Monthly Learning Journal 14 (5/4/2021)

(Disclosure: links marked with an asterisk * are affiliate links)

Table of Contents

Hi RIP readers, welcome to the April 2021 edition of the Monthly Learning journal (MLJ).

I thought I couldn’t make it on time this month, but I did “whatever it takes” to make it happen, including a covid test (negative), and a cut on sleeping time.

Anyway, today MLJ themes are: NFTs, NFTs and NFTs. Joking, there are few entries on Creator/Passion Economies, and some on Investing / Market Bubbles.

This MLJ is also available in my public Roam Database with expanded notes when available (not many today), and some extra content 😉

Next Episode on Monday May 3rd, 2021.



RIP News

What happened in the RIP World during last month?

I’ve published a long post few days ago about RIP news, go read that!


Main Content

The most interesting resources I consumed during last month

LivingaFI The 2021 Early-Retirement Update (10/10)

10 out of 10 rating is mostly because we’re talking about Living A FI, the guy who this blog is inspired to.

He’s the G.O.A.T. FIRE Blogger!

I wrote “my story” because I loved his.

My style is inspired from his.

To add awesomeness on top of other awesomeness, his blog is unmonetized: he never dirtied his creativity with money. Respect.

He stopped blogging more than 5 years ago (I started blogging because someone had to grab the fallen crown!), few months after he quit his career in 2015. He’s now back with a “5 years Early Retirement update” post, and this is the most human post you’ll ever find in the FIREsphere, along with my posts of course.

Spoiler: it’s not been an easy 5 years. Actually, he probably had his best and worst years of his life during last 5 years. And he’s Leaving A FI.

I’ve been chatting with LAF since this summer. I’ve read some of his “unpublished articles”, and I knew he wasn’t sure if he wanted to post a “bitter” update.

I did my part:

I hope you’re back for good my friend.

I hope 371 comments (and counting) motivate you enough to keep writing great content 🙂

Justin Mikolay about the Creator Economy (9/10)

Actually, Justin Mikolay tweetstorm is just distilling a conversation between Naval Ravikant, Sahil Lavingia (founder of Gumroad), and Ben Thompson (Stratechery) on Clubhouse, about the Creator Economy.

Twitter Link

(Here’s also a link to ThreadReaderApp for a better reading experience)

I love the concept of Creator Economy. It fits well with the Passion Economy and the Full-Stack Freelancer model.

Doing, doing, doing!

Naval: To be a good creator, you have to be creative, and being creative means constantly creating things. You’re not just creating something; creativity is who you are and what you do. You’re always creating things in your domain. Nonstop. Constantly.

Be curious!

Naval: Everyone’s curious about something. Sometimes it gets drilled out of you, but humans are creative. Nobody wants to sit there and do nothing all day (that gets boring). A big part of success is finding your natural self-directed curiosity and following it.

Curious, and a bit obsessive with your curiosity (like Paul Graham said)

Naval: Everyone has some personal curiosity and obsession that’s driving them, and the beauty of the internet is no matter how strange that is, there’s a bunch of people out there who are also into it, and it’s probably big enough you can form a business or audience around it.

Creativity pays:

Naval: Creative people have always been the ones who get to run things and get paid the most. In the past, there were just were fewer creators. Now, many more people can participate in the creative act.

Number of followers is a misleading metric:

Sahil: It’s easy to get caught up in millions of followers, but 400 followers is an insane amount of people. You’d fly to another city to speak at an event with 400 people. 400 people subscribing to your newsletter for $10 a month is a living for almost anybody in the world.

Seriously, read the entire thread. It’s energizing!

This one is the best:

Naval: The inverse of your calendar is your creativity. Creativity begins with an empty calendar and it ends with a cluttered calendar.

And the follow ups:

Naval: Other people are going to fill up your time with well-meaning tasks. They’re not going to understand you need large blocks of alone time or with a partner. Brainstorming and coding and writing are largely solitary or at best pairwise activities.

Naval: If you want to be creative, you have to be in either a very small organization or you have to be ruthless. You have to be downright rude about protecting your time so you can do solitary or pairwise work.

And this one is something I disagree with:

Naval: If you get enough advice, it’ll all cancel to zero. This is all meant to be inspiration. Don’t take it too literally. You can’t follow anybody else’s path to success. It’s a single player game.

I think if you curate your input stream you can see that the resulting force of the advices is not zero, and it gets even better if you don’t ingest advices as they come but apply some Critical Thinking filter.

Finally, about Authenticity:

Naval: I don’t believe in self-promotion. What the world craves is authenticity, and few people are authentic. Deep down, people know when someone is putting on a show. People crave truth and when they find someone who is speaking their truth, that’s naturally attractive.

