How to manage your changing persona

Change happens

-no matter whether you like it or not

 

The point of this 10-minute article: Manifest exactly how retarded I am

What you can get out of it: A perspective on how difficult it can be to A) know what you want and B) predict one’s life, and advice on how to come to grips with both issues

Why I wrote it: It’s kind of a Not To Do list; once the issues/problems/tasks have been written down they can safely be postponed indefinitely. And that’s part of the lesson here, A) explore and be open to unknown sides of your personality and B) make a Not To Do list for the not-so-you-any-longer elements

 

Would you start Facebook if you had the chance?

The other day, an old friend reached out to me regarding his world changing start-up idea. It’s actually really good. Really, really good. Imagine the days before Facebook or eBay went live. That good. Good enough for me to talk to my network of people in high finance about it at least.

The only problem I have with the project is that I’m retarded for real. I have no interest in doing actual work, not to mention sinking serious money into a gargantuan project straight into the most competitive market place in the history of market places. It will get done, the question is only when and by whom. My guess is it won’t be a Swede when all is said and done.

 

Making the technological Singularity happen

Oh, yes, my hubris seems alive and well…

Another friend and I have been discussing the technological Singularity and general technological development for ages. Eventually, we wanted to do something about it. I mean, technological progress doesn’t happen by itself, as Kurzweil’s charts can lead you to believe.

And here we are, in August 2015, creating a kind of start-up incubator, meeting with potential collaborators and investors, not to mention prospects to fund. There is a crude website up, a logotype designed, a company to be incorporated, investor funnels, start-up funnels and other secret ingredients to set up. Damn, this is turning into real work…

 

I’m at a point in my life where there seems to be so many possibilities (*)

*American Psycho

In the periphery, I’m mirror blogging (for money; today I wrote my first invoice ever) on a Swedish stock market site called TradeVenue. And then there is my interest in health that led to an affiliation with my favorite Omega-3 oil producer. Perhaps I should throw in a little something about personal trading as well here? I have been doing a few trades lately, taking advantage of  corrections and bounces of first and second orders. In oil I got so lucky that I now have to consider taking profit and start over, since I don’t think we have seen the real trough yet.

Yesterday, I spent 90 minutes with an old friend who founded and funded several av the most well known Swedish websites, but now has moved on to the most down to earth industrial companies conceivable instead.

We just had a cappuccino each and took our sweet time, talking about start-ups, investing, commercial communities, portfolio management etc. Funny thing, he asked if I had any thoughts about managing money again… If so, he could have a line of clients waiting at a moment’s notice.

Then I went straight to another 90 minute meeting, over lunch (a large sashimi) at a place called Miss Voon, with a Venture Capitalist company. Primarily they wanted me to invest in their client companies but secondarily they became interested in my start-up projects. And quite out of the blue they asked if I was interested in board work or if I’ve truly gone full, full retard. I even got a specific company name and was asked to think about it.

Oh, and did I mention I have a dog that demands at least 3 hours of attention a day. That’s a bare minimum, and the actual figure is closer to 5 hours a day.

And then there is that very close friend who has a family business potentially worth a billion (Swedish kronor), that I help in assessing the value of every time the vultures close in. This week it was that time again, and I haven’t even responded properly yet.

Not quite as urgent, but still important, in a few weeks I’ll be giving a speech at the venerable (1337) institution The French School, Ecole Francaise, a stone’s throw from my apartment. Future oversized oscillating male genitalia, no doubt. The perfect crowd for effective inception maneuvers.

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in

 

Relaxing perhaps just isn’t for me

neither is structured work, however

After decades of hard work, constant stress and sleep deficit, my plan was to relax, do nothing, and read.

Somehow reading turned into learning (the most interesting blogs, books, podcasts etc. all contained useful information and soon my bias for relaxed reading turned into educational reading and doing [DuoLingo, KhanAcademy, Codecademy])

Then learning turned into teaching (live math teaching or more general mentoring)

Teaching turned into blogging (I was urged to create a blog to tell more people about my ideas, a natural extension of my inclination to teach what I learn, to lend the perspective I myself acquire)

Blogging turned into responsibility (the ability to respond to whoever reacted to my articles, just kidding) – a responsibility to explain and elaborate on whatever advice I might give, to be reliable.

But now, things are piling up fast, too fast. I’ve got over 50 books on my “urgent” to read list. I’ve got almost 10 tangible book ideas I want to write (but apparently not badly enough). I also want to make music and oil paintings.

And somehow blogging has found itself to both the very top and the very bottom of my to do list. It’s both a responsibility, a joy, almost my raison d’être, and a safety valve.

At least I don’t have to worry about ideas for articles, I record more than one new blog post idea per day in my commonplace (Evernote) and I currently have 204 ideas marked “blog posts” waiting there – and this one was not even on the list.

 

Life happened

What happened with retirement? With drinks, music, hammocks, summer breezes, reading books, creating art and relaxing? I know what happened. Life happened. And that’s good.

Pay attention to where your steps are leading you, and embrace what life turns out to be, rather than trying to strictly heed your younger self’s ambitions or plan too diligently for your future self.

By the way, my robotics project is put on hold. Phew!

