Seeking Dominance?

I think ever since I was a kid, I always wanted to be dominant. The best, the biggest, the strongest, the smartest, etc.

I think as a kid, it is interesting because for the most part everyone is kind of on an equal footing. Because nobody has jobs yet or salaries or money, money is not yet a metric to gauge balance or to judge one another as kids. Certainly there are superficial things like certain kids who have cooler clothes whatever… But we all knew still that was a function of how rich your parents were; the rich kids would have cooler cars and clothes, and those of us who were More scrappy… We pried ourselves on our annuity, or our cleverness, or our culture.

Or example, the Bay Area hyphy movement, which was at its peak when I was a teenager, middle school in high school. Essentially E-40’s “Tell me when to go” song was our anthem, and in order for a kid to be cool, all you needed was a white tee (t shirt) and some dark blue denim jeans, and you could be cool. And also at the time, the cool and popular shoes to have or the case whiz classic white tennis shoes, which for the most part all the kids could afford. And then even more disruptive notions like vans; in which it’s only became cool to wear vans sneakers, the skateboarding shoe which I think at the time was only $35 a pair? 

Anyways, now that we are all adults… The world becomes a little bit stranger. For example, I’m currently 36 years old, the other day a very friendly gentleman thought I was 26 years old… But anyways nowadays I have no idea how old people are. I often ask people how old they are or what year they were born or what year they graduated college to get a better sense of things.

Age is interesting because I think it is important because on one hand, if you discover that somebody’s about your age, then it is useful because you know that you grew up in a similar cultural mill you, and obviously the other basic things like if somebody is a decade or too older than you, certainly their income will probably be higher than yours, and also, there’s also likelihood that they have more money in the bank than you, Whatever. 


A superficial way that men seek dominance or signal their dominance is through their vehicles. But here this is where things get interesting; it is all different.

For example, maybe on one hand, people want to signal their dominance by whoever has the most expensive or rare car. For example, truth be told I have almost 0 interest in Ferrari cars, I don’t really think the design is all that interesting. Typically the Ferrari cars are the most expensive. I prefer the design of Lamborghini cars.

But then I also supposed to issue here is that you don’t know if somebody owns the car, they’re leasing the car, or whether they’re just renting it for the weekend or the day.

Also let us assume that they did in fact purchase the vehicle, all cash or whatever… Then again doesn’t really matter either because you start to feel bad for the guy; all that expensive insurance you have to pay on it is bleeding them to death, or the high maintenance cost which is also slowly bleeding them to death, or the ultimate thought: 

Wow — that $250,000 they put into that car, maybe $350,000 after taxes etc.… is money they could have put into bitcoin. 

Assuming that bitcoin has an average growth rate historically of about 50% year over years; just do the math, and plug it into a table. I think in the context of money, we are only ever happy if we see the number go up and grow; when we see the number getting depleted and going down, we feel like we are losing power?

Double your money and make it stack!

I suppose here is where money in economics and capital, capitalism is a bit bizarre; I think the ultimate name of the game is infinite. Let us say that your money is a metaphorical skyscraper, essentially what is all about is who could keep building ever higher skyscraper. For example, let us say that you have a 100 story skyscraper, I want a 1000 foot Skyscraper! 

Also for the most part, money is not really based in physics anymore, more or less ones and zeros inside the machine, or Fiat currency is essentially like cotton candy being printed by the US government.  Therefore, the upper wealth in terms of US dollars and Fiat currency in a monetary value is infinite. For example, my net worth could be 1 million, 10 million, 100 million, 1 billion, 1 trillion, 100 trillion etc.

And this is also something weird and bizarre that I’ve discovered; I am so reticent to spend even $500 on something, even $150 on something, even $79 on something; yet watching my bitcoin balance, I could easily have a $50,000 gain in a single day, or a $250,000 gain in a matter of a week or two. Yet I am still reticent on spending money? Why?

“You can take the kid out the hood, but you can’t take the hood out the kid” – Kendrick

I think this is where I think your family history, how you were raised as a kid, and also historically numbers are so critical about money.

For example, I still remember when I was in high school… In the bay area, and I learned how critical buying brand new brakes and tires were for the safety of your car… My mom‘s old Nissan Maxima had old bear tires, and I was afraid that my mom would die in a car accident, yet we still didn’t even have $300 USD to pay for new tires?

Even a shameful thing, having to buy used tires because you can’t afford to buy new ones? And this is literally a life or death situation. Same thing with brakes.

Why do we seek dominance?

This is where I think sex is important; my critical thought is men, biological men, if you were born with testicles and a penis,… We all see some sort of dominance. We either seek social dominance, knowledge or intellectual based dominance, economic dominance, social dominance, artistic dominance etc. 

For example, this is where all the strange hips are dumb notions come from; whenever you meet antisocial guy in LA, sporting a Hitler mustache, some sort of obscure dark tinted sunglasses, a baseball cap or a trucker hat, secretly thinking they are superior to you… They use their obscure taste in vinyl records, music arts and culture to seek dominance over you?