Naval: Being authentic doesn’t necessarily pay dividends in a way that can be easily measured and tracked, but it builds the single most important thing: credibility.

Jonty Wareing Tweetstorm about NFTs (9/10)

Twitter Link

(Also read it in ThreadReaderApp)

First tweet in the thread: “Out of curiosity I dug into how NFT’s actually reference the media you’re “buying” and my eyebrows are now orbiting the moon“.

Take your time folks and read this thread. This NFT thing is a real joke. You own nothing, seriously nothing.

Jonty dug into “what’s actually into a NFT” and found so many middleman that can make your ownership be worthless.

The NFT token you bought either points to a URL on the internet, or an IPFS hash. In most circumstances it references an IPFS gateway on the internet run by the startup you bought the NFT from. Oh, and that URL is not the media. That URL is a JSON metadata file

Read also this other thread by Tim Soret who proposed a better solution for digital art distribution.

Mr. Money Mustache’s Beware of the Bubble (8.5/10)

Finally a great post about M3 after a while!

I know, I might suffer from Confirmation Bias but either “this time is different” or “we’re in a bubble”. And TISD are considered the most dangerous words in finance. Just saying…

Two passages highlighted. This one:

To people who lack the perspective of history, this current fad seems exciting and perhaps like the “new normal”. You simply open a stock trading account and grab a crypto wallet and then just quickly get yourself rich by placing wild bets on recent fads and doubling your money every month.

And this one:

Further compounding the hazards, the people who are the lucky side of this teeter totter (for example, people currently holding all their wealth in Tesla stock or the cryptocurrency or NFT of the day) will tend to attribute their success to skill, which leads them to become ever more confident and double down without realizing the preposterous risks involved.

RIP totally agrees.

And this one:

A true expert learns the big picture, researches all sides of an argument, and adopts a humble perspective. Experts put their energy into further learning and living by example, rather than participating in Twitter battles.

And I know I might be blind spotted on this whole crypto thing myself, as always in the opposite direction compared to the crowd though.

Time will tell.

Veritasium on Planned Obsolescence (8.5/10)

Wow, I thought the planned obsolescence story was a legend, but this Veritasium video brought some stories (like the Light Bulb cartel, born in Switzerland) that are quite infuriating.

Arthur Brooks on Professional Decline with Age (8.5/10)

Long science baked article about Happiness, Success, Burnout, Ageing, and Spirituality.

Happiness bottoms at 30-50 then goes up? It depends… Pursuing success after success leads to unhappiness.

Unhappy is he who depends on success to be happy.

Professional decline is rapid and it happens more or less 20 years into your career.

Whole sections of bookstores are dedicated to becoming successful. There is no section marked managing your professional decline.

This resonates a lot with my personal experience…

As an example of managing your decline badly, the author proposes Charles Darwin, who stagnated in his 50s and missed Gregor Mendel publications on Genetic Inheritance, that could have unblocked his research. He died depressed, unaware of his coming posthumous fame.

As an example of managing your decline well, the author offers Johann Sebastian Bach, the famous composer. How one of his 20 sons (!!), the talented Carl Philipp Emanuel (a.k.a C.P.E.), revolutionized the genre and sent his father into obsolescence in his old age… Bach (father) redesigned his life and became an instructor, a writer, a teacher and a family man.

Aim to be a Bach, not a Darwin in your 50s.


The author shows the difference between Fluid (ability to solve novel problems) and Crystallized Intelligence (ability to use knowledge gained in the past) and how careers that require a lot of Fluid intelligence tend to peak early and burn you out fast.

How true!

But I have a suggestion if you’re a fluid person fearing sudden decline: keep engaging with different fluid fields, don’t stagnate in a single one. Use all of your lifetimes. Or, as the author suggests, move from a fluid career to one that uses skills that persist. Like Bach did. Teaching is a good example. I’d also add managing people. And Writing 😉

That older people, with their stores of wisdom, should be the most successful teachers seems almost cosmically right. No matter what our profession, as we age we can dedicate ourselves to sharing knowledge in some meaningful way.

Out of the blue, the author jumps on Hedonistic Adaptation, and Materialism:

Instead of accumulating money, possessions, and professional successes (I think this is why the author talked about materialism) in order to manage your career decline you should have a reverse bucket list:

The biggest mistake professionally successful people make is attempting to sustain peak accomplishment indefinitely.

As we grow older, we shouldn’t acquire more, but rather strip things away to find our true selves, and thus, peace.

