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Khyati Jain

Khyati Jain

1 year ago

By Engaging in these 5 Duplicitous Daily Activities, You Rapidly Kill Your Brain Cells

More on Personal Growth

Jari Roomer

Jari Roomer

1 year ago

10 Alternatives to Smartphone Scrolling

"Don't let technology control you; manage your phone."

"Don't become a slave to technology," said Richard Branson. "Manage your phone, don't let it manage you."

Unfortunately, most people are addicted to smartphones.


Worrying smartphone statistics:

  • 46% of smartphone users spend 5–6 hours daily on their device.

  • The average adult spends 3 hours 54 minutes per day on mobile devices.

  • We check our phones 150–344 times per day (every 4 minutes).

  • During the pandemic, children's daily smartphone use doubled.

Having a list of productive, healthy, and fulfilling replacement activities is an effective way to reduce smartphone use.

The more you practice these smartphone replacements, the less time you'll waste.

Skills Development

Most people say they 'don't have time' to learn new skills or read more. Lazy justification. The issue isn't time, but time management. Distractions and low-quality entertainment waste hours every day.

The majority of time is spent in low-quality ways, according to Richard Koch, author of The 80/20 Principle.

What if you swapped daily phone scrolling for skill-building?

There are dozens of skills to learn, from high-value skills to make more money to new languages and party tricks.

Learning a new skill will last for years, if not a lifetime, compared to scrolling through your phone.

Watch Docs

Love documentaries. It's educational and relaxing. A good documentary helps you understand the world, broadens your mind, and inspires you to change.

Recent documentaries I liked include:

  • 14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible

  • The Social Dilemma

  • Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond

  • Fantastic Fungi

Make money online

If you've ever complained about not earning enough money, put away your phone and get to work.

Instead of passively consuming mobile content, start creating it. Create something worthwhile. Freelance.

Internet makes starting a business or earning extra money easier than ever.

(Grand)parents didn't have this. Someone made them work 40+ hours. Few alternatives existed.

Today, all you need is internet and a monetizable skill. Use the internet instead of letting it distract you. Profit from it.

Bookworm

Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup For The Soul, said, "Everyone spends 2–3 hours a day watching TV." If you read that much, you'll be in the top 1% of your field."

Few people have more than two hours per day to read.

If you read 15 pages daily, you'd finish 27 books a year (as the average non-fiction book is about 200 pages).

Jack Canfield's quote remains relevant even though 15 pages can be read in 20–30 minutes per day. Most spend this time watching TV or on their phones.

What if you swapped 20 minutes of mindless scrolling for reading? You'd gain knowledge and skills.

Favorite books include:

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People — Stephen R. Covey

  • The War of Art — Steven Pressfield

  • The Psychology of Money — Morgan Housel

  • A New Earth — Eckart Tolle

Get Organized

All that screen time could've been spent organizing. It could have been used to clean, cook, or plan your week.

If you're always 'behind,' spend 15 minutes less on your phone to get organized.

"Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I'll spend the first four sharpening the ax," said Abraham Lincoln. Getting organized is like sharpening an ax, making each day more efficient.

Creativity

Why not be creative instead of consuming others'? Do something creative, like:

  • Painting

  • Musically

  • Photography\sWriting

  • Do-it-yourself

  • Construction/repair

Creative projects boost happiness, cognitive functioning, and reduce stress and anxiety. Creative pursuits induce a flow state, a powerful mental state.

This contrasts with smartphones' effects. Heavy smartphone use correlates with stress, depression, and anxiety.

Hike

People spend 90% of their time indoors, according to research. This generation is the 'Indoor Generation'

We lack an active lifestyle, fresh air, and vitamin D3 due to our indoor lifestyle (generated through direct sunlight exposure). Mental and physical health issues result.

Put away your phone and get outside. Go on nature walks. Explore your city on foot (or by bike, as we do in Amsterdam) if you live in a city. Move around! Outdoors!

You can't spend your whole life staring at screens.

Podcasting

Okay, a smartphone is needed to listen to podcasts. When you use your phone to get smarter, you're more productive than 95% of people.

Favorite podcasts:

  • The Pomp Podcast (about cryptocurrencies)

  • The Joe Rogan Experience

  • Kwik Brain (by Jim Kwik)

Podcasts can be enjoyed while walking, cleaning, or doing laundry. Win-win.

Journalize

I find journaling helpful for mental clarity. Writing helps organize thoughts.

