Thoughts on Central Asia

As I am writing this, I am sitting in my hotel room in Tashkent – the vibrant and growing capital of Uzbekistan.

For several years – since I worked on Chinahub, where we connected Chinese businesses and businesses along the “New Silk Road” to businesses in Germany – I am not only fascinated by Central Asia but also in firm belief that Central Asia will very soon (again) play a crucial role in our world stage – not only in geopolitics but also in global economics.

No wonder I immediately jumped on the opportunity to visit Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan as soon I was offered the opportunity.

Now, after 1 month and thousands of kilometers visiting Astana, Almaty, and Shymkent (Kazakhstan) and Tashkent and Samarkand (Uzbekistan), I’m even more certain that both countries not only want to become a dominant player in geopolitical Central Asia but also an economic powerhouse along the “New Silk Road”.

In all 5 cities, you can feel “growth” in the air. The population is noticeably younger (!) than in Europe or the United States – but not only is the population younger, the people are also a magnitude more ambitious than what I experience in Germany and Spain.

The mix of growth and ambition make Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan so interesting for me.

But which city in Kazakhstan or Uzbekistan will become the most dominant Central Asian city within the next 30 to 50 years?

From what I can observe, the most investments flow to Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, and Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. The question of which country and which city will dominate is – if you asked me – not about investments only, but about which country is more successful and quicker in tackling corruption.

I’ll keep an eye on both countries and visit them more frequently.

If you’d ask me where I’d want to live, the answer is Almaty. It is a vibrant and multicultural city with great restaurants of any sort, beautiful mountains close by and a working infrastructure.

If you’d ask me where I’d invest or do business, the answer is Tashkent. In Tashkent, there are still countless investment and business opportunities, there are countless things still waiting to get developed, including a more livable city.

Overall, Uzbekistan easily wins for the friendliest people in Central Asia, and also for the friendliest Russian-speaking people.

If you’d ask me to create a Top 3 list of cities in Central Asia,

For living and visiting:

  1. Almaty,
  2. Samarkand
  3. Tashkent

For business:

  1. Tashkent
  2. Astana
  3. Almaty

If you want to travel here, to get an impression, you can do it like me: Fly to Astana, take the train to Almaty, then a train to Tashkent. From here you can visit Samarkand and Bukhara.

Now I have 12 more days to explore Tashkent and to get to know the local business landscape.


Perception and Reality

The question: ‘what is reality at all?’ — is a really tricky one. If I’d have to reply in three words, my short answer would be:

Perception is reality.

But as soon you challenge your perception, your understanding of reality becomes much more loose. 


Biphasic Sleep Experiment

Living in Germany, I never really understood the concept of a Siesta. My entire life, I slept in one phase: usually around 6-7,5 hours at a time. When I got less than 6 hours of sleep, I typically felt sleepy and had a short nap (10-20 minutes) whenever possible. But overall, with proper sleep and a proper diet, my energy was continuously high throughout the day without the need for a nap.

Now, after living in Tenerife for three months, I naturally introduced short naps at noon time. Without eating a large meal, I feel sleepy around 12PM and 2PM – even though I sleep around 7 hours every night.

Now, Siesta totally make sense to me. It is the most natural way to live in a warmer climate. Instead of working throughout the hottest midday hours, you rest. You make up for these ‘missing’ Siesta hours by using the time when the temperatures and the sun are less exhausting. Thus, you naturally work and live during the late night, early morning, or both.

What doesn’t work for me is to follow a standard monophasic sleep schedule of sleeping 8-hours from 10PM to 6AM every night.

First, living in Spain, it is impossible to be in bed by 10PM. Most days, I finish my martial arts training at 9PM, after which I have dinner and socialize. With some time to unwind and read, I’m in bed earliest at 11PM.

Second, by being in bed after 11PM, I usually wake up around 7 AM. Thus, I lose valuable morning hours in which I can work deeply on my tasks.

Here comes my experiment: Instead of sleeping 7 to 8 hours in one chunk, I sleep 5 hours at night plus an additional 90-minute Siesta somewhere between 12PM and 4PM. In total: 6.5 hours of sleep.

With this biphasic sleep schedule, I may get the best out of both worlds: waking up early, going to bed late, and bridging the unproductive and tired midday low with a long nap.

So, what’s my plan? I aim to be up at 4.30 AM and at the desk at around 5AM. Work for 2-hours productively, have a short break in the morning sun, and then keep working until I feel exhausted somewhere around noon and early afternoon.

