There are many uses for ethereum smart contracts as it provides services that the traditional banking sector does not provide. The banking sector can adapt to create their own smart contract service, but this does not necessarily mean that crypto networks like ethereum or cardano will be affected.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency and blockchain in general present a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience explosive wealth generation within an asset class that is set to not only disrupt the banking but also the legal sector.
Although investing in established asset classes are safer (e.g. stocks, bonds, and property) safer assets also have less potential for growth. It is unlikely you will make significant money in safe investments. Great wealth made quickly is normally achieved by ramping up risk significantly, e.g. through leverage or by shifting funds into risky areas, e.g. emerging and frontier countries as well as emerging and frontier technologies.
Blockchain is a frontier technology, a nascent market unburdened by excessive regulation or rent-seeking monopolistic entities. It will not be like this forever. We have already seen web, social media, and smartphone technologies becoming dominated by large companies that have laid in place the infrastructure upon which commerce in these areas operate, e.g. Google in web; Facebook in social media; and Google, Samsung, and Apple in smartphones. These three tech sectors of web, social media, and smartphones make up the bulk of the Nasdaq 100, an index that is now quite saturated.
I am a misanthrope because I hate people. It is not one particular factor that makes me disgusted with humanity but various factors. At work yesterday a colleague spoke to me about how he loves to go to the gym to build muscle so he can attract women. He is so superficial and status conscious that it disgusts me, and he is not the only one who behaves like this. This is normal behavior. If you are not working to make yourself appealing in the eyes of others, you are abnormal. You are not trying hard enough to get a promotion, get a wife, and have a family. Society and its cultural norms promotes conformity, superficiality, and a culture of appeasement and slavery.
Something I have been trying to do more of recently is to be more anti-social. I have a habit of catching up with people. I have lunch or dinner with various colleagues and friends, but often these catch ups are nothing more than bragging sessions for others to go on and on about how great they are. Many complain about narcissism on Facebook, but social media merely accentuates what happens in real life, and at least most social media apps such as Facebook allow you to effortlessly block or unfollow someone whereas blocking or unfollowing someone in real life is far more awkward. Nevertheless, I have tried to reject many offers to catch up with people. Sometimes I will just tell people directly that I don’t like something e.g. someone invited me over to a wedding, but I told her that I don’t like weddings. Sometimes I will just make up some excuse not go.
I hate being around people, but I cannot simply walk away from humanity because I need a job in order to build dividend income so that I can shield myself from humanity, so it is a gradual process. I need to learn how to be more assertive so I can be more anti-social so that I can isolate myself more, but at the same time I need to work in order to earn money, and I need to learn how to cope with being constantly exposed to the corruption of humanity yet not being affected by it by being fake and by numbing or sedating myself with technology.
I commute via train, and something that first shocked me about commuters was how fixated they were to their smartphones, but I realized that they are probably like me. Being around people takes its toll. You need to be fake, conform, and be a witness to the superficiality and vulgarity of humanity. When you walk away from work, you have a choice: dwell on it and hurt yourself more, or crowd out these thoughts by consuming something else from your smartphone.
Human history is marked by war and conflict. There is innate in humans greed and ego, and these emotions lead to conflict, violence, and oppression, which result in suffering and pain.
When you’ve spent your life trying to appease others and then when you stop because you realize that the opinions of others do not matter, then you feel an emptiness. You felt that life was all about impressing others, e.g. impress your manager to get a promotion or impress a girl to get married. But when you realize this is all a sham designed to enslave you, there is no point in your life anymore, and you must build for yourself a new reason for living. For me it is about escaping, being free, and being autonomous.
I need to learn how to clear my mind. I have heard that meditation is healthy because it allows you to focus and clear out distractions. I am mostly distracted either because I dwell on the evil of humanity or I am engrossed in stimuli that I have consumed in order to distract myself from the evil of humanity. I need to eliminate my exposure to humanity and then if thoughts of humanity emerge in my mind, I need to expel so I can focus on more important things rather than try to displace it with stimuli. The problem is that the evil of humanity is a potent stimulus, so to overcome it you need a stimulus more potent, e.g. pornography, and this is why I believe pornography is so popular. However, if you consume potent stimulus like pornography, you can become addicted to it. It distracts you from the evil of humanity yet it also distracts you from important tasks you need to do.
