Bytes in Bitcoin
That subject line is really going to disappoint some of you...
Happy New Year!
And thank you for all the lovely messages after my last 52 Things… email. Not to mention congratulations to those of you who spotted the somewhat avant-garde subject line and introduction.
On the theme of retrospectives: most of my reading is done offline, but one digital asset I take very seriously is the Future Crunch Good News newsletter. I make time to read every single issue because they do the incredibly hard work of making concrete the ineffable abstractions of hope and solidarity.
If you’re not in tears by the time you get to the end of 99 Good News Stories You Probably Didn’t Hear About In 2021, then you’re probably not reading carefully enough. I think I made it to #70.
Worth its weight in gold.
That saying really needs to be upgraded to accommodate the socio-economic conditions of late-stage capitalism, doesn’t it?
Worth its kilobytes in Bitcoin.
That saying really needs to be upgraded to accommodate the economic conditions of late-stage capitalism, doesn’t it?
Worth its bytes in Bitcoin.
The byte is, historically, the number of bits (binary digits, the smallest unit of data) that a computer needs to encode a single character of text.
One Bitcoin is now worth more than 23 ounces of gold, a precious metal historically used as currency by humans.
There. If you opened this email because you got excited about a deep dive into the weird world of crypto, then you can stop reading now. I have nothing for you.
Except this stuff about crypto and climate from last year.
And this comic from xkcd:
The comic was published in 2008, six years before the first NFT was minted.
Now, on with the show!
100 Days of Adventure 2022
The end-of-year rush to reach 100 adventures has passed — I actually ended up with 102 due to an accounting error and a wonderful New Year’s Eve hike through Dartmoor.
And so here we are again, back at zero. Or one, thanks to a wonderful New Year’s Day hike through Dartmoor. Start as you mean to go on.
This is the double stone row at Hurston Ridge. It was constructed thousands of years ago in the midst of a dense forest of alder, oak and hazel, most likely as a form of crowd control for Neolithic hunters waiting to have their crack at The Beast Of Dartmoor.
Sometime between lunch and afternoon tea on New Year’s Day, my companions and I processed solemnly down the stone row. It was a powerful moment that symbolised the transition from old year to new and from dry feet to soggy.
I love New Year for the same reason I love Mondays, birthdays, anniversaries, solstices, equinoxes, new moons, full moons, Kalends, Nones and Ides.
I relish the opportunity to exploit the psychological power of an arbitrary date on which I can wipe clean the soiled and besmirched slate of my own personal biography and, indeed, fate.
At these slate-polishing moments, I can afford myself the time to look back over the past year / week / month / moon / ancient festival season and decide that everything from this day forth shall be different (or the same, depending).
As the business management psychologists like to say, I use ‘salient temporal landmarks’ to create ‘new mental accounting periods’, which ‘relegate past imperfections to a previous period, induce [me] to take a big-picture view of [my] lives, and thus motivate aspirational behaviours’.
Yes, I have multiple lives. (At least that’s how it feels at the moment.)
That is why, after a short period of reflection (I think I was waiting for some soup at The Old School tearoom in Belstone), I arrived at the decision to reprise my 100 Days of Adventure adventure for 2022.
Why? Because I know from experience that adventures in the G.O.D.* make me a healthier and happier human being and I also know from experience that, unless I hold myself to account by counting them, one by one, I will adventure less and subsequently feel less healthy and less happy.
It’s simple. So simple, in fact, that I’m surprised that few people count the really REALLY important things in their lives.
Lots of people count their money, many people count their steps, but I haven’t met anyone else who, say, counts the number of friends they see every day — and what could be more important than that?
Whether it’s adventures, friends or enthusiasm that you want to maximise in 2022, I’d gently encourage you to add one little extra flower to the bouquet of your New Year’s Resolution: a simple, irrefutable way of tracking your serene progress.
Oh, and ideally a means of holding yourself to public account, such as by writing an unbroken chain of 302 weekly newsletters…
Welcome to 2022, people — it’s going to be a blast!
*Great Out Doors. Despite the fact that it doesn’t really work, I’ve been eccessively delighted with this acronym ever since I discovered it back in 2018. Please share widely. I’ll figure out a way to monetise it later.
Word Of The Week: Rhabdomancy
Rhabdomancy is the use of a rod (rhabdo-) for the purpose of divination (-mancy), specifically the technique of using a dowsing rod to find underground sources of water or minerals.
I stumbled across rhabdomancy by complete chance while browsing the splendid interactive lexicon, Visuwords.
By complete chance, really? Or was I guided by a higher power?
Free Adventure Money For YOU!
Do you want some free money with which to go on an adventure this year?
The grant is open to all ages, all backgrounds and all nationalities and should be:
For pure adventure, not boring old science
Fairly low budget
The deadline is 31 January and it’s the perfect excuse to kickstart your own 100 Days of Adventure challenge. Am I right or am I right?
They’re particularly looking to fund people who aren’t normally encouraged to go on adventures, so please share as wildly and widely as you can. Thank you!
That’s it for this first week of 2022. I hope you started out strongly, but if you didn’t, don’t worry. There’s another 51 of these coming right up.
Mysteriously enough, out of my past six newsletters, four are in the top five most read EVER. Thank you for sharing :))
I’d be keen to hear from you if you find any of my newsletters particularly thrilling. It might help me write more of That Sort Of Thing.
And, if you’re proper thrilled, you can always open your virtual wallet and start firing magical currency at my face by becoming a paid subscriber. Gold, Bitcoin and NFTs also accepted.