I think this is also where the whole notion of revenge of the nerds comes from; all these kids were once bullied as nerd kids, now have the hand because they are so much richer and more successful than the jocks of yester year … now as adults, he or she who has the most money is the most supreme dominant and powerful. Yet here are some nuances:

First, debt. Debt is hidden. And also, I think the problem here is that a lot of people hide their debt in sneaky ways, in order to somehow assert that they are richer than the actual are. But if we have a purely mathematical physics based approach behind it… All debt is negative. There’s no such thing as a good dad. That is almost like a parasite or a disease in your body, which is slowly draining what your life force, or slowly letting your blood. As long as you have a mortgage or you have to pay off… You’re getting slowly getting bled to death. 

The opposite of death

This is also where things get a little bit bizarre to me; apparently a lot of really rich wealthy families what they do is their own property in highly desirable places,  and their property value keeps going up, and somehow they are able to borrow US dollars fiat currency at low percentage points, which essentially means that they are just printing free money for themselves? And they never pay taxes, because technically in terms of their taxes is that they always file as a loss. Even the founder and the head of related companies I don’t think has ever filed a profit Oregon; even though he probably owns about $100 billion worth of property in New York City the Hudson yards etc.

Even Michael Saylor said something interesting; ideally what you would do is use your bitcoin as your property digital property, and then you borrow cheap US dollars against that; which seems to be a wise leverage because assuming that bitcoin is gaining 50% year over here, and if you could borrow US dollars at about 5%… You still have a 45% hedge. I think that difficult thing about this is that it is just too complicated to do; I have no idea how to do it. Kind of similar how people we finance or re-mortgage their homes, and suddenly have a bunch of cash on hand? I think we will be able to do this soon with bitcoin cryptocurrency, crypto assets soon. 

How I lost faith in fiat currency 

Fiat means Faith; Faith and your government, faith in institutions etc. 

For example, a really downside mistake I made a few years ago is selling some of my bitcoin for some US dollars. A poor bet. Essentially over the course of four months, I withdrew about $5000 USD a month, and at the time, a single bitcoin is worth around $20,000. Now it is conservatively in the $60,000 range, which means  I essentially lost $40,000 in a shortsighted mistake. And $40,000 to a lot of parts of the United States could be a yearly salary. 

Numbers vs health?

Certainly more important than money is health. Also peace of mind. For example, you could still have $100 million in the bank, and have poor health, and still live in fear; the fear that your hundred million dollars will dwindle down to only $10 million or $1 million etc. He who climbs higher can suffer a more precipitous fall. 

so what should we do about this?

I think this is where philosophy becomes interesting —

The first very simple thing is think Spartan. Spartan economics.

What would King Leonidas or a Spartan hoplite say if they encountered modern day man? I think a highlight or Spartan would just be befuddled and confused and scratch their head.

Also, let us consider that for Spartans, it was about manliness, courage, dominance on the battlefield. I suppose the issue is in today’s world, we don’t really have the opportunity to exhibit Spartan virtues, unless you’re at the gym, drink some sort of powerlifting, HYPELIFTING, or if you’re an MMA, UFC fighter? 

I think the reason why bodybuilding is a poor approach is 99.99% of it is steroids. And grinding “hard work“. But don’t we know that hard work is just for slaves? Ancient Greeks, work as a vice. Only slaves worked and toiled the lands, the Spartans had the helots to do their dirty work, while they worked on more virtuous things like hanging out topless, training, engaging in fun banter etc.

The modern day Arena

Currently, social media, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, has hijacked the world.  The metrics of dominance are centered around how many likes followers etc. do you have? But the biggest issue here is that ultimately, even if you had 1 trillion followers, as long as you are a slave to the platform, you are still a slave.

For example, if you were a slave, with a gold crown on your head, decked out in the finest jewelry, driving all of the exotic sports cars, but you were still a slave… With no freedom… Would you take this exchange? Certainly not. Better to be a free spartan a Persian slave.

New ways of thinking of the world

First, I think we have to stop getting so obsessed about cars. Especially in today’s world where everyone has full limit all around the car… It is impossible to see who the driver is. Whether he is a 4 foot 10 man, or a dog… You have no idea. 

Or, in the near future we already see it now… Whether it is a self driving way more car? With no driver?

Imagine if you saw the coolest loudest Lamborghini slowly cruising through the streets, revving attention, you might feel some sort of petty envy towards the driver. But what if the windows roll down and it was a fully autonomous self driving car? 

Your “net worth”?

I think the new secret is not your net worth, but you’re not freedom. What is freedom? Whether you could go two years without checking your email inbox, or whether you could just go out, and leave your phone at home or in the car.

So the first thought is this; Via negativa signals of freedom — 

he who walks around town without a phone on him is in fact the most successful person.


Then another line of thinking; rethinking the notion of success. Once again it is not a success notion here, it is a freedom one.

Even when you think about the declaration of independence, and the founding fathers talk about life liberty and the pursuit of happiness… First the notion of life is too ambiguous. Pursuit of happiness is also too fuzzy. Liberty, liberty is a good one… but I think freedom is a better one. 

