I have now officially moved from the city of Peoria, Arizona to that of sunny San Francisco. Things have gone well (so far) but for the most part I’ve been locked up inside the apartment, getting furniture set up and boxes unpacked while also desperately catching up on tasks. But things are finally beginning to settle down… which means it’s time for a newsletter!
🔨What I’ve Been Making
New writing: Two new blog posts: On Business (a few notes and aphorisms on business building and income generators) and The Weird, Magical World of Quora (in my opinion, heavily underrated). Over on Ko-fi, I released a post where I wax philosophical about what the real purpose/mission of Astukari (aka this newsletter) is.
New video/audio: I’ve finally recorded the next lecture series, this time on Social Game Theory. The first part is already up, with the second (and last) part scheduled. Hopefully I can find some time this next week to start recording the next series as well.
Other projects: JBR now has a “tools” page, where I’m going to put up some of the related side projects I’ve been working on. Right now there is a Commission Artist Database, where you can find artists offering their skills for commission!
📚What I’ve Been Reading
Things I Learnt in 2021 - I love these little random fact collections. Around the time the new year comes around I see quite a few of these, and this one was my personal favorite. No specific pattern to these — just read it and head down the rabbit hole.
The Price of Discipline - Discipline, most would agree, is good. It helps us get things done. But there’s a specific part of our lives (childhood to teenhood) where discipline is actually bad. In this period, exploration and trying to find what you want to do is more important than actually doing it. Those with strict parents that enforce discipline in youth are more likely to grow up depressed or unfulfilled, because they don’t know why they do what they do. In a lot of ways, the why is more important than the what.
Trading the Metagame - Videogames and financial investing have an interesting overlap: metagaming. Metagaming is the game outside the game — for example, optimizing a build-in League of Legends or Elden Ring in order to play the game as smoothly as possible. A lot of the data on these builds you get from other people — looking at what they do, what they avoid, what they’re missing — rather than getting it from the game itself. Sounds familiar? The best financial traders have always focused on the behavior of the players, not the stocks (or the game).
The ‘Fake Wealth’ Industry Making Influencers Look Rich - I find this fascinating, though in hindsight not surprising. There’s a lot of research that says kids these days are suffering from a lot of envy due to people’s extravagant posts on social media — but what if those posts aren’t even real? As it turns out, there’s quite a large industry in place solely for building fictional internet clout… and who, really, is surprised?
Megatons to Megawatts: Russian Warheads Fuel U.S. Power Plants - Speaking of “little random fact collections”, I found this article off one of them. As it turns out, Russia is in a ongoing trade with the US over… nuclear missiles. Essentially, Russia sells the US over old missiles that are no longer functioning, and the US then converts those missiles into nuclear energy. It’s a trade that, according to the article, has been profitable for all involved… though who knows how much longer it will last, given the current political circumstances.