I hope you missed me.

Post Apathy is back for March 2021 and I've got a backlog of interesting links to share with you. We haven't had a newsletter for January or Feburary as I've been occupied building something interesting. Post Apathy may also become a quarterly newsletter (as opposed to monthly) depending on how busy I get over the next few months, so watch this space.


The Latest from Post Apathy

Cryptocurrencies: Retvrn To Tradition

A summary of my thoughts on the readings linked in this newsletter, I make the case for how crypto could usher in a new era of currency competition based on pre-modern principles of currency pluralism.

An Era of Wolves

Seemingly random lone wolf attacks have a very certain and ancient cause: they are both a product of and accelerant of social disintegration. Lacking a society and proper upbringing, men are prone to what I call 'feralisation'.

Palantir Technologies: A Short Analysis

Palantir is one of the most misunderstood business models in the market, so I sought to clarify it in this simple analysis.


Readings

Blockchain & Crypto

Sea is for Cryptocurrency

This article makes the case for Bitcoin to become a global energy standard for transporting the excess value of electricity around the world like oil tankers transfer oil around the world. Another observation is that crypto will be particularly useful to two actors: individuals who fear their states' capital controls, and states with stronger property rights and lax capital controls. In both cases, states that are prone to currency crises and have weaker property rights lose out to crypto's advance. This suggests America would be a primary beneficiary of capital outflows from rivals such as Russia and China.

The DAO of DAOs
By Packy McCormick

Packy continues his foray into the metaverse with this great primer on DAOs (decentralised autonomous organisation), a governance mechanism enabled by blockchain (specifically, Ethereum).

China

Jiang Shigong, "Empire and World Order" - Reading the China Dream
By David Ownby

This is a primary source translation of an essay by Jiang Shigong, one of China's foremost political theorists. Palladium offers a secondary source analysis of Jiang Shigong's work here. Shigong argues that empire is natural and provides a brief history of the evolution of Europe's global empires from the smaller mercantile kingdoms of Europe to modern day America. China is destined to complete the next stage of humanity's fate: universal empire. This is an interesting shift from the communist aversion to imperialism, but the more discerning among us already knew it was a ruse.

2020 letter | Dan Wang
By Dan Wang

Dan Wang's annual letter focuses on developments in China and provides an apologetic stance, perhaps as an antidote to increasingly hawkish attitudes to China. Nevertheless, a very interesting "inside persective" on China.

Culture & Society

The Michael Scott Theory of Social Class
By Alex Danco

This is a very interesting analysis of power and society through the lens of one of my favourite shows, The Office (US). Alex compares the archetypes present in The Office to the 3-ladder class system of western society. Essentially, the various classes of western society go through different psychological states to deal with their class, making The Office both an extremely funny show and a fascinating encapsulation of western society on the set.

The End of Industrial Society
By Samo Burja

This essay is a simple restatement of the industrial conundrum: where do you go after industrialisation? Western societies' core social technology stacks were based around the Industrial Revolution, and now that social technology stack is losing steam and failing before full industrialisation. East Asian industrialisation is still in full swing, but is likely to face the same issue. Petty political squabbles between left and right, or even between the USA and China, are therefore smaller issues than the yawning abyss lying ahead of the entire world touched by industrialisation: decay, and eventually collapse of complex civilisation.

There is no "return" scenario here; we've mostly forgotten and permanently lost the social technologies for agricultural civilisation. Our only hope then, if Samo has correctly prophecied our greatest challenge yet, is through the storm. The most important civilisation-saving missions are not in the realms of material technology and "innovation", or markets and finance, but in the areas of social technology: new (and better) patterns of society conducive to production, law, governance, and moral order.

Governance

A New Golden Age of Governance
By Wolf Tivy

Just over two years' after their inaugural essay and launch, Palladium restates its mission to build a new paradigm of governance. Engaging in political engineering, restarting industrial progress, and terraforming the Earth to save the environment are all on the agenda.

Political Economy

The Fraying of the US Global Currency Reserve System
By Lyn Alden

Why the US Dollar Could Outlast the American Empire
By Byrne Hobart

These two essays offer alternative perspectives on the staying power of the US dollar. Lyn argues that there are already cracks in the seams of the hegemony of the US dollar, while Byrne makes the case for the dollar's long-lasting impact even after American military and political power is eroded.

Science & Technology

New Industries Come From Crazy People
By Ben Landau-Taylor

Attempting to convince people to believe in  something that doesn't yet is harder than creating that actual thing. Often this is because people themselves struggle to imagine the unimaginable; more often than not, they just think you're crazy. If the history of technology shows anything, it is the crazy people on the edge of tomorrow that deliver most of our innovation.

Business & Investment

This is a new section coming to Post Apathy starting with this month's newsletter. Over the past year I've compiled a significant backlong of articles on business concepts, company analyses and market movements. I'm going to start sharing my favourite ones with you all here.

I also want to share something else: the Post Value Notion database of interesting articles, newsletters, and other links related to business & investment. You'll also be able to find it on my Resources page alongside other useful links.

1,000 True Fans

If you're into building products, then this essay from 2008 is a must-read in customer relation building. It can also be applied to pretty much any endeavour that involves building a community; at the very core, you want 1,000 true fans who go beyond passive interest and into active partnership with whatever you're thinking and doing.

Cathie Wood and Content Strategy
By Ranjan Roy

A look into Ark Invest's media strategy. Investment funds are improving and expanding their in-house media wings to acquire clients, talent, and improve their reputation for transparency and accessibility.

Intel Unleashed
By Ben Thompson

A report on Intel's (NASDAQ: INTC) promising comeback, interestingly contrast with the pessimistic tone taken by Stratechery a few months ago.

Semi cap Primer Series: Lithography and ASML
By Mule's Musings

A deep dive into how semiconductors are made and the business model of one of the most important companies in the world that you've never heard of: ASML (AMS: $ASML), a Dutch company that builds the components for semiconductor manufacturers like Taiwan Semiconductor Co. (NYSE: $TSM) and others.


Housekeeping

You can find previous newsletters below:

You can also find some long form essays here:

I welcome feedback and discussion: