After a long hiatus, I'm back at it.
This week, I want to talk about Extreme Weather and Attacks on Asians.
To keep it light, I finish with some thoughts on crypto investing.
This last week, there was a mini ice age in Texas.
With weather colder than Alaska and rolling blackouts across the state, Texans encountered another eye-opening lesson in the power of extreme weather.
Extreme weather is hard to model. And even when you have accurate predictions, it's difficult to imagine the second order consequences.
Sure, we knew we'd get 3-6 inches of snow, but the following was not on the forecast:
And there are crazier, higher order effects that we'll be grappling with later on.
It's all gotten me thinking about preparing for asymmetric risks.
I've heard a lot about asymmetric risks with upside. If you're an individual with strong fallback options (earned or unearned), you should take Erik Torenberg's advice and take asymmetric career bets.
But we don't talk a lot about asymmetric negative risks. These are:
I don't want to discuss what what you should do in the face of these risks. That's best left to Nassim Taleb. Instead, I want to talk about coordination, and how to get a group of people to prepare for these risks.
Texans might not be very interested in climate change. As the saying goes "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.".
But when you point them to this most recent freeze. Hurricane Harvey. Some of them start to budge.
Nothing beats lived-in experiences. To develop a healthy fear of something, you need to understand something "in your bones". Otherwise, it's just abstractions.
Coordination against negative outcomes, thus, occurs when a critical mass of people have "lived-in experiences", they start sharing their stories - and perhaps most importantly, people start listening.
I've been struggling to figure out what to include in this newsletter about the recent attacks on Asians.
I write for a tiny audience. Most people who visit my website come for my articles on crypto and typing speed. This is not a particularly effective platform for advancing consciousness of Asian American issues.
But I believe I must throw my voice in the ring.
Here's what you need to know about me, and then, what I think you should know about the attacks.
The fact that Asians are speaking up, and making noise - this is something new. Asians are predominantly a voiceless people. Even when we have something to say, we rarely speak up (i.e. yours truly) and when we do, our voices sound like a whimper and often get utilized by the mainstream media to further their agendas.
In this case, the media wants to say that Donald Trump, with his usage of the term "Wuhan virus" and "China flu", caused all of this.
No, that is not the cause. There was a fire already burning. It glowed red with anti-Asian hate. Trump added some gasoline. But the fire was always there.
If you want to be more aware of what's going on, spend some time on Nextshark - a news outlet dedicated towards Asian news. They report all attacks on Asians - across the world.
And if you really want to gain race consciousness, educate yourself.
Asians are beginning to share stories. We need more people to listen.
And for the Asians reading this, we need to go deeper and have more conversations with each other about our lived-in experiences. If you're like me, you'll find narratives within that control you in ways you don't like.
I hate ending newsletters with something heavy, so I'll context switch to something lighter.
Over the last few months, I've been following crypto a lot and making some small investments. With gas prices on Ethereum being so high, it's becoming unprofitable (and makes Binance Smart Chain somewhat attractive), but I learned a lot.
Here are some lessons:
Crypto has made me appreciate the true power of narratives.
And tiny personal update - I'll be starting a new job in March. It'll be in crypto. Will share more after the start date.
Alright, be safe out there. Keep yourself educated and confident, and I'll see you all next time.