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November 12, 2017 at 08:15PM
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Artists Re:Thinking the Blockchain

Artists Re:Thinking the Blockchain, edited by Ruth Catlow, Marc Garrett, Nathan Jones and Sam Skinner.

On amazon USA and UK.

Publisher Liverpool University Press writes: The blockchain is widely heralded as the new internet – another dimension in an ever-faster, ever-more-powerful interlocking of ideas, actions and values. Principally the blockchain is a ledger distributed across a large array of machines that enables digital ownership and exchange without a central administering body. Within the arts it has profound implications as both a means of organising and distributing material, and as a new subject and medium for artistic exploration. This landmark publication brings together a diverse array of artists and researchers engaged with the blockchain, unpacking, critiquing and marking the arrival of it on the cultural landscape for a broad readership across the arts and humanities.

Pete Gomez, The Blockchain: Change Everything Forever, 2016. A Furtherfield film, in collaboration with Digital Catapult

Blockchain! The word i tried my very best to ignore for as long as i could. Its mechanisms, implementations and logic sounded all too specialised, abstract and abstruse to me.

It’s only about a year ago and with the release of Pete Gomez‘s film The Blockchain: Change Everything Forever (a great crash-course in blockchain’s potentials and ideology) that i realized two things: 1. you don’t need a degree in engineering to understand the basics of the blockchain and 2. the potential of the blockchain should be made more visible and debated more openly in society.

A few months later, Furtherfield featured the film in its New World Order exhibition. I didn’t get a chance to visit the show but a look at the programme online suggested that art is an efficient medium when it comes to illustrating, demythifying, debating and subverting the blockchain and its many promises. Besides, as Nathan Jones & Sam Skinner explained in their preface to the book:

There is a curious equivalence between art’s speculative abilities, to play with fact, fiction, and abstraction, and the blockchain’s own chimeric character. Both art and the blockchain grapple with the instability of authorship and authenticity.

Artists Re:Thinking the Blockchain follows on the footsteps of Furtherfield‘s pioneering exhibition but although it explores what arts can bring to the evolution of the blockchain and vice versa, the book also extends beyond the artistic and dissects the topic from every humanist angle.

The texts written by artists, researchers, writers, curators and designers range from essays to discussion of art projects to works of fiction. A quick and incomplete list of the chapters i enjoyed the most should give you a taste of what’s inside the book:

Unsurprisingly, my favourite chapters presented artworks based on blockchain technology. I’ve been particularly impressed with terra0 and Bittercoin:

Paul Seidler, Paul Kolling & Max Hampshire, Terra0, 2016-ongoing

Terra0 is a self-owning augmented forest, a prototype that aims to sell licenses to log its own trees through automated processes, smart contracts, and blockchain technology. With this system the forest is in the position to accumulates capital, buy more ground and therefore expand.

Martín Nadal & César Escudero Andaluz, Bittercoin, 2016

Martín Nadal & César Escudero Andaluz, Bittercoin, 2016

Bittercoin‘s ambition is to be “the worst miner ever”. This fully functional miner connects to the blockchain but works so slowly that it extends the time needed to produce bitcoins to almost an eternity. Paper accumulates around the machine making visible the amount of calculation required as well as the natural resources wasted in the process.

In the “documentation” section, the unexpected hit for me was Pablo Velasco‘s report of a role-playing workshop he organised during the MoneyLab #3 Failing Better conference in 2016. Each workshop participant was assigned a “cat-invested persona”. Their mission was then to network their way into a profitable enterprise for themselves, the cat community, and the hosting institution. If that sounds absurd it is because it is indeed totally absurd but the results of the experiment also demonstrated the power of fiction when it comes to grappling with the subtleties of ethics, finance and politics.

I also enjoyed Ben Vickers and Ruth Catlow’s Your DAO work booklet which offers a step-by-step guide to develop Decentralized Autonomous Organizations and bring humans, animals, data and organisations “closer together through code.” The templates they break down come with names as evocative as Benevolent Dictator Contract, Bonus Contract or Self-Destruction Contracts.

Simon Denny, Blockchain Future State, Fintech Gamer Case Mod Deal Toy: Augur x Ethereum, 2016. Photo via

The conversations between artists and researchers were particularly compelling. Sam Skinner interviewed Simon Denny, Elli Kuruş talked with Dr. Lysander Godord about pre-chain mechanisms and Marc Garrett interviewed Holly Herndon & Mat Dryhurst.

Max Dovey‘s essay Love on the Block uses the example of Bitcoin marriages to illustrate a growing desire to apply encryption, cryptography and the Blockchain database to contractual agreements. The practice also suggests a greater trust in (and devotion to) blockchain technology than in conventional religious and civic infrastructures.

I also found that Rachel O’Dwyer‘s piece on “how blockchains are transforming the economy of cultural goods” illuminated quite eloquently the type of new business models that might benefit artists working with digital technologies.

Artists Re:Thinking the Blockchain adroitly balances promises, dilemmas and pitfalls of the blockchain, laying the groundwork for a discussion about the technology and the many ways it might radically change the way we understand, produce and distribute culture.

The book illustrates, often with poetry and vigour, how much has been achieved thus far by blockchain developers, advocates and users. It also makes clear that there is still a lot to invent, debate and overcome and that’s when you realize that Artists Re:Thinking the Blockchain comes with an urgent message: as with the early days of the WWW, we are given the opportunity to develop our own instruments and conditions for cultural production. Let’s not abandon them in the hands of corporations, Silicon Valley start-ups and other actors of neoliberalism!

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I Don’t Want To Be The Richest Man In The Graveyard

money legacy

[Hey guys! Got a great guest post for you to marinate on, courtesy of a new favorite blogger of mine, Tim from Fascinating guy, and a helluva reminder of why we’re REALLY chasing after all this money in our lives…. Hope it gets you to stop and think for a bit!]


Backstory on Tim: An entrepreneur and self-made Korean American immigrant, Tim came here from Budapest, Hungary at the age of 18 with literally only $500 in his pocket. By the age of 31 he had became a self-made millionaire. He’s currently a VP at a privately-owned mid-sized company, and has given away over $20,000 in cash and products on his personal blog with more slated to come. One of his many goals is to give away millions of dollars a year to aspiring entrepreneurs and to those in need.

At My Core, I’m Super Frugal

You wouldn’t have thought this going off of the amount of giveaways I do, but the fact is, I’m frugal.

I guess some of it’s psychological baggage from growing up in a missionary/pastor household, because we were relatively poor. I remember growing up always being cognizant that the clothes on our back and the food on our plates were made possible through other peoples’ donations.

I remember when I found out, sometime in high school, that my parents brought in about $1,500 a month feeling so relieved!

Granted, the standard of living in Hungary is a lot lower than here in California where my wife, my kid, and I reside today, but that’s why I’m careful to point out that we were “relatively” poor. Not poverty. But not anywhere close to even lower middle class by any stretch of the imagination. Especially when compared to the median household income in a developed country like the USA.

