Newsletter 5
2 min read

Newsletter 5

Personal Update:

We’re still on the van trip moving east. Last week we went from the Adirondacks to the hills of New Hampshire.

Interesting Things:

#Trust: In many national and state parks you are required to pay a use fee each day. This payment usually requires you to place cash in an envelop with your car information in a drop box. I always wonder if how are these payments are tracked and what is preventing the host or ranger from just taking the cash? I'd like to be able to plug in my ticket number and confirm that my $10 or whatever was added the revenues of the park agency, but a quick internet search did not give any answers. Maybe this requires a FOIA request to see if my ticket number was recorded as collected.

#Ownership: Why are food co-ops better than grocery stores? An observation I’ve had as I travel across the states is the food coops are much better stocked, cleaner and have friendlier staff than chain grocery stores. I suspect this outcome has to do with the ownership model of the business. In co-ops, more people have a stake in the success of the store. In chain stores employees get a wage and the rewards for running a good store go to shareholders. This begs a second question. If co-ops result in a better experience why are they not more successful nationally?

#HomeDesign: Nelson Mandela grew up in a kraal (dispersed homestead) in South Africa. It consisted of three huts surrounded by a stick fence. One hut was for cooking, one was for sleeping and one for supplies. I found this interesting because I hadn't heard of homes where their kitchen and sleeping quarters where different buildings but it could make sense if you're living with extended families and share the cooking responsibilities.

#OpenSource: Given how common it is for software tools to be open source I expected to find many open source home designs and tools. However I’ve only been able to find only a handful of project designs. One interesting resource I found this week is the Open Building Institute which provides a little library of modular wall and roof panels can be used in Sweet Home 3D to design a home. It doesn’t quite give a shopping list and instructions for construction but it’s in the right direction.

#AmericanDebt: Foreign countries have only purchased 5% of the US debt issued this year. The Federal Reserve has purchased 2/3 of this debt to keep interest levels low.

Look at that, I didn't mention Bitcoin once.


The average price for a gallon of gas will be above $4 by June 2022. This is because the investment in drilling oil has quickly dropped to nearly nothing. This will result in tight supplies as the existing wells taper and demand ramps back to normal after the COVID.

I keep a record of my predictions here.

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