This is the Monday Medley, a newsletter that goes out, you guessed it, every Monday. I republish it here for sharing and referencing, but if you'd like to sign up you can do so right here:
I have a new article out this week on How to Create a High Yield Savings Account with Crypto and DeFi. Normal fiat savings accounts don't pay any interest right now, which makes this alternative pretty interesting.
I also gave a talk for the Roam Summit on "The Path to Roam Mastery," with some advice on getting started with Roam and ways to make the complex tool more approachable.
Alright, on to the Medley!
🤔 One question that's always been kind of interesting to me is: why do some friendships last, while others fade.
📌 Certainly, proximity is a big factor. There are plenty of people you were probably friends with in college, or at work, who you now hardly talk to. They were friends out of convenience more than connection.
🌎 But then you likely have other friends who are inconvenient to stay friends with, but with whom you persist nonetheless. Like a close friend you're now physically removed from, but stay in touch via calls, texts, trips, etc.
📈 There's a certain amount of self-improvement advice around what kinds of friendships to cultivate, and which ones to cut. The advice usually goes that you should try to make friends with people who can make you better, and cut ties with those who drag you down.
🤷♂️ But as Venkatesh Rao points out, there's an inherent paradox there. Why would someone who can improve you be friends with you, since that means you're dragging them down? Or if you're supposed to try to be friends with people "smarter than you," why would those people be friends with you unless they were, in fact, less smart than you?
🌱 One solution is people can be "better" or "worse" in different ways. I have some friends who know much more about health and food than I do. And I know more about something, hopefully, than they do.
🎲 Vekatesh's solution is to try to be friends with people who are unpredictable:
"My alternative to the heuristic, which many of you have heard in off-blog conversations, is that I am only interested in people as long as they are unpredictable to me."
😕 I find that kind of dissatisfying though. Unpredictability could be interesting, but it can often mean untrustworthy. I'm not interested in being close with someone who treats their romantic partner in unpredictable ways, for example.
🥳 A better heuristic might be excitement. Try to find people whose lives you're excited by, and to whom your life is exciting.
🤝 I think that tweak works rather well for both explaining why some friendships stick, and why you're more drawn to some people than others. If two friends' lives no longer excite each other, they have no reason to stay close. And if you meet someone whose current situation, trajectory, goals, whatever, is not exciting, you're not motivated to go deeper.
🕵️ It also provides a glimpse into how you might become friends with people "above your paygrade." Simply: be exciting to them. One way to do that is to be excellent in a field they don't understand. Another is to show a compelling trajectory in a field they do.
🤺 Either way, building relationships on mutual excitement is a powerful way to build a strong, supportive network, instead of one prone to painful status games. The "Keeping Up with the Jones's" and other hypercompetitiveness comes from friendships of proximity. Not friendships of excitement. As awkward as it might be, it could be good for your mental health to not be close to the people near you in your field.
🤠 One thing I appreciate about my network in Austin is that we all do very different things, and it's very difficult to compare amongst ourselves. I don't have a network full of friends who sell courses or run marketing agencies. I think that's healthy. And hopefully one benefit of the switch towards more remote work is that we can orient our social lives around shared excitement more than shared job titles.
⛓ Joseph Kelley from Unchained sent me this phenomenal article on how "Bitcoin is the Great Definancialization." It's a long read, but it's worth it.
⚠️ What stood out to me was the compelling argument that we've grown accustomed to taking risk in order to make money, but then also taking on more risk just for our money to retain its value:
"Have you ever had a financial advisor (or maybe even a parent) tell you that you need to make your money grow? This idea has been so hardwired in the minds of hard-working people all over the world that it has become practically second nature to the very idea of work... the idea itself — that ‘you must make your money grow’ — only really emerged in the mainstream consciousness as everyone similarly became conditioned to the unfortunate reality that money loses its value over time... The greatest trick that central banks ever pulled was convincing the world that individuals must perpetually take risk just to preserve value already created (and saved). "
🪙 The piece argues that a deflationary, fixed supply store of value like Bitcoin can bring with it a "definancialization" of the world, one where you get to retain the value of your work instead of seeing it erode over time. And while there are concerns over going to "0 inflation," it would likely just change how we think about what to buy or invest in:
"It doesn’t eliminate consumption or investment; it merely ensures that the decision is evaluated with greater scrutiny when future purchasing power is expected to increase, not decrease."
🏦 I'm not doing the article justice, so if you're curious about why Bitcoin might be better than a central bank controlled currency, I'd give it a read.
🎉 I had two friends send me job listings last week that I wanted to pass along here:
📚 One of my favorite companies, Readwise, is hiring a Community Marketing Manager.
📊 And my good friend Austin Brawner is hiring the first marketing hire for his company, Brand Growth Experts.
Both are fantastic opportunities, so definitely check them out!
Then consider joining the 30,000 other people getting the Monday Medley newsletter. It's a collection of fascinating finds from my week, usually about psychology, technology, health, philosophy, and whatever else catches my interest. I also include new articles and book notes.