Is This The Time I Finally Do It?

>> May 7, 2020

>> Blog Post #69

I signed up for a coding bootcamp this week. It’s not the first time I take some coding classes online, but up till now I had only taken a few free modules.

This time it’s an entire program and I actually paid for it. It was cheap, so whatever happens it wouldn’t feel like a waste of money, but it is a different feeling to actually pay for something.

I’ve been pretty active on the program for the past three days and it has actually eaten into my nighttime posting routine, but I’m sure I’ll figure out some sort of new organization to make it all work.

I also feel like I’ll be more committed to my learning plan this time around. There is more genuine interest, I actually have plans to use my soon-to-be new skills, my goals are achievable and so far, the program I’m following is really well done. You feel the person who’s put it together is genuinely trying her best to teach you and make sure you are satisfied.

I actually enjoy it so much I need to get back to it, NOW !

What should we tell the future generation?

>> April 17, 2020

>> Blog Post #60

These past four weeks have been easy. We are healthy, we can work from home, the kids have been helpful, I’m ok with teaching, the weather has been fabulous, we have a yard, we can go walk in the forest without running into anyone, etc.

No complaining on our side, I feel we have it good and I certainly cringe at the idea some of my friends are stuck in small Parisian apartments.

I think we have all adapted well to the situation, even though we have all done so on our own timeframes. The oldest kid here is just about done with high school. He’s eased his way into confinement really easy. Just stay in bed, chat over the phone and play video games. I heard someone mention he probably worked for a minute or two at some point, but no one knows for sure. He’s reached that age where everything is a drag and the prospect of trying to figure out what you’re supposed to do in the future is a question you face daily even though you don’t want to think about it and clearly do not know how to answer.

It’s been slow, as I don’t want it to be too abrupt, but I’m trying to get him to do a few chores everyday so that he participates in the family life and give him ample time to get bored – just take the power cable for the video games away. This has taken him out of his room quite a bit and he’s been around us more, for a few after dinner laid back chats or just to hang out. We haven’t really gotten to the point where we could start talking about the future without it turning into some kind of boring discussion, but I hope that we can get there in a bit, if this confinement continues. Because I see this time as being a great moment for us to try and help him figure out what he would like for himself. The whole COVID-19 thing is a terrific pause in everyone’s life to try and figure out what you really want more than anything and decide to go get it. I think part of what is really tricky for adolescents is that they feel like they don’t really have a choice or none of them is better than the other, probably because they are left with adult dilemmas. I don’t care what he does as long as he is happy about it. I just need to find a way to help him figure out who he really is so that he feels like he can be himself in his choices moving forward, whether we like it or not.

I personally always went for the middle road when making decisions regarding studies and the start of my career. It was a strategy picked consciously, in order to always keep a maximum of possibilities available to me. It wasn’t bad as I was successful with it if you judge by status or accomplishments or money etc. But definitely nothing shattering. However, I don’t think that’s how you should judge this, or at least that’s not how I do anymore. I think this strategy was actually the only strategy that kept me from being myself 100% at every decision and at this stage in my life, I have decided to change that. Now maybe this is wrong, but I believe that it is probably better to try to become who you really want to become even though it may be hard and you therefore should take that risk as early as possible, when life is easier – no kids, no mortgage, no boyfriend/girlfriend, etc.….

I’ll try to pass that message along.

Making Pizzas – After (session 1)

>> April 2, 2020

>> Blog Post #52

This is a perfect example of what getting sidetracked is like. I wrote the 1st part of this post back on January 24th, thinking the follow up would come within a couple days. Here it is, 2 months later…. That January evening, as I was planning on having the pizza discussion for dinner, I got an important call just before dinner and the discussion with the kids just never happened.

