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The Secret Developer
3 months ago
What Elon Musk's Take on Bitcoin Teaches Us
Tesla Q2 earnings revealed unethical dealings.
As of end of Q2, we have converted approximately 75% of our Bitcoin purchases into fiat currency
That’s OK then, isn’t it?
Elon Musk, Tesla's CEO, is now untrustworthy.
It’s not about infidelity, it’s about doing the right thing
And what can we learn?
The Opening Remark
Musk tweets on his (and Tesla's) future goals.
Don’t worry, I’m not expecting you to read it.
Tesla will not be selling any Bitcoin
The Situation as It Develops
2021 Tesla spent $1.5 billion on Bitcoin. In 2022, they sold 75% of the ownership for $946 million.
That’s a little bit of a waste of money, right?
Musk predicted the reverse would happen.
What gives? Why would someone say one thing, then do the polar opposite?
The Justification For Change
Tesla's public. They must follow regulations. When a corporation trades, they must record what happens.
At least this keeps Musk some way in line.
We now understand Musk and Tesla's actions.
Musk claimed that Tesla sold bitcoins to maximize cash given the unpredictability of COVID lockdowns in China.
Tesla may buy Bitcoin in the future, he said.
That’s fine then. He’s not knocking the NFT at least.
Tesla has moved investments into cash due to China lockdowns.
That doesn’t explain the 180° though
Musk's Tweet isn't company policy. Therefore, the CEO's change of heart reflects the organization. Look.
That's okay, since
Leaders alter their positions when circumstances change.
Leaders must adapt to their surroundings. This isn't embarrassing; it's a leadership prerequisite.
Someone stated if you're not in the office full-time, you need to explain yourself. He doesn't treat his employees like adults.
This is the individual mentioned in the quote.
If Elon was not happy, you knew it. Things could get nasty
also, He fired his helper for requesting a raise.
This public persona isn't good. Without mentioning his disastrous performances on Twitter (pedo dude) or Joe Rogan. This image sums up the odd Podcast appearance:
Which describes the man.
I wouldn’t trust this guy to feed a cat
What we can discover
When Musk's company bet on Bitcoin, what happened?
Exactly what we would expect
The company's position altered without the CEO's awareness. He seems uncaring.
This article is about how something happened, not what happened. Change of thinking requires contrition.
This situation is about a lack of respect- although you might argue that followers on Twitter don’t deserve any
Tesla fans call the sale a great move.
As you were, then.
Good luck if you gamble.
When they pay off, congrats!
When wrong, admit it.
You must take chances if you want to succeed.
Risks don't always pay off.
Mr. Musk lacks insight and charisma to combine these two attributes.
I don’t like him, if you hadn’t figured.
It’s probably all of the cheating.
5 months ago
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21 days ago
The current inflation is unique.
New Stiglitz just dropped.
Here's the inflation story everyone believes (warning: it's false): America gave the poor too much money during the recession, and now the economy is awash with free money, which made them so rich they're refusing to work, meaning the economy isn't making anything. Prices are soaring due to increased cash and missing labor.
Lawrence Summers says there's only one answer. We must impoverish the poor: raise interest rates, cause a recession, and eliminate millions of jobs, until the poor are stripped of their underserved fortunes and return to work.
This is nonsense. Countries around the world suffered inflation during and after lockdowns, whether they gave out humanitarian money to keep people from starvation. America has slightly greater inflation than other OECD countries, but it's not due to big relief packages.
The Causes of and Responses to Today's Inflation, a Roosevelt Institute report by Nobel-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz and macroeconomist Regmi Ira, debunks this bogus inflation story and offers a more credible explanation for inflation.
Sharp interest rate hikes exacerbate the slump and increase inflation, the authors argue. They compare monetary policy inflation cures to medieval bloodletting, where doctors repeated the same treatment until the patient recovered (for which they received credit) or died (which was more likely).
Let's discuss bloodletting. Inflation hawks warn of the wage price spiral, when inflation rises and powerful workers bargain for higher pay, driving up expenses, prices, and wages. This is the fairy-tale narrative of the 1970s, and it's true except that OPEC's embargo drove up oil prices, which produced inflation. Oh well.
