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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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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When do you go to the hospital after labor begins?

Two weeks ago Laura gave birth to our first child, Mason West Kornstein. Everyone’s doing really well, and it’s been a blast so far. As soon as Laura went into labor at 2:00 am early Thursday morning, she began tracking her contractions so that we could tell how things were progressing and decide when it was time to go to the hospital. By 8:00 am we were curious to better understand how quickly things would advance. The doctor had told us to wait until contractions were five minutes apart for an hour before coming to the hospital. That was fairly straightforward guidance, but we had no clue whether that time would come in a few hours or a few days. And we didn’t know

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Happy Passover

This year we held our 13th consecutive friends seder, now a long running tradition. We started at Chester Street in 2005, had a great run at D Street from 2007-2013, did three years at Athens Street from 2014-2016, and this year Mike and Tina held it down on Gold Street. While the format has evolved quite a bit, one thing that has remained consistent is that we never actually have it on one of the first two nights of Passover, when you’re “supposed” to seder. We originally would to wait until the 3rd or 4th nights, so that we could steal family leftovers. That led to the brisket showdown of 2006. Later we would hold it on the 7th and 8th nights,

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The Town of Framingham: 318 Big Years from 1700-2017

After a great 318-year run, I just learned that beginning next year, my hometown will no longer be a town. Framingham will become a city. For me, the main reason this is notable is that Framingham has long held the distinct title of being the “biggest town in the country.” It’s one of those things that everyone from Framingham learns at a young age, and then proudly repeats whenever given the opportunity. When two strangers from Framingham meet in some distant non-Framingham place, it’s often the first thing they bond over and share with anyone who will listen. Here’s an example. A few years ago I went to a bar in Palo Alto with my good friend Ed. We started talking to

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Everglades National Park

I was in Florida visiting family last weekend, and took off one morning to go check out Everglades National Park. It was more interesting than I expected, and I only had a chance to see a small portion in Shark Valley, and some areas between there and the Gulf Coast visitor center. There were gators everywhere. In some of the swamps there were dozens swimming around. I’ll try the airboats next time. Here are some highlights:

Two Ways to See Active Lava Flow in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

One of the things I was excited to see in the National Park was molten lava flow. This is something that you can only experience at a few places in the world at the moment, and Volcanoes National Park is one of them.  After some research, I found that active flow has been relatively consistent in two places, with great visibility. The first option is easy. A couple miles from the park entrance is the Jaggar Museum, which has a viewpoint overlooking the active Kīlauea Caldera. The caldera is about a half mile away, so you can’t get close, but it’s still an incredible view. It’s best to go at night, as during the day it can be difficult to see the lava itself. Even

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