Bedazzled by Crypto

Bedazzled by Crypto

Hey Friends,

Good morning. Did you know that I have never owned a pair of those bedazzled jeans? That’s right. I stick with the classics. This week I picked up a quality pair of selvedge denim jeans. The kind that last.

That might be the only thing I accomplished this week, and as it turns out, I didn’t really have anything to write about for this week’s release.

I ended up spending a couple days by myself when Mrs. Lorem Ipsum was out of town on a visit with a friend. I thought I would get a lot done, but ultimately I accomplished nothing.

As it turns out, taking care of me takes a lot of work. I folded laundry, cooked a meal and decided when to go to bed on my own.

It was exhausting.

As a result, I had nothing to write about. I know you tend to expect me to write something of substance, but that didn’t happen. Instead, I did the opposite and wrote about cryptocurrency.

I’ll expand on that sooner than you can spell Bitcoin in ones and zeros. And I’ll talk about bedazzled jeans too.

But first, The News.

Hot Takes

Week 14 of 2022

The Grammys are Safer. The Grammy’s took place last Sunday. Silk Sonic won record of the year.

Comedian Nate Bargatze came wearing a helmet for his own safety, considering the dangers of award shows these days.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine who appeared briefly in a prerecorded message, won best Wartime President. Putin said to keep his name out of his bleeping mouth.

Justice Confirmed. Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed for her supreme court seat yesterday. It was a moment of “bright lights” in Dark times, as Senator Chuck Schumer said of nominating the first Black woman to the Supreme Court. I agree according to this article I wrote.

Senator Mitch McConnell said it was a radical pick and that Biden “let the radicals run the show” by nominating her. As proof, he pointed out she was not a white male.

Elon Musk bought some Twitter. Nearly one out of every ten of my tweets is essentially owned by Elon Musk now.

Twitter happens to own the platform for this newsletter so I guess that means he owns a good chunk of this email too. After buying 9.1% of TWTR, he ended up joining the board of the company and also gaining 1 billion dollars in value on his stock purchase. Given his late night tweeting, Musk made the move mostly just to get an edit button added to the platform, which evidently is actually in the works <—funny but slightly true.

One Dog. Two Dongs. A dog born with a bunch of extra parts including six legs and two penises ends up living, but not the way you’re thinking–the extra wiener had to come off, along with some of his other spare parts.

That’s all the news for now.

Here’s The Gist.

Some Introspection

The Gist

This week, I wrote two brief essays about a couple things I had been thinking about. They are only published here, and may become larger articles at some point.

You’re in Eff Tea

If you’re looking for a get-rich-quick scheme, there are countless options. Act now, and you could be on the ground floor of something really big, but the catch is knowing just what the next big thing actually is.

The next big thing is quite possibly nothing, and if you’re of the mindset that crypto is the thing, then we might agree. The next big thing is, in fact, nothing.

As I’ve been thinking about cryptocurrency lately, I’ve come to be of the opinion that cryptocurrency is nothing more than a solution that is looking for a problem.

In brief, for the new kids sitting in the back, cryptocurrency is a form of electronic money. Each unit has a unique “serial number,” like a dollar bill, but unlike the US dollar, there is no central bank managing it. Instead, there is a network of independent computers (and their owners) verifying transactions one by one – this is called “Blockchain.” They call it mining because if they do it enough, they may strike gold. Well, a sort of crypto gold.

NFTs works the same way by assigning a serial number to a specific file (like an image). Some people think it’s cool to have an NFT, and I am happy for them.

It’s a lot of work and costs a lot of money to participate. Why is it appealing? Because there is no leading figure or government calling the shots. And free men like to live by their own rules.

I dabbled in crypto a bit. I treated it like a video game, and let me tell you, it was addicting. But similar to a video game, at some point, I had to get up and go to the bathroom.

Decentralized currency sounds like a powerful thing, but it’s no newer than trading wheat or oil – except that wheat and oil have a use beyond “having wheat and oil.” Cryptocurrency mostly has no use other than possession for possession's sake.

With all free market environments, eventually, someone rises to power and becomes the oligarch that controls the system, either by influence or by force. When oligarchs hold power, they pull the strings. Just consider how a single tweet from Elon Musk can shift the position of your entire portfolio. Ultimately, the democratic appeal is lost if a few people control the fate of everyone else holding a small fraction of currency.

To the NFT and crypto evangelists who say I’m a lemming with no foresight, I say thank you and understood. But Ponzi schemes have been around for a long time, just like trading goods and services. Also, I can’t eat a Bitcoin, so we’ve still got a long way to go.

Completing transactions and mining cryptocurrency is still far less efficient than spending government cheese, and it would take a coalition of forces to get it to the point where it is – you know, like a central bank.

And all this is for a currency that you still can’t buy stuff with.

Fasting Fast Fashion

As I purchased a pair of quality jeans from a friend and boutique retailer, Tommy of the store James Dant, we had a discussion about quality. We covered natural merino wool fibers, premium craftsmanship, reducing waste, and more. This conversation got me thinking about our traditional approach to fashion.

I have a penchant for fashionable attire, but I’m not going to chase every fleeting trend. For example, I’ve managed to avoid buying a pair of bedazzled jeans up to this point. To be honest, I am happy about that, because while they had their moment, it was not a very good moment.

To those currently wearing a pair or eagerly awaiting their emergence from the dryer, please don’t take offense. I think fashion, or the lack thereof, is a very personal thing, and what I like isn’t the only option just because I have better taste.

I bring this up because, much like buying the dip of cryptocurrency, bedazzled jeans are out of style. They are expensive, they are mostly worn out for you before you get them, and now have largely narrowed their appearances to Luke Bryan concerts. Unlike the classics made of quality material, their life of usefulness between the rack and the landfill is short.

There’s nothing wrong with a rhinestone or two, but what I want to comment on is disposable clothing. Clothing has shifted (well before my lifetime) to emphasize quick turn of inventory and low prices, and trends that change in moments. Don’t worry about that new fabric print going out of style, though, because it will start to unravel soon anyway because quality goods have become rare in fashion.

That means that we toss clothes in the trash all the time by way of a thrift shop for those of us who want to ease our guilt.

Well, I would like to stop buying clothes that don’t last as long as a stick of deodorant. I have wardrobe staples, and I have investment pieces, but I also have every color of mass-produced socks you can imagine. I admit I am still on a path of repentance.

Consider joining me in investing in things you will keep, made out of fibers that last longer, made by craftspeople who love what they do and get paid a fair wage to do it.

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!

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