Nicholas Merten – Founding and Running Digifox, The Value of Bitcoin, and Energy

Posted on December 2, 2021

Full disclosure, I happen to work at Digifox, and Nicholas is my boss. But as a 23 year old who’s responsible for the salaries of ~2 dozen people and a Praxis graduate, Nicholas is an extremely impressive guy. In this episode, we discussed his background and origins, the rise and potential of crypto as an asset class, the failures and inefficiencies of the banking system, and renewable energy. Enjoy! Thanks for listening! Follow me on socials to get updates onRead More

IJ Makan – Cultural Appropriation, Crypto, NFTs, and Future Cities

Posted on November 16, 2021

Click to listen on Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | All Others IJ and I met over twitter! We covered a lot of ground in this episode, including discussions about Canadian identity (or lack thereof), the potential that blockchain and crypto has, how he got started creating his NFT collection of philosopher kings, and how we’ll build cities in the future. Also, the video doesn’t show my face for the first hour or so because I forgot toRead More

Steve Paolasini – Jumping Down the Crypto Rabbit Hole

Posted on November 1, 2021

Steve Paolasini joins us once again to talk about his journey into crypto and all of its possibilities! — Send in a voice message:

JCCF Essay Competition

Posted on November 1, 2021

I found out that the JCCF had an essay competition on Friday, October 29. The deadline to submit an essay was Sunday, October 31 at 11:59 PT. So of course, I wrote an essay in two days. It brought back memories of undergrad. The essay question: “Should citizens who refuse to get vaccinated have the same rights and freedoms as those who do get vaccinated?” Click here to read the essay.

Pandemic Populism – Season 2 Wrap Up

Posted on October 20, 2021

In Season 2 of Letters from a Contrarian, I sought to understand what went wrong with Canada’s pandemic response, and what a more ethical, constitutional, and tolerable response would’ve looked like. I summarize my two answers to these questions based on the conversations I had with my guests in Season 2 in this episode. I also go through why crypto, web3, and decentralization is the best way to preserve liberal values without the use of naked power. — Send inRead More

What Adulting Is

Posted on September 5, 2021

It’s been about a year since I graduated with a bachelor’s degree and started working full time. Here’s what adulting seems to mean: a loss of time, no cheap talk, and iterability. A Loss of Time I work 8 hours a day, five days a week. In university, I worked (maybe) 3 hours a day, 3 days a week. Losing all of that free time (~26 hours) is jarring! It feels like all of your time has been sucked away.Read More

Bruce Pardy – Vaccine Passports

Posted on September 1, 2021

Bruce Pardy is a law professor at Queen’s University.  Link to Anchor (where you’ll find links to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, etc). References for Pardy’s claim that you’re just as likely to catch COVID-19 if you’ve been vaccinated than if you haven’t: — Send in a voice message:

How I Fell Down the Bitcoin Rabbit Hole

Posted on August 21, 2021

I’ll be updating this blog with the questions i ask on my journey along with the answers i find. It all started in November 2020. I had stumbled onto Dustin Walper’s twitter, and learned that he was the CEO of a cryptocurrency exchange. Since he seemed to be a trustworthy and intelligent person, I figured that I would not lose all of my money if i used it. During November and December, I added in $100 and watched it growRead More

Don’t Share Your Vaccination Status

Posted on August 8, 2021

Notes from “Warren Buffet and the Interpretation of Financial Statements”

Posted on August 3, 2021

How do you invest in a way that isn’t pure speculation or group-think, and which also prevents you from being fooled by randomness? Well, apparently value investing is one way to do this, so I’m going to learn about it. To put it simply, value investing means that you should buy and hold a stock when its price is below its “true value”. You can also sell it if it’s crazily overvalued. It’d be nice to know whether a companyRead More

A Side Effect of Lying

Posted on July 20, 2021

It seems like lying to people you don’t know in your own self-interest to is generally socially acceptable. A person who receives one job offer, accepts, then receives a better offer, then rejects the first offer, is one such example of a lie. It’s hard to pick between two opportunities. But one thing’s for sure – lying makes whatever choice you go with 10x worse. One consequence of lying that I’ve found is that any good faith in a newRead More

Here’s what =VLOOKUP() does in Excel

Posted on July 19, 2021

Great day! I learned how to use vlookup in excel. Here was the problem. I had sent out a cold email to ~2500 podcasters last week. The list of leads I used had a podcaster’s name, email, show id, and show name. Around 40% of people didn’t open the cold email, so I wanted to send a follow-up. Sendy, the emailing platform, let me download a new list made up of the 40%. But the list only had the lead’sRead More

The Problem of Too Many Ideas

Posted on July 18, 2021

What do you do when you have too many interests? You can try to pursue them all by splitting your time into chunks and devoting a chunk to each interest. In theory, if I want to learn Latin, produce a podcast, and start a cooking business, I’ll do an hour of latin in the morning, 3 hours of podcasting on the weekend, and 1 hour of cooking in the evenings. It turns out that this never works. Stretching your focusRead More

How to Price Yourself as a Freelancer

Posted on June 15, 2021

A new friend of mine gave me two ways to value yourself on the market. The first is your hourly rate. The second is the value of the service you provide (usually the opportunity cost). To calculate your hourly rate, you can use your last job’s pay as a reference compare yourself to what freelancers on the market charge, calculate how much you’d need to live your dream life. Charging hourly tends to prevent you from making big gains though.Read More

Cruella (2021)

Posted on June 8, 2021

Cruella is a disappointing movie. It had suspense and glamour. However, it fell a bit flat on the plot, on the plot twist, and on the message. I didn’t like a couple of things. For one, the plot twist. The plot twist is that Cruella is the daughter of the Baroness. But I didn’t like it because it wastes the great tension and suspense that the director had created by pitting Cruella against the Baroness. It seemed like the conflictRead More