I need a reverse bucket list. My goal for each year of the rest of my life should be to throw out things, obligations, and relationships until I can clearly see my refined self in its best form.

We’ve come full circle again 🙂

Kyle Harrison on Roam plus Investing (8/10)

How to use Roam Research (or Obsidian) for investment research, mostly on individual companies.

It’s a very long and amazing article on how a PKM fulfills the job of compounding research and ideas.

I got few hints, and a few templates for company pages, plus an overview of how Kyle uses Roam, which is always good 🙂

Plus, he mentioned Digital Gardening, Learning in Public, and other amazing topics I love.

Ben Felix about Chasing Top Fund Managers. 8/10

Good luck investing in ARKK or other top hedge funds!

Ben presented a few concrete examples of former fund managers that after 2-3 years of stellar returns acquired a lot of AUM and then lost most of the investors money in the subsequent years.

He also showed a 2017 research paper titled “Does past performance matter in investment manager selection?” where the authors tried 3 portfolios: one based on top 10% performing funds over the previous 3 years, one based on the 45-55 percentiles of funds, and one based on the bottom 10% performing funds over the previous 3 years…

The bottom 10% were the top performers, while the top 10% were the worst over more than 20 years!


New York Times Rent vs Buy Calculator 8/10

I would love to see the math behind, and maybe have a way to change the 21(!!) parameters via url, but this calculator is the best one I’ve seen so far! Even though it’s centered around US (and the USD), the parameters can be customized for your specific circumstances.

The output is the break-even rent amount for a house whose purchase price is X, assuming the other 20 parameters have value X1,X2,…X20. Parameters like holding years, mortgage rate, expected investment return, down payment amount, expected house price growth, closing costs… it’s incredibly accurate!

I’ve used it! I tried to be as accurate as possible. This is the result (I used USD = CHF whenever currencies were required):

Since I’m paying ~2k rent (plus 300 common charges that I’d pay anyway) it seems I’m way better off renting than buying.

On the same topic, watch The 5% Rule video by Ben Felix. (Link 8/10, but I’d change the 5% rule to 4% in Europe, and 3% in Switzerland).

CGP Grey on the size of the universe and subatomic scale (8/10)

I love CGP Grey too much to be impartial, even though the guys at “the Scale of the Universe” did something similar 10 years ago (Link)

Bridgewater (Ray Dalio) “Our thoughts on Bitcoin” (7.5/10)

Some considered this an “opening” of Ray Dalio toward Cryptocraps, but I don’t see it like this.

He politically praised what the platforms are able to do but pointed out the very problems that are at the base of them: regulations, privacy, volatility, demand…

That is why to me Bitcoin looks like a long-duration option on a highly unknown future that I could put an amount of money in that I wouldn’t mind losing about 80% of.

If that’s an endorsement I don’t know what isn’t.

Nick Maggiulli about his Portfolio performances (7.5/10)

Nick shared his portfolio and its performances:

Honest and transparent. In line with a 60/40 portfolio, underperforming S&P500 since last decade but a good 9% average yearly return.

Why Absolute Performance is All That Matters

On absolute terms, the Nick Maggiulli Portfolio has done well. Getting 9% each year (or 6%-7% after inflation) is more than I could have ever hoped for.

In all of the financial projections I have ever done for myself, I’ve assumed a 4% real rate of return. So getting 6%-7% is a huge win. I know this won’t be guaranteed in the future, but it’s nice.

Listen to advice my dear crypto-10x-seekers, it comes from a smart guy working in one of the top wealth management companies around the world.


The only thing that matters is whether your portfolio is providing enough growth to meet your future financial needs. If you are unable to meet your financial needs with your current returns then, yes, underperformance feels terrible.

Alpha is great, but Beta is better.


Nat Eliason on Schrödinger Claims (7.5/10)

A Schrödinger Claim is a statement that could be true, or false, depending on “what’s in the box”.

When someone says “masks don’t work” they could be saying something true, or false. It all depends on what they mean at a deeper level. It’s not a descriptive enough statement for us to apply a yes/no evaluation to it.

If they mean “masks don’t work for protecting you from getting sick,” that’s mostly true. We’ve seen in a number of studies now that regular surgical or cloth masks aren’t all that effective at protecting you from infection.

But that doesn’t mean “masks don’t work”. They work really well at reducing how much you spread the virus if you’re infected. Even in close contact for long periods of time.

Nat also shows other examples like “eating meat is bad”.

Nice idea, might be worth adding to the Logical Fallacies repertoire 🙂

Mustachian Post InteractiveBrokers Epic Guide (7.5/10)

Wow, my friend Marc is writing the most comprehensive guide on IB that I’ve ever seen.