I think the real issue here is that freedom and capitalism are at odds. For example, typically speaking, individuals with more US dollars in their bank account, or individuals we have higher salaries typically have less freedom. For example, if you’re earning $1 million a year salary at Apple Amazon Facebook or Google… Most likely it is a signal that you have no freedom. Why? You can’t suddenly just stop checking your email, and just randomly in the middle of the day go on a hike in the middle of Malibu without any sort of Internet connection. With higher salaries implies higher responsibilities, less freedom.

And for the most part, what is having a job? What is careers? The simple thought is the higher you climb in the corporate ladder, the higher your income and salary… Conversely less your freedom?

For example, I remember when I was working my first tech job out of college, at demand media, as an online community manager, now the company is rebranded as the leaf group, … I met a lot of programmers who refused to become managers, even if it would come with a pay bump. Why? They had the intelligence that with a nominal bump and salary, let us say a 20% raise in salary… Came with a 2000% increase in rate of responsibilities, other people to manage, etc.

Also one thing I’m starting to learn about academia and the universities fear; typically when academics take higher positions and salaries, get tenure, become full professors etc.… Even though they have a higher salary, they are also bombarded with more community-based responsibilities and labor. I suppose this is where it was nice that Cindy was a postdoctoral fellow, when you are a post doc, you have almost no responsibilities. 

The best schedule?

The best schedule is no schedule. Which allows for maximum option reality, you could do whatever you please, whenever you please. 

I also suppose if your passion is travel, whatever… Ultimate is having the ultimate freedom schedule which means you could travel and fly anywhere whenever you want to, and you could often save thousands of dollars on airfare if you decide to travel somewhere during an off. Period And this is where I suppose it is nice to not have any obligations back home, maintaining your property, pay your mortgage, pay double rent etc.

And certainly not having to worry about your car, where to park your car, how to maintain your car etc. Even the downside of a lot of gasoline cars is that if you have gasoline car part or too long of a period of time, with turning it on occasionally, the battery dies. Also I suppose with electric cars, the battery will slowly drain overtime, I’m not sure what the half-life is, but I think even the best Tesla, assuming that you don’t always charge it, and you leave for a year or two… It will probably run out of charge.

Laser eyes!

My new motto is laser eyes, from Michael Saylor.

I think he also follows the Steve Jobs thoughts; focus and laser your eyes on 11 single thing… And the maximum out of that one thing, instead of getting distracted by too many things.

For example, in the crypto sphere… Bitcoin is the only one worth following. All the stuff on Ethereum is a distraction, even chain-link which I like, is still a distraction.

The reason here is that time attention and focus is limited; one hour you spend on studying the second best loser is the time you could spend spending an hour studying the best.

Time with your kids 

This is also where I find things a bit bizarre; people who make this bizarre trade-off:

Pay money to have their kid in daycare, instead of spending the time with their kid?

Certainly if you have nonnegotiable 9 to 5 job, you don’t really have an option. But if you do have an option… Why would you want to have a bunch of strangers look after your kid when you can spend that time with your kid?

Time spent with your kids and loved ones is the ultimate investment. For example, I am very certain that my mom will be dead in 40 years, maybe she’ll make it to 100, but not 110. And isn’t the best way to Peter out the end of your life just to be around your loved ones?



There’s something I call fake time spent with your kids; it is when you take your kids to the park and you’re just on your iPhone the whole time, checking and answering email, looking at news, on Facebook Instagram or YouTube… Looking at financial things etc.

I think a lot of parents have the rational that they’re working hard to make money to provide for their kids. However they realize that the ultimate investment is just to directly cut out the middleman, lock your phone in the glove compartment, in the car, and just spend your precious limited time with your kid 100%?

Now what?

Nihil admirari (admire no man)

All man, irregardless of how great, is flawed. For example, Elon Musk who is the greatest entrepreneur of all time, a man I greatly admire… Still has lots of problems of his own. For example, his poor health, the demons he has with his father and his kids, etc. I would not want to be him. 

Or even Jeff Bezos, richest man on the planet, I think he’s only 5 foot seven? And now that he is older? Youth is the ultimate desired thing — would you trade your glorious 36-year-old body for the body of a 85-year-old billionaire with dementia? Probably not.

Time and money

It is not just time and money but health.

For example, why is it that IT guys make so much money? It is because they cannot sleep at night; they will often have to randomly wake up at 2 AM or 3 AM or 4 AM, dealing with some sort of data outage. Or, if you are working at an investment bank or whatever… Having to routinely work beyond midnight, always on call for your clients.

If you are a CEO of $1 billion company; as long as you have a publicly treated corporation, you are still a slave to the board of directors, shareholders, etc. If you like to sit on your butt and be in the middle of boring meetings for a profession… or send and answer emails for a living .. might be more fun to be a cop or a firefighter, or even work for California Highway Patrol.

Be humble?

Being humble, humility, being close to the floor… Is the general notion of being humble. But maybe instead of being humble, being spartan is a better strategy?