Case in point – I remember my first retail experience was in college, when I bought some new clothes at a local Ross. I thought it was such a big deal back then!

Money Is Not The End Goal

As I’ve mentioned, at the crux of my being, I am hardcore frugal.

But I’ve been actively trying to bust out of that mentality.


To put it simply, it’s because I don’t want to be the richest man in the graveyard.

When we, as a household, hit millionaire status earlier this year, I thought there would be trumpet fanfare, multi-colored skittles shooting out of both ends of a rainbow, and leprechauns holding hands dancing in a circle.

Come to find out, it’s pretty meh. That’s how I felt. Meh.

Nothing changed.

No fanfare, no rainbows, no leprechauns. In that moment, I had a bit of an emotional breakdown. You’d think I’d be happy, because becoming a millionaire was a long-held goal and dream of mine. I thought I would feel fantastic. But instead, I felt like a “barely-millionaire.” A short dip in the markets would’ve brought us hurtling back down to non-millionaire status.

Now that I think about it, it was actually more anxiety-inducing than when were at $900K.

Odd right?

Anyways, I started reflecting more on what it meant to have wealth. Like, what’s the end goal? To have $2 million? What then? To have $3 million? And would I feel the same way every time I hit those milestones?

Was money truly the end goal?

How Much Time Do I Have Left?

Here’s something that won’t happen:

Being 90, lying in bed, happy as a plum that I have one more zero at the end of my net worth than the previous year.

Does that sound realistic? Chances are statistically higher that I’ll probably have dementia, be bed-bound, and will be eating pre-digested liquefied food out of a straw while the nurse washes my nether regions because I can’t do it myself.

Okay, that was a bit morbid, but let me ask you something: is it in any way false?

Isn’t that just the reality of life?

We as human beings live through a total of about 60 to 80 Christmases. That’s it! And at my current age, I only have about 30 to 50 more Christmases left to go, barring a huge medical and/or technological breakthrough that greatly extends our lives.

So Again, If Not Money, Then What?

And keep in mind, it’s not that money is inherently evil or bad. I see it strictly as a resource. Like salt (back in the day soldiers used to get paid in salt: hence the saying “worth one’s salt”).

At the end of the day, when I’m in my coffin being lowered down into my grave: all the money in my bank account, my IRA’s, my 401K’s, my taxable accounts – they’ll all mean nothing. I’d be as dead as every other person in that graveyard. No different.

So here’s what’s important: Legacy.

It’s what lasts!

And this brings me to today…

Since money is transient, I hunger much more for legacy.

I want to create an impact on the world, an impact on society, in our communities, all over the globe! I want to create businesses that employees tens of thousands of people!

There will come a day when my motherland, North and South Korea, will be unified once more (hopefully sooner than later; once we trounce the tyrannical regime over there in North Korea) and I want to be there opening factories and businesses so that people can earn livable wages.

I also want to bring in missionaries and plant local churches and create schools for the children, so that they can have a standard education like every other kid in the rest of the world.

These are my plans. These are my goals. And even as I’m writing this, I’m getting jittery with excitement just thinking about it!

I’ll Leave You With This…

It’s never too early to start thinking about your legacy. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. How do you want to touch the lives of others? What enduring legacies do you want to leave behind to your children, your community, your loved ones?

Be intentional! Support causes that you believe in and that are important to you and your values! Be an example of leadership within your circle of influence so that you can positively affect others.

Lastly, be intentional about sharing your blessings with others. Whether it’s financially, with your time and energy, or mentoring others through your own personal journey and experience.

There really is no use in being the richest man in the graveyard. Get your legacy going now and start impacting the world! What will it be for you??

Tim is the founder of the personal finance and career blog, He’s on a mission to help generation Y and Z become financially literate, and strives to be a good mentor for people. You can find him on Twitter as well as on Facebook too.

from Finance

When You Find Out You’re Having Another Baby (!!!)

baby dime

You know how to really jinx yourself?

Send out something like this on Twitter:

done with diapers tweet

Then wait 24 hours for your wife to call you into the bathroom waving around a pee stick and asking what you did to put a baby in her stomach! Haha…

“Oh you know what I did!” I jokingly respond back, half in shock and half freaking out… “Yes, but WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO NOW??” my wife cryingly replies – surely not expecting it.

That was about 3 months ago, and now that we’re out of the first trimester and allowed to share it with the world (so far so healthy!!) we’re back to sane-ville again and much more collected 🙂

But wow what a shock to receive when you’re not planning for it! We always talked about having more kids later, but “later” just seemed so much more later! Haha… That’s how life works sometimes though, doesn’t it? One minute you’re nice and comfy just going with the routine, and then the next you’re hit with an amazing adventure! And what an amazing adventure it’ll indeed be…



My boys are too cute and already coming up with names for it depending on what sex it is. We’ve got “Clara” for a girl, because they know a Clara that they both like, and then “Boyder” for a boy. Because, well, it starts with “boy” and they made it up thinking they were hilarious 😉

But of course we all know what we’re really going to call him/her: Baby Dime. To fit nicely with our Baby Penny and Baby Nickel theme going on here 🙂

This news also speeds up a few other areas of life as well:

#1. My wife is finally going to get her minivan! Because like a good husband, I promised it to her last year when she was kind enough to let me get my SUV (smooches!).

#2. I’m going to try being a stay-at-home dad now who blogs on the side vs a stay-at-home blogger who dads on the side! 🙂 Something I’ve always wanted to try but wasn’t able to with my first two kids (because I was a *ahem* workaholic), and also because I refuse to shell out another $2,000 a month for daycare! Especially right when we just chopped it down to only $450 due to the beauty that is the public school system, haha…

#3. We’re going to work our way back to my beloved Virginia to be closer to family again. Which I cannot WAIT for because this DC area is just giving me the hives… And not just because of the politics! This was always our mission here once the wife got her career under way, but now with this ammunition hopefully we’re able to pull it off sooner than later…

And finally, #4) It’s time to work less, but live more. I.E. stop working nights and weekends while still somehow getting all my blog stuff done during the day and at the same time caring for a crying/pooping/non sleeping newborn baby 🙂 Shouldn’t be a problem at all?!

I’ll actually be blogging more about this here in a bit, but in a nutshell I’ve already implemented two new habits since learning of this baby news and I’m proud to share that I’ve completed them magnificently:

  1. I’ve only worked 2-3 nights total in the past 3 months (!)
  2. I haven’t opened up my laptop even *once* on a single weekend in 3 months (!!!!)

How???? Because I literally just told myself “no more” and forced myself to cram it all in during the week no matter what it takes. And surprise surprise, when you put limits on yourself like that (and when you’re *serious* about those limits!) you actually get $hit done! Amazing!