The Plain Bagel on What Return You Should Expect (7.5/10)

Another video by Richard against the crowd of “traders” who claim to be making 1% a day (and selling courses on that).

… and he shares my fears that there’s no place where to put your money with a sort of guaranteed long term return.

But… this time is different!


Thomas Waschenfelder about The 4 Kinds of Luck (7/10)

The author is just reporting what Naval Ravikant said in How to Get Rich Without Being Lucky, which is just reporting what James H. Austin wrote in Chase, Chance, and Creativity: The Lucky Art of Novelty.

But it’s well written, with examples, clear to understand.

On the same topic:

ITA – Roberto Mercadini about Italian Language and Sexism (7/10)

Interesting and funny linguistic analysis of plural nouns and their gender:

ITA – Rick Du Fer Daily Cogito with Alessandro De Concini (7/10)

Alessandro is an expert in Learning Methods that I discovered recently.

His 1h long talk with Rick (who’s a philosopher) touches many of the topics I’m also interested in: learning, education system and its bugs, reasoning, thinking, creativity and Flipped Classroom!


The Plain Bagel about NFTs (7/10)

You own nothing john Snow!

New York Times “For Creators, Everything is on Sale” (7/10)

The “human stock market”:

For example, a creator can use NewNew to post a poll asking which sweater they should wear today, or who they should hang out with and where they should go.

Fans purchase voting power on NewNew’s platform to participate in the polls, and with enough voting power, they get to watch their favorite influencer live out their wishes, like a real life choose-your-own-adventure game.

So I discovered this NewNew app. What the f… there’s too much dumb and free money circulating.

Somebody should do something.

Dichotomy Test on Philosophy (7/10)

Inspired by this Tweet by Tiago Forte I took the test (and shared my results):

Skeptical, altruist and ascetic with a good dose of confusion about everything else. Yeah, it’s me!

P.S. here’s the extended version of the above screenshot, with traits explanations 🙂

Google SRE Classroom on Distributed PubSub (7/10)

PubSub SRE Team was my last team at Google, during my short Site Reliability experience. I know the amazing people behind the team, and it’s a pleasure to see that they found time and willingness to put a huge System Design Workshop freely available for everyone.

You’re awesome guys 🙂

My PubSub(marine) still rocks (though a beer is gone)

The Physician Philosopher about Partial FIRE (7/10)

Yeah, cool idea… but I love to call it FIRE Spectrum 😉

Visual Capitalist about The Richest People in The World in 2021 (6.5/10)

Several “Top10″s (men, women, in finance, in tech…).

Spoiler alert: Jeff took back 1st position over Elon!

Scott Galloway on Blockchain, Ethereum, and NFTs (6.5/10)

Prof G. seems an Ethereum enthusiast. According to him, it’s in the right direction toward decentralization (trend of the 10s years) and dispersion (his bet for the “roaring 20s”).

I don’t have a good opinion of Cryptos, especially the speculative nature of their fanatics investors, but I do think smart contracts and Tokenization might be a game changer. A threat for Banking, Insurance and Legal industries.

Tom McKay on “How I sold a tweet about my cat and helped kill the Earth in the process” (6.5/10)

A reflection on NFTs and Blockchain.

Yes, this series is very centered on these Ponzi-squared black-holes called NFTs.

Krista Kim sold a house for $500k. Wait, it’s a NFT of a house of course! (6.5/10)

I can’t keep up with this shit… “We’ll be living in an augmented reality lifestyle soon

And btw, it’s a shitty house!

Looks like Doom 1 (1995) background graphics…

Tiago Forte’s 10 days silent Vipassana Meditation retreat (6.5/10)

This is a 2014 article, and as Tiago said somewhere it’s probably his first article appeared on his website Fortelabs. A good one!

Attending a meditation retreat is one of those dreams that I might need to remove from my impossible list, since… you know… family, responsibilities…

Tiago’s review revived my desire for it. I’m aware of the real superpower meditation can offer, and I’m always procrastinating on this.


By the end of the course, I no longer had to single out a specific body part to feel the sensations. Where before my body was like a pond in a light rain, an unexpected droplet hitting every few seconds, now it was a thunderstorm.

Waves of pleasure started throughout my body completely on their own, colliding and building on each other as they swept through me. The feeling was intensely physical but not sexual, and one of the most pleasurable experiences I’ve ever had.

My senses at this point felt like they were sharpened to a fine point. Stepping out of the meditation hall into the sunlight, I could follow the path of a fly in almost slow motion. I found myself watching things as simple as a steaming cup of tea with the rapt attention of a child, and any tiny pleasure — a warm shower, a clean shirt — somehow brought me immense joy.