This time, I put my kids to bed after having read to them “Nobody know how to make a Pizza” and discussed it a little bit before kissing them good night. Here are just a few comments about the discussion

I don’t know how other children react to the story, but when I asked them beforehand if they knew how to make a pizza, they all said yes. What was interesting, is that I asked them separately, so they wouldn’t influence each other. Their answer was as expected, they just gave me the recipe, how to mix the various finished ingredients together: dough, tomato sauce, cheese and toppings. I proceeded to ask them if they knew how to make the dough. They said yes, you have to take some flour. Instead of asking them if they knew what else you needed to make dough, I asked them if they knew how to make flour. I believe I did this unconsciously as I wouldn’t have been able to actually know if they were right or wrong had they given me a longer list of ingredients for the dough as I am incapable of making dough myself. Now that I think of it as I am writing, I must make the effort to remember this tomorrow and tell them, just to show them how even parents don’t know everything (just in case they were wondering, which they probably aren’t).

Did they know how to make flour? Yes, they did! Or actually, they didn’t respond that way, they were unanimous in reframing my question and answering with – and I must say the complacent tone was pretty funny – “well you just go to the store and buy it”.

Anyways, we read through the story and they pretty much got the point that there is more to a dish or even a specific ingredient than meets the eye. The story will be helpful in that I will be able later on, to refer back to it and say, “see just like in the pizza story, try to see behind what seems so common”.

But that was it. No economics, no human action, none of that. That didn’t come spontaneously and maybe it just wasn’t the right time. Maybe they’ll ask questions later, or I will try to introduce the discussion again, but the first read was literal and all about pizza.

Originally, I had planned on teaching them some of these basic economic principles by reading The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible to them. I have met the author, Ken Schooland and like the approach a lot. But I opted for a simpler story by going with the pizza first. Maybe it was too literal and too childish after all.

I’ll obviously compare and write about it in the future. Now if anyone has experience with these books or others, please send me ideas or comments below or by email. I’m very much interested in what people have to say about teaching economic principles to children.

The Homeschooling Book – Part 3

>> March 27, 2020

>> Blog Post #48

I made some progress in the yard this week. I think I’ll be able to make a few posts about it next week. All I can say is that I really enjoyed these few moments spent in the yard working with my hands and spending time alone or with my kids.

This year we became friends with the parents of a kid who is in the same school as one of mine. The dad is a total nut. Super funny and bold as they come. He has had several entrepreneurial endeavors in the past but is currently working for a major bank in one of these high paying bullshit jobs. Talk to him two seconds and you’ll see just how futile he thinks this all is and he’ll tell you how desperate he is to find some project to work on and become an entrepreneur again.

Anyways, he called me a couple times this week and we talked about how we were both managing our respective households. He told me how he was keeping everyone active and busy at his house and then I did the same. Then at some point in the conversation, I said something – and I really have no idea what it was – that made say “yes that’s it, that’s what we could do”. He went on for 2 minutes super excited about how we should get into the business of starting some kind of alt school. It was funny, because we both appreciate each other’s humor and make a ton of jokes when we have these discussions, but it is true that there’s a little more to that than just getting excited by whatever project is just better than a banking job.

But what would a good alt school look like? I had often wondered without digging into the subject more, but this past few weeks at home led me to finally open a book I had downloaded a couple years back and titled “The Origin and Ideals of the Modern School”. (You can find a copy in The Anarchist Library). I am only halfway through it right now, but there is a passage that I liked and that fits perfectly well with my current gardening days.

Education like gardening

“This does not mean that we will leave the child, at the very outset of its education, to form its own ideas. The Socratic procedure is wrong, if it is taken too literally. The very constitution of the mind, at the commencement of its development, demands that at this stage the child shall be receptive. The teacher must implant the germs of ideas. These will, when age and strength invigorate the brain, bring forth corresponding flowers and fruit, in accordance with the degree of initiative and the characteristic features of the pupil’s mind.”

Excerpt From: Francisco Ferrer. “The Origin and Ideals of the Modern School”.

