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Stronger Social Fabric

22 My Journey to Become an Economist

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[1] Norman Baker joined Nickantony Quach and Alec Mustafayev to form Bongo One, their secondmind family, at the start of 2022. Seven months later, during one of their weekly meetings, known as bongo drives, they met Lyonel Fritsch, a friend Alec had known since his freshman year in high school. The unlisted video [Why Lyonel Shook Nick’s Hand | A Handshake of Intention | S1E1 | Ri4CTV](v=np9hl8RlWcc) captured part of their conversations, presented below.

[2] “I shook for an agreement between Nick and me to write a book about my journey to become an economist,” explained Lyonel. “The book should cover my growth in understanding the economy, which requires a diverse knowledge base of different disciplines. It’s not about me becoming an expert just, but more or less analyzing how I grow as a person studying these subjects and my growth as a person because of it. It’s not about the end goal. It’s more about the journey, understanding how I go from one place to another, and getting there. When you see a house being built, you learn much more from how houses are built than just showing a completed house to someone. Do you understand what I’m getting at?”

[3] “I think so,” replied Norman. “I get the gist of that. You would like to describe your learning experience. Has anyone ever approached you with this before?”

[4] “Not before Nick,” said Lyonel.

[5] “Really,” said Norman.

[6] “Yeah,” said Lyonel, “really.”

[7] “What makes you interested in doing this at this time?” asked Norman.

[8] “I wouldn’t say at this time, but I feel like it might be too early for it,” said Lyonel. “I think there’s just a lot of growing that I still have to do. I’m only halfway through my undergrad college.”

[9] “That means you’re just 20?” wondered Norman.

[10] “Yeah, I’m just 20,” said Lyonel.

[11] “Cool,” said Norman.

[12] “What I want to study may require a Master’s or even a Ph. D.,” said Lyonel. “I feel it’ll be slightly premature to work on [the book in full force] now. Starting now, I just take notes and then develop it once I’ve gotten to a point where I’m ready to share a valuable learning experience with people.”

[13] “What would make your story valuable to other people?” asked Norman.

[14] “It’s just seeing how you get through life,” said Lyonel. “The primary component is understanding if you’re interested in studying economics, the economy, or anything related. You can read books about it. You can read textbooks and take classes. However, you don’t necessarily learn how to apply it to life instinctually from classes or reading books with bare-bones information.”

[15] “It’s true, though,” agreed Norman.

[16] “You have to learn from other people,” said Lyonel.

[17] “It’s too clinical if you’re learning just in an academic setting,” agreed Norman.

[18] “Even then, too, it’s like with some jobs I know,” said Lyonel. “Having experiences is a lot more worthwhile than certifications or even a degree. The experience ultimately matters the most with what you want to do. Everyone’s different. If you read my story and take it one for one and for how you’re trying to apply it to your life, I think you’ve missed the point. You should learn how to become unique and your person and do what suits you. My story is just to help you figure out how he did it. Maybe I can try it like that or differently. It’s ultimately about knowing how you relate to your knowledge. Knowing things being book smart is good on paper, but you need a little more.”

[19] On top of that, maybe some people are not interested in his subject, but because of his book, they learn a little about it,” added Nick. “Because of that, they’re more interested in the subject. That’s my idea on the side.”

[20] “I hear you loud and clear,” said Norman.

[21] “Thank you,” said Nick. He turned to Norman. “Can I ask you to do me a favor and go to your phone and give him access to Foresight Max?”

[22] “I want to share a few paragraphs so you can read them aloud and see what you think of them,” Nick told Lyonel. “I have to sell you on my writing skills.”

[23] “Okay,” said Lyonel.

[24] “He’s already written about economics, so it’s perfect,” Alec chimed in.

[25] Lyonel reads aloud Chapter 1, Paid in Satoshis, of the book Thumoslang Guide to Blockchain & Cryptocurrency for Beginners.

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