Hello Again (No. 5)

Finding a way to express the ideas that are worth paying attention to so that parents can coach their kids towards being happy human beings who can best contribute to a technical society.

Hello Again (No. 5)
Nothing makes me happier than seeing the kids read independently, even when they're supposed to be sleeping.

I came across this astonishing statistic:

Surveys I have conducted show that teens in the U.S. are subjected to more than 10 times as many restrictions as are mainstream adults, twice as many restrictions as active-duty U.S. Marines, and even twice as many restrictions as incarcerated felons.

I want to break that specific sentence out on its own because it blows my mind. The author, Dr. Robert Epstein, continues:

And research I conducted with Diane Dumas as part of her dissertation research at the California School of Professional Psychology shows a positive correlation between the extent to which teens are infantilized and the extent to which they display signs of psychopathology.

The background for why this statistic might be important is the following context:

Today teens in the U.S. and some other Westernized nations do display some signs of distress. The peak age for arrest in the U.S. for most crimes has long been 18; for some crimes, such as arson, the peak comes much earlier. On average, American parents and teens tend to be in conflict with one another 20 times a month--an extremely high figure indicative of great pain on both sides.

These quotes come from “The Myth of The Teen Brain”, Scientific American, 2007. The author has a book on the same subject, “The Case Against Adolescence”.

I’m curious how the addition of pandemic-related rules and restrictions pushes kids to rebel even further. We enjoy HBO’s Eurphoria and Genera+ion (both on HBO) because we think they portray the generation prior to our kids' generation through an interesting lens.

This topic reminds me of a book I've found indispensable. For years carried it around with me the way people carry bibles – to dip in during the day for a five minute inspiration: “The Optimistic Child", by Martin Seligman. I've read almost all of his books and you can’t go wrong with any of them, but The Optimistic Child is a great how-to for healing depression in children.

I’m trying something new… a structure to these emails. I’m also trying to write more, so trying to obsess less and hit publish more. Let me know what you think.

Who I've learned from

Caitlin is one of those people, super smart and articulate on the intersection between traditional finance (TradFi) and crypto aka decentralized finance (DeFi). She’s leading a crypto bank trying to get licensed just like a traditional bank would, and shares her expertise concisely.

I chose this tweet thread because I think it’s really important and interesting. The way TradFi banks are able to “create money” is unhealthy for the general economy, and this thread talks about how it’s happening in crypto and why that might be suppressing prices.

In short, paper assets that are creating a fake supply are impacting the natural supply/demand balance.

If you’re still not sure what this crypto thing means to regular people, I wrote "The Internet of Money" a short while back that’s a good place to start, especially if you were a non-technical person that lived through the original dot com bubble.

What I've stumbled upon

A Native iOS Crypto Wallet. A guy I’ve invested with before is launching a new initiative to build the best native iOS wallet you can imagine. I’ve been following the project since it’s inception, as my personal values align closely to this team's values.

Even if, like me, you don’t have the time to contribute or know how to contribute, it’s worth following along on the Discord to see how this new world works to self-organize and ship product. I follow because I'm interested in the topic, but ALSO because I want to advise my kids, when the time comes, how to work this way. It's the future of their careers.

If you're just curious, you can subscribe to Ric's newsletter (for free). He's been on fire lately, and I hope you love it as much as I do.

DetailsPro. OMG, I love this app. I’ve been using it on my iPad, but it supports iPhone and Mac too. Think of it like coloring -- relaxing, doodling, mind-wandering -- but will generate SwiftUI code that if you like, you can use in Xcode or Playgrounds to take the doodle even further. My first doodle is a widget that uses the metrics to motivate long term investing from my book with my favorite crypto project Celsius.

If you download DetailsPro, check out my profile to get access to what I create which you can then use to doodle your own stuff.

What I've read

Tell me again why I'm recycling at home? Is it so that big companies have more? Brussels Airlines Flies Thousands of Empty Flights. Turns out these empty flights are an EU-wide problem. Lufthansa makes Brussels Airlines look like Greta.

