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veen  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: September 20, 2017

Had a fun weekend visiting my parents. Met my sister's new boyfriend, who is so much nicer and considerate than her ex ever was. One of my best friends from my previous university graduated so that evening we got most of our rowing team/friend group together. To celebrate, we got wasted like the good 'ol days. (Beerio Kart ftw.) At around 4AM I had enough so I shepherded my more-alcoholic-than-student buddy back to his home where I was staying overnight. Twelve hours later, I was largely sobered up and spent the afternoon with family at my grandpa's birthday party before travelling four hours back home.

The only downside to the weekend is that I've been sleeping terribly the last three days. Hopefully I can depend less on coffee tomorrow.

veen  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Ethereum: A Visual Guide

Thanks! To draw the images I use Adobe Illustrator, which I've been using for years. The site is nothing more than Skeleton for a simple, responsive CSS grid. I write the text in a markdown editor that can export all the text to HTML <p>'s and <h3>'s. After that it's just a lot of tweaking with CSS and HTML until it's exactly how I imagined it.

SVG is just as light as HTML and CSS, so the entire page ended up being only 103kb, 29kb of which being the two Google fonts.

veen  ·  5 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: George Packer: What Ta-Nehisi Coates Gets Wrong About American Politics

    I've noticed this post-election - the flight from complexity.

Even if you were to limit your discussion to racism I think there is a lot left to be desired. The way I look at it now is that most people agree on the goal, which is to reduce institutional racism in its varying shapes and forms, but that I'm finding it difficult to agree with the methods that are used (i.e. white-guilting). To put it lightly, I don't think it is the most productive means to the desired end of reducing racism. I recently came across this James Baldwin quote:

    "Cause it's not a matter of my liberation, for example. It's also a matter of yours. If we're working together, it's not because we're gonna do something for the poor black people. We're gonna do something for each other to save this really rather frightening world."

I wish the discussions around the racism were more about the actual problems and solutions, instead of it being a minefield of hurt, hate and emotions. Working together, not working to alienate and isolate the boogeyman.

veen  ·  5 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: UN High Commissioner on Human Rights: "A textbook example of ethnic cleansing"

Did I post this 2015 article here?

    Several human rights organizations say that no ethnic group in the world is as seriously threatened by genocide as the Rohingya.

Meet the most persecuted people in the world.

veen  ·  7 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Ethereum: A Visual Guide

Thanks! It is kinda depressing that this poorly researched, missing-the-point-Medium article is what I'm competing against.

veen  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: September 13, 2017

Thanks, Steve. I'll try. :)

veen  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: YC S17 in photos --

Good luck with financing! Go and rock their casbah. (You know, I never knew it was casbah. I always thought they just said cas-tle in a weird way.)

QUESTION TIMEEE

What do you do all day? I assume you work on building / refining FL with the YC advisers, but there's probably more to it than that.

What's the best advice you've gotten? Did you ever drastically change course?

What's the story you'll tell your grandkids?

How did you guys decide to go for YC?

Did you find any 'unknown unknowns', i.e. some aspect of building FL that you had never thought about before?

thenewgreen  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    What do you do all day? I assume you work on building / refining FL with the YC advisers, but there's probably more to it than that.

You spend most of the time running your business. There are normally 1-2 days a week when you are actually at YC. The rest is spent working on bottlenecks/problems that stands in the way of you and your success. You can request office hours with one of the many YC partners or experts to help you solve these problems and get advice etc.

It's important to note that if you come in with the same problem, next week you're gonna be called out as to why it isn't solved yet.

There is one night a week with a mandatory dinner. This is where the magic happens. They have accomplished entrepreneurs come talk with us and we can ask them very candid questions and they give very candid answers. I'm not allowed to mention who talked or what they said. It's off the record so that these people feel comfortable being open and honest. -This makes a big difference in how candid they were. These dinners were awesome.

    What's the best advice you've gotten? Did you ever drastically change course?

At first we were pursuing being both a stem cell banking and a therapeutic development company, all right now. When we mentioned this to our advisor, Geoff, he said, "this is bad. This fucking sucks! You're a house boat!" We all looked confused. "You know what's wrong with a house boat?" We remained stunned. "It's a shitty house and it's a shitty boat!"

Geoff's point was that at this stage of our company we need to be doing one thing and one thing very well. We decided that we will focus our efforts on being the best stem cell banking company, expanding quickly. We will continue to quietly file IP but the lionshare of our efforts will focus around expanding and growing the banking business. #nohouseboats!

    What's the story you'll tell your grandkids?

    How did you guys decide to go for YC?

The way we got in to YC is the story I will tell my grandkids. Some YC alum had banked their stem cells with us and we got in YC's radar. Sam asked to meet with us and asked us to apply. We did and voila. This is a very unusual way to get in. YC wasn't something we planned to do but it's the best decision we could have made for Forever Labs.

    Did you find any 'unknown unknowns', i.e. some aspect of building FL that you had never thought about before?

Hmm.. good question. I don't think there is anything about our company that I didn't already know, beyond us being a houseboat :) That said, I learned a lot about entrepreneurship that I didn't necessarily know. One of the common threads in the talks was about embracing and getting to know your customers. This seems like a no brainer, but it is something we are continually getting better at.

It was refreshing to hear, at the dinners that there's still a lot of chaos in a billion $ company. That never goes away. The feeling, at times, that your company is all over the place is normal. Also, all founders experienced immense obstacles and near catastrophic failures. Some of which were enormous.

