Laziness Kicks In

Was reading an article about someone else’s confession that the COVID induced lockdown shattered his (and presumably many others) illusion that certain life goals we put off doing due to ‘a lack of time’, was really just an excuse.

For whatever we put off doing/acquiring as a project/hobby/skill to learn was just that, whether it was down to the lack of time (or not). It’s just that the pandemic made it difficult to hide from the reality that we’re probably just not as into it or motivated that we’d like to believe we are.

Given that I had a week’s break from work, I thought to reflect on my own potential ‘laziness’. I did find the daily motivation to get up earlier for work fading, and that I’ve spent more time dithering on the Internet reading (and scouring for) random stuff.

To be honest, I rather enjoyed the week of not having to work, and idling around without a purpose, even though there were a few days that I had to go out to do the ‘essential’ shopping during a tiny window before the official Level-5 lockdown happens - that was to be expected due to the enormous surge in COVID-19 cases during the easing period.

And I did end up having a few days of productive work in the house done, like cleaning, fixing up a shelf and repurposing a coffee-table for my office, so it wasn’t like there was absolutely nothing done at all.

Of all the good things out of the break, I did find that I had been able to resume my exercise habit with a lot more ease without having to alternate it between working - without it, I am free (and less guilty of) taking a break to start having workout whenever I felt like it.

But on the flip-side, the other ‘life-goals’ of having a side study of programming and doing some software projects totally fell on the wayside - it’s still kind of difficult to get into it without at least a stretch of 2 hours just to be able to get into flow - it just wasn’t as easy as gamification learning, such as say, using Duolingo for 15 minutes a day.

Skipping Better

I’m sure nobody would care about a skill that frivolous, but I think I am getting the hang of skipping now, and am at least able to maintain 100 skips without too much mental attention and effort - think it’s now more of an autonomous muscle memory, and less of the frustration of having to restart skipping, with the rope hitting my head plenty of times.

Since August, that’s a duration of around 4 months (with many spaced days in between) for the skill to change from a consistent conscious effort into a subconscious motor reflex. If there’s anything that I’ve observed, the improvement in ability seems to always come a day after practice, which I believe, is in line with a number of studies, in which skill acquisition happens while we sleep, rather than the actual practice while we’re awake.

Bitcoin: To the moon!

Or that’s more of a saying for ‘Dogecoin’. Same difference, nonetheless ;)

At time of writing, Bitcoin has gone past the $30K mark, which to a degree is surprising. I still remember the days where a Bitcoin can be gotten for free by begging, or from a ‘faucet’ in which some random folks would donate free Bitcoins to throw around, in order to encourage adoption. Unfortunately with that memory in hindsight, I’ve always kicked myself for not at least stashing 100 Bitcoins in cold storage somewhere, and take advantage of tail events like these.

Oh well. Still, I do have a small position in Bitcoin, in which if those astronomical projections that people are predicting out there comes to pass, I might have a tiny fortune to play with, although it won’t be enough to let me retire for good.

Of the most interesting things about Bitcoin, was the change in narratives from the financial establishments - while they used to be the biggest skeptics, nowadays they are the ones who’ve changed their tunes and fanning the flames of these newer, higher valuations. It makes one really wonder if these institutions actually know any better and are they really good trustees, advisors and guardians of one’s wealth? As with the passing of LTCM, AIG, Bear Sterns, Lehman Brothers, Arthur Anderssen, my answer is, most likely not.

In other blockchain news, Ripple/XRP has been delisted from many exchanges, due to SEC’s lawsuit charging Ripple Labs for raising $1.3B of unregistered securities. Other blockchains that tout privacy and fungibility like real currencies, such as Monero, have also been subjected to delisting, due to their inability of complying with ‘Know Your Customer’ regulations. In short, governments really don’t like it when they don’t control your money, arguably for some good reasons.

If you ask me, Bitcoin/blockchain tech largely hasn’t fulfilled its promise of functioning as a currency, and it has long ceased to be thought of as so in my mind - aside from the early day publicity ‘stunt’ of paying a Bitcoin for pizza a decade(?) ago, there has never been any wide-scale implementation for it to be a currency in circulation.

The challenges of that have been manifold; Bitcoin has been that volatile and unpredictable to be a medium of exchange, users requiring a certain amount of technical expertise, its work-in-progress unreliability (your money able to transact into the ether due to technical issues, the inability to revoke a transaction, hard-forks) that a user does not face with money, the costly exchange & transaction fees, the insane costs of maintaining the network with its proof-of-work algorithm, and edge cases like the 51% attack, these negatives just do not make it feasible for everyday use.

Bitcoin isn’t a financial future. That future has been long gone a decade ago.

That said, Bitcoin CAN be valuable. But money, it ain’t.