Again, more on this later, but if you’ve been struggling with this work/life balance stuff, I HIGHLY encourage you giving one of these a shot above and seeing how you feel afterwards. Hell, start this weekend coming up if you can! See if you can go the entire time without touching your computer once!

(Wondering what I’ve been doing now with all my spare time, btw? A ton of reading (physical books), a ton of relaxing, a ton of exploring and hanging out with my kids, and a ton of – wait for it – NAPPING! Something I haven’t thought about, or done, in the past 30 years! And my wife said she noticed how much more *present* I’ve been as well, so needless to say these habits are for the long haul :))

Now how will this baby stuff effect our finances??

Well, I think we all know the answer to that – hah! – but seeing how I’ve stopped tracking all our baby costs once word of our 2nd kid was coming, we’re very purposefully not going to be finding out how much exactly our expenses will rise so we don’t freak ourselves out too much 😉

I will say though that if we have another boy it’ll be much cheaper since we already have gobs of hand me downs, but if it’s a girl my wallet is pretty much going to have to be ripped out of my hands because I will not be able to stop spoiling her as she will be daddy’s little girl!! And I will enjoy every second of it!

And then there’s the whole health insurance debacle too, but thank GOD we’re connected with my wife’s job now which is about a billion times better than when we were riding solo:

maternity costs

Oh, and here’s something else pretty interesting: Because my wife is now over 35 she is considered “old” and “high risk”, haha… So now she has to take all these extra tests to make sure everything is fine, while I go around talking about how old she is (even though I’m older) 😉

What she does like about this though, is that because of all these new tests and how far advanced technology is nowadays, we actually get to learn the sex of the baby SUPER early compared to previous times! And because I wanted it to be a surprise but she didn’t, my wife actually knows RIGHT NOW what the sex is but I don’t – gasp! And so far she hasn’t slipped!

We’ll see how long that lasts, but I’m going to enjoy it for as long as I can, while secretly hoping for a baby girl so our house doesn’t turn into Testosterone Castle. Can you imagine THREE little boys running around the place PLUS me??

My wife’s going to be in trouble 🙂 But of course, as long as both mommy and baby are happy in the end I will be one very proud and happy daddy/husband.

6 more months to go!! Wish us luck figuring it all out, and may your own baby making goals come to fruition if and when you’re ready too 🙂

Gotta take your blessings when they’re given, even if they throw you for a loop!

Thanks for being along for the journey… It’s a lot less scary with a community of friends 🙂


j. money signature

from Finance

Janez Janša, Janez Janša and Janez Janša explore the “collateral effects” and damages of name change

Janez Janša® at +MSUM. Photo: Dejan Habicht / Moderna galerija

In 2007, three artists officially changed their names and adopted the one of Janez Janša, a very powerful, right-wing and generally unpleasant political figure regularly embroiled in accusations of corruption and authoritarianism.

The administrative procedure not only turned their lives into a perpetual performance but it also altered their private, civil and artistic lives in ways they had not always foreseen. Ten years later, an anthological exhibition titled
Janez Janša® at the +MSUM – Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova in Ljubljana explores some of the most meaningful “collateral effects” of the move.

What’s in a name? How does it relate to ownership, legal status, self-perception and self-representation, profiling, surveillance, copyright and commodification of language, and related topics that define the contemporary condition? What’s an artwork and what are the boundaries that define it in relation to life, institutions and companies?

The trio has always affirmed that the name change was only a matter of personal choice but this didn’t prevent their gesture to be interpreted and misread in many ways. Especially among political commentators who saw it as either a brazen act of political affiliation or protest. And as the soberly-titled article “Culture according to leftists: provocateurs abuse Janez Janša’s name, and political godfathers finance it all with taxpayers’ money” suggests, a full decade may have passed but the controversy surrounding the work of the three Janez Janša hasn’t abated (the other thing to note from the article is that artists receive “millions” of euros for setting up a show in Slovenia. If i were an artist i’d be looking into moving there myself.)

However, the very long-term impact of the name change indicates that its significance extends far beyond any direct reference to the Slovene politician. It not only brings about a shift of perspective on the mechanisms of power but it also demonstrates how a name can be used as an interface that unlocks a series of questions related to the conventions and ambiguities associated with identity, the limits (or lack thereof) of the fictionalization of life, the confluence of mass-consumption and customization, etc.

350 Janez Janša Bottles, 2017. Janez Janša® exhibition at +MSUM. Photo: Dejan Habicht / Moderna galerija

Installation view of Janez Janša® exhibition at +MSUM. Photo: Dejan Habicht / Moderna galerija

My name is Janez Jansa (trailer)

The last time i laughed so much while visiting an exhibition was… never, i think. I always knew i’d enjoy the show but i wasn’t expecting the exhibition to hit me so deeply and keep me pondering on identity, politics and the mechanisms of art institutions weeks after i’d visited the museum.

There are dozens of works in the show. Each of them explores a different status of names in the cultural, political and social spheres. I’m going to briefly introduce some of my favourite works below (you can find others in stories i’ve written in the past: My Name Is Janez Janša and Self-portraits for bank cards investigate money circulation, art ownership and identity.)

Let’s start with a bit of romance, shall we?

Janez Janša, Janez Janša, Janez Janša, Wedding, Ljubljana, 11 August 2007. From left: Janez Janša, best man, Marcela Okretič, bride, Janez Janša, bridegroom, Janez Janša, best man and Branko Franc Grošl, Marriage Registrar, Municipality of Ljubljana. Photo: Nada Žgank/Memento

Janez Janša®, Marcela in Janez: Poroka, 2017. Installation view at +MSUM. Photo: Dejan Habicht / Moderna galerija

Janez Janša, Janez Janša, Janez Janša, Wedding, Ljubljana, 11 August 2007

On August 11, 2007, Janez Janša and Marcela Okretič got married. Janez Janša was the best man of the bride and Janez Janša the best man of the groom. The guests, unaware of the artists’ name change, learned of it during the ceremony directly from the marriage registrar at the municipality of Ljubljana.

Janez Janša®, I Love Germany, at +MSUM. Photo: Miha Fras / Aksioma

Most of Janez Janša’s works make me grin then mull over. Especially I Love Germany.

“I Love” t-shirts are the most mainstream items of clothing anyone could wear… Unless it says “I Love Germany”. The word Germany is a loaded one. The county being, rightly or not, associated with European leadership, influence and prosperity.

I Love Germany, shows how even abused significants such as the “I Love” trend may take an unsuspected, powerful meaning when juxtaposed and remixed with other significants, and how a similarly abused gesture (the tourist portrait) can become a strong political gesture.

An I Love Germany t-shirt becomes a powerful medium for political commentary when worn in front the Greek parliament in Athens. Or while posing next to a Royal Guard in London for a GIF titled “Brexit”.