The thing I've not mentioned, but is extremely valuable is the environment. It's no frills, it's about ideas and hard work and fellowship. You're surrounded by founders trying to do the same thing you are, build a product people want. You are also surrounded by past founders that have successfully done this already. This is what makes it an amazing experience. There's a magic in the room and it's tangible.

Hope that answers your questions :)

veen  ·  9 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: September 13, 2017

My thesis isn't moving forward much - I am having a hard time motivating myself to work hard because I don't think an excellent thesis is within my reach. I keep running into methodological issues that I can't easily resolve. Obviously that means my thesis will end up a mediocre pile of meh.

I don't know what to do with my life. In the comfort zone that is higher education I know what to do to make the most out of it, but beyond that I have no idea. I've been looking into job listings and nothing excited me. Obviously that means I will be doomed to a life of mediocrity when I graduate.

Rationally, I know that isn't true and I shouldn't be so hard on myself, but I just can't shake those feelings and insecurities so they keep gnawing at me.

kleinbl00  ·  9 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I don't know what to do with my life.

WRITE THE FUCKING BOOK

zebra2  ·  9 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I know that feeling. Hell, I'm dealing with that feeling now. Education and academia are nice in a sense because you are moving along a nicely-carved path with goalposts and achievements, but then you get to the end and you're not too sure where you're moving towards anymore.

If you lean on that metaphor really hard, then you should be able to conclude that the end of the trail presents an opportunity for exploration and discovery or some shit. I haven't figured out how to translate that into reality though.

AnSionnachRua  ·  9 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I saw this yonks ago on Reddit with the title "Life Until Graduation", which can be interpreted either as representing emptiness or freedom depending on your point of view.

zebra2  ·  9 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I remember that. It's a perfect representation of the experience in my mind.

I recall people going both ways on how to interpret it. Thinking back now, I wonder if there was a trend with how people interpreted it depending on their pre- vs. post-grad status.

steve  ·  9 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I don't know what to do with my life.

I wish I could say this goes away... buckle up.

    Obviously that means I will be doomed to a life of mediocrity when I graduate.

This simply isn't true... keep doing that crazy cool shit you're doing... that ethereum guide was fantastic.

veen  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thanks, Steve. I'll try. :)

AnSionnachRua  ·  9 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I don't know what to do with my life. In the comfort zone that is higher education I know what to do to make the most out of it, but beyond that I have no idea. I've been looking into job listings and nothing excited me. Obviously that means I will be doomed to a life of mediocrity when I graduate.

Painful and difficult thoughts. I hope you find the way (and if you do, let me know).

Quoting people is hard here because I don't have a | key on my laptop anymore...

veen  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Ethereum: A Visual Guide

By the way, maybe they should also read the Crapcoin Checklist.

    A crapcoin is the term for any coin whose main purpose is to make the founders richer. Typically such coins will use misleading technical-sounding jargon to try dupe investors into thinking they are investing in the next Bitcoin when really they are being sold worthless tokens.
nowaypablo  ·  10 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Oh awesome, thanks for this. I went ahead and followed the veenspace tag and cryptocurrencies to keep a heads up.

veen  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Dining Out? They’re Playing With Your Mind

It's weird, and you really don't want to overdo the aioli, but it is greasy and very unhealthy so my brain loves it.

veen  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Ethereum: A Visual Guide

Great points, thanks! Can't believe I completely forgot to mention that the EVM runs on ETH.

I added pretty much all of your points to the main text. The only thing I couldn't find a place for is your note that it's buying futures (and that's mostly because I don't know how futures work.) Re: security:

    Ethereum's security thus comes from a) keeping everyone on the latest block, b) having miners do an arbitrary amount of work, and c) only accepting the result after the majority has validated it. So where normal money (called 'fiat' by people who clearly have never driven a small Italian cars) is secure because it's backed by governments, cryptocurrency is only as secure as its protocols are.
kleinbl00  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Edits are great. Nice job.

I don't know if there's room for this or not, but the natural instinct when you tell someone that the currency is based on unbreakable code is to say "they said the Titanic was unsinkable" and shit like that. My own understanding gets hazy here because cryptography is not my strong point (and is pretty devilish to try and learn, as a layman) but if I understand correctly, you could crack Ethash and it wouldn't matter because you'd still need your version of the blockchain to be accepted by every other node on the network in order for your version of reality to prevail. Maybe that's another discussion - "the security of the blockchain" or something.

veen  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Ethereum: A Visual Guide

Bless their hearts. I'm afraid the only way they will learn is by putting too much money in a worthless exotic coin. (Please make sure they never venture into /r/wallstreetbets or something like that...)

nowaypablo  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I still think wsb is a beautiful place.

veen  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Ethereum: A Visual Guide

Thanks! I tried my best to make it understandable for everyone without hand waving the technical stuff like so many other explainers do.

As always, only invest what you can miss - especially with something unusual like this.

veen  ·  13 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Dining Out? They’re Playing With Your Mind

Wikipedia dishing out the truth:

    Since the late 1980s, it has become fashionable to call all flavored mayonnaises "aioli", with flavorings such as saffron or chili.[7] However, purists insist that "flavored mayonnaise can contain garlic, but true aioli contains no seasoning but garlic".[8]

Aioli here is basically garlic sauce. Not just 'oh, there is a hint of garlic in there', no, there should be 'my bad breath can kill a nation' amounts of garlic.

I love it. But I also combine it with Doritos, so maybe my culinary authority isn't worth much.

Dala  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Doritos with garlic mayo. I am both revulsed and interested.

veen  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's weird, and you really don't want to overdo the aioli, but it is greasy and very unhealthy so my brain loves it.