I think there’s a psychological toll involved in having a job that you don’t like. It ends up stunting and impoverishing your mind. Studies show that your IQ drops if you’re working a simple job below your skill level. If you don’t like your job altogether, if you think your job shouldn’t exist in the first place, the effect it seems to have is that you become bitter and cynical.
This is hard to explain to people. I go to parties and my friend’s friends will tend to treat me like an oddity, someone who sells digital tulip bulbs for a living but nonetheless doesn’t believe in the value of digital tulip bulbs. They tend to be interested in one thing, which is to get rich quick, which seems to be the main interest of most young men these days.
The problem is that cryptocurrency isn’t going to offer them that. Cryptocurrency is a negative sum game, that mainly benefits men with above average intelligence but a below average sense of morality. When you say this out loud, almost every young man on the Internet jumps on you immediately. “But what about smart contracts, what about NFT’s, what about decentralized prediction markets, what about this, what about that?”
What I say to that is as following: Well, what about you learn to paint? What about you learn to cook like a chef? What about you learn to play an instrument? What about you start making documentaries for Youtube, about things that genuinely interest you? What about you forget about these digital tulip bulbs altogether and realize that there are plenty of other things you could be doing with your life?
There’s the thing I always encounter with the cryptoboys. This is the only thing they have going on in their lives: They want to get rich quick and they think the way to accomplish it is by trading numbers on a screen back and forth with other boys who have nothing else going on in their lives. And because this is what their lives consist of, working with them means that I’m at risk of ending up like that too.
Sure, the cryptoboys have other interests too. Some of them like drugs (mainly cocaine), some of them like fast cars, a few care a lot about privacy on the Internet (can’t have the government find out about the sort of porn you’re into). Not a whole lot of them like Gupta era Indian sculptures, not a whole lot of them like Native American creation myths, not a lot of them like Italian Gothic Horror movies, not a lot of them like deindustrial science fiction, most of them don’t have an opinion on how Datura Metel ended up in India before the Columbian contact, most of them don’t know the names of the butterflies in their gardens, most don’t read a lot of anarcho-nihilist literature about concentration camp resistance during World War II and the majority probably haven’t read the Gospel of Thomas or the Corpus Hermeticum either.
And you’re entirely right, if you say that I’m just fellating myself by saying that. On an average evening, I spend a few hours refreshing the same four or five pages, reading clickbait news articles, getting angry about political nonsense I have zero influence over, checking my portfolio more times than necessary, discussing frivolities with friends and just overall wasting my time.
I’m a normal human being, overstimulated and with an artificially shortened attention span, caused by social media and lockdowns. But I’m at least keenly aware of the fact that I’m nowhere near to living up to my human potential. The first step to not being mediocre is becoming keenly aware of your own mediocrity. People often complain that I seem insecure. The only reason for that is because I’m keenly aware of everything a person could potentially accomplish and how I fail to love up to that potential.
So what I have done is that I have taken four weeks off work. I don’t quite know if I will return to work or not, because as I have mentioned a few times by now, I’m economically speaking in that spot where it seems like you can stop working for the rest of your life but can’t be completely sure of it. That’s the dream of far too many young men unfortunately these days. We’re all temporarily embarassed millionaires nowadays, so young men who could be doing something meaningful with their lives end up staring at squigly lines moving up and down towards the right side of their screens.
It’s nice if you “make it”, but in my case (if you think mine counts), it had to involve spending years doing stuff I don’t really care for. You might be far better off not “making it”, if that means you get to do stuff you can truly self-identify with. You’re an indie game developer still living off welfare and unable to pay off your college debt? All the more power to you. When you die we will be able to know who you were, based off the games you developed.
Far worse than not making it however, is not making it and spending your days doing stuff you don’t intrinsically care about. A lot of young men in their twenties now spend hours of their lives trading digital tulip bulbs, speculating in various ponzi schemes and forming opinions on dumb stuff that really just shouldn’t exist in the first place. The problem after all is this: Every cryptomillionaire creates a thousand young men who also want to become cryptomillionaires. A lot of them will even see very big numbers on their blockfolio accounts. By their very nature however, these schemes are negative sum games. The only reason crypto creates millionaires out of a handful of NEETs is because it robs other people of their life savings.
So what I want to see more than anything else of course, is for the whole thing to die in a fire. I want the whole “industry” to go bankrupt and I want the whole “ecosystem” to implode, because it’s little more than a series of decentralized ponzi schemes that invent new technologies solely to come up with new legal loopholes that allow them to claim they’re not offering securities to uninformed investors and thus the normal rules that protect fools from scammers don’t apply to them.
And that’s the exact problem. Frustration is a poor feeling to spend your mental energy on. It doesn’t get me anything I could care for or possibly benefit from. When things frustrate you, the better option is to just grow disinterested in them. When Bitcoin crashes fifty percent in a day, the way I should find out about it is by my mom asking me about it a week later, not by refreshing some page.
I know what you’re thinking. “Imagine being so bitter over cashing out too early.” I honestly don’t care, because I encountered other good investments afterwards. If you want to know what makes me bitter, I’ll tell you, because it’s very simple: Working in crypto makes me bitter. What makes me bitter is seeing the beast from inside its belly.
Working in crypto means getting small business owners calling you up because they have to pay a ransom to unlock their computer systems. Working in crypto means seeing people grow addicted to drugs and having their family or friends ask you to stop them from buying more drugs. Working in crypto means seeing dumb boys waste their time shilling digital ponzi schemes to each other. Working in crypto means seeing elderly ladies robbed of their life savings.
Only some sort of delusional sociopath or absolute retard can do this work for years without growing to hate it. It merely stimulates the worst of human personality traits. So, if you’re wondering: “What do you plan on doing with your four weeks off?” The answer is not “traveling to country X to see landmark Y”, although I might very well do that. No, the real answer is: Rebuilding my personality. I’m going to try to rebuild the withered aspects of what it once meant to be me.