“Euro for euro, hour for hour, flying is the quickest and cheapest way to warm the planet,” said Andrew Murphy, aviation manager at Transport & Environment, a think tank in Brussels. (source)

A long time ago I suggested that social sharing would lead to transparency, that in-turn will upend behaviors that used to be accepted because they weren’t public. I thought of this after Hurricane Sandy exposed politicians who used community resources to clear their driveways before the streets. Or, when British lawmakers were caught cheating on their expenses.

It’s reasonable to ask why we bother to recycle if airlines can destroy the planet without any impact on their bottom line. And, then it follows that the next generation will figure out a way to solve for these problems:

  • The problem of two sets of rules depending on who you are.
  • The problem of “theater” instead of meaningful change just to feel good about doing something, anything, except the hard work to affect change.

If we pay attention to viewing the world through the lens of these two problems, we’ll have a better sense for how to prepare our kids for the future.

If you think predicting the future is hard, try understanding the past. Again, through the lens of different rules for different groups, and theater vs hard work, but this time it’s the scientific establishment. Crazy theories have to be proven true AND have to overcome establishment bias. A new paper in the journal Science Progress by eminent geologist James Lawrence Powell (no paywall) exposes the shoddy scholarship and questionable methods of a self-selected group of "skeptics" (who are the prominent scientists supposedly protecting the scientific method with blind obedience to the status quo) whose attempts over the past 15 years to suppress the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis have done a significant disservice to science.

The robots are coming. John Deere Breaks New Ground with Self-Driving Tractors. Like others, I've always thought Apple's "car project" is about robots as much as it is cars. Why? Well, Tim Cook regularly talks about Apple's interest in autonomous systems.

You're going to want your kids to be able to do the things that robots can't. We have great traffic flow automation managing traffic lights here in NYC. But what happens at rush hour every single day? NYPD deploys humans to prevent traffic grinding to a halt. Similarly, Citibike is deploying humans to manage bike flow during busy times. Why is this the case?

Look for ways to employ empathy and you'll stay one step ahead of the robots.

My heart breaks for our kids. And inside view from a student at a NYC public high school. This is why, a few months into the pandemic my lovely wife and I felt one of us should parent full-time (though our kids are not in high school). Separately, here’s another article on what it’s like to parent while dead inside. That last link really is a must read, if only to realize (as a parent) that you're not alone in wanting to die painfully, so that at least, in the end, you can feel something one last time.

What I've written

I'd love your help

Last year, I wrote 4 emails and a similarly weak number of posts. I had email #5 drafted for months, never completed it. As I was cleaning old files from my laptop I came across a screenshot of the internal API weekly newsletter I wrote at Axway. The thing that helped me ship the Axway newsletter weekly is that I had an outline. Each section helped me filter what I was coming across any given week so that when I came across something interesting I could just slot it in.

I was able to create the outline because I knew my audience (non-technical people in sales and marketing globally whose job it was to tie Axway API products to business outcomes that could be used with prospects to create sales momentum).

That’s what I’m trying here to see if it helps me ship more often (even though I don't know the people reading this well enough).

I’m still not quite sure what I’m doing, why I’m writing, who it’s for… so for now it’s still about me. Every time I catch up with old work colleagues, we have great conversations and I feel inspired. That’s what I’m going for here. So it helps if you hit reply and let me know what resonated, or what you have more questions about, or where I’m wrong.

Or, just say hi.

Those replies often lead to conversations that lead to posts… like this one from last year on the future of leadership through influence (which by the way, ties right back into the Crypto Wallet I mentioned above -- influence and community are the career framework of the future).

If you really really want to help (and I hope you do) think about who you know that might enjoy this and forward it over to them. But, please don’t spam your friends. Everyone hates that shit.

One final point...

While I didn’t write much in ’21, I did lose twenty pounds and get my heart rate down by 15% last year. Both things that my doctor said “people my age usually can’t do” in such a short period of time. I was able to accomplish this “outsized return” because I said no to writing and yes to swimming. Don’t feel guilty about saying no. Instead just stay very focused on your yeses.