Either have a full manual transmission car, five speed or six speed manual shifting transmission, or, or have a fully automated self driving car, or some sort of minimalistic automatic car.
Also with design aesthetics, I really really really hate automatic shifting knobs and cars. Aesthetically it is so ugly and unnecessary. Good to look at the design of Hyundai, Genesis, Acura and Honda which has gotten rid of the silly automatic shifting stock, and instead, turned it all into buttons.
“Get rid of the stalks!” – Elon Musk
Why Elon Musk? I think what people don’t understand or appreciate is how obsessed Elon Musk is with design, design thinking, design principles. For example, his obsession with designing a Tesla without any steering wheel, shifting mechanisms, stocks, etc. In fact, Elon Musk is almost like an extreme minimalist.
What I personally love about Tesla and Tesla cars is the Spartan luxury, extreme minimalism. For example, I still marvel at the Tesla model 3; first, I’m just so happy and excited and proud and amazed that Elon Musk pulled it off. I remember before it was put into production and before I saw any on the streets… it was just a rabbit hole fantasy. Now it is live!
What I find so insanely innovative about the Tesla model 3 is the extreme simplicity, the extreme minimalism. To make the dashboard so sublimely simple is a design masterpiece.
Personally, I really dislike the Tesla model Y; my general thought is that any sort of crossover vehicle, or even sports utility vehicle is some sort of a design compromise. Even the Tesla model X is almost like a Tesla model S on steroids.
Why is it so difficult to minimize?
I think the reason why it is so difficult to minimize is that there seems to be some sort of trend or market desire for their to be new features, new products, new additions to motivate people to buy something. But, from a zen capitalism perspective, perhaps this is not a good idea.
Why? I’m more effective way to think about things is figuring out what to get rid of, what to reduce, what to delete. For example, let us never forget the pure genius of Steve Jobs getting rid of the keyboard on the smartphone, and also getting rid of all these silly ugly ports. If it wasn’t for Steve Jobs and his insane design vision, we wouldn’t have the beautiful minimalistic smart phone that we have today.
Would it have eventually happened or not?
I think a lot of people think about technology and think that it is all inevitable… given enough time resources and people… these things will magically get invented anyways. I don’t think this is actually the case. You actually need a few insane individuals to bring these things into fruition.
Walter Isaacson should write a book or a biography on Kanye West?
Other things you can barbell in life
- 90% of your savings and money in boring bonds, high yield interest CD’s or high yield savings account (5%!) and 10% in insanely speculative crypto (imagine losing it all). Best advice I got from NASSIM TALEB in ANTIFRAGILE.
- Often, 90% of your annoyances in life come from 10% of the people in your life. Get rid of these 10%.
- 90% of your joy and happiness and life come from 10% of the things. Try to determine and ascertain what this 10% is.
How to think better:
Have fun with EK!
Super fun workshops in the pipeline:
- INTRODUCTION TO STOICISM WORKSHOP: Downtown LA, DECEMBER 2nd, 2023
- DOWNTOWN CULVER CITY FAMILY STREET PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP, DECEMBER 16, 2023
- CONQUER CONFIDENCE ONLINE WORKSHOP: Jan 27, 2024
- March 2nd: ERIC KIM CREATIVE AI & PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP (New!)— Culver City, LA
- April 20th, 2024: SF ZEN PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP – Now Live!
What is EK up to?
So I just finished the book going infinite by Michael Lewis on the rise and fall of Sam Bankman Fried and FTX. Super fun and fascinating read. My personal suggestion is even if you have a tiny interest in crypto, bitcoin or whatever… It is definitely worth a read.
A quick summary is that Sam isn’t the evil villain that everyone wants him to be. He is almost like an uber genius autistic mathematical servant, who seems to just lack common sense.
Also on a positive note, I think the great upside to consider here is that if bitcoin was able to bounce back after the fall of FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried… a very bright future ahead of us in crypto. My personal price projection is I am quite certain that bitcoin will bounce back to at least $65,000 a bitcoin by next year. Therefore if you want a quick 2X profit, seems like a fun speculation. and no no no, don’t bet your house on it. Once again our financial thinking is simple:
Never put more than 10% of your life savings into anything. Irregardless of how good.
Also for funsies, a fun little essay I’ve written on the philosophy of crypto:
The Philosophy of Crypto
“Greed is good” – Gordon Gecko
So it seems and appears that a lot of people seek getting really really rich, really really fast, in order to buy a bunch of stuff. For example, I think the general idea is that you want to make a ton of money, feel good, buy a Lamborghini or whatever… And then what?