Let's be generous to seventies-haunted inflation hawks and say we're worried about a wage-price spiral. Fantastic! No. Real wages are 2.3% lower than they were in Oct 2021 after peaking in June at 4.8%.
Why did America's powerful workers take a paycut rather than demand inflation-based pay? Weak unions, globalization, economic developments.
Workers don't expect inflation to rise, so they're not requesting inflationary hikes. Inflationary expectations have remained moderate, consistent with our data interpretation.
Neither are workers. Working people see surplus savings as wealth and spend it gradually over their lives, despite rising demand. People may have saved money by staying in during the lockdown, but they don't eat out every night to make up for it. Instead, they keep those savings as precautionary balances. This is why the economy is lagging.
People don't buy non-traded goods with pandemic savings (basically, imports). Imports don't multiply like domestic purchases. If you buy a loaf of bread from the corner baker for $1 and they spend it at the tavern across the street, that dollar generates $3 in economic activity. Spending a dollar on foreign goods leaves the country and any multiplier effect happens there, not in the US.
Only marginally higher wages. The ECI is up 1.6% from 2019. Almost all gains went to the 25% lowest-paid Americans. Contrary to the inflation worry about too much savings, these workers don't make enough to save, even post-pandemic.
Recreation and transit spending are at or below pre-pandemic levels. Higher food and hotel prices (which doesn’t mean we’re buying more food than we were in 2019, just that it costs more).
What causes inflation if not greedy workers, free money, and high demand? The most expensive domestic goods produce the biggest revenues for their manufacturers. They charge you more without paying their workers or suppliers more.
The largest price-gougers are funneling their earnings to rich people who store it offshore through stock buybacks and dividends. A $1 billion stock buyback doesn't buy $1 billion in bread.
Five factors influence US inflation today:
I. Price rises for energy and food
II. shifts in consumer tastes
III. supply interruptions (mainly autos);
IV. increased rents (due to telecommuting);
V. monopoly (AKA price-gouging).
None can be remedied by raising interest rates or laying off workers.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine, omicron, and China's Zero Covid policy all disrupted the flow of food, energy, and production inputs. The price went higher because we made less.
After Russia invaded Ukraine, oil prices spiked, and sanctions made it worse. But that was February. By October, oil prices had returned to pre-pandemic, 2015 levels attributable to global economic adjustments, including a shift to renewables. Every new renewable installation reduces oil consumption and affects oil prices.
High food prices have a simple solution. The US and EU have bribed farmers not to produce for 50 years. If the war continues, this program may end, and food prices may decline.
Demand changes. We want different things than in 2019, not more. During the lockdown, people substituted goods. Half of the US toilet-paper supply in 2019 was on commercial-sized rolls. This is created from different mills and stock than our toilet paper.
Lockdown pushed toilet paper demand to residential rolls, causing shortages (the TP hoarding story was just another pandemic urban legend). Because supermarket stores don't have accounts with commercial paper distributors, ordering from languishing stores was difficult. Kleenex and paper towel substitutions caused greater shortages.
All that drove increased costs in numerous product categories, and there were more cases. These increases are transient, caused by supply chain inefficiencies that are resolving.
Demand for frontline staff saw a one-time repricing of pay, which is being recouped as we speak.
Illnesses. Brittle, hollowed-out global supply chains aggravated this. The constant pursuit of cheap labor and minimal regulation by monopolies that dominate most sectors means things are manufactured in far-flung locations. Financialization means any surplus capital assets were sold off years ago, leaving firms with little production slack. After the epidemic, several of these systems took years to restart.
Automobiles are to blame. Financialization and monopolization consolidated microchip and auto production in Taiwan and China. When the lockdowns came, these worldwide corporations cancelled their chip orders, and when they placed fresh orders, they were at the back of the line.
That drove up car prices, which is why the US has slightly higher inflation than other wealthy countries: the economy is car-centric. Automobile prices account for 9% of the CPI. France: 3.6%
Rent shocks and telecommuting. After the epidemic, many professionals moved to exurbs, small towns, and the countryside to work from home. As commercial properties were vacated, it was impractical to adapt them for residential use due to planning restrictions. Addressing these restrictions will cut rent prices more than raising inflation rates, which halts housing construction.
