simondlr #19 - This Artwork Is Always On Sale v2

Hi friends.

It’s been a strange few months.

I’ve been living alone now for 100+ days now due to the covid19 pandemic. Before this, one of the things I always wondered, is whether I would be able to spend excessive time by myself. I think many of us, even the most extroverted among us, have wondered whether a life in a cabin in the woods somewhere would suit us. I’m fortunate that this pandemic hasn’t caused physical or financial strain on me, and thus my small sacrifice to protect others, is to stay home as much as I can. It wasn’t clear, however, what emotional toll this might take on me. I generally enjoy cities, and engaging with other people. eg, when I can, I dance once a week, or head to a local Smash Bros tournament, see family, go rock climbing with friends, etc. None of that is happening regularly now.

I’ve definitely shifted gears and in some sense, I feel I’ve retreated towards the person I was when I was a socially awkward teenager: enjoying spending time in my own worlds, spending afternoons playing games, coding, or writing. This time round, however, I don’t have to struggle with a 56kb modem.

So, to answer the question: the trade-offs to living a life alone would be manageable for me. At least I would survive. I would also at least thrive for a while. There’s still a key difference: we know things will return to normal, so this is not indefinite.

There’s some new habits I picked up during this time.

  • Exercise daily for 20-30min. Either a walk/run or just some strength training to get my heart-rate up.

  • I’ve developed a new addiction to all manner of teas. It’s winter here, so it helps.

  • Waking up earlier and getting more sunlight. Long nights in the dark, although it can be productive times, gets to you.

  • Cooking. Oh boy. This has been fun. I haven’t cooked this much, ever. I’ve been trying to perfect my preferred egg fried rice. Still experimenting.

How are you coping? Picked up any new habits along the way?

This Artwork Is Always On Sale V2

It’s also the first time I actively coded for more than a year. A friend at Wildcards, Jason Smythe, sent me medium-severity bug reports on TAIAOS v1. There are potential ways in which an attacker can steal funds during transactions. Details here:

This prompted me to get back into Ethereum coding after spending most of my time writing for the past year. I tried using all new frameworks that I didn’t use out of habit in the past. It’s been great, and I learned new things again. Ethereum development frameworks are always improving. It’s great. Infinitely better than when I first started in 2015.

In doing so, I released v2 of ‘This Artwork Is Always On Sale’. This new artwork has a 100% patronage rate.

I describe my reasoning in my new blog post on it here:

Novel Update! ‘Hope Runners of Gridlock’.

After giving early BETA copies to readers, I’m actively back in revision mode. I also revealed the cover, designed by the talented Dale Halvorsen. I know many more have asked to read the BETA copy, but atm, I’m deferring until I have this new revision finished. I’ve made some strong structural changes that I feel better represents the story I want to tell. I expect to be finished with this soon (somewhere in July).

I’ve always had a back-and-forth in my mind about how to publish this novel. From traditional publishing, episodic weeklies, self-publishing, to free. It’s still uncertain to me. However, the most important factor for me, for a debut novel is to ensure this gets as broad reach and distribution as possible. I enjoy writing, and the first goal is see whether this story I wrote gains traction amongst readers. It’s not just a test for the story itself, but whether I can write fiction well enough such that the world I imagine, the characters I sympathise with, and the arcs that happen can get out of my brain and into the minds and hearts of others. I won’t know unless I try to get as many to read it as possible.

So, with that, at this stage, at very least, I’m aiming to release the next revision, for free, as a public BETA. At this stage, I would consider the book to be structurally complete, and the final process is my own copy editing, followed by copy editing by a professional. Thus, if I choose to sell it, there would still be changes from the public BETA to the final book.

Still thinking about this, however. For now: editing mode.


Modelling Human Trajectory.

Extrapolating from the past takes us to an infinite future. Open Philanthropy tries to wrestle with this paradox. Really interesting read.

TikTok Aesthetic

A part of TikTok that I really enjoy is the #aesthetic part. Videos that are short snapshots of feeling. Soul nuggets of escapism. I tweeted a small thread for some escapism. Enjoy.


This dapp allows a simple lending marketplace to develop around Ethereum NFT/Collectibles. If the borrower can’t repay, then the lender can simply take ownership over the collectible.

Japanese Zoning

I adore Japanese zoning policy. It’s nuisance vs euclidean zoning. This means more flexibility in zoning and I generally feel it’s great reason why a place like Tokyo can fit 37 million in its metro area without it collapsing. I’ll probably write a more in-depth post on this in the future.

Creators, Communities, Crypto

I enjoyed this discussion between Fred Ehrsam, Jesse Walden, and Blake Robbins. It captures a lot of the themese/ideas I’ve shared around how blockchain technology can empower creators & communities.

That’s all for this edition. I’ve tried adding some personal touch to this newsletter at the start. Let me know if you enjoy that.

Remember: Wear a mask, #BlackLivesMatter, and catch a sunset when you can.