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On Buying a Wagon. The Everything Token. Read Write Own. A Beautiful Mind.

Luna // 10 Months // On Buying a Wagon

Since Luna was born, she’s been a free spirit, unhappy to be confined in any way. I remember standing over her hospital crib just hours after her birth, trying in vain to tightly swaddle her newborn body. With unexpected strength she immediately broke free of the swaddle, a cherubic smile spreading across her little face as if she were Houdini escaping a straitjacket in front of an adoring audience.

Now at nearly one year old, Luna still recoils at the slightest restraint. She fusses in her highchair, squirms in her carseat, and strains against the straps of her stroller. For our family's daily neighborhood strolls, this presented a problem. How could we satisfy our little explorer's thirst for freedom while still keeping her safely contained?

We decided to buy her a wagon.

It worked! Happily standing at the front and unconfined by a seat, Luna surveyed the terrain ahead like a proud captain at the ship's bow. But emboldened by her newfound freedom, she began to creep along the wagon's sagging sides, whose walls were far shorter than the front. Tottering to the edge, she lost her footing and tumbled overboard, plunging directly towards the unforgiving concrete below. I grabbed her just in time, but it became clear that this was not quite the solution.

So the wagon was returned and upgraded for one with much higher (and well-reinforced) walls that enclosed Luna in a protective hull. At first she was suspicious of the new wagon, but it took only one ride to win her over. She holds on tight and stands tall (often gripping a little plush lion), drinking in the views of our neighborhood as it glides by.

This week brought some much needed sunshine after a week of gloom, so I hauled the wagon outside and sat it beside my chair as I worked. As I typed away on my laptop, I heard Luna's happy babbling as she played contentedly inside her wagon, carrying on a one-sided conversation while waving a tiny plastic dolphin in the air.

The wagon feels like the perfect mix of protection without confinement, and I imagine this won’t be the last time I try to understand that delicate balance. We all crave the ability to explore and wander as we wish. Yet at the same time, we benefit from barriers and boundaries that provide structure, focus, protection. Too much freedom, and we can end up adrift, uncertain of our path or purpose. Too much rigidity and we feel trapped, confined, stifled. The trick is finding that sacred place in the middle where we have just enough room to stretch and grow.

How might I set boundaries for Luna as she gets older? How might I create opportunities for independence while still keeping her safe from harm? How might I encourage creativity and curiosity without allowing chaos?

I do not know.

Watching Luna stand in her little wagon reminds me that we all need dependable structures to hold us up as we voyage through life. The wagon allows Luna to practice two very different kinds of balance. And from my seat beside her, I'm learning the same delicate dance. Learning when she needs my hand, and when she just needs me to watch. When to rein her in, and when to give her roam.

Someday she will outgrow her wagon, and step out into the world on her own two feet. But for now, she’ll be inside safely.

What I Read

Two great books on the future of the internet came out this week: The Everything Token and Read Write Own.

As I described it to one person on Warpcast, you should read the former if you want to think about the longterm future of crypto and the world, and you should read the latter if you want to think about the immediate future of NFTs and tokens.

They work as two sides of the same coin, and though I initially thought I might be a bit fatigued from reading them back to back, it felt like one narrative told from multiple perspectives. Some of the ideas in The Everything Token made me start thinking more seriously about what the coffee shop needs in terms of onchain loyalty, and Read Write Own sparked so many ideas that I plan on going back through the book and writing up my thoughts more deeply.

Both books are decidedly optimistic about the potential for this technology to reshape industries in a creator-friendly direction, but neither shies away from the reality of the problems that exist today or the long road ahead in order for it to become something that billions of people use every day. There's plenty of valid skepticism to be had about crypto, but cynicism and dismissal are dead ends. The only way forward is open dialogue combined with creative experimentation, and these books strengthened my conviction that despite the ever-present volatility, there’s so much more to do.

What I Watched

I was lost in books this week, but I managed to get in one movie: A Beautiful Mind.

Is it cringe to enjoy an early 2000s biopic that's clearly Oscar bait? Whatever, I liked it!

Based on the real-life story of mathematician John Nash, it starts his story as an ambitious graduate student at Princeton in the 1940s, drawing you into his way of seeing things, complete with the arrogance and social awkwardness typical of iconic thinkers. But as Nash achieves success, signs emerge that all is not right in his world.

I’d place this movie in the same category as Meet Joe Black: 90s epics which somehow manage to feel warm and charming even when dealing with brutal concepts. Do they make movies like this anymore? It feels like there’s a more clear bifurcation between ‘this is a serious movie with a grim tone’ and ‘this can be watched by families together in a living room’.

If you have recommendations for movies that strike this tonal balance (especially ones made more recently) please send them my way.

That's all for now,

From the present moment,

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