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The Chomp #066: We Back!

The Chomp
The Chomp #066: We Back!
By Cody McCauley  • Issue #66 • View online
Hey Everyone 👋 ,
It. Has. Been. A. Minute! Over seven months, to be exact, since I last sent something out. Once you fall off the wagon, it’s not easy to get back on…but here I am trying, again (with no promises that I’ll succeed).
With constraints on time serving as the root cause for my extended writing ‘sabbatical’, I’m going to switch up the format of the newsletter going forward. I’ll primarily curate the best of what I’ve read over the past week or so + share a few of my favorite highlights/thoughts from each piece. I’ll supplement that from time to time with my own musings on technology and the world as well.
With that, let’s dive into 2022.

Chum Bucket
Packy’s most recent essay on Web3 as a simulation
  • “Every time a new NFT project comes together and falls apart, every time people ape into a seemingly worthless meme, and every time a DAO makes a subtle innovation in an attempt to circumvent some constraint, the whole system evolves and it produces new tools and tricks that entrepreneurs and policymakers can use to attempt to solve large, thorny problems, both digital and physical.”
  • “The fact that these are high-price but ultimately low-stakes (the world won’t end if the Bored Ape Yacht Club disappeared) projects is a feature, not a bug. These projects combine internet iteration speed with real-world-huge sums of money to let humanity speed-run simulations on group coordination, all while picking up specific tools to help address hard problems.”
  • “Web3 is a complexity economics simulation played out with real human agents and real money.”
Noah Smith’s interview with Ryan Peterson on the supply chain crunch, modern logistics, and his now-famous trip around the Port of Long Beach
  • “The globalized supply chain and shipping containers have brought down the cost of shipping goods and manufacturing by close to 90% over the last 50 years. If we lose that, that is a huge source of economic prosperity that’s going to go away, and it won’t be good for the U.S. economy, brands or consumers.”
  • “Consumers are just buying more stuff than ever and our infrastructure, frankly, isn’t ready for it. It’s getting held back by dilapidated port infrastructure, by congestion, non-automated ports, and bad rail connections to the ports. We’re just recognizing the pain of 20 years of not investing in our infrastructure. And we’re feeling all that pain in one year right now.”
  • “When the floods inevitably hit, the survivors will be those who invest in excess capacity, in strategic reserves of key capital assets, in employee trust that let them attract and retain talent. Running lean systems may seem beneficial, until the whole system fails like it did this year. We’ve removed the shock absorbers from the economy and it’s time we add them back.”
Balaji and Parag lay out their case for why the 21st century doesn’t belong to China, the United States, or Silicon Valley—it belongs to the internet
  • “Bottom line: Network proximity is now on par with physical geography, and basic geopolitical assumptions about citizenship, migration, power projection, and the use of force need to be rethought for the digital world.”
  • “When property becomes a password, all our intuitions change. Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin famously asked: “How many divisions has the Pope?” But in the age of encryption, it’s not about how many divisions a state has to defend its property. It’s about how much long division it would have to do to seize yours.”
  • “And with the rise of decentralized finance, there is now an incredible variety of financing mechanisms to allow smart people with no money to find smart people with money to build tools that allow all people to make money. And that is how Web3 may accomplish what no antitrust action or arbitrary seizure could.”
Jonathan’s unique perspective on structuring how you determine what, and whom, you believe
  • “So much of finding success, in my opinion, is being able to identify and tail the right people. And if you can develop an incredible base of knowledge or highly specialized skill in one area, you’ll have something to offer them in exchange, making the knowledge-trading process that much easier. ”
  • “When figuring out who to trust or what to believe, there are two heuristics I think we should use: track record and logic. Has the person accomplished something that suggests they know what they’re talking about, and can they articulate it in a way that is logical and rational? The most believable people are in the upper-right quadrant, and they can both logically explain their thoughts and put them into practice. Those are the people whose opinions we should value most.”
  • “It is my opinion that to most accurately (and quickly) identify the logical practitioners, we should first search for those with a proven track record—those with “skin in the game.”
Electric Capital’s Annual Web3 Developer Report that analyzed over 500K code repositories and 160M code commits
  • In 2021, 34K new developers worked on an open-source Web3 project, with 3K new developers working on web3 projects every month in Q4.
  • The web3 developer contingent is now comparable in size side-by-size to the largest US tech companies (Amazon has 36K devs). However, compared with the worldwide developer population—there are 4.3M developers in the US alone—web3 makes up just a tiny fraction. As a new technology, web3 has serious runway to grow.
  • "2,500+ developers are working on DeFi projects. Less than 1K full-time developers are responsible for over $100B in total value locked in smart contracts.”
💡 Tweet of the Week
🎵 Song of the Week
Currently Reading
Recently Read
💭 Parting Thoughts
“People are frugal in guarding their personal property; but as soon as it comes to squandering time they are most wasteful of the one thing in which it is right to be stingy.”
— Seneca
If you found something that piqued your interest this week, please send it along to a friend.
Until next time. ✌️
-CM
This newsletter is created and authored by Cody McCauley and is published and provided for informational purposes only. The information in the newsletter solely constitutes Cody’s own opinions. None of the information contained in the newsletter constitutes—or should be construed as—investment advice.
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Cody McCauley

The Chomp is a roundup of the most interesting content I've read, along with occasional musings on technology and the world. You can expect to find a mix of sub-topics including web3, tech, investing, philosophy, and culture.

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