Things Which Are Upgrading, Things Which Aren’t? 

Never stop upgrading.

Maybe a simple and straightforward way we could think about life isn’t in regards to upgrading. For example, considering things which are being upgraded, things which can keep continually being upgraded, things which cannot.

The double sided twist; sometimes, it is better if something cannot be upgraded, other times it is better when you know things can be upgraded.

For example, in the context of photography and digital photography, the really really big issue here is that with any sort of digital camera, you cannot upgrade the body or sensor. You have to trade in or sell your old one, to buy the new one.


ChatGPT 4o is now out,  and I think what is really incredible about ChatGPT as a technology or a software or a thing is that as time goes on, it will keep getting upgraded, keep getting better.

In the context of vehicles, Tesla is the killer vehicle, because the software and the auto pilot technology is always improving over time. 

Even the WordPress theme I’m using, or a lot of them; get regular updates overtime, and if you just have the auto updates enabled, you can sleep with the joy knowing that as you sleep, it will just keep getting upgraded!

Upgrading materials

After experimenting with a lot of polyester, synthetic materials, much of the stuff from Lululemon etc., attended the day, the materials suck.  Half of the performance clothing items I purchased from them have frayed, broken, fallen into disarray. And ultimately, what sucks about Lululemon, or any sort of man-made synthetic materials is that ultimately none of it is breathable, and not very good at thermal regulation. It is either too hot or too cold, never in between.

I suppose this is where animal fibers like merino wool is so good; even this random minus 33 brand merino wool T-shirt that I bought from Amazon mini years ago, is still insanely durable, and works great! Even with my 60 pound weight vest on. 

A nuance; I have about half a dozen outlier.NYC ultrafine merino wool T-shirts, but overtime, they have all shredded, they have poor durability.

Does durability matter?

In terms of the ultimate sustainability model, the best computers, tablets, technology, laptops, phones or whatever, in theory you could just swap out the processor, and slap in a new one, or upgrade the ram whenever you want to.

For example, I’m blessed to have been born in 1988, and was part of the original hacker ethos, building my own computers, overclocking them, etc. This was great, because there was a strong sense of possibility; as a sophomore in high school, certainly I could not afford the most expensive Intel processors, so I had to stick with AMD. Also, I cannot afford the best GeForce graphics cards, so I had to opt for lower and ones, which meant that I had far less frames per second than my friends.

Also with monitors, the monitor technology at the time was not great, but there was a promise that overtime, you could upgrade and swap out your monitor.

I think the tragedy of Apple is that a lot of our lovely laptops and devices are made obsolete. For example, my 2017 MacBook Pro, which I purchased for about $2000 maxed out, from the refurbished Apple Store online, and now, it is practically unusable. The battery lasted about two minutes, and it is slower than even my $300 iPhone SE.


When I was the UCLA undergraduate, my boss, the IT Director of UCLA undergraduate admissions, John Talbert, had this very interesting ethos he taught me:

When you have to buy new computers for the department, always buy the most expensive top-of-the-line ones, even though upfront is more expensive, it will last a lot longer before you have to upgrade and replace them all.

What some departments do is that they just buy the cheapest computers, and soon it gets outdated, and there is an insane amount of work that has to be done to swap it all out.

Thinking more long term?

Not always, but often buying the top-of-the-line stuff, when it is logical, makes sense.

For example, my beloved Texas power squat bar; I think it has a strength of about 10,000 pounds, which means I am sure that it could probably hold about 5000 pounds, and not break.

Also, I got these really great weightlifting plates on extreme sale from habitats for humanity, these “iron grip” brand weightlifting plates, which will never go out of fashion, because iron, heavy stuff, or last practically forever for weightlifting. I have about 14 of them, which means seven plates on each side.


Probably one of the most interesting material science thoughts I’ve learned is from Michael Saylor, thinking about steel. I never had any idea that steel was such an amazing innovation. Same goes with stainless steel, aluminum, even to some extent iron.


