What are the ideas that keep you up at night?
The concepts or visions of the future that excite your mind and make you wish time would fast forward. The simple platitudes or “shower thought” realizations that make your life less complex. Better yet, what are the ideas that may fundamentally change the world and alter the society we live in?
Below are 6 ideas that I keep thinking about. Ideas that I want to explore further both for personal amusement and for the benefits they may unwittingly reveal. These are the concepts that make me curious for what happens next.
The Meta Impact of Remote Work
The meta story of remote work’s expansion, when zooming out at global scale, is that it opens up all types of work to global competition. ie: If you can do your job anywhere, and your employer permits it, why would they not hire cheaper labor that can perform the same functions elsewhere in the world?
Remote work functionally means that countries like India and the African continent will start undercutting developed world labor markets. As globalism was to manufacturing and industrial outsourcing, so too will remote work be to digital labor outsourcing. Remote work will mean digital jobs get outsourced to the cheaper labor markets.
I think of it as a great labor arbitrage where employers realize they can get significantly lower labor costs from elsewhere. And through this arbitrage, the world will begin to experience a great equalization of wealth. Whereby developed world capital will effectively be transferred to the developing world. This will accelerate as more of the global population comes online this decade.
This meta impact of remote work has massive implications for both the developed world (shrinking labor markets), and the developed world (expanding labor markets).
Time Zone Business Models as a Method of Resilience
If you’re an aspiring Sovereign Individual, you want to produce a multiple income portfolio and cultivate freedom. In a world with remote work and digitally enabled entrepreneurship, freedom becomes a luxury good.
The tools of the digital age are going to create new business models. It’s easier than ever to create information capital assets and monetize them online. And an information asset’s pricing can be adapted to the cost of living around the world because they have zero marginal costs. Ie: for each new copy produced there is no additional cost. The accessibility of assets with zero marginal cost has massive implications for the global economy.
With information capital assets, you can leverage asynchronous business models that empower earning on a globally distributed basis. Earning income all over the world supports an individuals ability to get up and move in the event they want or need to. Whether it be for political reasons or otherwise.
With that in mind, I’ve been thinking about time zone business models. The goal is to earn across all time zones in a 24 hour period. A kind of temporal income strategy.
24 hour time zone earning maximizes freedom by earning in many environments. It’s a hedge against localized risks like war, natural disaster, and changing economic environments. If you’re trying to cultivate resilience and freedom, then you want to incorporate a time zone strategy into your income portfolio.
The Point Everyone Misses with Machiavelli
Sometime in the 1,500’s Niccolo Machiavelli wrote a “how to rule” guide for Lorenzo de Medici in hopes of receiving his financial support. The book has survived through the years as a timeless form of wisdom. What’s interesting is that most people think of schemes, plots, and manipulation when they hear the word Machiavelli. A name synonymous with The Prince and the severe tactics the manual encourages. According to Machiavelli, the ends justify the means.
But I think most people focus too much on the harsh aspects of The Prince. Instead, they should focus more on the opening letter Machiavelli wrote to Medici. The letter is a masterclass in leveraging information capital with applicable lessons to the digital age. In an increasingly networked and information dependent society, the lessons from the letter are useful.
“Those who strive to obtain the good graces of a prince are accustomed to come before him with such things as they hold most precious“
Machiavelli needed a job and wanted to attract the attention of a powerful man. So instead of simply asking for the job, he provided a proof of work via The Prince. He leveraged his personal monopoly, creating an information capital asset from his knowledge and experience, and gifted it to the person whose attention he desired. Machiavelli knew that if he could showcase his true value to the prince by gifting this masterpiece, he would ultimately prove his worth and gain employment.
In the networked society of the Digital Age, our attention is pulled in a million directions at one time. It’s never been more easy to reach out to and connect with powerful individuals. And because of that, it’s often challenging to stand out amongst the crowd. But you can use the often ignored lessons from Machiavelli to get ahead.
