How to Make Money

Gold has a density of 19.3 g/cm3. Its atomic number is 79. These are physical attributes of the element. What interests me is how people come to give this element value? Or to put this another way, how do people make money?

You have probably seen $5 in Monopoly money. You have probably also seen 5 US dollars. Why does one have real-world value and the other not? How is that value created? How is the universe built where people can give some pieces of paper value and other not?

The answer may lie in the possibility that the universe is more plastic, and hence more malleable to our desires that we usually suppose. Let me show you what I mean.

Is this a picture of a rabbit or a duck?

What is this a picture of?

Or this?

The point is that the data that we register and interpret in our brains can have multiple meanings, and it is us that give them meaning. The meaning is not so much inherent in the data as in our interpretation of the data. How can this be?

The first step may be to not take the world we experience at face value. Clearly a lot is going on from the eyes receiving data and the pictures our minds see. To begin with, what about the blind spot?

The blind spot is that part of the retina that is not covered with light-sensing cells because it is where the neurons leave the eye for the brain.

Here are a couple of experiments for you.

Experiment 1: Hold your left hand over your left eye while staring directly at the upper X with your right eye, and slowly approach the screen until the black spot disappears (about a foot away from the screen). You have found your blind spot. With both eyes open, why can’t you find your blind spot?

Experiment 2: Now repeat this procedure while looking at the “X” in the lower panel. When the mouse disappears, what happens to the bars of the cage? How can you “see” something in what you know is your blind spot? Why do you see the bars but not the mouse?[1]

Some studies suggest less than 50% of what we “see” is actually based on information entering our eyes.

“The remaining 50% plus is pieced together out of our expectations of what the world should look like…The eyes may be visual organs, but it is the brain that sees.”[2]

As soon as we become aware that what we experience is in no way “raw data” but highly processed by ourselves, a great deal about the world starts to make sense. We are not so much cameras faithfully recording “really”. We are more like sculptors of our experience. Our world is not so much a given as a creative act.

Add to this the fact that the brain cannot distinguish between what is “real” and what is” imagined” and it starts to make sense how people can build almost as much muscle lying on a couch imagining a workout as actually pumping iron.[3] It can help us conceptualise why 35% of people who receive placebos will experience a positive effect.[4] It also helps to understand how money is made.

When a piece of paper, a mineral, a shelter, or a piece of crypto-graphic code is imbued with monetary value this clearly takes place as part of that 50+ of mental activity in the brain. The value is not inherent in the object itself. We “perceive” value as part of the creative act of experiencing our world.

According to the CIA the world’s broad money supply in 2017 was $80 trillion.[5] Every cent of that is the product of a consensus among us as to what we value. If we stop to think about this for a moment we might begin to feel a growing sense of awe at the absolutely remarkable ability of the human mind to create its own reality. It is as if we are all on the holodeck of the USS Enterprise of Star Trek fame and have conjured up a world filled with all this wealth. Because that is exactly what we have done!

Whether you are a crypto-currency fan or not Bitcoin has helped wake us up to our ability to make money. Without the sanction of government or any of the usual ceremonial trappings of authority such as grand buildings, important officials and enacted statutes, in less than 10 years Bitcoin has gone from zero to over $6,000 a coin. Why this value? There is no other reason than people have chosen to give it value.

Bitcoin Enhanced is using the same value-creation process to provide better returns than Bitcoin beyond the risks posed by the financial system.

So before plunging head first again into life it may be worth just remembering in every moment that less than 50% of what you experience comes from anything that can be remotely called “out there”. Reality is the broadest meaning of the word is a lot more ambiguous that that. We have a great deal of leeway in how we construct our experience. That ambiguity has enabled us to create $80 trillion of wealth. What is your next act?


[2] Michael Talbot, The Holographic Universe, page 163.

[3] and and

[4] Michael Talbot, The Holographic Universe, page 91.