decentraland made the first working proof of concept public. However, Sandbox has only made an Alpha version available to the public.

Backing

The MANA vs SAND comparison would also include support for both platforms. Digital Currency Group, FBG Capital, and CoinFund are all supporters of Decentraland. It has also partnered with Polygon, the South Korean government, Cyberpunk, and Samsung.

SoftBank, a Japanese multinational conglomerate focused on investment management, is another major backer. Sandbox has the backing of one of the world's largest investment firms, as well as Slack and Uber.

Compatibility

Wallet compatibility is an important factor in comparing the two metaverse platforms. Decentraland currently has a competitive advantage. How? Both projects' marketplaces accept ERC-20 wallets. However, Decentraland has recently improved by bridging with Walletconnect. So it can let Polygon users join Decentraland.

Scalability

Because Sandbox and Decentraland use the Ethereum blockchain, scalability is an issue. Both platforms' scalability is constrained by volatile tokens and high gas fees. So, scalability issues can hinder large-scale adoption of both metaverse platforms.

Buying Land

Decentraland vs Sandbox comparisons often include virtual real estate. However, the ability to buy virtual land on both platforms defines the user experience and differentiates them. In this case, Sandbox offers better options for users to buy virtual land by combining OpenSea and Sandbox. In fact, Decentraland users can only buy from the MANA marketplace.

Innovation

The rate of development distinguishes Sandbox and Decentraland. Both platforms have been developing rapidly new features. However, Sandbox wins by adopting Polygon NFT layer 2 solutions, which consume almost 100 times less energy than Ethereum.

Collaborations

The platforms' collaborations are the key to determining "which is better Sandbox or Decentraland." Adoption of metaverse platforms like the two in question can be boosted by association with reputable brands. Among the partners are Atari, Cyberpunk, and Polygon. Rather, Sandbox has partnered with well-known brands like OpenSea, CryptoKitties, The Walking Dead, Snoop Dogg, and others.

Platform Adaptivity

Another key feature that distinguishes Sandbox and Decentraland is the ease of use. Sandbox clearly wins in terms of platform access. It allows easy access via social media, email, or a Metamask wallet. However, Decentraland requires a wallet connection.

Prospects

The future development plans also play a big role in defining Sandbox vs Decentraland. Sandbox's future development plans include bringing the platform to mobile devices. This includes consoles like PlayStation and Xbox. By the end of 2023, the platform expects to have around 5000 games.

Decentraland, on the other hand, has no set plan. In fact, the team defines the decisions that appear to have value. They plan to add celebrities, creators, and brands soon, along with NFT ads and drops.

Final Words

The comparison of Decentraland vs Sandbox provides a balanced view of both platforms. You can see how difficult it is to determine which decentralized metaverse is better now. Sandbox is still in Alpha, whereas Decentraland has a working proof of concept.

Sandbox, on the other hand, has better graphics and is backed by some big names. But both have a long way to go in the larger decentralized metaverse. 

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Ethan Siegel

Ethan Siegel

1 year ago

How you view the year will change after using this one-page calendar.

The conventional way we display annual calendars, at left, requires us to examine each month separately, either relegating the full year to a tiny font on a single page or onto 12 separate pages. Instead, the one-page calendar, at right, enables you to find whatever you want all throughout the year. (Credit: E. Siegel, with a public domain conventional calendar at left)

No other calendar is simpler, smaller, and reusable year after year. It works and is used here.

Most of us discard and replace our calendars annually. Each month, we move our calendar ahead another page, thus if we need to know which day of the week corresponds to a given day/month combination, we have to calculate it or flip forward/backward to the corresponding month. Questions like:

  • What day does this year's American Thanksgiving fall on?

  • Which months contain a Friday the thirteenth?

  • When is July 4th? What day of the week?

  • Alternatively, what day of the week is Christmas?

They're hard to figure out until you switch to the right month or look up all the months.

However, mathematically, the answers to these questions or any question that requires matching the day of the week with the day/month combination in a year are predictable, basic, and easy to work out. If you use this one-page calendar instead of a 12-month calendar, it lasts the whole year and is easy to alter for future years. Let me explain.