Awesome. I will go there one day!

What did Tiago learn? The key take away for me is this one:


[…] It became painfully clear to me, upon returning, how much our modern world is designed to erode this capacity. Advertisements, videos, mobile apps, commercials, social media, the news, email, notifications — these are the forward operating bases in a concerted campaign to fragment, subvert, and monetize our attention, a resource even more scarce (and therefore more valuable) than time or money.

Chris Mamula’s review of 3 years of Early Retirement (6.5/10)

A better article from Chris Mamula (Choose FI) than the one I shared with you a couple of months ago (link).

This is a reflection on 3 years of Early Retirement, and my main take away is that most of retirement planning is wishful thinking. “Plans Are Worthless But Planning Is Indispensable”.

You have no idea what life will throw at you (see LivingAFI above). if you start accounting for everything you may never feel safe. on the other hand, if you underestimate the impacts of future circumstances (having kids, health care costs, inflation, large unexpected expenses) your early retirement could fail miserably.

Another key point for Chris is that you and your priorities won’t magically change once you retire. If you’re not doing something today you think you’d do if you were retired, you probably won’t once actually retired.

I mildly disagree on this. This is his personal experience stated as immutable truth. While I think that one should “retire to” something and not just “retire from” something, and while I agree to some extent (again, based on personal experience) that you won’t magically become the balanced person you were dreaming of becoming, I also believe that a job could be a great impediment to self actualization.

I know quite a few people that took mini retirement to go back to study, or to travel, or to start projects. Not all dreams can be pursued while having a 9to5.

Tyro Partners research about Dating data on popular online platforms (6/10)

(Backup Link on my Google Drive)

I’m not particularly interested in Dating, for obvious reasons, but I had a chance to take a look at this paper and found few interesting things (thanks Nat Eliason for having shared it in one of your Medleys):

Divorce rate is going down. Awesome! People get more informed before making the final decision

Cosmetics sales are up, Perfumes sales are down. You can’t smell a selfie!

There’s a decline in occasional sex among young people, mostly driven by young men between 18 and 30. There seems to be some correlation with the decline in alcohol consumption and the increase in videogame consumption for young adults.

The distribution of how men rate women in normal, the distribution of how women rate men is skewed:

Bansky Piece of Art destroyed and digitalized (NO/10)

So they burnt the art piece and filmed it. Then they digitalized it (well, probably first digitalized then burnt) and sold it as an NFT on Opensea (sold for 228.69 ETH, i.e. $472k).

This is getting out of hands…

ITA – FIRE via Italian Baby Pensions in the 70s and 80s (ANGER/10)

During the 70s in Italy a law passed that allowed some categories of public workers to reach pension age after as little as 14 years and half of working “career”. These people are still alive and FIREing thanks to the public pension system. Yet another Ponzi scheme.

There’s a story of the youngest “early retiree”, age 29, still caching a pension today.

This is a crime to the current generations who will never see a pension.

Blas Moros is writing the Paulmanack (Yes, but…/10)

There’s nothing left to invent in this world… I though nobody was working on it, but I was wrong.

Anyway, Blas Moros (The Rabbit Hole) is an amazing guy, addicted with in depth learning and rabbit holes so I couldn’t think of a better person for the Paulmanack 🙂

Yes, but… I should have written it!



Something Tweet for your Brain

You gonna feed it!

Josh Constine thread about Newsletters

Twitter Link

Newsletters are exploding. Suckstack is rocking!

Pros of paid newsletter as an alternative to newspaper:

  • Direct contact between writers and readers.
  • Independence and quality of information.
  • You care about people, niches, not catch-all newspapers.
  • Low barrier to creation.
  • Infinite Scalability.
  • You can bundle with podcasts, slacks, communities

Yeah, all amazing but let me add this:

  • Costs for readers who want to follow several people grow 10-20x.

Anyway, I don’t exclude I will jump on the Substack bandwagon 🙂

Eric Jorgenson threads on Leverage (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Twitter Link

Of course he takes a lot of inspiration from Naval Ravikant, but I think Eric added some unique flavors to the amazing concept of leverage.

I liked the Thread 2 about tools leverage, but the best one is number 5 on Product Leverage. Enjoy!

Can you serve the needs of 10,000 customers as one person?
You can with elegant, reliable code.

Can you talk to 100,000 people in a month?
You can with a podcast.

Can you make 1,000 decisions in a day?
You can if you write down the rules in code or SOPs.

Morgan Knutson thread about his experience working on GooglePlus

Twitter Link

(ThreadReaderApp link)

Well, been there, done that.

