The Decentralized Web, Podcasts, & Mineralpoasting
More technical lessons on DDS, deep dives into the decentralized web, and mineralpoasting
We had a nice week this week. I got some much needed rest post Devcon, recorded a couple of killer podcast episodes, caught up on some reading, and got to dive deep into the decentralized web for the first time in a while.
Oh - and Foundry tests are so freaking fast (:
Let’s get into it.
Devs Do Something
This week’s episode with Odysseas.eth focused on decentralized technology, smart contract design patterns, and cross chain technology. Odysseas is a protocol engineer at Nomad, and someone I’ve followed from afar for a little while now. Check it out here:
The Cook and The Chef - My Favorite Blog Post of All Time
I was reminded of this absolute gem of a blog post this week. Tim Urban tweeted about flood geologists, and I went back down the rabbit hole that is this amazing, amazing post on first principles thinking.
The design space of possible futures is quite large if you’re willing to think from first principles. You can’t do everything, but you can do almost anything if it’s within the laws of physics and you have sufficient desire.
Anki & Improving Long Term Memory
So I came across this piece from Michael Nielsen not long ago on augmenting long term memory with something called Anki. Michael makes a compelling argument in favor of improving your memory as a means of making you a better & more versatile thinker. This thread by Flo Crivello highlights many similar ideas:
I’m not totally convinced that memorization is as important as Flo and Michael argue, but I’m willing to test that hypothesis by using Anki as a means of augmenting my long term memory & learning APIs that I use often, as well as foundational concepts in computer science and math. Anki is a system which draws upon lots of literature on human memory, and promises to cement knowledge into your mind for the long term in a fraction of the time that conventional methods would take (i.e. standard regular flashcard reviews, etc).
I’ve downloaded and purchased the Anki app for MacOS and iOS, and have been putting in cards on epistemology, solidity, Superfluid’s SDKs, and computer science. I’ll let you know how it goes!
Teddy Feldman is one of those guys who you know is going to be huge 5 years from now. He’s a college student who has been making a name for himself on Twitter as an expert in hard tech and critical minerals. Following Teddy has helped me to stay mostly up to date on the EV supply chain & new developments in mineral technology. Peep this thread he did on Sunday about new developments in Lithium-Ion battery production in North America. The billions we’re spending on new battery production facilities has me feeling more optimistic about our prospects in the coming war for electrification supply chains (but not too much… I also HIGHLY recommend this piece from Ryan McEntush for further context).
Mad shoutout to Lex Fridman for going the distance on this one. I particularly enjoyed the second half of the episode on AI/VR, crypto, and Balaji’s advice for young people. Some high level notes from me:
Crypto is going to enable the concept of digital property rights, and it’s also going to give the rest of the world a level playing field on which citizens from outside the US, China, and Europe can compete. Balaji is a hyper bull on India, but my anecdotal experience tells me he’s onto something (i.e. I’ve seen 15 y/o Indian hackers beat out FAANG engineers for hackathon prizes).
Advice for young people: become a full stack engineer and full stack influencer. And don’t become an influencer for the fame, become one for the raw power that a media following gives you. Treat yourself like a one person media company, because you are one. Individuals can compete with institutions in the game of media, and if you don’t tell your own story, someone might tell it for you.
Danny Freakin’ Miranda
So Danny is someone whom I’ve followed & loosely interacted with on Twitter for a long time. He’s built a podcast completely out in the open, and I’ve watched it grow on Twitter from inception to tens of thousands of downloads per month. Honestly, he’s become an inspiration. Why is that? Because he’s made me realize what kind of latent potential I probably have. If I go as hard as he does, for as long as he does - what could I do?
I’ve actually always loved podcasts & the art of conversation. I started a little pod back in 2020 as an experiment, and ended up abandoning it because I didn’t feel ready. But after watching Danny’s ride up, I think that might have been bullshit. I had put out 12 episodes when I put it on (indefinite) pause.
Danny’s closing in on 300 over the last ~2ish years.
Anyways, things have gone relatively well for me over the past couple of years, and I’m getting back into the podcasting & content game. As I’ve done so, Danny’s newsletter has been a fascinating behind the scenes deep dive as he builds his audience. I’d encourage aspiring creators to give it a look.
We are on Farcaster folks. Give me a follow @flamini.
It seems like a high signal platform so far, especially for crypto natives.
I spent quite a bit of time this weekend playing with Foundry. It’s wicked fast when compared to testing smart contracts in Hardhat or Truffle with JS/TS. I also really liked writing tests in solidity. It felt like the distance between creating logic & testing that logic was cut in half when compared with those other frameworks as well.
The foundry codebase has a great reputation, and the community has done a really amazing job with it. I’m excited to keep using it, and to carry some of the developer experience lessons into my day to day work
The Decentralized Internet
I put out some tweets on Sunday that sparked some conversation.
These were inspired by about 3 hours worth of Sunday afternoon reading about IPFS. It all started as I was messing around with some NFT contracts this weekend and going back through the IPFS docs. I stumbled back into the Proto School Tutorials on IPFS and Filecoin, and reflected on some of the new resources that have popped up since the first time I saw those docs. To give you some perspective, I first got really interested in crypto back in 2020 when I learned about Bitcoin, Ethereum. But a few months into that journey, I was exposed to things like lib p2p and IPFS, and it got me excited by the blockchain’s potential for the internet itself. Fast forward 2.5 years later, and we have Lens, Farcaster, NFT.Storage, Pinata, the Filecoin VM and more.
As I mentioned earlier, I also had an excellent conversation on Devs Do Something this past week with Odysseas.eth, a champion and builder of decentralized systems. Odyesseas Urbit-pilled me, and we talked through the entirety of what he calls the Sovereign Stack: an emerging category of tools which will enable the first generation of Sovereign Individuals to thrive. Starlink, Urbit, Ledger, Ethereum - these things are enabling people around the world to access information, finance, and work from legitimately anywhere.
All of this has me even more convinced that we are witnessing the emergence of an entirely new stack upon which we will build the next iteration of the internet. As I said in the above tweet - the internet is so young. There is still time to re-think some of the mental models upon which it has been built. Why can’t we own digital content, or at least re-define our relationships with those who have owned it previously? Why should files be accessed by location instead of by a unique content identifier in the case of IPFS? Why does a small cabal of companies have to own the social graph?
People are building these alternatives, and that’s what makes me excited.
If you’re a developer, consider publishing content on Arweave and/or IPFS. Go contribute to front ends for Lens. Send Dan Romero a DM to get on Farcaster. Help us bootstrap the next generation of the internet.
Just please don’t call it web3 (:
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