The Homeschooling Book – Part 2

>> March 24, 2020

>> Blog Post #45

Guess who is going to have 5 more weeks to work on his homeschooling project?

One of the difficult aspects of having everyone at home 24/7 is that you pretty much have to take charge of the weekly calendar for everyone. How autonomous were we when we were kids? I don’t remember. Looks like the attention span of my kids isn’t very long and they look at others for ideas of what to do quite a bit. Actually, today wasn’t too bad.

I think everyone needs to get a little more bored, to hit some kind of bottom, so that progressively the will to get genuinely excited and motivated by something comes up.

I’ve started to introduce a mandatory moment for the kids to get online and do some internet searches. I want them to be stimulated enough that then they would then start going for the DIY stuff which they really like. We’ll see how that goes.

Anyways, this is just a drill. We are practicing for later. We are learning more skills patiently while the confinement lasts. But we will probably take this mindset with us after. I hope we’ll be able to learn for years to come and maybe one day we can build a family citadel with the children.

The skills we are learning might come in handy if we want to put a roof over our heads, farm the food we need to survive or just want to change our lifestyle. They might come in handy as a way of living or as a way to earn money or trade. It will, whatever happens open up our horizons.

The Homeschooling Book – Part 1

>> March 23, 2020

>> Blog Post #44

The COVID-19 induced confinement period has been an opportunity for me so far. Of course, there are many problems because of it, and I’ve ranted enough about how afraid I am that governments are just going to seize this fine opportunity to grab more power and screw us more. But, overall, the mood has been very positive, and I’ve seen it as a chance to do more and to do things differently. Having the kids 24/7 and the weather being pretty nice have also been an underlying reason for this all.

This will probably turn into some big experiment for me and I decided to take a blank notebook and start writing down all my ideas around it and I will also probably take a journal of what I do to keep track of it all.

Being in confinement means spending all your time together. It means you have to reorganize both your time and your interactions. No more school, work, week-end rhythm punctuated by set alarm clocks and meals.

As I’ve said, I’ve taken this positively. I know I have more time to enjoy – and completely loose it – my kids, and I also know that they need to keep busy.

Mens sana in corpore sano – a healthy mind in a healthy body.

I actually like the Latin version better as it includes that notion of saneness, which for a ton of people is paramount when they are faced with spending their entire days locked up with their kids.

I am still figuring out my exact setup here, but so far, I try to have my kids work every morning and then spend some time outside in the afternoon on outdoor games or yardwork.

I am guessing that physical activity would be a better way to start the day, but thee reason I am keeping this for the afternoon is that it is still too chilly in the morning these days.

Here are some of the things we have done over the past week:

  • We’ve cleaned out an area on our lawn to grow a vegetable garden
  • We’ve recycled old wooden pallets in making a compost
  • I’ve trimmed the hedges and the kids helped me pick up the branches so that the garden is clean
  • We’ve trained the dog outside – or at least we’ve attempted too, but he’s so young the distractions are too frequent for much progress
  • We started discussing how we should proceed for the planting of the vegetables, when to do it, what to plant, where to plant seeds, etc.…
  • We’ve cut off the butt of one of the leaks we ate the other day and left it in water, as it is supposed to grow back, and we should be able to repot it in a few days’ time.
  • We’ve set aside some potatoes to sprout
  • We’ve cleared out an area to grow some fruit trees
  • We’ve played a board game every single day
  • We’ve introduced more frequent movie nights
  • We’ve let the kids “camp” in each other’s’ rooms
  • We’ve started to do half of the homework on the computer in order to start teaching them how computers work. Our hunch is it might be useful someday 🙂 We’ve maintained handwriting for the other half because I don’t want them not to know how to write with a pen properly.
  • But the most exciting, or at least the one which I was the most proud of was the 10 min race between my kids to see who would gather the most worms in the yard so that we could settle into our new compost. That was a hit and got them really excited.

