Notes on Bitcoin: Disruptions

by Matthew Burgess on November 22, 2014

(This is mostly derived/combined from several emails I sent to a couple people, both professional investors, to spark a conversation about bitcoin. If you are interested in or working in this space, please contact me. Let’s talk.)

Some thoughts….

In recent months, I’ve been heavily researching bitcoin, crypotocurrencies, and the innovation explosion brought on by the bitcoin protocols and blockchain technology. Although this is a complex subject and I’m humbled by it every day, with my research I’ve begun to get a more and more solid grasp on the issues, technologies and opportunities. And with this comes an improving ability to form and articulate explanations and opinions, which in turn gives me access to conversations with much smarter people…and so the learning compounds and accelerates.

My big takeaway: this is huge. Bigger than the Internet. It will change economies, disrupt long-standing institutions and industries, empower the powerless and underrepresented, and potentially stabilize governments and out-of-control economies in countries like Argentina and Venezuela. Or at least, it will certainly empower the citizens of those countries.

I’m beginning to form a number of startup and/or investment theses that are compelling enough to push me to dedicate more and more time to this; more research, more discussions with key players (engineers, startups, angel investors, legal experts, VC). [click to continue…]


Malibu Surfside News: Ride of The Week

by Matthew Burgess on May 8, 2014


Fun with Fireball.

The Malibu Surfside News, a local newspaper, has an auto column called Ride of the Week written by Fireball Tim Lawrence. Fireball is a car guy, and every week he features a Malibu local and his/her cool car. He wanted to run a motorcycle feature every once in a while. And he contacted me to feature my 1979 BMW customized by Deus ex Machina in Venice, a bike I named “Complexus ex Simplex.”

So he took some cool photos at the Pier, interviewed me, and wrote a nice article about the bike, with a bit about our family and why we love Malibu.

And it also does a nice job summarizing some of the work I do in my professional life. Here it is: Ride of the Week: Matthew Burgess’ 1979 BMW R100S Cafe Racer

A quote from me in the article:
“As a member of the Venice Vintage Motorcycle Club, my heart is with vintage bikes. Although I ride it frequently into Venice, it’s not really the best commuter bike. It’s tight and fast with an aggressive stance; endless fun in the canyons around Malibu. Complexus ex Simplex is ‘complexity from simplicity,’ the emergence of beauty and elegance from simple things/forms/patterns, as embodied in the Fibonacci sequence of numbers, the golden ratio, and as seen throughout nature. This concept is representative of something that has always helped me get my head around the great unknowns of our universe and guides me in life: the empirical truth that great complexity in nature emerges from simplicity. Riding a motorcycle is an experiential manifestation of this: the joy, the peace, and the complex, textured richness of life’s experiences that often come from the simplest of things. Surfing has this same effect on me.”



Who Has Time for Blogging Anymore?

by Matthew Burgess on October 22, 2013

Back when the whole Web got rolling, the growth in personal publishing took that form of personal “home pages.” People (yep, like me) purchased a domain, set up hosting, learned a little HTML, and started telling the world whatever they felt like talking about.

Then came the blogging revolution. Great tools like WordPress made it easier to publish. And so, the hyper-personalized, increasingly democratized web of ideas expanded even faster.

Then…and yes, this is an over simplification…came a phase that I like to think of as the reverse big bang. A consolidation phase. Facebook mainly, and Twitter. There was no longer as much of a need to learn personal publishing tools for one’s own website, when most “publishing” from individuals became micropublishing, in the form of tweets and posts on Facebook. We lost our “own” spaces and willingly became part of the stream.

So then, here’s my blog. Admittedly boring and lifeless. It’s still here, as sort of an historic record. But even for that, its pretty damn thin.

I put little or no time into writing anything here, or on any of my other sites. Instead, I post on Facebook (albeit less and less, as I’ve gotten bored with that experience).

And I’ve been enjoying a more photographic form of storytelling and updates on life on Instagram. You can find me there. And when you do, please say hello.


Blacksmith Jeans from Rising Sun

by Matthew Burgess on August 1, 2013

The break-in period begins. Day 1.




Gasolina Classic Motorcycle Boots

by Matthew Burgess on July 23, 2013


Fricking LOVE these boots. Gasolina Classic Boots



Complexus ex Simplex

by Matthew Burgess on June 24, 2013

Complexity from simplicity. Emergence.


Out for a ride

by Matthew Burgess on June 24, 2013

20130624-155226.jpgQuick trip up and back to Montecito to see family. Good to get the GS out after so much second fiddle recently to the Deus R100, “Complexus ex Simplex.”



Sharing a Dropbox folder with non-Dropbox Users

by Matthew Burgess on June 18, 2013

Just a little something I encountered, had trouble with, then solved. So I thought I’d share.

We recently had a family vacation, and I wanted to make some photos available to others in my family. I didn’t want to email them all (obnoxious), and I didn’t necessarily want to post them all publicly on Facebook. I’m a Dropbox user, so this seemed like a nice cloud solution for sharing photos.

For Dropbox users that want to make certain folders available for others to see, but not necessarily be able to modify contents of the folder as a Dropbox user…. That is, to “share” a Dropbox folder with people who are not Dropbox users, here’s what the trick.

