Categories
Chronic Disease Medical

Day 1150 and Gut Biome

At the risk of being “TMI” (this is a gesture of self knowledge to readers not an actual concern of mine that I will ever include too much information), I did something stupid to my personal biome today.

I took an expired a probiotic. I fucked up my bacterial mix. In my defense, I didn’t know it was possible to have an expired Lactobacillus mix. Expired doesn’t seem to mean dead. It just is not doing what I’d hoped and I feel worse not better.

I honestly sort of believed that most probiotics on the self were bullshit. It’s hard to decide what’s medical woo anymore. But I acquired it from a German pharmacy last year and I guess GlaxoSmithKline supplies better shit in Frankfurt than it does in Bozeman.

I immediately nuked the new, supposedly friendly, bacteria from orbit with a one-two punch of doxycycline. I always carry some with me when I travel. Don’t tell my health insurance I’m so cavalier with my over-the -counter bacteria.

I’m joking, but only just. I’m sure artificial intelligence will be put out to nefarious purposes like denying health care coverage to random idiots who blog about their bodies any day now. I just doubt any lawyer will care what nonsense I got up to with yogurt when so many other forms of Medicare fraud are more accessible.

So in the spirit of my blogging forefathers and mothers, I’ve included you in the circle of trust as to the inner workings of my co-infections, symbionts, and other biological processes. Let’s hope, unlike in the case of Ripley, that nuking from orbit works. No need to be carrying aliens in my dark places.

Categories
Community Startups

Day 1145 and Vitality

The most gratifying part of early stage startup investing is the vitality. When you are in the mindset of optimism, all things are possible.

I first met Isaiah Taylor about a year ago. We found each other on Twitter. I cold DM’s him with “you seem interesting.” We’d hop on the phone and go through what he was working on in long strategy talks.

I think in our first conversation we spent half an hour just discussing origin stories. We’d both had strongly American west families and we were neighbors in the upper Rocky Mountains. We shared a Christian faith. I liked his style.

Those early rambling sessions when a founder is discovering their market and their unique talents is a precious time. I knew I wanted to invest in him long before Valar Atomics had come into focus.

Ambition and vision are honed over time as you broaden your horizons. It’s the most fascinating tension. The bigger you dream the more you must see your path clearly and pursue it relentlessly. Vitality begins with knowing where to apply your will.

I feel the optimism that Isiah has brought. And I admire how he has taken it to a bigger community. Watching the El Segundo community self-mythologize in real time during this weekend hackathon has been an exercise in collective application of will. Like its cousin in techno-optimism e/acc , the American dynamism “new vitalism” egregore values building for the future.

@ADoricko and @isaiah_p_taylor opening up the Gundo Defense Tech Hackathon via Rasmus

Categories
Aesthetics Internet Culture

Day 1141 and Blind Optimism

The specifics of it aren’t important, the fact of the matter is that it’s been “one thing after another” for me. I bet you know the feeling.

I felt grateful be enjoying a lower friction global homo cosmopolitanism for the night. I need something be smooth brained for a little bit.

I got middle rent generic Mediterranean street food delivered through an intermediated mobile app for dinner. And then I turned on Netflix to settle in for the most middle brow content. There is another season of Love is Blind.

I am a sucker for this show. There is something so optimistic about a blind dating marriage reality show. If you had been doom and gloom for so long imagine opening up all post-pandemic with your shiny therapy emotional journeys.

It strikes me as a pop culture cousin to effective accelerationists. Nothing says accelerate quite like committing. Marriage markets would be very e/acc.

If I have to keep living I may as well do it with the hopeful optimism of someone who throws themselves into their future. All in. I really admire the optimism.

Categories
Emotional Work Travel

Day 1132 and Slowly Unwinding

I’ve you been following my last few posts you know I am traveling and have had some hospitality hiccups and general operational effort in pursuit of getting myself fully off the grid.

I’m slowly unwinding as I’ve finally settled into a cabin where I’m quite remote. I’ve got a lovely view high up above the mountains with views in an almost full panorama.

I’ve left the ambient noises of city living and the sounds are entirely rural. Roosters crowing, cows mooing, dogs participating in twilight barking and the very occasional human passing. It’s peaceful.

It took some doing to get myself this far off grid as I’ve in transit over multiple days but I can finally blessedly feel myself unwinding. I’d hoped to get to this state of nervous system relaxation a bit sooner but better late than never.