When I was younger, I rarely went out. I preferred to stay inside and indulge in cheap electronic entertainment. As I invested more and more and started to earn more dividends, I found myself in a position to go out every now and then, but I have realized that I actually hate going out. I would prefer to stay home and watch Netflix. It just so happens that netflixing is much cheaper than going out, and it is very enjoyable as well.
Netflix pours billions of dollars each year into content production, which means they are able to provide extremely good entertainment to its customers, and customers only need to pay $12 per month. It’s a good deal, in my opinion. It is far better than going out. When people at work show off to me that they went out to a restaurant to a vineyard, I am not afraid to just tell them that I am a hardcore netflixer.
I was talking to colleague earlier this week about how Netflix is an investment because you save up so much money on Netflix that you are able to pour massive sums of money into ETFs. What I hate about “going out” is that it has become such a status symbol. People brag about going out and socializing as if there is something so special about it when really all they are doing is moving themselves to a new location and spending significantly more for it.
When I started working full-time, I was saving about 80% of my salary whereas now I am saving 100% of my salary and living off dividends. I think what is most important is that you pick a savings rate and stick to it. Whether you eat out, pack your lunch, buy coffee, or whatever is irrelevant as long as you stick to your savings goal. Many people focus on small things such as skipping coffee and saving $4 per day, but I find that many of these people skipping coffee are blowing their money on holidays, cars, and so forth. Often skipping coffee is not a savings plan but a reaction to blowing your money elsewhere. Picking and choosing isolated examples of how you save money is meaningless. It’s the overall savings rate that matters.
When you travel via train, everyone is on their smartphones. Everyone is connected and sedated by technology. You see it everywhere you go. Everyone is addicted to the internet.
At first, I thought this is would be a problem because people would be engrossed by what they see on the internet that they would ignore human interaction.
Over time, I have realized that the reason why so many people are investing their attention into the internet rather than in other people is simply because the internet is better than people.
Think about it. We have finite attention. We cannot look at everything, so we need to be selective about what we see. We all have different tastes and preferences. Because we have finite attention, we need to focus on what gives us the most happiness. Quite simply, the internet is better at giving us what we want compared to people. When I go to YouTube, I can bring up videos instantly that fit my interests, such as finance, dividend investing, veganism, and technology, but if I were to have coffee or dinner with a friend, they will probably have other interests.
Even if you do manage to find a friend who you can talk to who shares the same interest as you, the problem is that people can change. One minute you’re happy with them and then suddenly they become really negative people who complain about everything, and so then you need to spend less time with them because that negativity may adversely affect you. However, social situations are not as easy as the internet. On the internet, say, on the YouTube app, if there is a video you don’t like, there is a “not interested” button that you can press. YouTube then reconfigures the videos it recommends based on its best estimate of your interests.
If there is someone on YouTube who makes videos that you don’t like, you can easily unsubscribe or block them. Doing something similar in a social situation is tricky, especially if these are work colleagues or family. The internet gives you what you want and it quickly adjusts if it makes a mistake. You have the power.
Socializing with people is also expensive. It differs everywhere you go, but lunch will cost you about A$15 (US$12) per person and dinner will cost you about A$25 (US$19) per person. The internet is much cheaper, practically free.
Basically, the internet, thanks mainly to innovate tech firms like Google (and even Facebook), know what you want better than your friends, and they are able to give you what you want or what you may need more efficiently than your friends can.
In this competitive capitalist world, there is a fight for our attention, and friends have competed with technology and they are starting to lose. Humans simply don’t know how to serve other humans as well as technology does.
Google recently announced it would unveil a series of new hardware devices. For those who are unaware of what has happened, Google unveiled two new smartphones called the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL. They also unveiled Google Home, which, based on videos, seems like a device that looks like a lava lamp that you put in your house and talk to. Then there is Google Daydream VR, which is a virtual reality headset to rival e.g. Oculus, HTC Vive, etc.
Google Pixel smartphones
While these products are not out yet, all in all, I must say that I am very underwhelmed. The Google Pixel phones are quite bland, boring, and expensive, and it’s disappointing that Google is discontinuing their Nexus program.
I currently have a Google Nexus 5 (2013), which was a brilliant phone back in 2013 because it contained high-end specifications for only A$400 (US$300). However, just looking at the JB Hi Fi website, it is clear that Pixel phones in Australia will cost more than A$1000 (US$760).
