The Supercycle, Seize The Day, Diamandis on Longevity and BTC, Bain on Tech and the Future of Money, Climate Change

October 25, 2021

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you have was once among the things only hoped for.”

- Epicurus

“Be the change you wish to see in the world”

- Gandhi

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” 

- Frank Herbert, Dune

A. A Few Things Worth Checking Out

1. Goldman’s Jeff Currie was on the Bloomberg Odd Lots Podcast: It’s a Commodities Supercycle, and We Still Haven’t Hit Max Pain.

2. Paul Tudor Jones on Inflation

3. Joseph Wang spent 5 years studying the plumbing of the financial system as a senior trader on the NY FED open markets desk. The Desk sits at the centre of the dollar system as its ultimate and infinite provider of dollars. It has access to virtually all regulatory and financial data, as well as open lines of communication with all major market participants.

He recently wrote a piece titled Mechanics of a Devaluation:

The inflationary process is in its early stages, and it will be particularly strong because it arises in part from a devaluation of the world’s reserve currency.

Governments throughout the world printed and spent trillions in their pandemic related efforts, but none of their actions came close to the American response. American households literally received trillions in newly printed money that they are just beginning to spend. Inflation will become more obvious as that money moves through constrained supply chains and the global dollar system.

4. J.P Morgan: "We Could Be Just Weeks Away From Cushing Effectively Running Out Of Crude at Cushing"

5. This short snippet from a longer interview from the Knowledge Project, Esther Perel explains “Why your Partner Criticizes You.”

She says behind every criticism is a wish. This does not excuse being critical toward your partner, but keeping this in mind helps me focus on what it is I’m really requesting of my partner and what he or she might be asking of me.

This helped me a lot.

6. Did you get involved in this SPAC? The 2024 US Presidential Race is going to be interesting!

B. Seize The Day

One of the articles that changed my life was Wait But Why’s”: The Tail End.

It is a reminder that relationships are not evenly distributed through time.

Prioritise those that matter most to you.

This is your life in years:

This is your life in weeks:

This might already seem short, but I have bad news.

The really important parts of life aren’t spread out evenly through time like those charts - Those important parts are our relationships.

Take my parents for example, who are near 70. During my first 18 years, I spent some time with my parents during at least 90% of my days. But since heading off to college, working and now having my own family, I probably see them an average of only two times a year, for an average of maybe 2 weeks each time. 30 days a year. About 10% of the days I spent with them each year of my childhood.

Being in their early-70s, let’s continue to be super optimistic and say I’m one of the incredibly lucky people to have both parents alive into my 60s. That would give us about 20 more years of co-existence. If the 30 days a year thing holds, that’s 600 days left to hang with mom and dad.

It turns out that when I went to University, I had already used up 90% of my in-person parent time.

When you look at that reality, you realise that despite not being at the end of your life, you may very well be nearing the end of your time with some of the most important people in your life.

I’m now enjoying the last 5% of that time. We’re in the tail end.

This applies to time with your own children too. If for example, they are ten years old (like mine), I have already used up 40-50% of the total time I will ever have with her.

Borrowing his conclusion:

So what do we do with this information?

Setting aside my secret hope that technological advances will let me live to 700, I see three takeaways here:

1) Living in the same place as the people you love matters. I probably have 10X the time left with the people who live in my city as I do with the people who live somewhere else.

2) Priorities matter. Your remaining face time with any person depends largely on where that person falls on your list of life priorities. Make sure this list is set by you—not by unconscious inertia.

3) Quality time matters. If you’re in your last 10% of time with someone you love, keep that fact in the front of your mind when you’re with them and treat that time as what it actually is: precious.

C. The Tech and Crypto Section:

1. Great Peter Diamandis interview for the Hustle discussing longevity, bitcoin and the space race.

Thank you David Giampaolo of Pi Capital for sharing.

You can also hear it in more detail on Spotify.

Some key bits:

What age will someone be able to live to? And, in what time frame will this take place? 

What I’m focused on right now is “how do I add at least a decade of healthy life this decade?”

