you must be weary from all that travel. would you like some chai while you're here? - engineer, founder, data science trell, gsoc '18 cloud-cv.


the pyramid of freedom

First of all, I got to start by saying that edibles are awesome, and that is proof that there is indeed hope for humanity! If I were a billionaire with malicious intent, I'd just mass-produce psychedelics and mix it with the water supply of a city and then play utopian content on TV. We're living at a time of great decentralization. The decentralization of technology as well as the decentralization of wealth. Wealth to free yourself from any money problems that is at our doorstep if you can devote a couple of years to work on it. The keyword is "devote" because it is not going to be easy.

What is this pyramid? This pyramid is how I look at my finances. Gone are the days when you slave away at your work for 20 years just to barely have money for other big things but in that 20 years, you'd be having back problems from your posture being bad from all these years of slaving away. Google's L5 engineers and above gets paid $353,000. L8 engineers get paid over a million dollars! But of course, this is in the Bay area but the point I'm trying to make is COVID created opportunities that decentralized money. Web3 engineers, where people perceive you as an anime character are so in demand that they get paid over $300,000. This is definitely my skewed view as an engineer but I'm sure if I keep digging similar patterns will start materializing in all domains if not on the scale of tech. It's not being written about because it's evolving and changing too quick, people are scrambling, and there are no maps. You need to get in and ask around the dark corners of the internet. You might find a sage there to guide you to the gold.

We all want to fuck around and do things that are absurd. Spend your time reading about occultism or trying out different varieties of chai, or consuming psychedelics but if you start fucking around now, you will not have the cash to pay the medical bills from a broken back, take care of your mental health after your psychedelic experiments go wrong, or to look after your parents during their fragile age if you're very middle-class like me. You also would be without influence in a world that's driven by influence unless you plan on being ascetic and abstaining from the pleasures of the world. Even worse, you get married, settle down and takes 2 weeks off the entire year for yourself?!?! Then it's over for you. No, thank you. I'll skip this and do the hard work.

Today, this is not limited to the west, it's available for everyone, in every corner of the world. The only two questions you need to ask yourself is 1) Do you have the grit and perseverance to execute on it? 2) Are you patient and ready to be uncomfortable? Because you're making your own map now. That's the only way. You're going to wear the hat of an explorer. There will be dragons you encounter that no one warned you about. You might be the one to mark it for others who might follow your path.

This is the pyramid.

First of all, I drew and coloured that pyramid myself. Look how beautiful it is. I've chosen the colours based on earth, trees and the sky. Wow, I'm just like Leonardo Di Caprio, the infamous painter. This is how we can dissect each part of the pyramid.

Short-term Salary

This is the salary you use to buy groceries, pay your rent, pay for your internet and electronics. It makes sure that you're in a space where you're not starving. People around you are not starving. This is the "day job". Now comes the tricky part. You need to build on top of this. How are you taking your salary? Can you free up the majority of your time so you can work and learn things on your side? The best option is if you have a remote job and you work 6 hours a day. Awesome, no more commute! Can you save that energetic 6 hours of your day to work on things that are in the realm of interest but have the chance of multiplying your wealth? As time goes on, can you build up the value to free up most of your time? If this step is done right and with a bit of luck, you could even skip the next part and go straight to the top of the pyramid.

Even if you come from a wealthy family, it is highly recommended you take a salary. Those who control the inflow of money essentially control you and your actions. You're skilled enough to earn money to temporarily sustain yourself. The only problem is that with this method, you pretty much have to work your entire life to get by, to make ends meet.

That's why we invest in learning in the free time that you freed up for yourself by using your ingenuity. Learn what needs to be learned to work on the second option on the pyramid.

Long-term Freedom

I've listed the things on the pyramid. Imagine you come from old money. Then you're absolutely wasting time reading this. If you're not, you're good. Long-term freedom means with the amount of wealth you amassed, you never have to work another day of your life. It's essentially secured. You don't have to worry about your medical bills, or your dependent's medical bills if they get sick. You pretty much secured all your time for yourself and it doesn't belong to anyone.

Your wealth is your wealth. Hope it's all diversified if fiat does indeed go down as the crypto-bros says. You can travel with this money if you want. You can fuck around with this money if you want, and it won't run out. Hopefully, you're earning good interest in it too.

Congratulations, you're free from the bounds of capitalism.

Your Legacy

Now, this is what you really want to do. This is the thing you dreamed of when you were a young child or a grown child. The thing that keeps you at night. Sometimes you need to think about what you really want to do if you're not working, or building. Meditate? Just paint? Build cathedrals? Heck, build companies, even? Be a mad scientist? Watch movies all day? Heck, I don't know, there is so much interesting stuff out there to do, find what works for you, make your own map for yourself.

The thing is that most people cannot get to this point but they linger in the games within the base of the pyramid. You spend your whole life working a job. You spend your whole life gaming capitalism. Like hungry ghosts that lost their paths somewhere along the way.

It's a pyramid at a glance but it's really a maze. Once you beat one part of the maze, there's another one. Easy to get lost. You might even decide that you don't wanna go to the other end and you're good with setting within a part of the maze, and that's okay too.

Well, it's a hard journey and I'm only on the first step. I hope that I do not get stuck in the games down under.

There really is no failure in exploration. Your failure would really be a map to where there was a dragon for people who come after you so they can avoid the dragon. If you strike rich, it could be the map to salvation for someone else. Isn't it all win-win? We've barely scratched the surface with this thing called the internet. It is a noble path if you even set out on the journey. Salvation lies within and within it.

If you're interested in learning more about freeing yourself, the two resources I'd recommend are The Four-Hour Work Week and How to Drop Out.

a. s.