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Ideas to explore — January 2023.
A recap on some of the content I’ve consumed in Jan 2023 that I really enjoyed
I often get asked by friends what I’m reading or some interesting concepts that I’ve come across recently. That prompted me to think that it might be worth while sharing those with all of you in case you find it interesting as all these ideas tie back into work and personal lives in one way or the other. Keen to hear what you all think of it!
1. You should die with $0.
This was a book I read about the notion that if you have more than $0 left by the time you die you’ve probably worked more than you should have — because you can’t take anything to the grave. The books indexes on the fact that you have three dimensions you need to look at time:
Time (more so from responsibilities/life stage perspective)
Most usually consider one aspect without looking at the other two holistically. For example, you’ll commonly see advice about how you should “grind through your 20s, have close to no fun and then when you’re 30 you can think about that fun thing you’ve been putting off”. Sure, but that’s objectively terrible advice because your health is going to be objectively worse in your 30s which will start to limit the kinds of things you can do. Furthermore, if you have additional responsibilities you’ll further be limited by what you can do in your 30s versus 20s. Money is replaceable, time and health is not.
The second idea which I found fascinating was the idea of memories giving “dividends” similar to financial dividends. As time goes on and your health decreases in old age, since you can’t actually do much due to your health, your memories are the only things you really have to look back on. The more experiences you accumulate, the more they compound to create a richer set of memories to look back on.
Of course you can take this advice too far and be riddled with debt (which is not recommended), but rather it’s a good forcing function to re-evaluate how you spend your time and money in ways which you might not have usually done.
2. Growing older, but probably not wiser
This is a fairly readable blog post but the key thing which stuck with me after reading this was the following highlight:
You're far more likely to fall into repetitive patterns of life where instead of 20 years worth of data, you really have 20x reinforcement of 1 year's worth of data, due to the necessarily conservative life choices we fragile meat-bags tend to make.
Most people live one year worth of life 20 times, not 20 unique years of life.
This one hits hard and something I tend to think about more deeply. As AIs gain:
a) Larger datasets
b) More processing power
The value of pattern matching is going to go down very fast. Things which can be pattern matched, will be automated away or heavily augmented. In this new universe, the most important thing you can do is enriching your life and the inputs that make that life in a way so that you can connect ideas and concepts that others can’t. Outside of reading things, experiences that add to your personal development are worth more than you think in this new future.
A good measure of this is reflecting back on a time period and asking yourself what new entropy have you fed yourself? What have you thought, heard, experienced or seen that you haven’t seen before?
We’re entering a unique phase in human history and it’s probably worth preparing for it rather than ignoring it.
3. AI and Crypto are on the same side of the future
Daniel Mason from Framework Ventures wrote this tweet storm about how AI is expansion technology while crypto is refinement technology.
AI expands the design space massively in terms of what we as humans can create and how we work. Crypto is a refinement for how our civilisation defines and transfers value. The two are so obviously made for each other and should be thought as one rather than these two new hype fads that everyone keeps jumping on.
I like to think of it this way, as our intents to do with value are fed to AIs, the AI isn’t going to ask:
What country does this person live in
What’s their SWIFT code
What’s their bank account number?
But more importantly, it will NEED to know whether you actually got the money or value you intended to transfer. The traditional banking system wasn’t designed to be 100% digital and native. Open blockchains will be facilitating all the value transfer in the world because it’s internet native, digital money.
The relationship between AI and Crypto is one that I’m trying to understand more about since I think it holds some of the most critical keys about how the future of the world looks like. You’ll probably see more write more about this as I get deeper into this topic.
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