Last Updated on August 12, 2022
A few days ago I checked the news of the area I was in (to keep my hand on the pulse on the future covid rules), and I saw these headlines.
It’s November 2022, and a large vocal ‘minority’ of countries and people are still wondering if they’re going to be “locked in” this Christmas, how is my “reality” a morning where I realize Bill Gates and me were chilling at the same beach and I’ve been in 4 countries in the past 5 weeks unvaccinated? (yes, more on this later)
Well actually one part of that comes down to one word “Riviera”
If you Google the word “Riviera” every article talks about the French Riviera, at worst they might mention the Italian Riviera.
But how come Turkey isn’t mentioned? “Well it’s Turkey yikes 😬 it’s near Syria don’t you know it’s super dangerous and the government has been becoming crazy the past years”
“Turkish Riviera”, *cough* commoner *cough*.
But then how come Bill Gates (& me) are relaxing down here, well because the Turkish Rivera is great and people’s perception of it is wrong as usual, especially when Turkey isn’t authoritarian with Covid unlike the rest of Western Europe.
Andrew from Nomad Capitalist’s tagline of “Go where you’re treated best” basically sums up this view.
Turkey’s Riviera is half the price of the French’s Riviera, so any decent mildly average freelancer/digital nomad can afford it so that would be a reason it was a better option for many people.
But of course price doesn’t apply to one of the world’s richest man, but “Go where you’re treated best” still applies and while France pushes for a Vax pass, Turkey let’s people travel in peace.
One of the most popular “clap back” to above example of a person (me) is to say that they’re “out of touch” that’s often a phase used dismiss opinions. In fact, I wanted to plant that idea in your mind in the first place to get to the point of this article.
Look at that phase, “out of touch”… with what?
“Base Reality grounded in physics”? haha you’re joking right? No one cares about that.
Out of touch with the “reality of the person whoever is using that phase”.
I remember having a heated discussion with a friend in El Salvador about this, I remember him using the “most people” argument ie. Most people aren’t listening to podcasts and they don’t understand bitcoin they just read the mainstream news.
I remember saying that 20% of the world work in agriculture and another 30% of the world’s population work in factories. So when you use the world “most people” are you talking about those people, or are you talking about the 10% of the world who works in offices and are on Twitter aka your friends and family?
Well they’re not “most people” they’re just “your people”. And instead of using the “most people aka your people” excuse maybe just focus on yourself.
Globally unless you’re talking about factory workers and farmers, if you ever use the phase “most people” you aren’t really referring to most people. You’re referring to the people like you or similar to you in everything except one thing. Ie your people.
So basically the people who use the word “out of touch” are usually the people who’s the most out of touch with reality cause to them “their reality” is the “only reality that matters”.
They’re just talking about the shared reality of that person and their in group and they believe that’s what “normal” means.
This is something I’ve seen people struggle a lot with in the past years, the idea of shared reality either cause they don’t share other people’s ‘shared reality’ or cause they’re forcing their shared reality on others.
I think a lot of what I’ve written in the past year comes back to this topic.
I’ll be assuming that you read the above articles in the rest of this article.
How to talk to normies?
Recently my girlfriend joked that most of the time I talk to people my advice ends up sounding like the meme “stop being poor”.
I think all my conversations with friends about “most people ….” work along the same line and over the past years I’ve seen the same thing happen with a lot of the people who left the shared reality of the mainstream or “jumped s curves”
So thought I’d share my journey because there’s a very important that I want to highlight: it doesn’t get easier.
For me religion was the first “shared reality” that I let go, I started questioning religion the moment I could think and was an atheist in my early teens so I was the outsider in my own family where my mom goes to church everyday (yup not just Sunday but everyday) and my cousin is a priest.
Can you talk about religion to someone who literally not metaphorically believes that a person came back from the dead? Nope, so you stop talking about religion cause it’s pointless.
The next shared reality that I left was food and fitness, I went from a chubby kid with a tummy to have an 8-pack and deadlifting 200kg at 17 years old. Also realized that most peoples view on sugar, carbs and fat are completely wrong even the people in the gym.