Janez Janša® at +MSUM. Photo: Dejan Habicht / Moderna galerija

An important aspect of the work investigates the documents that emanate from identity: signatures, passports, ID cards, credit and debit cards, etc. The 2008 Name Readymade exhibition showcased the artists identity cards, passports, bank cards and other documents that bear their names. These artifacts operate both as valid legal documents and works of art, rising the question of what comes first in terms of value and significance: the cultural object or the administrative document? These objects belong to the state, not the artists. On the one hand, they are passports which can’t be sold on the art market as long as they are valid legal documents. And once they have expired, the same documents must be destroyed or returned.

Janez Janša® at +MSUM. Photo: Dejan Habicht / Moderna galerija

The perceptual power of a name runs far deeper than i had expected (although given the name of my blog i should have seen it coming!) A name is such a vital part of the way you are perceived that it can determine the success of your job application or whether potential dates will swipe left or right on Tinder. I recently read that white people named Washington complained about the discrimination they face on the phone because other U.S. citizens immediately assume they are black (sorry i can’t find the link to the article anymore!)

One of the videos in the show explore the emotions that the artists’ parents went through upon hearing that their son had changed their names. One dad seemed to wave it away as yet another shenanigan from his mischievous arty child. Another understood it as a public gesture of rejection. That’s when i realized the toll that a simple administrative procedure like this can take on friends and families. Maybe that’s why the parents selected the most embarrassing photos of their kids to illustrate the video?

Life Span, 2017. Janez Janša® at +MSUM. Photo: Dejan Habicht / Moderna galerija

Life Span, 2017. Janez Janša® at +MSUM. Photo: Dejan Habicht / Moderna galerija

Life Span, 2017. Janez Janša® at +MSUM. Photo: Dejan Habicht / Moderna galerija

A troublesome byproduct of Janez Janša, Janez Janša and Janez Janša’s name changes is how they will be remembered. Which name will be inscribed on their tombstones? Does their artistic career start when they graduated from art school or when they adopted the new name? Are Emil Hrvatin, Davide Grassi, Žiga Kariž legally and artistically dead?

Three tombstones, placed on the lawn in front of the museum, look at how online database of Slovene art Pojmovnik slovenske umetnosti has processed their existence. When referring to their original name, the website indicates that each of the artists died in 2007. But there is only one entry for Janez Janša and it is devoid of date of birth or death, making them ageless and eternal.

Janez Janša®, 2017. Graphic designer: Luka Umek

The exhibition premieres the latest episode in the Janez Janša, Janez Janša, Janez Janša adventures: the registration of the Janez Janša name as a trademark for the next ten years. With this trademark, the artists “promote the commodification of their own names and their value by colonizing the area of trade, and name it as a property that you can legally protect.”

Janez Janša® at +MSUM. Photo: Miha Fras / Aksioma

All of the above is tinged with a certain irony when you learn that the legal name of Janez Janša (the politician) is actually Ivan Janša. Apparently, Janez is seen as ‘more’ Slovenian than Ivan in the country. As one of the 3 Janez Janša artists explained in an interview with Marc James Léger: In his case, he appears with different names in two institutional situations. In political life he always appears with the name Janez Janša, but in legal affairs, and he goes very often to the courts, for various reasons, now because of corruption charges, and appears with his legal name, Ivan Janša.

More images from the show:

Janez Janša® at +MSUM. Photo: Dejan Habicht / Moderna galerija

Janez Janša® at +MSUM. Photo: Dejan Habicht / Moderna galerija

Janez Janša® at +MSUM. Photo: Dejan Habicht / Moderna galerija

Janez Janša® at +MSUM. Photo: Dejan Habicht / Moderna galerija

Janez Janša® at +MSUM. Photo: Dejan Habicht / Moderna galerija

Janez Janša® at +MSUM. Photo: Dejan Habicht / Moderna galerija

Janez Janša® at +MSUM. Photo: Dejan Habicht / Moderna galerija

Janez Janša® was co-produced by Moderna galerija (MG+MSUM) and Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art and curated by art critic and independent curator Domenico Quaranta. The exhibition is at +MSUM – Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova in Ljubljana until 18 February 2018.

Janez Janša® is part of State Machines – Art, Work, and Identity in an Age of Planetary-Scale Computation, a project that investigates the new relationships between states, citizens and the stateless made possible by emerging technologies, focussing on how such technologies impact identity and citizenship, digital labour and finance.

Previously: My Name Is Janez Janša and Self-portraits for bank cards investigate money circulation, art ownership and identity.

from Finance

How Far Would You Go To Pay Off Debt?


Are you willing to get rid of all your things? Move back in with your parents? Sell your car? How about give up a left testicle?

Before you laugh at that last one, check out this comment we just got here:

I need around $35,000 give or take to get me n my wife out of debt if u have anything in mind please feel free to contact me I willING to give my left testicle to save our marriage

It was left on an older post about making money doing science experiments, and if it wasn’t for the “save our marriage” part I would have written it off as a joke! But of course I still couldn’t resist sharing it on Twitter to see what my friends would say 😉 They had a ball!

twitter nuts debt

And people think finance people are a boring bunch 😉

All kidding aside though, debt is no joke and some of us are just drowning in it and would do almost anything to get out. But how far are you willing to go? And how far SHOULD you be willing to go?

I don’t have any real answers for you today (I was just DYING to get out that testicle comment, haha…) but it is something to really think long and hard about as you’re going through the journey.

How important is being debt-free really to you?? Are you willing to FIGHT hard for it?? What would it mean to your family or friends or even your future dreams to be completely rid of it all? Would you do anything *illegal*? (That’s where I would draw the line)

I saw another tweet come in a few hours after my post, and that one was a wild one to think about too:

give up voting pay debt

Giving up your rights – wow!

But here’s the thing – paying down your debt doesn’t have to require such drastic measures.  It may be faster, but what if you just ramped it up an extra 1 or 2%? Or took an extra hour a week negotiating down a bill or scouring your house for more items to sell? What if you did something crazy like going down to only *one* car or not buying something new for a month or two or even 12 months in a row? What if you allotted all future raises and bonuses and other “found” money right over to debt which you aren’t even used to having anyways?

I think we all have way more hustle inside of us than we tend to give ourselves credit for, and there’s no shame in sticking to a slower but consistent pace if that’s all you can muster right now. It’ll just make the finish line that much sweeter to cross!

Just like there’s no shortcuts to getting rich quick, there’s (usually) no shortcuts to paying off all your debt fast either. Watch for the big wins, then just keep your head down and keep pushing yourself the best way you know how.

Debt is not forever, unlike snipping of your body parts or any other cockamaimy ideas!

PS: I was originally going to share a bunch of random “would you do this to pay off your debts?” type questions for you to consider, but I ended up scrapping the idea because it just got more and more ridiculous the longer I went, haha… But if you’re not ready to go back to work yet and wanna play along, here were a few of my favorites I came up with 😉

  1. Would you give up two full years of your life to pay off all your debts? (Think: coma)
  2. Would you jump into a pond of crocodiles for 30 minutes to pay off all your debt?
  3. Would you go to work for an entire day naked, provided you didn’t get fired?
  4. Would you eat your most hated meals for an entire year if it meant having no more debts?

from Finance

Net Worth Update: $688,210.30 (+$12,000)

net worth - october, 2017

Another new month so you know what that means – time to update the ol’ net worth! We’re onto month #118 in a row here for us, and still one of the best moves we’ve ever made for our money.

