The Birth of a Prince
A Dad’s perspective on labor & delivery, plus other lifestyle topics.
Our son was born on April 29th at 6:41 PM EST. There is nothing quite comparable to the first cries you hear after a baby’s entrance to the world. Everyone cheered. Especially my wife, despite utter exhaustion from 30+ hours of labor.
The overall experience convinced me that the labor and delivery process could benefit from reform. Read the latest piece here for our story. It highlights some of the pain points from arriving at the hospital to breastfeeding our hungry little prince. Of course, this is Dad’s perspective — all the credit goes to Mom for bringing this beautiful life into the world. You can also find the story on Medium.
With a newborn, it is a little more difficult to keep up the content creation, but we will try to publish this newsletter weekly, typically on Sunday nights or Monday mornings. We will highlight (hopefully) interesting lifestyle topical items. These are areas that reflect aspirational attitudes, ways of life (including Dad life!), values, and world views. They will often be communicated via stories, both non-fiction and fiction, that focus on travel, food, culture, finance, and law & politics.
Below are a couple relevant topics that jumped out over the past few days.
Elon Musk’s Bitcoin U-Turn
You may have heard about Musk’s now infamous tweet:
The sudden u-turn on his Bitcoin advocacy reeks of self-promotion and attention seeking headlines. My advice — focus on what Musk does with the Bitcoins he already owns. There are no reports he has sold any of the $1.5 billion in Bitcoin that Tesla reported in a quarterly SEC filing in February.
Whether the points Musk made were attention seeking or not, the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining is a real concern. Some argue it will incentivize use of renewable energy, but that remains to be seen. Anyone trying to live a carbon neutral lifestyle should think twice before transacting in Bitcoin. Every transaction requires “mining”, which involves computers solving complicated math problems to record transactions on the blockchain and receive Bitcoin as a reward. This is an energy-intensive process to say the least. As one professor put it, the amount of electricity used to mine bitcoin “has historically been more than [electricity used by] entire countries, like Ireland.”
This inherent characteristic of the Bitcoin asset is at odds with a growing lifestyle trend in finance — ESG Investing. The acronym stands for “Environmental, Social and Governance.” It refers to an investment strategy that focuses on companies that strive to make the world a better place. This lifestyle trend in global markets represents a growing shift from pure efficient markets theorizers who generally accept that market forces will price assets appropriately, to moral and value-driven investing less focused on economic fundamentals. It’s a topic we will explore and debate further in future newsletters and articles.
So while Musk may be broadcasting his crypto and Bitcoin perspective largely for the headlines, he has highlighted an issue that will challenge the long term viability of cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin in particular.
No More Fish In the Sea
Do you like seafood? As my diet has evolved from meat to vegetarian centric, seafood has become more of a staple. Sushi in particular has always been a personal favorite. Few foods water my mouth more than a bowl of fresh Chirashi.
All of that was called into question, however, after watching two ocean-focused documentaries: Seaspiracy and My Octopus Teacher. The latter recently won an Oscar for Best Documentary. Both films explore environmental and human threats to our oceans, while celebrating the beauty and importance of the sea. While Seaspiracy has been accused of hyperbolic reporting and linkages that don’t exist, it does seem to get right the present risk that overfishing poses to marine life. The death of dolphins in Japan is especially alarming.
I recommend watching both documentaries, which should help inform your lifestyle choices the next time you complete your grocery list. I personally will not be giving up on seafood entirely, but Seaspiracy in particular has convinced me to reduce my intake. We only have one planet and a handful of oceans to enjoy. We have to take care of them if we want to do so. Vote with your dollar.
Originally published at https://sebastiansstone.substack.com.