The Dann Chronicles: November 🧥

Ephemeral notes, obtaining wealth, not investment advice, and a Metaverse faceoff. Top that!

November 2021


Hey all,

As I continue down the rabbit hole of exploring web3, I'm convinced of two things:

  1. Web3 is the future

  2. Web3 is the most dangerous technological advancement since the atomic bomb

Oh so long ago, as humans gave up their hunter-gatherer lifestyles and settled in as farmers, they formed societies which eventually became cities and then countries. We've seen an inkling of this trend online — one could arguably say that a "society" exists around websites such as Facebook or 4chan — but I think with web3, it's about to get a lot more isolated and extreme.

When the Internet was still young, I explicitly remember optimistically thinking that when humanity has full access to all human knowledge, then truth will inevitably triumph over untruth. How naive of me. It's only made people more convinced of untruths.

Web3 allows for digital isolation and anti-censorship at a level we've never seen before. We're already seeing the development of small societies around NFTs and DAOs. At this point they're mostly harmless, but what happens when this technology goes mainstream? When it becomes technologically impossible to hamper the growth of extremist groups?

I feel like we're at an inflection point not dissimilar to the early days of the Internet. However, my optimism has been replaced with pessimism. Hopefully reality will fall somewhere inside a happy medium.

Or maybe this will all just go the way of 3D TVs and beanie babies. Who actually knows? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

-Dann

PS - My newsletter intro this month is sort of a downer. Make sure you check out the last link below for a little pick-me-up.


💾 Hot to Tot

If you're on a Mac, you may have noticed a new feature when you upgraded to MacOS Monterey: Quick Notes. By default, it's activated by moving your mouse to the bottom right corner, and will quickly pull up a scratch pad for you to write notes.

That's cool and all, but I immediately disabled it, in favor of sticking with one of my favorite apps: Tot. Some of the best apps are limited in features, forcing you to use it a certain way. This is Tot's strength.

It lives in your menu bar, and provides seven (no more, no less) scratch pads for you to save quick notes. It supports markdown (with both an edit and preview mode) and syncs across all your devices via iCloud. Notes are saved in Tot indefinitely, but can't be exported anywhere, forcing you to process any text you want saved in a better way.

It's wonderful for Quick Capture, especially when paired with Obsidian for long term note taking. I'm always surprised I don't hear more people singing its praise.


📈 Rich != Wealth

My work history has been a wild ride. It started with nearly a decade in retail, before I made jump into tech journalism. But writing all day wasn't for me, and I made yet another big change into tech. Now I feel like I'm finally where I belong.

Big changes can be scary (terrifying, even), but they're just a tiny bit easier with some solid principles guiding the decision making.

It's not that Naval Ravikant's tweet series How to get rich (without getting lucky) were always on my mind, but it has laid a solid groundwork for what I'm continually aspiring towards.

The tweets alone are great, but he explores them further in a post on his website. It's worth a deep dive if you're in a meditative mood.

I found the section about the four different types of luck (under the heading titled “Making Money Isn’t About Luck”) particularly interesting.


🐣 Chicken soup for the $SOL

Fine. I'll be that guy.

The cryptocurrency Solana overtook Tether in terms of market cap this month, making it fourth largest in the global marketplace. Tether is back, but it's only a matter of time before it flips again, this time for good. This is a pretty big deal.

There are a few reasons why I think Solana is so interesting:

  1. It's Turing Complete (just like Ethereum) meaning the blockchain itself is an actual computer

  2. Minimal environmental impact - Unlike Bitcoin and Ethereum, Solana uses both Proof of Stake and the novel Proof of History, which limits environmental impact

  3. Reasonable gas fees - Ethereum is currently prohibitively expensive to use, thanks to insanely high gas fees. Solana gas fees are fractions of a cent

  4. 65,000 TPS (transactions per second) - By comparison, Bitcoin's TPS is ~7, and Ethereum is ~30

I've said before that the price of any given cryptocurrency coin is not very interesting to me. This is not investment advice. Coins are a necessary output of the underlying blockchain technology. And in terms of underlying technology, I find Solana very interesting.

Packy McCormick, author of Not Boring, has a fantastic (but lengthy) deep dive into Solana, which first piqued my interest. If you're able to push past the NFT talk (which still makes me roll my eyes), you'll get a great overview on the technology and why I'm so intrigued.


🍽 A dish best served cold

Did you catch the dystopian nightmare that was the "Meta" keynote, where Facebook introduced the world to it's Metaverse-vision of the future? If not, this three-minute supercut is all you really need.

Hot on Facebook's (ahem, Meta's) heels, the cryptocurrency exchange Gemini announced that it raised $400 million to build a Metaverse outside of Facebook's walled garden.

It'll be a classic battle between a walled-garden future, and an open future. Made even juicer by the fact that Gemini was founded by none other than the Zuckerberg-spurned Winklevoss twins.

I can't wait to see this one play out.

PS. I found this full-length, official documentary about the making of The Social Network on YouTube. I had totally forgotten that it was written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by David Fincher. It's a great peek inside the creative process.


😎 Look how funky he is

In an effort to combat the heavy tone of my newsletter intro, I'm going to end things today simply: with the greatest movie clip of all time. From the seminal movie Teen Witch (1989), I present Top that!


End note

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I'll be sending out these emails once per month, and I'm happy you're along for the ride. I'm trying to make it one of the best things that arrives in your inbox each month, so thoughts and feedback are always appreciated. You can just reply to this email.

Also, if you find anything interesting, send it my way.


Thanks for reading. Until next time,

Dann