What I’ve wanted to do but haven’t incorporated in the schedule yet:

All of this has taken more time than it should, as being all on top of each other does create organizational “problems”. Especially when the adults are also supposed to be working etc. So, we’ve taken it one step at a time, guessing that we will probably have a lot more time in confinement anyways. At least that’s my bet.

I want my children to read every day and to learn how to enjoy it. Reading at least 30 min a day is paramount in my opinion and this hasn’t been done every day. My plan is that it should be.

I also would like to incorporate some kind of muscular wake up routine, just to get some of the kids’ energy out in the morning or during our homeschooling breaks.

I’d like to add some elements to the school program that are more philosophical or geared towards building confidence in my children that we are all capable of pretty much anything that we set our sights on if we work hard and persevere.

And finally, I would like to have them do so internet searches on whatever we plan on doing together so that they bring ideas, get creative, start dreaming and maybe provide me with some guidance on what there is to do. This should tie in nicely with the goal above.

All in all, this should be seen as an overarching goal to develop the mind, the body, the personality of each kid in their own way.

I’ll follow up on this post regularly in the coming weeks.


>> March 18, 2020

>> Blog Post #42

We’ve now been confined for a couple days. I feel like we are going to have to get organized in order to maintain a normal life in very uncertain conditions and no time frame in mind. We’re used to having the kids at home during the holidays and there is nothing new there, but this time around, we’ve been asked by the teachers to actually continue the school program and effectively become the teachers. We are also working remote while planning for a pandemic, something we’ve never thought about previously.

Spring seems to be settling in, after a very mild winter. I therefore decided that we should spend some time out in the yard with the kids to keep them busy and avoid them going at each other too much. The yard needs some work, so I have more than enough to keep them busy.

But the situation being what it is, with a lot of uncertainty, with questions around our ability to find food easily at the supermarket – we managed to find toilet paper for the first time in ten days today – and the new responsibility of actually homeschooling the kids, I thought the situation was just right to change the program and teach them something both fun and useful: to build their own vegetable garden.

My guess is that we’ll all learn a ton – I know very little about it – it will be useful, it should keep us busy for long hours throughout most of the year, it will probably require a lot of DIY and last but not least, it will be an active moment that we spend together the kids and me.

I’m excited. At least we’re making the best out of this very unfortunate situation.

That which does not kill you makes you stronger.

Place your family at the center of your life.

Easy & Hard at the Same Time

>> March 10, 2020

>> Blog Post #38

I just spend the past 48 hours taking care of our new puppy.

Haven’t had a dog in years. Too long to remember much, and definitely too long to say that I know anything about dog training.

But I do know I want a well-trained dog and I fully intend to do everything I can to train it well and to do so myself.

So, I did whatever anyone else does in this day and age, that is to try to find good videos on YouTube that show you what should be done. I’ve watched a bunch over the past few weeks to get ready. I was happy to see that there were quite a few very popular ones (at least by views and likes) that seemed to preach the same method of training. You can probably tell I’m not the best student as I could not, if my life depended on it, tell you what that method is called. In a nutshell, it is all about reinforcing the positives in your dog’s behavior and establishing a good personal relationship between owner and dog.

Thinking about how to train my dog made me think about how to educate my kids, myself, how to teach people something you know etc. It’s funny how hard it is sometimes to teach something you know, to make it easily understandable when it’s so natural or habitual to you. And yet, sometimes it just seems impossible to get certain things through.

Watching the dog videos seems so easy, and yet, most dogs I encounter seem to respond fairly randomly to a set of standard commands. Do these people never watch YouTube? Do they not want their dog to be trained properly? Do they give up too easily? Or do I really think that I’ll be able to do better?

I’m very curious about how well I’ll do training my dog, and what it will tell me about myself. Training a dog probably compares well to other forms of teaching or training, and with the turn my life is taking, it should be a valuable measuring stick.

