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Engaging What’s on the Table, Playing by Your Own Rules, & The Blockchain as a Magic Book (Reading Notes 6.10.18)

Resource: Don’t split the pot (at least not at this table)


Seth Godin tells the story of a poker game where he suggested the he and the last two remaining guys at the table split the pot three ways. They looked at him and said “If you don’t want to gamble, then don’t sit at the poker table.”

Godin’s suggestion was reasonable, but it wasn’t context-appropriated. This is a great illustration for how it’s not enough to do things just because they’re logically defensible as “good ideas.” You have to make sure you’re doing things in a way that works for you and the situation you find yourself in.

You’re much better off sitting out of a game entirely than trying to change the entire game culture along with its longstanding rules. Don’t victimize yourself by playing a game whose rules you don’t intend to follow. If you want to play, play, If you don’t want what comes with the territory, then stay out of the territory. That makes things better for you and others.


“When you sit down at a poker table, you’re acting as if. As if you’re gambling. And if you don’t want to gamble, don’t play. That’s what they told me and they were right. The same thing is true when you go to a brainstorming session, or to therapy or even an Ethiopian restaurant. If you don’t want to want to engage with what’s on the table, don’t sit down.”

Resource: Henry David Thoreau on Defining Your Own Success


No one can ever know beforehand what adventures his curiosities will lead him through, but one can be certain that these adventures will be the ones you’re born to live.

If you trust what compels you, you will prevail in the end. Even though you may be at odds with the world, your life will be brought into conformity with a higher spiritual order.

Unexpected favor and an entirely new set of rules will come into existence on behalf of the person who pursues his dreams will full ownership and conviction.

We spend so much of our lives avoiding the call of our curiosity. Afraid of being at odds with the world, we conform to whatever social norms we think we need to live by in order to fit in. And in our conformity, we become mediocre performers in a system that we’re not optimized for. The way out of this mess is to bring our lives into conformity with the higher spiritual order that’s brought forward when we are loyal to our sense of wonder.


“If one listens to the faintest but constant suggestions of his genius, which are certainly true, he sees not to what extremes, or even insanity, it may lead him; and yet that way, as he grows more resolute and faithful, his road lies. The faintest assured objection which one healthy man feels will at length prevail over the arguments and customs of mankind. No man ever followed his genius till it misled him. Though the result were bodily weakness, yet perhaps no one can say that the consequences were to be regretted, for these were a life in conformity to higher principles.”

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”

Resource: The VALUE REVOLUTION: How Blockchain Will Change Money and the World —Galia Benartzi (TEDx)


Metaphor for the blockchain: imagine a magic book. This book can be obtained for free by anyone. Everytime you write a note in the book, it gets added to all the other books in existence. Moreover, what you write is permanently documented in all the books. If you wanted to delete something from any of the books, you would have to destroy all of the books. Like this magic book, the blockchain is a public ledger that permanently records all transactions.

The blockchain is the underlying technology for bitcoin. Bitcoin is the cryptocurrency or internet of money we use and whose transactions we record on the blockchain. Both bitcoin and the blockchain are decentralized.

Bitcoin solves the double-spending problem, eliminates the needs for intermediaries, and allows for competition between currencies in the free market.
There are currently over 700 cryptocurrencies on the market.

The blockchain gives us the power to create our own money supply customized to meet specific/diverse needs while updating it frequently to keep up with changes.

The blockchain gives us the ability to decentralize much more than money. Through the blockchain, we can decentralize control and usher in a “value revolution” leading to unprecedented economic freedom.

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