Medley 244: Squads, Connectivity, Building Spaces, Riots, Architecture, 2020 Reflections...

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Happy Monday!

Today I published my incredible extensive 2020 Year In Review. It came out way longer than I expected so I bolded all the interesting takeaways throughout if you want to skim through it. This was, by far, the most useful reflective exercise I've ever done.

On to the Medley!

The World of Prepping

πŸ˜– To start, kind of a serious note for my US readers: there's a non-zero chance we'll see more, and more violent, riots leading up to inauguration. The FBI has already collected intel on plans to do just that.

Regardless of your politics, there's no reason to take unnecessary risks the next couple weeks. Stash enough supplies to hide out at home for a week or two if necessary, and consider leaving capital cities if you're in one.

πŸ›’ This shopping list I shared before we went into quarantine for COVID is still pretty useful.

🍞πŸ₯› It'll cost you a couple hundred dollars to be prepared, and worst case scenario, you'll use the supplies anyway.

The World of Squads

πŸ‘πŸΌ Speaking of prepping, who you prep with is as important as how and what you prepare.

πŸ™ I really enjoyed this article on Squad Wealth and how a digital community with shared interests may evolve into anything from a semi-autonomous business to a new real-world town or city.

"Squad culture is the antithesis of neoliberal individualism. Millennials are healing from decades of irony poisoning, rediscovering what it's like to have generative, exploratory relationships with one another. Younger generations are already imbued with extremely powerful squad energy, equipped with formative experiences in Minecraft, DOTA 2, and Fortnite parties."

πŸ’» I suspect we'll see more and more online communities create shared space in the real world, especially as it becomes easier to do so.

"Squads are woke to the empty neoliberal promises of gig-economy "employment" and para-social personal brands. Squads value self-determination, not through individualism, but through collective maintenance and care for one another. Squads value creative expression, but celebrate the group rather than individual authorship. For the squad, the autonomous is always collective."

🏠 Roam's new ranch in Utah is a great example. When was the last time a tech startup bought a compound?

The World of Internet

⭐️ What's going to make the new squad world even easier? Starlink.

🌍 As Jeffrey Paul points out, Starlink is going to be a very big deal. Half of the world isn't online yet, and much of even the US doesn't have access to high-speed Internet. What happens when the entire world has access to 100mbps up and down at all times no matter where they are?

⛡️ This future is so exciting to me. Imagine being able to live on a sailboat while still being able to upload YouTube videos. Or backpacking through the Amazon to different camp sites to work from and write for weeks or months at a time.

πŸ“± There are certainly downsides to being always connected. But the ability to bring the rest of the world into the already thriving and rapidly accelerating digital economy is only going to pour fuel on the raging fire.

I'm excited for how it changes cities and towns, too. I suspect we'll see a revival of small town America once tech workers can live in those towns without sacrificing their Internet connectivity.

The World of Architecture

🐹 This was such a fun idea: James Stuber taught himself the lingo of A Pattern Language by applying the ideas in Animal Crossing.

πŸ“• I'm reading that book now and loving it, so it was neat to see how he applied the lessons at least in a small way.

The World of Building

πŸ—„ Anirudh Pai asks: how can we put the ~25% of people unemployed in the US now back to work in meaningful ways?

⌨️ Perhaps they can help build these new cities of tomorrow, powered by widely available Internet and the desire for Internet communities to move offline.

🚧 Hopefully small towns can create incentive structures to enable this, giving grants and construction loans to people who want to build spaces for these digital organizers to come together IRL, and bring money back into the small towns that have been slowly dying the last 30 years.

End Note

As always, if you're enjoying the Medley, I'd love it if you shared it with a friend or two. You can send them here to sign up. I try to make it one of the best emails you get each week, and I hope you're enjoying it.

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And should you come across anything interesting this week, send it my way! I love finding new things to read through members of this newsletter.

Have a great week,
Nat

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