Randonauts

My brother send me a link to a subreddit called reddit.com/r/randonauts with a few instructions on how to install the mobile app Telegram and commands to send to a Fatum-Bot to receive a location to visit.

The Fatum project bot uses a quantum random number generator to find areas on a map nearby with a high concentration of randomly generated points. People use this to create a mental intention while generating a location, then head out and explore taking note of any interesting objects, people or occurrences at the location.

I have only run this once and didn’t read the instructions fully before hand so I didn’t set an intention. The location landed at a nearby park to I took my dogs and I ran into a past work college and caught up.

There have been some remarkable stories posted on reddit of other odd finds on their walk. It’s worth checking out and I still have lots to read on the topic.

This did remind me of a story of a guy who would go on inspired walks though his city. The idea was to follow signs and synchronicities as they play out during the walk and refrain from planning any part of the route. If a buss pulls up, get on, etc. The similarity being that your intuition is pulling from the same source as the random number generator and or the same source acts through both methods. The supposition that something is orchestrating strange occurrences is subjective and only persists because of the craziness that sometimes happens.

I also suspect that something like the factum project might be going on with my dog Noah. When we go for a walk he is always dead set on a particular route, usually different every time we go out. He refuses to change his course and the only option I have to get home is to pick him up and turn around. Sometimes he does get too tired and gives up though.

I have tried tricking him by picking him up spinning him around to disorient him then starting on a new path and putting him down but after a few seconds he stops and turns back to his original route.

The first time I let him lead after noticing he is adamant about where he is going we got to a shopping mall. He wanted in but i’m pretty sure pets aren’t allowed so I picked him up and went home. The next time he wanted to go into a shop for baby supplies, I should have checked it out as my daughter is expecting in January. Yesterday we went for a morning walk he led for a couple hours and we ended up at a bright coloured house he insisted on going to but it’s not my house so I picked him up and started heading home. I noticed that the address was 3009 and my condo unit number is 309.

When I bought the condo the first time I walked in the unit number on the door jumped out at me as is if the number was significant. My feeling is that every number has meaning and the combination of them makes a story. Myself I notice 11:11 and 12:34 all the time for example. I think I have a basic guess of the numbers but i’m not certain at this point. Also three is a number that occurs most frequently for me. I’m not sure if the numbers are universal and apply equally to others or if they hold meaning different for each individual.

Interesting to think about and experiment with. I will probably write more on this over time.

Bitcoin Criticism – Broken Window Fallacy

I like to follow the wider crypto currency news and industry developments. I often come across wild exuberance and extreme criticism. Over time I have noticed that a lot of points against digital currencies that while valid at the time quickly change with the adoption of new people and technology.

Early on the most common criticism of Bitcoin was that it wasn’t worth anything. People were mining 50 BTC in blocks with hardware on there desktop. Anyone could accumulate hundreds of BTC if they wanted to unfortunately no one could have guessed that they would become as valuable as they are now. In hindsight it seems funny to criticize the absence of price when it is often the most significant characteristic to newcomers.

After the value criticism was that no one accepted it for payment. Only a handful of stores accepted bitcoin. While most businesses still don’t accept bitcoin there are a significant number now and new integration services that make it easy for new stores to start. Also now that the value Bitcoin is widely known more people are now willing to accept it in place of dollars.

The next criticism was that Bitcoin has no intrinsic value. It was common to compare it with the Dollar but in comparison there is no intrinsic value of the dollar. People also compared it with gold because you can hold it and that is true but it doesn’t mean that an electronic currency can’t provide value on it’s own.

Lately the criticism of Bitcoin is that the network doesn’t have the capacity to handle enough transaction volume to support a larger economy. While the core network is limited to about seven transactions per second there are many groups working on solutions that will allow significantly more in the next few years.

I’m not saying that criticism can’t point out valid issues with Bitcoin but in the context of changes already in motion it makes sense to make a hedged guess and use the opportunity as an investment.

One of the most bizarre criticisms that I disagree with is that Bitcoin, or others like it, can never be used in a functioning economy because the deflationary nature of currency issuance will cause people to save instead of spend. As a result businesses in their economy will not have enough customer demand to survive and the economy will collapse.

I believe that most people who make this criticism are viewing this as a variant of the broken window fallacy. The broken window fallacy says that destruction of a local town shop window is good for the economy because it necessitates the services of a local window repair person, thus earning them money to support their family. Of course this is a fallacy because the net result is a loss as the cost to the shop owner is more than the gain to the window repair man. The shop owner also would have used the same money paid the repair person to spend in the economy.

In this example the breaking of windows is analogous to inflation of the currency.

Most people have lived in a financial system that inflates savings for their entire life and simply can’t comprehend anything different.

In an economy with a different monetary policy people will still need to buy things in order to live. Currently with dollars there are incentives to spend because the value of dollars are eaten away as time passes. In a Bitcoin based economy the incentive might be to hold rather than spend if they are on the fence of a purchase. But people would still buy the things they need.

The key point is that people have to work in a dollar economy to replace the value that is eaten from holding dollars. Does this necessitate the creation of unnecessary work? Is the current expansion of production and consumption of natural resources unsustainable? I think so.

People right now need to work because in a fractional reserve based economy any assets are quickly eaten away with a small amount of deflation. Most people need full employment to just get buy.

I’m not suggesting that Bitcoin will become a predominant currency but rather than the hypothetical outcome isn’t necessarily worse than the current system.

Update:

As a counter point to the broken window fallacy comparison the argument has be made that the key point of the effect of deflation is reflected in the use of effective resources rather than the observation that some things are broken. In other words it is more desirable irrespective of currency system to make optional use of all available resources, human labour and capital as it provides opportunity for growth and leaning. Additionally people don’t hold dollars because of inflation and as a result don’t significantly suffer as a result. All interesting ideas.

Financial Planner

I met with an old school friend that is a financial planner to discuss some available investment options. Currently I manage my own investments across different asset classes and re-allocate based on market trends and imbalances. I look to sell overvalued assets and reinvest in undervalued yet fundamental alternatives.

My primary hesitation with using an advisor is the commission structure and limited available asset options. I would be happy to pay an advisor a high fee for their time and advice on as regular basis but not on a commission of total invested assets. Commissions based on invested assets causes several issues, one being because the available investible assets are a subset of what I am interested in they are disincentivized to help allocate towards assets they don’t sell. Secondly the commission fees are disproportionately high when investing a retirement level of assets.

In my case I plan is to grow my assets and place one million dollars in index stock and bond funds and use the expected four percent yearly return as backup income to cover my cost of living. My current living expenses are around twenty something thousand dollars per year making my monthly draw about two thousand dollars. If I was to have a financial advisor invest one million with a 1.5% commission that works out to be $1250.00 a month. With a drawdown of $2000.00 a month to live that is a high percentage considering that the alternative is a $25.00 fee for managing my own investments through an online broker. Note that each of the stock index funds have a commission fee attached that applies weather they are self directed or managed through an advisor.

Ultimately I want to make my own decisions for where to invest and have the responsibility to research opportunities and learn from the experience.