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Managing Yourself, A Few Thoughts on Crypto, & Clearing Space in the Mind for Inspiration (Reading/Study Notes 5.29.18)

Resource: The world’s worst boss
Link: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2010/12/the-worlds-worst-boss.html

Quotes:

“Even if you’re not self-employed, your boss is you. You manage your career, your day, your responses. You manage how you sell your services and your education and the way you talk to yourself. Odds are, you’re doing it poorly.”

“I’m amazed at how often people choose to fail when they go out on their own or when they end up in one of those rare jobs that encourages one to set an agenda and manage themselves. Faced with the freedom to excel, they falter and hesitate and stall and ultimately punt.”

“There are few good books on being a good manager. Fewer still on managing yourself. It’s hard to think of a more essential thing to learn.”

Reflections:

Don’t tolerate anything from yourself that you wouldn’t tolerate from another.

Nothing matters more than how you manage your own life.

Think about the things you’re focusing on. Are they moving you towards what you want or are they moving you towards what they don’t want?

Freedom is one of those things that’s easy to desire, but hard to fight for. Self-management is the way you fight for your freedom.

Resource: 7 Thoughts On Crypto After Three Months Down The Rabbit Hole
Link: https://medium.com/crypto-oracle/8-thoughts-on-blockchain-cryptocurrency-decentralization-after-another-three-months-down-the-448b916138b8

Quotes:

“We’re still so early, that much about what people are saying and writing about crypto is more theory than fact. Lots of people (including me) compare the the crypto bubble to the Internet bubble. But the parallels between the development of crypto and the development Internet are everywhere I look….But an important difference about the evolution of crypto and the evolution of the internet is how public crypto’s early evolution is. There were maybe a few thousand people who cared about what Cerf was doing in the early days of the Internet. So it was done out of the public’s eye. It wasn’t until 1994, 21 years after Cerf’s 1973 solution, that Netscape introduced it’s browser, and most people learned about the internet.”

“Bitcoin Is A Confidence Game, Utility Tokens Are Awesome But Legally Challenging, Security Tokens Are Going To Be Huge.”

” Blockchain Technology Is Going To Be A Disruptive Force Across Industries.”

“Blockchains, cryptocurrencies, together with smart contracts are enabling Decentralization, which is the REALLY disruptive thing…Governments and businesses have largely functioned via centralization. Someone or some organization sits in the middle, making the rules, and taking a toll (either taxes or fees) for providing a function. We can now leverage technology, take out the middleman, and enable highly functional decentralized entities (like bitcoin)…Decentralization is the lens through which I now look at everything. It’s the most important thing I’ve learned about over the last three months.”

“It seems to make sense that, all else being equal, the industries most at risk for disruption from decentralization are where the middlemen charge the highest tolls.”

“The biggest sign that it’s not a bubble, is that almost everyone says it’s a bubble.”

“I say “so what” because I believe in Amara’s Law: We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run. This is part of the reason we get bubbles. We get overexcited about a new technology and we drive up prices beyond any reasonable valuation. Bubble’s can go on for years. The internet bubble lasted 5+ years.”

“After Jamie Dimon said “Bitcoin is a fraud”, my Twitter stream was filled with Dimon haters. I read what he said, which brought nothing new to the conversation other than his opinion, and moved on. Maybe Dimon doesn’t even believe what he’s saying. Maybe he’s just talking up his own book. I don’t know, I don’t care, and I won’t spend time defending the industry from haters or dissecting the reasons the haters hate (unless they’re bringing something new to the conversation).”

“I want to spend my time preaching to the choir. I want to spend my time learning from, helping, and investing in the believers. As an industry, we have a lot of work ahead of us to achieve the massive world-changing potential of blockchain, cryptocurrency, and decentralization. I’m getting to it.”

Reflections:

We’re still very early in the crypto game and most of the ideas out there are theoretical and speculative.

The crypto space is analogous to the early days of the internet. Early as in 1973. The main difference with crypto, however, is that these developments are happening in a much more public way. This creates greater confusion and greater opportunity.

The blockchain will disrupt several industries. The industries that will experience the greatest disruption will be those that charge the highest fees for playing the middleman.

Three categories of crypto-assets: 1) Crytocurrencies 2) Utility tokens 3) Crytpo-securities.

New technologies tend to be overestimated in the short-run and underestimated in the long-run.

Resource: Artist Agnes Martin on Inspiration, Interruptions, Cultivating a Creative Atmosphere, and the Only Type of Person You Should Allow Into Your Studio
Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/02/23/agnes-martin-inspiration/

Quotes:

“Many people are so startled by an inspiration or a condition of inspiration, which is so different from daily care, that they think that they are unique in having had it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Inspiration is there all the time for anyone whose mind is not covered over with thoughts and concerns, and [it is] used by everyone whether they realize it or not.”

“It is an untroubled state of mind. Of course, we know that an untroubled state of mind cannot last, so we say that inspiration comes and goes, but it is there all the time waiting for us to be untroubled again. We can therefore say that it is pervasive.”

“Young children have more time in which they are untroubled than adults. They have therefore more inspirations than adults. The moments of inspiration added together make what we refer to as sensibility — defined in the dictionary as “response to higher feelings.” The development of sensibility is the most important thing for children and adults alike, but is much more possible for children.”

“What is the experience of the small child in the dirt? He suddenly feels happy, rolls in the dirt probably, feels free, laughs and runs and falls. His face is shining… “The light was extraordinary, the feeling was extraordinary” is the way in which many adults describe moments of inspiration. Although they have had them all their lives they never really recall them and are always taken by surprise. Adults are very busy, taught to run all the time. You cannot run and be very aware of your inspirations.”

“A studio is not a place in which to talk to friends. You will hate your friends if they destroy the atmosphere of your studio. As an artist you will have to try and live with inspiration. You are not like the little boy in the dirt free and open. The whole world which you now know intrudes. It is almost hopeless to expect clarity of mind. It is hopeless if your studio atmosphere cannot be preserved.”

“There are some people to be allowed into the studio, however, who will not destroy the atmosphere but will bring encouragement and who are an absolute necessity in the field of art. They are not personal friends. Personal friends are a different thing entirely and should be met in cafés. They are Friends of Art. Friends of art are people with very highly developed sensibilities whose inspiration leads them to devote their lives to the promotion of art work and to bringing it before the public.”

“You must clean and arrange your studio in a way that will forward a quiet state of mind. This cautious care of atmosphere is really needed to show respect for the work. Respect for art work and everything connected with it, one’s own and that of everyone else, must be maintained and forwarded. No disrespect, carelessness or ego [and] selfishness must be allowed to interfere if it can be prevented. Indifference and antagonism are easily detected — you should take such people out immediately. Just turning the paintings to the wall is not enough. You yourself should not go to your studio in an indifferent or fighting mood.”

Reflections:

There are two types of friends: Friends of art and Personal friends. Personal friends are the ones you hang out with or share your problems with. Friends of art are the ones who resonate with your creative interests and who challenge you to be a more prolific creator.

Inspiration is the ultimate state for the artist because all work comes from inspiration. But inspiration isn’t the whimsical sort of thing we make it out to be. One does not need to pray for luck in order to be inspired. Inspiration is the by-product of an untroubled mind. You are inspired to the degree that your mind is unburdened and uncluttered. This is why children are so imaginative and creative. Since they have not yet been burdened with the cares and responsibilities of the adult world, their hearts are wide open to inspiration. We can find inspiration by finding solitude and silence.

Everyone needs a creative space that is deemed sacred by them. Don’t let bad energy or contentious people into your sacred creative space. Don’t even let yourself into your creative space until you have quietened your own mind.

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