Nothing keeps you more accountable than knowing where all your $$$ is (or isn’t!) at any given month. So please please PLEASE start tracking this stuff if you’re new here or haven’t taken the time yet. Your wallet will thank you later for it, I promise!

(And if you need help figuring out what, or what doesn’t, go into your net worth, here’s an in-depth post I recently wrote that might help point you in the right direction (though of course go with what makes the most sense to you): Gray areas of net worth tracking)

Alright, here’s how last month went down for us… pretty much summed up in one gif:

funny dance

(That’s me just going with the flow, haha… and probably exactly how I look on the dance floor :))

How October’s $$$ Went Down:

CASH SAVINGS (-$2,108.17): Had a helluva good time this month, however unfortunately I kinda forgot about the whole “working for money” part again, oops… I still struggle with it after all these years because I treat these projects way more *passionately* than I do *businessy,* and honestly I have no idea how I’ve managed to support my family for so long on these websites, haha… I’m just waiting for the internet police to show up one day and tell me the party is over!

THRIFT SAVINGS PLAN (TSP) (+$612.14): Work it, wife! Her monthly contributions just keep on adding up, and we’re already over $7,000 in just a year of setting it and forgetting it… These guys and all 401(k)s and similar are just money waiting on a platter for you to scoop up… Make sure you’re getting your employer’s FREE matches and just gobble it all up while you can!! Easiest way to make money!

ROTH IRAs (+$2,855.29): A solid jump here too – courtesy of the markets climbing which still shocks me each and every month lately… I’ve had enough of the warm and fuzzies, and just want it to hurry up and crash again so we can get over it! Stop teasing us for so long!

SEP IRA (+$10,723.23): Same scenario here as well… Yay for the increase, but just means more of a drastic drop once the fateful day comes… (Can you tell how I really feel about it? 😉 The only thing it’s good for right now is inflating all our net worths!)

Here’s a current snapshot of our account, where 100% of the money is invested in VTSAX:

vanguard returns

CAR VALUES (-$24.00): Nothing too crazy going on here, just the cars doing what they should be doing, albeit not losing *as much* this month as usual… Then again, Toyotas are known to be pretty solid vehicles, so not gonna complain about that!

Here are the current values of both our cars via KBB:

  • Lexus RX350: $11,489.00
  • Toyota Corolla: $3,733.00

CAR LOAN: (-$470.64): Chipping away each and every month… And not only at my Lexi’s paint job either (womp womp womp….) Here’s another shot at her back side after I decided to try and run over a fire hydrant:

hydrant kiss

(The answer to what I ended up doing about it, btw? Taping it for the win!! Similar to Hank Moody in Californication, I seem to get this strange satisfaction by riding around in cars with cosmetic imperfections… We’re nowhere close to Frankencaddy levels yet, but we got the first ding out of the way now, so all pent up anxiety has been released and now we calmly wait the future war scars to come ;))

And that’s October! A $12k increase, mainly due to the markets…

Here’s a look at how the past 12 months have gone for a broader view:

net worth

And then of course, the values of both my kids’ net worths because we’re nerds like that; (notice I keep the 529s in theirs vs mine – just another of those gray areas you gotta figure out when tracking

baby net worths

How’d your month go?? Anything new and juicy going on?

As always, you can find all 100+ of my net worth updates here if you want to see how it’s progressed over time (almost 10 years!), and then of course if you’re feeling feisty you can check out 400+ other bloggers’ net worths here that we track: Blogger Net Worth Tracker. I’m currently #108 on the list.

And as I said last week, remember that your net worth does not = your self worth! But just like self worth it IS important to gain control over, which then makes you one helluva force to be reckoned with.

So get out there and OWN it!

j. money signature

from Finance

10 New Fintech Companies To Watch Out For! (Plus Highlights From FinCon 2017)

fincon17 - dallas

What up, y’all! Just got back and sobered up from our financial blogging conference, and thought I’d share some of the highlights from it.

Namely, the handful of new financial companies that were part of our yearly fintech competition I helped judge! It’s always so interesting to see how people use technology to solve our problems out there, and just like last year’s competition this one did not disappoint.

But first, gotta give it up to PT Money for organizing this amazing event each and every year (it was my 7th one attending!), as well as to all the other bloggers who volunteered their time to make it happen. If you’re a $$$ blogger or podcaster or just plain obsessed with personal finance, you NEED to come out to it one year and experience what it’s all about! I promise you will leave incredibly motivated or I will shut down this blog forever 😉 (Or at least buy you a beer to cry into – hah)

So what happened at FinCon 2017?

Here are a few of the more exciting highlights… Because good luck telling social media people that what happens at FinCon stays at FinCon! 😉

Rapper Dee-1 crowd surfed while rapping his hit song, Sally Mae Back (Crowd surfed! At a financial blogging conference!)

Best selling author David Bach (of Automatic Millionaire fame) popped in to share his wild story on getting on Oprah for the first time, and how the Latte Factor is “not about the damn lattes!” Haha… Rebuking the hate he so often gets when people say they will never give up their coffees no matter how sexy compound interest is 😉 He may or may not have also dropped a few F bombs on stage showing that he is definitely not one of the more stuffier financial “experts” out there. Super cool to run into him around 1 am on the last night too to talk shop! (Interesting fact: he’s fairly short)

Darren Rowse shared his story of how he became one of the world’s first professional bloggers when one of his camera reviews went viral over night. He’d later go on to start two majorly successful blogs, including the one most bloggers are familiar with and learn from:

Chris Guillebeau of The $100 Startup and The Art of Non-Comformity talked about how it’s perfectly okay to let a side hustle be just that – a side hustle! There’s no rule that you need to turn it into a full-time job if you’re perfectly happy with your current one. Just let it be your creative outlet while you bring home some extra side money! (I agree with this 100%!! Not all of us are born to run companies!!)

Cait Flanders held a presentation on writing Rockstar content that was packed solid which we think/hope went over pretty well! Interweaving the back story of Rockstar Finance and how it’s evolved over the years as well. (Cait curates it with me, and is one of my favorite bloggers on the scene)

A bunch of people from our community created a parody of “The Office” which was shown at our annual blogger award ceremony and was downright HILARIOUS. Then ended with a surprise performance from American Idol contestant Dalton Rapattoni! (It was all about the music this year, haha… Thx for putting it together, Scott Alan Turner!)

And lastly – we had one pretty damn fun Halloween party to wrap up the conference! Erik from The Mastermind Within said it best: “it was hilarious to see people with $1 million+ net worth’s singing Sir Mix-a-lot’s “Baby Got Back”.” Haha… That’s how we roll! If you can’t live it up, what’s the point of all that money??

