AMAP (As Minimal as Possible)

It seems the trend in today’s world is to and towards maximization. You want to maximize our utility of things, we want things to do more, for it to be more multivariagated,  perhaps to hedge or to predict or to feel secure in a world of insecurity chaos and randomness?


So it seems that the ethos of hoarding has its origin in fear. Fear of the future, unpredictability, and always wanting to be prepared for the worst. I think this is a lot of the refugee mentality, especially when I observe Cindy‘s families journey, being part of the refugee boat people, in which saving money and being frugal was literally a life or death matter. It probably takes at least two or three generations to unlearn this behavior.

Also, local family ethics. For example Cindy‘s family, 4 children. There needs to be some sort of calculus in which everybody has the maximum optimum amount of something… no winner take all here. For example, if I have six pieces of meat, everyone gets just one piece. 

For myself, essentially I was raised as the king. All the choice meats were always given to me, I was spoiled silly by my grandmother. I’m grateful for this, because she is the one who helped me gain my self-confidence and also my ego. So for myself, I was probably given all of the meats, maybe my sister just got one.

New unlimited ethics

In today’s radical world of abundance, we need to relearn new ethics. 

For example in the context of food… the only reason people consume rice, starch pasta grains, cassava root vegetables etc. is that 99.9% of the past was risen and raised on poverty. For example, if you were an Aztec God of the Maya people, you would not eat corn flour tortillas; you would just have unlimited oxen to feast on.

“Respect” for the past?

But now, we try to follow our cultural heritage, and to consume white rice and whatever… because it is “true” to our culture. But even Asian people now and Korean people know that white rice causes type 2 diabetes obesity and causes us to get fat, get heart disease, heart attacks, etc.

A lot of Latinos and Mexicans are also starting to learn that Tortillas, flour or corn similarly also causes obesity, and also Coca Cola — the evil corporation, in which there is a strange bias that when you consume Mexican meal, you must have a Coke, a Mexican Coke, which has “real” sugar, which apparently “not as unhealthy for you” as the typical high fructose corn syrup, and also you must have it in a glass bottle?

If anything, the evil Coca-Cola corporation is probably costing taxpayers billions if not trillions of dollars of medical issues because they have marketed Coca-Cola so hard, which causes people to get heart attacks and get into the hospital… and the healthcare system has to support this? 

Climate change 

For example, it does seem that climate change does feel real… It does appear to be hotter now than it was in the past. Also, empirically does look like pollution is a big problem to be tackled; for example living in Vietnam in 2017 and visiting a year ago… It definitely feels much more polluted in Saigon. I could taste it in the air. 

Also, in LA… The good thing is that looks like pollution could be reversed to a certain extent; apparently decades ago, the pollution and smog was so bad you couldn’t even see the sky. Now it is better… But when you drive through Inglewood or La Cienega, it is terrible. You always have to roll the windows up and run the air conditioning because the air outside is toxic.

Ultimately, I am the optimist here; I think with more stringent controls on things, climate change or heat change or pollution could be reversed; for example I think the whole California clean air thing of the future which requires that by a certain year all the cars have to be either fully electric or whatever… a very good idea. 

Economic Principles

Anyways, what is and should be the role of economics here?

I’ll give you example; your car, your vehicle. It seems that the trend in today’s world is to maximize utility anywhere and wherever.

For example, a new category of automobile which did not exist when I was a kid, the sports utility vehicle. It is kind of weird chimera between a truck and a car; the original SUVs were bulky ugly and gas guzzlers. Also, in terms of handling, the driving experience was terrible, they always felt too top-heavy, and being so far off the floor, felt very insecure.

As a kid growing up, the only cars which really existed were two-door coupe sports cars, which had a small profile, and was close to the floor. Ideally the best sports car was wide, load to the floor, and did not weigh much.

For cars, family cars… either you had a four-door sedan, so the kids could easily get in the back, or maybe a minivan if you had tons of kids? But beyond this, there were not that many category of cars. Maybe a station wagon?

But in today’s world, things are starting to get a little bit ridiculous. There are so many sub categories of sub cars; we have many SUVs, mega SUVs, compact SUVs, micro SUVs whatever. It seems that the trend is everyone wants some sort of hatchback, which I think is a positive good… But in terms of sizes, they come in infinite flavors.

But my simple thought:

Any sort of “crossover” is bad. 

For example these horrible bridge cameras; that offers a zoom lens that goes from 18 mm all the way to 300 mm… we all know these cameras suck. 


Here is where the laws of physics are critical, especially when living in Los Angeles; when you really want to take your kid to the park, and there is literally only one parallel parking spot very tight… no amount of wealth in the world can magically shrink your car to make it fit the spot. in this case, this is the worlds smallest most compact car possible.

I suppose this is also where if you live in LA… even if you were a trillionaire, assuming that you had a kid, and you wanted to maximize your kids ability to enjoy the park, go on adventures, visit Ocean Park in Santa Monica, the best here is to have the maximally small and compact car possible. In this case, the Tesla model S and the model X is out, and also my beloved cybertruck is out. 

Nobody cares how cool your car is, until the moment you need to park it.

Maximum utility?

Typically speaking, tools which serve too many purposes are poor; for example, if you have ever used one of those Swiss Army knives, you’ll find that it has about 30 blades for every single purpose, but they all kind of suck.

Also with cameras, the reason why the iPhone Pro has become such a monstrosity is when you use it, the Apple photos operating system camera tries to trick you that it has like 10 lenses and one? And all the lenses kind of suck. Better to have one prime lens, a compact fixed lens, which is best, rather than a bunch of mediocre lenses shoved into one.

In fact, my vision for the next iPhone Pro Titan is for the Apple design team to have the balls to just get rid of all these other loser lenses, and just consolidated all into one mega lens. Maybe they could call it the iPhone “One”.  

Pick up truck or nothing 

This is where I think the SUV car is bad — it doesn’t really do anything that well.

For example, if you really need to haul something, better to have a pick up truck. If you want to take the family on adventures and you have a lot of kids, more than three kids… Better to have a minivan.

911 or nothing 

If you just want the best sports car of all time, better to just have a two-door coupe or a Porsche 911, instead of one of these strange AMG G wagon cars? 

Better yet, I have a simple rule; if you want a sports car, it must have a manual transmission. If you want the pure joy of driving, manual or nothing. Even when you think about cinema, cinematics… There is always much romanticism behind shifting gears when racing or speeding up. Nobody cares for paddle shifters, or automatic transmission cars, even though they are better.

The aesthetics and the ethos is supreme.

No loser 718

Anyone who buys a 718 or whatever Porsche car… everyone wants the 911 but is too poor to afford it? 

I say if you’re going to buy a Porsche, either 911 or nothing.

Stick or nothing

In fact if it is your aspiration to purchase a Porsche 911 or Porsche 718 car… it must have a manual transmission. More respect for the guy who drives the civic type R with a stick shift, rather than the pale and sickly impotent man driving the auto tragic Porsche 911.

Even something which is worth to note; is there any manual transmission Lamborghini? I think they are all automatic?

Some skill?

I think the romanticism of manual transmission is that at least it takes some skill to drive it. Knowing how to drive a stick shift car is a new modern day privilege.

Even Seneca, he loves stick shift cars! Whenever we go to the Honda dealership he likes to look at the civic type R stick shift, even the civic SI stick shift! And whenever I ask him whether he wants to learn how to drive stick shift or not, he says yes! Maybe the time he turns 15 years old, I’ll buy some sort of beater Japanese car for him, and I’ll teach him how to drive stick shift, his first car! Other random stuff I want to teach him is how to work on a car, how to fix it up how to maintain it etc.

And also I wonder if the irony in the future will be that the new modern day privilege will be teaching a kid how to drive a stick shift car.

Why do we want it to do all the things? 

This is where money, bitcoin, and currency is so useful; it is the ultimate transportable, shape shiftable thing possible.

For example, difficult to sell 1000th of your property in Manhattan to buy a cup of coffee,  we’re also, trying to weigh and judge how much something is worth or of value. 

Also, the problem with expensive things, like expensive trophy assets like your portion 911 car, your property is that you cannot just instantly sell it and consolidate it instantly, for other purposes.

If you have some sort of trophy asset like your Porsche 911, it is a dead asset. You might only drive it once a week or whatever… better to just rent it for fun instead. 

And this is where money is amazing; it is the ultimate enabler of optionlaity. 

A peer to peer future

I recently reread the bitcoin white paper, and I was so pleased to see how short, succinct, and well crafted it was. Especially the note on peer to peer.

The biggest issue in today’s world is that Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, all has an intermediary of some sort of newsfeed algorithm, which tries to promote stuff that it thinks that you will like, and also… to discourage controversial things which might be considered too dangerous for advertisers.

This is bad. It is almost like if you want to give your kid fresh drinking water and there is a hose, and then suddenly you had a guy in the middle, with a valve controlling the flow of freshwater to your child.

Even worse, imagine if they had a hinge in the center, which allows them to change the water composition at will, and whether or not to add corn syrup to the water, toxic things, etc. I just want to give my kid fresh drinking water, yet you are adding nicotine, cocaine, Coca-Cola, high fructose corn syrup, and sugar to it? This is essentially YouTube, YouTube for kids.

We all know that the best path to health is through fasting, what to cut out. Nothing in moderation.

For example I think we all agree that heroin in moderation is bad.

Craigslist is now bitcoin and crypto friendly

Also a simple thought; let us see that I have 10 bitcoin, and somebody is willing to trade their Lamborghini Aventador with the scissor doors to you for your one bitcoin. This is good because you don’t have to go through a third-party or a bank we’re having to withdraw $250,000 worth of cash from your bank, which often does not even allow you to access your money.

So here, peer to peer is great. 

Buying homes with bitcoin

Also, homes. Let us say that I want to buy that $1 million home, which is worth 10 bitcoin. If I could just send bitcoin from my wallet to your wallet, you would get rid of all of these unnecessary from real estate agents broker sellers some sort of closing cost etc. This be a much better way to trade?

And this was my personal vision about bitcoin; you say when you hoard your bitcoin for a very very very large purchases or, you could just sit on your bitcoin, and let the value just keep going up.

For example, if you have 16 square blocks in the middle of Manhattan, or fifth Avenue, you never saw that property. And you also inform your children to sell the property, and also the rule of the family a simple semi; never sell the property, even to your kids kids kids. Maybe even the wise ideas to take on debt and hedge it against the property value. 

And then also… maybe same thing with bitcoin. 

Or let us say that you really really want to buy that single-family home; my personal vision is when when one bitcoin is worth $1 million … the calculus will be simple; one bitcoin, one house. 


Just in time economics

Do you need it right now or not? 

It seems that planning too far ahead for the future is bad. For example, I currently got one kid… maybe it is not yet worth or useful to plan having 2, 3 or 4 kids… in which I would need a minivan?

And technically, the whole notion of “need” is superficial. For example if you have only two kids… you don’t “need” a minivan. Certainly it makes things a little bit more convenient, but then again it makes a lot of things inconvenient if you live in the city – once again, trying to parallel park it in a small neighborhood. I think for the most part minivans are only useful if you live in the suburbs?

Prius until I die

Anyways, one thing I am so grateful for my 2010 Prius is that there are three seats in the back, and if I really need to… we could easily fit two kids there and possibly even three! For example my friend Kevin has a Tesla model 3, and he has three kids, and he bought this compact car seat thing which allows three kids to all sit in the back? I am very impressed by how economical he is. 

And the more I think about it… even that I have over an M in Bitcoin, I want to drive my Prius for another 100 years? 

“Nice to have” vs critical

The only big optimization gotta make in life is whether you have four kids, or less than four kids. 

If you have four kids or more, you buy the minivan, not the loser cramped SUV because you don’t want to seem less manly.

Once again, I think a lot of foolish decisions in our lives arise from this need of optimization, or “just in case“. No.

Extreme Economy

It is positively better to simply articulate things you already got, rather than trying to find some sort of thing to buy. 

For example, I have currently maxed out my weights, for my one rep Max lifting at home. Part of me just wants to buy some new weights, to increase my one rep max numbers. 

But before that, what I’m trying to do is first innovate and what I already got to the maximum, and to re-articulate what I already got in clever ways. For example, by changing the height of my rack, changing my leverage, and making things progressively more difficult, with worse leverage– is certainly another type of training.