Can you talk about fitness to someone who believes that it’s all genetics and have never paid attention to food and doesn’t know that sugar is near poison and seed oil is bad? Nope so you stop talking about food cause it’s pointless, you let them believe their ideas and be victims.
You get the point. The next ones for me were obviously college, business, travel, digital nomadism etc etc.
I did an interview for Dutch documentary on bitcoin, here’s a short clip where I talk about just work and business.
Ps. While convincing people of beliefs aren’t useful, I do believe it’s useful to help people who are making the effort. My belief is that it’s easier (and good) to help someone who’s walking to run, but forget about the people who haven’t made the effort to walk.
When it was only religion or fitness it was easy to have normal conversations with people cause “hey we’re all in this together” but for every s curve I’ve jumped it’s become close to impossible for me to talk about things cause our realities just don’t match.
As an example, 2020 was a year when most of my high school friends graduated out of college and had to try and work just as a pandemic raged, while in mid 2020 I “retired” cause my business were automated. That’s an example of gaps that become impossible to bridge for years.
Another example is how the entire world used zoom for the first time in 2020, but I haven’t had a work Zoom call since 2018. “We’re all in this together” is the most dangerous belief I see holding people back.
Relevant Read: Early vs late
Going back to the idea of jumping S curves, most people in the world don’t jump any s curves that’s a given let’s ignore them for the rest of this discussion.
There’s a second group after that, it’s the people who jump s curves once or twice and wrap their whole identity in new curve they’re in.
- it’s the fitness guy who got into fitness whose identity is entirely wrapped up in being the “fitness guy”
- It’s the YouTuber who quit an office job to be a “content creator” and identifies as the “person who quit the office to be a YouTuber” for the rest of their life
- it’s the conspiracy theorist who found out how the system is broken and is always searching for how it’s soo much more broken, it has to be worse right? And sees conspiracies where they’re none.
Why do I want to highlight this group, well cause I see most young high achievers get stuck in the second group.
They are the ones who go a little bit outside the box, get comfortable in that box and spend the rest of their life trying to get more people in that box so that they’re not alone.
Why? Shared reality.
“Large numbers of strangers can cooperate successfully by believing in common myths. Any large-scale human cooperation – whether a modern state, a medieval church, an ancient city or an archaic tribe – is rooted in common myths that exist only in people’s collective imagination.”
Sharing our beliefs with others is a primal human desire. In my article “what are you optimizing for” I shared that “most people care more about being perceived as being right, rather than actually being right”
I found the above image on medium while trying to find different ways to highlight my thoughts on this subjects. I think I’ll use it to highlight my final points on Shared reality.
- shared reality has nothing to do with the actual reality of the world, it’s just the overlap of two worldviews.
- when people use the words “most people” what they really mean is “my people/people like me”
- the more ‘s curves’ you jump the less of a shared reality you have with people
- more people care about building a shared reality than finding about the true reality
I haven’t written about Covid since my article titled “Risk” in June early this year. I thought I’ll share an update and illustrate a point about shared reality.
I have seen two vocal narratives and have friends who believe both of these.
- Everyone including kids should be vaccinated and we should force people to get vaccinated by treating them as second class citizens of society.
- I’m not going to get an experimental vaccine and society is become tyrannical and I’m going to spend my time fighting against this “clown world”
Are they people that don’t fall into these camps? Yup the silent majority, of course but the above two narratives are the most popular that’s driving behavior and rules.
What’s the silent majority solution? Something along the lines of “I know a lot of things aren’t making any sense but I stopped asking questions a while back and I just go along with things”.
Well so which shared reality do I pick? Well neither of course.
When someone in life gives you two options, always pick option #3
For starters we’re up to 4 billion people around the world vaccinated against Covid. That’s a lot, and for every month the vaccine has been out there the risks are more assessable.
I shared this “vaccine cheat sheet” to a few people early this year cause it felt pointless talking to people before they read it.
- Vaccines don’t ‘eradicate Covid’ (no matter how much booster shots) but it does save a ton of lives.
- Vaccines basically reduces risks for everyone who gets vaccinated & reduces the spread overall.
- Think of the current vaccines as cutting 20-30 years off and taking comorbidities away. Not a silver bullet.