Along with AI, the technologies that I mentioned (stem cells, vaccines, gene therapy) are making a dent in the longevity universe. 

David Sinclair and George Church [a Harvard PhD geneticist] believe that we can get to 120 years old. Maybe 150. 

Now I’m 60. If I make it to 120, I’m intercepting 60 more years of advances, and I guarantee you that we’re going to slay aging probably in the next 20-30 years at the outmost.

A phrase that I use from [futurist and Singularity University co-founder] Ray Kurzweil is “living long enough to live forever”. 

Your job isn’t to make it all the way to 120. It’s to live an extra 20 years for the purpose of getting to the impact of quantum computing and AI on these areas. 

There’s a concept that Ray Kurzweil has popularized: “longevity escape velocity”. 

It’s the notion that today for every year that you’re alive, science is extending your age by a 1/4 year. 

Now, the question is “when will we get to the point where for every year you’re alive, science is extending your life for more than a year?”.

Ray Kurzweil predicts that it’s within the next 12 years. And his predictions are pretty good. George Church has said he thinks it’s within the next 10 to 15 years. So it’s the same timeframe. 

Ultimately, what wouldn’t you pay for an extra 20-30 healthy years of life. 

This is not slobbering in a wheelchair. This is where you have the aesthetics. You look great. The cognition. You’re thinking clearly with the mobility to move around and enjoy those extra years. 

And what would you do with an extra 30 years of healthy life or more?

What is the bull case for Bitcoin?

[Since the start of COVID], everybody thinks they’re absolutely brilliant because their stocks, real estates and assets are all going up.

[These gains are the] result of pumping unlimited amounts of capital into the US and global economy to the point where it’s ridiculous and we’re devaluing dollars at a rate that people just don’t understand. 

[Also, we’re moving to a place where we’re] living longer and we’re digitizing the global economy. I think Bitcoin is a fundamental cornerstone of a long-lived and exponentially digitized world. 

One of the big questions is “how much should you invest?”. This is my humble opinion and I’m not an economist, but I’m moving as much of my dollars into Bitcoin. I’m probably 80% Bitcoin and 20% Ether.

When I can get 4%-8% interest rates on [crypto exchange] Abra for my crypto, rather than sticking it in the bank for 0% and deflationary pressures…that’s insane.

2. Great Forbes article by Matt Harris (a partner at Bain Capital and a legendary Fintech investor) on The Future of Money.

3. Paul Tudor Jones on Crypto

4. My friend Ram Parameswaran was on Business Breakdowns with Patrick O’Shaughnessy and Mario Cibelli discussing Uber. A great deep dive on the insides and potential futures of Uber (disclosure: I’m an LP in Ram’s Octahedron Capital).

5. Great Bain report on the Technology Economy. They cover three big themes: Value Evolution, Competitive Battlegrounds and Operational Advantage.

6. Did you see that Stripe is back into crypto?

7. Super Bloomberg Odd Lots episode on Play-to-Earn (P2E) and Axie Infinity. Imagine growing 200x in one year.

8. Great twitter thread on angel investing:

D. The Latest In Climate Change

BAML published a great 114-page report last week titled: Net Zero Primer.

Thanks to Andre and Vanja for flagging.

Make sure to get your hands on it. It covers everything from the basics of Net Zero, sources of emissions, how we could achieve it, the various technologies and tools available to us, the investment required.

The below is an important data point from Alpine Macro (thank you Wouter).

I expect to see more headlines like this around Nuclear:

“My old definition was ‘freedom to.’ Freedom to do anything I want. Freedom to do whatever I feel like, whenever I feel like. Now, the freedom I’m looking for is internal freedom. It’s ‘freedom from.’ Freedom from reaction. Freedom from feeling angry. Freedom from being sad. Freedom from being forced to do things. I’m looking for ‘freedom from,’ internally and externally, whereas before I was looking for ‘freedom to.’”

“Advice to my younger self: ‘Be exactly who you are.’ Holding back means staying in bad relationships and bad jobs for years instead of minutes.”

- Naval Ravikant