Why I went off the radar
You have not heard from me for a while. Reason:
- Physically, I have just finished the term at Oxford
- Spatially, I am moving from Oxford to London (Westminster)
- I am planning to stay in SF for a month in September. Reach out if you are based in SF!
- Professionally, I am starting my internship at Credit Suisse's IBD desk (Industrials & Energy)
- Mentally, I am in a stage of exploration. I am very drawn to the futurist, tech, and intellectual crowds in the Bay Area. (Examples: Foresight Institute and Interintellect)
Overall, I think I have grown out of the Oxford scene. Oxford is now my comfort zone and I start to take things for grants, failing to see things from fresh perspectives.
I strive in foreign environments. Perhaps it has to do with my upbringing and educational background as an international student.
New Economy vs Old Economy
So what is the ideal environment for me? At the moment I am thinking about moving to San Francisco. San Francisco is part of the New Economy where:
- Spontaneity and serendipity are in the air – vibrant communities with open-minded people
- Introductions kickstart relationships – if you meet a stranger in a coffee chat and hit it off within five minutes, you will be offered to be introduced to other people with similar interests
- Talent before ageism – young talents are as respected and as desired as experienced boomers
New Economy is a network where the network effects are 2^n.
1), 2) and 3) mean that more connections are made between the nodes in this network. The more connections are made, the more weak ties there are. Weak ties are all that matters.
In comparison, London, Hong Kong, and arguably New York are part of the Old Economy where:
- Introductions are transactional – in an economy where professional services dominate, leads are valuable. If I introduce you to my friend who then becomes your client, I should charge a brokerage fee. However, gatekeepers suck value out of a network.
- Ageism before talents – this is a bit of a rant. I feel that I am not appreciated enough by people older than me. I grew up and now work in Old Economy. As a 20-year-old, I face gatekeepers who think that 'in order to talk to me, do A, B, C and follow this path.' This is frustrating for prodigies and talents in general.
Disclaimer: Similar to the concept of the Orient in the eyes of the British and Americans, I might be romanticizing San Francisco and Silicon Valley here.
I believe that talent begets talent. I recently come across the 1517 fund, a talent-focused VC fund that is set up adjacent to the Thiel Fellowship. They are fucking amazing. Ambitious young people around the world are consistently undervalued.
Ambitious young talents are also the ones that are Rebellious Intellectually Curious Hustlers (RICH).
1 - Rebellious
A rebel is a contrarian. A rebel is an upstarter. A rebel is a usurper.
Gen-Zers are especially observant of the failings of the status quo. Our eyes are sharp lasers that cut through the vulnerabilities in the remnants of traditional institutions.
2 - Intellectually Curious
Intellectually curious is not generalist thinking. Intellectual curiosity is intellectual honesty. You are curious about what is right, not who is right.
Sadly, an Oxford education undermines intellectual curiosity. The ego is the enemy. Anyone with the prestige of Oxford (or Harvard, or Stanford) will likely care about who is right, not what is right.
University education is meant to preach the radical pursuit of truth. It failed its purpose and now is at the risk of being unbundled.
The radical pursuit of truth is very formidable.
Care about what is right, not who is right
3 - Hustlers
Intuitively, we think that hustlers work hard. On the contrary, hustlers work smart.
Hustlers allocate their precious time wisely. While some hustlers are hardcore utilitarian who maximize the utility of every single action, others are merely not wasting time.
The type of hustlers I admire the most are the ones that seek out launchpads and take shortcuts.
Are you a hustler? Be honest with yourself. In your own opinion, are you wasting your time? Have you spent your time doing things you enjoy?
Hustlers own their work. Hustlers hustle for a greater purpose. If you hustle for the sake of hustling, you are a hawker.
What's the point of all this?
RICH people seek out other RICH people.
Are you working on something interesting? Reach out to me.
I also have several asks of my own.
First, I am seeking sponsorships/grants to support my blog. Specifically, I write about quirky science, trendy thoughts, and hidden connections.
Some examples of my drafts:
- The under-lit segment of anti-Enlightenment history
- Shorting startups in the 2021 bull market
- Why I, as a Chinese, learned Arabic in Jordan
- Silicon Valley's intellectual obsession with German philosophers
- Programmable biology: what is the AWS of biotech?
- Many more....in fact... 90 other drafts more!
I spent a significant amount of time on research, developing a provocative thesis, and framing my content in a way that is refreshing and novel for readers. In other words, I guarantee that you cannot find similar content elsewhere on the Internet.
This is why support from my readers is so important, especially given that this type of content is heavily intellectual and it is not at all commercial.
If you know of any grants/sponsorships/writing fellowships, please reach out to me. You can also learn more about me here
Second, the 1517 fund and the Thiel Fellowship are the two organizations that almost exclusively focus on grooming RICH Gen-Zers. If you are connected to them, I would love an intro.
(Hi 1557 Fund! If you are reading this, I have succeeded!)
Where's the Weekly Digest?
If you are still reading, you will have noticed that I have not included any news digest this week. That is right. I am taking a break from a long weekly digest, especially given the long hours in banking.
Instead, I will focus on writing standalone pieces. I am currently writing a draft that is a single review of the three books on Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Instagram.
I will still occasionally send out a Weekly Digest though!
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