The Profile: The millionaire building a blockchain utopia & the quick fix for your anxiety

Good morning, friends.

I want to thank all of you who came to The Profile’s first meetup in New York City last week. It was a great night, and I loved meeting so many of you in person. There are real humans reading this newsletter! Still blows my mind. Hope to host another one soon!

In other news, my boyfriend and I are running the “original” marathon in Greece next Sunday. I’m accepting motivational quotes, funny gifs, and words of encouragement because, let’s be honest, there aren’t enough carbs in the world to prepare me for four hours of running.

Here we go:

— The school-shooting survivors [**HIGHLY RECOMMEND**]
— The millionaire building a blockchain utopia
— The politician’s wife
— The last comic standing
— The only human in Antarctica
The company making it ‘easier to live smarter’
— The quick fix for your anxiety


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PEOPLE TO KNOW.

The school-shooting survivors: There have been more mass school-shooting deaths in the past 18 years than in all of the 20th century. In this powerful compilation of profiles, New York Magazine features 27 school-shooting survivors, in their own words. Meet the people whose own bodies won’t let them forget the worst day of their lives.

“A bullet skimmed my head. There was blood, but it didn’t feel like it could be real.”

The millionaire building a blockchain utopia: Jeffrey Burns became a millionaire in the cryptocurrency boom, and he’s using his money to build a blockchain utopia across 67,000 acres in Reno, Nevada. So far, Burns has spent $300 million to build an experimental community where everyone’s ownership rights & voting powers will be recorded in a digital wallet. His ambitious plans involve a town, an e-gaming arena, underground vaults and lots of blockchain.

“This will either be the biggest thing ever, or the most spectacular crash and burn in the history of mankind. I believe it’s the former, but either way it’s going to be one hell of a ride.”

The politician’s wife: Senator Ted Cruz is one of the most polarizing figures in Washington, while his wife Heidi is one of the most admired. When they got married, Heidi had a hard time balancing her own independence and identity with that of her husband’s. She wasn’t OK being known as just “Ted Cruz’s wife.” This profile gives an honest look at what happens when ambition meets love.

“I think feeling empowered through different chapters of your life is so important.”

The last comic standing: Bill Cosby. Louis C.K. Roseanne. It certainly hasn’t been a very funny year for comedians. When asked about his disgraced peers, Jerry Seinfeld says the audience is always right (even about his #MeToo joke). “You can’t do whatever you want,” he says. “You can only do what works — if you want to have a career.”

“The thing I think that’s new for people — let’s take Roseanne and Cosby — is the suddenness and the precipitous fall. So much work, gone so fast.”

The only human in Antarctica: We featured this Henry Worsley profile back in February. It was about a modern-day explorer who set out to walk alone across Antarctica in 2016 and died tragically before he could finish his expedition. Nearly three years later, his protégé Louis Rudd plans to honor his friend by embarking on his own quest across the icy continent. While obsession, drive, & persistence can propel you to greatness, they can just as easily lead you to your deathbed.

“It seemed like my destiny. It’s one of the last great polar challenges that exist.”

COMPANIES TO WATCH.

The company making it ‘easier to live smarter:’ TheSkimm has transformed from a two-woman newsletter operation to a venture-backed startup with more than 7 million subscribers. It breaks down the news into conversational tidbits aimed at millennial women. But many, including me, take issue with its tone. An example: “What to say when your friend asks what time you can get drinks after work...I’ll be free earlier than expected. Just like Chelsea Manning.” As the writer notes, it’s bad for the cause of women taking themselves seriously as well as being taken seriously.

“Imagine what that could do if we started talking to women not in same the way that we’ve always thought that we had to in order to get their attention.”

The quick fix for your anxiety: Cannabidiol (CBD) is being touted as a magic elixir, a cure-all for all sorts of ailments, both physical and psychological. And it’s aggressively making its way into our daily lives — there’s CBD-infused bath bombs, ice cream, dog treats, and even coffee beans. Is it the most promising medical breakthrough in the last 50 years or just 21st-century snake oil? Hard to tell, but it won’t stop gazillions of new startups from selling you on the latest CBD-based sexual lubricant.

“Right now, CBD is the chemical equivalent to Bitcoin in 2016. It’s hot, everywhere and yet almost nobody understands it.”