Leverage proof of work by creating an information capital asset and gifting it to the person whose attention you want to attract. By gifting real value, they will have a better understanding of your worth and you will rise above your peers.
Was The Prince the original lead magnet?
The transition to the industrial age brought the standardization and mass production of everything. The information age and globalization provides limitless choices. And the unprecedented choice of goods, services, lifepaths and societal transience creates a new sense of anxiety. We experience a new psychological phenomenon on a daily basis. Analysis paralysis. The experience where having so many choices freezes us into a state of indecision.
We now see many indecisive young people. Making choices that take them down the middle road while trying to keep their options open. I think of this practice of cultivating options as the 10,000 Tomorrows Experience. Our ability to easily see ourselves going down many future paths tomorrow can cripple us into indecisive behavior. As we move farther away from standardized society into the digital age, this paralysis from excess choice will become more widespread.
The cure will be to leverage new and unique lifestyles and cultures to function as our human operating systems. The groups and peers we adopt will help close off choices and reinforce the paths in life we choose.
In the digital age – it’s a fallacy to cultivate 10,000 tomorrows. The people that identify societal change and take decisive action will be the most happy and content.
What Important Truth Do Very Few People Agree With You On?
A fascinating question I encountered in Peter Thiel’s Zero to One. “What important truth do very few people agree with you on?”
My answer right now: the majority of people would be lost without the narrative bias’s of established institutions. We look to our institutions and leaders to provide us with simple answers for how to navigate everyday life. We are cognitive misers and seek the path of least resistance when making complicated decisions. And in a world of accelerating change, we increasingly rely on established and conventional wisdom to dictate our actions. They function as lifestyle and cultural operating systems in our complicated lives.
Political movements, tech leaders, the media establishment, and our government officials provide our roadmap for how to think.
In today’s world, this manifests through algorithmically suggested convenience. Making life easier for us by giving us the information we want and need faster. Tell us how to do X so that we can have Y.
The feeling that all is not as it should be is a result of these institutional narratives failing to keep up with changing times. Cognitive dissonance forms because we now have the internet in the palm of every hand capable of recording and going back to show inconsistent beliefs. As the institutional operating systems fail to keep up with changing times, we can expect to see more people adapt to the Sovereign Individual lifestyle. Leaving behind old ways of navigating life for the new digital ways of life.
2nd Brain & Digital Transhumanism
The 2nd Brain is a concept I came across from Tiago Forte and his Building a 2nd Brain course.
“We feel a constant pressure to be learning, improving ourselves, and making progress. We spend countless hours every year reading, listening, and watching informational content. And yet, where has all that valuable knowledge gone? Where is it when we need it? Our brain can only store a few thoughts at any one time. Our brain is for having ideas, not storing them.
Building A Second Brain is a methodology for saving and systematically reminding us of the ideas, inspirations, insights, and connections we’ve gained through our experience. It expands our memory and our intellect using the modern tools of technology and networks.
This methodology is not only for preserving those ideas, but turning them into reality. It provides a clear, actionable path to creating a “second brain” – an external, centralized, digital repository for the things you learn and the resources from which they come.”
Why is this important? Because it’s a form of digital transhumanism.
Throughout time we’ve sought to improve ourselves through diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes. But increasingly, we use of other technologies to provide increased performance. The ubiquitous power of the mobile smartphone with constant high speed internet access is enhancing our abilities further.
And although it may sound a little crazy – this concept of an external second brain is a precursor to a cybernetically enhanced humanity. This has massive long term implications and is worth following.
The World is Changing
These six ideas don’t exist in a vacuum. Combined they show that the world is actively changing in profound ways. It’s a fascinating and exciting time to be alive.
What are the ideas worth exploring that keep you up at night?
I’m building a digital age worldview. Every Monday, I write and curate a publication called The Sovereign Individual. A weekly newsletter that includes news roundups and analysis to help digital age workers adapt and thrive in our changing society. Topics intersect at geopolitics, fintech, crypto, individual responsibility, and personal freedom. Don’t get left behind, subscribe below.