Statistical mirages cause some rent inflation. The CPI estimates what homeowners would pay to rent their properties. When rents rise in your neighborhood, the CPI believes you're spending more on rent even if you have a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.
Market dominance. Almost every area of the US economy is dominated by monopolies, whose CEOs disclose on investor calls that they use inflation scares to jack up prices and make record profits.
Long-term profit margins are rising. Markups averaged 26% from 1960-1980. 2021: 72%. Market concentration explains 81% of markup increases (e.g. monopolization). Profit margins reach a 70-year high in 2022. These elements interact. Monopolies thin out their sectors, making them brittle and sensitive to shocks.
If we're worried about a shrinking workforce, there are more humanitarian and sensible solutions than causing a recession and mass unemployment. Instead, we may boost US production capacity by easing workers' entry into the workforce.
US female workforce participation ranks towards the bottom of developed countries. Many women can't afford to work due to America's lack of daycare, low earnings, and bad working conditions in female-dominated fields. If America doesn't have enough workers, childcare subsidies and minimum wages can help.
By contrast, driving the country into recession with interest-rate hikes will reduce employment, and the last recruited (women, minorities) are the first fired and the last to be rehired. Forcing America into recession won't enhance its capacity to create what its people want; it will degrade it permanently.
Nothing the Fed does can stop price hikes from international markets, lack of supply chain investment, COVID-19 disruptions, climate change, the Ukraine war, or market power. They can worsen it. When supply problems generate inflation, raising interest rates decreases investments that can remedy shortages.
Increasing interest rates won't cut rents since landlords pass on the expenses and high rates restrict investment in new dwellings where tenants could escape the costs.
Fixing the supply fixes supply-side inflation. Increase renewables investment (as the Inflation Reduction Act does). Monopolies can be busted (as the IRA does). Reshore key goods (as the CHIPS Act does). Better pay and child care attract employees.
Windfall taxes can claw back price-gouging corporations' monopoly earnings.
In 2008, we ruled out fiscal solutions (bailouts for debtors) and turned to monetary policy (bank bailouts). This preserved the economy but increased inequality and eroded public trust.
Monetary policy won't help. Even monetary policy enthusiasts recognize an 18-month lag between action and result. That suggests monetary tightening is unnecessary. Like the medieval bloodletter, central bankers whose interest rate hikes don't work swiftly may do more of the same, bringing the economy to its knees.
Interest rates must rise. Zero-percent interest fueled foolish speculation and financialization. Increasing rates will stop this. Increasing interest rates will destroy the economy and dampen inflation.
Then what? All recent evidence indicate to inflation decreasing on its own, as the authors argue. Supply side difficulties are finally being overcome, evidence shows. Energy and food prices are showing considerable mean reversion, which is disinflationary.
The authors don't recommend doing nothing. Best case scenario, they argue, is that the Fed won't keep raising interest rates until morale improves.
10 months ago
Why I Love Azuki
Azuki Banner (www.azuki.com)
Disclaimer: This is my personal viewpoint. I'm not on the Azuki team. Please keep in mind that I am merely a fan, community member, and holder. Please do your own research and pardon my grammar. Thanks!
Azuki has changed my view of NFTs.
When I first entered the NFT world, I had no idea what to expect. I liked the idea. So I invested in some projects, fought for whitelists, and discovered some cool NFTs projects (shout-out to CATC). I lost more money than I earned at one point, but I hadn't invested excessively (only put in what you can afford to lose). Despite my losses, I kept looking. I almost waited for the “ah-ha” moment. A NFT project that changed my perspective on NFTs. What makes an NFT project more than a work of art?
The Azuki art drew me in as an anime fan. It looked like something out of an anime, and I'd never seen it before in NFT.
The project was still new. The first two animated teasers were released with little fanfare, but I was impressed with their quality. You can find them on Instagram or in their earlier Tweets.
The teasers hinted that this project could be big and that the team could deliver. It was amazing to see Shao cut the Azuki posters with her katana. Especially at the end when she sheaths her sword and the music cues. Then the live action video of the young boy arranging the Azuki posters seemed movie-like. I felt like I was entering the Azuki story, brand, and dope theme.