Rather than a calendar displaying separate images for each month out of the year, this one-page calendar can be used to match up the day of the week with the dates/months of the year with perfect accuracy all in a single view. (Credit: E. Siegel)

The 2023 one-page calendar is above. The days of the month are on the lower left, which works for all months if you know that:

  • There are 31 days in January, March, May, July, August, October, and December.

  • All of the months of April, June, September, and November have 30 days.

  • And depending on the year, February has either 28 days (in non-leap years) or 29 days (in leap years).

If you know this, this calendar makes it easy to match the day/month of the year to the weekday.

Here are some instances. American Thanksgiving is always on the fourth Thursday of November. You'll always know the month and day of the week, but the date—the day in November—changes each year.

On any other calendar, you'd have to flip to November to see when the fourth Thursday is. This one-page calendar only requires:

  • pick the month of November in the top-right corner to begin.

  • drag your finger down until Thursday appears,

  • then turn left and follow the monthly calendar until you reach the fourth Thursday.

To find American Thanksgiving, you need to find the 4th Thursday in November. Using the one-page calendar, start at November, move down to find Thursday, then move to the left to count off to the fourth Thursday in November. In 2023, that date will be November 23rd. (Credit: E. Siegel)

It's obvious: 2023 is the 23rd American Thanksgiving. For every month and day-of-the-week combination, start at the month, drag your finger down to the desired day, and then move to the left to see which dates match.

What if you knew the day of the week and the date of the month, but not the month(s)?

A different method using the same one-page calendar gives the answer. Which months have Friday the 13th this year? Just:

  • begin on the 13th of the month, the day you know you desire,

  • then swipe right with your finger till Friday appears.

  • and then work your way up until you can determine which months the specific Friday the 13th falls under.

If you know which date/day-of-the-week combination you’re seeking but don’t know which months will meet that criteria, start with the date (1–31), move to the right until you find the day of the week you want, then move up and find which months match that criteria. Every year will always have at least one such combination. (Credit: E. Siegel)

One Friday the 13th occurred in January 2023, and another will occur in October.

The most typical reason to consult a calendar is when you know the month/day combination but not the day of the week.

Compared to single-month calendars, the one-page calendar excels here. Take July 4th, for instance. Find the weekday here:

  • beginning on the left on the fourth of the month, as you are aware,

  • also begin with July, the month of the year you are most familiar with, at the upper right,

  • you should move your two fingers in the opposite directions till they meet: on a Tuesday in 2023.

That's how you find your selected day/month combination's weekday.

If you were curious as to which day of the week July 4th, 2023 fell on, rather than flipping a conventional calendar to July and seeing, you could trace “4” to the right and “July” down, finding where they meet (on a Tuesday) revealing the day-of-the-week. (Credit: E. Siegel)

Another example: Christmas. Christmas Day is always December 25th, however unless your conventional calendar is open to December of your particular year, a question like "what day of the week is Christmas?" difficult to answer.

Unlike the one-page calendar!

Remember the left-hand day of the month. Top-right, you see the month. Put two fingers, one from each hand, on the date (25th) and the month (December). Slide the day hand to the right and the month hand downwards until they touch.

They meet on Monday—December 25, 2023.

Using the one-page calendar for 2023, you can figure out the day-of-the-week of any calendar day by placing one finger on the “date” at left and another on the “month” at top. By moving your fingers respectively to the right and down, where they meet will reveal the day of the week to you. (Credit: E. Siegel)

For 2023, that's fine, but what happens in 2024? Even worse, what if we want to know the day-of-the-week/day/month combo many years from now?

I think the one-page calendar shines here.

Except for the blue months in the upper-right corner of the one-page calendar, everything is the same year after year. The months also change in a consistent fashion.

Each non-leap year has 365 days—one more than a full 52 weeks (which is 364). Since January 1, 2023 began on a Sunday and 2023 has 365 days, we immediately know that December 31, 2023 will conclude on a Sunday (which you can confirm using the one-page calendar) and that January 1, 2024 will begin on a Monday. Then, reorder the months for 2024, taking in mind that February will have 29 days in a leap year.

This image shows the one-page calendar view for the next leap year we’re going to experience: 2024. Note that the monthly patterns have changed from how they were in a non-leap year, displaying a new pattern unique to leap years, corresponding to the fact that February has 29 days instead of 28. (Credit: E. Siegel)

Please note the differences between 2023 and 2024 month placement. In 2023:

  • October and January began on the same day of the week.

