Release notes: July 2020

Date: 2020-08-02 | release-notes | reflections |

See all reflections.

This month I moved in with Megna, started paying an earth tax, made HamForGood more good, and thoroughly enjoyed New York in summer.


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My biggest update this month is that I moved in with Megna! My lease with my last roommate Lee just ended in July and he's started a year+ journey around the world which left me with three main options for this coming year:

  1. find someone else to live with

  2. live alone

  3. move in with Megna

  4. didn't seem that attractive and I calculated that 3) would likely save me ~$1000 / month. All the stuff I'd have to get rid of to move in with Megna (and rebuy if things didn't work out) totalled around $1500 (storage is so expensive in New York as not to be an option - ~$300 / month with 12 month minimum). If we also factor in the lost costs of labor at an estimate of $1000, we get a total lost cost of moving at ~$2500. So if we make it more than 3 months, I come out on top financially.

I think we can make 3 months. Otherwise I wouldn't have moved in in the first place.

paying an earth tax

A few of my goals this half are geared towards helping with the climate crisis. I was inspired by the pushes of Black Lives Matter activists to pursue sustainable, ongoing change for social justice and started thinking about ways I can do this for climate change.

What I came up with is an Earth tax to reduce the harm of my behaviors and to keep me from doing them again. To do this, I looked at different behaviors that have outsized bad effects on the environment wrt resource usage and carbon output and assigned a dollar value tax to them based on their relative badness. This tax covers the cost to offset the carbon footprint of the behavior and offers discouragement to executing that behavior in the future.

I like this paradigm because it's simple, it undoes the wrong you've done, and it helps prevent the wrong going forward.

Here's an example using my food rules. For each item that I buy with beef or lamb in it, I must pay $1 and $2 respectively. In this way, I force myself to face the planetary impact of my actions and provide a financial disincentive from taking bad ones.

So far, I've paid out $23 to the Earth this month. Not a huge amount, but not small either. Anecdotally, it's been enough to keep sustainable practices top of mind and I think that's a real win.

Read all the rules of my Earth tax.


HAMY LABS is HamForGood

Similar to my Earth Tax direction, I've been thinking about how to better integrate HamForGood - my initiative to make the world a better place through my projects - into HAMY LABS. In its previous form, HamForGood was a portfolio of Labs projects that gave 80% of their proceeds to a given cause. This left me with a landscape of projects that either gave 80% or 0% for good.

I found that this was causing me to create rushed, low quality projects in order to push something out 'for good'. Ultimately I think this was ineffective - both in the value it was able to produce and the satisfaction I got from it.

So I went back to the drawing board and wondered why some projects were for good and some weren't, particularly when my mission for projects was to 'Make the world a better place for everyone, grow my abilities into a world-class change maker.'. So I've redrafted my HamForGood rules in a way that I think frees me up to work on what I think is most impactful while maintaining the 'for good' premise at its core.

The new paradigm is that 20% of all profits from my HAMY LABS ventures will go towards causes for good. Of this 20%, 50% (so 10% of total) will go towards the cause that the project backs and the other 10% will go to a discretionary fund which will be dispersed among HamForGood causes of my choice.

My hope is that this new paradigm will be more sustainable, will allow me greater creative freedom, and will ultimately be more impactful in the long run.

These causes, the organizations they support, and the projects that back them will continue to be listed on my HamForGood page along with their financials so check back for updates.

You can read more about this decision and the reasoning behind it in my launch post.

other updates

  • Released a new collection of images created with blix on
  • I'm consolidating my IG presence into 3 primary handles @sir.hamy,, and @hamy.labs to account for feedback that it was hard to follow
  • I'm working on a new clothing collection that I hope to release in August - the first project in my elections bucket for HamForGood


I've genuinely enjoyed working through my new, detailed half plan. It took a lot of time to put together but I think the extra focus on what's important and what I could do about it has really paid off in this first month of the half. I'm going to continue to revise it as I go but very happy with where it's at.

I participated in my second hackathon at IG and submitted my first project. It wasn't chosen to move on but it's a big milestone for me to show that I know enough about our systems to hack something completely new together in a few days. I'm excited to continue hacking and may keep working on this project in one form or another in the future.


New York is starting to get back to normal! We've started doing socially distanced, masked up, and outside dining, drinking, and parking. This summer wasn't what we thought it'd be, but things are looking up and it's not gone yet.

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A post shared by Hamilton Greene (@sir.hamy) on


Til next time.


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