We’re vacation all over the island of Ireland this week, the four of us. It’s exactly what you’d image: green, friendly, rainy sometimes, full of sheep, and huge oceans.
The cliche of unplugging on vacations applies: insert that virtue signaling here. Of course you can’t escape thinking about the real world. Right after this, I have a team meeting in Chicago, flying directly from Dublin to it; a consultative meeting the day after; and then I need to finish a draft of my second book by mid-November. Plus, there’s all the real life stuff to worry about: should I be forcing my kids to be more academic, or is it OK that my son gets really excited about hatching a dragon egg on some rando iPad game? Shouldn’t my daughter know how to write basics by now? Am I being a good enough husband? Should I be getting up earlier to go see the sights more?
I call these thoughts The Garbage Voices: those little languid demons that poke through my mental defenses at twilight and at the witching hour. It’s impossible to separate signal from noise when it comes to The Garbage Voices, so I dismiss them all: you still hear them though. Ignoring something doesn’t make it go away.
No one (I) can really unplug. The faucet still drips back at home, you’ll have to pick the dog up from the boarder, someone will need podcast questions ahead of time, you’ll have to file expenses, throw yourself into the unknown improve game of another business encounter: there’ll be more people you don’t know that you’ll have to (choose to, because you fancy yourself a responsible person and enjoy the compensation and status that comes with that) talk with and actively listen to.
The reckoning will come.
Meanwhile, I’m reading through The Broken Earth trilogy. I’m always looking for an easy to read, interesting, not SF-cheesy series to read (I think I’d calibrate that on Old Man’s War, with Discworld being at the extreme.), and this is one of them. The last I read, it seems long ago, was The Kingkiller Chronicle.
It’s hard to eat well on vacation. Well, it’s hard to decide to eat well. As such:
There is a certain sort of tech person who has the opposite preferences, who wants to connect the entire world to a set of data structures and let everyone access and hack those data structures. “Why would I invest in other streets when I could invest in my street,” some tech founders probably do think. It just does not strike me as a universal, or even common, impulse. A lot of tech people love opening up computers and hacking them, but most normal people prefer the smooth surface and one-size-fits-all choices of the iPhone. If you spend your whole day building an elegant interface to let people choose exactly which municipal projects to finance, you can lose sight of the possibility that they might not want to do that at all. It seems to me that a lot of the drive to tokenization and customization and disintermediation in the world of fintech reflects the interests of tech founders, not of customers, and that most investment markets that do not currently exist will not be called into being if you just tokenize them.