I then have a 2 to 3 hour Siesta in which I have a 90-minute nap, get some sun and maybe go for a short swim in the ocean.

Thereafter, I work for another 3 to 5 hours, after which I have a hard workout.

After the workout, I have a large dinner (usually OMAD) and still some time to socialize, read, and plan the next day.

Let’s see how it goes!


Times Ahead

It is unbelievable how much fun we had and how worry-free we were living between 2009 and 2020.

I’ll never forget the worryless nights and parties as a teenager. I’ll never forget the limitless travels between 2013 and 2016.

The good old days.

Now we have some hideous years ahead…

To evolve better into the 2030s and to create a beautiful free world, we want to live, and we can proudly hand over to our children, we need to raise our human consciousness.

We’ve lost our connection to our inner selves, we’ve lost our connection to mother nature.

Full of generational trauma, it seems we’re destroying not only everything that makes us human, but as the last >20 years have spoiled us with an abundance of wealth, we’re also negligently destroying our liberty.

Where are the ethics, the discipline, the family values of our grandparents and great-grandparents – all gone?

While we are dancing with our rose-colored glasses on, we don’t see the tsunami coming.

Today, it is more important than ever to focus on yourself. Forget the news, forget what is happening around you, even forget your friends and your family.

Focus on yourself. Focus on healing the wounds of your and your generational trauma. Please take the time you need. Only this way, we’ll stop passing on everything that is wrong with our world.

Heal yourself from all the trauma. Free yourself from all the bullshit that filled up your mind. By doing so, you do yourself and your (future) children the biggest favor you can imagine.

If you are unsure where to start, I, personally, believe an Ayahuasca ceremony is the best first step. Or Yoga. Just promise to do something.


Sci​ence as a Crutch

In our society, science became a tool for argumentation and for politics. We act first, then find the science to support our acts. We talk first, then find the science to support our talks.

This is dangerous because we stopped pursing the truth and instead settle with what we wish to be true.

Instead of abusing science as a crutch for one’s own interests, we should make science unbiased and independent again. Only by being independent enough to challenge the truth, we can arrive at the truth.

But independence is not enough. Science also needs to become brave and challenge existing barriers it set for itself.

A good example are current conversations on the physics of UFOs. The UFOs evidently show physical properties which are unexplainable by our current understanding of physics.

It appears that UFOs use technologies which we cannot grasp with our current status of physics. Likely, it will change fundamental physical law we assume to be true as of today. This alone should be reason and motivation enough to uncover missing knowledge and find out the fundamental laws behind UFO technology.

Instead, often those who are the most scientific, are those who deny the existing of UFOs the most. Talk about UFOs and the underlying physics, mention that there is likely a speed which is faster than light, and scientists who should be curious the most look at you as if you were a crazy person.

Let’s stop using science as a crutch to avoid the uncomfortable, and instead focus on discovering truths we cannot grasp yet.


Keep Taxation Simple

Germany, Spain, France, Greece, India, USA. No matter where you look, when it gets to taxes, it gets complex.

Tax brackets, wealth tax, corporate tax, personal tax, value added tax, tax here tax there.

But complexity is not in and of itself a result of taxes. It gets complex when there are exemptions, tax brackets, tax categories, taxation on worldwide assets, and so on. Certain individuals under certain conditions pay this, other that. Businesses in this region pay more, than in another region. Some types of products are exempt. Others are not.

Nobody understands anything anymore! Without a tax advisor, you are guaranteed to pay too much. And even then, your tax advisor doesn’t understand the entire tax landscape. Maybe you will save some money here, but pay too much elsewhere.

But why is it that complex? Why are taxes so nontransparent?

If there’s one thing a nation-state should work on to attract talent and investors, it is to stand out with transparency and simplicity. Fair taxes in a simple taxation system.

Overall, I think tax advice shouldn’t exist. As taxes should be fair, transparent, and simple by default. For everyone.


Who You Don’t Want to Become

Often, we think about who we want to become in life. But thinking about who we wish to be, can distort us from being who we naturally were supposed to be.

This is because we imitate other people. Every day – wittingly or unwittingly – we are influenced by people who are close to us: family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and so on. Moreover, people we follow online also heavily influence who we wish to be.

To quit this rat race, it is powerful to think about who we absolutely – under no circumstances – never want to become.

One helpful hint is listen to your gut. Remember and note when you meet someone and immediately think: “oh god, I never want to become like this!”.

