Nerd Corner #83

Show Your Work, Bitcoin and NFTs, NASA...

Hello friends!

Greetings from San Francisco, where it already feels like Spring. The weather it's been enjoyable (more so than usual), and I'm hopeful that we'll go back to normal sooner than some expected.

Show Your Work 📚

After a long dry spell, I'm once again posting my book summaries and notes on my site!

The latest one is about "Show Your Work" by Austin Kleon. It is a short but entertaining read on the advantages of developing a habit of sharing your work online.

The thesis is that by consistently talking about your work and sharing your progress, you'll build an online presence that's much more valuable than any résumé or certification.

There is a risk of survivorship bias, of course (we only know about the ones who made it), but I don't see any downside in blogging or tweeting about what you're doing.

Bitcoin and NFTs 💰

Twitter can’t stop talking about them, and it's driving me a bit crazy.

First, let's talk about Bitcoin. While its price keeps hitting all-time highs and its future looks brighter and brighter (thanks to big companies like Square and Tesla buying in), I wouldn't put all my money on it.

I'm with Nick Maggiulli on this one. He recently sold his BTC, and "bitcoiners" (sort of religious extremists) bashed him on Twitter. In my view, Nick did the right thing. As he explains in this great blog post, he sold to rebalance his portfolio given his long-term (this is the keyword here) investment plan.

Then there are NFTs. NFT stands for "non-fungible token," which is a complex way of saying that it is a means of providing a digital signature or certificate of authenticity via blockchain technology.

While they are as old as blockchain technology itself, they are seeing renewed interest because people see them as another store of value. Rather than collecting physical paintings, you can now buy digital art whose authenticity is certified by an NFT.

Part of me thinks this is really cool, and many people are betting on these assets as the new baseball cards. But I'm also skeptical about widespread adoption, not to mention some of its problems. What happens if your hard disk loses all its data?

On the other hand, I hope they get the attention they deserve as a protocol to protect against identity theft as we could use NFTs to sign contracts and personal documents like medical records.

To know more about NFTs, I recommend these two links:

Twitter Threads 🧵

  • Last week NASA's Perseverance Rover landed on Mars. This tweet shows a video that exemplifies the times we're living in: Miguel San Martín, one of the Chief Engineers of the project, oversees the landing of the rover from his home office rather than from NASA's Mission Control. Humbling and pretty exciting!

  • In this thread, Dan Rose, who worked both under Bezos and Zuckerberg, compares them. Both are very different but share the same level of focus and long-term vision:

Neither of them would ever dwell on success. Every time I took a hill and looked up to celebrate, Jeff or Mark had already moved on to the next hill. They set unrealistic goals and were insanely intense, disciplined, hard working and hard driving.

  • I was surprised to find this short thread where Nassim Taleb thanks Jeff Bezos for disrupting the book publishing industry and allowing him to self-publish his first book.

Before you go 😎

What’s the most interesting article you read last week? Anything is fair game. Just hit reply!

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Until next week!

Alberto