TBH: Book Review — Bitcoin is Venice
The hobbyist here for another book review. This time we are reviewing Bitcoin is Venice.
HOW DID I FIND OUT ABOUT THIS BOOK?
I believe Bitcoin Magazine did a twitter spaces about it. Which the authors talked about the book and why bitcoiners like myself should read the book. This book was heavily promoted by Bitcoin Magazine and I saw mentions of it on Twitter. For all the bitcoin podcasts I listen to, none of them invited the authors on to discuss the book. After the launch date the press for book died and as of today it isn’t really discussed much.
Pages: 347 Store: Bitcoin Magazine Cost: $30.95 ($21.00 + $9.99 Shipping) Smaller compact font. With lots of footnotes for in-depth information. The book is cheaper on Amazon but on the Bitcoin Magazine Twitter spaces the authors mentioned buying it from Bitcoin Magazine as the proceeds will go a bitcoin cause. I think they were pledged to the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) but I am not sure. Thus I paid the higher price instead of letting Amazon capture that profit.
The forward done by Alex Gladstein was very captivating. I was ready to dive into a book that would intertwined history and the positive future bitcoin could possibly bring humanity. Then the authors warned about how the book was written as a collection of essays that tried to showcase big picture of ideas by drawing history and works by other writers in a piece mail format. I thought this approach made sense until I started to read and I must say this book is a difficult read. A bit too abstract for my tastes. I often found myself lost in the text about different point they were trying to make and relating the information to some old context or written work of some author. I did capture some of the more important quotes and paragraphs that captured my attention that I wish to recall in the future. Across all the pages I saved passages from about 30 pages. Here are some of them below:
Quote on Top of Page 33:
Page 49: “As the economist Alex Tabarrok Says, “a bet is a tax on bullshit. Or, don’t talk: do.”
Page 79: “ To boost aimless consumption, primarily with uncollateralized debt by destroying the price signals for capital and depleting its stock.”
Page 85: “Clearly you don’t want the machine for its own sake; you want it for what it will produce. The machine has to be purchased with liquid capital, and then exists as illiquid capital. It can be liquidated if desired (i.e., sold for cash), but its primary value is as a form of economic potential energy. It is a stock that creates flows.”
Page 112: “Measure costs in human time and energy”
Page 113: “Regardless of what has inevitably changed in the meantime, money is useful to the extent it lets us contribute time and energy to the network at one point in time knowing that our claim will not be diluted, and that at any future point in time we can receive the same proportion back.”
Page 122: “ It is only in the mind of a degenerate fiat economist who believes that consumption is a cause of prosperity rather than an effect, and that leverage is unequivocally good because it always and everywhere “stimulates investment” that keeping separate non-invested savings and investment seems strange at the level of the individual, and damaging at the level of society.
Page 125 “ Money provides a means for coordinating the risks of attempting to create capital such that those contributing to the risk taking are not necessarily those bearing the risk! “
(Money is not capital) use capital don’t consume it!
Page 139 “Dollar is backed by self-referentially mispriced toxic loans and stabilized by a military and commodity cartelization pact with Saudi Arabia”
Page 151 “Bitcoin will be banned, many times, in many places. But a ban is an open admission of practical and moral failure and is arguably the best advertisement of all. A ban is the Berlin Wall. Fragments of any ban will one day become souvenirs of the folly and cruelty of repression. Bitcoin doesn’t force anybody to stay. They come, and then they stay, because they want to — because
it is both practically and morally superior.”
Page 239 “ Across the planet, moderate to extreme soil erosion has degraded 1.2 billion hectares of agricultural land since 1945 — an area the size of China and India combined.”
Page 269 “ The government decides to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing things that middle class people have: If middle-class people go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go to college and own homes, we’ll have more middle-class people. But homeownership and college aren’t causes of middle-class status, they’re markers for possessing the kinds of traits — self-discipline, the ability to defer gratification, etc. — that let you enter, and stay, in the middle
class. Subsidizing the markers doesn’t produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them.”
THE BITCOIN HOBBYIST´S MAIN TAKEAWAY
After all the hype this book received it was one big MEH. It wasn’t awful but I definitely could have saved my time for more entertaining or informative book. If you are a well season bitcoiners and more about data, facts, and substance about trying to make points then do yourself a favor and skip this book. Being in bitcoin and listening to podcasts this book didńt build upon the knowledge I already know about the space. I think people with english and philosophy type backgrounds might enjoy this book more but if you are a Based Pleb I skip this book and read Bitcoin Billionaires instead. You will learn much more about history of bitcoin written in a much easier to digest tone.
RANKINGS AND RECOMMENDATION
⭐️⭐️⭐️ and a 1/2 Stars
If you aren’t an abstract thinker skip this book. It was very hard to retain the information that I read. I constantly reviewed read pages and chapters to keep the ideas fresh in my mind. The quotes above are good bits of information and these little gems allows me to recommend this book on some level but the majority of people should not even bother
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