Even within a short time, I have seen so many digital like a cameras come and go, and if you observe it, the shelflife of all of them is quite poor. As of now we are already on the M11, so quickly. The M8, M8.2, M9, M, M10, M-10R now M11. Not to mention all these other random like a rangefinder cameras in between.

Also, other digital cameras like the Leica Q, Leica Q2, now Leica Q3.

Fujifilm is kind of insane, starting from the original X100, X 100 S, 100 T, X 100 F, X 100 V, and now X100 VI.  Also same thing goes with all their XT-series cameras. Same goes with Sony Panasonic etc.

So what should we do?

If you are committed to using non-interchangeable lens system, know that pest, he might only get two or three years out of it. This is the trade-off; you sacrifice long-term durability for short term benefits.

For example, my beloved Rico GR digital cameras; because I am such an insane hard-core user, most of my cameras have lasted me about a year and a half, two years tops. I just have to keep buying them, they keep on breaking.

So theory is the lens is something that doesn’t need upgrading, never changes. For example, I have a Leica 35mm f2 Summicron ASPH lens, which in theory will never need any upgrading. It will work just fine even once Seneca is 36 years old.

Also I suppose the upside of film cameras is that they don’t really need any upgrading either. For example, my film Leica MP camera will last indefinitely, I’m sure even Seneca’s grandson could use it.

But the problem about film cameras is the insane inconvenience of it; maybe somebody will make the process easier one day, but until then, digital photography is at least 100,000 times better.

Dated or outdated?

I think one thing which really fascinates me about the cyber truck, is that in theory, the stainless steel body should last practically forever. Because it does not require any sort of paint, you never have to worry about paint peeling or chipping off in the future.

This happened a lot in the 80s and 90s; these old Nissan cars, Honda cars, Toyota cars with peeling clear coat paint, peeling black paint etc. No car from the 80s or 90s has lasted until now in terms of the original paint.

Today, all of these people who going over all black everything cars; I doubt any sort of car with any sort of black paint will last in the relentless Southern California sun.


I think the particle and the pragmatic benefit or the upside or the theory or philosophy behind all black everything clothing is that black clothing will never go out of style. Even the funny upside is faded black clothes also looks stylish.

So then I suppose the optimization is this:

When you have to buy clothes, buy the highest quality fabric all black everything clothing, in the hopes of using it or wearing it forever.

Certainly nothing is meant to last forever, but there are certain things last longer than others.

Leather, I still think leather is very underappreciated. Your black leather jacket will never go out of style. This seems to be a good idea.

Cotton denim is fine, but even that has a certain shelf life. I think currently for pants, the best solution I’ve discovered is the Lululemon license to train shorts, apparently they also make pants too. 

I wore merino wool leggings for a long time, but no matter what, it seems that it doesn’t last forever. Sooner or later holes and emerge around the knees, and then eventually it just falls to shreds. 

I suppose the upside of living in Southern California or LA is that you could just wear shorts all year round!

So maybe just a practical thought is just buy some really really good high-quality shorts. Currently the best shorts are the Lululemon license to train ones, I like the 5 inch one.


When people tell you that something is a good investment, it probably isn’t.

For example, often when people tell you that something is a good investment, they either are misinformed, lack critical thinking, etc.

In theory, nothing is really that good of an investment,  consider almost all of the modern day things which exist:

  1. All Internet connected things, well sooner or later get outdated.
  2. Your car, no matter how good, is robust at best. If you have a gas or hybrid car, you will always need oil changes, sooner or later something will break. Even if you have an electric car, the battery will slowly lose its capacity overtime.
  3. Fiat currency, US dollars in your checking or savings account, is slowly bleeding value 7 to 12% a year because of inflation. And because of the expanding money supply.
  4. Homes are slowly decaying overtime, even if you own a nice single-family home, sooner or later you’re going to have to tear it down and build a new one. Or upgrade the appliances, sooner or later all the appliances will break.