Instead of reading internet opinions, comments, and discussions, look inward. Instead of Twitter or TikTok, look inward.

It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.” — Marcus Aurelius


Give your mind free reign with pen and paper. It will highlight important thoughts, emotions, or ideas.

Never write for another person. You want unfiltered writing. So you get the best ideas.

Find your best hobbies

List your best hobbies. I guarantee 95% of people won't list smartphone scrolling.

It's often low-quality entertainment. The dopamine spike is short-lived, and it leaves us feeling emotionally 'empty'

High-quality leisure sparks happiness. They make us happy and alive. Everyone has different interests, so these activities vary.

My favorite quality hobbies are:

  • Nature walks (especially the mountains)

  • Video game party

  • Watching a film with my girlfriend

  • Gym weightlifting

  • Complexity learning (such as the blockchain and the universe)

This brings me joy. They make me feel more fulfilled and 'rich' than social media scrolling.

Make a list of your best hobbies to refer to when you're spending too much time on your phone.

Datt Panchal

Datt Panchal

1 year ago

The Learning Habit

Made by Datt Panchal, Made with canva.com

The Habit of Learning implies constantly learning something new. One daily habit will make you successful. Learning will help you succeed.

Most successful people continually learn. Success requires this behavior. Daily learning.

Success loves books. Books offer expert advice. Everything is online today. Most books are online, so you can skip the library. You must download it and study for 15-30 minutes daily. This habit changes your thinking.

Made by Datt Panchal, Made with canva.com

Typical Successful People

  • Warren Buffett reads 500 pages of corporate reports and five newspapers for five to six hours each day.

  • Each year, Bill Gates reads 50 books.

  • Every two weeks, Mark Zuckerberg reads at least one book.

  • According to his brother, Elon Musk studied two books a day as a child and taught himself engineering and rocket design.

Learning & Making Money Online

No worries if you can't afford books. Everything is online. YouTube, free online courses, etc.

Made by Datt Panchal, Made with canva.com

How can you create this behavior in yourself?

1) Consider what you want to know

Before learning, know what's most important. So, move together.

Set a goal and schedule learning.

After deciding what you want to study, create a goal and plan learning time.

3) GATHER RESOURCES

Get the most out of your learning resources. Online or offline.

Entreprogrammer

Entreprogrammer

1 year ago

The Steve Jobs Formula: A Guide to Everything

A must-read for everyone

Photo by AB on Unsplash

Jobs is well-known. You probably know the tall, thin guy who wore the same clothing every day. His influence is unavoidable. In fewer than 40 years, Jobs' innovations have impacted computers, movies, cellphones, music, and communication.

Steve Jobs may be more imaginative than the typical person, but if we can use some of his ingenuity, ambition, and good traits, we'll be successful. This essay explains how to follow his guidance and success secrets.

1. Repetition is necessary for success.

Be patient and diligent to master something. Practice makes perfect. This is why older workers are often more skilled.

When should you repeat a task? When you're confident and excited to share your product. It's when to stop tweaking and repeating.

Jobs stated he'd make the crowd sh** their pants with an iChat demo.

Use this in your daily life.

  • Start with the end in mind. You can put it in writing and be as detailed as you like with your plan's schedule and metrics. For instance, you have a goal of selling three coffee makers in a week.

  • Break it down, break the goal down into particular tasks you must complete, and then repeat those tasks. To sell your coffee maker, you might need to make 50 phone calls.

  • Be mindful of the amount of work necessary to produce the desired results. Continue doing this until you are happy with your product.

2. Acquire the ability to add and subtract.

How did Picasso invent cubism? Pablo Picasso was influenced by stylised, non-naturalistic African masks that depict a human figure.

Artists create. Constantly seeking inspiration. They think creatively about random objects. Jobs said creativity is linking things. Creative people feel terrible when asked how they achieved something unique because they didn't do it all. They saw innovation. They had mastered connecting and synthesizing experiences.

Use this in your daily life.

  • On your phone, there is a note-taking app. Ideas for what you desire to learn should be written down. It may be learning a new language, calligraphy, or anything else that inspires or intrigues you.

  • Note any ideas you have, quotations, or any information that strikes you as important.

  • Spend time with smart individuals, that is the most important thing. Jim Rohn, a well-known motivational speaker, has observed that we are the average of the five people with whom we spend the most time.

  • Learning alone won't get you very far. You need to put what you've learnt into practice. If you don't use your knowledge and skills, they are useless.

3. Develop the ability to refuse.

Steve Jobs deleted thousands of items when he created Apple's design ethic. Saying no to distractions meant upsetting customers and partners.

John Sculley, the former CEO of Apple, said something like this. According to Sculley, Steve’s methodology differs from others as he always believed that the most critical decisions are things you choose not to do.

Use this in your daily life.

  • Never be afraid to say "no," "I won't," or "I don't want to." Keep it simple. This method works well in some situations.

  • Give a different option. For instance, X might be interested even if I won't be able to achieve it.

  • Control your top priority. Before saying yes to anything, make sure your work schedule and priority list are up to date.

4. Follow your passion

“Follow your passion” is the worst advice people can give you. Steve Jobs didn't start Apple because he suddenly loved computers. He wanted to help others attain their maximum potential.

Great things take a lot of work, so quitting makes sense if you're not passionate. Jobs learned from history that successful people were passionate about their work and persisted through challenges.

Use this in your daily life.

  • Stay away from your passion. Allow it to develop daily. Keep working at your 9-5-hour job while carefully gauging your level of desire and endurance. Less risk exists.

  • The truth is that if you decide to work on a project by yourself rather than in a group, it will take you years to complete it instead of a week. Instead, network with others who have interests in common.

  • Prepare a fallback strategy in case things go wrong.

Success, this small two-syllable word eventually gives your life meaning, a perspective. What is success?  For most, it's achieving their ambitions. However, there's a catch. Successful people aren't always happy.

Furthermore, where do people’s goals and achievements end? It’s a never-ending process. Success is a journey, not a destination. We wish you not to lose your way on this journey.

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CyberPunkMetalHead

CyberPunkMetalHead

1 year ago

Why Bitcoin NFTs Are Incomprehensible yet Likely Here to Stay

I'm trying to understand why Bitcoin NFTs aren't ready.

Ordinals, a new Bitcoin protocol, has been controversial. NFTs can be added to Bitcoin transactions using the protocol. They are not tokens or fungible. Bitcoin NFTs are transaction metadata. Yes. They're not owned.

In January, the Ordinals protocol allowed data like photos to be directly encoded onto sats, the smallest units of Bitcoin worth 0.00000001 BTC, on the Bitcoin blockchain. Ordinals does not need a sidechain or token like other techniques. The Ordinals protocol has encoded JPEG photos, digital art, new profile picture (PFP) projects, and even 1993 DOOM onto the Bitcoin network.

Ordinals inscriptions are permanent digital artifacts preserved on the Bitcoin blockchain. It differs from Ethereum, Solana, and Stacks NFT technologies that allow smart contract creators to change information. Ordinals store the whole image or content on the blockchain, not just a link to an external server, unlike centralized databases, which can change the linked image, description, category, or contract identifier.

So far, more than 50,000 ordinals have been produced on the Bitcoin blockchain, and some of them have already been sold for astronomical amounts. The Ethereum-based CryptoPunks NFT collection spawned Ordinal Punk. Inscription 620 sold for 9.5 BTC, or $218,000, the most.

Segwit and Taproot, two important Bitcoin blockchain updates, enabled this. These protocols store transaction metadata, unlike Ethereum, where the NFT is the token. Bitcoin's NFT is a sat's transaction details.

What effects do ordinary values and NFTs have on the Bitcoin blockchain?

Ordinals will likely have long-term effects on the Bitcoin Ecosystem since they store, transact, and compute more data.

Charges Ordinals introduce scalability challenges. The Bitcoin network has limited transaction throughput and increased fees during peak demand. NFTs could make network transactions harder and more expensive. Ordinals currently occupy over 50% of block space, according to Glassnode.

One of the protocols that supported Ordinals Taproot has also seen a huge uptick:

Taproot use increases block size and transaction costs.

This could cause network congestion but also support more L2s with Ordinals-specific use cases. Dune info here.

Storage Needs The Bitcoin blockchain would need to store more data to store NFT data directly. Since ordinals were introduced, blocksize has tripled from 0.7mb to over 2.2mb, which could increase storage costs and make it harder for nodes to join the network.

Use Case Diversity On the other hand, NFTs on the Bitcoin blockchain could broaden Bitcoin's use cases beyond storage and payment. This could expand Bitcoin's user base. This is two-sided. Bitcoin was designed to be trustless, decentralized, peer-to-peer money.

Chain to permanently store NFTs as ordinals will change everything.

