Bitcoin, Bedtime, and Death
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More Likely to Buy Bitcoin
For years, I've been telling people to allocate at least 1% of their portfolio to cryptocurrencies. And for years people have been unconvinced.
One of the most common counter-arguments I hear is the idea that Bitcoin has only speculative value. The skeptics argue that fiat money (e.g. USD, euros, etc.) has actual use as a store-of-value. Fiat money has a dedicated use case (paying taxes) and a threat to ensure you follow through (jail for tax non-payment) in order to ensure its actual value into the future. As economists have noted, "money is inevitably a tool of the state."
But in our increasingly decentralised world, there's a new collective of entities - hackers - that form a rogue nation all its own. These hackers effectively create a competing tax authority to the traditional state.
Over the past few years, "ransom attacks" have become more prominent, like when 24 hospitals were forced to pay millions in order to get their data back from hackers.
Just like you need USD to pay the US government, you need Bitcoin to pay hackers. And just like the US government will put you in jail if you don't pay, the hackers will delete your files. There is a use case, and a penalty for not abiding by it.
The more you think cybersecurity will be a factor into the future, the more likely you should be to buy Bitcoin.
If you're still not persuaded, reply to this email with your counter-argument and I'll happily try to convince you!
More Peaceful Sleep
You should almost certainly take melatonin before bed.
In healthy patients, it’ll get you to fall asleep about 20% faster, sleep more efficiently, and help you sleep longer (Brzezinski et al). You can take it every night, since there’s no tolerance buildup at proper dosages (Mayo Clinic). And it’s incredibly cheap. The return on investment is gigantic.
The problem is that most people who take melatonin take way, way, way too much. If you’ve ever taken melatonin before and felt it “didn’t work”, you probably took too much.
Melatonin pills are typically sold at 1, 3, or 5 milligrams. But the general scientific consensus is to take about 0.3mg.
Many people are taking 10x more melatonin than is needed, which can actually have negative side effects. Specifically, your natural day/night circadian rhythm might get altered in ways that make it harder to sleep.
I personally buy 3mg pills, then try and bite off as small a chunk as possible about 1.5 hours before bed. Whether you've taken melatonin before or not, try taking a proper sized dose tonight and marvel as you wake up refreshed and rejuvenated.
More Aware of Death
Since my stint in the hospital, I've been thinking more about death than usual. And I usually think about it fairly often, thanks to the WeCroak app that reminds me a few times a day that I will eventually perish.
Is that morbid? Absolutely. But it's damn effective.
Perhaps you're not ready for that step just yet. In the meantime, this Wikipedia page of Famous Last Words is a delight to read. Below are a few of my favorites:
- "Now I'll show you how an Italian dies!" — Fabrizio Quattrocchi, Italian security officer (14 April 2004), to Islamist militant kidnappers in Iraq forcing him to dig his own grave while wearing a hood. Quattrocchi tried to pull the hood off and shouted his last words, and was then shot in the neck.
- "Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow." — Steve Jobs (5 October 2011), looking at his family.
- "Surprise me."— Bob Hope, actor and comedian (27 July 2003), on being asked by his wife, Dolores Hope, where he wanted to be buried.
- "All right then, I'll say it. Dante makes me sick."— Lope de Vega, Spanish playwright (27 August 1635).
- "Go and give the ass a drink of wine to wash down the figs."— Chrysippus, Greek philosopher (c. 206 BC), before dying of laughter (!!) at the donkey eating figs in front of him.
- "Think more of death than of me."— Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor and philosopher (17 March AD 180).
"I bend facts to such a degree that they resemble truth more than reality." - Werner Herzog
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