For example, your father is a very heavy drinker. Either you are disgusted by this behavior, that you already know that you never want to become like this.

Every so often, this is not enough, as some people unconsciously imitate their father’s behavior and become alcoholics themselves.

Therefore, before you can ask yourself the question “Who do I – under no circumstance – never want to be?” you have to start observing and questioning the people you are surrounded by and the people you are following online.

By actively observing people, you’ll realize how they treat other people, what and how many bad habits they have, and many other things you dislike about them. For example, you might quickly realize that:

  • you never want to become an alcoholic,
  • you never want to neglect your family for super success,
  • you never want to live an average life,
  • you never want to be dishonest,

or whatever it might be.

We also need to pay attention to whom we follow online and question whether we really want to be like them. Whether it is a successful entrepreneur, world-class athlete, a popular ‘creator’, or a perfect mother. Who we look up to influences who we think we want to be. Influencers aren’t called influencers for nothing!

This is hard because social media is showing us only the bright side.

So, ask yourself: Which sacrifices do I need to make to have a life like this? Am I willing to make these sacrifices? What aspects do I never want to incorporate into my life?

Observing people will show us who we don’t want to become. Question people’s lives and behaviors and set clear boundaries of who you never want to become.

If we do everything we can, to avoid becoming who we don’t want to be, we will naturally find ourselves as a person we desire to be.


The Car Stagnation

Cars are a perfect example of how our world is stagnating. Besides minor upgrades and design changes, cars in 2022 are basically the same as cars from 2012 and only slightly better than cars from 2002.

What is the REAL difference between a car from 2012 and 2022?

Most likely, it is a bigger screen which you can pair with your smartphone. Possibly, we also managed to reduce the fuel consumption by 15%. Perhaps the car has now a rearview camera. Or a better sound system.

All in all, the car is still a car. It still can’t drive itself, and it still can’t fly.

For over 10 years, people are promising and predicting self-driving cars. For example, in 2012 Sergey Brin promised we’ll be riding self-driving cars by 2017. Well, we are still driving our fully human steered cars in 2022.

The truth is, we are technologically stagnating. Today, innovation is created by marketing departments. What can we do to really innovate again?


Free Markets

Supermarkets filled with food from all over the world, heated apartments, new smartphones, or almost self-evident things like a kettle, an electric stove, or even electricity or running water – all this is a result of a functioning capitalism.

Recently, however, we have been able to observe what happens when there is too much government intervention in the market. Be it government-imposed lockdowns during the corona pandemic, sanctions policies during the Ukraine conflict, or excessive monetary policies by central banks over the past decade, prices rise. The trend is clearly one of hyperinflation.

Food in the supermarket is getting more expensive every day, some food is only available in very limited quantities. Gasoline at the gas stations is also becoming more expensive, as well as heating costs, electricity costs and so on.

These problems, caused by government intervention in the market as well as a politically acting FED and ECB, are wrongly tried to be solved by further money printing and government intervention in the market.

However, there is a major error in thinking here: intervening in the market does not solve the problems, but causes and exacerbates them.

I fear we have now entered a dynamic that will take us further and further into socialist or even communist state structures. The world and the market are already more unfree. We are already in the early stages of a massive economic recession.

Economists expect losses in Europe due to the sanctions to be well in excess of $400 billion. This will significantly harm people and businesses in Europe and lead to social unrest, mass protests and radical – in my opinion socialist communist – movements.

We need free markets, independent courts and a non-political monetary policy as soon as possible.

Let us choose freedom now, otherwise we will wake up in communism, possibly with a world government.


Good People Capitalism

Many good people see money as something bad and thusly avoid it.

On the other side, greedy people want it and thus get more of it.

This imbalance creates an impression that capitalism is the bug.

But capitalism is not failing. It’s good people avoiding capitalism, which is distorting the outcomes of capitalism.

Yes, today, largely greed-driven and ego-driven capitalists rule the world.

The good people live a small and content live. Through their presence, they leave a positive impact on their closer circle. This positivity – unfortunately – never gets the leverage it needs to have the much-needed profound impact onto the world.

Dear good people, money is not your enemy. Money is leverage. Leverage which helps bring your positive change to 100x, 1.000x, 10.000x or maybe 1.000.000x more people.

Don’t avoid money. Use money. Use it to multiply what you are doing.

Use money to build a socially and spiritually infused for-profit company.