  • On the following Monday of the week, May began.

  • August started on the next day,

  • then the next weekday marked the start of February, March, and November, respectively.

  • Unlike June, which starts the following weekday,

  • While September and December start on the following day of the week,

  • Lastly, April and July start one extra day later.

Since 2024 is a leap year, February has 29 days, disrupting the rhythm. Month placements change to:

  • The first day of the week in January, April, and July is the same.

  • October will begin the following day.

  • Possibly starting the next weekday,

  • February and August start on the next weekday,

  • beginning on the following day of the week between March and November,

  • beginning the following weekday in June,

  • and commencing one more day of the week after that, September and December.

Due to the 366-day leap year, 2025 will start two days later than 2024 on January 1st.

The non-leap year 2025 has the same calendar as 2023, expect with the days-of-the-week that each month begins on shifted forward by three days for each month. This is because 2023 was not a leap year and 2024 was, meaning that an extra 3 days are needed over and above the 104 full weeks contained in 2023 and 2024 combined. (Credit: E. Siegel)

Now, looking at the 2025 calendar, you can see that the 2023 pattern of which months start on which days is repeated! The sole variation is a shift of three days-of-the-week ahead because 2023 had one more day (365) than 52 full weeks (364), and 2024 had two more days (366). Again,

  • On Wednesday this time, January and October begin on the same day of the week.

  • Although May begins on Thursday,

  • August begins this Friday.

  • March, November, and February all begin on a Saturday.

  • Beginning on a Sunday in June

  • Beginning on Monday are September and December,

  • and on Tuesday, April and July begin.

In 2026 and 2027, the year will commence on a Thursday and a Friday, respectively.

The one-page calendars for 2026 and 2027, as shown next to one another. Note that the calendars are identical, save that the day-of-the-week that each month begins on is shifted by one day from the prior year to the next. This occurs every time a non-leap year is followed by another non-leap year. (Credit: E. Siegel)

We must return to our leap year monthly arrangement in 2028. Yes, January 1, 2028 begins on a Saturday, but February, which begins on a Tuesday three days before January, will have 29 days. Thus:

  • Start dates for January, April, and July are all Saturdays.

  • Given that October began on Sunday,

  • Although May starts on a Monday,

  • beginning on a Tuesday in February and August,

  • Beginning on a Wednesday in March and November,

  • Beginning on Thursday, June

  • and Friday marks the start of September and December.

This is great because there are only 14 calendar configurations: one for each of the seven non-leap years where January 1st begins on each of the seven days of the week, and one for each of the seven leap years where it begins on each day of the week.

This example of a one-page calendar, which represents the year 2028, will be valid for all leap years that begin with January 1st on a Saturday. The leap year version of the one-page calendar repeats every 28 years, unless you pass a non-leap year ending in “00,” in which case the repeat will either be 12 or 40 years instead. (Credit: E. Siegel)

The 2023 calendar will function in 2034, 2045, 2051, 2062, 2073, 2079, 2090, 2102, 2113, and 2119. Except when passing over a non-leap year that ends in 00, like 2100, the repeat time always extends to 12 years or shortens to an extra 6 years.

  • The pattern is repeated in 2025's calendar in 2031, 2042, 2053, 2059, 2070, 2081, 2087, 2098, 2110, and 2121.

  • The extra 6-year repeat at the end of the century on the calendar for 2026 will occur in the years 2037, 2043, 2054, 2065, 2071, 2082, 2093, 2099, 2105, and 2122.

  • The 2027s calendar repeats in 2038, 2049, 2055, 2066, 2077, 2083, 2094, 2100, 2106, and 2117, almost exactly matching the 2026s pattern.

For leap years, the recurrence pattern is every 28 years when not passing a non-leap year ending in 00, or 12 or 40 years when we do. 2024's calendar repeats in 2052, 2080, 2120, 2148, 2176, and 2216; 2028's in 2056, 2084, 2124, 2152, 2180, and 2220.

Knowing January 1st and whether it's a leap year lets you construct a one-page calendar for any year. Try it—you might find it easier than any other alternative!