Popularity rise This new use case will boost Bitcoin appeal, according to some. This argument fails since Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency. Popularity doesn't require a new use case. Cryptocurrency adoption boosts Bitcoin. It need not compete with Ethereum or provide extra benefits to crypto investors. If there was a need for another chain that supports NFTs (there isn't), why would anyone choose the slowest and most expensive network? It appears contradictory and unproductive.

Nonetheless, holding an NFT on the Bitcoin blockchain is more secure than any other blockchain, but this has little utility.

Bitcoin NFTs are undoubtedly controversial. NFTs are strange and perhaps harmful to Bitcoin's mission. If Bitcoin NFTs are here to stay, I hope a sidechain or rollup solution will take over and leave the base chain alone.

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!

Vitalik

Vitalik

2 years ago

An approximate introduction to how zk-SNARKs are possible (part 1)

You can make a proof for the statement "I know a secret number such that if you take the word ‘cow', add the number to the end, and SHA256 hash it 100 million times, the output starts with 0x57d00485aa". The verifier can verify the proof far more quickly than it would take for them to run 100 million hashes themselves, and the proof would also not reveal what the secret number is.

In the context of blockchains, this has 2 very powerful applications: Perhaps the most powerful cryptographic technology to come out of the last decade is general-purpose succinct zero knowledge proofs, usually called zk-SNARKs ("zero knowledge succinct arguments of knowledge"). A zk-SNARK allows you to generate a proof that some computation has some particular output, in such a way that the proof can be verified extremely quickly even if the underlying computation takes a very long time to run. The "ZK" part adds an additional feature: the proof can keep some of the inputs to the computation hidden.

You can make a proof for the statement "I know a secret number such that if you take the word ‘cow', add the number to the end, and SHA256 hash it 100 million times, the output starts with 0x57d00485aa". The verifier can verify the proof far more quickly than it would take for them to run 100 million hashes themselves, and the proof would also not reveal what the secret number is.

In the context of blockchains, this has two very powerful applications:

  1. Scalability: if a block takes a long time to verify, one person can verify it and generate a proof, and everyone else can just quickly verify the proof instead
  2. Privacy: you can prove that you have the right to transfer some asset (you received it, and you didn't already transfer it) without revealing the link to which asset you received. This ensures security without unduly leaking information about who is transacting with whom to the public.

But zk-SNARKs are quite complex; indeed, as recently as in 2014-17 they were still frequently called "moon math". The good news is that since then, the protocols have become simpler and our understanding of them has become much better. This post will try to explain how ZK-SNARKs work, in a way that should be understandable to someone with a medium level of understanding of mathematics.

Why ZK-SNARKs "should" be hard

Let us take the example that we started with: we have a number (we can encode "cow" followed by the secret input as an integer), we take the SHA256 hash of that number, then we do that again another 99,999,999 times, we get the output, and we check what its starting digits are. This is a huge computation.

A "succinct" proof is one where both the size of the proof and the time required to verify it grow much more slowly than the computation to be verified. If we want a "succinct" proof, we cannot require the verifier to do some work per round of hashing (because then the verification time would be proportional to the computation). Instead, the verifier must somehow check the whole computation without peeking into each individual piece of the computation.

One natural technique is random sampling: how about we just have the verifier peek into the computation in 500 different places, check that those parts are correct, and if all 500 checks pass then assume that the rest of the computation must with high probability be fine, too?

Such a procedure could even be turned into a non-interactive proof using the Fiat-Shamir heuristic: the prover computes a Merkle root of the computation, uses the Merkle root to pseudorandomly choose 500 indices, and provides the 500 corresponding Merkle branches of the data. The key idea is that the prover does not know which branches they will need to reveal until they have already "committed to" the data. If a malicious prover tries to fudge the data after learning which indices are going to be checked, that would change the Merkle root, which would result in a new set of random indices, which would require fudging the data again... trapping the malicious prover in an endless cycle.

But unfortunately there is a fatal flaw in naively applying random sampling to spot-check a computation in this way: computation is inherently fragile. If a malicious prover flips one bit somewhere in the middle of a computation, they can make it give a completely different result, and a random sampling verifier would almost never find out.


It only takes one deliberately inserted error, that a random check would almost never catch, to make a computation give a completely incorrect result.

If tasked with the problem of coming up with a zk-SNARK protocol, many people would make their way to this point and then get stuck and give up. How can a verifier possibly check every single piece of the computation, without looking at each piece of the computation individually? There is a clever solution.

see part 2