What goes up in value over time?

  1. Real estate in a good location is good, if you just think about the asphalt or the concrete or the granite on the bottom of it, purely for location. However the subtle nuance of property, is property taxes, insurance, maintenance fees. I think any property requires at least a general 1% maintenance fee. And you still have to charge your property, maintain it, property taxes might go up etc. And even if your property value goes up overtime, you have to beat inflation, so the only real intelligent way to get into real estate is purchase real estate in an insanely great area or neighborhood, in which the value of the home or the property or the land Will outpace of inflation.
  2. Bitcoin: each and every day, the total market cap is expanding. Even just a few years ago, the total market cap was only 500 billion, now it is over 1.2, 1.3 trillion. Soon it will be 10 trillion, 100,000,000,000,000, 1000 trillion and beyond. And the more people who adopted, the stronger the network gets, kind of like social media; Facebook only became valuable as more people got onto Facebook. Or iPhone iOS; having FaceTime becomes more useful as all your friends and family members get iPhones with FaceTime.
  3. Your popularity, you’re a claim: the more you publish, the more you share your thoughts, the better. Fame is like a fire that cannot die; the more you fainted, the bigger it becomes. Even bad news, all news is good news, For fame. Consider Donald Trump; the more media attention he gets, the more people criticize him, the more popular famous and powerful he becomes. If you are really anti-Donald Trump, just don’t talk about him at all. Even when you randomly criticize or critique something he said amongst friends or over dinner, you’re augmenting his fame. The best way to kill people is to not talk about them.

Matte black yourself?

Assuming that muscle is the ultimate accessory, instead of Matt blacking your car, or met blocking your home, Matt black yourself, your body.

Also, people always seem to be impressed with my full body tan. Having a full body tan is certainly a signal of wealth in today’s world. Especially when most people are just like the people, working indoors all day.

So maybe when you get a full body tan, just put on lots of sunblock if you’re worried about getting sunburnt, by getting a tan, in theory you’re matte blacking your body. 

Also, I think the reason why having a tan, a full body tan is so fascinating is because it is like stored energy or power, manifested through your skin. Your skin, your body is the ultimate fashion accessory; invest your body over everything else. Your body is something that is the most critical thing, in which you should invest all your attention energy and resources towards.

How to upgrade your body?

The first very simple thought is ensure that you sleep insanely well.

How to do this? First, the night prayer, eat 5 pounds of beef or red meat.

I like Lam, but maybe at this point Lam is more of an exotic novelties; if you live in the states, beef is much more readily available.

The simplest beef — bang for the buck is 80/20 ground beef. Another very good option is the 7030 Wagyu ground beef at Costco, insanely good. For grass fed ground beef, the frozen 100% grass fed burger patties in the Costco freezer aisle.

I’ve been making beef chili lately with ground beef, very easy. Just stirfry all of the ground beef, for 5 pounds in a very big pot, cook it thoroughly, drain the fudge, then at spices of your choice, a little bit of tomato paste, soy sauce, fish sauce, And you’re good!

Last night I ate about 4 pounds of it, still left me a bit hungry. I could probably eat about 5 pounds now.


Sometimes people are confused why I am so into weightlifting, bodybuilding, flexing my muscles or whatever; my general thought is that your body is the most most virtuous thing of all. Why? Your body doesn’t lie, your body is tied to physics, reality.

Assume you don’t take steroids, you cannot cheat your body. If you maintain a low body fat percentage, high muscle mass, without steroids or other weird testosterone boosting stuff, just eating meat, or meat whatever… It is a signal that whatever you’re doing is working.

I think first of all, the simplest thing that can invest in is weightlifting equipment, that you could just do by yourself at home, in your apartment, your parking lot, your parking spot in the back of your apartment, whatever is convenient.

I love the gym, but if you live somewhere in which the traffic is unbearable, it’s like Los Angeles, building your own home gym is the way.