 

Summary

Either, I’m just trying to convey what an awesome dude I (still) am.

Or, there is a message in here somewhere…:

 

The more time you spend knowing yourself the better. The earlier the better, and the more the better.

Be open to sides of yourself you didn’t expect (becoming a finance guru, or stop being one, or becoming one again, desiring 100% leisure or doing meaningful work most of your waking hours, etc. Accept and embrace changing, and encourage the same in others. You will change anyway).

If you have plans you keep postponing and regretting never doing, just stop. Either stop postponing, or stop regretting.

Realize that if you keep postponing, that specific plan just isn’t one of your real priorities and thus nothing to regret. Write it down on a Not To Do list and move on.

In short, know yourself, and keep a Not To Do list. Write one now! (Well, after you sign up for my newsletter and get my free eBook [and more are coming])

 

P.S. Just as I was writing the final sentences on this spontaneous post, I got an e-mail from a very senior portfolio manager (many billions of dollars in AUM) wanting to talk to me as soon as possible. I like getting close to the sirens to test my own desires, to learn what I really want when a possible turn of events is just a signature away.

Lessons from life (right) before the Singularity

FYI: This 5-minute post about true desires, work ends in nano wars (albeit no super AIs, diamond rope elevators to space and such)

The only take away from the article is asking “What would you do if you didn’t have to work at all?”

 

You know Moore’s Law

(basically that computer technology improves exponentially, i.e. by a certain factor per unit of time)

no more full retard monsters and UFOs

 

picture from xkcd

 

Moore’s law is not new

It’s not alone

full retard view of moores law

It’s part of a longer trend of technology used to make better tools, in turn used to make even better technology, that forms the basis for ever more advanced tools and technology, each new step building on top of the preceding one. It’s the essence of investing.

It started with life itself (or even before that, with increasingly complex sub-atomic and atomic particles), including inventing the DNA and much later the brain, all the way to language, writing, the printing press, punch cards, transistors and so on. The silicon paradigm is not the first, and far from the last in the chain of increasingly effective information management.

It’s not just about computers, it’s prevalent in all information based technologies (which when it comes down to it are all technologies, including genetics, software algorithms, artificial intelligence, and with time and smaller scale even matter itself)

If trends continue we will soon routinely sequence every living person’s DNA down to the base pair, we will develop strong nanotechnology atomic manipulators, map the connectome and so on. And as Ray Kurzweil has pointed out since decades back, the rate of acceleration is itself accelerating. The latter fact has been hard to detect until now; even the first order exponential growth was difficult to identify until Moore made his observation in the 1960s; but it’s there.

The reason is that not only does one technology create tools for its own next generation, other technologies feed into each other, not to mention more and more people (and soon AIs) work on the same tasks.

full retard law of accelerating returns

 

Please note that the accelerating curve above is on a log scale, meaning accelerating acceleration

Imagine miniaturization leading to ultimate control over the bits of matter with the same precision as current control over virtual bits. Measuring, mapping, mimicking and improving nature down to the atom (deeper still?) will be as natural as recording, sampling and mixing a tune or creating a Minecraft universe on your computer.

You could build anything with the help of free solar power (made by same nanobots) and free source material (carbon and silicon straight from the crust and air). You would become immortal and freed of the need to do work for a living.

Remember that all issues associated with the material world would be solved: pollution, global warming, disease, hunger, water, power and death.

Assume the Singularity holds off for a while; that crossing the threshold into ever improving and accelerating superhuman intelligence proves a little more difficult than anticipated, thus giving us all some time (all the time until the end of the universe?) to live in the perfect retirement scenario of ultimate abundance…

What would you do as a full retard?

What do you think others would do?

I’m personally currently in a preparation camp of sorts for the full retard world, making connections in a network, bartering virtual goods, exploring my own true values, needs and desires – as if all my and the world’s material issues were already solved. I’m not working, I’m socializing and living.

I happen to enjoy learning and challenging my brain and body, then sharing as much of it as possible. I also adhere to a kind of Ahimsa anti-violence (initiation of…, but if you start then 3 lefts make a right in my book) philosophy.

Abundance won’t stop the fighting

Not everybody are like me, however. Some want to stay ignorant, refuse to give up their ingrained medieval habits (as if the eval=evil didn’t give the underlying truth away); some simply like mayhem and destruction. Stop here for a while to ponder that economists used to talk about the homo economicus as if he were real… No, man is rational given his own personal and impossibly complex premises, but he is nowhere near anything that could be called economically rational.

Botnets, religion, civilization and nano wars

The ongoing virtual war of viruses, worms, trojans, botnet domination etc. is nothing compared to the coming nano wars. Hopefully, the attacks will nevertheless be fewer since all economic sentiment will be null and void. Ah, if it just weren’t for the religious and fanatics… – Do you remember when some still could say “Without religion there would be no civilization” with a straight face? It’s a miracle (sic.) that civilization prevails despite religion.

What if you stopped dreaming about what you want to do in the future and did it right now instead?

Why not have some fun, or at least steer your skills in a direction that gets you fired up?

Again, what would you do if you didn’t have to work at all? Maybe the answer makes you realize you could work less already, and focus more on what you actually want.

ibiza pool jump