Crypto, cryptocurrency, crypto technology to me is fascinating because it is new, sexy, unorthodox, and interesting.
It seems that a lot of people are interested in crypto, bitcoin etc because they want to get really rich. But the tricky thing with crypto is that essentially you are really rich on paper, but typically most crypto speculators never actually dilute or convert their crypto to US dollars, which means that crypto money is not liquid, it is locked.
Crypto is intrinsically optimistic?
Crypto to me is interesting because it is edgy, optimistic, radical, and bold. Also a bit reckless.
The general idea is that with crypto, people are seeking a new revolution, something to up and the old system. Definitely a lot of anarchy vibes here, and a lot of people who are typically distrustful of big organizations, big government, etc.
Honestly I have nothing against the government, I am very happy paying my taxes, I still consider myself a bay area, liberal, open minded, at heart. I love democracy, democratic thinking. Why? It was mostly about how I was raised, how I was supported. If I did not get all of these government aided resources, like going to UCLA as an undergraduate, I would have never been able to become who I am today.
Also, simple organizations that I am grateful for include the Boy Scouts, Boy Scouts of America. I am forever grateful to my troop, my troop leaders, who helped me become an Eagle Scout, and helped me become the citizen that I am today.
Growing up, I grew up thinking that conservatives, Republicans were the devil. Why were they so greedy, if they had so much money, why don’t they help more poor people or people in need?
Irregardless, I think the promise of crypto is a more brilliant future. A lot of people seem to disdain the volatility of crypto, but I love it. With traditional stocks, you will never see a 10X gain, a 100X gain, or even a 1000x gain. Also with crypto, you could win it all, or you could lose it all. My general strategy towards crypto and cryptocurrency speculation is this:
Only put money into crypto, assuming that it will go to zero.
Perhaps the best piece of advice that I got from Nassim Taleb in his antifragile book is the idea that to maximize your gains, better to put 90% of your money in maximally boring funds, like bonds, yield savings account etc.… it is pretty crazy even now Cindy and I have a bunch of money just locked in a simple 5% APR savings account, and we get close to $2000 a month in “passive income” interest. Then, what I did was I put 10% of our savings into crypto, maximally speculative bets, initially investing in digibyte and bitcoin, later swapping it all to chainlink, along the way getting some Dogecoin, later transferring it all 100% back into Bitcoin.
All of the gains were mental. And along the way more recently, I’ve been drawing out some money from bitcoin, $5000 USD here US$5000 there… Simply to cover up moving expenses to LA.
The zen of crypto?
Ultimately what I find interesting is that crypto, people who speculate in crypto all tend to live kind of a more monastic Zen monk lifestyle. Even this one guy that I met who first got me into chainlink, revealed to me that he was a crypto whale in chainlink; apparently he first put his life savings in it, maybe $10,000 USD or so when it was worth about $.70, and then he saw it rise all the way up to $50 USD.
It was funny, because I would just see him at the local LA fitness working out, thinking and meditating, we would engage in some lively conversation, and he just drove his mom‘s old Honda Accord, I think he later told me that he was moving to Puerto Rico or something in order to avoid taxes on his crypto or some other regulatory aspects. Apparently even Sam Bankman Fried moved his corporation to the Bahamas, in order to avoid US regulation.
So what do you want to do with your wealth?
So once you are worth $20 billion, or $150 billion or whatever … then what?
Ironically the best use of money is simply peace of mind. That means money is not really a tool or a mechanism to buy a bunch of stuff that you like, but rather, being able to live a more zen, tranquil, more focused life.
For example, I think the reason why people are so addicted to email is that people are always desiring new “opportunities”, it is predicated on the fact that somehow other people will give you an afford you new opportunities and also, does predicated on the fact that somehow new opportunities will rise in which other people give you money.
But… assuming that no human being who messages you in your email inbox will give you money… would you still be interested in working with them?
For myself personally, I have close to zero interest in money. I am more interested in new opportunities, fun, new novel experiences. The things that I am proud of, or interested in, or grateful for is all of the cool interesting and sexy opportunities that I’ve had and done. Some of the people that I met, etc.
But ultimately, is there a human being more interesting than you?
