Sunday, January 28, 2018

Tasks, Goals, and Resolutions

I just spent an hour walking on the beach (well not entirely on the beach, but like along the beach and some on the beach and you get the idea).  It was incredibly peaceful and relaxing, to the point that I kept going after I started to get a blister on my foot.  I'm going to try to "make more time" to do that sort of thing, which really just means waste less time watching NetFlix.  Which brings me to my point of the day, which I've always kind of had knocking around in my brain but had never really articulated until just now.  And that is...the difference between tasks, goals, and resolutions.

For the purpose of this post I'm going to define a task as something you can do basically "right now".  At the upper limit it has to be something you can finish "today".  I'm very good at tasks.  I can make a to-do list and knock them down one by one.  Completing tasks makes me feel good about myself, and performing them (even menial simple ones) usually results in a break from the day to day background static anxiety I tend to feel.  The fact that I'm good at tasks is sort of the reason I've been able to be a live poker grinder for so long, and it's the reason I took to scrum mastering toward the end of my stint at EMC.  Playing poker for a living on a day to day basis is very task oriented.  Wake up.  Find a reasonable game.  Get to the game.  Play poker.  Quit when you're playing bad, get tired, or the game turns bad.  I gravitate toward poker because it's a way that I can productive without exerting too much effort.  The point here, however, is that you can achieve a task "right now" and get that little jolt of positive feedback that comes along with it.  Every hand of poker is a task completed.

Now a goal is one step up from a task, and a goal is the level of this chain where I kind of fall down.  A goal is something that you cannot achieve "right now".  It's something you have to work towards over at least a few days (although some of those could really be just big tasks) and more realistically weeks or months.  A simple goal most of us have is "lose weight" or "get in shape".  The problem with those goals, at least for me, is that they aren't quantifiable and you cannot achieve them "right now".  I need to lose about 30 pounds (that's right), but I cannot do that today, this week, or even this month.  That's like a 4-6 month day in and day out grind, and I tend to fall down on those sorts of things.  My Ex was incredibly good at medium term goals, to the point that she would always seem to sacrifice the current moment for some promise of future betterment.  I seem not to be, and I think it's because I don't really get any positive feedback along the way in any easy to digest "chunks".  And if I eat some extra tacos or have a few beers, that doesn't really affect my goal status for tomorrow.  4 months from now when I've not lost any weight it's like "well gee why" and that's why.  I'm just not good at it.

And the item here is the resolution...and that's something is even harder to do than a goal because you can't really measure it and/or you can't even ever really achieve it.  "Quit drinking" is a resolution.  You cannot actually quit drinking (they say this in AA).  All you can actually do is not drink today, or more accurately "right now".  That's it.  "Be more mindful" can't really be measured.  There isn't like a mindfullness meter or app you can get and just track it.  Resolutions are even harder than goals, and that's why people fall down on them.

So what's the point?  The point is that when you get down to it everything you attempt to achieve in your life can be broken down into some sequence of tasks.  When I'm being my most productive I have an active to-do list that just has things going on and off it constantly.  If I have a goal then that just needs to be broken down into tasks that will eventually lead to achieving that goal.  And resolutions....that just guessed it....resolve!

I thought maybe this was going to be some large grandiose thing, but really that's it.  Hope it helps you think about some stuff.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018


“Sir, is it true that you are a certified professional cryptocurrency baller?”

“Yes, that statement apparently is true. I’m at least as surprised as you are”

“How did you get to this point? What steps should one take to become a professional cryptocurrency baller?”

“Well Babar, to be honest I don’t have a fucking clue how I got here. But there’s just one thing you need to do before you can claim professional status. You have to quit your job.”

“I don’t have a job to quit”

“Then you, too, are a certified professional cryptocurrency baller.”


I got into crypto currency officially a little less than a year ago. I had been holding some bitcoin for a while, but basically piled on when it was still trading for 3 figures. I bought some other coins here and there and there and here. I’ve sold a lot on the way up (goodness if I hadn’t sold...goodness). I’ve still made, in the parlance of our times...a pile. A big ‘ol pile. You see….you buy bags (big bags, little’s all bags) and you hold the bags. The stuff in bags either pamps or is rekt. You don’t wanna be the one holding the bag (trust me, someone is gonna end up holding these bags whence they are rekt), but you also don’t wanna miss a certified MOONING. That’s more than a pamp….a mooning involves lines indistinguishable from vertical. I swear I’ve seen some graphs that appear to go backwards in time they are so steep, like those rock climbing dudes who somehow don’t fall off.

