Hi, I'm Robert Malka.
I'm obsessed with creating cultures that promise to develop beautiful human beings.
My life goal has taken me everywhere. I'm currently building a stealth education startup, with the intention of rapidly scaling. I love Bitcoin; I've co-founded a company that provides interpreting services for the Deaf in the US, Canada, and the Middle East, where I also lead trainings on interpreter ethics, and have finished a book on the ethics of interpreting in the middle east; explored the US and Canada through 10,000 miles of train-riding to write a book on the experience of being a CODA, or Child of Deaf Adults (second book using my train experience forthcoming!); I've also done some fun data science projects, as a graduate of Springboard's Data Science bootcamp - check out my Github. I also (rarely these days) interpret rap songs into American Sign Language for kicks on YouTube! Check them out. I'm also working on an album, the first couple singles of which will come out this year, along with a book on Bitcoin and National Security I and some friends are putting together.
I'm a 2015 graduate of St. John's College, a liberal arts college where we read the Great Books of the western tradition. If you let me, I'll lecture about Nietzsche for hours. So don't be surprised by my Substack (formerly a blog called Inorganic Thoughts, where the posts were more chronologically ordered) where I explore topics I find interesting.
Next, I've become deeply interested in epigenetics as it relates to play. I had a starting question I found exciting, and have found my way into learning about the space more deeply to publish original research. More to come soon.
Finally, I've been a sign language interpreter in every situation imaginable -- for Elon Musk at Tesla board meetings and for Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook, among others; for graduate-level classes in computer science, chemistry, and literature at top universities like UC Berkeley; at startups and established Fortune 500 companies of every kind; for K-12 special education, juvenile hall, in hospitals for the recovering and dying, and of course for attorneys and well-known politicians and celebrities. One day I'll write about being a fly on the wall in these places. I've also tutored in ASL, taught debate as a high school teacher (while in high school), and gotten a few awards from Deaf communities in the Middle East for my work in those communities. It's been a wild ride.
In my spare time I do Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (lineage under Jean-Jacques Machado), paintball, and swing dancing. Some dormant projects I've worked on were: examining AI through a framework deemed Responsible as part of the AI Future Lab (co-founder); and facilitating workshops for psychological health under The Red Circle.
Deaf-owned, CODA-operated, plain and simple. Malka Communications (and its Canadian partner, Maple Communications) provide ASL interpretation, CART captioning, and notetaking services with highly-qualified and certified staff. It's been a long journey helping these companies grow, and I'm glad to have been part of their mission. If you ever need interpreting services, reach out with confidence -- we've worked with Fortune 500 companies, world-class universities, governments local and international, and more.
I'm lucky to work with an incredible crew, and to get to know the most interesting people, in the service of making the United States a Bitcoin-friendly country. Yes, I do mean just Bitcoin -- no NFTs, no cryptos, no Web3. IMO Bitcoin is the first and only valid digital currency/store of value to come out of the blockchain / crypto space, and is the only use case for blockchain technology altogether.
I'm on the board of the Bitcoin Today Coalition, a non-governmental, nonpartisan organization educating leaders at the federal and state levels about Bitcoin. We're also organizing plebs around Bitcoin literacy initiatives; reach out to us if you want to learn more and are eager to meaningfully engage in the Bitcoin space. (My personal opinions don't necessarily reflect the stances of the Coalition.)
I'm also on the team of Mi Primer Bitcoin (My First Bitcoin), designing the first official Bitcoin Certification program for El Salvador, the first country to make Bitcoin legal tender. Our ten-week pilot was successful; we've taught over 160 students, and our Diplomado has been translated into several languages already. We hope to scale the program to all high-schoolers in El Salvador and beyond. Github repo here! And English version free to download here.
We at the Bitcoin Today Coalition are also publishing a book on Bitcoin and National Security, coming this year.
Besides that, I've been part of some Bitcoin panels to discuss the situation in DC, and I'm jumping on Bitcoin podcasts to talk Bitcoin and more! Check out one such conversation here.
As a COO, I've previously built an online school for grades 6-12, formerly called Expanse, that produced radical results - kids jumping seven reading levels in a quarter, leaving their anti-depressants, building amazing projects, all based around a Socratic approach to learning. (I've since parted ways from the program, but it lives on.) I loved it. Right now I'm helping consult teens who need direction in finding alternative high schools and in what they want to do in college, alongside an old teammate, who also happens to be a world-class counselor with decades of experience, and I have an endlessly large network I can always connect teens to. Contact me if you're a teen who needs help, or a parent who wants to help their child! I'll always find a way to help, even if finances are tight.
Song of Myselves
Originally an essay, I describe the true story of a boy who lived between two worlds, the Deaf and the Hearing, and who stood against the marginalization of his Deaf mother by being her interpreter, often in harrowing situations. But being her voice suppressed my own, and I found myself desperate to discover what I wanted and needed to say.
A vividly detailed account of being another's voice at the cost of possessing your own, Song of Myselves is a Millennial coming-of-age story that asks fundamental questions about agency, empowerment, the limits of empathy, and how to become yourself in a world that won’t hear you and never heard the ones you loved. It details the tensions between self and society and the inevitable divide between self-interest and communal interests. In that time adopting thousands of personas, I emerged wondering if Know Thyself is in fact a commandment for you to Invent Thyself.
Follow its path to publication by subscribing below, and click here to check out the first five pages. If you're an interested agent, publisher, or just curious, reach out.
Born in a two-week sprint with a friend, and thanks to his encouragement, I've sketched an album that's born from as many places within me as possible. Annoyance, sincerity, satire -- I'm curious to explore mostly hip-hop with cutting lyrics, punniness, and catchy vibes. Most importantly, it's original. Spotify coming soon.
My focus at the AI Future Lab is to promote AI Literacy, empower regional communities to articulate guiding principles for AI, and communicate observations about youth's preferences and wishes for AI. We did the first-ever AI and the Future of Youth conference in February 2022 and have since worked on an AI Youth Manifesto/ Responsible AI Framework. Reach out if you'd like to connect with some of the leading millennial minds in AI.
At The Red Circle I've helped develop psychological first-aid workshops to teach people how to navigate their loved ones to health, or at least to trusted authorities, while their loved ones are expressing suicidal or severely depressive thoughts. My passion for this is personal; when I was in such places in my life, I had trouble communicating my needs and being understood. My hope is that our work encourages more people to connect in those darkest of places.