When you drill down your list of folders until you see the folder you’d like to show others, like in the screenshot below, you might be tempted to click on “Share this folder.”


That’s what I did first, and everyone got an email from Dropbox saying that they had to signup for the service before viewing. Not what I wanted.

The “Share” concept in Dropbox is for an active kind of share. Only other Dropbox users can do this, because it becomes part of THEIR dropbox folders. The benefit of this is that all share users can add things to the folder, make changes, etc. For some situations, this is great. For my situation, I didn’t want my non-Dropbox family members to have to signup for anything.

So…when “sharing” something with people that might not be Dropbox users, instead, what you want is to click the link icon, which will give you a unique URL link of a public page that you can send to others, like I sent the link to whomever I’d like.


When you click the “Share link” icon, a new page opens (screenshot below). You can use the “Add names or emails” box to have Dropbox send invites to this link, or click the “Get link” button, and the URL will be copied to your clipboard, ready for pasting into an email or anything else.


(And when I say its a “public” page, it isn’t like its posted publicly anywhere. It’s a page, at a particular URL, that does not require an account to access. You can be discreet with how you share it (like I did by email with family) or you can post it for all the world to see. Up to you.)




My little guy

by Matthew Burgess on November 10, 2012

A lovely day at the beach. Ha, actually, since he’s a baby, it was 30 minutes. But still, ahhhhh.




Yes Bill O’Reilly, You Have Lost The Country

November 8, 2012

Charles Blow has nice opinion piece in NYT, below. Rush: “we’re outnumbered…we’ve lost the country”. O’Reilly: “it’s not a traditional America anymore.” My comment: All true. You have lost the country. You lost handily with young people, women, latinos, blacks, asians, gays…and, yes, white males who you can’t convince to hate or fear all those […]

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Romney Not A Flipflopper on Taxes, Just a Clever Liar

October 29, 2012

Romney, SOUNDING like he’s changed his tune on taxes for the top brackets: “I will not reduce the taxes paid by high-income Americans” and he says he will not reduce the “share of taxes” paid by the rich. This is another lie within wordplay It SOUNDS like “I will not reduce the tax RATE” but […]

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How much will we take?

October 29, 2012

Really? Have we really become a country that stands for a party and a candidate that so openly create complete fabrications and then robocall to spread these lies? Does anyone remember when the country felt that Nixon’s actions were a blight on our beloved democracy? This shit is 1000 times worse. And we just accept […]

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Why Obama Now – Why Trickle Down is Bullshit

October 8, 2012

Great video from Lucas Gray, animator from Simpsons and Family Guy. With animations that build off a speech the President gave at the Associated Press earlier in 2012, this video really explains why “Trickle Down” economics is a pile of bullshit, and why we should not trust anyone touting it (or running on it as […]

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32 Metronomes Fall in Line on Instructions from the Boss Metronome

October 5, 2012

Well, of course that isn’t true. One metronome can’t give instructions to others metronomes. But yet, with these cute little colorful metronomes, like many systems in nature, order emerges from disorder. They all start ticking away at a different time and pace then the others. Yet, within a couple minutes, they all begin to tap […]

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Please Stop, Literally, Misusing Literally

September 26, 2012

Rant alert. My dear friends, i love you all (well, not all of you), but many of you are driving me crazy. I beg you all to please help to stop the spreading of this evil viral meme: this misuse of the word “literally.” It is a word with a very specific meaning and utility, […]

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Republicans’ Plan to Win: Lie

September 26, 2012

So, the Republic Party machine (yes, I’m including Fox News in that), continues to opt for misinformation as the main strategy for winning elections, rather than presenting a cogent and compelling set of issue positions. This from Fox & Friends: either they are hardworking in their prevarications or lazy idiots. You choose if your feel […]

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They Built a House of Ill Repute

August 30, 2012

This bit about “we built it”…. Exactly what do Republicans think is interesting and cute about this? Have they not heard the full remarks of the president that people have chopped up into this? Either they have not heard them, or they are being intellectually dishonest. The president did not suggest people did not build […]

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Todd Akin – What He Means By Legitimate

August 21, 2012

It’s very important that people understand what Todd Akin means when he says “legitimate rape.” Many people seem to think that by “legitimate,” he means “justified.” What he is referring to is something different, but equally disgusting. The religious right has embraced a junk science notion that women’s bodies simply are not capable of pregnancy […]

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Comfort with Dishonesty

July 20, 2012

More than any differences in policy or ideology, the thing that most consistently drives me away from the Republican Party is it’s repeatedly apparent level of comfort with complete and utter dishonesty. To cut up the audio of the speech like this, re-paste the pieces together, and completely changed the meaning, is to me reprehensible […]

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Why Mitt Isn’t Releasing Tax Returns, part 2

July 20, 2012

So here’s the other potential bombshell in that Romney’s taxes. And this one isn’t in past years that he hasn’t released. This bombshell could be in his 2010 return. Haven’t we already seen his 2010 returns, you might ask. Turns out he did not release the complete return. For accounts in foreign banks, filers must […]

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