I’ve missed some moonings, but I’ve caught my fair share, also. I mean for crying out loud BTC itself almost touched $20K and at the time of this pecking was trading in the 15k range. Etherium ran from like ones of dollars to $300, stayed put for a while, and is now just bouncing around like an ADHD 7 year old between 500 and 800. I’ve nailed some alt coins also….but honestly everything has just gone up so much that it would be impossible to miss. I’ve held BTC, ETH, lots of other coins. I’ve done some ICO presales. Shit, I’m even part of a mining operation.

So how did I get here, and what’s my plan going forward? I did so by following the advice of Patrick Henry Winston, who taught me most of the truly important things I got out of my $100k education.

Ask someone who knows.

And that’s really the answer to most of life. If nobody knows you can get a Ph.D, that’s basically the way we’ve set it up is my understanding. Usually someone knows. Anyone who has worked at a software company can attest to the uncomfortable phenomenon of being pinned down as the guy who knows.

“Oh really you should ask Patty, she knows more than me”

“I did, she sent me to you”

“What about Oleg?”

“Sat with him for an hour, he said to go see Jesse”


“OK...what do we got?”

At your job sometimes it’s in your best interest to avoid being seen as the guy who knows; that’s just going to get you more work, more responsibility, and more time helping people. That attitude could be why I didn’t seem to get promoted very quickly in SWE roles…..In crypto, however, it’s the opposite thing going on. EVERYONE claims to be “the one who knows”. Everyone. And that is super dangerous. Pete said to me this last Vegas that the reason he likes me, that we get along, is that unlike everyone else in the world I actively try to downplay my achievements. And you know, he’s sorta right. It’s not that I try to downplay what I’ve done, I just don’t believe that anything I have accomplished has ever been that special. Maybe that means I’m clinically depressed. I am extremely comfortable arriving at the answer of “I don’t know...what’s everyone else doing?” and then just doing that most of the time except a little better.

The catch is you have to be smart enough to at least determine who is smarter (or more accurately, who knows more) than you. Ideally you’ll be smart enough to get even more granular than that. “This guy over here knows more than me, but he’s still pretty freaking oblivious. This other dude on the other hand knows all sorts of other stuff!” Up until a few weeks ago I was basically just working on the assumption that other people were try-harding and they were pretty sharp and I could ride their coattails and hopefully make some more piles while I continued to play poker for 30 hours a week.


I am going balls deep. This market (if you can even call it a market….it’s a freaking joke really) is probably the opportunity of my lifetime (except perhaps for the Floyd v Connor fight….lock of the century I can’t believe I only made a few thousand). I’ve never really bought into technical analysis for stocks, and I didn’t really see how it could apply here since there are like zero underlying fundamentals, but when you can go on an exchange and literally see the order book for all the buys/sells that are live for a coin….I mean, that’s not too hard to figure out. You can actually see the walls of support and resistance. The new guy I’ve found, who apparently was giving his picks to the guy(s) I was working with, knows what’s going on and is basically batting 1.000. And I’m not talking about like they went up some. I’m talking about hitting 5 baggers. 10 baggers. He has a 60 bagger. He does the legwork. He schedules calls with developers. He has zero confidence that he’s actually better than anyone else at this, but is just working kind of hard and trying to stick very basic buy and hold principles (backed by some technical analysis of support and resistance lines).

I have hitched my wagon, and if necessary I will attempt to ford the river. Or perhaps I will caulk it and float it across. It does not matter, my wagon has been hitched. I’m gonna start doing the legwork myself. I’m going to gamble big (muy big...big big) and see what I can do. And yeah, i’m probably gonna end up holding some bags at the end, but I’m not going to be one of those people who basically just let it ride the whole way. I’m gonna take stuff out, try to keep my bags a reasonable size, you know the drill.

So yeah, more cryptobossing posts to come, I hope. And no, I don’t fucking know anything and I don’t know what coin you should buy, just like sports. I do however believe that cryptocurrency is here to stay and will be one of the most disruptive forces in our lifetimes, and anyone who doesn’t at least attempt to understand how it works is doing himself a big disservice.