Natural immunity (from having had covid) is equal and probably better than vaccine immunity*. Especially against variants. But if you don’t have antibodies it’s stupid intentionally getting Covid to get antibodies.
So basically ‘fat 50 year old vaccinated’ = ‘healthy 30 year old unvaccinated’
Notice two things in this image:
- how this y axis scale is log aka the drop is a lot more the older you are.
- how it stops at 30 because the risks to young people are so tiny wrt Covid.
There’s no massive upside on an individual health level for someone young & healthy to get vaccinated.
Reasons to do it either way:
- More people vaccinated = maybe fewer future mutations (but this get less true every day)
- Your job/country forced you (leave/quit?)
- So you don’t have to deal with pcr tests traveling internationally (maybe slower travel)
- So other people will shut up (stop talking to zombies?)
Do you consider the above valid reasons? Maybe. Will probably be a personal choice out of convenience.
Conclusion: when most people who are in the risk groups get vaccinated, hospitals in those countries tend to be empty and people live life like normal Ie there is no more excess deaths.
What’s the conclusion of my vaccine cheat sheet?
Well it’s that most people benefit from vaccines and the downsides are pretty low, but the younger and healthier you are the lower your upsides.
Part 2: Tyrannical?
Is society going crazy and tyrannical, well it honestly depends on where you are if you’re in Australia, Canada, most of Asia, coastal US and Western Europe well you probably think it is.
Here’s a site I’ve been visiting 100s of times the past year: Skyscanner Travel Restrictions
this is how the map looks for me from Turkey as of November 23, notice: how Western Europe, Northern America, Asia is completely red.
Why am I highlighting this Map? Well cause 2022 was my second most traveled year and I’m unvaccinated. 38,000 Kms.
- 13,000km road trip across Argentina (No pcr, no vaccine, few papers for permit)
- Interesting fact: when I started my road trip 0 people in the world were vaccinated, notice how quickly narratives and fear spread. “Obvious” is just a belief.
- El Salvador (pcr to enter, didn’t use a mask after leaving the airport)
- Mexico (No pcr, nothing needed)
- Serbia (pcr)
- Turkey (pcr + 2 min form)
- Albania (pcr but no one checks and no masks indoors or outdoors throughout the country, basically Sweden but open to foreigners) #TiranaUHap
So I’ve traveled 38,000km, been across 4 continents and only did 5 Covid tests and no place forced me to get a vaccine, in fact I can travel in peace in all of these countries and for every month that passes more and more of the world is opening up to me.
In fact, for the past 3 months outside of airports & a few building here and there I haven’t had to wear a mask. Where’s the tyranny? /s
When this year started less than 10 countries on the map was green now almost all of Africa and South America is green. (Guess I know where I’m spending next year)
In fact, here’s what I think will actually play out: As everyone is coming to the realization that even vaccinated people can transmit the virus even vaccinated people will require a pcr to enter most countries going forward. So most countries in 6 months will fall in 3 camps.
- No pcr, no vaccine (Mexico, El Salvador, Albania until recently etc)
- Vaccine + boosters + pcr (most of south east asia, western Europe, Canada etc next year)
- just PCR, vaccination doesn’t matter (most of the world)
Note: Add quarantine to above calculation if you’re flying into an insane location.
So most of the upside of having a vaccine for traveling the world will mostly disappear. (You should see how annoyed vaccinated people get when they have to do a pcr to travel😂)
Side-note: The “I’ve taken the risk of getting the vaccine for society and so should you” reminds me of stupid college graduates that think they should earn more because they have a worthless piece of paper. Basically people who haven’t lived in the real world and just spend their time virtue signaling.
Are some countries going crazy with rules? Yup of course that’s why I’ve basically written off south east Asia until 2023.
Per @nntaleb rule “the most intolerant wins” the fearful vaccinated will drive out the unvaccinated.
Unvaccinated will mingle with vaccinated, but a loud minority of vaccinated won’t mingle with unvaccinated.
Thus, intolerant customers will force employers to require vaccines.
— Naval (@naval) August 3, 2021
In Naval’s tweet above many people are mistaking