I'm a year old male Homo Sapiens & M.Sc. in Computer Science student at Lund University.
I also happen to exist in the same universe as you.
When I about 5 years old, my uncle Wolf (yes, that's his actual name) who worked for Apple at the time got my family our first home computer apart from my dads work laptop, an iMac G3. Shortly after my other uncle Arne, developer of Sweden's first commercial videogame, got us a few games to play, notably Star Wars Racer and Carmageddon II. I played those two games like there was no tomorrow, seeing cars and podracers pass the finish line at 1st place (and blow up) they made me develop a deep bond with the machine.
A few months into kindergarten I found out that one of my new found friends had this amazing thing called broadband which gave you UNLIMITED access to the internet without having to dial up! I thought this was the coolest thing as I had been playing Shockwave games but with a time-restraint set by my parents. I barely remember Netscape, but I'm fairly sure I used it back then.
So, in 3rd or 4th grade something interesting happened, there was this online MMORPG called Tibia which me, my friends,
and pretty much every computer-game playing student on the entire school played it.
Somewhere in the beginning of 2011 I first found out about Bitcoin and I was thrilled about the possibilities that came along with it. Naturally, I began mining them. After a month or so I started thinking about expanding my mining operation, being 16 and financially responsible I decided that I could afford to risk 1500 SEK for a Radeon HD5850, so I bought one. So I had managed to accumulate a double-digit amount of Bitcoin over a few months mining off and on.
But then in May 2011 something interesting happened, the price rose by 3200% in 7 weeks. I was a part of the original insane speculative Bitcoin bubble, and I (like everyone else) went completely nuts (after all, we were going to the MOON!). But I managed to sell my double-digit amount of bitcoin at $28, not a bad deal, right?
Well, if you've seen the price lately you know that it was a kind of a bad move. A few weeks later I accidentally short-circuited my HD5850 (Whoever decided it was a good idea to put metal flaps on SATA connectors, I'll find you).
But I'm not mad, after all, I'm lucky to even have had the opportunity to miss out on ~$50000.
In early June 2012 I started writing a small Bitcoin-trader that profited on simple
spread trading on the Swedish Bitcoin market Kapiton. The investment was small and
so was the profit due to relatively high fees on the market (1.35%) but in the end I
think I made ~50$ over a couple of months on a 150$ investment, not bad. But the
golden days didn't last long, the spread narrowed and the profits went down to
levels that simply weren't worth my time and development halted entirely in early
July since I was working at a corrugated fiberboard factory over the last 4 weeks of
summer break. Then school resumed and development didn't really resume until a few
weeks later, when the bot hadn't been running for several weeks and I found that
the spread was once again large enough to make a significant profit, I once again
started trading with the bot and made small upgrades and fixes when I had the time.
I had for the past couple of years read some of the writings of Gwern and had occasionally stumbled upon some of his posts on the site LessWrong. Unfortunately I had not payed the community much attention when the occasional link led me there but around the end of 2013 I began reading the Sequences and was completely blown away.
I had all my life been trying to be rational (despite friends and family with
The Straw Vulcan view of rationality
occasionally challenging my belief in it), but I had never gotten exposed to the kind of content
that the people at LessWrong were contributing. I'd struck gold. As a consequuence, my reading list grew faster than ever before but the backlog is (relatively) quickly fading away.
If I did something well and you want to throw me a buck or two you can do so using one of the methods below. If you include a message of what I did well I'll try to keep doing it!
If you feel generous and would rather like to donate to a charity than me directly, please keep reading. Whenever you donate to charity you should keep in mind that your money does different amounts of good in the hands of different organisations so please try to evaluate where you think it will do the most good and act upon it. The list below is merely suggestions and where I put some of my money. And last but not least: diversification is good.
Everything that I write here is under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 license. You are free to distribute, modify and do pretty much anything you want, but you must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You also can't use it for commercial purposes.