Or another ones; doing my infamous Atlas lift, with my eight plates, But doing it at different heights. It feels different at different heights, my body positioning and my leverages are different, and so changing things up certainly adds a new spice and variety to things.

Or even another thing… doing all my lifts, but having a 60 pound weight vest strapped on.

Don’t be tied to past numbers

For example, the current number I currently have in my head for my atlas lift is 1000 pounds, which I believe to be about 10 plates, a 25, and a five on each side. Yet I did this in the maximum optimize environment at my beloved crunch gym in Orange County, with maximum space, safety, ability to grunt and slap myself in the face etc. But now that I’m just working out in my Off the grid parking lot, I cannot. And also I do not want to?

Arbitrary goals?

I think in life it is good to have arbitrary goals to look forward to, setting yourself up arbitrary challenges.

For example, I have some other random weightlifting is at home, including a rickshaw Farmer’s walk dead lift thing, which changes things up a bit. I have less leverage with it, but currently my record on it is only six plates, some new goals are seven plates and eight plates on the open hex bar.

The other day I also met an older powerlifter who was 67 years old,  and he was just curious about how much I could squat and dead lift in the standard sense. I’m not really sure, I’m not too interested… But maybe I could work towards that? This is where my innovation in “partials“ is so interesting; 

for example, everyone talks about how you have to squat parallel, hit parallel below parallel a little bit above parallel etc. But to me this seems bizarre and pseudoscientific; it makes no sense. A better approach is instead, just see the maximum amount of weight on the barbell you can un wreck, walk out, and re-wreck. Currently my record is around seven plates, I could easily lift eight plates, but I don’t think I have enough strength or training yet to actually walk it out of the rack.

I’m also suppose this is where the yolk walk is kind of interesting to me because it does seem like to be the ultimate functional fitness; picking up something very very heavy on your shoulders, and seeing how far you could walk it out or seeing how quickly you could do it.

Future economics?

I saw today that the number one free app in the iPad App Store is HBO Max. Super fascinating because it looks like at the end of the day, entertainment is king.

Apparently a lot of people are afraid of whatever of artificial intelligence AI taking their jobs or whatever. However — not true.

For example, no artificial intelligence would have the genius of a Jay Z, or Kendrick Lamar, ultimately, human beings prefer human beings, for example I would pay money to show up to Kanye West Jesus concert, to see him real life in the flesh live… Never some sort of pre-recording or AI bot.

Same thing goes for Kendrick Lamar, who is essentially the superhero of all of Los Angeles. And the problem with generative artificial intelligence is that it could only use past language models and patterns to create use… It cannot create brand new information, carte blanche.

Also… ChatGPT could probably write articles that sound like ERIC KIM… But, there’s no way that ChatGPT could have predicted five years ago that ERIC KIM would get into bitcoin? Or even powerlifting? 

Charge money for human things

 very very simple thought is if you want to monetize your passion, charge money for real life human things. In life workshops, flesh to flash experiences, concerts etc.

Information has practically already always been free, now with ChatGPT and artificial intelligence… It will become even more free. Or even worse; people who are desperate to watch their show, will actually pay you to watch it, and review it.

For example, I see all of these billboards that’s a quote for your consideration”… Which means–

“Please watch my show or film!”

 For example, killers of the flower moon produced by Apple… I’m sure it was a great movie, had Leonardo DiCaprio and was produced by Martin Scorsese… But it still seems that nobody really watched it or cared for, even though it won a bunch of awards. 

I think the next step, also a good business idea is having verification that the review for thing is a real human review, not some sort of bot, or having a review or just use ChatGPT to produce a review.

For example, if you go on Amazon, almost all of the reviews … seem fake. I know Amazon has a vine program in which certain individuals are sent free products in order to exchange a review. But… How do you not know that the person who is writing that review is just using ChatGPT to leave a random five star review?

Currently it looks like the mass public is still not catching up to this yet… But I think within five or seven years, there will be need for a new more verification thing that the reviews were in fact written by real human beings, and based front real human experiences. Maybe reviews of the future will be some sort of short Snapchat like video selfie reviews of the human and the product, not the text.

And hopefully live captioning becomes so good that people could just watch the videos on mute, and see the captions for the text.

Now what?

I think the primary issue with economics is that we think too much about the future. Why not the now?