The team did not disappoint with the Azuki NFTs. The level of detail in the art is stunning. There were Azukis of all genders, skin and hair types, and more. These 10,000 Azukis have so much representation that almost anyone can find something that resonates. Rather than me rambling on, I suggest you visit the Azuki gallery
If the art is meant to draw you in and be the project's face, the team makes it more. The NFT would be a JPEG without a good team leader. Not that community isn't important, but no community would rally around a bad team.
Because I've been rugged before, I'm very focused on the team when considering a project. While many project teams are anonymous, I try to find ones that are doxxed (public) or at least appear to be established. Unlike Azuki, where most of the Azuki team is anonymous, Steamboy is public. He is (or was) Overwatch's character art director and co-creator of Azuki. I felt reassured and could trust the project after seeing someone from a major game series on the team.
Then I tried to learn as much as I could about the team. Following everyone on Twitter, reading their tweets, and listening to recorded AMAs. I was impressed by the team's professionalism and dedication to their vision for Azuki, led by ZZZAGABOND.
I believe the phrase “actions speak louder than words” applies to Azuki. I can think of a few examples of what the Azuki team has done, but my favorite is ERC721A.
With ERC721A, Azuki has created a new algorithm that allows minting multiple NFTs for essentially the same cost as minting one NFT.
I was ecstatic when the dev team announced it. This fascinates me as a self-taught developer. Azuki released a product that saves people money, improves the NFT space, and is open source. It showed their love for Azuki and the NFT community.
Community, community, community. It's almost a chant in the NFT space now. A community, like a team, can make or break a project. We are the project's consumers, shareholders, core, and lifeblood. The team builds the house, and we fill it. We stay for the community.
When I first entered the Azuki Discord, I was surprised by the calm atmosphere. There was no news about the project. No release date, no whitelisting requirements. No grinding or spamming either. People just wanted to hangout, get to know each other, and talk. It was nice. So the team could pick genuine people for their mintlist (aka whitelist).
But nothing fundamental has changed since the release. It has remained an authentic, fun, and helpful community. I'm constantly logging into Discord to chat with others or follow conversations. I see the community's openness to newcomers. Everyone respects each other (barring a few bad apples) and the variety of people passing through is fascinating. This human connection and interaction is what I enjoy about this place. Being a part of a group that supports a cause.
Finally, I want to thank the amazing Azuki mod team and the kissaten channel for their contributions.
So, what sets Azuki apart from other projects? They are shaping a brand or identity. The Azuki website, I believe, best captures their vision. (This is me gushing over the site.)
If you go to the website, turn on the dope playlist in the bottom left. The playlist features a mix of Asian and non-Asian hip-hop and rap artists, with some lo-fi thrown in. The songs on the playlist change, but I think you get the vibe Azuki embodies just by turning on the music.
The Garden is our next stop where we are introduced to Azuki.
We're creating a new brand together.
A metaverse brand. By the people.
A collection of 10,000 avatars that grant Garden membership. It starts with exclusive streetwear collabs, NFT drops, live events, and more. Azuki allows for a new media genre that the world has yet to discover. Let's build together an Azuki, your metaverse identity.
The Garden is a magical internet corner where art, community, and culture collide. The boundaries between the physical and digital worlds are blurring.
Try a Red Bean.
The text begins with Azuki's intention in the space. It's a community-made metaverse brand. Then it goes into more detail about Azuki's plans. Initiation of a story or journey. "Would you like to take the red bean and jump down the rabbit hole with us?" I love the Matrix red pill or blue pill play they used. (Azuki in Japanese means red bean.)
Morpheus, the rebel leader, offers Neo the choice of a red or blue pill in The Matrix. “You take the blue pill... After the story, you go back to bed and believe whatever you want. Your red pill... Let me show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.” Aware that the red pill will free him from the enslaving control of the machine-generated dream world and allow him to escape into the real world, he takes it. However, living the “truth of reality” is harsher and more difficult.
It's intriguing and draws you in. Taking the red bean causes what? Where am I going? I think they did well in piqueing a newcomer's interest.
Not convinced by the Garden? Read the Manifesto. It reinforces Azuki's role.
Here comes a new wave…
And surfing here is different.
Breaking down barriers.
Building open communities.
Creating magic internet money with our friends.
To those who don’t get it, we tell them: gm.
They’ll come around eventually.