I’m reachable here (clearly I’ve got internet or I couldn’t post this writing) but I’ve mostly chosen to keep to myself so I can focus on the larger projects that make up my yearly goals. FreedomToCompute remains the most crucial item alongside my regular responsibilities to chaotic.capital, my founders, and my own LPs. If you want to talk to me feel free to send me an email or signal message. I’ll be very present if I’m on my phone.

Categories
Emotional Work Travel

Day 1123 and Drawing In

I spent some time packing today as I’ll be on the road a little more frequently in the coming months. The joys of the cozy Montana winter have had their comfort and I sincerely wish I’d never have to give them up. But there is work to be done.

I find travel to be a bit stressful but crucial to keeping a good read on reality. The more chaotic the narrative the more I think I prefer to do a bit of on the ground work.

I am feeling the urge to keep some of this close to my chest. I don’t know if that’s temporary as I am tired or if I think it might be beneficial to pull back as I know the road is going to be hard this year.

The uncertainty is palpable. I’ve had an interesting influx of people seeking out my opinion. I’ve got a reputation for being the woman you call when shit is chaotic. I’ll be busy so my introversion may increase as I lay ground work. We sit at a number of crossroads and it seems everyone knows it.

Categories
Media

Day 1122 and Zombie Media

The lifespan of a media brand is an odd thing. Commanding attention and influencing the opinion of large audiences is hard work. Distribution of information has changed a lot in my lifetime which has shaken the business of media.

Some generational powers like Vogue have managed to hang on even as the internet democratized access to changing fashions. Newspapers, which have consolidated fiercely, are no longer local city standard bearers. The most financial success went in national directions like The New York Times.

Everything is fighting a losing war against the Internet. Weeklies that were concerned with recapping the goings on in the world have all but disappeared. The Economist almost made the transition to the the digital era but lost its way.

For me it was when John Micklethwait left The Economist for Bloomberg. I loved the publication as a teen & twenty something. I miss it still, but once its paywall was up and the editors I trusted were gone, it ceased to exist as an influence in my world. Influence can wane quickly. I read Bloomberg now.

Other media outlets have gone to battle in the Hobbesian war of all against all and seem to be competing with rage headlines and audience capture niches. These are the ones that concern me the most.

Wired Magazine was beloved by the first wave of Internet and technology enthusiasts. Its essays defined the era. Now it seems to have turned on the promise of technology entirely with panicked headlines about the dangers inherent in a new form of corporate structure.

A Dangerous Home for Online Extremism: DAOs

For me, seeing Wired doing this sort of thing is akin to the moment in a zombie movie when a friend or family member is bitten. As they are reanimated from the dead, you are in grief and shock, but also must quickly accept your friend is gone and what is in its place is able to harm you.

For what it’s worth, I have been arguing for the innovative potential in decentralized autonomous organizations for years. I appreciate the spotlight being put on them. But I’m also sad to see a media brand lose trust. It’s not so easily regained.

Categories
Media

Day 1117 and High Variance

I don’t know where the first few weeks of the year went, but I suspect they disappeared into the maw of panic over 2024 reality. No narrative alignment holding as “current thing” means that everyone is looking to exert leverage to make their pet causes pop.

I’ve closely watched a number of important events unfold in real time with unexpected and very dramatic conclusions. To then subsequently seen the non reactions from our various institutional leaders is upsetting for most people who are paying attention, I’d say everyone else is enjoying the rollercoaster but it would clearly be a joke. No one likes it.

I am myself waging a war against the instinct to contract and react. Let me quote myself from Day 784 where I posted my press appearance in a Vanity Fair piece. Insufferable flex I know.

She thought something had gone wrong with us physically too. “Endocrine systems get fried. There’s too much cortisol, you’ve been running on adrenaline, eventually you tap out. Everyone feels nuts right now,” she said, “because what on earth are we supposed to do with the fact that we’ve had this incredible rate of change for so long. We think we’re keeping up with it, but our bodies are like, ‘Oh, actually no. We have no idea what’s going on

Dissident Fringe.

We are in a high variance moment for good and for bad and if you cannot handle the ride please find ways to get off of it. Take care of yourself because when you feel nuts you act nuts.