Bitcoin Training – Purpose

>> March 4, 2020

>> Blog Post #35

I have decided to start building training material about bitcoin and to slowly develop my training offering. If you have any questions or comments about this, please reach out to me at:


Too many people around me still have a problem understanding what bitcoin is.

  • Some don’t know;
  • some think they know things that just aren’t true;
  • some blindly repeat the worst fallacies ever;
  • most people seem to want to understand it better if you listen to them and are at least a little curious.

What people say they want and what they actually want is different.

People ask how they could learn more

  • I don’t necessarily know where to send them;
  • I very much doubt they are going to read all of the Nakamoto Institute resources by themselves;
  • what they are really asking for is for someone to talk them through it at least to get started;
  • people are often afraid of asking too precise questions, for fear of looking bad;
  • many are not used to conducting researching by themselves. A large majority of people – not all of course – have become too accustomed to having their hands held while learning, or worse, being told what to think. Please consider what I just said very carefully as it is one of my strongest beliefs;
  • Bitcoin seems so complicated it is scary;
  • we are still early enough in the game, that we do have to concede that we lack widely available, easy to understand resources.

Why I decided to do this

  • I feel like I can help since I’ve been involved in bitcoin for a few years;
  • I want more people to know about it and understand it;
  • it really makes me angry when I hear stupid comments and I feel like it is a personal responsibility to react – I’m looking at you flat earther types;
  • it is a good test for me to see if I can explain it myself – clearly, and in a way people will find interesting and worthwhile;
  • it is a great way of bringing more people into the bitcoin world – evangelize;
  • it is a great way of meeting people and growing your own network. Always happy to meet people who have a very different background and set of skills than mine.

What I think I know and what I actually know is different.


  • only by talking to real people, with real questions, and real needs / use cases, can you better understand what people actually know, need, want;
  • I run a bitcoin-only business and having a clear and precise understanding of how people interact / want to interact with bitcoin is extremely valuable – this could lead to new products or services that can be discussed or tested during those real-life interactions

and obviously you knew about this one:

  • the last item is money, I hope to be able to monetize parts of this: more info in the last paragraph of this section.

What “training” am I developing

As of today, the only thing I have is what is in the few lines above, so at this stage it’s all a work in progress, but this is the vision I have and the way I wish to approach all of this. Everything will be iterated anyways, as iterating is really a great mix of getting stuff out through the door while always keeping a strong focus on quality through peer / outside feedback.

training material / content:

  • articles, posts
  • slide presentations
  • longer text material
  • videos
  • infographics

training time / events:

  • in-person bitcoin training
  • classroom bitcoin training
  • hands-on product training
  • remote consulting

How it should work

The bitcoin ecosystem is a wonderful space to work in. I came into bitcoin after reading about the lives of the people who created the internet, their dreams, their ethos. A lot of the principles that they held dear to their hearts are fundamental to bitcoin. Knowledge wants to be free. Decentralization is a goal to tend towards. Open source is extremely powerful. These are just a few examples, but hopefully you get the overall gist and I’ll detail some of these and more in the training itself.

What I listed under training material and content should consist mainly of knowledge, that I will be formatting one way or another. As such, it will be freely available to all as long as there is no specific design element to things such as infographics etc. I should have a lot of this content on the website and it will be available to download for free. I do not own bitcoin or ideas or concepts.

The items I list under training time or events work the other way around. My time is precious, and I own it. You should therefore expect most of the items falling under this category to be tailor made by me and represent a time commitment on my side. They will therefore come at a cost and that will be a way for me to monetize my work. As in the above paragraph, there might be a few caveats / exceptions. Speaking opportunities for example, under certain circumstances – community-focused nonprofit events for example – might actually be free.

Knowledge is free, my time is not.

Please let me know in the comments section below if there is anything specific that you are interested in or would like to see developed or contact me by email. I’m always happy to discuss.