Here’s to the ones with the courage to jump down a peculiar rabbit hole.
One that pulls you away from a world that’s created by many and owned by few…
To a world that’s created by more and owned by all.
From The Garden come the human beans that sprout into your family.
We rise together.
We build together.
We grow together.
Ready to take the red bean?
Not to mention the Mindmap, it sets Azuki apart from other projects and overused Roadmaps. I like how the team recognizes that the NFT space is not linear. So many of us are still trying to figure it out. It is Azuki's vision to adapt to changing environments while maintaining their values. I admire their commitment to long-term growth.
To be honest, I have no idea what the future holds. Azuki is still new and could fail. But I'm a long-term Azuki fan. I don't care about quick gains. The future looks bright for Azuki. I believe in the team's output. I love being an Azuki.
Thank you! IKUZO!
Full post here
6 months ago
Successful people have this one skill.
Without self-control, you'll waste time chasing dopamine fixes.
I found a powerful quote in Tony Robbins' Awaken The Giant Within:
“Most of the challenges that we have in our personal lives come from a short-term focus” — Tony Robbins
Most people are short-term oriented, but highly successful people are long-term oriented.
Successful people act in line with their long-term goals and values, while the rest are distracted by short-term pleasures and dopamine fixes.
Instant gratification wrecks lives
Instant pleasure is fleeting. Quickly fading effects leave you craving more stimulation.
Before you know it, you're in a cycle of quick fixes. This explains binging on food, social media, and Netflix.
These things cause a dopamine spike, which is entertaining. This dopamine spike crashes quickly, leaving you craving more stimulation.
It's fine to watch TV or play video games occasionally. Problems arise when brain impulses aren't controlled. You waste hours chasing dopamine fixes.
Instant gratification becomes problematic when it interferes with long-term goals, happiness, and life fulfillment.
Most rewarding things require delay
Life's greatest rewards require patience and delayed gratification. They must be earned through patience, consistency, and effort.
A fit, healthy body
A deep connection with your spouse
A thriving career/business
A healthy financial situation
These are some of life's most rewarding things, but they take work and patience. They all require the ability to delay gratification.
To have a healthy bank account, you must save (and invest) a large portion of your monthly income. This means no new tech or clothes.
If you want a fit, healthy body, you must eat better and exercise three times a week. So no fast food and Netflix.
It's a battle between what you want now and what you want most.
Successful people choose what they want most over what they want now. It's a major difference.
Instant vs. delayed gratification
Most people subconsciously prefer instant rewards over future rewards, even if the future rewards are more significant.
We humans aren't logical. Emotions and instincts drive us. So we act against our goals and values.
Fortunately, instant gratification bias can be overridden. This is a modern superpower. Effective methods include:
#1: Train your brain to handle overstimulation
Training your brain to function without constant stimulation is a powerful change. Boredom can lead to long-term rewards.
Unlike impulsive shopping, saving money is boring. Having lots of cash is amazing.
Compared to video games, deep work is boring. A successful online business is rewarding.
Reading books is boring compared to scrolling through funny videos on social media. Knowledge is invaluable.
You can't do these things if your brain is overstimulated. Your impulses will control you. To reduce overstimulation addiction, try:
Daily meditation (10 minutes is enough)
Daily study/work for 90 minutes (no distractions allowed)
First hour of the day without phone, social media, and Netflix
Nature walks, journaling, reading, sports, etc.
#2: Make Important Activities Less Intimidating
Instant gratification helps us cope with stress. Starting a book or business can be intimidating. Video games and social media offer a quick escape in such situations.
Make intimidating tasks less so. Break them down into small tasks. Start a new business/side-hustle by:
Get domain name
Write out a business plan
Approach first potential client
Instead of one big mountain, divide it into smaller sub-tasks. This makes a task easier and less intimidating.
#3: Plan ahead for important activities
Distractions will invade unplanned time. Your time is dictated by your impulses, which are usually Netflix, social media, fast food, and video games. It wants quick rewards and dopamine fixes.
Plan your days and be proactive with your time. Studies show that scheduling activities makes you 3x more likely to do them.
To achieve big goals, you must plan. Don't gamble.
Want to get fit? Schedule next week's workouts. Want a side-job? Schedule your work time.