Matt Levine on the missing blockchain in the bitcoin financial system

Even though I'm dabbling in the exchange of cryptocurrency like a whole lot of other people, I still have no idea what I'm doing or why. I keep looking for sources to read that provide nice analysis, but quite a few people either:

  • (A) want everyone else to buy, buy, buy whatever currency they've already bought in the search for greater fools.
  • or (B) don't get it, won't get it, but like to complain about it.

Of course it doesn't make sense that Bitcoin is "valued" so high. Of course it shouldn't be valued that high. But I still want to read smart things about it. 🙂

Anyhow. Matt Levine's regular Money Stuff column has been a nice read in that I get the impression he knows it's crazy, but is also approaching it all with a level head and good financial background.

From today's column:

If you want to rebuild the regular financial system along blockchain principles, you have to wrestle with the fact that even the bitcoin financial system doesn't really operate on blockchain principles.

Matt Levine

This is a fun point!

The blockchain is supposed to be a public log of transactions. It'd make sense if all of our cryptocurrency trades were on a blockchain. But it's still too slow for day-trading currency right now, so the whole system reverts to the old way, only using the blockchain to transfer currency in and out of the system to other "wallets".

Or at least, that's how I think it works.

My moka pot recipe

I'll use the moka pot several times and then go months before doing it again. Now that we're in a house with a gas stove, the success rate on a repeatable recipe has gone up, but I'm sure I'll pause again soon and go back to another method.

So that I don't forget it in the future, here it is:

  • Grind setting of 13 on the Baratza Encore
  • 22oz of coffee (Doma Chronic), gently tapped to settle once in the filter
  • Pre-boil water, then fill just below the pressure regulator on a 6 cup moka pot
  • Immediately assemble the base, filter with coffee, and top and put on the stove at just above 3
  • Watch with lid open. Once things start sputtering a bit, close lid, count a few seconds, then remove from heat.
  • If you feel wasteful, cool the pot with cold water. Otherwise, just pour it and set it aside.

That seems to be the most consistent so far. I've tried with a finer grind and with more coffee, but it never comes through as smooth.

I'll update this post for myself to confirm the instructions for other coffee varieties.

Ditching my email newsletters

According to my Twitter history, I signed up for a bunch of email newsletters in 2011. I can kind of infer from my Gmail history that it took about a year before I realized that I never read the email newsletters. One day I purged them all, likely thinking it would be nice to have a less cluttered inbox.

Because history repeats itself, I signed up for a whole ton of email newsletters again in 2015. Gmail's tabbed inbox interface made me think I could better organize these newsletters under the "Updates" tab and read them every day. At that point I even asked for recommendations so that I could receive even more email!

This is all ridiculous because I'm bad at reading email.

Recently, I decided to blog more and to embrace the blog ecosystem again. This means I'm trying to consume interesting stuff through an RSS reader (currently Feedly) rather than through Twitter or email.

So today I'm unsubscribing from a bunch of email and subscribing to their RSS equivalents. I mostly wanted to write this to note how appreciative I am of the people who provide an RSS feed in addition to the email version.

It looks like MailChimp makes it really easy. Others are published first on a blog or news site anyway. And there are only a few that are going to require figuring out a way to get them into Feedly through some kind of process.

Getting these all into an interface that's designed more for reading won't always help direct my attention to them. But they'll at least be in a place more likely to succeed. 🙂