Number Go Up: Inside Crypto's Wild Rise and Staggering Fall by Zeke Faux
I read nonfiction books every now and then when the topic is especially interesting to me. This book fits the bill. Perhaps more so because it got vastly out shined by Michael Lewis's book "Going Infinite" that came out at the same time. However, I got the gist of Lewis's take from his Judging Sam series on his podcast.
This book does indeed speak of the same central character. I especially loved the deadpan humor with the beginning sentences:
"I'm not going to lie," Sam Bankman-Fried told me.
This was a lie.
Faux's reporting goes way beyond the whole thing with SBF, though. From chasing the Tether white whale, a dollar-pegged crypto currency that will not reveal where or how it's keeping its dollars. To countless Filipinos who got caught up in a speculative crypto game that led to financial ruin. To literal compounds of enslaved people in Cambodia forced to engage in "pig butchering" scams that leverage crypto for their payments.
Let us just say that this book’s accounts reinforced my ongoing skepticism of the actual utility of crypto currency as a store of stable value.
Very compelling stuff.
The Iron Oath on Steam
And surprise, surprise. I am not Lando in disguise.
That is in reference to a decades-old Kenner Star Wars commercial. A deep cut for the two of you who remember it.
Instead, I speak of yet another turn-based tactics indie game on Steam. The Iron Oath.
This one focuses on a group of mercenaries who are betrayed by one of their own at the beginning. And also must deal with a death mist breathing demon dragon who periodically sprays a random city with death mist, mutating inhabitants and creating a bunch of rifts that demons pour through.
Naturally, I love the premise of this.
I ended up naming my mercenary crew the Storm Riders, and we had to hop to it to earn money, get clues about the traitors, and help out whenever the demon dragon sprayed death some place.
I liked the hexagon grid and all the unique character classes like Pyrolancer fighters with their flaming pole arms and the kung-fu monk Pugilists. I also liked the skill trees, especially the overwatch mechanics for the Huntresses, which repeatedly saved my team's bacon.
I'll admit that it gets a bit repetitive with identical dialogue for the random contracts. And I wish they'd put more of a resolution for the demon dragon's plot in the main game, rather than relegating it to a later update.
Even so, I had a bunch of fun.
So I say, give it a whirl if you are a tactics-o-phile like me.