Being used to paying A$400 for a flagship phone to all of a sudden paying over A$1000 is going to get some getting used to for Nexus fans.
Of course, the Google Pixel phones will be well equipped. Supposedly the Google Pixel phone has the best camera in the world. They will also be equipped with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor as well as 4 GB of RAM, which should make it quite fast. Whether it will be faster than the current fastest phone on the market (the Galaxy Note 7) is yet to be determined. Nevertheless, the Snapdragon 821 is the latest and greater mobile processor from Qualcomm, and based on my history of buying smartphones, Qualcomm make excellent processors, so I’m confident the Pixel phones will be fast.
But this is not what worried me. My old Nexus 5 (2013) still uses an old Snapdragon 800 processor and is still quite fast, more than enough for my needs. Speed on a smartphone is not that important unless you play lots of games, and if you’re playing lots of games, why play it on a smartphone? You’re better of getting something that is actually meant for playing games, such as a proper gaming computer or a Playstation 4.
Of course, a feature that I love about the Nexus 5 (2013) is that it has wireless charging. Unfortunately, the Nexus 5P (2016) and even the Google Pixel phones do not have wireless charging anymore, which is a huge bummer because I have set up wireless charging pads all over my work and home, and I don’t want to go back to plugging wires into my phone. Interestingly, the only brand that has wireless charging now is Samsung.
Another unfortunate fact about the Pixel phone is that it is not waterproof and it does not have expandable storage. If you’re going to pay big money for a phone, you want it to have features that match with expensive phones, and currently the only brands that have both waterproofing and expandable storage on their flagship phones are Sony and Samsung.
Although the camera is supposedly great on the Pixel, I personally don’t take too many photos, and I am not too concerned about camera quality. If I go on a holiday, I will wear my Narrative Clip 2, which means I don’t need to bother with taking photos while on holidays. I find going on holidays just to take photos quite strange and fake. I remember going to Asia some years ago and I was taking photos of an ancient temple because I wanted to create memories of my trip. But then I realized that there was no need to take these photos because, a simple Google image search can bring up thousands of these types of photos. Furthermore, if you take photos of other people, they behave differently. They pose and act fake. Many people don’t like to have their photos taken. This is why it’s better to just get a wearable camera to take photos automatically or, once technology advances enough, hopefully drone will fly around and take photos for us.
Another downside of the Google Pixel phones is that they actually look a little bit like iPhones, especially the bottom part. Many people say this is good because the Apple symbols is a status symbol that people want to show off to others, but I am certainly not a fan of Apple products. There seems to be no reason to buy them given that they lack features. You are able to get more features for the price if you buy other smartphones, so buying an Apple iPhone therefore just seems stupid. If someone were to use an iPhone and saw the the Apple symbol on their phones, I would actually judge them very unfavorably because they are likely superficial people who only look at brands and don’t actually do any research. People need to keep this in mind if they’re buying a status symbol because they may give off the opposite signal that they intended to give off.
Google Home seems even weirder because I just cannot imagine talking to a device. There’s nothing wrong with it. In fact, I often talk to my phone to set reminders while I’m out and about, when it’s usually when I’m alone because talking to your phone just seems like a weird thing to do, and I’d feel quite a bit of shame doing it in a room filled with people. It’s not just the weirdness of talking to a phone but there is also a privacy issue as well. Do you really want other people to know what kind of searches you’re going? Suppose you’re doing a search for cures to erectile dysfunction or testosterone boosters.
Google Home looks like it’s taking the same concept and applying it to the home. In the home, especially if you live alone, there is less shame.
The video above of Google Home being demoed in a home looks like a scene from a dystopian movie.
Google Daydream VR
Google Daydream VR actually looks like a device that I may actually buy. Firstly, it’s really cheap coming in at US$79 (A$104). The big value add that Daydream provides, I think, is that you can use it while lying down in bed.
At work, you’re on your computer all day looking at a screen. When you’re on the train to an from work, you’re reading something on your phone. When you’re at home, you’re watching your TV. With many of these devices, especially laptops and smartphones, there are major posture issues. When using your smartphone, you’re hunched over.
Google Daydream VR, I think, will allow you to lie down on your bed and watch, say, Netflix or YouTube. Furthermore, because you wrap it around your eyes, you are not distracted by what is happening around you. Furthermore, there is privacy because other people around you don’t know what you are looking at.