The Dann Chronicles: February 🥶
Pillow height, NFT scammers, harmful heuristics, clicking cookies, and cringe rap on a whole new level.
When I say that I love winter, what I really mean is that I love the first half of winter, starting in late fall. The sweltering heat finally breaking and giving way to cool breezes. The domino of holidays, starting with Halloween and cascading through New Year's Eve. Lighting some candles, cozying up with some hot tea, and leaning in to maximum hygge.
February feels more like a waiting game. The biggest thing to look forward to is the upcoming warmer weather, but that's still a long ways off. Lighting a candle and drinking tea just doesn't seem to have the same charm for me.
I really don't mind the cold. But I can't help but look forward to spring anyway. It'll come soon enough, I suppose.
🛌 The best rest
The pillow I used to sleep on was too tall.
I know this because I recently decided to upgrade to the Purple Harmony Pillow, after hearing a few friends sing its praises. I decided to go with the Low height (as opposed to Medium or Tall) after much internal debate. But when it arrived, it seemed a bit too low.
I contacted support, and they sent me a new Medium "core" for free, a replacement inner piece that turns the Low height into Medium. I swapped it out, and it immediately felt much better.
...at first. After a couple nights, I found myself missing the lower height. I swapped back to give it another try, and haven't looked back since.
Oh, and I absolutely love the pillow.
🖼 Scammers, everywhere
One of the strongest arguments against the whole web3 thing (everyone is their own bank!) is that it requires everyone to also be their own cyber security expert. The space is rampant with scammers, and scams have a higher success rate than nearly anywhere else. It's hard enough to ask the average person to use a password manager (you're using a password manager, right?).
The story of one of the most sophisticated crypto scam attempts was making its way around Twitter this month. What happened was:
The creator of a web3 Decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) was contacted by someone excited about their project and offering to help (totally normal)
This stranger does a lot of great free work for the DAO
The stranger wants to put the DAO creator in touch with a "friend" that's creating some new NFT project
The stranger and the stranger's friend use sophisticated social engineering to build trust
The stranger's friend sends the DAO creator an NFT, telling them to stake it
The DAO creator realizes it's a scam, and that staking the NFT would allow the stranger/stranger's friend to steal all their cryptocurrency
He's lucky to get out unscathed. Without deep knowledge of the space, and strong security instincts, it could have been much worse.
The only way to stay 100% web3 safe is 100% crypto abstinence. If you do decide to explore, be careful out there.
🪨 Heuristics Logistics
There are a lot of brains in this world that may as well just be rocks. If you're closed off from even considering the possibility of low-probability events, why shouldn't you be replaced by a rock that simply reads "That will never happen"? You (a rock) will be right 99% of the time.
Most people think the future will be largely the same. The stock market will always go up. Democracy in the United States will never fail.
I imagine they're probably right. But it is important to remember that heuristics almost always work. So…
🍪 Milk and idle clicking
There's a tab that's been running in the background of my computer for a little over a month now. Every so often, I'll check it, click a few buttons, and go back to my life. It's been wildly fun.
I'm talking, of course, about Cookie Clicker, one of the most popular idle games ever created. The unique thing about these games is that "active withdrawal from the game comprises an essential part of gameplay," which is the antithesis of the role most technology has in our lives.
But still, beware. Most idle games these days have their own different dark patterns, the most common of which is advancement by spending real money. You'll want to stick with the purest (free) forms, which is why you should check out Cookie Clicker, and stick with it at least until you unleash the wrath of the grandmas.
🤡🤡 The Ol' Razzlekhan Dazzlekhan
Before I say anything here, you should watch this 30-second clip by amateur rapper Heather Morgan aka Razzlekhan. Note: she was also an active Forbes contributor for several years.
I should have probably put spoiler alert on that video link, because that tweet expresses the very same sentiment I'm sharing here. This woman and her husband did what now?
Ilya Lichtenstein and his wife Heather Morgan were arrested for allegedly laundering $4.5 billion dollars acquired in the 2016 hack of crypto exchange Bitfinex. The accusations stop short of claiming the couple are the ones behind the actual hack, but it very strongly implies it.
There are two takeaways from this story. The first being: lol look at these funny people.
The second is: law enforcement has extremely sophisticated methodologies for following the digital-money, even when that criminals try their hardest to cover their tracks. The blockchain is a public ledger, after all.
Also, it's insanely difficult (to the point of comedy) to launder crypto so it can actually be spent.
Looking forward to the Netflix adaption.
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