Categories
Media

Day 1115 and Jangling

Trying to make a buck on the internet usually means knowing your audience. And knowing when your audience will pay.

I keep hitting paywalls on blogposts and I think folks really over estimate the value they deliver to readers. You want to sway my viewpoint to your side but instead you jingle your penny jar for a captured audience of seals. The audience capture that has to happen to make someone really take off requires some pandering. People like their echo chambers.

Because I myself am serious about persuading people to shared ideals it offends me when otherwise useful pro-social content that would drive forward the adoption of better information is needlessly cut off for a “below the fold” $60 a year subscription that is thrice what I pay for Vogue.

If you are selling useful actionable services that make other people better in some measurable way it’s not too hard to close a fair deal on the internet. There are lots of businesses with lots of valid marketing funnels.

But if you are trying to persuade people to an ideal or some truth that you believe must be shared I beseech you to share it widely. We humans operate such fragile nodes of coordination. We must actively work to align people to causes. Propaganda and self interests can only win out over aligned incentives if we give our attention the loudest bidder. Don’t contribute to an information environment like that.

Categories
Aesthetics Internet Culture Media

Day 1114 and Aging Without History

I don’t use TikTok at all. I have an Instagram account I’ve failed to reboot which I only open if a Groupchat sends me a link.

I deliberately insulate from algorithmic visual content. It makes you miserable for one. But more importantly, it deadens your aesthetic palette from overexposure.

If you want to develop and sustain personal taste and style, do yourself a favor and do it deliberately without the subtle nudging enforcement of refinement culture.

I do however avidly follow the propagation of different fashions as a personal interest. I like to see where a runaway trend goes as virality and social contagion set in. The New York Post’s entire culture section is dedicated to moral panics but it occasionally hits on real sources of social anxiety.

Gen-Z is allegedly having an anti-aging culture panic over turning 30. Their source on this is a Reddit post about skincare obsessives on social media.

“I feel like aging to Gen Z is what ‘being fat’ was to millennials. Remember how ruthless the media [and] everyone was about that?,” another noted.

Gen Z’s Fear of Aging NYPost

I still have anxiety about weight from living through the TMZ era of body shaming. So I’m sympathetic to what it must feel like to younger women facing the relentless scrutiny of living online. They rightly perceive appearances to be a part of how value is calculated in wider society and are afraid of losing it.

I’m convinced some portion of the extremely online Gen Z are living entirely out of the slipstream of historical culture. They consume artifacts from other people’s youth culture but live in a what amounts to a “long now” in which the future seems unstable. We rebooted 2003 as a micro trend but the apocalypse is almost here.

The nostalgia machine gives Gen Z an ever present history but very little present to hold onto for grounding in physical reality. Their ahistorical vibes approach seems to overweight the need for youth.

Sean Monahan of K-Hole normcore fame posted a mapping of the aesthetics of the decade that I thought spoke well to the strange relationship digital aesthetics have to time. I’m posting a diagram here from his post here.

8Ball “Stuck in The Past vs Inspired By The Past” trends breakdowns

If Gen Z is aging like milk it’s probably not because they are actually aging quickly. Though I’m sure the stress isn’t doing them any favors. I think dit’s what Ryan Broderick of Garbage Day points out here. The glamified hyper-media full face contour is an ageless one. It’s inspired by the past and stuck in the past. It’s got nothing to do with their actual age.

Categories
Emotional Work

Day 1113 and Sorry Can’t

I dislike days where I spend too much of my energy doing stuff as it prevents me from spending time synthesizing stuff.

Of course, and I hope this is obvious, the opposite problem is much worse. If you spend too much time synthesizing stuff then you run the risk that you don’t actually do stuff.

You’ve got to keep your skills sharp with new conditions on the ground but you have to intake as much information in your field as possible.

“Sorry I can’t” is a strong signal. It means you are engaged in the productive middle of focus. Family is a productive middle of focus. Your business is a productive middle of focus. Your friends is a productive middle focus.

Maybe you picked something to focus on that someone powerful wishes you didn’t. Maybe you sold your focus to someone else. Maybe you are on the clock to a wider goal. The calculation of how we do that is best left to market forces in my opinion.

I will redirect my attention for someone that asks and shows me the incentives. I think it’s a worthwhile balance. If I believe my focus being redirected can help someone else execute on taking action I’ll do so. That usually means saying to someone else “sorry I can’t”