It’s the people
I hope you have landed safe and sound in the year 2021. I want to keep this month’s intro very short. As we have entered yet another year, we should all take some time to reflect and look ahead.
Personally, the year 2020 made me realize how valuable time is and especially how important it is with whom and with what we spend it.
Spend your time on things that give you energy and joy. Spend your time with people that inspire you, make you laugh, and let you be the weirdo you want to be. Free from any constraints.
I can happily say that I have done exactly that. I kicked off this year with amazing people, with a lot of laughter, deep and honest conversations, and companionship.
People are everything in life.
(Part 1 of the multiverse series)
"If you can explain this using common sense and logic, do let me know because there is a Nobel Prize for you.." - Jim Al-Khalili
Gerhard: In this video Professor Jim Al-Khalili explains the experiment that reveals the "central mystery of quantum mechanics" - the double-slit experiment.
Is our universe a definitive single reality or is it merely one within an infinitely branching multiverse? This remarkable experiment broke our conception of reality as we know it.
But let’s back up a little bit and let me try to explain why this experiment is so interesting. As a professional nerd, let’s first take a look at how our computers work. Every PC has something called a CPU, which stands for Central Processing Unit. Each CPU consists of a billion transistors which can have ultimately two physical states; On (1) or Off (0). The various and constantly changing combinations of billions of On or Off states make up a CPU and allow us to watch funny cat videos on YouTube, to put it very simply.
Alright, in quantum mechanics a value can be 0 and 1, and all the values between 0 and 1 at the same time. That is until we measure/observe it and therefore collapse the quantum state. Think of it like the peekaboo game you played and loved as a little toddler. Babies may suck at math but are surprisingly good at quantum mechanics. As long you didn’t look, anything and everything could have happened, as soon as you opened your eyes you collapsed the quantum state.
So why did the experiment break our concept of reality? It showed that when particles are not observed they take on a quantum wave that represents multiple outcomes even though there are only two possibilities, left or right. However, once we started measuring it, we collapsed the quantum state and it became left or right. I will continue in our next newsletter on this topic and take you on a mind-bending multiverse ride that you won’t regret. So, buckle up :)
Pete: I love this! It’s a super geeky real-life example of Schrodinger's cat. I love the concept of quantum mechanics, it allows us to finally get to view the world in another perspective.
It breeds an interesting thought, though. Humanity has always been taught to think something is, isn’t, or might be. I don’t think we have the mental capacity to really think in between. It really does open up so much more information that could perhaps change the way we view the world. We would really need to rely on AI to process that data and convert it into an output that we understand, however, I’m all for it.
I’m still boggled as to how that double-slit experiment in the video you link can even work. There literally is no logical reason for the way the atoms behaved, almost like by us viewing the atom’s behaviour we are changing its output in some form. Perhaps like some sort of invisible magnet.
Now going back to your question whether we are in a multiverse, I guess you could posit that we could be but by us experiencing life, we are creating that single reality. It’s like the scientific equivalent of the phrase ‘you create the life you live’.
→ [Discussion] What’s your retirement plan?
Pete: I don’t know what it is, maybe I’m getting older or maybe I’m just being a bit more responsible in life, but I’ve been thinking about my retirement a lot.
As part of that, I have put a lot of thought into what my career progression over life will be. Now, first, let me clarify that I’ll be very surprised if this plan actually came to fruition. If you had asked me 10 years ago what I would be doing now, it’d be vastly different.
Secondly, this exercise is purely from the aspect of a high-level goal. Something I can work towards even if it’s realistically unlikely to eventuate. Think of it like my own personal OKRs or my own commandments in life.
So here it goes, take it with a grain of salt;
Up until 44, I want to continue working on different projects, upskill myself and learn the market and keep on top of trends as much as possible.
When I’m 45 I would like to create my own consultancy firm. Lending my skill set to start-ups and corporations looking to build or adapt to technological change.
When I’m 50 I would like to pivot into, at least small scale, angel investing. I would like to have accumulated wealth and skillsets which would allow me to invest and provide support to companies who would benefit from my learnings, not just my capital.
When I’m 60 I would like to partner and invest in a Venture Capital firm. At this point in life, I would only be focusing/investing in companies that strongly align with my passion(s). I would be semi-retired at this point, so the companies I do partner with would create more of a passion project lifestyle than being driven from a need to work.
To support the above there’s a multitude of factors that I need to cater for. The first is experience, which I’m currently progressing through. The second is financial, of which there are many ways to strengthen your position in this. I will use future issues to detail out my approach, however, it is a mix of save, invest and educate.
I would love to hear if you’ve been thinking about this and what your plan is!
Gerhard: Cool Pete, that’s a nice exercise!
As Pete already pointed out, such plans about life merely ever work out. Such high-level goals should be seen as your north star or inner compass if you will.
And, research has shown that if you actually write down goals you are more likely to achieve them.
Up until 40, I want to reach a senior level in software engineering working as a full-stack software engineer with a specialization in machine learning.
When I am 42 I would like to have created my own financial safety net which allows me to generate passive income.
When I am 45 I would like to start my own consultancy agency with a focus on products and technologies that help advance the human race.
When I am 55 I would like to get into start-up investing.
When I am 65 I would like to create a work-and-live place for fellow people my age, where you can surf in the morning, roast and sell your own coffee, brew your own beer and offer absolutely stunning culinary experiences for everyone.
Rarely are opportunities presented to you in a perfect way. In a nice little box with a yellow bow on top. 'Here, open it, it's perfect. You'll love it.' Opportunities – the good ones – are messy, confusing and hard to recognize. They're risky. They challenge you.
Susan Wojcicki (CEO, Youtube)
Around the web
→ Discover trends before they’re trending with Glimpse - Honestly one of my favourite email newsletters (second to Futurish, of course). Super insightful, I’m always finding out about new things “before it’s cool” and, best of all, it's free. - Pete
→ 52 things I learned in 2020 - “Nearly 10% of the revenue of the nation of Tuvalu comes from its control of the .tv domain used by companies like twitch.tv”
→ FarmVille Once Took Over Facebook. Now Everything Is FarmVille. - “The game, a phenomenon a decade ago, shut down on New Year’s Eve. But its legacy — for better and for worse — carries beyond gaming.”
→ What Was in the Message Earth Broadcast for Aliens?
→ Want to listen to spy broadcasts? Here's how. - You can try to catch some of them live or check out this blog as they note some interesting things that have occurred on these stations (complete with audio recordings). - Pete
→ Is Success Luck or Hard Work?
→ Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters - A must-read on strategy. What makes a good strategy, is explained plain and simple. In fact, so plain and simple that it makes you cringe on how it is possible that we encounter so many bad strategic practices. - Gerhard
♥ Pete & Gerhard