An ICO Advertised on My Blog Post About ICOs

After reading my previous post on crypto, a former colleague, Eric Holzhauer, sent me a picture of this ad on my site, to the right of my post about ICOs: A few immediate reactions: They have a marketing budget to advertise via Google Adwords to encourage people to “Join ICO” (i.e., buy the new crypto coin they are creating in the hope of using it to facilitate rental transactions)? That’s legal? Wait, really, that’s legal? I guess just because they’re doing it, doesn’t mean it’s legal. But they are a legitimate company, with $4M in VC funding previously raised, and over 200k properties on their site. And yet it all feels very deceiving. They can’t say invest in ICO, because

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4 Thoughts on the Crypto “Bubble”

There’s been a lot of talk about whether Bitcoin, or crypto overall, is a bubble. Some say absolutely. Many suspect it’s likely, but argue that as with most bubbles, it’s difficult to know for sure. After all, the Economist called Bitcoin a bubble in 2011 when it was at $2.50 and again in 2013 when it was at $1,000. And Tyler Cowan used to think it was a bubble, but now isn’t so sure. I’ve had many fun discussions about this with friends and family, and have been increasingly reading and thinking about the topic. So I’d like to share a few thoughts. 1. The total market capitalization of all cryptocurrecnies is $740B – this is a bubble The market cap

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Sorachi El Dorado Homebrew Recipe

I followed up my previous Sorachi Hokkaido beer recipe with a slightly altered version, Sorachi El Dorado. It’s still predominantly Sorachi Ace, but this time I complemented it a bit with some El Dorado and Citra hops, switched back from a lager to an ale yeast (mainly to reduce the amount of time it needs to age, as I liked the recipe as a lager), and reduced the hop bill, including removing the dry hop addition all together. Here’s the recepe:  And after kegging it and aging it for a week, here’s the beer: This is a solid ale, which will probably improve with a bit more age. I preferred the lager yeast, think the dry hops should be

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Vox: This might be the best map of the 2016 election you ever see

XKCD has done it again, via Vox: “An elegant solution to a prevailing problem. Anybody trying to illustrate how Americans voted in the 2016 election — or any presidential election, for that matter — are confronted with the problem that while the Electoral College votes by state, very few people live in very big swaths of land in the rural parts of the country. The map often ends up looking very red, even if America is actually almost evenly divided between red and blue. …XKCD … has cracked this riddle better than maybe anyone before, accurately representing how different parts of the country voted as well as how many people actually live there.”

Bloomberg View

I’ve followed Tyler Cowen’s blog at Marginal Revolution for many years (highly recommended), and recently saw his post “Why I write for Bloomberg View“. I hadn’t previously realized he contributed there, and he explains that one of his main motivations is that they have “assembled the most talented and diverse group of opinion contributors out there, bar none,” and that “Bloomberg View tends to hire reading-loving, eclectic polymaths, with both academic knowledge and real world experience, and whose views cannot always be predicted from their other, previous writings.” I was intrigued, and found that contributors include writers I have followed over the years — such as Cass Sunstein, Justin Fox, Michael Lewis, Barry Ritholtz — and many many more I

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The Books I Read in 2017

Keeping with my new tradition of sharing the books I read throughout the prior year, here’s my 2017 list (my 2016 list is here). These are roughly grouped by how much I enjoyed them, with a new section for baby books at the end. Highly Recommend: Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari: The best book I read this year. It’s the history of humans, and other now extinct sapien species, covering our evolution, and the related rise of tools, language, culture, agriculture, philosophy, politics, religion, and very interestingly, companies and other non-living entities and institutions we’ve created. I learned quite a bit, and it got me thinking. Chaos Monkeys by Antonio Garcia Martinez: My father in law was reading this when he visited

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Sorachi Hokkaido Beer Recipe & the Fermentasaurus

Quick brewing update. I continue to refine my Sorachi Ace beer recipe previously discussed here, with the notable changes being more hops, more rice, no more wheat, and lager yeast. I love this beer, and haven’t brewed anything else in over a year. I’ve named it Sorachi Hokkaido after the place where the hop variety was bred. Here’s the latest recipe iteration for a 5 gallon batch, brewed today: 6 pounds pilsner light DME 1 pound rice malt extract 2 pounds flaked rice 1 pound flaked barley 8 oz Sorachi Ace (5 oz in the boil @ 60min, 45min, 30min, 10 min, flame out; 3 oz dry) San Francisco lager yeast I’ve also recently upgraded my equipment with two big

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Sunday Morning Boston Shots

A few weeks ago I got up early on a Sunday morning and took a walking photography course in the North End. I’m trying to get into a better habit of taking my camera out around town, as I usually shoot when travelling then put my camera back in a drawer until next time. So this was the perfect excuse. Here are a few highlights. Fire escapes in an alley: Shadows against a brick building: Mamma Maria: North Square Oyster: Sunlight through leaves: Mr. Revere: Dog Tag Garden Memorial: Bacco and Al Dente: And the cruiseship terminal from my walk home: