Information digest #3: socializing, relationships, DevSecOps, crypto

This week had somewhat of a theme again: socializing, dating, happiness. I also started on my new quest: thinking. Hint: Build up the life that others will love, so you can make them part of it.

Back to another week of reflecting on the information I consumed!

This week had somewhat of a theme again: socializing, dating, happiness. I also started on my new quest: thinking.

The last weeks were focused on uncovering interesting things about relationships and emotions, but I feel it's time for a switch again. So the next weeks will be more oriented towards the likes of abstract thinking, philosophy and complex systems. I'll try to use good stories and examples to support my writing, as the main reason I write these weekly posts is an attempt to learn to write about 'deep' topics in a simple way.

Consumed content

Good quotes:

  • Happiness is a condition that must be prepared for, cultivated, and defended privately by each person - Flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  • Ask yourself whether you are happy, and you cease to be so - J.S. Mill
  • Nothing radiates more than inner resilience - My own quote
  • Wanting positive experience is in itself a negative experience. The more you pursue feeling better, the less satisfied you become - The Subtle Art of not Giving a Fuck, Mark Manson
  • Train hard, fight easy - Alexander Suvorov

The digest


Not only is DevOps getting bigger and bigger, and is now quite mainstream, we're also seeing Security Operations become a more integrated part of the total lifecycle of modern software. Security should become a pragmatic principle in this lifecycle and the perception of both executives and engineers should change to help incorporate this optimal collaboration between the technical and operational side of a company.

Growth of 'Sec' in 'DevSecOps'
James mentions that the large enterprises get more active in the DevOps movement through their investment in Security Operations. Compared to small companies, these large organizations often have the budget and reason to invest in cutting edge security techniques. This stimulates adoption and progression from two sides of the spectrum: small and medium sized companies on one end, and large corporations on the other.

Added to this, or as a response to this perhaps, I see a lot of Security SaaS movement as well the last years. Services like Snyk, Gitlab CI and HackerOne make it easier for medium sized business - or small ones with adequate funds - to profit from modern security principles without having dedicated security engineers. DevOps engineers, or any developer with interest in these principles, can help manage risk early in the Software Development Lifecycle and life of a company.

Minimize time to detection
One good thing he mentioned - that I also see as one of the most important focus points for modern security practices - is reducing the time to incident detection. This has a lot to do with monitoring, which in turn requires a lot of buy in from operations and developers. If you invest in making sure your team knows when to respond, and you keep your organization agile and your team ready to respond fast, you're doing the right thing. Prevention is a very minimal part of being secure. Minimizing blast radius has to do with efficiency and resilience.

Decision Making: A Guide to Smarter Decisions and Reducing Errors

Decisions make up every waking moment. To be totally free of decisions (meaning cessation of all responsibility) is impossible. Whether you are sitting, walking or pondering a life changing choice, you have an ongoing responsibility to bear life with pride and a straight back. No one can do this for you. Living itself is a form of responsibility as the world around us is in flux constantly. You make micro decisions too. Whether to look at a plant, a person or your food, they all constitute experience and at some point require response. And to indicate the importance of this: What you aim at determines what you see. This means that what you focus your attention on, determines what you notice.

I've been a fan of thinking while using abstractions from aspects of system thinking for a long time now. My tools are borrowed from philosophy, neuroscience, evolution (complex adaptive systems) and general engineering. They help me make decisions and uncover my mistakes.

It is entirely possible (extremely likely, even) that someone, or multiple people, live their whole life not realizing something that would have changed everything. Let that sink in. Keep your eyes open. Our free will requires our embedding in a rich causal context.

Takeaway: Use tools! Resources on Farnam Street and books like Intuition pumps and other tools for thinking are very useful for this.

Four podcasts on relationships/dating from 'The art of charm'

Lots of talking and info here. I'll stick to takeaways, as I will be writing about this more extensively somewhere the coming weeks. I also have some posts here, here and here that are a bit related.

One core insight that I had was: Create something that others can reciprocate. This seems to be a good principle to act in a wholesome way.

Consent is essential and as men, we're often not taught what that actually means in a good way. Especially with the MeToo movement, consent is something we should define and cultivate. According to Amy Adele Hasinoff that was on one of the episodes, consent has to be:

  • Clear;
  • Coherent;
  • Willing;
  • Ongoing (especially this is important, it's not a checkbox).


Intimacy is not something you ‘get’. You ‘build’ it. Both parties should be enjoying it. You can feel it when it's there, and you're doing nothing wrong if it isn't. We don't have to feel the pressure to reach a goal. There is no protocol.

Dating markets

There are three ways to meet people: Online, through people you know and through people you don't. Apps, the main interfaces of online dating, inflate a sense of perfection. In terms of online dating and porn, it appears that not using our imagination for self stimulation, or at least the overall lack of it, impacts our general ability to become aroused. It's an imaginative process, and the predefined structure of online dating takes part of this away from us. Even in romance.

How to love

Do what you love, learn new things and try even more new things. You end up having a lot to give, and there’s not a lot more attractive than having experiences to give to other people. We experience the feeling of love individually, in the end.

An insightful takeaway I had here:

Build up the life that others will love, so you can make them part of it.

Think about the people you want to love, the things you want to love for yourself.

Another interesting notion is that the way we love ourselves, becomes the way we love others. If you don’t give yourself quality time, some rest and forgivenesses - if that’s not something you have as a value and cultivate - how can you express this care to someone else? This is summed up pretty eloquently:

We love ourselves, through loving others.

Insecurity and opening up

What you aim at determines what you see. This also applies to love and your self esteem. This applies to insecurity. You will believe your own story.

If you feel 'open' and able to give love, and you feel like you deserve love, you will radiate that and be present in the process. The continuous process of loving, is by far the most enjoyable part and for this, deserves constant effort. It's an effortful process.

De Nederlandsche bank on crypto, due to the upcoming Anti Money Laundering Directive 5

If you follow the latest on crypto in the Netherlands, you might've seen this, but De Nederlandsche Bank has published a press release where they indicate that due to the AML Directive 5 - that should be transposed in national law by January 10th 2020 by EU member states -, all companies offering wallet services or cryptocurrency exchange services must register themselves at the DnB before September 26, 2019.

There are quite some important changes with AMLD5 and I'm not up to date on all of them. There will be changes to the requirement of national 'Central registers' that make it easier to look up information on businesses throughout the EU, and much much more.

I read through their post, their press release and FAQ. Nothing unexpected and it's written with a relatively neutral orientation, and could be interpreted as a good first step of the DnB to start structuring the Dutch crypto ecosystem.


Some points I found relevant:

  • Providers who offer such services in the Netherlands from another EU Member State (including EEA), for example via a website, must also register irrespective of whether the service provider has its registered offices in that Member State.
  • If you have not submitted a request for registration by the time the Act comes into effect, you must cease to provide your services.
  • If I notify DNB now, does that mean I am a registered provider under the Wwft?
    No. This request is in order to get a clearer picture of the number of service providers and to be able to contact these parties with information in the future. At a later stage we will notify these parties about the registration requirement, the necessary steps they must take, and when they can register.

We can expect De Nederlandsche Bank to become more active in the crypto world throughout 2020. My estimate is that there will be few companies that will be affected greatly, due to the availability of easy to integrate services like Onfido and Chainalysis that help relevant crypto service providers comply with new and upcoming regulations. The ones that fail to either comply or circumvent regulations will naturally face challenges. However, besides some teams having more crypto anarchistic principles, I don't see big technical or operational challenges for the modern crypto service provider in the Netherlands.

Part of Game Changers

The book is built up in a similar way to 48 laws of power, so bite size chapters of principles and ideas to help you perform better. I had a couple of takeaways in the first 5 rules that I can share. The most essential principle is:

Be aware and honest about what is important to you. Make this a constant focus.

Some other, supporting takeaways:

  • To uncover a bit of what you want, ask yourself this every now and then: Look at a day 20 years from now. What will a day look like in that year? Who will you be with? Where do you wake up? What do you do? What do you change?
  • Try this every week: Reflect on what is important to you and what you work on and slowly but steadily figure out what things you do impact that as first, second or maybe third order consequences;
  • Don't do things you really don't want to. Things that are draining. Or make sure you work to minimize the time you spend on them;
  • Optimism can bring success. Optimistic salespeople sold 35 percent more insurance than the pessimists. Pilot research with salespeople in various industries—telecommunications, real estate, office products, auto sales, banking, and others—has found results similar to the insurance research. Optimists outsold the pessimists by 20 to 40 percent. (I looked up the paper);
  • You are always changing. It’s better to require things, try to always guide the change. Go against the natural tendency to go for energy preservation consciously. Take aim and take risks.


Quite happy with some of the learnings this week. I didn't include all consumed information as a part of it is dedicated to its own topic ('thinking straight', 'relationships' and more).

Next week will be the start of learning about thinking! Or rather.. learning about thinking about thinking. Maybe you can think about my thinking about thinking too, while we're at it.

If you have feedback or questions, reach out to me here! Or on Twitter/LinkedIn.


A funny meme I found while browsing this week indicating how relative and fluid meaning in our connected society is (basically a depiction of Twitter sometimes):