The Letters of Clio #4 — Complicated is The New Black and a Deep Dive into Web3

Good morning, welcome from... my old apartment. We haven't moved, and we haven't even gotten the keys yet. The delivery has been postponed to Monday.

This isn't a big issue as we didn't start packing this weekend after all, unlike what I said in the last newsletter. Oops! If you know me personally, this won't surprise you. (Hi, mom!) I could very well just be named Lord Clio, Protector of Procrastination, First of His Name.

Oh, and one more thing before we start: I published the essay of this week's Letters on the blog, but to see the whole content, you have to sign up. If you read this through email, no worries, you are all set.

And thanks to Greg for helping me fix a stupid issue in my theme files. You're a genius.

Now to this week's essay!

I have been dabbling my toes into investing recently. I've mostly been writing my own set of investing rules and game-plan for next year. How much money do I want to invest, the split between long-term and short-term, do I want to touch crypto, etc.

What I've realised while doing this is that most of these things aren't that complicated. All you need is a set of rational rules, maybe some automation and then stop thinking about it.

Unfortunately, humans are neither rational nor very good at simplifying their lives. We seem to like complicated. The more extraordinary the method, the more we believe it's the correct option. While in reality, it's probably the opposite. Occam's Razor exists for a reason.

I see this in more than just investing. Life, in general, doesn't need complicated hacks to be decent.

Take health, for example. We follow all these crazy diets, take all these supplements (yours truly included), invent all these exercise regimens, and generally follow every new trend created by a celebrity.

And yet, as soon as you dig deeper, read up on some science, you realise the basics are all always the same:

  1. Sleep enough
  2. Hydrate (with water)
  3. Eat not too much, but primarily vegetables
  4. Exercise regularly, preferably in the sun
  5. Do things you love for the sake of doing them
  6. See friends and family

Unfortunately, to quote Oliver, these things are simple but not easy. And they are boring. We dislike boring. We are not wired that way.

So, we overcomplicate stuff. We try to find exciting methods because they seem to motivate us in the short term. But because this shit's complicated, we mess up, then stop doing it to the surprise of no one but ourselves.

I suffer from this myself: what is the best supplement for longevity, what new tool makes me work smarter, what's the latest news in meditation, is there an app that makes me a better writer?

There is always an answer. There is always one more thing. And so, I catch myself spending more time trying to optimise something than following the basics – more time researching doing the thing.

And yet, that's all it needs. Good, balanced basics, followed regularly.