Best passage? This one:

Nat Eliason about The Passion Economy

Twitter Link

So inspiring 🙂

But Nat also says he doesn’t like to be a “Full Time creator“, which is a bit contradicting in my opinion.

Beeple‘s “Everydays: the first 5000 days” auction closed at 69,346,250 USD

Twitter Link

Well, it’s a large jpg, 319,168,313 bytes. The winner got roughly 4.5 bytes per dollar, not a bad deal…

Sarcasm aside, I’m too old to understand this.

Ana Lorena Fabrega threads about Synthesis School (by Elon Musk)

Read this, this, and this one, which is the best one in my opinion: story time!

Twitter Link

Synthesis is a nice idea.

It’s the SpaceX private, internal, employee-only school that’s opening up. It seems to aim to revolutionize education, which is something that I wish for.


  1. Ditch the assembly line model — no grade levels
  2. Problem-focused, not tool-focused

Not sure I totally agree. I still think that learning tools for their own sake is a creative weapon.

Bonus: Ana’s top tweetstorms of 2020.

Twitter Link

Nick Maggiulli‘s meme on the Suez Canal thing

Twitter Link

Replies are also hilarious, like this one from Nyle Bayer 😀

Twitter Link

So true!


FUN Stuff

Try not to laugh!

Casually Explained Video about High School

CE is a channel that tries to “explain” stuff in a fan way.


Michael Novotny Tweet about Asset Diversification and The Bible

Thou shalln’t put all your eggs in thou basket!

Twitter Link

Kurzgesagt’s What if the World turned to Gold?

No, it’s not going to end well.

ITA – Willie Peyote’s Mai Dire Mai video

No, I don’t like the song very much. I’m not a fan of Rap.

But two things stand out in this video

First, the Boris quote: “Questa è l’Italia de futuro. un paese di musichette mentre fuori c’è la morte

Translated: “this is the future of Italy: a doomed country who cares about pop music”… no, I give up, it’s untranslatable 🙂

Second, the initial disclaimer:

Translated: “Warning: the following images could hurt your insensibility”


Here’s the music video:

Beeple’s Non Fungible Elon

Ok, this was genuinely fun 🙂

Twitter Link

There’s even a random guy who wants to sell you an NFT of a screenshot of the tweet

There’s no upper bound to how much something can be ridiculous…

StackOverflow Keyboard, April 1st edition

Enough said.

Voice Lag Ventriloquism

Now I need to learn how to do it…

ITAKacca al Diavolo

O fiori a Gesù?

A pearl from 1995 San Scemo Festival (won by Lino Barbieri “Mutande“):

Bonus: 1996 winner, Marco Carena “Quanta nel Mondo

How to make money? Work!

There’s no easy way out.


Leisure Corner

We need mental challenges, but we also need Leisure time

Pony Smasher Short Horror Movies

Check Lights Out, and try not to freeze 😉

ITAJakidale’s incredible trip to Dubai

Jakidale is an Italian popular youtuber (with 1.5M subscribers) that I discovered recently.

In this video he went visiting Dubai. I’ve always been both fascinated and scared by Dubai, without even having “seen it”.

Bonus: Abbiamo lanciato una Panda nello spazio!

The Compound episode on Stocks, NFT, Clubhouse

Josh Brown changed his mind about NFTs?? Holy shit, am I the last one who thinks this is crap? He actually has some good argument that have nothing to do with Blockchain: this is a good way for artists, musicians, maybe even bloggers to cut middleman and get closer to their community.

It’s like Patreon 2.0, but I’m waiting until I see things being sold at $10 instead of $10k before calling it a thing.

MinuteEarth about Life Expectancy

Not what you expected:

Also check the MinuteLab’s survival curves.

Jake Chudnow’s new album Columbia

I love Jake! I’ve discovered him many years ago because his songs were being played in VSauce videos. Shona, Banana, Carlin Dream, Going Down… my focusing playlist is 50% Jake Chudnow, 30% Epic Mountain (Kurzgesagt soundtracks), and 20% Sette Ore Verme Della Concentrazione by Sio.

Jake is also an ex Googler! Like Michael Stevens (VSauce) by the way 🙂

After 4 years of inactivity, he announced the release of a new album, that I immediately preordered for 2 GBP (a very affordable price, and a “thank you” message to Jake). On March 12th the whole album has been released. Here’s “Columbia [Radio Edit]”, enjoy 🙂

ITATheUncle Board Games YT Channel

A channel by a dear friend of mine.

I discovered few weeks ago he launched a channel during first Covid lockdown.

Good luck The Uncle!


Have you Reddit?

The best of the month on (SFW) Reddit

r/fire about new FI Levels. Are you aiming to FIRE but you’re also bored as hell by the “Boring Middle”? Time to celebrate PieFI, LebronFI, SpartaFI and more importantly WiFI! 😀

r/coolguides about emotions people can feel but can’t explain.

r/fire about a 25yo depressed by FIRE. Sadly the author deleted the post. Anyway, anyone below age 30 listening… don’t aim to early retirement YET. Don’t maximize for how early you’ll retire. Just follow a career you love and do your best to enjoy it. Meanwhile, save 50% of your salary and invest it for the long term. If your job sucks, get another one. After 10 years at least, if you feel burnt out and you tried different solutions, positions, jobs… then and only then take a look at your investment account and maybe you’ll realize “hey, I’m almost FI! Let’s take advantage of it!”

r/fatFIRE thread about feeling poorer as you get richer. Sadly, this one has been deleted as well (I should take screenshots next time). This is what I feel, and seeing I’m not alone – and that people with almost 10M feel the same – scares the hell out of me… Read the comments, they’re gold.

r/dataisbeautiful video comparing world average temperatures by latitude from 1920 and 2020. Forget corona or FIRE or what else… Global warming is “the” real problem.

r/Italy thread about number of deaths being the double of the number of new birth in Italy in 2020.

ITAr/ItaliaPersonalFinance fundamental analysis of Airbnb. The quality of this sub (for Italian, in Italian language) is increasing rapidly. Check also out the guide to your first investment. Applause!

r/Italy “A love letter to Italia”. A Norwegian guy expressing sincere love for Italy. Amazing letter, amazing comments. Maybe I’m too harsh on my country sometimes.

r/antiWork thread about Tattoos and employability. I don’t like this sub, but this post made my day 🙂

r/ShowerthoughtsThe problem isn’t that robots are taking over our jobs, the problem is that we’ve created a world where that’s somehow a bad thing“. r/ST is a one of my best subreddit latest discoveries. Posts are usually empty, just the title, which is – as the subreddit name says – a “shower thought”. And then the comments section usually makes my day.

r/financialindependence thread about a 54yo guy who accidentally retired. This is an amazing story of how I’d like to teach people to think about FIRE. This guy loved his job. And he saved and invested wisely in the meantime. He didn’t want to retire. But life happened, the workplace changed, stress went up and after few attempts to make things work he turned to his bank account and discovered that “hey look… I can retire with a 2.5% SWR!” and then he retired! This is the way. Don’t aim to FIRE, just try to build something and have fun. Meanwhile save and invest… and if/when shit will happen use your money to show them the middle finger 🙂

ITAr/Italy heartbreaking thread about a person who’s losing their dog and it’s incredibly sad. Internet can still be an amazing place where to be. And Reddit is one of those “remote island of pure beauty”. Let’s protect it!


Other Content

High quality resources I’ve consumed during last month that didn’t make into the main section

James Jani‘s documentary about The Secret and The Dark World of New Age (Fake) Gurus. Good documentary, but nothing new. Of course the Law of Attraction is bullshit, but it looks so obvious to me hat I wouldn’t spend 36 minutes watching a video about it. But I just did, because I love James documentary style 🙂

Chris Mamula about how hard it would be to go back to work after few years of Early Retirement. I agree with Chris: too many FIRE bloggers chant the litany “I can always get a job if I need one”. I don’t think it would be easy to get back on a high paying career after few years out. This article (and this one) shows you what are the main issues and the ultimate Lifestyle Inflation: Freedom.

Nick Maggiulli recently shared this old image comparing causes of death vs media coverage. Disturbing.

Nick Maggiulli‘s 2020 Article about Gold. Value is in the Eye of the Beholder.

Mike Winnet‘s Contrepreneur Bingo episode with Crypto enthusiasts and traders. A fun watch. It’s so ridiculous that those contrepreneurs look all identical. They all employ the same set of known strategies.

Harlin Pierce‘s playing chess in our mind while in prison. What a read! I don’t know what this guy did to “be serving 33 years for murder at the Jim Ferguson Unit, Texas” but his creativity and passions are being wasted in a prison.

Mike Zaccardi‘s Humble Dollar Article warning FIRE Seekers. While I agree that we should not convince 20yo that they could retire soon, and while there are good points in the article, I think the dark picture presented is the classical one where someone just wants to retire “from” something and has nothing to “retire to”. That’s the big mistake. Don’t save 90% of your salary just to quit the job you hate, Build the Life you Want then save for it! (Link, 9/10)

ITA – Simone Perotti‘s wedding. And a follow-up post replying to haters. They spent 358 EUR for their wedding… and people were accusing them to not be frugal enough. Guys, are you serious?