Theo Seeds

Theo Seeds

1 year ago

The nine novels that have fundamentally altered the way I view the world

I read 53 novels last year and hope to do so again.

Books are best if you love learning. You get a range of perspectives, unlike podcasts and YouTube channels where you get the same ones.

Book quality varies. I've read useless books. Most books teach me something.

These 9 novels have changed my outlook in recent years. They've made me rethink what I believed or introduced me to a fresh perspective that changed my worldview.

You can order these books yourself. Or, read my summaries to learn what I've synthesized.

Enjoy!

Fooled By Randomness

Nassim Taleb worked as a Wall Street analyst. He used options trading to bet on unlikely events like stock market crashes.

Using financial models, investors predict stock prices. The models assume constant, predictable company growth.

These models base their assumptions on historical data, so they assume the future will be like the past.

Fooled By Randomness argues that the future won't be like the past. We often see impossible market crashes like 2008's housing market collapse. The world changes too quickly to use historical data: by the time we understand how it works, it's changed.

Most people don't live to see history unfold. We think our childhood world will last forever. That goes double for stable societies like the U.S., which hasn't seen major turbulence in anyone's lifetime.

Fooled By Randomness taught me to expect the unexpected. The world is deceptive and rarely works as we expect. You can't always trust your past successes or what you've learned.

Antifragile

More Taleb. Some things, like the restaurant industry and the human body, improve under conditions of volatility and turbulence.

We didn't have a word for this counterintuitive concept until Taleb wrote Antifragile. The human body (which responds to some stressors, like exercise, by getting stronger) and the restaurant industry both benefit long-term from disorder (when economic turbulence happens, bad restaurants go out of business, improving the industry as a whole).

Many human systems are designed to minimize short-term variance because humans don't understand it. By eliminating short-term variation, we increase the likelihood of a major disaster.

Once, we put out every forest fire we found. Then, dead wood piled up in forests, causing catastrophic fires.

We don't like price changes, so politicians prop up markets with stimulus packages and printing money. This leads to a bigger crash later. Two years ago, we printed a ton of money for stimulus checks, and now we have double-digit inflation.

Antifragile taught me how important Plan B is. A system with one or two major weaknesses will fail. Make large systems redundant, foolproof, and change-responsive.

Reality is broken

We dread work. Work is tedious. Right?

Wrong. Work gives many people purpose. People are happiest when working. (That's why some are workaholics.)

Factory work saps your soul, office work is boring, and working for a large company you don't believe in and that operates unethically isn't satisfying.

Jane McGonigal says in Reality Is Broken that meaningful work makes us happy. People love games because they simulate good work. McGonigal says work should be more fun.

Some think they'd be happy on a private island sipping cocktails all day. That's not true. Without anything to do, most people would be bored. Unemployed people are miserable. Many retirees die within 2 years, much more than expected.

Instead of complaining, find meaningful work. If you don't like your job, it's because you're in the wrong environment. Find the right setting.

The Lean Startup

Before the airplane was invented, Harvard scientists researched flying machines. Who knew two North Carolina weirdos would beat them?

The Wright Brothers' plane design was key. Harvard researchers were mostly theoretical, designing an airplane on paper and trying to make it fly in theory. They'd build it, test it, and it wouldn't fly.

The Wright Brothers were different. They'd build a cheap plane, test it, and it'd crash. Then they'd learn from their mistakes, build another plane, and it'd crash.

They repeated this until they fixed all the problems and one of their planes stayed aloft.

Mistakes are considered bad. On the African savannah, one mistake meant death. Even today, if you make a costly mistake at work, you'll be fired as a scapegoat. Most people avoid failing.

In reality, making mistakes is the best way to learn.

Eric Reis offers an unintuitive recipe in The Lean Startup: come up with a hypothesis, test it, and fail. Then, try again with a new hypothesis. Keep trying, learning from each failure.

This is a great startup strategy. Startups are new businesses. Startups face uncertainty. Run lots of low-cost experiments to fail, learn, and succeed.

Don't fear failing. Low-cost failure is good because you learn more from it than you lose. As long as your worst-case scenario is acceptable, risk-taking is good.

The Sovereign Individual

Today, nation-states rule the world. The UN recognizes 195 countries, and they claim almost all land outside of Antarctica.

