Cities On FIRE

Crypto

DeFi projects get an Index on Nasdaq It’s fascinating to watch how crypto is starting to blend with traditional finance. In this case a London broker launched an index listed on NASDAQ. I’m not entirely sure what the angle is here but it seems to me to be marketing. Add the ticker DEFX to your stock tracking app to watch this index.

It turns out that at times crypto has a low correlation with gold One of the dominant crypto narratives is the “its a safe haven asset” or “its replacement for gold” narrative. SFOX’s August volatility report tells a different story. “U.S.-China trade concerns have corresponded with more bitcoin movement — but not always in the ways one would expect of “digital gold”. There is a good chance that we just don’t have the context for what crypto actually is and we are trying to fit it into existing categories. This is like how previous generations called the train the “iron horse”. Trains are horrible horses, I’m sure that time will show us that crypto is a horrible safe haven.

The tech needed for creating pegged tokens is becoming a commodity This recent tweet by Tom Howard show’s just how easy it is to create a pegged token —he created a TSLA token peg. My big question: if creating a token is as easy as pressing a button, or copy/pasting code, then why does a token have value? The value must come from trust. Trust in the individual who created the token and trust in the network that supports it. This doesn’t sound much different then trust in the government and trust in a countries economy. When it comes to crypto, could we be just trading trust in one group of people to trust in another?


Data

The 25 - 34 year old demo are living with their parents Not huge news here but I’m surprised as to if this it he case, why the housing market hasn’t tanked. Gray has a hypothesis in this tweetstorm. Check it out.

How computer vision algos see gender Ever wonder how a computer can look at an image and figure out if its a photo of a man or a woman? This is your chance to figure it out! Pew Research put together this really cool interactive system to help show how this works.


Life

Workers Are Fleeing Big Cities for Smaller Ones Yet another post about the knowledge worker migration from major cities. This is an interesting trend to me (like the FIRE movement) because I cant help but to think people are being short sighted. Yes you can save money by taking your remote job to Boise but what if you lose your job? The economy has been in a very long bull run and the assumption for someone who moves to a smaller city to “save money” is that the run will continue. What if it doesn’t? You would end up with a stale network and in the case of FIREees a deprecated skill set. I can’t think of a clearer case of fragile thinking.

California gets state wide rent control On the surface this sounds like a good idea but I’m skeptical. What we really need in LA is more housing supply —LA is short 500k units. Lets focus on that and the rental market will correct.

Everything I googled in a week as a professional software engineer One thing that people don’t realize about software engineers is how much of the job is looking at reference material. This is a great post that gives you a peek behind the curtain.


What to listen to

Geoffrey West on Networks, Scaling, and the Pace of Life Keeping with the “cities” theme this week I’ve included a podcast episode with Geoffery West. Geoffery is a theoretical physicist who turned his quantitative mind to how things scale. The thing I find most fascinating is how similar cities scale to the human body. Lots of tidbits in this conversation on cities. I’ll leave it to you to explore.