Annalise & Ben, Married and Open

For Annalise and Ben, marriage doesn’t mean the end of other sexual partners or exploration of sexuality. They share the intimate details how they make it work- who knows, maybe you can too.

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12:35 I became more comfortable with myself and my own sexuality. I became comfortable saying out loud to myself and to other people that I’m actually bisexual. And I am attracted to women as well as men. And I think that to hide a part of yourself that is true is really difficult. It evolved out me just accepting my sexuality and letting Ben as my husband know that “hey I am attracted to women as well. And this is actually something that I need to explore in order to feel completely whole.” 

26:10 It’s very important that we at least trust each other’s sexual partners. If for whatever reason the situation was that we couldn’t physically meet the other person first that’s okay as long as we explain who they are and talk about them and they’re a trustworthy person. For us it’s full communication about everything at all times. Some couples have a policy of don’t ask don’t tell. That could work for some people but for us it’s full communication about everything and every time- zero secrets. 

59:30 I would just open the conversation and not feel like the subject is taboo because there are so many people since we’ve opened our marriage that are either interested or they’re in a similar boat but they just don’t talk about it because they’re nervous of being judged. My advice is just to be open and to live your life how you want to live your life and celebrate living and do what you want to do without hurting anyone else.

Produced by Chris Derr and James Newhouse. Music by Chris Hoogewerff.

Of Delusionists and Blochaters

For every popular phenomenon there is an equal and opposite group of detractors. This creates a positive feedback loop where the promoters become more fervent in their support as the detractors become more fervent in the opposite, and vice versa. This leaves us with two irrational groups.

Blockchain is no different. The delusionists on one side frothing at the mouth that blockchain will change everything, can be used for everything, and oh, many of them are financially invested so they are less concerned with the truth and more concerned with pumping their portfolio. On the other side are the blochaters, who have been pushed so far into the detractor camp by the delusionists that they dismiss the technology all together. Kai Stinchcombe is one of these blochaters, and he has written two excellent posts that many are rallying around because they are sick and tired of hearing the buzzword bullshit. I mostly agree with Kai but his second post makes two points that I’d like to respectfully attack. Kai writes:

“Blockchain systems are supposed to be more trustworthy, but in fact they are the least trustworthy systems in the world. Today, in less than a decade, three successive top bitcoin exchanges have been hacked, another is accused of insider trading, the demonstration-project DAO smart contract got drained.”

This isn’t fair. It’s not the blockchain systems that have been compromised, it’s the infrastructure built around them that have been compromised, i.e. the non blockchain parts. Bitcoin has existed for almost a decade and it has not been directly compromised once. That is a fantastic feat for a system that exists on the internet and is owned collectively by people all over the world. Yes, keys have been stolen, wallets have been drained, but the protection of private keys is outside the scope of the Bitcoin network. As for the DAO smart contract bug, that wasn’t an issue with Ethereum itself, that was an issue with the contract written on top of Ethereum. Companies worth billions of dollars are getting hacked on a regular basis, but that isn’t a problem with the internet, that’s a problem with the company’s security practices.

As for the second point I take issue with, Kai writes:

“A lawless and mistrustful world where self-interest is the only principle and paranoia is the only source of safety is not a paradise but a crypto-medieval hellhole.”

Brother, this is the world we already live in. Don’t let the shower twice a day and nifty technology fool you, humans are running on caveman software and we are all one week of no food away from destroying each other. 75 years of peace without a major war is not the result of a global morality boost, it is the result of mutually assured destruction. What has kept the peace is not that we trust each other more as a species, it’s that nations have guns pointed at each others collective heads. What an irony that the greatest weapon ever created has made war obsolete. Nations have a self interest to avoid war at all costs and miners have a self interest to follow the rules of the network or face financial loss. It is this very threat of loss that keeps both nations and blockchain networks well behaved.

The great innovation of blockchain technology is that consensus can be reached among parties that don’t trust each other individually, but are able to trust each other collectively- without an overseer. This is not only a huge technological feat, but a social one. The only previous technology that has come close to this is the BitTorrent protocol. Blockchain is in its infancy. It is a solution looking for a problem. I can’t tell you exactly what problems it will find, only that I’m optimistic it will find them. And no, IBM hasn’t found the problem either. Besides the fact that blockchain only complicates supply chain management, a company pushing its own blockchain system is backwards and removes its main selling point- decentralization. I’ll leave you with this from Benedict Evans (whose newsletter I recommend below):

“You can believe both that crypto is full of delusional utopian lunatics saying stuff that’ll never happen and that it’s a profound technology that will change the world. That’s what talking about the internet was like in 1994.”

Nonprofits

Wikipedia – Providing a repository of knowledge in dozens of languages for the entire world. A contribution to Wikipedia is an investment in humanity.

EFF – Digital rights are more important with every passing day, the Electronic Frontier Foundation time and time again has proven itself not only as a watchdog to power, but also as a repository of practical advice for protecting yourself.

ACLU – Freedom of speech is a pillar of modern civilization. The American Civil Liberties Union has shown itself to defend that pillar no matter what.

International Rescue Committee – Not only aiding those on our planet who need it the most, but also helping them rebuild their lives. The more humans who have access to opportunity, the better off we all are.

Environmental Defense Fund – A practical and bipartisan approach to protecting the environment, often partnering directly with businesses.

Sierra Club – Less practical and more partisan than the EDF, but still a vital pillar to the protection of the environment for over a century.

Mozilla – Big Tech is Eating the World and Mozilla is boots on the ground, working to keep the internet open to all.

Internet Archive – A mission similar to Wikipedia with an emphasis on persisting the state of the web for future generations. They are famous for their Wayback Machine which allows you to view snapshots of websites going back several years, even no gradient. Pivotal for future generations to understand what happened here.

Pat Daly, Doing Pretty Good

Pat Daly mic’d up at 2am- coming at you late night style, late night theme, late night people. The reckoning of high school bullies everywhere, Daly cracks open his machinery to show us how he ticks- talking friendships, cyber security, and the future.

Listen to this episode on Libsyn and YouTube. Subscribe via iTunesGoogle PlayRSS, or wherever podcasts are available.

2:00 There are some people you can be so close with that even when you don’t want to see anybody, they’re the people you kick it with.

9:10 The biggest misconception from consumers about security is that because you are not a high profile person, you are not a target for a cyber attack. That’s not how these work in a lot of cases these are not targeted attacks. It’s an email that gets sent out to thousands of email addresses. It’s an automated program that’s pinging the internet for a specific software version or a specific type of device that has a known vulnerability. People think of it like someone’s going fishing with a fishing rod they’re not going after them, they’re going after the big tuna, but it’s more like your tossing a net in the water and whatever comes up comes up.

45:05 Learning is easy, anyone can learn, you just have to do it. It’s hard work, it’s a lot of time, but if you strip that away, it is the easiest thing. Time and focus. That’s how you learn.

Produced by Chris Derr and James Newhouse. Music by Chris Hoogewerff.