The Profile: The original king of crypto & the firm that ‘erases your past’ from the internet
This edition of The Profile features Arthur Hayes, Madison Campbell, and Amaryllis Fox.
Good morning, friends.
On Wednesday, I published one of my favorite Profile Dossiers. It was a deep dive on ex-CIA agent Amaryllis Fox. Aside from the fact that her story reads like a real-life thriller, she’s a soft-spoke and thoughtful person that I found really intriguing.
Through her story, I was able to explore the slippery nature of perspective. What you see may not necessarily be the truth.
Fox learned this lesson as a child when her dad held up a small block and asked her what shape she saw. She said it was a triangle. He then asked her brother who was sitting on the other side of the table, and he said it was a square.
Her dad lifted the block, and it was in the shape of a pyramid.
He used the opportunity to teach her a valuable lesson: “You were both so sure of what you saw that slowly, you would’ve begun to believe that the other person was either very stupid and ill-informed or malicious and lying because you’re so sure of what you saw unless you have the discipline to always search for the higher dimension: for the pyramid.”
I keep thinking about that phrase: “the higher dimension.” It made me think about just how few of us search for that higher dimension. We trust our own experiences so much that our beliefs become rigid and we stop being able to empathize with our neighbors, let alone our adversaries.
Think about this for a minute: Do you know the difference between good and evil? Are you sure?
When thinking about war, it’s pretty obvious: “We’re good, and ‘the enemy’ is bad.” But the “higher dimension” thinking would be the perspective that Fox offers: “Everybody believes they’re the good guy.”
She explains that people in Muslim countries believe that the United States hates Islam while some Americans believe that outsiders hate our freedom. Yes, it’s a story of good versus evil, but it just depends on your perspective.
The truth of the matter is that most of the soldiers on either side fight to protect their country’s honor and they believe they can achieve a better future for their families.
Fox’s work required her to meet with dangerous arms dealers and people who wanted to see Americans dead, but she had to put all of that aside for a period of time. She learned that in order to extract information from her counterpart, she first had to humanize him — not as an arms dealer, but as a fellow parent, for example.
The only real way to disarm your enemy, she says, is to listen to them.
I’ll leave you with this quote that sent chills down my spine: “If you’re brave enough to really listen to their story, you can see that, more often than not, you might’ve made some of the same choices if you’d lived their life instead of yours.”
BACK TO COLLEGE: Some of you may know that I was once the editor-in-chief of my college newspaper The Red & Black, the place I called home for 4 years while I was a student at the University of Georgia. (Go Dawgs!) What you may not know is that I inadvertently led a walkout and managed to preserve the student independence of the paper. Like I said in the Q&A, I don’t seek out risk. Rather, it tends to seek me out. Read the Q&A here.
— The original king of crypto [**HIGHLY RECOMMEND**]
— The founder of a ‘DIY rape kit’ company
— The NBA stars firing back at their critics
— The iconic actress on embodying herself
— The firm that ‘erases your past’ from the internet
PEOPLE TO KNOW.
The original king of crypto: On April 6, 2021, BitMEX founder Arthur Hayes touched down at an airport in Honolulu and surrendered to federal agents on the tarmac. He pleaded guilty to a single charge of violating the Bank Secrecy Act, paid a $10 million fine, and began a six-month term of house arrest. But unlike FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, Hayes has never been accused of taking anything that didn’t belong to him, or lying to his customers, or running a crooked business. So why did it all blow up in such a spectacular manner? This story has it all: Lambos, stuffed animals, private jets, and a tank of sharks in the BitMEX office. (New York Magazine; reply to this email if you can’t access the article)
“BitMEX never screwed over their clients, never got hacked, never lost money.”
The founder of a ‘DIY rape kit’ company: Nearly two years after the Me Too movement erupted, 23-year-old Madison Campbell announced her plans to sell a product borrowing its name: MeToo Kits, an at-home alternative to the rape kits used in American hospitals nationwide. The idea seemed so simple — after an assault, survivors could swab themselves for DNA in the comfort of their own home instead of being examined by a professional. Campbell was shocked by the blowback from the public. Now, she’s rebranded the kits as Leda Health, scored $7 million in funding, brought on high-salary hires, and landed on best business lists. Will this be what she needs to make her company successful? (New York Magazine)
“I would love for them to call me a scammer to my face.”
The NBA stars firing back at their critics: Not so long ago, retired NBA stars could put on a suit, go on ESPN, and lay into the next generation of young players with little pushback. And then something shifted: The younger guys hopped on their podcasts and Instagrams and started to fire back. This profile takes us inside the seismic rift between the old talking heads and a new generation of brand-savvy, terminally online stars. (GQ)
“These dudes consume more criticism from more people than any era has experienced.”
The iconic actress on embodying herself: During the past three decades, Salma Hayek Pinault has built the kind of Hollywood career that appears, from the outside, to be a one-in-a-million success story. Following an acclaimed run as the star of the Mexican telenovela Teresa, Hayek Pinault immigrated to the US in 1991, perfected her English, and spun a string of bombshell-type roles that were as memorable as they were sexy. Now, at age 56, she could leave the industry, but here’s why she chooses to stay. (Glamour)
“Do not listen to all these expiration dates that they give you.”
COMPANIES TO WATCH.
The firm that ‘erases your past’ from the internet: Eliminalia’s tagline is: “We erase your past.” The company, which has offices in several cities including Barcelona and Kyiv, is part of a growing industry that will clean up your online profile. Officially the company performs “a deep search across the internet for all information – whether it be an article, a blog, social media posts or even a mistaken identity.” It then endeavors, on behalf of its clients, to get any negative information removed. How exactly does it scrub unwanted and damaging content from the internet? (The Guardian)
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