ITA – Roberto Mercadini‘s live Video with Jacopo Fo about Awe. Interesting, but too long. And Roberto is reusing most of his material for this chat. if you follow Roberto don’t waste your time on this chat.

The Daily Viz visualization of how common birthdates are. Mine ranks >300 out of 366… and funnily enough, there are 19 dates less frequent than February 29th! Are you kidding me?


Coming Soon

Resources (that I expect to be awesome) that I added to my read/watch/listen later for which I haven’t found time to consume them yet. I’ll probably expand them in the next MLJ episode

3Blue1Brown‘s video about How (and why) to raise e to the power of a matrix.

Ben Felix‘s Five Factor Investing with ETFs.

Rational Reminder‘s What’s Financial Advice? And also How to be (Time) Rich.

Naval Ravikant on Happiness.

Kevin Simler on Social Status.


That’s all for this month 🙂



  1. Rent vs Buy calculator: great approach. Another important factor to consider is your career-life trajectory-desire.
    Unless you are >80% sure you will live in the same place for a looooong period (no international assignments, no big career changes, no new countries-cities experience ecc) the freedom given from the rent is a plus for your decisions.
    Once you have such a big committment (fundation or anchor) you will tend to stick with same area-city-job, or at least there will be an additional hidden mental cost for any change.
    More: when you are forced to change (divorce, family needs ecc) you will experience an unexpected, or at least unplanned, financial and emotional cost.
    Or… maybe not 🙂

    1. … but maybe forcing you to decide where to live for the rest of your life is a good thing. Read “Paradox of Choice” b Barry Schwartz, or “Choices are Bad” by TheZvi 🙂

  2. This man is like the Hydra of references. For each of his links you check, he provides you with 10 more.

    I did love today’s references so far; there’s a delightful smidgen of critical thinking in most of them.

    1. Great post, thank you for sharing 🙂
      But I question several of your params:
      – 1.2% mortgage rate is criminal in CH right now. Everyone I know of is getting <0.8%
      – 2% home price growth rate is also veeeery optimistic
      – costs of buying and selling are lower than that

      1. The post is from 2018, that was the rate at the time
        Today I’d use 0.5% (0.8% reduced by the 35% marginal tax rate)
        Historically the average price variation was 2.4%
        What value would you use for the future in the long term?
        What number do you consider?
        The bare minimum would be 2.5% on buying (tax+notary) and 3% on sale (agent fee)

        I’m open to consider min-max scenarios for the most uncertain parameters

  3. Hey Mr. Rip,
    it seems your public Roam Database is not really public 😉

    “You do not have permission to view this page”

    I’m really interested in having a look to the way you organize the content you consume (I’d like to do something similar since ages). Thanks for sharing that.

    1. I should have fixed.
      But don’t expect to find much more this episode… I’ve been pushing like crazy to publish it, not much tome for extras.

  4. NFTs are a very early proof of concept for smart contracts.
    This is like the dot-com bubble in 1999, and when the bear market will come for crypto (possibly end of 2022?) then only the sound projects will survive.
    At that point, you may be able to pick up the equivalent of AMZN at $10 (just like the tech bear market in 2000-2001).
    The main point about the utility of NFT lies in the connection between virtual & real.
    If NFT will be able to transcend the virtual world, and be applicable to real-life items, that would be the game-changer.
    NFTs could facilitate a lot of types of contracts: brokerage, real estate, employment, music & arts, stocks, and so on.
    That could possibly be revolutionary.
    But we’re like a decade too early.

  5. Hey MrRIP,
    Thanks for the journal. As usual, it takes time to read, but then it takes 10x more time to visit the interesting resources you mention ahah 🙂

    Talking about newsletter and Substack, I made the bet to test it and started the adventure at the beginning of 2021. So I’m brand new, but I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes. If someone wants to take a look –> (it’s in French though)
    The downside is that you can’t add custom HTML/CSS/JS to the articles, but the upside of having everything ready to just write, send, get people to subscribe and enjoy is fabulous (as far as I know, with my 3 months experience)

  6. Hey RIP,
    thanks for the cool links, I got interested in your comment about renting in Europe/Switzerland – ” but I’d change the 5% rule to 4% in Europe, and 3% in Switzerland”, could you please elaborate? What makes the math that much different for Switzerland?

    1. As explained by Ben Felix, the 5% Rule is mostly (3%) due to mortgage interest rate. I’m dropping it to 1% – actually in both EU and CH, so make it 3% Rule in both Europe and Switzerland

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