It's Just The Sun Rising

December 31, 2021
Steven McCormack
2 mins

We've reached the end of 2021, folks. As we conclude the second (and hopefully last) year of bug-related twists and turns, it feels pretty good to sit down, take a deep breath and enjoy a well earned rest. Traditionally, I'd be knee deep in a strange mix of pork pies, chocolate and beer (plus generous lashings of antacid to manage the inevitable core meltdown). But 2021 hits a little differently. Y'see, this is the first time I can look back at a solid 12 months of musing. And on reflection, the back catalogue has captured an evolving state of mind during this rollercoaster of a year. So this time around, like a Top of The Pops Christmas Special, let's dive into each quarter and replay some classics.

Recalibrating Expectations

Q1, January-March '21: this period represented my 'dipping toe in water' phase for regular writing. I repurposed my old real estate consulting website (under the clunky banner of McCormack & Partners) and started mashing the keyboard. My initial thoughts were very inward looking, as you'll note with A Fulfilling Life and Turning Thirty Two. A welcome psychological spring clean. And a solid foundation for further thinking. It also became the new home for some intermittent pieces under previous guises, including Building Better Business, Real Estate is Broken, and Building Better Communities. At the heart of these arguments was the premise that somethin ain't right. The seeds of a potential response were then sown with Our Money is Distorting and Buzzin for Bitcoin.

Q2, April-June '21: admittedly, things all got rather rocky at this point. I was experiencing some all consuming internal conflict - you can get a hint at this pain with Friday Reflections, Volume VIII and Your Own Game. My turmoil was in fact running much deeper than those pieces suggested. I didn't quite understand it at the time - but I was collapsing under the weight of unresolved childhood trauma (note to future self - never expose young kids to hideous violence). Why this all came to a head at this particular moment shall remain a mystery. Perhaps the writing lead me here? Or cosmic intuition? Either way, the outcome was incredible. I checked into professional therapy and have never looked back.

The healing effect was almost instant, as per Writing To Build. My critical thinking also really sparked to life, as you'll see with Welcome To Nixonland, Highway To the Metaverse, Entering The Fray and Assets Are Energy. I was churning out ideas at a ferocious pace, almost like there was a (decade long) cognitive backlog to work through. The result was a sharp pivot towards digital assets. I felt I was looking in the right place, and now ready to figure this shit out.

Q3, July-September '21: this is where the real fun began. I challenged my mental faculties to make sense of Bitcoin, top to bottom. And boy did this process make me sweat, with four research pieces produced in a month (under All Things Bitcoin); What's In a Name?, Under The Hood, Incentive Structure and Layer Cake. The conclusion was laid out in Global Truth, Local Value; Bitcoin actually worked, was a dependable conduit for transaction, and a (long term) store of value.

It was a jam packed quarter, now I think about it. I also shared some personal musings with It's All Greek to Me, where I explored John Vervaeke's teachings (Awakening From the Meaning Crisis) and how they related to my own writing efforts. I realised that my writing represented a one-man enlightenment, and I was all for it. And finally, with Anthony in The Alps I recalled an incredible Grant Williams interview with Anthony Deden (from 2018), where he sets out his low time preference investing framework. The alpine setting and long duration (at 2.5 hours) makes it a surprisingly cosy Christmas treat. Yes, I really mean that.

Q4, October-December '21: the site layout was tweaked further, with a name change implemented; enter Long Curiosity. It provided much need clarity. Y'see, I am an investor at heart, and this is my platform for critical thinking and decision making; writing merely makes the internal machinations available for everyone to see. I took my Bitcoin knowledge to the next level, by building a full node (From Theory, To Practice) and playing around with the lightning network (Friday Reflections, Volume XVII). Admittedly I tasted the Kool Aid, and became a little too excited about dollar valuations from October (Uptober!) to yearend. Predictions of 6 figure fireworks simply failed to materialise. The lesson? Long term assets care little for short term emotions. Calibrate accordingly.

I also produced my favourite piece of the year, The Great Crypto Schism. This resolved a real conflict in my understanding of digital assets. You can dive into the article at your own leisure, but the gist of it is this; Bitcoin derives truth from network energy (via proof-of-work), whilst the many, many alternatives derive truth from network status (via proof-of-stake). In essence, only Bitcoin is sound money. The rest offer (potentially very valuable) utility as securities, corporate structures, title deeds...or whatever they need to be to satisfy regulators.

It's Just The Sun Rising

So what to make of all this then? There's been alot of keyboard mashing, thats for sure. At times my head has hurt, my heart has ached and my fingers have groaned. But the outcome is priceless. Long Curiosity has emerged alongside a framework for a life lived well. Without fear and within love. Writing has given me access to wonderful people. Creativity has opened me up to unique opportunity. And I'm going to spread the word as far and wide as I can.

I leave the final words of 2021 to The Beloved (from 1989);

Smiling, gliding, breathless, you're riding.
Love is just a state of mind that we leave behind.

It's just the sun rising.
It's just the sun rising.
It's shining.

Cover photo by Cristofer Maximilian on Unsplash.

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