I’m currently reading the book “Going Infinite” by Michael Lewis, which chronicles is the life of Sam Bankman Fried and FTX and I find it insanely fascinating read. It seems that the same guy isn’t really the super evil guy that a lot of people in the media make him to be; the kid seems to be like a prodigy genius, mathematical minded, who really didn’t care for money or wealth. My personal theory is that he got suckered too much into this utilitarian “effective altruism“, concept… that he misused customer funds in order to “maximize“ his abilities for effective altruism.
I think effective altruism is a bad idea. Why? First of all, I think the general idea of altruism is bad; I think it puts other people in an inferior position, which I personally find is disrespectful. I think a better thing to do instead is on a day-to-day basis, instead of donating money to charities or whatever, to help empower other human beings on a one-to-one basis.
A simple thing; whenever I go to the park with Sen, and I see all these kids running around, who don’t really seem like they get much attention or love from their parents, I try to give them a little bit of that love and attention by talking to them, entertaining them etc. Perhaps this is a more effective way to “change the world“, than anything else.
The future of crypto?
Try to think about things on a 30 year basis. That means, the simple question; in 30 years, are people going to be using crypto more or less? Or, in 30 years, is the price of bitcoin going to go up or down? It seems pretty obvious that it will go up.
Also, the notion of a “digital wallet”. The general idea is that for the future, we ain’t gonna use cash money anymore. Why? I see more and more restaurants in institutions not except paper cash money. Why not? Because it is difficult to track, and I think there are also issues with employees at restaurants stealing money it etc. Even at my mom‘s old sushi restaurant where she worked at for a long time, she later found out that one of the head managers, a guy that we thought was a super good guy… Was secretly stealing money the whole time.
I think into the future, we will see less and less of “under the table“ payments; why? Because it is not trackable.
Some personal thoughts:
First, I don’t really like Ethereum. Why? It is kind of like android; maybe it is the better technology, but it isn’t sexy, only nerds know about it and use it, it ain’t mainstream and sexy like bitcoin. Bitcoin is like Apple, having the newest iPhone, iPhone Pro etc.… Ethereum is more like android, having an ugly Google pixel or some sort of generic Samsung smartphone.
Another analogy, bitcoin is like having the Lamborghini Countach, with the scissor doors, whereas Ethereum is like having the Toyota Corolla?
Don’t trust old coins, or alternative coins. Why? Everyone just wants to become the next bitcoin, but ultimately… There is too much meme culture behind alt coins, like Dogecoin and Shiba Inu.
I am very dubious that the price of these Altcoins will ever go up; it seems that a lot of people in the crypto world simply over hype certain crypto technologies and coins, in order to pump it up, sell it, and make money.
Besides bitcoin, only other crypto I find interesting is chainlink. I’ve read all the white papers, and been following the chainlink blog for a long time. Currently the only reason that I’m still committed to bitcoin is that my gut feeling is that even though chain-link is really great, the issue is that it is going to be difficult for it to become mainstream.
First and foremost, it is difficult to explain what it is. The technology is good and great, but I don’t think the general market will understand it.
Also, the fact that there was a chainlink version two is not a good sign. Anything with a version two is probably a bad sign; same thing with Ethereum.
Also, the logo in blue is not very attractive. And the name isn’t that catchy.
I recommend reading going infinite by Michael Lewis, it is an insanely fascinating read, if you’re interested at all about financial markets, how it is all gamed by bots etc. My first revelation reading Michael Lewis was flash boys… Learning the truth behind these hidden high frequency trading firms.
And also, I think the sign of good writer, like Michael Lewis is at the Rita’s fun entertaining and also insightful. It seems that the best way to kill two birds with one stone is simple; make it both entertaining to read, and also interesting knowledge.
Think more, walk more
My simple suggestions on living a better life:
- Walk 50 miles a day
- Maximize your direct sunlight UV exposure radiation
- Just build a simple home gym: Titan.fitness equipment seems fine. Ideally work out outside in the direct sun, like an ancient spartan would do.
- Start blogging! bluehost.com and install WordPress.org. If you’re more nerdy you could also set up WordPress with lightsail— I did this for erickimphilosophy.com and also erickimfitness.com
The world is yours! No drugs, no alcohol, no weed… just joy, bright light, weight lifting and exercise, walks in nature .. we the new zen stoics!
Some good freebies:
- Ultimate beginners guide to street photography PDF
- Street portrait manual
- 100 lessons from the masters of street photography
Forward the thoughts
If you feel like you even got one fun thought here… feel free to forward this to a friend!