What I'm Up to

Written November 26, 2023.

Hi, my name is Aaron. I live in Idaho with my wife and two daughters, and work as a systems administrator and administrative manager for a local family-owned business. Aside from my job, and raising kids, here is what else I am up to right now.

Writing a Book dedicated to my daughters

Containing the best of human knowledge about how to live a life worth living.

I believe a human being is the greatest gift to the world, and I’m dedicating myself to investing in my children, ensuring the best of what we know about how to live a good life is accessible to them, and to share this knowledge whoever could use it.

On this quest, I am asking all the people that I know and admire:

The general outline of the book

This is my first book, and I believe it is 15-20% complete (so probably more like 5%).

Tech Independence

How did all the data I thought was mine end up on Google-owned or Amazon-owned servers? Oops.

I've been getting tired of all the data storage upgrades in iCloud and Google, and then I wondered, how much of these online paid services do I actually need? Turns out when you strip out all but the essential, one: A domain name registrar to get your own domain name for roughly $10/year. I can still have my own website, email, contacts and file storage/sharing/backupData storage costs a little more, but certainly worth the price compared to the first tier of any freemium provider I know of.

With the help of the free guide from Derek Sivers at sive.rs/ti, I set up my own server that only I can access where my data can live and only I can touch it. It’s a strange and exciting feeling. Now using email services like Gmail, or web hosting services, or cloud backup services are no longer obligatory, but optional, as it should be. If any of these companies torch all my data on their servers, which they are free to do since I gave it to them, I will still have it all on my own servers, and I can still email and run my own website, backup my photos and all the rest. A tremendous thanks to Derek, who generously shared this with the world.

I recommend Derek's guide for anyone who can follow directions and has moderate computer skills. I would like tech independence to be expanded to more people, as it should be a basic human right as soon as possible.

Tech Independence for Everyone?

How can we make the power of programming, open source, AI, the internet, flow directly to the user/creators with as few big tech intermediaries (Microsoft, Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, etc) taking a slice of the pie?

Is there a way to leapfrog Web 2 and provide a user-friendly onramp to the world of Open Source and Web 3, where there are no frills and everything just works without the constant frustration attendant with the multitude of apps, ads, upsells, logins and subscriptions?

Finding a Star Business

In The Star Principle by Richard Koch, author Richard Koch points out that you can be extremely successful as an average person by contributing to a Star Business, defined as the market leader in a fast-growing niche, as opposed to working hard and smart at a non-Star business. 97-99% of business ideas are not stars, so chances are you work for one (I do, but there is potential to turn it into a star). Since there are unlimited possible star ventures, we should be a lot more selective with the kinds of businesses we build and work for.

I find the main point compelling and difficult to deny: Why waste your time with an okay or good business, when there are thousands of star ventures already started or waiting to be created that need employees and investors to grow? So I’m implementing the book and generating a long list of ideas. I’m also seeking like-minded, rationally optimistic, highly ethical, big thinkers to collaborate with in this project, which the author calls a “Star Alliance.”

Books I'm reading