Money Can Buy Happiness
Money, as a vehicle to solve problems, relieve stress, and improve quality of life, on the whole, gets bad press.
Numerous studies are showing that earning anything above a fairly good wage (I think it was around £70k) will not improve your life satisfaction.
I think the problem isn’t that extra money can’t improve our life satisfaction, it’s just that we spend it on the wrong things.
This week I wrote an article on areas of my life where I’ve noticed that throwing money at a problem can, at least help, that problem go away.
I then went through an exercise where I tried to identify what ‘peak money’ would look like for me, i.e at what number would earning any extra have a negligible impact on life satisfaction.
I think it’s important that we all have some kind of financial target in mind, otherwise, we end up optimising for the wrong things. I found out that I need significantly less cash than I initially thought to live my ‘best life’.
I hope this article gives you some perspective on your financial goals. I’d be really interested if you find out if you took anything from it, just reply to this email!
Is Bitcoin Killing Polar Bears?
I’ve been heavily investing in cryptocurrencies recently. The motivation behind this is my firm belief that a fully decentralised world, where the individual has more power, and nation governments far less power, would generally be a good thing for social mobility, life satisfaction and distribution of wealth.
… there’s an inconvenient truth at the heart of the crypto project: Blockchains are computationally intensive, which can translate to tremendous energy consumption. This is particularly true of bitcoin, whose transactions are verified by “miners” running massive banks of powerful computers around the clock in a competitive process.
Estimates of bitcoin’s total carbon footprint vary widely, but they’re all shockingly high. Alex DeVries’ “Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index” equates its energy consumption to that of the entire nation of Chile
, and its carbon footprint to that of Slovakia. That’s a small fraction of the impact of sources such as cars and agriculture, of course. But it’s comparable to that of all other data centers in the world
. And the greater concern is that, as cryptocurrencies boom in price and popularity, their environmental impact could expand accordingly. Among the most dire predictions was a 2018 paper in Nature Climate Change
that estimated bitcoin alone could produce enough emissions to raise global temperatures by 2 degrees Celsius
Of course, there are always two sides to every story. This research study
points out that blockchains aren’t inherently hugely energy-intensive, it’s just that cryptos such as bitcoin are based on very old technology that was not built to optimise for energy consumption.
I still need more time to get my head around this complex issue, but the rational optimist in me believes that blockchain is too powerful a technology, and we will find an answer to process transactions through the blockchain in a more environmentally friendly way, we just need to build new technologies with this consideration front and centre.