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Fiat Life

Think for yourself, act for yourself.

If you’ve spent anytime learning about Bitcoin then you’ve learned at least a little more about fiat currencies than you used to know. The very short and simplistic definition is that sovereign currencies like the US dollar are being debased by a combination of Federal Reserve stimulative policies and inflation. We lose purchasing power over time. If price inflation averages 3% per year then costs will be 50% higher 15 years from now than they are today. Price inflation has not run at 3% for a very long time but you get the idea.

Bitcoin is a potential solution to this issue due to the fixed supply. There’s no one to debase it, it could be thought of as a hard currency. Of course, the whole thing with Bitcoin might unravel but the pro-Bitcoin contingent is very much on board with the idea that the crypto protects against debasement of fiat currencies like the USD.

In a related concept, journalist and diet expert Nina Teichholz wrote a book called Fiat Nutrition. I have not read the book yet but knowing some of Nina’s beliefs, it would appear that she is drawing a parallel between fiat currencies (vulnerable to debasement) and the standard American diet which typically has way too much sneaky sugar via carbohydrates and way too much seed oil consumption—here think vegetable oils, anything made from soy and so on.

Research the diet stuff and draw your own conclusion but the conclusion I drew for myself is that carbs and seed oils, everything that started being recommended to us by the FDA (a government agency, making the fiat connection sort of) about 40 years has made us very sick requiring a lot of medications to manage these chronic maladies that turns out are very reversible with changes in habits. I don’t have it in me to draw sinister conclusions about motivations but at the very least, “they” were very wrong about all of it, telling us what to eat, grains and fruit (sorry but most fruit is very high in sugar) and what not to eat vilifying meat, eggs and butter. This was bad advice.

Many times before I have quoted Mark Baker about knowing when to be orthogonal to society. I’m a registered Libertarian but I find there is less and less I agree with but preventing and solving my own problems is very high up on my priority list and I associate that idea with Libertarian thinking.

A lot of times society or the government tries to solve peoples’ problems and does so in a way that appears to be wildly inefficient. There might be things we don’t understand but waiting for someone else, like the government, to solve my problem is unacceptable.

Just about every aspect of how the pandemic was handled seemed misguided. Again, I assume incompetence not sinister intent. I’ve said before that we bought a few extra weeks’ worth of food before the shortages happened because it seemed like people would panic and do so kind of late. This is human nature which was reinforced more recently when people filled up garbage bags with gasoline, I don’t even remember what that scare was about.

In terms of preventing your own problems with the virus, if you do a little research you will find that Vitamin D is very important and many of us are deficient. You will also find that many of us are deficient in zinc. If you’re not feeling well taking two or three Vitamin Cs can be a difference maker. I feel lucky to have figured out the metabolic stuff a few years before the pandemic but we all learned that people who are overweight and have Type 2 Diabetes were more vulnerable to bad outcomes with the virus. Making productive habit changes like less carb consumption can have amazing effects in just a few days, it can reduce visceral fat and reduce A1C in less than a week, getting to healthy levels shortly thereafter. Do your own research, follow me on Twitter and you’ll see the content I see. The above, the changes I am talking about is how you avoid fiat nutrition and prevent your own problem of managing a chronic malady with pills for the rest of your life. I am not talking about the vaccine, getting it or not. People should do their own research before getting it and then stay curious after getting it to understand how things evolve. The vaccine is not perfect and there are things that we don’t know but need to find out like are we contagious if we test positive after getting jabbed. It seems like there are very few people getting sick with the virus after getting jabbed but that number is not zero. Do not assume complete competence for the vaccines or how Covid evolves from here. We have a responsibility to ourselves and our family to follow through on how this evolves as people who got vaccinated and as people who did not.

Where I live, we have a potential problem of wildland fires. The wrong type of fire is not preventable of course but for less than $1000 we almost have a fire department on our property. We have a 2500 gallon tank, 300 ft of hose, a nozzle and tools for digging. I also have a little training about what to do when there’s a fire. Last Saturday we had a lightning cause fire on our hill, on the parcel next to us. I was there within 10 minutes of the lightning crack, the fire was tiny and I was able to knock it down with an Indian Pack (a backpack that hold 5 gallons of water). The rest of the crew got there a few minutes later and we managed it like a regular incident. Fires are really the only natural threat here and I’ve done a fair bit to prevent having a problem. Where you live, what natural threats are there? What steps can you take now to mitigate the consequences of that threat? Taking those steps, whatever they are, potentially prevents your problem. A simple example is not waiting until the hurricane starts to go to Home Depot for plywood.

Carrying the fiat nutrition parallel forward to a fiat life. I realized in the 90’s that I had to figure out how to ditch a daily commute. Spending an hour or two in traffic seems like a colossal waste of time and time is one of the most precious things we have. For the vast majority of the 12 years I commuted, my day on the trading desk started at 5:30am and ended at 2pm. However bad my commute was, it could have been much worse. To me, commuting is fiat. That is my priority, I would not expect a lot of people to have that priority but I know I am not alone on this.

Setting my own schedule is another personal priority for avoiding a fiat life. Again, you should have your own priorities, hopefully you know what your priorities are and if you’re not there yet, hopefully you’re on a path to get there.

For how I think about things, avoiding the standard American diet, taking steps early to prevent problems and owning my own time are how I am orthogonal to society (an idea I’ve talked about before) or how I avoid a fiat life (a new idea to me).