As for the best costume of the night? I gave it to this guy. Can you tell why? 😉

j. money costume

(full back story here – he totally shaved his head for this!!)

Other interesting gems pertaining to yours truly: I randomly got interviewed in the bathroom, and I was  presented with the International Blogger of The Year award from UK’s SHOMO awards. Where I then made an acceptance speech that included “Long live the queen!” which I thought was pretty clever? 😉

Now to the Fintech Competition, and the 10 new financial companies to watch out for!

As I mentioned, I was one of the two judges for it again this year, where our ratings made up for 50% of the votes with the audiences’ making up the other 50%. We awarded two prizes for the night – $1,000 for first and $500 for 2nd – and below are my honest opinions of each, along with what they do. I’m not getting compensated by anyone listed here, and there are no affiliate links included at all.

Follow along and see if you can guess who won! 🙂 In no particular order:

agreeable app

Agreeable ( — Agreeable was one of my favorite apps who presented, and was built to help solve the problem of no shows whenever you go to meet someone off Craigslist or Facebook. Whereas currently you’re just $hit out of both luck and time when the buyer/seller doesn’t show up, with this app you’d actually get *paid* an agreed upon amount if anyone bails, ensuring that it’s in both parties’ interests to make the scheduled time. There were some privacy concerns I first had with this as it tracks both of your locations to confirm that the two sides made it to the meet-up okay, but after talking w/ one of the founders at a party afterwards I was impressed with their patent-pending solution to this. We’ll see if this puppy takes off, but I’m personally rooting for it to! (Also can be used for soooo many other areas in life too – imagine if Comcast or other services were forced to pay you if they never show up when they’re supposed to?? We’d all be rich! ;))

birch finance

Birch Finance ( — This app was another killer idea, which I SWORE already existed but I guess not (a good sign that they’re onto something!). Basically, you tell Birch what credit cards you have and use, and then it’ll analyze them as you’re out shopping and tell you which ones to use to reap the *best* rewards, as well as *how much* you’ll get back by them, rather than you having to guess all the time. It’ll then show you other cards out in the market, and compare what would have happened had you used *those* cards instead of the ones you currently have. And since it’s all based on your specific transactions and spending patterns, you can see first hand exactly what your cards – or future cards – are worth to you. A pretty epic tool for any card hackers/lovers. (I’ll never use it since I’m a minimalist with just my one USAA card, but I’d be allll on it if I were in the rewards game!)

budgit app logo

Budgit ( — Budgit is an automated budgeting and savings service that organizes your bills and spending so you can save for your goals. I tried real hard to figure out how these guys were different from all the other budgeting apps out there – and even posed the question during Q&A time – but even after doing so I was honestly still just as confused. They actually have this question posed word for word at the bottom of their website (“How is Budgit different?”) but the 3 answers given were “No ads ever”, “Hassle-free”, and “Secure and private.” Which I’m pretty sure most apps are?? All that said, as a budget guy I don’t think you can have *too many* apps out there spreading the good word, so I very much wish them all the luck and success as they can get. (PS: This app is not the same one as BudgIT)

college backer logo

College Backer ( — These guys were pretty cool as they help get people to gift their child 529 contributions instead of more toys and “stuff.” Something I very much try to do every year too and rarely succeed! 😉 And while like Budgit I couldn’t pin point how exactly this service is different than the others out there on the scene (there’s quite a few who let families and friends jump in to make this happen), I did like the general purpose of it and hope they take me up on my recommendation to pair these gifts with some sort of physical item too so the kids don’t totally hate opening up the gift of 529 funding, haha…

honeyfi app

Honeyfi ( — Honeyfi is a new app *for couples* that makes sharing your budget and managing your money much easier together. Which I absolutely love! Honeyfi allows you to collaborate, link accounts, and even message each other at any time through the app so everyone in the relationship can be on the exact same page. There’s not many apps I can think of that focuses mainly on couples (actually, I can’t think of one?), so I’m really hoping this one takes off as I think they’re onto something good here… Budgets are even sexier with TWO people are involved!! 😉

kinfo social investing app

KINFO ( — KINFO is an app for DIY investors that brings together information from hedge funds, insiders, analysts, bloggers and other private investors so you can see what everyone else is doing along side you. Particularly bloggers which the founder seems most excited about as it helps put all of our personal recommendations into one spot for people. Though as many of you know mine would look pretty boring as it would only show one fund: VTSAX 🙂 I’m not sure if looking at what others is doing adds more or less noise into the decision making process (probably more?), but then again I was influenced to go All In with Vanguard from my peers so it could prove to be a pretty helpful resource.

squeeze logo

Squeeze ( — Squeeze is an app that helps you save by finding the best deals, promo codes, and coupons directly related to your current spending. It sounded a lot like the others in the field so I had a hard time putting them into their own special bucket, but needless to say you can’t have too many coupons in this hyper consumer world of ours… And as for branding, they absolutely NAILED it. Some of the other fintech names were pretty random!

take command health

Take Command Health ( — These guys won my personal award for the best presentation, if only for the inclusion of photoshopped Trump and Obama pics littered throughout 🙂 But their app was def. no joke. In a nutshell, Take Command helps you easily find the best option for health coverage by using big data to help source the best, and cheapest, health care options for you both on and off the exchange. They also shared the release of their small business feature which helps companies offer better and cheaper plans to their employees as well – something that many places are struggling hard with right now. So while the topic of health insurance typically doesn’t turn heads (at least for good reasons!), these guys had our immediate attention and I wouldn’t be surprised a bit if they hit a home run with this.

qoins logo

Qoins ( — Do these guys look familiar?? They should! I featured them here last year the second I came across them because they’re the FIRST to finally apply “rounding up” technology to debt!!! Which is something severely lacking in our industry… And while I had to recuse myself from voting on this one since I was definitely biased (they donated $$$ to our Community Fund over at Rockstar Finance), I was beyond pleased to see them here and thought they gave a great presentation. You can find my review of them here (I was the first ever blogger to share them!) but in a nutshell they round up all your transactions to the nearest dollar, and then uses the spare change to help pay off your debt every month. It won’t clear all of it, but every $30 or $40/mo helps!

wizefi logo

WizeFi ( — WizeFi is a paid app ($8/mo) that helps organize your finances, analyzing everything from your assets and liabilities to your insurance and spending habits. Once hooked up it’ll then estimate your future net worth if you continue spending the way you’re currently spending, and then compare it to your future net worth if you follow your custom WizeFi wealth-building plan. It comes with a super slick interface and the focus on net worth of course turned me on, but at the end of the day not too sure that alone is worth the $8. Especially since it doesn’t physically *move* the money for you like Digit or Acorns does and still requires you to take action (which most people won’t). I was also turned off by the mentions of an affiliate program for customers to make more money, both in the presentation as well as on their website (it’s prominently listed as the #3 reason to sign up?!), even though I’m sure the founder meant well. Overall would have been better if you had the chance to test out a free version, with an option to upgrade later to “pro” or something similar if interested…

Alright… Ready to guess who won?? Any really stand out to you??

Here were the 1st and 2nd place winners after all the votes were tallied up:

  1. Birch Finance
  2. Take Command Health

Honestly though, ALL of these guys came out winning as they not only got to pitch in front of tons of $$$ influencers and enthusiasts, but also landed on this illustrious blog here!!! Haha… Surely that’s worth at *least* $10.00 right? 😉

So congrats to everyone who participated. I wish I were smart enough to come up with my own money app! If you want to take a look at last year’s competition and results, you can find that here: Fintech Competition 2016

Next Year’s FinCon Event…

If you can believe it, plans are already in the works for next year’s conference! If you’ve always wanted to visit Orlando, Florida – now’s your chance! We’ll be partying it up with Mickey next year 🙂 More details to come…

fincon 18 - orlando

So there we are – another great conference on the books 🙂 THANK YOU thank you THANK YOU to everyone who came out and put up with me over the weekend! It was a blast hanging out with my 2nd family in the flesh, and I wish you all a most successful next year.

Special shout out to the following who really made me smile throughout: Chelsea Norton, Cait Flanders, Steve AdcockJim $, Shin, Bobby Lee, Pete McPherson, Latoya Scott, Fritz, Hélène, Hannah Rounds, the Tiller Team, Miss Mazuma, Optimal Finance Daily, John and Sharon Duffy, Shannon Austin, The Dumpster Dog, Miss Thrifty, Maria Nedeva, FIREcracker, and Romeo Jeremiah.

See y’all in another 11 months!

from Finance

How artists and designers are “materialising the Internet”

Joshua Citarella & Brad Troemel, Ultraviolet Production House, 2015 – ongoing. Photo by Hanneke Wetzer

Morehshin Allahyari & Daniel Rourke, The 3D Additivist Cookbook, 2016. Photo by Hanneke Wetzer

We have transferred almost every single aspect of our daily life onto the internet. Our heartbeats, our bank payments, our musical taste and even our family memories. A group show curated by Nadine Roestenburg and Angelique Spaninks at MU artspace in Eindhoven invites us to do the opposite journey and explore the physical manifestations of the Web.

Materialising the Internet demonstrates that returning to the physical doesn’t bring us back to our starting point. New forms, new aesthetics and gestures emerge as we return to the material, as the digital becomes tangible.

I left Amsterdam and spent 3 hours in public transport just to see this exhibition. I’m so glad i did because the show is a joy! Materialising the Internet is witty, stimulating and entertaining. But if you want to dig deeper, you can also find insight and layers in the exhibition. The various artworks highlight issues such as the potential of the Internet in regards to artistic production and cultural memory, the control that Silicon Valley giants exercises over our lives, the ephemerality of communication tools, the superstitions that surround the most sophisticated pieces of engineering, etc.

Here’s a very quick and partial tour of the show:

Jip de Beer, Web Spaces, 2016-2017. Photo by Hanneke Wetzer

Jip de Beer, Web Spaces, 2016-2017. Photo by Hanneke Wetzer

Jip de Beer showing some of his models to the next web

In his series Web Spaces, Jip de Beer literally unfolds the structure of the internet homepages and reveals their hidden hierarchies and three dimensional layers.

His work maps the support structure underneath the architecture of Facebook, Google, Amazon and other famous domains.

MU shows both the interactive installation and the 3d printed models of the websites. The screen installation allows you to a walk around the virtual 3D representation of a particular page while the stunning models of 3 of the most popular websites demonstrate what their physical volumes looks like. The architectures of the websites are incredibly different from one another. Google, unsurprisingly, distinguishes itself by the complexity of its search bar. Facebook, on the other hand, is recognizable by the importance of its ad spaces.

The website’s building blocks are covered in precious metal. The material seems to point to the gigantic power and wealth that the Silicon Valley tech giants have amassed over the past few years but also to the geological origins of our techno-mediated civilization.

Brilliant work that encapsulates perfectly the theme of the exhibition!

Jeroen van Loon, An Internet, 2015. Photo by Hanneke Wetzer

Jeroen van Loon, An Internet, 2015. Photo by Hanneke Wetzer
Jeroen van Loon, An Internet, 2015

Jeroen van Loon’s An Internet uses glass tubes to reflect the undersea network of fibre-optic cables that connects continents. The system converts the 280 cable names into binary smoke signals. The smoke is puffed into the transparent tubes. You see it fill in the network and evaporate as soon as it encounter an opening in the network.

An Internet is visually seducing. Its vapour and glass representation of an interconnected world suggests the fragile and ethereal dimension of online communication. The installation also alludes to the possible destiny of today’s favourite communication technology:

An Internet shows a vision of a future Internet in which data is no longer produced to be stored for future use, but to be instantly accessible and then lost forever.
How would the internet look if all data were temporary and ephemeral?

Joshua Citarella & Brad Troemel, Have A Cord Problem And a Spare Half Hour? Try Using Some of That Excess Length To Liven The Room With a Scene From Your Favorite Planet Earth Episode Including The Commercials That Aired During It, Ultraviolet Production House, 2015 – ongoing. Photo by Hanneke Wetzer

Joshua Citarella & Brad Troemel have found a solution to the problem faced by many young artists: the high production costs of artworks that leaves them indebted before they’ve even found a buyer for their work.

Their Ultraviolet Production House store allows you to order the original artwork of your choice online. After the purchase, you will receive the necessary materials, tools and a manual necessary to build the work “in the comfort of your own home”. The kit comes with a certificate of authenticity.

This innovative model for labor and production cuts the middleman (the gallery) and allows UV to sidestep the costs of overhead, material, studio, tools, etc.

MU ordered two pieces for the show: Incense Fence and Have A Cord Problem And a Spare Half Hour? Try Using Some of That Excess Length To Liven The Room With a Scene From Your Favorite Planet Earth Episode Including The Commercials That Aired During It.

Mieke Gerritzen, My Friends, 2017. Photo by Hanneke Wetzer

According to a research at Oxford University, our brains can manage a meaningful relationship with no more than 150 people at a time. For My Friends, Mieke Gerritzen selected 150 of her closest friends from her 800-plus Facebook contacts, pixelated their profile picture and had it painted.

My Friends gives the ephemeral digital network forged through social media a permanent quality. In a bid to anchor virtual reality, the project materialises part of unbounded digital space and therefore delimits it. The collection of paintings symbolises the age of the network society. The profile photos are rendered in a unique way, magnifying their digital origins.

The images are so heavily pixelated that they anonymize the individuals. Strangely enough however, if you know the people or at least their social media profile, you can still recognize them.

Julien Deswaef & Matthew Plummer-Fernandez, Shiv Integer, 2016 – ongoing. From The 3D Additivist Cookbook. From The 3D Additivist Cookbook. Photo by Hanneke Wetzer

Julien Deswaef & Matthew Plummer-Fernandez, Shiv Integer, 2016 – ongoing. From The 3D Additivist Cookbook. From The 3D Additivist Cookbook. Photo by Hanneke Wetzer

Shiv Integer is a computer programme that randomly picks up models from MakerBot’s Thingiverse, combines them to make odd sculptures, assigns them equally arbitrary names such as Twisty Squeegee Machine then posts the results back on the 3D design sharing platform.

As Matthew Plummer Fernandez writes: The process follows a lineage of Dadaist readymade and chance art, but also explores the authorship-inheritance of Creative Commons licensing, as well as performing an archiving of an Internet subculture, taking cross-database snapshots of 3D-Print culture.

Dries Depoorter, Get Popular Vending Machine. Photo by Hanneke Wetzer

Dries Depoorter, Get Popular Vending Machine. Photo by Kristof Vrancken

Dries Depoorter makes the economics of fake social media success visible with his usual astuteness. His Get Popular Vending Machine sells scratch tickets for a chance to win up to 25.000 followers for your Instagram or Twitter account.

Popularity, influence and prestige for only one euro!

Morehshin Allahyari, Dead Drop Heads, 2017. Photo by Hanneke Wetzer

Morehshin Allahyari’s Dead Drop Heads is a (consciously inadequate) effort to preserve the memory of the antique statues smashed by ISIS when they looted the Mosul Museum in Iraq in 2015. MU visitors can connect their laptop to the work and download a printable 3D file of one of the demolished statue.

“I think the more people who have access to this information, the less that history is forgotten in a way,” Allahyari told Motherboard. “The more files that are saved on people’s computers, even if they’re never printed, the number of PDF files that are read or kept, the more that history that was initially removed by ISIS will be saved.”

Roel Roscam Abbing, Pretty Fly For A Wifi, 2014. Photo by Hanneke Wetzer

Under its haphazard and rustic appearance, Pretty Fly for a Wifi is a wonderfully moving collection of DIY Wi-Fi antennas. It is at once a project history and a manual for the use of DIY Wi-Fi antennas. Many of these designs were once shared on homepages that no longer exist but that are still partially available through the Internet Archive. Pretty Fly for a Wifi revives the designs by rebuilding, testing and documenting them. Each of these pots, pans and cans embodies people’s dream of forging their own communication tools and building an alternative internet.

Valerie van Zuijlen, The Cellular Aura (Version 2.0), 2017. Photo by Hanneke Wetzer

Valerie van Zuijlen, The Cellular Aura (Version 2.0), 2017. Photo by Hanneke Wetzer

As lame as this might sound, many of us have caught ourselves thinking that our laptops and phones must have a spirit of their own. Valerie van Zuijlen investigates the concept of spiritual technology with a performance that offers visitors the possibility to access “the soul” of their digital devices.

All you have to do is turn on the camera of your phone, hand the device to her and watch in wonder as the aura of your phone will glow on a nearby screen.

More photos from the exhibition:

Lauren McCarthy, LAUREN, 2017. Photo by Hanneke Wetzer

Clement Valla, Surface Proxy, Untitled (Still Life 1), 2016 | Untitled (Still Life 2), 2016 | Still Life (Measuring Plants), 2017. Photo by Hanneke Wetzer

Richard Vijgen, Deleted City 3.0, 2017. Photo by Hanneke Wetzer

Richard Vijgen, Deleted City 3.0 + Jan Robert Leegte, Scrollbar Composition, 2017. Photo by Hanneke Wetzer

Jeroen van Loon, Life Needs Internet, 2017. Photo by Hanneke Wetzer

Materialising the Internet, a group show curated by Nadine Roestenburg and Angelique Spaninks, is at MU artspace in Eindhoven until 12 November 2017.

from Finance

“How Will This Move Me Forward?”

open roads

Saw an interesting tip posed by my man Tom Corley the other day, author of Rich Habits.

He says this is “the only question you ever need to ask yourself” before making a move – which is kinda drastic in my opinion, haha, but still pretty good to consider.

Here’s the question:

“How will this move me forward?”

So simple, yet so profound! And something that could have served me well back in my college days too, haha… (does moving forward towards beer and girls count?! Maybe just 1/2 a point? ;))

Here are some times where Tom says is smart to ask yourself this question:

  • Before you turn on the TV
  • Before you click on Facebook
  • Before you cheat on your spouse
  • Before you gossip
  • Before you gamble
  • Before you light that cigarette
  • Before you feel like hitting someone

(I like how cheating on your spouse is right up there with Facebook, haha… How about when you use Facebook to cheat?? Do you have to ask yourself twice? (womp womp))

Anyways, a great question to think about for sure. And of course, it extends merrily to our finances and careers too. As much as we sometimes might prefer it didn’t 😉

Here’s a list I quickly put together on when you might want to ask yourself this question relating to your money… Will any of this help move you forward??

  • When you take out your wallet
  • When you take out your credit card
  • When you step into the mall
  • When you log onto Amazon
  • When you take out a loan
  • When you stop reading Budgets Are Sexy (the horror!!)
  • When you opt out of your 401(k) contributions (double horror!)
  • When you quit your job with nothing lined up (unless you’re doing it to read the complete archives of Budgets Are Sexy)

So as you can see, it’s a pretty powerful question. You don’t want to analyze yourself to death every second of the day, but I’d imagine that even just asking yourself this *once* in a more general way each day could serve you and your wallet pretty well.

“How will all my actions today move me forward?

Great question to have on your phone or computer’s desktop screen too! Or even as a daily calendar reminder… Imagine seeing this pop up every time you open it up in the morning? Would be pretty hard to ignore!

Check out Tom’s blog or book if you haven’t done so before… he reminds me a little of a modern day Napoleon Hill, and is always putting out short and sweet passages that tend to get me to stop for a few and reflect. Great for *millionaire research* too, as he spent 5 years interviewing the wealthy (and the poor, for better comparison) which later turned into a book and catapulted him onto the scene.

Here are a few nuggets from his research which I’m pretty obsessed about:

  • 6% of wealthy say what’s on their mind vs. 69% for poor
  • 79% of wealthy network 5 hours or more each month vs. 16% for poor
  • 80% of wealthy are focused on accomplishing some single goal. Only 12% of the poor do this.
  • 88% of wealthy read 30 minutes or more each day for education or career reasons vs 2% for poor
  • 76% of wealthy exercise aerobically 4 days a week. 23% of poor do this.
  • 67% of wealthy write down their goals vs. 17% for poor
  • 44% of wealthy wake up 3 hours before work starts vs. 3% for poor.
  • 6% of wealthy watch reality TV vs. 78% for poor.

So yeah – lots of things to ponder today!

Now ask yourself: how will reading this blog post move you forward? 😉

from Finance