Category: Good articles

New Year’s Day, before dawn

Mostly, we dread growing older. But aging has been good to me, too. I now prefer to skip New Year’s Eve parties, go to bed before the fireworks start, and wake up rested and sober before dawn.

It’s been nearly two years since I decided to change my drinking habits after 25 years of heavy (if, since my mid-20s, generally disciplined) consumption. Since then, I’ve gotten better jobs and have had greater earnings expectations for the future. I was appointed to a municipal oversight board. The futsal club I manage has grown. I’ve shed 20 pounds. I’ve applied for World Cup tickets. I’ve improved my Spanish. I think I’ve become a better husband. I’m mostly over social media. I’ve learned to fly.

I’ve also become a total lightweight of a drinker. I consume two or three drinks a month. I’m tipsy after a second beer, and my body regrets it the next morning.

This isn’t to be smug, though. After putting down the bottle, I’ve also had more time to clearly analyze my failings and failures. Now that I’m unwilling to drink away my anxiety, I have more time to reflect on the nebulous and blundering path of my life. I’m also able to see that there have been successes, as well, and an accumulation of good memories.

This year, I’ll turn 48. If I’m lucky, I’ll have another 30 years, 15 of which should be my so-called “high-earning years.” The 15 years after that, I hope to be well enough and comfortable enough to travel, catch up on my reading, and take up new hobbies.

It’s 6:17 a.m., the sun rises at 7:27 a.m. This afternoon, I’m flying.

I’ve got lots of plans for this year.

Over Siler City in N4640B, December 2017.


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Understanding cryptocurrency

The key concept: decentralized applications. Brilliant work of explication here. The talk of decentralized applications makes me think of a loosely confederated yet cohesively regulated group of independent soccer clubs. Wonder if this could also break the corrosive grip of the transfer market.

Let me start by stating that I believe:

  • The market for cryptocurrencies is overheated and irrationally exuberant
  • There are a lot of poseurs creating them, and some scammers, too
  • There are a lot of conflicts of interest, self-serving hype, and obfuscation
  • Very few people in the media understand what’s going on
  • Very few people in finance understand what’s going on
  • Very few people in technology understand what’s going on
  • Very few people in academia or government understand what’s going on
  • Very few people buying cryptocurrencies understand what’s going on
  • It’s very possible I don’t understand what’s going on


Source: A Letter to Jamie Dimon – Chain

Money advice

The Journal’s Jason Zweig has a new column I plan to study carefully.

Over the ten years through March, private-equity funds returned an average of 9.9% annually, net of all fees, according to the American Investment Council, a trade group for the industry. That’s well above the 7.5% return on U.S. stocks, including dividends.

Skeptics have long argued that you could come close to the performance of private-equity funds by using borrowed money to buy an index fund that invests in stocks that are cheaper and smaller than average.

Source: Private Equity for Cheapskates Like You – MoneyBeat – WSJ