What Dick’s Missed Since He Left

As no gradient interim editors, we would like to apologize for letting down the no gradient community, as well as Dick Lucas himself (aka Richard, aka Lakkis, aka Buzzy), who left us in charge of his legacy while he was away. It’s inexcusable, and we vow to make Dick proud over the next week before he returns to civilization. 

A lot has happened in the last four months, from the carousel of Brexit to the resurgence of Bitcoin. Since we failed to cover any of those events as they happened, here are a few of the things Dick would have written about, or at least retweeted if he weren’t orienteering his way up the west coast. (More to come on his exact whereabouts for the last four months when he returns.)

Crypto

Bitcoin was just beginning its resurgence when Dick left. On May 20, one bitcoin traded for just under $8,000 and rose as high as $11,800 before dropping back to $10,300 at the time of this writing. While cryptocurrencies remain extremely volatile, these price swings alone don’t tell the whole story. Demand for the Ethereum network continues to climb as demonstrated by Ethereum “gas” usage reaching all time highs. Gas is the fee charged to execute a smart contract on the Ethereum platform and is usually represented in Ether (ETH), so the increase in gas usage is directly correlated to transaction volume. The fact that gas usage continues to climb is a more positive sign for the long term staying power of cryptocurrencies and blockchain-based applications in general than the speculation that drove crypto prices to record levels in 2018. 

Brexit

A LOT has changed with the Brexit situation over the last few months; On May 20, Theresa May was still Britain’s Prime Minister and would remain so until her resignation took effect on June 7th. Her replacement, Boris Johnson, has done little to improve Brexit’s outlook. After promising that the UK would leave the European Union by October 31, with or without a deal, despite Parliament already voting against a no-deal Brexit. In an effort to prevent British Members of Parliament from blocking a no-deal Brexit, Johnson moved to suspend Parliament until October 14. On September 11, Scottish courts ruled that the move was unlawful, setting up an appeal in the UK Supreme Court. As of now, it would be almost impossible to speculate on how all of this turns out. Johnson is accused of deliberately misleading the Queen regarding his reasons for suspending Parliament and even compared himself to the Hulk when saying that he would defy Parliament if they tried to block a no-deal Brexit. Meanwhile, the Brexit deadline looms only a month and a half away…

Hong Kong

In June, citizens of Hong Kong began protesting a proposed extradition bill that would allow any country’s government (including mainland China), to request the extradition of wanted criminals regardless of whether or not an extradition treaty is in place. If the bill passed, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, would evaluate each on a case-by-case basis. While the Hong Kong government stated that the bill would prevent wanted criminals from seeking refuge in the city-state, citizens saw it as an erosion of their independence from Beijing, as it would allow the Chinese government to request extradition of political dissidents and critics of the Communist Party. After several months of demonstrations, during which Hong Kong police brutally attacked protesters, the Hong Kong government withdrew the bill on September 4th in an effort to put an end to the violence. However, violence erupted on both sides after Hong Kong police tried to ban public demonstrations, with police firing water cannons and tear gas as protesters hurled Molotov cocktails. In addition to the withdrawal of the extradition bill, protestors are calling for Lam’s resignation, an inquiry into police brutality and the right to democratic elections. 

Yang 2020

Andrew Yang is running for President on a platform that would provide a stipend of $1,000 per month to every American citizen over the age of 18 that is not incarcerated. The stipend is intended to fight the impacts of automation and artificial intelligence, which Yang claims are destroying millions of jobs. While he is a long-shot to win the Democratic nomination, he has gained a cult following and polled well enough to participate in the Democratic debates. Before his rise to national prominence, Yang’s campaign tried to raise funding via cryptocurrency donations, a process which Dick previously documented as wholly insecure.

Conclusion

With Dick coming back in a week, no gradient patrons can expect a return to the regular cadence of tweets, posts, podcasts and predictions that they’ve become accustomed to. Given the performance of the interim editors during his absence, we honestly aren’t sure whether Dick will continue to retain our services or release us for gross negligence and conduct detrimental to the site. Whatever happens, it has been an honor to serve you all.

-no gradient staff

Sawyer and Pat have arrived, Dick shall return

For Immediate Release: Los Angeles, California — no gradient today announced that Sawyer Billings will be joining as Managing Editor and Pat Daly as Assistant to the Managing Editor. A fortunate addition given founder Dick Lucas will be on leave until 2020.

My plan for no gradient is simple: keep it tight and entirely in sight. Pat and I will work to maintain the integrity, straightforwardness and character of this impressive publication. If you are interested in writing for no gradient please contact us here.

Sawyer Billings, Managing Editor

As Assistant Managing Editor, I will ensure that the content published on no gradient provides a balanced view on all issues and stays true to the mission of giving it to the audience straight. Sawyer and I look forward to providing readers with the same objective and insightful content they have become used to from Dick.

Pat Daly, Assistant to the Managing Editor

no gradient in 2018

Founded on September 26 2017, 2018 has been the first full year of operation for no gradient. Let’s see what went down.

Viewership in 2018

  • 9,632 site views
  • 5,711 site visitors
  • 1,211 YouTube podcast views (1,296 all time, 1,324% increase)
  • 2,309 podcast downloads (2,742 all time, 433% increase)
  • 169 hours watched by viewers on YouTube (173 all time, 4,125% increase)
  • 2 Patreon supporters

Content Posted in 2018

Top Posts

Top Episodes

Predictions

In 2018, two of my predictions proved correct. Five proved incorrect. Bringing my predictions scoreboard to 3 out of 12, for a batting average of .250.

Correct

Incorrect

Developments

Struggles

  • Traffic to no gradient is entirely reliant on my reddit submission gaining traction. Viewership to no gradient is very low on regular basis.
  • Even when posts do well on reddit, this converts to few email subscribers or followers on Twitter and Facebook. All of which would help create a more consistent readership of no gradient.

Ahead

  • Notable names on the no gradient podcast. I would love to get an over the hill b or c list celebrity with some name recognition to come on the show. Give them a low stakes way to riff in public and hopefully bring no gradient new viewership.
  • More guest contributors. There are many people I know with gold inside them without an outlet. I hope to encourage more people to come on and share.
  • More investigative posts with original research like Yang2020 Presidential Campaign and how not to Accept Cryptocurrency.

no gradient 2.0 Debuts at the World Series of Poker

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Justin Dunn- previous podcast guest– debuts the new no gradient look as he competes in the 49th annual World Series of Poker No-Limit Hold’em Championship in beautiful, hot, transactional, Las Vegas, Nevada. Qualifying by winning a smaller tournament, he has survived day one and starts today with 16.5k in chips. We talked game plan and he is in full predator mode telling me “I need to steal what’s on the table before anyone puts any money in by getting them to fold when I sense weakness.” With a short stack, not being aggressive will simply bleed him dry, it’s all in or fall in.

Logan Faerber is the creative genius and illustrator behind the new look, wrapping it up just in time for the shirt to get shipped out to Justin. He recently started his own design firm, Clade Design, and if you need work done, look no further.

You will see the new look rolling out as the podcast album art and on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Patreon, LinkedIn– wherever no gradient is found.

Update: J Dunn went for it and was knocked out on his second day of competition. Best believe no gradient will be sponsoring him next year.

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1000 Podcast Downloads, We Doing It

Brothers and sisters,

I’m pumped to announce that the no gradient podcast has hit 1,000 unique downloads. I’ve talked with a marathon world record holder, a shamanic healer, a Marxist who tried to join the marines, a married couple in an open relationship, and just plain great conversationalists. Seriously, thank you to everyone who has listened, reached out to me about an episode, shared it- you all are my gods.

Thank you to Chris Derr for getting me started, James Newhouse for his constant feedback, and Chris Hoog for the famous intro and outro music. Most of all thank you to the guests who have been willing to come on the show. Without you, well, you know.

If you haven’t listened yet, dip your toes in. I always tell potential listeners to read through the episode descriptions and find one that speaks to them. I try to make the descriptions and the quotes I pull from each episode emblematic, so you know what you are getting yourself into.

I’ve started posting photos of my guests on Instagram, follow the show there if you are in to faces.

Thank you people, next stop, 10,000.

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