We agree. For the past 2,000 years, much of the world's territory was ungoverned.

Why today? Because technology has created incentives for nation-states for most of the past 500 years. The logic of violence favors nation-states, according to James Dale Davidson, author of the Sovereign Individual. Governments have a lot to gain by conquering as much territory as possible, so they do.

Not always. During the Dark Ages, Europe was fragmented and had few central governments. Partly because of armor. With armor, a sword, and a horse, you couldn't be stopped. Large states were hard to form because they rely on the threat of violence.

When gunpowder became popular in Europe, violence changed. In a world with guns, assembling large armies and conquest are cheaper.

James Dale Davidson says the internet will make nation-states obsolete. Most of the world's wealth will be online and in people's heads, making capital mobile.

Nation-states rely on predatory taxation of the rich to fund large militaries and welfare programs.

When capital is mobile, people can live anywhere in the world, Davidson says, making predatory taxation impossible. They're not bound by their job, land, or factory location. Wherever they're treated best.

Davidson says that over the next century, nation-states will collapse because they won't have enough money to operate as they do now. He imagines a world of small city-states, like Italy before 1900. (or Singapore today).

We've already seen some movement toward a more Sovereign Individual-like world. The pandemic proved large-scale remote work is possible, freeing workers from their location. Many cities and countries offer remote workers incentives to relocate.

Many Western businesspeople live in tax havens, and more people are renouncing their US citizenship due to high taxes. Increasing globalization has led to poor economic conditions and resentment among average people in the West, which is why politicians like Trump and Sanders rose to popularity with angry rhetoric, even though Obama rose to popularity with a more hopeful message.

The Sovereign Individual convinced me that the future will be different than Nassim Taleb's. Large countries like the U.S. will likely lose influence in the coming decades, while Portugal, Singapore, and Turkey will rise. If the trend toward less freedom continues, people may flee the West en masse.

So a traditional life of college, a big firm job, hard work, and corporate advancement may not be wise. Young people should learn as much as possible and develop flexible skills to adapt to the future.

Sapiens

Sapiens is a history of humanity, from proto-humans in Ethiopia to our internet society today, with some future speculation.

Sapiens views humans (and Homo sapiens) as a unique species on Earth. We were animals 100,000 years ago. We're slowly becoming gods, able to affect the climate, travel to every corner of the Earth (and the Moon), build weapons that can kill us all, and wipe out thousands of species.

Sapiens examines what makes Homo sapiens unique. Humans can believe in myths like religion, money, and human-made entities like countries and LLCs.

These myths facilitate large-scale cooperation. Ants from the same colony can cooperate. Any two humans can trade, though. Even if they're not genetically related, large groups can bond over religion and nationality.

Combine that with intelligence, and you have a species capable of amazing feats.

Sapiens may make your head explode because it looks at the world without presupposing values, unlike most books. It questions things that aren't usually questioned and says provocative things.

It also shows how human history works. It may help you understand and predict the world. Maybe.

The 4-hour Workweek

Things can be done better.

Tradition, laziness, bad bosses, or incentive structures cause complacency. If you're willing to make changes and not settle for the status quo, you can do whatever you do better and achieve more in less time.

The Four-Hour Work Week advocates this. Tim Ferriss explains how he made more sales in 2 hours than his 8-hour-a-day colleagues.

By firing 2 of his most annoying customers and empowering his customer service reps to make more decisions, he was able to leave his business and travel to Europe.

Ferriss shows how to escape your 9-to-5, outsource your life, develop a business that feeds you with little time, and go on mini-retirement adventures abroad.

Don't accept the status quo. Instead, level up. Find a way to improve your results. And try new things.

Why Nations Fail

Nogales, Arizona and Mexico were once one town. The US/Mexico border was arbitrarily drawn.

Both towns have similar cultures and populations. Nogales, Arizona is well-developed and has a high standard of living. Nogales, Mexico is underdeveloped and has a low standard of living. Whoa!

Why Nations Fail explains how government-created institutions affect country development. Strong property rights, capitalism, and non-corrupt governments promote development. Countries without capitalism, strong property rights, or corrupt governments don't develop.

Successful countries must also embrace creative destruction. They must offer ordinary citizens a way to improve their lot by creating value for others, not reducing them to slaves, serfs, or peasants. Authors say that ordinary people could get rich on trading expeditions in 11th-century Venice.

East and West Germany and North and South Korea have different economies because their citizens are motivated differently. It explains why Chile, China, and Singapore grow so quickly after becoming market economies.

People have spent a lot of money on third-world poverty. According to Why Nations Fail, education and infrastructure aren't the answer. Developing nations must adopt free-market economic policies.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk is the world's richest man, but that’s not a good way to describe him. Elon Musk is the world's richest man, which is like calling Steve Jobs a turtleneck-wearer or Benjamin Franklin a printer.

Elon Musk does cool sci-fi stuff to help humanity avoid existential threats.

Oil will run out. We've delayed this by developing better extraction methods. We only have so much nonrenewable oil.

Our society is doomed if it depends on oil. Elon Musk invested heavily in Tesla and SolarCity to speed the shift to renewable energy.

Musk worries about AI: we'll build machines smarter than us. We won't be able to stop these machines if something goes wrong, just like cows can't fight humans. Neuralink: we need to be smarter to compete with AI when the time comes.

If Earth becomes uninhabitable, we need a backup plan. Asteroid or nuclear war could strike Earth at any moment. We may not have much time to react if it happens in a few days. We must build a new civilization while times are good and resources are plentiful.

Short-term problems dominate our politics, but long-term issues are more important. Long-term problems can cause mass casualties and homelessness. Musk demonstrates how to think long-term.

The main reason people are impressed by Elon Musk, and why Ashlee Vances' biography influenced me so much, is that he does impossible things.

Electric cars were once considered unprofitable, but Tesla has made them mainstream. SpaceX is the world's largest private space company.

People lack imagination and dismiss ununderstood ideas as impossible. Humanity is about pushing limits. Don't worry if your dreams seem impossible. Try it.

Thanks for reading.

Jayden Levitt

Jayden Levitt

1 year ago

How to Explain NFTs to Your Grandmother, in Simple Terms

Credit — Grandma Finds The Internet

In simple terms, you probably don’t.

But try. Grandma didn't grow up with Facebook, but she eventually joined.

Perhaps the fear of being isolated outweighed the discomfort of learning the technology.

Grandmas are Facebook likers, sharers, and commenters.

There’s no stopping her.

Not even NFTs. Web3 is currently very complex.

It's difficult to explain what NFTs are, how they work, and why we might use them.

Three explanations.

1. Everything will be ours to own, both physically and digitally.

Why own something you can't touch? What's the point?

Blockchain technology proves digital ownership.

Untouchables need ownership proof. What?

Digital assets reduce friction, save time, and are better for the environment than physical goods.

Many valuable things are intangible. Feeling like your favorite brands. You'll pay obscene prices for clothing that costs pennies.

Secondly, NFTs Are Contracts. Agreements Have Value.

Blockchain technology will replace all contracts and intermediaries.

Every insurance contract, deed, marriage certificate, work contract, plane ticket, concert ticket, or sports event is likely an NFT.

We all have public wallets, like Grandma's Facebook page.

3. Your NFT Purchases Will Be Visible To Everyone.

Everyone can see your public wallet. What you buy says more about you than what you post online.

NFTs issued double as marketing collateral when seen on social media.

While I doubt Grandma knows who Snoop Dog is, imagine him or another famous person holding your NFT in his public wallet and the attention that could bring to you, your company, or brand.

This Technical Section Is For You

The NFT is a contract; its founders can add value through access, events, tuition, and possibly royalties.

Imagine Elon Musk releasing an NFT to his network. Or yearly business consultations for three years.

Christ-alive.

It's worth millions.

These determine their value.

No unsuspecting schmuck willing to buy your hot potato at zero. That's the trend, though.

Overpriced NFTs for low-effort projects created a bubble that has burst.

During a market bubble, you can make money by buying overvalued assets and selling them later for a profit, according to the Greater Fool Theory.

People are struggling. Some are ruined by collateralized loans and the gold rush.

Finances are ruined.

It's uncomfortable.

The same happened in 2018, during the ICO crash or in 1999/2000 when the dot com bubble burst. But the underlying technology hasn’t gone away.